Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Still a kid at heart...

Oh, before I forget, here are a few pictures of The Thing in action. I will post some of the whole family, this evening. Happy Halloween!

What? Oh, yeah I’m ready…

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And one…

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And two…

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And three…

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Oh, yeah…feel the burn, baby!

Wait, I think I pulled something...

And now for...yep, some more pictures.

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Happy Halloween

Samhain (pronounced “Sow-in”) is a Greater Sabbat observed on October 31st. In honor, of the Halloween Holiday, I will document a Samhain ceremony as described by Raymond Buckland. I hope you enjoy. Happy Halloween!

This is the time of year for getting rid of weaknesses (in the old days the cattle least likely to make it through the winter would be cut from the herd and slaughtered). Coveners should bring into the Circle with them a small piece of parchment on which they have written down weaknesses or bad habits they would like to lose.

The outer edge of the Circle may be decorated with autumnal flowers, branches, pine-cones, small pumpkins, etc.. There should be flowers on the altar. The altar cloth/candles should be orange. The Horned Helmet rests beside the altar. In the north quarter stands a cauldron containing material for a fire (regular kindling, if the Circle is outdoors, or a candle if meeting inside).

The Erecting the Temple is performed. This may be followed by a Full Moon or New Moon rite, if appropriate. Bell is then rung three times by a covener acting as SUMMONER.

Summoner: “Haste! Haste! No time to wait! We’re off to the Sabbat, so don’t be late!”
Priestess: “To the Sabbat!”
All: “To the Sabbat!”

With PRIEST and PRIESTESS leading, the coven moves deosil around the Circle, walking or dancing as each feels moved. It is appropriate to carry small drums or tambourines, to give a beat. Coven circles as many times as they wish. At some point, as they move around, the PRIESTESS should start singing a hymn to the gods (this can be anything from a simple repetitive chanting of the names of the gods to a spontaneous song of praise. All can join in as the procession continues. If it is preferred, the coven can circle a number of times then come to a halt and start the singing while standing in place.

Priest: “Now is a time of change. Now do we leave the light and enter the darkness. Yet do we do so gladly, for we know it to be but the turning ot the mighty Wheel of the Year.”

Priestess: “At this time of the year the gates between the worlds are open. We call upon our ancestors, our loved ones, to pass through and join with us at this time. We invite them to delight in celebration with those they love.”

Then follows an enactment of the seasonal motif. This can vary greatly and may be based on any of a number of themes, including local beliefs and practices. Here are some examples: life-death-new life; death of the old king and crowning of the new; the turning wheel f the year; the creation of the world, with chaos transformed to order. This enactment can take the form of a play, mime or dance. At the end of the enactment, the bell is rung seven times. Then one covener speaks:

Covener: “We are at the crack of time, for this day belongs neither to the old year nor to the new. And as there is no distinction between the years, so is there no distinction between the worlds. Those we have known and loved, in ages past, are free to return to us here in this meeting place. Reach out, each and every one of you, in your own way, and feel the presence of one you have known and thought lost. From this reunion gather strength. Know, all of you, that there is no end and no beginning. All is a continuous turning, a spiraling dance that goes and returns, yet moves ever on. In that turning, Samhain is the sacred festival marking the end of the summer and the beginning of Winter: a time to celebrate; a time to welcome the God as he starts his journey down the tunnel of darkness that bears the light of our Lady at its end.”

Priestess: “The Old Year ends.”
All: “The New Year begins.”
Priestess: “The Wheel turns.”
All: “And turns again.”
Priestess: “Farewell to Our Lady.”
All: “Welcome to Our Lord.”
Priestess: “Goddess-Summer draws to a close.”
All: “God-Winter sets his foot upon the path.”
Priestess: “Hail and farewell!”
All: “Hail and farewell!”

PRIEST and PRIESTESS lead coven in a dance around the Circle. This may be followed, or accompanied, by a song or chat. Priestess takes up the Horned Helmet and stands before the altar.

“Gracious Goddess, we thank thee for the joys of summer. We thank thee for all thy bounty; the fruits, the crops, the harvest. Return again as the Wheel turns and be with us once more. Even as our Lord accepts the mantle, walk with him through the darkness, to come again into the light.”
PRIEST stands and faces her. SHE holds the Helmet high over his head. A Covener stands by the cauldron, with fire ready.

Priestess: “Here do I display the symbol of our Lord: He who rules Death and that which comes after; the dweller in the darkness; the husband/brother of the light. May he guard us and guide us in all that we do, within and without this Circle. With our Lady at his side, may be lead us through hardship and bring us, with hope, into the light.”

Priestess places Horned Helmet on Priest’s head, as he does, the cauldron fire is lit.

Covener: “Now is our Lord among us. Speak, for we are your children.”
Priest: “Behold, I am he who is at the beginning and at the end of time. I am in the heat of the sun and the coolness of the breeze. The spark of life is within me, as is the darkness of death. For I am he who is the Gatekeeper at the end of time. Lord-dweller in the sea, you hear the thunder of my hooves upon the shore and see the fleck of foam as I pass by. My strength is such that I might lift the world itself to touch the stars. Yet gentle am I, ever, as the lover. I am he whom all must face at the appointed hour, yet am I not to be feared, for I am brother, lover, son. Death is but the beginning of Life, and I am he who turns the key.”

Priestess salutes Priest. One by one, the Coveners move around. If they wish, they may place an offering on the altar or before it. They then embrace and Kiss the Priest and move back to their places. As they pass the burning Cauldron, they throw into it their piece of parchment listing their weakness. Priest stands for a moment and meditates n his position for the coming half year. He then removes the Helmet and replaces it beside the altar. Bell is rung nine times.

Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast and much revelry.

I almost forgot the part about sacrificing first borns, preferably while they are still infants. There blood is used as lubricants for the wild orgy that ensues. Just kidding, as you can see there really isn’t anything scary about the ritual at all.

So I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, a Merry Samhain and whatever else you want to celebrate on this fun filled holiday.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Everybody be cool. You...be cool.

I stole this from Matt. I must have answered questions a bit differently when I took it on his site, because over there, I was Ash. This time I am:

You're Seth Gecko, you bastard.
Fun at the Titty Twister.

Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
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Let me know which one you are…

Saturday, October 29, 2005

And They're Off....

Update: She's home now. A little sore, but mostly unscathed. She completed the race in about an hour and twenty five minutes. Go, baby, go!

Wow, my wife is heading out to do the Tulsa Run this morning. It is a grueling 15K race. She says that she isn’t cultivating any hopes of winning; she just wants to finish it. She will be racing against roughly 4,000 other people. I am terribly proud of her (and truth be told more than a little nervous) just for taking on this challenge.

Do you know what you call the last person to cross the finish line at the Tulsa Run? A brave soul that had enough moxie to sign up for this hellish run. You see running with that many people is a feat unto itself. You are standing in the middle of a sea of people, waiting for the gun to signal your start. Your heart is pounding in your chest so much that you don’t notice the closeness of the people around you. POW! And You’re off…sort of. The crowd surges forward, but you can only take baby steps for fear of stepping on the person in front of you. A wrong step here and you will fall, which could well lead to a nasty death by trampling. You press on, fighting your way through the crowd. It’s akin to running uphill in some viscous material. It’s hard to breath. Elbows and shoulders loom dangerously close to you, occasionally making contact. The group slowly starts to spread as runners find their pace in the pack. At this point you still have a good 12K to go. You run and run as your mind is lost to the songs in your headphones. Your body begins to ache, but you still run because you still have a 6K to go. The aches stop, your body is numb from cold and the pounding of your feet on pavement. Nothing exists but your breathing, your music and the finish line.

Godspeed to you baby. No matter what happens out there, know that I am proud of you.

In other news, a fellow on-line writer, Ray Rhamey is posting a chapter a week from a new story he is writing. It is called Death Sucks and it’s the story of vampiric cat. Stop by and check it out.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My first HNT

After a bit of coercion, I have decided to participate in HNT (Half-Nekkid Thrusday). For more information on HNT, please visit Osbasso (click on the link below).

So, without further ado, I give you my first HNT pic:

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What the hell is that, you say? Well it is a closeup of this:

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You thought it was something else at first glance, didn’t you?

I will try to come up with something a little more original for next week.

Happy HNT!


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Went to Oktoberfest and all I got was this lousy T-shirt

It has been graciously brought to my attention that I have yet to post a picture of the Goody’s World Tees. I had the brilliant idea of asking my wife to model the shirt, as she is far more photogenic than I. Sadly, she had a sudden spell of shyness and you are now stuck with my ugly mug above the logo. Believe me, the T-shirt looks way better on my wife, but at least you can still see it.

I know of at least one other person who would like one of these bad laddies, but if anyone else is interested, by all means drop me a line. If I can generate enough interest to warrant another order, I will get some more made next week. The cost will be $15 each (that includes shipping and handling).

Oh, and here are the pics:

Silence is Bliss...

I don’t have a lot to say this morning. I woke up in an unusually foul mood, though I am not sure what that’s all about. Well, I have a hunch, but I am trying like hell to take the high road. Have you ever been exposed to a person that was so slimy that you felt like you need to take a shower after just being in their presence?

