And another one

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just so we don't all have that awkward business of a non-comedy poem sitting on the top of the blog, stifling user comments, here's another post for people to talk about.

First, we'll share what's possibly one of my favoritest (if not my favoritest) pieces of instrumental music. That it comes from a Star Trek episode (also one of my favorite) probably says something about me.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Inner Light

I don't remember how old I was when I saw that episode, but it was a big deal. I still maintain that the whole fifth season of TNG was one of the best-written pieces of science fiction, let alone Star Trek, that existed before Babylon 5 or Firefly came along and changed the playing field.

(Some people would say Battlestar Galactica changed the playing field. Honestly, and I've tried, I completely fail to see BSG as science fiction. If I had to list sci-fi shows on television right now, I'd get through Dr. Who, some reruns of shows I like, and then I'd start to stammer a bit.)

And then, because I should always endeavor to Bring On The Funny for you lot, here's Dave Barry, who is the essence of Brought On Funny.

If I had voted that election, and had been aware that Dave Barry was running for president, I would have totally voted for him.


And we climaxed,
While the towers burned.
And we came down,
When they did.

And we lay,
My head on a pillow,
Her head on me.
"Storm's coming."

And she said,
"I heard thunder.
Must be bad,
'Cause I hear sirens."

And I looked,
Out the window,
And just saw,
A lot of gray fog.

And I heard,
The television
Going in the other room.
News I couldn't hear.

And we kissed.
"Who cares?" I said.
"Just a storm. It'll pass."
We lay silent, in love.

And I cared,
Later, when I saw.
It really WAS a storm.
Just without clouds.

And I hated,
That my best moment,
and my worst moment,
Were the same one.

Boring bits, plus MATING!

Friday, April 27, 2007

I was going to do a long and musing post about how the writing of my novel is going, and then I remembered that there are few things quite as boring as listening to a writer who is Great With Novel talking about the novel in question. Either it's going good, or it's going crappy. Most everything else is just bubbling excitement, or bleeding angst.

It's going very well. I'm at 15,000 words, all handwritten. I'm happily averaging about 300 words a page. This says a lot for my handwriting, which has improved leaps and bounds in the past year. I use letters, for a start. It's also typed up, because since I don't always have access to a uniform form of writing, the novel has the first page written in a journal, pages 2-12 written on white legal paper, pages 12-20 written on yellow longer legal paper (folded up from living in my pocket) pages 20-34 are in another journal, and so on. I have this folder with more or less all the pages in it neatly, and it is the messiest folder ever. I dropped it yesterday, and it was practically a natural disaster. Thank god for page numbers.

My main character continues to surprise me, which makes me happy. I thought he'd have a beard and longish hair. Instead, he keeps shaving his entire head. He also has a penchant for knives. Very odd, and delightful.

And that's all I'll say. You can wake up now.

Here's the MATING promised in the title: The secret origins of Elmo (look closely, at the end.)

Right. Off to write. Right.

In Doggerel We Trust

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

So, the other night while cuddled (in a manly fashion) in bed with my wife, we chanced to watch an episode of DOG: Bounty Hunter. I was amiable toward it. He looks cool, in an eighties rocker sort of way. The theme song is done by Ozzy (and not Ozzy-is-so-sad, but Ozzy-is-rocking). What's not to love?

Half an hour later, I was incredulous and weirded out. Let's follow a typical hunt, shall we?

I'm sure I'm not making this up.

DOG: RIGHT, so today we're going to CATCH a CRIMINAL who has evaded the LAW, which is ILLEGAL!

WIFE: You tell 'em, baby!


DOG: Her name is CARRIE, and she is our BOUNTY. She's worth fifteen dollars, dead or alive!

WIFE: That's my baby's daddy talkin'!


DOG-SON: Yo, yo, foshizzle some nizzle hizzle, drizzle! Velveeta!

DOG: Let's ROLL!


DOG & COMPANY BURST INTO THE HOME THROUGH ALL AVAILABLE ENTRANCES (just left of the front door being an 'available entrance.')


CARRIE: whflapy?


WIFE: Probably 'pretending' it's 3AM too!


CARRIE: Who the heck are you guys? Am I being invaded by RATT?

DOG: No. I am DOG, the BOUNTY HUNTER. In DOG we TRUST! I'm so sorry, did I waky your hubby? I didn't mean to. Sorry, sir.

