Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nature Hike

Went for a guided hike through the area where the old Atlanta Prison Farm used to be. Lots of acres that are only being used by deer and people riding ATVs. The marble is from the old Atlanta Library that was torn down and the slabs were dumped in the woods.






Saturday, October 8, 2011

Disappointing Fortune Cookie Fortunes

What has happened to fortune cookie fortunes? I got one not too long ago that predicted that I would get a good night's sleep. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if I got one that predicted that I would remember to floss.

The fortune cookie I opened last night had this fortune:

A carrot a day may keep cancer away.

At first, I thought the cookie was fucking with me, but then I learned that indeed it was true. Eating carrots does help prevent cancer. Good to know, but still a lame fortune. I expect mystery and romance in my fortune cookie fortunes, not health advice.

If this keeps up don't be surprised to find one of these inside your next fortune cookie:

Don't forget to call your mother.

Get a prostrate exam.

Avoiding trans fats will reduce the chance of heart attack

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The True Grit Rule

I am sick of all the film remakes. Many of the originals were perfectly fine the first time around and nothing was gained by the remake. Here are some examples of films that didn’t need to be remade:

Straw Dogs
Last House on the Left
Let The Right One In
The Grudge
Planet of the Apes

Now sometimes the remake is equal to or superior to the original movie. The best example is “True Grit.” The Coen Brothers remake is much better than the one starring John Wayne. Sure, Wayne won the Oscar for his performance but that was more of a lifetime achievement award.

Other outstanding remakes are “His Girl Friday” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing” which I love as much as the Howard Hawks original. However, now a remake of the John Carpenter version is coming out. There’s no need for that. That is why I want to establish the True Grit Rule. Unless you can make a film that is as good as or superior to the original, then don’t bother.

In fact, I want to take this one step further. As a real challenge to filmmakers, they should only be allowed to remake bad films. Many films start out as a good idea but somewhere in the execution, something goes wrong and a turkey is born instead of a classic. Why not take one of these mistakes and correct it? A possible example of this is the planned remake of “Logan’s Run.” Or better yet, take something that was a bad idea to begin with and see if you can find a way to make it work.

I’m not suggesting an impossible challenge like “The Beast of Yucca Flats” or “Glen or Glenda.” But then again, why not remake “Santa Claus conquers the Martians” into a cleverly written campy holiday romp?

Here are some movies whose original premise didn't entirely suck, but came out bad and have the potential to be remade into decent movies:

Ishtar
Nell
Dan In Real Life
Striptease
Speed Racer
Heaven’s Gate
Space Jam
Gigli
Catwoman

Okay, maybe “Glen or Glenda” has a better chance at being remade into a decent film than “Gigli.” At least people know how to pronounce Glen and Glenda.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Biscuit loves his bed

Biscuit outgrew his first bed so I got him a new one. The pet store I went to didn't have cat beds the size I needed, so I ended up getting him a small dog bed. The bed is oval with a bolster around the edge.

Biscuit took to his new bed right away. But then, he really took to it. He started straddling the bolster and kneading it and biting it. Let's face it. He started humping his bed. After a good ten minutes of humping, he falls into a contented sleep in the bed. He does this at least once a day, sometimes more. Well, he is a teenager.




Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pop Quiz

Q: What's the difference between Anders Behring Breivik and Osama Bin Laden?

(Other than the fact that one is dead and the other one isn't- yet.)

A: Religious affliation

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ellis Island


My wife and I visited Ellis Island last week. It was a moving experience for both of us since our respective grandparents had passed through there when they immigrated to America. For my wife and I, visiting the island was the best way to celebrate the 4th of July.

Coming to America had to have been an amazing experience for our grandparents, sailing past the Statue of Liberty and then spending what must have seemed like a lifetime trying to get though the frightening process of being allowed to enter a strange new country where you didn't know the language or the local customs. But they made it past the island and prospered in their adopted country.

While I was in the gift shop looking at the really lame Ellis Island t-shirts, I came up with what I feel is the perfect slogan for all children of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island to enter America:

MY GRANDPARENTS WENT TO ELLIS ISLAND AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY FREEDOM.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Worst Graphics Session Ever


After almost twenty years as a video writer/producer, most of that time spent in dark rooms working with an editor or a graphics operator, there are bound to be a few projects that didn’t go as well as I would have wanted them to.

