Mark Your Calendars

My next book is coming out, in exactly one week. One. Week. That’s seven days.

And since I’m posting this so late in the evening, many of you won’t read it until tomorrow, making that LESS than a week.

Exciting stuff, I know.

So at the mark of the one week countdown, I am thrilled to share with you guys my cover and trailer.

*scream*

So here’s the cover, and please be kind with regards the appearance of my almost-37-year-old face… I am tired and old, and having a toddler has worn me down.

And of course you can watch the trailer too, which is a sentiment to just how jaded I have become on the topic of trailers, in general:

And don’t forget you can get entered to win one of two swag bags with a copy of the book by playing along with my caption game over on Facebook or Instagram!

My Fourth Book Cover Is Here, and It’s Giving Me Feelings

I consider myself to be a generally flat person. I don’t mean that I am one of those robot people with no feelings. I just mean that I usually have one mode, unless I’m at home and no one is looking at me: laughing at everything.

Maybe flat isn’t what I mean to say. Inappropriate?

I laugh at really inappropriate times. “Oh yeah it was like the most dysfunctional family dinner ever, I cried for a week – HAHAHAHAHAHAH!” Times like that. I think it’s likely because I’m either awkward or an idiot. Or both. (Probably both.)

So I promised a release of the book cover for my fourth book, and here it is. Now it’s giving me feelings I can’t quite qualify, because of that whole flat-one-mode-laugh-inappropriately-even-when-laughing-isn’t-appropriate thing. I’ll just leave it at “feelings,” because the cover is a picture of the house I grew up in.

Which will give you all an idea of the content.

Also, the back matter makes me feel like a real horse’s ass (do you see what I did there with the horse and the title of my book…), because people have said nice things about my writing and – where are my manners? – I’ve sent no ‘thank you cards.’

So here’s the cover, and if you keep scrolling, you get the other thing I promised… a small excerpt.

Emphasis on small, I don’t want to show my whole hand just yet.

One more thing before the cover, though: another promise and an invite… join me on Thursday, June 1st at 6:00 pm PST (that’s 8:00 pm in the Central Zone, and 9:00 ET) for a Twitter Party Book Trailer release. You can RSVP on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/events/211182979374387/ or just check in that night using the hashtag #datblindhorsetho …make sure to Tweet your responses to it that night too!

Classy And Sassy

Okay, so here’s the cover and the excerpt…enjoy!

BookCover

And now the excerpt:

…I come from a very long line of emotional eaters. On the surface, you wouldn’t know it. Obesity isn’t necessarily rampant in my family lineage. Some people are heavier than others, sure – but that’s more a statement of their general love of Prime Time TV than anything else. 

Nonetheless, I was raised on the premise that food solves everything.

I like to think that my family was the original source of the foodie movement. From the very beginning of my earliest childhood memories to now, all life revolved around what we were going to eat, who we were going to eat it with, and when we were going to get it in our mouths. Every food was coupled with a nauseatingly detailed description. The gastro pubs in Santa Monica today that describe a burger and fries with no less than twenty adjectives of ingredients and notes of infused flavor have got nothing on how my mother used to be able to describe her most basic chicken and rice dish. Daily life was filling, and if it wasn’t everyone was depressed or angry. Or both.

That isn’t to say that the food has always, or ever, been particularly noteworthy. In fact most of the time it was either mediocre or something akin to roadkill. 

There was always plenty of it. Way too much, actually; so much so that to think of all the animals sacrificed for the sake of all of those friend and family gatherings of years past makes me feel so terrible sometimes I think I should go vegan for the rest of my life just to make up for it.

When we lived in the suburbs of Chicago, we would occasionally visit this family that I never quite understood our connection to. Either they were distant family, like cousins, or friends of the family so close they may as well be family. Nonetheless, it was more than a want, but rather a social obligation, that we visit them frequently. 

Because a lot of people would come to their gatherings, and they lived in a relatively small place, they’d always serve the food in the basement. By the dim, fluorescent lights, flickering on the verge of burning out, we’d line up in front of the table and fill our Dollar Store paper plates to the brim with the same nine dishes. Every time, each of these nine dishes were essential to the meal:

1. Something that looked like a turkey casserole and I’m fairly certain had peas in it. Not sure it really had any meat in it at all, but it tasted like turkey;

2. Baked ziti. I know this sounds wonderful – because really, who doesn’t love baked ziti? Well if you ever tried this baked ziti you’d know that it is possible to dislike the dish, and it’s simply because it was made with jars of Ragu;

3. Bologna sandwiches slathered in mayonnaise and American cheese spread;

4. Fruit slush. I never really understood this one. Supposedly a fruit salad, this was canned fruit mashed and mixed with ginger ale, then frozen and slightly defrosted. A jar of Maraschino cherries was added to the mix and this is what we ate for the fruit and vegetable portion of the meal;

5. Pistachio Jell-o salad. Because at this point, the meal just felt entirely incomplete without it;

6. Baked beans, always – and without fail – served in a crockpot. Special attention was paid each time to making sure the crockpot could remain plugged in after it had been transferred from the kitchen to the basement. Baked beans just ain’t right if not pipin’ hot;

7. Tortilla chips with dip. The dip was an 8 ounce block of regular Philadelphia cream cheese with a jar of Pace Picante sauce poured over the top of it;

8. Store brand sandwich cookies;

9. None of you will believe this, because it just seems so cliche, but the final and perhaps most important part of the meal was a mixed piece bucket of KFC original recipe chicken. 

By contrast, I recently was in the unfortunate position of having to attend my sister in law’s baby shower and the food was only a side note. I was totally – and completely – out of my element. Not that I cared much, I don’t usually eat much at these types of gatherings anyway. Maybe it was the years of crockpots full of baked beans and fruit slush that did me in, I just learned to pick at the offerings sparingly and eat a salad once I got home.

But at this baby shower, where typically I would have seen an entire spread of foods from deviled eggs to more deviled eggs, to some other types of eggs that appeared deviled but also looked sort of green; plus the other array of foods like the ones listed above – instead there was a small plate of sandwiches and another small plate with carrots. That was it. All in all there were about fifty people in attendance, with maybe ten sandwiches on the plate.

At that baby shower, people were hungry. Here they had sacrificed their Sundays to come, pay homage to the to-be mother; spent a minimum of fifty dollars per person on a gift, and all they got was a goddamned carrot. Maybe. Maybe only a sandwich – if they were lucky. Some people got a piece of cake, but that was insufficient in size as well. (And oh man what people would have said if they knew that they almost weren’t going to have a cake.)

For myself, I sucked back the Cooks champagne and patted myself on the back for having eaten beforehand, assuming it would be the usual assortment of KFC mixed buckets and baked beans by the crockpot.

I had never seen anything like it, and apparently no one else there had either.

Attitudes started to turn within the first hour, and it was again made clear to me that people eat away all their frustrations and social anxieties at these things. Maybe beyond that, into their daily lives. It keeps people happy. It calms down the dramatics. Helps you forgive people for excluding you from a wedding, or for not keeping in contact all the years. 

It was that day that I finally accepted that ultimate truth into my heart, once and for all: eating really does solve everything.

 

How To Avoid Pregnancy In 6 Steps

I’m at that time in the month when I really want to have a baby. My period just stopped. The hormones have yet to get back to normal, though, because it’s really the last day of the cycle – so I’m weepy about it too. My ovaries are getting ramped up to fire out another egg faster than an AK-47 at target practice. And by next Friday it’ll be like Ovulation Central Station in the nether region of my womanhood.

It also doesn’t help that each day sees another pregnancy announcement. Yesterday I learned that a friend from when I worked in the pharmacy during undergraduate is now expecting. She’s 11 weeks along the line, and getting pregnant has been no small feat for these love birds. As I congratulated her, though, I realized that she is now the 28th person I know that will be giving birth some time this year. (Update: while writing this post, another friend messaged me on Facebook … no jokes, now we’re at 29.)

In the words of Joey from Blossom: WOAH.

So today is also a really big day for not only my baby dreams, but also my blog. This is my 400th post, and on that 400th post I was planning to make my own big announcement and feature a giveaway to celebrate the occasion. Am I having a baby too? No, that’s quite obvious given my conversation about my little red sister, up above in paragraph one. Am I quitting the blog now that I’ve hit the 400th mark? Absolutely not. That would be dumb.

Nope, the news is that I’m publishing a new book. It’s a book of articles on adulthood, marriage, and parenting; very much in the same vein as this blog – entitled My Wife’s a Bitch. It isn’t just for women or parents, it’s really for people like me. (If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of them.) The book is scheduled to release on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, and the really exciting thing is that I’ll be doing book signings for this one – both around my home in the LA suburbs, and in the Chicagoland area this summer. Are you shouting “yay!” yet? I am.

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway of my last book, the very short and very quirky tragic comedy that is my childhood story – Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. Details on the giveaway are at the end of this post.

So while vomiting in the morning, hormones added to my baseline level of crazy, and peeing in my pants every time I laugh is actually my norm, it’s quite obvious that pregnancy is probably not the thing to do these next few months as My Wife’s a Bitch hits the shelves.  Fortunately, I’ve devised my six, surefire steps to avoiding pregnancy. Birth control, tubal ligation, and the old ever-failing pull out method are for sissies.

1. Rarely (if ever) see your spouse.

If you never see your spouse, you never have sex. If you never have sex, you have no pregnancy.

2. Visit all your friends with new babies on the days they’ve had no sleep. Not on the days the baby slept a whopping seven hours uninterrupted.

Don’t get me wrong: all of the sleepless nights, the midnight feedings, the baby in the bed just to get 30 minutes … it’s all worth it. And it is temporary. IT IS. But nothing reminds you how difficult having a brand new baby around can be more than seeing a friend that is in the middle of it. They’ve got dark circles under their eyes, they forgot to eat their last three meals, and their hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in a week (because it hasn’t); those are the times to visit.

3. Spend some time with someone after they’ve been in the hospital.

This is one I’m going through right now, and it has nothing to do with a baby (but my dad with his hip). Hospitals are miserable, which means that if you have a baby – unless you are one of those adventurous new age people that has them at home – you are going to have some sort of a stay in the hospital. That means crappy food, nasty nurses, and even less sleep than when you are home with the baby.

4. Let your kid(s) have free range of the house for a few hours.

If you are like me, you already have at least one wee one running around the house. That means that you have a built-in anti-pregnancy device. Sure, you may have forgotten the sleepless nights and the problems that came up early on; but what you will never forget is how much damage to your home kids can cause when they multiply. Imagine the mess your kid(s) make multiplied by another (or MORE!) after letting them have free range of the house for just a few hours. Do you want to clean up even more than you already do? I don’t think so.

5. Pay all your bills on the same day each month.

No matter how much money you make; no matter how good of a financial position you are in; nothing says “now is not the time to get pregnant” like paying out a lot of money in one swoop. I do this monthly – I pay all of our bills in one day. It takes an entire paycheck to do so, which stresses my husband and I out way more than it would if it were paid out in smaller increments over the month. All the amount of common sense and logic doesn’t overrule the feeling of thousands of dollars going with a simple click of your mouse.

6. Take up a hobby that involves thinking about things other than pregnancy. Like drinking.

Maybe you want to get pregnant because you are bored. Best to try taking up a hobby, particularly one you can’t do while pregnant – like drinking. Or sky-diving. Or something that’s really expensive you won’t be able to afford after having a baby, like international traveling. That’ll remind you of everything you can’t have if you have a bun in the oven (typed while enjoying my wine o’clock).

Follow my six steps, and you are sure to avoid any ol’ pregnancy you’ve been trying to run away from for years.

41pefmS6JPL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-79,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_So now about the giveaway. The situation is that I’m afraid my last book Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy (click the link for more details on Amazon) is going to get a little jealous when My Wife’s a Bitch comes out. I would. In an effort to ease that jealousy, I thought I’d host a little giveaway to make the ol’ gal feel a little more at ease. Between now and Monday, June 3rd, “like” this post, share this post, Facebook it, Tweet it – whatever … and post a comment. The most important part is the comment, although the sharing is really nice too. On the day before the release date of My Wife’s a Bitch, I’ll be randomly selecting five lucky bloggies to receive a free, signed copy of Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. And the more shares and comments you make, the more chances you have to win. Happy post #400 faithful blog followers. Here’s to another 400 of awesome to come!!