In Response To The Supreme Court’s Ruling On Swearing…

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against George Carlin, declaring that you really can’t say those seven words on television.  (Someone please tell me why “shit” is obscene?  I mean I know why shit is obscene, but why is that word for it and not, say “poop,” which is more disgusting?  Shit.)

So, in response to the Supreme Court, here is my citizen’s protest for codifying one of the stupidest aspects of our culture.

Frak! Frak! Frak!

Frak Frakkity Frak!

Frak you!

Go frak yourself!

Mohterfrakkers!

(Thanks, Glen Larson and Ron Moore.  Thank you very much.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go downstairs and frak my wife raw.)

Nick Kepler Returns

Nick Kepler’s latest adventure has him doing his best Humphrey Bogart impression.  “Love Don’t Mean a Thing” is now live at The Thrilling Detective Web Site with a bunch of other cool stuff, including another story by Robert Petyo (who is in the last issue with me.  So where’s Paul Guyot?  And will Robert and I get another Million Writers nomination?).

GO READ IT NOW!

MTM Cincinnati: Cincinnati’s Own Adrian Belew

I’m feeling a bit lazy this week, so instead of a local landmark or event, I’m going to just give you one of the music greats who started in Cincinnati: Newport, Kentucky’s own Adrian Belew.

I wanted to show “Big Electric Cat,” which is one of my favorite Belew tunes, but the embedding was disabled. So you get a quirky Beatles cover instead.

Adrian still pops up once in awhile between King Crimson gigs at the Southgate House across the river in Newport.

[More My Town Mondays posts with Travis.]

Back To School – Online Edition

This term, I am taking the Intermediate Algebra class along with American History and Web Development.  History and Web Dev are online.  Algebra is classroom lecture.

It took a little getting used to stepping back into a classroom last term.  Fortunately, I’ve had two good math instructors – one a perpetual student who realizes only half the class gets algebra, the other a high school teacher who seems relieved his final class of the day is teaching adults.

Online, however, is a completely new experience for me.  For American History Before 1860, it’s almost all reading.  My goal is to read so far ahead, all I have to do is post essays, do my two term papers, and take the midterm and final.  Doesn’t hurt that I’m a history buff.  I may even get a master’s in history so I can retire to a warmer client teaching history.  You think I want to do IT the rest of my life?  Are you frakkin’ kidding me?!

The first topic of discussion was on Columbus.  Was Chris a hero or a villain?  There were some who said he was a hero, just not a good one.  The rest of the class fell squarely in the villain camp.  Everyone agreed Columbus was, hero or not, pretty much a bungling douchebag.

Web Development…  Um…

It’s hard.  I’m one of four or five IT students in my class.  I’m one of two or three who’ve built web sites.  We have to eschew Dreamweaver for Notepad on Windows and TextEdit on OS X.  But again, I’m trying to work as far ahead as I can so all that’s left are the exams and quizzes.

Because Web Development is a technical class, and BigHugeCo is footing the tuition bill, I can do this class at work, taking little breaks here and there to work on the assignments.

The advantage to doing this online is I can work at my own pace.  Which is surprisingly fast.  Once up0n a time, I was a chronic procrastinating student.  Idowannadomyhomework! Now?  I want it all done as soon as possible.  I’ve got a lot of other things to do.

Although it’s funny now to watch AJ, a freshman in high school, panic on Sunday nights when he realizes he has a book report or a German assignment due Monday.  No, he does not appreciate his stepdad pointing out that getting it done early works better.  Nita and I discussed how we might instill this concept into him.  One of the interns at BigHugeCo said, “He’ll have to go to college to learn it.”

True enough.

Especially online.

The Award-Winning Writer (TM) Who Is Also A Community College Drop-out(R)*

Well, lookie here!

Here I was lamenting my paltry short story output in recent years, and storySouth goes and picks one of my stories for its annual Million Writers Award.  The final Top 10 will be announced May 15, but it truly is an honor to be nominated.

The story?  “Lady Luck” from last summer’s Thrilling Detective.

Congrats, too, to editors Kevin Burton Smith and Gerald So, who had a second story, “The Truth About Lang Tri” by Robert Petyo, nominated from the same issue.

* If you know the backstory behind this headline, you know it’s directed at one of those people I’m hoping to avoid at the Star Trek premier in a couple of weeks.  You know, the ones Shatner told to get a life.  Yes, there are fanficcers who think they are Dennis Lehane.  This one wasn’t even Dennis the Menace.

And anyway, I’ve gone back to school, so I’m no longer officially a dropout.

Post Op Post-Mortem

Last Friday, I got my wisdom teeth extracted.  It was an overhyped experience.  The last thing I remember is the doctor sticking a needle in my arm, asking me if I felt anything yet.  The pictures on the walls went blurry, and then…

“OK, you’re done.”

Nita took me home, where I became acquainted with Vicodin.  I also became acquainted with what Vicodin does to one on a liquid diet, which is to make one violently ill for five to ten minutes every couple of hours.  Honestly, I was only a little sore.  I was on Advil by the end of the day.

Sorry, the Bahama Mama test will have to wait until we grill out.  There was no way I was drinking that much rum while taking a narcotic.  Yes, I’d make a lousy recreational drug user.  Disappointed?

A brisk walk around the block was good for circulation, but not good for recovery.  I was pretty much confined to the recliner all weekend reading, working on writing and on school work, and watching NASCAR and Family Guy.  I’ll get around to being bummed about that later.

I suppose I’m not quite the wimp most people are at the dentist.  It’s not that I don’t worry about it.  After all, your mouth and tongue are numb when you first get out, even for simple fillings.  A strange person is sticking sharp objects in your mouth and sometimes pulling out pieces of bone.  This is not a relaxing experience.  I am aware of this.

But since I am, I’ve learned to relax in the dentist’s chair.  It helps to have a sense of humor.  My oral surgeon needs one.  When Nita and I kidded about my possible death in the chair, the doc got very upset.

Which doesn’t sit well with me.  Maybe because my regular dentist has a better sense of humor.  He has to.  He spends his days sticking sharp objects in people’s mouths.

Now, if they could just do something about the sound of the damned drill…

MTM Cincinnati: City Of Dead Presidents

Cincinnati has produced its share of notables.  Currently, Nick Lechey seems to be the most famous Cincinnatian.  Before that, it was Jerry Springer, who moved to Chicago.  Even before he became ringmaster of a televised freak show, Springer provided hours of entertainment having been the only sitting mayor caught doing business with a prostitute.

And passing her a bad check.

So no one here is surprised what’s become of Jerry Springer since leaving Cincinnati.  The rest of you are just finding out what we always knew.

But Cincinnati also has its fair share of presidents.  Thankfully, Springer is ineligible (He was born in London) and no one will ever elect John Boehner to the White House.  The Queen City, though, has either sired or played host to four US presidents.

[More My Town Mondays posts with Travis]

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“Oh, the pain. The pain.”

Because I do everything later in life than most people, today I will be getting my wisdom teeth pulled less than three weeks before my 43rd birthday.

This weekend, I will get to test this little nugget of wisdom from comedian Bill Engvall:

“Half a vicodin and a Bahama mama make for a wonderful morning.”

And my wife knows how to make Bahama mamas.

See you Monday, shorter of teeth, and one day closer to death.

UPDATE:  Never take the vike on an empty stomach.  My dentist overhyped the post op effects.  Thanks to some bitter pills (literally), I’ve had no swelling,  and I controlled the pain with Advil.  (The two vicodin doses were needed, but not the nausea and cold sweats it brought on later.)  The doc got snotty with my wife about a life insurance joke she made, then with me for jokingly saying, “See you on the other side.”  Hey, doc, when the joke’s on me, STFU.  I’m the one in pain.  I’ll tell you what’s funny.