When I ordered this book from Amazon…


…I didn’t realize it was going to be the Munchkin edition!

Besides this book, I received “What Color is your Parachute for Teens” and “Programming the Universe by Seth Lloyd,” all three courtesy of a gift certificate I received in thanks for beta testing a really annoying cell phone.

Speaking of cell phones, a whole bunch of junk posts may show up here because I’ve been playing with Xanga’s post-via-email feature, which doesn’t seem to be working for me.  Then again, I realized, they may all show up at once a few hours from now.  I’m doing this to see if I can make quick little blog posts from my cell phone.

That’s all we need, right?  “Hi, I’m posting this to Xanga while standing in line at Wal-Mart!”  “Hi, I’m posting this while I’m driving——-” 

[CRASH] 

“Hi, I’m posting this from my hospital bed…”

Nothing much to report today.  Everything about the same.

While chatting with my love tonight we came up with a funny line:  “A master masticator was masticating in the masticatorium.”  Translation: people who chew well do so in a restaurant.

Check out this amazing video:  12 Year Old Artist Paints Heaven

Wow.  The pure talent.  Amazing!

PROJECT NAF: DAY
4

Okay, so, the main effect going without artificial
sweeteners is having on me (so far) is that it’s breaking down my resolve to
avoid real sugar.  But I put a teaspoon
of sugar into my coffee this morning and it tasted weird, so I went back
to straight black.  Tonight I ate some
cookies.  Oh well.

OTHER
STUFF

No news on the job front. 
I worked my regular job today, and also spent a lot of time restoring my
main website, GroovyMojo.com.  It runs on a content management system called
Drupal that crashes if you
look at it wrong.  I am really regretting
choosing this software to run the website, but now I’m locked into it.  I should have used WordPress.  I use WordPress for various other blogs I run
and I have, over time, grown to totally love it.  But to convert it over would be a major pain,
and it would break all the links that people have to my articles all over the
web.  I
DON’T WANT THAT
.  Links bring
traffic, and traffic brings people who might click on the text ads, and
clicking on the text ads brings me money.

No progress on the novel tonight.  Mainly thanks to having to fix Drupal.  On the bright side, I was able to fix it … there was a while there I thought all was
lost.

So, in summery, it was a typical Monday-like Monday.  Hope yours was better!


Update:  All my websites are currently down due to a problem with a network issue.  Bummer!  That’s what I get for having all my eggs in one basket.

Update Redux:  The websites are back up.  Go take a look at GroovyMojo.com if you’re interested, and if you see anything interesting in the text ads, please feel free to click them. 



NOVEL
PROGRESS

Some real progress! 
After my post last night I did indeed sit down and put in over thousand
words.

What is it about?  Hmm. 
It’s about a man who finds a way to come back from beyond, on a search
for his own personal Holy Grail.  And that
Grail is full of beer.

JOB
PROGRESS

I’ve had some headhunters contact me about various jobs
but, being that I’m still currently employed, I can pick and choose.  I’m holding out for one in particular, which
is still a very real possibility.  In a
perfect world my current employer would lay me off, giving me a nice severance,
and have me step into the new job a few days later.

It’s very possible this could happen and that’s what I’m
hoping for.

PROJECT NAF: DAY
3

It’s a good thing I am doing this publically, because if
I hadn’t, I would have caved by now.  I
want a Diet Coke, and I miss the Splenda in my coffee!

PROJECT NAF: DAY
2

Cravings like mad. 
Am not convinced it has anything to do with kicking Artificial
Sweeteners as much as it does the fact that I am no longer getting anything sweet.  Or the fact that my subconscious knows my
conscious has conspired against it. 

How to make someone want something: tell them they
can’t have it.

NOVEL
PROGRESS

None.  But with some luck I might get some written
right after I post this.

JOB
PROGRESS

I did not hear back about that job.  Oh well.

PROJECT NAF: DAY 1

I had to come up with some sort of
silly name for this.  “No Artificial Sweeteners” =
“NAF” 

I have noticed something.  I had a sweet craving this morning, which I
would usually subdue with AF infused coffee, but instead today I ate an
orange.  It quenched the craving, but a while afterwards I felt jittery
and wired, full of uncomfortable nervous energy.  Finally my sweetheart
suggested I go up to the gym and work out, which I did, and which helped
tremendously.  Still, I feel twitchy.  I don’t know if it’s because
of withdrawals or because I’m expecting something to happen.  Maybe a bit
of both?

NOVEL PROGRESS

None.  Poor novel, rocketing
off the launch pad so well in November, moved right along in December, and now
is feeling rather lonely and neglected as I work on other things.

JOB PROGRESS

I may, or may not, hear about
a job offer today.  In the meantime I have to go down to ye old factory
and do a friend a favor (drive a forklift with him in at the top, counting
inventory).  Whoot.

Artificial Sweeteners?

I’m going to try an experiment on myself, and I’m going to do it
publically to make sure I keep it going (using peer pressure as a
positive force).

I’ve decided to try cutting out artificial sweeteners for 90 days, just to see how much effect it has on my life.

You see, I’m a genuine sugar addict, and I’ve recently weened myself
off of most refined sugar (something I’ve been able to do in the past,
though each time it’s like trying to get off crack).  So, I’m off it
now, and have been for at least three weeks.  What’s helped a lot with
that is a sore tooth.  LOL.  Anyway, so, what I find now is I’m putting
unhealthy gobs of artificial sweeteners in my teas, coffees, cerials,
etc., and right now I feel, well…

Sick.

And I suspect it’s because I’m overdosing on these darn chemicals.

So I have a cup of coffee sitting on my desk, and it’s got Splenda in
it, and that is the last bit of artificial sweetener I intend to ingest
for the next 90 days.  So that would make my end date … hmmm.  Look
at a calendar. 

April 25th.

So what do you think?  Am I crazy?  Am I on the right path?  Does it even matter?

The next thing I’ll try to quit is caffiene but that, I have to admit,
just terrifies me.  One thing at a time.  Artificial sweeteners first.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Usually
I’m the one dragging my poor teenagers to see some foreign language
film, but this time it was the other way around, and I’m glad they did.
This movie breaks all language barriers and is, to me, a perfect
example of fantasy done completely right.

Pan’s Labyrinth
is set in chaotic, war torn 1944 Spain. It’s an unlikely, and
ultimately perfect, blend of fantasy and reality. Centering on the
plight of Ofelia, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, this tale
weaves a dual reality with adventure and magic on both sides of the
coin. In this world, she’s the daughter of a tailor killed in the war,
and her mother has wed a cruel military Captain out of desperation and
misguided hope. Brought by this step-father to a new home in the country, they await the birth of his son, Ofelia’s half-brother. It’s here that
Ofelia finds the portal to another reality, one in which she is the
soul of the lost princess of the underworld, a place of magic and
legend which awaits her return.

Despite how it sounds, this is not a children’s movie, nor is it a
happy one. It depicts very realistic war violence and torture, none of
which is gratuitous — to this story it is unfortunately necessary. It’s
rated R and deserves it. I would strongly discourage anyone taking kids
under 14 to see it.

I would discourage squeamish adults from seeing it, as well.

The most amazing thing to me about this movie is that it actually
works. Guillermo del Toro, the film’s director, deserves every accolade
he receives for this film, because he did an amazing job. Flipping
between guerilla warfare and meetings with fantastic creatures, between
scenes of military torture and confrontations with horrid monsters, it
all makes sense. There’s not a stumble in the entire movie.

The complaint I’ve had about contemporary fantasy is that it is
stagnating in its own conventions. Here is an example of how it can run
fresh and wild, like something entirely new.

Bravo to the director and the screen writer. Bravo to the cast and crew. You did it right.