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May 31, 2006

Desserts Aren't Always Right

Tomorrow afternoon, the weekly doctor's appointment, in which we learn what'll be happening in the next couple of weeks. Excitement palpable.

* * *

I saw this a couple weeks ago on BoingBoing and meant to comment on it: Stone Golem for LARPing. I've never LARPed, as the weather in the Southland isn't so conducive to dressing up in chainmail, but I gotta say, that's really cool.

* * *

Today at lunch, the fortune cookie with my sesame chicken said that now was an ideal time for me to take up a new hobby or start collecting something new. Frankly, I'm a bit doubtful.

May 30, 2006

Situation Normal

I feel a stronger compulsion to post everyday now, in order to assure folks that the lad hasn't appeared yet. Unfortunately, there's not much else to say. But I'll see what I can do.

Lisa's still working, but this week she's finally started on halftime. Commute's easier, she's still got some energy when she comes home, and so forth.

Tomorrow summer classes start. As a perk of the impending babydom, I was told that I'm not being scheduled for any instruction sessions at all!

Here, something from the heart of the intarweb: a series of sketches done by someone on LSD.

May 28, 2006

Movement

Down: 32 day rejection from Son and Foe.

Up: I now know how to poach eggs. Go me!

No movement on the baby front.

Reading: Had been The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. Now The Arabian Nights: Tales from A Thousand and One Nights, translated by Sir Richard F. Burton.

May 26, 2006

Ever Hopeful

31 day rejection from Fantasy Magazine. And thus endeth the string of sales. C'est la vie.

* * *

After much labor on my part, all the old entries have finally been restored. Yay! The return of my historical record! It's interesting how this journal evolved. It started as a very dry kind of listing of writing developments, modeled after Mary Soon Lee's Mailbox Blues. Then over time it shifted, becoming a lot chattier about my life. I've always been a big believer in not writing down anything you might regret later in court and I think I'm still sticking to that, but it'll be interesting to see what happens next.

It's also interesting to see the markets that fell by the wayside. For example, Pulp Eternity. Whatever happened to them? (Yes, they went under. Not what I meant.) It's also a bit startling to see how long some markets have been rejecting me *cough*F&SF*cough*. But some eventually fell, so I remain ever hopeful.

* * *

Oh, yes: a bon voyage to everyone at WisCon! Have fun, don't hurt yourselves, etc. No Bittercon for me this year. We'll be spending this weekend enjoying our last opportunities to go out unencumbered by baby. Well, unencumbered on my part. Lisa feels pretty darn encumbered right now.

It's getting down to the final days, here. We've passed the 37 week marker, so he's now considered fullterm, and the lad has dropped, an absolute requirement. In short, he could go off at any moment! And since the hot weather's arrived, that's not a moment too soon.

Reading: The Sword of Welleran, by Lord Dunsany. Favorite tale, "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save For Sacnoth." Right up there with "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" and "The Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweller." And now The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Ah, that Professor Challenger. What a bastard.

May 24, 2006

Buffster, Season 8

...will be brought to you in comic book form:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon is writing a new six-issue Buffy mini-series for Dark Horse Comics. The first volume is due out in October. A Dark Horse spokesperson has confirmed to ICv2 that the new series chronicles events that happened to Buffy and her friends after the conclusion of their televised adventures and will function as a "Season 8" to the highly popular cult hit TV series that ran for seven seasons.
I'm all a'twitter (with thanks to Mr. Ellis).

Also: Home on the Strange examines the question, "Does size really matter?" And I think we all know the answer to that.

Currently Reading: Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne. Hey, it's a classic!

May 22, 2006

Fitting

This is a little more accurate than I would expect from an Ok Cupid test.

The Librarian
You scored 73 erudition!
Congratulations! You're well above average when it comes to your knowledge of English grammar, history, and literature. You may have missed a few questions, but if you keep your studies up and stay away from genre fiction, we'll have you ready for Stanford in no time! Who knows, we just might be reading your columns in Talk of the Town a few years from now.



My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on erudition
Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
But still: see that part I bolded? Yeah, like that'll happen. Ha!

Now, if you'll excuse me, Gus is telling me it's time for his dinner. He's doing this by stepping on the keyboard2111111111111Q

May 20, 2006

I'm An Uncle!

Behold my nephew Chris, born this past Wednesday in Charlotte, held in the arms of his gobstruck father, my brother Paul. Go congratulate him already!

While it's technically true I already am an uncle (four times already), now I'm an uncle by blood! Doesn't that entitle me to some kind of special consideration? Like, I don't know, maybe he'd have to help my son seek out justice and/or vengeance if I was ever horribly murdered!

No? Hmm. There's something, I know it.

In our own baby news, we got the car seat installations inspected today. Apparently I did it correctly, as the inspector made remarks like, "Good job, Dad!" I owe it all to being able to read the directions. So now we can take the lad home from the hospital with a clear conscience...in 23 days! Duh duh daaah!

Finally, got the contract from Sovereign Media for "In the Lair of the Moon Men." Whee! Now I'll get paid and have money to buy diapers. Lots and lots of diapers.

Ah, such a lovely day.

May 18, 2006

Various Dispatches

Got some exciting news last night from elsewhere in the family, but I'll wait until they announce officially. So until then, you have to make do with my lesser ramblings.

Discovered that the first ish of the Michigan Avenue Review is up, containing my short-short-short "Start Spreading the News." Don't know if it's an official launch yet, but the site's live, so I presume so. And it also has a story from Ben Rosenbaum! Whoo!

Also got a chance to see the cover art from Twenty Epics, which looks very cool. If you're curious, here's a look at the whole thing.

Reading: Had been The Chronicles of Conan Vol. 2: Rogues in the House and Other Stories, by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith (whoo, interlibrary loan!). Now it's Peter S. Beagle's Immortal Unicorn, an anthology of unicorn tales edited by him and Janet Berliner.

May 15, 2006

Federal Gov't, The Sequel

Amongst recent developments in the Hansen household, we got a second letter from the IRS. It's a sequel of sorts, a response to our response to their politely worded request for a jillion dollars. It could be summed as, "well, we see your point, and while it is an excellent point that's very well-stated with truth on its side, we think you didn't take this other stuff into account." To sum up, they'd like the rough equivalent of a car payment instead. A very nice car.

Once again: we disagree. And once again, we have the paper to prove it. Hopefully this will be the end of it, but you never know.

May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

To all those mothers and mothers-to-be out there, but specifically my mom and Lisa's mom and especially Lisa.

Went to the "Boot Camp for Dads" class yesterday. The doctor running it asked everyone if they'd gotten something for their sweeties for Mother's Day. One guy, a youngish guy with a remarkable Southern accent, said he didn't even know Mother's Day was this weekend.

The doctor smacked him on the arm and said, "After this class is over, you're going down the hall to the gift shop and buying her a card. If you don't, so help me God, you will hear about it every Mother's Day for the rest of your life. Trust me."

More later. For now, I have Motherly Day things to do with my sweetie.

May 12, 2006

Good Morning

This morning, while in between making myself my morning cup of tea and getting Lisa's breakfast together, I learned that Abyss & Apex has accepted my flash piece "Goddess." Whoo! It's a sentimental favorite of mine, so I'm happy it'll see print. It's a good way to start the day.

* * *

Have been busy assembling baby gear. Installed the first car seat base in my car earlier this week (still have to set up the other in Lisa's car), and last night I put together the bassinet. Unfortunately, it's got a lower storage part that appears to be of great interest to the cats. Twice Andy hopped into it and attempted to make a nest. Will probably have to take that off. Ah well. The more you know and other public service announcements.

May 09, 2006

Honor

It's break time between semesters now, so that means it's time for the University to pack in those sorts of campus-wide events that are difficult to pull off when classes are going on. In this case, it was time to hand out staff awards (we give a lot of awards) and honor people who've hit a five year point in their employment anniversary cycle. In this case, I've actually worked there for five years: started May 7th, 2001. So I made a point of noting it on my calendar and then showing up to be honored.

Of course, in this case being honored meant "would all the five year employees please stand?" and then standing. Only those farther along in the cycle got to walk across the stage, shake the president's hand, and then receive their commemorative 24 karat gold statue of a university employee wielding a sword as they stood atop of a pile of defeated students*. Oh well. I got a Krispie Kreme donut out of it.

* - At least, I think that was what was in the envelopes they all got.

May 07, 2006

Baby Got Bling

Lisa had her last shower yesterday, thrown by her sister and her mom. We now have piles and piles of stuff for our child. The thing I find amazing is how much of it we'll probably need (answer: all of it, as far as I can tell). Lisa and I have got wonderful friends and family to help out like this.

I need to take pictures of the nursery. But first we need to find a place to put all the goodies we got.

* * *

There was a request from Shawna at Realms to change the name of the story. It's a bit retropulp, so she was thinking something a little less poetic and little more pulpish than "Along the Bridge of Night." And so the new title is "In the Lair of the Moon Men!" Exclamation point may or may not be included.

* * *

360 old entries in, 699 to go. Oy. Also, MT has an odd quirk that I've noticed. On occasion the browser will say at the bottom that it's waiting for the site to respond, the little wheel in the upper corner will spin, and if I don't immediately scroll to the bottom and hit the 'Save' button, it'll reset the entry to the last saved point. I haven't looked to see if this is something with 3.2 or GoDaddy. It's rather annoying, but only because I'm doing so much cut/paste right now.


May 05, 2006

Meme World

Picked up from Doug.

If you comment on this entry, I'll give you a letter so you can come up with 10 words starting with that letter, plus explanations of what each word means to you.

X-mas. A nice easy abbreviation of Christmas that a select group of people object to, on the grounds that it "takes the Christ out of Christmas." Seeing as this shorthand has been used for roughly a thousand years because the X is a Greek shorthand for Christ, these same people also probably think that the Bible was handed down by God in King James's English and that Jesus was a white dude. I am so very tired of these people.

X-men. Ah, the must-read comic of my youth. I always thought Kitty Pride was adorable, and I'm annoyed to see that she's still not gotten more than cameos in the movie versions. Maybe it'll improve in the third, but I doubt it.

Xander. I've always liked this shortening for the name "Alexander," after being introduced to it by Buffy. It's not unlike "Topher" for "Christopher", only it doesn't sound freakish.

Xena. I never watched that show, or Hercules, or Robin Hood, or Tarzan, or a lot of those other genre syndicated shows that sort of popped up in the late 90s, thanks to the wonders of reasonable & inexpensive computer effects. Heck, the only thing I think I've seen Lucy Lawless in is her guest shot on The Simpsons. Oh, wait, IMDB tells me she also had a guest spot on The X-Files.

Xenophobe. There's a store in town run by one of these. Styles itself as a civil war re-enactment & "herb" shop. The propietor's vehicle has a number of bumper stickers on it that look like something produced by the Aryan Nation. On the other hand, no one will mess with this guy as he always wears two colt 45s on his hips, like an Western movie gunslinger. Not concealed, so it's legal. Lisa and I were eating at one of the local diners when he walked in with them. He needs spurs on his boots to get the "ting, ting, ting" sound.

Xerox. They used to provide printing services at the library until last year, when the university decided not to renew their contract. They seemed so surprised, even though their services weren't so hot. The people were fine, but they wouldn't upgrade the equipment because it would cut into the profit margin. Gee, no wonder they got dumped. My story "Matilda," about a malfunctioning printer in love, was inspired by one of their machines.

Xodar. A character from Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars series. Fierce black warrior, first battles then befriends the Warlord and ends up becoming the ruler of his people. Xodar appeared in the second book, "The Gods of Mars," which also introduced Barsoom's religion, such as it is. I was very surprised to learn years later, in an article written by Fritz Leiber, that Burroughs had lifted most of it from theosophy, a California cult founded by Madame Blavatsky in the late 19th century.

Xorn. The only beastie in the original AD&D Monster Manual that started with 'X'. It stood out for me because I thought it looked ridiculous. Other people agreed, I think. I played a lot of D&D in my teens, lot of modules, Dungeon adventures, etc. and I never once saw it used. It's survived through the 3.5 revision, although it no longer appears to be vulnerable to the cunning use of Phase Door.

XP. The latest operating system to roll out of Redmon, at least until Vista shows up. I actually like it well enough; seems easier to manage. Problem is, the university upgraded all the computers to XP last year...except the public ones in the library, which are the ones I deal with. Said they were "special" and we had to get them configured the way we wanted them. With luck, we'll be rolling out our XP image over the May break. As for myself, I'm still using Mac OS X on my computer at home.

XXX. The stamp of 150 proof whisky, the label for hardest hard core porn, and the title of an unimpressive movie series that tried to capitalize on these "edgy" associations.

May 04, 2006

I'm Not Fit To Fill Leiber's Shoes, But It's Nice Of Him To Say

Something I hadn't noticed before. Slushmaster is posting on his LJ userinfo his quick summary/synopsis/description of stories he finds in the slush that are bought. Here's mine:


9. Jon Hansen--"Along the Bridge of Night"--Pulp Fantasy--Forthcoming--Bringing to mind the classic pulps of years past, this stylish piece is fun reading, featuring a sharp wit that would make Fritz Leiber proud.
Squee!

* * *

131 entries down. 926 to go.

I Told You To Wait

Filled in some more backdated entries. 38 down. Uh, 1,020 to go. And clearly I have to get them taken care of before the offspring arrives, because afterwards I will not have the time or the energy.

Which leads me to what else happened while I broke my internet: we started getting baby swag! Some kind, wonderful, fabulous folks heard my pleas for assistance. You guys are wonderful.

But wait!

The folks at my library also threw Lisa and me a baby shower! Lisa got to meet most of my coworkers, and everyone since then has said she was funny and beautiful and just glowing. Which she is. Frankly, she's helped my status at the library quite a bit. My parents got to come, and we got a lot more stuff for the baby. Most amusing gift: an inflatable baby bathtub in the shape of a duck. When you squeeze the bill, it quacks at you. Will amuse the lad and startle the cats. Perfect!

But wait!

We also went to another prenatal education class, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Epidural But Were Afraid To Ask." It was taught by one of the anesthesiologists at our hospital, and we thought it pretty worthwhile in terms of covering what would happen, what the risks are, and what won't happen. For one thing, I learned it's never too early for an epidural. Why, I could have one right now! The anesthesiologist is also the same guy who'll be teaching the "Boot Camp for Dads" class I'll be taking next Saturday. He was pretty funny, so the class should be fun.

But wait!

I've also switched from roast beef sandwiches at lunch to pastrami!

Well, maybe you didn't need to wait for that. Never mind. You're all caught up.

Reading: Read a few things. The Sea Fairies, by L. Frank Baum. Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town, by Cory Doctorow. The Chronicles of Conan, vol. I: Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories, by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. Next up: The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle.

May 03, 2006

This Is Supposed To Be A Happy Occasion

It is, really. While I was rendered incommunicato by all this upgrading, some stuff happened.

First, late Friday afternoon I got an email informing me that my flash piece "Start Spreading the News" had been accepted for publication by the Michigan Avenue Review, Mary Anne's literary project. This story I sold so very, very long ago to a project that never made it off the ground. But now it had found a home, which was lovely.

But wait!

Then, an hour later I got an email telling me that my novelette "Along the Bridge of Night" had been accepted for publication by the illustrious Realms of Fantasy, a market whose gates I've been battering with no success for quite a while. This story I'd originally written for David & Jay's zeppelin tales antho, but with no luck. David didn't think it quite came together. I took it to Toby's writing jam back in 2004, got some good suggestions for revisions, and started sending it back out. In February I got an email from the slushmaster saying it'd been sent up the line. That made waiting even more suspenseful.

But wait!

Yesterday morning, while I wrestled with the Internet, I got a third email, this one from webzine Aberrant Dreams, telling me they'd accepted my story grenade "Mandatory" for publication.

But wait!

All that's just the writing news. More later, as I must needs do something about my dinner.

Obscene Gerund

No love from the import function. I see a lot of cutting & pasting in my future.

The Lazarus Blog

Yes, as you can see, I've finally managed to put my journal* back up. Back from the dead and ready to party!

You may be wondering what took me so long. Or maybe you aren't. But I'm going to tell you anyway. It turned out that our new webhost GoDaddy, while a cheaper, more reliable & less flakey webhost, does have a problem with running Movable Type. There's some argument as to whose fault that is, MT's or GoDaddy's. At any rate, it took me a few days to find out how to get it working.

The other thing you may notice is how different it currently looks, and that my old entries aren't there anymore. Well, I can tell you whose fault that is: mine. I've got the stylesheets and the layout for the page, but the old entries might be a problem. I backed them all up, but didn't grab the MySQL database that was keeping them all straight. Yes, I'm quite the genius.

I'm going to try importing them in, but there's a possibility the system may not go for it. We'll see. I'm putting them all back in there, come what may. Been posting on this thing for eight years and I'm not letting it get amnesia now. The one thing I am worried about is that I'll lose all the comments you all have made over the years. This will make me very sad.

More later.

* - I don't really like the word "blog". But it's the accepted term and it makes for a catchier title, so what can you do?

May 02, 2006

Tap, Tap

This thing on?