Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I hope you're happy.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

CODE NAME: [Green Harvest]

I'm pretty sure I wrote about this, but maybe I didn't...anyway, as a film geek I'm always interested in the fake titles film companies use when shipping movies out to theaters (the idea being no one would want to steal BLUE HARVEST but they would want to steal RETURN OF THE JEDI).

To amuse myself, and before I had a title--I named the file for THE MOSQUITO VINE, "[Blue Harvest]" (with brackets). I'm getting closer(r) to starting my second book and I've decided to continue the tradition by dubbing the file "[Green Harvest]."

This is just a lame tidbit.



Leah and I went and saw WOLVERINE. I know, I said I wouldn't go...but "I love my wife." Plus it's Saturday and we didn't know what else to do. So we went and hunkered down. And honestly, it's not as terrible as I'd thought.

But it was still pretty bad. I think the best cinematic X-MEN movie is Bryan Singer's original flick, which in my humble opinion isn't all that great itself.

There were too many character, and the plot was nonsense...but my biggest gripe was

1. The shitty special effects (why did they make Wolvies claws a crappy GCI effect?)


2. In a film about Wolverine, why did they snip his balls? The guy has CLAWS ON HIS HANDS and yet this is a lack-luster, bloodless PG-13 movie. I'm not asking for buckets of blood, but come on...you don't fight WITH CLAWS ON YOUR HANDS and not see something red...

Anyway, my sympathies to Becky, whose beloved Gambit is taken down a notch by a douche-y actor with a bad Cajun accent. What cheeses me off about WOLVERINE is that it seems like a lost opportunity.

My quick idea for a Wolverine movie:

Two hour of him bashing the shit out of The Hulk (ala the recent HULK VS. cartoon movie). Maybe have them fight for an hour in the woods and an hour in a city. Have Nick Fury and his Hulkbusters show up, put Hulk down...Wolvie gets pissed off and stomps off to Canada where he tussles with Omega Red.


You're welcome Fox.

What if H1N1 Combines with HIV?!


Okay kiddies. You're Uncle Jason is no longer able to keep his mouth shut...it's time for a good 'ole fashioned rant. Ready? Here we go...

I am so sick of the press jumping on stories that, on the surface terrify the rational mind--BUT if you take 5 minutes to dissect it/think it over YOU REALIZE THAT IT'S 100% bullshit. Now as of late, the "Media" has been having a FIELD DAY with The Economy. Things are bad out there my friend. But The Economy is great because it's really complicated and few people truly understand it.

When I was growing up, they didn't treat The Economy like the weather. But now they do, now every five minutes they over-analyze The Economy. Instead of talking about cold fronts and pressure centers...its points on the Dow. They've made a fetish out of it (think about it there's an all-Sports channel, all-Weather channel, and an all-Financial channel). War is good, but something a little more abstract, something a little less control-able is better because everyone is against the economy being bad. No one (that's not insane) is rooting for the SARS virus to wipe us all out. And we've become obsessed with "updates."

This is the result of 24-Hour News. We've become used to learning about something not only "as it's happening" but sometimes before it's happened. What this means is a lot of times we get news reports that are literally "Well Jim, we don't know much...but something is going to happen" (REPEAT FOR 12 hours until something happens and/or something breaks). And don't get me started on reporters. These people literally are shit. I should know, because I have a little journalism experience...albeit on the small scale. Reporters today grew up AFTER the generation that looked up the Woodward and Bernstein. They think reporters should "take on" things (institutions, social trends, people) because that's what they previous group of reporters/newsmen did...but they're missing the WATERGATE point (which is Woodward and Bernstein stumbled upon a major political scandal).

Those guys took down Nixon and created the notion of the Crusader-Journalist. This has changed news and given reporters even more of an ego problem. Now we have these "journalists" like O'Reilly, Dobbs, Beck, etc. They all admit they're not reports, that their shows are editorials and not news reports--and yet, it's all very much presented as news. And since they have good ratings, modern news is becoming very similar to editorials.

So we are obsessed with getting news and reporters have forgotten that they're supposed to be "reporters" (i.e. REPORT things). But there is another component--the Death obsession we all seem to have.

You are going to die. I am going to die. We need to get over it, and yet we can't. We're obsessed with death. Further, like all selfish/self-centered bastards and we'd LOVE to think that when we die--the world will be going with us. At the same time, we don't want to die, we want to live forever. So we're really mixed up folks, but the bottom line is: we are fascinated by death and destruciton.

So we like it in our news. So while The Economy is a good, complicated scary story (reporters like it because of the ratings, and it makes them feel important) nothing is better than something like Swine Flu. We're scared of it, we don't fully understand it, AND the Government likes it because it takes attention away from the "real" problems (like The Economy).

The Government? Yes kiddies, your Uncle Sam LOVES it when something bad (that's not his fault) comes along to distract us while he continues to steal from us (both our money and our Rights). Another good thing about a crisis/scary thing like Swine Flu is that it makes us all children--we all run to "Daddy" Government "Daddy! Something scary! Protect us!" Of course they can no more protect us from Swine Flu than they could put a man on Pluto...

Which brings me to my point. I do not fear Swine Flu. For one thing, there are bigger things to be scared of. Like what? How about REGULAR FUCKING FLU, you know that bug that mutates every year and makes it's rounds during the winter? That virus kills 36,000 people every year in this country (Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). How many people have died of Swine Flu, a couple hundred? Swine Flu is a pussy compared to REGUALR FUCKING FLU. But Swine Flu is "sexy" in that it's something new and not 100% understood.

The media's done a good job getting us all worked up about it (for ratings) but I wasn't going to say anything (or write such an annoyingly long post about how I feel) until I saw this story online with the headline: "Scientists Fear H1N1 HIV Combination." The article is mainly about how the World Health Organization is fearful for patients with HIV/AIDS who could die as a result of Swine Flu targeting their compromised immune systems. BUT, the reporter/writer tries to lead the Scientists down the proverbial "rabbit hole" of: "What if Swine Flu combines with HIV and makes a SUPER VIRUS!"

Jesus these people make me sick. The sad part is, most of you out there eat this shit up. I just laugh. That's pretty much all I can do at this point. So, if you want to be scared, by all means--you have my premission to be scared/anxious/worried but just remember this is all smoke and mirrors (and hype). Forget it and worry about real flu or how fat you are (like me).

Friday, May 01, 2009

WTF ever happened to Ram Jam?

Awesome Leadbelly cover:

Terrible facial hair.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wow...me SLEEPING?

Well now this is creepy. So I fire up my camera (to snap a photo of the "Anti-Monkey Butt" Powder...see previous post) and what do I find. What do I find. WHAT DO I FIND?

Creepy photos that someone (my wife? Dear God I hope it's my wife) is taking of me and our dog Rusty sleeping.


Sleepy Boy1

Sleepy Boy2

When life is shit, look at funny shit on Amazon

Today was not a good day.

See, your old pal the Limemonkey ain't doin' so swell. Life is hard and then you die right? Fuck you too. Whatever. I'm not the cheeriest guy in the world under the best circumstances, so having $2.00 in the bank AND an appointment to see a Real Estate Agent tomorrow isn't helping things.

