Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Computers and the not working of… them…

My computer is still broke.

That’s pretty much my whole life right now. I can look for work on Vicky’s Mac, which is very helpful, but when it comes to doing any research for writing or working on submitting my writing or just plain checking out my favorite sites… um, no.

It got worse yesterday, too. It didn’t need to but it did. Suddenly, I couldn’t print, either. GREAT!

Vicky’s been positively enjoying it. It’s either the “watching me squirm” part or the “rubbing in how superior her Mac is” part… I’m not sure.

This has opened up an enormous amount of time – because I haven’t heard anything on any jobs no matter how many I’ve applied for… dammit. I find myself watching a whole lot of TV… and hating it. I take naps… and hate it. I would go out and get some exercise but the temps have been in the thousands of late so that is right out.

So, when Vicky comes home tonight and asks how I ate the rest of the ice cream… well, now you know…

Friday, September 24, 2010

The journey…

Today is the fifth anniversary of the day Vicky and I got married.

Happy Anniversary, Vic.

Every year, I try to express how I’m feeling at the time about my marriage. Every year is different. This year, I think about the strain I’m putting on things by not being employed and all I can think is… shit…

And then, I think about the journey.

In five years, Vicky and I have been through a lot and I’m happy to say we’ve gone through it all together. We always have each other’s back and we’re always looking out for each other. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have Vicky with me on this journey.

And when I start thinking about the journey, I realize how my lack of employment is only a small part of it. After all, this year I saw my first play produced in Hollywood. I’m having an article published next month. My first book is being published next year. Vicky's been a huge part of this. Thanks to Vicky’s encouragement and support, I’m constantly producing more books and plays and things get a little better all the time.

No, they’re not great. Unemployment sucks. But it’s all part of the journey.

I feel very fortunate to have a wife who supports me at times like this, when things pretty much suck. And who’s to say that in the coming years things won’t get better as a result?

It’s only been five years. The next five could hold any number of things. They might be great and they might suck; it’s probably going to be a mix of both. That’s just life. Either way, I’m glad I’ll have Vicky there by my side.

Happy Anniversary, Vic. I love you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Digging out…

PCs never just stop working. It seems they tend to die slow deaths that have you wondering, wondering, wondering, until… it’s kind of like cancer…

My PC, for instance, had a pretty bad worm about a month ago. Though I caught it, it never seemed to work the same after that. The web browser would take flights of fancy by itself. It would direct you to pages you never intended to go to – not interesting ones, either! Eventually, it got to be rather difficult to surf the web without the browser crashing. First, it was Internet Explorer. Then, it was Firefox. Then, it took out Windows Explorer with it!

Finally, just this week, I called in a friend of mine who knows a thing or two about PC more than I do and we put our heads together. Fortunately, there’s no virus, worm, Trojan condom, or anything like that. So, that’s good. Sadly, the worm I had did so much damage that it pretty much wiped out my ability to surf the web.

“It’s simple,” he said. “Just run the XP Repair on your Windows disk and that should fix it.”

But things ain’t simple around here. You see, Vicky and I both bought our PCs from (the now very defunct) PC Club. When we bought them, I asked if we would get our Windows software and we were assured we would. When Vicky’s PC went earlier this year, we found out that what they gave us was disk one of a multi-disk Windows install. That’s right. Disk One!

So, using my Windows disk is not even an option.

It’s not as if we can run out and buy a copy of Windows 7, being unemployed and all. But I need the Internet to do most of the work I do, including looking for work. Time to get creative.

We know someone who can get us a huge discount on Windows 7… but not until next week. That’s fine. We can wait. In the meantime, I’ve split my work between my PC and Vicky’s MAC. I just walk back and forth, from one computer to another, from one room to another… For instance, I wrote this on my PC and am posting it on Vicky's MAC! (I need my ergo keyboard for writing...) Oh, it’s a weird way to live.

But, hopefully, in about a week or so, things will be back to functioning and not quite so strange. Strangeness is just a part of life when you’re digging out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Morality is Unethical…

(This is by no means my final word on this topic but I was inspired to get a little of it off my chest today...)

In a time when political candidates, usually on the wingnut right, continually advocate “legislating morality” it seems bizarre to me that any ethical person would abide such lunacy.

Morality is a school of behavior, a behavioral structure, taught by a religious belief. You won’t hear morality discussed outside of a religious framework. There’s Christian Morality, Muslim Morality, and on and on. This, it is not universal and sets anyone who believes differently as “immoral”. It teaches to a specific group, not for the common good.

So, why would you want anyone legislating something that isn’t in the common good?

One example is abortion. Religious groups teach it’s immoral without ever considering the individuals involved. An ethical view would consider everyone. This goes on to prayer in school and holy wars and restricting the rights of those who belief differently, all supposedly moral.

