Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates

Overpriced before Halloween and discounted after Christmas. And it tastes good when you’re indulging but afterwards you kind of feel sick to your stomach.

Blogging is a weird thing. It gives you a feeling of community amongst people who are, for the most part, nothing more than names on screens. I’ve maintained from the beginning that this blog was about my life. And so it’s been a bit of an ongoing disaster – one chapter after another in the ongoing saga that is Sandra Ruttan’s twisted little life. I’ve said things I’ve regretted. I’ve been yelled at over a few things. I’ve received emails of support from people sharing their personal stories of similar struggles.

It’s been a wild ride.

Next week will mark my one year anniversary blogging. It is all Stuart MacBride’s fault, he of the Not To Be Read Before Teatime or it will make Val McDermid sick to her stomach blog. Poor Val. Then again, she read Dying Light which was appropriately titled for MacBride’s insidious plan to kill people through weight loss.

Now, originally, I figured I’d do something festive or reflective next week. But my post about bridges prompted a lot of remarks that got me thinking. I know a lot of people say cut bait and move on. I know that there’s a point in life were you have to decide you aren’t going to take any more shit.

I’ve thought a lot about where that point should be. And I have to say that I think that point should be where you feel under pressure to give up yourself.

Everyone has different objectives in life. For some people, nothing less than supremacy will do. For others, measured success is enough to satisfy. Some people go straight to the top. Others take a more scenic route on their rise to fame and fortune.

As far as I’m concerned, the most important thing is that you don’t lose yourself along the way.

To be honest, I felt like I was losing me. Lately, I’ve felt pulled in a thousand directions, to the point of snapping. The bottom line for me is that in my career my first priority is the writing. All of the other incidental stuff that goes with the terrain falls somewhere behind my own work and Spinetingler. I’ve talked to other writers who’ve given up blogging because it was impeding on their work. And before life gets any crazier, I’m drawing a line in the sand and I’m going to work very hard to overcome one of my weaknesses. I have no balance. I’m always all or nothing, in everything. Obsessive, a complete workaholic.

Kevin always says he can’t bring home chocolates, because I have no self control and will eat the whole box and make myself sick.

I’m going to do things to make sure I’m getting R&R. Like putting down read 2 chapters of Buried on my list for tomorrow. That way, when I do, I can feel like I’ve completed another item on my agenda instead of feeling guilty for taking time to read.

And I’m going to turn my computer off after 11 pm. And some weekends, I’m not going to blog.

Oooohhhh. I’m not sure if my body can handle the shock to my system all at once. I might have to take baby steps.

And in case any of you were wondering, off-hand, about that silly arbitrary target I set for myself to reach by the time I had my one year anniversary… I crossed it today.

Now, as for contests, I want to reiterate that I didn’t judge Cozy Noir. In fact, yesterday when I spoke to our winner, he laughed when I said I still hadn’t read his story. But that’s how much I trust my judges. I only read stories before announcements if there is an extreme difference of opinion.

Now that the announcements have been made, I’ve been reading some of them. And I have to say the ones we’ve picked are great.

Plus we have some other stories going in the next issue that are excellent.

And I’m working on a third interview for the issue that is going to be amongst my most memorable. I have to say all three of my victims – Jess Lourey, Mark Billingham and Duane Swierczynksi – have proven unique subjects. And their interviews overlap and intersect in very strange ways.

For today, I’ll be happy about the next issue, anyway. Four weeks from now I’ll be uttering curses about pulling the plug on Spinetingler, which is always the way right before we go live because of all the work involved. But until then, congrats to Angie and all those who placed. You might want to check out Angie’s happy dance.

Those boys are a bit disturbing.

Bonus Payment – this joke courtesy of Bonnie. Who likely doesn’t want me to share that.

The Pentagon recently found it had too many generals and offered an early retirement bonus. They promised any general who retired straight away his full annual benefits plus $10,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two parts of the general's body, with the general getting to select any pair of points he wished.

The first man, an Air Force general, accepted. He asked the pension man to measure from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. Six feet. He walked out with a check of $720,000.

The second man, an Army general, asked them to measure from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. Eight feet. He walked out with a check for $960,000.

When the third general, a grizzled old Marine, was asked where to measure, he told the pension man ... "From the tip of my penis to the bottom of my testicles."

The pension man suggested that perhaps the Marine general might like to reconsider, pointing out the nice checks the previous two generals had received. The Marine insisted and the pension expert said that would be fine, but that he'd better get the medical officer to do the measuring.

The medical officer attended and asked the general to drop the pants. He did. The medical officer placed the tape on the tip of the general's penis and began to work back. "My God!" he said. "Where are your testicles?"

The general replied, "In Vietnam."


M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm looking forward to reading the stories, Sandra. The Cozy Noir contest was a great idea. And, agreed. Angie's a talented lady who's definitely going places.

Bill Cameron said...

Testicle jokes make the boys cry. There are a few tears of laughter mixed in, sure.


And how delightful to hear about Angie! I love her title!

S. W. Vaughn said...


Congrats to Angie!

Sandra, we'll forgive you if you don't blog on weekends *sniffle* honest.

Seriously, though. We all need priorities. I'm glad to hear you're setting some for you, because it seems from what I know that you are a lot like me. The needs of everyone else come before your own.

Take back you! LOL I'm just glad you aren't giving it up entirely!

DesLily said...

congrats on your blogging anniversary that's coming up. Mine passed only this month too.. hard to believe isn't it? Time flies..

enjoy your weekends off.. and remember, much as everyone enjoys reading your blog.. it's NOT A JOB!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Marines are so manly, they don't need testicles.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say I NEED mine either, but by golly that doesn't stop me from using them as often as possible.

angie said...

LOL, Stephen! I have a feeling he might like to have his balls back, though.

Thanks for the shout-out, Sandra. I'm more excited than a hairless chiuhuahua with 4 shots of espresso in her! That doesn't quite sound right, but you get what I mean.

So, so glad you're going to focus on taking car of yourself. Even if it means no Sandra posts on the weekend.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Angie's a great person too. When talent and pure nice intersect, it's so easy to be enthusiastic!

Bill, sorry about that. Maybe my post should have been carrying a 'This Might Make A Grown Man Cry' warning.

SW, you're so cute. I didn't say I'd take every weekend off. But sometimes. ;)

DesLily, yeah, where does the time go? And if this was a job, I'd bitch about my boss regularly.

Stephen, are you speaking from personal experience?

Bill... TMI! Geesh, and people say I'm too honest!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Angie, there will occasionally be posts on the weekends.

For you and SW.

I might get really bold and skip a Thursday sometime, though!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you got a testicle joke from Bonnie!

Anonymous said...

What? I use them as a festive centerpiece on the dinner table? What did you think I meant?

S. W. Vaughn said...

Yay! Posts just for me and Angie on the weekends! :-)

That means only Angie and I get to comment, right? LOL

Sandra Ruttan said...

Dana, I know! Cool, eh?

Bill, the mental image. Oh, my god, out damn thought, out!

SW, that would mean you'd only have to beat one person here to post first. ;)

Anonymous said...

My work here is done.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I loved thast joke, just didn't dare post it...ROFLOL!