Friday, January 26, 2007

Up and Running (sort of)

So I noticed that yesterday Amazon finally put up a link for THE MARK. Pretty neat. You can't actually order it yet and the cover isn't posted, but very cool nonetheless to see my book up there. Now I need to figure out how to do that Amazon Connect/plog thing they have.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seven Oscar Thoughts

1) "Dreamgirls" wasn't that good. It was a good movie, sure, but there shouldn't be head-shaking when a "good" movie isn't nominated for best picture. I'm thrilled Eddie Murphy was nominated. He had two killer scenes--the first when the attempt to reinvent his career is snubbed by Jamie Foxx and you can just see his soul leave him, the second when he ditches his crooning act in the middle of the song and becomes 'Thunder' again before breaking down. It's Murphy's first nomination, though I still think he was snubbed for "The Nutty Professor." And though it was just a "good" movie, I've never seen a movie get a standing ovation in the middle of the film like my theater gave "Dreamgirls" after Effie brought the house down. So congrats to Eddie and Jennifer Hudson for much-deserved nominations. But after "Miami Vice," his unbelievably flat performance in "Dreamgirls" and the pretty terrible reviews his com-musical concerts have received, I wonder if Jamie Foxx has jumped the shark...

2) Forget that he's been snubbed for an Oscar despite directing some of the landmark films in American cinematic history, Scorsese deserves to win for "The Departed," my choice for Best Picture of the year. A movie without an ounce of "movie fat," a lean, mean machine that had A+ performances from every members of an astounding cast. Plus it firmly established my theory that Matt Damon should only play amnesiatic spies or assholes from Boston.

3) On that note, I'm glad Marky Mark was nominated for his performance as the pitbull Dignam. After the movie ended, I thought he'd given the best performance in that kind of role since Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas." Plus he gets the best comeback in the film:

Inept technician: "Who the hell are you?"
Dignam: "I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy."

4) I haven't seen "The Last King of Scotland," but I feel like they need to reward Forest Whitaker, one of the best actors working today, who was viciously snubbed for his performance as I.A. investigator John Cavanaugh on "The Shield" (my favorite t.v. show. We miss you, Lem).

5) "Little Miss Sunshine" was a terrific movie, but Abigail Breslin for Best Supporting Actress? Come on. If the Academy was going to reward one young actor from that movie, it should have been Paul Dano who showed more pathos as the mute Dwight than every hammy, overwritten monologue from "Studio 60" combined.

6) How much money will it take for Al Gore to perform the Oscar-nominated song from "An Inconvenient Truth"?

7) Which actor's performance will likely be remembered ten years from now: Oscar-nominated Ryan Gosling in "Half Nelson," or Sacha Baron Cohen in "Borat"?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We Are Family

Ok, I can't help myself. For years (really, years) my wife and I have been waiting to get a dog. Not that we've been married for years--it's been more like 4.5 months--but we both had dogs growing up and couldn't wait to get one of our own.

So after many, many hours of meticulous research we found a trustworthy breeder who had a dog we liked and drove up to New Jersey to meet the little fella and see if he might make a good fit for our family. Needless to say we fell head over heels, and below are pictures of the newest addition to the Pinter family: Wilson the puppy (he was so excited to meet us that he pooped and peed on the floor).

Wilson is 10 weeks old, and the breeder wanted to keep him one more week to make sure he got his immunizations and checkups. So this Saturday we will be having a Welcome Wilson party. Wilson's birthday happens to be the day before mine, so I've come to terms with the fact that I'll have to take a backseat for the next few years.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Keeping up With the Joneses

I began this blog last April in the wake of selling my first novel. Every author, it seemed, had a blog, a way to interact with readers and fans, keep them abreast of news and events, and allow insight into the writer's mind that wasn't available on Amazon. There are a huge number of authors who blog, from newbies trying to get published, to authors early in their careers, to major bestselling authors with millions of copies in print.

