Sunday, March 30, 2008
… then, of course, we split up. And what’s the point of finishing a book, then? I abandoned it, figuring I’d give up novels and write plays. That was true, for a while.
Until Vicky stepped into the picture. She inspired me to pick myself back up again and continue writing the book, but it wasn’t the same book it had once been. What started out as a manifesto became a book about the nature of love, which is why I ended up calling Vampire Society: A Love Story About Values.
Though my luck finding traditional publication wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, Amazon came along with their new e-reader: Kindle. If you have one (and you should, they’re really neat – he said, pluggingly), you can now purchase the novel that started me writing novels again: Vampire Society.
Vampire Society is a love story that occurs before the backdrop of a society where greed has become a virtue and where ethics have become a vice. Vampire Society is a philosophical novel with a simple message about values that is universal. It is not liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. It speaks to the part of us that is looking for something good in a society trying to buy their happiness. With it’s philosophy that the good is not based on selfishness, it is a rebuff of Ayn Rand in a time that needs it the most.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I have to say, it’s a good feeling. I’m jogging and hitting the elliptical… I’m still fat but at least I’m not out of breath.
I’m not at the point where I’m in everyone’s face about joining me in quitting. Actually, I’m more in the face of smokers – in the hopes of catching some of that fine, fine second-hand smoke.
Hey, one step at a time, right?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Took it home and found out the whole thing was made of plastic. These things usually have some kind of metal in them but this one – nope. 100% plastic.
So, when I plugged it into my PC’s USB port, it bent.
They’re not supposed to bend. This one did.
Today, I brought it back to Fry’s.
I walked up to the guy at the “Customer Service” desk – watch out for that one. It’s a misnomer. I handed it to him and said, “Listen, all I did was plug it into my USB port and it bent. It’s not supposed to do that. I want to return it.”
He said, “We can’t return this. It’s broke.”
I said, “I know it’s broke. That’s why I’m taking it back.”
“But we can’t take back broken merchandise.”
I said, “I wouldn’t have taken it back if it worked the way it was supposed to. But it didn’t. It broke. That’s why I’m taking it back.”
“We can’t take it back. It’s broke.”
Obviously, he didn’t get the concept.
So, I asked to speak with his manager.
His manager came out with the USB stick in his hand and said, “You broke this. We can’t take it back.”
I said, “Look, I wouldn’t want to take it back if it didn’t break after putting it in my USB port. It’s not like I ran it over with my car. I used it for what it’s supposed to be used for and it broke. That’s shitty workmanship. I want to take it back.”
He answered, in a smooth, professional manner. “Well, you can’t.”
Okay, so this is about where I began to lose my patience. I asked, “Can I speak with your manager?”
“I am the manager!” Swear to dog, the punctuation is correct.
So, I replied, “You work for someone, don’t you? You don’t own the company, right? Do you?”
“Then, get me your manager.”
Off he went.
He came back with an angry, bald guy. “We can’t take back merchandise you broke.”
That was it. “So, you’re telling me that if shit falls apart after one use, you’re not going to honor your return policy?”
“We honor it – but we don’t take back broken things. All I can do is give you the manufacturer’s phone number.”
“You expect me to call Taiwan?”
At this point, the first manager, playing with the USB stick, snapped the bent part off.
I snapped, too.
Listen, I just lost my job. Things are pretty shitty. And these guys were dicks.
I used just about every swear word I know and I threw several things. Then, I left, screaming, “Fuck you, cock suckers!” It probably wasn’t my finest moment. But, seriously…
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Okay, now, call me stupid but if closed captioning is meant for the deaf... isn't it a bit insulting to assume they know how the song goes? Sure, they could have lost their hearing last week but what if they were born deaf?
Could they sign "Play me a few bars cause the title ain't ringing any bells"?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
(I saw them on the news, dear. )
In case anyone is wondering why the man would do what he did, how he could ruin his career lke that, how he could betray his family and ruin his life... look, have you taken a good look at his wife? Huh? She's like Marilyn Quayle, for God's sake! (Way to be topical, Ken.) After seeing a few pictures of the prostitute, things became very, very... um, clear.
Mind you, the bitches in prison (of which Eliot is bound to be one) won't look half as nice.
Monday, March 10, 2008
So, according to the Vatican, it’s a sin to harm the earth.
What? You mean NOW? All of a sudden? That omni-knowitall god of yours didn’t think it was so bad last month???
Not only does the Vatican make god look like he’s late to the party but there’s another issue they forgot. This whole “new sin” thing makes everyone a sinner! It doesn’t focus on the people who are causing the most harm! It makes everyone a…
Oh, wait. Sure. That nets them more money in the collection plates.
Shrewd move, Vatican. Very shrewd.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
No, this isn’t another blog about sleep.
The Internet(s) in the past few days have been filled with eulogizations of the once so famous Gary Gygax, who recently took critical damage and ran out of hit points as it were. With a name like that, he’d either be the foremost geek of all time or rocker beyond par. Fortunately for us, he chose geekdom. (And wouldn’t that make a great slogan: I CHOOSE GEEKDOM!)
For those who don’t know – and how could you NOT? – Gygax was just about single-handedly responsible for Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, just about every fantasy role playing game imaginable.
Let us pause in remembrance…
(Anyway, I had some work to do.)
I wasn’t going to say anything about him but then I got to thinking… how could I not? After all, I owe that guy in a big way for hours, days, months – hell, years if you look at it cumulatively – of bitchen entertainment.
This all started (he said as the organ cued up a flashback) back in the 1980’s, when I believe it was Tim Murphy who brought to our little group of friends the first AD&D book (if you don’t know, don’t ask). I believe it was the Player’s Handbook but it might have been the Monster Manual (volume 1). We collected a whole library over the years. I still have most of them in storage – waiting for that next game!
So, what happened? Sean Mullin, Sean Roberson, Tim, and I (and sometimes others) would gather around, usually as Mullin’s house, and play. Mullin, Tim, and I took turns at DM’ing (again, don’t ask) so we could all play. Actually, it was because we all believed ourselves to be FAR SUPERIOR to the others at DM’ing, but that’s a different story.
Actually, DM’ing was my favorite part. I’d write up whole novellas of background material and pre-scripted events… mostly to compensate for the fact that I could not draw to save my life. My dungeons were usually drawn on graph paper, so I could trace the lines. But who else put Rocky and Bullwinkle into their adventures? That was part of the beauty of D&D, though, the freedom it granted to creative dopes like me.
Later, after Murphy and Mullin disappeared to the wilds of wherever, Roberson wanted to keep playing. We’d recruit anyone we could get – I even tried to get Rosa to play if you can believe that – just to get our D&D fix. But, sadly, those days were fading with the 80’s. By the 90’s, we had computers – Commodore 64’s! From that to my Amiga to my PCs, I have since played nearly twenty years of computer RPGs.
In fact, Vicky can blame Gygax for my current, recent, long-time obsession with WoW – you’re hating all these acronyms, aren’t you? But if Gygax hadn’t invented D&D, we might not have games like World of Warcraft. We might be stuck playing RISK!
One more thing. When I was a kid, I’d tell my mom I was heading off to Sean’s to play D&D and she’d give me that lecture so many of us geeks heard. She warned me against satan worshipping and the evil influences of, you know, pretending! We should all keep in mind the stupid shit our parents told us when we were kids so we can take those crackpots who tells us that video games MAKE CHILDREN KILL with a big, fat, fucking grain of salt.
A grain the size of a d20. (I thought I’d make it through this without a single dice joke. I guess I was wrong.)
Turns out that Men Who Do Housework May Get More Sex! No shit! Honest! I ain’t kidding!
But let’s qualify that, okay? I’m thinking they’re talking about men in relationships… traditional “you never help out around the house” relationships. Okay?
That said, who the fuck did not know this? Was there some group of guys saying, “No, seriously. If I smear shit on the walls, she gets horny. No kidding. I take my filth and wipe it on the wallpaper, and she blows me. Swear to fucking god!”
Next thing you’ll be hearing is a report that concludes “Men who wash may get more sex” and another with “Men without big, pus-running scabs on their dicks may get more sex”…
… they may want to look into that…
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Shrub is endorsing McCain as the presumed, Repugnant nominee this morning. Need I say more?
And, somehow, Clinton has the “mo” to keep going. She won three of the races, though Texas was a squeaker, but did not necessarily pull out more delegates. For me, it was very discouraging to see Clinton win, considering how she did it through fear mongering and lying, tactics she often attributes to the Repugnants. It still seems unlikely that she’ll be the nominee but, let me say now, if she were, I would never be able to vote for her because of her lying and cheating. I’ll vote for the Green candidate who has no chance of winning and I’ll do it proudly, because I won’t vote for someone I can’t trust.
Now, before I wrap up, there is one issue I want to address. It keeps coming up – Clinton raised it this past week with the “Three AM” ad – and I just think it’s stupid. That is, this presumption that Barak Obama is someone less prepared to deal with national security than McCain or Clinton.
So, let’s see.
McCain’s experience with national security is that he was tortured. And now, he endorses torture. If you don’t see that red flag, get your eyes checked.
Clinton’s experience with national security is through osmosis, if at all. Her husband was once president.
As far as I can see, Obama is just as prepared as either candidate. He’s just more honest about it, which is why he has my support.
I felt her nudging me this morning. Nudging. Nudging. Nudging. “Honey,” she asked, “when are you getting up?”
I wanted nothing more than to stay asleep. I was having a great, musical nightmare that I was enjoying thoroughly. It was nearing its climax – but she kept nudging. So, I rolled over, looked at the clock, and said, “In about ten minutes.” If only she had allowed me to sleep for ten more minutes – BUT NO!
That’s got to be a crime, waking someone up ten minutes early for no other reason than to ask when they would have woken up had you not totally fucked up their sleep.
If it’s not, it should be!
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Every morning, when I’m driving to work or heading to the gym, I see one after another after another after another. Sometimes, there are five, six, or seven on a street.
This morning, as I went to the gym, in the weeeeee small hours of the morning (4:20am, which might explain why my brain was so flabby), I wondered, “Where are all these people moving to? Where are they going?”
Within an instant, the answer came to me. “They’re moving to PLEASEGODDON’TFORCLOSEONME-land! They are relocating to Wearefucked, USA. They’re moving to Gottarentfromnowon-ville! They’re heading off to PleasebuymyhouseormycreditwillberuinedandI’llbelivingonthestreet City!”
That’s the sad truth of it. So many people bought houses with these shitty sub-prime loans and they won’t be able to rent if their credit gets ruined so they have to sell or be in a bucket filled with fiery-hot trouble. It’s going to change the way we look at buying a house for a long time and it’s going to leave a lot of ruined lives in its wake.
I am very thankful that Vicky and I got out of our sub-prime before it was too late. If I’d been out of work much longer, things would be very different, and much worse, for us.
But, don’t listen to me. According to Shrub, there’s no recession!
Monday, March 03, 2008
With all this great war going on, don’t you sometimes wish we had more?
Of course, you do! You’re American, aren’t you?
Well, hot damn! The administration of homicidal maniacs that we call our President has gone and found a new place to kill another group of people who are too poor, too weak, and too hungry to actually fight back. Yes, it’s a goddamn godsend for the bloodthirsty, that’s what the Bush administration is!
This past weekend, with no fanfare just a thirst for blood, the US started bombing the hell out of Somalia – our newest, greatest enemy.
Be very afraid of the weak – because America could never, ever be wrong when it commits crimes against humanity.