It’s interesting …. ever since I started writing short stories on this blog, the floodgates of my imagination have opened wide…..

Which brings me to today’s post….

Yes …. this will be a little dark — however, it will definitely not as dark as my last post…

I think….

Enjoy:)

———————-

I don’t know why I’m outside this place. It is definitely not the type of establishment that I frequent.

It’s run-down. The windows are stained with cigarette smoke. There are shingles falling off the roof into the parking lot. One of the two doors that serve as the entrance/exit into the building is hanging by one hinge.

And, on top of all that, the parking lot is full of motorcycles.

I sigh.

I usually wouldn’t be seen at one of these places. I’m normally at places where I can spend four figures on alcohol in one night.

But I’m in a bad mood. And when I’m in a bad mood, I have to pick a fight.

So, with great trepidation, I step out of my Lexus. I take a deep breath and slowly let it go. I adjust my windbreaker and walk through the broken doors.

———

At first, the initial smells that hit me are beer, sweat and smoke. Then the secondary smells strike — I can smell the grease in someone’s hair. I can smell the venereal disease that the guy at the pool table picked up two weeks ago from the bar skank in the corner. I can smell someone’s liver dying from cirrhosis.

I take a small step back and regain my composure. Eventually all these smells filter through and I begin my walk to the bar, passing the smirks, stares and points that come from the collection of misfits that are gathered in this place.

I take my place at the bar and order a beer. The bartender — a winkled old biker with numerous tattoos covering his arms, a long white stringy beard and dead eyes — gives me a cursory glance up-and-down, takes a glass, fills it and nearly drops it in front of me, causing some of the amber liquid to spill over the sides and onto the crumb-infested bar.

I nod, give him a small smile and take a drink.

It’s then that I notice that the noise in the bar — which was at an almost distorted pitch when I walked in — has been slowly scaled back in the five minutes since I’ve walked in.

My smile gets a little bit bigger as I hear the four sets of boots tramp across the floor and stop right behind me.

“Hey f*&^%$,” I hear a gruff, slightly slurred voice say over my shoulder. “I think you’re in the wrong bar.”

——

I turn around and instantly find myself face to face with four guys who look like a bad stereotype from a Hollywood movie. They’re dressed, head-to-toe, in leather; have shaved heads; are covered in tattoos; and have few teeth.

As they sneer and growl at me, my smile starts to get even bigger.

“Did you hear me f%$#*&?” the middle one — obviously the leader of this bunch of trogladytes — asks me, pushing the tip of his index finger into my chest.

I turn my head and look at each one of the four in front me. Then I turn around, grab my beer and drain it in one gulp. I take a minute, breathe in and out, and then place the glass gently on the bar in front of me before turning around to face this group of barbershop quartet rejects.

It’s at this time that I notice that the entire bar has gone silent … and that the bartender has his right hand directly under the bar.

I chuckle.

“What’s so funny f$%^&#?” the one in charge asks with a sneer on his face.

“You,” I respond. “Because you have no idea what you’re in for.”

The lead man ponders this for a minute, then reaches into his pants and pulls out a piece of metal. He hits a switch and a six-inch blade pops out.

“I’m going to gut you like a pig, bitch,” he says.

I look at him and notice that his eyes have started to get a little bit wider …. because he just noticed that my eyes have changed color …. and shape.

He and his buddies take a step back as I stand up — mainly because my body has been begun changing in length, and is stretching out.

“Tell me,” I say, as my face begins to change shape, my mouth starts to elongate and my teeth begin to lengthen to sharp points. “Have you ever heard of werewolves?” I ask, feeling my clothes rip from my body.

At this point the smells that I encountered earlier are being replaced by other pungent aromas as the smell of urine, sweat and feces begin to permeate the air.

And why shouldn’t they? I do make a fearsome sight — standing at nearly eight feet in height, covered in brown fur, my eyes a bright yellow and feral in nature. My hands are now twice the size of a normal humans, and end in sharp claws. My newly-formed tail begins to swish behind me.

