All posts by Michael Paul Gonzalez

Rain, rain, go away…

Man it’s raining a lot here. A LOT. Nigh biblical, it is! The lagoon across the street form our apartment is typically shallow or empty most mornings, but it is approaching street level slowly but surely. I’m not too worried just yet. The beach is being eroded and eaten away as well. This is a shot from my morning bike ride to Santa Monica, somewhere near Shutters on the Beach. Typically, the ocean is about 30-40 yards from the bike path. And now…it IS the bike path.

I’ll get some pics from the home beach at Playa del Rey later today (if the rain lets up) because there’s some awesome devastation happening to our shorelines too.

EDIT: Returned to the beach for a few night shots. Mostly because a boat washed up here months ago and they still haven’t cleared it out, so I wanted to see if any new boats had come along to keep it company…

Caleb J. Ross, Author and Guest blogger!

This is a guest post from Caleb J Ross, author of the chapbook Charactered Pieces: stories, as a follow up to his Blog Orgy Tour. Visit his website for a full list of blog stops. Charactered Pieces: stories is currently available from OW Press (or Amazon.com). Visit him at http://www.calebjross.com.


Why have a blog?
Sadly, the personal blog is a reflection of our culture’s growing egotism. And I say this, fully embracing the fact that I have the most badass, awesome, blog on the netz, muthafuckas! NOTE: see how off-putting blatant egotism can be. But is egotism (on a more subtle level than the previous sentence, of course) becoming a necessary human element, not just in commercial promotion (as this post, somewhat sadly, is) but also self-promotion and self-representation? Good question, Caleb. You’re damn right it’s a good question; I’m the most badass questioner around!
I say, yes, it is necessary. Why? First, ask “why are we so self-congratulating these days?” The simple answer: the internet has given all of us a voice. It’s a cliché statement, sure, but one still applicable. And it takes an online presence to validate oneself among the deafening voices. This is not to say that every voice is worth hearing; this is not a lofty notion. More to that point, to imagine that everyone in the world cares how badass our lives are, is an insane notion. Meaning: the internet should be treated like a glass toilet. It can be used for reflection, but don’t fill it with shit and expect company to be impressed.
And if you still feel awkward, get someone else to guest post on your behalf. I recommend this guy.
Personally, I consider a blog to be a repository of information about the blogger, existing should anyone care to read. I only push the content when I have something to sell. Which reminds me: buy my fiction collection, Charactered Pieces, called by me “the most ass-kicking collection of paper since a box of origami ninjas.”

Charactered Pieces by Caleb J Ross

A fantastic collection of short stories from up-and-coming author Caleb J Ross. He’s been all over the place lately (even HERE with a guest blog! Is he man or is he machine?)

The table of contents is presented as a faceted gem, which is highly fitting, for each story presents a different facet of human nature. The stories are at times uplifting and insightful, but more often haunting and heartbreaking. A fantastic collection that’s over far too quickly. It’s difficult to describe the level of melancholy and depth of noble sorrow Caleb imbues in his characters. Most of them aren’t people you’d have in your circle of friends, but he gives them quiet dignity on a level that makes you NEED to know them for the all-too-brief duration of each story. These flawed characters aren’t trying to overcome their imperfections, but rather coming to accept them and shape their lives around them. The non-fiction piece “A Chinese Gemini” was my favorite, particularly because of the way it blends so neatly into the collection. The honesty of the tale merely strengthens Caleb’s voice in the surrounding story collection.

Worth the read! Be sure to check out the links on Caleb’s blog post and buy the book!

Musical Mondays – Jason Webley

I think I’m going to try to post a music video here every Monday. Something I’m listening to as I write, or just something that catches my attention, but hopefully nothing you’ve heard before. Jason Webley is a bit like a young Tom Waits with an accordion (in this song at least). He’s got range, he’s always willing to try new things with different artists. He’s even one half of a Siamese twin sister act, Evelyn Evelyn.

This song has two of my favorite ingredients: heavy melancholy and accordion. The lyrics are quite moving, and the fact that he’s up there, alone and raw, makes this performance all the better. Enjoy!

Long commutes and Interesting things…

I had to meet with a potential client in Thousand Oaks this morning. I live by LAX, so this was a 55 mile commute on the motorcycle in what should have been no traffic (north of the 10). Instead, there were three accidents on the 101, and none of these jerks knew how to properly stay in the middle of their lanes so that I could split lanes. Still made it on time.

I met a bird, a parakeet of some sort, and then sorted through a box of assorted animal bones, and then I held a cured and dried bull’s penis. A bundle of them, actually. It was one of THOSE mornings.

Then I had to stop at Borders to pay a bill via WiFi because I almost forgot it was due today.

This is me in my safety orange gear, because I am a Power Ranger.

Big Sports Weekend Thing

So much happening this weekend. Anybody that knows me knows I’ve been a Cincinnati Bengals fan since waaaaaay back in ’88. I jokingly made a post in week 3 of this season that their 2-1 record meant they’d be playoff bound, and well…wow. Who knew?

I’m nervous, because they played so magnificently in the early part of the season, and in the stretch run have shown that they’re heading back to typical “Bungles” form. I think they have a strong chance of getting past round 1, but I don’t think they match up with either the Chargers or the Colts very well. But man, one playoff win would feel so good. It’s been too long.

In other sports news, Urijah Faber returns to the WEC cage this weekend to face Raphael Assuncao. After barely losing to Mike Thomas Brown (going the distance with TWO broken hands, mind), Faber is hoping to tune up here to earn a shot at new champion Jose Aldo. Aldo’s a beast (if such a term can be used in the featherweight division), but Faber’s resilient and relentless, so that matchup would be non-stop entertainment. In the main event, I expect Ben Henderson to beat Jamie Varner to unify the lightweight title in what could be a classic showdown.

I leave you with highlights of the Lord of MMA, Fedor Emilianenko. Whether you’re two feet taller than him, twice his weight, or twice as ripped, he will find a way into your mind, and smash you.

(Slightly) new look!

Take a gander around the sight! Things are streamlined. Old things have been discarded. STORIES are now linked directly on the website, so you can read my stuff. I’m taking greater advantage of the tags in Blogger as well. On every page except the blog, you can see a direct Twitter/Facebook feed. And within the next day, the homepage should be renovated so you can see each new blog post.

AND by month’s end, I’ll have author Caleb J. Ross coming in for a guest blog post! Loits of big stuff in store for the year, I hope, so stay tuned!

The Big Surprise!

FINALLY! Everyone I was surprising has received their surprise! SO! It is with great pleasure that I present the finished first draft of my book.

I just sent this stack o’ books out to some close trusted readers last week, and they seem to be arriving on pace!

It’s called Angel Falls (in case the photo quality is bad). Summed up thusly:

Since being banished from Heaven, Lucifer Morningstar has spent his time working mergers and acquisitions in the underworld. He’s assigned to absorb the afterlives of various cultures from around the world. He’s horribly lazy.

He receives a visit from a broken angel who informs him that an ancient deity
has arisen and is seeking to murder God and consume the known universe.

Lucifer will have to do some detective work to discover who’s behind this attempt and find a way to stop it. If anyone’s going to overthrow God, it’ll be him…and this might be his last chance.

I really believe in this one, feeling pretty good about it. After I finish my (possibly extensive) rewrites, I’m going to be shopping hard for agents. I figured rather than asking readers to squint at a pdf onscreen or shuffle a stack of papers, I’d entice them with a nicely bound copy and other forms of bribery (how do you guys like those Jonas Brothers temporary tattoos? Huh? Huh?!)

This is my advance thank-you to my advance read team! We shall advance together into a future with less repetition of words!

If I haven’t landed an agent by year’s end, I will probably do a limited press run for sale, so keep your eyes peeled!