General Nonsense

Day 23.

Does this mean there’s only a week left of NaNoWriMo???? Yikes! I am in serious trouble if I plan on finishing on top and on time. I was going to blame my laziness on Thanksgiving but really that was only one day and I’ve been behind most of the month. And it keeps getting worse. 

The problem is me and my procrastination and my love of looking things up on the internet in case someone challenges me to a battle of trivia wits. I need to be up on my conspiracy theories and pop culture and whatever is happening on TMZ at the moment. 

So now I’m 7 days out and 11,444 words behind goal. That’s a lot of words. I need to hunker down and get serious about this. According to the NaNo site, I need to bust out 4,000 words a day from this point out to finish on time. I can do this. I am currently pretty much immobile anyway because I fell down the stairs like a fool on Wednesday and my tailbone feels like it’s the one in charge of my entire life right now. I might as well use this time productively. I just need someone to bring me a mimosa and a string cheese. And an epidural.

Dramatic recreation

NaNoWriMo: The Halfway point?

Today is the 20th. Way past midway at this point and I might hit 25,000 words of the 50,000 word goal today. I mean I should, but I’m in a slump of epic proportions. 

Did I mention that I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year??? I am. 

Okay, see, I’ve been “writing a book” since I don’t know, forever. It’s changed form and content over the years but the main character is the same. The voice is telling the same basic story. And everyone I know has encouraged me to friggin’ finish already. I was manhandled into NaNoWriMo this year, which I’ve been scared to participate in for ages because I didn’t know how the whole thing worked and I thought I was writing in public and the thought of a rough draft out in the word for everyone to read makes me want to hide in a cave forever and hope everyone forgets they ever knew me. BUT! It’s not like that. At all. And I’m so happy that I’m doing it. HOWEVER, I’m struggling to hit goal. I’m in my head too much and instead of contributing to my word count over there, I’m here whining about it in a blog post.

But this is the actual plan. I’m going to blog about the nonsense in my head, get it all out here so that I can go into my novel clear headed and maybe encouraged or something. I don’t know. Also it will hold me accountable if I’m blasting my embarrassing word counts here which as of this very minute is 24,373 words. Ugh. 

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are you doing? Are you keeping up with your word counts? Are you suffering from a block because your story is supposed to be “satire/humor” and it’s the most boring story ever told? Like mine? 

If you want to be NaNo buddies, find me here

I Googled: Lifespan of a Squirrel

I did not like what I found.

I am in a continuous and contentious argument with a squirrel. Several times a day, he climbs up the back of my fence, perches himself on the corner post, yells at my cat, Marty, and then runs up the roof in a racket like he’s Chim Chim Cheree-ing up there with Dick Van Dyke. And I have had enough.

At first I thought the squirrel was cute, drinking from the birdbath, sunning himself on a rock, but as the summer months have turned into fall months, my indoor cat that likes to sun himself on the fenced-in patio (but only if the sliding door is left open) is obsessed with being outside now because of that menace squirrel, and it is chilly. And not in that Southern California fall way that I’m used to, where it’s like 68 degrees at 5 am and I might debate bringing a sweater to drop the kids off at school, no. It is currently 51 degrees outside at 10:45 am and I am chilly, and in several layers of clothes, and under a blanket and the cat is howling at the door to get out and yell at the squirrel. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the winter, to be honest.

All of this is fun and games but one major factor that plays into my squirrel feud is the potential for bloodshed. In all honesty, Marty is a scaredy cat chicken baby and probably won’t actually do anything but run if the squirrel got brave, HOWEVER, I can’t guarantee that and I am not cleaning up after any murders, I don’t want to touch a dead squirrel body, I wouldn’t even know where to dispose of a dead squirrel body so there’s that. And what if he didn’t kill the squirrel?? Then what do I do? Take the squirrel to a vet?? What if he bit me? What if he bites Marty? What if Marty gets rabies and I have to lock myself in the car and hope someone comes to rescue me? What if we both get rabies and we terrorize the town like zombies?

