Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Marmite and other crazy ideas...

I've been racking* my brain, trying to remember what it is that Marmite looks like. It looks like...cold molasses...like...thick glue. It looks sticky. When you dig your knife into the jar and pull some out it doesn't want to let go of itself. It's got a slightly burnish red look to it. But it really looks just like something I've seen before; I just can't remember what it is.** Arrgh. It's driving me nuts.

As for what it tastes like...well. Salt. And something hinting at metal. I didn't shudder...not bodily, anyway. But my mouth and tongue did all they could to get rid of the Marmite once they were assaulted by it. And nothing could overcome the unpleasant aftertaste. Not Diet Coke. Not dark chocolates. It was just something I had to live through.

I gave it two bites. And I should probably try it again. But my stomach revolts at the thought, so don't hold your breath.

*It's "racking," after the torture device; means to torture yourself. Not "wracking," which is related to the word "wreck." These are the things you learn when you obsess over words.

It's been a crazy week. Here's what's been on my mind:

NFL Quarterbacks. They used to look like my dad. Old guys. In fact, back in the day, the other girls said my dad looked like Joe Namath.* He didn't. He was cuter than Joe Namath. But still, you're getting what I'm saying, right? Then, at some point, they got hot. After a while, they looked like they could be my sons, so it wasn't cool that they might be hot. And now, they look like children. I'm wondering if, when I'm ninety, they're going to look like they're twelve.

*Maybe it's wasn't Joe Namath. Maybe it was Bert Reynolds. (Especially in his bushy mustache phase.) Maybe it was both; I don't remember. I just know that some of my friends thought my dad was cute. 

Have you seen this commercial?*

Explain to me why this is okay and not creepy? If it was old men, and a young, sexy woman, feminists would be freaking out, wouldn't they? I think they would. But these lustful old bats making a young man uncomfortable with their sexual innuendo...that's just okay, I guess. It creeps me out.

*For when the ad is no longer available and I don't figure it out for months and months and have to find a new link, it's the VW ad (and others like it) featuring a trio of old ladies coming on to a young car salesman. 

Okay, so here are two things I really just do not get.

One. The Wounded Warrior Project. I don't get it. I don't understand why people in the military, especially those who are wounded, need donations from the general population. The military is supposed to be "service" to our country. It's all supposed to be paid for with our tax dollars. Isn't it? People who are in the service get a free college education. I'm pretty sure their kids get it, too.* So why am I paying for free college for them all, but there isn't enough money for the wounded? What the hell is going on?

Azog statue by William Tung via Flickr
*[update 09/24/2015] See the comments about the whole free education thing that I thought the military was given. I am so clueless!

One A. I don't get why we are calling them "warriors." It's so barbaric. Archaic. Violent. Makes us sound like crazed madmen always starting wars and sending in our WARRIORS! I guess it fits. Still. Wouldn't it be more respectful to call them service men and women? I know, I know; people don't like the whole gender thing. And we can't dare call them all servicemen because that's just not fair to the women, even though the word "men" is right there in the word "women." And even though we could all just be men. I mean, why not? Maybe we should start saying servicewomen and say that includes men and women, which it does. How would the guys feel about that? Do we care? Anyway, there ought to be a better word than WARRIOR! which makes me think of an orc in a loincloth with a giant ax. I wouldn't want to be a WARRIOR! I'd want to be a peacekeeper, or something like that. But that would be laughable. That would be like the Patriot Act, which isn't really all that patriotic. And the Defense of Marriage Act that did nothing of the kind.

Two. I don't understand why some schools are better than others. Honestly. I don't get why, when you want to buy a house, you need to check out the school that your kids will be going to. I don't understand why poorer neighborhoods have worse schools than wealthier neighborhoods. Aren't public schools supposed to be financed by our tax dollars? Shouldn't those tax dollars be spread out completely evenly? I don't get it. If we're going to have public education, your kid ought to be able to go into any public school and have the exact same experience as in any other. Same quality of textbooks, same standards of teachers and curricula. What the hell is going on in this country?

That's it for the things that I don't get lately.

**I'VE GOT IT! I remember! Marmite reminds me of this sticky stuff that comes in a tube that I once fed to a rat. That's right. A rat. You squeeze it out onto your finger and the rat licks it off. Either that's what Marmite reminds me of, or I've gone completely off my rocker.

All right. Back to work.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ah, Monday: Kim Davis, Church of Bacon, and other oddities...

"Well, as far as I'm concerned, the Internet is just another way of being rejected by women."  --George Pappas, You've Got Mail

My plant outgrew its pot so I took it home. Hubs planted it in the back yard and left me with a baby. I think it's adorable. But it's starting to droop just a bit, like it's lonely. I can't tell if that's real, or just my imagination.

And I'm happy to report that I now have had an office spider. (In the time it took me to sort out this post, it either disappeared, or was attacked by a much larger bug and left in pieces in the corner.)

This means, obviously, that I have been accepted by the building's creatures. (Conversely, the spider's presence was meant only in context of its demise: a warning to get out!)

Still, I'm not sure if I'll go another year in the office. I've been wondering about it for a month or so, going back and forth. And now, I'm just stuck.

I'd love to be back at home in my little spare-room office. I wouldn't have to get dressed to go to work and I'd have my own private bathroom and the thermostat just where I want it Hubs let's me keep it. There's an entire kitchen at my disposal back home, which, I suppose should be on the "con" side, not the "pro" side. And working at home would save a lot of money.

I really hate this time in my job--this in between time. I've sorted and reissued all the Kell Stone Prophecy books with new covers; published the third in the series and put together a Complete Trilogy edition. I got Bookish Meets Boy off and away. And now I'm trying to get into my next projects, still reeling from fatigue, doubt, and self-loathing.

Self-loathing, you ask? Yeah, what's up with that? It's not at all to do with that horrid one-star review I blogged about recently. Not at all. With each and every new book, I crawl away feeling...dirty. Is that weird or what? I think it's the exposure. Publishing a book is like walking down the street naked, hoping people will look at you. It feels wrong somehow, and yet, I'm compelled to do it.

Okay, so thoughts...?

I read Patrick Rothfuss' blog the other day and it appears that he works at home. He writes really thick books, too. I'm a fan of really big books. Aren't you?

I read a lot. Seriously. A lot. I keep track of what I read on my personal website. But I try not to say too many bad things about the books I read. It's not always easy. I think there's a part of me who thinks that it's not fair to criticize other people's work when you do the same work yourself. It would be like...if I sold bread and went around tasting everybody's else's bread and telling people that some of the loaves I ate were moldy, or had chunks in them. There's probably some sort of code to abide by in commerce. Nobody's abiding by it, but that never stopped me from obsessing.

I wish broccoli tasted like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I gave a beggar a few dollars the other day and when he reached into my car to take it, his fingers touched mine and I couldn't wait to get home to wash my hands. I couldn't tell if this was some kind of bigotry on my part--being that the guy was dirty and creepy--or had more to do with my weirdness about touching people and eating food past its expiration date (not necessarily at the same time). It's like in Zumba class when the instructor has everyone get together and do a kick line, or worse, some country music doh-see-doh-ing and then I spend the rest of the class grossed out and trying to forget that slick, sweaty feeling on my arms where I was forced to touch another sweaty person. If you make me touch another sweaty person in Zumba class, I won't be back for a while. I'm at home wondering if you've taken that song out of your rotation, yet.

I heard that Kim Davis was going back to work today...in a manner of speaking. It's hard to imagine being in the mind of someone whose worldview is suddenly becoming a minority view. It looks scary from here, in more ways than one. I mean, I can see that she and people like her are scared--the world is changing in ways they don't like. And those people are becoming increasingly radicalized, which scares the rest of us. Isn't there enough terrorism in the world?

But then...isn't it weird the way in which radicals can't see their own radicalism, but are very quick to point it out in others?

I forgot to try my Marmite this past weekend. I got some at the British store here in downtown Melbourne: Julie's British Shoppe. (As a plug, in my Downtown Divas Romance series, the British shop is called Across the Pond and is run by Imagen and Harry Trentham.) I guess I shouldn't mention the Marmite since I really have nothing to say about it.

I think there should be an activist media along with the social media, so that when someone posts a picture of a drowned toddler or a starved Polar bear on social media, we can all yell at them to go post that awful stuff on activist media where it belongs. Seriously, do you go to parties and hold up pictures of tortured animals or beheaded journalists? No? Then it doesn't belong on social media.

I joined the United Church of Bacon today, quite by accident. I signed up for the newsletter and voila, I'm a member. I've got no problem with that. I love bacon.

Speaking of skeptics. Margaret Downey is all over my Facebook page lately...wearing a nurse's hat. At first, I thought it might be some sort of costume party, but no one else seems to be wearing one. I don't think Ms. Downey is a nurse. I'd ask her about it, but I don't feel that I know her well enough. You know how it is, right? You're 'friends,' but not really friends. And I don't want to be that person who comments on #26 of a 30-picture series asking what it's all about, because that person clearly hasn't been paying attention.

Football is back.

This month, I'm going to the Florida Heritage Book Festival, where I will smile for a full day.

Next month, in addition to attending the fabulous Florida Writers Association conference (I've got three finalists up for awards!), I'm also going to do the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. You know what that means? That's right, another fabulous food blog!

This is the greatness of the Internet Tubes. I can post a food blog every year and no one can stop me!

So...until next time...