Writing

Mar. 10th, 2012 11:33 pm
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I should write a column tonight, but my heart's not in it right now. Got a lot on my mind. Including lyrics to a song, or a poem, or something that came to me while I was showering. Cue me frantically repeating them over and over as I dried off, so I wouldn't forget them before I could write them down.

Can you hear me Jesus?
'Cause I never heard back from you.
You can keep up your fight
With the minds that are right
And I'll try not to bother you.


(write something to go here)

Did you hear me Satan?
Cause I never hear back from you.
You can waste all your breath
On the minds that are left
And I'll start ignoring you too.

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I decided two weeks ago that I need to take better care of my skin, mainly by washing my face at night before going to bed. Yes, I'm terrible at being a gay man. Anyway, confronted at the grocery store by a bewildering variety of products, all of which seemed overly ... girly, I spied and purchased a vaguely-familiar blue jar: Noxzema.

My mother used Noxzema all her life, and she had beautiful skin. Plus, it has eucalyptus, which smells funky, tastes interesting, and feeds koalas. It comes now in plastic jars instead of the deep-blue glass jars I remember, but the feel and smell are the same. Opening the jar brought back a lot of memories of my mother.

My skin ... (rubrubrub) ... feels amazing.

I'm also reviewing some life insurance policies this weekend (I figure I need something to pay for getting my corpse back to Maryland, and to give Andy a little sumthin-sumthin for putting up with me all these years- but dang, it gets expensive when you're in your 40s!) and I bought my first stock ever this week (10 shares in Activision-Blizzard!)

I also just ordered a coupon organizer.





Transformation into middle-aged housewife: 83% complete.

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This week has been eventful. I am lacking in sleep. Let the fun begin.


Read more... )



After my father called, I couldn't go back to sleep. I tried for an hour, then gave up and got up. Played a little Terraria and went out for taco pizza at Pizza Hut (I wake up with the weirdest cravings some times) and now ... here we are.

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It occurred to me today, I don't know who owns my columns.

This worries me.
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It's done, pending author changes, and is about to be sent.

I've either just done something insanely awesome, or awesomely insane.
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I am so close. SO. CLOSE.

But ... but ... but this font, it's just not working right. *sigh*

Time to replace and reflow.

ETA: And now this other font won't embed correctly into the PDF. *sigh* And here I thought I'd finish this tonight.

ETAA: I must be tired. I don't need to open each chapter and manually replace the fonts ... delete them from my fonts folder, then open the first document; it will say that a font is missing, ask for a replacement, and I can save it as a rule, so every chapter will automagically replace the fonts when opened!

I need sleep.

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Just received notice that "Behind the Sofa" is available now for pre-order.

http://behindthesofa.myshopify.com/

Pre-order
£14.99

Hardcover: 200 pages.

Pre-order a first edition, advance copy of Behind The Sofa.

100% of the profits from the sale of this book go to charity.

This collection of over one hundred celebrity memories of Doctor Who has been compiled by author Steve Berry in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK and is beautifully illustrated by Ben Morris.

Strictly limited to 300 orders.


Yeah, I pre-ordered mine immediately!
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One thing about working in the living room- Ike ADORES the company.


Read more... )

I'm just glad it wasn't worse.

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I can't find my jump drive. The one that has Universe in the Red on it. I had it in my shirt pocket when I left work yesterday, and I have no memory of where it went after that. 

ETA: Some how, it fell into my clothes basket. It's now safely rescued, and is being backed up as I type.

Yay!

Feb. 26th, 2012 07:55 pm
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Universe in the Red is essentially finished. 38 chapters, 416 some odd pages. Now, to proofread and check for formatting issues, etc. Then to estimate the spine width and adjust the cover. Then, upload to Lulu, generate a PDF, and send it off to the author who will hopefully love it! Maybe later, an ePub edition.
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I'm watching this while working on UitR. Screw the haters- The movie is awesome.

