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  1.  (3394.101)
    So I started writing this very early on into your evening, but then got caught up in a bunch of stuff and just now finished. Sigh...

    Previously : I spent the week being rather productive, actually. Got much writing done and a ton of page layouts for the guy drawing my former mini-series, now graphic novel, Super. The really cool thing I did this week was that I got to use my gigantor-bad-ass printer to make a number of back-lit posters for Burning Man. The job was kicked my way by my Epson guy, and that's where all the really cool parts came in. First, the artist who needed the prints was doing symmetrical fractal images, which are beautiful if you know what you're doing (and he does). Then it turns out that the guy's name is Mike Crowley, he used to write for Marvel UK and he knows Alan Moore! And yes, he is loosely related to Aleister Crowley, a fact he was unaware of until Robert Anton Wilson told him that the more famous Crowley only pronounced his name the English way as a matter of affectation. Neat stuff, that! Anyway, I wasn't going to show these off, because I hadn't asked his permission, but they should already be on display at the festival, so here are the pieces.

    These first three were printed at four feet by four feet each on clear film. The colors are so wonderfully vibrant when lit in front of an opaque piece of plastic.

    And this piece is just brilliant. I wish you could see it at the full size I printed it. Finished, it came out at three feet by twenty feet and was done on an opaque material, so that you need only to add the back-light for effect. I believe they are using this piece as a bar top.

    So yeah, some dude up there on peyote, or shrooms or whatever is gonna trip balls in front of these things and they're gonna blow his mind, man!

    Also, on Thursday, I held my weekly Drink and Draw meeting. This week we had Mark Millar and Tony Harris stop by since they were in town promoting their new book, War Heroes. They were great fun to hang with, very laid back and talkative. Was a real nice turnout and we had ribs for dinner. Here's some photos...

    The crowd.

    And here's Tony playing pool while Mark goes against type and drinks a Guinness.

    Currently : I'm currently playing some online poker while drawing a bunch of necrophiliacs... No, really... But if you're gonna lock yourself in a small room with me this evening, we'll soon be joined by my core group of gents as we partake in My Dinner With Andre.

    Approaching : Will be done working on this television show in another two weeks... Gonna have to find something else to do with my weekends... My plan is to try and work really hard on getting more business involving my printer and finish banging out some art projects... Maybe build some custom lightboxes and do a gallery installation at the next art festival... We'll see...

    I also have a sin to confess. At the Drink and Draw, my boy Gilbert, who happens to be drawing the book mentioned at the top of this post (and taking forever on it, as is the way), was having a piece of artwork he did (some militray-themed zombies with the words "Iraq Year 100" drawn on the bottom) fawned over by just about everyone, especially Millar and Harris. Now, Gilbert is very talented, easily the one of my group with the best chance at landing mainstream penciling work someday, but he's never been very supportive of the Drink and Draw, treating it like it's a waste of my time and money. So it makes me jealous that everyone was paying so much attention to his work while I was too busy running the event to pick up a pencil. And that is my sin... Being jealous of my best friend when I should be happy that he's getting all this attention... I am ashamed and I should be.

    Oh, and an edit: a pic of me, to hurt your eyeballs with...
  2.  (3394.102)
    Let's do this right:

    Explain to me why the world is shit.
    Because polling data is often meaningless, and yet people believe every last one of 'em.

    Confess your sins.
    Hung out with an old girlfriend recently and wished she were more like my new one. And wished the new one were more like the old one. Then punched my crotch for a while to even everything out.

    Get something off your chest.
    My dog seems to have a serious foot fetish, which is a bit creepy. But he's a cocker spaniel, and so is adorable. It's terribly confusing.

    Tell me a plan.
    Taking a yoga class. Not the cool fitnessy one where I'd meet interesting, attractive people. The more philosophically based one. Which means I'll get to meet a lot of area old hippies.
    Thinking low-tech is the way to get people reading Am commencing Philadelphia-area scrawling of URL on bathroom walls at first opportunity.

