I really think the fine folks at Writer’s Digest should use this to their advantage with a funny, follow-up email about how a typo isn’t the end of the world (or even your chances in a contest), but that proofreading can help.
Still, my personal best for typos is the time I wrote:
It’s doe’s snot.
I wrote this particular phrase in a software installation manual. Our software does many things, but it doesn’t need doe’s snot to do them.
The best part? A straight-faced software engineer placed the marked up hardcopy guide on my desk without a word.
So while I don’t want to read novels riddled with typographical errors, I try to keep perspective (especially for blog posts and email).
So last night, about 5:45, I’d been home about five minutes or so. Here’s what was going on:
I was on the computer, trying to order pizza* online, while fielding “suggestions” from the kids.
The dog was leaping about, wanting to go outside.
The cat wanted her food.
Other noisy things.
The phone rang. My son picked it up without answering it. He said, “Mom, this Birmingham number’s been calling all day long.”
He thought it might be one of our relatives from down south trying out a new cell phone. Why he thought this and didn’t answer the phone is one of those mysteries forever locked in the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy.
So. I’m not sure what to expect when I answer the phone. It turns out to be the contest coordinator from the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest. And yeah, I wondered: Why is she calling me? They already announced the finalists.
Turns out, this is why:
Yeah, Geek Girl won the young adult category. I know. I can barely believe it either. But what a great way to start out a long weekend.
* We went with half pepperoni, half sausage and mushroom and some cheesy bread.
Um, I HAVE AN EMBARRASSING STORY ABOUT THE DENTIST’S OFFICE. But, I also don’t think it’s fair for published authors to compete in writing contests on blogs (plus, I couldn’t get my story down to 500 words or less). Still, how often is one invited to talk about their really heinous dental debacles? So. Without further ado…
The following story is based on true events (except the parts that I totallly made up).
A tragedy in three acts
by Geek Girl Darcy
I blame it on my mother. All it took was one time passing out in gym class because I hadn’t eaten enough and she started watching my food intake like a hawk. And really, I get it. I know other girls have problems with that kind of stuff, but not me. I love food. And when I haven’t:
Lost my lunch card
Had a hair crisis to deal with before I could get on the school bus and
Skipped dinner the night before because I was at Tracy’s and her dad served tuna casserole (blech!) – when all those things don’t occur in that exact same order – I am a champion eater.
The other thing my mom is insane about is dental hygiene. I guess it’s because she had to get a bunch of her own teeth pulled. And yeah, I get that too. I brush. I floss. I even use that special rinse she bought. I don’t complain about going to the dentist twice a year for a check up and a cleaning. And I don’t complain (much) when I have to get a filling, mostly because our dentist is really nice and kind of cute (for an old guy who has his fingers in people’s mouths all day).
So there I was, not complaining, even though I had to get TWO fillings, and even though the first pain shot didn’t work so I had to get another one, then wait for it to kick in, and even though the whole dentist appointment thing was taking way too long. And I didn’t complain (much) when Mom insisted we stop by the Burger Hut to get a sandwich since I’d missed lunch at school. Like I said, I wasn’t complaining, even though my lips felt like giant balloons and I could not taste or even feel the fish sandwich I was shoving in my mouth. Complaining would have taken too much time and I was in a hurry to get to Brit Lit class.
I like reading almost as much as I like food but that’s not the reason I wanted to get to school. The reason was Marco. He was beautiful like a Michelangelo statue (except, you know, without the marble and with clothes on). Through an amazing twist of fate, Marco was scheduled to be my partner that day in class – and we were supposed to perform a scene from Romeo & Juliet.
I’d never thought I had a chance with him before but the way he’d looked at me the last few days when we practiced our lines made me think… maybe?
Mom pulled up in front of the school and I promised that, yes, I would brush my teeth before I went to class. Usually I hate breaking promises to my mother but really, who has time for dental hygiene when yon Marco awaits? I ran to class and when I entered the room, he smiled at me. Then a look of concern crossed his face. Awe, was he worried about me? This might go even better than I’d hoped.
We sat through Jack, Todd and Brian’s sword fighting scene then, even though it was out of order, our teacher called Marco and me to the front of the class. I climbed onto the step stool and we started delivering our lines. It was hard to remember them though.
I kept getting distracted because:
Really, Marco was just so hot.
And the way he looked at me – wow, like he was trying to peer into my soul or something.
When our scene ended he offered me his hand to help me down from the stool. I’d never believed all that tingling at the touch stuff you read in love stories, but I swear, it happened.
I kept stealing looks at him while our classmates performed the next two scenes, and each time I did, I found Marco staring back. That’s what gave me the courage to linger after class. Incredibly, Marco lingered too.
“Um, Julie?” he said.
I could tell he was nervous. It made him even cuter, if that was possible. I walked over to where he stood by the classroom door. He gave me that look again, the soul searching one, and I thought I might actually swoon. But I knew that if I did, my mom would be there pronto to whisk me off to an eating disorders clinic or something. Instead of swooning I stepped in close like all the teen magazines tell you to do.
“I was wondering if you-” he started.
I smiled up at his beautiful face. I didn’t care what he was wondering, the answer was: Yes! Yes! A thousand times, Yes!
“If you-” He actually blushed and pulled at the collar of his shirt. Adorable.
I was thinking we’d be just like Romeo and Juliet (except without the poison and death and the whole tragedy thing) when he spoke again, “I was wondering if you – knew you had a really big piece of sandwich stuck in your cheek?”
Okay. So totally WITH the whole tragedy thing. For never was a story of more woe than this of Julie, her crazy mother, two Novocain shots, a fish sandwich, Shakespeare – and her Marco.
Like Charity’s son (Young Geek Extraordinaire) Geek Girl Darcy is a fan of rock ‘n’ roll. I love the old stuff, the new stuff and most of the stuff in between. One day last week I was grooving to some Beck on my local classic rock station when the deejay came on and announced that henceforth January would be known as Manuary.
MANUARY! Now there’s a month I can get behind! I think men are great. They are useful for carrying heavy objects, pulling things off of high shelves and they are generally fun to look at. *Oh yeah ~Manuary~ this is going to be awesome* Or so I thought.
As I listened closer I began to realize that Manuary (as the classic rock station defined it) had more to do with celebrating the less than awesome manly attributes. You know — the beef jerky eating, sweating, breast size comparing parts. Ack.
Not being one to sit back passively and let something with such possibilities be sullied, I propose we TAKE BACK MANUARY!!!!11!
It’s a website devoted to the appreciation of handsome males. I perused it for a good half hour this morning (oh the sacrifices I make in the name of geek girls) just to verify that it is Manuary-worthy. It. Is.
First, let me tell you about the best thirteen dollars I’ve ever spent.
For Christmas, I bought my son a stand for his electric guitar. I don’t know what it is about having it out and perched on its stand, but he plays it all the time now. Maybe pulling the guitar from its case is simply too arduous, or it’s merely a case of out of sight, out of mind.
Guitar stand = best impulse gift idea ever.
Plus, guitar on stand looks really cool in our living room (yes, the living room; we’re informal, at best). I keep expecting Mick Jagger, Ric Ocasek, or Billie Joe Armstrong (pick your era—or in my case, it’s all three) to stroll in at any moment because the guitar looks so awesomely cool just sitting there.
I can hardly stand it.
Anyway, my son is a real classic rock kind of kid. He knows the opening to Smoke on the Water, and Sunshine of Your Love. Naturally, once he learns Stairway to Heaven, the trifecta will be complete.
So given this, it wasn’t all that strange when, on the way back from guitar lessons, the conversation turned to Van Halen.
Son: Mom, do you know this Van Halen song? It goes Na na na na Na Na. Me: Is it Jump? Na, Na na na na na Na Na na na na. Son: No, that isn’t it. Me: Panama? Na na na Na na na na na na Son (sighing): It doesn’t sound like that at all. It’s Na na na na Na Na.
I ran through my (admittedly) limited repertoire of Van Halen songs (and is it really a Van Halen song when they were fronted by Sammy Hagar? Or was David Lee Roth the worst thing to happen to Van Halen. Discuss on your own.).
Me (trying again): Well, can you remember any words? Son: Actually, I’ve never heard a Van Halen song. Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We were in the driveway at this point, and OMG, y’all, I nearly drove into the garbage can.
Me (after a deep breath): Why are we having this conversation? Son (after a giggle): Long, convoluted explanation involving a rerun episode of My Name is Earl. Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Son: And Mom, you really don’t know how to Na na na a song. Me: I’m revoking your TV privileges.
So, the other day, when I went to let the dog outside, a bunch of crows were in the tree, making a racket. It was, you might say, a cacophony of sound coming from the canopy. (Cacophony is one of those self-conscious word for me–I always notice it and not in a good way.)
Anyway, I remarked to the dog (What? You don’t talk to your dog?), “Wow, that’s loud.”
Everything went silent.
Again, I addressed the dog. “Okay, now it’s quiet.”
Sometimes a Geek Girl feels the need to procrastinate. Did I say procrastinate? Oops, I meant investigate – yeah, that’s it. Yesterday was one of those days. Having procrast– err, investigated Tetris to its limits, I had to turn elsewhere. Where better to spend a little quality(?) time than Google Analytics?
It’s fun to see where the visitors of this blog come from. It’s sometimes even more fun to find out what brought them here. When I did a keyword search I learned there may be a robot dance revival in the works. (Geek Dancers of the World, UNITE!) And that teenage boys (okay, I’m assuming here) still want to see pictures of hot! girl! geeks! Neither of these surprised me.
However, there was one keyword search term that caught me somewhat off-guard:
Would Kurt Cobain Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?
I spent several minutes pondering the type of person who would wonder about such things. Then I realized – I must be that type of person – because, once the question entered my brain, I. Could. Not. Let. It. Go.
Would Kurt Cobain survive a zombie apocalypse?
The obvious answer is: No. This owes mostly to the fact that he did not manage to survive being a rock star, so he is unavailable to fight off the zombie hoard when they inevitably attack.
Being a certified Geek Girl, the obvious answer was the most desirable one though. I kept turning it over in my mind and eventually started a list of pros and cons:
Yes, Kurt Cobain WOULD survive a zombie apocalypse:
His disheveled hair, pale complexion and tattered clothing could confuse the zombies, making them think he was already one of them.
Ditto his mumbling speech patterns. (A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido – is that really what he’s singing?)
No, Kurt Cobain WOULD NOT survive a zombie apocalypse:
Multiple layers of clothing could slow him down when pursued by the hoard.
Unfortunately, I had to stop procrastina-investigating too soon after beginning the list. (Darn you, real work.)
I can’t spend much time on it today either, since I have to jump in the shower than head my car in the direction of Chicago — where tomorrow (that’s December 5th) I will meet up with the debtacular Aprilynne Pike, Kristina Springer, Cynthia Liu, Saundra Mitchell and Lara Zielin for the Debs Holidaze Tour!
If you find yourself near the Borders in Bolingbrook or the Book Cellar in uptown, stop by and say hi. And if you are in the Minneapolis area, fellow Geek Girl Charity will be signing books and wrapping gifts at the Ridgehaven Barnes and Noble. All the info here.
But back to our quandary… Dear readers, I must turn to you to solve this mystery.
Leave a comment stating how you believe Mr. Cobain would fare in the event of a zombie attack. One random commenter will be chosen when we get around to it – possibly Tuesday – and I’ll send them a copy of their choice:
Stacey Jay’s You are So Undead to Me (zombies)
Jon Skovron’s Struts and Frets (music).
Fine Printy: I have to read them first – but I promise to be careful about the Cheetos stains.
Twenty years ago this week, the Berlin Wall fell. And back in the day (this would be way back in the day), I worked in V Corps Intelligence in Frankfurt, Germany. It was my first job in the Army and in addition to being the assistant officer in charge of my section (a weighty responsibility), I worked as an intelligence analyst.
I was the main analyst for the First Guards Tank Army (those pesky Soviets) and Soviet Command, Control, and Communication.
Now, C3 covers what you might think it covers. It was also the catchall for what can only be described as “miscellaneous stuff” – the sort of thing no one knew how to categorize.
And … you guessed it. This is where all the intelligence traffic about what was happening in East Germany ended up: in my inbox.
So, before the world knew, I knew. Well, me and many other intelligence organizations, including the three-letter ones.
November was always so dark in Germany. I went to work before the sun came up and I left work after it went down. I worked in a secured facility, no windows, so if I wanted to see the sun, I had to check out, go through a series of doors, and so on.
I grew so pale, my friends accused me of being a vampire (and, dude, this was way before Twilight).
But I remember that November. I remember how I couldn’t wait to get into work so I could see what had come in over the wire over night. I’d grab a German coffee from the snack bar, the stack from my inbox, and read. And I remember thinking:
Wow. Something is happening in East Germany.
A few months later, I had the opportunity to venture into East Germany. But that’s a post for another day.
For today, it’s good to be reminded that people can come together, and the seemingly impossible can happen. And I’m reminded that, in the long run, it’s more rewarding to be an idealist than a cynic.