The worst graphics session I can remember (there are probably sessions even more heinous this one, but my mind has mercifully erased them from my memory) took place at one of the most expensive video post production companies in town. I hired the company’s design group to do promo graphics.

At first, they treated me like royalty. I had my own project coordinator who had me come to their offices to meet with their design team. I attended two meetings where I discussed the project with two designers, a graphics operator, the project coordinator, and the head of the design group. There were a couple of other people in the room, but I can’t remember who or why they were there. Maybe they were called in to help fill up the room.

The designers came up with some brilliant ideas and we all agreed on the direction to take. There was lots of creative energy. I was told more than once about how excited everyone was to work on my project. After the second meeting, the project coordinator showed me the session room where my graphics would be created. The room was the home for the latest hot shot graphics machine. It was a big room with a long desk and comfy couch for the client.

“When you come in on Monday,” the project coordinator said, “we’ll have already started on your job. This is going to be the best graphics session you’ve ever had. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.”

This was on a Thursday. I spent the weekend feeling like this project was one less thing I had to worry about.

When I arrived on Monday, I signed in at the front desk and went to the big session room where my project was supposed to have already started. When I entered the room, I was confronted by someone I had never seen before. He wasn’t the graphics operator who had been to my meetings. He scowled at me and this is what he said verbatim:

“What the fuck are you doing in here?”

I explained that I had a session in this room today. And this is how he responded. Verbatim:

“No you don’t. I’m working in this room today. Get the fuck out of here, asshole. This is my room.”

I should add that he yelled his responses. Now, I have worked for a video post production company. If I had spoken to any client, whether they were my client or not, in the same manner that this dipshit had spoken to me, I would have been fired immediately. Even after I complained about his behavior, nothing was done about this guy. Hell, he probably got a fucking raise.

I went and asked the front desk receptionist where my session was since it apparently wasn’t in the room I was told it would be in. The receptionist looked at the schedule and said she didn’t see me listed as having a session with their company today, but if I wanted to I could ask the head of the design group to check the weekly schedule. So I asked the receptionist to get me the head of the design group.

“I don’t know where she is right now,” the receptionist said. “I’m sure she’s around somewhere. Would you like to wait? She’ll probably come by sometime today.”

I didn’t care to wait. I stalked the halls until I found the head of the design group sitting in her office. Apparently her office was the last place the receptionist expected her to be. I told her about my bad experience with the rude operator and the fact that I wasn’t listed on the schedule and where the hell was the session I was paying for that day.

Needless to say, the head of the design group was furious. How dare I come to her with my problems! With a big disgusted sigh, she reluctantly went and checked the weekly schedule. She said it had been moved to another room and gave me a room number. I told her I had no idea where she was talking about, could she show me where this room was? With another disgusted sigh, she got up and led me down a hallway I’d never noticed before and ushered me into a small room. She said my session was in there and left without another word.

I should note here that I have come across this woman since that day and she still hates me for making her tell me where my session was and for having the unmitigated gall to suggest she chastise the rude operator who told me to “get the fuck out” of his room. This despite the fact that she no longer works for that post production company.

So I finally found my session. It was a smaller room that the room I thought I’d be in, but it wasn’t a broom closet either. There was no long desk or comfy couch, just one end of the table holding the graphics machine and an office chair. The graphics machine was not one I had ever heard of before. The graphics operator was not the one who had attended my creative meetings. I had never seen him before and had no idea who he was.

He was a nice guy. A bit goofy. He gave me a big smile and this is what he said. Verbatim.

“So, what are we working on today?”

“They didn’t tell you what this session was for?” I asked.

“Nope.”

“So you have no idea what we’re working on?”

“Hmmm,” he looked at the work order. “I think the name of the project is somewhere on here.” He put the work order down. “Might be easier if you just explained it to me.”

It dawned on me that all those meetings were nothing but show. The designers had done nothing. I was the victim a bait and switch scam. You really don’t expect this kind of crap from a reputable video post production company, but I am sorry to say it’s not as uncommon as it should be.

Well, the post production company had me by the short and curlies. I had to get the project done. I couldn’t afford to pull out at that time and find another company. Too much time had passed. My deadline was looming and I was already paying for this time.

I started to explain to the graphics operator what the project was about when he interrupted me.