    Tell me what's in your head.
    New story zygote. Always good. Started with a blithe what if: "What if every John Smith in the world up and died at the same time...except for one?" Now I have to figure out what that story actually is, and how it gets told.

    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    what is pissing me off? what pisses off most people? Being trapped into a shit job. I gave up looking for a job and went back full time to where i'd been working before I graduated. I work retail in a bookstore. I got like 5 hours of sleep last night and was in a shit fucking mood all day. I wanted to stab people all fucking day, especially one of these smug upper-class "buddhist" fuckers who is friends with the owner of the store who sits on his fat ass and tries to absorb an entire religion and culture he's probably never seen like it's a fucking buffet and you can just pick out the bits you like and fuck the rest of it. fuck. fuck. I am so frustrated with life right now. my boss "doesn't do raises" even though I'm making a little over minimum wage and have been there coming up on 2 years. so I have to go and ask him and I know the second I start that conversation the nerves will get the best of me and I'll curl up like a spineless shit and take whatever they give me. It's the same reason i didn't hold out for a better fucking job. All of this frustration has stopped me from doing anything but working, sleeping and a little bit of time around the internet. I could go on bitching about how fucked things seem, but I don't have shit too bad, but then i'm probably just saying that so I can fucking give up a little. Fuck it, Time to sleep. Music is all that keeps me from fucking losing it. Tom Waits has done more in a year to improve my life than most people I know, too bad he didn't get up here to boston on tour or i'd have given my legs for tickets.

    This is exactly what I needed, thanks Warren and everyone else.
  3.  (3394.104)

    You'll enjoy this: an
    interview of Tom Waits, by Tom Waits.
  4.  (3394.105)
    It is starting to occur to me that I'm generally more cranky and whiny on Saturdays and I'd probably have better responses on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    Chilling out, sipping a gin sling like some kind of dandy after a barbecue evening featuring inimitable Irish-Hawaiian-Ozzie burgers, beer, and the most sensual thing you can do with chicken and onions without ending up as an internet fetish.

    Project: Me is continuing to improve. Feeling some strange and awesome fatigue/surging sensations in my creative cortex as I push myself to write more, more, more, and discovering that those great works I've enjoyed likely weren't written by Wordsmith-Poets reclining on futons made entirely of naked serfs, but by somebody with more red than white in their eyes pitting chemicals against unconsciousness in a lexical battle to the death. Still love it. Writing about awesome science, food, booze and video games keeps things going while I learn all kinds of fun things about writing short stories. And by 'learn', I mean 'by fucking DOING'. A friend once told me about these great ideas for stories he'd finished, but hadn't actually written word one because he "wasn't a details guy". Wanted to punch him in the throat.

    My new headphones with big chunky controls in the headset make me feel far more Buck Rogers than they should. Moving on to a Negroni, word-age, girlfriend and the hopes of seeing some more happy people here before the end of the night.

    Me about to engage some Thai food:
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    Tell me what and who is pissing you off this week.
    Many things, including myself.
    EXTERNAL: I am annoyed and vexed, and just made to be in a generally pissy mood by People In Power. The types who do not return calls when you are 'not hot', but once you have a whiff of being something that they can 'cash in on', they do not leave you the fuck alone. Recent events have reminded me why I dropped out of the music/film/TV/Comic business altogether... largely because I think that it's 90% schmooze-and-lying, and 10% giving a fuck about the content and making things that are actually entertaining and touch people. Even with people where you would think it would be otherwise.
    INTERNAL: Because events in recent weeks make it very obvious that it is dangerously easy to succumb to this mindset. Even with the Best Intentions. I keep wishing I had Minions or a Secretary to do things like track my schedules, go shopping for me, answer my email and calls. These feelings worry the fuck out of me.

