Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dear Julia Roberts

You're a good actress. Admittedly you do one role. Cute. Akward. Giggly. America's Sweetheart--okay, in that one movie you were actually her sister, but there is no way in hell anyone thought they were talking about Catherine Zeta-Jones when they started pitching that movie, you know? But to get back to my're a good actress. Good. And you have to know how to pick scripts that display your abilities to their fullest. Like, you know, America's Sweethearts. (I refuse to see Eat, Pray, Love. I know it's probably a good movie, but watching a rich white woman act in a movie about a rich white woman who talked her publisher into paying for her world tour isn't my idea of a good hour spent, ya know?)

So I have one question: HAVE YOU GONE COMPLETELY MENTAL???

Jesus. I have to go take a shower now. Back in five.

Okay, let's start with the endurable stuff: It's costume porn, the sets are awesome, and the CGI castle doesn't make me want to rupture something from the wincing. Which I did thirty seconds in, when I heard someone say the words blah blah blah in a fantasy movie. One that isn't Shrek related. Although this is less kissing cousins to Shrek and more that one guy who lives up in the mountains with his mother and his sister (They're the same bloody person)


(How about the shop, then?) /hot fuzz quote

Anyway, I get that Shrek and it's offshoots are popular, having modern in-jokes in fantasy material is equally popular, but you know what? There's a demographic you're supposed to be courting, given that this is competing with another, identical movie. And I hate Kirsten Stewart. I hate sitting through Twilight Movies (GODDAMN YOU LIONSGATE FOR PUTTING HUNGER GAMES TRAILER IN FRONT OF BREAKING DAWN you will suffer for this I promise you) (Yes I know I can watch it on Youtube)(I already have) (I'm still going to see it on the big screen) (I am that obsessed) and watching KStew stumble through her horrible dialogue. Snow White and the Huntsman is now officially on my Please God Don't Let it Suck prayer list. Because it looked that awesome. (Probably because she didn't talk)

I get that studio executives somewhere heard that a Snow White movie was being made, and they decided the best thing they could do is make a competing Snow White movie so that people intending to see KStew would go see this one (let's be honest here. I can smell the slapped together desperation through my laptop) and get a big name actress to give it some form of legitimacy. But lemme let you in on a little secret: The villian? Should not get top billing in the picture. Because I do not care yet. Well, unless your goal was to make me want the  villain dead, because if that's the case they've done a pretty good job. This means that 1. there was nobody famous in the right age range for Snow White, who was desperate enough to take the role. 2. they had to make do with what they could get.

But there's a huge difference between "make do with what we can get" and "HEY! JULIA ROBERTS!"

I will probably wind up seeing SWatH because it looks awesome. This? Does not look awesome. This is a version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that contains a fucking midget joke. It contains Tony Montana references (AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME) and everything else sucking combined could not begin to compare with how much you suck in this trailer, Julia.

I haven't seen the movie yet. I don't intend to go see the movie yet, because I'm REALLY tired of Hollywood dressing up fresh steaming turds with the Brother's Grimm and us fantasy fans having to make do.

Why are are you in this, Julia? Seriously. I was warned. Don't watch this. It's horrible. I watched it. And I'm going, hey, it's not so bad. Cliched, a little overly polished--and then you open your mouth and I go "huh?" My jaw dropped. The evil nega-fan within me stared in horror and then began rocking in the corner. I had to check my laptop to make sure it hadn't begun to bleed out the USB ports.

Were you blackmailed? Please tell me you were blackmailed. And then tell the world what it was, because whatever it was it can't possibly be as bad as having to see you in this movie. I know you have kids now (I think) and that you'd like to make movies your kids can watch. Please see the above part where I mentioned this has a midget joke in it. Probably more than one. (And let's not even mention the Snow white, S'no way joke. Seriously. If we never mention this again I can probably block it out forever). I know that using little people as the butt of the joke is kind of the latest modern fad, but blackface was pretty popular for a while there, too.

And aging beauty jokes? Seriously? Julia, you might have a couple lines that you would call wrinkles, but not only will no one else on the planet ever notice them, a little botox will buff that right out (oh god, there's going to be a botox joke in this, isn't there? I know it. I just fucking know it. I'm going to come back in six months and write in, yep, there was a botox joke). And Julia, I hate to break it to you, but there is no way in FUCK you'd ever need a corset. E.V.E.R. Let alone need to have it be wrenched together.

I am hoping desperately this is a terrible hoax, and that you were blackmailed into participation in this terrible hoax, and that I never have to see that thing again.

I'm going to go wash my blog out with holy water now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

F**king bugs.

So one thing we always had as kids were praying mantis. es. (Plural form of mantis?) I mean...there is not a cooler bug in the universe. They look like cats designed by aliens, act like cats (ever watched one clean itself?) and eat other bugs that we human things generally don't like. And the other day we found one. "We" being my brother's awesome if slightly ADD girlfriend. And then I found another one. We've never had more than one mantis at a time, so I figured hey, why not, you know? And as having two we-eat-everything-we-see-moving kind of creatures in the same container usually results in one eating the other, we separated them. Number one is as every mantis ought to be. See bug. Eat bug. But the other one... He just kind of ... sat there.

See, the fun of owning a mantis is care and feeding. Emphasis on "feeding". Yes. I am a mean and cold-hearted bitch. But it is cool. And when the mantis won't get kind of bored. And when you have two Why have autocorrect if it won't spit out the damn word?) And you're bored, you decide to put them together to see what they'll do.

My brother's slightly ADD girlfriend? Put them together about ten minutes ago. As for what they'd do with each other...well...


Friday, October 21, 2011

Disturbing blog stuff

So we get to check search strings when we look at our stats (yes. I check almost every day, unless I haven't posted in a while. Yes. I'm that much of an attention whore) and I've got a new record for "most disturbing search string"

Megamind porn movie.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Which A Dedicated Pro-Lifer Jumps Ship.

So today I found out that Mississippi state House, on Nov. 8th, is voting on a bill that would grant “personhood” to human embryos. And I realized that despite years and years of education in Why Abortion is Bad and When Life Starts and a gazillion other things my good Christian parents have educated me about, despite being a dedicated Christian (with kinks) and a Republican (technically) I really don't like this. Having this pass and set precedent for other states would be a really bad thing for me. You know, because I'm one of those “woman” things with ovaries and a uterus.

And no. I’m not saying this because limitations on birth control, which is what this group is advocating, would limit my happy fun sexy times. I don’t have happy fun sexy times. I have not had sex. Ever. And I don’t plan on having sex in the immediate future, partially because me having a baby right now would be a really bad thing. Even if I were on birth control I probably wouldn’t be having sex, because I have some really good evidence that the pill doesn’t always work.


Yep. I’m a pill baby, folks. Not only that, but Mom was on the pill because her doctor told her it’d be a really BAD idea for her to ever get pregnant again. She’d lost two babies before she had me, and when she did get pregnant with me, the first time she went in for a checkup the doctor could feel my head.

And you know, maybe it’s me shoving my head up my own ass here, but that tells me that God really wanted me here. Enough to bypass every safety mechanism my parents put in place because Mom having babies was Not A Good Thing according to everyone. And this leads me to why this bill pisses me off.

Point the First: I am poor. Anyone I marry is likely to be poor. Therefore, if within the next ten years or so I decide to get married, it probably will not be “right” for me to have a baby. Note that I am considering this in the relm of “marry” because, religious leanings aside, given how often birth control has failed in my family if you want to get in my pants you’d better fucking be ready to marry me before you cross the finish line, so to speak,  because I cannot afford to have a baby if and when I get married right now, let alone if I’m on my own. In fact, every other consideration off the table, under every conceivable set of probable circumstances shows me that I probably will not ever be able to afford a baby and provide the level of care and life the child would need.

With "good of the child" as my primary concern, it's a bad idea for me to have kids. So who the hell are you to take this decision away from me? To tell me that if I want to have a relationship with someone I’d better have a baby plan in place first? I’m already paranoid about having a kid, in or out of wedlock, before I’m ready to raise and care for that kid. And I want to have a kid! I just know me having babies right now is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea. This is a decision I’ve made carefully and soberly, and to have somebody tell me “tough luck” and take the few, unreliable tools I DO have for managing my future away from me is not fair. If I can’t afford a fucking CAR, sir, I can’t afford a baby. And you’re telling me that I also can’t afford to have a relationship, MARRIED OR NOT, because I can’t even have birth control?

And hey? Pro-life people? Did you see that place above where I said “Even if I’m on the pill, I probably wouldn’t have sex”? Does it not occur to you that some people use hormonal birth control for something OTHER than not making babies? That maybe us women people need to be able to function and not be incapacitated with cramps? Or deal with the anemia that comes with excessively heavy periods? That being able to predict when the monthly gift deposits itself on our door might be a good thing? Oh, and you know the mood swings that come with? Do you want to combine brittle emotional states with chronic depression? You want to know what a fucking funhouse it is to have S/I issues and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that once a month I get to hold on to my sanity by the skin of my teeth? Because I sure as fuck didn't, and I got to anyway.

You want to control crime? Make sure you don’t have poor families with sixteen mouths to feed. Make sure women don’t have to fucking sterilize themselves to ensure that “woopsie daisy, there’s a baby” doesn’t get in the way of feeding their other children. Make sure that the family a person has is the family they can afford to feed. Want to prevent abortions? See above.

And that brings me to Point number two. This is aimed at the religious people. The people who want to do God’s will in life, who think that preventing abortions is it.

Who the BLAZING BLUE FUCK do you think you are? How DARE you shove your head so far up your own ass that you think anyone can abort something God wants to have happen? Do you see that part above me? The part where I said I’m a pill baby? Do you think that one single person God wants in this world hasn’t been born? Do you think we really have that much power? Really? You really want to think that human beings have more power than God?

Do you think God is so weak that a surgeon with a scalpel and a vacuum can undo something he wants done? Is your God so powerless that he can’t secure the birth of every child he desires?

Judge not, lest you be judged, sir. And you’re judging. You’ve decided that every teenager who gets pregnant is a careless sex fiend. You’ve decided that every career woman who decides to go on the pill is a feminazi ice bitch. Every poor person who visits planned parenthood is someone getting an abortion, and every woman who gets an abortion is a whore.

In your world, there are no rape victims.

In your world, biology is perfect.

In your world, everyone can scrape together the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to bring a single healthy baby into the world.

You don’t see the pain.

You don’t see the desperation.

You have the compassion of a jar of mayonnaise.

You know that part in the bible? Splinter in your friend’s eye? BIG FUCKING LOG in yours? Abortion is a splinter. Abortion is a matter between the individual WOMAN faced with that choice and God. So is birth control. So is everything else in a WOMAN’S life. May I emphasize that again? If I decide that I am neither financially nor emotionally nor physically stable enough to have a baby it should be my fucking choice. You cannot tell me what I am capable of. It is my body, and I’d rather become a nun than bring a child into the world when I cannot provide a stable, healthy home for it. Children, marriage and sex are decisions that are between ME and GOD, and not some rich politician who probably spends twice my monthly rent on BOOZE, or gas, or electricity for his air conditioning, who doesn’t see things from my perspective, who has never seen things from my perspective, who, if he did see me, would see me as a waitress and would ogle my boobs and cut my tip in half if I protested.

In short, sir:

And yes, that’s me judging too. And I’ll apologize to both you and God for it when I’m less pissed off.

