In which I almost blow it

I was getting ready for bed just now, and I realized two things at the same moment:

  • That I had not blogged today, and that given the tenor of my week it would not be unreasonable to assume that I had not, in fact, made it through the last student day before Winter Break without going to jail. Fear not! My unbroken record of days where I didn’t kill a child and go to jail remains an unbroken record, and in fact today was probably easier than I was expecting it to be.
  • We had a pajama day at work today– no, I did not participate– and I was expecting a horror show of uniform issues. What I got instead (and, really, what I should have expected) was that everyone wore comfy pants and untucked T-shirts. There were a scattered few brave kids in onesies mostly as jokes and a few in proper pajamas, but mostly everybody showed up in their flannels. It was probably the most chill out of uniform day we’ve had this year, honestly.
  • That’s not the second thing. Consider it a bonus.
  • This is the second thing: that I actually still have an Amazon delivery coming today– it has been projected to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00 PM all day– and I kind of feel like I owe it to the driver to not be in bed while they, a fellow human being who is still at work, delivers my irrelevant shit to my house.
  • In fact, I’m gonna go turn the driveway light on.

I expect to be leaving work by noon tomorrow; I have some light grading and classroom rearranging to do and that’s it. After that? Coma time, which is my favorite time.

CLICK now available for pre-order!

And you can click– no pun intended– right here to make my latest book a part of your life. Release date is July 26, but why would you wait that long to buy it when you can make an impulse decision right now? This is my wife’s favorite of my books, so you should absolutely listen to her and go order it immediately.

I will be out of town all weekend, so updates are gonna be kinda sparse, but there’s already video content uploaded and waiting over at the yootoobz and nothing can keep me off of Twitter, so the dozens of you who plan your lives around my social media update schedule should be just fine. I will return Sunday, by which time I expect my body to be approximately 50% baklava and shawarma by weight. It’s gonna be a fine few days.

High-pressure sales tactics

I said it was happening, and yep, it’s happening: My novel Click is even as we speak being approved by Amazon’s fooferall machines and will be available for humans to buy in the very near future. Official release date is July 26, but it’ll be available for preorder soon, and as soon as the fooferall process concludes I will actually have a link you can click on to order it.

This isn’t even the official announcement post, really, because if it was there would be a link. This is like that card you get before a wedding announcement, that tells you there’s a wedding announcement coming and to hold a date, but somehow is not, itself, either the announcement or the invitation. This is just the announcement that there’s gonna be a book and that you should be prepared to buy it, if you like.

In other news, my YouTube channel is still out there and I’m still having fun with it, so you should go look at that and hit Subscribe as quickly as possible. Am I talking about it too much? Yes, absolutely– but if I don’t, no one will know about the great fun we’re having with Chicory: A Colorful Tale over there. And that one doesn’t even cost you any money! Go do it.

In other other news, the prophesied Second Child has entered the house, and I’m realizing as I’m typing this that I don’t currently hear any screaming, so either the children are both dead or they have gone somewhere without my knowledge, which seems like it could possibly be an alarming development. I don’t know where my wife is either, though, so maybe she’s with them.

(Thudding in the hallway)

Okay, I guess it’s fine now.

My sleep study has been canceled, because, I shit you not, my insurance company has deemed me “not sick enough” to require one, which … man, that’s a whole entire rant, right there, and I’m going to not bother writing the majority of it because the fact is I don’t think I have sleep apnea and not having to spend Thursday night in a hospital makes the rest of my week easier. Instead, at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future I have to do a home sleep study, and if you happen to know what the hell that might involve, let me know, because I haven’t gotten around to Googling it yet. Fact is I have got shit to do, and taking an entire night in a hospital bed hooked up to machines and pretending to sleep off my plate makes the chances that all the other stuff will actually get done a lot higher. Tomorrow’s tasks involve finding presents for my cousin’s two children, one of whom I’ve never met, and getting all of my video recording for the entire weekend done and out of the way. None of that can really start until the extra child is out of the house, and there may be a trip to the county fair in there sometime as well. I’m bringing my laptop to Michigan with me so I can keep up with bloggery, but if there’s anybody out there thinking hey, I would really love to write a piece to promote something for infinitefreetime on, like, no notice at all, let me know.

I have had an insanely frustrating day

And, in return, I would like to present you all with a very simple life hack. I tweeted about this earlier and I’d like more people to be aware of it.

You may have gotten a Visa or MasterCard gift card for Christmas, and you may have been frustrated upon trying to use it at an online retailer, because you either have to leave a small amount of money on the card or somehow manage to spend exactly the amount on the card, because most online places won’t let you split a purchase over more than one card.

If you’ve got a $50 Visa gift card, and you want to spend $60 at, say, Amazon, then what you do is you first use the Visa on Amazon to buy a $50 Amazon gift card. This will be emailed to you as a code and you can then immediately use that code plus your debit card or whatever, and boom– $50 off whatever you wanted to buy, with no money lost to transaction fees and no money left on the card.

You’re welcome.

My most ridiculous review yet, and a site disclosure

Sometime last year, I think, I decided to simplify my life a little bit and threw out nearly all of my socks and bought about three weeks’ worth of new ones, all from the same brand and style. Since then I’ve just been tossing my socks in my sock drawer unpaired, where previously I had to laboriously pair every set of socks while putting my laundry away, a chore I despised. Now, with nearly every sock matching every other sock, that was no longer necessary.

The only exceptions: I kept a few pairs of ankle socks and I couldn’t make myself throw away a certain set of socks that were both pretty new and really comfortable. And, in fact, when I went out to buy a mess of new socks, I went looking for more of that kind, and couldn’t find any. So, whatever, they’re socks; I bought another kind.

And then I discovered something about the new socks that I didn’t think was possible: they were too tight. I’d never had sizing problems with socks before. Sometimes the elastic died and they became too loose, but that was a wear and tear thing. I’d never managed to buy socks that required even a small amount of effort to put on. These felt fine once I was wearing them, but putting them on was more of a pain in the ass than I was willing to tolerate while putting on socks.

(That is, as you may guess, an area where I don’t have a lot of tolerance for being annoyed. Putting on socks should never be even a little annoying.)

Every so often, when I was in a place where I could buy socks, I’d go looking for that white whale style, and I could never find them. Making things worse, I couldn’t identify the logo on them, which seemed ridiculous– helping you identify the brand is literally the only purpose of a logo. And the other day I lost patience with the entire process after yet another trip to Target revealed that Target basically only carries Hanes now, and took a picture of one of the Good Socks and posted it to Twitter, thusly:

It took less than five minutes, because Twitter is awesome; that is Champion’s logo, but of a special no-longer-existing Target-specific Champion brand called C9. I hadn’t been able to find the socks anywhere because that logo only existed for Champion socks sold at Target, which it doesn’t do any longer.

It’s also upside down.

But Champion still makes socks, right? Surely the socks Champion makes under their own name aren’t inferior to the ones they were only making for Target.

I immediately ordered twelve pairs of Champion Men’s Double Dry Moisture Wicking Logo 6-Pack Crew Socks. And I’m about to throw out twelve pairs of the too-tight ones, because these new socks are the shit. If you have the patience to do so, look closely at that picture up top. See how they’re ribbed (for your pleasure, uhuhuhuhuhuh) along the long axis of your foot right along the arch? That shit is genius, and it makes the sock both fit better and feel more comfortable while it’s on, and the fact that the soles are double-padded too is just icing on the sock cake. They’re also double-reinforced at the toe and the heel, and while I suspect they’re a touch more expensive than other socks it’s certainly not bad enough that I’m going to notice it.

(I am not Googling “sock cake,” because that will make one exist.)

So, yeah. Throw out all of your white socks, buy as many as you need of these, and just toss them into your sock drawer with wild abandon, because you don’t need to match them anymore.


Let’s talk about that link for a second. I doubt anyone actually has, but you might have noticed that the frequency with which I’m linking to Amazon has gone up a bit around here recently. I have joined the Amazon affiliates program, so if you purchase something from their site through a link here I get a tiny piece of the sale. For example, someone read my review of Scarlet Odyssey and bought a book through that link. It made me twenty cents!

To be perfectly clear: this isn’t going to change what I think of anything; it’s going to take a hell of a lot of twenty-cent referrals before I hit the $10 threshold where they actually pay me, and I decided to go ahead and take my payment in gift cards, so any money I make from book referrals (which are most of what I review) through this site is going to go right back into buying books. It’s not worth it to me to fake enthusiasm for something I didn’t like in order to make a fiftieth of a gift card. It is worth it to occasionally put a link somewhere I might not have a few weeks ago, which is, for example, why the Monthly Reads post today has some links in it. For that matter, too, I have to make a certain number of sales in the first three months or they cut me out of the program, and that one copy of Scarlet Odyssey hasn’t quite done it yet. I also don’t know if they’re going to get pissy about referral links to my own books, so we’ll see what happens if people start buying books by me through affiliate links.

(See what I did there?)

If y’all think it’s important, I’ll throw a disclaimer at the bottom of any post that includes an affiliate link. I’m not sure it’s necessary, but I’m happy to do it if folks think I should. At any rate, that’s going to be the deal for the next little while, at least until I know whether they’re going to keep me or not.