General

Donuts Have Gone Crazy! Bacon! Blood!

Last week was probably the strangest donut week of my life.

Maybe you heard about this, but there I am, checking out the news online, and then I see it.

I mean … whoa. Talk about a tasty heart attack.

As a gluttonous treat of epic proportions, in certain places you can now order, not just a hamburger … not just a bacon cheeseburger … but a bacon cheeseburger … topped with a fried egg … with the bun replaced with … you guessed it … not just one, but[i] two[/i] glaLast week was probably the strangest donut week of my life.

Maybe you heard about this, but there I am, checking out the news online, and then I see it.

I mean … whoa. Talk about a tasty heart attack.

As a gluttonous treat of epic proportions, in certain places you can now order, not just a hamburger … not just a bacon cheeseburger … but a bacon cheeseburger … topped with a fried egg … with the bun replaced with … you guessed it … not just one, but[i] two[/i] glazed Krispy Kreme donuts! One on each side!

On the one hand it’s just a disgusting mutation of grease that might kill me if I ate it. And on the other hand, it sounds so incredibly, sinfully good that I’m more than just a little bit tempted to try it. Naturally, I’d have a defibrillator nearby and eat outside of a hospital, but still …

That was donut week, phase I.

The next day, at the office, somebody brought in a box of Dunkin Donuts, which, I’ve found, I’m not as crazy about as I thought I was. They’re okay. I mean, they’re donuts, which by definition are good, but my memory of them just doesn’t seem to match up with reality any more. But still …

There they are, sitting in an open box, in the kitchen, being the evil little temptresses that they are. And I’m telling myself [i]I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one[/i] …

I know! I’ll eat part of one! Perfect!

So I take a knife out of the draw and start to chisel away a slice of a glazed donut with chocolate frosting. But since I don’t want to pick up the donut–if I pick it up I know I’ll eat the whole darn thing–I put my hand on the edge of the box to hold it steady.

Ow! Frick!

I sliced my friggin finger open on the donut box.

Donuts. So much danger. So much temptation.

I’m weak, weak, weak, weak …

And yes. Bloody finger and all, I ate the damn donut.

Blog: Baltimore Comic-Con ’09: They Had Comics!

Massive displays? Nope.

Gaming stations? Nope.

Hollywood agents? Nope.

TV star signings? Nope.

Movie star signings? Nope?

If this wasn’t the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con, then what exactly did they have?

Crazy as it seems, this comic book convention actually had, you know … comic books.

Over the last several years, many of the Comic-Cons, especially the bigger ones, have become these massive multi-media bonanzas, much to the chagrin of us nerd-types who just lMassive displays? Nope.

Gaming stations? Nope.

Hollywood agents? Nope.

TV star signings? Nope.

Movie star signings? Nope?

If this wasn’t the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con, then what exactly did they have?

Crazy as it seems, this comic book convention actually had, you know … comic books.

Over the last several years, many of the Comic-Cons, especially the bigger ones, have become these massive multi-media bonanzas, much to the chagrin of us nerd-types who just like to read comics … because comic books are fun.

Well, the Baltimore Comic-Con was for anyone who likes to read comic, buy comics and talk about comics. It was for anyone who likes to talk to comic book creators. The writers, the artists.

It was, in fact, a comic book convention.

And it was a good time. I spent a good part of the day promoting Finders Keepers (I’ll have the pics up soon for you enjoyment), I dug through half-off boxes and bought some books, and, of course, just hung out with the guys, talking comics, talking to creators and the artists, getting our nerd on, because that’s what we do.

We’re nerds, but we’re not [i]nerds[/i]. Well, some of us, anyway.

Comic books are fun. Comic-book conventions …. that is, real comic-book conventions … are fun.

The hot babes in skin tight leather outfits didn’t hurt either. Oh, mamma …

So, yes, the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con was a success. Not just because it was fun unto itself, but because it has become a rare breed of comic book conventions. It was actually about comic books.

Who knew?

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/10/13 06:56

What Do Obama and George Lopez have in Common?

OK. Here’s a riddle for you (and I swear it’s not a trick question):

What do Barrack Obama and George Lopez have in common?

Before you answer, let’s identify the players:

Barack Obama – President of the United States (presumably, the most powerful man in the world)

George Lopez – painfully unfunny comedian

Now, if you guessed:

* They’re both minorities – yes, but that’s not it

* They’re both males, over the age of 40 – yes, but that’s not it

* They both seem tOK. Here’s a riddle for you (and I swear it’s not a trick question):

What do Barrack Obama and George Lopez have in common?

