not today, Satan

This morning when I logged on to WordPress to catch up on reading some blogs, I noticed something odd. The display name next to my avatar was no longer showing as “Rhubarb Swank”, but rather “sexy.jvhrt.ru”.

Cue mild panic.

Not that I have years of irreplaceable material here, and not that the whole thing probably doesn’t deserve to be put to rest in a giant dumpster fire, of course…but I do pay for this domain, so my credit card info is squirreled away in the depths of my account somewhere. I don’t need some hacker slurping that up and selling it on, thank you very much!

After a few minutes of clicking around I managed to restore my display name, update my password and tweak a few other settings that will hopefully keep things more secure going forward.

Hopefully no one is gleefully dildo shopping with my credit card. Actually, scratch that. If they DID end up stealing it, I hope they DO use it for dildo shopping. Just so long as the bank doesn’t make me pay for it.

Anyway, that’s what I get for using crap-ass passwords and not updating them regularly.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. Unless you like buying other people dildos. In which case, you’re probably doing the world a service, really.

Now please enjoy this picture of our new dog Keppo:

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He’s the one with the whiskers. Apparently I had remembered to shave mine that day.

He came home with us from the shelter almost two weeks ago and we are, frankly, fucking exhausted. We were 8 years younger the last time we had a puppy and I think we both forgot just how much work it is. Worth it, certainly…but holy hell.

impotent rage…and holiday cards!

On Mondays we still have some of the after-glow of the weekend to get us through. Wednesday are the mid-point in the work week and we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Thursdays often involve starting to plan for the impending weekend. Fridays practically ARE the weekend – any time after noon on Friday is pretty much gravy.

But Tuesdays…Tuesdays are for impotent rage, I’m convinced of it.

On Tuesdays you can’t just throw your hands up and blame shit on still being hung over from the weekend, and you have way too many days left in the week to just bury your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. If Monday is a dumpster fire, Tuesday is the fully involved three-alarm structure fire that the flash-over from the dumpster has caused. It’s not just a little smoke and the lingering smell of burnt hair…it’s your propane tank blowing up in an eye-searing blaze while you stand at the end of the driveway clutching your shivering dog and wondering what the fuck went wrong.

I don’t like Tuesdays, in case that wasn’t clear. And this particular Tuesday has been especially rife with fuckery of highly non-amusing sorts (although my propane tank didn’t actually blow up or anything, thankfully). It’s mostly work stuff so I can’t really get into it, but just trust me when I tell you that if I could procure a boat right now, I’d name it the S.S. Fuck Right Off, pack it with as many boxes of Pop Tarts and bottles of Rex Goliath merlot as I could afford, and shove off from the nearest dock to start my career as a small-time pirate queen. Imagine an obese female version of Jack Sparrow. That would be me. I’ve already got the eyeliner and the struggling to remember words down pat.

ANYWAY.

I need to do something to counteract the angry. Sending people mail makes me happy, so tonight I’m going to go home and address a bunch of holiday cards.

If you’d like a holiday card from me, you can add your mailing address to my address book here and I’ll happily send you one.

Although, caveat: if you’re international, the card may not get there by Christmas because I’m very bad at judging how long international mail takes to get from point A to point B and also sometimes I have every intention of getting my ass to the post office but then get distracted and end up carrying a bunch of cards around in my bag for an extra week. Just so we’re all on the same page.

Also, you have my solemn oath that I will not sell your address or use it for any other purposes, nefarious or otherwise.

And if you don’t want to give me your address, that’s totally cool. I still love you, and I’ll just beam you holiday cheer with my mind instead.

I should probably pick a specific day and time to do it though, otherwise you’ll spend the next few weeks wondering if every random warm tingle and whiff of gingerbread you notice is me beaming you that cheer I promised you.

Or you might maybe start to worry that you’re having a seizure or a stroke, and I don’t want to do that to you, because after all, I might be a small-time pirate queen, but I’m not a dick.

rex-goliath-merlot_1

Mmm, cheer.

what have I done?

You may remember that last year, instead of doing NaNoWriMo like everybody and their fucking brother, I did the bastard blog version called NaBloPoMo. I started out using the suggested prompts but soon jumped ship because the prompts were banal horseshit.

Wow, I’m sweary tonight. And that’s after a cup of Sleepytime Tea. Can you imagine what I’d be like if I was snorting coke?! It would either be amazing or I’d end up getting punched in the face. Possibly both. Doesn’t coke make people aggro? Maybe I’d be the one punching people in the face, then. I definitely have some anger issues.

ANYWAY.

NaBloPoMo was actually pretty hard once I stopped using the shitty prompts because then it was just like “OK smart-ass, you said you’d post every damn day for a month and you’re supposed to be some kind of funny person so get crackin’ with the LOLs”. Except I can’t be funny every day for a month straight. Not enough to write blog posts AND keep me afloat in real life, anyway…so I struggled. It was good and I learned about myself, but I don’t fucking want to do it again.

So this year I’m biting the bullet and trying NaNoWriMo instead. I’ve been talking lately to a writer friend who keeps saying things like “writers write” and “anybody can NOT write a story”. The way he says it, it doesn’t sound like pretentious writer twat drivel though, trust me. More importantly, it has got me thinking that every day I sit around here twiddling my thumbs waiting for ‘inspiration’ to strike is another day closer I get to death. I mean, not to be a gigantic bummer or anything, but Jesus Christ you guys. SPOILER WARNING: we’re all gonna die. I don’t like the idea of croaking without having at least TRIED to do some of the things I’d like to do, you know? And since chances are REAL slim that I’m going to be hauling my lard ass up the side of the Andes to visit Machu Pichu, or building my own private otter preserve in my back yard any time soon (if ever), I figure I should aim a little lower and try actually writing instead.

That’s not to say that blogging isn’t ‘actually writing’, by the way. And it’s not to say that I’m not going to blog for a whole month. I’m just going to try this other kind of writing that I used to enjoy and be reasonably good at before I grew up and my brain turned to mush.

I’m not doing any of the official NaNoWriMo stuff like tracking my word count on their site, etc. I’m just going to commit to writing 1000 words or one hour a day, whichever happens first. If I write 1000 words or a whole hour and it feels like I want to keep going, I will…but I don’t currently have the mental energy to commit to something as grand as the traditional 50,000 words in a month NaNoWriMo goal. Ain’t happenin’.

Soooo…yeah. I might end up posting excerpts of the story I’m working on here, or I might not. Kind of depends on how awful it turns out. I can tell you this, though: I’m writing a story about writing a terrible story. After all, write what you know, right?

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Mmm, books. I bet they smell so good. Unless some hippy doused them in patchouli, anyway. Why you gotta ruin everything with fucking patchouli, hippies? Damn.

Anti-Trump bucks

A couple weeks back, a funny thing happened. A good friend of mine who also happens to read this blog sent me a private message on Facebook, and the following exchange ensued:

Friend: Sooo…I have a slightly awkward question for you.

Me: Oh, fun! I love those! Hit me.

Friend: Ok. I feel like we know each other pretty well in a lot of ways, but politics is something we’ve never actually talked about and I’ve just kind of been wondering…do you support Trump?

Me: WHAT? NO. OMG. No, no, no. Uuuugh. (barfing noises)

Friend: O…kayyyy…

Me: What, uhhh…what gave you the impression that I would be a Trump supporter?

Friend: Almost every time I go to your blog, there’s a Trump ad at the bottom of your post. Like, nine times out of ten. It got weird enough that it started to make me really wonder.

Me: Holy shit. Thank you so much for telling me. I must find a way to fix this.

A matter of hours later, another friend who DOES know my political leanings pointed out that he had seen a Trump ad on my latest post. Two days later, several more folks brought it up as well. My guts churned every time someone else piped up about it.

I was livid. I pulled up my WordPress account and clicked all around looking for an ad filter, preferences, ANYTHING that would allow me to stop the Trump ads from appearing on my posts. It turned out that the only option was to upgrade from a free account to a paid one.

It didn’t take me long to decide that that racist, narcissistic, tax-evading dumpster fire is NOT getting the benefit of the eyes of my readership, however small it might be. I’m not saying that you have to agree with my politics in order to read my blog. I’m just saying that I will not knowingly provide his campaign with ANY avenue to further spread his hate-filled rhetoric. If you can even call what he says ‘rhetoric’.

So, long story short: I just coughed up $35 real, actual dollars from my bank account to upgrade my WordPress account so that you guys wouldn’t have to keep seeing Trump ads at the end of my posts.

THAT is how much I love you all. At least $35 worth.

According to the map, we’ve only gone four inches.

As you can see, I changed shit around again. The last set-up was apparently kind of annoying for people who read on tablets and phones. Hopefully this one will be better for everyone.

Back tomorrow with something at least slightly more amusing!

dumber

I may or may not have tried to match my new background color to the color of Lloyd’s suit. Also, I love how the guy with the tape measure just keeps getting exasperated over and over.

a twitter rant

Do you ever get a notification from Twitter that someone new has followed you, click through to their profile to check them out and just end up thinking to yourself, “what about my profile and/or tweets could have possibly led you to the conclusion that you would like to read more of what I have to say”?

One guy that followed me the other day has a profile full of tweets with links to articles about crystal healing, for instance.

Another person looked perfectly reasonable until four tweets in when they started talking about how they support Ted Cruz…in a completely non-ironic way.

There was one who was just wall to wall misogynistic body-judgement jokes.

And one who did nothing but promote a Kickstarter campaign that, when clicked through to, was one of the most poorly written things I’ve seen in months. I don’t even actually know what the person was trying to raise money for. That’s how fucking badly their campaign information was written.

Here I am tweeting about anxiety and depression, dumb shit I say to my dog, pictures of the stuff that I make, and derpy jokes about nerdy stuff, and somehow that screams “Hey world, I want to hear about how you think women who don’t fit your ideal of physical perfection are worthless! I’m also super into hearing how you think a pro-life Tea Party crackpot who wants to outsource all our jobs is a reasonable choice for President! You know what I could really use right now? A CHAKRA CLEANSING. Also, I have $10,000 just burning a hole in my pocket, so please send me your completely unintelligible requests for financial backing and I’ll hook you right up.”

I prefer my chakras slightly soiled. It helps me stay grounded when Rodney Yee is trying to kill me via yoga DVDs.

 

 

 

 

yay, I figured out a thing

I finally figured out how to get my favorite blogs to actually show up as links in the sidebar. HUZZAH! It’s only been, like…a pretty embarrassing amount of months. In my defense, it’s not like WordPress makes it especially evident or anything. It’s kind of hidden under three or four layers of internet WTF’ery.

Anyway.

So, yeah. I enjoy the blogs I’ve linked to off to the right there, and I suggest you give them a look.

FYI, if you comment on my posts I always click through to your blog to check it out. If you’re a non-commenting lurker but you have a blog you want me to check out, let me know! I don’t bite, I promise. I’m more afraid of you than you are of me. Also, I should not be exposed to bright light, fed or gotten wet after midnight. Just…in case

 

oops

You may notice things look a little…different…around here.

They’re going to look even more different-er soon because I am super duper not in love with this theme that I mistakenly ended up applying to the site.

Sooo…yeah. Bear with me while I tear my hair out and try to find a set-up I actually like.

Why do I do these things to myself?

Ugh.

Barf.

tweets, how do they work?

Twitter is kind of beyond me.

I have an account (@Alpacalypse5), but 99% of my posts are Instagram photos and links to posts that I write here on the blog. Succinctness (is that even a word? Spellcheck says it is, so suck it) isn’t my strong suit to begin with, and that little character-count in the bottom right corner of the Twitter posting screen just fills me with dread. Plenty of people are really good at being very funny and/or profound in 140 characters or less, but my heart probably couldn’t take the amount of Adderall I’d need to be included in their ranks.

Could you imagine, though? Going out in a blaze of Adderall-fueled viral tweet glory? My obituary would be like:

“In search of that one golden moment of virality, Shelby took a whole handful of prescribed ADHD meds, wrote what is now considered the Best Tweet Known To Mankind, then dropped dead of a massive coronary. She is survived by her husband and dog, who are both pretty fucking annoyed that she didn’t stock the fridge with sandwiches before she croaked.”

And then the obituary editor would be like, “Frank, virality totally isn’t a word” and Frank the obituary writer would be like, “Fuck you, Steve. You’re always so negative. You know what? I’m sick of this dead-end job, and that’s not even a pun. I’M OUT.”  And then, in the final cruel twist of irony, Frank’s flouncing would knock my half-written obituary into the recycling bin next to his desk, never to be finished. The author of the Best Tweet Known To Mankind wouldn’t even have an obituary to be remembered by and her memory would fade into the ether as quickly as, well, a non-famous person’s tweets…

…wow, I got kind of lost in that one.

ANYWAY.

What I came here to say was that I’m going to try to be better at actively tweeting instead of just lurking, so feel free to follow me if you want.

Also, if you’re super confused right now, it’s totally ok. I am too, and I wrote this shit. Sometimes you have to just go with it.

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Acid reflux, huh? I feel your pain, birdie.

buyer beware

Out here in the sticks one of the best ways to buy and sell things, keep up with local happenings and sometimes watch people show their asses, is the town ListServ.  I subscribe to the one for the tiny town I live in, and the one for the even tinier town I work in. The one for the town I live in is generally pretty quiet, but the one for Work Town is very active. There are lots of posts about community happenings, people looking for help with various things, businesses advertising their goods / services, townie drama, and my personal favorite – things for sale.

It’s not that I particularly buy much from the ListServ, even. It’s more that the For Sale ads are often entertainingly odd.

Like, the guy who is giving away a whole bunch of dowels. I can see needing maybe A dowel, maybe even two….but what would you DO with dozens of dowels? Build a yurt, maybe? I don’t know if dowels even figure in to yurt construction, I’m just spit-balling.

Or, the person trying to unload six gallons of unused battery acid. What? Just…why? Why does a normal person in a tiny town in rural New Hampshire need six fucking gallons of BATTERY ACID, unless they’re going to like…I don’t even know. Build a big battery, I guess? OR DISSOLVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF BODY PARTS. I’m just saying.

This morning as I was going through the accumulated ListServ from the night before, one of the headlines particularly caught my eye:

“Chairlift for Sale”.

I grew up skiing and I am therefore pretty fucking familiar with chairlifts. As such, the idea of someone selling a chairlift was both puzzling and fascinating to me. How would you even go about it? Is it the whole shebang with the cables, the giant poles, the huge motorized whirly-gig at each end that spins the chairs around and sends them back up / down the hill? Don’t those things cost like, hundreds of thousands of dollars? Would the buyer have to come disassemble it and transport it themselves?  So many questions. I shook my head and went on to the next headline.

Then, something occurred to me. What if it was just the CHAIR part of the chairlift they were selling? That would be a lot more manageable in terms of transport, and it would probably make a pretty baller porch swing or garden bench with a little paint and some strategic welding (which I have NO access to or aptitude for, it should be noted in retrospect. These things never occur to me at the time, though).

Interest now piqued for realsies, I went back to the ad to see how much the chairlift-cum-garden-bench was going to cost me, because I was pretty sure I needed it.

(Also worth noting, by the way: I have no garden, nor do I have any significant amount of lawn of my own. We rent, and we live in kind of rural version of an apartment complex where there are a bunch of fields and lawns around us, but we don’t actually OWN any of them.I would have literally nowhere to put any kind of bench, chair-lift or otherwise.)

So I’m reading along…

“Two outdoor elite straight rail stairlifts for sale”

Waaaaaaaaaait.

Stairlifts?! Those aren’t fucking CHAIRLIFTS. WTF, person who wrote the ad. The headline CLEARLY said”Chairlifts For Sale”, not “Stairlifts For Sale”. I went back and checked three times because even though I know I’m crazy and I’m mostly at peace with that, I feel like I still have fairly reasonable reading comprehension skills.

I mean, granted, I could have actually read the ad itself, realized what it was being sold, saved myself the excitement over planning a chairlift garden bench for my non-existent garden and the SUBSEQUENT DEBILITATING DISAPPOINTMENT OF WATCHING THAT DREAM GO DOWN THE DRAIN…but on the same token, YOU could have been more clear in your headline, ad-writer.

Way more clear.

Also, just in case anyone’s sitting there rolling their eyes and thinking “whatever, crazypants…chairlift benches aren’t even a THING”, here is Actual Internet Evidence that you are wrong:
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You probably have to pay more for the Majestic Dog option. Picture courtesy of Fire On Demand, who actually MAKE these babies, along with super cool fire pits. This is not a sponsored ad placement, by the way. I just really liked this picture and wanted to give credit where it was due.

So there.