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Monday, July 30, 2012

Oh Sunday, Sunday, Sunday OR Things I Don't Wanna do

Warning: Here is more meandering, randomness, wandering, subject switching, and other annoying writing habits that might cause people's brains to implode.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  Also did you know that you can make sausage from scratch?  Where was I?


Okay, I have been dealing with contractors galore.  Some are good.  Some are bad.  Some are stupider than my daughter's moron cat.  (The cat just meowed at me piteously.)  Also I was forced to give the cat a special hair cut to help cut down on what I call poopy dreadlocks.  Pet stylists probably have a highly professional and technical term for it, which I don't know.  Didn't I just finish telling you I was going to switch subjects in an annoying fashion?  (I just Googled it and found that people get their long-haired cats something called a lion cut.  Then I looked at pictures of a lion cut and I had to pause for a bit to wipe the tears from my eyes.)  (Poor damn cat.)

I'm pretty sure the cat would die of shame if we did this to him.  But hey he wouldn't get dingleberries.  (And well, he isn't happy with me anyway since I had to give him the "special" booty trim, if you know what I mean.  For those of you without cats, talk to those with cats.  They'll explain it to you.)

Back to the contractors.  We have a warranty on the house.  The air conditioner in the attic has a problem.  I called for assistance.  They sent someone over to look at the problem.  (I told them what the problem was because anyone with half a brain can see that the PVC pipe that drains the a/c unit is either clogged or tilted down in the wrong direction but I could sense that they weren't inclined to listen to my opinion over the phone.)  The guy went up there and said, "The PVC pipe is clogged or tilted wrong in the horizontal direction."  I said, "Duh, Herman," on the inside.

Then the contractor said, "I'll have to go back to the office and they'll see if this is covered by the warranty."  What I wanted to say was, "I already know it's covered in the warranty because I just read the warranty before I called this in and it SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS DRAINAGE OF THE A/C UNITS IN THE FRICKING WARRANTY!"  (Sam Kinison style, in fact.)  In fact I circled the segment with a pen because I know exactly what the frick the problem is.  But I didn't say that.  The guy looked at my face and repeated what he said about making sure that the warranty covers the problem.  Then he said something lame about Betty Grace or Elizabeth Sue from the office calling us back when they figured it all out and could we please fork over the fee for him so graciously showing up at our house to ascertain what I already knew was broken.  It's a $100 service call fee.  (They gave us a break and only charged us $60.  Oh, I should be so grateful, but I'm not for some reason.)

So once the contractors graciously conclude that I might be right they be back over to charge us $100 and can we please be polite about their hosing of us?  (They have a preference for flowers, but definitely no carnations, and Astroglide.)  All of this happened because we have a house warranty that came with the house.  I HATE CONTRACTORS!  I HATE WARRANTY SERVICES!  I'm not happy with HIM right now because he had to move here and I have to get all neurological (Pathological?  Psychotic?) about a new house.  I'm pretty sure there's a new category in the Diagnostical Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that features ME!  FWD: Fat Woman Disorder.  Kind of like PMS, except with bazookas and snarky blogs.

Of course Mary Jo Ann Doris from the office didn't call us back on Friday to say anything about the stupid drainage issue or the warranty or the fact that I resemble a Gorgon when I'm really pissed off.  And I would know if they called because we have CALLER ID.  (This is a reference to another contractor who swore he called us but I happen to know he did not, even after he did call the right number for something else, so he lied his a** off about the first call because he didn't want to sound like a moron, but he failed miserably.  Oh carp, meandering again.  Very sad.)

Therefore I will be calling the A/C people back tomorrow, which does not make me happy because I will be wasting time that I could be outlining Bubba 4 or doing other things in a writing fashion.  Also I will be dealing with an insulation contractor who will be coming to foam us up, and not in a good way.  Then I have to do some calling to a gutter repair service because one of our gutters acts like a huge waterfall, also not in a good way.  Tomorrow I expect the house to fall into a great big hole like at the end of Poltergeist, except without the old cemetery underneath it.  But ya never know.  Could be a meteor hitting us tomorrow, too.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exploring the Inner Workings of an Eccentric Meanderer OR Stuff I've Been Thinking About Lately

On my mind: Writing, my daughter's hair, my daughter's moron cat's intestinal system, and the local humidity.  Not necessarily in that order.  In fact, definitely not in that order.

On writing: I'm trying to get back in the groove, but sometimes it's hard not to think about what else needs to be done around the house.  (Insulation in the attic, the stopped up drain pipe from the upstairs air conditioner, insulation in my daughter's room.)  I feel like a great big goofy goony bird trying to fix up her nest.  I'm not going to be happy until it's right and I'm not tripping over cardboard boxes every five minutes.  (A personal note to the three women who packed up all of our shizz in boxes and then used extra packing tape like the boxes were Egyptian mummies: please tell me where you hid the wires to my printer, for the love of missing melancholy micromanaging misogynists.  I know that doesn't make sense but it had all the 'm's so I went with it.)  Anyway, just finished one outline and now about to start on another one, so I can start writing next month.  (Yea!  Writing good = crack to my brain.)  (Not that I've done anything remotely illegal like that and I don't mean writing, except it could be illegal in some states.  Probably illegal in the District of Columbia, too.)

On my daughter's hair: Cressy, our angel, got her hair cut short.  She looks adorable.  Doesn't she look adorable?
This kid is totally cute.
But...but...but...but I hate buts.  Of course there's got to be some little walking, talking buttholes who have to ruin it.  The conversation to me went like this:

Her: "Mommy, two boys were mean to me at science camp."

Me: "What did they do?"

Her: "They asked if I was a boy or a girl and then they said I was a boy who was lying."

Me: "Did you tell the teacher?"

Her: "I tried but she wasn't paying attention."

Okay, my problem isn't so much with the walking, talking butthead little boys, although they're bad enough, but with the teacher who isn't paying attention.  (Science camp has a bunch of teenagers who are in charge, which is good and bad.)

Me: "Tomorrow you can tell those boys they're being rude and lots of girls have short hair cuts.  I'll talk to the boss."

Her: "You mean you'll talk to the boys' parents?"

Me: "Oh, I don't mess with the small fish.  I'll just go to the top."

Her: "Okay, Mommy."

The next day the two little boys were in a different class.  It turns out they had other complaints about them.  Cressy was very happy but I have to keep telling her that things like that will happen and it's better just to ignore the people or blow them off.

