I'm Just Sayin'

The Short Yellow Bus of Blogs

Christmas Instiutions That Need to Stop

4. WHITE ELEPHANTS

The object of this joyous game, which I like to affectionately call “5 Finger Discount Christmas”, is to go to a table riddled with gifts, take one, open it, hopefully getting something you like and then praying to whatever God you believe in that the second person choses to pick from the table and not pluck that wonderful little present from your not so cold and dead hands. But alas, it’s encouraged to take from the person so that the ooohs and ahhhs can be heard all the way to the North Pole making Santa and probably the Baby Jesus cry.

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His tears help make Egg Nog

So there you are presentless again and now you must trod off to the table and grab another gift hoping your luck will remain but knowing history tends to repeat itself. And this goes on and on and on until everyone has something in their hands from either the table or by simply ripping off the person who had it first. Because nothing screams Christmas spirit more than out right thievery.

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The Patron Saint of White Elephants

Some will argue that it’s not about the gifts it’s about the game and the fun. Yes, I’m sure the person who started the game with a $500 gift card from Amazon is perfectly happy with the Pine and Dog Shit scented Yankee Candle they got at the end.

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For those romantic evenings

3. OFFICE SECRET SANTAS

Usually it works the same as any other Secret Santa, you pull a name from a hat (usually a Santa or elf hat because why not indulge in clichés’) and now that persons happiness and your reputation are permanently intertwined.  It becomes an almost month long stressed induced nightmare of “What the Fuck do I get this person” Made worse because A) you are new and you don’t really know anyone at the office or B) the person you picked is new which means you will either form a strong bond by the end of this or simply look like a jackass and your name will appear has the headline for the Office Gossip Gazette or C) you ended up with someone you don’t like, like Gary from accounting who’s just an asshole. So not only did you get the asshole, not only do have no clue what the asshole would want  but now you’re pissed at yourself because you’re worried about what to get the asshole for Christmas.

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Gary’s such an asshole

But it doesn’t even end when you present your gift because even after they open it and smile and gush with the thank you’s and all the You shouldn’t haves, you will always wonder in the back of your mind “Did they really like the gift or will I find it back on the shelf at Goodwill where I found it in the first place”  

2. THE IDEA OF A WAR ON CHRISTMAS

Let’s get one thing straight, there is no war on Christmas. People are not lining up outside of Starbucks with pitch forks and torches because their cups aren’t Christiany enough (they’re probably mad because they limited the espresso shots) Most people really don’t care. Besides do you really want this on a cup containing your delicious, frothy double foam macchiato?

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Jesus Died for our Latte’s

And no the President never banned Christmas trees or the saying of Merry Christmas and if you believe he did then you deserve coal in your stocking and then getting repeatedly beaten with said stocking because you’re an idiot.  Most of the flames of this war on Christmas rhetoric were fanned by this guy (Whose  name I will not mention) who looks like a cross between Kevin James and Fred Durst who was not really born but more like he was hatched while under a heat lamp at Burger King.

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King of the Whopper of all Lies

The bottom line is this is the time of year to come together. No matter your belief, no matter your gender, no matter your color Christmas time is for everyone because buying last minute gifts at the Dollar Store is a universal trait.

1. BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

No song has ever brought the worlds of Romance, Christmas and Sexual Assault together so seamlessly than this little ditty. How could you not feel the warmth of a crackling fire with lyrics like this:

My mother will start to worry (beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)

Or feel the air of Christmas with these verses:
So really I’d better scurry (beautiful please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)

Or feel the abject terror that awaits with these melodic words:
The neighbors might think (baby, it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)

I’d be surprised if Dean Martin didn’t end up wearing a skin suit by the end of this song.

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Baby its cold outside so I need your skin to keep me warm

 

 

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Writings | Leave a comment

Eye of the Dreamer Chapter 5

                When Tommy was a kid he had been asked to help in his Dad auto shop. He reacted as any child would when asked to work when all he wanted was to be outside playing with his friends or inside playing his video games.  He begrudgingly walked in with a pouty look thinking how he didn’t want to be there. His Dad told him to start moping the floor, then he had him organize the parts and tools, he then had him move the tires from inside to the back area. He then had him work some of the machines.

                                “I don’t know how to work this” Tommy said with trepidation.

                                “Let me see if you can figure it out” his Dad responded.

                                Tommy looked around at the machine and studied it and started touching the buttons and slowly but eventually he learned how certain equipment worked.

By the end tommy was exhausted. He sat at his father’s desk. Dad gave him a coke and sat with him.

                                “I know you didn’t want to be here” Dad said

                                “Ya think” Tommy quietly responded.

