Friday, May 26, 2006

Catching Up on Fridays

I was away, and before that darn busy, but of course none of that explains me going bananas with the postings here. But I guess I have a bit of time now, which maybe means I can do some serious writing again as well. Anyhow, here's what the iPod brought today:

Heart of Gold - Neil Young
Don't Fight It - Red Rider
Stop Alternating - Vulgar Boatmen
Peggy Sue Got Married - Buddy Holly and The Hollies
Three Days - Thermadore
Radios of Heaven - The Odds
Not Home Anymore - Whiskeytown
I Hate My Generation - Cracker
Frank and Jesse James - Warren Zevon
Entertain - Sleater-Kinney

Five! Three sir! Three!

Actual conversation with Aidan, last week on coming home from Brennan's soccer game. Aidan's downstairs, watching the Oilers game.

Me: "What's the score?"
Aidan: "2-0!"
Me: "For who?"
Aidan: "Oilers!"
Me: "Who scored the second goal?"
Aidan: "Peca."
Me: "What's the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
Aidan (not missing a beat): "African or European?"

I have such clever boys.

20 Worst Agents

First, the list:

* The Abacus Group Literary Agency
* Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to “book doctor” Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
* Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
* Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
* Benedict & Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
* Sherwood Broome, Inc.
* Desert Rose Literary Agency
* Arthur Fleming Associates
* Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
* Brock Gannon Literary Agency
* Harris Literary Agency
* The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
Children’s Literary Agency
Christian Literary Agency
New York Literary Agency
Poets Literary Agency
The Screenplay Agency
Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency)
Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
* Martin-McLean Literary Associates
* Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
* B.K. Nelson, Inc.
* The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
* Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency and Simply Nonfiction)
* Southeast Literary Agency
* Mark Sullivan Associates
* West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)

And then, the context. Read all about why I've posted the list here, and please feel free to reproduce it. The more people who can get this list out, the more ridiculous we can make Absolute Write's ISP look.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

There was a big crash in Edmonton today; seems a bus and a truck collided and the bus then slammed into a house. On the news tonight they were interviewing two teens who were on the bus and weren't hurt, and so managed to jump into action and help a couple of people who were hurt. Said one teen (paraphrasing), "We just took a course in this sort of thing this year (and here I assume the teen means first aid), and so finally, I can say, thank God for school."

Nest week: two star algebra students spring into action when numbers run amok in the river valley.

Award News

Slowly seeping in, the list of Aurora nominees, and I'm pleased to find that "Mayfly" by the inestimable Peter Watts and the estimable Derryl Murphy is on the ballot for short fiction. I'll also note that the competition looks much heavier than it has in the recent past, when stories from Joe's House Of Pancakes 'n' Fiction stood as good a chance of making the ballot as stories from bigger publications. Perhaps the fact that the number of ballots increased by almost fifty percent in this category has something to do with the quality of the list:

Like Peter, I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that we don't win. The only thing that may tip the scales our way is that I am the only person on that list who does not live in Ontario, so maybe a mad rush of Ontarians voting amongst themselves will cancel all the other centre-of-the-universe votes. Unfortunately, Hayden may live in Ontario (or at least, did), but his connections out west will soften my own base. Peter and I don't maintain any sort of active fan community, we don't blog overmuch, and the fact that we're the best-looking (male) authors on the list will be moderated by the fact that Doug Smith is also sorta-handsome, and that Karl can cut a good jib himself if you squint just right. Rob's jib obviously isn't so much cut as it is, well, not-cut, but he of course has the whole name recognition and monster-sized presence going for him. And Julie is so darned nice, people who meet her on the street are soon promising anything for her within minutes. As for Derwin, he wins the religious vote, and believe it or not, there is such a thing in this community.

Quality of the stories, you say? Hmm. Hadn't thought of that.

In the meantime, I also note that in Best English-Other, Tesseracts 9 (where "Mayfly" appeared), Fantastic Companions (where my Matt Walker story appeared), On Spec (where I am the Art Director), and Neo-Opsis (where I once published a story) are all nominated. There are also two radio productions on the list, and since I listen to radio, I'm going out on a limb and announcing that I'm actually responsible for every one of those nominations. Pretty cool, huh?

