NaNoWriMo Nonsense

Someone grab me a paper bag. A big one. I’m going to need it because, as of tomorrow, I will be attempting to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. A good friend of mine, tired of my constant professions of a desire to write a novel, has goaded me into signing up for NaNoWriMo.

This rather silly combination of words stands for National Novel Writing Month. November is the month, and the goal is to produce a novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November, starting tomorrow.

50,000 words, do you realize that that’s 1,667 words every day for 30 days? My average blog post is about 600 words, so this is really going to be pushing it for me. I’m excited, though, because this is something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a wee child and knowing that I’m undertaking the task in the company of so many people is comforting.

It is going to be really difficult, though, let’s not kid ourselves here. I’m juggling the writing for three blogs, working 50 hours a week, and even after three years of marriage I still really like spending time with my husband, so squeezing in the time for writing 1,667 words every day is going to be really hard.

If nothing else, it’ll be an opportunity to prove to my very persistent friend that I can make good on my assurances that I really would like to write a novel. He’s going to be holding me accountable and I hope all of you will as well. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually finish the novel, someone will want to publish it, and then people will actually pay to read my writing…What a ridiculous thought!

Karaoke is a Battlefield

Karaoke. I have no idea why, but I’ve always wanted to do it. Like, have-put-it-on-my-own-personal-bucket-list wanted to do it. I know, I know, I’ve heard a million people say it’s not nearly as fun as it looks and the people who do it end up looking so silly. Call me a loon, but I’ve still wanted very much to do it.

Last night, an opportunity presented itself. Never mind that we were invited last-minute to an 80’s themed Halloween party. Forget about the fact that I was wearing cuffed jeans and was rocking a side ponytail. What’s important here is that there was karaoke. And booze. And anonymity. Done and done, is all I’m saying.

I signed Wes and I up and the DJ decided to have me sing first. I’d selected “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar in order to pay homage to the 80’s and angry women everywhere. In retrospect, I’m so glad that the only people who knew me were Wes and our two close friends who already think I’m a nerd.

I BOMBED! It was so bad that a random person from the audience ran up to help me out and sing with me. After what seemed an eternity I finished the song and made way for Wes, who did an amazingly awesome rendition of “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. He even got the rest of the audience participating in singing the chorus, so good was he.

Even though I really, just really did a horrible job, I’m so happy I did it. There are few things so thrilling as taking a chance on doing something you’ve always wanted to do but were maybe too scared to do. Even though I bet Pat Benatar would be really sad to hear how I mangled her song, she would probably support my right to get up on a stage and make a fool out of myself.

You know what I realized, though? Pat Benatar is right. Love is a battlefield. And so is karaoke.

I’m a Big Kid Now!

When I was younger I ruminated a great deal on what Adulthood would be like. It seemed to me, in all my young wisdom, that Adulthood was less an ongoing process of maturation and more a destination. I was convinced that once I was all grown up my problems would fewer, simpler, and I would know how to handle them with flawless grace.

I was so right.

Ha! Are you nauseous yet? The truth is, I may not be kidding. Being a kid was very frustrating for me. I couldn’t control who I allowed in my life (my school was not chosen but rather appointed due to where my house was, and I didn’t have luxury of being selective about which family members I saw regularly), I didn’t have any smarter, wiser peers to discuss my problems with, and I didn’t yet have the ability to look past my problems and realize that, in the grand scope of things, they weren’t really that big a deal.

As an adult, though…the problems are different, the friendships are different, and life as a whole is a lot more manageable. To me, right now, at the ripe old age of 23, Adulthood is:

  • Being able to turn off my cell phone, shut down my computer, and be invisible from everyone for as long as I want to.
  • Having the ability to evaluate a problem in relation to all the other problems I’ve ever faced and overcome, thereby determining whether it’s really worth the fuss.
  • Adopting a puppy, naming him, and training him to be ok with wearing his toys on his head.
  • Working at a job that pays me enough to enable me to buy whatever I gosh darn want.
  • Living with a man who makes me laugh, smile, dance, scream, shriek, cook, and relax.
  • Eating cold leftover fried rice an hour before I’m supposed to make dinner because I’m hungry now, gosh dang it, and don’t want to cook while famished.
  • Scheduling the payment of bills a month in advance so that, when I see them being withdrawn from our account in perfect synchronized order, I can smile and feel like a monetary puppetmaster.
  • Setting the thermostat to whatever temperature I want and not having to get permission first.
  • Feeling vaguely anxious about what the future holds, but knowing that as long as I have my husband at my side it will be fine.

Alright, now your turn. Adulthood is…

Inflammatory Sass

I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, that my husband compared me to Hannibal Lechter or that I was actually flattered by it. While Hannibal Lechter may not seem like a logical choice when describing the future mother of your children, I believe he may actually have had a point and so I share it with you all.

According to my husband, I resemble the fictional Dr. Lechter in that I am perfectly fine to deal with until someone is rude to me. Much like Hannibal, I have very good manners and am consistently pleasant to deal with until someone crosses me, at which time I supposedly eat their face.

Now, while I have never actually eaten someone’s face, I have been known to display flares of temper in response to mistreatment. If I’m in traffic, I will gladly let you into my lane unless you shove yourself into my lane, stop short, and force me to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting you.

If this is your M.O., I’ll probably find a way to make your regret your foolish choice. Most likely by finding a way to get in front of you and then positioning my car in just such a way as to ensure that you can neither go the speed limit nor pass me (the best way to do this is on a two-lane road. Position yourself in the left lane, preferably next to a slow-moving truck in the right lane. Then, go just slightly faster than the truck, but not enough to enable the jerk behind you to pass. Do this for at least a mile and you will have exacted your revenge.)

The reason Wes brought up my apparently Lechter-esque response to rudeness is that I was spitting fire after grocery shopping due to an inept checker at Safeway. The guy took literally seven minutes (I know because I covertly timed him) to bag the groceries of the woman in front of me and then royally screwed up my order.

He neglected to include the creamer that I paid for in my grocery bags and charged me twice for $11 worth of ground beef (both of which remained undiscovered by me until I got home.) He also flashed me attitude when I asked him to remove an item from my order that I asked him not to ring up until I knew my order total. In short, he was a bumbling, inept fool who had no business giving me any kind of sass.

I was pretty annoyed when I got home and promised Wes I’d go clear up the duplicitous ground beef charge and disappearing creamer incident the next day. Clear it up I did, and Wes didn’t seem at all surprised to learn that I didn’t rip the customer service rep a new one for the sheer inconvenience of having to return to the store.

I asked him why he wasn’t surprised and he replied with his now-infamous Hannibal Lechter comment. The comment makes sense though, at least to me. Barring the obvious psychopathic aspect of Hannibal’s nature, he’s really very polished, polite, and well-mannered as long as the people with whom he has to deal remember their manners.

Now I’m curious about you: What is your tolerance for offense? Are you the kind of person who can get dizzy from all the turn-the-other-cheeking you’re capable of or do you respond to offense in much the same way that gunpowder responds to heat?

The Great Doughnut

This last weekend was the weekend before Halloween, aka “Pumpkin carving weekend.” Wes and I were all set to carve our pumpkins like we do every year but stopped just short of actually purchasing the pumpkins because we had a choice to make: we could either buy the pumpkins (at roughly $7 apiece) or we could buy Doc more things to destroy with his mouth.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, our poor puppy is afflicted with a torn ACL and a migratory kneecap so his life is pretty slothful right now. The most exercise he gets is when we walk him on a leash to the backyard to do his business or when he runs up or down the stairs to do…whatever he feels like.
The direct result of this drastically immobile lifestyle (hey! that almost rhymes!) is that he has a renewed need to destroy. All his pent-up energy is now being routed directly out of his mouth and this means that his toys are taking a beating. For example, his Nylabone. These are built for aggressive chewers out of nylon-plastic-stuff and we get the biggest one they make (it’s about 14 inches long and weighs at least three pounds.)
He chews it down to a two inch nubbin in about a month.
From what I’ve gathered from other dog owners, this is a virtually unheard-of rate for Nylabone destruction. I suppose, though, that when you deprive a year old Labrador puppy of his right to run around like a maniac he’s going to act out in other ways:

This week he managed to finish off his second gigantic Nylabone and we had to throw the nubbin away because he was starting to attempt to swallow it whole (I don’t even want to know what a three inch piece of nylon-plastic chewed to sharp little edges would do to his soft insides.) This left him with a measly three indoor toys (a spiky ball, a plastic dumbell, and a rubber chicken) and it hurt our hearts to see him without anything really satisfying to chew.

So, we weighed our options: we could buy two pumpkins that would last for a week and then rot or we could buy a new bone and toy for our dog that would keep him busy and happy for at least a month. We picked Doc, who is now the proud owner of a not-so-shiny-anymore gigantic Nylabone and a plastic doughnut that is made to look like the doughnuts that Homer Simpson eats.
He has taken to carrying them around with him throughout the house and is absolutely in love with his new prizes. So in love, in fact, that he wants to indelibly mark his joy into our hardwood floors by repeatedly dropping his three pound bone just to hear it crash.
His favorite thing to do with new bones is stand at the top of the stairs and drop them down the stairs so they make a huge clatter and then crash at the bottom when they meet the wood floor. He’s fascinated by gravity like that. All this to say, we didn’t buy pumpkins, ergo we didn’t carve pumpkins.
I do think we made the choice though. I’m inclined to think that Doc agrees.