Friday, November 30, 2007

rdmpt2

Another random post. But shorter.

[-] I thought (wished?) that the previous entry would have gotten more feedback. Oh well.

[-] 10 years ago, the sentence, "I blogged about my flickr account, and then googled some info for wikipedia." would have made no sense. (Not that it makes a lot of sense now, but at least we know what all those things are.)

[-] It rained all day today, and usually rain makes me happy, but all it did today was make me irritable.

[-] So I wonder what words will be in our vocabulary ten years hence that we don't commonly use now.

[-] I didn't do any work on The Project yesterday, opting instead to read some of Monster Planet. (50 pages left!)
This weekend, though.

[-] I'm trying (with minor levels of success so far) to cut back on my Pepsi intake.

[-] I never did get around to finishing Thy Master's Bidding. [sigh]

[-] Ignorance. Bliss? I think sometimes, yeah. There are certain realities in this world that I wish I did NOT know about.
...although, you know, not knowing doesn't make it go away. Of course, my knowing about them doesn't make them go away, either. All it does is make me more uncomfortable knowing that such things happen. Hrm.

[-] I don't really have a good way of wrapping this post up.

[-] I guess this is the end of (Inter)National Blog Posting Month. Here's hoping that the internet isn't completely boring tomorrow as a result!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

m;ykct

(That's "random", typed on the keyboard turned upside-down, for anyone who wanted a small peak into the mind of P@)

Yup. It's time for another blog entry that hits multiple frequencies. Dogs, cover your ears!

[-] Since last Thursday was Hall...er, Thanksgiving, I was unable to watch The Shield. (Episode 5.09, "Smoked", for those of you keeping track) But! Since we always repeat last week's episode the following week, today I was able to watch 2! Huzzah!!

During one scene (I think during "Smoked") I found myself literally sitting on the edge of my chair, and my heart was pounding so fast that I became aware of it. Man. The freaking Shield owns me. What am I going to do in 2 weeks when the season 5 finale gets to me and then we go back to season 1?!? I don't want to think about it.

[-] I have another Project that I really should do some work on. The Project, of course, is still my main focus, but this other one... I've done bits and pieces of stuff for it in the past, but never gotten it off the ground. I keep telling myself, "Once the new year rolls around..." but, seriously, why wait?

[-] CNN Headline News should not exist. It truly does not serve a purpose. Well, I mean, annoyance. But can't we get that from plenty of other things in this life? Yes. Yes we can.

[-]


























[-] I am in need of a haircut soon. It's been about 3 months since my last one, and the P@fro is getting unwieldy again.

[-] Harper is awesome. She can always make me laugh, no matter how crappy I may be feeling. Her latest thing is, after she says something funny (or surreal, or just... Harper) and I am giggling, to ask, "Was it something I said?"
The girl really could have a future in comedy.

[-] There's a guy at work who is ...hard to explain. It's almost as if... you know how in nearly every sitcom there's a character that has a one-track mind of sex? They're like the letch who always finds sexual innuendo in whatever situation maybe going on. Like The Todd from Scrubs, or (and I'm dating myself here) Dan from Night Court or Sam from Cheers.
Well, this guy is like them. Only... not funny?
Anyway, I've decided that I shouldn't put up with his sexual "jokes" and innuendos and derogatory misogynistic comments anymore. (He has extreme issues with any woman that is "overweight".)
But. Um. I don't know how to stop it. I mean, Bill has been ...Bill, for 8 years now. (Well, I mean, he's been Bill for longer than that, but he's been at the station for that long, and we've all just kind of accepted that he is who he is.) But really. It's gross. And ...Eh. I don't know. I think what I'm going to (hopefully) do is simply stop talking to him about anything nonwork related, and leave the room anytime that he brings up any sort of stories about his dating-website escapades, or whathaveyou.

[-] Our Pilgrim Mii ranked in the 9th level! (Out of 10, with 10 being the best) Dude! That's awesome!!

[-] 49 degrees outside when I get in to work... and the air conditioner is on. Sometimes I do. not. understand. people.

[-] And it's not just Bill. I am going to attempt to remove myself from any misogynistic beliefs that raise their ugly heads at work (or elsewhere). It's incredibly disturbing how prevalent they are, though. But the whole smiling politely and nodding (or laughing, even!) is bothering me now.

[-] Once the finale of Heroes airs next week, I'm done with that show. I've been wanting to quit it for a while, and last week was really really bad, but there's just one more episode to go, and stopping now would be almost dumb. (Hey, maybe I'd be able to be a character on the show!)

[-] Hmm. I'm getting hungry.

[-] Brains are mysterious awesome things.

[-] The average person (American?) complains 70 times a day, according to some survey...according to the morning djs on a radio station from a few weeks back. (I'm just sayin that I have no idea where this 'fact' comes from. I don't doubt that many people (Americans?) do complain that many times a day. I just can't confirm who compiled this information.)

[-] Tomorrow is the last day of NaNoThingY. Two questions. 1) Should I keep blogging once December rolls around? 2) What should I blog about tomorrow?

[-] It's almost 6pm. I think I'm going to go work on The Project now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blog fatigue

I'm So Tired. [/BeatlesWednesday]

Earlier today I had a semi-awesome blog idea in my head where I would be comparing my day to the events in A Day in the Life.
However, when I sat down to blog, I realized that the only parts that would really work were the "Woke up, got out of bed/dragged a comb across my head" and "found my coat and grabbed my hat/made the bus in seconds flat" parts, and I didn't want to do it anymore.

