I had fun today. I was an extra in a sketch for a group my friend Nannette is in, called Arthur Warburton on PITtv. I played a patron in a leather bar. I didn't have anything appropriate to wear, so some sort of arm-band and bracer were provided. I wasn't sure how to break this to my beloved uber-Catholic parents. When I told my sainted mother, she laughed and said "I love you honey." How can anyone not love her?
I'm trying not to be maudlin tonight. My inner writer and inner critic really need to sit down and have tea together, possibly with some scones. Sometimes I feel all over the place. At some point, you have to decide what you want to focus on. I'm just trying not to focus on my headache at the moment. I suppose I should get some sleep. Goodnight, world.
I visited my parents yesterday, and slept under the watchful eyes of Jesus. As a child, I wondered if all the Jesus's above beds ever compared notes. Do the ones that don't get to see any action feel left out?
I had a few fascinating conversations this morning. One
was with my father, about how since I'm pushing the big 4-0, I should
have my prostate examined. Another was on the subject of child
expectations. I know many loving and caring parents who do their best,
spend time with their children, and want to help them succeed. But have
I done that? Have I been helpful, or horribly over-expectant of my
children? Sometimes it's so hard to know what's best. You live through life, you
see where you should have made that left turn at Albuquerque, and you
want to spare them that. You don't want them to wake up and realize that
opportunities have passed them by. You want to help them do what they
want to do. You want them to know to use the correct personal pronoun
"I" instead of the inclusive "you." Things of that nature.
Parenthood feels so competitive at times. I wonder if it's a marketing ploy, meant to stimulate the economy. Buy Baby Einstein DVDs, get your kids an early start with educational software, buy this, buy that... No one seemed to care about such things before the '80s. How did the human race survive?
I watched another Tom Baker classic, "The Power of Kroll" tonight. Why am I so nostalgic for the Doctor Who I grew up with? Maybe it's more that I'm nostalgic for the ME I grew up with, and it's just a reminder.
I'm almost done with the story conversion for #8. It's different than the other stories, maybe that's bad, and maybe that's good. The science fiction element is one of those things that has to be figured out along the way, rather than bluntly stated. I'm pretty sure readers like to be treated as if they're intelligent - I certainly do. I tried to change the story, but it became another "kill or be killed" scenario. My mind thinks ahead, maybe too far ahead, disqualifying all the other options. Then I have to start again.
I still say I should be in advertising: "Axe Shock Body Wash: It's like scrubbing your naughty bits with toothpaste." Don Draper would be proud.
Today was a beautiful day. I spent the day in the city, came home, and collapsed. My poor daughter screamed and screamed, because it was five pm, and we always go to the playground at five pm. And I'm a horrible parent, so I got up and comforted her and took her there. Yes, I'm the type that people blame when they see children acting bratty. "Look at that girl! It must have been because her father took pity on her crying and spent time with her at the playground!" That's fatherhood though, always one step away from creating the next Honey Boo...
I watched "The Brain of Morbius" with Joe while we played Civ V, one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes. There are so many wonderful inconsistencies. For example, if Morbius's brian survived, why couldn't he simply regenerate?
I'm cheating for story #8 and rewriting one I penned for a creative writing class years ago. I suppose it's not really cheating, every word is mine. There's the issue of plot structure. I'm not sure how worried I am. It seems like everyone these days thinks you must follow a series of highs and lows, coming to a giant low, and then overcoming with a happy-ending-high. (Think of almost any children's movie in recent years. Ever wonder why things suddenly go sour just before the big party ending? This is why.) But very few good stories really follow that format. Is this what literature has come to - emulating a Dreamworks animation?
I try not to worry about becoming just another screaming voice in the void, begging people to come read, come buy, come see this blog, come follow me on twitter, just trying to enjoy the creation itself. I keep reminding myself, if you build it, they will come.
Made myself bacon and eggs. The bacon is thicker than I like, and I’m not as sure when it’s cooked all the way as opposed to burnt. Ah, coffee, you make me feel human again.
