Saturday, 5 February 2011

There's No Burger Like Cheese Burger

I’ve been working too much – stretching too far to manage the anxieties of a garden variety bozo, all out of fear of missing a mortgage payment. Or, when that seems imminent anyway, stretching even further so I can milk two cows at once. It’s difficult to choose between being somebody who pays my bills on time but exists as a husk of a man, or being somebody more like myself. It shouldn’t be difficult to choose, but it is. My family always needs stuff so it’s hard to refuse money. Money is a little sexy devil.

On the other hand, responsible people are boring.

I’ve been devoting too much mental elsewhere to the pursuit of more perfect products. You know, synergizing my core values and so on. I craved smooth reviews and incremental cost-of-living increases. Weathering the money’s unprecedented global economic downturn seemed a matter of hunkering down and forelock tugging, of glad-handing and grinning at poor jokes from powerful people (contextually speaking, that is – I seldom have the chance to impress a figure of real renown like Lord Black or Justin Bieber or Zombie Trudeau).

So where’s my unprecedented global economic recovery at? Continuing to skulk in the wings, that’s where. Shy, I reckon. Held in check by Illuminati. Ever o’er the horizon.

But playing it safe is wearing on me. More than that: it’s rubbing parts off. And I’m increasingly sure I don’t want to be winnowed that way.

I therefore resolve to be less responsible. I pledge to be less grown up. I release myself from being too serious. Money will try to make me ashamed, but I won’t care.

I’ve been a very diligent employee, but I think I’d rather go back to being the sort of employee who spends most of his time hiding the fact that he’s writing stories about robots and spaceships instead of working. I think I’m a genuinely happier person that way – poorer, less accomplished, but more ticklish.

Earning bonuses is for the birds. The output isn’t worth the input. Why sweat for the fleeting praise of schmucks? Breadcrumbs it is. Just stinking breadcrumbs.

Among the first steps in breaking free from this rut of responsibility is regular blogging. Thus, you can expect the unexpected content-wise for a while: I’ll be blogging about what occurs to me, posting the stories I’m working on as they ripen and posting whatever else in the meanwhile. All pretense of theme is hereby suspended.

Henceforth, I will be more random and vital. Read it or don’t.

That being said, it wouldn’t be real blog re-launching if I didn’t send out to sail at least one vessel of on-mission content. You can’t call yourself a wallah if you haven’t any wares. I am therefore pleased to present my newest dose of single-serving science-fiction storytelling, “Copy Error” (HTML|PDF).

Several more stories are also in the works for the comings weeks, including a fresh chapter for my infamously longest ailing serial. As mentioned above, between these bouts of new fiction will come fresh blogging on a variety of non-fiction subjects – rants, editorializing and selected scraps of ongoing life (often mirrored from my other channels of output like Hulver’s Site, Footprints or Wetmachine).

I will also be drawing whatever I like and posting it here for no very good reason. Consider, for example, this sketch from the series “Robots with Moustaches” which features a classic handlebar job (left).

Alternatively, here is another sketch from the series, this time depicting a hairdressing unit with a slick Fu Manchu (right).

Finally, I’d like to invite your feedback with regard to how you prefer to consume the fiction offerings. Given whatever eReader you may make use of, do PDFs cut the mustard? The fact is there’s a dizzying array of formats and I can’t serve every kind – at least not without a professional secretary. I use an iPad and I find PDFs quite reasonable, but I don’t know what the limitations or irritations may be on other platforms. Please do chime in if you have input on this subject.

Thank you for the patience of your eyeballs. Mad creativity resumes.

31 comments:

Dan said...

Hooray Hooray!! The Burger is coming back! I'm excited! My family's excited as I also am much happier when you are letting your creative juices loosed from the grey matter. As you resolve to run on breadcrumbs, I resolve to throw a few your way when my income situation allows. My best to the lovely Astra and your minions as you turn to the road less traveled.

THE Danimal

Sarah said...

Yay! I think we can all agree with Danimal's sentiment in that we'll try to help support you in whatever ways we can. I hope writing a little helps ease some of the work stress and makes you feel a bit happier.

Sash

Dan said...

Copy Error is wonderful! Brought a smile to my face as I was nearing the end of the story, knowing that I would have to re reread the opening sentence with the new knowledge I had gained. Brilliant story telling, CBB!

Mark said...

Can't wait to read it. Very nice to see you back out here, weaving wordly webs.

pso said...

Yay!

Big t said...

I would like all content on greasy napkins.

Work doesn't define you, be free and pee in the backyard.

WanjiSan said...

Welcome back, Citizen Cheeseburger, and God speed you on your new path. I dream of such bold action myself, but right now am only engaging in almost-goes-on-too-long humor in my documents and speaking (which, thankfully was brought up by da boss in my annual review last week, so I'm doing it right).
I don't have fancy LL Fauntelroy reader of any kind, so html/pdf is fine by me. (By the way, there seems ot be a problem with blogger.com, in that the CAPTCHA word display doesn't work most of the time, unless you go into Preview; I hope they get that worked out)

SaintPeter said...

1) A simple "Yay" does not begin to cover my excitement.
2) Am amused and delighted by your new tale.

Two Thoughts -
It seems to be a force of narrative fiction (and probably a "TV Trope") that random strangers who wrong one another or who have frictional contact in a meaningful way in act one will inevitably end up sharing a confined space in act two. None the less, it is still amusing.

I love the line "your lawyers may blow us," and I suspect that the entire conceit of contact pollen was conceived just to put that line in.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Dan,

Thanks, Dan, it's nice to be missed. I'm excited to be back in the swing of things, typospewologically speaking.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Sarah,

Writing should indeed help -- as it also seems to be the only activity that corresponds to my sleeping through the night. Apparently if I don't spill out all these words they get stuck and fester.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Re-dear Re-Dan,

I'm gratified you enjoyed it. I know it's a bit stiff -- or a bit distant, I reckon -- but I'd hoped the pompous yet tongue-in-cheek voice was solid enough to pull it off without the jokes totally overwhelming and ruining any nice moments.

The next story (at least, I think the one that will be ready to be set free next) is a little more raw, in contrast.

Re-yours,
Cheeseburger Brown II

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Mark,

I certainly appreciate that your eyeballs are here, Mark!

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear pso,

Thanks, I needed that.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Big t,

Greasy napkins are fairly easy to come by -- especially for someone with professional connections in the napkin industry such as myself -- but the fact of the matter is I don't own a printer.

Printers and I don't get along. We've tried -- oh Lord how we've tried -- but it's a losing battle. We hate each other. We wake up in the morning thinking of ways to get under each other's skin.

We may have to consider some sort of greasy projection option.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear WanjiSan,

Much obliged, citizen. I've always noticed that Blogger can be iffy with the captcha gotchas, but right now my beef is with the way Facebook takes such a very long time to cough up my Feedburner RSS fed content. Right now we're at twelve hours after initial publication of my post but it still hasn't turned up in Chester Burton Brown's Facebook notes. I keep sticking pins into my Mark Zuckerberg voodoo doll but the situation does not improve.

I'm glad you got your captcha action sorted in the end. I think it's fair to say: Blogger's pretty good for free.

Maybe one day my Wordpress prince will come, or something.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear SaintPeter,

I'm sure you're right on about the trope. I have mixed feelings about relying too heavily on tropes. On the one hand a cliché is like an unapt metaphor, but on the other hand sometimes I tend to overthink plots to the point where they fall down under their own weight, and I become scared of the debris. Off-the-shelf narrative modules can help to counteract this tendency, for me.

To tell you the truth, the contact pollen arose because it felt silly for Kaama to say, "Here, let me give you my card," and so I tried to think up something that was a) more futuristic and cool and so on, and b) wouldn't require a tedious bunch of descriptive text or series of actions to communicate (because this ain't that kind of hard scifi, for better or for worse).

It was at that point that I made myself giggle by imagining Kaama's offering to non-sexually blow Hylas, especially after Hylas had been so titillated by a non-sexual thing. I liked the fact that the double-entendre is for the audience only, while the characters are oblivious. The over-literalness of the "translation" is lost on them, immersed as they are in their own culture.

The announcement about the barrister complexes being invited to "blow us" just flowed naturally by the time I got to that part of the story. This one evolved pretty organically in the sense that I had no idea where I was going when I introduced the three characters. So, I forced them together again to make a lean-to style plot happen. Cheap, I know...I was just happy to be writing.

The plot of the next story is also stupendously simplistic, but the telling more...well, morally interesting, at any rate. I'm excited to get back to it, but right now I have a wife who just got back from roller-derby practice and needs parts of herself massaged. Must post comment now bye

y,
cbb

Anonymous said...

Dear CBC, pleasantly surprised to see an update since I have been keeping off the interweb for a while in an effort to keep on top of work. And glad to see all the loyal fans returning so quickly.

Coincidentally, my new year resolution (for Chinese New Year now, it seems) is to let more balls drop at work. I am sick of being the responsible one in the office that has to keep track of all the projects and all the issues to make sure everything is taken care of. I am going to let other people take care of their own crap for a while and see how it goes.

Here is to hoping you will be more successful than me at this new endeavor.

Orick of Toronto

SaintPeter said...

I don't think the use of the trope detracted, per se, but it did catch my attention since it was a litte bit "just so". It might have flowed with the story a bit more to have made Hylas have deliberatly sought out Kaama (using his influence?), and then to have Mr. Tattoo lip seek her our, or some such.

Still, lots of fun. Looking forward to my next dose of Cheeseburger. All these empty calories! I love it!

Mark said...

Fun story. If occasional use of tropes helps ensure a more productive CBB, then I say bring'em on. Glad to hear you didn't know where this was going when you started. That's how I start all my stories, but I never quite pull it together by the end the way you do. Not many accomplish that.

*littlestar. said...

I liked your story and I'm so glad you've put up your pictures for everyone to see. I like your pictures, more people should get to see them.

NOLAPete said...

I'm absolutely ecstatic about the return of the REAL Cheeseburger Brown! I've been a fan since the early days of the Darthside. Looking forward to reading whatever you craftily pen.

Is there going to be a Magnum P.I. (Tom Selleck) type moustache robot? A Pai Mei (Kill Bill) type one as well would be exquisite.

PDF's pretty much work wherever, so I'd go with that.

Stephen Hamilton said...

Glad to hear you're going to 'go with the flow'. Love your work.

As far as my choice of format, I am happy to read your serialised work in my RSS reader. If it is something longer, or you've gone to much effort to make it a pretty layout, PDF would be fine.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Orick,

Hopefully the stream of new content will be less irregular henceforth. Also, congratulations for adjusting your work-related care-o-meter: it helps to keep perspective, I think.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear littlestar,

I would just like to say that have just completed another picture of you not wearing any clothes.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear NOLAPete,

Thanks for the PDF feedback. I'm also looking into a conversion utility some helpful Facebook friends have pointed me toward.

Also: I think you're right that the series needs more moustaches. A Selleck would be good.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Stephen,

I'd been thinking I would keep the actual story content hosted on my website (HTML or PDF) and *not* including the entire body in the RSS feed anymore -- basically as an organizational rule, so that the blog RSS is always editorial and has links to content, versus always having to announce at the head of a post whether we're in fiction or non-fiction mode.

Does that make sense, or does that present a problem for the RSS crowd?

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

SaintPeter said...

I want a picture of littlestar wearing just a mustache. . .

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear SaintPeter,

Well, almost.

Yours,
Cheeseburger Brown

fooburger said...

Welcome back...

Bridget said...

My happy at this is a big happy.

Catchpa: bleta? The Albanian word for "bees"? The innernets is really messing with me.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Hello foo, hello Bridget!

Thanks for troubling to stop by and type something.

Yours,
CBB