Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#MeToo

***ME TOO***

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandals, there’s a hashtag going around called #MeToo, where women share their stories of sexual harassment/assault whether it’s in the workplace, public life, school, the streets, or home. As I’ve stated many times before, I don’t often give people a glimpse into my past because of my schizophrenia and how talking about it actually makes the numb feeling worse. But after seeing so many of my friends come out with stories like this, I feel empowered to talk about it as well. Granted, I’m not a woman, but this isn’t an issue exclusive to one gender. So now, I will recall for you, my lovely audience, the first time I’ve experienced sexual harassment.

I was fourteen years old and going to high school in Chehalis, Washington (where the big boys play, apparently). Every once and a while, the school would have Spirit Day, where students dress up in a certain couture to show their school spirit (which I had none of, because I fucking hated school). That day’s apparel was pajamas, which I didn’t wear. And because of this, a girl snuck up behind me and said, “Hey, where’re your pajamas today?” before grabbing my ass and laughing with her friend. I never turned around to see who did it and therefore couldn’t report anybody. Instead, all I had was a heedful of trauma and no way to get rid of the stress. I couldn’t concentrate on schoolwork or creative activities. Whenever I’d watch my favorite TV shows, I’d just blank out and forget what happened. I began to think that I was becoming gradually stupid because of this mind fuckery. As someone who prided myself on A’s and B’s, taking away my intelligence was personal to me. I wanted revenge, but with no face to direct my fists to, it never was.

It was the first time I’d been harassed, but not the last. My freshman year was based on beating the shit out of students who spread lies about me dating an ugly woman (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but a lie is a lie and sexual harassment is sexual harassment). Since then, I’ve been mooned by marines, hit on by fat gay guys, and stalked by ex-girlfriends. I won’t go into the intense details of those encounters, but they sucked just as badly as my first time. Even now as I type this, my prophecy about bad memories coming back is coming true. Hopefully, my audience will learn something from this and my self-triggering won’t be in vain.

But then there’s another reason why I was hesitant to write this: because I’d feel like a hypocrite if I did. In addition to being the victim of sexual harassment, I’ve also been an unintentional perpetrator. I never wanted to be that guy, but sometimes I’d crack an obscene joke that would make the people around me uncomfortable. I used to have a Deviant Art friend who photographed fetish models. Some of those accidentally stinging comments were directed at her and her models. We haven’t spoken since then. It’s the reason why I’m shy around women in the first place: I don’t want to offend them and become that monster again. Even something as simple as saying, “You’re beautiful” can be hurtful. I don’t like hurting people. I like being good to them and making them feel respected. For all the people I’ve offended with my comments, I’m sorry. I could say I’m sorry a thousand times, but it wouldn’t be enough for me. I’ve been in those shoes before and I don’t want to put anybody else in them.

Let these stories be a lesson to everybody out there. If someone tells you to stop, you’d better stop. If they’re not capable of telling you to stop, don’t cross that Moral Event Horizon and become the next Brock Turner. I’ve never crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but I still feel terrible every time I think about the women I’ve hurt with my crass jokes. Be careful about what you say and do to the people around you. Don’t become the next Harvey Weinstein or Donald Trump, two men who can never be forgiven for their sins. It’s not worth the heartache. It’s not worth the lack of concentration. It’s not worth feeling stupid over. Think before you speak, think before you act.


***LYRICS OF THE DAY***

“From morning to night, I stayed out of sight. Didn’t recognize I’d become no more than alive. I’d barely survive. In a word, overrun. Won’t hear a sound from my mouth. I’ve spent too long on the inside-out. My skin is cold to the human touch. This bleeding heart’s not beating much. I’ve murmured a vow of silence and now I don’t even hear when I think aloud. Extinguished by light, I turn on the night when it’s darkness with an empty smile.


-Pink Floyd singing “Wearing the Inside Out”-

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dumb Ass Shit

***DUMB ASS SHIT***

One of the things we share as human beings is a tendency to make mistakes, especially during our younger years when we’re just figuring out the world. To put it in harsher terms, we’ve all said and done…say it with me…dumb ass shit. Nobody is immune to this, because nobody is perfect. As long as you don’t cross the Moral Event Horizon (rape, murder, etc.), you’re entitled to make these little mistakes that you can learn from. If you’ve ever watched a Young Turks video where they’re discussing a teenaged subject, you’ll notice that the pundits can be forgiving of them because they too said and did…say it again…dumb ass shit when they were younger.

Yes, it’s true, ladies and gentlemen: I too have a history of saying and doing dumb ass shit, especially as it relates to the internet. I’ve looked back at some of the things I’ve posted on my Deviant Art, Blogger, and Face Book accounts and I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I could just delete these posts, but seeing as how there are so fucking many of them, it’ll take more time than I care to spend. Many of the things I’ve posted could be construed as bigoted in some way, though my intentions were only to be “edgy” or “funny”. I just read a nonfiction essay I wrote in 2009 called “Class of ‘13” where I accuse teenagers of being text-messaging queens that need strict discipline. Holy shit, did I really expect people to laugh at that? What about Hardcore Harry, a Harry Potter parody where the main character says he’s afraid of Draco Malfoy’s “homosexual urges”. Shaking my head, folks. Shaking my head.

Apparently, it took me a long time for me to mature throughout the years, because I’ve been saying dumb shit in 2014 as well. My blogger.com posts at the time were riddled with depressing anecdotes about songs that made me cry or romantic couples in fiction that made me wish I had love too. One of my now deleted books, Foe vs. Blade, has an introductory chapter where I list off all of the major bad shit that’s happened in my life from high school until the date of publication. It wasn’t until 2015 that I started posting about positive things in my life and, surprise, surprise, I became a happier person because of it. I knew Rhonda Byrne’s book would come in handy someday.

So, I don’t know if you the audience plan on digging through my internet postings, but if you see something buried beneath the happy and accepting stuff that could be construed as “dumb ass shit”, know that I am no longer proud of such things. Being “edgy” isn’t nearly as important as being intelligent and wise. Even the edgiest of edgy artists have to have a reason for their R-rated jokes. I’ve said and done my fair share of stupid shit in my life and I’ve learned from all of it. This is not a cheap attempt at obtaining forgiveness, but if I keep kicking myself over these things, then I’m forever stuck in the past. We can all grow from our mistakes and become decent people.

I figured writing this blog would be easier than going through my internet history and wiping it clean of…say it again…dumb ass shit. But even if I was able to give my internet history the Mr. Clean treatment, there’s that old adage of things being on the internet forever. So instead, I’m going to say this: I’m sorry for all the dumb ass shit. It’s not me, it’s not who I want to be, and it’s not important to my career. Let’s move forward. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

As long as we’re on the topic of dumb ass shit, here’s something I attempted months ago, but never got off the ground. It’s called “Hardcore Hogan” (not to be confused with “Hardcore Harry”) and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Garrison Kelly, Captured Earthling
  2. Hardcore Hogan, Garrison’s Alter Ego
  3. Kasabian, Alien Lord
  4. Random Squid-Faced Alien Warriors

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: Garrison wakes up one day and finds himself in an alien ship’s prison cell. He has no idea what he’s doing there, but when he tries to shake the bars and complain, he gets electrocuted by the guards. Just when he is about to give in, he finds the Hall of Fame ring of his favorite professional wrestler Hardcore Hogan in the corner of the cell. When Garrison puts the ring on, he transforms into the muscular wrestler and puts a beating on the aliens after ripping the bars off the cell door. Kasabian serves as his final enemy and the only person who could possibly explain why Garrison/Hogan is on this ship to begin with.


***COMEDIC QUOTE OF THE DAY***

“There are some large groups out there whose names are a little mixed up. The Department of Water and Power. Well, water and power don’t go together, ‘cause you’ll get fucking electrocuted. Then you have the Food and Drug Administration. Well, with most drugs, you don’t have any food, except for marijuana, but they shouldn’t be bothering people with marijuana to begin with. And then you have that really interesting organization, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Do I even have to discuss this one? Bad combination. Here’s what you do. You call the police the Department of Power and Firearms. Then you have the Food and Water Administration. Those are two things you need to survive: food and water. And then you have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs, which keeps all the good shit in one place.


-George Carlin-

Friday, October 13, 2017

He's Only Thirteen

Gloria Summers’ heavenly soprano voice resonated throughout the empty church as she practiced her hymns. Standing at the altar with a purple choir robe flowing from her petite figure, she sang her heart out as though the church was packed for her performance. She closed her beautiful brown eyes and imagined applause and tears of happiness from the makeshift crowd. But when she opened them again, she didn’t see a single soul sitting in the pews. She wiped a tear from her eye as she remembered how this city had fallen on hard economic times. People would do absolutely anything for money, even if it meant endangering their health and forfeiting their position at the pews.

And then her concentration was broken as easily as church glass when a pounding at the doors boomed throughout the House of God. Gloria nearly jumped out of her dark skin and clutched a hand to her heart at the raucous sound, which continued to grow louder with desperation. She lifted her choir robe and hurried down the church aisle to answer the door. “Who could be knocking at this hour?” she asked herself.

When she opened the doors, a heavy presence spilled over her lap, almost knocking her on her ass. She managed to circle her arms around what appeared to be a dark-skinned teenage boy in a white karate gi passed out and shivering from the rain outside. Gloria dragged the young man inside and slammed the door behind her to prevent the cold from rushing into her church.

