May
28

Farewell to the Masters

A wise woman once wrote, “If you’re that unhappy, then just leave.”  Sensible enough.  So I’m leaving.

I wish I could say this wasn’t necessary.  But this is it.  I’m leaving LiveJournal and moving back to Blogger, grinding my teeth the whole way.  Blogger isn’t necessarily better or easier to use.  But they haven’t messed with their users or their content either.

LJ simply isn’t trustworthy anymore.  They censor.  They obfuscate their own policy.  They distrust their own customer base.  How does anyone with even the most rudimentary desire to write and express oneself hope to feel safe in that kind of environment?  No, sooner or later, someone is going to say something a little more unmutual than the usual angsty emo-crap.  And when that happens, I predict a riot.

And no, all the hype about LJ’s advisory board does not impress me.  The current Powers That Be simply ignore the board’s advice.  They have never acted on it.  It’s a sop to the fanbase, nothing more.

I’ll do my best to keep up on my favorite LJ blogs.  I’ve done what I can to make it easier for folks here to follow my words around.  My new/old/new-again blog can be found at http://darkkarma.blogspot.com/ .  I’m putting in subscription options of various sorts.  If you already have a Google account, commenting should be fairly easy.

And for those LJ and WordPress users who don’t want a Google account (people have their reasons, cut ’em some slack), Blogger lets you use your blog URL as an OpenID login.  Go to the comment page for a given post, select a provider (like say, LiveJournal), and type in your blog’s URL.

Hopefully I’ll see you there.

Comments: 0
Written: May 28, 2008
Apr
29

Lilith, 1998-2008

I thought I should let folks know, in case they had been following.  I’ll get more into it later.  Still shellshocked, myself.

For now, I can tell you this much.  We asked the vets to come out to our place.  They’re accommodating that way, not to mention expensive.  I carried her to her favorite pillow in front of the fireplace.  I sat beside her.  Her head was resting on my knee.  I held her while they prepared the injections, one that would end the fear, another that would end…everything else.

I said sorry.  I said goodbye.  Then she went away.

You think you know how to cope when you’ve been through it before.  The shock.  The loss.  Feeling gravity fail under your feet.  But it’s been hard.  So hard.

Comments: 0
Written: Apr 29, 2008
Apr
16

The Abyss Reopens

Yup.  Back… in all sorts of ways.

When we first found out that Lilith was sick, Jamie and I were too.  That crud that’s been going around ever since the year started?  It nailed Jamie in January, then me in February.  And somewhere in between, Lilith had lymphoma.  Coughing and post-nasal-dripping, we dragged her all over town, looking for a way to stop her pain.   And a way to deal with ours.  To our disbelief, it seemed to work.

We’ve spent the last few months chasing and wrestling with Lilith, dragging her out from under our futon, our closet, or the bed to wrap her up in a towel and ram pills down her throat.  The more effective the pills were, the harder it got.  That part, you already know.

So it’s April now.  The crud, or something like it, hit us again like a freight train.  Jamie was down for days.  Once she got back up, it slammed my ass into the ground.  I’ve had it for a week.  Exhausted.  Wheezing.  Rest and liquids, squeezing in scriptwriting duty while the energy comes to me in drips and drabs, have been my whole life for several days.

And what happens while we’re so tired, so damn weary that we literally crash into bed?  Lilith is in trouble again.  The lymphoma is back, only now it’s… expanding the bridge of her nose.   Her eyes water.   Her nose oozes the same flesh-colored junk.  It’s back and it’s worse.

We’re practically strapped to the wheel of pain, fer crissakes.  Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s too much drama.  But damn it, I’m tired.  The weariness goes down to the heartmeat core.  I knew her disease was going to return sooner or later, that it was going to win somehow.  But did it have to be like this… when we’re all running on fumes, feeling that we’ve been going around, tracing the same ouroborus path, back to the end and starting again, left to wonder what was the point?

Strange thing, though.  When we were first confronting Lilith’s mortality, the knowledge torn us apart.  Jamie and I talked and talked, going over the same ground for days, uncertain about… everything.  We weren’t sure if we’d done enough or whether we’d done the right things.   Now, three months later, we already know the outcome.  Jamie might feel the pressure, I’m not sure.  But I certainly don’t.  I feel sad of late, but rock solid accepting.  We know what to do; and that there isn’t much else we can do.  We don’t have any doubts.  I’m not sure whether we even have room for regret.

Actually… I think we do.  We don’t want Lilith to go away.

But she will.  We took the time to deal with that.  And now we deal with it again.

Her time is almost up.  It’ll be soon.

Maybe today.

Comments: 0
Written: Apr 16, 2008
Mar
25

Updates, quandries, and other noises

I noticed it had been a while since I posted.  And I basically left people hanging on a dark note there.

Catz, catz, catz!
A frequent refrain in our household.  Usually mine.

Anyway, Lilith has actually improved.  We can’t afford chemotherapy for her (it sounds nasty, but reportedly cats respond to chemo much better than humans do), so we went with more conventional medication.  Shortly after I posted my lament of woe-squared, we got some prescriptions for her,  an antibiotic and a steroid, that are supposed to boost her immune system.

We chop the pills to the right dosages and fit them together into gelatin capsules.  That way, we only have to ram one big pill down her gullet while she’s spitting and clawing her way out.  We got used to her being so weak, offering no resistance.  Now we wrap her up in a thick towel.  The minor — but many — bites and scratches snapped us back to reality.  Bactine:  the sweet nectar of success.

Well, that and seeing her.  Her coat and her eyes shine.  She talks more than ever, not so much “meow” as squeak, cranky squeak, and terrified squeal!  She jumps around like crazy, bumping our legs, bounding across the apartment, maintaining her regular security patrols, and watching birds from the window sill with laser light intensity.  In short, she’s acting like a kitten again.

But sometimes she lets out a loud violent sneeze.  And it’s enough to stop my heart for a second.

I keep thinking about a line from Blade Runner, probably the most important one:  “It’s too bad she won’t live!  But then again, who does?”

LJ Uber-drama
I’m sure everyone else has heard about this by now.  Certainly lots of blog postings out there.  Some of them are even useful.

I’m not going to get into all the back-and-forth, the horribly translated Russian interviews with the Powers That Be, the yay’s or nays (deliberate word choice) regarding the big boycott on Good Friday, or any of that.  My understanding of the whole thing boils down to a few simple things:

  1. LJ intends to close up the no-cost, ad-free Basic Account level.
  2. They didn’t intend to let anyone know about it.
  3. They were also caught censoring user interests, rendering them invisible on key listings.
  4. They have now fostered a hostile relationship with their customers — and their content — for several months.
  5. There’s no sign that it’s going to stop.

On the first point… sad, I guess.  But it happens.  It’s a business.  They have to make money, yadda yadda.  That’s a fair complaint.  If they had just said so, and not resorted to item number two, people would grump, but eventually deal.  Look at DeadJournal.  I bitched, but I moved on.  And they’re still around.

But it’s the last three items that give me and Jamie pause.  And how many times has LJ gone to war with its customers over content — two times? three?  — in the current management’s first 100 days at the helm?

Content issues are a big deal for us.  It’s not just a hobby for us.  This is our business.  We have to make money too.  We do an audiodrama show that’s clearly, loudly, proudly not for everybody.  How long will it be before LJ has a problem with us?

We’re really busy now.  We don’t need this kind of grief now.  I’m working on several scripts, some of the Willamette Radio Workshop, some for Afterhell.  I’m mixing a new episode fast as I can, when I’m not writing, collapsing from fatigue, fielding family emergencies, or trying to medicate cats.  Deadlines are looming close behind.

So we’re left with two choices.  Pray that LiveJournal never comes after us.  Or take Afterhell off of LiveJournal ourselves.