I also put up a
MySpace page, again mainly because everyone else seemed to have one and I didn't want to leave any stones unturned. Many authors and publishers try to use MySpace to promote their work, often creating MySpace pages for specific books or even characters. It has gotten to the point where publishers often cite MySpace in promotional plans (which in my mind is like promoting a needle in a haystack).

A while back people noticed how Dane Cook used the internet to help his popularity skyrocket, through his MySpace page and the spreading of viral content, specifically the video of him mocking Tom Cruise's couch-jumping. Every recent article on promotion says companies are diverting their marketing efforts to the Internet. But how much of this is revolutionary, and how much is merely following the pack?

I found this interesting quote from Nick Denton, who had this to say about Gawker's much-hyped and highly-funded Internet competition in 2005, ''I'd be more worried if a no-name site run by a no-name journalist suddenly emerged, much in the way that Gawker did two years ago.''

Having a MySpace page these days means very little, as there are well over 150,000,000 individual users. Hard to stand out on a website whose population is 20 times the size of New York City.

Same with blogs. Back in the day authors like Diana Gabaldon were Internet pioneers, interacting with fans and posting excerpts of upcoming works, greatly increasing their visibility in a universe where standing out was as simple as existing. Now? There are something like 80 million blogs. There are more people "existing" than those in the dark.

As soon as something seems to work, it immediately becomes inundated to the point where unless the creator does something drastic to stand out, it's just another drop in the bucket. So many authors put up videos on their MySpace pages. Conduct interviews on their blog. Offer contests and other content that drives traffic. At the Google summit, J.A. Konrath talked about the difference between hunting mice and putting down tempting cheese and letting them come to you.

But with so much cheese out there, in millions of different sizes and flavors, how does a an author make theirs stand out?

Yes, It's His Publicist's Fault

Troubled Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington has fired his longtime publicist in the midst of his public relations crisis. Washington is facing a public backlash after making comments in the Golden Globes press room last week, denying he made derogatory comments towards co-star TR Knight. According to, the actor has hired publicists Allen Mayer and Kelly Mullens, who are crisis management experts. Mayer has done damage control for clients including R Kelly, Tommy Lee and comedian Paula Poundstone. Washington has issued a public apology and agreed to meet with members of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Friday, January 19, 2007

More MARK Love!

From today's PW Daily

Pinter's Publishing Party

At David Burke & Donatella restaurant in Manhattan last week author Jason Pinter celebrated the publication of his new novel, The Mark (Mira Books). Pictured here at the event (from l. to r.) are: Pinter; his editor, Linda McFall; and his agent, Joe Veltre of Artists Literary Group. (credit Publishers Weekly)

Pretty cool, and it's nice to see that I have bright red eyes to go with my boyish face.

The 2007 Edgar Award Nominees

The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (HarperCollins)
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Gentleman and Players by Joanne Harris (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Hachette Book Group - Little, Brown and Company)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Random House – Ballantine Books)
The Liberation Movements by Olen Steinhauer (St. Martin's Minotaur)

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson (Random House)
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Crown - Shaye Areheart Books)
King of Lies by John Hart (St. Martin's Minotaur – Thomas Dunne Books)
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin's Minotaur)
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (Warner Books – Mysterious Press)

The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto (Europa Editions)
The Open Curtain by Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press)
Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara (Bantam Dell Publishing – Delta Books)
The Deep Blue Alibi by Paul Levine (Bantam Dell Publishing – Bantam Books)
City of Tiny Lights by Patrick Neate (Penguin Group – Riverhead Books)

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (W.W. Norton and Co.)
Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine by Capt. Joseph K. Loughlin & Kate Clark Flora (University Press of New England)
Ripperology: A Study of the World's First Serial Killer by Robin Odell (The Kent State University Press)
The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower (Dutton)
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (HarperCollins – William Morrow)

Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them: Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir by John T. Irwin (Johns Hopkins University Press)
The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear by E.J. Wagner (John Wiley & Sons)

"The Home Front" – Death Do Us Part by Charles Ardai (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
"Rain" – Manhattan Noir by Thomas H. Cook (Akashic Books)
"Cranked" – Damn Near Dead by Bill Crider (Busted Flush Press)
"White Trash Noir" – Murder at the Foul Line by Michael Malone (Hachette Book Group – Mysterious Press)
"Building" – Manhattan Noir by S.J. Rozan (Akashic Books)

Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison (Penguin Young Readers – Sleuth/Dutton)
The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery by Sarah Masters Buckey (American Girl Publishing)
Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks (Scholastic – The Chicken House)
The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson (Penguin YR – Sleuth/Viking)
Crunch Time by Mariah Fredericks (Simon & Schuster – Richard Jackson Books/Atheneum)Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready (Penguin YR – Dutton Children's Books)
The Night My Sister Went Missing by Carol Plum-Ucci (Harcourt Children's Books)

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz (Arizona Theatre Company)
Curtains by Rupert Holmes (Ahmanson Theatre)
Ghosts of Ocean House by Michael Kimball (The Players' Ring)

The Closer – "Blue Blood", Teleplay by James Duff & Mike Berchem (Turner Network Television)
Dexter – "Crocodile", Teleplay by Clyde Phillips (Showtime)
House – "Clueless", Teleplay by Thomas L. Moran (Fox/NBC Universal)
Life on Mars – Episode 1, Teleplay by Matthew Graham (BBC America)
Monk – "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink", Teleplay by Hy Conrad (USA Network/NBC Universal)

Conviction, Teleplay by Bill Gallagher (BBC America)
Cracker: A New Terror, Teleplay by Jimmy McGovern (BBC America)
Messiah: The Harrowing, Teleplay by Terry Cafolla (BBC America)
Secret Smile, Teleplay by Kate Brooke, based on the book by Nicci French (BBC America)
The Wire, Season 4, Teleplays by Ed Burns, Kia Corthron, Dennis Lehane, David Mills, Eric Overmyer, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon & William F. Zorzi (Home Box Office)

Casino Royale, Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis, based on novel by Ian Fleming (MGM)
Children of Men, Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, based on a novel by Ian Fleming (MGM)
The Departed, Screenplay by William Monahan (Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Good Shepherd, Teleplay by Eric Roth (Universal Pictures)
Notes on a Scandal, Screenplay by Patrick Marber (Scott Rudin Productions)

William Dylan Powell "Evening Gold" – EQMM November 2006 (Dell Magazines)

Stephen King

Books & Books (Mitchell Kaplan, owner)
Mystery Loves Company Bookstore (Kathy & Tom Harig, owners)

Bloodline by Fiona Mountain (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Congratulations to all the deserving nominees.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Where Have All the Books Gone?

I look forward to walking into my neighborhood bookstores at the beginning of every week, spending half an hour walking around the tables to see what the new books are, asking the clerks what seems to be selling the best and what books have been unexpected surprises. Fortunately I live in an area stocked with some great independants and chains and I try to split my time accordingly. I'm definitely that guy in the store who stands in front of the tables for far too long and makes feral noises at people who try to invade my bubble.

Recently, though, the last few times I've walked into my neighborhood chain I've hard a mighty hard time even getting to the new paperback tables. The reason? The new paperback tables are crammed against the window with barely enough room for a poodle to squeeze through without holding its breath. It's not that there aren't enough tables--it's that the best locations have been given up to board games, puzzles, and other knickknacks that allegedly have "higher margins" than books.

Up front by the cash register, the chains always used to have racks of mass market paperbacks. Customers on line would pick up one or two, flip through them, maybe make an impulse buy on a book that look particularly savory. Now? Those paperbacks are gone, replaced by Travel Scrabble and "Grow Your Own Bonsai Tree" kits.

What the heck is going on? Aren't these bookstores? If I want to check out the new paperback fiction table, I shouldn't have to leave my briefcase at home lest I worry about turning around and knocking over half the stacks.

I have no problem with bookstores housing other kinds of products. I really don't. And I can't claim that a good game of Scrabble works your brain any less than some books (especially since I'm embroiled in a year-long Scrabble tournament with someone who shall remain nameless but has a tendency to make up words like "Quertido").