This is a real fear, not just “Amy’s overreacting again”. See, about 2 weeks ago I hear that squirrel doing that evil squirrel laugh that they do and I go out there to see him climbing down the fence slowly, looking right at Marty and he’s laughing at him. I go out and Marty runs in the house and that squirrel looks me in the eye, and goes, imagine a squirrel voice, he goes, “Hah!” right at me! I yelled, “Shoo!” cause I’m an old lady, and he didn’t move! He didn’t even break eye contact! I imagine this is what it was probably like in the Wild West just before a saloon fight broke out. So I did what any one of you would’ve done if you were looking down the nose of a brave squirrel. I ran as fast as I could back into the house and slammed the door. I lost a shoe and stubbed my toe and it’s that squirrel’s fault.

I’m pretty sure squirrels hibernate. I saw a Spongebob episode about it once. When do they do this? I’m a prisoner in my own home. That squirrel is going to come inside and then what do I do? He’s mad at me because I squirted him with a squirt gun the other day because he was teasing the cat again. He ran away the first couple times I had to squirt him, but the last time he looked at me and I think he was taking notes. So I googled how long these guys live. I need to know how long I have to look behind my back when I leave my front door. How long this squirrel has to plan an ambush.

10 years. Squirrels can harass people for 10 years! This is bad news. In other bad news, I also found out that they will take over a home and live in the walls. This isn’t your typical mouse or rat living in the walls that come out at night to eat your bread and poop in your cabinets. Squirrels are like little demons that laugh at you in the night and bite your face and give you rabies.

This is worse than that Cujo lady’s situation. Something must be done! I don’t want him to get swooped up by a hawk or anything, I just want him to go take a nap or something. He’s very aggressive and he’s crossed a lot of lines and it’s getting too chilly out to comfortably handle a squirt gun. I would imagine he would feel the same about this and yet, he’s out there now, cackling away, taunting and pestering.

I think my life is maybe just a Paulie Shore movie.

Hi. I have been quite absent from this blog and I have no excuse. Well, moving across 3 states over the summer. That’s an excuse. Also, I’m lazy.

As you may or may not know, I’m writing a book. I’m not sure how much I plan on talking about it yet because I don’t want to jinx it, and I’m battling that voice that is very loudly yelling at me that I’m a fraud and nobody likes me. That’s a fun demon with which to co-pilot this trainwreck. So I’m trying to overcome that voice by writing really bad blog posts. I’m sure that won’t make it all worse. Like at all.

So, a couple of months ago, I moved away from the love of my life, Los Angeles back to my hometown of Denver. It’s a bit of a lot of baggage to unpack. I went from feeling like Link (Brendan Fraser) in Encino Man where I’m the weird but super loved new guy to being Crawl (Paulie Shore) in Son-in-Law when he falls in pig poops at the farm and everyone hates him and he’s barely wearing pants. It has been a good move and my family seems to love it and it will be a great thing for our future. However, no matter how many movies, holiday-themed or not I’ve seen on this subject of moving home, I wasn’t prepared.  Sweet Home Alabama taught me nothing.

While there are a LOT of things (people) I’m glad to be away from, there is SOOOOO much more that hurts my heart to have left. Like a bunch of my favorite people. And I’m struggling to get my creativity back. I feel like I’ve fallen back into a vacuum.

Los Angeles has this reputation of being a vacuous wasteland of plastic beauty, soul-less egos, debauchery, and drugs, and gang members harassing old ladies. And while that does all exist, it is a city so rich in personality and friendships, and lost people and found people. And everyone you meet has something they want to share. And they want to support you in your nonsense and you want to support theirs. And they all hug hello. And whether sincere or not, everybody wants to be your friend and share a bottle or 7 of wine with you over gossip and dreams.

I don’t know if I’m going to find that here. People in Colorado are very polite yet reserved and no one wants none of my antics.

And I am, once again, an outsider looking in.

My oldest son came home from school the other day and says, “Kids just don’t think I’m that funny here,” and then he shrugged and went upstairs to play Fortnite.

