Apr 5 
          Okay, so I missed a few days.  Quit your griping--it is free, you know.  This time change thing really sucks.  Spring ahead, Fall back.  Fall I can handle; I get an extra hours sleep.  But spring?  What genius thought that one up?  For us hardcore insomniacs, sleep is a prescious commodity.  What's the deal with skiping the clocks ahead an hour at 2:00 AM on a Sunday anyway?  Why couldn't they skip it ahead at 2:00 PM on a Monday afternoon?  At least that way we'd get off work an extra hour early.  Whoever came up with these rules obviously doesn't work for a living. 
          And while I'm raving, does anyone else find all these technical difficulties with the martian probes suspicious?  First we lose an entire satelite, then a probe and two...um...mini-probes.  If I were the paranoid type I'd say someone or something doesn't want us to get a real good look at Mars.  Wait a minute, I am the paraniod type.  Okay, maybe I'd just rather believe that there's some big conspiracy rather than think that suddenly the NASA types have suddenly gone brain dead and made colossal mistakes costing hundreds of millions of dollars.  I guess that's what you get when you let them use calculators instead of slide rules. 

Apr 6 
          A bit of hopeful news tonight.  I just got home from band practice.  It seems the future of the band may not be so bleak after all.  Practice went well, the bass player may be staying, and the band may not be breaking up after all.  Keep your fingers crossed. 
          On another note, you women may complain about birthdays, but compared to us guys you have it made.  My wife is still getting presents from women I never heard of.  "Oh, these are from the girls at work, and this is from my friends at the video store, and this one's from the homeless lady on the corner of Front Street and Division."  Sheesh!!  I'm lucky if I get a present from my parents.  If the guys at work ever bought me a present (let alone even remembered my birthday) I'd be looking for the hidden cameras and Allen Fundt.  (I know he's dead, but you never know.  The guys at work are a pretty sick lot.)  No wonder you remember all those little aniversaries ("Today is the fifth aniversary of the first time we ever had pizza together.  How could you forget that, you brute?") you practice by memorizing the birthdates of every other woman on the planet! 

Apr 9 
          In my previous post I lamented the fact that I'm lucky if I get a present from my parents on my birthday.  I'd just like to set the record straight and say that I in no way meant to imply that my lovely wife, Penelope, (who reads these posts everyday) doesn't get me a birthday present.  She gets me the most  wonderful, thoughtful and expensive gifts you could imagine!  And almost never holds a grudge. 
          Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I got up late, then went to the movies and saw Road to Eldorado.  (It was a fun film, but it's still kind of embarrassing when you're the only 39 year old male in a theater full of kids).  Then I went to a little bar in a tiny village called Concecon, where they hold a Saturday Jam for all the local musicians.  It turned out to be a great night, and we played until the bar closed to a very appreciative audience.  I got a lot of back-handed compliments (like what are you doing playing in a place like this?). 
          Today was spent mainly catching up on housework.  I finished cleaning the oven for Pen before she got home, did the laundry, ironed some stuff, and did the dishes.  Pen treated me to Chineese food when she got home.  I love chicken fried rice (though I still haven't figured out how they train the chickens to fry rice yet.) and the place we go to makes the best spring rolls.
          Oh yeah, Pen brought me some peanutbutter-chocolate fudge back from Toronto, and some chocolate covered strawberries.  I can hear the gym calling my name already. 

Apr 11 
          I've been hammering away at the cover letter and synopsis for Darkside, as well as editing the first three chapters to make them as squeaky clean as possible.  I've decided that no matter what, I'm mailing the sucker off to the Warner Aspect contest this Friday.  I doubt I'm going to make it any better than it is now; I'm just nit-picking it to death.  Once I've done that, I'm going to do the same thing for Naejin.  It's about time I wrote a query letter and synopsis for it, and the one I just did for Darkside proves I can if I just get off my butt and do it.  Then I'll start mailing the query around and see if they're any takers.
          Once I finish my work for Naejin, I'm going to take a couple of weeks and just read--maybe a whole month.  I need the time to recharge before I dive into the sequels for both Naejin and Darkside.  Then it's back to my 1000 words a day regime.  If I get stuck on one book, I'll just switch over to the other.  It seems like a great idea--in theory. 

Apr 12 
          The bookstores around here are holding a 20% off sale on all the For Dummies books.  I was amazed at the wide range of topics these books covered.  Everything from: computers (maintenance, the web, html, browsers, windows ad infinitum), golf, hockey, baseball, martial arts, jogging, swimming, weight training, small engine repair, car maintenance, dieting, cooking, healthy cooking, beer, wine, chapaigne, religion, tarot, palmistry, numerology, horoscopes, men's health, women's health, dating, and sex, to name a few. 
          And I thought buying condoms was embarrasing.  How awkward must it be to walk up to the clerk with Sex For Dummies clutched in your hands.  I guess only a little more awkward than if you were buying The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sex.  Lesson One: Are you male or female.  If you're not sure, compare yourself to these pictures.  If you're still not sure, never mind.  You're both too stupid and too ugly to ever have sex.  Please see The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Darwin Awards. 

Apr 20 
          "Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday, happy birthday.  Happy birthday to me."  Hmmm.  That was a little self-indulgent, wasn't it?  But then again, isn't that what having you're own webpage is all about?  I'm thirty-nine today. (No, not like Jack Benny.  I'm really thirty-nine!  Of course, if I'm old enough to understand the reference to Jack Benny, maybe I'm older than I think.) One more year until I'm middle aged.  Or is that when you're fifty?  Yeah, right.  Like I'm going to live to be a hundred.  Just me and George Burns.  (Why is it that I'm suddenly identifying myself with all these old guys?)  
          They say you're only as old as you feel, but that's not legally binding.  I know, because I still have to pay the adult ticket price when I go to the movies, and the girl always looks at me funny when I order the Happy Meal at McDonalds.  They keep kicking me out of the playland, too.  
          The great thing about my birthday this year is that it falls on the Easter long weekend, and since I'm in the military that includes Good Friday and Easter Monday.  I took my birthday off to boot, so that means I've got five days off to either party my face off or wallow in self-pity.  Decisions, decisions. 

Apr 25 
          I got a new cell phone a while back.  It was a Valentine's Day present from Pen.  It's one of those neat analog-digital-dolby-high res-paint by number jobs that does everything but wash the dishes.  (That's optional, and quite reasonably priced, too.)  When our sixteen year old daughter, Chantel, saw it, she just had to have one too.  Don't ask me why a sixteen year old needs a cell phone; I don't know.  I'm thirty-nine and I don't need one. (Oops.  Did I say that out loud?)  
          Anyway, she got one, of course.  Not that she's spoiled or anything.  Well, okay.  She's spoiled.  Now she fits in with all her friends at school.  Almost.  Pen told me we really should get her a credit card with a measly five hundred dollar limit--just in case of emergencies.  After I got out of intensive care (luckily I have 911 on speed dial on my new cell phone) I asked what possible type of emergency a sixteen year old girl could get into that would cost five hundred dollars.  As far as I'm concerned, if she gets into any trouble that cost more than twenty dollars, she should be calling us on that new cell phone we just got her!  Of course, that's male logic, and totally unacceptable. 

Apr 28 
          I have a theory.  HOLD IT!!  Don't you dare go skipping off to Charlie's web page.  I know some of my past theories were...um...eccentric....far-fetched?  Who said hair-brained?  You better not be making fun of me, 'cause I'll find out you know. 
          Anyway, back to my theory.  Have you ever been jogging, and suddenly hit that groove where you swear you're tireless.  (No, not without tires!  Incapable of becoming fatigued. Honestly, you people.)  Usually it happens when, for whatever reason, you're not thinking about how bad your knees hurt, or how steep that hill is, or how much farther you have to go before you stop.  (All right.  All you couch potatoes can hop on over to Marsha's web page.  I hear she has a nice section on quilting.)  Either your mind wanders, daydreaming about something more pleasant than jogging--like a day at the beach, or the ball game, or root canal--or you simply go blank.  Before you know it, you've jogged eleventy-four miles and you're barely winded. 
          Now here's my theory.  Dogs seem capable of running forever, and it's not because they're in great shape either.  Even fat dogs can outrun your average marathoner.  (Okay, I'm sure having two extra legs doesn't hurt, or being able to stop where ever the mood strikes you for bathroom breaks either.   Nuts!  I'm blowing my own theory out of the water here.  Forget that last part.)   No, I'm sure the reason they run like the Energizer Bunny is because they're dumb as a post.  What's the most that can be going through their little doggie minds.  "Kibbles and bits, kibbles and bits....", over and over and over again.  No wonder they run so well.  They're always in the groove. 
          You never see cats running long distance.  It's not because they're any brighter either; it's just that they can't hold on to any one thought long enough.  "Oh, look. String!  No wait, food. I want outside.  Is that a bird?  Time for a nap."  All in the space of ten seconds. 
          What?  You thought I was somehow going to tie this into writing?  Oh, all right.  Go on over to Charlie's web page.