Sunday, January 30, 2005

Stephanie Ann Smith and Tiny on his birthday, Jan 3, 2005 Posted by Hello

In Good Company

I took my girls to see IN GOOD COMPANY yesterday and we all enjoyed it. It's about the dilemma of working in modern corporations and the comic results when a man's daughter starts dating his youthful boss. There's a touch of bitterness along with the comedy when takeovers destroy careers and corporate ladder climbing depends more on back-stabbing and ass kissing than ability.
It would have been easy to slap on a warm fuzzy ending, and it does end on an upbeat note, but not everything worked out by the usual Hollywood blueprint.

I bought a new shirt today. Now, I'm the kind of guy who will wear a shirt when it's worn thinner than cheesecloth and frayed like the battle flag on Fort McHenry. As long as it hides my nakedness, it's a keeper. But my closet is packed tight and I've vowed to discard one for each new shirt I acquire. So today I sent my western-style, ivory-colored, pearl-buttoned classic to the dustbin. I've had that shirt for about 20 years, and now it's a rag. Sure, you could see paint stains on my tee shirt right through it, but I feel like I've euthanized a family pet.

On a separate post today I presented a photo of my younger daughter, Kristine. What a rigamarole to do this. I'll try to post oneof Stephanie next. No one needs to see my ugly mug.

Reading: I just started THE FUNERAL OF TANNER MOODY. Recently read an ARC of Victor Gischler's SUICIDE SQUEEZE, which I enjoyed a lot.

Kristine Corinne Napier, 8th Grade Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

RIP Johnny

I learned today that Johnny Carson died. I watched Johnny on The Tonight Show for decades. Over the years I lost countless hours of sleep staying up to watch his show, and if I couldn't see the whole show I'd at least see the monologue and opening comedy bit.

Rest easy, Johnny, and thanks for the million laughs.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Curses, Foiled Again

I was looking forward to my first Intermediate Guitar class tomorrow at the local community college with keen anticipation. Friday afternoon I found a message on my phone saying it was canceled. Again. This is the second time. I don't know why they keep on offering it. I'll get my money back, but I'm both annoyed and disappointed. I bought a new guitar a few days ago in anticipation of becoming a better player, but now I'll have to play it with the same old skills. The ax is a Fender Stratocaster, by the way. Not the $2000 model; it was on sale for $329.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Do you ever check your biorhythms? Once in a while, if I'm bored enough, I do. This usually happens at work.

The idea behind biorhythms, as I understand it, is that certain functions of our life run in cycles that start when we're born. The three main functions are our physical, mental, and emotional states, and each runs on its own cycle--say, 24 days for one, 26 for another, 28 for the last. You can plot a line as these cycles go up and down with lines that look like an EKG.
I don't think biorhythms are any more accurate than horoscopes, but they're not as fraudulent as Dianetics or Creationism.
I've read that in some industries in Japan a person whose rhythms are very low can use them as an excuse to stay home from work, with full support from the company.

I mention this because my chart for this weekend (Jan 15-17) has all three of my elements at rock bottom. According to the proponents of this idea, that means I should stay home and not do anything more complicated than eating. Preferably soft foods.
By a stroke of luck I did spend most of the weekend at home. I watched the NFL playoffs while I printed out my zines for Dapa-Em and OWLHOOT. I didn't feel any dumber or emotionally unstable than usual, but perhaps I've already bottomed out in those areas and I have no lower to go.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Insomnia's Retreat

It's pushing 2 a.m. and I can't sleep, perhaps because I went to bed at 7 last night. That might sound off kilter to most of you, but when you consider I get up at 3:30 a.m for work I'm not really too far from the norm.

I've spent the weekend printing out my zine for OWLHOOT, a western apa of which I am the Ramrod. It's a pretty fine apa if I say so myself, and anyone interested in westerns should ask me for particulars.
Anyway, it takes a long, long time to print out these pages on my printer so I watched the NFL playoffs at the same time. I think this is called multitasking. My wife calls it being a lazy bum. I was surprised to see Minnesota and the Jets win, glad that the Colts spanked the hated Broncos (though not as hated as they were when Elway was QB), and resigned to the fate of the hapless Seattle Seahawks. The Hawks were done in by the two bugaboos that have haunted them all year: dropped passes and a poor pass defense. And what about Jerry Rice? I don't think they threw one pass to him the entire game. What is he, a multimillion-dollar decoy? They could have had me for a lot less.
Next week we'll have another round of playoffs, then another I believe, and the week after we'll see who goes to the Superbowl (hint: it won't be Janet Jackson). I'd like to see New England or Pittsburgh represent the AFC and Minnesota take the NFC crown if only to have a Cinderella 8-8 team in the game.

I'm about two-thirds through SUICIDE SQUEEZE, by Victor Gischler. His style reminds me of a cross between Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey, two other writers who use a Florida setting. He's not as outragous as either of them, but he has a freewheeling way of storytelling that both delights me and fills me with envy. The story itself revolves around a number of people on the trail of a unique Joe DiMaggio baseball card--one signed by not only Joe by Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder as well. There is some dipping into the milieu of comics and sci-fi (shudder!) mania that makes me feel right at home. I'm reading the ARC, so keep an eye peeled for this book when it hits the racks.

Happy Birthday to Toby and Tiny, my daughters' Chihuahuas, who turned two on the 3rd. I have to admit that I didn't think I could like yippy little dogs like them, but they're great.

The week between Christmas and New Year's was spent at Frank Denton's cabin near Mt. Rainier for a semiannual gathering known as Tankon. Five of us convened for a near-week of fellowship, male bonding, discussion, argument, backbiting, contempt, rabid disagreement, homicidal thoughts, and food. Lots of food.
The best part of the experience, other than spending time with a group of bright, fannish guys, is the chance to get away from the real world. No TV, no newspapers, no radio, no phones, no families. No Internet, either, and that's a problem for a junkie like me, but I manage. And I read.

A week ago I saw the movie THE AVIATOR, and recommend it highly. Leonardo DiCaprio surprised me with his performance as Howard Hughes, and whoever the actress is who played Kate Hepburn stole the show; she was brilliant.

As for New Year's Eve, I made myself a vodka collins and went to bed by nine. There's no correlation between the two, I was just tired and that's my late bedtime these days anyway. I've never been that big on celebrating New Year's. One year I was a part of the mob in Time's Square. Once or twice I've drunk more than my usual two beers. I've enjoyed the usufructs of gallantry. More often than not I've stayed home and ignored it. It just seems artifical to me. Like Mother's Day being a conspiracy by the card and flower industries, New Year's seems like a plot by the liquor and restaurant people to get us so drunk we forget we spent all our money at Christmas.