All posts by Rob Darnell

How Are My Resolutions Holding Up?

On December 31, New Year’s Eve, I blogged about five resolutions that would go into effect January 1, 2017. It’s February 17, 2017 now. Let’s see how my resolutions are holding up.

RESOLUTION #1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Miserably. I practically broke the damn thing off. As with all the adjustments I’d made ever since I’ve been using a daily checklist, it works great for a while and then it becomes difficult to complete all the tasks. Eventually things aren’t getting done. My workload and chores start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

So, I decided to make adjustments as I need to and forget about sticking to one plan through the entire year.

RESOLUTION #2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Solid. I have not purchased a single beer or pizza since the new year began. Never mind that I’m very thirsty and my pizza craving grows stronger every day. Beer and pizza will be awesome rewards when I get this novel wrapped up. I’m already fantasizing about it.

When I finish this novel, I’m going to buy five different six packs, each one a different beer. One six pack will be Corona, another will be one of Samuel Adam’s blends, and probably one will be Budweiser (just because.). I don’t yet know what the other two will be.

Also, when the novel is finished, I’m going to order the biggest pizza I can get from Elba Corners, along with breadsticks and whatever else goes well with Pizza. When the pizza and beer is all gone, I’ll begin the next novel.

Although I have not bought beer or pizza myself, there were a couple times when I was at my mom and dad’s house and they wanted to get pizza. And once when my brother was over here, he wanted to get beer and pizza. So, I have had some beer and pizza since the new year started, but that falls under “I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.”

RESOLUTION #3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Feebly. I haven’t bought any guns, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to cave, contact my FFL dealer and have him order one for me. I’ve been eyeing a Mossberg pump shotgun that has a 20-inch barrel and an 8-round tube, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 carbine, a Ruger 1911, a Savage Arms bolt -action .308, an SCCY and a number of black powder pistols that are copies of those that were used in the Civil War. Lord, help me.

It’s still possible to have my credit card paid off before the end of the year, as long as I refrain from buying guns.

RESOLUTION #4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Still going strong. Haven’t had a cigarette since I quit in June.

RESOLUTION #5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Deer hunting season is still eight months away, but yes, I’m going to get a buck this year. I know exactly where I’m going to hang my first rack. It’ll go in the living room, above the arched threshold that you walk through to get to the kitchen.

Two Michigan Basketball Games in One Day

Well, looks like this is my first NCAA Basketball post. I thought there was already a subcategory under Basketball for NCAA, but nope. There’s a subcategory for NBA and a subcategory for High School, but there wasn’t a subcategory for NCAA, which means I haven’t blogged about NCAA Basketball before tonight.

So, with that subcategory now made, here’s my first NCAA Basketball post.

Today I caught two Michigan basketball games. First I watched the women’s game.  They played Indiana. It was a tough game. Michigan was behind by about 20 points through much of it.

I laughed out loud when I realized how often the players were knocking each other down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a basketball game where the players knocked each other down that much. It was like watching bowling pins fall after a cannonball crashes into them.

I’d say there were so many collisions and falls in this game because Michigan was really fighting hard to get ahead of Indiana. Indiana was putting in just as much effort to keep Michigan from getting ahead.

It was a pretty exciting game, but Michigan didn’t make it. The game ended with Michigan 61 and Indiana 72.

After the women’s game, I watched the men’s game. The men had better luck, beating Wisconsin, 64-58.

Your Song

(Edited because it just occurred to me that I shouldn’t post any portion of someone else’s song lyrics.)

Oh, sorry. I always get caught up in that song. Anyway, the train went off the track again, but it’s back up and running now. I pulled graveyard shift tonight to get both projects leveled off, which means getting through the next fifth page on the short story and the next tenth page on the novel. I don’t stop until I’m on the 6th and 11th page.

So, the short story is now 6,748 words and 31 pages. It’s getting pretty long and might end up reaching novelette length. The writing is going well and the words are coming easy. I had some ideas on how the story would go, but it has taken an entirely different direction. At the moment I don’t know where the story is going or how it will end. I’ll just keep plugging in the words until it gets there.

Now, the novel. It’s now 14,656 words and 71 pages. I just wrapped up Chapter One and got a start on Chapter Two. The writing is going well, but I have to constantly look back to make sure everything is on the right track. I guess that’s how it is when you’re writing a novel that has multiple Point of View characters.

Okay, it’s 6 AM. Night.

I’m being invaded!

Is it just me or is everyone in Michigan seeing these nasty little mofos in their houses lately? I see at least one a day. It was a declaration of war when I filled a glass with orange juice last week and saw one of them floating in it. I’ve been killing them on sight ever since.

No, I did not drink the orange juice.

I think because temperatures have been rising and falling so much this winter, these bugs can’t decide if they want to stay underground or not and are invading our houses. Unless it’s just my house.

I don’t think they’re cockroaches.

Sports in the D

The Pistons started first, against the Dallas Mavericks. I think the Piston-Maverick game was in the second quarter when the Red Wings started their game against the St. Louis Blues.

I spent much of the evening flipping back and forth between the two games, but the Pistons had most of my attention. They played very well tonight. They were ahead of the Mavericks the entire game, leading by more than twenty points at times.

The Mavericks were closing the gap as the final minutes ticked off, but when the time ran out, the final score was Mavericks 91 and Pistons 98.

Reggie Jackson was very impressive tonight.

The Red Wings and the Blues were starting their third period when the basketball game ended. The score was still Blues 1 – Red Wings 0, which it had been since the first period. The score only changed within the last minute when the Blues shot the puck all the way across the ring and right into the goal. So, bummer there.

Major League Baseball is finally starting up. Though it’s not on TV, the Tigers’ pitchers and catchers have reported in and had their first workout yesterday. The first Spring Training game is next week, against the Moccasins, but I don’t think it will be on TV.

It doesn’t look like the Tigers will have a Spring Training game on TV until they play the Yankees on March 11. The Tigers will start their Regular Season on April 3rd, against the White Sox.

For Stereotype Assholes Everywhere

I posted this in response to a couple guys on a discussion forum I’ve been active on. I half expect the forum moderators will have a word with me about it at some point, but right now I don’t care. I want to post it here as well, because I see this kind of behavior in a lot of people.

“That insensitive, stupid asshole performance you both put on, it’s just an act and you know it. But, you’ll never let it drop, not online and not in person, because you fear that if you let the bullshit stereotype act drop people will see that you’re not much different than a couple of sissy little girls. I don’t care how hard you were brought up, what happened in your lives or if you rode with Hells Angels, it’s all bullshit. You treat people like shit to make yourselves feel superior. You’re both a couple of scared, insecure little men who are trying to hide who you really are and I don’t have the slightest respect for either one of you.”

When I was a kid, a horse tried to eat my finger

I announced on Facebook some weeks ago that pretty soon I was going to tell you all about the time a horse tried to eat my finger. A bunch of you seemed to want to hear that story. I think it’s time I got the story down for you.

I was probably eight at the time. I’m pretty sure I was older than seven, but not quite nine, which would mean I was eight. My dad, Fred and I were at Uncle Lynn’s house. I’m not sure if L. Y. N. N. is how his name is spelt, so someone correct me if they know for sure.

Uncle Lynn had a horse. A big quarter horse. I think the horse was black or brown. For some reason I’d always had it in my head that the horse’s name was Mr. Ed, though that probably wasn’t it. Around that time, I was regularly watching the old TV show “Mr. Ed” and I probably just decided that was this horse’s name. But for the sake of this blog entry, I’ll call the horse Mr. Ed.

My cousins Joel and Jason and their dad were  also there. We used to always see Joel and Jason when visiting Uncle Lynn’s. Joel and me were feeding Mr. Ed apples. Joel gave him one, no problem.

Though I tried to keep my hand flat when holding the apple for Mr. Ed, I guess I curled my fingers a little bit. Mr. Ed took the apple and the fourth finger of my left hand. That was one of the most painful things I have ever felt.

Mr. Ed was just chewing away on my finger like it was a carrot. Thank God Joel’s dad was right there. He grabbed Mr. Ed’s jaws and pried them open with what had to be super human strength. The chewed up apple fell out and my finger was free.

The next thing I knew, my dad was rushing me into the house and into the bathroom. At one point, Uncle Lynn said something about how the bite went all the way to the bone. I thought I was seeing the bone while my dad cleaned the finger, but I’m not positive. I’m also not sure it’s realistic that I could have been seeing the bone. There’s not even a scar on the finger, so probably not.

They bandaged my finger, and then I was back outside. I remember talking to Fred about the incident while we stood at the pasture fence looking at Mr. Ed. I still liked Mr. Ed, but I wasn’t going to give him anymore apples.

Years later, when we had horses of our own, I never let any of our horses eat an apple out of my hand. I guess that’s how you’re supposed to feed a horse an apple, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d just drop the apple on the ground and the horse could pick it up.

The reason I’d been thinking about that incident is the finger Mr. Ed tried to eat has been giving me trouble in the last several months. Every since that incident, I would have a little problem with the finger, but not very noticeable. When I’d wake up in the morning and open my hand, that finger would be stuck. I’d have to use a little extra force to get it all the way up, and then I’d just have to flex my hand a few times and it’d be fine for the rest of the day.

I’m not sure when exactly this started,, but sometime within the last several months, when I’d wake up in the morning it would be harder than it used to be to get the finger all the way up.  And all day, any time I close my hand and then open it, the finger will lock up and I’ll have to use a little extra force to get it all the way out.

For example, if I grab a glass, pick it up, have a drink and then set the glass back down. When I try to let go of the glass, my finger can still be hooked on it until I use that little extra force.

So, I think it’s getting worse as I approach old age. I’ll probably see my doctor about it at some point, but I doubt any medical professional will be able to do anything short of chopping the finger off so it won’t keep getting hooked on things.

I imagine an x-ray would show a deep ravine in the finger bone near where it meets the hand. I don’t see how something like that can be repaired thirty years after it had already healed improperly.

But, we’ll see.

Remember that?

I keep thinking about that episode of the Sopranos where Tony and Carmela are insulted by their next door neighbors. Later, Tony is filling a box with sand and Carmela asks what he’s doing. Tony explains that he’s fucking with the neighbors. Carmela says she wants in on it.

Tony takes the box over and frightens the neighbor into “holding” it for him. The episode ends with the neighbors looking at the box. The husband tells the wife not to touch it because he’s afraid it might be a bomb or something.

Jeremy spoke in class today

Okay, it’s 12:30 AM. Although I keep telling myself I’ll stay up all night if I have to, and although I did do that a few times recently, I don’t really want my wake and sleep times getting shifted. I get depressed if I’m waking up at 2 or 3 in the afternoon because I stayed up till 5 or 6 in the morning. Besides, I’m burned out. So, I’m calling it a night.

I did get work into both projects. Got another five pages into the short story. The short story is now 16 pages and 3,323 words. I’ve been good about getting five pages into a short story. Been pulling it off almost daily.

The novel. Again, I didn’t get what I aimed for, but I got in a few more pages. So, I’m on page 67 in the novel now and the total wordcount is 13,923.

My brain feels like mush. I’m just going to watch a movie, and then go to bed.