I am in Asheville now, drafting at my friend Saraâ€™s house. Yesterday afternoon when her boys got home from school, they taught me how to play CRANIUM. It is my new favorite game to play now, forever. I like it even better than Pathwords. I am getting it for Christmas.
Facebook continues to defeat all efforts to CONTROL ITS HORRID MIND CONTROL TENDRILS. The burden of saving the rainforest has become too much for me, and NOW I want to remove Little Green Patch. Best Beloveds, when I TRIED, spoooooky music started playing. â€œRelax,â€ said a creepy Lemon-headed baby. â€œWe are programmed to receive.â€ I think it means receive fruit babies into perpetuity. LITTLE GREEN PATCH WILL NOT LET ME CHECK OUT. Itâ€™s tempting to try and work that into an awful pun---plants not letting me â€œLEAVE,â€ get it? Heh. But I am too freaked out.
It took me thirty minutes of following a bizarre series of almost unrelated links to even navigate to a mossy dank cyber-rock with the hidden compartment where some creepy fruit-head had cleverly hidden the REMOVE THIS APPLICATION button. But I DID at last find it. I thought. It turned out to be a decoy. I press and press and desperately press it and it a) does nothing, or b) says error and does nothing, or C) closes my browser.
The REAL remove LGP button is guarded by Cerberus, who is no doubt wearing a creepy kiwi shaped hat on each of his three heads, and you canâ€™t get there from here. If any of you fellow Facebookers decide to brave the ferryman and cross the river of the damned and FIND THE WORKING REMOVE BUTTON, please tell me how to GET IT GONE.
Meanwhile, I am turning away every gift and invite out of sheer terror that if I click yes, I will, due to some fine print hieroglyphics on a hidden pop up codicil, be agreeing to trade my immortal soul and half my children for some pottage and the ability to play SCRAMBLE.
I am not forgetting the mailing list, by the way. Well, probably. I mean I WILL at some point probably forget to make the mailing list, but I mean I am not forgetting the PRIZES and the DRAWING. I just am not home and canâ€™t list the rest of the prizes. SO we will defer the drawing for another few days til I list them all. Which will happen after The Decatur Book Festival, where I will be this weekend. Assuming Facebook allows it.
You come too.
I am in Greenville to teach a workshop and to do a reading tonight at HANDLEBAR. (Come on out, why doncha, Greenvillian Best Beloveds). Since I had two free days in a hotel, sans kids and whatnot, you can rest assured I have spent my free day in the Weston heaven bed cuddled up with my lapdesk, working VERY HARD on the new novel.
And here you understand that â€œworkingveryhardonthenewnovelâ€ is actually a veryveryvery long German compound word that means â€œObsessively Playing Pathwords on Facebook.â€ Those crazy Germans, the way they STRING those things together! Sure I got NOTHING done, but I am now FIFTH on the PATHWORDS LADDER, which I had to do because I have completed EVERY GAME I was challenged to play! (cough hint cough)
TRUE FACT: Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften is for real German word. I think IT MEANS â€œStop playing Pathwords, you moron.â€ Or it means a specific kind of insurance company. I forget---I last studied German in high school.
Facebook, meanwhile, is CREEPING ME OUT in a â€œ2001-ish sort of â€œDAVE? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DAVE?â€ kind of way. You may think YOU control your own Facebook destiny, but I have come to realize Facebook is a living entity that is cleverly insinuating itself into EVERY FACET of my life without me initiating or even approving its actions.
I suspect it plans to continue until everything I do is connected to everything else I do by wily facebookian tendrils that will analyze my every move to predict my needs and desires, at which point corporations will pay Facebook to download ads SPECIFICALLY AIMED AT ME directly into my brain.
Facebook has, all on its own, JUST TODAY, done many things I absolutely never told it to do, includingâ€¦
â€¦downloading and turning on a chat function so that for the first few hours when I WAS actually working, little CHATS kept coming in from friends. It was a sly little program that would PRETEND to comply when I turned it off, and then it would turn itself back ON. Not only did I get sucked into multiple fascinating conversations (thus NOT finishing the rewrite on chapter 6) but THEN I realized each chat linked to Facebook, and with one accidental CLICK, I had a browser window open and saw I had SLIPPED on three slots on the PATHWORDS ladder, and before I knew what was happening, I was clicking tiles and my MS WORD doc somehow CLOSED.
â€¦Accessed my Blockbuster movie account and started POSTING what movies I have in my Q! This is SO humiliating, on TWO levels.
1) When I talk about the movies in my Q, I say I have NETFLIXED them, using Netflix as a GERMAN VERB that means â€œordered from blockbuster.â€ I use the VERB form of Netflix to mean â€œordered from blockbusterâ€ because I WISH I got my DVDs from Netflix.
But I was seduced by the whole TURN IN AT THE STORE to get free rentals thing, even though, to put it in SAT Terms: Netflix is to Blockbuster is as MAC is to PC. Now FACEBOOK has OUTED me as a closet Blockbuster user (read: Corporate tool) instead of a Netflix user (read: groovy and hip!) And I USE A PC, too, so I REALLY needed the slight coolness boost using NETFLIX as a verb was giving me.
2) IT POSTED MY Queu!!!! And while mostly this is okay---I gain coolness points for being publicly shown as having recently queued up FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, and MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY and MAD MEN, do I REALLY want the WORLD to know that I also am waiting with bated breath to see SPEED RACER? Hint: NO. But Facebook posted it FOR me. Also, until I figured out how to turn it off I was afraid to PICK ANY MOVIES lest I out myself as even dorkier than previously believed.,which was already UBERDORK.
â€¦Somehow connected itself to my PHONE and is sending me TEXTS and trying to do phone applications.
I have to learn to control this beast because RIGHT NOW I am the one wearing a saddle and Facebook has the crop. After the CREEPY PHONE THING I seriously considered getting off facebook entirelyâ€¦butâ€¦Facebook is where the keep the Pathwords. You should TRY Pathwords. Really. The first game is freeâ€¦
BEFORE I tell you, I have to remind you, once again, to SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST by clicking this link which allows you to send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot com.â€. Because there could probably maybe be a mailing list actually formed at some point. IT COULD HAPPEN. Quit looking at me like that. And also because signing up enters you in a prize drawing for many prizes. I am revealing them one by one as August plays out.
HERE IS ONE NOW! If you, like, me want to have the secret decoder ring cereal prize before ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR BLOCKâ€¦ then this next prize is going to intrigue you. It is an Advance Readerâ€™s Copy (signed, natch) of a book that will not release in hardback until JANUARY, but that I think has a good shot of really blowing out and being a huge word of mouth book. Itâ€™s SO good. Itâ€™s about how Truly Plaice, a woman born a giant, navigates her small townâ€™s prejudices, uncovers decades of family secrets, and learns that love doesnâ€™t always come ordered to size.
Itâ€™s such a fantastical story of murder and sisterhood (practically the same thing, in some families) and it has a big heroine with a bigger heart and the biggest brassâ€¦um, vertebrae that I have seen in fiction in a long time. I read it early for a blurb, and I said, and I dern well meant, that this book, â€œread so fresh and unfolded in such surprising ways that I was captivated from start to finish. It's a bracing, bright, masterful debut, and Tiffany Baker is a writer to watch.â€
Appropos of nothing, I love the cover:
PS: Tiffany Baker is going to be blogging starting Septrember first, over at The Debutante Ball.
ANYWAY. I love my husband. Here is why:
1) My little cat is a jerk. SUCH a jerk that for two days my â€œwhat are you doing nowâ€ line over at facebook read â€œJoshilyn Jacksonâ€¦ â€˜s cat is a jerk.â€
It may be that is he still just a teenager, and perhaps he will GROW OUT OF IT, but he may not LIVE to see that glorious day. He is a chair shredder and a foot attacker and a Big Cat tormenter and a Sleeping Dog Sabateur and a Wannabe Gerbil Slaughterer who we often find perched on TOP of the aquarium, staring down at my sweet old aging mice ladies with MURDEROUS INTENT. Also, he has to be in ANY room I am in, but on a SURFACE that is HIGHER than me, so he can stare down at me with a supercilious air.
LATELY he has begun doing this HATEFUL thing--- I go to PET him, he rears his head back out of reach and makes a snakey and suspicious face at the fingers that want to kindly caress him. Fingers that have never ONCE harmed him. Fingers that have offered him ONLY treats and pettings and adoration from the day he was 5 weeks old and I rescued him from a hellishly overcrowded pound, choosing him to save and love and be my own from ALL 36 of the dear, tragic, worthy, tiny, peeping kittens slated to die that day. (Why will people not spay and neuter? It was SO awful!)
I say to him, â€œBOGGART!â€
â€œBOGGART,â€ I say, â€œYou are a PET. You are my little pet and things like you are CALLED pets because PEOPLE like to PET YOU WITH THEIR HAND. It is a friendly gesture, meant to invoke PURRING and shared good feelings. Have you not noticed that I ALWAYS remember to feed you and I make SURE your disgusting carnivorous POOS are removed quickly from your poobox? NOW I AM GOING TO PET YOU AND WE SHALL BE FRIENDS. HERE I COME TO GENTLY PET YOU!â€ Then I reach for him and he slithers JUUUUUST out of reach and walks away with his tail uplifted high to show me the least pleasing part of him. The view he offers feels purposeful and rude.
The other day Scott and I were sitting on the sofa and Boaggrt came TEARING into the room with the mad mad mad mad crazy eyes and RAN STRAIGHT UP THE DRAPES. Then he leapt off them to the floor and galloped in a lathery panic away. I went over and looked at the brand new Boggart-claw-sized set of drape pick-holes and sighed.
I said, â€œDO you think Boggart wants to be an outside cat?
And Scott replied darkly, â€œI think he wants to be an underwater cat.
2) On our church hunt, we have a joined a study that is reading apologetics by a Church of England Bishop named Wright. It looks QUITE interesting and smarty-pantsy. We went to find the book, and tried three local big bookstores to no avail. Other people in the class had CLEANED all copies out. So Scott suggested we try the TEENY Christian bookstore up by Target.
We walk in and there are three little Christian Bookstore Ladies behind the counter nattering to each other in a velvet-voiced cluster. They have kind eyes with prim mouths. These are the EXACT ladies you want teaching your preschoolerâ€™s Sunday School class. They are soft and bosomy looking, but you can tell by the firm little chin-sets that they would brook NO SHENANIGANS. There would be no children whanging other children in the heads with Tonka trucks on THEIR watch. They would teach KINDNESS and SHARING and TABLE MANNERS with loving yet ruthless efficiency.
Scott, being male and therefore not one to ask for HELP or DIRECTIONS, wanders a few feet off into the stacks, but I walk to the counter. They all turn to me, polite and bright eyed.
I say, â€œHi! We are taking a class at our church and we need to get the book. Iâ€™m not sure what sections it would be inâ€¦Are you guys on a system that can look stuff up?â€
Lady One says, â€œCertainly,â€ and poises her fingers over a keyboard.
I say, â€œSuper. The book is byâ€¦â€ The name wonâ€™t come. I have asked for this book at an Indie store and a BandN AND a Borders today, but now all at once the authorâ€™s name is GONE FROM MY HEAD.
I say, â€œI canâ€™t believe this, I just went blank.â€ I press my fingers to my forehead and say, to myself, â€œOh man! What is that guyâ€™s name!â€
From the stacks we ALL hear my husbandâ€™s theatrically loud whisper, uttered in the tones you would use to help a child find a toy that is right in front of him or a moron find his own butt with both hands.
â€œJesus,â€ my husband says.
Some days I REALLY want this lolcat tattooed on my butt for those moments dealing with other humans where the ONLY possible response is to drop trou and moon.
SO as you can see, I am still not out of the PITY MUDS yet, but I quit pig-rolling and am slogging my way to the edge. The church hunt is going well, enough days have passed that I assume the angry people who are angry will be go be angry people who are angry with SOMEONE ELSE soon enough and forget I exist. (Let me thank you AGAIN for your bracing slew of BUCKUPLILCAMPER comments. GREATLY needed, DEEPLY appreciated.)
Since I am not QUIIIITE fit to be around HUMAN BEINGS YET, let me introduce you to someone who is --- Bridget Asher is here to answer three questions about her book, MY HUSBANDâ€™S SWEETHEARTS.
It is an AWESOME book by the way. I read it in galleys for a blurb, and I said it wasâ€â€¦ a whip-smart, tender, and eccentric tale that chronicles all the ways forgiveness can come to us; don't miss this ride.â€ and I meant every word of it.
JJ: Can you talk a little about the significance of your title and how you came up with it?
BA: Iâ€™d always wanted to write a novel about the complexities of loving a loveable scoundrel, about betrayal and forgiveness, and the way that, during a heartbreak, friends can become family, the deep bonds that can form between women especially as we grow up and older (and maybe wiser).
My Husbandâ€™s Sweethearts was the title of a novel that I knew I wanted to write, but I didnâ€™t know what the novel was about. In the summer of 2005, I was teaching a screenwriting workshop to grad students at the FSU Film School and we were working on pitches for movies. As an example, I pitched this idea.
A woman has married an older man, Artie, but, when she found out that he was cheating on her she leaves him. Now, six-months later, heâ€™s dying. When she goes home to care for him on his deathbed (because she couldnâ€™t consider herself a good person if she abandoned him and because she still loves him), she gets angry and asks him where all of his sweethearts are now. â€œThey were here for the good times,â€ she says, â€œand now I have to go through this alone.â€
He gives her his black book and tells her to call them up.
