11 Feb
          "When you start acting like an adult, I'll treat you like one." What kind of lame idle threat is that? You mean once I starting acting responsible and mature, you're going to saddle me with a dead end job, a wife and kids, mortgage payments, credit card debt, dwindling leisure time, and stress enough to bring on an early heart attack? Sheesh, pass me the beanie with the propeller on it.
          Oh, yeah. I'm back. 

14 Feb
          Psssst. Hey guys. Heads up, it's Valentine's Day today. No, really. It's today, and not tomorrow like I thought. If I were you I'd scramble about trying to find some flowers or something. I know that's what I'll be doing.

15 Feb
          Pen and I went out to dinner last night for Valentine's Day, and made total pigs of ourselves. We could barely move afterwards, and there was still a ton of food to take home for leftovers. (BTW, I did manage to buy flowers, thank you very much--I have a highly developed instinct for survival.)
          I did two critiques today. Only eight more to go. Sheesh! Maybe someday I'll have time to write my own stuff again. I still have Darkside 2 to finish up, the first bit of Naejin to rewrite, and it's sequel to finish, several short stories in various states of limbo...Of course, once I do finish something someone will critique it, and then I'll owe them one. It's a vicious circle, I tell ya.

17 Feb
          There's always this sense of loss I feel when returning home from a con. It comes partially from the lost opportunity to be around people that understand me and share my interests, namely writers. For a few days I was surrounded by authors, philosophy majors, linguists, artists, psychics, scientists...a whole gamut of interesting and fascinating people. Then I come back to work, where the topic of conversation revolves around who can shoot the most beer out through their nose. Not that that's not fascinating in itself. I mean, there's the whole question of domestic or imported beer, ale or lager, light or dark--the list is endless. Still, it just doesn't hold the same appeal for me it once did. Maybe I'm just being snobbish.

New songs to learn for the band:

Had a Bad Day - Fuel
Cruel to be Kind - Letters to Cleo
How You Remind Me - Nickelback
Drops of Jupiter - Trane

19 Feb
          Everybody keeps telling me I should write a book based on my military experiences. I suppose I could, but then I'd have to kill anyone who read it. I imagine the sales on any sequel would drop drastically after that. Of course a lot of my experiences are in what I write; you just have to look past the thinly veiled disguise of fiction. See, that way I only have to imagine I've killed you after you read it. It saves on the airfare. And the guilt. (I should be spending the money on my kids education, and not airfare.)

20 Feb
          Karin commented at Ad Astra that I don't move like other people. I decided to call her on it, so I contacted the folks at U-Haul. Sure enough, did you realise that the guys in the blue overhauls are actually supposed to pack your stuff onto the truck? And here I thought they were being helpful and all, giving me pointers and drinking my beer. Thanks for the tip, Karin. Oh, you mean move. Never mind.
          And I must be going senile or something. When I got home Pen had left a note on the TV (where I'll be sure to see it) saying: Thanks for taking out the garbage, and for cleaning up the kitchen before I get home. Now I vaguely remember the bit about the garbage, but that kitchen part totally escapes me. Thank God I have such a loving wife who keeps track of all these things for me. 

21 Feb
          I sent another query off to an agent yesterday: If a train leaves Chicago traveling West at 50 miles an hour for 2 hours, and another train leaves...well, you get the point. Maybe I should start making my queries a tad easier. Then a few of the agents might actually get back to me.
          Speaking of which, I'm rather annoyed with agents and publishers who either don't bother to reply at all, or tell you they'll reply within a certain time frame and don't even come close. I think that's down right rude of them. After all, if I'm polite enough to abide by all their anal-retentive formatting rules, query etiquettes, and submission practices, the least they could do is be considerate enough to reply when they say they will. I've half a mind to go to World Con just so as I can hunt them down and slap some manners into them. Well, all except for the women--I'll just make them stand in the corner and think about what they've done. So, all you rude publishing folk beware. You know who you are.

25 Feb
          So, Pen and I had a great weekend in Ottawa. We stayed at this really nice, really inexpensive hotel that was only a few minutes walk from everywhere: the Rideau Center (a big freak'n mall), the Market Square (a few square blocks of quaint shops, restaurants, nightclubs, candy stores...), the canal, and several museums. There was this incredible bakery just around the corner from us that baked fresh croissants and danishes every morning, and a gelato shop that made the most awesome smoothies. We ate at Dunn's delicatessen a few times (yummy) and Pen found the Purple Cow, a favourite candy shop of ours that makes the best caramel and caramel apples, among other things. To top it all off, all the nightclubs on our street were celebrating Mardi Gras, so it was one non-stop party.
          Of course, when I got home there was still no word on any of my submissions. I'm getting very angry. (Picture Marvin the Martin here. Okay, so maybe he's a little taller.) 

26 Feb
          There is nothing wrong with my life that money wouldn't fix. And I'm not saying that having money solves everything--as a matter of fact, my point is the opposite. See, all the major stuff is taken care of. I'm healthy, my family is healthy, my wife and I love each other and are very happy together, we have two great kids who aren't hooked on drugs, pregnant, or have the cops knocking on our door, we get along with our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and parents (both sides), we have a clean, safe home, plenty of food, can afford to go out on the town occasionally, good friends--we even have some of the latest toys. What more can you ask for. 
          Sure, it would be nice to not have to worry about how we were going to pay for the kid's schooling. I'd love to own my own home, a new car, motorcycle, travel more, get published, achieve fame fortune and adulation, and have jobs we both love--but those are just the bonuses in life. We can get along just fine without them. 
          Although, if you happen to have a few million in spare change lying around, I'm sure the wife and I wouldn't be averse to being ecstatically happy.