Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am soooo high right now

I mean that in a literal sense. I think we are cruising at about 29,000 feet. This plane has wifi!

It's a Delta flight. I'm coming home from a business trip in Florida and Atlanta, and there was a girls in Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport handing our cards with a promo code to use this service for free. It's called "gogo flight internet" and I must say, this is pretty cool.

I just finished reading INTO THIN AIR, about the 1996 tragedy on Mt. Everest. I bought it on Tuesday afternoon and read most of it on the way to Orlando, and I finished it on the way to Atlanta this morning. One of the climbers, a wealthy lady named Sandy Pittman, had planned to transmit a blog post from the heights of the mountain. Turns out that (among many other things that didn't go as planned) her equipment didn't work when she was as high as I am now. This is a much better solution.

And while I'm on the topic, it was a great book. I am insane enough to read it and think, "Wow, I'd like to try that." If only the whole tragedy thing could be averted, that is. I'm just talking about climbing Mt. Everest. I know I won't (I don't have the $65,000 needed to book a guided trip).

That's all for now. I'm going to work on a manuscript for the rest of the flight.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Writing Game

I'm going to play a writing game. It's called "How much can I write before my wife and kids get home."

It should be easy, because I know when they get home I will have to stop. Time check: 6:15 pm EDT.

They are at an open house at school. We went to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand new elementary school yesterday. One son, destined to wear the proud badge of a Hall Monitor before he graduates, is starting second grade. The other son, the Peanut, is starting kindergarten.

NOTE: Most other bloggers seem to have pet names for their families when they blog, to protect them from the likes of people like you. Not me. I'm changing them to protect you from us.

Another Note: I'm still working out what to name my wife. Feel free to vote, your options are: My Love, My Darling Wife, My Better Half (too cliche? It's really true), The Hottie, and Biatch. Ha ha! Just kidding about that last one...

OK, time's up. 6:21pm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is a Multi-Award Winning Publication

It seems I have earned the respect and admiration of a few readers of this humble blog. How the hell that happened I have no idea. Stark cynicism must have climbed in value since the last time I checked. But who am I to deny myself the benefits of free publicity?

So I will momentarily shed my humble ego (NOTE: WTF? Humble? You expect any of us to believe that?) and accept these two prestigious awards that some random bloggers made up. (NOTE: is it a Freudian slip that I almost typed boogers just now instead of bloggers?)

First, the Kreativ Blogger Award:

One cannot just claim this coveted prize without completing a series of Herculean tasks. Really, Herculean? Surely you jest! Buy nay, as you read through the list of duties (NOTE: Ha ha! He said "doodie") you will see what a challenge each one is...

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

I received this nomination several days ago, and I don't remember who it was from and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. Really the first nomination was from Bridget, but she didn't really nominate me, just emailed me that she wanted to nominate me but was afraid that I would do with the nomination what I am doing right now, i.e. using it to fuel my sarcasm. Then Laura nominated me. And I got another nomination from Vodka Logic. So thanks to all of you!

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

I didn't place it, I pasted it. I hope this does not disqualify me.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

Crap. Now I have to do the research I avoided on task number one. Ok, research done, it was Laura Martone.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

4.1 I am a heathen. But regular readers know that already.
4.2 I play bass and guitar, and I write songs and lyrics.
4.3 I try to sing, but I'm not good at it. If you are pretty drunk, I'm good enough that you probably won't mind, though.
4.4 I had a normal, well-adjusted childhood with friends and a loving family, but was still a basket-case as a teenager.
4.5 I am an introverted extrovert. I like attention, but only when I am alone in the center of it. I hate being in a crowd, and I am a shitty conversationalist at parties. Small talk and I have never gotten on well.
4.6 This is like slaying the hydra, all these things about me are like the hydra's heads, as soon as I tick off one interesting thing, another one pops up in its place. I told you this was Herculean.
4.7 I'm really humble (NOTE: Bullsh!t.)

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.

These are in alphabetical order by author. To avoid creating what Microsoft Excel would call a "circular reference" I did not nominate those who nominated me (and/or considered nominating me):

D. Michael Olive, DMichaelOlive
5.2 Lady Glamis, The Innocent Flower
5.3 Laurel, Unhinged...Seriously
Mira, Come in Character
5.5 Penney, The Sometimes Almost Fictional Life of Penney
5.6 Tricia J. O'Brien, Talespinning
VodkaMom, VodkaMom

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

See 5.1 through 5.7.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Holy f&%*ing s^!# this is taking forever.

Vodka Logic nominated me for this one, and I like it better because the logo is not frilly and girly and the sub-tasks are in quantities of 5's and not 7's.

**Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

No rule saying I can't just copy and paste the first 5 from the other award. Sorry numbers 6 and 7, no disrespect. The alphabet doesn't favor you.

