Mantra De NaNoWriMo
Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 6:09 PM
Okay, so I'm not going trick or treating tonight, which is probably just as well since I have the willpower of a soap dish.
That said, my favorite Halloween costume as a kid? A blue-headed punk rocker (I looked really good with blue hair). My least favorite? The Hefty trash bag. I have no idea what I was thinking.
Obviously I wasn't.
Unless one lives in Belgium, ::cough, cough:: NaNoWriMo begins for me--here in Cali-for-ni-ay--in about six hours. Only I'll be asleep then. So it won't officially begin until about six p.m. or so Thursday evening, when I'll plop into my chair with a wheezy sigh of fear and anticipation. Even now just thinking about it fills my tummy with butterflies. I've already farted out the dread and wah-gah-gah flies, but they must've laid eggs.
Mantra De NaNoWriMo
1. I will not read what I’ve written. Overcoming my rewriting procrippledictism will be my biggest challenge. I must not cave. I will not cave.
2. I will write 1700 words of deadly dreck a day. If I’m lucky enough to write more than that, I will not tell myself: Hah! You don’t have to write tomorrow.
3. I will not let my plot holes slow me down, even when they are big enough to swallow that fictional whale of a whale, Jonah. (I also won't be slowed down by minutia like trying to register the difference between wail, wale, or whale. Just type and move on. As long as the rest of the sentence makes sense, owl figger et owt.)
4. I will not be sucked into the NaNoWriMo Forums. Nay, I will be too busy writing.
5. I will only consume one glass of Jack and Coke a night. One glass = quirky inspiration. More than that = slobbery dreckery endery. Hey, I am no Hemingway.
6. I will only call sick in to work on Fridays. No, Mondays. Um.
7. I will cheer Ian on, even though he's already succeeded at NaNoWriMo three years in a row and could probably do it again blindfolded with his fingers duct-taped together (I will also cheer the rest of my NaNo buddies on).
8. I will quash the writerly pessimism that comes from the green monsterly editor inside.
9. I will have fun. I might not laugh, but I'll have fun, dammit.
10. I will let my characters lead me to the door inside my head (which Chris Baty assures me lies somewhere in my un-subconscious). I've never even been near that door, let alone through it, but I'm game.
I will rock this November.
I will rock this November.
I will write a craptastic novel this November.
And the Karmic God burped!
Woo-hoo, this means come November, I'll be doing the shake my head, slap my ass, moan and groan gig at the keyboard. While caffeinated. I've got nuts, fruits, fresh veggies, jack-n-coke, and coffee to help get me through it. (Wine will make me sleepy, but a shot in a glass of coke might give the perfect slant of oomph to all the verbs I plan on cranking outith.)
Can't believe I forgot the chocolate, but that must've been when the Karmic God was gaseous.
Why did the power have to blow so close to NaNoWriMo? Why did the power supply die? Why couldn't I have had a surge protector? Dang.
Why ask why? I'll take a Bud Dry.
I am wrung out emotionally. For personal reasons, I haven't even attempted NaNoWriMo in the last few years. But I decided to go for it this year, and I was so gung ho on giving myself every advantage--because I'm going to need everything and more--that I was up and down cleaning my place like a drunken gnat last weekend. I was in the zone. Raring to go. Sleeping, breathing, and dreaming about the craptastic novel I'm going to write.
But then the power blew for a few hours and the drunken gnat inside me morphed into a potato bug. You know, those bugs that curl up into balls at the first hint of trouble.
Pote, I don't want to handwrite the thing if it turns out there's something more wrong with my computer than the power supply. I handwrote a couple of months ago and it killed my hand, arm, back and neck. I won't be able to keep up with that kind of physical routine. It's got to be the computer (who I've named Fred, in case it matters).
I think I'll name the power surge protector Ethel.
But hopefully I'll be back in time to do some crazed novel writing damage! Keep your eyes crossed for me.
Ordinary actually IS Beauty
Lift your chin.
