mollyringle: (iPod)

It has come to my attention today that I've been included in an AP article being picked up all over the country. It's not about my writing, my books I've spent years creating, NO, OF COURSE NOT. It is, like last time, about a moment of online frivolity, and, once again, is not representing my original post quite accurately.

The article this time is about whether "ballot selfies" are legal (answer: depends on the state), and they include a few tweets from those of us who posted a photo on Twitter with the #ballotselfie hashtag. This was mine:

\

And you will kindly notice, if you have eyesight, that my ballot is EMPTY in that photo. I would not go posting my filled-in ballot. That's just tacky. Nonetheless, some of the versions of the article, such as this one, say stuff like, "They're posting selfies on social media with their completed ballots," followed directly by the link to my tweet. UGH. NO I AM NOT. Would you LOOK before writing the article, please.

What was the other time I made the rounds in an AP article, you ask? That was back in 2010 when I won the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one silly sentence, and was rewarded with headlines calling me a bad writer, because too many people do not understand the BLFC. (i.e., Those sentences are not from actual published books; they are all one-offs, written to be deliberately bad, for fun, by language-loving people with a bizarre sense of humor.)

But, in any case: go vote, my fellow Americans.

mollyringle: (Monkees - b&w)
Things I don't particularly miss about the '80s and '90s, music industry edition:

1. Having to phone the radio station and ask the DJ in order to find out the name of the song and artist. And then having no way to hear it again that day unless you went to the record store. And even then they might not have it. You kids these days with your YouTube and your Spotify, you're lucky.

2. Having to do a somewhat involved math problem in order to best arrange the songs on a 90-minute mix tape.

3. "Hidden tracks" that took the form of a 14-minute track at the end of a CD: a 4-minute song, then 5 minutes of silence, then the hidden track. Srsly, who told them people would like that?
mollyringle: (couple w/ umbrella on street)
An open letter to those in charge of stocking items at Target:

Dear madams and sirs,

You have lost a goodly handful of cash, and much of my business, due to being so astoundingly, colossally stupid as to fail to stock kids' rain boots this time of year in Seattle. You currently have flip-flop sandals and swimsuits all over the clothing department, but nary a rain boot to be found. Sirs and madams, this is the Pacific Northwest. Puddle Land. Drizzle Country. We *might* be planning our summer wardrobe this time of year, but it is beyond question that we need rain boots every month of the year except July and August. And often even then. If you do not stock kids' rain boots in early March in Seattle, when and where do you consider it worthwhile to (expletives deleted) stock them?

Your faithful customer--no, actually, someone else's now--

Molly
mollyringle: (Uncle Sam WWII - by pear_icons)
I have said this before, but once again, I am tired of the way teenage girls are not supposed to show sexual desire in, like, nearly all of bestselling YA literature. Even in the Hunger Games, which otherwise I quite admire, Katniss only barely starts noticing, after MONTHS of kissing Peeta, that, huh, it's occasionally *fun* to kiss him. And of course (SPOILERS, HI) a certain pregnancy rumor has to go hand-in-hand with a marriage rumor--because a heroic female would never have sex before marriage, even in a world where tributes stroll around naked to please the crowd.

Authors and prudish Americans at large, you are NOT doing teenage girls any favors by holding up only the chaste young women as the role models. You are indirectly (and sometimes directly) suggesting that all sexual feelings are to be suppressed and are something to be ashamed of, and that a "good" girl doesn't go beyond kissing AT ALL until after marriage. (I suppose you say the same to boys, but with much less force, because hey, boys do what they're going to do, right?) You are only giving our young women complexes, far more than you're giving them valuable role models. They're going to have those feelings whether you discourage them or not.

All I can do is rant occasionally, and of course write my own books in which teens find healthy and relatively safe ways to enjoy each other sans clothing. Which I shall keep doing. So there.
mollyringle: (fruit)
...Or at least, badly cooked biscuits.

Writing recipes is not a form of writing I usually think much about, except when it's done badly. Here is your forum for complaining of recipe-writing errors, confusions, or just general weirdness. The two examples that come to mind from my own experience are:

1) A recipe for Greek meatballs, which called for a couple of fresh tomatoes, "shredded." How, I ask you, do you shred a fresh tomato? (The sad thing was, I actually tried. Don't. Just don't, ever.)

2) Recipes that wait until the last line to tell you something that would have been best to know in the early stages. For instance, a buffalo wings recipe I used recently included the recipe for the sauce, of course, and listed those steps after the whole chicken preparation part. That'd be fine, except the last line? "Cover and chill [sauce] for 2 to 4 hours." Would've been good to know two to four hours ago, thanks.

What are your recipe complaints?
mollyringle: (my life is so thrilling)
Recipe for insomnia
------------

Take a handful of any of the following irritations, and stir (and toss, and turn).

- My arm is squished if I lie like this.

- My hip hurts if I lie like that.

- The pillow is blocking my nostril.

- My shoulder is too cold.

- My feet are too hot.

- I should get up and go to the bathroom. No I shouldn't. Yes I should. No I shouldn't.

- The inside of my nose itches.

- I'm so hungry my stomach is eating itself.

- My mouth is dry. My teeth are sticking to my lips. I should get a drink of water. No I shouldn't. Yes I should. No I shouldn't.

- My hair is poking me in the neck.

- My ear is bent funny against the pillow.

- My nightshirt is twisted around me too tight.

- I'm preoccupied by those emails I need to answer.

- I'm preoccupied by thinking about illness, injury, and death.

- I'm preoccupied by story ideas I don't spend enough time working on.

- I'm preoccupied by the insulting things people said to me five, ten, or fifteen years ago.

- I'm furious because I'm going to be too tired tomorrow to get anything done.

- Furious. Argh.

- A bird is singing outside. It's only 4:00 a.m. Argh. Hate the bird.

...And this says nothing about sleep disruptions caused by others, such as toddlers. Then, at least, there's a reason I'm awake. But there is nothing more agonizingly frustrating than lying awake for no good reason while the clock ticks away the minutes and hours. 12:48...1:15...2:09...3:34...4:02...and you bargain for less and less time. I'll be all right if I can just get six hours of sleep...or five...or three and a half...or two...

I've been this way off and on for most of my life. The worst spell was in college, when, for no apparent reason, I didn't sleep at all for about a week. These days I usually do get at least a few hours even on the worst nights, and the worst nights are no more than a few times a month. But I'd rather get seven or eight hours every night, thanks.

I don't want meds. At least, not really, not regularly, not so I rely upon them. Does anyone have other sleep-inducing tricks? Acupressure points? Breathing techniques? Melville novels?

All other insomniacs out there, come here. Group hug. I'm sorry I didn't come out earlier. It's nothing to be ashamed of, except maybe once in a while when we turn into total crazy people and beat our heads against the pillow, or kick the mattress repeatedly with our heels, or throw ourselves upon the floor in a frustrated heap. But sleep deprivation is a form of torture, you know.
mollyringle: (Willow - Hi - by aom_leiconz)
Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] new_iconoclast...

1) Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2) Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3) Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

So, my 8 random facts:

1. As proof that I'm behind the times, I have never sent or received a text message on a cell phone.

2. As further proof of the same thing, up until about a year ago I thought "MySpace" was a file storage type of site. Which I guess it is, if you count skanky photos and long emo posts as files.

3. After reading about noctilucent clouds on SpaceWeather.com, and seeing photos of them, I thought, "Oh, sure, I've seen those plenty of times." I verified this the other night by looking out the window at twilight and spotting some. Sure, there they are; we get 'em all the time here, I figured. Then I found out I was just lucky, for these are fairly rare at this latitude. So what was I seeing before? Not-so-lucent clouds, evidently.

4. I think I have a bunion on one foot. I'm not sure what to do about that, but my mother-in-law has them and they've nearly crippled her on bad days. Greeeat.

5. I tend to like fantasy but not sci-fi; love stories but not romance novels; true crime but not mysteries. With exceptions for each, of course.

6. I like purple flowers best of all. Then blue. Then white. Then red or yellow. But fragrance is really more important than color.

7. I eat peanut butter with chocolate chips off a spoon (or a table knife) quite a lot. I maintain that this is a healthy snack.