Oh well. Maybe some other time.

In three days it will be December. 2007... pretty much gone. Weird.

I haven't worked on The Project today, and probably will not, as I am so tired, and also, I did get a lot of (prep) work done on it yesterday. So when I get back to it tomorrow, I should be able to get another 1/4th done up to the 56% mark. Or...no. Wait. That fourth will be halfway ready to be 56%. ...I don't even want to try to figure out that math. [crazy] The point is that more work will be done tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm unique! Just like everyone else!

I meant to blog this yesterday, but then dinner and Chuck and Heroes and sleep got in the way. So now I'm blogging it right before leaving for work. Hope I don't get rushed and forget something!


Anyway. This post is all about The Project.

I got a lot of work done on one particular part of it yesterday. In fact, that section, I can say that 1/4th of it is now 56% done. (Yeah, that translates into 14% for that area all together when you take it out of 'P@ M@h speak', but "fourteen percent" sounds a lot less satisfying than "1/4th of 56".)

I plan on working on it some more today as well. As I was completing (56% of that fourth) that task, it felt so good. I get so giddy everytime that I get a little closer to finishing it up.

It's kinda killing me being all secretive about it (although, yeah, part of me enjoys being cryptic), BUT - here's the thing. I've googled up the name of the project - twice. Once was a few months ago (!!!!) when I first really started on it. At that time, there were only 3 hits. And while the sites shared the name of the project, they weren't the same idea.
Yesterday, I googled it again, and this time there were 6. Hrm.
Also, 1 of them came dangerously close to duplicating what The Project is about. ...while still being pretty different.

All that being said, I really do think that if I complete The Project - correction, when I complete The Project - that if I put a lot of time and effort into finding the right avenues, that it could potentially be... big. Like, money could be made off of it. Possibly.
And that's part of the reason I'm being all vague when speaking about The Project, and not even mentioning the name of it. I would hate for my original idea to be stolen (yeah, it's extremely unlikely that that would happen from people reading my blog, but just because you're paranoid...) after all the hard work I've put into it.
On the other hand, even if The Project just ends up being something that never goes beyond the home of the Spish, it's still very rewarding for me.

And ...now I have to go to work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Of Mice

Our mouse is dying! Oh noes!

I don't know what we'll do if it completely dies on us. (Yes, I said "if", not "when", since I'm trying to stay positive here) Currently, anytime it loses power, we (read: Steph) just reach under the computer table, unplug it, and plug it back in. This seems to remedy the problem for another 40 minutes or so.

When payday rolls around I guess we'll buy a new mouse. In the meantime, I'm going to practice my psychic computer connection.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

11 years ago today was when Stephanie and I first met (in person).

To celebrate, I'm taking the day off of NaNoBloPo.

Good night, everyone!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Amy and I got into an argument about the 21 grams urban legend. (The supposed truth that when a person dies, their body becomes 21 grams lighter, due to the soul leaving the body)

She believed it, and I got extremely upset by this. I tried reasoning with her, but the harder I pushed it, the more she countered with (anecdotal) evidence backing her position.

I told her that Wikipedia refuted the claim (she said that Wikipedia was not a reliable source, which, fair enough) and that I knew of at least 4 books that also put the lie to rest.

Eventually, we were going to both have a five minute presentation on tv, debating our sides.

First, though, Harper & I were going to watch the 1972 movie, Five Bears Walked Down the Road Until They Got Chased by a Werewolf in a Space Shuttle.
Which, was exactly what happened in that movie.

There were five grizzly bears walking down an abandoned road. A space shuttle landed behind them, and it was piloted by a werewolf. The bears began to run, and that's when I woke up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tomorrow the world!

Heh.

I finished reading 13 Bullets today. Quite fun. The vampires that David Wellington created are how vampires should be - scary as freaking hell.
There's a sequel (99 Coffins) due out at the end of the year. (And a third book, Vampire Zero due out...sometime later in '08, I guess.)
But I still need to read the 3rd zombie book - Monster Planet. Hopefully we'll go to the library tomorrow and pick it up (hence the title of this blog entry).

I could read it on his website, but I guess I'm old fashioned in that I prefer to read my novels in my hands. But it's nice to know that the option exists if I can't wait...

Also done today - not a whole lot. I worked a little on The Project, and Steph prepared turkey enchiladas for dinner, which were very yummy. I thought about my demon story some, and considered just summing up what is supposed to happen in a couple of sentences (and I may still do that) just so that I can move on to the myriad of other stories swimming in my head.
Maybe I should just start telling the ideas rather than trying to write the stories themselves. [eyerollshrug]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I guess the internet is on vacation today.

I understand the feeling.

On the bright side - I did work on The Project! Not a lot, and I feel somewhat stuck on a particular part, but progress is progress. Baby steps, P@. It's gonna get completed eventually. Oh yes.

Not a lot else to talk about right now. Winter is here, finally. Two days ago we had a nice 17 degree drop in temperature, and now that the sun is going down, it's going to be cold in here again. The heater is on, but our poorly insulated house means that we still need to have blankets wrapped around us for a good portion of the day (and night). [and yeah, that is a slight exaggeration, but there is some truth to it]

Hope everyone is having (or had) a good day, however you celebrated [or didn't, as the case may be].

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Paperback Writer

A billion years ago, Annika tagged me with the "List 5 of your writing strengths" meme.

Despite having had all this time to think about it, I haven't had much success in coming up with that many.

