I’M BAAAAACK! MISS ME, BITCHES?
It’s been a nutty couple of months. I’ve been doing job searching while also finishing a draft of a Young Adult novel (aka YA for the uninitiated). It may or may not ever see the light of day (aka the shelves of a bookstore), but I’m pretty proud of having finished it. So proud, in fact, that I thought I’d share the wisdom I gained throughout the writing process for all my 17 blog readers. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Step 1: Come up with an original, never-before-imagined idea for your book. HAHAHAHAHA LOL J/K THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE DYSTOPIAN CHILD-KILLING-GAMES-MY BOYFRIEND-IS-A-VAMPIRE SUN; pick your poison, put your twist on it, and move on.
Step 2: Draft a detailed outline of your book, including key plot developments, character introductions, and emotional arcs. This one is easy: open a word doc and begin with Chapter 1. Then, halfway through outlining Chapter 1, give up and just begin to wing it because who has time for this shit?
Step 3: Write about 5,000 words of your book and feel pretty good about it. You know what? This isn’t half-bad! Teens would like this, right? RIGHT?
Step 4: Re-read your first 5,000 words and realize they are TERRIBLE. Oh my God, my dog could have written this. Why am I even trying? WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE?
Step 5: Cry
Step 6: Remember the E.L. James is a published author of poorly-written plagiarized fan-fiction and get your shit together. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU WILL DO THIS!
Step 7: Get to 25,000 words and feel pretty good about it. You like your protagonist, and you hate your villain. There’s real conflict here, and some humor. You’re a good writer, you really are!
Step 8: Re-read the 25,000 words and remember that you are the worst writer to ever walk the Earth and also a terrible human being. OH GOD WHY DID I DO THIS? I’m a worthless hack. I’m going to go eat everything now.
Step 9: Cry while curled up into a ball on your bed and devouring a bag of pretzel twists dipped in an ENTIRE TUB of cream cheese while re-watching Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. To be fair, this is my coping mechanism for all my setbacks in life, not just writing-related fails.
Step 10: Remember that if she could see you now, Captain Janeway* would tell you buck the fuck up, guzzle some black coffee, and get back to work, Ensign! I’m sorry, Kathryn, I was weak. I WILL KEEP WRITING RIGHT AFTER I STOP THAT WARP CORE BREACH AND PREVENT THE BORG FROM ASSIMILATING THE SHIP, CAPTAIN!
Step 11: Read a really good book by an excellent author and come to peace with the fact that you will never be that good but at least you can write grammar real good; and know how to do punctuation and stuff and things.
Step 12: Damn it.
Step 13: Finish your draft! Wow, what an accomplishment! Even if no one reads this, you’ve written a fucking book–how many people can say that?
Step 14: Go on Twitter and realize everyone and their mother has written a YA book just like yours. Fuck.
Step 15: Edit your manuscript which primarily deals with the lives of teens and realize that you have no idea about the lives of teens. I think I made a reference to desktop computers in there…do kids even use computers these days? Or do they operate their smartphones via chips embedded in their brains that allow them to send Snapchats with the firing of a single neuron? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS? I guess I could ask an actual teen, but…ew, amirite?
Step 16: Shake your fist at the sky and curse the day that the first members of Generation C were born. Little bastards expecting their lives to be accurately depicted in literature–don’t they know that you are OLD AF RN?
Step 17: Remember that Generation C will soon supplant your Millennial Generation as the most hated of all time. Steeple your fingers while laughing maniacally at their forthcoming generational pain. NOW GO BUY MY BOOK, KIDDOS!
*I apologize for the obligatory Star Trek reference as I know certain people (ahem, L**) think all I do is talk about “Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek,” but I’ve basically just embraced being a ridiculous obsessed nerd so…yeah, get over it.
**J/K, L, you know I love you.
Here are ten faces Paul Ryan* makes (to himself for now, but I’m sure increasingly to others as the election continues, especially if Trump continues to publicly accept congratulations on being “right” when 50 people are murdered in a gay club by an asshole) when he is just going about his day and then suddenly remembers that he has publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President and has committed himself to voting for him in November.
