Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Met Shakespeare

     The bar on 5th street was what you would call a dive in every sense of the word. After all, it was called Ricky’s. Plain name. Plain bar. It was… my hangout. What else would one do after working in a library for 8 hours? The drinks were cheap and the people were the same. No weirdos bothered me, everyone kept to themselves sipping on the drink of their choice. Poe liked his wild turkey, J.D. liked his Budweiser, and Malory liked his Bacardi colas. Those might not be their real names, but those are the names I gave them. For my amusement I began giving everyone author names. 

      I would get done with work usually around 5 and by the time I get to Ricky’s, Milton, Marlow, and Carroll are already there. I always walk by them to get to my table and hear them arguing about the direction of society. Carroll always sees things in a decline no matter what is going on in the world (even though he never watches the news and doesn’t know how right he might be). Milton always seems to know the reason of the decline, but he never really shares it. Donne is also around at this time, he was the one you usually stood away from, and he keeps his own conversation going regardless if anyone else is speaking.

    In the four years I’ve been coming here I have yet to meet anyone called Ricky. The 2 bartenders have been Bram and Thomas. The waitresses on the other hand, the only real name I got (as far as I know) was Gwen. I really got to know her and she really didn’t belong here. I could sense the unhappiness that she had working here along with her lost dreams, her ambitions. And as she got to know me, I think she got to thinking the same. In a moment, I blinked and she was gone. 

     My first day at Ricky’s, Shelly asked what I did for a living. It took me a minute to respond because I was mesmerized by her smile. I made no immediate reaction to her lack of teeth, it was more of a perplexing thought to the surroundings that we were in and her need for information. My response ended up being that I was in between jobs. Just imagine my fright of being in a new place. Especially after starting a new job. My second week there I confided in Shelly and revealed that I worked at the library. Her response was…”okay.” 

     My drink of choice was usually a screwdriver, or anything with vodka. And every Wednesday Marlow would always buy me a drink. Not once have I actually talked to him, other then a ‘thanks’ but he continues to buy me a drink. I don’t complain and just go along with it. Every now and then a song I know will play on the jukebox and I’ll sing along to myself, not paying attention to everyone else, but they make their way around singing along and they pass by me and give a drunken laugh, and I give a drunken smile in return. I see they are happy; in this moment. But I wonder about the coming days. The mornings and the work hours. 

     I have begun to stop telling people that I’m a librarian for everyone approaches, asking some drunken ridiculous question and no matter how I explain it they still do not understand. For my own amusement, I create what I want. “Of course the cost of information is increasing how else can the government keep tabs on you? You ever call the library for a question? You think you are the only one getting the answers?” 

     This one time I was sitting at my table and Ovid walks by. He doesn’t say anything. He blinks three times (I think it was three) and stamps his foot twice then gives me a nod and then walks to the bathroom. As he walks away, I look around for a new table. I notice an isolated table across the way, opposite to where I’m sitting. I try to think of who sits there, but no names come to mind. I decide that needs to be my new table or that its time for a new bar. 

     I grab my glass and tell Shelly that I’m moving over there, not really giving a definitive direction. She gives the “all right, hun”. And things seem kosher. Then Ovid emerges from the bathroom in a reckless rage, claiming someone grabbed his ass. Out comes Virgil (from the bathroom) with a bewildered look on his face. Next thing I know, Ovid swings at Virgil, he ducks and hits Ovid with an uppercut, then Chaucer jumps on Virgil and Dante holds back Ovid. Kafka, of all people, jumps off his stool and starts swinging at everybody. Wilde tries to buy him a drink to calm him down, but he hits Spencer with the first blow and his second blow hits Melville. Horace collapses on his own and Grimm stands up and slurs, “all what the hell? Just have drink.” 

     My eyes widen, trying to comprehend what just happened. Bram grabs his bat and slams it down on the bar getting every one's attention. “Everyone shut up and have a drink!” Suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder. “Quite the spectacle wasn’t it?” I turn to reply as a gentleman joins my table. He has a new face, someone I don’t recognize and before I can give him a name he introduces himself as Shakespeare. That gave me a chuckle. “Day in and day out,” he says as he leans back, “you come in here. Nothing ever changes. It’s the same people with the same problems. I bet you could tell a story about every individual in this place. Lord knows I could. And in each of your stories there would an element of truth, nonetheless. Each character in this bar could also tell a story about you. Maybe even me. Tell me, when you look at a person, what do you see? Do you see yourself? An idea? Maybe even the inner battle that rages within us all. You work in the library, correct? It’s been years since I’ve been there.” 

