Tuesday, February 24, 2015


At long last, my new novel, POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS from StrangeHouse Books, is now available! Check it out here. If you're on the fence about it, be sure to look inside for a taste, and I'm sure you'll want the book. Fucked up fiction from me and a knock-your-dick-off cover by Luke Spooner? All from StrangeHouse? You can't possibly go wrong.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I am about a hair's length away from being an actual hoarder. I can still throw shit away, but when it comes to certain things, I just can't throw them out. You never know when you're going to need useless items. Seriously, I keep just about everything except for cellophane wrappers and cereal boxes. All right, there are other things I throw away, but for the most part, I find it difficult to get rid of stuff. I've always wondered why this is in my head, and I finally figured it out. Two events from my childhood are responsible.

RAWHIDE helped me figure it out. A couple of weeks ago, I watched the episode that had aired 50 years previous (to the day), and one of the characters made a kite for a kid to fly. People questioned him on it, since he hated children but seemed OK with hanging out with this particular child. And then a memory rushed back into my head, something I haven't thought about for decades.

I still have scars on my body from my experience with my abusive step-father, so it should be no surprise that my hoarder tendencies were started by something he did. When I was a kid, he married my mom. Shortly after, Brother Dan was born. I think he was still a baby when this happened, it was that long ago. Now I have three brothers from my mom and step-father and a brother and sister from my father and step-mother. Back then? I was almost an only child.

RETURN OF THE JEDI was the second movie I could remember seeing in the theaters. The first was STAR TREK 3, which my father had brought me to see. But Bill, my step-father, brought me to see the third STAR WARS movie, and he had a shitty habit of mixing Milk Duds in with his popcorn. I hated Milk Duds, so I had to examine each handful of popcorn to make sure no Milk Duds had found their way into my grip.

Seeing this movie led to me getting a Luke Skywalker kite shortly thereafter. It was Luke dressed all in black with his green lightsaber, if memory serves me correctly. Bill helped me put it together. I didn't care about kites aside from the funny Peanuts strips, in which Charlie Brown was always outsmarted by the Kite Eating Tree. But . . . well . . . it was a Luke Skywalker kite. For the record, the first poster I ever put up in my bedroom was of Luke Skywalker. I had a boy crush on him. Of course I wanted a kite with him on it.

We went out to the park in Berkeley on the other side of the viaduct from Elmhurst, where my grandparents lived, and he showed me how to fly a kite. He was kind of a weirdo, though. He liked to get it as high as possible, so he played it out until the string was down to the last loop on the cardboard roll. He was a scientist, so he liked pushing nature's limits and humanity's control over such things. Then, he handed the controls to me.

For a little bit, I flew that kite like a pro. And then, I slipped. The string loop fell off the cardboard roll, and Luke Skywalker flew away from me. Forever. The air rushed it away to another world, for all I knew. I chased after it, panicked, but I never found it. Crying, I returned to my step-father, and what did he do? He savagely beat the shit out of me because I lost a fucking kite.

For the rest of my life, I've been terrified of losing anything. So I'm hovering on the line between a normal person and a hoarder.

A few years later, there was the second incident. In my childhood, I'd been given a baseball that had actually been used in a classic All Star game. In a moment reminiscent of THE SANDLOT, I brought it out with my friends to play ball. I didn't know the significance of the ball, so I brought it into play, and it was hit so far that we never could find it.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I felt the same panic I felt when I'd lost the Luke Skywalker kite. It's no wonder I'm the way I am today. I hope to fix that. My place is fucking cluttered as all fuck, and it would be beneficial if I could clear some of this shit out.

The only question is, now that I know where this impulse came from, can I control it? Can I really follow through with this sudden need to purge my belongings?

I hope so. I don't want to be featured on TV for my hoarding abilities.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I just came up with another useless show idea that would never happen because no one would ever want to do it. Except for me, obviously.

Envision this: an interview show. I'm the host, and I interview A-list celebrities, but it's not conducted in a studio. Nope. The interviews will be shot in the bathroom. I'm in one stall, and, say, Channing Tatum is in the next one. I ask the tough questions, and he gives the tough answers while we grunt our way through our respective defecations. I'll call it TALKING SHIT, and it will be the new TONIGHT SHOW.

I can see it now: upon completion of the interview, we'll wash our hands and do the wrap up. I'll point to the camera and say, "23 JUMP STREET is in theaters now. Channing Tatum, everyone." And I'll shake his hand, and the cheers from the other stalls will begin. Hey, the studio audience has to take a shit with us. Thems the rules.

My sidekick? I'm pretty sure Curtis Armstrong would be down, but he only gets the job if he performs as Booger.

The band? I don't think Dr. Dirty would have a problem with taking a shit while playing the piano.

