When Irony Slaps You in the Face

 

pexels-photo-164661So this morning, I was paying bills. Naturally, I was already in a foul humor because finances and addition and subtraction and such is not really my strong suit, right? And then I came to my cable bill and I was like, “ALL right, enough!” And I snatched up my phone and vehemently punched in the 800 number.

I waited patiently–yes, I was patient–for a helpful cable person. In this case, Andre.

Me: Hello, Andre. (I started out very politely.) I’m wondering why I pay more for my cable THAN ANYONE ELSE I KNOW. (It took a very sudden turn to not-so-polite.)

Andre: Well, let’s just check your cable bill, shall we?

(Lots of other side comments were made. But eventually Andre found me a “deal”.)

Andre: So you’ll get three services and pay less than what you’re paying now for two! Does that sound like something you’d like?

Me: Why, yes, Andre, it does, indeed. Although I don’t need that third service. So what would that special price be, after we add fees and taxes and such?

Andre (figuring quietly): Ah! It’s only this little amount!

Me: Andre, that’s only twenty bucks or so less than what I’m paying now. Call me crazy, but I could go with a different service (One that streams, once I figure out all that streaming stuff) for about A HUNDRED DOLLARS LESS.

Andre (who did not skip a beat): So will you be switching to this new and improved package plan?

Me: *sigh*

I did not switch. At some point during the next month, I will be researching my options. In the meantime, perhaps you’d like to take a look at my Muffin post today (and here’s where the irony comes in, dear friends, because I wrote this long before my little chat with Andre) called, “The Writing and Cable Company Connection.”

*sigh*

Off the Grid and Off on a Tangent

2011-08-02 03.05.19Y’all already know about the epiphany I had when I returned from the beach, but I fine-tuned it a bit and shared over at the Muffin today in The Off the Grid Pay-off.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m finding it downright difficult to make the lifestyle changes that I know I should.

I’m still reading my paper every morning, even though I’ve watched Lester Holt on the news the night before and know most of the important stuff. But if I skip the paper, then I’d miss finding out about some pretty interesting things in the world. Like the 86-year-old jewel thief who’s been arrested yet again. At Wal-Mart.

And though I am dashing through my emails these days, I just can’t help reading/watching one or two of those emails about the wacky, weird, and wonderful world out there. Which would be fine, except that then I Google more about the wacky, weird, or wonderful subject of the email because dang, y’all. It’s just so interesting!

The Internet–and all of our electronics–have sucked us in and I don’t think there’s any going back. I mean, we have kids who’ve never used a card catalog, who’ve never experienced the hours of  joy/tedium of the Periodical Index, who probably don’t even know the word “microfiche.” But they sure know their way around the Internet.

I don’t know whether to be alarmed…or jealous.

Or maybe, just maybe, this is the way our parents felt when we disdained typewriters for word processors, network TV for Netflix, driving our own cars for car-driving services.

*Sigh*

So where was I? Oh, yeah. The Internet and how there’s a payoff when you go off the grid. Stay strong, friends, and may you find plenty of writing time this summer!

What Happened to June?

2009-06-16 10.50.44So I took off for the month of June and headed to the beach.

I know.

And I get that you kinda hate me right now, but you’ll feel better when you find out that I spent most of my time cleaning up the house. Not a little dusting here, a little mopping there clean-up. This was heavy-duty, sweaty clean-up work, and I suspect that some of these bruises are so deep, they’re permanent. Not to mention being ate up by mosquitoes.

And now you feel better, right?

So anyway, I’m back now, and I learned a little something something, being away for so long. Like…

Because I didn’t have wi-fi at the house, and I pay as I play for data, I skipped checking on Facebook and such. I don’t get a paper delivered to that house and so instead of starting the day with the news, I started the day with random reading…a novel, a book of verse, ghost stories. Sometimes, I’d watch the world news or local news, and oddly enough, I was attempting to fix a couple of channels on the cable on the same day as the gunman opening fire at the baseball practice, so I followed that news. But mostly, I just checked my email once a day, to keep up with any necessary business.

So I learned I have very little necessary business. What in the world have I been piddling around with every morning?

I learned that starting the day reading a novel or a book of verse put me in a better state of mind. Yes, I missed my AJC the first week. But by the next week, not so much. And now that I’m home, I’m beginning to wonder if I really need to read the paper every morning. I mean, after the headlines, it’s Dear Abby, the comics, and my horoscope. And if I’m being completely honest, Dear Abby ain’t what she used to be.

And I learned that life without social media is not only doable but relaxing. I love my friends, and I love knowing what’s going on in their lives, but I’m apparently incapable of balancing what I need to know versus scrolling through miscellaneous stuff. Once I checked into Facebook, I spent way too much time reading…what? I couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you that suddenly, I lost all that time I found at the beach. Time I spent working on a new manuscript. (Okay, calm down. I didn’t lie. I sweated ALL morning through the grunt work and then spent afternoons writing.)

So maybe I’ll give myself just one day a week to check social media. Maybe I’ll consider cancelling my newspaper subscription. And I’ve already stopped piddling around in my morning email routine.

Frankly, y’all, I need all the time I can wrangle. On top of the new manuscript, Precious the Laptop is gasping out her last breaths, and if you read my Muffin post, Get Smart, you’ll know how I feel about learning new technology.

I’m gonna need another vacation real soon.

 

Yes, It’s About Grammar (And, Yes, You Need This Little Lesson)

2014-05-08 11.52.45

Libby does NOT care even a little bit, but as she is a dog, I’m gonna give her a pass on the grammar lesson.

Every once in a while, I just can’t take it anymore. And by “it”, I mean all those words used incorrectly that pop up in the newspaper or across social media or even out of the mouths of candidates in their TV commercials.

Oy.

Thank goodness, I have the means in which to right the writing world. And so when I have one of those moments when I just want to scream like a crazy woman, “NO! It’s not effect, it’s affect! Affect! Affect!“, I can sit myself down and mostly rationally expound on “Two Little Words Used Incorrectly.”

If you know the difference between the use of “affect” and “effect”, then you can save yourself a few minutes and go on your merry way, patting yourself on the back. But if you are scratching your head and wondering, “Hmmm. Do I know the difference between those two words?”, then please do yourself (and me) a favor and give it a read. Because honestly, y’all, I really can’t take it anymore.

 

 

May is for Magic

pexels-photo-127053It’s no secret that I’ve had a spot of trouble this past year, getting my writing going. But I think I may have wandered back to the joy of words, the thrill of creating. I think that I may have found my mojo again.

Which is not to say that I’ve suddenly written up a dozen manuscripts or sold a handful of others. That’s not what mojo is about, friends. It’s about magic.

The kind of magic that happens when a batter is on a roll, seeing everything good that crosses the plate. Or when a lawyer keeps winning case after case against all odds, or even when a mom has one of those days when the kids are happy, everything in the house is working smoothly, and at the end of the day, pizza–that’s still hot when it gets to the table!

Mojo. It’s a wonderful thing when you have it in your life. So if you want to know how I got mine back–and how you can get yours back, too, in whatever you’re pursuing–then zip over to the Muffin and read all about it in “Getting Your Mojo Back.” 

And P.S. May all my Mom friends– in whatever way, shape, or form that takes for you– have a wonderful and mojo-filled Mother’s Day!