Single Panel Comic Strip

In front of an outdoor canvas tent, a trio of bears wearing party hats share an awkward moment facing three older gentlemen who are dressed in lederhosen and holding steins. We can see the tail end of a banner with the letters “…r Fest.”

One of the two bears behind the lead bear is leaning to its companion, making air quotes with its massive claws, murmuring “Watch him blame this on AutoCorrect.”


“What yall’s didn’t know was that the ACTUAL Mark o’ the Beast is a blue verified checkmark on ya Twitter. Uh huh. You live tweet from them FEMA camps! See how that goes for ya!”

Fragment: Left Behind

It sounds exciting when the scientists say they want to copy your brain to run a robot that they’re gonna send to another planet, but then the robot is out there in space having the adventures and you’re still on this dying meat planet, so whatevs. I don’t even care that they didn’t pick me.

Book Review

Last week, after a post-work dinner with colleagues, I split from the party because I spotted a book store across the street promising from its window “a vortex of books”.

The shop owner was a super nice guy, so I figured– even though I have enough books piled up to make it through a snowed-in Russia-in-the-1900s-style winter– I’d ask him to recommend some local writers.

Sure, my usual preference is for books where at some point, at least once, a gun will be pointed at someone. Maybe a pistol, maybe a laser gun.

Instead, I got a novella published locally by a guy who ran a successful zine for years and teaches at a local community college. It’s the story of a heavyset married guy who ends up on a cross-country trip with a flaky pregnant girl. He spends a lot of time thinking about his son, who he recently found out exists, because the girl he knocked up never told him that she kept the child. The tone is “mildly amusing” and “discover the wonders of life” in equal parts.

And it was fine, it was fine. It had a rough start.

I was almost thrown out right at the end of the first chapter, which includes this bit:

Sonny felt his belly groan and worried about his own bowels. It had been almost two days since his last movement. As he waited, he looked at the sky, afire in reds and yellows, and wondered how he’d managed to find himself on the Interstate 80 west of Toledo. He knew that stories always have antecedents, that stories are the sublimations of desires and regret.

Did he? Did he know that stories always have antecedents? Fuck off. That’s page 3. Who thinks like that? MFA writers, mostly. Before their peers tell them to knock it off. Is this main character a writer?

Nope. Guidance counselor.

Then, over the course of the rest of the 100 page book, I came across 5 typos. Easy stuff, like spelling “soldier” as “solider.” As if the tiny publishing press has no editors. Maybe they don’t.

I thought about writing on Goodreads about how this book was so-so, and lost points for sloppy editing, so my final thought was “this was sure a book” but then I thought… the world doesn’t need to know this. And authors read their reviews and it’s not his fault he was let down.

Life is wonderful. Literature is illuminating. Stories are magic.


When I visited Europe, I made the mistake of thinking the woods at night were a relaxing place to gather my thoughts. It was the mist-shrouded gloom of those woods that allowed a therza (as the locals call them) to sneak up and bite me on the leg.

Had I been more vigilant about vaccinations, at worst I would have had to have worn a bandage for awhile, but eventually I would heal up and forget about it.

But that was not the case. Because of my lack of planning, since that time, when the moon is full, I find myself transforming into a therza myself. I try to plan around it, to make sure I’m indoors and secured when it happens. I take a name-brand anti-therza medication. And, in case the worst happens, I have my legal documents on hand to guide my living relations.

You can picture me, in fact. Seated in a chair, grimacing. The moon peeking out from clouds. The only two things I need to get me through gripped in my sweating hands:

Were-therza will. Therza-Away™.

Criminal Associate


ME: I prefer to think of it as “very targeted, unobtrusive podcasting.”

CRIMINAL ASSOCIATE: Are you live-tweeting us murdering you, you snitch?

ME: No. [drops phone in wet concrete around feet]

TRIVIA (continuity error): Character “ME” drops phone but without phone, tweet wouldn’t exist. [ Like | Report ]



Swedish action hero Dolph Lundgren walks into the human-sized entrance on the side of a large machine. There’s a rumbling sound, then a dolphin flops out the egress on the opposite side of the machine.

Camera zooms in on a label on the side of the machine that reads: De-Lundgr-Izer

The Usual Savant

a photo of an apple, a mug reading Donut Savant, and some sunglasses
Product Placement

On the way into work this morning, I picked up some donuts from Donut Savant for my colleagues in the office. I also decided to treat myself to a mug, because I liked the shape and heft of it and the brand had won me over with their consistently amazing deep-fried and sugared product line.

While preparing some coffee in the office’s kitchen, a work colleague asked if I was the one who had brought in the donuts. “That depends,” I said, “on your feelings about the donuts. If you’re happy they’re here, then yes, I take credit. If you’re going to say ‘Oh, I’m on a diet, why did you bring them’ then I don’t know anything about it.”

And then, I attempted a joke that completely failed.

I turned to my colleague, mug in hand, and said “Of course, there’s always the chance you could Keyser Soze out the situation” and gave the mug a little waggle.

A small reference to the conclusion of The Usual Suspects. You understand.

I didn’t see any comprehension of the joke. Maybe he didn’t see the mug. I waggled it again. Nothing. The conversation moves on.

Hours pass.

And I realize that my new mug has a logo only on the side that was facing me. So he’d have no idea why I was waggling my mug and indicating that a proper detective might be able to figure out who brought the donuts.

I explained this to him later, as I was interested in the joke’s failure and my eventually solving of the reason why it failed, and he told me that it wouldn’t have helped, as his brain was refusing to serve up who “Keyser Soze” was, and he was trying to recall if he knew a politician by that name, so…

Failure after failure.

I dunno. I found it interesting.

A Character: Inland Sea God

“We wership sea in my village. Tozz all enemies into sea. Wir inland, so ‘sea’ is big mudpit. God of sea loves mud. Everyone die in mud.”

I don’t always know what these characters are talking about. Sometimes I just start typing.

welcome to canada (dream journal)

Last night’s dream:

I was visiting Canada for the first time and found that its streets were peopled with roaming packs of adherents to various world faiths. Lots of roaming packs of men wearing robes, bearded, and with sect-appropriate headwear.

Stopped by the stand of a street-side baker whose sloped piles of sweet confections caught my eye. The baker was dressed like a Catholic priest and I found, to my dismay, that by purchasing a few rolls, I had also opted in to be struck several times by a flogging whip to cleanse me of my sins as well. It was some sort of combo deal, I guess.

I also got a cell phone call reminding me to watch a local cable access show called Two for Toonie, where I could see local Canadian bands perform, two per episode. The reception would be staticky, but it’s important to take in the local culture while abroad.