She gets drunk and calls his bluff, leaving messages on womenâ€™s answering machines late into the night.
The novel got most interesting to me when two of the women actually showed up â€“ one claiming that Artie saved her life and one who seeks revenge. And, of course, thereâ€™s one more sweetheart: Artieâ€™s long-lost son.
Sometimes a title presents itself and the novel floods in around it. Thatâ€™s what happened in this case â€“ My Husbandâ€™s Sweethearts is one of those floods of a novel.
JJ: lot of writers read this blog----how did you
â€¦Find an agent
BA: My agent found me and then I lied to him to keep him.
Iâ€™d published a short story in a tiny little literary magazine. My agent, Nat Sobel (link www.sobelweber.com), who wasnâ€™t my agent yet, read it and asked the magazine if he could contact me. My answer: of COURSE!
I knew that agents wanted novelists, and I was a short story writer. And, worse, I was actually a devout short story writer. I believed it was the true American form and that novelists basically lacked self-restraint and that a real writer could get it done in 25 pages or less. All fine and dandy and high-minded, but I knew that Sobel would be looking for a novelist not an overly pretentious short story writer.
I had two kids at the time (added a couple more later), and so on the day he was to call, I had a huge box of jelly beans on hand. When he rang, I took a minute to turn on the TV, hand the kids the box of jelly beans, and tell them to have at it. (Nothing in their lives had ever happened like this before. They were stunned, for a moment, but then started mowing.)
When Nat asked me if I was working on a novel, I lied. I said, â€œYes I am. And, coincidentally, itâ€™s based on that short story you like.â€ He asked to see the first fifty. I told him itâ€™d take me a month to polish them, but Iâ€™d send â€˜em on.
From an eleven-page short story called â€œGirl Talk,â€ I wrote the first fifty pages of a novel. My plan was to lure him into signing a contract with me; Iâ€™d give him the collection of stories to sell while I â€œfinishedâ€ the novel, and that would be that. (By the way, this was actually a great thing. I never had to start a first novel. I only had to write the first fifty pages of an undeniable novel that I never intended to write. A much easier proposition.)
He loved the pages and said, â€œI canâ€™t wait to see the rest.â€
And so, I had to write the rest. Eighteen books later â€“ including novels for younger readers under the pen name N.E. Bode,
and the new two-book deal as Bridget Asher, the short-story collection doesnâ€™t exist (I stole from it to make novels) and we still havenâ€™t signed a contract.
JJ â€¦ sell that first book
BA: Nat put the book up for auction. I talked to a few editors and, at the end of the day (literally), there were two editors at a stalemate. I talked to both, but one of them â€“ a junior editor at that time with Simon and Schuster â€“ was hooked into the book in a way that I couldnâ€™t explain. It already seemed to be hers. Her name, Greer Hendricks. Sheâ€™s gone on to do great big things at S & S.
JJ: â€¦ come to realize you wanted to pursue writing as a career instead of a personal passion or a hobby.
BA: I was probably ten years old. My sister was an actress living in New York. I didnâ€™t know any novelists. I probably still thought that books were born from bookshelves or written by people long dead. But playwrights, they were real people â€“ anxious chain-smokers pacing in the dim lobbies of off-off (sometimes off-off-off-off-off) Broadway theaters. I knew that thatâ€™s what I wanted â€“ not the chain-smoking, but to be the one behind it all.
Jj: I know you blog yourself over at Bridget Asher dot com Why do you blog and does it feed you or take energy from you?
BA: I write about the things that appear in my work, especially the new novel â€“ the bonds between women, overbearing mothers, scoundrel men â€“ plus my own motherhood (I have four kids ages 1-13) and the writing life. It makes me pay more attention to my everyday life. I now look around at something that strikes me as hilarious or touching or suspicious or scandalous and I donâ€™t think â€“ What would my characters think of that? Instead, I get to say: What do I think of that?
Because I blog, I exist a little more â€“ day to day â€“ which is a good thing because as a writer I tend to want to hole up and roost in my own head.
Itâ€™s the same as motherhood. As a mother of four kids (from ages 1-13), Iâ€™m only allowed to hole up in my head so much. Kids make me live in the world in some similar ways that the blog does â€“ and it all overlaps, of course. Writing and raising kids have a lot of cross-over for me â€“ they can both sap your energy and then zap you full of energy, but you never know when youâ€™re going to get sapped -- or zapped.
THANK YOU for all the kind comments. You all rock. I needed them yesterday. <3
Today I blogged at my SOUTHERN AUTHORS BLOG.
See you back here tomorrow.
MONDAY RESOLUTION THE FIRST: I am going to be a better person. More like Jesus and less like a Hun.
I feel like an atom bomb. Everything I TOUCH recently turns into a multiple-layered mess. I AM IN FIGHTS! MULTIPLE FIGHTS WITH MULTIPLE PEOPLE! And I am NEVER in fights! But now I am in actual conflict on more than one front, both professional and personal, and I think I am going to become agoraphobic. YES!
MONDAY RESOLUTION THE SECOND: Until I become more like Jesus and less like a Hun, become agoraphobic.
One of the reasons I am never in fights is because I am basically an invertebrate. SO spineless. I do not even have a tough, chitonous exoskeleton. I am a jelly-blob of will-less-ness with NO ability to stand up for myself. EVEN WHEN I AM IN THE RIGHT, I feel HIDEOUSLY guilty if I stand up for myself. Here is a SAMPLE POSSIBLE CONVERSATION I COULD ACTUALLY HAVE.
Me: Um, sir? Please do not be mad, but that is my car, can you please not steal it?
Terrible Car Thief: SHUT UP! I AM VERY BUSY TRYING TO POP THIS LOCK WITH MY ILLEGAL SLIM JIM AND YOU ARE BREAKNG MY CONCENTRATION. GAH! YOU WRECK EVERYTHING!
Me: Iâ€™m sorry! I didnâ€™t mean to interrupt. Here, take the keys.
But recently some things happened one after another BOOMBOOMBOOM.
1) I did some thoughtless things and didn't notice and hurt people, and I said I was sorry, but I still did things that cannot be undone.
2) I wanted something and I asked for it directly which always makes me feel like I am a HUGE PROBLEM and I keep callin gpeople up who are NOT MAD AT ME and apologizing for asking.
3) While being steamrollered, I tried to stand up for myself, and people got mad, and now I feel awful.
4) In separate circumstances. I tried to stand up for a principle I believe in, and people got mad, and now I feel awful.
On all these fronts, I feel like how a HUN would feel if Huns ever took stock of their lifestyle and became sorry. Which they donâ€™t. So not at all like a Hun. But also NOTHING like Jesus, who was spine-filled and threw out money changers when he was right and who was never wrong and who never hurt people. I am OFTEN wrong and I hurt people and I am passive aggressive and can;t ask for what I need and standing up for what is right only makes me apologetic and stressed out.
To add to the general HEART BURST level conflict distress, Scott and I broke up with our church. Weâ€™ve been there since Maisy was a baby, and we love it, but we have been feeling more and more and more disconnected. Not one of the four of us have a single close friend at church. I havenâ€™t really had a close friend there since Amy-Go up and cruelly moved to Kansas and Julie viciously converted to Baptistism. Weâ€™ve hung on for a couple of years because we got a new pastor that I like and feel good about, but finally, as Scott pointed out, a church is NOT the pastor.
There are plenty of people we like just fine, but no one whose lives match up with ours in ways that let us bowl together, you know? There are almost no boys Samâ€™s age. There are almost no girls Maisyâ€™s age. There are no moms who have kids that match my kids, or if they do they have work schedules that completely differ from mine.
SO we are church hunting! We tried the Presbyterians on Sunday. The first date went WELL, very very well, so well, it almost feelsâ€¦predestined. HA! RIMSHOT! Little protestant humor there. The place was CRAWLING with kids, so thatâ€™s good. We plan to go back for a second date on Wednesday ---but oh WAIT, I canâ€™t go! I just resolved to be agoraphobic.
MONDAY RESOLUTION THE THIRD: Scratch the agoraphobia resolution.
Leaving the house has not worked out for me very well, thoughâ€¦
Last time I left the house, still trembly in my knee regions from all the recent FUSSINGS, it was because I wanted to hear the HILARIOUS Jack Pendarvis read from his new book about a robot building lovelorn giant with a derby hat. Both the giant and the book are named Awesome. BY THE WAYâ€¦Time Out Chicago, says, "As for literary giants, AWESOME kicks Paul Bunyan's a--." And the New York Observer, calls it, "A shaggy dog story of a novel, unconstrained and wonderfully inventive."
I mention these things because I BOUGHT a signed hardback copy for YOU while I was there, Oh My Best Beloveds. Itâ€™s one of the prizes you can win when you sign up for my CURRENTLY PURELY HYPOTHETICAL but PROBABLY SOON TO REALLY EXIST mailing list that will tell you when I have a new book out and otherwise not bother you. You enter by clicking this link which allows you to send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot com.â€
SO anyway, I am at the book signing drinking a nicely made Cosmo and feeling like I might be fit for human company after all, when my husband said, "Who is that guy staring at you like he wants you dead?"
There was a rather innocuous looking fellow sitting up against the wall by the booksellers. He had a pleasant moon face and was dressed in clean and tidy clothing like a non-mental patient, but OH LORD! He was giving me the hairiest hairy eyeball in all the history of the hairy eye.
I hurriedly turned away from his scorching gaze and said, â€œI have no idea.â€
All through the reading, Scott and I kept stealing little peeks at him, and EVERY TIME he was STARING at me like he had a hatchet in his pocket and he couldnâ€™t wait to introduce me to it. A thousand times. With vigor and force. Until I was chunks.
I was so unnerved by him that we left just after the reading concluded. I have apparently moved on to enraging strangers. SO! That was FUN! And par for my HUNlike and destructive course across the universe. TODAY I plan to make it drop off-season golf-ball sized chunks of hail in China to ruin the Olympics. Thatâ€™s just how I roll.
MONDAY RESOLUTION THE FOURTH: Put up little poles with velvet rope in a windy Disney-World line-ride style formation so the people who wish to kill me with hatchets can wait their turn in relative comfort.
HEE! As you may have guessed from the above, YES I DO FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF, thanks for asking. That's extra revolting isn't it? That my response to my own SPINELESS inability to 1) fix things I have broken through my own carelessness or 2) ask for what I want without HUGE guilt and apologies, or worse 3 and 4) to stand up for myself or what I believe without feeling like a Hun... my response is to have a little pity-wallow for myself? Yes. Revolting. But the pity-mud is also nice and cooling in the Georgia August heat.
Care to join me?
But before the last word on Dahlonegaâ€¦This week, Elise sent the HYPOTHETICAL MAILING LIST an email that said, â€œPlease place me on the non-existent mailing list for Joshilyn's website. Or maybe send me a prize!â€ That amused me. And AIMEE said, as she signed up, â€œI am quite sure that Hallmark is -- even now, now, this very now -- designing a line of cards for Sign Up For The Mailing List Again Month, which I feel will become a national holiday ere long.â€
ANYWAY, You too can get on my possibly soon to exist (or not) mailing list and be entered for prize drawings simply by clicking this link and which allows you to send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot comâ€ Iâ€™m revealing the secret prizes slowly, one by one, as if this were a naughty prize fan danceâ€¦
How does a signed trade paperback copy of a #1 New York Times bestselling, Book Sense Book of the Year award winning, circus-lore having, elephant understanding, wildly awesome love story containing, meticulous sense of a lost place and time depicting, national phenomenon of a novel sound? Hint: DARN GOOD! I of course mean WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen. If your name comes out of the hat SECOND in the September drawing, it shall be yours.
But back to Dahlonegaâ€¦In the immortal words of Lorelie Gilmore (here paraphrased because I forgot how she put it â€“ she TALKS SO FAST), there are BED AND BREAKAFAST PEOPLE and NOT Bed and Breakfast people. Karen and I, especially when together as a unit, are NOT Bed and Breakfast people. The feeling is mutual, because I think that Bed and Breakfast owners would agree, if you polled them, that the people they wish would stay ELSWHERE are best described as, â€œloud insomniacs.â€
Now I like staying in Bed and Breakfasts with Scott, quite a bit. Without Scott, I only like them in THEORY. I love family style dining and the rooms are always so PRETTY and the owners are generally sociable, lovely people and so it seems like they would be great places to stay. But unless I am with my husband, once there I always feel awkward and like I am bothering everyone else by existing.
The place we stayed over the weekend â€“ I would be more than happy to stay there again. With Scott. It was close to town, and gorgeous, and had WI FI and was SUPER romantic---and I had the best breakfast I have ever eaten in my life. Karen and I literally teared up when we tasted the herbed eggs, they were THAT good. And they came with â€œTipsy French Toastâ€ which has triple sec in it and was served with fresh oranges. Yummmmmm.
ANYWAY, when I travel for work, I like hotels with televisions and thick walls and many many many rooms with some of the many rooms lying fallow and empty between me and EVERYONE ELSE so if I have to watch Scrubs reruns at 2 am because my melatonin has failed me and I CAN NOT SLEEP, I do not feel like I am ruining the sleep-lives of luckier and less-neurotically non-sleeping others.
ALSO, I think B and Bâ€™s are â€¦ROMANTICAL places more geared toward making out. Everyone who wasnâ€™t with the fest (me and Karen and Patti) was a coupleâ€¦One pair had come on a rekindling-style anniversary trip. They were all about BLUSHFUL HAND HOLDING and meanwhile the writers just wanted to sit out on the deck and drink local wine and play a viciously competitive game of screaminâ€™ Yahtzee. Not a good match.