8. I disapprove of most bumper stickers. They're a bad policy. Sooner or later, everyone, even you, does something annoying in traffic. At that point, those who agree with your bumper sticker will be dismayed because you're making their side look bad; and those who disagree with your bumper sticker will just hate you even more for it.

And now...I disobey the rules by not tagging anyone, but inviting anyone to take part who wants to. I have a cold; I get to bow out early.
mollyringle: (Dirk - wrath)
My love/hate relationship with Target is swinging toward "hate" today. They have no rain boots for kids right now, or for anyone else for that matter. I guess the central HQ probably figures it's time for summer wear, and there's no use carrying anything else. But this is Seattle. It's raining right now and is supposed to be rainy all week. It could rain at any time of the year, any day at all (though especially the 4th of July). We're famous for it.

Target pretends to be a "find everything you need" type of store, but really they're very seasonally oriented--without, apparently, being very regionally oriented. Bah. I shall have to hit the secondhand kids' clothing shops in search of boots for the now-walking Z. If no luck there, then eBay. (There are some cute ones for sale, I see...)

On the other hand, Target is still the only place around to consistently sell Dove Dark Chocolate Promises for $2.54 a bag. ($3.79 at the grocery stores. Eek!) So they do have me on a short leash there.
mollyringle: (laughing - hates life)
Just in case you ever wondered, it costs $45 for a locksmith to come let you back into your house when you've locked yourself out. Or maybe I was robbed blind and it really should cost less. I don't know. I've honestly never done it until today. Go me!

Yes, we do indeed need to start keeping a spare key somewhere outside the house. Like maybe under the mat or under a flowerpot next to the door, because no one would ever think of looking there.

Grumble. So, now, a meme from [livejournal.com profile] modmerseygirl.

1. YOUR NAME: Molly
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?: My middle name is the same as my mom's best friend's name. "Molly" just sounded nice and American, which my folks wanted after six months in France.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?: Hmm...really cry? Hard to recall. Tears in the eyes? The Buffy episode "The Body," watched a few days ago. Yes, I'm a sappy fan sometimes. But that was a *sad* episode--anyone who has seen it can back me up.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?: Not my cursive. My non-cursive, which I use far more often, is OK.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?: Chicken. Or maybe roast beef.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?: Sure, if I ever met me, which would be hard because I don't get out much.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?: Far too many.
8. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?: Definitely! (That was [livejournal.com profile] modmerseygirl's answer, which amuses me because she's so ridiculously sweet, and I associate sarcasm with harsher people, like me.)
9. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?: Yep.
10. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?: Probably not, though oddly I think I could skydive.
11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?: Cheerios.
12. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?: Not lately.
13. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?: I think I'm stronger than I think I am. If that makes any sense.
14. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?: Any kind with chocolate cookie or brownie pieces in it.
15. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?: Probably hair; it's easier to assess from a distance.
16. RED OR PINK?: Red! I actually eschew pink.
17. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?: What a very odd question. Uh...my eyes...?
18. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?: I suppose grandparents, and not just mine.
19. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?: No; they should post it on their own journals. ;)
20. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING?: Faded blue jeans; no shoes.
21. THE LAST THING YOU ATE?: Cookie dough, molasses/chocolate.
22. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?: The cold wind outside and my own typing.
23. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?: Pine green.
24. FAVORITE SMELL: Rain in a warm season.
25. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?: The locksmith.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?: Very much. :)
27. FAVORITE DRINK?: Water, or English/Scottish/Irish Breakfast Tea with milk and sugar.
28. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?: I don't, really. I zone out within seconds.
29. HAIR COLOR?: Blondish reddish brown.
30. EYE COLOR?: Greenish brown (hazel)
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?: Nope.
32. FAVORITE FOOD?: There's never just one food I could eat forever. But chocolate is an obvious contender. Cheese is up there too.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING?: I prefer a happy ending, but a really great story would have it all.
34. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?: 'Free Enterprise,' via Netflix
35. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?: Brown
36. SUMMER OR WINTER?: I prefer fall and spring...but winter is less hateful to me than summer. If it's too hot to wear jeans, then I find it too hot.
37. HUGS OR KISSES?: Well, who we talking about caressin' here, sweet thang?
38. FAVORITE DESSERT?: Something with dark chocolate integrally involved in it
39. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?: Whoever wins the "most bored today" award.
40. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?: 'Three Junes' by Julia Glass. I can't quite decide if I like it or not.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?: Grayness.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST ON TV?: Probably a Buffy episode.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS?: The soothing voices of familiar radio personalities
44. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?: Definitely Beatles, though I like a few Stones songs pretty well.
45. FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?: If I calculate correctly...Inverness, Scotland
46. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?: I can actually finish writing novels instead of just saying I would like to write one someday. Sorry. Make that: "Snarkiness at all the wrong moments."
47. LEAST LIKELY TO SEND THIS BACK?: N/a
48. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?: Oregon
49. NEW YEARS RESOLUTION?: To be a more considerate driver, and try to view other drivers as human beings and not demons.
mollyringle: (lightning)
I know you were all just petrified for me when you heard about the gigantic windstorms in the Pacific Northwest. You weren't?...You didn't hear about them?...Oh. Well! I'll tell you what happened anyway!

