The sucky thing about having an itch to write is that there are some times when you just can't scratch it.
Wednesday, I had a softball game. Thursday, I was on the phone for an hour and a half with Aly. Friday, I had my last softball game and Saturday and Sundays are just tough to write.
So here it is Monday night, the Sox are losing to the Devil Dogs I finally have a moment to scratch that itch. I had one of the strangest conversations that I have ever had with my dad on Thursday night. The subject was Family Circle and the job of "Dad". I maintained that dad is a cartoonist, while my father swears that he has some no-name job in an office somewhere (ala Ward Cleaver).
My father is insane. There are actual strips where Billy takes over for his dad and draws the strip. Why would Billy be able to draw and write if his dad was an accountant somewhere? I asked my father this and he was flumoxed but said, "It's (Bill Keane's) real son." I think my dad was in a corner and tried to pull some shit out of his ass.
I'm rereading these last two paragraphs and can not believe that I actually had a serious conversation about this. The Gatsbys we are not.
Speaking of books, I finished two in the last few weeks, "Black Mass" and "Naked" by David Sardis. (I think that's how you spell his last name) Both are nonfiction stories about young men who come of age during the 60s and 70s on the East Coast. This is where the comparisons stop.
Naked was a collection of humorous memoirs from Sardis about his childhood. It wasn't perfect, but those imperfections are what made the book funny. His chain-smoking, sarcastic mother, her old-school, tall-tale-telling husband and their gang of kids are the main characters. This guy has a great way of describing the mundane and turning a phrase.
Aly's roommate has his latest book, I'll probably read it when I can.
Black Mass was interesting because of the corruption in the FBI. If you haven't heard the story before, basically the FBI had an insane hard-on for breaking up the Mafia. There was one sure-fire way of doing it, turning two South Boston wise guys into stool pigeons. The FBI approached them and said that if they rat, the Feds will turn a blind eye to whatever they want to do.
The two crooks, Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi, took advantage of this offer and for a 15-year run made Boston their town. The house came tumbling down in the 90s taking Flemmi and much of the Boston FBI office down with it. Of course, Bulger is still on the run ... and will probably never be caught.
The book wasn't too bad, I live in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, where Whitey got his start, so it was interesting to read about where I live. Also, I am familiar with a lot of the other places in Boston. Interesting read.
I didn't get too far with the first guy I spoke with about being an Internet cartoonist. That's ok, I'm going to email a few more folks tonight. I have a very good idea of my main characters and what the general story line is going to be. That's the first (and most important) battle. The next battle to win is getting the nuts and bolts down. Should I draw it on a piece of paper and scan it in, should I use a program. These are all questions I need to answer.
As I said earlier, softball ended. In a way I'm glad, but it also sort of sucks. I love playing baseball, just love it. The sound of the ball leaving the bat, the making of a nice catch, the swoosh of the slide; softball is about as close as I'm going to get to that.
On the other hand it is a commitment, and sometimes I'd rather just run at the gym and come home.
BTW, in the next day or so, I'm launching a new blog ... it's going to be really funny. REALLY FUNNY.