I'll come up with something in a minute.

12 Random Photos

Miles Davis Quintet – All of You
Mediæval Bæbes – Cantiga

R.E.M. – It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Deon Estus & George Michael – Heaven Help Me
R. Kelly – Gotham City
Dishwalla – Counting Blue Cars
Coleman Hawkins – It’s The Talk Of The Town
Jody Watley – Don’t You Want Me
Spin Doctors – Big Fat Funky Booty
Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels – Break-Out
Mark Isham – Pittsburgh 1901 [Edited Version]
Catie Curtis – Got Me Wondering
The Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Mancow? Who calls themself Mancow?

Did you guys see that Mancow took the Olbermann Water Board Challenge? He lasted 6 seconds and said it was “Absolutely Torture”.

I’ve got to say though, I’m with the comments expressed in the first link there. If you know it’s torture, but you value Americans over the Other Guy… well we can disagree but at least you know what you’re talking about. To not even understand what it is and say it’s no big deal… I guess you know where this is leading. I despise ignorance more than anything else I guess.

May 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You’ll never see either of them the same way again.

Pepé Le Pew is like The Terminator. He doesn’t eat, he doesn’t sleep and he can’t be stopped. The only difference is that instead of killing Sarah Connor, he wants to sexually harass her.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Friday, May 22nd, 12:36 p.m.

Never a good sign when a frog comes to your door and asks “Does great Cthulu hafta cut a bitch?”

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You never see

You never see anything about zombie carrots. And yet, we’ve all got some potential ZC material in our fridge. They’re in the crisper RIGHT NOW!

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Liberty’s Child (Part Nine)

Liberty’s Child

A Jack Collier Mystery

By Brett N. Lashuay

Look here for last week’s entry!



Day Nine: The Video


            The video was amateurishly shot, or at least it was meant to look that way. It was shot on some kind of camcorder, a small handheld model I guessed. It started with a close up of Columbia’s face, which was wet with sweat and her mascara had run but she looked alright. The person with the camera then moved it up to show the handcuffs that they’d secured her to the small metal bed with and then went down her body to show the rope they’d used to tie her legs to the other end of the bed.


            There was something wrong about it though, the jerks and shakes looked like someone trying to look like they didn’t know what they were doing. Someone started talking in the back ground, but it was indistinct and I couldn’t make it out. The camera moved quickly and swiped across the room, stopping at someone’s waist and then moving around again. I didn’t stop the video, and I really hoped that no one noticed my face when the camera stopped for that moment on the waist. The camera then swung around and alighted on a ski masked face.


            “As you can see, we really do have Major Freedom’s daughter, since you decided to ignore our earlier demands, the price has now gone up. One hundred million or we will ship the remains of her to the four corners of the earth.”


            “You’ve been warned,” a voice said from off camera and then the video abruptly ended.


            “You need a copy?” Alice asked me after a second of looking at the blank screen.


            “No,” I said. “I think I’ve seen everything you have. I mean I could go over it frame by frame, but I think it’s just a room somewhere. I mean there are a hundred thousand rooms like that, maybe a million in Michigan alone.”


             “You didn’t see anything?” she asked, and I wondered for a moment if she’d been watching me instead of the video.


            “No,” I shook my head and bit my lower lip which is usually a sign that I’m trying to process things in my head.


            “You talked to anyone yet?” Cramer asked.


            “A couple of people, didn’t get anything.”


            “Who did you talk to?”


            “Someone mentioned that she’s been hanging out at the Flower Bed a lot recently, so I went and asked them about it.”


            “What’d that net?” Cramer asked.


            “Nothing,” I said turning and looking at him. I always like to face someone and look them in the eye when I lie to them. “She liked hanging out with the girls, she thought it was exciting.”


            “Wonderful,” he growled, chewing his cigar into a pulp. “You didn’t think to press them any further?”


            “I’m just a private little gumshoe,” I said smiling at him. “I just don’t have that kind of authority.”


            “No, I guess not,” he conceded.


            “You find anything yet?” Alice asked.


            “I’ve been on this case four whole hours,” I reminded her. “Without anything like a support staff.”


            “Who told you where she’d been hanging out?” Cramer asked taking out his notebook and opening it to a page.


            “Client,” I said and was gratified to see him close the notebook and put it back in his pocket.


            “So what did you think you’ll do now?” he asked.


            “If you give me your reports I’ll go back to my office and read them over,” I was gratified to see Cramer’s jaw actually dropped open, and impressed to see that without looking his hand caught his cigar in mid-air.


            “Give you our reports?” he asked.