A big storm with gusts up to 65 mph was predicted for Thursday night. It rolled in right on time, and started by knocking over our recycle bin and sending our outdated grocery lists flying away into the greater West Seattle area. Wearing the baby, I went outside, tugged the bin upright, and dragged it and the garbage can up against a wind-protected fence corner, in a howling wind that led me to tell the baby, "Auntie Em! It's a twister!" I then saw a lightning flash, which led me to say, "Okay, time to go inside."

We still had power when we went to bed that night, though our bedroom window was getting lashed so hard by rain and screaming winds that I don't think either Steve or I slept much. Instead you're thinking, "So, if the cottonwood tree fell over, would it crush this part of the room exactly, or just the part over there?" Then, with a silent and chilling lack of sound, the nightlights went out. I don't know what time that was, since, like, the power was out and I couldn't see a clock; but I estimate somewhere between midnight and 2:00 a.m.

58 degrees in the house the next morning. OK, we can deal. Sat around and read books and ate non-power-required things like crackers and fruitcake and chocolate and oranges and cereal. (Had to try to use up the milk while the fridge was out.) Went outside and looked at a tremendous number of fallen trees around the neighborhood. Power seemed to be out just about everywhere.

56 degrees inside by the time we blew out the candles and went to bed Friday night. Not too bad, but what a difference ten degrees made, we thought! (That is, ten degrees lower than our usual room temperature.)

49 degrees Saturday morning. Able to see breath in air, indoors. Hmm. This was losing its thrill. There was a little bit of warm water left in the water heater, so I took a bath, and got out steaming and shivering in the candlelight. Found there was power up the road, so we spent a lot of time in bookstores and restaurants and PetCo (baby liked looking at the fish, birds, chinchillas, ferrets, and mice; as well as one insane hamster that kept pawing frantically at the corner of its glass cage for, oh, an hour straight). 48 degrees when we went to bed, and Molly getting into very bad mood.

44 degrees when we woke up this morning. Dead frozen icy air, like inside a tent on a mountain in March. Swore and cursed while putting clothes on, and went straight to local diner (which had power) without even brushing hair. Molly making patient, wifely statements like, "I'm not staying here another night. I'm calling hotels if our power isn't back by 3:00 today." Fortunately for all within reach of Molly's spoiled and bitter mood, power was back when we returned from diner, about 11:00 this morning. Heat is busily blasting away, and the 56-degree mark now feels like a summer day.

Actually, 56 degrees is a summer day around here.

It was nice to get a Christmas card from [livejournal.com profile] ramaustin, though, sending "warm greetings from Florida." Warm greetings were just the type we needed. :)

Also, as a public service announcement, do not run generators or charcoal grills or propane grills or any other outdoor-type of grills indoors. People are dying or being hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning when they hauled their Smoky Joes and generators inside for warmth--adult people who should know better. Be careful! Don't be idiots!

And also, get your damn trees trimmed so they don't fall on power lines. Harrumph.
mollyringle: (MST3LOTR-dance - arwen_elvenfair)
Everyone else is doing it...and Colbert is kind of cute, so...

