I’ve been blah-blah-blah’ing for years about how I want to be a part of the publishing process, ideally as a writer, but also as an editor or a proofer or a fact checker or… whatever gets my foot in the door.
Well, this morning I got an email from the Production Manager for WordFire Press – Kevin J. Anderson’s publishing company – informing me that they’re going to send me a short proof (about 8 pages) to do. Im assuming it’s a test to see how I do.
Kinda scared. Kinda excited.
This is where I find out if this is for me.
I used to have abs (I’m the one in the middle, for those who don’t know me.). Up until the age of about 40, I steadily kept myself in good physical shape.
Then Life happened – long story; too long for this blog.
My abs are still “in there”…somewhere. It’s my plan for them to make a grand re-appearance before my daughter’s wedding next year.
The first time I watched Robert Downey Jr’s “The Judge”, it was in the theatre, Seinfeld perfect setting, along with my wife and daughter. I really enjoyed it – thoroughly! – but my history screams that its overwhelmingly unlikely that I’d ever watch it again. (I mean, c’mon. It’s not Lord of the Rings or Star Wars).
Then this morning, woke up early on a Saturday. Can’t sleep. Bored. Channel surfing. I see The Judge on the Guide and almost in a daze I click ENTER. It’s near the beginning. Hmm.
About 90 minutes later the credits start to roll and, quite unexpectedly, I realize that I had enjoyed the movie even MORE thoroughly than I did the first time.
Funny. How does that happen?
I love chess. Always have. But it can be very bad for my health.
Digressing slightly… I damaged my neck in my early 20’s during intense martial arts training. After years of therapy, medication and meditation, I’ve reached a form of equilibrium: it only hurts when I’m overly tired (to the point of near-exhaustion) or overly stressed. So, part of my ongoing therapy is to do my best to avoid extreme stress, when possible.
However, part of my life paradigm is to regularly test myself and stretch my Self, and that occasionally involves extreme stress (like learning how to longboard downhill).
This is where chess comes in.
For me, chess can be extraordinarily stressful. I take it very seriously in the pursuit of getting better. However, like golf, personal chess developed can sometimes involve periods of repeated failure. Many lost games in a row as I put myself against opponents who are much better than I am.
But there was a period – about four years – when I gave up chess completely because my stress gauge – my neck – was constantly in pain, causing chronic migraines, insomnia, and over usage of pain meds.
Now I am playing chess again. I am still in the “enjoyment ” period, and I’m hoping that perspective and self-control that come with age will allow me to avoid triggering my stress-gauge and necessitating a divorce from the game that I love so much.
But, if divorce is necessary, then… Oh well. She’s a bitch anyways.
Yesterday, the man who took an arsenal of weaponry into a movie theatre in 2012 and open-fired, James Eagan Holmes, was sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole PLUS an additional 3,318 years.
At what point does the number of years on his sentence become absurd?
Not long ago, Nebraska forgot about our famous import – John Joubert – and repealed the death penalty. Now they are in discussions to reinstate it.
Yesterday, a Virginia news station reporter and her cameraman were gunned down while conducting an on-air interview. The gunman was a disgruntled ex-employee of the news station. Fortunately, he killed himself (after sending a 23 page manifesto to ABC News and posting vids of his deed on Twitter). Why do I think the VA community would have preferred that the killer stand trial and go through appeal attempt after appeal attempt and public protestations of justification-due-to-insanity or some other silly defense and a likely cost of millions to sustain this killers life … All under the umbrellas of “closure” and “justice”?
Such a strange cultural hypocrisy.
My wife and I both came from extremely humble beginnings, to put it mildly. The fact, of which, we were completely oblivious to at the time; a testament to our mother’s constant care and our father’s constant work.
Having that shared background makes it easy for us to understand our shared cavalier attitude toward money. It is absolutely not a goal for either of us to amass great wealth. We could care less. Our years of life have taught us (or rather, re-confirmed for us) that money does not buy happiness.
Do we sometimes wish we had a little more money now and again? Of course. But it’s only because: we want to take a modest trip together and enjoy each other’s company – outside of the pace of the life-race. Or we want to gift it to our kids to help them over-a-hump. Or I’d like the ability to shower my wife with roses at a moments thought without having to figure out a way to budget that emotion.
But those, in retrospect, are all minor or temporary things.
We see people and the horrible things they will do, the pitiful comprises they’re willing to make, all in the vain struggle for monetary wealth, and we are saddened by the speed with which they will jettison their morals, their core beliefs, and even the welfare of loved-ones. And if, by chance, they succeed and are able to stockpile “enough” wealth (how much is “enough”?), the people they would have shared it with are now gone (to them).
I look at my modest home, my wife and kids, my intentionally dwindling number of possessions, and I know – without doubt – that I am the richest man alive.
Thank you God.
Day 4 of Tiger’s run at Wyndham was…disappointing, to no one more – I’m certain- than Tiger.
He just couldn’t get any momentum.
That said, it was still a joy to watch him play.
I’m not a fair-weather fan. Even on bad days, Watching Tiger gut his way through a round still inspires me to my bones; the same way that watching Jimmy Connors gut through 5 grueling sets. Win or lose, their drive and determination are examples of the never-quit mentality I continue to do my best to emulate.
Thank you Tiger. Thank you Jimmy. Thank you Sugar Ray. And so many others.