Saturday, November 29, 2014


Watching the Fenian episode of MAVERICK earlier this week reminded me that one of my ancestors was a Fenian. Nicholas D. Shannon, born in Ireland, moved to America, where he became a Chicago police officer. In his obituary, it says, "He was always an intense Irish Nationalist, belonged to the MacManus Circle, and the company of the Fenian Brotherhood, and went with the Fenian regiment to Canada at the time of O'Neill's invasion in 1866." Their mission was to take Canada by force and exchange it for Irish independence. They tried this three times.

So yeah. That episode wasn't fucking around. The Irish really did try to invade Canada. Weird, huh?

As a side note, his son was also a Chicago cop, and he wound up getting injured severely at the Haymarket Riot. The police report says that he received a "bullet wound in the back, [and] seventeen shell wounds in the lower part of both legs." It caused him pain for the rest of his life, which would turn out to be 12 years.

History is full of surprises like this. You never know what lurks in your family tree. Before this turns into a commercial for, I think I'm going to call it a night. Goodnight, fuckers.


See this picture? I found it while cleaning out my desk. I'd forgotten about it, mostly because of the unusual nature of how it came to me.

A few years ago, I'd written a story for VAMPIRES 2, and those guys also publish MAN'S STORY 2. They liked me enough to ask if I would like to write a story based on an illustration for MS2. It's the only time anyone has ever asked me for a story like that. Plus, they paid me, so that's always good.. The sent me this picture to base my story on. They wound up publishing "A Perfect Specimen" in their magazine.

The issue is no longer available, but it is interesting as a curiosity. I don't think I'd ever write a story in such a fashion ever again. It felt kind of weird doing that, anyway.

In related news, it would appear that I've reached the point in my writing career when I don't remember my own credits. Is that a good sign?


Here we go, folks. I'm trying my hand at self-publishing via Kindle. Behold! My new novelette, "Pavlov's Bitches." Here's what it's about:

Pavlov, a barbarian ruler, mercilessly killed Mikhail’s father and brother. Pavlov turned Mikhail’s mother and sisters into whores. And Pavlov enslaved young Mikhail, a wisp of a man, no match for the brute strength of the tyrant. Yet he has sworn his great and terrible vengeance. However, when it turns out that Pavlov is actually a god, things become more difficult. As Mikhail toils under the apprenticeship of Vasili, a bone craftsman, he must find a way to get revenge against a bloodthirsty god. Will he succeed? And at what cost?

Pick it up here for a mere 99 cents. I'd charge less for it since it's so short, but Amazon is pretty firm about their minimum price. However, in my humble opinion, it's worth the price of admission. It's an incredibly dark, fucked-up, vile fantasy tale. What would happen if Robert E. Howard and GG Allin wrote a story together? It would probably be something like this.

Thanks for your attention, and let me know what you think.


I cleaned out my desk tonight, and I found a few newspaper articles I'd been in that I'd forgotten about. Tonight, I'll be discussing these, starting with . . .

When I was a kid, waaaaaaaaay back in the day, someone from the Elmhurst PRESS asked me about gay marriage while I was at the library. This is what I told them. Considering the conservative town I live in, it's kind of a surprise that my fellow interviewees agreed with me.

This is from when I won the Carlson Award for Creative Writing at Elmhurst College (one of three winners). It was for a short story I wrote called "Love in a Book." It has yet to be published, but it's a fun tale of what happens when a vampire asks his wizard friend to cast a spell on the girl he loves (and what happens when the cops find out). Maybe some day, I'll let it see the light of day, because it is pretty funny.

This is the ultimate proof of why I can never trust the media. If you can read all of this (I know, it's small and distorted, but it's worth the read), please realize that everything written here (except for the loss of shoes) is a blatant lie. Nicole Evans, who co-wrote "Suicidal Tendencies" with me in TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, was my date, and yes, I was the guy in question. We were NOT elegantly dressed. I was wearing a denim jacket, for fuck's sake. The creek hadn't dried up due to conditions. They were working on fixing the waterfall at the forest preserve, so they shut down the water, which caused the creek to dry to a trickle. And we didn't leave the path, like some misguided Hansel and fucking Gretel. Nicole saw a duck hanging out by that tiny creek trickle, and she couldn't stop herself from jumping over a barrier to walk out and get a picture of the fowl. Except . . . well, she sank down to her knees. I laughed at her from a safe distance (because I was, am and always will be an asshole), but she asked me for help, so I tried to go out and help her. The ground looked sturdy enough, but halfway out, I sank to my knees. It was nearly impossible to pull myself out and help her. I did my best, but I kept sinking down. I lost one of my shoes, but I was able to reach into the mudhole and grab it out. However, Nicole got tired of my slapstick attempt at saving her, so she gave up and walked past me, telling me how much I sucked as a savior. I eventually pulled myself out, walking on all fours back to the barrier. We were both covered in mud, so we cleaned ourselves off with a hose behind the forest preserve's HQ. As we did this, the Trib writer interviewed us (so she knew very fucking well that she lied in her fluff piece). After we were clean, Nicole told me that she'd lost her shoes--for real--in the quick-mud. Because of this, I gave her a piggy-back ride back to the car, so she wouldn't get her bare feet all fucked up on the gravel path. However, the shoes she'd lost were shoes that she'd "borrowed" (please read as "stolen") from one of her friends, so she didn't give a shit. So yeah, even the ONE THING the Trib writer got right was kind of wrong.

This is from when I was in junior high (what they now call "middle school"). Everyone at school knew I was a writer, but none of them knew about my horrid poetry attempts. Much to my surprise, one of my poems earned me a spot as a Sandburg Fellow. (The school is named after Carl Sandburg, who lived about a mile away from it once upon a time.) This recognition led to a poetry workshop, which I bullshitted my way through, mostly because I don't know shit about poetry. I've only had one poem in all of my career published which satisfied me. "The Rubber Band of Sanity" was NOT that poem. Still, it seemed to impress people, so I was OK with skipping classes just so I could hang out with fellow student poets and a real, live local poet.

Sorry. The reason I'm talking about this shit now is because I cleaned out my desk and found some interesting things. Just thought I would share them. Goodnight, people who are probably not really fuckers. (And some of you who might, actually, be fuckers, but lovable fuckers.)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


[EDITOR'S NOTE: Whoo-boy. This has never happened to me, but . . . I forgot to post this last night. I may have forgotten to finish it. I don't know. Here's what happened: I'd had a few drinks last night--not enough for me to black out or pass out, just a few--and I stayed up a bit too late. It was about two in the morning, which is waaaay past my bedtime, even for a non-work night. I started writing GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS, and by the time I got to the end, I was so tired that I decided to close my eyes for just a few minutes. A few hours later, I woke up and wondered why I was sitting up looking at a powered down laptop. At least Tired Me had been courteous enough to leave me a drink, and since I didn't have to go to work today, I finished it off. Waste not, want not. Besides, what was I going to do, put it back in the bottle? Anyway, in standing with my rule of never editing a GF post, I didn't touch this one. This editor's note is the only thing I added. I'm not sure if I even finished this, as I thought I might add something in there about how my grandfather might have made up the story just to fuck with a fucked up kid. I also used this incident in a novella I wrote in high school, which will never see the light of day because I ripped most of it off from Steinbeck. It was what would have happened if Jack Ketchum had written OF MICE AND MEN. I probably would have mentioned that, too. So, without further ado . . .]

When I was a kid, I remember my grandfather telling me a story of either his uncle, or his wife's uncle. I don't remember which. Either way, the guy in question owned a shoe store, and his shop caught fire. This guy's hand got burned down to the bone. How did they fix him up without amputation?


That's a fucked up thing to read, so maybe you should give it another go before you accept it.