You're on notice! )
mollyringle: (Lost-being funny-by mediocrechick)
Today I got a rejection with the bit of feedback: "Sexual relations in a YA [young adult] novel? Seems too mature for 13-year-old readers."

The characters are 18 or 19, and college freshmen. I once showed the story to a romance editor, and she liked the story but thought they were so awfully *young* that it would have to be marketed as YA. Now it's too mature for YA? What genre should I claim it is, anyway?

Or did I just happen to get a reviewer who has an unrealistic sense of what teenagers think about? :)

Probably wasn't a good match anyway--they claimed I'd made "grammatical errors" for instances such as:

"Was that your flight?" she sniffled.

...on the grounds that "You can't sniffle dialogue." Sheesh; no creative leeway allowed?

Complain, complain. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

(x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] novelwriters)

Edit: The "sniffle" bit is wobbly, I admit. But okay, here's another "error" they claim I made: they circled the word "grey" and wrote "avoid variant spelling." Yeah, I know we spell it "gray" in the U.S., but the narrator is British! He would write "grey"! I also wrote "colour," "centre," and "realise"; are you going to circle all those too? "Error," my great-aunt's tea cozy. I screwed with that spelling quite deliberately, thank you.

EWTFA!

Oct. 26th, 2006 12:14 pm
mollyringle: (Buffet of victims)
Which is to say, "Enough with the furkin' acronyms"!

I know we're all pressed for time, and that if you're writing a long report in which you plan to reference "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus" or "international standard book number" many times, it's much easier to call them SCUBA and ISBN. I admit to using "ASAP" and "FYI" myself, because everyone understands them; along with "TMI" and "WTF?" because they're amusing. But I didn't become a stay-at-home mom solely to gain the shiny new acronym of SAHM, which makes it look like a disease; and IMHO (in my humble opinion) and AFAIK (as far as I know) have always bugged me a bit.

Back in chat room days, we pegged annoying dorks instantly by their use of "A/S/L?" ("Age/sex/location?," or "Where are you, are you hot, and are you old enough to cybersex me?"). The other day I saw a post ending with "KWIM???" Took me a second, but I got there--"Know what I mean?" Now, was it so hard for me to type those four words? Why, no. No, it wasn't.

What are your acronym pet peeves? Or pet loves?
mollyringle: (MST3LOTR-dance - arwen_elvenfair)
Regarding commercials:

OK, I have to admit, Citibank's dubbed-over identity theft commercials are pretty darn funny. Especially this one, featuring Thelma and Norma. Steve and I watch in fascination, and giggle, every time.

Meanwhile, the ads where they have a Jimmy Fallon look-alike as The Mac, and a stodgy fat white businessman as The PC, are incredibly, annoyingly condescending. I have a Mac--two, in fact--and love them, but...Apple, you're embarrassing us. Don't.
mollyringle: (bite me)
I now hate mosquitoes as much as I have lately hated ants.

Proof that demons exist: that tiny whining buzz of a mosquito approaching your ear at 3 a.m. Because then what do you do? You can't just bat at it and go back to sleep--it's going to stick around if you don't kill it! It's going to suck your blood and make you itch and maybe, just maybe, give you West Nile Virus! But turning on the light at 3 a.m. to find the teensy demon is more than a little disruptive to everyone in the room as well. And if you do turn on a light, good luck finding the thing. It is, after all, the size of a wisp of lint.

So a fully grown human ends up stalking around his or her bedroom in the dead of the night, bleary-eyed, scanning the walls and the ceiling for a tiny and undoubtedly laughing insect, who has gotten him or her out of bed. And has done so for more than one night in a row. Despite there being no standing water nor swamps around the house, and despite also an effort to keep doors shut for this very reason.

Then, whether you kill it or you don't, when you go back to bed your brain starts hallucinating the whine. It could be distant traffic, an electronic device somewhere in the house, or your own imagination, but you're *sure* you hear a mosquito. I STILL hear a mosquito, I swear.

I ended up spraying "natural" insect repellant--i.e., really strong citronella--on myself at about 1 a.m. today, the second day in a row for mosquito-related insomnia. Then came the problem that I smelled totally unlike my usual self, and pungently too, and that also made it hard to sleep. Yes, I am a hound dog, and cannot sleep if things don't "smell right."

