you should definitely maybe buy my new book!

gensurge-cover-4inHey, you should probably know that I just wrote a new book!

And I say “probably” rather than “definitely” here, because I am not about to dictate your priorities to you. Seriously, I am not so arrogant or narcissistic to believe that you should immediately drop everything that you are doing right now, and run as fast as you can, to your nearest bookstore, in order to purchase a copy of my new book.

To be completely honest, I doubt that the book is even available at your local book store. Because I am mostly selling it online. Which is where you can purchase it: By getting online. Which you probably are already. If you are reading this.

Look, I don’t harbor any grandiose assumptions about me being “God’s Gift to Readers,” and that everybody and anybody must simply be dying to read my book. I just figured that, since you were visiting my blog (as demonstrably demonstrated by the fact that you are reading this) then you probably have *some* interest in my work. Even if it is a vague, fleeting, ambivalent, and/or half-hearted sort of interest.

But maybe you’re not really interested in my work? Maybe you’ve just been toying with me this whole entire time? Perhaps, rather than genuinely enjoying all of the odd little pieces that I have been posting here sporadically over the last year or so, you have merely been pretending to like me all along? Perhaps because you have some ulterior motive?

Frankly, I am not exactly sure what that ulterior motive would be. And don’t get me wrong: It’s not that I doubt your Machiavellian nature per se – I am sure you can be quite devious and crafty when you want to be, when you set your mind to it. It’s just that it is unclear to me how you might be able to thoroughly take advantage of me via reading my odd, little, sporadic blog.

Unless you are hacking me right now.

ARE YOU HACKING ME RIGHT NOW?!? LITERALLY AS I WRITE THIS?!?

It just dawned on me that I may have jumped the gun here. Perhaps I have been assuming the worst about you? I sure hope not. But at the same time, I sure hope that I have just assumed the worst about you. Otherwise, that likely means that you are hacking me right now. Literally.

And in addition to jumping the gun, I’m afraid I have also buried the lede. Perhaps because I shot the lede with the gun. I pumped it full of lead, or led, or lede – spelling and idioms be damned. And naturally, I’d have to dispose of that body somehow…

Anyway, the lede was supposed to be: Hey I wrote a new book! It’s called General Surgery and Surgeons General: a Kat Cataclysm chapbook. It’s a modest forty-something-page collection of some of my absurdist short stories, slam poems, and whimsical musings, which touch upon and/or outright tackle diverse topics such as YA dystopian fiction, photosynthesis, mountain climbing, temporal anomalies, bisexuality, Santa Claus, Prince’s song lyrics, malapropisms & paraprosdokians, and the trials and travails of the contemporary author.

the book can be purchased at:
CreateSpace (which offers the best royalties for the author)
Amazon.com (where you can “Look Inside” the book by clicking on the cover)

And you can listen to readings of four of the chapters on YouTube:

Poetry Slammed
The Sex Which Is Not One
Mr. Prince
Smells Like Teen Dystopia

And if you’re looking for more general information about the book (e.g., if you happen to be a generalist rather than a specialist, or a general rather than an enlisted person), it can be found here.

Strangers

I don’t talk to strangers. And it’s not because they are “strange,” as Jim Morrison once sang. Nor is it because they are supposedly potentially dangerous.

No. It’s because they just seem so egotistical and self-absorbed all the time.

I mean, each morning, when I see all the strangers on their way to work, they all seem so singularly focused on that one particular task, which so clearly only benefits them. And I’m pretty sure that they have never once given a single thought regarding how I might get to work. I doubt they’d even care if it turned out that my bus was late, or if I was stuck in traffic.

Then around lunchtime, while I am running an errand at the bank, I will see all these strangers queuing up in line. And I’ll bet you that the overwhelming majority of these strangers – many of whom are here to deposit checks and/or cash – will almost certainly put that money into their own bank accounts, rather than into those of other people. Such as me.

So until that day – which will most likely never come – when I peruse my monthly bank statement and find, much to my amazement, that a stranger has deposited $109.72 into my checking and/or savings account, I will continue my policy of not talking to strangers. Because they are all so unbearably selfish and conceited. At least as far as I’m concerned.

I swear, I don’t trust strangers any farther than I can throw them. Which is not very far at all.

A Brush with Teeth

I remember every single instance in my entire life when I have brushed my teeth.

And many people have trouble believing that this is true. These people seem to view brushing teeth as this really trivial thing, and they’ll do it with little regard or consideration. In contrast, I recognize how important – nay, momentous! – the act of brushing one’s teeth is. Which is why I fondly remember each and every single occasion: January 14, 1989. October 2, 1997. June 23, 2006.

And of course, yesterday. Which is why the whole “brushing teeth” thing has been on my mind today.

Cats

They say that there is more than one way to skin a cat. To which I reply: Exactly how do we know this? Like, is there some computer genius out there somewhere who has dedicated their life’s efforts toward creating the most advance computer simulation imaginable, which now runs through millions of iterations of hypothetical scenarios involving various numbers of cats and sharp implements, and which has led to the indisputable conclusion that there are precisely 4.5 or 12.7 or 342.9 ways to skin a cat?

Is this how we know this?

What? You say that this knowledge is derived from real-life instances of actual human beings skinning actual cats?

Ewww, gross.

But more to the point: What an inefficient way to reach such a conclusion.

Santa Claus is such a fucking sell out

Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed all these ads on TV. With Santa Claus in them. And it’s not like these commercials are merely appropriating the likeness of Santa’s image in order to peddle their products. No, Mr. Claus himself personally appears in these ads and plays an active role in helping these companies sell their wares.

In other words, it turns out that Santa Claus is a fucking sell out! Just like the rest of them!

And this devastates me on such a personal and profound level, I can’t even begin to tell you. But I’ll try.

See, I used to be Santa’s number-one biggest fan back when I was a kid. And I remember each year around holiday season, all my friends would be asking their parents for brand-name-X pair of designer jeans, or state-of-the-art-company-Y’s latest video game console. But not me, no siree. When my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told them that I was totally down with whatever artisan hand-crafted toys Santa and his merry band of D.I.Y. punk-rock arctic elves decided to churn out that year.

And I loved those fucking D.I.Y. artisan toys!

But now in retrospect, it seems clear that the man that I used to non-ironically call “St. Nick” was just biding his time. He was merely building up his indie cred, until he finally got the big blockbuster company deal. And he fucking cashed in.

What a fucking sell out.

the benefits of unreasonably high expectations

People often cite the importance of lowering expectations. For instance, if I have just begun a writing project that I hope will one day blossom into a full-fledged novel, it might be in my best interest to lower expectations – for instance, by telling family and friends that it will likely turn out to be a lengthy writing exercise, or if I’m lucky, a short story or a self-published chapbook, when all is said and done. That way, if I do fail, no one will hold it against me.

But I have decided to take a different tack. Instead of lowering expectations, I try to raise expectations impossibly high. Like, instead of letting people know that I am trying my hand at writing a novel, I instead proclaim – both boisterously and repeatedly – that I am working on a heptalogy that will sweep the nation and make me heir to the likes of J. K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin, despite the fact that I don’t even have any initials in my pen name. I even promise my family and friends that, once I clear the 50 million books sold globally benchmark, I will take them all out to dinner, to a really really nice restaurant.

Of course, they won’t likely believe that I will reach my stated goal. So essentially, this unreasonably-high-expectation approach accomplishes the same overall effect as lowering expectations: It takes the pressure off me, and allows me wiggle room if I do fail. But on the plus side, it is way more optimistic!

on the virtues of self-editing

I am never quite sure whether I should “punch up” or “spruce up” the language.

So rather than putting the finishing touches on this piece and submitting it for publication, I’ve instead decided to pour myself a glass of wine, take the last remaining Percocet from my root canal last year, stare at the textured patterns in my stucco ceiling, and contemplate all the (if you ask me, quite significant) differing implications of “punching” versus “sprucing” up language as it applies to my forthcoming listicle about the thirteen most unflattering dresses worn at this year’s Academy Awards™. Which will be coming soon to a pop culture, and/or fashion, and/or entertainment, and/or Hollywood gossip, and/or serious news outlet desperate for advertising revenue, website near you.

But not until I finish the damned thing.