                                “But I’m proud of you. Even though you were mopey you still did the work and you did a great job. See I just wanted to show you that whatever’s put in front of you, no matter how much you don’t want to it or it seems hard, you can accomplish anything. I know you got the heart all you need is the confidence.”

                                “Yeah I do feel I can do anything” Tommy responded proudly

                                                   _______________________________

                                “I CAN’T DO THAT!!!!” Tommy shouted. He had just been told that he was going to be the caretaker for peoples dreams; a far cry from learning hydraulic lifts inn his dad’s shop. Plus being told that while preparing to battle some nightmare creature, not the best combination.

                                Tommy followed Mr Sabbiaman to what he felt was the center. The lights were denser, bigger more vibrant. Tommy could feel a greater amount of energy being released. There was almost a feeling of euphoria washing over him.

                                Mr Sabbiaman turned around and faced Tommy “I’m sorry what were you saying?”

                                “Look, I don’t know what’s going on right now. All I know is that you are some crazy old dude who’s got a really cool light show going on. You say these are all people’s dreams and you take care of them. I was robbing your house for christsaks and now I’m supposed to help you fight some friggin monster at the same time you’re sayin that I’m supposed to take your job!!!” Tommy finally stopped and took a breath.

                                Mr Sabbiaman was looking around. He was eyeing all the different lights that shone in the room until he came upon the only white light, “ahhh there you are “ he whispered.

                                Tommy looked at him “What are you looking for? What is that”

                                “That is the collection of own dreams. We have to dream. It’s a way for the sub conscious to purge, to release. If we don’t dream we slowly go mad. A custodians sleep patterns can be rather erratic to say the least we don’t dream like normal humans. So right before we begin our job, our last dream is collected. It’s stored in this white void. We then periodically enter the void to purge our minds. This will help us stop The Nightmare” And with that Mr Sabbiaman prepared to enter the void. Just as he was about to walk through both he and Tommy heard a scream, the nightmare was getting closer.

                                “Enter the void with me, together we can stop the nightmare once and for all. We can harness the power from my collected dreams and end this” Mr Sabbiaman turned to the void.

                                “wait a minute” Tommy shouted “ I don’t understand any of this.”

                                “You will once you enter the void, all your questions answered and you will be fully aware of everything” Mr Sabbiaman said with impatients .

                                Tommy saw a figure coming closer and closer. He looked at Mr Sabbiaman who was about to enter the void and looked back the shadow figure barreling toward them. He made his decision, he ran toward Mr Sabbiaman and just as they were about to enter Tommy heard a familiar voice.

                                “STOP!!!!” Said the voice.

                                Tommy turned and his face was ashen with shock. The figure came out of the shadow and Tommy could clearly see his face but he couldn’t believe his eyes.

                                “Do not listen to that man.” Said the figure “I am Mr Sabbiaman and I’m the custodian”

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Writings | , | Leave a comment

A Plea for Sanity

I’m scared.

Ok maybe scared isn’t the right word; terrified I think hits the nail on the head.

I honestly didn’t think I would be this nervous the closer we got to Election Day.  I didn’t think it would be a slam dunk (remember no one thought Trump would even get a ticket to the RNC let alone come within a hairs breath of the White House) but I also didn’t think it would be a close as it is. It feels like a see-saw, one side gets up and then it goes back down.  This Election could go either way and that’s not good.

I will be embarrassed  if Trump is elected into our Highest Office (I stand by my belief that no matter what, this election will hold a first; either we elect the first Woman president or we elect the first internet troll). So yeah this is the first time in all the years I’ve been able to vote that I feel utterly terrified of what the outcome could be. Trump is a misogynistic, racists asshole who will make us the laughing stock of the entire planet. This man talks about building walls that Mexico will pay for, banning Muslims, that his hands prove he has a big penis, grabbing women by their pussies,  and  with all that and he is still a viable candidate. While Howard Dean screamed like a banshee and that derailed his presidential run.

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Oh how I long for the screaming days

 So I beg, I plead, I implore you all don’t let this country fall into the hands of a 6’3 Oompa Loompa and his bible thumping Race Bannon looking partner. We took some amazing steps forward in the last 8 years. Don’t force us to take 50 steps back. Fine you don’t like Hilary because she is shady, guess what THEY ARE ALL SHADY!!!  This election is too important to not vote because YOUR preferred candidate didn’t make it  , its too important to vote 3rd party because yes you will be splitting the vote, it’s too important to simply be blasé about it. On Nov 8th bite down on that leather strip, grind your teeth into nubs in frustration and vote for Hilary because, seriously , do you really want to see this orange faced baboon for the next 4 years…

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November 6, 2016 Posted by | General Thoughts | | Leave a comment

Eye of the Dreamer Chapter 4

                            “So it would appear our time is limited. I would have rather you learned organically but based on the what we just heard I will need to spoon feed you the information” Mr Sabbiaman said with calm but with a hint of urgency. Tommy was still reeling from that blood curdling scream that cut through the cavern. “What you are seeing are portals. They are doors to the sub conscious. We can see what frightens them, what brings them joy. We can learn where their anxieties lay and see how the mind tries to find answers to unanswerable questions.” Tommy stared at Mr Sabbiaman. They were both silent for a moment.

                                “Who are they?!!?” Tommy shouted “Portals to what? You need to speak English to me”

                                “Dreams. These are portals to people’s dreams. Those images that flicker on and off in the light are the streams of consciousness of people while they are sleeping” Mr Sabbiaman grab Tommy by the shoulder and slowly spun him around “We are connected to everyone on the planet who is dreaming”

                                “How is this possible” Tommy said

                                “For now, all I you need to believe is that it is possible”

                                “So if this place houses peoples dreams, does that make you some kind of…dream master”

                                Mr Sabbiaman raised an eye brow “Hardly. Im what you would call a Custodian. I make sure that nothing interferes with how the dreams unfold or with the people dreaming them”

                                “Ok ok so you’re a custodian. Then what the hell is that, that nightmare we heard. I mean I have nightmares all the time but…

                                “Not a nightmare, THE Nightmare. This is a creature that stalks these portals trying to syphon their energy”

                                Tommy looked confused and was about to say it when he was cut off

                                “Dreams give off energy, that’s what these portals of light are.   Even when sleeping the human mind is still producing thoughts; tiny electrical currents still zapping around your cortex, thus energy.”

                                “Ok so what does that have to do…

                                “The Nightmare feeds on that energy. Haven’t you awoken feeling more tired even though you slept throughout the night? That’s because some of your energy was stolen. This creature feeds on it to gain strength. Of course it engages in harsher methods”

                                “What do you mean”

                                Mr Sabbiaman stared at Tommy for a minute “Do you remember that period of time when you woke up but couldn’t move?”

                                Tommy looked on in utter shock. Not only was that a terrifying period of his life, the paralysis, the feeling of helplessness, the tightness in his chest as if he were being suffocated,  he couldn’t believe that this man knew about it.

“Do you remember those shadowy figures that would appear? They would stare and begin walking toward you.  Sometimes right on top of you? “Tommy nodded. “That was The Nightmare feeding heavily. There is a middle point between the dream world and the real world, I call it The Great Barrier. That paralysis that you felt was you being pulled into the great barrier; awake yet not, aware but not sure if it was real or not and then the creature would feed”  

                                “But there were times I saw more than one figure”

                                “Visual distortion. Your mind cannot process what goes on in the great barrier, so what you see as multiple figures is just one monster”

                                Tommy slumped to the floor, the look of confusion, shock and exhaustion was setting in. “Look this is a lot take in”

                                Mr Sabbiaman knelt down and put his hands on Tommy’s shoulders “I know it is. And I am sorry. I do wish you could learn and absorb all this at a slower pace but time of the essence. We must prepare” And with that Mr Sabbiaman got up and started walking.

                                Tommy stood up and shouted “what do you mean, We???  I don’t even know why you brought me down here in the first place”

                                Mr Sabbiaman stopped but didn’t bother to turn around “I brought you down here for one simple reason; You are to be the new custodian”

November 6, 2016 Posted by | Writings | , | Leave a comment

Eye of the Dreamer Chapter 3

It felt like they were walking for hours. Tommy and the old man didn’t speak for what seemed like forever.  Tommy would look around hoping he would see anything other than light and black void. He looked behind and thought he saw a figure but it would quickly dissipate, this place is getting to me, he thought.  Tommy’s frustration got the better of him and he stopped.

“Ok Ok look I want answers.” Tommy shouted and the old man stopped in his tracks with this back to Tommy. “We’ve been walking and walking and there’s nothing here!!!  So before we keep going I want to know what the hell is going on.  I don’t even know your damn name” The old man stood still for a moment and then slowly turned around, each step with purpose. He looked at Tommy right in the eye, never changing his blank facial expression.

“I was wondering when you were going to ask for my name. It is Mr Sabbiaman, pleasure to meet you Tommy. You have impeccable timing. Your out burst happens just as we are arriving.”

Tommy walks a bit closer, “First off, where are we? And second, How did you know my name, I never told you it.”

