Last Call for Guesses

I am impressed, my f-listers. You all did quite well with the Movie Quote meme I posted. Two quotations were not identified, however:

10. “But it’s absurd!”   “So is our electoral process, but we still vote.” — State and Main

15. “There’s one thing I don’t understand. The thing I don’t understand is every motherfuckin’ word you’re saying.” — The Limey

Thanks for playing, f-listers!

The Movie Meme

snurched from most of the f-list:

The rules:
+ Pick 15 of your favorite movies.
+ Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
+ Post them here for everyone to guess.
+ Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
+ NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.

ETA: My original quotation for #5 was not accurate. I have replaced it with a proper quote from a different movie, and I am crediting kradical with coming closest on guessing the botched quote, which was from Living in Oblivion.

1. “Girlie, as far as you’re concerned, I’m the messiah of the DMV.” amysisson, Clueless

2. “I’m not in the business. I am the business.” daytonward, Blade Runner

3. “We’re in Italy, speak English.” paleologa, The Italian Job (2003)
4. “It’s just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book.” scrnwrtinghack, The Mummy

5. “I am Jack’s smirking revenge.” deltagrl, Fight Club
6. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” troll_bridge, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

7. “We have nothing to declare—”   “—except a cello!” daytonward, The Living Daylights

8. “Son, you’re about as useful as a cock-flavored lollipop.” daytonward, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
9. “You’re going to give mercenaries a bad name.” daytonward, Raiders of the Lost Ark

10. “But it’s absurd!”   “So is our electoral process, but we still vote.”
11. “Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers.” trampledamage, Glengarry Glen Ross

12. “Lady, I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.” kradical, Ronin
13. “Doesn’t it give you, like, a shudder of electricity…to be in the same room with me?” daytonward, Superman: The Movie

14. “There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter.” amysisson, Casino Royale
15. “There’s one thing I don’t understand. The thing I don’t understand is every motherfuckin’ word you’re saying.”

Congratulations to the Wards!

My friend Kevin Dilmore just posted on the TrekBBS this news item:


A new edition, um, addition for Dayton and Michi (and big sister Addison)!

Erin Haley Ward

8 lb. 2.5 oz.

20.5 in.

11:58 a.m. 2/22/08

At last report, all were doing well!


Huzzah! Congratulations to Dayton, and especially to Michi, who did all the hard work (as usual).

Gettin’ My Props

The folks over at TrekMovie.com have published their round-up of 2007’s Star Trek novels and a look ahead at 2008’s titles. As far as I’m concerned, this is the money quote:


While not strictly a part of the Original Series line, David Mack kicked the Star Trek: Vanguard series up a notch with one of the best novels of 2007, “Reap the Whirlwind”. Mack’s effort was quite possibly the most notable novel in any of the Star Trek lines last year.


w00t!

Sometimes the system works

I have to say, I am impressed this evening with the fine folks who handle passport renewals at the U.S. Department of State. I had been mentally prepared for my passport renewal to take up to eight weeks, so I was very surprised to receive both my old, canceled passport and my new passport today in the mail — a mere 18 days after I submitted my renewal request.

The renewal date on my passport was Feb. 14, and it was postmarked the same day. So, allowing two days of postal transit on either side of the transaction, the U.S. Department of State processed my passport renewal in exactly two weeks from day of receipt.

So, this evening, my hat’s off to Uncle Sam!

Advice for Writers by Scalzi

Author and freelance writer extraordinaire John Scalzi today offered some sage business advice to writers on his blog.

I recommend to all writers of a professional or semi-professional stripe that you have a look at it in full.

Some of my readers might well ask, “But do you follow the advice of the Great Scalzi yourself, Dave?”

Well, let’s see, shall we? I won’t reproduce his details, just his bullet points.

1. You’re a writer. Prepared to be broke.

Story of my life all through my 20s, and I am readying myself to return to that state. As a hedge, however, I have saved quite a bit of cash in an interest-bearing account….

2. Don’t quit your day job.
Up until now, I have followed this piece of advice. But I intend to defy it in the near future, for the sake of my sanity (save the jokes, not in the mood for it tonight). Keeping the day job has made good sense up until this point, but the corollary to rule #2 is….

3. Marry (or otherwise shack up with) someone sensible with money, who has a real job.
Well, I blew it on this one — at least at first. I married for love, you see. In the years since, however, I obeyed Rule #2 in order to put my lovely wife through graduate school, so that she could fulfill the “steady job” portion of Rule #3 (I’m the sensible money manager in the house).

4. Your income is half of what you think it is.

Don’t I know it. I live in NYC, so my income is actually 40 percent of what I think it is.

5. Pay off your credit cards NOW and then use them like cash later.
Did that in 1998, been doing it ever since. So I was way ahead on this one.

6. Don’t have the cash for it? You can’t have it.
This has also been one of my guiding principles for much of my adult life. Unsecured debt is the enemy. (Note that this does not apply to collateralized, equity-building debt, such as mortgages or car loans.)

7. When you do buy something, buy the best you can afford — and then run it into the ground.
Again, I’m in complete agreement with Scalzi. So why don’t I make anywhere near as much money as him? (Again, stifle yourselves, you clowns. You know who you are. Yeah, I’m talking to you.)

8. Unless you have a truly compelling reason to be there, get the hell out of New York/LA/San Francisco.
I’m trying, man, I’m trying. Unfortunately, after college, I literally could not afford to move out of the city. I had no savings, and there was no work in my field outside the city. Now I have some savings built up, but it looks as if Kara’s best job prospects for her clinical fellowship year might be here in NYC — which means another year in the big, expensive city.

Of course, Scalzi’s only measure of cost-of-living comparison between his home in Ohio and NYC are rent per square foot of property and retail prices. However, he fails to account for the fact that nearly 4 million New Yorkers are able to get by without owning cars — which means no car payment, no car insurance, no fuel costs, no maintenance costs, no parking costs, and no tolls. Renting also means no property taxes. Most renters also pay only gas and electric utilities, but not heating oil costs or water bills. We also don’t pay for trash removal or snow removal — luxuries that in “America” can cost quite a bit of money.

I’d be willing to bet that when one factors in all those costs of living in “America”, the net savings become far less than Scalzi boasts.

All the same, as soon as we can get the hell out of NYC and into mainland America, we’re going.

9. Know the entire writing market and place value on your own work.
Okay, I haven’t done this, and I should. Time to pick up Writer’s Market and start doing my homework.

10. Writing is a business. Act like it.
I do my best. I’m incorporated. I maintain separate business and personal accounts. I keep meticulous records. I keep a tax and business lawyer on retainer year-round. I pride myself on delivering exactly what I have promised, at exactly the time I have promised to do so. I try to do my work as cleanly and as completely as I can, so that the client (i.e., my editor and/or publisher) can publish my work with as little effort as possible.

Do I do any of these things well enough to one day compete at Scalzi’s level? We’ll see.