Random Rants

It’s been a while since I had anything post-worthy for the site here. I apologize about that. This is not to say that I have not written anything for the site, it is just that I have not written anything I felt comfortable actually posting. Sometimes1 I use writing as a means working out things in my head. Most of what started out as blog posts ended up being something that wasn’t really appropriate for public consumption.

Still, my website monitoring program has been notifying me that there are people who are regularly checking the site for updates, so I guess I better put
something up here .

For those of you who follow me on the
Zuckerberg Experiment, some of this may seem familiar. This one is going to be full of all of the little thought goblins that bounce around my head. Anyone who remembers the Bob Talbert column Out Of My Mind On Monday Moanin’ will know what I mean. I’m pretty sure the rest of you will catch on pretty quick.

Let’s start with the personal stuff.

Titus is doing better. He is using the leg that was operated on, but there is some swelling that concerns me. We have an appointment to see the doctor today.

I am hoping that everything is all right (of course). I’m really hoping that we won’t have to do another course of antibiotics. He has been getting two large pills twice daily (on top of a half of another smaller pill, a chewy thing, and random pills for pain). We have already gone through hiding them in peanut butter, Velveeta, real cheese, mashed potatoes, bacon renderings, bread, and cottage cheese. Unfortunately, the antibiotics have a rather distinct odor
2 and he finds them pretty quick.

Hey, pharmaceutical makers! Why do antibiotics always stink? We can make everything else in the world smell like spearmint or lemons, why do drugs smell like donkey ass or cat piss?

I am coming closer and closer to a yes decision on a project which has been kicking around in my head for a few weeks. If I go forward with it, you will know. Trust me, you’ll get sick of hearing about it fast.

I love seeing Stephen King on talk shows. He is one of the only authors that I know of who ever gets to make appearances on the nightly ones. I also like the fact that he is comfortable enough to show up in jeans and boots.

Yes, I’m being nostalgic for the Merv Griffin show. Shut up.

This week marks the anniversary of the Beatles previewing “Paperback Writer” on the Ed Sullivan show. Not surprisingly, this is one of my favorite songs by the band. However, there are some lyrics which bother me more and more as I gain experience in the world of publishing.

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?

This indicates an appalling lack of market research.

It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear.”

Plagiarism or FanFic? Either way, a traditional publisher is not going to touch that manuscript with a ten foot pole.

His son is working for the Daily Mail. It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer.

Well, my intro to creative fiction teacher said to always write what I know and I am an unpublished writer so I wrote about an unpublished writer.

Sadly, I have read this book more than once.

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few...

First of all, why not be professional and give an approximate word count, rather than a page count which can be affected by things like font size and margins? Second, that seems a bit long for a mass market paperback. I tend to write long myself, but we are edging into James Michener territory here!

If really like it you can have the rights...

WOAH! Did you just say “have the rights?!” Dude,
never blindly give up the rights to your work. If this book is going to “make a million” for them, don’t you think you should get some kind of financial recompense for it? How about a contract that indicates what rights you are signing away and when they revert back to you?

Granted, when the song was released you didn’t have to specify things like publication across various platforms/media, but still. What about library and book club rights? Who owns the film rights?

There is a billboard near my house that shows someone using a Breathalyzer with the words “You just blew $10,000.” I think this is an extremely clever anti-drunk driving slogan and my hat goes off to whomever came up with that line.
3 However, I think a more affective campaign might be a picture of someone famous with a history of alcohol and drug related driving offenses4 wearing an orange jump suit behind bars. You don’t even have to be famous to get away with driving under the influence. My local paper runs a weekly crime blotter which is always filled with people who are being fined for DUI, second or other offense and driving without a license. Until we start putting these people in jail, I think we need to fess up to the fact that we are not really trying to stop drunk driving as much as we are trying to profit from it.

A couple of thoughts which spiral off of that one:

If local governments are only profiting from the tickets they write and not actually curbing the behavior, does this make them culpable in the offense?

If you are someone who engages in intoxicated driving, speeding, or other vehicular wrong-doing, the weekly crime blotter is a great source of information. They always list where and when the stop was performed. Now you know which streets to avoid on the way home.

Is there some place where people who write advertising campaigns are listed? I am sure that there is an awards ceremony for them. In fact, I am pretty sure that if I sat long enough I could come up with the name.
5 It would be cool if the person or creative team who came up with the billboard I mentioned gets recognized.

Why does MDOT insist on performing construction on multiple parallel roads at the same time. For example, why close down three lanes of northbound traffic on three streets, each a mile apart? By doing so they effectively cause major traffic problems on the few streets that remain open, increase the likelihood of road rage, and just piss me off.

If only the phrase “common sense” were true.

1 Those times that I use the English language.

2 A di
stinct odor. Get it?

3 Admit it, you were expecting some kind of juvenile comment focused on the word “blow” followed by Beavis and Butthead laughter, weren’t you?

4 I’m looking at you, Lindsey Lohan and Amanda Bynes.

5 I used to know all of the nicknames for awards.

6 The sitting and thinking thing is a recent exercise of mine. I have realized that my recall has been deteriorating at an alarming rate. I blame my over-reliance on technology. The fact that I always have a device with access to the internet on my person means I don’t really have to remember things, I can just look them up. This is really starting to worry me, so I have been trying to cut down on my Googling.