The Fifteenth Billion Pass

Hooray! After a very long cryo sleep, yours truly has come back from the land of the dead following the completion of his latest (and hopefully final) pass. For those who don’t know what a pass is:

Discreet Butt Grab

NBA players have mastered the art of the discreet butt grab.

No. That’s not the kind of pass I’m talking about. Let’s try this again:

Not even drunk driving is an excuse here.

Not even drunk driving is an excuse here.

Um, no. Still not the type of pass I’m talking about. Third time’s a charm?

State of the personal union.

Just missing some color, and a strong permanent sedative to put me out of my misery.

Ah, close enough.

In the literary world, a pass is every time you go through your entire manuscript to edit/proofread/change/rewrite/rearrange/destroy it. After 1 year, 9 months, 12 days (I’m just guessing here), 17 hours (I’m guessing even more here), and 54 minutes (yep, still guessing), I’ve finally completed the final pass of my second novel, ‘Save Me Last’. Now I feel like it’s finally worthy of being subjected to the harsh critiquing eyes of some agent/publisher who’ll probably rip into it and, in the off chance he or she likes it, will probably send it to a professional editor for even further revision, bringing back something that mildly represents what I originally wrote but ends up basically being a bastardized version of the vision I had in mind. Needless to say, the agent/publisher will convince me that this is for the best, and that despite my best efforts, time, sweat, and tears, this version of the novel will seem more acclaim and success and that that’s just the way the business is run and that I should deal with it or find someone else to help me represent my book.

Okay, so now that I’ve taken a deep breath and gotten that rant out of the way, I just want to say this:

Yay. Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm but it’s pretty late and I’ve been running on approximately 3 hours of sleep a night for the past six days trying to finish my story in order to get query letters out soon. Fingers crossed, people. Fingers crossed.

If my pitch is a success and the agents love what I’ve written, then I get to enjoy a brief period of sanity before I have to do this all over again for my third novel. Ah, the wonderful life of a writer. Where’s the steady stream of alcohol and uplifting music when you need it?

Even sadder than blue balls.

Even sadder than blue balls.

2014: A Repository for Fresh Beginnings

So, like, yeah…

Where do I start? How about the fact that I’m in agonizing pain thanks to surgery I just had performed to repair a hernia near my left nut. That’s right, my left nut. Know what that means? No sex. No masturbation. No porn. No thinking about naked woman and getting aroused, period. Nothing. So this is what priests and nuns feel like. Must explain this picture:

Considering his profession, technically it's an oxymoron.

Considering his profession, technically it’s an oxymoron.

And this:

Because sometimes even God's graceful touch isn't enough.

Because sometimes even God’s graceful touch isn’t enough.

I’m never taking my abs for granted again. Those bad boys are like a steroid fueled Lance Armstrong circa 1999-2005: they’re tireless and they just keep going and going.

On another note, writing… Yeah… With me restricted to the confines of my bed for the next several weeks or so, I figure now’s a good time as any to finish that great second novel I’ve been working on since, like, 1965. I vow to get it done. I have to. No excuses. I just gotta finish watching this movie I’m halfway through first…

State of the personal union.

State of the personal union.

Speaking of movies, I saw ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ recently. All I’ve gotta say is that I have to up the ante for my next humor novel… and I gotta get rich doing so because I’m clearly missing out. I’ll pass on the drugs, though. Something about having to roll down a set of stairs in order to get to my car since I’ve become physically incapable of walking after having OD’ed on some expired barbiturates doesn’t exactly scream “dignified” does it?

Sadly, this is very reminiscent of me in bed right now.

Sadly, this is very reminiscent of me in bed right now.

I’m done blogging right now. My nuts are screaming from the burning pain and I have to go pee. Damn you, diuretics.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Can you feel the holiday spirit? No? Then you need to drink more. Anyways, to kick off my latest blog post, I just wanted to share some of my mediocre poetry with the rest of the world. Please refrain from gouging out your eyes if you find it less than satisfactory as poetry isn’t something I often dabble in.

Here’s one heavy with alliteration:


My characteristically chaotic chemistry is
A synthesis of strewn stitches
Rough rims, rimples and ridges,
Too big for one’s britches.
It ignites, igneous and incandescent
Never needing nor nagging nor gnawing nor clawing.

Raging, reposing, regarding or responding
Each emotion expresses efferent expectations
Encompassing elements of everyday events.
Don’t dig dangerously deep—it’s just the sound of my name.




I sprouted into privilege, to a pair of green money trees
But all other kids glared and scorned, burning me
And I shriveled up
Into a dry, disfigured leaf.

Attempting to smile white
My teeth quickly rotted and it got easier to frown brown
And so I found happiness in winter’s grey.

While growing up frozen and lonely
I discovered the warmth of a true friend
Who then died—drug overdose.

After I stumbled I started using too
But then I discovered and recovered
And now I find myself healthy and free.

I started off heavy
And I think I’ll end up light
But should this flight crash early
I’ll rest six feet under. Me and my plight.