Before you answer, let’s identify the players:

Barack Obama – President of the United States (presumably, the most powerful man in the world)

George Lopez – painfully unfunny comedian

Now, if you guessed:

* They’re both minorities – yes, but that’s not it

* They’re both males, over the age of 40 – yes, but that’s not it

* They both seem to desperately want to be liked – yes, but that’s not it, either

So what IS the answer?

Ahem …

They appeared together. Doing shtick. On a TBS commercial. In front of a blue screen. During late night reruns of The Office. To promote George Lopez’s new late night talk show.

….

Mur?

I have another question to ask, and, again, this is not a riddle.

[b]WHAT THE HOLY F*** IS WRONG WITH OBAMA?!

STOP TRYING TO BE OUR PAL AND START RUNNING THE COUNTRY!!! BE THE PRESIDENT!! LEAD!!!

GEORGE FREAKIN’ LOPEZ?!!! REALLY?! COME ON!!!![/b]

Good god I’m going to have to go back to being an Independent. I can’t take much more of this …

My Worst. Meal. Ever.

For a few days this week I attended an industry conference for a client I represent. It was a perfectly mediocre conference, moderately attended and with negligible enthusiasm.

But our story brings us to lunch on the first day. Rather than a typical sit-down lunch with the usual rubber chicken, they went with a buffet style Chinese menu, sponsored by one of the attendee corporations.

I have to say, without exaggeration, that this was the worst tasting food … ever.

After justFor a few days this week I attended an industry conference for a client I represent. It was a perfectly mediocre conference, moderately attended and with negligible enthusiasm.

But our story brings us to lunch on the first day. Rather than a typical sit-down lunch with the usual rubber chicken, they went with a buffet style Chinese menu, sponsored by one of the attendee corporations.

I have to say, without exaggeration, that this was the worst tasting food … ever.

After just one bite it became clear that the chef prepared the food by wrapping in his used sweat sock and storing at the bottom of his locker.

Think of the most disgusting Chinese take out you’ve ever had. Think on that meal, and in your mind’s taste bud remember that awful flavor. Just how gross it was.

OK. You with me? Good. Now … as that awful flavor swirls, think of food that’s way, way worse and more horrifying. Old. Stale. Smelly.

The food I ate was worse than that.

And the registration fee for the conference?

$2,000.

Not exactly what I’d call a ‘lunch special.’

In the Writer’s Chair: The Connective Tissue

Now that I’m back into writing [b]Crossline[/b] I really hit a good streak. Earlier in the year I finished a very rough first draft of about 90,000 words, so now my mission is go back and get the entire manuscript tight and rockin’ and fill in all the gaps so that the entire story comes together.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on the beginning, which certainly makes sense, and I’m about 20,000 words through, and feeling quite good about it. There’s action, suspense and humor, andNow that I’m back into writing [b]Crossline[/b] I really hit a good streak. Earlier in the year I finished a very rough first draft of about 90,000 words, so now my mission is go back and get the entire manuscript tight and rockin’ and fill in all the gaps so that the entire story comes together.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on the beginning, which certainly makes sense, and I’m about 20,000 words through, and feeling quite good about it. There’s action, suspense and humor, and, of course, my usual cosmic goofiness.

But now that the first main arc is done, the next one is ready to go. Only … something’s missing. There are a few smaller section that need to fit into between the first main arc and the second. It’s the connective tissue, the segues that bridge the larger arcs. When it comes to these segues, I’m of two minds. Part of me feels like I should just put in a placeholder (which I’ve done for now), saying, fill this in with …" This approach allows me to focus on the heart of the story and keep the action going. Then, when the manuscript is essentially done, I can go back and fill in those placeholders. I’ve written this way before, and it seems to work for me.

And yet another part of me feels like I should slow down for the moment, focus on these placeholders, get them tight and focused, and the return to the main action. The reasons for taking this approach is that, by filling in these slots, working on the connective tissue, it fills out the story more completely earlier on, and it may lead to additional details and story threads down the line. I’ve also written this way, and it seems to work.

Thing is, if I slow down to focus on this smaller section I take myself out of my rhythm for the main story and …

You get the idea.

