May 30, 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow AKA Tina's The Practice Room

Yes, I just posted yesterday, but so much has happened since...

First and foremost, one of my dearest friends lost her father in a horrible accident that you only hear about in the news or overly dramatic films.  Thank you everyone who has been supportive on Facebook.  I have been stealing some of your prayers for myself.  It has been a hard weekend.  

So, I am in a highly emotional state right now because I love my friend so much and she has been going through extremely abnormal circumstances and it breaks my heart.  

But looking ahead, as hard as it is, I have decided you NEED to know about a place that has become a major catalyst in my writing career: The Practice Room.  Tina has been pouring her heart and soul into this project in between yoga, WIBIJ?!, and life.  The idea is to state a goal on Post 1.  Then, you unplug for an hour during Post 2.  Once the hour is up (there's even a nifty stopwatch!) you reconvene at Post 3 and CHAT!  Seriously, you fricken chat about the work you got done, only for the first five minutes, though.  Depending on that hours participants the subject quickly moves to riveting topics like geography, bands of the nineties, and boobies.  We even make up new words and talk of our IRL reunion one day.  The main thing about TPR is support.

Upon first glance, TPR may seem complicated, but it's actually the opposite.  Tina sets a schedule each week and if you can make it once or five times that week, it's up to you because it is about you and your goals.  You don't have to explain yourself or defend yourself, although we might give you a bit of a hard time if you only write five words because you had to spend the whole hour packing lunches or because you can't stand to drink water.  No, seriously, one of our own cannot stand water, but I won't say who because it's too funny to share.  I am cracking up right now just thinking about it, but she knows I love her.  Right, Casey?  Oops, I  Yeah, Cassandra McCormickey.

So, TPR has been up and running since the beginning of April and I'll admit, I have been a bit of a poser.  I have gotten very little writing done.  And by very little I mean like under three thousand two months.  It's disturbing, I know, but I have finally managed to transfer my support for my fellow TPR'rs to myself.  This week was poised to be uber productive, but my friend's loss has killed any prospect of writing, so I am taking this week off.  I will still be leaving my WIBIJ?! clues on Wednesday, will you be following them?  Well, if so: ROCK ON!  If not: check ya l8r.

Anyway, Tina, thank you so much for being a catalyst to my writing career.  Between you and Heather, I have no option but to succeed, it's already been decided.  To the rest of you: I appreciate every comment, email, critique, and chat.  You keep me going everyday.

Also, if this post is incoherent, it's because I have had a few too many glasses of wine.  If this message is still here, then, I am still asleep and haven't edited or I am hungover and don't give a -

- - - - - - -

(That's a rainbow, btw. I know, just think abstractly, okay?  Okay.)

Get it, somewhere...over the rainbow...?  Okay, I don't either...

May 29, 2010

Here, there, and everywhere

So, I have been contemplating a blog hiatus and well, it's been a week since my last post.  So, I suppose that I am accidentally in a blog hiatus as we speak.  This coming week I am working quite bit, working for the promotion I am being "eyed" for.  I am also ramping up for summer classes, which start the 7th of June, don't ask what I am taking it's a secret. (psych and keyboarding)

Also this week, W.I.B.I.J.?!  If you are missing me badly enough, stop by and please give the game a try on Wednesday, June 2.  You're not a wimp, are you?  If you are, then please cheer on those brave enough to participate.  We seriously have some awesome host blogs lined up this week, some of my personal faves!  My 'hiatus' will give you a chance to catch up on my other blogs that I introduced in my last post.  Please check them out and give input or email me about becoming a partner.  I promise to keep things simple.  

Alright, I think that's it for this week.  I'll either see you at WIBIJ or later in the week and I am sure I'll be stopping by the blogs listed on the left.  Oh and I finally rejoined Twitter.  So, feel free to stalk me there, or allow me to stalk you, rather.

May 22, 2010

New Ventures and Celebrations

New Ventures:
I've gone back and forth ten times about whether or not to share these with you.  Right now, at this very moment, I want to show you.  By the time I am finished writing this, I may have changed my mind already.  If you're reading this, you'll know my choice.  Ha, I am too silly.  Okay, so I have been busy today cleaning up files in my computer, files in my filing cabinet, and clothes all over my floor.  Yeah, it's glorious in here now (not, I'd post a photo, but Niecy scares me).  In the comp cleanup process, I made it to my blogger page and discovered I had way too many things going on that have yet to be defined/developed.  Should I delete them?  Should I ignore them?  No, I decided.  I embraced them.  So, I give you the debut of three new blogs.  They are incomplete and so not even ready to be viewed, but what the hay, here they are.  Please visit and share your thoughts.

(FYI: the blog names below are links.)

Thespian Thesaurus will be a fun place to hang out and comment about odd words, overusedwordisms, and whatever else you feel like doing.  I have designed the blog using an old theater as inspiration.  I think it will be so cool when I am done.  The Bookshelf Muse has the best thesaurus resource around and I do not intend to compete with that beauty.  Instead, I'll make a discussion out of the different ways to describe something, anything, and everything.  Thespian Thesaurus will be a writer's resource.  I am interested in partnering with someone(s) on this project, if you're interested, send me an email and we can discuss.

Buttonology. is something I am very nervous about, but Tina has talked me into trying.  For Tina and Heather and WIBIJ?! and myself, I have created blog buttons, banners, and other funsies.  You may remember the covers I made as a contest prize a few months back.  I loved it so much I have made a hobby out of designing little things.  With Tina's pushing, I created this blog to offer you my 'services'.  My talent and resources are severely limited, but please come on over and make a request if you have one and we'll see what I can do.  Buttonology will be a shop and design funplace, if you're interested in partnering, contact via email.

know diversity! is my new baby.  I am exploring my own prejudices through books and sharing my personal growth.  I am scared and excited about this idea.  I hope the backlash of my words will not outweigh the learning I do.  Soon, though, I hope to gain participation from authors and readers about their own experiences battling prejudice in their minds.  Know diversity will be a lot of things, but most importantly a positive place.  Send me an email if you'd like to help me with this project!

W.I.B.I.J.?!, my good old friend created with my good young friends.  If you are still unacquainted, please check out the Big Top.  WIBIJ will be awesome.  WIBIJ is awesome and growing and thanks to our participants!


Elana Johnson has announced her book deal!!  holla!  I am sure you have heard, but I just had to make a formal congrats on my blog.

Elana and I have taken to late night (in my timezone) chatting on many occasions.  The first time we chatted it struck me how down-to-earth she is.  Although, I think her receiving an IM from me that said something like ddkhi  vfghjjjj was a great icebreaker.  I had no idea that I had IM'd her.  I get a response a few minutes later, um...  what?  So, I'm sitting there panicking.  THE Elana Johnson just IM'd.  Oh, no, I IM'd THE EJ first?  Wait...  I sent her what?!  Then it hit me.  My puppy Belle had been sitting on my lap a few minutes before and when I lifted her off, she bumped the keyboard and her new claws must've typed and sent that gibberish IM.  So, my puppy broke the ice between Elana and I and we've used regular English since.  Actually, our chats look like they're in code.
Congrats Elana, I love when inspirational people are so close.

The other exciting news is Anita and her agentedness!  I mourn her moving on from us lowly  unagntds.  Haha, she's so not like that.  The first time we connected was when she was posted about The Hunger Games and somehow I ended up finding a photo for her of who I think should play Cinna and I knew she was cool.  You're too cool for school Anita!  I know we all found this out like a week ago, but Anita will understand :P

May 20, 2010

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON is unfairly underrated

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

When I finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson a few weeks ago, I turned the last page, proclaimed my love for John Green for the thirteen thousandth time and finally rolled out of bed to put the book on my shelf.  As I got out of bed, I pondered the significance of the book and its message, quickly coming to this conclusion: WG, WG is on the most important YA books I have ever read.  Here's why:

1. Few people liked the gay WG.  They didn't like his voice, they didn't like his ideas, they couldn't handle Levithan taking creative license and throwing grammar out the window.  I am not sure if Gay WG was meant to be liked.  It doesn't matter to me because what I did find in Gay WG was reality.  He speaks as a real sixteen year old gay kid does.  He has bad qualities, yay, otherwise, I'd would've been bored to death.  He is full of grudges, naiveties, and most other teen-angst issues.  Overall, he entertained me.  Deep down, he touched me emotionally and brought a lot of memories I suppressed as a teen back to the surface.

