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Month: December 2009 (page 2 of 5)

32 – One Sunny Day

Stress glowed hot on his forehead, veins bulging, sweat slick speed-bumps on the ruddy terrain of his face.  His eyes glistened with barely restrained emotion.  Food littered his beard like plastic cola bottles on the highway, unsightly, embarrassing, filthy.  His yellowed teeth bared, his hair wild, his clothing in disarray.  He screamed prophesy and admonishments at an unwilling public on the flower-lined promenade in the park filled on a hot, clear summer day.  But today was no ordinary day for Argo Thistleblack, Lord High Chancellor of The Twelve Moons of Rhygosia IX, Mandate of Heaven’s Armies, Crowned Ruler of the Nineteen Layers of Civilization, for today was the day, he knew, that the world as we knew it would end.

“My brothers, my sisters!  My loyal subjects!  You must know what I know for the world is coming to an end!  The tides of time space have been interrupted by the power pyramid and a great eye has opened up to swallow our reality!  Be careful, for everything we know will soon cease to be!” he yelled, hoping to get through the New Yorkers’ natural standoffishness.  He did not blame them for it was often a difficult city to live in, as he could attest.  He had given up the splendor of his crystalline palace in the Oort clouds off the arm of the Big Dipper to live under the boardwalk at the place these humans called Coney Island.  He had picked it because of all the places to sleep, he felt most at home there with its myriad folk whose variety and peculiarity reminded him most of the great ports of call on his native planet.  That and he was often sheltered from the wind by the wooden boardwalk.

A small group of onlookers gathered around Argo, patiently enjoying what they took to be a bit of street theatre sponsored by Bellevue Hospital.  “A sphinx has come to me in a dream and led me down the path of enlightenment!  He told me that soon a handmaid’s bath would wash over us all!”

“Maybe you need to take a bath, buddy!” yelled a thickset man in a Knicks jersey.

“Yeah, you stink!” yelled his cohort, a man of equal girth in a similar shirt.

“Do not listen to these men,” Argo said to his growing crowd, “they seek only to lead you astray!  Know that I, Argo Thistleblack, your Chancellor to the Great Assembly of Rhygosia IX, come bearing tidings of the worst kind!”

“You got fucking hot dog in your beard, old man!” yelled a voice from the crowd.

“I got your fucking Rolaidsia right here!” yelled another.

The crowd burst into laughter.

“You would deny my gift of foresight!?  I bring you echos of the future, and you spit at me?  Call me names?”

“You can’t have echos of things that haven’t happened yet!” a particularly lucid voice called.

“Well, surely, not in your primitive 4 dimensional understanding of the….” Argo said, but was cut off by a pair of burly young policemen wading through the crowd.

“Ok, folks,” the smarter of the two cops said, “get outta here.  Nothing to see.”

“Be forewarned!  The world will soon split in two as the great rhino emerges from its den!”

“Hey, gramps,” the cop said to Argo, “why don’t you get down from there and stop bothering these people, huh?”

“But officer, I just seek to warn them about the impending….”

“Sure you do, buddy.  Now, why don’t you take a hike, huh?”

31 – Don’t Eat The Sandwich

“Well, you know, if you had, like, fuck man, if you had fucking told me that I was going to, like, explode, I probably wouldn’t have done it, you know?”

“I did tell you.”

“Yeah, but you told me I was going to explode, not that I was going to explode.  I thought you were being, like, figurative or some shit.  Metaphorical, you know?”

“I’m not entirely sure what you misunderstood when I told you, ‘Billy, if you eat that sandwich on the table, you are going to explode.’  I think that was pretty clear.”

“But sandwiches don’t make people fucking explode!”

“That one does.”

“Fuck!  I thought you just didn’t want me to eat it!”

“I didn’t.  Because I knew it would make you explode.”

“Oh man, fuck, is there any way to stop it?”

“If I knew that, you think I’d be holding out on you?”

“I don’t know!  You’re some sort of sick sadistic fuck with an exploding sandwich, maybe you would!  I’m, like, freaking out right now, man.”

“Oh, I can empathize.”

“What?”

“I can empathize.  It means….”

“I know what it fucking, like, means, dude.  What I’m saying is how could you possible, like, know or something what I’m going through right now?”

“Well, I suppose I’m just imagining how I would feel if I had a bomb ready to go off in my stomach and I didn’t know how long it would be before I blew.”

“How does a fucking turkey sandwich make someone explode anyway!”

“The universe is filled with many mysteries.”

“Oh fuck off.  Fuck you.  Fuck you and your fucking bullshit exploding sandwich.”

“Now you’re just being mean.”

“You know what I think, huh?  I think this is some bullshit or something.  I think you’re fucking with me.  I think you’re fucking with me because when we were in high school I made the soccer team and you were fucking fat, dude.  I think you’re, like, bitter.”

