Monday, January 31, 2011

They See Your Every Move

I couldn't finish this short piece of prose that I was writing during a lull at work the other day. I wound up getting slammed about twenty minutes after I started it and had to put it away. By the time I got back to it, the inspiration that was the driving force behind it was gone, leaving me to ponder the question, "What if?" for the rest of the day.

You're sitting at your desk, trying to think of something to write about and within a few short minutes you're pathetically squeezing the trigger and wondering why no bullets are coming out. It's not until way later in the day that you realize the gun you were firing was a starter's pistol.

In any event, since your mind is basically blank with only shadowy images to keep you company, you decide to go off on a short walk, like that will somehow make a few of those shadowy images solid.

Well, the walk does do the trick, because a few of those images do become solid. Problem is, one of those images causes you to think a few salacious thoughts about how you might be able to work those images into a story.

Even though the image leaves you feeling pretty good and gives your soul a brief respite from the doldrums that's been sucking the energy from it, you reluctantly dismiss that image from your head. But to be on the safe side, you mentally catalogue the various components of that image for future use.

Sighing hard, you continue on your walk, but soon enough, that image that you so reluctantly dismissed only moments ago, gently shoulders its way back to the forefront of your mind, as if to say, "Hey, if I'm pleasing to think about, then why would you make me go away? You should keep thinking about me."

You decide that you really can't argue with that particular logic, so you give in to the temptation and allow that shadowy image to solidify. In a matter of seconds, it takes a gentle grip of your soul and immediately creates a havoc that is both pleasing to the soul and nourishing to the mind.

As the image continues to mold, bend and twist your subconscious into a happy pretzel, you begin to wonder whether or not you should take that next step. Do you fully embrace that warm feeling, those gentle touches, those soft kisses, that passion that lays so tantalizingly in reach that your heart cries out in sadness?

(c) 2011 by GBMJr. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'll Poke Your Eyeball Out Iffn' You Don't Accept This Award!


Boy that shure felt gud. Haven't done that in quite a spell ya know. Didja ever just want to start a blog post out by shouting at the type of your lungs, even tho' its bad manners to type yourself out in CAPITALS?

Now that the reading of last week's minutes are out of the way, we shall now move on to new busniss. A couple of weeks ago, a couple of new blogging buds, Bruce and Ms. Alvarez, tagged me with a couple of blogging awards/meme's.

Which is pretty cool, except for one small minor detail that is causing me a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit of a mental miscue.

I need to bloviate on at least twenty-one NEW things about myself.

Yes, you heard correctly, NEW things about myself. As most of my long time readers know oh so very well, I have spent the better part of three years talking about myself on this web blog, churning out 590 pieces of unique html for the general public to peruse at their leisure.

I have mined the vein so completely that about the only thing I have left to talk about is the truly private personal schtuff that stays among family, friends and the inner workings of my mind. Nevertheless, I will give it a go and see what kind of goodies I came come up with. And if I repeat myself, my sincerest apologies for doing so.

1} You would think that because I write stories dripping with all kinds sexual flavors and kinkiness, various kinds of blog posts on all kinds of strange sexually related topics, that I would be the type of person who would visit strip clubs/topless bars on a frequent basis. Well, you would be WRONG on that assumption. I have never set foot in any kind of strip club/topless bar. I have no problem watching it on cable (regular cable that is, not pay per view), have no problem with women who do that kind of thing for whatever reason (money to live on, to better yourself, finance a college education, etc), but visiting those places simply has no appeal to me. Which leads me to point #2.

2} I have been to Hooters only once. On a gift certificate. With the wife. The food was so-so, and honestly, if I want to look at a very attractive and well built woman, I would rather do it while I'm out and about, as opposed to sitting down at a restaurant where the theme is basically very erect T & heavily accentuated A.

3} I have walked away from a high speed rollover. During rush hour traffic. Driving a '74 Ford Pinto. With a full tank of gas. Without involving any other vehicles. Without wearing a seat belt. Without a scratch on my body.

4} I have impeccable rhythm. Ya, I know what you're thinking, but with the exception of 8th grade, I spent 3rd grade through my junior year of high school playing the clarinet. Because of this, I can keep pretty damn good time with any piece of music that I happen to hear. Doesn't matter what the genre, usually within a few seconds of listening, I can pick out the main back beat and maintain it through the entire song.

5} I am a walking encyclopedia of very bad sexual innuendo and double entendres. No matter what innocuous sentence you may utter in my presence, within a span of fifteen seconds, I can twist it around and make you either turn red and slap me, or just simply slap me (note, this only works with female friends and co-workers), or even better, give me that classic cartoon style dirty look before making a move to slap me.

6} I have the ability to whistle at the same tone as my office elevator pinging the floors as they sail on by.

7} While I may not be able to hold a note for a whole minute (props to Ms. Alvarez for being able to do that), I can carry a tune reasonably well. Or so I've been told by people that matter. Who? A co-worker whose daughter used to do the musical thing when she was younger (you know, like singing, writing her own music, recording her own c.d., going on tour, etc. etc. etc). I can also keep the same tune/tenor/nuances of a song relatively accurate as well. Oh, the downside of this is that my voice is perfect for old style country music/country rock but very crappy for rock.

8} I co-wrote exactly one song. While I don't have all the components (an ex-friend has it), the chorus went something like this: Lack of sleep is getting me down, Lack of sleep is getting me down, I'm so burned out its turning me around, lack of sleep is getting me down.

9} I have been cursed with a fantastic memory. You know, the kind of memory that sitcoms absolutely die to make fun of. Rain Man I'm not, but when someone can successfully pick my brain on a work related issue dating some twelve years ago, you know I got a good memory.

10} And finally, I seriously dated but one person in my life, and that didn't happen until I was 22. Suffice to say, I will be married that same exact number on June 10th to that one person that I seriously dated.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Does Anyone Actually Eat?

I don't read much in the way of fiction, but what I do read, I like and thoroughly enjoy about 99% of the time. However, it's that 1% that I don't enjoy that will be the topic de jeur for today.

