Monthly Archives: July 2013

Eventually, everything breaks

An old friend of mine used to always tell me that computer hard drives have a 100% failure rate. I’m not sure if it was originally his or not, but he was fond of saying it whenever we talked about computers. Initially, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around that—“but I just bought this hard drive, how can you tell me that there is a 100% chance it will fail.”

To date, he’s been absolutely correct. For computers, I just move my information from the old one to the next and keep going.

But I’m finding that there are a lot of other things that possibly fall into that category, particularly anything that uses electricity.

I missed blogging last week because we loaded up a 26foot Uhaul and then spent 2 days driving 750 miles with it packed so tight I was sticking things in with a half-open (or was it half-closed?) door. Then I had to put it all directly into a storage because we still have no place to move to yet.

But the point is that BJ and I had this lamp that I’d wanted for some time before we actually got it. It was my favorite. Those of you more astute writers have picked up on the past tense. The lamp wasn’t fancy, nor was it really that expensive. When we got our sectional sofa (eighteen years ago), I wanted one of those cool lamps that spread out into five different pieces so it would light up every spot on the sofa—I could read anywhere I sat. So we got it—and I loved the lamp.

The sofa is now gone, too. We decided a few months back that after eighteen years, the sofa would not be making the trip to Florida with us.

The lamp DID, though.

After I put everything in storage…tired as all get out, I put the lamp in the back of my truck to take it to our tiny apartment (it’s a one room and VERY temporary) so that I could continue to use it.

When we pulled up at the apartment the kids grabbed armfuls of stuff and headed in because we were all tired. When I went to take the lamp out, I saw the base had a piece broken off. When I actually picked it up to take it out of the truck, the base just…crumbled. Crumbled into so many pieces. I didn’t realize it until it broke that it was a concrete block base wrapped in some thick plastic/rubber material.

There was nothing to do but toss the entire thing.

I guess that’s why the really “old” things go in museums.

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Filed under Columns

Watching the J Bros.

So, daughter Brittany dragged me out to see a free Jonas Brothers concert for a July 4th (on the 3rd) celebration. Apparently, they’re “back” together (I never knew they broke up) and this is part of their grand reunion kick-off. I asked Brittany how long they had been broken up and she said three years. I laughed and told her that some of the classic rock bands took that long just to compose their next classic album. It wasn’t near as funny to her as it was to me.

Before we went, she said she wasn’t much of a fan…and yet she sang along with every song they played. I, on the other hand, had never heard ANY of them. When we arrived, I think we parked as far away as humanly possible…but we didn’t allow that to slow us down. Getting to the park (Pigeon’s Roost…or some such) we found the viewing area cram packed. It was body to body, small steps moving forward. At one time, I’m absolutely certain there were more people there to participate in the festivities and see The Jonas Brothers than live in Oxford! Before the rain, that is.

TJBs played ONE song…and the last 20 seconds or so was only the bass player. Technical difficulties stopped them for a period of time. Then, the announcer said the show was postponed because of a quickly moving thunderstorm. Looking behind us, we could clearly see the line of clouds that signaled the storm.

So we waited.

For the longest time, everyone pretty much held their spots. When it started sprinkling, cries of surprise rang out (really? Because the dude warned us about four times!). When it started raining hard, about forty percent of those in the crowd vanished. That was good for Brittany because we got to step forward a bit and get a better vantage point.

We also got drenched.

Fortunately for us, we were next to a big TJB fan and she shared her umbrella with us. Of course, I’m big enough that the water running off the umbrella all ran down my back. Umbrella aside, we still got wet.

But, like most afternoon thunderstorms in central Fla., this one passed over fairly quickly (20 minutes?). But the entire thing took long enough that the authorities determined to have the firework show first, and then the return of TJB. The fireworks were nice—snippets of just about every patriotic song were played while the fireworks went off. They must have spent a ton of money on them!

TJB took the stage and played seven or eight songs to throngs of screaming girls (mostly…few dudes there looking not so dudely in their screaming) and generally put on a good show. By the time they started playing, most of the forty percent who’d left had returned and it was all crowded again. But we still had a much better view (see the pic).

All in all, we had a fun time…even though I still wouldn’t recognize any of their songs if I heard them now.

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Filed under family, Kids

Normalcy? What’s that?

Okay, so I’m still struggling to find some normalcy in my life as far as time goes…and while one of my more smart-aleck readers noted that if I have time to blog I have time to write, I view writing here as writing. That’s part of the problem—I’m not having much time for either! Ack! On the positive front, my new class (Writing for Comics and Animation) is in high gear and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I mean, I’m getting to teach something I really enjoy! My ground class will begin in August and I’m a little apprehensive about it, but still anxious for it. I’ll miss my colleagues in the MFA program…but, not really because I haven’t moved my desk and none of them have changed seats so they’re all still in the same place and I get to see them just like I did before. Unless there’s been a decision of which I’m unaware, I’ll still be reading comic/graphic novel theses for the MFA program when possible.

We’ve still not sold the house in Oxford—so please; if any of you know of someone looking for a home to buy (or RENT at this point), please point them our way. Four bedrooms, wood burning fireplace, nearly three acres, good community. We’d love to just pick it up and bring it with us…but you know how that goes.

We’ve started looking in the areas around Full Sail and have seen some interesting homes. Nothing that really sang out to us and said: This is it! So we’re still looking—we want to make sure we get a place that will be in a good school district for Brett. Brittany has decided to go to Full Sail University—yep, where I teach. Yep, was a surprise for us, too. I think she likes the idea that FSU focuses on what the students want to do and doesn’t waste time with a lot of fluff classes. Man, I wish I could undo some of those ridiculous math classes I was forced to take in college. I can honestly say I haven’t used anything I learned (or didn’t) from the math classes. What a waste of time!

On the writing front, I hope to post about some of the comic projects I’m working on soon. For the most part…I’m waiting on the multi-talented artists to clear their schedules and get some stuff done. Ah…the life of a comic writer. I still can’t say anything about the secret project graphic novel I’m in the middle of writing, but as soon as I can, y’all will be the first to know! I’m also working on a short story for a project—well, I’d better not mention it yet, either, because I don’t know if they want me to yet.

And, if you haven’t picked it up yet, don’t forget I have a short story in the anthology Southern Haunts! Here are SouthernHauntslinks to various editions. If you get the print copy, I’m happy to sign it for you the next time I see you! 🙂

Print (softcover) and kindle editions:

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Haunts-Spirits-That-Among/dp/1937929124

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Haunts-Spirits-Among-ebook/dp/B00BWUXMX4

Nook edition:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southern-haunts-alexander-s-brown/1114845597?ean=2940016185934&itm=1&usri=southern+haunts

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Filed under General