Whatever. I love my wife.

"Whatever. I love my wife" is becoming my personal mantra. I guess it's better than my old "it's 3 AM time to materbate into a sock" mantra. So married life DOES have some benifits. By the way, I'm writing this post in spite of the extreme risk of having someone near and dear to me being either pissed off or want to "talk."

Look, I'm a dude. Here's how I deal with my problems--I grunt, I don't say much, I brood. I've been going to the gym every night, and not just because I'm fat. I LIKE to punish/brutalize myself when I feel this way. Just let me exhaust myself and I'll be fine...probably. Also , to make matters worse, I've been using this "Anti-Monkey Butt Powder" that I received as a novelty X-Mas gift this year (thank you Mom/Dad...I mean "Santa"). Using a novelty gift as it was intended is (I think) one step above rock-bottom...

Ant-Monkey Butt Powder

It seems to be helping.

But you know what else is helping? A brilliantly funny blog I've been reading, 11 Points Blog. It's this Jewish dude who's blog is basically just a bunch of lists (with 11 points...mindblowing isn't it?). Anyway, he did this blog about "11 Strangest Things You can buy On Amazon." It made me chuckle, but going and LOOKING at the products on AMAZON.COM FOR REAL, made my bust a gut.

Maybe this stuff is only funny if you feel like you're worthless (literally worth nothing, because other than the $250 my organs are worth I have $2.000). Mabye it's only funny if you've been inhaling copious amounts of "Anti-Monkey Butt" powder for a week. Regardless, this stuff made me laugh.

The funniest: Uranium (just like Saddam did/did not have!), 32 Oz. Bottle of Wolf Urine (I'm not sure what is more disturbing, the fact that people are buying this much Wolf Urine...or the fact that, according to Amazon, people who buy this stuff are also buying a"Metal Vaginal Speculum"), a "personal" tank (I'd love to pull up to the Ye Olde Pallet Yard in this bitch), and something called "Solid Gold Stop Eating Poop" (just go look at it).

You know, you could have one helluva part with all that stuff. Anyway, thank you 11 Points Blog (*plug*). I no longer want to cry...as much.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Reader & The Loneliness of Writing

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day"
--Ernest Hemingway

Today was a good day. It was also a bit "historic." Maybe I'm making too much of it. Anyway, this weekend someone, other than myself, finished reading THE MOSQUITO VINE. I can't believe that there is another person out there that's read it. Despite the dread that comes with "the first reader" it was very exciting. Finally I'd be able to talk to someone about my book. I'd hoped that Leah would be the first person to read it, but my mother in KC has A LOT of free time on her hands right now, and so she beat Leah to the ending (I think Leah is half-way through).

I love both of these women, and they love me so how they feel about it--while important to me, cannot be trusted. Of course my mom liked my book. She's my mom, that's practically her job. So I still don't know how good (if at all) my first attempt at novel writing is.

BUT I got something much better than validation: I got to talk about my book. Imagine having an important secret (at least you THINK it MIGHT be important). You think about it everyday for two years straight. You battle it, unsure if you're doing the right thing...all the while everyone around you is oblivious.

I didn't bounce ideas off my wife. I didn't call my cousin up and say "I can't figure out the ending" or "I've gotten myself into a corner...help!" I did this all on my own. It's 100% me and my struggle. Sure, I posted a few things (including an excerpt) but other than the title I gave no details. It was very lonely, one of the loneliest things I've ever done.

One of the many (many) things I asked my mother was, "Did you like that? Did you like going in completely in the dark?" She said she did. She said her experience reading it was different (but probably better) having no idea about any of it. I think that's true for Leah too. I LIKE that I did it that way...but damn is it hard. I'm a chatty fuck, and like most writers I love to talk about myself and my shit.

I am gearing up for book #2. I have two equally interesting ideas. Two different directions. I can handle the solitude, but I don't necessarily look forward to dealing with it again.

A year and a half. That's how long I spent with this thing, in my head. In the back of my mind...in the front of my mind.

I've never been a big "people" person to begin with, but the isolation of writing can be a bit much even for me. I sometimes wish I wasn't compelled to do it. But I no longer feel that I have any other choice.

Dear WOLVERINE movie: No Thanks

This Friday Fox's latest foray into ruining the X-Men franchise X-MEN ORIGINS:WOLVERINE (how about that title, huh?) comes out. Despite being a huge comic book fan I'm staying home. It's not because the film was leaked on-line a few weeks ago--I wouldn't want to watch it, even it if was free.


Well for one thing, I'm 100% done with non-Marvel produced comic book adaptations. The last SPIDERMAN and X-MEN flicks were horrible. X3 was probably the shittiest comic book movie of a Marvel property EVER (and yes, I count FANTASTIC FOUR). They killed characters off, just to kill them off. And like the other, slightly less-crappy X-MEN movies, it was just too jam-packed with characters (they did this because they knew there would be no more sequels).

I wanted to give the new movie a fair chance, but after seeing the trailers--and seeing how convoluted it looks and how many characters they're cramming into the film...I decided that I'd seen enough. Why is a young Scott Summers in this film? Why is Gambit? Why is storm? Because they have no idea what they are doing. Because they want asses in the seats.

No thanks kids. Maybe Marvel will produce a re-boot once the property reverts back them. Until then, I'm staying away from all these off-shoot X-MEN movies.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Leah and I got "Pre-Approved" for a home loan this week. I'm still shocked that a banker would look at us on paper and say, "Sure...you seem good enough for hundreds of thousands of dollars." But whatever. I hear they give this things (these "mortgages" I believe they are called) to everyone these days.

Apparently Leah said I have good credit, which is funny because right now I have (literally) $2.48 in my bank account. Anyway, I guess the search for a house is about to heat up. We've been looking, but I wasn't very serious about (mostly because I did not believe we'd be able to secure a loan).

I'm glad it's looking good because Leah is already starting to pack...and that would be crazy if we weren't going to move.

Beatles Remasters=Yoko Gets More of My Money

I'm REALLY excited about September 9, 2009.

That's the day that ROCK BAND:THE BEATLES comes out, which I'm sure is going to be awesome. But I read in the most recent issue of ROLLINGSTONE that on that very same day Capitol/EMI Records will release the complete Beatles discography completely 100% digitally REMASTERED.

Now I know some of you non-music geeks will say, "But Jason, you're a true fan...you already own all The Beatles CD's why would you re-buy them?" To that question I ask: "Have you tried listening to the current CD versions with headphones on (i.e. on an iPOD)?" If you have, then you know how TERRIBLE, how GOD AWFUL those shitty 1987 masters are.

You see, unlike most "classic" bands, that release "remastered" versions of their classic works every few years to raise funds (and pay for expensive drug habits) The Beatles have not released ANY remastered CD's since the original CD run in 1987--with two noteable exceptions: the "1" Greatest Hits CD (which I bought specificially because it was remastered) and the LOVE soundtrack.

It is universally accepted that current Beatles albums on CD sound worse than the vinyl versions. They are muddy, clunky, ugly-sounding abominations. Even as a super-fan I feel as though I have no truly experianced much of The Beatles sound because I have mostly been exposed to their music via crappy radio and crappy CD's.

Don't beleive me? Think I'm a sound-snob? Go pick up LOVE and listen to it--with earbuds. Then go pick up RUBBER SOUL on CD and try to listen to it. You can't. You fucking can't. The RS article goes on to say that besides new stereo releases, Capital/EMI is also putting out a "Mono" boxset. I don't subsribe 100% to the "mono is better" arguement...however, I do admit that when The Beatles recorded their earliest material, it was originally done in Mono. So perhaps those early records should be presevered in Mono, as that was the canvass the artist originally used.

Not sure I'd want to listen to an album like SGT. PEPPER in Mono. But then again, what the hell do I know?

The stero mixes though...those will be mine on September 9.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mistake: "I'm Lovin' It" Not so much...

Yesterday I made a (delicious) mistake and let Leah talk me into going to McDonald's yesterday for lunch. I decided to not even try and do the vegetarian thing...and I ate not ONE but TWO kinds of meat--I had a Big Mac (my first ever) and one of Leah's McNuggets.

Man, the McNugget was just as good as I remember from my childhood. The Big Mac...was overrated. It's a $3.09 double cheeseburger with a third piece of bread thrown in. Lame.

This visit to McDonald's was kinda historic, because I hadn't eaten at McDee's in nearly 10 years. I just don't like the food there. It was also the first time I'd eaten red meat in three months. My stomach is killing me from eating this horrible, horrible food.

Anyway, McDonald's sucks. I'll probably go back in 2029.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


As April winds down I'm thinking about the start of summer. For me, summer doesn't being until May 31.

That's THOUGHTS OF A LIMEMONKEY'S only holiday. Yes folks, I speak of the legendary "John Bonham's brithday." Every year that I've had this blog I've dedicated a day to honoring the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer's birthday. Last year I went all-out and made a special KICK ASS tribute that I posted on YouTube.

So I'm trying to figure out what to do this year, something really over the top...and while messing around on my YouTube Channel--I noticed that one of my videos was gone!

That's right, my John Bonham tribute video. Those PUTRID fucks, those swaggering cowards over at Warner Music Group decided that little old me SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED to honor the memory of the GREATEST ROCK DRUMMER OF ALL TIME. I guess I'm not allowed to make NO MONEY using Led Zeppelin's music to honor their drummer.

Apparently this is a somewhat common occurance on YouTube, with many vidoes dedicated to this outrage.

Warners, if you're listening I want ya to know--I'm coming for ya. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...but SOMEDAY SOON I'm going to be there. When you come out of your office, after a late night brain-stormin session (where you discuss with your cronies the best way to FUCK OVER the fans of your bands). Maybe you'll be driving down a lonely stretch of highway, and you'll see an orange Cavalier zooming up behind you...

Then you'll know.

And as I stand over your bloody corpse, samauri sword in hand, you'll know...that I am pissed you didn't let me use a 1970's drum solo in my John Bonham TRIBUTE.

As for this year's tribute, I still have a month to figure out what I'm doing.

Mexican Outbreak has the Limemonkey Scared

I'm really worried about this Mexican "Pig-Flu" thing.

As a certifiable germaphobe, I'm really worried about tiny little microbes killing me/making me sick. Sometimes, when I think about the life I've lead and the way I am...and compare that to the film THE AVIATOR, I'm glad I don't have access to billions of dollars. Because if I did, I'm sure I'd be acting even stranger than I do know.

Anyway, there's this really scary video on the web that tells all about this biological terror...according to the video there's been a few cases in Kansas and NYC.

I'm really scared. Watch this video, and if your not scared...then you need to get your head examined.

Fuck all of you. I'm tired of being a dancing "monkey." Go get your jollies elsewhere.

Friday, April 24, 2009

SAVAGE YOUTH: "Last Blast" Full-Text Posted

Another oldie (but a goodie?) that will never see the light of day anywhere but the Interwebs.

I remember writing "Last Blast" in my dorm room...visions of S.E. Hinton dancing through my head.

A rip-off of THE OUTSIDERS? Yeah.

Is any of it good? Some.

"Last Blast" is kind of the great-grandfather of THE MOSQUITO VINE. You know, that CHALKBOARD JUNGLE-genre of young rebels (that are naturally out-of-control)? That what this is.

I call it 'Savage Youth.' I don't know why, but that's what we call it, here at THOUGHTS OF A LIMEMONKEY.

On a personal note: don't laugh too hard at a policeman named 'Hammer.' Believe it or not (go ahead, don't believe me) I worked with a KC Policeman named Hammer. He was just as badass as his name implies.

Oh, and I do regret not going out like Johnny “Cools” Whitmore.

"Sea Change" Full-Text Posted

Not sure that anyone will care, but I've given up on trying to get "Sea Change" published. It's a failed little experiment in weird, but it was fun to write.

Anyway, I had posted an excerpt up a few months (years?) ago, but now the whole thing is up over at the (often forgotten) WRITINGS OF A LIMEMONKEY.

Leah and my Mum are (supposed to be) reading THE MOSQUITO VINE, so they are not allowed to read "Sea Change." Everyone else may do so.

Mushroom Art

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Kind of a Girl"

Awesome Tinted Windows song:

Tinted Windows

I've talked about supergroups before, in my CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED review of The Traveling Wilbury's second album. It was there that I said:

"Supergroup-defined (in the music world) as a group/band consisting of members whom are already famous. Most "supergroups" fall into one of two categories--awesome and lame. For every Blind Faith, CSNY, or Gorillaz...there are a dozen Damn Yankees or Bad Englishes out there, stinking up the joint."

Supergroups fall into one of two categories:

1. Holy-shit! All those guys are getting together...awesome


2. WTF?!

Tinted Windows fall into the second group. I guess it's Hanson's fault. Taylor Hanson (the middle Hanson, or so I've been told by my sister Amber, who has seen them 3 times) is the lead singer of Tinted Windows. Everyone else in the band has solid rock (or pop) credibility...but Taylor is the member that's the hardest sell. I can imagine James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) getting together. That one's not hard. But the middle kid from Hanson???

Then there's Bun E. Carlos who's the drummer form Cheap Trick.

Now I'm supposed to imagine a band where the members run the gambit from rock, Power-Pop, Hanson (which I'm told is it's own lame-ass sub-genre) BUT ALSO are from not one...not two...but three different GENERATIONS?!?

The story goes, the band wanted that "Bun E. Carlos-sound" for the drums, and decided "what the heck? Let's just ask Bun E. Carlos!" Carlos, who is still very much active in Cheap Trick (on tour this summer with Def Leppard AND with a new record in the works) said: "I'll do the songs for $100...$50 if I like the songs." Turns out he liked the songs...really liked them, because he officaially joined the band (even embarking on a mini-tour this summer when not on stage with Cheap Trick).

Now, I know I just slammed Hanson a bit...but I have to say--compared to a lot of the crap out during Hanson's "salad days," hell...compared to a lot of the crap out NOW--Hanson was/is not that bad of a band. They're definetly not for dudes like me, but I respect the fact that they played their own instruments and wrote their own songs. Compared to The Monkees, Hanson is The Beatles (Jesus, that was painful to write).

Anyway, the point is Taylor Hanson isn't a poser, he's the real deal and this band is awesome because it allows him to kind of branch away from that. TINTED WINDOWS is an amazing POWER-POP record that packs a punch. The songs are a little basic when it comes to lyrics, but the music is classic guitars+bass+drums--and NO CRAP.

Schlesinger's other band, Fountains of Wayne is famous for being super-catchy, and he brings those killer hooks to Tinted Windows. And like all good Power-Pop bands, Tinted Windows is all about the ladies. All the songs are about love and chicks. Nothing political, nothing dated--just the timeless thing of love and girls. This is why this album will no doubt join the pantheon of classic pop records someday.

This stuff isn't rocket science, and yes...you probalby could write one of these songs if you tried hard enough (the rhymes are sometimes painfully obvious in the lyrics). And yes, the music isn't over-the-top awesome (only a few solos on this one, despite having Iha (who is an interesting, brilliant guitar player) in the band. But these qualities are part of the throw-back quality of the band, and the album.

The lead single, "Kind of a Girl" had catchy, fun chorus. It's a light snack of a song, and it's an utter delight. I love the awesome stomping drums of "We Got Something." Another great track is "Without Love" which sounds like a long lost Cheap Trick track (I can almost hear Robin Zander singing this thing). But the song that I keep playing is "Dead Serious" which is so fucking catchy it's burrowed into my skull and is devouring my brain.

Do I feel lame for gushing about a band/album featuring the kid from Hanson? Yes.
Do I feel lame for gushing about a record that's so light? Yes, the last record I bought before this one was an Iron Maiden compilation! Why does this shit work so well, even for someone like me, who's been in a "metal mood" lately?

Because it's fun. Plain and simple.

I'm not sure how big this group will end up being, but they're pretty damn SUPER in my book.

Jason gives TINTED WINDOWS an A++ (and wonders why you haven't bought it yet!)

Two people that NEED THIS RECORD (and boy do they fall into two different demographics): my sister Amber and my Uncle David J. This thing will blow their minds...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The weather is nicer again, so I'm out walking after work. I'm not going as far as I used to (gotta work up to it, I guess) but I'm doing pretty good. Anyway, I took my camera and took a few snaps.


walking 001

walking 003

walking 008

walking 005

walking 010

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cap'n/Writer Chair

Big thanks to Jimu for letting me have his sloppy seconds...oh, and he also gave me this second-hand chair:

THEchair 001

It's awesome, the chair I always liked sitting in whenever I went over to visit him. Apparently it's too awesome for him now, or something like that.

Whatever. It's mine now.

There are a few cosmetic/blemishes, but I can see past that. This chair rocks.

THEchair 002

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jazz Picnic

Today was a weird day. I guess the Kansas is why it was so weird.

Fuck Kansas.

I'm not entirely sure why a person would want to live in Kansas. It's kinda like a Bizzaro-Missouri. Look, I realize there is no rationale for why I hate Kansas, but I just do. My sister's Jazz band is all about Kansas. I think I've mentioned this before, that she's a member of the Kansas City Youth Jazz Band. They're a great, super-talented group of kinds that get together to play jazz.

My sister's musical ability has increased GREATLY over the past two years, and I'm sure being a part of this Jazz band is one of the reasons why.


We got lost okay? Big surprise, right. I get lost a lot when I don't know where I'm going..and for some reason Kansas is really confusing to me. Damn it I hate that state.

Alright, where was I?

Right, the Jazz band. So they had this little picnic today that my Mom really wanted Lindsey to go to. So my sister, her boyfriend, and myself all agreed to take her. It was in a nice little park out in rich-ass Kansas. We got there and it was super cold and overcast. Yikes. Not really what I'd call picnic weather. And even though we had no idea who anyone was...the four of us had a pretty alright time.

But then there was the food. The food looked great--they had like 15 different kinds of meat. But alas, as some/all of you know, I don't eat that stuff anymore. So I had to make do.

Hence the "Grape-Dog" that I whipped up right there on the spot. Looks good, don't it?

Yum. Leah you HAVE to try a Grape-Dog, they're to DIE for.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where do we go from here?

So I finished "principal" work on my first novel (meaning, I'm sure there are a few edits/changes/corrections coming down the pike, but for the most part it's done) this week.

But as I sit here, I wonder "what's next?"

I have a few vague ideas. I'm bored right now, so let me run some of them by you:

1. Short Stories--I never did crack that short story market. Maybe it's time to go back to writing shorter fiction. I could apply the lessons learned from the novel to a ten to fifteen page story. It's hard getting a novel published, and maybe a few publication credits might one day help the cause.

2. Novel #2--Part of me thinks that I've moved beyond short stories, and that instead of trying to work with a smaller canvas, I should focus on novel writing. I'm happy with the way a lot of THE MOSQUITO VINE turned out...but I'm nowhere near 100% satisfied. Part of the problems stem from a lack of experience sustaining a narrative...but some of the problems are from a simple lack of proper planning. I also have decided that the next book will be a 180-degree shift from what I did in the first one in terms of theme, tone, and style. I think THE MOSQUITO VINE is in a lot of ways a very safe, very traditional way of writing. I don't want to get crazy or anything, but I think I need to try something a little more dangerous.

Thoughts on the my first attempt at novel writing:

I made a TON of mistakes writing my first book, but one thing that I feel like I did RIGHT is not get anyone else involved. Case in point: none of you have any idea what exactly my book is about. My wife knows about as much as you do...which isn't much. My own mother, one of the few people besides myself to actually HOLD a completed copy of this thing asked me recently about it. She asked, "Is it about some sort of monster?" No. "Is it some sort of police-thing?" No again. See, what's I find so cool about it is, people who know me are going to be surprised by my book--because unlike a lot of "writers" I've known over the years who yap, and YAP about their fucking books/stories, I don't feel the NEED to brag and talk endlessly about my shit. Oh my God, there was a chick in one of my English classes back in UMSL that had fucking sketches of her characters that she'd show us...

I'm the opposite, I guess as a reaction to meeting people like that.

Anyway, what's so cool is that people who know me THINK they have an idea of my book. They might think that because I like certain types of books (or movies) that that's what I'd naturally create myself, but that's not the case.

In fact, now that I think about it, other than actually FINISHING the damn thing...not flapping my yap about it (and letting the prose do the talking) is about all I'm really 100% proud of.

Things I will never do again:

I will NEVER, come hell or high-water, stop working on a novel until it is finished. After NaNoWriMo I fucked up by waiting. You gotta keep plugging away.

Taking time off = death

I'd never written so much in such a short span of time, so I forgive myself...but next time I'm going to man-up and keep going UNTIL IT IS DONE! The other way that I fucked up is by not having an "exit strategy." I won't beat myself up too much over this, after all the USA government had a similar problem recently (that I won't get into here) and in both my case--and theirs, nothing good comes of rushing in without a plan to get the fuck OUT of Dodge. I will never start writing without (at least) a vague notion of how I'm going to end things. I spent almost the same amount of time trying to come up with an ending for my novel as I did writing the first 300 pages. And while we're on the subject of page counts, I'm done with the word-count/page-count obsession. THE MOSQUITO VINE is the longest thing I've ever written, so I've marveled at it's length...but outside of NaNoWriMo, there is no reason to keep "score" of these (in my opinion) trivial matters of length.

