Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writing Prostitution, My First Book Review

I've been asked a few times to review books or products in my blog.  Until now I've been kind of avoiding that because, well I don't want to enter the world of "cheese blogging".  That's just my own little term that I coined.   It's the blogs that are more focused on generating views by giving crap away or talking about how great a cleaning product is for $50.  Cheesy.

See, I've been writing blogs since 2005.  I only blogged on Myspace for years and had a rather large following (shut up, it was cool back then).  Then I didn't write much for a couple of years and tried to get back in the swing a year or so ago.  But the reason I started my blog was to just write for me.  My jokes, my frustrations, my lessons learned, my raunchy humor, my passive-aggressive messages to  male readers that dumped me.  You know, the usual.  It was just me and my friends having a laugh or cry.  But in the last couple of years trying to make it as a real life paid writer, I've had to consider more factors in my blogging.

Yes, yes, I'll get to the book review, hang on...

There are all kinds of blogs and books and seminars out there that give you advice on how to  popularize and monetize your blog.  One of the big things is to "work for the man" and give away lots of items from companies, and review books and products for kick backs or mentions.  *sigh*

No offense to you folks that do it, but it seems really cheesy and hype-y and gets on my last nerve.  I think it takes away from the authenticity of the blog.  But hey, I realize people need to make a buck.  But it's just the way I'm programmed.  Ya' see, I went to college for broadcasting, and worked in TV and radio for 10 years but eventually left it behind because I realized it was being "run by the man".  I had delusions of grandeur visions of being a DJ and bringing the people the latest and greatest in punk and new wave and any other future sounds.  I soon realized it was all pre-programmed crap, that was ruled by back room deals made by music directors and record reps.  I couldn't even talk about what I wanted to on air, all I could say was, "You just heard the latest from Celine Dion and TLC, more music comin' up after this".  Boo, you suck!

Seriously, book review up next...

I'm all about keepin' it real in the streets, man.  Ok, I can't say that with a straight face.  But that's always been my thing.  I don't want to "sell out".  But... I have to make a compromise somewhere if I want to reach my goals.  *sigh*  That's why I look like a normal person now and not my shaved head, Doc Marten look of old.  However, no money has exchanged hands for this review, I myself am attempting to write a book, and figured it would be good karma to help other writers.

So, without further ado... I received an email asking me to take a look at a book and blog about it.  The book seemed rather adorable, so I agreed.  The book in question is "Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd -Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls"  by Molly Erdman at www.catalogliving.net .  (PLUME, published by the Penguin Group, 115 pages)  When I received it I must say how impressed I was at the cover photography and slick production.  Usually some of these books look like they were put together in the copier department of Stapes, but this book is lovely.

The concept of the book is right up my alley... making fun of things.  The book features pictures taken from furniture/decorating catalogs, under the guise that they are all from the narrators, Gary and Elaine's home.  It features witty explanations of what's going on in the pictures, especially when there are inexplicable objects in the photo as we have all seen in magazines or catalogs.  For example:  There is a picture of a lovely contemporary living room with a coffee table, that has five apples lined up perfectly, precariously on the edge of said table.  The caption underneath reads, "Gary, the Fullers will be here any minute!  Did you evenly line up the apples on the coffee table yet?"

Other pictures just make fun of the odd or pretentious accouterments in the room.  One of my favorites is a living room that features a really large square clock with hands, the background is white and has the letters X, Y, and Z in black in random placement. (approximately where 10, 1, and 5 would be).  And the caption reads, "Half past Z?!  Elaine, I asked you to tell me when it was a quarter to Y!".

The book is a cute concept, is well put together with lovely production.  However, to suit my tastes, the captions would have been much more biting, irreverent, and profanity laced.  But that's just me.  No offense.  This is a lovely G rated version of sarcasm and worth a few chuckles.

I welcome you to visit the website listed above and check it out.

Phew.  Got through it.  Molly, perhaps you could give a review of my first review?  Or anyone else for that matter. 

Now that I'm becoming a writing prostitute, I welcome anyone else to ask me to review something.  However, ask at your own risk, if I'm in a mood I may "release the hounds"!  Smooches!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When Unrequited Love Becomes Requited Crap

All of us have some unrequited love goin' on.  Oh, balogna (that's such a dumb word, it should be baloni or baloney, but I guess it's like how capacola became "gobbagool", anyway...), you all have that one person you say, "what if?" about. 

Oh yea, the levels of intensity of the "love" vary.  It can be anything from the kid that used to mow your parents lawn that you never said two words to or it could be someone you dated a bit and the relationship got cut short for whatever reason.  It could be you thought your lover drank the poison but they were only sleeping, so you killed yourself.  Oh wait, you wouldn't be reading this then...

I've had many of these in my life.  Hey, I had a lot of crushes as a little girl, I'm not a ho.  There were a few boys from high school that I would have liked to date but couldn't because I had a steady boyfriend.  So, there's that.  Then I had the steady boyfriend that fizzled out when he went to college and I moved away.  In the early 80s there weren't cell phones, or Skype, or IMing to keep you together.  But I'm always curious to know how that relationship would have played out in our adult lives.

To requite or not to requite, that is the question!  I'm here to tell you... I've requited.  Yes, yes it's true.  Thanks to the internet, after my divorce I got down to brass tacks, went back to basics, put the cart before the horse... wait what?  Uh whatever, I ran across some blasts from the past.

There was the internet thing but a couple of times it revolved around high school reunions.  I'm telling you folks, you need to go to these things.  It's excellent for networking and dating.  So you had a bad time in high school?  Get over it, walk in with your head held high, and use those people for getting ahead in your world now!  Anyway, one of my run-ins was with a boy who was my "boyfriend" in 5th grade.  I broke up with him because he tried to give me a Minnie Mouse ring, and I knew if I came home with it my parents would ask where it came from, then they would know I had a "boyfriend", I would get an hour long lecture/screaming at  and my 11 year old self would never be let out of the house again until I was sent to the convent. 

Flash forward, I ran into that "boy" later in life and we eventually got together and had an amazingly awesome time.  But... it didn't get into a serious thing because we were geographically several states apart, I just got divorced, still had little kids, and he was still a raging never been married playboy.  lol  I took it at face value, I'm glad it happened.  And now he's married and kicking himself.  :)

However I had a couple others (Stop calling me a whore! These have taken place over 12 years!), that it, well it just was less than stellar.  That kiss you had waited 30 years for was like... "oh, that's it, that's what I waited for?".  Or that happy go lucky boy you had the crush on is now a neurotic mess and is starting to stalk you.  Um, yea.  I won't go into specifics but it just wasn't good, but overall I'm glad it happened.  Now I know.  I still have the fond memories of the younger crush but don't have the pangs of want.  Know what I mean?

Those were kind of fun but the ones that are more intense are the unrequited adult loves.  Oh, they can be so difficult...  Or not.  A difficult one was deciding to move back East when something was never totally finished out West.  The "or nots" can be disappointing or funny.  I remember running into a guy years later after I had gone on a date with him post divorce.  I thought he looked great.  We went out again in those later years and... I remembered exactly why I didn't want to go out with him again years before.  He was nice but very self-impressed with the personality of a bag of wet hair.  Another one, we never got intimate but had obvious sexual chemistry.  Years later we got intimate and it was what I imagine sex with a quadrapalegic with Tourette's Syndrome would be like.   Yes, that bad.  *heavy sigh*

But I had some others I haven't revisited and still wonder what if?  What if we both hadn't been just divorced and both been messes?  What if we didn't always run into each other when we were dating someone else?  What if your previous girlfriend hadn't found out she was pregnant by you?  (yea that happened)

I don't know.  I do like knowing the ending to the story.  I'm not a big fan of not knowing.  It's my anxiety.  I never could go to sleep on Christmas Eve.  Others will say not knowing is part of the fun, the fantasy.  That's why some people you meet online play games with you, they have no intention of meeting, they just like the fantasy of the hunt.  Weirdos.  I'm not kidding, those people exist.  What about you?

BTW, sometimes it will appear your comment has "vanished" after you hit submit, but it doesn't it takes you to the sign-in page, sign in (or register), then your comment will appear again and you just have to press submit again, the comment will show up with whatever identity you chose.  Thanks!

Share your requited love stories with me!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why the Hell Did I Come Home?

I don't have much to say today but I thought I'd check in.  I don't even know what day it is.  I took the redeye from Seattle Tuesday night and arrived home yesterday (Wednesday) about noon.  I got absolutely no sleep on the plane.  It's virtually impossible for me to sleep in any kind of chair.  (I don't know how my parents did that in their living room chairs all those years waiting for my drunk teen tukus)  Then I napped a bit yesterday afternoon and then of course could 't sleep last night.  I'm all kinds of f-ed up.

So I didn't write last week because I was in Seattle.  The kids and I flew out and stayed at my sister's house because her daughter was getting married.  My lovely little niece.  All 5 of my siblings were there, and all but 1 of their kids were there, and 2 spouses were missing.  Oh and my parents couldn't make it, my Dad is 89 and has arthritis so bad he can't really get around much anymore, let alone sit in an airplane seat for hours.  And my Mom who is turning 86 next month has to stay and take care of him, he can't really be left alone.  So that was sad.  However a cousin of mine that I was really close to as a kid was there, hadn't seen him in about 16 years, we had a hoot.  But all of us there had a great time, enjoyed each other's company and as usual went through a boatload of wine and beer.

So I come back to all kinds of crap I have to do to finalize health records and loans for college. Having a hell of a time with my insurance, they say I have insurance from another company, which yes I did... in 2003, but still shows it's open.  That company went out of business and no one will call to cancel.  It's just a total clusterf**k.  So my current company put me on hold, whatever the hell that means.  Guess I'll be on the phone some more!  Well F*ck-a-doodle-doo!

Oh and did I mention today was my first day back to work and they told me at my one job they are eliminating my position and won't need me after Aug. 17th?  Yea that was a nice warm and fuzzy welcome back.  I knew it was coming sometime, its just a contract position but now is not an opportune time.  And it's 20 hours a week I'll have to replace. :( 

I might as well just bend over and grab my ankles... the hits just keep coming.  I haven't been crisis free in years, but I've been in major league life changing crisis mode for about 3 months straight now and it's getting a little tiring.  But I won't imagine it will calm down until end of August when my son is settled at college.  Wait strike that, school starts in September for the girls which means 3 Fall sports (1 plays soccer, 1 plays volleyball and cheerleading), then come the holidays, so pretty much I'm screwed until after New Years Day.

Well plenty of writing fodder, right?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, stop this handcart ride to hell so I can get off!!! 

BTW, will write for food.  Ok I'd really rather write for a paycheck but ya' know, just hire me anyway.

Will blog again shortly.  'Til then, you all have a great day... (smarmy smile)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Which is Better, '80s College Drunks or '10s College Drunks?

One of my pet peeves in blogging or Facebooking or any other sort of internet posting is the person who gets stuck on one subject and beats us over the head with it.  I call it the "Kathie Lee Gifford Effect".  I don't know if any of you remember about 20 years ago when that Kelly show was called "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee"?  Well during that time Kathie Lee had a baby boy named Cody and the broad wouldn't shut up about him.  Regis even started giving her sh*t about it, like making gun to his head gestures every time she mentioned his name.

Anyway, I feel as though I may be on the verge of one of those people talking about my son and his graduation from high school and venture toward college.  I'm trying not to, really I am.  But ya' know, its kind of been the center of my life for the last couple months.  He's my oldest, I assure you by the time the 3rd one graduates I won't even mention it.  No just kidding, but if I take after my Mom it may be true... I was the 6th kid, there are virtually no pictures of me as a child.  lol

Well, since about this past Christmas I've been buying my son odds and ends for his new life at college.  For one thing, I'm broke-ass-broke, so buying things a little at a time is what I can afford.  And another thing, he loved getting all that stuff, he was ready to leave for college his junior year.  So he enjoyed getting a shower caddy and a set of towels for Christmas.  Then for his birthday in March he got a comforter and a hamper.  Hey screw you, he loved it!

Buying all those things got me to thinkin'... wow  college is different now.  I was using my college experience to figure out how I'm going to get all his stuff down to NYC, but I really don't think there will be that much.

Ok, think of this, when I was in college 1983-1987 I packed the following items into my parent's station wagon - a gigantic stereo with turn table, receiver, and tape deck with floor speakers that measured about 3 feet high; a 27" black & white TV (which was considered small back then); a boombox; a Typewriter; a couple milk crates of albums; a couple cases of cassette tapes.  But now all of that fits into one device, your laptop!  OK, somebody may still want to bring a TV and cds or dvds, but they are still far more compact. 

(actually I didn't bring the TV until later years, before that I would go to a friends room, because the TV lounge on the first floor was for the socially awkward and it was always tuned to "Solid Gold")

Then we used to bring a hotpot, really only good for Ramen noodles or a can of Spaghettios.  Which you usually had to throw away after a few uses because you started to make Spaghettios after your drunk ass came home from a fraternity party but you fell asleep while it was cooking  and the Spaghettios burnt to a crisp melded onto the pot .  Remember, drinking age was 18 back then!  And most chicks brought a hot air popcorn popper.  Now kids can take a small microwave.  I think that's pretty much a wash, 2 smaller for 1 bigger.

Hot Pot

I took a bike to school one year, it was still chained in the exact same spot that I put it in on move-in day, at the end of the year.  It would be a pain for my son to have a bike in NY, it's hazardous to bike there and then carrying it up 7 flights of stairs would cancel out any time saving, in my book.

Posters.  I had an extensive collection - The Smiths, Psychedelic Furs, The Clash, David Bowie, etc.  That was my baby, my pride and joy.  But I think dbag ex-husband left them behind as garbage in one of our moves.  Grrrr.  Anyway, do kids still put up the posters?   Oh yea and then my room started filling up with sorority souveniers anyway.

So what do college kids do now?  Sit around and play video games?  Watch YouTube videos?  Text people in the same room?  Hey, speaking of that, remember when we had to wait for a boy to call on that one hall phone that was meant for 20 people, but that one girl was always on it to her boyfriend back home?  Like seriously she was on it 24/7, I wonder what that phone bill looked like.  Anyway, do kids even speak to each other anymore or just text? 

It's kind of fun taking a walk down memory lane as I get the boy ready for college.  Things have changed, but a lot has not.  There will still be learning and studying, drinking, boy chasing, girl chasing, hearts breaking, friendships made for a lifetime.  I'm so excited for him. 

What do you remember taking to college or doing in college that would never be done nowadays?  Do you think kids today have more or less fun then we did back in the day?