2. Straight WG's voice was simple and powerful, in true John Green form.  And, in true John Green form, I immediately fell in love with him.  Straight WG keeps the novel grounded, while finding release and letting go of his inhibitions.

3. WG, WG is first and foremost, not a love story, but a coming of age story.  I think people were expecting this big gay love-fest.  It is not that.  It does have a musical and a big gay character though.  And I literally mean big.

4. Tiny Cooper - a gay cross between Mikey from Recess and Fat Albert - is an amazing YA character, he is straight WG's best friend.  I suppose some will find him annoying, cliche, and stereotypical, I do too, but that's what I love about him, he knows these things.  He wants you to know how gay he is. It annoys straight WG, which makes for some of the best internal monologuing ever written, intermixed with some of the best YA dialogue ever written.

This book is fanfreakingtastic.  I dare all cynics to give it a shot.  There can be no 'I just couldn't get into it' excuses.  Read it, finish it, and hate it - I totally dare you.

Tina has some words on WG, WG too!  I think we all know she's much more eloquent than I, so go check out her love.

May 19, 2010

Come and play with me

1:00 EST 
and for the following 24 hours.  A prize remains up for grabs at the first sighting of pure awesomeness.  It is a book.  Come win it.

May 17, 2010

Suck it Cali, Fla, Txs, and all u othr Midwest h8rs

Wow, typing in txt speak is so much harder on a QWERTY.  Okay, so I am just being silly and provocative.  But seriously folks: hot chick, first Arab-American Miss USA, and she's from Michigan.  Holla.  And yes, she was a pole dancer.  
Fakih, seen competing in the swimsuit portion of the competition, beat out 50 other contestants. CLICK IMAGE FOR SOME MORE OF THE BEST MOMENTS FROM THE SHOW.

Okay, back. to. writing!!  FINALLY.

And since I am writing again why not another song from Justin's playlist?

"Live Forever" Oasis
It's the song Justin listens to every time he thinks of putting a razor to his wrist.

Music on Monday, another video, and a favor

(AKA an excessively long and convoluted post)

As you may have gathered by now, I am fanatical about music.  Music provides an interesting dynamic to my writing experience.  At first, my playlists consisted of songs that I like, which is clearly a good place to start.  As my characters developed, however, my playlists became more specific to their tastes.  Some of my original choices remain, but the lists are ever changing.  Justin, my dark-minded MC has an affinity for nineties music.  So for this Music on Monday, I am starting the week of with a few songs from Justin's playlist, especially because I am channeling him right now and I need to harness his energy whenever I can and keep the momentum going.  Speaking of energy, here's the first song:

"Amber" 311 
(Yes, purists, I know this is not from the nineties.)

Justin likes this song because it is happy and he is not.  It's euphoric and dreamy and the perfect song to listen to whilst getting high.  Plus he thinks the lead singer is hot.

"Steppin Razor" Sublime
(I know the fanvid sounds weird, but that's really how the song sounds.  This is not the music video)

Justin is a steepin razor, someone quick to fight/a hotshot, so listening to calming music is a must for him.  Thank goodness one of his favorite bands covered such a soothing song.

"The Background" Third Eye Blind
(I suggest pulling out your old CDs or cassettes for a better version.  This is not the music video.)

Justin thinks this band is a little wimpy and listens to them in the closet, where he hopes to stay.

Another randomly awesome video full of humor and uber-talent:

(Also, I know I have heard the song Jackson covers, but I cannot remember who it is...)

A favor:
My best friend needs to find blogs that are resources for teens moving out of their house or going away to college.  If in your vast reservoirs of knowledge you know of such places, please email me any links or blog titles you think may be applicable.  Thank you and my email is on the top of the right sidebar.

May 14, 2010

The Decemberists and what they have to do with my writing

The Decemberists is one of my favorite bands ever.  Since their inception in 2000, the group has released five albums and just as many EP's, which I find amazing.  Even more amazing: I have yet to come across a song of theirs that I do not like and from this opinionated schmuck that is a miracle.  Even dc4c and the Beatles have produced songs I dislike.  The Decemberists inspire me because they are not wildly popular and they're not a novelty, but they continue to release a new album each year and stay true to their roots.  Each new album is consistently great.  The album art of each album is different than that of the previous album, but they use the same artist for all of them.  The artist also happens to be one of my favorite illustrators ever, Carson Ellis.  I am losing track of my point.  I would like to model my writing career after The Decemberists' history:

1. Consistently produce well-written, likable books, without stardom in mind.
2. Books per author should match.  I know this is unrealistic in the publishing world, but I like the thought of my books being considered a 'collection' and when they are next to each other on a bookshelf, they look related and pretty, like The Decemberists albums do in my iTunes.
3. Their songs are small stories within an overall tale, which is the album.  I'd like my books to feel that way too.

