My father was (and is) a very “handy” person to have around the house. Despite being a high-ranking white-collar professional, he was never afraid to get his hands dirty whenever something needed fixing. He did it so well, in fact, that my siblings and I came to rely on him whenever something needed done. As you can imagine, this led to us being rather dependent on his skills, which stunted our (my) growth in that area.
Yes dad, it’s your fault I can’t fix the sink.
All kidding aside, my dad (and many others of his generation, I’ve noticed) has a solid understanding of the basic trades. And I’m not talking about assembling IKEA furniture, either. This is a man who, in the two weeks he’s stayed at my house, has repaired an electrical fixture, did a high-wire balancing act to change a twenty-foot-high light bulb, fixed the bathroom plumbing, and is about to replace two very runny valves on my hot water tank.
I find myself rather jealous.
Don’t get me wrong. I know my way around a toolbox (hammer is used to hit things). I can fix minor problems. But in terms of skill, it’s like comparing a little league pitcher to Bo Jackson. It’s not just the know-how: I’m mechanically inclined enough that I could figure things out given enough time (and with a little bit of help from Google). But my dad is also fully confident in his skills, his ability to assess what needs to be done, what he can do, and what he has to farm out.
As for me? Farming out is the default option. There’s just too high a chance that I’ll screw it up and make things worse. This sucks on so many levels. I should’ve paid more attention growing up.
I know that fatherhood is more than being able to change a light bulb or build a three-piece dining room set in your garage workshop. But right now? When there’s a huge repair bill staring me in the face? Damn if it isn’t making me think.
As a freelancer, I’ve come across my fair share of horribly written job ads. Wrong grammar, unrealistic terms, and horrendously low pay. But I recently stumbled across one that takes the cake, if only because it involves something close to my heart: fantasy fiction.
Here are some of the choicer bits:
I’m not going to lie my book does need some serious work.
How bad is it?
I don’t know I’m not an editor. but the previous editor told me it took her 45min to an hour per page.
45 minutes per page? Writing something from scratch would be faster! I’ve often had to struggle with horrible writing, but come on!
the book is about 70 pages.
the Word count is 30,500
A 30,000 word fantasy novel? That’s shorter than a single chapter from Game of Thrones.
the book is an action adventure book with mythical creatures, magic and sword fighting, hilarious moments, and hints of romance.
This better not be going in your query letter, buddy, because you just described nearly every fantasy novel in existence.
Condensation to be discussed, and agreed upon during the project.
I think I’d rather discuss my pay, and not my house’s moisture level.
I’ve got a news flash for you, pal.
Avi just recently hit 19 months, and I’m happy to say her vocabulary is filling up. It’s mostly nonsense words and a smattering of garbled English and Chinese, but hey, whatever works, right? If her parents can understand her, then she can get what she wants. She gets what she wants, her parents don’t have to deal with a tantrum. It’s a win-win situation!
Here are a few of the more notable words in Avi’s vocabulary:
Nyam nyam – What could it be, you ask? Munchies! Vittles! Food!
Eme – A word Flossie and I love to hear. Avi-speak for milk. When she asks for this, it means she’s ready to go to bed.
Ap-to – Avi-speak for avocado. She looooves avocado. Except when she doesn’t.
UP! – Said when she wants to be carried. When she says that, you listen.
Dooooown – Said when she’s sick of being carried. Usually said two seconds after “UP!”
Quoi – Chinese for “open”. Usually said when she wants to be let out of the room and into the rest of the house. Followed closely by parents running around scrambling to catch up to Avi.
Ama – Avi’s word for “mommy”
Mama – Avi’s word for “daddy”
Crying at the top of her lungs -Avi’s word for “stranger”