Just a rant

Hey everyone! Looks like February flew by before I could post! There’s no excuse other than it was a crazy month. I was without electricity for a week in freezing cold weather. Then the day job had me so busy that I was all over the place. Heck! I’m surprised I still remember by name.

Anyway, I hope ya’ll are keeping safe and Covid free. I’m trying to be safe–aside from a few scares–I’ve been successful so far. But boy! I can’t wait to get vaccinated. Hopefully the president is right and we’ll have more than enough vaccine by May.

To tell you the truth–things actually are looking better here in Texas, but that’s about to change. The darn governor decided to lift the dang mask mandate and to open up to a hundred percent. Because Texans have “mastered the daily habit to avoid getting Covid.” Ha! Sure we have. It’s called MANDATORY MASKS. As in: you have to wear them even if you don’t want to.

Some folks are happy. And I get it. It sucks not doing the normal things you’d like to do. Or maybe you do those normal things, but you have to keep your distance, and only party with twenty folks instead of fifty. And you have to wear a mask, and oh God! It’s such a hardship wearing a mask everywhere. It’s so hard breathing in your stanky breath all the time. Right?

Can you tell I’m frustrated? Because I am. It’s like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and then some dude just decides to do something stupid that will extend the tunnel. And make things harder. But I really shouldn’t be surprised. It’s the same guy who said green energy was the reason for our power grid failing a few weeks ago. Sure, I was freezing my ass off cause the wind turbines were frozen solid. The wind turbines he neglected to winterize (as he appoints the Texas Utility Commission who oversees ERCOT). And only accounts for less than ten percent of our energy while the rest is natural gas and fossil fuel? Yeah. Okay. Sure, dude.

Anyway, rant over.

January Update

Hey everyone! How’s your new year going? Started off a little rocky, didn’t it? What, with all the crap that happened at the capital. Geez! Can’t we get a little bit of a break from all the crazy? Can’t we have some level-headedness, please? But, I guess that’s too much to hope for at the moment. Especially with those individuals that are deep into the conservative echo chambers that are spreading the wildest of conspiracy theories.

To say things have been on a not so even track is an understatement, but I guess it’s to be expected. The shape of things–it’s just in a bad, bad way–and I suppose it’s going to take awhile for our country as a whole to heal. Patience, I suppose, is needed. Lots and lots of patience. And perhaps some alcohol. Or maybe some chocolate? Sweets can get me through the worst of times. They’ll get me through these troubling times as well.

Onto a more positive topic–writing! I think I’m starting to adjust and am finding a work/life balance. It’s still a bit incongruous with a lot more my attention focused on the day job than I would prefer, but its a start. I’m moving steadily, maybe not at as quickly as I would like, but its still moving forward which is progress!

I’m not going to commit to a day, because I hate to see it blow past me and have to apologize for not meeting it. It sucked that I couldn’t keep to the 2020 deadline. But what can I do other than my best to keep on. I will say that I’m still excited about what I’m writing. Still feeling the joy and happiness of creativity and accomplishment when I’ve done something I’m incredibly happy with. Writing, is still one of the best feelings in the world, and so, I’m going to keep at it.

Even if it is a slow, slow ride.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I hope you’re doing your best to enjoy this year’s holidays despite the craziness we’ve all experienced. I’m off from the day job and am using the time to do some much needed decompressing. The day job has been relentless! Several projects were pushing hard to get completed by end of year, so that made things a little stressful as the holidays loomed. I was counting down the days to my vacation, and was so relieved when it finally came about. So far, I’ve spent my time with family and doing quite a bit of baking. Today, I baked banana bread for the second time in a matter of days. It came out very moist, but not in a good way? At least I think it wasn’t in a good way. I might’ve used bananas that were too ripe. Can you use bananas that are too ripe? Anyway, I definitely need more practice.

So, I’ve got some good news and some disappointing news. First, the good news–I’ve been promoted to a new position in my day job. It’s something I’ve worked for several years, and to finally have accomplished the goal is very, very satisfying. Which brings me to the disappointing news–book 2 will not be completed by end of year as I’d hoped. The new role will bring about more responsibility and activities that I will need to adjust to as well as get a handle on which of course will take much time and energy. But, that’s not to say that I’ve given up on getting any writing done in the foreseeable future–it’s just going to take a bit longer than I’d originally thought. Please be patient with me. I’m still committed and excited about the progress made so far, and look forward to the day I can share it with all of you.

So, that’s all I have for this month. Not much to report, but hopefully that’ll change next month. We’ll just have to wait and see! I hope you all have a happy, happy New Year! Let’s put 2020 in the rearview already, huh? 2021 is going to be so much better.

Another book update and some TV reviews

This post contains spoilers to a TV show.

So, here we are. November. It’s been an exhausting month so far. What, with the election craziness and the spike in Covid cases–2020 sure keeps on giving, huh? I’m staying positive by focusing on the fact that this time next year most of this stuff will have blown over, and we will hopefully be on our way to getting back to normal.

In book news, I’m still writing book 2 and hoping to get done before the end of the year. If that doesn’t happen it’s because of the load of work the day job has dumped on my lap. For some reason many, many departments want to rush their work out before the end of year. I can’t blame them, though. Because if it the work is not complete by mid December, then it won’t happen until February of next year since things seem to shut down after the Holidays.

With all the craziness and stress, of course I’ve gotta decompress. And with that comes some TV watching. What shows have I been watching you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. If you haven’t checked out The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, you need to. It’s so, so good, and with an interesting premise that will keep you glued to the TV watching episode after episode.

The other show that I really enjoyed was Killing Eve. Hulu just released season 3 last week and I had the chance of watching it this past weekend. The show picks up a few months after season 2 ended where Villanelle shoots Eve in the back. I wasn’t sure how the show could’ve continued and have it be believable that Eve and Villanelle would have some kind of relationship, but somehow they do, and the writers managed to pull it off in a seemingly genuine way. The relationship still remains one of the strangest and toxic relationships on TV, but I can’t stop watching and wondering where the pair will go next.

Well, that’s all from me this month. Ya’ll take care and be safe!

Just a bunch of TV stuff…

Well, October is here. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, but of course, Covid has put a damper on things. So, like many people out there, I’m wondering if it’s possible to have a no–contact Halloween. I’m sure there’s some creative folks that have thought of some fun ways to pass out candy while social distancing. The best I can come up with is maybe leaving a bowl out with a “Take one” sign next to it. But then I gotta trust that the kids will respect the Honor System. Call me pessimistic, but I keep thinking a few kiddos will take advantage and take handfuls.

Any who. Aside from writing, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. One of the shows I’ve really gotten into at the moment is LOVECRAFT COUNTRY–which is excellent! I definitely suggest checking it out if you haven’t. It has just the right amount of weird for those of you that love fantasy/horror.

On the flip side of the coin was HUBIE HALLOWEEN with Adam Sandler, which was funny–in a corny kind of way. But a Halloween movie with a few laughs is a good change of pace from the normal blood and guts that is the norm–well, at least I think so anyway.

I also watched the season finale of THE WALKING DEAD, which was… okay. I think there was too much of a break between episodes, and I guess it affected my interest and investment. Oh well, Beta died a gruesome death, Judith is still alive, Darryl and Carol made up, and Maggie came back. I guess that’s all that matters. On a positive note, it looks like they’re setting up for those movies featuring Andrew Lincoln. Boy! I hope so, cause I’m really missing me some Rick.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD premiered Sunday, and it’s looking real good. For as much as my investment and interest has waned with the original series, the spin–off has done the opposite. Ever since they added Morgan’s character, the series had gotten so much more interesting. If you gave up on this show in its earlier seasons, I really suggest giving it another try, because it’s only now really hitting its groove.

Well, that’s all from me this time. I hope ya’ll have a safe and fun Halloween.

Almost there…

Can ya’ll believe it’s already September? Fall will be here before we know it, and then winter, too. Personally, I can’t wait. South Texas has been hot and a cool front is much needed. Especially since I’ve been trying to make an effort of spending some time outside. Working from home has gotten me into the bad habit of staying indoors for days. I might’ve been turning into a bit of a hermit. Nothing against hermits, but everyone needs their vitamin D.

In other news–football is back, and with it brings a feeling of normalcy that has been lacking since Covid started. I’m a bit ambivalent about it. I love the idea of rooting for my favorite teams and letting myself fall into the distraction sports offers. But watching some of the college games today, and noticing all those fans stacked in the stands–well, it looks like an outbreak waiting to happen. I suppose the laxness was because they were all outside wearing masks? Anyway, I hope no one gets sick.

On the writing front–things have gotten better, and I’m at a place in the novel where things are getting a bit more complex and exciting. Everything is coming together and gelling. I’m getting super stoked about it. I realized that the past few months I was going through a bit of writer’s block. Which happens, because you know… sometimes writing sucks. Like really, really sucks. Words are hard to come by. I’ll hit a wall and nothing seems to get the creative juices going. But the important thing is just to keep at it. And before I know it–things change. Everything just… works. And the words start to flow. So that’s how I’m feeling right now. And it’s really not a bad place to be.

Other than that there’s not really much to report this month. My life is pretty much just work, exercise, writing, and playing guitar or watching TV. Socially–it’s just hanging out with family, but other than that I don’t really get up to much. I’m still not going out or eating at restaurants. Although, I do have a bad habit of going to Target with my mother on the weekends and blowing through money like a gazillionair when all I meant to do was buy a few necessities. It’s gotten so bad I don’t want her to ask if I want to go because I don’t have the heart to say no. Oh, well. I know I’m not the only person who’s got a soft spot for Target.

Well, that’s all from me. Ya’ll take care and stay safe!

August update

Hi everyone! I hope ya’ll are doing alright. Can you believe it’s already August? The year sure is flying by–or is it crawling at a snail’s pace? I suppose it depends on your perspective.

Well, not much to report this month. Had a stay-cation where I spent some time visiting with family and getting some much needed R&R from the day job. I’ll tell ya–usually working from home has its perks, but I’ve been working non–stop the whole darn day since the middle of March. I’ve ended up working harder from my kitchen table then I did when I was in the office. Isn’t that the darnedest thing? So anyway, a week away was exactly what I needed. I even went up to the coast for a day before a hurricane hit. Missed it by a few days!

So, onto a book 2 update. It’s going a little slow, but I’m still planning to wrap it up by end of year. Then it’ll be on to the editing process. To be honest–it’s looking like book 2 is going to be a bit longer than book 1. I can feel it just from the writing and the progress of where the plot is at this point. Good news is I know exactly where I want to end the story. Bad news is there are a lot of words needed before I get there.

Other than that, not much to report this month. Still staying home and being careful. I know things are still not back to normal as much as some folks say otherwise. At this point I’m avoiding all to the stories about people who don’t want to wear masks, or follow CDC guidelines, or the plans to send the kids back to school. My only hope is that everyone stays safe.

That’s all from me. Ya’ll take care.

Another COVID post…

Another month has crawled by and it seems as if things are getting worse around the country in regards to Covid. Especially in Texas which has become a hotspot–the hospitals are filling up and things are getting bad. The media is reporting that we opened too early–and perhaps we did–but I think what hurt us the most was the disregard for social distancing and wearing masks. There are so many people that just don’t care and they don’t believe in how serious the virus is. Personally, I’m just exhausted at dealing with them–their lack of respect for human life is frustrating and galling.

Even with the new Executive Order requiring face coverings–these people complain. They complain as if wearing a mask is taking away their right for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness! Yeah, chew on that. A mask is keeping these people from living out their daily lives. It’s a minor inconvenience at most. And to make matters worse–they’re looking for loopholes around following the Executive Order. They have “medical issues”. The mask is suffocating, or it makes them breathe excessive amounts of carbon monoxide.

Yeah, I can’t make this stuff up.

Personally, I’ve been shut–in for the last few weeks. My family had a Covid scare a few weeks ago, and now we’re being extra careful. Nothing drives how serious this virus is until you are staring face to face with the possibility of actual exposure. It’s a rather sobering experience performing a contact tracing exercise on your own family. It’s an exercise I would rather not do again.

So, now you must be wondering: am I fearful of the virus? Am I stopping living my life because I’m afraid of getting sick of a virus that kills less than 1 percent of infected? To answer honestly–I’m cautious of the virus. I don’t want to get infected and then get someone else sick who is high risk. If that means staying away from high risk activities then that’s what I’ll do.

I’ll wear my mask. I’ll keep up with social distancing. I’ll keep my head up and stay safe.

I hope ya’ll do, too.

BLM

Who would’ve thought that 2020 was going to be as tumultuous as it’s been? I didn’t. I was thinking COVID was going to be the largest issue we would all have to face, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. In addition to the Coronavirus that has now killed over 100,000 Americans, now we are all dealing with the societal impact of the death of George Floyd.

It seems uneasy and disrespectful to talk about anything else. How can I talk about movies or TV shows when an African American man was murdered for all to see? The video was horrifying to watch–the gall of the police officer that knelt atop Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. There was no fear of reprisal or disciplinary action, or any kind of retribution as onlookers screamed in horror at his actions. There was no crack in his exterior as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

It’s a hard thing to watch-that video, but we all have to realize how important it is to not turn away from it. Not from the killing of George Floyd or of any other innocent black person at the hands of the police, as ugly and discomfiting as it is. Because you should be uncomfortable. You should feel something. And if you’re anything like me, you would want police reform and to end systematic racism. Black Lives Matter.

Just another update…

Hi Everyone! I hope you all are safe and doing well. Talk about crazy times we’re living in, right? Covid has taken the world and nation by storm, and some folks are all about being safe, and others seem to be fed up with being told what to do. Some going so far as to thwart safety measures. I’m guessing they think the government and CDC doctors and other medical professionals don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. And Plandemic! Plandemic people!

Well, I think that there’s nothing hard about wearing a mask and keeping to social distancing. I don’t think it’s an infringement of one’s rights. God, talk about entitled. Whatever. Wear the damn mask and stay six feet away. Alright? Thank you.

In other less crazy news–I’ve been happily hacking away on book 2, and I feel pretty good with the way things are going. If I’m really lucky, and this pace keeps, I’m hoping to be done with the first draft in a few months. God willing! I can hope right! My writing ebbs and flows, so hopefully it keeps flowing.

Other than writing, I’ve also been doing my fair share of watching Netflix. I confess, I am no different than any other American in quarantine. And this week was all about the new season of The Last Kingdom. If you’ve never seen it, I definitely suggest you check it out–especially if you love historical dramas. It’s sort of like Vikings, but better with a more interesting lead in Uhtred, who is played by Alexander Dreymon (yeah, I’ve never heard of him either). It delves into the times of when Danes and Saxons fought and warred in Britain. Very interesting and bloody.

On the other side of the spectrum is Ozark. Most people have heard of this show–it stars Jason Bateman as a money launderer for a Mexican cartel. After his business partner steals money from the cartel, Bateman’s character is put in a bad spot. In a last ditch effort to save his life he promises to launder tens of millions of dollars in a matter of weeks. This causes him to uproot his family to the middle of Missouri. With the FBI on his heels and the cartel watching his every move he attempts to achieve his goal, all the while trying to keep his wife and kids safe. I just completed season three and the season finale blew my mind! That’s all I will say about it.

Well, that’s all from me. Ya’ll keep safe!