Antidepressant commercials annoy me with their constant assertion that you need their product to be “normal.” What is normal anyway? Many of my friends have at times suffered through some sort of depression, anxiety, or worse – myself included. It's the ones who are at peace that seem abnormal. Where did all my blogger friends go? And how can I find new ones? I keep hitting "next blog" and all I see are baby blogs, (no offense but it's hard for a heterosexual male to randomly comment on a baby blog. It's just not done,) or blogs that haven't been touched in years. I've gone through dry spells as well, but I miss the blogsphere. Twitter is fun but just not the same. Everything has to be narrowed down to one precise sentence. A good exercise, to be honest, but not as fulfilling, and there's pressure to be funny or meaningful. Tomorrow begins Story #8. When will it be done? As soon as it's good enough.
So since Clinton said it yesterday, liberals across America are calling out conservatives for being ideological. And while it is undoubtedly true, the hypocrisy makes me giggle hysterically.
I'm proud of myself, I managed to cut 1/5 from my last short story. I usually aim for 1/10. I guess I'm proud that I recognized so much as superfluous. I'm sure I could edit and edit and polish forever, but then I'd be no better than George Lucas. May the schwartz be with you. TTFN -Tony
Whenever I see a pink ribbon on a car, I feel conflicted. Yes, curing and treating cancer is important. But why can't we take a long, hard look at the hormones and chemicals in our food that cause it? Could it be because we have too many lobbyists lining the pockets of our leaders? (Thank you President Obama for appointing the vice president of Monsanto as senior adviser to the commissioner of the FDA. No conflict of interest there...)
I finished story #7 today, I just have to think of a good title for it. Does anyone else like to read their work out loud while editing? Personally, I like to impersonate Tom Baker when narrating.
Last night I played Civ 5 with my son, put the kids to bed, made myself a little snack, and sat down to enjoy crushing the skulls of ghouls in the radioactive wastelands of New Vegas with my trusty re-bar club. When I turned my screen back on, I was greeted by a plethora of window popups, warning me a sector of my hard drive had failed. I panicked. I have years worth of writing on there, five almost-finished novels, and a short story collection I'm epublishing next month. I pressed the proffered button to attempt to let windows fix the problem... and was told I could only do it by purchasing a program. Yes, I had fallen victim to the new malware craze, the File Recovery virus. (If this ever happens to you, follow these instructions.)
OK, listen up Joe Biden. Stop exaggerating about the evils people downloading movies and go after the psychopaths who make these viruses. The damn thing actually shut down my computer while my protection software was trying to remove it, and almost completely fornicated my hard drive. If that had happened, I would have scoured the earth for the guy who made it. I would have tied him down, lacerated his skin with a thousand paper-cuts, bought a pig with intestinal diseases, and have it shit all over him. That is the rage I feel for people who mess with my writing. Oh yeah, and the moral of the story is, I need to back up my frigging data more often. TTFN -Tony
I finally finished the first draft of story #7. I plan on having the final draft done by the end of the week, (I try to shave down at least ten percent) and then two more to go. I don't know why I'm set on nine as THE number for my collection, but I'm determined to have the book done and e-published by my 40th birthday. Sort of a pre-mid-life-crisis goal. Sometimes writing is a labor of precise deliberation. Other times, it's like whittling underwater blindfolded with a knife made of jello.
In the world of politics, I don't get why everyone is acting so surprised and shocked that Romney bad-mouthed liberals at a fund-raiser for the 1%. What did you expect, that he was going to be singing their praises?
I had so many lucid dreams as a child. The problem was, I grew up in a very Catholic household, and the idea that I could walk around my house and converse with the monsters that populated my dreams was akin to Satanism. Now, whenever I stay over at my parents' house, I sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. I need
to keep the poltergeists birthed from my teenage angst confused.
I can't wait for the next season of Mad Men; I should be in advertising. I want to make a laxative ice-cream called "Revenge," just so I can go
around saying "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold."
Visiting my parents in NJ today with the kiddies. I was driving through Manhattan (cool to stop and watch the Mexican Day parade, especially the guys holding up dragons on sticks. I thought that was just a Chinese thing, shows what I know,) when I heard something dragging. I thought I had a flat, but it was just my poor-man's repair from last week falling apart. I was able to repair it with a bit of #10-wire. My car is barely held together by duct-tape, and I only maintain or repair it just before it self-destructs like the Bluesmobile. The sad thing is that's so reflective of everything else in my life.