On humidity: Today the weatherguy said it was 100% humidity.  I'm going "How can it be 100% humidity without it actually be raining or some sort of liquid pouring in from the heavens?"  I do not know.  All I know is that when I went out my hair did something like this, except it didn't look that good.  (HIM's pants are still on fire concerning his tall tale telling on the comparison of the weather in Alabama versus the weather in Virginia.  The local fire chief called yesterday to discuss our ongoing clothing issue and it wasn't a pretty conversation.)
On my daughter's moron cat's intestinal system: I would ask what the stupid cat is eating but I know what he's eating.  I don't think he's eating the various fauna around the house, although last night he was torturing a grasshopper in a very inhumane matter.  I would have called PETA but I don't think they would have appreciated my sense of humor.  (The grasshopper was saying "HELP ME!  The cat's ripped off two my legs and they're the good legs!")  In any case, Megaroy did not EAT the grasshopper, although I'm not sure what he did do with the carcass.  (Eww.)  Yesterday the moron cat took a humongous dump-o-rama in his litter box, which is exactly what he's supposed to do.  Unfortunately the area around the litter box was deemed hazardous and no one could go near it for some time.  HIM made some unruly comment and slipped out the door to go to work.  Haha.  Very smooth.  I went closer, thinking I'd scoop the poop and solve the smelly problem.

But I discovered another problem.  I shall draw a diagram, because it's funny.

The blue box is, in fact, a litter box, in case anyone is confused.
That, however, wasn't what happened.  This is what happened.

For anyone to whom this isn't obvious, the cat has deposited his
smelly load outside of the litter box area because
he's too stupid to put his big gray ass inside the litter box.
I'm pretty sure that his excuse, if he were able to speak,
would be, "I was standing in the litter box, so it's all gravy."
(Also I drew the arrow and bull's eye instead of
drawing kaka because I had to draw a line somewhere.  Get it?)
HIM obviously noticed and hightailed it out of the house before called upon to do his duty (as official scapegoat) to pick up freshly deposited cat doody.

So I got some wetwipes (they were good enough for my daughter's tushie when she was a baby) and I got most of the cat nuggets up with the first try.  I also got a very good whiff while actually holding his dirty sinful business.  (Well, technically I was holding the wetwipes that was holding the doodoo bomblets but I could still tell they were the consistency of microwaved tootsie rolls.)  Then I threw up in the sink.  I literally barfed in the kitchen sink.  Which led me to the observation that my vomit was blue.  Really, I mean bright blue, the color of the sky and I was all "What the hell is that?"  Then I remembered we ate some of Cressy's summer themed Oreos the night before.  (They've got a bright blue middle.  Apparently the dye was long-lasting.  Good thing I'm not going for an X-ray anytime soon.)

The moral of the story is to never eat blue Oreos before cleaning up stinky cat poopoo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Fabulous Blog OR Enter the Caverns of DOOOOOOM!!

Yes, having moved to a strange new locale, we were forced to go out and explore the local area.  Next weekend is Jet skis where I will probably end up with black eyes and a sunburn.  This weekend we went to Cathedral Caverns.

(You might be asking yourself why we didn't just go to the movies but we wanted to explore.  Say it with me slowly.  Exxxxxxplllloooorrrrrrreee.  There's the full effect.  We wanted to seek out the new and unusual or the odd or the stuff that would make our asses hurt while there's a 100% rate of humidity.  Seriously, HIM told me that Alabama was just like Virginia.  HIM was lying like a dog on a hot day on a porch!  HIM's pants are on fire.  HIM said in his defense that April in Alabama was just like Virginia, but what HIM should have said was that April in Alabama is just like Virginia in July.  I need a fire extinguisher for HIM's patootie.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Caverns.  I have been to Carlsbad Caverns thirteen times.  (That's another story, by the way.)  Also we went to Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns and there was this cool ice cave in Oregon where my father dragged us when we were little kids.  Arnold Ice Cave.  I might have to take a break and google it to see if it's still open.  (It is but it's not developed and you have to have a GPS to find it plus a coat because the stairs are covered with ice.  Also a flashlight with fresh batteries helps.)
Cressy in front of the cave's entrance.  I told her
to look out for bats and she glared at me.
Notice she's wearing a headlamp on her head.
Thanks to her great aunt Nancy for that.
Aunt Nancy was always the cool aunt
who sent cool presents.  You gotta love an aunt
who sends a headlamp to a six year old girl
instead of a Barbie doll.  Really.
Damn, that's a big a** hole in the ground
and I don't mean HIM.
Cressy, our eight year old daughter and would be spelunker, was excited.  Caves were meant to be explored.  OMG, there was a cave and we were there.  Soon we were joined by fellow parental brethren, whose children looked enviously at Cressy's headlamp.  (But the gift store sold hard hats with lamps for $13.95 so they had to break out the credit cards.)

Soon we were joined by Gizmo, who was our tour guide.  Gizmo didn't have any front teeth and said, "I'm just a good ol' country boy."  (Imagine 5 foot six inches of a good ol' country boy with a ZZ Top beard and a beer gut that would make Budweiser proud.)  (The National Park Service needs to review it's dental insurance.)  Several children hid behind their parents but Cressy felt brave enough to tough it out.
The man on the left is Gizmo.  I couldn't get
him to smile for the camera but he
did point out a megalodon tooth and
a cave spider.  I didn't hear banjo music so
all was well.
Actually Gizmo was very entertaining, although a group of college students in the back didn't care for his humor.  (One perky girl took exception to his asking, "What's your name, lil' girl?"  I think she might have taken too many legal classes in school.)

We did see the nuclear fallout shelter sign in the cavern.  So if a nuke fell we were in the right area.  Yea!  We would survive nuclear Armageddon.  We would protect our cavern from the glow-in-the-dark zombie annihilation to come.  We would eat cave spiders and...I'm wandering again, aren't I?
I took a picture because I wasn't sure if anyone
would believe me.
We did a lot of walking downhill which made me wonder if there was an escalator or an elevator on the far end.  (Haha.  Gizmo thought that was funny as hell.)
Cressy protects HIM from cave spiders,
unruly, pre-menopausal college students, and
Swedish tourists.  "Ja, a cave, ja."  "Jog förstår inte."
"Jag smäller av."  (The Swedish people who
read my blog are going to laugh their asses off.)
There were lots of stalactites and stalagmites, and I still can't remember the difference.  There were also several memorable columns that looked like giant penis's, but were called something else.  A bell.  An ice cream cone.  A rounded tower.  (I wondered what kind of bells, ice cream cones and towers the people who did the naming were used to looking at, but I guess it was just me.)

