So, It Has Come to This

I’m finally back to work after leaving in such a rush last Wednesday, and while I feel much better and have resumed walking in the general direction I’m intending to go with no more than my usual lack of coordination,* I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, what with leading the short story group this morning, facing the ungodly amount of stuff that my beloved coworkers piled on my desk so I’d feel at home when I came back (thanks, guys), not to mention an e-mail informing me that my performance eval has been scheduled this week, a righteous case of the hiccups during my desk shift, and the general Mondayness of it all.

So I’m begging off the actual content today and instead am directing your attention to today’s excellent Muderati post about selling versus selling out . . . maybe.

And while you’re at it, try Mike Allegra’s blog,** where I spent today’s word budget in a possibly-relevant comment*** on his latest post, which poses a couple of interesting questions about feedback, honesty, and advice.

I also recommend Averil’s post about the amount of social responsibility writers have, if any,  MSB’s thoughts on social justice, Independent Clause’s discussion on the Alisa Valdes scandal, andLyra’s post about the value of art.

Friends:  writing the deep, thought-provoking posts so you can flake.

Catch y’all tomorrow.


*And have been cleared to drive, yes.  I’m not quite that stubborn, yet—I’m saving it up for when I’m ninety and my eyesight goes.

**And not Steve’s blog, because Mike is a writer with an amazing blog and rather elegant feet with a single broken toe and Steve is an amazing librarian whose feet I have never seen because he doesn’t have a blog and I don’t particularly want to anyway, and also because I’ve promised each of them I’ll stop mixing up their names from now on, even if they look remarkably alike apart from the aforementioned feet about which I obviously can’t make accurate comparisons, no matter how often Steve offers.

***Which may very well be in tomorrow’s post, so I’d appreciate it if you could scroll past it with your eyes closed.  Thanks.


The Mystery of the Cool Carcharhinus

Today’s post  over at Murderati post was about unexpected questions.  Zoë Sharp asked several Murderati writers three questions and then asked the readers the same ones.

One of these was, “What’s in your refrigerator?”

I went to check, hoping for something more interesting than yogurt.  And I found it:

This is Janie’s plastic shark.

I duly reported this and a little later was asked why it was there.  I honestly didn’t know.  Neither did my husband or my MIL.

This little guy has his own house, made out of a Starbuck’s cake-ball box,* though he can usually be found in or near the bathroom sink or in the bath.  And while I’m pretty sure sharks don’t have opposable flippers, I’m certain a plastic shark of his size doesn’t have the mass to open the fridge door, supposing he could make the journey across the house by himself.

So I waited until Janie came home and asked.

“What?”  she said.  “Oh.  He’s a salmon shark.  Salmon sharks like the cold.”

Of course he does.  “So you put him on top of the spaghetti?”

‘I didn’t want him to fall in Sunny’s milk.”

Can’t argue with that.  “Hey—didn’t you tell me he was a coral reef shark in the bath last night?” **

“Oh . . . He was just visiting the reef to warm up.”

Mystery solved.


*Which are the coolest little boxes I’ve ever seen.  Go order a cake ball—Sunny likes the Rocky Road and Janie can personally recommend all of them except the Espresso ones, because I might be an indulgent mother but I’m not actually insane—and see for yourself.

**The bubbles were the coral, though there was some disappointment that it wouldn’t support the shark.

Random Thursday: three tees, teed off, and toothsome news

Earlier this week, Lyra (of Lyrical Meanderings, in case there’s anyone here who doesn’t already follow her there) posted a great essay that had me thinking about tee shirts, once I was done thinking about how badass unicorns really were. 

 That’s not all I took from the essay, in case you were wondering, but once I had absorbed Lyra’s always thoughtful insights, commented, and followed the link to the badass unicorn tee, my instincts led me further down the retail path, as they are wont to do.

 I also realized that most of my tee shirts, which live lives of their own in the depths of my top bureau drawer like blind squat lobsters in the Mariana Trench,* predate my marriage.  This was a bit of a shock.  In high school and college, tee shirts happen—they’re the natural by-product of academia, or even walking across campus.  Hell, marching band along nets you three or four per semester, without including the ones that violate Bill Watterson’s copyrights.

 But after graduation, you apparently have to make an effort, especially if you want tees that fit, both physically and personal-statement-wise.**

 So I did, over at TopatoCo:




There were others, so, so many others, but with three you get free shipping, so I didn’t push it.


 Janie would like me to post that after a year-long dry spell, she has two loose teeth.

 “Anything else?”

“Nope.  That’s it.”


Whiny Greedy Consumer Rant o’ the Week

I ordered a new netbook from Newegg this last weekend in a fit of pique because Best Buy ticked me off —or rather, their idea of customer service did. 

Huge sales on, tons of people, and all the clerks were clumped together in an aisle talking about how busy they were,  which was odd because they were completely ignoring the customers.   So, I walked up and said, “Could someone help me find the netbooks, please?”

It was like I’d flipped a switch.  Everyone glanced at me and faded away in different directions, but no one answered my question. 

So I left.  And I’m not going back.  And I mean it  this time.

Newegg offered me three-day delivery and six months of deferred payments, which is good, ‘cause I’m saving most of my ready resources for next week—parking in St. Louis is extortion and wireless service in the hotel is worse.**

But this netbook is a necessary expense because I wanted something I can carry around with me so I don’t have to worry about theft and I don’t want to schlep my laptop case everywhere and yes I could simply use paper and a pen but this is the 21st Century, darn it, and I wanted one.

So I’ve spent the past few days tracking my order and watching it circle New Jersey before heading west.  It arrived in town around 5:45 am this morning, and at 4:15pm this afternoon, the status finally said, “Delivered to a man.” 

I called my husband to make sure he was the man in question before doing the New Stuff Happy Dance. 

He was, and all is good.


And finally, my First Reader and dear friend is marrying her best friend and the love of her life this weekend. 

She shared one of the songs that they’ll be playing—knowing Lisa, the rest of the music will be just as incredible:

Please drop in at her place and wish her a Happy Wedding Week! 



*Or like creased sardines, except I don’t think sardines, ironed or otherwise, live in the Mariana Trench.  Any ichthyologists in the house?

**I’m no longer a medium nor someone who picks up the beat and flutes it all about.  I’m not heartbroken about either.

**If any Bouchercon attendees happen to land on this post,  I will gladly split or even divide the daily wireless charge, if possible.  E-mail me.

Random Thursday: Scattershorts

Janie recorded the Hannah Montana Movie a week or two ago and has been replaying the “Hoedown Throwdown” segment until I found myself chanting the lyrics, or a version of the lyrics, this morning at work.  All morning.

I’m still doing it—not even R.E.M.’s  “Stand”—the universal earworm eradicator—is shifting this one:

Pop it, lock it, polka dot it
Countrify it, then hip hop it
Put your hawk in the sky, move side to side
Jump to the left, stick it, slide.

I know it’s a wholesome, fun song with no profanity or suggestive imagery, but won’t someone please think of the parents?


My copies of R.E.D. and the first season of the BBC’s Sherlock arrived yesterday, but I remained strong and stuck to my writing schedule instead of opening them—which, considering standard DVD packaging, would have taken most of my evening, anyway.

I did position the latter so that I could gaze at Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman every so often, as a reward.*  Neither are actually my usual physical type—as my husband pointed out—but this does not appear to pose a problem.


Yet another newly-discovered time suck!**

Daily Routines explores  the ways well-known writers, architects, painters, politicians, and other individuals of note get, or got, through the day.

These examples can be either comforting or a little frightening, depending on the quirks you share and with whom you share them.

Just remember:  famous people are eccentric.  The rest of us are still plain weird.


Genevieve Valentine’s take on Oscar Red Carpet fashions was marvelous, as always.

Can’t say I agree with her assessment of Cate Blanchett, who appeared to be wearing an embroidered peekaboo tabard, but I always enjoy Ms. Valentine’s posts. And her short stories, too!


Gary Corby has a fascinating post about ancient Greek tax laws over on his blog.

No, seriously.

We have to try this system over here in the States—Televised.

Heck, if the IRS  made it pay-per-view, we could settle the National Debt.


*My adoration of John Malkovich is slightly more cerebral, though not by much.

**I’m going to have to start a new link list for these.