Got it? Good.

The skin grew back, but it took a year. A YEAR OF HAVING HIS HAND SEWN INTO HIS STOMACH. I have problems with not being able to bite into cheeseburgers because of my gum graft. I could not deal with having a skeletal hand sewn into my belly for a fucking year.

Try to imagine that. Then realize that was the typical response. IT USED TO BE TYPICAL FOR BURN VICTIMS TO HAVE THEIR BONY HANDS SEWN INTO THEIR BELLIES.

Do they still do this shit? I imagine not. But what the fuck? How did they find out that it would work?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Once upon a time, I was a little kid. I know, it's hard for you to imagine, but I swear it's true. And when I was a kid, my favorite show, hands down, was SPECTREMAN. In case you've never heard of the show, wrap this around your head, and you'll understand.

Over the years, I never forgot the show. In fact, the things I learned from age five to about twenty, I would never forget. It's as I get older, and there are more things to remember (and maybe a considerable amount of booze interfering), that my mind fails me a bit. I think it has something to do with the idea that as you grow older, time becomes more relative. When you're a kid, you don't have much experience, so time crawls. When you're older--say, 36--you have a lot more time in on the project of your life, so time goes quicker. Memory seems to be like that, at least for me.

My cousin and I loved the hell out of that show. He was a year behind me, and we were pretty much raised as brothers instead of cousins. We went to the same school, hung out a lot, got involved in the same activities, things like that. But we truly bonded over SPECTREMAN. My grandparents didn't have a VCR (or, God help us, a Betamax, which my step-father DID have), so we couldn't record the shows like that. We'd ask our grandmother to hold up a cassette recorder to the TV so we could run home and LISTEN to the show after school. That's how crazy we were for it.

I think I still have some of those tapes somewhere.

But we weren't always stuck with the cassettes. Often, we caught the show on TV, and we'd just go crazy over it.

My cousin came for a visit recently, and my aunt--his mother--reminded us of our SPECTREMAN infatuation. She told us that we used to sing along to the theme, which, of course, we certainly did. It holds a place in my brain even now. However, she also told us we used to dance to it, and there is where I have to draw the line.

My cousin and I never danced to it. WE WERE REPRODUCING THE FIGHT SCENES. Come on, who does she think we were? It's like calling GI Joes "dolls."

*sigh* All right. Maybe we danced. It certainly looked like that. I remember playing SPECTREMAN on the playground, and I was always upset when I couldn't be Spectreman. I was older by a year, so I figured that was my right.

But I will never forget the joy of doing the crisscross hand motions that would lead to an imaginary bolt of energy being blasted to my enemy (usually played by my cousin, but not always). There is a magic in being a kid, and while some of us who write like to imagine that we remember what that was like--we all want to emulate Ray Bradbury in some way--very few of us truly feel it.

The video of the theme song I linked to above? I watched it before I did so. And I'll be damned if I didn't feel like blasting my enemies with a mere gesture. (And maybe I did make the hand movements. MAYBE.)


I've noticed an unsettling trend, and I hope they're just two glitches in the Matrix, but I have, indeed, noticed that this happened twice in a row, and it bothers me. The last two times a magazine published my work, payment and all, they didn't do a single fucking thing to promote themselves. I won't mention who they are, even though you can all figure it out, because that's not why I'm climbing up onto my soapbox tonight.

I was the editor and publisher of TABARD INN for a few years, and you'd better fucking believe that the first thing I did after the new issue was out was to promote the fuckers. Whenever one of my books come out, I let everyone know about it. Whenever I'm in someone else's publication, I make sure to notify the world (or at least whoever listens to me).

But the last two magazines didn't. They have websites, and I've been checking them regularly. Neither of these publications updated their own sites. It's almost like they're trying to sabotage themselves.

In one case, I understand. It was their last issue. Why would they care about promoting it? Except . . . well, it CAN make them money. There were a couple of big names in it. In fact, this issue published the last known "new" story by CJ Henderson, who recently passed away. Why would you not want people knowing about it?

But in the case of the other? There is no excuse. The website should have been updated the very moment the new issue came out.

I have three copies of the former. I have one copy of the latter. Both are amazing issues. But . . . I'm the only one I know who has copies of them. It would be kind of nice if I had some links to throw up so the rest of you can have a chance at reading these things. I'm extremely proud of both, the first because it took so long to break the market, and the second because it's one of the most fucked up stories I've ever written.

What the fuck? I hope this isn't a continuing trend. One of the publishers put up copies of their magazine on eBay, but come on. Can we not at least get them up on Amazon? If you don't want to link to Amazon, fine, but maybe, JUST MAYBE, these issues could sell a lot better in that market?

I was paid for both stories. I have nothing to gain financially by getting these issues posted at least somewhere where they can get some attention. I just . . . fuck. I just want people to read the fucking things. I'd trade in both paychecks just to know that my stories were getting placed in front of SOMEONE's eyes.

For all I know, in both cases, the only people who have read them are the other writers in these magazines. That's part of a big problem in the industry these days--that the only people reading you are other writers and not regular readers--but I don't want to go into that tonight.

I just want those stories to be read. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, November 24, 2014


When I was younger, I didn't like the idea of social media. It seemed to stand testament against everything I believed in. It took a lot of my friends to drag me into MySpace, and I actually enjoyed it in its dying days before making the leap to Facebook and Twitter.

I have mixed feelings about Twitter. If you're interested in finding news, it's the fastest place you can do so, even quicker than news sites. However, there is an incredible amount of assholes on Twitter. (If you don't believe me, check this out as an example.) To be fair, Twitter is the easiest and quickest form of expressing your 1st Amendment rights, but it's also the easiest and quickest way you can express yourself for being an asshole.

I'm not here to discuss that. I just want to make a casual observation about Facebook.

There are few things I like about Facebook. I appreciate the fact that a lot of people are there, and that, in addition to being a great place to connect with family and friends, it's also a great marketing tool. However . . . there is a weird moment that I'm sure every user of Facebook experiences. It's hard for me to think about it, but it makes complete sense.

You see something a friend said, and you like their post. And then, out of the blue, someone who you're not technically friends with likes the same post, but you see that they're friends of someone you used to know who are friends with that one person.

Facebook is a chain of acquaintances and friends. You never know who someone else knows who might enjoy something you said even though they marginally know you in real life but know your friend who is on Facebook, etc.

It's so weird realizing that someone you know is friends with someone you vaguely know and they both comment on the same thread you put out, because Facebook is always seeking to cross-reference friends in their Body Snatcher-type cross-advertising.

When you think about it, Facebook is a virus that everyone volunteers to catch. Hell, I'm aware, and even I'm OK with catching that virus. Is this good for us? I don't know. As a guy who depends on social media to advertise my books? I'm OK with that. As a human being? I don't know.

As a writer with books to pimp, I wish more people would just OBEY, but at the same time, I want them to put on the THEY LIVE sunglasses without getting into an awful alley brawl with Keith David. I struggle with it all the time.

Being the person who OBEYs is fine, because you continue living your life without knowing the truth, and there's comfort in that. Being the person who puts on the sunglasses? That leads to suicide missions on alien spacecraft/transmitters.

I *might* be making waaaaaaaaaaay too much out of this because I'm nervous about my dental appointment tomorrow. Goodnight, fuckers.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I just came back from Las Vegas, and the tone of the town never ceases to amaze me. A city always has a vibe, and for the most part, it's almost always the same. There are exceptions, but Vegas is by far the most different in the US.

It's not about prostitution. That's actually illegal in the city limits. In fact, these days there is a remarkable shortage of people passing around the hooker cards you would have seen ten years ago.

You can still smoke in buildings, which is unusual, since I come from one of the first states to adopt anti-smoking laws inside of buildings, even in bars. But that's not what it's about.