“You don’t really think that I made that sandwich explosive, do you?”

“I don’t think I’m going to explode at all.  I think it’s going to be, like, totally fine.”

“Ok, ok.  I’m not the one that’s about to pop.”

“Fuck you!  Fuck you!  Fuck you!”

“Do you want me to make you some tea?  Maybe it will calm you down?”

“What am I going to do?  I can’t explode.  I can’t fucking explode, man.  I’ve got too many things to do.  What about all the, like, hot pussy and shit I didn’t get?”

“Life is filled with loss.”

“Oh my god.  I can’t believe this.  I can’t believe you killed me with your fucking exploding sandwich.  I fucking can’t believe this shit.”

“It wasn’t my sandwich.  I just saw the note on the table that said if someone ate it they would explode.  I was just trying to help you out.”

“You never tried to help me.  You fucking like wanted me to explode.  You’re bitter.”

“Billy, calm down.  Maybe the note was just a joke?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s it the note was just….” and Billy suddenly vanished in a burst of red mist.  

TED Talks: Rob Hopkins on a transition to a world without oil

Interesting. Certainly worth thinking about. Change is a’comin’.

Thanks, Livio!

Chromeo’s “Night By Night”

Note to self: start an electro dance band so you can make a music video where you dance with really hot chicks. I suspect that it’s actually a double doing most of the dancing, but one can always dream, right? Right now I’m dreaming about fried chicken and a beer. Shit, what was I talking about again?

30 – Court Is Such A Drag

Court is such a drag.  It’s just like blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.  The guy over there is talking about some crazy crap and the other guy is yelling, “Objection!” every once in a while and then there’s a bunch of dudes over there listening and some crap and I’m just sitting here bored to death, doodling on my little pad of paper.  I wish I was outside.  Look.  Out there.  See?  It’s fucking hella nice today, dude.  It’s like, the nicest day of the year or some shit.  I bet there’s like a hundred dudes out playing golf today.  I wish I was, four beer buzz, tearing ass around in the golf cart.  I love that shit, man.  Oh man.  I love the smell of the grass and knocking the bits of dirt and crap from your spikes.  I love the sunshine and the trees and when I kick the shit out of the dudes I’m playing with by like 1000 strokes.  Fuck those guys, seriously.  I’m such a better golfer than them it’s not even funny.  But I like to have them around for funny and whatever.  It’s way funner than sitting here in court.  Ugh, such a bummer.

I am drawing such an awesome dragon right now.  It’s flying crazy high above a mountain and I’m riding on it with a super hot chick with ginormous tits and I’ve got this sweet sword and the dragon is spitting fire on this lawguy who is just blah blah blahing over there, giving me a headache.  I wish I had some water.  Man, this drawing is so killer.  The guys at the country club later are going to dig this shit, man.  I wish I had some colored pencils or something right now too because I’d really like to color in the flames and put some blood all over homeboy for giving me such a bad headache so early on such a beautiful day.

I wonder what I’ll eat for lunch.  I had pastrami yesterday and that was pretty good.  I could probably eat it again but my wife would totally bust my balls for it.  Nah, fuck it.  I’ll get the pastrami and just tell her I ate a salad or some crazy bullshit.  She’ll buy it.

Oh dude, seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever drawn anything this sweet before.  I completely nailed the likeness of the guy with his bald head and stupid gay ass glasses and big fat belly.  I’m not good at drawing hands though, so I drew him wearing oven mitts.  I don’t know why.  They’re just a lot easier to draw, I guess.

I bet there’s all sorts of killer hotties at the country club right now.  Man, I could really go for a quick 9 and then tie one on something fierce at the clubhouse and maybe eat some buffalo wings. Fuck, man!  This shit sucks!  I got to get out of here.

“Your honor!” homeboy screams.

I look at him and say, “Uh, yeah?  Like, what?”

A letter to my In-Ear Sennheiser Headphones regarding the strange sensation they give me that is akin to wearing a stethoscope

Dear In-Ear Sennheiser Headphones,

I purchased you earlier this year when I purchased my first iPod. I purchased the iPod because it became clear to me that I was about to lose my job which meant that my music library residing on my work computer would soon be a thing of the past. I like to have music with me when I work and the iPod has been invaluable to me as a freelancer since I can have my tunes with me no matter where I am.

Dissatisfied with the ear buds that ship with the iPod, I purchased a pair of in-ear headphones because I wanted something light to carry with me. I already own a pair of over-ear studio monitors of excellent quality, but they are bulky and take up too much room in my bag for me to carry around with ease. So I looked to you, little headphones, to help me solve my problem. And for the most part, you did.

You wonder then why it is I almost never use you? Why I still carry around the bulky over-ear headphones? Well, it’s not because of your sound quality. No, though not as good as my Sonys, you have quite decent sound for such little headphones. Impressive, really. And it’s not because I find you uncomfortable like those miserable iPod earbuds. Indeed, you are rather soft and fit quite nicely into my ear.

No. The reason I almost never use you is that you do such a good job blocking out sound, that when you are in my ears all I can hear is my breathing and heart beat. I find it a little unsettling and a lot like having a very comfortable stethoscope on that is pointed directly at my sinuses. Every intake of breathe reverberates through my ears when you’re in. Every sniffle, every wheezing cough, every swallow. It’s intolerable. If I wanted to have my head inside a jar, I would wear a jar on my head.

So little headphones, please don’t be upset. I just wanted you to know that it was an unforeseen aspect of your nature that causes you to sit in the drawer at home and not anything you did or didn’t do.

Sincerely,

The Black Laser.

29 – A Draught of Madness

My finger tips are blackened with frostbite and I am not sure how much time I have left to recount to you the tale of the horrors that have brought me here to this remote outpost on the edge of the arctic circle where surely death will take me as it has already taken the intrepid members of my party who so bravely sought to understand the great hidden terrors which now wish to see me dead.  Or worse.

My tale begins at a waterfront tavern in the lower portion of New York City.  It was the type of place frequented by the sailors and longshoremen who plied their trade of loading and unloading various merchant vessels in the myriad ports serving New York’s thriving economic backbone.  Normally this sort of place was too coarse for a man of my learned stature, but I found something thrilling in the rough shod banter of these men, their saltiness, the way they embraced life and its mysteries without too much of preoccupation with propriety.  I found the company stirring, if a little bawdy at times, but what could one expect from men who spent so much time working with their hands?  As you often do with men from so many different places, strange tales would trickle into the tavern bouncing between the men.  Many times the tales were of strange beasts at sea thought to have wreaked some havoc on a ship which narrowly escaped.  Sometimes the tales were about tremendous storms that nearly blew intrepid captains off their courses, but which ended with the cargo being delivered safely to port.  Still other tales were of ghosts and demons who haunted the waters, dragging unwitting sailors to a watery grave in the embrace of Poseidon.

One autumn day I was sitting in the tavern enjoying a pint of their house lager with a colleague, indeed I might call him a friend, when a sailor darkly came through the door and sat at a table in the corner without ordering a drink.  My spirits were high with the briskness of the day and of the drink, and I made an offer to this man to provide him with a drink should he deign to entertain us with a tale of his times on the sea.  My friend encouraged this notion with no amount of restraint, but we received only dour looks from the man whose only response was to pull down his hat’s brim and light his pipe.  The barman then leant in and told us that the man came from uncertain stock and that we, being refined gentlemen and educated, should steer well clear of him.

Well, dear reader, you can no doubt imagine that this only encouraged us to hear this man out more.  We purchased a glass of whiskey to endear ourselves with the man in the corner and joined him at his table.  We placed the glass of whiskey in front of him and remained silent, for we both thought the best way to get him to talk to us was to wait him out.

The Theme for 2010

After much thinking, I’ve decided on my theme for 2010 (twenty-ten, say it with me). It’s a hybrid of two themes I discussed in my previous post on the subject. I hereby announce that 2010 shall be…

The Year of 3 Music Videos and 12 Finished Short Stories

I figure that I will be better served by endeavoring on a cross-disciplinary path, much as I was this year by making photos and writing stories. It allows me not to get too caught up in just one mode. If I am feeling stuck I can switch over and work on something else for a while.

I picked music videos because it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I think it’s going to be fun and challenging and I’m pretty excited about it. It will give me an opportunity to flex some muscles I haven’t used in a while. I intend to pick three songs I like and make low to no budget videos for them. The songs can be anything since these are spec videos and using them like this is covered under my fair-use rights. The videos can feature anything at all, only limited by my ability to plan and my technical skills.

Astute readers will notice a change in the language regarding the short stories between the original conceptualizing post and this announcement post. Specifically, I added the term “finished” to differentiate the scope of the short stories for 2010 (twenty-ten) and the scope of the stories for 2009. This year, the point was just to write a lot without revisions or thinking too much about what I was doing. Just getting things did. Next year is about creating things that have real thought and effort behind them. The scope is grander, so the output will be lesser, but in terms of having finished work to share, the ultimate effect is much more significant. 12 solid, finished short stories is a collection at the very least, and, if they all work together, a book. That would be a nice thing to have.

Keep your eyes peeled for the remainder of my 5000 photos and 50 short stories for this year followed by a wrap-up post in the first week of January. Then it’s time to get the next year’s work going.