Author: David Roddis

I live in Canada, where we show the United States how life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are actually done. (If you guys down south ever want a refresher, we have the latest version. You're welcome!) Proud progressive polymath: Canadian writer, artist, photographer (really). I worship Beethoven, mourn Amy Winehouse, and wear a lot of slightly-tight, too youthful clothing in poorly-lit environments so you'll think I'm younger than 61; never forgetting that "GAP Relaxed Fit" is Death's French kiss!" (Mavis the Fashion Maven). My websites comprise portfolio sites for my special brand of photography; and a showcase for my off-the-wall humorous writing. Take your pick. Either way, I'll discreetly hound you for money, our society's primary method of demonstrating 'success'. Roll On The bloody Floor Laughing!

Vote on a new cover!

Just to keep things interesting, I am completely reworking the cover design.  I have three versions which all have exactly the same elements but each of these draws attention in different ways and tells a slightly different “story”.

Here they are.  Tell me in the comments which one you prefer, and why.  I’d love to hear your views and reasoning. Click on the images to view full size and navigate through.

By the way, I am using a bigger type face for the title, and will use three lines instead of two.  I realize it’s not optimum for readability as presented here.

 

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Does my big gay ass look fat in these jeans? Think before you answer. (By the way, this is “clickbait”.)

AT A GLANCE: Get a FREE full-length electronic copy of my book in exchange for posting your review online.


Hey fans! I need people to review my book, which curiously enough is entitled, “A Slow, Painful Death Would Be Too Good For You (and Other Observations):  A Pillow Book For Dyspeptics”.

As a writer whose name is not yet on everyone’s lips — and trust me, once I find out who slipped up on the everyone’s-lips thing, there is going to be a “conversation” — I need these reviews to encourage others to buy. In the end, they’re like testimonials, if you think about it.

<crickets>

My book, as you probably know by now, is a collection of (mostly) humorous personal essays ranging in length from 2 pages to 10 pages at the most lengthy. All told in my inimitable, sarcky, splenetic, dyspeptic, silly, and downright irrelevant voice. Some of them started out on this blog in embryonic form, but do not think that this is merely a lazy re-purposing of my blog!  They are entirely rewritten and reworked to the point of being brand new, never -before seen.

Imagine that my essays are like George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, and it’s that scene where he finds out what the world would have been like without him.  You would be, as it were, his mother who doesn’t recognize him when he comes calling.  Except you wouldn’t slam the door.

And full disclosure, I’ve just invited Kim Kardashian to plead my case with Trump, so he should pardon me and give me sweet, sweet release from my lifetime sentence of having to get up in the morning and do stuff.

But until she gets back from Trader Joe’s, I’m clawing at the walls, like a medieval anchorite who thought, “Mother Superior told me this is going to be killer publicity for the convent! And they’ll never let me go through with it!  I reckon two days, tops!”

So I still need people to review my book.

Why you should stop being so high-maintenance and just do this:

My book is perfect reading for summer. Or winter, if you’re in Australia. But, be you antipodean or just regular-podean, you can dip into it at your leisure, because it’s not a straight read-through kind of book. It’s little chapters which are short, funny, satirical and above all pithy, and when I say pithy I mean just filled to the cotton-pickin’ brim with pith.

So like, pick it up, just absolutely thrash about in the mad pithiness of it all; chortle; shake your head with an affectionate but bemused expression of, “That David! He’s just such a li’l ol’ freckle faced rascal!,” put down again.

I mean, god forfend that you should have to actually finish anything.  Break a diamond-studded nail implant!

Also, if I were giving you a copy of the paperback, which I’m not, it would, in that purely hypothetical situation, look great next to the john.

This is assuming that your john is indoors, made of porcelain by American Standard and has an environmentally-conscious flush that emits a scant teaspoon of water, so you have to either push repeatedly on the button, thereby completely negating the environmentally conscious intent, or just cut way way down on the fibre supplements;

Also hypothetically, my book, with its juicy “hot-pink is the navy blue of India” cover, would be a veritable fashion statement on the beach, where you would stain the pages to transparency with Coppertone suntan oil, were it the case that I was sending you a copy of the print book, which I’m not.

Or —  and this selling point could actually pertain to our situation — you could even read the PDF version in the bath, on your handheld device.

And if it falls into the soapy hot water, oh, well, it falls into the soapy hot water. It’s always just two weeks away from the next Apple OS update with redesigned chargers, so you’re overdue for a new whatever-it was-before-you-drowned-it-like-an-adorable-but-unwanted-kitten at any rate, so no big deal.

What I need from you:

(Just so we’re on the same page here, when I say, “need”, I mean need like Kim needs a weekly “Brazilian”.  Like, seriously need.)

Regarding the content of your review: Let’s be perfectly clear. I want you to give your honest, real opinion. This is quite different from the content I would like you to give if the question was, for example, “Does my big gay ass look fat in these jeans?”

So what I’m asking for today is quite different from the usual situation, where your honest, real opinion is less important than, say, utterly pandering to my need for constant validation so that you hopefully avoid triggering a total narcissistic breakdown, with me crying and gasping that nothing ever goes right for me.

So that’s not what I want, at least on this occasion. Please do not misunderstand and stop utterly pandering to me the rest of the time.

Let’s be clear:  I want you to write in your own voice, with integrity and honesty, and give your truthful opinion as you would for any kind of product or app review.

So, to continue with your brief: Read the book or dip into as much as you like of it. Go to three or four sites that I’ll provide to you and post your short review (100 words or so).

No, I absolutely do NOT want to read the review first, BUT —

— don’t be a shmuck and post a review hating my book, OK?  Please. If you hate my book, say nothing.  Or just tone down your schadenfreude until you only dislike my book.

Or, here’s a review you can use if you hate my book:

“This book was absolutely incredible!  And the humor! I didn’t know writing like this was possible! Left me speechless!”

It’s just an example, OK?

What you’ll get:

  • an electronic copy of the book for free. (PDF OR e-book format, whichever you prefer).
  • My gratitude.

Please do not say, “Is that it?”, then shake your MacBook Air repeatedly trying to get the gratitude to fall out, thinking that it’s maybe gotten stuck in the corners.  Gratitude is an intangible reward.

If it’s chotschkes you’re wanting, you should buy some Cracker Jack, maybe!  Sheesh!

Please comment below to volunteer or message me. Seriously.

We have PAPERBACK! + REVIEW offer

smallFINALPAPERBACKCOVER-22769060_cover (1)

My cover design for the paperback version

Sorry to SHOUT BUT I’M REALLY EXCITED!  Oh, fuck I started SHOUTING AGAIN BUT I CAN’T HELP IT!

Really, really sorry about my lack of control.  But it’s not every day that you PUBLISH A PAPERBACK !!!.  Oh, god.  This is really embarrassing.  Just try to bear with me as I tell you a little bit more about MY PAPERBACK WHICH IS NOW ON SALE!!!!.

<awkward>

This is what my friend Shaun Proulx, life-transforming guru extraordinaire and architect of the #ThoughtRevolution, tells me is a “soft launch”.  Well, I’m going to take his word for it, as what he doesn’t know about gorgeously shameless self-promotion and roll-off-a-log success wouldn’t fit on the smallest, fiddley-ist hors d’oeuvre Martha Stewart could stamp out with her heirloom cookie cutter.

In fact, he’s been cheekily dubbed “The Gay #Oprah”; word has it that Ms O’s acolytes occasionally forget themselves and refer to their bossatrix as “The Big, Black, Obscenely Rich and Heterosexual Shaun Proulx, Except Shaun Doesn’t ‘Balloon'”, which earns them a great, big, corrective “love tap” from the CEO.  I can picture her now as she hauls back and, with a follow-through like a Wimbledon champ, cracks the back of that jewel-encrusted hand across each penitent face while screaming, “This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me!  KIDDING!!”

The book is for sale on Lulu.com, who are the gentle and helpful publishing midwives to this elderly primo gravido.  Once I’ve approved the physical copy, it will be sent for possible distribution on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other so KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!  I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Sheesh.

May only, get 20% off. Click on the cover image above to go to my product page on Lulu.com and to purchase.

REVIEW OFFER

If you’ll go onto Lulu.com and write a review, I’ll send you a PDF of the paperback final version, free of charge.  Shoot me an email at david@davidroddis.com with subject line:  Paperback review offer and I’ll get it off to you within a day or two.

~

Can You Spot All Eight TrumpTicks On This Muffin? CDC Creeps Out Internet With Horrific Viral Post!

trumptick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have tweeted a photo of a muffin that has ruined muffins for everybody.

Trumpticks, with their tiny minds and even twinier hwands, can totally spoil your day should you accidentally ingest some of their toxic ideas, which have been described as “completely indigestible”.

The merest nibble on a half-baked Trumptick can cause Alzheimer’s-like confusion, inability to deal with progress and a compulsion to spew out any old dumb, offensive nonsense the second it occurs to you.  Advanced symptoms include pulling weird faces while standing in front of a lectern, shrinkage of the brain to pin size, and lopsided hair that takes on a repellent, orangey sheen.  Pretty soon you’re running to your kids’ school with guns for all the teachers, compulsively pressing elevator buttons and phoning out for Korean barbecue with “the nuclear option”.

If you see a Trumptick that’s latched onto you, DO NOT SQUEEZE ITS HEAD, which is empty anyway, and kind of a gross out.  Take a big pair of tweezers and pull slowly while chanting, “This is how to make America great again”.  It’s a lot easier than you think.

Once you’ve done that, just call Nancy Pelosi.  She can’t help, but, you know.

She’d appreciate the attention.

SlowPainful Shortbread

I couldn’t face the fact that the previous post was nearly 3,000 words including the recipe.  So here it is, as a separate post.

Never, I mean never, forget how good I am to you.  Deal?  Deal.

SlowPainful Shortbread


The ingredients are below, UNDER “Method”.  That’s because I “go on a bit” about the ingredients, so if you’re a beginner, you’ll still be able to make the shortbread and understand what you’re doing. I’m rarely this kind or helpful, so take advantage and don’t push your luck.

METHOD:


  1.  Make sure that you have one of the oven racks at about the middle of the oven.
  2. Turn on your oven to 325F.  Do this NOW before you do anything else and it will be pre-heated by the time you’ve mixed the dough.  (DO NOT turn on the oven higher than required with the idea this will speed things up.  That’s not how ovens work and anyway, please follow the directions!  OMG!  I’m irritated already!)
  3. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract (if using) to a bowl.  How big a bowl?  A big-enough bowl!
    Use a big metal salad fork (or your mixer if you must) to squish the soft butter and sugar together, then vigorously mix and whip the butter and sugar for about two minutes, till the butter is fluffy and paler than when you started.
  4. Add the flour to the bowl and use the fork to mix it with the butter and sugar.  Mix it well so there are no dry bits of flour remaining. It will be quite soft and squishy.
  5. With your hand, gather the dough together into a ball and squish it against the bowl with the heel of your hand.  Fold it over and do this again.  Do this about four times, but no more.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball. If you want to be REALLY good, put the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let it rest before continuing.  But you won’t will you?
  7. Either take the dough from the fridge and continue or just continue: Find a baking sheet (no need to grease it), place the ball in the center and use your hand to gradually squish it flat into a disc about 8 inches in diameter, it will be about 1/4 thick or maybe a little thinner.
  8. Use the fork and stab it all over the dough to make tiny holes (this will help it cook evenly in the centre).
  9. Take a knife and drag it vertically across the dough to make a line that divides the dough in two from top to bottom.  Now do the same horizontally.  Now do the same for each quarter, making 8 wedges.
  10. Use the the fork and press the tines flat all around the edge of the dough to make a simple “petticoat” decoration or just say “fuck it” and go on to the next step.
  11. Put the baking sheet of dough in the oven and set your timer to 15 minutes.
  12. At fifteen minutes, check the shortbread.  It should just be barely golden around the edges.  If it still looks raw let it go one or two minutes more, but no more.
  13. Obviously if it’s dark brown around the edges because you ignored me about turning the oven up higher, take it out and have a maudlin narcissistic breakdown as you cry about what a failure you are and how nothing ever goes right for you.  If you’re doing this for sympathy from someone in the room, this is when you allow them a few moments to “there, there” you.  You’d better have someone in the room, though, cause you WON’T get any sympathy from me. I TOLD YOU SO and  I AM IMPLACABLE. Once you’re done crying, proceed to 14.
  14. Remove the shortbread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for a while, OR, just shove crumbling, still-cooking, moist bits of hot shortbread into your mouth and burn your tongue, thus ruining the whole enterprise because of your greedy impatience.
  15. But waiting is worth it and will produce a crispier shortbread.
  16. Take a bow!  For the full SlowPainful ambience, serve with Earl Grey tea, preferably No-Name Earl Grey tea from No-Frills.  (Or, continue crying and eating the not-cool shortbread as you gasp and sniffle.  A well-executed narcissistic breakdown can fill up an entire empty day!)

Ingredients:

One stick of salted butter (or 1/2 c. ), softened. (or unsalted but then add a good pinch of salt to the ingredients).
Measurements of volume are confusing and inaccurate, but that’s what we use.  The amount of butter is half a cup by volume but by weight it’s 1/4 pound.

If you’re a beginner cook, do one of the following:  1. buy one stick of butter and use that; 2. squish some soft butter into a 1/2 c. measuring cup; 3. cut a pound of butter lengthwise into two, then cut the halves again the same way, then use one of the resulting sticks; 4. buy a half-pound and cut it into two and use one of the resulting sticks; 6. If your pound or half-pound of butter has guidelines on the wrapper indicating cups, follow those and cut off the right amount; 5. if you have a scale, weigh out a quarter-pound of butter = 4 oz. / 125g if you’re a communist and use metric. Sheesh.  Are you always this high-maintenance?)

(If you forget to take the butter out of the fridge so it softens, and like me you don’t have a microwave:  This is my patented method — grate the hard butter on the large holes of a box grater into the mixing bowl.  Genius!)

1/4 c. white sugar
/ or soft light brown sugar, in Canada called “cassonade” in French, in which case I have to say “Packed” brown sugar, it’s the tradition.)

1 c. white flour
(all-purpose or if you’re feeling experimental use Monarch “cake and pastry flour” which is made from softer wheat, but don’t come crying to me. Don’t scoop up the flour using the measuring cup, you’ll pack it in and get too much.  Spoon the flour into the cup, level it off.  This way you’ll be accurately inaccurate.)

A cap-full of vanilla extract
OMFG NOT the “artificial”!  PURE VANILLA EXTRACT! The real shit, please, it’s honestly better to leave it out if you don’t have.  If you have aspirations or even pretensions, which are just aspirations that have smoked a spliff and gotten ahead of themselves, you can invest in a vanilla bean — slit the bean lengthwise and use the tip of a knife to scrape out the unpromising looking black sludge of seeds and add that to the mixing bowl.
Your shortbread will be flecked with those tiny flecks of black that absolutely scream “high-end” so loud they can hear it in Des Moines, and will taste wonderful, too.

(TIP: Place the used vanilla bean in your bag of sugar to flavor the sugar.  Be sure to post a pic of this on Instagram, sweetie.)

Alternatives to vanilla:
first alternative is : nothing at all, your shortbread will still taste yummy

Try the following once you’ve made the recipe with or without vanilla.  Add these to the butter and sugar in the bowl BEFORE you mix up the dough.  The amount of liquid if any should be very small, no more than, well, the cap of vanilla, right? Call it 1/4 teaspoon :

  • a little lemon zest grated on the tiny holes of your box grater plus a tiny squish of lemon juice. Don’t go all gung-ho with the grater and end up with the bitter white pith! Just the zest.  (If you want to make yourself and/or a five-year-old child laugh, by the way, try saying “white pith” several times, slowly and with a serious expression.  Go on, try it.)
  • or use an orange / tangerine / lime
  • If you like ginger, buy some root ginger, peel a chunk and cut off a piece about the size of a quarter. Grate this ginger into the dough, using the smallest holes on your box grater. This will also produce a bit of  “ginger juice”.  Discard the fibrous bits that will be left in your hand after grating.  You will have ginger shortbread and it is “different, eh?”
  • experiment with a tiny bit of ground spices: cardamom is divine, I’ve even used garam masala (!).  But if you like the spice, go for it.  Personally I despise cinnamon, but there’s no accounting for taste.

~