There really isn't any easy way for me to intro this question, so I'll get right down to the nitty gritty and ask it.

Does anyone actually EAT?

I mean, it seems like no matter what book I've read, the characters throughout seem to survive on nothing but their own body. I mean, literally, they continue to do things that take a great deal of energy to do, yet nothing in the way of sustenance actually passes into their mouth.

Granted, fiction is an escape from reality, but I find it hard to believe that includes having the characters not eat.

Because I find that a creative mind is a terrible thing not to 100% tap into, let me tell you what kind of neat interesting thing that I've tried to do with most of my finished and unfinished books/stories.

I've made sure at few key points in all of my works to have my characters eat food. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, I made sure that they actually ate. Of course, saying that your characters are gonna eat is one thing, but showing what they've actually eaten is another. That's were my handy dandy imagination came in.

What I'm about to show you is a few examples of what I've created for meals/appetizers for some of my stories. Please keep in mind that all of these have, to a certain degree, my personal tastes written into them.

1} Mushroom caps stuffed with capers, cilantro, sweet onions with a dash of jalapeno hot sauce, topped with melted brie, and a bottle of Chablis. I wrote a short story called, "The Grid". It's a story about revenge that has the final scene taking place in an upscale restaurant and this appetizer is featured prominently at the end.

2} Southern Double Surprise (two kinds of meat, seven kinds of veggies and three different kinds of condiments), spicy home fries and to wash it down, either a Jolt Float (cola and chocolate ice cream with three shots of Old Grandad) or a Root Beer Tart (old fashioned root beer with lemon shavings). I originally started writing a novel version of my second self pubbed book about two years ago, and this is what the couple had when they were traveling through Virginia on their honeymoon and stopped at a hamburger stand for lunch. Unfortunately, I neglected to state just exactly what the ingredients were, so please use your faves to make the hamburger special.

3} Bacon and eggs, with sweet potato hash browns, onions, hot sauce, toast and garlic juice squeezed on the eggs. One of the few things I got right with my first self pubbed book was creating meals for the main characters.

In my novel Line 21 is where I really found my groove for food. Because I was trying to make this be as real as possible, I made sure that my main character Jeannie, ate at least two normal meals per day. To make things relatively easy, for the most part, I keep the meals at what I consider to be good comfort food.

Usually bacon and eggs with coffee for breakfast and Chinese for dinner and leftovers for snacks. Lunch is where I got a little creative. Because I wanted to leave just a little bit of me with one of the meals, I drew on a few local eateries for inspiration. I had Jeannie stop at a local deli and buy two Reuben sandwiches (yes, the classic), homemade coleslaw with oil and vinegar, sour pickles and to wash it down, homemade colas (yes, we have two very good local bottlers here in Connecticut: Avery Beverages and Hosmer Mountain).

And believe it or not, as I got to the final scene, in which Jeannie meets her uncle at his restaurant, I ran a contest asking what would be a good meal for them to have, of which the prize was that I would use their meal in the story and write them in as a character. Two of my readers won, Lisa and Jane, and I used their suggestions for the final scene.

So to wind up this little foodie post, here is what Jeannie and her uncle order for their meal at the fabulous Dragon Emporium: for Jeannie, she ordered sweet and sour chicken balls with curried pork fried rice and wonton soup; for her uncle, he ordered butternut squash stuffed ravioli with steamed vegetables, a house salad, and long grain wild rice with bruschetta on the side.

And you just know that there's a question attached to this post.

"Does something like this bother you at all when you read a story/book? Or is it just something you either put up with or simply overlook?"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Synopsis Chopsis Slicesis Juliennesis Yousis Brainsis Intosis Nothingsis

There is probably no worse thing in the solar system that a writer has to perform in order to get published, than to write a synopsis.


You think there isn't?

People, sitting your ass down in a comfy chair/hard back chair, with a notebook/PC doing line-by-line editing for your book (be it getting it ready for submission or, if you're at that level that I aspire to get to, getting it ready for production) is not worse than writing a synopsis.

If you're like me, then you probably have the same fault that can drive everyone within a one foot radius of you completely mad, which is that you take forever and a day to make your point/come to a point/create a point with a beginning, middle and an end.

Being long winded is great for a blog, but shitty for a synopsis.

Let's recap shall we?

Back in October '10, I was seriously stuck in writing my synopsis. The only thing I had accomplished, besides printing out a primer on how to write one, was that I had formatted the document in which I was to write my synopsis. Beyond that, I couldn't make myself pull the trigger to write the thing.

However, my conscience slowly and surely convinced me that if I wanted to get published the normal way, I needed to write this synopsis. On Thanksgiving weekend (trust me, I had enough time on that weekend as I was off for four days) I sat my ass in my chair and began writing it. First by hand before transcribing to the computer, then eventually by keyboard and by early December, I had a total of ten pages written out for a first draft synopsis.

I thought I did pretty good, condensing a 149 page novel down to 10 pages...until I got some good advice from a few writer friends who told me a synopsis should be no longer than two to four pages. So back to the drawing board I went. After doing a little more research, which included printing out yet another primer on writing a synopsis and a couple of primers on what the difference between active voice and passive voice is (don't laugh because I honestly had no idea on what the differences were), I sat my ass back down and began to work on my second draft.

A few weeks ago I finished the second draft (wrote it on the extra long vacation I took in early January specificaly for that purpose). I took a ten page, six-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-two word synopsis and chopped it down to three pages and one-thousand-seven-hundred-thirty-eight words, which for me was no easy feat. But what it made it just a little bit easier to do, was to write a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. Somehow, writing a chapter-by-chapter synopsis makes the entire process seem less daunting than to simply to do it in one fell swoop.

So that's where I stand with my latest novel, Line 21. I probably will have to do another round of editing on it, but for now, I am mighty proud in what I've accomplished. And since I love it when my friends critique my stuff, why not shuffle over to Partially Yours and check out my synopsis, and perhaps afterwards, leave a thoughtful comment or two on how I might be able improve it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Is Popular On Cedar's Mountain?

