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    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Feeling intolerant

    Pizza for me is always a bad idea. Pizza late at night with work looming the next day is an even worse idea. I still taste pepperoni, and not in the good way.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Office sprite

    What could possibly be leaving this bizarre formation of office supplies on my desk. Click on the photo above to find out. You may not believe what you see.

    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    Having a drink

    Wizard Part XiX



    Part XIX

    I woke in a nice cool pool of my spit. The Old Man was cutting logs in the crook of my arm. I lifted my head a little to ease the hangover in. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Em in the breakfast nook shimmering out of phase in the morning light.

    What are you doing Aubrey?

    I was trying to talk to the skull in the bowling ball.

    Em laughed as I pushed myself up off the ground. The Old Man hissed and trotted off.

    Now I know you've lost it.

    No, I heard it say something last night.

    Where am I?

    I looked over at Em who broke out laughing. I just shook my head. I couldn't get angry this time, I'd deserved every bit of it.

    I laughed a bit myself at the thought of talking to that damn skull. I don't know what I was after. Maybe I was grasping at straws, as the old saying went.

    I'm sorry about last night EM.

    I know Aubrey. That is why I came back. My reaction was a little questionable as well. When I got here though I found that I could not stop staring at you staring at that skull. I found myself riveted. I was hypnotized by the rhythm of you drinking and staring, for hours on end.

    I get it Em, I looked like an ass and you enjoyed it.

    Yes I did.

    A few minutes later I had a cup of coffee in my hand and a wad of cotton in my head.

    I'm not wrong though about the skull. There's something about it.

    Em hesitated.

    It's a nexus point Aubrey.

    I almost dropped my coffee. The water under the house wasn't running. I walked quickly and quietly to the banister and flipped the switch. The pump kicked in. Back in the kitchen I looked through the window into the yard. It was nearly impossible to see, but out of the corner of my eyes I could see movement.

    Back in the living room I threw the map of the Island back on the table, lit the candles, rolled the bones, mumbled under my breath and then waited for the death runners to form in the smoke.

    I could feel EM in the room.

    Sorry to lock you in EM.

    You don't have to worry Aubrey, The nexus point has a fail safe distance, otherwise they'd have already entered the house. It is like a signal fire right now, it attracts them, but they don't know why.

    I'd never seen anything like it. Usually on the Island I'd see five death runners at the most, but now, on the map, encircling my house there had to be forty or fifty.

    They'll keep coming Aubrey. Before long the Island is going be the most most haunted place in the world.

    I thought you Death Runners didn't cause mischief.

    Most don't, it would be like striking a bright flare for the Reapers to see. But this many in one place and they'll be here soon enough anyway. The Island will become a battle ground, that much energy being released and even the blindest person will be able to see what is happening.

    Then I have to move the Nexus, keeping it moving so they don't congregate. How the hell did I turn it on? It was in my van, and it didn't do anything.

    Was it covered?

    It was in a drawer.

    That was it, it was like anything that broadcast a signal. All signals could be blocked. There must have been something in the lining of the drawer. My Uncle would have known what it was.

    I grabbed the towel from the base of the bowling ball and used it to wrap it up. I went for the door that led from the kitchen to the deck. This thing was going back into the van.

    As I opened the door I could feel the air in the yard was older than it should have been. It was full on summer, and I could see my breath. Instead of condensation forming from the humidity, my deck was starting to ice over.

    I almost slipped on decking. I didn't think any of the death runners would try and stop me, and wasn't even sure they could if they wanted to. I made it the van with little incident and slid the door open. I'd never noticed it before, but my Uncle had even lined the inside of the van with a run of salt lick.

    As I dropped the bowling ball back into the drawer and shut it, I felt what could only be the wave of psychic confusion that was now emanating from the gathered death runners as they all realized they had no idea where they were. I could almost feel panic in some of them who had never been this close to the fatal pull of a river the size of the Tennessee.

    Getting back to the house proved a little more complicated. I now had to deal with a yard full of confused and angry death runners, all of whom probably now knew that I had something to do with why they were no longer where they used to be. They also realized that gathered in a crowd like this it would only be a matter of time before the Reapers got wind of it.

    I'd barely climbed two of the steps leading to the deck before they started to close in. The temperature dropped so fast that the next breath I took almost crystalized in my lungs.

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008


    For what it’s worth, this is a real time reaction to the pilot of FRINGE. I’d tell you how I got it, but then I’d have to kill you. I go to sleep at night after seeing this thinking I can just hear the whisper of the helicopters over my apartment building and that any moment I’ll feel duct tape across my lips.