            “I’ll send them over,” Alice said, and Cramer’s face turned a gorgeous shade of red.


            “Thanks,” I said and stood up. “I’d better go now, or I’ll be in deep trouble.”


            “Look Collier,” Cramer started, and then glanced at Alice and stopped. He probably had some old fashioned thing against swearing around women, or he knew she could overrule him no matter what he said. He let his finger drop and glared at the carpet, possibly hoping it would explode into flames.


            I left the room, because I didn’t want to be between the looks that were undoubtedly firing between the two of them at that moment. I was pretty sure that lightning would start spitting in the air when their gazes met. It wouldn’t be safe to stay there too long, that much frustration could turn radioactive pretty soon.


            I made it out of the room and halfway to the front door when she came to me again. Liberty swept from the door of one room and touched my arm, though it felt more like being a fast moving fish that’d unexpectedly been hooked. It’s not that I specifically wanted to avoid her, but I knew something hot and I wanted to act on it.


            “Jack?” she asked, her sparkling blue eyes staring right through me. “Can I talk to you?”


            “Of course,” I said, trying not to let my voice become husky. It would be embarrassing to show the effect she had on me like this.


            She led me from the hallway, up the stairs and towards her room. She and the Major have had separate rooms ever since I could remember, and that fact was often something that was taken great advantage of. It seemed a little early in the day for this sort of thing though. She closed the door behind us when we got into the room and immediately threw herself on me. I do not mean that she made a sexual advance, but rather that she physically pushed herself into me. I think I knew what she was doing, because I caught her in my arms when she slumped in my direction. I’m a big strong guy, but the force of her blow nearly knocked me over.


            The shuddering of her body was immediate, and the sobs bubbled up after a few seconds, growing in volume as she shook. I looked around for someplace for us to sit down, so I could take her slight weight off me. The nearest thing was the bed, and I would have to move around it to get to the window where a small bench sat. I decided that while I was up to the walk she clearly wasn’t. I moved us over to the bed and sat down on it. I tried to get her to sit on her own, but she only slid onto the bed to better lean against me. Having nothing else to do, I smoothed her hair and made soothing noises to her.


            “Don’t worry,” I said brushing back the golden threads with my hand. “I’ll take care of this.”


            “He doesn’t even care,” she sobbed into my chest. “All he cares about is how this effects his stupid expansion deal.”


            “I care,” I assured her squeezing her shoulders in my arms. “And I will get her back for you.”


            “You will?” she looked up at me, her eyes glistened and her lips trembling.


            “I will,” I said, and kissed her forehead, which I will admit was a stupid thing to do.


            Once you kiss the forehead, how hard is it to dip down a little further and kiss the lips? I mean if nothing else, that stops them from trembling right? And if you’re going to kiss the lips, you might as well put some feeling into it, because you don’t want people to think you give half hearted kisses. From there of course, one thing leads to another and before you know it, I’m using the excuse of personal privacy to expunge the record of the next hour and a half.


            Lying in bed next to her, having finished what I was justifying to myself as being comforting a dear friend, I knew that guilt should start riding in as a wave. I didn’t feel terribly guilty though, I felt elated that after so long I was still a worthy prospect for her. This makes me feel like a jerk, sitting here and writing it down now, but at the time I felt nothing more than joy at still being able to do the things I’d done with her a decade ago. If anything, I think I was congratulating myself a bit because I had clearly improved over time. I looked at her back, which she had turned to me like she always did. I touched her spine down at the base and ran my fingers up that line of bones to her neck.


            “You need to go to work,” she said turning over.


            “Do I?” I asked.


            “If you’re going to find Columbia.”


            “Yeah,” I agreed and then a thought struck me. “Do you know a guy named Piggy?”


            “No,” she shook her head. “Is he a friend of Columbia’s?”


            “Possibly,” I said. “Someone mentioned his name to me.”


            “The poet?” she asked.


            “You know about him?” I asked, my voice changing slightly.


            “Yes,” she said blushing. “I knew what she was doing, but how could I stop her? I mean… really.”


            “Yeah, I guess,” I nodded at her, and there was the guilt.


            The total and complete wrongness suddenly struck me all at once. I was screwing a married woman, with her husband and a dozen police officers in the house, while her eldest daughter was somewhere being held by bad people. I had to be the stupidest man on the planet, so damn dumb I couldn’t even see how clearly wrong this situation was long before I got into it.


            I sat up and looked for where my clothes had been tossed. I looked back at her, then leaned over and kissed her. Strangely, that made everything all right again. For whatever reason, kissing her made all the guilt and self-recrimination slide away. I was just happy to be allowed to play in her garden again. I got out of the bed, and put my suit back on, noticing that it would need a good cleaning and press before I wore it again. That would be alright though; it had gotten dirty and wrinkled for a good cause.