I can't decide what the problem is, either that the price of gas is too high, or I just live too far from the friends and family I love. Probably a mixture of both. Time to learn to Jaunte.
I've decided to become an Upperclass Twit and put forth my brilliance and modesty in yet another milieu. What could possibly compare with this blog? This blog condensed into 140 characters! So if you're a fellow twit, let's follow each other - I want to read what you have to say: @EgotisticalTL
I've come up with a new term: Maternapervaphobia: the fear of your mother ever reading a naughty scene you've written. Seriously. My cute, little, sainted, Sicilian, Catholic mother is one of the Virgin Mary's personal friends. They do crafts together. I don't even buy fountain drinks, but Bloomberg's latest law against large sodas here in New York City just pisses me off. I'm pretty sure I just saw him fly by my window with a carpet bag and an umbrella.
I don't want to hear any more about the election. I don't want to see your post about how Obama is selling us down a socialist river, I don't want to see your e-card about how Romney smiling at an intern or staffer or whatever when he left the stage means he's taking personal delight in the loss of American lives. All of that just inflates my voter apathy until I feel like exploding. Both parties are out to fornicate our tushies at the behest of their corporate masters, so it doesn't make a difference. Anyhoo, enough ranting, I have to run. TTFN -Tony
I made a lot of leaps in Short Story #7 today (I still have to think of a title.) I was all over the place with this one. I had a great idea, but no clue how to make it work. I started by writing a few scenes at random. Eventually, I was able to summarize a plot, and then, that magical moment happened when everything fell into place. I wanted to have the first draft done by midnight tonight, but I'm not sure if that's going to happen. Is anyone else this chaotic in their writing?
The car was fixed to the point where it can pass inspection, but there is still a lot of maintenance that needs to be done on it. At the moment I can only afford to do one repair a month. I just hope it holds out.
After returning from the playground, my daughter informed me that I'm her "homie." It's an honor.
Every year, so many words are said. In the past I've re-posted a letter I wrote to my family and friends, or thoughts I had about the days afterward. Everything I found myself writing this morning became some sort of political rant, and this isn't a day for that. So instead I'll just leave you with a picture I took from the roof of the Trinity Building when I was down there restoring power in the following months. People, buildings, and so much that is incalculable - all burned to grey nothingness. Never forget those who were lost, and never forget those who gave their lives trying to save them.
A tire tread on 78 did something very unchristian to my engine's plastic undercarriage yesterday. By the time I got back to Queens it was scraping the pavement. I got as far underneath as I could this morning, snapped what parts I could back into place with a hammer and a flathead, cut off parts that were unrepairable with shears, used the screws and clips from those parts to replace screws that had been torn out (a star-head screwdriver is a beautiful thing,) and what was cracked but intact, I duct-taped. I might have been able to do a better job if I could get further underneath, but I don't trust mister wheel-jack not to slip and crush my dainty self. But at least it's not scraping the road anymore.
I was curious where the phrase "he can't hold a candle to you" came from. I had always assumed it had something to do with candling eggs, but it turns out that it means "He is not worthy of being your apprentice and holding your candle." Sorry, but I think my definition is more intersting. So tell a loved one today that no one can see if there's a chicken growing inside of them. They'll appreciate it.
I’m working on a short story that started out as an awesome idea that’s getting mired down in the details. I have about seven pages done so far, and while they’re good pages, I can’t really see where it’s going. I’m writing it in a very hodge-podge way: one scene here, one scene there, another scene over here... it’s very frustrating. I don’t just want to work, I want to be productive.
My weight seems to go up and down like Shatner’s during the third season of TOS. I lost about thirty pounds over the past few months, but my body loves to plateau every chance it gets. I guess I’m wired up to survive in case there’s ever another ice age and a food shortage. Again, it’s frustrating. Sometimes I feel like my weight has been one of the most deciding factors of my life.