Random thoughts:

Will Sasso was cute!

Grace: I suppose you knew Marie Curie too?
Doctor: Intimately!
Grace: Did she kiss as good as me?
Master: As well as you.

These shoes! They fit perfectly!

Ah, Paul McGann. So much lost potential there. I truly hope he gets to return during the 50th season. That's my dream for the 50th anniversary- that all living Doctors and Companions return somehow. At the very least, it would be criminal if Susan and Ian don't make a return.

"Don't shoot. He's ... British!"

Again, screw the haters the car chases are awesome too!

The Universal map in the TARDIS ceiling is fantastic. This may be my favorite console room design.

I'll admit, the Superman the Movie resolution at the end is weak and could have been done better, but that's a small thing overall.
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http://www.prowritingaid.com/index.htm

Paste in your text, and it will evaluate your writing!

According to it, I apparently kinda suck, and use too many adverbs ending in -ly.
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Just a quick one.

It's been a busy week; lots of extra work at the hotel and or other businesses I support. Made an extra $300 that is sorely needed, and my hotel paycheck should be a little fatter as well at the end of the month.

Dad was released from the hospital Wednesday, but I haven't spoken to him since he got home. I'll be calling him tomorrow.

That lovely lilac soap I talked about last week- it smells very nice, but to make it they apparently just ground up the entire lilac bush and mixed it into the soap. When I unwrapped it, I noticed lots of bumpy bits in it; I figured they were extra-soapy beads or something. But no. As it turns out, they are purple seeds in the soap (I have no idea where they come from!) and the bumps are completely indissolvable; I truly think they may be bits of stick. Showering with it Monday, the soap left a deep scratch six inches long on my leg. So, now it's at the sink and is just used for hand washing, and I don't scrub very hard in case there are more surprises lurking within. (This is what would happen if Stephen King made soaps.)

To my surprise, I slept very well today. After work on Friday, I got home and was in bed by about 2:30 pm. The office called me at 3:30 pm (You're computer is flashing like a strobe light! Erm, shut it off then?) and woke me up just as I had hit an extremely deep sleep and dream state which I drug myself out of when I heard the phone, and then could not return to. I sort of managed to doze for another 30 minutes, then Ike pooped, and that's a smell that can wake the dead. After that, I never did get back to sleep, so at 6 pm I just gave up and got up.

I expected to be extremely tired during my night shift, but actually, it wasn't too bad. I got home around 7 am, and went straight to bed. I woke up at 9:30 ravenously hungry, so I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my zombie like state and went back to sleep, and slept until 4 pm! That's unheard of, and felt fantastic.

I've been working hard this weekend on Universe in the Red; I really want to finish it soon. I set up my laptop on the coffee table so I could work on it there, and did so while I watched Doctor Who- The Awakening.

I'm not impressed at all with 2-Entertains disks, to be honest. They're obviously not configured for widescreen (which I can live with) but the quality is poor for a standard DVD. Even after upsampling. The extras, however, are where these discs really shine. The one that really stood out for me was a deleted scene, showing Tegan and Chameleon together! I'm guessing it got cut due to time restrictions, but I wish it hadn't been, as it kept poor Chameleon from being forgotten about until he suddenly returns in Planet of Fire.

I got three more chapters laid out and a few others redone while watching. I realized last weekend that I'd organized it all completely wrong (it's an anthology) and now I'm trying to make it flow properly.

So, back to work. I'm going to work on it tonight, and then tomorrow I'll set up shop in the living room again and work on it some more. I think next I'll watch the Doctor Who TV movie.

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I'm watching this for the first time since it aired on Maryland Public Television in the 80s. Bought the DVD a while back, and now I'm finding time to watch it.

It doesn't upsample well on my BluRay player. Some random thoughts:

The Doctor bursts into the church and shouts that all he wants is Tegan's bag! But he wasn't there when it was taken, and hasn't talked to her since. Psychic Doctor!

Oh dear ... I used to have the biggest crush on Will Chandler when I saw this originally. I apparently had weird tastes in my teens. Ewww.

The Doctor has history with ominous cracks in walls.

His interactions with Will are touching. I remember hoping that at the end of the story, Will would continue as a companion. I still think he would have made a good one, although probably too much like Jamie to ever have had a chance of happening. I wonder how much of his interactions were from residual guilt over Adric's death?

When Tegan runs through the puddle in her red high heels ... that had to suck.

I'm loving the school teacher, Jayne Hampton. She also would have made a good companion.

Ike keeps bugging me for pettins. I have work to do, lol!

Peter Davison was so very good as the Doctor. I liked Tom Baker, but it was Peter I wanted to travel with.

"You speak treason!" Doctor: "Fluently!"

The Malus is still creepy. Especially when it dies. The Doctor kills it rather casually in the TARDIS, doesn't he? Probably because he knows it's not really killing it.

The destruction of the church is impressive.

Overall, it still holds up as a favorite of mine. Now to watch the extras, including the famous horse scene.

UitR

Feb. 19th, 2012 04:27 am
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Going over Universe in the Red ... the way I originally organized it is all wrong and makes no sense .... grrr ggrr grrr ... redo redo redo ....
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Seriously, is it Saturday night already? The weeks are just a blur any more.

Dad's still doing well, which is good. When I talked to him last, he was a few days past his first monthly chemo treatment, and hadn't experienced any side effects. Hopefully, that's how it remains.

Still no new equipment at work. The lending company, for whatever reason, did not want to give us the money directly, but wanted to pay PCMall. But only after the equipment had shipped. PCMall said, "Uh-uh. You don't have an account with us. We want you to at least sign this form saying you will pay for the equipment, and then we will ship it." The lending company said, "Hey, it's cool bro- just ship the shit and we'll deal with it. You don't need us to sign anything." PCMall, "Um, no." Lending company, "Whatever, we're out of here, losers."

Wednesday, our paperwork was sent to a NEW lending company, that will hopefully get it all worked out for us. I just want a machine that isn't seven years old.

Saturday sleepy time is usually hit-or-miss for me, with an emphasis on miss. Sometimes, I don't get to sleep until 8 am, and wake up at noon. Trying to nap before work in the evening doesn't work out well. So, I got some Advil PM to take as an experiment.

While they didn't help me fall asleep, they DID help keep me asleep. I slept from 7 until 3, and it felt wonderful. Took me a little while to shake them off after I got up, and I'm not sure yet if I'll take any when I go home after work, but at least now I know what they do. Maybe next time, I'll try just one pill.

Thursday (I think it was Thursday) Ike was outside doing his thing. I heard him scratch the door to come in, but when I opened it, he was on the ground under the porch. The nearest guess I can make is that he scratched, lost his balance, and slipped backward under the rail and to the ground. He wasn't hurt, just a little shaken and dazed, and he got up and made his way into the house. He's apparently far more resilient than he looks. He definitely enjoyed his visit today from [livejournal.com profile] asia_sky. she stopped by to visit and pick up her laptop that I finally finished fixing. It was nice to see her, even though I was still a little woozy from the sleeping pills. She also got me some bars of buffalo soap as payment for fixing the laptop. Now, I have to decide which to try first- Lilacs & Linen, Ancient Violets or Sweet Violets. Just smelling them made me swoon.

Yes, I'm an old woman inside. Deal with it.

(Crap. I was going to type something here, but went back a few entries to see if I had discussed it before, and now I have no idea what the hell it was. Oh well.)

I'm currently reading one of the Agog! fiction compilations I have. Some really good work in the book, although I find the editor's choice of stories to open with odd, because the first two are easily the weakest so far. One of them is practically nonsensical. (Two people act odd for vaguely explained reasons. Another person dies, because of something vaguely related to the vaguely explained reasons. And the sand is red. The end.) I was going to start reading "Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Man Diaries" but holy crap is that typeface small! Soon as I work out a way to actually read it, I'll read it. The glasses I have are transition bifocals, which I have never ever really gotten used to- to me, they make everything sort of in focus, but no better. Reading anything below 12 pt type is out of the question with them; I think the Benny book is in 8 pt, if not 7. I'll be better off reading it without using my glasses and just holding it up to my nose.

Jinx got in a cat fight and was bit on the face across the bridge of his nose. Luckily, we spotted it right away and got him started on antibiotics. It's a little pusy, but not too bad. Considering how close the bite was to his eye, I didn't want to take any chances.

The foreign materials for "Universe in the Red" that I was looking forward to getting never came about, so I'm going to have to proceed without them. Annoyingly, enough time has passed that it's hard to turn my attention back to that project, but I really want to get it finished ... some day. Soon as I'm done this update, I'll open it up and work on it, promise.

Last weekend, I shaved my head. Partly because I was tired of having hair, and didn't want to have any for awhile. And partly because, throughout my  life when I felt powerless to change overwhelming life circumstances, I'd change my hair somehow and feel better because of the change. In my younger days, that could be bleaching it, cutting stripes in it, or using a spray called "Hard Hair*" to pull it up into a six-inch high wedge. And sometimes, I'd do all of these at once.

But past the age of 40, there's not as many options. Shaving my head, however, is one that remains. Unfortunately, using a razor to shave clean to the skin is time consuming and painstaking, and required help from Andy to do the hotdog folds in back, so I only did it the one time. I like the way it looks though, so if I ever find a depilatory that doesn't burn my scalp**, I may do it more often.

And that's the week that was. Until next time.

*Sadly, if this product is still made, I can find no trace of it. It came in a white pump bottle, and the label was a simple, bee-hive shaped head outline. It had some SERIOUS hold. I had to stand in the shower running water on my head for 10 minutes just to loosen it. A balloon once popped on my spikes. One of my friends said it should have been named 'Bullet Proof Head' but probably wasn't due to potential lawsuits.

**The first time I tried to get a clean shaven scalp was in college. I tried NAIR first and ended up with pretty bad chemical burns on my head, as well as patchy hair left behind (When the bottle says to test it on a small patch of skin first, they mean it!). I figured I'd use a razor then to remove what hair was left ... the first swipe removed a significant chunk of chemically burnt skin. For two weeks I wore a bandana on my scalp, because I looked like I'd been in a nuclear accident.


ETA: Surrealism

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Lots of people get married every year. Some of them even seem to be happy about it. Some people like weddings so much that they have a number of them during their lives with numerous other people. 
I’m not overly fond of weddings, even though I’ve been to a number in my life, even as part of the wedding party a few times. But I’m not the marrying type and I’ll never have a wedding of my own, for various reasons, and I actually find the whole process to be silly. There’re traditions and rituals and superstitions and vows to be said and things to be done in very specific ways and fancy clothes to put on. And usually a mishap or two along the way.
Children tend to be reliable only in being not. At one wedding I attended, the bride (or more probably, the mother of the bride) may have pictured the cherubim-like flower girl toddling down the aisle tossing rose petals through the air with cherubulimic glee. But when the time came, the poor little girl slowly trundled dazed and zombie-like towards the front of the church, carefully picking one petal at a time from her basket and dropping it to the floor, while numerous relatives that she probably didn’t even recognize hissed encouragement at her from the pews. 
The ring bearer simply raced as fast as he could to the front where his grandmother was sitting. He quickly became bored and took off his shoes and, with remarkable aim, threw them at the bride during the vows. Granted, I empathized with his sentiments, but as the best man, it would have been considered poor form if I were to throw my own shoes at her. I settled for politely picking up his shoes and returning them to him, so that he could throw them again.
It’s not just children who are unreliable – human nature dictates that whatever is planned will simply not happen once free will is introduced. One couple decided to save money by putting disposable cameras on all the tables for the guests to take pictures with, planning on gathering them all up at the end of the ceremonies and celebrations to develop and place into a sizable album. Why they didn’t anticipate that the guests would take the cameras with them when they left, I’ll never know. 
This was also the same wedding where the officiating clergyman asked everyone to rise when the wedding party began to arrive … and then forgot to tell the audience to sit back down. It was an outdoor wedding, in the summer, and it was humid with no shade. And it was long. Very, very long. Most likely, the cameras were taken in spite. 
Once upon a time, once the bride and groom were married and walking past the well-wishing guests, rice was thrown at them for luck. This tradition lost popularity for various reasons; rice was hard to clean up (true); it was hazardous to walk on when it was on a hard smooth surface (true); and it was deadly to birds (not true – sorry, Ann Landers.) For awhile, when the entire death-to-birds myth was being bought into, birdseed was thrown instead. 
Frequently these days, however, small vials of bubble juice are handed out, and guests blow bubbles at the happy-ish couple on their way past – or more usually, spittle-like streams of bubble juice is launched at them by the more enthusiastic blowhards. I can’t say with any certainty why bubbles caught on, but there was that one time at one wedding where a certain guest who was definitely not me got frustrated trying to untie his bag of birdseed and gave it an angry toss into the air, dispelling the good luck myth for all to see as it smacked into the newlywed bride’s eye.
Wedding receptions are often not so much a celebration of the nuptials as a celebration that they were survived. Food is eaten, clothes are dripped on (at one wedding, the clever bride invented a “Bridal Bib” to wear over her dress to keep it clean), cake is served, and eventually, the DJ breaks out the same CD that every wedding DJ owns: “Bad Music that Middle-Aged People Can Dance To.” If I’m lucky, the reception will have a bar, because there’re only so many times I can watch the groom’s grandmother do the Electric Slide before I need another drink. 
As it is, I don’t dance myself; there are some things mankind is not meant to see. And after years of making excuses and pleas and hiding in the bar to avoid being dragged out to the dance floor, I discovered the perfect way to avoid all wedding unpleasantness: a video camera. 
Holding a video camera to your face, whether you’re actually recording or not, is an instant Get-Out-Of-All-Wedding-Activities card. No more being accosted for the dollar dance. No more forced attempts to catch the bouquet or garter. No more Limbo contests.
And most importantly, no more Chicken Dance. That, right there, recoups the cost of a video camera immediately. 
At the end of the night, if you don’t want to be bothered with numerous requests for copies of your tape that you know no one is ever going to watch again anyway, just sadly let them know your camera didn’t work. 
Additionally, you’ve also been able to gather evidence for nearly any future blackmail attempts you may need to make against your friends, for it's a lot easier to ask for a monetary loan if you remind the person that you have film footage of them drunkenly doing the Macarena shirtless.
Hey, it worked with my aunt.
(I feel I must point out that a video camera won’t help you if you’re actually one of the two people getting married. If you’ve reached that point and want to get out, you’re on your own. I can’t help you.)
(Try the bar.)
I’ve been to many, many weddings- good, bad and bizarre. But the best advice I ever learned about attending a wedding came at my own brother’s nuptials, when late into the night, as the reception was nearing its close and two inebriated factions of my new sister-in-law’s family began to argue and were about to come to blows, she hiked up her gown and marched right up between the two biggest, red faced would-be-brawlers. She pushed one to the ground and shoved her fist in the face of the other man, and said in a voice that was not to be reckoned with, “Don’t you dare ruin this wedding!”
Whenever I receive a wedding invitation in the mail, it's her voice and her words I immediately hear.
And since then, I’ve always passed on the birdseed.

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Not a lot to write about this week. frankly, I'm feeling a little burnt out on life at the moment.

Actaully, there's a LOT to write about this week. But yeah, too burnt. sry

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