snip-pet: a small piece of something
: mini blog posts
I see that people are starting to say things like, “One of my New Year’s resolutions will be…..”
I have never made New Year’s resolutions. I always thought that making New Year’s resolutions was simply a way to procrastinate. If you need to do something, start today! If you need to quit doing something, start today! The best time is always NOW!
Many decades, when I was but 12 (I’m 59.75 now), I had a fight with a good friend. My wise old grandmother told me to write him a letter and tell him exactly how I felt. I did. Then she said, “Now put it in the bottom drawer of your dresser under your socks and leave it there for 24 hours.” Well, drat. I was all excited, ready to put it in an envelope, mail it to him, and never see him again. By the end of 24 hours, I had already forgotten about the letter. My wise old grandmother had not. She made me get it out and read it. After I finished, she asked, “Do you still want to send it?” “No,” I answered. “Do you want to rewrite it?” “No.” “What do you want to do with it?” “Throw it away.” And I did.
I still have the occasional need to write a letter to someone, but I always put it in the bottom drawer of my dresser under my socks. (Yes, I still keep my socks in the bottom drawer!) I leave it there for 24 hours and then re-read it to see if I really want to send it, to really say those things to someone that I usually like, care about, or even love. In 47 years, I have only sent one letter.
That applies to proofreading, too. If you’re working on something significant—a poem, a book, a term paper, a public announcement, a speech, a video—once you’ve finished, put it in a deep, dark place and leave it for 24 hours. Resist the urge to think about it, get it out, and make changes. If you have those urges, simply make notes to look at 24 hours from now.
If only I could get this secret to everyone in the Republican party because they publish so many falsehoods. Hmmmm. Maybe they want to….
I read a lot. I always have a book or magazine (both made out of real paper!) with me so that if I have to wait, I can pull something out and read a little. Makes waiting at the doctor’s office so much easier as the second hour of waiting rolls around….
With books, I usually read for 30 minutes or 30 pages, whichever comes first. With Stephen King books, it’s usually 30 minutes.
Recently I finished reading an August 2013 uncorrected proof of Chimera, by David Wellington, published in April 2014. Since Jim has worked at bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Nobel, B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Brentano) for 45 years, he has lots of uncorrected proofs. They are fun to read because they have typos and other inconsistences that always get corrected before the final book is published.
Chimera made it onto my “too-good-to-put-down” list. I usually read until I could read no more. It’s a science fiction thriller action book but the science fiction is something that’s probably not too far off. Might even be possible in a secret research laboratory somewhere.
In science, a chimera is a single animal organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes. In this book, the chimera are humans with a few genetic modifications. Quite interesting, and a very good read for those who like a science fiction thriller or are fans of David Wellington.
Just before reading Chimera, I read The Crusades, by Zoe Oldenbourg. It was easy to put that book down because the period of the crusades was really an ugly time in world history, not to mention religious history. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other religious terrorist organizations are just the modern version of the crusades.
So what am I reading now? I’m glad you asked.
John Grisham has always been high on my favorite author list—The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Last Juror….
My current read is The Rackateer, published in 2012. I have read 254 pages but I’ve only been reading since Monday. In other words, it has made it onto my “too-good-to-put-down” list.
I love scouring the Internet for stories about criminals in action, especially if the criminals seem a little incompetent. Here’s my favorite from this past week:
In February 2014, Carlos Ruiz broken into a home in New Jersey and stole many items, including a sound system. He had gotten away originally, but a half hour later he was arrested after returning to the scene of the crime to retrieve the remote control.
I remember someone saying that the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.
Another example of the criminal returning to the scene of the crime:
Christopher Miller, also of New Jersey (what is it with New Jersey?) was arrested after robbing a Stride Rite shoe store. He had just finished serving 15 years in state prison for robbing, uh, the same Stride Rite store 15 years ago.
Lastly, in the incompetent criminal category:
Colten Green was arrested in Illinois (It wasn’t New Jersey!) for robbing a Circle K gas station. According to police, it was easy to point the finger at Green because he was on probation for robbery and was wearing an ankle monitor.
If you think doing your taxes is are complicated, it might have something to do with the state you live in. Vertex, a tax software company, reports that tax-heavy states like Massachusetts (“Taxachusetts”) often have the simplest tax systems. States like Utah, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Texas have the most complicated.
Many decades ago I went to see George Carlin (1937-2008) live in Houston. Almost every day I see a Carlin meme on Facebook, and they always are worth the read. Here’s the funniest one I found this past week: