Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zachry Disease

And to end the A-Z torture fest, I'll close with a joke.

A woman goes to a doctor and says, Doc, something's wrong with me.

He's a Chinese doctor and he says, Rady, what wrong with you?

Men don't like me, she says.

Ah, ah, I see, says the doctor. Say Ah.

She says Ah.

Rook over here, he says.

She looks.

Now turn around, he says, and bend over.

She turns around and bends over and the doctor says, Ah, I see probrem, now. You have Zachry Disease.

Zachry Disease? the lady says. What's that?

The doctor says, It when your head rook zachry rike your ass.

- Eric

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yes! We have no bananas.

This was my favorite drum solo, this song. I can't find it online though, at least the marching band version with the rocking drumline. You'll have to use your imagination.

I leave you instead with Black Betty, which for some reason I've been hearing a lot lately. That has to mean something, but only God or the Devil knows what. Probably the latter.

Yes! We have no bananas, was my favorite because there wasn't a drum score, and since I was first chair drummer, I got to write the music and play the tri-toms (the three drums) and we really jammed out, at least that's what we and the tuba players thought.

YES! This post is lame.

One of the tuba players laughed at me once. I threw a drumstick down her tuba and it got stuck and we had to take her tuba apart right before we marched onto the field.

We wrote a Christmas concert drum solo that brought the audience to their feet. I'm not sure that had ever been done. Freakin rocked.

Once me and one of the other snares traded off for about 30 minutes in a continuous drum roll because we began the National Anthem and the flag wasn't ready. It's a buzz roll, not a two-stroke, and we buzzed until our forearms ached, nodded at the other, and he took over. Once you start the roll, even though the director flagged us to stop, you can't stop.

Because you do NOT stop the Anthem. Ever. I mean, you don't stop fighting, do you?

Another time the band director pissed us off, the drummers, by saying we were too loud. I told the snares to play a click-march onto the field rather than our normal cadence -- which I wrote, and which freaking JAMMED, even the black guys thought so, even the black guys from the OTHER BANDS asked us where we got our cadences, during contests after our drumline beat their ASS and they couldn't believe a white boy could play them tri-toms like that, because I embellished every single song I played while all these other jerkies followed the music sheet without modification (lame), and we didn't play those stupid hand-writ cadences the director gave us -- and the band director got really pissed but never again said we played too loud.

Because really, can drums ever be too loud? Like saying a woman is too sexy or you've had too much beer and sex and rock and roll. It ain't possible, because more is more is more.

I would've made a helluva a drummer, folks. One helluva a drummer. I tell my wife to forget that lead guitar wannabe lamo. The sexiest guy in the band is ALWAYS the drummer. I forget which band it was, but they said they went through three drummers. The first one kept stealing the women from the lead singer. The second tore up the tour bus.

And who is the most memorable Muppet? Why, it's ANIMAL, of course! Want WOMAN! The drummer boy in chains and spiked collar, because aren't we all!

The KORN drummer plays shirtless, always. That's how I always said I'd play and that's why I stopped drumming. It was too much drug for me, the crack cocaine of life to which I would be addicted and never, never, never ever stop drumming.

Naked women, sorry, you are not so beautiful as a spread-open trap set into which I penetrate and gyrate in endless orgasm. I will give up one for the other every time without temptation because drums are always willing and become angrier and louder with the taking.

Now you know.

End post.

You have any band stories? Come on, one time, at band camp...

- Eric

(That last part is for my poetic friends, Annie and Tracy. It's poetry, yes, deserving of props, yo?)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is the Magical Letter!

X is the most magical letter. No other letter can do what X does.

You aren't O-Large, you're X-Large.

Combine that with the magical NUMBER -- 3 -- and you get XXX-Large, or XXX rated, or x-tra x-tra x-tra!

Don't like Christ in your holidays? Call it Xmas.

How about at work, where we call it x-section rather than cross-section, or txr instead of transistor.

Want to dump your lover? Go ahead. Now they are your ex!

Hold your arms in an X. Go ahead. It's a symbol of power and it feels powerful, doesn't it.

How about an X-Ray, or X-Ray vision?

Malcolm X?

What's the most common mathematical symbol? Yep, you guessed it: x

How does a pirate mark his treasure? Not with a W, because X marks the spot!

Want to cover a deadman's eyes? We don't use A or B, we draw death with an X.

Need help? Call the X-Men.

X-acto knife. X-Factor. Generation X. The X-Files.

X X X! It's the magical letter.

What other X-terms can you come up with?

- Eric

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Water Mocassin

I have two water moccasin stories. The first is short. My son saved my life when he was about four years old. We were hopping the creek behind my apartment here in Dallas, and I about near stepped right on one coiled up under a weed. I was in flip flops and wouldn't it have been ironic after all these years to get snake bit in the city!

The other story is my brother's, and I plagiarize without his permission since that's what brother's do.

I mentioned our creek in C is for Creek. It ran along the northwest side of our property and was filled with frogs and fish and snakes that ate those frogs and fish, the most common being the water moccasin, also known as a cotton-mouth.

We always carried sticks or a machete to whack the snakes with. I don't know how many we killed, but it wasn't enough because they still swarmed every time we went down there.

When Bro and I were about nine and ten, third and fourth grade or so, this little guy from Chicago moved into town. He was pretty unlucky to move into our haunt and he didn't last but a year or two before he moved away.

Never seen a snake, the boy said.

We told him we'd never seen a taxicab, and we all exchanged dumb what-the-fuck looks.

We'll show you a snake, Bro said. We grabbed the boy and our troop of six or so boys led the way with Bro in the front down through the pasture, by that big oak out by itself for no good reason other than everything else had been slain to clear the pasture, and down to the creek.

We walked the bank for a while tipping logs and poking sticks into holes until we finally saw one bobbing its black head in a creek pool. The creek was anywhere from a few inches to a foot where it was running, but in a few of the turns it pooled up to about mid-chest on a boy. This was one of those places.

Let's find another snake, Bro said. He was carrying the snake machete.

I want that one, Chicago said. He didn't realize how big that snake was under the water because of its little head, but we all knew. He had a big head. There was lots of body under that water.

Fine, Bro said. He waded into the pool and whacked that water moccasin in the head.

A snake in the water can't be cut, though. He sunk the snake, and a few seconds later that black head bobbed up behind Bro and got another whack. The snake couldn't get out because the creek was pretty well dammed up, and the far shore was a steep bank, and the near shore was full of boys screaming and waving their snake-beaters.