C.S. Lewis, the great theologian and fantasy writer, said two things in passing that apply here. The first was in his biography, where he discusses the massive amount of pediastry that happened in his prep school (aka boys screwing other boys). He said that he never felt it his place to judge because he never experienced that particular temptation. Then, in The Horse and his Boy, there is a place where Aslan tells a character why it was necessary for him to scar the character across the back: the girl needed to know what she had carelessly done to her faithful servant. When the girl, now humble, asks what happened to the servant, Aslan replies that that is not the girl’s story. We each may only know our own stories.

You might believe that birth, not abortion is the morally right choice. This is great. I believe that too. But, and this is the key, you will never have to make that choice. I will. You will never have to decide between buying food and buying diapers. Between having a romantic life and having stability. And constricting my freedom just so that you  can sleep at night is not and cannot be God’s will. And to think that you have any control over God’s will, in a positive or negative sense?

Look up megalomania in the dictionary. I think you’ll see your picture right next to it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Movie Bitch: Armageddon

So my brother put Armegeddon in the other day, and because I like to pretend I have good taste in movies it's been a really long time since I've watched it.

Having watched it, I've made the three following, seemingly contradictory realizations.

1. Micheal Bay is a very talented story teller. And I'm not being sarcastic. He manages to hit every note just right, to convey all the information you need to become attached to characters, involved in a story, and afraid for the life and livelihood of every person involved. But he's hampered by a severe handicap.

2. Micheal Bay is a total moron.

and finally,

3. Armageddon is a very polished, well put together, extraordinarily well structured turd. See ya after the break.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Block Party!

Okay, so yesterday I mentioned that I finished my shawl, and that I needed to block it. And I have, it's done, and all I can say is OMG pins. God save us all from PINS.

And I am now going to give you the full story of CW's First Blocking Adventure.

The first thing you do when you block is decide that this is easy; you've done the hard part. You've knitted the garment. This, in book language, is like writing the first draft (aka "lace chart") editing it (knitting it) and then shipping it off to an agent according to all the submission guidelines. You think that the hard part is done. "All" that is left is the blocking.

I mean, Grandma used to do this. How hard can it be?

Serious lace knitters may want to break out the popcorn.

So first you gather your equiptment, which according to the internet are: Bedsheet, pins, sheet of plastic, pins, spray bottle, pins, wool wash or baby shampoo, pins, a place to do it, and while you're at it you might want to pick up another box of pins. You are (thank god) smart enough to know better than to do this in your little tiny trailer house because your bed is too small, you'll have to do this blocking thing on the  floor and whatever room you choose to do it in will be out of commission for the rest of the day. So when you go to Wal-mart to get items, you first stop at Maternal Unit's place of work and request the use of her king-sized bed for the day, because the king-sized bed should be more than enough room to block a shawl that is about four-and-a-half feet wide, unblocked.

If anyone reading this has ever blocked a piece of lace before, they are laughing at me.

Maternal unit gives Okay, so you go to walmart and buy one white cotton blanket, forgoing the pretty blue one only because you remember the words "color fast" in the internet instructions, one clear plastic shower curtain, one spritz bottle, one box of T-pins (40 count) and, instead of a second box of T-pins, about two hundred quilting pins. There is, of course, no way in hell you would EVER need that many pins, but hey, you might need to do this again and some of the pins might rust.

Pictured: shampoo, spritz bottle, small box of pins, large box of pins.
Not pictured: Sanity.

Like I said. Experianced lace knitters. Now laughing their ass off.

So you go home, strip bed of sheets, put down plastic sheet, put down cotton blanket, pin in place, and put lacy thing in sink for first washing.

And the learning begins.

Internet says to treat lace being washed very carefully. About five seconds after turning on the faucet I understood that "very carefully" means "treat as if any form of agitation will upset the capsule of radioactive nitro glycerine wrapped in the middle of the shawl". You might think this is an exaggeration. It is not. First, warm, wet wool + agitation=felt. Felt is not something you want to happen to your six-month project because this cannot be undone. Second, this six-month project is made out of relatively unstable handspun yarn that your mother usually refers to as "hair". And it has just absorbed about a gallon and a half of water that you cannot get back out. Because wringing? Agitation. Crumpling into ball and squeezing? Agitation. And the fiber? Gets very fragile when wet. So you now have a very fine lacy thing that is much more fragile now then when you put it in the sink, and is way, way, way heavier. 

So washing means fill sink with cold water. Submerge shawl. Spread baby shampoo over shawl and squeeze very, very gently (We're talking tomato-test squeeze) to get shampoo through everything. Drain sink, supporting shawl the entire time because you don't want fragile string getting sucked down the drain. Fill sink back up. Slosh shawl around carefully to get shampoo out. Drain sink. Realize there is still shampoo in shawl. Fill sink. Slosh. Drain. Realize there is still shampoo.  Repeat process until water is clean of suds, which is about three more fill-slosh-drain repeats than you want to preform.

Now you have to get heavy, wet, fragile shawl out of sink and to bed without breaking anything. You try pressing shawl against side of sink. You get about a cup full of water out. There is still a gallon or so in the shawl. Next best thing: lay towel out on floor, spread shawl on towel, roll it up and press on it. No wringing. We still cannot wring. Bodacious amounts of water will bleed through towel. Bring the whole thing, towel, shawl and all, to bed all rolled up like a wooly burrito. Lay on bed, unroll. breath sigh of releif because, hey, hard part's over, right?

Wet shawl about to be squished dry

Towel Burrito

Ha ha.

This shawl is a circle. And we want it to stay a circle, which means we have to pin it into a relatively round shape. Now, do any of you remember how hard it is to draw a perfectly round circle? Imagine having to draw that circle using six bazillion tiny dots. These dots being pins.

Logically, you'd think that the shawl, being a circle, would work kind of like a compass and you can use its natural diameter to trace the outline. This would be true, if washing it had not turned the shawl into elastic. You set the shawl on the bed, and because the first step is to pin the compass points, you grab one point of your pretty, pointy edging and pin it to the edge of the bed. You go to the other side, and start pulling. And keep pulling. And. Keep. Pulling. Until you find yourself holding about six inches of shawl that did not exist before you got it wet. Six inches that are much bigger than the king sized bed. Oh, well. Four more pins, and now you have the compass points pinned down, more or less where they ought to be.