Over the years, I've got to wondering about the aftereffects of the three pronged giant imprint that I left all over the Cyber World with my blog. By imprint, I mean the various leftover blog links on posts and in my semi-dead profiles in the chat rooms, my profile links throughout my journeys in the blog world, and the blog feed that I have on Facebook. By aftereffects, I mean what kind of blog posts were people reading when they happened to stop by for a visit.

I really wanted to find out what people were reading here, so after reading a post about Google Analytics that a fellow blogger wrote about positively, I checked it out. And just as quick, I dropped the idea. Why? Because I'm not that computer savvy when it comes to editing code in a template, I was deathly afraid of screwing up my template while trying to figure out how to properly insert the code that was required to use Google Analytics.

Fast forward to last year.

Among the many bells and whistles that Blogger rolled out, was the tab called "Stats". "Stats" in my opinion was the best thing Blogger could come up with to replace the Google Analytics that people like me, who wanted to know what people were reading on their blog, were deathly afraid of screwing up the html code for their blog while trying to make Google Analytics work.

And because of this "Stats" tab, for the first time in about a year (ever since I added those "About Pages" to my blog) I was able to add a gadget that showed the top posts on my blog. I narrowed down the choices to the top four for the current month and called it "The Four Season's Of Popularity".

But wait, there's more. I like that particular gadget so much that I decided to write a post showcasing what Cedar's Mountain's top ten popular posts for last year (or rather, May '10 thru mid Jan'11) were. Feel free to explore the links in question and I hope you have enjoyable trip down memory lane.

10} Newington Center....And Beyond (3): Apparently the only reason why this is in my top ten, is because it contains the picture of a cat sitting on a couch with a bottle of beer and the t.v. remote.

9} Thou Are A Hypocrite: This was one of the few nationally oriented political posts I wrote, which basically pointed out how hypocritical the national media was when it came to the Tea Party movement and the current party occupying the White House.

8} Tete-Tete-Tete: A three part post about Shooting Suburbia, "Don't Ask Don't Tell", and my musical choices when I did a monster two day edit of my book Line 21.

7} Book Review Of A Short Story Anthology by Charles Gramlich: Need I say more? Charles was thoughtful enough to feature a link to this post from his blog, and the end result was that it became #7 on my list.

6} Pics, Familia And Facebook: A two part post about Shooting Suburbia and a pitch for more Facebook friends, which also included a sample status update about my daughter.

5} Pictorial Post: Apparently a 55 word post is all the rage in blog land.

4} Damn! I Done Got Banned From A Fan Page!: In the summer of 2010 a local radio station (WCCC 106.9FM) made a ton of wholesale personnel changes which culminated in a lot of vitriol from the listening public. I was a fan of their Facebook page until things came to a head in September.

3} Life Is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: This is one of my most popular e-mail based posts.

2} Won't You Please Paint Me With The Widest Brush You Got?: This is a rant mainly about when people launch unprovoked attacks on others who have the temerity to disagree with a generally accepted left-leaning opinion that is prevalent in the academic world.

And finally, 1} All Points Bulletin: The main reason as to why I believe that this post is numero uno on the hit parade (236 page views), is because the title actually follows one of the guiding principles of the blog world, which is to have a title that contains key search words and/or phrases. I guess people come to here expecting something about an online computer game called "All Points Bulletin", because they certainly ain't coming here for the content of this Valentine Day oriented post, which by the way, contains one of the best pieces of flash (a shade over 300 words) that I've ever written on the fly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Connecticut Barbie!

Over at Shooting Suburbia we have the final part of "Fun, Diversion, Family & Familia", in which I continue to scare you into normalcy. Over here, we have a classic bit of e-mail humor with a very local flavor added to the mix.


Mattel recently announced the release of Limited Edition Barbie dolls for the Connecticut market:

1} Darien Barbie--This princess Barbie is only sold at Neiman's. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long haired dog named Honey, and a 3500 SF house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with "augmented" version.

2} Harwinton Barbie--This modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full time occupation or secondary education. Traffic jamming cell phone included, headset sold separately.

3} Bridgeport Barbie--This recently paroled former "Porn Actress" Barbie comes with a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model is only available after dark and can only be paid for in cash. Preferably small, untraceable bills. Unless you're a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about.

4} West Hartford Barbie--This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card, and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

5} Bristol Barbie--This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over five feet and kick mullet haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a Confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

6} Glastonbury Barbie--This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print bikini outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends at the McMansion. Percocet prescription available.

7} Beacon Falls Barbie--This tobacco chewing, brassy haired Barbie has a pair of her own high heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer Gut Ken out of Bristol Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low rise acid washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see through halter top. Also available with a mobile home.

8} Woodbury Barbie--This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her "Willow". She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Northampton Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow sticker for free.

9} New Haven Barbie--This Spanish speaking only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired temporary plates and four baby Barbies in the backseat (no car seats). The optional Ken doll comes with a paint bucket lunch pail and is missing three fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not available for Hartford Barbie or Ken.

10} Waterbury Barbie--This Italian Princess Barbie comes with teased black hair, twelve gold chains, seven gold bracelets, eight rings and one ankle bracelet. Included are a permanently attached cell phone and a black Monte Carlo with ILUVTONY license plates. The accompanying Ken doll has been replaced with a black haired Tony doll with hairy chest and gel/hairdryer kit. A camera/cell phone with the Mayor's office on speed dial is sold separately.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fishy! Fishy! Fishy! Fishy! Fishy!

I thought after Wednesday's post that you might need to rest your brain cells a little bit going into the weekend, so as I'm always right behind you (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), I figure you could use some EXTREMELY light reading today.

For the past 585 blog posts (Holy Monotony Batman!) I've mostly ruminated on what kind of sense of humor I have at work. Never once have I ruminated, bloviated, contemplated, chew over, digest, ponder, think over, think about, think outside the box, think inside the cube, think pink, think mink, think ink, wallow in the deep recesses of my 3rd cousin fifteen times removed's squishy brain cells, and smoked a cigarette after doing the horizontal bop, about my sense of humor I have at home.