Whatever #2:



I explode towards the blue sky
Stretching my right arm up.
The shiny red rim gets ever so close,
My callused fingers wiggle higher
But my wild hair stops fluttering
And gravity says no.
The dull concrete below catches up,
My faded Nike Air Max’s crash,
Bursting in shame,
The deflated orange ball bounces away.
Stained with the numerous marks of my soles,
The floor declares itself king.

Visual poem with four syllables per line:



I march ahead—
Ready to strike
At your command.

I break blockades—
North, south, east, west
Keeping keen watch.

I carve a path—
Guarding your crown.

I tread biased—
Spreading belief.

I promenade—
Up, down, crisscross
For you, my love.

I sit and wait—
This heavy crown
Marks my checkmate.

**Unfortunately, the top poem can’t be displayed as it’s meant to be viewed thanks to formatting inconsistencies with WordPress. It’s like driving a Lamborghini with a rev limiter set to 40 mph. Talk about annoying. Trust me, though, the poem was meant to be all visual, with the shape and arrangements of the words taking on the chess pieces move patterns.

TL;DR: This poem was awesomer in its original form.

New Short Story: ‘Semper Fi’

Like reading crap that makes no sense? Me neither, that’s why I recommend you check out my short story instead. It’s about 2000 words (or 10 pages on Word) so don’t worry, you won’t grow too many grey hairs reading it.

The story's more interesting than this cover. I promise

The story’s more interesting than this cover. I promise


6:19 am

With the sun’s morning rays tickling the fine sand, the desert shuddered to the prods of its fiery friend, signaling its wakefulness by sending a series of shockwave ripples that rustled the land.

The two entities exchanged a mutual silence. They had a job to do and they would get to it.

9:43 am

The scorching sun, rising higher, assaulted the lone Marine stumbling across the vast white expanse. The vivid blue sky loomed overhead, stretching over the entire plane as the two vibrant colors from air and earth meshed together to create a dizzying juxtaposition.

Brennan wiped more sweat from his brow. He could taste salty perspiration around his mouth and his charred skin felt swollen and ready to peel. Still, he couldn’t stop. Gripping the gold cross on his necklace for comfort, he kept moving.

12:49 pm

Brennan paused and squinted at a dark figure up ahead. To his horror, it began moving towards him. His M4A1 rifle came up.

Drip. Drip. Hiss. Hiss.

Drops of perspiration fizzled against the sand but he kept his gaze firm. The shadowy figure, growing closer, began to sprout arms, then legs, and then finally a head.

It was another soldier and he was now less than thirty yards away.

“Stop!” Brennan shouted, aiming.

Unwavering, the dark individual became clearer. His face was smooth, devoid of any debris or sunburn, and he walked with a swiftness that mocked the terrain.

He looked American but Brennan couldn’t be sure. “Squawk ID or I’ll shoot!”

The man continued towards him.

“I’m warnin’ you!”

Twenty yards away.

“Stop!” Brennan’s finger hovered across the trigger.

Fifteen yards away.

“STOP!” He gripped the trigger

Ten yards away.

He began to squeeze. But before a shot could go off, the man stopped abruptly, five yards short. “Doyle,” he said, before marching off to the side. “Come on.”

2:20 pm

Doyle moved like a ghost, impervious to the desert’s machinations.

Brennan barely kept up. “Doyle,” he gasped, his throat drier than insulation. “Need to stop.”

Doyle remained phlegmatic. “Can’t.”

Brennan checked his canteen. It was less than a quarter full. He could feel the unforgiving golden rays burning the back of his scabbing neck to an unrecognizable brown crisp.

The only thing that kept him going was Nadine, his girlfriend. Thinking of her fair skin, and her beautiful orange hair complemented by her vivid green eyes, Brennan urged himself on.

3:19 pm

“I get it,” Doyle said, breaking a lengthy silence.

“Get what?” Brennan worked hard to keep his mouth moistened by swallowing repeatedly. Every time he did, however, his tongue peeled against his gums. If only he could take a sip… He’d promised to pace himself, however.

“This is where sinners come to die.”

“What?” Brennan stopped. “The hell you talkin’ about?”

Doyle nodded. “I’ve made peace with it. Have you?” The desert fell silent.

“Shut your damn mouth and keep walkin’.” Brennan pressed ahead. “We’ll make it.” But he wasn’t so sure anymore either.

“Why you still carryin’ that weight?” Doyle regarded Brennan’s cumbersome backpack. “Punishin’ yourself?”

“It’s my only shot at stayin’ alive.”

Doyle grinned. “Just can’t let go, can you?”

“It’s not your problem. I’m the one carryin’ it.”

“Aren’t you always?”

Brennan’s eyes twitched. “You got a fuckin’ problem, Doyle?” He was in no mood for games.

Doyle kept smirking. “Trippin’ already? You said you spent way longer out in the Mojave.”

“This isn’t the Mojave, asshole. This is fuckin’ Iraq. Instead of passenger planes, we got our own Hercs rainin’ down 105’s on us and then later labellin’ it ‘friendly fire’.”

“Could be worse,” Doyle noted. “You could always bleed to death from a stab wound.”

Not sure how to respond to that, Brennan simply marched on ahead.

4:10 pm

Wiping more beads of sweat away, Brennan stumbled before pausing. “Damn this bullshit…”

“Afternoon ain’t over, Zero-Two,” Doyle stated.

“Goddamnit…” Brennan growled, regretting having told him his call-sign. “I would’ve just shot you if I’d known you’d be such an asshole!” He spat out red saliva covered sand before coughing violently. The cough was excruciating—like millions of fire ants crawling up and down his throat.

“Why didn’t you?” Doyle asked.

4:40 pm

Brennan stopped again, releasing his M4A1. It plunged into the sand with a soft swish, shuddering upon impact. Dropping to his knees, he placed his hands on top of the hot grains, taking a moment to collect himself. His silver cross glinted in the sunlight.

Doyle crouched beside him and stared off into the distance.

Brennan felt disoriented, like a flashbang had gone off. As much as his body demanded so, however, he refused to take another sip. He had to conserve his supply. He had to. He also had to get back to Nadine. She was waiting for him. She always was… “Aren’t you thirsty?”

Doyle lit up a cigarette.

Brennan couldn’t believe his eyes. “What the fuck are you doin’?”


“You insane?”

Doyle simply chuckled and held the pack out.

“I quit.”

“Since when?”

He couldn’t remember. How long had he been out here exactly? Four days? Longer? His cracked lips felt as if they’d been scraped across a rough sidewalk. It was becoming ever more tempting to take that single sip but he had to refrain. There were miles to go with no foreseeable limits or boundaries in sight. Just nothingness. “You should stop smokin’.”

Doyle took another drag but didn’t exhale, his dark eyes as hollow as their surroundings. “Only if you stop drinkin’.”


“Look where it’s gotten you.”

Incensed, the weary Marine picked up his rifle and aimed. “Say that again and I will FUCKIN’ END YOU!”

Doyle took another casual drag of his cigarette before extinguishing it.

4:50 pm

His throat peeling apart, Brennan began coughing and heaving violently. He needed a sip. His trembling fingers fumbled with the cap until, at last, the lid was removed. But before he could allow the precious liquid to soothe him, the vial was snatched away.

He glowered at Doyle. “Give it back!”

“What’re you doin’, Zero-Two?”

Brennan struggled to stay composed. “Give me the canteen, Doyle. Now…”

“And if I don’t? Will you shoot me?”

“Don’t test me!”

Doyle eyed the canteen for a moment before carelessly tossing it back.

Gasping, Brennan leapt up and snatched it in midair. “Are you crazy?! You could’ve spilt it!”

The look of indifference on Doyle’s face was unsettling. “You’re slippin’, Zero-Two.”

“Fuck you!”

“You’re slippin’, Zero-Two,” Doyle repeated a second time, far more chillingly.

For the first time since the start of his journey, Brennan felt the overriding warmth engulfing his body give way to an unfamiliar coldness as it crept all along his back, wrapping its bony fingers around his spine, just begging him to scream out in pain.

Suddenly, he no longer felt thirsty.

4:59 pm


Brennan noticed that Doyle had stopped walking. “Yeah?”

Doyle grinned. “Why do you keep runnin’?”

Brennan frowned. “What…?”


5:07 pm

“Zero-Two.” Doyle paused again.

Brennan sighed. “What now?”

“You’re not gonna make it.”

Muttering several curses under his breath, Brennan continued ahead. “Asshole…”

“I’m serious, Zero-Two. Time to face facts.”

“Keep movin’!”

“Why do you keep runnin’ away from your problems?”

The words brought Brennan to a halt.

Back home, in Santa Clara, Nadine would ask the same thing whenever they argued. Nadine… Was she worrying about him right now? Worrying about whether he’d make it back again? Would she wait this time? He felt bad about their last fight—their worst yet…

He faced Doyle. “We’re gonna make it. Have faith.”

“Faith’s a last resort, given to those who have nothin’ left worth livin’ for. It can play cruel tricks on the desperate mind.”

“Damnit, just shut up! Your pessimism ain’t helpin’!”

“You think drinkin’ will?”

Brennan’s eyes temporarily swirled with fire. “Fuck off…”

5:14 pm

Brennan couldn’t take it any longer. Sharp splinters of wood were scratching across the lining of his delicate throat. Removing the lid from the canteen, he tilted the vial, allowing the thin liquid to trickle down his throat and fill him with warmth.

It was pure bliss. Never had anything tasted better in his entire life. He wanted more, to drown himself in ecstasy, but he couldn’t. He had to pace himself. For Nadine.

Returning the canteen to his belt, he heard Doyle laughing.

Brennan frowned. “What’s wrong with you?”

Doyle’s mouth formed a wider smile. “Me?”

Unconsciously, Brennan gripped his rifle a little tighter.

5:20 pm

Brennan no longer trusted Doyle. He was sure Doyle wanted his canteen because he didn’t carry his own. But Brennan was ready for anything. He would even kill Doyle if he had to.

No one was taking his canteen.

5:25 pm

“Zero-Two, you gotta understand.”

“Understand what?”

“You got a serious problem.”

Brennan squinted, shielding his eyes from sand particles blowing past. “Doyle, you okay?”

His counterpart grunted in amusement. “Are you?”

Brennan had no reply. He turned and marched ahead before being halted by a sharp cry.

“Brennan!” It was the first time he’d been addressed by his actual name. It gave him goose bumps but he didn’t know why. “Stop hiding!”

5:29 pm

He realized why he’d gotten goose bumps: Nadine used to shout the same thing.

5:32 pm

Brennan studied his dirty palms in fascination. How old was he? He couldn’t be sure anymore.

He saw Doyle observing him quietly. “What?” he shouted over the howling wind.

There was no response.

5:34 pm

The sun continued its onslaught and the wind shrieked.

His teeth clenched, Brennan blinked profusely as sweat invaded his eyes from above. He would need another sip soon. Very soon.

5:35 pm

“Zero-Two…” Doyle smirked cruelly. “How’s Nadine?”

Brennan’s eyes widened. “Wh—don’t ever say her name again!”

Doyle narrowed his eyes. “You’re a coward, understand? Just another lowlife degenerate who’s gonna die out here alone because it’s what you deserve. No one’ll bother searchin’ for scum like you. The sooner you accept it, the less painful it’ll be.”

Brennan decided to simply walk away.

“You’re no better than your enemies! At least they don’t run away at the first sign of trouble!”

Brennan spun on his heels. “Yeah, they just terrorize innocents without reason!”

“And you just beat defenseless women while you’re drunk out of your mind, right?”

The M4A1 came up immediately. “YOU MUST HAVE A FUCKIN’ DEATH WISH!”

Unperturbed, Doyle grinned. “You’re an unfaithful coward who beats women and who was discharged from his unit for going AWOL. Don’t you get it? Even God’s abandoned you.”

Brennan fired a shot—the thundering sound echoed across the great expanse. It ricocheted off Doyle’s holstered rifle, causing Brennan to fall to one knee and clutch his left abdomen. Grunting, he observed the dry blood on his stained uniform.

“Does it hurt?” Doyle asked.

Brennan wasn’t sure. The pain had turned numb.

7:60 pm

The sun hung low, painting the sky a purplish orange.

Fatigued, aching, and suffering from extreme dehydration, Brennan clutched his wounded abdomen before collapsing with extended arms, causing the bronze cross along his neck to swing limply. With his legs abandoning him, he couldn’t go on.

“Doyle?” he choked out.

“Give me the canteen,” he heard someone say.

Brennan bowed his head in shame. “I’m… sorry…”

“Give it to me.”

“I-I… c-can’t…”

“You can.”

With a quivering hand, Brennan unbuckled the canteen and held it up. But as soon as he felt a tug, he became reluctant to let it go. He just couldn’t.

“Let go, Brennan.”

Anger coursed through him. Why was he giving up his only remaining comfort? “NO!” He shot up and sprung away, only to lose his grip on the canteen.

Doyle immediately unscrewed the lid.


Doyle began emptying the beverage onto the sand below.

Seeing nothing but red, Brennan lunged ahead, his knife drawn. Doyle grinned and tossed the canteen aside. Bringing up his pistol at the last moment, he fired off an earth shattering shot.

The desert shuddered against the resonating echo of the bullet bouncing off Brennan’s glossy blade.

Doyle fired again but Brennan worked to quickly close the distance.

A final shot rang out.

The deafening silence hung over the still air as Brennan’s face hovered over Doyle’s. A look of bewilderment masked his features when he gazed into the pained green eyes staring back.


The red haired woman smiled before a trickle of blood escaped her lips and stained Brennan’s hand, the one still gripping the handle of the plunged knife. Brennan felt her hot breath on his ears as she whispered, “Do you remember now?” The wind began to pick up, howling shrilly.

He let go of the blade and fell back, clenching his eyes shut. When he opened them, they shimmered and everything went quiet, causing him to gasp, as if emerging from a body of water for much needed air.

Blinking, everything came into clarity and focus. The shroud was finally lifted.

He stared out across the now familiar barren landscape of the Mojave before touching the gunshot wound on his abdomen again—Nadine’s desperate attempt at fending him off. The image of her lifeless body, punctured and leaking blood on their apartment floor the night he’d run off, now flashed vividly.

Dropping to his knees, he clutched his temples while his tears spilled freely, exposing the earth below to the alien liquid. “No… No…”

The sun descended peacefully into its slumber, shrouding him in darkness. It exchanged a silent, unseen smile with the desert below as it made its final goodbye.

They had finally done their job: they had succeeded in waking Brennan Doyle.

Iron Man Fail: Why Tony Stark Is A Fraud (And a Liar)

I’ve decided to come out of hibernation and post a new article (shocking, I know) in light of two recent events:

1. My recent viewing of the abysmal “Iron Man 3”.

2. The subsequent conversation/debate/argument/screaming match that ensued as a result with a co-worker the very next day.

Tony Stark, for his intellect pertaining to all things science, is an absolute idiot when it comes to one of the most fundamental laws of physics: inertia. You’d think someone of his calibre would know what this is, but no. It’s almost like this eccentric, womanising drunk decided to skip out on the one lecture that mattered.

Mr. Stark, I repeat: you are a monumental dumbass. Or at least, your writers (the same lazy hacks who just pretty much torpedoed your franchise after this horrible third movie) are for failing to understand a basic principal of physics.

“What the hell’s Pendrum talking about?” you might be asking. (Honestly, most of the time I’m not even sure myself but this time’s an exception.) I’m talking about how implausibility of the Iron Man suit, even within the realm of comics, due to the concept of Inertia.

What’s inertia? It’s an objects tendency to move if already moving, or remain stationary if already stationary unless subjected to an external force. “WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! ARRGH!!!!!! BIG WORDS! MY HEAD HURTS!” Okay, okay, in layman’s terms:

What'll hurt more: the fall or the guy's ego?

What’ll hurt more: the fall or the guy’s ego?

So basically it’s like this: if you’re moving and some shit pops up and forces you to stop very, very quickly (see above), then you’re gonna keep moving until something really, really hard stops you (a brick wall, the floor, some guy’s fist, a kick to the face).

Stark is a normal guy, right? He’s just a human in an advanced suit, right? Well unless that suit has foam padding that’s about 50 feet thick to minimize the moving object within, if he falls from a height onto concrete or gets hit by a tank shell (like he did in the first movie), he’ll pretty much turn into human paste inside his little piece of armor. Sure, we can assume the Iron Man suit is durable and can absorb damage, but what about the guy inside? I reiterate to Mr. Stark and his writers: what about inertia? Let’s try another picture:

One of those rare instances where a seatbelt won't actually help.

One of those rare instances where a seatbelt won’t actually help.

Memo to Tony (and his incompetent writers): Imagine the bike is the suit which you’re in. Now imagining crashing into something solid at high speed. End result? Tony’s body continues moving ahead and gets crushed into the front of the suit, along with his organs, bones and everything else in between. If Tony in the Iron Man suit slams into a concrete barrier at 200 mph, it’ll be like any normal guy slamming into a concrete barrier at… (wait for it) … 200 MPH! Epic fail, Tony. Epic. Fucking. Fail. And you call yourself a prodigy?

So the next time you’re reading or watching Iron Man, or any other interpretation of him, just remember that if there are any contrived scenarios that leave you thinking “Hey, wait! That doesn’t seem possible!”, it’s because they probably aren’t. If the scientist in you still isn’t convinced and wants to perform a test at your own expense (DISCLAIMER: I absolve myself of any liability by warning you ahead of time this isn’t the best idea), then just put a sturdy pot over your head and run as hard as possible into a brick wall. After waking up from your year long coma, if the ensuing brain damage hasn’t left you mentally challenged and incapable of basic cognitive function, then congratulations, you’ve proved me wrong! Except no, wait, you haven’t because you’ve likely dropped about 50 IQ points. Trust me, you have. You just don’t know it.

In closing, next time you see Tony Stark as Iron Man on the big screen or anywhere else, raise your middle finger and call him out on his bullshit. We all know he’s compensating for something anyways by always wearing that thing.

Why Men in the Middle East Need to Dress Sharper

This post will probably be more random and all over the place than the previous one, so you might find yourself losing brain cells during the process of reading through it. If you value your IQ and don’t want to dip into the low two digit category, then steer clear, otherwise…

I got roped into a heated discussion the other day with someone over how volatile the Middle East still is, even in the wake of a great summer. He said he couldn’t fathom how, to this day, the people there are still so angry and prejudiced against westerners and anyone else who fits the bill of “infidel”. He basically went on a long diatribe about how they’re so predisposed to violence and terrorism due to their radical religious beliefs. I respectfully disagreed, telling him that the nature of their discontent can be simply attributed to the lack of one particular item we have in abundance elsewhere:

We're coming to kill you, but don't worry because we're doing it in style.

Don’t worry, we’re coming to kill you in style

That’s right–flashy, stylish dress suits. Consider this, what type of attire do most men in the Middle East wear? That’s easy:

Be honest. It's the glasses, isn't it? Is that why I'm not hip?

Be honest. It’s the glasses, isn’t it? That’s what’s keeping the ladies away.

Seriously, put yourself in their shoes for a second. How are you not supposed to be angry when you’re wearing the above and you see your western counterparts wearing classy two piece attire? Can you imagine going to a club dressed like that? How many quick rejections would it take to set a club record? A world record? Even Neil Strauss (author of ‘The Game’, the famous book on how to pick up women) would strike out dressed like that. In fact, he’d probably cause people to set their own eyes on fire in order to spare further visual scarring. First of all, there’s no color uniformity, and the whole garish pink head-cloth  complemented by a rather unfashionable black headband just screams “sexually confused” or “my parents beat me as a child”. These men are sexually repressed because they simply can’t get any dressed like that. But now imagine if they ditched the white robes and color challenged head-clothes for some dark two piece Armani or Gucci sets. Now we’d be talking.

In the movie ‘The Family Man’, Nicolas Cage said during one scene while trying on a suit at the store. “Wearing this suit actually makes me feel like a better person.” Truer words have never been spoken, especially coming from such an esteemed individual who’s made hits like ‘Bangkok Dangerous’ and ‘The Wicker Man’. How can you not take him seriously, especially with that hair?

Rogaine gone horribly wrong

Rogaine gone horribly wrong

Take it from Nic–if a suit can make a man better, then surely it can make him less likely to want to commit harm on another soul. After all, it’s obvious the main thing driving these extremists towards committing numerous acts of terrorism is rampant jealousy and envy. So in conclusion, I suggest that instead of retaliatory strikes, covert operations, and trillion dollar wars, we simply parachute down large boxes of the latest fashionable apparel courtesy of Mr. Giorgio Armani or Guccio Gucci and let the aesthetics do the talking. After all, if these extremists end up walking around and looking good while getting compliments along the way, perhaps they’ll feel less inclined to strap on a bomb, especially when you’re talking about wasting a fine $5000 suit in the process. Now that would just be a shame.

End rant.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Err… scratch that. Instead of referencing the popular Beastie Boys song, how about ‘No Sleep Till My Next Novel is Done’?

Yep, that’s the title and theme presiding over my life the past month or so. Can I blame that as being the sole reason for my sudden withdrawal from society and the newly invoked “social recluse” status? Probably not, but in the spirit of total randomness and the theme of unpredictability to kick off the new year, I thought I’d write about three totally unrelated (and just as equally random) topics to get this blog rolling again. The cobwebs have been allowed to hang around for too long, so piss off Spider-man, your movie wasn’t all that great. Come back in two years when you’ve stopped being such an emo bitch.

Random topic #1: People Who Ride the Bus

I used to be hot, then I got on this bus.

Ahem. Exhibit A. Take a look at the picture above you. Seems to tell a simple story: old lady on the right is pissed off because her day isn’t going so great. What’s actually happening: old lady on the bus was 20 years old when she got on fifteen minutes ago.

Seriously, every time I get on the bus, everyone looks like they’re coming from a wake–one likely hosted by Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s just a rectangular box on wheels full of the gloomiest looking people on the planet. And this is on a sunny day. When it’s raining or generally more miserable looking? Then it’s like Ebenezer announced that everyone would have to pay for the food and drinks.

I’m not suggesting the first decent looking woman on the bus get up and begin voraciously dancing around one of the poles in order to entertain the crowd (although I wouldn’t really have a problem with that, especially since a good strip routine causes you to lose all your day’s hard earned salary), all I’m saying is that the next time you turn to the person next to you, smile, and offer your hand in greeting, hopefully you get the same in return, and not an unexpected fist to the face, followed by a sexual harassment allegation. If you’re worried that you look like a pedophile and can’t pull this off as easily as some dude who looks like Brad Pitt, then you’re shit outta luck. In your case, just sit in the back and brood all by yourself. No one really wants to see your miserable face anyways, so save us all the trouble.

Random topic #2: People Who Resolve to Work Out After New Years

What do you mean I haven’t gotten any bigger!? But I’ve been going to the gym for nearly ten days now!

Yes, we all know them. You’ve probably come across one or two the past several weeks as they frantically gorge and indulge during the year’s dying weeks, before the all mighty call of the exercise hammer bears down once January 1st hits. Heck, you might even be one of them.

These people are awesome. They flood the gym during the first half of the month, motivated by inspirational–and disturbingly dated–Richard Simmons workout videos and success stories posted on Facebook or Reddit detailing a dramatic change in lifestyle. They may not even necessarily be fat, just simply out of shape (yes, you can be skinny and out of shape, just ask Steve Rogers before he took steroids–come on, we all know that’s what they were–and became Captain America). What’s great about them is that no matter how pathetic you might seem at the gym, you can take solace in the fact that for the next few weeks, you won’t be the dude who gets laughed at by the regulars for not initially understanding what “getting a spot” means. But like all good things, of course–including the first time you discovered masturbation and porn–the nirvana will end after these people realize that getting in shape takes a little longer than just a few weeks of body gyrations and they retreat back to their old indulgences, leaving you, once again, to become the sole laughing stock of the weight room.

Random topic #3: Method Writing

Method writing can work. Just remember never to go full retard.

Method writing can work. Just remember never to go full retard.

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. If actors can do it, then so can writers. J.D. Salinger and Mark Twain both talked about channelling the inner spirit of their characters to really get a feel for whom they were writing. Seemed to work for Salinger, who in his later years, seemed to turn into as much a weirdo as Holden Caulfield, but whatever. The point here is method writing is a technique more aspiring authors should seriously consider.

Writing a novel about a series of bank robberies? Don’t bother doing historical research, just go rob one for the true gist of it. Your book will drip of authenticity when you’re completing it in jail.

Doing a short piece on corruption? Just become a politician.

Considering a book about time travel? Simple, LSD is your friend.

By spending less time scouring boring pieces of questionable fact from Wikipedia, you can live the deeds you’re intending to convey in your novel. Who cares if you’ll end up in a hospital, or even dead? It’ll be so worth it.

Three Unrelated Articles Published at 604republic

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this. My six fans are probably pretty displeased but great news! I’ve got three humor articles published at

For you iPhone fanatics, there’s the speculative piece on future iterations of everyone’s favorite $500 paperweight:

Now everyone can see what meaningless things I use my phone for.

Interested in something a little more visceral? Perhaps some zombies with a dash of humor:

This is what Bill O’Reilly sees when he looks at democrats and liberals.

Zombies not your thing? How about Star Wars and… Mickey Mouse?

No you’re not tripping. This is what you can expect from Star Wars in 3 years.

Comment, critique, flame or whatever, just please don’t forget to leave a comment about how epic zombies wielding lightsabers from their iPhones in the next Star Wars film will be.

Eight Types of Gamers Dissected

Why 8? Because it’s arbitrary enough and in the spirit of being arbitrary and random, the following list will possibly contain no ounce of coherence, consistency or substance. You’ve been warned.


Cheech and Chong’s alternate reality counterparts unwinding after a hard day’s work.

Angry Birds? Sonic Mobile? Generic FPS with wonky touch screen controls? Even more generic 3D racing game with lame stage design? It doesn’t matter. For the casual, content and depth take a backseat to simplicity and convenience.  The goal is to make those agonizingly awkward bus/subway rides from destination A to B pass as quickly as possible. Why interact with other people around you when you can gaze into a tiny 4 inch screen and squeal with joy and delight as you’re showered with virtual affection and simple melodies? Or maybe your thing are games on the Nintendo Wii? Nothing screams hip more than bouncing around like a clown emulating a tennis player or a hula hoop dancer. Look mom, no hands! Too bad you can’t do the same when you’re alone in bed.

Perk: Most games are cheap to buy. Require very little emotional attachment or investment. Considered hip and socially acceptable.

Con: Ironically enough, games can end up becoming even more addicting than their $60, hardcore counterparts.


You’ve got exactly two seconds to tell me why you didn’t rush out with the rest of us.

AKA most PC gamers; although the two don’t always go hand in hand. Picture this: you’re online after a hard day’s work, just looking to unwind and engage in a few frag or raid sessions.  You’re just having fun mucking around with a rifle in Call of Duty or Counterstrike, or dungeon crawling and grinding it out in World of Warcraft, when all of a sudden  you start getting blasted left and right by several raging dudes on mics. So what happened? Did you fail at life again? No. That usually on happens at work. In this case, you just ran into elitists: guys more concerned with the end game than the game itself. It’s like scoring with a chick but only really looking forward to bragging about it to your friends afterward (this aptly describes most frat guys). Elitists are keen followers of the great Herm Edwards and his philosophy of playing to win the game.

Perk: You belong to a very minor group of highly skilled, highly specialized players.

Con: No one outside this group really likes you. Like no one. Including Herm Edwards.


What the heck are you supposed to be? A pink coffee table?

What? You can’t see those million imperfections in the character’s face, that blemish on her cheek, or those nose hairs sticking out of the old man’s nostrils? That’s it then, the game sucks. If the graphics say so, then it must be true. Who cares about gameplay? It’s all about having the prettiest tech demo disguised as a game. If your title uses cartoon style cel-shading, chances are it sucks. If your game uses 2D style hand drawn art, it sucks. If it contains too much gloss and looks all shiny, it sucks. If you can’t see a reflection of your ugly character’s face in the water when peering into a lake, it sucks. It’s either Crysis caliber graphics or bust in this case.

Perk: Hot female characters provide an alternative to watching porn.

Con: You’ll never get a girlfriend. As if you’d ever have one anyways.


You tellin’ me this was released after 1995? Get that garbage out of here before I shoot you noob.

If it didn’t come out before you were born, then it’s not even worthy of recognition. These gamers go on long diatribes about how the games of yesteryear were superior in every facet to the ones currently “poisoning and saturating” the market. Of course, what’s often ignored about those games is their low production values, their often horrible translation from a foreign language to English (“all your base are belong to us” anyone?) and their propensity to have the most simplistic plots in existence—ones so mind-numbingly basic that you’re left to wonder whether it was the work of a retarded infant chimpanzee on a worn out typewriter.

Perk: You get to experience the evolution (or devolution) of gaming throughout the years and be able to bitch and complain about it nonstop… and feel justified.

Con: No one under the age of twenty one (the majority of gamers) really cares about what you have to say.


Oh my god… I just got ported over to the PC. My life’s over.

Still blissfully unaware of the awesome power of high end PC’s, consolites cackle with delight whenever a new game comes out looking like something the PC regurgitated back in 2006. They also boast about how their ultra-smooth gameplay is akin to a really fast slideshow and constantly rave about how characters walk as if they’re experiencing an epileptic seizure. Screen tearing? Check. Pop-ups? Check.  Simplistic to completely non-existent physics models? Check. It’s like getting laid for the first time to an ugly chick and falling in love with her, not knowing any better.

Perk: Don’t have to pay much to game. Simple to set up. Simple to get in to. Convenient. Money used to buy consoles usually comes from parents.

Con: That chick on the screen you’re fantasizing about might not be a chick after all.


A great warm up for the hands prior to exercising various other limbs.

The sworn enemies of casual gamers. Like Avengers vs Dark Knight fanboys. These types vilify anyone who simply games for the sake of having fun and vent their frustrations into altars containing burnt Nintendo Wii’s and numerous broken copies of Guitar Hero. To them, gaming is not about having fun, but rather a way of life. It’s a doctrine. In fact, one must suffer through various complex user interfaces, difficult and cumbersome game mechanics, even more difficult game controls, and be willing to read painfully long blocks of text in order to join this prestigious group.

Perk: You get your purist buddies to back you up during flame wars between purists and casuals.

Con: You get your purist buddies to back you up during flamer wars between purists and casuals.


The culmination of all your hard work. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Just look at that golden chalice.

Every achievement. Every hidden coin. Every key. Every note. Every scroll. Every everything. Every. It’s a never-ending quest to pick the meat clean off the bones of all games offered. These closet OCD junkies are tough to classify and it’s often believed that the reason for their strange behavior can be attributed to two different reasons: 1. They’re unaware that other games exist out there and so they feel the need to absolutely scour every virtual corner of a particular title before even thinking about putting it away. 2. They’re too frugal to invest in numerous game titles and try and maximize their utility by performing repetitive and tedious side quests, all in the name of the hard to acquire 100% completion achievement. But in the end it’s all worth it because you get a Big Rigs style “you’re winner!” congratulatory remark.

Perk: All the achievements. You become so boss in your own little game world. And you’re winner! Who doesn’t want that? Maybe Charlie Sheen.

Con: You could’ve probably beaten several other titles in the span it took you to complete your trivial and completely frivolous feather quest collection. But the chalice! Look at that thing! It’s so pretty.


Nobody flames Final Fantasy and lives to tell about it. Nobody.

Rising from the crevices of the darkest corners of the their parent’s basements, fanboys epitomize doucheness. If different gamers were awarded different grade percentages, fanboys would be at the very bottom of the rung, almost flirting with 0. These gamers (if one can even call them that) are more concerned with spamming message boards, spewing mindless drivel ad nauseum about how Uncharted is better than Halo or why the XBOX simply craps all over the Playstation 3 and the Wii is nothing but a gaming machine for infants. Fanboys spend so much of their time on these message boards that one has to wonder if they’re even gamers in the classical definition.  It wouldn’t be surprising if they curled up in bed at night with their unopened consoles and games, using Youtube as a source of gameplay reference when arguing online.

Perk: When it comes to annoying, you’re at the top of the ladder here. Be proud.

Con: If you find yourself sparking an interest in a rival game company, you’ll have to cheer for them from inside the closet.

First Reviews of ‘My Disjointed Life’

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Don’t even bother going to jail. Just go home.

Getting respected bloggers to review your debut novel is hard, like getting a hot chick’s number at the club hard. No one knows who you are so why should they care even if your book is the greatest thing ever (in your eyes at least)? First you have to make sure they’re willing to read your specific genre (good luck pitching that existentialist novel about Buddhist monks racing Mopeds down the mountain in Nepal in order to better understand grade and slope), next you have to hope that they don’t have a large backlong that’s as tall as Everest or as long as the Kunshan Grand Bridge, and lastly, you have to provide a personalized query letter that will both capture their attention and make them consider your novel for a review (hint: don’t start off with “Read my damn book now!”). In short, the odds are usually against you (imagine Team USA winning the World Cup) because review bloggers get queried all the time so you really have to make your voice stand out.

I’ve been querying bloggers for the past several weeks in an attempt to get the word out about my novel. Most days I’m simply left waiting, wondering if my email was received, read and discarded or simply sent to the spam folder because of the lack of a response. No one tells you when you start writing what an arduous process the entire thing can be (like training for a marathon only to find out that it’s not like jogging that trail behind your house). In addition to completing your novel, there is a lot of work you have to do after you’ve typed in that final word to your manuscript. If you query 100 bloggers, a good number of responses to expect would be 10 (based on what I’ve read and seen) so consider a 10% return rate as more than adequate for all your efforts. Hey, this is a waiting game and if you’re not established to begin with (seriously, who are you? Like really?), you shouldn’t expect everyone to come fawning over your work. You have to go out there and do it on your own. Build up a reputation, engage with other authors, readers, post on message boards, blogs, etc. Put in the necessary effort not just to make your book heard, but so that your voice is out there as well because if your objective is to write more novels in the future, you want to resonate with the appropriate crowd sprinkled across the internet (avoid message boards associated with corporate fanboys, they’re nothing but trouble).

With that said, I’ve had the luck of receiving two positive reviews for ‘My Disjointed Life’ so far. They can be found here or here. Also of course, both can be found at the bottom of my book page on Amazon.

Keep querying (and make honest, sincere efforts to reach out to every potential reviewer, don’t email them something garish like “fo shizzle” or “yo dawg”) and the replies–and hopefully the reviews–will eventually come. With enough persistence, should you decide to write that second novel, the next time around won’t seem like such a steep hill to climb.