Interview with myself, Part I

As the author of the orbitalblog celebrates a birthday this week, he will conduct a series of interviews with himself.

Q: So what’s it like, being this age?

A: Well, the twenties, as I’ve always said were an extended adolescence. There was really not much difference between the irresponsibility I felt as a teenager and the irresponsibility I felt in my twenties. The major difference is that the twenties were virtually unsupervised.

Q: So we can safely say that you are “in your 30’s.” Do you feel old or older, do you feel like you are really into a new generation of life?

A: Yes, I do feel like I am in a new generation of life, no doubt there. Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the age I’ve been. As far as I can remember, I’ve never wished to be older or younger at any stage of life. About feeling old or older, I feel more like I am ripening. Yes, ripening is another word for aging, so yes, I feel like I am aging. I don’t feel old but I do feel more mature. With maturity, and with my step into a new generation and acknowledgement of being a “thirty-something” now, I feel like my life has gone into a different gear. Childhood is in a higher gear than adolescence. Twenties are a different gear than the thirties.

Q: Would you say that gear, in your thirties is a lower gear?

A: I guess I would. There is some kind of downshift to this age. And not that life and life’s experiences are slowing down or that at this age you need to take it slower. The analogy is more so that at a lower gear, you move more efficiently, more economically. You must preserve your fuel and energy so that life is just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable, going at 60 miles an hour than 80 miles an hour. You essentially enjoy the ride.

Q: So what your saying is, following the car and shifting motif, you’ll be in the lowest gear possible, trying to peer over the steering wheel when you’re in your 80’s, still enjoying your ride, but pissing everybody off who’s trying to get around you?

A: Yes.

Your psychic friend

Only in the future is this possible: an online consultation to determine whether you are psychic. The method was a seven question quiz comprised of symbol interpretation and predicting what images and shapes the real psychics at chose.

Here’s what they told me after I nearly bombed the quiz:

“You answered two questions of the precognition tests incorrectly. This means that you weren’t able to sense two out of the three symbols that were selected by the psychics of Despite the interesting choices you made, it looks like your psychic talents are statistically average. It does not appear that you have specific talents. If you are convinced that you do, feel free to contact one of our psychics to share your experience!”

Statistically average? Really now. Those psyhics don’t know that I once wrote a story about a house that burned down that really burned down years later, nor do they know about my ability to say the word “abracadabra” and make magic. Who do those online psychics think they are?

Only now, in the future, is online psychic counseling a reality. No more listening to Dionne Warwick telling us to pick up the phone and call your psychic friend. Now we can find them online.

Villain of the moment, Part 2

The City of Los Angeles.

I spent some time — too much time — walking around Beverly Hills on Tuesday afternoon looking for an office building. I went up and down Robertson Blvd. and saw throngs of waify people with long hair and sunken cheekbones, behind sunglasses of all shapes. Boutiques displaying earth-friendly products next to wall length television screens showing models walking down catwalks and fancy car after fancy car filled up the rest of the street. There were a lot of old people too, and they looked very mad.

Earlier that day, I had been in Chavez Ravine – a lovely hamlet that time and money forgot; a stark contrast to the glam of Robertson Blvd. There, the people are real, much darker, and although they lack the pretension, they’re just as moody, if not moodier than the gaunt zombies lurching around Bev Hills.  The Ravine people are mad at something , too. Maybe they’re mad at the people on the boulevards because unlike the boulevard people who are at lunch on the patio wearing designer “green” clothes that were made in a sweat shop overseas, the ravine people are trapped in their offices doing their best to keep the dying economy alive.

To get from the Ravine to Beverly Hills, I had to take the highways and streets that Los Angeles has become famous for. On said thoroughfares I found the angriest, most frantic people of all. The scariest part about those angry people is that they are operating heavy, fast moving machines capable of killing anything in their way. Their machines are nice too, and if they didn’t feel like killing someone or slamming into something due to rage and destroying their sweet rides, some of those drivers may kill themselves. It looks challenging to primp in the mirror while driving  and talking on the phone.