He looked quizzically at Tommy “Hmmmm that’s right, you never did tell me.” He smiled and turned around. “Now I need you to stand still, this may be a bit disorienting, but trust me you will get used to it”

Mr Sabbiaman closed his eyes, his back was to Tommy.  If there was a physical manifestation of peace and ease He was it. Tommy stood there wondering what was going to happen. A for a few moments, nothing happened. Guess his special effects team flaked out Tommy thought but then he noticed that the temperature dropped. A chill ran down his spine and all the way down to his toes. He could see his breath and felt a cold that he’d never felt before. He looked at the old man who had stretched his arms out as if he was waiting for a warm embrace. Then the room went black. Both were consumed in darkness. Then a flicker of blue light appeared. It blinked on and off as if struggling to be noticed and then a pink like was doing the same thing and then a green light and then a yellow light. Different color lights were coming alive all around them, right in front, right behind and above them. For a second Tommy thought he was in a dance club. He hoped that he didn’t waste his time just to end up in a place that would play crappy techno music. But he as the colored lights grew brighter he thought he saw flashes of something, images here and there. Faces appearing out of thin air. There were hundreds maybe thousands of light. He still felt the cold but he started getting used to it. He looked at Mr Sabbiaman who was turning around and smiling. This was a smile of pride, almost like the pride has in one’s child.  Tommy was speechless in awe of what he was witnessing, he kept looking around trying to figure out how this was possible. Even as a child magic was something that Tommy didn’t buy into. He either figured out the trick straight away or he investigated it and found out the how the trick was done. There was always an answer. But he couldn’t figure out the light source, he couldn’t figure out how these images were being projected. This was completely baffling to him. Still Mr Sabbiaman was taking everything in, this was business as usual the way he acted.

“What is all this?” Tommy’s voice was a hush but he knew he was heard.

“Shhhhhhh” was all Mr Sabbiaman said. He then walked to one of the lights and slowly put his hand through. But his hand didn’t come out the other side it simply went in as if he were reaching into a closet. Tommy looked on with utter shock.  He pulled his hand out, smelled it and smiled.

“It’s time to touch the untouchable” He smiled and gestured to Tommy to reach out.  Tommy looked around and moved to the red one, red was his favorite color. He was a hesitant at first but he came this far why not keep going. He put his hand through and he immediately felt a slight jolt, as if he got hit with electricity, nothing painful just enough to know this was more than a simple light. He felt warmth, and cold at the same time as if the atmosphere couldn’t decide what it wanted. It was a feeling he had never felt before. He pulled his hand out and he was immediately struck with the scent of pine, but this wasn’t just any pine this was a smell from his past. His eyes began welling up as he was hit with a memory from his childhood like a semi crashing into a brick wall. He had no idea how this was possible. He look at Mr Sabbiaman who was nodding in approval. He walked over to Tommy and handed him his handkerchief.

“You will begin to understand everything, I promise. For now just enjoy” Both he and Tommy smiled.

A blood curdling scream ripped across the illuminated cavern. The echo seem to go on forever. Even the lights seemed to quiver a bit. Tommy was so startled he stumbled back a bit. He noticed Mr Sabbiaman was looking down and all he heard him say was “Oh dear”

“what the hell was that?!?!?” Tommy shouted.

“That”, Mr Sabbian said with a hint of fear, “was the nightmare”

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Writings | , | Leave a comment

My Snack with Trump

YC: So I must admit to being a tad shocked when you contacted me.

DT: Well young man, I felt it was time I got up close and personal and really got to know the losers who will be voting for me (AID STEPS IN AND WHISPERS SOMETHINIG IN HIS EAR) Sorry scratch losers I meant the great people of this great nation.

YC: So let’s get to the heart of things. What are the misconceptions that you would want cleared up? What do people misunderstand about Donald Trump?

DT: That is an excellent question, an excellent one. One that I’m sure that crooked Hilary has never really answered about herself to anyone’s satisfaction but it’s a question that deserves answers and I don’t think the American people will stand for nothing less but full disclosure.

YC (Staring Blankley)

DT (Staring Blankley back)

YC: Ummm you really didn’t answer the question.

DT:  If you just give me a minute to gather my thoughts, I mean she got a few minutes why can’t I?

YC: Who got a few minutes?

DT: I think the biggest misunderstanding is my slogan.

YC: Grab’em by the Pussy?

DT: No the other one.

YC:  Make American Great Again.

DT: Yeah that one. So I say it and then I see it all over the place and they’ve misspelled the word Great. See I’m a fan big fan of cheese, I mean a Yuuuuge fan of cheese, especially grated cheese.  Don’t give me blocks of cheese, I don’t want no sticks of cheese , sliced cheese are for losers (AID STEPS IN AND WHISPERS SOMETHINIG IN HIS EAR) Sorry scratch losers I meant for those great Americans who don’t know any better, and those cheese triangles are just another way for Obama to make this country more like Kenya.  But grated cheese is the best. You can sprinkle it over salads, you can spread it over pasta, you can put it on ice cream, it has so many applications it would make ya head spin.  But I feel it’s a neglected art form and that let me tell ya is a disaster, so we need to bring this back in full force and make America GRATE Again, because if we don’t, ISIS wins and that’s bad for everyone.

YC: I see, but what about the racism, the misogyny, the countless act of violence that you have incited. You have divided this country in so many people’s points of view and in so many ways that it will probably take decades for this nation to heal itself. What do you have to say about any of that?

DT: (Grating cheese onto a bowl of pasta) Oh you gotta try this. I mean look how it all comes out and just falls in there, I mean if I could grab it by its lady parts I would. I’m getting yuge just thinking about it.  Here pass that bowl of candy and I’ll grate some magic in there as well.

YC: (passes candy bowl) Thank you for your time sir.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Writings | | 1 Comment

Eye of the Dreamer Chapter 2

Tommy felt his stomach churn and tighten. When he entered the transport he didn’t know what to expect. He felt movement but it wasn’t the usual one feels when in an elevator, this was something different. He opened his eyes and looked at the old man who was swaying a bit with a smile on his face and his eyes closed as if he were listening to a wonderful piece of music. He looked around and all he saw were metal walls, he was in a cylinder and he thought for a moment he was in an old delivery case that zig zagged around pipes.  He would occasionally see flashes of light but there were no windows so he wasn’t sure if they were real or part of his disorientation.

“Where are we going” Tommy asked with a bit of trepidation. He was starting to regret going along for the ride.

The old man continued to smile with this eyes closed “When I was I boy my father took me on a car ride. He didn’t tell me where we were going or how long it would take us. He just said ‘let’s go for a ride’, well that ride lasted a while let me tell ya. I grew a bit board and I asked him the very same question you just asked me “ The old man open his eyes and looked right at Tommy, “and do you know what he said?”  Tommy shook his head. The old man got a bit closer “He said, ‘To appreciate the destination, you have to appreciate the journey’, in other words shut up and enjoy the ride” The old man went back to smiling and swaying.  Tommy looked confused but at the same time he realized that no matter what he had chosen this ride and it was better than being at Clancey’s bar that’s for sure.

He felt the tube slowing down, the hum grew quieter and quieter until there was dead silence.  Tommy looked at the old man. For a second he thought he might be asleep at his feet. The old man took a deep breath and pushed the only button in the container and the door opened.  The old man took a deep breath and walked out into another veil of darkness. Tommy stood inside not knowing if he should take a step out or just wait for any sort of light to appear. It seemed like forever but a large overhead light suddenly brightened the floor and then another and then another. The lights seems to go on forever. He stepped out he felt a cold chill sweep across his body. This wasn’t simply being cold like a January in New York, this was a cold that you felt in your soul and even deeper than that. The old man came back with a thick parka and put it over Tommy. “Now you put this on before you catch your death, no chicken soup where we are” The old man began walking and Tommy followed him.

As they walked Tommy looked around, “So are you going to fill me in? Is this like an airplane hangar?” The old man stopped and slowly turned around to face Tommy.

“This place”, the old man said with a hush, “houses a dream fullfilled, a dream not yet realized, a dream not yet dreamt. Don’t you feel it?” He grew a bit closer “We are standing in the middle of the sub-conscious. Are you feeling like you are being watched?”  Tommy looked around at the vast emptiness and saw no one but the old man but he could give no other answer but a slow nod for even though he didn’t see anyone, he felt as if a thousand eyes were trained on him.

The old man placed his hand on Tommy’s shoulder. This simple gesture made tommy feel a bit more at ease. “My boy as we get closer to the center you will begin to realize that you are not being watched, you are the one watching”

Tommy stood for a moment as the old man continued to walk. He stared beyond him trying to see what lay ahead. But there was still blackness. There was still emptiness. He began following the old man hoping sooner rather than later he would learn what all of this meant.

He was so entrenched in his own thoughts he didn’t notice the figure standing behind him, watching them both he and the old man disappear in the dark. He didn’t notice the figure holding a key. A key covered in blood.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Writings | , | Leave a comment

Eye of the Dreamer

He stared at the machine and kept thinking ‘This is a dream’.  All he could think of about were the millions of possibilities at his fingertips.  He had read about such contraptions, he had read about the countless journeys one could take with the press of a button but he had read all those things in science fiction books. Those stories that rattled around in his brain were now coming together to form the real life that was staring at him. He reached out, with a slight tremor and touched it to make sure this wasn’t some fantasy, some dream he was having after one of his many drunken stupors. No, this was it, this was a real.

When Tommy broke into the house he was just looking for jewelry, TV’s maybe if he got lucky some family heirloom that would fetch him a pretty penny.  He walked past the shelves stocked with the usual; family photos, porcelain dolls, those commemorative plates of Gone with the Wind. But he also saw diplomas, very impressive words from what looked like very fancy schools. Words like Physicist, Engineer, Astronomer flooded his eyes and all he kept thinking was ‘Man I think I hit the jackpot’. He heard rustling behind him, pulled out his revolver spun around to see an old man standing in the hall way. He was about 5’5 a bit frail wearing a plaid robe. He stared at his unwanted house guest for a few minutes and then started to laugh. His laughter grew louder to the point that Tommy himself started to giggle and yet didn’t know why.

“Young man you have no idea how long I’ve waited for you” said the old man. Tommy was silent for a minute.

“What do you mean waiting” Tommy was holding the gun but even a blind man could see that he was nervous and was probably not going to resort to murder, he was a robber not a killer

“Son I have lived in this house for 20yrs working on my dream, creating something that will benefit all of human kind. I haven’t had any visitors for many many years and now here you stand and yes you may have ulterior motives but you are still a guest nonetheless.  Please put the gun away, I want you stay”  The earnestness in is voice in his eyes poured over Tommy and even though deep inside he thought it would be crazy to do so, he put the gun away. “Thank you. Do you want to see my dream?” The old man smiled so brightly when he uttered those words. Tommy nodded, thinking that maybe this could turn into the biggest score of his career. The old man opened a door and gestured to Tommy to follow him. The old man stepped through and Tommy watch as the darkness enveloped him. He was nervous but, hey, he could take on this old guy. Tommy stepped through.

He was nervously feeling for each step when all of a sudden he was blinded. He stumbled back and covered his eyes. The old man was standing next to a light switch, grinning from ear to ear.

“My apologies, I should have warned you.” Through a haze Tommy could see the old man fluttering around some multi colored thing. As his eyes began to adjust, Tommy realized that old man didn’t turn on overhead lights, he had turned on a machine. But this wasn’t just a machine, this was something more.  It looked a silo, only it was about 14ft tall, slender probably could hold no more than two people it had lights all over and what appeared to be a door, Tommy was in awe.

“Is this what you been working on?” Tommy said.

The old man giggled a bit “This?  Oh no no my boy, this will teleport us to the dream”

The door to the silo opened and the old man entered and once again he gestured for Tommy to join him. And once again Tommy while hesitant would let his curiosity get the better of him. The door slowly shut and Tommy shut his eyes waiting for whatever was to come next.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Writings | , | Leave a comment

Star Trekkin Thoughts

“Well that sucked” – Me after seeing Star Trek into Darkness

Allow me to crack my knuckles and go nerd wild for a moment.

So to begin I really enjoyed the 2009 Trek movie. It was action packed, it was thrilling, it set it on a new course (see what I did there). When you look at the state of the film series, yeah it needed something new. Star Trek The Motionless Picture pretty much sums up that first trip out the gate. Star Trek 2 The Wrath of Kahn got it right. Having enough familiar things for the long term fans to enjoy but giving something new to anyone just entering this world. Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock picked up where 2 left off with the addition of looking for Spock. Then the real home run came with Star Trek 4 The Voyage Home. A film that was for everyone and the box office showed everyone loved it. Star Trek 5 came and went and the less we speak of this the better (Although Into Darkness makes me appreciate 5 a hell of a lot more) and then Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country was a fitting end to the original series cast. A film with intrigue, action: it was the swan song for the original series cast and a nice bridge to The Next Generation.

Then we come to the Next Generation films and really after viewing them there’s only one real good one and one decent while the rest are just bad. First Contact is the best of the 4 Next Gen flicks with the return of the Borg. Star Trek Generations had the two best Enterprise Captains meet and while the idea souinded good on paper it ultimatly didn’t have the wow factor that a meeting between the two captains should have had. SPOILER: And Kirks death was so comical Im suprised he didn’t hold a sign saying HELP ala Wild E Coyote. Insurrection would be a good two parter during the series run but it was just a small film on the big screen. And Nemesis tried to ape Star Trek 2 but failed with an unexplainable villain and a death that was cheap and pointless by the end of the film.

