[Originally posted February, 2010. Re-sharing now because I'm feeling nostalgic.]
So my best friend from high school (also known as “Queen Bee“) just sent me a copy of a note that I apparently wrote her from my tenth grade algebra class. It is both hilarious and horrifying at the same time.
I’ve blacked out some names to protect the innocent but you get the idea.
A few notes:
- I learned NOTHING in 10th grade Algebra II.
- I crushed on the Cute Boy on and off from the 7th through 10th grades, but he never wanted to be anything more than friends. I look back on photos from that time and I’m baffled.
- The Arch Nemesis was alternately a Best Friend (also on and off) all the way from elementary school, through junior high, high school and beyond. Our love/hate relationship eventually turned to just hate. I have no idea what she’s up to now and refuse to friend her on Facebook to find out.
- I have no idea who the boy is I didn’t want to like me, have no idea what “Gertrud’s” was, and don’t remember anything about that Thanksgiving.
- My Algebra II teacher was a very short, very quiet Hispanic man who always wore his belt buckle to the side, not in the middle. There was a rumor floating through school that this signified his dedication to Witchcraft and the Dark Arts. Having snuck into the theater that summer to see The Witches of Eastwick, and having tried several spells from The Modern Witch’s Spellbook (none successful, but probably because I substituted many ingredients and had no idea what “parchment” was), I considered myself an expert on this matter and believed the rumor completely.
- I still have my copy of The Modern Witch’s Spellbook and I know what parchment is now, so don’t fuck with me.
- The scariest part of this note is the fact that some idiot gave a 10th grader a Visa card. I don’t remember this particular credit card but I am absolutely certain of three things:
(a) My mother had no idea I had it
(b) I used it to purchase things like L.A. Looks styling gel, Jellies, posters of Sting and the Cure (likely found at Spencer’s in the mall), lip gloss and random cassette tapes for my Walkman until Visa cut me off and I never paid the balance
(c) My mother will leave a comment here about this being the beginning of my long career of fiscal irresponsibility, or something to that effect
- The “Love You Always” special L-turns-into-A effect was painstakingly conceived and devised because I believed I needed my own “signature” to stand out from all the other note-writers. For about a semester, every note I wrote was signed this way.
- When I showed this to the BFF, her response was this: “It’s odd how you have changed very little. When I saw the seating chart, I thought it was a building you wanted to throw that chick off of.” I’m really not sure what this says about me.
- Oh yeah. It says that I’M AWESOME. And have been since at least the tenth grade.
P.S. If you use Internet Explorer, my blog has decided that you’re an asshole. Not ME, my blog. So you can’t leave a comment. Should be fixed this weekend but until then you can either (1) use an Internet browser that DOESN”T suck gross, hairy balls or (B) close your eyes and wish really really really hard to leave a comment. (Helps if you rub something.) Thanks for playing.
P.P.S. Okay, my web guy fixed the Internet Explorer issue and it turns out that I did something to fuck up that post so it wasn’t my BLOG that decided you were an asshole, it was ME. On accident. Sorry. You’re not an asshole. You’re awesome. You can like my blog again, and leave a comment, and you don’t even have to rub anything.
P.P.P.S. Unless you want to. Rub something, I mean.
P.P.P.P.S. I would do both, if I were you.
P.P.P.P.P.S. What I’m trying to say is, according to me and my blog, you are no longer an asshole.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay, you MIGHT be an asshole. I don’t know. I don’t know you. You could be the biggest asshole on the planet, for all I know.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I’m pretty sure my web guy thinks I’M an asshole.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Having all of these P.S.es probably makes me even MORE of an asshole.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. It should be noted that if you’re my mom, you’re definitely NOT an asshole.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Hey, Mom, can I borrow some money?