    All I can think is that J.J. Abrams must be scared of flying, above all things. This is LOST, and this is the first two minutes of FRINGE. The music is either newly composed by the same composer, or sampled for the purpose of the pilot. What I feel like I’m watching is the release of the man who figured out how to move an island and started the Dharma Initiative before he was bound and gagged and placed in an insane asylum. Obviously I’ll have to wait and see how the season plays out, and I’m willing to go along, as usual, for the first five eps, but Abrams is going to have to do better than making a show that takes even the X-Files beyond believability by masking the science in pseuudo joke concepts.

    Perfectly apt and perfectly Abrams, at exactly one hour in it becomes pure Sci-Fi and jumps unbound into the future. It’s relieved me of my duty to ground it in reality, and therefore has given me hope that it will not try and do so. One of my pet peeves is the use of “future science,” in a show that considers itself bound in the now. This show obviously does not view itself that way, because if it does it is laughable, instead it seems to wish to take me ten to twenty years into the future and hope that I will go willingly. I will for now, but rest assured, that if it wishes me to believe this can happen now, then the writers should read more. As with LOST, this is an alternate reality concept, and so I go willingly.

    Nine minutes later the truth only hints that this is real. The Pattern, a series of unrelated, yet related, events is occurring, with the world being the great scientific Petri dish all conspiracy theorists believe it to be. This is LOST, but not secluded to an Island. This is LOST on a global scale. I’m in. If I can suffer through the first half of the third season of LOST, I can easily hang for the first season of FRINGE.

    You can’t trust anyone. Everyone is against you. This is the tenant of Fringe. This is what keeps the Pattern moving. This is why it cannot be stopped. Classic Abrams. From Alias until now, only in a geeks wet dream will ALIAS, LOST and FRINGE meet, yet they all do, on the periphery, they are all connected in one place.

    The Truth is out there.

    The truth is, we are obsolete.

    Lets just hope Mr. Abrams doesn’t stretch himself too thin. He’s one man, like a president, surrounded by some of the most creative minds at work today. He’s tied his name to many things, and some would say he’s taken credit, as producers do, for things he’s only been a sheppard of. Hopefully he won’t end up alienating all those creative minds that surround him by taking too much credit for the work that they do, or Mr. Abrams may find himself, on the Fringe. Like I said, rumor, but he is frighteningly prolific like David E. Kelley.

    Watch it when it premiers and let me know what you think. I’m in for the first half of the first season. I’ll let you know at ep 6 if I’m hanging in for the long run.

    p.s. The Establishing captions are nice, but hard to read some times. Look at FIGHTCLUB again, just the opening. Count them out and maybe angle them less. Truth is X-files was fine with a typewriter font on the second dimension, you should be too.

    p.p.s. Don’t ask me where the “ten million” for the pilot went. If this cost more than three, someone should be fired.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Tonights Viewing

    I started the evening with the first ep of the fourth season of WEEDS. They’ve done a marvelous job of getting over the jumping of the shark at the end of season two and have hit their stride again. There are very few shows that can, in my estimation, Phoenix in this way. The adding of Albert Brooks, although only estimated at four eps, is a piece of sure beautiful casting. I’d watch a show simply based on the character I witnessed for what had to be less than seven minutes. My hopes that season four will continue, where season three left off in terms of cleansing the palette after the unnecessary last three or four eps of season two, to build on this wonderful premise.

    Now onto shallow comparisons. I followed this with the first ep of SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL and was once again blown away by Billie Piper. While not casting aspersions, I was never, shall we say, completely geeked by her on her turn as Rose on Doctor Who, I was moved, but never felt the same attraction that many in geekdom felt. As an actress, she was superb, but visually, I felt the same as I had for many of the doctor's companions, cute, but nothing special. It turned out that I found Freema Agyeman as Martha much more visually engaging. However, and maybe because she plays a call girl in this series, I find myself sort of “catching up” to the geek delight she brought to the series. What I am sure about is that from Doctor Who, to the Sally Lockhart mini for the BBC, to this most recent role, is that she is more versatile as an actress than I first suspected. Minus the obvious titillation at both the subject matter and visuals, by the end of the first ep, you are truly engaged in who this person is and what, if anything, they want in life beyond the day-to-day. I shall be tuning in for the rest of the series, surprisingly more titillated than I should be.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    RIP: Stan Winston

    Stan Winston (April 7, 1946 - June 15, 2008)

    Everything I know about it came from AICN

    LA TIMES is now on board with this.



