Monday, January 02, 2006
Notes From Vacation
I go back to work Wednesday and, as always, vacation has been a warp speed experience.
We had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at the house. It was a smoother process than I expected (or forecasted...see below). Now I await summer to see if this house can really be comfortable.
You know, something just occurred to me: I need a name for the house, so my cool factor will go up a notch or two. How ‘bout Wistful Vista? Gravyland? Solvency’s End? Ah, it’ll come to me.
Watched a lot of movies, and I enjoyed most of them. This morning I went with my brother to see Walk The Line. I liked it well enough, though I didn’t feel it lived up to its hype. I grew up on Johnny Cash’s music, so Joaquin Phoenix’s renditions were just serviceable. Reese Witherspoon was magnificent. I just wish I hadn’t seen Ray first, so the story would be less familiar. Talented guy gets a big break, then pisses his life away with drugs and affairs, followed by two or three minutes devoted to going cold turkey, then he’s a great guy and we all love him. Yawn.
This evening Norma and I watched Christmas with the Kranks (2 1/2 stars), The Polar Express (4 stars) and War of the Worlds (3 stars). In fact, The Polar Express earned the coveted title of Mark’s Favorite Christmas Movie Ever. And I’ve seen ‘em all (not counting some of the horrendous made-for-tv flicks).
Earlier in the week, we watched The Skeleton Key and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (both 3 stars).
So did I write? Yes. Got a couple of stories submitted. Worked on some other stuff. By the way, in case anyone is interested, here’s the current count of material I’ve submitted and am still waiting on a rejection or acceptance: 2 novellas. 11 short stories. Sigh.
Here’s one last Christmas note: did you sing any Christmas carols this year? I did, at an event that required singing all the verses. Did you ever notice that after the first, maybe second verse, most of these songs really suck? It’s like the writers were paid by the word. “Need 14 verses? Sure, I can do it!” The deeper you get into a Christmas carol, the harder the lyricist was digging for imagery or just a rhyme. Take this couplet from late in “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb.
That’s a rhyme? That was the best they could do? Holy Crap. Doesn’t this work better:
Life Eternal through Him Shall Bloom,
Offspring of the Virgin’s Womb
That’s like fifteen seconds’ work. Maybe writing carols is what I’m meant to do.