Tea partiers right now talk about “cap and trade” (that being legislation to help prevent global warming) as being immoral. Somehow, they have cooped their religious beliefs to benefit their corporate interests. So, morality becomes corrupted. Why? Because you don’t need reason to be moral any more than you need reason to be religious. Any batshit crazy person can advocate anything because they have morality on their side.

Don’t fall for it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


If you think I’m going to write about that 1981 Cronenberg spectacular about telepathic/telekenetic/tele-something freaks… I am.

Vicky and I watched about half of Scanners last night. I say half because I had started watching it about 15 minutes in and Vicky was nice enough to watch the rest with me. I hadn’t seen it since renting it on video (tape!) back in the mid-80’s.

And I loved it! It was absolutely horrible – but it was a wonderful kind of absolutely horrible. Just how bad it was can be summed up in what Vicky elegantly dubbed “eye acting”. Because the film has it in spades! Eye acting! They couldn’t come up with special effects to show how mental powers worked so they had to rely on the actors to… you know… eye act.

… You need to go watch it now to understand what I’m talking about.

It’s really an awful film and I think it would be tons of fun with a room full of people… or stoned… or both…

You’re welcome.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Better left unsaid…

This one goes out to the men reading this blog because I want to know if I’m the only person who has seen this guy.

What guy?

The “inappropriate in a public bathroom” guy, that’s who!

Vicky and I were at Costco yesterday and, thanks to normal bodily functions (hey, when you’re in your forties you learn to be thankful, okay?) I had to make a detour into the public bathroom. There was a line in the men’s room – there’s something you never want to have to wait through, a line in the men’s room. Men’s rooms are built to stink, it seems, and when there’s a line the stink just gets worse.

That could be the most disgusting thing about my story… but it’s not. Because “inappropriate in a public bathroom” guy was there! Now, I’ve seen this guy a few times in my life and, believe me, once is enough. First, picture this: four men standing against a wall waiting in line while against the opposite wall stands the row of urinals. “Inappropriate in a public bathroom” guy steps up to the urinal. You really don’t know who he is until he steps up; up until that point, he’s just another guy like you or me… if you’re a guy, I mean.

But then, he begins. It starts with the moaning. Now, I’ve had to pee so bad that I’ve felt like moaning before, sure, but NEVER in a public bathroom – ever. You just don’t. You especially don’t when there’s a line. Okay? But he did. And his moan wasn’t your garden variety, two-seconds of “I’m glad that’s out”… no, it kept on going… and going… louder and louder.

Your first instinct is to look away – but then you notice both of his hands are in his pants and they are moving faster and faster…

Fortunately, I got a stall before he was… um… finished…

There’s a lot that’s pretty fucked up about our world… this just makes me want to burn out my eyes…

Friday, September 10, 2010


When I was young, I could run. Boy, could I run! I was just about the fastest kid I knew. In high school, I was on the track team and won quite a few races without even focusing on what I was doing. (Hey, I didn’t focus on much when I was young, believe me!) (Girls don't count.)

Of course, then I started smoking and drinking and getting fat. After far too many years of that, I made it a point to cut it the fuck out!

So, now I jog. I’m not fast. I’m not even close to fast. My stride is really impaired. But I do what I can.

This is what I do: I bargain with myself. I say, “If you run from here to the next power pole, you can walk to the one after that.” You see, I jog on the Santa Ana River – where I also cycle; it’s like my gym. The trail is bordered on one side by a long line of power lines, running up and down the trail.

And this is how I started. I’d jog one length and I’d walk one. Jog one. Walk one. Jog one. Walk one. That worked great. Then, I jogged two and walked one. Two – one – two – one. Then, three. Three – one – three – one… over and over.

This week, I started jogging five and walking one. It’s nice, knowing I can jog a pretty good distance – at least a quarter of a mile – without a break. I doubt I’ll ever run marathons but it’s good for me. And that’s all that matters.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My breakfast with Sean-dray…

The life of a playwright is tough…

Sorry, I couldn’t help quote the movie I alluded to in the subject line. Sue me.

Sean and I met for breakfast this morning. It’s our normal Keno’s slop. You know, cheap greasy food. But you don’t go there for the food so much as for the company. Sean’s probably my best friend these days and I’m lucky to have him.

We talked about the sale of the book – Wormfood Island coming from Northern Frights Publishing in Summer of 2011 – as well as how other things are progressing. You know, I really am in a situation where I have to knock one out of the park to get my life in order. I mean, the odds of me finding a job just keep slipping and slipping and slipping. Yet, as I continue to network and get things published – read Little Victories in the October edition of Recovering the Self, on sale soon – the odds of me getting published again go up… if only slightly.

Okay, no more plugs. I promise. (I have nothing else to plug, so you’re safe.)

So, I’m telling him all of this and I get overwhelmed by this sense of gratitude for all the people who have helped me get this far. When I say “this far”, this is not to imply I’ve gone all that far at all. Rather, I mean that whatever small success I’ve been able to achieve I owe to so many different people. (Of course, those who think it’s them… it probably isn’t.)