There’s this little book I wrote called Something Smells Like Pee
It’s filled with witty poems and a sketch or two or three
Now it’s published and for sale and what I’d like to see
Are great reviews and many, many checks of royalty
I’m out here hawking it to all my friends and family
But so far all my sales reports show they’re ignoring me
I’ve decided screw ‘em all, I’m going public now
I like strangers more than those old fuckers, anyhow
So if you’re feeling daring and you think you’d like to try it,
Use this link to get to it — just takes one click to buy it
Once you read it, I would love to hear just what you think
(Unless you hated it, in which case your opinion stinks.)
That’s my pitch, I know it leaves a bit to be desired
But after all this work, I’ll tell ya, I am fucking TIRED.
Rest assured, I’ll be tracking all the sales and crap
At least, I will when I arise from my twelve-year nap…
So I’ll now say thank you, and bid you all good night
Would one of you, on your way out, please switch off the light?
And happy reading, y’all.
So, I did this thing where I spent 27 years* writing a book and now that it’s done I fucking hate it. I mean, I don’t actually hate the book itself – That would be ridiculous! It’s an awesome book! – but I DO hate that I spent 36 years* working on it and now that it’s finally done I’m just finding out that, when it comes to a self-published book, there is actually no such thing as “done.”
See? Doesn’t that look done? I think so. And after working on it for the last 43 years,* I sure as hell FEEL like it’s done.
But it’s not, y’all. It’s not done at all.
The entire 51 years* I spent working on this thing, there was a finish line in my head. I truly believed – truly believed – that once it was published I could let it go. Here’s how it was supposed to go down:
I’d publish the book on Amazon, and some random guy in Topeka or Boise would see it and think Hey! That sounds funny! I think I’ll buy it! and he would. And he would read it and love it, and he would tell all his friends, and they would buy it. And then their friends would buy it. And so on and so forth and on and on until I was the biggest name in the history of independent publishing and I would live in an enormous mansion with secret passages and trap doors in every room. And I would sip champagne and laugh as I pulled the cord and sent the Big Bean down into a tank of hungry sharks or something equally life-threatening anytime he said something I didn’t like.
And I’d finally get that chin implant I’ve been wanting.
When it got hard or tiresome, when I was up until all hours writing or spending my lunch hour drawing sketches, when I was trying to get the fucking images to fit into the fucking template for the seven fucking thousandth time, I’d repeat to myself: Just get to the finish line. Just get to the finish line. Because once I passed that last hurdle, I knew I’d finally be able to relax and concentrate on more important things, like my kid’s mad soccer skills and my next creative project and, possibly, my mental health. (Not necessarily in that order.)
Just get to that finish line.
If you’re laughing right now, it’s because you’ve done this before. You know. The joke was on me.
There is no finish line.
I published my book on a Monday, and that Tuesday I sent a couple of emails to local writers’ groups announcing its release.
Me: Look! I wrote a book! Here it is! Isn’t it great!?
Them: That IS great! Where’s the Facebook page? What’s the Twitter account? When’s your launch party? What kind of merchandising are you doing? Can we see your press kit?
Them: Please tell us you at least have a web site.
Them: (shocked) Really??!? This is basic stuff, Beej. You didn’t just think you were DONE now, did you?
Me: (sheepish) Well…
Them: HAHAHA HAHAHA! Hey, everybody else! Guess what Beej did?? She wrote a book and she- HAHAAA – ohmygod sorry, it’s just so funny – she thought she was—heeheehee– DONE!!!! (wiping tears from cheeks) She doesn’t even h-h-have a — (barely spitting it out) WEB SITE!!!!! (snort) HAAAAA hee hee! Hee!
Everyone: AHHHAAAAHHAAHAHAHAAAA! DUMBASS! DUMBASS!
It turns out that the 65 years* I spent writing and drawing and navigating my book through the unnecessarily complicated template-proof-production process will all be time wasted – unless I conquer the next step. The next step is called SALES AND MARKETING, and it is horrible. It’s hard and bad and involves copious amounts of begging and schmoozing and spending lots of money and basically performing the online equivalent of a daily vaudeville performance to get attention.
Which isn’t humiliating at all.
