You know how people generally plan to be benevolent should their numbers come up and they win a lottery? Everyone’s an arm-chair philanthropist who wants to help this charity or that foundation and in general sprinkle some largess around?
People do that because they hope that in some “karmic” way the promise of – or even the belief in – their own future benevolence will somehow improve their chances of winning.
Yes – I know what you are thinking and quite frankly, it’s sad.
If I win I am A) Betting – large – on the richest man entered in a puppy-kicking contest and, B) Buying a bunch of AK-47′s with 200 rounds each and sending them to some feckless Third World Civil War.
So … in a karmic way and with great faith in my own future malevolence …. I bet my chances of winning are just as bad as yours.
Gotta go – time to walk the dog!
Valentine’s Day Advice … for Single People
Disclaimer: This is easily the most mean-spirited note I have ever written! But … critics should remember that I am both thin-skinned and violent.
Ok peeps – it’s that day again. Roses and chocolate for the lucky few! But what about … the “others’”? What then shall we have? What then shall we do? Fortunately – I am here with a few suggestions to alleviate what might otherwise be a day of intolerable loneliness.
1) Sit on the couch with a pint of strawberry Haagen-Dazs and your two cats watching re-runs of “House” … otherwise known as the “Married Woman’s Valentine’s Day”
He’s actually British and, I assume , as gay as a French horn. Not for you ladies, not for you.
2) Write out a list of all the qualities you want in a potential mate … just remember to title it “How to Die Alone” because that’s what happens to persnickety list-makers. But the list making will feel good now and the dying alone will come after. So go on and write out your list now!
3) Play computer games or work on “the car” (by which I mean hang out in the garage with a beer and some tunes) and not have sex … otherwise known as “The Married Man’s Valentine’s Day”.
4) Female singletons may wish to pay a debonair and erudite middle-aged man (scroll down and see the picture on the right margin of this blog) for an evening of witty repartee and the kind of sexual favors you’d be embarrassed to ask for if they were free …
5) Male singletons may wish to crawl up a chicken’s ass and wait their turn!
6) You could go to the gym. Seriously – when people say “I need a bf” or “I need a gf” I always say “… then join a gym, get a decent haircut, and get the hell off of the computer … now!”
7) Get a dog! Seriously – they’re way more demanding than people but people who can’t get along with other people can always get a dog. And some peanut butter. But I digress …
PSA: Chocolate Labs Have no Redeeming Qualities Whatsoever. None.
8) Listen to Pearl Jam’s “Black” over and over again … until you die of melancholy. Seriously! “My bitter hands/Cradle the broken glass/Of what was everything”. I feel guilty for even suggesting it.
9) Creep your exes Facebook! Or, if that would violate the restraining order, creep your friend’s Facebooks looking at their hot friends of the opposite gender! (Otherwise known as “Facebook’s Reason for Being!”)
10) Get good and fucking baked and start writing that novel. Misery does not love company – it loves bad narrative! Poetry? If you write poetry that’s probably why you’re alone. So don’t even bring it up!
So there ya go peeps! 10 ways to spend a productive Valentine’s Day by yourself. Remember – it’s a commercial holiday anyways … right? Right?
… right … ?
I’ll be back once the ransom is paid!
I was re-organizing the pantry and found some gluten-free pasta that was “BEST BEFORE NOV ’13″. I thought back to Leviticus where God says “The Lord hateth a coward” and “Waste not want not” so I cooked that sh** up and ate the hell out of it.
If I don’t make it I want you guys – all of you who follow my blog – to know you were all really cool. Even the uncool ones. You were cool too in your own hard-to-define way. Peace out. Go Bruins!
OK HWL fans – it’s been a year of blogging and during that time Askimet has protected me from just short of 1,100 spam comments.
Other than that not much happened.
I reviewed my stats and the most popular post of the year was my “Dating for the Single Writer” post (you can see it here) Followed closely by my “Rock Bottom: The Online Dating Post” (you can see that one here). This is newsworthy because I started this blog to support my literary efforts and all anyone is actually interested is in what can charitably be described as “prurience”.
Oddly, my “Wherein I Describe the Difference Between Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry” was my 3rd most popular blog entry. You are a high-minded group … when you’re not pervin’. I did not hyper-link to that – Y’all exercise your brain muscles and look it up if you need to.