“You poor thing,” said Gloria while rolling the little boy over. Cuts and bruises covered his face and his tongue dangled slightly out of his mouth with a speck of drool hanging down. “Come on, little guy, let’s get you all warm and toasty.” The lone choir girl cradled the child in her arms and carried him to the back of the church, where a soft and warm bed just happened to be.

Gloria smiled sadly at the unconscious boy while stroking his damp black locks. “I’ll have some soup ready for you when you’re awake,” she said. It took her little more than three minutes to heat up a cup of noodle soup and present it to him with a plastic spoon nestled inside. Steam rose from the broth while triggering the child’s sense of smell. A few whiffs later and his swollen purple eyes slowly opened.

With a lisp that probably had to do with the karate gi he was wearing, he said, “Where am I? What the fuck is this?”

“I’ll let that dirty language slide for now, sugar,” said Gloria with a smile as warm as the soup. “You’re in the House of God, little man. It’s the safest place you can be right now. Whoever gave you those nasty bumps ain’t coming for you now. Here, have some soup. You’ll need your strength.”

The child snapped when Gloria handed him the soup, knocking the nutritious meal out of her hands and spilling broth and noodles all over the floor. The traumatized kid continued to thrash and wail about while the choir girl held him still. “Get away from me! I have to fight him!” shouted the kid. “Sensei Lector will kill me if I don’t fight him! Let me go, damn it!”

“Calm yourself, child!” belted Gloria while struggling to maintain a tight grip on the rambunctious kid. He nearly slipped out of her grasp when she mounted him and pinned his wrists down on the bed. The kid thrashed some more, but he clearly lost this battle. He could do nothing but shed tears hot enough to trigger the pain in his bruised eyes. “It’s no use,” he sobbed. “I’m dead! I’m never going to get out of that tournament!”

Gloria petted the child’s hair and gently said, “There, there, little guy. Like I said before, this is a safe place where you don’t have to worry about such things. No more fighting. No more bruises. No more blood. Just you, me, and the man upstairs. Now why don’t you tell me what’s going on between you and this Sensei Lector of yours.”

“You can’t do shit about it, lady,” snapped the child. “Saijin Lector is my master. He’s the one who trained me how to fight. I’ve been making a lot of money for the both of us beating the shit out of everyone in that ring. If he finds out I’ve dashed on him…he’s going to kill me!” Tears burned his black eyes once again.

Gloria lovingly rested her head on the child’s chest and said, “It’s alright, kid. You came here for a reason and that reason is to rest up. You know you can’t do this fighting business no more. You’re only a kid. Kids should be out playing and having fun, not beating people up in some dingy arena. Whoever this Saijin Lector is, there’s no chance I’m going to let him mess with you.”

“You don’t understand,” wept the child. “He’s a monster!”

“Of course he’s a monster, son,” said Gloria. “Anybody who puts a child through this much torture for a couple of bucks has got to be some kind of sicko.”

The child pushed Gloria off the bed and shouted, “He’s a real fucking monster!” A moment of tense silence hung between them and then Gloria shivered in fear while crab walking backwards. “I can’t stay here much longer! He’ll find me and beat me to death! You just don’t get it! He’s not just a monster! He has a whole gang backing him up! He can do whatever he wants to this city!”

“Not on my watch!” snapped Gloria as she stood back up and towered over the bruised child. “I don’t give up on those who come here for help and I’m damn sure not giving up on you! I don’t care what kind of monster you’re running from, because he ain’t getting nowhere near you! I’ve seen too much bad nonsense go on in this city! People getting shot dead in the streets, people losing their homes, people getting beaten by the police, it has to end somewhere! I say we bring it to an end one step at a time and that means getting you to higher ground!”

Another moment of tense silence hung in the air between them. The child snuggled further in his sheets after being the recipient of Gloria’s tough love, emphasis on love. He softly said, “My name is Danny. Danny Killian. What’s yours?”

“Gloria Summers. Nice to meet you, Danny. You’re a handsome young man despite all of the bruises.” She pulled the blanket over him further and gently said, “Get some rest, little guy. We’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow…”

The cracking sound of the church doors breaking down accompanied by deep demonic breathing caused Danny to cover his head with the blankets even tighter. “Stay here,” warned Gloria as she ventured out in the chapel to see what was up. Danny was right: there were monsters out there and one of them invaded her church with a whip in one hand and a tight fist in the other. “Holy-moly!” she whispered as she looked up at the seven-foot tall red fleshed demon, who came bearing fangs, horns, and sharp claws.

The demon brushed the wooden splinters from the door off of his brown trench coat and adjusted his fedora before saying, “Good evening, sweet cheeks! You wouldn’t happen to have a child about yay-high running around here, would you? He needs to come home with his daddy!”

“Some daddy you turned out to be!” shouted Gloria while she stood terra firma with her fists by her side. “You must be Saijin. Actually, I don’t give a hoot who you are! You’re in the House of God now and you’d better move your biscuit butt on out of here!”

“Or else what?!” bellowed Saijin, knocking Gloria down with the impact of his voice alone. “Is the man upstairs going to zap me to death? Oh, I’m so scared! I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but I’ve got a fucking whip and I’ve ripped a lot of flesh with this motherfucker! So if you don’t want to be the next one to be turned into human jerky, you’ll point me in the direction of that little brat!”

“I’m right here, dumb-ass!” belted Danny, who appeared at the altar shaking in either anger or fear (Gloria couldn’t tell). The child prizefighter’s fists were balled tightly as he entered his karate stance, feet apart, hips distributed. The more Saijin stared at him with those fiery eyes, the harder Danny shook.

“So, you’ve finally grown a pair of balls, little Danny. It’s about damn time! Tell me, little dip-shit: is that a urine stain on your pants or are you just happy to see me?” mocked Saijin with a yellow-fanged grin on his face. Sure enough, Danny tucked his chin and saw that his karate pants were dripping with stale golden fluids. His eyes were also pouring with sorrow and fear while Saijin laughed at him some more. “Holy shit, kid! How did you ever become a champion again? This whole time, I’ve been training a little chicken shit instead of a goddamn warrior!”

The combination of Danny’s tears and urine and Saijin’s mocking laughter caused Gloria Summers’ blood to boil. Her insides reminded her of what the church’s version of hell looked like: fire, agony, venom, and death. Her teeth clenched so tightly that her jaw ached worse than Danny’s. Her heart thudded in her chest like a hip-hop beat echoing from somebody’s car stereo. “Enough!” she roared before nipping up and elbowing Saijin right in the groin.

The demon doubled over in pain, but not without giving Gloria a devilish smile in return. Danny attempted a running strike of his own, but was quickly cut off by the choir girl, who cradled the protesting kid in her arms and dashed out of the church like a bolt of lighting. She looked back and saw that Saijin was upright once more and his whip was on fire.

He blasted, “You’d better keep running, you little harlot! It won’t do you any fucking good, but you can try anyways!” Saijin lashed his flaming whip around at various pews and set them ablaze. He even managed to pop Gloria in the back and send her crumpling into a bloody heap. Danny groaned in fury and tried once again to engage his former boss only to have Gloria use the last of her energy to hold him back and vacate the burning church.

The two of them stumbled down the stairs together while the church’s flames and Saijin Lector’s laughter rose sky high. Despite Danny’s raging protests, Gloria continued to hold him back and push the two of them down the streets until they were able to turn a corner into an alleyway. Even with the glowing flames producing hell on earth behind them, Gloria Summers and Danny Killian had found temporary safety.

“How could you let him get away with that shit?!” Danny sobbed. “I could have taken him! I swear I could have!”

Gloria hugged Danny’s head tightly and whispered, “Your fighting days are over, son. You’ve got to know when to run away. There’s no shame in being scared. It’s a natural part of life. You can’t just keep on going like this. If you didn’t die at Saijin’s hands, you would have died in that ring.”

“But it’s not fair!” Danny whined. “I need the money! I need to beat people up! I need to be tough!”

“There are other ways of making money that don’t involve that macho garbage!” yelled Gloria as she shook Danny. She hugged him once again and whispered gently, “I’m not going to leave your side. The church can be rebuilt, but you can’t be replaced, Danny Killian. I’ll make this right for you, son. Just trust me. You’ve trusted Saijin long enough and look where it got you.”

“But…but it’s not fair!” whined Danny again.

“I know it isn’t, son. There’s nothing fair about any of this. But we can make it fair. You just have to have some hope. Do you trust me?” asked Gloria with a reassuring smile.


Danny wiped away his tears and smiled as much as his swollen cheeks would allow before saying, “Yeah…I trust you, Gloria.” The two of them hugged each other and watched the church burn to its final ashes. Saijin would get his someday, just not tonight and not at the hands of a frightened child fighter.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hulk Smash!

***HULK SMASH***

This past week was filled with what I like to call Incredible Hulk rage. No, I didn’t actually smash anything, but you wouldn’t know it from the intensity of my screams and the vulgarity of my curse words. But just like with any other fit of rage, I feel so tired afterwards that I don’t feel like getting any creative work done. White hot anger is a waste of energy, especially when directed at inanimate objects. And to think, my week started off with something that was easily fixable.

Since this past Wednesday, I’ve been house-sitting for my parents while they’re away in Pennsylvania visiting with extended family. They’re expected to be back late Thursday night, but their return can’t come soon enough. This past Thursday was when my Incredible Hulk rage flared up. I had just gotten back from an exhausting walk to my brother’s workplace to drop off his book. The computer was in sleep mode, so I shook the mouse, clicked it, hit the return button multiple times, and powered the computer on and off. No matter what the hell I did, my computer wouldn’t wake up. So you know what logical thing I did about it? I screamed, “Wake up!” multiple times in a voice that bordered on drill instructor and raging barbarian. I also used some colorful swear words that I don’t plan on repeating before I went into whiny mode, begging and pleading for my computer to wake up.

Believing something was seriously wrong with my computer, my last resort was to take it to Northwest Computers in Bremerton to have it fixed. By the time I was done raging like a lunatic, the store was closed. Friday would have worked, but my brother James was out all day at work and school, so he couldn’t give me a ride. Northwest Computers is closed on the weekend and major holidays (including Columbus Day), so the earliest I could have taken my computer in was Tuesday. It’s true, folks: I’m a stereotypical millennial who’s addicted to digital crack. I’m also an author with a short story collection to finish, so maybe I’m not a complete stereotype.

Either this past Friday or Saturday, I’ve been using my spare laptop to get my internet business done. And then for some reason, my laptop decided not to open Google Chrome or Internet Explorer when I double clicked the respective icons. I tried running anti-virus software and it took forever to update, so I was just resigned to the fact that the laptop was a glorified paperweight. Speaking of useless technology, it was also this past Friday or Saturday that I dropped my television remote and couldn’t turn the damn thing back on even after changing batteries. The laptop situation was easy to remedy since my mom and step-dad have a spare computer downstairs. As for the TV remote, I could just use my Wave Broadband control to turn it on and off. But the rage…so much rage…so much hate…so many curse words that I once again won’t repeat at the risk of sounding like an insensitive prick.

This past Sunday night, I ran a gamut of possible problems with my computer through my head from an overworked fan to a broken monitor. My monitor is ten years old, so it was probably closer to that than anything else. I had a spare monitor in my room, but when I hooked it up to my computer, it wouldn’t work. Just like the laptop, my spare monitor was a glorified paperweight. And then I plugged the original monitor back in and screwed the prongs in tighter this time. It worked! It’s a miracle! Praise the Lord and all of that voodoo mumbo jumbo. All of the rage, all of the tiredness, all of the heartache, it was all for nothing. It was a waste of energy that solved no problems, but only made them worse.

I’ve tried harder to control my rage in the past, but it still bubbles up every now and then, so I can’t really say I’ve learned anything from those experiences. I guess I’ll try harder next time. And the time after that. And the time after that. Or maybe I can just accept that rage is a byproduct of schizophrenia and/or depression. No breathing exercises or yoga classes are putting out this wildfire anytime soon. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

Because of my mom and step-dad’s computer downstairs, I was able to enter this week’s WSS contest with my latest short story “Peacemaker”. Hopefully, it’ll be a big hit with audiences everywhere. As of now, there are only ten more stories I have to write before Poison Tongue Tales 2 is complete and I can focus on writing a novel again. The next short story will be called “He’s Only Thirteen” and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Danny Killian, Child Brawler
  2. Saijin Lector, Demon Gangster
  3. Gloria Summers, Church Choir Girl

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: Gloria practices her singing alone in the church when there’s a loud banging at her doors. When she answers, Danny, who’s covered in bruises and cuts, collapses into her arms and allows her to bring him to safety. When asked about his wounds, Danny reveals that he’s a child prize fighter and he’s trying to get out of the business. The only thing stopping him is his overbearing taskmaster Saijin Lector, who has spent years training him to become a moneymaking machine with his fighting skills. Feeling ripped off, Saijin bolts into the church looking for his “prospect”. Gloria and Danny must now try to sneak out of the church and get to higher ground. Fighting isn’t an option since Saijin is a seven-foot tall beast with a chain whip as his favorite weapon. Even with all of Danny’s championship accolades, he’s too frightened to take on his former boss.


***FANG AND CLAW: UNDEAD UNIT 1***

Wrestlecrap is a distant memory and now it’s time for a new book. My original plan was to read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, but I bailed out of it early. The confusing writing style, boring plot, and weird terminology influenced my decision to stop reading. In its place will be “Fang and Claw: Undead Unit 1” by Markie Madden, an independently published author who’s good friends with Marie Krepps. I’m on page 36 right now and so far, so good. The main character Lacey Anderson reminds me of Olivia Benson from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with how she tackles rape cases.


***COMEDY ROUTINE OF THE DAY***

TSA AGENT: Did you pack your bags yourself?

GEORGE CARLIN: No. Carrot Top packed my bags. He, Martha Stewart, and Florence Henderson all came over to the house one night, cooked me a lovely Lobster Newburg, gave me a full body massage with sacred oils from India, performed a four way around the world, and then they packed my bags. Next question!

TSA AGENT: Have your bags been in your possession the entire time?

GEORGE CARLIN: No. Usually the night before I travel, just as the moon is rising, I place my bags out on the street corner and leave them there unattended for several hours…just for good luck. Next question!

TSA AGENT: Has any unknown person asked you to carry anything onboard?


GEORGE CARLIN. Hmm…Well, what exactly is an unknown person? Surely, everybody is known to somebody. In fact, just this morning, Kareem and Yousef Ali Ben-Gaba seemed to know each other quite well. They kept joking about which one of my bags was the heaviest.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wreck-It Ralph

MOVIE TITLE: Wreck-It Ralph
DIRECTOR: Rich Moore
YEAR: 2012
GENRE: Children’s 3D Animation
RATING: PG for comic mischief
GRADE: Pass

In a digital universe inhabited by arcade game characters, Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy of his respective videogame Fix-It Felix. As such, he feels unappreciated by his good guy cohorts and seeks to do gain a hero medal from another game. He finds one in a first person shooter called Hero’s Duty, but takes it with him to a candy-themed racing game called Sugar Rush. There he meets a glitch character named Vanellope who feels just as isolated as he does. The two annoy the hell out of each other, but agree to help each other achieve their goals, Ralph’s being to retrieve the medal and Vanellope’s being to win the race. Standing in their way are the tyrannical King Candy and a virus bug from Hero’s Duty that swarms and multiplies.

The message of this movie is one we’ve heard time and time again, but it never gets old because we have to keep reminding ourselves of it. That message is to be yourself and be proud of who you are. Don’t let the world bring you down and don’t let anybody else define who you should be. If you want to be well-liked, do something admirable and leave the trophies and petty jewelry behind. A medal is a tiny coin, but a legacy is something that lasts forever. This whole movie is a journey for Wreck-It Ralph to find acceptance by doing what he does best: destroy things. He tried too hard to be the good guy and he ended up being a worse bad guy. As far as Vanellope goes, she too has a journey to go through that involves individuality. She’s spunky, sweet, and delightfully annoying, yet she’s the most determined racer in Sugar Rush. Ralph and Vanellope are characters we can get behind as well as the others who support them like Fix-It Felix and the captain from the first person shooter Tamora Jean Calhoun. That’s what makes the message of the movie so special: relatable characters.

Another thing I must applaud this movie for his the creativity it took to make this movie. This could be considered fan fiction in some ways because it features M. Bison and Zangief from Street Fighter II and Bowser from the Mario games just to name a few. Granted, those are cameo appearances, but the movie still makes good use of them as part of a bad guy support group. The Sugar Rush videogame is candy-themed, so everything from the Laffy Taffies to the chocolate quicksand to the Mentos and Diet Coke lair is well-done, well-placed, and important to our story. Creativity also involves the various outcomes and high and low points of the movie, not just physical features. The big low point at the end will make you weep, the sweet ending will make you giddy inside, and the build up to both of those things will remind you of a brother-sister dynamic at home. When it comes to creativity, the makers of Wreck-It Ralph left no stone unturned and made sure the audience went home happy.

Speaking of making everything click, the storyline actually makes sense considering all of the variables in this movie. Whenever a game glitches or has a character crossover, the arcade machine is “out of order” and pulling the plug on it will erase the entire game. There’s a train station connecting all the games together via the power strip and its various cords, which is important for keeping everybody in order and with their own games. Crossing over is actually a huge no-no in this world, which is no more evident than when Wreck-It Ralph accidentally leads a virus bug into Sugar Rush and all of his friends have to come rescue him before it multiplies. When you have a movie with this many loose ends, it needs its own set if strict rules so that it doesn’t become too unbelievable. I commend anybody who can maintain order with this much chaos going on.


If you’re looking for an enjoyable movie for the whole family, young or old, be sure to watch Wreck-It Ralph. Older audience members will have retro-grade nostalgia for these arcade games. Younger audiences will enjoy the quirky characters and their silly jokes. Film critics will love how everything clicks together and nothing is left unattended to. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that this movie won a boat-load of awards and was the 14th highest grossing film of 2012. A passing grade will go to this piece of 3D animated joy. How does that sound?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Peacemaker

Gerard Killings paced back and forth with his hands tucked in his trench coat pockets. He gazed around at the animal trophies mounted on the wall while shaking his head in disgust. Deer heads, tiger rugs, bear dolls, and fox pelts made this politician’s home feel like an animal graveyard. Protecting Senator Schneider from assassination filled Gerard’s eyes with dollar signs, but his heart with emptiness. He felt no different from a street whore selling her body for cocaine. The mercenary plopped down on the zebra striped couch and ruffled his clean shaven head and face.