I let my tongue — which has also grown to twice its normal size — flick out of my mouth and run over my lips.

I look at the lead moron. His knife has fallen to the floor and he has dropped to his knees. A growing wet stain has appeared on the front of his pants.

I smile.

“So,” I growl. “You like to call people names? Well, I’ve got a name for you.”

“Dinner.”

———————

So that’s it. Thanks to everyone who has stayed with me to this point. Please feel free to send me any comments that you want on any of my last three posts. Keep smiling everyone:)

Novel recommendations: Dune by Frank Herbert; Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow; Up Country by Nelson DeMille; Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosely.

What I’m reading: A Dance at the Slaughterhouse by Lawrence Block.

A dark place…..

June 30, 2009

First off …. yes, I have been gone awhile…..

Second, I haven’t been myself over the last couple of weeks. I’m not blaming anyone or anything because of that … it is what it is…..

And maybe part of it is because of this story that has been clunking through my head for the past couple of weeks….

I will warn you though — this is a dark story….it is probably one of the darkest tales that I have ever put to paper ….

——————————-

Kyle is sweating, the pungent aroma filling the interior of his on-its-last-legs Hyundai Accord.

He’s parked in the darkest portion of the hospital’s parking lot, and he is breathing heavily.

She’s coming out soon, he thinks to himself, rubbing his fat, slick hands together.

He’s been fantasizing about this moment for weeks now, ever since she treated him when he cut his hand on the lid of the cat food can he was opening.

“Let me see that,” she said, taking his hand in hers to get a better look at the cut. He almost took her there … but there is no privacy in the exam area of a crowded emergency room.

So he waited …. and he watched.

He’s been parked outside this hospital at various times over the past three weeks until he was sure of what her schedule was. He’s already masturbated three times in the last hour waiting for her to come out, which only contributed to the smell that permeates the interior of his car.

He can’t help himself. Her red hair. Her green eyes. Her soft skin. The way her body moved when she walked….

He’s excited again.

He breathes in deeply. “Calm yourself,” he mutters. “Calm yourself. It will happen soon.”

Then he sees her. She moves across the parking lot toward her car, a small Nissan hatchback. He just stares as she walks to her car, key in her hand and a cell phone to her.

He eases out of his car, feeling in the pocket of his sweatpants for the small role of duct tape, and grabbing the small piece of lead pipe on the passenger seat.

He covers the small distance between them with a sense of cautious urgency. “No, I’m on my way home now,” he hears her speak in her phone. He ducks down quickly behind the car parked next to hers and waits for her to end her phone conversation.

“No I understand….Oh damn,” she says, and bends over. A moment passes. “I’ll call you back. I just dropped my keys,” and he hears the phone click close.

Now, Kyle says triumphantly, and stands up quickly. He moves around the neighboring car and raises the pipe over his head.

What the hell…..

She’s not there.

He looks around.

She’s nowhere to be found.

“What the fu…” he begins to say, and then feels a pinch at his ankle. He looks down …. sees two electrotrodes jutting out of his ankle. A long wire stretches back to underneath the Nissan.

Then a jolt of several hundred volts hits him.

Kyle falls to one knee….and feels another jolt go through him. He collapses to the ground and barely feels the third jolt go through him as he closes his eyes and surrenders to the darkness.

———

A dripping water sound and a pain in his arms cause Kyle to wake from his enforced nap.

He looks around at his surroundings in a darting fashion. He is in an empty warehouse. He tries to move his arms and realizes that they are chained above him – and that he is hanging from a support beam in the ceiling.

He begins to struggle with the chain …. and then hears “shhhhh.”

He looks forward….and she comes into view.

“So you’re my secret admirer,” she says softly, walking around him.

Kyle says nothing, and tries to keep his lower lip from trembling.

She stops behind him. “Did you think that I didn’t notice you?” she said.

She grabs his hair and pulls his head back violently. “Do you think that I couldn’t smell you?” she asks, the disgust dripping off each word.

