February 28, 2014

I'm Telling You That's Right You're Wrong

I love a good argument.

However, I don't dare do it in the real world. Why? Because most of the time, not only do my arguments fall on deaf ears but they get me into trouble as well. Whether at work or at home, the post title is often thrown into face with a resounding HAH!!

So, I move myself into the cyber world, where not only is it a little safer, but where most people when they one, refuse to listen anymore or two, refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't conform to their point of view, will often finish the discussion by one, calling me a donkey's behind and two, calling me something that rhymes with spigot.

Which to me is fine. I mean, if you can't finish the discussion like an adult, then by all means, show your intellectual superiority over me by reverting back to your high school days. Believe me, I've had so many people tell me politely to do something that is anatomically impossible to do unless my manhood was two feet long (among other disgusting things) in the past seven years that I've basically lost count.

Anywho, back to the topic at hand.

I'm more than willing to consider the other person's point of view on a given issue, so long as they reciprocate. When they don't reciprocate, then all they're really doing is preaching to the choir. Which in turn forces me to buckle down and dish right back at them, politely of course. As I've gotten older, I have less of a tendency to use select adjectives when I shoot from the lip during my arguments, and more of a tendency to use a thesaurus or a dictionary to get my point across.

However, I've found with certain hot button topics (i.e. gay rights, gun control, Matthew Shepard and the Republican party), opposing viewpoints are not tolerated and the argument often develops into a nasty one sided flame war. Knowing this fact and accepting that I would also get strung up by my own petard hasn't deterred me one iota in trying to get my viewpoint heard/understood.

In a strange way, arguing about a given issue, is a fantastic release valve for me. Instead of snapping at the family when I come home after a particularly annoying day at work, I go online and argue/debate someone on a particular topic (this past week's topic du jour was the religious freedom bill in Arizona) for anywhere from five minutes to few hours. Afterwards, I feel great.

Now just to make one fact perfectly clear, I do not go online and troll. While I will almost always make a provocative comment on a given topic, I will, almost without exception, hang around to see what the end result will be. Win or lose, I always try to show a little respect to the other person.

Unless they tell me to do something that is anatomically impossible for me to do. In any event, I leave you with a moldy oldy from Monty Python.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 25, 2014


It's amazing, isn't it, the way the mind works? Sometimes all you need to prime the engine is to do something completely mindless, like play a computer game of hearts, in order to come up with something to blog about.

I could blog about my writing, but nothing much has changed since I last touched on that topic a few days ago. I could blog about how the most dysfunctional state agency in country, Massachusetts DCF, in conjunction with the most arrogant children's hospital in the country, BCH, and the most screwed up judicial system, kidnapped a child and held her hostage for a year, all in the name of saving her from "medical abuse" when in reality, its them who are committing medical abuse on this poor child.

But, I won't, 'cause I really need to find a happy place right now.

Instead, I will blog about the type of students that the public school system is churning out and dumping into the colleges and universities with the expectation that the teaching staff can fix the damage. The other day, a fellow blogger and FB friend Charles Gramlich, posted a short paragraph from a paper that was written by one of his students from his psychology class. Suffice to say, the collective deeded that paragraph hurt the eyes and hurt the brain.

The paragraph in question:

Evolution although well documented and well supported yet what one should consider is if God created everything in eternity (which one can not really fathom just like the concept of deep time) it is safe to assume that all living things even though things seem to evolve naturally over a long period of time they all was created in eternity the human mind just need time to see it transpire.

Now when I had first read this, the first thing that popped into my head was John Cleese, with Eric Idle coming up the rear. The second through tenth thing that popped into my head was that I could have a ton o'fun with this. Before we get a little silly, a sobering thought must be presented: this, my friend, is the end result of a seriously wasted public school education. This is the type of person that we will either elect as a politician or put into a position of responsibility.

So, back to the silly.

Grammar court is now in session! The most honorable G(oo)B(er) Miller presiding, will now hear the case of The Word vs. A College Student.

