Category Archives: Having Fun

The limitations of Google Translate

This one is a howler.

Website statistics

I just looked at my website’s statistics for September. The number one search item that brought people to my site was one word in the title of my short story “Tiffany Gets Her Boobs.”

Guess which one.

I don’t think I got many bookmarks from that crowd.

“Tiffany” a Kindle Humor bestseller!

“Tiffany Gets Her Boobs” now ranks 13th on the Kindle Free Download bestseller list in the Humor category! 

(That’s after only about a week of its price being dropped to free.)
 
Written under the pen name David Bawdy, “Tiffany” is a fun, short story prequel to Bubba Goes for Broke and has been very well received (including mention in Kris Rusch’s Recommended Reading list). 

If I want to stretch the truth, I can now refer to myself as “Bestselling author David Hendrickson.”
 
I kinda like the sound of that. And who better to stretch the truth than a fiction writer?  I am, after all, paid to lie. It’s a job requirement!

Going to the movies

Here’s how you can tell someone else (in my case, my wife) has always been getting to the movie theatre first and buying the tickets: it’s finally you in line and you hand the guy a twenty for two tickets and can’t understand why he’s looking at you for more.

Monday morning humor

I got a customer service email from Amazon this morning with the letter “o” missing from “Hello.” Yup, that’s my Monday morning. How did they know?

Vanity Fair used to annoy me but not anymore

There’s something wrong about a magazine having its Table of Contents on page 38 and what’s more, it not being a complete table but rather one that just lists the feature stories.  If you want a listing of the columns — and yes, it was a column I was looking for in Vanity Fair — you have to flip to page 64.

I mean, I get it.  The whole idea is for me to flip through 37 pages of advertisements in search of Table of Contents, Part I, and then flip through more pictures of blue-eyed women and guys looking like I never have nor never will look like to get to Table of Contents, Part II.

But here’s the thing.   I’m not going to shop at Hugo Boss or Ralph Lauren or Bloomingdale’s just because I flipped, annoyed, past their advertisements.  I won’t start using Clinique spot remover or wearing Guess apparel, not even that fishnet-and-garters thingie on page 22.

I was wondering if Vanity Fair might not do those of us without a shopping gene in our bodies a favor by granting us a special edition that has the Table of Contents right on pages one and two.

Then I took a closer look at the cover and saw that Vanity Fair is already providing a special edition that goes even one better.  If you look really closely (and squint a bit if you’ve got eyes like mine), you can see the page number in very fine print of every article showcased on the cover.

So to Vanity Fair, I salute you and say in the immortal words of Emily Litella, “Never mind.”

Believe in miracles?

According to a friend on Facebook (I’m too lazy to look it up), 73 percent of people polled by Newsweek thought the question, “Do you believe in miracles,” was a good question for a first date.

My thought is that it’s a matter of context.  It all depends on whether it’s a reference to religion, the 1980 Olympic hockey team, or whether they’ve got a shot at getting lucky.

A crash in the night

I woke up at 2:59 this morning to a loud crash. I thought sure someone was in the house but my search (wielding, of course, a fearsome steak knife) turned up nothing.

Some detective work after I got up  concluded that it must have been snow avalanching off the back roof onto the bulkhead.  But I can’t really tell because you can only see that part of the roof from the backyard and I’m not willing to trudge through snow that deep to find out for sure. 

The alternate theory is that the crash in the night is connected to me reading Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars right now.  The supporting evidence?  The snow on the roof at the front of the house hasn’t moved an inch and remains about two or three feet high.

Author Photos: Going with “The Big Goofy”

Some people seem to have been born in front of a camera.  In every photograph, they look flawless.  Perfect smiles.  Hair never out of place.  An illustrated dictionary would include a shot of them under the entry for photogenic.

Not me.

If I adopt a serious pose, I look like a serial killer. And unless I’m flat out laughing, my tortured grin conjures images of a hostage told to smile despite the gun sticking in his back.

On a photogenic scale of zero to ten, I’m somewhere above absolute zero but it’s a pretty small fractional number. And if my wife is taking the picture, I lose even that fractional number. I adore the woman, but you might say that she’s the Mr. Magoo of photography.  If she’s taking a headshot and actually gets the entire head in the picture, it’s close to a miracle.

So when Mark Harding, editor of Music for Another Land (which will include my short story “Blue Note Heaven”), wrote asking for a headshot for the ebook version of the anthology, I winced.

I dutifully borrowed my daughter’s digital camera and tried the combo from Hell: my wife, the world’s most incompetent photographer, and me, the world’s worst subject.

The following wasn’t the worst shot; it was a typical one.

After one look at these results, my daughter rode in to the rescue.  We met for dinner and she took a couple dozen shots, a few of the serious author look — a.k.a. Dave the Serial Killer — before coaxing me to laugh if that’s what it took to get rid of  Dave the Tortured Hostage.

I was left with a choice between “Serial Killer” and what I came to think of as “The Big Goofy.”  Surely I couldn’t go with the latter.  Authors are supposed to be dignified and serious, aren’t they?  I’d need to go with a shot like this:

Then I began looking at other author headshots and, no offense to my betters, but a lot my partners in crime also looked like serial killers.

Which got me to thinking (always a dangerous thing).   I’m a very happy person.  Not every minute of every day, but I wish I had a dollar for every time I turned to my wife and said, “Isn’t life great?  I’m living a charmed life.”

I’m really a smiling kind of guy.

I also enjoyed writing “Blue Note Heaven.”  Not every minute of it, of course.  There were those inevitable slam-your-head-against-the-wall moments, but I liked writing it and I’m proud of the result.

And I’m delighted that Mark Harding is publishing the story in his anthology.  It looks like a winner.

So why should I look author-serial-killer  serious?  Shouldn’t I look happy?

Of course I should.

So when an e-book reader of “Blue Note Heaven” sees my photograph, they’re going to get “The Big Goofy.”  I hope they look at it and say, “He’s having fun.”