this is not the blog you’re looking for part IV: the searchening

What better way to get back into the blogging groove than to do a post about the crazy Google search terms that led people to my blog. Besides, I promised a Summer 2012 edition of “This is Not the Blog You’re Looking For” last winter and, because I forgot to cross my fingers behind my back when making said promise, I gotta deliver. (won’t be making that mistake again)

Let’s start out with these very specific searches:
picture of a gnu
drawing of toast
weasel drawings
how to draw a marshmallow

I have actually featured each of these items on my blog in the past. I’m nothing if not . . . eclectic.

Unfortunately, I have had the following on my blog as well:
beaver porn images
safe word

Yeah, it’s not what you’re thinking. Or, ya know, maybe it is. I stopped trying to figure you guys out a long time ago.

Next on the menu is:
protose
adventist shamburger recipe
seventh day adventist recipes mockfish

Thanks to my Pulitzer nominated post, “its a cookbook! a cookbook!,” if you Google “seventh day adventist shamburger recipe” my blog is the first search result. Which is hi-larious until the day some poor soul who actually wanted a recipe for shamburgers stumbled unawares into my web of sarcasm. You will see from our comment exchange that I handled it in the manner of a responsible adult, which I can quite convincingly pretend to be. (not today, however)

Then, as always, there is the random, mixed-bag of search terms that inspired the title to this blog series:

yes bitch i drank all the wine – Hey, can we hang out?

i cannot whore myself to you – That’s okay cause I wasn’t going to pay you anyway.

love poems to your dead grandparents – Well, I guess that’s better than the dirty limericks you wrote when my cousin was in a coma.

beagle tilt – Is that anything like cow tipping?

glue to make red solo cup wine glasses – Use whatever glue you aren’t sniffing at the moment.

steampunk nazi ninja – Oh, Internet, don’t ever change.

can a guy pull off dressing like princess leia – The Rebel Alliance is quite open-minded about these things.

peanut butter digital artwork – Sorry, I like my peanut butter analog. I’m old-school that way.

i’ll pack my bags but if you end up hurting me, breaking my heart, or if i find out stuff that hurts me i might kill myself. i have a lot of love to give but i am a fragile person that is easily destroyed – Huh? You’re still here? I totally stopped listening after “I’ll pack my bags.”

 

drillbit

For a twelve foot tall robot with industrial drills instead of hands, there were worse gigs than being the heavy for a criminal mastermind.  Sure, work was sporadic and the law was always on their tail, but the pay was good and he never had to worry where his next tune-up was coming from.

“Drillbit!”

That was his cue.  He walked through the ragged opening where the lobby doors to the bank had stood moments before.  His boss, Doctor Dystructo (the papers were always spelling it wrong), stood in the middle of the lobby wearing his usual black get-up, fists on his hips.  Dozens of people huddled on the marble floor amidst the rubble from the blasted doors.  He didn’t pay them any mind. Crowd control was someone else’s job.

The Doctor raised one hand and pointed to the far wall, beyond which, if their blueprints were correct, the vault was located.  He then yelled, “Drill!” and released a sinister laugh that only madmen could pull off successfully.

Drillbit could do without the theatrics, but that was the Doctor’s style.  The robot cranked up his cone-shaped drills and they whirred into life.  He walked through the lobby and swung his arms wide to loosen the joints.  People screamed and ducked their heads to avoid being hit by the deadly drills.

Okay. Maybe he liked a little theatrics, too.

The wall was reduced to a pile of plaster and masonry in a matter of minutes.  He then dug his drills into the smooth surface of the gleaming vault.  Metal shards rained down around him as his drills sank further and further into the three foot thick door.  He figured at this rate, they would be back at headquarters in plenty of time to catch most of the “Lost In Space” marathon on cable.

Drillbit could tell by the change in vibration that he was inches from punching through the vault door.  Digging in for the final assault, he heard a commotion and turned to look back into the lobby.

Damn. It looked like he was going to miss that marathon after all.

Cops in riot gear swarmed the bank.  The Doctor was face down on the floor with a cop’s knee in his back.  Two more cops had their guns trained on the Doctor’s head.

If he had shoulders, Drillbit would have shrugged. Their guns couldn’t hurt him.  He’d just continue drilling into the vault, grab some bags of cash, then plow through those cops and stroll out the front door.  He was about to return to his work when he felt a tap on his right side.  Looking down, he saw a female officer grinning up at him.

“Give it up bolt-bag,” she said as she waived her high-powered taser in his face.

Drillbit was about to show her what this “bolt-bag” could do to a human skull, when she pulled the trigger and released 100,000 volts into his metal hide.

The last thought to flash through his circuits before they fried to a crisp was that subway construction might not have been such a bad career choice after all.

Crime doesn’t pay, y’all.  Just ask poor Drillbit.

This one turned out a bit sillier than I intended. And no one died. My muse is getting soft.

If you’d like to see pictures of my previous paper robot pals and read their stories, please visit my Robot-A-Month page.

it’s like “Where’s Waldo” only way easier

I’ve been neglecting my little corner of the Internet. I have many good, solid, reasonable excuses, but you don’t want to hear all that and I’m too busy to type them all out anyway.

But, I have been up to stuff. Some of it quite fun.

First of all, I was chosen by the wise and lovely Hippie Cahier to partake in a little venture she started called The Oma Today Project.  I got to play host to a cute, gray robot and post about his adventures. Check it out! Tell your friends! And sign up to host The Oma yourself!

Second, the publisher I am interning for, Musa, asked me to contribute a post to their blog. And it’s all about my favorite subject: Me! So, if you’d like to read about my attempts to tackle crushing insecurity and my fear of babies then clicky here.

Between my part-time gig being an editing intern and trying to write my novel about pan-dimensional monsters, I will not have much time to post new stuff here.  However, I do promise to continue my Robot-A-Month posts. I enjoy them too much to let them languish un-assembled with their story untold.

 

better living through reese’s peanut butter cups

We’ve all heard of Pinterest by now, haven’t we? That virtual scrapbook where we can pin all our favorite recipes, fashions, hairstyles, cute animals, funny sayings, art, and pictures of television characters with sarcastic captions.  Then, if it wasn’t enough to collect all these fantastic things, we get to share them with complete strangers. Cause that’s what the internet is for: learning more about people you’ve never met than you know about your own family.

One popular subject on Pinterest is food.  Sweet food being a major sub-set.  And, as you probably deduced from the title of this post (cause you’re a clever one, you are), I’m going to concentrate my focus on one item in particular.

The ubiquitous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have found all sorts of new ways to use this popular candy. (click on the pic to go to the pin on Pinterest)

Like disguising a sloppy frosting job.

I swear there is a cake under there somewhere.

Or making favors for kid’s parties.

No, Cindy, don't eat the paper. Oh gosh. Let mommy get the ipecac.

You can turn this drugstore staple into a treat fit for a fancy soiree.

No, Mr. Campbell, don't eat the paper. Oh dear. Does anyone know the heimlich?

Also, it seems that people will never run out of new and fascinating ways to satisfy their sweet tooth. Like sandwiching a Reese’s cup between two Double-Stuff Oreos, dipping the whole mess in chocolate, and topping with Reese’s Pieces.

Diabeetus Sandwich, anyone?

Now, not all ideas involving Reese’s cups are completely whack-a-doodle.

Reese's martini - shaken, stirred, I don't care. Just hand it over and no one gets hurt.

And some ideas are completely inspired.

Reese's infused vodka. Disgusting or genius? Only time and a few mason jars will answer this question.

***TODAY’S SPECIAL***

On this historic day, otherwise known as Wednesday, 19 of your favorite humor bloggers are staging a WordPress coup. We have banded together to address the important topic, Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Yes, you read that right. Your eyes are fine. Well, they may not be fine – I really don’t know. But it does say “19 of your favorite humor bloggers” (or who SHOULD be your favorite bloggers). We are all presenting the same topic, each from his or her particularly unique perspective.

Why this topic? Why now?

Why not?

Click on the Reese’s Pieces link to gobble up the entire, yummy bag of 19 posts.

Bon Appetite!

The Big Sheep Blog

Childhood Relived

Go Guilty Pleasures

Fifty Four and A Half

Fix It Or Deal

Play 101

k8edid

Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

Life In The Boomer Lane

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Refrigerator Magnate

Running From Hell With El

She’s A Maineiac

The Byronic Man

The Good Greatsby

The Monster In Your Closet

The Ramblings

Thoughts Appear’s Blog

Unlikely Explanations

don’t panic

A slab of plaster broke free from the ceiling and crashed to the floor behind us after another explosion rocked the building.  The Professor and I scrambled down the hallway, dodging falling debris and climbing over toppled furniture.  The air was thick with dust, but through a broken window I could see black rocks, some the size of Mini Coopers, falling from the sky, slamming into the south wing of the building and the surrounding grounds.  Insanely, I found myself trying to remember if they were called meteors or meteorites once they hit the planet.  Then, after an impact tremor almost knocked me off my feet, all I could think about was keeping up with the Professor.

We reached the end of the hall and half fell, half ran down the emergency stairwell to the garage level.  From there we felt our way through the dust and smoke until we came to the fortified bunker that housed some of the Professor’s larger experiments.  After heaving the thick metal door closed behind me, the sounds of explosions were muffled, but I could still feel the vibrations through the floor and walls.  Thankfully, the emergency generators were running, so the lab lights were working, although the assault outside caused them to flicker.

“Sarah, help me with this!”The professor was struggling with a tarp of some kind on the other side of the immense lab.

I ran over to him and helped pull the tarp off what was revealed to be a robot of all things.  It had a square body with arms and legs and a wide, rectangular head with two small bulbs for eyes.  “What does this do?” I asked him.

“I designed this robot to emit ultra-sonic frequencies,” said the professor as he pushed a few buttons on the robot’s front panel. “The right frequency aimed at the meteors could disintegrate them before they hit the ground.” He turned to me and grabbed my shoulder. His white hair was tinted brown with dust, making him appear years younger. “I told those bastards in D.C. that this was coming, but they didn’t listen to me.”

A particularly large meteorite (that’s what they’re called after they hit the ground, I’d remembered) must have landed nearly on top of us, because the whole lab shifted two feet to my left.  The lights flashed and dust sifted down from the ceiling. I was thrown against a nearby desk which I clutched like a life raft.  “Professor?”

His head popped into view from behind the robot’s right shoulder.  “I’ve got him all warmed up.  All I have to do is push this red button and he’ll calibrate the frequency needed to blast the meteors into sand.” He pushed the button and stepped out from behind the robot.

The robot’s eyes glowed bright blue and a screen across its front flashed with indicator bars of different colors.  What they meant was beyond me.  Then the metal beast fell over, flat on what could be considered its face.  The Professor and I stood over the prone robot and watched, stunned, as its head and legs retreated within the body like a mechanical turtle.  All its lights and indicators then switched off and the machine just lay there, dark and silent.

I turned to the Professor for some sort of explanation, but he only scratched his head, dust falling from his hair.  I stepped closer to the robot and tried to ignore the lab trembling around me.  From this new angle, I could see two words printed below a large red square on the robot’s back.

PANIC BUTTON.

This month’s robot does a trick. He really does open up so his head and legs get stored within his body.  How cute is that? Well, not cute if you want him to save the world and all he does is panic, but we’ll ignore that for now.

If you’d like to read about my robots from previous months or just learn what the heck this is all about, please visit my Robot A Month 2012 page.

and this is why i’ll never write porn

One of the more difficult things I’ve had to do this week is create sexual tension between two monsters.  Not real monsters, mind you, although that comes with it’s own set of problems.  These are monsters in the story I am writing.

The issue isn’t with the monsters themselves.  Yes, they have gray skin, dull black eyes, ice-pick teeth and sharp claws.  The male monster, Cid, is a sarcastic sonofabitch with a short fuse.  He desperately wants to “blow off some steam” with the female monster, Nel, but she isn’t having any of it. However, she still flirts with him, bats her dark lashes and leads him on, right before she slams the door in his face. She’s kind of a cruel bitch, but that’s why I like her. Cid deserves it, anyway.

Even if Cid and Nel were human, that scene still would have been hard for me to write. Why? Because to do it well takes subtlety. Finesse.  I want to convey intent with a look, tension with a slide of a hand along a door frame, desire with a tilt of a chin. I am all about the “show don’t tell” aspect of writing.  To come right out and say what’s on Cid’s mind would plunge the narrative into the arena of “heaving bosom” pulp romance.  That is definitely not the style I’m going for.

Ask me to kill a character and I can gleefully spew out a few hundred words of blood-soaked prose describing every detail of the poor schmuck’s demise and, if I’m lucky, I can even make you giggle a little while reading it. Call me sick, but I like writing that kind of stuff.  It comes easy.  (“Easy” is a subjective term, by the way. All writing for me is a mind-grinding, gut-wrenching experience that often involves tears and rending of clothing.)

But ask me to write about two people flirting with one another and I draw a blank. Flatline. Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer not a sexologist! (that’s a thing, right?) I’ll fumble about in my brain, groping around in the dark, fingers pawing the air hoping to eventually caress the words I know are cowering in there somewhere.  It’s like the worst, most awkward round of “Seven Minutes In Heaven” ever.

