The Supreme Court: The 18-and-2 Plan

I can understand both sides of the American political divide at the moment. Liberals are outraged at the idea that their long-desired court majority was “stolen” from them, first by their inability to flip Scalia’s seat from a conservative to a liberal, and now by the prospect that a “swing” vote in Anthony Kennedy will be replaced by an ostensibly reliable conservative voice in Brett Kavanaugh. Conservatives, on the other hand, are understandably elated at expanding their majority, but would feel no differently than liberals if the tables were turned: just as angry.

The Supreme Court has turned into a never-ending political dogfight, one we battle every Presidential election, every midterm election, and when an actual vacancy opens up, all the long knives come out.

Doesn’t that tell you something? Continue reading

Business Communication: An Oxymoron; or, Corporate-Speak That Annoys Me

I was a business major in college. (Marketing and Economics – woot woot, I’m a fun guy! Anybody want to talk about segmentation strategies or linear regression?) At that point in my youth, like most college students, I was naive and optimistic. I assumed that by graduating with an undergraduate business degree, I would automatically step into a marketing manager role at the type of fun company that has Beer Thirty on Fridays and a permanently casual dress code.

Needless to say, life doused me with reality like an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The only job I could get was a cold-calling sales job in TV advertising. Would you like to buy a 3 a.m. rotator to advertise mattresses? Please? I work on commission. Continue reading

New Story Published – “Ghosts of the North Pacific”

Hey everyone!

First, apologies for the lack of regular posting. I am still here and do plan to continue updating the blog as often as I can, but it probably won’t be very often. If you’re here because you like my fiction I assume you’d rather I spent my writing time on that, rather than on blog posts of “Here are ten YouTube videos that made me lulzers.”

Speaking of fiction, I have a new story out! “Ghosts of the North Pacific” is a sci-fi / horror* flash-fiction piece, available in the March 2018 issue of Splickety Magazine. The theme of this issue is “Dystopian Disasters,” which if you know me should come as no surprise. This story hits a few milestones for me:

  • It’s the first time I’ve shared a publication with a bestselling author. (USA Today Bestseller Pauline Creeden is also featured in the issue.)
  • It’s the first time I’ve gotten a full-color spread in a printed magazine. (And it looks pretty sexy if I do say so myself.)
  • It’s the first flash fiction piece I’ve ever published.

As a sidenote, this was one of the very first stories I ever wrote when I first began seriously writing short fiction in early 2014. After some (several) initial rejections, it gathered dust for awhile. But I always thought it had merit, so after gaining some experience in the short form I reworked it and culled it down into much shorter form for this Splickety theme. They bought it.

Most writers aren’t really defeated; they just give up. You might not sell a story to Tin House or The New Yorker, and you might not sell it in the form you envision, but if you believe in your work you can make it happen. This story is proof. So what are you waiting for?

Go check it out!

*Don’t worry. It’s not all that horror-ish. You can’t get very gruesome in 650 words, and plus, my scary stuff doesn’t tend to be very gruesome anyway. I prefer the heartbeat-racing can-they-make-it style of scary stories, as opposed to the something-jumps-out or look-at-all-the-blood style.

This One Goes Out To The Band I Love

Prologue: Hi. I’m still here. Apologies for the lack of regular posting of late. Life, family, et. al. take priority. I may post more regularly now, or it might be another two months. Read as you please, I’m not here to judge.

I dig music. I’m always listening to something and routinely seeking out new bands, artists and genres. But since at least early high school – meaning, for more than half my life – I’ve had a very particular fondness for the alt-rock band R.E.M. Continue reading

My 10 Favorite Scenes from Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite trilogy / series of movies.* I would love to watch through them all once a year, but it ends up being like once every 5-7 years. (They are 4 hours apiece,** since we’re talking about the Extended Editions.) Well, foolishly I thought that Alicia and I could easily watch through them after I quit my job and she was still on maternity leave.

That was December. Fast-forward to July, and not only did Alicia bail out after The Two Towers, I just recently finished Return of the King in bits and pieces over the last several weeks. Mea culpa. Continue reading

Life After Work; or, Thoughts on Being “Retired” At 32

Most of the regular readers here know I quit my job in December to be a full-time dad to our new baby girl. (If you didn’t know, consider yourself caught up.) It’s now July. I’ve been *not* working for at least six months, am not seeking a job, and have no plans to seek a job in the immediate future. (More on that later.) In short, my professional marketing career is voluntarily over.

That’s retirement, right? When you voluntarily stop working to pursue other interests (even if those interests are raising children)? I think so. Maybe. I’m not sure.

The more interesting question: What’s it like to be retired by your early thirties?

Continue reading

Yemen: The Syria No One Is Watching

A wedding hall destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen’s capital Sana’a July 12, 2015. A Saudi-led coalition continued bombing the capital on Sunday in violation of a temporary humanitarian truce. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

While the world continues to fret, shake its collective head and point fingers at each other over the civil war in Syria, the conflict has only deepened over the last six years.

But frankly, at least the world is watching Syria. Situated in the southern Arabian Peninsula, with nearly three times the land area of Syria and twice its population, Yemen faces the triumvirate crisis of war, famine and disease that threatens to turn it a failed state on the scale of Syria – or worse. Yet no one is watching Yemen.

Why? Continue reading