What I've decided as I write this post:

I think I'm going to spend the rest of this month and May working on a game plan for my next book. I think that's the most logical route at this point. I need to come up with three wonderful ideas and develop them as far as I can--then pick the best one. My goal is to have draft #1 of my second novel by January 01, 2010.

Leah, God bless her, will want to slow my progress down...because I she knows that once I finish my 12th book I intend on lying down and dying. But that's the plan (even if it brings me closer to the grave).

Ready to go back Home

My mom is back home from the hospital. Hopefully to stay for a while. She's going to have to wait a month for her body to heal before the doctors can fix the tube that's been broken insider her (it's the one leading from the kidney, I forget what it's called/how to spell it). Anyway, I've been taking Lindsey to all her weekend stuff.

I got us momentarily lost in Kansas (where he participates in the KC Youth Jazz-thingy). In a few hours I have to take her to a volleyball game. The KC Star published my Great-Uncle's obituary today. Which was nice.

I'm staring down the barrel of one-and-a-half days left out here in KC, and I'm ready to go home. This house is not my home. I miss my wife. I need to get back to work. My family is driving me crazy (and I'm sure I'm making them nuts).

I don't feel like I did much good here. I feel like I should have done more. I'm also sad because I know that after this week, the drama continues. This thing is going to last a lot longer than the week I have to spend out here. Whatever.

Ya do what you can do.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not Well

Today my mother's surgery didn't happen. There were complications...she had a doctors appointment for tomorrow to discuss her options (MAJOR surgery instead of minor surgery). Me and my Dad brought her home, and she seemed okay.

I bought her a blue berry muffin from Panera and she ate it. Then she asked if I'd help edit my Uncle David's obituary. The original was written by his executor, and was too wordy. So wordy it was going to cost $300. So I saved them a few hundred by doing a little editing. I got on the phone with the KC Star after I emailed it over and paid for it with my mom's credit card...when something happened.

It was really weird, but all the sudden she just started freaking out. I got off the phone with the newspaper and went upstairs and my Dad had me hold her while he called the hospital. She was standing up, clutching her stomach. She was totally out of it. She babbled, it was strange non-sense. I'm not sure she even knew who I was.

I'm not trying to be funny, but it sounded like fucking Hebrew she was speaking. It just made no god damn sense, a few minutes before she was fine. They gave her some anesthesia at the hospital earlier in the day that had left her shaky. Like she was cold, even though she wasn't cold.

I don't know what's going on. I'm at the house with Lindsey, waiting to hear from my Dad (who rushed her off to the hospital). No one will take my calls--not Leah, not Amber, not my Dad. I'm kinda freaking out.

I just want to go on record and say that this is all a doctor's fault. Fuck those people. We found out today that following an initial surgery one of her "important tubes" has been "transected." How did that happen doc? This entire episode is NOT helping me get over my fear of doctors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


What a long, strange trip it's been. If you'd have told me back in November 2007 that it would take this long to finish my first novel--I'd have laughed. After all, NaNoWriMo was challenging, but I met the 50,000 word quota. Surely it would only take a few weeks in December to wrap things up, right?

Well it wasn't that easy. I took some time off (which was a mistake) after the marathon writing session that was November 2007. Then I went back and read some of what I wrote--and I loved some parts, but didn't like others. I was too scared to cut what needed to go, because I knew I'd be losing a lot of what I had (and after all I was trying to ADD to the thing, not have LESS). So I put it away, and six months slipped by.Eventually, it was time to get married, and I felt my life start to pass me by. I realized that if I didn't finish the book soon, I might never finish it.

I had tried to start something new, but I couldn't go forward until I finished THE MOSQUITO VINE. So, the week after the wedding, I started editing and writing again. I finished the first draft the week of Thanksgiving 2008. During the second round of edits, I did what needed to be done, I killed the secondary--weaker, plot thread. Thus killing my ending. Once the editing was done, I sat down and over a period of one week wrote a new ending.

Yesterday, I sat next to my mothers bed and edited those final pages. And today, a day that will forever be historic in my own personal life, April 15, 2009 I went and printed off the second (and very-readable) draft of my first complete novel:

I want to thank everyone for encouraging me, but special thanks to Leah who put up with me shutting the door and working every night for a month (November 2008). Thank god you like playing solitaire so much. Beyond just tolerating me working though, she's also a key reason the book is finished. I was totally prepared to give up many times, and she never let me.

One down, eleven to go baby.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

100% Done

This morning, after I made my mother breakfast, I got to work editing the new ending for my novel. It took about an hour and a half to read through it and make a few changes. Then I spent about twenty minutes transferring those corrections to the digital copy (which always sucks and is tedious).

And now, I AM 100% done with the second draft of my novel.

I know that it's not "finished." There's nothing written that's ever really finished. I'm sure there are a few kinks and what have-you that need to be worked out...but for the first time I have something I am comfortable showing people.

Once my sisters come home later today I'm planning on running to Kinkos and printing this thing off--I can't do it at home or here on my sisters printer, because this thing WOULD KILL a printer.

Anyway, once it's been read by Leah and my family I'll be in need of a few volunteer readers to help me with the third/fourth draft.

Monday, April 13, 2009

In KC all this Week

I haven't really mentioned this, but my mother is having a lot of medical issues right now. I've felt bad that I wasn't able to be there for the first surgery(s) but I told myself that my Dad and my sisters had everything covered.

And they did.

But my dad works two jobs and my older sister lives in Kansas now (damn that state)...so this week my mom was going to be home all alone--and I didn't find that acceptable. So I'm going to go home and take care of her, until her next big surgery on Thursday.

I feel really shitty for abandoning my post at the "ye olde pallet yard," because I know that despite everything, I am useful there...but this is something that I feel I must do. My parents took care of me when I was a helpless infant, so I feel that it's ones duty to kinda pay them back.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

99.99999999999999999% DONE!

After a week of hard work (with one day, Friday, off) I sat down this morning and completed work on the "new" ending of my novel. I am now, as they say--finished writing my first book.

The second draft is 328 pages and 85,000 words exactly.

Whereas before I was only so-so about my ending I am not 100% behind it. I feel like I didn't pussy out but didn't end on a totally depressing note. It's the best of both worlds. I'm going to print the last 28 pages and edit them this week.

Then I'm going to Kinkos and I'm going to run 3 or 4 copies off. I'm going home to KC next week sometime for a funeral/emergency visit (which I'll probably explain later this week). While I'm out there I'm going to leave a copy for my folks and Amber to read.

Which by the way, last night Amber called me and told me SHE'S GETTING MARRIED! I am so happy right now, for her and for me. As I write this I'm listening to Queen, and I feel like a fucking Champion! I feel like I just got laid, scored a touch-down, and won the lottery.

Basically I feel good right now.