When Stephanie (whom I consider a great writer) provided her answers to this meme, she called the meme, "very difficult". Annika herself referred to it as "horrible, awful, [and] bad". Even the person who tagged Annika points out that coming up with "5 reasons I suck" would be easier. Which raises a really good question about this meme. Why is it that writers have a hard time singing their own praises? I mean, yeah, everyone is their own worst critic, so seeing one's [writing] flaws is easier, but if the meme had asked, "Name 5 good qualities you have", while that might have proven difficult as well, I bet that each of us would have been able to do it.

As it stands, I don't know if I know of five 'strengths' I have as a writer. Let alone more than five. (The meme asks for you to name five of your strengths, which means that, hypothetically, you should have more than 5 to choose from.) In a perfect world (ha!), I would answer this meme and have to stop myself from going on and on. Right?

Eh. Anyway. I did come up with some ideas (although, really, the coming up with flaws is a LOT easier. Also, I'm not sure that all of these are truly 'strengths', as the cynicism seemed to seep into everything I could come up with...) so let's get it started, and if I get 5, then, wahoo! If not, well, no big loss there either, I suppose.

1) Original Ideas
I can honestly say that coming up with story ideas is something that I excel at. {Whether the stories are any good, or ever get written, or have characters you care about, or dialogue that doesn't make you cringe is beside the point.} I'm constantly thinking of scenes or concepts or 'pitches'. And it may be a stretch, but I'd like to think that they are ...at least somewhat unique. It's hard for me to accurately judge that assessment, though, because in my mind, all (most?) of my ideas are derivative and predictable. However, the reason I think that is because I know where the story is going to go [um. Except when I don't]. I mean, since the story is in my head, when I put it on paper, I generally think, "Oh, man, I've heard this before!"

But. The point is that generating ideas is one of my strengths, and I'm sticking with that.

2) Ha Ha!
When I want to be, I can be really funny.
Sure, comedy is subjective, and I may only be amusing myself [to death], but, being able to laugh is a great ability to have, so it's going on the list.

3) Crappy vocabulary
Wait! Hear me out. This may sound like a weakness, not a strength, and it probably is, but since the negatives are so much easier to think of, I figure a good way of compiling the list is to start looking at them as positives instead.
So, yeah. The fact that I have a 6th grade vocabulary means that a) I can write for USA Today and 2) that none of my writing is going to have any huge words that you don't recognize. Toss out that dictionary! My writing ain't gonna increase your word knowledge none!

4) Compelling!
I believe that my writing is (or can be) very compelling. Page turner type of stuff. It draws you in and keeps you wanting to read until the very end. I'm like a master of suspense. Or, maybe not a 'master', but I'm pretty adept at it.

I must be, if you've read this far. ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

this and that

I can't seem to think of a coherent topic for today, so instead just a few random thoughts.

...

On the drive home today, we took Tropicana Ave. instead of the normal Flamingo or Desert Inn Road. Which was a gigantic mistake. The traffic jam was truly horrible. But one thing I noticed and thought was noteworthy was the fact that at Tropicana and Arville the buildings more or less went, "Massage Parlor", "Adult Book Shop", "Southwest Gas", "Sex Toy Shop".... I kind of felt bad for the employees of Southwest Gas. I mean, they're just these folks who work for a major utility company, and they are constantly surrounded by porn.
And, sure ,that might sound appealing, but dude. It's where you work. And there is nothing else around there.

Also thought during that time? I really hate Las Vegas.

...

You know how when, for example, you learn a new word, and then you start seeing that word everywhere? Or you are looking for a new car, and suddenly that type (and sometimes color) of car appear all over the place?
Well, that has recently started happening to me with the phrase, "Are you kidding me?". The past two or three days it has been everywhere.

...

David Wellington's website has all of his novels on there for free to read! Not only has he written Monster Island, Monster Nation, and Monster Planet, but he's also written a vampire novel: 13 Bullets, and a werewolf novel, Frostbite. All of which are, as I said, available to be read online at davidwellington.net. Dude is right up my alley.


....

Supposedly, after 3 weeks of doing something, it becomes a habit. Today marks the 21st day in a row that I have blogged (um, I think. I'm pretty sure I blogged the day before November started...), so if that is true I should be used to blogging daily. Will it continue? Who knows?

.....

Hazardous meme to start:
Whenever you are stuck in traffic and one of those douchebags has the thumpy bass speakers set really loud [and seriously - why are those things always set to the exact level to make my head pound? And/or wake up a sleeping child?] - start honking. Just lay on your horn while their "music" is playing. Encourage everyone else near you to also honk.
Fight annoyance with annoyance!

The drawbacks to this particular idea:
1) It's a good way to maybe get shot.
2) The douchebags might just turn their music up.
3) The noise level in the city is really high enough as it is.

.....

Remember when Fear Factor was on tv?

....

I haven 't worked on The Project in ... I don't know how long. I just keep putting it off and putting it off. I mention this mostly as a way of chiding myself into getting back to work on it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Modern Civilization is dead! Long live Modern Civilization!

(I also considered using "Fossil fuels are dead! Long live fossil fuels!", which may have been funnier, and a better choice. We'll never know, though.)

So peak oil is pretty much a given at this point. I mean, even the mainstream media (whatever that means) is picking up on it, and people [read: Americans] who have been living in caves the past however long are starting to realize [mostly due to increasing gas prices, which lead to increasing food prices as well as increasing energy bills] that the amount of oil we have readily available is, surprisingly, not going to last forever.