            I got dressed, pulled the blanket up to cover Liberty gave her one last kiss, and left the room to once again get back to my office. I went down the stairs and Bendis was just touching the door handle for me when Alice came around a corner and noticed me about to leave.


            “I thought you left like two hours ago,” she said, slipping her hands into her pockets and looking at me in that special way women have when they know what you’ve been up to.


            “I thought you worked for the DEA,” I commented back. “How come you’re on a kidnapping?”


            “I work for The Agency,” she said.


            “Central Intelligence?” I asked, raising my eye brows.


            “No,” she shook her head and smiled delightfully. “Just The Agency.”


            “Which agency?” I asked.


            “You could call it Department B or Section 7 or some string of letters like MFD or something, but really it’s just the Agency.” She said.


            “Oh,” I nodded. “That agency.”


            “Right” She said. “So now that we’ve established I have a pretty high security rating, what were you doing up there?”


            “I had to have a talk with Mrs. Freedom,” I said, trying not to say anything that would be considered a double entendre. “She and her daughter were very close, she suggested a few names I might try.”


            “Anything she didn’t give us?” Alice asked, knowing full well I was full of shit. “Not all of us can pump her for information like you can.”


            “Have you tried?” I asked, and would have stomped on my own foot if that wouldn’t have given the whole game away.


            “Should I go try now?” she asked.


            “I don’t think so,” I said. “She’s resting now, she said she’s tried.”


            “I see,” she smiled at me, and I felt like a book being read. “You care to share the list?”


            “I’m sure it’s the same one you have,” I said, “But if it comes that you don’t have these names, we can talk.”


            “We can’t talk now?” she asked.


            “I’ve got to get back to my office,” I said looking at my watch. “It’s going to be late by the time I get there as it is.”


            “Well, I’ll call you later about that list then.”


            “Yeah,” I nodded. “Later.”


            Bendis opened the door for me, and the heat from the devil’s own oven struck me dead in the face. I walked out into the heat and started down to my car, pulling out my cell phone to tell Debbie I was on my way back.




This is part nine of twenty-three, come back next week for part ten and every Thursday until we’re done to see what happens next. If you get lost, one of the tags here should help you. The Wonderland tag will take you to the story while the Jack Tag will take you to Part One of every story we post here.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Parfait of Death

I bought a pre-made gelatin parfait at the grocery store this weekend. You might know the kind. It’s strawberry, with chunks of jell-o folded into the fluffy mixed stuff. It’s sold in a sort of mold shaped container so that you can just take it right out and put it on the table and it’ll look nice at the funeral.

“Funeral?” I hear you asking.

Well, yes. I don’t think I’ve ever had this stuff before when it wasn’t connected with death. See, my mother’s side of the family particularly has always been the same. Funerals are almost always followed by a little potluck meal in the basement of the church or funeral home. Weddings were often potluck too, on both sides, now that I think of it. So I may have eaten one of these at a wedding and not remember properly. There was a lot of potluck Swedish meatballs at family gatherings. I can’t think of Swedish meatballs without having someone say “Oh right, Jack’s son.” to me.

The grocery store parfait though, that’s death. It’s always someone can just grab, since they’d forgotten to get anything for the meal before hand. Grocery store parfait is as connected to the ideas of funerals as is the idea of everyone lying their asses off pretending that they always liked recently departed and trying to calculate how much the stuff they were left could be sold for on the open market.

That’s grocery store parfait, and now that I eat it, I understand why I’ve never had it outside of this situation. It’s sort of bland. Not bad, but not really the light fluffy thing a gelatin parfait should be. Unless you were really pressed, you could make it better and cheaper in almost the same amount of time at home.

Also, strawberry Jell-O tastes of death.

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holmes? Is that You?

I read a couple of the Sherlock Holmes books back in the day. I always found them a bit stodgy. Partly I always had a cross between Basil Rathbone and either Douglas Wilmer or Geoffrey Whitehead, whichever I saw doing the role for the BBC that got re-run on A&E ad nauseam. Part of it of course was just Holmes’ habit of leaping to conclusions with very little evidence that could easily be explained another way but of course never is. Seriously, 90% of those deductions had other explanations. Of course the books were written from the standpoint of Holmes’ lover and chief fanboy Dr. Watson, so we could forgive him for pumping Holmes’ rep up a bit.


