Friday, July 30, 2010

Not Bugged

Now Playing -
Crickets in the forest behind my house
Life -

One of these times, I'm going to get to spend my days off doing absolutely nothing and going nowhere. But for now, I'll have to be content spending it creating a nice little oasis for us to spend the evenings.

A dragonfly on the inside of the screen

We finally finished the painting on our back porch last night (sort of. We actually have to buy another gallon of white at some point to finish the roof, but that can wait) and this afternoon, I braved the sun and evil ants that live in our bushes to screen it in. I'm really happy with the colors my wife chose. At first, I was kind of hesitant to go with the yellow, but it really does make the porch seem sunny and pleasant.

Our New Porch!

There's still a bit of work to be done, but we pulled out some chairs this evening and as I type this, we're sitting comfortably, a slight breeze stirring the trees, crickets chirping, a hummingbird at the feeder and cinnamon scented Salt City candle flickering beside us. Pretty nice!


Reviews Of Unusual Size
 Five Things About...

Books - 

by Jonathan Maberry
2006, 480 pages, ebook
1 - I  thought that I'd first discovered Maberry with his zombie novel, Patient Zero, but upon reading this supernatural horror, I realized that I had actually checked out the second novel in the series a few years ago from the library, realized it was the second book, became disappointed and returned it, unread. 

2 - Which means I should have been on the Jonathan Maberry bandwagon from much earlier, and so should you. His novels have great characters and their stories are creepy and well thought out. He has a few other books, including some intriguing-looking non-fiction and a Young Adult zombie novel headed this way too.

3 - The small isolated town of Pine Deep has always been a haunted place. A fact celebrated and taken advantage of every October with haunted hayrides, rubber hands and goulish guest stars. But when a killer arrives in the midst of a rare black harvest, the townsfolk may have their hands full with real horrors. Ones darkly reminiscent of a terrible October thirty years ago...

4 - Sometimes I'm in the mood for a fun, gory, supernatural horror novel and especially with the doses of humor and pop culture references sprinkled through it, Ghost Road Blues hit the spot.

5 - But be warned, this is the first book in the trilogy, and if you don't have book two queued up and ready to dive into, you might be a little haunted yourself until you can track a copy down!


by James Patterson
 1993, 494 pages, ebook

1 - I think this is James Patterson's first novel. I do know that I've seen it with six different covers, watched the movie based off of it, and been amazed at the dozens of books that Patterson has followed it with.
2 - A tightly written, if a bit predictable detective thriller about a high profile kidnapping that begins to overlap with other cases from the past.

3 - Introduces Detective Cross, a tall, handsome, African-American, Psychiatrist Detective. He also loves his kids and his momma, and has a similarly tall, handsome, muscular, wise cracking, African-American partner.Despite the slight cliche overload and the fact that they don't seem as fully developed in this first novel, Patterson has created a great duo.

4 - The villain didn't really do much for me, but the plan and some of the twists were nice.

5 - James Patterson is writing a novel with the Always Stupendous Marshall Karp now, I believe it'll be out in 2011, so mark your calendars. That book is going to be very, very entertaining.



Writing - 

More progress, though it's slow going. I'm at nearly 65,000 words now on my zombie novel!
The Last Sentence - 

I thought campers had toilets!
From - " Graves " (WIP)

Friday, July 23, 2010


Now Playing -
40 Dogs (Romeo & Juliet)
by Bob Schneider

Life -

Man. Work sucks. Which is funny, because I don't particularly hate my job, but every day the last couple of weeks has left me feeling burnt to a crisp. Dealing with upset customers, training a new manager, losing an old manager, picking up the slack from my current main manager, employees leaving, quitting, angry because of my boss, transferring, getting sent to the bin for pschiatric observation.... I'm amazed I have any non-PITA employees left!

I get home, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball with a good book and turn the world off for a few hours. So that's what I've been doing. 

But yesterday, Lindsay and I finally had a day off together, and we have today as well, so we had some fun. Which meant work... So maybe I should say we made an investmnet in the fun of the future. We decided to screen in our back porch!

