Saturday, December 13, 2008

Goofin' Around

The Thin Man is gearing up to cause all manner of turmoil with his dark matter research and his new theory of space-time. (I've sussed out this much: Einstein was wrong and there are two dimensions of space. This may be his craziest theory yet.) Since I'm sure trouble is a'coming, for now I'm sticking with a light theme. The following is something actually prepared by SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED and is intended as a resource for all those who find themselves trapper with an author (based on her own personal experiences).

How do you know if your writer is an insane maniac likely to go off like a grenade at any moment? There are some simple warning signs. (Note: these warning signs taken from actual events, do not replicate at home without trained supervision.)

--72 hours (or more) without sleep
--The ability to survive on a steady diet of only one specific item for long periods of time. For example: rice every meal for a month. (Note: this is often a difficult symptom to identify, see below).
--The ability to survive on a diet of things not traditionally considered as 'food' such as candy, tree leaves, beef jerky, Taco Bell, rubbing alcohol and extreme amounts of soda or alcohol. Author may lapse into a completely liquid diet.
--No longer following what is traditionally considered a meal structure, much less a meal schedule. This period is marked by a phenomena known as 'spiking'. The author will ignore nourishment (often violently if it is forced upon him) until tremors of the hands and face prevent him from pursuing his current obsession. (Note: current obsession may or may not actually be a manuscript, depending on the progress of the condition. In its early stages, the obsession often manifests first in game playing, researching random topics, or learning new curse words in foreign languages before finally reaching the manuscript phase proper.) When the tremor condition occurs, the victim is then suddenly seized with a ravenous and indiscriminate hunger and will eat, sometimes quite literally, anything that does not outrun him until the hunger is sated. This may include the consumption of insects, ancient condiments from the refrigerator, dog food (especially those bacon treats), and scrap pieces of paper laying about. Spiking is usually followed by several other physical symptoms, see below.
--Ritual social ablutions are completely abandoned until action is forced, i.e. the Cheetos orange has built up on both fingers and keyboard until it is no longer possible to type. (Note: in extreme cases, the author has been know to replace the keyboard rather than stop writing.)
--The voiding of physical wastes is halted completely until some other, external event occurs (such as spiking) at which point, well, there had better be a clear path to the restroom.
--The need for physical rest seems to be suspended (see 72 hour rule above). This is actually a temporary illusion and may be followed by complete collapse (especially during the 'sugar crash' which follows spiking) or may result in short periods of unconsciousness. These short term collapses may be marked by a sudden occurrence of a series of the same letter within the manuscript for up to several pages like so: sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
--In addition to the above, there exist a whole host of lesser symptoms that vary considerably from victim to victim such as extreme swearing, breaking down a wall in the household with an eight pound sledgehammer in the interest of 'research', carrying family pets around by their tails, losing every damn thing ever owned just when it's needed, a total disintegration of spelling and grammatical abilities, using the writer's own skin and available wall surfaces as writing materials, an irrational fear of Emma Bull, and the simultaneous description of own work as "unadulterated crap" while insisting "but I'm a damn sight better than so-and-so and his puke on the page."
--The most common and universal symptom of this disorder is extreme irritability. For the duration of the fugue state, the universe consists of the writer and his obsession. Anything that interferes with pursuit of the obsession must be destroyed in the simplest, fastest manner available irrespective of its previous, or subsequent, value. Writers are, therefore, to be avoided at all cost.

Hopefully, this short guide will prevent long term injury while a cure for this malady is sought. Research is underway and donations are accepted (just send them to me). Currently, the best available treatment is a six-book contract with a fat advance and the liberal application of hooch.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Contest Results

The Calamity's Child Christmas contest is over and the gift packs have gone out in the mail (one domestic, one to Iraq). I'll not announce to whom they are going since the winners may very well value their privacy. If, once they get them, they want to speak up in the comments, that's fine too.

And now, with the contest over, I'll start to put up the Thin Man's list of music for the novel over the next few weeks. He thinks it is a logical progression of music; SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED thinks it looks like a superball attacked a jukebox. You decide.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just funny

For your holiday entertainment, I'd like to pass along a conversation between the Thin Man and a car rental company that I overhead a few months back. The event occurred before I started blogging for him and it still greatly amuses the cat.

"Can I help you?"
"Yes. I'm coming to town for a convention and I need to rent a car."
"Excellent, which credit card do you use?"
"I don't use a credit card; I'll be paying cash."
"I'm afraid we can't do that sir."
"Do what?"
"Accept cash. We have no way of knowing that you're not a criminal."
"Ma'am, if I was a criminal, I'd have a credit card. I'm confused--what part of 'all debts public and private' was Mister Washington lying about?"
"I'm sorry sir but we only take credit cards. It's company policy."
"I understand that. I also understand that under Federal law, you have to take cash."
"Just a moment and I'll get my manager...
...What seems to be the problem here?"
"I'm trying to rent a car and you're company is refusing my money."

"Okay, let me see if I get this straight: I can pay for the car with cash and I can leave a cash deposit for the security fee, right?"
"That's correct, sir."
"Then why do I need a credit card if I can pay in cash?"
"Company policy will not allow me to rent out a car without a major credit card on file."
"On file for what?! This is some kind of discrimination isn't it? You're just yanking me around because I'm southern."
"I assure you sir--"
"What's your name? My lawyer's going to need it. The law is very clear: you cannot refuse a man service because of his race or creed and you must accept legal tender FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE!"
"Let me transfer you to my area manager."

"I'm sorry for the confusion, sir. My people should have explained the matter to you more clearly."
"That's all right. So I can pay with cash and leave the deposit in cash--that's payment. The major credit card is for identification purposes."
"Yessir. The card is ID along with your driver's license."
"Well I don't have a credit card. Surely you're not telling me that just because I'm a luddite you can't rent me a car."
"Oh, no sir, we work very hard to accommidate all religious beliefs. We'll just use another method of verifying your identity."
"You mean in addition to the three forms I already have to provide."
"That's correct."
"So what else do you need?"
"A current utility bill and a pay stub. The utility bill will need to be current showing a zero balance."
"You've got to be kidding."
"No sir, what would be the problem?"
"If my balance is zero, my utility company doesn't issue a bill. It's kind of implicit in the word BILL."
"Well, I'm sure we can work something out on that, just bring in your latest set of paperwork from them and the pay stub."
"About the pay stub, what if I'm self-employed?"
"Oh that's no problem, just bring in your last pay check."
"I don't cut checks to myself."
"What do you do for a living, sir?"
"I'm a writer."
"But surely you get paid."
"And don't call me Shirley but seriously, other than checks made out to my name, the only formal payments I recieve are royalty statements."
"Bring in a recent one of those."
"How recent?"
"One or two weeks should be fine."
"I only get statements quarterly."
"Four times a year."
"Hmmmm. Well that certianly is irregular. How much was your latest one for?"
"Hold on, I'll check...twenty-one dollars and fifty cents."
"We can't rent you a car."
"Why not?"
"You don't make enough."
"I'm paying cash!!! You said all this other stuff was for identification purposes."
"That's correct."
"Then rent me a car."
"I'm afraid I can't do that without a major credit card."

"Cat, I don't think I'm renting a car."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun with wikipedia

Edit: Stupid html interwhingee code eats the blasted links! All links now posted purely as text. Open a new window and paste them in. Sorry for the extra hassle.

The Thin Man is finally listed on wikipedia but it's a very short entry with a few errors and a derth of information. Now, I would encourage you to shoot over and update it but the problem is that he's very stingy with information, especially the personal stuff. So, it becomes a mystery--who is the Thin Man, where has he been, what has he done, is he even human? Well, to help, I've tried to complile a list of a few links that might help you find out more (and source the article as well). Not every page has a direct reference to the Thin Man but they all point at some aspect of his past and this just scratches the surface. Have fun looking: