Month: July 2003

Project. The thing that’s sucking up my brain power this week is a big project for work: voila, give a training session for the QC department on how to give feedback. Coaching.

Step one: What?

Step two: But I suck at coaching. And I know nothing about giving presentations.

Step three: F— learning experiences, man!

I have no idea what I’m doing. Fortunately, I scheduled myself a first draft a week before the thing is due, so I have time to contact one of the corporate trainers that I’ve put together training materials with (aha! you say…you do so have some tiny modicrum of experience. I reply: Big dif between writing procedures training materials and giving a soft-skills presentation. Shaddap, you, I’m looking for empathy here, not deductive logic) and get her to go over them with me.

Small group, all of whom I know reasonably well except the new supervisor, who is the type to ask questions for which she is not ready for the answer (but would be in thirty seconds if she just wouldn’t f—ing interrupt).

Yeah, all of you trainers out there, laugh. Laugh where I can hear you, and you just earned yourself a session with the baby and a dirty diaper.

The Fourth. My brother-in-law, Mike, came up over the weekend of the fourth. We had Stacy over for a barbecue…I took Ray (by myself, those lazy bastards) to see the fireworks.

Oooh…Ahh…

Unfortunately, she got bored with the fireworks about five minutes from the finale, and started flirting with a big puppy-dog instead. Fell asleep on the way home, no surprise there…

The fifth Mike and I went up to Denver to the Nobilis game at Doyce’s: I hadn’t known, but Doyce and Mike had known each other before Doyce and Lee had met. Weird thought. It was kind of funny talking to Mike about the game afterwards. He’s never played in a diceless RPG before, so he had sunk so far into the analytical that when I asked what he thought about the people, he said, “Oh, fine,” and discussed Nobilis and other possible games based off religion all the way back from Denver. Lee ended up missing the game (apart from a phone-in session) due to some right bastard quitting abruptly and the departing Lead pulling a don’t-give-a-shit.

And on Sunday, mostly we just hung out.

Reviews. Princess Mononoke, God Save the Mark/The Hot Rock.

Princess Mononoke. From what I understand, the same director did this and Spirited Away. My apologies to Neil Gaiman, who did the English version of the script (and damn! did he do a good job. Yes, Doyce, it does look like the characters are mouthing the words that Gaiman puts in their mouths), I liked Spirited Away so much better that I was unsatisfied with this.

Don’t get me wrong–this is a fine movie.

But you don’t look at each and every individual frame and say, “Wooooow.”

Donald E. Westlake.

The more of this guy I read, the more I like him. I have to say the Dortmunder novels make me happiest, though. Comedy is truly difficult to pull off, and to pull it off in a mystery/crime novel without getting cheesy is an achievement the likes of which you will probably never appreciate. I do, because I tried to do it…with a little success, but it’s still beyond me yet. Ouch, I say, ouch.

God Save the Mark. The main character gets stiffed out of about fifty dollars a week–he is the world’s easiest, most trusting mark. His best friend is a cop on the bunko squad…and his uncle is a semi-millionare, and dead. Guess what happens…

The Hot Rock. This is the first Dortmunder novel, which has just been re-released. Yay! The plot summary doesn’t give anything away: Dortmunder gets out of jail and ends up with a job to steal an emerald. Six times.

The cool part is seeing Dortmunder wander through the first three capers, do ta do, and then…something clicks: for the first time, Dortmunder gets his panties in a wad and goes for revenge. (If you know Dortmunder, you know revenge makes him leap the gap between brilliance and genius.)

Cool! It’s like seeing Batman put on the cape for the first time.

And yeah, I read the latest Harry Potter book, and yeah, I was happy. More than that I need not say.

Tappity tappity tappity. Over 200 pages on the novel. Nyaah.

Not anywhere near done. I’d say this is going to go to about 600 pages or so–not book pages, but standard manuscript format pages. I’m still in the beginning stages of the plot, the part where things get more and more complex, and the stakes increase. The movers and shakers behind the plot have not yet been revealed.

True to form, though: another character just died off.

I doubt she’ll stay dead, but there you go.

New Stuff.

So there I was, sitting on the couch with the ones I love watching the cartoon Oswald on the Noggin, when Lee spouts up: “This show is all about trying new things.”

Hm…is there more to a cartoon than just fighting evil?

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