Say who is this typing man?

I don't even know, people. They let anyone write on the internet nowadays.

Nov 19, 2013

My blog daze is over

Now that I've got Florence + the Machine stuck in everyone's heads, here's a quick update since I haven't blogged since my horribly titled Valentine's Day post.

I decided to follow my dreams of working in publishing while I was still young enough to fail horrifically but with that bildungsroman panache that will make my eventual memoir an instant best-seller. I quit my job at the advertising agency in Birmingham, sold all of my furniture, packed a Tahoe and my Avalon with the remainder of my belongings, and reenacted the Avett Bros "I and Love and You."
complete with horrible guitar playing

I took advantage of having relatives in the NYC area, and am now splitting my time between Staten Island and Pennsylvania as I hunt the hunt of the jobless. Which is really why I'm updating the blog, so yay unemployment?

I've actually already landed an internship at an indie publishing house in Brooklyn - it's unpaid, and I COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED!

Here's the part of the blog where I promise things I probably won't deliver:

I hope to start updating a bit more regularly than once every 10 months, so I'm going to do my best to clear out the hilarious drafts I've been working on and off detailing my adventures. (I get lost so easily that finding a Staples becomes an experiment in cartography.)

I've also started a video blog (which I also need to update) under the youtube channel Sadie Awesome. It's not yet super interesting, but I have high hopes that it will be.

So that's what's been happening so far. Maybe I'll follow my own dang rules and update more frequently now!

Feb 14, 2013

Why Music is a Better V-day Gift than VD

I was pretty dang fed up with traditional flowers. Every year my dad would send them to me on the big day of V, and every year I would take that bucket of responsibility, plop it in the middle of my kitchen table (if it didn't smell too bad), and watch it slowly rot over the next few months as everything within died, withered and either became mush or grew a stanky white mold. Once it got absolutely disgusting, I'd pitch the middle bits of plant soup in the trash, wash the vase with bleach and use the container as a holder of pen-shaped items.

This year, however. THIS YEAR my dad stepped up his game. A quartet of dapper and debonair gentlemen visited me at work and serenaded me, barbershop-style, with a ballad and a mid-tempo love song before handing me a single red rose with tiny little vase-thing attached and a card signed by my dad featuring the sheet music of one of the songs sung on the cover.

Let me explain just why this is a valentine gift that is over 9 thousand times better than flowers or chocolate.

1. The barbershop quartet was from Voices of the South, so they were technically accurate and had great musicality and showmanship. At no point during their two-song performance was I distracted from my joy of music by poor harmonies. Several times I heard the overtones that are the true judges of a well-tuned quartet. I used to sing barbershop and I minored in voice performance. Trust me when I say I can distinguish good stuff from bad. This was good.

2. They left a flower and card. ONE ROSE. Just one - no worries about how to get it home or how to take care of it, plus I could display it on my desk and compete in the unofficial "i have someone who loves me" contest that goes down. Someone tries to belittle my one, easy-to-take-care-of rose? BAM! BARBERSHOPPED MOFO!

3. Did I mention no chocolate? It's the second day of Lent, and I got a gift that was super sweet without being in any danger of breaking a religious tenant or adding pounds to my squishy figure.

To sum up, if you want to get your girl (or baby girl as was the case with my dad) something sweet, ultra romantic and musically and technically beautiful, get her a barbershop quartet for V-Day. Voices of the South - (205) 252-SING.

Jan 10, 2013

Soylent Green is People

I was taught growing up not to trust authority.

That's not really true... I was taught that the truth is flexible.

No, wait. I guess what I was taught was that my dad is full of crap.

Nov 1, 2012


NaNoWriMo is the term for National Novel Writing Month, or "November" in lay-person terms. During this time period, masochists all over the writing world try and crank out a 50,000-page novel within the month of November.

Last year I made an account on That was the extent of my participation.

This year I'm going to try and actually and contribute. 50,000 words in a month works out to 1,666.66666666 etc words a day. So, I'll shoot for 2,000 and see if it'll work.

I'm also kind of bending the idea a bit. 2000 words of anything will be my benchmark. So a new blog post combined with only 400 words of "novel" will totally count.

Which means that for today, I've already written... 124 words. Now it's 132, including this sentence.

Oct 29, 2012

Nine Ways To Get Candy at Halloween after Age 15

Halloween is the holiday for child-mafiosos. For a simple fee of some Snickers or Reeses, you gain protection from anomalous "tricks" that may unfortunately befall your household otherwise. A terrible thing, those random hooligans. Good thing you have purchased the protection plan of a tiny Batman now committed to fending these anonymous tricksters off for you... and all it took was a handful of candy.

For some reason, people stop finding this nationally supported crime syndicate less endearing and more obnoxious once you get old enough to have the really awesome costumes. As a cosplayer and regular Con attendee, I find that people won't give me candy anymore, no matter how incredibly detailed or canonically accurate my costume is. That is, they wouldn't until I came up with this list. Try and deny me candy now, random homesteaders!


1. Borrow a child

This is by far the least difficult thing to wrangle - find a friend who either has kids or has a kid sibling. Volunteer to "babysit" this child on Halloween. Give the kid some coaching on proper candy extortion and watch the sugar fly! Some important things to note, however: the ratio of "grown-ups" to "kid" must be regulated. Old ladies start giving you the evil eye if you ring their doorbell with five college kids and one 10-year-old. Depending on how good the kid is, you may want to let them gather the candy themselves and then take a percentage. One child with good enough acting skills can net more candy than a child with an "adult" also standing there with open bag. Some stingy candy overlords will see the adult, jump to the correct conclusion that you are using the kid for additional candy-getting years and correspondingly limit their candy-giving to one measly bar instead of the full handful you know is the due right of all trick-or-treaters.

2. Get a wagon

The best part about a wagon is its multiple functions. Transportation of body parts, ill-advised sledding vehicle, this thing does it all! If you stick some amorphous blob of material or bean bag in it and park it on the sidewalk far enough from the house you're planning on trick-or-treating so that it remains amorphous and slightly too dark to see other than a wagon with something (or someone) in it, it's an instant trick-or-treating boon. Once you've initiated the trick-or-treating encounter, explain to the poor sap at the door just giving the candy away that your child (or the kid you're babysitting if you look too young for chilluns) was too scared (aaw, poor baby) to come to the door him or herself. Have some details ready (age appropriate for fear of people's doors, name, gender, costume) in case you get sucked into a conversation. This trick is... tricky, though. Don't claim to have a kid if your neighbors actually know who you are, and be careful to pick an age that corresponds to the "scary level" of the house. Our house growing up was sufficiently scary to keep kids from coming to the door the next year out of remembered fear. Some suburbanite with nothing on their cookie cutter door won't be believable if you're pretending to have a seven-year-old.

3. Creepy kid doll/fake infant
'Nuff said.

4. Actually have children

In terms of things to do for candy, this should probably be a last resort. Having kids is like owning a house - some kind of rental plan always works out better if you're not ready for the responsibility. On the other hand, if you were already going to be having munchkin-monsters popping out of your lady garden, then dangit, capitalize on that crap. It's like your own small-operation sweatshop. But with candy.

5. Blame your parents

My brothers and I managed to milk this one for a couple years. Our parents, being economically-minded as well as just dang cruel, would take a percentage of our haul from the night and give it out to trick-or-treaters as our home stash ran out (or was eaten by said parents. You know, taste-testing. Making sure it wasn't tampered with). When we hit that strange sullen year when we decided we were "too cool" to trick-or-treat (I'm still not sure what was wrong with us, but my bet is some kind of alien virus that we only shook because of our natural bacteria's strength), we'd still get chucked out the door with the instructions to get more candy, 'cause we were almost out. Our neighbors became accustomed to us showing up at their doors saying "trick-or-treat... don't blame me, Dad ran out of candy." The same excuse works on strangers in neighborhoods that aren't your own - just make sure you have an appropriate "I'm too cool for this" expression on. If you want to step up your game, say you just moved in a couple of blocks over. But remember the specifics of your lie in case you come back to that house the next year.

6. Dress up as a child

This is a chancy thing. Don't get creepy with it. No adult babies. But if you, like me, frequently get mistaken for a teenager, play it up a bit. Dress like a middle-schooler and see if you can get away with it! If you can't, remember I'm not liable.

7. Do the grown-up party thing

Most Halloween parties (are over by now) have a giant bowl of candy present for the attendees to water down their alcohol with. The best part is, all the work to look good as a zombie lingerie model happened before the party, so you are free to eat as much as you want with little repercussion (unless you're having another party on actual Halloween).

8. Find a parade. Or a hay ride. Or something where they throw candy at you.

It's probably a good idea to pick a costume with a helmet if you go this route. Haunted hay rides and parades can be a great time until you pick up a concussion from a king-sized Butterfingers to the face. I have gotten more than my fair share of Smarties-shaped bruises from overenthusiastic kids and straight-up violent teenagers chucking candy like it's the qualifying round of the Olympic shot-put event.

9. Buy candy at the store (like a goshdang adult)

This is admittedly the most boring option available. Seriously. Candy just tastes sweeter when it's been finagled for free from a "responsible" adult. It's earned in a way that has nothing to do with spending your actually-earned money. Not to mention the priceless stories you'll have for years to come if you attempt any of the other items on this list. But then again, buying candy from the store ensures you won't end up with a bunch of crap you don't like or the lame giveaways from those houses that are into health kicks and give you like, apples and junk instead of the diabetes-inducing sugar coma you're really there for.

Do you have any tips or tricks for the so-called "too old to trick-or-treat" crowd? How do you get the optimum amount of haul on Halloween?

Sep 11, 2012

My Mom is a Big Damn Hero

I'm a huge geek. Seriously. You're not surprised, right? Come on, I've got a cribbed Joss Whedon Firefly line in the header of this post. I love stories of overcoming adversity and aliens exposing the underlying truths of humanity and crazy superpowers and knights and wizards and all that jazz, and I can fangirl out at the drop of the hat for oh... anything. (Seriously. I got followed by @ConfusedCap, a fictional twitter account for Captain America, and I felt like a superstar.) My fandoms are as wide as the great expanse of space (including the uncharted Delta quadrant), and my shame at my enthusiastic love of most all things geeks is practically nonexistent. (I say practically, because parts of 4chan straight up scare me.)

I come by geekery honestly, though. My mom started my two brothers and me on Star Trek, musicals, crafting our dreams and reading classic novels before we grew out of the stage where everything is amazing, and as a result none of us ever really grew out of that stage. We never struggled with the suspension of disbelief, because the stories of overcoming ridiculous odds and generally being a hero never seemed too out of reach - we had an example right in front of us.

My mother is my hero.
Okay, she can be a geek at times as well.
She dropped out of college and worked various crap jobs (some literally crap jobs, she was a zookeeper at the Birmingham Zoo) and married the man of her dreams who had also dropped out of college and forged a life where their marriage could grow their faith as they provided for three kids on a one-kid budget and kept them all healthy and happy and fed, pushing through depression, going back and getting her degree as her youngest 2 graduated high school (twins, remember?) because she was writing curriculum for the field she was in, and they thought since she was creating the classes she should probably have graduated from them.

My mother should be your hero too.

She was the first (and was the only for most of her career) female fire fighter in Mountain Brook and saved lives and fought fires for over 25 years before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant. She was also an EMT and in her spare time joined DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team), a volunteer-organized and led division of FEMA that responded primarily to natural disasters. I say primarily, because in September of 2001 she and her team AL-1 (Alabama Team One) deployed to ground zero. She was team captain of 13 fellow medical volunteers who treated the workers coming off of the pile. The workers digging through the rubble of the trade centers knew that the AL team would do their best to patch up any injuries and send them right back out there. People would duct-tape wounds shut out of fear of being pulled from their work and wait for her team's shift to start because they knew they'd only be taken from their duty if there was no alternative.
This was taken two weeks after impact.
Mom dealt with the crushing stress of working at ground zero with aplomb, sweet tea and the aid of her Toy Story Sheriff Woody doll. She came back with pins from the other DMAT teams from all over the states and the obligation to share her story with her home state. Luckily, Mom's skill at story-telling, well-honed from coming to my kindergarten class and reading The Highwayman and telling zoo stories and firefighting stories at bedtime, was well up to the task of expressing the horror and hope found in New York.

I was in middle school - I wasn't even really sure what the world trade centers were, and when I saw it on TV before the faculty were ordered to shut off the news and explain to the kids, I honestly thought the buildings being shown were somewhere in Japan or something. It was a shock to realize safety can be an illusion, even as far away from the more iconic cities as Alabama is. I don't remember much of her being away. I'm pretty sure she called us a few times - I know she at least called Dad, because our family is her favorite touchstone of support. I do remember waiting in the airport for her to arrive home and having a news crew there.

Of course, four years later she'd do it all again in the NOLA airport after Hurricane Katrina - I do remember her calling home from there, since the phrase "If you hear about a medic that's been stabbed, don't worry, it wasn't me" was in the conversation. She brought back a cat from that one.

My mom has been my hero since before I could express myself in writing. My dad too, actually. She's my hero for reasons that don't really have anything to do with what she's accomplished, but more with how she operates and works with her gifts and around her own flaws and just is generally amazing. The rest of the stuff just makes it easier to force other people to recognize and feel even a bit of the awe she can inspire.

So yeah, to further crib from Whedon, I believe in heroes. It's an old-fashioned notion, but not hard to do.

Because my mom is a big damn hero.

Sep 7, 2012

Explanation Post

So here's the deal. My mom is going through chemo for breast cancer. It happens. I found out about it on the car trip back to Alabama from Atlanta after being on a plane and stuck in an airport with people who I'd been exposed to for a solid week in Costa Rica doing church with, so I didn't take it well.

And I absolutely dislike when practical strangers force advice, condolences or support upon me regarding this subject. I'm dealing with it, my mom's dealing with it, you don't really give a crap so don't make me pretend to appreciate you. She ain't dying, I'm not her facebook, don't ask me for status updates.

And that kind of sums up my attitude on the whole thing. I felt this more strongly right at the outset in June, but I still don't want to deal with people about it.

BUT, it's kind of affecting everything I write, and my mom is basically my hero so I'm going to be gushing about her coping methods and I don't want to have to preface every awesome blog post about her Ugly Doll O'icks and his scrubs or the better non-pain scale with an explanation post. Also some drafts I've been working on are being hooked into this (especially my write-up of the trip to Costa Rica), so again, easy and (relatively) short write-up of exposition.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, vast and vaguely anonymous uncaring internets.