God, kid I KNOW, RIGHT?

I sound very dramatic. I realize this. I’m going to go have a glass of wine by myself and try to get back to writing the book.

And in case you were wondering, sobbing it out on the internet didn’t shut the mean voice up at all.

And I do love living in Colorado. I’m just going to drop in weird on everybody like Mork from Ork and make them love me.

Maybe this is the same mentality I need to conjure when I’m writing.

Nanu Nanu.

30 Day Challenge

 

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I have 7 tabs open on my laptop (other than this one and tumblr):

Judging by my subconscious hoarding of websites, my life is clearly a disaster that I assume I can solve in 30 days. It takes me 30 days just to put the vacuum cleaner back after I use it, you’d think I’d be more realistic with my goals. I need to get my life in order, I really do. I also need to get my writing in order. I think I saw something for NaNoWriMo once that I might try, probably another 30 day challenge.

I know the 30 day lists seem gimmicky and ridiculous and they probably are, but the whole deal with the challenges thing for me is that I think it takes the thinking out of it which is really my biggest hurdle in life. The thinking. Also the clutter. And the procrastination. And the internet.

I started writing this on April 1st but I stopped because it felt like I was trying to subconsciously pull an April Fool’s joke on myself. It’s now April 27. lol.

I really need to get organized though because we’re moving in exactly 2 months and I am not packing 37 broken crayons, my bag of scrap fabric, the shoes that the sole fell off of three years ago, and whatever that thing is behind the sofa that I don’t want to touch but I’m hoping is a sock. So as much as I want to do the splits, I think a 30 day declutter challenge is probably a better way to spend a month. I have not given up on the splits though, so don’t put the Mary Lou Retton leotard away just yet.

I need to make this short because my husband is dragging me with him to our storage unit to get rid of stuff so I’ll probably be crying about stuffed animals, a broken bass guitar, and baby clothes in about 15 minutes. Wish me luck.

The Facebook Hiatus

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The husband and I have been binge watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and the Tina Fey episode was on. I’m in awe of Tina Fey. I don’t know how she has accomplished what she has while also somehow living with two small kids. I can’t even type this sentence with both hands because my 6 year old is currently hanging off my right arm, crying about his turn on the Xbox, and wiping his snot on my shirt. The main take-away from that episode, though, Tina Fey doesn’t use social media. I do. A lot. I’m going to assume that this is the only reason I am not as accomplished, and smart, and funny, and driven as Tina Fey. It’s the internet’s fault.

I don’t know if you’ve clued into the fact that I’m obsessed with the internet. I have been for years and years and years. It’s been a problem since high school and I graduated in 1994, so like, 7 years ago or something like that. My high school years were THE years that the internet started to take hold. It was real underground at the time and they charged you by the hour so we took the internet SERIOUSLY.

But my fascination with the internet has always been more specifically, on the social media wing of the mansion.  I think it started a million years ago with Prodigy, the online service provider that read all your emails, not to be confused with the guy with two mohawks, but I might also trust him to read my emails.

You know what? Anyone really can sign up for the job to be my email reader and email replier. Maybe then I can realistically pretend that I contribute to society.

Prodigy was amazing! There was nothing like it! I was OBSESSED with the Prodigy bulletin boards, most specifically, the Kids in the Hall bulletin boards. My moniker was Mr. Sizzler, or something.
Side note: I met two really amazing people on Prodigy and formed a comedy troupe with them, even though we lived thousands of miles away from each other. We wrote sketches via private Prodigy messages and emails, flew to each other and filmed sketches in snowstorms, and eventually we sent our best three sketches to MTV and Comedy Central which ended in us thisclose to being hired on as writers for a new comedy show for kids on Nickelodeon. We were Serious Artists so we said no. Ha! sigh, there went my beach house.

In the early 90’s, it was all about Prodigy. And then it wasn’t because everyone started jumping ship and going to AOL. So naturally, I too went to AOL because I need my internet attention!

