January 14th, 2004

flavored with age


1. I found some money! On the ground! In the park! And not just a little money either, but a lot of money, by my impoverished standards. It's going right into savings. HA HA HA no, I'm kidding, I'm going to blow it all on beer and Slim Jims.

2. I made a list of all the writing projects I want to accomplish in the next whatever, and you know what? It's fucking lengthy. I better start busting my ass (literally, since my office chair where I spend most of my writin'-time seems determined to kill me lately) if I'm ever gonna have a massive, Henry-Dargerish pile of unpublished junk to sit next to when I die. I'm actually pretty excited about a lot of these projects, but there sure are a lot of them. If my talent was anything close to my ambition, I'd be a fucking genius. And yet, I am lazier than hell about actually marketing/selling stuff! I have unlimited ambition to create, and zero ambition to sell. This is a problem.

3. The Chickwagon is very sick. It apparently didn't like driving all the way from Austin to Chicago in one day, and is protesting by heaving and sputtering when I try to accelerate. I need to take it in for a tuneup and an oil change, but I'm afraid the mechanics will discover something irreparable (or reparable, but ruinously expensive), so I've been putting it off. Oddly enough, this is the exact same approach I take to my physical health. It's a little trick I like to call "catastrophic denial".

4. My vague pledge to read more this year continues apace, with mixed results. I have discovered, among other things, that British people can write fascinating books about American hobo culture, but will pepper them with strange English phrasings; that William Gaddis continued to be an amazing (and amazingly difficult) novelist long after the literary community gave up on him; and that Stephen King is capable of being both much better and much worse than I ever gave him credit for, often within the same book. I'm also undergoing an urge to read nothing but fiction these days, which I must combat with the same determination I did last year at about this time, when all I wanted to read was non-fiction.

5. Most days I listen to NPR at work, but some days I have to turn it off, because the news is all so bad that it makes me letter-bombingly angry. The last few days have been like that, with the Supreme Court making decisions (or, in some cases, failing to make decisions) that contribute to the ongoing banana-republicizing of the United States, the Bush administration displaying maximum loathesomeness with their cynical immigration ploys and their relentless hyping of egregious free trade policies, the woes of the grocery workers' unions both here in Chic and in California, the junior-high-level harassment of Paul O'Neil, various local and international shenanigans, and on top of it all, an inexplicable backlash against disabled people. On the upside, a report found that a large number of guns used in the commission of crimes were sold at a small number of gun stores, a few of which are located in Chicagoland, so my hopes of getting a new gray-market piece have just gotten shinier.
flavored with age


"Dear Jiminy,

"Congratulations to our December Treasure Chest Trivia sweepstakes winners, Gary and Julie, and to all those who received a "prize pack" filled with goodies from Chicken of the Sea for having five or more friends join the Mermaid Club. Be sure five of your friends have signed up by Jan. 30 so you, too, can receive a "prize pack." For details, see the Special Deals section of this Mermaid Memo.

"In this issue, you will find the perfect appetizer dip for your Super Bowl XXXVIII party.

"New Year's Resolutions: Managing Your Weight - How Seafood Can Help

"Share Your Story: Why You Think Chicken of the Sea is the Best Tuna

"Remember our famous jingle? 'Ask any Mermaid you happen to see, what's the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea.' Click here to submit your story about why you think Chicken of the Sea is the best tuna in 100 words or less and we will enter your name in a sweepstakes to win Chicken of the Sea product and coupons."

MAN! MAN! I am so going to submit a "story" about why Chicken of the Sea is the best tuna. It will have spies in it, and gunplay. WHO'S WITH ME?