This person is what it must have been like to be around Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. All smiles and idle chit chat, then bam… sucker punch from out of nowhere. Meh, I could go on, but this person isn’t worth me wasting much more time than that on them.

Therefore, in lieu of an actual post, I would like to direct you to a few other blogs to entertain you. These I just ran across on Sunday, but they are shaping up to be good reads.

Jeff Mariotte
Laurell K. Hamilton
Tony Frazier

And I also want to direct your attention to a wonderful story about a scam artist that gets her comeuppance and then some. Be sure to leave her a comment or two. I would hate for her to stop sharing her stories because she thought no one was reading them.

Thanks for playing…

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Goodysworld Goes Public

Where do I begin? Saturday was a very eventful day. It was a day of racing and revelry. My wife and our friend Kim both beat their personal best times in the Red Ribbon Run, despite the fact that it was “Oh my god” cold out there. My wife took second place in her age group and Kim took third. I am as proud as can be of both of them.

After the race, we went to check out my mom’s new house. It is very nice and much roomier than the one she had before. We had the pleasant surprise of arriving while my grandmother was there, so we were able to spend a little time with both of them. I don’t get to visit with either one of them as much as I should. It’s not like they live in another state, but the live just far enough that with our crazy schedules, just dropping by to say hi, isn’t really an option.

Last night was the big event at Oktoberfest. You may or may not remember that I had T-shirts made up to advertise my websites in preparation of the release of Drums of the Nunne’hi. As luck with have it, life got in the way with some of the team members and only three of us were able to attend. We had a blast, though. It was a crazy night for dealing with the extremely intoxicated. My wife found a groupie in the crowd. No, it is not what you might think; her groupie was a girl. She had a young lady that kept coming to her to be served and continually tried to slip my wife tip money. We aren’t supposed to take tips, which my wife told her but she insisted. Oddly enough, I am totally alright with my wife having a female groupie. : D

The T-shirts did generate a fair amount of interest, though I am not sure how much of it was for my writing and how much was for patrons to come up with interesting answers to the slogan on the back of the shirt (What’s your fantasy?). Drunk women seem to have some very…very vivid imaginations. Ah, such is life. All in all, I would say it was a success. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

How is everyone else’s weekend going?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

To Meme or not to Meme...

I received this meme from Lime, though not officially : D.

1) My uncle once: promised to give a Harley Davidson to the first one of his son’s that gave him a grandson.

2) Never again in my life: do I want to have another motorcycle accident.

3) When I was five: I had already lived in five states.

4) High School was: in a different city every year.

5) I will never forget: the first time I saw someone die.

6) I once met: Anne Rice who sent me on the path of writing vampire novels.

7) There's this girl I know who: is both the sweetest and meanest girl you have ever met and usually in the same converation.

8) Once, at a bar: I let a strange woman pick me up, bring me to her home and take advantage of me (Only once, I swear! :D)

9) By noon I'm usually: writing.

10) Last night I: was asleep by 9.

11) If I had only: you know what? I have no regrets. I like where my life is right now and if I had done things differently, I might not have made it to this same point.

12) Next time I go to church: I will probably be in a casket being viewed by loved ones.

13) What worries me most: is failing to do something significant with my life.

14) When I turn my head right, I see: the couch we bought for our Great Dane.

15) When I turn my head left, I see: my fishtank.

16) You know I'm lying when: there is no other way to protect those I love.

17) You know what I miss most about the eighties: parachute pants.

18) If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: Macbeth.

19) By this time, next year: I'll be a published author.

20) A better name for me would be: I’ve had so many, but you can call me dad (Do you know what movie that is from?).

21) I have a hard time understanding: the complete workings of the female mind.

22) If I ever go back to school I'll: study whatever strikes my fancy.

23) You know I like you if: I don’t ignore you.

24) If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: whoever helped me most to attain that honor.

25) Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferarro are: the makings of the greatest punk band ever
26) Take my advice, never: stab yourself in the hand.

27) My ideal breakfast is: a giant omelet with three kinds of cheese and every meat imaginable.

28) A song I love, but do not have is: I got nothing on this one.

29) If you visit my hometown, I suggest: bringing an appetite.

30) Why won't anyone: do my laundry for me.

31) If you spend the night at my house, DO: be prepared for a night of fun.

32) I'd stop my wedding for: a natural disaster, but that’s about it.

33) The world could do without: intolerance.

34) I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: actually put the whole thing in my mouth.

35) My favorite blonde is: my wife.

36) Paperclips are more useful than: grass clippings.

37) San Diego means: Saint James

38) And by the way: anyone who wants to join in the fun, by all means have at it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More Meme Madness...

John Scalzi has a new book out called The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Moviesand it has created a perfect opportunity for a meme to be created from The Canon from the book (not to mention a good opportunity to plug his latest offering). He is a great writer, so by all means buy his books when the opportunity arises.
Here’s how to play along. Go through the Canon and bold the movies you’ve seen. It’s as easy as that and very similar to a meme that Jerm did a few days ago.
So, what films are in The Canon? Here's the list, in alphabetical order:
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!(Remember, no matter where you go…there you are!)
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Brazil (We do the work, you do the pleasure)
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial) (Oddly enough, I also watched Flesh Gordon. Go figure)
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles (I’m a little confused that this made the list, but whatever)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior (Of course, I have seen all of the Mad Max movies)
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version) (You damned dirty apes)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day(My son calls Arnold Uncle Bob every time he sees him because of this movie)
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

Wow, after reading through this list and seeing how many movies I’ve not only seen, but remembered, it makes me wonder why I’m not writing Sci Fi instead of Horror. Hey there’s an idea. Maybe I will do one of these for horror movies. I will have to get back to you on that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

She's Got the Look

About once a week or so, I try to pick someone from my blogroll and click through theirs. I think it is interesting to see what other people have thought were enjoyable enough to link to. Sometimes I find the occasional surprise (isn’t that right, David? :D ), but mostly I find new blogs that I wouldn’t mind visiting again. The other day I was scrolling through Robin’s links and I clicked on a blog by Agent 007. Yes, you may have noticed that I added her to my blogroll as well.

She brings up the (apparently quite controversial) topic of the author photo. She is of an opinion that a smoking hot writer will do better than an ugly one. I can see where someone who is easy on the eyes might be a bonus for publicity, but I find it hard to believe that a writer’s looks determines how much promotion their book gets from the publisher.

If you stop by, make sure to read the comments. They are almost as controversial as the original post. Someone actually had the audacity to say that if someone is attractive they won’t have the depth necessary to be a good writer. This has to be the dumbest comment I have ever read. It sounds more than a little like it might be just sour grapes. I don’t think a person’s looks have anything to do with the quality of their writing. That definitely wasn’t what 007 was saying. If you read the post, you will see that she doesn’t say that being hot makes you a better writer; she just says that it gives you more opportunities to promote your book.

I guess if the claims are true, I am doomed to be a mid-lister (at best) for at least the early years of my publishing career. I say this because I don’t think of myself as hot or ugly. I just…am. Oh, I suppose I could be wrong and I actually fall closer to the ugly side than I realize, but I think I am just ordinary looking, middle of the road if you will. I guess the true test will come when I am published by one of the big boys. If they take one look at me and go, “Oh, how would you feel about promoting your book with a nice radio spot” I’ll know for sure. Great, as if I didn’t have enough things to worry about. Now, I have to wonder if I am “pretty” enough to get a nationwide book tour.

What’s your take on all this?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Weekend Rents

The other movie was Longest Yard with Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Nelly, Michael Irvin, and the list goes on and on. Adam Sandler plays a nefarious quarterback who was kicked out of the league for shaving points. His life spirals out of control and he soon finds himself in prison. Without going into to many specifics, events transpire that set up a scenario in which the guards have a football team and the convicts have a football team. When they meet, yeah...sparks fly. I laughed my ass off through this thing. The cheerleaders for the convicts alone was worth the price of the rental. I give this movie a giant thumbs up as well.

The Weekend Rents

We rented a couple of movies last night, both of which I enjoyed. One was a group of troubled minds being put to the test and their ultimate survival. The other was a bunch of troubled minds coming together to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Let’s take Mindhunters first. It starred the likes of Val Kilmer, LL Cool J, Christian Slater and Johnny Lee Miller. This movie was fast paced and full of twists and turns. It is story of would be profilers for the FBI. Their final test comes in the form of weekend stay at a hellish island. Yep, one by one, they start getting killed. They figure out fairly quickly that it must be one of their own behind the killings. Trust No one seems to be the theme of the day. The killer thinks of some very…very original ways to dispatch his victims. Some are down right gruesome, while others are just enough to make you flinch. There were several moments when I thought I knew who the killer was, only to have the plot switch directions abruptly. I honestly didn’t have it completely figured out until the final minutes of the movie. I will be adding this one to my personal collection.

Of course, I had one extreme gut check moment. The premise of their training on the island is that they are investigating a serial killer. Care to take a stab at what they have dubbed this killer? That’s right…it’s The Puppeteer. They find a victim that is strung up from all of their extremities and hung from the ceiling. Sound familiar? I hope so; it is eerily similar to the early work of my character in The Dance. Oh dilemmas, dilemmas. There are enough differences that neither characters could be accused of coming from the same source, but there are enough similarities that it makes me wonder if I should change Jerry’s public persona. As near as I can tell, both characters were probably created at the same time. I guess these things happen. The fact is, I don’t know that I can change my The Puppeteer, he is such an integral part of my story. In Mindhunters the character is barely mentioned and even then as a fictional character used for training. I guess I will just leave him be, unless told to do otherwise. It was a real shocker though.