“Just so you know,” he said. “I’ve never used this machine before so I might be a little slow.”

That sentence contained the first truthful words I heard from that video post production company.

Once he got started making what would be truly crappy graphics that were barely approved by my angry boss, I called the project coordinator to ask why my session had been changed and what the hell happened with the designers I’d met in the meeting. The project coordinator said they had to change the schedule because of an unexpected conflict that pulled the room and the designers to another project. I knew that was code for the company got a cooler job that paid more so I was bumped to crap status. It didn’t matter that I had already paid good money for what they had promised.

And that my friends was the worst graphics session I ever had the misfortune to endure.

(photo from Shutterstock)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Triple Dog Dare You



Time: 1981
Place: Atlanta, Georgia

Her name was Nancy. She was Jewish and she lived three blocks from the duplex I shared with my sister. Nancy lived with her mother and her two pure breed Cocker Spaniels. Even though the female dog was getting old, Nancy refused to have her fixed.
“I’m only supposed to breed my dogs a certain number of times,” Nancy said. “But people pay a lot for Cocker Spaniel puppies, and I need the money.”

Nancy and I were about the same age. Nancy might have been Jewish, but she was white trash all the way. She dressed cheaply, and her makeup was clownish. She was also one of the stupidest people I have ever met.

Nancy loved to go disco dancing. “That’s how I control my weight,” she explained.

She went as often as she could. I was still new to Atlanta and didn’t know many people, so I agreed to be her date. Nancy and I went to the Limelight Disco. She knew one simple dance step that she repeated like a broken robot.

Nancy insisted on driving whenever we went out. She also insisted that I not put on my seatbelt, because she felt I was insulting her driving. I insulted her driving every time because 1) she drove too fast and recklessly, and 2) she had been in a terrible auto accident that left her in a coma for weeks.

When Nancy came out of her coma, she had to relearn how to walk, talk, and feed herself. She claimed her intelligence was stunted as a result of the coma. I believed Nancy until I met her sister.

“Did she tell you how her intelligence was stunted because she was in a coma?”
 Nancy’s sister asked.

“As a matter of fact,” I said, “she did tell me that.”

“She is lying, Nancy has always been reckless and stupid. That’s how she ended up having the car accident. She was drunk on her ass, driving like a maniac, and not wearing her seatbelt. Now she uses the accident as an excuse to be even more stupid and irresponsible.”

One late night, after disco dancing at the Limelight, Nancy and I decided we were hungry. Nancy suggested a restaurant on Peachtree Street that stayed open late for the night owls who were out partying into the wee hours. So we went to the restaurant, and were seated in the dining room, which was very large and had very low light. Other than Nancy and me, there were maybe three other couples in the place. Our waiter was a prissy gay boy who seemed altogether disgusted by our very presence. He gave us our menus and promptly disappeared. I was trying to decide between a western omelet or a bagel with cream cheese when Nancy commented that all the dancing we had done earlier had left her quite sweaty.

“I wish I could take off my shirt,” she said, “then I could cool off better.”

“Yeah, go ahead,” I said. “Take off your shirt.”

I didn’t say this because I wanted to see Nancy with her shirt off. Her body was too compact and she had almost no curves. I only said it to make conversation.

“You’re not daring me to take off my shirt, are you?” Nancy said, looking around the room to see if anybody was watching us.

“You bet I am,” I said, “I dare you to take off your shirt.”

Now I was just egging Nancy on to see what she would do. Nancy became very serious.

“Whatever you do,” she said,” don’t triple dog dare me.”

“And why not?” I asked.

“Because, “ she explained, “if somebody triple dog dares you, you have to do it.”

I had never heard this before. Somehow, I had made it this far in life without ever being triple dog dared or witnessing someone else being triple dog dared. I figured now was as good a time as any to see if it worked.

“Okay,” I said. “I triple dog dare you to take off your shirt.”

And off came the shirt.

It was a tight, cotton short sleeve top with stripes with visible sweat stains on the armpits. She grabbed the bottom of the shirt and slipped it off over her head. She wore a pink bra over her small compact tits. At that same moment, the waiter returned to take our order. He gasped. She gasped and struggled to put the shirt back on.

“I’ll give you a few more minutes to decide,” the waiter said and then he ran out of the room.

Nancy managed to get her shirt back on, inside out.

