HE'S AN INTERNET SENSATION!!!!!! A SENSATION ON THE INTERNET, HE IS!!!!
OMG WHAT A SENSATION!!!!!!!! DO YOU SEE THE WAVES OF SENSATION COMING OFF YOUR MONITOR? IF NOT UPGRADE YOUR GODDAMN MONITOR!
YOU'RE ON THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW, AND KIMBO SLICE IS THE SENSATION OF IT! SO YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT!!!!!!
I haven't written on MI in a while.
That's uncomfortable to say, not because it's true (well, it's uncomfortable in a much different way for that), but because this is the 2nd time this year I've had to say it since posting that long ass new year's resolution thing talking about how I wasn't going to let that happen. I can just see your eyes rolling and your lungs breathing a heavy sigh of apathy as you read this, and that slays me.
I don't like not keeping my word.
The truth is, in a LOT of other ways, I've kept my resolutions. I've been hitting the gym regularly, no less than 4 days a week since January 1. I've quit getting distracted by outside news and events. I've done pretty well in those regards. I've also taken my tiny little business - which started simply as a way to adhere to the rules of Lightning Source and Bowker so I could publish my silly little book - and inadvertently turned it into something actually resembling a business, with employees and clients and whatnot. It's kinda crazy.
I've also written in my paper journal every day, and posted here almost every day (missing only 4 days this year that I could count). I've also taken a story I started when I was about 15 years old and revamped it (yet again) into what might be a comic book script (which is just plain crazy for me, since all I wanted to do from age 12 to 22 was draw and write comic books - in fact, writing stories and novels is kinda my way of "almost making it in comics" in my weird little head).
The one place I keep slacking? Mentally Incontinent.
The one place I have had success in creativity and writing, where I have dedicated fans (which I admit I do not deserve)? Mentally Incontinent.
The one thing I've got a book contract with Penguin for which will result in a production run and visibility potential at least 5x the first print run of the first MI book? Mentally Incontinent.
And therein lies the rub.
So I might as well admit it - I'm scared of Penguin.
I'm scared of finishing this book. I'm scared of submitting it, and having editors go through it. I'm scared of legal reviews. Even more, I'm scared it's going to make it through all of that, because when it does, it'll be sold at book shows to vendors - which it might not sell. It might totally flop, and I'll be a failure before I even hit a shelf.
And even more than that? I'm scared that it WILL do well at shows, and have a high print run, and not sell any copies to the general public.
When it was just me and my low expectations, it was easy - every single sale after, say, the first 20 copies was a success beyond my wildest dreams. To actually watch the first run (limited edition hardcover) climb into the 4,000 copy print run range? That was unfathomable... I couldn't believe it (and now, there's actually 4,001 copies of the hardcover, because I owed someone a huge apology). Then, to watch the paperback sell as well as it did... I mean, it just floored me.
So now, I've got my own expectations to live up to - but more than that, I've got to satisfy the publisher. Because as I stated in my series on "Why self-publishing?", if you don't show well in your first print run, there isn't a 2nd. That's it. Your book goes bye-bye.
So yeah, there it is, yet another elephant in the room I avoided talking about. I haven't written in a while (the first), because I'm scared of failing to meet some pretty high expectations (the second).
So, what to do about this...
Let's think about it for a moment.
The term could have many connotations. It is usually taken by most people to mean "Selling your immortal soul to entities of evil intent" and usually is done in exchange for worldly possessions... The old "Sell your soul to the devil" deal.
In other contexts, however, it's an incredibly apt and honest statement, such as when you trade away aspects of your artistic or creative integrity in order to make a deal happen with, say, a television or record studio. Art - true art, that is - comes from the soul of an individual. Just because someone pays you money for something you've created from your soul does not make you a sellout. You didn't sell your soul at that moment, in my opinion, because from the moment of conception to the moment of execution, the motive was pure - you wanted to create. Communicate. Evoke feeling and meaning.
You know, art.
Now, the second you enter into a creative endeavor with some entity who wants to pay you money in exchange for your being creative on their behalf, or being creative with their final say-so... That's selling your soul. You're selling your artistic ability and your creative integrity (the mere possibility that they MIGHT change something is enough to count as abandoning your integrity) for a paycheck.
