Monday, December 11, 2017

My LEAST Favorite Christmas Songs

With the holidays in full swing, two of my local radio stations have converted to Christmas music 24/7, 7 days a week. I do listen to holiday music this time of year, but it seems I change stations when the same dreadful songs come on...every single time.

I know many of you will disagree with me on at least some of these, but for one reason or another, the following songs make me cringe:

"All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth"
I totally get the cuteness of the lyrics in this song. What creeps me out is the fact that the "child" is actually an adult trying to sound like a kid. I hate that kind of stuff. All that annoying whistling is like fingernails across a chalkboard.





"Christmas Shoes"
Did you know this song is based on a stupid email chain letter from the 90s? The song is melodramatic, depressing, and tries too hard to evoke an emotional response. Also, the singer/narrator of the song is self-centered and makes the entire story all about HIM. God must have sent this poor kid to HIM to teach HIM a lesson. Whatever.





"Wonderful Christmastime"
Paul McCartney's musical equivalent of a loud, stinky fart is perhaps the worst song of any kind EVER. The farting synthesizer sound. The lyrics (ding dong ding dong ding dong ding). The last 2 minutes of the song where all you get is more farting synthesizer and ding dong dinging. When I do try to listen to this song, I have to wonder just how much LSD was Paul McCartney dropping when he wrote this?



Do you have any Christmas songs that you just cannot stand? I'll give you some of my most favorite holiday tunes next week to make up for these three.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday After A Holiday

I don't know about you, but I am dragging today. I've never been good at Mondays, but a Monday after a long break has always been a struggle. I was only off from Wednesday through Friday, plus the weekend, yet I'm completely out of it. I have no idea what I'm doing!

Science has tried to explain why Mondays are difficult for so many of us. Here's what psychologists found:

1) Sleep Patterns are out of whack. Many of us take advantage of the weekend to catch up on sleep. Even an extra couple of hours throws us off. Even though you are more well rested on Mondays, our internal clocks are messed up.

2) Self Esteem Sinks. A lot of people did a lot of eating and drinking over the weekend, particularly if it was a big eating-fest, like Thanksgiving. So come Monday morning, many of us feel that guilt. That's why diets start on Mondays.

3) Less Healthy. Scientists have found that people are more likely to get sick or suffer from cardiovascular events on Mondays. Blood pressure seems to be highest on Mondays too. Even people who are healthy suffer from the natural weekly cycle.

4) Job Dissatisfaction. For those who hate their jobs, Mondays are the worst. You've been away from "prison" for a few days, and now it's back into the "pokey." I will assume job searches surge on Mondays too.

Hopefully, you get through this Monday a-OK. If it's a Manic Monday for you, just know you're not alone.

* If you'll take a quick glance at my sidebar, you'll see that I surpassed the 50,000 mark for NaNoWriMo. It's the first time I've won since 2013, and it feels great. What makes it extra-special is the fact that the almost-66,000 words makes up an entire rough draft of my YA paranormal novel, Gateway Mothman.

Next up, hardcore editing before sending it to my publisher's editor

Happy Monday!!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

My Brain is on Hyperdrive

So much is going on, it's difficult to pinpoint what I'm thinking about long enough to write a coherent post. I suffer from adult ADD, but I'm usually pretty great at managing it. Today, however, I'm having a tough time focusing.

Here's a stream of consciousness post for you:

1) NaNoWriMo is going really well for me. My first WriMo since 2013 has been a volcano of creative energy. Maybe all this pent up imagination over the last two years has been dying to get out. You can check out my progress in my sidebar. I cracked 30,000 words on Sunday night. I'm way ahead, so now I'm running downhill from here.

2) My body hurts. Last weekend, I painted a bathroom. Have you ever done that? I was finding myself in all kinds of crazy yoga poses. I can paint three regular rooms in the time in takes me to paint a bathroom. This past weekend, I completely reorganized my horrible garage. I went from a three car to a two car garage. I know, First World problems.

3) No, I didn't see Thor. I hope to, but I'm just so busy. Justice League is coming, and I'm excited about it. I've been reading about some kind of Justice League project since 2007.

4) The time change has really screwed me up. It takes me over a month to adjust. Dark at 4:30 just isn't very nice.

5) Two of my neighbors put up their Christmas lights, which is fine. But they turned them on. I'm downright militant when it comes to celebrating Christmas too early. Yeah, the itch is there, but let's have Thanksgiving first!

6) Speaking of neighbors, this guy down the street told my youngest and his friends to get the f---k off his sidewalk. This idiot is always wearing a blue robe, and he punched out a construction worker for using his outdoor spigot during construction of his neighbor's house. I did go down there and explain to him that he doesn't own the sidewalk. He wasn't too happy about me standing on it, but he was too chicken to do anything about it.

7) Anybody else excited about The Last Jedi? I'm not too sure about yet another trilogy in Disney's future plans. They are just sucking the Star Wars franchise dry. At some point, there has to be some kind of diminishing returns on this thing.

8) We say this every year, but how the heck did it become almost mid-November? As we age, time seems to speed up.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mike The Headless Chicken

Thanksgiving = Turkey. But since one of my favorite holidays is just around the corner, let's talk chicken. I'm not sure why, but I get about 50 hits per day from people searching for "headless chicken." I posted about Mike, the Headless Chicken back in 2006, and it seems to be a favorite among those googling for more information on this spectacle. 

For those who don't know, Mike was a chicken that lived for 18 months without a head.

That's right, his owner chopped off his head...and the chicken survived. Here's how it all began:

On September 10, 1945, Lloyd Olsen picked out a younger but plump rooster out of his chicken coup in Fruita, Colorado. His wife, Clara was going to prepare a wonderful feast - as Lloyd's mother in law was going to be visiting. Lloyd brought his ax down on the chicken's neck, and the poor thing struggled and did all the normal things a chicken would do after having it's head chopped off.

The bird would not die.

With his head laying on the ground, the rest of Mike walked around quite normally. He flapped his little wings, and probably walked right into the side of the barn. But the darn chicken had survived. I can only imagine the shock Lloyd and Clara experienced. Lloyd decided to leave the chicken alone.

The next morning, Mike was quite alive. This was a special chicken indeed, and Lloyd devised a method of feeding this headless chicken. He used an eye dropper to feed it water and ground up grain. Lloyd dropped the 'food' right down Mike's esophagus. Sounds strange, but the method worked. Mike continued to thrive.

Mike was able to balance himself on perches without falling. If you can imagine, he was even able to crow - creating a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike even tried to preen his feathers with his nonexistent head. 

Lloyd brought Mike to a promoter, and soon "Miracle Mike" toured the West Coast. Mike was even featured in Life magazine. At his pinnacle of fame, the chicken was bringing in $4500 per month. Back in the 40s, this was really a ton of money. Mike was estimated to be worth $10,000 and was actually insured for that amount. The sideshows consisted of bringing Mike out to greet the paying customers, and they got to see his head pickled in a jar. Actually, a cat ate Mike's original head, so Lloyd sacrificed another not-so-lucky chicken in order to show the amazed audience.


Mike did have one major complication. He often choked on his own mucus. Lloyd and Clara had to use a syringe to suck it out. Otherwise, Mike would die. One evening, the Olsens were at a motel in Phoenix. Mike began to choke on his mucus. They searched in vain for the syringe until they realized that they had left it at the sideshow from the previous day. Sadly, Mike died that night.

So how did Mike survive his own beheading?

Scientists examined Mike and determined that Lloyd had in fact chopped Mike's head off 18 months prior. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact. Lloyd's ax actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death. Most of a chicken's reflex actions are located in the brain stem, which was also unharmed.

Shouldn't Mike have been put out of his misery though? Mike was also examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering. When Lloyd chopped the chicken's head off, Mike was only 2 1/2 lbs. When he died, Miracle Mike was a robust 8 lbs. Had the Olsens been able to syphon Mike's mucus that fateful night in March of 1947, who knows how long Mike would've survived without his head. His 18 months is still a world record.

But don't worry, Mike's legacy lives on. In his hometown of Fruita, Colorado, they hold a "Mike the Headless Chicken Festival" every spring. The festival also features the infamous 5K "Run Like a Headless Chicken" race.

When you have time, you can go to Mike's offical website HERE.



Mike, the Headless Chicken statue in Fruita, Colorado

Monday, October 30, 2017

Accidental Politics

Earlier this month, the IWSG topic was about how many writers often inject some of their real life into their writing. Up until my latest WIP, I believed that I, in no way, included any real-life details about myself in any of my writing.

But then I was editing Death Returns (dropping on November 6th), and I recognized how my personal politics is not only subconsciously infused into this novel, but it's also apparent in the first book in the series, Death Knocks.

Allow me to get political on here for the first time in, oh, 12 years. I'm like many Americans. I consider myself Independent. I have many beliefs that are Conservative, and I have many beliefs that are Liberal. And my beliefs do change. For fun, I've taken a few political quizzes, and it seems that I do have a Libertarian streak in me too.

I've been called a "conspiracy theorist," and I suppose I've earned that moniker. History has made me suspicious of my own government. I believe it's wrong to be enamored with ANY politician. They should all be held on short leashes. Here in St. Louis, we've had two HUGE government conspiracies come to light:

1) From the 1950s-60s, our government tested the effects of zinc cadmium sulfide on its own citizens. They sprayed this radioactive material from the tops of buildings here in St. Louis, allowing men, women, and children to inhale this radioactive material. 

2) St. Louis is home to Mallinckrodt Chemical, the first uranium producer/purifier in all the world.
The company supplied all the uranium for the Manhattan Project, and the waste was stored at a facility near the airport. Several areas all around the St. Louis Area is still contaminated, including Cold Water Creek where there's been a crazy amount of rare cancers diagnosed. And the biggest heap of radioactive waste is at West Lake Landfill where there's an underground fire raging, and it's inching closer and closer to the deadly stuff. Yet, the EPA keeps telling us that all is just fine.

If you've been watching Stranger Things 1 & 2, the writers have pulled directly from all kinds of Black Projects including MK Ultra, the Philadelphia Experiment, and the Montauk Project. Many of these secret projects including trying to perfect mind control and utilize "remote viewing" to create a small army of gifted people to use their ESP to spy on our enemies. Now if you stop to think about it, is that really so farfetched when you look at all the crap our own government has done?

Earlier this year, the CIA did release almost 1 million pages of declassified reports on UFOs going back to the 1940s. But this barely made the news. Why? Because only crazy people care about this stuff, right?

Well, call me crazy.