If you’re snarky and you know it write a post…


I’m in a strange place today. Not in a bad mood, not in a good mood, but in some sort of mood nonetheless. When I’m in this kind of mood, I tend to be snarky.

For those not in-the-know, snark is annoyed sarcasm wrapped in humor. I’m quite frequently sarcastic (you know, in case you didn’t get the memo), and annoyance and I go way back, so snark and I being acquainted should come to a shock to no one. But today, I decided to share my snark in a whole new way. Because I’m a giver. Here are a few of my snarly comments about the happenings of the day so far:

(Sidenote: how many of you are regretting being happy that I’m blogging again? Careful what you wish for, eh? 😉 )

Email subject line: How long is a real novel?

My snarky response: One word longer than a fake one.

*****

Post on Facebook from Allen B. West calling Bernie Sanders a democratic socialist

Why can’t you be more like your wife? You sir, are an idiot. Democratic socialist =/= social democrat. If you can’t make a point without lying, then stay dull and quiet.

******

Email from potential client: I need 500 words with the keyword phrase used 10 times (the phrase was six words long and ridiculous). I’ll pay you $5.

My response: Yeah, no…that’s not even realistic.

Reply: Why do you writers keep turning down this gig? It’s not hard to throw the keywords phrase in.

My response: You really think the keyword phrase is the issue? Don’t get me wrong, 12 percent of your copy being keywords is a bit ridic, but only wanting to pay $5 is more of an issue.

Reply: Okay, so make it 600 words. For $6.

My response: We’re done here.

*******

Guy at gas station: You gettin’ gas? (I’m standing next to the car, nozzle in gas tank)

Me: Nope. Glitter. My car is too fabulous for gas.

*****

Phone call from mystery shop scheduler:

Scheduler: hey Kim, is there any way you can squeeze in an emergency shop?

Me: When?

Scheduler: Today.

Me: Where?

Scheduler: Columbus. It has to be done by 3 pm.

Me: It’s 1:30.

Scheduler: Is that a problem? I see you’re in WV and OH is right next to it.

Me: It’s two hours from here.

Scheduler: Not according to our tool.

Me: According to your tool, I’m five miles from my house, even though I’m sitting in it. Trust me, it’s two hours away.

Scheduler: <getting annoyed> According to our tool, it’s only 45 miles from you. If you don’t want to do it you don’t have to lie about it.

Me: You need to put a “1” in front of that 45 lady. And you’re right, I don’t want to do it, but it’s not because of the distance. It’s because the only successful tool in the situation is you.

I’m pretty sure I’m not safe for polite society today, so I’m just gonna color and call it a day.

Jpeg

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Nope…Still Undecided


I’m afraid that had I been an Iowa caucus participant, I would have been in camp “Undecided.” I would have contributed to one of several coin tosses the Democrats executed last night. I’d apologize, but sorry, not sorry.

I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican. I spoke of this before, but I grew up in a split household, my mother was a Republican, while my father was a Democrat. I spent hours at the dinner table or seated in the living room listening to my parents debate candidates and issues. My father stood firm that Dems were for the working man and Republicans were rich elitists. My mother claimed Dems were greedy and looking for handouts and the Republicans were the best to effect change, after all they were the party of Lincoln.

Skip ahead 35 years and neither party is what it used to be and I don’t identify with either one. I have at least one friend who enthusiastically supports every candidate in the race, including Trump, poor misguided pup that he is (my friend not the Hamster). But I have yet to see anything in any candidate that makes me think, “Yes, that’s my person. This is the person I want to be the leader of the free world.”

I am a firm believer in the adage, “don’t vote, don’t bitch,” so I will vote for someone, even if it means settling for the lesser of twelve evils. Wouldn’t be the first time, I’ve only enthusiastically voted for a presidential candidate three times: Obama the first time around, Clinton the first time around and Dukakis in my first election. Everything else has been a blend of “lesser of two evils” or “well maybe with some more time…”

It would be nice to be excited again. I’m almost envious of my friends who are firmly behind a candidate. I’m just not there yet.  And I’m not sure I ever will be. We shall see.

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29 Days of Me! :-)


It’s the first of February, 2016. This means three things:

  1. It’s Black History Month
  2. There are 29 days in the month thanks to the Leap year
  3. It’s My Birthday Month!

Numbers one and two are important, but I’m making this all about me! My birthday is literally smack dab in the middle of the month (it’s the 14th), so I’ve decided I’m going to have fun with the run up to it and the downward slide after it. I mean why not? I’ve been on the planet for almost 47 years, that’s something worth celebrating!

However, this isn’t going to be a month of drinking, debauchery and/or mayhem (though some of that may occur, heh!); I’ve got serious plans for the month on both the professional and personal levels. I could spell them out here, but that wouldn’t be much fun, but I will share two with you now…

Blog What I’m Thinking When I Think It – 2016

I get the question, “Kim why don’t you blog more?” quite often. I really don’t find myself that interesting and therefore don’t always think people would care about what I was thinking, but apparently some do (?).  So, to make what could be a long, drawn out explanation short, I’m going to blog about whatever pops into my head. I have the blogging app installed on my phone and tablet, so I’ll almost always have the tool I need in reach. I promise I will keep it to actual thoughts about actual issues (you really don’t need to read me ponder what to fix for dinner). My quicker, quirkier thoughts might make it onto Twitter, just to keep things interesting. This could mean several blog posts each day, or several blogs posts and tweets a day, but I pledge to blog at least once a day.

The book signing and the new book will happen this month

I am having my book signing this month. I am also going to finish the first draft of the second book this month. I’m sure that will be a topic of conversation here as well as on the WordsFromtheRents blog.

I have other things planned, and other things have been planned for me, so I think I’m in for a really fun month. So, let’s get it started, shall we? Have some cake!

 

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A Modest (21st Century) Proposal…


This confederate flag controversy doesn’t seem to be going away, so I’m going to offer one more explanation as well as a proposal that might help everyone get along.

The Explanation

First off, let’s see the flag in question:

confed navy jack

This actually is NOT the Flag of the Confederacy. This is actually the Confederate Navy Jack.

THIS is the actual confederate flag (or one of the versions, there were several):

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1861-1863)

So, we are actually arguing about the Navy Jack, not the confederate flag. So, I will refer to it as the Navy Jack from now on. Because that’s what it is.

Personally, I think the Navy Jack is a symbol of racism and oppression. And the creator of the flag, a man named William T. Thompson thinks so as well. In his own words, in 1863:

“As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause,”

Maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. Call me crazy, but he didn’t seem to want to offer my ancestor’s a seat at the table.

Interestingly enough, these words can also be found, almost verbatim in the Cornerstone Address. The Address was delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861. It’s interesting reading, but the portion pertinent to this conversation is here (bold added by me for emphasis):

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Not only did the founders of the Confederate party believe that blacks were inferior and, therefore, should remain slaves, they were proud of being the first to admit it and to set up a government based on this fact.

These are the words of the creator of the flag and the government it represents. Both state blacks are inferior and should not be allowed to be free. I don’t think you can get much more racist than that.

But….

I’m going to go out on a limb and give some of you the benefit of the doubt. Even though I’ve had some less than kind things said and done to me by proud wearers and displayers of the Navy Jack, I’ll let you use the line that has been trotted out more times than mustard at a hot dog stand,

“It’s Heritage, not hate.”

You’re right, the Navy Jack is part of the South’s heritage. But what exactly are your proud of? This isn’t meant to be a condemnation, I’m sincerely curious…where is the pride in:

  • Declaring war against your own country (and losing)?
  • Wanting to enslave an entire race of people indefinitely?
  • Pitting families against each other?
  • Dividing a nation? (Though if it weren’t for the Civil War West Virginia might not exist, so do with that what you will.)

What exactly are you proud of? That is an awful lot of hate. You’re going to need a helluva lot of heritage to counteract that. Sadly, there are plenty of people who want to continue to use the Navy Jack as a symbol of racism and intolerance. The Klan is one, but check this out, courtesy of Bipartisan Report:

bipartisan report

From Business Insider: In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-the-confederate-flag-flown-outside-the-us-2015-6#ixzz3fLrbSjCa

So, again…where is this heritage of which you should be proud?

But once more…I’ll make a concession. If you really REALLY want to insist that this flag is about your heritage and pride in where you came from, I have a modest proposal.

Take your flag back. Well, actually you’d be stealing it from its creators and wrestling it away from the groups mentioned above, but I digress.

Seriously. Officially claim the flag.

Yeah, daunting task. Okay, how about this:

You let everyone who thinks that flag is racist know which of you flying and displaying it are good decent human beings and which ones are the skinheads, klansmen, crazies, neo-nazis and we’ll call it square.

How could you do that? Well that’s up to you.

Or, you could just do the easy thing and put Navy Jack where it belongs…in the history books.

Go ahead, work it out and get back to me.

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Free Speech Does Not Exist


Yes, you read that correctly. There is no such thing as free speech. There was never supposed to be such as thing as free speech.

“But Kim,”  your shocked voices are screaming, “there IS free speech. It’s covered by the First Amendment!”

Um…No, it’s not.

Freedom of speech is covered. Freedom to say what you want and not be persecuted by your government is covered. But as the Great Haired One and many others have recently found out…

Speech is not free. You are free to speak about almost anything you choose in this country.

  • Democrats and Republicans can insult each other as much as they want.
  • The KKK can leave fliers anywhere they want, even in a black neighborhood (though I think they’ve missed their target demographic).
  • People can stand on sidewalks wearing sandwich signs stating “Repent: The end is nigh”
  • I can write this blog post.

But for every phrase you speak and every line you utter, there is a cost. For you see, although you are free to say what you want without fear of government persecution, Freedom of Speech does not protect you from the court of Public Opinion. And sometimes that court doesn’t side in your favor.

So, the next time someone says, “It’s free speech!” remind them it’s FREEDOM of Speech that’s free. Free speech costs extra.

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Random Thoughts on Race (No Hidden Meaning Here)


A few minutes ago an article came through my Facebook newsfeed. “Rachel Dolezal’s Unintended Gift to America.” The blurb under the title: “Troubled as she is, she has opened up a candid, long-delayed conversation about the meaning of racial identity.”

On the surface, this seems like a wonderful thing. Except for the fact that I have lost count of the number of titles and subtitles I’ve read that said practically this same thing. Whenever the latest race issue rears its ugly head, as the story starts to die and people are about to move on to the next shiny news story, someone trots out the “We’ve started a conversation,” or “We’ve begun a dialogue” mantra. And again, that’s well and good.

Question…

When are we going to FINISH the conversation? Cuz, I gotta tell ya, I’m tired of talking about the same things over and over.

Race is a man-made construct. It was created to divide people. And if we human beings aren’t good at anything else, we’re damn good at pointing out differences.  We don’t just separate our whites from our colors,  we separate our whites into different shades and our darks into different hues. I could go into reasons both biblical and historical to explain why this happened, but that’s not what this post is about.

Here’s what it’s about, and another question…

Why does it matter?

In 2015, this is what we are:

Race A blames Race B for what Race B did generations ago.

Race B doesn’t like Race A because Race B thinks it’s superior because of how some of Race A behaves.

Interestingly enough, Race A and Race B will come together in hatred of Race C, again because of how some of Race C behaves.

Pick a continent. Any continent. It applies.

But, here’s a concept; instead of hating an entire race of people because of the acts of a few, why not just hate the acts of a few? You don’t chuck the whole set of china because of one broken plate. You don’t dump the car because of one broken taillight and you don’t throw away the whole bag of cookies because some of them are broken. You fix what you can, discard what can’t be fixed and you enjoy what’s left. We can do that with dinnerware, autos and cookies but not with people?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, but I am saying that we’re all human beings. We are all born the same, we all need the same things to survive. We all bleed red. We all have whites of our eyes and black pupils that can go from pin heads to nail heads. Some of us are dark, some of us are light, some of us are black and some of us are almost transparent, but our hearts beat the same, our brains form thoughts in the same manner and deep down we all know that hate based on a man-made construct is stupid.

Don’t believe me? Watch young children play. They could care less what color the other kids are. As long as there is room on the merry-go-round and space in the sandbox, kids will play together. Happily. Forever.

I know it’s going to take an invasion from Race #42 for the races on this planet to start acting like they have some sense. And I know that for the most part this blog post is preaching to the choir. But if we’re going to have the continuous loop of “race issue occurs/social media all atwitter/furor dying down/insert comment about dialogue here,” I at least want my blog post to stand as a reminder that we still have a conversation to finish.

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An Open Letter to Karen Fitzgibbons, Fourth Grade Teacher of the Year — from One of “The Blacks”


Dear Ms. Fitzgibbons…and others like you,

Well aren’t you a special snowflake. You’ve got your degree and you’re helping to mold young minds. Too bad your own mind is twisted, dark and full of unkind thoughts. I haven’t read what it is you teach fourth graders, but I can only assume (with a shudder) that it makes a lasting impression. Just as I’m sure your recent Facebook post made an impression on your bosses, your neighbors and the parents of your students.

I’m glad you apologized to “the appropriate people,” which I would guess is a short list consisting of the principal of your school, maybe a couple of coworkers who might be people of color (aka…the good blacks), and the school district that could turn your summer vacation into a permanent one.

Honestly, I do hope you lose your job, but not for the reasons you might think.

But before I delve into that, let’s look at the statement that got you into hot water to begin with. I pulled it from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

“I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’ I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care. I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone. Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something. Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin….GO! #imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasatagedcommunity,”

Where to being. Where. To. Begin…

I’m just going to pull this apart sentence by sentence.

I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’

So “the blacks” are the actual problem. Not intolerant non blacks, or overworked hyped up police officers or other teens who most likely took a private invitation to a party and made it public. It’s just “the blacks.” Good to know.

I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education.

Wait…so only “the blacks” flunk out of school and have no education? So, all “the whites” have degrees and are making $100,000 a year? Huh…I’m sitting in Tim Hortons right now and every worker here is white. Who knew you made $100k at Timmys?

I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care.

Just as guilty for the problems, the ‘racial tension,’ the flunk out rate, or the lack of education? And who should I blame for your inability to string together a coherent thought? Please tell me you teach fourth grade gym.*

I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone.

Almost? What’s your tipping point? Seriously, I’m curious. Which side of town do you want to give them? Are you going to move if it’s decided they get your side of town?

Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something.

Again, please tell me you teach gym. It was during the 50s and 60s that schools were desegregated. So you want to go back and do it again?

Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin….GO!

Well, since you asked so nicely…

#imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasatagedcommunity,”

Um…#yesyouare #imsickofpeoplelikeyou #learntospellgated

You then go on to tell us that your rant wasn’t aimed at any particular group of people.

So, “the blacks,” “them,” and “they” refer to….?

You know, I could forgive you your rant and chalk it up to frustration. I could forgive you your rant because as you said at the beginning of your post, you’re angry. I could forgive you your rant for any number of reasons, if it weren’t for one thing:

You deleted it.

You didn’t even have the guts to stand by your words. You’re not just ignorant or racist or bigoted for writing that post, you’re a hypocrite and a coward for taking it down. As much as I don ‘t want racist, bigoted and ignorant teachers educating the next generation, I don’t need people who don’t have the fortitude to stand by what they believe teaching them either. So please, do us all a favor, put down the red ink pen (still hoping it’s a whistle), hand in your grade book and find another profession.

*This is in no way slamming gym teachers. My point is that since she misspelled a hashtag, has a hard time forming a coherent thought and doesn’t seem to know U.S. History, the idea of her teaching English, reading or the Social Sciences scares me.

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Channeling My Inner Peter Gibbons


For a while now I’ve not been happy with my career trajectory.

And by “awhile,” I mean several years. Heading into a decade actually.

Now technically, I am a writer. I write words. I get paid. I write more words…

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The problem: I don’t like the words I’m writing.

The other problem: I don’t like what I’m getting paid for the words I write.

The third problem: I don’t like the crap I have to deal with while writing the words I write.

Not liking what I write + Not liking the pay for what I write + Dealing with crap while I write =

A PETER GIBBONS MOMENT

I hope that most of you get the reference to the guy who was the hero of all cubicle dwellers in the early ’00. But for those of you who are not familiar with the guy or the movie in which he appeared, check this out:

This is the attitude that greeted me this morning. It’s not the first time, but this go around it was accompanied with a declarative statement:

I’m done.

I’m done working for peanuts.

I’m done writing about stuff I don’t give a crap about.

I’m done with being too tired to work on writing I WANT to do because I have to work on so much of the crap to make ends meet.

I’m done dealing with clients who do not appreciate what I do for them.

I’m done feeling guilty for crocheting, chainmailling or just watching a tv show and not working at the same time.

I don’t like working for peanuts, for people who don’t appreciate what I do for them anyway so I’m just not going to do it anymore.

I’m. Done.

So here is my plan:

By the end of next month, I will have my book completed (“From the Minds of my Family” is the tentative title. I also like “Words with Skip and Mary,” but that might be limiting.) and a solid first draft for my online dating book. No idea what I’m going to call it.

I have two clients that I will continue to work with because I actually enjoy working with them. I will seek new clients, but I’m going to be picky.

I’m going to go back to my first love, which is feature writing.

And finally, I’m going to crochet and chainmaille more, hang out with my granddaughter and watch tv….without feeling guilty about any of it.

Life is about to get more interesting because I’m finally going to, you know, LIVE IT!

🙂

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46(?)/46/46 – Day..um…


Okay so I’ve been sick and therefore I have no idea what day this is supposed to be. I’ll figure it out tomorrow and adjust accordingly.

Today..ahem…this morning I want to talk about caving to the collective. But before I do that, a confession:

Hi, my name is Kim. I’m a writer who doesn’t like word games.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

I know that as a writer, games such as Scrabble(tm) and Boggle should be my favorite games ever…

Yeah, not so much.

But when you have 800+ Facebook friends, and 700 of them are writers, you get a lot of game requests.

A lot.

Most of the requests are for word games. For the most part, I ignore the requests. But after a while, it begins to feel impolite, and if Mary Belle taught me anything, it’s that you should never be intentionally rude.

So, I caved and added a word game….

image

It’s really the only game I can tolerate…don’t know why and it’s probably best if I don’t try to figure it out.

I used to play this quite often, but then I quit. Not sure why, probably another candidate for “don’t ponder too much.” It seems many of you were waiting for me to take my turn.

My bad.

Anyway, I’m now playing a word game again. You can can stop with the disapproving stares and take down the petition to have my writer card revoked. Mea culpa…I am officially one of you again.

You’re welcome.

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46(?)/46/46 – Day #9: I’m not a feminist, I don’t even play one on tv…


I was watching The Big Bang Theory tonight and it reminded me of something I wanted to talk about.

First: Sheldon…awwwwww!

Now, onto the topic at hand: Feminism.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting announced she was not a feminist. She stated in an article that she liked taking care of her husband by doing things such as cooking for him.

The Internet lost its collective mind. Good ‘ol Twitter, the yardstick by which everything that matters is measured, was especially active, with tweeters stating that Kaley should be ashamed for not being a feminist since she is benefitting from the sacrifices made by feminists that went before her.

*sigh*

Seriously? Because women generations before me decided they wanted to put career before family, get in the trenches with the guys, and open their own doors I also have to ascribe to those exact beliefs?

Get outta here! By that logic, no women should ever become a teacher or a nurse (two professions that were acceptable for women), cook, clean or get married. Hell, we should all hate men!

Don’t get it twisted though, I AM appreciative to the women who came before me and made my life so much easier than theirs. But what ever happened to personal preference or choice? I thought feminism was about women having the choice to do what they want? If a woman chooses to compete for the CEO position in a corporation, then she has the right and the playing field should be different by 23 cents equal. If a woman wants to own a business, she can do that. But on the flip side, if a woman wants to stay home and take care of her family, then that’s her choice. Kaley has just as much right to not be a feminist as other women have to be feminists.
Choice, people. That’s the key here.
I’m growing weary of the line in the sand people are constantly drawing. You’re either…or. There’s no gray area. There’s no “and.” Either you’re a feminist and think all those old fashioned things like taking care of your family and the laundry are wrong, or all you are is a housewife and mother with no ideas or thoughts of your own. No one with a completely functional brain is that extreme in either direction, and it’s ridiculous to think women or any human being should be.
So, all you feminists out there, lay off Kaley already. Feel free to jump on me, though. I’m sure I didn’t garner any points with this post, but I did warn you.  If you feel I’m wrong, feel free to set me straight in the comments.

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