It might sound crazy to say I’m lucky but I really am. Maybe I’m not as lucky as I’d like. Maybe I’m not as lucky in the things I’d like to be lucky in – like getting a job, for instance. But in this dream I have for the life I want to live, in this journey called “Being a Writer”, I’ve been pretty lucky so far. And for people like Vicky and Sean and Eric and so many others, I am grateful.

Monday, September 06, 2010


We each have our job in life… well, except for me. I’m unemployed. Anyway…

Lots of work news these days. Here’s just a bit.

Vicky began painting the downstairs of our condo this weekend, which is basically the living room and dining rooms. I should have seen it coming. Vicky hasn’t tackled a home-improvement project in some time – and Vicky LOVES home-improvement projects. So, when she asked me to go to Home Depot with her “just to look at paint”, I knew there was much more to it. Armed with this knowledge, I decided not to fight it. Vicky said she wanted to go with something neutral for downstairs. Neutral? The woman whose apartment had a purple room? The hell you say! I told her to go bold!

So, here’s what we’re going to do – in as far as you can get this without a picture to go by. Vicky’s painting the two main walls downstairs “Serene Peach”, which is fairly neutral but pretty. The stairwell going upstairs, she’ll paint “Green Tea”. The last wall, the bit closing off the rest from the kitchen and the first thing you see when you enter the house, she’ll paint “Harvest Plum”. It’s going to look pretty awesome. In typical Vicky fashion, she got all excited and ready to go… and now complains about every little imperfection. (Cause she’s a perfectionist that would give perfectionists the willies…)

Now, I know what you’re asking. You’re wondering why I’m not pitching in. I would, honestly, but I learned long ago not to butt into Vicky’s projects. Vicky’s such a perfectionist that if you don’t do everything exactly as she’d do it, it’s not good enough. Hell, when she doesn’t do it exactly as she’d do it, she complains! No, I’m better off leaving Vicky’s project to Vicky.

Meanwhile, I’m upstairs working on the new book, which I’d tell you all about but I should save that for the writing blog (Ken La Salle, folks!). I just banged out 1,500 words and am closing in on the end of this new book. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile (part 2), I have a job interview lined up for tomorrow. It’s only a contract job, and part time at that, but I’ll take it if it means I can bring some money in, believe me! Not to mention, as I always say, good interviewing requires practice so the more interviews you go on the better off you’re going to be. Let’s hope I’m not completely full of shit.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Breaking News...

Hey folks,

Yes, it's time to direct you over to the new blog: Ken La Salle. There, you will find the official press release for my summer 2011 novel, Wormfood Island!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Ken La Salle… Novelist…

Yes, you heard that right. Would you like to learn more?

Go, check out my new blog – Ken La Salle – and find out about my first published novel!

It’s party-time, people!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Can you really ever go home?

Someone once said that you can never go home or at least someone said something like that. So, who am I to listen to that someone. This past Saturday Ken and I made the drive to my hometown, Lancaster. We had two reasons for that visit. First, visit my parents. Mom gave me some shoes, made us lunch...all in all a good visit. Second, the reason why I picked last weekend was to go to the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival. Yes folks, that's right, I grew up in a town that celebrates Alfalfa each and every year. You have to understand, I grew up going to this Fair so when I moved to the city (aka Orange County) and went to the Orange County Fair, well let's just say that I was thoroughly disappointed. There is nothing fair-like at the Orange County Fair, it's just a little to city for me.

So we were off to the AV Fair. It moved to a new location about 7 years ago, so it would be a new experience for both of us. As we walked in the gates, I looked around and took it in. The new location lacked the character of the old place, but I was determined to remain open to the experience. First stop, a Henna place where I got a really cool, if fake, dragon "tattoo." Then we were off to the barns. Being that is was the second to last day, most of the animals were gone, either sold or taken home. I did get to see some chickens, turkeys, goats, llamas, sheep, cows, and pigs.

Ken didn't enjoy the smell much, but to me it brought back some great memories of being a kid and walking through the animal pens with my dad.

Next, we were off to the beer booth. I didn't enjoy the beer booth much when I was still living in Lancaster, since I wasn't 21 for most of that time, but we took the opportunity on this day. We sat with my dad and a couple of his friends, drank our beers and watched the people walk by. Always a good time.

Now it was time for the Rural Olympics. We didn't stay for all of it, but the best event that we saw was the haystealing contest. Unfortunately, I was too much in awe of the event to remember to record it.

I must admit, while walking around the Fair that afternoon and evening I scanned the faces in the crowd to see if I recognized anyone. I did not recognize a single person. It has been about 20 years since I lived there, so it really shouldn't be any surprise but I kept hoping I would recognize someone. I gave up my hunt, got a bag of carmel kettle corn and we left the Fair behind. I am now filled with my quota of cowboy hats and small town fun for awhile and am safely back in Orange County.

You can go home, it may not be the same as you remember . . . but then neither are you.