Only you don't know about the "more or less" part. Yet.

Then you start pinning points in the middle. And then points in the middle of that. And then points in the middle of that, until you have touched the bottom of your forty-count T-pin pack and you are not nearly done pinning the points down. You realize that the pins, pins, pins internet list wasn't exaggerating at all, and your decision to buy a 200 pack instead of another 40 pack has probably just saved your bacon, if not your fingers.

 Not. exaggerating. At all.

And then you realize you've spent so much time pinning and are not even halfway done yet, the shawl is starting to dry out. So you spritz, and you keep pinning. You have one quarter all pinned up and you realize that the circle is looking more like well if you squint it kinda looks round. And that the line you're squinting at is made of about, oh, sixty pins (<---lowball estimate. Really low) that you now have to readjust. Spritz away, you've got another hundred and eighty pins to go.


So to fast-forward through pins, pins, pins, bleeding, pins pins pins, you've decided that since you don't have to squint quite so hard to see the circle, you're done. You go sit in the living room because it will only take about an hour for the nice, light lacy thing to dry.

I mean, it's not like we've underestimated anything else, right?

Three hours later you realize that the "be careful about it drying out" and the guesstimates on drying times were made by people who live up north in the middle of the country. Not in Coastal South Texas, where the air has the same humidity and viscosity as a deep water sponge in an oceanic trench, and that all the panicked spritzing you did has probably extended drying time by a couple more hours. Which you will have to sit patiently through, because you promised you'd have it all cleaned up by the time your stepfather got home, and barring that, you'll need to stop him from throwing clothing on top of the pretty light lacy thing taking up most of his bed. And dear god in heaven, DON'T TOUCH THE PINS.

And then you go back and carefully, cautiously pull the first couple of pins out of the bed. Nothing explodes or unravels, you find no dropped stitches. You continue, growing more and more excited. When it's done you take it outside and take pictures of it, because you know what? All the work, all the sore hands and bleeding bits and the pins pins pins?


I rock. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Absolutely no one else will be impressed, but I've FINALLY completed my shawl.

This is a horrible picture, but I don't have a better option short of putting it down, and I don't want to put it down yet. It's off the needles. I made this. The only part of this I did not make is the actual wool fiber. I spun the yarn. I spun the yards and yards and yards of yarn this is made of. And then knitted it. And then made up the outer border when I decided the pattern was too small. And it's off the needles. It is no longer attached to the tiny pieces of plastic and bamboo (wooden circular needles FTW) that have sustained it through the last year or so. Off the needles. I need to mention this again. This moment is kind of how I imagine it would feel to have somebody tell you that they absolutely want to publish your book, because the damn thing is done. Well, done-ish. All the little sticky yarn bits are woven in and clipped off, and all that is left is blocking.

Ah. Blocking.

Have I mentioned lately that my house/trailer, while new and wonderful and not in the middle of a horribly big city, is really, really small?

Okay, lemme back up a bit. You know how when you wash a sweater, you need to lay it out on a towel so that when it dries, it still looks like a sweater? This is called "blocking". You set the shape and sometimes, size of a knitted piece of fabric by washing it carefully (DO. NOT. SCRUB. KNITTED. FIBER.) (EVER) (you get felt. Especially if it's a natural hair fiber like wool.) and then laying it out to dry. With a sweater the laying-out-to-dry part is not particularly difficult because the sweater washed is roughly the size you want the sweater to be dry.

Knitted lace has an added problem: it doesn't look like lace. Or rather, it looks like lace that has spent six months crumpled on the bottom of your closet. So when you block lace, you also have to stretch it. Also, you can make a large piece of lace even larger. You have to soak it in water, spread it out on a piece of absorbant pinable fabric that will stay in place, pin the knitting into place, and leave it alone to dry for several hours.

I have never blocked a piece of lace. My first shawl developed a hole in it before I had the room and bravery to risk getting it wet. This will be my first try. And according to research, my options for a large shawl are bed, floor, and floor with carpeting.

I have a small bed. And a cat who really likes the floor. Any attempts at blocking will take the room the blocking happens in out of comission until blocking is over. And I have NO IDEA Where this will happen.

But it will happen tomorrow! And I will report on it here! Because I have nowhere better to go.

(Yes. I totally finished it fifteen minutes ago. And I am tired. And my fingers hUUUUUUUUUrt. And I should be in bed. And I don't care.)

(also-also finished first draft of second novel, but that isn't all that important. nobody is ever going to read that.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Confession Time!

I am a negative fan, and I enjoy every minute of it.

Yes. I read Twilight, the Left Behind series and Laurel K. Hamilton’s novels (Everything after Obsidian Butterfly, that is .Everything before rocked socks in a positive way) because they suck. I’ve watched Skyline multiple times, and you all know how I feel about that.

In fact, I someday hope I can have my own negative fan group so that we can discuss Why Authors Write Bad Things. Because I don’t understand the phenomenon—you’d think you’d, like, be able to tell—and the only way to educate myself on the subject is to, you know, actually do it.

However, something that positive fans say to we negative Nellys (“If you don’t like it, don’t read it!”) ignores a big part of why bad whatever fans are fans of their bad whatevers. It’s something we don’t want to admit, but it’s true none-the-less.

We do like it.

We spend fifteen dollars on an Amazon rental and a rifftrax so we can watch Clash of the Titans. We own every single episode of MST3K and we watch them with popcorn. We pay money to see the Room and watch Tommy Wiseau’s ass wander across his bedroom. We do it in groups and giggle to each other. We read Twilight, watch the movies, and then go congregate at Reasoning with Vampires or Mark Reads Twilight so that we can get greater enjoyment out of the experience. I love the Left Behind series because it is terrible,  because it is a horrifically wonderful mélange of my faith and total WTF-ness, and because how do you fuck up the Second Coming? And then write a goddamned sequel?!?

Maybe if I ever do get published and I do get my own group of bashers, it’ll change. I’ll want to crawl into my own little hole and whimper to myself about how horrible these people are. I will hate the people who get such enjoyment out of hating my work. But I can’t imagine forgetting my own enjoyment of the crack so thoroughly.

It’s not personal. If anything, it’s the opposite of hating the author/ writer/director. Why should we hate you? You provided the crack! Part of me wants to snuggle S. Meyer for kindly providing the world with Breaking Dawn, Nina Bangs for giving me Eternal Prey, and the special effects team that gave us Skyline, the movie so bad it attempts seppuku halfway through its runtime.  Hamilton has provided weeks of quality entertainment in her first ten books; she has provided years of crack with everything else she’s written, and you know what? It’s still good storytelling. It’s just…kinda lost in there. You know. Under the porn. (It’s porn. If your main character has a male harem whose only purpose is to get her preggers, we are not pretending it isn’t porn anymore)

Yes, there are people who genuinely hate the authors…but you know what? They don’t read them anymore. I refer to my not-so –infrequent trips back to LKH’s section of the bookstore as “falling off the wagon” for a reason. I know those books are not good for me. I know I will hate myself in the morning. I know the plot will not be what I want, that the tantalizing hints of good storytelling will never pay off…but you know what? This is a series where sex with the MC is that series’ sonic screwdriver. It is the kind of comedy gold you cannot make up unless you are totally and absolutely serious about it, and that makes it fucking priceless.

When I have issues with a crack writer, it’s not about their writing. It’s about their behavior IRL, and there are a lot of fantastic authors that I have equally strong issues with because as soon as you get them away from the typewriter they kind of turn into an ass. If a writer can produce something uniformly awful and then be a good sport about it? I will not only buy the book, I will buy you dinner.

Everybody wants to be taken seriously. To be the great (insert whatever here). Everybody wants to get nominated for an academy award with their first movie (DISTRIC 9 SHOULD HAVE WON. IT SHOULD HAVE WON ALL THE THINGS. That’s all I’ll say on the subject.) or get a Pulitzer, or at least a Hugo, for their first work. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes the public looks at your baby and goes…uh, really? You’re serious about this? And they either like it, hate it, or break out the popcorn and call the guys from MST3K, because this is gonna be a party, man.

And you know, if I had a choice—and you really never do—I’d rather have people love my books because they suck than ignore them because they’re…meh, almost good enough. I’d love to sit on the couch with hypothetical fans and discuss just how crazy that was and why I should never. Do. That. Again. (Except for the right group I totally should. Crack is almost as hard to find as good books)  I’d rather be the Rocky Horror Picture Show or the next Amanda McKittrick Ros than I would be just good enough.  It may not look like it from the outside, but people like me love Eye of Argon, and the Gor novels (shudder. The Gor novels) and The Aztec Mummy Vs. The Robot, and those old 1950s rocket man shorts. Our lives would be incomplete if we could not elect to tear one off with Asylum pictures like Megashark Vs. Giant Octopus.

We are the love-to-haters, the negative fans, and you will get your books back when you peel them out of our cold, dead fingers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tipping on the credit change

Okay, so I haven’t posted in a while. This is due to my having nothing of either a positive or negative nature to report—seriously, what do you talk about when every day is the same, and same=tons of work for pretty decent money?—and having an internet connection that sucks so bad logging into Blogger takes about fifteen minutes and a TON of refreshes, let alone actually getting to the posting part of the dashboard. I’m switching carriers next week, I swear to GOD.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. What do I want to talk about?

Tips. And how they can sometimes annoy me.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind getting not-tipped. It’s a scum-sucking, selfish thing to do, not to tip your waitress, let alone your barista (coffee gals don’t get tipped as much as waitresses. So when I am in coffee-mode I am not as "FUCK YOU KILL IT WITH FIRE" about tables that don't tip as I am when I'm a waitress. Just an FYI) but I don’t mind. I don’t even mind small tips. A tip is a tip.

What do I mind? Well, I’m gonna assume that all of you have, at one point or another, paid for food with a credit card. And you’ve seen a nice little place on the white slip for you to write your tip in, so that the waitress can take it in the back and adjust it and you don’t have to screw around with cash. Some people leave cash and ignore it. Some people put a nice tip in there, some people put a small tip in there, some people just write the original total into the slot, which is really really stupid because I COULD interpret that as leaving a 100% tip—I’m smarter than that, but I could if I wanted to—and all of the above do not bother me.

Not even when I can’t read the tip because your handwriting sucks.

What bothers me are the people who tip on the credit change.

This is when you get your credit receipt, and instead of writing a nice, round number, like $1.00, or the obvious 15%, you write a tip that, combined with your total, adds up to a round number. You stick me with your credit card’s spare change.

Example: on a 29.17 bill, they tip 5.83. The new total is 34.00 even and I have to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do with eighty three cents in change. I do not mind if you have paid in cash and decide to leave your change in the tip jar, because I don’t like carrying change around either. But credit card bills are imaginary money. You are not getting any spare change out of my register. There is no reason to give me change. You have a little slip of white paper on which you are to either write a tip, or not write a tip. Today I sold a guy a cup of coffee. Cost 3.25 (hey, the boss does the pricing) and he decided to pay with a credit card. I did not expect a tip, because it’s a three dollar cup of coffee and he already tipped me on the other six cups of coffee he bought for his party. He writes .75 in the slot. I didn’t even bother processing it because I didn’t want his fucking imaginary spare change.

“But CW!” you say. “Surely, he was just being considerate. He tipped you!  He was trying to give you money! What’s wrong with being given money?”

True, but remember what I said: This is not real spare change. This is not that handful of pennies and dimes that you don’t want to stick in your pocket. This is any amount of money he wants to write in the total, from 0 to $100. So let me ask you this: Why couldn’t I have the other quarter? And if I couldn’t have the quarter, why do I have to take the seventy-five cents? Why couldn’t he just, like, not tip? Why do I have to deal with an uneven number?

Because he wanted to see $4.00 on the bottom of the card, and not 3.25 or 4.25. No. He wanted to see that nice, even 4.00. Wasn’t about giving me a tip at all. It was about making his life look neat and orderly, and so what if the barista doesn’t want another three quarters sloshing around on the bottom of her purse, or to have to make yet another trip to a Coin Star to get folding money out of her tip jar? He’s got a neat total at the bottom of his credit receipt, and that’s all that matters.

Tipping the change tells me you are a considerate person who wants to tip, and who also doesn’t want to carry six tons of change in your pockets. Tipping the change plus an extra dollar makes you my BFF and I will probably give you a free refill when the boss is not looking, and sometimes even when the boss is looking because we throw out a heck of a lot of coffee. Tipping on the credit change tells me you are an obsessive compulsive asshole who wants to look like a decent person who tips, but who can’t bother giving me a whole fucking dollar because then the total on that piece of white paper would bother you.  So thank you. Thank you for making my tip jar all about you.

There is no reason to not use round numbers on a credit check, unless you want to tip a full 15%. In which case I am still annoyed at having to lug change around, but I understand it. But if it is obvious you only gave me that fifteen cents so that your check will be a nice, even 67.00, you know what I’m going to do? I’m not processing the goddamned fifteen cents.

Yes. I know it’s self sabotage. Yes. I know it’s petty. Yes. I know I am throwing money that you willingly gave me away because I’m irritated over spare change. But you know what? Credit-change tippers are also the people who run me ragged wanting their beers “dressed” and their salad done with no-fat lactose free blue cheese dressing (seriously), and the meat cooked rare plus plus (Medium rare just not good enough for you?)  and the fish cooked with no seasonings, just oil, we like to taste the fish (Oh, hey. Let me quote our cook/owner: FUCK YOU.) (Seriously. That’s like asking the artist to leave all the paint off the canvas because you want to look at the fabric. If you want plain fish, save our time, save yours, go eat at a restaurant where they’re not going to charge you twenty bucks for the privilege.) They’re the ones who complain about the dish being tasteless (Again: FUCK YOU. THAT’S WHAT YOU ASKED FOR) after they ate every bite of it. They are the ones who look over the menu, see what we have, and then ask for a triple-shot no foam no-fat venti mocha latte (WE ARE NOT FUCKING STARBUCKS) but could I please leave room for cream? (Seriously.) And you know what? One of them is going to be so fucking OCD, they’re going to go down their credit bill with a red pen and check every single one of the totals, and they are going to see that I did not charge them for that fucking fifteen fucking cent tip, and they are going to twitch.

And they can’t do a goddamn thing about it.

And for the rest of you kind, considerate people: Tip, or don’t tip. Give us your tired (coins) your poor (pennies) your huddled masses (of real money) yearning (to be in my pocket). But if you have a credit slip, and you have to write something in it, put in your percentage, or a nice, round number. Don’t give me your imaginary spare change. I really, really don’t want it, and it makes you look like an obsessive-compulsive ass.

And if you really are that OCD, you can let me know. Mental illness isn’t fun, and I feel sympathy for you. I still won’t process your change, but I won’t call you an asshole either. And you could probably talk me into putting chocolate in your latte.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Job suck

Okay. I still love my job, mostly because I make a lot of money for doing (comparatively) easy work. Give people drinks, bring food, hope to god they don't pass out on you (this happened on Wednesday) (According to my boss I did pretty well.) go home, consume alcoholic beverage (not necessarily in that order).

BUT! I am now looking down the barrel of what always happens to me when I get a job.

My boss understands that I am reliable.

They realize that they can say "Show up at 7am after you worked until ten PM last night" and I will show up (BTW alcohol consumption on weekends has a medicinal use: I CANNOT SLEEP AFTER WORKING A FULL SHIFT WITHOUT IT. I am so jacked up on adrenaline that I cannot just go to sleep. usually can unwind with a video game or a good book or something else majestically enjoyable, and ease into sleep about 1 in the morning. Weekends? Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred gil. Go directly to bed. Only it doesn't work. I can take over the counter sleep aids, but these are all generic Benedryl, which jacks me up badly. Or I can have a sake mohito with mint, and sleep like a baby without feeling like I just got strung out on bad weed. Which I have never had. I just imagine bad weed feeling like a Benedryl night)

So the boss makes ME their go-to person. Which would be fine...if I did not always wind up in those jobs were "go to" means "You don't REALLY need a weekend. Right?"

Short of it? I get to go in at two pm today to make desserts. I get to stay until ELEVEN because we're open until ten tonight (fuck), wake up tomorrow at six and be at work at seven (fuck) go home at noon, come back at (please god,) four (and not two. Please god. Please) work until ELEVEN, go home, come back at seven, stay until TWO PM, come back early because it's Sunday before the fourth and people are out celebrating, stay until eleven, and get up at six AGAIN. (FUCK)

Obviously, as an employee, I do not deserve to have a life or any interests other than work. Yes. I understand that my boss wants to make money. But I have made my money this month, and any extra cash matters not when I CAN'T SPEND IT ON ANYTHING BECAUSE I AM TOO BUSY WORKING.

Meanwhile I have a stack of books to read, two new ideas I'm working on, and a painting in that perpetual state of almost-finished that will never actually be finished because I AM TOO BUSY WORKING.

The next days i have off? I don't care. I am off. I do not want visitors, I do not want to talk with anybody. I want to sleep until noon and do nothing but write, edit and read.

