A few years back, I was sitting around with some buddies -- I forget precisely which ones -- and the subject of hippos came up. They're comical-looking critters, all fat and roly-poly and stuff, but the truth is, they're mean bastards. Hippos are, essentially, the hulking coked-up linebackers of the animal kingom. They'll trample and gore your ass real good if you catch 'em in a pissy mood.
One of my friends was telling me that he (she?) had seen a nature documentary where the cameraman was filming a shallow watering hole where a bunch of crocs were just lounging in the sun, chilling out between meals. All of a sudden there's this horrible roaring noise from off camera and the picture goes all herky-jerky as the cameraman runs for his life. When the cameraman feels safe enough to turn around and start shooting in earnest again, we see the little watering hole has been invaded by a single angry hippo; all the crocs not busy fleeing for their scaly reptillian lives are dead, and the hippo is busy bellowing angry tusky warnings at the cameraman.
"Well, shit!" says I. "Did the cameraman get away all right?"
Well, a moment's reflection and I provide myself with my own answer. "Of course. I mean, if you saw the footage, he must have gotten out of there all right."
And then I thought about it a few more moments. "Unless, of course, you were watching the Blair Hippo Project . . . "
I'm a semi-pro fiction writer and a professional code monkey, in that order. Even if it's the second one that actually pays the bills. I'm also the editor of PARSEC Ink's annual Triangulation anthology, an ultra-small-press project that has gotten some favorable reviews. As for my own writing I've managed to sell some stories, but that's certainly not how I'm making my living.
I grew up in Iowa, went to school in Illinois, and have adopted Pittsburgh as my home town. I used to be married, but it didn't stick. As of this update (5/1/08), I'm coming off a divorce that went about as smoothly as these things go -- meaning that my ex and I were subjected to kilo-Lovelaces of suck, but at least we don't owe lawyers thousands of dollars. Recovery has been slow, but it's happening. And, I'm single again. So if any single ladies reading this are turned-on by pudgy white nerdboys in their mid thirties with damaged self-confidence and recent emotional scars ... oh, yeah. I'm your man, baby. Giggity giggity.
Life's been better. But it's been worse, too, and I'm writing again. I could certainly complain, but complaining is boring. Time to get back to living.
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