Category Archives: Silly stuff

Happy Imbolc

Happy Imbolc, Candlemas, or St. Brigid’s Day. It’s one of the pagan high holidays that’s been absorbed into folk tradition and religion. A time for light in the darkness and looking to the future. First fire from the hearth or first water from the well gifts a maiden with a vision of their future husband. People in North America obsess on the predictive skills of large rodents. I look forward to the halfway point in my chemotherapy.

Things are looking dark, Warriors of Every Stripe, but the advantage of reaching Things Can’t Get Any Worse (For Goddess’ Sake, don’t say that out loud. The universe takes it as a challenge.) is you also hit Things Can Be Made Better. I won’t blow smoke up you skirts, but things aren’t as dark as we fear.

Speaking of darkness, this is my latest blipvert for Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, where Jeremiah leaves a phone message from the Great Beyond.

Weirdmaste

PowerToolsBlip1

 

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Okay, I’ll play… (again)

I would like every one of my blog posts to be a gem for the ages, but today I got nuthin’.

So, I made a meme.

Social Media

 

 

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Harley Quinn Evolution

This is just what we kept saying the last time we saw “Ready or Not.”

HarleyEvolution copy

 

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Happy New Year!

Whether it is economics, depression, gender dysphoria, or a super-abundance of squirrels, everyone has their battles. Keep your heads up, Warriors of Every Stripe, but always be aware of the nearest shelter.

Nuclear New Years copy

Weirdmaste!

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Happy Halloween

It’s a dark time of year, a time when we are seeing more dark than light in a lot of ways, Warriors of Every Stripe. In stead of focusing on that, I’ll pet my ‘mews’, the black cat named Yule that sits at my right and post this little bit of fun. Enjoy and remember those on the other side of the veil who might come visiting tonight.

Weirdmaste

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Rejoice, for the Apocalypse is Here!

Some say the world will end in fire, some say it will be ice. Nobody ever mentioned squirrels. 

Forgive my absence for most of this month. When not getting myself irradiated, dealing with chemo, or simply napping, I have been putting all my writing energy into my WIP. Fortunately, my publisher Hydra Publications and I set something in motion before I got sick and it comes out today!

“Squirrel Apocalypse” started out just as goofy screenplay  exercise: Lost Boys/Nightwings with Squirrels. Circumstances beyond my control forced me to transition it to a novel, though it is still just as ridiculous as when I started. Here’s a little about it:

Chris Day had a perfect life… when he was twelve years old. Twenty years later, he is divorced, unemployed, and desperate to get through to his twelve year daughter, Liv. He hopes his grandmother’s dairy farm in Crickson, California will be a good place to start a new life. Chris spent his boyhood summers in mischief and squirrel-launching there with his two best friends, Olivia and Rafael.Today, the dairy farmers grow marijuana to make ends meet, and the local radio station broadcasts the movements of the DEA to help them stay one step ahead. His grandmother’s obsession with squirrels has turned to a crusade of extermination. Olivia and Rafael are still in town, but nothing like the kids he dreamed of coming back to. Liv is sneaking out of the house late at night and Grandma has a collection of squirrel torture porn and homemade explosives. Pets and livestock are disappearing at an increasing rate. You really can’t go home again, especially when it’s being eaten by GMO killer squirrels.

We won’t be able to do a release party until after my surgery, I’m sure, but everyone can chow down on fresh-baked cookies, milk, and squirrel jerky in their own homes to celebrate. If you do, I want pictures.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1948374234/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7

 

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Happy Summer Solstice

And our cat Solstice sits in her cauldron awaiting eye of newt and wing of bat.

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Bonfire of the Inanities

It is not often that I have had the chance to put out a man on fire in my previous occupations. When I worked for a neighbor in Tennessee, acting as the ditch-digger assistant to his backhoe service, there were no chances at all for life-saving. I did get to play with jackhammers and dynamite. He taught me the frightful synergy of tamping a blast hole with diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate long before Oklahoma City.

Subsequent jobs had few chances for heroics, though I did learn concrete-forming, burger-flipping, photo-processing, and waste water lab testing. The one time a rack of super-heated test tubes full of  grey water and sulfuric acid exploded all over my lab manager, he pretty much saved himself by diving into the safety shower. He sustained no serious injuries, but we all learned a valuable lesson about saying the phrase “things can’t get any worse” out loud.

Now, when I worked as a balloon delivery driver, that was my biggest opportunity to be a hero.  Along with wrangling a dozen helium balloons at a time in high winds, I got to make deliveries to birthday parties, massage parlors, and gross anatomy classes.  One time, I even got a chance to put out a flaming handyman.

The balloon service was preparing to move from its quaint but cramped quarters in German Village to Main St. in Bexley, the Beverly Hills of Columbus. (Say that to yourself a couple of times: the Beverly Hills of Columbus. Savor the cognitive dissonance.)  A few of us twenty-somethings were painting and prepping the walls while the owner’s handyman was stripping the old wooden desks.

Now, this handyman was a curmudgeon and a proud graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. It sounded like he had been the keynote speaker and valedictorian of the class of ’32 as he shared the highlights of his speech. The theme was Common Sense and how “you college boys” don’t know anything about the real world and surviving in it. It wasn’t an overly complicated topic, but he expanded upon it with anecdotes and examples to make it clearer for those of us that were reality-impaired.

We really didn’t engage with him, but he just kept talking as he slapped the noxious chemicals on the varnished wood, scraped it off, and discarded the flammable gel on the canvas drop cloth. A fairly even coat got spattered on the legs of his jumpsuit, too.

Eventually, he took a break.

A smoking break.

He pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a book of matches. Right there, in the middle of the furniture stripping project, he did this. With a cigarette in his mouth, he lit one of the matches. I reconstruct the next few steps from the explanations he had to give to several people afterwards.

He struck the match.

He realized that he was in the midst of a large amount of open and flammable chemicals. Being a worldly man, he knew that this was a dangerous situation and he should really take this outside.

Because he wasn’t some snot-nosed college kid, he was smart enough to not set himself on fire. He stood there silently congratulating himself on his exceptional Common Sense. I don’t know how he did this, but it was a fraction of a second too long.

The match singed his fingers and he dropped it. It set the gel on the drop cloth around him to a small but steady flame. The legs of his grey-pinstripe coveralls caught fire in less than a second.

A good deal of shouting, flailing, and stomping ensued. I don’t know if it was just good planning or I had seriously expected this to happen, but I knew exactly where the fire extinguisher was. I hurried the ten to twenty  feet to the big red cylinder on the floor. I popped the cotter key off that sucker and dowsed everything that was burning with a thick cloud of fire suppressants.

The handyman looked crestfallen, but no longer aflame. The atmosphere, previously tainted with blather and contempt, was now filling up with smoke, toxic fumes, and the bitter taste of the extinguisher. Formic acid settled onto the back of my tongue and stuck. My coworkers rushed to throw open both the front and back doors. It was a short contest between the evening breeze blowing through and the steady cloud rising from the smoldering goo on the floor. Eventually, clean air tipped the balance.

That’s about the time the fire alarms went off.

This was a new building to us. No-one had mentioned a built-in alarm system or how to turn it off. We rushed to the circuit box and started throwing switches until the noise finally stopped.  We chuckled among ourselves, relieved that we were all alive and hadn’t burned down the building. I said something along the lines of: “Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if the lines were still connected to the fire department?”

That’s when we heard the approaching sirens.

Four or five firefighters in full gear came in the front door. The owner returned from his errands through the back door.  It was a very uncomfortable fifteen minutes for the handyman.

When asked, I gave a fairly neutral version of the facts, even though the “stupid college kid” in me wanted to rub his nose in smoldering furniture stripping gel. I had done plenty of stupid things before. I have done a few stupid things since. I’ve been lucky that after the flames were out, nobody ever threw me under the bus.

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Fun with Quokkas

As the country is wrapping up National Mental Health Awareness Month, it seems to be appropriate to share some of my relatively minor struggles.

I have been depressed most of my adult life.  I could go into grim medical descriptions or personal anecdotes, but that should be saved for another blog. Suffice it to say my brain doesn’t produce all the neurotransmitters needed to operate the machinery smoothly. That results in dark moods, generalized pain, muddled thinking, fatigue, and irritability. Depression: it’s not just for moping around anymore!

My GP and I have worked through a variety of pharmaceuticals, alone and in combination, over the last few years. We’ve discovered any number of annoying and embarrassing side effects, but recently my wife and I have had to deal with Vivid Dreams and acting out. I referenced earlier the time I dreamed somebody had been set on fire and I was frantically try to swat out the flames with my bare hands. We both awoke to my slapping my wife’s butt repeatedly. She did not find it stimulating.

My dreams wind up being involved versions of the stories I write, full of action, horror, and ass-kicking. The cats now sleep on Kit’s side of the bed to avoid being launched into space. (catapult)

So, I try to program my dreams. Instead of internalizing all the frustrations of my life and the terror of current events, I focus on happy things. And there is nothing happier than a Quokka. In case you haven’t heard about them, they are cat-sized marsupials that live on a single island off the coast of Australia. They look to be constantly smiling and gleefully pose for selfies with tourists, no matter what PETA and Australian Fish & Game might have to say.

I now have a picture of two Quokkas taped to my wall near my bed. I have named them Graeme and Oista. Each night, I say good night to them, and their cousin Saltine. I tell them to leave the Club and go back to their Townhouse.

Sometimes, I elaborate to get into the happy Quokka groove:

In my best Shirley Temple voice I sing a few bars of “Animal Quokkas in My Soup”.

1980’s marsupial singing sensation: Quokka Khan.

Wallaby-like creature that realigns your spine: a Quokka-practor.

Jason Momoa leading the marsupials in a Maori war chant: An Aquaman Quokka haka.

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I’m lucky that my wife hasn’t smothered me with a pillow yet.

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Happy Easter

It’s that time of the year when the adorable sugar-addled tots bite the ears off of chocolate bunnies, cats ingest long strands of cellophane grass, and pagans and Christians argue that whole Eostara thing. Whatever your situations, nom responsibly, play nice with all your relatives at Easter dinner, and remember the true meaning of this time of year: the prelude to massive 50% off chocolate sales!

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