Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pooh Fail

A few weeks ago my daughter and I attended a super cute activity all about Winnie the Pooh. Despite seeing pictures of Winnie the Pooh every day for three years, growing up with the stuffed bear, watching five movies at least three times each and spending an hour looking at pictures of Winnie the Pooh, my daughter and I STILL couldn't make him look right. We were given ALL the materials, all the shapes and this is what we came up with:
Pooh, the crazy guy that lives three doors down from you who you NEVER make eye contact with because one time his trash can fell over into the street and you have no idea why someone has that many bloody rags.


Erinn Fail.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blog Break

I don't know what the universe is trying to tell me, but the one week I take an unexpected break from blogging I've been evacuated three times.

Remember the earthquake?  I do.  It was AWESOME. I was in the middle of training for the Common Core Standards.  I was after shocked but the lack of excitement from my co-workers.  Mostly they were filled with terror.  I wanted to yell, "Dudes, you got a roller coaster ride.... FOR FREE and NO LINES.  Freaking sweet."

Interesting, when it was happening, not once did I think, "hmmm, maybe I should leave this 30 year old building."

I do remember standing outside, watching my co-workers get all flustered  and asking my supervisor, "Are we going to finish training now?  'Cause I've got stuff to do in my classroom, so I don't want to do this tomorrow."

We were sent home five minutes later.

The next day, after another meeting, I returned to my classroom and smelled burning wood.  But it wasn't intense or even threatening, it was like a fireplace in the winter.  Shortly after that it smelled like marshmallows.  It was very lovely.

Three minutes later we were evacuated.

This time I brought my laptop so I could work.  I was not the only one.  About twenty of my co workers, leaned against the building (that was on fire) to work in the only shade on the property, so we could see our screens.

The building wasn't on fire, one piece of wood was scorched by a worker on the roof.  No big deal.

The next day I was working out, I had gotten about 10 minutes into my 30 minute workout. When the lights starts to flash and we were told to leave.  Someone left the door to the steam room open and it triggered the smoke detector.

And as I write this blog, a hurricane is coming.  By the time this goes live, the huricane will pass and I'm sure blogs across the east coast will be loaded with pictures of the damaged or force of the wind and rain.

It's supposed to hit us at 2 am.   Most likely there won't be any cool pictures from me.

Be safe everyone!  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What to do when during a hurricane?

As I blogger and internet addict, writer, and mom, I NEED tech.  Mostly I need power to make that tech work.

With the hurricane coming, there's a lot I need to do.

1) Charge up the laptop.
2) Charge up my nook
3) Charge up the portable DVD player (for my daughter)
4) Blog ahead of time.
5) Get my TO READ pile ready. 
6) Update facebook and twitter everytime there's a change in weather.
At the moment, it's drizzling and I've already drank five gallons of water.  #overprepared  #hurricanefail
7) Blog ahead of time.
8) Do all my laundry.
9) Iron my dress for school on Monday (hopefully Tuesday--- I'm such a  teacher, always wishing for a snow day)
10) Watch this clip a billion times, because everything about it is SO New Jersey!

Be safe everyone. And here's hoping the power doesn't go out during the Doctor Who Season Premiere!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Glee of Rejection- Loser like Me Remix

Howdy.  Is everyone going to Write On Con?  It's been awesome right?

Anyway, as you know I'm querying.  I feel like I'm rounding the end of my querying process.  Which I'm sure I'll be writing about that soon.

It's a process that can really bum you out.   Rejections are par for the course.  Right around the time I started querying I found this song and it sort of pumped me up.  In fact I think it was the best song of the entire awful season 2 of Glee.   So I'm going to post the lyrics to Loser Like Me and next to the lyrics I'm going to post how it relates to the query process.

Yeah, you may think that I'm a zero  
I know you get a lot of queries in your inbox
But, hey, everyone you wanna be         
But I promise my book is different.
Probably started off like me                  
But not so different it would be impossible to sell
You may say that I'm a freakshow (I don't care)   
Well freakshow is a little harsh- fangirl maybe
But, hey, give me just a little time           
Seriously if you can get past my query I think you'll really
I bet you're gonna change your mind     
my book. It's funny and sweet and there's dick jokes

All of the dirt you've been throwin' my way   
Ok so you rejected me
It ain't so hard to take, that's right                   
That's cool, I only need one agent to like it.
'Cause I know one day you'll be screamin' my name  
Well you most likely won't be
And I'll just look away, that's right                    
I'm not going to look away, that's really rude

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth 
I'd really appreciated it if you didn't do that
So everyone can hear                                                 
Because Twitter hurts my feelings
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down
If the worst is a rejection, that's cool
Baby, I don't care                                                        
It's a totally subjective business
Keep it up, and soon enough you'll figure out            
I understand that it's not a project you can get
You wanna be                                                              
Passionate about.  No really I get it.  You'll be
You wanna be                                                         
stuck with me for a while and if it's not something
A loser like me                                                            
you don't love, then what a miserable time we'll
A loser like me                                                            
both have.

(Cory Monteith/Finn)

Push me up against the locker                                
You requested material, and still rejected
And hey, all I do is shake it off                               
That's fine.  I can shake it off.
I'll get you back when I'm your boss                       
I'm never going to be your boss, I just don't see that
I'm not thinkin' 'bout you haters                              
happening any time soon. 
'Cause hey, I could be a superstar                          
If it doesn't happen with this book it'll happen with
I'll see you when you wash my car                      

All of the dirt you've been throwin' my way     
Another rejection, yeah that's cool, I don't know
It ain't so hard to take, that's right                      
what I was thinking when I hit the send button
'Cause I know one day you'll be screamin' my name      
Maybe one day I'll tweet something cute and
And I'll just look away, that's right                                  
you'll retweet me

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth   
Again I should repeat don't run your mouth
So everyone can hear                                                
This is just good advice for everyone
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down 
Unless maybe you're a rapper, then it seems to be
Baby, I don't care                                                     
a really good business model for you.
Keep it up, and soon enough you'll figure out           
But it didn't work well for Megan Fox and writers
You wanna be                                                             
it's not going to work well for you.  Really it's
You wanna be                                                           
going to make you look petty.  I don't recommend it
A loser like me                                                          
It will make you look like a loser.  Not a loser
A loser like me                                                         
like me because I fail a lot but I'm not bitter about
A loser like me                                                        

Hey, you, over there                                                 
Hey look I followed EVERY submission guideline
Keep the L up-up in the air                     
I even created a separate document on my hard dive for you
Hey, you, over there                               
I even read five interview and read every tweet for the past
Keep the L up, 'cause I don't care           
two months, just to make sure we were a good match
You can throw your sticks, and you can throw your stones   
Oh it's still a no.  Um ok. I understand
Like a rocket, just watch me go                                
I'll just free up some hard drive space.
Yeah, l-o-s-e-r                                              
This is when they SPELL in the song, I don't like that.
I can only be who I are                              
Really? Glee, you're going to rhyme "r" with "are" 

I mean Glee I guess that's not as bad as when Train
Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth 
rhymed President with President in Meet Virgina
So everyone can hear                                              
That's inexcusable.
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down  
I mean really NO ONE at the record company
Baby, I don't care                                                     
caught that?  Seriously?  it's the SAME WORD
Keep it up, and soon enough you'll figure out    
There are NO other words in the English Language
You wanna be                                                   
that end in 'Ent'?  rent, cement, lament. 
You wanna be                                                     
Yep, Train I'm going to go ahead and call it a total
A loser like me                                                 
fail on your part.  It's a great song but that one part
A loser like me                                                      
of the song just is so jarring to my ear.

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth    
Wasn't that your first big hit?  Seriously!
So everyone can hear                                               
Hold on, let me wiki something
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down
Ok you didn't win a grammy for it like I thought
Baby, I don't care                                                       
but it DID Go to number 15 on the sales charts.
Keep it up, and soon enough you'll figure out       
Come on.  You rhymed the SAME WORD. 
You wanna be                                                           
It's not like it was a common music word either
You wanna be                                                        
like love, or kiss, or me.  No it was PRESIDENT
A loser like me (A loser like me)                          
God that pisses me off so much.
A loser like me (A loser like me)                             
Like WAY MORE than being rejected by an agent
A loser like me                                                      
Loser like me my ass.  

Of course I didn't rhyme  a single thing in this little exercise. 

So there you go.  A VERY rational reaction to getting rejected, putting a positive spin on it and why Train sucks.  Ok I'll admit it, I do really like the band. One mistake isn't enough to turn me off of a bands entire work but still it's VERY annoying.

For those of you with youtube at work here's GLEE Loser Like Me

This is some weird fan video of Meet Virgina by Train

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music Monday- The Green album

So I love the muppets. They are the original in smart programing that's not really for kids but is marketing to kids anyway, like Phineas and Ferb and Animanatics. 

I freaked out when I saw the first trailer for The Muppets, and I've never loved Jason Segel more than I do now, he was one of the writers for the movie.

I plan on seeing it twice in the theater, once without my kid and once with her.  Because I KNOW for a fact, I'm going to miss a chunk of the movie because her peanut size bladder won't be able to hold the thimble of water I'm going to give her during the movie.   So instead of missing ten minutes of the movie, I'm just going to spend an extra $15 to see it twice.

But back to music Monday, all of the rant above leads me to this:

It's a bunch of Alt Rock musicians covering songs from The Muppets.
This is basically the most perfect thing in the world for me.
Artists include:
OK GO, doing the THEME SONG
The Airborne Toxic Event, doing THE WISHING SONG
The Fray doing MAHNA MAHNA
Weezer WITH Haley Williams doing THE RAINBOW CONNECTION.

It's very exciting in my world right now.
It comes out August 23, so go and pre-order it now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

FIve for Friday- Author's I'd like to Meet

My good friends over at the Paper Hangover are asking "Who are the Top Five Authors You Would like to Meet."

1) John Green.  Everytime this man talks I'm amazed at how smart he is, how much hard work he does and that I will never in a billion years live up to that.  He's the sort of human being that has made a profound inpact on my life. 

2) Neil Giaman- When my cousin died of cancer when I was teenager, The Sandman series made me not fear death.  It gave me piece of mind and comfort more.  Thank you, Neil.

3) Stacey Kade- When I read her tweets, I think "wow, she's just like me." She gives me hope about my own writing and she's SUPER nice. She makes my dreams of being published seem attainable.

4) J.K Rowling- Nuff said.

5) Really, what I want to meet is one of my on-line friends, published.  THAT'S WHAT I WANT. THAT'S Who I want to meet, (Even though I've met a lot of them).  I want to order a drink with them and say "Congrats, you did it."  And I would be pretty pleased with that.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Life fails and twitter

If you're a reader of this blog, you know my life is a long series of fails.

The highlight my last weekend was The Phineas and Ferb movie (which was freaking amazing).

But it was also loaded with fails most notably I was in Victoria Secret with my hands full of underwear during an after hours super sale when I heard someone call my name.  It was a former student.  Yeah.  That's the exact reason WHY I went to the after hours sale, so I wouldn't run into any students.

Oh the pitfalls of being a teacher.

Yes, life is a long series of fails.  That's what makes the perks that much better.

Now adays we take our fails and our wins to the internet, as proof of this blog.

And everyone is entitled to internet fails, posting a comment that shouldn't be shared.  Mistakes happen.  That's fine.

As a teacher I never mention my students by name.  EVER.  I have taught nearly 1500 kids and my descriptions of them is always vague.  The student I met with my hands full of underwear could be any of the 1500 students, I didn't say gender, a physical description or even how old the student was.  I also didn't say anything negative about the student either.

Why? Because it's super unprofessional!  Teachers can lose their jobs over saying the wrong things. And I won't get into any discussion about double standards or morality codes or anything like that.

That being said, as a writer we are told time and time again, don't publish your query stats, don't talk about your query process on your blog and most importantly don't bash agents on your blog.

I agree.  It's very bad for business and quite frankly it makes you look like a downer and a whiner too.

However I've noticed on twitter that some agents aren't following the same rule.  Now this could be ME over analizing their comments because that's what I do.  But I've noticed some comments who seem directed towards one query or one writer and it's not exactly positive.

But every time I read a post from an agent I think, "is she/he talking about me?  Did I do that? I did, didn't I?"  I am in fact that ego driven I assume every tweet is about me.  Which logically I know can't be the case, but the problem is the tweet is about someone. 

Sure we all snicker at query fails.

We all shake our heads at newbie's mistakes.

But it's easy to forget that the newbie doesn't know any better, and that we were all newbie's once.

Believe me, I totally understand the silly frustration of an agent's job, I mean,  I'm a teacher after all.

That's one of the reasons why I'm not outraged or screaming at the top of lungs and using all caps in this blog post.  I get it.  I really do.

I've started to unfollow agents.  No hard feelings.  I'm just clicking the unfollow button. That's all. 

I'm not about to stop using twitter, how else am I going to avoid writing my book?

Life is full of fails, the important thing is to learn from them.

I am going to be buying all my underwear online from now on.

Monday, August 08, 2011

music monday- We are the In Crowd

Every year I get this compulation album from Target called, "Take Action." There's about 40 songs on two discs and for $7 it's well worth the money.  A chunk of the sales goes to charity and it's great way of discovering new bands and hearing some B sides and rarities.

This year I discovered "We Are The In Crowd".  It has two vocalists, Taylor Jardine and Jordan Eckes,  female and male singers. They are amazing together.  I'm sure Taylor is compared to Haley Williams a lot.

They're music is thoughtful and meaningful.  They're the perfect mix of pop/punk.

Their new album is ready for pre-order.

Their new album was listed on Alt Press's Most Anticipated Albums of the fall, Jack's Manniquin, Save's the Day and Blink 182 also make the same list.  So We Are The In Crowd is in some pretty amazing company. 

Please go check them out. I have Agree to Disagree, I love EVERY song on it.   

Here's a few samples of their work. 

Both Sides of the Story:

My Favorite Song- I'll Never Be What You Want

New Single Rumor Mill

I think I'm going to pre-order the album right now.  Shnikes this is great.  YAY FOR GOOD MUSIC!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Five for Friday-pics to inspire.

Over at the Paper Hangover, they are asking us to post the five pictures we are most inspired by. 

So here we go, in no real order:

Creep Ass Chuck E Cheese.   He's going to eat my soul and poop it out.  He will murder my family and friends just before he forces us to watch reruns of The Jersey Shore and translate it for Japanese Television.

My all time favorite graffite, it's written on a train in my neighborhood playground.  It says, "people made out in here."  I've been meaning to write a short story about it, but I've been distracted by life.

Douche, nuff said.

Penis car.... nuff said.

And this one is serious, I found it a few days ago and I instantly loved it.

It's called fangirl.  And I think it's perfect.  I'm always amazed at how one piece of art can inspire SO many other pieces of art. 

So what inspires you?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Disney Fail

I went to Disney World last week with my family.  It was my daughter's second time going but the first time doesn't count at all, since she was 1 and didn't remember it. 

Diseny does EVERYTHING RIGHT.  Seriously it's amazing.

Do you know why Disney World is SO clean?  It's because they did research and found that someone will hold on to their trash for up to 500 feet if they can't find a trash can.  Then they will drop it.  There are at least two trash can in eye sight no matter where you look.  WOW.

But no one is 100% perfect.

Downtown Disney is a shopping center near the parks.  Downtown Disney holds the only Disney employees who look like they hate their jobs.  Seriously.  Every employee in every park, and resturant loved their job, Downtown Disney was the only place that looked like the rest of America.

Anyway hidden in the back of DTD is a discount gift shop.  And when I say Discount gift shop I mean it has all the same things all the other stores have, it's just broken down by price.  Nothing in the store is over $20.

There's also these things call grab bag.  Mystery Bag that are sealed off and for $8 you can buy one.

Guess who bought one?  THIS GIRL.

Overall it was a pretty good haul.  I got a water bottle, a little travel comb/mirror thing, a minnie mouse pen, and then I GOT THIS:

Um, yeah, so what does this look like to you?

How did this get approved?

How long was it sitting on the shelves before it got pulled? 30 seconds?  A day? A month?


Then I got this:

It looks like Tink was taking a drive in Figment's car for a little too long.

Oh Disney, thank you.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Music Monday

Yes I know, I missed a few posts, but I have a TOTALLY legit reason, I was in Disney World with my three year old.  And I assure you there will be MANY posts about that trip.   Stay tuned on Wednesday for tips about the park and what toys you should avoid.  Spoiler NOT EVERYTHING you buy at Disney is intended for children.

Anyway back to Music Monday.

I've talked about this band called All Time Low.  I've even shared a time where I went to one of their concerts, releazied I was the oldest person there who WANTED to be there and was NOT accompanied by a teenage girl.  I also yelled at a girl in a wheel chair.  Yeah it wasn't my best moment.

All Time Low  were signed by a label before they graduated high school.  Their album It's So Wrong It's Right, is really very solid.  More so when you factor in they were in high school when they wrote it. 
Dear Maria (Count Me In) a song about a stripper (not Haley Williams as many people thought) is one of the catchiest songs on the album. But Remembering Sunday is the first hint that this band is GOING somewhere and it's going to be amazing.

The next album Nothing Personal wasn't as good.  Weightless, was a great song, but the rest of the album falls flat.  In fact the album broke my heart.  According to iTunes I've only listened to the album in it's entireity one time, compare to ALL the other albums 6-10 times.

I was a little leary of Dirty Work their first major label debut.  Would they sell out?  Would they go down the dark and alchol soaked path of Nothing Personal?

No, it's awesome. I can't stop listening to it.  It's all the energy of It's So Wrong, It's Right but added in with life experience, dealing with fame, heartbreak and apparently one super bitchy ex girlfriend.  This is the first album that is getting radio play, which is pretty amazing.  Their single  'Feel Like Dancing Tonight' is tons of fun.  But Time Bomb and Under a Paper Moon is where the album shines.
Buy the deluxe edition you get LOTS more songs for your money. 

Note: the reviewers on amazon do NOT feel the same way I do, but the people who bought it on itunes DO agree with me. 

I will say, I have NOT listened to the youtube clips, so I don't know if the sound quality sucks or not. My hubby is taking a nap and I don't want to wake him. Sorry wife duties come before fan girl duties.

Here a few samples:
Dear Maria, Count Me In

Remembering Sunday


I Feel like Dancing

Time Bomb

This band is worth checking out, please do so.