Yay for Color

This is gonna be one of those mishmash posts, as most of mine are, I suppose.

First, here are some low-res pictures of the the new color we used on my daughter’s room. I took them with my cellphone this morning, so they aren’t great. Also, the blue tape isn’t a feature. I just painted the window frames, and haven’t taken down the tape yet.

Yeah, not great pictures. You get the idea, though. We love the new color. So much better than the plain white.

Remember the Pirate issue of Shimmer magazine? Well, they’ve made it available for free today and only today in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day. I plan on downloading it today. It’s running a bit slow right now (thanks to the Boing Boing effect I think), so you might want to wait a little bit before you try to go there.

Some exciting things on the writing front today. I’ve actually had some story ideas! One is for NaNoWriMo 2008. Good times. I welcome the return of The Muse with open arms.

Check it Out

Some of you are doing some interesting stuff, so I thought I’d give it a mention. Also, I’m in a silly mood.

First, have you checked out The Book Roast? If you like free books, you might want to head on over there. If you check out the comments for today’s post, you may even see what I mean about my silly mood.

Next, Julie K. Rose just posted her next Author Soundtrack podcast. This is the same podcast I took part in a while back. I highly recommend it. She asks various authors (and me) how music affects their writing. I also suggest you all to check out her weekly Word Hoard podcast (every Monday on her blog). They are always highly entertaining.

I’m sure I’m missing something. Anyone else doing anything interesting you would like me to mention?

Some Things Are Best Unseen

Yesterday, I was browsing Boing Boing as always (I can’t stress enough how much I recommend that blog). Anyhow, they posted an item regarding a stabilization technique that was applied frame by frame to the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film (the famous Bigfoot “evidence”). It gives a cleaner look of the footage. In the post they also had a link to a stabilized version of the Zapruder’s film of the JFK assassination.

So. What did I do? I clicked on the link for the Zapruder film. I don’t suggest this. At all. The film is totally brutal. It gave me a knot in my stomach for the rest of the day. The film is fascinating, in a grim sort of way. Still, I’m not sure I needed to see this in that much detail (I’m being intentionally vague here, so as not to make anyone else sick).

After watching the film, though, my interest was piqued. I looked up Zapruder on Wikipedia. This led me to JFK. Which led me to Lee Harvey Oswald. Which led me to Jack Ruby. Then I looked up RFK. Which led me to Sirhan Sirhan. It was an interesting, haunting hour, to say the least.

My point here is that we live in amazing times where information is so close and so easily accessed. Sure, wikipedia isn’t perfect. Still, if you want a decent overview on a topic, bearing in mind there may be flaws, Wikipedia is a wonder.

Still, I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off not clicking the link in the first place.

Fletch

I’ve been a bit active on Bookmooch lately. First of all, out of nowhere someone actually wanted one of the computer programming books I was trying to unload. The book was C++ for Dummies, in case you are curious. The book was in good condition, but really I thought I would be taking this book to my grave. Thankfully, it now has a good home. I hope it helps the new owner with their C++ programming.

I also mooched a book last week. It happened like this. I found out the author of the Fletch, Gregory Mcdonald, died last week. I loved the Fletch movies, but haven’t read any of the novels. So I thought why not give it a try.

So I got my copy of Fletch in the mail yesterday. Yay, a book in the mail. What a glorious day! You can’t beat that.

I read the first few pages. In fact, my daughter (2 years old) wanted me to read it to her. So I read the first bit out loud. Very good. My wife even remarked how good the beginning was. I may need to use that in my writing.

The interesting thing about the book really isn’t the book itself. Rather, it’s what was written in back of the book. One of the previous owners wrote, in pink ink, “Received from soandso for my birthday Summer 1988.” For some reason, this made the book more special to me.

I’m not sure what it is. I guess it’s the idea that this book, all those years ago, was given as a gift to someone. It give the book itself history. Some read this book. Someone gave it to someone. It meant something to someone. Now, it’s my turn to enjoy it.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m silly. Still, this makes me feel good. When I’m finished with the book, maybe I’ll mooch it to someone else. If I do, maybe I’ll write a note in there too.

Waiting For the Pain

It was a very productive weekend for me. Funny, it feels so weird to say that, as I have so few productive weekends. This one was a good one.

We painted my daughter’s new room (used to be our office) on Saturday. My wife has been going through all our junk, throwing stuff away, and shredding documents we no longer need (four years of car payment statements to a car we don’t even own anymore?). That allowed us to actually find the walls of the room.

Once everything was moved out, my Dad and my soon to be brother-in-law helped me paint the room. We changed it from a boring white to a happy, sunny, yellow that my daughter will love. I have before/after pictures that I’ll share once I download them from the camera. We even saved a small square for my daughter to paint, so she’ll be able to say she painted too.

I think having the room painted is a huge weight off my wife’s shoulders. We still have five months until the new baby arrives, but I think she’s beginning to feel the pressure. The next step is to order a “big girl bed” for the room.

Sunday night I had my first ice hockey game of the season. I was dreading the game a little bit as I haven’t skated in three months. I did play softball this summer, but it’s not the same as sixty minutes of hockey. If you follow me on twitter, you may have read my initial feelings after my game. I’m a little banged up today, but I don’t feel as sore as I thought I would. I think the pain is just being delayed. I probably won’t be able to walk tomorrow!

That was my weekend. I’ll get back to writing about writing tomorrow. Hopefully, I can even start on a new chapter of the novel tonight. We’ll see.

Exterminate!

Let’s lead with something fun today. This one is via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing. It’s a family made Doctor Who video featuring sound effects and Daleks. It’s pretty cute. Stick around for the “regeneration”.

On to other things. I’ve been editing the chapter with the suggestions from my critique group. Reading over that has been interesting. I’ve come across some pretty brutal, hacky stuff. I’m going to work hard on these edits and send it out to the group again, just to redeem myself. *sigh*

On the exercise front, I have my first ice hockey game of the season Sunday. I’m looking forward to playing again. I hope to build on my success from the end of last season. I’m not looking forward to being sore Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, though. I haven’t skated in three months, so it’s going to be brutal.

Any plans for you this weekend?

Good Times

How am I doing? OK, I guess. Sure I have a cold, my wife has a cold, and my daughter is a snot factory. Everything is fine.

Sure I’m losing my sh*t over the latest presidential polls, losing sleep and generally feeling nervous. Everything will be fine, right? My latest plan is to buy a case of beer the night of the election, either for celebration or to numb the pain. Either way, I’m not going to work the next day.

*deep breath*

Anyhow, thanks everyone for the comments on my last post. I’ll get to them soon. In the meantime, did you know a new Mitch Hedberg comedy CD went on sale the other day? Well, you can order it from Comedy Central. You can also listen to a preview of it here: http://goto.thesyn.com/mitch-hedberg/.

Don’t know who Mitch Hedberg is? Start with with wikipedia and then find some of his stuff anywhere you can. The man was a comedy genius. Think Steven Wright.

Here’s some of my favorite Mitch jokes:

  • I had this parrot. The parrot talked, but it did not say “I’m hungry.” So it died.
  • You know, I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ’em later.
  • I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

Getting Old Stinks – Reason #42

Bear with me everyone. This post will eventually be about writing. I was thinking a bit last night. Some of this may be fueled by the various drugs I’m on due to my head cold. Who knows. It gave me an idea for a blog post, so I’m thankful for that.

Anyhow, getting old sucks. Very profound observation, huh? Nobody has ever thought of that. And sure, I’m not THAT old yet. I’m 31. However, when you work on a college campus you tend to begin to see yourself as an old fossil.

One of the things I miss about being young, and this is going to sound extremely vain, is being told how handsome I am. Think back a bit. When you’re young, you can’t go into a grocery store, or a church function, without some random old lady walking up to you, pinching your cheek, and saying “You are so handsome.” I hated that at the time, but now I miss it a bit.

Both of my grandmothers have passed away. Just another reason I miss them is there were a great source of this type of ego boost. You could not get in the front door or either of my grandmother’s house without a kiss, a compliment, and probably a pie or some other pastry forced onto you.

Or, how about in school, where you hear from so-and-so that so-and-so thinks you’re cute. Man, that was a great feeling. That could really make your day. I get a similar feeling when my wife tells me I look good.

This stuff doesn’t happen anymore. How sad.

Now watch me bring this back to writing. I get nearly the same feeling when someone tells me they enjoyed something I’ve written as I did when some random person said how handsome I look. It’s just a nice boost to the ego and never gets old. Maybe this is why I share my fiction on this site so much. I’m addicted to that feeling.

Anyhow, thanks to everyone who has said they liked my writing, or told me something I’ve written made their day. I like you too. 🙂