On the news (yeah, I know, look at the source) there was a report about Iran & Saudi Arabi threatening to withhold their oil supplies to OPEC, if the US did anything stupid like invade them. This would result in driving prices up to 200 dollars [US] per barrel. Which would double [or more] the price of gasoline currently, in a relatively short amount of time.

....Iv'e lost my train of thought, unfortunately.

Here's what this post was supposed to be about, bottom lined:
The Age of (cheap) Oil is coming to an end, whether we want it to or not.
This is going to revolutionize our way of living in a LOT of ways.
Some people (my past self included) believe that this will end up crashing civilization. I no longer really believe that civ. will completely crash. I can't explain very well *what* I believe, but ... I don't know. There's a lot of unknowns right now (aren't there always?) so predicting things is kinda pointless.
But here's the thing - we still want to get out of Las Vegas. Selling the house seems to be the best way of getting enough money quickly to obtain that goal. I guess the above mentioned news story made me wonder if the system will remain stable long enough for us to get the house sold at all. (Because, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, along with peak oil, the housing market has more or less gone in the dump. Even Las Vegas, which is generally pretty insulated from most economic woes has begun to have a huge slowdown in house sales. Hell, our neighbors two houses down have had their home for sale for six or seven months now.)

I don't know.

The whole thing will be moot in 5 years anyway, when the Mayan calender comes to an end. Nobody knows exactly what will happen on that day - perhaps nothing - but my money is on Zombie Apocalypse.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big ol' ball of meh

Sometimes that's what the internet is. And I'm just contributing nicely.

Anyway.


So, I've finished the 2nd installment in the zombie novels by David Wellington. It's neat how each story is complete on it's own, but also gives a bigger piece of the overall puzzle. Although book 2 had more typos than 1 did (I didn't notice any in the first book, and #2 had at least 4 that I caught. "He'd have to come up withy something new."
withy?? [sigh])
Also, I think that some of the timeline may have been screwed up a bit in #2, but dude. It's his universe. Plus, creating three full length novels that are so ...page-turny, and compelling and unique with their take on the zombie mythologies.... I think I can let these things slide.

Now I need the final book. (And what, prey tell, am I going to do after I finish that? Other than send the universe the continuous wish that someone transform these books into kick ass movies...)

Not a lot else to talk about right now, sadly. I spent most of my day finishing the book, and I don't know about you, but when I get all absorbed in a good story, it's difficult for me to think of much else.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Must be a Wiikend

Here's what I've done today:

Woke up at 2:30 in the morning. Put on a shirt and pants, and took the garbage can to the curb. Went back to sleep.

Woke up again around 7 am. Got up and played Super Mario Bros 3 on the Wii.

When the family got up - around 9? - I went to the grocery store to buy milk, lunch supplies [tuna, bread, chips] and also donuts for breakfast.

Finished Super Mario Bros 3. YAY!! Now, next time I start it up, I'll have 15 P-wings to go through the world with. Ya-hoo!

Went outside with Irina and Harper to dig in the backyard, and swing, and just enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.

had lunch.

Played a little bit of Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Lara Croft freaking breaks when she misses a jump. It's really disturbing. (and a little funny.)

Read more of Monster Nation. Had Steph look up to see if Monster Planet is available at the library. (It is!) I also seem to have misplaced my bookmark. Grr.

After lunch we all went out to various locations around town, picking up materials needed for home improvements. Namely, we went to Target, Paddock Pools & Heating, PetSmart (for cat litter), and dinner at Fazoli's.

Once home again, I completed Super Mario Sunshine. WOO HOO!! I beat two Mario games in one day! To be fair, on SMS I had been on the last level for a long time, and simply hadn't played it for several months. But still, two times Mario took on Bowser, and two times, the King of Koopas went down like the punk that he is!

So, the day was basically - playing on the Wii, shopping, playing outside, reading.
I did not do any work on The Project (sigh), and did not do any writing (sigh). There's always tomorrow. And this week at work is a short week, so hopefully I'll make some progress on those things soon.
Although I do still have Super Mario World to complete...

Friday, November 16, 2007

I AM
61%
JAZZ
Take the Transformers Quiz

Jazz

Jazz picked his sports car form because it’s the epitome of style. If there’s one thing he digs about Earth, it’s human culture.

Like Jazz, you are good by nature. But beware because mischievous thoughts sometimes tempt you. You show no aptitude to become the commander of the Autobots. In addition, you enjoy technology and are aware of the latest trends, but you stick with what works for you.


True!

In other news, despite the fact that I have not yet finished my demon story [or any other writing from the past 15 years or so!], I have a *new* story brewing in my mind. (This one inspired big time by Monster Island. As I said earlier today, "I likes me the zombies.")
Don't worry, though. There will be conclusion to the short story started a few days back.

In other other news, we're still having highs in the 70s around here. It's supposed to finally cool down on Thanksgiving Day - a 20 degree drop is expected - but I'm not really looking forward to that. I kinda like the fact that I can comfortably walk around in short sleeves near the middle of November. Oh well. All good things must etc, etc.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?

So, I'm definitely sick, but I'm not sick. Besides the sore throat (which isn't all that bad. More of a nuisance than any real pain at this point), the only symptom I have from this illness is a complete lack of energy.

I seriously feel like there's a case of kryptonite around. I want to curl up and just stop moving and sleep for a week or so. Hey, if I did that, I'd wake up in time for Thanksgiving. Awesome plan!

But the downside to this illness is that since I'm not incapable of working ("I'll suffer through it."), I haven't yet taken advantage of using sick time and not going to work. That's because I have this bizarre work ethic where I put work ahead of my health. I just feel that if I am not there to do my job, that it won't get done properly. Which is a false belief, but many times logic and I don't see eye to eye.

On the bright side, though, I've got a really great book that's been keeping me company the past two or three days. Monster Island by David Wellington is a remarkable zombie novel that I highly recommend. I only have about 40 pages left to read, so I'm itching to get back to it. The best part? It's part one of a trilogy - and I have the second installment (Monster Nation) waiting for me, too.
What I'll do after I finish that I'm not sure - since I don't think the third book has come out yet. :/ (I would check online, but I'm nervous about stumbling upon spoilers. The story is *very* good, and I would hate to ruin it for myself.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I guess I better post .... Something

See how I snuck a Beatles song in there? I'm a sly one.

Abbey Road is an amazing album, but definitely one that you should not listen to on "Shuffle". Musical whiplash!

Not a real long (or interesting!) post this time. I've been holding off this illness (cold? flu? boogie-woogie fever?) for a few weeks now, but right now I think the battle may be lost. My throat is scratchy and I'm hot and uncomfortable. Dislike!

I had a different post idea (complete with a different song title to go with) planned, but I'll save it for next week, I guess.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thy Master's Bidding, part 2

(If you haven't already, you may want to read part 1.)

I didn't scream. Bocal-Sha did startle me (how often do you hear a voice coming from your tool shed, anyway? Let alone a demonic one?) but I wasn't frightened enough to let out a yell. I'd been delving into the dark arts for over a month at that point, so perhaps I was a little jaded. It was just noteworthy that my first true interaction with a being not of this world, and I didn't react in the stereotypical way.

I took a step forward to get a look at the creature. I was more curious than anything at that point. Wouldn't you be? In hindsight, I suppose fear should have been my initial response. Or skepticism, even. But my drive to know more about this beast ...and, okay, I'll admit it, the thought of the power that it could provide me, far outweighed any logical emotions a normal person might have experienced.

As I stepped further into the shed, a small part of me did realize I was completely vulnerable to the demon. If it had wanted to kill me, maim me, devour my flesh - then would've been the perfect time. But it didn't.

Because it wasn't there.

I took another step into the enclosure, and was now entirely inside the small building. I could see the weed whacker, power cords, gardening tools, the lawn mower, plenty of dust, and some cobwebs. But no demonic force. I looked up, looked down, turned around behind me. Was I imagining things? The voice had certainly sounded real enough. Maybe the head injury coupled with my desire to have wanted the spell to work was...

"Bocal-Sha is here, Master." The voice was most definitely real, and was most definitely inside the shed with me. But I couldn't see the demon.

"I... can't see you." I said, and was surprised at how rusty my voice sounded, as though I hadn't spoken for weeks.

A sudden powerful sensation of shame and disappointment enveloped me then. This was the first time that Bocal-Sha's emotions hit me (but not the last), and it was so unexpected and overwhelming that I was knocked to my knees. Evidently, I would learn, when the creature felt something strongly, I, too, would share the emotional state. Although 'share' isn't quite the right word for it. Bocal-Sha's empathy-waves were the equivalent of being emotionally mugged. Whatever I felt become secondary, almost non-existent, while Bocal-Sha's senses were all-encompassing.
"Bocal-Sha is in a weakened state, Master. Bocal-Sha can not reveal. Does Master desire Bocal-Sha reveal?"

The shame that Bocal-Sha felt was subsiding, or I was getting accustomed to it. Either way, I found that I was able to stand again. But all of this newness was difficult to take in. I needed some time to process everything that was going on.
"I...no, I understand if I can't see you," I said to the demon. "Are you able to leave this building?" According to many of the books and websites I had read, demons were subject to numerous restrictions on their powers or abilities depending on how they were summoned.

"Yes, Master. Shall Bocal-Sha leave?"

"Just stay near me."

"Always, Master."

*****


I'm sure if anyone had been watching me mow the lawn, they would have been quite puzzled. A teenage boy pushing a lawn mower, apparently talking to himself the whole time, occasionally laughing hysterically for no reason, twice stopping in order to have an uncontrollable session of crying for five minutes. They would have assumed me insane.
However, that 45 minute conversation allowed me to gather valuable information from Bocal-Sha.

The demon (it was neither male nor female, as demons are evidently sexless beings. When I attempted to determine Bocal-Sha's gender, it simply resulted in a shared bout of confusion.) was not the Devil, but most certainly knew of a Devil. As far as I could surmise, the Devil was an excessively powerful and ruthless demon who rarely personally interacted with humans, or demons. The Devil - whose real name was something unpronounceable - generally took a portion of all other demons souls and power on a regular basis.

Demons use Human souls as a sort of currency/food/energy source, apparently. By offering mine up, Bocal-Sha would be able to give the Devil his due (ha!) and be set for a good amount of time. When I asked what would become of me by no longer having my soul, Bocal-Sha chuckled. "Perhaps a career in politics?"

During our conversation, I learned about the empathy-waves, and how it is simply how Bocal-Sha is, and that it is not exactly controllable. The demon did promise to try and keep the feelings in check. Bocal-Sha also told me that the empathy-waves would not be as powerful to other people. Additionally, it was able to control it's voice so that it would not be heard by other people, unless it wanted to be heard.

Which brought us to the visibility problem. Bocal-Sha told me that if I performed some magic on behalf of it, that it's strength could be improved enough that it would be able to make itself visible to me. The spell was complex, the demon said, but if I wanted, it would be willing to help me through it. There was also a small sacrifice that I would be required to make - just some small animals - Bocal-Sha told me, and once the demon was visible, it would be able to help with further spells, and also able to grant certain powers to me.

I liked the sound of that.

Monday, November 12, 2007

And by "tomorrow", I obviously meant "the day after"

Today at work was the busiest day I've had in a long time, including the time when my supervisor was out on injury leave.
And now, it's 7 at night, and Irina is running around needing supervision, and to be honest, I've lost my steam on the story. For now. I swear, though, that I will finish that story.

What's interesting is when the idea first originated, I had a pretty clear storyline in mind. Now that I've hit the halfway point (or maybe just the end of Act I [of III]), I have about 4 different directions that the story could conceivably go.


And all of them are appealing, in different ways.

This is nothing new, of course. I end up thinking of various 'paths not taken' in nearly every story I write. ...And then, typically, wind up taking none of them. [rolleyes]

I think, though, that I'll finish the story the way that I had originally intended. Maybe the other tales will grow as separate stories some day....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thy Master's Bidding

It was Craig's idea to begin with. He was the one who jokingly asked me what I'd be willing to sell my soul to the devil for.
We talked about it for a while, coming up with the typical list of teenage boy daydreams: women, cars, money, power.
By the end of the afternoon, when Craig went home, I'm sure he had forgotten about the whole thing, since we'd soon stopped talking about it, and moved on to some other matter - how much Mrs. Tate's class sucked or whether we'd be getting summer jobs this year.

But I hadn't forgotten. The idea of getting the Devil to grant me my wishes, to give me power beyond my wildest dreams, just for trading my immortal soul? That idea stuck with me.

*****


I spent a few weeks doing some research. First at the library, when I should have been focusing on my English report on Moby Dick, I was perusing all the books I could locate on the Occult. Most of it seemed childish, but I found bits and pieces that rang true.

Before I'd exhausted all the resources at the library, I turned to the Internet. What a boon that was! The amount of garbage was exponentially larger, but so, too, was the amount of real information.

Even now, I can't really explain how I knew what was 'true' and what was nonsense. I simply had an instinctual reaction to all things paranormal. An inner voice that seemed to guide me toward what would be beneficial, and steer me away from anything that was a waste of time.

A couple of chatrooms and several hundred websites later, I had managed to secure enough materials and information to perform a real summoning. Of course, I would need a partner to assist me. It was time to see if Craig remembered the idea, and if he was interested in putting it to the test.

*****


As we set up to perform the ritual, I remember falling into a sort of trance. I wonder now whether it had already taken place. If the demon was already in charge, and was just pulling strings. And if that's the case, just how long had it been controlling things? From the very first time that I logged onto DarkForces.net? From the first time Craig and I talked about it? From my birth? Have I always been a pawn?

Regardless, much of the Summoning Ritual went down in a haze, where neither of us spoke, but worked together, as though we were one mind.

The ritual was pretty complex. We were performing it in my basement, on a night of a New Moon (I was surpised to discover that moon phases do, in fact, play a role in magic and demonology, but that it is not the Full Moon that has most influence. At least not for the spell we were going to attempt). Craig was spending the night at my house, and my parents had already gone to sleep for the night.

We lit the candles, and drew the pentagram, the endless knot, seven infinities, and several other arcane symbols. There was a large wooden ankh hanging over the middle of the room, secured by some twine that Craig had procured from his father's camping supplies. The rest of the materials [the ankh, the candles, the incense, the books, etc] I had either ordered online during the previous week, or had crudely made when I should have been working on my school work.

After everything was set up, it was time to get down to business and do the chant.We inverted a few crosses, burned some incense, and sat facing each other.

As I sat there and began the Summoning chant (from memory, even!) with my eyes closed, I could sense that Craig's demeanor had changed. I cracked my left eye open - while still chanting - and saw that Craig was stifling laughter.

I stopped the recitation, opened my eyes, stood up. "Is this a joke to you?" I asked, surprising myself at how much anger was in my voice.

Craig opened his eyes and looked taken aback at my tone. "No...dude, come on, though. I mean..."
I glared at him, daring him to continue his thought, but he could tell that I was not going to be won over by whatever he was going to say. "Sorry," he concluded quietly.

I softened my tone and said, "That's alright. I shouldn't've gotten so angry. It's just that we've come this far. We might as well go the rest of the way."
I sat back down. "Are you going to be able to handle this?" I asked.

If only Craig had said, "No" at that time. Or better yet, "You're out of your mind, Anthony." Or just gone home. Things would've been much different. But instead, whether it was under his own power or not, he smirked and said, "Let's raise some hell."

*****


I completed my part of the chant, and Craig completed his. As the last words of the spell were spoken aloud, we sat there in silence for 10 seconds. Twenty.

Nothing happened.

We both opened our eyes and looked at each other in puzzlement.
"Did we say it wrong?" Craig asked.

"No," I said, somewhat bitterly. "We followed the directions precisely. Nothing happened because this is all fake. I should've known. There's no such thing as demons or de..."
I didn't get a chance to complete my rant, because the twine holding the wooden ankh snapped, and ten pounds of symbolism came crashing down onto my head.

*****


"OhgodOhgodOhgod."
As I groggily came to, all I could hear was Craig chanting those two words repeatedly.

MY head was sore as hell, and my vision was doubled, as I could've sworn I saw two Craigs standing over me. Although one of them looked ...different somehow. I blinked, and there was only one Craig.