*Also applies to Mitch McConnell.
And, of course…
Oh, Paul. I’d say I feel sorry for you, but you brought this on yourself. If it makes you feel any better, at least people forgot about this for a moment!
It’s Memorial Day, which means wedding season has officially begun! I adore going to the beautiful weddings of people I love (luckily for me, because I have four to attend before the year is out!), but I gotta be honest: I’m pretty iffy the #millennial trend of #weddinghashtags. Practically, I get that it’s helpful to aggregate social media photos of the wedding, but also…isn’t that what the professional photog’s getting paid $150 an hour to do? I do think hashtags would be more fun if, instead of some cute pun on the future spouses’ names, they revealed key truths about the couple in question. However, it’s probably not gonna happen, so I’ve compiled a list of accurate wedding hashtags you won’t see on insta this summer for your entertainment:
Cheers to happy couples everywhere! 😉
*Disclaimer to everyone whose weddings I am attending this summer: lol this is not you. Except maybe the mason jars one, because come on, who DOESN’T love mason jars? My wedding is gonna take place in a fucking mason jar, people!
Friday morning, I took my usual walking route in Golden Gate Park around Stow Lake, and there was a great deal of #nature happening. I was particularly impressed by the minimum twenty-five (possibly more) sunbathing turtles I saw every ten feet or so around the edge of the lake:
It was an unusually sunny morning, and these turtles were OWNING life. They just sat on or next to each other, motionless, and soaked up the sun, completely oblivious to the crowds of tourists snapping pictures of them. They were basically a posse of Victoria’s Secret models on a beach vacation with Leo DiCaprio, but less narcissistic and more sober. There were also flowers and a fountain in the park, and it was overall just a gorgeous day.
Then came Sunday, which was Bay to Breakers. B2B is San Francisco’s annual footrace/drunken walking orgy. It is like Halloween on crack, and when I went to the local market to buy cucumbers (I ran out, and I really like them, OKAY?), there were so many people on the streets in varying degrees of undress and intoxication and body-painted-ness that I started having a major panic attack and barely managed to stumble home, shaking, in time to take a xanax. I passed out, and when I woke up several hours later, I immediately thought back to last Friday and those turtles, and how calm and zen they made me feel. Those turtles have life DOWN, you know? I mean, the sun comes out, and they just swim over to the nearest available log or stone and chill out with their buddies. Why can’t I be like that? Well, I guess I don’t live in a man-made lake in a protective shell, and, like, I am a sentient life form who requires income to survive, but you get what I mean. Why can’t I just take a page from their leathery, slow-moving book of turtle-y life and chill out once in a while?
Anxiety, alas, does not that work that way. We all need some degree of anxiety to survive–even the turtles must experience something akin to a fear response when a turtle predator, like…a lion (???) approaches–but for those of us whose anxiety is triggered more easily by a variety of factors, it can be a huge liability.
I’m lucky, though–my anxiety is mostly manageable with therapy, drugs, sleep, drugs, exercise, and the support of family and friends…and drugs. I know many of you fight the good fight with these and all the other tools you can muster, and I salute you. I wish for you and for myself that, in the midst of all the nuttiness that daily life throws at us, every once and a while we get to be these sunbathing turtles, posing for tourists on a log, our reptilian faces turned craned up towards the sky. Happy Monday, Turtles!
Please leave your thoughts in the comments, especially if you are a turtle, because your perspective would really be appreciated here and also it would be pretty cool if you guys learned how to use the internet. 🐢
Hey guys, I wrote a humor thing on The Establishment (no, not the political establishment, but a women’s website lol – one person already made that mistake.
Please, please, please head over there and check it out! And if you’re not reading The Establishment, please start because it is GREAT! I hope you like it 🙂
Also, any woman freelancers out there, The Establishment is GREAT! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU PITCH THEM!
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Today, I am off on a voyage (usually I would say “trip,” but T was a couple days ago on the blogging challenge) to New Orleans for JazzFest. This is my first music festival in years; the last one I went to was Outside Lands in San Francisco when I first moved back there, oh, FIVE years ago.
