In Which Some Stuff Happens…

Ah, Sunday.  You’ve caught me again!  It’s insane how quickly time is going by.  My parents used to tell me that it only goes faster every year and I’ll be dashed if they aren’t right.  I’ve got some bit-sized chunks of fun stuff to share, so let’s get down to it, shall we?

As seen on Kare 11's 10am show Minnesota Showcase

Jacob Alexander Troupe – The Big One

My littlest guy turned 1 on the 14th.  I’m floored by how fast that went.  I swear we were just heading to Regions Hospital like…yesterday to welcome the little chap and here he’s snuck up and got big on us.  He’s a big ol’ ball of awesome, my little 24-pound punk.  We had a birthday party planned for him on Saturday and would you know it?  He caught a bug, leaving him with a fever, some barfing and no party.  I can’t tell you how depressing it was to pick up his pre-paid balloons from the store, knowing we were the only ones who would get to see ’em.  We made the best of it, though.  He opened some gifts, we took some pictures, and when he’s feeling up to it, he’s going to tear up his birthday cake.

Biggest Loser – Firefighter Edition

I had my first weigh in for our Biggest Loser competition at the Woodbury Fire Department.  I purposely didn’t weight myself all week, but continued to eat like a monk and workout like a crazy person.  I showed up Tuesday for FF drill and hopped on the scale, prepared to see maybe 2-3 pounds less off of my starting weight.  People, I’m here to tell you 8.5 pounds dropped off of me in one week.  Of course, I got razzed like crazy.  People accused me of taking diuretics, loading my pockets with weights for the kick-off weigh in, etc… But nope.  I don’t cheat.  I just know how competitive I can get when it comes to this kind of stuff.  A lot of smack talk made me think we should rename this competition the SOREST LOSERS.  It’s on, yo.

Star Review…of sorts

I got an e-mail from one of my editors on Friday about the Werewolf book I worked on last year.  Seems it’s making the rounds through the reading consultants and then it’s off to the illustrator and stuff.  I have to admit being sort o pessimistic when I saw the subject line of the e-mail.  It said: Consultant’s Comments.  Immediately I thought: Oh, great.  He/she probably thinks I phoned it in or something. Quite the opposite!  It said: I just finished reading The Legend of the Werewolf  and want to commend the author for putting in so much interesting werewolf lore that has circulated since medieval times.  It’s not easy to do justice to such a complex set of traditions, but this author has done so very effectively. Nice!  Totally unexpected, but completely appreciated!  I have to admit the “Legend of…” series has been a bit tougher than what I’m used to.  Trying writing books about violent, blood-thirsty monsters…but make it sort of kid-friendly.  I think I balanced the line a bit and hopefully the others get similar reactions.  I think they come out later this year?!??

Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Have you ever heard of Koo Koo Kanga Roo?  If not, you should check ’em out.  It’s hip-hop for kids from a Twin Cities duo.  They like to say they’re Beastie Boys meets Sesame Street.  I saw them open for Har Mar Superstar back in November of last year and I was blown away.  The dudes come out singing songs that just make you want to get up and dance like a fool.  Also, they have insane amounts of energy.  Anyway, check ’em out and download their songs, especially Lava Tag, my personal favorite.  My whole point in this?  The guys are making a pilot for a kid’s show and they needed kids for the taping.  I headed out to Prior Lake (which is a haul from Woodbury!) with Travis to get him in the show.  It was fun.  We met a friend and his daughter there and they tore it up on the dance floor.  So, stay tuned.  These guys are gonna blow up.

Nerdery’s Final Touch

I’m happy to say the Nerdery (my office) is finally, finally complete.  It’s been 3 years or so in the making, but it’s done, y’all.  With the addition of my new custom-built bookshelves, I got to put the crowning jewel in the last remaining space on the wall.  Behold my Shaun of the Dead poster!

My mini zombie shrine in the Nerdery!

I’ve had this sucker for years and just never had the dough or the motivation really to get it up on the wall.  Besides that, I sort of wanted the rest of the office to be a little more complete.  So…when I had the bookshelves built (with the talents of my brothers-in-law Sean and Brad) for the cost of materials and a Playstation 3 (my bribe), it was a no-brainer.

(You see what I did there?  Zombies?  No-brainer?  Ugh…never mind.)

I found a place in town where getting a frame job wasn’t too disgustingly expensive.  The lady that runs the lil’ mom n’ pop framing store thought I was weird.  Here I am in the middle of store, loaded with pictures of ducks, cabins, trees, and lakes with my goofy zombie movie poster.  “I’ve never even heard of this,” she said.  “You should check it out,” says I.

Vindication came a week or so later, when it was time to pick it up.  Her grandson was there and when I walked in, she didn’t recognize me.  “I’m here to pick up the zombie picture,” I said.  Her grandson came running around the corner so fast, it was funny.  The little dude was like 9 or 10 and his mouth dropped when he saw the framed beauty.  “I didn’t know this was here,” he said.  “I love zombies.”  “Who doesn’t?” I asked.  The woman who runs the store was baffled.  We talked a bit about how awesome the blood-thirsty creatures are and swapped stories about the video games with our favorite flesh-eaters.  It was as I was loading the picture into the truck that I realized I was talking to someone from my core audience for GOODHALO.  This kid is one of (likely millions) who are dying for a book like GOODHALO to come out.

Oh, good lord.  I can’t wait to get that thing out into the world.

Anyway…the poster is up, thus completing my favorite room in the house.  It’s already startled Laura a few times.  She thinks the kids won’t want to come into my office, but I think she’s wrong.  Everyone loves zombies.


Well, they should.