He snapped out of his disgusted trance and leapt into business mode when he heard the sound of wood creaking in the next room. Gerard pulled two sais from his trench coat pockets and crept towards the kitchen. When he arrived, he saw that the scene hadn’t been disturbed except by an elderly dog lying on the floor snoozing away. The irony wasn’t lost on Gerard as he shook his head some more while holding the bridge of his nose.

The time to earn his paycheck arrived when Gerard felt a heavy presence crash down from overhead. He dropped his sais and gasped for air as he felt a furry arm wrapped around his neck with a knife pointed into his jugular. A feminine voice whispered, “Don’t even think about it. I’ll slash you from asshole to appetite if you move one inch.”

Gerard didn’t listen. He snatched his assailant’s wrist and chomped down on her arm with the strength of a bear trap. The furry female yelped and back flipped off of her opponent, leaving a smattering of blood across the floor. Gerard used this valuable time to crawl quickly across the floor to retrieve his sais. Before he could lay one finger on them, he felt a knife graze his scalp as it flew into the kitchen cupboard.

The mercenary blinked tightly in pain while pressing a hand to his wound. He opened his eyes just widely enough to see that his assailant was dressed in black ninja gear except for part of her face and arms, which were covered in animal fur (and blood from the bite wound). She angrily whispered, “You’re one dead motherfucker!” before pulling out a katana and lunging towards a seated and prone Gerard. The mercenary moved his head just in time to avoid being decapitated. The fuzzy ninja slashed and lunged some more only to have Gerard tuck and roll out of the way every time.

Mr. Killings, still on his back, kicked the ninja in the head and dazed her long enough for him to wrap both ankles around her neck and flip her over. She crash landed into the kitchen cupboard, but accidentally landed on the sleeping dog. The dog yelped and crawled pathetically across the floor. Both fighters were distracted by the condition of the elderly animal, so much so that the ninja crawled across the floor and petted the little guy. “I’m so sorry,” she gently whispered. “You poor little sweetheart.” The ninja’s petting caused the dog to roll on her back and kick in the air.

“Wait a damn minute here,” said Gerard before he nipped up and ripped the ninja’s mask off to reveal she was a humanoid fox. The ninja gasped and crab-walked backwards, knowing her identity was plain to see. “Why am I not surprised? Misty Blades, anti-hunting activist. You’ve been all over the news talking about using peace and love to advance your cause, yet here you are trying to stick a blade in my fucking neck.”

Misty waved a dismissive paw and scoffed, “Like your politician friend is any better. Have you seen all the animal corpses around his house? And what about you? You’re guarding this place, so you’re every bit as guilty. Now you have to involve a poor little doggy into this.” She petted and kissed the dog some more, much to the little pooch’s smiling delight.

“Do you need help there, Gerard, or can you do it yourself like you were paid to do?” asked Senator Randy Schneider, who stood in the bedroom doorway dressed in a blue bathrobe holding a peacemaker handgun. He had a calm demeanor about him despite finding Misty Blades in his kitchen. “What are you waiting for, Gerard? Must I hold your hand?”

“You’re actually going to listen to this guy?” asked Misty. “I saw you making those faces at the animal trophies. You’re just as disgusted as I am. You could finish this right now if you wanted to.”

Randy sighed, “And how exactly does he plan on doing that, Miss Blades, if that is your real name? I’m the one with the gun and you two are just sitting there with your knives up your asses. That’s the thing about hunting, my friend: you need the best weapons. You think I claimed all of those deer heads with a fucking katana? Hell no. I was smart enough not to bring a knife to a gun fight.”

“Guns are for cowards!” belted Misty. “Killing animals is just as cowardly. Why in the hell would anybody want to support your new bill, Senator? You fucking right-wingers are all the same. You’ll protect an unborn fetus, but you’ll gladly shoot a defenseless creature. Don’t think for a minute that your gun is going to save you now. All the firepower in the world means jack shit without the fighting skills to back them up.”

Randy squeezed off a shot and only managed to tear a piece of fur off of Misty’s cheek before the ninja leapt across the room and held a blade to the politician’s throat. Senator Schneider shook so hard that he could be confused for a Parkinson’s patient. No amount of pathos could wipe the look of white hot, drooling rage from Misty’s vixen face. “Gerard! Help me!” Randy shouted.

“Shut up, you whimpering piece of shit! Stop whining and start listening! When that bill hits the senate floor, that shit is dead on arrival! If it isn’t, then you will be! What do you say/ Senator? Is your life really worth having more animals die in your name?” grimaced Misty.

Little did the ninja know that Randy dropped the peacemaker on the floor and slid it across to Gerard with his foot while shaking in fear. Sure enough, the bodyguard picked it up and cocked it before pointing it at both Misty and Randy.

“Don’t even think about it!” shouted Misty. “You put that thing down or I’ll spill his throat all over the fucking floor! Then maybe I’ll take him down to the taxidermist to get stuffed!”

“Just take the shot, Gerard; she’s going to kill us both anyways!”

“Shut the fuck up! Both of you!” Gerard roared. “I am getting sick and tired of this political bullshit! All I wanted was a paycheck tonight and you two have turned this into a fucking nightmare! Maybe I’ll kill both of you! Or maybe I’ll just kill you, Randy, and leave the fox lady to do her bidding elsewhere! You think I enjoy looking at all of these animal trophies?! They make me sick! In fact, I should probably throw up in that orange face of yours right now! It can’t look any worse than it is now!”

Misty grinned at Gerard’s threat while Randy whimpered a small prayer. This was it. That bill was going to die a nasty horrible death, which could also be said about the pants-pissing Randy Schneider. Gerard seethed with drooling anger like a rabid wolf ready to devour a hunter’s leg. The animal analogy was perfect for the rage bubbling up inside of him. Mother nature was ready to strike with a whirlwind vengeance.

“But then again…as much as I agree with Misty Blades more than anybody else…she doesn’t write my paychecks!” said Gerard before he squeezed off another shot and put a bullet in the fox ninja’s head. Her brains splattered all over the kitchen floor as she fell to her death. The elderly dog crawled over to her and licked her bloody wound like a bowl of puppy chow.

“Dogs are such filthy creatures,” said Randy with a chuckle. “Then again, so was that crazy bitch. You put on a hell of a show, Gerard. You had me going for a minute there. You’ll get that paycheck just like I promised you. Maybe if the bill passes, I’ll throw you an extra bonus so that your cancer-stricken son can go to Disneyland. You only live once, right? Well, I got to get to bed now. You did good tonight, my friend. Oh, and did I mention you’re one hell of an actor?”

“I wasn’t acting at all, Senator. I still think you’re a piece of shit for what you’re doing,” said Gerard as he handed the peacemaker to his boss.

“Correction: I’m a piece of shit who’s going to send your child to Space Mountain before he drifts away to heaven. There’s a difference, you know,” grinned Randy as he accepted the peacemaker and whistled his way back to bed.

“What do you want to do with Misty’s corpse?” asked Gerard.

“I’m sure I can find a nice place for her next to the lion’s head. Goodnight!” said Randy from the bedroom before he flicked off the light and yawned.

Gerard plopped back down on the zebra-striped couch and stared at his blood-covered hands. His whole body felt as though he had just taken a swim in a river of innocent blood. He did it all in the name of his cancerous son’s happiness, but what if he ever found out how he achieved that happiness? Could Gerard keep this secret forever? So many guilty thoughts ran through his mind at a million miles an hour.


A single tear dropped from his eyes and he could do nothing about it but bury his face in his murderous hands. He had no choice, just like anybody voting for Randy Schneider or his opponents. The system owned him. If they wanted him to dress in a turkey suit and dance like a monkey, he would do it if it meant a hefty payday. Maybe he wouldn’t feel nearly as guilty if he sucked dicks for a living. How sad. How relentlessly sad.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Wrestlecrap" by RD Reynolds and Randy Baer

BOOK TITLE: Wrestlecrap: the Very Worst of Pro Wrestling
AUTHORS: RD Reynolds and Randy Baer
YEAR: 2003
GENRE: Nonfiction
SUBGENRE: Wrestling Biography
GRADE: Pass

The history of professional wrestling has seen its fair share of colorful characters and soap opera storylines. Wrestlecrap documents the silliest of those gimmicks from the cartoonish WWF days in the 1980’s all the way to 2003 when the book was published. Whether it’s a voodoo priest named Papa Shango who put curses on his opponents, a magician who was one monocle away from looking like Mr. Peanut, or a baseball player named MVP (Most Violent Player) to name just a few, the idea was for various wrestling promoters to throw something out there and to see what stuck. In many cases, they’re simply throwing wrestle-crap.

The first quality I’d like to praise this book for is the historical significance and research that went into writing it. The authors traced the first real gimmick back to the 1950’s, when Gorgeous George, an effeminate and arrogant athlete, would spray his opponents with perfume so that they didn’t stink up the joint. In the 1980’s, Vince McMahon, CEO of WWF, would take this inspiration and create the colorful characters that era was known for, whether it was the muscle-bound superhero Hulk Hogan or the corrupt millionaire Ted DiBiase. The late 90’s saw a period of more realistic shades of gray characters with TV-14 rated bloodbaths and sex angles. But just like the end of this biography says: the less things change, the more they stay the same. New company, same old wrestle-crap. While some gimmicks stood the test of time, most of them were too unbelievable to be taken seriously. Even in the year 2017, nothing has changed.

As long as we’re having a laugh at these bizarre characters (not the wrestlers portraying them, mind you), feel free to enjoy the lighthearted and comedic writing style employed in this book. The style comes off as extremely sarcastic and razor-tongued, but there are also some good zingers in there to leave you chuckling as well. I mentioned the Mr. Peanut analogy in the opening paragraph. There’s also a line about how Mantaur, a guy dressed in a bull suit, looks like his costume was made by a deranged taxidermist at Disney World. My favorite zinger in this whole book would have to be the author’s answer to, “What could be better than [the plot of the Ready to Rumble movie]?” A trip to the dentist. Getting beaten with a lead pipe. A Pauley Shore movie marathon. I got a few chuckles just transcribing those lines. If wrestling gimmicks and storylines are going to be silly, then expect nothing less than a hearty laugh.

While it’s nice to have a few laughs at the expense of the characters, never forget that RD Reynolds and Randy Baer are wrestling fans to the core, which means they know when it’s time to get serious. Remember, they’re poking fun at the characters, not the people playing them. They have all the respect in the world for anybody who dares get in a wrestling ring to ply their craft. It’s a tough job that taxes the human body like nothing else. That’s why when I read about Renegade’s suicide, it legitimately broke my heart. Say what you want about the guy’s wrestling ability, but he didn’t deserve to have a gimmick completely ruin his life and send him spiraling into the path he took. The way that segment was written was done tastefully and respectfully, which is more than anybody could say about the promoters who saddled the wrestlers with these awful gimmicks.


One thing I will criticize the book for is its occasional grammatical errors. I say occasional because they don’t happen often enough for me to downplay the fun I had reading this book. But noticeable they are, such as when there are dashes in between words that are already whole. It’s as if the book formatting placed the hyphenated words at the end of a sentence in the middle of the paragraph. It looks awkward and doesn’t paint a good picture of anybody who takes up writing as a profession. However, I still give this book a passing grade for knowing when to be funny, knowing when to be serious, and caring enough about the sport to delve into its history. Wrestlecrap is nothing to sneeze at (the book, not the actual crap).

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Villains: Psychosis vs. Calmness

***VILLAINS: PSYCHOSIS VS. CALMNESS***

When I’m submitting short stories to the WSS, a common critique I get is to focus on writing about calm villains instead of psychotic ones. I admit, my borderline bipolar villains are fun as hell to write about, but I believe there’s a lot of truth in what Angie (the one who gave this advice) says when it comes to calm villains. Think about it for a minute: who would you be more afraid of: a guy who says, “I’m going to kill you” while cartoonishly laughing or a guy who says, “I’m going to kill you” while breathing calmly through his nose? Since cartoon characters don’t exist in the real world, you’re more likely to be afraid of the calm and collected guy.

Case in point, WWE Smackdown superstar Kevin Owens. A wrestling example? Again? You got that right! In his mind, he’s justified in his anger against Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon. Kevin believes Shane is showing bias against him and screwing him out of important championship victories. So what does Kevin do? He tells Shane to his face, “Your whole family would have been better off if you didn’t survive that helicopter crash. Your father, your wife, and especially your kids!” Shane beats the hell out of Kevin to where the latter threatens a lawsuit against the WWE (because authority figures aren’t supposed to assault the wrestlers (tell that to Stephanie McMahon)).

Shane’s father and CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon, makes an appearance on Smackdown to quash the potential lawsuit and put Kevin Owens in a Hell in a Cell match against Shane McMahon. Kevin, in his calm and collected manner, wants Vince’s word that he won’t be fired if he, “Beats a McMahon senseless.” Vince gives the okay, but without realizing that Kevin meant ANY McMahon. He heat butts the 70-year-old Vince and opens a deep cut in his forehead. The beating continues in the form of rib kicks, a super kick, and a frog splash. Kevin has a shocked look on his face like, “What the fuck did I just do?”

Next week on Smackdown, Kevin Owens, once again being the calm and collected villain he is, blames Shane McMahon for his father’s assault. His passionate tirade against the Smackdown Commissioner ends with, “For what I’m about to do to you at Hell in a Cell, people like me don’t go to Hell; people like me go to Heaven.” Imagine that last line being said through a cool demeanor. Creepy, huh?

The coolness becomes ice cold when the next week on Smackdown, Kevin Owens has a wrestling match with his longtime rival Sami Zayn. The match ends in a No Contest when Kevin power bombs Sami onto the corner of the ring apron (the hardest part of the ring) and possibly fractures his ribs and spine in the process. What does the calm villain do as Sami Zayn is being carted out of the arena? Well, he sits on the announce table and stares at Sami like he had just taken a bowlful of Prozac and washed it down with warm milk. Peace and quiet washes over Kevin Owens like warm and soothing beach water. It’s the loveliest feeling in the world for him.

Kevin Owens doesn’t have a cartoonish laugh. He doesn’t wear clown makeup. He doesn’t have bulging eyes and a nearly exploding forehead vein. He’s just this calm, cool, and collected tormentor who feels so numb that his brain might as well have been rubbed with Novocain. A straightjacket is too good for him. He needs a prison cell in the worst way. That’s how scary Kevin Owens is as a villainous wrestler. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate how calmly psychotic he is.

Pay attention to those two operative words: “calmly psychotic”. It’s not just one or the other. It’s a combination of both, whether the psychosis is subtle or not. If Kevin Owens told you that he was going to rip your intestines out and feed them to vultures and coyotes, you’d better run as fast as you fucking can. If he told you he was going to show up at your home while you were away and hoped that your kids answered the door for him…well, you get the idea.

And then you have the other WWE example in this blog entry, the overly psychotic Bray Wyatt. Since 2013, Bray Wyatt has had the same gimmick of a backwoods cult leader. He would speak in these cryptic promos and he would back up his spookiness with a 300 lb. frame and a hard-hitting fighting style. He once had a choir of sheep-masked children sing, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”, which was so spooky that it reminded me of the scene in Pink Floyd the Wall where they sang, “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”. Couple this with backwards tarantula walking, brainwashing abilities, a worm-infested compound to live in, and a bearded face with a head full of long dirty dreadlocks and you’ve got a recipe for psychosis.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I modeled a lot of my villains after Bray Wyatt. But on the advice of my awesome friend Angie, it could be time to at least try a new style: the calm and collected villain with a subtle psychotic nature. It could be a guy who picks the wings off of flies and keeps a straight face the entire time. It could be a handsome gentleman in a suit and tie who orders human jerky online. It could be a gentle and loving grandpa who instead of slashing the shit out of people, suffocates them with duct tape by covering their mouths and noses. This is already sounding pretty creepy to me, so yes, there’s a lot of truth in what Angie says. Happy early Halloween, by the way! We’ve got ears, say cheers! Hehehehehehe!


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

Despite the subtitle of this short story collection, this next piece could be my first real attempt at crafting a calm villain. He’s a politician, so being calm and charismatic comes with the territory. This story will be called “Peacemaker” and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

1.      Gerard Killings, Human Assassin
2.      Misty Blades, Fox Ninja
3.      Randy Schneider, Politician

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: Gerard has the unfortunate mercenary work of protecting Randy Schneider, a politician who is trying to introduce a bill that would legalize fox hunting. One night while Gerard is camping out in Mr. Schneider’s living room, the mansion is invaded by Misty Blades, an anthropomorphic fox who takes offense to the pompous politician’s anti-animal views. Gerard Killings has to decide between collecting a paycheck from Randy or giving into his disgust for his client and agreeing to help Misty. Either way, Randy Schneider isn’t a slouch himself; he’s armed with a peacemaker handgun while Gerard prefers a machete and Misty possesses a jagged katana.


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Speaking of calmly villainous politicians, next on the chopping block is Randy Schneider. Maybe I could use Patrick Bateman as a reference model when I draw Randy. Or perhaps Alan Shores from the TV series “Boston Legal”. Or perhaps David Aceveda from “The Shield”. Whoever I end up modeling Randy Schneider after, it won’t be another chubby villain like I normally have. Marie Krepps likes to rib me over that, but she’s truthful in her friendly ribbing. It’s time for a change!


***WRESTLECRAP***

Another wrestling reference? Again? What’s with me and these…ugh…Anyways, now that Stuck Rubber Baby and Paper Towns are both in my rearview mirror, it’s time for a new book. Stuck Rubber Baby was a graphic novel and Paper Towns before it was a fictional novel, which means the next choice has to be nonfiction (that’s a new rule for me when I choose which book to read: I have to cover all three bases). Enter Wrestlecrap, a biography of the worst gimmicks and storylines in the history of professional wrestling, dating all the way up to 2003 when the book was published. So far, so good. It’s not earth-shattering, so it’ll probably earn a passing grade at best. I like it, though. I like it a lot!


***WRESTLING JOKE OF THE DAY (AGAIN?!)***


If Dude Love and Juice Robinson formed a tag team together, they’d be called Dude Juice.

Through It All

Even though the armor-donning orc Elijah Heartland was built like a brick wall, the Master Judge always knew how to make his body feel microscopic and his testicles feel like shards of glass. Towering over Elijah at eight and a half feet tall, the golden-armored and powder-wigged Master Judge held his oversized war hammer over the orc’s head as easily as a pool cue and gave him a shiver-worthy evaluation.

