Why Do I Always Have to Work Holidays?!

St Patrick’s Day…

Ahh, St Patrick’s Day…

Okay, yeah, it’s American “invention” to (ostensibly) honor a minor Irish holiday. An invention, I might add, created mostly as an excuse to drink and party.

So what? It’s a fun time, even if it is “cultural appropriation”!

What else are you gonna do on St Patrick’s Day, by the way, except celebrate it at German brewery? Of course you are…I mean, c’mon, that’s multiculturalism at its finest!

Quite simply, you haven’t lived until you’ve celebrated St Patty’s day with a few games of hammerschlagen! And screw the corned beef, I want sausage! And rye bread!

Technically, I suppose, I’m working today…which means I have my iPad open in front of me at the moment. Well, that and I’ll help out at the brewery when it gets truly busy. And there is, of course, also the pending Irish Olympics to think about.


9D5A524E-9ABA-41F3-B500-559D88BB46A1Work, work, work…another day slaving in the mines…

Now, if only there was actual, you know, money in spending your “work” life writing and in a brewery.

Fun? Oh, yeah, there’s tons of that…but money? Not so much…

Crap, a thought occurs…I hate it when that happens, but what are you gonna do?

On the same theme from my post last Friday: I learned everything I need to know about this stuff from my (fairly extensive) travels across Europe & the Americas. Tragically, I didn’t do that travel as part of an official gap year. Nope, I was far too deprived and challenged to do that.

Oy vey! How much farther ahead would I be if I had started this insanity at eighteen?!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the keg curling competition is getting ready to start…


A Bit Of An Aside

As scary as it is, it’s been (almost) two years for this blog.  This all started as pure whim; as a place to write and think…and to work on my short-form skills.  I had no idea, two years ago, just what actually was involved with regular blogging, let alone how to go about doing it right.

IMG_0162Originally, this whole experiment was intended primarily to “live blog” the process of writing a novel.  I never really did that…mostly because it just wasn’t all that interesting.  Not to me, and not to you.  That “vision” was too confining, and too boring, to actually work.  Instead, I’ve done a few “pure” writing posts in between a whole LOT of random squirrel moments.

And, honestly, it’s been waaay more fun that way.

Some of my posts have resonated with y’all, and some have been abject failures.  Some I cringe at having written, while others have been satisfying and fulfilling in deeply personal ways.

None of that is likely to change, but…

As I’ve said before, there’s always a but.

will.write_.4.food300.jpgBut, I have to make a living, too…and I much prefer to do so writing.  I would much rather be a poorly paid writer than go back to the world of office cubes and staff meetings…

To that end, I am going to (slowly) start linking this blog with freelance writing, as well as other projects I have going, or am planning.  Oh, the novels are still in the mix — the “ghosts” of Connor & Oz most definitely see to that — but they aren’t the only things on the table.  For very, very few writers are novels the only thing on the table.*

*By the way — if you’re interested, John Scalzi did a blog post several years ago in which he “opened his books” to show just how long, and how many bestsellers, it took to make writing novels his main/only source of income.  Very interesting, and (pardon the pun) valuable, reading for new writers…

It’s important to note that I’m not going to try and turn this blog itself into a “money-making opportunity.”  Quite simply, that would put too many restrictions on what and how I could write.  No, I like the honesty of just writing whatever-the-hell-I-feel-like three times a week too much to change that part of things.

I also like the honesty of my connection with you who read these posts.  If I start scrambling for ads and pimping my SEO rankings, that honesty and that connection goes away.  Would I love to see a hundred thousand views a month?  Sure…but it ain’t gonna happen.  And I’m okay with that.

With that said, I do want (and need) to drive some more traffic this way, especially if I am going to link the blog with other projects.  Your shares and recommendations help –they help a great deal, in fact — but I have to do my part as well.  That means getting off my social media “high horse” and actually, well, using Facebook and LinkedIn and Goodreads and the like.

That also means, in the end, actually marketing myself…and this blog.  Any changes and additions I make to that effect will be slow — probably over the next six months or so — as I work to find the right balance.

As a last thought: I appreciate more than you know your visits, and the time you take to read these posts.  I’ve said a couple of times that I write this blog for others, but a better way to say that is that I write this blog for you.

Thank you, all.

The Olympics? Err, No Thanks

4947999_700bOh, Winter Olympics, why can’t I love you?  Summer games, you are a lost cause, I know…but winter?  We should be so good together!

I’m a hockey player and fan.  I ski (quite poorly).  I snowshoe and hike in the snow and ice.  Hell, I live in the frickin’ mountains!

But the Winter games are still dead to me.

Part of it — a very big part, admittedly — is due to the sheer level of corruption and insanity that go along with putting on the games.  The money involved passed stupid a long time ago, blew right past ludicrous, and has moved well into the realm of silly.  For no host city or country are the games even remotely “worth it”.

The Games have become, sadly, nothing more than an uber-expensive exercise in nationalist chest-thumping.  Why on Earth would you ever want to spend the tens of BILLIONS it costs to host one?  And spare me the BS about tourism and marketing: you could pick twelve million people at random, give them each a thousand dollars to come visit you, and STILL spend less than the Pyeongchang games are costing…

And if the games cost too damned much to put on, so too do the athletes.  The games cost billions just to put on, but sending the athletes ain’t much cheaper.  And then you get into paying those athletes…and, no, “amateur” most definitely is not a thing anymore.

A gold medal isn’t about excellence, or pride, or competition — a gold medal is about money.  And that, I think, is my real problem with the whole thing.  Well, that and the raw nationalism…

I don’t give two shits how many medals the US won in comparison with Canada, or Norway, or freaking Lichtenstein, for that matter.

“Wow, that skier is really good…but they’re fucking British, so they can burn in Hell.”

One of my best friends in the hockey world is Polish…and, you know what?  He’s still my friend.  I still root for whatever team he is playing for…

I very much am a US patriot, but count me out on pointless-nationalism-thing.

Err…sorry about the squirrel-moment-rant — I just happened to read a story this morning about how “bad” the US team is in these Olympics, and about how the whole thing was a failure because of that…and about how the athletes themselves are failure, and miserable people.  Yep, you guessed it, that article drove me freakin’ nuts.

The Olympics were supposed to be about individual and team competition and achievement.  They were supposed to be about sport, not politics on skis.  Unfortunately, for most of the commentators and many of the viewers/fans, they are not about the sport…and all about the chest-thumping politics.

And with many of the athletes, that doesn’t get much better: they are about the dollars and sponsorships, not the sport.

Oh, there are still examples of the “true spirit” of the Olympics (“true” if you believe the old Chariots of Fire image), but they are all too few and far between.

Previews - Winter Olympics Day -1If I watch anything at the Peyongchang games it will be one thing: the Jamaican women’s bobsled team.  Not because of Cool Runnings, but because their coach quit and took their damned sled…and they stayed.  Red Stripe beer bought them another sled*, and the team is still trying.

*Brilliant damned marketing, by the way.  Even I’ll go buy a six-pack of a beer I don’t like for this one…

The Jamaicans won’t win, and they won’t make shit for money, but they’re still trying.  And THAT is what the Olympics are supposed to be about.

Some Village Out There Is Really Missing Me Right Now…

Not a writing post today.  Not a politics post, either, nor a space post, nor any other kind of useful thing.  Sorry, but I just don’t have it in me.

I don’t have it in me because…well…umm…pain really ain’t all that conducive to writing.  Not emotional pain — that’s great(ish) for writing — but pure, annoying physical pain.

idiotI managed to break a couple of toes the other day, and it sucks.  I’d love to come up with some great story about wrestling a bear, or jumping off a bridge to save a drowning kangaroo, or even just tripping down a flight of stairs, but the simple fact of the matter is…well…I’m an idiot.

I did it at hockey.  Okay, that sounds good, that’s a good start.  Err, well, the problem, you see, is…well…I wasn’t actually playing hockey.  That would’ve been just far too easy….and far less embarrassing.  Hell, I’ve broken a fairly significant number of things playing hockey, and pretty much all of those stories are entertaining as hell. There was the time my hand got stepped on by a skate…

But, nosiree, not this time.  There’s no hiding from the shame this time.

Nope, this time I was out on the ice early, just screwing around with a bunch of the high school kids after their practice.

I wasn’t wearing gear.  More importantly, I wasn’t wearing skates.

“Hey, the puck’s coming,” I thought, “I know, I’ll block it with my foot!  Wait, hang on, maybe I should rethink this…OOOOOWWWWW*!!!!”working-with-idiots1

Like I said: idiot.

*Err, there just might have been some four-letter words in there as well, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

One of the guys I play with is a doctor.  When he got done laughing at me (definitely not with me), he tossed me a roll of tape and a couple of Advil.  “Have fun,” was the extent of his medical advice.

I got a text this morning from another of the guys about playing in a tournament.  Apparently my nickname has now become “Toes.”

I hate the entire universe right now.