Dusting Off the Mental Chex Mix

  • I apologize for having been a neglectful blogger here in The Tom Zone. I’ve been reading a ton of books, and reviewing them on my dedicated book and movie review blog, booksandmoviesandcrap.com
  • I realized the other day, when I was submitting my blog URL to a publisher whose book I’d just reviewed, that “Books and Movies and Crap” lacks a certain gravitas. It sounds like some douchebag who doesn’t take this especially seriously put together a dumb blog with his dumb book and movie reviews.
  • Thus, acquiescing to the voices inside my head, I changed the title to the much more stately, “St. Petersburg Book and Film Review.”
  • Within a couple days, I heard from three authors who thought “Books and Movies and Crap” was a hysterical name for a blog. Two of them were before I made the change. The one after copied a large portion of my review to her website, and commented that the name of the blog was “St. Petersburg Book and Film Review.” “BUT,” she added, “Check out the URL. It’s the hilarious “books and movies and crap.com.”
  • I did some soul-searching, realized that I truly AM some douchebag who doesn’t take this especially seriously, and changed the title back.
  • I’ll just let my reviews—which are literate and intelligent—speak for themselves.
  • If this particular Chex Mix looks different from usual, it’s because I’m writing it in the brand spanking new Word 2013! Woo-hoo!
  • I purchased this, because the new Super Ultra Hewlett-Packard-Ferrari Quad-Turbo Mega-Sport XL Six-Gajillion SS (also known as, “my new laptop”) runs the brand spanking new Windows 8 Operating System.
  • Windows 8 has proved a bafflement to many users. It has a tile display, much like a smart phone, and one doesn’t so much “buy software” as “download apps,” again, like a smart phone.
  • Windows 8 is really easy, as long as you know this little trick: one of the colorful tiles is emblazoned “Desktop.” Click on that. It takes you to a screen that looks and functions like the same Windows page Jesus used back when He had to write papers for his “Intro to the New Testament” class.
  • That must have been easy: “I was born, and some magi brought me gold, frankincense, and myrrh: shit no baby could possibly use. The End.”
  • I bet He’d want to continue, though it was outside the assignment parameters.
  • “Seriously, Magi: would it have killed you to bring a couple more teats for me to suckle? Maintaining this halo takes a lot of energy, and since my mom is like 13, she could use the help. Also, I’m leading my Little League team in batting average and doubles, and—naturally—I haven’t made an error all season. I totes OWN third base, just like this guy who’ll play for the Baltimore Orioles in about 1960 years, named Brooks Robinson. That guy’s like a Hoover Vacuum at The Hot Corner. Right. Okay, the Hoover will replace beating as the best way to clean carp—know what? Let’s move on. SO I’m kicking ass on my baseball team, making good grades, and I think this hot girl named Mary has a crush on me. We were making out behind Zacharia ben-Affleck’s falafel stand, and she let me touch her boob. Suh-weet! Now I know why Dad made them. Also, Uncle Baruch said he’ll give me one of these special donkeys imported from Italy on my sixteenth birthday: it’s a Lamborghini Burro. It’s supposed to leave all these crappy other donkeys in the dust. I’ll be valedictorian of my high school class, then I’ll be king of the after-party when I start turning Sprite into Tanqueray and tonic. I’ll get to third base with Mary M, and she’ll be itchin’ to get to home plate, but I didn’t bring a stupid condom. Also, if I bang her, it’ll wreck my plans to go to Nazareth Tech, and become a chemical engineer. That will be awesome. If I pwn it like I know I will, I could be a Rhodes Scholar. I could use a year in England. All this sunshine is nice, but damn, a little rain would be nice. So, I’m going to do all this stuff, and not one BIT of it will end up in the New Testament. I have all these big plans, and they’ll just blow it all off, just for some me-damned Myrrh. Like anyone uses myrrh anymyrrh. Get it?? I’m sure they’ll leave out that I’m freakin’ hilarious too. Oh, wait. There’s My Father again. He has that “Things are not going to go as you planned” look He gets, like when I wanted to sleep over at Abdul’s house, but He said I couldn’t. Something about Abdul wearing “muslin?” Who the hell—HECK—knows anyway? Well, I’d better go see what He wants. He’ll probably send me off to carpentry school like some shop-class loser. I mean, that would suck, but really, how bad could His plan really be for Me, right???”
  • My apologies to you for forcing you to read that ridiculous diatribe next to the previous bullet point.
  • Also, sorry, Jesus, but I know you were grinning. 😉
  • So where were we.
  • Oh, right! MS Word 2013!
  • So I’m using MS Word 2013, because that’s what you have to use with Windows 8. It’s exactly like previous versions of Word, except that absolutely nothing is where it’s ever been, and it’s nearly impossible to figure out. I’m going to need a tutorial.
  • Or an older machine.
  • I kid. I’m figuring this thing out slowly, and it’s a pretty top-shelf laptop. It has the quad-core Core i7 chip, and runs at about 3.something GHz. The graphics are brilliant, and noted audiologist, Dr. Dre, has personally engineered my laptop’s sound to my personal specifications using his BEATS protocol.
  • Since this is such a good laptop, it might make it to Thanksgiving before it’s obsolete.
  • Word 2013…good Lord. Words fail me. I tried to change fonts one day, and I jammed Tampa International’s air traffic control radar for seven hours.
  • OH! Which brings me to the point of why I’m writing this Mental Chex Mix in Word in the first place. Simple. My ISP (whose name starts with V and rhymes with “herizon”) apparently has cables made of delicate spun sugar. Thus, whenever it rains, I lose Internet Connectivity.
  • Normally, this would be a mild inconvenience—an annoyance, to be sure, but nothing insurmountable.
  • The problem is that I work from home. If my Interweb goes down, I can’t work. I get put on “tech leave,” which means I have the rest of the night off, however I don’t get paid. This…
  • FUCKING SUCKS! The past three nights, I’ve lost Interweb access. The first night, I’ll concede that we had a Tropical Storm. Last night was perfectly fine. Tonight, we had a hellacious band of thunderstorms move through.
  • This is Florida. In the summer, there’s a hellacious band of thunderstorms moving through EVERYDAMNDAY!
  • So, I’m having to change ISP’s, just because this has become ridiculous. I’ll call the cable company and have them hook me back up Monday. I can just see it now. Mr. Tech Guy will come out, connect wires or whatever, then tell me I’m all set, and ready for maximum Interweb reliability and speed…
  • “Oh, one thing. You’re not one of those dumbasses using Windows 8, are you?”
  • (sfx: tom’s head exploding)
  • Happy Saturday night. Or Monday afternoon. Or Flag Day, depending on when they get my damn service back up and running.
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10 Responses to “Dusting Off the Mental Chex Mix”

  1. Tom! So good to see you posting again!

    I like your “Movies and Books and Crap” blog title, even if I’ve never been there. (Must bookmark it now.) When it’s a review blog, people expect a titch more whimsy.

    • It just seemed odd to be submitting a review to Random House with the word “Crap” in my blog title. Then I figured, “Know what? I got a free ebook, and they got a four-star review. Everyone wins, crap or not.” Plus, it felt more like me.

  2. Welcome back, sailor! I see you on Goodreads all the time, but I’m happy to see another Mental Chex Mix on WP.

    “St. Petersburg Book and Film Review” made me wonder if you moved to Russia. 😀 “Movies and Books and Crap” sounds like a fun place to visit, which I’ll have to do now.

    I just got used to Windows 7 and Word 2010: asking me to switch to new versions again is too much, especially when I don’t see a marked improvement in software performance. Basically, they moved all the functions and buttons so I can’t find them. I had to buy a dead trees Word for Dummies manual before I could use the damn thing. And now they have a Word 2013? NOOO. I can understand now why so many of my older friends refuse to update their computers. Life is hard enough without fighting with your computer.

    • My dad will keep his Windows XP computers running with duct tape and paperclips before he buys a Windows 8 machine. I don’t really blame him, but Windows 8 is workaroundable, but Office 2013 blows my enfeebled little mind.

  3. Mental Chex Mix is back! Yay!

    • The warehouse was getting full. A lot of the stuff got stale, but you shake it with some Worcestershire sauce, bake it awhile, then garnish with a few dashes and semicolons, and it’s not too awful.

      Thanks for stopping by the other place (the other blog. Not Hell) 😉

  4. Mike Messer Says:

    Hey Tom, sorry it has been so long since I talked to you. I somehow remembered what today is and wanted to say Happy Birthday before I missed it again. Hope you had a good day and enjoyed a steak maybe!

  5. There you are! A very happy birthday my friend, and I am fully on-board with B&M&C!

  6. You know, if you started a church and preached this kind of Jesus parables, I would totally go. As long as it didn’t start early on a weekend morning. That just blows.

    Glad you’re back.

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