April 24, 2012: Before we did anything else, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the righteousness of Lee Steele. This talented individual was kind enough to plug my book Space Case on his website ...
Now, I intended to just mention this in passing, but then I suddenly realized I wasn't entirely sure Lee was a male. You see, while we're on a comfortable first-name basis at this point, it's all been by way of email, and I don't think I've actually seen a specific reference to his (or her) sexuality. (Is that the right word? Somehow it seems so dirty seeing it right up there on the screen like that.)
So, like a good reporter, I decided to search the web -- I'm too lazy to search anything else, after all -- and I didn't think it would be complicated anyway ... but as these things tend to do, it opened up a whole can of worms, and now I'm forced to force you to have to consume them.
For starters, did you know there was a homophobic British footballer named Lee Steele? (At least I think he's British. I should probably look it up, but one can of worms is enough for one day.) Fortunately, HE was canned, following his twitter, or his tweet, or whatever the hell it is people do nowadays, and so there's one less homophobe trotting the soccer fields of the U.K., and that's probably a good thing. (At least I assume he's a soccer player. Hell, he may be a South African nose guard for all I know, but he's giving the name Lee Steele bad associations, and the fact that he met sound justice is all we gay celebrants really care about.)
Meanwhile, another Lee Steele in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, was apparently making $182,853 in total compensation for the year 2010 in his capacity as technology director at Mercury Computer Systems, including over $55,000 in stock rewards. (He's 61, and has been a Financial Leadership Partner with Tatum, LLC, among other business-related things I couldn't even begin to understand.) But learning this, I've become quite sure my time would be better spent in the technology field, and had I known of all the opportunities in Chelmsford, I would have relocated to Massachusetts a long time ago.
INTERESTING NOTE: I think Massachusetts -- or the Nutmeg State, as it's sometimes mistakenly referred -- has a long-standing reputation as either a state for gays to vehemently fear, or a prancing homosexual haven. I'm really not sure which and can't take the time to look it up right now. Irregardless, I know the Irish in Boston really hated blacks in the sixties (or at least some of them did) and I don't think that's right, (although to be fair, it might have been the Italians who hated the Jews; it's sort of confusing at this point, which is another good reason why it's so much easier when we all get along).
Getting back to Lee Steele and her (his) many guises, it's odd for me to think that the supple Katonah, NY, pilates instructor -- inventor of the accredited Steele Pilates Mat Certification Program -- could be the same woman kind enough to do me and my wonderful book this turn. (I do, however, adore her picture, and if anyone is worthy of a "Steele" moniker, it's got to be THIS woman.)
It's a great name, after all -- Lee Steele -- and if I were Ian Fleming and decided to start a new spy series (short of the inconvenience of being dead 50 years), I'd call my main character Lee Steele. But as we see, Lee Steele comes in many guises, and while I might see him as the next James Bond, or the hard-working Stamford Advocate writer who knows a great book (SPACE CASE) when he comes across one, others will know Lee as a sexy pilates contortionist, an overpaid techno-suit heading toward retirement, or a big-mouthed Limey homophobe whose recently found himself on unemployment.
There's probably a lot more I can say on this subject, but just how many worms can we turn in one Blah-ugh! entry?! For my part, I remain grateful for Lee Steele's support, and hope the rest of you can learn from his (or her) example and try to get this stupid book (Space Case) moving.
My new favorite friend Kathy G., by the way, has gone to great lengths to help support my worthy cause, and at this point I'm giving some serious consideration to renaming my Blah-ugh! (or perhaps daughter) after her.
NEXT TIME ON THE BLAH-UGH!: Jarret will either share about his great love of sleep, his ever-increasing affinity for butter and butter-related products, or his new novel SPACE CASE, which is indirectly available through Lee Steele's main website.