Greetings from the Omnigraphic Blogopticon. On view are vile sticky things dragged from the attic, snarky commentary on the world at large, and all-encompassing ennui. All that and a weird rubbery smell. A horrible time will be had by all.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Meh and Feh.

I know I missed my usual Xmas Gift Horror posts for the past couple holidays but there's been a complete lack of new material.  I keep hoping I'll encounter some bad vintage crafts made from chicken bones and army boots or bleach bottles and glitter but all I'm finding these days is relatively new and incredibly lame.  I think the local thrift stores are on to my crap and now just throw those magazines out instead of putting them out in the racks.

On a recent parental visit my trip to the thrift store scored me 25-30 old Workbasket magazines from the 1970s and I fully expected it to be knee-deep in bad crafts but they've mostly been a disappointment.  Loads of ads for magnifying glasses, compression stockings, laxatives of all kinds and incontinence pants make retirement seem like a long, slow road to death with no reward at the end but pain and shame. 

Most of the knitting/crocheting is pretty dull and it seems to be geared towards those elderly crafters who are counting their last days and just plain don't care enough to bother making insane things out of outdated pills and false teeth glue.

I managed to weed out a couple things from my sad sad Workbasket stack and because I seem to have a radar for things made of garbage I found this prize.  Behold, the Googly-Eyed Church Bazaar Owl, because gluing googly eyes on anything makes it fun!  Try that on some random item, like a dead frog or a tampon.  For some reason the designer thinks this particular prize would fetch 50-75 cents.  I suspect over-medication was involved and she perhaps meant she would give you spare change if you take one of her magnets.

I've always been confused by the plethora of bazaar items made from food.  I dimly recall a varnished Oreo cookie on the fridge when I was young though it seemed to have disappeared by the time I started high school and was replaced with a weird molded rubber version.  God knows why it wasn't covered in ants. 

I think this sweater commemorates the comment General McCauliffe made to the German commander when he requested the 101st Armored Division's surrender during the Battle of the Bulge, though I think I'd knit a tank instead of the squirrel to save confusion.

Long before bored crafters crocheted cooter tissue boxes there were weird grandmas on the wrong medications making severed head Kleenex dispensers.  I know when I hack a hole in someone's skull the first thing I want to see pouring out of it is tissue paper. 

Back to my nap.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I've Done Something, But I'm Not Sure What Exactly

I haven't been blogging for a while because things have been eating my brain.  Three of those things appear to be bad novels, one a compendium of patterns for filet unmentionables, and yet another is a Victorian lady inventors' quarterly cobbled together from my long-dead steambustle site.  All of these but one is at some level of not-finished, though barely-started would be the more accurate description.  I should be knitting instead, or perhaps napping.

One finished project published to Amazon is Grace Harlowe At Overton College, Or Freshman Year Among the Undead, one of those half-assed mashups so popular with the cool kids these days.  I started this one when I came back from having dental students play havoc with a cracked molar, but other than awesome painkillers I have no excuse.

If you've read the old-timey Grace Harlowe series, Grace was an insufferable busybody, as was popular in 1915, and played an ungodly amount of basketball.  She rights wrongs and meddles in others' affairs and impresses the entire school with her blah blah blah.

Amazon thoughtfully provides a preview, though the undead don't make an appearance until later.

Random excerpt, whereupon Grace and her friends Miriam and Elfreda are escorted to a college reception by several lively juniors.

Just as they were ready to start the door bell rang. There was a sound of loud, laughing voices and the stumble of slippered feet on the stairs, and Mabel Ashe, accompanied by two more juniors no one had ever heard of nor cared about, appeared on the landing.
"Well, aren't you the gnat's whiskers," announced Mabel a little too loudly, as Grace appeared in the doorway. "Positively the dog's intestinal worms! We've come to escort you to that shindig but we gotta make up for lost time." She pulled up her long skirt, took a silver hip flask out of the top of her stocking and handed it to Grace.
"Why, I didn't know juniors were invited to the reception," exclaimed Grace, refusing Mabel's flask.
"Suit yourself, toots," giggled Mabel. "We weren't invited, but we're crashing the joint. I got a fella I'm goofy for in the orchestra and we'll probably neck in his car during breaks." She took a swig from the flask and stuck it back into her stocking top.
"I'm so glad you'll be going," returned Grace warmly. "We know nearly all the freshmen, even the smelly ones, but we know only a few sophomores. We were lamenting to-night because we expected to be wall flowers."
"Not if I can help it, doll," promised Mabel. "Girls, these two tomatoes are Miss Graham and Miss Allen. They know a couple swell fellas in case you gals wanna make it a petting party."
The "tomatoes" sniggered as Mabel presented Grace and her friends. Miss Graham waved, slipped, and nearly pulled Miss Allen back down the stairs.
"Get your glad rags and let's ankle," directed Mabel. "Who's the wet blanket?" She nodded at Anne, who was curled up in a chair with a hot water bottle jammed firmly in her lap.
"Did the cork come out of the bottle?" Anne began to grope around the fabric of her robe, much to the amusement of the three juniors. "I am not at all wet," she protested.
"Her friend has come to visit," said Grace, being very deliberate, and making vague hand gestures towards the region of her waist. "Her friend." The juniors burst into gales of laughter.
"Bank's closed, huh, toots?” asked Mabel, sympathetically. Miss Graham and Miss Allan snorted and spluttered.
"Oh! You horrid things!" shrieked Anne, and with that she stormed out of the room.
"So's your old man," replied Mabel, sending Miss Graham and Miss Allen into near hysterics. Mabel fumbled around in her stocking for the flask which had slipped down nearly to her ankle, took another swallow and bellowed, “Let's blow this joint!” With that, the three juniors slipped and stumbled and giggled back down the stairs.
Grace found her wrap and was primping in the mirror when behind her there was a soft cough, a splatty sort of cracking sound, and Miriam quickly stepped back. On the polished wood floor where she once stood, were the remains of a fresh egg.
"Oh, Miriam," sighed Grace. "Please contain yourself. We might be dancing with sophomores to-night."
"I tried to hold it in," Miriam muttered sullenly, grabbing her wrap. "I don't lay eggs on purpose, you know."
Elfreda harrumphed, "You did yesterday. We had boiled eggs for luncheon." She farted quietly. The muffler and charcoal filter in her skirt were working splendidly. "Honestly, if you stupid Oakdale people are gonna lie about eggs, I don't know who I can trust."
"Elfreda is right," said Grace, mopping up the egg. "We should be able to trust one another, and be truthful, and honest, and rah rah rah, Overton——"
"Blah blah blah," interrupted Elfreda. "We don't have any time for your Goody Two Shoes hogwash. We've got a reception to attend."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cat Logic

Grady says if you can't eat it or sleep on top of it, it doesn't exist.

Update, Of A Sort

OK, it's been, like, a year since I've posted anything.  My excuse is that a *snort* novel has eaten most of my brain and it insists on my total obedience when I drag my carcass home from work.  I expect it will be demanding a human sacrifice pretty soon.

I had written up to 180,000 words, then I realized nobody in their right mind would publish a first novel that large so it's been edited down to 105,000.  Still a little unwieldy, but I can whittle a little more off in the interim.  I'm trying to find a chunk I can post as an excerpt that would give a good idea what the book is about without giving too much of the plot away.  It's a horror comedy Young Adult, in case you were wondering.  If you weren't wondering, then you have more of a life than I do.

Sometimes I consider chickening out and just posting it as an e-pub on Amazon, but I'd really like to work with an editor.  A human one.  I've downloaded a few too many crappy e-pubs that are in dire need of an editor.  I'd rather the readers mocked me for other reasons.  So there. 

Don't even ask about the sheer hell that is writing an agent's query letter.  *shrieks silently*

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... 

I'm designing a lace shawl which might be done in, oh, about three years.  I've knitted and frogged the center section maybe 27 times.  I finally said the hell with it and chose a leaf lace pattern and I'm about halfway through that part.

I still have some lace stockings I need to photograph and write the pattern for.  It was a little too warm to wear them last winter so I folded them up and forgot about them.  I blame the hole in my brain that the *snort* novel ate.

In my research on my *snort* novel I've read, like, 397 books.  About a third of them have been books on late 1970s punk and new wave music, specifically Southern California bands.  The rest are seemingly random things like one on Skylab, another on 1970s labor unions, and don't ask how many on clothes, TV and pop culture.  It's almost like even though I lived through 1979 I forgot all the good stuff.  I'll be posting a book list sometime soon.

I'll be redoing the blog sometime.  I'm a little tired of the background and broken links and such.

I'm sure there's some other crap, but my brain just now stopped working.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maybe Can't Blame This On The Cat

Goodbye Irene. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

We got nearly eight hours of 35-45 mph sustained winds with gusts of 70 mph, something like six inches of rain, then it all abruptly stopped around 10:30pm and with the very occasional whoosh of rain and wind. Due to some magical meteorological anomaly, or perhaps The Vortex, we had stronger winds than Newport News did despite the eye passing right over them or near them or something. Somehow the power stayed on in my block so I have AC today and they say the water coming out of the faucets is OK to drink. Like it was ever OK to drink in the first place.

The winds sent a huge cloud of stink and haze up our way Friday morning from the Dismal Swamp fire. It's now completely out so I don't have to wonder if a sofa in my building is smoldering every morning when I leave for work. Probably had something to do with that foot of rain they got last night.

The worst was when the giant weatherman came along and slapped his hand right over Richmond. I hate when that happens.

Since my apartment windows face a church wall I had to go outside early this morning and wander around a bit to see what we had going on. The power is out everywhere so it's eerily quiet even for a Sunday morning. Except for the cicadas. How the hell did cicadas not get drowned in the storm? Do they have snorkels??? Did the rain wash new ones out of the ground during the night? Damn things are louder than my air conditioner.

There's a park a block or so east of my apartment and storms (or giant weathermen) usually knock a few trees down every year. There was a pack of homeless dudes on the other side of the park partying like hell so I didn't go any closer.

A casual walk a block or so west of my apartment shows more storm (or giant weatherman) damage and it's pretty minor compared to other parts of Richmond. I went out without coffee so I didn't go as far west as I had intended. I knew there was a huge tree snapped in two a few blocks further up but I kept having to walk out into the street to avoid tree branches and generators on the sidewalks, but then I'd have to get out of the street to avoid all the lookyloos in SUVs. See, I don't count as a lookyloo because it's my neighborhood.

The Spotted Thing was less than impressed by the whole thing. I guess if he couldn't bite it or knock it off the wall he couldn't be bothered with it.

Note added 12:26pm: Hurricane Irene has shifted The Vortex to another room!