So you can get my book for 99 CENTS this week…

Who doesn’t have a dollar to spend on themselves this holiday season?

Well I am one of them, but let’s not go there.

I mean that this holiday season you will all be shelling out tons of moolah on other people, and no doubt stressing about family Christmas drama and being alone (or worse – with your spouse) on New Years…you owe it to yourself to spend that buck and get some quick laughs.

From now until next Wednesday (December 11) you can get My Wife’s A Bitch for only 99 CENTS!

The catch is that’s just Kindle download. You can do it to your Kindle device, your Kindle app on your Smartphone, or even just save it to the Kindle cloud and read it from any computer when logged into your Amazon account.

Click the link. Buy the book. Enjoy the laughs.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Wifes-Bitch-Heather-Schmidt-ebook/dp/B00D5VN2Y2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386350718&sr=8-1&keywords=my+wife%27s+a+bitch

In Eternal Love and Bitching – H

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Everyone Shut Up and Listen To Me – NOW (STFU Fridays)

I’m super cranky, faithful blog followers. So cranky I think the best way to describe my attitude would be as snarly, and my facial expression as sheer hatred. Of everything. Between getting back to life after a crazy and long vacation to the Midwest; finding a new place to rent temporarily; and preserving any last bits of my sanity that remain amidst my current war against the tofu-eating, cereal and milk gastropub-opening, flannel shirts and neon green glasses when it’s 180 degrees out-wearing, tandem bike-riding, living in their parents’ basement and working at the local Urban Outfitters-Los Angeles hipsters …I’m a little tapped out.

Not so tapped out, though, that I haven’t had the time to make the changes with my blog I wanted to make, which included:

Redesigning my website

Rebranding my blog

Getting my weekly Podcast up and running

So, everyone just sit down, shut up, and listen to me. NOW. Or else I will declare war on you like I have the hipsters.

Redesigning my website

I know this is going to sound real exerting for those of you that don’t like to move your fingers very far beyond one, two clicks max (studies show Internet users have such a short and seemingly-pathetic attention span at this point that they will not stick around a website for more than two clicks); but I urge you to take a look around my website – extensively.

Because it’s changed. A lot.

Among those changes include making it primarily an author’s website. The blog is really just one part of me – who I am. Really, I am a writer. I write books. I write short stories. I read a lot too, but if any of you read my last STFU Friday post, my next publication has nothing to do with my blog, and everything to do with me as a writer.

You can find my other stuff easily now, as well. On the side bar are links to videos, my books, and my blog.

Which brings me to the next point.

Rebranding My Blog

So…

For some time now I have quibbled with myself over whether I should continue the brand of the B(itch)Log… or do something new. The thing is a lot of people never got the whole (itch) in parentheticals thing. Or they thought it was just a blog where I bitch and bitch and bitch and talk about nothing else, at all.

On one hand, I am a bitch. I mean … seriously. I can be really bitchy and mean. And it is true that a lot of times this blog is a bitch-fest. But not really all the time; and really I’m called a bitch because I’m honest. And blunt. To the point.

On another hand, this is a mom blog. While I do blog about all kinds of things besides just mommy-ass-wiping-puke-on-my-new-outfit-oh-my-God-why-are-you-asking-for-another-fucking-snack-you-just-had-dinner-life, the mommy-ness of it all is still the overlying theme.

And then I said something one day that was just in jest, but it stuck in my mind as a way to merge my love of being who I am, while at the same time making things clear that this is a mom blog (in spite of how many non-mothering things I write about). We were driving home from dinner one night on our vacation, and out of nowhere I said: “…you know, I think my job as a mother will be done right if one day my kids say ‘my mom… she’s a real bitch’ … then I will know I did something right.”

So I hope you will all stick around for the rebranded version of the same, old humor:

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Getting my weekly Podcast up and running

I’ve been talking about doing this weekly Podcast for pretty much as long as I’ve known what a Podcast was. But somehow I just never got it up and running.

TRexRadioThat’s not entirely true – I know exactly how it has gone un-launched all this time. I actually don’t know shit about computers and the Internet, in spite of how much people seem to think I do.

Now I won’t go into the embarrassing details of just how much I didn’t get it, but we’ll just leave it at this: I’ve finally learned how to paste the link to my uploaded Podcast into the area that says “paste here” on iTunes. It was that simple, and now I can do it. So yay.

T-Rex Radio launches this upcoming Tuesday, August 20th. It’ll be a 10 minute show, once a week. I promise I won’t rant and curse… too much…….

Jerry’s Final Thought

I always feel like I need to have a Jerry Springer-style final thought at the end of my blog posts, which is something I really need to get over. For one, I have too many random points to sum up, many of which I didn’t even touch on but would love to talk about in this post. Like how you should buy my book, read recent book reviews of my books, come to my book signings, appreciate the sexiness of old TV anchors like Wolf Blitzer, and so on.

But when it comes time to sign off, I also want to feel like I’ve had closure with a post. Much like closure with a relationship – you know, that thing that usually involves a gas can and a match, and a fire that destroyed all of the things that reminded you of your ex? (Kidding.)

The great thing about STFU Fridays is that closure can be as simple as this: sit down and look through my website. Like My Mom’s A Bitch on Facebook. Listen to my free Podcasts. Enjoy the laughs and the relatability to your own miserable lives (please…spare me the lectures about how your lives are not, in fact, miserable…I don’t believe you). And buy my books. Above all: SHUT THE FUCK UP.

STFU Fridays: Did you know I’m 25 again?

Hah! I fucking wish! If I were 25 I’d be young, spry, and free of my four gray hairs. I would slap the shit out of myself for being so naive and idealistic about the world and politics and how great society is too. (And I’d probably save myself the trouble that turned out to be all for naught, and leave grad school before incurring all that extra debt…)

So what I should be in the realm of “25,” though, is in the Top 25 Mom Blogger Authors on Circle of Moms. And yet I am not (yet). Why you ask? Probably because rather than log on and vote for me daily, my husband has spent his time scrolling through apps on his smartphone, and looking for new pornography downloads. And you faithful blog followers haven’t S’d the F up and voted for me. Again, yet.

Thus, in an effort to garner more votes and excitement and “fuck yeah, you are one of the top 25 mom blogger authors out there”s, I decided that I’d let you all know you should vote. And in exchange for your vote, I will share a few of my own current Shut the Fuck Up facts.

Because you faithful blog followers haven’t heard enough of my vulgarities, have you?

Here’s the link (just click the picture, scroll until you see the B(itch)log and hit the ol’ “vote” button)…

Vote-for-Mom-at-Last-on-Moms-Circle

… and here goes my STFU Facts:

1. Vaginas horrify me. I know, I know: shut the fuck up, Heather. Right? Since I have a vagina I should probably think the thing is better than Barbara Streisand in “Hello, Dolly!”

Not the case. The thought of vaginal birth makes me feel faint. I know I should be all “power to women” and “the vag is a beautiful flower that blossoms to puke out a baby” or whatever, but I just can’t take that shit. Maybe it was my dysfunctional childhood. Maybe it’s the fact that every time I think of one I remember the time I saw my mom dry humping the back porch and was worried she’d get slivers on her hoo-ha. Then I wondered what it would be like to have slivers on my own hoo-ha, and well … let’s just leave it there. The female underworld bugs me a bit.

2. I think about the New Kids on the Block at least once a day. Sometimes twice. I dance to The Right Stuff in the shower. Every time I talk about NKOTB, someone in my family tells me to shut the fuck up already.

3. I hate California Italians. I hate California Italian food. I know, most of you are like “shut the fuck up, B(itch)!” For one, I’ve talked about it before – way to recycle material. But I actually mentioned that I hate all Italians. Now I’ve realized that it’s really California Italians.

For one, California Italians can’t cook to save their goddamned lives. For two, they’re arrogant, pompous assholes. I was at a party a few weeks ago and this dillhole told me that Chicagoans can’t cook pizza, or really any Italian-style dish, worth shit. STFU doucenoodle.

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4. On the note of food, I get tired of eating. It’s boring to me. After about five bites, I start to get really bored with my food. It isn’t that there’s no flavor or that it’s gross or anything; it’s really just the chewing. Chewing is perhaps my least favorite activity.

I know. I for real need to shut the fuck up. Whine much about stupid shit?

5. One last comment on food (it’s on my mind because I just got bored out of my fucking mind eating tortellinis that I – a Chicagoan – made): slimy things gross me out. This kind of goes beyond food, though, because it’s really anything slimy is nasty to me. So I don’t like mushrooms or brocolli, because they both have high slime potential. I don’t like slugs. When the dishwasher broke the other day, I puked in my mouth over the bits of slime that came out of the thing.

There is one slimy thing I’m totally OK with, though; probably because it is ever-present as a result of my horrible allergy and sinus problems: snot. So I don’t like mushrooms but I’m totally cool with boogers.

Should I give myself a shut the fuck up punch in the boob now, or later?

6. I’m a total hypocrite. Every time I bitch and complain about kid’s Christmas movies, you are all given pre-approval to tell me to shut my lilly-livered ass the fuck up.

Why you ask? Oh, because I’ve encouraged the viewing of these hackneyed, poorly done Christmas kid’s movies for about three weeks now. I added maybe 180 of them to the Netflix que and it keeps it quiet in here (because kids are suckers for bad acting and puppies).

So those are a few of my current shut the fuck up facts. Now please – PLEASE – shut yourselves the fuck up and vote for me on Circle of Moms. You literally have only a few hours left to get your vote in.

Here’s the link again, just in case you forgot with all my talk about vaginas and slimy things. Good thing I didn’t talk about slimy vaginas though, eh?

Vote-for-Mom-at-Last-on-Moms-Circle

Looks Like SOPA Dropped the Soap

There is nothing in this world that I dislike more than feeling morally obligated to participate in a protest. They are usually just so time consuming and messy; and it typically just makes me more jaded about the world in general as a result of the number of people that are there yet unaware of why. I will never forget the time my boss sent me to a protest of some health care thing when I worked for the AFL-CIO, only to feel like complete shit about my own life afterwards because I was fighting for health insurance for a group of workers when I, myself, was not being given health insurance by my employer that sent me there in the first place. Protests can be effective, but they can also be very ineffective, and in many ways.

But this SOPA/PIPA deal is a whole other ball game.

You all know how I feel about the film industry. If you don’t, you can get an idea by reading the Open Letter to the Film Industry I wrote a while back when I was pissed off about how many hours my husband was working for not one red penny of extra pay. In a nut shell, the film industry ranks up there pretty high alongside protests with things in this world that I really dislike. Not only do I feel that it is in some ways responsible for the end of my career in academia (for there are few philosophers in Hollywood, and yet Hollywood is where the husband must stay); but so much about it just reeks of greed, insensitivity, and a way of thinking that is inconsistent with the moral right. The film industry days of Cary Grant and Gloria Swanson have been gone for a long time; replaced by an industry that identifies everything by the almighty dollar. SOPA and it’s lame ass cousin, PIPA, are just more of that.

Now I’m not going to sit here and give you all a Congressional rundown of what SOPA and PIPA are because you should know that. If you don’t, read the news or hit up Wikipedia; of course this will also require that you get your head out of the ground for a few minutes, which I’m not sure a lot of people are all-too-willing to do. So I won’t go much beyond saying that they are bills working their way through Congress that are intended to strengthen the film (and, in some senses, music) industry against online piracy. (And if you still can’t find the information, just read the Wikipedia on it; although at midnight EST, Wiki will be protesting as well by enforcing an entire-site outage for 24 hours.)

I will, however, explain quite clearly what is wrong with SOPA.

SOPA/PIPA is an utter violation of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

It is a slippery slope when you start writing bills that give people the opportunity to whistle blow or claim false copyright/piracy infringement on intellectual property, which SOPA and PIPA both do. Perhaps the most frightening aspects of the bill are in the consequences: that search engines like Google could be forced to stop indexing articles written by a so-called offender; that Internet Service Providers be required to block access to any site participating in or related to the supposed violation.

While I am all for an end to piracy, censorship and directly stripping the rights guaranteed as a part of being a “free” individual is not the way to do it.

So it looks like SOPA dropped the soap…

Yesterday, Wikipedia announced that it will be participating in an international protest of SOPA by “going dark;” today, Google followed up by committing to an inclusion of the protest on the homepage of Google products. At the latest check about one hour ago, over 7,000 additional websites have committed to go down, displaying nothing more than a message of protest when visitors visit the page from 12:00 am – 11:59 pm on January 18th. Hundreds of bloggers are jumping on the bandwagon as well – as writing, journalism, and blogging are among the most vulnerable groups that will be adversely affected by the proposed bills.

So it looks like SOPA has officially dropped the soap, for I fully expect that the outrage these bills have inspired will kill them quicker than the innocence of a new guy in the prison ward. As annoying as it may be to have so many websites we use on a daily basis down, and as stupid as it is that we have to launch an international protest over something that should be common sense – protest really seems to be the only morally right option.

There are better ways to protect the film and music industry without destroying the free speech of all.

To be honest, after being married to someone who works in the film industry, I am in no way surprised that it has made it this far. The film industry is run by primarily greedy, selfish people – people that care only about the bottom line dollar amount that makes its way into their pockets. They will screw anyone and everyone to get ahead, and the worst part is that the people that work within the film industry don’t even recognize this. The bias most people within the industry carry blinds them to a myriad of injustices that they unintentionally contribute to – from bad labor practices to unfair wages to these issues of censorship. But that doesn’t make it any less sickening to see the special interests of a handful threatening the rights and freedoms of everyone.

So, faithful blog followers, I’m sad to say that the B(itch)Log will be taken down for the 24 hour protest, and many of my blogging counterparts plan to do the same. I apologize for the inconvenience, although I’m fairly certain the only ones who will be truly inconvenienced are all these weirdos looking for photos of a Korean hooker. I hope the rest of you do the same as I am – call your local representative, take down your site, refuse to be censored. It is so much more difficult to get your freedom of speech back once it has been taken away. I hate protests. But I hate the silencing of my voice even more.

Magic Number 100, or things I want to do before I turn 30

Yippy!  This is my 100th blog post!  Excitement abound at the Schmidt Ranch, and of course by excitement I mean me (in pajamas) skipping around the house and sipping an extra large bottle of bubbly, Canada Dry ginger ale.

For me, faithful blog followers, this is an exciting day.  That I have had enough things to bitch and complain about to constitute one hundred entire blog postings is, in itself, something exciting.  But it also may not be surprising – I have a whole cadre of things filed away in my head, just waiting to get out.  The topics have been varied, although it is obvious what my pet peeves are:  stupid people, hipsters, hillbillies, poor use of the English language, things that put me either in danger or at an inconvenience, and … well, basically the rest of humanity.

So for my 100th post, though, I wanted to do something different.  While it is the B(itch)log, I thought it would be nice if I didn’t bitch for once.  Instead, I thought I would talk about something more positive:  My Revised List of Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30.  I decided to do this for my 100th blog post, mainly because hitting 100 posts was one of those things I recently added to the list of things I want to do before I turn 30; also, because I am just a few, short days away from 6 months out from the big 3-0.  For years (actually over a decade), I had this extensive list that I wanted to achieve, all of which I have failed to do.  So recently, I started scaling back and accepting that I probably won’t publish that book or finish that Ph.D. in the next six months.  That doesn’t mean I can’t do some things, though.  So here we go, and I am counting on you, faithful blog followers, in keeping me on task:

My Revised List of Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30

1.  Finish 40 books for the calendar year 2011 and get a good start on 40 for 2012.  At the beginning of this year, I decided I was going to keep track of the books I read and try to read as many quality books as I could before December 31st.  Now that we are nearing the end of the year, I am within site of 40 and think I can do it.  I have just finished numbers 30 and 31 … just a few more to go.  For my completed list, click here!

2.  Go on a date with Wolf Blitzer.  I know, sounds psychotic, right?  A week or so ago, I blogged about my hatred of Chicago news-weatherman Tom Skilling and in it mentioned that I have a secret love of Wolf Blitzer.  After that blog went out, people emailed me, Facebooked me, and even asked me in person what it was that gave me the hots for Wolf.  In truth, I can’t explain it.  But as I grasped for any reason to give people, I realized that I really do have an infatuation with most news anchors that are as hard-hitting as Blitzer is.  Since my chances of even coming in contact with Wolf Blitzer, let alone going on a date with him without finding myself in divorce court shortly thereafter, though, are slim and none … not to mention I would probably pee my pants if Wolf, Chris Matthews, or any of the other dream-teamers were actually in the same room as me … see photoshop below.  Mission accomplished?  I think so!

3.  Prove to myself once and for all that I am going to stop letting what other people say influence me so much.  A few weeks ago, I realized that I spend more time writing as an author based on what other people suggest and what other people are going to want, rather than what I want to write and what I know is good.  This is something that, unfortunately, is in almost every aspect of my life:  I let myself get pushed around by the wishes of others rather than either a compromise or what I know is right.  Before I turn 30, I want to prove it to myself that I am working to get over this (sometimes crippling) fault:  be it in my writing, my blog, or some other arbitrary aspect of my life.

4.  Buy a plane ticket to take a trip home sometime in 2012.  This is a big psychological problem for me, mainly because I know that flying home to sweet home Chicago will make it very difficult for me to get on the return plane home.  I am that homesick that often.  But I have missed so much in the last decade of my absence that to continue to forestall a trip back is just plain assholish of me to do.  It’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and buy myself a trip home.  While I know it won’t be the same as it was a decade ago (when I was last there), I also know that there is so much there I need to see and do before I turn the page to the next chapter (so to speak).

5.  On the note of trips … take a road trip to northern California to visit the John Steinbeck museum.  I really have few other interests in northern California besides that, but it is something I have wanted to do for years and yet never done.

6.  Eat sushi.  I have never eaten sushi – real sushi, that is – and yet every time we go out for Japanese food (which is frequently), I pine after it.  I have no idea what my fear of it is – probably the fact that I don’t really like fish all that much, as well as the fear that I would develop deadly tomaine poisoning – but I want to get over it and try it, just once.

That’s six things, as compared to my prior list of twenty-five (which you do not even want to read, it is that sad).  If you count my 100th blog post, which I am now about to hit “publish” on, that is seven; I think manageable given the time frame and my idiosyncrasies.  Let’s knock another one off that list … right ….. now …. this was on our way out for a nice, celebratory dinner in honor of my 100th blog post (in my head, that is) …………. the only thing needed is an audio file you faithful blog followers could play over and over of me going “Oh Wolf!”

Happy 100 Blog Followers!!  Thanks for reading!

There Is No Room For Good Literature

Today I received an email rejection for a short story I submitted to the New England Review.  Like all of the other rejections I have received for my writing, it was form (“Dear Author…”); it went on about the high level of subjectivity in the business of publishing; and, of course, wished me the best of luck in placing my short story elsewhere.  Rejection is something writers of all kinds have to get used to – it is probably the most quintessential part of being creative.  But on the heels of this rejection, which seems to have bothered me the most of all those I have yet received, I wonder if it’s time for us to finally accept that there is no room for good literature anymore.

I’m not suggesting that my writing is brilliant or anything, but I know that I can write well (unless everyone that has read my writing is just humoring me).  And, in fact, there are tons of writers that I have encountered that could be called brilliant in their writing, and yet they too face the same rejection foes as I have faced.  While masterful works are passed up by the dozen, hackneyed books like A Partisan’s Daughter, Snow Day, and (dare I suggest) the Harry Potter series are hitting the best seller lists.  While groundbreaking books are sent rejection after rejection, after rejection, books that don’t even make sense like A Visit From the Goon Squad are winning prizes by the barrel-ful.  And while a lot of people may love some of these books, especially the most commercial ones, it is wholly undeniable that something is awry in the industry of publishing.

Let’s look at some statistics, compiled by Humorwriters.org :

  • Only 53% of books now purchased are fiction, with only 4% of that considered literary or upmarket;
  • 57% of books are not read to completion;
  • 33% of high school graduates never read another book  again for the rest of their lives;
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book again for the rest of their lives either;
  • 70% of adults in the U.S. have not stepped foot in a book store in at least five years;
  • 80% of U.S. families did not purchase or read any sort of book in the 2010 calendar year; and, perhaps the most disturbing of the statistics,
  • Daily, Americans spend 4 hours watching television, 3 hours listening to radio or music, and no more than 14 minutes reading magazines or news online

So, what do you think faithful blog followers?  You think there’s room for good literature anymore?  The answer to that is quite obvious, what is not so much is in trying to figure out just what we are to do about that.