As for what the band has to do with my writing: their music is rare in the sense that it is neutral and I can listen to it anytime I am writing without getting distracted.  Also, it doesn't affect my writing, so if I get sick of a character's playlist or I am writing a scene that cannot be accomplished by listening to my normal writing music, the first place I go it to the search bar and type in 'decem'.  They make my writing experience easier, more enjoyable, and laid back.

Alos, here is a song of theirs that sorta proves they get Writers, enjoy.

"The Engine Driver" The Decemberists

And just for the hell of it, here's one of their most popular songs with an actual music video!

"16 Military Wives"

May 12, 2010

In an effort to make you jealous...

...and prove that someone likes my town I am sharing this video produced by my state's travel and tourism site.  What's that?  You recognize the voice?  Why yes it is Buzz Lightyear.  The photos are from a father and son team of photographers whose gallery is in the downtown and I love to spend an afternoon in the shop talking about politics, the weather, and great books.

Suck it Cali.

Also, please check out Tina's blog.  We need some thoughts/advice on a seemingly touchy subject.

May 9, 2010

I am naming my first born Shannon

(Thank goodness it is an androgynous name.)

I have to celebrate two awesome Shannon-ladies this week!  Both Shannon Messenger(M) and Shannon O'Donnell(O) picked me (well did) to win a book as a result of their Spreading the Awesome contests.  At M's blog, I won The Candy Shop War, by Brandon Mull, which looks fantastical.  At O's blog I won...wait for it...The 13th Reality by James Dashner (one of my most favoritist authors ever because of The Maze Runner).  The 13th Reality has been on my TBR pile forever, so I am uber excited to get a signed copy. Yay!


Also, more reasons I love my CP Crystal.  She sent me an email this weekend through which I am drawing so much inspiration.  
Hi Jon,
My husband bought me this writer's digest magazine the other day, and there's this whole section about what agents are looking for in YA right now. And I read this and thought I would share it with you.
"I'd like to see a good gay novel, but one in which sexuality isn't an "issue" but part of the fabric of the story." Stephen Fraser agent with Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency
Good = Scotty and Justin's story
THAT IS YOUR BOOK!! And here is someone telling you they are just waiting for it to land on their desk! Your story is beautiful and moving. So get writing, send me something to critique, and feel inspired.
Just thought I'd tell you. I will expect your work on Monday Smile emoticon jk. . . kinda.  

Looks like this week may be a good week for writing!  Oh, except I work everyday, many of them for twelve hours.  Okay, so the writing will have to wait, but thank you, Crystal!

May 6, 2010

Five question tag game thingy chain mail letter stuff funsies.

Crystal Cook, a loverly CP of mine, has tagged me for a questionnaire thing:

Where were you five years ago?
     1. Just out of high school,
     2. hating art school.
     3. Driving a 1997 Jeep Cherokee Loredo
     4. into which I pumped $150 worth of fuel each month.
     5. I thought I was happy back then.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
      1. Um...I really have no idea.  Okay, I would like to be on my own,
      2. but also with someone.
      3. Happier.
      4. Way more confident.
      5. Querying?
What is/was on your to do list today?
      1. Vacuum up a pile of glass from a light bulb that fell off my nightstand...three weeks ago.
      2. Go to work.
      3. Plan how to pay back two hefty loans.
      4. Give Belle some love 'em ups
      5. Something for myself.
What five snacks do you enjoy?
       1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
       2. Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles brand chips (I only like the Ruffles brand)
       3. Fig Newtons
       4. Unsalted peanuts, preferably Meijer brand
       5. Popcorn, air popped and real melted butter poured over the crackling kernels.  Topped off with sea salt.
What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
       1. Party with a hundred kegs of AmberBock
       2. Pay off my car and my sister's cars
       3. Move to Ann Arbor
       4. Attend the University of Michigan
       5. Start a college fund for my nieces and nephews

