Or, we could fight a little fire with fire by having the geekly masses throw around tweets and / or status updates like, “I’m such a jock for football! #JocksRule” and, “Totally jocking out in gym class right now. #JockingOff”
I did a brief interview regarding the writing process over at creative-writing-help.com. The site is new, but growing quickly, and there are already a number of interesting interviews / advice pages available. Worthy of a check-it-out.
Those of you who frequent my blog will already be aware of the demise of Vertigo Alley as a publishing imprint earlier this year (though it still exists as a parent company—let’s just say there are politics involved and leave it at that). This means Heroes’ Day had been placed on the endangered species list only a year after it had been published. But it looks like my new team of irritable office monkeys have redone the novel under the Jessture.com imprint, which is now handling reissues of my previous work. If you’ll check out the Heroes’ Day page, you’ll find a brand spankin’ new cover and, indeed, an entirely new interior layout for the book. Both were sorely needed, as the yellow / black gymnast silhouette cover was a last-minute job after the original artist died unexpectedly before he could deliver his finished artwork. Also, the trade paperback version’s typeface is now readable. The interior text for the old paperback version had mistakenly been taken from the e-book source files—meaning the e-book looked great, but the paperback version looked…awkward. This is no longer the case.
A brief note on the Ubuntu / Linux front: For the first time in a long while a new edition of Ubuntu has actually taken several steps backward for me and my notorious Acer Aspire 5100-5674. Save for the fact that several key programs quickly became out-of-date (OpenOffice, VLC), 9.04 had been bitchin’. The video drivers were fairly solid, sound was smooth as silk, and wireless worked out of the box. I expected 9.10 to be a continuation of this, and so eagerly made the upgrade. The result was a prompt uninstall and this list of gripes:
- Lousy ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 drivers—OpenGL flickers, and exiting 3D-accelerated games results in the system freezing / locking up
- Audio playback is riddled with pops and crackles, be it system sounds, VLC or Audacious playback, or OpenGL games (changing the respective programs’ audio output plugins and buffer settings doesn’t help)
- Under GNOME, locking the screen sporadically locks up the entire computer
- Logging out of GNOME frequently results in, you guessed it, a system lockup
- The GNOME panel crashes whenever closing Opera
With the exception of the lock-screen bug, none of these issues were present in Ubuntu 9.04. I suppose I should’ve stuck with that version and used the PPA repositories to update my key programs. The alternative solution, though, has worked with minimal effort on my part. I tried the Linux Mint 8 live CD on a whim, and even though it’s based on Ubuntu 9.10, Mint 8 has none of the issues listed above. I don’t understand it, but I’m digging it. Stupid, spiteful computers.
Those of you who own / are planning on owning an Amazon Kindle e-book reader may be interested to know that you can now download most of my books and novels to your Kindle:
- Amazon Kindle Editions:
- Heroes’ Day (377 KB)
- The Reformed Citizen (Anthology) (363 KB)
- Stories from the Steel Garden (252 KB)
- The Knack (449 KB)
- Time Chaser: Special Edition (285 KB)
I’m told that all of my titles are priced between $4.00–$5.00. So there you go. One more way to read some books without turning a physical page. I’m still on the fence as to the meaningfulness of the Kindle. At nearly $400, I’m tempted to just grab one of those Acer Aspire One netbooks for ~$300 and gain the ability to listen to music and browse the Web in color—in addition to e-book capabilities.
What say you? Amazon Kindle or netbook with Adobe Reader installed?
I was flexing (quite pointlessly, rest assured) in front of the mirror this morning and trying to set the mood for the anniversary of the day I was born (you can only have one actual birthday, now can’t you?) when a question popped into my mind: What does it mean to be me, a son, a brother, a citizen, a writer—a man? Is there more to it than just failed workout routines, bad relationships, and bald spots (—and worthless weblists)? “No!” said I, and shortly thereafter compiled this weblist of perks to having a kickstand over a coin-slot.
- Being a man means…
- Knowing how to assemble furniture without using all the pieces.
- Not crying during the tender parts of a chick flick, but bawling like a little schoolgirl when the Lakers lose.
- Eating a turkey sandwich while standing over your bedroom wastebasket…without a plate…on Thanksgiving Day…while wearing nothing but your underwear.
- Wearing an extra layer of clothing in order to mask certain specific odors on those hot summer days when you just don’t feel like showering.
- Leaving beard stubble in / around the bathroom sink and blaming it on your 10-year-old sister…or your 75-year-old grandmother.
- Saying “thank you” when your best buddy tells you that you look like shit.
- Dating a 40-year-old when you’re 18, and dating an 18-year-old when you’re 40.
- Giving biker names to your testicles and then using those same names on credit applications.
- Thinking of breasts during jury nominations.
- Thinking of ass during a wedding ceremony.
- Thinking of pussy during a funeral.
- Having a Christmas wish list that reads: socks, underwear, “that blonde down the street.”
- Understanding that your family will always respect the nine-to-five, minimum-wage-earning grunt in you more than they’ll ever respect (or even acknowledge) your desire to become a writer, an artist, or a porn star.
- Sleeping on the couch because you came home with knock-off brands instead of what was really on your wife’s shopping list.
- Three words: Eighteen-year commitment (sixteen if the kid goes off to college early).
- Assuming you’ll look as good in a pair of boxer briefs as does the bodybuilder on the package.
- Never saying “I’m sorry” until after you’ve beaten up the wrong guy for getting your order wrong.
(Any comments / additions / rebuttals should be directed to my MySpace page.)
Here’s a to-do list that I vaguely remember scribbling in English class, circa 1995, if carbon dating is accurate. (A “+” stands for success, a “-” stands for failure, and a “?” means that I don’t remember what the hell I was talking about.)
- Finish Funny Faces #42 (-)
- Put weight set to good use and bulk up to impress Cathy (?)
- Find four top 40 songs for next week’s radio show (+)
- Make love to Pamela Anderson (-)
- Ask God nicely to reincarnate me as Monica Flammer’s leotard if I die in the next 30 days (-)
- Pass Geometry test (+)
- Find tree with hole at crotch level; make love to hole (?)
- Join the tennis team with Phil (-)
- Steal Quan from A.J. (…)
- Make love to Quan (-)
- Start shaving (+)
- Grow two more inches so that you and Rachel don’t look so lopsided (-)
- Learn to play guitar (+)
- Make love to guitar (wtf)
Ah, the aspirations of a loser.
On September 1st, it was unanimously decided that all grocery stores across America should get the jump on Halloween early and stock their shelves to the ceiling with all varieties of chocolate, lolly, and gummy—and so I’ve started thinking about that dark day in late October when those of us safely out of our teens (actually, it’s just me) decide to make utter fools of ourselves by dressing up as our childhood heroes and begging for candy. Well, there are those who have the grace to simply do a party or two, maybe wear a little fake beard—but I think I’ll theorize about going all the way this year, baby.
I’ve narrowed the list of possibilities down to seven. Seeing as how I’m a Ninja Turtles freak, Donatello is, of course, the obvious choice:
However, I hear the suit weighs something like 70-90 pounds, and it takes several hours just to get in/out of it. And if anyone asked me to do a kickflip, I’d end up out of breath and on my shell, unable to get up until somebody gave me a push.
Something a little easier would be Professor Farnsworth, from Futurama:
(Good news, everyone! With only the slightest alteration, my glasses can easily resemble those of the professor!)
A minimalist approach would be to go dressed as Tarzan:
I’d save on costume costs, but then there’s the loincloth thing, and the fact that, at my height, I’d be relegated to being Boy rather than Tarzan. I’d have to get a Lex Barker look-alike to accompany me around the ‘hood or, failing that, some strange weirdo who likes to see grown men dress up as little boys. O.o
Speaking of weirdos, I’m also considering He-man:
—but wait! Did He-man always wear that pink shirt and Abba hairstyle combo?!? I swear, I don’t remember that….
Captain Kirk might be feasible:
All I’d have to do there is wear a tight-fitting yellow shirt and obnoxiously send expendable ensigns to their demise during away missions. ;)
One of the Thundercats:
Aye, but there we go with the skin-tight outfits designed to showcase those impossible physiques. I’d be more of a ThunderFat, unable to run from the cast of Cats as they pounce on me for copyright infringement.
Now, this is entirely a possibility:
I shop for my clothes in the kids’ section, and my feet are webbed—it would be the perfect opportunity to test of that laser spectroscope that’s just collecting dust in my closet.
Failing any of those ideas, I could always go back in time to the year 1995 and pretend to be the coach of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team (I had such a crush on Monica, Doni, Kerri, and Amanda back then!). Hm. On second thought, that would be the wrong kind of creepy.
I may have to resort to one of the runners-up:
Simon Belmont—it’s hard to believe the pixelated one is actually less of a square
At this point, I don’t know what’s worse: that Captain Kirk is my most likely possibility or that I’m actually dedicating time to thinking up a Halloween costume. :p
Just for shits and giggles, I tried Googling myself, and stumbled upon this list of favorites:
What’s Jesse’s favorite…
Author: Piers Anthony, because of Phthor
Book: The Tooth Fairy, by Graham Joyce
Music: Tangerine Dream / Electronica / David Arkenstone, though not necessarily in that order
Song: Vangelis’ Mythodea, “Movement 4” – good cooking music
Movie: Contact, because Carl Sagan was awesome!
Sport: Breakdancing, but if that doesn’t count, then gymnastics, because it’s the closest thing to break (dancing)
Athlete: Elena Zamolodchikova
Pasttime: Playing guitar, film-making, Yoga (believe it or not)
Food/Drink: A variety of pastas – Italian, to be on the safe side; Moroccan mint green tea, though not all the time
Boxers or Briefs: Boxers when it’s cool, briefs when it’s warm
Sun Sign: Capricorn, because they get things DONE
Operating System: A tie between Windows XP and Mandrake Linux 9.1
MP3 Player: jetAudio
Video Game: Serious Sam
Web Browser: Mozilla, because of “tabbed browsing”
Web Site: http://www.deviantART.com/
Well, I guess the list isn’t too far from the mark, though I have no idea where the cooking part came from. I’m a very basic cook—pour and stir, that’s about it. If I had to pick a favorite movie, it would probably be one of the Indiana Jones flicks. I don’t really follow sports (I used to follow gymnastics somewhat, as I worked on a gymnastics web site for a client), but Elena could be one of my favorites.
Yeah…she’s got it going on.
Wait, now that I’ve Googled her too, I think she’s going down in my little black book along with all the others. ;)