Saturday, April 30, 2011

On stuff OTHER than writing, newsworthy bits, and stuff I learned this week

It has occurred to me that folks visiting this blog might not want to talk or read about stuff related solely to writing. I don't blame you. It's totally boring to talk about sales numbers, marketing strategies, and grammar issues all the time. Even I get weary of it, especially as the week winds down and my brain is absolutely stretched beyond capacity with all the calisthenics involved with the sales & marketing crap.

As such, I won't talk about that stuff today. My brain is tired and I have blog posts to write/finish for other folks, taxes to do (yeah, I'm gonna miss the Canadian tax deadline...whatevs...), and Yaunna needs to go to the mall to find shoes for Oliver. Before I go off on the latest tangent, though, I will encourage you to visit these blogs where reviews, interviews, and active giveaways are goin' on:

1. Books, Personally -- On Sleight, Judy Blume, and Heroines in YA
2. The Cait Files -- review for Sleight (watch this blog for an upcoming post and giveaway!)
3. Into the Morning Reads -- active giveaway + review (giveaway ends 5/9)
4. Confessions of a Bookaholic -- active giveaway + review (giveaway ends 5/13)

Now let's get on with it: 

Things that happened this week that you might or might not give a shit about:

1. Terrible tornadoes ripped through seven states in the southern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Hundreds of thousands are still without power and water; the death toll as of this morning sits at 340. I have been talking to a blogger in Tennessee who said that although they survived it physically unscathed after hiding in the bathtub under a mattress, now that the clean-up has started, mail from Arkansas has been found in Knoxville. Though she didn't say where the mail was from, one city that was hit (Palarm, Arkansas, north of Little Rock) is 600 miles from Knoxville -- crazy-long way for mail to fly through the atmosphere on nothing but wind currents. Father Time must've cut off Mother Nature's credit cards again as she was in a piss-poor mood this week. We're thinking good thoughts for the folks over there and hope that everyone just hangs in there. ((Hugs)) from western Canada.

2. The Royal Wedding happened. Yeah, I don't need to say anything more about it other than I sort of woke up around 2 am PST and watched the super-boring singing/praying parts (those little choir boys were so cute, though!!), went to bed at 3, and laid awake until after 4 (insomniac) thinking about everything and nothing. I missed the Big Kiss but I did love that dress. How do her guts fit into that little tiny body? The Middleton girls are barely more than twigs. Sheesh, their intestines must be all svelte and clean. I can't imagine having a waistline so teeny, not even when I was, like, 9. And whatever folks have to say about the monarchy and its dastardly reputation of squashing the little folks -- my family has Irish and Scottish blood; I'm sure we've had lots of peasantry trampled and pillaged by said royals -- it's not William and Kate's fault, nor Harry's (although much could be blamed on the hats of Eugenie and Beatrice. Those girls looked like the ugly stepsisters at Cinderella's ball). Bottom line, I want the best for these youngsters. They look so happy and in love. And what's wrong with that? Folks need to not hate out of jealousy. William and Harry are following in their mother's footsteps with the charity work, which is a helluva lot more than I can say for me, or most of the people I know. Go build a school or hospital in Africa and then tell me that they're rotten people.

3. My 9-year-old was selected for the Development 1 select soccer team after undergoing four-point-five hours of tryouts across three days. We are very proud of him -- he is a kick-ass player! Go, Brennie, go! And the 6-year-old was given a lovely little award at school for "taking his role as a learner seriously and always putting forth a determined effort." I gave him a prize for his prize: the Wimpy Kid DIY journal. As he was home sick Friday, it gave me ten minutes of peace while he doodled away a comic about the Fart Police.

Arabian Nights, by Ashleigh Norman
4. My little sister, artist Ashleigh Norman, debuted a new painting for the New West Symphony in Thousand Oaks, California, via an event called "Music to See, A Multi-Media Experience." Check it out. She's quite good with paint.

5.The Festival of Books is happening in Los Angeles this weekend, at the USC campus. I wish I could go, but if you're in the area, go in my stead. It looks like fun.

6. The Vancouver Canucks barely barely defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in game seven of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I almost had a heart attack and it took hours for my pulse to regulate itself. They went on to beat Nashville in game one on the second round (on Thursday); game two is today. The family will be watching.

7. I sent a tweet to a friend about another friend who used to trick-or-treat at Judy Blume's house, allegedly in Portland. Judy Blume RESPONDED and corrected us, that it couldn't have been her house because she lived in New Jersey. SO, it must've been Beverly Cleary's house (she lived in the same Portland neighborhood where this friend and I grew up). The POINT: Judy Blume responded to my tweet!!! 

Things that I learned or revelations that occurred to me this week:

1. "Friends" on Facebook and friends on Facebook are two totally different entities.