Bro finally got tired of hitting water and looped that water moccasin around the machete and hoisted him up on the bank.

Don't let him get away, Bro said. Pop had said that once when he found a copper head under the house (trailer) and flung it out. Boys, step on it, don't let it get away.

Yeah, fuck that. Bro and I didn't listen to Pop then, and nobody listened to Bro now. That water moccasin was plenty pissed off and it's a good thing they don't have a long strike radius. He was hissing and showing his mouth and striking and we were backing up and trying to hit him with our sticks that were suddenly way too short.

Bro walked up out of the water like he was going to stomp Tokyo. He had that adrenal rush we lacked, from being challenged by some know-nothing city boy, and being in the water with that snake. He walked up behind that thing and whack-whack-whack, sunk it into the mud, couldn't cut through it, and grabbed it with the machete and tossed it farther up onto dry land. The snake was stunned by then and Bro marched up there and finished the job.

Chicago might as well have seen flying monkeys from Mars eating frozen pickles on bicycles. We all thought that boy was going to breathe himself to death. This was a typical creek outing for us, what we called An Adventure, and this was just another water moccasin in a long line of dead snakes.

One of us pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the head between the eyes. They can strike, you know, even when they have no neck. We pried open its mouth and showed Chicago the fangs and everybody slapped Bro on the back and said we would have done the same thing, which was a damned lie.

That's a big snake, Chicago said. He held that head up and looked at it and twirled it on that knife, one of America's deadliest and most aggressive pit vipers this side of a rattlesnake.

I've seen bigger, Bro said.

Do you have any snake stories? We all have one...

- Eric

PS, I should add this: A few years ago we found a ground rattler in our garage. My wife insisted we catch it and release it and that's what we did. I can't remember the last time I killed a snake, or for that matter, any sort of animal except this rat I found two summers ago in my office. I killed him with a golf club. My wife got mad, but I told her that rat was sick, or the dogs had already gotten a hold of him. He didn't run or scamper but just sat there. Normal rats don't to that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Vick's Vapor Rub

Vick's Vapor Rub is NOT a sexual lubricant.

I know what you're thinking. We're out of Vaseline, and Vick's looks like Vaseline, and the warming sensation might add to the experience.

It doesn't add to the experience. It burns for a really long time.

- Eric

PS, on the same note, if it's your job to cut the jalapenos for the cookout, be sure to wash your hands before you pee.

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Upside Down

I wrote this poem for my first son when he was a toddler. He loved being carried around upside down, and I read this poem and think about how I used to carry him by the feet and how much that would break my shoulders now.

I Am Right Side Up

I am right side up
Not up
And the world is upside down

I walk by on my hands
Not feet
And I walk all over town

Above my head
There's green green grass
And dirt with dirty worms

Below my feet
I see the sky
Blue with orange orange sun

The trees grow down
The weeds grow down
The birds fly under my toes

The cars fly high
The bikes fly high
The planes fly way way low

And the people walk on their feet
Not me
While I walk on my hands

They stop and point
And I point back
At least as best I can

Cuz my hands are by their feet
You see
I need my fingers to walk

I point back with my tiny toes
Who knows
Why the people just gawk

Maybe it's cuz my eyes are high
Not low
And I've such red red cheeks

Maybe it's cuz I look
So strange
When you're walking on your feet

But everyone looks so strange
To me
As I must look right now

Cuz I am right side up
You see
And the world is upside down

I know, it isn't perfect. It stammers in points, but I didn't want to edit it. Like so many things I write, I cherish the imperfections because they feel like me.

- Eric

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Tallywhacker

He waved them over to the monkey bars and pulled out his tallywhacker and showed it to the girls who were forming a tight circle to block the playground lady's view.

See, he said, and they all leaned closer. It looks like THAT!

I was in kindergarten. I ran laps and they called my mom and had a ~very~ serious talk with me in the far corner, beneath the fat lady's shade tree, the two of them breaking their lawn chairs and converting the sinner back to Jesus. I remember it pretty clear, and I bet so do the girls. I never confessed that we all pissed in the sandbox.

You probably thought people never actually did that, didn't you. Well, I did, and if you read my R post, you'll see that my wife once locked me out of the house in my underwear. It was because I had stepped into the back yard to whizz and she got miffed and locked the door.

Hard to keep such a curious critter bottled up, I guess, even under threat of expulsion.

What other names do you have for a man's or woman's pink parts, bodily functions, and so forth? You ever flash either intentionally or un?

- Eric

Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for Silence

Watch. I can drown you out with silence. Ready?

Get it?

- Eric

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for ROMANCE!

Lemme give you a little taste of what it's like to be on my side of the court, the ball, the game.

Let's start in fifth grade. I was "going with" a girl in my brother's grade, a year younger, and I never spoke with her. I bought her a sucker pop each Friday and Bro gave it to her. A bag of spiders over my head wouldn't have scared me more than that girl scared me.

In fact, I would have taken the bag of spiders.

My freshman year in high school a junior girl made me her Pet Freshman. We dated into college, about six years, and it's my fault we aren't married.

Lord how I fuck up relationships. Ever see Tommy Boy? Girls are my butter rolls, and I shred em to hell.

I got hooked on another girl for about a year and a half. I got obsessed. Never been like that, but there it is, and I was nuts. College and the pressure of working and going to school and trying to get into med school all contributed. One night I gave her a dozen roses. She sold them on 6th Street in Austin for a $1 buck apiece.

Lived with a New York Jewish girl. She was something else, still is. She used to throw tortillas in the restaurant.

I got out of college, met my first wife at a bar -- which is how I met all my women -- and I fell in love with her way more than she did me. She wouldn't give me her phone number, but her sister, older by 6 years, thought I was "adorable" and called out her phone number over her shoulder as my future-wife was dragging her ass out of the bar.

Little known to her I was the phone number guy. Girls never wrote down their numbers. I remembered them, even remembered em for my buddies. I know. Freak of nature Rain Man, but that's how I rolled. I couldn't drink enough beer to forget her number and I didn't want to.

Married. A kid. Few years later divorced because I'm OCD and she's normal in the head.

Let's not relive my early thirties. I'm not sure I can. I'd die if I tried because I almost died at the time.

Met my now-wife at a bar.

You wanna dance? I asked her. Two-stepping Dallas bar, me in my hat, her in some California wanna-be beach hat and looking mighty West Coast and nobody likes them Westies out in Dallas. She's a Vegas girl.

Anyway, I said, You wanna dance?

No, she said. Don't know how.

She waved me off and with that waving-off hand I grabbed her and dragged her to the dance floor saying, Come on, chicken, I'll teach you to dance.

The next night we were in Austin getting tattoos, been together almost six years, now, and have a kid (who's doing great, by the way!). God in Heaven I love that little girl. She's a nutcase sometimes, locked me outside in my underwear and gave me every bit of the hell I gave her, but I tell her often that guys should ALWAYS go for the crazy bitch.

I mean, any chick who is willing to kill for you is worth keeping.

I also believe women should be on medication from birth. It'd save a lot of trouble, I think.

- Eric

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for QUITTER!

Lord, what have I not quit. I am a quitter of all things large and small.

First thing I remember is I quit baseball. I was a helluva a catcher, but I didn't have that sling-arm you need to burn out the stealer heading for 2nd base. I could hit, I could run, I could score and I could for damned sure catch, but that weak-ass side-arm throw of mine got me.

Plus, my coach and my old man went to high school together, and I'm pretty sure Pop nailed the dude's old lady and showed him up because Pop's got a third forearm.

So coach flattened my ass against the pine until I quit. I was twelve. Man, I loved baseball, too, long as I could catch.

I quit Extemporaneous Speaking, which is Gulf Coast slang for Debate Club. Not sure why I quit or why this matters, but it stuck with me. I got bored, I suppose.

I quit drumming when I got to college. And let me pause here and explain something about the drumming...

I am a tapper. I am not the every-day tapper who tap-taps and fidgets. I drum. I make rhythm. I always have, still do, and I even type to a rhythm. I clack my teeth because in high school the teachers started throwing erasers at me trying to make me stop tapping.

That's true as a lady's leg hair. They threw chalk and erasers and one even cracked my pen.

In third grade, I BEGGED my mom to let me take drum lessons. I gave up my recess and started drumming. Damn, I was good. I don't mean good, I mean creepy good. I quit, though, because my friends were playing outside.

But God had other plans. He does that sometimes. We moved when I was in seventh grade. I hadn't drummed since third grade, though I had tapped, tapped tapped tapped tapped, always tapping, always drumming, just not formally to formal music.

I tried out for band again. I asked the other drummers what the notes meant because our band director was too busy molesting the high school girls.

Again, true as leg hair.

After a few weeks -- a FEW WEEKS -- we tested for chairs and I yoinked first chair!

I went to district every year after that, and once got to regional. I didn't make it past regional, though, because I played the bells all natural. I had no fucking clue what those # and sharp signs and those other goofy symbols over the notes meant, and kept wondering why there was this extra row of keys above the main rows (these are the black keys on a piano, flats and sharps).

One of the drummers at regional asked me: What the hell were you playing?

I said, The music sheet.

He shook his black face and white eyes at me and said, Nah ah. You played something else.

Still, I made region, and so did he, and when that black dude walked in with a pair of drumsticks and saw all those Vidor jackets on the back row -- and Vidor, Texas, at the time and maybe today had a sign that read, Nigger, don't let the sun go down on your head (leg hair) -- he saw me (not from Vidor) and stuck to me like I was his favorite uncle.

Anyway, to say I was infatuated with drumming is like saying guys on occasion think of vagina.

Pop, God love him, bought me a five-piece Pearl drum set not two months after he moved out. I still have it.

Anyway, I got to college and quit drumming. I knew -- I KNEW -- if I got into drumming there in Austin, music capital of the south, I would have flunked out of college.

So I quit. Cold turkey. Drum lessons in high school, the ones I paid for with my own money, gone. Quit quit quit. I still hear only a lead drummer and backup singers in every song, and I quit.

Of all things, I miss drumming the most. Still, in college, I carried around a drum key, and showed it to every woman I met and asked: What is this?

I swore I'd marry the first woman who knew what it was. Only one knew, and I think she cheated even though I also think she loved me, but like so many things I fucked it up and who knows where she is now. Happy without me, I suppose.

When I write, when I have sex, when I drum and when I hold my breath for a really long time and finally breathe in, that's when I am with God. There will be a trap set in heaven for me, mark those words, and I'll keep all you knuckers up all night long banging out licks and riffs and flams and paradiddles and sixlets and so forth.

You should have seen my forearms, and not from what you think a teenage boy might be doing to get ripped like that.


I won't go into the same detail, but I had the same passion for medical school. I graduated valedic of my high school class, and went to UT Austin, majoring in Chemical Engineering, for no other reason than everyone said it was the toughest course on campus, and I said, Bring it, and I quit drumming to be a doctor.

You grok that last part, I hope...

I made Bs, mostly. High Bs. God in Heaven how I hate the 89 B. If I am going to make a B, make a 79.5, not an 89.4. I didn't convert so many to As, but I was far more than a B student, owing almost entirely to homework.

See, I quit homework. It's bullshit. It always has been. I looked at the class curve and it said, Homework: 10% of your grade.

I said, No problem! I eeked out a 20 or 30 on the homework, and relied on high 90s on the tests and projects. That strategy worked about half the time, the other half was the 89.5 grades. How can you score 96 on the final and average high 90s on the tests and make a B in the class!

End point is I didn't get into med school on grades. I scored high in the MCAT -- Medical College Admissions Test -- but who the fuck needs another white-boy, English-speaking doctor?

I tried for five more years to get into med school, and finally took the DAT -- Dental Admissions Test -- out of desperation. I scored in the 99.4th percentile.

Damn, huh. Surprised me too! I figured I would be a shoe-in.

Guess not. I'm an engineer, not a dentist, and I only got one interview.

So I quit. I gave it up and pursued other avenues that were, and have been, more lucrative.

I quit my first marriage.

I quit karate, which I was good at, and it's the only sport I consistently brought home first-place trophies.

I quit all these things I'm good at, but still I continued to write. I continued to drink. I continued to work out, to try things I knew wouldn't work, and to invest in myself above all other things. I'm a successful engineer, a great drinker, I have an AWESOME Wife 2.0, and I'm a published author with a small local press.

I'm a quitter, I suppose. But sometimes you have to quit in order to move on. Some dreams need to be dumped so that others my live.

What have you quit? Did you quit this post? Did you skim to the end and miss the embedded porn scene? I would have, because I'm a quitter like that.

Here's to dead dreams and the quitted lives we aren't living.

