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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

I want a refund on my weekend.

Surprisingly enough, I am sick. I've been feeling it coming for the past two mornings, but I wasn't sure until today. I've been hacking up phlegm out of my lungs and it's given me a headache. The coughing is sporadic, fortunately. I've awakened for the past two mornings stuffed up and with lungs full of crud. I'm also achy in the joints and possibly have a very low grade fever. It's hard to say and not really worth chasing with a thermometer to find out, as it would be way too low to medicate. Heh. I never get sick. Okay. I rarely get sick. It's annoying. I don't think I've had so much as a cold since the wife left, two years ago. I'm somewhat amused by the prospect, it's such a novelty. If it manages to last more than two more days I'm sure the philosophical novelty of it all will begin to wear mighty thin. We'll see.

I haven't done a lot today. My meeting with Robert, Tom, and Don was called off. Tom is AWOL and probably forgot that we were going to meet today. Don, the other iron man, health god of our group also has a cold, or something. The fact that he and I both have come down with something surprised Robert. No doubt he wonders if he is next to succumb to the plague. McGuffin is still in a limbo of waiting. The patent lawyer said a week about a week ago. Apparently, the claims are solid, but he's still working on the body of the patent. I hope he can get the first filing for McGuffin off so that we can the subsystem we identified to him and get a patent on that as well. If we are successful in licensing that, we may be able to get ourselves a lab and put McGuffin into development on self-funding, without an investor.

I sat down today and finished this issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction to which I subscribe. You find out the most interesting things in that magazine. Peter S. Beagle has written a story concerning the characters he created in The Last Unicorn. The story, called Two Hearts is proof that Beagle is still on top of his game. In the introductory blurb preceding the story, I learned that Beagle is writing a sequel novel to The Last Unicorn after thirty four years. Amazing. Apparently, the old coot is still spry enough to feel-up the cute fan girls, judging by the evidence from Dragoncon on his website.

I talked to Jackie on IM last night. Actually, I exchanged messages with her friend, Kala, while my daughter watched the exchange and giggled. *sigh* Kala is nineteen and way too eager to demonstrate what a "grown-up woman" she is. The goober was attempting to embarrass me, or possibly Jackie, by attempting to play "a/s/l" games with me. Oh please, little girl. I was doing that stuff on the college mainframe when she was still crapping in her nappies. I really don't think a nineteen year old like that one is really all that appropriate company for a fifteen year old. I have to wonder if this girl has any friends her own age, to still be hanging with high school girls. Naturally, the ex probably doesn't think anything of it. My daughters haven't been to visit in weeks. I have so little parental input into their lives anymore. I really do hope that the two of them are able to maintain their common sense in that environment.

The ex graciously dropped me an e-mail a couple of days ago telling me that Shannon was having some trouble in school. Sheesh. This divorce is the gift that just keeps on giving. She's thinking about pulling Shannon out and home schooling again, which in most cases I would heartily advocate as being a better alternative than the ridiculous state system, especially in the early years. Nevertheless, she really doesn't know how to reach Shannon on some issues. She's completely wrong for the job. Not to mention the fact that toward the end of our last experiment in home shooling she started avoiding dealing with it by burying her nose in her online exploits all day. Oh brother. Now she's got an infant and is going to school herself. She has no conception of her own limitations or when she has overextended herself and bitten off more than she can chew. You can't tell her, either. I suppose that I shall have to have a talk with Shannon to see if there is anything I can do to help her get a grip on things, if she wants to stay in school. Crystal certainly can't reach her. I don't really know what I can do. There is a perverse part of me which is really glad that I don't have to deal with that woman anymore. She's a lovely person, but on some issues, she is an absolutely impossible person with whom to work. I sent her back an e-mail telling her good luck, because she was going to need it. I didn't have anything to suggest, because Crystal does whatever she pleases anyway. The e-mail she sent me was just to cover her bases and document that she had "kept me informed." Balderdash. From what it sounded like, she wasn't very damned "informed."

I'm not getting involved in any more of that woman's messes. If the girls want to come and live with me, I would be more than happy to have them. I've told them that. I think that's probably the limit of whatever constructive I can provide.

