Well well well....is it Thursday already? I will once again cite the "very busy months of May and June" excuse, and say that at least I am making progress on my teacher training and syllabus for UCLA, that I'm doing publicity for my books, and the new tires for my car finally arrived at Costco, and now I have to find time to go over there and get them put on. Yesterday Stephan asked me what I wanted to do for Memorial Day, and I was all "oh thank God-- another day to work!" So, that's pathetic.
Also, in the interest of technology and it being cool, I have been learning all about Wordpress and considering transferring this blog over to that interface. But....then I consider how much it would suck if I transferred four years' worth of blog posts over to another site, and then it crashed. So, for now I'm starting small with a couple of other sites I've been meaning to build.
Here are some updates from the week:
RE: the Red Hot Chili Peppers post from last week. My friend C. sent this set of fictional RHCP lyrics that he created as a tribute. I think you'll find them as wonderfully absurd as I did. I really think this is the direction Anthony Kiedis is going.
RE: Even more book publicity. I did an interview with a great blog called "Stop, Drop, and Read," and they are giving away copies of Hollywood Car Wash, just in case you haven't read it yet and wanted to try to win a copy. Also, if you're interested, you can now hear me talking Search Engine Optimization and my book "Million Dollar Website," over on the Paul McLoughlin at Work show, which is archived here. I am the first guest. Finally, did I mention that I am the career day speaker at my old high school next Friday? That should be fun. If you're wondering, yes--- it is totally weird having two books out at the same time that are about two completely different topics. Weird, and cool.
RE: The Nintendo Wii being totally insensitive to my friend's deceased boyfriend, if you'll refer back to the comments on that post, you'll see that my friend Rachel actually sent a complaint email to Nintendo, and they answered back to say that they were going to tell their development department about this, and that they hoped that person also sent in a complaint letter. Because yeah, I'm sure that providing user-feedback on the Wii interface is really at the top of my friend's list, now that she's been re-reminded about her grief by the mean Nintendo Wii lady. Still, I guess it's nice that they wrote back.
You are going to love this one.
I just got on the Wii Fit to see my weight and work out......suddenly Wii Fit lady asks me how Brad is doing.
gives me 4 choices (is he slimmer? did he gain weight? etc). because he has a
Mii on the Wii fit home screen, and it's been awhile since his status was
Needless to say there is no choice for "dead" in the Wii Fit world, so I answer "the same" to just be able to move on to the next screen. She says back to me "change is always good, don't you think?" The screen after that says "Maybe you are not paying enough attention to Brad," then the screen after that says ”on a side note did you know that dogs become more motivated the more attention their owners give them?”
She also tells me that I am lazy…..
Oh yes, people-- today I am ranting about the "Six Weeks to Lower Your Cholesterol" Cheerios campaign, only I am doing it as today's guest blogger over on the awesome blog "Where's My Damn Answer?" They are also giving away copies of Hollywood Car Wash, so there's two reasons you must go over there right away.
That's right. I'm not even going to preview the Cheerios rant on here, because that's how much I want you to check out this other blog. Do it! Nothing to see here!
Let me just start this fine Monday by saying that I now have a full-blown “talented guy” crush on Justin Timberlake, after watching Saturday Night Live. Seriously—is there anything that boy can’t do? He sings, he dances, he acts like a total dork, and he knows exactly how to play along with the SNL cast so that everyone achieves maximum funny. I think it also helped that everyone was off for two weeks, so they could really grow their funny back. Too many weeks in a row, and they tend to fall back on easy stuff, which I think makes the overall episodes weak (see my notes on the Zac Efron episode).
Here are a few notes on the show, but overall, I think this episode was the best one since—well, Alec Baldwin was good, but really since the last time Timberlake hosted the show. Is that wrong to say?
Cold open: Note to writers—please, please cut down the “Tim Geithner” sketches. Yes, there is a lot of humor to be mined from making fun of failing financial institutions, but….really about a whole minute less than what you thought. I totally sped through the last part of this.
Opening monolog: Just, oh my God, so good. Can we just alternate between Alec Baldwin and Justin Timberlake hosting this show? Usually I am covering my eyes, hoping that the guest makes it through, but Timberlake really grabs this monolog by the balls and goes with it. Loved the show tune about how he’s got it down, and I appreciated the fact that he got to sing and dance, since I knew Ciara was going to be the musical guest and that I was probably going to have to speed through her performances (I turned out to be right about that, and I decided that actually, there is one thing Justin Timberlake can’t do—I don’t think he’s very good at choosing and developing new talent. Sorry.).
I was wondering how Timberlake and Samburg were going to
follow up the viral extravaganza that was “Dick in a Box,” and was pleasantly
surprised to see “Mother Lover,” which I thought was equally funny. Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon—such good
Funny. I'm putting up this clip because Fred Armisen's Paterson impression kills me, and because I'm just so happy when they have him do something other than Obama. High five! Also, it is super funny how mad the New Jersey people in the audience keep getting about the New Jersey jokes.
Last but not least we have the "Barry Gibb Talk Show," where Jimmy Fallon is back and seems determined to get Justin Timberlake to break character, even if it means singing into his face. Mission accomplished! I love this because both of them are just so total commitment.
My awesome friend Kristy is giving away copies of Hollywood Car Wash on her blog, Where's My Damn Answer?. I think you should go over there and enter, not just because you want the novel, but because her blog is a cracking good read. Oh, did I mention they gave me a blog award last year? That is how much we are mutually admiring each other.
Did I mention the novels are autographed? Does that convince you to go over there and sign up? I hope so.
I’m sure you’re ready for me to leave the subject of books, book publicity, book signings, and selling books, and I respect that. Although, I will just throw this last thing in there: I went to Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica on Wednesday (I know you’re going to think I was looking for my own book, and I totally wasn’t—I went in there for something else, but believe what you want), and I happened upon this “writer’s dream come true” discovery—yes, folks, Barnes & Noble on the 3rd Street Promenade has 14 copies of Hollywood Car Wash, and they are turned out on the shelf, so casual adventurers into the fiction section can see them. Yowza! Here is a picture of that, because I am a dork and took one. If I could have taken a photo of myself “This Guy-ing” that shelf, you know I would totally have done it. Come to think of it, maybe I will have Stephan go with me this weekend and take that very photo. So, thanks to everyone who has bought the novel (or the website book! Let us never forget about the other book!), has written to say nice things on Facebook, or who has generally been supportive. As I’m sure I might have mentioned once or twice, it is pretty hard to write two books and get them published, so every nice thing or thought means something to me.
Oh, also—this is important as well. I was asked to write a music playlist for Hollywood Car Wash for the completely awesome music blog “Large Hearted Boy,” and am happy to tell you that you can now see that at: http://www.largeheartedboy.com. I’m super excited to have been included in this program, which has also seen the likes of Bret Easton Ellis, Augusten Burroughs, and Mei-Ling Hopgood. This gave me a chance to combine my two favorite things—music and writing—so you know I was all over that. Go over there and read it—I think you will like it, and the site is a great find (lots of cool people, good music, and free downloads). Bookmark it!
And now, on to the next topic—the real reason I went down to the Promenade (besides to see if my book was on the Barnes & Noble shelf, because you think that anyway) was to try on a pair of shoes that I’d read about, but that I was afraid would take away all my irony if I purchased them. They are called Shape Ups, and they are by Skechers, and yes—they totally look like Frankenstein shoes, but, I bought them, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t totally toning my legs.
Let me back up. I don’t have a gym membership because gyms kind of gross me out, with the germs and the sweaty people grunting, and the music, and the having to wait in line for machines. Also, in Los Angeles I find that there is a tacit and not so healthy competition among women at the gym, and this really detracts from the reason you would exercise in the first place. So, my primary source of working out is walking, which I do for four miles, every day, with the dog, outside. Luckily it’s usually pretty nice outside, but I have been known to do this in the rain, when it’s really cold, and in the dark. Once I really started the walking habit, now I can’t stop. But, when I read about these “Shape Up” shoes, I thought—“wow, maybe I could add another layer to my four miles,” so I went to go try them on, and liked them so much I made the investment.
That’s not to say that they’re not dorky-looking, because they totally are. I am compelled to wear long jeans to try to cover over them, because otherwise I would laugh at myself if I looked down. The basic concept behind these shoes is that the soles are curved, so while you’re walking it simulates you walking on a soft surface like sand, which works out your legs even more. I have to say, they actually work really well, and I am already noticing a difference.
But, back to the irony, or lack thereof. Stephan has already invented a name for them—“THE GROOVE SHOES,” and he must yell this every time he sees me in them. They do look a little like shoes you would wear if one of your legs was longer than the other, actually, or like the kind of shoes that Shaggy from Scooby Doo would wear. And, like I said, I have been compelled to cover them up with pants for fear that someone (maybe myself) will see me in them, think I am not aware of how they look, and laugh at me, which I would too if I saw someone just cruising down the street wearing these shoes.
The people at Skechers, bless their hearts, have come up with a brochure that I think was intended to ease you through this process by showing other people wearing their Shape Ups in normal settings, but I have to say, for me this had the opposite effect, and now I just feel bad for the people who are in the ads. Also, the shoes come with a DVD, which I ACTUALLY WATCHED, about other exercises you can do if you’re wearing the shoes but not actually in the middle of walking, like rolling back and forth on your toes. The people in that video also look like models and I’m certain they are—in fact, I will mention at this point that in the early nineties (while paying for college), I appeared in several of these “training” type videos, one of which was for “what to do if you get robbed while working in Taco Bell.” During the filming of videos like this, I don’t know why, but they always put a ton of makeup on all the actors, like “we’re going to make you as pretty as possible, then put you in training-type situations.” The overall effect is strange and distancing, both if you’re appearing in the video or just watching it to learn how to work your brand-new shoes.
And with that, have a wonderful weekend!
You might be sick of hearing about book-promotion related stuff, but....dude, I wrote two books, and they both just came out! I have to milk that for all it's worth. There are several sites doing giveaways of Hollywood Car Wash, and I will be sure to let you know about those when they start, in case you were wanting to win an autographed copy of that book. For now, though, here is the official "California Book Tour" schedule, which is officially for Hollywood Car Wash, but during which I'm sure I will also have some copies of "Million Dollar Website" in the trunk of my car, should you want an autographed copy of that one as well. You can also find these on Facebook if you want to RSVP there.
Thursday, June 10th
8818 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
By the way, when all this book busy-ness is over, I really want to share some of the hilarious (not so much) stories with you about how when you write books and they come out, you'd think you would pretty much be done with overcoming challenging obstacles for the time being, but you would be wrong-- weird things still happen, just in diferent settings. Just yesterday, I got an email from a person in a book store in a city (note my generality), saying that she didn't think my event would be "appropriate for their target audience." I think she was trying to be nice and not say "our snobby, high-falutin' bookstore shoppers don't want your colorful chick-lit type novel," but I so wanted to call her on it. I had the words "My book's in Barnes & Noble, and your target audience needs to get over itself" right on the tip of my tongue, but I didn't say it, because I am trying to be the bigger person.
Instead I just run back here and talk about it on my blog.