IN RETROSPECT, on the phone, later, Karen and I decided this was MOSTLY the fault of Patti Callahan Henry. As we recall it NOW, Partti was the one who brought the karaoke machine, the one who wore tap shoes and ran back and forth across the room screaming RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!, the one who instgated the midnight Yodeling contest and tried, at about 2 am, to teach me and Karen to do the lindy hop. If Patti should by some random chance read this blog and call me a liar, I am willing to concede Karen did these things. *I* meanwhile, oh my Best Beloveds, as I am sure you can well imagine, sat primly on a sofa in a navy dress with a white peter pan collar TRYING to get my knit on and making librarian style shush noises.
OH! We did try to help the air of romance though! In the game room when we put back Yahtzee, we found a game called THE ENCHANTED EVENING. HEE! This is, if you follow me, a game for COUPLES. *cough* The game has dice and suggestive suggestion cards and comes with votive candles. Now, GRANTED, SOME of cards were written by â€¦I do not know. A horrid tribe of flower-dy haired, pachuoli smelling, barefoot running, rainbow wielding, unicorn slinging, PURPLE PROSED women with sap instead of blood. We REALLY for TRULY found a card that said, â€œMake your fingers move as gently as a whisper to caress your partnerâ€™s ear.â€
And also, yick.
THAT IS SO GOOEY.
If Scott was infested by BRAIN ALIENS and became an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT yicky-sticky person and if New-Scott said, â€œI know, letâ€™s play a lovey dovey board game,â€ and if he THEN handed me that GOOEY card, I would feel he had just sent me an ENGRAVED INVITATION to attack him with a Wet Willy. And then leave him for a Hellâ€™s Angel.
ANYWAY, the little REKINDLING couple had the room BY the game room, and so we paused long enough to dig through Enchanted Evening for the cards with GOOD IDEAS. You know, the kind of ideas that emphatically did not involve anyoneâ€™s finger being as GENTLE AS A WHISPER on anyone elseâ€™s STUPID EAR. We left the game and suggestion cards on the table outside their room. Even though we took different TASTES into account and CHANGED the suggestion several times, they never pulled the game into their room or even took the card inside. If their marriage fails now after two decades, KAREN AND I CANNOT BE BLAMED. We tried.
Note: The best card ever said, You and your partner BOTH have â€œoutstandingâ€ qualities. Caress a piece of your partner that does (or CAN) cast a shadow.
(Yes. I am twelve.)
When we last left Karen and me in Dahlonega, we had planned to get up at 5 am and hike the Appalachian Trail. BUTâ€¦ we ended up going out to dinner with a bunch of lit festy folks, including the super talented Steve Berry and his delightful wife, Liz, at a winery where we accidentally tasted about 50 different wines (and we are NOT â€œspit into the bucketâ€ type wine tasters, Oh my Best Beloveds), and then we sat up WAY past midnight cackling like loons with the also super talented Patti Callahan Henry.
Five AM came earlier than it had ever come before in the history of 5 AMs. It came so early that 4 AM lodged an official complaint with the SUN about 5 being so dern overeager and pushy. STILL, we dragged our sorry carcasses out of bed and drove out to the trail.
THINGS YOUR HISTORY BOOK FORGOT TO MENTION ABOUT THE APPALACHAIN TRAIL (or if my history book DID mention these things, I was passing notes and missed it.)
1) It is TOTALLY vertical. We hadnâ€™t gone half a mile before my heart felt like it was going to BURST. I mean I could actually feel my heart, that nerveless organ, swelling up and foundering and flopping about in my chest cavity like a panicky trout. I am not used to thisâ€¦I may not LOOK like an Olympian, but under my coat of lady shaped padding, I am in good cardio-vascular shape. Not, apparently, good enough to allow me to leap straight up the sides of mountains like an adolescent goat, but still, pretty good. Karen, who is younger and lithe-r, didnâ€™t have that much trouble with up, but she has a VERY bad knee. She borked it badly doing cheerleading acrobatics, so badly her orthopedic surgeon had to put CADAVER PARTS in it to make it go at all. (!!!)
Digression: At dinner parties, I like to tell people different stories about her knee. Like I will say, "And then she did all this research and found out the knee once belonged to... A FAMOUS RUSSIAN BALLET DANCER Who committed suicide right AFTER dancing a perfect Giselle!" or ..."A FEMALE MASS MURDERER who was actually the third WOMAN to ever be executed in Texas!" or ..."An international financier who fell face first off a a nineteen story building, and he was an ORGAN DONOR, but he was SO smashed up that only his KNEES were donatable!" Then I wait for whoever I am saying this to to say, "Really?" and then I say, "No." ANYWAY...The higher we spiraled, the more worried she became about getting back DOWN without rappelling ropes.
2) It is NARROW. So very narrow. We had to single file with SPIDER WEBS flossing our teeth for us and ferns brushing our hair and we hadnâ€™t gone a mile before Karen said, â€œI have 50 ticks,â€ in such RESIGNED yet ANGRY and FACTUAL tones, as if she REALLY had 50 ticks and was phlegmatically irked about it. I got tickled and we had to stop walking entirely for two minutes because I was giggling so hard that I thought I would wet my pants.
3) It is WIND-AROUNDY and FORKY And CAVE-Y and, not to be â€¦whatâ€™s the word? Species-ist? No. Landscapist? A Naturalist? Whatever â€“ my point is, all leafy green-coated narrow tick-infested trails look alike. SO of course we got hopelessly lost. I said, â€œDo you think we should go ahead and leap off THIS sheer cliff and plummet into THIS patch of tick-filled greenery to our deaths? Or should we wait a few minutes and leap off the NEXT sheer cliff and plummet into THAT patch of tick-filled greenery to our deaths?â€ She just shrugged and death marched on. And on. And on. We never could tell the cliffs apart enough to choose the best one.
At one random point, I noticed a wooden sign lurking in some fernage by a fork. It said â€œGooch Gap.â€ Karen had her head down ad her arms pumping, forging ahead, so she had not seen the sign.
I called to her, â€œHey! Do you know what this particular piece of the path is called?â€
And she said, without breaking stride, â€œTwo Dead White Girls Trail?â€
At any rate, we DID eventually find our back and RUSHED to the opening breakfast looking feral and wild-eyed and smelling like Huns. I am POSITIVE we are getting invited back to the lit-fest next year! *grin*
MEANWHILE do not forget to SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST AGAIN AND BE ENTERED IN A DRAWING FOR COOL PRIZES month. All you have to do is Send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot comâ€ by clicking this link. Prizes include Dead White Girl #1â€™s first book, Sin in the Second City I am out of time but I will list another prize tomorrow!
ALERT READER Melanie W. has informed me that on August 16th, BETWEENFEST is happening. Yes, the town that is the (HIGHLY fictionalized) setting of my second novel (Fittingly titled BETWEEN, GEORGIA) is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its incorporation. GAH! OH how I wish they had invited me! RATCAKES! RATCAKES! They will have a pet show and a martial arts demo and a singer and suchlike, but not me. *Snivel.*
Ah well, I did, fictionally speaking, burn a goodly chunk of the town up and make their Methodist church be Baptist. Canâ€™t blame them, really...
SO, assuming you did not hit your head really hard last night, you may recall from way way back in YESTERDAY that August is SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST AGAIN AND BE ENTERED IN A DRAWING FOR COOL PRIZES month. All you have to do is Send an EMAIL to â€œMailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot comâ€ by clicking this link. Iâ€™ll be showing you all the prizes as the month moves along, the drawing will happen in September.
The first name out of the hat wins a signed(!) trade paper back copy of the poppinâ€™ fresh New York Times Bestseller Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott.
Karen is in my writing group, so I had the intense pleasure of reading this narrative non-fiction account of the rise of the worldâ€™s most famous brothel in turn-of-the-century Chicago as it was being written. I have long thought Karen is so talented she was like BOMB with a free side of diggetty, I am happy to report everyone from the NEW YORK TIMES (who called it â€œa lush love letter to the underworldâ€) to USA TODAY agrees with me.
Last Weekend, Karen and I went to the DAHLONEGA LIT FEST. It is SO cute up there, with nifty little antique stores and cafes and fun family things to do. I plan to go back with the kids so they can PAN FOR GOLD and also see the KANGAROO CONSERVATORY which conserves Kangaroos. (hee). A LOT happened in Dahlonega, so expect this to come in PARTS and sock me no pink socks.
Now, you know Karen and I canâ€™t MANAGE without regular infusions of our drug of choice, which is heroin. No, wait, I mean, ENDORPHINS. BUT, given that we were staying at a bed and breakfast (DARLING, but of course no gym) and given that it was a pretty INTENSE lit fest where we each had a scheduled event about every 90 minutes, it might have been EASIER to score heroin.
The first day, nothing began until noon, so THAT was fine. No gym? No problem: we were staying right on a mountain. Mountains are a landscape feature that is built JUST like a lumpy stairmaster for our butt-toning pleasures. Now, I DO go outside a lot because that is where they keep things like deers and weasels and lizards and I LOVE to see these thingsâ€¦but neither Karen or I cares a fig about heartrendingly gorgeous vistas or sunrises or trees or sweeping cloud filled cerulean skies or, you know, non-animal infested NATURE of ANY sort. We werenâ€™t going out there to LOOK at stuff. Basically, we just wanted to get our sweat on.
SO we waited until 8 am, an hour we thought would be BEFORE the Georgia day realized it was August and became sweltering, and AFTER the night-bears stopped rending people in twain. We grabbed a map that showed us several NATURE WALKS and headed out. We marched SUPERFAST along a gently sloping, wide, level trail, looked at a waterfall, said, â€œYep, thatâ€™s a waterfall,â€ in dispassionate tones, then hiked home. Good endorphins = Good day.
THE NEXT DAY, however, we had to be someplace every other hour from 9 am all the way til late afternoon when we were driving home. We could not see a space in there for a workout. SO, being mentally, ill, we decided to risk the rending-in-twain night bears and get up at 5 am and hike. AND instead of going back to look at our waterfall on a road we knew was clear and wide and not infested with packs of wild dogs or an overabundance of snake holes or chainsaw wielding raper-killers, we decided walk a nearby piece of the Appalachian trail.
I blame Karen, because Karen writes narrative non-fic and the Appalachian trail is like a piece of history that you can walk on. A DIRTY piece of history. As you will learn should you win her book, dirty history is her very favorite kind.
Our course was setâ€¦More tomorrow.
EDIT: I am a BOOR! I forgot to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the TV recs. I am MOST interested in Eureka! and I signed up for it on my netflix, but ALAS, there is a long wait for it. YERG! I have Q'd up MANY of your suggestions and will watch whatever comes first as I paddlepaddlepaddle. Ya'll rock.
I am BACK from the Dahlonega lit fest, which never QUITE made it onto my WOEFULLY out of date appearances page. I AM GOING TO UPDATE THAT PAGE TODAY! I really am. See how it is all caps? That is how you know I mean it. A whole sentence in ALL CAPS is the FTK equivalent of a Scarlet Oâ€™Hara, God, witness, radish, puke moment: I AM AM AM GOING TO UPDATE THAT PAGE TODAY. And not play in Little Green Patch on facebook. *nod nod*
HEY! Remember 3,000 years ago when I asked everyone to send in a NOTE if they wanted to sign up for my mailing list that was hypothetically going to send out ALERTS when I had a new book out and tell people the stops on my tour? I planned to have GRAPHICS and COVER SHOTS and in-jokes and fanciness.
SO I put a SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST TO WIN FREE BOOKS AND SUCHLIKE thing up on the BLOG and alla yaâ€™ll signed up, and then we had the drawing and sent out the prizes and remember how I then never learned how to create a mailing list? Or even properly saved all those addresses? Remember the good times we had when I never once sent out a newsletter or even a note to say BETWEEN, GEORGIA and then THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING had been released? Remember THAT? Wasnâ€™t that SO super fun?
Letâ€™s do it again!
Welcome to AUGUST, better known among The Cool Kids as SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST AGAIN month. You can sign up AFTER August, of course, but if you DO, you will miss the PRIZES. ALAS! What prizes, you say? OH I have several, and hope to collect more as August progresses. My prizes, let me show you themâ€¦tomorrow. I have to go fix the appearances page right now, remember?
If you are fence sitting about this, do not worry. I am not going to be a pestilence. I am not going to sell your address to the Cialis people. (They prolly have it already ANYWAY.) You can expect EITHER 1 or 2 e-mails a year from me, or for me to get distracted half-way through and never have a mailing list.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Iâ€™m Henry the 8th I am, I am, so SECOND VERSE! SAME AS THE FIRST! Except THIS time, instead of â€œasking everyone to sign up and then never doing it and losing the file with the email addies in itâ€ my plan is â€œask everyone to sign up and then hand the whole project to Scott.â€ Which means it is as good as done.
My friend Mir used to have a blog category called I AM DATING THE TELEVISION (and then she started dating Otto, and then she married him, and poor TV got dumped). I mention it because I am dating the elliptical, but like a debutante, I require TWO escorts. TV is my left arm gent, and I do not enjoy my dates with elliptical WITHOUT lefty. SO! I need A MINIMUM of SIX hours of programming that I JUST ADORE to come on each week. Seven would be better.
Summer is making my paddling life a misery.
In the fall I will have my three DO NOT MISS shows backâ€¦ LIFE and HOUSE and BONES (I like shows with one syllable titles, apparently) and my very super most favorite human, Joss Whedon, has a NEW show on Fox, DOLLHOUSE , and I can fill in the holes with The Office, Medium, and yes, okay FINE, CW, I am SO not your target demographic, but I do LOOOOVE me some Supernatural. YES, I DO. And I am not (very) ashamed. So in fall I should be okayâ€¦But LORD I am having a trouble NOW. I have taken to taping hours of GAME SHOW NETWORK and CASH CAB because Summer is only offering me three Elliptical-worthy shows.
1) PROJECT RUNWAY IS BACK and I am HAPPY in my heart. I do not know anyoneâ€™s name except SUEDE and this is only because he relentlessly refers to himself in the third person. He ACKSHULLY said â€œSUEDE IS GONNA BE ROCKINâ€™ ITâ€ and then made HA-CHA gun fingers at the camera while clicking with his mouth. He made a GORGEOUS red and cream cocktail dress, but Joshilyn cannot forgive the third person thing. And even if Joshilyn could, the ha-cha fingersâ€¦.no. NO! I cannot heart him. OH I also know the FIRST name of Beautiful Daniel of the Swoopy Hair because I think this is the fourth season in a row when they have had a beautiful man named Daniel with Swoopy hair. I CAN heart him.
SO far, other than Beautiful Daniel of the Swoopy Hair, my favorite designers are the two girls we call BETTY PAGE and BLONDE BETTY PAGE. I also like the guy I named TAN-DED-Y and the woman we call NO FEAR OF BIG HAIR. Blonde Betty Page won the first week, NO FEAR OF BIG HAIR won this week, and Betty Page won last week, if that helps you. If you do not know who TAN-DED-Y is, you have no EYES to see or ears to hear, for he is brown and speaks obsessively about tanning. Also, he taught Tim Gunn to say â€œHolla atcha BOI!â€
Love Tim, Love that Heidi â€“ Thursday is my favorite work out day because I get so excited watching that I paddle-boat VERY fast and almost burst my heart.
2) Burn Notice. This show, with its humor and its good natured violence, is JUST LIKE XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS if Xena was a SPY and a BOY. And if Gabrielleâ€™s last name was Anwar. It even has the prince of thieves, Bruce Campbell, who I am ALWAYS happy to see. If only JOXER eould get a recurring role.... That Donovan fella who has the lead has buckets of charisma â€“ just a fun guy to watch.
My only complaint is that everyone but Bruce Campbell eats YOGURT all the time on screen. UGH UGH I canâ€™t stand to watch people eat yogurt! I think if you MUST eat it, you should do it someplace subterranean. Like in hell. (I am very sure thatâ€™s all anyone gets to eat in Hell ANYWAY. Fiery yogurt. They should tell young criminals about that. If the idea of an eternity of warm, fiery yogurt doesnâ€™t scare kids straight I do not know what will.)
3) The Closer. I just like it. THANK YEW!
SO, thatâ€™s 3 work outs. I need 3 or 4 more. In order to be a show I can WORK OUT WITH (as opposed to just WATCH,) it HAS to have a plot. I submit to you that Project Runway does indeed have many plots, but for the most part, reality TV leaves me dead0fish cold and bored and not paddling. It also can't be an epsiode that I have seen before---no reruns, I mean.
ANY SUMMER TV I AM MISSING THAT COULD MAKE ME PADDLE FASTER? Or any great shows on DVD I could be watching by the season that I may have missed first time around? I already watched all of Dexter, The Sopranos, and The Wire.
Help me Obi Wan Ka-Internets. You are my only hope.
Scott and I met doing Regional Repertoire theatre â€“ a summer of George S. Kaufman plays --- in which I made best friends with him without ever noticing he LIKED-liked me, even though he had a SWORD FIGHTING scene and leapt off staircases yelling EN GARDE and thrashing about with a foil while peeping at me sideways to see if I was impressed. Itâ€™s a wonder I didnâ€™t lose my heart (or an eye) to him right there.
But I was BUSY, you understand. I was a stuttering maid with a crush on a movie star that year, and a girl giving up her drunken, moon-howler of a first love in hopes of finding a steady fella, and ALSO a young woman bringing her VERY regular Joe home to meet literally the universeâ€™s weirdest family. With all that, I didnâ€™t have much time to be me and notice that Scott being Scott was about the best thing going.
DIGRESSION: OH and that THIRD play, ugh! The hateful costume mistress put me in this HEINOUS dress that fit me through the waist and hips, but did not have the DARTAGE to contain The Mighty Rack.* It TRIED to contain the Mighty Rack, bless its heart, butâ€¦EPIC. FAIL. Not only was it TOO small, it humped the ladies together and stabbed them forward into the ODDEST shape.
I was supposed to enter and say, â€œHere I am, a vision in blueâ€¦â€ and yet I looked like a mono-boobed pointy terror. In EVERY REHEARSAL, in UTTER protest of that dress,I would enter and say, â€œHere I am, bullet tits in blue,â€ or â€œHere I am, ready to stab you to death with my booooo-sum..â€ It was truly madly deeply ugly which would have been FINE had I been playing the prow of a ship or a duckling or a claw-fronted monster, but itâ€™s hard to be the ingÃ©nue when you know your girls look like a single oppressed rocket ship. In all my years on stage, nothing other than dress ever succeeded in making me self-conscious. I could make all KINDS of a fool of myself without a twinge â€“ heck as Geraldine in What The Butkler Saw, I did acrobatics in my underpants---but DO NOT ASK AN ACTOR to play the romantic lead and then put her clothes that make her look her worst! I'm just sayin'.
Still, back to Scott, if you meet your husband in such a fashionâ€¦you ought to EXPECT that deep theatrical genes will PERMEATE your offspring. Both my kids are performance monkeys. Sam is so good that in the plays the kid choir puts on every year, they have begun routinely giving him the role that usually the ADULT assistant music director takes. Sam will have all his lines down pat in 48 hours and even in rehearsal can be counted on to ham it up like a Vaudeville pro. Here he is in the latest:
Iâ€™m proud as HECK, but I wish BOTH my kids would KEEP THE DRAMA ON THE STAGE. Alas---it goes too bone deep for that. Yesterday, for example, I told Sam to set the lunch table.
Him: Weâ€™re out of clean forks.
Me: Look in the dishwasher. Those are clean.
Him: *Wind-sucking gasp of THRILLED DELIGHT!*
I turn at the sound just in time to see him raise his fist to heaven and do a double victory pump while yelling, AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME!
Me: What? What?
Him: I gotâ€¦*dramatic pause*â€¦I gotâ€¦LAWN FORK!
