Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RTT: The Special, Unabridged, Author's Edition

If you like Random Thoughts Tuesday, take a look at Keely, the Un Mom. Go ahead, it won't kill you. It's way better than reading my crap. And she invented it, to boot.


I love dreams. Even the super-weird ones that make no sense are cool. I like remembering my dreams. I don't over-analyze them though, because I know they're nothing mystical, but rather, they are my brain resetting, unwinding, and clearing the thoughts (good and bad, happy and sad) of my conscious self. So I take them at that and just enjoy them. Many times I think my dream world is better than my real world. Mainly because I can fly (although not high and not fast) and breathe under water. Some day I'll write about them.

One of the very best things I ever read, or ever will read, is a recent Twitter message I received. It's best if I don't explain, because the person who Tweeted it should make a blog entry about it. It goes: "iPad 2 wireless keyboard is here and is sooooo cool I sniffed it..."
This is, to me, what catnip is to cats. It just makes me feel good. It's funny, it's true, it's spontaneous, and it's endearing. It elicits the same feeling that a great minor chord in a piece of music gives me.

When you find something like the above that gives you pleasure, make note of it, comment on it, and internalize it. Keep it around for a rainy day.

I was away from home for a week, on business, and guess who missed me the most? Was it:

a) my youngest son, Wolfgang Amadeus Marshmallow?

b) my dear Mrs. Marshmallow?

c) my two dimwit Border Collies, whom I should have named "Disgrace" & "To Your Breed"?

d) the baristas at Starbucks?

I'll give you four guesses, and the first three don't count. That's love, for you.

A random shout out to a great blogger, who deserves your attention. If you like good, original writing, then you must check out dbs at think.stew. If you're reading this blog, chances are you read his, but in case you don't subscribe to his blog, go do it now.

Stop reading this.
Don't even finish my blog, just hit the link and go read. You can always come back here later to thank me.

Technically, that's the end of the random part, but there is more blogging sweetness below. The Unabridged part, in fact.

P.S. I have just been notified I've been infected with honored with a blog award, therefore, I will come back later today and add to this by spreading the infection to sharing the honor with five other worthy bloggers, one of whom I've already mentioned.


Audiobooks. I know they have utility and many people use them, but I didn't really get into them very much. I've used two in my life. One was some Zane Grey Western that I don't remember, back in college. But I recently bought the audiobook of my favorite novel of all time, "The Terror", by Dan Simmons. Won't explain the book other than to say that it's the best ever, and it's pretty long, at almost 800 pages, so it follows that the audiobook would be long. I wanted long. I drive a lot, so I thought it might be fun to try out an audiobook to ease my windshield time. After all, I can only do so much iTunes playlist stuff. What better one to try than my favorite novel?

Here's the issue. As I listened to it, I kept thinking I was missing parts of it. You know, concentrating on driving and zoning out from the book. After almost nine hours of it over a few days, I kept having the nagging thought that even though it was perfectly narrated by Simon Vance, I felt gypped. So I listened to it again. And I realized that it was, indeed, missing parts that were in the print version. I happen to remember details of things I read, and even more so when I love what I read, and damn if that audiobook wasn't leaving out huge chunks of story!

So I did a few things. I checked with Apple's iBook store, Amazon's Kindle store, and with the author himself (via his on line forum) to see if there was a reason for the audiobook to be missing parts. That's when I learned about the abridged version of audiobooks. Sonofabitch! I didn't know there was such a thing. Worse yet, apparently the 'default setting' for audiobook sellers is abridged, unless stated otherwise! Who thinks this is normal?! Why isn't it assumed that the book is unabridged instead? Nope. If it is abridged, there is nothing printed to say so, nothing in the numerous reviews on Amazon or B&N, and nothing in the description of the item for sale saying it is abridged. That sucks. It has to say UNABRIDGED, or it is apparently the abridged version. I paid $19 for the audio version (which was 2/3 of a novel that originally cost me just $14 in soft back)!
Totally gypped!

Oh, and the author, himself, said that of all the novels he's written, "The Terror" is the only audio version he's ever listened to. If you think I felt bad listening to it, I won't tell you what he said. Sufficient to say that he was not pleased with the unauthorized (pun intended) re-write of his baby.

I did learn from him though, that there is an out of print, unabridged copy floating around out there somewhere, but that if I find it, I'll likely pay upwards of $60-$70 for it.

Those forking ice-holes! Bostitches!
(points for any of you who come up with that reference without using Google!)


Last thing before the day ends!

As mentioned, I was given the honor of a Blog Award by none other than the wonderful Ninja Mom, who has a must-read blog. She has honored me with the Cherry On Top award, which means I get to pass it along to my favorite folks and also get to answer some rough and intimidating questions about myself. Ok, more like I have to simply write five things I like about myself. No prob'.

First my awards presentations:

1. dbs at think.stew. He's original, very witty, creative, thought provoking, and Canadian. What more do you need ? I look forward to his Wordfuse posts like a kid looks forward to Christmas morning. You must check him out.

2. My first blogger friend, my friend in real life, a stupendously talented, yet humble person...the girl with The Loaded Handbag, Nicki. I do know real, honest-to-goodness talent when I see it, and folks, she is the real deal. I'd call her kooky, but she'd blush and wonder if I meant it as a compliment or as a diagnosis. 

3. Barbara, who is currently undergoing Spasms of Accommodation is a double award winner this week, and deservedly so. She is scary, scary smart, apparently loaded with unlimited talents like building her own house (even if it was small), explaining liquefaction in a video, photography in general, and being a kick ass human being. I admire her. Really and truly. 

4. Stuperhero Extraordinaire. Her nom de plume is Raven Ridesemraw. If I have to explain why I like that, then just move along please and go ask your mother instead. She's wild, but in the most humanely cool way. I can't help but love things on her blog like the little Darwin Fish mounting the "other" fish from behind. Sorry if I disappoint anyone by liking stuff like that. Just go see the blog, ok?

5. Keely, The Un Mom. She's the creator of Random Tuesday Thoughts and a downright righteous blogger. Hers is one of the blogs I'd take with me when I'm hypothetically shipwrecked on an island. I also owe her an apology because I read her blog all the time and almost never comment for some strange reason. Intimidation? I don't know. I can never think of anything to say to her. Weird huh? Well, she wins anyway!

Five Things I Like About Myself

  1. I am resilient. Long story, read about it back in my post called Conversation With a Trophy.
  2. I have succeeded at everything I wanted to do in my life that was important to me (I plan to succeed at more).
  3. I don't quit.
  4. I helped make four amazing human beings. 
  5. My mom loved me best (had to put that in there in case my brothers ever read this).

That's it. Get lost. See you next week.


  1. Very rarely do I remember my dreams, but when I do they are just crazy.

    I've never listened to an audio book before, so you're 2 up on me. I'd be pissed about it being abridged too.

    Happy RTT!

  2. Abridged by default? What the what? This is why one can't trust anybody.

    The keyboard? It smells like Steve Jobs and magic.

  3. You were totally gypped! You know what you should do? Organize an audio book burning. That'll learn 'em!

    I checked out the 2 blogs you linked to. You were right, they're both totally awesome. I feel very ungypped, thanks.

    Anyways, i'm new to blogger and somehow stumbled onto your blog, and gladly so. I hope you don't mind me following your blog. I look forward to future posts.

  4. Hey. Thank you so much. You always make me smile or think or both. I would totally sniff you if I could. Er, maybe that's a little forward but I think you get my meaning.

  5. Again, thank you. Would you mind if I posted my five answers here?
    1. I can't do much of anything but something compels me to do something anyway.
    2. I like to catch frogs when I'm golfing.
    3. I don't like it when people hurt each other.
    4. I don't know why people like me.
    5. I am easily inspired.

  6. I love that you understand my neurosis. But seriously....do you mean kooky like a rash, or like eccentric, or like Miss-Havisham-eccentric, because I do like to leave cakes sitting around but I mean they never get cobwebs or anything...

    I KID! I adore you. Thank you!

    I used to worship audiobooks for long car rides until I discovered the magical world of podcasts. Nine hours of This American Life? Take me home, Ira Glass!

  7. @Nicki: Podcasts! You genius girl! I never thought of doing that. There are so many good ones and I never have time to listen to them at home. So simple, yet so un-thought of by me. Thank you! Seriously.

    And I figured out which kind of kooky you are. The kind of kooky of being unfettered by convention, being true to who you are, and never trying to be false or disingenuous. You put yourself out there and people see a really real person.

  8. You have impeccable taste in blogs! And I would totally say that if I wasn't on the list. Actually, I feel a little awkward saying that when I'm on the list. I'm Canadian, we don't toot our own horns much.

    That could be taken the wrong way. I'm sure we do THAT kind of personal horn-tooting just as much as the rest of you.

    You know what? I need more coffee. I'm all flustered. Thank you, thank you for the award :)

  9. I didn't know that about audiobooks. What a rip off!

  10. I do like that darn think.stew.

  11. So at was at old Raven's
    And she spouted off about your craven's
    Not sure it that's a word
    But I'll say it is and be a turd
    So I came and had a look
    Wow you write a big old book
    Very fun to read though
    I like your little blog show
    Getting awards and all
    Doesn't that make you stand tall
    Yes dreams are quite fun
    Some I even remember when I'm done
    Now that is what I must go do
    So I bid you adieu

  12. @Keely: I do, don't I? Feel free to toot away. Errr... we know what we mean.

    @Mama Zen: That's what I was told. It looked that way when I went on those websites.

    @Mrs. Tuna: Yep, he's a real treat.

    @Pat: Thanks for the rhyme. Stop by any time!