Not until well down Interstate 5, miles and miles away did I start to unwind the tension that Los Angeles had coiled in me. I carried too much of that place and was in an agitated state most of the evening. The so called City of Angels has that effect on me. Maybe I’m not fierce enough or maybe I can’t hang with the angry people. Maybe a place like Los Angeles wasn’t made for a person like me.

Villain of the moment, Part 1

E-mailers.  A vast, undefined demographic – all of us really, and so, all of us are guilty. We are all dirty trick playing villains.  The villain I want to target specifically however is the one who uses e-mail as a vehicle to air their issues with someone. This individual,  instead of picking up the phone, or asking to meet in person, opts to send an e-mail, an electronic memo stating their frustrations.

Writing out your anger is very simple and clicking send is easier. Clicking send is therapy. It’s release. The words transmit to the recipient in a package, a ticking bomb, with chemicals and shrapnel that having been liberated from the writer’s mind at the time of clicking the send button, explode when received and read by the intended target. The anger, the hatred, the frustration comes right back to life when the recipient reads the note and unlike face to face or voice to voice confrontations, the recipient has time to think about what to do next, which is often even more dangerous.

1.Write back with equal fury. 2. Wait and compose an eloquent and mature message. 3. Ignore it. 4. Write back with equal fury and CC the message to a few people.

The options are endless, but the trigger has been pulled, the bullet shot and is already lodged deep into the tissues of the recipient. Anything the recipient does will be considered weaker than the first shot but has the potential to be sinister.  A punch back will not match the wickedness expelled by the first sender. The first sender, so weak and immature in the first place, took the upper hand however, calculated the shot, took aim, pulled back, and BANG! No turning back and no way that the victim will recover. The first sender won. No contest.

The first sender – that’s who is the villain of the moment. That is who must learn that e-mail is the wrong way to air feelings. Enfuriating the victim is the only outcome but by then, the first sender is empowered and brave, liberated of their own rage and frustration, and able to wash their hands. The first sender will move on, knowing what they did was right and easy and they will put their weakest weapon back in their holster so that one day, they can fire again.

Beware of these e-mailers, these nasty memo brandishing cowards. They’ll get you in the end if you’re not careful.

Heroes of the Moment, Part 2

Amy Shearn, Poets & Writer’s contributor and author

In her P& W March article, Amy says that gone are the days of hard partying writers. Gone are the writers who drank and smoked and abused drugs and managed to produce and publish brilliant prose. The habits set forth by literary lush granddaddies Fitzgerald and Hemingway and their grandsons Hunter and McInerery no longer exist. Why? Amy says that writers no longer have time to imbibe. They, like everybody else these days, no longer have the scratch either. Writers are not just writers anymore, she says. They’re marketers pitching their work, teachers, or professionals in other professions with little energy to slam cocktails and put out a chapter a day.

Today’s writers are straight edge. Health conscious and disciplined and dedicated to work, work, work. I can attest to this. Have you seen the image on my blog header? It’s an actual image of the desk where I compose. Have you seen the drink sitting next to the stack of books? It’s water. Plain, clear, boring water.

And what does that water do? It keeps me sober and clear so that I can write late into the night, urinate clean, and then wake up early the next morning to write again then move right over to my other job(s). Yes. Jobs. Writers, no matter how you cut it, have to supplement their income. And that income often is just enough to keep mouths fed and computers primed. Sometimes that income can fill those mouths with booze.

We all need a break and drinking, or whatever the release, be it from life or writing is necessary. We must decompress and whether that comes in a high ball or a glass of water, the departure from work itself makes all that effort, all that focus, all the time spent, one hundred per cent worth it. Step away from the computer. Step away from the journals and just live. Breathe and experience. Work will always be there.

Go get drunk.

my server

is it wrong to feel hurt by your server, who spends so much time with smiles and taking your order and bringing your beer, then sends a runner to bring your food?

Out in the backyard

There’s a blog, out in the back yard, that’s getting no business. I’m over here now, trying this out. Testing another product. Taking the the blog challenge.

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