WordPress actually shows you search terms that lead people to your blog – one of my faves was “How to make a nice dating profile”. It warmed the cockles of my heart – maybe even the sub-cockles – to think of that poor person stumbling on to “Rock Bottom” via that google search.
But rather than say “F*ck You I’m closing my blog and going home” (i.e. “rage-quitting” as the kids call it these days) I’m going to throw in a bonus clip – an item originally edited out of my “Rock Bottom” post – the top 5 dating profile headlines rejected by the censors at dating sites I’ve used.
Top 5 Rejected Dating Profile Headlines:
- Foot Perv Seeks Hairy Gal!
- Help! Just Killed a Guy and Need A Place to Lie Low!
- Anal? Just Thought I’d Throw That Out There LOL … But No, Seriously … Anal?
- I Might Not Be What You Want But I am Better Than What You Deserve – Think About That One For a While
- Just Shoot me. I Beg You.
You think about how many times those lines have had to have been used in order to attract the ban-stick and it says something … about human nature. Something profound.
My bold prediction is that the rallying cry of women everywhere who are covered in 10-foot pole marks and the smudges of the burnt bridges and fiery train wrecks they’ve left in their wake that goes “If You Can’t Handle Me At My Worst You Don’t Deserve Me At My Best” – will be banned by next year. Seriously, that’s like a murderer saying “I’m a murderer – it’s allowed” as a defense. I see that “Handle me at My Worst” on those e-card things that plague Facebook – usually followed by similar cards that proclaim the complimentary virtues of wine imbibed alone and a passive-aggressive brand of assholery.
But I digress.
I want to thank each and every one of you who stopped by, commented, and otherwise made it a fun year.
Here’s lookin’ at you, kids!
What not to buy me for Christmas.
It’s that time of year! And because I know you guys rock and rock hard I bet you are all planning to buy me something good for Christmas. I’m actually fairly easy to please – but just so that you don’t get any craaaaazy ideas here are some things on the DO NOT BUY FOR STEVE list:
Seriously. I am shocked to find such a thing on the market and can only conclude this represents the collapse of Western Civilization.
How did we go from “the greatest generation” – those hearty pioneer forefathers and mothers that beat back the Nazi hordes and then stonewalled the commies for nearly 50 years to “pink wink”? I don’t know about you but I tain’t really sure.
All I know is that those same chain-smoking, red-meat eating, god-fearing pioneer ancestors of ours did it all with “delicate areas” the color and texture of asphalt or maybe zombie and did it without a second thought as to “bleaching”.
What color is “zombie”? I don’t know but zombies are all the rage these days and I like the metaphor and am running with it.
Ditto Cream Soda. I gag thinking of it. I’d rather suck the farts out of a dead chicken then taste Dr. Pepper or Cream Soda.
Seriously. People – no good can come of this.
Another True Story: Elvis came to me in a dream and said that if I destroyed every velvet Elvis he’d give me the winning numbers in the lottery. “Seriously?” I asked. “No not seriously” he said “You’re dreaming! But I really do hate those f*cking things!”
Shocking! But y’know – more than what he said was how he said it – it sounded rebellious and cool at the same time!
The Desiccated Remains of Herve Villechaize
Whoa. A line was just crossed.
You know what? You guys can stay and hang out here if you like, but I’m gonna go now …
It was funny in “the 40-year old virgin” but that was a movie and you giving me your stash is going to make our relationship awkward. Especially when I work my way through the good stuff and get to the bottom of the box and see some seriously sick shit.
Remember my clever “Zombie Color” metaphor for unmentionable body-parts a few paragraphs ago? Here’s another awesome metaphor: Used Porn is the “Dutch Oven” of re-gifting.
It stinks, it’s not right, and it’ll put a strain on our relationship.
Oh. Wow. You are not just a bad person for thinking of this – you are a special kind of bad person.
I am rogue adult male who lifts weights, loves Burger King and drives too fast … and you already know how I feel about “pink wink”. This is so wrong.
You know what – just buy me some beer. I like beer. Doesn’t have to be good – as long as it’s cold.
Ok Peeps – forewarned is forearmed.
I’ll be back after I defeat my evil twin in a laser sword-fight at the top of an abandoned factory!
A little shameless Self-Promotion: Here’s a pic of the proposed cover art along with a sidebar from my story in the upcoming May 2014 issue of Big Pulp’s “Murder & the Macabre” imprint.
Remember the following formula for when times are tough: Buy Big Pulp + Blow sh*t up = Stay Awesome.
“But Steve” you say “Before I go throwing my hard-earned rubles down on Big Pulp what is “Shotgun Suicide” actually about? I’ll be honest – I’m a little worried based on the title alone.”
I’m glad you asked! Without giving too much away I can say that It’s Oprah-esque fiction about recovery, redemption and the power of a dream. It’s not like yours truly would write about guns, weed, strippers and weed right?
So go on and buy now!
Ok – we all know that the death penalty should be applied only in extreme circumstances where both the guilt of the offending party and the horrific nature of the crime warrants it. But hey – I’m Canadian and in Canada there is no crime punishable by death. Up here it’s ok to be a serial killer! It’s probably somebody else’s fault! You’re psychotic – you have a problem – you need help. There is no absolute right and no absolute wrong!
But even without absolutes there are some pretty-much-always-wrong’s … even in Canada some things go beyond the pale. Yeah – even in Canada there is a groundswell of support for the speedy dispatch of the worst among us. Even in Canada, where you can write letters taunting the parents of your victims – there are some things that you. Just. Can’t. Do. As an aside – I’d like to see the death penalty made less a matter of jurisprudence and more a matter of …. awesomeness.
But I digress. First up …
People who Pay for One Coffee via Debit in the Tim’s Drive-thru:
Hang these stains upon humanity and let them swing from the gibbet as a warning to others!
Setting aside for a moment the fact that Tim’s could render this a moot point by making all drive-thru’s “cash only” and serve only beverages and pastries … until then we have to put up with that sociopath in the van fishing out the debit card for a $1.55 transaction and cutting 5 minutes out of our day!
The above is a factual representation of Tim’s gridlock @ 7:45 am on any weekday, anywhere.
People Who Fart in Doorways.
You know who you are.
You are hereby sentenced to be smothered to death with a dead sheep’s carcass – just like you tried to do to us!
Guys in Lulu Lemon
Because if you don’t have the decency to just die of shame we are going to have to bury you alive. Alive, alone, unmarked, and forgotten – the latter applying only when they invent brain/eye bleach.
Dr. Jenny McArthy. MD
Death by a rusty nail!
Because each time a baby dies of whooping cough, mumps, measles or some other previously forgotten (and easily preventable) disease, Dr. Jenny levels up.
A babies coffin i.e. First Prize in the Anti-Vax Sweepstakes.
Internet Tough Guys
Death by Ninja!
From this point on all internet tough guys, be they Ninja’s, 1,000 lb-Benchers, or YoVille hackerz … are hereby compelled to back it up. I suspect the world’s population of 14 – 21 year old males who have never kissed a girl is gonna be greatly reduced but whatever. Point is – it’s “yes sir”, “no ma’am”, or throw down.
People Who post Bullshiat Blog Updates
Death by boredom!
I mean really – who has time for this shiat? Munchkinism – it’s everywhere.
Hang this handsome MF-er now. NOW!
Rock on Amigos/Amigas – I’ll be back when someone breaks the seventh seal!
… with a pipe wrench.
Why the pipe wrench?
1) Satisfaction. As everyone knows – trust me on this one – nothing feels quite so good as swinging something heavy right through something. Like it’s not even there. HOMERUN!
2) Noise: The revolver would be too loud. I’m assuming Mustard would have one of those old British Navy Webleys which are not too far removed from 18th century naval cannons mounted on 4 wheels. If Mustard had used the Webley … you’d know.
Anyways – that’s my gut feeling on this one. Y’all can take it or leave it.
OK – apparently a writer named David Gilmour admitted in a rather off-hand way he “didn’t love women writers enough to teach them” except for Virginia Woolf – whom he liked just enough to keep her away from grubby first and second-year students – but not from third year and above where presumably they’d been indoctrinated enough to learn to ape their instructor’s opinions.
Something like that.
I’m a manly as a grizzly-bear-sandwich kind of writer myself – you can actually have your own body make it’s own steroids from reading a few paragraphs of my stuff. I think what was truly appalling about Gilmour’s manly list of manly writers was his omission of the following manly writers:
Isak Dinesen. Descended from Vikings (‘Dinesen’ translates to “The Frost Giant King’s Headsman”) Dinesen packed up axe, pen and paper and went to Africa where he grew caffeine straight up (dispensing with coffee beans/plants as an unmanly waste of time and resources) and killed lions for the fuck of it. He hung around with Denys Finch-Hatton too – the same Hatton who in his spare time hunted elephants with Hemingway. Why Elephants? Because Dinesen had killed all the lions. In his spare time Dinesen produced “The Old Chevalier” in which an older gentleman spots a tiny, perfect skull and reminisces about his dalliance with a hooker of debatable maturity. Now that’s literature. Read it.
George Eliot. Hairy-Knuckled Testosterone-Driven writing: Thy name is George Eliot. Geo (as I like to call him) started his career with the seminal essay “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists” – giving voice to then then popular discontent with the estrogenic fluffery masquerading as literature at the time. Riding a wave of near-unanimous popular support he wrote Adam Bede and eventually – more famously – Middlemarch. To give you some idea of the master’s commitment to manly literature Bede features a carpenter as the main protagonist, premarital sex, the death of the infant born of that union (the Carpenter is not the father) and – holy shit. This may be the Bible but without the pedantic arguments about contribution and attribution. We know Eliot wrote it. Read it.
George Sand. George Sand wore trousers and smoked cigars just because and didn’t need Freudian explanations for it. What are trousers you say? They’re like pants – only manlier because they are made from rare or extinct animals. If you aren’t manly enough they bunch up and you look very unmanly and everyone can tell. So if you can wear trousers – without bunching – everyone knows you are walking, talking silverback/alpha-dog and will cut you a wide berth. Sand – much like a great athlete – might be best remembered for making everyone else on the team better such as composer Frederic Chopin, writer Gustav Flaubert, and even Victor Hugo. It’s hard to pick one just of Sand’s novels (written in French – just to f*ck with the English) but try Consuelo – which is basically about male morality and mastering any ovary-induced urges towards vice or pinterest.
So there Mr. Gilmour – there’s a little help for ya – from a guy who never took a 3rd year English class.
Is Gilmour a misogynist? Probably more than he thinks he is and probably less than everybody else thinks he is. I am sure some of his best friends are women – just like the rest of us. More likely he – like a lot of writers – is in love with his own opinion. Is he a bad writer because he’s a terrible person? Not necessarily. A lot of grade-A twits write well. Gilmour’s probably not the worst of the bunch.
The thing that made me laugh hardest in this whole minor league debacle was the commentary that ran along the lines of “Mr. Gilmour is a non-tenured instructor”. What’s tenure in the English Department these days? Tongue swirls delivered with just the right amount of enthusiasm? Strict adherence to someone else’s social principals? At least he has that going for him.
You know – it’s funny – I don’t have any real critique of any writer to add to this minor league debacle. I love Hemingway and Fitzgerald and I love Jean Rhys and Flannery O’Conner. I doubt I’d be writing if it wasn’t for O’Conner’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” or Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”. But mostly I just read. I remember what I like and forget the rest.
Fortunately – for everyone – I don’t teach.
Anyways – Gilmour’s moving into the rear view mirror fast enough. Apparently someone else who can’t write for shit is picking on Alice Munro now. I think the conclusion you can draw from this is that it’s true that it’s harder not to be stupid than it is to be smart.
I’ll be back – but first I have to find a plasma rifle with a bulb in the 30-watt range.
From the struggling wanna-be writer files: I updated my stat-spreadsheet and here are the results
10: Number of stories submitted at least once
32: Total # of submissions
3: # of stories sold/placed
22: Rejections (or failed to place in a contest)
4: No Responses 180+ Days – I assume these to have died – almost all are 1 year now and I think 2 of the markets are defunct
1: Waiting on Acceptance/Rejection
2: Withdrawals – One because someone published it first the other because I noticed after submitting that publisher doesn’t take Sim Subs.
Most submitted story went out 9 times and was accepted (1) rejected (6) – and had 2 non-responses one of which I realized with abject horror was because I failed to attach the story to the email submitting it … which is either 1) Proof of my “diminished capacity” and rank amateur status or 2) Lucky for me because it was a non-paying market and the guys who accepted it will GIVE ME $25. $25 AMERICAN DOLLARS! AND 2 COPIES! HELL YEAH!
So that’s that.
As far as rejections go 4 were personal, 18 form. Two of those personal rejections were very kindly worded and encouraging. I don’t need it – form is good enough – but a kind word goes a long way in this biz and I’ll remember it.
My goal is to get that submission number up because you can’t sell if you don’t submit. I have lots of excellent product “on the shelf” – time to get it out.