“Please,” he whimpers. “Just let me go.”

She walks in front of him and stares at him.

“No,” she says flatly.

He begins to struggle with his chains more. “You’re not getting out of those,” she says.

“Please,” he cries again, dropping his chin to his chest.

“So what were you going to do to me Kyle?” she asks.

He looks up at the mention of his name. Surely she can’t remember him. He was just one patient out of a hundred that she probably saw that day.

“I can see by your dumbfounded look that you’re surprised that I remembered your name,” she said. “I remembered how you looked at me that day, Kyle. Like a piece of meat.”

“Tell me – I’m not your first, am I?”

Kyle stays silent and looks at her defiantly. “This bitch is going to pay,” he thinks.

She takes three steps forward …. and punches him in the face with her right hand. Kyle’s head snaps back and he begins to see stars. She punches him again and screams “I’M NOT YOUR FIRST, AM I?”

“No,” he says softly.

“What was that?” she demands, her green eyes flashing with hatred.

“No,” he cries out, blood beginning to drip from his split lip.

“How many others were there?”

“Seven.”

She pauses, and smiles softly. “See that wasn’t so bad, was it?” she says as she reaches up and pats his cheek.

“Please, let me go. I promise I won’t do anything to you,” Kyle pleads.

“Aww, Kyle….don’t lie to me. I hate liars,” she said, and walks into the darkness of the warehouse.

“Please, don’t leave me here,” he cries out.

A few seconds of silence goes by. Then her voice echoes through, “Oh, Kyle. I’m not going to leave you. I’m just going to talk to you for a few minutes.”

She comes back into view. “Did you know that I’ve never been with a man in that way before, Kyle,” she asks. “In fact, I’ve only had one boyfriend and that was in college. I was really in love with him too. And then one night, he got a little too….frisky, if you know what I mean Kyle. In fact, he acted a little like you — he wanted what I was not interested in giving to him at that moment. So I had to teach him a lesson.”

“Do you want to know what the lesson was Kyle?” she ask, stepping in closer to him.

“No,” he whimpered and moved to get away from her.

She grabbed his hair and yanked his head close to her mouth. She began to talk, and Kyle closed his eyes and started to cry. Large tears began to fall out of his eyes and the warm flood of his urine started to flow down his leg.

She backs away, a small smile on her lips. She reaches behind her back and pulls out a knife. Kyle begins to struggle and starts to scream.

“Don’t worry Kyle — I’ll be gentle.”

————————

Novel recommendations: Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark; Gun Monkeys by Victor Gischler; Dune by Frank Herbert; and Walking Dead by Greg Rucka.

Currently reading: Bad News by Donald Westlake.

I’ve been beating my head against the wall for the past couple of weeks trying to come up with a new entry … and it finally came to me earlier today….

So I’m going to try something a little different …. enjoy…..:)

————————————————————————-

It’s just a job….it’s just a job …. it’s just a job….

I open my eyes and look down at my watch. 15 mintues have gone by. 15 minutes spent talking myself into doing something that I have been ordered to do.

15 minutes spent sitting in my car with my eyes closed, talking to myself while all manner of person walked past. “What is that crazy man doing?” they asked themselves, as they walk quickly down the street. Hell, someone’s probably called the cops by now.

I take a deep breath and exhale, committing myself to what I have to do. I lean over the passenger seat and open up the glove box, feeling the heavy weight of the .45-Colt falling into my hand. I reach further into the box and grab the silencer. As I spin the silencer into the gun barrel, I think back to the conversation I had a week ago which led me to my current predictiment…..

“We need you to handle an issue,” the general said.

I stand ramrod straight in his office, as I listen to him grunt as he sits in his chair.

I take a look at my surroundings as he sits down. The office is white and sparse in decorations — in fact, there is nothing on the walls at all. The only things in this room as me, the general, two chairs and a desk, which he sits behind.

“Sit down son, you look uncomfortable,” the general says, motioning to the chair in front of his desk.

I take his advice, sitting down in the cheap desk chair which I believe is a day away from collapsing, and focus my eyes on the man before him.

He is wearing a full dress uniform, his hat resting on the desk in front of him. The flourescent lights glint off the numerous medals on his chest and the four stars on each shoulder. His name tag says “McLaughlin.” But he and I both know that name is false — it is only there to complete the illusion that he actually exists in the real world.

The general himself is about six feet in height and has muscles that seem to be attempting to breach his uniform. His face is tan and lined with wrinkles. He wears the standard crew cut and his right cheek is split with a long thin scar. I’ve always wanted to ask him where he got the scar, but I find myself too intimidated by the man’s presence to pose the question.

The boom of the general’s voice brings me back to the present.

“The issue we have involves a certain employee,” he said. “This certain employee is attempting to embarrass me and this agency.”

I stay silent.

“This employee is in possession of certain computer files that may cause a head to turn on Capitol Hill if they are released. But this agency is so well-insulated that any inquiry by Congress will end quickly. The real problem is the momentary blip that this individual will cause in our day-to-day operations … and the fact that he may actually become a small pain in my ass.”

“What do you need, sir?”

“What I need is a message to be sent to people who believe that they can cause trouble for me and this agency. I need a quick fix to this minor annoyance. I need your skill in problem solving.”

I feel a small smile spread across my face as the general reaches into a desk drawer and grabs a manila folder.

“I believe you might find the subject interesting,” he said as he shoves the file across the desk at me.

I grab it before it hits the floor and open it. I look at the preliminary data on the subject and then look at the photo. I feel my smile fall.

“I knew this might make you uneasy – so solve the problem quickly,” the general sternly added before getting up, grabbing his hat and leaving the office

———————

That was a week ago.

As I get out of my rented Lumina, I shove the gun quickly into my coat pocket, and continue to chastise myself as I begin the walk along the tree-shrouded sidewalk to the subject’s home.

Why am I debating my orders? This subject earned this punishment.

I continue my internal debate as I walk to the subject’s home, a slightly dull, white ranch-style structure. There are no frills in the front yard or on the front porch – mainly because the subject doesn’t believe in that sort of thing. He is a simple man as he has stated numerous times to various people.

I walk up the front step and stop in front of the door. A single brass door-knocker adorns the wood door. I breathe deeply and raise the device, bringing it down in three loud, sharps claps.

“Coming” I hear from deep inside the house.

It’s just a job….it’s just a job…it’s just a job.

The door opens. The subject stands in the doorway — nearly eye level with my six-foot frame. Sweat glistens off his bald head. The shirt he is wearing is torn and wet, and carries the chemical smell of Drano. His faded jeans are also wet at the knees. He is using a stained towel to clean his scarred hands.

It is nearly a full minute before he speaks, focusing his blue eyes into pinpoints as he looks at me.

“Good to see you,” he says.

“Sink backed up again?” I ask.

“Yeah, had to tear the damn thing apart to get at the clog.”

It is another minute before any of us say another word.

“Want to come in?” he asks.

“Sure, dad … I’d love to,” I answer as I step over the threshold into my father’s house …

—————————-

That’s it for now folks …. I hope to revisit this character in future posts as inspiration strikes … keep smiling:)

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Novel recommendations: The Ax by Donald E. Westlake; Howling Mad by Peter David; Creepers by David Morrell; and The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block.

What I’m reading: Hit List by Lawrence Block.

First off, I want to take a silent moment to remember those people killed in Binghamton, N.Y., Friday and those police officers who lost their lives in Pittsburgh today……

————————

Now that I’ve said that … where do I go from here?

I want to write something truly profound about those two incidents. Something that may seem like a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives this weekend.

But I can’t…..

I just can’t find the words to appropriately describe my grief over this situation.

I’m scared for this society. I was truly scared when my son was brought into this world a little over two years ago …. and now, with what happened this weekend, I’m truly terrified about the world he will inherit when he gets older…

I wish I could say more … but I can’t.

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Novel recommendations: The Evil That Men Do by Dave White; The Hunter by Richard Stark; Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald Westlake; and 1776 by David McCulloch.

What I’m reading: The Ax by Donald Westlake.

I kid you not … this is an actual e-mail I just got today from our local Catholic priest … I have omitted some of the names because I don’t want other people lumped in with this guy’s selfishness and idiocy….:

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(editor — me)
Well done so far on the last two Saturday highlight articles by (a local historian) on (two local churches that are closing). I do hope that you will have (this historian) likewise do an article on (another local church that is closing), since it is slated to close July 2009.
Comment however – if you do not have (the local historian) do an article on (the complaining priest’s church) as the chosen site for the consolidated new Roman Catholic Parish for the region – you are NOT fair and balanced in your reporting. This series of articles would end in a doom and gloom mentality. After this process is complete there will be a NEW larger Catholic Community numbering close to 1000 families, which will worship at the largest Roman Catholic Church in the area which has a seating compacity of 800, and which is most centrally located Church for the region. When the current Epiphany Church was dedicated in 1917 it was called by the Bishop of the Scranton Diocese as one of most majestic structures ever built in the Diocese of Scranton. To have such a structure chosen to be the NEW worship site for the NEW Roman Catholic Community, I would think is certaintly (actual spelling) a “Piece of History” that your paper would not want to leave out.
I have already heard from PRESENT (particular church) parishioners, that if your paper DOES NOT do a story on Epiphany Church, they and I will END our subscription to your paper. And the numbers who feel this way are growing. The current enrollment of parishioners at the current (particular church) numbers 700 families.
Fr. (Jackass).
———————-
Here was my response:

Father (Jackass)Thank you for your e-mail. I appreciate the positive comments that you
have forwarded on to the newspaper. (I must say, however, that your
heavy-handed approach about what might happen if we don’t follow up to your
liking with the (suggested church) stories was a bit of surprise, to say
the least.)

The articles that we have done on (the two closing churchs) have been
from a historical standpoint, since they have been long-standing pillars
of our community for well over 100 years each. There is a lot of history
behind these facilities, and I wished to share that history with our
readers before these facilities are closed. And yes, you are correct, we
should do a historical article on (the other closing church). I will talk to (the local historian) about this as soon as I can.

I also agree that we need to do a story on (your particular church).

Are you willing and able to talk to us about the upcoming changes on this?
It seems we’re often directed up the line to the Diocese level — to someone
who can’t or won’t return our inquiry?

We are always willing to help out or provide press for (your particular church) whenever we
can. I think this shows in our newspaper, whether it be for your church or
(the local Catholic school, associated with this particular church). So forgive me if I’m a little taken back by the threatening
tone of your email.

If you wish, please feel free to call me or my Publisher if there are any
concerns that need to be addressed. We would be happy to talk with you if
there’s a problem.

——————————
Welcome to an ordinary day in the life of a newspaper editor ….
——————————–
Novel recommendations: Tigerheart by Peter David; Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell; Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely; and Blaze by Richard Bachman.
What I’m reading: What’s So Funny by Donald E. Westlake

Well …. hmmmm…..

March 11, 2009

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day saying, “I love reading your status updates. They make me laugh out loud.”

Essentially on my Facebook and MySpace pages, you can type in your status or how you’re feeling on a particular day.

Sometimes I’ll type in a little note about how I’m doing … but most times I just feel like throwing something up there to see if people are paying attention to what I have to say…

You know things like “… I may have created an international incident …. Oops….” or “I’m looking for the antidote ….” Crazy stuff like that….

Why? Mainly because I like to make people smile ……

And ….. because I can …..:)

Keep smiling folks:)

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Novel recommendations: The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski; Summerland by Michael Chabon; Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille; Killing Johnny Fry by Walter Mosely.

What I’m reading: Stick by Elmore Leonard and X-Men:Endangered Species TPB.

So my brother-in-law told my wife the other day that I should write a second blog, which would just focus on comics……

At first I scoffed at the idea because I rarely have time to update this blog ….. but then I got to thinking about it and realize that he had just given me an idea for my next blog post.

So here are some of my thoughts on a few of the Marvel titles that I’m currently reading … and who knows? Maybe I’ll encourage someone to pick oneof these titles up ……

Punisher: Max — This is not for kids. In fact, it comes with a huge “Parental Advisory” label on the front of it. Why? Because the Punisher kills a lot of people …. and this title does not skimp on the blood. Add in the language and the types of issues that the book deals with and you have probably one of the best “for mature readers” titles currently being offered. Now I started reading this title right after Garth Ennis left and when Gregg Hurwitz came on for his six issue arc entitled “Girls in White Dresses.” This arc featured on the Punisher coming into a small Mexican town to discover why all the women in this town are disappearing …. and then reappearing as corpses. The issues of this arc are a little hard to find, but Marvel just released the entire arc into one trade paperback. The title currently has Duane Swiercynzki as its writer, with his “Six Hours to Kill” arc at its half-way point. Crime novelist Victor Gischler (Gun Monkeys) will taking over for a six-issue arc afterwards.

Amazing Spider-Man: I’ve been reading Spider-man since I was a kid and I have to admit, the current Brand New Day timeline in this title has me hooked. It started off slow, but kicked up with the “New Ways to Die” arc (currently available in hardcover). Currently the title is the midst of the “Character Assassination” arc where it is wrapping up the past year’s worth of plotlines. From there, the march to issue #600 begins. I cannot wait ………
Captain America: Even before they killed the previous Captain America, this was still once of the best comics that Marvel was publishing. Ed Brubaker has not written one bad issue during his 47-issue (and counting) run. The first 42 issues of his run — including the three-act “Death of Captain America” act — are currently available in either softcover or hardcover trade paperback form. Highest possible recommendation.

Ultimate Spider-Man: I got hooked on this title as a fluke back on issue #4 …. and now 127 issues later, I still look forward to when this title is included within my “pull list” at my comic shop. Granted, the current storyline that ties into the Ultimatum crossover in the Ultimate titles has slowed down things a bit (and add to the fact that this title is going to come to an end next month), but regardless, you still have one of the best renditions of Spider-Man around. I’m looking forward to the end of this title next month, and also when they relaunch it this summer. (sidenote: Brian Michael Bendis has written every issue of this series, and will continue to write it when it is relaunched).

Dark Avengers: Two issues in and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This title ties into Marvel’s “Dark Reign” theme that cross-overs several titles. The premise of Dark Reign is this — Norman Osborn has been placed in control of the nation’s defense network following Secret Invasion and in response, he has created his own Avengers team. This team consists basically of psychopathic killers — Bullseye, Venom and Moonstone — as well as a couple of other ancillary characters — Ares and the Sentry — with Norman as their leader, the Iron Patriot. (The costume for the Iron Patriot is basically an Iron Man suit painted with the red, white and blue of America). It gets even better — Venom has been drugged so that the symbiote has devolved into the old black Spider-Man costume; Moonstone is now called Ms. Marvel and wears a classic Ms. Marvel costume; and Bullseye is now Hawkeye (mainly this was done by Osborn to rub it into the classic characters’ faces that he is in charge now). Crazy stuff from Brian Michael Bendis. I read the first issue four times and it never got old. I can’t wait to see where Bendis takes this team of “Avengers.”

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That’s it for now folks ….. I’ll probably get to the DC titles in the next post … Keep smiling:)

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Novel recommendations: When One Man Dies by Dave White; The Cutie by Donald Westlake; Scavenger by David Morrell; and The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

What I’m currently reading: Stick by Elmore Leonard

Back for more …..

March 5, 2009

So I’m back … please contain your excitement folks….

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So I’m a Twitter freak now and I just added a Blip.FM account that I’m trying to update often. Mainly it allows people like me — who are in desperate need of a hobby — an opportunity to play DJ. I’ll be creating a link for my profile later so people can see just how bad my taste in music is…..:)

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Been on a reading binge lately, finishing The Cutie by Donald Westlake, Killing Castro by Lawrence Block and When One Man Dies by Dave White over the past two weeks…

Now it’s on to Say It With Bullets by Richard Powell, which was just reprinted  for the first time in 50 years. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“At the overnight stop in North Platte, Nebraska, Bill Wayne didn’t copy the other tourists in the party when they bought postcards to mail to friends. He was running a little low on friends these days. Once he had classed five guys as friends, but they had picked up a habit of doing things behind his back, like shooting at it. The only wish-you-were-here postcard he wanted to send them was a picture of a cemetery.”

God, I love pulp crime novels:)

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So my son loves Toy Story ….. and it is love in the “we’re home, now put in the movie that I have watched 8,000 straight times and you guys could quote by heart. But I don’t care because it is the only movie I like right now..”

It has gotten so bad in my house, I have taken to hiding this DVD so he can’t find it and demand to watch it again….

And I used to like Toy Story too …. now it’s gotten as annoying as Rachael Maddow…..

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That’s all for now …. keep smiling folks:)

Uh-oh ……

February 19, 2009

So I decided this week that I would substitute the word “monkey” for any and all curse words that I may use.

Why am I doing this? Two reasons — one, my son is getting to the age where he is repeating certain things that he shouldn’t (yes, he picked up a few choice words when he was in the car with me the other day); and two ….. I really like the word “monkey.”

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I got two packages delivered to my house via UPS Wednesday, at which my son excitedly screamed “mine!.” Truth is they were mine, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with the 2-year-old (made the mistake of skipping my morning cup of coffee). So I let him open the packages and then heard him say “books!”

These packages contained my latest order from Hard Case Crime, specifically The Cutie by Donald Westlake, Killing Castro by Lawrence Block and and Say It With Bullets by Richard Powell.

Now imagine my surprise when my son grabbed The Cutie, laid down on the couch and opened it up like he was reading it. ….Of course, he had it upside-down, but I wasn’t going to correct it.

Then he yelled at me that I should be reading … So I picked up my copy of Assumed Identity by David Morrell and sat down beside him on the couch ……

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Keep smiling folks:)

25 random things…..

February 12, 2009

I stole this from Facebook …. mainly because I couldn’t think of a more interesting blog topic.

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Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. I like to think that I’m nicer today than I was yesterday.
2. I’m going bald and gray at the same time.
3. I work hard to make my wife and son smile at least several times during the day.
4. I always try to tell my wife “I love you” between 50 and 75 times a day.
5. My wife is crazy, my son is a hurricane contained within a 2-year-old’s body, and I am in desperate of strong medication.
6. I don’t consider myself to be “a good guy.”
7. I don’t care if people like me or hate me. Life is too short to worry about that nonsense.
8. I love country music.
9. I make mistakes … and I try to learn from them.
10. I didn’t like who I was when I was younger.
11. I don’t have many friends, but I treasure the ones that I do have.
12. I’m a life-long Cubs fan.
13. I’ve learned to stop blowing things up as a way to work out my stress.
14. I hate Dane Cook.
15. I read like coke fiends snort.
16. I’m never happy with a first draft. By the time many people see these postings, I’ve rewritten them at least seven or eight times.
17. My mother and I don’t talk anymore.
18. I know I didn’t appreciate my sister when we were younger and I’ve worked very hard to repair our relationship in the last 10 years.
19. I love listening to Miles Davis and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
20. My comic collection is overwhelming.
21. I love old movies.
22. I try not to take life too seriously, but it is difficult sometimes (especially in today’s world).
23. I’m a Christian who is working every day to better his relationship with the Lord.
24. I’ve been called every name in the book at least twice during the 15 years I’ve been a reporter … and I’ve grown a very thick skin in order to deal with it.
25. I treasure my wife and son above everything else in my life, and I thank God every day that I have them as a part of my life.

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Keep smiling folks:)