Thursday, July 19, 2012

Appearing Thoughtful

Apparently, going to lunch with one local blogger was all it took to shake some kudos loose from another.  Yesterday, I received the coveted Versatile Blogger Award from blog-friend Thoughts Appear, or “Thoughtsy,” to her loyal readers.

This is my 3rd go-round on this award. So happy it’s a new picture… that much better to bolster the illusion of popularity and quality.  But I know the Versatility is real… where else does one go to read about politics, weird news, other bloggers, bacon, Pittsburgh sports and drunk-stories?  So thank you, Thoughtsy, for being all, “I rec-a-nize…”

In keeping with the part of the rules where I have to provide 7 things about myself, (and ignoring the part where I have to pass the award on, because I’m a selfish prick), I present the following…

1. I spent 9 hours worth of my time this month, editing a book for someone I’ve never met. 

OK, two things… First, “editing” may be a reach.  I am reviewing and providing feedback, while also fixing phrasing, punctuation, grammatical and structural errors.  Secondly, it’s a friend of Sitcom Kelly’s, who she told that I might be a good sounding board for her manuscript.

The book itself was a challenge, because a dude like me is NOT the target audience.  Sure, the trials and tribulations of modern dating provides fertile ground, but there is only so much “Men are Inconsiderate Pigs” material that a guy can handle.  And the chapter about jewelry and wedding dress shopping was like an entire day of clothes shopping at the mall with your girlfriend, packed into 15 pages. 

Anyway, I got through it.  I’ll have to see if she takes any of my “advice.”  But I always wanted to take a shot at doing something like this.  I’ve done a lot of editing for other people, but never so much at one time, on a subject so far out of my wheelhouse.

I have a feeling that she’s going to think that I hate her, because there were a few occasions where I had to be brutally honest.  But I just channeled back to what my first editor did to me, and let it fly.  Thanks, Mom.

2. I barely ducked a hellacious fight last night.  While I was editing the book, Pinky started reading over my shoulder, during a chapter about how great it was to be single and living alone.  She thought it was something I was writing, rather than editing.

Luckily, I began typing a correction (in red, with Word “Change Tracker” on) and she realized that it wasn’t my doing. 

Phew!  Bullet dodged, and I got to watch “So You Think I Can Dance,” in peace.  (Come to daddy, Cat Deeley!)

3. This editing experience has wiped out any latent desires I’ve ever had to write my own book.  It’s one thing to throw a few old stories down on a blog… those are just bite-sized morsels.  It’s quite another to expect that strangers are going to plunk down money to read about the life of someone that’s never been on Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight.  (Or Inside Entertainment or Tonight’s Edition, for that matter.)

I get told all the time that I should write a book.  And I always say, “I AM writing a book.  And I’m posting it chapter by chapter, in a blog, online.”

It looks like that’s going to have to do.

4. There are two points of view, when some old man is moving slowly and purposefully down the sidewalk.

Old Guy’s Perspective: Geez, this hurts, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone see me struggle.  I’m just going to fight my way through this and go where I have to go.  Heck, I’m probably being an inspiration to people right now.  They’re going, “Look how that guy’s fighting through his pain and persevering.”  That’s it, one foot in front of the other.  You can do it.

Guy Walking Behind the Old Guy’s Perspective:  I wish this old fuck would get the hell out of my way.

Is it bad that I’ve been both of these guys within the last year?

5. I’m becoming obsessed with getting an iPad, ever since I played with one when I was on vacation.  But in order to do that, I have to set up a wireless network at home, which gives me great pause.  I even have a wireless router, which came with the DSL hookup I got in 2005.  I just never set it up.  I have to get with some geeks down at Best Buy, to make sure a router from that era will work with a brand spanking new iPad.

Also, given the age of my PC, it’s kind of like putting a $1500 stereo in a $150 piece-of-shit car.  My PC is so slow anymore, I can’t stand it.  But I can’t stand even more, the thought of trying to transfer all my apps, programs, emails and other crap from one PC to a new one.

6. I may go see the new Batman movie this weekend.  And not only is the theater near a Wendy’s (Whoo Hoo!) but also a Best Buy.  I just might get sucked into showing up there.  And once that happens, my will power pretty much dissolves.  I can satisfy both my bacon AND electronics fix in one trip.

7. My letter to the editor (from the previous post) hasn’t made it onto the Baltimore Sun website, and it probably won’t.  But someone else’s has and he has my same point of view.  If only I could learn to make such solid points in so few paragraphs.

 So there… Those are my Seven Things About Me, even though they are really only kinda about me.  If Thoughtsy can fulfill her requirement by listing all her favorite cheeses, I can provide a fuzzy list, like this.  Because, I’ve already told you so many things about me over the last 3 years; I’m starting to run out of material.

I really gotta do more stuff.


Facie said...

"If only I could learn to make such solid points in so few paragraphs" is the story of my life (well, at least a chapter or three).

I supported the voter ID thing until I read some good counterpoints. Although I still think it has merit, I realize I am coming from my own selfish point of view--because I have an ID (which I have pretty much always presented while voting). I guess I am thinking now it is more like that quote about it being better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted. Know what I mean? I hope so because I am trying to make my point without three more sentences.

You seem to always find new things to share about yourself. I like that seven things deal!

bluzdude said...

See, that's the thing. It's easy for us, the middle class people that want for nothing, to decide what's too much for people that don't have a fraction of what we have. But you know what they do have? The same voting rights.

We too often forget what it's like not to be easily mobile or self-sufficient. We have no right to pass judgement on people whose lives we couldn't identify with in a million years.

And thanks... that's the blogger's conceit... that other people might find our own day-to-day bullshit to be interesting.

Gia said...

Congrats! That is a hell of a lot of editing! Yikes. Don't forget to hit save often. That's my advice.

Anonymous said...

Once Misty confirmed you weren't an ax murderer, I felt like it was safe to give you an award.

I used to "edit" books years ago. I realized I like editing more more than writing. Usually.

Anonymous said...

*much more

Jessica R. said...

Working as an editor for about five years now (though not on anything as daunting as a book), I've learned that tough criticism is really for the best. I mean, I would want someone to tell me if something needed to be overhauled before the general public saw it and thought so. And in the end, the person will usually push themselves to make it better and produce a final end product. And it's good you don't know her, that way she can't take it personally.

Anonymous said...

No blogger is more acclaimed and banned than Bluz

Judie said...

NO, BLUZ! STAY AWAY FROM THAT BATMAN MOVIE!! Look what happened in Colorado!!!

I used to edit for a mystery writer here in Tucson. She was a delightful person, but very old. She wrote that way as well. I couldn't make her understand that she had to bring her writing up into the 21st century, and leave the 40's behind. She just couldn't grasp that concept. Her heroine thought that she could never afford a $25 pair of shoes, and was devastated to have to pay $50 for a winter coat. Get the picture!

Wait for the Batman movie to come out on DVD.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as to that Batman thing . . . make sure you wear a bullet proof vest. So sad. :( And I wonder how many people actually will NOT go to the movie because of that. I bet that incident will skew their opening weekend numbers like crazy!

Oh, and speaking of Cat Deely . . . I saw a clip on the Soup of that show The Choice. And guess who's the host? Yep. I immediately thought 2 things: 1. Wonder if Bluz knows she's on an entirely other show, and 2. She is way too good for that crap! Then again, one must pay the bills the other 10 months out of the year, I suppose. Poor Cat.

bluzdude said...

Oh hell yeah. A number of times, there were storms going on while I was working, so the power was liable to go out again at any time. If I would have had to go back and re-do all the edits, I probably would have put my head through the monitor first.

bluzdude said...

Nope, my axe is in the shop. I did play an axe murderer once, for a horror movie spoof we did for my college film class. I wielded a big, double-sided axe (along with a hoody, giant gumby boots and a Graucho nose and glasses.

The axe was eventually confiscated after my brother and his friends used it to go out chopping down trees and mailboxes in the neighborhood. Probably in an evidence locker somewhere.

But seriously, Thoughtsy, thank you for thinking of me. The real award is your visiting me here.

bluzdude said...

I agree. It serves no one to just go, “Oh, it’s great, send it out as is.

This one is going to be problematic, I think, because the author already consulted with a writing coach, who strongly recommended a change in focus. From what I heard, the writer disagreed with the advice and intends to keep it as written. I’m telling her that I agree 100% with the writing coach.

But it’s tough because no one wants to hear bad things about their “baby.”

bluzdude said...

Yo, yinz kin call me the Nefarius B-L-Z

bluzdude said...

On the way to the movie, I'll just stop off at WalMart and pick up a kevlar vest, a Glock and some ammo. I'll be fine.

Sounds like Agatha needed a special Reality Check Editor, to update to modern times. Either that, or just set the thing in the 40s.

bluzdude said...

Maybe the shooter was hired by the Spiderman PR crew, to suppress turnout so they can win the box office. It works for the Republicans...

Yeah, I know Cat his hosting that other show, but I refuse to tune in to see her "slumming." That crappy show is beneath her. OK, in those heels, she's about 18 feet tall, so pretty much everything is beneath her.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

As my literary crush, Stephen King, says, "To write is human; to edit, divine."

bluzdude said...

And he would know, given how much material is sometimes edited out of his books. (Hence the need for The Stand-The Unabridged Edition.)

Reeik said...

As I once recall you did have a $1500 stereo in a $50 car ... I plan to see Batman tomorrow with the BOY and I may go in Packin my 9 !!!! You need to learn which is the business end of a Glock how to load it how AIM and you think a rabbit screams when shot !!! Stick to Blogging and Editing and leave the HEAVY stuff to the Chairman my BROTHER ....

bluzdude said...

Fat lot of good it does me when you're not here... How far in advance do I have to book your services?

(And that P.O.S. car rocked!)

Unapologetically Mundane said...

I'm using a router from 2005 with my laptop, my phone, Kamran's desktop, Kamran's iPad, and Kamran's phone, so I'm sure you'll be juuuuuuuuuust fine. It'll probably take you approximately three minutes to set up. I'm just like you, though; they sent me a new laptop at work, and I held on to my sad, old laptop that literally hangs for minutes when I accidentally try to do two things at once for a week just because I didn't want to have to transfer my Outlook files. And then that took me SECONDS once I made myself do it.

bluzdude said...

So that’ll be my mantra… “If Ett can do it, so can I.”