- Eric

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pink and Purple Polka-Dotted Panties of Passion

Yes, you read that right. Pink and Purple Polka-Dotted Panties of Passion.

The panties were a relic in my days of D&D (Dungeons and Dragons), and we quested for them periodically and never managed to find them.

Lord, if we had found them, if ~I~ had found them, I wouldn't have known what the hell to do with em. Sniff them would have been my first reaction. I'm a dog that way, wuff wuff.

My second reaction would have been to beg women to put them on, because ain't that the ruse. You can lead a girl to the Pink and Purple Polka-Dotted Panties of Passion, but you can't make her put them on!

Did you ever role play? Did you make fun of the Halfling thief's penis and use him as a club during a barroom brawl, or as a distraction send your buddy streaking naked through a gaggle of goblins, or sneak into brothels using a ring of invisibility?

And if you ever find those panties, send them my way. I might be able to slip them onto my wife while she's sleeping.

- Eric

Monday, April 18, 2011

MNO is for Motivation


I abandon today and perhaps indefinitely my attempt to relate A is for Anecdotes for the Alex J. Cavanaugh et al A to Z Challenge.

N is for nuffsenuff, and I'm not building readers, I'm alienating them with a deluge of pointless posts.

So I return to the topic of WRITING.

I learn something every time I write, every day. Let me tell you what I am learning on my latest novel:


To motivate the reader, you must stimulate them. This translates to entertainment. I like to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), so I lump all reader motivations into TWO categories:

o Imagination
o Intellect

You stimulate the reader by tickling either their imagination, or their intellect, or sometimes both, and this provides the MOTIVATION, the thrust, the push the umph the force that drives the reader from page to page to chapter to book to series to movie to the coup de gras, your own action figure.

So I'm working on MOTIVATION in my latest long piece. I am writing forward -- not backward, onward ho to the end! -- but keeping in mind that later, I will need to implant stronger motivations to keep the reader surging through the pages of that novel.

For me, I use a combination of Imagination and Intellect, because that's who I am. I'm an engineer-writer. I use scenery to stimulate the senses, and implant what I hope are intellectually stimulating subtle points throughout, with an undertow of questions that nag at the reader who drops my piece mid-chapter.

How about you? How do you motivate your reader? What beside Intellect and Imagination do you use to urge your reader through to the ending?

- Eric

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Do you have humor in your writings?

Let me tell you about one of my favorite blogs: Res ipsa loquitur.

The name means, according to Google, It speaks for itself.

Phoenix, she's a poet, an introspectologist, and one of the most heartfelt, honest bloggers around. Her writing is tremendous, and if I've mentioned anecdotes are my favorite form of storytelling, you'll find insightful, meaningful, entertaining anecdotes on her site.

And she's DAMNED funny.

Why is she so funny? Because she's honest, and because honesty is pretty darn funny. I told her once that I read her site so I don't feel so stupid. I can look at what she did and say, At least I didn't do ~that~.

I find humor pops up in my writings even against my will, and I believe it's for the same reason I like humor in Phoenix's site: it's honest.

It's life.

We are born knowing how to cry, but we have to LEARN TO LAUGH!

Think about it. I know I have these past five months, after my second son was born.

He's in a good place, nice and warm, doesn't know hunger or pain or discomfort, doesn't know what it's like to be cold, or tired, or grumpy, or have the lights in his eyes, or get woke up by the damned dog barking when someone knocks on the door selling candybars or lawn services.

Suddenly the little guy is yanked out of the womb!

BAM! Into the light. Cut the cord. What the fuck, lunchbox, you mean now I gotta BREATHE on my own! And what's this feeling in my tummy? Why am I shivering?

Waah waah waah! Cry baby cry.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's cut off part of his pecker. HA! No anesthesia. Babies can't feel anything, don't you know.

Yeah, fuck that. He felt it. I felt it. We all felt it. I'm still feeling it now and hold on, I need to beer myself after that little flashback...

Anyway, point is the little guy knew how to cry right off the bat, right out of the chute, out of the womb. First thing he learned is that hot women with gloves are bad news, and some things never change.

But he had to learn how to laugh! We all need to learn how to laugh. You're not born into it. You see the absurdity of the world, the backwardness, the awkwardness, the chaos, and your mind, too much horsepower for such a little skull, can't suck it all in and make sense of it.

So you laugh. It's the ultimate fuckit response. You don't get it. It doesn't make sense. Ha ha ha.

That's all you can do.

One of my stories is what I consider a ~serious~ piece. I used my Cormac McCarthy voice, the one from The Road and Child of God. If those aren't serious books, ain't no such thing.

And my character, a young boy whose dad hanged himself, burns his house down trying to cook a squirrel.

I have hookers, and they have a pistol named Chavez.

At my grandfather's funeral, I put a tic-tac between his cold dead forefinger and his cold dead thumb, because he always had tic-tacs. Didn't take long for others to catch on, and he had a dollar bill (he gave the kids dollar bills), and a Nutter Butter, and so forth.

When someone says they got or are getting a divorce, I say, CONGRATULATIONS! and make as big a deal as if they had said they were getting married (seriously, you should see the reactions, especially at bars).

I tell people, Don't think of it as getting laid off, think of it as being given the chance to chase your dreams.

I try to be serious, I really do, but the humor, the awkwardness, it pokes through and makes everything a little bit tilted.

I call it being unhinged, and it's the only way I can write. I am unhinged.

I am unhinged. The worms are free, wiggling out of their holes, and I am unhinged.

I quote in my unhingedness the kings of unhinging:

o Steven Wright: Ok, so what's the speed of DARK?

o George Carlin: Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

o Preacher Man Sam Kennison: AAAAAH! AAA AAA AAAAAA!

It's the honesty that's funny.

How about you? Are you unhinged? Do you include humor in your writing out of necessity? Are you honest, or do you lie? Are you a liar? Be honest.

- Eric

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kegs (and Monkey Loving)

Circa 2000, written under the pseudonym of Saul (for anyone who still remembers Saul...), in response to a chain email from my cousin.

To Lone Wolf, in answer to your question: "What one thing would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?"

One hundred and thirty-three kegs of beer. Brand wouldn't matter, but it'd better be dark, by God. And we'd need Bro there, too.

You, me, and Bro with one hundred and thirty-three kegs to knock back. We'd be fucking the local monkeys by the end of number thirteen! Around fifty, we'd discover our inner beauty. We'd fuck that inner beauty around the sixtieth keg.

That's because we'd have gotten tired of the island monkeys always telling us no, not tonight, I'm tired, my ass hurts, I have lice, can't you see the lice!

Around seventy, we'd construct crude topless dancers out of palm leaves and coconuts. You and I would give them all our money, but they'd go back to our cave with Bro. Go figure.

Kegs eighty through one hundred would be a naked blur.

After the century keg, one hundred, we'd take a day or two to sober up while we lashed the empty kegs together with vines and what's left of our underwear, forming a seaworthy raft. You'd try to smuggle on a couple of monkeys; you'd say they were for the trip home, but Bro and I would say we're tired of the monkey-loving, leave them.

Taking the leftover thirty-three kegs, we'd make a long trip around the southern tip of South America (I assume we started out in the southern Pacific, around Hawaii, maybe stranded on Maui or something), land in New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras, sell the monkeys you stowed on board anyway, and use the money to pay for some real strippers.

All the girls would go back with Bro, but what the hell -- it beats coconuts!

- Saul Mighty

What would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?

- Eric

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for I LOST MY JOB!

A re-post from October 2010, by request.


So I lost my missionary position, but that's all right, it was entry-level anyway and kinda boring.

I found an ad in the paper for a boob job, went and applied, they said I didn't meet their minimum applicant requirements, so I went next door, where they had a new blow job opening. That one fit me, and they sent me back next door to help with the boob job, but I didn't last long and had trouble getting up the second day and I wound up getting laid off.

After that I went downtown to the government offices to apply for a hand job.

"You can do this at home," she said, "but the pay's not that high."

I told her I didn't mind the low pay -- something beats nothing, right -- and since I can set my own hours and work at my own pace, I've managed to squeeze out a lot more than she probably thought I could.

I'm an over-achiever like that.

All this is for the damned A-Z challenge issued forth by Alex J. Cavanaugh et al

For my part, I shall be writing anecdotes -- A is for Anecdote!

This, dear friends, is my favorite sort of storytelling. Even my characters tell anecdotes about their lives.

- Eric

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Immaturity

Are you immature at times? Or do you act your age and follow all the rules associated with that age group's accepted behavior?

I got immature this weekend. We almost got kicked out of the Studio Movie Grill. You eat dinner and watch a movie, only we ate dark beer -- Shiner Bock -- and watched Your Highness. I honestly don't remember the last half of the movie. My brother said we almost got into a fight with the guys behind us, which doesn't surprise me, nor would getting kicked out have surprised me.

I threw up in my neighbor's yard. My nephew -- sober -- was driving us and thought it was my house.

Lord I hope the neighbors didn't see that, but found some mystery yurk down at the curb and blamed the local teenies. I coached their kid in soccer.

And my wife is now known as Natalie Portman. As always, I am still either Vin Diesel or Dale, Jr, and the occasional Jason (General Hospital hit man) or James Franco.

It would have been a Natalie meets Franco weekend if she'd seen the movie with me.

When was the last time you didn't act your age?!

- Eric

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me

Today I am 40. Time for a shrimp and crab boil!

- Eric

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for G-Spot

I fully expected all the chicks today to say G is for G-Spot.

What the eff?

- Eric

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Flaming Pine Cone

Here's an A is for Anecdote story as written by my cousin. It's a second-hand story written by someone trained in storytelling (I come from a family of storytellers), although not formally trained in writing.

Note his pace and his casual style, the personification of the burn pile, how he builds the tension with a gut-punch at the end, a story guaranteed to keep you reading to the end even if you know what's coming. He knows how to deliver the ending.

You should hear this guy in person telling stories.

I present it here unedited, as it was written for a literature class.

Nate is my brother. He is the pyro of the two, thus the explosions.

Flaming Pine Cone, by Jason Watson

It was very hot and windy that day and the smell of freshly cut grass was in the air. I had been on leave from the military and my family was having a get-together by my parents swimming pool. My sister kept everyone relaxed with plenty of vodka jell-o shots. My cousin Nate and I grabbed two more ice cold beers and started walking around the front yard, which had more pine trees than Baton Rouge has people. We looked up to see the tops of the trees swaying back and forth as the wind blew through their tops. Nate looked at me and said, “You wanna light something on fire?”

“Sure,” I said. I figured that since my parents had five acres of land for their yard, this would be enough to keep us busy until we passed out.

As we walked through the yard, Nate and I took it upon ourselves to rid my parents of all of those pesky little piles of pine straw and grass that accumulates after cutting their lawn. As I leaned forward to light one of the piles of straw, Nate said to me, “You know,there’s nothing more Amercian than drinkin’ beer and starting fires!” We both laughed and took a long drink from our beers that were beginning to taste warm from being out in the sun. We continued to scour the area and continue our patriotic mission of eliminating pesky pine straw piles.

“Do you have anything bigger to light on fire?” Nate said, as we watched the orange flames dance away on another pile of straw.

“Sure we do. My parents just cut the entire yard, so our burn pile should be full of stuff to torch!”

“Hell yeah! Let’s torch that mother!” Nate said.

We marched to the south side of the house were the biggest pine trees were. They seemed to watch every move that we made. Then we saw it: the biggest pile of pine straw we had ever seen! The pile was a high as a Pathfinder and twice the diameter. There were so many pine needles it smelled like Christmas. I would not have been surprised if we saw two of Santa’s helpers living in that behemoth.

“Ok,” Nate said, “the first thing we’re gonna need is diesel. It will burn better and it won’t burn as fast.”

“What’s the second thing?”

“More beer.”

We laughed as I ran to my dad’s dingy white tool shed. It was dark as a cave in there because dad had not bothered to replace the light bulb. As I fumbled around the unraveled extension cords and rusty saw blades, I found it: the five gallon can of diesel. I brought the spout to my nose to smell it and ensure that it was diesel. I did not smell like diesel, but since it was in the diesel can that clearly marked ‘diesel’, I knew it had to be just that. As I walked back to the pile of straw, I noticed that the pool was empty and the water was very calm. I looked inside the sun room to see everyone escape from the blistering heat of the sun except me and Nate. We had a job to do.

As I got to the pile, Nate was ready to go: “Did you get the diesel?”

“I found the can that says ‘diesel’.”

“Is that diesel in there?”

After we drank another beer, I began my task of making sure that all five gallons of the contents of that can were poured on every single pine needle in this pile. As I poured the contents out of the can, I smelled something that wasn’t diesel, I smelled gasoline. Nate gave me a very glazed-over-Pirates of the Carribbean look and said, “Are you sure that’s diesel Jason?”

“I’m sure,” I lied, because by this time I couldn’t smell a damn thing, “it says diesel on the can Nate. How stupid do you think I am?”

Nate did not say a word, he just drank his beer. However, as we looked at the contents coming out of the can, it did not look like diesel either.

“Jason, are you sure that’s diesel?” Nate said.

“I’m sure Nate! It says it right here- Look! ‘DIESEL’!”

“Well it doesn’t even look like diesel!”

“Nate, that’s only a detail we don’t need to worry about right now. Let’s just stay focused.”

I finished pouring all of the contents out of the can in the center of that big pile. I looked at the worry starting to spread over Nate's face. The fumes that rose over the pile gave it a very pissed off look and it filled our noses with the familiar smell of high octane unleaded. It was getting hotter outside and sweat was glistening off of our foreheads. We looked at each other and Nate said, “Here, you light it.”

“There’s no way in hell I’m lighting that damn thing, this was your idea to begin with!”

The pile seemed to grow so high it was beginning to tower over us. Each second we delayed in torching this monster, it seemed to grow and taunt us. Nate knelt next to the pile and extended his red lighter and pressed the trigger. Click, nothing, no flame for the bad pile. Our hearts skipped a beat and we started to struggle for breath. “It must have been the wind, “ Nate said.

“Well try again.”

After several more ‘clicks’, Nate came up with another strategy: “Jason, if I light that thing and I’m next to it, I’m dead meat. What we need now is the flaming pine cone.”

“What in the hell is that?”

“Take a pine cone and fill it with pine needles. After that take whatever’s left in that ‘diesel’ can and pour in on the pine cone. Once it’s covered, light it, and throw it right in the center of that pile!”

We immediately went to work. I found a pine cone the size of a football and gave it to Nate. He looked like Vulcan as he made the proper adjusments to the cone. Both of us knew this would work, and to be honest, it had to work. We could not let this pile with the mystery fluid survive.

Nate and I stood before that big monster. At this point, Nate looked at me and said, “Are you ready?”

“Hell yeah! Let’s light that bad boy!”

With a steady hand, I took the lighter and placed it in the middle of that pine cone. Nate said, “I want you to know that is gasoline Jason.”

“I know.”

I pressed the lighter trigger and it took flame with one strike! Nate took the pine cone and launched it from his hand. The yellow-orange flames danced off the cone as it sailed through the air. When the cone made contact with the middle of the pile, for one second there was no flame. I could not hear the birds chirp or the wild blow through the trees. All I could hear and feel was the oxygen being sucked into that pile. It was like this beast was taking it’s last breath and it wanted us to join him in his funeral pyre.

With the pile’s next breath one second later, a fireball so big you could see it from the international space stations shot up towards the heavens! The force of the blast not only knocked us off of our feet, but blew pictures and painting off of the walls inside of my parents house. Everyone ran outside to see what exploded. They saw Nate and I, laying on our backs looking up at the sky. Nate said to me, “See, I told you that was gas!” I looked at Nate, laughed , and said “Maybe we should stick to small fires from now on!”

- Eric

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Ex-Sex

Would You Could You Sex Your Ex

An original poem by Eric Trant, circa 2004

Would you could you sex your ex?
Would you could you make a mess?

Would you could you in a car?
Would you could you in a bar?

I would not could not in a car!
I would not could not in a bar!

I do not like sex with my ex!
I do not like to make a mess!

Should you would you in a house?
Should you would you lose your blouse?

Would you like it on the bed?
Or would you like the couch instead?

Would you like it on the floor?
Would you like to close the door?

Try it! Try it! You may see!
I do not like it! Let me be!

I do not want it in the house!
I do not want to lose my blouse!

I do not want it on the bed!
I do not want the couch instead!

I do not want it on the floor!
Now please go out and shut my door!

You should try it in the shower!
You should try it with a flower!

Try it! Try it! Find the mood!
Try it! Try it in the nude!

Try it! Try it fully dressed!
Try it! Like it! Please confess!

If I try it, will you leave?
Will you please just let me be?

Here, I will try sex with my ex.
And I do like it! I confess!

I will try it in the shower!
I will try it with a flower!

I will do her in a car!
Bend her over in a bar!

I will do it fully dressed!
I will kindly leave a mess.

And when I turn my sheets that night
My mess will greet me bright and white.

I'll mope and wonder what I did
And how this will affect my kid.

So tell me tell me if you will
Where's the payoff, what's the bill?

There is no payoff, that's the rut.
You were thinking with your nuts.

- Eric

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Dogs

What is a boy without a dog!

I'll tell you what he is: he's an incomplete boy.

We found Bandit as a stray puppy, maybe two months old and starving, wandering around the trailer park next to where my dad docked his boat. She was a lab mutt, white-chested and otherwise black with chestnut eyes. Pop wanted to kill her. Mom let us take her home. My bro and I were three and four, resp., and I can tell you it was a summer afternoon, we were in my Pop's un-air-conditioned white Chevy, and I rode in the truck bed with bro and me holding her while we sat on the fenderwells.

Funny how many animals pop up in my stories who look like Bandit. I even created a black bear with a lightning bolt chest, just like hers.

She got wet or dry same as us. When she had puppies, and she had lots of litters, she left her pups to fend themselves if her boys needed her. She brought us rabbits as kill, and Lord could that dog run! You should have seen her shoot under that barbed wire if there was a rabbit in front of her. She once swam a good ways across the lake because we thought we could leave her on the pier. We didn't leave her after that.

A while back, I wrote this for my dog Bandit as an exercise in POV. For you, girl. RIP.

She smelled rabbits. Lots of rabbits. Maybe a family. Baby rabbits for sure.

She looked back and saw her boys. They called her, but she didn't have time. Rabbits. Lots of rabbits.

Oak leaves and pine needles crunched under her feet. She heard more crunching and stopped. She looked. Her boys, walking this way. One of them kissed his lips together and called her: "Bandit."

She stuck her nose to the ground and circled a huge oak. The trail wound past the oak, between two pines, through a flurry of light underbrush. She stopped and smelled the air. Her boys smelled close. The rabbits smelled closer.

She heard a tiny noise in the underbrush. She put her nose to the ground. The scent burned her nose.