Gizmo also pointed out a megalodon's tooth in the ceiling of the cave, which looked suspiciously like a wad of black bubble gum to me.  There was something about the cave being underwater at one point in time millions of years before and sharks loosing teeth because of poor dental insurance and such, (must be the same insurance company the National Park system uses), but I was too busy avoiding the imaginary bats flying around.  (Cressy might have been provoked.)

We sweated a lot considering it was mostly downhill.  At the end of the path Gizmo did some tricks with his Maglite (which sounds a lot more dirty that it really was) and the kids went "Oooo," and "Ahhh."  He turned off all the lights so that we could see what being in a cave without light was like.  Then in complete and utter darkness, someone farted loudly.  I suspected HIM but he said it wasn't him.  Possibly a college student or one of the Swedish tourists.  (The poor bastards probably ate some local cuisine before they came to the caves and were waiting for just the right moment to let it rip.)

Gizmo cut us loose at the end of the trail and basically said, "Hasta la pasta, ya'll."  We had to walk uphill about half the way where I collapsed at the entrance to the caverns.
Finally!  We reached the cave entrance again.
Cleverly I used the ruse of taking a picture as
an excuse to catch my breath.
Upon reaching the exit/entrance, we entered the gift shop.  (Unlike Luray Caverns in Virginia, Cathedral Caverns missed the boat by not making the tourists exit purposely through the gift shop.  Their loss.  It didn't matter for us because Cressy was locked on target.)  Cressy bought a pink and gray camouflaged bat.  (I don't make these things up and yes, I have photographic proof.)
See.  I didn't make this up.
And for those of you who are wondering,
those are walnuts on the end of sticks.
Then we went to Red Robin.

The bat wanted to drink a Screaming Bloody Zombie
but she couldn't show her driver's license.
More cavern induced zaniness followed.

I called the bat a lush plush
and HIM insisted I take a pic for
the blog.  Nice to get the family
involved in my blogging activities.
Next week: Jet skis and sunblock.  Who will persevere?  (Yes, Cressy will have SPF 75 on as well as a life jacket.  Probably some floatie things on her arms and some other forms of protection I haven't yet thought about yet.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Post OR a Pithy Title Hasn't Popped Into My Head OR Call This Blog Anything You Want Except Late to Dinner OR Some Stuff About Writing

Here I sit broken hearted, paid my dime, and hey, I digress.  I done digressed before I even got started.  (That does not bode well.)  I suppose I should warn people but what the heck.


I reached a milestone this month in sales.  I have sold over 100,000 novels and novellas.  (The illustration is a clue.  Don't tell anyone.)  Of course, that would be more interesting if I had sold 100,000 of the same novel but what the flipping farp am I complaining about?  The Bubba series and the Lake People series seem to be gaining in popularity.  Incidentally, I sell much better on B&N than on Amazon and I can't quite figure it out.  I look at figures and occasionally Google the names of the books because it seems like someone must have recommended it to someone else.  There's a whole lot of word of mouth going on.  (THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE FOLKS WHO TOLD SOMEONE ELSE!  YOU ROCK!  NO, REALLY, YOU ROCK!)  There's some luck involved and some serendipity, too.  There's also the emerging market of ereaders and there's the Internet which obviously has tainted most of us.  (I can't imagine what it must be like without my Android, my laptop, and my Kindle, not necessarily in that order.)  (I would probably sit on the ground and eat dirt and cry big gooey tears, but I may be digressing again.)

I'm going to talk about ebook sales in a few months to a group of people and I'm going to tell them, "You can do it, too," which I believe, but lord a writer has to be persistent.  Do these would-be authors really want to hear how many years I've slaved away at writing?  (Seriously putting myself out there since 1997, although I've been writing books since I was 14.)  Do they want to hear I went through two literary agents?  (I dumped the first one and the second one dumped me, which really makes me want to email the second one and write, "Nanny-nanny-doo-doo.")  Do they want to hear that I've lost count of the number of manuscripts I've got lurking around?  (At least twenty, maybe twenty-five, some of them are complete crap-o-rama?)

I recycled a pumpkin illustration/drawing from an old blog, but hey
it totally works.

No, I don't think they want to hear that.  I really hope they don't want to hear "It's easy!"  The horrific truth is that I work harder at writing and the business of writing now than I ever did before.  Networking.  Doing financial records.  Website.  Facebook.  Blog.  Writing.  Working with an editor/proofreader.  (I luv my editor/proofreader.  She's my angel.)  Working with a cover designer on some of the novels.

Okay I recycled again but I love using this one.
I don't think I ever thought about all the work that goes into a business.  It's going to be difficult for some people to understand that writing as an indie author is not just writing.  It's a business.  (That's almost a naughty word and some of my die-hard writing buds just gasped.  Loudly.  Some of them might have had a myocardial infarction.  Call nine-one-one if you have shooting pains down your left arm and your chest hurts.)  One needs to treat it as a business.  This year I'm going to incorporate because the IRS is looking at me.  I think they have the pool cleaner van up the street to see what I'm up to and no one has pools on the hill I live on now.  (Seriously, they have water falls, not pools.  But hey we have a view.)  I've been looking at ways of doing the incorporation and I'm starting to make buh-buh-buh noises when I look at the accounting involved.  I reckon it can't be all that difficult but I think I'm going to have to find a CPA to take care of business.
Get it?
Let me tell you about something else I have to do.  I think there's a fancy author's word for it that I don't know, but I'm compiling a character list for all of my worlds.  For example, I have Bubba's world.  It's got the name of the character, descriptions of the same, and details that I need to remember about them.  Bubba, specifically, is six foot four inches, and has a size 12 shoe.  I wouldn't have to remember that but I used the shoe size twice in the novels.  (Don't think I don't know what you potty minds are thinking right now.  You know who you are.)  He's also got brown hair and blue eyes and is not ugly to look upon.  He drives a 1954 Chevy truck that is an unbecoming green.  He owns a Basset hound named Precious or rather, she owns him.  So every character in the series has their own entry and guess what?  There's A LOT of characters running around in the books.

Recently I boo-booed (boo-booed being a highly literate and technical term for f**king up) and called one character by the wrong first name.  I won't say who but it was a minor character.  My editor/proofreader caught it in Brownie and the Dame.  Unfortunately I had put it incorrectly in my Bubba World document.  Therefore on my big list of Things To Fix, I have to go back and change the character's name to the right one in Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas and Bubba and the Missing Woman.  Que bummer.  (A LOT of characters running around = oopsy-daisy.)

(A note to the person who complained there wasn't enough Bubba and Willodean in Brownie and the Dame: the novella was about Brownie.  It wasn't called Bubba and the Dame for a reason.  Fret not, however, more Bubba in the fall.  And I've got a great plot idea in mind for it.  GREAT!)

Let's see, where is this train of thought going?  Writing, teaching a class, bitching about someone who complained about Brownie, and whatnot.  (Would you rather me rant about home improvement again?  Because there's a great story about the last toilet we installed and the water fall we had in OUR KITCHEN!  I thought readers might be tired of my DIY woes.)


Anyway, sales = good.  Fans' word of mouth = wondrous sparkling rainbows of joy.  Teaching people how to make E-sales = possibly interesting or life threatening depending on one's point of view.  HI (AKA Home Improvement) = re-doing the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen because the people who put the second tile floor in the upstairs bathroom didn't raise the toilet flange up to the level of the floor.  Okay, I couldn't help myself, it slipped right in there, didn't it?  (How can I not write about HIM screaming up the stairs to shut off the water supply to the upstairs toilet "RIGHT NOW!  RIGHT NOW!  RIGHT NOW!"  Him used my rice cooker to catch the dripping water and now I have to buy a new rice cooker.  I liked that rice cooker but ewww.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Miscellanea OR Here She Goes Again

Here's my week.  I pulled off shreds of wall paper from the dining room walls because it had the most horrendous poop brown pattern that man will ever see.  (Or woman.  Or child.  Or Moron cat.  Or Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which I will get to later in the blog.  Be patient.)  Beneath the wall paper I discover MORE WALL PAPER.  But this wall paper has been painted over with graveyard gray.  (I'm not making this up.  They had GRAY walls the color of Bruce Willis' undershirt at the end of Die Hard.)  Normally this probably wouldn't bother me but they didn't do a good job on the corners and they look like Joan Rivers' face before Botax.  (That would be a bad thing for the walls, not so much for Joan.)  Not much I can do about the wrinkles except to break out the box cutters and a big sanding block.  You might wonder why I'm doing home improvement instead of writing.  (Well, I'm writing now, I'm blogging.  Same thing.  Kind of.)  The formal dining room will be my Fortress of Solitude or my office of doom, into which no animals, children or HIMs shall intrude when I have my headphones on.  (Hah!  That'll work.  Really.)  So I need my office space and since the IRS is particular about home office rules (we don't need no stinking IRS rules) I have to have a dedicated space in the house.  Hence, home improvement nonsense, which naturally translates into blogging galore.  (I can't help it.  It's kind of like a weird writing disease.)

Under the painted wall paper I found evidence of termite damage.  The amount of critters in this house is gaining by the minute.  Ghetto bugs, daddy long legs, skinks, chipmonks, er, chipmunks, squirrels, and probably a few other species I haven't yet seen.  (Bigfeet, skunks, aliens, the list could be endless.)  My daughter, Cressy, who is eight and not into entomology except under glass and from a great distance, said she won't be using the downstairs bathroom anymore because there was a large daddy long legs in there who I indulgently nick-named Bob.  Even though Bob is gone, she says she doesn't trust the bathroom.  I'm not sure what she thinks is going to happen.  I don't dare suggest anything like there might be a spider in the toilet or she might cross her legs in perpetuity.  (Once we went to the Smithsonian and there was a bug guy in the basement of the Museum of Natural History.  He had a large bug in a cage that he was letting crawl over people's arms.  Somehow he managed to get the gigantic critter on me and I stood there and calmly showed Cressy how brave Mommy was being.  Cressy wouldn't let the guy put the bug on her, because I suspect she's smarter than I am.  Then I asked the man what the bug was and he said, "It's a Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach."  I said, still very calmly, "I think I'd like it off my arm now."  Then I went to the bathroom and napalmed my arm.  What fun.)  (What does that have to Cressy not trusting the downstairs bathroom on account of Bobs in the corners?  Well, nothing except it's a bug story that I've always wanted to tell and hey, it gives me ideas.)

It's a pity you can't hear the moaning wail
that came from my lips after I realized
what I'd had on me.
Anyway, termite damage.  Lovely.

And I can't help myself.
The house also has a sprinkler system which the guy who owned said works.  Hahaha.  It probably worked in the last decade when he last turned it on so technically he wasn't lying.  Technically.  (I think the fact that the first zone won't turn off and that eight sprinkler heads spray gallons of water in the air like broken fire hydrants qualify the system as broken, but what do I know?  HIM, the man to whom I'm married, is running around with a cheap metal detector trying to find the valves.  (So far he's found a paperclip, a Budweiser can, and some unidentifiable metal.)  I'm not sure why it is but the last house we had with a sprinkler system had all the valves in one place.  The house we live in now, has valves all over the place.  There are eight of them.  We've (I should say HIM) has found three.  It wouldn't be important except one of the valves isn't working properly.  So it's a treasure hunt!  Come find some.  We don't have a map, but we have beer and Cheetos!

I have a bamboo pad and I'm not afraid to use it.
I'm also preparing for two breakout sessions at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia on September 20-22, 2012.  I luv this.  I get to do How to E-publish your work and Make Money and Maintaining and Sustaining Authentic and Appropriate Voice.  I also get to hang out with all the writers and drink Screaming Blue Vikings off of Turkish Cabana boys' six packs.  (Well, okay not off their six packs.  HIM, you know you're the only one I would drink a Screaming Blue Viking off of, don't you?)  So if you're thinking of going to Virginia Beach in September come by and check it out.  I'll sign business and post cards and brag about my sales.  I might even tell a pirate joke if someone asks nicely.

This is what I'd imagine a Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
would like to teach, if one were so inclined.
Then I'm outlining two works.  There's a Cat Clan novella, tentatively called Crescent Moon, because I'm running out of moon names, and I'm digging deep.  (Booger Moon, Hangnail Moon, Howling Moon, you can see where I'm going right?)  I'm also outlining Bubba 4, which I haven't yet named.  I thought I would have a naming contest for my blog, Facebook, and website fans.  I'll give everyone a short teaser synopsis of the book, and ya'll will make suggestions.  The only stipulation is that it has to start with "Bubba and..." for obvious reasons.  The winner will get a Basset hound plush, a free copy of the novel, and an honorable mention in the novel.  The five runners up will get free copies of the novel.  I'll announce the contest in a couple of months, so keep an eye out.