I’m tired. I just spent 79 years* on this thing and I don’t feel like dancing. But if I choose to stick with my original plan of organic, grassroots, word-of-mouth marketing, my book will FAIL and I will be a big LOSER and have NO FRIENDS and everyone will call me BOOGER EATER and laugh and point when I walk down the street. Or at least, I think that’s how this ends.
So clearly I need to do this. Okay. I’m gonna do this. Here I go! Watch me do this!
Wait. How do I do this?
It seems like I should research this sales and promotions stuff but christ on a cracker, that shit is boring. Helpful lists and books abound – apparently, marketing a book takes anywhere from two to 1,001 steps, most of them either total kindergarten common sense or so ridiculous and smarmy that even I wouldn’t consider them. (And I think we all know that’s saying something.)
Also, um… BORING. Did I say that already? I did? Sorry, I’m a little glazed over from all the snoozing. One helpful friend sent me an article that Guy Kawasaki wrote or shared or magically pulled out of his handsome, happy, Enchanted ass – but after about two paragraphs I was all “SO MANY WORDS MAKE THEM STOP”** and gave up to play solitaire instead.
“I made a million billion dollars while you read those two paragraphs…
so it’s all the same to me.”
I did do a Kickstarter project to try and raise funds, but my video was a disaster in which I played with my hair, discovered a double chin and referred to my vagina.
I’m sure it will shock no one that I’m nowhere near reaching my goal.
Clearly this is not where my talent lies. In fact, NONE of this is where my talent lies. My talent lies in making up stupid shit that’s funny. That’s it. That’s my talent. This market-your-book stuff is all sales numbers and value ratios and press kits and networking opportunities and you people DO realize I became a creative writer specifically to avoid all this crap, right??
The good news is, plenty of consultants out there are more than happy to do it all for me. For the low, low price of one zillion dollars and 99 cents, they will work very hard! Doing pretty much nothing! And they can guarantee me at least zero sales! What am I waiting for?!
So. Looks like it’s time to dust off my dancing shoes. Get ready for some jazz hands, y’all – ‘cause Mama’s about to cut a fucking rug.
I can totally do this.
*not actual time spent; just the amount I feel I spent in my heart.
** probably exactly how you’re feeling at this point, too.
Originally published February 3, 2011. Republishing today because… I don’t know. It’s fucking cold, okay, and we all need to lighten up. Nothing funnier than witch’s tits and roasted Shih Tzus, I always say. Stay warm, y’all.
Yesterday when I woke up it was 17 degrees outside, and the reason I know this is because I opened Facebook and there were about 20 different pictures of temperature gauges and iPhone weather report thingies informing me that it was 17 degrees outside. Mostly with comments expressing disbelief over the “extreme cold” even though the weather dudes had been predicting the DEATH STORM OF ’11 for like three weeks.
Anyway, I thought it was funny because 17 degrees probably seems like the goddamn tropics to some poor schmo holed up in his house in the rural northeast, where it’s negative one million degrees right now. THAT guy’s buried up to his balls in snow and wearing like four pairs of long underwear and his ex-wife’s leopard-print Snuggie just to stay alive, and he’d probably give his frozen left nut for 17 degrees. He probably only logged on to Facebook to look for news on when his roads will be clear, because he’s been trapped in his house for four days now and he ran out of toilet paper last night and this morning he ate his last NightHawk dinner and his stomach’s growling a little and he’s started avoiding eye contact with his ex-wife’s Shih Tzu because he might have to eat it later.
So this poor, cold, hungry, pathetic dude logs on to Facebook to find out if he’s ever going to be able to leave his house again, or if he’ll have to eat this weird, hairy dog – but instead of finding important information about whether emergency vehicles are running or how he can dig his way out of six feet of ice, he gets a bunch of pictures of Austin thermostats at 17 degrees with comments like “OMG IT’S COLDER THAN A WITCH’S TIT!” and “WOW! They said it might SNOW!!” and pictures of a windshields that are a little frosty and right now, he probably thinks we’re the biggest assholes EVER.
And that makes me sad for him but it also makes me laugh because really, we ARE assholes. And it makes me wonder what Shih Tzus taste like after you skin them. Probably too chewy.