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Coughing, aching, sneezing blah blah blah so you can rest medicine

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling sick. You've been working yourself like mad lately, maybe it's your body's way of saying "YO... YOU... YEAH YOU... SLOW IT DOWN ALREADY!" Heh.

I had been meaning to ask about your daughters so I'm glad you wrote. I had wondered if you had thought about them coming to live with you. They should try it for a while at least! A 15 and a 19 year old... that's kind of odd, indeed.

I hope it all works out and you feel better soon. *Hugs*

Re: Coughing, aching, sneezing blah blah blah so you can rest medicine

Heh. If this is my body's way of saying slow it down, it should have let in a bigger bug. I'm going to work this morning.

Re: Coughing, aching, sneezing blah blah blah so you can rest medicine

I normally do that, too. When I have a job I enjoy.

This week, I'm studying Scrabble. SICK ... of getting my ass kicked. :)

Scrabble jousting dummy

Hmm, I should find some time to play a round or two with you. Then you could mop the board with me a couple of times and be back to craving a challenge again. ; )

Re: Scrabble jousting dummy

Anytime. Did you ever figure out how to play on ISC? If not, there is an email Scrabble place - I know sounds weird. You make a play, your opponent gets an email and goes at their leisure. I don't enjoy it as much as the one-on-one of "real-time" play but it's practice nonetheless.

I figure since I'm off work again this week and I did SO poorly by not studying for Saturday, I am going to treat this as my job for this week - to learn, learn, learn. I am playing with a program this morning and quizzing myself.

I'm hooked!

Re: Scrabble jousting dummy

Yeah. I figured it out. I just need to muster the time (and the courage) to get into the arena and try it out.

I'm off to work now. Catch you later. Hope you're having an excellent day!

My daughters haven't been to visit in weeks. I have so little parental input into their lives anymore. I really do hope that the two of them are able to maintain their common sense in that environment.

So - what's that all about? Is it a matter where you'd have to go to court to enforce visitation or is it just due to the teenage years? If this is too personal or something you'd rather not talk about - just tell me to piss off ;)

As nosey as I am with you, I'd never tell you to piss off, Nancy.

No, it's not got a lot to do with visitation or any battle like that. It's just the fact that I am a hundred miles away except for a couple of weekends a month, if that.

Re: As nosey as I am with you, I'd never tell you to piss off, Nancy.

It certainly sounds inconvenient, but it's also pretty clear that you're the more responsible parent. Whether the children fully realize it or not, seeing you as often as possible is very important to them.

And feel better soon!

I wouldn't say that I'm all that more responsible. She does a good job, most of the time, and is very consciensious. It was one of the reasons I married her. She just gets distracted, and when there are problems, she frustrates easily. Other than that, she doesn't tend to see some issues as a problem, like the nineteen year old's influence on our elder daughter. I'm hoping that latter issue evaporates naturally, when the friend goes into the nursing program at U.C. Davis.

I love Peter S. Beagle and was thrilled to learn he is still alive. Anxious to read the sequel.

I'm sick, too. *passes the sudafed*

It sounds like you are going to have to be very proactive in remaining more present in your daughters' lives. Please don't let them slip away; the current situation makes it all too easy for that to happen if you don't force the door a little more. Get your butt up to Sacto every other weekend and get them into you car; no excuses...that's the way it is. They need to make seeing Dad as much of a priority as seeing their peers....if not more so, since you have lost the day-to-day. You need to set this up and followup on it; don't rely on them to seek you out, they are just children and will follow the path of least resistance. Do not let them down now...because frankly, their model of what a mother is is less than ideal. But you can save them by being a good father.

Commit yourself to your girls now...because otherwise this is going to slip through the cracks and their future is in your hands. Your ex's attentions are COMPLETELY elsewhere.

Sorry to hear that you're sick as well. I'll probably stick to vitamins and cough drops, and Tylenol, if the aches get problematical, for now though, but thanks for the offered Sudafed. I try to stay away from "the hard stuff" as long as possible.

The first time I heard Beagle was alive, a couple of years ago, I was surprised as well. The Last Unicorn was published in 1968.

As for my daughters, well, I try, but they have friends and extracurricular activities now. I suppose I shall have to have a talk with Shannon this evening and see what is happening with her. This is typical. I have always been the last to find out anything in our family. Other than her penchant for treating my like an afterthought in the family, which is nothing new, the ex is a pretty good parent, when she's not overextended. The problem is that being overextended is a chronic condition with her.

Peter Beagle's business manager here, tossing in a smile from Peter and the following comment: "As Mark Twain said, 'Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.' To which I add, reports of my life even more so! As far as I know I'm still here, but I'll check."

Seriously: he's very happy you liked "Two Hearts," and he laughed out loud when I told him I'd found reference to him as an "old coot." (He's actually only 66.)

-- Connor Cochran

Well, if you do have the ear of Mr. Beagle, please tell him for me that I meant "old coot" in the nicest possible way, given that, considering the alternative, it is a state I hope fervently to achieve one day myself. I hope that he took no offense, and I hope that at 66 I am still in a condition allowing me to fraternize with pretty young fan girls at conventions! I honestly did believe that he was older than 66. The Last Unicorn has the feel of something which is the product of someone older than 29. That will teach me to learn something about the authors whose writings I enjoy.

As you can see, my friends and I admire Mr. Beagle's work and are delighted to see that he is still practicing his craft. I meant what I said about enjoying the story and eagerly look forward to the publishing of the book. F&SF's policy of publishing such high-quality authors is what has kept me reading it for years. I would recommend it to my friends, but from what I have heard, F&SF have already sold out this issue.

Peter didn't take offense. AS he just told me -- we are in a hotel room in Anaheim together, waiting for GenCon SoCal to start tomorrow -- "Tell him I was touched, if anything."

He actually started THE LAST UNICORN at 23, when he wrote about 80 pages of a radically different version (which will finally see the light of day in an upcoming collection called THE FIRST LAST UNICORN AND OTHER BEGINNINGS). Wasn't happy with the direction it had taken, so he put it aside for a couple of years. Started again when he was 26 and finished it when he was 28.

But for REALLY scary, go read his first novel, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, and try and talk yourself into believing it was the work of a 19 year-old!

Yes, F&SF has sold out of the issue with "Two Hearts." But (a) the story will be reprinted next summer in his new collection THE LINE BETWEEN, from Tachyon Publications; and (b) a signed-and-numbered 3000-copy illustrated hardcover edition is going to be available relativly soon from the company we set up to publish Peter's newest stuff, Conlan Press. Anybody wanting more info can go to http://www.conlanpress.com or check out Peter's email newsletter, THE RAVEN.

We're also looking for help from fans on a couple of crucial issues, which you can read all about at http://www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp.

Thanks for being a fan of Peter's work (obviously I am, too).

-- Connor Cochran

Sorry that you are ill. Hope you get better soon! (Probably the funky weather we are having. Gorgeous one day and cold the next.)

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

I've been sucking Ricola cough drops all morning. I'm a bit achy in the chest and arms, but other than that, I feel okay. To external appearances, I don't have a cold at all.

In the introductory blurb preceding the story, I learned that Beagle is writing a sequel novel to The Last Unicorn after thirty four years

awesome! i finally read that signed copy bonegrrrl gave me at that birthday shindig i had back in june. since then i've been running across several people who've never seen the movie nor read the book!

isn't it amazing...

the way everything seems to "come to a head" at the same time?

i'm sorry you are feeling so sick and wish i was nearby so i could bring you some chicken soup with matzoh balls (it's Jewish penicillin, works like a charm) in a neighborly way... i'd even tidy up a bit and make sure you were comfy... i feel so badly when people are under the weather... i'm known in the neighborhood for being the type to make a meal etc., it's just part of my nature (damn, I am old-fashioned!)

as for Crystal... you will never be completely free of her, but i applaud you for maintaining your balance and am very very happy you would take your girls in to live with you... that might be a good idea, one worth legally considering, i don't know... i just sense that you miss your daughters very much, and i feel for you. i have my troubles, we've chatted some (and i must say, i can't thank you enough for suggesting some music to help me chill out the other night, a million thanks, it was very helpful) and i know i could never be without my children, no way.

life is so complicated, the emotions and logic do battle at every turn, and somehow we poor humans get to juggle it all about (and, in your case, be sick at the same time)...

i hope you feel better ASAP... hugs to you!

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