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 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'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 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 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" is. I drive a small, two-door 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 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'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 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 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.