I've figured out how to fix the economy, and it can't possibly fail: Let's turn the financial stewardship of the country over to the people who run the New York Yankees. Think about it: Every year they spend money like drunken sailors, and still manage to make a profit so huge they can continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Isn't that the kind of leadership we need?
A word of warning: Don't expect coherency this week. That said, let's on, shall we?
Okay, here's the deal, people: Whether you think the country went to Hell in a handbasket in 2008 or the beginning of this month, the fact of the matter is that there will probably still be a United States of America in four years or so. Will it be perfect? Of course not. Could it be better? Hell yeah. But is the end coming? Not anytime soon. Cool your jets.
When I see reviews of a book or a movie that uses the word "devastating" or the word "shattering," I wonder what those critics think we look for in entertainment. "Let's go out tonight, honey--I understand this movie will completely shatter me emotionally and leave me a devastated wreck." "Sounds great; I'll get my purse!"
Bill Maher, whose opinions I share more often than not but whose persona leaves me somewhat cold, called out Jon Stewart for not being biased enough at the Rally to Restore Sanity. That's sort of like Dr. Sanjay Gupta complaining that Gregory House is unfairly cold to his patients. It wasn't a real political rally, Bill!
People ask me if I prefer they buy my books on paper or in e-book form. If you want to read my book, I don't care if you buy it as a series of adorable samplers. Just buy the book!
I'm cranky because it's no longer baseball season. I'm 53 years old and the lack of the Yankees on my TV screen every night unnerves me. Can therapy help ?
I have a story in the current issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (it's called THE GUN ALSO RISES, and starts on page 130, but hey, no pressure). Now, I'm aware that Alfred has been dead for quite some time now, and that he never really had much to do with the magazine even while still breathing, but having my work in anything with his name on it is a kick. I have been a Hitch fan since I was about 11 years old.
Is it ominous that reading my own writing makes me sleepy?
I practice regularly and try very hard. I enjoy the experience and I have improved. But the fact remains that I could take lessons and work day and night at my playing for the next 20 years, and I would end up as a decent amateur guitarist who can't just make the instrument make whatever sound is in my head. I remind myself of this whenever I read writing by people who do something else for a living because that other thing is what they're good at.
I'll get rid of my landline when they make a cell phone that sounds as clear and is as reliable as a landline. Or when they stop making landlines.
Every year my family goes to a movie and for Chinese food on Christmas day. The jockeying for choice of movie usually starts around Labor Day. This year, nobody's so much as suggested a title yet. Uh-oh.
By the way, on a holiday note: Chanukah starts on DECEMBER FIRST? Whose idea was THAT?
And when Santa Claus starts showing up in TV commercials before the end of the World Series, something has gone seriously wrong in this world. I realize I'm on the outside looking in, but Christians, you need to scale back. Having a 12-month holiday season would not be a healthy thing.
On the topic of baseball, this is the time of year when free agents are being wooed. They will tell you it's not about the money. It's about the money. They will tell you they have to consult their families. It's about the money. They will tell you it's always been their dream to play for this franchise. It's about the money.
They will take the money, and then some of them will be truly awful no matter what they're paid. But it was about the money.
And just to clarify--if publishers were waving tens, in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars in my face to write a book, I will tell you directly--it would be about the money. Yes, it would. And I'd be happy to cash the check.
You should take a look at The Good Men Project Magazine. Not only is it a terrific idea that sends its revenues to excellent causes, they let me write for them on occasion, as well.
I'm writing two books at the same time, and I've never done that with two novels before. One's a spec book, so naturally I'm closer to finishing that one. And it's always exciting when you're coming in for a landing. Hopefully I'll be able to do that twice in the next six weeks.
Pitchers and catchers report in 91 days.