Archive for August, 2007

Mr. Jackson, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by on Thursday, 30 August, 2007

Love him or hate him, you can not deny his profound influence on the worlds of liquor. It is with mourning that I pass on the news of Michael Jackson’s passing as announced on http://www.allaboutbeer.com/

For clarification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson_(writer)

Mr. Jackson was a world renowned author who had devoted his life to liquors of all sorts, though he is most famous for his work in the Beer and Whiskies circles. His insight, wisdom, and humour will be missed… even if he could be (what Jim Murray referred to as) a “prat”.

Short and Sweet.

Posted by on Monday, 27 August, 2007

Not feeling very loquacious today, so I’ll keep this short:

Jean and I went to Mount Saint Helens on Saturday. Had a BLAST! grand time. Even though the cloud covered the upper half of the volcano, it was still an awesome sight.

Click the pic below for the whole album:

I think we’ll be making the trip back at least once more to get the full view of the side blast crater.

The next time we go will be on the motorcycle too. The road was just screaming to be ridden on a bike, but since my stock seat is off getting some modifications made to it, the bike is out of commission for a while.

The drive its self is actually fairly easy, only 70 miles up the 5, then another 50 or so across SR 504. And GORGEOUS views are all along the 504!

Sadly, it took all day to get this written and posted…

Posted by on Wednesday, 15 August, 2007

Down another 4.something pounds from last week’s weigh in. That makes for a total of 8.8lbs over the course of the first two weeks on Jenny Craig. Not an overly dramatic loss, but not a gain either, so that’s good.

Now that the mundane stuff is out of the way, I am going to switch gears….

I caught about an hour and a half of a show last week (or maybe even two weeks ago now). Normally I wouldn’t mention anything about a TV show because, really, TV is boring and the crutch of modern society (ok, except for Feasting on Asphalt, THAT show rocks!). This particular show was a taped conference panel/lecture from a Writer’s Symposium featuring Joyce Carol Oates as the speaker.

Ever since my introduction to writing in high school, I have had a deep appreciation and love for Joyce Carol Oates’ writings. More particularly her short works, though her novels are amazingly well written as well. There is something in Joyce’s voice on paper that drew me in from the first story I read: “Where are you going? Where have you been?”

While I don’t think I can credit her –completely- for sparking and subsequently encouraging my desire to write (both as a hobby and for a living), I do hold her in high regard as both an influence and an inspiration. In fact, I find it amusing to have two “Joyces” so close on that small list; the second being, of course, James Joyce, for nearly the exact same reasons. But I digress…

I realized, while watching Joyce speak to an unseen audience about non-fiction writing, that my own hobby level writing has come to a dead stop and my professional writing has transformed from actual writing to more of an “editor” level capacity while I correct the technical documents and articles being written by my knowledgebase teams out of Bangalore. The only “hobby” writing I have done in the past few years has been in this journal, which as fun as it is, I don’t think really counts. On top of that, I found out that one of my support reps who immigrated here a few years back from Romania, has recently published a book of poetry in his native tongue and in his native country! While the translation he sent me was sub-par, I have no doubts that in the original Romanian his words bloom and flourish beautifully to convey his thoughts in a way that only poetry can deliver.

I can hear you all asking now, “Well if you want to write, then why don’t you just WRITE?!”. Ah, if it were only that easy! I have no doubts that if I could write for a living, I would be much more prolific, but alas, when my work day is done, and I actually have time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as it is now), I am greeted by a decided lack of motivation and desire as well as an overall exhaustion preventing me from DOING anything other than turning my brain off and watching “COPS” for hours on end. I long for a day where I could have the luxury of time and a lack of responsibility to just sit and pontificate and spew words out onto paper and see what comes of it.

Even when I do feel energized enough to do anything, my muse seems to have left me high and dry. While I have the desire to write, I can’t seem to find anything of import to write about. I think I need to begin doing some daily or weekly exercises to get me writing again. Perhaps some general character sketches or tackling all my old work in a review/revamp capacity will get me moving forward in a positive fashion. Perhaps I need to do the Jenny Craig for writers, where all topics and assignments for my writing are defined by some seemingly arbitrary yet clearly structured menu system designed to provide the highest return on my investment. Perhaps I just need strict deadlines for creative works with random topics to get me moving forward again.

At the very least, I know I should start reading both Joyces again, as well as some of my other favourite authors; there’s nothing worse than a writer who doesn’t read. And while technical writing is a very good thing for me and my career, it doesn’t quite quell that desire to create something FOR myself rather than for consumption in some professional or commercial way. Looks like it is time to start assigning myself homework…