Monday, October 6, 2008

Here am I

Almost a year ago now, I decided to sign up for NaBloPoMo, which some of you may remember, a blogging group dedicated to posting every single day during the month of November. The inspiration for NaBloPoMo was NaNoWriMo, a group dedicated to writing an entire 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

Bloggers, as is their wont, saw a good idea and tried to find a way to make it easier. Naturally, I was right there with the rest of them. The truth is, I had heard of NaNoWriMo before I even knew what a blog was, and the idea fascinated me. I've continued to fancy myself an excellent writer of fiction even though I haven't finished a single story since high school summer writing assignments, when I would pound out fantastical stylized pieces like this little gem from my sophomore year.

Since then, I've finished nothing, not a single story (at least nothing over 1,000 words), but I've always supposed that if I really wanted to, I could jump up at the drop of a hat and produce a passable, above-average novel. I don't really know if that's true. I'm afraid it's not.

But after trying my hand at NaBloPoMo last year, and finding out that I couldn't even keep up with that easy a task, it was only natural for me to decide that this year, I would take a stab at the big kahuna. So bring on NaNoWriMo, I thought. That was about three weeks ago.

My plan was to bring myself gradually back up to speed by finishing the series of stories I had started in high school. The one I posted here, you see, was only the first installment. The next year I had written “Nature Calls” for the high school summer writing assignment, and sometime shortly afterwards, I'd begun working on the third story, tentatively entitled “The Milk of Love.” Each story corresponded to one season - “Winning Atalanta” to summer, “Nature Calls” to fall, and the third and fourth to winter and spring, respectively. Three weeks ago, I had the idea that if I finished the third story during September and wrote the complete fourth story in October, I'd be warmed up enough to write a whole real book in November.

Well, I added enough to “The Milk of Love” to bring it to a grand total of fifteen pages, about ten less than I planned, and that was all. Apparently, it just doesn't come back to you like riding a bike. Perhaps also, I was underwhelmed with the quality of my stories from high school when I went back for a second look... and maybe, I have to say, disillusioned.

It's depressing to find out that at least in some ways, you aren't as exceptional as you always half-believed you were, and coming down from that feeling into the choking quiet of reality in a slow hollow thud can leave a bruise. It did for me.

So for now anyway, I'm going to try to finish that third story, and then if it's in me, write the fourth story, just to finish something, to be done. If that's done by November 1st, I may see about taking Roy and Emi out for a spin. I've already got 6,000 words or so on it, so it's technically cheating, but I'm not worried about that. In the meantime, I think I'm going to post the stories that I'm writing online as a way to keep myself honest. Anyone who cares to know can know exactly how much I've gotten done and when I've done it. We'll see if that helps. So that will include moving “Winning Atalanta” off of this page, where it doesn't really belong in the first place.

And I think that does it for housekeeping – plenty enough for me anyhow.

So I'd like to throw one more thing out there. I'm Catholic and I'm American, and I'm very proud of both. And projects like this one, which is run by my brother-in-law and is starting to get national attention, including mention in this past Sunday's New York Times, are genuinely exciting to me.

God bless America.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

McCain-style Straight Talk... As in "heterosexual"

Today I’d like to talk about Sarah Palin. You may have heard of her – John McCain picked her to be his running mate. Well, I don’t know about the running, but I would have no problem picking her as a mate. We’d hole up in a den under Denali and she’d nurse my cubs while I foraged for berries, arctic hare and the occasional stray caribou.

Can’t you just picture her, lounging in a dark cave, covered in a bearskin with just her feet and face peeking out. You can see her glasses shining bat-like in the ambient light, but other than that, who knows if she’s wearing anything? Whew, I need to go take a cold shower.

I think it’d be best if I broke this down into sections here, otherwise I’m just going to waste my time and yours by talking about how I get lost in her eyes. So let’s start with

1. The reaction to her selection. When McCain’s choice of Palin was announced, the reaction was intense, from the most positive end of the spectrum to the dumbest. Liberal feminists everywhere realized that in one swift stroke, McCain had illegitimized the entirety of their movement. The history of feminism, from Cady Stanton and Dorothea Dix to Jackie O and Oprah, from Sharon Stone to Tina Fey to most bloggers, was immediately rendered meaningless. Suddenly it was clear that women don’t have to wear pants and kill their unborn children to have a meaningful life. Just look at Sarah Palin. She hardly ever wears pants, especially in my imagination, and she’s super successful.
This catalyzed intense jealousy, which found a surprising mouthpiece in Matt Damon. Like countless dumb others, Damon tried to pawn off his jealous rage as a critique of her credentials, but the fa├žade was transparent. And when, for heaven’s sake, will actors realize that no one cares what they think? Even if you’re a good actor, odds are you’re still retarded. Just look at Alec Baldwin. Remember those voicemails he left his daughter? Great actor… just retarded.
There was another crucial reaction that Palin garnered. All of a sudden, men across the country were entranced with the presidential race, reading up and watching videos in every spare moment. Women have always outnumbered men at the polls, but the Foxy Factor could change that. It’s a well-known statistic that extremely horny men are the #1 untapped demographic nationwide, especially in the plains states, which are renowned for the ugliness of their women.
And finally, there was the hardcore conservative reaction. Somewhat unimpressed with McCain’s conservatism, the large right-wing block was energized by a woman who is as conservative as they come. She even sold the governor’s plane, or something! Immediately, the red states got even redder with the flush of sexual arousal.

2. Todd Palin. Sarah Palin’s wife, I mean husband, Todd, is affectionately dubbed the “first dude” by the admittedly redneck Alaskan populace. Todd is a man’s man who works on the oil pipeline, allegedly working security to keep the other workers safe. Some skeptical democrats wondered who he might be protecting against, since there are no people in the wild hinterlands of Alaska, but it turns out that mostly he fights fucking bears. A representative of McCain’s campaign provided this video as evidence.
Bill Clinton is also a fan of Todd, which, let’s be honest, is probably just some backhanded attempt to get in Sarah’s snowpants. I mean, let’s look at the choices here: which would you rather?

Yeah, me too.

3. Bristol Palin is pregnant. I just don’t understand why this was in the news. We’ve all been pregnant before, some of us worse than others. This is a private matter, to be settled between Bristol, her family, that hick she was dating, and me. Seriously, Bristol, I could make you so much happier than the hockey player. I have a beard and two rifles, even though the beard is a little homo-looking. Be with me! You and your halfsquatch baby can move in with me right after the inauguration (propriety, naturally).
There was a lot of confusion, with some liberals calling the Palins hypocrites for not using birth control, or not living chastely or something, and then conservatives said the liberals were hypocrites for judging her use of her body or something, and it all got a little convoluted and confusing. But that doesn’t matter. All that matters is the clear glimmer of the Northern Lights I see when I look in her eyes. And think of her mom.

And here are a few resources on the great lady I think we should all take advantage of:
Sarah Palin facts – great for researching the background and experience of the candidate.
Sarah Palin baby name generator – predict the name of her next child... Sell the story on exclusive to Us Weekly... Use the money to buy a lobbyist’s spot in the Oval Orifice – Office, sorry.
Sarah Palin naked portrait – This is kind of creepy, especially because I hang out in this bar at least once a month, and now it’s going to be awkward. I’ll have to stand right up against the bar the whole time, pressing my stomach against it.

And finally, if that hasn’t convinced you to vote Republican, I offer this shocking video of Senator Barack Obama visiting a McDonalds with his family when his daughter Malia asks if she can get a parfait AND an apple pie. Is this the man you want beating your children? McCain could never move that fast. Vote Sexy, vote Sarah.