Friday, December 29, 2006


"I flipped through catalogs and wondered: What kind of dining set defines me as a person? "

-Narrator (Edward Norton), Fight Club (1999)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Well, I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. I know I appreciated three days off in a row, even if I didn't get much rest. Here are the highlights:

After extensive searching and a grueling interrogation, I found a few items to buy for the wife. I got her some books, some DVDs, a wall calender for her office, some office supplies, and some clothes that she picked out. I don't even try with clothes unless she picks them out. Without her input, I have close to a 100% chance of getting it wrong.

The kids were happy with their loot, especially the iPods we got them. Now I just need to figure out how to load music on 'em. It can't be that hard, I know some real dimwits with iPods.

I got some good stuff as well. My haul included four James Ellroy books (White Jazz, The Cold Six Thousand, Blood on the Moon, and Killer on the Road), so don't be surprised if my blog starts to exhibit a little "staccato hipster prose." I also got some DVDs, including Die Hard, Miami Vice (the 2006 movie), The Rockford Files: Season 2, and all four Lethal Weapon movies.

Dinner was at my wife's parents' house. That was draining. I was already tired when I got there (my kids were up too early). And on top of that, my sister-in-law's kids are on what you'd call the hyperactive side. The four little ones can make enough noise for forty. By the time I got home, my nerves were frazzled. I didn't even have enough energy to watch one of my DVDs.

So there it is. Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully.

Friday, December 22, 2006


"You know the hardest thing about being smart? I always pretty much know what's gonna happen next. There's no suspense."

-Terry Lee Collins (Billy Bob Thornton), Bandits (2001)


RT has tagged me with a meme, 6 weird things about me. So here they are.

1. I am somewhat obssessive-compulsive
I'll check like a gazillion times to make sure that doors are locked, lights are off, my car keys are in my pocket, etc. In my defense, most of my obssessions are based on things that have actually happened to me, like locking my keys in the car (while it was running, no less).

2. I don't follow sports. At all.
Pro, college, the Olympics; other than my kids' games, I never watch any sports. If you asked me who won last year's Super Bowl, I'd have to Google for the answer. While I don't find this weird, I suppose a lot of people would.

3. Which is better, the movie or the book it was based on?
If I see the movie first and then read the book, it doesn't bother me one bit if there are major differences between the two. If both are well crafted, I can enjoy them without a problem. But if I read the book first, I won't enjoy the movie if it deviates too much from the source. And it doesn't matter how well the movie is made, I just can't get into it.

4. I suffer from a mild case of medical student syndrome.
Sometimes when I hear or read about some medical condition, I start to worry that I'm suffering from that condition.

5. I have a low tolerance for rule breakers.
I guess I'm an obssessive rule follower. Even stupid rules that piss me off. When I see someone flouting the rules, it really irks me.

6. I empathize with the villain.
When I'm watching a movie or reading a book with a compelling villain, I find myself almost rooting for the bad guy. I guess that's why I prefer reading books about crooks, rather than books about intrepid crime-solvers. I suppose this is especially weird in light of #5.

Now I'm supposed to tag six people, but in keeping with the holiday spirit, I'll avoid placing any more burdens on anyone this season. But if you have any weirdness you feel compelled to confess to online, feel free to pick up the meme.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The other night, as I'm sitting at my daughter's school Christmas concert, I get this idea for a short story. It's a Christmas-themed crime story. When I get home, I go right to work on it. I finish it up tonight, but it still needs some work. It's over 1000 words long, and it needs to be 1000, or less. So, I go back to work on it and pair it down. I finally get it to where I want it. I'm figuring I'll submit it to Flashing in the Gutters, the zine that my last story was featured on. So I click over to see if there are any new stories posted there, and I see this:
Last Note

Thursday, December 21, 2006

All the good things must come to an end, and the Gutter is no exception. It’s just not fun anymore.

Thanks to all the contributors who submitted over the past year.

And always remember, the best way to frustrate a hostage-taker is to shoot the hostage in the head.

Even the archived stories are gone. Damn, I'm gonna miss that zine. Tribe really had something good going on over there. Bloody shame.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This one goes into the too-stupid-for-words file:
Woman Tells Officer She Was Sold 'Bad Crack'

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- A North Carolina woman was arrested on Friday night after complaining to Putnam County deputy about the quality of the crack cocaine she had purchased.

Eloise D. Reaves, 50, walked up to Deputy Jeffery Pedrick at about 11:30 p.m. while he was working a call at a convenience store located at the corner of state Road 20 and state Road 21 in the Hawthorne area of Putnam County.

According to police, Reaves told the deputy that a man in the parking lot had sold her bad crack. They said Reaves then took the crack from out of her mouth and placed it on the trunk of the deputy's patrol car.


I guess I ought to post something other than Youtube videos once in a while. I had my annual physical yesterday. There's nothing a man over 40 enjoys more than that, except for maybe a root canal. And Christmas shopping.

And speaking of Christmas shopping, I spent the afternoon doing that. Damn, I hate that. I never know what to get for my wife, and she's no help. "What do you want?" I ask. I get answers that range from "I don't know" to "Nothing." Gee, thanks for the hints. I wonder how much a lump of coal costs.

My youngest had the championship game of her basketball tournament last night. They lost 29-16, but Jen scored three baskets, including a three-pointer.

Tonight is the Christmas concert at Jen's school. And what does that mean for me? Hours of watching other people's kids perform as I wait to see my daughter's class sing one song. Oh joy. I'm sorry, is that excessively negative? Oh well, 'tis the season for overwhelming negativity. Bah humbug, and all that.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Friday at sundown marked the beginning of Hanukkah, so we just gotta have a video of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song (Version 3.0).

Saturday, December 16, 2006


And remember, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Friday, December 15, 2006


"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room."

-President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


RT has posted her Christmas present list for me yesterday. It's a pretty good list: movie tickets (unlimited supply), popcorn (also an unlimited supply), and every book written by Donald Westlake. What more could I ask for? A new vehicle, maybe? She has that covered too. Thanks, RT. You're A-number 1 in my book.

(RT, I'd have posted this in the comments at your blog, but I am unable to log in there for some reason)


I haven't been able to post comments on blogs that use Blogger commenting. I can log into my own blog, but when I try to log in to comment elsewhere, it tells me I have my password wrong. Is it just me, or is anyone else having this problem? Maybe I'm being punished for not switching to Blogger beta.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


OK, help me out here. Did novelist Victor Gischler just let his domain(warning: NSFW) expire, or has he gone into the internet p0rn business?

Update: OK, Mr. Gischler himself has weighed in on this subject in the comments section. Apparently, this whole situation is just a case of domain expiration/hijacking. That's pretty much what I figured happened. Still, it's amazing how quickly the cyber-p0rn dudes can jump onto an expired domain. That site couldn't have been down for more than a week. Like vultures, they are.


Film, TV actor Peter Boyle dead at 71

The video clip below is of one of my favorite scenes from Young Frankenstein.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


My birthday treat last weekend consisted of going to see Casino Royale on Saturday. I'm not big on opening weekends. Too crowded. So I wanted to wait a few weeks. Since Saturday was my birthday, I figured it was as good a time as any to see it.

So I'll take this opportunity to be the gazillionth blogger to weigh in on Casino Royale. It was excellent. Daniel Craig makes an excellent James Bond. I'm not sure what sparked all the controversy surrounding his playing Bond. Just a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, I guess. Hell, I had never even heard of Craig when they announced that he'd be taking over the role.

My only complaint about Casino Royale was that it was a tad too long. There were a couple of segments--the African chase and the Venice segment, to be specific--that could have been shorter. Otherwise, CR rocked. It had a hard edge to it. Craig played Bond as a flawed, more human 007. It even had a little bit of humor, but none of the tongue-in-cheek attitude of earlier Bond movies.

I had actually lost interest in the Bond franchise after Timothy Dalton quit. Nothing against Pierce Brosnan--I've been a fan of his since his Remington Steele days--but the movies had become stale. I think that Bond had become so iconic, and had been parodied so thoroughly, that it was hard to take them seriously anymore. And Brosnan just looked like Bond. People had been suggesting him for the role since the 80s. His presence just made me think "been there, done that, got a whole closet full of the T-shirts. Is this movie over yet? When is the next Tarantino flick gonna be released?"

Craig breathed new life into the franchise. He doesn't have the typical patented Bond look. And he's not the kind of Bond who makes snarky comments after dispatching a villain. He's too busy licking his wounds and hiding the bodies to be witty.

Anyway, if you're an action movie fan, and you haven't seen Casino Royale yet, you should check it out. You won't regret it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I've done two birthday posts this month. It's time for one more. Third time's the charm, right? Anyway, the following folks have their birthdays on December 9th:

John Milton
Emmett Kelly
Margaret Hamilton ("I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!")
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Broderick Crawford
Kirk Douglas
Redd Foxx
Dick Van Patten
John Cassavetes
Buck Henry
Morton Downey, Jr.
Judi Dench (M)
Beau Bridges (Old Maximum Bob, himself)
Dick Butkus
Michael Dorn (Worf!)
John Malkovich
Donny Osmond
Felicity Huffman
Kurt Angle ("It's true, it's true.")
Reiko Aylesworth

Who am I missing? Oh yeah, it's me. I turn 43 today. It sucks to get older, but it beats the hell out of the alternative.

Friday, December 08, 2006


"I believe everything and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone and I suspect no one."

-Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Sixty-five years ago today, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, HI. In his address to the nation, President Roosevelt said that it was a day that will "live in infamy."

And speaking of infamy, forty years ago today, my brother Phil was born. Happy big 4-0, little bro. You old geezer.


For those of you who were wondering, my daughter appears to be doing better. She still has a headache, but it seems to be down to a dull roar. The nausea is gone, and as of yesterday, she seems to be showing less sensitivity to light. She can watch TV now, and use the computer. Reading is still tough. We're hoping she'll be up to going back to school tomorrow. I guess that'll depend on how well rested she is today, and whether she can sleep tonight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks to all the good thoughts and prayers from everyone.

Monday, December 04, 2006


My younger daughter Jen turns 11 years old today. It seems like just yesterday that I rushed my then-pregnant wife to the hospital in the middle of the night. Fifty-nine minutes after we walked in the door, Jen was born. She didn't even wait for the obstetrition to get there. A resident handled the delivery (her first solo, I think. She seemed quite proud of herself after the delivery).

Dinner tonight was birthday girl's choice. She chose Pizzeria Uno. Good choice, I think. Anyway, happy birthday Jen.


Yes, I'm still alive. Not that you could tell based on my blog output. Life and such have gotten in the way of my blogospheric activities.

On top of everything else I've had going on, my oldest daughter Kate has developed serious migraine headaches. We're talking sensitivity to light, nausea, the whole deal. She's been to see the doctor several times and has made two trips to the hospital. Multiple blood tests, a CAT scan, and a spinal tap later, we still don't know what brought on her headaches. So far, she's missed four days of school. Tylenol with codeine and imitrex (a migraine med) haven't touched the pain. My wife is calling today to set up an appointment with a neurologist.

There's no greater feeling of helplessness than having a sick child and not being able to do anything about it. I hate that.

Friday, December 01, 2006


"A boy's best friend is his mother."

-Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), Psycho (1960)