Until now.

To say that my sense of humor at home is off the wall, would be like saying that the media's obssession with Sarah Palin is simply good news reporting.

In other words, we mix our metaphors with our cliches and we get Opus. Or Bill the Cat. Nah, not Bill the Cat. Bill the Cat is someone we all should aspire to. That is, if we can't become Dogbert or Catbert, except Catbert only works if you work in a corporation. Then again, unless your head was buried in the sand during most of the 80's, you probably don't get the Bill the Cat reference.

But I digress, or as others would say, I blogress.

Anyways, my sense of humor at home is very much from left field via right field or the cricket field.

Case in point is the title of this post.

Not too long ago, I became the de-facto owner/caretaker/feeder of two fish (a goldfish and a catfish). Every time I walk by them (for my den is right next to them) or feed them, I often utter that immortal sentence from that top five icon of the gay community, Burt from Sesame Street.

Now in case you don't know what that immortal sentence is, or more realistically, you're about four decades removed from Sesame Street, here's a little background dump: Ernie (that other top five icon of the gay community) decided to play a joke on Burt, by telling him how he caught fish on his latest outdoor excursion. So he told Burt that he had a bucket and simply called for the fish and the fish jumped in the bucket.

So here we have Burt hysterically escalating his call until he becomes unglued.


Yup, you guessed it, that immortal sentence has now become a catch phrase in my house.

Not only do I utter this phrase each and every time I see the fishes, but I also utter this phrase whenever I happen to be wandering through the house whenever there are other family members around.

Suffice to say, it makes me look like just one big goof.

Which of course is the main idea. So in addition to carrying on conversations with my Pooh Bear, I now utter strange phrases from seriously old t.v. shows as I wander through the house.

Remember kids, if you always mutter to yourself and occasionally say the same bizarre things out loud with family members present, chances are that they will leave you alone.

Which of course should always be your ultimate goal going into the weekend

Because as you know, the weekend does revolve around you and you should love every minute of it. Otherwise you may be just a blue collar man who gets heavy metal poisoning.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Amigos Con Las Ventajas

Note: This is the first in an occasional series of re-posts, as I want to move a few of the non-serialized short stories that I had at Flashing Georgie's Shorts, over to Partially Yours, where all of my new readers can experience a little bit of what my regular readers have come to appreicate on this blog: a singularly warped imagination heavily influenced by events in my real world. This was originally posted on June 16, 2010 under the title "Friends With Benefits".


{Yes, it is what you think it is}

About a month ago, I wrote a humorous post called Brain Rot. It wasn't really much other than I wanted to write about a particular conversational snippet I heard a few years ago, and this was the easiest way of doing so. Anyways, among the many comments that were made, was this little gem by Riot Kitty:

"To answer your questions, 1) I have had that kind of conversation with guy friends, and 2) no.

Funny enough, I was just talking to a friend today about fuck buddies and how neither of us thought that concept was morally wrong."

Now, I like Riot Kitty a lot, and among the many reasons why is that she reminds me of myself when I was her age, and from time to time, she will leave a comment that has almost zero to do with the post in question. So being the good blog host that I am, I left this as a retort (edited for relevance, because you know how long winded I can get):

"Question two...well, I'm glad to hear that you never experienced question two.

As for the concept of fuck buddies (or friends with benefits), I agree that some people might not think its morally wrong. Others like myself, see a shade of gray in which it all depends on what/how the benefit is actually used.

In this day and age, to some people the act in question one doesn't equate with the act of cheating."

Another reason why I like Riot Kitty is that when she leaves a comment that has almost zero to do with the post, it usually gets my brain cells juiced and my cerebellum churning. In other words, smoke comes out of the ears.

After thinking about her comment for a couple of days, I came up with a great idea for a post. Problem was, how do I write about it?

Do I write about it from the point of view that it's morally and ethically wrong to pursue a relationship outside of one's marriage (if married) or steady? Do I preach and attempt to shove my personal viewpoint down the collective throat of my readers? Or, do I approach it from the other extreme and say that it ain't no big deal to pursue that kind of extracurricular activity? That it's so prevalent in today's society that its almost considered the norm so why talk about it in a negative fashion.

The dilemma that I created for myself when I came up with the idea of the post was so bad that I came this close to capitulating and calling it a day. Why? Because I couldn't decide from what viewpoint to write about. I don't know about you, but from what I've observed and learned throughout the years has really caused me to now take a rather ambiguous view about this particular subject.


After numerous false starts in trying to write about this particular issue (lots of blank pages of paper were crumpled up in the process), I came up with the idea of writing a short story showing a probable outcome to this issue.

Surprisingly (or disturbingly), the words came very easy to me. So easy in fact, that it took me less than 45 minutes to write this entire story by hand. Strangely enough, I'm also rather proud of this story. Why? Because I was having such an intense debate with myself that I decided to challenge myself by writing a story that was believable, the end result was known, and that the act itself was presented in a way that didn't need graphic language to the point across.


If you'll follow me over to Partially Yours, I would like to present to you the second part of this post, my short story entitled "Amigos Con Las Ventajas".

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Time To Nut Up

Because I'm a man of my word, and in the end, that's really all you got that is your own private personal possession, we interrupt our previously scheduled post (which will be seen in its entirety on January 24th, 2011) to bring you the end result of yesterday's (1/16/11) playoff loss of the New England Patriots.

To refresh your memory, or if you missed yesterday's (1/16/11) post, I made what I thought was a sure bet, in that the Patriots would beat the Jets and someone else would have to wax poetically about the Patriots on their blog. Well, as you can probably figure out after reading your local newspaper or watching the news, the Patriots lost to the Jets 28-21.

So, here goes nothing.

The New York Jets were definitely the better team last night. While they didn't manhandle the New England Patriots, they did manage to keep Brady on his toes, off-balanced and eating turf (sacked 5 times). Mark Sanchez had a solid all around game with no pics and four (count 'em) four touchdowns and the Jets defense stepped up when it mattered.

