November 13, 2005

By Turns Enraged and Darlinated

Enraged because I am TRYING TO DRAFT A NOVEL HERE (I may have mentioned that, oh, 500 million times or so??) And MS Word keeps putting up a miniature CLIPBOARD in the middle of my text, a clipboard that appears between the lines, and if my mouse inadvertantly touches the clipboard, the wretched creature asks me if I want to "keep source formatting" or "match destination formatting" or "keep text only." My problems with this are several...

1) I do not know what ANY of those options mean.
2) No matter which option I pick, the clipboard nods smugly and REMAINS SQUATTING IN THE MIDDLE OF MY TEXT, I suppose in case I change my mind later and decide I realy DO want to "keep source formatting," NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
3) THERE IS NOT AN OPTION called "Send the clipboard and all who support it directly to hell to be prodded by the pitchforks of smelly deamons until it is heartily sorry it EVER showed its smug nose." What kind of a menu doesn't include THAT, I ask you?
4) In fact, the only other choice"Apply style or formatting" which opens up a WHOLE ANOTHER MENU of options that a) I do not understand and B) still does not include "send clipboard to hell."

You may not think this is a big deal, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. IT IS. IT IS. That clipboard is making me unable to work because when I am reading through the pages trying to catch the VOICE so I can draft the next section, I have all these CLIPBOARDS LOOKING AT ME. They are distracting, for one, and for two, I highly suspect the clipboards of being judgemental.

It's like when I used to be enraged by that horrid, relentlessly perky MS WORD HELPY PAPERCLIP who used to pop up every time I started a new chapter to say something like, "You seem to be writing a letter! May I assist you?"

I just want my SOFTWARE TO LEAVE ME ALONE and let me work. I do not want my software to have a personality or little pompous, yappy icons. I do not want my software to THINK IT IS SMARTER THAN ME. And if it IS smarter than me, I don't want to know.

On the other hand, I am darlinated. Yes. That's a word.

I recently read the galleys for a VERY funny and big-hearted memoir about a skeptical American who falls in love with a French man and marries him. It was a charming look into another culture, and the best part of the book, to me anyway, was when she brings him home, and the tables turn, and suddenly I am looking at my beloved Georgia through foreign eyes. (It's called Blame it on Paris by Laura Florand, and I will alert you when it gets close to release) SO after half a book of laughing my butt off at how VERY weird the French are, I end up laughing even harder as I saw exactly how weird WE are here, all while being hugely entertained by the story. Anyway, long story short, I sent in a blurb, and the author was apparently pleased with the blurb because she sent me a box of chocolates.

RIGHT AFTER she put the order in, she came over to read my blog and saw that I am OFF wine and chocolate, and so I get this letter apologizing, and then a day after that, this gorgeous box of the kind of chocolate that is 70% and and rich and bittery-thick with goodness arrives, and the chocolate is enveloping things like fig ganache and blood orange truffle and crystalized ginger and whipped French honey. This is the exact kind of chocolate you should NEVER apologize for. I am shamelessly eating it and pretending it doesn't count, because, trust me, this chocolate is NOT even in the same GENUS as a Halloween Mini-Twix. So far the WINNERS of taste with a CUTENESS BONUS, are the Chocolate Mice who are nestled in the box with their noses pointed charmingly up, as if asking to be dandled over my gaping maw by their satin tails and then devoured. I am SO happy to oblige them.

ANYWAY, the box came with a little BOOKLET with pictures and a key that explains in sumptuous language what sort of filling is inside the various shapes. So the other day, Maisy found the key, and she got in her "choir" position, feet together, eyes cast upwards toward heaven, and she held the chocolate booklet like it was sheet music, and began singing. Scott, that fast thinker, IMMEDIATELY hit record on the computer.

If you have a good con and a nice processor, you can hear Maisy's Song

To which I can only say....Amen.

Posted by joshilyn at November 13, 2005 1:54 PM

If you have dial up or it won;t play because you lack the software, her song's lyrics are "Praise the Lord for Chocolate. Do you love it like I do?"

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 13, 2005 1:57 PM

Joshilyn, you will become a gazillionaire if you can get that menu to offer the option to send the clipboard to hell. I was laughing and "YESing" the whole thing. I hate it when my computer judges and mocks me. Just sit over there in the corner and play solitaire or something until I ask for your help! And quit looking at me!

And amen to Maisy's song. Top 10 hit if I had any say in it!

Posted by: Jenn at November 13, 2005 2:38 PM

Am dying of Cuteness over here, listening to Miss Maisy.

My dog, on the other hand, immediately leapt up from under my desk and is now looking for her to play with. If Maisy ever needs a play date with a golden retriever, Kiska is ready and willing (through living in VA). . .

Posted by: Corrie at November 13, 2005 3:32 PM

I thought that was what she said, oh my gosh she is just good enough to eat in one big bite. She is better than chocolate.

Oh and I always choose "keep text only" and as soon as I put a space after the part I just pasted... the clipboard from hell goes away.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at November 13, 2005 5:23 PM

I predict that Maisy will be a brilliant and much-sought-after songwriter. Truer words were never before sung.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at November 13, 2005 8:38 PM

Having found a dead mouse on the floor of my living room this week, I have to say: Chocolate Mice...EWWWWWWW!

But Miss Maisy's song...unendurably precious!

Posted by: Amy-GO at November 13, 2005 9:05 PM

Precious before I knew the lyrics. HILARIOUS and precious now. Must say, though, it freaked my husband out. He didn't know what it was, where it was coming from or what she was saying. I think he thought his time had come.

Posted by: Em at November 13, 2005 9:28 PM

Also, now I totally have my teacher gifts picked for Christmas! Cutest chocolate mice I ever saw!

Posted by: Em at November 13, 2005 9:33 PM

I am dead now, thank you very much. I was either struck down by my jealousy over the chocolate mice or by the cuteness of Maisy's song, but it's really too close to be sure either way.

Posted by: Mir at November 13, 2005 9:51 PM

Amen to the evil clipboard and the stupid paperclip. I would also like to add the little waggle-tailed dog that pops up on the search menu to the "list of animated 'puter creatures too obnoxious to live". And I normally LIKE dogs! Also, it pisses me off when I tell spellcheck I want to say something and it pops up with that "are you SURE? because we don't think that's a real word" dialogue. Gggrrr....

AND...I want some of that chocolate. I may have to buy some for a gift so that I can include a little bonus box in the order just for meMeME!

AND...Maisy's song is fabulous and brilliant and it freaked out of my cat, which is always fun! :-) (I think you should send the recording to the chocolate place and suggest they use it on their website. Seriously!)

Posted by: DebR at November 13, 2005 11:53 PM

Here I was, reading your entry and I thought to myself, "chocolate mice? Why that sounds like the sort of thing they sold at Burdick's, in my old stomping ground in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts." And sure enough, it is! I know my chocolate!

If you ever make it up that way, try the hot chocolate, where "hot chocolate" here does not mean "thin mud-colored liquid made from a powder" but rather "melted dark chocolate so thick it's almost a syrup, so very good that you'll burn your mouth on your first sip, and then burn it again on all subsequent sips because you don't have the self-control to wait until it cools, but hey, your taste-buds were always going to be disappointed after this so why did you need them anyway?"

Posted by: Marleigh at November 14, 2005 10:18 AM

Yup. Gotta concur on those (helpful?) animated software thingies. I loathe that paperclip. Not real fond of the dog, either. And may I say, those are, indeed, fine looking chocolates. Mercy!*smacks lips jealously* Or maybe merci! So, did Maisy's serenade garner her one of them, hmmm? Precious! Clearly a belle!

Posted by: David at November 14, 2005 10:29 AM

Praise the Lord for little girls

Posted by: Jilly at November 14, 2005 11:02 AM

I have dial up, it only took a little bit of patience - but it was so very worth it. Miss Ah-Maisy is adorable.

I would rather put up with the stupid little animations on Word, (but isn't it nice you can at least turn the dog off?) than the formating mess that occurs in Corel's Wordperfect which is either an oxymoron, or a test of my last morsel of patience to see whether I will shoot my computer in absolute frustration....or not. I have a Glock, so if this goes to the wagering community don't bet on the computer, okay.

Posted by: Cele at November 14, 2005 11:46 AM

MAISY is begging to be dandled over MY maw by her satin tail and gobbled up.

God that kid is so cute. Keep your mice...Give us more MAISY!!

Posted by: Angela at November 14, 2005 12:39 PM

Here is how you get rid of the clipboard. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Edit tab.
Select or clear the Show Paste Options buttons check box.
It worked for me. I hope it works for you.

Posted by: Dave T. at November 14, 2005 6:58 PM

You dont have that option...?

I beleive there is an updated "send to hell" task on the 2005 version of XP...

The helpy paperclip feature is on there aswell, he pops up and says...

"You seem to be writing a book, shall I leave you the fuck alone?"

I heard a rumour that you can download a tool from the MS website, which offers footrubs also.

Posted by: Bookseller to the Stars at November 15, 2005 3:43 AM

Dean and Deluca makes a set of hollow chocolate pigs that contain several tiny little chocolate piglets.

They also make tiny chocolate purses. Excellent.

Posted by: Brooke at November 17, 2005 1:32 PM

OHMIGOD that Maisy is a doll! Too bad you don't have that one on video!

Posted by: Patti at November 18, 2005 12:30 AM