Eating Halo Top Vanilla Bean feels like the adult equivalent of eating paste

Sure, that’s a long-ass title, but it’s catchier than my usual go-to of indicating I’m not dead, that I’ve not forgotten I have a WordPress, or some pop culture reference. Related: how the Hell do I have 18 drafts? I need to do some belated spring cleaning.

The Halo Top, for the record, isn’t half bad, but it has a weird consistency – just to set the record straight.

“What’s new in the land of Phil’s Misadventures in Fiction (and life)?” asks no one in particular.  Continue reading

Writing, and gloom-induced gloom

I love rainy days, but only so long as I can spend them at home. I realize that’s a bit of a tall order as I have to be at work on most-such days. That said: I love laying on the couch in the back room of my mom’s house and listen to the rain fall against the two skylights. Really dislodges the bullshit from my brain.

That said, I’m tired of the sky being a joyless gray as of late. I could easily attribute that to the dark days of a Trump Presidency (and, Hell, I am really, because he’s a thin-skinned, orange-faced puppet with a bad habit of taking to Twitter). They’re bringing me down.

Something more cheerful, however: I completed the first draft of Babel, Restored – the sequel to Dissonance in Harmony and what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I’ve returned to working on Dissonance. It’s fun, but I can’t help but smile at the realization I’m probably unintentionally shitting up continuity without realizing it. The editing process should be…interesting.  Continue reading

Hello WordPress, my old friend

I’ve come to post on you again.

I’m not even a little sorry for that. Nope. Newcomers: I’m definitely sorry for that, but it’s been a long week and I just don’t have it in me to pretend I’m more than a golem constructed from bad jokes, neuroses, and the occasional good idea. I got briefly distracted because I made the mistake of trying to refresh my Facebook while working on this post…only to discover my WiFi has once again crapped all over itself. Thanks, Comcast. Forever holding your products to the lowest standards. Continue reading

Another open letter to Mike Pence

Dear Mike,

Can I call you Mike, or are you more of a Michael? Doesn’t matter, now that I think about it. The important part is that I can see you, sir, are a visionary who is acting on behalf of the greater good of the people. Yes, indeed. While everyone else on the Internet is crying about how you most assuredly created a hostile, bigot-infested paradise where the state of Indiana once existed, I can’t help but say you deserve a pat on the back and maybe dessert before dinner. It’s important to put strong, personal beliefs before the overall financial, social, and cultural well-being of a state, and your actions really tell the world “I’m ready to take one step forward, followed immediately by a long road trip, a short flight, and a rocket trip to the moon backwards.” Don’t let those naysayers and whiners get you down, even if you happen to bear a striking physical resemblance to Lord Voldemort.

Praise aside, I can’t help but feel you should take things a few steps further. Continue to be the governor Indiana needs, but not necessarily the one that it wants. First and foremost, businesses should also ban rainbows, high fashion, and anything else associated with, well, less savory culture. These images can easily be replaced with far tamer ones, such as depictions of the sinners of the world being washed away by the Great Flood or perhaps the majesty of Revelation. Nothing quite goes with a trip to the barber shop like images of Jesus descending from Heaven and replacing all of those pesky non-believers’ blood with rivers of fire and snake venom.

The numbers six and thirteen, as well as any permutations, spellings, and similarities to said numbers should no longer be acknowledged, as they are symbolic of the devil. The letter B should no longer be capitalized, as it is a clever means by which to conceal an unlucky number 13. For better help in eliminating unlucky numbers, it may be wise to consult your nearest hotel chain as they have long-since removed all thirteenth floors from their establishments to prevent such mishaps as ghost infestations, spontaneous elevator failures, and other wacky hijinks.

Similarly, all goats should be made to wear costumes resembling other, far less Satanic animals. Goats that do not comply with this should be immediately incinerated, and their remains scattered along the Ohio border. This will prevent any possibility of the Dark Lord rising up, possessing his iconic beast, and wreaking havoc upon local business establishments while also encouraging creative family fun in the form of decorating the family goat. Based on my limited time passing through the great state of Indiana, I can only assume most every family has a family goat. I didn’t see any indication to the contrary, after all, which seems to be the same logic that fuels your decision in passing the religious freedom bill. Black cats and other possible witch familiars should also be sent away, as should their owners. A good, old-fashioned witch burning would be ideal, but those are generally frowned upon by the federal government and so you’ll probably have to make a few concessions there.

I know it must be very stressful for you, Mike, to see all of the businesses and big-name celebrities who are slinging hurtful names like “bigot” and “backwards-thinking fuckstick” at you, especially since those sentiments have no basis in reality. Besides, what do those people know? I mean the ones who help funnel revenue and tourism into the great state of Indiana, of course. Who needs them and their money? Plenty of other people will travel to Indiana for such great memories as using a turnpike restroom on the way to a vacation in some other state, or perhaps getting into a major traffic accident in one of the dozens of construction areas along the many wonderful highways. They’ll, at they very least, spend money at tolls, and if you really want to make use of those tourists in place of the ones who just don’t quite see things your way you could set up exit tolls. Make people regret leaving Indiana in the same way many people already regret living there.

My advice, in closing, to you is this: nobody doesn’t know what’s best for the well-being of Indiana quite the way you do, so to Hell with anyone who disagrees with you; I mean that literally, of course, as they will no doubt spend eternity in a sea of fire and regret. Should their shouting of bigotry and discrimination prove too loud, you can always turn to your favorite book in the Bible, tear a few pages out, stuff them in your ears, and go back to the important things like figuring out just how God managed to play such a great practical joke on all of those scientists who insist the Earth is a day older than six thousand years.

Warm regards from Pennsylvania (where a similar visionary to yourself only recently did wonders for our higher education system),

Phil

Sunday Spam Mailbag

Happy Sunday, everyone! I know, right? How the Hell could Sunday possibly be happy? Totally legitimate, reasonable question to ask in response to this post’s title. Two themed weeks later, and I’m slightly more dead as a result. I also have an editorial I need to start writing, as it hasn’t chosen to write itself. This means today’s post will be both easy and delightful(ly lazy).

I enjoy getting comments on here, as anyone with any form of web site probably does. I love getting to interact with other bloggers, people on Twitter, and so on, so this isn’t exactly shocking. However, I do occasionally feel compelled to check the comments captured by the Spam Blocker. They are surprisingly kind and genuine at times for things probably written by robots bent on selling me things that no one will ever need. Though I’ll never make those comments public, as I refuse to give spammers an open forum for their dubious links, I do feel compelled to respond to some of them. For comedy’s sake. Continue reading

A carefully considered replacement post

Happy Tuesday (said no one ever). I’m still in the middle of a day long headache-a-thon, which is really fun because it’s fulfilling my life-long dream of feeling like someone is playing the drums on the inside of my skull. That’s the power of positivity, people (says the guy who tried to cure a monstrous headache with a two-hour nap that failed miserably).

On the plus side, there’s a new episode of Face Off tonight, and I’m already quite emotionally invested in this season. It’s also Taco Tuesday, a statement which translates to me going to Taco Bell and buying a big order of spicy regret (it’s a guilty pleasure I just can’t quit, people, and also I love Baja Blast too much). Lastly, I worked up the nerve to write my first fan letter! I put words to paper in what I hope is the least crazy way possible to thank Amy Poehler for writing Yes Please, which isn’t a book so much as a reasonably-priced treasure chest filled with wonderful things. Also, since I’m taking forever to write this: there was an episode of Gravity Falls waiting on the DVR, which made tonight even better.

This post was supposed to be about something else, actually, but then I decided that idea would better serve me as a short story…which means I had to switch gears. The fan-letter thing got me thinking, too. Here’s a fun story about fan-mail.

Once upon a time, I binge-read a bunch of books by Kurt Vonnegut. Breakfast of Champions was the gateway to Cat’s CradleSirens of Titan, and A Man Without a Country (I’ve not finished that one yet). I feel like I’ve read more by Vonnegut, but I also confess that his prose, while delightful and entertaining, had the ability to put me into a particularly dark and gloomy mindset. Probably because there was more than a measure of uncomfortable truth to everything he wrote.

One night, in a moment of bravery, I decided I would write Kurt Vonnegut a fan-letter to tell him how much I loved his writing and how I hoped to one day be as wonderful and beloved a writer as he is. The anxiety was very real; I could feel my heart yo-yoing between my chest and my throat. The cursor in Microsoft Word remained lonely, a blank page staring back at me in mockery of the fool’s errand I had embarked on. Instead, perhaps, I thought I would look up the address I would need to send this hopeless letter off to. A quick Google search later gave me multiple options, all viable, and some suggestions and criticisms about fan letters.

There also happened to be a shitload of articles about the life of Kurt Vonnegut, citing how he had passed away earlier that very day. I stared at the screen, a mix of heartbroken and shocked. In hindsight, my knee-jerk reaction was probably entirely appropriate. “Are you fucking kidding me?” I asked my computer, fully expecting a response.

I have since interacted with two of my favorite authors on Twitter (on multiple occasions, actually), and that’s been fun. There’s something about interacting with the people who inspire me that is probably far more thrilling than it should be.

Who do you folks idolize so much that you’ve sent them fan-mail/tweets/whatever? Any luck with responses? Was it terrifying, thrilling, or both?

There should have been more to this post, but I have the most vicious goddamned headache I’ve experienced in a while so I’m going to throw in the towel for the night. Apologies there.

 

My pledge to no longer be bored

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most commonly heard phrases, especially in people around my age group and younger folks (You dern whipper-snappers and your selfie-sticks), is “I’m bored”. Earlier today, after having completed my tasks for the day and then-some, I found myself thinking exactly that. I’m bored.

Somewhere between stopping at the liquor store to purchase the other ingredients required to make a Blood & Sand–a decision I entirely support, especially after making one and enjoying it quite thoroughly–and contemplating dinner, it occurred to me just how awful saying “I’m bored” is given just how much I could be doing with my time. I’m not talking about endless writing or spending hours promoting things on social media, interspersed with the conversations I’ve grown famous/infamous/unknown for having. Louis C.K. said it better than I ever could, in fact, and so I found a convenient image on the internet with his words placed on it to share to make my point here.

louis-ck-im-bored-useless-world-endless

There’s a lot of fantastic truth in this quote, and it got me thinking even further. There is, at no point, really a good reason to be bored. I’m not going to preach about the miracle of consciousness. I think it’s more about finding the things that matter most in this sea of constant information and distractions.  Continue reading