Friday, November 18, 2011

The Occupy Morons

Yeah, this one is going to ruffle some feathers. Hey, what do I care? This blog is an arena for me to voice my opinion, especially if it differs from those of total idiots. So, here we go.

I tried to talk to one of these people the other day on Facebook, and got un-friended for my efforts. All I asked was for them to explain why they were part of this movement. Not a single one of them in the thread could provide any answer. I’ve known this guy for something like seventeen years, too.

I asked what their education levels were and they all skirted the question, so I asked again. Finally, they said their education levels did not matter. Oh? I saw a recent statistic that only 4-5% of college graduates are unemployed. Maybe these guys should occupy a classroom. By the way, “it doesn’t matter” means that their education level is zero. I have a decoder ring.

I think some of them are angry at corporations. They can’t mean the same corporations that provide their vehicles, their computers, their game systems, their groceries, and their lifestyles, right? That wouldn’t make any sense. If they are against corporations making oodles of money, they should stop shopping at Wal-Mart and pay double for stuff at the Mom and Pop franchises. My bet is that they don’t. Oh, and no more fast food for them, either. Damn corporations. Time to get an old Marlin rifle and hunt for dinner, you ass clowns.

Some of them think that it’s unfair that poor people exist. What? I mean, yeah, it sucks, but setting up a tent downtown with a protest sign isn’t changing a thing. Trust me on that one. Donate to charity, buy a poor family a really nice Christmas gift, help a homeless guy at a gas station; do anything but join a bunch of pot smokers who wish their generation had its own hippie movement. Anything at all.

I could go on and on about these Occupy morons, but I won’t. I have money to make. At my job. Once this stupid-ass bandwagon trend passes, there will still be greedy corporations, poor people, and crooked politicians. If you want to incite change, go through the proper channels.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ana Kefr at the Whiskey

Last night, Eliza and I went into Hollywood to see Ana Kefr play at the Whiskey a Go Go ( for their final show on a nation-wide tour. As always, they killed it, in a good way. We saw the bands that played before and after them, and there simply isn’t any reason to compare: Ana Kefr gets the crown with ease.

I am a musician myself, and have played many venues in Hollywood throughout the years. Still, every time I see Ana Kefr I’m so damned impressed with them; trust me on this, they are ready for the big time. In order to see a band as professional and well-put-together as Ana Kefr, be prepared to pay large dollars through TicketMaster for a big-label band. These guys have that much talent.

As I’ve mentioned before, the “screamo” bands normally aren’t exactly my forte, but Ana Kefr comes correct. Singer Rhiis puts so much emotion into his performance that it doesn’t matter what he’s saying or how he’s saying it – you feel it, too. The band is amazingly tight, and that’s coming from a fellow musician; we look for things like that. I have seen these guys play a handful of times, and I have never seen one single musical error. Last night, Brendan tapped the mic with his forehead after switching from sax to guitar, but his performance was flawless.

If you’d like to see the best screamer/progressive metal band there is, you’d better do it quick, because in the near future you’ll be shelling out quite a few hard-earned greenbacks at TicketMaster in order to attend a show. Go watch them perform while they are still local, folks!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One MEEELION Reasons

Okay, I borrowed the misspelled million from Austin Powers. That just means that my perception is exceptional and that I’m awesome, or something. Anyhow, this blog entry is not about Mr. Powers, but about what we do, and what it means to us.

This can go for any occupation or hobby but mostly, I’m speaking to the writers. Admit it, you’d do ten times more of what you do now for a million dollars. That figure doesn’t mess around; it speaks to us very loudly. One million dollars. Man, oh man, that flows off the tongue well.

There aren’t many things I wouldn’t do for a million bucks, and I’m speaking literally. If it didn’t cripple me for life or cause serious mental disorders, I’d probably do it for a mil. No kidding. I think most people would, too. While it’s true that a million dollars isn’t as big as it once was, most people could just bank it and live off the interest. Even at 3% interest, that’s still $30,000 a year, totally for free. Add in a part-time job you enjoy, and you’re bringing in $50k; I don’t think there are many of us who would argue with something like that.

So, why don’t more of us make a million dollars at what we do? Any writer I know who was propositioned with that kind of money would be able to put together any kind of story or article collection without question. Wouldn’t you? And that leaves me with only one logical conclusion: We don’t believe in ourselves as much as we should.

You’ll never, ever make a million dollars from the story you didn’t finish, or didn’t start writing in the first place. You’ll never make a mil watching TV or playing Facebook games instead of writing, or whatever it is you love. You’ll never make a red cent on stories that aren’t submitted to a publisher. If you have ever once thought about how nice it’d be to become well-off doing what you love, then I bet you have the talent; all you are missing is the drive.

Unfortunately, in most lines of work, the task has to be completed first, and *then* someone pays for it. You simply have to write if you want to make it your living. Of course, a million dollars is neither here nor there, and if you can pull in enough to live on, that’s still successful. But the mil is out there, waiting, and if you don’t snag it, some other author will. Go get what’s yours. Write the damned story and wow the world!

There are a million reasons to do so.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

I’ve done this challenge twice now. The first year, I attempted a novel. The story was great (in fact, I still like it!) but the writing wasn’t very strong. At all. Okay, it sucked pretty badly. In order for me to go forward with that story, I’m not even sure I’d edit; it just needs a total rewrite.

The second time I did this, which was last year, I decided I’d write 50,000 words worth of short stories: you know, something I could actually use. It worked like a charm, and I got quite a few written. Some have even been polished up and sent off for contests.

So, why not this year?

Well, I’m not going for the novel, or for fifty-grand in shorts, but I am challenging myself. In fact, I’d like to make this a monthly thing. Here’s how it works: My wife gives me some vague writing theme, and I have to make a story out of it. The game is quite fun, and I love the challenge. However, writing 1,667 words a day, every day, by force, gets old to me. I’d rather do 500 quality words a day than triple it but have to go back and edit like a demon.

In my opinion, NaNoWriMo is mainly geared toward would-be novelists who aren’t writing regularly. I do write regularly. I’ve also “won” the challenge twice, so I know I can do it. Maybe, sometime in the future when I can haul ass and still write pretty strongly, I’ll attempt another novel in four weeks. Ain’t for me right now, though.

So, my November goal is four polished, ready-to-send-out short stories. That’s only one a week, which Ray Bradbury says we should be doing anyhow. Of course, there isn’t anything catchy or cool about my personal contest, so it’ll just be for me. It’s a goal I can reach, and I’ll have stories I can send out at the end of each week. Can’t beat that for cool!