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June 30, 2009

By Public Request

Apparently there were complaints over this past week about the fact that I had stopped updating the rotating cat picture to the right. I should've expected this, as cat pictures do make the Internet spin. My sincere apologies for the oversight. It will never happen again.

There! Happy?

June 29, 2009

Get Your Kicks On Historic Route 66

I have returned from my week's absence, which was spent at the Starry Heaven writing workshop, which is an offshoot of writing workshop Blue Heaven. Had a fine time. Critiqued novels and had mine critiqued in turn. Received fine advice, considering my submission was essentially a practice novel (a proof of concept, if you will). My new question now is to decide on whether to try fixing it (which might also be useful)

But it wasn't all soulcrushing pain and artistic suffering. I also talked shop & gossip with my cabal of writers, drank beer, saw some sights, took a few very blurry pictures, and otherwise struggled for breath in the mountain air. In short, I had a blast. My extreme gratitude to you all for your help and your suggestions.

Reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. I don't what to say about this really, but it's got a cover that Ian won't see for quite some time, if I have my way.

June 19, 2009

So Many Messages, So Little Time

Ian has lately taken to complaining when I don't shave. That is to say: I don't shave every day, as my whiskers are as lazy as the rest of me. It's usually fine. I'm not one of those guys who have to shave twice a day or they'll have a full beard in an hour. So I usually only shave every three days or so. However, when I tuck the lad in at night and lean in for the hug'n'kiss, if my whiskers have sprouted, he has something to say about it. Usually he points and says "Whiskers hurt! Ouch!" in a dramatic fashion. It works tho', as I go and shave right afterwards.

There's probably a message here.

On the other hand, I came from work only to discover (well, Lisa pointed out) that I had been wearing my shirt (your basic three-button collared pullover) inside out. I had been wearing it like that all day long. AND NO ONE SAID ANYTHING TO ME. There's likely another message here as well.

On the third hand, Ian didn't mention my inside shirt to me either. There's almost certainly--well, you get the idea.

June 15, 2009

But Wait! There's More!

And now it's time for another birthday in my family's summertime sequence of soirees: today is the lad's birthday! He is now three, which means he's finally eligible for all those toys labeled three and up. It's the toddler equivalent of turning 16, as far as I can tell.

At any rate, his party was this weekend, and well attended by family and friends. Sadly, this is almost certainly the last year we can get away with that. Next year he'll probably want to invite all of his friends from school over, and they'll eat cake and drink soda and sing Happy Birthday and play games and smash piƱatas and have pony rides and pet bunnies and jump in a bouncy castle and armwrestle monkeys and run and run and run and run and run, all the while Mommy and Daddy quietly nod and smile and resume our self-medicating.

* - aspirin shooters.

June 11, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday?

A happy birthday to my sweet sweetie! Ian helped me throw her an inpromptu surprise party yesterday. Party of Three, just me, he & she, altho' the cats were milling about along the edges.

Incidentally, throwing a surprise birthday party for someone the day before their actual birthday is actually quite effective at actually, y'know, surprising someone. That's a free tip, kids. Make a note of it.

Best part was pulling it together, as the lad picked everything out: flowers, balloon, card, present, candy, and cake (chocolate chip chocolate muffins). We'd get something and then he'd shout in the grocery story, "Wait! Present!" Then he'd examine the wall of toys at the grocery store very intently, inspecting and rejecting a number of items (like a rubber chicken) before settling on a can of Silly String. Then he'd shout, "Wait! Balloons!" So we'd go get a balloon. In short, big fun.

As for her actual birthday, well, she's working from home today, and I'm stuck here in Ye Olde Librarye until late. Hm. Perhaps I should have had Ian to help me plan a way to get out of that.

June 09, 2009

Canon Should Stick To Cameras

Finally got around to seeing Star Trek. My personal review, in brief: wh00t! Not rushing out to see movies when they first come out can save you quite a chunk of change. Most of them come and go, the hype boils away, and the better movies seem to stick around. This was one of them.

Anyhoo, many others had long since offered opinions about it: positive, negative, harsh but accurate, as well as more specialist approaches, like story structure analysis and of course, the inevitable parody.

One thing that pleases me is that the general success of the movie appears to have beaten back the nerdcore trek folk who'd protested that it "overwrites the Star Trek of old, destroying years of canon" for the sole purpose of bringing in the common commoners who aren't real Trekkers but are looking for some entertainment. To which Paramount & Viacom, the corporate owners of the Star Trek property, respond, "Well, d'uh!" Because that is what it's all about, after all. I recently read a blog series called "There Is No Star Trek Canon" (here: Part I, Part II, & Part III), and I'm going to have to say, I think he's spot on. Canon is little more than marketing. There's a certain segment of fans whine and complain about the latest rendition of X, but it doesn't matter, does it? They're still going to be there opening night, because it's official. They can't bear to be not knowing. Knowledge is power, but knowledge is also control. That's also why things like the TV series and movies are canon (they're easy: sit quietly and watch the screen), and novelizations and comic adaptations aren't (reading is hard!).

It's all irrelevant anyway. Shatnerites and Nimoyians, your beloved original shows are still out there. No one's rounded them up and destroyed the tapes; they're everywhere. Heck, you can watch them for free on Youtube right this very second. No, really; here, the official & complete Star Trek TOS channel on Youtube. Now, if they could just add in the animated shows, I'd be happy, because I've never seen most of those.

Reading: Spock Must Die!, by James Blish. The very first media tie-in book. And it doesn't count, even tho' it's by James Freaking Blish! Admittedly, having the Organians put the Klingon Empire in a thousand year time out would have a bit of an effect on anything that came afterwards. Fine, I'll give you that.

June 05, 2009

Curses! Foiled Again!

I give up. After sawing off the original ending for my Starry Heaven book, I have failed to complete the new ending in time for my critiquers to be able to actually critique it. Or to put it another way, even if Lisa & Ian said, "hey, we're going on a road trip and we'll be back really late Sunday night," and I then summoned the typing speed of Isaac Asimov and the creative oddness of Grant Morrisson and topped it all off with a case of Red Bull, I wouldn't finish it.

Well, okay, I probably would. But that ain't gonna happen. So I'm gonna end it on a summary so I can attend to other things. My sincerest apologies. Hey, at least I didn't just settle for a TPK. That's something, I guess.

June 02, 2009

Stupid Lines

Sorry for absence. Trying to meet deadlines without my actual death. Admittedly that would be more restful, but probably make me not as useful in the long run.