Banana Babies

Yesterday me and Leah were at the store, picking up a few things and we ended up in the ice cream section (as one does when they go to the store with Leah). While she was hunting for something that would be okay for her to eat during Passover, I happened upon these delicious "Banana Babies."

Now, as a rule, I tend to make purchases solely on the packaging. Banana babies has everything I look for:

Cartoon animals--Check
Are the monkeys smiling/having fun?--yes, they are. Check

It's a fairly simple treat (one that I'm sure I could easily make at home). It's half a banana, frozen with a wooden stick, covered in chocolate. They have 3 varieties: milk chocolate, milk chocolate with peanuts, and dark chocolate. I got the dark chocolate, but I'm sure the other two are great too (I'll probably pick up the peanut encrusted ones next time I'm out).They're quite good (excellent breakfast food). If you like fruit and chocolate, and you see these things you should pick them up--they're good.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


...more like "bat-shit crazy." I saw this posted on Kanye West's blog. It's a weird, all-animal CGI war cartoon.

Needless to say, it's messed up.

I love anything with bunny-rabbit snipers! Happy Easter folks!

Monday, April 06, 2009

(Another) Partial Victory

Well, other than an ending--the second draft is complete.

I know, I know...without and ending...it's NOT complete. But I finished all my editing. Boy did I do some damage. I'm not sure how interested any of you are in the "stats" of this little projects, but here they are:

I "axed" 17,328 words total. This was primarily a secondary, un-related plot-thread that was both unnecessary and cliched. This was about 54 pages of material, a majority of this crap was written back in the NaNoWriMo days (when I had to write, even when I had little to say).

But I've cleaned all this up, and now I'm just in need of an ending.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Partial Victory

The end is nigh folks.

While not a 100% success, this weekend's "lock-down" has moved me MUCH closer to having a completed second draft. I left the apartment once this weekend, a few hours ago to get some gas for my car (so I didn't have to do it in the morning). Other than that, I stayed in an worked.

The digital edit is nearly complete. I'm 40 pages away from having that done. Once that is complete, I'll need to write the ending--and then I'll have a novel.

My target completion date is Friday April 10, 2009.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Status of Draft#2

I can't believe it (and you probably won't either) but I actually DID what I said I was going to do. I woke up, read in the bath-tub for an hour...then I got out and had breakfast (veggie burger)...and then I worked.

And I worked.

Guess what? I got it done. I finished making the physical edits today on the second half of my novel. I'm drained. While the first half had 20-30 pages lopped off, the second half (written last September) was mostly okay. I did kill the last 15 pages (the ending problem I'm having).

Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to start working on the "digital edit" which is boring and tedious. Hopefully I'll find the courage/will-power to get through that tomorrow...which leaves the ending...which will take me all week I'm sure.

This time next week, I'll have the second draft of my novel done--and I'll be ready to let people (Leah) read it. I'm excited.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The "Weekend Plan"

Say it again:

"I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend. I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend.I'm going to edit this weekend."

Now, I've said this before...but this time I have a plan and a goal. Tomorrow, I'm getting up in the AM and I'm going to shower/get dressed...then I'm going to finish editing my book. This is the plan. By Sunday night I should be working on the digital edit.

Next week I'm writing the new ending. The goal is to be have a 100% finished second draft by the end of next weekend, so that a week from this Monday *someone* can take a look at this damn thing (i.e. start reading it).

This is the "Weekend Plan."

Telemarketers: My New Plan of Action

One of my (many) tasks at work is to answer the phones. Would you believe a pallet company gets a lot of calls?

A lot of calls.

Some are related to what we do, but there is a percentage (I'd say 15-20%) that are from various telemarketers. The kind I hate the most are from the machines. You pick-up and get a recording hocking insurance or Cable/Dish services. All you have to do is "Press 1 to speak with an operator."

Usually I just hang up, but not anymore. They wasted my time, so now I'm wasting theirs. Here is what I am now doing.

I find out what they are selling and pick something else--something not related to what they're trying to get me to buy. Then I "Press 1" and wait. When the call center takes my call, I ask for the "head of the household." Then I ask the guy trying to sell me cheap health insurance if he'd like Dish Network.

I just did this about 10 minutes ago, and it was hilarious. I acted oblivious when he said, "Sir, this is a call center" (because they act oblivious to me when they're trying to sell me siding for my house...even when I tell them that the number they've dialed is a business and I don't own a home). I told him all about the 349 channels of HD-programming he could have. I told him he could try the service out for a month, and then decide if he wanted to keep it. Eventually he hung up on me.

But I wasted that bastards time.

To quote Carlin: "These are the thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ting Tings Tomorrow

So I'm going to a concert tomorrow night...I'm taking Leah to see The Ting Tings.

The Ting Tings are a cutesy boy-girl Pop band that Amber and Leah like. They're pretty cute, though they have a few songs that I find annoying. They also have some pretty good songs, too. The band is playing at The Pageant out here in STL-Land, which if you recall--the last time I was there I saw metal legends Motorhead.


This is about as from Motorhead as one can get kids:

Yes...the drums...those God-damn drums...

Last episode of ER tonight

About a year ago, my wife and I got "into" ER.

I think it started out as a X-Mas/Chaunnnakuakau present that I bought for her (Season 1). From there is bloomed into an all-out obsession. The show is brilliant because it mixes the best parts of a medical show (the blood/guts and tension) with the best parts of a Soap Opera (the sex and backstabbing).

Unlike a lot of dramas on TV, ER (the first 4 to 5 seasons) had some really awesome characters/character development. And then there's Clooney. That guy, regardless of how you feel about his politics, is a star and his work on ER is some of his finest work.

We got all the way through the Clooney-era on DVD and kinda gave up on it. Once 60% of the original cast was gone, I frankly lost interest. This past season has been interesting because they've been brining back a lot of the old characters (including some dead ones). Tonight, NBC is saying goodbye to it's last great show from the 90's "Must-See-TV" days:

The only reason I know that tonight is the last episode is because of a report I heard on NPR this afternoon in my car. That's how out of touch I am with television. I know Leah is going to want to watch it, and I'm interested in how they'll finish things...but quite frankly the show should have ended YEARS ago. Like LAW AND ORDER, ER of late has just been recycling it's plots--with characters that are merely pale imitations of those from earlier seasons.

Still, ER is a television institution and it's sign-off will probably be "historic" in the same way that MASH going off the air was "historic." So that's what I'm doing tonight.

UPDATE:Just finished watching the final episode...and it ended just like I thought it would. Nothing amazing, they did the only thing they could do--which is basically set it up so that viewers are left with the impression that the hospital is going to keep running...but we're just not going to be visiting anymore. Kinda like it's not ending. Appropriate, but a little predictable. No Clooney cameo, but everyone else was back.

I officially care about 1 network TV show (30 ROCK, which is the only "great" show left on regular TV). NBC/CBS/ABC are boned.

Monday, March 30, 2009

25% Left + A Twinge of Panic

So this weekend was terrible (or at least, parts of it were).