Under the log. She heard them clicking as they breathed. Her back tingled when she crouched. Balancing on three legs, she stepped closer. Inches at a time. Not to scare them. She smelled a dozen rabbits at least. She swallowed hard.


One of her boys grabbed the back of her neck. It startled her and she turned.

"Bad dog. Come on, leave them alone." Her boy patted his leg and called to her as he walked deeper into the woods.

She looked under the log. A dozen tiny eyes stared back at her. A whole family down there.

But her boys wanted her to follow them. She barked once, at the rabbits. Then she turned and ran after her boys.

- Eric

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Creek

What else could C stand for but Creek. Country. Cow. Cowboy. Cowboys, and boys who wanted to be cowboys, children, another C-word.

A creek ran along the backside of our property, dumping in from the upstream neighbor's property, dumping out of our property into Toledo Bend Reservoir, an offshoot of the Sabine River, which separates Texas and Louisiana. East Texas. You don't get more East Texas without being in Louisiana.

That creek came from someplace we never found, but I like to think it originated deep in the East Texas Piney Woods, the Big Thicket National Forest, from a spring-fed well -- which are common in that part of Texas, so it's not impossible. It had a pure source, and the water was cold and trickling even in the hottest drought.

There's something magical about a creek. I challenge any one of you to come upon a creek during your hike and not scout the shoreline for a place narrow enough to cross, shallow enough to wade through, or the coup de gras, a fallen tree spanning the width of the creek over which you cross, holding downed limbs for balance, ending on the other side by climbing a spiderweb of uprooted roots and jumping off the top of the root-ladder, onto the newly-discovered world where no man has been, and realizing you can't go back, not the way you came.

You'll have to survive until you can find another way to cross.

Or, if you really luck out, you find the coup de coup de gras, and discover a vine, thick as your forearm, strong enough to hold you as you monkey-swing across the creek, Tarzan, a lion of the jungle, king of the beasts, flying above the water to the far shores of adventure. You hack at the vine's base with your machete, which you always carry to the creek, always, because you never know when you'll see a snake who needs its head cut, or bamboo, or sugar cane, or water-vines (they ooze water when you nick them, for drinking), or any other number of things that meet the special needs of a machete chop.

You cut the vine to length, so it won't drag the ground. You test its weight. The first of your troop swings across, the lightest, you because you are the smallest, and then your brother, who was usually second, because although he was smaller and younger, he was smarter. You have scars dotting your body that he watched you earn, testing those great idears, first into the breach, too impatient to wait on everyone's useless theoretical discussions of weight, rot, is the limb big enough, will it hold, I don't know, tug-tug, yep, it looks good, is it long enough, should we find another vine?

You grab the vine and step off the cliff and swing and throw the vine back across the creek and say, See?

The others swing across. The older boys swing last, the heavier ones, some of them dragging their feet through the creek because their weight is bending the limbs, testing the vine's capacity. It snaps, of course, when the last and largest boy takes hold. A warning groan from the treetops, that familiar crack of breaking wood, a panicked whisper as trees and leaves and limbs and vine become an avalanche of broken rottery as you and the rest of your troop scatter like ants beneath God's thumb before He crushes you. You marvel that nobody dies, because that limb was friggin HUGE.

The big boy, the one who broke it, survives by diving into the creek, headfirst to the bottom, chest-high on him when he finally stands up amid the wash of floating debris and says, What the hell happened!

We laugh because we are all dry and he's wet. We laugh because he's alive. We dive into the creek after him when he calls us names, slurs not fit for a boy's mouth that only a boy can properly speak.

We drink from the creek, eat the berries that line its banks. We never get sick, not even when we drink downstream from a dead cow and realize you shouldn't drink water with foam on it.

We cross it always, boots in the winter and shivering legs through the pasture, or shorts in the summer and we dry as we follow the cowtrails home. We never stay out of the creek, not even when it snows and we break through the ice to our thighs.

I defy you to resist the urge to cross a creek when you come upon one. There's something magical about a creek, something mystical and inexplicable, something that says everything is better, everything is worth it, getting wet, getting muddy, the tromping along the shoreline, all the hard work will pay off.

If you can just get to the other side.

- Eric

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Bloody Stripper

Yes, friends and neighbors, this is a true story, and yes, it involves a real-life bloody stripper.

Let's put on some music... let's see. 311, nope. Three Doors Down, nope. Alice in Chains, Atreyu, Beastie Boys.

Ah, there we go. Look no further. Beastie Boys it is. Kick it! I am most ill at Rhymin and Stealin.

Drink the beer. Now refill. Cue the music. Here goes. (hit the PLAY button, wimp)

My wife tried to tell this story at a recent GNO. That's Girl's Night Out for those of you not down with the lingo. She missed a few key points which I shall now correct.

She left out the police officer, which is the best part if you ask me. I don't know how she forgot that part. And I'm not sure she knows all the cell phone details. I may have left out that part since it involved potential depravity.

She did remember I was covered in stripper blood, though, which is the key point to all this nonsense.

Let's roll back to circa 2004, about two years after I moved out of my house sans wife #1, about a year before I met her most-excellent upgrade. I'm in-between girlfriends, ex-wives, wives, houses, kids, and everything else that goes to shit when you're in the throes of that early-thirties requisite divorce that most of us seem destined to stumble through.

I stumbled through that phase by drinking. Lots of drinking. Dionysus passed out trying to keep up with me, freaking wimp of the Olympians. I ate out my own liver and DRANK it, proving that son-of-a-god Prometheus was an uber-wuss for letting an eagle do that work for him.

One Tuesday night I decided it was go-out time. I ripped off my button-down, picked up a 750ml bottle of flavored rum, and hit the all-nude titty bar, where you bring your own booze, and the girls strip down to nothing but their evil eyes.

She's Crafty, she's got it right... Man I always regret it. Something's going on and I'll probably never get it. And she's just my type! She's CRAFTY!

So I get to the bar and the downstairs is too slow for me. Gals and Guys, downstairs is always lame. Get the special treatment. If you go, go all out. Burn out like a punk. Go upstairs.

I upgraded to the VIP room. Much better. Me and my rum found a table and I grabbed two girlies and beer that's cold.

One girlie kept coming back for more. They do that sometimes. She hit the bottle, got naked, rubbed on me, got dressed, took my money, disappeared for a while, came back, hit the rum, rinse, repeat.

She liked me and said so. They do that sometimes, too. Most of the time, in fact, kiss up for more bucks. This one, though, she liked me. I was wearing slacks and my undershirt, and she kept rubbing on me, grinding, putting her hands under my shirt, doing all those things they aren't supposed to do in those places.

