Friday, September 30, 2011


"Peter! Get in here!"
"What is it, sir?
"Why did you not organize these POS reports the way I asked?"
"Well, I just kind of assumed you would appreciate how much more sense it makes this way."
"I see. What is it that you do when you assume things, Peter?"
"I… well… I skip over several steps of thought after determining by way of logical probability that they are unnecessary."
"And what is it that you do when you utilize logical probabilities, Peter?"
"Um… I maximize my efficiency by making faster decisions while maintaining a high chance of being correct."
"And what is it that you do when you maintain a high chance of being correct, Peter?"
"I… I don't know what you want me to say, sir."
"You make an ass out of you and me, Peter. You make an ass out of you and me."


I'm going to be spending the next week or two in Ireland! In fact, I'm already here. So far it has been just as awesomely scenic as I had hoped it would be. Unfortunately, I have no idea when, or how often I will have internet access, so posts here may be scarce for the next little while. Have a good one! I know I will.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Semi-Self-Aware (By Choice)

Do as I say and not as I do
Because I treat hypocrisy like a goddamned religion.
Doublethink is easy and eliminates the stress
Of living every day in absolutes,
Blacks and whites in high contrast
Reflecting the insanity of a world
Which cannot see in shades of grey.

People speak in pliant vagueries,
Hiding their intentions
Not from the world but from themselves.
Ditch the illusory comfort of the definite.
Do your worst and hope for the best,
And I'll do the same.
I would expect better from someone like you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Those Days

       I thought the war was bad. Then they sent me here. In my five weeks at the Bytherian Institute of Curious Happenings I have been beaten, shot at, nearly exploded, and generally accosted on a regular basis. My job, specifically, is to guard the door to the Inevitability Department. It is a job which Felix, the department head, has assured me is both entirely pointless, and absolutely necessary. Such, he said, is the nature of the department.
       I spend the day sitting at the desk to the left of the door. The door itself, so I am told, was built many hundreds of years ago in this exact spot. No building, just the door. A grand, single cut of oak, with gold filigree, so intricate as to appear fractal, adorning it's edge. Later, when BICH acquired the land and began to build, they found that the door was exactly where the door to the Inevitability Department was supposed to go, so they let it be. Now it is the door to my nightmares.
       My first week here, there was the Cupcake Incident, which was not at all as enjoyable as one may think. Two days later our floor of the building experienced intermittent periods of “lackluster.” When I called Felix, a bit excitedly, given I had just seen most of the color drain out of the world, he said “just wait until you see your first full blown blackout!” Throw in the odd explosion, some hallucinations, and a mere 15 minute lunch break, and you have a standard day at the office.
       I'm writing this because I don't know how much more I can take. I am almost certain I'm going to die here, and probably within a week, perhaps sooner if another dessert bursts through the door with intent to kill. Felix says there's no point in worrying, because whatever is going to happen will, whether I whine or not. I do not like Felix. If I do meet my end here, could you, as the reader of this... whatever this is, tell my mother I died at war. I am sure that will sound more noble than however I snuff it here.

Tacken Polt


       Tack set down the pen and leaned back. Even the comfort of his chair couldn't mask what he had felt since stepping into the building that morning. It was going to be one of those days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ergo, No Ego

      Every kid who has ever been good at anything has, at some point, learned a tough lesson about ego. So many movies follow the intrepid underdog on his way to victory and joy, but this leaves us ill prepared when the underdog upsets us. Few things can rattle the foundation of one's psyche so violently as the ego collapsing in upon itself. If the ego is big enough, it could potentially form a mental black hole of introversion, sucking in any thought that is even somewhat related to the fall from grace. That is exactly where I found myself several years ago.
      I had assumed myself the victor before the competition even began, and nature abhors an asshole. For the first time, I had found myself on the receiving end of someone else's underdog story. It shattered me. The good thing about being shattered though, is that once you get over the pain, you can start to put yourself back together. If you do it right, you may just find that the pieces fit back together a bit differently than they had before. You fix yourself and make yourself better.
      I was fortunate to have a second chance at the same competition. After failing the first time, I practiced harder than I ever have before. The second time, I earned my ego, but I threw it out anyway. Who needs an ego when you're happy with the way you are?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The More You Know

       Something sinister has taken hold of the male youth of today. You can see it in the way they walk. You can see it in the way they hold themselves. It cannot be blamed strictly on them. They know not that what they are doing is wrong. Clearly their parents, teachers, older brothers, and indeed, society itself has failed to teach them this lesson. It is clear that young men no longer know how purchase, and subsequently wear, pants that fit correctly.
       It's easy to imagine how this all got started. One bad apple, so they say, can ruin the whole bunch. All it would take is one boys parents assuming he could figure it out for himself. After all, when you have all the worries of being a parent weighing down upon you like a metaphorical anvil of responsibility, it must surely be easy to forget to teach your child about pants. I stand here now to tell you, however, that you must not forget.
       Too many young men of today are out there, in public, in full view of any and all passerby, wearing pants that are only “on” in the loosest sense of the word. Literally, the loosest. Their pants back pockets very nearly scrape the sidewalk as they waddle about. We look down upon these young men, labeling them hoodlums, and delinquents. But I ask you, how much could you contribute to society if you were constantly having to worry about your pants falling off?
       On the other end of the spectrum, there are the skinny jeans. Boys, hear me now. Unless your legs are at least as thin as your arms, do not wear skinny jeans. If your legs are that thin, still don't wear skinny jeans. Furthermore, those finding themselves in the second category may want to consider eating more. Leave the skinny jeans for the girls, you are men. Men. You can still wear v-necks, and scarves, and sweater-vests, and so much more. Just please, for your own sake, and for the sake of those who do not wish to see your dangly bits in such vivid detail, hang up the skinny jeans.
       Please, if you know a young man suffering from a lack of knowledge in this area, enlighten him. His parents may have failed to teach him this lesson, but you don't have to. You could be his savior, and in doing so, become the savior of us all.

