Defending Snippet/ Return to blogging

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Hey all, how’ve you been?

I have finally made my return from the working world to start blogging again. I hope everyone has been well. Now, as usual if you enjoy the post please share and comment below with your thoughts and thanks for the support!

********************

Dan threw down his controller in frustration, nearly spilling the bowl of nachos set between him and Harry. “Damn it, Harry, that’s the seventh time you beat me!”

Harry gave an aristocratic sniff. “Is it my fault that you can’t approach my level of vaunted skill?”

“That’s because I don’t play for eight hours a day!”

“I think someone’s being a Grousy Gertie.”

Dan blinked. “What the hell does that mean?”

Harry shrugged. “I dunno.”

“Oh, forget about this!” swore Dan, turning to the pile of magazines. “Now where’s this nude code?”

Harry thought it over. “I think it’s in Video Game Maniac. Or maybe Video Game Fanatic. Or was it Video Game Zealot? No—no, I’ve got it—it was in Video Game Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder! I’m pretty sure

that’s the one.”

Dan grumbled to himself, and flipped through the last designated magazine looking for the code. He wasn’t having any luck, when he saw the ad.

‘DO YOU WANT ULTIMATE POWER?’, it asked, in bold red letters.

Dan found himself intrigued.

‘Are you a pathetic failure, a poor excuse for a human being?’

Dan felt insulted by that. But he didn’t stop reading.

‘Do the strong and powerful take advantage of you with their superior martial skill? Do the witty and clever baffle you with their verbal byplay? Do the beautiful and desirable ignore your existence?’

Oddly enough, Dan found himself thinking of Natalie, Jameson, and Sarah in short order.

‘We can help,’ promised the ad. ‘Call Ultimate Power, Inc. 666-1313-DAMNED.’

Dan glanced at Harry. “Hey, can I use your phone?”

Harry continued to play his video game. “Are you going to call a sex line?”

“No!”

“You sure?”

“Yes!”

“Damn. Mom won’t let me use them, and I thought that might be a way around it.”

Dan glared at him, and called the number. After about eight rings, a female voice picked up the phone.

“Hello, Ultimate Power, Inc. Offering your hearts darkest desires at a very reasonable price.”

Dan smiled. “Hello, I—”

“Please hold,” said the voice.

‘I come from a land down under,’ began the hold music, ‘where women glow and men plunder. Can you hear, can you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover—’

The phone clicked as the flute music started. “Hello, sir? Are you still there?”

“Still there, sir?”

“Well, yes, now—”

“Good.”

-Click-

‘Who wants to play those eights and aces? Who wants a raise—who needs a stake? Who wants to take that long shot gamble—and head out to Fire Lake?’

-Click-

“How about now? Still on?”

“Yes! Now would you please—”

-Click-

‘I shouted out, “Who killed the Kennedys?” when after all—it was you and me! Let me please introduce

myself—I’m a man of wealth and taste—and I laid traps—’

This time Dan started shouting as soon as he heard the click. “Listen, what is the idea here?! I have been

patient long enough, and now—!”

“You know,” said the female voice on the other end, “we are a very busy business, sir. Our services are in constant demand by many people, often in high positions—lawyers, media moguls, politicians, celebrities, radio talk show hosts…”

“Um, sorry, miss…” said Dan, sheepishly.

“So would you like an appointment?”

“Uh, sure,” Dan replied.

“Tonight at eight then,” replied the woman. “It will be a pleasure doing business with you.”

“Right,” said Dan.

“By the way—not that this means anything—but are you the least bit squeamish about the sight of your own blood?”

***********

After reading be sure to check out the latest episode of #InTheMixW/Shoom

comments?

Story snippet from chapter 3 of Jameson’s tale.

Not really sure how much longer I’ll write Jameson’s story with Marvel finally deciding to create a Dcotor Strange movie. We’ll definitely see how it goes though.

 

This week’s blog is brought to you by

 

 

****

Dan sat in the Friarwood High cafeteria, staring at the most beautiful girl in the world.

 

Admittedly Sarah might not make it into many people’s top ten list as far as beauty was concerned, even though they’d admit she was easy on the eyes, but Dan was sure this was due to a flaw in their perceptions. Of course, if he’d been forced to think on it, Dan would have to admit that his perceptions had suffered a similar flaw until last week, when Sarah became the “it” girl of Friarwood High School, for the same mysterious reasons that Charles Ponzi became the financial wizard of Boston in the 1920s. But Dan was rarely forced to think on things, which was probably a good thing, as he wasn’t that good at it.

 

Indeed, at the moment he was attempting that operation with limited success. He was (he realized this in a vague way) not extraordinarily (or even ordinarily) attractive to women. Thus he had no chance of getting in with Sarah, as things now stood. This seemed to him a monstrous injustice, and one that needed immediate rectification. However, when he thought about it, Dan realized he had very little idea how to do this. A smarter man would have considered changing something about himself, but Dan wasn’t a smarter man, so he chose a different route.

 

Politics. Or their high school equivalent.

 

Sarah was a friend of Natalie’s. And Natalie was a friend of…

 

“Jameson Smith?” said Harry, puzzled. “But why him…?”

 

Dan glared at him. Harry was his best friend, but simultaneously, he bugged the hell out of Dan. A smarter man would have mused on this matter, but once again, Dan wasn’t a smarter man.

 

“Because, he’s the thing nobody is looking to use—the secret pathway…” said Dan. Plus, he owed Natalie too much money to even consider approaching her directly.

 

“Oh, like in a video game!” Harry smiled, immensely reassured. The conversation was about things he understood again. “You know the newest Dead or Alive game has the hottest chicks…”

 

Dan frowned. “That is not important right now…”

 

Harry’s voice lowered to a confidential level. “I hear there’s a naked code for it…”

 

Dan started. “Really? How’s it wor…?” He shook his head. “Oh, stop distracting me.” He glanced over at the table where Jameson sat by himself, flipping through some book. “My foolproof plan is going into effect. I will befriend Jameson Smith, and then he’ll put in a good word for me with Natalie, who will put in a good word for me with Sarah, who will then BE MINE!”

 

Harry snorted. “My darling Sarah would never fall for such matters. My declaration of love tonight is sure to win her heart.” He brought up a small plastic bag. “After I cover her house in heart decorated toilet paper, she is sure to conceive a burning passion for me! And if that doesn’t work, the pink shaving cream in her mailbox will do the job!”

 

Dan stared at him. “Harry, do all of your declarations of love seem like childish pranks?”

 

Harry turned away sulkily. “Only to eyes clouded with hateful jealously.”

 

“Oh, why am I wasting my time here?” muttered Dan, standing up abruptly. He walked over to Jameson.

 

Jameson was flipping through his book, and patently ignoring everything else in the room. Dan stood next to him, and cleared his throat.

 

Jameson continued to read his book.

 

Dan went “Psst!”

 

Jameson continued to read his book.

 

Dan nudged him in the shoulder.

 

Jameson continued to read his book.

 

Dan leaned forward, putting his face between Jameson and the book, and said, “Hi.”

 

Jameson put down his book, and glanced at him, in a rather annoyed fashion. “Why, hello. My goodness. Have you been standing there all this time, and I didn’t see you?” Jameson’s voice seemed curiously flat. “How intolerably rude of me.” He glanced Dan over, an uncertain flicker passing over his face. “Harry, right?”

 

“Dan,” said Dan uneasily. “Harry has brown hair. Mine is black.””Ah.” Much to Dan’s concern, Jameson seemed to be filing that statement away for future reference.

 

Jameson stared inquisitively at him.

 

Dan stared back, nervous.

 

Things were perfectly silent for awhile. Finally, Jameson went back to his book.

 

“You know, Jameson,” Dan shot out, “I never knew how much we had in common.”

 

Jameson gave him a sidelong glance. “Really? I never knew we had anything in common.”

 

Dan froze. Crap! This was proving harder than he’d thought! “Well—” he at last ventured, “we’re both guys. And we—both attend the same school…”

 

Jameson actually blinked at that. It was the first time in his life that Dan found someone blinking terrifying.

 

“My goodness!” stated Jameson, a dangerous undercurrent of cheeriness in his voice. “That is an awful lot! On reflection, it occurs to me that we are both carbon-based lifeforms. Of the same genus and species,most likely.”

 

Jameson grinned at him. Dan actually felt an urge to take a step back. “I now see that we have a suitable basis for a friendship. And an important part of friendship is being sensitive to the wishes of our friends.”

 

Dan smiled. Things actually seemed to be working out. “Exactly!”

 

“Goodbye then.”

 

Jameson went back to his book.

 

Dan took a deep breath. This was Jameson Smith, for godssake! The one person in Friarwoodthat every other member of the student body could look down on. He shouldn’t be brushing Dan off! He should be happy that Dan was even deigning to speak to him! No—strike that, he should be ecstatic that Dan was even noticing he existed! It just wasn’t fair. Things weren’t supposed to go this way!

 

Jameson glanced at him, half amused, half annoyed. “You haven’t moved, Dan.”

 

Dan practically jumped. “Umm, yes, well, I…”

 

“What do you want Dan?”

 

Dan gulped. “Nothing, nothing, I—”

 

Jameson rubbed his forehead lightly. “Please don’t lie to me Dan. I really don’t have the patience for it. And don’t tell me that you’re here for the pleasure of my company. I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.” He thought that over. “Well, not that brand of stupid, anyway.” He went back to his book. “So, out with it.”

 

“I need you to put in a good word with Natalie for me!”

 

Jameson stared at him a moment. “Explain why I need to do this?”

 

“So I can go out with Sarah!”

 

Jameson seemed to stare right through him. “That explanation not only didn’t clarify matters, it actually made them more opaque.” He took a deep breath. “Now first—why do you need to go out with Sarah? I thought you liked Yuka.”

 

Dan frowned. “Sarah is my true love. My feelings for Crystal were a passing phase…”

 

“Like your feelings for Ashley,” noted Jameson.

 

“Uh, yes, like…”

 

“Or your feelings for Miss Patrick, the kindergarten teacher …”

 

“Umm—what’s the point of all this…?”

 

Jameson waved his hand. “Just noting that you go through a lot of passing phases. Okay, now, how does my going to Natalie and telling her you’re a great guy get you Sarah? Explain this, demonstrating how point A leads to point C, traveling through point B.” He smiled slightly. “Use concise sentences.”

 

“Natalie is Sarah’s friend. You are Natalie’s friend. Do I have to spell it out for you?”

 

Jameson squinted slightly. “Natalie has friends? That’s news to me.” He went back to his book.