Well, I wanted to do both reviews here, but I am having a problem getting both images to appear without cover some of my text, so I will break it into two posts.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Literary Humor (ish)

Charles Dickens: Please, sir, I'd like a martini.
Bartender: Sure thing. Olive or twist?

James Joyce: I'll take a Guinness.
Bartender: So Charles Dickens was in here yesterday.
James Joyce: (drinks)
Bartender: And he asked for a martini and I said, "Olive or twist?"
James Joyce: (drinks)
Bartender: You see, it's funny because he wrote a book called "Oliver Twist."
James Joyce: What a shitty joke.

Ernest Hemingway: Gin.
Bartender: So Charles Dickens was in here two days ago.
Ernest Hemingway: Joyce already told me that story. Fuck off.

Franz Kafka: I'd like a mineral water.
Bartender: Olive or twist?
Franz Kafka: I can't digest solid food.

Mark Twain: Give me a brandy.
Bartender: So Charles Dickens came in the other day and ordered a martini.
Mark Twain: Did he take an olive or twist? Ha ha ha!
Bartender: (tearful) You did that on purpose, didn't you?

Virginia Woolf: I'll take your second-best cognac and unadulterated experience.
Bartender: We don't have that. This is a bar.
Virginia Woolf: Patriarchy! (drowns)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Crazy as they come...

Here are my results:

You are Ludwig II, the Swan King of Bavaria!
Born with the name of Otto, you became Ludwig at the request of your grandfather, King Ludwig I, because you were born on his birthday. You became Crown Prince at the tender age of 3, and soon after stole a purse from a shop on the basis that everything in Bavaria belonged to you. Tragedy struck when your pet tortoise was taken away; relatives thought the six-year-old prince was too attached to it. Your childhood was lonely and formal. Once, you were prevented from beheading your younger brother by the timeous arrival of a court official. From the age of 14 you suffered from hallucinations.
Despite striking an imposing figure with your great height and good looks, your speeches were pompous to the point of incomprehensibility. You became even more of a recluse, often spending hours reading poetry in a seashell-shaped boat in your electrically-illuminated underground grotto.
You are most famous for building three fairytale castles - Linderhof, Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee - at tremendous public expense. Declared insane and confined to your bedroom by concerned (and embarrassed) subjects, you escaped on 13 June 1886, but were later found drowned with your physician in Lake Stamberg in mysterious circumstances.

I'm Ludvig II, the Swan King of Bavaria!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Book Review: Dhampir

I have just finished reading Dhampir by Barb & J.C. Hendee. It is the first book in The Noble Dead Saga. This was a fun book to read. They did a great job of fleshing out both likeable and despicable characters, even with Edwan who has no flesh. The vampires, though merciless killers, have enough human characteristics that one almost feels sorry for them…almost.

A Dhampir is the offspring of a vampire and a mortal. The story goes that while a newly turned vampire is in transition, he or she is able to create life. The resultant creature is somewhat “Blade” like, having the best of both worlds. They are born hunters of the undead.

Margiere is unaware of what she is (a Dhampir), she only knows that she is different and had a horrible childhood because of it. Growing to hate the superstitious peasants that spurned her, she devises a plan to seek her vengeance. With the help of a half-elf (Leesil), she begins the “game” in which she fleeces unsuspecting peasants in return for ridding them of vampires. The only problem is that she believes there is no such thing as vampires. They merely play on the fears of the uneducated to make a living.

Needless to say, she gets a crash course not only in their existence, but also in her true role in her world. The story is full of conflict and all out battles. It was an absolute pleasure to read. If you like a fast paced story filled with fangs and fury, you are going to love this book.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of saga holds in store for us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fair Update...

We had a blast at the fair; but then isn’t that why we go year after year? We had tons of food on a stick, funnel cakes and something called a Fat Ball (Which was really quite tasty, despite its awful name). We rode rides until the church crowd let out. After that, the lines became unbearably long. Sometimes it pays to be a heathen.

My son tried his hand at nearly every scam to take your money game on the midway. He brought home a hefty bounty of stuffed animals for his efforts, though. We found that the dart games seemed to suit him best. Everything else left him wanting to kick a Carney in the knee. Even at his young age, he takes offense to the feeling of being swindled. It warms my heart to see him taking to this life lesson so early in life. I have great hopes that he will avoid the ones that are obviously too difficult to win in the future. Some lessons can only be learned, now matter how hard you try to explain them.

We spent some time in the Expo Center, pursuing the fine wares of hundreds of vendors. We mostly checked out the Jacuzzis (my wife is starting to get the itch for one). She has been plagued with back problems for most of her adult life and this weekend’s race had left her in poor shape. The therapeutic touch of vibrating jets is rumored to work wonders for weak backs. Did you know that they have models with fountains, stereos, and even TVs built right into the unit? I have to tell you I was impressed with a couple of the stereo models. We are just starting to look right now, it will probably be closer to next year before we are ready to buy one, but it was fun to look.

I ran into Chuck The Sports Guy (by run into, of course I mean I went to the Z104.5 tent and he happened to be there). It’s kind of funny, when I used to go out all the time, I would see him at most all of my familiar haunts, but we have never really passed more than a few greetings between us. He seems like one hell of a guy though. I feel qualified to say that because I listen to his morning show everyday. Yes, I am aware that an on-air persona is likely vastly different than the real life one, but you know what I mean. You can still get a sense of the persons character based how they react to news both good and bad when presented to them on-air. After years of listening, I am willing to bet that he is a stand up guy.

I talked to him about the book that is coming out after the first of the year and asked him how one would go about setting up an opportunity to pimp my book on the radio. This being my first book, I really wasn’t sure what to do. He gave me some contact information, so at least I have a place to start.

I know what you are thinking, “But James, you have thousands of visitors here. Why would you need to look elsewhere for publicity?” Ok, maybe you weren’t thinking that (we all know how important it is to get proper exposure), but as the release date draws near, I am looking for ways to get my book in front of as many readers as possible. The local media seems like a good idea if I can manage it. Besides, how cool would it be to get to go on a radio station that you have loved for years?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Humor me...

My wife, being the beautiful blonde that she is, often receives blonde jokes. After so many years of this ritual, she has actually grown to enjoy (mostly) them. Here is the latest to hit our inbox:

Two blonde girls were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind her and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one girl digging a hole, the other girl filling it in again.
An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting into your work, but I don't get it -- why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"
The hole digger wiped her brow and sighed, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the girl who plants the trees called in sick."

I know this is short, but we are off to the fair. If we get back early enough, I will do up a proper post on that. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Zoo and the Soul

It’s race day, ladies and gentlemen. My wife is about to partake in her first 10K. It is at the Tulsa Zoo, an absolutely wonderful course to run and I am sure she will do great. My son has no idea that we are going to the zoo. Oh, how I love surprises.

Before I go, I thought I would leave you with something I resurrected from my archives:

The Mirror

On a still day, in the heat of the sun, I found myself trekking through the woods. The trees gave way abruptly to expose a small pond. Its waters looked cool and inviting. My throat was parched from the dust of the day, so I approached the bank with the intention of quenching my thirst.

As I knelt before the cool blue waters, with my hand extended, I caught the image of my face staring back at me. My attention came to rest upon my eyes. It was then that I realized that just as the pond held a reflection of my face, my eyes held a reflection of my soul.

The image staring back at me, began to take on my true form. It showed me what kind of man I really was. Did I like what I saw? Would you like what your reflection revealed to you?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rag Doll Dubya

I totally stole this from Skepticyst over at Indentured Servitude. I thought you guys might enjoy it. If he gets stuck (or even if he doesn’t) you can grab him with your mouse and shake him free.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

First Taste of Death

It was a sad day at the ol’ Goodman household yesterday. It started out like any other day. We went to work, came home, helped with homework, etc. After dinner, my son decided to go upstairs to play. Within minutes, we hear a near panicked voice followed by running feet. He poked his head over the banister and the look on his face alone was enough to rend my heart.

“Mom, Dad…something’s wrong with poochy. I went to take him out of his cage to play with him, but he’s not moving.”
“Uh, oh…” I shot a nervous glance at the Mrs. “Let me see him.”
“But I gave him food and water. I took care of him…”
“I know you did son,” I said walking to the stairs.
His eyes were wide, his lips twitched and I could see his shirt moving up and down from the force of his breathing (which was coming quite rapidly).
“Hand him to me.” I extended my hands and waited for poochy to be lowered to me.
I knew the second his cold skin touched mine, that the pet was gone. He was still quite pliable, so he hadn’t been dead long.
“Help him, daddy,” my son pleaded.
“He’s dead, son. There’s nothing I can do for him.”
“But I love him!” He shook his head as if by denying it, he could change my answer.
It was then that grief consumed him. He wailed as big alligator tears rolled down his cheeks.

“I know you did, son, but these things happen. Everything that lives…eventually dies.”
“He can’t be dead,” he sobbed. “I saw him move.”
“No…you didn’t, son. Now is not the time to let your imagination get the best of you.”
“He was my best friend,” he said, his words barely decipherable through the sobbing.
“Now, don’t you think you’re being just a little dramatic?”
“No, I loved him and he loved me. I played with him everyday.”
“We all loved him, buddy.” I pulled him close and let him bury his face in my shirt.
“I’ll tell you what,” I began, pulling him back so I could look into his eyes. “I’ll go grab a shovel and we can give him a proper burial. Maybe, you could even say a few nice words for him.”
He just nodded and followed me as I made the preparations.
“Do you want to hold him one last time while I dig the hole?”
Again the nod. His wailing had neither stopped nor even slowed since the discovery.
I placed him in the hole and turned to my son.
“Good bye, poochy. I’m gonna miss you.” That was all he could manage.
“That was nice, son.” I gave him another hug before filling in the hole.
“Dad,” he looked at me hesitantly. “You know that thing we go to see at your Papa’s?”
“The headstone?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Can we get one of them for poochy?”
“No, I think it is best we use our minds to remember poochy.”

As we went back into the house, I was at a loss of what to say to make him feel better so I just gave him another hug.
“Dad, did you say that everything dies?”
“Yes, it is the way of the world.”
“Even you and mom?”
“Yes, someday we will die too, but hopefully not for a really long time,” I replied, wondering if I were doing more harm than good here.
“I don’t want you guys to die,” he managed between choked sobs.
“I don’t to die either, but eventually it will happen.” I could see this conversation going horribly awry. “You know what? Let’s not talk about my death right now. You take some time to mourn for poochy and we can talk about life and death when you’re not so upset.”

He was nearly inconsolable for the rest of the evening. It was one the most heartbreaking things I have seen in a long…long time. The loss of a pet is a big deal for anybody let alone a kid.

Meme, Meme, Meme

I picked up this meme from Monty.

Rules of the Meme...

Go HERE, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and click on the year of your high school graduation.

BOLD the songs you liked (back then), ITALICIZE the ones you hated, RED the ones you don't remember, and leave the rest alone.

The year was 1990 (Hey…it wasn’t That long ago, was it?)
1. Hold On, Wilson Phillips
2. It Must Have Been Love, Roxette
3. Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
4. Poison, Bell Biv Devoe
5. Vogue, Madonna
6. Vision Of Love, Mariah Carey (just because I thought she was hot back then)
7. Another Day In Paradise, Phil Collins
8. Hold On, En Vogue
9. Cradle Of Love, Billy Idol
10. Blaze Of Glory, Jon Bon Jovi
11. Do Me!, Bell Biv Devoe (with a title like that…how could they go wrong?)
12. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, Michael Bolton
13. Pump Up The Jam, Technotronic
14. Opposites Attract, Paula Abdul
15. Escapade, Janet Jackson
16. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You, Heart
17. Close To You, Maxi Priest
18. Black Velvet, Alannah Myles (something about her voice just drove me wild)
19. Release Me, Wilson Phillips
20. Don't Know Much, Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
21. All Around The World, Lisa Stansfield
22. I Wanna Be Rich, Calloway
23. I Remember You, Skid Row (Did anyone else having coughing fits while trying to sing along with Sebastian?)
24. Rub You The Right Way, Johnny Gill
25. She Ain't Worth It, Glenn Medeiros Featuring Bobby Brown
26. If Wishes Came True, Sweet Sensation
27. The Power, Snap
28. (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection, Nelson
29. Love Will Lead You Back, Taylor Dayne
30. Don't Wanna Fall In Love, Jane Child
31. Two To Make It Right, Seduction
32. Sending All My Love, Linear
33. Unskinny Bop, Poison
34. Step By Step, New Kids On The Block
35. Dangerous, Roxette
36. We Didn't Start The Fire, Billy Joel
37. I Don't Have The Heart, James Ingram
38. Downtown Train, Rod Stewart
39. Rhythm Nation, Janet Jackson
40. I'll Be Your Everything, Tommy Page
41. Roam, B-52's
42. Everything, Jody Watley
43. Back To Life, Soul II Soul (God, this was my favorite tune to grind to back in the day…how low can you go?)
44. Here and Now, Luther Vandross
45. Alright, Janet Jackson
46. Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice (Don’t front, you know you liked it too!)
47. Blame It On The Rain, Milli Vanilli (Or just blame it on a faulty recording)
48. Have You Seen Her, M.C. Hammer
49. With Every Beat Of My Heart, Taylor Dayne
50. Come Back To Me, Janet Jackson
51. No More Lies, Michel'le
52. Praying For Time, George Michael
53. How Can We Be Lovers, Michael Bolton
54. Do You Remember, Phil Collins
55. Ready Or Not, After 7
56. U Can't Touch This, M.C. Hammer (Yeah, like that song won’t be stuck in my head for days.)
57. I Wish It Would Rain Down, Phil Collins
58. Just Between You and Me, Lou Gramm
59. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven, Phil Collins
60. Black Cat, Janet Jackson
61. Can't Stop, After 7
62. Janie's Got A Gun, Aerosmith
63. The Humpty Dance, Digital Underground
64. I'll Be Your Shelter, Taylor Dayne
65. Free Fallin', Tom Petty (and all this time I thought it was called Free Ballin’)
66. Giving You The Benefit, Pebbles
67. Enjoy The Silence, Depeche Mode (Actually, I was a Depeche Mode junkie)
68. Love Song, Tesla
69. Price Of Love, Bad English
70. Girls Nite Out, Tyler Collins
71. King Of Wishful Thinking, Go West
72. What Kind Of Man Would I Be?, Chicago
73. Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over), Technotroic
74. Here We Are, Gloria Estefan
75. Epic, Faith No More (we never did find out what “it” was)
76. Love Takes Time, Mariah Carey
77. Just Like Jesse James, Cher
78. Love Shack, B-52's
79. All Or Nothing, Milli Vanilli
80. Romeo, Dino
81. Everybody Everybody, Black Box
82. I Go To Extremes, Billy Joel
83. Whip Appeal, Babyface
84. Oh Girl, Paul Young
85. C'mon and Get My Love, D-Mob With Cathy Dennis
85. (It's Just) The Way That You Love Me, Paula Abdul
87. We Can't Go Wrong, Cover Girls
88. When I'm Back On My Feet Again, Michael Bolton (Is anyone else thinking no talent ass clown every time the see his name thanks to Office Space?)
89. Make You Sweat, Keith Sweat
90. This One's For The Children, New Kids On The Block
91. What It Takes, Aerosmith
92. Forever, Kiss
93. Jerk Out, Time
94. Just A Friend, Biz Markie (I listened to this song this morning on one of my mix CDs)
95. Whole Wide World, A'me Lorain
96. Without You, Motley Crue
97. Swing The Mood, Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers
98. Thieves In The Temple, Prince
99. Mentirosa, Mellow Man Ace
100. Tic-Tac-Toe, Kyper

Again, not tagging anyone, but if you want to play along, let me know so I can see your responses.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I've been tagged as well!

The lovely Mrs. Breazy has tagged me with this meme:

The Rules:
1. go into your archive
2. find your 23rd post
3. find the 5th sentence (or closest to)
4. post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions
5. tag 5 other people to do the same

Here is my 23rd post (of my last recorded archive, I started in 2004 so there are several posts that have went into nether space), 5th sentence:
I just assumed since you were a fellow writer, it would be alright to call you James.

The title of my post was "Hurt Feelers". For a while I was doing a “Questions from readers segment”, in hopes of sharing what little bit of this industry I have learned with other aspiring writers. I gave some advice to one particular writer that took it all out of context. Indecently, if memory serves correct, that was the last time I played the “Questions and Answers” game.

This is a fun meme, but I don’t feel right passing it to specific people, so anyone who wants to play along…go for it. Just drop me a line if you do, so that I can cruise by and read your responses.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A few laughs from celebs...

"There are only two reasons to sit in the back row of an airplane: Either you have diarrhea, or you're anxious to meet people who do." Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State)

"Things you'll never hear a woman say: 'My, what an attractive scrotum!' Patricia Arquette

"And God said: "Let there be Satan, so people don't blame everything on me. And let there be lawyers, so people don't blame everything on Satan." George Burns

"Luge strategy? Lie flat and try not to die." Carmen Boyle (Olympic gold medalist in luge, 1966)

"Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships." Sharon Stone

"My girlfriend always laughs during sex-no matter what she's reading." Steve Jobs (Founder: Apple Computers)

"My cousin just died. He was only 19. He got stung by a bee-the natural enemy of a tightrope walker." Dan Rather (News anchorman)

"I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, 'Thyroid problem?" Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps." Tiger Woods

"I read somewhere that 77 per cent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I'm more intrigued by the 23 per cent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves." Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)

"I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a Great White or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot." Axel Rose (Guns'n'Roses)

"Capital punishment turns the state into a murderer. But imprisonment turns the state into a gay dungeon-master." Rev. Jesse Jackson

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." Jack Nicholson

"Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is." Barbara Bush (Former US First Lady)

"Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet." Robin Williams

"Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself." Roseanne

"In the last couple of weeks I have seen the ads for the Wonder Bra. Is that really a problem in this country? Men not paying enough attention to women's breasts?" Hugh Grant

"There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?" Dustin Hoffman

"Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house." Rod Stewart., aging cover band singer

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