But a bookstore, in my humble opinion, should make its primary focus--and offer its best placement--to books. Literature has a hard enough time getting a fair shake these days, with the amount of coverage dwindling by the minute. Bookstores are the hallowed ground. And the last thing we need is for our reading to take a backseat to the 40th anniversary edition of Yahtzee.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Holy Crap

Publishers Weekly writes about THE MARK.

I'm near speechless. And apparently I have a "boyish face." It never felt so good to be boyish.

Ingredients for a Mark-itini
Raspberry Vodka
Stir them together or something.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

That First Time

Yesterday my publisher held a terrific event to promote the upcoming release of THE MARK, in which they gave out advance copies of the book along with some cool swag and a press release (you know a press release is good when it makes you want to read your own book).

And this morning I got an email from a guest in attendance with the very first unofficial "review" of THE MARK. Along with the fact that the book was read overnight, the "review" was quite positive, which made me happy, especially because this person is influential in the field, reviews for several major newspapers, and had read enough in the genre to know when something sucks and when it doesn't. But something else happened too when I got that email, something I wasn't quite expecting.

As my publisher gave out advance copies of THE MARK yesterday, it marked the very first time that anyone outside of my publisher, agent, and immediate family had a chance to read the book. Suddenly there are copies floating around out there (though I don't imagine they'll find their way to eBay). Actual paginated copies, with ISBNs, an excerpt from THE REGULATOR, and a U.S. retail (and Canadian!) price point. This is both exhilarating and nauseating at the same time, and just when you start to think that you're pretty confident, that your first book is coming out, that your publisher is behind it, that the world is your oyster--WATCH OUT! You might be getting critiqued right now. As we speak!

As Chris Rock said, "Run! It's the media!"

This is hardly an original emotion, in fact it's on
e I imagine most first-time authors experience unless they're Donald Trump or Perez Hilton and truly believe that regardless of the context in which your name is mentioned you're that much more popular. But like those old NBC ads, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you.

So this is a new emotion. An emotion that requires a healthy dollop of humility. And Pepto Bismol.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Starbucks Keeps Its Word

August 8, 2006
Starbucks announced today the next phase of the Company's overall Entertainment initiative: integrating books into its entertainment offerings. By selling and encouraging discussion of the highly anticipated new novel "For One More Day" by bestselling author Mitch Albom, Starbucks will further transform the way customers discover quality entertainment options.

"Today's announcement reflects our new and ongoing commitment to offering our customers the unique opportunity to discover books as part of their daily coffee routines," said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. "Mitch Albom's new book is only the beginning of many exciting literary projects we will offer to our customers in the future as we look to transform the way our customers discover and acquire quality books."

January 10, 2007
Starbucks, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies of Mitch Albom's "For One More Day" at its coffee houses nationwide, will soon be offering "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," by Sierra Leone native Ishmael Beah.

"The commitment we have is to provide our customers with the opportunity to discover quality books," Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "It's going to be an approach that will provide opportunities for well-known authors such as Mitch Albom as well as an emerging author like Ishmael Beah."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Rules for 2007
by George Carlin

New Rule 1: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days . . . mowing my lawn.

New Rule 2: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What do you expect it to contain? Trout?

New Rule 3: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of other men.

New Rule 4: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule 5: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule 6: Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his butt will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule 7: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the idiot. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet," oooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule 8: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule 9: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule 10: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those "athletes " at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule 11: I don't need a bigger bag of mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two bags.

New Rule 12: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule 13: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's white people's version of looting.

New Rule 14: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your web cam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule 15: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 Months." "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place. Just bein' polite.

New Rule 16: If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying, "Do you want fries with that?"

Self Promotion versus Self Objectification

On one side you have MJ Rose, J.A Konrath, Barry Eisler, and a slew of other writers who try to hammer home the point that authors have to beat the ground in order to sell their books. They must literally promote themselves, the sentiment being that publishers either can't or won't do as much for you as needs to be done, and a smart author will pick up the slack and then some.

Their mantra is Evanovich...Patterson....

On the other you have Steve Almond, Chuck Klosterman and Neal Pollack, whose writings tend to focus on the intensely personal, or as some call it the "Too Much Information" complex whereby an author spills his or her guts about anything and everything assuming the majority of literates want to know what color their infant daughter's spit up is. They self promote mainly through their writing, the hope being that the more the reader feels they know the person, the more they'll want to read their work.

Their mantra is Sedaris...Burroughs...

Both camps have their supporters and detractors. Some feel self-promotion denigrates the very notion of being an author, that art and commerce should only be connected by one's publisher (if even that). Many feel self objectification is unabashedly shameless and conceitied, that only the most self absorbed writers would think their daily dietary habits are desired reading fodder for the masses.

Unless they have a blog or pen a memoir, novelists tend to fall into the first camp. I'm wondering what the public's general feeling is about the acts of self-promotion and self-objectification. Do people prefer one over the other? Feel there is rhyme and reason for both?

Monday, January 08, 2007

All is Not Lost

This was an utterly depressing weekend in terms of the New York Sports scene, especially considering that the Giants will be a complete mess in the 2007 season after losing Tiki Barber, likely Tom Coughlin, relying on Eli "am I throwing to the guys in blue or the guys in green?" Manning, and only holding the 19th pick in the draft. At least we have the Knicks to root for. Oh wait...

But on the plus side, this should be a very exciting week. My publisher is having a big event to promote THE MARK, and I'll also be seeing galleys for the very first time. I equate the months leading up to the publication of your first book to a good roller coaster. It starts off very slow, not much going on but loads of anticipation, then you reach the summit and it all zooms by insanely fast as you try to hold on. Right now I'm at the apex of the climb. The 10 months since I agree to the deal have been agonizingly slow, but the six until it comes out will be nothing short of a blur.

Being aware of the editorial side when publishing a book can be a double-edged sword, since you can gauge your publisher's interest, the effort put forth in promotion, and generally have a sixth sense as to how the pre-pub process is coming along, and can recognize all the buzz words. I honestly feel lucky that THE MARK is being supported with incredible effort. It really feels like a partnership, that they have as much at stake as I do, which is what I believe a good publishing relationship should feel like.

I'm already filling out concept sheets for the cover of THE REGULATOR, and brainstorming a good title for book 3. Unfortunately THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS is already taken.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Blade Itself

Marcus Sakey is a new thriller writer whose first novel has hints of Dennis Lehane, Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.

THE BLADE ITSELF, the debut novel from Killer Year's own Marcus Sakey, is reviewed today in the New York Times. Way to go Marcus!

Now buy the darn book.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Years Resolutions
(to be adhered to until shamelessly broken)

1. Read more non-fiction. I've been on a fiction bender recently. Time to get some mo' know-ledge.

2. Revamp my website. I designed the current site off the template for a law firm (if you search around you'll still find remnants). Time to get professional and update that sucker.

3. Finally watch "The Wire." Lots of folks are calling it the best show on tv. My current fav is "The Shield" (I'm gonna miss Lem), so let's see if this can claim the mantle.

4. Run more. After hernia surgery last year it took me about 6 months to get back into any kind of reasonable shape. On the plus side, I now have the same material inside my body that they use to make Pepsi bottles. Seriously.

5. Read PROBABLE CAUSE by Theresa Schwegel. I'm loving OFFICER DOWN and am officially a fan for life.

6. Drink absinthe. I've had an authentic bottle of the green demon sitting on my shelf for six months (a gift from an author). In 2007 I will crack the bottle.

7. Continue biting my nails when I press "Publish." It's often a tenuous line between what is and is not appropriate to write about here (I always err on the side of caution). I expect more of that in 2007.

8. Stop buying books when I have 75 on my shelf waiting to be read (Note: Too late. I already broke this one).

9. Go to more conferences and author signings. I had a blast at ThrillerFest, will be in attendance at Romantic Times in April (with full on deer-in-the-headlights look on my face the entire time). Hopefully I'll make it to many more interactive events.

10. Stop watching tv shows on my iPod. Like my eyesight isn't bad enough.