9 Aug
          Don't you hate it when celebrities land publishing contracts and major book launches solely on the status of their celebrity? They often have absolutely zero writing credentials; most often as not they didn't even actually write the book themselves, but had it ghost written. Yet it'll probably go on to make the bestseller list. Take Pamela Anderson, for instance.
          Sure,  I could sell a bazillion copies too if I had breast implants and slept with Kid Rock, and while there's a lot I'm willing to do for my art, I have to draw the line somewhere. I mean, Kid Rock? No way.2 Aug
          Okay, on Saturday we went to Kempenfest, which is a ginormous craft show on the shores of Lake Simcoe here in Barrie. There's over 400 vendors (just how many macramé pot holders cans someone use?), a big Barbeque contest (the contest is big--the barbeques are, well, actually they were kinda big too), a midway, and lots of live music, because apparently you need to be entertained while you're being crafty and eating ribs. Pen and I spent the better part of the day perusing the vendor's stalls, or at least the crafts therein, and when all was said and done, I bought some fudge--from a local vendor, no less. Pen got some cotton candy. 
          Saturday night we saw The Terminal at the base Theatre. It was a lot better movie than I expected, which just goes to show you Tom Hanks can make anything seem interesting. I figure his next movie will be The Emergency Room, wherein he's rushed to the hospital with a severed finger or a bruised pancreas, and has to wait months before he's treated--and not because of some procedural slip up or something, but just because they're really slow. Come to think of it, I guess everybody in the waiting room would be in the same predicament….
          Anyway, Sunday we went to the Ontario Renaissance Festival, where once again, I bought fudge. Okay, I also bought this neat little sword, and Pen got some sort of flowered headdress thingy, and had her fortune told, but hey, we're talking fudge here.
           I also had Reiki done, which is where they manipulate your body's energies to enhance your health and well-being. Either that or it's where they wave their hands about and rip you off for twenty bucks. I'd never done Reiki before (heck, for all I know I still haven't) but it was kind of nice the way they did it at the Ren Faire. They had these nice cushy tables laid out under a canopy of trees, with hedges for privacy and calming Celtic music. (The kind without bagpipes, obviously.) There was a really nice light breeze (or maybe it was just all the hand waving) and all and all it was rather peaceful. The girl told me that she concentrated on my head and my heart, because she felt incredible pain when she was at my head--like there was so much going on there that she couldn't handle it (I must have been thinking about fudge) and waves of anguish that almost made her cry when she was at my heart. I felt like telling her I was stiffing her on the twenty bucks. I bet she would have cried for sure, then.
          One of the Ren Faire girls told Pen that I was an excellent accessory, and that she should take me everywhere she went. I think Pen's okay with that--as long as I match her shoes and purse.
          After the Ren Faire we went to the movies and saw The Village. It was pretty okay, but nothing I didn't see coming a mile away. Go see it and you'll see what I mean.
          Monday we went to the Water Park at Wassaga Beach. It was a great day, but alas, no fudge. All and all it was a great long weekend, spoiled only by the fact that tomorrow, it's over.

9 Aug
          Don't you hate it when celebrities land publishing contracts and major book launches solely on the status of their celebrity? They often have absolutely zero writing credentials; most often as not they didn't even actually write the book themselves, but had it ghost written. Yet it'll probably go on to make the bestseller list. Take Pamela Anderson, for instance.
          Sure,  I could sell a bazillion copies too if I had breast implants and slept with Kid Rock, and while there's a lot I'm willing to do for my art, I have to draw the line somewhere. I mean, Kid Rock? No way.

11 Aug
          The good thing about working with a bunch of old guys is when you're sick they send you home right away. God forbid they should catch whatever plague you have. I came down with one of those dreaded summer colds, and after taking the troops out for a run this morning, showed up for work feeling like death warmed over. Next thing I know they're telling me to go home.
You know, I'd kind of gotten used to the fact that I was usually the oldest guy in the section, but when I arrived here in Borden I was surrounded by guys my age or older. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe this is where they send old Master Corporals to die.
          And a big Conga Rats goes out to Charlie (Charles Coleman Finlay) for selling his novel. (Is it still called a Democracy of Trolls?) It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Well, actually, it could. I'm a nicer guy, and I haven't sold anything yet. Hmm...guess I was right the first time. :-p

12 Aug
          I got home from work today and Pen was arranging my DVD collection in alphabetical order. We have to find the wench a job, pronto. She said she'd cleaned the house from top to bottom. Apparently the sides are still dirty. Oh, well, there's always tomorrow. 