I am much older and (maybe?) wiser this time, so I have some travel goals this time, and I’m putting them on the blog to keep myself accountable:
- Don’t die: NOLA is booze and party central, and I am in my thirties, so staying alive might be a real challenge. I am going to try to limit my alcohol consumption to two drinks per day. LOL we’ll see how that goes. Also I will drink water.
- See Stevie Wonder: OMG SO EXCITED. Also, the way 2016 is going, I think we all need to see as many musical legends in concert ASAP as they’re all dropping like flies.
- Eat beignets: Never had one; time to change that. (I know, I am a noob, etc.)
- Don’t get burned to a crisp: I am beyond ever trying to be tan again (not that I ever had that as a goal) and am owning being the palest bitch alive since Elizabeth I. I got my Neutrogena sheer sunscreen and a hippie dippie coverup for long festival days and I will NOT BE BURNED.
- See a ghost: Okay, so this one might be hard, BUT I REALLY WANT TO SEE A GHOST AND I HEAR THERE ARE GHOSTS IN NEW ORLEANS! Especially since I am currently writing a novel with ghosts. If I don’t see a ghost, I at least want to see an Original Vampire. Preferably this one:
- Not break my foot again: I am in normal shoes now, but the foot is still a little sore, so I will just have to walk slowly and not trip over cobblestones and shit (the not drinking too much should help with this, too). Sorry in advance, T and other girls on the trip, for being a slowpoke!
- Finish the A-Z Challenge! I’m so close, guys! Many thanks to putting up with some of my less, er, inspired posts over the last twenty days or so. I’ve actually learned a lot during the challenge about blogging–what content works, what doesn’t, how to hone my humor, how to balance serious with comical topics, how to make sure you all know I’m an extreme nerd, etc. My posts may be shorter for letters W-Z, but I’m sure you all won’t mind too much.
- Sweat more than any human has ever sweated before in the history of the world: I don’t think this one will be hard.
À bientôt, bloggy bitches!
Seriously, if you have any suggestions on what to do in New Orleans (never been!), please leave them in the comments 🙂
I’m a BIG fan of uteri. I spent nine months in one, as did nearly all of us (no judgment to those of you who were grown in a Borg maturation chamber; I do NOT discriminate–some of my best friends are cybernetic life forms!). I’m even usually okay with my own uterus, with the exception of about six days each month. But uteri are complicated. They do a lot of shit, and if you’re a man, or even a young girl, you probably don’t understand the workings an implications of uteri in general, or in having one in particular. As a uterus-haver for over three decades now, I thought I’d share my wisdom. Prepare to be enlightened.
How it works: Despite hundreds of years of Science(TM), the uterus remains an icky mystery that no one should learn about in school, ever. Allow me to provide some clarity:
The uterus is an internal organ that is attached to a woman’s (EW!) vagina by a Service; I’m not sure what kind of Service, like if it’s an app like Uber or what, but that’s how they’re connected. *SCIENCE SHRUG* Until puberty, the uterus is filled with a divine pure light, which dissipates the moment a young girl has her first period and becomes a disgustingly tempting sexual being who’d better keep her legs SHUT. Every month, a tiny baby is released from the ovary, which is like a baby dispensary, and floats down a straw into the uterus, which is nice and comfy for it with a bed and an open bar and a designer wardrobe and everything. Sadly, this baby is soulless until and unless a sperm comes in through the vagina (EW!) and the Service and makes it alive. If this happens, the baby is now the Unborn(TM) and is the most precious form of life you will ever see, at least until it is born, after which time it is ON ITS FUCKING OWN. If there is no sperm, however, the baby is just flushed out through the Service and vagina with some blood (EW!) until a new baby comes down the straw the next month; this is called a Period, or, if you’re polite, “Aunt Flo’s visit, *wink*!” Periods happen until a woman hits menopause, which is when her baby dispensary ovaries are out of babies, and the woman becomes a useless shell and must leave public life and hide her unsightly, wrinkled body from the light of day and the eyes of men and fertile women.