    Explain to me why the world is shit.
    The world isn't shit. Some of the people walking it? Sure. They are walking textbook examples of shit. Doing my best to avoid them. OR, get what I need from them without compromising the things that Matter to me. Like my soul. Little things like that.

    Confess your sins. Get something off your chest.
    I joked before SDCC/the launch of Comic Book Tattoo that my plans and goals included slipping into a coma. I've avoided it, but only by the strictest definition of the word. I've been at a total state of cattywampus since returning from SDCC... my ADD/OCD tendancies make it so that, when I'm 'off routine', I get very, very fucked up, and the last 3 months have been NO form of routine. So, while shit is getting done, it's not in the amounts that NEED to be done, nor (I feel) at the quality level that needs to be accomplished. I finally hit the wall today and literally slept the day away. Got up feeling like complete shit at 10am, took an skin-peelingly hot shower followed by slamming the water over to icy cold. Dried off, went back to bed and got up at 5:10pm. I'm going to load up on drugs tonight by 10pm and go to sleep with the intention of getting up early and getting back 'in the groove' as it were.

    Tell me a plan.
    My plan is to try and find some semblence of balance... to still be able to be in 'work mode' and not shut off all the other parts of my brain and life. I tend to be a 'all or nothing' kind of person, and I know it makes me less than pleasant to be around, so this is heading into new territory for me. Getting the comic work done, getting Longbox successfully launched and in the market, and still being a good husband and father to the wife and kids. Maybe even sleeping once in a while. As budgie said, don't know as it is a GOOD plan, but it's the one I'm working with now...

    I am also drinking and locked in a small room with you.
    That explains a lot. No, really. As a sidenote, after returning from SDCC, I bought the makings for Mojitos, which in my head equals a 'summer celebration' kind of drink, with the intention of celebrating the successful launch of Comic Book Tattoo, and summer.

    I have yet to have ONE drink. Didn't even drink at SDCC, because I knew it would Put Me Under if I did since I was running on no sleep and no food.

    My younger self shakes its head at my older self.

    Tell me something filthy, strange and wonderful. Tell me of new things, or old secrets. Thrill me, chill me, fulfil me, creatures of the night.
    I have become a boring old man, and I am afraid I cannot help you with any of these things. Again, my younger self shakes its dissapointed head at me. I was invited to a 'Rock Star' party in Hollywood last week, given by a 'Famous Musician' (not Tori, nor in any way affiliated with her) who wanted me to come and 'meet people'. What did I do? Went home, ate frozen chocolate chip waffles and did laundry. Again, BORING.

    I did however have a nice email exchange with Brendan McCarthy on things including Strange Days and its impact on an entire generation of creators. Brilliant guy who happens to be incredibly nice and easy to talk to. Can't wait for his StrangeSpider comic from Marvel in 2009.
    Also, as a side effect of that, gave a couple folks at Image copies of issue #1 of Strange Days, as they'd never seen it. I'm sure that popping sound coming from the bay area is the sound of their minds being blown.

    Unrelated to that, as of tomorrow I will have been married for 12 years. Hope to get away for a couple days (sans kids) to celebrate.
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008 edited
    "Tell me what and who is pissing you off this week. Explain to me why the world is shit. Confess your sins. Get something off your chest. Tell me a plan. Tell me what's in your head. I want to know. On Saturday nights I am your ear and your confessor and your audience."

    Jobs are pissing me off this week. I'm certified out the ass for IT stuff, but because I was arrested with magical mushrooms at the age of eighteen I'm pretty much barred from decent jobs. I haven't broken the ten dollar an hour barrier since I was nineteen. Now I have a family and I work at a restaurant as a cook and at a hotel as a maintenance man. I'm gone nearly sixty hours a week and it's still hard to pay bills and rent. Both jobs are cutting back hours, and it makes me sick because I can do so much better than either job.

