I’m only mostly dead!

Ah, sweet, sweet writing habit… how I’ve missed you. *pets cozy little purring thing that’s either my ego or the kitten, since I’m too lazy to actually get up and turn on the lights*

The readership, however, has not missed much. Unless they want my newly-discovered fabulous recipe for beef Stroganoff, and that probably needs to wait until I tinker with the seasoning salt a bit. Also, switch to low-salt not-maple cured bacon. (Those noticing a pattern, give yourself a cookie. Seriously, ‘savory’ has limits.)

Basically, my life over the last few weeks would’ve been a non-stop parade of whine whine work moan whinge whine "ooh! cupcakes!" whinge moan. How I long for the day when my off-the-cuff whingeing sells a million copies, but until then, the tale of how I accidentally spilled juice all over the cats the other morning can stand the extra polishing time.

Granted, somewhere in there the despised home front did abruptly bust out into emerald swathes of lawn and apple-blossom everywhere and goslings in the park. Which frankly is not at all fair. (It was almost a relief to come home from the meeting the other night and see three police cars parked out front, while a second swarm blocked a nearby street. No, I never did find out what it was all about.)

It did however help me cope with the work situation — the goslings etc, that is, not the speculation on incipient grow-ops — inasmuch as it provided an outward focus and reminder of greater meanings. I don’t care if you’re technically still employed at the time, job-hunting sucks. You know all that Sesame Street-esque bilge about how it doesn’t matter, you’re special just the way you are? Hah. Welcome to Purely Random Judgment Land, boys and girls."Do you love me now? How about now? Do I look competent and trustworthy now? Oh… you didn’t want competent, you wanted proactive?"

If I ever get into the position of interviewer, top of my question list is "How many interviews is this, now? Four? OK, that’s an automatic +12 coherence forgiveness, right there."

My main issue, it appeared, was that I wasn’t giving off enough of an upwardly-mobile vibe. The buyers were envisioning Future Executive, and I was projecting more Hey, the Cats Aren’t Hungry Enough to Wake Me at 3AM, I’m Good. Honestly, I have never quite grasped this whole ‘passion for retail’ deally-bob. A more astute buddy of mine — ie, we started in the same position, and he’s now the Category Manager for frozen foods — pointed out that it’s about how the company can be sure it’s getting value for salary, which makes sense; I guess I just figured value as more of a ‘the work’s getting done’ thing, without having to pretend I looooove the notion of giving up my weekends to study sock sales trends, into the bargain.

Fear not, though, such of the readership as remains; eventually, there opened a spot that the buyer needed to fill fast. No time to ponder the intangibles, just bundle up my awkwardly-shaped-but-solid self and jam it into their equally hexi-deci-rectangular-tripod opening. And the good news is, I think it’s actually gonna be a decent fit. It makes excellent sense in terms both of who I am and where I’ve been. Plus, it’s in Soft Home accessories — think rugs, pillows, candles and the like — so I totally have a lifeline in the form of Shoemom, Shoesis and their Style @ Home subscription. ("Pssst… what do we think of puce?" "Oh, yeah, very hot colour this year. But make sure it’s more toward plum, too much brown is deadly with that camo green.")

So Phase One of the Master Life Plan is in motion. Now, I just need to figure out what to do with myself while waiting for Phase Two to come within unfolding range. Webcomics and hanging out at TVTropes are fun diversions, not bugging the audiobook people every ten minutes to see if the liner notes are finished a noble quest, but I feel the need for something a bit more… epic. One of those quirky yet life-affirming projects that will snag me a Purpose and possibly also that book deal.

…I wonder what the market’s like for blogs about the search for a quirky yet-life affirming thing to blog about?

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So, you’re saying they could be mongongo nuts, then?

So I’m munching happily away at my lunch – and just as an aside, boy do I pity all of you who don’t have access to Shoemom’s chicken pot pie – when my eye catches some yellow type on my KitKat ‘Senses’ bar wrapper.

Now, you have to understand, this bar was purchased on the assurance that it contained hazelnut creme. The ingredients list hazelnut prominently. The lady handing out samples at the supermarket specifically referred to hazelnuts in describing the ‘enhanced flavour’ of this new and exciting taste treat. Topping everything off there’s a huge honking portrait of a hazelnut right there on the front.

Thus it came as something of a surprise to read on the back, in bold yellow type: This Product May Contain Peanuts or Other Nuts.

Er…

I have the best parent on Earth.

One who, on a dreary Sunday morning, is capable of announcing, “How about we have johnnycake (cornbread, for you non-Easterners) and bacon for supper tonight, after the meeting?”

Then – this is the really amazing part – she actually makes it. Yes. We had hot johnnycake, slathered with butter, and bacon for Sunday dinner.

I don’t deserve her, I really don’t.

Diet notes of the week…in other news, if I don’t find something to write soon, it may not matter.

Am really getting into these baked Lay’s chips, although the cheddar-and-sour-cream goodness wears off a smitch too fast without the oil to stick to. This is the first thing you realise, when you start becoming fat-conscious: it is what puts the flavour in things. The loss of creaminess and richness I can live without (‘cepting ice cream), but the quest for taste, in a diet that already didn’t include much in the way of fruits or veg, raises the hunt for low-calorie gratification to an art form.

