Archives - February 2004
February 28, 2004
One can surf the internet, or even read the news for that matter, and see the breadth and width of human weirdness. Especially weirdness in the sexual sense. Here are a few examples I've run across lately.
Woman Auctions Her Virginity - An 18-year-old college student, who claims to be a lesbian, in the UK is auctioning her arse to the highest bidder. Says she wants to do it so she won't graduate with a bunch of debt. The bidding stopped on the 10th at £8,400, which is $15,531. She had over 400 bidders. The "winner" of the bidding is unknown; the police are now involved and everyone's keeping a low profile. The chick's partner says she's okay with her girlfriend losing her virginity to a man...that's a bit of weirdness on top of all the other weirdness. I'd have a few questions if I was this guy:
1) How can I be assured you are really a virgin? Have you flown to Dallas and had one of those hymen-installation/re-installation operations that all the rich Middle Eastern girls get before they marry a rich Middle Eastern guy? If so, our contract is void.
2) How many times have you sold/will you sell your virginity?
Her school administration isn't happy; they say she doesn't "set a good example." Her mom ain't happy, either.
Daughters and Daddies - This is a site dedicated to the role-playing fetish of older men having an incestuous relationship with their daughters. Participants willingly role-play this, not just during sex, but for much of their time together. Seems like the women get off on it as much as the men do. They claim to have over 6,800 registered members. A testimonial:
Chastity? Anyway, they have some sister sites, including MOMMIES AND DAUGHTERS, FATHERS AND SONS, and MOMMIES AND SONS. All for people interested in these particular fetishes. And you thought your husband wanting to wear a Batman costume while in the act was weird...
A Hopeless Romantic - This anal-retentive guy has set up a web site to meet women who agree with his "plan" to have "1 - 6 women to have 1 - 15 children by me." He has some really slick come-on lines, I have to admit, like this one:
"...maximizing the probability that our children have a good inherent base of cognitive ability."
I bet the wimmin are melting as we speak. But you know what? He's probably got them lined up outside his door.
February 25, 2004
One of those days.
Today was one of those days. You know, the ones you wish you had back when you're dying in a hospital bed. A waste of 12 hours. It started up with me getting up late. No big deal there. Then I get to work and realize I have a video conference I have to attend at 10am. Supposed to last until 1. Okee dokee. Well, I get there and find out it lasts until 2. Then there's a MEETING afterward. A meeting for a committee I volunteered for at the LAST MEETING, a little I'm-really-not-a-slacker gesture I had forgotten about. Then, after that meeting is over, there's ANOTHER meeting afterward, a subcommittee meeting. I'm sitting there thinking of all my work piling up. So, we finally break at 4:30. Thirty minutes later, I'm back at my office where I'm confronted with my pile of work and a squabble between two staffers. Nice. So I get a little done, just in time to leave. Went to my tanning place. (Yes, I fake bake. To set the record straight, though, I only do a few minutes a week, just enough to hide the awful gray palor I get during the winter time. I don't get a TAN, so don't send me any links to skin cancer sites or other such bull&($@. And I don't tan in the buff; the boys have never been exposed to ultraviolet radiation, and they're not about to start NOW, thank you very much.)
So I take off my five layers of clothes and get in. The timer on the thing is stuck from the last asshole who used it. Okay, I can't unstick it. I try to call for the kid running the board, but she's out of earshot. I have to GET DRESSED, and go out there. She tells me she'll fix it. Okay, I undress again and get in. The thing is still stuck. I have to get dressed AGAIN and go out there, where she tells me, "Oh, I can't reset it if it still has time; you have to let that time run out, then I'll add the minutes on from here when it's done." Fine. I go back, get back in, and run my six minutes. I need four more. I wait. No reset. I wait some more. Nada. So, I'm faced with the prospect of getting dressed and getting the girl to add my freaking four minutes. It is 7:30 by now. Screw it. I left. Thirty minutes of wasted time spent there; six minutes won't do a damn thing.
So I go to my next chore of the day: grocery store. I grab a cart. It has one of those wobbly wheels on it that drives me nuts. I dump it and get another. Square wheel this time. I grab another. This one rolls okay. Great. I make my rounds. Everything is fine until I reach the dairy section. There are only two things that FORCE me to go to the store: running out of half-and-half and/or running out of coffee. I was out of half-and-half. (Don't send me any links to cholesterol sites, either) Guess what they are out of? HALF-AND-HALF. &(^$ me. So I did manage to find one freaking quart in the very back. That will last a few days. So by this time, I'm in need of some comfort food. I grab a six-pack of chocolate pudding on my way out. This will settle me down.
I get to the register and choose a line. I get behind a man and his son. The son is the slowest basket-unloading mother &%!#er I have ever witnessed. I'm about to vacate the line when a clerk wheels a cart full of stuff in behind me and blocks me; register closed. &^@! me again. I wait for the dolt. He finally unloads the cart. They leave. I applaud. Get the &^$#^ out of my way.
The guy rings up my groceries. I insert my debit card into the machine. It spits it back out. I repeat. It spits again. I cram that mother &%!#er in there for the third time, using the metal pencil thing to get it in there REAL GOOD. It gets stuck. Time to call the manager. He comes and takes it out. They feed it through the slider and it works fine. I get the hell out of there.
I drive home, knowing I'm going to get broadsided by a drunk driver. I want some comfort music. I peruse the dials. Tejano. Nope. Rap. Nope. Ozzy. Jeez. ELO. Christ...ELO? So I do my usual protest: COUNTRY GOLD. I go there not because I like the music, but to make sure none of the other stupid stations get my air time.
Now I have a &^%*(%$# Buck Owens song stuck in my head.
So I get home, put up the groceries, and take out my comfort food: the chocolate pudding. Now, it isn't real pudding of course, because it doesn't have that skin on the top. But I'll make do. The little cup has this foil thing on it that is supposed to come off in one big piece. It doesn't; it peels off in STRIPS of pudding-covered foil. Pudding is now all over the &^%&ing place. I eat it. In protest, I eat another. I toss the cups into the trash, where they MISS. Now I have pudding all over the place.
Bright spot in the day: I get a call from my publisher who says a film developer is calling them and asking about Undercover White Trash. Nice.
February 24, 2004
Sorry for not updating regularly or qualitatively lately, but I've been busy writing the second draft of my L.A. Stalker screenplay. Finished and FedEx'd it today. Will have to see what they have to say about it. Made all of their suggested changes, and still kept the story at the same length. It is really amazing what a professional editor can do with your work; they can spot things you would have never dreamed of. Especially for me, seeing as this screenplay thing is new to me.
Be sure and check out my new guest writer short story by A.P. Fuchs (no spoilers, but I'm going to have to ask him if it is actually TRUE).
Being absorbed in the writing process, my mind is kind of blank right now. I'm also about a year behind in more mundane things like doing my taxes, bathing...
February 21, 2004
There is hope
In the Foreword magazine newsletter, there's an article about a U.S. Census report regarding book-reading (Side note: I don't remember the Constitution ordering the government to do anything except COUNT PEOPLE for the purpose of determining representatives). Here's an excerpt:
The U.S. Census Bureau, that hub of breaking news, announced this week that, geewhillikins, Americans still appreciate a good book. Especially when it comes to relaxing in their free time. Forty percent of adults said that they read books for fun, compared to the twenty-seven percent who said they surfed the Internet for the same reason.
Nice; that means there's still a market out there, and it appears to be growing. Just why the market (actual people who read) seems to be growing, but book sales continue to drop, is a question far beyond the economic theory-deprived mind of this writer. Maybe people are seeking out their books in used book stores, swap meets and libraries rather than paying high retail prices for them. Since used book sales aren't factored into the book sales numbers, those sales wouldn't show up.
Speaking of Foreword Magazine; if you haven't checked it out, you should. They focus on books that are often "under the radar" which is an industry term meaning they are not the most popular, and thus, receiving the most press. You can subscribe to their newsletter which always has a few useful articles and many links to contests and marketing possibilities. It's free and you won't get spammed.
Another good newsletter is the one from 1stBooks. Subscribe to this for even more contest and marketing info, in addition to writing tips of all kinds
A good newsletter on screenwriting similar to those above, try the one from Hollywoodlitsales.com. Subscribe box is on the right-hand side of the main page.
February 18, 2004
Play this song clip while reading this post.
I'm an Outlaw
Texas has always had a vehicle inspection law. They say it is to ensure the car is in good mechanical condition.
I have not had my vehicle inspected since 2000.
Now, let me tell you about my 1988 Suburban 1500 4x4 with a lift kit, cattle guard, fog lights, CB radio, custom wood interior and luggage rack. It sucks enough gasoline to fund Al Queda for a hundred more years. By God, it's got a 350 cubic inch Detroit motor that will pull a bass boat plumb off the bottom of Lake Ray Hubbard. It sets off car alarms in my parking garage as I drive by (I'm serious). Grotesque? Wasteful? Redneck? Yep. By GAWD, it is my right as a Texican to own such a fine machine. The only problem is...it won't pass the emissions test.
