Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Find All / Replace All! Bwaha ha ha!

3605 words left to write today for NaNoWriMo, when I shall reach the 50,000 word goal.

Last night, to avoid the distractions that attempting to write at home can result in, I went to a nearby mall. This mall has a huge food court, and one section is tucked out of the way of most foot traffic.

It was in this section that I parked myself and got to writing with my laptop. Sure, it's a bit close to the Christmas Train, but it's still a good spot.

Even with the two (likely) drug dealers sitting near me and jumping up and down every 1.5 minutes to use the pay phones, it's still a good spot.

I was getting some good flow going, I was into it, my muse was whispering a steady rapid-fire stream of passable prose directly into my ear as fast as I could type it...

And this happened:

In case you don't see the pic, it's the Blue Screen of SNAFU.

Like the Blue Screen of Death but different. This one is darker and more malevolent.

If I was any less of a man, I woulda cried.

If I was any more of a man, I woulda kicked someone. Anyone.

The laptop was completely unresponsive. So I grabbed my stuff and I left.

Damn damn damn.

I forgot in the food court the comfy seating cushion I'd brought with me from home (don't snicker, them chairs is hard metal) and didn't realize it until I was in the car. Ugh. I didn't go back for it.

I got the laptop home and performed some triage. I persuaded it to reboot, and it turns out I lost virtually nothing. Perhaps two words and a quotation mark. I was fearing everything from a forever dead laptop to a corrupted and unreadable Word doc.

Since Nov 1st, I've been obsessively backing up the NaNoWriMo novel every few hours (no, not while sleeping) so at worst, I would lose a couple hours worth of work. I lost nothing!

Big sigh of relief!

So yeah, 3605 words left... Tired though.. So....Very....Tired....I wonder how many words I would gain if I did a Find/Replace for all contractions, converting them all two their full two-word form. Hmn...

Tempting, but no. I'd have to go back and fix it later.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cry Baby Support Group?

Feelin Fussy.
Money might not buy you happiness, but it does buy you SPACE.

I'm far too edgy a person to live in a city, and I've always lived in cities.

Especially around The Holidays, when elbow-room is scarce wherever you go, I want to carry a baseball bat and just keep swinging till everyone in reach falls over or gets the hell out of my way.

It would be nice to live in the country, telecommute, and never see another living soul (beyond my Sweetie, whom I could not live without) for the rest of my life.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Nootropic - Word of the Day

I broke 40,000 words early this morning, leaving me with 10,000 words to write before midnight on November 30th. This seems do-able, if difficult.

I wonder if performance enhancers are against the NaNoWriMo rules. Let me look. Hmn, I don't see anything specifically opposed.

I could spend the night in a high-nitrogen, low-oxygen environment, and my body would make surplus red blood cells to compensate. Then I'd write in an oxygen-rich environment, and all those red blood cells would boost my brain function.

Then I could sail past the 50,000 word limit and UNTO GLORY AND RICHES, and still pass the pee-test afterwards.

:::steepling fingers::: Excellent.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I Think I Can I Think I Can I Think I Can

Okay. It's November 27th and I have 4 days to write 15,381 words to 'win' the NaNoWriMo thingy.

That's 3485.25 words a day...

See y'all in December.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm All Man. Really.

I don't know if it's my time of the month or if my estrogen levels are a bit high, or if my feelings are a bit closer to the surface due to all the writing I've done this month, but; those little salty droplets that come out of the corner of your eye - um, the name escapes me, but it's been happening more often lately. Sad song, sad scene in a movie, sad paragraph in a book... and oh great, here come the waterworks.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share that, but there it is.

It was this or another Him/Her dialogue piece, and I'm sure you guys are getting tired of those.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Loons R Us

Thanksgiving Morning: In line at the grocery store.

Her: I can't believe you forgot cranberry sauce.

Him: These things happen. I'm a busy man.

Her: Stop kissing my neck, we're in public here!

Him: (singing) Let's give em something to blog about...a little mystery to figure out...

Her: You're such a loon.

Him: That's why you love me.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yay! 4 Day Weekend!!

6am on Thanksgiving Morning.

I get to the gym, thinking it's going to be deserted. But oh no, everyone and their brother is there.

What kind of a person shows up at the gym at 6am on Thanksgiving Morning?

I mean really.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bad Dream Bad Dream Bad Dream

Bally's Total Fitness (Showers)

Dramatis Personae:
Mike, Naked Soapy Dude #1, Naked Soapy Dude #2, Guy in a Suit


Chorus: Oh, for a Muse of sudsy wetness, that would ascend the cleanest shower stall of invention, a gym for a stage, pudgy dudes to act, and fellow bloggers to behold the swelling scene!