5.1 D. Michael Olive, DMichaelOlive
5.2 Lady Glamis, The Innocent Flower
5.3 Laurel, Unhinged...Seriously
Mira, Come in Character
5.5 Penney, The Sometimes Almost Fictional Life of Penney

**Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

See above, under the logo.

**Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

See above, above the link mentioned above.

**Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor.

How could I not participate when the name is as cute as "Mr. Linky List"?

**Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

This I refuse to do. Eat me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Till Death Do Us Part

I pulled into a parking space and turned to my wife and sister (NOTE: even though my wife is from West Virginia, I am not, and therefore she and my sister are in fact different people).

"I want to apologize in advance in the event a bolt of lightning strikes as soon as I walk into the church," I said. They nodded, affirming the likelihood of such a smoting.

The architecture of the building was beautiful, a Catholic cathedral situated right in downtown Akron. I know, downtown Akron is not much of a selling point, but you have to trust me on this one. The inside was very nice, and the stained-glass windows kept the reality of its location at bay.

Now I mentioned this was a Catholic cathedral, so that means it was a Catholic wedding. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the tenant s of Catholicism, this requires a full mass before the actual wedding. Minimum run time of 45 minutes. I am a recovering Catholic (went to Catholic school grades 1-7), so I wanted to challenge myself by seeing how much of the rote memorization of the Catholic mass I remembered. Plus I want to see how many times I can use the word "Catholic" in this paragraph. It turns out, quite a lot. Catholic.

If you haven't noticed from my writing, I have a short attention span and an over-active imagination. My thoughts turned to the walls, upon which many things were written. One of these things read "Joseph, pray to Jesus for us" and all I could think was "Damn, that's lazy. Can't even take the time to pray yourself, have to ask someone else to do it for you?"

The priest actually had a good homily, but I couldn't stop thinking about how his squinty eyes looked like Mr. Magoo without his glasses.

The bride and groom wrote their own vows, and they were very good. They were also long. The groom went first, talking about the first time they met. When the groom flipped his paper over and kept reading from the back, an image crept into my mind of him standing there in paper up to his knees ("And then on our sixteenth date..."). Honestly, though, he made a lot of people cry (in a good way). Of course, I was not among those numbers. My mind was already wondering elsewhere.

The most precious part of the wedding was when the priest said, "Frodo, the ring."

At least that's what I heard him say. Everyone else may have heard something completely different.

Monday, August 10, 2009


That got you to click didn't it? You bunch o' perverts. Gosh.

Actually, there won't be any mature content in this post. You may now go elsewhere for your debauchery. Doesn't matter, Google Analytics knows you were here.

I just wanted to tell you about the difficulties I have selecting music for my car. I have a 6-CD changer, which is great because I'm too impatient to listen to commercial radio and I don't drive enough to justify satellite radio.

I have an iPod adaptor, but if I used my iPod I am sure to leave it in the car and then the battery will be dead when I want to go jogging, and then I won't jog without music so ultimately listening to the iPod in the car is bad for my health.

The kids don't appreciate the talents of Crosby, Stills & Nash or Janis Joplin. Those "Best of..." CD's are getting pulled from the mix. Trying to decide what to replace them with is a challenge, indeed.

I discovered recently that the kids like Billy Joel, as they continuously request two tracks from Disc 1 of his "Best Of..." CD. (NOTE: I do have several non-Best of... CD's. But none of them will be mentioned in this post).

Choice 1: Disc 2 of the Best of Billy Joel. Many great tunes, and I am sick as hell of The Entertainer and Captain Jack from Disc 1.

Choice 2: I settled on the "Best of...The Doors." I haven't listened to them in a long time, and Jim Morrison had a great voice for a drunken lunatic. Which disc, though, 1 or 2?

Looking over the songs...Disc 2...LA Woman, good one...Roadhouse Blues, another classic, makes me want to get myself a beer...Love her madly, sweet romantic ballad...The End, wait a minute.

That's the one that goes:

"Yes, son."
"I want to kill you. Mother. I want to..."

Waaaay too many questions to answer there. Disc 1 it is.

Friday, August 7, 2009

So Sue Me

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there's thunder, there's lightning. And where there's money, there's a lawsuit.

It seems someone named Jordan Scott is suing Stephanie Meyer for allegedly taking her vampire love story and making it popular.

Now first things first: Jordan Scott, is this all you can do to earn money after American Idol? I know your record sales are down, but frivolous lawsuits are not cool. Oh, wait. That was Jordan Sparks. My bad.

Ms. Scott is suing Ms. Meyer because of "striking and substantial" similarities between the fourth book in the TWILIGHT series and a work titled THE NOCTURNE. The article linked above, which is sourced from MTV because this is totally about music, provides two examples of text, which I will critique for you now to illustrate how different they actually are.

First, Ms. Scott:
"Her face was so pale, it was frightening; and there were beads of sweat pouring down her forehead. She couldn't even stand, she was so weak. ... She was violently ill, vomiting and scarcely able to catch her breath."

