Daily Archives: December 23, 2007

Memories For Sale

Don’t ask me how I got there, because it’s not actually an interesting story, but I was on a site looking at California home values and as a curiosity I looked to see if one of the houses I grew up in might be listed. Sure enough it was: 1144 W. Edna Place in Covina, California, where I lived while I was in fourth through half of sixth grade, is currently up for sale for the bargain price of just $545,000! That’s up a bit from the last time it sold, in 1997, when it was nabbed for $164,000, and I expect it’s at least ten times what my mom and stepdad paid for it more than a quarter century ago. Given that the property has been on the market for almost six months, it doesn’t look like very many folks seem to think it’s a half-million dollar house, and while I was fond of the place, I would have to agree with that. Also, when we lived there, it was not this sickly color.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a house in Southern California and/or the depths of your Scalzi stalkery impel you to seek out one of my childhood homes to claim as your own, here you go.

A Month of Writers, Day Nineteen: David Lubar

In honor of Athena’s birthday, today’s Month of Writers contributor is one of her favorite writers, David Lubar, the author of the wildly popular “Weenies” series, of which The Curse of the Campfire Weenies is the latest addition. They’re collections of funny and spooky stories, which appeal to Athena because she’s got that gothy, attitudinous streak of hers. Longtime readers of Whatever may remember that mention of the Weenie series has come up before, when I wrote about a Tor publicist who dressed up in a weenie costume at BEA in oder to promote the series. I admit to being just a little envious, although to be fair, it wouldn’t make sense of a publicist to dress up in a weenie costume for any of my books. Even so.

A little bit of Scalzi trivia for you: of all the Month of Writers contributers, David is the one I’ve known the longest, because more than a decade ago, he was a regular contributor to an AOL humor area I edited (other contributors included James Lileks and Ted Rall — now there’s a combo). So having him contribute here is just like old times.

Today’s entry is short, I encourage you to pop over to his LiveJournal to read more. Today’s entry, on the difference between being a bad parent and being a bad person is particularly enlightening (it helps to know his daughter is a teacher).

DAVID LUBAR: Can We Tock?

Dear TV Guide,

Thank you for the broken clock. The unexpected gift provided a nice moment of mystery for my wife and me as we contemplated the package we found in our mail box, and enriched our day with a wonderful moment of amusement when we opened the box and discovered the assorted pieces of what was once a really crappy clock. I suspect it will probably tell time just as well in its current condition. To steal from the classic Lewis Carroll enigma, at least it will be right twice a day.

We were also amused by the card describing me as “one of our most valued subscribers.” I didn’t pay for the subscription. I got it from unused airline miles. Once a year, American Airlines reminds me that I have 4,700 unused miles. Once a year, I spend those miles on a variety of magazines. And once a year, the miles mysteriously replenish themselves. I guess there’s a leak somewhere.

As for your wish that I’ll be with you “for many season to come,” I have bad news. Four seasons, and we’re finished. Maybe sooner. I have fond childhood memories of your detailed descriptions of programs, and full coverage of all time periods. The current version of your magazine is about as useful as the clock.

So, anyhow, thanks again for the broken clock, and for making me feel welcome.

Sincerely,

A Valued Subscriber

(the original entry, plus comments, is here)