Kiss my grits, boys and girls.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movie Bitch: Megamind

I. love. this. movie.

I just wanted to get that out of the way. It is not awesome like Fight Club, or Oh-Fuck-This-Is-My-Head-getoutgetoutgetout like Black Swan. It is the sweet, gooey center of loveyness that I must watch at least one more time for my life to be complete. And it will never be complete because I can always watch it again. :D

And it's weird, because I should hate it. Will Ferrel is not quite movie Kryptonite like Tom Cruise is for me, but I have NEVER (up till now) seen a movie with him in a starring role that I actually like. I don't like him. I don't like his face, his mannerisms or his acting style, mostly because it's based almost entirely on Embarisment Squick and Stupid. And yet here? I want to take Megamind home and snuggle him for a while. Everything in it is perfect. The voice acting, the character design (why is the fish wearing a gorilla suit?) the plot, the character arcs, and the little details that make everything in it come alive. It's like taking the back off a clock and finding all the little gears that fit together. I just want to watch them tick.

(Seriously. Why is the fish in the gorilla suit?)

We open with a CGI sunset, and Megamind is falling to his death. I am not hot on this opening because, personally? I don't think it's that necessary. Basically Metro-Man=Superman, Megamind=Alien!Lex Luthor. Metro-Man got the privledged upbringing of being handsome and rich, Megamind landed in prison from day one and nobody ever really gave him a chance. He became "evil" because he wasn't any good at being good, and he's going to spend the rest of his life in time out in the corner, he might as well get credit for it. He also has a minion named Minion. Who is a fish. And he spends the majority of the movie wearing a robotic gorilla suit.

I cannot figure this out.

So we open with Megamind escaping from jail so he can crash Metro-man's celebratory museam opening by kidnapping his reporter friend Lois Lane Roxanne Richie, voiced by Tina Faye. She gives the most sickeningly sweet intro I have ever heard, and her cameraman Hal makes fun of it until he realizes that Roxanne wrote it herself. Then he starts buttering her up and flirting with her.

Hal is probably the best written character in the entire movie, but I'll get on to him later.

Then Roxanne gets kidnapped by Minion (Fish. In. Gorilla. Suit.) and held captive by Megamind. And the banter between them is that trade-marked, "We're going to be screwing by the end of this movie" stuff. And yet it does not annoy me, because it works perfectly with these characters. Megamind is a kid having fun because he's bored, Roxanne knows she's not in any danger at all, and Metro man kind of acts...bored with the whole thing.

Also, Megamind mispronounces a lot of words. Metro City becomes MeTROSity. Revenge=ReVANGE. Spider=Spiey-der (I cannot spell the mispronounciation phonetically, just take my word for it). It is the most brilliant character touch I've ever seen (or heard) and it was all Will Ferral. Because, guys? I do that. All. The. Time. I read words and never have to say them, so they become their own sweet little critters in my head and when they come out it's all weird. It's one of those subconsious things, like Lonnigan's Limp, that tells you more about the character in two seconds than you'd learn in six hours. It means Megamind reads a lot, and is smart, but he doesn't talk a lot, which implies that he doesn't get out and socialize a lot. There is a scene later on in the movie where Roxanne says "You don't get out much, do you," and because you already know this, you're like "NO DUH!!!"

It's great.

So instead of getting rescued, Roxanne watches Megamind blow up Metro Man. And Megamind just kind of stands there, looking at the skeletal body that flew through the window attached to Metro Man's cape, and you can totally see it going through his eyes: Oh shit. Now what do I do?

After a montage showing him try and fail to occupy himself--'case the whole point of being the bad guy was him getting his butt kicked, for him as well as everybody else--he decides to re-create Metro Man, and in the process disguises himself as a regular guy and falls in love with Roxanne. One result of this? he winds up picking Hal as the new hero, Titan.

And this is why I heart Hal.

This movie has already ditched its hero figure, so the struggle is not the archetypical Good Vs. Evil. In fact, I think the movie is saying that the archetypical Evil is not really evil. It's basically Yang-Interpreted-As-Evil-Because-We've-Got-Nowhere-Else-To-Put-It vs. HEY STUPID THIS IS WHAT EVIL REALLY LOOKS LIKE.

Hal is a nerd and he likes Roxanne. And I don't mean likes as in "Crush" I mean likes as in "Edward Cullen". He's one more news broadcast away from creeping into Roxie's bedroom and watching her sleep. He is creepy. You get the sense something is "off" about him for his first scene. His second scene, you realize that if he were real, you'd never want to see him again. I remember thinking, "what are they doing with this guy?" because I couldn't figure out why he was there.

Then Megamind gave him powers and I got it. Because this dude? Not a hero. The only reason he was not a bad guy pre-power is, it's too much work. And it's hilarious watching the powered-up Hal hit on Roxanne, because it's basically what non-powered up Hal did. Evil is small minded, self-centered and apathetic, and it only acts in its own best interest, which oddly enough (for the purposes of this movie, anyway) means not fighting. There is a hilarious scene where Titan-Hal tells Megamind "Hey, we should team up", and he gets all offended, "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUY", and then has to actually provoke Hal into the fight, which totally backfires because now Hal wants to kill Megamind and destroy the city, because hey, now he can and it isn't much work with all these cool powers and all.

Also, when Titan-Hal burns his name into the city, he spells it Tighten.

So Megamind and Roxanne go off to find Metro Man's hidden fortress, which turns out to be their old school house, because they need to find out Titan's weakness, and the copper that defeated Metro Man ain't workin' here, man. Well, they don't find Metro Man's weakness. Instead, they find Metro Man. He faked his death. Sorry. The whole, super-hero thing got boring.

Roxanne gets it. Megamind, you can kinda see the gears in his head go "sproing".

And yes, Megamind becomes the good guy, gets the girl, Hal goes to jail and goes back to being powerless and creepy, and the movie ends in a burst of pretty color that lasts however long it takes for me to find the remote and start the movie all over again.

The writing is so awesome, so very, very, very awesome, that I think anybody who wants to write hero/villian stuff ought to take a look at it. Also: PROACTIVE PROTAGONIST. Even if 99.99999% of the time, it backfires on him, Megamind is the first person to move in the story. He's also reactive (this is one of the defining traits of an archetypical hero protagonist. They are by definition reactive) but he's reacting to his own dumb choices. It's a "I fucked up. I fix it" kind of story. Also-also, villian who is co-dependant on the hero. OMG I just realized this myself, and I am suddenly very very happy and IDK quite why.

I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone with a pulse.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I have decided that my boss's new mission in life is to get me drunk.

She's really an interesting person and I'm glad that I know her. I almost wish I wasn't working for her so I could be out of the "employee" category and in the "friend" category because friends get free food and employees get lectures on why Asking Customers Questions Is Bad. She spent most of last night trying to take care of a very obviously sick dove we found on the doughnut shack's outdoor tables. The poor thing was puffed up to half its size and it showed no interest in the large pile of cracker crumbs she gave it, and it was perfectly willing to get on her hand and let her put it in the live trap she not-incidentally covered with a silk sari. It probably is not alive now, which makes me very sad because it was a cute dove.

Most of the time she is in dictator mode, in which the correct response is nod and get out of her way. Every once in a while, though, she reveals that way down inside she has a core of fluffy marshmallow, and this, in my case, manifests in her ongoing campaign to get me drunk.

Admittedly, she has an ulterior motive. People ask me about "good red wine". IMHO a good red wine has sugar in it, and has been cut by sprite and peach nectar (AKA Sangria). I wish that merlot tasted as good as it smells, but I can't quite get past the fuck this is grape juice that's gone really bad factor.

White wine is worse, because there are a few kinds that I actually like. We have an incredibly good Riesling that our local grocery store carried for about three minutes, long enough for me to decide this is My Brand. Mom smokes Pal Malls, my brother is a Guiness guy, I like R10 Brahmen with a little bit of rose water syrup. And now the only place I can get it locally is at work. Anyway, every time I try a white wine that I don't like, my brain automatically fills in the flavor I really want, and I stare at the lovely blue bottle and yearn tragically for its sweet, sweet flavor. (which really is sweet)

Yesterday we had a wine rep show up, and after the "This is what my boss wants me to sell" conversation (a Zinfindel that no one will drink because it is summer and the heat index is already in the triple digits) they got down to business. It was a really, really slow Monday, which meant that all the make-work stuff we usually do, we couldn't because we were out of food. I had already dusted all the glasses, stamped all the menus, and my standard make-work, organize the beer shelves, I had already done on Thursday. So I am standing there with absolutely. nothing. to do. The boss brings out a bottle of "green" wine, which is identical to white in appearance, but not so much in taste. She thumps two glasses down in front of the wine rep, fills both with a nice swallow of wine, and hands it over to me.

"Try it!" she says.

I try it. I think I inhale wrong trying to explore the flavor and start choking. I get a long drink of water, wait for the burn to die down, and try another sip. I don't choke, but the burn is definitely a feature of this particular vintage and I have no idea how to sell it, except to say "dry" and "not sweet."

A few weeks ago she went to Hawaii for a family emergancy. She came back with a case of champagne, where the grapes "had been pollinated by bees carrying orange flower pollen", and she filled two glasses (filled!) and set one down in front of me. "Try it!"

And hey, it was really decent. A little on the too-sweet side, but very bubbly and something that could easily be improved by a little rose syrup. This is when I realize that I am developing a taste for wine, something that I promised myself I would avoid because I couldn't imagine ever drinking this much rancid grape juice.

Another thing she brought out yesterday was the rose wine. No one tried it (thank god. I probably would have gotten plastered) but the bottle she chose to show off was the same rich, ripe pink color as a Lisa Frank folder, and she handled it as if the fake-gold label were real gold leaf. It is a bottle I have been eyeing for several weeks because it looks really good. Now I know it is not only incredibly good, but probably something that could pay for a lot of dental work if you sold it.
Also, her employees who are drink-legal can have one alcoholic beverage a night, for free, without having to ask. And if you don't take her up on it, she will begin making suggestions.

I have decided that wine, to her, is like a book to me. I read very quickly, so a book suggestion for me is a two or three hour occupation. Other people? That's their free time for the next week, bound up in nice black ink. She knows wine. I know wine is something you keep in a glass as a prop so other people will think you're really an adult, but that you don't have to drink if you don't want to. A woman yesterday ordered a "Santa Margarita". I had no idea what this was. The boss knew not only that it was an expensive Pinot Grigio, but that it was an unwarrentedly expensive Pinot Grigio, and that it had become the Tommy Hilfiger (her words) of the We-Have-Too-Much-Fucking-Money set, and, because the customer ordered "Santa Margarita" and not Pinot Grigio, she didn't know anything at all about wine but wanted to pretend that she did. Go get the customer a glass of our house Pinot, charge her half price for the first glass, and see if she didn't like it better.

She did.

(Also, this particular customer announced she wanted to order her appetizers by saying "We're getting Appies!" Guys and girls, if you go into an upscale-pretending-to-be-casual restaurant and order "Appies", the only reason the waitress didn't puke in your lap was because she really wants your tip.) (Seriously. Who says that?)

At this point my boss and I are at an impasse. After the Great Mother's Day Champagne Tasting, I refuse to have more than one glass of anything while on the premises. She continues to make suggestions about wine I ought to try, which I continue to dodge on the excuse that I am working and she is not paying me to drink. However, there are hints that she may abandon alcohol as a point of attack and move on to food.

This is horrifyingly scary.

Last night she made something involving smoked eggplant and flatbread and let me try, and I spent the rest of the night ducking back for another piece. The backup cook already knows that I will take all the overcooked shrimp they make. I have yet to dream of our incredible curry, but that was only because I only got to have it once.

My job is humiliatingly difficult, and yet I am surrounded by food so good, it's practically pornographic. And if my boss decides to fatten me up, I am totally fucked. And fat.

God help us all.