The announcer? I don't know. What about that dude from Double Dare? What's Harvey up to these days? OK, him. I'll take him.

I'm pretty sure Fox would love this idea. They'll greenlight anything.

*sigh* I can dream.


I just got the news this morning: Musa, the publisher of my first novel, is going out of business. There is no scandal, they're not in debt, there is nothing to see here. It's just that it's no longer financially feasible for them to continue doing business. This is effective at the end of the day on February 28, 2015. As a result, they will be taking all of their titles off of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all the other places they sell ebooks from. STRIP will no longer be in print when they do this.

Right now, it's only available as an ebook, and that will only last until the end of the month. After that, it will be out of print, so if you want to read it, now's the time. Hell, it's even for sale at Musa's website. 80% off! How can you turn away from an ebook for $1.20? Get it here, while you still can.

If you're still on the fence about it, here's my favorite review. Take a look at Amazon for some customer reviews. There are even a few at Goodreads. If ultra-violent, hyper-sexed neo-noir is your thing, then you should really check it out and fast. You only have one week left.

It's not all bad news. To be fair, I was unhappy with the contract I signed. It's my fault, I know, but getting a physical print run would have required higher sales than I got. I overestimated the book's ability to get out there. This will free me up from the contract, and I think I'm going to bring it to Createspace for a physical run. It won't have the same awesome cover, since the name of Musa's imprint is on it, but I do have plans to re-release it. It's just going to be a while.

Nothing against Musa. They gave me a chance when others wouldn't, and I appreciate it. I wish everyone involved the best of luck in the future.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


As some of you are aware, I recently had big boy internet installed at home, so I'm no longer depending on a measly little Jetpack for my internet needs. Since my house is old enough to be wired for antenna only, not digital, it involved having the Comcast guy drill a hole through my wall and add to my wiring in order to support said big boy internet.

As I watched him do this from below (he had to climb a ladder to the second story to do this), it felt kind of odd knowing that he'd just drilled a hole from the outside world into my bedroom. How unusual that must be. And then I looked around and saw all of the other wires that ran from the poles in my alley into holes in the brick of my building. I was suddenly awed because I've lived here for about 25 years, and I have probably seen these wires all of my life, but I never noticed them until now. I looked at the insane amount of wiring to each building connected to the alley out back, and I wondered how much planning and effort had gone into this project so many decades ago. I was dumbfounded, mostly due to my complete lack of understanding when it comes to infrastructure, the world that exists below the world we casually observe. I imagine it's like fitting a puzzle together, only to realize that it's a part of a vast network of other puzzles, something I just can't wrap my head around.

No matter where you are in the city or suburbs, there is a world behind the world you see, and that world is what makes this world function. How many residents of my hometown Elmhurst know, for example, that the downtown area (in particular the York Theater) is connected to the quarry through a subterranean maze? I wonder how many bootleggers made use of this during Prohibition.

It's staggering to think about, but at the same time, it's kind of ordinary. So before I start wondering how magnets work, I'm going to shut up.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Reflecting on the ride...
From Lamebook

I love Lamebook, but at the same time, I'm glad no one I know has been posted there. I think that shows I have great taste in friends. Anyway, I was hanging around Lamebook when I found this post of a guy who just couldn't wait to get home to watch some porn. He thought he was being clever by turning his device away from everyone, not realizing that the window would show the reflection of what he's watching. I thought, "What a stupid thing to do. Just wait until you're in the privacy of your own home before you watch people fucking." And then I realized that I was kinda-sorta guilty of the same thing back in November.

I'd gone out to Vegas to visit my father, step-mom, sister and brother, and since it's a long flight, I brought plenty of reading material to keep me sane. The perfect reading material for a flight? Bizarro fiction. The books tend to be short, and they always tend to be interesting, so I can usually knock out a couple of them on the way out and a few more on the way back.

This time, I had brought Carlton Mellick III's THE BABY JESUS BUTT PLUG. I have no problem with reading nasty, crazy books in public. I proudly read RICO SLADE WILL FUCKING KILL YOU by Bradley Sands with the cover facing the entire world, so I figured tBJBP wouldn't be a problem. And then I discovered that there were illustrations in the book. Very questionable illustrations. I have no problem with them, of course, but the people who had to sit next to me? I kind of worried about them. The thought of being jailed for public indecency got to me, and while I read the book, I covered the illustrations with my hand if they were on the right side of the page (I was at the window seat on the left side of the plane). If they were on the left side, I turned the book slightly, so they wouldn't be able to see. (And I closed the blind to the window to avoid any reflection.)

I loved the book, and I discovered something odd about the people sitting next to me: THEY DIDN'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ME. They never even glanced in my direction because they were too involved in their own boredom-killing attempts. I was paranoid for nothing. Even now, as I write this months later, I don't even remember their faces, and I'm sure they haven't given me a second thought since getting off the plane.

So fuck it. Next time I'm on a plane, I'm going to watch A SERBIAN FILM.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Many of you are aware that I was not thrilled with the aspect of a show based on the exploits of John Constantine. I am a long-time fan of HELLBLAZER, and I knew that they could never faithfully adapt him to TV. I still kept an open mind, but I did not expect much. I figured they'd give us the New 52 version of him.

Surprise of surprises, NBC gave us the middle ground between HELLBLAZER and the New 52, and even better, as the series moved along, it inched closer and closer into HELLBLAZER territory that I suddenly found myself loving the show. It can only get better from here on out. Matt Ryan is the perfect Constantine, and I've come to like the Americanized Chas, even if he does have special abilities. (I take that as an in-joke, because Chas is the only series-long friend Constantine has managed to keep alive.)

The sad fact of the matter is, CONSTANTINE is very likely to be canceled soon after the season finale next week. It's not because the show isn't good. It is. It's just that not enough people are watching to merit the high costs of production. If the budget remains where it is, there is no way the series can continue.

So I have an idea on how to save the show, or to at least give it a second season and thus another chance for survival. It's pretty simple, too. GIVE US THE GARTH ENNIS VERSION OF JOHN CONSTANTINE.

Take a look at the show now. It's heavy on special effects and high stakes end-of-the-world kind of material. It's good. It reflects the general feel of HELLBLAZER. However, that's the kind of thing that costs a lot of money. Scale it back. Make it more personal. As the show stands now, it's a monster-of-the-week kind of thing with just a little emphasis on character. Ennis's run on the comic book showed us the inside of Constantine's heart. It showed us his personal life with some monsters thrown in. There would be very little need for special effects if we were given the Ennis perspective on the show, yet it would ratchet up our love (and sometimes, repulsion) of Constantine. Not only that, but it would serve as a great way to introduce Constantine's greatest villain (aside from himself) to the show. The First of the Fallen has been mentioned in passing, so I'm sure he'll rear his head eventually, but what better way to introduce him than by adapting "Dangerous Habits?"

This would drastically lower the cost of production, which makes it a more attractive show for NBC to continue with. It might even increase the ratings, although the only sure-fire way to make that happen is to move it off of Fridays entirely. If we can make this happen, I'm sure CONSTANTINE would prove itself as a reliable show.

Here's to hoping. And thanks for listening.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Last year, the office building I work in hosted a beer and wine tasting. I managed to get a free ticket, along with a few friends, which meant I got to drink a lot of alcohol for free. There are very few things more magical than that. I wound up getting a lot of stories out of that night. One of them involves Iron Man himself. A guy who runs a design company in the building has a hobby of building very realistic Iron Man suits. They look like movie props, and they even light up. I wouldn't be surprised if the fuckers can fly. He had one on display in his office window, and it was amazing to behold. I actually got to meet the guy, and it turns out he goes to C2E2, as well, and he's usually wearing one of his Iron Man suits. How awesome is that?

The evening was incredible, and I remember walking into the building the next morning with Fitz, who had been there with me. Considering the wild events of the previous evening, the lobby looked kind of sad. Some of the furniture was still there, and movers were working at cleaning up. I remarked to Fitz that we were looking at the last ghostly remnants of a great time.

Shortly after, my pancreas failed me, and I nearly died. I think this party might have had something to do with it, considering the monumental amount of alcohol I consumed. Tickets to this event cost about $35, and I'm here to tell you that I probably drank about five times that amount in the space of three hours.

Fast forward to now. Guess who got a free pass to this year's event. That's right. So did Fitz and another friend who was present last year. Now that I've switched departments, I have a full view of the lobby below from my desk, and I've been watching the staff put everything in place, and I can feel the building excitement of the possibilities of drunken adventures tonight.

You know how, when you drop a pebble in a pond, it causes circles to drift out from the middle in all directions? What if death worked that way? I feel like I'm watching the ghost of tonight's event before it has even happened, and I feel very excited. Is it possible that Tony Stark will make an appearance? I certainly hope so. War Machine is on display right now. I desperately hope this guy puts on the Iron Man suit to mingle with us in the lobby. That would be great. Adventure and debauchery awaits.

Although I should probably not drink enough to put me in the ER again. That would suck, especially since I'm not done paying my hospital bills yet. I wouldn't mind getting shot full of Dilaudid again, but I'm not sure I want to go to such great lengths to get that.

Preparations have been made. A hotel room has been acquired. The event begins at five. The countdown has begun. Wish me luck. I'll wear a red carnation on my lapel tomorrow so you'll know I'm still me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Surprise! Yeah, this was going to be a Hey Fuckers entry, but I realized I was about to go to bed, so why not label it as a Goodnight, Fuckers?

Anyway, I'm getting big boy internet at home now, and part of the deal is, I have to move two of my bookcases so the guy can drill through my bedroom wall to wire this old house (which can only handle antenna media) with digital. This means I have to move the books away first, and when I saw my first empty bookcase, it bothered me.

I never thought I'd see my bookcase empty in such a fashion. There are two circumstances I could have understood such a thing. Either I would move into a place closer to my square job, which I can't afford right now (but I want desperately), or I would be dead, and my relatives are picking through my books in the hopes of finding a rare edition (which is altogether possible, by the way, since I'm a reader of great, if questionable, taste).

This bookcase is such a part of my life that I walked into my bedroom tonight, and I thought I might have gone blind in my periphery because I'd moved the bookcase out earlier today. A blank wall faced me, and I blinked. I rubbed my eyes. It didn't make sense to me until I remembered the move from earlier today.

This goes against all I stand for. Saturday needs to come quickly. This guy needs to install my shit as soon as possible, so I can move my bookcase (and, obviously, my books) back to where they belong, so I don't have to doubt my sanity. I still have several other bookcases in here, but still. It's not enough. I can't have blank space on my wall, space were books should be but aren't.

All right, there might be something wrong with me. Possibly. But still.

I just looked at that wall, and I felt deja vu, which probably means I'm in the Matrix right now. I might need another drink to help me sleep tonight. Ha-ha, just kidding about that "might" part.

Goodnight, empty-bookcase-shaped hole in my life.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Yesterday, I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be able to make it in to work today. I let my boss know, just in case, but as it got closer to my bedtime, I saw plows starting to run through the alley behind my house. I figured that if they kept that up, coming to work would be no problem.

When I woke up this morning, I heard a plow go through. I felt that I would definitely make it in to work. So I went about my daily preparation, and after watching traffic reports, I thought I should start my commute a few minutes early. Nothing drastic, I just brushed my teeth a bit quicker. There was the possibility that I might have to dig out of my garage a bit, so I allowed time for that.

And then I tried leaving my house. Surprise! The snow was halfway up to my door, and I had to push like a fiend to get through. Then, I had to wade through snow up to my hips through my backyard to the garage. In that moment, I realized that I might have underestimated my ability to get to work.

When I opened the garage door, I saw that I was fucked. I almost gave up then and there. It would take me twenty minutes to tunnel through to the plowed part of the alley. By then, I'd be late for work, so why bother going in at all?

No. That is unacceptable. I refuse to let weather conditions stop me. Besides, this is a new job, and I sure as shit don't want to disappoint anyone. I grabbed a shovel and in a mad frenzy, dug my way from the garage to the plowed part of the alley. It sucked, because the plow had gone through, and instead of aiming the snow at the fence, it aimed it at the line of garage doors. It took me about fifteen minutes to carve away just enough snow in order to fit my car through.

Or so I thought. I backed out, but when I got to the fence and put it into drive, I couldn't get traction. I tried all the tricks, and it amounted to jack fucking shit. So I got out and shoveled under each tire and tried again.

No dice. I got out and shoveled more, and cursing and sweating, I screamed at my car as I tried to get traction yet again. Snow flew in all directions, but I finally had movement. Roaring my battle cry, I finally got the car heading out to the street . . . where the plows had left a giant hump of snow across the alley exit.

William Wallace himself couldn't beat my war cry as I gunned my vehicle and blew through the snow hump and into the street. My tires slipped across the icy street, but I used the momentum to keep moving through to the main street in front of my house. Only then did I know that I'd finally defeated my city's shoddy weather practices.

And then I got to the expressway. The Empire had sent out an army of AT-AT's to make sure I didn't make it to work, and I suddenly wished for a Tauntaun to get me through. Luckily, I'd just installed blasters on my fenders, and with the help of a lone Jedi, I was able to break through the line and get the fuck off of Hoth--

Eh, all right. The expressway wasn't too bad. Shockingly enough, all of my fellow commuters, even the truckers, were acting like reasonable people (I told you I've seen things you people wouldn't believe), so I made it in to work in pretty good time.

In fact, I was early.

Don't congratulate me yet. I still have to drive home after work, and that's not going to be good. Somehow, I don't see snow removal happening in my alley, which means I'm going to have to break my back shoveling. Seriously, I'm in rough shape as it is. I've got a pain in the side that's almost reminiscent of the time I had pancreatitis, and I can't breathe in too deeply without needing to cough. My legs are wobbly. I'm pretty sure I need a nap right now. Now I know what the guy at the end of "The Raft" segment of CREEPSHOW 2 felt like. Sure, I beat the weather, but it's going to get me as soon as I get home. Fuck.

For the first time in a log time, I dread going home from work. Maybe I should just camp out here until all the snow goes away. Yeah, that's what I'm going to do. Good luck to the rest of you.