Smile. You are beautiful.
Go forth and never doubt it again.
In case you missed the website the first time, here it is again: Campaign for Real Beauty.
One hump or two?
So I'm listening with half an ear to Jeopardy! and one of the contestants is telling Alek Trebeck about her and her father's vacation to Israel umpteen years ago. Apparently this contestant made quite an impression with one of Israel's citizens because he offered to purchase her from her father for twenty camels.
Which--skipping over the frightening, lurid implications such an act implies--made me wonder how much a camel is worth.
I went a-Googling and clicked an ad for a female Bactrian camel, even though my first thought was uh, bacteria?
Her asking price was $16,500.00, so I clicked on that ad thisfast. I'd share the link to the ad, but it's not giving a specific address, just the URL for the main website, so I'll have to share it like so:
Brief description: FEMALE BACTRIAN CAMEL, 8 YRS OLD. HALTER BROKE, LEADS, LOADS. BEEN WITH A MALE SINCE 1/1/07 (Huh-holy CAMEL, is being with a male important? Is this supposed to mean she likes the act of reproduction, even if she hasn't yet produced offspring?)But I was puzzled about the Bactrian part of the camel. Wut tuh heck was that? Turns out Bactrain camels have TWO humps, which means there's no place to sit. And since I'm clueless about the purpose for ONE hump, I feel sorry for a camel saddled with two.
Why do camels even have a hump? I'm guessing it has something to do with arid desertness and the scarcity of water; maybe the hump (is it hollow?) is good for retaining moisture. And double the moisture-retention of a two-humped camel?
I haven't Googled the what about the hump part of it because it's already after 7:30 and I haven't had dinner yet. Googling for humps isn't a priority, although I am curious and will add it to my list of things to do, right under the bulleted item organize and file G-dammit, I'm losing out on my 401k info. pile of correspondence.
(I really need to win the Lottery. That's all there is to it.)
Before the hump quandary, though, I had to find out what a Dromedary camel is because I couldn't see equating myself with a bacteria-Bactrian camel--whatever that was--and there was the all-consuming need to find out what I was worth in camel dollars. Wikipedia tells me Dromedary camels are noted for their thick eyelashes and small, hairy ears.
Could be me.
Could be me.
But it wasn't until I clicked on the ad for Rosie, who lost her mate, that I realized my true camel worth.
City : MillingtonMultiply the asking price of 7,000 by 20, and you get $140,00.00.
Strike a match
When I was a bad girl--usually egged on by my badder sister--and Oogie had to resort to spanking, she'd say, "Go to your room. Pull your pants down. Bend over the bed."
She didn't say it nicely, either. She said it in her iggly-wiggly witch's voice, which made it worse. I'd have had a much easier time of it if she'd said: "Now, honey, I want you to go to your bedroom and think about the spanking you deserve."
But she never did. She wasn't one for honey-ing us when we were bad. "Pull your pants down and bend over the bed right now."
She might as well have said eat that spider's web in the corner because that would've created the same kill me now feeling that filled my stomach and made me want to barf and fart at the same time. It is far easier to just get spanked than to have to pull your pants down, lean across your bed, and wait to be spanked. That part of it was awful-powerful enough that I still remember those feelings:
The creepy feeling that raced up my back to my neck;
The ghostly itch of an anticipated spank (which kind of tickled);
The indignation of having to hang out there with a bare butt.
Staring at my Peter Pan bed sheets took on an entire. New. Meaning.
I don't know if Oogie was aware at the time of this kind of manipulative, ego-robbing, embarrassing punishment. The unhinged giggler in me wants to think that she just hated the idea of having to spank me, and so she needed extra time to work up to the spankage. I have such fun imagining the look on her face when she was in the other room--breathing, trying to get a grip on her emotions, telling herself she wasn't an abuser because she was going to lay hand to my bare butt. Good stuff, that.
But somehow I doubt it, because I--no, we (Rhonda, Tracy, Jenny and me) really shouldn't have started that fire. Geesh, we were just trying to revive some of the Fourth of July fireworks.
Meanwhile, my story outline was bouncing around in my head like one of those itty-bitty rubber balls that are so damn hard to catch. There are a few plot issues I have no idea how to present realistically, let alone resolve, so I've unconsciously been mulling my way through what seems to be insurmountable. And now I think I've found a simpler solution, although it feels like I'm giving in.
But I'm running full steam ahead with it anyway. Who knows what's going to really happen? Not me. Not until the writing of it.
Sickened and terrified to the core by what the organization wants of her, and by her growing feelings for Daren, Shaine agrees to their terms: kill or die.
Please sign on the dotted line
You know: was he serious, or full of shit?
And why did he break into my car and sit inside it that summer day when it must've been over ninety-five degrees in my car? I wasn't the type of girl who inspired this kind of reaction from guys, so he had to be nuts.
The librarian in me went right for the books.
G's Ls, Ps and Ts were loopy as all get out, which I thought was unusual for a guy. Most guys I knew wrote like serial killers--no dotted Is, no pretty Y loops, minimally crossed Ts--it was all a veritable horizontal slash of hentrackage I had to tilt my head to the right to read. If I could even tell one letter from the next, that is. But G's letters were roundly-formed as if he was exaggerating the words.
So I got this book on handwriting analysis and learned that loopiness can reveal strong emotion (good or bad). Writing in an upwards slant (like I tend to do) reveals an outgoing nature. Downwards, cold and reserved. A no brainer there, eh?
Although I had to Google a refresher on handwriting analysis (it's been over ten years since I read the book), I remember G was a Garland handwriter: ...a soft, easily stroked connective depicting the writer who is receptive, compliant and easy going. He may be warm and sympathetic, empathetic and sentimental. He is open and responsive to the people and the environment around him. The writer who uses many garlands is often said to be "people oriented". He feels before he thinks. But he was also a bit egotistic, something that got us into trouble at the end.
...and I am an Arcade handwriter: Usually mixed with other connectives, the arcade is used by the creative personality. This writer is a constructive thinker, one who deliberates before making up his mind. He may use this slow and deliberate action as a form of cautious contrcl and self protection. My writing also revealed I wasn't much into physical activity and might even be lazy!
I fell in love with him. I didn't have much of a choice. His evenly-proportioned loops seduced me, dammit.
Meanwhile, I continued to handwrite on narrow, college-ruled notebook paper. My letters had to be perfectly spaced, the words and paragraphs mostly uniform and smudge-free. I'd rewrite a double-sided page if I wasn't satisfied. I did stop dotting my eyes with Os, as that was wasted effort, fuh cripes sake.
So. My handwriting (still) reveals I'm an artiste. Constrained by aesthetics, defined by space.
Minus 20 bucks for your thoughts
Anyway, the thoughts would be something like these:
I love that song called Absurd, even though it drove my ex nuts, and he sent me an e-mail about visiting the animal rescue website, and I think I splled conscious (conscience) wrong in the last post (is it conSCIENCE or CONscious, damn, damn, damn), and how I'll probably never outgrow my monkey bark laugh, and how I'm worried that Oogie and Rho are going to die before I do, and I'm wondering If I'm really ready for NaNoWriMo, and if should I contact a CPA or not, and who's going to be kicked off tonight on Dancing With The Stars (I bet it's Wayne Newton), and should I take the rest of the pot roast for lunch tomorrow, or just eat the other half of the ham-n-swiss sandwich from today? And how bad is ham for me, anyway? Because it's salty. It's pork. It's Miss Piggy.
Blip, blip, blip. That's how my mind works. Coherency isn't usually involved, heh, heh, heh. That would involve structure and organization. ::cough:: Focusing on one thing for too long makes my eyes cross and my neck tense.
This is why I need to win the lottery.
I know it doesn't make sense. Just go along with me. This is after all, Unhinged.
Stricken by conscience
Yes, Becky! There was a post on Saturday. It was about my conscience. And after I wrote and posted it, I did have an attack of conscience and therefore deleted the thing. Now I'm wondering if I can petition Bloglines to get rid of the sucker.
I heartily dislike having a conscience. Having one sucks the fun out everything. It also makes my eye twitch.
Banana split personality
Have you ever felt torn in more than two ways? About more than just one thing? Like, say, your job? Your life? Your future? Well, this is me. And I'd rather have the chocolate syrup-covered coffee ice cream, please.
Depression and public blogging
It doesn't go together. At least not for me. Oh, I'd love to share my woes, anger, struggles and fears, but only if nobody friggen knew me.
Instead, I feel that I have to be kind of funny because that's who I am. It's what I do. I retreat when I'm hurt. Don't look at me when I'm hurt, please. If you do, I'll only cover it up with a smile and a (bad) joke.
Besides, when I try to explain myself in a more serious vein, my palms sweat, I can't breathe right, and I nightmare-dream about what I wrote. Is it grammatically correct? Interesting? Too angry? Do I seem like a whiney blob? An idiot? Shameless for sharing such things publicly? Oh, is that why I'm divorced? I always wince after posting such entries because I'm so awful damned good at imagining the worst. I keep wishing I'd be awful damned good at playing the lottery, being organized, or exercising, but I know what they say about wishing, which just makes me feel worse.
But I promised myself I'd do the blog post-a-day thing. I do want to do it because I don't want to give up on myself again, but God. It sucks when I'm depressed and the only things I can think of to write make me want to bury my head.
I haven't had a kitty to love in almost three years. This is part of my problem. I've been reading a fellow blogger who keeps taking in strays because she thinks it will hurt less when she loses one, if she has more of them to love. (I think it's going to hurt as much, but maybe not as long?) One of the strays she took in was a little ginger-colored girl kitten. I cried because I can't look at orange kitten photos without crying.
I saw this movie this weekend. I like Ed Harris. He has these piercing blue eyes, so you'll have to imagine my surprise when I saw how dark they were in the movie. Apparently Beethoven (I say beet-hoven in my head when I'm typing it, by the way, not bay-toe-vin) had brown eyes. A good part of the movie is devoted to him composing the Ninth Symphony and when he finally plays it for a live audience, my emotions see-sawed. I was like, oh wow. And then ho-hum. And then wow. And wow, I forgot how inspirational classical can be. And sigh, is this ever going to end? And then the choir sang and shit, you cry baby! And wow, it's still going on? And then, you idiot, you obviously don't appreciate good music.
I like Ed Harris more with brown eyes. Who knew? (I'm sure this has something to do with his wild mane of hair in the movie. I really like guys with wavy, shoulder-length hair.) (Uh, no longer than that.)
Keanu? Are you reading?
But I saw four wet toilet seats this week in the swanky building where I work. What's worse is the stench that announces this act (usually something I only smell when I'm out at the bars). Two feet inside the restroom, I can tell if some chick's pissed on the seat and left it that way.
Who is it these sorry excuses for girls think they're shitting on by leaving the seats this way? The cleaning ladies? The clients who visit the building? The building's co-habiters?
Not that it matters. These disgusting idiots obviously need a refresher course in potty training and etiquette, and a bitch slap.
I wish I could write about this with a humorous slant, but it pisses me off too much.
Yeah, pun intended.
Phone won't work.
Netflix movies didn't arrive.
Had to eat my Cherrios without milk.
A writer should never...
When the alarm went off this morning, I rolled over and blinked my eyes at the shades covering the only window in my studio apartment. It was definitely darker than usual. I wondered if it was raining, and if I remembered to put my umbrella back in its place so I could find it again if it was raining and I needed to carry the umbrella.
But no, it wasn't raining. The days are just shorter now, it being fall and all. Pretty soon it'll be almost pitch dark when the alarm goes off.
Then I thought about how I'd really rather just stay in bed, and not get up and shower. Not go to work. So I guess you could say I woke up grumpy today. I didn't like the song playing on the radio, it was gray, and I had a PMS headache. Woo, stand back.
I got up. Drug my feet about it, too. Walked like a crab across the place (all twenty feet of it), popped some aspirin, and took a danged shower. Which I take for granted: being able to shower. Every once in a while I wonder what would happen if Los Angeles had an earthquake and there was no water for a week or more. I'd have to wash with my Sparkletts water. That is, if I survived the earthquake and lived to wash with my water from Sparkletts.
Meanwhile, I'm done showering and wondering what I'm going to wear because I was too lazy to decide on an outfit the night before. It's the hardest decision of my day, followed by what I'm going to cook for dinner and take to lunch.
Oh, life's little trials.
Wait, wait, I'm getting to the plot. I just had to "set the mood," okay? So you're feeling the same way I am about having to get up in the morning, okay? So you get a good feeling about who I really am, okay?
Turns out, I chose a black and red outfit.
Only I can't wear the matching black Mary Jane shoes because they rub my ankles raw. But I pick up one of the shoes, anyway, and study it closely against the pink Mary Jane that doesn't rub my ankles raw. The black shoe's heel is smaller, tighter. I wrap my fingers around both sides and try to stretch it, but end up thinking I might as well have blinked myself I Dream of Jeannie style to work. No shoes required in that scenario.
I ponder what to do. I don't want to have to wear pink Mary Janes with my black and red outfit. This is, after all, Hollywood.
These rub-me-raw shoes kill me. Not because they hurt and kill my ankles, but because I can't wear them. Triple-dog damn! They might as well be five-inch-high stilettos.
I grabbed my foot file. The kind that you use on your feet to rub the callouses off. If it's good for getting rid of dead skin, maybe it'll be good for making a shoe's heel softer.
Now I have a black Mary Jane shoe with a frayed heel.
And I had to wear the pink Mary Janes. But it wasn't raining, no sirreebob. Despite my hodge-podge color coordination, I received a catcall from a young construction worker on my way to work. I think he was sixteen.
Laundry room Nazi
Envy me, apartment renters. There is a live laundry Nazi in my building!
I was about to drop off a second load of laundry one Monday night around 5:45 (I'd just dropped off my first one not two minutes ago because I'm about six hopscotch steps away from the laundry room). When I got back to the laundry room with the second load, the door that had been open minutes ago was closed. The room had been empty when I'd dropped off my first load.
I trudged back to my apartment for my keys (again, four hopscotch steps away if you're a tall guy, maybe six if you're a short girl), opened the door and propped it open like it usually is. I walked over to one of the empty washers and a woman who was in front of one of them darted over to close the door with a whack. When she turned around, she told me that the empty washer I was about to put my clothes into was hers.
Hunh? What happened to possession is nine-tenths of the law? And, er, first come first serve?
Thing is, she wasn't nice about this at all. Her attitude suggested that I might as well have lifted the lid of one of the in-motion washers and pooped into it.
But unless Casper the Ghost was washing his invisible sheets, the washer was empty. There was nothing on top of the washer or in front of the washer to indicate it wasn't free. I suck at mathematics, but this was a no brainer.
"Cough, cough," she said. "I was here first."
I suddenly felt Nazi-like myself. "Nope, I don't think so. Obviously, I was here first."
She got verbally upset with me because I didn't let her have the empty washer, began slamming things around and muttering in an alien language about how rude I was, etc.
Feeling just as beastly, I fueled the fire. "I don't think I need any lessons in etiquette from you."
A few minutes later is when I exercised the PITA syndrom: It's easier to be a pain in the ass than to be a recipient of a pain in the ass. I had things to do around the complex, and each time I passed the laundry room, I opened the door she wanted to keep closed.
Hah, hah, hah! How's about some passive-agressive helpings today, Miss Manners?
When I came back to put my laundry into the dryer, the woman was still there. As I approached the row of dryers, she darted over in front of me and said, "These three are mine, I was here first, you can't use them."
All three dryers were empty.
Her loads of wash were still in the washers.
This is when I reminded her I paid rent just like she did and was also entitled to the machines. First come first serve, you know? Even if you're stupid enough to save all six loads of your laundry for one night. Your problem, not mine.
I told her in the year-and-a-half I'd been living here, I'd never had someone in the laundry room act as she had. She said she'd lived in the building for over ten years and had seniority.
"Gee," I asked her, "Why couldn't you have said that from the start?"
There's a Want Ad for her whereabouts. Two 64-ounce containers of Surf are the reward for nailing the identity of the Laundry Room Nazi.
Nah, not really, but I have it on good authority that her Nazi neo-winning ways are coming to an end.
Or, have you ever been pacing-stopping-and then-darting behind people, and probably panting with your mouth open wide because you're late?
Even worse, have you ever been chewing gum and walking at the same time, only you're following behind someone else?
What I'm getting at?
Is all of the above...only this is you in one of those situations when you suddenly smell that smell and you know you've just walked into someone's fart.
On a scale from one to ten, with ten being the highest, I rate this experience at a nine. Not because I like the smell of some stranger's body gas, but because I hate the smell of someone's secondhand smoke even worse.
Farts are gross natural.
Secondhand smoke is disgusting not. It makes my nose squinch, makes me want to barf and say, "Oh, sick!"
Please, people, if you have to: fart instead of smoking.
But not while I'm behind you, comprende-vous?
Under normal cirumstances, this is where I'd cackle and end my post, but I haven't reached 500 words yet. And so I must press on...about the smell of farts, about how walking behind people who fart is gross but natural because hey, I've done it before. It happens. I understand the problem of walking and not being able to hold in a fart at the same time. Holding in a fart necessitates squeezing your buns together. If I tried to do that while walking, I'd look like a two-legged pogo stick. However, the success rate of being able to hold in a fart is vastly improved if I'm sitting at the time. But I'm not at that age...or body impairment yet...that would necessitate riding a scooter. Toot, toot.
Hm. Have you ever been behind someone on a scooter, say at the grocery store, and walked into their fart?
I just wish the farters would diverge sharply to the right or the left. Just get out of my nose's way, ye ken? Just...dart.
Smokers, too. Especially smokers, since your choice to smoke is not mine. Actually, if smokers could just walk underground....
Of course, I'd probably pee my panties laughing at the divergers, which would likely prompt some other blogger's peeve about public panty pee-ers.
Shoot! Not even close to 500.
Okay, farting also includes the quiet air passing kind. Those smell as bad as the lound ones do, no? So, say you're sitting somewhere and unable to move. Like in your seat at school, in the passenger seat of a car, or chained to your seat in your cage at work, and suddenly you smell that smell. And you're unable to escape. So you breathe with your hand over your nose, or through the sleeve of an Old Navy sweatshirt.
Should the offender have said, oh, excuse me, or do you think it's proper etiquette to carry on as usual and pretend you didn't fart?
I already know it's a given no sé nada (I know nothing) reins, but why is this? Is the act of farting that much more embarrassing than burping, blowing your nose, or exhaling secondhand smoke into a non-smoker's face?
Sheesh, still not close to 500 words. I'm getting sick of writing about farts.
I'm not sure where or when, but I came across this website: Facts on Farts. At the time, I think I thought that this site would come in handy some day. I had a Whoopie Cushion when I was a kid and I used to laugh myself into a runny nose at the sounds it made, so I imagine I felt all nostalgic when I first saw the site.
One of my funniest memories is of the time when my ex first farted in my presence. He was such a gentleman, and I think he thought farting in the presence of another was like picking his nose and showing his companion what color he discovered. Which has its own scent of discovery.
But it let me know he was human. And because I heard it happen and saw his face flush with embarrassment, I didn't experience the unpleasant scent stangers can leave behind. Because it's all about familarity. An unpleasant scent from the person you know is at least tolerable.