A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The buffet of tetanus and the cornucopia of curses

So, this remodeling project has finally gotten on my last nerve. For the last three days (don't laugh), hubby and I have been trying to re-install our toilet. We didn't want to call a plumber because that would've been, well, stupid, seeing as how we're gutting and remodeling our master bath in a couple of months. (the current project is more focused on our room and office, while the bath is merely getting a facelift (i.e. paint, and spring cleaning of sorts).

Well,several days ago, the, ahem, "facelift" somehow morphed into a full-on rage-fueled sprint to insanity, perpetrated by a fill valve that broke when I snapped it in half in anger over another piece that would not budge. So, after the valve broke, I had to replace it, naturally...only the original nut was so shredded, it took many many curses and rants to remove it, which we could only do by removing the toilet. Hence the blackout rage that found this toilet laying helplessly on its side in our shower. Yup, I tore the toilet off the floor in a who-decided-to-leave-such-a-small-gap rage blackout. See, the toilet is so close to the wall that it's impossible to reach, much less see, under the damn thing to remove the nut thingy that holds the fill valve in place. So, with the toilet off, I stared down into this dark, deep, fume-infested hole in the floor, and all I could think was, "WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?"

Thanks to YouTube, I found out it was the sewer pipe that, well, you know, never makes anyone smile.

So I go to our storage shed to find the right wrench, because heaven forbid the right one would be in the toolbox that I'd already tossed around numerous times in yet another fit of rage looking for the right tool. Low and behold, as I stepped into the shed, I was greeted by creepy-as-hell array of godzilla eyes, all of which were staring back at me, letting me know I was now invading their dank home. I could just feel them there, conspiring...yes waiting to pounce (another story about my lizard phobia, for another time). So, after begging them to allow me two lizard-free minutes in the shed, I open the cabinet and stood there, absolutely marveling at the cornucopia, dare I say it, the buffet of tetanus that was just itching to fill my life with memorable amounts of pain and metallic suffering.

**Yes, I'd love a finger-sliced off by the ever-popular and super-fun ancient hacksaw sitting there with the old utility knife, and I'd also like a side of rusty nails just for sh*ts and giggles. You know, in case the first two options don't do me in.**

So, tools in hand, I headed back to the house, where we spent the rest of the day (and most of today, mind you) trying to put that damnable toilet back in place. End-result, the toilet refused to stop rocking back and forth with every attempt we made to secure it in place with the "sure-fire-fix" items I was sold at Home Depot during my five visits there in the last two days. It all came to a screeching halt when we both threw up our hands to the porcelain devil. Yes, Hubby screamed at the toilet for its mere existence. I screamed at the ceiling as I mentally targeted the abomination that originally installed this god-forsaken torture device that will forever be known as the devil of toilet-gate.

Needless to say, we've decided to extend this remodeling non-party to the bathroom, which will officially be gutted and remodeled NOW, not in a couple of months. Until then, we're forced to use any of the other three bathrooms in the house, none of which are close to our bedroom.

Oh, will this hell ever end????!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hi, I'm Petrebulah...Thanks, Mom

So, it seems like the new Kardashian/West baby has been named.....NORTH. Yes, they gave their little bundle of girly joy a name everyone in the world will be using every time they use their GPS or other such tool that leads them to their destination.

You know, I'm the ultimate advocate of "Do what you will, but hurt no one", but honestly, giving a child a name THEY will have to live with is something of a heavy responsibility that I feel countless new parents don't take seriously enough.

Instead, they think only of others, like say, people they want to pay tribute to. And for that tribute, that child will spend his/her life secretly muttering, "Thanks, Uncle Barthalamew, Igor, or (the-always-wrong "girl's name on a guy, like Stacy, Lindsay, etc...)". Or, in the case of a girl, I can assure you, no girl wants to go around saying, "Hi, I'm Petrebulah."

Another misstep taken is by people who idolize a celeb and pay homage to them by passing on their idol's name. Do they really think their child wants to have to go through life say, "Hi, I'm Katie Holmes...no, not that one." Or hearing how much they pale in comparison to their name's origin.

Here's a little tidbit some don't know: Anne Rice's birth name was Howard, and the only reason she now goes by Anne is because on her first day of Kindergarten, "Howard's" teacher asked her her name, and little Howard said, "It's Anne".

Then there are the parents who simply want to "stand out", as many celebs do when it comes to their child's name(s). Gweneth Paltrow, for instance, called her baby Apple; maybe Paltrow was trying to channel her inner Gump, by investing in some fruit company back in the day without knowing where it would lead. Who knows?

But come on, folks!

