Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just Some Random Stuff I Noticed

I saw this Barbie at work and immediately thought of Van Halen.

Not that I think she looks like any of the women in the video, but something about the short skirt and glasses just makes me think of her as "Hot for Teacher Barbie" every time I pass by.

I did a double-take as I passed a video rack which had these two DVDs on the same row.

I mean, it's just weird to see two covers with almost the same gesture, but with two very different meanings.

Yeah, I know, nothing of substance here. I spent most of the day mulling a very long, very depressing post about the despair which once again threatens to overwhelm me, but it does me no good to post about it. By which I mean, staying positive doesn't seem to be doing me any good either; objectively, my situation is getting no better no matter what attitude I maintain. But dwelling on all the negative things I can't do anything about just makes it miserable as my life swirls down the drain. With artificial positivity, I can at least fool myself into thinking it's a water slide or something. "It's like a ride!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Early Spring?

Okay, not really, but it feels like it. I don't know if it's the weather breaking or a larger change in my attitude, but the last few days have been interesting. I had a busy weekend with lots of activity out of the house, unusual for me, and then last night, I started watching Master Chef on Hulu. I watched the rest of it today, and missed cooking so much that I bought some honest-to-goodness produce, which I haven't really done since, I don't know, 2008?

Cooked steak and potatoes tonight, and though neither one was really very good, it was enough just to dip my toe back into the skillet. I feel as if good things are starting to emerge now, even though I have no rational reason to believe it. I'm on a financial precipice, and everything could come crashing down at any second. But at the same time, there's sunshine, and friends, and Death Wave on the Kindle.

And yes, this is a plug. It may be a dark and bitter book, but there's a beating heart in there. It's a fast read with humor and action, and it's only $2.99. And it's not only for the Kindle. Amazon provides reader software for PC and smartphones as well. Plus the mobi format can also be read in conjunction with the Mobipocket Reader, if like me, you have an old Palm PDA.

And if you do like it, I would ask one favor: please tweet it, or blog it, or just tell a friend about it. I'm going to be putting up one more preview (this time a darker section from about mid-book) on Wednesday, and I'm hoping that it will generate some interest.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Not Loving Snow Right Now

So on Monday night, this blizzard rolls in. So I had to miss work on Tuesday, because though my car was in the garage, the snow outside was already a foot thick and it was still coming down hard.

The next day, Wednesday, I got out with a shovel and had to dig a trench down the side of my house from the garage behind the house to the fence. It wasn't hard, because the snow was loosely packed. It was almost like shoveling marshmallow or something. It took a lot longer than I expected, though, because I had to go something like 50 yards. It didn't matter anyway, because work called at 3:30 p.m. to say that I didn't need to come in. They were closing the store a half-hour before my shift was supposed to start. So I got the trench shoveled out through snow which was piled 3 ft high in places.

Thursday, I got in my car and tried to drive to work. I got halfway down the Death Star trench, and my car got stuck; I hadn't shoveled it out quite wide enough in that spot. So I had to roll down the window and crawl out onto the hood, because the snow was literally as deep as the window at that point. I got the car dug out and drove down to the end of the drive, but gave up at that point, afraid to brave the actual streets from all the reports I was hearing.

Yesterday, I tried again. Got in my car and pulled out to get into the street. Literally got stuck 6 feet from my driveway. Looked up and down the street and saw four other cars stuck and abandoned and decided to quit. Later in the day, I walked to the Med-X drugstore and bought a little food. It took an hour and a half, and I fell seven or eight times, but the snow was soft, so I didn't hurt myself. On the other hand, none of the streets were very clear, even the main streets. I missed work again. An entire week of income, gone.

I really don't get why I'm so skittish about leaving my house this time. Maybe it's just that this level of snow is unprecedented in the time I've lived in Tulsa, but I don't know. I think it may be just because this car is an automatic, so I don't feel as if I have as much control driving it. Or maybe it's related to the greater crisis of confidence I've had in every aspect of my life, so I tend to shut down more easily, rather than rise to the challenges. Or maybe it's the related fact that my current job has no real responsibilities, not like the Army, or my supervisory positions at TV Guide and the station where I had to lead by example. There's nothing resting on my shoulders other than my own fate.

All I know is, in previous situations like this, I got out and overcame the challenges and got to work even when other people were staying in. And this time, I haven't. I've shut myself up for the most part and just tried to ride things out. But I've lost a week's worth of income in the meantime.

So I really need to hope people start buying Death Wave. And if you can, please spread the word about Death Wave. It's available right now, it's affordable, it's a fast read, and it's not exactly like anything else you've ever read before. And you don't need a Kindle to read it. Amazon has reader software for the PC, as well as other mobile devices like i-Pads and smart phones. And it's in mobi format, so you can also read on Palm devices with Mobipocket Reader.

Sample chapters can be found here (with more publishing this coming Tuesday). Any help I can get in spreading the word would be appreciated.

(ETA: I just got back from a one-hour drive around the block and figured out two problems. Number one, the city has done nothing with the streets here. They plowed Pine, the main street in these parts, but the secondary streets have nothing, not even sand, and the residential streets have less than nothing. And number two, I hadn't realized how bad my tires were. I got a really good look at them while I was shoveling ice and snow out from underneath them, and they need replacing. Problem is, I can't even afford basic living expenses right now, let alone tires.)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

And In Other News Which Isn't News

This story is making the rounds now, that an art historian is making the startling claim that the model for the Mona Lisa was actually a man.

And I would probably be saying, "Whoa, that really is startling," if it weren't for the fact that, when I visited the Louvre over 30 years ago, the tour guide said exactly the same thing as if it were a long-established fact, and even pointed us to the other painting featuring the same model, hanging in the same gallery.

This is news?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Death Wave Is Here

Finally took the plunge and published Death Wave for the Kindle. It's a tale of adultery, betrayal and revenge set in the days of the Great Depression. And there's a death ray.

The novel is a throwback to the gritty paperback thrillers of yesteryear, short and sweet and a very fast read. It starts out light and turns brutal as it goes, so don't expect the sample chapters on Hero Go Home to give you an idea of the tone of the entire book.

If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry. Amazon has software you can use on your PC or on other mobile devices and smartphones. The book is in mobi format, so you can also use Mobipocket reader software, if you have it. Best part of all (for you) is that because the book is short, it's priced at a low $2.99. That's less than a Western Bacon Cheeseburger at Carls Jr., and because it's an electronic file, there are no delivery charges added. You can't beat that.