All my online buddies were there!!!!! And we chatted and we danced. (we didn’t dance) And it was magical and wonderful.

I stayed up ALL. NIGHT. LONG. chattin’ up people. But this time it became weezer chat rooms.

I don’t even know what we chatted about but there was none of this looking stuff up on google crap. Google didn’t exist. You kind of had to know the web address, the whole http:// thing to get any info on the World Wide Web. So you’d talk to people that called themselves “paperface” who claimed to “bake cookies for the boys” (codeword weezer) and that’s how you got your info.  Because you were talking to people who KNEW weezer. Nobody lies on the internet.

I just realized that I was probably being catfished…

And then I moved from Denver to Los Angeles without a computer and the internet was ripped from my life. And for years I didn’t even care about it. And I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote poems and stories and plays! It was the most productive I’ve ever been in my life. It was probably about 6 years before I got back online and the internet had me in its hold again.

Because MySpace.

I thought MySpace was the coolest thing EVER. I had my own webpage. Holy crap! I didn’t have to search for people, they could search for me. I became like the queen of the internet in my mind.

 

And then people stopped coming by my page because facebook officially arrived. I already had a facebook but I never used it because the only other person I knew on there was my sister-in-law who was in college at the time and I wasn’t in college anymore, I was like a 30 year old woman or something so no one wanted anything to do with me on the facebook and I didn’t want anything to do with them. And then a couple of years later, everybody flocked to facebook, so I adapted because, don’t leave me, guys.

Now I tweet. I tumblr. I pinterest. I instagram. And then there’s facebook. I hate facebook.

The internet for me has gone from always being fun times and meeting cool people that I think longingly about with a smile on my face to wanting to punch a handful of people I know in real life in the head. Making mental burn lists used to take up a great deal of my time and emotional space. Politics was finally the thing that helped me slowly back away from most of my facebook feed. My life vastly improved. I’m not inexplicably angry at someone I met at work 15 years ago because of her rants about chemtrails. I’m free from that baggage. I’m not totally gone, though. Something will pop into my head that I think is kind of funny and up it goes to facebook ’cause that’s the only place people pay attention to me anymore, and there I am. Back in the fray.  Every like and funny comment drags me back in like a sparkly vampire.

 

So here’s the thing. I’m not trying to make any promises because we both know me. But I think I’m going to attempt to stay off facebook for like, a couple of weeks or so. Because I need to write. I have like 7 novels rattling around my head.  All my dumb status updates will come here to my blog. Maybe I’ll actually get a lot more done if I’m not all caught up in the other nonsense. It’s completely terrifying at the same time because people will forget me! Won’t they? Whatever, a lot of the great people I know and want to keep up with either aren’t going anywhere, or aren’t even on facebook anymore anyway. They’re on Instagram. I’m bad at Instagram, too. I’m not a great photographer and I can’t tell my dumb jokes in the medium they require. I’m not an instagram influencer. And the feed is all over the place! but I’ll try to keep up.

Alright, I’ll focus it all here, on my blog. Think of this as myspace. Come visit my page! Look at my glitter gifs! Leave me a comment! I promise I won’t make you listen to music as my blog pulls up.

 

For now.

 

 

Ghost Eye for the Alive Guy

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I sat down to pee last night and I got hit in the head by my son’s plastic, Halloween sickle that was propped up behind the bathroom door. That’s how Death is going to take me. Not slicin’ and dicin’ like some garden variety Freddy Krueger, the Grim Reaper is too sophisticated for such dramatics. He’s just going to jump scare me into a heart-attack on the toilet. Like Elvis.

Now, if I would have met my eternal demise then and there, we would be in quite a pickle. The obvious, number one reason being no pants. I probably want to be wearing pants when I die. Secondly, my bathroom is a disaster. Like biohazard zone disaster. I should probably take some Scrubbing Bubbles to the sink soon and like, a flame torch to the rest of it. I can’t be found naked and slumped over in a truck-stop resembling bathroom. It’s embarrassing. Not only for me, but future generations that have to relive the humiliation in stories told and retold ’round the campfire in vivid detail.