The back porch was one of my favorite things about this place when we first took it. I love the idea of relaxing in the privacy of this land, trees towering overhead, the frogs and loons audible in the distance. Then I learned of the roughly six billion insects that got brain damage on my porch light every night. Dizzied and dumb, they'd then flit crookedly at my face. So the porch became an area to grill a wiener briefly or walk through on the way to the car. This does not thrill me, so I started working on my wife, on the idea of screening in the entire thing. She's always thought her family should have screened in their back porch, an idea that she probably devised so that she could sit on the swing with her cat and read VC Andrews books without molestation of any kind but the plotlines of the books. (Those are some pretty messed up families in those books.) 

So she came around to the idea, and yesterday, we gathered up what we needed. A pile of assorted boards, some sealant, a screen door, lots of little numbers with x's between them, and I spent a good chunk of yesterday transforming our porch from an extremely hillbilly-chic porch into a slightly more closed in Hillbilly-Chic porch.

It turns out, regardless of how closely you measure, when you are using cheap boards, a cheap handsaw and assembling something on a structure where there are no right angles and boards older than my wife, making something look nice is impossible. (Which was in no way intended as a dig at my wife, who is both young and beautiful.)
Our Porch. Not Pictured - Car Up On Blocks & Case Of PBR.

But making something look quirky and fun is totally in the cards, so in a few weeks of gradual sealing, painting, screening and decorating, we plan to finish up the porch as our little beach retreat. A little piece of the West Coast out here on the East. (I am aware that there is a beach out here, but regardless of what people say, it ain't the same at all.) 

Yesterday we got as far as most of the framing and started a bit of the painting and sealing. It still looks wonky and jagged, and there are a few places where I had to make up ways to make it fit, and the fact that entire porch moves different ways depending on how you stand didn't help, but I think it looks pretty decent. And it should look much better once it's finished, painted and screens are up!
Our Porch, Now With More Railings!

Afterward, I took a nap, Orbie and I hung out on the porch for a little bit, then we hit up Wal-Mart for a few foodstuffs and Home Depot for a few last supplies. The thing I'm most excited about with the project is how much easier it was to saw, drill and hammer things than it was when I first did a few things when we moved in here. Since my accident, my arms are finally regaining their strength (Though strangely - My biceps are almost back, but my triceps are still struggling.) It was actually a joy to saw things and lug boards without my arms screaming in pain as I tried to do things that should have been simple. 

 Reviews Of Unusual Size
5 Things About...


by Jack Clark
2010, 221 pages, Paperback

1 - Another Hard Case Crime novel! I've been feeling down in the dumps lately, so the idea of curling up with a physical book again sounded great, and this tome, about a Chicago cabbie hunting for a killer was the perfect balm.

2 - Loved the descriptions of the town in this. Absolutely loved them. Clark really drove home what it was like to work the streets. The way the neighborhoods were changing and becoming dangerous. What lengths a man would go to in order to stay safe in a dangerous profession.

3 - I did just realize that I have no idea when this was supposed to take place, though. I assumed the seventies, but with the exception of the absence of cell phones, it could almost have been yesterday.

4 - Written with black humor and a little bit of desperate sex and violence. Just like any good book should have.



Writing - 
 Cranked out another 2000 words today before writing this. The rest of the week? Not so much.

The Last Sentence - 

He's doing a little dance too, and I'll be damned if I don't want to join in.
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blog Title #4

         Reviews Of Unusual Size          

Some short reviews today, I need to catch up on things!


5 Things About...

by Richard Stark
1966, 168 pages, e-book

1 - The Seventh Parker novel. He also goes after his cut of a take that was stolen from him. His seventh of the take, coincidentally.

2 - Parker is dogged by a villain a little too convenient and lucky, in my opinion.

3 - My least favorite of the series so far. Usually, I think the Parker novels are too brief, that they rush along so fast that when the end comes, I want to keep reading. This one was not like that.

4 - Still rich with period details and great tough-guy dialogue, however.

