Monday, September 21, 2009

Things That Suck

1. Someone needs to pull Oprah aside and tell her that nobody likes a tease. After the hype on her web site that "She's never picked anything like this before!" that's exactly what she does. The only things remotely "unique" about Uwem Akpan's Say You're One Of Them is that the author is African (OK, that's pretty cool) and this is a short story collection. Other than that? I'm hard-pressed to consider this selection "different" in any way shape or form.

2. My new vacuum cleaner. The one aspect of your life that should always suck is your vacuum cleaner. I was cleaning the Bat Cave on Friday, only to discover that my El Cheapo Bissell was now 110% useless, as opposed to 85% useless. This gave My Man a project, and he immediately hit the web researching vacuum cleaners. His assessment? Vacuum cleaners are serious business! After some shopping around we settled on a Riccar, and glory be - it sucks! It really and truly sucks!

3. Agreeing with A.J. Pierzynski. I loathe the Chicago White Sox catcher with the heat of a thousand blazing suns. I hate this guy. If I were driving down a Chicago street, and saw him standing on a curb, I'd gun the engine, run him over, then put the car in reverse to run over him again. Loathe. Seriously loathe. So it broke my heart when I read this quote from A.J.:
"Whoever wants it, us or Minnesota, Detroit is trying to give it. They are keeping us in it by not winning. That's what is so frustrating. It seems like it's there, but we can't do anything about it."
God damn it. I agree with Pierzynski. Detroit Tigers? Sometimes you make it really hard to love you. You are sucking major butt right now. Just sayin'.

4. My employers are now blocking certain social networking sites. Bye-bye Facebook, Twitter, and my super awesome Upcoming Historical Romances wiki. If blogs are on the chopping block, this will seriously put a crimp in my style. Do you know how many blogs I read for work-related "stuff?" A lot. Bugger.

5. Not reading. My reading mojo is toast. My blogging mojo is toast. I'm not sure what my problem is, but inspiration has definitely fled the scene of the crime. Sigh...


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Oprah's pick was so ZZZZ worthy. I really thought it was going to be a YA because they mentioned Little Brown and Company.

Short story Lit-Fic is so not my thing, but at least she has given some notice the the author's work.I heard he went from 300k in Amazon ranking to under 50 by the time Oprah aired her show on Friday. Oprah should open her publishing house!

lbgregg said...

Thank you for not mentioning the horrible horribleness that was the Pats/Jets game/asskicking.

Thank you.

I have a Miele vacuum and it's great--for about five years.

shayera said...

We've only got 45 holds on Oprah's new selection. And I'm shocked to say, my branch owns 2 copies of the book. I remember not a thing about ordering it, but there you go.

sam said...

I'll have to go see if our library has this already so I can cancel the order before I place it. We use ingram to order books and I'm always irritated that we can't see what the book will be until the show airs. It will just say Oprah #85 or something like that. We are a very small library and duplicate copies get sent back.
That sucks about the websites. We can't have that kind of stuff here either. The excuse I get is that they bring on all kinds of viruses and wreck havoc on our computers.

Wendy said...

Katie: Now see....YA would have been intriguing.

LB: I looked at a Miele, and did a fair amount of salivating over it. Ultimately I liked the Riccar just as much, and it was a bit more in our price range.

Shayera: I came in to work this morning with 26 holds. We also had a fair amount of copies of it considering it's a short story collection (as you are well aware, most of those tend to be shelf-sitters).

It got really good press when it came out. Lots of good reviews, and I seem to recall some blog pimpage. I also think it made the media rounds. NPR maybe? Because it did generate a small, respectable holds list for me at the time.

Sam: The virus thing is the excuse they're giving us as well. I work for a government entity and word was the library was going to be exempt from this filtering. I'm hoping they'll get it all ironed out in the next few days. It's annoying.

AnimeJune said...

I've never really cared what Oprah reads. I mean, I'm not going to shun a book because it has the "Oprah's Pick" label, but at the same time I'm not going to pick a book solely based on that.

And hang in there, Wendy. Mojo comes and goes. Snarkiness is forever :)))

JenB said...

Now I have vacuum envy. Care to share which model you bought?

Aaaand yeah...I was over Oprah about 10 years ago. Too bad the rest of the world hasn't caught on.

Also, BOOOOOO on employers blocking fun sites!

Rosie said...

Bummer about the internet. It's happening all over though because it's an employee's "use of time" issue. The statistics are staggering.

You know my feelings on the Oprah pick.

azteclady said...

I see a huge cookie baking session in my future...


Lynette said...

Was wondering where you've been on Twitter. I'll miss you.

Ben Rubinstein said...

While I agree that this seems to be cut/dry pseudo-literary work, which is usual for Oprah, I think the fact that it's a short story collection deserves a bit more credit than it's getting! As you said yourself, in our country short story collections are almost universally "shelf-sitters." Breathing life into a dead genre, even if it's not the dead genre we'd like, is still praise worthy! That said, I haven't seen Oprah in years and don't think I've ever (knowingly) read one of her selections.

Wendy said...

AnimeJune: Still no mojo. I just need to plant my butt in a chair and start reading. Sometimes if I "force" myself, I get back into a groove.

JenB: It's a Riccar Vibrance. My understanding is that Riccar only sells to dealers - so you'd have to go to a vacuum shop, as opposed to say Lowe's or Home Depot. Also, according to my father (a vacuum cleaner guru - don't ask) I got a killer deal on mine. Wow - the crappy economy working in my favor? Huh.

Rosie & Lynette: Well, from your lips to God's ears.....I'm back in business this morning. Word was that the library was going to be exempt from this filtering. I suspect they forgot to "unlock" us admin types.

AL: I'm just cranky. I'll get over it. I just need to find my mojo.

Ben: Where I work short stories tend to live and die by who has written them. If the author is relatively well known, a short story collection will have a respectable showing.

Moreso than the fact that these are short stories, I'm more impressed that Oprah left the U.S. and went for a "world" author this go around. Americans tend to be fairly self-centered and we seem to think we "own" the industry. There are countless books published overseas every year that never hit American shores.

Kwana said...

Sorry about the things that suck. I hear ya. I can't stand it when I get in a reading funk and I hear you on the O pick. I was expecting something different too. Maybe shory stories from a woman would have been cool. Sexy short stores from a woman. Cooler. Le sigh.

Tara Marie said...

1. Why anyone should care about an Oprah pick I'm not sure?

2. I have an Oreck--very happy with it, though I do tend to break the belts on a fairly regular basis.

3. The Yankees clinched a spot last night, but I'm afraid they're trying to make this closer than it needs to be--with the exception of Sabathia, our starting pitching sucks. Joba needs a smack in the head and Burnett needs to go back to where he came from.

4. Since I work for a Catholic Church I NEVER use the work computers for personal stuff. Can't even imagine the reaction to some of the blogs I visit from home :)

5. My mojo is gone too :( not enough time to dedicate to anything.

6. @lbgregg--we were rather happy at our house over the Jets win and equally happy about the Giants :)

JamiSings said...

See, I just knew Oprah wouldn't pick anything special.

She reminds me of this "creative" writing teacher I had. The woman was totally into poorly written pretentious crap. Long winded stories about women whom had bad marriages. She was also one of those women whom give feminists a bad name. I can remember her going onto a near half hour tear about how Thomas Harris hates women because of the book Hannibal. I finally interrupted her and asked her if she had even read the book.

She hadn't. I had. I quickly shut her up. She was very contrite and quiet the rest of the day.

What do you bet that Oprah doesn't read the books she "picks"?

I don't like sports so I can't comment. I do have to say my mom once bought a vacuum cleaner from a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman in a parking lot. I thought she was being taken, but by gum if that vacuum didn't work great and she still has it nearly 20 years later.

We're not suppose to go to certain sites at work, but we do anyway. We're mainly not allowed to shop online, but I know the librarians use Amazon for research on popular books and I used it to see if any of our kids movies were on DVD.

I'm trying to think of things that suck that you didn't put on the list. Um, let's see -

1: People yelling at you over policies you didn't make.

2: Cramps.


4: According to Foamy, Germaine.

nath said...

What did you expect for Oprah. She'll never go that different.

LOL about the vacuum cleaner and boooo about your work blocking some sites and your reading mojo running away :(

Wendy said...

Nath: I'm back at business here at work. Our IT guys got it all hammered out - so I'm no longer blocked! Wahooo!

I sat down last night and forced myself to read. Got a category romance finished and now I owe Sybil a review.....

Wendy said...

Kwana: LOL - sexy short stories from a female writer. I know a few authors who would be lining up to be considered :)

TM: I'm a librarian. They pay me to care about Oprah picks :)

Yeah, that's what you get with Burnett. One moment he's unhittable, the next he's melting down. I think your boy Sabathia has the inside track on the Cy Young. Lord knows Greinke has been awesome, but KC sucks so bad I don't think he'll have the wins.

Jami: LOL - Cramps do suck! Although I'm not suffering from them at the moment, so that's why they're not on my list :)

JamiSings said...

Well, Wendy, they're on my list today!

Oh, and you know what else sucks? They keep bringing back the fashions of the 60s and 80s and keep ignoring the 70s. If you eliminate the ugly patterns on the clothing, the cut and shape is WAY nicer then anything from the 60s or 80s. And compared to what's fashionable today - I've asked around and pretty much every woman agrees with me, it's better to see a man in a skin tight polyester suit with a medallion the size of a grapefruit then some dude with pants so baggy that you can see the top three inches of his dirty boxers.

Oh - new Time Suck for you,