900 Other Things and I Know Just Where to Schtick It.

Author’s Introduction to This Piece:
This introduction is intended as a commentary on writing, being a writer, and some of what a lot of writers deal with in some form or another, if you have trouble with that concept then you won’t understand this from the perspective from which it is written. I’ve just passed the eight-year anniversary of my webpage. When I wrote this rambling blog post on my webpage in May of 2011, eight years ago, there were no regular followers of my blog. I was minding my own business completely. I was going through a difficult time personally. I had no “friends” as such that I was engaging with on a regular basis. It was a rambling, SARCASTIC, humorous, self-deprecating, rant, generally about the time I was wasting screwing around with my web page. For the record, as to the content, I lived in a couple of trailer parks when I was younger, my family managed a trailer/rv park for some years, and there were some pretty great things about it. Sometimes it was fun. I also had an uncle, whom I was raised knowing, whom I loved dearly, who had Down Syndrome, was mentally challenged, I was taught not to mock or make fun or be mean about such things, ever. What didn’t translate well, apparently, in this piece, was that I was making fun of people who make fun of such things, people that I don’t like at all. So that’s one thing. But, even at that, this is about my feeling and thinking about such things rather than what anyone else ever said or did, that I was mocking idiots who mock apparently didn’t go over because so many people are really shitty themselves? But here’s another thing that happened, apparently there were people who read this and because they are passive-aggressive narcissistic trolls, they thought this was about them. ( I’m really not kidding. If you read the original post and comprehend it, the irony of that is stunning.) I was raised that passive-aggressiveness is cowardice, and taught not to engage in it. (That means I wasn’t allowed, it was say it or don’t, or else.) In my personal life, if I’ve got something to say to someone, I’ve generally always dealt with the person directly. And privately. Because that’s how I was taught. I’ll ask, “Is there a problem? Did I do something? Did we misunderstand each other?” If I’m trying to save a friendship, or be friends or just solve something. If you have a problem with someone and it is worth solving, then you handle it like an adult, with them, that shows your respect for yourself, if not for them. You do not handle it running around to every other person but them. I’ve generally been direct with people sometimes to the point of making people wish I wouldn’t be so direct. Anyone who was uncertain of what was meant by something could simply ask, “Teri, what did you mean by that?” or have said to me, “That sounds like this… Did you notice/realize that it does?” Easy. There was also that there were those who read this and apparently thought the part about “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” is really who I am, that I was really just some gold-digging babe. The entirety of my life and the way I’ve lived it has been the exact opposite of that, continuously, but, that’s what some thought. Well, so they did. Sometimes people are going to misjudge you,ย based on what is in their own heads, their own preconceived notions, and sometimes, on their own wants/hopes and beliefs for themselves. (They also turned right around and made fun of me for shopping at thrift stores, the pretentious babe that I am. From that, I should have gathered that there are those who are going to be rotten and act like childish idiots no matter what. If I was “up” they were jealous and mean because of that, if I was “down” they didn’t hesitate to laugh and take jabs. (I’ve known some real pieces of work.) They’re going to tell you to be”authentic” one minute, and call you “fake” if they think you aren’t “authentic”, and then when you’re “authentic” they’ll find a way to stab you in the back for that. Those who haven’t had this experience, count yourself lucky.)ย  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a lot of what some thought about this piece, that was supposed to be nothing but funny to begin with, wasn’t because of anything I wrote here, but because of what was going on in their own heads. If not this, they’d have found something else to attach their b.s. too. When I say “people” what I mean by that is people I’d actually known in my life in some way or another, most of whom I hadn’t talked to in a couple of years. So, imagine that, I write this rambling, sarcastic, rant, about my own b.s., and someone I haven’t spoken to in years or months, trolls my webpage, reads it, and assumes it’s about them or got something to do with them. Think about that. Hey, there’s trolls everywhere, welcome to the 21st Century, I’m talking about people I’d known and in at least one instance, someone I’d been friends with at one time. I’m sure they didn’t think of what they were doing as the very definition of bullying and harassing. I’m sure they didn’t think of themselves as spineless trolls, surfing the webpage of someone who hadn’t even spoken to them in months or years, but that’s exactly what they became, bullying, harassing, spinless, trolls, unable to mind their own business. Well, I am generally a decent human, I try to be. I care about what kind of person I think I am. So, after a lot of bullshit from people in my personal life, I quietly took this piece down. ( Along with several others regarding various other matters.) I’ve always been a writer, it is my life-long dream. I’ve never expected that everyone would like me, I’m an adult, I learned that a long time ago. I’ve never expected that everyone would like everything that I write. But, I also never in a million years expected grown adults to be harassing to the point of cruelty, some of the very same people who rant and rave about all such things and how kindness matters and blah, blah, blah. At the time, I can’t tell you how much I cried over it. It was hard enough to try to do any of this with what all I was dealing with at the time. Pursuing writing as a career is incredibly hard work, takes a lot of dedication. I just read an interview of Danielle Steel that says she writes as much as twenty-two hours a day. But, that is on those people who chose to treat me that way, because they were envious? Or because they really are narcissists and thought this was about them? Well, that is who they are and it is who they will always be, they’d rather matter for that five minutes than not at all. It was very hurtful, in more than one instance it was hurtful because I’d have really rather been friends but you can’t be friends with people who treat you that way, or you shouldn’t. The harassment, and insults to whatever modicum of intelligence I possess, it ended some of the relationships in my life. I won’t let such people back in. Those who knew me who knew what I was going through at the time, that I was already struggling with some very serious things, who engaged in it anyway, there’s no apologizing for it and, really, good riddance. It doesn’t hurt anymore like it did, not quite to indifference yet but close enough, but I’ll never speak to such people again. ALL that said, this is about the writing and being a writer and regarding that, I shouldn’t have taken the piece down if I didn’t want to, and I didn’t want to, because it was never about them anyway. I shouldn’t have removed any piece that I didn’t want to regardless of people being jackasses about it. They didn’t want to know me, or know me anymore or be in my life, fine. But you think about how hard that would be, if you were trying to do your job and people in your life were making that painful or difficult. It went on for quite a while and to the point of people who didn’t and don’t understand anything about the writing business, harassing me and giving me grief over my having received an advance reader copy of a book. Just flat jealous behavior over something so incredibly common within the industry it took me a minute before I realized there were women I knew who were being shitty because they were jealous because they didn’t understand or know that ARCS go to people, readers, reviewers, all the time. I’d have loaned them my copy of any book, but they didn’t want that, to be friends. It not only changed the way I view people, but it also changed the way I view the world. I couldn’t help thinking what if they’d never read it (the blog post) to begin with? There are plenty of things I make a point of not looking at now as a result. Like I said, I didn’t necessarily expect to be loved and adored by everyone, as a person or a writer, but I sure didn’t expect to be hated. It sent me looking for what other writers are dealing with. Sadly, some have dealt with far worse, so much worse. Trolls are lower than low. It broke my heart that something written from a place of total sarcasm and levity, about MY whatevers, with such fun and joy, that really, was met with so much meanness. Every writer needs a support system, whether it’s friends or family, or the one person they can count on.ย  I learned a lot of important, valuable, lessons, from this piece, not the least of which is that you cannot always gauge how people will interpret something. You can label something “blatant sarcasm” and someone somewhere will still believe you’re serious. I’ve also learned to keep my “Fuck-off” in good working order. Obviously, I can be quite sarcastic, but I’m not a person who jokes around a lot because I’ve learned that people then invite themselves into things that they really know nothing about. I’ll keep that wisdom. If you’re going to write and be a writer, it’s really tough to do that if you’re all pent up worrying about every word you write. Guaranteed, no matter what you write, someone, somewhere, isn’t going to like it, and someone, somewhere, is going to take it the “wrong” way.ย  If you don’t have these kinds of difficult experiences writing or with your writing, if you find plenty of welcoming support and tons of friends being a writer, know how wonderful that is and that you are infinitely lucky and blessed. ~Without further ado… TS

 

900 Other Things and I Know Just Where to Schtick it (the original post, with links restored.)
May 26, 2011

 

There are literally, truthfully, I shit you negative, 900 other things I should be doing RIGHT NOW. But what am I doing…this. AND I am questioning myself for it, doubting my decision making process in its entirety and warning you now there may be no point to this post whatsoever and, I may not even post it in which case all of this is mute because you’ll never know it anyway.

I should be ironing, eating something healthy or just, eating something ( I’m swilling some flavored coffee and the flavor isn’t evil its just like…slightly bitter, it says that on the bag Meelywahkay Slightly Bitter Brew) I should be working on my website, typing one of my manuscriptS and no that’s not bragging by letting you know there is more than one manuscript for me to type, or rather re-type, I mean I didn’t say they were good or anything, though one of them is effing fantastic and if you are looking for a period in this paragraph you can probably forgheddabout-it, I should be networking or figuring out how to, should be reactivating the facebook fan page I set up against my better judgment and figuring out how to use it but I caught myself on that one and pulled way back as I thought, do I really want another connection that will have to be maintained, nourished, edited, another mainline to the online world of passive aggressive I’m talking about someone but of course it’s not you antics ( for Pete’s sake if you’re going to call someone out then just do it which is not to say I haven’t fallen into that trap on the social webs a time or two but it is not generally my nature and let us then be about the campaign of stopping that passive aggressive crap right now) so I had deactivated that page, temporarily, but you know, the fan base of Rome was not built in a day, and that is mine “The fan base of Rome was not built in a day ” please give credit where credit is due, if I’m going to have to suffer the degradation of my screw ups then I want credit for that every now and then when I say or do something so brilliant that it makes everyone wonder if I’m actually smart, on top of all of that I have a Jack Daniels bottle to bedazzle, you think I’m kidding but I’m not, and what was I doing instead? See that’s not a period, it’s a question mark, what was I doing instead?

Looking at backgrounds, wallpapers. ( New paragraph, period.)
Looking at backgrounds because this morning on a Yahoo link I read a story that depressed the hell out of me, sort of. ( so much easier without punctuation…anyway.) ( Story that depressed the hell out of me, sort of.) The story is about a woman who lost her job and then, eventually, ended up homeless, but still managed to blog thanks to Starbucks and publish a book! Go figure! A homeless Girl and her Website. So she writes the book, gets it published, gets a job eventually and is still living in a trailer without utilities, trying to climb her way back up. And I’m reading this thinking…I lived in a trailer once, I lived in a Winnebago once too, many, many years ago and it was nooo fun. And I’m thinking, she lives like that and she managed to get a book published and she’s not, you know, looking for her McMansion, she’s still in the trailer and it starts to make one feel a bit daunted about one’s dreams. But not me, I swing into action looking at wallpapers because on the road to making an ass of myself I want the web pages to look good so of course I start questioning all of it. So I have to find a new wallpaper because I am sure that is the beginning key to my global success and future trailer avoidance.

(Trailer pictured below was my home for over a year, the family was close by. Later on, when I lived in a Winnebago for a couple of months, well, I’d have been homeless then had a friend’s grandmother not offered that up for a hundred dollars a month. That’s what having my freedom and independence meant to me. I worked two jobs and lived in a Winnebago for a while. At one point I also lived in a hotel for three weeks and lived on one taco a day for a while because they were a buck a piece. It was a long time ago.)

See the vintage look is well, vintage, and does it really say what I want it to say, I’m an old-fashioned girl in a modern world so I start looking for a sophisticated cityscape to go with the vintage look of the rest of it thinking on a kind of H.G. Wells time out of time thing but then thinking holy shit how old am I and does anyone even know who H.G. Wells is anymore? So I’m looking at wallpapers and it’s sort of “Old Hat, New Hat.” I try them all on and stick with what I had, resolving to attempt to come up with something of my own later, either drawn or photographed, that will more accurately represent the real pseudonymous ME, meanwhile, back on planet Earth, accomplishing nothing whatsoever and, AND, in the process, running across the horror of a story of a mom who completely lost her memory and had to start all over with literally everything in her life and in a moment of neurosis thinking to myself don’t read that story it might be contagious. BUT is it really a horror story or is it uplifting because, she does, apparently, rewire her brain, I didn’t read the story but that was the gist of the title and they wouldn’t be telling it if she didn’t succeed which brings me to the next thing, perspective.

Perspective.
Perrrrrrrspective…. is a nasty ten-dollar word that usually means someone involved in whatever situation the word is being applied to, well, someone needs an attitude adjustment and no one likes that sort of thing. Sometimes it means that everyone involved needs an attitude adjustment. Perspective.
So I start thinking about my own kind of sardonic (websters) sense of things and how that doesn’t necessarily always wash well with others because I think sometimes people think I’m serious because, well, maybe sometimes I am but, not really. To me it is like poking fun at how nasty ( kind of abusing that word right now please forgive) how nasty the world actually is. It is my way of checking myself, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me.” ( I refuse to link the movie that line is from but here is the actress who delivered it ) But really I don’t mean that but I think sometimes that people think I do, so I could over analyze that right here but it’s not the point and remember, there may not be one. And then why the hell do I care if people think I do mean it, when did I get so damn concerned with other people’s opinions of me because I promise you, deep down at the bottom of my soul I do not care what anyone thinks of me, I really fucking don’t and I find the fact that I am having to remind myself of that fact to be rather, bothersome, so I realize it must be some surface personality issue that has crept in likely from some kind of contact with it in the world because personality issues are catchy, they really are. You know your friends cuss and then you start to cuss…maybe not the first day but over time, things rub off on others and that sounds creepy…. because it is.

So what I start dwelling on is perspective and the whole “A teaspoonful of the macabre helps the sugar go down…” thing I’ve got going and whether or not that is what I want to present because really I want to be a ray of light unto the masses, and I’m only sort of kidding, but the way I want to say it is like this I’ll show you, I’ll be a ray of fucking light unto the masses!!! And let’s face it, that’s not necessarily very nice but it is…kind of funny. But I start thinking I should be presenting something more positive because everyone and everything is so damn sarcastic and slick and everyone is a smart ass and is that getting tiresome, has that run its course? Then I get irritated with myself for that because who cares really, I mean if that is who I am then that is who I am and it turns into some awful personality issue in my head between Pollyanna Sunshine Ms. Everything Will be Fine and I need a drink at nine am because…well, I’ll think of a reason later…

It is the fluctuation between being a shining example or a horrible warning and the knowing that I have been and can be, both. So I think about the tearing down of things and the tearing down of people much of the world engages in every second of every day and how everyone is in the depths of denial about the whole thing, and maybe, it was needed because society is utterly lacking in perspective. The things that we have allowed to become acceptable in our world are astonishing, yep, I’m a pretty woman and people shock the hell out of me. But, it’s become schticky. ( and I think to myself do I need to explain what schtick is? Because everyone is now either a complete genius or totally mentally challenged. Do I need to explain what mentally challenged means? See what I mean by genius…I just said retarded without saying retarded, because I would not use the word retarded in a derogatory way. It is not politically correct and it simply is not done. And I don’t like that word nor do I use it, that’s the point.) So we aren’t really getting anywhere with it we’re just trying to make each other laugh at a bunch of shit we seem to have decided we can’t do anything about…that is, in between tearing each other to shreds. IF you aren’t part of the solution are you still part of the problem? What’s the problem?

If I tell you what the problem is it will ruin your day because in fact, I do know. Brace yourself…
We’re screwed.

That’s a dim view but we’ve been screwed before so I think we’ll be alright but first we’ve got be honest about the fact that we’re screwed and I don’t think we’re there yet. The first step is admitting…All of the finely tuned snarking is a kind of denial about the depths of the nastiness. When Jerry Springer became a top rated show, we were all in trouble. Personally I’m a fan of the OC Housewives ( I no longer watch them in particular, they got too nasty…I loathe fighting and cattiness) because damn it, as long as there’s a monied lifestyle out there, it’s still possible, I believe in you Robin Leach (Oh I went there...) and I won’t let go of the dream, I won’t, I won’t, I won’t. It’s not the money, it’s the insulation it may provide and that’s all I’m going to say about that because, well, it’s all I’m going to say about that. We allowed at some point, the drama into our living rooms via those hot-wired cable boxes and eventually, it crept into people’s lives and now, if you’re trying to get it out of your life, well, who do you think you are? You think you’re better than the rest of us? You judging? I’m just saying…you perfect? You don’t have divorces, restraining orders, a rap sheet, overdue bills somewhere, skanky-nakey photos, you ain’t got no skeletons?
See we used to all keep our skeletons Southern Style, that’s in the closet sugar, where they belong, by mutual unspoken glorious agreement. It was graciousness, decent people did not discuss such matters. But with the advent of so-called reality tv at some point, it became vogue to drag everything out into the open and hide behind the fact that we have nothing to hide. Actually, it became unfortunately necessary as people started down the path of tearing each other apart, the only way to protect oneself was to ‘out’ oneself. Suddenly everyone had something to prove and mostly it was that they were better than everyone else even if that meant proving that others were somehow ‘worse people’ then they were. Our world has become one where a person has to really go to extremes, ala OctoMom for anyone to actually say anything. “Eight babies? No really, eight babies at one time?” and the world took a vote and decided, “Yeah, umm NO, we’re saying something about this, eight babies at one time, on everyone else’s dime, no less, is going too far…”

Could be the world needs all the rays of light it can get right now but I’ve been a ray of light before and you really have to have your wood screws if you’re going to go that route. The world says to the rays of light, “You better be perfect if you’re going to start preaching here.” Sometimes they give people a pass on that for a while but I have unfortunately noticed a phenomenon where people seem to be allowed a certain amount of success on the upswing and then the sharks go back in like,”Ummm I think we’ve had enough of her, time for the take-down.” Kind of seen it happen up close and a shark attack is, well, it’s a shark attack and they don’t respect survivors they way they used to unless you actually lose a limb, if you lose a limb they pretty much leave you alone after that and unfortunately, I’m only kind of kidding. ( had to) I have found it to be something of an indefensible position in this modern world, the total ray of light stance. Of course, there will be a backlash, likely soon, against all of the seeming negativity because all of it has been reduced to forms of entertainment and people get bored. “OH, I’m tired of all of this Toffee Negativity Crunch with Lindsay Lohan Sprinkles. I want some Positive Energy Wheat Grass Overload with caramel swirls and chocolate chunks, did you know chocolate is an antioxidant? Really and I have been feeling sooo toxic lately…should we take the Hybrid or ride our bicycles?” ( And in the passive-aggressive world what that is really saying is, I wish I felt more like riding my bicycle but this acidic coffee is such a delight…) ( some five years later my husband would get a letter saying he’d won a Hybrid car, I heard I threw the letter in the trash with the rest of the garbage.)

The truth is people are hurt and angry and all of the passive-aggressive nonsense is a result of the fact that jail is a nasty place and we can’t just beat the shit out of people so we take it out on people we hope will forgive us and snipe at the ones who really deserve it because that has become more acceptable to society than just saying to someone, “You know what, it is you, I don’t like you.” Often we end up proving the old adage true and hurting the ones we love because we forget that we love them and whose side they are on and we can’t decapitate the ones we’d like to. ( Well, we can, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.) Once we start down that passive aggressive path it’s a slippery slope. To most people the world is no bigger than their own hurt feelings. The internet has created a world where every slight is magnified in proportion to ones sense of self-importance and often believed intentional, it’s narcissism in the extreme. Never argue with a narcissist because they think it’s all about them and they think that you think that it’s all about you because they think it’s all about them…seriously, never argue with a narcissist. . As though people have lost the comprehension of the words misunderstanding and miscommunication. This, however, does not excuse the serially insensitive, otherwise known as assholes or “bullies” who really think that hurting other people is somehow funny or a form of entertainment. People have an even bigger cow about it if we are direct because that is not nice. Do you hear me? That is not nice! Now you go tell her you’re sorry right now! How would you like it if someone told you they didn’t like you! Uuummm…there are so many directions I could go with that and I’m just not gonna do it. See, look at me, those anger management classes that I never took really paid off, I am exercising, restraint, and that’s just plain healthy. (I’m telling you straight, there’s always barber college and if you click no other link click this one.)

If you are a ray of light, if you have anything on the ball, if you are righteously indignant and if you have the extreme misfortune of being right about something, chances are someone is going to try to bury you. And when they are done burying you chances are, in this world, they are then going to give you crap about why aren’t you getting up while they hold a foot in the middle of your back, and then if you decide that you don’t really want to be a ray of light anymore, they will give you shit for that, because they really liked you better when you were a ray of light, everyone did, you were so positive and upbeat…why that’s why they had to put you in your place sweetheart…Vicious and insidious, isn’t it? Of course, none of it’s really happening anyway darling, you’re paranoid. An attorney once told me, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

What? You’ve never had need of an attorney? You’ve never left the house have you…
So I was looking for a new wallpaper to really give this schtick some umph. Something the public could count on, that every time they visited my page would be the same, a comfort. And then I thought, it’s ridiculous really, all of it, we seek sameness because the world is not static so what if I changed it all the time but then I realized, I need the consistency myself so that maybe at some point I will get to those 900 other things I really should be doing instead of finding ways to further sabotage the career that I don’t yet have, all while questioning myself, is this all TMI? Will people get it ? ( for those who don’t get it ) Then all of the nay sayers who say nay and other things like, “Why is she setting up a facebook page…she hasn’t done anything yet…who does she think she is…” Well, save your breath I said it to myself but hey, tell that to Tila Tequila…Who?

Fifteen minutes goes quick but then the pressure’s off and a person can get back to the reality of no one really gives a shit unless you’ve actually got the goods under the hood and if you do, you’ll be alright. In the words of Mother Teresa, or maybe it was Father Guido, “It was never about them anyway.”
I really do have to iron, and take out the trash, OMG and (horror movie shower scene viewer discretion is advised) a shower…
(“Fifteen minutes” is a reference to an Andy Warhol quote.)

SCHTICK

And I know I did not provide an H.G. Wells link. You probably know more of his work than you knew you did.

PALETTE CLEANSER ( because the shower scene may have been a bit much )