Naming your child is so much more important that many realize. So, step #1 in baby naming should ALWAYS be this: Before spitting out a name to the nurse who fills in that little line that will forever affect your child's life, stop for a moment and imagine having to go through school and adult life introducing yourself as (fill in name here), and, if you can honestly say it works, and you can say it without cringing, then go for it. But, if even for one second, you find your shoulder taking on a mind of its own and shrugging, then choose another name.

General rule of thumb: Namesakes to avoid:
>Fruit-related names.
>Bodies of water (i.e. River).
>Natural occurrences, (i.e. Rainbow, Thunder (especially if the child comes from a gassy family)
>Celeb-homage names (i.e. Katie Holmes, Elvis, etc...)
>Misplaced gender names (i.e. Howard on a girl, and Lindsay on a guy)
>And, thanks to the Kardashian/West clan, I MUST add "Directional" names.

Things to consider when choosing a baby name:
>Bullies with cruel jokes and violent sides.
>Future career endeavors.
>Life-long self esteem levels, and the inevitable desire to find the nearest judge when the clock strikes twelve on said child's 18th birthday.

Monday, April 29, 2013



So tomorrow's my dad's birthday, and it's been one helluva year, let you me tell you. I decided to click on over to egreetings.com, where you can send someone a free ecard. Well, I found one that absolutely offended me, and if you can relate to the card, you should be offended too. In a funny way, that is. It talks about how "You know you're old when: You forget why you went into a room. You buy a nice comfy pair of slippers. You accept that you'll never fit into your old pants. And finally, if you think music was better when you were a kid.

Now, I'm not saying I'm old. I'm not. I'm like 15 inside. So what if I like comfy slippers? Who doesn't? Do people prefer uncomfy slippers? That's just stupid. And of course WE ALL think music was better when we were growing up; that's when we listened to it and developed a preference to particular styles, and now they "take us back to those times". And forgetting what you went into a room for? Who doesn't at some point. It just means you're distracted.....especially if you're a writer whose thoughts are perpetually somewhere else.

So no! WE ARE NOT OLD. We are creative. We are nostalgic. We are forever young, with a more interesting twist! Now, as for the creaks and cracks that mysteriously pop up now and then....well, that just means the bed's old and it's telling you IT'S old. Not you, and certainly not ME!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

HOME DEPOT: The One-Stop Shop for those who want to get screwed out of their money

Okay so as you all know, we just bought a washer and dryer set from Home Depot. Well, from the day we bought them, two things had been bothering me to no end:

#1: The fact that there was basically NO RETURN POLICY. You believe that? The girl told me that customers had a whopping 48 hrs after delivery to decide if they wanted to return such a purchase. I was floored. Turns out (and this is such a peachy nugget, folks), if after 48 hrs, we find that we don't like the item(s) in question, in this case, the washer and dryer, we'd have to call LG and "convince them" to take them back. And, if LG, in all their glorious generosity and consideration towards customers, decides NOT to take them back, we're stuck with these things anyway. I guess the company figures that 48 hrs is more than enough time to decide if we like them or not. Yeah, because that's how I want to spend the next 48 hrs. No sleep. Just using the washer and dry and really getting to try out and discover all the intricacies of machines that take at least a week of exploration and kill-me-now laundry in order to decide we like them or not.

#2: The second thing on my kiss-my-ass list was the warranty matter. I'm the iconic warranty girl who lives by the mantra that if it costs more than $100 and there's a warranty available, I'm in. Well, according to the salesgirl, Home Depot doesn't allow you to extend the warranty after the five-year run you purchase at day one.

That being said, at the price we got them, despite being bothered and bringing these issues up with the salesgirl, we went ahead and made the deal. Now, they haven't been delivered yet, and we've decided to buy them at SEARS instead, so I called Home Depot, and the girl on the phone tells me that I can't cancel the order because it's already left the warehouse.

Apparently, I need to refuse the delivery come tomorrow when they show up, and THEN, I can get my refund. Is that not the most ridiculous policy? I could give a rat's hairy butt if they've left the warehouse. If I haven't gotten these things yet, I should have every right to cancel any time, which, btw, is what the salesgirl told me I could do; apparently, she was "wrong" in telling me that. Well, I've never been one to back down from a consumer-related problem, especially when I'm the consumer in question, so Home Depot better watch out, because I don't care who I have to go to war with. I AM NOT GOING TO BE STIFFED HERE! And make no mistake: I WILL NOT BE DEALING WITH HOME DEPOT EVER AGAIN!!!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Twilight's last flight of fangless fancy

So I've had the second half of the last Twilight flick sitting on my printer for a month now. Meanwhile, the two sides of my conscious loitering on my shoulders are stuck in a perpetual Just-Watch-it / Don't-Listen-to-her....Go-Watch the Grass Instead conflict or sorts.

Sorry Netflix members with no taste (and before anyone implicates me in that bad-taste crime, it wound up on my list by mistake and arrived without my knowledge). I've just been so busy.

I wanna see it, sort of, just to see how it ends, but honestly, the first half was so painful to get through. It's like the movie makers wanted to drain every last drop of sparkly milk from this cow, with a ten-minute movie that was drawn out for the sole purpose of beating a long-dead horse with its own heel. It's like the entire first part of this two-part deal was all about her finding out she's preggers, and us being forced to suffer her pain in real time.

So again, busyness aside, I'm trying to psych myself up to watch this longer-than-it-needed-to-be movie about things that have historically gone bump in the night but that instead, apparently sparkle in the day, have no fangs and play softball as they giggle away their bloodless hunger for all things Bella. God, it's like watching Leave It To Beaver Bling.

And don't get me started on the book. Or should I say the first book. I swear, I couldn't get through the first fifty pages of it. It was like a torturous lesson on how to write the worst characters and dialogue imaginable.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gossip Girl Here.....A Little Late To The Party, But Oh Well, It Had To Be Someone

A few years back, I learned that a new T.V. show would soon make its way into homes across America. The show, based on a popular books series of the same name, was called Gossip Girl, centered around the "scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite". Being an avid fan of YA anything, I was anxious to dive right in.

And so, when it began to air, I watched, and continued to do so for the first three seasons. But then something happened. I'd noticed that in the last few weeks leading up to the S3 finale, the show had taken on such a jump-the-shark angle, I found myself less and less excited to see what would happen next. So, when the new season began, I dropped it and never looked back. In fact, each week, I'd roll my eyes at the upcoming episode previews that aired during and after the shows I still watched.

Well, near the end of last year, I'd heard that the GG series finale would be airing, and that the identity of GG herself would be revealed. So I caught it, basically to avoid having to read about it, plus I wanted to see for myself who it was after all. Turns out it was Dan Humphrey, the most logical choice....well, at least to anyone who actually thought about it; clearly I'm not including the creators, writers or producers of Gossip Girl, all of whom obviously had their heads firmly planted up their toot-shooters.

You see, any writer worth the weight of his/her pen would have done one of two things with this show right from the start. Two options that would have saved those involved from stumbling along the halls of B*llsh*t High, where writers' skills are not only lost, but outright slaughtered.

Option 1: DON'T REVEAL GG's IDENTITY. This is a decision that SHOULD have be settled from the get-go, because by all writer's logic, it's a decision that would ultimately shape the entire series.

OPTION 2: If the goal was to reveal her identity at some point, the matter of WHO it would be should have been settled and set in stone from the moment the first line of the first script was written. Not five minutes into writing the finale episode.

And so, as I watched that last episode, breathless with anticipation, when the moment finally arrived and it was revealed that Dan was GG herself, I could literally feel my dinner threatening to make another appearance.

WHAT? It was WHO?

Perplexed, annoyed, you name it, I felt it. It was like those involved had just taken the five-year question and half-ass-answered it with a feeble whatever-just-make-it-him, throwing it out into the universe in the hopes that no one would notice how profoundly devoid of talent the writers were in their lack of forethought.

But, to be fair, it had been so long since I'd seen the show, I decided to hold my tongue until the near two-year blank could be filled in.

Enter Netflix...the T.V. show addict's very dear friend. I had known for some time that Gossip Girl was available for streaming, so, I decided to watch the show from the beginning partly for sh*ts and giggles, but mainly to see if any clues as to GG being Dan Humphrey had been planted from the start; although thinking back, I couldn't recall a single clue. Sadly, Netflix only had all episodes up to the end of season 5, so I have to wait for 6 to become available to finish it.

Now, as I began watching from the beginning, I paid close attention, and each time it was clear that Dan Humphrey WAS NOT Gossip Girl, I actually had to pause to comment to my hubby about it. He's also into writing, so you can imagine how many fascinating writing convos we've had about this show, as well as about other facets of writing.

What I don't get....what I absolutely DO NOT understand, is how the creators and writers could have so obviously missed the mark here.

End result, writers have the freedom to create as they go. This, though not my particular style of writing, is a completely valid method of story creation. BUT, that DOES NOT apply when it comes to television, seeing as how once the show airs, there's rarely room to turn back. The fact is, television writers SHOULD and MUST consider all angles ahead of time in order to avoid looking like unscrupulous, talentless hacks.

There, I feel a little better now. Well, at least until I go back to the show to see all the clues that were NOT planted in the show to indicate who exactly was spilling all the details about the scandalous lives of Manhattan's Elite. From what I understand, the book series has come to an end. An end that makes no mention of Gossip Girl being Dan Humphrey. As a writer who takes her craft seriously, I can only hope Cecily Von Ziegesar, author of the book series, is able to turn a blind eye at how the creators of the show toyed with and warped all her hard work.