HUSBAND: ......ZZZzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzz.....


CARRIE: What the hell!? Hey, where are you taking me! THIS IS ILLEGAL!

DOG: What is illegal is the sadness in your heart, caused by your bad choices, Carrie.

CARRIE: Er. What?

DOG: Think of me like, like not a bounty hunter, but a Bounty Quilted Quicker Picker-Upper, for your sadness, and for your regret, okay, honey? How old are you, sweetie?

CARRIE: Old enough to legally get away with kicking you in the crotch for asking me that.

WIFE: My baby's daddy gets 'em! SHEE-OOOT!

DOG-BROTHER: Yeh! Yeh! Yehyehyeh! Yeh eyehheyeheyeheyh yeeheh!

WIFE: Sheee-ooot, all this'un talkin' got DOG-BROTHER excited. Shat yer trap, DOG-BROTHER, or we puttin' you in yer cage when'a we get back!

DOG: Carrie, I think that as we travel to bring you in for your bounty, we should say a prayer to Baby Jesus. Because he loves you. Just like I do.

CARRIE: I'm on Punk'd. That's gotta be it.

DOG: Like the great bounty hunter of hearts said, Won't you be my neighbor?


DOG: That was a HARDCORE CASE, fortunately I'm a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL, else I wouldn't have SURVIVED. Next time, let's see who tries to escape....THE DOG!


(This episode featured music by Earth, Wind & Fire, in violation of the Geneva Articles of War)


You think I'm kidding. Go watch the show! It goes from HARDCORE BOUNTY HUNTER one moment to "if you had three wishes, honey, what would they be?" It's like Rambo combined with Dr. Phil. Except it's not even Rambo. It's Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots!: Part Duex combined with...Montel.

Weirdest. Show. Ever.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Here, let's watch a dramatic piece of horror television.

Here's part One:

Here's part two:

Here's part three:

Whoa. Where Am I??

Thursday, April 19, 2007

*looks around blog*

Am I in the right place? Apparently someone redecorated. :oD

*shrugs and goes about posting*

I wholeheartedly agree with Pete about Sanjaya. Sure, he seems like a nice kid, but I'm glad he's gone. He didn't deserve to get that far on American Idol. Is he a better singer than I? Probably. But he wasn't as good as some of the folks who got voted off before him.

And... Lakisha in the bottom three?! Eeek!

I'm not sure who I want to go next, because I really like all of the remaining six contestants.


I'm home today with a sick kid. :o( My poor little buddy got sick and ended up missing his first baseball game last night. So I called off work this morning, after being off yesterday for helping at the Kid's school for their Grandparents' Day event.

I spent a good portion of my night (when I would have much preferred to be sleeping) cleaning up kid barf.


In the evening, I took Son's temperature, and it was hovering just over 101º. So I gave him some Tylenol and got him settled into bed. Around 11:30, he was fast asleep. I was just dozing off and could hear his deep breathing. All of a sudden, he barfed himself awake. Ugh. Poor kid. No chance to lean out of bed and to the trash can. Nope. He threw up all over the bed, the sheets, the stuffed animals, the pillow, his shirt, his pants, his socks, and yes folks, the floor. I was gagging as I got his stuff pulled off the bed. Poor kid was dazed. We got him cleaned up and got the bed cleaned off and he promptly conked back out while we proceeded to drag his stuff to the washer. Ick. I nearly horfed myself.


Grandparents' Day was fun. We tie-dyed t-shirts. Blue.

Guess what color my hands are now.

Yep, blue. Most of the dye has come off, but I still look like someone just pulled me out of an avalanche... or a grave. My nails are blue and my hands still have a slight blueish tint. I've tried about a dozen cleansers and nothing is working. I guess I'll just have blue hands for the next couple of days!


More pleasantly, the school is also running a Scholastic Book Fair right now. I picked up a few books for myself and of course the Kid ended up with a few books to add to his library. He found a new series (new to me, anyway) that looks pretty cool. The Midnight Library. I'm going to read a few myself to see what they're like.


More pleasantly still, the weather here seems to be breaking. Today was nice enough that I cracked open a few windows. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 71º. Thank goodness. I need a nice bright warm day!

America the passably intelligent

This blog would like to extend it's hearty congratulations and warmest support to the people of America, who have finally made a really smart decision and sent Sanjaya HOME.

(It was probably because the ****ing 13-year-olds who were voting for him just had a lot of homework that night. I'm sure there will be plenty of free-form angst-ridden poetry about the lack of Sanjaya in their lives now.)

And I like how spelling-error-free this post is, considering I'm writing it while doing Snoopy Dances. No mean feat, I can tell you. (Way mean feet, though.)

And while American Idol provided their montage of Sanjaya's journey, complete with Daughtry's "Home" playing over it, I would like to offer my own video/song montage for Sanjaya's journey.

Naughty Bits

Monday, April 16, 2007

Because this just seemed like the sort of thing that belongs on this blog

Girls outdo guys at ogling

Women are worse oglers than men - despite the widespread belief they are less physically focused.

Scientists used eye-tracking technology to pinpoint what people looked at when shown a series of sexy photos, reports The Sun.

They expected women to be more interested in faces and men in the naughty bits - but it was the other way round.

Dr Heather Rupp of the US-based Kinsey Institute said: "Men looked at the female face much more than women and both looked at the genitals comparably."

So, there you go.


Today is a beautiful day, with temperatures approaching seventy degrees. This would almost be too warm for comfort, except there's this cool breeze blowing now and then, just to cool things off. What else could you ask for?

I am therefore going out onto the balcony with a comfortable chair, a notebook, a freshly-filled fountain pen, and a bag of pretzels that no one will care if they leave crumbs on the ground.

Last night, I typed up about half of what I'd hand-written for the Rome novel so far, and was pleased to see that it was around four thousand words of text that I enjoyed reading as I typed.

Even later last night (something I paid for when I got up very early this morning) I kept writing where those handwritten bits left off. Earlier in the week, failing to remember the gist of where I'd left off when I wanted to do some writing (and was not at home) I picked a scene that I knew came a little ways ahead and I started writing from there. I got about fifteen pages handwritten from that point. So last night and this morning, I wrote the bit that bridged the two scenes together, and it worked very well.

It also, without intending to, solved a minor problem that I was expecting in another ten pages or so.

I noticed that with my last novel as well, now I come to think about it. I'll anticipate a problem ahead (Problem: I know why Our Hero goes into the hold of the ship; I don't know why the guards and the crew let him) and mostly ignore it, because I'm busy with the actual writing stuff. By the time I approach the problem, something has happened in the text which explains it away perfectly, and I don't have to consciously do anything to try and fix it (Solution: The guards think he's going after the guy who tried to kill Our Hero, failed, and was thrown in the hold with other people; the guards are wrong, that's not the reason, but they let Our Hero down anyway and hope for a good brawl).

So, off to the balcony to write. I already said that. Time to find out what happens when Our Hero's fever breaks and he is approaching sane for the first time in a long time (how long? He'll find out shortly.)

Nature Roads

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Well, it was too beautiful a day to stay inside, so I and my younger sister went for a hike through the nearby nature reserve. Anything that remotely resembled a path (i.e., did not immediately have a tree sprouting in our way) was walked on. When you're debating whether the thing you're walking on is a path or a riverbed, you are perhaps getting a little nuts.

We did about nine miles, round trip. We also found cool walking sticks. I count this as a good day. Now, I need something cool to drink (and a jug of passion fruit juice is calling my name) and somewhere to put my feet up, and a notebook. Time to do that writing thing I keep going on about.


I brought a camera while out there and thought, "Well, let's take a nice and interesting picture, to share with the world, indicating my cool and intellect. So I had my sister take this.

Not the greatest picture.

Then, because my cool and intellect usually lasts about as long as it takes for me to think of something funny...

The sun was bright. I don't ALWAYS look like an impish and slightly stunned Lemur.

And then, because it just seemed like a good idea at the time (and turned out to the best picture of the bunch...)

And there. I have other interesting pictures of mushrooms, butterflies, frozen lakes, and such...but honestly, how many pictures can you stand to see? So I'll leave it there, and go do something useful.

Abby Road

So, I was intending this post just to welcome the newest member of our household, but in the process of getting the pictures of her off the camera, I found lots of obscenely cute pictures of the cats. So they get posted too.

Let's start with Bailey.

Yes, the life of a Bailey is a good and happy thing, where the thing on his shoulders is only used for rubbing, and eating. And being licked by other cats.

He also kicks butt at Soul Calibur II.
So! That's our Bailey moment!

Now, let's move on to...Runt!

Arrrrrr! He do be wild! He'll conquer that paper, you wait and see. Yarrrr! Or he'll make a squeaky noise and wonder why no one loves him right this minute.

Let's move on to Toby. Little Toby, who was a stray that we brought in. He was the size of my hand, I found him one morning swollen and bleeding by the side of a freeway. It was the morning after a major thunderstorm, full of hail and lightning and tornado warnings. He was less than six months old, practically oozing worms and other viruses. Based on his vet bills, the Vetrinarian probably bought a Hummer.

That's a fairly big barstool. As you can see, Toby turned out fine.

Anyway, the thing about changing the batteries in the camera is, you suddenly discover that all of the cats, knowing this was going to occur, have become disgustingly cute. They do things like this:

They have no shame. That's Baily, Logan, and Toby by the way. You can figure out who's who.

ANYWAY. The point of this blog post was to tell you about the new member of my household.

My wife is a Professional Dog Groomer, which would sound way more impressive if she didn't come home smelling like wet dog. Anyway, she works in the grooming salon of our local PetCo. They sell rats. One of the rats, under six months old, escaped two weeks ago and spent the past two weeks living randomly in PetCo. Terrified, obviously, by customers and workers and slamming pallet jacks and all manner of things. She finally got caught yesterday and put up for adoption. She lost half her tail, presumably got it ripped or cut off somewhere in the store. She goes ballistic around loud noises and is terrified of everything right now.

No one would have adopted her. Well, probably some sick bastard would have, to feed her to his snake. So Renee and I took her home.

She lives in the big cage now with our other, older female rat, Emma. Emma is a wonderful rat, who took care of one or our other old rats when she was weak and dying. She's thus far taken very good care of our new rat too.

Her name is Abby. And here she is.

She's pretty small. I would have taken her out for the pictures, but she can't handle being picked up yet. Give us a week or so.

And for the morbidly inclined among you, here's what's left of her tail (healed over just fine; just short)

She's obviously had enough of me. And now, probably, so have you.

So I shall go for a walk.

Zombie Jokes!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I am not dead. As evidenced by the following zombie jokes, which I made up (despite my wife declaring that I didn't) and which I wouldn't make if I were dead, would I?

Q: Why didn't the zombie move forward with his lawsuit?

A: Because he didn't have a leg to stand on!

Q: Why should you never have a zombie roommate?

A: Because he'll always leave you in the lurch!

Ha! Ha! I am brilliance personified!

Yes, I'll go back to staring at pages of .php code now...

Where, oh where?

Where, oh where, oh where is PeeDee? Where, oh where, oh where is PeeDee? Where, oh where, oh where is PeeDee, where could he have gone?

Sorry, flashbacks to when my Munchkin was a much, much smaller Munchkin and we'd sing that song with seventeen BILLION verses... where are your fingers, where are your toes, where is your head, where is your nose... *thinks back fondly*

I suppose he's done another self-ban, but usually he's still in communiqué. :o( Boo hoo, I haven't chatted with Pete in weeks. Hopefully he's off being über productive and has a whole stack of fabulous stories done.

Thanks to some gentle prodding ("Go write something.") from my favorite PM victim friend, I'm working on a short story, which may end up being the start of my next book. I've had the book idea marinating, and now I'm working on a similar story that I hadn't originally been what I was thinking for the book. But it just might work. And if not, what the hell. It's writing, right?

Right now the sun is shining! It's chilly, but not as nasty cold as it's been. I'm going to bury my head in the sand and pretend this is a sign that the late-season snowstorm has been canceled. *grin*

Off to write!

Creative Creativity

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's probably just me being chronically restless, which I tend to be, but I love experimenting with different methods of writing things. I learned to write by hand, advanced to a manual typewriter, then electric, and then eventually found these computer things. I was very impressed with how fast and efficiently a computer could garble up and lose something I'd written. Way faster than a typewriter!