    As Phillip K. Dick said in A Scanner Darkly, I've been punished entirely too much for what I've done. The felony drops off in 2010, about the same time I'll finish college, but until then I'm stuck in wage hell. I was thinking the other night on the drive home, in my shitty tempo with no exhaust and one headlight, about how many of us are modern day peasants. We work for lords (business owners), we don't own land, and we're absolutely stuck in this existence. I had a nice gig pinned down doing computer disassembling computers for Micro Center. It paid twelve dollars an hour starting out, with plenty of room for advancement. I went to three interviews and aced every single one. I had signed all the paperwork with the interview woman said, "All right, you'll start a week after next when your background check comes back." I said, "You do know I'm a felon, I put it on the application." She hadn't read the whole thing, she focused solely on my work experience and skills. She told me to come back in two years; she seemed sad because she knew I had a family and I wouldn't be able to find better work.

    I piss myself off because I don't follow through with my "grand ideas". I'll start a fantastic project with fervent energy, and if I put it down I can't seem to pick it back up. It doesn't matter if it's web design, writing, or whatever, after the initial rush the love is gone. I don't know how you writers can bang out text like no tomorrow, I guess you have more willpower than I do.

    I don't mean to whine, but I feel so stuck. The world is shit because it's a tough world with opportunities but I've been demoted to a second class citizen. I've been thinking about starting my own web design business, but I honestly don't know if I can take the step. I can't rely on irregular business, I need a steady paycheck to survive. I'm man enough to say I've cried man tears of helplessness because I can't give my family the life we deserve.

    As for our gracious host Mr. Ellis - I admire you because you rose from the depths shit jobs to create things, to send your voice out into the world, to bring we hapless freakangels of the world to one place.

    -from the desk of the modern proletariat-
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    Doing my best to get hired on perm at the new job. It's really hard to blow your supervisor without kissing his ass. Ah, multi-tasking.

    It's really hard being in a new city and state. My wife isn't doing so well, she hasn't made any friends yet and it's bumming her out. I need to quit being so misanthropic, it isn't helping.

    But Thursday is Obama night, and we're totes excited. Hopefully the Politics thread will be back up by then so I can give everyone updates on our day at Mile High Stadium.
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    I should address this from Warren:

    ... enumerating the many and vile ways in which you love me.

    You're a writer, you have a gift for language, and Joss Whedon likes you. Well, not that way, but he digs you. Which made me investigate you, your website, on Twitter, and now here. To sort of soak up your ambience a bit. Yeah, yeah, not leering or vile. Let me work up to it.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    Love that shirt, Aberrant_press.

    Tell me what and who is pissing you off this week.

    Me! I am pissing me off this week. I need to get back into shape, need to get a little healthier. Whenever I make a resolution, I notice how almost immediately I start inventing excuses to break it. I need to break through the fog.

    My body is pissing me off. Stupid little aches and pains and health problems.

    Explain to me why the world is shit.

    Because all life ends up as manure.

    Confess your sins. Get something off your chest. Tell me a plan. Tell me what's in your head. I want to know.

    Sin is nothing, it's clouds in the wind.

    What's in my head? A whole bundle of stuff. I am oddly happy since a couple of weeks, yet still clueless. I spend some time in a Zen monastery and am still processing all the impressions, trying to find a way to implement it in my life, trying to find out what of it is important to me and why, and what of it isn't.
  5.  (3394.112)
    Being the master of the house, going to college full time, writing another novel and a comic, working two jobs and hating one of them is what's pissing me off. The husband did actually clean the place while I was out working my ass off, so that's something. A rare and pleasant something.

    The world is shit because the publishing industry is a bunch of cock-sucking money hungry bastards. It is also shit because it shouldn't be set up so that getting an education is nearly impossible. I have a goddamn scholarship, and I still have to work two jobs just to pay my bills. I wouldn't even be able to go if it weren't for that thing. How is anyone supposed to better themselves and get a good job if it's so fucking impossible to do? I just don't understand.

    I've only gotten 4k words done this week on the book. Last week I got 13k. We can see a notable decline here. I want to be pissed about that, but even 4k is pretty good. A lot of writers don't do that. Of course, my average is 8-10k a week, so I'm really behind, but I've had other things. They weren't more important than the writing, because nothing really is, but they were things that got me paychecks. The plan here is to be done by the beginning of the spring semester so I can just have that three months to edit and be fallow. (Not entirely sure that's a proper use of the word fallow.)

    And something filthy? All right. I spent an hour last night getting my brains fucked out by the man of the house. There was a lot of hair-pulling and spanking involved. My scalp is actually quite tender. It was nice.
    • CommentAuthormize
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    I had to move about 40 feet a few days ago. Apparently, I didn't get signed up fast enough to stay in my old apartment once the new semester starts. So, I had to move next door. It's like a bizarro-apartment: the kitchen is on the left instead of the right, and the laundry room is near my bedroom now.

    Finally a Senior in college, just turned 26 on Tuesday. Two semesters, then my degree is done. English, film, and communications. Then it's off to graduate school as close to full-time as I can afford, both monetarily and time-tarily. Hopefully get a decent job with this fancy new degree.

    All alone in a 4-bedroom apartment for the next week. Just got a job at minimum wage and less than 20 hours a week at the arcade on campus. Better than nothing. Haven't had a job since April of 2007. Dunno why I can't stay on unemployment while in school. Thinking that trying to better myself and become a more productive member of this clusterfuck we call a society would be a good thing. Would have been better off collecting unemployment and laying around in my boxers with a bag of bugles and a videogame all year.

    The love of my life is 400+ miles away and slowly dying of alcoholism, depression, and bulimia. Very dark, deep, horrible secrets have been revealed. Good news: she was screwed up before we met. Just better at hiding it. Everyone's abandoned her but me. Family won't talk. Getting a divorce (though not from me. It's complicated). Can't help til she wants to help herself. Can't help because I'm 8 hours away with no money. Can't help. Can't give up. Won't.

    Thinking, but not writing. A dozen story ideas. No motivation to write them down. Probably three short stories and at least two novel-sized outlines in my head. Can't write them down. Smoking a cigarette every half hour. Wishing I had a coffin to drag around behind me like Django. Wishing now I hadn't come down here to finish school. Would be closer to the girl if I hadn't. Could do more. Maybe. Wishful thinking.

    Raining outside, windy. Hollow, dark, and abandoned. New semester doesn't start til after Labor Day. New students don't move in til next weekend. Not sure I want the company.

    Have to push through it. Work hard. Do well. Write. Create. Think. Support the person I care about most. Hope she will come back to me. Hope she will get better. Hope it's not my fault. WIll blame myself regardless, if outcome is bad. Goldeneye is on AMC. Meh. Luckily gave up drinking before found out the girl was an alcoholic. Makes it easier. No desire to eat, but doing it anyway. Feels like it's going to come back up after I eat, anyway. Can't let it.

    Want to break the people that have hurt her. Will, if chance presents itself. Feeling absolutely optimistic now. Vaguely satisfied this may bum people out. However, fully aware others have more serious problems. Feels more like a journal entry than anything else. Cathartic. Should be reading Winesburg, OH for first day of class next week. Don't particularly care. Might just watch Bender's Big Score, again. Might just read The Cartoon History of the Modern World, instead. Might do both. Desperately wishing smoking was permitted in apartment. Feel extremely creepy standing in the rain, smoking, at least 5 years older than most everybody else around. Could be worse.

    Secretly hoping that latent writing talents will be discovered in a message board like this. But probably not. Like most other things: not quite good enough. Can't get much more open than that.
  6.  (3394.114)

    Okay, I'll bite (HaHAA!). What, pray tell, goes into an Irish-Hawaiian-Ozzie burger?
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    my husband's gone back to the Fatherland (America) for two weeks to visit his family. I went out to a bar last night to flirt with the cute young Japanese guys who staff the place, and came to the conclusion that the five pounds I've gained this summer have rendered me invisible to the male eye. this provokes several simultaneous reactions: anger, shame, cynicism, sour grapes, determination. Fuck 'em, if they're that shallow they can just keep wanking off to cheap newsprint manga. / Shit, I need to go on a diet.

    and the sneaking fear that, if I've gained THAT much weight, maybe I'm not attractive to my husband anymore but he's too nice to say so.

    and the towering feminist outrage that any of these thoughts are even crossing my mind.

    I can't think of a way to end this other than "rrrrrrgh."
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    Tedious week at work, but I have off all next week. This is the first vacation time in . . . years? . . . that doesn't involve visiting some relative or friends. Spent a lot of last week wondering if I could remember how to relax and enjoy this, but today went nicely.

    My dog killed someone's ex-pet-mouse on Wednesday. A little pink eyed white mouse. The former owners left the cage out by the dumpsters, maybe thinking someone would adopt it. Some other critter or kid opened the cage. My dog spotted the mouse under the dumpster and chomped it. Actually, I had to finish the job. Once Kira caught it and gave it a shake she lost interest in it. Mighty wolf-descended hunter my ass. I suppose a cat or coyote would have caught the mouse eventually.

    I wrote this last night:

    Object mug_full "coffee mug"
    with name 'full' 'coffee' 'mug' ,
    description "It's a sturdy white earthenware coffee mug, built to last. It is full to the brim with steaming hot coffee",
    initial "The mug is now full of steaming hot coffee.",
    if (self in player || self in location)
    remove mug_full;
    move mug_empty to player;
    print "You take a cautious sip of the coffee. It is so strong and hot that you almost spit it out, but manage to get it down. You feel better almost instantly. After blowing on the top you take a few more sips, then finish it off in three great gulps.^^
    The effect is . . . profound. A sharp pain in your stomach doubles you over, and you spend a few minutes taking deep breaths, hoping to cool the burning sensation in your throat. You soon feel better . . . much better. You've never felt more awake, more aware of your surroundings. You suspect you won't have any more trouble staying awake.^^
    After draining away the last few drops in the mug, you see something strange and wonderful in the corner of the room: A roiling cloud of pearly white light.";
    ! Set fatigue to zero
    move pearly_cloud to location;
    return true;

    This is code from a text adventure (remember those?) I'm writing. The viewpoint character is a kid at summer camp, trying to settle scores and solve mysteries during the long night before the busses head home. There's a dream sequence involving a faceless clown with a chainsaw.
  7.  (3394.117)

    What language are you going to write this in? Your pseudocode is nicely designed and seems like it will transfer easily into a variety of languages.
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008 edited
    But Thursday is Obama night, and we're totes excited. Hopefully the Politics thread will be back up by then so I can give everyone updates on our day at Mile High Stadium.

    I'm with you there. At this point my suggested title for it is "I NEED MY FIX!! of the US Election Thread" I just miss the hell out of being able to talk politics with informed, intelligent people. Have pity on me, Warren. I live in Tennessee for fuck's sake. That's the threadbare ball-vineger soaked crotch of the Bible Belt.

    This is code from a text adventure (remember those?) I'm writing.

    What code is that? Is it TADS, ADRIFT or INFORM? And I remember loving the hell out of Infocom back in the day. I played Trinity a couple years back on another computer that has since died and taken my only copies of most of my Infocom collection with it. Neat, disturbing game dipped in 1980s nuclear paranoia with a Sci-Fantasy twist.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
    It's Inform 6 code. (And it works! The pearly cloud takes you to a platform floating in the clouds where Abraham Lincoln dispenses sage advice. Or will, once I work in the conversation code. Right now he just sits there and sobs in his hands.)

    Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging were incredibly intense.

    You can get most, if not all, of the Infocom games in the form of a CD collection.
  8.  (3394.120)
    @Stoto: thanks a lot, kid. good night.