Lawn Fork, by the way, is this weird fork with a vine running up the handle that does not match any of our other silverware. It is named Lawn Fork because (Yep! You guessed it!) Sam found it on the LAWN one day. I retained Lawn Fork in the hopes that it could someday be restored to itâ€™s rightful pattern brothers a neighborâ€™s house, but after inquiries made all around, no one claimed Lawn Fork, and now we have had it almost three years. Sam likes to use it. So do I. I have NO IDEA why, we just DO. Quite often he will come looking for it only to find I have employed it for my salad, so, yes he probably was PLEASED to get Lawn Fork, butâ€¦that pleased? Really?
I said, â€œSave a little something for when we win the Lotto, dudeâ€¦â€
But he wasnâ€™t listening. He was already doing Victory Laps around the den while chanting, â€œLAWN FORK! I GOT LAWN FORK! NOT YOU! ME! I GOT LAWN FORK! IN YER FACE WITH LAWN FORK! I WIN LAWN FORK!â€
And Maisy is no less over-the-top. She will do her first play this year as she just graduated from Angel Choir. We called her The Audible Angel, because while the other 3 to 5â€™s were nose picking and pulling their skirts up to show their underpants and staring off into space, Maisy would wail out heartfelt hymns with her volume set on 11 (itâ€™s one louder). Sheâ€™d glow with inner holiness and sing praise songs like they were TEARING HER SOUL OPEN, her eyes shining with unshed, passionate tears, her hands making supplicating gestures unto heaven:
She looks AWFULLY holy doesnâ€™t she? Let me tell youâ€¦I would be more impressed with her deep spirituality if I hadnâ€™t seen that EXACT same pose and expression being used while she belted out â€œUp where they WALK! Up where they RUN! Up where they STAY ALL DAY IN THE SUN!!!! Out of the SEAâ€¦.wish I could BE!!!! Part of yourâ€¦.worldâ€¦.â€
AH well, at least I am never bored. My father has said to me, once, twice, ten thousand times, â€œIf you wanted an easy life, you should have had average childrenâ€¦â€
* The Mighty Rack is copywrit to Julie. **
** copywrit is TOTALLY a word.
HI! Remember me? Prolly not. Before I tell you where I was, let me say, I am completely fine and it is not to worry.
On Friday I went in for my yearly physical, a small problem was discovered that needed a minor surgical procedure. My doctor decided to perform it right there, immediately, which was SUPER, except I spent the next three days in bed tuned in, turned on, and dropped out, floating in a haze of mild hallucinations and thinking a million different variations on the words, â€œI love the whole world, boom-di-ah-da, it is so full of pharmacology.â€
What have we learned? I shouldnâ€™t eat barbiturates, even in small amounts for minor surgical procedures. I shouldnâ€™t even sprinkle a grain or two on my salads. OH NO I should not.
I have weird brain chemistry. I do not do well with most drugs. I learned this when I went to get my wisdom teeth out as a teen. They gave me some sort of oral sedative, and I obediently ate it, and I might as well of done an ENORMOUS line of coke. I got PERKIER and PERKIER, and there was no getting my teeth out that day.
Eventually, to get those impacted suckers removed, they had to admit me to the hospital and pump me full of enough sodium pentothal to get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth out of Mata Hari. I remember the anesthesiologist starting to slip the drug into my veins, and she said, â€œNow, count back from tenâ€¦â€
I started at ten and got ALLLLLLL the way to one, while the anesthesiologistâ€™s eyebrows contracted and squiggled closer and closer and CLOSER together until they were a single writhing object. In fact, she looked entirely furry and faintly blue, and her mouth was opening and closing on HINGES like a munchy puppet mouth. This did not disturb me; I thought it was distantly interesting. I thought most things were distantly interesting. At that point, had I been Colonel Sanders, she could have had a complete list of ALL 11 herbs and spices in my Original Recipe just by ASKING.
She said, in an irritated voice, â€œOkay, CLOSE YOUR EYES.â€ Thatâ€™s the last thing I remember. EXCEPT I think I cussed in front of my mother as she drove me home and poured me into bed. I think I cussed a LOT. My mother refused to be specific, she simply told me she had not known I KNEW those words. The doctor helpfully told her it was a reaction to the drugs and I probably DIDNâ€™T actually know them. (God bless Southern doctors.)
In any case, I am TO THIS DAY not sure what words I said because my mother would not repeat them to me, both because she refused to SAY them herself under any circumstances and because if the doctor was right and I DID NOT actually know them and had merely been channeling the spirit of George Carlin in a pentothal haze, she did not want to be the one to teach them to me.
At any rate, I LOVE phenobarbitol now, SO SO MUCH, so VERY much, in fact that I am never never taking it again under any circumstances. It joins some anti-anxiety drug that starts with an A that I can never take againâ€¦WHAT IS THE NAME OF THAT BEAUTIFUL DRUG??? GAH I have talked about here before and how much I heart itâ€¦but all I can think of is Albuterol which is that breathing medication that acts like CRANK in my sonâ€™s veins---he used to have to have it when he was two and three and had bad allergies. On Albuterol, the child could run straight up the wall like a lizard, thatâ€™s how jacked up he got.
When I was pregnant with Maisy and my dentophobic self needed a cavity filled, I checked WEB MD and it told me NOT to take one of the small stock of pills I keep for cleanings and cavities. I am not a big PILL TAKER, but you know how some people canâ€™t look down from great heights or get in enclosed spaces without full fledges heart-hammering terror complete with weeping and puking and passing out? Yeah â€“ I have a high level, uncontrollable, physical phobic reaction to DENTISTâ€™S CHAIRSâ€¦ (THANKS,
TERRY GILLIAM !) I canâ€™t sit in them without being drugged to the gills and sucking gas.
ANYWAY, I said to my OBGYN, â€œI canâ€™t get in that chair without medical assistance, but WEB MD says I should not take my usual anti-anxiety pill while pregnant, do you have something MILDER?â€ And he gave me the Beautiful A-starting drug, which I LATER looked up on WEB MD and found it was about 50 times more powerful than my usual drug, which I kinda already KNEW because when we got home from the dentist that day, Scott tried to put my enormous eight-months prego butt in the bed and I lay there for half a minute thinking, I LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD, BOOM!DI!A!DA! and then I jumped up and starting putting together very FANCY, TRAMPY OUTFITS that wouldnâ€™t go over my Maisy-belly and prancing about LIP SYNCING to MADONNA.
ANYWAY, I am off all meds and awake and all of my brain cells are back, except the one I used to store the name of that A drug I am never taking again. That one was tragically lost, drowned, no doubt, in the lovely pharmaceutical sea where I have been floating for last three days. If you spoke to me on Friday or Saturday, let me assure you I have only faintest memory of the event. If I agreed to time share a condo, I did NOT mean it, and if I said any Very Bad Words, I do not actually KNOW them, you understand. It was the drugs talking.