Saturday, April 12, 2008

I miss my thriller

I'm greatly enjoying writing Overthrowing Heaven. Despite that, today I had a great idea for the second thriller in my series--the same series in which I haven't finished the first book, Fatal Circle. Something around 40,000 words of that novel are sitting in my online drawer, gathering virtual dust, while I finish Overthrowing Heaven and then Children No More, the fourth Jon & Lobo book. When I'm done with that one, I plan to get back to the thriller, which I've been feeling strong urges to write.

I've also been having a real hankering to write Hero Boy, a book (and start of a series, I hope) that will take me to dark places I think I need to revisit.

So many stories to tell, so little time.

Back to the current one.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The greatest baby scene ever

Hands down, it has to be the bit where John Cusack holds the baby in Grosse Pointe Blank, one of my favorite films. If you've never seen the movie, check out this scene here. I'll wait.

Okay, you have to admit it: that is an insanely cute and expressive baby, and John Cusack holds his own exchanging glances with it.

This scene came to mind because we recently rewatched the movie. I don't know how many times I've seen this film, but I love it every time.

In unrelated news, next week will take me back to Portland, a city I've come to quite like. I'll be trying (and reporting on) two new restaurants, while two other nights I'll resort to perennial favorites.

Back to Overthrowing Heaven and some work on my special project.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A little Rick in your day

Kyle sent me a visual treat: a story on someone or some group Rick-rolling the Mets, as well as a video. If your day needs a dose of humor, check them out.

Speaking of doses, tomorrow I go for my annual visit with the allergist. It is a complete and utter waste of time and money, as best I can tell an excuse for the allergist to bill the insurance company. I drive 25 to 30 minutes to the office, wait typically for half an hour, a nurse takes my blood pressure and tells me to sit in a chair, I wait ten minutes, and then I spend three golden minutes with the doctor. He asks if all is well (it always is), peers up each nostril, and then leaves. Ring up about $130--and I can't bill them for my lost work time.

Why do I go? Extortion: if I don't, his office won't give me the allergy serum for the two shots I give myself every three weeks.

Now, I know some medical professional will point out to me the wisdom of him verifying that all is well, and I know that my allergy serum is a prescription drug, but, really, wouldn't I yell if the serum was causing problems, and is there really any market for allergy serum they created particularly for me?

Frustrating silliness. I will enjoy my book as I wait, but I'd enjoy the extra sleep even more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

On the road again: a college visit, day 2

To minimize our time away, we had to sign up for the morning tour. Neither Sarah nor I is a morning person, so when the first wake-up call came at 8:00 a.m., there was much moaning in the room--and she was still asleep. An invigorating shower and a little Rick-rolling later, I was happily awake and she was moaning; ah, the simple pleasures of fatherhood.

The University was most impressive, with a great reputation that it has clearly earned. The sun came out, our tour guide was intense and thoughtful and in love with the school (a good sign, given that he's less than a month from graduating), and we both left feeling quite won over.

Lunch was at a local pancake house, where student graffiti covered the walls; our booth was under a proclamation that read

The Table
of Awesone

I had a cheesesteak; Sarah went for peanut butter and chocolate pancakes. Health city for both of us.

We then hit the road, where the highway system kicked our asses once again. One missed turn later--a big one, but we overcame it--we found our way to rental car return and then rode the squid train (so named due to its alien occupants) to the terminal.

I'm working, Sarah's working, and we're ready to go home. Soon enough.

On the road again: a college visit, day 1

The highlight of the early part of the trip was listening to the weasely fellow to my right engage in a very loud cell-phone conversation that included--and I am not making up any of us--such lines as

"If they won't let you carry a taser, then make them give you a shotgun with an ALS!"

"So I pulled out my metal pen, took off the cap, held it in his face, and said, 'Do you have any idea how much damage I could do with this?' The next thing I know, I'm in a small room getting a cavity search. Can you believe that?"

"Nah, he's fine; he just needs to get out of the country and hurt someone."

Sarah told me to recommend to everyone "Empty Hearts" by Josh Ritter, which she warns is a little more country than her normal recommendations.

After the longest airport train ride in my memory, we picked up our rental car and promptly got lost in the highway maze. Fortunately for us, when I found an exit and took it, a White Castle appeared almost instantly. After some slyders for me and mozzarella sticks for Sarah, we made our way back to the airport and from there we navigated successfully to our hotel.

The official tour is tomorrow, but we wandered a bit on campus today, ate some great ice cream, and had a pleasant time.

Tomorrow, we'll do the tour, then reverse our course and head home. The amount of sheer overhead time in this type of travel is astoundingly wasteful, but so it goes; the visit is worthwhile, and I love spending time with Sarah and Scott.

Still, I'll be glad to be home...until next Monday, when I head to Portland for the work week.

Back to work for me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Heading out in the morning

Yes, at the painful (to me) hour of 8:00 a.m., I must rise, shower, check to see what I forgot to pack, and head to the airport. The mission this time is to accompany Sarah on a college visit; I suspect this is far easier on me than it is on her. (It doesn't help her cause that we depart with me in possession of a two-day RPS streak, but, hey, what can I do?)

On the work front, I'm drowning in it, but so it goes. I will swim out of trouble the only way I know how: one stroke at a time.

I'm also again interviewing assistant candidates. I'd really, really, really like to find one who lasts oh, say, the rest of my life, but it's a tough challenge. One person asked how I would assess the skills of various folks, and that's a difficult question, because I don't know of good tests you can reasonably administer for intelligence, determination, work ethic, loyalty, confidentiality, and so on. It's all guesswork, albeit informed guesswork.

Overthrowing Heaven beckons, so to it I go.


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