Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Partners in Crime: Gotta Friend 'Em All

Note: This has been in draft form for a month so it’s not exactly the most cutting edge of posts.
Another note: This is a long post so get comfortable.
A third note: I have no idea what the hello kitty was up with the bold font thing, but it's fixed now.

          Don't ask me where the title came from, because I have no flippin' clue what caffeine deprived portion of my brain produced that gem. I'm sure the Pokemon reference is somehow Henry's fault. I have a partial draft of the conclusion to Smoke and Mirrors on my desktop, and it is absolutely useless there when I haven't been home in days. Old habits, I know, but I guess the novelty of waking up next to a beautiful woman never wears off. As I typed that "I Love College" by Asher Roth came on Jango and I felt compelled to blast it for the girls to enjoy while they got their scholarly on. It was a fun distraction but now it's back to the books for them and back to the laptop for me.

I think tonight we'll kick things off with a confession: I have no idea what this blog was supposed to be about. I know I didn't adhere to whatever I had planned to use this blog for, and now it just seems like a big bag of random. I'm okay with that; there is nothing wrong with a refreshing dose of chaos. All my other writings have to be confined to genre and/or niche, so it's nice to have the opportunity to talk about nothing whatsoever in particular. I have ten minutes before the girls are lost to the world for an hour of An American Horror Story so let's get on with the show before I get tazed again.

With the celebration of the We-Stole-America day and the return of some old friends, I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the way I look at friendship. Without getting all Hallmark with it, I've become aware of just how awesome my collection of friends are. Not only are they genuinely good people, but there are certain perks to my irreplaceable pool of allies. I have my fellow authors and part-time consciences: Henry and Marie. Henry and I actually run a website together with another friend in the web design and computer programming field, but you'll hear more about that when we're ready to share. The web designer for our site and third partner is a friend I've known since my darker days, a friend who witnessed more than one addition to my scar collection over the years. Knowing the three of us and our inability to commit to an area at this point in our lives: Henry, Marie and I will probably send some time writing and touring together in the near future. Which means my other friends will probably get to do a lot of traveling of their own. Someone has to come and bail us out, after all.

Another notable resource in the friend supply is a hacker, although their lack of communication lately makes me wonder if I should file them under the category of prison inmate instead. Without incriminating myself or them, let’s say I hypothetically may or may not witnessed them work wonders behind the keyboard and over the phone. I may, or may not, be heard in the background laughing my arse off in recordings of them in action that are probably in possession of the FBI right about now. If you know the things I may noncommittally know; you’d think twice before picking on computer nerds. Tis scary stuff, yo. They’ve offered to use these powers of mass destruction on my behalf before, and I have to say it was a tempting offer. I can’t take credit for rising above the influence on that one; I had an angel on my shoulder. Well actually she was on the stool next to me at the bar, but let’s not the sweat the details. She countered my moment of impulsive pettiness and I refused the request when I realized that it could bring problems upon my hacker friend.  If we weren’t in separate states I would go to check on them in person but I’ll have to suffice for trying to establish contact from hundreds of miles away. It’s probably for the best that there’s so much distance between us, as we make a scary team.

            Although I’m finishing this post up now (the midnight hour following Christmas), I’ll probably be publishing it from my brother’s apartment near the Navy base he’s stationed at. I just posted the Krampus babble-fest so it’s too soon to toss another post up, but I want to get these drafts ready to go. My brother is actually of no legal or biological relation but I’ve known him my entire life and we’ve been through too many adventures to be anything less than family. Time, distance and drama may have driven us farther apart than we were when we were 18, but he’ll always be my brother. I’m hoping we have the chance to become the unshakable duo we were growing up but who knows what the cards hold. One thing we both know and know well: we’re only one phone call and eight hours away at any given time if the other was in need. We’re closer than blood; he’s part of the family I chose.

              Waiting for me when I get back are the friends who were here when I first started this post. Only one is in the apartment as I conclude it but I’m sure they’ll both be here when I get back in town. The absent one would be the one kind enough to share her bed with me in a completely platonic way. Well…platonic in the sense that we joke around about sex but never actually do anything inappropriate. So I guess Southern platonic, minus the sibling sex stuff. It’s okay, I’m allowed to make that joke: I’m born and bred in the South.  Before anyone contributes they’re unoriginal and contrived inbreeding joke – being an only child pretty makes me immune to those jokes. And since I did grow up in a small town, I made sure not to date anyone from said town just to cover my bases.

