The Turnaround Lane

I know what you have all been missing so desperately. You’ve all been waiting for a really good rant. Well wait no longer!

What is it with drivers who don’t merge into the left turn lane?*

Allow me to explain. I had to drive up and down Woodward Avenue a number of times today. For those who are unfamiliar with the streets of the Detroit Metropolitan area, Woodward is the main drag which divides the city: East and West.**/***

Suburban Woodward (which I had been traveling) has three or four lanes running north and south divided by those islands of grass and trees which make everything look so pretty. There are breaks in these concrete oasisses***** every quarter mile or so which allows traffic to turn and go the other direction. This is especially important if you want to make a left turn. In most instances you have to make a “Michigan Left” (which everyone else in the country calls an idiot turn).

For example, if you are traveling north and want to turn west on eleven mile (like I do every day on the way to work) you actually have to cross eleven mile, take the first idiot turn, then drive south until you reach eleven where you make a right. Easy peasy, right?

The problem is that many drivers in the area don’t realize that the lane leading up to the turn is for them to pull in to so they ARE NOT SLOWING TRAFFIC IN THE FAR LEFT LANE! Instead of utilizing this area, usually many car lengths long, they stay on the main road way right up until it is time to turn. Even worse, the move over so only their left tires are in the turn lane and the rest of their vehicle is blocking the way of good drivers who just want to get the Eff around them.

Look people, it’s really not that hard. When the lane starts to appear in the island, get over. Not at the turn, not half way down, right the eff away. You will greatly reduce the risk of having someone rear end you, not impede traffic, and best of all, not force me to follow you to your destination and beat you about the head and shoulders with a tire iron.

*Feel free to read this aloud in your best Jerry Seinfield voice.

**West Siiiide!

***Despite what certain Journey songs would have you believe, no one here would ever refer to any area of the city as “South Detroit.” Know what is south of Detroit? Windsor, Ontario.****

****There’s a little trivia for you. Around here Canada, our “neighbor to the north,” is actually south of us.

*****Nope, it’s not “oasisi,” I looked it up.

One Down

Con season has officially started. The GLAHW spent the weekend of 15 - 17 March at Motor City Nightmares. We had a great time talking to people, networking, selling books and magazines, and discovering the joy that is the cake pop.*

I am in the middle of a busy set of weekends. I have a convention every other weekend and I work the weekends I am not at con. Next up is
Penguicon where I will be speaking on five panels over two days. The full schedule is available here. For my schedule, check out this post at The Nth Word.

The final convention is the big one for the
GLAHW: The Motor City ComiCon. We will have two tables of merchandise for sale, both group publications and our own material. We are also planning special themed costume days. Come out to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi 13 - 15 May.

All right, all right. I know what you have really been waiting for. Go ahead and hit next or just click here.

*Of course we bought a few souvenirs of our own. R should be happy because I managed to not buy any books or tee shirts. I did come home with a plush Alien Facehugger, a couple of buttons and zipper pulls, and two tiny dolls Sam from
Trick r’ Treat and Hellboy.

Introducing the New Editions

There is something horribly depressing about coming home to a house and not being greeted by a dog. After Dervish died there was no way that I could run right out and get another dog. However, the silence wears on one. There was a dog shaped void that needed to be filled.

It was quite a while before I could even entertain this idea. I started looking at
Petfinder, just looking. There are a lot of animals looking for homes.* There were quite a few which looked, ah, promising. I started keeping track of the ones which I would be willing to adopt if I was ready to adopt. Which I wasn’t. Just looking, remember?

It made me very happy when Echo, the GSD mix, found her forever home** Some people recommended I look on Craig’s List, but I was looking for a rescue dog.

Actually, I was looking for two rescue dogs. R has always wanted a small dog (specifically a Pug). She decided that this time she was going to get her little dog. If I wanted a bigger dog, I had better be prepared to bring them home at the same time.

So I looked and tracked and smiled. Then I saw Bastian. He was originally listed as a St. Bernard/Border Collie mix (later revised to Springer Spaniel/Border Collie). He was being fostered in the area. I contacted the rescue organization,
Last Day Dog Rescue. They are a great organization that rescues dogs from various high kill shelters who are about to be euthanized and then fosters them until the can be adopted. Arrangements were made to meet Bastian and a Puggle that was being fostered by the a different person associated with the organization.

To make a long story short (TOO LATE!), neither one of us got the dogs we were looking at originally. Those playful pups were brought to a “Meet and Greet” being held at the house of someone fostering a litter of puppies. We fell in love with two of them, completed the application process, and a week later were able to take the picture you see up there.

After almost 2 days of deliberation the names of our new family members are Tesla and Titus. At their foster home they always curled up and slept together. Here’s hoping they remain that close.

So, we are now embarking*** on puppy training X2. Twice the housebreaking, twice the chewing, twice the poop to pick up.

Twice the smiles, fuzzy kisses, and puppy love? You betcha.

Totally worth it.

*If you have room in your house and your heart, why not adopted one? Or more than one?

** Or ”Furever home” Sorry, just can’t do it.

***Pun intended

Rumors of the Website's Demise

I was sitting at my desk the other day, organizing things for Penguicon and the panels that I’m going to be on. Yes, I realize that the convention is more than a month away, but I like to get things squared away. It assuages the CDO (OCD, but with the letters in alphabetical order like they should be). I have plenty of ribbons from last year, so I am all set there. One stack has the GLAHW moto “Don’t Be Afraid, Be Terrified.” The other has this website’s address. I was kind of excited about the idea of driving people to the website when a thought slammed into my head.

“You know, if people are going to be checking out the website, you might want to put up some new content.”


Yes, I realize that almost a quarter of a year has passed since I last updated the website or posted to either of the blogs. I do have a perfectly legitimate explanation.

You know what it is like when you look down at your odometer and realize that you are a few miles over the number on the little sticker reminding you to get an oil change? At first it isn’t that bad. You can go to the dealer any day so you put it off a little while longer. Soon you are at the point where you feel like you need an excuse but you can’t come up with one so you put it off and put it off...

Or like when you receive a gift and that little voice that sounds just a little like your mother tells you that you should send a thank you card but how often does one get to the card store? Then you finally get to the store but it’s been weeks so you stand there wondering if you should get a “belated” thank you card if they even make such a thing. You buy the card, but you feel like a heel for not sending it earlier so you put it off and put it off...

Or like when you don’t update your website for a while. You announced that posts would come at irregular intervals so you don’t feel bad for the first few weeks. Then you notice that a month has gone by and you have not posted and you should really start off with an excuse as to why you haven’t posted but you can’t think of one so you put it off and put it off...

So, there’s that.

Honestly, I spent a lot of time off-line. Those of you who follow me on other websites know this. The past few months have been relatively Tweetless. Facebook went unupdated. There was some lurking here and there, but very little participation on my part.

Don’t feel bad, it wasn’t just you I was ignoring.

Much of this electronic withdrawal was the result of depression. The first set of holidays without Dervish were very difficult.

The healthy thing to do when I start one of these spirals is to reach out to people to help buoy my moods. So naturally I do the opposite and pull away.

Interestingly enough (at least to me), it wasn’t just my participation on social websites that flagged. I have a set of bookmarks, comics, other people’s blogs, bulletin boards, that I checked every morning. It was part of my morning ritual: stumble downstairs, take my pills, grab a cup of coffee, and look at something which makes me smile. I stopped looking at these as well. It was even difficult for me to write.

On the up side, I got to spend a lot of time reading. In fact, reading is part of what got me back on-line. I felt compelled to review every book that I read on
Goodreads. From there to Twitter and Facebook and finally here.

What made it easier to finally jump back in is that there is plenty of good news to share. Because it has been even longer since I updated The nth Word I am going to put all of the writerly good news over there. For the other news, go ahead and hit that next button. Or just click here.

(Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of good stuff which happened in between. R’s birthday was a blast which she managed to stretch out for more than a week.)