I was pissed. Our waiter was already slower than molasses, and now he would never come back. Nancy’s face was bright red. She went to the ladies’ room to fix her shirt. When she came back, she swallowed some water and said, “I told you not to triple dog dare me.”

I just kept thinking, why I didn’t I triple dog dare her to give me a blowjob?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Biscuit catches himself


We keep a plastic crate on top of the litter box. Biscuit was playing inside the crate and somehow managed to flip the crate off the litter box and down to the floor. The crate landed upside down with Biscuit inside. He had trapped himself.

We use the crate for recycling, but it happened to be empty that night or else we would have had garbage all over the floor. Instead we had a very upset kitten trapped in a plastic crate that was too heavy for him to lift.

We were on the other side of the house when Biscuit caught himself. We had heard the crate land and I had gone to see what the noise was. As I was looking around to see what had fallen, Biscuit started crying loudly. At first, I was worried he was hurt, but then when I saw what he did, I admit I laughed at his misfortune.

I considered going to get my camera, but he was so upset, I freed him instead.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jelly Doughnuts



One day I got an unexpected phone call from my favorite television graphics company. Normally, fishing expeditions from production houses annoy the crap out of me, but I always enjoyed talking to their sales rep no matter what the occasion. The rep was (and I suppose still is) a lovely woman whom I will name Sally.

I let Sally know right away that I didn’t have any upcoming projects that needed graphics. We continued to chat anyway. Sally told me that my former boss, Mitch, was coming to town for a video shoot with her company. She suggested I should come by the shoot, say hello to Mitch, and take advantage of the junk food from craft services.

I certainly wanted to catch up with Mitch, but I didn’t feel right about invading his video shoot. I told her I’d give him a call and see if he was available for dinner after the shoot.

“Are you sure about that?” Sally asked. “We have lots of good things to eat on our craft services table.”

“I’m sure you do,” I said, getting into the joking spirit. If you were on a shoot and not part of the crew, it wasn’t unusual to find yourself passing the long hours by gorging on the stacks of junk food provided by craft services.

“If I know Mitch,” I added, “he’ll be at the table most of the day, stuffing his mouth with jelly doughnuts.”

“I never would have guessed that Mitch was a doughnut man,” Sally said.

I had no idea what Mitch thought of jelly doughnuts. I just brought up the donuts because there always seemed to be a box on every craft table I’d ever seen. The jelly donuts were usually never touched and rock hard by the end of the day. I was just riffing on the joke she started and honestly, I thought she was keeping it going.

“Oh yeah,” I said in what I thought was an obviously joking voice. “Mitch loves jelly doughnuts. Especially the ones covered in powdered sugar. That man might be tall and thin, but he can eat a pound of powdered sugar. I do believe he snorts it like cocaine.”

Sally laughed and after some more chit chat, we said our goodbyes.

A week later, Mitch came to town for the video shoot. He wasn’t going to be in town long enough for dinner, but suggested I join him and Sally for lunch.

At lunch, Sally tried hard to give me the stink eye, but was too sweet of a person to maintain it. Finally, it came out. She had made a special trip that morning to Kirspy Kreme for a big box of jelly doughnuts, all covered in generous heaps of powdered sugar. She had put them in the center of the crafts table so Mitch would be sure to see them.

After Mitch ignored them for a few hours, she asked him why he hadn’t tried one.

“I’m not a fan of jelly doughnuts,” Mitch said. “Never have been.”

“What about powdered sugar?” Sally asked.

“That white stuff that sticks to your fingers?” he replied. “Can’t stand it.”

Sally was crushed until she finally got the nerve to explain to Mitch that she only got the donuts because I claimed that he loved them.

“And you believed him?” Mitch said.

During lunch, Sally chided me for fooling her and promised to get revenge on me some day. I apologized for misleading her.

“What happened to the doughnuts?” I asked.

“Nobody wanted them,” Sally said. “I’m going to throw them out. Unless you want them.”

“Oh God no,” I said. “I can’t stand them either.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In Bed

We all know that you can turn any fortune from a fortune cookie into a sexually suggestive phrase by adding the words "in bed" to the end of the fortune. However, I opened a cookie last night and found one that didn't work at all. It read:


You will sleep well at night.


So if you add the words "in bed" you get:


You will sleep well at night in bed.


That's not sexually suggestive at all. It just sounds like a statement of fact. You sleep well in bed as opposed to on the floor. However, the fortune did come true. I slept very well last night. In bed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Smells Like Chipmunk Ass



I entered the porch and walked right by the dead chipmunk by the door without even noticing it. It was not a complete dead chipmunk. It was only the bottom half, which included the chipmunk’s ass, tail and hind legs.

Biscuit was not so unobservant. He snatched it up with his mouth and ran out into the yard with it. He raced up and down the yard with the chipmunk ass in his mouth. He flung the chipmunk ass into the air and then swatted at it with his front paws. He danced around it, punched it, and did the wiggle butt attack on it. At one point, he flung it in the air and caught it in his mouth and celebrated the catch with another dash around the yard. Basically, he kicked that chipmunk ass’s ass.

As I was watching Biscuit have his way with the chipmunk ass, Alice joined me on the porch. She went directly to where the chipmunk ass had been next to the door and sniffed around. I had suspected that she was the one who had caught the chipmunk and devoured its front end. Alice is the not first cat I’ve had who only ate the head and torso of the chipmunk and left the ass behind. Maybe it tasted like chipmunk shit.

After determining that her chipmunk ass was missing, Alice looked out into the yard and spotted Biscuit attacking her leftovers. She didn’t seem to care and just watched him play. If he wanted the good part, he’d have to catch it himself.


(Photo from Free-Extras)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh Rapture!

So the Rapture is tomorrow. And looting starts Sunday.

Or more likely, the excuses start Sunday for why the Rapture didn't come. There have been predictions that proved false (obviously) in the past, so I'm sure the predictors of this latest divine non-event have some good excuses stored up from past experiences.

But the group that should be most worried are the parents who believe in the Saturday Rapture who have kids who don't believe. If the Rapture doesn't come, then what kind of authority will they have over their children? Their kids will have an excuse not to listen to their parents ever again.

The parents say, don't do drugs, it will lead to madness and financial ruin. The kids say right and the Rapture was going to happen on May 21st. How'd that one work out? I think I'll take my chances and roll a joint. Or the parents warn their child that if he keeps doing that, he'll go blind. The kid says, blind enough to believe the Rapture was coming on May 21st? Excuse me, I'm going to my room to abuse myself.

A little part of me wonders if the Rapture really will happen. I believe there are things in the world beyond my understanding. I believe in the possibility of magic, ghosts, aliens, and divine intervention. So why not Rapture? I know if it comes, I won't be invited to join Jesus. But I also know that a lot of people who are convinced they are on the guest list will also not be ascending to the heavens. But they shouldn't be sad about that. They can join us left behinders for the Sunday Looting.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ward, don't you think you were a bit rough on the beaver last night?

Initial box office returns for the Jodie Foster directed film "The Beaver" starring Mel Gibson indicate that the film is a bomb. Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't help that Foster is playing a vulnerable female when everyone knows she's a shrewd tough lady. Gibson's headline producing anti-semitic rants and alleged spousal abuse don't help much either.

I don't buy the anti-Mel angle. Being anti-semitic was exactly how he made a mint off "The Passion of the Christ." Many popular actors and most of all professional athletes are known for being abusive toward the women in their life and very few lose money or apparently sleep due to feelings of guilt over the matter.

But I always knew what the main problem is, what is basically the elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring. The problem is the fucking title. "The Beaver????" Does anyone who every spent time in the third grade not know that the word beaver is slang for vagina? And on that knowledge, are we to assume that the story is about an alcoholic dick of a man who passes out in a garbage dump and wakes up with a vagina puppet stuck to his hand and then spends the next ninety minutes of the movie fucking himself and everyone around him? Not that that's a bad premise for a movie. I've heard worse.

The makers of this film are treating it like its such an amazing ensemble acting experience with a deep touching story. Oh please. The trailer alone made me cringe. It was sad and over the top and not in a good way at all. They should have run with the title and sold it as a campy vainglorious train wreck. And if they insisted on being serious, use a different animal puppet. Anything that doesn't make us think of hairy female reproductive organs. The raccoon. The possum. The marsupial. Come on. There's a whole forrest out there they're missing because of one animal chewing on a tree. Or was that Mel chewing up the scenery?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden is dead


Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Shot in the head.
Good.
He was a man who needed to die.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Steaming Heathen

Here is artwork I did when I was a teenager. It's actually quite embarrassing but I felt the need to share. I was into cosmic stuff back then. I'm happy to report its a phase that I outgrew.



I did this one for art class. It's a print from a plexiglass etching.



I occasionally did "cosmic" versions of my friends. This was my girlfriend's best friend, Jessica. I don't know if I ever showed it to her.



Random doodles. I have no recollection of what "RADAD MADNESS" is supposed to be. Maybe I meant radar madness, which doesn't make any more sense.




More random doodling. I rather like how the woman's face turned out.



I was always working on some comic book idea that rarely made it past two or three pages. This one only made it as far as this one page. You can see how Barry Windsor Smith influenced me back then. I love the caption, "The steaming heathen lifted him into the air and hurled him into space." Now that's writing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tales of the Flying Biscuit


Biscuit, our rapidly growing kitten, had his first kill this past weekend. Sure, he'd caught and eaten a variety of bugs, but nothing of substance. His chosen prey was a sparrow. Rather than show a photo of the adorable bird that he actually killed, I put this photo of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow instead.

I was in my office when I heard a bird screeching inside the house. At first, I thought Alice, our older and much more experienced hunter, had brought in the bird. But then, I found Alice and Biscuit in master bath. Alice was staring at the sparrow in Biscuit's mouth and Biscuit was growling at Alice. This was his bird, damn it. Go get your own.

Biscuit took the sparrow into the bathtub to play with it. I was thankful for that. No matter how this thing ended, there was going to be a lot of feathers flying around and having the bird in the bath would kept the feathers from spreading all over the house.

I grabbed a rag. My intention was to wrap the rag around the bird and then force Biscuit's mouth open. Then I would take the bird outside and set him free. He would have a grand story to tell the other sparrows when he got home. But I was too late. By the time I got the rag on the bird, Biscuit had already killed it. I put the sparrow in the woods while Biscuit searched the bathtub for his lost prey. And even though Biscuit didn't get a chance to play with his bird and eat it too, he had proudly made his first kill.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Anniversary Civil War


The Civil War's 150th Anniversary is this coming Saturday. I hope the war ends soon. If you're from the south then you know the battle rages on.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shooting Range



I went to a shooting range for the first time in my life. Had a great time. I was invited by a friend who showed great patience and generosity. I managed to shoot the target, though I also managed to shoot the wire that controls the location of the target. The range had to be shut down for a half hour while the wire was repaired. I fired a variety of weapons, including a 9mm, AK47, AR15, 12 gauge shotgun, a 45, and something called "The Judge." There were all sorts of folks at the range, all of them friendly. There was a geniune sense of community.

I didn't walk out feeling that I had to have a gun. I have never been against gun ownership, but I am not convinced that arming everyone will make us all safer. Someone at the range said that "An armed society is a polite society." I suppose means that all drive-by shootings begin with, "Excuse me, mind if I pop a hundred caps in yo' ass?"

A gun is a tool that can be used wisely or foolishly, just as a baseball bat can be used to swat baseballs or bash in heads. I respect the gun owners who treat their weapons with great care and follow strict procedure. But they are not all gun owners, just as not all car drivers are safe drivers.

As I said, I had a great time. Might even do it again someday. Might even take a class to learn more about guns. But the thrill of firing the gun did not change my opinion of them. I still believe there needs to be more discussion in society about how we want to regulate guns. One side of the argument cannot have complete sway over the other half. A balance has to be attained.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Moses doesn't have time for your crap.


According to this blog, Moses has been grumpy ever since God decided he couldn't enter the land of milk and honey with the freed Jews from Egypt.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Biscuit report



I don't have any photographic evident yet, but I have seen Biscuit climb brick walls. I was at the kitchen sink and happened to look out the window just as he scaled the corner of the house. He reached eye level with me, which put him a good six feet or higher off the ground. I was so surprised that I yelled for J to come to the kitchen quick so she could see this amazing sight. However, he had already jumped to the ground by the time J arrived. But she'd witnessed Biscuit's wall climbing skills earlier in the week. I was just catching up to his latest amazing feat.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What I'm Reading



I tend to read fiction more often than nonfiction, but lately that trend has been reversed. I picked up “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet as part of the research I’m doing for a story idea. The book’s subtitle, “the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power,” gives the best description of what the book is about.

“The Family” is a dense read, but worthwhile, perhaps even essential reading. I’m only half way through and so far I am frightened and enraged in equal measure. Thanks to Sharlet, most everyone now knows about the “C-Street” influence in American politics and the Family’s perverse concept of “trickle down Christianity.” We see plenty of examples of religious groups controlling the wealth and power of nations, but this sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen in the United States of America. The Family hasn’t completely taken over and to some degree, doesn’t seem to want to. They prefer to be the invisible hand that influences policy. In many ways this makes them even more frightening. We never know just who they are or how much power they actually have.

Since I’ve started reading Sharlet’s book, I’ve begun to suspect the Family’s hand in many of the debates raging in the country today. The Tea Party Republican’s plan to solve the financial crisis by giving huge tax breaks to Wall Street (the same guys who got us into the present recession) and vilifying public school teachers fits the Family’s agenda perfectly.

I guess the one thing I just can’t wrap my head around when it comes to this type of Christian fundamentalism is how in the hell did they take the nice love thy neighbor, help the poor Jesus of the New Testament and manage (in their heads) to turn him into a rich white fascist asshole? I can only hope that God is building up a mountain of hubris to drop on their heads.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank you again Jane's Stories Press Association

Jane's Stories Press Association has posted on their website the query letter for my novel "The Black Phoenix." It was the winning entry in their Bite-Sized Query Letter Contest. They described my query as "kick ass."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rubber Biscuit

Time for another cute kitten update. Biscuit is three months old now. He’s growing fast. He still purrs a lot. We like that about him.




Our other two cats, Alice and Frances, have stopped smacking him in anger. Alice has stopped hissing at him. In fact, Alice finally figured out that Biscuit is more fun to play with than Frances, since Frances outgrew playing years ago.

I put a cat bed on my desk and he took to it right away. He naps while I work.

Things Biscuit likes to play with:
Pipe Cleaners
Fuzzy Cat Toys with Fuzzy Tails
The Stick with Feathers and a Felt Ladybug
Alice
A Broken Shoelace
Air
My shoes (with or without my feet in them)

Exciting Things Biscuit has experienced recently:
Wearing a Collar
Playing in the Yard
Baby Food (it’s for old Frances, but he had to try it too)



Soon we will get Biscuit a name tag to go on his collar. Then we will let him go outside without us watching him. However, even if we don’t go with him, he will be supervised. Alice has taken it upon herself to stay near him when he’s outside. It’s obvious that she’s making sure he’s okay.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Washington, DC Sketches

Here are sketches from my recent visit to Washington, DC. I was breaking in a new sketchpad. The pages are a bit thin which explains the bleed through, but it's a nice surface to work on.






Monday, February 7, 2011

Bite-Sized Query Contest

I just found out that I am the winner of Jane's Stories Press Foundation Bite-Sized Query Contest. I had submitted my query for my urban fantasy novel "The Black Phoenix." My thanks to Jane's Stories for choosing me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What I'm Reading



I’m reading “Night of the Living Trekkies” by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall. I was loading up on urban fantasy and science fiction books at DragonCon when on a whim I added this one on the pile. I bought such a huge amount of these genre books because DragonCon seemed the only time I’d find so many titles to choose from. I picked up “Night of the Living Trekkies” based on the hilarious cover.

I wasn’t expecting much when I finally got around to reading it. I didn’t know anything about the authors, nor did I realize that the publisher, Quirk Fiction, was also responsible for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” What I expected was something slightly better than amateur fan fiction. The concept was great- zombies at a Star Trek convention- but great writing doesn’t always accompany great concepts. I was delighted to discover that the Anderson and Stall wrote a damn good book. The characters are well defined. The pacing is perfect. The premise is wonderfully goofy. This is a very entertaining read.

I like Star Trek, but I’m not a trekkie. I learned a lot about Star Trek trivia from the book. I especially love that the chapter titles are taken from Star Trek episodes.

If you like your zombies with their undead tongues firmly embedded in their cheek, I suggest you pick up this book. I suggest you also check out their book trailer.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3 X 3 Sketchbook

These are sketches from my 3 X 3 notebook. As some of the dates show, it's been awhile since I've posted sketches.