For you people who keeping asking why I don't write faster, this is why.  House improvement, getting everything in line, registering our daughter in school, picking up the dry cleaning for HIM, opening boxes up to discover things I haven't seen for years, and attempting to figure out what the packers did with the cables to the printer and the scanner.  (You would think if one were packing a printer for a computer and a scanner for a computer that one would put the cables that go to the two items in the same box as the two items.  YOU WOULD THINK!  I would think.  Maybe this is their little joke.  I can see them standing there, giggling as they put the cables into a box marked kitchen sundries.)  While I don't use the printer or the scanner much I do use them and when you need one, YOU REALLY, REALLY NEED ONE!  So the cables remain missing in action.  I might need a monument to them.

Everyone within a mile radius would have heard the scream.
But hey, look what I  did find.  This is the statue of a head hunter my parents brought back from the Philippines about forty years ago.
This statue used to give me nightmares as a child.
I used to imagine it would come to life and come
down the hall with the big knife/machete thing to
do lurid things to me.
How inspiring to have it on my desk.
I used to piss off my mother by walking by the statue and pulling its scarf down, revealing the statue's nekkid glory and bare buttoskis.  My mother would mutter endlessly while pulling the scarf back up and retying it.  So I put it on my desk amidst all the clutter and Cressy came by and immediately pulled down the scarf.  (Of course, she stopped to stare at his wee-wee.)  Ah, she has my DNA.

Off to outline and call exterminators.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Demonic Influence of Magnetic Paint OR How I Killed the Carpet in my Daughter's Room

My daughter, Cressy, said, "I want a new color paint in my room.  Also a new kitten.  A McDonald's in the back yard.  Justin Bieber in the bathroom crooning to me as I take a shower.  Some other stuff I will only use once and then disregard as useless."  Okay, she didn't say all of that.  But she did want her new room to be a different color.  Her last room was **PURPLE**.  I believe I have previously discussed (ranted about) this issue.  Painting over the **PURPLE** was like asking for a favor from a Sicilian crime lord when he's about to get indicted on RICO charges and he hasn't had his morning cup of cappuccino.


So stupidly I said, "Okay."  We went to Lowe's and picked out a new color.  It's a kind of purpley-blue.  But it's not **PURPLE**!  Even more stupidly I pointed out the...da-da-dahhhhh....magnetic paint.  I will explain for those of you who don't watch the DIY channel.  This is paint that you paint on a given wall and then you can stick magnets to it when it's all done.  Kid's room cool, right?  Sounds fab, correct?  Whiz bang, great?

It isn't that easy, buster.

Whilst reading the back of the can I said to HIM, "It doesn't say if it's cleaned up with water or turpentine."  HIM said, "How about that?"  You might imagine HIM's insouciance as being tactful, but on the inside HIM was thinking, "I don't have to paint shizz, so I don't care how it's cleaned up."  Okay, I'll come back to HIM later.  Here's a clue for all of you who want to rush out to Lowe's or Home Depot or whatever and buy magnetic paint to do a cool wall for your kids.  IT'S NOT WATER-BASED!  IT DOES NOT CLEAN UP WITH WATER!  IN FACT, IT ONLY CLEANS UP WITH MYSTIC WATERS FROM THE DEEPEST DARKEST DEPTHS OF AFRICA AT A MAGICAL WATERFALL BLESSED BY PYGMY CANNIBALS!  I'm just sayin'.

Another lesson I learned: One can of magnetic paint only covers a four foot by four foot square.  It says on the can that it covers sixteen square feet.  Well, it was telling the truth and not one flipping, farping, furdling inch more.  Four frickin' feet by four frickin' feet.  So if your only beloved child wants a magnetic mural of epic proportion, you're going to spend about $22 per can that only covers FOUR FRICKIN' FEET BY FOUR FOUR FRICKIN' FEET.  (It does not say frickin' on the can, but it should.)

Before I purchased the paint I did read the back of the can for instructions.  It says, "Must be well-stirred."  Well, campers, well-stirred is somewhat misleading.  I set up at home.  I put out a drop cloth.  I had all the paint tools.  I even had a tool for the drill that would stir the paint for me.  HIM bought it specifically for me to stir this...frickin'...can...of...magnetic paint.  I opened the can and looked at the blackish oil.  It didn't look like paint.  It looked like vegetable oil that someone had used to deep fry about ten baskets of hushpuppies.  (No, I never did that.  Once.  And it was deep fried something or other.  I don't remember.  I'll use the Ronnie Reagan defense.)


I picked up the drill and immediately discovered that the stirring tool was too large to go into the quart sized can.  Duh.  I thought about it and decided I would get the paint stirrers downstairs.  Upon going downstairs it occurred to me that if I put the can of paint in a larger container I could use the drill tool thingy.  So I got a very large plastic tub.  I went back upstairs.  I poured the paint into the tub.  The bottom half of the paint can was like semi-hardened black dog poop.  (Don't ask how I know this.  We had a Siamese cat who was about 20 years old and the poor cat had to have a teaspoon of Metamucil in his wet food everyday.  Is that too much information?)  I had to use a tool from the drill's box to scrape it out.  Seriously it was the consistency of antique peanut butter.  (Arnold Schwarzenegger would have had trouble stirring that shizz and I mean back in the Conan the Barbarian days, too.)  I hurt my shoulder doing it.  In the process I got black crap all over my hands.  I got Cressy to bring me the roll of paper towels.  The black stuff wiped off but left a beautiful black stain on my hands.

I sighed and went to use the drill on the container of paint.  Immediately the drill roared and...did anyone see this coming?...splattered black/oil/paint/ickiness everywhere and especially off of the drop cloth onto the carpet in my daughter's bedroom.  Well the magnetic paint does not wipe off Berber rugs.  I know.  Really, I know.

After the cursing died away, I managed to stir the paint up to approximately the right consistency.  (See how I bravely struggled on?)  However, it did not matter how much I used the drill because there were still clumps at the bottom.  (Clumps that magically attached themselves to the rollers and disengaged themselves onto the walls in question.)  These clumps reminded me of the oil spill a couple years ago in the Gulf.  It looked just like those little clumps of oil washing up on shore.  Any minute there was going to be some blackened animal bleating at me for assistance and I was going to have to call Exxon or Green Peace or maybe a celebrity.

The lesson there: have the store shake the frickin' can of frickin' magnetic paint up before you take it home.

Finally, we began to paint.  Thank gawd for drop clothes.  I immediately stepped on the stirring tool, shrieking in pain, and dropped the roller.  More cursing commenced.  There was a couple of black hand prints on the wall where I caught myself.  Cressy thought I was going to pop a vein in my forehead.  After a brief respite, we managed to paint the section we wanted to paint and then I had to use impromptu paper towel shoes to get to the bathroom to clean up.  (My daughter thought that was some funny shizz.  Paper towel shoes.  Hilarious.)

Cressy and I both discovered that the magnetic paint didn't want to come off of our flesh.  Out came a scrub brush and a bottle of Goo.  (Goo is a hand cleaner for those of you who don't do dirty stuff.  Not that kind of dirty stuff.  Dirt-y stuff.  Goo is the scrubby creamy stuff that helps get the dirt off your hands.  Or feet in my case.  You know, everything in this whole section could be purposely misconstrued.)  A half hour later, Cressy still had little black spots on her hands and a couple on her face.  I had black toes and hands that appeared as though I had dipped them in black indelible ink.  Cressy wanted to go back and help with the second coat, but I decided I didn't want to scrub her down a second time.


I opened the second can, but not before I shook the holy living carp out of it.  That didn't really mix it up but it did help avoid the whole scraping the bottom of the can thing.  I used the drill again.  (Stupidly.)  I splattered the rug again, but worse this time.  I also got a part of the wall that I hadn't intended on painting with magnetic paint.  Bullheadedly I persevered and got a second coat of paint on the walls.  (The directions say you need two to three coats.  However I didn't want to go back and buy another can for a third coat.)  I bagged up everything but the drill and threw it away.  (Well, I didn't throw Cressy away.)  I went and scrubbed my flesh until it screamed for mercy.  When I was done there was literally a black ring around the tub.  I felt like a coal miner just in from a double shift.

My daughter's rug is ruined.  There's still black crap under my nails and I've been invited to a neighborhood coffee tonight.  (I'm thinking of wearing some of my daughter's purple sequined dress gloves.  Should be a great look with jeans and a LA County Coroner's t-shirt.)  I have sworn on my parents' graves to never use frickin' magnetic paint again in my life.  (Never.  Never.  Never.)  My daughter's moron cat managed to avoid the whole sorry affair.  (I think he remembered getting paint on his paws from a month ago and said, "Eff that.  I'm getting catnip instead.")  But magnets WILL stick to her wall.  On the downside it just occurred to me that I might set off the metal detectors at the airport when I go to the book conference next month.  That should be a lot of fun.  Maybe I'll get strip searched.  At the very worst it will make a great blog.

Monday, July 9, 2012

X-Rated Stuff OR How the Title May Effect Hits

Recently my writing bud, R. Mac Wheeler, guest blogged on my blog.  Naked Pictures and Wild Life.  Check it out.  So he got a ton more hits on his blog than I typically do on mine.  Why?  Good photographs?  Yes.  But I think it was the title.  I was thinking if I had an X-rated title, I would get more hits.  So I'm experimenting.  The actual title should be something like "How I'm Planning to Snark for the Remainder of this Blog or So Ya'll Want Something More Racy, Huh?"  Oh, shitaki mushrooms.  (Writers are jealous people.  It's in our nature.  We're always looking at other people's works and saying, "I could have done that.")
This is one of Mac's photographs, which I like a lot.  He does something
neat with the colors and it's kew-el.  However, it's not going to
stop me from making fun of the fact that his blog outstripped mine.
Other subjects that make me sound less snarky, but not much less.  HOME FRICKIN' IMPROVEMENT.  As I've previously stated, HIM, the man to whom I'm married, said I'm like a dysfunctional cat trying to mark the entire house instantaneously.  (That's a lot of cat pee, let me tell you.)  Moaning Myrtle is no more.  Instead I've got a new potty with buttons.  BUTTONS!  I love the buttons.  One button is for peepee.  The other button is for poopoo and probably other stuff, too.  I had to explain that to my daughter who is eight and used to a potty with a handle.

Which brings me to another subject.  The downstairs half-bath was the recipient of the first new potty and it had all of us fighting over who got to use it first.  (Doesn't that sound sick and wrong?)  I just wanted to press the buttons.  My sister wanted to know if it was a bidet, too, but it isn't.  Too bad.  I don't really want a bidet but I would like to go to a hotel that has a bidet so I can see how it works.  (Home Depot does not sell bidets.  Neither does Lowes.  The people at Home Depot and Lowes now know us personally.  They asked about my rash.  They also started sending me coupons and I can't remember giving them my home address.  Big Brother is watching us.  I didn't rip the tag off the mattress in 1978.)

Where was I?  Meandering.  Again.  It's a hopeless flaw.  Sometimes I have a point and I completely forget what it was.  Like now.  Oh, yes.  The bathroom.  Well, we moved to a new town and a new state and I'm having to get used to everything.  Including the local fauna.  This house has its own fauna.  There are spiders everywhere.  I think they're some kind of Daddy Long Legs.  The one in the downstairs bathroom (see, I got back on track eventually) is called Bob.  Bob hangs out in the corner where I couldn't reach him if I wanted to reach him.  I was okay with it as long as Bob stayed up there.  Live and let live as long as Bob didn't trespass in my private area whilst I was pressing potty buttons or doing something else.

HOWEVER, Bob done messed up.  Yesterday, our daughter went into the downstairs potty and then immediately came back out in a marked hurry.  Turns out that Bob had come down from the ceiling.  Alas Bob met his maker.  It was very sad.  But today my daughter came out of the same bathroom.  (We use bathrooms a lot don't we?)  She said, "There's another Bob in the bathroom."  Haha.  Bob Jr. took up residence.  They must have a waiting list.  (I wonder if they're related to the Daddy Long Legs in Arkansas.  I sure hope not.  They might have sent each a memo about me.  Check out On Camping OR OMG I'm Going Camping Again There are illustrations.)

Did I misspell the a-word?  Too bad.  My blog.
Also we have chipmunks in the front yard.  I spent about thirty minutes on the Internet trying to figure out what kind of chipmunks they are.  I couldn't find out.  I know that they're not related to Alvin or Chip and Dale.  Also I learned that chipmunks are not spelled chipmonks.  I've been misspelling that my entire life.  Color me embarrassed.

But wait there's other kinds of wildlife abounding.  I went out front to look at the rain and almost stepped on what I thought was a lizard.  It was a lizard but it's a lizard I've never heard of before.  It's called a ground skink.  It was about four inches long and black.  I thought I was going to levitate.  (I did levitate.  Fat Women can levitate in dire circumstances.  A tiny black thing with a wiggling tail lasciviously eying my foot is almost certainly a dire circumstance.)  And most importantly, it was a NAKED ground skink!  It was completely unclothed on my front porch!  Who says that living in Alabama isn't exciting?

There it is.  The X-rating.  A naked ground skink.
I've sunk to a new low.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brownie and the Dame Now Available OR How I Published Another Novella!



Finally, another advent into Bubba's world with Brownie and the Dame.

Brownie Snoddy is visiting the Snoddy Mansion for Spring Break!  Where Brownie goes, mayhem is sure to follow.  Possibly destruction, terro, pandemonium, and anarchy might follow, too!  He's got his hands on a fedora, a stack of hardboiled mystery novels, and is ready to squirt metal at the nearest evil perpetrator, even though his reliable stun gun has been appropriated.  When Janie, the niece of Willodean Gray, the beauteous sheriff's deputy, shows up to participate, all heck breaks loose.  There's mysteriously missing stuff!  There's galvanized goings-on!  There's things a ten-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl with a penchant for all things police, want to get in on.  Even Bubba and Miz Demetrice can't stop the serious sleuthing of Brownie and the dame!

This is a novella of about 34,000 words.

Get it at Amazon.

Get it at B&N.

Get it at Smashwords.

Happy reading ya'll!


Rambling Notes from an Eccentric Airbrain

Warning: hopeless meandering may take place in this blog.  Also there might be rambling, roaming, hornswaggling, and wait, my new word from Hampton Roads Writers, hooptadoodling.  (The word is actually hooptadoodle, but I did a literary license thing and made it into a verb.  I'm bad.  Someone must punish me.)

I think the move broke me.  Maybe it was the heat.  All I know is that I don't go outside voluntarily between the hours of 10 AM and 8 PM.  Then I prowl the neighborhood looking at other people's houses and thinking, "I could do that to my house."  "Oh, my, look what they did with their shutters."  "Hey, they've got a waterfall.  We could have a waterfall."  Then I think about how much that would cost and my brain shuts down again.  (I'm caught in a kind of DIY/Home Improvement mind loop that happens to me every time we move.  HIM says it's like I'm trying to pee in every corner of the house, except I'm not using pee.  HIM is so droll.)

While the new house is a very nice house and not necessarily a new house, it is a house in need of TLC.  This, that and the other is broken.  Or it's about to break.  Or it's screaming with agony.  For example, we have a toilet that I have not-so-endearingly nicknamed "Moaning Myrtle."  Moaning Myrtle, for those of you non-Harry-Potter fans, is a ghost who haunts a bathroom at Hogwarts Castle.  She does moan a lot and not in a good way.  So does the toilet upstairs.  In fact, it moans and shakes.  It makes me think it's about to become a first floor toilet, and also not in a good way.  So hey, we bought a new toilet.  The new toilet has buttons on it.  (I'm impressed.)  One button is for peepee and the other button is for poopoo.  Imagine trying to explain that to your eight-year-old daughter.  It was great fun.  ("Why?" "Because peepee needs less water."  "Why?"  "Because peepee is mostly water."  "Why?" "Hey, let's get ice cream."  "Why?")
Installation of new toilets means you must first take out the old toilet.  In a house that is older than 10 years, that means that you must take a hack saw and saw off the bolts at the bottom because they're probably rusted solid.  (It said so in the instructions that came with the new toilet.  They know.  They know.)  Also you have to scrape out the old wax ring, which is really icky.  Also you need some towels and bowls in case you didn't get all the water out of the toilet.  (Interesting factoid.  If you pour a bucket of water into a toilet, it will flush by itself.  WOW!  Something you wanted to know, right?  Go try it.  It empties out the bowl.  Of course, you have to turn off the water valve to the toilet first.) (Don't forget to wash your hands before coming back to the computer and using the keyboard.)

So this course of thinking got me to wondering what a toilet
would say, if a toilet could speak, which results in
much blog hilarity.  Of course.
So you'd think we did Moaning Myrtle first?  No, we opted for the half-bath downstairs, partly because that's the one everyone is using and partly (mainly) because neither one of us wanted to heft the really, really really heavy box with the new toilet in it up the stairs.  I like my back in a non-hurting state.  So does HIM.  So next weekend, it's Moaning Myrtle's turn.  HIM tried to make Moaning Myrtle work by adjusting the flapper valve inside the tank, but what that did was to make her moan longer and longer.  Haha.  She went on for about five minutes before I said, "Make it stop."  Then HIM said, "It'll go off in a minute."  I said, "It's not going off."  Then about a minute later, as the toilet was still wailing like the damned, I waggled my eyebrows at HIM in a meaningful fashion.  (Not the happy-happy joy-joy meaningful fashion way, but rather in an oh-for-the-love-of-Merciful-Pete-are-you-going-to-do-something-now? fashion.)  So HIM went and turned Myrtle off.

I don't think the toilets in the Y have fun.  But then
the toilets at all the public schools don't have
fun either or the bus stations or the airports.
Toilets are very sad.  We need to draw happy faces on
them.
Meanwhile, in the old house we have rented out to strange people who said they liked my bell ringer, there was damage to the storm door from the humdinger of a storm that whizzed through last week.  I have to figure out how to get someone to measure the storm door opening and get a new storm door and get someone to actually take out the old one and put in the new one.  All without writing a million dollar check.  Landlord = having to keep things up.  Bad landlord = wanting to say, "Oh, it's not bent, it's modern."
The cat and the kid have adjusted to the new house.  I haven't seen a ghost yet although closet doors keep opening by themselves.  The stove is frickin' electric and I hate cooking on electric.  (Apparently every house HIM looked at in the area is all electric because there's a nearby nuclear plant.  Nu-cle-ar.  Did anyone see Madagascar 3 yet?)

I'm going to melt into a pile of fat woman goo.

There.  Doesn't a little mascara and lipstick and a comedic demeanor
make that toilet seem happier?
For the person who just said, "But she's crying on the inside,"
I say, "Pfft." 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Ninth Level of Hell OR the DMV

With moving comes great responsibility.  No wait, isn't that, with great powers comes great responsibility?  Or with great cupcakes comes great rolls of belly fat?  Or is it with great moron cats comes litter box scooping responsibility?  Oh hell, I'm meandering again.  Anyway, the short point is that I had to get a new driver's license.
These are all the people who didn't get to go in the sacred "BACK ROOM/AREA"
You can't tell from the back, but these people are very unhappy.
There was lots of grumbling.  Plus they didn't like the chairs very much.
HIM warned me that the wait at the local DMV (This stand for the Department of Motor Vehicles who actually owns our souls in the USA) was somewhat lengthy.  Let's say the word so that it shall be remembered forever.  Lengthy.  Let's also stretch the word out so that it sounds important and pious.  Leeeeeeennnnnnnnnngggggggtttttthhhhhhyyyyyy.  There, isn't that funnier?

I thought I'll go on a Tuesday, I'll go early, in fact, I'll get there really early, and I'll get in and out.  Hahaha.  My internal reasoning was thusly.  I am smarter than the DMV, I'm smarter than the state troopers, and I'm smarter than the governor of Alabama.  Hahahahaha.

Oh, how the mighty will fall.

The DMV opened at 8 AM.  I left at 7:15 AM and I thought I'd be first in line.  I was actually second in line.  Furthermore, there were a bunch of people who were still in their cars staring at me while I broiled in the sun at 7:25 AM.  (It's Alabama in June.  It's frickin' hot at 7:25 AM and the DMV obviously designed the building so that NO ONE will have any shade to stand in while they're waiting in line.)  (If someone succombs to sun stroke, the DMV does not have to give them a driver's license.)
This isn't what really happened in the DMV line, but it was a distinct possibility.
So other people got in line.  About 5 minutes until 8, the people in the cars got out and congregated around the front door.  I was all like, "OH, no you don't cut in line, you pansy-hiding-in-cars-nurfherders."  On the inside.  The lady who was in line three places behind me was somewhat more vocal.  She said loudly, and with explicit hand gestures, "Where they think they going?  The line starts back there!"  She repeated it three times in case the people in front didn't miss it.  I think she had a bull horn.

At 8 AM sharp the door was opened by a sixty-something female trooper wearing one blue slipper.  (I don't have to make stuff up.  Her other shoe was a brown loafer.  I think she had a foot booboo or she has early Alzheimers, one or the other.)  She announced that all the people who had appointments would go first.  (The pansy people hiding in cars had the appointments.)  I wanted to make an appointment but the slipper wearing trooper said that was only for people who were going to have a road test.  I was all like, "I'll take a road test if it means I get to go first."  You see, it turns out that there were 22 people having road tests at 8 AM that morning and they GOT TO GO FIRST!  (I would have given my left boobie if I meant to go first.  Not really, but it sounds good in print.)

We got to go in after the 22 other people got to go in.  (Those were all the people who didn't have sun stroke and third degree burns.  I'm going to get sun block after I finish this blog.)  So by the time I talked to the lady with the slipper and she examined my documents.  (I had to show her my old driver's license, my social security card, my passport, a signed contract from Satan, and a form giving over my first born child to the state before I got my number.)  I was number 24.  That doesn't sound so bad, right?  Hahahaha.  (I'm doing a lot of laughing in this blog, but it really isn't funny haha laughing.  It's if-I-don't-laugh-I'll-cry laughing.)
I took this picture because the sign above the television
says "Absolutely no firearms allowed."
Hmm.  I wonder why.  I think the DMV might
have had experience with this issue before.
So I sat down to wait.  But Trooper Slipper did say I should probably get a cup of coffee because it would be 30 minutes until a number was called.  It was actually one hour and ten minutes before a number was called.  Then it was number 22 and 23.  NOT frickin' 24.  During the hour and ten minutes I had to listen to an elongated diatribe from a young woman who had to be at work at 10:30 AM.  (It was about 10 at that time.)  I couldn't believe it but she was angrier than I was.  Steam started to flow from her ears.  (She was number 32.)  All she wanted to do was get an Alabama driver's license because she moved from Tennenesse.  She left about 10 minutes later, just as they finally called my number.  I felt like the angels had trumpeted my name.
I took this picture because of the 80s boof
and also because the number thingy at the
top DID NOT change for three frickin'
hours.  Then it finally went to 23.  I think
people thought they were trapped in a psychotic
episode.
Doing a little happy dance, I went into the other section where all the other people had gone and what did I find?  I had to wait in ANOTHER frickin' line.  And in this line you couldn't talk, use your cell phone, or fart.  (People were being tested nearby and they might loose their concentration.)  (Cressy went with me and shushed me when I tried to say something.  Also she tapped my hand when I took out the cell phone to take a picture and pointed to the no cell phones sign.  My OWN daughter ratting me out to the law.)

I sat there so long that I was beginning to think that my butt was going to have to be surgically removed from the seat.  Cressy and I couldn't talk so we made more and more elaborate funny faces at each other.  At one point in time I looked up and we had an audience of somewhat-amused fellow detainees who were watching our antics because they had nothing better to do.  (So glad I could lessen their waiting pain for a few moments.  I think Cressy beat me in the cross-eyed face making department.  Obviously that's what she learned in school last year.)

Finally, a genuine boofed trooper (stuck in the seventies or eighties I think, circa Dallas or Mary Tyler Moore) called me up.  I was daydreaming about escaping and almost missed it.  Then she wanted my documents again.  Sigh.  I did the eye test.  She wanted to know why I was wearing glasses if I didn't need them during the eye test.  I was grilled about my momentary vanity.  Then she asked me if I had driver's licenses in other states.  (That's a list.  I even forgot three that HIM reminded me about later.  I wonder if they'll come and take my license away because I didn't own up to a learner's permit in Oregon, a brief stint in New Mexico, and an USAEUR license I had when I was stationed in Germany.)  (And also Woody reminded me I had a brief license in Louisiana in between moves and I also had an Army license.  Hell, I'm getting old.  I don't remember half of what I actually had.)

This was a suggestion from the peanut gallery.
The trooper's identity has been
concealed to protect her boofiness.

On a bizarre side note that haunts me, Trooper Boof asked me my hair color, even though I was sitting in front of her and she was obviously not blind.  I said brown.  She eyed me carefully and said, "I don't think you can pull brown off, honey."  (She tried to downplay the insult by drawling the word, "Honey.")  Well, I wanted to go with brown.  She thought I should go with gray.  Since she had the uniform on and the computer on her side, she won.  That rotten bitch.

When I was done I walked out into the exterior area I embarrased my only daughter by whooping with joy.  Made everyone look up and then I checked out the number on the wall.  It was on 27.  Some of those people are probably still waiting there.