I moved my hand to the back of my head, and felt a good sized bump already forming. Craig offered me his hand to help me up. "Are.. are you okay?"

"Yeah. I.. yeah. Ow. I'm okay. What happened?" It was difficult for me to get a real grasp on my surroundings for those first few minutes.

Craig explained what had went down - how the giant cross had fallen and conked me on the head, knocking me out for probably only 10 seconds, but what felt to him like an eternity. "Weird timing" was mentioned. I swear I heard a chuckle at the time, but dismissed it due to my near concussion.

We cleaned up the mess of the ritual, more or less as quietly as we had set it up. I was irate at the fact that the past month or so, along with the thirty bucks I'd spent on the wooden cross that could've killed me, had been a waste. Although as I thought about it, the story seemed pretty good. The fact that the ankh had fallen right after the incantation made for a good tale, and I figured once my ego (and bruise) had healed a bit, Craig and I would get a lot of mileage out of the telling of it.

After everything was cleaned up, we went to go to sleep. Craig asked me again if I was okay. I confirmed that I was, and darkness took me into a dreamless night.

****


The next afternoon, after Craig left, was when it showed up.

I was preparing to mow the lawn. I had gone into the shed to retrieve the mower, and it was in there, waiting. I slid open the shed door and was greeted with a voice that was recognizably inhuman, "Master. You have summoned the mighty Bocal-Sha. What is your desire?"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

scooters,vacation,fall

For months before blogger introduced them, I had wanted to implement labels into my blog. After the upgrade, and they were available, I used them periodically, and even went and labeled some of the archives here and there.

Lately, though, I've fallen out of the label habit, and I think I may just abandon the practice altogether. Too many of my posts can't really be categorized, or could fall into categories that I haven't created, or...whatever.

But, just for the sake of posterity, and also so that I have a blog entry for today, I will now 'explain' my (now-defunct) blog labels.


a working class hero is something to be - From the John Lennon song, Working Class Hero. These posts were about work, or things that happened on the job.

as seen on tv - Posts about television.

church sign wisdom - posts that were devoted to that recurring segment, where I discuss the marquee of the church near our house.

everything's a game to you isn't it? - discussion of video games, board games, mind games. And yes.

grr argh - if the entry was about Buffy or Angel or Joss Whedon.

L O S T - February of 2008? That's still like 3 months away.

la la la - Music related posts.

so how is the weather? - Discussing the weather is the lowest common denominator when it comes to small talk. It is the most boring topic that there possibly is. It figures that I would have a label devoted to it on my blog.

strive for mediocrity - from the Boingo song, Insanity. These posts were the 'boring ones'. Many times I considered going through my blog and marking every post with this label...

There is no you there is only meme - Posts that were internet 'memes', or quizzes got this label, which is a play on the line, "There is no you, there is only me" from the Nine Inch Nails song, Only

tube of yous - anything Youtube related

Who needs sleep? - Taken from the Barenaked Ladies song of the same name. Posts that were about sleep. Or the lack thereof, more commonly.

Who's still workin' on his masterpiece? - a line from the David Byrne song, The Great Intoxication. These were posts about writing. More specificially, my writing(s).

xmas - What is it with this meme? It just won't go away, ya know?

yer a wizard - Harry Potter related posts.

you're older than you've ever been - "and now you're even older." Taken from the They Might Be Giants song, Older, this was the label for birthday posts.

zombies - just the one time when I blogged like it was the end of the world, but, who knows if the dead will rise again...

Friday, November 09, 2007

change of plans

I was going to blog about how boring i am, and about how irritated i am by myself and a great many other things, but decided not to.

instead, i'll ask the old standby: what books are you currently reading and/or do you recommend?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

nightblogging

During the day, when I'm extremely super busy, and I don't have time to actually blog (also, I don't have a computer available where I can do that), I sometimes come up with seeds of ideas for blogging. Or story writing. Or movie scenes.

But, then, at night, when I have access to the computer, and it's time for me to actually write? Yeah. That's when my mind goes blank. Or all the ideas seem a lot more lame than they were in my head.

....

I've not worked on The Project in about 4 days. I'm still passionate about it, and I still will complete it, it's just that work has been rough, and when I've gotten home, I've been too tired to really do any real thinking. That's why we have weekends, I guess.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

8 days a week

Cuz, see, it's all about time.

I'm no physicist (heck, it took me two backspacings to spell physicist without a redline showing up underneath it), but it is my opinion that time-travel [into the past, anyway] is impossible.

1) We would've seen time travelers by now. Or effects thereof.
Yeah, people will argue that if the past has been changed, how would we know, but I think that if time travelers existed, they'd make things ...better.


Or..you know, maybe they wouldn't. Because messing with the past would alter their present (our future), and it might make things worse for them. And besides, maybe they don't care about making our present better. I mean, if I could go back and change, say, events of World War 2 (heh. Almost typed '3' there.), would I? PRobably not.
For the very reasons stated above. Namely, if I killed Hitler or Eisenhower, how would that change the present? What if by doing so I wound up being born 2 months earlier? Or not at all. Can't have that.
Also, all the people who died in WW2... well, they're dead. They don't have an impact on my life *now*, so I should just let them die when they were supposed to die. Right?
But, assuming I could go back and forth at will, and I saw that my actions in the past altered the future negatively... all I'd have to do is go back again, and not do that.
So. Either time travelers don't exist, don't care about changing the past, or, have determined that what we have is the best that we can get. Hmm.

2) Dude. Even God couldn't go back in time.
Of all the powers that God (Christian God from the Bible, we're talking here. Although, come to think of it, none of the gods from other mythologies that I know of have this ability either...) has, one of the biggies that He's lacking... is time travel.
When Adam & Eve disobey him in the Garden of Eden, if God were truly all powerful, you'd think he'd just turn back the clock. [or, you know, if he were omnipotent, he'd've seen it coming]
Again, with Noah and the flood. Pissed at how the world's turning out? Going back and starting from scratch might be easier than, say, drowning 99% of the world.
Hell, when Lois Lane died, all Superman had to do was fly around the world backwards a few thousand times, so you'd think that God Almighty would have that ability...

So, with the exception of Terminators and Bill & Ted, and DeLoreans and Billy Pilgrim (and the aforementioned Man of Steel), once the past is past, it's.... well, past.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

This doesn't bode well.

We're only 6 days into the month, and I'm already struggling to find things to blog about.

Fortunately, today is covered by blogging about not having anything to blog about. And tomorrow is BeatlesWednesday, but what will the future hold?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Memeblazers

How the heck do memes get started, anyway? I mean, someone has to be the first to break the ground.

That being said, I'm going to have a gimmick (that could possibly spread, if others participate) for the month of November (Since, as you've probably figured, I am doing the whole NaNoBloPoMoWriThing).
BeatlesWednesday.

On each Wednesday of this month, my post(s) will have some sort of reference to The Beatles. <-the link to the wikipedia page is amusing me greatly. As if there is *anyone* out there reading my blog that has no idea who The Beatles were.>

It might just be a song lyric or title, or it could be a reference to something they did or said. Or it might actually be about The Beatles in some way. But it doesn't have to be. All that matters is that they get some sort of plug, one way or another on Wednesday.

Anyone who wants to can join in, since, you know, the Beatles are pretty universal (or, put another way, The Beatles are known Across the Universe.), and doing this pretty much helps out with 4 of the 30 posts for NaBloPoJackAMo.

Plus, it would be kinda neat if it became a meme, and I was the one who started it. :)

So, Why BeatlesWednesday?
Well, because I was listening to "1" in the CD Player today, and I was all, "Dude. Having a day dedicated to blogging using Beatles song titles would be a neat gimmick."
I picked Wednesday because we haven't had a Wednesday in November yet. And today is Monday, so it gives people time to prepare for it if they want to join in.
Plus, it has a good ring to it. (Or Ringo to it, if you prefer.)

So, November 7th will be the first (of many?) BeatlesWednesday.
Let it be.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

There's always exercise

So, the WGA is going on strike.

On the one hand, I wanna say, "Screw the writers. They should be writing for the love of writing, not for money. There are hundreds of thousands of people who would kill to have the opportunity to have their craft televised and viewed by millions, and would happily do it for the amount of cash they're being paid. Or maybe even for less."

On the other hand, producers of television and movies need to stop being so greedy and pay their writers what they're worth, and realize that times change, and technology changes and that without people getting paid for creating their product, we all lose.

I can sympathize with both sides of this argument. Such is the joy of being a Gemini. (Or possibly just being me.)


As with just about everything in life, I'm most concerned with how this strike will affect me personally. If it ends up pushing back and/or changing the quality of my favorite shows (Pushing Daisies, Lost, The Simpsons, and 30 Rock are the main programs I'm worried about) then...well, that would kinda suck.
But I guess there's always movies. I mean, we have 150-ish items on our Netflix queue. So if we were suddenly in a bereft of good tv, we could catch up on those.
But say the strike goes on for a longer period of time, and the movies start to suffer?
Well, there's always the internet.
I mean, just cuz there's a writer's strike doesn't mean that people are going to stop blogging. (Right?)

But if the internet did go through one of it's phases where nobody was entertaining me?

I suppose my title would be true at that point.
So, please, Hollywood. Get it together. Don't make me resort to exercise.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fall(s) back

Right: Daylight Saving
Wrong: Daylight Savings
Gollum: My Preciouss Daylight Savingses

Friday, November 02, 2007

Entertaining story, told not so entertainingly

Yesterday I deposited most of my paycheck into Stephanie's checking account - since that's the one that we use for paying bills and mortgages and whatnot. I've done this many many times over the years, and most of the tellers at the bank know me, and know Steph. Or, rather, know Steph's name, since when they type in her account number, her name shows up on the computer.

So, yeseterday, I put the money into the account, and the teller & I did the usual, "This is for your wife, right?"
"Yep."
"And you're not on her account?"
"Nope."
rigamarole.

Today, I got an email from Steph who told me that when she checked the account online, she discovered that the money I deposited was, in fact, NOT in there.
It was also not in my account (she checked in case I had suffered mass brain damage and deposited into my account on accident).

I still had the receipt in the van, proving that I had made the deposit. I got that, and saw that the final 4 digits on the reciept did not match the final 4 digits of Steph's account.

Oh. Crap.

So, I got into the van, drove the 2.5 miles to the bank in a *very* short amount of time, and spoke with the same teller as yesterday. Turns out that she mistyped the account number. (But she saw Steph's name when she brought up the other account!? Neither of us could figure that one out. Because when she brought up the 'wrong' one this time, it did not have Steph's name there. Weird.)

Anyway, she took the money out of the wrong one, and put it into my wife's, and apologized a gabillion times for the error. Yay for getting money back where it belongs and not losing our house!

And that's the end of the story.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

No writing so far!

.....


D'oh!