We’re preparing to move the Afterhell blog.

I’ll be cross-posting this elsewhere.

Comments: 0
Written: Mar 25, 2008
Feb
21

I Look Into The Abyss… And It Can Bite Me

It’s a good thing that leap years come only every four years.  Judging from the month I’ve had, I wouldn’t survive it.

Oh jeez, I hear somebody say, what could possibly be so bad?  You get to surf the net, eat bonbons, and watch “Tiny Toons” all day in the comfort of your own home.

Odds are that the folks who keep up on my little rantings already know.  Well, some of the info might be new to somebody, so be patient while the dorks in the back catch up with the rest of the class.

There’ve been a few family emergencies.  My father has Alzheimer’s.  Jamie and I made a point to drive a few hundred miles to visit him over Christmas.  We said hello.  He led us around the house in his walking frame (my God, he needs a walker now) giving us candies and tangerines and words of wisdom that occasionally made their points clear.

He’s so frail now.  He’d had a bad fall months ago, and his growing dependence on others depresses him.  One minute he curses everybody for hovering over him.  In quieter moments, when they’re not around, he calls them a blessing…and cries.  And yes, his thoughts wander.  He rambles.  But he did that even at the height of his powers.

One thing that’s definitely new:  He’s like a kid, getting into mischief.  Months ago, he had an ongoing battle with a KFC near his house, badgering them about their lousy service, forcing the manager to placate him with a fistful of gift certificates.  This morning, my sister e-mailed me that he’d just eaten a whole box of tangerines and gotten himself sick.

I’m gonna lose him.  Seeing him deteriorate, seeing the difference in just six months, shook me harder than any storm.  It made an abstract certainty real.  He was a well-intentioned brute when I was a kid.  I’d always felt like Bilbo Baggins facing Smaug in his lair whenever he called me to his room.  Every fourth Saturday, he spanked me with a belt.  He once tore my shirt, balled up his fist, and tried to deck me.  When I was eighteen, he threw me out of the house because I hadn’t taken the garbage out, first thing in the morning.  But all the grudges seem pointless when he’s so fragile.  Now he’s like chipped, faded china.  I’m…gonna lose him.

Yeah, I know.  Old people go mental and die all the time.  Newsflash, it’s always different when it’s yours.  And you’re never ready.

Another case in point.  My second best friend is dying.  It’s just a cat, so who cares, right?  I mean, ten to fifteen years is a good run for a cat.  I knew that when we first took her in.  Ten years ago.

Her name is Lilith (for the mythological character, not the one on “Cheers,” so for God’s sake, world, please stop asking.)  She’s a black domestic shorthair, a classic Halloween cat.  She chose me.  I’d chosen several cats as pets over the years.  This one chose me.  I didn’t know cats ever did that.  She ran up my body, planted herself on my chest, where she did that kneading, “making biscuits” thing.

She has lymphoma, deep in her left nostril.  It’s growing well beyond it.  For a while, it was so bad that she held her head up, her dark face coated in snot, gulping down air, struggling to breathe.  We took her to a specialist who performed a rhinoscopy, taking some of the tissue out for analysis.

The preliminary results.  The preponderance of evidence.  The how fucking burned out I am, watching Lilith sleep longer and longer, knowing I could look forward to weeks of watching her fade away.

The rhinoscopy has actually helped her. I hoped it would, but didn’t expect this.  Her nose bled a little, but she could breathe.  She’s relaxed, become more energetic.  Last week, when the early results were in, I slept sitting up because Lilith wanted to sleep between my feet for the first time in weeks.  At first I couldn’t sleep at all.  I figured I should savor it while we both had the strength.  I stayed up.  Cried a few times.  Quietly, so I wouldn’t wake her or Jamie up.

I get on with my day.  I want to do something more productive than feel wounded, angry, or powerless.  Look at me.  I’m so productive.

Oh, and that e-mail from my sister.  Something else she told me:  My uncle Fred died yesterday.