(Look, yes, I know. The reason I don’t eat fruits & veg – other than juices, corn and potatoes – is that the texture makes me quite literally retch. At various points in my lifetime friends and family have cajoled, teased, guilted or humiliated me into trying, say, a strawberry; the results have not been pretty.)

Pacifying small indulgence of the week: Vachon triple-choco cakes. Chocolate snack cake topped with a loop of chocolate frosting, within which is chocolate-fudge syrup. I have had them in the cupboard for 24 hours now, and I have only eaten one. Victory is mine!

Meanwhile…yeah, the writing thing. Am still waiting on feedback re: my PopMatters column idea, as noted a very simple concept involving my one proven audience-gathering skill: the ability to say snarky and/or clever things about pop-culture. The more I think about it, the more I like it; inclusive yet uncomplicated, fun to write and certainly to research, so motivation to keep a deadline would be a breeze. Maybe too uncomplicated. We’ll see. I am feeling better on that score, after a week’s reading what passes for a similarly-themed humour column in the MetroNews.

The fiction experiment, or lack thereof, is what’s really bugging. Same old same old: the historical family saga is bogged down in my total lack of confidence in re: writing period accuracy, the sci-fi thing is too cliched and the ‘write what you know’ idea is at a dead stop thanks to my being a pastel-cover person with an absolute horror of pastel-covered fiction.

Result: one ridiculously frustrated Shoe. I should just start writing something, I know. Given a choice between that and gorging on choco-cakies, maybe I will.

Interlude

Public-service announcement: I’ve decided the ‘paid-LJ’ option is about all the excitement I can take for the time being. I mean, seeing as how it took me like an entire weekend to convince my accountant – aka Shoemom in full-bore “Fine, then! Just go spend money, you – you money-spender, you!” mode – to let me have the c-card even to that extent.

(Seriously, she’s a sweet woman but at even the bare suggestion of parting from a penny does this Jekyll/Hyde thing that makes Scrooge look like a bumbling amateur. And since we as Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas…)

Otherwise, not much to report. Ooh, except that the Agony Booth finally got around to reviewing Battlefield Earth, which is pretty much made of win. Lovers of snark everywhere, this is one experience you should not miss. If you’ve got the stomach (and the few hours) for it, the best way to get the full effect is to follow this review of Travolta’s Folly up with Ken Begg’s at Jabootu, to catch some precious little stupidities the novices on this Team Booth missed. I don’t really blame them though; there are so many…

Also, I just wanna take a sec to mention that the new Hershey’s Kisses – well, new to me anyway – with ‘cheesecake-flavoured truffle filling’ are way yummier than their name deserves. Almost makes up for the fact that here it is just days before Easter and I can’t find those little mini-Mars bar or Dove caramel eggs anywhere. It’s just, like, Cadbury-o-rama, and frankly I’m not all that crazy about Cadbury chocolate, it’s way too rich and heavy.

Of course, I am resigned to all this, because a lifetime of experience has taught me that whatever commercial foodstuff I happen to take a special shine to is automatically added to some sort of cosmic Too Much Fun list and disappears from shelves pronto. Sometimes within weeks. Sorry about that, fellow Stouffer’s Roasted Red Pepper Rotini lovers. You may want to stock up on the Thai Ginger Beef now, and avoid the rush.

Anyway, speaking of Easter, or more accurately why I don’t speak of it…yeah, meme article coming soon, promise. Possibly tomorrow. For now, as you may have gathered, I need sleep.

Interlude

Public service announcement: I really must apologise to all – uh – [glances at statcounter] – any of the readership who may have unwittingly bought seats on the Great Bob & Ray Essay Kaleidoscope these past few weeks.
It started out as just your standard offhand blogger’s appreciation I swear; but then an unexpected hit from a Los Angeles IP address started me thinking that it would probably be a good idea, when writing a public tribute, not to leave the impression that any live honourees were deceased. I got interested, and started researching, and realised I’d left out some really great details…well, you can imagine, after forty years there are a lot of details.

So the next thing I knew I was working on a full-fledged little article. (Should anyone with a personal interest in fact be reading, I’d like to stop right here and say thanks. Not sure what for, specifically, but I have developed a very great need to thank somebody for those forty years.)

‘Tennyrate, the really good news is that I’ve just added the very very last, finishing touches this afternoon. I think. Well, barring any shocking! revelations of late-night cavorting on the set of Bob & Ray & Jane & Laraine & Gilda, the SNL special they taped in the 70’s…

…OK, getting grip once and for all. Seriously, as far as I can tell both Elliott and Goulding were perfect gentlemen at all times; even while throwing a spelling bee to a miniskirted Laraine Newman they come off as the dear old grandfathers they were by then. Albeit I do wonder if the little ones were allowed to stay up and watch their Grandpas chorus Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?…

[Um, in business suits. You can put down the brain bleach now. Sorry.]

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So life acquires a distinctly whimsical edge anyway, when you conflate vacation days with the holidays…

[Note to readers now moved to outrage over my not saying ‘Christmas’: Hey, far be it from me to interfere with your belligerent defense of the Prince of Peace. Just please make sure the link back here from your Net-spanning defamatory emails is working correctly. thxbai!]. More