Friday, September 9, 2011


       I always loved my grandma, Doris, very much. Every time I was with her I wondered how she could be so funny and loving and great to be around. Often visits to grandma's resulted in one of two things, an afternoon of swimming in the pool, or a trip to Hersheypark. Sometimes we'd go take the tour of the giant, fake chocolate factory. Even though it was unchanging, I never tired of riding it with her, and she never seemed to get tired of it either. People were Grandma's specialty. She had been a nurse, and had an incredible bedside manner. Everywhere she went she left smiles and laughter in her wake.
       Grandma had Alzheimer's disease. When my parents first told me, I was too young to understand. All I knew was that grandma had something wrong in her head. I assumed she was like a zany professor from a cartoon: crazy, but in a good way. I don't know when I was first able to grasp the real facts of her disease. I just remember knowing that I was going to lose my grandma very slowly. It was easy enough to deny, but even so, just the thought of the inevitability of the disease made me want to cry. Alzheimer's is not the kind of disease that allows for closure. Other diseases leave a person either alive and sick, or deceased. Alzheimer's has a way of blurring the line. With Alzheimer's, one reaches a point where, although the body still ages, the mind begins to regress through time. That is what makes the disease so terrible. Not only does it take a loved one from you, it takes you from your loved one.
       Unfortunately, most of my memories of my grandma are from the time when Alzheimer's was truly starting to affect her. She would tell the same stories again and again. I didn't mind. It was sad, and enjoyable all at once. Her stories became like tours of the chocolate factory, unchanging, repeated, but sincerely enjoyed every single time. My grandpa would take her to family reunions every time they were held. She loved to be among the friends and family she had known all her life. It was at one of these events that she first forgot who I was.
       As she was leaving, she saw me and yelled "Devin! Get in the car!" Devin is her youngest son, my uncle. That was also the first time I truly felt Alzheimer's fullest sting. My name, my personality, everything about me, had been taken from her. For the rest of her life, I was either introduced as her grandson or just seen as a young man who was somehow familiar. It hurt to know she no longer knew who I was, but that I still had my memories of her. One day she died. The news was sad, and met with tears, but there was also a certain amount of relief.
       Through her disease, I learned much about myself. I learned that sometimes bad things happen to good people. People always say that, but anyone who hasn't lost a good person to something bad may have trouble understanding what it really means. It means that a disease like Alzheimer's can take anyone. The only thing anyone can hope to do about it is to be as loving and helpful as a nurse up until the end. A strong family community was part of my grandma's legacy, and it's still here. Most importantly, I learned that we should strive to make the most of every single day, and to do it with a smile. I remember my grandma for how happy and full of life she was, and, more than anything, that is how I would like to be remembered.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing in 5th Person

      Recently, while sitting at my computer, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Turning to see what is was, as I had thought myself quite alone, I saw absolutely nothing. That's when I heard the voice.
      "hello kyle"
      I sat frozen. If you've never heard a disembodied voice in person before, it can be a startling event.
      "Hello?" I ventured, not knowing what else to say.
      "Who are you?"
      "i am not a who"
      "Okay, then what are you?"
      "i am your creativity"
      "My creativity?"
      "yes i am the spirit sent to imbue you with creative thought"
      "Are you sure I haven't just gone insane?"
      "So it's your job to help me come up with things to write about, right?"
      "not only that but i will also aid you throughout the entire creative process"
      "No offense, but you seem kinda shit. I mean, you're supposed to help me write, but you don't even use capitalization or punctuation."
      "how can you tell"
      It was then that the fourth wall collapsed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Three-Week-Old Chicken

      A chill wind blew constantly, biting at my nose and making my eyes water. It was a horrible scene. All around me lay the mutilated carcasses of an untold number of animals, thoughtlessly strewn among the slowly decaying plant matter. Sometimes they were stacked on top of each other, though it mostly looked like a random pile. On either side, white walls stretch to the top of the cavern. The ground everywhere was perfectly smooth.
      A tickling at the back of my throat reminded me again how very thirsty I was. Surely somewhere nearby there must be something drinkable. My thirst drove me to search even under the animal remains in a vain attempt to find refreshment. Occasionally a waft of pungent, rotting flesh would nearly overwhelm me. I stifled a wretch, and forced myself to venture deeper. Horrible splotches of varying colors bespeckled the walls. It was impossible to say what caused them, but now they simply sat and festered. Finally, after overturning one final pile of roughage, I found what I had been seeking. Before me, in all its shiny, silver glory, lay a can of diet coke. I picked it up and cracked the lid, drinking deeply. I stepped back and savored the moment.
      Setting the can back down on the nearby counter, I shut the refrigerator door. I'd have to clean that out later, something had definitely gone bad.

Friday, September 2, 2011


There will be no real post today. They past few days I have taken off and rationalized as time off due to surgery. Today I'm taking off because it is, drumroll please, my birthday. I now officially have two whole decades under my belt. Funny, I thought I would have accumulated more wisdom by now. Hope you have a great day! Normal posts will be back tomorrow.