Albany Journal – 7/13/12

There is so much burnt grass on the lawns of homes that it seems like the big Northeast is in a drought along with the rest of the breadbasket of the Midwest and Texas.  We haven’t seen a drop of rain in days – to the point where the weather man on television says that we actually and desperately need rain.  It’s a wierd feeling.  The heat is breaking all sorts of records, as most of the country is experiencing the same weather-related problems.  It’s weather like this that makes us think long and hard about global climate change, and how Al Gore and the environmental scientists really do have good points to make.  I myself am a city boy, and so I don’t really know what country living is like, but I can tell just by being in this city, which is Albany, that we are experiencing major problems with the weather, that include flash floods in certain areas of the around the Mason-Dixson line as well.  It’s real interesting to watch, and it is so interesting and bizzare to learn about the weather, and how it really may be controlled by space aliens.  Can you imaging that?  Space aliens controlling the weather.  It would make a good movie, but only  if one agrees with that assessment first.

This afternoon I’m playing softball, and I purchased an 8-pack of spring water to bring to the game.  We are totally unprepared to play in this heat, so my contribution – instead of a Chinese Buffet for a fellow teammate, will be the water.  And even water is such a precious commodity now.   Last I heard, Coca-Cola had bought up a lot of the available water on the planet.  I know this sounds ridiculous in many respects, but interestingly enough, Coca-Cola has its own water brand out there, which is called Disani, if you’ve never tried it before.  Fairly soon, Coca-Cola, along with some bank, will control all of the world’s water.  It’s an interesting strategy.  When I was young, good, clean water was available on tap in New York State.  People said that we had the best water out of the fifty states.  And now?  GE dredges up the toxins from the Hudson River that it dumped there long ago.  They were taken to court over this back in the 90s, and the interest groups that wanted to preserve clean water won out in their lawsuit.  How they dredge up all of that stuff looms beyond my understanding.  All I know is that it costs big money to do it – kind of like how much money BP is spending to bring back tourism to the Gulf Coast beaches.  I must be in an alternate universe, I think to myself.

Yesterday I went to a fantastic movie at the Spectrum 8 theater on Delaware Avenue here in Albany.  The movie is called “Safety Not Guaranteed”, and I found it to be a wonderful love story between someone who allegedly time travels and a young intern reporter from a magazine who falls in love with him.  I won’t give away anymore, because one should really go and see this film, and I won’t reveal too much about it here, but all I can say from the experience of watching it is that I’ll always be a sucker for a good love story, if it is developed well in the script, that is.  I almost wept at the end of the film – but I’m a man, and so I’m not allowed to weep – only if someone dear to me dies, and even then I don’t cry over it.  I simply think about the person who died, recalling how we met and what we did together.  I was unwittingly taking this approach after  my father and mother died several years ago.  But aside from these things, the movie is definitely worth seeing.  Also, it’s an independent film, which makes it even more necessary for people to see.

I haven’t been writing too much today.  There’s still plenty of work to be done on my manscripts here, and I’m kind of revising my work without much guidance.  Sure, I know a little bit about this, but the revisions will take a very long time, and I am settling in for, what hopes to be, a slow and easy ride.  I shouldn’t approach the revision process too aggresively, in other words.  There’s no rush in getting the book out there – just as a newspaper needs to be out there whenever there is breaking news.  I can take my time, slow down, and hopefully I may even enjoy the process.  Did I mention that I’m getting older too?  Why not slow down and enjoy a bit of life while working on something?  Big projects are supposed to be this way: the power to produce Time instead of filling it or killing it.

I did talk to Lisa last night, as I am so very happy that she called me.  She hadn’t called me in a few days, and so I was concerned that I would never hear from here again, as that’s what it’s been like being a single man in Albany.  Every time I have some kind of relationship it always ends up to the point where I never see her again.  These relationships are also really short-term, lasting anyhwere from one month to six.  I’m goaded by the fact that writing books is no way to make a decent living, as even those i-tablets and i-readers don’t produce any desired amount.  I still have a marketing plan that I’ve been fine tuning over the last year or so, but as of yet I’m not sure what the results are, since royalty payments with PublishAmerica are sent out  only every six months.  So I’m thinking now that I may get $50 for selling these books, or maybe even $60.  Still, I will show my near and dear relatives the check so they can see for themselves that one day I’ll get there, even though it may be after my death.  And maybe, just maybe, I haven’t reached any real success at all yet, because the good Lord wants me to write good books without the interference of money and fame.  Gee, thanks, God!

Harvey Havel is the author of five novels. This past spring, Stories from the Fall of the Empire, his sixth book and his first collection of short stories, was recently released by Publish America. Later this summer, Two Tickets to Memphis, his sixth novel, is forthcoming from Publish America as well. Havel has previously taught Writing at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and also at SUNY Albany and the College of St. Rose, both in Albany, New York. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971, Havel now resides full time in Albany, New York.