Being a Republic of Texas sort, I protest this new emission test. In my view, it is simply a tax on poor folks. Folks who drive old cars. Like me. Sure, I could buy a new fuel-efficient Suburban, one with candy-ass pollution control systems. It isn't the money. It's the PRINCIPLE. Hell, the truck is paid for.
Because I've chosen to be an outlaw, a fugitive, a CRIMINAL, and shame my profession and family, I have to be careful when I'm driving the thing. That faded-out green sticker with the big 01 on it stands out to police types like a neon sign. I've been pulled over three times, but only got one ticket because I flash my badge inadvertently and they let me slide with a lecture and a laugh. The last cop was a motorcycle cop; he wrote me a ticket. $100 to the City of Fort Worth. But the way I see it, with an inspection costing $45, not to mention the repairs I need to get the emissions down, I'm still coming out ahead if I figure I've missed three, soon to be four, inspection periods. But not wanting to tempt fate, I have to be a little more careful. I really have to beware of the bicycle cops who patrol downtown. I make sure to time the lights so I can go through them all without stopping, for the bike cops are more likely to approach my behemoth while it is idle. But the worst part about my drive to and from work is that...well, I work in a police station. Actually, the sheriff's department headquarters. The Fort Worth Police station is right next door. Cops are swarming outside.
I'm either a complete recalcitrant or a total dumbass.
Most reading this will say the latter.
But, fate has intervened. I developed a hole in my muffler. I like the new 140 decibel rumble, but my neighbors do not. I don't like the smoke billowing up through my truck's interior, either. So, I have decided to take the 'burb in to get the muffler fixed. While I'm at it, I'll have the catalytic converter replaced as well, for it is the culprit causing me to fail the emissions test to begin with.
There's a certain thrill in dodging the law. The feeling of being hunted and getting away. In a way, I'll miss my outlaw lifestyle. Riding the blacktop, just me and the 'burb, answering to no one except the open road...
February 17, 2004
Sin City Part II
Thanks to Brandy at AmericanButterfly for the nice review of Stalker. At least she's still talking to me; unlike 40% of those who read it. She mentioned that she had been to Las Vegas a few times, and was shocked by the porn cards handed out by the illegal aliens on every street corner. By happenstance, I have a few of these. Here's one, front and back:
This is just one of a dozen of these cards handed to me on the strip. I've added the smileys for the sake of decorum. The guys handing these out were indiscriminate; they gave them to single guys, single women, couples, old and young. The only thing I didn't see them do was hand one to a child. I bet there has been some court action taken in Las Vegas surrounding this annoying business, for the city is forced to sweep up about a hundred thousand - at least - of these every morning after the recipients toss them away. I have several questions about this business. One, does it really only cost $49? I know how much money it costs to print cards and distribute them, so I doubt the girl can make a lot of money at that price. I'm sure there are some hidden costs, like taking her clothes off, which is probably an additional charge. Next, is it really THIS GIRL that comes to your room? Or is the girl a fascimile, a lookalike, or a dried-up crack ho? Maybe that's the $49 job; "Shelly" costs more.
I thought it was kind of ironic seeing these while I was attending an end violence against women conference. In fact, it was ironic having the conference in Las Vegas to begin with. It seems to be the most exploitive city for women in the western world; the whole place is T&A. The host of the conference was even apologetic about the location, but it all came down to money; LV costs less to host a conference because the rooms and conference accommodations are so cheap.
February 15, 2004
Back from Las Vegas. My first trip there. Interesting place. A few tidbits:
The conference: As most long conferences go, not all the presentations pertained to what I do. But people who put on such meetings try to give something to every attendee. It was a mixed audience; detectives, forensic nurses, and social workers made up the bulk. The basic theme of the conference was the handling of sex offenses and domestic violence as specific crimes with specific, trained personnel handling them from beginning to end. Not a new concept, but a concept that is not put into practice in most places. The concepts have been worked into the investigation and prosecution of child sex crimes for quite a few years, but getting the system to respond to adult victims of assault in the same way has been a slow process. In many cases, the process is actually moving backward. One of the presenters was the original team leader of the Special Victims Unit made famous in Law and Order: SVU. She presented a good module on the specialized prosecution of sex crime cases, and blew many myths out of the water. Unfortunately, there were only a couple of district attorneys there to hear the presentation. The main thing I brought away from the conference was a new understanding of the scope of non-stranger sexual assaults.