After much deliberation, we have determined that the defendant must've either fallen asleep while Schoolhouse Rock was playing on YouTube, or decided that they were too special to be bothered with doing their English homework. Therefore it is the order of the court that we shall fix the aforementioned paragraph so that it makes just a tad more sense to the masses. Thus, we have version #1:

Evolution? Although well documented and well supported yet...what one should consider is if God created everything in eternity? Which one can not really fathom just like the concept of...deep time?
It is safe to assume that all living things, even though things seem to evolve naturally over a long period of time! They all was created in eternity the human mind?! Just need time to see it transpire?

and version #2:

Evolution! Although well documented and well supported, yet...what....one should consider is if God created everything in eternity, which one can not really fathom. Just like the concept of deep time it is safe to assume that all living things. Even though things seem to evolve naturally over a long period of time. They all was created in eternity? The human mind just need time to see it transpire?

and finally, version #3 (the court's personal fave):

Evolution! Hrrumph! Although well documented and well supported? I think not, yet what one should consider is if God (Allah!) created everything in eternity (or infinity and beyond), which you can not really fathom nor like the concept of deep time (mmmm.....deep), it is safe to assume that all living things, even though things seem to evolve naturally (naturally he says) over a long period of time (what, three decades perhaps?) they all was created (or hatched) in eternity. The human mind just need time to see it transpire (like that's gonna happen anytime soon).

My friends, a public school education is a terrible thing to waste on those who need it the least. So the next time that Muffy or Skip, or John and Martha, ask your opinion about their offspring Ken and Barbii, tell the truth: Math is hard, and writing coherent sentences is harder, so stick to texting and talking in acronyms, 'cause, yanno, you make much more sense saying OMG!!!! than you do saying Oh my God!

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 22, 2014

B(ooks) A(lready) R(ead), VI

Yes, it's time for yet another installment of my B(ooks) A(lready) R(ead) series. If you wish to play catch up, please click on the links for parts 1 thru 5, and check out what I've read along with mini reviews and buy links, if you so choose. Please note that all the books on this list are either from my personal collection or were borrowed from my local town library.


31} Queen Of The Air: A True Story Of Love & Tragedy At The Circus, by Dean Jensen. To get everyone up to speed, I'm a big fan of all types of non-fiction. Doesn't matter what the subject matter may be (exception: I won't read anything that has been written by or endorsed by cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal) I'll take a shot at it. This particular book features the turn of the century (19th going into the 20th) circus sensation Leitzel and Alfred Codona of the famous Flying Codona Brothers. A wickedly sobering look at circus life, early celebrities and romance. If you're interested in early American/European pop culture as well as the early glory years of the circus, then this book is for you.

32} The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion The Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love by Robert Elder. This was one of those rare books that I had picked up strictly due to the outside jacket blurb, which promised it to be good page turner. However, this book quickly turned out to be one that I couldn't keep open. For me, reading sit down interviews with (supposedly) well known artsy-fartsy directors who then proceed to analytically dissect their favorite movie in excruciating detail was definitely not my mug of beer. In fact, I would rather listen to a 9/11 truther than read this book.

33} Dear Mark Twain: Letters from his readers, by R. Kent Rasmussen. A positive cornucopia of letters written to Samuel Clemons that range from his first published book to his last, and everything else in between. This books gives a remarkable insight not only about Samuel Clemens but about each letter writer as well. If you enjoy Samuel Clemens, Americana and how life functioned during the late 19th and early 20th century, this book is for you.

34} The Ape In The Corner Office by Richard Conniff. An interesting little book, the topic is basically how to survive and thrive in the workplace by emulating the animals of the jungle.

35} Who's On Worst? by Filip Bundy. If you love baseball like I do, then this book is for you. This book celebrates the absolute worst about baseball. Whether it's about playoff blunders, front office blunders, worst bang for the buck, worst owners, you name it, it's in here. The ultimate Hall of Shame, this book will have you both scratching your head and in stitches.

36} Lefty: An American Odyssey by Verona Gomez. This is biography of Yankee great Lefty Gomez is a must read for anyone who loves sports bios. One of the best rags to riches (and beyond) sports bios that I've read in quite sometime, and I've read quite a few over the years. While I'm not a fan of the New York Yankees, I am a baseball history buff and this book did not disappoint me in any way, shape or form.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 19, 2014

Still....No Mercy For You!

So this is what my 2014 has been mostly about right now. Everything else has either come to a standstill or been a major crapshoot of boxcars with every roll of those shiny fuzzy dice. Suffice to say, I is not a happy camper. Too much work and not enough play make G.B a very unhappy camper.

How unhappy? How 'bout this video for a snapshot into G.B.'s mentality for the year.

Yes boys and girls, it has been that kind of year. Lots of overtime and no hope for advancement 'cause the powers that be think you can't do it at the next level. Which, in my humble opinion, is bullshit. I can get the job done just as well as anybody, even more so. Got the smarts, certainly got the work ethic and most definitely got the ability. But....it's their world and I'm just living in it, and because I'm living in it, there really isn't much I can do about my current situation except put my 8 hours and become a slacker like everyone else, which if you think about it, is damn near impossible for me to do.

Anywho, before I get too carried away and turn this post into something putridly toxic for the eyes, let us briefly change gears and downshift into something just a tad meatier and way less vegetarian.

I've still been chipping away with my current WIP every weekend, and the one thing that has been helping me is listening to music. I've been listening to a ton of AC/DC while writing (hence the origin of the video up above) which has allowed me to keep my focus on the overall plot of my novella. However, since I'm now coming out of turn four and heading towards the home stretch, I decided to switch genres a bit. I'm really not sure what genre I want to tackle next, so I thought I would do a little experiment.

For those of you who manage to click through to the front page in order to comment, you will see a big old button that says A-Z Blogging Challenge 2014. I decided that for this year, I would participate in the challenge. The main reason why I'm doing so is, to put it bluntly, build my blog readership. The peripheral reason is to see if I can actually pull it off.

I did pick out a theme, which is my journey as a writer, and at the moment, I have blog posts written through the letter L. The only letter I don't have a topic for is "Y". You would figure that amongst all the letters of the alphabet, "Y" would be the easiest, while the letters "Q", "V" and "X" would the hardest. Sad to say, it is the reverse. Anyways, back to the experiment. I took stock of my record collection, browsed around for a good five minutes, then found a very nice two double LP set of Duane Allman.

So if hard rock/heavy metal can get me severely wound up to write a crime novella, then southern rock/session work from a premier guitarist from the late 60's/early 70's would relax me to the point of being able write 26 blog posts with a snap of the fingers and a very clear conscience.

For hump day, I leave you with this wonderful little gem from Duane Allman

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 16, 2014

No Mercy

Meanwhile, back on the old Miller homestead we find our victim...errr...homesteader wandering around with a pen stuck behind his ear and a piñata whacking at his legs with a telephone book. He removes a large wooden doll from the shelf, unscrews the top and throws it over his shoulder. He pulls out a medium size metal key, sticks it into a large padlock and turns it.

Suddenly a large neon strobe light drops from the ceiling and lands at his feet. Vaporizing on contact, the room is quickly filled to capacity with a blue fluffy cloud of cold silly white stuff that sticks to every possible porous and non-porous surface in the place.

Hacking up a storm, our intrepid homesteader runs over to the window and throws it open. Unfortunately, with the window being nailed shut with concrete nails, the homestead rips out both shoulders, rendering him impotent and inconsolable. With no viable means of either exit or fresh air, our homesteader drops down to the floor with arms flailing about with no useful means of stopping them.

Crying from the pain, the homesteader gets on his knees and walks towards the front door and possible freedom. Sadly, when he arrives, he finds to his utmost horror that the door pushes inwards. Banging his head on the door, the homesteader eventually slides sideways down the front of the door until he kisses the door hinge, then falls flat on his back.

Coughing up phlegm, the homesteader cries out for mercy, but none is to be had and in fact, the powers that be grab him by the ankles and drag him to the kitchen, where a raging inferno is busily bathing the room in an eerie sickly orange sulfuric glow. The homesteader raises his head and says, "But I was busy doing other things. How was I suppose to know that people weaker than me were bullying the strong into submission?"

With that final statement, the homesteader passes out and passes on to the next level of insanity that is the real world, where truth, justice and common sense are ruthlessly obliterated in the name of free speech.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 13, 2014

I Dig Language. Too Bad Others Don't

I love the English language. I love how it sounds, I love how words have all kinds of meanings, I love the fun that you can have in writing all kinds of whimsy and most importantly, I love the fun that you can have mocking people who take the new and unimproved English language and themselves way too seriously.

For those of you who have been hanging around me since 2008, you know the type of whimsy that I'm capable of writing, and for those brave souls who have jumped aboard the wagon train for tales of brave G.B., whose naked ears were definitely not tortured by sirens sweetly singing, but definitely tortured by mindless YouTube videos that my daughter and her friends constantly play in my presence, last Friday's post was but just a small sample of my rapier wit.

So whenever people go off the edge of the volcano with their disdain of a particular word of phrase, it makes me want to pull my hair follicles out with a pair of tweezers.

The other day, I saw, or rather heard, a brand new PSA about how bad the phrase "That's so gay!" is.

Oh my god! The horrors! My self esteem will be crushed because that phrase cuts me to the core! I am being victimized because of someone's homophobic insensitivity!

I might say that I'm being facetious with that last sentence, but sadly, after watching Vince Vaughn get absolutely crucified by the media, the self-appointed police of all things gay, GLAAD and the Hollywood entertainment industry, I think it's say to say that I'm being serious.

Because of the era I grew up in, most words that have been hijacked by the thought police (see this post for a small sample and please note, the blog that it's on has a warning page for adult content) I know by their original meaning, thus I have no qualms in using them, either in this blog, or in general conversation. However, I am not what most people call close minded, in that I use those words come hell or high water. I have made concessions over the years not to use certain words on my general blog out of respect for my readership.

But, I digress.

It still pains me that people get incredibly upset over words or phrases and because they got offended, they have this insatiable need to inflict their viewpoint on others (see the NCAA and modern media in regards to the Native American nickname controversy). Pains me even more with the movement towards applying revisionist language to previous decades/centuries.

I know this is going to sound like a tired cliché, but it really bears repeating.

Words and phrases offend and/or hurt only if we choose to let them offend and/or hurt us. If you choose to be offended and hurt because someone happens to utter a word or a phrase that you don't like, that is your prerogative. Being shallow and/or weak is not a crime, but it's not an admirable trait nor something to inflict on other people to make yourself feel better.

Your time on this planet is finite, and wouldn't it be better served to spend it doing concrete things to either improve yourself, your family or the world around you, then to spend it trying to get a particular word or phrase banned because you don't like it.

Give that some serious thought the next time you choose to let yourself be offended by a particular word or phrase.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 10, 2014

Is It Better To Be Old Or Better To Be New?

I've started listening to music while pursuing the laborious process of rewriting my novella, and the funny thing about listening to music (at least for me) is that my mind has a tendency to wander whenever I hit a momentarily lull in pounding the keyboard. In this particular case, my mind often wanders to the music I'm listening to.

Because my novella is in the crime genre (of sorts), I decided that the type of music I should be listening to is hard rock. This, believe it or not, is a no-brainer, as I have quite a bit of hard rock/heavy metal/alternative rock floating around my house, be it on vinyl or on c.d.

So I started out by listening to some Metallica, then drifted to Motorhead, then wandered over to some early-to-mid 80's metal (Grim Reaper and a compilation from Metal Blade Records), wandered back to Black Sabbath I (Ozzy) and II (Dio) then sidetracked to hair rock as played by Van Halen I (Diamond Dave) and II (Slammin' Sammy), and finally, AC/DC.

I should point out that AC/DC was one of the first bands that I really got into, and as such, I have a good catalogue of both old and new to listen to. Thus, the topic of conversation today is old versus new.

There are maybe a good half dozen to dozen bands out there who have had long storied careers with multiple singers fronting the band. Some, like Van Halen, should really go away now and call it a day. Others, like Genesis, knew when it was time to call it a day, and thus bowed out while still on top. And then there are those like AC/DC who seem not to care that everyone in the band is north of 65, 'cause they keep playing the same way.

However, while listening to AC/DC I (Bon Scott) and AC/DC II (Brian Johnson), I've come to the conclusion that while the stuff with Bon Scott bordered on the X-rated at times (in a good way), the stuff with Brian Johnson was basically straight on R-rated violence. And the stuff done with Brian Johnson (Back In Black and For Those About To Rock, We Salute You) I believe, is what kept the fan base from leaving after Bon Scott left the planet for a higher plane.

Highway to Hell is what got me hooked on AC/DC, and the first two done with Brian Johnson is what kept me as a fan. Over the years, I did pick of copies of their early stuff, but it has only been very recent in which I actually started listening to the early stuff. The early stuff, while provocative to the point of being explicit, is actually quite good, and if you want to fully appreciate the band, you have to start there.

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that AC/DC is one of the few bands that managed not to skip a beat when they were forced to change singers.

So my question to you is this: Are there any bands that you like that managed to have a smooth transition when they were forced to change frontman? Any bands that you like that bit the big one because the replacement wasn't as good as the original? Any bands that improved with changes?

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 7, 2014

A C.M. Classic: Post #569

In the past 5 3/4 years, spanning 1,329 blog posts covering 6 blogs (one dead, three semi-dormant, one in deep hibernation and this one), not once have I ever been at a loss for words. I know, it's impossible to believe, but true. I have bloviated, pontificated, expounded, elaborated and irritated my way across the vast cyber space universe, seemingly unstoppable, unflappable, and uncola.

Until now.

Today's post, which is a new spin on this classic Cedar's Mountain post, has unbelievably left me slack jawed. Or nonplussed, whichever floats your boat. Or dinghy. Or slug nutty. Or truthfully, having no idea on how to put a new twist on wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

I suppose, if I think about it, I could go all Tim Allen from Santa Claus and go through an encyclopedia to find various languages in to wish every a Merry Christmas.

But, considering we're a month and a quarter past Christmas, Festivus, and Hanukkah, and already celebrated New Years, MLK, and Groundhog Day (now going Bill Murray would be a fun filled way to pass the time, wouldn't it?), with Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday (and President's Day, feh) just around the corner, weirdin' out by getting all Merry Merry (not to be confused with the gospel duo that imploded in spectacular fashion last year, Mary Mary) on everyone.

Or, or, or....or?

Or....I could list all those classically bad movies that feature either Christmas or Santa Claus in them. 'Cept that would require a boatload of research that I really don't have the time do right now, so the only movie I would list is Bad Santa (don't make me go there) featuring one of my favorite actors, Billy Bob Thornton.

Know what's even better?

I just wrote and you just read a post in which I ramble on about being at a loss for words, when in fact, I wrote 274 words about my loss for words.

Which, if you really think about it, fulfills the basic premise behind this series, which is to put a new twist (and not Kid Twist from Murder Inc.) on an old post.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 5, 2014

I Did Have A Little Something Up My Sleeve

Well.........I originally had something all planned/outlined out for a post today. In fact, I had the entire thing written inside my head. But, in quirky turn of events, I decided that to actually post my original post would do more harm than good (you can use your imagination on what I had written, simply by reading a few of the tags), so on the back burner it went.

If you're reading this post and you're from the states, then one of two things is happening or has happened to you. You either recently got slammed by Mother Nature throwin' a hissy fit, or you're getting spanked with whips and chains 'cause Mother Nature is severely ticked off at you.

In other words, you're either recovering from multiple freak snowstorms (if you're living in the Bible Belt) or you're becoming hip deep in the first of a triad of seriously nasty snowstorms (basically New England). For me, it is the latter as of the date of this post, we're getting socked with 4 to 10 inches of not so fluffy white stuff, which is followed by another nasty snowstorm going into the weekend and coming out of the weekend (that's Monday boys and girls) a potential Nor'easter.

Sucks to be living in Connecticut, and other places in New England as well.

Which basically leads us to our little itty bitty dilemma: namely, what to write.

Well, I could write about my writing, in which I completed two more chapters. Inspiration to get off my lazy ass to do this basically came from taking a much needed vacation day from work, while motivation came from my vast record collection, namely listening to some classic AC/DC and the one good album that Quiet Riot recorded. Right now, I have taken my usual break from writing (to refresh everyone's memory, my current routine is to write on the weekends) so that I can one, recharge my batteries again, and two, give some serious thought to a rather graphic sex scene that I need to write, and no, it's not being thrown in for you-know-what and giggles. I've learned that when I need to have sex in my story, it has to be germane to the story.

Or, I could write about work. Not what I really want to cover but can't (see opening paragraph for my non-explanation), but I could write about the continuing fall out that is related to opening paragraph. From time to time, whenever I read the writing on the wall at work, I have a tendency to tidy up my cubicle to the point of being sterile, aka no personal homey touches. This week we have decided to tidy up our cubicle one last time, mostly because I did read what has been written about me and partially as a motivational tool to better myself financially.

If things start to fall my way (hopefully) then my blogging and writing will be a bit sporadic for a while.

Speaking of sporadic, I have decided that for this coming April, I would participate in the 2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge (hence the big old green badge that you see there on the front page). I do have a theme in mind, and I'll start writing the posts for them within the coming weeks. Sadly, only 23 out of the 26 letters will cover the actual theme, with the remaining three covering non-theme items. I do hope that in April you will find the time to stick with me as I drive myself slug nutty with my blogging.

Finally, the other day I walked into the living to find my wife and mother watching the movie Dogma (although I didn't know it at the time) and I happened to make the comment, "Hey, it's Jay and Silent Bob!" My mother asked where did I know those characters from and I said that those were characters that Kevin Smith created when he first started doing movies. This of course led me to my major brain cramp of the day as I had a problem remembering the movie in which those characters debuted. Twenty minutes later, I had my answer, as one of the best movies that ever accurately portrayed what it's like to work in a convenience store and almost got a NC-17 rating for talking about masturbation, Clerks. I really need to find and watch this movie again as this movie is an absolute riot.

I leave you with this interesting tidbit. Here is a very short list, of which Kevin Smith is on, of directors who also appeared as actors in their own movies.

1} Kevin Smith, with his Silent Bob character.
2} Alfred Hitchcock, who made himself into an interesting subplot.
3} Quentin Tarantino, who appeared in at least four movies that he also directed/produced.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 3, 2014

Are You Kidding Me?!

Preface: I had a devil of time deciding what handwritten post to use today. Ever have the problem where you have something written, either completely or partially, stashed away in Blogger draft, and you come back to it weeks or months later and find that what you wrote is now pretty much irrelevant to your current state of mind?

Fortunately for everyone here, I found something that, although written months ago, is still relevant today. So sit back my friends and enjoy this tasty little rant about stupid people.

I have a co-worker, who in another life was a private sector worker bee dealing with state guv'ment, that like to utter that phrase whenever she comes across a particularly needy and/or stupid co-worker. Or, when she hears about a particularly brilliant co-worker who throw a hissy fit about something, only to turnaround later and say, "never mind".

You see, she's used to dealing with people, who for the most part act their chronological age. Not with people who, when they don't get their own way, act like a toddler prima donna and complain about the mean old payroll clerk who politely points out the fact that they are acting like a toddler prima donna to begin with and that they need to grow up.

Case in point.

The other day we came out with a memo that specifically and succinctly states a new policy change. Most people got it, read it. understood it and accepted it. However, there were a few others that just got it, read it, didn't understand it and didn't accept it.

So one of those people decided to ask moi about it, because apparently they didn't get it. So after asking me a question that was a blinding case of the obvious and receiving the answer noted in paragraph 3 (I have sub-zero tolerance for stupid, especially from people who I can, based on their chronological age, safely call them son or daughter), threw a major hissy fit and sent an e-mail to my supervisor complaining about my attitude.

Sadly, after reading the entire e-mail, decided not to have my back on this issue, even though it was clear that the employee who sent the e-mail chose not to read the memo that came out, and gave me a verbal warning for my supposed bad attitude.

Some things never change, no matter how much you think they will based on wholesale turnover of staff that always believed that you were wrong, no matter the circumstances.

People at my job, who don't work in my unit, wonder why my unit always seems to have a permanent chip on their collective shoulder. Well, to K.I.F.S., it's directly due to the fact that we have to deal with people, who on a daily basis show just how much of a spoiled rotten brat they are with all the complaining they do.

It really does boil down to respect, and when you're disrespected throughout the chain of command, it really is hard to remain positive about your job. It's a lot simpler to become seriously cynical and function with the philosophy of, "Are You Kidding Me?!"

Fortunately for me, I have developed the dual philosophy of not tolerating stupid and taking everything with a Gibraltar size grain of salt. I've doing my job for a number of years and I know how to take the road less traveled in order to get the needed end result.

Finally, I have developed a pessimistically true statement that everyone with at least three months of working for the state gets and sadly understands. Whenever I come across or hear about a newbie employee, and by newbie I means someone who has come from the private sector to the public sector, the first thing I say is, "Hey, it's someone who has not been tainted by the stain of working for the state."

Which is a modern version of Frank Burns's comment about the Swamp: "Anyone who comes in here is instantly corrupted!"

Something to think about should you ever get the opportunity to work for guv'ment, be it local, state or federal.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 1, 2014

Is Anger Good?

Some say yes, being angry is a good thing. It allows you to sharpen your focus and/or your attention on something that otherwise might fly under your radar or at the very least, something that requires a helluva lot more motivation than what you get.

Others say being angry is not so much a good thing. It allows to sharpen your focus and/or attention in a way that could be detrimental to your well being. Or at the very least detrimental to your reputation.

For me, I'm in the camp that looks to meld those two opposing viewpoints into a cohesive and highly functional 3rd viewpoint.

Many, many years ago, when I was first dipping my delicate little toes into the vast ocean that is writing, I wrote from viewpoint #. I churned out a lot of crappy/mediocre stories in those early years. Eventually I came to the realization that writing angry wasn't getting me anywhere, so I swung from DC to AC, and spent the next couple of years pursing viewpoint #2.

By and large that became my most successful (to this point) period of writing, with two short stories, a full length novel and a self pubbed shorty story trilogy. However the realization that maybe writing a mixture of both viewpoints quietly crept in, took hold of me by the nape of my neck and chucked me in that direction.

So began the 3rd part of my writing journey, in that I applied a mixture of both viewpoints. I toned down the anger to a more acceptable(for me anyways) level of compliance while at the same time pumped up the happy factor to a level that didn't compromise who I was as a writer.

Even though I was in a good place with my writing (equal parts moderate violence and moderately graphic sex) somehow I still had a nagging suspicion that something was missing. Eventually I was able to figure out that I really needed to tweak the mix that gave me a 3rd viewpoint and come up with a 4th viewpoint.

Thus, I began exploring the seamier side of my brain cells by digging really deep into the memory banks to see what I had stashed away from my 48 years on this planet. The end result of that digging is that my writing is gradually becoming darker and more warped.

For instance, I started writing a crime novel that dabbles in snuff (and no, I'm not talking about tobacco), but that eventually got put on the back burner since I quickly began creeping myself out. The novella that I started re-writing a few months ago I decided to make darker and more violent. Fortunately, this doesn't creep me out as much as the other novel.

As for the warped factor, I'm experimenting with that on my blog. For those of you who happened to remember a post called "In The Beginning", that one lightly touched on BDSM. Strange I know, warped for sure, but having done some research in the past (Playboy for example) and present (blogs), I felt reasonably comfortable enough to write about it.

To sum it up, I now sit here straddling the lines between two worlds. One world is where I apply in equal parts violence and sex to my writing, no matter what the shade happens to be. The other world the violence is tweaked to be greater than the sex.

So you might say that for me, anger is good. Not great, as I do have some limits and scruples, but good.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.