This has most of the makings of a hit YA vampire love saga, i.e. passive story telling (was so pale, were...pouring, was so weak, was violently ill) and multiple adverbs (violently, scarcely). Plus you demonstrated an advanced understanding of punctuation by using a semi-colon. But this lacks sparkle.

Additionally, there are many unnecessary descriptions here:
- Her face is frightening because it is pale. Cause and effect is not necessary in YA vampire love sagas. Plus cold and pale is really HOT, don't you know? Nothing scary about that.
- Her weakness is demonstrated through her inability to stand. You said she's weak, your extended examples overwhelm our collective lack of imagination. Cut it out.
- Physical descriptions of sickness, such as vomiting, are just gross. Although you get an extra adverb point for scarcely

Overall, this is a nice first effort that could be made ultra-successful in the hands of a true master.

Now, Ms. Meyer:
"Most of her dark hair was pulled away from her face into a messy knot, but a few strands stuck limply to her forehead and neck, to the sheen of sweat that covered her skin. There was something about her fingers and wrists that looked so fragile it was scary. She was sick. Very sick."

This has all of the makings of a hit YA vampire love saga, i.e. passive story telling (was pulled, was something, was scary, was sick) and adverbs (limply). Plus it sparkles: the sheen of sweat.

If we look up the definition of sheen, we find:

- adjective: shining, beautiful
- verb (used without object): to shine
- noun: 1) luster, brightness, radiance, 2) a member of a family of actors with varying degrees of talent and success. See also: BALDWIN

And the way you made the hair stick to the sheen, it's brilliant. Personally I never would have thought something would stick to a sheen, except a monkey to Charlie Sheen's back. I would have made the hair stick to the sweat. Shows you what I know!

And the vague descriptions that don't force me to actually visualize something unpleasant. What a relief! I mean, something about her fingers and wrists that looked so fragile it was scary. That gives me goosebumps! It's a good thing neither of us can think of what it actually was, we'd really be freaked out!

And the way you told me she was sick without grossing me out with yucky images of puke, or pain in specific areas of her body. Thank you! You said she was Very sick, and because you made that its own sentence, I know you really meant it. 'Nuff said.

Can't wait to read the rest!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Prostitution- Defined

Last weekend we went to Akron for a wedding. On Friday we stopped at my uncle's house to drop our kids off, and they stayed with him Saturday while we went to the wedding and stayed in a hotel that had free shuttle service to and from the reception (it's like getting an official license to drink yourself silly).

I'll tell you about the wedding later. This story is about the kids' experience at my uncle's house, and how it affected my relationship with my Grandma. You're probably wondering what this has to do with the definition of prostitution....

The backstory: We met at my Grandma's house to pick the kids up. I had to go to Grandma's house, there was a serious issue I needed to confront. You see, she gets online sometimes. And she read this post about my last trip to my uncle's house. And while she does get online, she does not get my sense of humor. She got to the part about "Lila smoked some really strong crack" and of course she took it literally and promptly called my aunt to tell her that I was no family man like I pretend to be, I took the kids to a crack-house before I went home.

To my aunt, this was way to good to quash, so she didn't even try to explain it to Grandma. Instead, she called me, laughing so hard she could barely speak and leaving it up to me to clear my name.

We got to Grandma's house before my uncle and the kids did, and I took Lila (our GPS) inside to show it to Grandma and explain such concepts as metaphors and hyperbole. No sooner had I re-polished my tarnished image than my aunt and uncle arrived with the kids.

First thing was hugs and kisses for the boys (had to re-establish the fact that I am a family man). The kids ran off to play Grandma's piano.

"Oh, in case it comes up," my Uncle said, glancing over his shoulder to make sure the kids were out of hearing range, "prostitution is not wearing your seat belt."

To make a short story long, here's how this little word game unfolded:

My Aunt and Uncle were channel surfing with the kids when my older son saw COPS on the cable guide. He loves that show, he first saw it when he was staying at my in-law's house. I watched it with him several times, eventually drawing the conclusions that 1) I didn't want to keep explaining what was happening and why, and 2) the explanations are not suitable for a seven-year-old anyway.

I didn't think to tell my Uncle this beforehand.

So the first scene in COPS was the officers busting a car full of hookers.

"Why are they getting arrested?" My son asked.

"They weren't wearing their seatbelts," was the evasive answer given.

A few minutes later the officer said, "We're going to have to take you in on charges of prostitution."

My son drew the only conclusion he could, given the information available to him at the time. "Prostitution? So that's what it's called when you don't wear your seat belt."

Nobody contradicted his logic. However, my Grandma overheard my Uncle telling me this, and now she believes that I am somehow involved in prostitution. So apparently I went from socializing with crack-ho's to just ho's. And for the record, Grandma knows prostitution has nothing to do with seat belts.