Balls Hair: How Not to Type a Post

Last night as I laid my head down on my desk, cringing after having just edited my latest blog entry, I thought, “it’s time to write another post acknowledging that girl, you cannot type to save your life.” This is just a fact. I type, I edit, I post, I edit, and then I edit at least five more times to be sure, tweaking the post bit by bit until I’m finally convinced, “I got this!” while knowing I’ll come back a day later to find even more glaring goofs. I have yet to write that flawless elusive post. One day.

With that post, I hoped to accomplish two things:

  1. Acknowledge that I am painfully aware of just how bad my typing can be. That some days it may actually hurt your eyes or your soul to read.
  2. Somehow convince you guys to wait a day or maybe 15 (15 is good, right?) before reading my posts, which would maybe give me enough time to catch the vast majority of my errors  (although that’s probably still unlikely as I know my track record better than most)

I thought about trying to explain that sometimes my brain works faster than my typing fingers. I thought about adding that I’m so familiar with my writing that when I edit, I miss the words that need to be fixed, because my brain is “lalala-ing” along with the familiar flow of my speech pattern/sentence structure that it’s actually filling in the missing pieces. And the truth is that the further I get away from what I’ve written, the better I am at catching all those little glaring bits. The ones that cause me to lay my head down on my desk and cringe a ton.

I guess those are the joys of reading a personal blog? Lucky you?

I also decided I would share some related anecdotes to drive that point home – stories that provide further proof that I can neither edit nor type – just something for your amusement, and a chance to really enjoy how bad it all can get for me, then maybe you’d all laugh WITH me.

Today my cousin posted a question on Facebook: “Name something random about u” after he’d offered up a random fact about himself. I was in. I do a lot of random things, and what I should have done was mentioned being in a mariachi. I now deeply regret not just saying, “I was in a mariachi!” and ending it there.  But no, that would be too un-Beth like. So, I had to mention hairballs. Here’s the thing, the mere sight of them makes me gag. And if you start talking about them in things, on things, around things, whether they’re wet or dry, I’ll have to hyper focus to avoid going into a coughing fit. Thank you Burger King for a quirk that has settled well in over the decades (don’t ask), and I truly wish my brain would let it go, but brains… y’know? I could have told the story just like that, too. But no… I wrote: “Also, the sight of balls hair makes me cough.” Yep, I typed “balls hair”. And I felt good about that post. I hit enter and went on my merry little “balls hair” hating way, announcing my particular random distaste for said “balls hair” to all of his good friends.  Hi, this is my cousin. She hates balls hair enough that she wanted to just share that with y’all and the rest of the world. She’s also someone we can’t have out in polite society. Now you all know why.  Oh, you only drink Guiness on a full moon? Well my cousin Beth here – yeah, she hates the balls hair.

I logged back in to see someone had haha’ed my post, and I knew immediately, without looking, that I’d typed something goofy. When I read my post, I turned bright red, started blushing profusely and well ok, there was some giggling, because I just told the whole world my feelings on “balls hair,” but I was completely mortified. Why I couldn’t type “hairball,” the way we all refer to them, or hey, “MARIACHI”, I’ll never know. I looked around sheepishly, hit the edit button, inserted a well-placed “of” in there, and wrote a quick disclaimer. But the damage couldn’t be undone. I’m now the balls hair hater. 😦

I wish this story were somehow unusual for me instead of just being the latest example.

One more story – A couple of months back, I asked my brother-in-law to pick up a sandwich since he was on his way over.  A simple request. When he arrived he handed me the sandwich, YAY, and then said, “stop using voice-to-text”.  Granted this isn’t a “me typing poorly” story, but more a “me failing to edit” one, which in truth is actually my problem. I barely skim what Siri has said.  I looked at him with surprise, furrowed my brow a bit, and then opened the actual text. In that text, the one that sent, the one Siri decided would be a bit funny, I apparently made a rather lewd suggestion. You know, the kind of suggestion you NEVER want to send to your brother-in-law, because NOOOOO – not ok. BAD TOUCH! What I learned from this was not, “Beth, stop using voice-to-text.” No, I learned to now have Siri type: “I’m using voice-to-text. Siri makes fun of my accent. I’m not responsible for the things to come. Just read the words out loud like you’re me. You’ll get the gist.”

Which brings me back to the purpose of this post. I will also never be the type of editor that discovers all of the errors. What I will do is, I will typo. I will always fail to edit thoroughly, and I will still hit the post button. I will also keep working on my story for several days, and I will keep catching those errors. So, my ask is: if you can’t wait a few days, then just read what I write with light eyes. Gently glide over the typos, fill in the blanks of the butchered words or mangled phrases. If you see a whoopsied homonym instead of the proper word, read that sentence aloud, and delete your memory of the spelling Men In Black style – just look at K’s pen. Also, feel free to liberally bless my heart.

But at least be thankful I didn’t write a post about “balls hair.” Oh wait. I guess I did.

Huge thanks to everyone who makes it through my actual writing to read my stories; it’s much appreciated – more than you know. I love you guys!

I’ll proof this again tomorrow.

Just Like Lovecraft

Today I was playing with an online writing analysis tool that promised to tell me to which famous writer my writing style was most similar.  I dumped several of my recent blog posts into the offered window, pressed the magical “Analyze” button and watched it whir until the author’s name kerchunked its way out.  Now, I know you’re probably suspecting it said “William Faulkner,” as was I.  I mean, my Dad’s side of the family could easily have been the models for any of the characters in Absalom, Absalom, The Hamlet, or As I Lay Dying.  In fact, had those books not pre-dated many in my family, we could have easily raised a Southern stink about the whole thing.  Seriously, if you had hauled your grandmother’s coffin all over the countryside trying to please her while also having to read her snarky thought bubbles, you’d see where we had a case.

Sadly, the magic machine didn’t spit out “William Faulkner” clearly demonstrating how flawed its analysis was and instead spit out a couple of names with which I’m not familiar – Wallace and Doctorow.  Oh sure, crazy author generator, pick some random guys who never once showed up on any of my high school or college reading lists.  As we all know this is the accepted benchmark for literary fame.  If there aren’t Cliff Notes devoted to your life’s works, you’re nobody. Being mentioned in some random book club or noted on NPR doesn’t count.  Freshman must cringe at the mention of your very name while combing your pages for the deeply embedded (invented) symbolism.  Heated debates over whether you’re an “existential nihilist”, a “romantic”, or a “naturalist” should be occurring at 2am in dimly lit dorm rooms littered with take-out Chinese boxes.   And your words should consume their brains and be quoted at least once in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Those are the rules. That’s when you know you’ve arrived and can claim the title of “famous writer”.

Just for fun, I plugged in a couple more blog pieces and it spewed out “H.P. Lovecraft” and “Stephen King”.  You know, I’m going to have to agree here.  When I think, “who else besides Willie Faulkner do I write like when I blog” my mind immediately goes to “Lovecraft and King,” because I have to admit I am quite the psychological horror/thriller blogger.  You guys probably aren’t surprised one bit especially after reading about the man-sized grasshopper that tried to eat my face, or was it the Cthuloid manifestation that was clogging the drain? or possibly the angry clown that lived in our possessed garbage disposal? One of those. It’s hard to keep track.

Well, I promise to keep bringing you my Lovecraft/King/Other Guys Who Aren’t on an Accepted Reading List blend of writing, if you promise to keep reading.  Hey, Halloween IS just around the corner and I feel another spooky post coming on.  Ok, I actually don’t. Maybe I’ll just go find an online test that tells me which character from Downton Abbey I’m more like instead (fingers crossed that it’s not Thomas) or maybe I’ll look for my soap opera name – something equally accurate.