Now, I am supposed to tag five people.  I normally break these rules, but there are people I'd like to know more about, so in the spirit of needed material for blackmailing, I choose:

1. Anita Miller because she WILL NOT do this.  I totally know she won't, just for the fact that she'd have to link to the people afterward.
2. Kelly Polark because her answers will be fun!
3. Tina Laurel Lee because I dare her to find five things I don't already know.
4. Heather Kelly because I dare her to find five things Tina doesn't already know.
5. Marisa Hopkins because she'll choose Dena Daw, who I would choose, but I am only allowed to choose five people, so I am choosing Dena by association.  Oh, and because Marisa is my best friend.

May 5, 2010

The magic of the Blogosphere (or Blogoshpere if you ever noticed at WIBIJ?!)

This is what I am seventh most thankful for to the Blogosphere.  
(does that sentence even make sense?)

WIBIJ?! and a summer movie


Be there

1:00 pm EST

or be square...

...and without prizes and awesomeness.  If you cannot make the 'timed' race, you may follow the clues until 1pm EST on Thursday because best comment wins you a prize too!  Come support debut authors and show them your smart, writerly self.  Oh, and none of that sorry 'I missed it', silliness.  Like I said, you have a full  24 hours to play at your leisure. J


Beastly.  This movie looks surprisingly good.  With Niel Patrick Harris as a blind man and the use of my #02 Favorite Song of All-time, it's a shoe in!  Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, so we'll see what happens on my list of fave movies.  Don't worry, I won't be posting that any time soon.

May 3, 2010

Spreading the Awesome: Why I love SHIVER (and Maggie Stiefvater)

Spreading the Awesome*:

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

When I first saw the cover to Maggie Stiefvater's book Shiver, I thought, how endearing.  Then, I looked at the author's name and thought, how the hell do you pronounce that?  'stife vader', 'steef vatter', 'steve ate her'***, I was dumfounded, but the cover won me over and I possessively carried it home along with another based-on-the-cover pick: The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (amazing, pick it up when you are buying Shiver.)

Once home, I flipped open the cover and immediately found myself enthralled with the blue ink on the pages.  I didn't even know they could do that!  I was impressed and jealous of the blue.  I may or may not at some point have used the word pretentious to describe the blue ink, but I rescind that stance, and know that envy does not look good one me.  Odd, since green totally does.  It matches my eyes.  Yup, but not envy.

The beginning of Shiver is unlike any book I have ever read.  You quickly sense and intense story coming on and you keep reading, totally oblivious to the pages whizzing by as you furiously whip through intent on finding out what. happens. next.

I'll be honest, there were moments that I found, um, boring, but looking back on them once   I was in the second half, I called my inner cynic a jerk and told him to talk the hand because the face was plastered to the book.

All of a sudden, just after the hundredth page, I thought to myself, why am I still reading this?  Girl likes wolfboy, wolfboy likes girl.  The Twilight similarities could be seen from a mile away, by the wrong person that is.  But me, I have watchful eyes (like Sam, read the book to find out what this reference means) and I knew they were beholding something far different than Twilight.  

Shiver became something else entirely, for me, which is a feat in its own right.  The plot itself moved beyond the normal boundaries of teen romance and gave us something profound.  I found an emotional channel for myself and the Romantic in me (I keep him at the bottom of a twenty foot pit with little food and water) was finally released when Maggie described a date scene between our teenage yet-to-be lovers.  They visit a candy store, as the weather gets cooler in Northern Minnesota (temperature being an important and intriguing element to the book), and Maggie goes beyond putting us in the story, she teaches us how to experience things the right way, the way they were meant to be felt.  She plants us right in the middle of this gourmet candy store and it is like heaven.  We are in her clutches and she doesn't let go.  Maggie melts our cynical hearts and turns everyone one of us into a groupie by forcing us to shake with frustration because Shiver's sequel, Linger, doesn't come out until July 20 of this year.

More Maggieness
I have not read Maggie's other books, Lament and Ballad, which are about fairies, or faeries, or whatever they are called.  I am probably a bad fan for not having done so, but I am saving them for after Linger.  I do manage to get my Maggie fix, through her prolific blog and her purely awesome YouTube channel, where her videos push on the edges of creativity and inspire me everyday.  And she plays the bagpipes.

* Spreading the Awesome is Elana Johnson's blog event and it is epic, clearly.
** Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) photo from because I know nothing about copyright laws.
*** It turns out it's 'steve otter'.

For another review on another amazing book, visit the Texas Sweetheart PJ Hoover who will introduce you to PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles.

May 1, 2010

Post 99.5 (I strongly urge you to turn back now and avoid reading this post.)

Okay, so just to rectify my last post.  I am just, you know, in a transitional moment of my life that happens to involve financial perils, reactive behavior (usually involving a lot of procrastination), and plenty of self-loathing.

Today was a fun day at the gas station job.  For the first two hours of my shift I was spreading this powder stuff, with 'crete' somewhere in the name, that removes stains by sucking them out of the pavement.  When the powder blows away, so does the stain and viola, cancer.  Okay, so maybe it isn't a carcinogen, but it was blowing everywhere and I had it in my eye, hair, and socks.  I was also in the sun the whole time and am now suffering from my first sunburn of the year!  Yay!  

Okay, so as I am doing this activity for two hours, I kept thinking about my last post and how my situation right now is totally reactive to my teen years.  I was lazy as a teen.  I was skinny, smartish, and more privileged than I realized at the time.  I was bored, but I didn't do anything about it.  I got B's and low A's because that kept me out of trouble.  I didn't apply for any scholarships...because I didn't apply for any colleges, except one, an art college, and that's another story.  So, as I was lollygagging around, I felt I was destined to just figure it all out one day and I'd be fine.  Maybe meet some guy with enough money to support my dream of becoming and interior designer, then a sculptor, then an urban planner, then a...there were so many things I wanted to be when I grew up...  Well, clearly that didn't happen.  

So, I figured out I'd have to make my own way, pay my own dues.  Yeah, well, my parents aren't like the shittiest parents ever, but they totally F'd up on too many occasions and I have spent my whole life trying to evade them and make myself a better person.  Instead, I've remained the same moocher I was during high school, except it was okayish then.  Now, I am just a twenty-four year old guy with no college degree, no living, no sustainable income, and no future.  I am still seventeen, except with way more debt and far fewer options.  

And it totally hit me as a guy I went to high school with pulled up into the lane next to me and stepped out of his Audi, which had a well-known Michigan university sticker on the back and he nodded in recognition.  

I mean, I am standing their with dust flying around me, post-apocalyptic-style and sweat pouring down my face, janitor-style and he nods.  Great, I thought.  At least he had a great story to tell as he carelessly bet $20 on a less than great hand at poker night tonight.  As he was leaving, I felt totally jealous, but not of his degree, career, better-than-me-ness, I felt jealous of his right to those things.  He worked hard and got to have those things.  He got to be the one to nod at me.  Not me to him.  He didn't only nod at me in recognition, there was pity on that face.  And so help me if that one second blip of pity hasn't become my wake up call, my motivation to do something drastic.  I feel the need to cut ties with all the lies that I've been living in because the only truth is the sad fact that it's really all my fault.  I'm here because it's what I choose.  I curse my teenage self( except the great choices in music, thanks 3EB!).

*warning: religiousness*
I surprised myself today by looking into churches.  I am agnostic, which to me means I don't know what I believe in.  It started with my dysfunctional Catholic upbringing and my inability to understand what I was supposed to believe in, so I chose nothing.  I decided to not believe in anything.  Then, it progressed from hypocrisy to the acceptance that it doesn't really matter what I believe, it'll reveal itself in time and I wasn't going to looking for it.  

Well, I finally thought about it today, as I moved onto the next activity at work - cleaning the pumps for another two hours - and I have decided (your comments truly aided in this decision) that the drastic change I need isn't to pull up roots again and move across the country, nor is it to go looking for love (don't get me started on that dept.), but instead, I have decided to start looking.  I have no idea what I am looking for.  It doesn't really matter.  I just need something to do and I want to meet people that have a genuine interest in my life and I want to meet people that know people that know things, some of which may be the answers that I seek and may lead the the aforementioned unmentionable subject.  Who knows?  I sure as hell don't, but I do know that my general apathy toward myself is over and dammit I am on my way.