There is NOTHING wrong with this. You just have to be honest about it - you've sold your soul.
And of course, saying the words "selling your soul" evokes that first connotation in your head, doesn't it? Images of a goatee'd devil sitting there with a grin and a pitchfork as you greedily sign away your immortal essence in exchange for worldly goods... It's not the same, is it?
It's not, right? I mean... Doing it just a little bit this one time doesn't mean you're in hock to Satan for eternity, right?
Of course not.
Now, the second deal... That's where you start flirting with being an empty, hollow shell of a person. Trust me, after having been through it on multiple forms of media, I can tell you that, to make a second deal with any studio for any reason, you are making a conscious decision to sell your soul. Going into a situation with something you've already made and allowing someone to tweak it to be commercially viable... Well, that's every young artist's dream. But once you start going into the process knowing what's involved, and you've decided it's okay?
Well, there's a reason most slick studio exec's sport goatees. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
It's been a happy, happy time... Which makes the sad news even sadder.
I woke up yesterday morning to find a gigantic puddle underneath my fridge/freezer. It turns out, the compressor coil for the freezer gave up the ghost, causing the ice to melt, which caused a "hotbox" sort of thing to happen with the humidity and the tepid temperature. Long story short, I lost a bunch of fine, tasty meat products in the crash.
And there is no backup for meat. No Time Machine, no rsync, no MozyForMeat.com...
I'm a sad Peacock.
(PLEASE forgive the wifebeater tank top there, that's what he asked me to wear)
Next phase is next week, where I get the other 2 features added, along with the background work. It SHOULD be done next week. We'll see how far we get.
YES THAT'S RIGHT, his first AND last name is Blood! And he just sent me this... This... Well, take a look at it for yourself!!!
From: BLOOD BLOOD
Subject: SOMEONE YOU CALL YOUR FRIEND, WANTS YOU DEAD.Bye.
I felt very sorry and bad for you, that your life is going to end like this if you don't comply, i was paid to eliminate you and I have to do it within 10 days.
Someone you call your friend wants you dead by all means, and the person have spent a lot of money on this, the person came to us and told us that he wants you dead and he provided us your names, photograph and other necessary information we needed about you. If you are in doubt with this I will send you your name and where you are residing in my next mail.
Meanwhile, I have sent my boys to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation, but I ordered them to stop for a while and not to strike immediately because I just felt something good and sympathetic about you. I decided to contact you first and know why somebody will want you dead by all means. Right now my men are monitoring you, their eyes are on you, and even the place you think is safer for you to hide might not be.
Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? It is up to you. Get back to me now if you are ready to enter deal with me, I mean life trade, who knows, and I might just spear your life, $8,000 is all you need to spend. You will first of all pay $3,000 then I will send the tape of the person that want you dead to you and when the tape gets to you, you will pay the remaining $5,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will have no choice but to carry on the assignment after all I have already being paid before now.
Warning: do not think of contacting the police or even tell anyone because I will extend it to any member of your family since you are aware that somebody want you dead, and the person knows some members of your family as well.
For your own good I will advise you not to go out once is 7pm until I make out time to see you and give you the tape of my discussion with the person who want you dead then you can use it to take any legal action. Good luck as I await your reply to this email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
His boys! Did you see? HE'S GOING TO SIC HIS BOYS ON ME! HIS FUCKING BOYYYYYSSSSS!
And I can't believe that someone... Who I call a "friend"... Would want me DEAD! Dead enough to have William Yahman sic his BOYS on me!
OH SHIT! I just totally broke the rules by posting this here - he's going to kill me because I contacted somebody about this! And my family! He and HIS BOYS are going to kill my family!!!
And why? Because someone I call my friend has paid "a lot of money" for this! A lot of money! Which amounts to $8000.00...
I'm only worth $8,000.00 to kill?
I mean... $8000.00? A fucking Yaris? I'm worth a goddamn Yaris to someone?
