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December 31, 2007

So, In Conclusion

It might be just me, but this year just flew by. I mean, seriously. Ian is no doubt responsible for this, of course. He is a skilled distraction.

It was a good year for sales, but a lousy year for writing. Fiction, that is. I plan on fixing that, once we reach the other side of the arbitrary date divide that everyone agrees to observe so as to screw up people writing the date on their checks. Those people who're still using checks, of course. Not me. I conduct all my financial payments through couriers delivering American Eagle gold coins, plus the occasional Krugerrand. All the time. Pain in the ass at a vending machine, but I think it's worth it.

When next we meet, it will be...the future!

December 28, 2007

Unspoken Sequel

After catching up on a few recent movies, it seems obvious that Ratatouille is really a direct sequel to The Secret of NIMH. After the defeat of Jenner, the superrats' move to Thorn Valley eventually led to the colony immigrating to France. Most likely NIMH caught up with them. Then they set up shop in that old lady's cottage where the new movie begins.

What?

December 25, 2007

Color Me Red...Baron

In case you didn't realize, toddlers are little chaos engines when it comes to Christmas. They hand out gifts to everyone, even if it wasn't the person it was intended for. They rip paper with delight. They step on gifts. And their only acceptable source of fuel is cookies. And we had two of them there. Gah. But we all had fun, and I think this was the most exciting Christmas we've had in a while.

Exciting for all sorts of reasons, usually involving near-miss collisions, tugs of war, and the phenomena called "Drama Face," but still. If your holiday gatherings seem boring, I recommend adding a couple small children. Midgets won't cut it.

As for my personal haul, I got bookstore gift cards, a few shirts, a book, a pen, and the book version of Monopoly.

Oh, and a gift certificate for a one hour biplane ride.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 24, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

funny pictures

December 22, 2007

Right Sneaky Old Elf

Here we see Ian explaining how Santa can visit every household in the world in one night (hint: it involves some sort of separation of all possible realities at the quantum level through the use of a peppermint-powered deintegrator) and here old Saint Nick is sneaking up on him. When he catches Ian he'll probably pump the poor boy full of eggnog until he confesses who else knows about his Yuletide secrets. Santa could be the next Bond villain. Just think about it:

  1. He's got a secret base in a remote location (workshop at North pole).
  2. Lots and lots of minions doing his bidding (small elf army).
  3. A cunning plan to destroy civilization (destabilize the world economy by providing free toys at no cost).
  4. Escape vehicle for when British commandos storm his hideout (flying reindeer).
It's all so clear.

Posting here will, for obvious reasons, be more than little more irregular than usual. All right, it's been damned irregular. As irregular as a three legged pair of blue jeans. But I'll start doing better and get back to it. Just not right away.

Reading: The Demon Princes, vol. I, by Jack Vance.

December 17, 2007

Honorably Honored

Went to Barnes & Noble over the weekend with Ian -- not to buy anything for myself, oh no; you can get in trouble doing that so soon before the holidays -- but merely to get out of the house. I find it mildly amusing to wander through stores while so many other people are busy shopping. They're all rush rush rush as they search for a gift for their loved (or tolerated) ones, and me without an agenda.

No doubt this is another sign there's something wrong with me.

Ian's a pretty good companion for this sort of non-shopping. He's prone to invoke fits of wild babbling as we pass through clusters of folk, to which I always respond "Really? Tell me more," and if he catches someone's eye, he's prone to wave and say "bye-bye" as we cruise on past. I find myself wondering if he'll get into politics.

On the downside, he's just young enough that he has to stay in the stroller. He still sees most adult books as something to be pulled off the shelf into a colorful heap on the floor, and any children's book he gets his hands on can't be taken from him without a crowbar (or a cookie; bribery works here). So he stays seated and I have to keep strolling, constantly on the move here, not pausing in any one place for too long because that really annoys him.

One thing I did discover in a brief slowdown was that my poem "The Goblin Party," published in Flytrap last year(?) got an honorable mention in the 2007 Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. Second time I've been nominated, with both times for a poem in a venue that our own Tim edited. Clearly he is the secret to my success.

