Archive for April, 2011

First short story

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

So this isn’t the first short story I ever wrote, but it is the first one I’ve ever posted to a blog.  I really enjoyed writing it, but would love to hear any comments or criticism of it.


Dear reader– If you want to enhance this story, try giving the narrator some sort of funny accent.


A guy is standing on a trash-covered corner bouncing a round orange ball.  Why is he bouncing a ball?  Because the ball is important.  The ball is everything.  The ball represents life, death, money, fame, love, hate, whatever.  It’s an amazing fucking ball.  And what kind of person doesn’t love bouncing a ball anyway?  Steve McQueen bounced a ball.  Are you saying you’re too good for Steve McQueen?  He confounded the Nazis!  He raced up and down the mean streets of San Francisco in a really sweet hot rod!  If bouncing a ball is good enough for Steve Mc-fucking-Queen then it should be good enough for you, you pinko commie jerkstore.

What?  You still have more questions?  Is the ball not enough for ya?  You dying to know previously unidentified man’s name now?  It’s Jim, but that’s not the point.  The point is that his name doesn’t matter.  You should still be looking at the ball.  Jim is just a schmuck, a pawn, a patsy, whose sole purpose in life is to make that brilliant orange ball bounce up and down.   His name could be Bob, Bill, Tom, Dick, or Harry.  It would have been Steve, but you’ve already stabbed that idea in the face with a rusty Lupus infected knife, didn’t ya? (note to reader: Lupus isn’t contagious)

Now all you recycle freaks out there are probably conniption-ing about the “trash-covered corner.”  Well, you know what hippie? Life is shit.  That latte you’re drinking, right there, costs five fucking dollars.  When Steve was fighting crime in his Batmobile of Justice, his coffee was black, encased in ozone killing Styrofoam, and cost 50 cents, max.  He didn’t have to tip that geeky 7/11 worker neither.  Steve stiffed that guy and he would knock your soy caramel macchiato right out of your hand.

The story seems to be wrapping up pretty nice, right?  Wrong!  You forgot one crucial thing, junior.  The twist ending.  Turns out that silly little ball that you threw away like those cheap condoms that always bust at health clinic WAS ALIVE THE WHOLE TIME! You know what that makes you? A murder. Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  Bring your own tooth brush, soap, and learn to love that orange.

So that’s my story.  You probably didn’t like it because Bill Clinton was your godfather or something.  That’s fine.  You can bathe in your own narrow-minded pool of sorrow all you want.  But listen here, buddy.  This tale of love, hate, murder, and bouncing is mine.  If you don’t like it, write your own damn story.


Rambling (probably shouldn’t post this)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

So I didn’t post yesterday because well…okay let me start from the beginning.  I a “stop BS-ing” alarm I like to set on goal oriented days.  Sometimes it works and sometimes doing nothing holds the right amount of nihilistic seduction.

It’s not that I get anything done during these “nothing” times.  It’s not even that I don’t regret it.  I just don’t really enjoy the beginnings of things (opposite of Don Draper).  Once I’m knuckle deep in typing something or researching something or whatever, I’m perfectly content to work through it.  It’s a problem.  I know this.  I hope to fix it.

End of Confession:

ANYWAY (this device was lifted from old Chuck Klosterman…he doesn’t use it anymore, so I will for awhile) I wanted to type about poetry.  I love it.  I used to enjoy writing it in high school, but it was atrocious.  It was emo before emo was emo.

Growing up has a way of teaching most people that it’s dumb to take yourself too seriously.  Now, I write poetry for a creative writing class and it’s always fun.  Also, I’m pretty good at it.  My problem is (and yes I’m whining) I’ve only ever written poetry when forced to.  I enjoy writing and want to continue it after I’ve earned my degree, so I think I have to trick myself into making writing a habit.

Quick Tangent: When I was deployed to the desert, I read all the time.  It was great.  There was no constant access to the world wide web and it was very easy to get lost in a book without the constant distraction of abundant information.

Sometimes, I’m tempted to throw my laptop on the ground and stomp on it until I’m forced to into some state of technological regression.  I don’t hate technology.  I do recognize that I use it to fill in the boring (perceived or otherwise) gaps in my life.  If I spent less time incessantly checking, I could probably be a more productive writer and reader.

For now, I will stick with you dear blog, dear reader of zero.  I want to start putting poetry here and have a pretty decent backlog of short stories and such, along with ideas that I could develop on here. We’ll see.

Discovering the Wheel

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

My friend told me that every generation has to rediscover the wheel.  We all think we independently reach conclusions that other eras have figured out or discarded long ago.  Yesterday I discovered my wheel.

I didn’t want to finish my ATTN #5 review yesterday because I got stuck after about 200 words.  Now, if this were an assignment I would power through and accept the mediocre prose or analysis and shrug that everything can’t be perfect.  But I wrote that short piece for myself, so when I ran into the incomplete thoughts and imperfect words, I wanted to stop.

Enter the silly disclaimer at the top of the review.  I know it shows a lack of confidence and might be non-essential to the reader, but that piece of expository information is for me, dear reader.  For whatever reason, I needed to type that stupid thing out so I could tell myself that it was okay to be a little lost.

Right now, I just want to write everyday for no other reason than I want to get better at writing.  I may repeat myself.  I may write irrelevant boring self-indulgent prose for the first month, but dammit I got to start somewhere.

Baby steps.


Auto-tune the News #5: lettuce regulations. American Blessings.

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

*Disclaimer: I’m not satisfied with parts of this review and reserve the right to revise at a later date.  I just want to get in the habit of writing everyday so I’m going to post the crappier version first.  No more fear of bad words.

In an interview with, Rachel Bowman asked Evan Gregory what the goal of Auto-tune the News was.  Evan’s response (read full interview here)? “To get Joe Biden a record contract.”  They didn’t do Joe any favors in ATTN #5.

Don’t get me wrong.  Biden sounds phenomenal in the video above.  It’s his best performance on any of their videos and along with Katie Couric, he seems to have a voice that was gifted by God for the purpose of digital manipulation.  But when Congressman Steve Buyer breaks in to warn us about the hazards of smoking produce, Biden’s biblical proclamations are all but forgotten.

“It’s the SmOooOOOke, the SmOOOoooOOoke,”sung by Buyer,  stands out as the best segment of the video.  The musical scales explored during Buyer’s speech hint at a pop sound that actively wants to latch on to your brain, wants to challenge your vocal chords to reproduce the fluttering beauty of auto-tuned goodness.

Evan Gregory is equally great in this video, though his performances are intentional (so I guess he loses a few points for trying too hard?…maybe not).  The video’s comedic intro and end  give the it a cyclical feel.  We begin with the boring as Evan lays down his beat for the pundit who spits out things that seem equally true and ridiculous.  Both performances act as good foils to the vibrancy and awesomeness that becomes the previously mentioned Joe Biden space opera.  Evan particularly shines in his duet with the angelic voice of Katie Coo.

ATTN #5 shows the Gregory Brothers fine tuning their musical muscle within the medium they helped create.  The first four videos were very good in that different from anything at the time of their release.  But they tended to rely on humor and angry gorilla soliloquies.  In this video, the music is as important as the jokes.  Potential is realized. -fin


p.s.  If you’re reading this, HOORAY! If you’re commenting on this, HIP-HOP HOORAY! And if you know who Ana Marie Cox is and why she was awarded best intentional dancer on this video, I would love to know and make some kind of HOORAY related celebration in honor of your informing me.


Friday, April 1st, 2011

I need to write more.  I know it, you know it, the good American people know it.  And not just for school.  I’ve been reading “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing” (chronologically because it has a narrative quality to it AND I’m anal like that) and a majority of the posts tell me the best thing to do is just start writing.

So this my attempt to reboot this old blog I started during Gateway at the University of Oregon.  I’d like to write some more music reviews, may put up some poems I write for class (I promise it’s usually not pretentious poetry) or for fun, and may just rant live journal style just to keep myself writing.

I know this will post on Twitter and the blog I’m reading says I should self-promote more, but honestly I have no idea if I really promote novice work, so any and all feedback from people who do read would be appreciated.  Hope to have a review of Autotune the News #5 up by tomorrow.