Ill Advised Beard Styles, One of Several

I am occasionally asked: “Hey, Scalzi, why don’t you rock the beard like C. Everett Koop?” And this is why:

Basically because it makes me look like I just got out of Amish prison. That is, if they had prisons. Which I’m fairly sure they don’t. But if they did, this is what it would be like.

Now, excuse me. I gotta go shave off the rest of this thing.

Okay, Now Things Are Officially Getting Silly

Seen on just a couple of minutes ago:

So, Obama getting on a plane to fly somewhere constitutes actual news now? Really? Doesn’t the actual news value of his trip begin once he lands and goes to the White House? Because, speaking as a former newspaperman, that’s where I would personally start my coverage.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in the tank for Obama and all. But I think breathless enthusiasm for a man traveling by one of those aeroplanar contraptionations might be edging into ridiculousness. Might. Maybe. I’m just saying.

Want Want Want Want

Occasionally I vent on these pages about the things I want in this life but don’t have — generally physical things, mind you, not existential things, like happiness. I’m pretty happy. I just don’t have some things. Here’s the latest edition of things I want:

1. I want one of those teeny netbook computers. Because I’ve been doing a buttload of travel in the last year, will be doing a buttload of travel in the next year, and my current laptop is, well, beefy by modern standards. Now, strictly speaking, there’s no reason I can’t have one of these, since I can afford one, and there are lots available for the picking. But that’s the problem: There are lots available and I’m doing that “paralyzed by choice” thing that happens to people. And there’s also the fact that while my current laptop is beefy, there also nothing wrong with it: it’s actually a very nice laptop which at the moment doesn’t need to be replaced. So I feel guilty about wanting to spend money on a thing I don’t really need. But I’m not writing about need; I writing about want. And I want one of these little boogers.

2. I want a Blackberry Storm. The Storm is what you get when you want something iPhone-ish but don’t want either the iPhone or to be shackled to AT&T. So instead I’ll be shackled to Verizon! That’s freedom, people. The nice thing about this particular want is that I’m indeed going to be getting one, for two reasons: My current phone is just about to die and I’m at that period in my contract where I can upswap without penalty. Also — and this is my rationalization engine kicking in — I figure the Storm may be full-featured enough to quell my insatiable need for a netbook. Thus I can square away getting something that’s ridiculously overpowered for what I generally need my cell phone to do (i.e., send and receive calls). Clearly, I have a practicality issue, which is at odds with my technolust issue. The real major problem here, however, is that these things won’t be available for another couple of weeks. Stupid release dates.

3. I want to write a video game. Because, you know what? I think I would be good at it, and I think it would be a ball to actually get inside a world I’ve sketched out, and, having done so, blow up all sorts of crap in it. Clearly, the video game I’d be writing would be a first person shooter, because, dude. First person shooters are where the fun is, in my not-so-humble opinion. My major impediments here are time, because it’s not like I don’t have enough going on anyway, and the minor detail that I don’t happen to have a game development team handy. Or, you know. The millions of dollars required to build a AAA video game title these days. But if I did, man, would I have a game for you. Related to this:

4. I want someone to update Descent. Because I would totally buy a new joystick — one with two hat switches! — to be able to play a new version of that game. I heart that game with a hearty heartness.

5. I want an asteroid and/or an animal species named after me. This is a repeat want, since I’ve mentioned it in previous “I want” entries — and yet, look at me, still without an asteroid or obscure species of blood tick to call my own. Life is full of adversity. I must struggle through. Seriously though, astronomers and/or biologists, I don’t want to bribe you or anything, but there’s a character in one of my upcoming books just looking for a name. And it’s a cool character, too — not one of those that meets a humiliating death, or can’t get a date, or anything like that. Unless, well, that would amuse you.  What I’m saying is, there’s options available. Come talk to me after class.

These are my wants at the moment. Got any of your own?

That Was the Day We Found Joey “Chew Toy” Pirelli Lying Face Down in the Snow

Dear Nature:

Thank you for your submission, “A Light Dusting of Snow on John Scalzi’s Patio, November 10, 2008.” Unfortunately, we feel that it does not suit our needs at this time. We encourage you to submit something similar perhaps six weeks in the future. At the moment, however, we feel it is inappropriate for our audience’s needs.


John Scalzi