5 Jul
          If my life were a battle I would be losing on all fronts. Normally that's the time to retreat and regroup and come up with a new strategy. The current one of work hard, do your best, and do the right thing is failing miserably. In the movies things always turn around when they're at their worst, but I've been there several times and so far Richard Gere hasn't charged to my rescue and made an honest woman of me, so it looks like I'm on my own. As usual. 
          Problem is, I don't know any other way to do it; slacking off, getting by, cheating, lying and stealing just doesn't appeal to me. One of the people I work with said my problem is my timing's off, and I have to agree. Still, I've tried everything short of shining a light in my eyes and twisting my ball bearings until everything lines up. (And if I thought that would work, I'd give it a shot.)
         So if anyone has any suggestions, please email me.  Oh, I know, I know--just keep at it and sooner or later things will come your way. Either that or you'll die of old age.

7 Jul
          So the Darkside saga continues, after at least two weeks of no words. I went back and rewrote parts of the chapter I'm working on, and once I fixed a few things that were nagging at me like an ex-wife with a late alimony payment, things slammed into place. I only managed about 600 new words today, but they're words that move the story forward--well, okay, shove at the story like that fat kid you dared to ask the prom queen for a kiss. And yes, I desperately need work on my similes. (Metaphors? Damn, I keep getting those two confused.) Luckily it's a device I seldom use, like a condom on a...oh, all right, I give up. Sheesh.

8 Jul
          Someone kicked me in the calf playing soccer this morning, so now I have a limp. I can't really blame him; if you'd ever seen me play soccer you'd kick me too. I have absolutely no soccer skills. My motto is: "Always be in the way." 
          Soccer, like basketball or hockey, requires skill with handling the ball (or puck), which is something I don't have. I excel at sports that allow me to pick up the ball, and force the opposing team to try and take it away from me, or take me down before I invade their territory. You know, contact sports like football, rugby, and volleyball. And before you say, "Volleyball isn't a contact sport," you haven't seen me play. 
Strangely enough I did manage to score our only goal today, which is even more surprising as they beat us eleventy-four to...well, one.
          Oh yeah, I'm officially on THREE WEEKS LEAVE!!! Yes, that was shouting. And I'm kicking it off by going to Ebear's book signing at Bakka tomorrow. Lucky me.

12 Jul
   There's a school behind my house. It used to be a public school, but the base took it over and now it serves several functions. It's an English and French language school--militaries from around the world send their people here, and it's not unusual to see Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arab, and Jamaican officers, to name a few, strolling by my house on their way to lunch. 
          It's a teaching school, where there are all manner of courses on how to teach, develop curriculum, design lesson plans and so forth. It's a health school, where they teach about nutrition and physical fitness, and how to train others to be physically fit. And it's a music school, where Canada's top military bands come to learn, and practice.
          Currently it's the latter that's driving me nuts. Not that they're loud, or bad, or play music that I can't stand. At the moment they're playing the theme song from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and doing a damn fine job, I might add. 
          What bothers me is that it sounds like it's coming from the forest just on the other side of the field, and I can't help thinking that somewhere in there someone's searching for the Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail, or embarking on some other grand adventure. 
          And I'm doing laundry.

13 Jul
          All right already. I've created a LJ account because some of you have whine...complai...suggested that it would be nice to be able to comment on the dumbass things I post, and although I suspect most of the comments will be along the lines of "What a dumbass thing to say," I've decided to cave...accomodate y'all. I plan to post to the LJ site and the old site simultaneously for continuity, so you can read it there, or here, wherever here or there may be, and whatever your preference. Here's the link:

 http://www.livejournal.com/users/sksperry/

and I've included in the upper left corner of this home page.
          And yes, that's about as much sense as I ever make.

14 Jul
          It's about ninety degrees today, and hazy--just like it's been for the last several days. I want to go to the beach today, but they're calling for possible thundershowers this afternoon. Of course they called for them yesterday afternoon too, (which is why I didn't go to the beach yesterday) and nadda. The weather forecast calls for sunny, with cloudy periods and a chance of thundershowers in the afternoon. Talk about covering your bases--the only thing they left out was snow, volcanic ash, and the odd tornado or two.
          I haven't done any writing in the last several days because I've been incredibly lazy (as opposed to routinely lazy, which I usually am) but I am on vacation. Even my exercise routine is lacking, but then I am injured. I thought I'd recovered from that kick to the calf, but jogging Tuesday disposed me of that delusion. Funny thing is, I'd been jogging for about twenty minutes when I thought to myself, "You'd better stop before you hurt yourself." So I stopped, and I hurt myself. The limp is back, but it got me some pity garlic toast from the lady at the pizza place, so it's not all bad.
          Anyway, I think I'll just go to the beach in town. It's not as nice as my regular beach, but if it starts raining I can pack up and go to Future Shop, and Chapters. Sure, I'll look like a beach bum and smell like burnt coconut oil, and no doubt the staff will follow me around making sure I don't steal stuff.... I'm looking for a downside here. Nope, that's what I thought.

15 Jul
          I did make it to the beach yesterday, and managed a good two hours in the sun before the deluge. (The word "rain" doesn't do the resulting downpour justice.) I think I'll attempt the same today--the beach, not the rain. I know, I know...I should be writing. So what, I should be mowing the lawn too but I don't see you complaining about that. Besides, right now I'm in reading mode. As soon as I finish the few new books I've got lying around, I'll write, promise. Who knows, I might even mow the lawn.
          Oh, yeah, I'm going to go to Toronto Trek on Saturday. It's not really a writer's convention--more of a media one--but the lovely Chris at Bakka gave me a free pass, so what the heck. So if any of you are going to be there, holler out.

17 Jul
          Toronto Trek was a bore, although I have to take some of the responsibility for that assessment. I didn't really know anyone there, and didn't make an effort to get to know anyone either. I really wasn't in the mood to be entertaining. I did catch up with Leah for a bit, and we had an interesting discussion about her novel, so it wasn't a total waste. 
          We attended the Eye of Aragorn panel, where panelists try to read said work without breaking into laughter. And while it was abysmally bad to the point of being humorous, I couldn't help but feel it was still cruel. Apparently the guy wrote it when he was sixteen, and people have been reading it at cons, ridiculing it ever since. The whole thing just struck me as being the height of pretension and callousness.
          And while most con goers and writers are generally the nicest people I have ever met, they do have a tendency to be pretentious, condescending, and cruel when it comes to their assessment of others work in the field, even when their own credentials are often marginal at best.
          What, you thought this was a happy post?

18 Jul
          Men's clothing sucks. It all looks exactly the same no matter what store or brand, like something I pulled out of my Dad's closet from thirty years ago that he wouldn't even wear back then. They might as well amalgamate all the stores into one and call it Men's Clothing or something. They wouldn't even need shelves or hangers--just pile everything in three big piles on the floor according to size: loose; baggy; hand-me-downs; and derelict. I tell you, I'd design my own clothes if it wouldn't make me look so gay. Of course that would cement my secret identity as Batman, so it wouldn't be all bad.
          Oh, yeah--my parents 45th wedding aniversary was on the 16th, and my brother's is today, so:

H A P P Y   A N I V E R S A R Y!!! 

21 Jul
          I haven't been around for a couple of days (so Happy Belated Birthday, E!!). I went home to visit my parents and catch up with some old friends. The last part was pretty easy, as they're all getting old and fat (and don't read this journal). And since one of the characters is based on an old buddy, I made sure he was all right with it, and wouldn't sue me or anything if it ever gets published.
          It was nice to hear what everyone was up to, and all in all everyone seems to be doing just fine. The funny thing is that of all my friends who joined the military, I was the one they all thought wouldn't last, and apparently I'm the only one left in. Figures.
          Anyway, I'm back now, and ready to do...well...nothing. I'm still on vacation. Yeah, I know. Pen wants to kill me too.

25 Jul
          I've been busy vacationing the last couple of days. We saw The Island the other night, and it was okay. Loved the flying motorcycles, but the funniest part is when they showed the clones learning to read Dick and Jane, and then the Baddie later explains that they're kept sexually innocent, "Like a 15 year old." Ha! I'd bet fifty percent of 15 year olds I know have already had sex-- and 80 percent of them can't read at a Dick and Jane level.
          Still no news on the writing front. I vowed when I first started writing way back when that I would donate ten percent of whatever I made from my sales to charity, and so far I've been pretty good about it. I still even gave ten percent when I donated the proceeds of the sale back to the mag that bought the story. Of course to date I haven't made enough money to support one of those starving Ethiopian kids for a day, but hey, I'm holding up my end of the bargain.

26 Jul
This just in: Apparently I'm physically fit enough that younger women find me attractive, but old enough that they find that attraction disturbing. As opposed to my wife, who's fit enough that younger men find her attractive, and old enough that it really turns them on.

27 Jul
          I spent the morning looking at new cars I can't even begin to afford, even with the "You pay what we pay" sale. Maybe if they had a "You pay what it's worth" sale. 
          I killed some more time just window-shopping downtown, but as usual nothing happened. No wizened old shopkeeper tried to sell me a magic amulet--or cursed ring for that matter. No one staggered out of an alley and forced a secret map or code or whispered something cryptic with their dying breath. (I'd eve settle for Rosebud right about now.) There was no unexplained meteor shower that turned half the populace into brain-eating zombies, no mystical vortex opened up at the intersection of Douglas and Victoria Street, and no alien fighter craft crashed into City Hall. 
So I came home. Let's face it, my vacation's almost over and I haven't saved the world once yet.

29 Jul
          I read where they're proposing to extend Daylight Savings Time by another month in order to save on energy. The reason Daylight Savings Time only runs from April to October is because it gets dark too early outside that time frame. Maybe if they call it Twilight Savings Time. What's next--lowering the boiling point of water? How about making the mile a few hundred feet shorter so that cars get better gas mileage?
          Oh yeah--someone asked me the other day who I'd like to see as the next big action-adventure star. I mean, Orlando Bloom is nice and all, but I just don't buy him as a tough guy. Ditto goes for Pierce Brosnan, even though I like him as James Bond. And Ice Cube? Please! Too pudgy. The Rock is cool, and one of my favorites, but if we're going for a more realistic, nitty-gritty tough guy--take it from someone who knows--my vote goes to Jason Statham, of the Italian Job, and The Transporter. He's got the body, the moves, the attitude, and he can really drive. He was a member of the British national diving squad for ten years and participated in the 1988 Seoul, South Korea Olympics. 
          And no, Amber, I didn't forget about Viggo. And while I buy him as a tough guy, I think Jason would kick his ass. (Hmm, probably shouldn't have mentioned Viggo and ass in the same sentence around Mek.)

30 Jul
          Talk about your cliché war movie promos: "They were husbands, fathers, sons..."
          Give me a break. I couldn't help adding:
          "Some were all three. A few were husbands and fathers, some fathers and sons, and there was this one guy from Kentucky who was his husband's father's son..."
          "Men, this is the most important thing you'll ever do."
          At least until the sequel. I swear they're jus not trying any more.

          I was browsing through the Future Shop the other day and it suddenly dawned on me. The future is now...most of us just can't afford it.