Mike: (scrubbing and singing) ...she got a baby by Busta, my best friend said she used to **** with Usher, I don't care what none y'all say, I still love her...

Guy in a Suit: Excuse me.

Mike: (naked, sudsy) Wha?

Guy in a Suit: Yes, hi. Were you the guy on the exercise bike reading The Da Vinci Code?

Mike: (naked, annoyed) Um, no.

Guy in a Suit: Are you sure?

Mike: Very.

Guy in a Suit: I'd like to invite you to our church. Here's my card. The van can come pick you up if you don't have a ride.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Popcorn Dilemma

One of the reasons I petered out and quit writing my 2004 NaNoWriMo project was that the concept seemed too unbelievable, even to me.

The #1 reason was that I got lazy. Sad.

Anywhoo, the unfinished novella was about a TV reality show that duped people into thinking that World War 3 had happened, and that they would spend the rest of their lives in a government bunker.

The idea that a studio would have lots of moral and legal reasons not to do such a show troubled me, so I created a psycho producer who decided to fund and make the show on his own, without the meddling of the studio.

But even this seemed a bit tenuous, and together with the laziness factor, I stopped working on it.

A few days ago, I read
this: A story about a TV reality show where people are training as Astronauts to soon participate in what they think is a real Space Shuttle launch. Again, I'm doubtful.

It would be very difficult to realistically simulate a launch even into near space (which would explain why they don't experience microgravity) - I guess it depends on who you cast and how gullible they are. But this show does make my bunker idea very slightly more believable, since the studio seems fully willing to dupe these people.

Of course, unlike my bunker-dwellers, none of the faux Astronauts are likely to commit suicide because they've been locked in a bunker for months and they think everyone they've ever known or loved is dead... Hmn.

Monday, November 21, 2005

An Arteest Unappreciated in His Time

Him: You know... Roofs are underutilized, especially at the mall.

Her: How so?

Him: Well, there's all that space, and it's not used for anything. I mean, in California with the weather so mild. They could do something with that space.

Her: Such as?

Him: Wedding receptions. You could put up a big pavilion tent, it would be fine. And it would easy to find, cause it's at the mall.

Her: People would fall off the roof - lotsa drinking goes on at receptions.

Him: We'd use those rent-a-fences like at construction sites.

Her: What about bathrooms?

Him: There are bathrooms at the food court.

Her: People are supposed to use food court bathrooms in all their finery?

Him: Sure, why not?

Her: No.

Him: Okay, porta-potties.

Her: Finery.

Him: Really nice porta-potties. Stylish.

Her: No.

Him: You never like my ideas.

Her: I like the ones with indoor plumbing.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Goodbye, 9 to 5!

I've decided to quit my job and become a stand-up comedian for kids.

I'll do parties. Barmitzvah. QuinceaƱera.

Jokes won't even need to be very well written - "Poop" and "Boogers" will be gems of comedy gold.

"Take my teacher. Please."

"So we were at recess, and we double-dared Billy to fill his thermos with cooties and..."

I'll have to hire a few people to count all that money.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Charts In Charge

I did a quick bit of research on the US Govt, I needed a factoid. I wanted to know the hierarchy of the executive branch (like you do from time to time) and I was pleasantly surprised to notice what was at the top of the list.

It's silly to think the chart actually reflects reality, but I still got a kick out of seeing 'The Constitution' is in charge, kicking ass and taking names.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I was researching breastfeeding recently, for use in my NaNoWriMo novella.

Part of an article on the subject cautioned women to be sure to eat a high-calorie diet while breastfeeding, since calories and nutrients are being transmitted in the expressed milk.


The lazy opportunist segment of my frontal lobe (the part I affectionately refer to as "Mike") said to myself, it said: "Wow, wish I could lactate. Then I could eat whatever I wanted, and then just pump out the requisite amount of milky calories to bring myself down to a respectable 2000 calories worth of intake per day."

If only I wasn't a man.

On further reading, I discovered that men CAN and DO lactate under the proper conditions. Unfortunately, this usually involves taking female hormones, and I don't know if I want breasts.

Mike with breasts... I'm pretty sure it would trouble Cindy greatly. How would my coworkers react? How would showering at the gym be effected? Would the constant urge to fondle them impact my productivity? What about my facial hair? Bearded Chin + Breasty Chesty = Creepy. I guess I could shave, if it meant I could eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight.

But wait!

According to the WikiPedia entry for
male lactation, "It is also possible for males (and females) to induce lactation through constant massage and simulated 'sucking' of the nipple over a long period of time (months)."

Hmn. Tempting... but I'll pass, cause I'm too ticklish for that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Are there Fig Newtons in Valhalla?

If I was a Warrior of Old, and my clan and I went to war, my battle-cry would have to be:
"Cookies and Milk for Dinner!!"

Says a lot about my waistline, right?

Says a lot about my battle tactics too, which would largely consist of tucking myself into a ball and rolling down a hill onto the enemy.

What would your battle-cry be?

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Day Wikipedia LIED to me

I've rambled on in this space about my love of Wikipedia. It's a great new love affair, me and Wikipedia. It's like the heady days when I first discovered Google and it opened a whole new world of web searching.

:::sniffle!::: those were the days.

So I was looking up something on Wikipedia the other day when something jolted me: Wikipedia Was Wrong about something. I mean, I know it's user-generated content, but this content was WRONG.

I was looking into the history of tennis, and Wikipedia said of Tennis: "...Originating in England in the late 19th Century, the game spread..."

"What? Tennis didn't start in the 19th Century!" I yelled, startling my coworkers. Maybe in its modern form, but... I thought back to my knowledge of Shakespeare, Henry V in particular:

He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit, This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this, Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.

What treasure, uncle?

Tennis-balls, my liege.

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us; His present and your pains we thank you for: When we have march'd our rackets to these balls, We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set - Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.

Okay. So obviously Shakespeare's plays have been edited quite a bit since they were first written. The treasure might have been "Naked Naughty Water Polo Balls" originally. I don't know.

My searching online shows that tennis was played as far back as the 13th Century, (by Monks) so Henry V could have been written with a reference to tennis, for all I know.

The real Henry V ruled from 1413-1422, so it's possible he knew about tennis, but the scene was very likely utterly fictional, which is fine.

But in an age where information in increasingly virtual, who to trust? In a few more decades, there won't even be books in libraries, just rows of computers. This makes facts very easy to modify, easy to rewrite history...

Shrug. I don't know. Obviously this isn't a new problem, and I'm not the first person to worry about this... But still it troubles me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

For Writers on the GO

It's happened to all of us at some point;
You're in the middle of writing the most compelling scene in the entire novel, every element is dripping with perfection, the setting is sublime, the characters are in rare form, the action and dialogue are clicking as if writing this paragraph was the reason you were born, this is your destiny...

But you need to pee.

Your DESTINY is calling, words are flowing out of your fingertips and into the keyboard like the undeniable torrent that is The Mighty Amazon River.

But you need to pee.

The urge to pee has been a source of consternation for all the most famous writers, and were the subjects of many an essay by authors and poets alike. Hemingway and Plath discoursed much on the subject, and some say it was this, a bizarre clinical depression known as Needus to PeePeeus that led to their tragic suicides.

Well no longer! No longer will we lose the best and brightest authors to the need to pee, for now we have Pampers Writers - a space age, super-absorbent adult undergarment that allows your muse to run wild with your imagination.

Letting go never felt so good!

Pampers Writers allow your dreams to come to fruition and ripen into full bloom, allowing you to keep your seat, meet your destiny, and let nature take its course without interrupting your work of genius.

Pampers Writers - Available at all major retailers!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I knew there was a reason

I asked my brain to write a post for today, and my brain said:
"Duuhhh, I dunno."

So I went looking through my really old posts, from like a year ago, the ones that no one has ever read.

I figured that I could just copy and paste one of those suckers - it would be new to you guys, and everybody wins.

As I read through the 'old crappy posts' (as I fondly remember them) I realized that there was a reason that I like to call them that, and there was a reason I never got any comments back in the day.

Cause they're crappy. Consider yourselves lucky, you dodged a bullet today.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


1) If I commit Sins - and that's a big IF mind you, cause I'm a great guy - it would be that I use far too many paper towels in the course of a day. But they're so hygienic, so absorbent, how could I not?

2) The phrase "Fo Shizzle" has become lodged in my brain the way a catchy song might, to the extent that I'm crying out FO SHIZZLE when I'm alone - - and even worse, when I think I'm alone but am not, to the extent that I've begun seriously considering creating a comic book character about mild-mannered office worker who cries out FO SHIZZLE and transforms into a Super Pimp, in the vein of Shazam. Only my character would have, you know - a felt hat and hoes.

3) This free work coffee tastes like Ass, but my coworkers assure me I'll develop a taste for it, and now I'm worried about developing an unpleasant new fetish.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

a web of lies, deceit, and gingivitis

All right, there's been something preying on my mind for the past few years, and I want to come clean.

I've been unfaithful... To my Dental Hygienist.

Her name is Margaret - over at Dr. Sturgin's office, and she is the sweetest thing you ever did see. You know how most Dental Hygienists berate you, complain, and otherwise make you feel guilty?

It's like an appointment with your Cardiologist - you can't just say "But I fucking love Twinkies, all right? I hope I CHOKE on a Twinkie WITH MY LAST BREATH, you can tell me not to eat Twinkies all you like, Doctor Cardiologist Man, but I love em and that's that."

You have to nod, abashed and forlorn, and say "I will floss at least twice a day and thrice on Sundays" with your hand raised as if you're taking a solemn oath.

Well Dental Hygienist Margaret (the sweet one, remember her?) doesn't berate you, she doesn't complain. Oh no. Her eyes get misty, she gets more than a little choked up that your gums are suffering. That you might lose your incisors to gum recession. I can't bear it. I can stand strong against a frontal attack, but when a girl cries... Well that girl gets what she wants.

But flossing, it is such a chore. Cavemen never flossed, and they did fine. They did just fine without fluoride. I often forget, too. I mean well, really. I tried to schedule appointments with Margaret every three months, instead of every six months. But no, apparently cleaning your teeth is bad for you.

So I've started going to Charlotte, at Dr. Walsh's Office, on the other side of town, for my 3 month cleaning. Charlotte's ok, (she's no Margaret) but she's thorough.

Now when I go to see Margaret, she's all smiles and there's no tears, and she praises and compliments me and lets me pick a new toothbrush from the big jug all by myself. And I get out of there without buying the $250 Water Pick and accessories pack.

I feel kind of guilty, but really it's a victimless crime. Right...?


My NaNoWriMo progress is really none of your beeswax!
Cause I'm way ahead. Way way ahead. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Also, if you haven't been to Bookus Maximus, you don't know what you're missing.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Is Impersonating An Author a Felony?

Him: I wonder what it would be like to do a writer's signing. It would be really cool to meet the fans and have them say nice things about your work. It would have to be a great motivator.

Her: Yeah! You should try finishing something sometime, and find out.

Him: I'm workin on it. Hmn, in the mean-time, it would be cool to show up at a bookstore and pretend to be a little-known author. Just choose somebody off the shelf who doesn't have a picture on the back of the book, and arrange for a signing at the bookstore.

Her: Um...

Him: Like this guy. I could be, er... John Smyth Rutgers III. I could have written about... (reads the flap) Uhm, An incestuous love-affair that changes the course of the French-American War. This is popular stuff.

Her: Go for it.


My NaNoWriMo progress - 10,013 words.

(Shaking fist at Doug and Invisible Lizard in I shall defeat you mannerism)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

An Email I Almost Sent To My Boss

Subj: Admin - Mailer Daemon - Unable to Send Mail

Hello Outlook Express user, this is an auto-generated response.

Outlook was unable to deliver your mail for the following reason:

117 emails over the past six months using "Question?" as the Subject field.

Please specify content-applicable Subject headers if you ever want another answer from Mike, thank you.

Bill Gates

PS: Spell checking would be great, too.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Classical Music 101

I've been listening to classical music radio while driving these last few months, because it's far less annoying than conventional radio (unless it's pledge week, damn).

I've learned a few surprising things, namely that a bunch of theme songs that I thought were modern inventions were actually written hundreds of years ago.


The theme to Alfred Hitchcock Presents was written in 1872 by Charles Francois Gounod and is taken from 'Funeral March Of A Marionette'

The theme to Benny Hill was written in 1403 by Mikhail Gordokov, and is taken from the 'A Night of Nun Chasing' a Violin Concerto in C.

The theme to Diff'rent Strokes was written in 1558 by Hans Mueller, and is taken from 'Wet and Wild' a sonata for harpsichord.

One of those is actually true.


My NaNoWriMo progress -
5178 words

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Real Life Conversation # 1

While watching MythBusters this weekend:

Her: "What the - They didn't have rockets back in the Civil War!"

Him: "Of course they did. Rockets have been around for hundreds of years. The Chinese used them in battle all the time."

Her: "What? No."

Him: "Yeah, didn't you see Mulan?"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mysterious Towel Strip of Mystery

On a towel, does anyone know what that strip is - that horizontal band without softness or absorbency?

It this where my monogram is supposed to go? And is it just me, or is this strip just keep getting wider on new towels nowadays?

What is it, and why is it there? Is there a historical significance?

Help, oh wise readers!


My NaNoWriMo progress - 1677 words

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


While stirring my apple-cinnamon oatmeal this morning, I detected something not quite right. It was a teeny piece of apple that actually looked like an apple, with a bit of red skin on it.

I'm used to homogeneous, shapeless mush without color or resemblance to anything wholesome.

Troubled, I fished out the colorful morsel and threw it away.


NaNoWriMo starts today, so for the month of November you can expect short little posts.