Monday, May 26, 2008

A Sloggy, Bloggy Tale

Boy sat on the sawdust-covered floor of his workshop, feverishly racing the clock to complete his invention. Of course, Boy didn’t really have a workshop, only a corner of The Mom’s shed that he’d managed to claim as his own…for now. He didn’t have a real deadline either, or anyone to care about what he did with his time. No, Boy developed his ideas and imposed time limits on himself. Someday, I’ll be important and I’ll have an important job. People will depend on me…and they won’t call me ‘Boy’.”

Those were the thoughts that drove Boy. The Mom who called him ‘Boy’ didn’t care about his thoughts, his projects, or his name. She was just The Mom that Boy had been forced to accept when he was little. The Mom had been forced to accept Boy, too and she hadn’t been happy about it. Boy still remembered the terror he’d felt when The Mom had approached him that first day. She’d glared at him and barked, “When I say ‘Boy’, I mean you. Got it?” At his small nod The Mom had walked away and seemingly dismissed him.

Boy didn’t really remember what had happened to his other mom, the one who’d given him his real name. He didn’t think about that much any more. Boy had two clear memories from those early days. He remembered the day he’d been named ‘Boy’, and, although years passed before he heard it again, he remembered his real name.

Boy rose from the floor triumphantly, dusting off the seat of his pants as he stood. He realized too late that he had just transferred rogue ink from his hands to his pants. The Mom would have something to say about that, but Boy didn’t care right now. He’d completed his invention – his jobmachine. It was beautiful; it was his; and there was nothing else like it in the world.

Boy knew what to do now. He’d once made friends with a neighbor who invented things. Chris Brogan had been one of the few people in Boy’s life who knew Boy’s real name and used it. Boy had been sad when the inventor’s work had taken him elsewhere, but he’d left Boy a legacy – people to contact when he’d completed an invention. Boy ran the short distance to their home, eager to ask those inventors to come and take a look at his work. The men, recognizing Boy’s agitated state, didn’t make him wait, but went right over to inspect his invention.

Boy brought them to his workshop and waited outside the shed for their verdict. He watched from his vantage point just outside the door as the men with pens circled and prodded his invention, making notes on their clipboards as they went. The anticipation was killing him. In a surfeit of passion, Boy let out a “Whoop!” that was sure to bring unwanted attention.

As expected, The Mom came up behind him, already yelling. “What was that racket? What are you doing out here…and what’s that on the back of your pants?” The men approached hesitantly, having completed their inspection. “You should be very proud of this young man,” one of the men told The Mom as he placed a reassuring hand on Boy’s shoulder. “That’s quite an invention he’s got there.”

“In fact,” the other man said, “we just recently read a white paper about a similar design in The Daily Blog Tips. You, my friend,” he remarked to Boy, “think like an inventor with many years of experience and education. We’ll be happy to help you refine your prototype.”

The men shook Boy’s hand and left him and The Mom standing in front of the shed. He was still slightly giddy with excitement and barely registered the fact that they’d shaken his hand like equals. “Did…did you hear what they said?” he finally managed, turning to the Mom.

“I heard them,” she sniffed disdainfully. “They said that you didn’t come up with an original idea. You’re not a real inventor; you’re just a…copyblogger.” The Mom turned and walked away, dismissing Boy once more.

Tears welled up in Boy’s eyes, but he determinedly dashed them away with his fists and headed back to his workshop. Someday I’ll be important and I’ll have an important job. People will depend on me…and they won’t call me ‘Boy’.

If you're still reading this post, please note that I got the idea for this kind of link love from Harry's "Dark and Bloggy Night", that came from Carolyn's "Once Upon a Bloggy Night" meme (logo courtesy of Carolyn), via Ettarose's "Tuesday Link Love Story". My apologies to all concerned for whatever is lacking in my tale, and my congratulations for coming up with and propagating such a fun idea.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Flavor Is Your Cheesecake?

