no no na-neti pot

First of all, I want everyone to know that photo is not me–it is one I found on google images. And second of all, is it just me, or is the water running out of this woman’s nose only the second most disturbing thing about the picture?

Even though they are killing people right and left, my husband likes his neti pot. (And by likes I mean it helps his allergies–I am not insinuating that he enjoys it. Although if that were true, the therapy he would need would make a really awesome blog post.) Anyway, since he thinks it works, I decided to give it a try (with distilled water and my own little pot–yes we’ve been married almost 30 years but I’m not sticking his nettipot up my nose).

The following is my unbiased review of the Neti pot. I’m pretty sure consumer reports would pay good money for this, and you’re getting it for free, so…you’re welcome.

I tried it twice (I know…I am stupid that way) and I hate it. Hate. It.

Of course, to be honest, the results were mixed. Mixed as in it works fine one direction–right nostril to left if you must know–but in the other direction, rather than coming out my right side, the water rushes up into my sinuses and starts down my throat. Now, after enough coughing and gagging it will eventually drip slowly out the right side, but by then it’s too late. I’ve already told anyone who’ll listen where the WMDs are hidden.*

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was all bad. For the next several hours anytime I leaned over I’d get the interesting little surprise of water pouring out of my right nostril. There’s some amusement to be had with that (and the fact that I feel that way should tell you just how easily I’m amused.) I kinda kept wishing that some little kid would come and annoy me so I could pin him down and lean over his face–it would have been even grosser than the spit thing.

Some of you will say that I was neti potting incorrectly somehow, and I suppose that certainly could be true. But I promise you that I read the directions very carefully. I’m weird that way when I’m considering doing something that can be deadly and sounds exactly like something a group of seven year old boys would think was a good idea. (Hey, I know, let’s pour water up our noses! Yeah!) The blame, I’ve decided, is my septum. I’ve been told by doctor that it’s deviated (aren’t they all?). So it’s not my fault; it’s just that my nose dresses left.

I know from experience that there are some people who probably should never try to stand on slippery boards and go fast down an icy mountain. I am now amending that to add that there are some people who should never attempt to pour salt water up their nose. I am simply not neti-capable. If God had meant for me to have salt water up my nose he would have arranged for me to be on a beach vacation right now instead of waterboarding myself over my bathroom sink.

I’m betting that all of you are worried hoping that I’m going to post a video of me trying to drown myself over my sink, but you’re wrong. Not that I wouldn’t post it if I had it–even I think it would probably be too awesomely funny to keep to myself–but I didn’t record it and I am NOT going to stick that thing up my nose again just for the sake of art. Fuck art. Instead I’m posting a video that a friend put on facebook, because it’s smart and has important ideas and will perhaps counterbalance the rest of this dumb post.**

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*The only Weapons of Mass Destruction at my house are apparently hidden inside my dog, Stella. She deploys them to deadly effect when it’s nearing her dinner time and occasionally if my hubby and I laugh too loudly while watching Jon Stewart.

**I just realized that this blogpost is long, and the video is long which makes this whole thing like an endurance event. If you manage to finish it all, maybe it will be something you can brag about to your friends. Or not.

hard to say I’m sorry (without laughing)

Ooookay….

So for the past several months I have have been cutting my husband’s hair. Every week or two we go out on the back patio with the clippers (yes, we are those kind of people) and I  give him a pretty crappy haircut. Now, in my defense, I resisted playing barber as long as I could pleading (correctly) that I would really suck at it. But finally, under duress, I agreed to try and now, after a few months, it’s really it’s no big deal (hey, it’s not my hair, right?) He’s been happy with his longish (crappyish) buzz-cut, and I’m happy that he’s happy. It’s all good.

And yet…

Imagine if the usual guard we’d been using were to pop off one day and get mixed in the box with all the other ones that came with the clippers. And then imagine that we couldn’t decide which one we’d been using for the past six months. So then imagine us picking one that looks right…maybe…that actually ended up being a little bit shorter.  After a tentative swipe, I realized the mistake…but I figured it will be okay. Since I used to use the shortest (on the back and sides of his head) and next to shortest (on the top) with the old guard, I decided that this one would be okay as long as I used the longest and second longest on this one.

And it probably would have been just fine if I hadn’t gotten confused somehow (I know, I know, but I’m middle aged and blond) used the shortest setting (on this new shorter guard) on the top of his head instead of the longest.

Oops.

I realized my mistake after a couple of passes but…well…there’s no turning back at that point. Sigh. Hubby is being a surprisingly good sport about his new almost-bald look (although he was unimpressed with my advice to just avoid mirrors for a couple weeks). And the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing didn’t help much either.

So this one is for you, honey…

madrugada*…

So, I was up at 4:00 a.m. due to some annoying post-nasal-drip crap that was trying to choke me to death. So after many attempts to find a position that was compatable with sleep, I gave up and and got up. Sigh.

I know it looks like I’ve totally abandoned this blog and, although that’s not quite right, I have found it hard to get myself excited about posting. Partly because I’m in that odd space where one book is finished-ish (in other words I’m sick of it so after my latest victim reader finishes with it, I will apply suggested changes judiciously and then release it into the cold, cruel sea of agent-rejections) and the next book still just some notes on my computer…so that’s been the repository of the drips and drabs of creative energy that I’ve had. But mostly I haven’t posted because, as usual, inertia has me firmly in it’s grasp (in other words, I’m a lazy-ass.) I suppose it’s a bummer that the ten many people who read this now have proof that I’m a slacker, but oh well. In the words of a member of the Rat Pack*** “I gotta be me.”

Hasta la vista…

*madrugada** can be loosely translated as butt-early.

**And who knew Madrugada was the name of a band? And not just any band…a Norwegian band with a Spanish name who sings in unaccented English. Life is funny, no?

***Interestingly different than Pack Rat. Hmmm…

How is this for a resolution?

To live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be my most complete self. *

I found this statement in a totally unrelated article, but I liked it so I stole it. (Yes, I plagiarized my New Year’s resolution. Perhaps this bodes poorly for my writing in 2012.)

So, because of a special event we have coming up later in the month, my job has been a little whack lately…and in just over a week we’re flying up to Boston with our youngest son to get him settled in at college. These two things and my usual freakish control issues tendency to worry have combined to create a ridiculous puddle of overwhelmedness that I keep wanting to splash around in. Prime time for wallowing is apparently 2:30 a.m. even though I do understand that there are few actual problems that can be solved at 2:30 a.m. **

But, I know the craziness is temporary and soon my job will return to it’s normal occasionally-stressful-but-mostly-fun self. And my house will be too quiet and calm with my musician son so many miles away. I might have to take up another hobby. Maybe chess. Or boxing. Or….

Oh just check out the video. Previously mentioned musician-son found it for me, and it’s so random and strange that it’s somehow totally awesome.

_________________________

*And finish, really finish, my stupid book and start another one. (This part is all mine.)

**Okay, some problems can be solved in the wee hours. Once we had a dog to whom my husband someone gave about a cup of bacon grease as a treat. As I recall we had to get out of bed at 2:30 a.m. and clean up, solve that problem.***

***Okay, I know adding an endnote to an endnote is probably against the rules, but did anyone else notice that I talked about a puddle in one paragraph, and then in that paragraph’s endnote I mention an entirely unrelated incident that also concerned a puddle of sorts? This was totally unintentional, but perhaps one more sign that I should be in therapy of some sort. Or maybe at least go buy red galoshes.

no good deed goes unpunished

So, I’ve been spending my spare time on the maddening task of trying to copy a painting I did years ago (except on a smaller scale) and it totally sucks ass. The original is acrylic and because I am a master procrastinator, I put off starting it until acrylic was my only option if I’m to have it ready by Christmas. (This is for my daughter…she plans to give it as a gift to someone who had seen and liked the original.)

Nothing like spending hours working with a medium I a hate (after years of working with oil, I have totally lost my acrylic mojo) but also using a frustrating medium on a painting that I’m bored with before I ever put brush to canvas. Did I mention that this whole project totally sucks ass?

But, I love my daughter and it’s the season of giving and all that crap, so I’m happy to do it, damn it! Plus, it has been providing an excellent excuse not to work on the book-edit-from-hell. However, since I hope to finish tomorrow, I will probably have to either go back to working on the book, or come up with some new crazy-ass thing. I’m betting I’ll work on the book, but you can’t completely rule out the crazy-ass thing. This is me, after all.

I hope all ten many of you are well and having a happy holiday season. I may whine about this painting-which-totally-sucks-ass and the novel-edit-from-hell, but not for one minute have I forgotten how blessed that I truly am. My family, my friends, my dogs, my home, my job, my health…blah blah blah… you get the picture. Sigh. It really is all good.

And just because I think this is random and funny and awful all at the same time:

same song, second verse

The viral adventures continue around here, however we have had a switch from the respiratory system to the gastrointestinal system. Oh, how naive were my complaints about my little cold.

In a Crocodile Dundee-eqsque “Haha…That’s not a knife. This is a knife,” type of move, fate stepped up on Saturday night and said, “That’s not suffering. This is suffering.”

Saturday night, while this virus made multiple attempts to completely empty out my digestive tract, I did have one interesting discovery: If you eat several Mike and Ikes before being struck down by Crocodile-Dundee’s-stomach-virus-from-hell, you will have really pretty rainbow puke the first time you throw-up.

Now really, the funniest thing about the following clip is the funky jive music they start playing when Dundee scares the gangbanger (who happens to look like he just stepped out of an Olivia Newton John video…ha!)

into the woods…

While waiting for the critiques of my manuscript, I’ve been venturing into the woods of my next book…considering characters and their motivations…daydreaming about plot paths… I’m trying to keep things casual; it’s not time for me to telling any tales about these people yet. But I’m dropping breadcrumbs to make sure I can find my way back when it’s time.

Meanwhile a second critique (thank you H—-) of my manuscript has arrived! Another very thoughtful and thought-provoking critique. I have such freakin’ smart readers helping me here. I obviously still have some work left to do on the book, but both of the test dummies readers who’ve finished the book have given me some great ideas of how to improve the novel. Yeah!

One of the things that I’ve discovered is that creating an unreliable first person narrator is tricky. When the character’s actions don’t really mesh with her inner thoughts, it can make the character’s voice feel uneven. Here she’s thinking she’s so tough, and then in a fight with her boyfriend she doesn’t act very tough.  Hmmmm….  The problem is, that’s what I want, but I want the reader to understand that she’s unreliable, not think that I just don’t know what the hell I’m doing (which may well be the case, but I don’t want the reader to know that.)

Several writers I admire make creating an unreliable narrator look easy, but here I am discovering that it’s more difficult than it seems. Reader H—- (Goldilocks) found that in some scenes the protagonist was tooooo tough, but in other scenes she was tooooo soft.  Now I just need to pay attention to the scenes that were baby-bear juuuust right so I can fix the others. I can do this…as my late father would tell me, “That’s no hill for a stepper.”

And so I searched for Goldilocks on youtube and mostly came up with exactly the lame videos you’d expect…except I also foud THIS!

See…I KNEW there was a reason I needed an iPhone!