I never really switched modes because I had to. It wasn't Gee, I'd best start typing my stuff up so I can send it out. I just switched because I was curious, I wanted to experiment, and I eventually found a groove on each device and continued to use it until a new groove came along. I was always content in the knowledge that if computers irked me enough, I could go back to typewriting, and if that irked me enough, I could revert all the way back to handwriting. The versatility was important to me.

One thing I always do in art stores is ogle the sets of calligraphy pens which comes in attractive little packages. I like the pens with their fountain pen like points (being a sucker for fountain pens) and I like the little bottles of various inks. I always dream of scratching out a short story like this. I just never got around to buying any.

Fast forward to tonight. My sister, who has heard about this several times, comes out with a little bottle of black ink and a set of calligraphy pens and points and sets them down in front of me. I am busy sitting like someone in a coma, practically drooling, with a Hulkbuster of a headache and pain caused by the Brownian motion of air molecules brushing against each other.

Still, I'm delighted to try it. You're never too old to try new things! So I set aside my manuscript that I'm working on, by hand, and I put down a blank piece of paper and I go to try it.

I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea.

I scratch out one little line. And then, in the process of going to dip the pen into the ink again...I catch the pen tip on the edge of the bottle, upend it, and spill three fourths of the bottle of ink.

I spill it in a pretty puddle all over the table, two of my fingers...and three of my manuscript pages.

I haven't typed up any of this manuscript. I promised myself I wouldn't type it up until I'd finished chapter one. So you can imagine my screaming.

Fortunately, I only lost a handful of words, most of which I can probably guess. It's not like it blotted out half a page, said half containing such words of brilliance as to move the readers of the world to tears. I just have sentences that now go "You cannot be said with a flush.*

So, this proves that experimenting is a Very Bad Idea indeed, and I will now stick safely to the modes of writing that I learned when I was younger. No more of this crazy boat-rocking for me. Nossir. For one thing, it took me five minutes to scrub the ink off my fingers.

It did make me appreciate my cartridge-based fountain pen all the more.

And I think I should probably buy my sister a new bottle of ink, since her old bottle of ink is currently a large black stain (but it's on a large black table, so that's all right.)

* This is not an actual sentence. For one thing, this sentence is terrible, which is exactly the sort of sentence I don't write. So never fear.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Unless, of course, you don't celebrate Easter, and which case happy everything is closed and we have nothing better to do but go out and eat day!

I'm off to eat excessively.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

At least until later this week, when we are to once again be subjected to nut-freezing weather. Not that I have nuts, unless you count the can of dry roasted peanuts in the cupboard. *grin*

I'm insanely busy right now. Work is maddening - there are eleventy billion end/beginning of the month reports that have to be done RIGHT NOW!! RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND OR THE BANK WILL IMPLODE!!! Yeah, right. If that were the case, I'd "lose" my files in the shred bin. OOPS.

This working thing sucks. (Yeah, I know. I get no sympathy but this is MY half of the blog and dammit I'm going to have a pity party.) I've had to almost completely eliminate my volunteering, which sucks. That was a part-time job in itself. The house is going to hell, and you want me to... what?? Did you say cook? Yeeaaaaah. I wouldn't be holding my breath for a home cooked meal.

My time online is ridiculously limited - it's even affecting poor Pete!

Not to mention I haven't been able to spend as much time polishing my shrine to RT, the object of my undying and insatiable lust. (He thinks I'm kidding because I confessed my secret desires on April Fool's Day. I couldn't wait any longer!) *grin*



So I've got spring fever in the worst kind of way, and I almost wish I didn't have the damn window in my office. I sit there, drooling on loan files, staring out the window at the sunshine (not directly at the sunshine, I'm not an idiot!) and thinking of the shitload of work I need to get done at home, but I can't because I'm stuck at work.

On top of all the work crap, there's my school volunteering which I'm still obligated to do, and I'm doing a piss-poor job at it, which is like nails on a chalkboard to my anal retentive self.

Oh, did I mention Little League?

And then hours of babysitting angst where my sitters (who happen to be close relatives) decided they didn't have time to babysit??????? It turned out ok, we hired a teenage girl who doesn't know we're ripping her off with the pittance we're paying. LOL

What? Did someone say writing? *convulses on floor, consumed by hysterical laughter* No, I don't think my book will get edited anytime this millennium. All my mental energy is being drained out of me. *poof* there went the last of it...