• Apart for Fifteen Minutes

    Before I even noticed a week’s gone past without me posting something new on here. When I redesigned the site I did it intending to post new content more regularly. There just always seems to be something else to do, including frivolous little things like watching TV or going to work.The thing is, I really enjoy writing stuff to post up here. A few months ago I actually started writing down blog post ideas. I collected quite a few of them within a week, maybe a dozen or so. I’ve had another dozen or so in mind since then. So the shortage of ideas isn’t there.I’ve also got to learn to be less ambitious. Many of the ideas I’ve had for blog posts are things I would probably have to spend at least two or three hours writing. That’s not going to happen on a regular basis. I just don’t have the time. There are other things I want to do that take priority.So, I’m going to try to set apart fifteen minutes every day to write something for the blog. I can piece several days together to write something substantial. That way I can have something new on here at least once or twice a week.I’m also going to force myself to sit down for a bit and finish off lots of short stories I’ve been putting off because they got difficult or weren’t as exciting as I thought they ought to be. Even a sentence a day is something. Maybe we’ll see them on here someday.

  • Something to Try at Home

    If you would, I’d like you to participate in a small experiment of my own design. The requirements are simple, you’ll need: a sturdy wall (most any will do) and yourself.Now, please follow these steps precisely (you do so at your own risk).

    1. Stand about fifteen feet (5 meters for you European freaks) from the wall you’ve chosen.
    2. Run toward the wall as fast as you possibly can. No cheating.
    3. Stop when you get exactly 1 foot (30cm) away from the wall.

    That’s it. Simple, no? Thanks for participating… Oh, you didn’t manage to stop?You smashed into the wall?That can’t possibly be. You mean that it’s physically impossible to stop that quickly? That can’t be. You see, everyday, on my way to work, you drive three feet behind me at 70 mph. That’s a lot faster than you can run and your car is much heavier. You’d never do that if it were unsafe, would you? You have more brains than that; to put your life and mine at risk to shave a few seconds off your commute would be unthinkable. Surely you’ve found a way to alter the laws of physics so that, if say somebody ran out of gas just around that next bend and I have to stop all of a sudden, you too will be able to stop despite the fact that you probably wouldn’t even notice in time to hit the brakes. You’ve got some sort of time-continuum thing going that prevents you plowing a ton of metal (and a few pounds of flesh and guts, yours mainly) into me at high velocity. It always seemed to save Jean Luc from imminent death, and his car was much bigger.Listen, you can’t possibly stop from that distance even if I decelerate sharply, much less if I come to a sudden stop. You risk killing me, yourself, and anybody else that is in the way. And, if your behavior caused somebody’s death, then isn’t that tantamount to murder? Talk about being late. Imagine being 20 years late because you killed somebody on the way to work, or never getting there at all, ever.I want to say that I understand why you do it, but I don’t. Every time I see someone tailgating it’s because they want to go faster than everybody else. People that drive slowly just don’t go in the fast lane (and if they do, that’s because they’re idiots and tailgating and honking at them will do nothing). If you want to go 90 mph and somebody is going 70 mph and you’re stuck behind them, tough luck.And no, arguing that people shouldn’t drive in the passing lane doesn’t help you, for two reasons. First, that’s what you want to do, drive in the passing lane. If you’re going fast, then does it become okay to drive there? No. Second, I get tailgated whatever lane I drive in, however many lanes the road has. People are always trying to go faster than everybody else. It’s not going to happen. Not without endangering yourself and everybody around you.Life may suck, but at least you have one.

  • Something new, for once.

    My attempt to stay away from sexual politics has been extraordinarily successful. I’ve managed to avoid all but minor controversy. While my physical agility slowly deteriorates, emotionally I’ve kept myself spider-like*. Keeping my (some would say nonexistent) love life away from my friends and family has been a marvelous solution; not for happiness and bliss but for evading the pain that comes from having to eventually extract somebody from your life. Not only have I avoided relationships but I have avoided talking about them, mine or otherwise.Such success leads to a certain pomposity and perhaps recklessness. Today, I’ve learned not to regret, but it is a lesson hard earned with many sleepless nights. Success also leads to fear of change and soon, the inability to change… almost.This year brought death and losses of another kind. A couple of months spent in sorrow and regret turned me inside out. Even when I felt most like I needed a shoulder to cry on, I forced myself to be stoic. Scared, I didn’t start some friendships I needed and refused to end some relationships I should have. As the reasons to cry piled on, I felt tested and I fought back. Nobody, especially somebody with only a brittle stage sword, can fight forever.On the other side of that deep valley you’d have found me. A tired, sexless man who simply didn’t care for charades much. He chose his friends and eventually his family. And while he didn’t (and perhaps he still doesn’t) know what he wanted, he has a good idea. It wasn’t a drastic change. He still had the same goofy laugh and the wayward but relaxed demeanor. But maybe you noticed (he sure tried to make sure you did), he cared a little bit more. About what? You, and him, and her, and the little time he realizes you’ll have.So what do I do with that instinct to separate life and love? Realize they are the same thing. Admit to myself feelings I’ve always had and stop lying to myself about those I never did. Stop regretting those things I did and go do those things I should.And with those carefully crafted lines I always kept ready for the slightest opportunity? Well, it’s time to mean them. I’m finding out how easy that is.Thanks for reading. I hope it wasn’t too heavy. That was a long time coming.Perhaps later,Nick* I’d put my money on a giant spider versus a cat any day. “Hey kitty, you like playing with string?”

  • The Kind Of Witch

    Wrote this short story to go with my site redesign. Well not really, but it turned out that way. Thank you to Max for editing it for me. I recommend you download the pdf or use the flash version, both version's read much better (the html version is missing critical formatting) and use a spectacularly readable and beautiful font. But if you insist, you can read the html version below.

  • Goalpost Film Festival (now with extra Monkeys!)

    So after a quick trip to Sportsmart, whereupon I found that soccer mini-goals start at $40 (and that for wire-frame crap), I realized I could make two of them with $12 worth of PVC tubing and coupling. It worked out great, if I do say so myself; took me about a half-hour. I really truly seriously don’t like to feel like I’m being ripped off. After attending the disappointing Brainwash Film Festival in the Bay area, I’m leaning toward starting a drive-in film festival down here. If anybody thinks this sounds like a good idea, I’ll need help. I really want to go to the zoo; in fact, I want to visit all the local zoo’s if possible. Don’t ask me why. If you too have this itch and wanna come, please do. Monkeys are mean. (This weekend I’ll probably be up at the small but excellent Santa Barbara Zoo…)

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