Anyway, I said something on Facebook about how everyone in Austin seems desperate to record how not-really-that-cold it is, with the follow-up “haaahahahahaa I’m so adorable, just joshing you guys” not actually typed out but clearly implied. And then I sat back and waited for all the comments to pour in, telling me how awesome and clever I am. But about ten minutes later I only had ONE comment and it was from this lady who totally didn’t think I was cute at all. “Excuse ME, but we’re NOT desperate and there are LOTS of people who care to know that it’s 17 degrees here, like my friend who lives in FRANCE, and you’re just fucking JEALOUS because YOU don’t know anyone who lives in FRANCE. You’re stupid!! I hope you DIE!!”
Okay, she said it a *little* nicer than that, but not much.
And maybe she was right, maybe I AM a stupid bitch (okay, yeah, I definitely am), but I still think it was lame for her to call me out on Facebook like that, especially when I’ve said SO MANY MORE obnoxious things. She’s pissed about this, but stayed silent when I compared last year’s sticky summer heat to the hot, sweaty balls of Jesus? Really? HELLO?
And THEN my smartass sister chimed in with something like “OOOOOOOOHH BUUUUUURRRRRRNNNN” and I couldn’t even tell her to suck it or really defend myself at all because this lady is the mom of a friend of mine and also much bigger than me and I’m certain she could (and would) take me in a fight.
So basically I just did the Facebook equivalent of cowering in a corner and now my tail* is firmly wedged between my milky white thighs** and that poor guy in the DEATH STORM of ’11 has probably eaten his ex-wife’s dog by now and I’m not really sure what else to say about all of this except Somebody put another log on the fire! My tits are freezing off!!
What I’m trying to say is: Stay warm, friends — wherever you are. May Jesus’ hot balls make an appearance under your covers tonight.
*Just an expression. I don’t actually have a tail. As far as you know.
**Also just an expression. My thighs are super white but not milky at all.
The Apocalypse is here and it
is not what you expected
No nuke weapons, gamma rays
or UFOs detected
There’s been no viral outbreak and
no zombies hunt for brains
No daring last-minute escapes
from torrential rains
No comets hurtling toward Earth,
no global overcrowd,
and so far Jesus has not
floated in atop a cloud.
No, the end is none of these…
The thing that will bring our fall
is called Clamshell Packaging
and on Christmas it will kill us all, y’all.
This Christmas it will kill us all.
Be safe out there, and happy holidays…
First published December 10, 2009. I’m trotting it out again because it still holds true, and also because LOOK AT MY BABY WHO’S NOT A BABY ANYMORE. (SOB)
Listen, I love the holidays as much as the next guy, I really do. And I love them even MORE this year, because this year my little Bean’s discovering Christmas for the first time, with the trees and the tinsel and the gifts and the stockings, and we’re suddenly VERY concerned about our status on The List, and we’re keeping watch out the front window in case Santa should arrive, and we want to watch the Grinch and Snoopy and wrap presents and sing Jingle Bells and MY GOD THE CUTE, PEOPLE. I swear this kid could take down an entire city block with all that cute.
Every year there’s got to be some big douche out there ruining Christmas for everyone else. And this year the “Big Douche Ruining Christmas” Award goes to MAJIC 95.5, the so-called “easy listening” station that can’t even spell its own name, which plays non-stop Christmas music the entire month of December. Which would be fine, if there were more than three Christmas albums in the world that didn’t suck, but there aren’t — it’s Bing Crosby, George Winston, and Vince Guaraldi, and everything else sucks balls, and that is that. (And if you’re going to comment now that some other Christmas album’s just as good, don’t even bother because I’m not listening to your bullshit. Bing. Vince. George. The. End.)
I swear to god if Kenny Rogers asks Mary if she “knew” ONE MORE TIME I’m going to beat someone to death with baby Jesus from the nativity scene down the street. Why don’t you leave Mary the fuck ALONE, Kenny? Hasn’t she done enough? Now she has to answer YOUR stupid ass questions too? I’LL tell you what Mary knew, she knew that she was nine months pregnant and riding a fucking DONKEY in the middle of nowhere, and some dicksneeze innkeeper made her sleep in the BARN, where she was trapped with a bunch of farm animals and some random dudes in robes just standing around with their smelly spices and shit, ogling her junk while she gave birth with NO EPIDURAL. What Mary KNEW was that she wanted that kid out of her pronto and probably for everyone else to just shut the fuck up about it. THAT’S what she knew, Kenny. Okay? Kapeesh?
I’m actually not sure how historically accurate that is (OR how to spell “kapeesh”), but you get my point. Kenny Rogers is the devil. That’s my point.
Oh also hey, MAJIC 95 – 1986 called and it wants its lame bullshit song about Grandma getting run over by a reindeer back. That shit wasn’t funny the first time we heard it and it’s DEFINITELY not funny now, 20-plus years and 5 million plays later. I’d rather eat an entire jar of Baconnaise in one sitting than hear that fucking song again, yet there you go, playing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, like you don’t even KNOW how much it sucks.
But you DO know, MAJIC 95, don’t you? Yeah. You know. And I know you know. And you know that I know that you know.
While I’m on the subject of over and over and over and over and over again, can I just say this?
Siiiimply haaaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime Siiiimply haaaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime Siiiimply haaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime Siiiimply haaaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime Siiiimply haaaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime
Siiiimply haaaaaaving awonderfulChristmastime
Know why I said that? Because I CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD. It’s like a hot branding iron burned those words into my brain, forever marking me as the song’s slave and victim. And Paul McCartney is also the devil. That’s my other point.
You’re singing it now, too, aren’t you? You thought I was overreacting before, didn’t you? But now you understand, don’t you? There really IS such a thing as too much Christmas. Even my KID gets it (“Mommy, I donWANT that song! Tun OFF! Tun OFF!”), and he’s two and a half. It doesn’t take a mental giant to understand that MAJIC 95 is trying to kill us all, one shitty holiday song at a time.
But wait! You thought I was done, but I’m not, because there’s this:
What the FUCK, Dan Fogelberg? What kind of crack were you on when you wrote that? Can you say “Most Depressing Christmas Song EVER”?
This may be the most annoying blog post I’ve ever written. I don’t know, I’ve written some pretty annoying shit, but this has got to at least make the top five. I’m going to stop now before I get started on Bruce Springsteen and John Denver and the dogs THOSE GODDAMNED DOGS – because I think that just *might* send me over the edge, I mean, really, OVER. THE. EDGE — and I don’t think anyone wants that.
Except MAJIC 95. Apparently.
A few things:
- You can’t pretend to be smarter than me and say things like “Accident happens” at the same time.
- I start to get silly with the pool noodle at right about the same time that I realize I’m losing the argument.
- We did not have to do the dishes after this.
- ”And let me also say…”? ”Let’s also note…”? When the hell did I turn into Atticus Finch?
- Do I really say my “R”s like that? Derrrrr.
- The Bedtime Parade was fabulous but ended abruptly, thanks to an overzealous percussionist and a weak lid on the box of crayons-slash-snare drum.
- I’m NEVER getting a new computer. Nev-errrrrrrr.
Why don’t you merge?
Can you not see
There’s room now on the track?
Okay, I guess
You’ve changed your mind
And want to come in
So I speed up
But then you do, too
And CUT in the goddamned line.
I have to slam
Upon my brakes
So hard my coffee flies
Now my car’s a mess
And I am planning
I honk, but you
Do not respond
My temper starts to burn
I honk again
Because if not,
However will you learn?
But still there’s
No response from you
I shake my fist
In beats of two
From my lips spew
I just don’t know
What else to do
What happens next,
I can’t believe
Is what I really see…
As if our roles
Have been reversed,
flip the bird
I feel my pulse begin to race
I fight the urge to quicken pace
Engaging in a high-speed chase
So I can punch you in the face
But I know I’d get
In trouble, so
I fight the blinding urge