How to care for it: Ladies: except for this blog post, it’s best to not think at all about caring your uterus, because thinking is hard and we’d rather you just go make some babies, thanks! If you’re a man, you’re the one who should be doing the thinking about uteruses for women, because, you know, reasons, but not TOO much thinking, because it’s gross.
So, gentlemen, here are the things you should know about caring for uteruses in some detail but no too much detail because EWWWWWW (Ladies, go bake something or scrub a dish, okay?):
-Women may complain of cramps when they get their periods (that’s the thing where the baby is flushed out through the Service, remember?), but they are lying and it’s all in their heads. Make sure you dismiss any complaints of discomfort, excessive bleeding or pain, dizziness, depression or other symptoms with verbal disparagement, or, if you’re pressed for time, an elegant eyeroll. How else are you going to get us to stop whining about made-up shit? Of course, even though we women are making up these symptoms, we are always bitchy and emotional on our periods, so you should make sure you take that into account when deciding whether or not we get that new corner office or pay raise!
-Uteruses are magic–they always work perfectly, especially during pregnancy, so women definitely don’t need accessible, affordable healthcare to stay healthy before, during, or after gestation, and any time off from work is just laughable! You may hear some rumors that uteruses sometimes “miscarry,” which is a fancy term for murdering the Unborn(TM) because the uterus-haver (aka “mother”) offended her god or didn’t cover her mouth when she coughed or looked at a fish or something. This does happen, and when it does you should make sure to shame the uterus-haver for not having seen this coming or made better choices or prayed harder! Uteruses also never allow babies of rape to be conceived, so don’t worry–if your teenage daughter comes to you sobbing saying her teacher forced himself on her and now she’s pregnant, you know that she was ACTUALLY asking for it, because if it was REALLY rape her body would have shut that whole thing down.
-Women cannot make decisions about their own uteruses, guys. We just can’t be trusted to figure this stuff out, so please, make sure you pass laws at every opportunity limiting our access to services that could help us make decisions about our uteruses, from pregnancy to birth control options, while also cutting benefits for families and children who are disadvantaged. Really, it’s all you can do to prevent us from running amok and just uterus-ing all over the place with our period blood (EW!) and independent thoughts! Thanks 🙂
What it all means: Okay, ladies, you can come back out of the kitchen and join us again! Here’s the crux of it–a uterus is the most important thing a woman can have, with the possible exception of BOOBS (TEEHEE!). The uterus is the core of a woman’s being, and if you don’t use it to procreate, well, you best not be having any sort of sex (TEEHEE!) because sex is only so that the sperm can come through the Service and give souls to the Unborn(TM). If you are having sex (TEEHEE!) and not getting pregnant, you’re basically a murderer. If you are a lesbian, well, that’s just a phase, and you’re a murderer by omission. If you are celibate, well, why are you such a frigid bitch?, and also you’re a murderer. If you want to get pregnant and can’t because of medical issues, well, what did you do in a past life to deserve this, and why are you such a poor excuse for a woman? Stop whining and wasting so much money on IVF! Why don’t you just adopt!? Oh, and also, you’re a murderer.
Next steps: Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about uteri (yes, the above text contains all the information you’ll ever need to know), first things first: you’re welcome. Secondly, go use this info, guys and gals! If you’re a guy, make sure to spend all your time and energy legislating uteri for their own good, and if you’re a girl, well–is your baby coming down the straw yet? If so, time to get gestating!
Shameful uterus-haver who has not had a baby, this post is all a lie, WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE,
Please leave your comments below, unless you are a GOP legislator or the ghost of Antonin Scalia. And if you have a spare five bucks, in all seriousness, Planned Parenthood is a wonderful organization.
Dear Higher Power,
I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I try not to bother you unless it’s, ya know, serious. Thanks for being a sport, and…prepare yourself.
I’ve been grappling with something big recently; a spiritual struggle that transcends any I’ve known before. I’ve been asking myself a question, and no matter how I plumb the depths of my soul and mind, I cannot answer it. Do you know, Higher Power?
Do you know what happens to my tote bags when I die?
