"a medium to large size breed of domestic dog that originated in Rottweil, Germany"

Self publishing is getting big, and with eBooks it's becoming more affordable for people to get themselves out there and let the readers be the gatekeepers. But if you self-publish, please make sure you do your best to make sure what you're putting out there is actually good.

There is a graduate from my college who has published two "books." There are samples available on Barnes and Noble and you can buy it there or on Amazon. He also sends out messages through the graduate network when these books are released. I read the sample of the first book and was not inspired to buy. Out of morbid curiosity, I checked out the second book. In it was a scene where he described a neighbor with two big, tough dogs. He even named the breed. I had to read the breed name twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things. What kind of dog was it, you ask?

A "Rawtwhiler."

Read that. Sadly I am not kidding. And he used this spelling twice. Even on blogger there is a dashed red underline beneath that word, telling me something is not quite right. If you Google that word, the correct spelling will come up. If he used a word processor, I'm betting it would not have made it through spellcheck. This is basic stuff, no need for a fancy pants editor to catch it. He could have gotten someone to read it, or you know, ran it through spellcheck.


Role reversal

I like having an almost 6 year old. It's fun. I love babies (don't you love that disclaimer? As if someone would admit to hating a baby?), but I think I'm a better parent to a potty trained kid who has grown to have a better understanding of the world. The fun part sometimes deals with language. She knows many words, but not all of the right ones to describe what she has in mind. It makes for interesting conversations.

Last weekend we saw "Captain America" in the theater. She said "Is that the guy with the shield?"


"Oh. Who was he reversing?"

After some explaining on her part, we figured out she was asking who was his nemesis.

Last weekend

Last weekend I met the son of my husband's parents' family friends. It was kind of a big deal because this couple sort of lived parallel lives with my in-laws. Both couples had two sons, and I know my husband's "counterpart" also was in the military (if you count the Air Force). I have heard about this family a lot over the years.

Anyway, last Saturday I finally met this alter ego and extended my hand for a shake only to be rebuffed with "Don't get too close! I don't want any more kids."

I backed off and said, "Oh-kay."

Who says this? It's not necessary or even remotely funny. If you think about it for too long, your head may hurt.

His wife saved the day with: "It's not contagious!"

The comeback came to mind two hours too late but I'll share it here. Ready?

"You know, there's a surgery for that."

So simple, yet so woefully late.The timely comeback is my main argument for time machines. I am queen of thinking up the ill-timed comeback and then not sharing it because it would look idiotic to say something when the moment has already been long forgotten. This is why I write. You have all the time you need to come up with witty dialogue and snappy comebacks.

I liked his wife right away. I got the feeling that he was outmatched. You know that feeling? When you think one half of the couple outshines the other? Here is another example--the wife said I looked "small." This is great to hear when 1) you know you are not small and 2) you are at the full term point of your pregnancy and 3) the person who is saying it is pretty petite herself. Even if she was not being honest, it was convincing.

The husband added: "Yeah! YOU were HUGE!"

Again, was that necessary?

Obviously the parallel life stuff did not account for personality. My husband does not say these things, EVEN IF I SAY IT ABOUT MYSELF and I actually am huge. Instead it's "Well (duh), you are carrying a child" and if the situation calls for it, a hug is thrown in. He knows better and likely will not say something like this because he knows I carried his kids, I put on the necessary weight to grow them and I did it for the better part of a year. But this other guy? That appreciation seemed totally lost on him.

Other things

I have a bunch of thoughts that can not justify their own blog posts, but collectively I could cobble something together. I can not promise it will be interesting.

Twitter: I have an account. I don't do much with it and have not checked it in weeks. So many have ditched Facebook for Twitter and I guess I'm just not catching on. And I have also received a Google+ invitation. I don't even know what that is (and have not Googled--heh, heh--to investigate the details). I can not keep up.

Office microwave etiquette: My husband heated fish in his office microwave and told me it stunk up the place. What did he expect? After 8 years on the road as a sales rep, he does not know certain unspoken rules of the office. The big one is not to heat fish in the microwave. And not a rule, but more of a law of nature: If you pop popcorn, in the office microwave it will burn.

Words with friends vs. Scrabble on iPhone. Sure, they look the same and operate on the same concepts, but I am good at Words with Friends and I suck at Scrabble.

In the past two weeks I have removed a sizable hair clog from the guest tub and two from two sinks. It's not an exercise for the weak-stomached. Drano has nothing on my hair, so I try to pull out what I can before resorting to chemicals. I had to finish off the second sink with the tiny sink plunger, but it drains now. I keep thinking if I had short hair, this wouldn't keep happening.


Last day at work

Why was my very last week at work the busiest? I was doing my best not to leave a confusing mess behind (to minimize the possibility of panicked phone calls while I'm on leave, of course). This meant having a binder filled with all of the information I thought was helpful and directly related to my responsibilities as well as two electronic versions--found on a shared network drive and on our SharePoint site. I tried to leave written explanations where I thought they were necessary and send emails highlighting what were possibly going to be issues while I am away.

The most interesting comment? "I didn't realize you did so much."

Uh, thanks? I don't toot my horn and there are plenty of days when I don't do so much but most jobs turn into problems only when something goes neglected. Also, the people talking about how much they do are usually doing just that. Talking.

I also felt like I was getting tasked with stuff BY PEOPLE WHO SAW ME ALMOST DAILY. Like stuff that was due well past the time I planned to leave. As if I am just getting bigger in the gut area because I have a beer problem? I sent a few "I am not doing this, I am on maternity leave when it's due, so find someone else" (unsaid: Dumbass) messages (cc'ing at least one other witness so they can attest that I am indeed not going to be here and so they knew it needed to be handled) in response. What else can you do?

The last week consisted of 10 hour days, which was good, because it meant I could take the Friday off without eating up vacation time. It was bad because by the end of the day I was cranky and my feet were balloons. I rode down in the elevator with our boss, the promotable colonel who is in charge of the entire operation. His daughter just had his first grandchild last month, and he shared that she was off and not thinking about work. He assured me that everything will be here when I get back and told me not to worry.

I won't.

Impulse buy

So....I was perusing the swimsuits that did not have crotches like tapeworm heads and happened upon this one at a steep discount in a size that I assume will fit once I am back to being a body without a person contained inside of it (and I am not talking inner child, I mean an actual growing person, albeit a small one). It was cheap because it was the laaaaaast one.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!