I'm Just Saying…

September 27, 2017

Look To The Pancake

Filed under: Daily Life,Funny,Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 11:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 16, after the Almighty became miffed about that pesky pomaceous eating incident, he made a pronouncement to Eve:

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

In layman’s terms: Yes, he’s going to be a pain in the ass and cause you nothing but aggravation. You’re going to want him anyway.

And so it has been since the dawn of time that woman have been consumed by this question: Is he the one? Never mind that society has reduced love and relationships to mere signs and symbols, legends and myths. In Greek mythology, Eros is the herald of love and affection, afflicting people at whim or will. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies, make mischief by causing mere mortals to fall in and out of love. While the Gods toy with us, we ladies still fret over self-made romantic follies, mentally picking the petals off the daisy, wondering, “Is he into me, or not?”

Fear not ladies. As with most things in life, the answer to this dilemma has been in plain sight all along. The answer to this question is evidenced by one thing and one thing only: the pancake.

Scoff if you will but the pancake is the window to a man’s soul. Let’s say you make the decision to consummate your relationship. It’s the morning after. Does he say:

  1. There’s Rice Krispies if you want it.
  2. Flip the switch for the coffee maker, will you?
  3. I’ll call you.
  4. How about some pancakes?

If you guessed D, you win the prize. Let’s look at this more carefully.

  1. Cold cereal means you’re dealing with a take-it-or-leave-it kind of guy. He got his SNAP! CRACKLE! and POP! last night and now you can get yours. Literally. Or not.
  2. Coffee means he’s not interested at all. As a matter of fact, if he’s got a supply of styrofoam cups with matching lids in his closet, get ready to call your girlfriend from the parking lot. You just made a big mistake and you’re going to need to talk about it.
  3. This doesn’t need any further explanation, does it?
  4. You’re golden. How do I know? If you think about it, it’s obvious.

First, there’s the pancake’s texture: soft and warm, and with heated syrup —sensuously squishy, just like l’amour, non?

Second, a pancake intimates commitment. Look what you have to go through to make it. You have to break the eggs, mix wet and dry ingredients, cook them on the griddle. The pancake says, “You’re not just a one night stand. No! This was special. This meant something — have a pancake.”

Third, the pancake lends itself to spending time together. If your new significant other offers you pancakes, this breakfast is going to be a meal where you sit and experience time in each other’s company. You can’t eat a pancake quickly. I mean you can but you’re risking a wicked case of indigestion. Pancakes mean time, conversation, and happy memories of the previous evening. The pancake says he had a good time. He’d like to do it again.

What about other foods, you argue. Is there no honorable mention for bacon and eggs? It’s close, very close. If he comes across with a plate of eggs with a side of pig, there may be hope that he’s a keeper. After all he did cook, however, total prep time is only about 5-7 minutes so it could go either way.

A special allowance can be made for coffee AND toast. I leave it to your discretion. How cute is he?

Movies bear out this premise. In Pretty Woman, what did Richard Gere order for Julia Roberts the morning after their first encounter? Pancakes. Trust me, while Etta Place waited for Robert Redford’s Sundance Kid to show up, what do you think she had on hand in her kitchen? Ingredients for pancakes. There might have been boiled potatoes in Dr. Zhivago but believe me, if it hadn’t been for the Russian Revolution and those pesky Bolsheviks, there would have been some chowing down on pancakes. And then everyone would have died. However, these are nothing compared to the pièce de résistance, the romantic holy of holies, The Notebook. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams overcome obstacles of time, place, and circumstance to consummate their relationship. After an implied marathon of lovemaking in front of the fireplace, what does Ryan Gosling ask for? You guessed it — pancakes. And don’t give me any crap about how hungry he is. You want filling there’s waffles, French toast, even oatmeal! But when it comes to love, only the pancake fits the bill.