    Sunday, June 15, 2008


    More wizard on the way. I have to finish the last issue (5) of the comic I'm writing, then I'll have some free time. Probably only one part a week, but you never know. Thanks for reading.

    War of Worlds

    Waiting for pizza

    Saturday, June 14, 2008

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Wizard Part XVIII



    Part XVIII

    I squinted as my irises dilated. As I moved my head down to get away from the sun, I saw where the Tall Man had been standing. Almost toe-toe, on the concrete front stoop were the prints of where he stood hadn't yet faded. They seemed almost burned into the concrete. I snorted, thinking about how I was now going to have to replace it. His steps had pulled all of the moisture out. There'd be holes full of crumbled concrete there in less than a week. What a prick.

    I paused a moment, then stepped past them into the yard. I walked around the right side of the house, ducking under the tree limbs to see how the Van had faired. At first it seemed fine, until I made a full circuit around the back and noticed that the side turned from the street was sporting some punk's tag. I mumbled under my breath and the spray paint turned to ash and fell off the mural.

    I admired the mural for a minute then went back around to the passenger side and opened the sliding side door. I climbed in and went straight back to the bed. I pulled out the drawer containing the skull bowling ball. I pulled it out and held it in my hands. I looked deep in its sockets and decided we needed to talk.

    Back inside the house I cracked a beer, never talk to a skull in a bowling ball sober, that was just stupid. I took one of the kitchen towels and made a donut out of it on the mobile island, and rested the ball in the center. I righted it with a level of care I hadn't shown to anything in a long time.

    I wasn't sure I could do it, but a yowl from the Old Man gave me confidence. I pulled a mouthful off of the beer and then stared deep into the sockets. The Old Man jumped up onto the island and hissed at the skull. I didn't know who this used to be, but if I was lucky I cold find out the basics.

    The thing was, bones talked. Stuck in a clear acrylic ball though was a bit of a challenge to overcome. It was nine in the morning and I was sitting across from an acrylic coated skull trying to figure out how to make it talk, while my cat played lover to its smooth surface. The Old Man kept rubbing against the outside of the ball, completely confused why the lack of texture and surface couldn't satiate his desire to be loved.

    By ten I'd cracked another beer and continued to sit shiva with the skull. I was sure the answer would come to me, I just wasn't sure if it would come before I passed out or choked on my own vomit.

    I ate a sandwich around noon and settled back onto the stool to stare at the skull. The Old Man had long since given up on being satisfied and had made do with a spoonful of potion and something Carl had left in the fridge. I was pretty sure it was some sort of chicken dish, but when I'd put it down for the Old Man to eat he hit it like a drunk hooker pulling a drag off a sidewalk butt, so I stopped worrying about whether or not it was still good.

    A case of beer later, the skull had become fuzzy, and so had I. The sun was running low and I was pretty sure that if my beer induced vision didn't come quick I'd have to chalk the days lesson up to being an alcoholic.

    Just before I fell off the stool I heard a voice.

    Where am I?

    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    Wizard Part XVII



    Part XVII

    I called him the Tall man, because you had to call him something other than his name. I'd been a kid when my Uncle had told me about him, so I chose the scariest thing I could think of, the Tall Man out of the Phantasm movie staring Angus Scrimm. When I was younger I'd have dreams about the Tall Man and was pretty sure it was him pissing on the lawn that made the grass die.

    My Uncle had taught me his true name, three actually, but the first was the most powerful. He'd written the name out, breaking it into syllables, each syllable written on a piece of Magician's flash paper. As I correctly pronounced each syllable, my Uncle put the page to the flame. He told me I could roll the whole name around in my head as much as I wanted, but if I ever let it past my lips there would be Hell to pay.

    The problem with this kind of old conjur was that even a death runner like Em could summon him. The truth was, that you never got all of him unless he could find a weak spot, so almost as soon as he appeared on the lawn, he was gone. The thing was, neither Em nor I saw him there, the windows were still covered in plastic, but we both felt him, like tar in the veins. I'd even, in the little time I had to think, imagined Angus Scrimm reaching out to ring the front door bell. It made my balls make a beeline for my stomach.

    It was too damn close for comfort, and when it felt like it was over I turned on Em in a way I regret.

    Em was still a product of her time, even though she'd flittered through the decades since, I use the word flitter for a reason, it wasn't like she was watching the news everyday any worrying about the world. She just carried on in a kind of loop, stuck in the era in which she died. So I couldn't be mad that she'd rattled off his name like it was a ride at Disney World, But the fear in me made me less than chivalrous.

