Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What The Halloween?

I learned recently that Iowan children do not go Trick or Treating on Halloween. No, they go crawling all over lawns begging for candy and telling dumb jokes the night before Halloween. Here we have an absolutely perfect week weatherwise and Halloween is on a Friday evening. Not even a school night. What more could you ask for?

I don't know. I'd like to ask the little beggars to stay away from my house while I'm trying to watch my Smallville. This season is a gem so far. A gem. But no, I'll have my tv on and I'll be handing out candy to small children with sticky fingers. Plus this is the flu season. Maybe I should dress up as a mad scientist and wear rubber gloves.

The other odd Iowan tradition is that children tell jokes instead of saying, "Trick or treat!" I thought this sounded like tons of fun. Until I found out that Iowans hand out candy the night before Halloween -- a Thursday this year. Now, I'm not cruel enough to shutter my windows and sit in the dark house all evening. Especially since I risk getting my house egged or saran-wrapped before morning . . . I'll give out the candy. No problemo. I think I'll take a page from my buddy Tracy's book, however. In short, I could give bad candy for the stupid jokes and good candy for the funny jokes.

I'll be going to the store tomorrow morning to get the candy. I guess I'll decide what to do for sure at that time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One Word: Nanowrimo

Next month is National Novel Writing Month. This will be my fourth year taking part in the illustrious endeavor to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. This year I will be exploring the lives of amoral artificial intelligences as they accidentally destroy the fabric of the space-time continuum. Exciting? You bet. Strange, dark and psychologically disturbing? I guess I'll find out.

In my efforts to find a job I have come to the conclusion that this might be a bit of a lost cause. I mean, after all, the economy is in a slump and only the most experienced are getting hired. It puts a person in a bad mood. Especially since I have a lot of job experience and I can learn just about anything in a couple weeks -- with or without a [blank] for Dummies book.

Fortunately, November has become my favorite month of the year. It's almost here and it's sure to brighten my mood. Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement in something you do well. I write well. I love the exercise of creation. I get to start all over again on an entirely new work of fiction every November. I get to immortalize people in my life who have passed on or moved away. I get to control my own little universe. I get to write. Few things in life compare well to the writing high I get in November. It's difficult even to sleep because I am so happy I don't need as much sleep. I am always at my best in the most blah month of the year (things are just starting to get cold and nasty, you know).

My favorite part of Nanowrimo is the fact that the solitary act of writing has become a group sport. I write all month surrounded by other writers. It's like going through a battle together. We laugh, we cry, we get frustrated, we dance in triumph. All together. Nothing draws human beings together like the long journey of a shared trial. I am so excited to be doing this again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Check In, Check Out

I forgot to write about the third presidential debate. It was fun and funny. I'm still not voting for either of those guys though. It didn't change my mind one bit -- if you take into consideration that I have yet to make up my mind about the presidential election.

In the spirit of healthy political humor I would like you to check out this youtube re-cut of the first debate. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Funny Thing Is . . .

I remember a year ago people were telling me why I shouldn't care about the economy and why we didn't need a candidate who understood the economy. I was rooting for Ron Paul along with all the other crazies who know something about economics. I listened to so many people dismiss the economy as an unimportant issue. It's only a year later.

Ah, the irony.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blame Feminism

I am grateful to the feminist movement for paving the way for women in the workforce. If I couldn't go out of the home and work I'd be bored, angry and probably alone. I don't think anyone would want to be around me. My mind is just too active to be content at home. Feminism has benefited the treatment of women overall. Yet there is one area of the feminist movement that's a big pet peeve of mine.

This may sound shallow but I am an attractive woman. I am pretty, insightful, funny, and intelligent. I like to dress up without overdoing it. Nobody of the male sex ever tells me I look nice or have a cute top on or my necklace is pretty. At least, not unless I fish for the compliment and I don't do that because it's immature. People tend to laugh at my jokes (the less obscure ones). People seem to like me. So, that's all okay. When I am out in public I attract quite a few looks and some catcalls or comments from gross-looking alpha males -- and not gross-looking ones -- who I don't even know. This gets old. Really. Fast. On the one hand I am mildly flattered that they noticed I'm good looking. On the other I would prefer some respect. This may not sound like much of a dilemma, but hear me out.

It seems that in this crazy, mixed-up world it's okay for a man to make a gross sexual comment to an attractive woman. However, it is not okay for him to tell a female friend that she looks nice today or something more benign. This frustrates me to no end. I mean, not that I don't get enough compliments from Craig and not that my self-esteem depends entirely on my looks. But, you know, if I have to hear the offensive comments it would be nice to have them balanced with the thoughts of nice guys. I blame 1990s feminism for this problem. It was then that compliments became sexual harassment. Someone should have climbed up on a soapbox 15 years ago and reminded the world that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The same goes for compliments.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


The second presidential debate was nothing more than a real yawner. I'm amazed I managed to watch the whole thing with only a few short zone-outs. My attention span must be a part of humankind's newest and greatest evolutionary advances. Here are my impressions:

1) Yawn. McCain seemed tired at first.
2) Yawn. Obama repeated himself constantly.
3) Yawn. McCain picked up some energy after the first half hour.
4) Would McCain stop accusing Obama and start explaining his own presidential vision.
5) Yawn. Would Obama stop talking? Please?
6) Yawn. Okay, McCain, finally, some detail. And a joke. Good. Make Tom Brokaw the butt of your first debate joke. I like it.
7) Yawn. Lots of softball questions. Obama likes to obfuscate, but I'm probably the only one who noticed that.
8) Yawn. Um, I think McCain won on foreign policy again. No knock-outs though. Double yawn.
9) "What don't you know and how will you learn it?" Yawn. Come on Tom, you can do better than that. How could you let a question like that into a serious matter like a presidential debate?
10) I watch presidential debates for entertainment. I actually felt like I wasted my time for the three laughs I got out of watching this one. Yawner.

Friday, October 03, 2008

My B-Day

My birthday is today. Go me. I am turning 27. For the first time I am realizing that I am in my late twenties. So weird. Still, I want to experience every age and guess what? I get to experience every age. Time doesn't stop for any of us. Here's to a good birthday for me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Me, At A Party, Sort Of

So, I've told you how I drive my car in the snow. I am darn good at that. I know all the tricks of the trade. For example, shift into neutral if you're trying to stop and you start to slide ominously close to the rear end of the car in front of you. The wheels will stop turning and believe it or not you will stop. Note: this trick does not always work with 100% success; once I had to shift into neutral and steer into a snowbank on the curb to avoid rearending someone. Not to digress. Okay, wait for it . . . I have never told you about how I am at a party.

I don't really go to parties. That's probably the main reason I don't talk about going to parties. Did you know that in my entire college career I never attended a party? Did you further know that I have never been intoxicated from alcohol use? Did you further know that one of my friends used to tell me I had obviously escaped from a nursing home and had some really good plastic surgery done to make myself look younger? Okay, so, one of those lines is only half true, but I'm not going to tell you which one. Suffice it to say if you ever find me at a party I will have to put the blame on quantum tunneling. I would never knowingly go into a situation like that.

So, I was going to say, since I am a social oddity I don't do too well at large events with lots of people. Recently, I attended a church picnic with my husband. It was fun until I decided to tell a joke. Our new vicar from church was leading a short devotional to close the evening's festivities. He asked a simple question: "What is the meaning of life?" I responded by shouting -- twice, because nobody got it the first time -- "42!" Of course, nobody got it the second time either. Then one person started laughing and confirmed that no, Esther is not crazy, she's just the queen of obscure references.

Boy, I felt stupid. Yeah, I'm here all week. I don't even need alcohol to make jokes like that.