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Feb. 6th, 2010

Laughing Man

Writing Today

A good article about the realities of the publishing world.  For all of us wannabe writers with visions of big publishing deals and appearances on the talk show curcuits dancing in our heads, a must read.

A writing career becomes harder to scale

Jan. 28th, 2010

Laughing Man

J.D. Salinger Dies at 91

WSJ Article

Salinger is my favorite contemporary author. Although I applaud him for his commitment to living life on his own terms, I feel his self-imposed solitude robbed generations of brilliant storytelling. I'm grateful that he published what he did, and I hope more of his works come out in the near future, as it is well known that he continued to write after his last published work, " Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction" about 50 years ago. Maybe it's selfish of me to say that, but I say it because I feel anyone is just as guilty for not sharing their talents with as many as possible, including myself.

Salinger possessed personality quirks and flaws of the like that stalked Edgar Allan Poe in his lifetime, though not as dramatically. His daughter claimed some things that would come across as very odd to nearly anyone. Perhaps he saw these things in himself early on, and to save the world from himself, sought isolation. In spite of it all, the written works will endure. "Catcher In The Rye" was his magnum opus, a book that any and all should read, especially those filled with youthful angst, disillusioned by the world we live in today. Holden Caufield's voice is one that will resonate in your ears and mind like standing five feet from a swinging church bell.

If there was ever any part of himself in his writing, and I believe there is a lot, this line from "Catcher" must certainly say it best: "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes, that way I wouldn't have to have any ... stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. I'd build me a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made."

Farewell Mr. Salinger, we hardly knew you. Just how you wanted it.

Jan. 17th, 2010

Laughing Man

Writer's Block: R/evolutionary war

If humanity were to become extinct, do you think another animal species would evolve to take our place? What lessons do you think they'd learn from our successes and failures?

Primates would be the the one species with the best chance to evolve to human-like intelligence, but it would likely take at least thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years to happen.  If any species were to gain sapience, it would be over a vastly extended period of time, a span so long, it would be likely that every trace of human existence would have disappeared by the time they were capable of learning any kind of life lessons from the history of humanity. 

Any record of our existence would be scarce.  A seldom few buildings may still stand, some books or other records may exist in some dark dry place protected from erosion.  The fact is time would cover up nearly every trace of our ever being here, and those intelligent enough to discover our history would be asking the same types of questions archeologists ask about ancient history today, with perhaps far less evidence to substantiate their claims of our existence.  I imagine what trace we leave behind would be similar to the amount of evidence we have of the dinosaurs existing, with just as much speculation and conjecture provided by whatever intelligent beings would follow us.

Jan. 11th, 2010

Laughing Man

Adventures In Lubbock, Day 1

I actually got here yesterday, but today was my first full day in my new town.  Lubbock is interesting.  It's got a small town feel, even though it has become a small city (population is currently over 200,000).  It's like a small town with big city amenities.  The massive amounts of construction suggest that it's only going to get bigger, and pretty fast.  If you ask me, they should give the older roads a face lift before they start building any more new roads, but hey, I'm no city planner...

Last night I met up with Blake, Diana and Ever (their 2 year-old daughter), had dinner, got a little bit acquainted with my new surroundings, and got settled in where I'll be staying on a temporary basis.  The guys here are really nice, and I can't express what it means to me that they were so willing to take in a complete stranger.

Today, after a good 10-12 hours of much needed sleep, I went to the newspaper in town, getting slightly lost along the way, to apply for a sales position Diana, who works there, told me about.  After having lunch with her (so happy I can do that now!) I came back to the house, got my resume cleaned up and down to one page, got it printed at Blake's house, got lost in farm country, but eventually made it to an office store to make copies of that and my recommendation letters to hand out to potential employers.  It's going to take a little time to figure out my way around.  It's not terribly complicated, everything is a grid with a big highway loop built around it, but the real trick for me is learning to navigate the way Texas builds their road systems.  It's different from what I'm used to seeing in South Florida, and has a tendency to get me turned around if I don't keep in mind which direction I'm traveling in.

Much of tomorrow will be taken up going to employers I've applied to online to hand out resumes and hopefully schedule some interviews, as well as calling others.  I could feel myself wanting to go back into that slump of sitting here like hermit on a mountain, waiting for something to come my way, but I know it won't be that easy this time.  I'm a fish out of water, that much is certain, and if I want to get through this adventure alive, I need to find my own way to the pond.

Dec. 22nd, 2009

Laughing Man

If Christmas Presents Bring So Much Misery, I'll Go Without.

The competition in the malls for meaningless trinkets, the worrying that you've gotten the best gift you can for that certain someone, the cheers or jeers of the recipient, the cringing from hearing "do you have the reciept for this?".

I have no interest in it anymore.

So this is Christmas now? Hoping for the Lexus with the big red bow, or the new laptop or diamond necklace you know that person is skipping five mortgage payments to get in order to satiate your desire to be shown appreciation through things? It would seem now love is equated with the words "He went to Jared". That isn't appreciation, and certainly not love. It's a cheap bribe in place of love. You're being bought off with things. The sad part is, no one seems to care.

After "present time", we all scuttle off to our private dens with our newly aquired stash, sorting, smiling, feeling fulfilled in the moment of victory with our shiny new stuff. The problem, though, is that this feeling never lasts. The luster fades, things get old, worn, familiar to the point that we seek happiness in newer, better things, looking to the people we supposedly love in order to acqire them on that most sacred of gift-getting days.

We should all feel pathetic for what we've allowed Christmas to become.

If we're not competing and pining for the best gifts in our persistant quest of one-upsmanship, we're arguing over what "the reason for the season" is. I belive if Jesus were here, he'd be shaking his head at all of us, trying his best not to give in to slapping us silly. There is a much simpler reason for this holiday, beyond the layers of proverbial manuer we've piled on to it with prideful gift giving and religion. Something most of us fogot a long time ago, or never realized in the first place.

Love.

You want to have the best holiday you could ever imagine? Open up your heart and home to those you care for, make them a holiday meal they'll never forget, light up the fireplace (if you live in the cold places and/or actually have one), serve their favorite drinks, and get everybody together to share stories and experiences together in the living room after the feasting is done. No trips to the mall, spending money you don't have, or agony required. Only thing you need to pull it off is love.

I came to realize this year that this is what I miss most about Christmas from when I was growing up. Not the presents, but the time we spent in each others' company, truly enjoying the opportunity to come together. Maybe there's just something about being up north with the cold and snow that brings people together like that, but I think that feeling could be replicated anywhere. You just need love.

This year I declared to one and all that I have no need for presents this year. Some were understanding, some seemed a bit taken aback by it, shocked even that someone would so willingly refuse the anuall buyoff that is offered at Christmas. My reasons are many, but simple. On the superficial side, I would be ashamed to accept a gift when I can't afford anything for anyone myself, also being that I have recieved far more than I deserve through this entire year. It would hurt my pride, I'm not afraid to admit that. Also, I understand that what I really want from the people I love and care for is nothing more than their time, and love. I find I'm happier when I get a call, a reply to something I've posted somewhere, or an unexpected letter or email from someone. To me, that's the kind of thing that tells you how much someone cares, when they take time from their day to say hello and let you know they were thinking about you. To me, that's love.

To me, that's Christmas.

Dec. 10th, 2009

Laughing Man

In Appreciation

First off, I wanted to thank everyone who's added me from my post on add_a_writer . I'm a bit humbled by it actually. I'll have to start digging through my old stuff and post a thing or two here for you all.

I know it's been ages since I posted anything of substance, so I'll get you up to speed.

I decided a while back that Florida is no longer for me. My job is constantly trying to find new things to write me up for in order to expedite my termination (thus stopping the paying out of full-time benefits to me). I've never had a strong desire to live down here, nor have I made anything meaningful of myself since I've been here. I have no real friends within proximity to speak of... that's mostly due to my reserved nature in social settings. I have a hard time making new friends because of it, but also, I just have no interest in befriending the type of people I generally run into down here.

After much deliberation, I ultimately decided to go to Lubbock, Texas, where I have actual friends, the rent is more affordable, and there at least seems to be jobs that I could get myself into within a acceptable amount of time, as well as opportunites to further my education. So far, things are coming together beautifully, even though there are still plenty of bumps in the road to overcome. In spite of the fear of making such a drastic change and the challenges it presents, I remain undeterred. I believe this is the best thing I can do for myself in the short and long term, that this will bring me the things I've been wanting for so long, most of all happiness and fulfillment. It likely won't be an easy road, but rewarding all the same.

Now all I have to do is find a place to live until I can leave Florida...

My living arrangement that I've had since July is coming to an end on Monday. Just found that out today. I hope it won't be too difficult, as I only need a place to crash for a few weeks until I'm ready to leave. I'm making calls and doing what I can. I believe I'll be okay, I am blessed! If I can't believe that in the face of adversity, then there's no point in believing it at all.

Lastly, for my friends here (old and new alike) I filled out a short meme, stolen from my sexy future American-Japanese wife hinoai (you never know... ^_~) Enjoy!

P.S. You should read her blog, it's all about her experiences living in Japan and super awesome.
P.S.S. and hinoai is not to be confused with my actual "LJ wife" immortal_night . Thought I should put that out there so my Channy doesn't get angry with me.

Short meme about me... actually it's a bit of a read for being so short...Collapse )

Dec. 4th, 2009

Laughing Man

(no subject)

A co-worker of mine, Jim Speake, was recently hospitalized due to a brain aneurysm. He's in critical condition and things don't look very promising for him right now. Please take a moment to add him into your prayers if you do pray, I would appreciate it. He could really use a miracle right now, and frankly I believe he deserves one.

Sep. 18th, 2009

Laughing Man

Catholic Jokes (much better than baptist jokes)


A nun is in class with her children and asks, "what would you like to be when you grow up?".  One little boy raises his hand and says,"I wanna be an astronaut!". Another boy raises his hand and says, "I want to be a fireman!". A little girl raises her hand and says, "I want to be a prostitute", to which the nun gasps, "what did you say?!?". She says again, "I want to be a prostitute, sister...". The nun, looking quite relieved says "oh good, I though you said you wanted to be a protestant".

As a kid, there was a bike I saw that I really wanted, so I prayed to god everyday. After a while, I realized god doesn't work like that, so I stole the bike and prayed to god for forgiveness.

A priest get pulled over while on his way home, and the officer smells alcohol on his breath.  The officer asks, "have you been drinking father?", to which he replies, "no sir, only water for me today". The officer then points to a bottle of wine in the backseat, and the priest shouts out, "It's a miracle! the lord has done it again!"

A rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "What is this, a joke?"