My theory is supported historically. In 18th Century Friesland (wherever the hell that is), the traditional wedding breakfast is the pancake. Call it Pannenkoeken, call it a mini Dutch Boy, call it crêpes (a thinner, lighter, variation to the American pancake), it makes no difference. By the way, the French, of course, understand the delicate balance between sexuality and gastronomy. You want to be full, yet not too full. After all, too much stuffin’ leads to not much lovin’, if you know what I mean.

Look, ladies, all I’m saying is stop searching for signs. Like Dorothy and her Ruby Slippers, everything you need to know is right in front of you. The morning after, forget the flowers, toss the trinkets. Check the breakfast menu, If it’s pancakes, you don’t have to ask: “Is he into me?” Oh yes he is. And if he brings out the real Vermont maple syrup, you’ll be ring shopping by Christmas.

I’m just saying.

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April 24, 2016

The Meditation Cushion Provocation

A meditation cushion inspired this post.

Not meditation.  The cushion.

If I hadn’t been provoked, I wouldn’t have made the observation. Maybe I should have called the post, The Meditation Cushion Observation.

Too late now. I’ll come back to that in a minute…

Writers observe. Everything. It’s in the job description. That’s a good thing.

Or is it?

Instead of being in the moment, we’re standing outside it, watching.

I think we do this because our heads are filled with characters running amok, like a non-stop house party where your rude guests keep you up all night, and then ignore you anyway. Writers are captives to these pesky, yet much loved boarders. We would be lost without them, so we’re always looking for material for them.

Playwright and screenwriter Phoebe Ephron, mother of my idol, Nora Ephron, had a particular writing philosophy: Everything is copy.

I believe it.

I think I had been  observing for copy long before I realized I was doing it. Take, for example, my father’s funeral. I remember it well…

There we all are, sitting in solemn silence as the rabbi gives the eulogy.

And then the beeper goes off.

The rabbi’s beeper.

Twice.

At the time, in the middle of my shock and grief, I think… does this happen at other funerals? Do other families have the memorial service for their loved one interrupted by a beeper?

The beeper belonging to their chosen clergyman.

Twice.

I bet they don’t.

Nope. Just my family.

Later, when time had passed, I didn’t look back on this event with bitterness or indignation. No, I thought, “I need to use this in a story.”

Is that good? Not sure.

Even The Rodent Materialization Excitation of 2012 has been used for fiction fodder.

Sidebar: you will never find Disney’s Ratatouille on my DVR.

Ever.

So what can I do?  It’s futile to fight it. I’m wired this way. But I do wonder…is something greater at work here?

As soon as something untoward happens, my friend Rebecca automatically points the finger at “The Universe,” (when she’s not sighing, “Jesus take the wheel”). This “Universe,” this ethereal something or other, doing something or other in our lives, is seen as a culprit, up to no good. But I do wonder, could “The Universe” be helping me by sending the odd, the unusual, and the downright shitty my way?

After all, I do need material.

Is “The Universe” putting me in these situations, forcing me to examine human nature—and providing copy?

So back to The Meditation Cushion Provocation

I’m taking a certification course as a Meditation Instructor.

I order a meditation cushion for my practice. I use a delivery address other than my home.

I’ve used this address many times. No problemo.

I get a message from Amazon. They can’t deliver my meditation cushion to my chosen address.

I contact Amazon customer service (which is awesome, by the way) and speak to the rep (who is very nice).

We have a conference call with a rep for a  Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless (Also nice. Not helpful, but nice).

I am waiting for my meditation cushion, I say. Deliveries have been made to the given address before, I say.

I get “the speech.” Do you know about the speech? It’s the one that tells you your customer satisfaction is about to nosedive right into the toilet.

“I don’t know why the driver made deliveries to that address in the past. He should not have done that.”

Yes, Yes he should have. He should have done it now. If he did, I would have my meditation cushion.

The Amazon rep is a trooper. Seriously.  She’s in there working for a win-win solution.

Thank you Amazon sales representative. Thank you for trying to help me get my meditation cushion.

“We can deliver the package to a holding center,” says the rep for the Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless.