            I got horribly off topic there so time to try again with a fresh paragraph. Pinky, as my best friend calls herself in implication of me being Brain, would be the one at the apartment presently. She and her boyfriend went to bed, leaving me to my writing. She would be the one who talked me out of providing ze hackerific friend with the information needed to avenge and defend against the wrath of my ex-fianc√©. She didn’t do this out of any compassion for my former lover, as she would have ended the problem violently and permanently if given the chance, but out of the simple common sense that it could accomplish nothing but trouble. This is also the same friend and same apartment that bore the brunt of the damage when it became a warzone last week. I have achieved some feats that bordered superhuman in my efforts to always be there when she needed me and she’s always been down to ride should I ever need her. Speak of the she-devil: they’re back from their midnight antics and looks like I’ll have to wait til they go to bed to sleep to finish this.

            That didn’t work out as planned. The three of us watched Fanboys together and sat around talking for a few hours until we were all ready to crash. I’ve since then made the long and perilous drive to see my brother. He’s now passed out after two days of heavy drinking and his Navy buddies have disbursed for the night. I have no problem admitting they’re on a drinking game well above my level. Whereas I took those three years off drinking to focus on my ex and her son, they’ve been perfecting the sport. With that in mind, I’m not sure how I ended up being the last one standing unless this break is only temporary and he’s taking a midnight nap. Nothing would surprise me at this point. I want to write out the post I cobbled together in my head during the drive here so I’m going to cut this short(er than planned, yet still obscenely long).  I'll dedicate another post to the friends I didn't get to this one at some point within the next century, but now I away to the flavor of the moment.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Professional Procrastination, Tomorrow's Super Star and Prizes

And tonight's ridiculously long title award goes to....your's truly.

We're creeping up on the twenty third hour and I have three assignments due in two classes tomorrow. Two of these, one of which is a quiz, are for a morning class and the other is a paper for an afternoon class. Of the last thirty six hours, I've spent one of them sleeping. The rest were dedicated to a Java project and studying Discrete Mathematical Structures (or Unlikely Maths, as I like to call it). You think that would have been enough to teach me the evils of procrastination but here I am.

How can I justify this blatant digression, you may wonder. Who are we kidding, you all know me enough to not even blink at this, but humor me anyway. The justification for this one is quite simple: I'm promoting a soon to be bestselling author and giving my literate friends a chance to win cool stuff. Even better, it's cool stuff from Canada (the prizes are real, I assure you, even if the country is not).

My very good (if Canadian) friend, Marie is holding not one but two giveaways on her blog as we speak. Well, as I type and you read. You can read all about that, her upcoming debut book and a library's worth of book reviews over at her blog. Those who happen to wander over there in a timely manner will likely notice that a certain alias heavy procrastinator is piling on the entries like a satyr collects numbers in his little black book. I'm also about to toss the button for the giveaways in the side-bar for those who would rather get their clicky on with a button instead.

I'm pretty sure I'm above the maximum awesome threshold to actually win, and not to mention the obvious conflict of interests, but I am not the type to let an opportunity for amusing commentary to pass me by. I meet most the requirements in the little promotions I'm constantly doing from time to time, but it gives me an excuse to go all out once in a while and really strengthen the pimp hand. I blame exhaustion for the previous statement, prove otherwise.

Still working on getting some guest posts together for you guys, and hoping to introduce one of my favorite people to the cast of my guests within the week. That's really all I have to say right now so I'll wrap up with the tl;dr version: get over to Marie's blog and win some goodies (then pay my 100% goody referral fee).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

G4: Now With More G-force.

Que pinga, it's been one hello kitty of a month.

Quick disclaimer for everyone opening up a new tab to Google the meaning of my little display of Cuban Spanish: it's vulgar and makes no sense in that context unless you happen to be familiar with Spanish slang. I've been on a foreign language kick lately, both learning new ones and blurting out random verbiage in languages I thought I had forgotten. Just this week I've flirted in Japanese (and no, she was not Japanese), muttered Cuban obscenities (the first two words of this post among them) during one of my morning courses and learned how to say 'I lost my pants again' in French during pillow talk (this was the only French going on in the room, she's been cut off. Yes, you read that right. More on that role reversal later).  Anyway, onto our games, guests, other geekery and our fourth G for this special edition boredom inspired post: girls.

The game I'm currently playing, and will certainly be playing for a while, is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Or simply Skyrim, to save space and attention span. The game, to review it briefly, is simply awesome. It is easily the best game I've played on current generation consoles. Just today I've slayed a handful of dragons, assassinated an Emperor and slaughtered a bunny. Okay, maybe not that last part but only because I couldn't find any of the furry little hoppers. I know they're out there somewhere, but my bunnies slaughtered stat remains at zero. On the less violent side my character also got obscenely drunk and woke up in a temple being told off for groping the statue of a goddess after blacking out during a drinking contest. I'm still not entirely sure what went down. I do know I've never related more to a video game character than at that of moment of the character waking up in a strange place with no memory of the night before and surrounded by unhappy locals. We've all been there, man. We've all been there.

That is hardly a real review, I know, but this isn't a game review blog. The only way to judge Skyrim is to try it, and nothing I type is going to improve or degrade the quality of the game. If you do happen to try it, I highly suggest dropping pots over the heads of the non-player characters that inhabit Skyrim. It doesn’t accomplish much, unless you want to rob them blind while they’re…well, blind, but it’s infinitely amusing in a juvenile way.

Merde.J'ai perdu mon pantalon à nouveau.

 Never mind; false alarm. They were under the bed.Sorry, let myself get distracted for a second there. Where were we?  Oh, and pardon my French. Guests,we were about to talk about guests. I had arranged a three-way with the assistance of Marie and Henry, but…wait. Let me try that again. I approached my two talented friends about the three of us writing a post cooperatively in a back and forth script style dialogue.  Unfortunately I never followed up on that after getting them to agree to it due to things getting more chaotic than usual. That being said, Henry would probably welcome the distraction from his NaNoWriMo project and starting new characters in Skyrim so I’ll be calling him in the near future (read, probably within the hour if he doesn’t read this first and volunteer) to see if I can set that up. Also, Marie’s due to start her blog tour promoting her debut novel soon. Sometimes during the near future I’ll have to aim my devious charm in her general direction to tempt her into making a stop here. Plus I’ll speak with both of them about that three-way idea…

Next up on the list we have girls. The rebound continues on despite my half-hearted attempts to end it every other day. Henry has taken to calling me a basketball due to my continued insistence on calling my partner in crime ‘the Rebound’. He and Marie also tend to call me out on occasion that if walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…we’re dating and I’m in denial. I, of course, deny this. Even the Rebound says I’ve been sending mixed signals. I’ll lay out her logic here and follow that with my own explanation. Despite insisting that we’re not exclusive, I have not made an attempt to go out on dates with anyone else. I told one of her roommate’s friends that I was dating her. I go with her shopping all the time and I talk about her a lot. She has her own ringtone on my phone, and I’m not much of a ringtone kind of guy. Every time she gets close to me I try to end things and cut her off. Oh and apparently my refusal to acknowledge her facebook requests is due to my wanting to keep her away from an ex that I have on there. These girls have never met, but the Rebound doesn’t like the ex because she thinks the ex was a lousy girlfriend to me and is currently a worse friend.  That’s her side, though I’m probably missing a point or two

.My turn. I have not been dating because I’ve been busy, and I have no problem whatsoever with being single. There may be a classmate or two that I would like to get to know and might make time for, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing with the roommate’s friend; she was 17 and dropping hints about the kind of things she does when she gets tipsy. I say inferno nulla to that. Claiming that I was dating the closest girl that wasn’t a jailbait looking for someone to contribute to their delinquency seemed like a good idea at the time. She goes shopping, I tag along when I’m bored and spend most of the time taking pictures of random things that amuse me. Some of these end up on Facebook, while sometimes I text her pictures of herself bending over instead. I am a creature of amusement, and these things amuse me. The ringtone thing is actually a story of hilarity and torture that she was involved in, but that means nothing. During the same episode I assigned the ringtone ‘Lips of an Angel’ to the aforementioned ex. The Rebound had the last laugh on that one, but that’s beside the point.  I ignore her Facebook requests because Facebook is where I quote her nearly incessantly for the hilarious stuff she says and I’d rather not give her more ammunition. That talking about her a lot fits in between in there somehow; she amuses me and I share my amusements.I think I’m missing something from that counter argument. Oh yes, the hot and cold game. Guilty on that part, but it’s like saying you’re not going to eat ice cream anymore and opening up the freezer to find a box of your favorite ice cream staring back at you. The battle of willpower and temptation gets to a point where I don’t even know why I quit the ice-cream anyway and so I end up doing some serious damage to that box.

 Judging by the innuendo heavy nature of this post, I think we’re rapidly reaching that point.To draw us to a close I’ll go over the other geekery briefly. I got a new lap-top last week, with the intention of teaching my dad how to use a computer without risking my desktop. It turns out his hand hasn’t recovered enough yet for that task and so now I have a new toy to play with while he builds strength in his right hand. NaNoWrimo is progressing well, though Skyrim made me effectively useless all weekend and devoured the lead I had acquired during the first week and a half of the month. As soon I post this (without proofreading, as per usual), I’ll be switching back to working on my novel. One of my readers has threatened me with violence if I don’t finish the novel and I’d really hate for her to have to go to the trouble of assaulting me. I’m hoping to introduce the character inspired by her tonight but I don’t know if I’ll get that far. Most the key characters are based on friends or former (girl)friends, which is going to get awkward should they ever read this treachery and fatality heavy fantasy novel. I look forward to the law suits for the traitors and the grudging acceptance over those who must die so the story may truly live. Only the latter will be offered any compensation from me. I’ll try to finish up S&M next week, but no promises. Skyrim and school are time consuming enough without trying to fit social and novel writing into the equation. Not to mention I need to get back to my profitable writing before my absence starts to affect my paypal account.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And Now the Awkward Silence

It looks like I haven't been as prolific in updating this as I planned. I haven't forgotten about or abandoned this blog, but things have been more hectic than I could have imagined lately. I will still finish the Smoke and Mirrors series to answer the rest of the questions, but I don't think that update will come this month.

This won't be a "real" post by any means. Really I'm just popping in to explain my absence from the cyber front. People seem to assume I've died whenever I go silent so time to pop some bubbles as I'm very much still alive.

I've had an insane month in October, but not necessarily a bad one. For the first couple weeks I managed to produced several thousand words of content for money sites and even registered a new one. Whereas Worth Writes focuses on all aspects of writing, the newest site will be a review site. More on that later, right now I have it set aside for future use when I have the time to do justice to the idea.

Last month I gave in to my rebound's insistence of some sort of label and we compromised that she would be my exclusive rebound. Fun times followed despite my prediction that the exclusivity would be over by Halloween. I was close, and revoked that status today after a pregnancy scare. Not that I have any issue with having a child, as anyone who knows me knows very well, but we were even dating and I just don't see the relationship (or lack of) as being anything other than fun times. That may change over time and I'm not going to cut off contact with her. I just think casual dating might be a good idea for me right now.

In other news, my dad's recovering enough from his stroke to be a pain. Which is handy since he no longer expects to be waited on hand and foot, but that small victory is overshadowed by his recent introduction and obsession with Facebook. He's computer illiterate and bugs me with fifty questions a day about how to do something on Facebook or why something is the way it is. It can be a bit annoying when I'm trying to chop, split and haul firewood so he can be warm this winter and he's pestering me with question. That's another thing that's kept me too busy to go near a computer - winter is coming and there is a lot that needs to be done. I added insulation to the built on porch, but there is much more that needs to be done before it's ready for any real cold.

Then there was school. I've been struggling to catch up after a rough start and have been seeing results but it's a time consuming process. One of my classes is an easy A, another only moderately difficult. Two are insanely difficult and I don't know how to classify the last one. It's just weird, but still time consuming. Scholastic writing has taken priority over my paid writing, as has my personal writing. I started a novel based on an idea that I've been unable to let go of for years. It's growing rapidly, 25 pages in one week is not too shabby in my opinion.

Okay, so I did make some time for reading and video games. Arkham City for the 360 and George R.R. Martin's A Song of ice and Fire have taken up the time not filled by rebounding, labor, writing or college. I completed the game and the first four books in the series and will be taking a break from reading for this month in favor of writing for NaNoWriMo. I'll be writing about that later, I'm sure. This will be my first attempt and it is going to take a huge chunk of my limited time. Combine that with the release of Skyrim next week and the odds of me getting any sleep this entire month are not good.

That's what I've been up to, more or less, and the reasons I haven't been updating this. Things are going to be even busier this month so I probably won't be updating it much, if at all, until December rolls around and my time opens up. This turned out way longer than I expected it to, so I'll just end it here and wrap this up before I get distracted with entertaining situations I ended up in last month.