2. Removing a sink faucet without a basin wrench is an exercise in futility.

3. Waiting for the mail to come with the (fingers-crossed) final proof of your novel is like waiting for that boy who didn't know you existed to call and ask you to prom. Especially in Canada. We don't get mail on Saturdays, and last weekend was a long one, with Good Friday and Easter Monday mail-free, statutory holidays for the postman.

4. Donald Trump should be exiled to a waterless, sunless, oxygen-free planet. Maybe his hair will stop growing and we will all be put out of our misery.

5. When someone you love has someone they love who's dying, everything else suddenly falls into place. But only for a few moments of clarity. Then everything goes back to its worrisome, frenetic state, especially when you realize that there is nothing you can do to help your friend feel better, except listen. Sometimes that's just not enough.

6. Rankings on Amazon, unless they're in the bestsellers' category, are irrelevant. Fun, but irrelevant. But it makes your kids and your husband and your mom and your best friend really happy to see your book on a list with Twilight, especially when your book is ranked above Twilight for approximately eight whole hours.

7. No matter how hard you cross your fingers, things will happen as they are supposed to. It can be maddening.

8. Cat hair, dog hair, and dust reproduce like no other amalgamation of molecules on the planet, especially on/around my desk.

9. Stefan Salvatore is adorable. I realize this makes me look ridiculous to admit, but I can't help it. Last night's insomnia led me to watch the Vampire Diaries episode from Thursday, and I just love Stefan. Damon = delicious, too.

10. Sometimes, retarded is the perfect word to describe one's feelings or the way a situation presents itself. Lady Gaga got into all sorts of shit this week for using said word in an interview (she was compared to Madonna or accused of ripping her off or something, and called such comparison "retarded"). There was a major backlash, and now the media has dubbed it "The R Word." The definition of retard: "delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment." In colloquial use, it has come to mean ridiculous, unreasonable, or stupid. That does NOT mean we are bashing on people who have impaired cognitive abilities. They call those folks Texans* developmentally disabled nowadays. I grew up with a physically disabled sister who was not developmentally disabled, but when she was being a cow to me and our other sister, she was totally retarded. Ask the kids we went to school with how retarded Michelle could be when she ran into them in her 200-lb. power-drive wheelchair, just to get back at me for something I'd done at home the night before. For the record: Michelle (rest in peace, 'Bug) would never be offended by being called retarded -- she'd just holler and protest that you were the retard, not her. Time for the Sensitivity Police to take a coffee break. No one is insulting your autistic nephew or your developmentally disabled daughter.

(*Sorry, Texans. It just popped into my head, and I had to go with it. Couldn't help myself. Yes, I'm still laughing at how clever I am. And those of you who are from Texas, I know you feel the same way about us granola-munching, tent-dwelling, tree-hugging, socks-and-sandal-wearing Oregonians. It's all good. Just good, clean, retarded fun.)

11. Armadillos can give you leprosy, according to Discover magazine. Another thing for me to tease Texans about.

That's all she--er, I--wrote for the week, folks. I know I'm forgetting stuff, but that's because I'm distracted and worried about how I'm going to save the world before I turn forty (four months, twenty days to go).

Xs and Os from me to you (unless you have an active herpes outbreak on your lip, and then we're limiting it to Os and no Xs. Xs are kisses, right? Or are Os the kisses? Whatever. No kissing unless Purell is involved).


  1. What an interesting week, Jenn! I didn't watch the Royal Wedding since I was passed out due to small readathon that happened that night but I did catch a look at her dress and you're right.

    Those Middleton girls are twigs. lol

  2. Lol Jenn! Yes Stefan is hot too ;) we need to get that insomnia under control or become vampires!

  3. Hahaha Jenn!

    Wow, your sister is very talented! Tell her I said so please. Tell Bennie congrats too!

    Wow, your week has been crazy! I hope you get the book on Monday! That'd be sweet! I am not sure about the Donald Trump thing. What'd he do?


    Angeline Kace

  4. Ok, your blog cracks me up. Especially since I had a HUGE herpes on my lip break out the day my novel went on Amazon.

  5. I LOVED Kate's dress. And I totally tried to stay awake for the wedding, but I had to go to bed for work the next day. Siiigh.

    I hope that you getting the proof soon means a print edition soon. :)

    - Ashley

  6. Jenn, your post totally rocks! I totally loved every bit of it. I, too, am a Stefan lover ;)and you're right. DAMON IS HOT!!!

  7. Jenn, you are seriously one of my most favorite people! :) I must say that I overuse the word retarded in my everyday life....shame on me!

  8. Okay I just have to say that the captcha word for my last comment was "hokie". I will now have the hokey pokey song in my head all night....Thank you!