So, I'll be over here thinking up ways to string mosquito netting from the light fixtures. Meanwhile, chalk this up as another reason to hate summer.
mollyringle: (Dirk - wrath)
Ants. My biggest pet peeve in the world right now might be ants. It's not like we're slobs. It's not like we leave sticky Twinkie wrappers all over the floor, and globs of gravy on the counter. But from the number of "odorous house ants" in our life, you would think we did just that. They will find anything available. No human can keep up with them. They're always inside the dishwasher. A single muffin crumb under the table will attract dozens, as will a single drop of French toast batter on the stove from one hour earlier. They have bored into apples in the fruit bowl, zeroed in on a speck of something in the bathroom sink, and climbed the shower curtain in search of God knows what. You'd think the bedroom would be safe, being food-free and on the second floor. But no! They prove me wrong. There was a bit of food. There was a tin of Altoids, in a drawer; the top drawer, in fact. But they got into it. You caught me, you clever ants; stupid me, daring to keep anything edible anywhere within reach of you. You also caught me in my slovenly habit of putting a glass of water on the headboard at night. Yep, there were about 30 of you swarming it this morning. Water. Heaven forbid I should do anything irresponsible like keep water in the open. We've put out bait traps, but you only seem mildly interested in those. Glasses of water and individual molecules of jam residue are far more enticing, apparently.

I look it up, and find that even exterminators have trouble eradicating this type of ant, since finding the nest is often difficult. And even if you do find one nest, there are likely lots more that you haven't found. You just have to do what you can to discourage the critters. Which, when your hands are full with a baby, is not as much as you might normally be able to do. Having a baby around also makes you warier of using poisons, so pesticide is not my favorite idea anyway. Thus we're back to not being able to keep Altoids, water, or fruit in the open.

I just hate how much of an inferior person it makes me feel--I mean, it seems that you must be some kind of lazy disgusting loser, to have a bug problem in your house. So, reassure me, people: tell me you have bug problems you cannot conquer. I know there are worse ones to have, so remind me. The bright side is they're not fire ants, scorpions, carpenter ants, termites, funnel-web spiders...OK, fine, things could be worse. Still. It's hugely annoying. I blame the former homeowners, as with everything else that goes wrong in this structure.

Baby is well, though. New-ish pic here:
http://pics.livejournal.com/lemonlye/pic/0000q5q3

On a tangent: though all his hues-of-blue clothes are pleasant, I find myself wishing I had picked up a gaudy Hawaiian-print onesie while we were in Maui. They had them in the gift shops. Would have been cute.
mollyringle: (Lost-being funny-by mediocrechick)
1. Among the few things that inspire me with a visceral hatred: animated smiley-faces that bounce and leer and roll their eyes and generally act starved for attention.

2. You don't need as many Grape-Nuts as you think you do. They are denser than any other cereal; denser, even, than many a rock.

3. You might think from point #2 that I dislike Grape-Nuts. Actually I like them.

4. Am reading George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. So far, so good. Very similar to Robert Jordan in subject matter and structure, but thankfully much cleaner writing. Also, unlike Jordan's, Martin's teenage characters do not act like they just stepped off the WB.

5. Speaking of which, is it me, or does every preview for a new episode of 'The O.C.' involve one teenage boy punching another?

6. No, I don't watch 'The O.C.' No, I don't want to, either.

7. My eldest sister, a certified nurse-midwife in the Portland area, has the best stories. There was the one about the girl who ran away with a circus and then got pregnant, and wanted to know if there was a test to see if your baby has webbed feet. (Answer: there is; and your baby does. Congratulations, Freakshow Frog Man, you're a father.) This weekend my sister told me about another couple: the father was wearing a "Whoop Ass" T-shirt in the delivery room, and snacking on pepperoni sticks and sour-cream-and-onion potato chips, and saying he liked the name "Savage Hunter" in case it was a boy. Why? Because he's a hunter, and Savage is his favorite kind of gun. My sister, remarkably good at the straight face, suggested "Colt" or "Remington" as alternatives. He liked those as well. Fortunately they had a girl, and named her something normal. I tell you this just in case you thought Oregon was nothing but hippies. In truth we have the other extreme too, and everything in between.

