Thursday, March 29, 2012

Collaborative work anyone?

I have missed writing, writing for the pure enjoyment of expressing an idea not linked to school that is. Simply put I miss writing and having something to read put together by my friends. I was thinking we ought to try again, I wanted to propose an idea...what about collaborative work? Like how some games will have CO-DM's, why can't we work on a story where we all contribute, a paragraph...a page, hell even some dialogue. Then those of use (not me) that are more adept at editing could revise pieces to make it legible. Could this be done? Would it be readable? Would it be entertaining? Even if it did not become...'publishable' it would be a written conversation. Something where we could look back and enjoy. Just an idea...something I am rolling around in my head.

If not that...what about just putting up work again? We can give one another feedback. I always envisioned our blog (though short lived) akin to the bar where we sat bouncing ideas off of one another. I simply want that feeling of communal intellectual stimulation again, not surprising I do not get that fulfilled at school huh? As such...I think I will kick things off not only with this post...but, I will try to put something together also, some fiction worth looking at.

I am going to start my work with:

I used to be a paladin, I used to burn with righteous power eviscerating all impurity before me. In this world the free realms burn and my throat is parched and dry.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Topic

The next topic requires us to rewrite a fictional or historical event. This topic is inspired by Aharon's desire to rewrite the ending to Battlestar Galactica. However, don't feel obgligated to stick to the BSG topic as I will probably write about something else entirely.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free Time: Rock, Sex, and Silence

It is a sad day when a Chris Rock joke proves to be providential for you as man. Not Hemmingway, not Patton, not even some move line from the 50s; instead at it turns out, Chris Rock is the only one who understands you.

I remember watching a comedy routine a few years ago by Chris Rock in which he made one of many jokes. He started by asking the audience if they knew what men wanted in life and the audience responded by shouting some indecipherable combination of profanity and sexist insults. He responded simply, “Three things…food, sex, and silence.” That is how I feel right now after girlfriend attended her first Dungeon and Dragons role playing session.

Four of my friends and I have been playing this game every week for about ten years. It isn’t that we don’t want to hang out with women; we just don’t want to hang out with them here. It’s our time to unwind, be misogynistic, and indulge in male-oriented nerddom. Sports would serve the same function if anyone else but I had any interest in them.

It isn’t really her fault. Having a woman here, especially a significant other, destroys the dynamic. It doesn’t matter which guy brings which girl, but having an audience, an outsider who doesn’t understand or engage, collapses the uninhibited atmosphere that we need to run the game properly. Without a girl around, it’s just the guys and the need to show off or to hide your nerdiness doesn’t exist. With a girl around, even a guy’s girlfriend, those urges come roaring back. All of a sudden the players don’t want to participate as much or publicly display their hard earned knowledge of the rules or Mind Raker anatomy.

Beyond ruining the game, another factor has emerged that makes it feel as though I am being nibbled and poked me to death from the inside. Having her here is just another step forward in her goal to worm her way inside every aspect of my life.

When we first started dating, she didn’t have a cell phone. At first, I thought it was odd and inconvenient. I am used to instant gratification in my communications. In the past if I want to speak to girl, I would either IM, text, or call her and then respect an answer or a return message fairly promptly. With this girlfriend, everything needed to be arranged a head of time. Let me tell you, that inconvenience was vastly outweighed by the freedom I enjoyed. Without a phone, she couldn’t text or call me several times a day like every girlfriend I have ever wanted to do and like every girlfriend my friends have ever had still does.

But serenity must end some time and eventually she bought a cell phone. From that point on, I could feel the shackles clack. At first, it was only a call or a text a day, but soon, her feminine impulses couldn’t be controlled and the dam burst. Every day would bring a flood of text messages, phone calls, and whatever else Verizon Wireless could create to torment me.
After the change in phones, she even began to invade my exercise routine. For years, the only exercise on my schedule was a 20-30 minute run every other day or so. Running is the only exercise I know of that provides me with euphoria and energy boost that makes the effort worthwhile. Best of all is how convenient running is; buy a pair of shoes and go. The time doesn’t matter; do it whenever you want. I would run at 5am if I woke up early or 8pm right before I went to the bars. Now of course, she wanted to spend more time together and so couple’s activities. But she doesn’t like to run and instead she prefers exercise classes at the gym with titles like “Sexy Bodies” or “Cat Fighting.” I refuse to do those, but after a while I did join the gym and so now we go together. She goes to the class and I run on the treadmill and workout. In truth, I like the gym a lot, but it still feels like another link on the chain around my neck and balls.

Moving in together had only compounded the problem. We wake up together, shower together, have sex together, take the subway together, have lunch together, go to the gym together, watch Hulu together, and go to sleep together. The togetherness never ends; she is the Siamese twin I never knew I had.

The closeness affects me and sometimes I act closed off. When I do, she can detect it and says, “Why won’t you let me inside?” and while in reality I mumble something and wait for the conversation to go away, I always think “It’s because you want to burrow into my chest, curl up, and live there until the end of my days.” She once even suggested that we buy “Smittens,” but I drew a line there.

The final draw for me might have been the most petty. For the course of our entire relationship, she used AOL instant messenger while I used Google Chat. That difference meant that we had never had a single online conversation a year into our relationship; emails sure, but never an instant message. It was the one place where I didn’t interact with her. But she recently signed up for Google Chat and now my day at work is plagued by messages from her. I always respond because I enjoy talking to her and she is always playful, but the problem remains. I have no space whatsoever for my own; no silence to complement the food and sex.

The thing about great stand up comedians is that they vocalize something that the entire audience knows, but never quite thought about and the comedian does it in a way that is both funny and understated. That understatement is the reason why the joke of food, sex, and silence rings true. The joke narrows down something that I always knew to be true about me in that I like to have my own personal space. I want to eat, have sex, and then be left alone to do whatever it is I do in my free time.

I think most men need that silence; that time where the rest of the world leaves them alone. Their boss at work won’t tell them what to do and they won’t have any errands to run for the house. Nothing will bother them, boss them around, or boggle them down against their. For some men, silence is working on cars and for others its Dungeons and Dragons. Any interference during that time is dangerous and can be interpreted as just another part of the outside world trying to control them.

If it is so bad, you might ask why I stay. Well the answer is simple. She is a wonderful human being and most of the time; her presence makes any bar, road trip, or walk by beach a much better experience. The second reason is also explained by the joke: it’s the sex.

But like the silence part of the joke, the sex part is more complicated as well. Chris Rock didn’t just mean a blowjob or the old in-out, in-out, he was talking about companionship. Men need sex, but they also need the companionship and support that comes with loving, caring, healthy relationships. My girlfriend provides that and so much more. With her, I feel content for the first time. The awkwardness of the past melts away.

Like the man says, all I need is food, sex, and silence.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Upcoming Post

I've finished my "free time" post and I will be posting it by Thursday. It will be short, so there should be no worries about another one of my master pieces.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Hello You Very Proud Few:

I will start posting again shortly as soon as my finals are over (May 8th). On my agenda right now will be posts for the free time story and the maybe the BSG thing if Aharon is serious.

I hope all of you will join me in the posting as well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not my turn but still...

I honestly think our next topic should be to write an alternate ending for battle star.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Buddhist Multiverse

I've heard it said that, at this moment, an infinite number of universes exist, and more appear with each variable; every bump of an atom, very collision of matter, every shift in energy... every choice.

I'm fresh. The waves pour over the Mark I LCM. I look over the faces of my brothers, I can't see anxiety in their faces. We weren't programmed for that. But I feel my own, just an idea. I let my imagination wrap around it, develop it, am I thinking about my girl back home? No. I think about my father, a carpenter, he wanted me to go to college it would never have happened; the war, the time.

