Random Thursday: A Little Random Advice. And Killer Robots.

This is gonna be a short one, as  I am/was at a library staff in-service all day, learning how to better serve the public.

But I figured if I was going to collect new advice on how to advise people, I’d be well advised to use up some of the old advice I had lying around . . . 


Timing is Everything:


A BA in Undecided

Some of you have kids who are still making you tear your hair out over their procrastinating  thinking about choosing a college major.

Here is some true but thoroughly unhelpful advice, set to “Modern-Major General.”

Sing to Modern Major General -- Trust me!

Remember, if  you can’t force them to your kids don’t choose wisely, this could happen to you them:


superheroes batman superman - THE CREDIBLE HULK

Librarian Hulk* says, See The Avengers Movie! 


Robopocalypse?  No problem

Meet my new YouTube time suck, Epipheo, and the author of a book I’ve just put on hold at the library:

I feel so much better now . . .


* Hulk HUSH!!!!!!!


Random Thursday: Anything You Can Randomize . . .

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s acquired here and there in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.


First, Some Fanvid Love:

I love BBC Sherlock*  and I love Dr. Who** and I like fanvid mashups.  And I’m not apologizing for any of it.

The song is one of my kids’ favorites, too.

There’s another version between Doctors Ten*** and Eleven—the last three seconds are priceless.


epic win photos - Library's Cover Art WIN
This is the parking garage of—or possibly just near—the downtown library in Kansas City.

I’ve never been there, but if this is where patrons park, can’t you imagine the possibilities for the actual library?


I Hate Flying

I sent a friend of mine a rant about how much I didn’t want to fly to Bouchercon this October.^  I said I’d rather bike.

Five minutes later, he sent me a link to this, with a note: Why not do both?


Rough Translation:  Bless You and Lay off the Broccoli

My SIL suggested that I write up this truly bizarre  conversation we had with, I think, Sunny, but right now I can’t remember a word of it, or even the subject.

I blame Janie, who, when someone^^ passed audible gas last night, grinned and said, “Gesund-toot.”

I love that kid.


Anything you can do—Wait, Gift Bags?

I knew one of these men could sing.  I knew one of these men could dance.   But both?   I am replete.


*Really, Sarah?  Never noticed.

**Still haven’t noticed.

***I’m sure than not really a crown in Ten’s mouth.  It’s probably alien technology that allows him to . . . sing really long notes?

^And it looks like I’m going to have to, unless I can get two days off on either side for travel and recovery.  Or talk someone into driving up with  me.

^^Let’s just say it was Sunny, as she’s young enough to get away with it and can’t read the blog, yet.

Random Thursday: Inspiration, Perspiration, and Murdering Unicorns

For your browsing pleasure, some of my favorite quotes about writing.

I’m planning on putting the Fitzgerald one on a tee-shirt . . . 


Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
—E. B. White

One of the hardest things about writing lyrics is to make the lyrics sit on the music in such a way that you’re not aware there was a writer there.
—Stephen Sondheim

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
—Anne Lamott

Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.
—Terry Pratchett

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
—Kingsley Amis

“Writers aren’t exactly people, they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald 

I flat-out stole this from Laura Maylene Walter, who posted it (with some quotes that are far cooler than the ones I’m sharing today) yesterday:


Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”;
your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

—Mark Twain

Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
—Ernest Hemingway

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
—Robert Frost

Writing a book for me, I expect, is very similar to the experience of reading the book for my readers.
—R. A. Salvatore


I’ve posted this before, a long time ago, but it’s so beautifully wrong, I had to do it again:


I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
—Steven Wright

Whatever asshole said that thing about work (or genius) being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration should probably be punched in the face for giving advice that rhymes because, pshhh, c’mon. Rhyming? Really? Still, he’s right. You want to write a book, then learn that the prevailing feeling is one of frustration. In writing a novel you will feel wayward and weird just as often as you feel energized and excited. Your book does not thrive on inspiration. Your book is born only of work.

Your book thrives on your ass finishing the job.

Stop chasing that dragon.

You do not work for the Muse. She works for you. Chain her to the pole and make her dance

—Chuck Wendig, Murdering Unicorns: Ending the Myths that Poison the Writer’s Life.


You fail only if you stop writing.
—Ray Bradbury

Random Thursday: Vegetating

Welcome to the vegetarian edition of  Random Thursday.

I’m as surprised as you are.


Wah-OOOOO! I love to Chewwwww!

First off, an earworm from those surrealists over at the Dinosaur Train:

You’re welcome!


Brilliant . . . but just not the same

epic win photos - Vegetable WIN


Tuber Tune!

Cha-Cha found us an acapella spud song—and it’s really good.


Botany vs. Psychology

Me: What veggies should we have for dinner tonight?

Sunny: Cupcakes!

Me: A cupcake isn’t a vegetable.  Sorry.

Sunny: Cookies?

Me: Cookies aren’t vegetables, either.

Janie (looking up from her homework): Chocolate is a vegetable.  What?  It’s made from beans.

Me:   Technically true, but–

Sunny:  It is?  Like jelly beans?

Me: Not really.  They’re sort of seed pods and—

Sunny (bouncing up and down in excitement):  Can we have choclit beans for dinner, Mommy?  Can we, can we?

Me:  Sorry, sweetie.  We don’t have any.

Sunny:  But I want them, Mommy.  Call Daddy to buy some.

Me:  Daddy doesn’t want to drive to South America for beans.

Sunny:  You can ask him.

Me: Thanks, Jane.

Janie:  You’re welcome!

My MIL: We could always have carrots.

Sunny:  I don’t like carrots.

My MIL:  I always put a little sugar in them, when I make them.

Sunny: Oooo! I like carrots!

Janie: Can we put maple syrup in them instead?

My Mil: No.

Me: You know . . . that doesn’t sound half—

My Mil: No.


John Leguizamo  . . .  IS Captain Vegetable

Love how he makes this role his own . . .


Couch Potato!

epic win photos - Bean Bag Chair WIN

Any questions?


Vegetable Orchestra

This one is so absolutely amazing, you’re going to forgive me for the Dinosaur earworm. Guaranteed.


Random Thursday: Folk Music, Feral Potatoes, and a Bra Full of Fortunes

  When I was in elementary school, my best friend was a girl from Taiwan.  She taught me a lot of interesting things, including the idea that if I carried the fortunes from fortune cookies around with me all day, they would come true.

Interpreted through hindsight enhanced by squinting, some of them have—and the advice is often worth contemplating.

So I still keep fortunes, except instead of carrying them in my pockets, where they fuse into small lumps of lint, or my purse, where they settle and are never seen again, I stick ’em in my bra—it’s convenient, I don’t lose ’em that way, Lord knows, there’s room.*

A small pile of my favorites has accumulated on top of my bureau, and my family, often amused by my habits, suggested I share them in a Random Thursday.

If I haven’t shared too much already . . .

But then again, Every Good Friend was Once a Stranger.  

Under the circumstances, this isn’t as reassuring as it might be . . .


The Longest Intro to a Video Ever, or, The Significance of the Potato

About a week ago, my friend Cha Cha asked me to write up a list of prompts for a photography challenge she wanted to do in April.

I was slightly bewildered by this, because she knows me, but I consulted with the kids and we came up with thirty just in time.**   She’s been doing one a day, in no particular order, and yesterday, she IM’d me to tell me she’d done “An eye”and she’d post it on Facebook later.

Being me, I started guessing.

Me: Whose?
Cha Cha: Don’t know his name. I can tell you that he’s tall and scary looking.
Me: A real human being?
Cha Cha: No
Me: An image of something?
Cha Cha: No
Me: A fake human being?
Cha Cha: No
Me: You’ve found Bigfoot.
Cha Cha: Ha! No
Me: Nessie?
Cha Cha: No
Me: A really large potato?
Cha Cha: No…I didn’t even think of that.

Of course not. Because if other people entertained thoughts of menacing tubers, what would I bring to relationships?

She posted the photo that evening. It’s marvelous and unexpected, and clearly not a potato:**

I mentioned this, which prompted another exchange:

Cha Cha:  I did say he was tall and scary looking. Unless you’re eating VASTLY different tubers than I am, that should have ruled out spuds. 🙂

Me:  Potatoes can get mean when they’re riled . . .

She immediately dug up (see what I did there?) a video of the brilliant Cheryl Wheeler singing her “Potato Song” so that I would have something to hum for the rest of my life.

And since I hate to think that any of my other friends might have insufficient hummables, I’m sharing.

I can’t embed the one she showed me, but I found this version, which uses Ms  Wheeler’s voice:

Sing along with me, now—you’re going to anyway . . .


” Pursue Your Wishes Aggressively”

I’m taking this one as a sign that I can stay up all hours swilling diet Pepsi and listening to Snow Patrol and There for Tomorrow if it gets my deadlines done.  

What else could it mean?


How did they know?

Someone finally put my state of mind to music, y’all:


“Luck has chosen you today”

This one is nicely non-specific.  What kind of luck?  

Let’s review the day in question:

I didn’t have time for breakfast that morning and forgot to pack a lunch.

But I found a fortune cookie in my bag.

Fortune cookies don’t last long, calorically.

But, when I was trying to drive to lunch before my blood sugar tanked, did notice that the driver next to me didn’t give a damn that she was in a turn only lane before she merged her car into mine.  

I wouldnt’ have been driving if I hadn’t skipped breakfast and forgotten about lunch.

But I did get to blog about it . . . 


Just close your eyes.

I stole this from Sarah P, and I’m not sure if the video is this blank on her side of the ocean.  But  the song doesn’t need visuals—it works better if you make your own:


“Ask not what your fortune cookie can do for you,
but what you can do for your fortune cookie.”

I blogged about you . . . isn’t that enough?


*I kept a purple permanent marker in there all day once—I’d been picking up the kids’ room that morning, found it where it shouldn’t have been,  and didn’t want to lose track of it.  Then I forgot until my husband needed to label something and I said, “Oh, wait, use this!” fished around, and handed it over.  I cherish the look on his face to this day.

**My personal favorite:  “Fun with perspective and a yo-yo.”

***It also doesn’t look as good as hers does—it’s a bit washed out here.