Painting With Shotguns XXIII

Once more comes the time to engage in the slapdash, nonsensical blogjaculation known as “Painting With Shotguns.”

Today, in the 23rd installment, we talk about:

  • Twitter (again!)
  • Sexy massages (scandalous!)
  • Work update (ew, boring!)
  • Links (these don’t taste like sausage or golf!)

Two shells. Barrel closed.

One double-barrel buckshot enema, coming right up.

More Terribleminds Twitter Talk, Now With 10% More “Who Gives A Shit?”

Before I begin, a question: did I manage to convince any non-Twitter users yesterday to actually try it? It wasn’t my aim; I was speaking mostly to current tweeps, but I have to wonder if I drew anybody closer to it, or I only served to repel you further from its 140-character minimalism.

One of the things I wanted to talk about yesterday was to mention some of the people I follow that… well, aren’t friends or colleagues. When I first joined up with The Twitters, I followed a lot of people I thought were going to be interesting. More specifically, I followed a lot of “geek staples” — @neilhimself, @jonathancoulton, @hodgman, and the like. Nerd celebrities, plus a rasher of other tweet-meats — authors, celebrities, and what-not. What I found, surprisingly, was that a lot of these people offered me (note that word: me) more noise than signal. They weren’t saying insightful or funny things as often as I’d like. Maybe they were boring, or cryptic, or purely self-promoting. This does not diminish my interest in those people, just in their twitterstreams.

And so, I unfollowed. I’d far rather follow a colleague who will converse with me than, say, Neil Gaiman. (Again, I like Neil Gaiman. I just don’t follow him anymore. So, if you’re a proselyte, please don’t think I’m throwing stones. I’m merely tuning the knobs of my tweet-radio differently than you; we like different frequencies.)

That said, I still follow a number of people with whom I have no personal relationship but who generally offer interesting daily signal. And thus, I birth from my trembling loins a list of “Hey, Maybe You Want To Check These Tweeps Out.” Just don’t eat the afterbirth. I’m saving that for the dogs.

Roger Ebert: Ebert lost his real voice, and he gained an Internet voice. The guy tweets like a fiend. And while I don’t always agree with him, I’m a big fan of the way he says things even if I don’t always agree with the things he says. He’s vocal. He’s ironic. He’s very liberal. Definitely an interesting voice — a good preset on the player. For an added bonus, if you don’t know what happened to Ebert with the cancer and whatnot, check out the recent Esquire piece about him.

Carl Zimmer: I love science, but I’ll fully admit that it’s often too brainy for me. I fade out. Carl Zimmer is one of those guys who helps bridge “science” with “accessibility” without losing intelligence or insight. I first read Zimmer with his marvelous and freakish Parasite Rex, and was happy as a dog rolling around in gopher diarrhea when I found he was on Twitter. Tweets science, obviously. A great trusted content filter for me on that topic.

John August: Tweets about writing (screenwriting in particular), WordPress, stuff.

Adam Savage: Y’know — the Mythbusters dude. One half of my secret genetically-designed parentage. Occasionally he strays toward “noise” rather than “signal,” but he says enough funny stuff and posts some interesting on-set pics that I keep on keepin’ on.

JA Konrath: Writer. King of the e-Books. Frequent insightful speaker on the subject of How Publishing Is Changing. Also, a really funny dude. For bonus points, add other authors I follow: John Scalzi, Cherie Priest, Brian Keene, and of course, Robert McCammon.

[EDIT: Somehow I missed Michael Ruhlman. Bourdain cohort? King of the real cookbook? A great food writer? Follow, if you please.]

So, there’s a quick shotgun spatter. If you’re looking for daily amusement, I can recommend @FakeAPStylebook, @kingpanpan (bear of the day!), and, of course, @Oatmeal. For functionality, you could do worse than with @NewScientist and @cookbook (which provides 140-character recipes).

I am also taking recommendations. If you think I personally should be following someone, and I’m not — toss it in the comments. Do it. Don’t make me mewl and weep.

Okay, so, all that said, here’s a question —

Do you ever reply to people who might, erm, be far outside your Social Twitter Bracket? I do periodically, and then I wonder about the efficacy of doing so. Or the point. I might send something to @ebertchicago, but then I wonder: is it lost? Does it just get swallowed? Obviously he can’t reply to everyone. Lawdy even knows whether he reads them all. You do a quick search and it looks like he gets hundreds of responses per tweet. That’s a lot of noise for him; if I reply, am I just adding static? Further, nobody wants to appear desperate. The Internet already stinks of the cologne called Les Despair. I don’t want to add my own needy emissions.

Lube Me Up, Scotty!