Well fuck you, William Yahman! Really! How dare you settle for so little? I mean, Wal-mart has paid lawyers well over $8000.00 to try to take my website down - NOT KILL ME, but just take my simple, stupid website down! And you're going to KILL ME for $8000.00?
Wow. Pathetic. And you call yourself (and YOUR BOYS) a hitman... Christ, I've played video games where people get paid, like, $15,000.00 to just scare a man. You're settling for $8k for my death? Do you know how much my death is really worth? I mean... The contract with Penguin... Lost book sales... Outstanding clients waiting for work to be done... You're going to have a LOT more than $8k on your head once you take me out, man. A whole lot more.
God, William Yahman. You really need to be thinking more clearly here if you're going to make it in this hitman world. I mean, first off, what person who would call themselves my friend - who knows how much my death is actually worth - would actually pay only $8k to kill me? Doesn't that sound like a pretty low-ball figure for a friend - a REAL friend - to pay for my death?
A real friend would probably pony up WAY more than that. If they were actually my friend, that is.
No, William Yahman, I think you got scammed, buddy. I bet after you stab me with your rusty shiv or shoot me with your potato gun or whatever (or have YOUR BOYS do it), you're just going to get stiffed. In fact, I bet you know that already, and that's why you're trying to hustle ME for the eight large.
Pathetic. Just pathetic.
Now, it's good to connect with folks from the old days, and I've had fun spinning my gears remembering who is who and all of that. The trouble is... I actually remember VERY little about my high school days that doesn't directly deal with Mike and my core group of friends (at the time), outside of things in my journals and the actual events that happened. Ask me who the girl was that... You know... Puked on my thing, and I can tell you no problem. Ask me what class she had second period the year we went out, or the names of two of her best friends... yeah. Not so much.
The same goes with the vast majority of the faces I barely see through the haze of my memory when I see photos of people who contact me on Facebook. There are a few whom I remember without having to have my memory jogged or referring back to the yearbook / journals, and it's been really cool catching up with those folks. But there's an entire category of people who make up a good 85% of the pie chart of "people I probably should remember, and whose names and faces are balanced precariously on the edge of my memory, but I simply don't recall without help".
It's those people who have been the most interesting to catch up with, actually. Or, in some cases, attempting to get to know.
There have been a few who understood completely and, after a few attempts to jog my memory ( "remember the time you let those crickets loose in the library? i was the girl who laughed and didn't tell on you" and "remember the time you fell through the roof of the front lobby while trying to put the security guard's golf cart on top of the building? I was the kid you landed on" and other notable snippets from my life), I've recalled and we laughed and life was good.
But there's also been a few folks who took GREAT offense when I attempted to recall who they were. They couldn't believe I'd forget them, or they think I'm being coy (and in one case, was trying to "Play like [I] am famous now" which is as close to hilarious as you can possibly get with me, seeing as how I'm sitting here eating Fruity Pebbles at 4:30PM in my Red Bull shorts and a ratty old Hanes t-shirt covered in paint splotches, actively ignoring alerts reminding me to do the work I have to do so I can actually afford to pay my house note this month).
And I feel bad about it, for all of a minute or so, until I read lines like "You think you're so high and mighty - put this in your book, you fucking asshole."
Really? Is that necessary?
I mean... Come on.
I remember things. I remember words and pictures and events. I remember them in excruciating detail. It's just how my brain works.
But I don't remember anything or anyone that doesn't have an event or situation "tagged" to them. When you're not directly involved in something I've done or have had happen to me, I'm sorry - I just don't remember it. The same is also true of every other thing on the planet for me... I don't remember the names of stores I walked into and bought nothing inside, because there was nothing of note for me to buy. So it doesn't trigger the "remember me" thing in my head.
I don't remember the titles of comic books I read once (or read through enough to know I didn't like it) because it made no impact. The same with books, movies, tv, and - yes - people.
My brain is just that way. It simply doesn't latch on to things that don't trigger the "remember me" stimulus. I'm sorry that that might hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry that my attempt to circumvent that issue by asking you about how we know each other offended you. But I'm not sorry about how my brain works... It's not like I can help it.
But you can bet I remember you now.
