Never Again

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.

I think I did tell you about it. Let’s have a look. 

I did not; I only told you about the blueberries in the bread pudding

We went to a “steakhouse” that a friend of ours raves about–a couple friends of ours, actually. 

Have you ever craved a nice steak and eaten one, only for it to be so unsteaklike that you felt that you hadn’t even eaten a steak? 

That sums up our trip. 

Three of us ordered the same steak, ribeye, and none of them tasted the same. I don’t remember what cut my mother ordered, but hers tasted different from our three. Some bites were sweet, some savory, some bland. 

My steak was stringy and sinewy and hard to cut with the dull knives they supplied. 

The baked potatoes were fine, until the middle of the night when both of us who’d had them got sick. 

The potatoes au gratin were large chunks of potato in a cheese sauce, some not entirely cooked. 

The waitress was unpleasant. 

And then, of course, the bread pudding was covered with blueberries. 

I didn’t just think it; we all said it. 

Never again. 

A Culture Addicted to FREE—How FREE is Poisoning the Internet & Killing the Creatives

A quite sensible call to arms. Do read.

But really, the part that caught my attention was the statement “at the end of the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s, average people generally were not in front of a computer outside of work.”

Am I that far beyond average? I spent more time in front of a computer some weeks than everything else put together: work, sleep, everything.

Okay, now that I put it that way, it does sound quite excessive. And even more excessive that I would drop everything to drive to meet in person the people I was talking to online.

But I wouldn’t trade that time of my life for anything; it was glorious! We were all so young and idealistic. We thought the Internet was going to change the world for the better, because of us. We thought that the equality provided by the web’s anonymity would translate to real life.

We weren’t assholes just to be assholes.

I know I seem off topic from the post I’m reblogging, but we’re approaching the same point from different directions: connectivity has not taken us to the places we envisioned. It’s taught the wrong lessons, and if we don’t learn more than what we’re handed, there will be hell to pay.

Two lessons to take home: don’t be an asshole, and everybody’s got to make a living.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image used with permission from the creator Ira Gelb. Image “Not for Sale” used with permission from the creator Ira Gelb who’s an activist in stopping Human Trafficking but authorized this image for use outside.

It’s funny, at various junctures I’ve felt propelled to tackle certain topics, even when that made me very unpopular. My biggest leviathan to date has been this notion of artists being expected to work for free, and I believe the reason that this topic is weighing so heavily on me is that, for the first time in years I’m no longer enthusiastic about our future.

In fact, I’m downright frightened, because of THIS.

I Feel Sick

Yesterday morning on my Facebook, a friend shared this open letter to Oprah Winfrey from a local performer in the Bay Area, Revolva, whose act caught the attention of mega-icon Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah was holding The Life You Want conference and the producers contacted Revolva to see if she…

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I Won’t Be In Today

You know what would be nice? To have a job where I can call and be honest. 

When I can’t possibly face leaving the house and the mere thought of it leaves me in tears, it’d be nice to call up the boss and tell him the truth, instead of having to make up a physical ailment.  

Diarrhea is a good one. 

But so are migraines, which are even less visible than anxiety and depression, at least on me. 

It’s bullshit. 

Yesterday and today are the first time I’ve had two days off in a row since November. Everyone else gets off whenever they want; I have to bargain with my free time, like it’s valuable to anyone besides me. I’ve been acting assistant manager since September, and I’m not going to ever actually be assistant manager. 

Last week, a third person was hired for the position. He can’t start yet, so I’m still expected to perform all the duties I’m not paid to perform. 

Last night, the manager texted and called because he screwed up the last piece we had for a shadow box, to see if I knew where a spare was, even though the other two employees had both worked since I last did, and he himself received the package with the spare in it the day before. 

The night before, the former assistant manager texted and called because she couldn’t find her charger. 

What I liked about my job was the lack of responsibility. The fact that when I was off the clock, I had absolutely zero work-related concerns. 

When the assistant manager stepped down, that’s when I went back on antidepressants. And now, it isn’t enough anymore. 

I can’t cope with feeling pulled in a million different directions. I need part-time work because I need time to myself, and time with my husband, and time to relax, and time to write, and time to work. I can’t not work; that doesn’t work out for me. But I’ve never been able to find a job with a good two-way street of loyalty. 

And it gets to me. 

I’ve cried too much today. But crying in my own bed is better than dying inside  as I sell my soul under the fluorescent lights. 

Better still would be a world where I can call in to work because I am drowning in depression and can’t swim my way out by the time I’m scheduled to be in, thanks. 

In Honor of Pickles

food haiku; alright
breakfast, lunch, and dinner too
tasty poetry

Publicity Works

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

Easy peasy, y’all. 

My top four posts are:

  1. Birth Stories
  2. The Adoption Blogger Interview Project
  3. Submitting to My Submission
  4. ungovernable

I don’t think I understand this prompt; I’m sure everyone who has a captive audience the near the same small size as mine will come to the same realization.

My top posts’ views are well beyond my average numbers. The first is an entire order of magnitude greater, while the others range from 2-3 times my average number. 

And the thing they all have in common is publicity. 

  1. Birth Stories was featured on a Friday Blog Roundup at Stirrup Queens
  2. The Adoption Blogger Interview Project was featured at Production, Not Reproduction
  3. Submitting to My Submission was posted the day my Listserve email went out, and was my second Roundup shoutout
  4. And of course, ungovernable was shared around on Facebook by the guy who wrote the book. 

What is this prompt, a reminder that I am my own worst publicist? I already knew that. Seriously, I did. Swear. My friends have advertised my novel more than I have. 

It’s just–that part doesn’t interest me. It dips into my other time, my writing time, my reading time, my commenting time. And I already dip into that time enough for real life

Of course I’m tickled pink to get a notification that my stats are booming. Who isn’t? But that’s a brief rosy tickle; it doesn’t compare to the feeling when I write something right. The rightness of this missive I created doesn’t go away.

But a more interesting project would be to find the connection between my next top posts; the ones that fall at the tip of the norm, not outside it. Let’s have a look. 

My last four annual above-average performers:

  1. 2012: Inspiration.
  2. 2013: Whew!
  3. 2015: You. Guys.
  4. 2016: Pickles.

So, what do these have in common? 

Well, they’re all fairly light reading. Let’s dig a little deeper. 

  1. Inspiration was some nice inspiring reading just now; but it sure made me miss my blogging class of ’12. I’m glad that I still have contact with most of the bloggers I mentioned. The sheer volume of links here is what I’d lay the blame on for this post’s slightly-higher-than-normal popularity. 
  2. Whew! was a sleeper. I had to read the comments to find out why it got so many views: because I disappeared for nearly a month after posting it, it was where people went to check on me. Bless you for that, my friends. 
  3. You. Guys. was when I announced that I’d won the Listserve. I’m sure a lot of those views were from email-referred readers a few days later who clicked on my Listserve tag. 
  4. Pickles is self-explanatory, though. I mean, who can resist a trio of pickly haikus? 

No; I don’t believe that there is a tie that binds them all together. It’s just the luck of the draw, for me. 

I’ll have to take a looksie at what others have to say about their top posts. 

    April, Born in May

    Today’s Daily Prompt:

    Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

    When I saw this I realized that I don’t know why my parents named me April. There aren’t any Aprils in my family. 

    Maybe they just liked the sound of it. 

    Is it odd that I still don’t know the answer to this, and my mother lives with us? Normally, I’d agree, but she’s having surgery tomorrow, and we haven’t seen much of her today due to prep of the, ahem, cleansing variety. 

    I should ask her tomorrow afternoon; a morphine-hazed answer would be vastly entertaining. She’s great fun on drugs. It’s like talking to someone while they’re sleeping, only better, because the hits just keep on coming. Once she was exceedingly proud of herself because she got to wear the T-shirt at a Goodyear parade. 

    I wonder what she would say. 

    But I have thought about changing my name. I believe if I had the opportunity, I would go with my middle name, Inez. I know the origin of that one: my paternal grandmother. Even though I kept my maiden name as my middle–ooh, that is a whole ‘nother controversial post, isn’t it–it feels like a betrayal to have dropped it.

    April doesn’t belong to anyone; it isn’t a legacy with which I was entrusted. 

    Sometimes it feels like a placeholder. 

    Others, it feels likes condensation of, well, me. So much of one’s identity is tied up in one’s name, isn’t it?


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