“I must say, Elijah,” boomed Master Judge in a god-like voice. “You’ve excelled tremendously during the physical tests to becoming a paladin. Then again, such barbaric violence is always to be expected from a member of your race. You have the strength of a thousand warriors, but not the intelligence or wisdom of them. Ever since these trials began, you’ve been nothing short of an embarrassment to yourself. Your hair-trigger temper and dagger tongue have gotten you into more trouble than you’re worth. I should consider failing you right now!”

Thunder and lightning punctuated the Master Judge’s recent words, which sent Elijah backpedaling on his ass. The gigantic knight continued, “But instead I’ve opted to give you one final test: to confront the scathing ghost of your past. If you successfully complete this test, you will become a paladin and your prison sentence will be expunged. If you don’t, you will rot in solitary confinement for the rest of your waste life. And to think, all of this hateful violence was over a woman. Heh…a woman. Pull yourself together, you imbecile, or this will be the last time you see the light of day!”

A final bolt of lightning crashed down upon the Master Judge and he disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Without his massive frame to cover Elijah’s field of view, the orc gazed upon the test that lied before him: a heavenly white marble staircase with black hooded ghosts lining either side of it. He wondered if he would become acrophobic at such great heights.

Whatever fear Elijah previously had from being emasculated by the Master Judge disappeared when he stood back up and spit on the ground. He drew his sword thinking he would need it by the time he got to the top. Perhaps he could cut down these hooded ghosts and flee the scene? No, too risky. It wasn’t worth being locked in solitary confinement until the day he died. With furrowed brows and clenched fangs, the orc took his sweet time in ascending the marble stairs.

To his surprise, the ghosts just stood there chanting religious hymns instead of just pounding on him. The Master Judge said it best when he iterated Elijah had the strength of a thousand warriors, but even that wouldn’t be worth banking on against these freaks. The flight of stairs seemed to go on forever, like Elijah had been walking on a conveyor belt. His muscled legs refused to give out, especially when a golden ray of light grew brighter as he neared the top.

What Elijah saw at the platform caused him to lick his lips with violent lust and sharpen his sword with the corner of the stairs: a woman in orange monk’s robes on her knees with shackles pinning her arms to the ground and a black hood over her head. No matter how intensely she struggled, she couldn’t free herself. “You’re making this too easy, Master Judge!” shouted Elijah when he approached the woman and ripped the bag off of her head.

The orc’s scaly green skin turned as white as the marble staircase when he saw who was under the hood. “No…no, this isn’t happening! Shiva?! Is that you?!”

Shiva Terkai was the name given to the purple-haired, porcelain-faced lady who peeked up at Elijah with begging sorrowful eyes. “Please, Elijah. Help me. Don’t leave me here to die.”

Elijah Heartland chuckled and scoffed, “Leave you here to die? The irony is killing me, babe. I wish I had the right to say that when you ran away with that goofy looking shit-weasel you call a human! You ripped my heart out that day, Shiva. I should really be thanking you, though, for making me open my eyes and see the world for the hellhole it is. You human women are all the fucking same!”

“It’s not my fault you turned out this way, Elijah!” belted Shiva. “There’s no rule that says you have to go on a rampage every time some girl breaks your heart! There are other women out there! I bet you would have found one and gotten married if you hadn’t ended up in prison!”

“You would have done the same thing if I found another hot sexy woman while we were dating! I don’t expect you to understand what a broken heart does to people, because you never had a fucking heart to begin with! You think infidelity is okay?! I’m an orc and even I get disgusted by that shit!” shouted Elijah.

“Don’t act like you’re the saint around here! If you hadn’t gone on that rampage when we broke up, you would have done it for some other stupid reason! Your skull is thicker than a fucking brick! You have the temper of a goddamn five year old! How do you expect me to live with someone like you?! Running off with that other man? It would have happened sooner or later, but it didn’t happen soon enough!” snapped Shiva as she wrestled in her shackles some more.

“Why you!” stormed Elijah as he raised his sword to the sky and caused Shiva to flinch. His muscles twitched and pulsated, his pores released a floodgate of sweat, and his fangs could have chewed through stone with how hard he chomped down. This was his chance to exact revenge upon the woman who “drove him nuts”. One slash and her head would roll down the stairs like a keg of whiskey. The seconds he spent frozen in this position seemed to go on forever.

“What are you waiting for, Elijah!” screamed a familiar godly voice. The orc turned his head and saw the Master Judge standing only a few stairs behind him with his arms folded and his steel booted foot tapping. “Go ahead and kill her already! Save us the time of actually having to rehabilitate you into a righteous human being! It’ll be fun watching you squirm and sizzle in solitary confinement!”

Elijah sweated and trembled some more before the Master Judge and his ghost minions removed their hoods. The orc’s eyebrows shot sky high and his eyes bulged out of his head like a cartoon when he saw that underneath their hoods, they too were orcs. Scaly skin, wide noses, razor-sharp fangs, but a somehow milder stench than what Elijah was used to. The criminal gulped hard as he still had a decision to make involving the sword in his hands.

“I don’t have all fucking day, Elijah! Kill her already!” shouted the Master Judge. His orc friends chanted, “Kill her!” in succession like they were at a sports bar. The blade was raised, Shiva’s eyes grew damp, and Elijah’s muscles twitched even harder. And then, the blade came down like a bolt of lightning, a heavenly judgment for a “sinful” woman. Except the blade didn’t come down on her neck. He slashed one of the shackles in half and proceeded to slash the other, freeing her from bondage.

The two former lovers hugged it out and dampened each other’s shoulders with tears of joy. The Master Judge, on the other hand, had a face full of red hot lava and the trembling temper of a berserker. By drawing his thumb across his own throat, he signaled for his robed orc cohorts to charge up the stairs and finish the job themselves.

Elijah and Shiva got into their fighting stances and cut the ghostly orcs off at the top of the stairs. Elijah swung his blade at his opponents with rapid precision and a barbarian’s might, severing arms, legs, and heads while turning their bodies into blood bombs. One of the orcs threw a hatchet into Elijah’s arm and caused him to roar in pain. The fiery agony surged through his body for only a few seconds as he ripped it out, licked up the blood like a kissing lover, and slashed that minion’s throat with the same hatchet.

Shiva was a martial artist by nature and threw lightning quick punches and kicks at her opponents, shattering ribs and splitting skulls. Bodies rolled down the stairs and shattered even more bones on the sharp corners.  One of the minions managed to catch her in a bear hug, but she stamped the heel of her foot down on his toes and crunched them all to force his release. She delivered the final blow in the form of a back elbow to the jaw before throwing him across a group of orcs and watching them tumble down the stairs.

Body parts, shattered bones, and squishy organs decorated these once beautiful marble stairs until one orc minion remained. Elijah and Shiva nodded at each other before they both ganged up on him with a stab to the gut and a flying knee to the chest. The final minion sloshed onto the stairs like a puddle of violent pudding. “Enough!” shouted the Master Judge as he held out his hand and collected the spiritual essences of each ghost warrior under his command. Glowing white energy took the place of blood and body parts as it gathered into a silver orb in his hand until the stairs reverted back to their old beauty.

“I told you what was going to happen, Elijah, and by gods be damned, you’re going to get it!” belted the Master Judge as he held out his gigantic war hammer. Elijah and Shiva both stood back in their defensive positions expecting the Master Judge to smash them into bloody morsels. The two even held hands while Shiva whispered, “I’m sorry” and Elijah whispered back, “Me too.” The war hammer was raised high in the sky and brought down in a thunderous fury.

“Congratulations! You’ve passed the final test. I dub thee Sir Elijah Heartland,” said the Master Judge in a gentle voice as he knighted his criminal apprentice with the war hammer. Elijah and Shiva gazed up at their overlord in confusion rather than feeling instant elation. The Master Judge explained, “The paladin trials are just as much of an emotional challenge as they are physical. By sparing Shiva Terkai’s life, you’ve shown her forgiveness. Being able to forgive your enemies is a stronger feat than anything you can do with that blade of yours. The only time you needed that blade was to defend an innocent victim, which you’ve done a marvelous job of. This is what being a paladin is all about: knowing when to strike and when to forgive. Even under my harshest words, you’ve demonstrated that wisdom to a fault. You’re free to go, my friend. May you always walk in the light.”

A lightning bolt crashed down upon the Master Judge and he disappeared in a cloud of smoke, leaving Elijah and Shiva to stare at each other in awe and wonder. Shiva tried to hold her former lover’s hands, but he pushed them away and said, “We can never have what we used to have. What’s in the past should stay in the past. But if you want, I can walk you home just this one time. After that, we both go our separate ways. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” whispered Shiva while she hung her head. “But if you don’t mind…would it be okay if we…held hands while we walked home? I swear we’ll both go our separate ways, but just this once?”


Elijah sighed, “Sure, why not? Come on, let’s leave this place.” Sure enough the two of them locked their fingers together and descended the marble stairs slowly and carefully. They picked up their pace once the gray clouds gathered overhead and sprinkled some much needed cold rain on their sore skins.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Gyromancer

Are you a spin doctor or a gyromancer?
Both of those options are your final answer
Excusing racism and other forms of bigotry
Excusing homophobia while practicing bigamy
Excusing cop violence as the body count soars
Excusing blood oozing from minorities’ pores
As long as you have an R next to your name
You’re instantly immune to shame and blame
Justice was tailor made for the silver spoon
You’re not fooling anyone anytime soon
You wonder why we march in the streets
When the flag is flying, we take our seats
It’s Freedom of Speech, you fucking leech
It’s something you’re always proud to preach
As long as you’re the only one who uses it
Who’s triggered now? You’re the one who loses it
You call us snowflakes for doing what’s right
You’re triggered too! You’re not too bright
You don’t give a shit about liberty and freedom
You only give a shit about ruling the kingdom
Goosestep your ass back to the 1930’s
Or the 1500’s where it’s diseased and dirty
But at least your old values will be alive and well

Gyromancer, I’ll see you in hell!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Robo Heck

“How in the hell did the mechanics fuck this one up?” blurted David Masters V as he twisted various bolts into his gigantic robot with a monkey wrench. Lost and alone in a remote island lush with tropical vegetation, David cringed at the smoke and steam floating freely from his machine’s engine. He tried rapping it several times with a hammer. Nothing. He tried pouring lake water onto it to cool it off. Nothing. He tried twisting even more bolts with that pathetic monkey wrench of his. Electrical storm that zapped the tip of his finger. The pilot sucked on his wound and murmured, “There’s going to be some fucking hell to pay when I get back to base!”

The earth shook beneath David and all he could think was, “Oh no, not again! What now?!” He frantically twisted bolts and screws with his monkey wrench thinking the big ass machine was going to explode in a cataclysm of fiery death. The engine smoked some more. The electrical storm zapped him in his other finger. While sucking on his new wound, he kicked his machine and ran off to hide in the bushes. The earth trembled some more and nearly flipped David on his back. All he could do was clutch the bush roots for dear life and ride out whatever the hell was going on here. Forget sucking his zapped finger, he should have been sucking on his thumb.

Just when he was ready to cry for mommy so many miles away, the ground ceased shaking. Slowly David released his grasp of the bush root and backed away with tender steps. He fell on his ass after colliding with something sharp, which turned out to be a toenail. “What the fucking hell?!” whispered David fearfully as he took one look at the sky above and saw a giantess standing over him with a menacing scowl on her face. David’s sick twisted mind, she could have been a looker if she was human-sized, with her braided blond hair, golden bra, flowing green leather skirt, and wicker flip-flops.

The giantess leaned her face towards David’s so that he could feel the venom and sickness washing over him some more. He shivered while trying to crab walk away from her, but a row of palm trees halted his path. “That’s it, I’m fucking toast!” he whimpered to himself.

The giantess aimed her treacherous gaze at David’s robot, pointed at it with her freight train finger, and asked, “How dare you bring this war machine to my island?!”

“W…war machine? War machine? Hehehehe! No, you have the wrong idea,” stuttered David as he used the tree bark to help himself to his feet. “I’m not a soldier. I’m just a civilian contractor. I’m a builder, that’s all. That’s just a cutting torch he’s holding.”

“Hmm…cutting torch, huh?” She yanked the machinegun out of the robot’s hand, aimed it at the robot itself, and blasted it to shreds until the weapon was out of ammo. David ducked down in the fetal position to avoid pieces of shrapnel slicing him to bits. They were already stuck in the trees and damn near knocked them over. And then the giantess tossed the unloaded rifle across the forest and watched it roll down a mountain hill before it crashed into the ocean and sank like a stone. “Nice cutting torch,” she mocked.

David stood up once again, but this time staggered around nervously and almost fell over. He tried his damnedest to be brave like the soldier he lied about not being, but all that came out were weak little squeaks. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done, missy? That was a million dollar piece of military equipment. The global government is going to be furious with you. There’s no telling what kinds of bombs they’ll drop on this place.”

“So you are a soldier, aren’t you? You had thirty seconds to lie to me and all you could tell me was that your assault rifle was a goddamn cutting torch. Maybe I should get a real cutting torch and seal your dick shut so that you can’t reproduce and create more war than there already is!” snapped the giantess.

David’s balls suddenly felt like they were the size of pumpkins when he took that insult. Arms akimbo, he shouted, “You know why they call me David Masters V? Because there’s five of us! Five generations of proud soldiers who would do anything to make this world a better place! You’re not only shitting on my family name; you’re shitting on the world as a whole!”

“So your idea of a better world is one where children and women are buried under rubble? Motherless children? Fatherless sons? You think you can win any argument with a war machine? It’s moronic men like you that made me want to stay on this beautiful island uninterrupted!” the giantess roared.

David chuckled, “For someone who hates war machines and how they kill tons of people, you look like you can just step on me and splatter my ass across the ground right now. What’s stopping you? Huh?”

“Trust me, I’d love nothing more than to stomp all over your military bases and government buildings, but if I did that, I’d be a massive hypocrite. Staying on this island is the only thing keeping me sane in times of war,” she said.

“Well, I hate to burst your bubble, Mother Theresa, but my superiors are going to figure out sooner or later that I’m MIA and they’re going to come looking for me. When they see what you’ve done with their million dollar robot, they’re going to bring the hammer down on your big ass! Bullets, missiles, bombs, you name it, they’ll drop it on your pathetic fucking island!”

The giantess gritted her teeth and scooped David in her massive hand while he kicked and screamed, “Put me down! You’re hurting me!”

“I hate to burst YOUR bubble, but your superiors aren’t coming to save you. You know why? Because you and that goddamn machine are fucking expendable!” the giantess belted, which nearly caused permanent ringing in David’s sensitive ears. “They probably think you’ve already died in the crash. They probably don’t even know this island even exists. You think you’re worth something to your government? Only in the form of yellow ribbons and god awful national anthem lyrics! If they cared so much about you, they wouldn’t have suffered you or any of your four ancestors to go to war in the first place!”

The more David Masters V squirmed in the giantess’s grasp, the softer his bones felt. The tightness alone made him feel as though his head would burst like a grape. Yet he remained defiant until the end. “You know how many times I’ve heard that crap from hippies like you?! My family has been protested so many times that we just shrug it off like annoying little gnats! Besides, what the fuck do you know about peace and love?! You’re squeezing me so fucking hard that I thought I heard my spine pop about three or four times!”

“I’m sure you’ve said this to your loved ones when they hugged you tightly enough that you couldn’t walk away from them,” said the giantess. David’s face grew solemn and long while she lectured him some more. “The reason us ‘hippies’ say these things all the time is because it’s true. You think I don’t feel the pain of war every single day? You think that just because I’m a giant that I can just shrug things off as easily as you? Wake up, dumb ass! I’m the enemy! I’ve always been the enemy! Anybody this goddamn tall is automatically a pariah!”

David tucked his chin to his chest in dark contemplation. His squirming and thrashing had ceased. His big fat mouth morphed into a big fat frown. He couldn’t believe he was feeling sympathy for someone who was capable of squashing him into jelly with one strong grip. He remembered all of the times he was picked on as a kid and during basic training. His mind felt like it was rubbed with Novocain all of those years, but when those memories came flooding back to him, he couldn’t resist any longer. Every swear word, every punch to the gut, every slap to the face, every obnoxious laugh, and every punch to the mouth flashed through his brain at a hundred miles an hour.

The giantess shook him hard to snap him out of his trance and he gagged at the gyro-psychotic sensation. “Sorry, I just…I just…Jesus, what the hell’s wrong with me?”

“It was all going to come out sooner or later, David,” said the giantess in a gentle tone reminiscent of a psychiatrist. “Nobody is immune to the ghosts inside their head, especially not in times of war. You can push them down as much as you want, but they’ll always come back stronger than ever. Your generals won’t admit it in public company, but it happens for them too. Believe it or not, it happens to me all the time. I can’t go out in the human world without getting a heedful of garbage. That’s why I like this island. It’s cool, it’s calming, and it’s perfect out here because I’m the only one.”

“Doesn’t it get lonely out here with just you here?” asked David while sheepishly turning his face away.

“As a matter of fact, it does, my friend. But it doesn’t have to be lonely anymore. And you don’t have to suffer those hideous thoughts anymore. You have no way of getting back anyways, with no war machine and no radio.” That last sentence was punctuated with a loving grin on the giantess’s face.

“Wait a minute…why are you…you’re not planning on….” David looked down at his groin and asked, “How exactly would that work?”

“It wouldn’t work, David. You’d be nothing more than a shit stain in the ground before you had the chance to blow.”

“Oh no, I wasn’t talking about that! I, uh…uh…” David’s face reddened like a strawberry at his own stupid assumption.

“On the contrary, my friend: I have much different plans for your permanent vacation therapy here. And while we’re on friendly terms, I have a name, you know: Amalia. Amalia Strom. But you can call my mommy if you’d like. Oh, do I have plans for you!”

David Masters V gulped a cannonball-sized lump down his throat while Amalia reached in her satchel for something that sounded fuzzy and leathery. Before the traumatized soldier knew it, his head was wrapped in a furry cap with pink bunny ears on top. Amalia cradled him in her arms like a baby and lovingly cooed, “My own little bunny rabbit! I will name him George and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him!”

After grimacing in pain from being hugged and squeezed, David formed a sweet smile on his face and said, “I loved that cartoon when I was a kid. And then I got spanked with a fucking belt for liking ‘faggot shit’. My bones hurt like hell, but keep squeezing anyways, Miss Strom!”

“And I will caress him and pat him and pet him and love him and rub him…”


David Masters V didn’t know if he felt warm and fuzzy inside because he could finally let go of his war trauma or because his organs were squishing together inside of him. For the first time in his life, his smile wasn’t because of a corny sex joke his drill instructor told him. His secret deep down wish came true after all.