5 - Never leave your dough in an apartment with a nude woman and go out to get smokes. Even if she says she'll make you breakfast while you're out.


by Stuart Woods
2009, 464 pages, e-book

1 - Stuart Woods manages to write thick books that are fun, a little goofy and pretty good at evaporating from your memory before you've started dinner. Which makes them perfect summer reads, in my opinion.

2 - I genuinely can not remember the plot of this book, and I read it less than a week ago.

3 - Actually, after looking up the plot, I remembered liking this novel quite a bit. Stone Barrington, lawyer and ladies man, has to defend a young woman's life on the stand in St. Marks, where the local magistrate has a bone to pick and wants to hang her for the death of her husband, whom she claims had a heart attack at sea. Or did he?

4 - A tropical twist on the usual lawyer thriller, Dead In The Water is probably the best Stone Barrington novel so far.

5 - So why did I forget what it was about?


by Robert Crais
2010, 432 pages, e-book

1 - A new Joe Pike/Elvis Cole novel! Hooray!

2 - I love Robert Crais. He hasn't let me down yet, and if you haven't read any of his books, you should go out and find some. They aren't as funny as Marshall Karp's novels, but they still have nice little doses of humor mixed in with the all of the awesome killing.

3 - To me, Joe Pike is a better Strong, Silent Hero than Lee Child's Reacher, and part of that is probably his partner, Elvis Cole. The Fozzie Bear to Pike's Kermit.

4 - Crais pulls the old "Big tough guy protects a baby" plot out of the hat this time, and I was worried, but he manages to keep it good, though a bit predictable in regards to the baby subplot.

5 - Robert Crais is a pretty cool guy, and he wears bright shirts on occasion. Just sayin'.


by Victor Gischler
2009, 352 pages, e-book

1 - Victor Gischler is an extremely talented and funny dude, who balances sci-fi novels, crime books, comic books and barbecuing in a way that I can only hope to emulate some day.

2 - Vampire A Go-Go takes sly jabs at vampire lore, the occult, the Vatican, travel books and the philosophers Stone. Which makes for a crazy book.

3 - Enjoyable, though at times disjointed and over the top. Though with Gischler, disjointed and over the top is still enjoyable.

4 - Oh yeah, there's a werewolf too. Sorry, lycanthrope.

5 - Despite the title, very little vampire and even less go-go-ing.


by Robert B. Parker
1987, 208 pages, e-book

1 - Another Spencer novel, one of the first.

2 - You can tell that Parker is just starting to flesh out the charcter of Spenser in this novel. He cracks wise, carves wood, woos women and cooks fancy meals. And sometimes solves crimes.

3 - I was surprised at the level of detail given to everyone's clothing in this book. At times I felt like I was reading a really effusive catalog entry.

4 - Good book, but the ending was pretty obvious from the get-go and it seemed to take a long time to get there. The child, Kevin, had some really crappy parents.

5 - This was missing the snappy patter and sharp dialogue that I've enjoyed in other Parker novels.


by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
2010, 416 pages, e-book

1 - Pendergast is back, still exorcising his past's demons. This time unraveling the twisty past and fate of his wife.

2 - For a little while in the beginning, I thought the book would take place exclusively in the past, a tale of Pendergast's early days, and I was pretty pumped to read it.

3 - Then it bounced to the present day. Which was okay. I  just thought the idea of a Young Pendergast story would have been fun.

4 - The Audubon Code! I liked the way Preston and Child integrated Audubon into the story, but it did seem like the "disease" in question reacted differently with him than others. Maybe it was a different strain?

5 -  Their next book? A totally new series!


Yes, I am aware that these reviews are more of a collection of random thoughts that only mostly refer to the book in question. That's the way I roll.

Writing - 

Finally, some progress! I cracked 60,000 words on Graves, with what I think is around 20,000 to go. The best part though is that the exciting, dramatic confrontation is next, and I'm pretty pumped to dive in.

The Last Sentence - 

"Let everyone down there know that it's time."
From - " GRAVES " (WIP)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot Blacktop

Now Playing -
The Day The World Went Away
by Nine Inch Nails

Life - 
 Belfast, seen from the bridge.