 

Dan stared at him. “Look, I know she’s prickly…”

 

Jameson laughed. “Natalie Thomas is prickly the way a knife is prickly. Not the way a hedgehog is prickly, which seems to be what you’re implying.”

 

Dan stared at him. “Aren’t you going to give me any help?”

 

Jameson glanced back at him. “You love this girl?”

 

“With all my heart,” replied Dan without a moment’s hesitation.

 

Jameson looked at him for a moment, then went back to his book. “Lick the floor, and I’ll do what you asked.”

 

“What?”

 

“Lick the floor,” Jameson repeated evenly. “Get on you knees, and lick the floor, using your tongue. Do that and I’ll consider helping you.”

 

Dan stared at him. “Are you crazy?”

 

Jameson smiled. “A tad touched perhaps.” A serious look came over his face. “Those are my terms. Take them or leave them.”

 

Dan shuddered. “But what you’re talking about is humiliating and degrading!”

 

Jameson laughed. “And I thought you loved her with all your heart. You won’t even consider my terms…”

 

Jameson glanced at him evenly. “You see, Dan, what I’m talking about is love. Degradation and humiliation are the primary ingredients. If you’re not willing to drag yourself through broken glass and nitric acid—twice—with nothing more than her glorious memory to pull you through—well, it isn’t very sincere.”

 

Dan blinked. “What—what are you saying?”

 

Jameson leaned back to look at him. “I’m questioning the depths of your ‘feelings’ for Sarah. You pledge eternal devotion readily enough, but pledging is easy. Proving it’s the hard part.” He went back to his book. “I don’t think you did. You may be interested in Sarah, but it isn’t love. Not by a long shot.”

 

Dan’s eyebrows arched into a position of supreme rage. “You dare! You dare question the burning passion I feel for Sarah! I have half a mind to challenge you to fight right now!”

 

Jameson chuckled. “And wouldn’t that be an epic struggle of the Titans?”

 

Dan stared at him, angrily. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

 

Jameson shrugged. “Well, I may not be able to tell you two apart easily, but I do recall you and Harry were beat up by a group of eight year old girls…”

 

Dan began to shake apoplectically. “That is a vile lie! They were twelve-year olds! And ninjas!”

 

Jameson smiled a bit at that.

 

Dan shook his fist. “Like you’d have done any better!”

 

Jameson flipped a page of his book. “Well, that’s generally the reason I don’t go challenging people to fights…”

 

Dan swung his fist at Jameson’s face. There was a slap. Dan shook his head. The noise seemed to have come just bit too early. He looked down.Jameson, it seemed, had grabbed fist in midair. Without even turning. While reading his book.

 

Dan stared at him. Jameson glanced up at him, and shook his head. “Ahh, Dan. Is this what our friendship has come to?”

 

Dan bit his lip and walked away. Faced down by Jameson Smith! This was the sort of thing you never lived down—that required moving to other school systems in a desperate attempt to avoid the vile stench it left behind. Harry glanced at him as he sat back down. “How’d it go?”

 

“Not well,” muttered Dan.

 

****

 

Also, by my big sis’s new blog over here. Click on the picture for her newest blog post!

Ambition

My insomnia is at work again so…

Here’s a little snippet of what I’ve been working on. Take a look and tell me what you think folks.

*************

It was the late hours of the evening, and Jameson was lying in his bed listening to music. There was a knock on the door. Jameson glanced up. “Jameson,” came his father’s voice. “May I come in?”

“Sure, dad,” said Jameson.

Tom Smith opened the door to his son’s room. Tom looked like a mustached, middle aged version of his son—indeed, the thought that his father might be an accurate representation of himself in the future had caused Jameson to awake in a cold sweat on more than one night.

Tom glanced around the room at the various mystical accruements. “Nice décor…” he stated nervously.

Jameson nodded. “Thank you. I decided to give the Addams Family look a try…”

His father looked over at a bronze mirror. “That’s lying crooked…” He stepped forward. “Maybe I should adjust it…”

Jameson glanced up. “No, you shouldn’t. Trust me.”

Tom backed away, and looked around a bit more. Finally, he turned to his son. “So—what are you listening to?”

Jameson leaned back and shut his eyes. “Philip Glass’s Creation Symphony.”

Tom smiled. “Well good…” He turned around awkwardly, then coughed. “Your mother tells me you joined a manga club…”

“Yes,” Jameson commented. “It is ever-so delightful.”

“Well, good,” said Tom. “I’m happy to see you making friends.” He shifted slightly. “I just hope you aren’t—being taken advantage of…”

Jameson glanced up, puzzled. “What do you mean?”

Tom coughed again. “Well, son, when I was your age, I joined my high school soccer team, with the idea of impressing a—female classmate of mine…”

Jameson’s eyes widened. “You played soccer?”

Tom shuddered slightly. “Well, I didn’t so much—play as I—performed odd tasks…”

Jameson blinked. “Odd… tasks…”

“You know—cleaned the uniforms—got drinks for the other players—that sort of thing…”

Jameson rubbed his forehead. “You were the water boy.”

“Not officially,” answered Tom. “The thing is Jameson, the other players didn’t like me very much… I was treated—rather poorly, and had to endure quite a bit of—teasing. Like towel snapping. And jock locks. And getting dragged around the playing field. And then there were those times they threw me out of a moving car…”

“This story does have a point, dad, right?” Jameson said uneasily. “You’re not just scarring
my psyche for no reason, right?”

Tom blinked. “What was tha—oh, the point. Right. Well, you see eventually Meiko—your
mother—told me that if I wasn’t having fun, I might as well quit, especially as Nicole wasn’t impressed at all, and was calling me ‘a sad, pathetic woman of a man’, ‘a hideous waste of protoplasm’, and ‘a shrill weakling who should be put out of his misery’. So I quit immediately—”

“Good move,” said Jameson.

“—After going to Nicole and begging her to deny the awful rumor.” Tom’s eyes glazed over. “I started to suspect said rumor was in fact the truth after she called the police.”

“Umm, right…” said Jameson, beginning to inch away.

“Fortunately, your mother paid my bail, and the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence…” Tom shook his head. “Anyway, Jameson, I just want to say that you don’t have to do anything like that to prove anything to anybody. You’re a bright talented young man with a promising future, and your mother and I love you, very much.”

Jameson winced. “Thanks for the sentiment.”

Tom began to head out. “Well, good night, Jameson. It’s been nice talking to you like this.” He glanced back. “Any horrible, crushing secrets you wish to unburden, son?”

Jameson shut his eyes. “I’ll pass.”

Tom nodded, and left the room. “All right then. See you tomorrow, son.”

Jameson leaned back and sighed. His father meant well—as did his mother, really—but he found their constant displays of affection unnerving, and just a bit depressing. He generally felt that his parents wanted to shield their progeny from the effects of a world that had beaten them down—a desire that they had failed quite spectacularly at. Jameson shook his head. He really shouldn’t complain. He was certain there were people worse off than him.

***

 

What’d you guys think? Oh, while I have you here I want to plug some projects that have hit the internet I’m supporting that I think you guys should too.

First, my female superhero and intergalactic bounty hunter Sammus has a new video out for her single Power Ups and a new single “Crown” available for free. She ALSO has a new video for Crown about to hit the interwebz here in the near future. So check her out! Follow her on twitter @SammusMusic and cop the 2nd eP! #AnotherM

 

 

Also, my super duper music inspiration Shoom Isaacs has released a podcast with She’s Ryan over at #InTheMixwShoom follow the new twitter account for the show @inthemixshoom and subscribe to the show on Itunes! There’s a new episode coming soon so stay tuned!

 

 

My big sisters and mentors Katrina Gurl and Nike Marshall have been doing lots of work on the literary front. Katrina has continued to publish her weekly blogs over at http://www.putawedgeinit.com and Nike has continued to come strong on the literary front at http://nikewrites.wordpress.com Please check them out and support their projects like they are my own as they are constantly and consistently presenting new content!

 

 

Finally, if you’re interested in sports, college football and connecting with your fellow fans I can think of no better place to do that right now than at The Houndztooth forums. Not only do they provide the latest when it comes to Alabama Athletics but they also have a thriving message board community that is in need of some new blood! Follow @TheHoundztooth on twitter!

The Houndztooth

Also, before I forget there have been a lot of new releases from other artists I follow please go give their projects a listen and cop them! They’re putting out great music!

 

Follow: @TribeOneMusic

New Music from Tribe One!

Album: #CrisisOnIntimateEarths

 

Follow: @HeySkyblew

Skyblew’s UnModern Life

Introducing, the young ColorfulDreamer by the name of SkyBlew, whose music is proving to be unique with an uplifting, powerful, and positive message in Hip-Hop. He uses his sincere, substantive lyrics & soulful sound to breathe life into a genre saturated with lies, darkness and gimmicks. Most say, SkyBlew is a breath of fresh air! He pushes the boundaries with his music and brings a new/unique flavor to the music world. SkyBlew also dabbles in Nerdcore. He doesn’t want to put himself in a box, so he strays away from putting certain labels on his style. He simply titles it – Painting The Sky,Blew!!! The young artist, creatively incorporates video game and anime references/themes into his repertoire in a very unique way.

SkyBlew is featured on some of the most notable websites in cyberspace such as: 2DopeBoyz, DJBooth, MTV, HYPEFRESH Magazine, and countless others! He also, received MAJOR recognition from ReverbNation as a “Break Out Artist” in their “ReverbNation Artists Shine in 2013” video! Sky has shared the stage with some of the finest artists in the business, including: Kendrick Lamar, Slick Rick, Lupe Fiasco, Flobots, Slum Village, Jedi Mind Tricks, Watsky, Aer, Grieves, Yonas and the list goes on! SkyBlew is destined for great things. His exposure is growing exponentially on the regional, national, and international levels. Appointed times appear, and with the state of Hip-Hop today, we need more from SkyBlew. This ColorfulDreamer lives by the slogan, “I DON’T Rap, I Paint The Sky,Blew!!!”

New Album: #UnModern Life

Just a tiny tease

Hey all, it’s been a while since I updated so, I thought I’d post this to keep things flowing. Hope you enjoy this tiny teaser

3:24am. Plenty of time, with plenty of money.

If stress was an unwelcome addition to Meiko’s life, relief was a very welcome addition. The kind of sweet relief that comes from knowing that your problems are solved, and solved beyond the minimum of solvability. A weighty bag in her purse confirmed the future—the House would be safe, and they’d actually have a bit of profit from tonight’s mayhem. Whatever anger and panic she felt earlier was almost a distant memory, sinking fast below the horizon as she left it behind…

Of course, relief can be just as much of a distraction as panic, which is why she didn’t notice Mallory until she had walked past him.