For the combo-pack that is “Valentine’s Day” plus “Wife’s Birthday,” we went out and had a couples massage.

This is not the first time we’ve done so. Usually when we go on vacation, we do so (and massages by the beach in Hawaii as whales are literally breaching in the ocean ahead of you is an experience that cannot be described with the garbage syllables of the human tongue), and it’s always nice.

Thing is, if you’re a dude, you need to know some things. Things they don’t necessarily tell you the first time through.

First: you’re going to be naked. You don’t have to be. You can leave your man-panties on. Hell, since it’s all about you, they’d probably let you leave a suit of chainmail armor on. But, I assure you, the more naked (nuder?) you get, the better the massage.

Second: you’re probably going to get an erection. I assume the massage therapists deal with this all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less embarrassing for you. It’s not that you’re necessarily all sexed up or anything — but that massage lady (or, heaven forbid, massage dude) is like an origami ninja with the sheets atop your unclothed body. She will fold and flip that sheet so only the part-to-be-massaged is exposed, but that means she folds it like a napkin right at the Mason-Dixon line that marks the border between “thigh” and “thine lordly junk.” Her hands, your thighs. And her hands, your ass cheeks. Seriously. In fact, there exist few places on your body she won’t touch. Verboten: Junk, rosebud, and nipple tips. Everywhere else is pretty much fair game. So, because she’s got oily hands a-roaming, your body thinks, “I’d better send up the periscope to see what’s what.” Then, wham. A flag up the flagpole. Stiffy. Boner. Boom. The woman could look like a trash bag full of fat raccoons and it wouldn’t matter. Being anxious only deepens the problem and ruins the massage. So, what I’m saying is, be prepared going in. Anxiety during the massage is counter to the point of a massage.

Third: you might have to pee. They tell you to drink a lot of water before and after, and that translates to, “I have to pee.” Seriously. Make wee-wee beforehand.

Fourth: for the rest of the day, you’re going to smell like massage oil. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not like they rub you down with hippo gall or garlic sauce or the intestines of pigeons or anything. It smells nice. But you’re going to smell it until you take a shower. You might even be a bit greasy. Since they will massage your head, that also means it’s in your hair, which further means you will walk out of there with JBFITB (just been fucked in the bathroom) hair. So. Y’know. FYI.

Work Update

The Pen I continue to have lots of long-term projects, but zero short-term projects.

Know of work? Freelance penmonkey stuff? Give a shout. Daddy needs some gold.

The long-term projects are going well.

The television pilot script is in-progress.

The film rewrite is being swiftly put through the paces (and pages) — I generally write 3-5 pages a day, but on this sucker, I did eight on Monday, 11 on Tuesday, and nine on Wednesday, which puts me past the first act in three short days. The very robust outline and plan to get here probably helped a lot. Now, second act.

The novel is… well, I mean, it’s out there. In the ether. Super-Agent Stacia Decker is on the case. I don’t really know exactly what happens now? I’d love for it to be, “Book sells! Now you’re rich!” but realistically, it’s probably, “Book’s too weird! No sale! Cry into your bologna sandwich!” They’re all gonna laugh at me. Bucket of pig’s blood. Sadness.

Time will tell. I recognize that any of these three big projects could suddenly suffer an embolism and shit the bed. But, they continue to persevere against the odds, and the Game of Inches continues, with inches gained, and none lost. Here’s hoping that the slow march of progress continues ineluctably forward.


The Scrutiny of Mister Mantis Speaking of Twitter: saw this from Lance, and it’s interesting. Meet the first miners of the new social graph. Interesting Twitter metrics, with some neat sites to help you examine your social connections online. The question, according to this article, becomes: who don’t I know? Who should I know?

Holy crap! Augmented reality + LEGO! The future is now.

By god, I hope you’re checking out Gameplaywright. For instance, if you were looking for an interview with the designers of The Dresden Files RPG (Fred Hicks, Ryan Macklin, Lenny Balsera), you might just find it at Gameplaywright (Part One, Part Two).

Speaking of Fred Hicks — he would very much like you to eat awesomely.

Someone would like to tell you that “a caring god would not have designed us like this.” A thumb in the eye of intelligent design?

From Doyce, I saw this, and it’s spot-the-fuck-on: in terms of taxes, health care, and other stuff, stop demanding you get screwed. Read that. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Finally: hey! Look, Ma. One of my photos ended up at Abduzeedo (a site I love), and I missed it.

A reminder that a ton of other awesome shit lurks at the terribleminds Tumblr page. Tumblelog. Tumbleblog. Tumblebug. Tumblenuts. Rum-tum-tugger. Blargh.


