The Interns Are Restless

girl gesturingIn that momentary, abyss between light and light again the next day, some people call it night, there was something extraordinary that happened.  Perhaps TMZ was too busy chasing down Solange and Jay-Z hoping to get another pugilistic exposition between them or they would have covered this ground breaking news here on the home front.   After months of denying any involvement, when, yes, it was painfully obvious that there was some indiscreet meetings, close working, and maybe even some physical contact, whether it involved the old “in-and-out”   is still unclear, but  two of my interns are now officially dating.  Their Facebook status’ have been changed.  There is no backing out now.

The beacon of Facebook blinded me this morning with their cheery notification in the form of a heart and their two names, we’ll call them Miss X and Mister Y and the promise of a commitment, at least until they read this blog, for all eternity.  Just like Ma and Pa Eisman, when they made a solemn oath over a few too many and a high school stick pin, they will be counting on their future grandchildren to be taking care of their diapers when they are old and feeble and drooling onto their bedclothes.

So when did this start?  What magical concoction between the two could ever have brought them together?  Vodka?  Gin?  Jack Daniels?  Beer?  Wine?  Love?  Nah, it could only be chemistry!  Like a bad date from eHarmony.com, they were brought together working for me;  editing, researching, and making bad jokes about each other.  Working close under this high stress, super-heated cauldron of drudgery would have been enough to make crystalized form of zirconium dioxide, but with the proper alignment of each of their charcoal atoms, they have become this diamond in the rough.

Happy?  Of course, I am happy for them.  I wish them well.  It couldn’t have happened to a better couple of insanely good looking people, although I am noting a hint of jealousy from the one remaining, who we will call Miss Z.   Miss Z and Mister Y, all though they didn’t know that I know, but I know, had had something before.  Does that make Mister Y as man-slut?  Yes, absolutely!   She and I knew about Mister Y and Miss X, before they knew, or were even speaking about it, let alone making the great Facebook commitment.    Miss Z had her cry.  She’s let Mister Y go, and now they can still pretend to be friends, although,  I’m sure she would surely put a fish gutting knife in his ribs as much as give him the time of day.  As pleased as I would be to see such a graphic display, I’ve made sure that that all sharp implements are kept under lock and key, or evacuated from the building before they arrived for work this morning.

Two more weeks and they will be free of working for me, so why make such a commitment now?   I’m really starting to think it was as much as a statement of “screw Miss Z” as much as statement of love between Miss X and Mister Y.  In two weeks they will be on to their next adventures as interns as they make their way through the education system.  I wouldn’t even be writing about this.  I’d have to think of another topic, like socks, instead of relaying this juicy bit of workplace indiscretion.  Perhaps it was tempting immortality.  They could have been just a couple of college students that fall in love, and that was it.  By stating now, they have this blog written about them.  When they get old they can show it to their children, and their children’s children, and be reminded about their moment of dedication to each other, and thus making their love immortal, even if their Facebook allegiance is finite.

Where Is Spring?

flowering yellow dandelionsThe summer winds came in way too early this year; I like warm weather, but not right after snow.  Much of my happy childhood memories revolve around this concept called “spring.”  Perhaps in your distant days the echoes of spring are still resident in your memory.  It is one of my most beloved seasons, because it ushered in summer, and, I’m not stupid, the end of school.  But, back in the day, (yes, I’m starting to sound like my grandfather), we had beautiful sixty to seventy degree weather for like months.  Birds didn’t already look like they were sweating.  Flowers didn’t all come out on the same morning, they were scattered throughout this spring time, so people could enjoy them each.  At the beginning there were the tulips around Easter time, and by the end there were explosions of color.  Everywhere.  My cherry tree is already losing its delicate pink flowers.  They only came out a couple of days ago.   This warm weather is causing everything to accelerate.  Danelions, yellow yesterday, are now gone to seed, ready to spread the grass with its annoying appearance, given a good stiff wind or a kid kicking them sets them free.   It is madness.

There was also a graduation loss of clothing.  Women and men didn’t simple move to speedos and shorts the instant that the weather changed.  It was gradual; loss of jacket, a short sleeve, then shorts, flip-flops, and then the occasional tank top.  Now, the first time it hits above fifty, there are pale naked limbs everywhere.   How are we supposed to adapt?  Where is the protocol? I have a perfectly good leather jacket that is collecting dust because there wasn’t that middle time between the winter and the summer.  I’m already wearing short sleeves to work, because of the heat.  I look like Sipowicz for cristsakes!  And it’s only May!