Awesome. I can get my meditation cushion.

“For pickup you need to present legal identification with an address matching the address on the package.”

And we’re a no-go on the meditation cushion.

I give it one last try.

“Can I give you a different address for delivery?”

“The sender has restrictions on the package.”

Impossible. This is a meditation cushion. Meditation leads to liberation. Restrictions are the antithesis of meditation cushions. Abhorrent. Anathema. No-No’s.

“I’m not allowed to accept changes of address,” says the rep for The Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless.

That’s a  negative on the meditation cushion.

As my temper goes to boil, I have a thought…

Hmmm, what would happen if I went batshit crazy right now because I can’t get my meditation cushion?

Would my kickass Amazon customer service representative find it odd that I study meditation and go batshit crazy because of non-delivery of my meditation cushion?

Would she conclude meditation is ineffective and a waste of time if I scream, “I WANT MY MEDITATION CUSHION, BITCH!”

I don’t do that.

But hey, I think, what if I write a story where someone DOES go batshit over non-delivery of their meditation cushion?

I may not have my meditation cushion but I have a kickass scene idea for a story.

I may not have my meditation cushion but it’s been a great day, creatively speaking!

Yay for creativity! Way to go Universe!

I cancelled the order.

Someday I’ll tell you about the doctor’s office incident.

You can remind me. Just mention “The Octogenarian Xenophobe Encounter” and that should do it.

Someday I’ll use it in a story.

Yup.

Thank you, Universe.

I think.

 

December 10, 2015

Shameless Marketing

Filed under: Books,Funny,The Writing Life — jillamyrosenblatt @ 10:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Marketing. *sigh* This is a bold statement, but can I just go out on a limb and say marketing is the bane of the writer’s existence. It’s the “fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench” as John McClane would say.

Let me tell you what happens…

I finish my book, The Fixer: The Naked Man, and I tell a friend, “Hey, I published my book, The Fixer: The Naked Man” and my friend is like

elaine pushing jerry gif

And my friend is really happy for me! Good, right?

So my friend goes out and buys my book, The Fixer: The Naked Man (yay!!)

And this is great, right?

There’s only one problem. There’s over 7 billion people in the world, 742 million people in Europe, and almost 319 million people in the US (thank you Google Search). I kinda, sorta hoped my book would be read by a few more people than my friend.

I’m really excited about my book (no, I’m not mentioning the title again. That’s obnoxious). Seriously, seriously. I’ve been living with these characters in my head and I’m very attached to them. Actually, I love them all, even the bad ones (you have to love them the most). So how do I let people know about these characters that I love because I hope they’ll love them too? Marketing.

I write. Writers write. We don’t market. I don’t market. I don’t know how to market. Who markets? *sigh* I’m sensing a “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” thing happening here.

When I’m writing my story, and I’m in the process, I’m like this

wb frog dancing

Ask me to start talking up my book and now I’m like this

still frog.gif

Bummer.

In my defense it’s not that I haven’t been reading about marketing. I’m trying. I really am. First, I read that you don’t sell a product. You sell yourself. Great. I’m a quiet introvert with a lower belly pooch who spends every spare minute locked in my room staring at a computer screen while my eyesight fades and my hemorrhoids bloom.

Let the marketing magic begin!!

However, lack of ability is no excuse for not trying…

When I started in screenwriting I learned you should be able to pitch your story in a sentence. Okay, here goes:

The Fixer: The Naked Man

A desperate young woman takes a dangerous job fixing problems of wealthy, powerful men.

How was that? No? Okay, try this:

Young, sexy woman takes a dangerous job fixing the problems of wealthy, powerful men who want to get into her panties.

Better?

I also learned you can use other titles in your pitch to explain your story. Okay, here goes:

The Fixer: The Naked Man. Think Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets James Bond- ish.

Anything? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

I think the Internet is amazing, opening up the possibility to reach readers everywhere. Even so, trying to spread the word about a book feels a little like this

man calling out yodel

Sorry, I couldn’t find a gif of a man calling out.

The point is, I’m trying. Really. I even joined Instagram. No, there will be no bikini selfies.

You’re welcome.

So, now I’m considering the alternative: Shameless Marketing. A marketing that says nothing is off limits. I believe in this book and I’ll stoop to any means necessary to convince people they should read it.

Are you ready?

puss n boots gif.gif

Please buy my book so I don’t end up a crazy cat lady, alone and destitute…

Anything?

No?

Damn.

I did learn that book branding is very important. Do I know what that means? Yes, yes I believe I do. I believe it means that it’s necessary to be consistent with the book series’ covers and color scheme. So, I made a decision that all of the book covers for this series will stay with the black/red color scheme, so The Fixer series will be easy to recognize (I’m probably going to keep the silhouette design too).

So, here’s the cover:

The Fixer The Naked Man for coupon referral

And I want 10 points for remembering to put the cover in the blog post.

Thank you.

I shouldn’t admit this but I was going to end this post when I realized I hadn’t put in the links to purchase the book (paperback and ebook). That’s a -5 points. Here they are:

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

Okay, I’m going to get back to working on Book 2 of The Fixer series. It’s called The Killing Kind and it’s a full length novel.

Oh, wait. Sharing. I forgot to ask about the sharing. Right. If you like this post, can you please share and retweet. I would appreciate it.

And if you have any marketing suggestions you’d like to share with me… thank you.

Seriously, I hope you’ll give the series a try. I think you’ll like it. I hope you’ll like it.  And it’s received some really good reviews from people who are not my relatives.

Okay, that does it. We covered a lot. Do you think I’m getting the hang of this marketing business?

Yeah, me neither.

Take care,

J.

October 5, 2015

What I did on my Fall (Book Research) Vacation

I just came back from a vacation in Burlington, Vermont. I like Vermont. I’ve been there before. That’s one of the reasons I chose to use it for some scene settings for The Fixer series. I took day trips, finding places that will be useful for the books. For example, I visited a museum, and a farm. I saw sheep and goats and baby cows at the farm. I didn’t pet them, of course, because, you know, yuck. I think I’ve said all I need to. I took a boat ride, too.

Yes, my vacation/book research trip was a time to recharge the creative juices and come up with new ideas. I found it to be a pleasant, non-stressful, and relaxing experience.

Until my cell phone died.

No, I don’t mean the battery died and I needed to recharge the phone.

I mean, the cell phone died.

Think Monty Python and the Dead Parrot sketch. The cell phone was no more. It had ceased to be.

Shit.

There was a lot of this:

 

giphy

But, (and I want points for this), not this:

 

peter-finch-als-howard-beale

And definitely not this:

 

Okay, there was some of that but it was on the INSIDE.

Let me admit it now: I am not a technologically savvy person. At all. I use a computer because no one makes word processors anymore. I grew up with twelve channels on television, phone booths, and vinyl records. Vinyl. Does anyone remember vinyl????

Having said that…

While I don’t use 90% of what a cell phone can do, I am attached to my cell phone. I may not Instagram or Snapchat, but I do text, tweet, and Facebook post. I check my email, I take pictures AND text those pictures. I’m connected. My phone is never far from me, always within reach.

So, I’m in my hotel room when my phone wants to do a software update. My phone does what it wants without consulting me. I don’t like that.

So it updates.

And then everything goes to shit. How do I know something is wrong?

Because it keeps restarting itself over and over again.

And then there was some of this:

lily

NOT on the inside.

I tried to be reasonable about this. I wasn’t in a far off land, in the untamed wilds. I’m in Vermont. The state is classified as civilization. They have malls. I can verify this. I’ve been in one. Loss of my cell phone will not leave me wandering aimlessly, clothing shredded, hair disheveled, begging by the side of the road for some Good Samaritan to take pity on me. A few hours earlier, I had just eaten a breakfast of hot cakes (with real Vermont syrup), two eggs scrambled dry, and a fresh fruit plate.

Clearly, this industrialized nation, first-world problem does not qualify as a call to go to DEFCON 1.

But I don’t have my phone.

Listen to me: I’m not connected. Do you understand? The lines of communication have been severed. I’m cut off, do you hear me?

Cut. Off.

Just last week, I was driving into work, listening to the DJ’s conduct an experiment: they didn’t touch or even look at their phone for an hour.

Child’s play, people. Child’s play.

Now I’m sitting in the hotel room, bereft of my phone, flipping channels on the TV. I watch Dr. Oz instructing a woman to wrap up her phone and bury it in a container of rice (don’t ask me why, I turned it on in the middle of the segment). Then he gives the woman a cup of tea to ease her emotional anxiety because she doesn’t have her phone.

Cup of tea my ass. I started drinking. A lot.

But it wasn’t just the dying of the phone that made me pop a cork. Nope. It was what came after.

I need to contact my cell phone provider. No problem. I’m prepared. I have my laptop.

And that’s when the universe starts screwing with me.

  1. The wi-fi network is moving like it’s 1999.
  2. I get to the vendor website.
  3. The website refuses to load.
  4. I tap keys.
  5. Nothing happens.
  6. I hit keys with a vigorous, yet controlled force.
  7. Still nothing.
  8. Scripts are refusing to load.
  9. Websites are not responding.
  10. WTF?????
  11. I get a pop-up message.
  12. “Your browser is out of date.”

Of course it is.

Now, it was more like this:

meltdown-gif-lol

Still on the inside.

Why? Because I’m a babypants who wants the f&%@!g laptop to work so I can get my f$%@g phone fixed.

I decide to cool off and email a few people so they know why I’ve dropped off the grid.

  1. I open my email program.
  2. I tap to create an email message.
  3. I enter the recipient’s name.
  4. I can’t type the message because I can’t see the message box to write a message and the side bar to navigate to the message box is not there. It has gone bye-bye.
  5. I can’t email.

And then we moved on to this:

arnold_o_GIFSoupcom

Still on the inside.

I finally find a phone number for my cell phone service provider. I call. The representative is very nice. She speaks half to me and half to herself about what she’s trying to do to help me. I hear things like “Let me just see something else here,” and “Let me just check one more thing…”

I calmly thank her for her assistance and wait for her to finally come back on the line and explain to me there’s nothing she can do and the phone is crapped out and done.

Which she does.

She doesn’t use the phrase “crapped out.” That was me.

I give her the zip code where I’m staying.

There is no store in the area.

Of course not.

The rep explains that since I’ve been a good customer for twenty years (yes, you read that right) and my warranty only expired last month, they will send me a replacement phone, to my hotel, fedex delivery.

I thank her.

“What about my pictures?” I ask.

“Do you have a Google account to backup….”

tangled blah blah blah

I don’t understand a word she says. I translate what she says to mean this: You’re shit out of luck and you’ve just lost everything on your phone.

Why didn’t she just say that to begin with? That I understand.

I use the hotel phone and call my friend Rebecca to tell her, “No I’m not ignoring you or your texts,” and explain my predicament.

Rebecca asks, “Did you back up all your stuff on your phone?”

I explain that the rep tried to explain the backup process to me but she probably could have put her time to better use. Doing anything else.

Rebecca asks, “Do you have a Google account?”

“I think so.”

“Then what you do is….”

elaine%20yada%20yada

“I hear you speaking,” I say, “I know there are words coming out of your mouth but they’re not making any sense to me.”

She laughs.

I deserve it.

We hang up.

I decide to load the latest Internet Explorer version and attempt to send an email.

The universe decides to stand down from screwing with me and I get that done.

There is nothing to do but wait for the phone.

Day One: I feel lost and lonely, unsettled and anxious. I don’t even know what time it is. Who owns a watch? Who needs a watch? I have a phone. Sorry. I had a phone.

Day Two: My comfort level is slowly rising. I’m off the grid. I have no idea what’s going on with Facebook or Twitter. I’m okay with that.

Day Three: I am entering a phone free nirvana of centered calm. I am re-connecting to the human race and it’s a beautiful thing.

And now I was feeling like this:

happy dance

I feel the power. I feel the FREEDOM! I, like so many others, am too connected to electronics. We spend our lives looking down at our phones instead of looking up, looking our friends and loved ones in the eye, making contact and truly engaging in real dialogue and conversation.

This could be a turning point for me, a moment of true change and transformation, a moment of –

The hotel room phone rings.

It’s the front desk calling.

“Miss Rosenblatt, we have a package here for you…”

My phone. MY PHONE!!!!

 

What was I saying?

 

 

 

April 6, 2015

Inside The Writer’s Room

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a very happy holiday. For those of you who celebrate Easter, I hope the mutant sized bunny, who for some unknown reason does NOT frighten the crap out of children, brought you all the chocolate you desire.

Personally, I skipped the basket offering of the giant Lepus and went right for the pint of Ben and Jerry ‘s Phish Food, (I’m not hung up on ceremony, just give me a spoon).

While snacking and waiting for Alan, my whiz of a graphic designer, to finish the e-cover for The Fixer: The Naked Man, I got to thinking about a book I saw years ago in the library. It was a collection of photographs of the work spaces of writers.

I must admit I liked the idea of a sneak peek into the hidden writing cubbies where stories are crafted.

So…I got to thinking…maybe it would be fun to give a little photo tour of the place where The Fixer came to life.

Let’s get right to where the magic happens, shall we?

 

20150405_123703

I find a dedicated workspace, organized for maximum efficiency, is crucial to the creative process.

One out of two ain’t bad.

A word of advice, if your workspace isn’t conducive to creativity due to excessive clutter, you may find yourself sprawling,  creating more makeshift areas for your work:

 

20150405_114533

Oops.

Now, let’s talk about inspiration. Every writer needs inspiration, a muse,  some inexplicable person, place, or thing that mysteriously aids the creative process. If you looked closely  at the pic of my desk,  your eyes did not deceive you…

 

wpid-wp-1428249117298.jpeg

There he is, The Wookie himself (bobblehead version) to provide endless hours of entertainment and inspiration (okay, not hours, more like seconds, but who’s counting).

Factoid sidebar: I do a bitchin’ Chewbacca the Wookie imitation, but it does require consumption of a milk-based product first.

But I digress.

So, how do I keep my laser focus during the creative process? Well, it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum, like trips to the store. Making sure to stock up on the essentials will give you more precious writing time:

 

20150329_172950

And let’s not forget the essentials for non writing time. Rest and relaxation for the brain is key, making quality downtime a necessity, not a luxury , allowing me to return to the work rejuvenated and refreshed. I do this in several ways:

 

20150405_123228

Followed by…

 

wpid-wp-1428250006807.jpeg

 

Binge watching can be extremely therapeutic. Believe me, you think nothing’s going on in the brain while watching the entire season of The Big Bang Theory in one sitting. So not true. The wheels are turning.

And for the record, the tv is not old, it’s vintage.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the mini tour. I’ve got to get back to editing. I can’t wait for the e-cover to be done. I’m excited to show you! Another sneak peek of Chapter 1 will be coming soon!

Take care,

J.

December 2, 2013

New Judy Rooney Comic!!!

Hello Everyone!!

Judy Rooney is back and she’s the coach of the New York Rangers!!! Since I’m a diehard hockey fan how could I not have Judy working for the New York Rangers in her “secret life”?

The Secret Life of Judy Rooney: Drop The Puck Judy! is now exclusively at Amazon Kindle for $1.99

Here’s a sample 🙂

 

MDS00074 - Copy

MDS00076 - Copy

 

MDS00081 - Copy

MDS00083 - Copy

 

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