Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fact, Belief, and a NaNo update.

I have a new friend. Well, he's a guy from work, and we've been chatting casually for about a year now, always with the closing statement, “we've gotta get together sometime.” But, as it happened, 'sometime' was a long time coming, because 1) I'm naturally introverted, so on my days off, I tend to close the curtains and screen my calls, and 2) me growing family leaves me with my hands full.

Twice this year, though, Thomas and I finally got together. He plays guitar, so I brought my bass over, and we played with some of the stuff that he's been recording. The second time, we went to visit my drummer buddy, and THAT was a rip-snorting good time!

We have also read a lot of the same conspiracy books, so we'll go off on those tangents for awhile. Eight or ten years ago, I was chin-deep in that stuff, not so much the moon-landing-and-Roswell stuff, but more of how the few controlled the many through pyramid structures. For example, if a dozen people in the banking industry and the National Treasury's are all in the same clubs (like the Bilderberg Group), then they can have a wide-reaching influence on how the world's financial future will go.

There is tons of evidence that points to this, but it's mostly circumstantial, and sketchy testimonies. This all makes sense, because if there's a conspiracy, then they'll cover their tracks and intimidate witnesses. If there isn't one, then there will be nothing to find.

This led me to learn to separate facts from speculation. FACT: We have less than
10 000 years of recorded history. FACT Multiple civilizations show that they knew more about astronomy and engineering (ie, many Egyptian structures) than their primitive contemporaries. SPECULATION: Atlantis, or possibly alien astronauts, or both influenced the course of history.

The conclusion that I've come to is that I'll probably never know for sure what happened in pre-history. When I made my peace with that, it was extremely liberating. I can believe whatever I want, knowing full well that I don't need to prove it to be The Truth.

Which brings me to my WiP. I'm writing a novelization of some of these theories, and Julie asked me in the comments of my last post how my NaNo project went. Well, I hit the 50 000 words on time, but it was far from done, so I'm still plugging away at it. Yesterday was my best day this year so far: 838 words. I just may make my goal this week. Most of my reading is on writing (Blogs, magazines, and a great book by Chris Vogler), not to mention my beloved Podcasts, so I've really got a fire in my belly to get this happening.

Wow, that was a lot of tangent to answer that question!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I don't want to tell you how to swear, but...

It's possible that I have spent too much time talking about swearing. It's been awhile, but I recall a few posts on foul language. But I have something on the topic that I think needs to be said.

I think that we should retire the “C-Word.” It is widely considered the most offensive word in North American English, though I understand that in England, it's thrown around like “brilliant,” but that isn't why I want to retire it. I'm not one to shy away from the offensive. I believe that if something is that offensive to someone, then it gives people power over them. It's also a cheap way for people to claim power: “Oh you've offended me! Now, be contrite while I dramatically sulk over my wounded feelings.” Yeah, cram it up your chute.

The reason that I think the “C-Word” should be retired (if it's still unclear, it rhymes with 'runt') is that occurred to me that it's an inappropriate reference for a curse. I like vagina’s. I think they're wonderful. However, I don't have a problem calling someone a dick, dink, or pecker-head. Go figure.

So now, I've retired my “China Cabinet Word” – the one I break out for special occasions. To my mind, there is only one option for it's replacement: Micro-manager. Stay with me here. Granted, it doesn't roll off the tongue very well in traffic, but these people...I did a post on it once, but I respect that you've got other Blogs to read, so I won't reference back to it, but here's the short version: Micro-managers think they're being helpful, but they're WAY too quick to offer their advice, on every detail of what you're doing. These souls have adapted a vile practice, and need to knock it off!
So are you with me?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Zombie-Free Zone

I've never been interested in writing a zombie story. They're getting popular, but the books just don't appeal to me. The movies can be fun, especially Zombieland, or the Resident Evil series, but they sure aren't my first choice.

One aspect of this is that traditionally, they have been a rather slow-moving monster. “Oooh, here I come! Shuffling at the speed of a Senate.”
“Oh no! I'd better walk slightly faster!” More current movies have remedied this, but for me, well I'm still stuck with that early impression.

More likely though, I think that I was turned off of zombies at the tender age of nine, when the Micheal Jackson “Thriller” video freaked me right the eff out! But I had to watch it, it was Micheal Jackson. When I was nine, that “Beat It” video made him seem pretty bad-ass! (Not to mention the Eddie Van Halen guitar contribution. I sure didn't put my finger on it at the time, but EVH really upped the ante on that song) And, of course, EVERYONE my age thought that Micheal Jackson was just great, and adults encouraged our fandom, because he was still so very wholesome at the time.