Why this happens should be obvious. I am terrible at flirting.

I am not a subtle person. I’m big and loud and when I talk I use flailing hand gestures that quite often send glassware flying.  Without thinking, I’ll blurt out terribly offensive things in mixed company.  My laugh can be heard from three rooms away.  And, the thing is, if anyone of the opposite gender happened to find this behavior in the least bit charming, I would be the last one to notice.  Because as bad as I am at flirting, I am even worse at detecting if I’m being flirted with.

I didn’t really think about all this too much, until I read the following quote by author, Neil Gaiman:

In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid.

So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying “YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”

And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.

In my case, this is so unbelievably true.  If it weren’t for a blind date set up by my sister, I may never have gotten married.  But while this sheds light on my behavior, it does nothing to solve my creative block when it comes to writing sexy scenes.  If only I could just hand my characters a “seduction note” and have that be the end of it.

And, if anyone is actually reading this, bless you.  I have been a terrible blog-friend these past few weeks.  As you can see, I’ve had my hands full with some amorous monsters.  I promise I will soon try to carve out some time to read all the wonderful things I know you are posting on your own blogs.

hey girl, you’ve got a problem

I have a full-time job – Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. I have a part-time non-paying job editing books when I get home. Right now I have a 60,000 word historical romance novel I need to line edit by Thursday. THIS Thursday. I also have submissions from members of my writer’s group that I have to read and critique. Then there is the book for my book club that I have to finish reading. Not to mention the book that I am supposed to be writing.  And I also try to carve out a few moments to write on this here blog for fun. But I need to read and comment on blogs that I follow as well because they are all so awesome.

Busy, right?
So, what do I do?
I start a new tumblr blog.
Because I am a lunatic.

See, last Friday, for some reason, I  was thinking about that “Hey girl, Ryan Gosling” meme that’s going around. If you aren’t familiar, it’s superimposed text over a photo of hot young actor Ryan Gosling that says ridiculously romantic things like, “Hey girl, I love how you look in sweatpants.” Or, “Hey girl, I can record the game, let’s go to the farmer’s market instead.” Sappy stuff like that.

Then my brain led me down a twisted thought path and I started musing about everyone’s favorite crossbow wielding redneck, Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead, and what a very un-romantic character he is. He doesn’t have time for niceties or making a girl feel good about herself. He’s got squirrels to kill and zombie ears to collect and crossbow bolts to carve from tree branches, dammit!

And then I started cracking myself up (as I am wont to do) by the images I created in my head. But not satisfied with just my thoughts, I decided to bring them to life.

I understand that if you aren’t a fan of the show, all this will make little to no sense to you and for that, I apologize.

And then, because I am an attention whore, I created a tumblr blog where I can post this insanity for the whole internet to see.  What’s even worse? It’s actually kinda popular. I started this on Friday night and as of Monday afternoon the blog already has 53 followers. For some perspective, I started my Retro Fun tumblr over seven months ago and it only has 22 followers. The last thing I need is for other people to think this stuff is entertaining! Now I’ll want to keep doing it! When I should be doing something else!

I think I have raised procrastination to an art-form.
I have a problem.

And now I gotta go Google some more pictures of Daryl to caption.
Excuse me . . .

yes, i’m like this in real life, too

Reading my sarcasm on this here blog is one thing. I mean, if it gets too much, you can always just stop reading and go Google pictures of unicorns or something. But those few, unfortunate souls who have to deal with me in real life are not so lucky. And, believe me, I am just as sarcastic in the flesh as I am in type. Probably more so, because seeing me live you get the added bonus of hand gestures and facial expressions.

I don’t (yet) have a video crew following me around all day, so there is no real proof of my innate snarkyness.  However, I do have snipets of real-world conversations thanks to the convenience of text messaging.

My husband is used to my sarcasm, so he gladly plays along.

Sometimes, he lacks the subtlety that I bring to the table.


I really love that I have awesomely funny friends to set me up so beautifully. They really should know better than to encourage my behavior.


However, sometimes the stars align, the clouds part, a ray of light shines down from above and a chorus of angels sing as an unsuspecting victim friend steps right into my vortex of sarcasm.


Brian still talks to me, believe it or not.

(And, yes, this post is just a thinly veiled attempt by me to show you all how very clever I am. And to finally use my iPhone’s “print screen” function.)

target demographic, i am not

In keeping with the awesome guest posts from Dan and Doug, I’m going to talk about advertising.
Yeah, I gotta work on my segues, I know.

My mother-in-law was subscribed to Elle magazine without her knowledge.  They’ve been coming to the house (our house, the one we share with her) for months.  She doesn’t read this type of periodical, so she’s been leaving them for me to look at.  I have no interest in high-fashion or bulimia, so I normally just toss them in the recycle bin, but yesterday I picked one up and thumbed through it.

Holy trip down the rabbit hole, Batman! Is this a fashion magazine or Psychotropic Monthly? And why haven’t I been reading this earlier? It appears I may need to expand my boundaries beyond goofing on mid-century advertising. The 21st century has so much material to work with. I got all this from just one issue:

That last one won’t make any sense unless you are a fan of The Walking Dead.  Which you should be because the show rocks and has zombies and Norman Reedus playing a cross-bow wielding bad ass who is allergic to sleeves.  (I love you Daryl!)

 

 

sharing is caring

You guys know this thing I do with the robots, right? And that last year I did the same thing with zombies?

Well, I had a few people tell me that I should contact the “Fold Your Own” calendar people and let them know how I was abusing enjoying their product.  I toyed with the idea for a while, shelved it, pulled it back down and tossed it around, forgot about it, then finally said, “Why the heck not?” (a different four letter word may or may not have replaced “heck”)

So, by the power of the internet (not to be confused with the power of Grayskull) I found a contact email address for the calendar division of Accord Publishing and I sent them an email. Please note how carefully I crafted the text in an effort to not sound like a crazy person or an attention whore (yes, much restraint was shown by me).

Greetings!

Last year, my husband bought me the Fold Your Own Zombie: 2011 Calendar. I loved it even before I removed the protective plastic packaging. Each month, I would assemble a new zombie pal to keep me company at work. I loved it so much, I started looking for a 2012 Fold Your Own calendar in November. I was hoping for more zombies, but was not disappointed when I saw that the new theme was robots. I was also happy to see that your robot designs have just as much character, charm, and attention to detail as their zombie counterparts.

Okay, here’s where it gets a little awkward. See, I had quite a few people tell me that I should contact the maker of the Fold Your Own Calendars.

Why? Well, last year on the first of the month I would post a picture of my freshly assembled zombie along with an original story starring my new undead pal. I started it on a lark, but those posts became quite popular in my little circle. I am continuing the “picture and a story” tradition with the robots, too. I was told that the makers of these calendars may like to know how their product is being used out in the world and that they are bringing joy to (at least a few dozen) people. So, that is the reason for this here email.

If you are interested, you can see all my assembled zombies and read their stories by going here: http://fixitordeal.wordpress.com/zombie-a-month-2011/

And here is the link to the robots: http://fixitordeal.wordpress.com/robot-a-month-2012/

Thank you for giving me something to look forward to every month!

Sincerely,
Amy

I sent it off not really expecting any sort of reply.  Just putting it out there felt kinda good.  I wiped away the proverbial dust from my hands and went about my business.

Well, slap me silly and call me Susan if I didn’t get a response that very same day.

Hi Amy,

Thank you SO much for writing! That is probably the greatest thing I’ve seen in quite a while. I have shared your email with all of our in-house creators. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to hear from someone that is enjoying our calendars. You’ll be happy to know that we are currently working on the 2013 titles: Zombies and Unicorns!

Sincerely,
Andrea Mehlem
Accord Publishing

How rad is that? Did you see the “SO” in all caps for emphasis? And the “greatest thing I’ve seen in quite a while”? I’m going to imagine that Andrea sees all kinds of super-fantasic-great things every day working with “in-house creators” and all, so this is quite a compliment. And ZOMG! Zombies and Unicorns next year!?! I’m gonna have to buy more glue.

The lesson I learned from this: saying something nice is always appreciated. I already knew this, but it’s good to get a reminder every once in a while.

Speaking of reaching out and saying stuff (awkward transition, I know), how would you like the opportunity to say stuff right here on this blog? I am currently accepting applications (or a raised hand, or just a nervous glance in my direction) for guest bloggers.  If you are interested, email me at amy(dot)c(dot)severson(at)gmail(dot)com (I may even tell you what the “C” stands for).

I play pretty fast and loose around here, so I don’t have many restrictions on content. Heck, you don’t even have to have your own blog. This could be a chance for anyone to dip their toes in the blogging hot tub before they drop their towel and slide on in (ohhh yeeeah).

Please don’t let the skeevy metaphor deter you from volunteering.

You can keep your swimsuit on.