It's not even about gambling, which you can do almost anywhere now. The state of Illinois has opened up to the idea in a major way, and you're hard pressed to find a bar that doesn't offer gambling in some way. Which isn't to take away from the fact that Vegas has a slot machine for any intellectual property--even THE WIZARD OF OZ and THE WALKING DEAD (and I'm sure there is a slot machine dedicated to THE FOUNTAINHEAD somewhere)--but it's just not that special anymore.

No, take a walk down the Strip, and you'll feel a different energy from any other city in America. Everyone's drunk and happy just to hang out in a city where you can get anything at any time. Hell, there's an M&M store, and it's not just a little corner shop. No, it's a giant store with several levels, and they pump the smell of chocolate out into the street to entice people to come on in. At any given hour, you can find some drunken woman hanging off of the statue of the yellow M&M guy from the commercials that they have outside. Nearly all of those women are not concerned with their mini-skirts riding up to give a pervert the chance to see what kind of panties they wore tonight, just so long as their friends get pictures they can post to Facebook later.

In any other town, everyone would be on guard, but in Vegas, almost everyone has a license plate issued from out of the state of Nevada (unless it's a rental car). This truly is a party town. Granted, there are still homeless people asking for money, but it's not enough to drag the vibe down. The out-of-towners won't allow it. They might even encourage it.


Last night, I had a few drinks. I wasn't hammered, since it was only Captain & Cokes, and rum doesn't have nearly as much alcohol as my usual whiskey. However, when I got home from the bar, I felt an incredible pain where I just got a gum graft. I decided to take one of my pain pills, because I have a high tolerance of booze and pain medication (morphine, for example, does nothing for me; it takes Dilaudid to get through to me when I'm in pain). It didn't help, so I took another. I still felt shitty, so I did something I probably shouldn't have done: I took a third.

Booze and pain pills don't mix. Just ask Heath Ledger.

Anyway, I'm fine. But at the time? Yikes.

I dreamed that I was trying to go to sleep, except I didn't realize it was a dream at the time. In fact, looking back, I knew my eyes were closed, but I could still see through my eyelids. That probably should have been my first indication that I was dreaming.

But then I felt something pushing on my soul. It's hard to describe. I've never had old hag terrors, but I imagine that's what it feels like. I couldn't control my body as some force shoved itself into me, paralyzing me until there was more of it in my body than me. I tried to turn over, to turn away from whatever was doing this to me, but it wouldn't let me get away from it. It seemed like we battled in my body for hours, and finally, I managed to beat it back.

But I could still feel it. Every inch of my body undulated with its force, as if it were trying to get me to do its bidding. I managed to stumble to the bathroom, where I looked into the mirror and saw my face . . . swirling. I don't know how else to put it. Dents formed and squirmed in my face as if my own muscles were fighting against me. It's kind of like what the Vomit Comet does to astronauts in training, except all movements were measured and calculated.

I ran around to my family and tried to beg them for help, to tell them that something was inside me, trying to force me to do things. Everyone was too sleepy, though. They didn't want to hear it. No one believed me. No one would even look at me. I screamed for them to at least look at my savagely twisting face, but they just wouldn't do it.

Finally they looked, and whatever was in me chose that moment to stop. My family looked at me like I was crazy, or they were annoyed because they wanted to sleep so badly.

As soon as they looked away, it started again. After that, I don't remember much, but I woke up shortly after to the horrid sound of loud, near-diarrhetic farts. The smell formed a wall around me. Only then did I realize that I'd been dreaming. Some of the relatives I ran to for help aren't alive in real life. Details about the houses I ran through didn't match up with reality. I should have known that I was dreaming, but for some reason, it didn't register to my stupid mind.

But holy shit, these farts were nearly killing me. I was maybe three gassers away from becoming an urban legend. They were so close to messy shits, I knew that if I didn't get up, I ran the risk of shitting myself. Most of my body wanted to stay there and go back to sleep. It still felt dulled by the meds, and I wanted to relax and let the pills do their work. However, at the same time, I didn't want to shit myself for the second time in the same year as an adult. I didn't even want that ONE instance, but that was beyond my control, since I was dying at the time. Now? No. I couldn't allow it.

I dragged myself out of bed to the bathroom, where I sat on the toilet for a half-hour, dropping gassers so deadly they burned. No diarrhea, even though I'd expected it. But then again, painkillers tend to block me up, so I shouldn't have expected that, anyway.

Finally, I got up, wiped my customary three times--nothing, of course--and looked at the clock. Much to my surprise, I had only been asleep for ONE FUCKING HOUR. It had felt like an eternity.

I went back to bed and tried to go to sleep. I still had a bit of painkiller funk in me, so I had a slight smile on my face, but I just couldn't find slumber again. I twisted and turned, but nothing happened. Part of me was tempted to take another painkiller, just to get to sleep, but I'd been through enough. Besides, that way leads madness. So far, I've been able to avoid an opiate addiction. Hell, I bested the king of Elmhurst Hospital, Dilaudid. I'm not going to give in to these measly pain pills. In the end, I had to get up for work and go through the motions, exhausted out of my mind. The painkillers had worn off by then, but I felt so miserable, I almost didn't go to Days of the Dead tonight.

The brisk walk through the cold night from the parking garage to the hotel woke me up considerably, of course, but when I got home, I couldn't stay up for very long. I'm surprised I managed to write a GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS tonight, especially one this long.

Seriously. I'm on my last leg. I think I'll last long enough to post this thing, and that's it. Don't wake me for anything tomorrow. Hugs and kisses, all. --JB

Friday, November 21, 2014


TRIPLE ZOMBIE is finally upon us. Next Friday, it will be unleashed on you all. I'm in this one with Jason Beech and James A. Newman, and it's going to knock you back on your heels. My tale is called "Captain Meth-Mouth on the High Seas of Chicago," and it's even more entertaining than the title suggests. In fact, it's one of the best things I've ever written.

To give you an idea of what's in store for you, check out this Beach Hut conversation we had about it.

I'll let you know as soon as it comes out. Keep an eye on Spanking Pulp Press for more information.

Prepare yourself for some great zombie pulp . . . stay tuned.

UPDATE: The following is the product information for TRIPLE ZOMBIE. I'm sure you'll all love this and want to buy it immediately.


The first in a series of PULP COLLECTIONS. This triple ZOMBIE offering is a dish not to be missed. 

First up:


Lizzy and Frank are seemingly the only two people left in the world after a zombie apocalypse. Lizzy has visions of being the world's new Eve. The only problem is Frank being its new Adam. He's big, dumb, doesn't look after his teeth, and his bloodshot left eye makes her suspect he's heading for life as one of the undead. She wants to get away from New Jersey to the less populated New Mexico, but Frank has unfinished business. He wants to find Danny, the man who betrayed his gang of armed robbers, even though he knows he's one of the brain-dead horde. 

In the meantime Lizzy deals with her own demons, checking her old home and the sister she locked away years ago. When she suspects there might be another human out there, a woman to rival her status as Eve, Lizzy's actions lead to an explosive ending.

AUTHOR: JASON BEECH lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey. As a kid he once stole a mushroom from a corner shop. The owner’s dog followed him all the way home, making him walk about a mile’s diversion from where he lived to shake the damn thing off. Otherwise, he’s a law-abiding citizen who loves crime fiction. He has authored the novel Over the Shoulder and short story collection Bullets, Teeth & Fists. His work can be found at Shotgun Honey, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Plots with Guns, and Pulp Metal Magazine. He structurally edited Monica Kaushik’s Maya & the Butterfly, and her soon-published Warriors of the Darkness.

And then: 


In a zombie-ravaged world, only the fittest and most cunning survive. Dwight Fitzgerald used to spend his time smoking weed, going to school, and working on the Treasure Island Adventure Show in Miami as the captain of a pirate ship. Now he fights for survival, and he's playing the role for real. As he approaches Chicago, hoping that the rumors of a zombie-free city are true, he has no idea that he's about to clash with the ruler of the Windy City, Captain Meth-Mouth. This lunatic and former junkie has always wanted to be a pirate, and when he sees Dwight's ship, he seizes the opportunity to live out a savage childhood fantasy . . .

AUTHOR: JOHN BRUNI has never wanted to live in the zombie apocalypse or be a pirate, but he's always wanted to be a writer. His dream has come true. He is the author of STRIP and TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, and his work has appeared in many publications, most notably in SHROUD, CTHULHU SEX, A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE, and ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! BRAIN BANG

And finally:


Johnny Coca Cola, once infamous for filming THE ZOMBIE DINNER PARTY is on the skids in a Malaysian port where he finds Beth who is looking to leave town fast. Together they climb aboard a cargo ship heading for Hamburg with a stopover at Sri Lanka to pick up a container load of dead monkeys. Conner is the middle man, CIA, who is instructed to lose the cargo overseas somewhere in the Indian ocean. All he knows is that the specimens are part of a US funded scientific project to reanimate dead flesh. What could possibly go wrong?

AUTHOR: JAMES A. NEWMAN has published over fifty pulp short stories in various publications all over the world; most recently for STRANGE STORY SATURDAY, BIG PULP and TWISTED TALES Magazines. He writes mainly horror, crime and sci-fi shorts and has recently turned his hand to screenplays after picking up an option for crime novel THE WHITE FLAMINGO.


Because of this oral surgery, here is a list of things I can't do, and it's driving me fucking nuts.

--I can't take a bite out of anything. This means that I have to cut up all of my food and ease each piece carefully into my mouth. This is what I did with pretzel sticks at the bar tonight, which made me feel pretty stupid.

--I can't eat chips because they are sharp and might tear my stitches.

--I can't eat fast food, because most of that shit is something I have to take a bite out of, and I don't feel like cutting up a Quesarito in my car, which I just detailed a couple of weeks ago.

--I can't drink out of a straw. I didn't think I'd care too much about that until I realized how often I drink out of a straw. From McDonald's Cokes to my water bottle at work. Fuck.

--I can't brush my lower front teeth, and I can't use mouthwash.

--I can't eat anything hot and/or spicy.

I can't do any of these things for a month, which fucking blows. I guess this would be the perfect time to break out that juicer and take it for a spin. I'll be doing that starting next week, since I'm going to see how long I can stomach the vile process of cutting cheeseburgers and pizza up.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I had to recently replace my printer. I don't use it often, since most publications accept manuscripts via email, but I still do use it for those rare few that don't, and for personal correspondence when someone doesn't have email. I found myself in the latter position tonight, and despite the fact that I just installed a new black ink cartridge, it wouldn't fucking print. Why? Because this printer, the Officejet 6600 by HP, won't print in black and white if the color cartridges aren't reasonably full.

I don't print in color. I never print in color. I have no reason to print in color. But apparently, I can't print in BLACK AND FUCKING WHITE if I don't have full COLOR INK CARTRIDGES. This makes ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING COCKSUCKING MOTHERFONDLING SENSE.

If I had known about this stupid fucking thing, I would have never bought the HP Officejet 6600. But never mind that. I want you to get your mind around the fact that I WANT TO PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE. I HAVE A FULL BLACK INK CARTRIDGE. I CAN'T PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE BECAUSE THE MOTHRASUCKING COLOR CARTRIDGES AREN'T FULL ENOUGH. I can understand if I was trying to print my letter in blue. Or green. Or red. Or any combination of the primary colors. BUT I ONLY WANT TO PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE, WHICH I HAVE A FULL ROCKFUCKING CARTRIDGE FOR.

My old printer never had color ink in it. Because I didn't fucking need it. Instead, I always had a full black ink cartridge. And it never failed me if I didn't have color ink in my printer. (My old printer was an HP printer, so apparently, HP decided to deliberately fuck up their own services.)

I called HP and tried to find out why this baffling fucking thing can possibly be true. I don't want to burn the guy I talked to. I know that he's just a representative of something that doesn't work like it should. I get enough of that at work, myself. He was cool. But HP? Because they made something completely nonsensical a reality, I have nothing but bile for them. This guy had no explanation for me. Just like I have no explanation for the customers at my job who ask me why something doesn't fucking work.

Is it too much trouble to ask our corporations to get things to work like they should?

Sorry, I'm stupid for asking that. I forgot that corporations don't serve us. They serve their own bottom line, and that has nothing to do with me. Or us. Or anything, really. It's days like this that I want to retreat into the wilderness and wait for the rest of this planet to burn to the ground.

I really can't go to bed like this. I have painkillers from my oral surgery yesterday, but they won't help. I have alcohol, but it will only amplify my mood and make matters worse. I need something to soothe the hatred I feel right now.

Porn is the only answer. Maybe it's not time for sleep, after all. OK, I'll watch some porn. And then I'll go to sleep. Just pretend that I'm telling you goodnight, fuckers. Until next time . . .


Some of you may recall that I had a bout with gingivitis a few years back, and while I've defeated it, my gums have receded a bit too much. I wound up losing a tooth to it. I got an implant, as described in my old multi-part "Tales of Dentistry." The dentist I'm about to talk about is referred to as Dentist Two in the second part of that series.

I recently went to my dentist for a cleaning, and the hygienist said that my gums on tooth 26 had receded too far, to the point where if I did nothing about it, I would lose that tooth. Dentist one referred me to dentist two again for a skin graft.

I just got back from my Vegas vacation, so I had the day off to recover. Because it sounded urgent, I decided to go in for my gum graft today and get that over with. It went very well. There were no issues. However, after, when I was setting up my appointment to get the stitches taken out, the receptionist suddenly remembered me. Dentist two remembered fairly well, but the receptionist suddenly had total recall.

She asked me if I used to come in with my grandfather. I did. She asked me if I was a writer. I was (and still am, in case all of you have forgotten). She asked me if I liked horror, and I said yes.

Then, she said something very odd to me. She said that she remembered thinking about this nice young man who used to come in with his grandfather, who needed a tooth implant. Immediately, I thought, "Oh shit." Because I was on my best behavior due to the fact I was going to see a dentist whom I didn't know. (I don't act like myself if I'm in such a situation.) Also, my grandfather was with me because I was on trial for DUI at the time. If he didn't drive me, I couldn't make it to the dentist.

But then she said that she wanted to set me up with her daughter, who really likes horror books, whose husband she hated. I wanted to tell her about the way I really am, but I knew it would just be more awkward, so I stayed silent.

And then she asked about how my writing career was going, so I talked vaguely about my first book, STRIP, from MUSA, and my second book, TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, from StrangeHouse. Also, I told her my third book was coming out soon, although I didn't mention the title. It's pretty vulgar, and it might change by the time it comes out. But still.

The next thing I know, she's telling everyone else in the office that I'm a writer of horror and crime. All of a sudden, everyone, including Dentist Two, wants to read my books. They said they were going to look me up on Amazon.

I didn't dare tell them that my second book features a space giant fucking the sun, as provided by the awesome Jesse Wheeler.

Only one of them strikes me as someone who might enjoy my work. The others? Let's just say that my next visit to the office should be . . . interesting.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


While most of my writer friends are heading out to BizzaroCon for the weekend, I'll be heading out to see my family in Vegas. I'm sure I'll pop in here and there, but for the most part, expect radio silence until Tuesday, maybe Wednesday (since when I get back, I'll be undergoing oral surgery). I'm not going to be writing, either, not even GF. I'll probably write in my travel journal, but that's it. In the meantime, behave yourselves, and don't die. I like you all, and I'd be sad if you weren't around anymore.

Now I've got to get to bed. The cab is coming at 4 in the damn am.

Part of me hopes that the oral surgeon will prescribe pain pills for me. Another part of me hopes she won't. I know I can easily turn into a junkie. I'd suck cock for Dilaudid, hands down. The pain pills don't do much for me, unless I triple the dose. Then? I'm very happy. But I have maybe ten pain pills left from a surgery performed a year ago. I'm pretty sure that's evidence that I haven't turned into a junkie. Yet.

She won't do it, though. She told me the procedure is 10 minutes long. 20, tops. She'll just numb my gums a little--A LITTLE--before she cuts a piece off the roof of my mouth and grafts it on to tooth #26 (so my receding gums don't look quite so scary anymore). That doesn't sound like something she'll give me pain pills for. She'll probably advise aspirin. Fuck.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Sorry, my head's all fucked up right now. I'm trying to think something through. I received a letter today that threw me completely off, and I'm not even feeling like myself right now. I don't even know what I was going to write for tonight's GF, anyway. For nights like this, I have a list of back-up ideas, just in case I can't think of what I should talk about. They're not written beforehand, though; they're just ideas.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had something to write. I'm sure when I was in elementary school, there were gaps, but to the best of my memory, I've always had something to write ever since I started.

Often I wonder what I would do if I didn't have an idea to work with, and I rarely find myself in such a situation. There's always something to tinker with, at the very least. There is occasionally a fear in the back of my head that when I get through the list of ideas I have on tap, that I might not have any more ideas after that, and I frustrate myself by trying to think of what I would do in such an instance.

Except, now that I think about it, there actually WAS one time that I had nothing to write. It was many years ago, maybe 13 years. I didn't have a single idea to work with, but I still had to write. I couldn't just waste away in front of a blank screen. I recently discovered a collection of writing exercises I did back then. There are about 15 of them, one for each night, just to make sure my writing abilities stayed sharp.

They're kind of odd to read because they're not exactly stories. They're descriptions of mundane things. One time I wrote about my commute to and from work. Another time I described someone I saw walking down the sidewalk. Hell, there was even a time when I described a time I jerked off. That's how bored I was, but I had to write. The compulsion is in me. If I don't, I start feeling weird. The world doesn't connect with me. I start doubting my own existence. Sometimes I think that writing is the only thing that stands between me and a healthy dose of schizophrenia.

Luckily, this has only ever happened once in my life. I hope it never happens again. To writers who wonder what to do with themselves when they don't have ideas, I highly recommend this type of exercise. I don't know what the fuck I would have done if I hadn't occupied my mind like this.

Some of you might wonder about the letter I received. I can't talk about it right now, as it is of a very personal nature. Maybe I'll write about it some day, but I need to sort through a few things in my head before I ever do that. It has nothing to do with writing, though.


You might be wondering why there wasn't a GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS last night. A friend I haven't seen in maybe two years came to town, and I hung out with him and his brother at the Spring Inn last night, drinking maybe a bit more than I should have. By the time I got home, I wanted nothing more than to fall into bed. I think it was about 1:30, which would explain why I was so hungover at work today.

I really should drink more often at the Spring Inn. I miss that place. Once upon a time, I used to be in there at least once a week. In fact, back in my early to mid-twenties, I drank in a bar every weeknight. Monday's were spent at Doc Ryan's because they had dollar pints. Tuesdays were Elmhurst Public House nights because they had dollar personal pitchers. Wednesdays were random bar nights, which I sometimes went to, but didn't always make it. Thursdays were spent at what used to be called Lucky Strike. I forget what it is now, though. I think it's Fitz's Seven-Ten, or something. And then Friday nights were spent at Spring Inn, at least until closing, at which point we'd all go over to Brauerhouse back when it was in Berkeley, since it stayed open one hour later. Brauerhouse has since burned down, which sucks because it was a fucking great place to get drunk. They moved out to Lombard, but I hear it's just not the same. One day, I'll give it a shot, but I don't know if I want to make new memories at a place that probably can't hold a candle to the memories I made in the old place.

Holy fuck. I drank heavily every night. Those were the good old days. But my favorite was always Spring Inn. It's a neighborhood bar, not a sports bar or a college bar or any of that shit. It's a small place that doesn't serve food. Back in the old days, if you went there, it was almost a certainty that you wouldn't get laid there. If you were drinking there, you were drinking to get fucked the fuck up. That's important to me. Sometimes, you want to have the possibility of sex, but there was a certain freedom in not having that at the front of your brain.

How did things go last night? Perfectly, I think. It's good to know that the Spring Inn is still the cheapest place to get fucked up in Elmhurst. I drank like a fiend, and I had a thirty dollar bill at the end of the night. Anywhere else in the area, and it would have cost me seventy. It's good to know that the same bartender is still there, and that he remembers me. I don't know if he'd be cool with me mentioning his name, so I won't. Every once in a while, he'll supply us with a free drink, and that is the key to being a great bartender. Hell, in my opinion, he's the best. That's why I always tip him more than any sane man would. (Of course, that could be the Italian in my blood, but I don't think so. If he sucked, I wouldn't kick in quite so much.)

It's good to know that it's still a great place for conversation. You can hang out, drink, play darts, etc. But it's mostly a place to talk shit about whatever you enjoy. Whatever you hate. Whatever helps you through the night. It's usually dead on weeknights, but last night it was almost empty. It's kind of disappointing, because more people means the higher probability of adventure. But also at the same time, it's encouraging because it's a more intimate setting where you don't have to shout to be heard.

Most importantly: it's good to know that metal still reigns supreme at the Spring Inn. Near the end of the night, Metallica blasted out to us, which brought me back to my hard-drinking days of yore.

Last call came about. I guzzled one more Wild Turkey 101--because the Spring Inn is the only bar in the area that has WT101, the finest whiskey known to humanity--and we went out into the streets, where I hung out with my friend and his brother for a while longer, while they had one more cigarette. (Because my friend has been abroad, he was surprised to discover that you couldn't smoke in bars around here.) And then, I went home, where I stumbled up to bed.

I can't tell you how many nights I've stumbled up to bed after drinking at the Spring Inn. I haven't been there since the last time my friend was in town. I think. Actually, no. Another friend was passing through, and we went to the Spring Inn for a brief hang before heading out to Elgin for some serious boozing. But for a guy who used to go to the Spring Inn every week? Two times in two years is a terrible rate.

I think I shouldn't neglect my favorite bar anymore.

I've been icing my drinks since my pancreas problem. The bartender didn't know about my health issues, so when I asked for whiskey with ice in it, he looked at me kind of weird.

My reputation precedes me . . .

Monday, November 10, 2014


Judging by the numbers, almost none of you read my Sunday posts. OK, that's not fair. A bit less than a quarter of you read the Sunday posts. Tonight's topic will probably not interest anyone, so I figured I'd throw it up on a Sunday. If you don't give a shit about GUNSMOKE, now's the time to bail.

(I'm only talking about the TV show here. The radio show was a different beast, an alternate reality. In that one, Chester's last name was Proudfoot. Doc was a drunk who fell from grace because he possibly performed back alley abortions. Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty were definitely fucking, although it was uncertain if she was being paid for it. Never mind that. My thoughts regard the TV show, where Chester's last name was Goode, Doc only drinks every once in a while and probably doesn't know how to stir a fetus out of a woman and Matt Dillon and Kitty, while very good friends, were clearly not in a romantic/sexual relationship no matter how much people wished for it.)

There was never an origin story for GUNSMOKE. One day, America started tuning in to the adventures of Matt Dillon, US Marshal, and his friends in Dodge City around the 1870's. We know very little about the characters before they arrived in Dodge City. We know that Matt was an orphan who fell into criminal activity before he became a lawman. We know that Chester came from the Appalachians, like his replacement, Festus. We know that Miss Kitty was previously in Louisiana, probably New Orleans, before coming to Kansas. But we don't know anything beyond that. We don't even know how they met.

I had an odd moment on Friday as I was watching that night's episode. (I watch them on the 50th anniversary of the day they originally aired, so that night's episode had debuted on November 7, 1964.) There's just a way that the characters interact with each other that led me to think about how they came together in the first place.

I think Doc was the first to come to town, probably before the Civil War began. People trust him a lot, as if they've known him for a long time. He's got a solid reputation. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he'd set out his shingle before the Longbranch opened its doors.

I think Chester came next, maybe in 1870, but he never really hung out with Doc. They knew each other, but I don't think they were friends. And then Miss Kitty bought the saloon (or at least the majority interest she had when we first met her; years later, she would become the sole proprietor) that she would turn into the Longbranch. I think Doc drank there and performed services for Kitty's girls, and they formed a friendship because of this. When you see the two of them interact on the show, even in the early years, it's like they've known each other forever, even before Matt Dillon came to town.

Which is why I think Matt showed up last. I don't think he'd been marshal for very long before we first met him in the series premiere. I think his path crossed with Chester's, and the two of them fell in together. As a marshal, he had to rely on Doc, the only doctor in town. Through Doc, he met Kitty. Through Matt, Chester became close friends with the others. And so the original quartet was formed.

We know how Quint came to town. We know how Festus came to town. And, while I'm getting ahead of myself (seeing as how it's 1964 in the GUNSMOKE lobe of my brain), we know how Thad and Newly came to town. But not even the books from the past 20 years, which are considered canon, have explained how the original group met each other. (Although one of them tried to explain what happened to Chester after Festus showed up. It's thought that he became a farmer, although anyone who knows Chester knows that he has an aversion to physical labor, not to mention the fact that the one time he tried that on the show, he was a resounding failure at it. In my opinion, he met a girl and started a family elsewhere. He always was a ladies man.)

The one man who would know for sure, John Meston, who created first the radio show and then the TV show, has been dead for almost as long as I've been alive, so we'll never know.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


None of us ever think about the money we handle. For a society that is paranoid about catching Ebola, no one cares about the exchange of money in our country. At a fast food restaurant or a theater or anywhere, really, we're happy to hand over, say, a twenty and get our change back. But no one ever thinks about the change they give to us. You don't know who held that dollar before you did. The person in front of you at the drive-thru at McDonald's could be a cokehead, and the dollar you get back when you're at the window could have cocaine residue on it. (Unless it was the guy from THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, who doesn't believe in one-dollar bills for coke-sniffing.) Or it could have shit on it, which happens more often than not. It could have Ebola on it.

But no one cares. Why would you?

But never mind that. Some people don't think too often about change--as in, actual coins--because who gives a fuck? My friend, Josh, got rare coins whenever he worked the register at the gas station he used to work at. I have a few Nazi coins because of my stepfather's father. And then there's the scene from UHF about the rare Indian head penny that grants a homeless dude a fortune.

I recently got a 1920 wheat penny back from a transaction at McDonald's. Very few people would think about something like this. If you don't know what a wheat penny is, it's a penny so old that it doesn't have the Lincoln Memorial on the back. It just has ONE CENT back there with a couple of pieces of wheat surrounding it in almost a circle.

But who cares about a penny, right?

I would never call myself an antiquarian. I'm not nearly pretentious enough for something like that. However, I do appreciate old things. I'm interested in eras that have passed us by. Hell, I should be. I grew up in an era where nearly everything that was considered ordinary is now condemned as illegal or at least questionable.

The 1920 wheat penny is worth exactly one cent today. However it's psychically worth more. This penny was seven years old when my grandfather--my oldest living relative I can think of--was born, just to give you an idea. Who knows the hands it passed through, back in the day when one pound of bread was worth ten cents? World War I vets probably held this thing. People who suffered through the Great Depression maybe kept it in their pockets. People who were shamed by Prohibition probably paid bartenders in speakeasies this penny. Hell, it's possible that the last of the Civil War vets could have touched this thing.

Maybe--JUST MAYBE--my grandfather owned this penny when he was a kid, growing up in a household that prohibited speaking English at home. His family wanted to be Americans, and they knew the language, but at home, he would be punished if he spoke anything but Greek. Today? He remembers almost nothing of his parents' language. He recalls the curse words, but that's about it.

He was born in 1927. His wife--my grandmother--was born in 1930. Just to give you an idea.

It makes me wonder: will there come an era when there are new people walking the earth, and they'll be marveling over 2014 pennies that someone gave back to them at a McDonald's drive-thru? Will they be pleasantly surprised? "Dude, this could have been held by the Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden!" Or, less likely, "What if the guy who wrote TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE touched this penny?" Provided, of course, that they still have physical money in the future.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Sorry. That sounded a bit more dramatic than I meant it to sound. I mean to ask my fellow writers: have you ever written a story for a while, so that you have a great deal of work into it, and have suddenly fallen out of love with it? Maybe it takes a turn you didn't expect, and you no longer care for it? That has happened to me recently.

The way I work is, I work on a novel, and when I finish the first draft, I let it simmer for a while so I can work on short fiction. When I'm done with the short story ideas that have accumulated in my head, I go back to the novel and work on the second and third (which is usually the final) drafts.

Right now, I'm working on short stories, and the one I'm struggling through is really eroding my desire to write it. I think it's a great idea, but everything I try is doing its best to turn me away. I'm starting to think that even though I enjoy this idea, I want to quit and move on to something else. I believe in this short story, at least until the middle point of the narrative, but the ending doesn't want to help me out here. Does anyone have an idea as to what I should do? My initial thought is to just move on, but I think I have something here.

It's so aggravating. I don't normally write fantasy stories, and this one is a sword and sorcery tale. It's resisting me, so I wonder if I should save it for another day.


Thursday, November 6, 2014


Last night's GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS was posted this morning due to technical issues on my end. What were those technical issues? I'm glad you asked. You probably won't be glad you asked, though. Prepare yourself for another bitching and moaning edition of GF.

Ever since I got this laptop, it's been pestering me about some kind of Windows update, an update I don't want because I'm happy with what I have. Every once in a while, it will remind me about this fuckin' thing, and I'll tell it no, I don't want your fucking update. And it goes away.

Last night, I was just finishing up writing the GF post when I got a notification that regardless of my wishes, Windows was going to do the update. It would, against my will, shut down my computer to make this happen. FUCK. Well, I saw the countdown, and I figured I had enough time.

I finished the post, but I saw I had less than a minute left. No time to publish and promote it. Most updates on this thing don't take very long, so I figured I'd save it, wait fifteen minutes for the update, and then publish and promote.

This update literally took all night. I sat for a while, reading, and when I looked over after a half an hour, I saw 25% had been completed. Fuck. I bagged and boarded my comic book purchases and put them off to the side to be filed later. I wrote some checks for my bills. I essentially did busy work until I saw that a half an hour later, it was at 99%. I waited patiently until it hit 100%, and I prepared to finish off my night.

And then it started a new round of updates. I tried to stick it out. Really, I did. But when it hit 12:30, and it wasn't even past 15%, I couldn't do it anymore. I gave up and went to bed. Except since I can't turn the fucking thing off, I had to cover it with my undershirt so the glow from the screen wouldn't keep me up.

When I got up this morning, I saw that it was still updating. As I got dressed, it hit 100%. And then, it started doing something else. Fuck. I ate breakfast and brushed my teeth and finally--FUCKING FINALLY--I saw my login screen.

I didn't want this update. It was forced on me, and because of it, I was inconvenienced. Granted, it's not the end of the world. It's not like Windows gave me Ebola or anything. But technology is supposed to make things easier for you, right? One would say, perhaps, convenient?

Technology doesn't take no for an answer. It relentlessly pursues, and then it forces itself upon you like some kind of fucking vampire. There is no escape, and there is no mercy. Once you invite it into your house, it will never leave.

Say what you will about ESCAPE FROM LA, but I love the fuck out of that ending. For those who haven't seen it, I won't spoil it even though it's been around for quite some time. Those of you who have seen it will know what I'm talking about.

The update wasn't even all that much. I saw two changes, and one of them was to make sure the Windows store is on my toolbar, because they're eager whores.

Why does technology constantly seek to make cosmetic changes? We're happy with what we have. The cosmetic changes aren't important. Facebook and Twitter do this shit all the time. If there's something that actually improves service? I'm OK with that. Changing things just because they will look different is just bullshit.

We're happy with what we have. Or at least, I am. No need to fuck with something that isn't broken.

I've got to go now. Those goddam kids are on my lawn again . . .


[Or perhaps I should say GOOD MORNING, FUCKERS. I was going to post this last night, but I had a technical issue with my computer, which I will probably talk/complain about for tonight's GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS. I didn't change anything from the post, so it's still composed of thoughts from the top of my head before going to bed. I only added this preface to let you know that I DO have a reason for not posting last night, and it wasn't because I was drunk in a ditch or anything like that. Without further ado . . .]

I was, for the most part, raised by my mother's parents. My mother's side of the family were always dog people, except I showed up at the end of that era. I remember as a child having a cocker spaniel named Brandy around my grandparents' home. I loved that dog, but I was pretty young when she got sick and had to be put to sleep. I don't think I was even five at the time. By that point, I think my grandparents' hearts had been broken by a long line of sick dogs needing to be put to sleep, so they vowed to never get another pet again.

When I was a kid and was told that Brandy had been put down, I cried. I hated my grandparents because I was a kid and didn't understand the world yet.

I'm not a pet person, and I don't think I ever will be. I like cats and dogs and fish, but I don't want to be responsible for another creature's life. If I could have the kind of relationship John Wayne had with the dog in HONDO, that would be fine. I don't like the idea of buying my friends. It makes me feel cheap and needy. I don't have anything against people who do have pets, it's just not my thing. I think the idea was cemented into my head by the death of Brandy, and that's fine. I can barely take care of myself, anyway.

But I remember from my youth that Gramps would always take Brandy out into the backyard for her shits. Back then, we had a huge backyard that bordered along the interstate. I remember I would sit back there with my cousin and watch the trucks blaze by. Then, they put up a wall, which I hated back then because it took away my truck-watching fun. Now? I understand that they built it because the people who lived on that block actually wanted to sleep at night.

But my grandfather would take the dog out into the backyard, and Brandy would shit. Gramps would then bring the dog in, and he'd take a shovel--which still hangs in his garage to this day--and he'd scoop up the shit and fling it over the fence at the rear of the backyard.

Whenever my cousin and I played ball back there, and the ball went over the fence, I never wanted to get it because I imagined mountains and mountains of dogshit from Brandy just waiting to be stepped in. Obviously, only a kid would think that. But still, even now I think about those towering piles of shit, and I wonder if maybe we could have grown for-real crops, like farmers.

Drifters would sometimes walk back there. Hitchhikers and people who were looking for help. (Before the wall went up, that is.)  I wonder how many of them cursed out Brandy and the other dogs in the neighborhood. Gramps wasn't alone. All of our neighbors threw our dogshit back there.

That's probably illegal now, like leaf-burning, which I also enjoyed to do as a kid. I don't exactly miss the old days, but it's still kind of weird thinking about the things that were normal back then. Maybe I'll write more about that in a future GF. Until then, goodnight fuckers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I know this title will throw a lot of you off, because most of the people I know think nothing is more important than voting in America. Well . . . sorry, but there are more important things. Voting is a charade, not just for the Presidential election, which is outlined here, but also because, well, it doesn't matter who wins, does it? Democrat or Republican--and those are the ONLY TWO CHOICES--are run by the same corporations who REALLY control this company, er, I mean, country.

If I had my choice, I would have voted for Chad Grimm. I agree with him on all things except for ONE issue: he wants to dissolve government pensions, and I think that's bullshit. But! No one actually has a choice, because there are only two choices: R or D. And those aren't choices at all, because both are controlled by outside forces.

Nothing short of watering the Tree of Liberty with blood will change that. We're stuck with this system until it collapses, and it will. We won't be alive to see it, but our grandchildren will.

My solution? Dissolving the very idea of corporations. They served their purpose years ago, but now they're draining our society like vampires. Of course, if we outlawed this concept, they'd only move to another country, which would decimate our population. To be fair, fuck it. Let corporations be the rest of the world's problem. Maybe we could use a good decimation to remind our upper class of what it's like to actually earn money. Those of us with physical skills will make out fine. Those whose parents wiped their baby asses with hundred dollar bills will have it rough. I'll certainly be out of a job, but I know enough where I could at least get by as much as I do today.

Regulate the fuck out of banks. They're another societal drain, and the only people who will suffer from their regulation will be the super-to-moderately rich, and fuck them because they ruined this country.

Remember when gas was five cents a gallon? Me, neither. The best I can do is 99-cents a gallon, when I was a kid. But we can achieve this again. We can give the American dollar value once more.

But we won't because we're lost in the us vs. them paradigm. Rauner said a lot about both sides working together, and he was right. But he didn't actually mean any of it. Too bad. If he did, he might actually be able to help us.

I'll go you one step further: eliminate the idea of Democrats and Republicans. Parties shouldn't exist. In a true democracy, we should be given non-partisan choices to chose from. That way, no one is beholden to any given party. They can single out a person who speaks for them and chose him or her on that person's own merits.

Whoops! Didn't mean to get silly there. We don't think very well without a group-think kind of mind.

Here's an uncomfortable idea: I think I was wrong in the past about popular vote. Seeing the world as an older adult, I realize that most of the people in this country are racist, misogynistic, homophobic fucks, and if they have their way, we'll lose at least a century's worth of ground on civil rights. I also know that 90% of everyone is fucking stupid, so we'll get stupid shit 90% of the time.

Sometimes, I wonder if STARSHIP TROOPERS was right: you can only earn the ability to vote by serving in the military. Especially if voters were promised to never pay taxes in such a situation. Except . . . well, that leads to all sorts of brainwashing.

So here's the best I can give you for now: no more corporations (which are Communist anyway, you capitalist fuckers) and no more Democrats and Republicans. That's not going to happen, though, because corporations, Democrats and Republicans have a shit-ton of power and are never going to give it up.

If that's the case, we might as well sell America to the Chinese. Maybe they can whip our shit into shape. I doubt it, but it might be better than the shit we're doing now.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. What's more important than voting? People make a big deal out of voting, which is really just some kind of dog and pony show that means next to nothing. What's better than that kind of bullshit? Convenience. If I thought my vote actually meant something, I'd register. As of now, it doesn't, and I'm not. Let's say that I registered to vote for your bullshit princess party. What would happen to me then? Well, I'd be eligible for jury duty. Fuck jury duty. I'm not willing to trade that bullshit for the facade of choosing a politician to supposedly represent me. Fuck that.

Why would I put myself through the torture of getting out of jury duty just so I can pretend to vote for someone who will pretend to run the state/nation government? That's a losing bet to me. Goodnight, suckers.

Monday, November 3, 2014


I returned to work today after having a week off. I didn't have any medical emergencies or anything like that, but I did have a lot of work around the house which I had to take care of. I didn't get it all done, but I was pretty busy.

What happens when I take time off from work? A lot, actually. Usually there are a ton of changes in procedure. Someone invariably sits at my desk and moves things around, not to mention fucks with the settings on my computer. And then I have to work through about 500 emails. Most of them are garbage, but there are a few that contain the procedural changes I mentioned before, and they're pretty important. It's just a matter of weeding them out.

Shocker of all shocks: there were no procedure changes. No one sat at my desk. Nothing was moved around. My settings were the very same as I left them. And I didn't even have 300 emails. Most of them were garbage. Hell, 99.999999% of them were trash.

BUT! When I came back, I saw there was a new handbook about something or other. I won't be specific because most of you don't know where I work (and I want to keep it that way, since that frees me up to talk about it without talking shit about the company, which would get me fired).

To be vague, it's about a new product we're offering. It's supposed to educate us about what we'll be doing in the future. Here's the problem: it's written by an asshole who wants to obfuscate EVERYTHING to the point where no one knows shit about anything, but it sounds important and valuable to customers.

This is one of the things that bothers me about the world today. At the risk of sounding like one of the assholes I regularly rage against (YOU KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH 'MURICA?!), I have to talk about how complicated things are made by manipulation of language. I'm not just talking about euphemisms, I'm talking about hardcore word-crunching. The first page after the table of contents was supposed to simplify the product we're now offering.

Except . . . it did nothing of the sort. Two words in, and my mind blanked, which is exactly what the writer had in mind. I reread that first sentence three or four times, and I still couldn't get my head around it, again, as the writer intended.

The rest of the handbook outlines charts and graphs and maps and all sorts of things. The only thing I understood was that that product is housed in buildings resistant to natural disasters, up to and including earthquakes and tsunamis. This is the only valuable piece of information I gleaned from the handbook, and that's fine. Customers want to be reassured of such things.

BUT! This handbook is not meant for public consumption. It's meant for people who work at the company, and to write this nonsense is completely counterproductive. If you're trying to screw the idea of a product that people need into their head? That's fine. But I'm one of the people who has to support this bullshit. Save the double-talk for Average Joe, who would never, in a million years, make sense of this absolute fucking drivel. But for the people who are trying to make sure the bullshit works, at least on a surface level? Maybe try to help us understand.

Look. I'm a consumer. I don't need a smartphone. Maybe you do, and I don't fault you for it. It's not necessary for me. I'm happy with my CD collection, but if you need an iTunes account for all that stuff, that's your business. The rest of you are Kindle-crazy, and that's cool, since I have books available for Kindle, but I only read physical books unless I absolutely have to make an exception.

There are a lot of things that make life easier for some people, and for others, they just don't need it. Let's stop trying to convince people who don't need extra shit that they need it, okay?

I don't need cloud protection, for example. Ask Jennifer Lawrence how she feels about her cloud protection. But if that's your thing, that's your thing.

WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. We all have different needs. What's right for me isn't right for others and vice versa. Put it another way: would you equate yourself to someone like, say, Ted Bundy? Of course not (unless you're actually a serial killer, in which case I hope you stop reading my work immediately).

We need to stop manipulating through language. We need to state boldly what we mean by certain things. We need to stop confusing people just so they'll buy our products.

I just realized I spent a lot of time blithering about things I consider absolute fucking drivel, and I'm pretty sure that there are a few people who would actually consider this post to be absolute fucking drivel. But fuck it. Say what you mean for a change. Stop trying to appeal to everybody, because when you do that, you're a wishy-washy fuckface.

You can't appeal to everybody. You can only say what you mean, and other people who agree will gravitate toward you. Who knows? You might convince someone who thinks the opposite to join you. It's not likely, but remember: it's OK to have enemies. Or people who don't agree with you. Or people who think you're crazy.

All right, I need to go to bed now. I think I might need to get laid.


A Halloween tradition for me is watching "Night on Bald Mountain," a segment from Disney's FANTASIA. It's spooky as all fuck, but also incredibly sad. I missed it this year because I was busy getting drunk instead, but I watched it the next day.

I'm sure a lot of you can understand why I get such a kick out of this thing. It's a great party of ghosts and demons, and the orchestra of chaos and madness is a sight to behold. It's so unusual for something like this to exist from the time it was created. One would think it would have been banned for being Satanic.

But the demons dancing and the ghosts swirling aren't the reasons I truly enjoy this piece. My favorite part comes when the monster, who is probably the Devil, is excited to continue his insane party but is prevented by the dawning sun and the toll of the church bells. The demons skulk away to the shadows, and the ghosts drift back down to their graves, banished for yet another year.

And the monster, yearning for so much more, reaches mournfully to the brightening sky before folding himself back into Bald Mountain. As his arms fall, and the wings tighten around him, that's when I feel the saddest.

Until next year . . .

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I blacked out last night. Usually, I'm OK with that, because it gives me the opportunity to piece together what happened the night before in a Faulkner-esque way. I love mysteries, and that's the perfect kind. But I'm 36 years old, and that's too old to be getting black-out drunk.

I did not expect to get that way. I'm trying to figure out how it happened, and I have a few thoughts. They're not excuses, because I should have known better, and I went ahead and was an asshole anyway. To anyone I might have hurt while blacked out, I apologize and hope you can forgive me. Usually, if I hurt someone, I have messages on my phone, but I don't have any now. I don't think I hurt anyone, but if I did, I'm sorry. (And if you didn't send me a message, and I hurt you, please let me know. It's the only way I can fix my ways. I can't repair myself if you don't let me know.)

Whenever I drink these days, I water my booze down. Last night, I didn't. I got excited, and I forgot to do this. I wound up drinking a pint of Bulleit and a half-pint of Wild Turkey 101, which is insane for someone who has suffered from pancreatitis. I remember my friends warning me, and while it didn't kill me, I should have heeded those warnings, and I didn't because I'm stupid. I also had gin last night, which I never have, so I can't say how badly it effects me. One of my last solid memories of last night was having gin shots because I lost a trivia game. There are a few flashes after that, but that's the last memory I'm certain about.

I'm thankful that the husband/wife team who threw the party let me sleep on their couch. Who knows what might have happened otherwise? The last concrete memory I have is of watching the next team of game show contestants taking their seats after me. The next thing I knew for sure, I woke up on the couch because my alarm went off (I at least had the foresight to set the alarm, or I would have missed my dentist appointment).

Honestly, blacking out drunk is a thing for younger men than I. It was fun in my twenties, but now? I'm almost forty. I can't be doing that shit anymore. Whenever I drink, I have a few while I'm at home, watching movies or TV shows and generally being mellow. When I'm out among other people, I get out of hand.

Here's what I'm thinking: I should stop drinking when I'm out with others. When I'm at home, it's never crazy. When I'm out and about, I have a few too many. At home, I only drink to get buzzed--and I always water and ice my drinks--but when I'm out with others, even when I know I have a place to sleep the booze away, I drink too much without watering or icing my drinks. I lose myself. I know I don't do terrible shit, because if I did, someone would have told me by now.

But if I did? Please, tell me. I don't want to be hurtful or a creep or any of that shit. I just want to be fun FOR OTHER PEOPLE. Not for me. I consider myself to be an entertainer, and I don't want to make people feel miserable.

From here on out? I don't think I'll be drinking outside of my home, if only to prevent myself from going off the rails. This upcoming week, I'm starting my new diet, which involves juicing. Spoiler alert: next year for Halloween, I want to be Cassidy from PREACHER. But he's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too skinny, and I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaay too fat. If I can lose that weight? Cool. That's my goal. Drinking in public holds me back. I'll see what I can do.