Friday sucked--I couldn't get my check into the bank because I got stuck at work. I got into a fight with Leah. Saturday started out good but became TERRIBLE. Listen to this: so we went to the mall (me and Leah) and we walked around and saw MONSTERS VS. ALIENS in 3-d (so far so good, right?). When we got out of the flick, Leah's car wouldn't start...she'd left the lights on. I dialed the Mall Security from my cellphone and five minutes later Leah got to find out first-hand why I HATED security work. The FIRST guy they sent out was a complete idiot. Seriously, I don't think he knew the difference between his ass-hole and the sky (that dumb). He was no help, and actually STOPPED helping us so he could go help ANOTHER family with a dead battery. The second guy knew what he was doing, and within 2 minutes of his arrival, we were on our way.

So we got something to eat then went home. As we pulled up to our apartment guess what I saw? My car--with a flat tire. Leah tried her magic "fix-a-flat" foam but the tire was too far gone. I couldn't find anyone to help me put the spare on...and it was raining...so I paid a towing company $50 to do it. Sunday I got up early-ish and wasted the whole day at Walmart buying two tires and an oil change ($175 total).

While I sat there and waited (and dealt with their stupidity) I edited my novel. I'm now 75% done with the second draft. I just need to finish up the last 25%, make changes to the digital copy, and write the new ending. Then I'm done. Then people can read it. I know Leah will be the first person (as she is physically and emotionally the closest person to me). I'm not sweating that reader too much...BUT my cousin (who also writes) emailed me last week and said he wanted to do a "novel swap" (I read his, he reads mine) and that's given me the willies.

I love my cousin, and I know he loves me--but I feel like he kinda looks down on my writing sometimes. This got me thinking about ALL THE OTHER people who want to read it...and now I'm freaking out. People fall into 2 categories:

1. People I am close to who I don't want to "let down"

2. People who want to read it who I know will be "let down"

And, of course, I don't want everyone to think that I'm a hack...and I don't want people (especially Leah) to feel like I've been wasting my time this past year (and a half). I know I don't have OLIVER TWIST on my hands...it's very much a first attempt at writing a novel (i.e. not perfect) but I'm proud of the work I've done.

I'm freaking out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shut Your *BEEPING* Lights OFF

Tomorrow night, from 8:30 to 9:30pm (local time) it's "Earth Hour." During this time, everyone is supposed to shut off all there lights to give "Mother Earth a break." Doing so is supposed to save boo-koo amounts of something or other.

I'm going to do it. You should too.

And in case you think I'm making this up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Blue Lettuce"

Blue Lettuce

Novel Update

I'm not feeling well...this week it's a cold (which has left me with a raspy-mucus-voice). I got off work early yesterday because I didn't feel good (I mean well), and I promptly headed home--so I could go do laundry at the laundromat. Which sucked in a way, but I got some editing done.

Tonight I came home and did some more editing. It's going slow. In fact, it's going damn slow. Glaciers have moved faster actually. But I am making progress. I stopped early tonight because I was approaching a section I know is going to be trouble.

Part of me wants to take off work for a week and just finish the damn thing. Except I know that if I did that, I would just surf the web...play XBOX...etc. I'd do EVERYTHING BUT edit.

Ugh. Editing sucks. Back when I was writing the damn thing, I remember thinking, "I can't wait to edit. Editing is pretty easy compared to writing." Boy was I stupid. What's worse is, I'm starting to get that itch...that writing itch. I came up with a few ideas that I'd LOVE to explore, but alas...I have to keep plugging away at this damn thing.

I'm starting to lose perspective about how good (or bad) it is. It's like a horrible fight that you get stuck in (I was going to say "like Vietnam" but I'm not sure if this is like Vietnam) and you kinda lose sight of everything and just go about it all mechanically. I'm hacking away at it, but I'm not able to judge it anymore. Anyway, I know some of you wonder what's going on with that, so I thought I'd let you know.

It's going.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Little Man"

We went out to eat tonight--me, Leah, Brenda, and Leah's Dad.

It was an environmental disaster: we all came in separate cars and arrived at different times. I got there first (natch, because I get to places obsessively early). Then Leah pulled up and we went in an got a table. Leah's sister, Brenda, arrived next. She sat down and said that when she asked about where we were the waitress said "You mean the girl and the "little man?"

Or something like that.

She called me the "little man."

WTF? First off, of the four of us--I'm the tallest. Secondly, I have a FULL FUCKING beard right now. Third, this same woman had just served me a beer. So I'm a "little man" but I am of drinking age. I'm not sure what the hell I'm supposed to think right now...I am very confused.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here we go:

1. Why am I so lame?

I guess it's society/my parents fault. I don't have many hobbies or friends (because I'm boring and because I'm an asshole).

2. What are the top 5 things you would change about the world and how would you do it?

If I was "King for a Day" I'd ditch the nukes(1), lower taxes(2), shrink government in general(3), spend whatever it takes so that everyone has access to clean drinking water(4), and I'd teach junior high kids how to use "protection" (thus cutting back on STD's, abortion/teen pregnancy, and increasing Trojan sales) (5). I think there is too much government in our lives (my life at least) and that I (foolishly) pay too much of my own hard earned money to support red tape. I also think the only way to end diseases like AIDS is to get real and teach kids how to have sex as safely as possible (as opposed to living in a fairy-tale world where kids aren't horny and out of control).

3.Why did you become an English Major?

This one is going to make you laugh. I was a History major (after being "undecided for half a decade). Then I got into the second half of my first semester, and even though I was taking two Junior-level History classes (and getting A's) I had an crotchety 80-year-old Asian Civilization teacher (who lectured sitting down, behind a podium) who gave me a C- in his 1000-level Freshman class. It was a crushing blow, getting a "C" in what was supposed to be such an easy class (mind you, we were only graded once, and that was the Final). Meanwhile, I was in Junior English (the one for non-English majors) and I was writing all these creative papers and blowing my teachers mind (most of the people in the class were business majors, who didn't want to read or write). I became the teacher's pet, and she gushed over me...and I thought, "hell, this seems to be what I'm good at...I should do this." Plus, I couldn't picture a place for me as a history major in the "real world."

So I became an English Major so I could "get a good job." Which is a laugh, because the English degree ain't much better than a History one (in the end). I don't regret it though, because I read some fucking fantastic books, met some cool people, and realized that I shouldn't give up on my dream of writing.

So there ya go.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Questions for the Limemonkey

My blog posts aren't coming like they used to. I don't know why. I guess I'm just in a funk or something. I feel like writing a post (or two) but I can't decide what to talk about.

Anyone have a question for the Limemonkey? I'm sure the three (3) people that read this blog must check it to SEE something...what are you interested in (other than to see if I trashed you).

I'm gonna go play ROCK BAND 2 now.


I know I'm late to the party, but GOOGLE Earth is fucking amazing. I was bored last night, and I decided to finally download it. I'd tried to use it at work, but as the computers I use there are from the (first) Clinton Administration, I couldn't get it to work. So I gave up. Then something strange happened in my brain (as it often does) and I decided to try it out on my laptop.

It's great. A fantastic tool. I feel like I could plan a road trip or a coup with this thing. It's like GOOGLE Maps (which I use everyday at work to coordinate the company trucks, as well as look up phone numbers) but better. Everything about it is better. From the multiple views/angles to the "whizz-rush" of flying over the globe. It's an amazing technology--one that makes the Earth seem smaller:

Last night I looked at my parents house, the Eiffel Tower, and the roof-tops in Baghdad. All of them were only a click away.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, yes, yes!!!


For Amber, click to make bigger:

Image found on Ain't It Cool News.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kaiser Chiefs


What's in a name?

No one has any idea what my novel is about. This is partly my fault, I don't talk about it much (just to avoid the whole "I'm a douche-bag writer-lets talk about my book" syndrome). I'm curious about two things:

1. What do you think my book is about?

2. What does the title suggest to you?

I ask because I'm curious, vain, and contemplating changing the title.

Jason & Leah Make a Baby

Leah and I have been talking about having kids. I think that's going to happen soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

R.I.P. "Uncle" David

My "Uncle" (actually my Great-Uncle) David has passed away. The most eccentric member of my family, my Great-Uncle David was the sort of person you never forget. He was a hairdresser, a gourmet cook, and a psychic. Back in the 90's he had a cable access TV show (PSYCHIC VOYAGES WITH DAVID SCHNEIDER). In fact, local KC rag THE PITCH once even named him KC's "Best Psychic" back in 2003.

Here is what they had to say:

"The former host of the lovably campy public-access TV show Psychic Voyages, which ran weekly from 1984 to 1996, David Schneider is frequently tapped for radio appearances, public seances and occasional investigative work. "A detective called me to visit a crime scene once, a bedroom where two little girls had been murdered," he says. "I saw it all, in horrifying detail, then pointed out the window and said, 'They're stuffed in a hole right out there.' And the victims were discovered in a culvert. It was too upsetting. I'll never do that kind of work again." A hair-stylist by day, Schneider started giving professional psychic readings 35 years ago, after a party stunt turned dead serious: Dressed as a gypsy, Schneider was using a light fixture as his crystal ball and thought he was just pretending to give readings until one of the party guests told him he was uncannily accurate. After that, he started studying psychic phenomena. "He's really almost always on target about health, money and business," says one longtime client. "Not so great on love stuff. He's really a meat-and-potatoes psychic."

Ironically, he had some of the worst luck. Bad things happened to him...a lot.

He wasn't always easy to get along with, and I actually see a lot of my own anti-social/grudge-holding tendencies in him. The guy didn't mess around, there was a period of 7 or so years when we didn't hear from him because of a fight he had with my mother (he fried her hair while trying to dye it or something). Still, like most people he was something of a contradiction--despite his rough edges he was also very generous. The guy was broke for most of his life, but he always gave us gifts and brought elaborate gourmet-goodies (very expensive, primo-shit) to our holiday parties.

One of my earliest memories of him was the time he came over and gave me a giant, inflatable Godzilla. It scared the crap out of me. I remember hiding under the kitchen table...

In the past few years he'd drifted back into my families little sphere, faithfully attending all of our family functions/graduations. Though he was too sick to travel to St. Louis for my wedding, his was key in that very important day because he provided me with my wedding band. I'll never forget the conversation we had after Thanksgiving dinner about the heirloom that now sits on my finger. So even though he's gone, I'll always carry around a little part of him.

I'm sad that there isn't going to be a funeral, but as it was is wish, there will be no formal service. Still, I plan on going out to attend the internment of his ashes.

Rest In Peace "Uncle" David.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Day of Photos


Tomorrow I'm going to carry my camera with me, everywhere I go...and take pictures.


I don't really consider myself a "car guy," but I do seem to have a fascination with automobiles. I've written a few short stories (and one novel) that prominently feature cars. I guess it's the male-red-blooded-American in me.

Anyway, this week IS the week of cars (I've decided).

On Saturday, Leah went and bought her Mom's old car. It's a Honda CRV (2003 like my car). Her mom decided to go and get a new one, and Leah's new job requires her to drive around a lot more...so it worked out. I'd driven one of these things before, in Honolulu, and quick frankly--I didn't like it. Even though people laugh when I say it's a "big" car...it is. I drive a small, two-door coupe...so a ten-speed with a big wicker-basket is big to me. I don't like the way you pretty much have to use your mirrors (it is very difficult to see out of, your blind spots feel bigger on the sides and forget about seeing what's on directly behind you).

But my wife does what she wants...so a Honda CRV we now own.

Then Monday I dropped off my car with Progressive (a great insurance company, they've really impressed me with their service). The guy told me I'd be without my car ALL WEEK, and I was a little bumed. Then I drove my "loaner" car, and now that week seems a little too short.

They gave me a 2008 Hyundai Sonata--and I fucking love it. It's bigger than my Cavalier, but not TOO big. It's a four door, but roomy as hell. The interior is soft leather. There's a moon roof. Power everything. Whisper quite engine.

But I'm not a gear head--it's the stereo/CD player/radio that I'm digging.

First off is the XM Satellite Radio. This thing is pretty rad. Twenty or so CD-quality "stations" playing everything from Radiohead to an old Groucho Marx radio program. AMAZING. Then there' s the steering wheel stereo controls. With one hand I can: steer the car, switch from terrestrial radio or XM radio OR play a CD, adjust the volume, jog between tracks/stations, or mute everything if I get a phone call...it's great (no swerving trying to swtich to the next song). I realize that these features are nothing new, and have been around for years--but I've never owned a vehicle that had the POWER PACKAGE...let alone these cool gadgets.

I got a call last night from my insurance company, and I guess the repairs for my car will cost $1200. Which is both a low and high number. It's low considering all the shit they're going to have to do to fix all the damage (like pry a brake light cover off another Cavalier)...but it also seems high for such a small area of damage. Anyway, the A-hole's insurance is eating the cost and I'm paying nothing...so I'm fine with them charing whatever they want.

I really don't want my car back anymore, though. I want to keep the Sonata. Leah got a new car...now I want one too. The only reason I'm not doing it is my job situation. Even if you look past everything else, the fact remains that the parking situation is dangerous. Maybe if I had a clean, safe place to park a new (unpaid for) car I would consider it--but it would BREAK MY FUCKING HEART to see someone scratch/dent/bang-up this Sonata. I would literally cry (then go to jail for choking someone). So I guess I'll stick with my Orange Monster for a few more years. I've got 3 more years before Lindsey turns 16...

P.S. Anyone want to buy the "Leah-mobile" (i.e. her old beater)???

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Draft #2: 50% complete

I just finished the first half of the second draft of my novel. It wasn't pretty...I hate editing but what I hate even more is taking my handwritten corrections and affixing them to my digital copy. It's a long, slow, boring process.

But I hunkered down this weekend and got the job done.

Now I have to pick up the second half and do a handwritten edit on it. As mentioned before, I've completely chopped off the weaker/less interesting/cliched plot thread (which cost me 38 pages in the first half). Doing this has made the work stronger, but I'm going to have to do a complete re-write of the ending. But all of that is for the days ahead--today is a celebration day. My second draft is 50% complete.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Can you tell I'm bored? More photoshop:


Original photo:

UPDATE: Still bored...


Original photo: