Some New Reading Material

Haven’t read Vonnegut yet, so I picked this up.

Always like a Dan Simmons book. Song of Kali and the Hyperion Cantos earned him a spot as a go-to writer. I’ll have to tackle his Drood sometime. It has been on my shelf for some time.

When I was a kid, King was the writer all the kids were reading. His Night Shift collection was my favorite. I never got to this one, and with all the Lafferty and theology I’ve been doing, King is a light fun snack.

And right next to that was this. I am not from that generation. The assassination of JFK was not the defining moment of my life (not was Vietnam or Woodstock). However I am not far removed from the residuals of that generation and so King’s concrete insertions of the minutiae of the era will make for another easy read. It was rather well received critically so I will try it even though it is late King. But pre-Trump so he may still be mainly concerned with story.

We’ll see. I’m still slugging away at Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine. I finished a forty page chapter on papal infallibility the other day!

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Readers and Painters and Spontaneous Blabber

I found a guy at work that doesn’t watch television but is an avid reader. He is not actually a southerner (not born and raised) so that might explain it. At least someone else here reads. Granted, I have not gone out much, but I am pretty sure most people I work with are not readers. This one is an avid one. I was starting to be afraid I lived in the land of gape mouthed droolers.

And then yesterday I discovered there is a guy at my work who is a painter. And not a bad one either.

It is nice to know that there are people out there here in the south that know more than big trucks, football and beer.

Speaking of beer, I haven’t had one since September. I have had two small glasses of wine in all that time and that is it. Cigarettes are not even something I think about anymore.

I am still reading all things Catholic. That is, when I even have time to read. The Spanish I had to back-burner for a few weeks and am hoping to get back into this weekend. I was really enjoying that.

Writing. Uff. Writing. I got to try to fit that in somewhere. If I am not inundated with housework and repairs then I am driving two hours on the week end to the parent’s place.

I am a very poor time manager. The painter guy at work works as much as I do, is a single father, and finds time for the painting and I bet other things as well.

Of course, the other day I was thinking about rewatching the BSG reboot for the third time. Perhaps if I got to the writing and put that important piece on the back burner, then I would have time for the writing!

A Southern Tale

So I have a co-worker who is everything you would expect from a white man from the south. Especially if your source is Hollywood movies (Chevy Chase’s Fletch 2 comes to mind…). This man stated that (on MLK day) they should have shot that n- a lot sooner than they did. Thinks homosexuals should be killed, or at least says as much – sometimes people aren’t quite where their mouth is. And that we should deport all Mexicans (he does not distinguish between say a Peruvian and a Mexican or someone from El Salvador – they are all “fucking Mexicans” in his book) and shoot them if necessary. Thinks the only language that should be spoken within these borders is English. If he hears two people speaking Spanish he calls it gibberish and will be very agitated.

This last shows a real breathtaking ignorance. He’d be shocked how many times and places in American history where English wasn’t the dominant language. Think of the influx of Irish, of Italisn, German, Norwegian, Jewish, etc, etc, etc. Hell, I didn’t look it up, but I bet the first language spoken on these shores from Europe was likely Spanish or Italian.

“This is America!” he yells, “Speak English!”

So I have taken up learning Spanish. Because Continue reading “A Southern Tale”

Still no Time

Man, owning a house is literally sucking all my free time away. I was doing sixty hour work weeks for about four weeks. And now we are trying to get rid of all the decades old wallpaper in the house. I can go several days without even the time to pick up a book let alone even thinking about writing.

I was shocked to see it has been two months since I have even been here.

I am slowing making my way through two books at the moment.

Yes, I am sure everyone is excited about that one. I am enjoying it. It used to be a high school text. They wouldn’t make it into the first chapter now. “Arguments for the existence of God?!?!?” But… but…. but SCIENCE!”

The other book I am smashing through during my lunch break at work.

Outside of that it is work and house work. I hope to make it back here at some point sooner than I did last.

If there is anyone who still drops by. I wouldn’t

A Home, Finally (Or why I have been absent)

It is almost a year since the wife, dog, and I left Washington state and moved to North Carolina. In December we found the house we wanted to buy. Obviously the pic is above. We live in a small town, really small, but one that is close enough to a larger one to have some modern amenities. The house is almost 90 years old so we have projects to keep us busy for quite some time. It is in really good shape so it is fully functional.

The loan process was hell. But who cares? We own a home! I love the old plaster walls. The wall to wall wallpaper has to go and other such things left over from the Starsky and Hutch era.

There is still unpacking to do and stuff, but I hope to be back to writing soon (and even reading – woo hoo!).

Hola! Feliz año nuevo! Hablo un poco el español! Me llamo Roberto!

Man, it has been a time since I have been able to make it over here! My work week is almost fifty hours and is not going down anytime soon.

As you can see, I have decided to learn Spanish. I had tried a few languages before, but the effort always languished for want of someone who spoke the language. I just didn’t know anyone who spoke German, and I didn’t know anyone who spoke Latin. Not saying it is impossible without that ingredient, but it certainly makes it harder. There are plenty of people at my work who do speak Spanish so I am opting to do that.

I went with the Ouino Spanish language program for several reasons. One, their price of $97 was not to be beat; two, the sheer mass of material they offer for that price; three, the holistic approach they use is above the other offering (and they usually at three to four times the price). You practice speaking in recorded drills where you speak into the microphone and train your ear to speak properly, each section has multiple tests that test understanding in listening, writing and reading. You have access to over 60 short stories with gradually increasing difficulty and length. There are listening drills where you listen to a short, medium or long sentence spoken at normal native speed and you try to arrange the words spoken in the correct order by dragging each word in the right sequence. There is the variation where you write out the spoken sentences.

The sheer number of modules is impressive. You can scroll for a minute to get to the bottom of the screen of offerings.

Also, when you buy the program you can have it on any device you own; so I use it on the laptop at home, my phone at work, my iPad in bed, etc.

I bought some reading material to work up to. The first one is a children’s book: Curious George (loved him as a kid) or Jorge el Curioso. Then maybe some easier mid adult books. I hope to work my way up to some Jorge Luis Borges – this time in his native tongue – and the Sagrada Biblia Catolica. After that, we shall see.

I am really impressed with this program so far. I do find the need to take notes the old fashioned way. The material still remains trapped in a computer and I am still more comfortable, ultimately, when I can refer to the written word.

If this goes successfully, I plan on tackling their Italian program next. And then I think I’ll see what I can do with a little more Latin.

Books on the read right now…

Lord of the World

The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: A Fulton Sheen Anthology

And, last, but certainly not least. We bought a house. The loan just came through yesterday. It is a beautiful old home built in 1931 and in very good condition. Being an old house it has enough projects to keep us busy without being a Money Pit.

Pictures to come after closing.

NANO 2018

Is a total bust. Not to make excuses but I had everything fly in front of it this month. I am going to have either December of January be the make up month. To that I pledge!

To list the litany of ailments and life altering events this month. I threw my back out hard enough I spent four days absolutely bed ridden except for painful trips to the bathroom. The day it sprang up on me I was laying on the floor with my dog for two hours before I realized it was frozen; it took me over a half an hour to get up – I thought I was going to have to piss the carpet. Finally on day five I went to an urgent care where they set me up with an injection, a Tylenol and Motrin regimen (hey, it is actually effective) and a week of muscle relaxers (which are even more effective).

Then somewhere in the middle of this my anal fissure sprang back up (see, you can’t make this shit up!). No, you do not get this by getting your butt banged (well, maybe you can, don’t wanna know). For me, I am a very tense (not in the form of stress really) tightly wound individual who usually dehydrates himself by some means or another. One stony stool and it can be a nightmare to sit. I am treating it now with stool softeners and fiber and plenty of water.

Was that TMI? I think it may have been.

I have been doing six day work weeks and just last week finished signing onto a company I have been temping at for the last four and a half months. That, and we are looking for a house and have a mortgage appointment on Monday.

Lotsa stuff. So it may be January.

Got an iPhone in the midst of all that. Never get a Moto phone – they suck. Got the iPhone8 – I am just not rich enough for the X. I find it a shame that I spend such a ridiculous amount on such a thing. I am, however, putting some of it to good use. Compassion International has a mobile app, so I can always keep up with my sponsored child and so on…

NANO Day Three

This one is not going as smoothly as last year’s. At day three I stand at 209 words! Last year on day three I had 5,498 words! Of course I worked 48 and a half hours this week compared to last year’s whopping 23 hours. That makes a difference. Also, I blew my back out.

The real difference isn’t so much those as I am finding I actually have less prepped this year than I thought. Last year I had a character with a name and a story with a name, a title that actually told a lot of what the action would be. Namely that a man named Horace Gumble was going to die five times.

This year, since I was doing a sort of homage to Star Wars, I thought my job was easy. I thought wrong. While I love my original trilogy, writing such a tale, it turns out, is not really my cup of tea. I don’t think that way. Star Wars is quite a logical, tight construction. I see upside down and sideways.

I do have a name for the story. Race to Eternity which is something I first put notes down for in 2009. I thought – what the hell? let’s go for it!

Ah, and in writing this I found what that note about the ship that is the true vehicle and Rincon 6 have in relation to each other.