For years, I didn’t give the presence of tote bags in my life a thought. Before college, they weren’t even a factor. If you went to the grocery store, your purchased items went into a bag (“paper or plastic?”), and you took the bag and brought it to your car and then your house and then the paper bags became recycling bags and the plastic bags became liners for your tiny bathroom waste basket. It wasn’t uncommon to have a drawer chock full of plastic Stop-N-Shop bags, just waiting to be filled with tissues and tampon wrappers, or to be vomited into after a really bad night at the dive bar.
And then, overnight, or so it seemed, things changed. “Would you like to purchase an eco-friendly tote bag for $1.95?” the cashier asked one day, her cheerful gaze barely masking contempt at my obvious hesitation. Why would I buy a canvas tote bag when the plastic one provided by the store was free, I wondered? But then I looked into her eyes, and knew that $1.95 plus tax was a small price to pay to avoid the shame of being publicly labeled as against the environment by Cheryl at the organic Co-op in the Financial District in NYC. “Yes, please!” I said, handing over my debit card and grasping the hefty canvas tote–to the cashier’s obvious approval and relief.
Suddenly, the cheerful offer to purchase a tote bag with every grocery trip became more sinister: “Do you need a bag today, or did you bring your own?” I was horrified to discover that it was now expected that I bring my own tote bags to the grocery store, so as to save the environment. If I didn’t, I was irresponsible, callous, even discourteous. Unplanned stops at the grocery store caused extreme shame as I babbled my excuses to the unimpressed baggers: “Oh, I was just out for a run, and then I realized I needed some milk. Usually I bring my own bags! I have tons of them at home, I promise, it’s just this once!”
It was never just this once, and the baggers knew it–and they showed their disappointment in their scowls.
But the truth was, I did have tons of tote bags at home! The drawer that once contained crumpled masses of plastic was now brimming with yards of canvas covered with the logos of every grocery store in NYC. And yet, I could never remember to bring an empty tote with me at all times in case I needed to make an unscheduled purchase–earning me the wrath not only of grocery employees but of my fellow customers at well. “Someone forgot their bags, hmm?” the lady in the fur coat would ask, apparently unaware of the existence of the word “irony.”
Then, after a move back to San Francisco, my tote bag shame became codified into law: California taxes 10 cents per a paper bag at the grocery store, which you can of course avoid if you bring your own. My tote bag collection, which had diminished during the packing process, was sorely lacking, so I slowly built it back up again, with totes from every establishment in the city gracing the floor of my coat closet: Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s. Burger Urge. That Store With The Fifty Dollar White T-Shirts. Even Walgreens, for Christ’s sake.
And here is where my spiritual crisis began to arise. What the FUCK, I asked myself as I selected two of my favorite tote bags, so chosen for their wide, sturdy handles, for a trip to the local market, is going to happen to all these damned tote bags when I die?
The purpose of these multi-purpose bags is to save the environment, but when I die, whether it’s six years from now or sixty, won’t my friends/family/children/pets/landlords just want to throw these things the fuck out? Should I provide for their distribution in my will? Will a crafty friend have them made into a really uncomfortable and ugly commemorative quilt? Will my great-great-grandchildren be showing my tote bags to their kids in a far distant future where they all live on the starship Enterprise? Behold, these are the tote bags of your ancestor, who lived before the advent of warp speed and universal health care; treasure them always! If they are thrown out, do they compost? Or will they just add to a giant landfill somewhere? And if they are thrown out, then what was the point of anything?
What was the point of anything?
WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ANYTHING?
Is it all a lie, Higher Power? Am I really helping the environment? Or is it all a conspiracy funded by Big Tote, and are all my canvas bags destined to choke poor, innocent dolphins in the ocean? What is the answer, HP? WHAT HAPPENS TO MY TOTE BAGS WHEN I DIE?
As always, thanks for your consideration, Higher Power. I’d like to hear back on this before Tuesday, when I’m planning on going to the grocery store. Whole Foods is offering a 2-for-1 deal on Spring-themed canvas tote bags with every purchase, and I’d like to know ahead of time whether I’ll be wasting my money or damning my soul and the fate of the human race for all eternity.