  • I sent a reply to Mr, Wheaton on Twitter once, simply because he made me laugh hysterically. Didn’t expect a reply in kind and didn’t receive one. The dude is overrun by the geeks of the universe though.

    Haven’t really molested a celebrity since.

  • Mantis pic!

    And I got a massage at work once. It was just shoulder and necks, but it was very enjoyable except for the fact that it was only for 20 minutes and while she got all the kinks out of my left shoulder, she was unable to work on my right leaving me with a sense of uneven soreness that followed me all day.

    For short term projects, have you considered writing a short cook book that you can sell at cons? I imagine it wouldn’t take that much time at all for you, and would help show the world what carp you eat!

    What? You eat carp, right? Carp crap. Eww.

    • I’ve thought about doing a book like that. “Cooking With Profanity” or something. I’d love to do it, but it’s one of those things like what I was saying the other day — that isn’t the shit I should be writing. It’ll take up precious time and intellectual brain space.

      — c.

  • I do randomly send tweets out into the dark void, because you never know what might come back. Also, Twitter Space Locusts.

  • I wish somebody had written just such a primer on what to expect from massage therapy when I first did that years ago. So I just sort of went with it, and figured, “hey, I’m in a medical office building, nothing they’ll do will go too far.” Whew.

    Also: I have no idea how to categorize your tumbleblog. But I love it.

    • @Kyle: Awesome! Glad you likey. Keep on coming back, man. We’ve got room. Beer in the fridge. Sandwiches, too. The dog stole the crack, though. Damn dog.

      @Morgan: … I now know the name of fear, and it is “Twitter Space Locusts.”

      — c.

  • I keep getting an urge to have you write something for Evil Hat, only I’ve got this Dresden thing right up in my face and it’s preventing me from figuring out WHAT the project should look like, and perhaps more to the point, we are still very tiny and so we pay for crap. (DF is truly going to be a make or break thang for us. While the deck is at least a little bit stacked there, it’s nerve-wracking when you actually have to take out a loan in order to do your printing of a product.)

  • Sometimes I reply to Big People Outside My Twittersphere, and afterward I just feel like an idiot. And some of these Big People aren’t all that Big. I mean, there are Big People and then there are BIG People, you know? Regardless, it makes me feel like a little fail plankton beneath their Big Behemoth Bigness.

    But, whatevs. It makes me appreciate the peeps who do engage and connect all the more.

    Sending you good mojo for your long-term projects. 🙂

    • @Amy:


      I don’t think you ever need to feel like an idiot. I think it’s normal, and Twitter gives you a direct line to people that they can ignore accidentally or on purpose, or reply to. But no embarrassment. (Unless you’re one of those people who endlessly tweets replies to and retweets from people they stalk — erm, “admire.”)

      — c.

  • RE: Health care, taxes and reform link

    This is a personal peeve for me. I grew up with pinko-commie-socialist free health care, and the ignorance of teabaggers who claim that having health care provided for families is a bad thing literally enrages me to the point where I actually do rant and rave and foam at the mouth. It isn’t a pretty sight.

    I lived in the US for two years, first in Orlando and then in New Mexico. The minute we found out I was pregnant with Jason, I was on the phone to Mom, begging her to loan me the money to come home where not only I but my child would be covered by my provincial MCP (medical care plan… highly original). Good fucking thing too, since that child turned out to be autistic (which I’m fairly confident would have counted as a “pre-existing condition” to any coverage we might have managed to obtain in the US).

    Rick wants to move back to the States. I say, no fuckin’ way. Not until we can guarantee our children can have as much service/support, normalized medicine and emergency health care as they do up here in Canada. Preferably without an insurance company’s dick waiting patiently just outside our sphincters, ready to sodomize us.

    • @Maggie —

      Well-said. Your palpable rage is understandable.

      Further, it’s always surprising to me that fundamentalist Christians are Republican.

      Social conservatism and Christ do not play well together, and yet, they play together all the time.

      — c.

  • @Chuck – selective reading, I suppose. I frequently ask fellow Christians who get so angry about policies that oppose war and promote tolerance and the environment whether we read the same Sermon on the Mount.

  • You could give me your recipes and I’ll write a cookbook for you! It’ll be called, “John’s Best Recipes That He Came Up With Without That Brigand Chuck Wendig.” I’ll sell in the dozens of copies! Bakers dozens!

  • I would quote everything Maggie said but there’s very little point since she already said it, but that’s how I feel exactly. I find it strange that people think they will die if their wait times for nonessential crap increase because poor people can go to the hospital too. I’ve been sick in Canada before and I’m pretty sure it didn’t lead to my dying horribly.

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