Is it time for me to crawl into the bottle? I could just admit that I'm old and then maintain a stupor that would mask the depression. On the other hand, I could tip up the bottle and eat the worm to prove my youth...but I've never eaten a worm (except for some bbq-flavored dehydrated larva, but that's a different post). If I gagged or spit it out, the whole operation would backfire. Purpose defeated.

Don't get me wrong; I have no problem with my age. I have several gray hairs and feel that I earned every one of them -- no dye here, baby. I just don't want to be old. You know, "Damn those kids and their loud music" old. I'm contemplating my philosophical age at this moment because of a comment I posted on another blog. The post had a cool picture of a naked chick (very artful, check it out). My mind noted the cool pic and then moved on to the post and comments. That's where I lost it...or where it was revealed to me that I had lost it.

The writer said that he thought his readers needed a little cheesecake. The naked chick pic moves over in the mental notes, to be replaced with cheesecake. Mmmm...cheesecake. Now I'm asking about cheesecake; Dude where's my slice? I'm totally oblivious to the whole naked pic - cheesecake dimension. I'm showing signs of old (not age) in front of the entire blogosphere.

I'm sad. I have a vague recollection of hearing about a "study" years ago. They asked women to choose between sex and chocolate. I remember laughing because chocolate won. Now I wonder. Presented with a naked man artfully arranged on a table would I respond by gasping: Would you look at that! I'm sure that tablecloth would absolutely match a color in my dining chair cushions at home. I wonder where they got it?

So I sit in my pub and contemplate tequila. No, I'm not old. The cheesecake thing was a fluke. No stupor, no worm. I'm putting that bottle away and having my usual. Laphroig, no ice...or should I make that a "sex on the beach" to be on the safer side? Lemon-flavored cheesecake with blueberries on top does sound nice, though...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rainy Day Expression Lesson

Welcome to sunny SoCal...on a gray, rainy day. Cold. Did I forget to mention cold? I'm not against rain. Rain is good; it washes my car and helps save my lawn (or would if I had one). My grandfather always said the same thing if we happened to speak on a rainy day, "We could use some rain, li'l girl." It didn't matter if you were 3 or 43, female relative younger than Pa-pa - "li'l girl". As far as that goes, the comment came when the grass was dying of dehydration and when we were ankle-deep in water on the lawn (he had a lawn).

To end that ramble, I'll state again: rain is good. Cold rain, on the other hand is just plain mean, especially by the beach. I liked rain in Panama. Of course, I was 6 and probably liked lots of things that annoy me now, but that's not the point. Before I moved here, I would never have thought to use "cold, rainy SoCal" in a sentence. You know, "It never rains in sunny...." The advertisements (TV, movies, songs, etc.) don't teach a couple of local expressions that I had to learn after I moved here.

"May Gray". The term pretty much speaks for itself. There's no sunshine at the beach for a good chunk of the day, and when it does manage to peek out, you never know when it will disappear. Those of us who dare to venture away from the coast during the day can actually see and feel the difference. It's like a wall across the have just left May Gray (sometimes). Of course, we really appreciate crossing the wall coming home when "inland" is 10 degrees hotter.

"June Gloom". Follows May Gray and is basically the same phenomena. Nobody puts these terms in the travel brochures, though. It's kind of a sad feeling passing by the beach watching people, visitors, try to enjoy the sunless sand and cold surf. "We paid to be here and we're damned well going to enjoy it!"

I don't know why I wrote this post. Have another brew! Maybe I'll make more sense after we've both had a drink.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Post...Full of Random Thoughts

After the last (first) post, I went away for the weekend. Well, sort of - if you can call chaperoning a church youth group sleepover "getting away", then I did. No, no. Put away the violins. My life is not sooo pathetic. In fact, I plan to have a life that includes "grown-up" activities and adult people (who exist within my environment, outside the virtual realm) any day now.

I had an idea for this post, but I am highly susceptible right now because of sleep deprivation. My tween and I saw the midnight showing of the new Indiana Jones movie this morning. I love it when I get to be the "cool" mom! Of course, "rule" mom says we both have to get up and go about our days as usual so we were at the elementary at 8 this morning. (Sometimes I hate rule mom.)

I read a blog post about addiction and now my mind is off on a tangent (and I keep accidentally turning on italics and can't make them turn off). Commentors included TV addictions and guilty pleasures, and I was forced to consider my TV viewing habits again. A brother (I have two) and I were talking about this the other day. I would love to know what some marketer would determine about my family's viewing habits. Family would be the aforementioned preteen and me. I'd love to have a Neilson box (or whatever) and then be a fly on the wall watching some analyst go crazy.

We watch a lot of the shows on HGTV, and a few on TLC ("What Not to Wear" and the home improvement shows). In their respective seasons, we watch: "Heroes", "Biggest Loser", "Criminal Minds", "Ugly Betty", "The Making of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders" (did I mention my preteen's gender?), "Dr. Who", and "Stargate Atlantis". We also watch "Law and Order"(s - just not "Intent"). I watch BSG; he's not really into it. There are a couple of shows that each of us tolerate for the sake of the other. Then there are those we tune in to whenever the mood strikes or whenever the marathon runs: "Trick My Truck", "Project Runway", "ANTM", "Top Chef", "Dirty Jobs".... There are probably a few more that escape me right now.

Ever wonder how folks come up with "answers" based on averages, probabilities, and other general statistics? I don't know anybody that I think fits the "norm". Admittedly, I don't know a lot of people (put a little rosin on those bowstrings, folks - you never know when you'll need them), but if we're all not the norm, who is? I was sad to see "Journeyman" go away, but there are several (read many) shows that lived that I'd love to see gone forever. Who's the norm that they're using to choose what I watch on TV?

Random brain cramp: just had a visual of the guy walking in to the bar and being greeted, "Hi, Norm!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Welcome to the Beachside Brew & BBQ

Well, first off, props to the Rogue, aka “Tei”, who gave me this idea.

Welcome to my pub! It’s a bit of a shack, but it’s right on the beach, and the food’s good. There are a lot of craft beers on tap and we have a decent liquor selection. Anybody who wants to tend bar is more than welcome. I’ll be too busy drinking, cooking, and socializing – but not necessarily in that order.

I don’t have a dart board. I’ll go to Rogue’s pub to play darts, as long as there’s a protective barrier (read rubber room?) to save the other patrons. I do have a couple of pool tables, a ping pong table, and board games painted on the table tops – just try not to lose the pieces, okay.

Why the “Brewbq”? I write blogs for my business (admittedly, I just started). I kept thinking of things I’d like to share or talk about (with anyone who might care), but that I wouldn’t put on my professional blog. :: In rides the Rogue on a handsome black steed, brandishing her custom sword :: “The ‘Rogue Ink Blog’ is my pub,” quoth the Rogue. “Clients are welcome as visitors, not as judges.” Okay, so Rogue didn’t say that exactly, but that’s what I heard – mostly the “pub” part. So I opened my own pub for my amusement, rants, pet peeves, recipes, and anything else that crosses my mind and lingers for a moment. Visitors may also be entertained.

As far as pet peeves go, I tend to spell and use most forms of grammar correctly. If you have issues with parenthesis and dashes, however, you may want to down your brew with your eyes closed. I love ‘em! I use them indiscriminately, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Of course, I edit judiciously in professional righting (just kidding). Don’t expect the same behavior in my pub.

My son says I’m part of the “crusty generation”, but I still know how to have fun. BTW, the name’s “April” (care to guess my birth month?). I’m the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer here at the Brewbq. I’m taking off now, but I’m leaving the pub open. Feel free to stick around and get yourself a brew.

Pub crawl, anyone?