It's not about the house.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Soul for an Old Machine

When I started this blog, I decided it would be about this house, the housing market, or general housing-related issues like curtains, poop and paint. I had my reasons – namely: I was working on a little housing project of my own, and I just knew that a strung-together series of wannabe-Bombeck daily musings about my sorry house and home would bring a world of opportunity crashing through the AssVac’s green front door. I thought I was Lana Turner, and The House and I would be my Schwab’s, if I only sat here long enough.

Actually, I'm not quite that naive. Technically, it wasn't my idea at all. But what I’ve learned is this: you sit at the same lunch counter babbling about the same topic for eighteen months, people get the idea you’re not actually working. Also, that you might just be a little nuts.

So it’s time to change the subject. That "housing project" I referred to is on the back burner for now, and if I'm going to stay on this barstool -- I mean, lunch counter -- I have to start talking about other things or I'll start turning into Baby Jane.

(Oh, you didn’t think I meant I was getting off my ass, did you? Non, non, non, non, non. Mon Dieu!)

This change of subject was actually suggested to me last week by Dr. One Friend, but I didn’t understand. I was complaining (again) about how we aren’t making progress in the kitchen. I know that we have lots of valid reasons for it, but I was still developing a complex that revolved around you lovely people thinking I’m a lazy sod. As if you think that hard about me. As if you wake up in the morning thinking “Ooh, I wonder if she hung drywall today!?”

“Well," said Dr. One Friend, "why don’t you blog about other things? Not just about the house, but everything?”

But, I thought, I don’t just write about the house. I mean, that’s how it started, sure, but now I also write about Johnny and the cats and the car and everything. My ass. Poo smells. And honey.

(If, by any chance, you are just tuning in: please rest assured those last three topics are in no way related to one another. Except in the sense that my ass smells like honey.)

So I said “Yeah, you’re right.” But I said it in a distracted tone that really means “I’m not going to take your advice, but I don’t want to talk about this anymore, so let's both pretend I will. How ’bout them Red Sox?” Then, if I am not mistaken, I went and wrote some more about the car, and Johnny, and my ass.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I’m driving Chuck (TFT – who has been incident-free for seven days now, thanks for asking, and who doesn’t smell so much like a corpse farm anymore) and I’ve got the radio station tuned to NPR. There’s this lady on there talking about a book she wrote that sounds so fascinating, and it would be the perfect thing for me to give My Lady, so on a whim I pull into B&N to pick it up. My Lady’s next gift-giving occasion isn’t till October, but by then I would have forgotten all about this Perfect Present – and besides, now I’ll have plenty of time to read it first, carefully, without breaking the spine (I always do this, sorry Miss Manners, and Everyone I’ve Ever Given Books To).

I had to ask for help to find it. The lady who helped me said they couldn't keep it in stock on the display table, but the computer showed there were a few left on the shelf. It was in the Self-Help section, which is A. ironic, considering that I needed help to even find it, and B. not a part of the store I'd ever wander through myself (shreepy!). She led me there and handed me a copy; I thanked her and scurried away before I wound up with Dr. Phil poo on my shoes. In my haste, I accidentally wandered down the Humor aisle, where this pathetic thing reached out and tugged my sleeve:

What? No! I’m not buying you. Shut up. I'm poor! I shouldn’t even be spending the money that I’m spending on book #1, what with all the lack of kitchen progress and the ass car and everything. But book #1 is going to be a gift. Eventually. At least I can justify the purchase of book #1. I certainly can’t plunk down another $25 on some tome I never even heard of, by some apehead who (I’m told) really ought to stick to doodling.

But when I went to the register, it followed me. Whimpering, making doe-eyes, and pawing at my leg.

Fine. Whatever. Get in.

And it's a good thing I let it in, too, because book #1 turned out to be so unreadably awful that I couldn't make it past page 75. There is no way I can give it to My Lady, so I’m bringing it back. It’s too bad, because the author was genuinely engaging on the radio, and her story sounded fascinating, but the work reads like she published the thing herself. And who knows? Maybe she did. Maybe she’s just better at the self-promotion thing than I am. Maybe she published it herself and promoted it herself and was so successful at it that a major publisher picked it up from iUniverse and reprinted it without insisting on so much as a, you know, editor. If that’s the case, then good for her. I could never pull off something like that. But I still want my money back, because there’s just no there there.

Except I accidentally threw out the receipt and emptied the litter box over it. So I guess I’ll have to settle for store credit.


If only I’d had the tits to say no book #2 on my first trip to the store, I could go back and get it now for free! Which is, apparently, what I could have had it for in the first place, because according to the dustjacket, everything in it has been previously published on his blog.

Double dang.

Ah well, the money’s spent and the book’s in my possession and the receipt’s in a landfill somewhere becoming one with cat pee, so I might as well go ahead and crack the spine.

And when I did, the damn thing smacked me right upside the head. “Oh…,” I thought. “Blog about everything…”

Now of course I’m no Scott Adams, and I'd never try to be. I can't even draw a good line in the sand. I’m also no Betty MacDonald or Erma Bombeck or David Sedaris or Dave Barry. But that doesn’t stop me dressing up and dancing around in front of typewriters sometimes. I do have interests outside this g-d house, and it’s worth discovering whether or not I can write about them in an entertaining manner. It’s also worth trying to see if I can stand up on my barstool (I mean lunch counter) and wave my arms and legs around a little bit.

So you’re going to start noticing some changes here. I’ll keep the title because I like it, and because I paid GoDaddy for it, but the subheader has already changed. I’ll still write about Himself and the AssVac if something happens to come up, and I can’t help but continue to drool over the Dirty Boy, but I’ll also weigh in on vital issues like Silly String, Leather Bars, and, if I drink enough beer, Politics. I’ll be introducing a few new regular features (the one I’m most looking forward to is Would-You-Rather Wednesday, about which you'll just have to wait and see) and I may even figure out how to work the video feature on my digital camera, see if Johnny wants to give us all a jig and reel.

Plus, I’ll be doing everything I can think of to rope more random strangers in. You may have already noticed a few new buttons in the margins over there. There’s going to be more of them, and I hope you’ll click through them once in a while and cast your “early, often” votes for me in whatever context. In the past, I've believed this sort of thing to be unseemly and uncouth. I didn't wanted to clutter up this pretty page with all that noise. Wanted to keep it clean and simple, like Quinn Cummings has. If you’re Lana Turner, I thought, you don't have to go flashing your cootch to get attention.

But, of course, I am no Lana Turner. And neither am I any former child star. That doesn't mean I'm prepared to flash my cootch for page views, but...

There’s nothing wrong with a tasteful hint of metaphorical d├ęcolletage.


LadyCiani said...

The Scott Adams book was well worth it, and I read many of them when they were first posted on his blog.

Glad to hear it gave you the "push" to blog about more. I usually get at least a grin from your posts.

EGE said...

Thanks, Lady!

Khurston said...

oh eeuuww. i know what's coming on wednesday.

Jean Martha said...

Technically, I think I have to kick your ass now. Nothing personal.

EGE said...

Khurston -- Yes, you do. But they won't ALL be the eww ones.

ILU -- What? Why? All right, fine, I'll flash me cootch.

No, no, I can't. My mother reads this crap!