We need to get back to the old days.  Whatever we are doing that we shouldn’t should stop.   Like the old saying, “Everything in moderation,”  Mother Nature.    I really don’t want to live in a region where summer is nine months of the year, and the other three months is snow.   If I want to live in Florida, at least I could take advantage of the no shoveling, or my brother’s pool.  There a jacket is a rarity, and bare limbs have a natural tanned hue.

The Interview

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The interns thought it would be funny to ask me stock questions about what I do.   They didn’t think I did anything, but I proved them wrong.  Maybe…

What was the biggest stumbling block or frustration for you as a writer, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest stumbling block was not believing in myself.   I had been writing since I was in my teens, but was always afraid to show it to people.   Not that I didn’t have support in my childhood, but let’s just say I had parents (and when I say parents, I mean Mom)  that were constantly disappointed in my successes:

“Sorry, A’s are not good enough, you can do better.” 

No matter how good I felt about myself, my parents would be able to put me back into my under the stairway, pit of no return, place.  My self-esteem was somewhere in the toilet for most of my life, but until I was in my middle thirties I started to unburden myself from others disappointments.  I said, “fuck it” and started up my own band after years of teaching myself how to play guitar.  Despite how poorly I suck at playing and singing at the same time, people still had fun and applauded, so I learned to set my expectations of myself to somewhere less than the high bar I had set.  There is an audience out there for me.  A lot of writers feel they won’t be good enough, but they expect too much.  If you are true to yourself, eschew negative people, and do your best at telling a story, there will be someone out there to read you too!

What role does social media play in staying connected to readers and/or building an audience?

I think it has a big role.  I’m a friendly guy, but I don’t have a million friends, all over the country and throughout the world to get the word out that I can write.  Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, YouTube, Pintrest and others get out the word, that here is this guy, writing semi-decent novels and maybe you’d be interested in reading one (or more) of them.  My weekly blogs generate interest and traffic to my website.  Certainly, there are more people knowing that I write now that I’ve been on these outlets for several years.

How did you get your first literary agent?

HA!  Funny.  Still looking.  Do you know of any?  I’ve self-published my last two books through Authorhouse.   I know it is pretty cocky to say, but I think for Mariline I’d like to try to go the conventional route.  I’ve build a “brand” for my writing and have a great online personality.

What patterns, habits, or motivational techniques have best served you on your journey to success?

I get an hour break at lunch (yes, I have a day job).  I sequester myself with Mozart streaming off the internet and I type away.  I like to chart out my book before I start to write, so I already know what the chapters will be about.  As I drive to work in the morning, I don’t listen to music.  I have thoughts of the chapter rolling around in my head.  By lunch time I’m reading to go.

In one sentence, what’s your best piece of advice for getting a book published?

Don’t give up.

Has a particular rejection ever been helpful to you? What were the details?

I’ve accepted my failures as a part of me, but I’m not looking back.  Getting one star review for Malaise was hard, but I take it as a learning experience.   Not everyone is going to like my writing.  Someday I will look back and laugh, but for now I will try harder.

What advice do you have for a first time writer?

Read, write, and learn as much as you can.  Don’t be afraid of failures.

Another F*ing Cold

a man with the fluThe Gods have spoken. I have no control. I have nothing but to except their guidance in this issue. This cold is knocking me on my ass. As you might remember, the last time I came back from Wisconsin I had a bad cold. I hemmed and hawed about it, but this one has me trumped. I’ve played all the cards I could, from Comtrex, Vicks Vapor Rub, to chicken soup, to a hot toddy, to dressing up in every warm thing I have and try to sweat it out, but this thing has got me. Just like a fly in a web, it’s been cocooning me in hot and cold, cough, sneezing, head ache, stuffy and runny, drippy nose, wheezing, lack of sleep and the coup de grace, an overall feeling like shit. Now, feeling like shit is something I’m used to, but add all those other things to the mix and you just want to crawl under the blankets and wait for something to grow out of your head.
Colds have been around forever, ever since the cave man. Any time you get too many people together there are bound to have germs passing between them. Back then the cave man would have just died and been replaced by another, since there were so plentiful. Today’s bodies, try in vein, to fight and fight, with the help of all kinds of over the counter medicines to keep us moving; sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it’s a roller coaster ride you can’t get off until the end and you just have to suck up the ebb and flow of the virus as it, gangs up, fortifies it offence, and plans to go around your medicines. After all these years, colds have become smarter than the medications that have been sent into battle to fight for you. When I was a kid, the answer to everything was penicillin. Have a cold, have some bubblegum flavored penicillin. If you were really sick, they had a grape flavor. Being a kid with the grape flavor, you were instantly treated to sleeping in the penthouse suite on the couch in case, I suppose, you caught on fire with your fever, you’d be closer to the fire extinguisher in the pantry. On the couch, you’d be treated to the heaviest parade of extra blankets from past relatives and dead people you’d ever want to be under. Your parents would tuck in all the blankets neatly under you so you couldn’t move during the night. Just a head, covered with a sock hat and as slit for your eyes and the rest of you would be mummified until morning; if you survived. Parents have a way of over doing things, especially as when you are a kid, sometimes you actually think they want you to survive or something. When you aren’t sick, their, “go play in the street” attitude might make them seem otherwise. As a child, I was always sick; from measles, to chicken pox, to colds, strep throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, mononucleosis, and there was a point when there was a viral meningitis scare. I’m surprised they didn’t just leave me at a K-Mart bathroom, just to get away from me. I’ve been battling diseases for most of my life, you would think that I would have some antibodies set up for this shit by now. But NOOOOOO! As an adult, I’m reduced to a childlike state, fighting the good fight for control of my body temperature, my breathing, and the fluids running, like cockroach in the light, out of my nose. I want to suck my thumb and get out my wubby blanket and have it tell me it will be all right. My girlfriend tries to help, but I’m just a colicky baby. I don’t know what I want, but I want it now. In frustration, she shrugs her shoulders. I’m sorry. I’ll roll out the chicken soup, drink more fluids, and bundle on the clothes. I have to ride out the hurricane in my body, alone. Like the doctor in the emergency room that told me when I was bleeding profusely after I nearly cut off my finger, “It will stop bleeding one way or another,” I will temper my response, because like most things in life, this too, will pass.

Madison, Wisconsin

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This morning, again, I am plagued with sleeplessness in preparation for ending my time here in Madison, Wisconsin; my flight leaves at nine.  Except for the thoughts of missing the plane, as our shuttle leaves at eight from the hotel, I’m sure it will be an uneventful flight.  I will remember the many people keeping my colleagues and I snug, fed, and liquored up during the off times of this week’s training classes.  First I must say that the bus drivers have been wonderful, even when the bus became full, the Radisson stepped in and provided another promptly.  Kudos to the desk staff, who were always courteous, and having perpetual smiles on their faces.  To the bar staff, Paul notably, keeping us entertained with stories of his garden, his partner, and his life here in Madison.  I’ll remember my drinking buddies, Jim, who also happened to grow up in New Jersey, but now lives in Silicon Valley in California, and Johann, flew in from Holland, who was also for training.

Although I didn’t get out seeing any of the town, being tired after sitting in classes for hours, I still have an appreciation for the area.  There is a certain beauty about the college town, although it’s suburbs and city could double for any other place, like Montreal, or upper New York.  The people here were always nice, and there seemed to be a sense of peace within them, that kinda make you wonder what they are smoking.  And can I get some?  Travelers can be so obtuse to other people, being more worried about their own issues and not those around them, but I tried not to be that way.  I listened to the heart beat of the sacred land heard what it was telling me; go fish!   Go enjoy!   Life is never so bad as it seems.  You can see it in the smiles at the counter, in the classrooms, and on the street.  It beckons me to believe that I too can achieve inner peace in this world of turmoil, poverty, crime and war.  You can see it in the food they eat, Cheese Curds; such a simple yet complex substance, perhaps an elegant mirror of the people that eat them.   Dainty, tasty and you want so much more.  As I fly out this morning I will remember all that Madison has offered me, and I will try to leave my skeptical side on the boarding ramp, because, you know, life is never as bad as it may seem.

Four Horoscopes

  • If you’re not attached, get dressed. There’s just no better time for you to meet someone — someone very, very different from anyone you’ve ever known. Wear whatever makes you feel sexiest.
  • Invest in yourself! A home-based business is the tool you need to cut through the glass or paper ceiling you have encountered in the “corporate” or office world. You are sick of the “Dilberts” and the drama, find a way to work, even part time from home, the challenges will be nothing compared to the rewards
  • You will be asked many questions today. You will often be consulted for advice and will have to keep the peace in delicate issues. However, do not become arrogant as a result of this trust placed in you. If not, you may quickly misuse this openness with those around you for selfish purposes. Use your influence to help others. Perhaps you might win the heart of somebody else.
  • A rather disconcerting rumor about your job could reach your ears, Cancer. Perhaps you’ll hear that the company is being sold or undergoing a shakeup in the hierarchy. You might get caught up in a frenzy of worry about whether or not you’ll stay on. Before jumping to any conclusions, phone someone who knows what’s going on and find out the truth. What you’ve heard is probably just gossip.

I was taking note of four horoscopes that were for Cancer, April 8, 2014. Is this a little like weather predicting?  Here are four people with completely different views of the stars.  The stars haven’t moved since they read them, it’s their interpretation.  Which should I follow?   How am I to know?  None really pertain to my situation, and now that the day has past I know it’s just bullshit.  Just the like weather man, I could predict, with the same accuracy, none, what you had for dinner yesterday.  Or I can make it vague enough to cover everything.

  • Plan on a meal later in the day with your loved one (dog or cat if you are single or yourself, if you are into that), unless you aren’t feeling hungry.

I want to believe that I’ll wear something that will make me feel “sexiest.”  I want to believe that I can find a job that I can work from home, and that’s the worst part; false hope.  Days go by so fast, why am I wasting time reading this drivel?

astronomical clock

Now That HIMYM Is Done

family-guyMonday nights have been exclusively for How I Met Your Mother nights.  Kim and I would plan our evening to make sure that we were butt planted on the couch at 8:00 PM ready to receive the voices and flickering images from our television.   A half-hour later, we discussed what happened and Kim’s daughter called and they would debate on what was special about a particular song or thing, that was in the episode and how it recalls a previous episode.   I was new to the series, so I took it for granted.  I didn’t know all the “Easter Eggs” they placed in, for those views that know better.  I was enlightened and now it’s gone.  Done.   Like trying to give up chocolate, I’m still craving more, and feeling empty inside.

After watching Colbert Report and The Daily Show, our emptiness was upon us.  The channel changer got a good workout until we found re-runs of Family Guy.   I’ve been watching Family Guy for a long time now, and I’ve seen most of the re-runs they play on TBS.  Last night wasn’t any different, but Kim hasn’t watched it and is learning more about the plot lines.   It’s fun to watch her laugh at the antics.  Don’t get me wrong, I laugh too, even though I’ve seen it many times.  As much as I remember the plot of the story, the “flash backs” are hysterical.   You really can’t be prepared for the silliness that will befall you; it’s a taut ballet, of plot and flash backs weaving a story of, usually of redemption, for Peter in the end.  Like a true comic, it paints from a gloriously colorful pallet of history, life, and silliness.  I get most of the references, I think, in part because it is aimed at my age group.

Having grown up in the 70’s-80’s, most of us egocentrics from that era believe it was the golden age of music, art, movies, etc., was before the internet, before real computers, and when kids used to go outside to play instead of being in a darkened room with a X-Box or Sony.   Computers tried to move in with Pong, and Asteroids, and Pacman, but you had to go down to the corner store, drop in a few quarters (sometimes more), to have play them.  Later home games systems became more popular, once they came down from their original $500-$1000 price tag.   I remember my parents plunking down $250 for a used ATARI 800 with 48KB of memory.  It had a keyboard, so I was able to do my term paper using a word processor program call PaperClip, and I could program in Basic and Assembly Language to make it do what I wanted.  It got me partly where I am today, so I really can’t knock it. But I digress.

Family Guy is fun.  It’s like Jeopardy for illiterates, only you win whether you get their references or not; it just makes you laugh.  It appeals to kids and parents on such wrong levels, there is some part of my brain that thinks that it shouldn’t be on the air, but then I would lose a guilty pleasure.  Blast YOU, Family Guy!  LOL!

You Ask Questions, I Have My Interns Answer Them

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Over the last few days, I’ve been asked a bunch of questions, posted to my website, http://www.ejeisman.com/index.php?page=14, that I’d like the take the time, now, to answer.

From Jane W., Goldville, NV,

Do you make a lot of money from writing?

  • Yes.  Tons.  I recommend everyone getting into the business.  I really can’t believe I didn’t get into the business before.  There is so much money to be made.  I’m rolling in it!

From Levi R., Pyhram, NC,

Do most of your writing on your computer or do you write longhand?  If you use a computer, do you have a pet name for it?  If you write longhand, what is your favorite writing implement?

  • Yes, I do most of my writing on a personal computer.  I call it, Alice.  My favorite longhand writing implement is a dagger.

From Jody P., Rosemarble, VT,

How come I haven’t ever heard of you?

  • You are writing me now.  Obviously you now have heard of me.

From Debra R., Hedgehill, ME,

If a train leaves Chicago at 6:00 AM going 120 Miles an hour, and another train leaves New York at 7:00 AM on the way to Chicago, going at 60 miles an hour, at what time with the trains cross paths?

  • The answer is the train from Chicago is heading west and won’t meet up with the train from New York.

From Everett S., Morfort, NY,

Novelist?  Does that mean you have to write?

  • No.  It means I’m really good at Bar-B-Q.   I am a grill MASTER!  DUH!  

From Dan M.,  Ostham, WV,

What is your favorite book to read?

  • Read?  What is that?

From Tony B., Linbeach, FL,

What is your favorite quote?

  • The one that starts with a “.

From Jessica H., Sealand, NJ,

If you could be any famous author, who would you want to be?

  • I’ve heard E. J. Eisman would be fun to be.

From Rudy C., Moorcliff, SD,

If you could be serious for a moment, what would you say?

  • Don’t forget to spade or neuter your pets.  April Fools!

 Keep those questions coming!

Delightful!

In case you missed it on Tuesday, Bill Cosby was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  My cheeks were hurting from laughter.   Mr. Cosby walked around like he just came out of a Dementia Clinic seeming surprised of the set, the host, and the band.  It was a cute little put on.  It kept the night lively, certainly took the show out of the conventional talk show rut (guest sits down and they blabber for a while).  From there things got even more interesting with the crowd participation, with Mr. Cosby being spot on with his quick come backs.  And when Fallon jumps on his back, in a truly cringe worthy moment, as Cosby “walks a tight rope” across the stage, the laughter couldn’t get better.  This moment will definitely make the best of reel twenty-five years from now.   I know Fallon has been pushing the envelope to bring back viewers.  He’s doing a great job with his brand of humor, musical taste, and quest to outdo himself, and those before.   I just hope he doesn’t burn himself out too soon!

You’ve got to see this!

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon- Bill Cosby

The Cold’s The Thing

a man with the fluI’m getting over a cold.  There I said it, maybe now it will come true.  I came back from Wisconsin on Saturday last week and I’ve done nothing but blowing my nose and coughing since then.  I don’t want to say that I caught the cold from my trip, but in this case you can put two and two together.  I was there for training.  It was long and grueling and there was a guy sitting right behind that was sneezing every few minutes.  I know, because I blessed him every time he sneezed.   Well, not every time, but a significant number of times to be able to remember that there was guy behind me sneezing.  He covered his mouth and nose each time, but we all know that doesn’t help.  There are millions of germs thrust into the air and a hand is supposed to stop that.  Bullshit!

In defense of the guy, I must say that having to go through the airports, was no help either.   All the hundreds, or even thousands of people, holding hand rails,  touching chair arms,  and door handles could produce literally billions of germs.  I brought my hand sanitizer (in my checked bag).  It was useless sitting in the underbelly of the airplane.  Speaking of the planes I was on, what about everyone that was on there.  I can’t imagine what other bacteria, fungus, mold and other diseases would be carried onboard.  I’m not a clean freak, but I have to be realistic, any number of things could have been the cause of my illness, endless runny nose down the back of my throat, and coughing fits.   I could have even caught it in the transportation to the airport.  There are any number of points of contamination.

I don’t want to say it’s getting better because I know it will get worse.  Maybe it’s my cynical side, but that’s just how I roll.  It’s always the same (or worse), until I don’t know I have it.  Maybe that comes from me when I was a kid looking to elude school.   I had mono as a kid, and it took months for doctors to realize it.  I’ve learned not to trust doctors.  Tell them you feel like shit, “Well, that is normal.  We all feel like shit.  Suck it up, Cupcake!”   I don’t hate doctors; I just have strong dislike of them.   Perhaps working at a hospital has jaded me.   Having to work on the IT side, I’ve seen doctors being real pricks and others that were incredibly nice.   The pricks seemed to be drawn to me.  LOL!

I like Comtrex, but the place I go doesn’t carry it.  I’ve tried so many different drugs for a cold, and I’ve found Comtrex is the ticket.   Here’s the trouble, I have to get to horrible before I will consider taking something.  And it usually starts with, “let me see what I have left over from two to three years ago when the last time I had this. “  I’ll scour my cupboards to find Vicks, some NyQuil and if I’m lucky a few Sudafed.   For a few nights I’ll try and fail with these and then I’ll go out and find Comtrex.  By that time the cold is gone, and I have eight or nine pills left over for next year, which I won’t find when I need them again.  ARGH!

One day this cold will be over, maybe when this weather settles down also.   I sick of this snow shit.  I look forward to be able to breathe normally again.