Ahh, Belfast. Not as wonderful as it could have been, but not as bad as I'd feared. We started the day out bright and early, getting on the road by 9-ish (Which isn't really that early for us, but for a road trip it was early - we always seem to have myriad little tasks those mornings that keep us late) Linz still had a few paychecks we hadn't deposited, so we ran past there and deposited them. I also made the decision that my shirts I have out here were designed for a much drier, windier climate, so we swung by the Goodwill to see if they had any lighter-weight shirts. Turns out the only shirts people take to goodwill in Maine that are for dudes my size are gaudy Hawaiian shirts. Perfect! I chose one in yellow with some faded flowers on it. 
Properly equipped, we headed out. Beyond Bath, we realized why we liked that area so much and vowed to return on a day that we can spend a bit of time - Bath and it's nearby towns are really cute. Not overly touristy, a little run down and goofy, with fruit and veg stands littered along the way. And lots of antique stores, though most fell into the realm of junk stores, rather than antiques. There have been a few shops here that sell legit, old, gorgeous pieces, but for the most part, the shops look like pawn shops back home - full of weird old crap that someone might want... eventually. I only stopped for three things. A hilariously tiny beach, probably about 250 square feet total, that was littered with desperate sunbathers, we wandered around Moody's Diner a bit and I stopped at some person's house that was selling Peas! $2.50 a pound for hand picked, home grown peas is a steal in my book, so even when she announced that they were in 5 pound bags, all I could ask was if they took debit cards. Mmmmm. Peas.
Tiny Beach!
One note about the trip - We should have remembered to get cash. It's essential when doing this kind of thing. Especially when our favorite places to eat consist of trailers and stands that barely have electricity, let alone a credit card machine.

Carved Faces In Belfast
For the most part, we breezed through the little towns. Stopping every now and then to look at a particularly nice house, but generally just getting the feel for the area. Most of it had a nice, rural feel, with little touches of the beach. Camden, which Lindsay had wanted to visit since watching Casper and learning that it was filmed there was cute, but very tourist clogged. 
Gorgeous Buildings In Downtown Belfast.

Belfast itself was a pretty town. Built along the water, like 3/4 of Maine seems to be, their roads are hilly and winding and they have a really interesting but small downtown. Here's where we made or realized our real mistakes of the trip. Taking the dogs with us in the middle of summer was not a good move.
 Pooped Puppies.

It was too hot to leave them in the car, ever. SO any time we wanted to see something, we had to take them along, which dramatically limited where we could go. We did decide to take them for a walk around Belfast's downtown and they enjoyed it, but the heat and hilly roads soon got to them and we had to head back. 

Carved Squirrel Outside Of Perry's Nut House

Just beyond Belfast, on the other side of the bay, we found my favorite business in Maine so far. Perry's Nut House. I didn't buy anything, and there are a few things they could do to get it up to my high code of awesome, but they've made the best attempt of any beach/tourist establishment in Maine that we've found. If you couldn't guess, Perry's sells nuts. But they also have a crazy hodgepodge of other things like fudge, pirate flags and Maine souvenirs. More importantly, they also have a taxedermied albatross and gorilla, the skin of a giant alligator on the roof and a mummy.
A Gorilla. Possibly Named Gorilla.

It's this kind of goofy attraction that most joints around here are missing. folks like us don't just want to shop, we want to b entertained by your shop! I just wish they'd been smarter about it. None of the animals or mummies had names or cool stories attached. I need a bumper sticker that says I WENT NUTS FOR BILLABONG THE GORILLA AT PERRY'S NUT HOUSE!
The Unknown Mummy.

We ate lunch at a winnebego off the bay in Searsport, ME, a town I liked the look of a lot. The Wiener Wagon only took cash though, so a trip to the ATM was needed. Worth it though. The food was pretty good, just barely above average, but you got to eat it facing the ocean, a humid breeze stealing your napkins. 
Our Lunch Spot.

After lunch, we discovered our bad news of the day. Unnoticed, while we were strolling around the streets of Belfast, the hot pavement had burned and blistered poor Ludo's paws! On the way to walk along the beach, he started limping badly and after examining his pads, we had to turn right back around. Pooka seemed fine, but Ludo has lost a layer of skin off of 4 of his pads and is currently swaddled in gauze and socks. I have to lift him off the porch to go to the bathroom, much to his shame.
John's. Home Of The Toe-Shoe Boy.

Most of the rest of the day was derailed after that. We'd planned to cruise around Bangor and a few little places, but Ludo needed to get home, so apart from a stop for ice cream, we went straight back to Topsham.
I just remembered something about the ice cream place. The kid that waited on us was skinny, tall, very goofy looking, and he was wearing a pair of aviator shades with lenses so huge that one half would have sufficed for both his sun guarding needs and the person standing next to him. He was also wearing those horribly ugly shoes they make where each of your toes is separated. Like toe socks made of rubber. He walked silly in them too, like they hurt his feet badly, but he couldn't take them off or the goofiness of the shades would not adequately be balanced on his lower half.

Ludo... Poor Guy.
All in all, an okay day. I'd hoped to do a bit more in depth exploring, and next time we'll probably leave the boys home so we can, but Northern Maine is starting to look like an area that we'll really enjoy getting to know.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Road Trip

Now Playing -

Nothin' But A Good Time
by Poison

Life - 

My wife and I both have the day off tomorrow, for the first time in a bit, so we've decided to take a road trip! They're building a new store to the North in Belfast, so I figured we should head up there and check out the area. Not that I have any delusions of getting the store as a manager, but I like to keep up to date with the new stores and it's a good excuse for us to head up there. We've heard we'll like the Northern parts of Maine, they're supposed to be more rural and small-town, with a rougher, laid back feel. Sounds good to me! 
We plan to take the boys with us, they need a good stroll around a new town too. We'll leave Orbie to take care of the cats. I plan to take a good pile of pictures, and I'll see you upon the return!

Reviews Of Unusual Size - 

Books - 

Five Things About....

by Stephen King
2009, 1074pages, E-Book

 1 - This is the fifth book by Stephen King that I've read, and probably my least favorite. It was still enjoyable, but there were times when I wished he was a new writer again, and had to pare things down to their most important elements to get an agent's attention. I think it would make his books a lot stronger.

2 - As you can tell from the title and knowing King, this novel is about a small Maine town that gets trapped under a mysterious dome and the chaotic, interpersonal events that result.

3 - King does some nice stuff here. Some of the characters are strong and likable, some are perfectly villainous, and there are some fun twists and directions he takes with the story.

4 - All the same, there's that little something that has bothered me about previous King books, and I'm not even sure how to define it. Kind of a... Okay, he's a good guy, and those are clearly very bad guys, so something horrible is gonna happen... get it over with already! kind of thing.

5 - As much as I want to love his books, Stephen King has still always hung on that little nail between annoyance and the love of a great idea. I do know one thing - I love his monthly column in Entertainment Weekly.


by Lee Child
1997, 544 pages, E-Book

1 - The first Jack Reacher Novel. This set the standard for all to follow. Short sentences. Tough guy. Pretty Girl. Right Place. Wrong Time. Copious use of the term Cloverleaf.

2 - It had been a while since I'd read a Reacher novel, so when I downloaded the newest, I figured I should re-read the first and refresh my memory. Not that it's neccesary, his novels are nicely stand alone for the most part.

3 - Upon reading this, I kept telling myself that I'd read it before, but none of it was familiar. I'm still not sure if I've just forgotten the entire plot or if I managed to miss the first in the series. Usually I'm pretty anal about that kind of thing.

4 - An interesting, tight plot, that manages to be a bit twisty and introduce Jack as a cool character. 

5 - I love the Reacher novels for being a modern heroic take on the classic crime novel. It's easy to picture Reacher in an earlier time, wearing a fedora and knocking over a payroll truck.


by Lee Child
 2010, 400 pages, E-Book

1 - Lee Child's most recent Reacher novel, the 14th, finds Reacher trapped in a small South Dakota town. Snowbound, and because, frankly, it's all Reacher knows how to do to pass the time, he gets involved with a little problem the police are having. And the bodies start piling up.

2 - Read directly after the first book in the series, I have admire the way Child keeps Reacher the same man. Taciturn and tough, but ages him just a bit. 

3 - Great supporting characters this time around. A lot of  his earlier books left me feeling like the people surrounding Reacher were a little weak, but I really liked some of the people in this. The villain in particular would have felt at home in a Bond adventure.

4 - Though I guessed a major point early in, the story was really good. I loved the little town feel of things, and how Child made the novel feel very isolated and cut off from the world. There were a few over the top things, but for the most part, a strong entry in the Reacher series.

5 - Who decided to release a novel about being trapped in a South Dakota town during a fierce winter storm in the middle of summer? Child does a truly excellent job making you feel the harsh, bitter cold of the storm and I think I would have enjoyed it all the more if I was curled up with some hot cocoa and a blanket with the flakes falling outside, rather than 80 degree weather.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quarterly Reading Update - 2nd Quarter, 2010

I totally forgot that, with the arrival of July, a new quarter has begun! I can't believe 2010 is half over already. Thanks to Tabitha, over at Writer Musings for keeping me on task. She's set a goal of 100 books in 2010, and has a great blog, too.

Well, I called it last quarter, I read less books this time around. I think part of it was work. I was promoted to Executive Assistant Manager at work, which came with a salaried position and longer hours, as well as a longer commute, into Portland every day. I've also been working on my book a bit more.

The List -

by Richard Castle

by Carl Hiaasen

by Stephen Hunter

by Jack Kilborn

by Marshall Karp

by Lawrence Block

by Robert B. Parker

by Robert B. Parker

by George Axelrod

by Michael Connelly

by Rick Riordan

by J.L. Bourne

by David Brin 

by James Lee Burke

by David Wellington

by Stephen King

by Lee Child

by Lee Child

by Robert Crais

by Richard Stark

by Stuart Woods

That's 21 books, 7,895 pages, or an average of  87 pages per day.

Some interesting stuff this quarter. First of all, my reading has decreased pretty dramatically from last quarter, ten less books and over 3,600 less pages. It's one of my lowest reading amounts since I started keeping track. I'm not 100% sure why it's so much lower, but I think it's a combination of being busy and spending a lot more time at work. It also hurts my numbers when you look at the fact that I'm currently reading 6 other books, all in various places throughout my life. (One in the car, one at work, the bathroom, my ipod, my nook, a physical book)

I loved a few books this time around and hated a few, too. The worst? Monster Planet, bar none. A crappy, self-important, boring book. The best? People are gonna call me a shill, but Cut, Paste, Kill. Hilarious and thrilling. I think it's possible that Marshall Karp can do no wrong. That said, he did have some competition this time around from a new book by Robert Crais and the dependably good James Lee Burke.

A lot less Middle Grade books in this round, likely due to me working on my adult novels and the scarcity of them in digital form.

Coming up? Hopefully Victor Gischler's THE DEPUTY, if I can find a copy! I have Westlake's MEMORY waiting in the wings too. Other than that, it's all up in the air. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

No Boom-Boom

Now Playing -
Modern Guilt
by Beck

Life - 

 I've always gotten a kick out of the Fourth Of July, partially because it was the only holiday anywhere near my birthday, but it wasn't a holiday that I got too into. I never went out and bought $300 in fireworks, or rushed out to the reservation to buy the illegal ones they sold, but I did enjoy the day. We'd usually track down some grassy knoll to watch the show and set off a small display at home.  I always enjoyed the carbon snakes and the goofy paper machine ones. Never got too into the loud obnoxious ones or bottle rocket types. 

One thing I did like about the Fourth was picking the watermelon. I was the King. I had a very particular series of criteria that I followed to the letter, every time, and woe to any fool that dared choose a watermelon that I didn't approve of! I may have been a goofy kid, but I can swear, in my admittedly murky memory, not once did anyone pick a better one than mine. My cousin's were always gritty or squishy or less sweet. My melons reigned supreme!

In recent years, the holiday lost a lot of it's luster for me. It became about crowds and obnoxious kids and ridiculous lengths to get to the fireworks show and even more ridiculous lengths to escape the crowds afterwards. And our pups have been a bit upset by the constant popping and whistling that was a constant thing in our neighborhood. And for those of you that might notice I haven't mentioned the patriotic aspect of the holiday... well... you just go back to your hamburger, I'm sure that is supporting the troops somehow. ;) (I just used an emoticon in a blog post to diffuse a vaguely offensive post about the military.... Sheesh.) 
This year is was especially low key. Maine is one of sixteen states to ban fireworks, so I hardly even noticed the holiday approaching without the gypsy style wagons popping up in parking lots, which is kind of a shame. I like the carnival aspect of them. I did buy some steak and a melon at the grocery store while I was buying ice for my work, and we had it this evening, but other than that, the best thing about tonight was my work's choice to not play John Phillip Sousa all day. Hooray for that! 

By the way, melons today pale in comparison to those of my youth. They're genetically modified to extend their shelf life and eliminate seeds, resulting in a lame parody of the juicy, black seeded monstrosities from back in the day. Also, I paid $.45 a pound, which seems entirely far too much. But it was still good, and I managed to cook the steak perfectly on my goofy $35 camp grill.

On a non-fourth of July note, I got corralled by a customer in the parking lot outside of work today who jabbered on for almost ten minutes about how the government is seeding the skies with some sort of mind-controlling aerosol sprays, disguised as jet contrails. His name was Phillip and I'm sure he's perfectly nice, but also... crazypants!  Both of his hands were deformed, with stunted, bulbous fingers, likely some birth defect. I think he decided to expose the government's insidious plots when I didn't flinch at shaking his hand. I got the feeling a lot of people shy away from them, I know I've noticed my cashiers act reluctant to give him his change directly. Doesn't excuse him keeping me from escaping work for an additional ten minutes, though.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Long Day For Everyone

Now Playing -
Trash by Bob Schneider
Life - 

I hope this isn't the case for all of mankind, but man did it seem like most people I talked to had bad days yesterday. Mine wasn't anything remarkably bad, just a lot of stuff on top of each other. I had to get lobsters again, nothing new there, but my manager, who I suspect can't decide whether he likes me or feels like I was brought in because he's a bad manager and therefore hates me, decided he needed to ride along, to learn how to do it. I mostly think it was an excuse to get out of the store for a few hours... So that was three hours of awkward conversation in my boss's car, with him smoking and utterly disregarding the directions of his increasingly distraught GPS. Upon returning to the store, we found the health inspector, who was thrown for a loop by the lobsters and as a result, even more anal and picky than usual.

After she left, our assistant, who I knew was unhappy in the job, and frankly, not very good at it, announced that he was quitting.

Then our intrepid district manager walked in, intent on making sure our store was ready for the holiday weekend. I didn't get home until almost seven, twelve hours after I'd left the house that morning. Blah.

Lindsay didn't have a much better day, so we decided to kennel the pups and go out to dinner. We chose Pedro O'Hara's because they're awesome and the tables there are secluded and dark and comfortable. Then the night got better. I ordered a Celtic Cheesesteak. Which was the best thing I've ever eaten.


We're talking a toasted roll, sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms. Corned beef. Provolone and blue cheese crumbles. All grilled up until it's crispy and amazing. And served with some nicely seasoned steak fries. If I owned a restaurant, this would be the only thing I served.

So the night ended better than the day before it, with a pleasant walk along downtown Brunswick in the mild summer breeze and a full stomach.

Oh yeah, and as we were walking past a restaurant with outdoor dining, a car screeched to a halt in front of it, the door flew wide, a girl puked spectacularly, croaked a heartfelt "I'm sorry!" and roared off. So it wasn't just us that had a rough day.

I also shaved my head the other day, as part of a contest I had with my employees at work. Shockingly, I did not end up with a horribly creepy lumpy head.

 It's still very odd though.

Writing - 

Did a bit of work on my zombie novel and my post apocalyptic sixties crime novel.