"Stuck Rubber Baby" by Howard Cruse

BOOK TITLE: Stuck Rubber Baby
AUTHOR: Howard Cruse
YEAR: 1995
GENRE: Graphic Novel
SUBGENRE: LGBT Fiction
GRADE: Extra Credit

Closeted gay man Toland Polk is caught in the crossfire of the civil rights era in America’s bible belt. Minorities are being killed, buildings are being bombed, the police use excessive force, and the politicians are content to just let it all happen. Being himself is something Toland struggles with throughout this graphic novel, considering the violent consequences of his sexual preference. When he starts making friends with the black and gay communities, he eventually has to let his guard down and give into his individuality. That includes trying to have a painless breakup with his folk singer girlfriend Ginger.

What’s important to me about this graphic novel is how much it echoes today’s American society despite this piece of fiction taking place in the 1960’s. Racism and homophobia never went away. In fact, with Donald Trump as president and his bigoted rhetoric emboldening his supporters into doing heinous things to minorities, the hatefulness is alive and well. It always has been. Stuck Rubber Baby is a call for the world to come together and love each other despite the violent opposition. Hate begets more hate, but love conquers everything. It’s the acts of love Toland experiences from the true friends he has that eventually bring him out of the closet.

Another thing the reader will notice is the pacing of this book. Yes, graphic novels and comic books are usually easy to blow through in about five minutes or less, but that’s not the case with Stuck Rubber Baby. In fact, the pacing encourages the reader to slow down and really think about what’s being said. There’s quite a bit of important content to mull over whether it’s the acts of violence against minorities or the love and fellowship between those who need it the most. When someone dies in this book, you have no choice but to give a damn about it.

Speaking of people to give a damn about, this graphic novel is filled to the brim with characters the reader can root for. Of course, Toland Polk is the odds on favorite as we cheer for him to find the love and acceptance he deserves in the midst of all of this destruction. Ginger is a songstress that can bring out the butterflies in everyone’s tummies and the tears in their eyes. Sammy is as wild and free-spirited as they come, which is what makes seeing him angry and depressed a vicarious experience times ten. Harland Pepper is an endless well of wisdom when he encourages his fellow protesters to use peaceful tactics rather than incite more violence. There are plenty more characters that will tear your heartstrings out, even more so when some of them get beaten and murdered. The murders are frequent, but it’s not a case of darkness-induced apathy. Not in the least.


Stuck Rubber Baby is a wakeup call to the whole world when it comes to peace, love, and unity. Without those three things, history will repeat itself over and over again like it normally does. This graphic novel is sure to drag its readers kicking and screaming over to the left wing. If you’re already there, then you have even more power to change the world for the better. An extra credit grade goes to this beautifully written story with more powerful moments than I care to count.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Unused Dialogue

***UNUSED DIALOGUE***

Whether these pieces of dialogue are based in reality, dreams, or random thoughts, they somehow found a place in my mind, but not in my work. They may never be used for anything. The may be pieces of dialogue in a song. They may be used as prompt suggestions. I have no idea what the future holds for these pieces of dialogue, so I’m going to share them with you all to see if they have any true potential for anything bigger than random thoughts. Starting with…


TEENAGE GIRL: (Sobbing)
COP: What’s wrong? Are you okay? Why aren’t you in school?
TEENAGE GIRL: The teacher told me I’m too stupid to go to school…(more sobbing)


LITTLE BOY: That Lacey Sturm is so pretty! When I grow up, I’m going to marry her!
CROWD: (Erupts into obnoxious laughter.)
LITTLE BOY: W…why are you laughing at me?
CROWD: (Continues laughing.)
LITTLE BOY: (sniff, sniff)…Why?


DETECTIVE: State your name for the record.
ME: Garrison Edward Ethan Kelly.
DETECTIVE: G.E.E.K.? Okay, um. I want you to tell me again how you knew those Denny’s cooks were aliens from another planet.
ME: Because they kept making offensive remarks about Europeans.


CASHIER: Hello.
ME: Hi.
CASHIER: Is that a work uniform?
ME: No, it’s just a regular polo shirt.
CASHIER: Oh. Where do you work?
ME: I don’t work anywhere. I’m unemployed.
CASHIER: Um…okay…uh…Are you self-employed?
ME: No, I’m unemployed.
CASHIER: Oh. Okay.


TARJA TURUNEN: You’re being awfully quiet tonight.
ME: I, uh…I get tongue-tied around beautiful women, that’s all.
TARJA TURUNEN: (Giggles) That’s just adorable!


SCOTTISH TEACHER: What have we here, laddie? Mysterious scribblings? A secret code? No, drawings, no less. Drawings, everyone!
STUDENTS: (Burst into laughter.)
SCOTTISH TEACHER: The laddie reckons himself an artist!
STUDENTS: (More laughter.)
SCOTTISH TEACHER: (Showing off the drawings.) And here we see Eddy from Ed, Edd, n’ Eddy performing oral sex on Kevin.
STUDENTS: Eww!
SCOTTISH TEACHER: While Kevin is standing on top of a coffin!
STUDENTS: Eww!
ONE STUDENT: Holy shit!
STUDENTS: (Laughing.)
SCOTTISH TEACHER: (Mouthing) Watch your language!
STUDENT: Sorry.
SCOTTISH TEACHER: (Showing off more drawings.) And here we see Bambi with a rope around his neck, a ball gag in his mouth, and a dildo in his arse!
STUDENTS: Eww!
SCOTTISH TEACHER: And the dildo has the words written on it, “Deer spear”.
STUDENTS: Eww!
SCOTTISH TEACHER: That is NOT how sex works! (Slaps artist’s hand with a pencil.) Pervert!


MISS SCHNEIDER: So, does anybody here have an example of what a community is? How about you, Garrison?
ME: Uh…shopping carts?
STUDENTS: (Laughter.)
ME: Shut up! (Pounds one of the laughing students over the head with a text book.)


MATT MCNAMARA: I just watched The Faces of Death. (Sick smile.)
SEAN MCNAMARA: What do you watch that shit for?!
MATT MCNAMARA: Because it’s cool!
CHRISTIAN TROY: Because he’s a serial killer in training.


MISS GRADY: Garrison, do we allow gum in Chehalis Middle School?
ME: No, we don’t.
MISS GRADY: And why is gum not allowed in our school?
ME: Um…I don’t know.
STUDENTS: (Laughing.)
ME: I don’t want to say anything! Call on somebody else!
MISS GRADY: Anybody else want to give it a shot?


Anybody want to take a guess as to which categories these pieces of dialogue fall under (fact or fiction)? I suppose it doesn’t matter, because this blog entry is as far as they’ll get…maybe…I don’t know…I’ve tried using dreams as creative fuel before and it ended disastrously. Maybe these dialogue snippets will be part of a larger song, kind of like how “Song of Myself” by Nightwish had a whole bunch of dialogue near the end; although, Tuomas Holopainen has me beaten in the songwriting department by a country mile. Speaking of Nightwish, I wonder what Marcelo Cabuli will think of me calling his wife “beautiful”. What about Lacey Sturm’s husband finding out a little boy had designs of marrying her? Anyways, we’ve got ears, say cheers!


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

Yesterday was a fine day for PTT2 action as I’ve penned a short story called “Where’s My Damn Money?” Now it’s onto the next one, as Jay-Z once said. This new story will be called “Robo Heck” (a lame ass play on words for Robotech, and yes, I’m trying to think of a new title for it, so back off). Here’s the synopsis for it:

CHARACTERS:

  1. David Masters V, Human Mech Pilot
  2. Amalia Strom, Amazonian Viking

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: David crash lands his giant robot on a tropical island and spends most of the day trying to fix it so he can get back to his military base. Amalia, the giantess who owns the island, wants to crush David underneath her foot and “make the world a better place for women”. In her words, men are responsible for creating war and David is part of the problem since he pilots a gigantic weapon for a living. With his mech only partially fixed, David has to fight off the Amazonian with what he managed to repair. He would also be better served to try and reason with his attacker before she completely obliterates him.

EXTRA NOTE: Remember what Bastian said in The Never Ending Story: “It’s just a story! It’s not real! It’s a fucking story!” Well, he didn’t drop an F-bomb, but the sentiment is the same: don’t make too much out of that synopsis.


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Chetty Claymore, the debt-collecting elven necromancer from “Where’s My Damn Money?”, is next on deck for this series. Yes, folks: it’s yet another guy wearing a monk’s robe. Deal with it. What else is a necromancer like him supposed to wear: flip-flops and Daisy Dukes?


***STUCK RUBBER BABY***

With Paper Towns in the rear view mirror, I’ve been reading a new book these past few days: “Stuck Rubber Baby” by Howard Cruse. Because it’s a graphic novel and easy on the eyes, I plan on finishing it sooner than later and then giving a glowing review of it. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to give it an extra credit grade or a passing one. It’s about being a gay man in the bible belt during the civil rights era, so naturally the main character has a huge struggle ahead of him. I highly recommend it both as an eye-opener and as a compelling story.


***MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY***

“The video arcade is just up the street. Here, we sell small rectangular objects. They’re called books. They require a little effort on your part and make no bee-bee-bee-bee-beeps. On your way, please.


-Mr. Correander (the grumpy book salesman) from “The Never Ending Story”-