New stats on that show the FBI's profile of rapists is completely wrong. Unfortunately, the training of myself and most of the system is still based on the FBI model. Basically, the FBI claims that stranger rapists commit 80+% of all rapes, and the remainder fall into three other categories, one of which is aquaintance rape, which used to be called "date rape" or other euphemisms. In reality, 78% or more of all rapes are actually committed by someone whom the victim knew for at least 24 hours prior to the attack. The belief is that women now report this kind of attack more frequently than they did thirty years ago when the FBI was compiling their statistics. Unfortuately, cases like Kobe Bryant will set this trend back another thirty years; women are seeing what can happen to a rape victim if they dare to report the attack to the police. The big question in their mind is: Is it really worth it? Another stat that struck me was the fact that 42% of the police officers murdered in the line of duty are killed responding to domestic violence calls. A profile has been developed to identify the domestic violence offenders who are escalating to the point of murdering their spouse. I'll post this later. Another sobering statistic is that even after all these years, and all the progress made in educating the public and the criminal justice system, less than 2% of victims ever see their attacker arrested, tried and convicted for raping them.
Las Vegas: Kinda boring. Things are expensive. Lots of foreign tourists. Very annoying. If you don't gamble and are cheap, like me, there isn't much to do except drink. I found myself one night walking through New York, New York. Alone in Las Vegas, the capital of vice and sin, I was drinking a chocolate malt and looking forward to getting back to my room to work on my screenplay. I said to myself:
David, you are the biggest nerd of all time.
Oh, well. No apologies here; I'm an unrepentant sinner.
February 10, 2004
Viva Las Vegas!
No posts until this weekend while I'm in Vegas for the End Violence Against Women conference. Take the opportunity to visit some of my fellow bloggers at the links on the lower left of this blog.
February 8, 2004
Short stories and bank bandits
Be sure and check out my new feature, Guest Writers, for a short story by Joanie aka DaGoddess. Thanks to Joan for being the first to contribute one. I've already got a couple of people ready to do likewise. Don't be a sissy; send a story to me!
According to the FBI, they are seeking information on the following bank robbers. As a public service, I'm posting these pics from their web site to see if you can help identify them:
Location: Colorado. Consider armed and dangerous.
Location: Xerox Bank in New York. Possible psychopath. Consider armed and dangerous. Do not approach; notify the FBI.
Location: Oklahoma. Possible white supremecist. Consider armed and dangerous. Do not approach. Notify local authorities or the FBI.
Race: Black and White
Species: Friesian bovine
Alias: "Paula"; Possible drug user.
Location: Wunstorf, Germany.
Wanted for bank robbery. Sauntered in and demanded hay from teller. Absconded with a mouthful of free lemon drops. Do not approach, notify Interpol or Bordens.
February 5, 2004
I've written about my pet peeves with the male animal frequently on this blog. I am constantly amazed at the boorishness and immaturity displayed by young men in our society. I figured it was a recent problem, brought about by bad baby-boomer parenting and too much exposure to a negative pop culture. However, I was in an antique store this weekend when I discovered a book titled Male Manners, The Young Man's Guide To... by Kay Corinth and Mary Sargent. Written in 1969, it offers a unique look into what was going on in those days. It also shows that when it comes to male behavior, things haven't changed much in thirty-five years.
Of course, the book is old fashioned; I would even go so far as to say it was naive. At a time when many young people were dropping acid and burning down ROTC buildings, such topics as "What to say when you telephone a girl" or "How to act at a dinner party" seem fairly out of step with the times. I bet Corinth and Sargent were the type of adult who couldn't, or wouldn't, see the changes in American youth. Regardless, it was obvious that they saw some problems with the new way of doing things, and wrote a book to address one-half of the problem: retarded social behavior in boys.
The authors conducted a poll, asking girls what they didn't like about boys. The results:
The Top Six complaints about boys
1. Swearing, dirty language, telling dirty stories
2. Bad table manners
3. Not helping girls with their coats
4. Showing off and bragging
6. Not ordering for date in a restaurant
Hmmmmm...many of these are the same complaints about boys and men these days. They went on to list the next thirty complaints about boys:
Not standing when a lady enters the room / Telephoning for a date at the last minute / Not introducing a girl to your friends / Leaving a date alone at a party or dance / Being late / Rudeness at school (pushing, shoving, talking loud) / Not pulling a chair out for a girl at a table / Not being clean and well-groomed (especially dirty hands and dirty hair) / Breaking dates with no good reason / Not helping a girl through a crowd / Rude driving / Ignoring a date by talking among male friends / Annoying habits (chewing gum, cracking knuckles) / Remarks about how much a date is costing / Never giving compliments to her / Rudeness to teachers / Interrupting during conversation / Expecting a girl to get out of a car on the steering wheel side / Talking about former girlfriends / Not telling a date if a party is formal or informal / Poor dancer / Not planning in advance where to go on a date / Not taking a girl home on time / Not keeping a promise to telephone / Poor correspondent / Being too sweet and mushy / Sarcasm / Selfishness and not respecting the ideas of another / Gossiping / Not walking on the outside
More of the same; these are mainly etiquette problems. There are some hard-rule etiquette breaches such as #3 and #6 in the Top Six list, and there are other soft-rule, common-sense moral-fiber concerns such as #1 and #5.
Are these complaints still valid? I think so. Although a few of the etiquette issues are no longer in common practice (ordering for a date at a restaurant, for example, will lead a modern woman to think you're prone to possessiveness and domestic violence), aren't they all just a roundabout way of a boy showing respect for a girl, and in turn, showing respect for themselves? The girls surveyed weren't asking for much; they just wanted to be treated respectfully by the boys in their lives. Don't girls today want the same thing? I think so, but maybe I'm just an old-fashioned, whitebread antiquado - a relic.
I started writing this blog entry to be funny, to post some of the more naive excerpts from the book and make snide comments about them. But as I looked at it closer, I realized that there's nothing wrong with what these authors were saying. (But that won't stop me from posting some excerpts and making fun of them later on, because that's my nature).
February 3, 2004
Screenplays and bad birds
For a long time, people have been anticipating the discovery of true inter-species communication. They've managed to create the illusion of communication with a couple of species, namely porpoises and chimpanzees. With these, they had simple communication like the recognition of objects and such, or the ability to decipher clicks and tones and vice versa. But have they now finally found that one animal who can actually TALK with us in our language? Some folks in the U.K. think they have. It's a bloody parrot.
This guy can apparently form complete sentences based not on mimickry, but on a true understanding of syntax. From the article:
He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive. One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.
When he met Jane Goodall for the first time, he asked her, "Got a chimp?"
Another choice comment made when his cage mate was hanging upside down: "You got to put this bird on the camera."
Hoax or truth? Read the article and make up your own mind. While you're at it, check out these two other funny-ass parrot links:
Parrot gives parishioners the bird - Whacky delinquent parrot hanging out with the pigeons on a church utters obscenities and other choice tidbits at the church-goers.
Beer-swilling parrot faces pub ban - Drunken parrot insults bar patrons while he sips their beer and steals their cigarettes.
By the way, if you don't get over to the BBC web site much, you're missing out. Great stories and great indexing links.
I finally got the balls to open it. Not too bad. I was expecting the technical aspects of my work to have been ripped, but there were actually very few of these. Thank God for The Complete Idiot's Guide To Screenwriting.
The criticism was useful and mainly centered on character development. Hell, I can do that. They said they want to see my rewrite and can picture Angelina Jole playing the lead role. Nice. I can picture that, too. I can picture all sorts of things, but frankly I wouldn't care if they cast PeeWee Herman in the lead role, as long as I get paid for it. That's what's funny about this screenplay; I really have no emotional investment in it. The book, that's another story. Mess with that and I'll rip someone's head off. But the book is done and out there, so if someone mucks with my screenplay, so what? It isn't me.
I guess I'll be taking my laptop with me to Las Vegas next week so I can work on it. I need to strike while the iron is hot, as they say. I'll be attending the End Violence Against Women national conference on sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking from Tuesday through Friday.
February 2, 2004
Required Reading and trepidation
A. P. Fuchs' latest ebook, Book Marketing for the Financially Challenged Author, is a must for all independent authors. It is THE definitive guide for self-marketing a book. He's compressed a TON of information into a small and user-friendly ebook which is ready for downloading at a low price. Unlike most ebooks, this book is actually better than a hard-copy book for the purpose of marketing, because having it in ebook form (.pdf) allows the reader to click on hot links and actually go to the bazillion sites he writes about. If you're an indy author (or an indy artist of any type; many of the tricks he shows you can be used for artists, musicians, etc. with a little change here and there) you need to get this book. See it in the left-side column on this page. My quote from his web site sums up my feelings.
Trepidation. The act of looking at my screenplay, just delivered by FedEx. Wanting very much to look at the script editor's comments/suggestions, but at the same time, dreading to read the editor's comments/suggestions.
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