8. I say "we" even though I live in Washington now. Oregon is where I was born, but besides that, Oregon and Washington are pretty much the same big state (Pacificnorthwestia) in the minds of their residents.

9. I expect to get howls of protest from Oregonians and Washingtonians alike for saying that.

10. I don't care. The internet doesn't matter.

11. So, any sneak-preview reviews out for 'Goblet of Fire' yet? The internet's good for distributing those, at least.
mollyringle: (Default)
A popular pastime on blogs (by which word I include LJ) is to point out what's annoying about blogs. It's a fun, not to mention a rich, topic, and one I've indulged in too. Just about everyone who has dipped their toes into the blog world has experienced a love/hate relationship with the whole deal.

For instance, last year I wrote this post, which I'll reprint here since it may be the truest thing I have ever written about LJ:

* * *
If I say I like something, people will ruin it for me by telling me why they hate it.

If I say I don't like something, people who do like it will emerge from the woodwork and demand to know what my problem is.

If I share good news, people will think I'm bragging.

If I share bad news, people will think I'm fishing for sympathy.

If I share personal news, people will think I'm an exhibitionist.

If I broach the subject of politics, people will unleash an all-out flame war.

If I treat a subject lightly, people will call me thoughtless.

If I treat a subject in depth, people will call me pedantic.

If I muse at length upon a small matter, people will think I'm babbling.

If I say I'm angry about something, people will tell me I'm overreacting.

If I share something I find funny, people will get offended.

If I put up pictures of myself, people will think I'm narcissistic and fishing for compliments.

If I share a piece of writing I've done (like this), people will think I'm narcissistic and fishing for compliments.

If I share what I did today, people will think I'm boring.

If I stay silent and don't post anything at all, people will think I'm sulking and/or neglecting them.
* * *

...And to the list I now add: "If I didn't have a blog, my publisher or agent (if I had an agent) would urge me to get one." Much to my dismay, self-promotion has become a prerequisite for being a writer, in the eyes of the industry. I play along, but I don't usually like it. Meanwhile, we fledglings are labeled self-important and boring and not "real" writers when we do self-promote on blogs, because if we were real writers we'd be writing articles and books, not blog entries. It's a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: once you're a real writer, like Neil Gaiman, it's fine for you to have a blog, and people will devour it and think how cool it is that you can fit both books and blog entries into your writing life. But if you have a blog before you become a real writer, you're a poser and you'll never be a real writer because you're wasting your time on a blog; even though your agent or publisher says you must get a blog because you need to self-promote and "get your name out there." Damned if we do, damned if we don't. But that's an aside.

It's true: there are lots of flaws about blogs, and about LJ in particular. You can find people whose journals are sleazy, or filled with false information presented as fact, or hysterical in their hatred of something, or stupidly manic in their love of something, or packed to the brim with self-psychoanalysis that no one else could possibly care about. Furthermore, I know my journal has shown each of those traits on occasion, and some other failings. Not a shock, since I as a person have a number of failings. (I venture the bold opinion that everyone does.)

Doesn't mean, however, that by one's blog you can get a clear portrait of the blog keeper. I pick and choose what to post, yes, but not out of any attempt to be dashingly elusive. As my list above illustrates, it's hard to walk the line between revealing too much about oneself (and thus being self-indulgent or exhibitionistic) and revealing too little (and thus being overly mysterious, which in itself might be called self-indulgent). I don't expect my personality to be thoroughly diagnosed through what I write on the internet. I'm not sure *I* know or understand myself as a complete person, and I'm with me in the flesh all day; so how can you be expected to? Furthermore, even if I had the power of speech to illustrate exactly who I am...well, 1) should I, on LJ?, 2) I still couldn't guarantee that any given reader would grasp it. I can't make you understand me. You might happen to, by some stroke of luck, but that would be a fluke.

Is it worth fretting about? Decidedly not. Yep, blogs are imperfect, as am I, as are you, and as is the world. But in that sordid, misleading, spastic dramafest we call the blogosphere, I also find writers and posts who say clear things, true things, brilliantly amusing things, interesting things, and noble things; and that's why I stick around. As Hurricane Katrina has shown us, in every disaster (and we could call the internet a disaster if we were being really pessimistic) there are despicable looters, and there are shining heroes. I don't call myself a shining hero for occasionally making people laugh with a silly, shallow post; but I appreciate a laugh myself, so I still think it's worthwhile.

I better cut this short before I mention silver linings, or drinking vessels being half full. But I'll add this: to those who rant about the evils and inanities of our world, or our LiveJournals in particular, I do in fact thank you. Despite my proud exterior, I know I can only become a better person through humility checks. If I were convinced I was the coolest, smartest person on Earth, I would never try to improve my mind or behavior; and in truth I would very much like to do both.

It's hard to lie there warm in bed, feeling the ripples of my kid moving inside me, harmless and lovely as flickers of heat lightning on the mountains, and not feel both humble and optimistic.

Yes, I know that last sentence veered into schmaltz. Deal with it.
mollyringle: (chocolate)
What are they teaching kids these days? I should not have to tell people that when filing a title like "The Painters Inc." or "The Henson Co.," you do not put it under The. Seriously.

And people smirk and shake their heads and make patronizing pat-her-on-the-head ain't-she-cute remarks when I express this fierceness about keeping files in their intended order. Fine. But my theory of filing, which I know is pretty radical, is as follows: It does you no good to file something if you cannot find it later.

Being organized does not, in itself, indicate psychosis or obsession or a lack of a social life. Yeah, 'cause you hear that all the time, right? "Dude, you've got to get more excitement in your life. Like, try misfiling something! That is a blast." In fact, organizational skills give you more of a life, because you get to spend more time having a life and less time bumbling around trying to find your stuff.

So, patronize all you like, but don't come crying to me when you're tearing your hair out because you can't find that contract you know you put somewhere, or you've misplaced your keys for the 400th time.

Did we need further proof that I should become a librarian? Heh.

In other news, I met Sean Astin.
mollyringle: (bite me)
A few days ago we signed closing papers for a house. Yesterday our escrow people confirmed everything was complete and the place was ours. Last night we drove over there, hoping to get a hold of our realtor and get the keys and walk into Our New House, just to look around and start dreaming of paint colors.

Imagine our confusion to find the lights were still on, the doors were open, an old truck was backed into the driveway, and one of the previous owners was directing some guys carrying stuff out of the house. Yes: They were still moving out. They were nowhere near done. It looked, in fact, as if they had just gotten started. We made some small talk and introductions with the woman, who was cheerful and seemingly oblivious as to their obligation to actually be out of the house by this time.

Being nice and non-confrontational people, we excused ourselves and wandered aside and called our realtor, who was not amused with the other team. He told us to get a key from the old owners, and figure out what was going on; and meanwhile he would leave a seriously unpleasant message for their realtor (who apparently neglected to make his clients understand that they actually had to, you know, vacate the premises by Friday). We got a key from Mrs. Oblivious, and decided, what the hell; we weren't going to get much done Friday night anyway, so we would come back Saturday morning. They swore they'd have the house cleared out by then, and would just have the outbuilding to clean out--which they would do over the weekend. Okay, fine, if you must. The house is the important part anyway.

So this morning we drive back over there. No one is around this time (they said they had to work Saturday), but:
a) The key Mrs. Oblivious gave us does not work, and
b) A look into the windows, and around the yard, indicates pretty clearly that they are not done clearing out. In fact, their stuff is still everywhere.

Today, we are not so inclined to be nice. This isn't just "kind of" our house. We aren't in a legal twilight period where it's "partially" ours and partially theirs. No. This is completely, legally, totally our house now--and we can't get into it and their stuff is all over the place. Our realtor has been unreachable today, but I'm sure he will have some choice words for them and their team, which I can't wait to hear. In the meantime I ask you...

[Poll #388622]

Other suggestions welcome in the comments. There's actually even more to the unprofessionalism and tackiness of these previous owners, but I'm too polite and disgusted to go into right now.

Ugh.

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mollyringle

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