     I’m speechless and just stare at him. He continues on, “you know I’ve been here since the day this place opened. It used to be called Mickey’s. Can you believe that? Mickey’s then Ricky’s.” “Wow, that’s rather odd,” I replied. “It sure is,” he said as he took a sip from his drink. 

     He then stared at his drink with a thoughtful look in his eyes. I didn’t say anything as he looked on. It seemed like he was looking into the inner core of his drink. A few minutes pass, and he looks up and says, “I’ve got my next idea.” He smiles, then finishes his drink and looks over at me. “It’s gonna be a good one, it’s gonna be a good one.” He started nodding his head and repeating that over and over. I slowly slipped out of my chair just as Shelly was making a round. “You be careful when you sit with Willie, hun. His conversations become a broken record after 3 drinks.” Confused, I look down at Shakespeare. “Day in and day out,” he begins.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

$100 - Story #1

It is said that money makes the world go round. And when money is involved, choices get made and changes occur. This collection of stories reflect on that concept. Changes that happen are either physical or emotional. The choices, sometimes are not our own. Control can become lost when money gets involved.

This is the beginning of an anthology.
Story 1

 Being only twelve years old, Kevin Stickens had never seen a hundred dollar bill before. Yet right before his eyes one laid underneath the recently planted birch tree. Kevin’s family had just moved into town and he decided to ride his bike and check out Terrance Park, named after the cofounder of the town. Early frontier pioneers were led by Marcus Terrance and Matthew Baerock and came to name their settlement New Rock. Population 2,655, well 2,659 now, including Kevin and his family. As Kevin reached down to pick up the bill he looked around to see if anyone was watching. He held it up with both hands and stared at it, thinking about being in a new town at the beginning of summer and now one hundred dollars richer.

 He carefully stuffed it into his pants and rode back home. His parents, Joan and Cecil, were still unpacking box after box trying to find room for everything in their new, but smaller, home. Stacy, Kevin’s older sister, was busy putting away her clothes when Kevin ran by and closed his door. Looking around his room at all his boxes, he wanted a place to hide his new treasure until he knew what to do with it. He had a small chest that he kept important things in, but his sister often rummaged through it, so that wouldn’t work. Before he could find a place his mom called him down to help unpack some boxes. He kept the hundred dollar bill in his pocket and went to help his mom. As he walked past his sister’s room, he stopped and saw her holding up a new shirt in front of her mirror. He noticed the smile on her face and continued on his way. As he got to the bottom of the stairs he thought about his hundred dollar bill. With this, he could be the cool kid of summer.

 While Kevin was imagining all this, his dad walked by and told him to wake up and go help his mother. Kevin found his mother in the kitchen trying to figure out where to put everything. As soon as she saw him she told him that his room needed to be unpacked by the end of the night. Kevin tried to explain that’s what he was working on, but she had seen him just come home. For that brief moment, Kevin had forgotten about his hundred dollar bill, but when he got back to his room his dreams continued.

 With money, he could be the cool kid of the summer. He could buy some new flashy clothes. He could treat new friends to a pizza. Perhaps even meet a girl. With each passing minute, a new idea came forth and then suddenly it was supper time. No work had been done and no hiding place was found. Kevin went into the bathroom to wash up, reaching his hand into his pocket first to make sure his hundred dollar bill was still there.

 During supper, Kevin’s mom inquired about the progress he’s made in his room. Kevin stuttered out his response, claiming to have fallen asleep. Slowly his hand slid down and he felt for his bill through his pants. His sister bragged like any other sixteen year old that her room is all unpacked and asked if she can go out. Both Joan and Cecil gave their approval and want her home by 10 o’clock. They then inform Kevin that he would be spending his evening in his room. Kevin didn’t mind that. It would give him time to think about his hundred dollar bill.

 Kevin started going through his boxes looking for something to hide his bill in. Some things got put away, others went back in the box. After trying numerous spots he decided to hide it under his bed. He found a safety pin and pinned the hundred dollar bill under the mattress at the foot of the bed. He put the rest of the boxes into his closet so it looked like he put his stuff away. He brushed his teeth, said goodnight to his hundred dollar bill, and climbed into bed to dream even more about his hundred dollar bill.

 At around midnight, Kevin was awakened by a loud noise. He listened quietly and heard his sister sneaking in. His parents had also heard. Next, all Kevin heard was yelling and arguing, no legible words, just garbled insults. He climbed to the foot of his bed and reached underneath for his hundred dollar bill. Upon unfastening the pin, Kevin managed to prick himself and let out a yelp. He stuffed the bill back under the mattress just as his dad entered the room. After explaining that he got stuck with a pin that had fallen onto his bed when he was unpacking, his dad led him into the bathroom to clean up the small yet deep wound. He heard his sister crying as he headed back to his room, but his dad said nothing was wrong. Kevin laid back down and closed his eyes and all he could see was his hundred dollar bill. He drifted silently to sleep with a smile on his face.

 The next morning, Kevin awoke with a pain in his stomach. He rushed to the bathroom in case he had to throw up. And sure enough, he did. His mom knocked on the door to see if he was all right. Kevin came out holding his stomach. His dad came and took him back to his room while his mom checked on Stacy. Kevin couldn’t explain his pain and shouted out that he needed his hundred dollar bill. His dad was confused and asked what he was talking about. He told his dad to get out so he could lie down.

 As soon as his dad left Kevin sat up and his stomach hurt even more. He crawled to the end of the bed and reached for his bill. At first he didn’t feel it and began to panic. He got on the floor and lifted the mattress all the way off. His stomach still hurt but he couldn’t feel it. He cried out and his dad came bursting in to find Kevin’s room torn asunder. Kevin began to yell for his hundred dollar bill. Stacy then came into the room holding her head wondering what was going on. Joan then showed up demanding to know what was going on. Kevin continued to scream for his hundred dollar bill until his dad noticed blood on the front of Kevin’s shirt. Kevin lifted up his shirt to reveal a bloody rash. Joan ran to the bathroom to get a washcloth and some bandages. Cecil managed to calm his son down while Joan cleaned his stomach. They decided to take him to the hospital and get him checked out. Kevin screamed not to go and wanted his hundred dollar bill. His mom screamed at him, telling him that there is no hundred dollar bill.

 The doctor diagnosed it as a severe rash. He prescribed a soothing salve and sent the family on its way. When they arrived home Kevin began again with the hundred dollar bill. His dad tried to get him to lie down but he refused until he got his hundred dollar bill. Kevin became highly agitated and hit his dad in the stomach, accusing him of taking his hundred dollar bill. His mom came in and slapped Kevin. Cecil told her that that wasn’t necessary and that their son is just delirious.

 Kevin ran into the hallway and looked around. His thoughts went toward his sister. He ran to her room and began accusing her of taking his hundred dollar bill. She told him to get out, but he punched her in the stomach demanding his hundred dollar bill. His dad came in and pulled Kevin off his sister. His mom came in and saw Kevin’s eyes, wide as can be. END

  Wordle: Kevin-Story #1

Monday, November 19, 2012

Moonshine Comics Presents: an introduction

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. As well as the Hells and some other Earths. They were void and had no form and darkness was all. So God said “let there be some Light here and there, and a little over there, not too much there though.” God saw that Light was pretty good, so he divided the light from darkness using his magical powers. Upon the many Earths one stood out as being less Bright than others. This is a special Earth. An Earth that struggled through time. The trees were bearing fruit. Fruit that was neither bitter, nor sweet, wasn’t really sour neither. Kinda bland tasting. But God said “that’s okay, It’s all good.” Those seeds blossomed forth into the future. Special creatures and beings soon populated the Earth and the Cosmos and continued into the present. Until a hiccup in the Heavens occurred. A change started to take place. A change that made unseen connections. Extraordinary beings started appearing. Unknown to each other, but kin to one another. With this God had spoke, and he said “I like Moonshine, and it is good.”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cindy Lou Who is all grown up

and Pretty Reckless....

What would the Whos of Whoville think?


After doing some time on the show Gossip Girls, Cindy (real name Taylor Momsen) decided to give up acting and focus her energies on music.  I have to say she made a pretty good choice.  This new thrashy persona is an ideal complement to her continuing career.

Her band, the Pretty Reckless, has a nice grungy alternative sound and would make a good soundtrack for the Grinch.  Includes songs such as: Make Me Wanna Die, Light Me Up, Nothing Left to Lose, Miss Nothing, Zombie, Cold Blooded, and Hit Me Like a Man.  The first full length album (Light Me Up) came out April of last year and the follow-up EP (Hit Me Like a Man) was out just last March.

They just finished a little tour in South America and are now back in the studio.

Monday, July 30, 2012

What I watched - Trollhunter (2010)

Trollhunter (no relation to Troll or Troll 2)

A group of students are making a documentary about some recent bear killings.  They come across a man whom they think is illegally killing the bears, until they follow him into the woods.  There they start to learn the truth and find out what the government is hiding.

They befriend the hunter, who is getting tired of his government job and thinks it time for the truth to come out.  Trolls are real!  Graphically real.  I am really impressed how the trolls looked.  They reminded me of the old wood carved trolls I had when I was younger and the ones my grandma had.

There were many species of trolls and some were beginning to fight among one another.  It was the hunter's task to catalog the creatures and retrieve blood samples before killing them, usually by turning them into stone and then shattering them.  The government soon found out about the documentary and were very displeased. Typical Norwegian government, always hiding the truth.

It was an enjoyable film and not cheesy.  It was done with utmost seriousness and on par with the Blair Witch Project and similar "found footage" movies.

In other Troll news...

Not part of the movie, but definitely Troll related.  An awesome clip from the short-lived comedy sketch show, The Edge.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What did I just watch? - Alien Opponent (2010)

More like.  "Why did I watch that?"

Three words:  "Rowdy" Roddy Piper! 

I had this on my DVR for who knows how long and it was aired on Chiller.

Alien Opponent (2010) is about an alien whose ship crashes in the junkyard of a redneck town.  A bounty is offered so the local yokels arm themselves and head into the junkyard.  Piper plays (of all things) a reverend.

Getting 2nd billing on the cover is the lovable Jeremy London, who I know from Mallrats (1995) and as the guy who got kidnapped and forced to do drugs.  London plays a kind of a schmuck.  He doesn't do much but plots with his new lady friend and tries to team up with others.

The alien is only seen in his space suit and has quite the arsenal of his own.  He attempts to repair his spaceship while setting up traps and releasing his underground electric shark.  He also has some space leeches.


Pretty much everyone dies.

It is a fun B-movie.  A nice mix of sci-fi and comedy.  The alien takes on all comers, including bikers, a football team, a young karate class, and even the police.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Top Albums of 2011?

Its now February March (Christ, already?) so maybe its time to make a best albums of 2011 list, but you know I really haven't listened to much new music.  I'm usually a few years behind on my music choices.  I have been reading through a great many lists in hopes to broaden my playlists.  I have found some gems and I have found some that ruined my ear drums.  A lot of the lists included Washed Out and Yuck.  I gave these albums a chance, but they did nothing for me.  On the other hand, Kurt Vile and Charles Bradley both put out enjoyable albums.

A lot of top 2011 lists included the same albums, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, tUnE-yArDs, but one album that was missing from a grand majority of the lists is TV on the Radio's new album.  I thought the album was phenomenal. So far I have only seen it on maybe 3 lists.  Along with the album release, they also came out with a full-length video.
If you have a free hour, check out the video.

Now onto my top list of 2004

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free

Songs like Such a Twat, Not Addicted, Dry Your Eyes.  This disc is a winner.

Carbon Leaf - Indian Summer
Solid album all the way through 

Jens Lenkman - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog


Guy Davis - Legacy

Starts with a good song and ends with a good song.

Eminem - Encore

Not his best album, but there a few good gems on this one.  Mosh and Ass like that are quality tracks.  

Ben Kweller - On My Way

Strong album.  Some slow songs and songs that pick up steam. 

Green Day - American Idiot

I listened to this album a lot.  

Incubus - A Crow Left of the Murder

Great album from Incubus.  Their albums never let me down, except for Light Grenades.  Whenever I hear an Incubus song on my Zune that I don't like, its always from Light Grenades. 

Killers - Hot Fuss

Couple good tracks here. 

Ray LaMontagne - Trouble

Mellow sounds for a quiet evening

TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes

They put an album out during this year so of course they get a spot.

Mos Def - New Danger

He is the most beautiful Boogie Man.