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31 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - baby carrots

A few years from now, when it's the end of the world and dogs and cats are living together, it won't surprise me at all if the reason it came falling down around us isn't because I Came in Like a Wrecking Ball will probably be played on a classic rock station some day, or because the next president accidentally pushes the red button in the middle of a game of Candy Crush, but because we can't even wait for carrots to fully mature before we eat them.

Baby carrots . . . eh.

27 March 2014

Once my daughter brought home a cat she got at Walmart

I don't even remember what we called that cat. We had it for a couple weeks and then it ran away. I didn't mourn.

I always feel bad when I excise a portion of a story from a novel I am writing. I can tell when I have to. I'll be chugging along on the story and then for a week or two I won't hardly be able to write a word. That's my computer screen telling me I've gone down a wrong path.

I am all for the whole write so many words a day rule. I buy into that maxim wholeheartedly, but I also  think you have to listen to the story when it tells you that you are starting to make it suck. I say this because I might be at a part in the novel I am currently writing where it is telling me I'm an idiot. I'm not sure yet, but I might have to backtrack and cut some stuff I have written.

I always cut/paste this stuff into another document and then save it in the same folder labeled didn't make the cut. It's interesting to go back to this once the novel is finished and wonder what if. I'm always glad I listened to the story. I've taken some drastic turns as a result of these deletions and I've never regretted it.

Still, it's sad to revisit story threads that could have been but never will. They seem sad.

26 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - the "t" is right next tot he "r" on the QWERTY keyboard

I think it's wrong when people accuse you of being obstinate or prideful just because one key on a keyboard gets pressed instead of another.
Someone offers me a potawto chip,
I'd totally eat it. Wouldn't hesitate.

If you press a "t" twice instead of an "r" and spell sotty instead of sorry, doesn't that basically mean the same thing? It's just a potato/potawto kind of thing.

Look, if you squint your eyes those two words almost look like the same word.

Seems to me the only time it really pays to be precise is when you're forging lotto tickets. Other than that I'm all for free expression and creativity.

The "t" is right next to the "r" on the QWERTY keyboard , , , eh.

25 March 2014

Beating dead horses

Ok, this is kind of like beating a dead horse but my friend from last week said I still never said I'm sorry.

So, just like last week I went back and reviewed the post in question. And it's true. I didn't say I'm sorry when I said something mean like everyone is stupid except for me.

What I'd like to know is why she even thinks I'm the one who wrote that particular post in the first place? It's not outside the realm of possibility that someone knows my password (12345 for anyone who wants to know) and they logged on and wrote the post themselves.

But I'm not afraid to say I'm sorry even if I haven't done anything wrong. It's no big deal. I don't feel like I need to but I will just to prove that I'm a man.

To everyone who was offended because a post that is loosely tied to my name said they were stupid . . . I'm sotty.

24 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - that kid across the street on the porch

That kid across the street on the porch has been sitting there all day. Sitting and just staring at my house.

Such a penetrating gaze. It's like sharks with laser beams.

He just sits there and doesn't move. Stupid kid must be disabled or something to sit like that and not move. Gotta be. Gotta be a disabled kid.

Or maybe not a kid, maybe not a human at all but some harbinger of doom, a specter set to judge me and execute me because it knows what I did last summer. Which sucks because I totally thought I got away with that.

It could be a harbinger of doom. Or a disabled kid. Or maybe it's just a folded up rug. I can't really tell. I have fairly poor vision.

That kid across the street on the porch . . . eh.

20 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - saying I'm sorry

It was pointed out to me this morning that even though my blog said something mean a couple days ago, and yesterday I acknowledged as much, I didn't say anywhere that I was sorry.

Yeah, I feel bad about that one.
I went back and reread my post from yesterday and it's true, I did not say I'm sorry.

At this point I could make some lame reference to a crappy movie from the 70s and say I love my blog and therefore don't have to say I'm sorry.

I think that's a stupid, nonsensical line so I won't use it. Saying you're sorry is very important in relationships, or even when the tunnel you dug in your backyard compromises the foundation of your neighbor's house. I think it shows character to say the two simple words I reference above when you have done something wrong.

Sometimes though, people can just assume you already said those two words. They just weren't paying attention.

Saying I'm sorry . . . eh.

19 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - saying mean things on your blog

Someone told me this morning that what I wrote on my blog yesterday was mean.

If you didn't read the blog yesterday then I advise against reading it. I admit, it was mean.

I'll pause here for a moment if you want to ignore my advice, click the left button on your mouse a few times, and read what I wrote yesterday . . . 

For those of you who didn't click, I will at least tell you that yesterday's blog dealt with people who buy crappy stuff, like poorly written books. I'm afraid I might have called these people stupid. And I'm afraid I might have intimated that everyone is stupid except for me.

Which of course isn't true. Steven Hawking is obviously smart. He's not much of a fiction reader though so I don't really count him.

To conclude, if Steven Hawking actually does read fiction I would find it interesting to know if he was a Twilight fan.

Saying mean things on your blog . . . eh.

18 March 2014

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity

Robert Heinlein said that.

I read a book the other night. It was a best seller a few years ago. Well, I tried to read it. The book was really quite awful. It was a political thriller and the first twenty pages were almost all flashbacks. And then the rest of what I read, maybe 170 pages worth, continued with the flashback theme and added thirty or forty different point-of-view characters and lots of tidbits about historical buildings. It was mind numbing. 170 pages of flashback and historical trivia with story interspersed. Shakespeare couldn't make that worth reading.

I finally put the book down even though I will have to discuss it in a couple weeks at book club. Yet it was a best seller. What the hell is wrong with you people? And by you people I mean all you people who aren't me. I'm fine. I like good books. I write good books. Stop buying crappy stuff you guys. Buy good stuff.

I should put that on a t-shirt and sell it. Or maybe a wrist band. Wrist bands are big right now aren't they?

17 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - March Madness

What's the big deal with March? I have a brother who takes a week off from work to celebrate it for some reason. I don't get it.

For me, it's always nice to kind of take apart words when I don't fully understand them. Take madness. Easily split into two parts. Mad clearly refers to the magazine I usually only buy when I'm taking a trip and want my kids to be quiet in the back seat for a couple hours. Not sure how that relates to March. Ness is perhaps a reference to the character made famous in a few Nintendo games. This only deepens my confusion.

Plato said that love is madness, but that would only make sense if we were talking February Madness and relating it to Valentines Day. Ash Wednesday happens in March. The Jewish holiday Purim also happens in March. What they have to do with Alfred E. Neuman or Nintendo is anyone's guess.

Regardless, I've never been that big a fan of March anyway. There's nothing on TV but basketball.

March Madness . . . eh.

11 March 2014

Puberty Love

Back in the 70s songwriters really knew how to title songs.

There was Boogie Oogie Oogie, and Da Doo Run Ron Ron, and Mandy. Title genius, that's all I can say. Maybe there was something in the water back then that the EPA made the water barons get rid of.

It's sad. Yeah, I'll bet you it was the EPA. The government is always messing with good stuff. Just think of it. We will never have another classic title like Puberty Love busting into the Top 40, and all because some scientist said we shouldn't have measurable amounts of mercury in our water or something like that.

Shouldn't the government do a cost/benefit analysis when things like this come up? So what if a certain percentage of us get born with an extra limb? If that means we continue to see awesomeness like Love Rollercoaster or My Ding-a-Ling then I say government be damned.

10 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - biting into fish oil capsules

The thing I don't like about biting into fish oil capsules is the taste.

I guess I also don't like the laughter of your fellow employees as they watch you struggle not to retch.

Those two things.

Where does fish oil come from anyway? Do fish drill for it? Why do we allow fish to have a monopoly on that commodity anyway? Seems to me we could muscle in on their business and start drilling for the oil ourselves. But then it would be human oil and that sounds cannibalistic.

Wouldn't stop me though. I'd bite into a human oil capsule too. If someone dared me.

Biting into fish oil capsules . . . eh.

06 March 2014

Late post

Not one of the cute girls who
came to see Tanner
That isn't my arm but it is a family member's.

This is why I didn't post first thing this morning. Yesterday, my son Tanner got hit from behind by a snowboarder. The accident was good enough to produce a 48-stitch visit to the hospital. I could produce a much grosser picture, but that would exceed the MPAA rating for this blog.

Frankly, the thing I learned from all this was a little disheartening. Mary Shelley was completely off when she wrote Frankenstein. Horrendous scars do not repel people or make one a pariah. Scars are a chic magnet. I lost count of how many cute girls came to look at Tanner's soon-to-be scars.

The whole episode makes me question the idea of classic literature at a foundational level.

05 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - gum disease

There's nothing funny about gum disease.

What I imagine when I see a line like that is a guy in a white lab coat with an office as background making this pronouncement as he stares at you through the television.

That's a freakin' smart tomato. Too bad it can read.
Which kind of makes me want to find something funny about gum disease.

Hormonal changes such as puberty typically correlate with the presence of gingivitis, and any mention of puberty seems fraught with comedy potential. There was that song called Puberty Love from the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Total classic. My sister Stefanie used to fly into a rage anytime me or my brother John sang it to her.

But I'm an adult now. Puberty isn't that funny anymore.

I guess as hard as I try I just can't find anything funny about gum disease.

Gum disease . . . eh.

04 March 2014

13 Going on 30

Yeah, there was that movie. I didn't see it but I'm pretty sure I own it. Or my daughter does. Or I own it but my daughter has possession of it.

The girl in the movie is thirteen, as the title suggests, but she wants to be thirty and so she makes a wish and becomes Jennifer Anigarner or something like that. So, we're talking the mind of a little girl but she's old. Well, not old. Thirty is still a good deal younger than me but I digress. Like I said, I haven't seen this movie but she probably hooks up with an old guy. It is a romcom. Did anybody think it was strange that this womgirl was doing grownup stuff with a guy? I don't remember any outrage. Come to think of it, Tom Hanks did the same thing in Big, didn't he.

The reason I bring this up is that my book Dream Ender has a guy who is actually somewhere in his 80s or 90s, but his body looks like it's fourteen. This character ends up having a relationship with a girl in her 20s. I was counseled by one or two people that readers wouldn't accept that. I think I'm actually going to agree and change the kid's age to seventeen, but I'm fighting it a little bit.

I like to complicate things for the characters in my stories. A hero should really have to fight for a happy ending. And then not get it completely.

Fourteen-year-old hooking up with a beautiful twenty something really kind of called to me. I suppose making the kid seventeen won't change that much.

03 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - there's a vase full of flowers next to me

There's a vase full of flowers next to me and what if I was allergic to flowers?

Or vases?

Sure, it looks nice
Yeah, what if I was allergic to vases? Are people allergic to vases? How about table cloths? Im actually writing this on top of a table cloth right now. Or books? Whoa, I hope I'm not allergic to books. I love books. Hey, I write books! It would be a disaster if I was allergic to books!

I don't like where this this particular blog is going. I'm going to abort this one . . .

I better not be allergic to Q-tips. I have a thing about clean . . . No! Right here. I'm stopping right here.

Or hot cocoa with a big fat marshmallow in the . . . aaahh!

There's a vase full of flowers next to me . . . eh.