51 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration: Update

  1. I made a quick pickle for the first time yesterday — half a red onion thinly sliced, the juice of 1 lime, a big pinch of kosher salt, a small pinch of granulated sugar — and I was really pleasantly surprised by how simple and delicious it was! Had it with my chili for lunch today. It makes me want to see what else I can pickle haha

    1. Very thinly sliced red cabbage is also good for putting on top of tacos, chilli, etc. The lime softens it a little.

    2. Dilly green beans are good, and pickled carrot, radish and jalapenos. It has a name , but I don’t remember what.

  2. I love that interchange. It definitely made me smile.

    I am busy trying to get my parent’s house ready for sale. It is not a process that is smile inducing.

    Fortunately, the puppy is doing her best to induce smiles, when she’s not driving me crazy by barking at inappropriate times or demanding to be fed 24/7.

  3. Asshat – someone who wears his ass as a hat; up his ass is where his head is. “He has his head up his ass.” Asshat is the shortest way to say he needs a viewport in his belly button.


    Asshat is one of a family of slang terms insulting “idiots” or “jerks” with terms related to ass and/or head: assface, asshead, asshole, blockhead, and dumbhead, among others. Asshead, for instance, was used to mean “fool” in the 16th century, though ass is also historically associated with “donkey” in addition to “butt.”

    As a popular alternative to asshole and similar terms, asshat emerged at least by the early 2000s. The first entry on Urban Dictionary appears in 2002, defining the term as “One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat.” The term alludes to other expressions like “pull your head out of your own ass” or “your head is so far up your ass,” ways of saying a person is too self-absorbed or oblivious to their surroundings, hence “stupid.”

    The phrase “wearing your ass as a hat,” a possible source of asshat, appears in some notable films and television shows. In Clint Eastwood’s 1976 film The Outlaw Josey Wales, a character orders another to “get back in line before I kick you so hard you’ll be wearin’ your ass for a hat.” Later, in the 1991 movie City Slickers, one character says the line “I like your ass. Can I wear it as a hat?” Wearing an ass as a hat is also used as a joke in an episode of the sitcom That ‘70s Show from 2000: “RED: Eric, if you don’t want to wear your ass for a hat, you’ll get up here, pronto! DONNA: You better go. You know how that ass-hat screws up your hair.”

    1. I must say, I’ve always loved the Southern US expression, “Why, bless your heart”….

    2. I’ve always been partial to addlepated, even if my spellcheck doesn’t recognize it.

    3. I’ve recently seen ‘backwards hamsters’. I’m not quite sure, really, what it means… but it just works, yanno. 🙂

  4. Jenny, you and Bob both sound weary.

    When you get the first / truck draft of book 3 done you can slow down, right?

    1. No, then we have to rewrite.

      There was one scene where I didn’t have the middle done, so I put a note to Bob in all caps. His reply is in the regular font, and then my reply is in all caps again:


      Don’t forget the zombies


      We are very, very tired.
      And I kind of want that on a t-shirt. Or maybe that’s my band’s name. If I ever have a band.

      1. I fear intimate contact with the zombies would take the book in an entirely different direction. Not that the zombies would mind per se…

      2. I’m suddenly reminded of Jo March wearing a cap or hat and the family then knowing that “genius burns.” That could be a band name or a t-shirt.

    2. OK anything goes in this particular blog, right?

      I’ve been pondering your avatar for a while now. What’s it of?

  5. I think that would make a great band name. If you’re that tired, maybe give yourselves a day off to catch your breath? You are working speed of light fast.

    1. We should post occasional jokes for Jenny and Bob. Laughter works wonders.

      “If a space ship is traveling at the speed of light, and someone turns on the headlights, does anything happen?”
      Steven Wright

      1. Thass not a joke, thassa thought ‘speriment, the kind drunk physics students have. The light is blue-shifted, that is, the wavelengths are shortened, so now the beams are x or gamma rays instead of visible light. If they have a near miss, the folks they nearly hit will be wondering what killed them as they die from radiation poisoning. If they aren’t just cooked outright.

        How many drunk physics students does it take to change a lightbulb? Pi. It’s a nice round number…


        There are many problems with math puns. Calculus jokes are mostly derivative, trigonometry jokes are too graphic, algebra jokes are usually formulaic, and arithmetic jokes are pretty basic. But the occasional statistics joke is an outlier.

        Occasional joke: I am occasionally forced to wear women’s clothes. It’s a real drag.

        Sometimes I wish that I was a physics Professor named Albert and that occasional situations would arise where somebody would come fetch me for consultation. I would burst into the room wearing a terry aerobics headband and exclaim, “did somebody say let’s get physics Al?

        Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

        The recently concluded Father’s Day made me recall that one time when I was a kid having trouble getting to sleep because I was afraid of the dark. My father said to me, “Son, there is nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on – except for the occasional swarm of bats. So, g’night.”

        A blonde walks into a department store and tells the salesman, “Hi, I’m looking to buy a sexual sofa.”
        The salesman, at first confused, suggests, “Oh, ma’am you must mean a *sectional* sofa, right?”
        The blonde replies, “No I’m pretty sure it’s a sexual sofa, my husband said he’d like an occasional piece in the living room.”

        Some new friends of mine were looking through the photos on my phone… They saw a ton of pictures of food, and the occasional pictures of my dog. And then they asked if I was Asian! [Joke may be (IS) very racist. Please ignore. Besides, they were pictures of my cat.]

        Anybody out there interested in having occasional platonic hangout sessions? Asking for a friend.

        1. OMG, Gary. Those are great. I’m copying and sending to my daughter, she and her husband are both math geeks. She teaches HS math, he teaches 5th grade math & science. Not exactly physics, but close enough.

  6. Well, in no-topic land, after a month or so of waiting around on retail scheduling or whatever, the crush has finally committed to Saturday’s long-distance drive date to see The Lion King. *faint* *thud*

    We’ll see how it goes, of course. I was having my doubts here for quite awhile and I was getting quite snitty at him for not answering (as a theater emergency came up). but finally, an answer has been reached.


  7. I am having frustrations with a new trend of releasing an anthology of ebooks for a limited time only. Why? I hate this concept. What if I don’t find out about it until much later? Grrr. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Of course I usually only buy an anthology for one specific author. I sample the others and have found new authors, but sometimes I only read the one story. So I may not be the target audience.

    1. I’ve never heard of such a thing! PS – I added you to an email thread Jen+B and I are on. Sorry to be stalker-y. If you ignore it, we’ll just pretend it never happened.

      1. OOOO! Thanks. This sounds fun.

        And I think that the limited time thing is a new development, but I am severely annoyed. I budget my book money, darnnit.

        1. No kidding. Is there a way to lodge a protest? and double PS – I did try to ask you on yesterday’s Happiness post at the end but then I got impatient…

          1. Sorry. Didn’t go back to that one today. I should really turn on the email notifications for replies, but I can’t access them at work anyway. And yesterday was just crazy at the day job.

            Should I be seeing something popping up in my email? I haven’t yet and I checked my spam folder just in case.

          2. Yes I sent it two days ago! To your Gmail address. And as an aside, we can set up this blog to get reply notifications? How do we do that?

          3. Tammy, I went back to the happiness post and found your message. I will email you when I get out of work 🙂

    2. Lupe, the reason is the authors often agree to hand over exclusive rights to a story for x amount of time, basically for a brief marketing campaign (exposing readers to new authors, as you mentioned). Allowing the anthology to hold those rights for an indefinite amount of time is not particularly appealing to authors, so it would be a hard sell from the anthology publisher’s perspective.

      -Signed, an author who participates in some (annoying) time-limited anthologies

      1. Thanks Nancy,

        I am glad that it benefits you as an author. But as a reader/purchaser I am still annoyed. The book I wanted to recommend on Good Book Thursday is no longer available and I think that between preorder and purchase it was only up for two months tops. That seems like it would hurt you on word of mouth purchases, but what do I know?

        1. Two months?! That’s an awfully short period of time. The ones I’ve done/signed up for are on pre-order for a minimum of six months, then (IIRC) available for another six.

          Thanks for sharing that reader perspective!

  8. Donald Trump’s home in Florida is being ransacked for clues to his misbehavior, tra-la.

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

  9. Oh. Also, Jenny was the first to bring up zombies in this thread. 🙂 Will wonders never cease!

  10. The dotter and I just went to Golden Corral, the Restaurant of the Diet Apocalypse. 500 yards shy of the restaurant, my “tire low” warning light came on and the car started doing that flub-lub-lub-lub flat tire sound. I don’t know why – it was only flat on the bottom. With wire sticking through. So the dotter and I team-changed it, cleaned our hands with dude wipes, and continued to GC. I only filled my plate once.

    Now I’m calling it a night. My energy is all used up.

  11. I always figured asshat was one of those insults that didn’t need a definition. It was always effective on its own. A self-sufficient insult. Then you made up one and it just clicked. Thanks.

    From time to time I try to make asshole do extra duty other than describing a person. There’s no rhyme nor reason but sometimes saying it was an assholier kind of day or that something was an assholier thing to do works for me.

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