“Yippie Ki Yay, Motherf!^ker!”

Most of you will probably recognize the title of this post as being a line from the first Die Hard movie, in which Bruce Willis was responding to Alan Rickman’s reference to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans riding off into the sunset. It’s also what went through my mind today as I imagined myself slapping someone in the back of the head. You’re asking yourself, “Why would he do that?” Your answer follows…

*Rant ON*

So early this afternoon (it’s September 4th for another 3 hours and 7 minutes) I decided to go out for lunch, ending up at a seafood place that I frequent. I sat down, ordered, and surfed Twitter while I waited. A few minutes later I was knuckle deep in a batch of fried gator tail when I hear the little bells on the door jingle. Looking up I see this guy saunter in wearing the full cowboy regalia: boots, form-fitting boot cut jeans complete with studded belt & buckle, blue-red-white checkered shirt, and to top it all off – a big ass cowboy hat.

Now personally, I don’t care what people wear. Wanna walk around in 90+ degree weather playing dress up for Halloween early? Go for it. All I’ll do is shrug, maybe raise an eyebrow, and go about my business. Live and let live; that sorta thing. But what pissed me off about this guy was the fact that not only did he NOT take that stupid ass hat off when he came in the restaurant, but he left it on after they (he was with some woman, presumably his wife, since she was similarly attired, minus the hat) sat down and continued to leave it on as they ate. Let me put why it bothered me into context.

I lived with my grandmother for several years when I was a kid; from the time I was about 9 until 16 or 17. Keep in mind that this was from 1979 until 1986-87. My grandmother was born in 1917. So you can imagine (or maybe you can’t, depending on how old you are) that I was raised with a different set of standards from what kids are today. One of those standards was, if you’re wearing a hat – baseball cap, football helmet, chef hat, beanie with a propellor, whatever – you took it off when you came inside the house. Why? It was just the respectful thing to do. It showed that you, as a person, respected the house and the people in it. Civility. Humility. Respect! In addition to the “No wearing hats in the house” rule there was the “No hats at the dinner table” rule. When you came in to eat dinner and took your hat off you put it somewhere – if you lived there you put it in your room or some other appropriate place. If you were a guest then you hung it up and set it somewhere out of the way. There was no arguing or debating this rule. That’s the way it was. End of story. And it stuck with me as a rule of thumb.

Some years later, living with my mother again, I was introduced to a friend of hers who was a nurse (my mother was also a nurse); her friend’s name was Charlene. Charlene grew up with the same “No hats in the house rule” and, to further reinforce that, she was also a Navy veteran. Not only was she strict about the “no hats” rule, she was adamant about it (I totally tried to get away with it once while she was at the house; she caught me and told me to go back outside and come back in like a proper person would). Okay, Charlene. Point made.

Fast-forward to 1990 and whoosh! Off I go to basic training in the Army. Now, your grandmother may tell you that the “no hats inside” rule is just a polite way to be. But in the Army, it’s law. That’s right, law (also known as regulations). There is an Army regulation, 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms & Insignia, which governs every aspect of how to wear the Army uniform, including when NOT to wear it. In it, Chapter 2, Paragraph L (2) states, “Soldiers will not wear headgear indoors, unless under arms in an official capacity, or when directed by the commander, such as for indoor ceremonial activities.” And in the Army, the regulations dictate & govern pretty much every aspect of your existence. So again, the “no hats inside” rule was pounded into my head, making it not only a respectful thing to do but also the law. The point being? You’re not supposed to wear your damn hat inside!”

So, back to this jackass sitting at the table eating while wearing his stupid cowboy hat. I guess I lied a little bit earlier when I said I didn’t care what people wore. That said, I obviously believe people should wear the proper uniform for the proper job. In the Old West, what a cowboy wore served a function – high-calf boots and heavy denim jeans with chaps to protect his legs from snake bites – is an example. Their hats helped shade their eyes and, when it rained, served to keep the water off their face and help prevent water from running down their shirt collars. And cowboys back then worked their asses off! Long cattle drives for weeks at a time. And I don’t mean driving a jack-up truck to Arby’s; I’m talking about riding a horse across open prairies in every imaginable weather condition. Weather that would make the average person these days look outside and say, “Nope! Not happening.”

The “cowboys” these days are only wearing all that crap because some country singin’ yahoo wears it too. Sure, they might own a few cows, work on a farm, what have you. But hey, Tex. You’re not fooling me! You know why? Because if you were half the cowboy you think you are, you’d take your fucking hat off when you came inside, and you certainly would take it off when you sat down to eat! Because that’s what polite, respectable people do. And aren’t all you redneck-cowboy types raised that way? Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. Yes, sir. No, sir. Shake hands. Respectable? I didn’t grow up being a cowboy and even I know to take my damn hat off when I come inside! Otherwise, you just might hear “Yippie Ki Yay, Mother F!^ker!” right before your stupid ass cowboy hat gets slapped off your head…

*Rant OFF*

Microsoft Word says I’ve typed over 1000 words, just to rant about some cow patty that wore his hat indoors/at the table. How come I can’t write like this for the manuscript I’m working on?! Maybe I should just write short stories about things that piss me off. Seems much easier than coming up with fiction!

Welcome to Slackerville

Just like the title says…I’m a slacker of epic proportions. I started this site back in early April, all fired up to write this, post that, and generally amaze the masses with my literary skills (or have people roll their eyes at the lack of them, whichever). But as you can see, this is only my second post. Why the huge gap in posts? Well, in late April/early May I began working on a degree towards a Bachelors in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing in Fiction (switched from Business Management, which is about as exciting as listening to an accountant read tax law to you). Started off taking one class per term; the first class, English 122, was pretty easy.

For the next term I decided to take two classes at once. Just as the term was starting (the first week of July) I had a sudden upheaval in my living situation and had to find a place to live. That only took a couple of days but as anyone that has moved knows, the cable/internet people take their sweet ass time to come out to the new place to install the internet (it took them THREE weeks). So, no internet access means unable to do the online classes for my degree. I hear you saying to yourself, “Why didn’t you just go somewhere and use public WiFi?” Simply put, my laptop is a piece of crap. The battery? Doesn’t even work. In fact, it doesn’t have one. To use my laptop it has to be plugged in all the time. Anyway, about ten days after moving into this new place I also started a new job. So, between the chaos of moving, no internet, and starting a new job I’ve just been…busy!

I’ve told myself many times in the last four months that I should blog something and would even run through different things to talk about in my head. But I just didn’t do it. I also barely wrote anything. I have manuscript I’ve been working on since sometime in February. I have a grand total of about 25,000 words so far. Some of you might think that’s a good start, and you’d be right. Except I’ve had the idea for the story since 2013, and even wrote out about fifty pages. But again, my epic slacker superpower is a force to be reckoned with and totally kicked the shit out of my perceived creativity. Anyway, enough about how much of an under-achiever I am…

As I said earlier, I have hardly written anything for the manuscript I’m working on in a while. A couple weeks ago a backstory idea for one of the sub-main characters popped in my head so I wrote it out. I won’t go into details about it here. Two people have read that chapter; one said they were mildly disturbed and another said it didn’t bother them. I count that as a win, I suppose. Even though I’m about to start working on my degree again (the term starts 30 August) I plan on making myself work on my manuscript. I also plan on posting excerpts here for you people to read and give me feedback on it. That’s the plan, anyway.

Before I close this post I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank someone who recently subscribed. I won’t give out a name or any social media information. I’ll just say that she is a böse Arsch Piratenkönigin! If/when she sees this, she’ll know who I mean!

I’m somebody now!

In todays digital age, we’re able to connect at the speed of light. Apps, widgets, and websites…aww (see what I did there?) have become a boon to a vast number of people that wish to establish not only a community presence, but an individual digital existence as well. This “cyber-existence” can be either an extension of our everyday lives or a completely fantastical realm that we create that bears no semblance to who we really are.

Part of being an aspiring writer, I’m told (thanks Tim!), is establishing an online presence to help reach out to potential readers, fans, and other individuals that are all needed for any writer to become successful. So without further procrastination – which is only rivaled by my ability to sleep in – I’d like to welcome you to the official opening of my blog site!

I know you’re probably wondering where I came up with the name of this site. I mulled it over for a hours, trying to come up with something clever and witty, yet relevant to my ultimate purpose, which is writing fiction. For reasons that I still can’t fully identify my brain instantaneously zeroed in on the ritual of…washing…hair. I said to myself, “Self? What the hell does washing my hair have to do with writing?” And Self just shrugged and said, “I dunno!” Some help he was. Or is that some help I was? I get confused about the semantics. I’ll have to ask my shrink about that.

But after a while I finally came up with an answer. The instructions on a bottle of shampoo or conditioner are pretty straightforward. Lather…rinse…repeat (that’s what it said when I was a kid; there’s no telling what the instructions are now). So what does that have to do with writing? Lathering up equates to the writing – those first drafts that we bang out 10,000 words at a time, every day for weeks (okay, to be realistic, it’s more like 1,000, MAYBE 2,000 on a good day). The rinsing is the editing process; going over every word you’ve typed with a fine-toothed spelling & grammar checker day after day after day, until it’s just right. Then you send out query letters, sample chapters, or maybe your entire manuscript, in hopes that someone will see the brilliance in your creativity. When it’s time to repeat, well, that can actually mean several things. If your work gets published and sees the light of day, then it’s time to move on to your next project. If it gets rejected – “just not for us”, “needs more polish”, sorry not interested” – then it’s time to repeat that process of querying, etc. Either way, it’s back to work!

See? Writing is a lot like washing your hair. May your finely crafted musings shine brighter than your squeaky clean hair!