Truth is, there’s no one best way to write. There’s no right way. It’s whatever works. For the moment, I’m choosing to slow down, which sometimes goes against my go-go-go writing process, as I like the momentum to carry me as long and as far as it will take me. But I also feel like taking a breather might be a good idea, to give me a fresh perspective before I get too ahead of myself and realize I’ve missed something important.

As a writer, my process is always evolving, and I never lock myself into [i]having[/i] to proceed in a certain way. I still sit down and write several days a week, and every day, if I can, so there’s continuity in my process. Every week, I just keep on keepin on until the work is done. But allowing for some flexibility helps, too, as some days I’m just not feeling the story flow, and want to work on the details. Other times, it’s the opposite.

I’ll let you know how it all turn out, but in the end, as long as I have a complete manuscript that I’m really happy about, that’s all that really matters.

Brisket, Brisket Everywhere

For the past four days I’ve eaten pretty much nothing except brisket. Don’t get me wrong. Brisket is [i][b]gooooood[/b][/i]. Thin sliced meat with a tangy gravy, potato kugel, sweet potatoes, turkey, cranberries … it’s pretty much like a Jewish Thanksgiving dinner.

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and not being overly religious, in my clan we essentially get together, say a quick prayer, and then eat. Then we eat some more, and then some more after that.

And For the past four days I’ve eaten pretty much nothing except brisket. Don’t get me wrong. Brisket is [i][b]gooooood[/b][/i]. Thin sliced meat with a tangy gravy, potato kugel, sweet potatoes, turkey, cranberries … it’s pretty much like a Jewish Thanksgiving dinner.

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and not being overly religious, in my clan we essentially get together, say a quick prayer, and then eat. Then we eat some more, and then some more after that.

And because I have the big dinner on two nights in a row–once at my mom’s place, then next with my in-laws–I’ve got enough leftovers to last me through the winter. Of 2012.

Like any holiday, Rosh Hashanah has its own vibe, the family gathered together, bringing their own brand of kookiness to the festivities. Sometimes it’s super fun, sometimes its less than that, but more often than not, we hang about, eat all day, eat at night, and then sleep.

Me? I took a two-hour nap on Saturday and then a two-and-a-half-hour nap on Sunday. So in-between driving to each event, I ate, ate and slept.

Not too shabby.

Will I be eating brisket well into my 40s? Probably. But if having a freezer full of leftover brisket is my biggest problem, then I’m doing fairly okay.

God Bless Novocaine!

Generally speaking I have very good teeth. I haven’t had a cavity in nearly 25 years (we won’t talk about my mouth full of fillings from childhood), I brush and floss regularly, and with the exception of some very unpleasant dental surgery about seven years ago, I go the dentist twice a year, get my cleanings and checkups, and call it a day.

Well, I had an … incident … about two months ago, and it just hasn’t resoled. I’m not sure how I did it, but one night I was brushing my teeth, andGenerally speaking I have very good teeth. I haven’t had a cavity in nearly 25 years (we won’t talk about my mouth full of fillings from childhood), I brush and floss regularly, and with the exception of some very unpleasant dental surgery about seven years ago, I go the dentist twice a year, get my cleanings and checkups, and call it a day.

Well, I had an … incident … about two months ago, and it just hasn’t resoled. I’m not sure how I did it, but one night I was brushing my teeth, and my hand was wet. So I slipped, and quite by accident, I managed to jam the tip of the toothbrush right into my lower left gum. Holy crap that hurt. I tore away some skin, and had some bleeding. The initial soreness went away after a few days, but it took a while for the swelling to go down. But it did.

And then it came back. And then it went away. And then it came back. And so on.

Realizing something was wrong, I finally went to the dentist the other day, and he immediately could see that there was a problem. As I suspected, the gum line got infected somewhere during the initial injury, and it could never quite heal.

The dentist said he could clean out the wound in like five minutes, no problem, and gave me the option of Novocaine. He wasn’t sure if I’d need it, but since the area was sore anyway, it was something to think about. Hell yes, I said. Gimme the drugs.

Let me say. Best. Decision. Ever.

The Novocaine was so strong that my left earlobe went numb! I couldn’t feel a thing. And good thing, because he was drilling and scrapping and lord knows what else. Those would have been the worst five minutes ever. Forget waterboarding. The dentist hast the real torture power if he wants to.

It’s been two days and the soreness is mostly gone, but however long it takes to completely heal, all I know is this. Novocaine is gooooooood.

Keeping Me Energized – This Blog’s for all of You

I’d love to say that I have a [i]reallyreallyreallyreallyreally[/i] great reason for a light blog load lately, but the truth is, I don’t. The reason is simple: I’ve been tired.

Work, book, dog, life.

I know, I know. Boo-hoo-hoo poor me yada yada.

The thing is … I’ve missed you guys. So I’m back now clacking away, and what’s really on my mind is … you. While blogging is my chance to communicate with you, the blogs are [i]for[/i] you. It’s my way of trying to entertain and updatI’d love to say that I have a [i]reallyreallyreallyreallyreally[/i] great reason for a light blog load lately, but the truth is, I don’t. The reason is simple: I’ve been tired.

Work, book, dog, life.

I know, I know. Boo-hoo-hoo poor me yada yada.

The thing is … I’ve missed you guys. So I’m back now clacking away, and what’s really on my mind is … you. While blogging is my chance to communicate with you, the blogs are [i]for[/i] you. It’s my way of trying to entertain and update, and when I don’t do it as much, I feel like something important is missing from my routine.

You may not realize this, but your interest, support and enthusiasm in what I do is a [i]huge[/i] boost to me. It energizes me, it encourages me. My creative brainpower is set mostly on writing the novels–[b]Finders Keepers[/b], and now [b]Crossline[/b]–but that type of writing is a period of isolation. It’s just me, at the desk.

Don’t get me wrong, I love … I mean LOVE writing. I’m different without it. It’s my thang. But writing isn’t a group effort.

And yet, when I’m blogging, I’m talking directly to you, about what’s going on in my kooky little brain at the moment, about today.

Does that mean going forward I’ll be blogging as much as ever? I can’t say. I don’t like to make those kinds of promises. But I will say that I’m more energized when I blog, and less energized when I don’t.

So if nothing else, this blog about blogging, is really a blog letter to all of you, who energize me to keep on plugging along when sometimes my energy drops a bit low.

This blog’s for you!

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/09/16 14:54

Twitter Twitter on the Wall …

I have to admit, I’m still not quite into the Twitter groove. Part of me thinks I should be, if for no other reason than the world is moving in that direction, and I don’t want to get left behind.

And yet, all this Facebooking and Tweeting and MySpacing all seems a bit too much for me. Maybe I’m just getting old far too quick!

So I’ve been poking around on Twitter lately, trying to get with it. There is some fun stuff out there, if you know where to look, but you really gotta put the eI have to admit, I’m still not quite into the Twitter groove. Part of me thinks I should be, if for no other reason than the world is moving in that direction, and I don’t want to get left behind.

And yet, all this Facebooking and Tweeting and MySpacing all seems a bit too much for me. Maybe I’m just getting old far too quick!

So I’ve been poking around on Twitter lately, trying to get with it. There is some fun stuff out there, if you know where to look, but you really gotta put the effort in … and I’m tired!

Good gravy …

My Movie Review – District 9

When it comes to District 9, all I can say is "Wow." What a movie.

I had read quotes from Peter Jackson (who produced the movie), saying that we’ve never seen anything like District 9. I sorta rolled my eyes at that thinking, what else is he going to say?

But you know what? He’s right.

District 9 is like Aliens meets Slumdog Millionaire. It’s such a trippy, tense, gross, exciting, exhilarating, bizarre sci-fi aliens movie. There really isn’t anything that compares head tWhen it comes to District 9, all I can say is "Wow." What a movie.

I had read quotes from Peter Jackson (who produced the movie), saying that we’ve never seen anything like District 9. I sorta rolled my eyes at that thinking, what else is he going to say?

But you know what? He’s right.

District 9 is like Aliens meets Slumdog Millionaire. It’s such a trippy, tense, gross, exciting, exhilarating, bizarre sci-fi aliens movie. There really isn’t anything that compares head to head.

This remarkable effort comes from first-time feature film director, South African Neill Blomkamp (who adapted District 9 from a short film he directed in 2005), and even more amazing is the lead, Sharlto Copley, a first-time actor from South Africa. He had depth, and humanity, intensity and humor — plus he kicked ass, coming from the most unlikely character to carry a movie.

If you’re looking something that will just knock you back a few feet, District 9 is for you.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/08/23 14:36

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