Two teams were looking to advance to the AFC Championship, and apparently, the Jets were hungrier than the Patriots.

A hearty congratulations to the New York Jets, as they definitely were the better team on Sunday.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to snap a king size rubber band against the side of my face for the next couple of minutes as penance for talking up a hated AFC East rival

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pictures With A Side Order Of Non-Monetary Gambling

Apologies for the delay in publishing as I apparently forgot to change the time from p.m. to a.m., so this would've published at 11:36 in the evening.

Pretty lengthy title ain't it?

That's because we have a rare two part Sunday post today (well, rare for me). Over at Shooting Suburbia we have part 4 of "Fun, DiversiĆ³n, Family, Familia", which also has a very scary treat in store for everyone. Now I'm not gonna tell you what it is, because its a surprise and I just know how you LOVE surprises.

Over here we have the non-monetary gambling part of our post.

For the past three years, I've been making a funky football related wager with a friend of mine. By funky I mean that no money is exchanged between the winner and loser, only the swallowing of pride. My friend is a diehard Colts fan, and I mean diehard in every essence of the word. For those of you who do not know, I am a New England Patriot fan, diehard enough to follow them on Facebook.

Every year we would make a bet on who had the better team whenever our teams matched up. The bet was whoever's team lost, that person had to publicly wax poetically about the winner's team, be it in the chat rooms (my friend did it that one year) or on Facebook (I did it the next year).

So I made the bet again this year, with the thought that the Colts were gonna beat the Jets and meet up with the Patriots in Foxborough. Only this time I upped the ante, in which I threw up space on my blog for either me or my friend to wax poetically about the Colts, or my friend to wax poetically about the Patriots. Suffice to say, the bet never materialized because the Colts lost. I also made the same bet with the Saints but I got no takers on that one.

About a week ago, Ryan over at Waxed Red Threads (a very good New York oriented blog that is among other things, heavily flavored with knowledgeable collegiate and professional sports ramblings/rants) wrote a post about the upcoming Jets/Patriots game, which naturally was slanted towards the Jets. Well, being the Patriots fan I am, I decided to make the same bet that I did on Facebook, in the blog world.

Even though he good naturedly declined, I did get another blogger to take me up on it, Bruce Johnson who has a blog (among many) called Bruce Johnson JADIP (which is also a very good blog. slightly bent and I have no idea on what the main angle is, but I find it incredibly amusing).

The terms of the bet are basically the same. If the Jets win, I wax poetically about the Jets here. If the Patriots win, Bruce will wax poetically about the Patriots.

So on Monday, you will either get a post about the New York Jets...eccch...beating the Patriots and going to the AFC title game, or a post about the new "Stats" tab that Blogger had added late last year.

My preference would be to write a post about the new "Stats" tab and not about the New York Jets, but if I have to write about the Jets, I will do my best to man up (or nut up) and pay off my bet.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Birds are remarkably resilient and single minded in their pursuit of survival and happiness.

This past Wednesday (1/12/11) Connecticut got socked with a classic nor'easter. You know the kind: three feet of snow, shallow bumps of where cars used to be in your driveway, no school, and no work (at least for me. the beauty of being non-essential). Anyways, while I was wandering around the quiet house revelling in the fact that for the first time in a quite a long time I was truly alone with my thought, I happened to glance outside my front dining room window to admire the sinister beauty that is winter, when I noticed an unusual disturbance at this tree.

A flock of birds were hanging ten there.

Not only were a flock of birds hanging ten on a snow covered tree in the middle of a raging nor'easter, but they were busy gorging themselves on the birdseed that my wife had thoughtfully stashed in the feeder that was hanging from the tree.

And not only were they gorging themselves at the feeder, but they were also feasting on the spillage that surrounded the tree as well.

This was actually going for a quite a while prior to me seeing them from my front window and in fact just before I started writing this particular sentence (I first wrote this post out by hand), they all finished their breakfast and (hopefully) took off for a warmer climate.

However, I just noticed before starting this sentence that there is still one bird sitting on top of a snow encrusted shrub merrily oblivious to the elements around him.

Another example of this single minded pursuit was the very large murder of crows/blackbirds that chose to use my end of town as one ginormous rest area for their travels. For the past month or so, I would notice on my weekend walks hundreds upon hundreds of crows/blackbirds chattering up a storm in the bare trees, on telephone lines, multiple front and backyards, multiple houses and multiple streets. It really was a sight to behold and I was fortunate enough to take some pics that will pop up later in the spring.

Meanwhile, the previous flock that I wrote about has now returned and are busy once again hanging ten on the tree and gorging themselves at the feeder.

Sometimes the magic that is winter can often make you find the greatest amount of joy from just the most pedestrian of scenes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Want To Have To

Four singular words: a verb, a preposition, another verb, another preposition.

Which can be turned into two distinct phrases.

But do these phrases mean the same thing? What if we put a pronoun, a verb, a demonstrative pronoun and a noun into the mix? Does it still mean the same thing?

 I want to write this story.

From about January 2009 thru April 2010, that particular phrase was the one driving force of my writing. In that fifteen month span, I churned out over 45 short-to-medium length stories (some good, some bad and some in between), a novella and one novel, and I might add, I enjoyed writing each one.

Each and every day I looked forward to turning on my computer (or taking out a blank piece of paper) and letting my overflowing imagination take me to whatever road it decided to travel on for that day. I wanted to write because it seemed like the easiest thing to do with the ideas that were rambling around in my head.

I had gotten into such a nasty groove with my writing that I was able to come back to a serial that I had put aside for about five months and write the final section for it. I was also able to take the remnants of five unfinished short stories and interweave a long story about a day in the life of a writer.

Lastly, that nasty groove allowed me to take one short story that posted on my blog and complete re-write it in the span of about week so as to make it presentable for submission.

Yes, during those fifteen months, I was anything but fallow with my writing.

But by the beginning of the summer of 2010, my desire to write did a subtle about face.

I have to write this story

Even though I decided to start on another story while I was going through the laborious process of editing my recently completed book, I never really got into that nasty groove that helped me write those aforementioned stories. Instead, what took hold was an insidious desire to do anything but write original material.

I worked on editing my book. I even worked on editing a recently completed longer short story that a writer friend critiqued for me. But as for writing original material, there was the problem.

Oh sure, I started off with both barrels a-blazin' and wrote like a madman for this story (which was based on a previous short story that I posted in early 2010). But about three weeks later, I started having problems with writing it. It seemed like the deeper I got into the story, the more of a hassle it became to write it, until finally got to the point where I really had to force myself to work on the story.

When I hit that proverbial breaking point, I found a suitable place to stop work on the story, and then did. I put the thing to the side and for the next couple of months, I concentrated on doing the one thing that I simply loathe in doing: writing a synopsis. So again, the working phrase became, "I have to write this story".

Now honestly, I don't know how long this latest phase will last, but I'm hoping it won't last as long as previous time it hit me. The last time it hit, with the exception of that one short story of mine that was published in 2009, it stretched from the spring of 2007 right through January 2009. During that time frame, I started about four medium-to-long short stories, two novellas and two novels. All of which have been gathering dust as I tried to find a good reason to open those files back up and work on them.

Let me give you a few examples on what I got sitting in my computerized slush pile folder that dates back to that time frame. So if you follow me over to Partially Yours.....

Pretty sad isn't it?

However, there is one example that I would like to share with everyone here on this blog's portion of this post. Why? Well, this particular example is the singular reason as to why you're reading Cedar's Mountain to begin with, or even why there is a Cedar's Mountain at all.

It's Just Business. This story was the trigger that started my two year journey through the desert of non-writing, which was followed by the desert of the chat rooms, which was followed by the bountiful valley of blogging. I know, it's hard to imagine that a story could wield so much power and influence in a person's chosen field of endeavor, but it did.

I started writing this story, originally titled "Cedar Mountain Ecstasy", then "Ecstasy", then "E", before settling on the current title, in the winter of 2006. I came to screeching halt in the spring of 2007, because quite frankly, I wrote myself into a corner with no way out. Because I was drawing and shooting blanks, I decided to take a break and surf the world wide web. I went to my local papers website and went to comment on a story. The end result of that one comment was an introduction to the chat rooms, of which I spent 3 1/4 solid years participating in. I met some great people and some not-so-great people. One of those great people like my writings so much that he suggested I move to the blog world, which I did in May 2008, and I haven't looked back since.

Anyways, that story was my second attempt at writing two separate plots that met up at the end (the first was the original version of Betrayed!). The main plot involved a low level drug dealer who got caught up in the depraved lifestyle of his boss's supremely flaky girlfriend. Other plot elements involved not only the his boss, but another high-level drug dealer who was looking for monies owed to him by the flaky girlfriend. The secondary plot featured the drug dealer's boss making an appearance at a funeral. I have been working on this story on and off since 2007 and it still isn't completely finished yet. I still have to flesh out one key component and then it will be done, I hope. Overall, this story has a great balance of sex, violence, and a great chase scene as a climax.

There really isn't any question to be had with this post, only a very long answer, or rather, simply thinking out loud, in that I'm trying to come up with a rational explanation to myself and to everyone else as to why my writing has a tendency to be cyclical.

For those of you who aren't writers, I apologize for the length of the post and for the fact that it takes up about five pages spread out over two blogs, but it really was something I wanted to talk about and get off my chest. For those of you who are writers, I'm sure you experienced something like this at one time or another in your careers, so you can probably related to the aggravation/stress I'm going through with my writing right now.

I would like to close out this post with a quote that a former supervisor of mine used to say whenever her frustration with dealing with the state would boil over.

"It's never simple!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Gots Bored

No real post here today, and I'll tell you why there's no real post here today.

The other day I got to thinking about the junk blog that I have sitting out in cyber space all lonely and forlorn. The reason as to why I got to thinking about the junk blog is that I haven't thrown a post on there since December 19th, and I really didn't want to potentially go an entire month without posting at least one item on it.

Now it just so happens that last hump day (for the uninformed, that is Wednesday), a co-worker of mine uttered a rather innocuous sentence late one afternoon. Being of unsound mind, I naturally jumped on that innocuous sentence and after a red faced exchange that lasted about a minute, stored the innocuous sentence for future use.

Today, over at Partially Yours, the innocuous sentence in question was successfully put to good use, as I was able to build an entire post around it.

In all seriousness, because I went so hog wild on this post (read: I wrote something that is usually found in my stories, not in my blog posts), the content is rather graphic and caters to the lowest common denominator of sleaziness (read: geared towards the male population between the age of 16-25), which is why it's over there instead of over here. Read at your own potential risk of being OH-FEND-ED, and remember to keep that disconnect in mind of G the blogger versus G the writer.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Iff'n You Don't Want To Listen, Why Didja Bother Askin'?

I have quite a few pet peeves in my life, some that drive me absolutely nutty, and some that make me want to grab the person by the shirt collar and hoist them up until their toes are mere centimeters from touching the ground, and say, "What the hell is your major malfunction!?"

This falls under the category of the second one.

I have absolutely no problem giving people directions. Throughout the years and decades, I've worked in enough places and traveled to enough places in this tiny little home state of mine so that I can directions with a reasonable amount of confidence.

I even had, during one long work related stop (about 3 years), been able to give directions to people even before they ask for them, simply because of a particularly popular place that was in the general vicinity of where I worked.

But the thing that I absolutely detest, and in fact makes this particular peeve fall into the second category, is when someone asks me for directions, then blows me off one quarter to halfway through my answer.

Case in point: yesterday (1/8), I had a lady stop and ask me for directions to a local synagogue. Now apparently this lady decided not to follow the directions that were clearly printed on the 3x5 card that she showed me, because she wound up some five miles off course and landed in downtown Newington.

The first indication that she was probably gonna blow me off, was her saying, "So you don't know where it is?" while I was trying focus on where the address that she shown me was located. The second indication was that she started making faces while I was giving her directions, because quite frankly, there was no real easy way to get where she needed to go from where she currently was.

Note: to get where she wanted to go from where she was, she had to her second two traffic light (about 1/4 of a mile), make a left and drive about a half to three quarters of a mile to her second light, make a right and drive about two miles to her fifth light, make a left and drive about a third of a mile and take a right at the light, and the synagogue would be on the left less than a half mile from that light. Overall driving time, about fifteen minutes or so.

Finally, while I was about halfway through, a passenger in her vehicle yelled something to her, so she said, "Okay, thanks." and split the scene. And just for fun, she blew through the red light at the plaza she was sitting in at the time so that she could sort of follow my partial directions.

If you're in such a rush to get where you ain't, why bother stopping to ask directions if you ain't gonna listen?

Here's a piece of advice for anyone who gets lost and needs to ask for directions: pay attention to what the other person is saying, because chances are, they may be able to tell you about few unknown variables that might get you there a little faster and with less aggravation that you're already experiencing. And don't forget to thank them for their time.

Common courtesy. Is it really that hard to execute?

Friday, January 7, 2011

The University Of Connecticut Woman's Basketball Team

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post with a late breaking major league rant.

As most of you are no doubt aware of, I rarely show bitter contempt for things I don't like. I bloviate, I dissect, I wax philosophically and I even talk analytically about the item in question. But I usually don't show bitter contempt for something I don't like.

Until now.

Unless you've been comatose in a hospital room tripping the light fantastic in your head with whatever people you fondly remember in your life, chances are that you were seeing/watching/listening/growing physically ill about TUoCWBT (I refuse to call them by what they're known as, so an acronym is the best you're gonna get out of me) "phenomenal" winning streak. You know the one I'm talking about, the one that finished up as being longer than the fabled UCLA Bruins of the 1970's.

Thursday night, December 30th to be exact, the last team that beat them in 2008 (Stanford in the NCAA's) beat them again to close out 2010.

All I can say is, 'bout F'n time.

For those of you who don't follow women's hoops, there are glaring differences for the various levels of competition. In spite of what you may read in a top 25 poll, woman's hoops has at the most, one fantastic team, and everyone else is cannon fodder.

No, really. If you ever read what the typical 64 team bracket for the men's are, you'll see that there are about 40 or so teams who are high caliber, with everyone else being not cannon fodder for those high caliber teams. The woman's bracket is basically this: TUoCWBT and everyone else (except maybe Tennessee and now Stanford) is cannon fodder.

I repeat, cannon fodder. Or, if that phrase doesn't work for ya, how 'bout collateral damage?

As sure as the fact that this blog is written by a fat, bald 45 year old guy, Connecticut's obsession with TUoCWBT is by far the worse thing that you could ever experience. You name the sports team (local, state or national) and/or the rivalry, and I will put that up against TUoCWBT plus our collective state budget any day of the week, and make you look like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum.

The newspapers here, both the largest state daily and the smaller dailies, go off the deep end whenever TUoCWBT loses more than 3 games in a season. Seriously. I've read a week's worth of overwrought and overemotional hyperbole that basically said the world was coming to an end because they lost a game.

Please. Give. Me. A. Break.

In case you're wondering why I have such an intense hatred and dislike for TUoCWBT, it can be directly traced to an incident back in the late 90's that solidified my opinion that Geno Auriemma was the most arrogant non-player to ever step on a hardwood floor.

Back in the late 90's, TUoCWBT had a good player by the name of Nykesha Sales. In her last season (97-98) she was closing in on the all time scoring record held by Kerry Bascom, when she came down with an injury that ended her collegiate career (blown achilles, I believe). Geno Auriemma felt sorry about the fact that she was going to fall one point short of the record. In the last game of her career (against Villanova), she was allowed to hobble down the court and score an uncontested layup to become the all time leading scorer (if you read the college section of her Wikipedia entry, it covers this incident in greater detail).

Yeah, fixing a game is a great way to earn my respect for a team and a player.


Anyways, I'm proud about the fact that TUoCWBT finally lost a basketball game, because now they'll be concentrating on blowing out the teams in their remaining games by 60 or 70 points (they are notorious for running up the score because in their world, there is no such thing as garbage minutes for players on the bench).

Oh, and the reason why everyone is considered cannon fodder to begin with? Because when you a professional team masquerading as amateurs, they do have a tendency to make all the other teams, whether they're at the top of their division/conference in first place or in the top five of their division/conference, look like the Washington Generals.

And what player wants to be remembered as playing for the Washington Generals?

I thought so.

And coming soon to a theater near you, a rant about another women's basketball related endeavor called, "The WNBA". Until then, have a fantabulous Friday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Writing? No, No! Anything But That!

You know you want it. C'mon, just a taste. You won't get hooked. I guarantee it. Just sniff it a little. C'mon, it's safe to do. All your friends have done it. Why not you?

That's it. Just take that #92 Bright/20 lb piece of paper and hold it up to your nose. That clean chemical scent does something to you, don't it?


What's that? You say you want more? But...but...but...well...okay. Here you go.

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

Guess what my friend, I lied. You are, for all intents and purposes, hooked.

What? You say you're not hooked? That you can walk away from it and go back to being a normal non-self absorbed person?

Tell you what, if you can sit all the way through what I'm about to say without interrupting, then I will tell everyone that I was mistaken and you're not hooked. But if you do interrupt, you are hooked and there is nothing that you or anyone else can do about it.
So, here I sit one month later, with the first draft of my synopsis for Line 21 and I'm having a heck of time trying to figure out how to trim the fat and reduce it from 10 pages to something more manageable. I found another article that was linked from QueryTracker and its a lot clearer than the one that I printed out back in August (also from QueryTracker), so hopefully by the time you read this, I can give an update in the comment section of the post.

This thing was a major pain in the ass to write to begin with and between writing it out by hand and typing out the rest of it on the computer, I was ready to tear out my hair with a pair of tweezers. However, I will say this about that: if they ask for an outline, I can write that in nothing flat. Bullet points I can do. Summarizing, I can't.

What's that? You say you have some pointers on how I could trim the fat? But you want me to post it first?

Are you mad? The damn thing is 10 pages long and even I wouldn't torture my readers with something that long. No sir, you'll just have to wait just like everyone else to find out what the book is about in greater detail.

shakes his head in disappointment

As for my other writing project that I put aside while I was doing multiple rounds of editing Line 21, that has hit a major league snag. About two weeks ago, I decided to apply the notes I'd written on the hard copy to the disk copy, so that when I finally decided to get back to it in earnest, it would be up to date. I figure that this was the very least I could do since I once again wrote myself into a small corner with the story. However, that isn't the major league snag I hit.

This is.

While I was transcribing my notes, I came across a very small paragraph of a internal explanation that one of the minor characters had thought, which basically stated what the intended plot of the story was to be. Problem is that's not what I originally envisioned the end result of the story to be.

The basic plot is this: a hybrid woman in exile from her home planet is told that the current ruler of the planet wants to possess her human husband and will do whatever it takes to acquire him. So I basically stayed within that plot line for about 67 pages, and expanding on it only when I felt it was necessary. Early on I decided to write it from two different points of view: the hybrid woman who is trying to hang onto her husband and the other hybrid who is trying to take him away.

But like I said, its that one small paragraph that is giving me grief. The more I think about it, the less I'm liking it. The less I like it, the more disinclined I am to continue writing the story. And thus, my current dilemma with the story.


I can see that my original statement about you still stands. You are indeed hooked and there is no escaping the fact that you are hooked. Oh sure, you can try to DENY that you're hooked, but really, can you say that denial with a straight face after just churning out a few thousand words while also spending a few hours editing a story until it screams for mercy?

I didn't think so.

Since your addiction has taken over your soul 100%, I might as well give your daily fix, which as you know from reading this blog, is in the form of a question.

"Have you ever experienced the problem that I've just expounded on with a story? And if so, how did you come to satisfactory resolution?"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Border's Books & Music, Part Deaux

As promised, an update on what I finally bought for reading material and listening material with my Christmas gift card from Border's.

As everyone is no doubt aware of, I am somewhat incapable of doing things the normal way, and that includes shopping. Saturday, after gathering up the necessary implements of destruction (in store coupon for 50% off of one book, gift card) and asking Joanne to pick two numbers between one and six (she chose 3 & 6), I took off for my local Border's store to purchase my chosen book.

When I got there, I did a brief reconnaissance mission, and after not finding my initial choice or my backup choice, I went to their handy-dandy wayback machine....ummm...internal website to look up my first choice. My first choice, "Effigy" by Alissa York (as suggested by Sparkling Red), was unfortunately only available as an e-book. Since I do not own a Nook/Kindle/Sony E-Reader, that choice quickly fell by the wayside.

Moving on to choice number two was Mark Twain's Autobiography (as suggested by David Cranmer). Unfortunately, that was sold out and there was a backorder wait of about 4-8 weeks.

Betcha thought I was stuck for something else to buy, right? Wrong. My memory that morning wasn't entirely shot, so I looked up what became choice #3, "The Lady Matador's Hotel" by Cristina Garcia (as suggested by Riot Kitty). After a brief two minute search, I found the hardcover copy, which was priced at $24. Considering that I wanted to buy two items with my card, and even though I had a coupon that would've dropped that price in half, I went searching for choice #4, "Blue Highways" by William Least-Heat Moon (as suggested by Lynn), which after ten minutes of searching, I found. The cover price of this edition was $15.99, and since the coupon brought the price down to $7.99, it became the reading material of choice.

Now, doing the brick-and-mortar thing was ridiculously easy, compared to Sunday morning's adventure at Borders online store. After asking Jenelle (my lovely and talented daughter) to pick two numbers between one and eight (she chose 3 & 6), I went online to buy my listening material of choice.

Choice #1 was a band called "A Pale Horse Calle Death" (as suggested by Charles Gramlich), but after a nano-second search that brought up nothing, we moved on to choice #2. Choice #2 was "The Family Jewels" by Marina and the Diamonds (as suggested by Sparkling Red). Apparently this is a rather buzzworthy debut c.d. as this was sold out as well, but being that I'm more picky about waiting for a book than I am for a c.d., I decided to buy the c.d.

Now here's where things immediately went downhill. I figure I might as well set up an account so in case I want to order future things when I actually got money, I could do so. A major problem cropped up the minute I try to checkout. Apparently back when I signed up for the card (prior to 2004), I was living someplace else at the time, so after I put in both a billing address and a shipping address (neither were the same), the little "continue" button vanished, and I had no way of finishing my check out. Even after I refreshed about five times and kept the billing and shipping address the same (among other things), the button simply would not come back.

At this point, I was getting really ticked about the entire process and I was ready to say "F** this Sh**" and move on to something else, when a blinding case of the obvious struck: option #2 was to have the c.d. ship to a nearby store.

Ah la peanut butter sammiches! I clicked on that link, and lo and behold, I was able to purchase the c.d. with about 40 cents to spare on the gift card. Strangest thing happened when I finished though, in that a survey popped up asking about how my shopping experience went.

No, I didn't fill out the survey because I certainly would've given them a profanity laced tirade on how non-user friendly their website is.

In any event, this is what I recommend that you do should you decide to shop at Border's online store.


Shop elsewhere. Do Amazon. Do Barnes & Noble. Do CD Baby. Do any other reputable online music or online book website. But don't do Borders online. Too much aggravation for too little reward.

So....the end result of my excursion on Saturday and Sunday was a brand new book called "Blue Highways" by William Least-Heat Moon (which will be stored at work), and a brand new c.d. called "The Family Jewels" by Marina and the Diamonds (of which I hope it lives up to the hype from AMG), which won't be stored at work, but will be played at work, once I finally acquire it.

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) 2008-17 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