Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey Hon, How About We Take This Exit?

Who boy.

It's tough being original. I salute all those bloggers out there who can come up with fresh and original posts three-four times a week, because it really takes a lot of talent to be able to execute it.

That said, I will be tweaking my blog one last time for the year. Out all of the blogs that I follow and seen, only one posts with the frequency that I do. What I mean is, that they make more than one post on a given day.

Since it's becoming incredibly harder for me to come up with five to seven original posts a week (Yes, that is how many I've been doing since I started this blog on Memorial day weekend. Normal people would probably not have the high post count that I have, if they maintained the pace I had set for myself), I've decided to cut down on the amount of posts I make per week.

Not with the frequency that I post, which will still remain at every other day, but the amount. You'll still get that original dose of New England Nuttiness from good ol' Georgie B, but it'll be in smaller batches.

Happy Tuesday everyone and I'll see you tomorrow with the next installment of "Golden Texas Tea".

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mets Fans Get Bitch Slapped, Take 2

The Disclaimer: This post will contain language that would be considered quite offensive in certain polite sections of society. If you reside in one of those polite sections, please scroll to the proceeding post and enjoy that one instead.

I've been a New York Mets fan ever since I got cable t.v. in 1978. Thirty-one very long and agonizing years. From the pathetic bumblers of the late 70's, to the cocaine fueled years of the mid-80's where the team came so tantalizingly close in '84 & '85, that you wanted to beat their heads in with a baseball bat for torturing you like that. '86 brought such a euphoric high that even the loss of '88 didn't dampen your spirits. Instead, the deluge started as soon as the decade turned and those teams began torturing your soul again so badly that you jumping of the Golden Gate bridge and having your head crushed from the ocean impact would be a more favorable experience to what they did to you. Onwards to the next decade, where the teams started doing better, at least until 2007.

That's when the shit hit the fan and your heart was beaten, stabbed, mutilated and pounded into the ground from a team that did a Greg Norman like choke job.




Yup, the 2007 season turned out like one big fuckin' car wreck. One stupid dumb ass mistake after another, piled on top of each other until you were ready to either scream, "What the fuck is going on with this shitty team???" or do this....



That's right boys and girls, bite your fuckin' nuts off, because you just knew that the pain would be over and done with. But wait, there's more.

As 2007 turned into 2008, once again the team started to do well. As the spring morphed into the early summer, thoughts starting turning to the playoffs. But as you were beginning to find out, just like those mealy mouthed Chicago Cub and Boston Red Sox fans experienced year in and year out, they simply just couldn't get the FUCKIN' JOB DONE!

Bullpen? More like bull shit. Every single time they got a lead, the bullpen imploded. No help was gotten, because good old Omar decided to stay pat. Thus, the clock started to turn back to 2007, when the team blew a 7 game lead with 17 left to play.

And the season turned into one big fat car wreck, again. And you wanted to bite your testicles off, again.

If you're a New York Mets fan, what lesson did you learn from this season? If you said, "Georgie, we got bitch slapped for our loyalty.", then you would be absolutely 100% correct.

'Nuff said.

Bring on the New England Patriots, I'm ready for some football.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Blinding Case Of The Obvious




I figure I would try to write a completely frivolous post today. I don't believe that I've done that at all in this blog (and I dare someone to prove me wrong), so I believe I'm long over due to make a post that has no point.

In order to pull this off successfully, I needed some motivation, specifically, the item you see here on the right. I figure how can anyone get angry while having Pooh bear staring you in the face?

The first item up for business is this question: What well known person (fictional or otherwise, live or checked into the maggot motel) would you use to describe you typical day?

For me, I can describe myself in about three different people:

1) Brad, from the movie Pulp Fiction; you know the person I'm talking about. The guy who gets blown away for trying to pull a fast one. Sad part is, he doesn't see it coming until the bullets are actually hitting. In simpler terms, one's day starts out crappy because you tried to do something stupid and you got caught. You then spend the rest of the day trying to talk your way out of it, but succeed in only digging a deeper hole for yourself. Before you know it, you done dug yourself your grave.
2) Steve Dallas, from the comic strip Bloom County; for those who have no idea who I'm talking about or who were born after 1986, this strip made Doonesbury look pointless and irrelevant (sort of like SNL today). In any event, Steve was the world's worst lawyer (0-92 at one point), a misogynist's misogynist, a self-absorbed cretin who would be Webster's first definition of the word loser. In simpler terms, one's day starts out good, but deteriorates the minute you open your mouth. You see it coming, but you still continue with that tunnel vision, politically incorrect outlook until the bitter end.
3) Winnie The Pooh; In simpler terms, a day in which nothing terrible really goes wrong, other than the equivalent of your head getting stuck in the honey pot. Days for me like that are very few indeed.

Second item up for grabs: relationships, both personal and non-personal.

Did you ever hit one of those down periods where you can't get both parts of your real world to properly coagulate? I seem to hit those every so often, where one part of my world (the personal aka the family) can't quite time itself with the other part (the non-personal aka friends). Like a spark plug misfiring or not timing the clutch with the accelerator, I just can't shake the feeling that something is amiss. Especially this week. Hmmm.....

Third item up for grabs: Speaking of "hmmmm.....", what are some of the things that make you go "hmmm...." in the first place?

One thing that made me go "hmmmm....." was the incident two Saturdays ago, when someone from my real world invaded my cyber world. I still haven't quite nailed down who it was that did the personal cyber invasion, but I have narrowed the list of suspects down to two. I may never find out who truly did it, but it made for interesting two or three days afterwards, trying to find out who it was.

Finally, the fourth item up for bid: an original dream sequence from my second novel. While I'm currently expanding my short story A Betrayal of Vows, I'm also slowly turning it into a novel called Betrayed. The background to this little clip is that Gwendolyn is taking a rather restless nap while her husband Jorge is driving to their honeymoon destination in Virginia.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She stepped out of the garden shower and directly into lavender scented towels that three barefoot servants were holding in the shape of a triangle. A fourth one came around with another lavender scented towel and began to pay dry Gwendolyn's body. As she was being dried off, a fifth stood at the ready with a candy apple red teddy for her to slip into. Now dried, Gwendolyn stepped into the teddy and waited while it was being laced up. As she was waiting, a gently breeze blew in from the south and began to lift up her luxurious locks, until it seemed that they were floating on a cushion of air.

Gwendolyn closed her eyes as the sensation of her hair gently flowing in the breeze began to overtake her. Her body began to feel like a melted chocolate bar as she lost all sense of consciousness. Opening her eyes, she found herself not in the garden, but in her bedroom. Or to be more precise, a heart shaped bed with satin covers. Next to her on the bed was Jorge, dressed in jeans and boots. Shirtless, he was showing off his muscular physique to Gwendolyn while lightly running his hands all over her body.

Being pushed to the outer limits of her sexuality, Gwendolyn was running her hands all over his chest as back as well. Together, they both were sensuously caressing the other, each preceding movement in sync with the following. She began to moan softly with a passion she never experienced before. The passion began to overwhelm her and while she unlaced her teddy, she said, "Take me my love, and bring me to the extreme height of my sexuality. I need to feel you from the inside. Please my darling."

Jorge approached closer and he leaned over to...

Sex?

Bear with me on this one, because its definitely not what you're thinking about. Well maybe it is, but get your mind out of the gutter for just a few minutes.

I was perusing one of the many blogs I have bookmarked/listed on my profile, called "Rule of Three", when I came across a very interesting post called "Sexual Tension". In it, it basically describe how tough it is to write it and what kind of fine line you have to tread in the process.

I basically agree with the writer of the post, plus the commenters as well, that it's a very fine line in writing sex scenes. To be honest with everyone here, most (if not all) of my writing, has varying degrees of sexual content in them. It's what I'm most comfortable in writing, and I feel it's the easiest thing for me to write, besides dialogue. Go into too much detail, and you'll find yourself losing a good chunk of your reading audience, unless writing erotica is your bag. Too little, and you could lose a smaller chunk, unless writing family values/Christian books is your bag.

The only thing that I would beg to differ about, is that is should always move the plot along. I don't think that is an absolute hard and fast rule. I have written instances in which it does absolutely nothing to move the plot along, only acting as a very brief interruption to the moment. I think it completely depends on the situation you're writing about, whether or not the scene should move the plot along.

What is your take on this? In the type of genre you write/read, do you prefer one end of the spectrum to the other? Or do you fall somewhere in between? Do you think its an absolute that any kind of sexual scene, no matter how intense or mild, should move the plot along? Or do you find a shade of gray within this absolute?

I truly would like to know what your views are. I think it could help me greatly in what I write and how I write, in what the preference is out there. I'm trying to find the proper niche for myself and my writing, and this will go a long way in determining what road I should travel.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Originality

Originality: the ability to think creatively and depart from traditional or previous forms.

Sounds simple don't it?

While people talk about the various forms of writer's block that one can experience, it seems to me that there's one that's been overlooked. Neglected. Seldom seen. Or perhaps its one that has never been thought of, yet people can and do (like myself) suffer from it.

Lack of originality.

If you're involved with the written word, either seriously or semi-seriously, no matter what the format may be (short story, long story, novel, blogging), you can hit this kind of writer's block. I'm currently in the midst of modest sized bout of my writing suffering from lack of originality.

Now I bet you're saying to yourself: Dude, you're doing a blog, oozing with creative freshness. How can you possibly say that about yourself?

Scratch that. What you're really saying is this: WTF are you talking about?

Yeah, I know the blog is simply bursting at the seams with creative writing. However, think about this point: If you compare my posts up until I went on vacation in mid-August with those after I came back, what do you see that separates both phases? That's right, pictures. No offense to anyone out there who posts pictures on their blogs, because usually its preceded or followed with well written text as accompaniment. Me? I throw pictures up when I can't think of single thing to write about.

And if you think that this is simply a single shot rifle problem, think again. It's a serious double barrelled shotgun size problem.

I haven't written any original, short story-wise, since about this time last year, when I wrote a story called "Cedar Mountain". One calendar year since writing an original short story is quite pathetic. I've fared a little better with the second novel I'm writing. The last original thing I wrote on that was around June/July of this year. And that was after putting it away for six months while I concentrated on some last minute editing of my first novel and going through the process of self-publishing it.

So what am I writing now? I'm rewriting a short story from last year, so that I can make it into a viable chapbook for my next publishing adventure (sensing a pattern here?). This story is the basis for my second novel. Problem with the second one now is, besides writing several original chapters for it, I'm currently stuck because I'm now up to where the original short story actually starts.

Truthfully, my original writing output is this blog. Not writing short stories, not even writing long stories. Nada. Zip. Zilch. A big fat goose egg. Right now, I'm like the android Norman in that old Star Trek episode (paraphrasing here, so don't yell at me for it):

Spock: Norman, remember that every thing that he says (pointing to Harry Mudd) is a lie.
Harry Mudd: I lie.

End result is that Norman's brain double shifts and blows out the engine, rendering him non compos mentis.

So have that chuckle you been holding back, thinking that this guy wrote a genuinely funny post. Because if you take a look at the tag, it says "Writing" and nothing else.

Trying to be original and creative can be a bitch. If it sounds like I'm moaning and groaning about my lack of writing, maybe I am a little. Because I'm such a damn perfectionist in no matter what I do, that nugget of self doubt has grown to about the size of a grapefruit, with no real end in sight.

The only way I can knock it back down to size, is to start writing something original again. Doesn't matter if its a short story, or even more chapters to my next novel, it has to be original.

After all, isn't that how you're suppose to win the game?

Update On My Novel

I've finally moved onto the next stage with my book, as I gave my approval of the third version of the galley.

According to the website, I should be seeing a complimentary copy in about 3 to 4 weeks (or sooner). So it looks like it will be coming out for the world to see, or at least my small corner of it, by late October.

For those who are new to this blog and are curious as to what this book is about, please click on the link called "Novel", and the posts within should give you a basic understanding of it.

In the meantime, I present to you the reader, the jacket blurb to Shades of Love:

Stuck in a marriage where the only thing he had in common with his wife were their children, Wally was one very unhappy soul. One of the few things that gave him happiness was flirting with his co-workers. On this particular day, those flirtations turned quite serious with one particular person.

She was a bold, dynamic, vivacious free spirit who triggered a yearning deep within Wally's very soul. Azalea was intrigued by this charming yet down to earth person, whose wit, guile and audacity, ignited a long dormant flame of passion and sensuality.

United by their growing love for each other, they experience emotional upheaval and heartache, as they strive towards that final golden ring...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whadda Ya Mean I'm Not A People Person?

This week's edition of Anger Management was a real tough one to write, as I had no freakin'....

Whoops, almost forgot the disclaimer. Please imagine Jello Biafra reciting this

The disclaimer: If crappy language and mindless rantings offends your sensibilities, by all means, click on any of the topical links to the left and you'll find something to your liking. Otherwise, please fasten your safety belt.

...idea on what to write about. First I thought about complaining about the assholes who decide to make a left turn into a driveway that's about 20 feet past the traffic light and gum up the roadway in both directions, INSTEAD OF turning left at the light for the alternate entrance. Lots of drooling elderly who SHOULDN'T BE DRIVING have a tendency to do this. But this paragraph would have been the entire rant.

Up next was making about five attempts at writing a post called, "How to act like a Jackass". Basically, it was about picking a stupid fight with a very good friend over an inconsequential and snotty comment that I made. I also wanted to throw in something personal as well, but I didn't want to reveal that part of me to the public.

So out the door it went (insert guitar break from George Thorogood).

Then I got to thinking about the job eval I received yesterday at work (the title of this post explains it all). The condensed version:

1) I acted like an asshole to a few (okay, lots) of other staff members.
2) I acted like an asshole to other state agencies.
3) I acted like a super asshole to a few choice staff members.
4) I didn't play nice.
5) I got fed up and decompressed in my particularly peculiar fashion (note, punching file cabinets with witnesses can prove that you're slightly unbalanced).
6) Most importantly, I didn't suck up to the proper people.

And what was the lesson belatedly learned? That it still takes three years to prove that you're not an asshole anymore, and that while waiting for those three years to go on by, career advancement is about as sure of a thing as George Bush suddenly becoming a major contributor to MoveOn.org.

But.....I couldn't do a whole post on that either.

So......where do I go from here? I'm not really sure.

It's been a relatively rant free week. No one has really gotten on my nerves except me. And me getting on my nerves is about normal.

Since it's payweek, I should have something to really launch off about by next week. In the meantime, if I experience anything incredibly stupid, anal or downright annoying, I will try to construct something positive about it.

If the New York Mets do another collapse, you will see me go completely off the deep end.

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 8)

Azalea looked at her watch and said, "One minute. Look, let me completely finish before you respond, please?" Not waiting for an answer, she continued, "I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow. I plan on surprising your father while he's doing his publicity tour, by spending the next two weeks with him. Normally, I let you kids know way in advance when I'm taking a trip, so that you can decide on where you want to stay. Because this was a spur of the moment thing, my friend Malibu Miller will be staying here to do the adult supervision thing."

"And we have no say in this?"

"This? No. But because I gave you kids no choice about it, lets meet in about thirty-five minutes to discuss what rules should be relaxed while Ms. Miller is here. Deal?"

For the next fifteen minutes while the children talked amongst themselves, Azalea was sweating bullets in anticipation of the children being pissed off enough to start calling her, 'Miss Azalea'. Or even worse, being completely pissed off and given the silent treatment. Finally, they were ready to give their decision.

"Until you get back from your trip, we have a deal."

Damn! I'm not out of the woods yet. "Okay, we'll meet at the kitchen about twenty. In the meantime, while I'm packing my suitcases and calling the travel agent, you order some takeout for the family."

Calling the agent again, Azalea was soon confirmed on a morning flight, with a car rental waiting when she arrived. After haggling over the payment terms, she then thanked him for his work and wished him a good weekend. Hanging up, she quickly dialed Malibu to tell her that she was staying over tonight because she had an early a.m. departure time.

"What do you mean I have to stay over tonight?"

I hate it when she whines. "Look, it's because..."

Reading Azalea's mind, she said, "I am not whining!"

Briefly losing her train of thought, Azalea quickly rebounded and started over. "Look, it's because I have an early flight and I don't want to be late."

"Fine. I'll be there around 11:30, no earlier."

"No earlier?"

"NO! I do have a social you know!"

Wincing at the phone being slammed, Azalea glanced at the clock and realized it was time for her to do the meeting thing with the kids.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brain Cramp

Up first, the disclaimer: The following post may contain language that will be offensive to certain peoples. If you are one of those certain peoples who are easily offended, please disregard this post and scroll down to the one on Suburbia.

I said, "

Then I said, "

But changing tactics, I then said, "

Finally, I said, "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Has this ever happen to you? You find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper, or in this case, a blank computer screen, and say to yourself, "What the hell? I can't think of a fuckin' thing to write about!" Or even worse, attempt to write a paragraph like the one above.

Well ladies and gentlemen, have no fear. I too, have suffered from this crippling disease at various times during my writing career. I tried all kinds of way to cure it. I tried reading, I tried watching television, I even tried talking to the family in order to fill up the empty minutes of the day, but nothing seemed to work.

Then one day, inspiration struck. I had found the ultimate cure to my diseases: CHAT ROOMS!

Yes my friends, chat rooms.

The holy grail of boundless and unimaginable but certainly attainable ideas, plots and characters. Where else can you go and read to hearts content to get what you need for your current story? Even better, where else can you go to channel the flow of the conversation to what you want, simply by dropping in and making an irrelevant comment.

So what if people will hate you for sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong. So what if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. You're a writer, it doesn't matter if you don't have a clue in what you're talking about. You can fake it just like everyone else, only better.

Yes indeedy, in no time of all, you'll have enough plot ideas and mentally unbalanced characters to keep you occupied until turn old and gray. You'll be happily pecking away at your manuscript, grateful for the disappearance of the brain cramp and joyful for the nouns (Yay noun is a person, place or thing), verbs (verb! that's what's happening!), adverbs (Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here!), and adjectives (when I unpacked my adjectives, you can describe it with adjectives).

Pretty soon, your paragraphs will sound like this:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He said, "You must pay the rent."

She said, "I can't pay the rent."

He said, "You must pay the rent!"

She said, "But I can't pay the rent!"

Then he bounded into the room and said, "I'll pay the rent!"

She said, "My hero!"

He now said, "Curses! Foiled again!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A best selling Dick and Jane primer is waiting just for you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All of the pop culture phrases used in this post were sampled from the following programs: Schoolhouse Rock (Noun Is A Person, Place, Or Thing; Verb! That's What's Happening!; Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverb Here; Unpack Your Adjectives); Zoom (local children's show from the 1970's, broadcasting out of Boston, MA)

How (Not) To Get Under Someone's Skin

Amazing.

One of things that I find truly amazing in the chat rooms is when newbies try their very best to get under your skin. They think that by posting some publicly personal (neat oxymoron there) about you, you'll get yourself into a tizzy trying to come out with a decent putdown/insult.

Right.

Case in point: I'm on the household computer today, which is a rarity for me. I don't like using the household computer, because quite frankly its configured in a way not to my liking. In any event, when I'm using the household computer to surf the Topix forums, I log in as one of my registered personas. The reason being is that I like to keep what I got on my laptop completely separate from what I have on my tracker with my registered persona.

Anyways, I was checking a few of the threads that I normally post on, when I can across this interesting post made by an impersonator in my local forum (post #3552). As you can see, this person thinks that by posting this kind of information about me is supposed to be some kind of veiled threat/insult.

This is so not the case. I've made it known from the get-go what my other personas are: on here, and whenever someone asks me if I was either "Cedar Mountain" or "Da Bishop", because I've made more than a few acquaintances posting under those names throughout my 20 months stay.

It is public knowledge over there that I have a blog, as I have it listed on both of my infrequently used registered personas since June. It is very new public knowledge of what my e-mail addy is, because I started listing it last week. More than a few bloggers I know have e-mail addys listed on their blog, just in case if you want to drop them a line or want to ask permission to reprint a post, since everything that a person creates on a blog, with the exception of credited links, is copyrighted by the person who creates it.

So if you read my following comments, you will see that I wound up thanking the poster for the free advertising for my blog.

I suppose up next is that he/she will be making posts under my name, trying to make look like an ogre or something. I probably won't mind because the people who really know me, know that I'm not like that. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and unoriginality does little to impress anyone, especially the one you're trying to insult.

That concludes our lesson for today on how (not) to get under someones skin.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Walk Around Surburbia




Last Sunday I decided to take a walk to my daughter's school. I also took some pictures as well, which I would to share with everyone.

I will give a brief description of each picture, starting with the first row and working left to right.

1) This is the street where I live on. As you can see, it's a non-typical residential street. Lots of trees, grass, people and no traffic.
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2) The side street in which Cedar Mountain is directly off to the left. My backyard is in the extreme lower right hand corner. This road basically dead ends about a half mile up. It's a typical Sunday in which there is no traffic and few people.
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3) This is a very small town park called Banks Corner. The children of the Banks family donated this very small parcel of land (basically the length and width of a six car driveway parked side by side) to the town about a dozen years ago. It has one granite bench and a couple of wooden ones. Lots of shade and shrubbery. Excellent place to sit, catch a summer breeze and relax with a book or a radio.
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4) A shot of the pathway that the children walk on a daily basis to the school. On the right are about half dozen backyards to a nearby side street, on the left are woods. Provides pretty decent coverage during a rainstorm (personal experience).
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5) Shot of the soccer field with trees in the background. This is a continuation of the same grove of trees from the previous shot. These trees are quite extensive as they basically stretch from shot #4, through shot #5 and around the back of the school to the main drag about three-quarters a mile away from shot #4. They also stretch off to the left, bordering a side street and another main drag about a mile or so away. Incredibly awesome in the fall.
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6) New playground. In total compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. 'Nuff said.
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7) Flowers directly behind the school, to the right of the playground. Not sure what kind, but the color is what really got to me.
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8) Tweety Bird, Rocky Raccoon and Winnie the Pooh (Disney version). My daughter's special friends. They are sitting on a rocker in front of my house. Rocker is custom made by local door manufacturer.

My slice of heaven, and I'm damn proud of it.

Talking Trash In A PG-13 Environment

The Disclaimer:

Warning: this particular post may contain language that would be considered very inappropriate in most corners of the galaxy. If this type of stuff reddens your ears and makes you say, "Well! I never!", by all means follow the advice from the Chief of Police from South Park: "Nothing to see here, let's move along."

In all seriousness, if you're easily offended, then skip this post and go on to the one that will soon follow this.

I was talking to my good friend D this afternoon about slang. Not the normal crap that you hear on a daily basis, but the stuff you read either on the Internet or while texting. This originally came about because my friend was suffering from the effects of a damaged finger, which made it quite uncomfortable for her to type and thus communicate. I asked her did you give some thought about typing the way you text, or do you use full words while texting (or txtng as I put it).

So she showed off a few of the words she used, one of which was "ttly" that I misinterpreted as "ttyl". She explained what it was and asked what I knew. I explained to her in detail, or as much detail that I would be able to get away with, what I knew and what I used.

After a lively discussion about it lasting a hour or so, we parted ways. But it did get me to thinking about what I had learned in the past 19 1/2 months of doing chat rooms, and how I was able to apply what I learned, to improving my writing skills. So without further ado, here is today's lesson on how to talk trash without getting busted by the thought police.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am one of those rare people in the blogger world who had paid their dues by slaving away in the chat rooms before hitting the blogs. Doing chat rooms, I think, is one of the best ways to prove your mettle before doing a blog. Some people will prolly disagree with me on this, but I believe that chat rooms can expand your creativity in ways that you never thought possible.

To whit: Talking trash without being censored. Most chat rooms have rules about the use of bad language. Since I participate exclusively on Topix, this is what I'll be using as my examples. Anyways, there are usually three to four ways around this dilemma:

1) Use the word in question. This is all well and good, but you'll get a warning telling you about using bad language and the word will be blacked out (******). This applies to swear words like: shit, fuck, damn, asshole, cunt, slit and pecker, to name a few. This rule also applies to words that are deemed politically incorrect to say, no matter if the version you're using is actually the correct way of using it (I had this problem last year): dick (either the proper name or the thing between a guy's legs), retard, faggot, nigger, cracker (they just started with that one) and bitch, to name just a few.
2) Use the word in question, but purposely misspell it. This works the best because so long as the word is misspelled, it will get by the censors. Like: chit or sh!t, b!itch, @sshole, s.t.u.p.i.d. (yes they censor that), he-ll or he'll, phuck and biotch, to name a few.
3) Use the abbreviated form. This always works for me, simply because it gets the point across quickly and easily. Like: WTF or WDF, STFU, FU or FO, WYSTFU, JSTFU, SOL and my personal fave, F. There is also the classic response to anything remotely funny that someone says: ROFLMAO (Rolling around On the Floor Laughing My Ass Off).
4) Whipping out a dictionary/thesaurus and using the brain cells to come up with something that means the exact same thing but won't get you into trouble. This works extremely well as it forces you to be both creative and ingenious with your insults and putdowns. Example: instead of calling someone a piece of shit, you can call them a piece of human excrement or can call them a skid mark on the underwear of life. Not very good but you get the idea.

With Topix, you picked up on the nuances on things functioned extremely fast, because if you didn't, not only were you left in the dust, but chances were good that you would be purged and banned for indecent behavior. In Topix, there is always a percentage of people who would do their very damnedest to get you banned/purged for what you said, because they would always bitch to the moderators about your "bad" language and veiled threats that you happened to inadvertently make during the course of your posting, while conveniently forgetting the fact that they were the ones who lit the fuse in the first place.

So thus, you got creative. You picked up on the nuances of the various forums. You learned how to be creative with your insults and trash talk. Instead of calling someone a "bitch", you called them a "female of the canine persuasion." Instead of telling someone to shut up (a no-no in Topixland), you said, "I'm sorry, did you say something? All I heard was the wind blowing through your brain as you opened your mouth to insert both feet." true insult btw. uttered by me. Or you told someone who was bugging the shit out of ya, "Hey, why don't you pop a few pills and drink a few beers, Karen Ann Quinlan is waiting for you on the other side." (yeah I know, tasteless as all hell).

I have spent most of my chat room existence learning how to be creative with my insults and putdowns, which in turn, allowed me to grow and really fire off eloquent points of contention on the serious threads I participated in. In essence, I learned to talk R-rated trash in a PG-13 environment.

I still can whip out the occasional PG-13 insult with R-rated overtones, but quite frankly, the IQ level of about 85% of the posters out there on Topix really makes it unchallenging and unnecessary.

So I leave the trash talking for my blog. But only when I need to make a point and not just for the sake of talking trash.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Elifghts!

Perusing my menu of posts the other day, I realized that it's been a while since I wrote something about one of the original topics this blog was created for: my adventures in writing. So without further ado, I would like to share the various tangents and opinions that have been rumbling around in this grey matter of mine called a brain with all of you.

And....the answer to the title of this post, which I admit is a bit odd for the topic matter being presented.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Winter of 2005 is when I picked up a pen and began putting words to paper. Four months later, I wound up with a 90,000 word/210 plus page manuscript. Summer '08, after spending a fourteen months with a literary agent and another several months in a futile effort of going solo, I decided to self publish my first novel, which baring any further complications, should be out this October.

This my friends, is the total "official" output of my writing career so far. One self published novel. The unofficial output of my writing has been far greater than simply one novel. To whit: I have at least three other unpublished stories that this blog is currently home to. Two of which, Cedar Mountain and A Betrayal of Vows, can found here in their entirety. The third, Golden Texas Tea, will eventually be posted here in its entirety as well. In addition to those three stories, I have about three or four others as well, to share with everyone.

In addition to having my debut novel (Shades of Love) coming out, I am currently working on two different versions of my short story, "A Betrayal of Vows": a chapbook version and a full length version.

But that's not what I really want to talk about. What I do want to talk about is how much I've learned overall in the past year and a half, dabbling in the Cyber World, and how I was able to apply it to my writing, which even though all my stories remain unpublished (but copyrighted), in ways that I previously could never imagine.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I thought my writing skills were pretty good at the time I discovered chat rooms, but boy was I proven wrong. In the chat rooms (or community boards, depending on your swing), if you wanted to go heads and shoulders above the muck and grime of idiot posters/trolls, you better be able to make your point sharp, concise, brutal and to the point. If you could effectively use humor, sarcasm and wit, along with facts, in your posts, you were golden.

I spent all of 2007 sharpening and fine-tuning my writing skills until they gleaned (or so I thought); honing my humor, sarcasm and wit until they were razor sharp; and mowing down anything in my path. In effect I was a walking, talking real life Keyboard Commando, except I was reasonably able to back up my mouth.

By the late spring of this year, I had enough of the chat rooms. I had imploded and exploded with deadly efficiency. I was brain dead and mired in a rut. My writing output had peaked late last year, I was making no progress with my novel, and I was unhappy.

However, things changed this past May when I decided to self-publish my novel. At the same time I decided to self-publish, a good friend of mine, known in the blogger world as GumbyTheCat, suggested that I should start a blog. He thought my writing in the chat rooms was pretty good and a blog would be an excellent way to expand and expound without having to worry about being censored/banned in the chat rooms.

So I figured, 'why not?' I could mouth off without fear, and I could use it to promote my book at the same time. Memorial day weekend, was the official birthday of this little blog. After spending a month or so, I felt comfortable enough with the blog, that I could start being creative with it.

So like I used to do in the chat rooms, I went surfing the blog world, searching out blogs that would both peak my curiosity and hopefully teach me a few things along the way. Within a couple of months, I found an initial core group of blogs that feed my need to be.

The initial mix contained my friend Gumby's, a rant blog by Kyle, a rant blog by Julie Gong, and a writing blog by Chandler Craig. Out of these blogs, I picked up on others, mostly humor and writing related blogs (Sy's, a group of writers who hailed from Australia/England/the States, one by Lenin Nair and one by Travis Erwin).

From these wonderful blogs, I was able to pick up excellent writing tips and other reading material that helped me improved my writing skills. Not so much as for my current re-writing adventures (and it's helping a lot) but also for my blogging.

Yes, I said blogging. Doing this blog for the past four months has helped me improve my writing skills in more ways that could I could possibly imagine or accomplish. A blog is the ultimate end all for getting approval by the general public. Whereas submitting your short story/novel involves trying to past muster with one or two people (a very long and torturous process which can try even the patience of the Pope), doing a blog directly involves the general public with your writing.

You can either fall flat on your face (and there are ways of proving that) or you can catch people's initial attention with your writing, and hope to hell you keep them interested in the long run. Because this is where you're forced to improve your writing in order to keep what you got and to get more of what you got.

You can be the funniest or most interesting guy in the Real World, but if you aspire to be a writer and can't move from the verbal front to the written word, you are toast. I have been blessed with the ability to move what I say verbally to the written word (paper or computer, your choice) and keep people interested enough to come back for more.

I am truly fortunate and thankful for the people (traffic in blog parlance) who come by to visit my blog on a daily or weekly basis, or even on a one shot visit from either a link I posted in a chat room (mostly visual stuff like the pictures you see here), or from a backlink on comment I made on someone elses blog.

I truly appreciate everyone who stops by to either just read, or read and comment. It shows that I'm doing something right, and in order to keep doing that something right, I have to continually improve both my writing skills and my content.

To sum it up: if you're an aspiring writer and you're looking to expand both your writing skills and possibly get published or at the very least, draw interest from the publishing industry, give serious consideration to doing a blog. Or if a doing a blog sounds like too large of a mountain to climb, start off by doing chat rooms. Both are excellent ways to work on your writing, meet people and have fun in the process.

You never know, you just might learn something new as well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The answer to the title "Elifghts".

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 7)

Azalea paused for a moment while she cleared her throat and said, "Yes, I did. So will you?"

Not quite ignoring the thrown insult, Malibu said, "This will make us even, right? You'll compensate me for my time, right? Finally, you'll let me hang out at your house while you're gone?"

Realizing that she was calling her out on the insult, Azalea simply said, "Yes to all of your questions. Now, I have a few more errands to run, so I'll be calling later to let you know the time you'll need be at the house. Ciao for now."

Flipping the cover down, Azalea re-started the car and headed home to pack her suitcases. Along the way, she dialed her travel agent so that he could book her flight and car rental. A few minutes later, the agent said he should have something for her in about an hour.

Arriving home, she parked the car and headed inside. Hearing the wall clock chime, she looked up and realized that the children would be home in about five minutes.

'Shit! Got no time to prepare for this, so I'll have to do this on the fly!" thought Azalea as she started panicking at the thought of the children becoming upset with her for doing this trip on a whim. If they became upset with her, they would revert back to calling her 'Miss Azalea' again.

"Step-mother, we're home from school!" yelled Jey.

"Children, I'm in the master bedroom! Could the both of you come upstairs for a minute?"

Jey whispered to his sister, "This doesn't sound good. Be prepared to follow my lead." Out loud, he said, "We'll be upstairs in a minute!"

A few minutes later, both of them were upstairs in the bedroom, waiting to hear what Azalea wanted and throwing hostile looks at her.

"Children..." she said tentatively, "Please forgive me for this incredibly short notice that I'm about to give you."

"How short?" said Jey, whose body language was becoming more hostile by the second.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Little Relaxation


Told you I got friends, but you didn't believe me! Why didn't you believe me???

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why Am I Still Doing This?

No, this is not about doing my blog. I haven't gotten that point yet. When I do, I will send out a major S.O.S. to all my friends in the RW and CW for topical help.

This is about the other definition of blogging, which most of the general public confuses with what is done here: chat rooms.

There have been points in my chat room existence, which other people can readily verify, when I've suddenly gone off on people for no particularly discernible reason (Most notably, this happened earlier this year, when I went off on someone and got myself purged and suspended).

Right now, I've hit that proverbial brick wall with the chat rooms. I find myself becoming increasingly unhappy and frustrated with the chat rooms. I'm at the point where I've actually had to apologize to fellow posters for not posting on a particular thread. Not because I'm afraid that I would say something to offend them (well maybe), but simply I've run out of things to talk about. I have nothing in common with anyone anymore and I've grown tired of the bubble gum conversation. I know people need an outlet from the day to day worries that we all endure, but it's quickly becoming tiresome for me.

Suffice to say, I'm suffering from severe chat room burnout. The kind of burnout that necessitates taking a long leave of absence to regroup, recharge and re-org.

As I give serious thought to taking a vacation from there, or at the very least, reducing my visibility by 50%, events in other places have been giving me cause for concern.

On one hand, I've come across a newbie to the chat rooms, specifically in my local forum. He stopped by on a thread about bad teachers and tenure this past summer. About a month ago, he officially joined, and I've been trying to help steer him through the rocky Topix highway. Had some success, and earlier this evening, a bit of failure. So this has given me a glimmer of hope that I haven't seen in quite sometime.

Now, on the other hand, I've been having a troubling exchange with a poster in my sub-local forum. To explain: in the local forums run by various media outlets (like the Hartford Courant), there are forums dealing with the local towns situated within the main media forum.

So in this particular instance, I made a comment today (9/13) in my sub-local forum about how the town manager in my town is scaling back the usage of town vehicles by town employees to save money. A few hours later, I had a poster ask me a semi-personal question that almost no one would know about, at least while posting as my blog persona. This particular bit of info isn't really common knowledge in the local forums unless you happen to know me from my registered personas.

Since I only hang ten in a few threads in my local forum, you can imagine my surprise when this person asked me this. I did answer their question, but after going on a walk later in the afternoon and giving it some thought, I'm really concerned about this particular poster. The ISP that I encountered is quite rare to begin with, and since I personally know a few people from that area of the state, this could potentially blow up in my face.

Privacy. It's a bitch to have, and even worse to protect.

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 6)

Suddenly, the answer became crystal clear. "I can surprise Walter on his trip the second night out, and spend the next two weeks touring with him! That would be the perfect antidote to my panic attacks!"

A few hours later, Azalea was up and firing on all cylinders in anticipation of what needed to be done before she left. The first order of business was doing the groceries, so that the children would have enough food to live on while she was away. Two hours later, she was done and on her way back to the house for unloading before doing the next item on her agenda.

Groceries unpacked and the pantry refilled, Azalea was soon on her way to retrieve a few of the WOW! dresses that she kept stored at the cleaners. While waiting for the clerk to retrieve them, she made a call to the newspaper to have delivery stopped. Leaving the cleaners, she thought, 'I know I had something else to do, but I can't remember what it was.'

Suddenly, a blinding case of the obvious struck: she forgot to arrange adult supervision for the children. Flipping the phone cover, she quickly scrolled down the menu until she came across the one person that would do it without any preconditions.

Turning into a parking lot, Azalea found a space to pull into as she dialed up her friend, and hoped for the best. Six rings later, she was about to hang up when the call was answered.

"Hallo? Who might this be?"
'Don't act like you don't recognize my number.' she muttered under her breath. Out loud, she said, "Hey Malibu! How's it cooking with you?"
"Hey 'Zea! Long time no hear, what's it been, six months?"
"Nine. Listen, I really need a big favor from you. If you do me this one, we'll call ourselves squared, plus we'll be on even footing again."
Well, no one had to tell her twice about getting even. 'Seems like the only thing I've been doing lately with her, is working up to only getting slightly even.' Malibu said silently. Out loud, she said, "So who do I have to kill for you?"
"What? No, nothing like that, although...." Leaving that answer to fade away in the summer breeze, she pressed on. "I need someone to look after the children for the next two weeks. You know, pick them up from school, take them to their extra-curricular activities, things like that."
"Why, where will you be?"
"I plan on surprising Walter while he's doing a book signing tour in New England."
"So because you need adult supervision of the children while you're gone, you naturally thought of me."

Reorganization Can Be Fun

Howdy do.

Spent the last couple of days in quiet contemplation on what kind of changes I could make to my blog without alienating my readership. You know, what I can add, what I can subtract, things like that.

I've already made one small change, and that was introducing a weekly rant called "Anger Management Issues". I want to thank Julie Gong as it was her blog that introduced me to the idea of a weekly rant, with her Friday rant called "Just Nonsense".

Since I like history (and who doesn't), I've also decided to add a bi-monthly feature on newspapers. No real title for it, other than being labeled "State Workers/Library", since it will deal with the early part of my state career working at the library. My thanks goes out to The Virtual Dime Museum, for giving me the basic outline to work with.

Another small change I'll be making has to do with the posting of my stories. While I love sharing my stories with everyone, I do have a finite number to share. To make them last as long as possible, starting this Wednesday they will be posted weekly, instead of tri-weekly. Today's will be the last on the current schedule.

Relaunching will take place this Monday, with an "Anger Management Issues" post, tentatively titled "Respect".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Always Remember


A Math Puzzle

A man bought 3 horses and a saddle for a total of $220. The following statements are true.

  • The cost of the saddle and horse A equals the cost of horse B and horse C: (S+A=B+C)
  • The cost of the saddle and horse B equals the cost of horse A and horse C times 2: (S+B={A+C}x2)
  • The cost of the saddle and horse C equals the cost of horse A and horse B times 3: (S+C={A+B}x3)

With those statments being true, the question is this: How much did the saddle and each of the 3 horses cost?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Work And I Slave, And Yes, I Do Like My Job

Well, I did back in the mid to late 90's.

Yes, I'm guilty again of back-to-back days of posting. It's just that I couldn't think of anything to talk about yesterday, thus the amusing picture of the inflatable frog. Glad everyone enjoyed it. Might make a regular feature in the upcoming weeks. Anyways, we return you now to our unscheduled post.

As everyone is no doubt aware of, I work for the 'wonderful' state of CT. At the moment, my current duties involve the remote possibility of screwing up people's paychecks, so people are extra nice to me during pay week (like now). However, my first job (which I've allude to only a couple times in this blog), involved working at the State Library. Specifically, the Preservation dept., which was a sub-dept. of the Collections Management dept., which in itself was a sub-dept of the Information Services dept.

Follow me so far? If not, don't worry. If you thought the Federal govt. was byzantine, the state govt was/is positively Rube Goldberg (if you don't quite understand Rube Goldberg, then think 'General Hospital'. Means the same thing) with its various agency offspring.

Anyways, my first job was working with old CT newspapers. My duties were varied: retrieving them from the attic, categorizing them, prepping them for microfilming, assorted clerical duties and meeting with the general public. Without a doubt, my favorite duty (besides dealing with the general public, since that got me out of the office and on the road {ROAD TRIP!}) was prepping newspapers to get them ready for microfilming.

As much fun as I had in the general destruction of the what they came in (24-36" by 15-18" hardcovers), what got really got my attention was the content. Whether it was the articles, or the funky adverts, or even the incredible mastheads (title of the paper), it was the be all to end all.

Newspapers back then were the lifeblood of the community. The content ranged from the normal national/international news, to the state and local news, or in most cases when you were reading a weekly, extremely local (like Mr. & Mrs. Miller were leaving on a summer trip to the continent).

I seriously enjoyed reading these newspaper, because not only did I get a feel for the area and the community it covered (especially when were doing say, a fifty year run of the newspaper), but it gave me an opportunity to read about a national story, or even a state story from multiple angles and viewpoints.

Example: The Hartford Circus Fire. A major calamity of tragic proportions, on a personal scale in this state never experienced before or since (Please don't jump on me with this, I'm only talking within the state of CT). I read about 20 different accounts on this story, ranging from the major dailies that we did (Hartford Morning Post, Norwich Bulletin) to the weeklies (Deep River New Era, The Western, and The Stafford Press), each one with a personal or semi-personal view of the tragedy.

And not only did I get multiple viewpoints of a particular story, I was able to follow other types of things that caught my interest then and still holds my interest now, like comics.

Ah, comics. Some of the comics that are still running today, I was very much able to follow almost from the beginning. And with other comic strips, I was able to follow those from the very beginning to the bittersweet end. One example would be the ever popular TV Guide crossword puzzle answer, that the clue always read: 4 letters____Kett or 4 letters Etta____. This was an actual comic strip about a young lady in her perpetual 20's, who was always getting into some misadventure that had to do with getting...married. This strip ran from the 1920's right up until the artist died in the early 70's.

Still others I were able to follow only after reading them elsewhere: Toonerville Trolley. I got into that strip when I was kid, courtesy of my local library, when I found a book that contained a selection of Fontaine Fox's best strips. Excellent strip that really showed a slice of Americana from the Great Depression to the death of the trolley (via the auto manufacturers).

These are only a few examples as to why I really loved my job from 1996-2002. I hope to make this part of my life a continuing bi-monthly feature, as I want to share my love of newspapers and history with all of you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Escapee From My Imagination

ED BIGHEAD!

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 5)

Walter began fading into the background as Azalea started tuning him out and tuning in to her own private oasis. 'Good God, he's heading back to Connecticut.' she thought wryly. 'He hasn't been back thee in over five years. Not since our very messy....' She left that last sentence hanging as the memory of the one week courtship brought a tear to her eye, a devilish smile to her lips and hot sensations to her mind.

Walter stopped speaking the minute he saw Azalea biting her lip and twisting herself into a pretzel. 'Haven't seen that happen in a long time.' Watching for a few minutes, he became hooked on her beautiful body again.

Not wanting to break the spell nor interrupt the moment, but since he really needed to finish preparing for his trip, he decided to enact his wolf call. Which he did in the only way he knew that would completely tick her off: with a referee's whistle.

Standing up so that he wouldn't get caught in the fallout, Walter blew his whistle. Startled, Azalea screamed, "What the fuck?" before clutching her ears and rolling off the bean bag cushion. She also hit her head on the bottom of the bedroom wall and knocked herself silly.

After spending a few minutes watching Azalea not coming around, Walter walked up to her and gently touched her face while whispering, "Hey sunshine, wakie wakie. I gotta finish prepping for my trip. Do you have any other questions for me?"

Knocking his hand away, she said sarcastically, "No, I don't have any other questions. But if I do, I'll be sure to let you know."

Azalea awoke the next morning the same time Walter did, so that she might see him off on his trip. After having an intimate breakfast together, Walter got up and headed towards the car, with Azalea following close behind. Giving each other one last kiss, Walter got into the car. Just before he took off for the airport, she said quietly, "Call me once you get settled in, so that you can tell me what the rest of your itinerary for the week will be."

"Will do."
~~~~~~~~~~~
Heading back inside, Azalea went to bed, with the main idea of getting a few more hours of sleep, since she got none last night. The lack of sleep last night was due to the multiple anxiety attacks suffered through the previous day, caused by the fact that she wouldn't be together with Walter for the first time in nearly three years.

Turning this rather insignificant problem over in her mind, it quickly turned into a major obsession. 'But how can I fix this issue?' she asked herself throughout the night as she tossed and turned.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Censorship Is Alive And Well Living In The Suburbs

Yeah, I know, this is back to back days of posting. However, what I had experienced this week pissed me off to the point that I wanted to create another blog, strictly for my rants. However, since my rants are few and far between, I decided it would be better to simply add a new topic to the four I currently rotate in this blog: Rants. I even created a special new label for it, called "Anger Management Issues".

Warning: I do not do PG-13 rants, I do R-rated rants. Therefore, please be advised that the language content may become offensive at times.

With the warning out of the way, let me state that first of all, I have nothing against comment moderation in the blogs. I feel that it's the only way sometimes to get rid of spam/nasty/vulgar comments that people post. I myself do not moderate comments on my blog. As a matter of record, the only comment I had removed from my blog, was one that I posted, and that was because I didn't like the way I wrote it, so I removed it, then rewrote it to my satisfaction.

My main beef is when people who have blogs and don't state that comments are moderated, in fact moderate comments. I can understand wanting to run a clean blog, free from nasty and vulgar comments. I can even understand wanting to run a blog where the comments slant one way. But to those people who do what I had just stated, please let the reader know that you moderate comments.

It's not that hard to do. You can enable the "comment moderation" action to act as a warning to people that nasty comments aren't allowed. I don't have a problem with that. If I know right off the bat that my comment has to be approved before it is allowed, you can bet your sweet ass that I'm going to either post a clean and thoughtful comment, or not comment at all. There are quite a few blogs that I follow that have "comment moderation" enabled and I enjoy those just the same as the ones who don't.

What I don't like and what irritates me the most is when people remove comments that they don't agree with in the first place, without telling the reader ahead of time about that issue.

There have been a couple of blogs that I used to follow that I have now deleted from my bookmarks, simply because a few of my comments (I believe) were purged without prior notification. If you have an issue with my comments, please let me know. It ain't that hard to do. I can either modify what I say, apologize for it (which I've been known to do) or simply go away the hell away and never darken your doorstep again.

To summarize, if you want to moderate the comments to your blog that's fine. Just let the good people know ahead of time that you moderate comments to begin with, and believe it or not, they will understand. Hell, even I will understand. What they probably won't understand, is if they see on the comment screen "this comment removed by author or blog moderator" and they know that a warning wasn't given in the first place about it.

Be honest and upfront with your readers, and they will respect you for it. Lie, and they won't.

Who Are These People That Populate The Chat Rooms?

There are many types of people who populate the chat rooms. Today I will cover the specifics of the Topix chat room forums, since it is the forum that I currently participate in the most, and thus have the most knowledge of.

There are basically what I feel, 4 distinct groups of people who post on Topix: The Old Timers, The Regulars, The Newbies and The Toddlers. In addition to these 4 main groups of people, there are a few sub-groupings as well, all of which I will try to explain to all of my readers out there.

Let's start off with the first main group, of which I'm proud to be part of, The Old Timers. My definition of Old Timers, is simply someone who has been on the Topix forum for more that eighteen months. To me, being able to hang around for sixteen months (meaning either one's born on date in the registered persona or common knowledge if they're unregistered), is an accomplishment in and of itself. There are maybe one dozen or so posters out there (including myself, registered and unregistered since 2/07) that have been on Topix for that length of time, consistently posting: GumbyTheCat; Paisley Posey; the various personas of Idiots One; Grace Nerissa; Shilo; TBT; and Rick/Ancient, just to name a few. These people have either experienced Topix from the beginning, or pretty damn close to the beginning, and have a vast knowledge on the workings of Topix, some more deep than others. They seen all, know all, and quite frankly are sometimes amused by it all. There is also a sub-group of posters who have both cracked the 25,000 post mark and been there longer that eighteen months. So far as I know, there has been only three that I have passing knowledge of: Xcentrik InVidor, Mindy (Nascar forums, sitting at 33,000 I believe) and W.i.P (who passed away July 4th).

The second group of people, which are the most predominant of those out there, I call The Regulars. These are the ones who have been around Topix between twelve and eighteen months. As a matter of fact, there is a sub-grouping within called The Old Time Regulars, so noted for the people who have made it past sixteen months and are well on their way to becoming Old Timers. These people have not become as jaded as The Old Timers, but are well on their way to becoming so. They have experience none of the upheaval and growing pains that Topix gave in the Spring/Summer of '07, but have been part of the fine-tuning for the later part of '07 and all of this year. Posters of note who have been here for that length of time include: Jolly 1/Beakerjo; RiverSpirit; Water Nymph; all the good people on the military threads; and all of the good people in the Friendship Thread on the M-Call forum.

The third group of people, which is one of the fastest growing segment, is what I call The Newbies. These people have been on between zero and six months. These are the ones that the above two groups take a keen interest in, if only to protect them from the stupidity that seems to reign in Topix on a given day. They come in mostly through the local forums, tentative and hopelessly naive, make a post about a subject that they feel comfortable with, and get sledgehammered in the process. We (and I mean that in the generic group sense) look out for them and try to enlighten them on the ways of Topix. The sub-group in that (six to twelve months) I would call Regular Newbies. Which basically means that while they're not considered newbies anymore, they still haven't been around long enough to become completely jaded and cynical in Topix. There are too many for me to mention, and if I did mention a few, some of those may take what I said as an insult, and insulting them is truly the very last thing I want to do. I want to say my insults for the next group of people.

Finally, the last group is what I call The Toddlers. These are the numbnuts who either troll the forums attempting to wreck havoc and create dissension, or the people who are under the age of 17 and try to hang with the adults in the main forums (who increase when school is out) and get whacked for it, or are under the age of 14 and in serious violation of the age restrictions that Topix has. These are also the little delinquents whose IQ is about their shoe size and create stupid threads in forums like the WWE. There really is no sub-grouping for these idiots. Everyone else usually can send then scurrying far away with a few short clicks of the mouse. Example: last year, there were a few high school students that were posting on the above mentioned forum, causing a little grief and basically annoying the hell out of everyone. Finally, someone got fed up enough to search out their school and send a few e-mails to their teacher (because they stupidly told everyone that they posting from school). Within a week, they were gone.

So folks, this is the Cyber World that I live in. It ain't pretty, but it's my home away from home. Come by and stop for a visit, you just might be surprised at what you'll find.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 4)

Because she dealt with rejection very badly, she became quite impossible to deal with on any level, for any period of time. Knowing this didn't make things any easier for him, because she usually got over her rejection by doing a conquest. Sexual in nature, it always left him completely drained and dead for days on end. Sighing deeply while grabbing what he needed from the closet, Walter mentally prepared himself for what she was about to dish out.

Shaking her head, she said, "No, that's not what I meant, although a very good read on your part. What I meant was this: come over here so that I can discuss your tour itinerary with you. I need to know what your various stops are going to be."

Relieved that he wasn't going to his...just desserts, Walter became his animated self again. Walking back from the closet, he grabbed a couple of pillows from the bed to make a back rest for himself before sitting down. Stretching his legs, he soon made himself quite comfortable for the intensive questioning that was sure come.

"Comfy cozy?" she said while leaning over him. She leaned so close to him that if he had shifted his eyes, he would have gotten a free show.

"Quite. So what is it that you would like to know about my latest trip, my little magpie?"

"Well...." but before she continued, she gave him one of her world famous soulful kisses. The kind of kiss that leaves him grinning and acting like a village idiot for the remainder of the day.

Forty-five seconds later, her line of inquiry continued. "Well, I would like to know exactly what towns you're stopping at and where you'll be staying at for each of those stops, so that if I need to get hold of you in an emergency, I can."

"Ummm...ahhhh..." Yup, got Walter acting like a village idiot. She slapped him a couple of times to bring him back to the present, which he did and shortly thereafter became his normal lucid self again.

"Thanks. The itinerary for this trip will take me back to our old stomping grounds, New England. I decided that hitting some of the smaller towns and cities would make for a refreshing change of pace, so I said to my publisher, 'why not hit the hometown area for this latest tour?'

"So in the fist week, I'll hit Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In Connecticut, my first two stops will be Newington and Mansfield. When we hit Rhode Island, the stops will be Cranston and Waverly. In Massachusetts the stops....."

Who Boy....Stuck For Something To Say

Don't you hate it when you vapor-lock at a particular point in the day?

Vapor-lock is a quaint term used way back in the day when those old fashioned non-digital pumps used to grace your local gas station. Basically, you're standing at the pump pumping your gas on an extremely warm and humid day, when all of sudden the output trickles down to dribble. You go to complain to the attendant and chances are, he's a smart-ass like me, and tells you rather snottily that its running slow like that because the pump is scraping the bottom of the tank and you're pumping sludge into your tank because the filters are clogged.

Well, at this precise moment, I'm suffering from vapor-lock. Beyond posting my limit of one page of story, I can't think of anything else to say. I wanted to spout off on chat rooms, but I couldn't come up with anything.

Damn.

I'll try tomorrow to come up with something a bit more tangible than defining "vapor lock" for everyone.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Screen Shot

And here is the other half post, to make a total of two posts, which is my proper output for today.

While the original screenshot that I had gracing my blog was nice, it didn't really accurately reflect where I lived.

So, after coming back from vacation and getting my disposables developed, I had decided to use this particular shot. I did take some of my town during my weekend walk, but the day was pretty misty and the shots came out poorly.

This one was taken at a rest area along I-70 in Ohio. I thought the cornfield was quite nice as it captured the spirit of the area where I live in CT.

Hope you like. I got more in the queue, so I think that on a monthly basis, I'll start rotating the shots. Let me know what you think of them, as I'll keep the one that gets the most comments as my permanent screenshot. The original one does not count.

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 3)

He wasn't always this way. In fact, up until about a year and a half ago, Walter was very much a can-do kind of guy. With multiple projects going on at the same time, Walter was a very busy, very content human being. After all, he was a best selling author, four years into his second marriage, at peace with his ex-wife, and most importantly, at peace with his two children. Yes, one might say that Walter was extremely content with his lot in life.

However, events that were going on in the background, unbeknownst to Walter, would soon bring his idyllic world crashing down upon him, pulverize it to pieces and drive him deeply to the point where we currently see him now.

Part 1

One gloriously sunny day about eighteen months ago, Walter was preparing to do another tour for his debut novel (Twisted Romance), when his wife bounced up to him and asked, "Walter sweetie, where are you off to now?"

Being that he was preoccupied with last minute details, Walter didn't pay close attention to what his gorgeous wife was asking. Annoyed, she repeated the question a bit more sharply.

"Hey! Hot shot!" she said, while playfully slapping him on top of his bald head.

"You slapped me on my head. Why'd you do that?" If there was one thing that Walter absolutely did not like, it was being slapped on his head.

"I'm sorry sweetie. I was only trying to get your attention. You know how I hate to be ignored."

Walter suddenly became worried, because he knew from past experience, when his wife felt that she was being ignored by anybody, she became deadly as a cobra. Just thinking about it gave him the willies.

"No, no my ebony queen. I wasn't ignoring you. I was simply concentrating on last minute details for my two week tour, that's all." Walter started inching towards the open bedroom window, just in case this line of questioning should prove detrimental to his well being.

Azalea beat him to the window and closed it. Locking it, she then strolled over to the beanbag chair and plopped down, before signaling to Walter that he should come over and sit next to her. He sighed deeply, because when she did that, it meant that he was going to get his....just desserts. Right now, he simply wasn't in the mood to get any kind of desserts, just or otherwise.

Shades of Love: An Update

This post will be considered a half a post, as it is nothing more that a brief update on where I stand with my first novel, Shades of Love.

Over the weekend I had proofed the second galley of my novel. While the previous 17 errors and additional page (a dedication page to my late father) were expertly done and fixed, I had found several more.

So off to the publisher it went this past Tuesday. I should be getting a CD-ROM version this time around in a couple of weeks to proof. Once that's done, it should be a go and ready for publishing.

Once it comes out (end of September I'm shooting for), I will be setting up another blog to showcase it and future writings, plus information on where and how you can purchase it.

Finally after over 2 1/2 years of hard work, the light at the end of the tunnel is almost upon me. I can't wait for the end result to show everyone.

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Golden Texas Tea" (pg 2)

Progressing around the room to the far left wall, we observe various piles of computer equipment, most of which was destroyed in one of Walter's more infamous meltdowns that occured this past spring. People are still talking about it today (mostly in the courtroom that is; Walter has five legal cases still pending). Above the pile of computer equipment, we see a few dozen scattered photographs of a very melancholy Walter and the various lady friends of is that were taken during his many sojourns promoting his novella in the past year. To the right of the computer equipment, we find hanging on a peg hook, a dartboard with a picture of a rather sensual looking young lady, defaced with darts and beer stains. To the right of that, we see Walter still traveling on his tangent to nowhere.

"MY GOD! I JUST CAN'T GET ANYTHING TO GEL! I MUST BE THE BIGGEST HACK ON THE PLANET! MY KIDS COULD WRITE BETTER THAN ME RIGHT NOW! WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME..."

We'll just leave Walter alone while we continue with our observations of his study. To the far right wall we see various awards, honors and prizes that his various stories had won in the past three years. Along with these various plaques and trophies, are pictures of a very upbeat Walter and a lady who could only be described as one very spicy hot...I mean could only be described as exceptionally beautiful. Moving further along, we see a very solitary picture lovingly encased in black lace, sitting on a shelf about midway up with a small candle lit underneath, with the picture sitting on one side and a purple rose sitting on the other.

Finishing our observation with the near front wall on our right, we can see a rather large hole, with insulation falling out of it. Plastered inside the hole is a medium-sized window, with a frog suction-cupped to it the inside of the window. Not a fake one, but a very much freshly dead and decomposing frog, grossly aromatic with flies swarming around it.

As you can see this room is very much a pigsty, with the occupant just about living in it 24/7. So without further ado, boys and girls, let us introduce you to the secondary character of our little soiree, Walter.

Walter, as you can plainly see, is a slovenly pig who lives very comfortable in his messy study, but quite uncomfortably in the real world. In his study, he doesn't worry about his personal hygiene, his bad habits nor his deepening depression. In the real world, he probably would have been committed long ago for his very erratic and eccentric behavior.

My Home Away From Home


This my home away from home. This is where I spend the better part of 1/3 of my day working for our fearless leader (in this case, the Dept of Children & Families) creating paychecks for approximately 600 people and handling tuition reimbursement for the other 3,400 people that are eligible for it.

I would like to describe these two snapshots of my second home to everyone, just so that you can get an inkling of what I'm about.

Up first, the photo on the left. Starting at the top, the first thing that you see is a nameplate of my alter ego, along with a green bead chain (her favorite color). Continuing across that little ledge is followed by is a picture of my daughter given to me for Father's day; a picture of her ice skating; a couple of magnets given to me by my co-workers and a paperweight with the CCSU logo on it.

On the shelf itself, the following can be seen:

1) A piggy bank of the NY Mets (Go Mets!)
2) a stuffed doggie (shaddup!)
3) a hand carved pewter statue of a Cival War battle scene
4) a book on how to speak Jamaican (Hey Mon!)
5) a birthday card from a friend that plays the Chicken Dance
6) a thank you card from another friend
7) a plaque of the 2007 NY Mets (Big time collapse, yes I know)
8) a picture of my wonderful wife
9) a clock with the CCSU logo on it (given to me as a Christmas present by my late father)
10) a little race car.

On the bottom of the photo, you can see a few drawings done by my daughter (brightens my morning every day) and the remnants of my in-box.

Nice huh?

As for the second photo, this mostly pertains to my sense of humor and strange outlook on life. In the second one, you can definitely see my lack of organization skills on my desk and shelves. The contents of the bookcase are as follows:

On the first shelf, you can see a snippet of the multitude of contracts I deal with on a daily basis (I deal with about several different bargaining units on a given day. And people wonder why I have such a chip on my shoulder).

On the top of the bookcase, you can see the following:

1)a couple of fishes that I bought while visiting the Columbus Zoo (highly recommend that you visit it someday)
2) a Bazooka Joe bobble head doll (had to chew a lot of gum to get enough comics for that)
3) a California Dancing Raisin (remember those from the 80's? "I Heard it Through the Grapevine!")
4) a piggy bank of the New England Patriots with a few Dum-Dum lollys thrown in
5) a picture of my daughter performing as Pebbles in a dance competition (yes, she won)
6) a NY Mets squeeze toy that I got from a co-worker last Christmas
7) Roger Rabbit.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip to the cubicle of a non-typical state worker. Souvenirs are available at the gift shop near the elevators, and remember, because this is the government, prices are marked up 75%.

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-16 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at georgebjr2006@gmail.com