I’m going to need a cleaner. Like a personal assistant but like super loyal that will take care of all of my indiscretions before the news teams and nosy neighbors arrive to find all my photoshops of Prince as a ghost in purple undies. This might be hard to coordinate though because, as my super loyal personal assistant life restorer, you’d have to be on call for like, ever because I don’t plan on ever dying. I’m going to be like one of those Twilight vampires with the glittery skin that live well into their 1,000s. The easy thing to do would be to just keep my life together while I’m alive, yes, but let’s be honest, this is not a skill I currently have on my resume.

Now that I think about the logistics of this, someone call up TLC, this is a show idea! I need either Theresa Caputo or Zak Bagans to team up with like, Oprah and the What Not to Wear team to come in with a camera crew and sort me out. They can help me throw away my underwear with the holes in them, sort through my emails, vacuum, make friends with current ghosts already in the building, etc.

I base a lot of my knowledge of the afterlife on what I’ve seen in the movies, mostly Ghost and Beetlejuice and here’s the thing, once you’re a ghost, you’re stuck in the clothes you died in. I don’t make the rules. So do we want comfort or haute couture? Like, do I have to walk around in Gucci the rest of my life? Is this why you see so many ghosts in ballgowns? Or am I okay haunting the halls in my sweatpants? Dying on the toilet will still be a problem, but that’s what you hope your family is for. Emily Dickinson’s family published her poems after she died, I’m just trying to get mine to agree to pull up my pants.

This could be my new life path. Live in a way that won’t embarrass me when I die. Although, what kind of life is that boring nonsense? Maybe I would have a better shot if I live my life preparing those around me for my embarrassing ghost phase. Like openly weeping in the hallway at various times throughout the day and adding photoshopped pictures of Prince to my email signatures.

Just please, someone’s gotta pull up my pants if I’m on the toilet.

 

 

 

Sent from my

The Ghost and Mrs. Ferg (that’s me)

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Yesterday I was having a day. One of those days were I question everything, my writing, my sense of humor, my lack of talent, etc. as you do, but instead of spiraling down THAT hole,  I set the timer and made myself write it all out for 30 minutes. My goal was to just stop thinking and letting the thoughts grow, but releasing them into nature so they can go bug someone else, like a weed. One of those dandelion seeds. Woosh into the wind, mean thoughts.

It’s raining, it has been and the light is weird and I think it’s making me feel. The sky is too light but not sunny or blue skies. It’s just that dull white/light gray and I hate it. It feels like dusk.

And then a woman started coming through. She just started showing herself, turning on a light, her rings clanking against the emerald colored glass of the lamp. Not a real lamp, by the way, this isn’t an Official Haunting. I would be screaming a lot louder if it were, this is just a mental haunting. I can’t see her yet. I’m only getting glimpses of her like mist. Like a dream teasing you hours later with tricky flashes of memory. Like a peep show. That’s what I imagine dementia feels like.

I wrote down everything she was showing me.

I see an older house. In the foyer looking in from the door, huge staircase on the right, does it wind up? Sometimes yes, but curved only slightly. Table with phone and lamp sit against the wall underneath. Library a bit down to the left. I’ve written about this library before… There was a man in a red velvet chair last time. No, it was a burgundy chair. Smoking. Does he belong to the woman??? Does she live here? Who was that guy?? Will I be able to remember? I wrote about him when I lived in Denver. I think. Why does it matter if I remember him? Why does he want to be remembered?

This woman is coming through like a spirit. Like I’m the medium and she’s trying to tell her story and I can’t hear her properly like I’m Whoopi in Ghost when she has to yell at all the other ghosts to be quiet so she can hear Sam. Except instead of ghosts being too loud, it’s the internet. 

I’m going to try to listen to her again today. She’s probably going to be spilling all her secrets when I’m in the back of the Uber on my way to this fancy gala I have to go to in Hollywood tonight. Because of course she will. Everyone else will be drinking and laughing and dancing to “Havana” and I’ll be sitting in the corner of the party typing this woman’s entire life into my phone on 23% battery, with my clumsy, drunken fingers.

God, I don’t have anything to wear.

 

You’ve Got the Look, LA Gear

If I could get into a time machine, I would go back to 1987 and buy these in every color. 11 year old me had these and 41 year old me is so completely jealous, I want them back by any means necessary. Especially the ones that have those fancy shark-gill looking things on the sides. Except I want them new. I don’t want the “gently used” pair that Jennifer in Palmdale is selling on ebay for $400. How do you do a shake-down of the she-devil that controls fixed, linear time?

I need these shoes! Look how cute they make a foot look. If I had them, I would stand like that a lot, I bet. Toe down, heel up, side angle view. And I’d get some chunky socks that I could multi-layer up my calf, giving the illusion that my legs are in shape.

I’ve been walking around the neighborhood lately with various friends trying to find celeb homes and keep eyes out for the usual Encino gossip. We’ve been actually walking a lot and I got yelled at by my podiatrist friend because I wear my Converse All-Stars to parade the streets. Apparently these are not approved walking shoes and I’m going to ruin my arches. I hate athletic shoes. I hate them, I won’t be seen dead in them. I would rather lose my arches, I’m that serious about it. They look totally normal on other people, but when I put them on I feel grotesque and monstrous. But the 80’s knew how to style an athletic shoe. I don’t know that The LA Gear high-top shoe is actually made for actual athletics but neither am I, and they’re super cute. I can throw a Dr. Scholls in there and what’s the difference?

Where can I get a pair of these fine lookin’ shoes?? Do I know anyone that knows anyone that has a time machine or works in a shady outlet store that’s been hoarding old (NEW) LA Gear sneakers that wants to hook me up from the back of a van in a dark alley somewhere late at night?? Cheaply? Do I know any shoe designers that want to make these for me? Do I start my own brand??? HELP MEEEE.

Book Club: The Final Countdown

 

The day before Book Club.

I was given 3 or so MONTHS to finish this book. The meeting had been put off and put off, but it was finally here. The day ahead glared at me like an evil witch, judging me for my sins. D-day. Do you know how far I was into this book, the day before the book club meeting, that I had had MONTHS to read???? Page 94. I officially made it to page 94. In 3 months. ACTUALLY, more like 4. FOUR months. If I did my math right, I would like you all to know that that is 30 pages on average a month. If you break that even further down, you sexy mathematicians, you will get one page. A day. Average.

So I planned on doing what any of us would have done, I cheated. I googled for spoilers, I read endings. I am a book club failure.

I was pretty sure I could fool everyone, though and I intended to try. I was going to go down in a blaze of glory. All or nothing. Lying to these nice people who let me into their group and their homes as I ate their pastries with confidence, commonly defined as “Of-COURSE-I’ve-read-this-book”-edence, blueberry scone crumbs clinging to the corner of my lying lips.

Look, in college I was an English Major, you think I haven’t faked this kind of thing before??  And by “English Major” I mean, “don’t look too deep into that because you’ll find I was inexplicably labelled a ‘Speech Major’ and I was too scared to go talk to anyone to get it changed. So I just made it all up as I went and then refused to completely graduate so I didn’t have to deal with it all and now here I am writing my bad-grammar blogs for free on the internet.”

So cheating and lying my way through this book club meeting like a snake oil salesman was the grand plan. And it would’ve worked too if it weren’t for that meddling Anxiety!  Because when Anxiety found out about it, she jolted me awake at 3am with judgements, panic, and an idea! Who cares about sleep, we Research! We can’t do it any other way. We’ll be kicked out of Book Club!! Several hours, and coffees, and pages, and post-it notes later, I was done.

And that’s how I finished a 306 page book. In 3 or so months. Actually more like 4. I read an entire book in almost 4 months and had to come and brag about it online.

Anyway, the next book has been chosen. I have about 6 weeks. What’s the over/under on whether I finish? One day I’m finally going to get my life together and you guys are going to be blown away.