Downside: You can't work without an external keyboard, which also fails during a short presentation which leaves you utterly without recourse.
Upside: It justifies to your wife the need for a backup system, so you can actually send the stupid laptop off for repair.
Downside: 2 hour drive to go buy a new Mac Pro, 2 hour drive home.
Upside: It's a fucking MAC PRO. 8 cores, 16gb ram, 2TB hard drive, additional 512mb memory card (Nvidia GeForce 8800GT) so you can run 2 monitors AND your new Cintiq tablet... It's a bad mamma-jamma.
Downside: The Nvidia badass super mega card? Yeah, they sold me one meant for the OLD mac pro, so it doesn't work in this NEWER mac pro.
Extra Downside: I even asked after seeing the sticker if "Legacy" meant "Will not work with the machine I'm actually buying right now," and the "genius" at the Apple Store Perimeter Center said "nope, it'll work."
Upside: Not much of one. They're going to send me the proper card, but I have to pay for it first, then they'll credit me when I return the one that was wrong for my system. But the small bit that is an upside is that they're working hard to get it out overnight TODAY so I'll have it tomorrow, so that's cool.
Overall, it's been a bit frustrating dealing with Apple stuff the past month or so. But still, NOTHING compares to the Dell saga.
As discussed in this forum post, it's probably not gone unnoticed that I haven't written anything book-wise in nearly three weeks. And the reason why is, I've surmised, that every time I sit down to write, I go through this mental checklist of nonsense which goes like this:
Why am I writing something new? There's a perfectly good story sitting in lawyer limbo right now that I should be posting.
You're writing because that story IS in lawyer limbo, and you need to get stuff up in its stead.
Fine, but what's to stop this new thing from being cast into lawyer limbo as well?
(onset of paralysis)
Now, I know that the story that's been held up has a fairly big reason for being so, but it doesn't stop me from enacting some horrific flash-analysis of every single word I try to type. It causes these insane chains of thought that bounce from "Will this get a legal review?" to "Ok, fine, no legal review, but what if X person in the story takes exception?" to "Well, they said it was ok, but people change their minds" to "Everything I'm writing could get me sued and hated and yelled at by everyone on earth."
It's ridiculous. I mean, utterly and completely ridiculous, on many many levels. First, it's stupidly self-indulgent. Second, it's a slippery slope of stupid crap that is irrelevant and actually doesn't matter. But both of those points, and all points associated, are based in logic... And as near as I can tell, this thing I'm going through has absolutely no regard for logic or any of its trappings. It just persists regardless. And I just plain don't know how to fix it.
Over the years, it's seen numerous changes, incarnations, refactors and updates, all of which have increased the size and shape and concept. In between my inability to find an artist capable of handling it and my ever-growing pickiness, I always put it aside and told myself "one day..."
Well, the day has finally come. This is the product of my first sitting with Todo, tattoo artist to the stars and musicians and athletes. I am honored that he accepted the piece, and am happy as hell with the result so far:
Obviously, it's not finished yet. I go back next Friday to finalize this piece (complete the shading and coloring in the lettering and glass, then the overlay detail), as well as start on part 2 (additional chunks of the glass around the middle and bottom, wrapping around the bicep and tricep). Then, in June, I go for the final sitting to finish all detail overlay on all the glass and lettering, and fill-in behind the piece with shadow and shading, creating a full 3/4 sleeve on my left arm.
I'm extremely excited. This has been a LONG time coming.
This has created for me a very interesting situation, in that I've figured out there's no way in hell I can actually write stories over the weekend for publishing on Monday on MI. There's other implications, like missing my wife and a huge backlog of housework and not seeing my nephew and whatnot, but really, the "write new stories" thing is the most pressing thing for me.
So, I've moved the publishing day to Wednesday. I'm hoping this will change the dynamics involved in my mental process and actually get stories up on the damn site. Right now, I'm 3 stories in hock (tomorrow will make 4 if OI don't post, which I will, so let's not even count it and just say 3). I'm not going to just let it go - I'm going to get caught up to the number I should be at based on my January promise of posting once a week.
Part of what's going to help that is the fact that, for the forseeable near-term, I'm home. It's going to feel like I have a TON of newfound time, especially since I'm not spending upwards of 8 hours each weekend driving to or from an airport, sitting in an airport, getting angry in an airport because I just got screwed over in an airport... Etcetera.
It's nice, really, because I'll have time to play with my new stuff... But I'll post more about that tonight, with pictures :)
You'll note from the URL that it's called "How to actually talk to athiests (if you're christian)."
Now, you'll probably remember that there was a simil... I mean IDENTICALLY titled article just like that one on this blog last month. And if you read the linked article, you might be able to identify a few passages that are... How would you say it... Familiar?
Now, this whole blog is covered under Creative Commons, so I don't care if people re-paste it or share it. Part of that license says you should give attribution, but I normally don't care about that or chase it down - if someone wants to pretend to be me, fine - they'll learn their lesson when refrigerators start falling out of the sky on their cars and PeTA cows steal their dinner. But when they're earning "Qassia Dollars" or any other form of currency doing so, I have to get a bit miffed.
So, there's that for the morning. How's your day going?
Having to plug in a USB keyboard is a mild inconveinence - after all, you can just stack that where the non-functioning keyboard sits on your laptop and, you know... Play pretend. But the mouse... The mouse bit is REALLY infuriating. I can't just sit in a chair and work off my knees. I have to find a table to use the damn mouse.
So, I've reverted my firmware from 1.5.1 to 1.5, and that didn't fix it - but I've read on a ton of forums that re-installing the 1.5.1 firmware update helps. So I have, and so far, it's working... The input "stutters" from time to time, but at least it's working.
Now, to publish this, put this thing to sleep, and see later if the fix took.
Not because of the mechanics - the people at Merlin are freakin' awesome. They're honest, they treat younger people and women like they're actually human, and they do great work. But when I have to wait in the waiting room, and I can't leave since my truck's on a lift, I have no choice but to sit in the presence of the worst television programming ever devised.
I speak, of course, about the Fox News Channel.
As my friend Jeremy says, I'd rather watch a soap opera marathon on NBC than Fox News. I can literally feel myself growing stupider and angrier by just sitting in the same room as this television blaring the white-washed, bleached-out shills boasting about how America is constantly under attack by either terrorists, non-christians, or someone with a weather dominator sending tornadoes to obliterate the bible belt.
At least in the soaps, they have dudes who wear eye patches... And eye patches are entertaining to look at.
As I type this, these "news anchors" are hyping a live appearance by Rush Limbaugh who is appearing on the channel to discuss his involvement in Operation: Chaos and the loss for Obama in Indiana due to O:C's involvement.
This is news?
This needs to be covered? I mean...
And it's not like I'm going to give MSNBC, CNN or any other cable news network a free pass. They have their own issues (quite a few each, in fact), but right now, I'm not being affronted by them.
Just sitting here, I feel the need to go buy a gun. True, it's so I can storm the studios and blow these fucking shills away, but still, it's the need to buy a gun.
And holy shit, they just played that racist panda commercial for SalesGenie.com.
I HATE THIS STATION.
(That's the Firefox mascot, holding my book. Open Source browser holding Open Source book, etc.)
Here's one that Jeremy took from the front:
And one of my favorites, me with Tron Guy:
"Are you noticing any signs of infestation or intrusion?" They ask every two months, just a day or two shy of when one is spotted.
It is then that it occurred to me - the exterminators? The Orkin man? The Terminex guy? They're in on a vast, wide-ranging conspiracy. I believe - and of course I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, but it makes sense - that the formula of spray they spritz around and under the house is only an insecticide for one month and three weeks. On the last week of the 2nd month, the toxins are all drawn out of the formula, turning the residue into a moist, spongy cake that the insects are attracted to, because who the hell isn't attracted to moist, spongy cake?
Then, after a week of baiting all those nasty little bugs to your house, they call ever-so-punctually; pretending to be Mr. Orkin-man-on-the-spot, ready to help you get rid of your bugs for another two months! But they're actually confectioners of ant-candy and spider-taffy! They make delectable treats for the little buggers to much on!
Well the gig is up! I'm on to your little charade... You expatriated exterminators can go and "treat" another person's house, because I'm going to start pouring lye all over everything! Even the stove! Lye everywhere! I'm a lyer!
I need help.
At night, when I'm done writing (READ: chatting with jeremy about how I should be writing, but not actually writing), I drop the top on my lappy, put it in my handy-dandy laptop bag, and go to sleep. This has been the case since I bought the thing, and the only issue I've had with this particular workflow has been the occasional battery drain from leaving it on sleep for too long without plugging it up.
This morning, I had to go visit a client to do an emergency repair on some web crap I did for them a while back. Time was of the essence. I pulled out my laptop, opened the lid, and began to type my password...
Tried to use the trackpad. Nothing.
Rebooted. Tried again. Nothing.
So, here I was, thinking I was completely screwed, when I looked over and saw an unused PC sitting near me. I unplugged the keyboard and plugged it into my Macbook Pro, and lo! The external keyboard worked! Same with the mouse!
It was only about 2 minutes ago that I looked down and noticed what brand it was:
...Saved by the very company who turned me on to Apple in the first place.
(For those unfamiliar with why this is so damn ironic, I encourage you to read the entire saga. It's long, but if you're a Dell owner who's ever had to call tech support [or, if you just fancy yourself a connoisseur of breakfast cereals], it'll be right up your alley.)
Like, not even "wasn't that good" or "isn't as great as NIN's other stuff" - the entire album, all 4 volumes of it, were shit. Total, absolute, unequivocal shit.
And this isn't. It's not bad. It's very similar to Year Zero in feel and presentation, and I really liked that album. Nothing can live up to The Fragile, of course, but this isn't horrible.
In other news, yet another blogger blogged about the album today. Look at me, being all blogospheric.
Now, I could have had them tow the truck to the shop, but after 5 miles, it's expensive. So, I figured I'd have my wife come get me to go get lug nuts. I mean, they're lug nuts, right? You should be able to get lug nuts for any kind of car at any automotive shop...
...I'll spare you the story. You can't.
The Ram 1500 has steel-coated lugs, and I guess they're not standard in stores. I even went to TWO Dodge dealerships, both of which didn't have any. But this odd little store 3 towns away did (and my thanks to the 2nd Dodge dealership for actually calling around to find them for me).
Finally got the lugs. Finally got the spare on. Tired, tired, tired...
I get home, I lay down on my bed. I roll a little, and BOOM - the wood where the center rail is mounted just split and the box springs and mattress hit the ground.
It's just not been my day.
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
- Christopher Morley
I like that. Some part of me really enjoys the thought of personal rebellion in the form of exposing oneself to thoughts and materials and ideas that are simply not being picked through by the masses. But the problem here is that, like most everyone, this feels like the mindset of a revolutionary - so it instantly calls to mind writings by political prisoners, social observers, "truth tellers" - Che Gueverra type stuff.
I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people thinking about that right now, given the reports of gasoline rising to $7.00 a gallon by the end of the year and the absolutely insane "controversy" over Obama's pastor (what a red herring this is... Basically, no one can find any fault with Obama, so this seems like such a huge ordeal. It's nonsense - the pastor saw the red light illuminate on a camera and realized that every ounce of bullshit he can spew right now will add zeros to the book deal he's going to sign come August, when Obama's named as the Democratic candidate).
SO - with all of this in mind, I challenge you to read things that no one else is reading and think thoughts no one else is thinking, by going out today and buying a book on horseshoeing.
Yes, horseshoeing. No one is thinking about shoeing a horse these days... At least, the masses aren't. When was the last time YOU thought about horseshoeing? Today? If you answer 'yes', you're a big fat liar, because you most certainly did NOT.
So, there we have it. If you read a book on horseshoeing, it's pretty much a lock that you'll be doing something unique today. And if you ponder on the concept of horseshoeing, you'll be thinking thoughts no one else is thinking.
Except, of course, everyone who reads this stupid blog... But that's only, like, four people, so you're still safely out of the path of the mainstream.