13 Aug
          I had to go buy a new uniform, because the one they gave me when I was 20 doesn't seem to fit anymore, although for the life of me I can't imagine why. Anyway, they tried to fit me off the rack, but apparently my shoulders are too wide and my waist too narrow, because it hung off me like a gunnysack. The odd thing is, that's the way all my other uniforms have fit sit I joined the service, but for some reason they decided that this time it just wouldn't do. 
          The tailor tried pinning it in at the sides, but by the time she was finished the side pockets had become front and back pockets--which is okay as long as you don't mind digging into your crotch or up your butt every time you need spare change, something the military frowns on 'cause it looks unprofessional on parade. 
          Anyway, they decided they were going to have to build me one from scratch, so they brought in this little Italian tailor who looked just like the one in all the movies (any move; pick one) and he took out his measuring tape and touched me in places that would make a Catholic priest blush-- because hey, I'm not an alter boy, or even Catholic for that matter--and voila! Nothing. 
          What, you don't think he made one right there on the spot, do you? I have to go back in two weeks for a fitting, and then it'll be another couple of weeks after that before it's ready. Which is great, because until it's finished I don't have to do any duties or go on parade. (Which is the whole point of this story.)

(And is anyone even reading this thing anymore, or should I stop?)

15 Aug
          Pen and I were commenting today on how we're lost. She's unemployed, and I'm…well, underemployed to say the least. The truth is, though, that we're not really lost. We know exactly where we are; we're just not exactly sure how we got here, and how the hell we get out. And, of course, getting to where we want to be is an entirely different grid reference altogether. Hell, being a guy I won't even stop and ask for directions. 
          What I need is a good deux ex machina right now to get us out of this fix. Maybe even a trois or quatre ex machina. (Ha! Leave it to a Canadian to mix english, french and latin for effect.)
          By the way, Conga Rats to whichever one of my friends is suddenly more successful than I am today. Come on, there's got to be at least one of you to rub it in.

16 Aug
          You're not real. None of you. I'm sure of it. 
          No doubt I'm nothing but some disembodied brain floating in a jar, suspended in jello--the kind with marshmallow bits thrown in--with electrodes stimulating various nerve centers to illicit a response. And there's some higher life form, probably evolved from dolphins, or dogs, or the platypus--you know, animals that are secretly way smarter than us--that trigger the electrodes and simulate reality, and all of you. Then it jots the results down on its handy Palm Pilot (or Flipper or Paw Pilot) and later goes home and tells all it's super evil genius platypus friends all about it, and they all laugh.
          Cause, you know, that would really explain a lot.

19 Aug
          Pay no attention to the foolish huma…er…my ramblings about super intelligent platypus that secretly rule the world. I was mistaken. That is all.

20 Aug
          Now I've gone and done it. I finally wrote something. That's right, I'm an idiot.
The only problem is, I don't know if it's a short story, or the first chapter of a novel. So either it's finished, or just beginning. What the hell was I thinking, anyway? It's all Pen's fault. She went and left me alone again. See what happens when I'm left to my own devices. I just hope she gets home soon, or next thing you know I'll start work on a trilogy or something. Shudder, twitch.

24 Aug
          I saw a sign today that read: 9" Mums and Fall Pansies, and thought, "What kind of dysfunctional family is this?" Until I realized it was an advertisement for a flower shop. I definitely need more sleep.

25 Aug
          We had a sports day today. That's right, the military paid us good money to play beach volleyball and scarf down free pizza. All you poor dredges plowing through the tedium of your dreary jobs can envy me now. All you rich bastards that went yachting today, or dropped a million in pocket change in Monte Carlo can just piss off.
          Anyway, apparently beach volleyball is more taxing than I thought, because now I'm stiff and sore, and my foot aches. Either that, or I'm old. Let's go with that first one.
          My dear wife has abandoned me again. She has to take our daughter into Waterloo to buy books for school. And not good stuff like Lord of The Rings, or China Mountain Zhang, or Warchild, but books you might actually learn stuff from. And they cost a fortune, too. What a waste. I mean, I've re-read Warchild several times, but when was the last time I even glanced at Abnormal Psychology? Well, unless I was looking up something I thought I might be suffering from. I know, I know. Too much information.
    Oh, yeah. Today is my idiot son's birthday. Why idiot, you might ask? Because he graduated back on th 17th, and since then I havent' heard from him. He had his phone disconnected and was posted to Trenton, and I don't know his address or anything. Which means I can't call to wish him happy birthday, or send him a present. So it's not all bad. Anyway:

H A P P Y   2 0 th B I R T H D A Y   R Y A N!!!

31 Aug
          I was supposed to have band tonight, but we don't have a singer yet, and we're getting kind of tired of being the Karaoke band. It's like the worst of Canadian Idol, but with live music. Half these losers don't know the songs, and the words are right in front of them. And they're bad. Really bad.
          On the writing front, I've been editing Naejin. I figure why let it go to waste. And a bunch of my Monkey Lint friends have kindly offered to critique my new short story. So far I've learned three things:
          1. Apparently I'm the only one in the world who likes omniscient POV. Either that or you people are a bunch of Ritalin kids who've gone of your meds, which explains why you're so easily pulled out of a story. I suspect it's the former.
          2. It's a first chapter, not a short story. Something I suspected all along. Nuts!
          3. I don't really like line edits, unless you're pointing out something wrong with the grammar or spelling. I find that asking another writer for a line edit is somewhat akin to having your spouse's ex coach you during sex. Their way isn't necessarily better than your way, it's just their way. (And you're probably a little touchy about the subject to boot.)