He was busy mopping up a bit of the mess left behind by a particularly satisfied customer, who had chosen to return his beer on the sidewalk rather than take it home with him. The odor of the mess only struck Meiko at the moment she noticed he was doing this.

“Mallory, we’re done,” she reminded him. “You don’t have to play wage slave anymore, you know…”

“I know,” Mallory spoke, mopping away with abandon. “But I’d hate to leave a mess like this for Mr. Nakago’s next wave of staff to deal with the next day…”

“Huh. I’d figured you went back to Ryo’s, anyway…”

“What? No way, I’m going with you to get the House back,” he explained, rinsing out the mop via a yank of his bucket’s handle. “I mean… this is all my fault. If I went back to sleep while you’re off dealing with the towing company, it’d be kinda selfish of me. …ummmm…”

“Ummmm?”

“I’m kinda surprised you’re not, uh, more angry at me,” he said, unsure if saying it was a good idea in the first place. “I mean, sure, you were pretty upset when you found out, but… and maybe it was just you focusing on work instead of on what happened, but… I mean, I’d understand if—”

“Whatever.”

“Whatever?”

“Whatever,” Meiko repeated. “We came out of this better than we went into. And… I guess you wouldn’t have known about the rights management fees, so I can hardly blame you. And besides, look at you now… you’re mopping up the contents of… what is that, anyway, urine or vomit? I can’t even tell.”

“I think it’s both…”

“Anyway, you’re above and beyond the call of duty,” Meiko continued, while keeping her eyes off the puddle of unidentifiable yuck. “Most guys I know would try to duck out of responsibility, avoid doing anything to correct matters. Go and sleep it off, like you said. Except you’ve been working your ass off all night, without losing your trademark smile. So… whatever. I don’t feel angry. Do you think I should I still be angry?”

“Er, no? Yes? I don’t know. I’m not exactly a good judge of these things…”

“Then I’ll choose not to be angry,” she decided. “I’m too tired to be angry, even if I wanted to be.”

Controversial Jack w/Voice!

Robin Williams died the other day. Which is tragic in a lot of ways, but in this case because he relates to one of my favorite protagonists by the name of Controversial Jack. I started writing about Jack and his escapades long ago when I was a middle schooler and a time passed evolved his character but one of the original people I based Jack on was one Robin Williams. Robin’s manic personality and gift that allowed him to showcase so much of his personality really stuck to me in every film I ever watched him in as a child. As I got older I never was quite as big of a fan of him as when I was a child, but still admired his talent and ability to touch the more poignant side of humanity. I really hope that one day I’m able to write something that has half as much of that poignant energy in it.

 

PLUG:

If you enjoy my work, you’ll definitely enjoy reading some writing from my big sis over at Nike Writes! 

Another great blog you should check out is Dani’s blog over here! I’m sure all you mom’s and what not that drop by will be curious about some of her future ventures! I’m sure she has a new blog popping up soon!

 

So, without further ado, here’s the audio and text from a little bit of Controversial Jack. Keep in mind that my audio recording and reading are still a work in progress, but any feedback on how I can improve and suggestions for new microphones will be appreciated. Thanks in advance for the feedback!

 

***

There’s a tale of the apocalypse that involves four horsemen. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The great and terrible horsemen (or surfers, in various island cultures) charge across the face of the earth (which sometimes is flat) bringing fire and chaos (although sometimes they bring seas of blood) and generally making a large mess (which sometimes is larger). Their names are Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death. Unless Pestilence is replaced by Pollution or Plague, his younger and more ambitious brothers. Mind you, that’s only one example. There are also tales of the great Adversary, the son of Satan, That one’s rather popular. There’s also various theories of nature getting sick of matters and punishing that little bastard called Man that has poisoned its waters and lands. Then there’s popular idea that we’d just wipe each other out in a series of nuclear wars, or by listening to too much Hanson. Or in the worst case humanity simply gets some sort of disease and we fade away, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Nowhere in any popular view of the final days of mankind is there a man named Jack. Which is a shame, because it means they all got it wrong…..

 

In sunny California, beneath a bright yellow shining orb in the less tasteful spiral of the galaxy, you can find a large building with large amounts of food and a large sign marked ‘Price Club’. Sometimes people wheel barrel-sized containers of things like rice and gummy bears out. Inside, it’s kept quite clean, and is a very tidy and organized way to disperse food to people who would starve to death without it. It’s a pleasant shopping experience.

 

Today, you can spot empty peanut shells on the ground, and discarded wrappers. Toothpicks a plenty are also here and there, and the occasional empty cereal bowl. If you follow the trail, you can see how it meanders here and there, but mostly sticks to the tables set at the ends of each aisle.

 

The free sample tables.

 

“More,” the man demanded.

 

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” the poor supermarket lady asked, trying to shield her free cheese samples away from the psychotic madman.

 

“This is AMERICA!” the man ranted. “It’s my God given right to have as much free cheese as I want! There are surplus warehouses right now devoted to nothing more than the storage of cheese. If that’s not a tried and true use of my tax dollars, I don’t know what is. And you say that I have had enough cheese? MY GOD IN HEAVEN, WOMAN! Nobody will have enough cheese until all those supplies are depleted! Then, maybe, we can rest well at night without tossing in our sleep from the SHEER GUILT!”

 

“B-but, this isn’t government cheese,” she whimpered in reply. “It’s supermarket cheese.”

 

“Details, details,” the man shrugged, getting casual for a moment. “Fork it over.”

 

Let’s pause a moment here and examine this person. It’s actually just an optical illusion that one of his eyes is bigger than the other. Maybe it’s the way he looks at you, with that constant suspicious glare, or just the funny way his neck works after years of banging his head against walls. He’s lanky and lean, but lanky and lean in the way that lanky and lean guys who really whip ass in fighting games are lanky and lean; not that he’s probably any good in a fight, but few people really want to make sure. His hair, which was probably combed with brillo and dried under a blowlamp, sticks straight up and out on his head, a wild and untamed bush of corn straw. He’s usually smiling, but has mastered the art of differentiating between a polite smile, an amused smile, a I Know More Than You smile, and a grinning evil death smile. Overall, he resembles some twisted incarnation of Puck from a VERY off-Broadway production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

 

His name is Jack Lysias, also known as Controversial Jack. And he wanted his cheese.

 

***

[The following is not included in the audio.]

“Mr. Duck thinks I should get more cheese,” Jack said, holding out a small rubber duck for the supermarket lady to examine. “Don’t you, Mr. Duck?”

 

The bath toy squeaked.

 

“…that’s just a toy,” the lady said despondently.

 

Jack pulled Mr. Duck back in horror while saying. “You’re hurting his feelings! There there, Mr. Duck, she’s just ignorant and doesn’t know any better… she doesn’t know the wondrous things you have to say–”

 

With a frightened gesture of defeat, the lady shoved the whole tray of cheese blobs on little sticks forward. “Here! Take as much as you want!”

After this declaration she promptly ran to the manager’s office, scribbled ‘I Quit’ on his desk blotter and ran for the horizon.

 

“Woohoo!” Jack cheered, dumping the whole tray into his giant, economy sized Price Club burlap sack. “Another fine haul. Well! Let’s see what other free things we can get!”

 

The next table was offering free long distance service.

 

“Why bother? All the people who live away from me probably don’t exist,” Jack rationalized.

 

The table after that had Cheesy Poofs, which Jack felt complimented his preprocessed cheese blobs quite well, and performed the patented ‘Look, a three headed monkey’ routine in order to distract the merchant, and swipe as many as he could.

 

The next table offered free blood tests.

 

Jack stuck his hand inside the medical cuff and yelped when the six inch needle jammed through his arm. When the results proclaimed him to be drug free he had to argue with the examiner performing the test a bit that No, the machine was not broken and Yes, he always acted like this.

 

Mr. Duck vouched for him.

 

Given how much protest Controversial Jack’s digestive system was issuing at his consuming approximately 546 free samples in a one hour period, his next stop was going to be the bathroom. Unfortunately, he happened to spot something interesting at the next booth. But history still had one more chance, as his sister wheeled into view, driving a large motorized shopping cart that made that annoying  ‘BEEP’ sound when you put it in reverse.

 

“Jack!”  Jack’s sister, Anne Lysias called out, waving to him from behind a small mountain of shopping bags. “I think I’ve got enough food to last us until the next millennium!”

 

“That’s only a year or two away, unless there’s a massive conspiracy of calendar makers,” Jack said.

 

Let’s get one thing absolutely straight here — Anne is not like Jack. Sure, they share similar DNA because of the unfortunate coincidence of having the same mother and father, but Anne is not insane. She’s actually quite a nice girl provided you don’t make her angry, and never hears rubber ducks talking to her except once or twice but she denies the experiences quite wholeheartedly. Plus, the phrase “I am my brother’s keeper” applies to her in the same way zoo wranglers say things like “I am the Bengali tiger’s keeper.”

 

“Hey, food for a year is still impressive!” Anne noted, hopping down from the vehicle and tucking her Price Club hard hat under one arm. “Besides, don’t you even THINK about complaining. I’m the one who’s paying for all this, you jobless bum!”

 

“I do too have a job!” Jack retorted indignantly.

 

“Oh? What?” Anne asked before realizing she shouldn’t have.

 

“I am me, of course,” Jack explained. “The very process of being who and what I am is a twenty four hour a day job. You don’t get a break from a responsibility that big, no paid vacation leave, no dental plan! You’re THERE, constantly, ready to be Jack at a moment’s notice! I don’t have time to go dilly dallying around in the so-called Job Market when the vast reservoirs of energy needed to Helllllll-o, what’s this?”

 

History gave a sad sigh of regret, as Jack’s attention finally was attracted back to the desk he almost missed. He seemed to teleport from where he was to in front of the desk with that smile on his face, not through some arcane power, but simply by moving very fast.

 

“What’s the free sample at this table for?” he asked curiously.

 

“Free political campaign television advertising,” the bored looking clerk explained. “Congress mandated that to keep the playing field equal for all political parties, vouchers could be secured for paid airtime for candidates to advertise. If–“

 

“Hmmm… lot of perks on that job, right?” Jack asked.

 

“What job, sir?” questioned the clerk.

