105 Ways to Give a Book

Festivus: The Airing of the Grievances 2008

Yes, it’s Festivus, the holiday for the rest-of-us, and time for the airing of the grievances. You have free space in the comments — my gift to you this holiday season — or you can always go to the official site (you know, no guilt or anything).

Boy, was I pissed last year. I don’t have so many annoyances to vent about today, just three big ones:
  • My computer is so slow lately that I’d be better off with a telegraph and an Etch-A-Sketch. This has got to change. Soon.

  • I need a big Pause button for Time, so I can stop everything else from intruding and take care of my house so it doesn’t look like a “before” on Clean Sweep’s hit list. (BTW, it amuses me to no end that for years, my kids would stop their playing momentary by telling the other to “pause the game,” like it was a DVD or Nintendo.)

  • My kids are brilliant, loving, and kind, but can’t manage to put away their own stuff or comprehend that failure to do so is making it twice as hard for me to tackle the house clutter which makes me unhappy. Ditto on the husband. (Happy Birthday, Honey. Love you!)
Okay, your turn. Anyone want to start with the weather?

26 comments:

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, I get to be first! My agent did not sub ANYthing of mine in 2008 so I had to ditch her! Now I feel like the whole year has been wasted. My very cute picture book is likely to go out of print because NO ONE (including me) is marketing it properly! So, I may be a bookless author soon. UGHHHHHHHHHH!

Thanks, I feel better now :)

EM said...

How about the way my otherwise fabulous husband is incapable of placing the dirty dishes IN THE DISHWASHER -- instead putting them in the sink, which is THREE INCHES FROM THE DISHWASHER. Gaah.

Bill said...

Okay, so I was going to gripe about hitting an all-too-uncomfortable birthday milestone today, but then our oldest made me breakfast this morning. All right, so it was just a bowl of Lucky Charms and a bagel, but she wrote “Happy Birthday” in cake icing on both. (And she made a Festivus pole out of an old paper towel roll to boot.) Leaving aside the ridiculous sugar overdose, that gesture kicked my day off to a great start. And ever since, I’ve been getting all kinds of birthday wishes (gotta love Facebook). So I can’t really complain about the whole birthday thing anymore without feeling a little phony.

So onto my backup grievance... my new job responsibilities have made me so busy (or, more importantly, so stressed) that I haven’t been able to make time to finish (not to mention promote) the new movie that I really should have gotten out before the end of the year. Which is making me feel crazy guilty, given the number of people who worked their collective butts off on it.

Stupid promotion...

(What, did you think I was going to complain about anyone in particular here? What am I, stupid?) ;-)

Mama reads! said...

My biggest complaint for this year is that our lovely home in North Little Rock, AR has not sold for over a year and half. What kind of awful luck do we have that we choose to move just as the market takes a huge dive. We have it priced so low we will make no equity in the property and it is making us almost bankrupt with paying two mortgages. Now I have to balance that with so many other things going well this year: my children are lovely, new puppy just arrived, my job that I love. But jeez could the house just sell already!! I feel much better now thanks!

TrulyBookworm said...

This is pretty trivial but it's really bothering me, so I appreciate the space to vent. I am upset that I have received only ONE Christmas card from the dozen or so friends that I normally hear from by now. My cards went out a couple of weeks ago. Maybe they feel that Arizona is another planet (we used to live in Ohio)?

Terry said...

Oh, the spammers! Once again this morning the box is filled with crap I need to wade through and fix. It frustrates me to no end how much time people spend in trying to circumvent (or create bots that circumvent) anti-spam tripwires. If only that energy went to the greater good. Thanks, MotherReader, I needed that!

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

The weather? Several more inches of snow would have been nice. And what we did get (allegedly six inches/15 cm) is turning into ice. 8(

My main complaint is the Xmas carols. To begin with, we've been listening to them over the PA system at work since 1 November (yes, the day after Hallowe'en). And of course, all the radio stations (including the oldies station and the two classical stations I listen to) now keep mixing them in with the music I want to hear. So far I've been able to change stations whenever I hear one; if it gets to the point where all three stations are playing one at the same time, I'm just going to turn the radio off until mid-January.

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

I lost my flash drive with my latest genealogy back up so my genealogy program is back to August 2008. Sigh. I hadn't done that much research this fall but having to reconstruct it... Plus there are some other files I miss from that flash drive.

I had to get a new laptop with Vista on it and my genealogy program has major glitches with Vista. GRRRR.

Finances are a mess too. At least I haven't been laid off from my job like some of my friends are about to be...

Saints and Spinners said...

Yes! The airing of the grievances. I'm not a fan of snow, and one of the reasons Seattle was so attractive to me was the idea of the mild (albeit rainy) winters. We've got lots and lots of snow, and I don't even mind it as long as the power stays on (which it has! huzzah), but how difficult it is to get to places. A mom on my local listserv wrote in yesterday asking if there were any emergency medical services nearby because her little guy was sick and she couldn't get to doctor's offices that were open. There's been sickness in our house, too. We had to wait over the weekend and then have me walk to the pharmacy yesterday to get antibiotics for my daughter. Sickness is really my big grievance.

I'm also really pissed off that as a world community, we're not putting an end to hunger, genocide, and other outrages. It seems that beyond writing to elected representatives and giving $$ when able to do so, there's nothing I can do. There are all sorts of articles exhorting us to DO something. What can we do? If I were a multimillionaire, I think I'd be able to make some sort of difference (at least in terms of influence + money), but on the local level, it feels like bleeding the turnip.

I feel better enough to start doing some research now. Thanks!

Michele Thornton said...

What a great way to vent. I'll be happy to say good bye to 2008. Economy, my mother widowed, lost several beloved cats to old age, big house repairs, low income. And now, 2008 is LITERALLY dumping on us one last time (snow snow snow). Good riddance to the year, and here's hoping 09 is better!

ALittleGuitar said...

my big, overriding gripe is that everybody has already mentioned my gripes -- uncooperative computer, chronically messy kids, ugly weather.

ok, now who's ready for the feats of strength??

jone said...

You need to be in the northwest where life is almost at a standstill with ALL the snow. My grievances? Hmmm...mostly weather related and I still cannot locate my writing notebook...but the poverty and eceonomy trumps all of that.

Abby said...

Grievances, grievances... It'd be nice if Louisville was about 250 miles closer to Chicago than it is... but aside from hiring Mibs's grandfather in Savvy, I guess I'm out of luck.

I wish my cold would hurry up and work its way out of my system. And I wish it was either warmer in KY or snowing (a white Christmas would be so nice... but it looks like we're all lined up for a wet, gray, ugly Christmas... oh well).

Happy Festivus!!

Abby said...

Ohhh I thought of one more. I'm going to miss my best friend this Christmas because I have to head north to work this weekend. And, okay, I haven't called her either but she hasn't called me in months. AND she's only been to visit me one time in the almost-two-years since I moved. True, she's busy and married and stuff (which is why I wait for her to call me when she gets a free moment), but c'mon!

Okay. I feel better. :)

adrienne said...

Okay, so I needed to pick up my contact lenses today. Let me mention that we've gotten two feet of snow the last few days, and it is STILL SNOWING. So because I wanted to make sure the optical office was open before I made the trek this morning I (1) called to check the office hours on the automated phone system, and then (2) double-checked the hours listed on the website. Both agreed the office opened at 8:30. Great! So I risked my life driving over there this morning, got there just before 9:00am, and found out that normal hours don't start until noon on Tuesdays. GAAAAA!

Now I get to drive there again after work. Sigh.

It's a small complaint, I know, but boy did it irritate me.

Jennie said...

Certain friends of mine are almost 30 and still have never had a real job and just have NO CONCEPT of what working full time means. Like, they're surprised that I have to go to work almost every day! Um... that's what adults tend to do. You should look into it.

Also, 40 degrees and raining?! ENOUGH!!! I will gladly take some of the snow that the rest of the country has.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Pause button for time? Sorry to veer into the creepy, but ever seen this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Little_Peace_and_Quiet? That's immediately what I thought of. I remember that episode from childhood; it stayed with me that much.

This is a bad day to ask me about gripes, though I love reading others', 'cause my girls are so excited about Christmas that it's rubbed off on me. Happy holidays to the MotherReader clan!

Nadine C. Warner said...

Now is the Winter of Our Incontinence

My son is potty training. My dog is dying of cancer (and refusing to wear doggie diapers). The entire house smells like pee and I have never done so much freakin' laundry in my life.

Ah! Much better.

Solvang Sherrie said...

My in-laws are visiting. For two weeks. Enough said.

Beth Kephart said...

Men and housework: There seems to be a theme. I feel far less alone now, and for that I'm grateful.

Kristen M. said...

Why can we make it to our house in a sedan with rear-wheel drive and chains and UPS in their big trucks can't get here to finish delivering our packages. The husband's birthday presents? In the boxes. His birthday ... Dec. 23. That was fun. I am fiercely irritated with UPS right now.

BTW - the mailman in his little jeep has made it here every day.

Melangell said...

I thought I didn't have any grievances other than the great sorrows of our time. And then suddenly, yesterday, I discovered great gobs of scale on my lime tree (inside) and a rubber plants. Yikes. I have spent hours of time (neglecting my writing project, of course) scrubbing the nasty little beasts from the plants.

But that isn't my grievance. What I remembered was that I had tried to get any one of my children to tackle the problem of scale for a science fair project. Where do they come from? How do they get on the plants? How fast do they travel, etc.

While other kids were curing cancer and building laser stuff, my kids refused this useful project and did things that humanities people would find interesting but which were impossible to experiment with and write up. And that brings me to my grievance. Much of my enjoyment of the childhoods of my kids was SPOILED by science fair projects - the anticipatory dread, the agonized execution, the midnight frantic production of display boards, and the humiliation of the judging. Aaaargh.

Saints and Spinners said...

Regarding Melangell's grievance, I was that kid who studied right/left handedness and dreams instead of figuring out how to split the electron. I have a grievance against all the adults who exclaim, "That's GREAT that you had required science fair projects!" without regard to the dread, pressure to discover something GREAT (because this was a magnet/honors school), and fact that adults who had the time, money and brilliance to invest in doing their kids' projects for them had a leg up on the adults who were just muddling along and trying to get their kids to pass science. I ended up deliberately doing so badly in science classes so that I could drop honors science and get into the regular class where there was no mandated science project.

a. fortis said...

Oh, Farida, I am right there with you. I was the weirdo who did "Which Fruit Ink is the Most Durable?" (yep, already knew I wanted to be an artist) at the academic magnet school. Though I can't really complain because I think I got a third-place ribbon for it, lame as it was. And then I got selected for a summer science immersion program. Go figure.

Anyway, thanks, MotherReader, for your airing of the Festivus grievances. Mine are pretty much in the house-cleaning, parents visiting vein. The husband has been a very good boy, although I do have one tiny grievance, which is that there is always an awful lot of griping and disproportionate exhaustion that suddenly materialize when he's asked to do house-cleaning tasks that I do on a regular basis. But that's a tiny grievance.

Here's a grievance: Why can't I manage to get my novel manuscript revised to a satisfactory point, so I can send it out? ARGH! I keep thinking it's done and awesome, and then I look at it later, or give it to someone else to read, and suddenly it sucks. Why is that?

Nadine C. Warner said...

In the spirit of festivus (okay, not really), I've given you a Butterfly Award for "blog coolness" here:

http://kiddosandbooks.blogspot.com/2008/12/share-love-butterfly-award.html

Keep up the great work and Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

I've had a wonderful year. My house is...well, clean enough, no one's coming to visit, and my husband does his share. I feel selfish complaining about the one bit of ugliness in my life, but it pisses me off.

One of my favorite editors suggested some changes in a manuscript and offered to look at it again if I made them. They were great suggestions. I revised accordingly, and re-submitted the manuscript.

More than a year later, I have received no response to the manuscript or three kind, understanding, low-pressure follow-up inquiries. No response. Not a peep.

This is a brilliant editor, normally generous and conscientious. (Opinion based on online presence.) We tend to defend editors, what with being overworked and being hounded by thousands and thousands of would-be authors with varying degrees of professionalism, but editors are people, too, and sometimes their behavior is less than perfect.

I'm letting go now, moving on. I appreciate getting in a last word here.

I hope you'll forgive the desire for anonymity in this case.