Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I finished the last of the Twilight books and was pleased that I had read them. While not stunning works of fiction, I do have to say they held my attention and I read them every free chance I had. I think one of the reasons I liked them so much was because it was more than a Buffy clone but more like reading Vampires/Werewolves/ and Superheroes. Especially the last book of the series. The final showdown was like Legion of Super-Heroes VS Legion of Super-Villains. With horse sized wolves thrown in for good measure. That sounds cool just typing it. Now I have the intern (Diana) addicted as well. Unlike Wendy and I, she actually loved the first book. I consider the first book something you have to suffer through (like braces) in order to get the set-up for the next three books which I thought well worth it. She’s on book three already.

As for my writing, I continue to send out query letters to agents. Last week I got my first hit with an agent asking to see a partial. If she likes the partial, she'll request the whole manuscript. If she likes that, well, I'll be crying like a baby. A hungry angry baby. (Anyone recognize the quote?) It's a long process and asking for a partial is encouraging but really means very little in the whole process. One agent described it like this - "For every hundred queries I get, I might request one manuscript. For ever hundred manuscripts I decide to read, I might take on one new client."

Last night we watched “An Officer and a Gentleman” because Wendy had never seen it. I’ve never enjoyed it so much as I did last night. There have been times when Wendy and I will show the other a movie from that era and get done watching and apologize to the other with “Man, I am so sorry. I remember that movie being far better.” It really holds up well for a movie that was made almost thirty years ago. Man I’m old…

Afterlife: I woke up yesterday morning with the scary knowledge that there is no afterlife. It stuck with me and scared me for about three hours. I’m not super religious, but a few times a week I pray to God and thank him for my blessings. I never ask for anything, it’s just not my style. I don’t know if he listens, but the more I know about the universe, nature, humanity, inventions, etc, I just can’t help but think there is someone behind all this. This isn’t by accident.

As for the afterlife, I just can’t believe that everything I am ends when I die. Take away my mind and I am just a billion individual cells all working in harmony to sustain this body. How did we ever evolve into that? It doesn’t make sense to me. My consciousness has to have more purpose and more life than just this collection of cells.

I woke up knowing I ended when I died. I think this actually comes from my recent viewing of “Cloverfield.” While the death and destruction caused by a monster from outer space rampaging through New York is nothing I would wish on the inhabitants of said city, it would be nice to know there is more to the universe than we know. With the advent of cel phones, a vast majority of the world now has access to a camera with them wherever they go. And about 80% of those cel phones have video capability as well.

So where are our videos of the Loch Ness monster? Videos of real UFO’s? Pictures of Bigfoot? Since none have surfaced, I have to assume that like Magic, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, they just don’t exist. There is nothing else to this universe than what we can see and touch. The magical unknown isn’t that magical. There’s never going to come a time in my lifetime when we discover a life that originated somewhere other than Earth. There is never going to be a monster rampaging through NY. There’s never going to be footage of the Loch Ness Monster. And when I die, that’s the end.

That depressed me for about three hours but also made me realize, “Hey buddy, this is all you get. Better make the most of it. This is all there is. Make sure you do it right.” Good thing I’m doing it right so far.

After I’d had some coffee and woke up a little bit, I started to remember things. Like the time we were playing Capture the Flag and we saw some odd lights high up in the atmosphere, moving in synchronicity. Then zipping across the sky faster than anything man-made could possible go. It was on the radio and the papers the next day with hundreds of people seeing it.

Marilyn’s dog, Jasmine, died quite suddenly one day. The next night we were lying in bed reading and we heard footsteps, turning in a circle and a thump on the ground next to the bed. I sat bolt upright but nothing was there. ‘Did you just…”

“Hear Jasmine circle and lay down in her usual spot? Yes I did.”

After my Grandma moved into assisted living, we moved my Grandfather’s enormous desk to my house, as well as a few other things from the house. We were haunted for the next six months. Not in a bad way, but in a way that made me think he was checking out how everything was going. We would hear him walking around upstairs. We would both hear it, look to the ceiling and wonder. Let’s see, I’m here, you’re here, Jasmine is here. So who is walking around upstairs? I’d grab a bat and go take a look but there was never anyone there. A friend of ours who claims to see spirits saw him during dinner one night. She described him sitting in a chair watching us while we ate. She had us turn around but he was gone.

In totally unrelated news –

Marvel killed off one of my favorite Superheroes in March of 2007. Captain America was shot and killed in an event called “Civil War” that had political overtones similar to the Patriot Act and agencies like Homeland Security.

Have you ever seen “Excalibur?” In the film it is established that King Arthur and the land are one. If Arthur is healthy, so is the land. If Arthur is infirm so is the land with crops refusing to grow, everyone poor and diseased. Arthur drinks from the Holy Grail and the land is restored to vibrancy.

Being a huge liberal Democrat, I think it would have been a good storyline to have the same thing happen in the Captain America books. Of course Captain America died. America started torturing people, wire-tapping its own citizens, attacked another country on false pretense, fired people for not being Republican enough (Justice Department scandal), used false terror alerts during an election year to influence the populace and keep them afraid (there were five terror alerts in 2004 and none since then) and a whole bunch of other un-American things. No wonder Cap died!

Marvel should have resurrected Captain America in late January 2009.

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