Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am Joppatown(e)

Nestled against the Baltimore/Harford County line lies the frontier town(e) of Joppa. Town (or towne). The approach to get there was grueling. I had to suffer through miles of untamed wilderness and truckstop/porn-seller combo stations.

The law did not seem to stretch up into the boundary area and my caravan was frequently attacked by bandits. I was forced to use my new collection of trucker porn to defend myself. The sharp edges of the DVD cases would startle the bandits' horses when hurled at them with enough force and the lusty (and busty) young nymphos on the cover were just enough to distract my would be attackers for me to flee.

By the time I was out of porn I had reached what I thought was a bastion for the travelers heading North. A protected encampment full of traders and merchants; or so I thought. The dark sign that seemed to cast a shadow over the camp even at night read in ominous capital lettering: VAGABOND.

I approached a skinny, unshaven man to ask him to identify our location and perhaps tell me where the porn trader was. He looked at me through slanting, suspicious eyes that made me wish my pockets had locks. And that the keys to those locks were hidden.

"Why, you have reached the Vagabond. The land of lost travelers."

"But I'm not lost. I can see the road from here."

"Neahhhh!" he hissed at me, "None who ever the Vagabond ever leave."

"No really, I can leave right now. It's not like you have a very solid gate. Or any guards or anything. I think you're being a little dramatic."

"Oh ho ho ho," a figure behind me chuckled in that way that only creepy people chuckle. That bad chuckle which means nothing funny is about to be said. Immediately, I thought this guy was an asshole.

"Old Lenny there is just a few Vags short of a bond if you know what I mean," he told me in a forced Southern draw that didn't fit the area.

"Honestly no, that didn't make any sense."

"Lenny is a descendant of Jedidiah Vagabond, the founder of this camp. Story goes that he just ran out of supplies along the route North and stopped here. Since then, this has turned into a collection of people who just didn't make it. That's why no one leaves."

"That's unfortunate and ironic. But I just ran out of porn so I guess I'll be leaving."

"I said, no one leaves."

I could feel something coming creeping up behind me...

Stay tuned for part 2 before 2011 I hope!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What I actually learned from college

After spending the better portion of 4 and a half years in college I can finally sit back and reflect on all the things I've learned there. Given the current state of the economy, I've had a lot of time to reflect. Anyone want to hire a writer? Please? I'm funny.

Ehem. Anyway, here's what I really learned.

  • I can skip any obligation at least three times every four months with no repercussions. More if the person in charge is old.
  • All buffets are good for at least two meals. This isn't because you'll get kicked out if you sit there longer, it's because you'll get stomach cancer if you eat more then two meals at a buffet in a day. Happened to a guy I know, it was like that part in "Aliens" with the chest buster, but instead of a monster it was mashed potatoes and tumors.
  • You can drink on a weeknight, as long as it's a power hour. This way you can still get some homework done. I have nothing on tailgating or anything like that. I went to Towson.
  • If you're undeclared by second semester freshman year, you might as well drop out! You are a waste of your tuition dollars and your university's effort. You are clogging the system. You will get no advisor and no help picking classes. Oh wait, that was just me.
  • Majoring in something useless won't get you a job, but it will get you sympathy from girls in bars. You have to be clever with this. You can't start talking about Sociology or Ethics because that shit is boring. Girls will just think you're a nerd. My Journalism degree is the perfect combination of sympathy and mysteriousness. Hope they saw "Fear and Loathing" or... maybe not. Depends how much they like early balding and hardcore drugs.
  • Silent Hill 4 is a crazy ass game.
  • If something drastic happens to your field while you are a student your teachers will have no idea what to do. It's both amusing and unsettling at the same time.
  • Just get into medicine or something. People are always sick bro. Now come do a keg stand and stop getting all emotional on me before I call you a bitch.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

An Open Letter to Smoothie King

Recently, my girlfriend and myself were visiting our local Smoothie King Franchise establishment. While there, we noticed that the Smoothie King menu includes some of the most exciting and healthful products we have ever seen. I could not believe my eyes, the Spanish explorer Cortez spent his entire life trying to find the fountain of youth and yet, here it was all along on your menu! It only got better from there. Further down, I noticed that there was a Fruit Fusion. For years, scientists have been trying to find a way to make fusion energy a possibility, who would have know that fruit was the missing ingredient?

We then realized that if the great Monarch of Smoothies could work these miracles, what else could he do? You see, a few years ago my girlfriend was taking a group of orphans out on a nature hike, it was the first time they had ever seen a tree, as they were all from Detroit. Then, out of nowhere, a bear attacked them - sent into a frenzy from the sweet smell of their orphan flesh. She threw her body in front of the orphans to protect them and the bear made a vicious swipe at her. Sadly, that day the bear had taken her leg, but thanks to her hidden K-BAR military knife, she has taken his life (and added a wonderful new rug to our dwelling).

Hopefully you can see where this is going. Using your Great Lord of all Smoothies' powers, surely you could create a new Smoothie that could help her grow her leg back. The recent lifting of the stem cell research ban should aid you in your quest. Let's just say I pulled that string a little for you. If you can wield your glorious science-magic to regrow her leg, I can promise much power and wealth for your Smoothie Leader.

Please consider us,
Your two future servants of the Smoothie Overlord

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thoughts from what of the international auto show that decides to show up in Baltimore

American car maker that might actually survive: Ford

Ford had a lineup that didn't suck. Mostly. I'm not a Mustang fan, but that's me. A lot of people like them and that's their thing so more power to them. Talk to me when you get a most distinguished style and an actual suspension. The Focus, the Fusion and the new Taurus were all pretty sweet. Ford brought out some hybrids and downplayed the trucks except the F-150. Mercury and Lincoln made no buzz at all though. Ditch 'em.

More boring lineup ever: Toyota

The Toyota section was a sea of family cars and crossover SUVs. Not one sports car in their line. Closest thing to a sport car is the Tc. Okay, I guess. Spent less then five minutes before I walked away.Lexus was way on the other side of the convention center. Probably because IS-F was embarrassed to be related to the RAV-4.

God damn I want a: Mercedes-Benz C class. Especially an AMG.

Most likely to not be at next year's show: Chrysler

Okay Chrysler, have you ever heard of the 1970s? You know, the first time you had to borrow a ton of money from the federal government so you don't go bankrupt. Remember the cars you were building then? The Chargers and Challengers, etc. Why do you insult us by building the same cars and making them retro styled right before our tax money goes to keeping you afloat again? How about you just teabag me when I'm asleep and then stop making cars. It's less embarrassing for us both.

Wow, that looks awesome in real life: Nissan GT-R

Seriously, the media pictures do it no justice. See this car in real life, it has such a presence. It's like it knows it's faster then a 911 turbo and a lot cheaper. It's an $80,000 Japanese rocket and it's damn smug about it.

Car I spent 30 minutes drooling in front of: Porsche Carrera GT

Nuff said.

BMW's don't have cup holders: What the fuck?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Belated Farewell

Anyone that has any concern about this will know by now that John Updike has passed. The LA Times wrote an excellent obituary that is worth checking out here. The reason I bring up Updike is, from my perspective as an almost graduate with a major in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing (probably not supposed to be capitalized but my stylebook is upstairs so suck it) I can't help but notice the impact he has had on my life.

Going back to my freshman year I remember wanting to start reading again. As a kid I loved to read and would go to the library to get books. My parents also bought me an amazing collection. It was all of the classic works of literature condensed and with the writing simplified so that children could read and appreciate them. From when I was around 5 to when I "outgrew" them, those books were read to me, and then I would read them out loud.

But now I was 18 and I had not read a good book in years besides books that were required from school. And here came in my friend Matt, who had recently started generating a great interest in reading and writing. I asked Matt if I could borrow a book to read and he handed me a copy of, "Rabbit, Run."

I was so engrossed that I couldn't put the book down. I needed to know everything that happened to Harry Angstrom. I was so starved for reading that I didn't mind Updike's perchance for paragraphs that might take up a page or more. This is not to say that I would have just read anything, but that it was the right book at the right time.

What John Updike did was make me realize that I always enjoyed reading and writing, I was good at reading and writing (still to be proven, but I'm working on it) and that those are two things that I always want to be a part of my life.

Forget the two Pulitzer Prizes, the numerous National Book Awards, the 50+ works of literature, the countless criticism, if a book that John Updike wrote in 1960 can unlock the passion in an 18 year old in 2004 then certainly he has achieved something with his life.

So it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. Farewell sir, see you on the other side.

Write, write, right?

Where is the point where a hobby becomes a chore? When a passion becomes a job? That's where I'm currently sitting with writing. I'm at the point where I need to write more, not that I want to write more. But what a journey to get to this point.

Writing and maintaining a blog is much harder then it initially seems. At least, depending on your goals. The housewife, the endless knitters; they have it so easy from my perspective, writing for hobby. They get to write about their hobby. To me, writing for the express purpose of communicating my love of writing and really, for the sake of writing itself, has proven a daunting goal.

Instead what we end up with are good intentions and a few brainstorms left floating around in my conscience. To really maintain an extended amount of creative output proved to be much harder then I ever expected. But then again, if I want to be a writer, this is what I have to do.

So, I'm going to write, and write and I'm going to get it right.

Woo puns. Let's have some fun.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two Paragraphs

Recently an idea for a story presented itself to me in the form of two paragraphs neatly laid out in my mind. I like to think that I've very good at starting stories but not as good actually writing them. Regardless, here is what I have to offer:

Their relationship became one that was now built on wants; and on desires. It played itself out through overly enthusiastic letters and long awkward phone calls at unusual hours. They now needed to smell, to touch, and to taste each other. Or so they liked to say.

A relationship built on denial has inherent problems. Problems that Pfc. Jimmy Parker and his recent bride Laura are learning about as they struggle to remember each other.

That's what randomly formed. We'll see where it goes, I've just been working so much I haven't had much time to write.