    What the fuck Em? Why's everything a game to you, he could have ended us both and it wouldn't have been like having fun on the banks. You'd be split into so many disparate pieces, you'd be lucky to know you were dead.

    I moved close, brooding and angry. If she'd been solid I might have even done something worse, but she just evaporated and reformed near the front door. I'd never seen her shaking, it was odd. Watching a thing made of cohesive dust reflecting the light shiver and shake with fear even though it was dead.

    I'm sorry Aubrey...I was not thinking. Please, please let me go. I won't do it again, I promise. Just please...

    Suddenly I realized Em wasn't scared of the Tall man, she was scared of me.

    I walked to the banister and flipped the switch. Em faded with the sound of the last drops dripping from the pipes under the house.

    I said I was sorry under my breath and walked into the kitchen. I opened the fridge and grabbed a beer. I hesitated, then put it back. I could wallow later. For the frst time in a week I truly didn't know what I was doing.

    Something rubbed against my leg. The Old Man was hungry again. I picked him up and scratched him on the underside of his chin. He purred deeply. He started to drift off under the attention. I walked him into the livingroom and put him in my chair. He stretched then curled into a ball and slept.

    I hesitated before I opened the front door, imagining the Tall Man, standing on the stoop in the morning sun grinning, his mouth full of yellow teeth.

    I sucked it up and turned then knob and stepped into the morning light.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    From phone

    Taken just before riding the 4 bus home after a twenty minute wait with a group of tranny prostitutes at Highland and Santa Monica.

    [NOTE: I had originally spelled tranny "trani", but there is no spell check for these sorts of things.]

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Wizard Part XVI



    Part XVI

    The Old Man got a can of tuna and a quarter teaspoon of potion for breakfast. I started some coffee and found that Carl had left a half eaten box of chocolate coated Entenmann's donuts on the kitchen counter. The day was already looking up.

    I tried not to spend much time contemplating what had set the Old Man off. He'd not turned after two days with the corpse of Pirate Jane, but he'd turned within only one and a half days with me and no potion, so I had to assume that the potion suppressed his true nature, but could be exacerbated by the stress of having some goon enter his field of angry hunger.

    I knew I needed to reconnect with Em once the sun went down, but before that I need to figure out who had gotten into my house and what they wanted. Cup of coffee in hand I went out front and took a peek at the van. Nothing had changed. There were no scratches or anything to give me the feeling anyone had tried to get in. But, when I looked up I noticed a car, parked on the street, I'd never seen before. That didn't mean anything though, I hadn't been here in a week.

    Before I made it to the end of the stone path that led to the street, a wiry kid, who liked he was tweaking, jumped in the and sped away. I almost mumbled under my breath to make the car hit a tree, but it wasn't worth it. I took another sip off coffee and walked back inside.

    I found Em Sitting in the living room. The dust in the room ran through her like it was caught in the rays of the sun.

    What the Hell are doin' here Em?

    I waited for you, but you didn't come back. I came over to see if everything was OK. I got here just in time for you to throw the switch. You looked tired so I spent most of the night looking around. You need a girlfriend.

    I apologized and threw the switch on the banister that shut off the water and quelled the pipes.

    Sorry about that. You should have said something.

    Trying to see Em in the light of day was like looking for something out of the corner of your eye. Even with the windows of the living room covered in plastic she was elusive.

    I moved to the edge of the sofa to finish my coffee.

    What made you come all this way. You knew I would have found you again tonight.

    Em paused a second before she answered.

    After you left, I had a talk with what was left of the gentleman your cat ate. He was scared Aubrey. Usually what is left is not scared, but he was. It took me a minute to calm him down, by that time the hounds had already sniffed him out. He barely said anything before they dragged him away.

    This was why I needed Em, she had access to those moments us meat sacks didn't. The hounds themselves were a rare occurrence, and didn't exactly fill me full of hope. Most people shuffle off with the help of a Reaper. Reapers are generally cool, they're just biding their time before they too get to move on, but when the hounds come for you it means someone doesn't want you to have a good trip. That someone has a thousand unspoken names.

    What'd he say Em?

    She went in and out of focus as the light from the other rooms grew more intense.

    He said he'd been hired by a gentleman the name of...

    The first syllable rolled out of her mouth before I figured out what was going to happen next. My coffee cup shattered on the wood floor as I ran again for the switch. Em finished uttering the name just after the switch kicked in. I heard the pump gear up and then the house began to shake as the water met itself in the pipes under the house, creating a loop of running water, seconds before the Tall Man materialized on the lawn and tried to gain entry.