Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beware the Rodent

I was tagged for one of these things by the Chinchilla. It's taken me a couple of days to get to it.

What I was doing ten years ago:

Slowly coming apart at the seams. That was the awful last year of my first marriage. We were circling the drain. Neither one of us really knew it exactly, but that I kept bringing marriage self-help books home should have been a clue. I was absolutely miserable. Heh... funny thing that.

Five things on my to do list today:

Finish up stuff for tomorrow's Gazz edition, deposit check from wife, give check to daycare, work on new novel and panic about the damned tax rebate. Where' s my money? Where is it?

Things I would do If I were a billionaire:

Get rid of it as fast as humanly possible, with as little destruction to myself as could be managed. I figure I'd have about two or three good years before the money would completely wreck me and I'd have midget hookers following me around. I'm not really designed to be super rich so I'd do what I could to pay off my debts and do some nice things for my family and friends. I'd probably buy a little property, put some money in a fund for my kids' education and maybe take a good, long vacation. I would keep some of it, in savings, but the bulk would go out the door. I'd try to invest locally in the school system and try to supplement the local food pantries and health clinics.
I'd go back to work. I don't know of any billionaires who write novels, do you? It would just be a hindrance.

Three of my bad habits:
Self loathing... see Jay, you were right. God damn you, Jay. Damn you to hell.
No, seriously, I smoke occasionally and I don't exercise like I ought to and I take a little too much shit from the people I'm responsible for.

Five Places I’ve lived:

Johnston City, Tn
Pearisburg, Va
Athens, WV
Ishpeming, MI

Five Jobs I’ve Had:

Worked booking flights by phone for an airline call center. It was pretty bad. The airline was called Sunjet. We used to laugh about how they would sometimes leave the airport early or how they once triple booked a flight. Oh, there were some angry people there.

I was a DJ at a pretty crappy radio station in Beckley. The asshole owner wouldn't heat the building and the cops couldn't be depended on to keep out the junkies living in the basement. On the upside, the manager lived upstairs and kept me in beer and cigarettes.

My very first real job was working as a dishwasher. It was a pretty good gig, actually. The people were great and girls my age talked to me. I was all of 17. There were also decent parties and I drank far more than I should have.

I was a production assistant at a Public television station. I did very, very little. Your tax dollars at work.

I managed a pool hall for one summer. I worked the day shift and saw nobody. Mostly, I stood around, played the old centipede game and occasionally got hit on by a 14 year-old whose mother worked next door at Roses. She wanted me to give her beer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Night clubbing...

The new novel has finally taken off. An excerpt will be printed here, if and when I hit cross that crucial 20,000 words threshold. That's my marker that this thing has legs and I can maintain steam.

I will have to be careful. The last one opens with a suicide. This one opens with a live sex show in a warehouse and it's going to be sort of funny and a bit dark. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I want to be that kind of writer...

I'm getting tons of inspiration from the building next door on my weekend job. The tenants haven't figured out how to work the cords on the window blinds. You never know what you're going to see when you just look up. Among other things I've seen lately is what appeared to be a 70s porn revival on a big screen tv.

I don't go to look. I do respect their privacy, but I do have to leave my building to smoke. Yes, I'm smoking on the weekends. I don't smoke at home or usually on weekdays. I'm trying to kick, but I've gotten in the habit Saturday nights of smoking to sort of break the monotony. I could try gum, but it smells funny when you light it.

Anyway, that's when I tend to see things I shouldn't. This would all go away if I'd just quit smoking, but it's kind of been helpful. It's a problem...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just some highlights

I did fly yesterday. Unfortunately, I can't say too much about it due to contractual obligations... also known as somebody paid for that one. It will be in an upcoming issue of the Charleston Gazette. I'll mention when.

The only thing I can write here that won't appear in print later are some of thing I learned things that weren't unintended. There were 11 people on this particular junket. We all stayed to our own kind. The writers hung out. The lawyers hung out. The airline people hung out. It was interesting to observe how the social cliques formed and how people mingled between the various groups.

I was fascinated, as well, by the natural way everyone recreates themselves new amongst strangers. You don't even have to lie, simply edit, and the shape of your life takes a new form. Good fiction requires good editing and the improved story is always more exciting, more dynamic and less complicated than the bloated, confusing original.

Coming home can be hard.

The radio show is underway. I am currently digging through my old contacts for guests. Sending out e-mails, etc... etc... I hope to start recording shows within two weeks. Still no t-shirt.

I have figured out my next book to work on. Got the beginning worked out, know where I want it to go sort of and even know how I want it to end. How does a pair of people conned into performing in live sex shows seeking revenge on the conman sound? Yeah, but what about if the conman is in jail? What if the conman is the brother for one of the conned?

The other (even mostly completed ideas) are just going to have to wait until I have the time to go that far down. I just don't have the emotional reserves to feel some of the things I' d have to write those stories right now. That sounds suspiciously "artsy" on my part, but it just feels bad writing those other stories right now. So, I'll wait a while longer.

I gave some useless advice to a guy who recently learned his son is autistic. He wanted to know about working longer hours to help with costs and not so much about coping. He seems to have the coping part in hand. I'm always trying to cope. I fight with it and most days I feel like a rock battered by unrelenting waves.

I let the thing I wanted to talk about at the time color what he came for. I didn't give him the answer he came for, and he deserved it.

The honest answer is this... working long hours isn't difficult. The trick is to keep your head down and push through it. Keep a clear idea of why you're doing it. It ain't for fun. It ain't because you like some aspect about it. It's for the money.

If I don't work extra, bad things happen. The refrigerator empties out. There's no milk, no bread, no beans and never mind the other stuff. The electric company will shut off the juice. The finance company will repossess the car. It's only about survival. The joke is putting in 80 or 100 hours a week is really just trading one kind of survival for another. You give up a lot. You miss out on things that happen in the family. You shave years off your life and the quality of your own life goes down dramatically. It's thankless, too. Mostly, you will be blamed for not being there. That will be the continuous complaint, and they will be right, but at least the heat is still on. Nobody is going hungry.

Complaints or a crowd throwing roses at you, you still have to do it.

Gravity be damned.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My announcement

My history in radio has always been sort of spotty and never fulfilling. I have what is sometimes referred to as a classic radio voice. It's always been a curse. It's considered "classic" because it's generic. Without trying too hard I can sound just like the asshole who tells Pat and Vanna about the new car or the sybian sex chair the lucky elderly contestant has won.

My uber generic voice has helped me get some radio jobs... though it was never the primary reason why I got the gig.

Job #1 was for WWNR in Beckley. I got it because I could take abuse from the scumbag who owned the station. I worked for a bona fide super villain of the caliber of "Puzzle Man" or "Paste Pot Pete." He was a low-level nut who lived to rip people off. I was young. I was stupid and by the time I realized just some of the crap he was up to, I had a new baby and bills to pay.
I was a card reader, a sales person and I helped with some administrative stuff. The job sucked and I wasn't that good.

Job #2 was with Adventure Radio in Bluefield. I was brought in to write commercials. This was where I became a super villain. I wrote a lot of copy, encouraged people to do a lot of bad things --mostly spend money on things they really didn't want or need. I was good at the job, but I did not like the job. The bosses liked my voice, but nobody gave a shit what I did with it. They wanted me to write, not perform. I was encouraged to read the cards and just press play. After I realized I wasn't getting what I wanted from the job, I decided to start looking elsewhere.

Job #3 was/is at Public Radio. They took me in because I applied and because I was already in the system. I was told on more than one occasion that there were more qualified candidates, but they chose me anyway. Not exactly a resounding endorsement.

I'm still a card reader.