A girl has to have goals, she said, naked, grinding, doing that backward glance over her shoulder from my lap. Man, I love naked women in my lap.

Anyway. She said, A girl has to have goals, and tonight, my goal is to fuck you.

I fully support your goals, I said.

I'm on my period. Something about being on my rag that makes me mad horny. Does that gross you out?

Nope. I got my red wings. Don't ask what that is.

She didn't ask. We drank. She danced. She took my money. We exchanged numbers.

GIRLS! To do the dishes. GIRLS! Two at a time I want GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!

I got into the parking lot and punched in her number and rang her up. Sure enough, the number worked.

Meet me at IHOP, she said. I'm hungry and I need my energy to fuck you.

Which IHOP?

Phone goes dead. Dead as disco. And my mom threw away my best porno mags.

You gotta FIGHT! For your RIGHT! To PAAAAARTY!

So I picked an IHOP. God, I hope this is the right IHOP. I didn't have a car charger for my new phone, and the gods are laughing, all of them, because Lord in Heaven this girl was smoking hot. Jesus is turning His blood to wine to feed the angels as they watch the show unfold.

I stumbled inside the IHOP. I mentioned a 750ml bottle of rum, yes? That bottle was purt near empty, and my stripper and I were the only two partaking. I was tight. She was tight.

I picked a table, and in fact they let me have the run of the place. They fed me. I waited. I paid. I left. Nobody asked. Nobody asked a thing, and for a while I thought they might let me eat for free. I guess I had that look.

Overall, no stripper. Wrong IHOP. I later learned she waited for me at one a few blocks away.

God frowns. Satan laughs. They exchange money, because Satan won that bet playing dirty.

In the parking lot, after I ate, after I drank some coffee and sobered up, I inspected myself and realized my white tee-shirt was streaked with blood.

Stripper blood. From her rag, her period, snail-trailed up and down the front of my shirt, my pants, my crotch, a bone fide CSI blueprint of where she had violated me with her naked, thrusting, grinding, wildly aroused and bleeding vagina. I was lucky the IHOP people didn't call the cops, or if they did, I was lucky I left before the cops arrived.

I got in the car and pointed it northward, back toward home, and concentrated on keeping it between the lines, in this case aimed at the point where the four lines converged.

I exited the tollway, turned onto my street, and in the Wednesday morning hours I fucked up and went 60 in a 45, within sight-distance of my apartment.

Lights spun behind me. A siren chirped. I stopped in the middle of the street because nobody else was out this late, nobody but drunks, thieves, thugs, and cops.

License and registration. Have you been drinking tonight Mr. Trant?

Yessir. All one word, a true Texas yessir.

Honest to God I wasn't afraid of a DUI. Bring it. Please only let me get a DUI. I was covered in blood. I looked like I'd gutted someone, a butcher-esque white boy in a Tahoe at 3AM. They would have spent a week trying to figure out whose blood that was. I was doomed. News at Nine, video of officer beating blood-splattered white boy in Plano, Texas.

That's my apartment up there, I said. I pointed to the stop light, cycling green, yellow, red. I crossed my arms over the bloodstains.

The officer did that flashlight thing, right in my face, my ID, my face, ID, face, ID, as if he couldn't decide much on what else to do.

Face. ID.

Here you go, he said. He handed me my license. Be careful getting home, Mr. Trant, and don't let me catch you again.


At this point, Satan paid God double down, and God laughed, Satan frowned. I'm God's favorite channel, and God never loses, does He. Pay up, you knuckers.

Listen all yall, this is Sabotage!

- Eric

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Anecdote

So I did it. I signed up for the freakshow called The A-Z Challenge, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh et al

For my part, I shall be writing anecdotes. This, dear friends, is my favorite sort of storytelling. Even my characters tell anecdotes about their lives.

I should add that the stories I plan to share are true. With embellishments, of course, but true.

I should also add that another A-word comes to mind: Appropriate.

Not all my stories are appropriate. I shall start off with one on April 2 entitled: "B is for Bloody Stripper," which I plan to write directly, after finishing no less than one Bud Ice beer.

You've been warned.

- Eric

Be consistent. Now shake it up!

It's a series of mutually exclusive mantras that some smartass likes to parrot from time to time, right? And you've all heard it before, but let me tell you the truth about the advice to be consistent, but shake it up.

Here is what They say: Be consistent. Establish a routine. Set and meet goals. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

Here is what They' say: (That's "They-Prime" for my mathematically challenged friends.) Shake it up. Break the mold. Push your boundaries. BE SPONTANEOUS!

It's like fire and water. It sounds mutually exclusive, doesn't it? I mean, fire and water are mutually exclusive. One kills the other.

Nope. Wrong. That's why I'm the genius. I see things sideways, and that makes me special, and I don't mean wear-your-helmet special.

See, I look at fire and water and I put them together and realize that sho-nuff, they work out great when mixed! That's how you cook. You boil stuff. Water without fire and fire without water can't boil an egg.

It's the same with that conflicting, seemingly mutually exclusive advice to BE CONSISTENT! BUT SHAKE IT UP!

You need to do both, and I don't mean just with writing. With writing, yeah, but with other stuff, like in the gym. Work out regularly, but change your routine. That's how you stay sharp, isn't it? That's the only way to get sore.

Personally, my life is a vortex of chaos. I have ignored the dozen or two writer and poet bloggers I genuinely love to read, both on my comments and on your blogs.

I have ignored my writing, my workout routine, my diet. I changed it up at work, even take a different route to work rather than the same ol drive.

These changes have reinvigorated me. I worked out and got sore. I wrote and pumped out words I'm happy with. My drive to work sucks in a completely different way, now.

Shake it up. Be consistent. Embrace the chaos, enjoy the switch-ups, relish the routine, and stay on-schedule.

Sometimes it's all you can do is hold up your hands and enjoy the ride.

Have you made changes lately? What did you change? Workouts, habits, writing, anything goes.

- Eric

PS: On two separate notes...

1) My boy is doing GREAT. He's sleeping through the night, but not every night (random consistency is the theme, you know). I am almost ready to get back on a routine writing schedule, soon as I can get a consistent night's sleep.

2) I turn 40 next week. I don't know what that means, other than I'm not dead yet.

Here's some Monty to celebrate that #2, forthcoming:

Bring out your dead!