The death knell was ringing loudly for our beloved franchise. Even the TV shows were losing popularity. Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager all had successful runs with 7 seasons while Enterprise only eeked out 4. Perhaps Trek had run it’s course. The 5 year mission which had become a 40 year ride seemed to be ready to for dicomissioning . And for while it was gone. Like Kirk in the Tholian Web it disappeared but periodically there would be glimmers of a return in some fashion. There was talk of a movies with the the DS9 crew or even the Voyager crew but those stories were squashed. There was talk of perhaps a new series that would deal with covert missions and more cloak and dagger stuff. But once the  fans caught wind they made their disappointment known with calm and subtlety.

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Yeah something like that.

Then and idea sprang forth, one that actually had roots with Harve Bennet, the man who saved the films with the great Wrath of Kahn. It was right after the release and the less than stellar performance of Star Trek 5 where he had envisioned either a series or a film about Kirk Spock and McCoy during their Academy years. It had some traction, Paramount was intrigued by this notion. They saw it as a way of keeping the franchise going for a longer period of time. But at the end of the day the studio was worried about alienating it’s fan base with what might be perceived as usurpers to the thrones. So they scraped that idea and waited.

Enter JJ Abrams.

A work horse writer who penned scripts like Regarding Henry and Gone Fishin’ (yep he wrote that) who struck golld with such shows as Felicity and Alias. It was LOST and Fringe that made nerd fan boys wipe themsleves in excitment . He then went on to direct Mission Impossible 3 and Super 8.

Now at this point I’m not sure who came to who first but JJ and Paramount had a meeting and from there the idea of rebooting the franchise was brought up. Now this can be a tricky thing as what this basically means is starting fresh, from scratch. Creating new stories with old characters that don’t feel old but at the same time keeping their familiarity so as to not lose old fans. Its a difficult tight rope to balance on. And I get why they went this route. The cast was getting old (some dead), there was no way in Stovakor they were going down the film path with DS9 or Voyager. So they decided on the Academy years, young kirk Spock and McCoy meeting and having a grand adventure. But once again the powers that be were worried about nerd backlash having these new younger actors take these icon roles. And there was strong resistance (I will not make a Borg joke) how dare they attempt something new and fresh (might i add people were upset that they were using a whole new crew back in 1987 and that turned out to be Next Gen and it became a big hit so stuff it nerds)

So instead of a straight reboot they decided to bridge the new with the old. This would be a separate time line as Leonard Nimoy would don the ears one more time so he could interact with his younger self. Again I completely understand where they are coming from. Nimoy is Trek and having him in your film gives it that stamp of approval. It would silent some, not all but it’s a good start. I for one don’t have a problem with reboots and remakes for the most part. I know they have a built in audience and its kind of sort of a safe bet . Besides I still have the originals, so as long as they don’t Lucasify them (verb: meaning to enhance, recreate, add too an existing property and then taking away the original so you are forced to only watch the shit revised version).

Hey Chewy you won’t mind that I’ll never mention knowing you right?                                     

So Nimoy is in so what we get is Kirks father is killed before his born which changes the road he takes to command. Now we can argue all kinds of things here so I won’t belabor the point. The film is good for someones interpretation of Trek. This is not MY Trek. On it’s own its fun and rousing. It does take the status quo and completely skews it. And that’s great, I appreciate someone going into a play ground I’ve enjoyed an showing me a new way, notice I didn’t say better. Again I don’t want to be THAT nerd who complains about every little thing. BUUUUT I will say that I have some issues with the whole time line thing. Now one can argue that any change in the time line has ripple effects. What happens to one happens to all (I hate to use this as the example: A Sound of Thunder pretty clearly brought that up with the whole kill a butterfly in the past and humanity because non existant in the future.) But the whole history of Trek was so thrown for a loop that Im surprised they didn’t show Chekov and Sulu playing together in kindergarten. Just from a logic stand point half the stuff makes no sense. The biggest being Kirk getting his own command at the end when he was just a cadet at the start. I mean i know people who have excelled at their job and moved up quickly but there is still tiers one has to climb to get to the top.That would be like the mail boy doing such a good job handing out letters that the owner of the company makes him a Vice President. And don’t get me started on the highly coincidental meeting of Kirk and Spock and Scotty all on the same planet within miles of each other. But again I understand why they went this route. These Trek films are primarily made with the casual fans or newbies in mind so by the end of the film Kirk is Captain, Spock is science/first officer and everyone else is in their proper and Logical places (again see what I did there) So while there are plot holes you can fly a Death Star through (Star Wars reference, thought I’d change it up) all in all not a bad film. Until…

If Star Trek 2009 simplified things, Star Trek into Darkness is the special needs kid who rides the short yellow bus with his mittens taped to his jacket (from this time forward Star Trek into Darkness will be referred to as Ugh That Sucked)
Both films were written by the team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who also give us two Transformers films and Cowboy and Aliens so take that as you will. Roberto Orci once said
“We always try to approach these big action movies from a place of: Could you remove the robots and the spaceships and aliens and whatever it is and take that character story and make an independent film out of that little story?” Orci told The Los Angeles Times in 2009. “If you can and then you sprinkle back in the giant robots, you have something very unique.”
So basically without the robots, Transformers is about Shia LaBouf acting like a crazy person…wow talk about art imitating life.

Proposed plot for Transformers 5.

Proposed plot for Transformers 5.

I won’t go into too much detail about Ugh That Sucked, basically if you watched Trek2009, Star Trek 2 Wrath of Kahn, a bit of Star Trek 3 and the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark then you’ve essentially seen the film. It’s such a mishmash of stuff that makes no sense topped off by the most ridiculous call back to the Spock Death scene in part 2. My best friend and I threw our hands in the air (because we didn’t care) in frustration, it was just awful.

So now we are here, in the present. While Ugh That Sucked made money, it made less money than than 2009. At the big Trek Convention in Las Vegas, they ranked all the Trek films (they even included Galaxy Quest which I thought was genius) Ugh that Sucked was ranked dead last. A non Trek film was more Trek than Ugh That Sucked and it was also beat by Trek 5 which, up until now, was considered the worst Trek film ever, not anymore. The fans were speaking loudly but Paramount either didn’t hear or didn’t care because Orci was still involved, but this time for the upcoming Trek 3 there was a lot of talk of him taking the directing chair now that JJ was off doing Star Wars. Orci has no directing experience, I have directed 2 short films and a few plays so I have more experience than this guy. But apparently there has been a bit of a shake up and Mr Oric is no longer involved (His script was tossed out a so Simon Pegg wo played Scotty is apparently co writing the film and Justin Lin, director of 4 Fast and Furious movies, will be taking the captains chair so expect a Vin Diesl cameo) This film is scheduled to be released in 2016. Now any Trek fan worth his Salt Creature knows that 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of our beloved Wagon Train to the Stars (For you non trekkers that is how the show creator pitched Trek to the studio) so the studio is going to push Sha Ka Ree and Earth to get this film in the theaters.

As a life long Trek fan I want to really enjoy anything they put out. Things can’t stay the same forever, actors get old, stories become repetitive; If we want our shows to go on fresh blood has to brought in. But with that comes things that we may not agree with but we have to be open to the change. I’m completely ok with new actors taking on these iconic roles. Pine, Quintos and Urban are fantastic as Kirk Spock and McCoy the look of the films, while feeling like you’re in an Apple Store, still feels fresh and new. They have yet to actually explore anything and that’s what I’m waiting for. I want them to go where no one has gone before and show us those strange new worlds one more time.

Until next time. Live long and prosper

Come at me ladies.

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Films | , , , | Leave a comment

Netflix Viewings

This weekend was pretty much a stay at home (for the most part) and Netflix the days away. Most of my viewings were documentaries. Here is what I checked out and some quick reviews.

Directed by William Shatner, this little docu takes a look at the lead actors of each Star Trek show. Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard Star Trek The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Ben Sisko Star Trek DS9), Kate Mulgrew (Katherine Janeway Star Trek Voyager ), Scott Bakula ( Jonathan Archer Star Trek Enterprise) and Chris Pine (James Kirk Star Trek 2009) all get their moments but with a running time of about 1:30 I felt it was a bit short to really get an idea of each actor. I think an half hour show would have given us a better sense of their lives and some of the pitfalls and triumphs. Still it was a nice little nugget for any Trek fan.

Both these film aren’t just documentaries about exploitation, they are big thank you’s with sloppy kisses and swift kicks to the nuts. Not Quite Hollywood takes you into the insane world of Ozplotation; genre films in Australia. Machete Maidens Unleashed brings us films made in the Philippines. Both these films showcase the best and worst (ok mostly worst) that came from these two countries and there are some gems out there. If you have never dipped your toe in the exploitation/ grindhouse pool then these two films can be your gateway drugs. Highly recommend them


A great film, that not only traces the rise and fall of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat but it also gives you a grand view of the freedom that the 70’s was known for. A time when sex wasn’t pushed down by death dealing disease and copious amounts of repressive assholes. Couples could walk in dance, have a buffet (not sure I would eat where there were free flowing bodily fluids) and engage in as much carnal pleasure as your little heart (and any other body part) desired. There were no judgments; tall, short, skinny, fat, any race, any creed if you got the nod, then you could have their bod. The interviews with former employees and patrons ran the gamut from awkward to hilarious. If you’re curious, take a peek don’t be shy and leave your inhibitions at the door.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment