Yet-to-be-hatched chicken counting

Things are going really well for me right now. I finally got the punch in chapter one of The Monster Within that I was looking for. Finally. There’s a minor ripple effect I have to deal with, but finally the prologue goes Bam! I feel good about that. That story, man, it still gets me. Even if no one else likes it, I sure as hell have enjoyed reading it, and it hasn’t gotten old.

I was testing some of the database functionality in Jer’s Novel Writer and was cleaning up the characters who aren’t in the story anymore. Nothing like deleting the memory of a dozen once-significant characters to make you think about how far you’ve come. And about the sequel.

Jer’s Novel Writer is gaining traction as well, and I’ve decided to press hard to get a version ready for this year’s Apple Design Awards. It’s got “Think Different” written all over it.

So I’m sitting here chicken-counting. The eggs haven’t even been laid yet, but I’m thinking about taking time out from shooting Pirates to accept my major software design award in Cupertino. On the way back to Prague I’ll stop in New York and entertain the agents clamoring for my attention.

You know what’s cool about this fantasy? I can hit on only a tiny part of the dream and things are still grand. Things are happening, things are moving, and if it was only hard work that mattered I would be automatic. But I have chosen fields that are more that just hard work, although hard work is still the biggest part. (Hensley once told me that in response to the question ‘how did you get so fast?’ Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest pianists ever, said ‘If you spent eight hours a day playing, you’d be fast, too’. That’s a misquote of an incorrect memory, so, you know, don’t go dropping that line in jazz clubs where you want to appear to be intelligent. If you can find a jazz club that actually has jazz.)

Right. Back to the chickens, Any individual project seems like a huge long shot. All put together, it’s almost too much to handle. It is the classic American irrational exuberance, that annoyingly cocky confidence in self, combined with the drive to get it all done. That’s what pisses people off about Americans the most. Except, well, invading all those other countries with purely hypocritical justifications — that makes them hate us too, but the real reason they hate us, (aside from our intolerable arrogance, and well, our loudness in bars) is that they want to be us. They want to Get Things Done.

Man, I’m going to catch hell for saying that.

You know what makes you an American? Your car. If you drive a car every day, you’re an American. It doesn’t matter where you live.

Although drivers here pretty much suck. You could argue that Romans are better drivers than Americans, and I’m up for explaining how wrong you are. I admired those guys once, but Americans are just plain better drivers, except in Los Angeles and St. Louis. Maybe New York. Those guys in New York are such bitchy little victims it has to show in the way they drive. Saint Louis, I have no explanation for that one. All I can say is if you’re in a car there your top priority should be getting your wheels the hell out of there. People just… do things. No cause, just simple random effect. Great hurtling tombs of steel and plastic fling themselves about, blind and oblivious. St. Louis, in the middle of everywhere. It’s like Death Race 2000 there, only five better.

OK, I’m done now.

12 thoughts on “Yet-to-be-hatched chicken counting

  1. This entry almost needs to come with a beer meter. It’s exuberance, and all-over-the-map talking points seem like it was inspired by..oh..say three tall ones. With extra lacy foam. You might think that is an insult, but it isn’t. ‘Cause ya know, no body gushes about life – sans brewskis – like Americans. [and now, at the end of this sentence, i need some snappy latin phrase, not QED, but something like it, that means, your points are there and i second them. Carol Anne? Bob?]

    Speaking of a beer meter, it could also inspire readers to have the same number before reading your entry. I always read at work, so no beer for me. Probably a good thing as it keeps my blather to a minimum.

  2. Hi Jes,

    I believe the “snappy latin phrase” you are looking for is “Amen” or, in the vernacular of the Southwestern US, “Hefty!”.

  3. The question actually was, “Maestro, how do you do it?”

    The answer actually was, “Easy. Just practice eight hours a day for 15 years.”

  4. Jess, Bob —

    The “snappy Latin phrase” amen is actually Hebrew. Its literal meaning is “so be it.” However, in most Southern churches, it has come to mean “you got that right!”

    Interesting thoughts about drivers in different parts of the world …

    In California, the drivers all seem to be skilled, but they take all sorts of risks, such as going fast and making quick lane changes, assuming everybody else on the road is equally skilled.

    In New York, drivers want to make sure other drivers are alert, so a driver behind will honk the horn to alert the driver ahead that the traffic light is about to turn green. But at the same time, there’s so much traffic gridlock, it’s pretty much pointless trying to drive anywhere.

    In Arkansas, drivers will pull out onto the main road from a side road without looking to see if there is oncoming traffic, or they will change lanes without checking whether someone is coming up from behind. They seem to believe it’s the other driver’s responsibility to avoid a collision.

    In New Mexico, if any driver were to drive Arkansas style, that driver would be killed off quickly, because one can’t rely on the other driver to be sober enough to avoid the collision.

  5. In Arkansas, we also have interstate access roads/service roads/feeder roads that are two way and it is anybodies guess on who yields to who when exiting and entering the interstate. So we just go and expect folks to move.

    Yee Haw!!!!

  6. Andrew – same bit in Texas. Yee haw is right; a real effed up way to build a road.

    BTW, Andrew and lew, congrats on your rediscovery of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. That is one cool bird. I think you should name a brew after it. What combo of malts and hops would be appropriate? I toast that bird.

    TOOOOAAAST /urp*, hefti

    In my back yard is a dead tree lately with the attentions of a pilliated (sp?) woodpecker. He is awesome looking. Nature liths dude.

  7. Yep, the news out of Arkansas has shaken the birdwatching world. The pileated woodpecker is a nifty fellow, but if you can get the ivory-billed on your life list, that’s even better than spotting a yellow-bellied sapsucker.

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