There wasn't much interest in developing me for radio until after I left. I pitched ideas to the boss and was generally shot down. They let me record interviews for Mountain Stage, but it was essentially pro bono. I didn't get paid for it and nobody seemed to care whether I did it or not.

I left because there wasn't much for me there. I work on weekends because it pays decently for what it is. I get to read books, work on my novels and listen to Mountain Stage. It is not entirely unlike work study. I have no illusions that it will ever become anything more than that.

So... Rock 105 is reviving their "Home Grown" local rock program. I'm going to host and produce it. It will be local bands, interviews and local music. I may get a t-shirt in the deal at some point, but I'm not counting on it. I am not quitting my day job, but using it to work in tandem. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if it's going to do well or if I'm going to tank, but I don't suppose it matters.

At least, I ain't reading cards this time.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Missing the ground

A year and a half ago, while I was slinging coffee, I met an architect who designed shopping malls and office buildings. He was an older guy with an attractive, young woman on his arm. Casually, he told me about what he did, how the company he worked for sent him all over the world to build things. He sounded a little weary, but he had the pretty girl on his arm.

I said, "It sounds like you've got a pretty good life."

He didn't expect to hear that.

It wasn't envy, but admiration. Guys who design buildings make a reasonable living, which appealed to me, the guy working two jobs and struggling to fit in some freelance. More important than having the money to cover all of the bills, something that continues to elude me, he got to see some of the world.

"I love to travel," I told him. "But I never go anywhere. I've never flown."

He was amused by that. He asked me to take a break. I did. We sat down and he told me essentially, yeah, it was a petty good life. He got tired of it, but he was happy then he offered to take me along on one of his trips. He used a company plane when it was some place within a radius of several hundred miles. He said I could come along for one of his day trips to Myrtle Beach.

He wasn't going again for a few weeks. If I was interested, I could just give him a call and I'd could catch a ride down and back. He had business. He wasn't going to entertain me or bring me along to hang out. I was on my own until 5 p.m.

I promised to call and I didn't. I misplaced the card. By the time I found it, months had passed. I was embarrassed to take him up on the offer by then. I did nothing except occasionally look at his card and kick myself -another chance blown.

Thursday, I'm being sent out on a writing assignment that involves me flying to Cleveland. Cleveland, I know, isn't exactly Hong Kong or Moscow or Rio or a million other exotic locations, but it's me, on a plane, going somewhere and writing about the trip.

Not too fucking shabby, actually.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The block

A couple of days after I completed the second draft (still not the final draft) of my novel, I decided I was going to get right back at it, start another project. I feel better, more at ease when I have something going. I do not like downtime.

I had one idea and one semi-completed work. It all seemed like short work. I had this great idea that I could have two novels ready to send out by the end of 2008.

Only, it wasn't working... It's been maddeningly hard.

The first potential project was the very grim and probably not marketable piece. It was dark, unfunny, but had some meaning to it. It dealt with similar themes to the other book, just did it in a different way.

I stalled out. I know what I want, but getting into the meat of it isn't really happening.

The second project was genre fiction, about an undertaker who comes back from the dead to wreak havoc on a little town. It seemed commercially viable and I actually wrote the thing from start to finish about 8 or 9 years ago.

I find that I don't much care about it.

I think, for good or ill, I found my voice. I wrote with that voice and these other stories don't fit with that. It's a perplexing problem. In order to write either of them, I'd almost have to get in character and I'd need a lot of time to get through.

It's been sort of a slap your forehead kind of realization. It sort of explains why Joyce Carole Oates doesn't write a bunch of Science Fiction and why Stephen King doesn't do Military Thrillers. Maybe, they can't. It's not who they are.

And evidently, the living dead and dark, existential books with unhappy beginnings, middles and ends aren't what I can do at the moment. At some point, evidently they were, but not right now. I would not say this is because I'm in a particularly happy place.

So, while I'm waiting to get started on the next draft of the other book, I'm either going to have to come up with a story that fits me or find a way to fit back into one of those other boxes.

It's the weirdest thing...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Music writing -helpful hints 2

A few more suggestions...

1- Blindly calling the newspaper or radio station to pimp your band is a bad idea. It sucks to call in the first place, but it's not the worst thing to do. If you're going to call, do a little homework. Pick up a couple copies of the local entertainment section. Odds are the writer who generally covers local music will have an e-mail address and phone number listed. Call that guy.

2-Do not call if you have only done a handful of shows. It's just a waste of time, putting the cart before the horse and all that. It's a bitch, but some bar owners want to have heard of you before they book you. You can't get a gig because nobody knows who you are. Keep hassling the bar owner. They might take a chance. The newspaper isn't going to bother with a complete amateur.

3-So, how do you get some experience? Play benefits. Play for free. Play anywhere for any reason given. That's right. Lose money or time or both. Do that and the bar guys will see your names on a poster somewhere, which will lead to paying gigs (where you may be ripped off --welcome to live music) and eventually local media support.

4-Get a gimmick that nobody else is doing. I love the Misfits, but nobody cares about Ghost paint anymore. Not unless you're faithfully singing Patsy Cline songs. A good way to get attention is to be different. You might be a great guitarist, but if you're playing the same old covers everybody is playing, it's going to be hard for anyone to tell how good you are unless they're all really bad. Be yourself, if that's interesting and unique. Be someone else if that doesn't work.

5-Press packages... You need a couple of good pictures (see previous post about photographs) that can be sent digitally. A picture with a little headroom is helpful for covers by the way. You want some sort of loose bio for the group. A one sheet of upcoming bar or club dates is also helpful... oh, and a CD. Original material gets you in the paper. Covers usually don't. Sorry.

6-If you do a cold call about your band, have all the information handy for any random question that might come up. If you're trying to get a push for your show, know where the show is, what time it starts and what it costs. You'd be surprised at how many times a band has had someone call who doesn't know what time the show actually starts, what the cover charge is or if there's an opening act. You don't get credit for trying. An incomplete means it's not going to be covered.

7-Be persistent. If you're not trying to get the local media to do something with your band, odds are you're not that serious about it. That's cool. It'll make some good memories, but don't bitch about how the paper, the radio or whatever doesn't support local music. What are you doing to support your band --other than showing up on a bar stage one a week?

8-Settle your fights and issues before you meet with a reporter. If the band has a big problem, it's better to work that out before you do publicity. If the reason why the drummer isn't at practice when you meet with the media is because he just got kicked out, maybe it's not a good time to talk to the press. Maybe you should go get a new drummer. All bands are magnets for drama. Drama is continuous, but you have to reign it in and present a united face or your fucked.
9-Don't get drunk or stoned during the interview. Don't do an interview while you're drunk, stoned, pissed off at your girlfriend or seriously considering joining the army immediately. Drunk musicians can be a lot of fun for writers. It makes good copy, but not good for you.

10-Be nice. Most of the time, the guy writing your story is going to miss something you wanted him to write about. It's not an advertisement. You can pay for those and they'll print pretty much anything you want. He's trying to form the best story, the most interesting story, from the parts he has to work with. Sometimes, he's not that good either. My music articles have gotten better with time, but I still throw the occasional gutter ball. The article is just plain boring or I've missed something crucial. If that happens, go ahead call, find something (anything) nice to say about the article, then drop the bad news. You got the wrong time. You misquoted me. You spelled my band's name wrong. etc... Be nice about it. Give them the chance to fix it, if they can, and by not blowing up, you ensure there will be another article down the road. Getting pissed off and venting just discourages the writer from writing anything about you... ever... again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Music writing-helpful hints

In the course of my job at the paper, occasionally I come in contact with a wide variety of musicians who want a little publicity to boost their album sales or fill one venue or another. Many are pretty clueless. It's not their fault. Nobody tells anybody anything. They wade blindly into the club scene and drink themselves into believing all sorts of horse shit. They make music videos before they can string together 12 credible songs. They invest a lot of effort on their myspace page (which is a good tool but not the end all be all), but the highlight of their show is a metal or punk cover of an 80s pop tune.

Here are some of my thoughts on how to better promote your band both to the media and to the public.

(Here are the first 10)

1-It is presumed you know how to play. Do nothing to discourage that impression, to the point of actually practicing. Everybody sucks in the beginning. You should strive to suck less. Turn it into you personal mantra, "I will suck less today. Eventually, I might be good, but right now, not sucking as much as I did yesterday is the most important thing."

2-Pool your money. Hire someone to take a good picture of the band. Having a press photo is kind of standard and makes it easier for guys like me to get you into the paper on short notice. You want every possible advantage and sometimes a staff photographer is too busy taking pictures of a senior citizen garden club to do a glamor photo shoot of a local rock band.

3-About good pictures. Good pictures do not have you and the boys holding various bottles of booze (especially if the lot of you have an average age of 20). Do not flip off the camera, give gangsta signs (particularly, if you're some weaselly-looking white kid from a middle-class neighborhood) or show off your new tattoos.
It's also a good idea not to put your girlfriend in the picture, even if she's kind of hot. If she doesn't at least bang on a tambourine, she needs to be out of sight. Do not allow yourself to be photographed holding a joint, a bong or wearing a t-shirt with a giant pot leaf. No paper that carries a Sunday funnies section for the kids is going to want to put you in their paper and you're not famous enough to get in High Times.

4-More about good pictures. Good pictures are not what your buddies shot at the bar a few weeks back and you put on your myspace site. Mostly, these are grainy, too small, too dark and there's probably a beer bottle on the speaker. Have a couple of shots available electronically, but are different than the egocentric stuff you've tossed in a folder on myspace for your own enjoyment.

5-Even more about good pictures. Don't pose like you're on the cover of one of the dwindling number of rock magazines. If you can be clever, be clever. Even better, be clean. Don't look like you just crawled from under a lawnmower. And don't be assholes. Assholes don't look good on the cover. They get parked in the back. As a side note, don't name your band "The Assholes" or something obviously perverse or profane. You might call your band Shirley Temple's Pussy, but unless you are almost as good as Pearl Jam, nobody is going to want to put you in a small city paper. Better to change that name to Stone Temple Pilots and let the hipster fans call you STP with a wink and a nod.

6-Write a press bio. Just a short and concise explanation of who the band is, how long everybody has known everybody and maybe something about how you came up with the name. Don't be cute or clever. Just write it. If you're stalled, find one those silly internet surveys that get passed around. Find one that isn't about getting drunk or how many people you've slept with. Fill it out and print.

7-Don't invest a lot of money in crap. If you've done six months of shows, you can probably sell a few t-shirts. Develop a following, then start merchandising. Don't do it the other way. It's annoying when a band who has played three shows comes out with a t-shirt and cd. It's even more annoying when they start shilling the crap right after the second song. Unless you are Paul Thorn, don't start pitching your merchandise until the end of your show. Nobody came out to the bar to shop. They came to drink, maybe work on getting laid and listen to some music. It's pretty much in that order. Never mention your t-shirt in an interview. Never offer to sell your t-shirt to the writer. It's okay to give him one, if he seems interested.

8-Test out your songs, work on them, take them apart. Don't sit down in an afternoon and squirt out a jam you and your buddies liked then call it a song. A lot of famous musicians talk about coming up with a song, just one afternoon out of the blue. Mostly, that's bullshit, like the uber thin fashion model who says she can eat anything she wants. Celebrity musicians lie and lie often. They lie like breathing when it comes to how a song is written. Many use writing partners or writing teams who do most of the heavy lifting. Don't make a recording of vague, unfinished crap and pass it off as a demo or worse, an album. See tip #1.

9-Practice your answers to easy questions. Figure out what you would say if someone asked you when you started to play guitar, the drum, the hula hoop, whatever... Be able to give a couple of interesting anecdotes about why you're in music, what you like about your music and what you really want out of life. Do not tell anybody you want to be a rock god who gets a lot of blow jobs and has a really cool house. This may be the reality of the situation, but your average music reader is only vaguely interested in the truth. They want to be entertained. They want to be inspired. People confuse pop music with high art and often think there is a higher purpose or some kind of spiritual mission involved with strumming a guitar and singing about how somebody broke your heart. Let them have it.

10-Show up on time to the interview. That should be a no-brainer, but it happens more often with the little guys and the big, big guys. The people in the middle usually call when they're supposed to or make sure they're available when they need to be.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Music writing - 2.1

I should have called this one rambling man... but whatever.

It doesn't happen all the time, but every now and again, I end up talking shop with publicists. They are a sneaky, treacherous lot and every encounter, by nature, is a little combative. While hunting down contact information for Kenny Chesney, I found his ex-publicist. We struck up a conversation and the two of us went back and forth via e-mail.

Her name is Holly. She was with Kenny for a couple of years. Recently, she went back to being a music journalist and critic. She appears to still be friends with Chesney to some degree, but she really couldn't help me with landing Mr. Chesney. She told me I really didn't have a shot in hell. She'd seen the list of people he was going to be speaking with and who he might be speaking to... and The Charleston Gazette ain't on that list. Sorry, 'bout that.

Guys like Chesney are long shots for guys like me most of the time. I've tried to land George Strait for years and nada. Willie Nelson has turned me down three times and don't even get me started on Bruce Springsteen. Hank Williams Jr. turned me down (but I did get Lynyrd Skynyrd), but so did Axl Rose. Bob Seger couldn't be bothered either. Keith Urban wasn't interested and I couldn't get James Taylor.

Which of those names are not like the other? Just wondering.

So, the former publicist and I talked. She explained to me why I wouldn't be talking to Kenny. It was nothing personal. It usually isn't. A lot of it has to do with being selective after the same dreck being asked over and over and over again. They get tired of the usual stuff about how they got started, the questions about their hair, their ex-wives, their coke problems. Reporters don't do their homework. They don't ask interesting, thought-provoking questions. It's boring. It's annoying.

She's right. There is a lot of recycling. It can't really be helped. Most people are not super fans and read up on every tiny detail of every singer who blows through. The guy who has album Keith Urban ever did might also have every KISS album ever made, but might not know about Gene Simmons latest idiocy involving a porno tape. A lot of it is new in every city. You get your message across by repetition, the same as how you sell your songs.

She also pointed out there is a fair amount of bullshit slung on the side of music writers. There are bait and switch tactics, character assassinations and a lot of nastiness you can do for fun, profit or just because you've got an axe to grind. All of this is true, but most of it seems to happen with the guys with the 5 to 50 million distribution who can afford the attorneys to fight and lose a libel lawsuit.

She's a respected music writer with a bigger and better resume than me. She's been the fly on the wall, gotten close to the performers, been to their house, but she's also collected a check from them. I think she's forgotten something. She phrased it all in what I could do for him, how I could make the experience somehow gratifying to him.

I told her the best I could do was help fill concert seats, help sell cds and merchandise and continue to develop his ongoing relationship with his fans in my neck of the woods. Developing your relationship with your fans is what I see is the way to real longevity.

She was nice about it all, but sort of oblivious. It's dangerous thinking you know everything and drinking the kool-aid does not make you smart.

The way I see it. Writing about music isn't about the music -at least, it's not supposed to be. It's not directly about the writer or the artist being interviewed. It's about the reader or the listener. The writer and the artist are secondary. Without a need, neither the writer or the artist would exist. The consumer is the one who feels the things the songs say. They're the ones moved by the words or the music or the way somebody shakes their ass in a pair of worn out blue jeans (art is fucked in the head). They're also the ones paying for the songs and the concert tickets (and the newspapers). They commission the art, drive the market, create the desire... whatever.

Obviously, I'm not in Gauthier's "art for art's sake" camp. I'm in the Hunter Thompson "It ain't art till it's paid for" camp. Somebody has to want it. Otherwise, it's nothing much.

Someone like me has to go after every headliner because that's what my readers want to read about. A big concert is a big deal. It's an event that happens infrequently in a town like Charleston. Telling me no is telling them no. It's telling them the things they want to know, the things they care about, aren't that important to guys like Kenny Chesney who, despite their sunny dispositions and images, have only come to collect a check.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

plodding along

I've really had a hard time with blogging lately. Call it a build up some issues, but I'm really off my game lately. I've gotten schooled lately by the competition across the hall -though, heh, not by the unicorn riders from Parkersburg who run Graffiti.

Part of it is a slight torpor brought on by my evolving role at the paper. I'm moving past the one trick. I'm up to two. Some of my outside the Gazz stuff has been really gratifying, but draining. It's harder to write that stuff, takes more energy and a lot more time than a piece based on a 15 minute interview with the brand new bass player for some clusterfuck metal band.

Of course, I like clusterfuck metal bands. They amuse me and seldom in the way they intend.

Anyway, I haven't adapted as fast I'd like. The funny thing is I think I do my best work when I'm completely overwhelmed. It's not slouching on deadlines or putting things off, but the amazing beauty of what happens when everything lines up.

There's more stuff, but that's a different post.

So, blogging has suffered. Until more profound ideas come along, it might be time to get back to blogging about being a music writer. That was fun... even the part with the angry lesbians telling me they could screw my wife better than me was sort of fun. That's going in my scrapbook --if I ever get around to having one. I'll share it with the grandkids.

Meanwhile, I'm working on it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

days of future past

I might have some really good news.

No, I have not secured a book deal. Samuel L. Jackson has not agreed to take the role of me in an upcoming biography sort of about my life. I'm not going to Vegas or anywhere else either. I have not won the lottery, found a magic lamp or a power ring... though I know exactly what my three wishes would be and what sort of trouble I'd get into with either of the other two.

Oh... that would be cool.

There is, however, something cooking. It could be great, not fantastic, but definitely on the better side of good. It could also just blow up, not happen and vaporize... This is actually very likely. It is also likely that if I get to do this, I will fail, but if I do, I will try to fail magnificently.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

House cleaning and such

1-Publish Novel
Nope... but I did send out a couple of copies to people. They should be arriving shortly and then, I guess we'll go from there.

2-One job. Not broke.
Ha fucking ha.

3-Play soccer, cripple 19 year-olds.
Well, I did start yet another diet, but I still haven't made it in to the gym. The newspaper job is the most sedentary job I've ever had. It's the first time I've ever considered taking up smoking just for the exercise.

4-Take Vacation, have fun.
A vacation is being planned. I started a savings account two months ago. I've been putting a little bit of money aside. Some, but not even half, will go for a nice long weekend. We'll go for the sites, probably eat at Subway and we'll pay cash. No credit cards. No loans and we'll keep the driving down as much as possible. We're thinking probably in August.

5-Call Grandma.
I'm ashamed to say I haven't done that. I've sent a couple of cards with pictures of the kids. I don't know why this is so hard. I love the old girl, but I'm a little afraid to pick up a phone.

6-Figure out how to write.
Still working on that one.

7-Take less shit.
I think I'm doing that. I would put that one in the positive column. I'm also learning how to deflect some of the shit I deal with from those nearest and dearest. It's funny how they're the best at loading you down.

8-Don't die.
So far, so good.