Showing posts from August, 2014
Just for everyone's amusement, here are my business cards for Circlet promotions:

I have no problem posting them here, because 1) Circlet does not care if I work under my legal name, and in fact several of our editors don't; and 2) I cleverly have not put my phone number on there, because I don't answer.
They do, however, say "Porn Fairy", because for some reason when I ask 'should I have official business cards?' Cecilia says things like 'just order them yourself' and then doesn't think I need supervision. My rationale for this is that anyone who thinks it makes a mockery of Longstanding Tradition and the Serious Institution of Business Cards is by definition not part of our target audience, and we needn't consider their opinion.
A friend of mind poked me on Facebook not too long ago and asked me for advice on promoting a book he'd written. It's a good book -- I've read it, and I loved it -- but for some reason his publisher seems to have assigned his promo to Malfunctioning Eddie, and as soon as the initial sales burst dropped off by two or three books, sprockets started popping off everywhere. It's his first piece of standalone fiction. Having an overactive imagination is a prerequisite for a writer; it's great when you're crafting a novel, not so good when you get out of the shower in the morning and find you already have three or four urgent voicemails from Chicken Little that are long on hysteria and short on details. Eventually, he realized he was spending far too many billable hours going back and forth between calming his publisher and running down the checklist of heart attack symptoms, and that it would be easier to do it himself.

So he asked me what he was supposed to do. I a…
I really hate it when people tell me that 'mindfulness' is the cure for depression. I am mindful of the details of life all the goddamn time. If that worked, you'd think I would have noticed this by now. It can help with anxiety, yes. If you tend to wake up from nightmares about the Apocalypse like I do, it is much easier to convince yourself that it is rather unlikely that the world has ended and they forgot to CC: you on the memo when you realize that someone has, for reasons unclear, left a gargantuan piece of construction equipment idling loudly right outside your window. Somerville public works crews would definitely take the end of the world as a sign that they needed a smoke break, and turn that fucker off. No matter what state I'm in, life goes on.

But seriously, 'mindfulness' does not make you feel better. It just shuffles the terrible feelings around. Or at least that's all it does for me.

When I get upset, I go out and walk. I used to do Tufts Un…
Someone on the Straight Dope Message Boards started another one of those 'what will those whippersnappers be confused with next?' threads. There's a huge age range on that board; I think a couple of the regular posters are up in their 90s, and there are more than a few 13-14 year olds around. Every once in a while, the old-timers go round robin and trade tales of things that were obsolete before the new kids were even born.

I recognize a lot of the stuff the oldsters are talking about. I was born in 1981, which is right on the cusp between Generation X and the Millennials, and I grew up in a very nerd household, so I had early experience with a lot of classic gizmos that other people might have missed. I typically geek about a generation older than I actually am -- occasionally amusing, like the time I answered someone's question about kinescopy on the abovementioned message board, and was promptly mistaken for a middle-aged Corporation STelE.

I'm just old enough t…
When I run out of sensible things to amuse myself with on the internet, I read up on the most embarrassing moments of other people's lives. It would be convenient if the Wikimedia people just set up one of those list pages under the heading "Debacles", but they don't, so I have to go link hopping in order to find hilari-awful things. Like the story of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, wherein one of their crowning achievements in the area of Things No One Will Ever Live Down was when a ranking member of the organizing committee decided -- correctly -- that the least mortifying way to respond to a comment a South African swimmer made about the crowds in Delhi was to publicly admit that they were having a problem keeping feral monkeys out of the pool area.

(The article mentions in passing that there are feral monkeys all over Delhi. No kidding. Apparently the local method of getting rid of a large number of small loud thieving monkeys is to procure a single much larger loud…
Jazmin has recently experienced the HEALING POWER OF RAT. She came home after a particularly shitty couple of days, so I told her to sit the fuck down on the sofa, handed her two of the three rats, and pulled up the original Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981), because everything is on YouTube if you look long enough.

The critters have grown up interesting. Binky is in fact still tilty. She can straighten her head -- she does it to eat -- but some combination of torticollis and maybe just that ear works better means that she usually cants to the left. This bothers her not at all. The spiral worsens as she stretches; if she's really keenly into smelling something, she'll cantilever herself out over the edge of the cage with a progressively greater and greater twist, until at her full extension, she's making frantic sniffing noises with her face nearly upside down. The bulk of the rat, of course, is right-side up and sat squarely on the roof of her house.

Binky hasn…
Gymnastics is the summer equivalent to figure skating: very pretty, very difficult, very sexist, and full of eating disorders. If these are your main criteria for making something a sport, I have no idea why they don't run Olympic ballet, but nobody asked me, and I have a feeling that logic is not the strong suit of the IOC.

It is, in fact, even more overtly sexist than figure skating in many respects, and that's something when your main competition is a sport that regulates the color of the shoes you're wearing under costume spats anyway. The men and ladies of figure skating at least run the same events (singles skates for each gender, pairs skates, ice dancing, and formerly the actual figures, the set of which was the same for both genders), albeit the requirements are somewhat different between the sexes, whereas in gymnastics the only events both genders have in common are floor exercise and vault. Men work on parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse, and rings; women wor…
I am tired, everybody. Very tired. Being awake makes me tired. Being asleep makes me tired. Just tired.

As I apparently do not have any appropriate topics of conversation right now, here is a photo of the underside of a rat who has decided to sleep on top of her cage today. I don't close their cage door anymore so they can do that, and feel all rebellious and clever without having to eat holes in anything I value. She is in need of a bath, but otherwise in good shape, that shape mostly being round and squashy:

I just bought a thing called a "skinny girl sparkler" at CVS. I kind of hate myself for this. I didn't buy it because it said "skinny" on it. I bought it because it said things like "strawberry lemonade" and "Sale! 88¢", and didn't say "ATTENTION PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE". They taste pretty good. The nutrition label, which is on the back where the phenylalanine warning usually goes, says they have 10 calories a bottle instead of zero, probably because they have at some point at least been in a room that contained actual fruit.

I still hate having spent money on this. I could claim that it's because selling things directly to women on the basis that it'll help them lose weight is a presumptuous load of royally sexist bullshit, and that it encourages us to police each other's bodies in a hierarchy where women who look thin like the one on the label are advised to feel self-righteous about outranking wo…