Friday, November 25, 2005

Beauty is Skin Deep

I've been around animals quite a lot in my life. Everything from farm animals, to dogs and cats, raccoons, a skunk, a pet squirrel (not a very good idea) and finding a decaying corpse of a three foot iguana (that's a whole other blog post, believe me). But never have I seen an animal as ugly as this. This is Sam, the world's ugliest dog.
You can find out more about sam here:

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Random Updates

Lots o' stuff going on. Ad work is still ridiculously busy. Word of mouth referrals are still alive and well.
Finished reading Patrick Lestewka's (his real name is Craig Davidson, and believe me, you'll want to remember that name) novel, The Preserve. What a kick ass debut! I absolutely LOVED the characterization of the group of Black Ops/Special Forces guys. Very well done. He's got a new collection out now called Rust and Bone, and I ordered it up as soon as I put The Preserve down.
You can find out more about Craig here: That's his book tour blog and it's pretty damn funny.

Doing some work for the guys at Insidious Reflections; working on the cover design for their upcoming issue. Also just finished an ad for the newest release by J.F. Gonzalez: Survivor. It's coming out in January, I think, from Leisure.

Current reads:
Myla Goldberg's Bee Season
Tom Monteleone's Fearful Symmetries

Most Listened to music lately:
Johnny Cash: Murder
Bruce Springsteen: Devils & Dust
Rolling Stone 500
My Best Friend's favorite list. He's the bald dude over there in that photo.

Latest Fantasy:
My daughter's kindergarten teacher

Most fucked up recent realization:
I COMPLETELY forgot how to draw a cursive, capital "Q" and had to go look it up. And let's be honest here... does it realllly look like a Q? No. It looks like the mutant offspring of an inbred cursive O and the number 2.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Throwing Sand in The Great Karmic Wheel

I’ve been freelancing or in business for myself for a dozen years, and one of the things I used to l-o-a-t-h-e was forced networking. The after hours mixers where I had to carry my drink in my goofy hand so my handshaking hand would be nice and dry.
The meetings full of nametags with hurriedly scrawled names in dying Sharpie; platters of bad cheese and worse vegetable dip. Meetings with plastic smiles on plastic people and the feeling that everyone in the entire room is a mutant combination of used car salesman and the Stepford Wives, wanting you to become one of them.

Ahhhhck. The muscle memory my brain feels from this alone is enough to make me feel like I’ve eaten some bad yogurt.

So you may imagine my apprehension when my wife asked me to join her at a Chamber of Commerce function. It was what they call a Harley Draw Down and Silent Auction.

Okay, I thought. Maybe things have changed a bit. I put on jeans, my well broken in Doc Martens and my even more well broken in leather jacket. I figured at the worst, I’d go get a few drinks from the open bar, do some people watching and add notes to my mental manila folder of idiots. At best... at best maybe I’d go get a few drinks from the open bar.

We go in and are immediately assaulted by someone insisting they put a fake tattoo on my person. I argued that I thought there’d be real tattoos by a real tattoo artist and that I’d gladly sit down for some ink had that been the case. But no... these were part of the fake tattoos for the fake people with fake smiles. Okay... I briefly considered asking if they had the “Nuck’m if they can’t take a foke” tattoo, but instead allowed them to put a bright orange scorpion on my forearm, assured that later, I’d at least get a “cool” from my two year old son.

After the fake ink, we ran the gauntlet of the hallway, lined with the same old volunteer line-up, willing and not-so-able to sell raffle tickets for everything from a booze wagon (yes, I bought a ticket for that) to gift certificates.. all sorts of stuff.

Leaving the hall relatively unscathed, I headed for the bar while my wife got caught in a conversation. A rum and coke later, I scouted the area, filled with a few hundred people, and was amazed at just how many people I remembered and did not want to remember.

I looked around in vain for the free beer and got another rum and coke. I saw through the crowd a single person that I knew of and hadn’t seen in quite some time. She’s a marketing consultant - a good one - and she’s been making some press lately, doing some really decent work, and that night happened to be a gold sponsor or some shit - her business name was all over the place. So I thought I’d go compliment her on the work I’d seen, one professional to another.

We caught eyes and she smiled, silently mouthing “Hi!” and I began working my way through the crowd. I told her that I thought she did an excellent job on the recent campaign I’d seen. She thanked me for the compliments and the very next thing she said was “I heard today you got the web site job for “x-client.”

Needless to say, this took me a bit by surprise, but I conceded it was true and talked briefly about this new project, going over what angle she was playing in the back of my mind.

And in the middle of my sentence, she turns and walks away. Just... sort of fades like a sneaky fart in high wind.

People have been killed for less.

I’ve wanted to kill people for less.

So I stood there, watching her walk off. By this time I’d found the free beer and was partaking generously. I smiled the smile that I smile when I’m about to throw something into the cogs of the great karmic wheel.

But my wife saw me and interrupted my mischief.

Apparently we were competing for the same job. And I got it. Not because of price; I was much higher than she. Or political ties; quite frankly I don’t have any. And it wasn’t because of how many hands I did or didn’t shake while holding a bottom shelf mixed drink and a slightly withered stub of carrot. Or how much money I dumped into getting my logo plastered over everything; I don’t play that shit anymore.

Ain’t that a pisser?

So I went home and signed her up for some midget porn.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


When the hell did I begin transforming into Lester Burnham?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Dirge

Over the past month I've started to wonder if things will ever slow down. Is this it? Is this the status quo for good? I've started hearing background music alternating between The Talking Heads and NIN's Every Day is Exactly the Same.

I can't allow myself to believe that.

I went trick-or-treating with my kids this year and it was a blast. Watching my daughter in her rock star get up. Seeing my son in an enormous Elmo outfit, his expression communicating "You'll give me candy and all I have to do is wear this stupid outfit? SIGN ME UP."

And after we got back and sorted through the candy and the kids were in bed, I just felt let down. The past few years have been so busy, I feel I've lost the ability to carve out a chunk of something for myself. I feel cheated, except I'm the one who's guilty of the crime and I spend a lot of energy chasing myself like a dog after its own tail.

I grabbed a beer and went for a walk in the cemetery next door.

It was pitch black, no moon, no light except for the warehouse floodlights off in the distance and the scattered red pinpricks of "eternal flame" grave markers.

I saw no teenage pranksters, no ghosts wandering around, no deer or coon or skunk hunting for a midnight snack. And I thought about the project I've immersed myself in.

I thought about how it must be for a person to have terrible visions of death flow into them unannounced; and have almost no one believe them.

I asked one of my characters what he saw in his last moments. What existed that frightened him so much he felt he had no other path to take.

I asked another what it was like to raise a child alone, amidst the crushing grief of losing a spouse. What it felt like to risk his emotions again; to let someone in, care about them, give your world to them.

And they all spoke to me, like whispers of the dead.

I've cut 20k words and replaced about a third of them, and man am I bloody. I mean, I'm soaked up to my elbows. But it wasn't until recently that I realized... a good portion of that blood is my own.