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Friday, June 22, 2012

A Rambling Story About A Boring But Amazing Guy I Just Met (And Also A Lengthy Book Review) ...

I changed the way my blog looks. I like doing that every once and a while. Toss it up. I try to make it so that my blog look slightly different every time a regular visitor shows up to my page. I mean, just look at my banners if you want to see how much I like to change this site. I like regularity, but a small change now and then is good for you.

This, however, is a fairly drastic change, so I hope that this page doesn't give anyone a headache or an aneurism. Please comment if you dislike it. Or like it. Or not. Whatever. It's not like anyone comments anyway. The only time anyone does is when they want to complain about me or post spam. So yeah. On to the story.

A few days ago I was working at the register, right? I was standing there waiting for a small smattering of people to come up for me to help and vaguely creep out I was doing that exciting sounding work for about three straight hours non-stop until my first break of the evening. Exciting, right?

I was spending that fairly mind numbing time trying to finish reading the new book "Amped" by Daniel H. Wilson. The man has a degree in robotics and wrote the book "Robopocalypse" which is now on its way to becoming a movie directed by Steven Spielberg! Using his scientific knowledge, Wilson's fiction is well grounded in reality. These are things that COULD happen. That's what makes his books unsettling and vastly entertaining. His new book is just as good as his last one, although I might be biased, considering most of the book's action is set, strangely enough, very close to where I live here in Oklahoma.

It's a darn good book, both of them, and I strongly suggest everyone buying copies and plugging yourself in to Daniel H. Wilson's genius. And, if anything, you should at LEAST read his stuff before it becomes a movie and freaking everyone and their grandmas start reading him and start saying "Oh, I LOVE all his novels!" only because there's a movie out. I hate that. So get on the bandwagon before it gets all crowded with novel reading rubberneckers. Daniel H. Wilson is the future of realistic science fiction and everyone should be reading him.

Anyway, I was at the register reading Daniel H. Wilson and wondering if Amped was going to be some sort of trilogy because it didn't seem like he could wrap it all up in the fifty pages that I had left. And while I was reading, and I would have been on the edge of my seat if there was a seat that I was sitting down on, a customer came up with a stack of books for me to ring up.

The man was a very bland looking middle aged man. He was slightly tall, slightly overweight, slightly bald, with a very bland looking, slightly chubby face. Glasses hanging low down his nose. He was wearing jeans with suspenders, which is apparently a very popular look with middle aged men here in the midwest. He was the type of guy you couldn't pick out in a lineup. He was bland.

And he looked like his life was bland, too. His wife didn't seem to pay him any mind and his three sons and one daughter were running around playing instead of listening to their parents. This man's lips, thin, hung low in a seemingly permanent frown. This is definitely not a man who would go bungee jumping, you know? He was just another slightly chubby, slightly balding, middle aged W.A.S.P. stuck in a rut.

But ...

... and here's the kicker, okay?

This man's name ...

... was LANCE BROCKMAN!

Names have power attached to them. I believe that. I sincerely do. And this man, this sad, sad, schlubby man, is completely wasting his name's power. Wasting! When I hear that name I automatically picture a news broadcaster or a successful businessman or CEO. I picture a handsome man with a chiseled jaw, maybe even a super hero's secret identity. I picture a character from Mad Men, someone sitting in a penthouse suite in New York drinking expensive scotch. I picture the cartoon Roger Ramjet and his arch-rival: Lance Crossfire, ace test pilot ...

I certainly do NOT picture a sad old man stuck in his life. That made me sad, seeing powerful sounding Mr. Lance Brockman sadly going through the motions of his life, feeling castrated, feeling uncared for, living his life the way that society has decided he must life, living life unhappy day after day after day and why? Why does he stay where he is? Society? Religion? God?

I felt sad for Lance Brockman.

And I hope to GAWD that I never end up like him!

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