Friday, November 30, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 30: Looking Back

Well, No-Shave November is finally over. It's kind of a bittersweet time. On the one hand, it's been a headache to track this thing every day, but it's also fun to have a visual record of my beard's progress.

With that in mind, I present a recap of my month of beard growing, starting on the 1st (the day I last shaved) and ending with today. Goodbye, No-Shave November! I'll miss you!

Next up, Decembeard, Januhairy, and Furbruary!

11/1/12 - Title: Baby's Bum

11/2/12 - Title: 200-Grit

11/3/12 - Title: Impromptu Married-Sex Legs

11/4/12 - Title: Airport Refugee

11/5/12 - Title: Lost Hope

11/6/12 - Title: Let's Get This Over With

11/7/12 - Title: Seattle, 1992

11/8/12 - Title: You Forgot To Wipe That Crap Off Your Face

11/9/12 - Title: Grecian 5 O'Clock Shadow

11/10/12 - Title: Transvestite Gives Up

11/11/12 - Title: Potentially Suspicious, Depending On Location

11/12/12 - Title: I'm Not Gonna Kiss You Until You Shave That Off

11/13/12 - Title: Happy-Go-Unlucky

11/14/12 - Title: Drinking Binge, Week 2

11/15/12 - Title: Halfway There, I No Longer Care

11/16/12 - Title: Just Reached Base Camp

11/17/12 - Title: Everybody Must Get Stoned

11/18/12 - Title: S.S.D.D.

11/19/12 - Title: So Totally Over It

11/20/12 - Title: Up For Review

11/21/12 - Title: Wooly Manmouth

11/22/12 - Title: Grateful Dawg

11/23/12 - Title: Lone Survivor

11/24/12 - Title: Moronic, The Hedgehog

11/25/12 - Title: Mole-Man

11/26/12 - Title: Dawn of Man

11/27/12 - Title: Face-Kicked by a Hobbit Foot

11/28/12 - Title: Hopeful Sailor

11/29/12 - Title: I'm Totally Over Clever Titles


I call this look, End of Days.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 29: Just Get It Over With

Well, I blew yesterday's goal. It didn't have to happen - it's my fault that I let it - but circumstances were really pushing against me. Yeah, I could've pushed back harder, but it would have had to have been pretty hard, and after the depression that set-in after the "getting published" section of On Writing, I just didn't have much fight left in me.

Anyway, like I said, I blew it. I know I blew it. I take full responsibility. The month is almost over. I'll try again tomorrow. As for today, screw it. I feel like crap. I'm not writing any more today, which is probably a relief to both of us.


I call this look, I'm Totally Over Clever Titles.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 28: Establish Good Work Habits

I'm revisiting Stephen King's On Writing, and it's like reliving a lecture from my dad. I don't say that as a criticism, only to give you a sense of the feeling it gives me as I listen (I'm a longtime lover of the audiobook format). It's like simultaneously being chastised and encouraged.

I don't write regularly. I've been writing pretty much every day (I missed last Saturday), but never at the same time or in the same place. What I really need in my writing life is some regularity. Insert Ex-Lax joke here.

I built myself a writing nook in my furnace room earlier this year, and have only used it five or six times. It's small and free of distractions (the regular roar of the furnace necessitates the use of earmuffs, which effectively deafen me), which is exactly what King recommends. I think the main thing keeping me out of it is that the chair in there isn't very comfortable, but that's a BS excuse, because none of the other chairs in my house are comfortable either.

So I'm going to try a new system, starting tomorrow morning. I'm going to get up at a reasonable hour (I'm thinking 10:00), lock myself into my writing nook, and write. I'm going to do the same thing every morning for the rest of the year, and then take a look back at how well it's worked.

My guess is that I'll be pretty happy with the results. Assuming, of course, that I get to bed at a reasonable hour each night. But that's another bad habit I need to find a solution for. Oh well! One thing at a time.


I call this look, Hopeful Sailor.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 27: Stick To The Plan

Well did Solomon (at least, I think it was him) write, "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." As it turns out, I could learn a thing or two from that guy! (By the way, I know it's tommorrow, not to morrow, but I prefer the King James.)

So, nothing went as I planned yesterday. It's my fault, I know, but hear me out. I think it was a reasonable error.

I got home from work last night to find my wife still awake. She said she had a long day at school tomorrow (today), and wouldn't be home until after I'd gone to work. Armed with the knowledge that I'd be able to sleep all day if I wanted to and nobody would be around to care, I stayed up a little later than I'd initially planned. Only an extra 3 hours! That's not so excessive, is it? And I had it from my wife's own mouth that I'd be under no obligation to wake up early, so I could just pick up the extra sleep on the back-end! No worries!

Except - as I'm sure you realized by now - that's not how it went.

Sadly, it turns out my wife was not feeling well today, and elected to return home early (4 hours early, to be precise). And, in case you didn't already know, my wife can't stand for me to sleep late when she's home. It isn't that I don't still do it sometimes - okay, a lot - but I can't do it guilt-free, like I was going to today. So, now she's home and asks me to get up, and even though I want to keep sleeping, I can't do it because guilt is preventing me from getting back to sleep.

So here I am, right back where I started. Yeah, it's my own fault. I should have stuck to yesterday's plan, but I was weak. I did my writing first thing, but when I was done, I just had a hankering to play some Dead Island, and I couldn't resist.

Let this be a lesson to you fine folks. When you make a plan, stick to it. Unless your plan is stupid. I mean, you've got to be smart enough to know when something's not working, right?


I call this look, Face-Kicked by a Hobbit Foot.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 26: Get Some Sleep

In the words of The Beatles, I'm so tired. I have been dead on my feet for the last five days, and the worst part is that I know why. I don't go to bed at a reasonable hour, even when I know I have to get up early (relatively speaking) the next morning.

I think it's because I'm afraid to go to bed. No, this isn't some Nightmare On Elm Street sort of fear, it's just that every time I go to bed I know that there's a very good chance I'll spend the next several hours tossing and turning, and still wake up exhausted. It's happened to me pretty much every single time I've tried to get to bed early, at least in the last 2 years.

But I'm still going to give it a try tonight. I'm going to come home after work, do my daily writing, read for fifteen or twenty minutes, and then go to bed. No TV, no video games, no movies, no YouTube. Just writing, then reading, then sleep.

Will it work? Probably not, but at least I will have tried, and trying is half the battle. Or is that knowing? I can never remember. I'm probably getting it wrong, which means I'm probably screwed.


I call this look, Dawn of Man.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 25: Take What You're Given

I am Mr. Monopoly.

Is it wrong to rejoice in winning your first game of Monopoly ever when it's against your kids? It kind of feels like it is, but I just can't help myself. I've played Monopoly since I was my kids' age, and I have never once just trounced an opponent before. It shouldn't feel great to have that first big win come while playing against a thirteen year-old, a ten year-old, and a six year-old, but it does!

Okay, perhaps I'm overstating it a teensy bit. I didn't actually force them any of them to hand over their money and property. They all just quit. But a win by attrition is still a win, and I will take it!


I call this look, Mole-Man.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 24: Remember Your Roots

Well, with Thanksgiving over, Christmas music is now flooding my house. At least it's starting like it should, with Bing Crosby, the last Christmas crooner you'll ever need.

I've listened to a lot of Christmas music in my years - I once worked in a toy store over the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, and I was treated to hour after hour of the stuff - and my opinion is that there really doesn't need to be any new Christmas music, ever. All these modern bands who come out with Christmas songs are just wasting my time. Between Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Bing Crosby, I'm good.

Actually, I'm more than good. I'm completely Christmas-musiced out. When I hear a new Christmas song, I just get pissed off. You're not fooling anyone, you crass holiday whores!

So, yeah, any Christmas music that was made after I was born is, at best, superfluous. At worst, it's pop musicians shamelessly dropping a deuce on the most wonderful time of the year. Screw that, and screw them!

Merry Christmas!


I call this look, Moronic, The Hedgehog.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 23: Say You're Sorry

I'd just like to take this chance to apologize to everyone. What can I say? I'm weak! I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn't help myself. I'm not proud of what I did, but if you give me another chance, I'll try not to do it again. Please don't give up on me!

I didn't mean to buy anything on Black Friday, but I just couldn't stop myself. I wanted to get a gift for my son, and it was $30 off! You can hardly hold that against me! I didn't go at 8pm Thanksgiving day! I waited until 2am this morning (despite what you may think, that's actually a reasonable hour for me) just to show that I wasn't going to be taken in by the hoopla.

Of course, when I got to Wal-Mart they had racks of low-priced Blu-Rays and DVDs lined up every aisle leading to the section where they kept the gift I was looking for. I couldn't help browsing on my way back! But I didn't get anything! Sure, I put a $4 copy of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army in my basket, but I put it back on the shelf when I realized they were out of the thing I'd come for in the first place!

It was Best Buy that got me. I mean, I had to go there! They were the only other place I could think of where that particular item was on sale! And I held out until I was stuck in that interminable line they have wrapping the entire store. I had come and found what I was looking for, and was ready to leave when I saw that they had the Will Ferrell/Zach Galifanakis political laugh-fest The Campaign for only $12! Twelve lousy bucks!!! How could I resist such hilarity at such a low price? Are you telling me you could?!?

All right! I admit it! I'm a bad person! I succumbed to avarice when I should have been focusing on gratefulness, and I'm sorry! I promise I'll try to do better next year!

This is a Black Friday indeed.


I call this look, Lone Survivor.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 22: Stand Up Straight And Speak Clearly

Thanksgiving is a day that's all about traditions. The great thing about having a relatively new holiday (in the historical sense) that's all about traditions is that you can start a new tradition whenever you want, and it's just as valid and important as all the rest that have gone before.

Today I attempted to start a new family tradition. Over the last few nights, I wrote a Thanksgiving-themed story to be read after Thanksgiving dinner. As family is one of the things that makes Thanksgiving so important, I decided to base all of the characters on my family, and make the setting the house I would be reading the story in.

Overall, I think "Turkey Day" went over pretty well. What might have been a pulpy horror story in other circumstances became a campy comedy, as everyone in the room could put not only a face, but a personality to each of the characters and events as I read them. I think we had a pretty good time, and I hope to do it again next year, ideally with a new story for the new year.

I'm currently toying with writing one for Christmas, but I'm not sure if I can pull a new story out of my brain that quickly. But who knows? I only thought up "Turkey Day" on Tuesday night, and that worked out great!


I call this look, Grateful Dawg.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The No-Shave November Logs, Day 21: Put Some Though Into It

Last night I started work on a Thanksgiving story, to be read either during or after Thanksgiving dinner. I just hope I can finish it in time. I mean, I know I won't have a polished final draft, but if I can just have something that will keep everybody entertained for 10 or 20 minutes, I'll be happy. It's going to be a near thing, but if I work hard on it again tonight and put in some time on Thursday morning, I think I can do it. If not, just don't tell my family about it, okay? What they don't know won't hurt them.

Since you asked, it's called "Turkey Day," which doesn't give away much, I know. I'm not going to tell you what it's about until after Thanksgiving because - and don't take this personally - I'm afraid I just don't know that I can trust you not to either tell my family or be my family.

Okay, enough about family and writing and Thanksgiving. On to the really important stuff!

So, I'm replaying my way through Grand Theft Auto IV...

Just kidding. That was just a test to see whether or not you're secretly a member of my family. I know that Grand Theft Auto IV isn't nearly as important as family, or even writing or Thanksgiving. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the other hand...


I call this look, Wooly Manmouth.

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