My father is down to two tangerines a day.

Lilith sleeps.

I’m tired.  Haven’t been sleeping well.

Other than that, everything’s fine here, situation normal.  No, really, everything’s perfectly all right now, we’re fine, we’re all fine here now, thank you… how are you?

Comments: 0
Written: Feb 21, 2008
Jan
15

The Sound of Silence

Warnock’s Dilemma.  Do you ever get this?

Make a posting, add a comment on a message thread, and get no response.   Putting your two cents in, and getting a fistful of Confederate money back.  Opening your mouth, only to have a seagull poop right down yer gob from five klicks up.

Type out some thoughts.  Think it through carefully.  You’re pretty sure you’re not writing a flame, just speaking your mind, elaborating on a thought.  Maybe you get somebody thinking.  Maybe you’ll get corrected on a point.  You’re not sure.  Type out some stuff and hit  “send.”  The discussion stops dead.  It’s like opening an airlock, seeing all the bloated, dead bodies on the other side, and wondering, “Gee, did I do that?” Or maybe they knew you were coming and decided to off themselves out of spite.  Again, you’re not sure.  Being dead, they’re not talking.  Not even a note.

So yeah…Warnock’s Dilemma.  You ever get that?

Comments: 0
Written: Jan 15, 2008
Oct
31

Hometown Halloween History

Busy as all get-out on this trick-or-treat-a-geddon, but I wanted to pass this on to my two best pals, all and sundry.

75 years ago tonight, in my hometown of San Jose, a couple of merry pranksters pulled off a Halloween prank that made local history.  They loaded a charge into an old howitzer in St James Park, fired it, and blew out the windows of the old county courthouse across the street.  Their identities have been a mystery.

Until now:  Halloween prankster outed 75 years later

Ironically San Jose and much of the Bay Area is recovering from the first major earthquake (and aftershocks) since the 1989 Loma Prieta quake.

Halloween karma is a funky thing.  Everyone have fun… and come home safe.

Update:  Since the Murky News is being a stick in the mud about registration….

Halloween prankster outed 75 years later
By Scott Herhold
Mercury News
Article Launched: 10/31/2007 06:13:27 AM PDT

Beneath the statue of William McKinley in San Jose’s St. James Park, aimed at the old Santa Clara County courthouse, sits a 12-pound bronze cannon, a U.S. Navy howitzer cast in 1870.

To ensure it won’t be fired, the barrel of the cannon was filled long ago with concrete. And thereby hangs one of the more intriguing Halloween stories in San Jose history.

On Halloween 1932, a trio of youths exploded a charge in the cannon, breaking the windows of the courthouse across First Street and toppling the gun from its mounts.

For three-quarters of a century, the identities of the Halloween artillerymen have been closely guarded secrets. But thanks to a revelation from a San Jose historian, as well as some sleuthing, I can identify one and point to another.

The story really begins more than a century ago, on May 13, 1901, when then-President McKinley visited San Jose, four months before his assassination in Buffalo, N.Y.

After the Republican president was killed, San Joseans built a granite-and-bronze statue in his honor at a cost of $13,000, the equivalent of almost $300,000 today. Presumably to emphasize McKinley’s muscular foreign policy, the side facing the courthouse featured the 12-pound cannon.

Three decades later, the Halloween pranksters weren’t thinking of the record of the nation’s 25th president. If the story is right, it all had to do with a bet.

My source on the matter was historian and Superior Court Judge Paul Bernal, who during a recent courthouse tour identified one conspirator as Larry Zetterquist (1914-71), a San Jose bartender who had a reputation as a raconteur and ladies’ man.

To check it out, I called Zetterquist’s nephew, Jim Zetterquist, a member of the Preservation Action Council and a San Jose history buff, too. He filled in some of the blanks.

Larry Zetterquist came from a large San Jose family that lived on Anita Street, a long-gone street near the Guadalupe River. His father was a Swedish immigrant and his mother was distantly related to Tiburcio Vasquez, the famous bandit who was hanged in San Jose in 1875.

In the fall of 1932, Zetterquist was an 18-year-old high school dropout. As the story goes, he and his friends had a job blowing up tree stumps. Somehow, they fell to speculating about whether the explosive they used could fracture the then-unplugged McKinley cannon.

The story goes that the youths decided to test the matter. On Halloween night, the three stuffed explosives into the cannon and lit the charge. Shocked when it blew out windows in the courthouse, some 35 yards away, they “hightailed it out of there,” Jim Zetterquist said.

Exactly how many windows were broken has been lost to history. (The courthouse, deftly remodeled after a 1931 fire, has 20 that face the park.) A newspaper story the next day said there were “several.” The windows were made of expensive French plate glass, framed by cast iron.

Meanwhile, the force of the blast hurled the cannon from its bronze mounts. While police briefly held two men at the scene, they never found the real culprits.

Jim says he got the story from his father, Herman, a straight-arrow who was close to his older, more renegade brother. Both were superb athletes, although Larry suffered a teenage hip injury that effectively ended his athletic ambitions. “He was definitely a character,” Jim Zetterquist says.

Who were his co-conspirators? Here I’ll confess to being on soggier ground. Jim Zetterquist told me that one of the teens with Larry on Halloween also allegedly played a role in the Nov. 26, 1933, lynching of Jack Holmes and Harold Thurmond, the two men who had been accused of kidnapping and killing department store heir Brooke Hart.

According to the story Jim Zetterquist heard from his father, this youth contributed to the lynching by returning to his family ranch and grabbing the rope. That description seems to fit one man: Anthony Cataldi, a then-18-year-old who was the only one of the lynching party to boast about it publicly, giving an interview to United Press about how he got the rope.

Cataldi later disavowed that statement, but he was identified as one of the lynchers in Harry Farrell’s book on the case, “Swift Justice.”

I called Cataldi’s 80-year-old sister in Sacramento. She told me she had never heard of Zetterquist or the broken windows. She was only 5 at the time of the courthouse caper. But it’s fair to acknowledge that the identification of Cataldi in the Halloween blast is hearsay upon hearsay.

We know this: Standard justice was shattered on the night when Holmes and Thurmond were lynched. What makes for an intriguing footnote – a clue in concrete – is that the shattering had a more innocent and literal precursor on Halloween a year before. Chalk it up to the ghosts of William McKinley.

Comments: 0
Written: Oct 31, 2007
Sep
28

Strange whine

Okay, over the weekend I clued some of you folks on some backchannel shenanigans re an upcoming Afterhell episode, “Damning Praise.” I’m giving you some details and a touch of denouement on the QT. Don’t let it go to your head.

For those who came in late, this needs a little set-up.

Now then, “Damning Praise” was one of the first “Afterhell” scripts. It features a variation on a character concept I’d kicked around and played with in several different forms for over 20 years. He was a wise-cracking, dimension-hopping adventurer whose chosen nom de guerre referred to one of his (and one of my) favorite authors. His name is Harlan.

“Damning Praise” is a dark, disturbing, nightmarish vision of fandom. At the climax, this version of the Harlan character does a few disturbing things. But he’s a protagonist, maybe even heroic in a Gothic sense. And he’s appearing in an obscure audiodrama piece that doesn’t exactly rake in bags o’ money. In other words, I didn’t think the real-life namesake of this character, Harlan Ellison, would care about it.

This script has been sitting around for a few years. After so many distractions — cats, family, losing our house to a predatory lender, making that lender go the fuck away, getting to know many other audiodramatists, working on various projects with them, learning from it all, applying that to my own work — I thought it was time to produce that script. I wanted to dust it off, give it a good polish, and record the sucker. With help from some friends in Boston and here in Portland, we got that process started earlier this year. Then more distractions came before I could pursue that further.

(I promised to get into some of that in later postings. And I will. Now shush. Who’s telling this story, me or you?)

Casting and setting up the recording session took the rest of the year… or at least, so it seems. For months, Jamie and I contacted actors, sent out scripts, and talked to them about scheduling. Everybody was busy, which only made sense. These are very talented actors, very much in demand. But the harder we tried to put it all together, the harder it got. Schedules clashed constantly. There were no more than a few days a month, nearly every month, where everyone could meet. And at the last minute, someone had to cancel. It raised the inevitable question, to recast or reschedule? I was paranoid about getting just the right performances for this one, so I chose to reschedule. And it kept on happening. D-Day wasn’t this hard to pull off.

Did I say “a little set-up?” Somebody shoot me now. No, belay that. It gets interesting here.

After oodles of wrangling, September was looking like our month. And it has been. Everything was falling into place, albeit with the grace of a drugged gazelle, but it was happening, dammit. I wouldn’t get a full cast rehearsal, but a chance to rehearse some important scenes. Then everyone would be there a few days for the recording.

But three days before that rehearsal, Jamie and I had to talk with one of our actors. He wanted to do this story. He just didn’t get it. It didn’t have the overtly comedic tones of Volume 2. This was more surreal, darker…

And the script needed a polish. Yeah, I thought it should have one too. It was written hastily, in the sort of white-hot creative burst that Stephen King and J. Michael Straczynski often extol. For them, it’s the crucible of their personal best efforts. But they didn’t say anything about tightening up sloppy dialogue and blah formatting… or when I was going to find the time to fix all that.

But there I was, answering for the slapdash results, explaining the story, plot, character backstories, my inspirations for the piece, what I would’ve fixed if I’d gotten the time, every single creative decision short of the choice of word processor. And somewhere in that whole oral exam, he heard what he needed to hear. He was good to go. We were back on track. Whew. We could relax.

The next morning, he sent us an e-mail. He was having second thoughts. It turns out that he’s a friend and colleague of none other than… Harlan Ellison. He didn’t want it to look as if he was tiptoeing behind Harlan’s back, so he asked if he could talk to Harlan about it.

Ugh, so the HE guy would have to hear about my sloppy scriptwriting and these goofy CD’s I was making. Oh well, the worst that happens is a stern lecture–

Whoa, there was a line in the e-mail that stopped us cold. Legally we were on thin ice? HE’s name is intellectual property?! Crap, I’d forgotten about that.

Before anyone starts going on about huge egos and control freaks, here’s an important fact. So many people have tried to smear, scam, and libel him that he’s had to resort to such tactics to keep all that lunacy down to a dull roar. If there hadn’t been so many attempts, nobody would have to sweat it.

But the devil of it was that our mutual friend, the actor with whom I’d just discussed the script at length, has been aware of that script and that story for the last two years. And he decided to slam the brakes on the whole production just a few days away from our recording date.

But hey, he considers the guy a friend. You don’t screw your friends over, not if you can help it. I told him to go ahead.

What I didn’t tell him was, “Damn it, we were set! We were good to go, you stegosaurus! For fuck‘s sake! Why didn’t this occur to you before, Rip Van Winkle? Why now?! Where the fuck was all this friendship when I first pitched this idea to you on the way back from recording Volume 2?! Son of a bitch! Shit… shitshit!!!”

We were stunned. Dammit, we were so close. I’d just pulled us out of a nose-dive. Were we gonna crash and burn anyway? My intellect was saying one thing, that Harlan probably wouldn’t care, that it was small taters compared to the full-blown legalistic monkey crap-throwing contests he had dealt with in his time. The finished product might even amuse him, I thought. But the door to litigation had been opened. It was possible. And all the pre-production work Jamie and I had done, all the effort to write the damn thing, all the heated debates on the backchannel during that process, might have been for nothing.