Point being, I was strangely compelled to watch the video whenever it was on. The scenes with the arm falling off, and the regurgitating black goo are forever burned into my memory, and the Vincent Price voice-over really augmented the creepy factor.

I think what really got to me though was the clothes. These decayed people-like things were rather well-dressed. I didn't put it together at the time, but it drew a direct connection from the funeral to the rising, making it seem more real to me.

What also made it real was the old farming area we lived in, complete with the 200-year-old graveyard. Trying to go to sleep after seeing MJ dance with the undead, and knowing that just a block away, there was a bone yard, just waiting to spit-up it's residents made for some very unsettled nights.

And that's where my mind wandered as I was trying to fall asleep the other night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Years; More Oil Dipping!

New Years, as always, was great. We did our traditional Fondue Party again, just eight of us, and it was a fun, low key, good time. Snookerdoodles was a lovely little hostess, and when we were eating, she just sat in her high chair, chattering away and flipping through a book. She really enjoys company.

Naturally, the conversation turned to New Years Resolutions. I hadn't put very much thought into it, since a) the Christmas season is really, really busy, and b) keeping up with Snookerdoodles is an all-consuming task. A labor of love, to be sure, but it's still a lot of work. Whenever we think we've got a handle on it, she develops a new skill. Lately, it's climbing. She is just pleased as punch with herself that she can now get on the couch, or the hallway bench that holds her winter clothes when she isn't wearing them. Her Gramma was watching her last week, and said, “I took the tray off of the high chair, and when I got back from the kitchen, she had climbed it and was standing in the seat!” Yeah, she'll so that. Honestly, it's a little frightening, but I figure that it's a necessary developmental thing, so I just stay close and wait to keep her from going tail-over-teakettle.

And that's quite enough of that tangent. When asked about the New Years Resolution, I was caught off-guard. “ write more?”

Now, the problem with vague, wishy-washy goals is that they're vague and wishy-washy. (this is where I pause in the writing. All that comes to mind is those slogans on the bottom of inspirational posters of hand-gliders and majestic animals. “A goal is a dream with legs”, or “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Here's the thing though; I love them. As campy as they are, little word-formulas that light a fire under my ass are pretty cool. Except the cat on a rope: “Hang in there.” Way over-done.)

So my first thought is this: 3000 words a week. One of my favorite Bloggers, Hart Johnson at Confessions of a Watery Tart, had a great post on this; having definite, clear-cut goals, but she set the bar at 5000 words a week. I suspect that she can type almost as fast as her computer can process the input. I set my goal a little lower, since I'm still a hunt-and-peck typist. I'm also thinking that I should finish the first drafts of my two WiP's. One by March, and the other by May. (Whee Whee Hoo. That's me, doing Lamaze breathing). I think I can, I think I can...

And how about Blogging, can I commit to two posts a week? Sure, but it's taken me about five days to do this post, but if I'm putting myself out there (like I did for NaNoWriMo), I'm more likely to do it. What are your writing goals?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Active Lifestyle?

We had this brilliant idea that we wanted to be an active family. We didn't want our kids to be video game zombies with no real skills, so we'd brainstorm ideas about all of the classes we wanted to enroll them in (we only have one child, but we're “trying” for more, so we often speak of “them” in the plural when we get theoretical).
We're pretty adamant on getting them into some kind of Martial Art, for the exercise and discipline. Also, for the girl(s), we'd feel a lot better knowing that they could take care of themselves if need be. We've also thought of swimming, as that's a valuable skill. I'd like to get them into piano too, because it's the best starter instrument, learning the theory, and the two-handed coordination. The trouble with piano lessons, though, is that 90% of kids hate it, and give it up as soon as they can. I'm hoping that a fun teacher can remedy that.
On Tuesday, we took our first steps towards that. Andrea had a shopping date with Michelle, who had recently been skating. She had a blast, and said “You should take Calli skating!” None of us had skates, but being the season for sales, Andrea was able to get us all outfitted for $100. I have to admit, I wasn't 100% thrilled at the plan, but once we got out there, it was a blast. It wasn't too cold, so Calli had a great time. Especially when she figured out that she could just go rigid, lean back, and let me push her.
Then yesterday, we took her & Captain Kuma, head of security out for a walk. She got a classic-style wooden sleigh for Christmas, and it was fun to put a few miles on it. Actually, that's a generous assessment; it couldn't have been more than a mile and a half. We were pretty pooped, and I'm glad that we did it before her afternoon nap, so I had an excuse to sit with her and catch a few winks of my own!
Thursday was a little easier; we're getting ready for our New Year's Eve Fondue Party. Since we went cleaning-crazy last week for our Christmas Eve Party, today was a snap! Now I have time to write – Yay me! (I meant to get this up on Friday, but I didn't get the pictures I was waiting for -- Boo!)