• I Have a Cold

    I have a cold. It’s not a bad cold, but between the DayQuil, the NyQuil, and all the little Quils, I feel like my head is floating in a dreamy haze. Instead of the normal sharp tacks it sits on, it’s sandwiched between a pillow and a bag of marshmallows. Or it is a marshmallow, I’m not quite sure. I can only taste about half my food. And man, I would love nothing more than to just take a nap the rest of the day. But no! I cannot! This novel needs to be written, no matter how much I’m sweating without exercising. My body’s physical condition doesn’t affect my…

  • Airports are a Magical Place

    I don’t care what anyone says, I still think of airports as a magical place. But first, let’s get the annoying points out of the way. Security is ridiculous. Taking off your shoes and organizing your on-board pack to remove all traces of liquids is not going to stop a bomb or a terrorist from getting through. Traffic is always weird — you never know where you’re going to park and who can drive you there at 4 in the morning. Flights are expensive, cramped, vulnerable to weather, inundated with meaningless regulations, and you are at the mercy of the airline’s whims if they decide to bump the flight. But…

  • Smoke Detectors Are Evil

    Today I woke up at 5:00 AM to the sound of the smoke detector beeping. The smoke detector beeps because it’s out of battery. It beeps every 30 seconds. The beep would make a reptile go insane in five minutes. The problem is that A) you are half asleep, but cannot possibly go to sleep until you find out which smoke detector is beeping. Also B) you have baby monitors running through the house, so it sounds like 1,000 smoke detectors are going in all different directions. I stood up on a chair in our bedroom, trying to discern if it was coming from our room or not. It sounded…

  • Random Thoughts

    I am deathly afraid of being reincarnated as a bug. If you’re a bug, you’re basically guaranteed to die a horrible death. Either your wife is going to kill you and eat you, likely by ripping off your head. Or you can be torn limb from limb in a battle with some rival bugs. But most likely, you’re going to be eaten by frog or a bird, swallowed whole, and slowly digested while you’re still alive, like the Sarlaac Pit Monster in Star Wars. Bugs don’t die of old age.

  • Authors I Would Like to Have Dinner With, Vol. 2

    Peter David – I want to talk to this guy to figure out how to get his career going. He’s one of the funnest writers I’ve ever read, but he’s stuck doing Star Trek tie-ins and occasional comic book. He’s a kitty in a burlap sack named obscurity, and he needs to paw his way out. Besides that, he’s one of the few people whose writing style really strikes me. I find that comic book graphic novel writers make great novelists — Neal Stephenson, Richard Kadrey, this guy. If I can find out what he does and incorporate that into my writing style, I can develop my voice more. I…

  • 6 Random things about me…

    I found this on ArielEmerald’s blog and though I haven’t officially been tagged I am going to do it because I’m bored. I used to play bass guitar, but I haven’t picked it up since I got married (time constraints) and I doubt I could play at any level now. And I can’t read music. I used to put lots of weird condiments on my frozen pizza–horseradish, mustard, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, various spices. On occasion, I still do this. My wife and I attended the same concert when we were in college, but neither of us would know who the other was until two years later. I was almost named…

  • gremlins gizmo santa hat

    Hey, Goat Boy? Remember the Gremlins?

    Hey, do you remember Gremlins? Oh sure, it was a cute little comedy-horror movie from the 80’s. Written by Chris Columbus, directed by Joe Dante, and produced by Stephen Spielberg–how can you lose? Cute, merchandisable Gizmo gives birth to a town’s worth of ugly, scaly guys who mess up traffic lights, watch old Disney movies, and catapult old ladies into the yard. Okay, good, you remember. If you don’t, Netflix it. I promise you won’t be disappointed. For those of you still with me, remember that scene where Phoebe Cates is in the bar serving all the Gremlins? They’re making a mess of everything, throwing popcorn everywhere, hanging from the…

  • An Interesting Idea

    Here’s an interesting idea. Get a box. Put the good things people have said about you (or your work) in it. Maybe print them out on small pieces of paper or write them longhand on note cards. You could write down pleasant past memories too–the little things that you have trouble remembering. Put them in the box. When you get depressed, pull one of these out. Read it. And (hopefully) you’ll feel better about whatever you were sad about. I’ll try it (once I get a moment) and tell you if it works.

  • Daughter’s Dilemma

    I find myself in a parenting dilemma, and I’m probably not the only father with it. And that is how to deal with bullies. Or rather, how to raise my daughter to deal with bullies. Throughout the years, the conventional wisdom has changed dramatically. In the fifties, nerds just accepted the abuse and cried in their rooms. They eventually became Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, but they probably don’t have very good self-esteem. They become like Marty’s father in Back to the Future. I grew up reciting the “sticks and stones” mantra. Kids my age were taught to ignore bullies. That bullies are cowards. That if you don’t give them…

  • Riddle Me This, O Change Machine

    Okay, let me know if this makes sense to you, because it doesn’t to me. I need some quarters so I can put 25 cents into one of those gumball machine apparatuses and get a handful of Reese’s Pieces.  I like Reese’s Pieces, but my supply of metallic tender gets limited, since I don’t like to jingle when I walk.  But I have dollars and a change machine.  So I put the dollar into the change machine.  It gleefully accepts the paper with a sonorous buzz and deposits… one coin.  At first I think “uh-oh, the machine broke, and I’m out 25 cents”.  Then I look at the coin.  It’s…