December 14, 2007

Number One With Sloths

From the University of San Diego Fall 2007 course catalog:

Engl.223: Epic
Antone Minard
Epic is narrative writ large, standing at the junction of myth and literature. This course will examine some of the more important epics of ancient and medieval Europe and Asia (Gilgamesh, Genesis, the Odyssey, the Ramayana, Journey to the West, Njal's Saga, The Song of Roland / Orlando Furioso, The Adventures of Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan). We will also discuss how / whether the concept of the epic is alive in the modern day with a collection of "epic" short stories (ed. Groppi & Moles) and the medium of film.
From an email from the instructor sent to David Moles, redoubtable editor of Twenty Epics, and forwarded to me:
So, I had my students in the Epic class read the book and write a short response as to which was the most successful as an epic. About half the class picked either "Cup and Table" [by the now sleepy Tim Pratt.--J] or "The Book of Ant." [Written by me, if you didn't know. --J] So far the most amusing line has been "In fact, I learned more things about literature and life from The Book of Ant than some of the full-length epics we read." (Which is code for "Long books are boring. Poetry is boring. I have the vocabulary of a tree sloth. I only signed up for this class because it doesn't meet on Fridays.")
I've lost track of many students I've helped who, when looking for an article on their subject, want one that's as short as possible (in fact, many of them are happy with the abstract, which gives me pause).

As Lisa remarked, it's easy to mold young minds when they're so simple. Also, I'm being taught in classrooms now? How'd that happen? Did the skinny guy in black with the farming implement come by and collect my works when I wasn't looking?

December 13, 2007

Vegetunes

And so my mandatory vacation begins. Oh, pitiful me!

The ironic thing is, I actually don't have any practice anymore at lounging around the house. I sit still for five minutes, and I find myself wanting to do something else. It's so sad. Once I was the laziest wastrel that ever wasted laze. Now I'm a role model. Bah. Oh well, I'll figure something out.

Here, a YouTube vid recommended by my father:

So when Ian comes to me and says, "Dad, I want to be a drummer," I can say, "Fine. Here's ten bucks. Go buy a pumpkin."

December 10, 2007

The Thief Of Time

Today I'm legally required to commit a birthday. It'll be my 38th (yay). Tim recently asked where does the time go? The answer, of course, is into your child.

To celebrate, let us commit a meme (via Gregory):
Meme: Post the first line of your first journal entry of each month for 2007.
January: It's a brand new year.

February: It's the end of another week, and thank you for that.

March: The photo op with the Killer Rabbit went well, I'm happy to report.

April: At this rate I might as well make this a weekly delivery, as it seems it's all I can do.

May: In case you've ever wondering where I'm posting from, it's the Blogipeligo, on the larger island near the city of BoingBoing.

June: So, I have it on good authority that of every household involved in the get-together last week, one or more people ended up catching some plague variation.

July: "Babies not as innocent as they pretend."

August: Ok, so I've got a little bit of MT weirdness going on.

September: Back from my impromptu vacation.

October:

November: Got my contributor's copies of Flytrap 8, which whot contains my tale, "Breathe."

December: Ian's chin continues to heal.

Clearly I need to work on my opening lines.

Reading: Had been the last of the Terry Pratchett. For me, that would be Carpe Jugulum. As it is, now it's the novelization of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, committed by Lou Harry.

December 04, 2007

Words Of The Day

Ian's chin continues to heal. We think. The stitches already dissolved (we thought they'd last 'till Friday), and he's having to keep a band-aid on it to help protect it from the rough and tumble plush-eat-plush hurly-burly that is daycare. Worry worry worry.

On a happier update, for those of you curious about Ian's ongoing relationship with the cats, this cartoon (found here), altho' not how it was intended, actually shows the essential relationship between the boy and June, Queen of the Cats:
meow meow meow.  pat pat pat.

The others, not so much. One out of four isn't bad, tho'.