So Jamie and I sweated for three more days, through the weekend, straight on till Tuesday morning. The whole time, we were on deathwatch and we knew it. Whether Harlan was a reasonable man wasn’t the issue. The whole situation was out of our hands. If our mutual friend framed it the wrong way, if Ellison was having a shitty day, if the planets were in the wrong alignment, if we pulled out a copy of the I-Ching and threw the fuckin’ magic Pocky sticks the wrong way….

Okay, that’s enough of that. You’re all in the loop, yes? About how the fate of this episode hinged on what Harlan Ellison’s reaction to the news was, right? You’re not going to start whining about spoilers when I spill? Crucifixion? Good.

The answer on Tuesday? Our actor friend called Harlan, and Harlan was cool with it. In fact he reportedly said, “Why are you bothering me with this? It’s not a big deal! It’s teeny! That other thing, I fought that for 29 years. Trust me. To get me into court, it has to be a big deal. This, not so much. Go ahead, do what you want.”

Verbatim, apprarently. And for that, our friend has a good memory.

Harlan asked for only two things in return. A note in the CD’s liner notes will state: The character of “Harlan” appears with the approval of Harlan Ellison. And we’ll send him a copy of the finished product.

So naturally we’re going to bust our asses on Volume 4… just as soon as we recover from the SAN loss for this whole incident.

And even better news! The last of the principal dialogue was recorded last night. And [info]audioboy himself just re-sent some special crowd walla, saving our exhausted bacon. We’re good to go.

Now I can concentrate on the last three parts of “Giallo Hotel.” No rest for the wicked.

Comments: 0
Written: Sep 28, 2007
Aug
22

Expect me when you see– Oh look, it’s me!

Bless me, Father, it’s been 15 weeks since my last confession.

Oh, hey.  Yup, it’s me– sticking my head out of the dark, tarry abyss I’d fallen into.  I’m still working myself out of it, so I can’t give you all the details right away.  With luck, I’ll be able to fill you in on all the details over time.

So…where have I been?  What have I been up to?  And has my snarky, shellshocked demeanor lightened up much?

Take a wild guess.  Anyway….

First, I’ve been chained to my Macbook for a few months, learning by doing sound work on my own.  The results have been the current mixes of Afterhell Vol 3 “Bloodbath at the Giallo Hotel.”  The folks at Transdimensional Media and the Willamette Radio Workshop have helped me a lot, giving me advice and feedback.  It’s still in work.  Watch that space.

Second…  Jamie started her sabbatical away from the day job in late June.  Now, on the surface, this fact flies in the face of common sense.  A sabbatical usually means more free time, not less.

Ah, but most people don’t make the mistake we did.  We told our relatives.  What’s been the real time-sink of late?  Them.

Simple reason why.  Best encapsulation:  “Free time?  Great, then you guys can drop everything and travel hundreds of miles to see us!  All of us!  Every last freakin’ one of us.  Y’know, before we all die.”

So except for a few weeks where we took a break and came home for this year’s WRW Writers-On-the-air Workshop, Jamie and I have been traveling.  Lots.  Driving for hundreds of miles, up and down the west coast of North America, dipping a little bit into Canada as well as the usual scouring of the western US (but not before enduring some bigoted US Customs officers who ought to be pelted with oily anchovies and shoved into large vats of rancid goat’s milk every time they ever say “Oh, one of those,”) schlepping laptops, luggage, and suntan lotion –when we have it — until every other part of our bodies ached like an all-over tetanus shot.

Thus, if any of our relations are reading this, and if you bugged us to go out all that way to see you… you owe us.  Big.  And you will not know the day.  You will not know the hour.

Anyway, I’m hoping to post more details and less snark as time passes.  We even have pictures that might be fun to post for everyone’s perusal.

That brings me to an interesting question for all and sundry.  Is there a decent image editor for OSX that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

Comments: 0
Written: Aug 22, 2007
May
4

On The Border

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the most succinct and intelligent comment I’ve seen about Cinco De Mayo and the whole immigration flap.  Just follow the link:

Lalo Alcaraz’s “La Cucaracha” for May 3 2007

Comments: 0
Written: May 4, 2007