Category Archives: Babbling

Stuff that fell out of my brain

Ingrates on Etsy

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on the internet lately.  I saw a disparaging comment on Twitter about people who favorite a tweet but don’t re-tweet it.   Occasionally you’ll come across a blog that calls out “lurkers” who visit the website without leaving a comment.  Almost daily there is a topic on the Etsy forums griping about people who put items on their favorite lists without intending to buy them. Let’s talk about that last one, because it’s the one I have the most personal experience with.

I, along with many others, mark Etsy items as favorites because they are my favorites.  It’s me supporting an artist I love.  It’s a way of bookmarking a product I might buy later.  It’s how I say, “OMG, that is the coolest thing I’ve seen today, but there’s no way I could ever afford it.”  It’s the way I brainstorm gifts that would be perfect for people I know.  It never occurred to me that I was obligated to buy whatever I favorited, or that my compliment would be resented.

This if-it’s-not-a-sale-it’s-worthless attitude is kind of offensive.  Shouldn’t we be happy about favorites?  A favorite is proof that someone thinks you’re neat.  Complaining about being favorited without a sale is like saying, “You said I look hot, but I’m mad because you didn’t rip off my clothes and fuck me silly.”  Ungracious much?

While we’re ranting, how about those jerks who think prefacing an insult with “I’m sorry, but…” is an adequate substitute for manners?  Do they really think we can’t tell that they’re assholes if they cleverly camouflage their assholery by apologizing in advance?  Pro tip: A comment you know you’ll have to apologize for is hardly ever worth saying.  And here’s a newsflash for people who don’t ever tip at restaurants: Everyone hates you. Everyone. I just got off the phone with your mother, and she hates you, too.   And kids these days!  Why can’t they stay off my lawn?!  AND ANOTHER THING…


Ahem.  Sorry about that.  I got a bit carried away.

Seriously, though.  A “like” in any context is someone saying they think you’re cool.  It’s a compliment.  Would it be super awesome if they bought something?  Of course.  But it’s still a little bit awesome when someone marks your stuff as a favorite, and the world can use as much awesome as it can get.

Millenium Hand and Shrimp

Terry Pratchett is dead.

I’m not…I don’t even…there isn’t…I have no words.  What do you say about the death of an artist that meant so much to you?  It’s silly to think I can write a more fitting tribute than the rest of the internet.

I feel a bit guilty for grieving; his family, his friends have the right to mourn.  I never even met the man.  Nevertheless, it hurts.  All that genius, that humor and wisdom, is gone.

But it’s not, is it?  We have bits of Terry in our libraries as well as our minds.  His legacy will never be more than a bookshelf away.  Eventually, that will be comforting, I know.

Right now, it seems too far to go.

Partnership for a Glitter-Free America

© Cbeckwith | - Glitter Photo

© Cbeckwith | – Glitter Photo

UPDATE: I just found out about, and it is possibly one of the most magnificently evil things I’ve ever seen.

I can’t be the only person who hates glitter, right?  And when I say “glitter,” I’m referring to those loose sparkly flecks that crazy people  certain crafters slather over everything to make it pretty.  Normally I love shiny, blingy (that’s a word, yes?) stuff, but glitter makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.

When I was but a wee sprat, I had a bit part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as one of Titania’s fairy attendants.  My name was Mustardseed or Peapod or Moonshine or Snotrocket or something, and I actually had a line, which made me so much cooler than all the other little kids. (I don’t remember what the line was—probably “Yo, fairy queen!  What’s up with you dating this donkey dude, anyway?”)

There were a couple of older kids with the enviable job of herding us munchkins while we waited offstage.  We were all dressed in tutus and wings.  One of our chaperones decided that we needed just a little something extra to make us so cute that people in the audience would say “Awww” and possibly vomit from a surfeit of sweetness.  The final touch on our outfits was…dun dun dun…glitter in our hair.

Let me tell you something about glitter:  That shit will cling to your scalp FOREVER.  This is especially distressing because it itches like a son of a bitch.  You think your kids having lice is bad?  Listen.  You can kill lice with special shampoo.  Glitter will just laugh at your toxic chemicals and twinkle even more merrily.  On the plus side, I learned lots of swear words when my mom tried to wash it out of my hair every day.

Glitter is marketed as a crafting tool, like paint and stickers.  To use it, you have to first put glue (which is messy all by itself) everywhere and then pour the glitter over the glue.  This is not a task that requires precision.  A single line can require half a jar of glitter to make sure the glue is covered.  In theory, you can then shake the excess back into the jar, but scientific studies have proven that it is impossible to achieve this without triggering what is technically termed “Glittergeddon.” You’re even more screwed if your floor is carpeted, as there is no vacuum on earth with enough power to clean it up.

Fun fact: you aren’t supposed to send greeting cards with glitter on them to soldiers.  Apparently, even a single stray speck is visible to night-vision goggles.  That means that if you use glitter, THE TERRORISTS WIN.

Parents, talk to your kids about the perils of glitter.  They will be exposed to glitter at school.  All their friends will be doing it. It is easily obtainable from sinister glitter dealers in alleys.  It’s important that children know how to resist the peer pressure.  If your kids DO become addicted, they can be weaned off of it with glitter glue and sparkly embossing powder.  12-step programs are available.

Don’t let glitter addiction ruin your life (or your scalp).

Poor Old Oscar

A few months ago I went crazy in a junk store and bought a bunch of stuff that I had no immediate plans for.  Among those items was somebody’s entire stamp collection, which filled a large box until I took the stamps out of the hundreds of tiny envelopes and dumped them in three jars.  Still, that’s a LOT of old stamps.

What I know about stamp collecting can be written on the head of a pin.  I guess some stamps are hard to find and therefore worth big bucks (at least to other stamp collectors)?  It’s unlikely that a rare stamp is somewhere in these jars, but there is still a tiny chance that there is something valuable. I now have a fantasy:

I am holding court at a party in a trendy gallery.  My stunning dress shimmers as I converse wittily with my many admirers.  (In my fantasy this is totally plausible.  Also, I’m a size 5.)  On the wall behind me is a series of my brilliant collages that incorporate the aforementioned stamps.

One of the guests idly peruses the art.  He is a short man in an ill-fitting tweed suit and a bad toupee.  His wife dragged him to this party against his will, and he’s hoping he can leave before someone tries to engage him in conversation.  Let’s call him Oscar.

Oscar glances at one of my pieces and is about to move on when he does a double-take.  Surely it couldn’t….no…wait….it IS!

“Noooo!” he wails.  “It’s the rare ten-cent three-headed red eagle stamp!  Generations of stamp collectors in my family have searched for it in vain!  It’s worth three hundred dollars!  And she’s glued it to a canvas!  There’s PAINT on it!”  He breaks down into sobs.  “How could you do that?  Did you know? Did you?”

All eyes are now on me.  “Of course I knew.  What you don’t realize, my dear man, is that art is more precious than mere money,” I say.

Spontaneous applause erupts.  Oscar is led away by kind people as I calmly sip a cocktail made of his tasty, tasty tears.

When no one is looking, I whip out a pen and write a new, hugely increased number on the price tag.