Peace, love, and tote bags,
Please leave your thoughts in the comments, like and share if you enjoyed, and if you need a tote bag, just come by my place and I can probably hook you up.
Anyone who has had a conversation with me for more than five minutes know that I have two TV passions that will stay with me until the day I die: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Trek. Today is S day for the blogging challenge, so that means one thing: STAR TREK DAY!
And because I love me some controversy, below are five somewhat controversial opinions I hold on the franchise beloved by nerds everywhere. Be warned: THERE WILL BE FEMINISM.
Now, Number 1, ENGAGE! MAXIMUM WARP!
1. The Original Series is kind of meh: Some of my earliest television memories are not of Sesame Street or The Muppets, but rather of watching my dad’s complete set of Star Trek: TOS VHS tapes (early 90s FTW!) on lazy Saturdays. In particular, I watched the Tribble episode over and over, because what five-year-old doesn’t enjoy fuzzy blobs of fast-breeding purring cuteness? And while I still believe Star Trek: TOS is one of the great classic TV shows, I prefer the later series and films, with their diverse casts and modern acting styles (oh, Shatner’s delivery sometimes). I know, I’m a blasphemer: COME AT ME, FANDOM. Also, sorry, Dad, don’t kill me! And yes, The City at the Edge of Forever is the best TOS episode.
2. I Like Star Trek: Generations (#7 movie): I know this movie is universally hated, and yes, I think it did poorly by (SPOILER) Kirk’s death, but I actually really like it. The scene where Picard tells Troi about his brother’s and nephew’s deaths is particularly touching, and I thought the concept of the Nexus ribbon, which is basically heaven, was unique. Underrated!
3. My favorite uniforms are the ones from Voyager and early DS9: I know everyone prefers the grey/black uniforms from First Contact and beyond, but they are WRONG. There’s something about the simplicity of the Voyager and early DS9 jumpsuits that speak to me. They just look very comfortable, though I know the real-life versions probably weren’t.
2. I like Data’s Day: Many trekkies HATE the TNG episode “Data’s Day,” where Data relates a day in his life to a correspondent. It’s comic, touching, exciting (FAKE VULCAN AMBASSADOR WHO IS ACTUALLY ROMULAN FTW!) and always makes me tear up in the end, despite the presence of (ugh) Chief O’Brien, who should be nicknamed CHIEF MISOGYNY in his treatment of his wife, Keiko, who is too damned good for him.
1. I love Voyager and Janeway is my favorite captain: Oh, how the fanboys LOVE to hate on Voyager and Captain Janeway (especially Captain Janeway)! But honestly, I never understood the hate for the series–it had no more “bad” episodes than TNG, the first two seasons of which were mostly awful–though I do understand the hate for Janeway. In my opinion, she was a character before her time on television: a flawed, strong, badass woman who made controversial and sometimes wrong decisions. And yet people hate her. Why? Welp, considering that she was the most like the beloved Kirk than any other captain (she basically said “fuck it” to the Prime Directive when it suited her, and was constantly gambling based on her gut), fans’ hatred of her basically boils down to her vagina. Plain and simple. And yes, people will argue to the death that OH, I DON’T LIKE HER BECAUSE XYZ, but XYZ is usually bullshit and, again, never that different than the shit that Kirk, and even Sisko and Picard, pulled on more than one occasion (um, remember when Sisko was basically an ACCESSORY TO MURDER? Kind of torturing that one douche from the Equinox was nothin’, my friends!). People forget that this bitch was 75,000 lightyears from home and had to do EVERYTHING on her own, with only Chakotay and his tattoo to advise her when she went too far. She saved Seven’s humanity, made Tom Paris a decent human being, took a chance on the maquis, and, oh right, she CHANGED HISTORY to get her crew home sooner! She’s a BAMF with fabulous god-damned hair, and I will defend her, and Kate Mulgrew’s performance (yes, that’s the woman from OITNB, she was badass before that show) until the day I die. As I always say:
Please boldly go into the comment section and leave me your thoughts! Long live Janeway!