Normandy looms ahead, as high as beaches can loom. It comes into focus, first yellow sands, shadows hint at changes in the terrain. As the mark one moves through the water barricades of wood, steel, and barb wire materialize. I hear artillery but it hasn't hit us. Time for one last thought before the landing...I want some pizza.

We land. Gun's were firing before we landed but now the threat is real. Sergeant McCullin is yelling. I turn to look as the bullet screams through my head. I'm floating over my body and I can't see my hair... it was brown, light. I think about the MP's at my mother's door. No, That's the Pizza.

I'm fresh, The waves pour over the walls of the LCM. I know how much time I have. I don't look at my brothers. I'm looking ahead, to the beaches. There's drift wood... I'll go there first... what are those mounds.

The boats land. Everyone follows their program. I have my own. I run to the drift wood. I run to the drift wood over ten times. Sometimes straight to it. Sometimes I take a long bend in. Sometimes I run and sometimes I strafe, and some times... I crawl.

Every time my blood coats the sands of Normandy.

I'm fresh, and my legs don't work. I push the button's; I duck, I lay down, I fire my rifle into Huxley's back. I don't know this until I hear the POPs, and I look up. Shit.

I'm stuck in the groundhog's loop, and the toaster is in the tub.

I should have ordered anchovies, I'm not seeing my girl tonight. Phil keeps seeing his shadow.

The mounds... I'm an idiot, they're bunkers. I move to the drift word, I strafe, aim. I pop two rounds into the slit in the mound. Someone goes down. I duck behind the drift wood. Through my scope I can see them; in the dunes. I take down two krauts. somebody feels sour.


I'm floating over my body again. Everything is quiet when I'm up here, I think about the girl. My girl. What would my girl do? She misses me after a day.

I go through it four more times. I'm in the dunes now. Gunfire surrounds me. Pop.

I'm Not fresh anymore. My brothers are programed, so am I. I don't want to survive, I don't want to live, I just do. I know where everyone is. My men, their men. Pop

I'm still fresh, just cocky now. I'm impatient. I run, fire, duck, fire. I move from the shore line to the dunes quick. Huxley is up ahead, others are down, some have the luck of programming. I am being programmed. With each attempt I move forward, but my life ends in a bullet. Always. How much more till the next level; the next purpose; the next challenge.

Dead again.

I'm fresh into the repeat of my life. I shoot, I kill, I am removed from the life I have and become part of a new one. I take time; behind the drift wood, behind the sandbags, inside the bunkers.

I am nothing. The carpenter who raised me, the girl I left at home. None of those things matter. Not even my rank and the I that I see through. I am something larger, and that something knows what happens next. The sublime beauty of mist sprayed into the air as waves smash against the Mark I LCM, no longer exists. It is part of the hope and fear that prevents my ascendancy.

on the beaches of Normandy I hear artillery fire. It won't hit my transport. I know this because something inside of me has been witness to the program. The enemy is programed. I do not know their movements but I know their objective. They will fire at me, at my men. If they knew existance hinged on my success they would cease fire, or they would forget the others and fire at nothing but me. My success passes their time.

nothing matters. only I. the immaterial force inside lets the world blur into a kaleidoscope of motion, solidifying only as I stare down my rifle to watch the impact point of the bullet. I have lost all sense of myself, and am given over to the internal control that tells me when to move and when to fire. When I ascend I will be fresh again; and confused. Like an infant trying to make sense of the new world that will crop up around me I will look around bewildered trying to understand what exists behind a pair of hands, I will stumble and fall and bleed and die as my enemy fires from behind trees and walls. But that is in the future. In the now I am old. Inside of me the soul is old and tells me where to go. until I reach the end of this existence.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Leif's Topic: Free time/downtime

Leif: "well I have given some thought to what the new topic should be. So to make it vague enough that everyone can contribute, the topic is: free-time/downtime.

It could be as short as something as what you prefer to do with your own downtime or something of that nature. This topic has been on my mind lately because I have been spending alot of time gaming, and i wonder if thats good or bad."

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Topic

I know not everyone has posted to a few of the topics, but do we have any takers on a new topic? If I can I'll try to go back to one that I missed for now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Picking Sides

"So what does it look like," Charles tried not to touch anything, he stood near the door, "you know, when you see it?"

"It's hard to explain detective, but your lieutenant said he wanted you to see it too, so I gather you'll have an idea," Dr. Williams didn't look like a Professor to Charles, or maybe he did.

"You know I had professors in college who looked like you, young guys in jeans, for some reason I keep forgetting that you guys aren't all old, with elbow patches on your coats."

Williams laughed under his breath, "You've been watching too many college movies, next thing you'll be expecting me talk about the potential of some shit head slacker."

"Chevy Chase was big in my day," Williams didn't respond, he just looked around the wreckage of the house, "I saw Animal house probably in eighty two, senior year of high school..."

"Do you mind if I start detective?" Williams was looking around the burnt out living room.

"oh!? sure," Charles shifted to his left foot, "do you need anything from me?"

"Yeah," Williams pulled candles and a notebook from his gym bag, "Can you search by that window and find a piece of glass, something sizable."

Charles hesitated a moment, "Um, ok," all the windows on the ground floor had been shattered. most of the glass had been blown out, but some was still clinging to the sills, "This place gives me creeps," he pulled his coat sleeve over his hand and broke off a chunk of glass.

"Well, most people get anxious when they know the're around a metaphysical disturbances," Williams was lighting the candles, "Thank you," He took the glass from Charles, "I'll be doing this on my own but the glass will let you see the situation for yourself, when the manipulations done, you'll need to take the glass with you as we move through the house."

"Okay," Charles didn't like the thought of messing with these things, "Hey, what if it was giving me the creeps when we did the initial walkthrough, before we called your people?"

Williams was sitting cross legged in front of the pane of glass in a ring of candles, "It might mean you're really observant, and you just saw something was up, or it could mean that you very observant," he stressed the very.

"What does that mean?"

"It means you might have some talent for this," Williams had his hands on his knees, "Lord knows we'll need the help."

"What do you mean?"


Department meetings were usually much more cheery, at least they had been two years ago. The steady increase of metaphysical energies and entities in the physical world was causing increasing concern for the Professors, no one outside of the professors new about it, but the effects could be seen, and people were reacting.

"This is the biggest protest yet, I'm worried for the safety of all of you, and the safety of our students," Gavin was an administrator, he concerned himself with spending, and in this case, safety.

"That's not a reason to suspend classes for the semester," Brook was so invested in the department, she sometimes forgot that Gavin was on her side, "We all know how to take care of ourselves."

The was an awkward murmur from the other faculty, nobody wanted this conversation.

"Brook," Kevin was young, new to the department, and not the most popular. While other professors studied manipulation of metaphysical energies, Kevin studied fingerprints; he studied how the physical and metaphysical world reacted to manipulation, Kevin studied investigation, "I don't want to speak for all of us, but few of us have much experience in using the meta to protect ourselves, even if it's from protesters. I don't recommend disbanding the department, but we have to be pragmatic. If any of us used the meta in ANY way against others, even if one of us was attacked, the shit storm would be huge."

"You're hired already, Williams," there was spite in her voice, "I don't think you need to kiss Gavin's ass anymore," Kevin didn't want to get pulled into an argument, he'd never seen Brook like this, "I've worked to hard to have Gavin and you compromise this department."

If Gavin was hurt by Brook's disregard for his part in getting the department instated, and keeping it running, he didn't show it, "We're not talking about disbanding, we're simply kicking around options, one being to suspend classes until the protesters cool down and until the supreme court gives us a ruling, we also have to take into account the well being of the students"

Most of the professors were in Brook's camp. Kevin didn't blame them, most of them had been her students, and still looked up to her, she was an incredible metaphysicist, and because of it, no matter how much they worried about protesters, and safety, and students, they would call in dead before they let her down or left her side.

"I think that we may have larger problems than just the protesters," Kevin was glad to hear Wladek interrupt the conversation. No one, besides Brook was as highly respected in the field, "Old friends of mine tell me that the Vatican has been performing research similar to my own and Kevin's," Brook looked like she could have killed someone, "their findings support ours," It was easy to forget sometimes that Wladek was once a priest, "Phenomena like last weeks disaster are becoming more common, and we're not just getting better at perceiving the Metaphysical energy, it's becoming more abundant."

"So why is that a problem? We're all trained to handle the energy, it's not like any of us are careless," Professor Gruber's question was surrounded a spattering of agreement.

Wladek tilted his head toward Kevin.

Kevin swallowed the lump in his throat, "Last week's occurrence on the south side, was peculiar. From my investigation," Kevin could practically hear Brook roll her eyes, "The incident, that caused the death of twenty high school students, was an accident. A young man had a meta entity attached to him. When he became angry, It looks like he got into a fight during the party, the entity used him too attack party members," Kevin unwrapped and passed around the broken glass he had used to let Detective Bateman conduct his investigation, "More importantly, I personally feel that a second individual, who I believe to be Rebecca Kronig, age 16, may have managed executing a defensive blast which resulting in both her death and that of the possessed boy, it did protect several others, though."

Gavin, being the only one in the department not trained in metaphysics looked confused, "What does that mean, is that bad?"

"Kevin and I believe it means that, as our own abilities have been on an exponential rise, and phenomena are become increasingly frequent, enough so that individuals without training are capable of tapping into the meta."

"Well that's good," Brook interrupted, "University of Chicago's Schools of Metaphysics will be on the cutting edge, we need to be here to help these gifted individuals become accomplished metaphysicists."

Are we sure this isn't just a fluke?" asked Gruber looking at the glass pane.

"Not a fluke," Kevin answered, "I've been collecting news paper articles of possible instances, just subtle abnormalities in eyewitness reports, it's been happening more often in the past couple years."

"That's why our program is needed," Brook interupted, Kevin wished he had her passion.

"Perhaps," Wladek admitted, "but the public as become more aware of these abnormalities, and the Vatican has supported our findings with reports from their people, if this continues the public may turn on us. Violently."

"You're talking about modern day witch hunts?" Gavin actually seemed shaken by the idea.

Wladek's head swayed slowly. Unsure, "My friends in the Church tell me that the most of the Bishops and Pope Bernard are hesitant of taking a hard right stance on the situation, but I cannot speak for the Fundamentalist groups, especially those with gifted leaders."

Nobody spoke. They all had seen the protest signs of the Christian Coalition, Suffer not the witch to live. Violence was only a stones throw away.

Gavin broke the silence, "Listen, we don't have to make a decision today, but I think we should consider what's was discussed here today, we'll meet again next week okay?"

The room emptied out with low mumbling. Brook said nothing. She left the room, stone faced.

As the others cleared out slowly behind her, only Kevin, Wladek, and Gavin were left.

"Look, I didn't want to say anything," Gavin looked over his shoulder, "I've been approached by government agents, They want to instate a defense program," he sighed, "I don't know how much their meaning of defense can be trusted... I was told not to say anything just yet."

Wladek nodded, "We have our own idea," he looked at Kevin.

"I thought about the government wanting to get involved, I think, if we disband, that we should, I'm not sure but," The thought seemed almost fictional, "I think we should look into a developing a private organization, to police, to train. The Vatican has already started training gifted, for the same thing, they're willing to assist in the funding, and they've told us that there are other small organizations, Wladek and I are ready to resign to keep the faculty and students here from harm, but we need an someone to admin," word felt strange to Kevin. It felt... military.

There was silence.

Finally, before leaving the room, Gavin spoke.

"I'll figure out what we need."