I anxiously await news on the Artist list, and promise you my wrath will be fearful (and colourful) if Elaine Chen is not nominated. More will follow on that, as well as an announcement when the ballot is available for bathroom reading.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In Space, Everyone Can Hear You Chuckle

Battlestar Galacticsimpsons. Even if you aren't a fan, these are great.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Letter to Don Cherry

Dear Mr. Cherry,

I applaud your taking a moment on Coach's Corner (last night) to honour the memory of the fallen Windsor police officer. However, I'm appalled that you would make a blanket statement about liberals (or lefties; 24 hours to cool my temper has added 24 hours of other memories) not caring about police.

Yeah, I'm a small-l liberal. I'm also the son of a former police officer, the nephew of a former police officer who was once injured on the job, my oldest friend (since we were 2) is an RCMP member, and I have many other friends who proudly serve.

Blanket and offhand statements such as yours only serve to foster anger and distrust, to say nothing of dishonouring the sacrifices made by those officers, serving or otherwise, (and of their families) who don't happen to share all of your political views. And the funny thing is, I'm not angered by what you said, only disappointed and saddened.

Flying Somewhere?

Feeling guilty about the pollution said flight is going to cause? Check out the Climate Care CO2 Emission Offset Calculator and get an idea how to make up for it. Yes, it's British, but translating pounds to dollars can't be that hard. Check out the other calculators for home and car as well.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Vulgar, Yet Great

An album that still fits in as part of my all-time top ten is Please Panic by the Vulgar Boatmen, an album that I'm sure sold very few copies. I've just found an excellent article on the band, not only on their rather unique history and setup, but also offering news about a new release.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dogging It

Out walking for work the other day, a car drove by, happily not going too fast. There were two large dogs in the back seat, and a big Husky in the front passenger (natch) seat. The Husky, for reasons known only to dimwitted dogs everywhere, decided that right then would be an excellent time to jump from the car. Not another dog in sight, and not even any people that might be of interest.

Having seen another dog get run down a couple of months before, I of course began to freak. Lucky, though, the car wasn't going fast, and luckier still, there were no other cars nearby. The dog hit the road hard, though.

Worse yet, the dog was tied to a rope. For a moment, however, everything looked good, since it appeared that the rope was either not tied to anything inside the car, or else there was plenty of rope. Miss Swifty McBraincramp, though, the driver, apparently felt that this was a good time to grab in the rope, rather than, say, stop the car first. And so she ran over the dog's hind right foot before coming to a stop.

I ran over to the car and the dog, followed by an older couple who had been walking behind me. Strangely, a good 30 seconds after all of this had happened, the driver was still inside the car. I called in and told her to come out and take care of the dog, and she told me she couldn't; she was busy trying to tie up the dog, and had worked out a way to tie it to the gear shift, which would have been absolutely hilarious if the dog had managed to put the still-running car into gear.

I offered to take the rope, and after briefly grabbing it inside the car (where the other two big dogs let me know their displeasure with this arrangement) grabbed it outside. And so she exited the car and proceeded to give the dog major grief. "You dumb shit! You stupid f***ing dog!" And on and on.

"Not the dog's fault, lady!" I told her. You're the one driving around with the window down all the way and a dog that hasn't been trained." After this, the exchange very quickly degenerated into plenty of name-calling on her part and calm (believe it or not) reaction on mine. I was called any variety of names revolving around the f-bomb and was told to mind my own f***ing business when I asked if she was taking the dog to the vet. At this point the other woman told her that this had become out business, thank you very much, which brought more f-bombs. She tossed the dog into the car and drove off (not in the direction of any known vet), one of the backseat dogs leaning way out its window.

I had taken her licence plate number, and called bylaw enforcement. Today they followed up with me, told me that the woman was distraught, that she had taken the dog to the vet and that it was OK, and that she said her reaction was all our fault for accusing her right from the beginning.

It takes a special type of person to lash out like that when they've done something wrong, I think. Embarassed about being stupid, the best they can do is blame everyone else. Nice.

Friday: The Random Ten Returns

Locked In The trunk Of A Car - The Tragically Hip
All I Have Known - Jessica Schoenberg
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Somewhere Down the Crazy River - Robbie Robertson
Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
Takin' It To The Streets - The Doobie Brothers
Carry Me Home - Hem
I Go Blind - 54-40
Another Brick in The Wall (Part 1) - Pink Floyd
Sunday Bloody Sunday - u2

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