Saturday, May 17, 2014

Static 4 NYC PREMIER


For those of you in New York, make sure that you head on out to the Sunshine Cinema and get yourself a seat for the latest video from Josh Stewart’s “Static Series”. STATIC IV will premier tomorrow and it’s being sponsored by Zoo York, and others. Scope the teaser after the jump.

30 Minutes With Carrie Brownstein

The new podcast, “The Talkhouse” has the debut program posted now, and it features one amazing lady, Carrie Brownstein. I say that as a fan, not because I know here. I’m sure she’s a nice person, but again, I only know her from her many musical and media endeavors.

You can hear the podcast by clicking here, as she sits down with Hamilton Leithauser of The Walkmen. If you have 32 minutes to spare, listen up.

The First Novel, A Nearly Impossible Task Most Authors Never Get To Accomplish

I’m a writer.

I’m a lousy writer at times, and I’m a grand scribe at times.

Today via NPR’s Monkey See, a discussion about the first novel out of the gate for authors was discussed. I have been working on and off on my first novel, and it’s a long drawn out process that will probably never come to fruition, as I keep getting distracted with work that pays.

In the article, another point is driven home that I keep hearing all the time; the odds are against you. Much like becoming a professional athlete, or a superstar in music, the likelihood of you or I becoming the next Stephen King is highly unlikely. I like to joke and say that I’m the “poor man’s” Stephen King, but let’s be honest, I’m just poor. Perhaps the highlight of the article comes up front, and harsh for some:
Woodroof notes, “What this says to me is that writing a novel is neither a sound financial investment nor a reliable career move. 
Yet, I did it. More than once. And last year, Dominic Smith (as he wrote in themillions.com) trolled available data and concluded that one million other Americans were currently working on novels, most of which will never be bought by a publisher. 
So what about the 1%, the never-published novelists who fly in the face of reason and the odds, keep slogging away, and then – cue the thunderclap! – land an agent who sells their work. Is their writing process somehow less vexing in retrospect?”
That’s a tough thing to read.

My work is credited to someone else, however. I’m a ghost writer, so if you read a novel by me, you probably don’t know it. I am ok with that. I also write via Fiverr here, but the jobs are few and far between. Even though I’m not going to hedge my bets on writing, I still create sentences, most of which no one will read, and that’s fine by me.

Read more about First Novels, via NPR here, and let me know what you think.

San Francisco Hates Black People

That’s harsh, right? Perhaps that’s reaching too far, but it’s definitely something that is worth thinking about. Vice News highlights a bit of news from the San Francisco region about money. As you know, technololgy is a major driving force in the bay area, and it seems as though the big bucks are pushing out residents.

On one hand, the cost of living is literally pushing people away. However, inject race into the mix and this starts to have a whole new picture. I’m not going to go as far as to say that the city is targeting people of certain race, but they are definitely running a hatchet to a lot of the companies and businesses that were designated as landmarks, and more importantly were servicing a sector of the community that is now feeling the push of economic change.
Max Cherney notes, “The oldest independent black bookstore in the US, which was located in San Francisco’s Fillmore District, has become the latest collateral damage of the tech boom and is said to be the latest symbol of the black community’s decline in the Bay Area. 
Marcus Books’ eviction from its Fillmore Street location — designated a historical landmark — was a devastating blow to an already decimated black community in San Francisco, which has been “displaced and dislocated” by government redevelopment projects and the high cost of housing, according to Reverend Amon Brown, president of the NAACP’s San Francisco chapter. 
“It’s death in slow motion of the black community, the Reverend told VICE News over the phone. “Marcus Bookstore was one of the premier cultural and political institutions.”
While Silicon Valley’s billionaires aren’t directly responsible for evicting Marcus Books — the property on which the bookstore sat is owned by local realtors Nishan and Suhaila Sweis — skyrocketing real estate prices are largely due to the immense amount of new wealth created for some by the boom.”
Vice is definitely putting a human face to the closing of the landmark. It has significant impact, and it’s something that all independent bookstores have to face at one point or another. Perhaps economics plays a role in that the patronage wasn’t supporting the cost of ownership? It’s hard to know for sure, but this is not a new kind of story. It is however, one that speaks volumes to what is going on in San Francisco, and a lot of other areas that are increasing in cost. I know first hand, I can barely survive right now in Los Angeles.

Dodgers Have Faded From Television, Further Proof Los Angeles Sucks

What good is having home teams if they cannot be seen? Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels cannot be seen for free on television, most of the time. The Los Angeles Times pointed out that they’re not on many televisions because of the stranglehold that Time Warner cable has on them. If you don’t comply with TWC, you are going to be isolated and left outside of the loop.

I don’t have cable. I can barely afford to live in Los Angeles at the present. I do however contend that the loss of the Dodgers on television is further proof that Los Angeles sucks, and is a hell hole. I’ve lived here a long time, and I’ve recently seen it get worse and worse. Dodgers stadium is one of the worst parks to visit, and that’s not just because of the parking. You could legitimately be left for dead and no one will come to your rescue, as exhibited a few seasons ago with the near death of an EMT in the parking lot. His mistake? Being a Giants fan.

44 games played for the team, and they are off-limits if you don’t pay $100+ for cable. I’m going to blame both the team and TWC on this one. But who cares, right? It was even reported that 70% of viewers are blacked out of the games.

If you have MLB.TV you can watch, but only if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area. They black out a ton of games too, so it’s not that grand. It’s hard to be a sports fan in today’s landscape, that’s for sure. I’m sure this will all get resolved, and if not, maybe The Dodgers will move back to Brooklyn, where they belong. I am not a fan.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Odd Birth of Casket Salesman blog 2

I'm not sure when I originally started this blog. Far back into the beginning of my writing career, I started a few blogs, just for profit. In college, I was a blogging machine. I was making upwards of $2,000 per month in just blog updates. Even with my tenacity and constant push, I didn't get much love for my work. I think I started this site along the same time I was going to college and in the process of getting married. It was a time of highs and lows, and I wasn't ready for the real world at all.

I was a casket salesman for some time. I spent a few years in the industry and learned a lot about the death care industry. I wish I could've stayed in the position, but after a few years of lackluster sales, I was let go. I'm sure the company is alive and well somewhere, but I don't really look back at it with too much fondness at times.

Then came this site. After 2,000 some odd posts, I turned this one over to another page. Now it's here and I'm writing up a storm again. Today marks the rebirth of this site, for the second time. I will be talking about my own random noise, and that's about it.

If you want to comment, do so, if you want to subscribe do so, and if you want to ignore it, then you're welcome to pursue that as well. This communication device is going to help me get away from Facebook, which is a droning and stupid world. How can one have so many friends that ignore everything you post?

Perhaps someday I will make new friends, or just stay with no real friends.