 

“President!!!” Jack said, posing dramatically with one fist on his hip and a hand cupping his chin. “Why, if I was president, I’d have free run of the Oval Office… of Martha’s Vineyards… of that secret room BEHIND the Oval Office… of the War Room… just THINK–“

 

“Let’s not think, okay?” Anne requested. “We’ve got to get home before the frozen goods melt, and we don’t have time for one of your crazy schemes!”

 

“Anne! I’m shocked!” Jack said. “Here I uphold the proudest, greatest institution in these here United States–“

 

“We could always send you BACK to the institution,” Anne commented dryly.

 

“–and you dare, nay, DARE to consider it a ‘crazy scheme’?” Jack asked. “Forsooth, sister of mine! And bite me. I’m a-signing up!”

 

Anne sighed in defeat. “Be out by the car in five minutes or I’m leaving without you, Jack,” she warned. “And I MEAN it.”

 

With that, Anne hauled herself back into the forklift like contraption, and steered her groceries on out of there, making wide right turns. Jack rubbed his palms together with feverish glee. “Okay, pal, I’m sold. Where do I sign? Do I need to pay with my soul or anything?”

 

“What is your political party?” the clerk asked, clicking a cheap Bic retractable to start filling out little checkboxes of questionable origin.

 

“Probably wild and involving a lot of kegs.” Jack said quickly.

 

“Pardon?” said the obviously confused clerk.

 

“Just mark me down as controversial,” Jack said. “I’ve always said a good politician is an honest one. Well, no. Technically I’ve always said a good politician is one thrown into the bay with lead weights tied around its feet. But you get the gist of my scope of reasoning.”

Quick update and post

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around for a bt. Your pal Palazzo has been a bit swamped with real life of late and had his schedule really consumed. I’m pretty much behind when it comes to everything and the next few days I’m going to do be all I can to catch up o bear with me.

Before I get to my post, I just want to throw in a plug for another of my good friends. Tiffany Christina Lewis is a very talented author that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for quite some time, if you all could do me a favor and check out her work I certainly would appreciate it!

inside out Cover

I mean sure, I played a hand in her first major book release “Inside Out” as an editor. But there’s more to here than that, she has a great heart and intense focus that won’t allow her to do anything but succeed. I hope you guys check her out!

Alright, here’s an excerpt from a story I’ve been working on of late. Hope you all enjoy, please don’t forget to leave a comment, oh! And check out the plug I have at the end of the post as well! ENJOY!

**********

Jameson, smiling slightly, held up the shirt he’d just spent the last hour sewing a yin-yang symbol onto. He’d done a rather good job, actually—the yin-yang was positioned perfectly in the shirt’s center, divided into two, each half fitting together perfectly to form the whole. He’d even positioned it, so the buttons were incorporated into the design as the balancing energies. And to finish it off, he’d marked it off from the rest from the rest of the shirt by a thin line of silver thread.

Well, thought Jameson, that’s four hours killed. Now I’ve got to worry about the slow destruction of the world’s protective barriers before an insidious onslaught of demonic invaders… He sighed. I think I’ll worry about my costume for a little while longer…

He put on the shirt, then snapped on the final touch—a harmless bit of vanity that he was already slightly ashamed of—a pair of circling serpent cufflinks he’d found in India and bought on impulse. He glanced into the mirror.

Jameson chuckled slightly. He actually looked—well, somewhat impressive. Now all he needed to add was…

He winced. The Cloak.

The idea had occurred to him on the trip back. Reading the newspapers, he’d noted that in the month or so he’d been gone, a great change had come over the world—it was beset by superheroes. It seemed nearly half the articles dealt with the doing of brave men and women who wore spandex without the least sense of shame or even regret. It had seemed obvious to him that posing as a superhero would be the best way to about his business in Tokyo.

Otherwise he was afraid he might be mistaken for a pimp wearing that damn Cloak of Levitation, something his sallow complexion and limited physique would only act to confirm. Jameson was not going to be booked on an ethics charge.

Not again.

No he was sure he’d seem fairly sedate by superhero standards. Well, reasonably sure. He thought anyway. He slipped on the Cloak.

Jameson sighed. Well, he had accomplished his goal. He no longer looked like a pimp.

He looked like a pimp who had recently converted to Taoism.

Jameson turned to his dresser. Fortunately he was prepared for this eventuality. He snapped on a domino mask, then glanced back at the mirror.

Now he looked like a Taoist pimp who was attending a costume ball.

Well, there was a last chance of avoiding recognition. He slipped the pantyhose over his head.

Now he looked like a Taoist pimp who was going to commit a mugging, on his way to a costume ball.

Jameson took both of his makeshift disguises off. It appeared that this was his—best option. He sighed. Well, if any of his classmates saw him, he’d just pretend not to know them. After all, what chance was there of them automatically recognizing a ghastly pale young man wearing a distinctive outfit?

Jameson groaned. Life really wasn’t fair, when you got down to it…

He took a deep breath, and turned to the Orb of Agomotto. He’d managed to set it up on his desk as a paperweight, telling his parents he’d gotten it as a memento in India. Now, the Ancient One had told him that it would help him locate threats to this world…but hadn’t actually mentioned how to use it.

Jameson stared at it, for a moment. Maybe—maybe if he thumped it a little… but no, it looked rather delicate. He placed his hand on top of it.

A brilliant light began to shine from the center of the Eye. Strange images flooded Jameson’s mind, which then began to crystallize with startling clarity.

Jameson stood there for a moment, silent. Finally, he uttered two words, quietly.

“Oh, crap…”

****

! I really hope you guys enjoyed this piece! While I have you here, I wanted to ask you guys to do me a huge favor and check out the music of someone I feel is very awesome.

Not only is she a talented artist who crafts words over her own production, she also happens to be an extremely intelligent woman I admire quite a great bit! Please go over and check out her music over at http://www.sammusmusic.com and cop her new album in the link below. It’s available at a very reasonable price and you’d definitely be supporting someone who is worth the time! Take care everyone and hopefully I’ll shoot you another update soon!

#AnotherM

My Fanhood

Hey everyone! Sorry about the late post here today but work was a bit more taxing than normal last night.

 

As I’ve foreshadowed recently on twitter and mentioned in the blog update earlier this week today’s blog post is about my fanhood. Before I get into that though, I just want to ask everyone reading this post to take the time to check out one of my blog subscribers Shoom Isaacs music based podcast and blog over here. She’s a very talented person who has a great ear for music and is doing some very refreshing things in today’s world of music that seems to be lacking the substance that our parent’s music once carried.

 

Where do I begin…

 

Me and Alabama head coach Nick Saban in statue form.

Me and Coach Saban

Well, you could say I was born into an Alabama family. With my dad being born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and my mom growing up a few miles outside of Tuscaloosa in Samantha, Al. You could almost say I was destined to be an Alabama fan. The truth though is, as a kid I wasn’t even too big of an Alabama football fan. Sure, I liked them and the colors were my favorite but as a youth I was more into basketball than anything. Basketball is and forever will be my first love and I never even considered the idea of playing football. LOL I could remember going to friends house and they’d play 7 on 7 and I’d sit off to the side to do “Commentary”. I honestly didn’t get too deeply invested into Alabama football or any college football at all until I was in middle school. At this time my dad used to tell me a bit more about his college years and would tell me of how he always dreamed of going to Alabama but because of tensions at the time he never was allowed the opportunity. At the time and even now I still didn’t really buy that from my dad, but what I did buy from that was my dad’s genuine admiration of another program I became a fan of…..

USC logo

Southern Cal

The way my dad’s voice and entire demeanor changed when he talked about USC shocked me. I mean, having grown up around my old man and seen his dismissive attitude toward everything college football related it had been years(1992) since I saw him have any sort of positive attitude about USC. So, every day on the way to school I’d ask him more about those times and learn about OJ Simpson, and how Southern Cal’s trouncing of Alabama basically did more for sports integration in the state than any piece of legislation could. Around that same time Pete Carroll began to revive the program and of course I became a fan! Talented players along with that “Cool” vibe that came from being in L.A.? USC was the business! hahaha. Though personally in retrospect now, I believe the only reason my dad was such a big fan of Southern Cal was due to his unhealthy love for the Los Angeles Lakers. ‘Course, this post isn’t about his fanhood. Now, while I’ve got you here there’ s one other sports program I’m an absolute fan of…

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.

Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman unbelievaBULL.

The biggest thing I was a fan of as a child and even now at times is the Chicago Bulls. A lot of that has to do with my unhealthy admiration of Michael Jordan and his exploits of sports athletics and swagger. The rest had to do with seeing the passionate fanbase and the efforts their teams put forth no matter the talent level. No can ever convince me that there was a greater NBA team than the 96 Bulls squad that won 72 games. I mean, to this day I can remember the starting lineup music and every player on the roster from the Bill Wennington’s to the 10 day contracts of free agent guard Randy Brown. It was insane to see what that squad to do night in and night out on a basketball court because of how much pride they took in WINNING. Not only that, but they did in an era where the NBA still had some of it’s remaining grit from the 80’s.

 

Now, since I’ve listed my three fanhoods I’d like to point out a few peculiarities about myself in regard to being a fan of a sports team.

 

#1. I have never have and never will own a jersey with another athlete’s name on the back.

– I don’t know if it’s a mental thing because I played sports at a high level, or just some sort of inner narcissistic streak but I just can’t do it. Hahaha.

#2. Up until recently, I have never really owned a lot of my teams paraphernalia.

-As a kid I had maybe 1-2 shirts Bulls championship shirts and one or two Alabama windsuits haha. But other than that I never really owned any team gear outside of a team I played for. It wasn’t anything against or about me supporting my programs I just have never been too big on what type of clothes I wore and what not. As I’ve gotten older that’s changed considering the assortment of Alabama gear and Bulls attire I’ve accumulated. I still need to acquire some Trojans swag at some point though.

 

 

I think this sums up my fanhood, hope you guys enjoyed learning a bit more about me.  Before you guys go, if you wouldn’t mind doing me a favor and checking out a great source of information on Alabama Football over at The Houndztooth.com. They’re a great source for all things related to Alabama Athletics and will keep you up to date with the latest in college football recruiting, through their ensemble cast of awesome writers and good folks!

 

Here’s an update to the blog schedule:

 
07/26 – Original piece
07/28 – Original piece
07/30 – Music post.
08/01 – New Audio blog Controversial Jack!

MESCTV

Life Is MESC

msherringsays

The life of a middle school language arts teacher. Not to be taken to seriously. Kapeesh?

H I P L O O T

#thelootedlife

KunoichiJen

When You Give a Ninja a Blog...