Saw the new trailer for the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie and I thought it looked kinda neat. I’m not sure, but I think some things have been edited to make it look like the scenes play out differently than they do. If you watched it, I’m thinking particularly of the scene with the lady stripping down and getting Holmes into bed. This of course couldn’t be what it looks like because Holmes is as gay as spring time, as bent as a boomerang, and as queer as… um… Liberace! Hey, fuck you! I don’t see you doing any better.

If they kept that aspect (and they should cause Holmes was NOT into chicks) then that sequence could have been edited to look like something it isn’t. The rest does show a much more rough and tumble Holmes than we’ve seen in the movies and TV, but I seem to remember hints of it in the books I read. Either way, it looks pretty good right now.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adapt this!

There is something that really annoys me when a great book is adapted into a movie. I’m, often annoyed by additions, sometimes annoyed by subtractions, but I really get ticked when scenes are completely flipped. An addition I can handle if it’s within the spirit of the original work, a subtraction I can understand, but to completely flip a scene around to be the opposite of what it was in the book gets my goat.

To give you an example of what I mean, let us consider just one scene in the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and it’s movie counterpart, Blade Runner. I pick just one scene because there are only about four scenes that the book and the movie share, and this one bugs me every time.

When Deckard goes to the Tyrell Corporation (Rosen in the book) to try and give the old Voit-Kampf test to a Nexus 6 the change is almost a total reversal between book and movie. This is in chapter 4and 5 of the book, you probably know where it is in the movie. In the book, there is an owl, in the movie there is an owl. The owl is sort of a big deal in the book, while in the movie it’s just worthy of a single passed comment. The reason it’s a big deal is that owls are extinct in the book, and they claim it’s a real owl. Deckard almost craps his pants over the idea of there still being a single owl in the world and even goes so far to ask them what they’d take for it.

In the movie, he sort of asks if it’s artificial and Rachel says that it is and that’s the end of that. If anything Eldon is smug and a little fascinated by how much effort it took for Deckard to figure it out. Narratively speaking, the scene is merely used as a tool for the audience to understand what a tough job Deckard has before him.

When Deckard gives the test to Rachel, in both versions, she fails. In the movie, Eldon tells Rachel to leave the room and admits her status to Deckard. In the book, they claim she’s socially retarded, but human. They then claim that this invalidates the Voit-Kampf test and that the police will have to abandon it. Then the two Rosens try to bribe Deckard with what might be the last living owl on earth. They don’t actually admit she’s an android until he traps them and at that moment, they revel that the owl is artificial too. The point of that section of the book is far more complicated. Beyond all the story elements, it also went into Dick’s personal views of how monolithic corporations operated.

In the book, Eldon is a manipulative, devious little bastard, ready to screw over anyone and anything to avoid hurting his bottom line. While in the movie, Eldon is shown to be a helpful and cooperative, if somewhat smug, geek who is more interested in showing off how cool his new toy is.

The spirit of the scene is almost completely flipped into something entirely different. It’s almost made into an opposite of the original idea.

Another one that really annoyed me is the Mouth of Sauron scene in Return of the King. Again, the book and movie are almost completely flipped. In the book, Aragorn tenses his hand into a fist and the Mouth of Sauron craps himself in fear. He screams that he’s an emissary and there and ancient laws and Aragorn explains that the Mouth is completely safe and he wouldn’t waste his time with killing him. In the movie, Aragorn just lops the guy’s head off in mid sentence. Pissed me off to no end, since that’s my favorite scene in my favorite book in the trilogy and it turned me completely against the movie where as before I had merely been annoyed by it. I almost didn’t bother watching the extended cut at all because I previewed that scene and it pissed me off so much.

There are, of course, a lot of other examples of this phenomenon. However, it is not my intent to list off each and every occasion that it happened. I was just pointing out that it bugs me and giving some examples. I’ve found it bothers me more when specific scenes have their meaning switched around rather than when the whole movie has its ideas or meaning switched. While that one scene in Blade Runner always bothers me, there really isn’t anything in the rest of the movie’s narrative (what little there is) that bugs me. I can skip by the deletion of the wife, the fake police station, the sheep, the whole Mercerism thing, none of that bothers me. None of the other chops or changes to the story bug me, just that one scene.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Things I don’t hate

Everything that has been said to me about Bone has turned out to be true. I got Out from Boneville and The Great Cow Race today for about $3 each at the local bookstore on super-duper “please get these things off our shelves and out of our inventory” discount today. Now I want to just go ahead and get the huge All in One volume.

So, if someone told you that Bone is really excellent and you should pick it up, believe that person, they know what they’re talking about.

May 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment