I give up

giphy-1Last night, I completely cracked the plot of the Skylights sequel wide open, for about the fourteenth time since finishing the original book– only this time it involves going back to the original draft of Sunlight that I got like 40,000 words into and then had to bail on, because I finally figured out how to make it work.

At this point the sequel to that book is going to be a foreword, 300 blank pages, and then the words “And then they all died” on page 301, because I am having that much trouble getting the plot to cohere.


In other news, despite the fact that I’ve put in notice at my job, there’s still a corporate visit next week and for some reason apparently I’m still expected to, like, do stuff around the store– I guess they don’t just pay me to sit on my ass and look at my phone for five weeks, or something nuts like that?  So I’ve been insanely busy at work for the last couple of days and tomorrow does not look like it’s going to be better.  I literally dusted every end table and coffee table in the entire store this evening.  Tomorrow I have to do the TV stands. I am crabby and sleepy and I have not had much brain left for bloggery when I get home.  I will, I hope, break myself of this habit tomorrow.


Seriously.  Email me some problems so I can do an advice column.  Otherwise I’m just gonna fictionalize the whole thing and that’s gonna lead to issues.

In which I’m an asshole but I’m trying to stop

91f2oZK0TILI used to discover new books by going to physical bookstores and spending a pleasurable hour searching through the shelves.  That method is effectively obsolete now, as damn near everything I read is something I discovered online (on Twitter, more often than not) and added to my Amazon wish list.  Sometimes I end up at Barnes and Noble anyway, though, and for whatever reason every time I set foot in that place nowadays it leads to a blog post.

I came across Christopher Ruocchio’s Empire of Silence at some point in the past few days; I don’t remember exactly when, but comparing something to Dune is guaranteed to get my attention and I added it to my wishlist.  We ended up celebrating my birthday tonight with steak and book-shopping, and I happened to find a copy of the book on the shelf somewhere.  I wasn’t familiar with Ruocchio– I think this is his debut novel, but I’m not 100% sure, and he’s definitely a young guy– and my first thought upon seeing his author picture was … well, judgmental.  I’m not gonna bother saying how, but he’d done nothing to deserve said judgmentalness.

And then I noticed that his author bio mentioned his Twitter feed, and so I pulled my phone out and went to look at his Twitter, specifically to see if he was posting anything on Twitter that would give me an excuse to not buy his books.  And I came across this Tweet:

Here’s the thing: my opinions on politics are very very apparent from my Twitter feed, and still pretty goddamn apparent from my blog posts.  I am absolutely certain that there are some people out there who might enjoy my books but won’t/wouldn’t have given me the chance because of my politics, and that’s okay.  Anyone who doesn’t want to read my work for any reason whatsoever is absolutely free to not do so, as none of you owe me anything.

My personal rule on the politics of authors and various and sundry other artists who I support is You Don’t Want None There Won’t Be None.  I’ve never deliberately gone looking for someone’s political ideas before deciding to check out their work before, but there have definitely been some authors– Orson Scott Card and Dan Simmons come to mind immediately, and I threw away a John C. Wright book unread once I found out what a piece of shit he was, and I’m sure there are others– whose work I no longer read or never started because I find them to be such odious people.  But if you either keep your shit to yourself or if you put it out there you do it in such a way that you don’t immediately convince me that you’re a boil on the asshole of humanity, I’ve never been one to go looking for bullshit.  But if you put it out there, well, there might be consequences.

But that’s exactly what the hell I was doing– trying to comb this dude’s Twitter feed for a reason not to buy his book, because something about the way he looks set me off.

I don’t like the fact that I’ve turned into that person.

Long story short, I bought the goddamn book, which I was gonna do anyway, but as soon as I realized I was trying to find a reason to write this dude off and not buy his book I decided I had to buy it.  And I’m gonna try harder to rein in my own dickishness in the future, because this shit is ridiculous, and I don’t want to do it again.

Now I just gotta hope to hell I like the thing.  🙂

 

Everything sucks and I’m trying to ignore it

DumpsterFire2I spent most of the day today in the car, driving from here to Fort Wayne and back (two hours each way) to get something done for work that I wouldn’t have had to do were I possessed of even a minor understanding of how geography works and the difference between west and east.  I spent yesterday mostly being exhausted into incomprehension and yet somehow still didn’t manage to get into bed until after midnight.

I have these crazy ideas that tomorrow I’ll get something useful done around the house, but I don’t think anyone nearby should hold their breath about it.  It’s supposed to be about a hundred and thirty degrees outside for the next couple of days so one thing I do know is that the lawn’s not getting mowed anytime soon.  The neighbors are just gonna have to look upon our jungle and despair; I’m not worrying about it.

One definite advantage about spending four hours in the car, he thought to himself before leaving on his road trip, is that it keeps me off Twitter and thus away from the news.  I can’t handle how fucked the world is right now and I’m trying to take a couple of days’ sabbatical from horror until I get my head back on straight.  So naturally all I did was listen to politics podcasts in the car.

I am not very good at news sabbaticals, apparently.  But I’m gonna keep trying.  If I can go three weeks without ingesting any carbs I ought to be able to ignore current events for just a few days, right?  You’d think.

Back to Dark Souls.  Anything I should be downloading or binge-watching that I don’t know about?  Tell me in comments.

In which something is a bitch

4309I don’t believe in karma.  The universe doesn’t care about me (or you) one way or another, and there is no balancing force or supernatural intelligence out there looking to balance any sort of scales, especially with regard to my specific life.

That said, sometimes shit happens and makes you wonder.

Monday afternoon sometime I had a guest come into the store.  It became immediately apparent that the guest was Not Quite Right in some way or another; either impaired on some sort of substance or simply, for whatever reason, not in possession of a surfeit of social skills.  She had a problem of some sort; there’s no need to go into the details, but it was immediately clear to me– as in within a sentence or two– that I was not the person to solve her problem, but that the person who could solve her problem was in the store, and I could take her to that person in mere moments, if she would shut up about her interminably long, ridiculous, boring story long enough for me to get a word in edgewise.

You have probably had this conversation at some point, right?  Where the person takes forever to explain something to you, you provide the information they need in less than a sentence, and then they go “Yes, but” and repeat the entire story again?

It happened three times in a row until I simply walked away, assuming that either she would follow me or I would collect the person she actually needed to talk to and bring them to her.

At any rate, at about the halfway point during this conversation I noticed that this woman had her shirt on inside out.  And I went into one of those stupid mental calculation things, where my desire to be done and away from this conversation and my additional desire to not do or say things that cause embarrassment to other people went to war with, well, let’s call it “basic fucking human decency” and leave it at that.

Basic human decency did not win.  I did not point out the condition of her shirt to her, having no desire to poke the bear any further, and eventually got her into the custody of someone who could actually help her.

That 382-word short story exists as a preamble to this:  this morning I did the following:

  1. Took my dog to the vet;
  2. Took my son to breakfast at McDonalds, and ate inside the restaurant;
  3. Went to the post office;
  4. Went to the bank; and
  5. Went to Target;

and only at that point, halfway through my shopping trip at Target, did I notice that the shirt I’d thrown on that morning, a shirt that I’d pulled out of dirty laundry because I was planning on mowing the lawn after all the errands and there was no point to taking a shower (one of the advantages of being bald) or putting on clean clothes if I was just going to sweat them all up; only after all of that did I notice that I’d been out in public for two and a half hours and my shirt was– wait for it– inside out.

The end.

In case you ever thought I was smart, ch. 3987

derpyderp_400x400This was an exceptionally long week at work– it was decided (not by me) that yesterday needed to be a Move Every Single God Damn Thing in the Store day, and I spent the majority of it out of breath and sweating, which are exactly the characteristics you want in a purveyor of fine furniture and furniture-related goods and services.

I am old and fat and out of shape, guys, and I signed up to be a salesman.  If I wanted to work as a mover I would have made sure to be 20 years younger and substantially more svelte.  And yet.

But that’s not the point of this post.  The point of this post is that in addition to being fat and old and out of shape and sweaty and out of breath, attractive characteristics all, I am also an idiot.

So this lady comes in and wants four $75 dining chairs.  She wants to buy one of them from clearance at half off (fine) and order the other three new.  No problem!  She’s already decided on everything before coming in so everything ought to go really fast, right?  I write the ticket, call a manager over to drop the price of the clearance chair, and tell her how much the sale will be.  She is writing a check, and blinks a couple of times and then, visibly embarrassed, asks me the name of the store.

I tell her and her day immediately gets worse as her brainfart continues and I have to spell the name of the store for her.  It is obvious that this woman is not a moron and is just having a bad couple of minutes where the synapses aren’t firing right.  We cool.  I make a joke about having made a stupid math error earlier in the day.  It is worth pointing out that the joke wasn’t true, and I was just trying to make her feel better.

I tell her how much to write the check for.  She pauses, thinking, and comments that the number doesn’t seem right.

“The one chair is half off, remember,” I say.

“Oh,” she says, and writes the check for the agreed-upon amount, takes her clearance chair, and leaves the store.

Two minutes later it occurs to me that $75 times three and a half is not $118, which is what the check she wrote was for, and I look at the invoice and discover that I only sold her two chairs.  She not only noticed the error but pointed it out to me and I still looked at $118 and went “Yeah, that’s definitely the right amount to charge someone for four goddamn chairs.”

I had to call her back and tell her she’d need to either call me with a credit card number or come back to the store and write a second check if she wanted all four chairs.  She was back in ten minutes, having figured out on her own that I wasn’t able to math.  Luckily, both of us blamed ourselves for the mistake getting through.


Earlier today, I sold something to someone who lives on a street very near me.  She asked me what street I lived on and I forgot my address.  I literally could not remember the name of the street I live on.  It took way too long.

I am not having a good week.