Friday, October 31, 2008

No Guts, No Glory

...or "How To Chicken Out"

I had a conversation today with a talented guy who illustrates covers for New Yorker magazine. He's also illustrated several children's books. I happen to have written (recorded, actually) what I think is a children's book, and I knew I was going to run into this guy today, so I prepared for it.

About five years back, and pretty much out of nowhere, I was helping my kid with her homework, but I guess I kind of ran with the ball and ended up with a six minute recording of a story for kids. I sent it around to some people I knew, just for the fun of it. I actually got a pretty good response. Some folks spent a good 15 minutes on the phone with me, imploring me to have it illustrated and turned into a full-on book. They said it painted a real word-picture. I enjoyed the comments, and pretty much just filed the info away.

So after five years of thinking about it, researching illustrators, checking into publishers, forgetting about it, remembering it, doubting whether or not it was even any good, waiting for the excitment of it to wear off, listening again and deciding I liked it... yeah, I was prepared for today. I brought along a CD to hand to this guy.

The plan fell apart almost immediately after that.

It kind of came off the rails when he mentioned that he thinks he's done his last children's book "for a good long while." He went on to say how he wants to watch his kid play hockey, spend more time with his family, and just generally not work so hard with his hand constantly cramped up in that hook shape all day. Illustration, it turns out, is quite time-consuming.

Any thought that I had about my story being different or particularly illustrative or maybe even inspiring, well that all went right out the window pretty quick, and I didn't bother even getting the CD out of my bag.

What's wrong with that? Well I just gave up, didn't I? I like to think that's not the kind of guy I am. I say, let's not trouble ourselves with the particulars of whether or not the conversation has the right emotional dynamic, or - I don't know, whatever else Dr. Phil can dream up. I'm more the let's-just-get-to-"yes" type.

Would it have really been so wrong for me to hand him a CD and say, "Look, I'd like you to just give this a listen. I think you might enjoy it" ? And what's the big deal if he says "No thanks"? Are we likely to part ways with a relationship any different than the one we had two minutes ago? Let me answer that one for you. "No."

So I guess if I'm gonna do this, I have to try it the "normal" way. I have to submit to a publisher and get it thrown on the gigantic pile of works that are submitted every day, and hope that whomever finally hears it isn't having a bad day at the time.

Yeah, I mean, why use an "in"?

Stupid. See - this is why I hate Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So special, I wrote it on a napkin and hung it with Scotch tape.

Guess I'd probably Google that one before I tried it, but I gotta say, that fly trapped against the glass isn't helping much.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This won't take long. I promise.

This post continues to grow in its own sightly creepy sort of way. Two more shots in one 15 mile trip. Creepy. Creepy and weird.

An addendum to yesterday's post:

Because there was another one of those health-damning social vibes happening at the time, I ended up ordering myself a turkey bacon sangwich at a deli on Sunday. Not a real big fan of deli turkey at all, but a little touch of glorious bacon would undoubtedly add just the right zip, right?

If you've never been truly speechless - I mean stunned speechless, then you've never watched a man toss three rashers of bacon in a deep fryer. Yes, that's bacon that's already been cooked. His was just a fun/healthy way of reheating it.

In further news, I am now dead.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Big, Salty Breakfast

It might be what Americans do best.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast. For the past six years, almost every day, oatmeal. A large bowl of oatmeal. Unsweetened oatmeal. A ton of freakin' oatmeal. I heard it lowers cholesterol and has a lot of fiber, so I'm all over it - just like that. Livin' la vida colon (hey, shut up, that is too still a reference.)

But once in a very rare now and then (maybe when I have company or the vibe otherwise calls for it), it all goes to hell in fairly grand style.

... quite possibly undoing six straight years of oatmeal consumption.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Fashion III

In which I attempt to explain trends I don't understand.

I get the arty all-black look, and the accessory poodle.


...I assume is so she doesn't keep biting herself.

How'd I do?

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Have a Pony

Alright - two ponies.

My neighbors down the street wanted a pet but didn't want a dog or cat, so they got a lawn ornament miniature horsey. They had such good luck with tying it to a tree in the front yard that they decided it'd be best to double-up on them, and now they have two horsies tied to a tree in the front yard. It's obvious to me that people in this neighborhood have no fucking idea what to do with a tree. I always thought you just, y'know, did nothing with them, but maybe they're more complicated than that.

Maybe I'm the retarded dumb ass who wastes money I probably don't have being stupid.

And call it a double standard if you want, but I don't fault the old lady who decorates her part of the sidewalk with all those little miniature figurines.

...because she's senile.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Foliage Makes Me Angry

Fall's the best time for cuttin'.

So my neighbors' all, "I'm be cuttin' down some trees 'n shit."

And then my neighbor next to him (who used to be the Chief of Police) is all like, "Hell's yeah I'm be cuttin' too. Shiz-nat, Holmes." So out comes the bucket hacker and down they go.

I don't mean to sound like some kind of tree-lovin' hippie, but is this really any better?

Not from my view. Thanks, pal. That's some sweet roof you got there.

It's a trend in my neighborhood lately. Front yard trees are apparently just tall, leafy pests that mock you. Take them down, show them who's boss, and show the world more of your beautiful, beautiful home.

Anything seem conspicuously absent from this picture?

...besides shutters or any kind of trim whatsoever?

How about this dynamic little saltbox?

You can see the round patch where they had a tree that hid their beautiful little home from my view quite nicely. It got hacked last year. Dude, your house sucks. Cover that shit up.

I think we may not be getting the greenhouse/global warming/trees-help-clean-the-air message up in my end of town. Nope. We're more the fire-trucks-are-awesome-to-have-in-the-yard type.