Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nonsequitor Explorers 2

Their bus was missing! Someone of short-mindedness had the audacity to steal their thoroughbred. Robbie was devastated. He loved driving that bus.

“Aw, it’s okay, Robbie,” Rocky consoled, “We’ll be able to find it at some point. In the mea...”
Rocky had only glanced away from his partner for the briefest of seconds but it was enough that Robbie disappeared.

Priscilla, the female member of this team, called out to Rocky upon finding their driver around the corner in a sky blue convertible with an appropriate name. Robbie was jamming the person’s mp3 headphones into his ears and yelled “Vrooom!!!” in his rather brusk, harsh tone and the car miraculously sped forward.

“Just our luck,” Priscilla muttered, “he found something that understands him.”

“It doesn’t just understand him, it LIKES him,” Rocky noted, “Hop in before it changes its mind!”

Burly man and proper woman entered the car in each their own way (by jumping in over the side and using the door respectively). Once Prissy was belted in Robbie yelled “Vroom Vroom!!” and they sped off.

The convertible was ultra sensitive to Robbie’s desires. He could look right and the car would turn right, Robbie could close his eyes and the car would stop for a red light. When two very attractive young ladies passed going the other way on the sidewalk, the convertible spun around 180 degrees and hopped the curb, reared up on its back tires and strutted up alongside them, but Priscilla glared at Robbie and the car slumped down on all fours again and slowly turned back onto the road.

Our three adventurers searched every bus terminal they could find, without turning up Robbie’s pooch coach. They’d driven around all day cruising like movie stars and evening looked like the cover of that Californian hotel album everybody seemed to have back in the old days.

“Yes, Robbie, that misfit is a glimmering knight,” Rocky confirmed as they passed a person in a shining suit of armor. Then just beyond were scantily and not so scantily clad men and women in recognizable fantasy costumes.

“Looks like some sort of convention,” Priscilla remarked as they pulled up to the valet outside of the hotel entrance. Once the three were out of the car, Robbie said “Vroom Vroom!” and the convertible sped off before the valet could get in. With the headphones still dangling from his ears, Robbie jumped up and down laughing with glee and skipped into the convention. Though she loathed to, Priscilla looked at Rocky (cuz she couldn’t stand him) and asked:

“Do we dare follow him in?”
“Alright!! Sexy Ghostbuster!! Where’s your patch?” an over zealous conventioneer gawked sidling up to Pris.
“On my arm.”
“Where? I don’t see it,” the OZC said, leaning to look for the slashed apparition. Prissy rolled up her sleeve and showed OZC a nicotine patch and apologized, emotionally crushing the kid.

“I didn’t know you smoked,” Rocky commented trying to make small talk.
“I don’t. I wear the patch,” she deadpanned and stared at him.

For twelve seconds.

Until she decided to continue looking for Robbie in silence.

Rocky felt like an idiot, and he needed to use the Men’s room. Once inside, he lost his composure and started bashing his thick head into the wall above the urinal, caving in the drywall and making the hotel manager (who happened to be in the same Men’s room at the same time) angry. When confronted, Rocky grabbed the manager by his belt and collar and threw him out of the bathroom.

Now dishonored in front of a convention full of patrons in his own hotel franchise location, the hotel manager called the police to come arrest Rocky for his rage of destruction. Panicking, Rocky grabbed Priscilla and Robbie and dragged them into the costume contest where he mugged three contestants for their outfits...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Consider This Your Warning

Two years ago I tired of the three adventurers form Hartsdale (you'll be happy to learn that the contingency to change the town's name failed to garner enough support so the town keeps it's name), and I figured I'd likely never write about them again. To this day, that holds true (granted, I did repost their exploits, but have not written anything beyond the one-shot which will likely not repost anytime soon. There's no point in doing so at the moment).

However, revisiting their exploits (in addition to sheer inspiration upon waking up not long ago) you have nothing to fret over. In other words:

Second upon a time three intrepid explorers were properly dressed for what they were about to do. Each wore a beige jumpsuit, a little baggy looking, but still figure flattering; finished off by black leather belts and heavy lug soled calf high boots.

Robert, Priscilla, and Rockefeller – Rocky (cuz it’s easier to type and he happens to like HIS nickname) stand looking like unarmed Ghostbusters on the polished, smooth concrete floor of the otherwise empty building, save for the bus with the dog pictures on it which once belonged to a popular cross country bus line. The three clomped their way to the awaiting vehicle. Rocky stopped at the open door.

“Ladies first, Pris,” he smiled trying to offend her. Of course, she really was prissy, so she just smiled and boarded. Rocky stole an admiring glance at her derriere and swung on board once Robert had.

“Okay, Bobby boy, where to?” Rocky asked once Robert had made himself comfortable in the driver’s seat. Robert couldn’t talk that well, so he made a bizarre series of hand gestures which neither of his teammates could ever dream of deciphering, and he tore off out of the hangar like the Magical Mystery Bus. Robbie (as we’ll now refer to him) made a sudden gesture with his arms like he was protecting his face from pending impact and even vocalized a whine or moan of some sort which caught the other two’s attention. The bus swerved a little bit without Robbie holding the wheel.

“Robbie, this isn’t ‘Speed’ and there’s not a bomb on board so you can relax, buddy,” Rocky called forward from his seat across the aisle from Prissy. She sat with her feet together and her hands in her lap. Rock raised an eyebrow at his thought of pranking her, but relegated that to the back of his mind.

The sunset was tropical, like those photos of Californian ones, which go from purple to orange top to bottom, and they were driving into it. Priscilla eased a demure set of headphones over her ears and after the lull of a cushy ride, soothing music and the monotony of nightfall, had fallen asleep. Noticing Prissy’s eyes were closed, he quietly made his way to the floor at her feet and stealthily undid the bows of her boot laces, intertwining the round cotton/polyester strings into an utter mess capped off with all kinds of knots that would keep a genius busy for hours trying to correct.

Their ride came to an abrupt stop halfway across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, causing Rocky’s dense skull to smack against a seat mount. He picked himself up just as Robbie was immediately returning from a pit stop (it was THAT instantaneous).

“All set already?” Rocky asked. Robbie nodded yes and was closing the door again, but Rocky had moved alongside and stopped him. Priscilla’s eyes opened at the cooler night air wafting in through the open door and the suggestion of vision dictated her desire to also visit a restroom.

“Give us time to go too, Robbie,” Rocky instructed and dismounted before knowing Priscilla was awake. He would have enjoyed watching her struggle to walk with her boots tied together. Instead he witnessed first hand how strong she could be when she punched him as they passed in the parking lot; she going in laces flailing and loose so very unladylike, and he on his way back to the bus feeling really good until her punch.

Once Pris had clomped back onto the bus and seated herself, Robbie hit the gas and they were off like a spit ball out of a straw, leaving dual trails of rubber in their wake. Their highway coach’s tail end swung to the left out from behind it but under Robbie’s skillful racing appendages, came back into line obediently.

“Hey, this isn’t ‘Spice World’ so cool it,” Rock-head instructed to his teammate at the helm of the highway vessel.

As the next morning awoke, the three jumpsuited adventurers dismounted their rubber clad liner into the chilly pastel Spring air amidst yawns and stretches. Rocky leaned to his left to glare at Priscilla’s figure as she bent at the waist to finally retie her heavy boots. She caught him though in her peripherals.

“You’re a jerk,” she informed facing him.
“What?” Rocky defended playing innocent. Robbie made an M with his arms like he was dancing to the Village People. It was a bizarre sight as he was in direct line with the golden arches of a famous fast food location. It was after all where he wanted to eat breakfast. While it looked empty and normal from the outside, once they walked inside however it was more like a disco club. A driving disco beat loop lulled the hundreds of patrons into a trance like state of keeping the beat with a part of their body (some their feet, some hands or fingers, some their heads, some their tails).

Their tails realized Pris as she slowly walked along the full to capacity bar rail. All kinds of lights and lasers in all the colors of the spectrum danced about the establishment and reflected off of mirror balls which spun at different rpms and really disoriented her and Rocky. Robbie whipped around the far corner of the bar making a ‘yummy’ gesture with his hand on his stomach and headed back for the bus. The other two followed knowing they walked into a bizarre adventure they weren’t ready for and exited the Disco Arches only to find the real adventure had begun outside...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Ride Home

One of the pieces I've looked forward to sharing with you here at Fleeting History is a fictional story I wrote for a class in my Junior year at Susquehanna University. While I had initially enrolled in Advanced Composition as part of the required core curriculum, the class was really enjoyable with a great professor and my experience there (coupled with an awesome advisor and a desire to have a Minor) inspired me to make the effort in Senior year to Minor in Writing.

Let's go back fifteen years, to February 28, 1995, in fact, for the second essay assignment, lovingly hand transcribed on February 22, 2010 (as I've long ago lost the disc with the file and don't feel like scanning the paper copy). Keep in mind as you read this that GPS wasn't commercially available to the public, let alone talking ones, but that didn't stop me ;-) It's like the hover car, someday it'll happen, and talking GPS is readily available nowadays. (now if only I could get a hover car, jet pack or the ability to fly...) Anyhow, here's:

"The Ride Home"

Five hours is a very long time to spend in a car, especially if it's a compact automobile. My trips to and from college weren't as long as they used to be. I believe it takes less time now. After all, I must have made the trip at least nineteen times, like a nomad with wanderlust that just keeps walking in a perpetual wide circle. They once seemed at least nine hours long, but now it's almost as if it only takes three to make the trip (though the clock never lies).

Well, there goes Lung Fung Restaurant -- we must definitely be headed somewhere -- I never pass this way often. The in car compass says, "We're heading North."

"Cool," I think, "this compass can talk. But can it hold an intelligent conversation?"

The river appears on our right and way off in the distance is the quaint mecca of Sunbury. Boy, do I really feel privileged...passing this way must mean they're taking me someplace important. Why else would the person driving bother to navigate the maze of streets of Northumberland? A lack of schoolwork probably.

"We're headed North," the compass says again. Smart compass; and it's oriented too. The other branch of the Susquehanna River spreads itself to our right, as if jealous of the first branch having already met us.

Onto the Superhighways of America for a thrilling ride through the Commonwealth. After riding I-80, I now know how a pinball must feel after a really intense multi-ball session. Masochism aside, we turn onto the second superhighway. This one I recognize because it has a red S painted on its chest. Kryptonite has no effect on this roadway, tough, because the Pennsylvania State Department of Transportation have just finished making it invincible.

"We're headed North," the compass spits out again.
"Obviously," I figure, "it's incapable of an intelligent conversation."

To the left and in the valley are the sprawling ruins of the anthracite empire of Wilkes-Barre and just up the road is its partner in crime, Scranton.

If Interstate 81 is the Superman of highways, than I-84 must be the Boy Wonder. It wonders if any cars will ever ride upon it.

"And now I know why," I think out loud, scaring everyone else in the car.
"What?" they all ask. They never expect me to speak; I'm always secluded behind my headphones.

"We're headed East," the compass drones.

The road looks like something a seven-month old would draw on an Etch-A-Sketch; up, down, curly-Q...

There's a car -- oh, sorry, that was just a hallucination.

Way off in the distance is the monument that marks the corner of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey; Robin swings into Port Jervis and we stop for a quick snack.

The section between the Delaware River and the Hudson River is like a bad acid trip; the Dead Tree Forest, The Permanent Detours, the Flying Debris...

"We're STILL headed East," the compass is really getting ticked-off now. It reminds me of a manager I once had when I worked at a local fast-food joint in High School.

I snap to attention for an instant upon reaching the Shop Rite warehouse in Middletown, New York.

"Oh, you and your trains, have you seen one yet?"

"No," a very long pause and then a resounding, "but I still might."

"I swear, those tracks must be abandoned by now."

"Perish the thought," the compass says sarcastically. Then it changes its attitude and breaks into Jerry Read's "Eastbound and Down" from one of the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies. This compass isn't as dull as I'd first thought.

Seventy-five cents in tolls and three-fifty in tips later, we're approaching the Connecticut border. Captain Kirk beams into the economy car we're in...cramping us even tighter.

"Warp factor two, Mr. Sulu," he manages to squeeze out. There's a loud whooshing noise and the windows rattle.

"No -- US -- THE CAR -- oh, never mind. Scotty, Beam me up," and he disappears.

We cross the border at Saw Mill Road. It's not long now, only twenty seven more exits to go until Cheshire, then an infinite number of traffic lights and backroads until I'm home.

"You can't go home again," the song goes. I like to argue.

We pull into the garage and enter the house. It's just as I'd left it -- plenty of leftovers in the fridge.


I'm going to revisit this project, freshen it up, fix some bad grammar, and present it more along the lines of my original intent, which I was incapable of producing back then, but think I know how to do now. It's going to change the tone of the piece quite a bit but it'll still be a fun journey to make.

Sadly, in the fifteen years since this was written, Lung Fung fell to progress. The toll has increased to one dollar. I learned you really can't metaphorically go home again, although you literally can and do after you've been out -- I digress. Those train tracks are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. If it weren't for commuters, there'd only be the one freight train a day. (sigh) Permanent Detours and Flying Debris -- can't recall the circumstances, lol, and are obviously no longer a factor (at least in that section of the ride).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When at Last I Find Our Way Out of Here or Ice Cream Fixes Everything

This was originally posted around March or April 2008. The secondary title is absolute truth in my own experience. Whenever my head is messed up in emotional turmoil (such as the night before my marriage and many many subsequent post divorce ones) a bowl of ice cream, or a hot fudge sundae put me in a better place.

Now on with the story!!

After much gurgling, suffocating, and choking, Steve had finished navigating the gelatinous zone into which he had stepped ignorantly into at the end of the last installment. He coughed out some orange gelatin of a popular name brand and set out along a river of what seemed like chocolate flowing rather rapidly from right to left. In the distance he could hear what sounded to him like chanting, or workmen singing. At this distance it was difficult for his exhausted brain to comprehend. Then a narrating voice carried above the singing but still faint under the rush of creamy milk chocolate (I'm really hoping that the references I'm in the midst of making are of popularity enough to be so super well known and that by not naming names I can avoid licensing fees, fingers crossed).

"And there's only one other place in the whole world, heck, the galaxy, that stirs its chocolate by waterfall and that's our first factory which is so well known..." and the narrator's voice trailed away. Steve figured he had just heard a tour of the factory pass by. He decided to follow the sweet gooey goodness of the river and quickly found himself at the top of a chocolate waterfall that rivalled Niagara in Steve's mind. From up here he could see the tour just disappear from his view at the far end of the room where they passed through an opening in the wall headed for another area of the tour. As Steve scanned the area, he noticed what everyone has come to expect out of a fantastic candy and chocolate making factory, edible Easter grass and all. He racked his mind to remember the legends of six or so children on a tour of a place such as this and was very careful to prevent any similar fate befalling upon him.

It took him some time to climb down from the top of the chocolate falls and Steve decided through some semi-illogical reasoning that like ancient cities, he could find civilization along the banks. He wasn't totally wrong per se, but the little singing people of funny skin colors (and they ranged across the spectrum) seemed more happy to laugh at him instead of assist him. But soon enough, once he too finally entered the next room was grabbed up under the arms and whisked as best as the little ones could carry him (with his toes dragging along the factory floor) to the holding area where Jacob was sitting, gnawing on a licorice twirl like a cigarette (because of state and federal non-smoking laws, he wasn't allowed to enjoy any type of tobacco product while indoors-especially since this was a sterile food producing environment). For the first time in as long as he could remember, Jacob voluntarily swallowed his licorice juice and looked up when he saw Steve's shadow.

"Oh man am I glad to see you," Jacob said emotionally, "she fell. She fell far and hard, I don't think it's good at all." And Jacob began weeping a bit. Even he, with his tough guy bravado, couldn't believe after all the three of them had been through together, that this could very well be the adventure that ended it all. Steve of course was confused. After getting Jacob to get all of the broken pieces of his explanation told and assembled into chronological order Steve too began to think things looked pretty bad.

But this was no ordinary chocolate and candy factory. It truly was a magical place. Steve and Jacob had been in a waiting room reminiscent of a dingy linoleumed empty but for some chairs room for at least a couple of hours when a man in a white lab coat entered with a shower cap on his head and a surgical mask pulled down under his chin. The two men perked up.

"How is it? Will she be okay?" Steve asked excitedly.

"I suppose so, it took some time for us to get all that caramel in her without blowing a seam...but it looks like the boys got a handle on that now and she should hit the shelves in about a month." Mr. Lab Coat proceeded to the half-empty vending machine (ironic no?), inserted his coins and chose a package of the competition's cookies. Steve and Jacob shared a look that was diverted to the door because a man who was dressed in a top hat and purple velour three piece suit with a white carnation in the breast pocket walked in and grabbed the boys around their shoulders and gave them a big bear hug.

"Congratulations, men," he told them squeezing like they were an icing anointment utensil over in the muffin division, "Your friend his going to be just fine. She took a pretty good fall, but we got her awake, gave her a bowl of her favorite ice cream, and she's happily resting comfortably. Follow me!"

Sue was just finishing her bowl of ice cream and a big smile came to her face when the three men walked in. She was very happy to see them. The following day the three friends departed the chocolate wonderland and got a ride home in an old yellow cab from 1950s New York City but with some very bizarre dents and modifications which the cab driver was all too willing to tell them about. It started making their heads spin to understand it all and when they thought this cab might have been a bad idea (even Steve) they left the earth's surface and headed for space, making jumping out a non-option.

the end

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"I can't believe you got us submerged in a giant glass of soda!"

Yes, it's true, instead of being diced into tiny human bits by the ginormous soccer net, Susan and Jacob were now paddling to stay afloat in this brewery sized vat of cola, while large carbonation bubbles blasted them with the sticky liquid and threatened to drown them.

Neither one could remember who actually said the above phrase as both had been thinking it, but it was out there, unlike the two of them, who kept paddling and spitting the mouthfulls of bubbly goodness out of their mouths to keep from choking, but to no avail. Each looked a mess with saliva, etc, oozing down their chins with more flowing with each hacking exhale.

What a mess thought Sue, but she somehow found the stamina to work her way over to the edge of the open topped vat and after a few brain refreshing breaths at a semi-relaxing perch at the edge of the vat she noticed dozens of foreign tourists staring at her and Jacob from the observation platform that ringed the vat like a walkway at an aquarium. Susan now knew how those fish felt. She wasn't too happy.

Seemingly long moments went by until she had gathered the last of her strength and climbed over the edge of the vat not caring if the fall would kill her or not, this drenching was the last she would ever take, feelings for Steve, adventure, or not. It took all of her might to break free from the syrupy viscosity of the cola vat, like climbing out of very cold and thick molasses. She let herself flop the fifty or so feet down the stainless skin of the vat to a lifeless thud against the floor, evoking a gasp from the gathered tourists. Jacob by then had worked his way around the rim of the cola vat and found a coolant hose he could slide down like a fireman's pole and he did so. He had to crawl across the floor to where Susan lie as he had no energy to stand and walk. He too collapsed, on top of the motionless Susan, when he reached her. Jacob, too, was spent...

Steve, on the other hand, was coming to in a very different place and swore, which was very unlike him. In fact, he was so at his wit's end he swore a number of times making a run-on sentence from them all and one could say he created a few new ones.

I feel like an abused soccer ball he thought next. And rightly so because he too had been kicked about by the gold medal winning team of Fuzz Freaks. I need a pill the size of...

and there it was. Steve looked up and was standing in the shadow of a pain relieving pill the size of a hot air balloon. He stood transfixed as it drew closer and closer to him, and as it did he could see that it had a basket hanging from it just like a hot air balloon would, and as it neared even still he could see a man captaining this huge narcotic and Steve couldn't help but smile. Steve smiled the broadest most uncontrolable smile he'd ever had in his entire life, bigger than Christmastime when he was a child. Not knowing what to expect and with nothing better to do, Steve stuck out his thumb like a hitchhiker as the behemoth pill loomed overhead.

"Ahoy down there!" called the pill captain, "Climb on up!"

Steve grabbed hold of the rope and climbed up the incredibly long length to the flight deck.

"Sorry 'bout the hassle," the Captain said, "she's just too big to fly any lower. Regulations ban me and even if I were allowed a lower altitude, once she's below the wind she manuevers like lead." The Captain was dressed like a weekend status symbol yacht captain, like the stereotype image you might have in your head with the Captain's hat, navy Izod crew-neck shirt, white shorts, and white top-siders. Steve felt at ease around the Captain, as the pilot exhuded an aura of genuine goodness, because the Captain was such a good person. Entranced by sensory near-overload Steve could only nod in acknowledgement of what the Captain was saying. That is until Steve heard "Where to?"

"I would like to find my friends."

"Ah yes, Jacob and Susan," because the Captain knew Susan was her birthname, not that frou frou Alexandria crap. (The Captain knows all and sees all. Infact, when Santa Claus drops the ball and loses track of who's naughty and nice, he calls the Captain for help. You could say the Captain is a metaphor for a certain deity but I'll leave that up to you. I'm just a bad writer....;-) "Your friends do need help."

With that the Captain piloted the jumbo pill across fruited plains and between purple mountain majesties, conjuring refreshing mists as they passed over waterfalls and they stayed dry as they sliced through the worst thunderstorm Steve had ever seen, let alone be in the thralls of.

"This is pretty amazing!" Steve exclaimed during the height of the storm, "You really know your ship well."

"It's nothing really," the Captain explained as he effortlessly piloted through the melee, hardly turning the ship's wheel, "this girl handles like a sports car. Nothing like an ark..." Steve was about to put two and two together when all of a sudden they came out of the storm and were hovering over what looked to Steve like Munchkinland from that Judy Garland movie.

"You know what to do," the Captain called down to him once Steve had been deposited on the brickway.

"Aye aye!" Steve saluted as he watched the jumbo pill-liner fly into the sunset, off to help someone else. A quartet of Penguins hobbled past him and the presumed leader faced Steve and warned that the human hadn't seen them, all the while without breaking step. They soon disappeared over the horizon into the setting sun. Then, as the orange sun was disected by said horizon, Steve had an epiphany. He clicked his heels together and said aloud "There's no place like where my friends are." Which sadly was quite a mouthful and a pain to type, but it was necessary if I were to get them, I mean if they were ever to join each other again. And yes, Steve clicked his heels and repeated the lackluster phrase a number of times as in the movie until the air in front of him began to ripple. Recognizing the phenomenon from past experience, Steve wasted no time jumping in without hesitation. Boy was he wrong!!

Well, as I said, this is a trilogy -- and there's a one-shot -- so don't fret about them. They're all like bad pennies, really.

No...Really. They are.

Again, originally posted 22 months before February 16, 2010 so that would make it April 2008, which is about right kinda I guess...

There was originally a photo to go with this (well it inspired the chapter anyway...and it might have looked good) but an anonymous person who is not me deleted it

Til next time!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Fuzz Freak

The Fuzz Freak

Once again we follow along, without their knowledge, Steve, Jacob, and Susan/Alexandria as they once again stumble (and she does stumble) into yet another bizarre adventure broken into their third (and currently last) trilogy (there's a one-shot also yet to be re-told). Phew, here we go. Originally posted February 2008:

You guessed it!! Another bad story starring our three hapless heroes and a smoke bush as the Fuzz Freak...

"Remind me again why I'm hiking in this God-foresaken field on an unseasonably hot April day?" Alexandria sneered (you'll recall her birth name is Susan, Sue for short, Susie if you want your butt kicked -- but she prefers Alexandria, and the name fits her attitude right now. Think Lower High Class New Yorker without the Brooklyn accent).

"Because I practically begged you..." Steve started to say before Miss Obnoxio interrupted.

"I didn't want to hear your grovelling," she corrected him.

"But you love the adventure," Steve turned to face her with a mischevious gleam in his eyes. Deep down, Sue/Alexandria did get some kind of twisted pleasure out of their otherworldly experiences (see the Dark Hole and Hyperspace Portal blogs for more details and poor story telling). Steve faced forward again and led Sue and Jacob like a

husky dog racing in the Idarod thought Sue, she felt something down at her left foot and noticed her hiking boot lace had untied. She knelt in the scrub to fix it and Jacob tromped past spitting tobacco juice.

"Better not open some kind of rift there, Blondie, or we're all in trouble again," Jacob chided sarcastically with an evil laugh as a dribble of stained saliva oozed down his chin.

"You're a jerk," replied Sue (because three letters are easier to type than the gazillion of Alexandria. Besides, who really wants to be named after an Ancient City? Oh yeah, she does...

So they continue walking/hiking through the semi-barren acreage that is their current setting when Sue feels a brush against her back. Thinking it's only a twig that caught her shirt she doesn't pay it any mind, until she sees it dart out of the corner of her eye and past them to block their way. Steve is ignorant at first and starts to walk around the rather large puffy bush in front of him, but just as he steps to the right of the thing he hears the other two yelling at him, Jacob's chin becoming even redder with juice.

The bushy looking Fuzz Freak makes a slight poke at Steve, and though he doesn't feel a breeze, thinks that's what is making the "branches" of the bush move, so Steve pushes the puffiness to the side as he continues past and the other two can only watch as Steve is thrown exaggeratingly high and far across the landscape, looking not unlike one of those odd camera angles on the expensive commercials shown during the end all NFL Championship Game Broadcast between the AFC and NFC, and superfast too.* Sue and Jacob were too stunned to blink, but it didn't matter because it happened and ended quicker than they could have blinked. The bully bush seemed to taunt them (not a metaphor -- but it sure could be ;-) ) the two remaining upright could almost hear that movie character in their heads

"You wanna piece of me? Huh? Huh? Do Ya?" and it seemed to be schizophrenic too, "I fly like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee!!" Well, this made Jacob and Sue blink quite frequently like those cartoon characters that can't believe what they're seeing, and they rubbed their eyes because the initial not-blinking allowed the arrid air of their setting to dehydrate their eyes and now they burned a bit from dryness. Before they could regroup and really see what this bush was it was right in their faces and without a sound threw them around like Tumbleweeds.

This is why I hate hiking with you guys Sue thought My clothes always wind up getting ruined. The Fuzz Freak was relentless and the two Tumbleweed humans could feel more and more bruises and sprains. Their batterings became more frequent and it seemed to come from different angles.

Are we the ball in a soccer game? thought Jacob as he involuntarily swallowed his juice in the melee. As if he was heard the blur of vision in front of Sue cleared for a split second, she and Jacob felt a hard kicking sensation on their buttocks and still in that split second Sue could see they were headed right for a large white net not unlike a super sized soccer net.

"AAAAAAAgggghhhhh" she yelled and just as she expected to be strained into human goulash through the gigantic soccer net...

we pause for the end of this entry Ooh, I'm so terrible, lol. Actually that's the original cliffhanger. Look for it if you dare (if you can even find it).
But as you already know, it's a trilogy so they obviously must survive it. Ah yes, the author's asterisk note:
*While watching "Tropic Thunder" a similar effect is portrayed twice. The first with the Panda head hat and secondly with the little boy at the bridge on their way out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Indian Leap

Yantic Falls-Indian Leap

Here's the whole reason I've interrupted the saga of those three dimensional hopping, uh, I mean, explorers Steve, Jacob and Miss indecision (okay Sue/Alexandria. Maybe she'll get replaced with someone who's name is easier to type).

While out with a friend of mine trying to get pictures of a train, he guided me into a neatly tucked away place with quite the legend behind it:

This place really struck a chord with me; an awesome deep gorge with quite the ice formation (it reminded me of Letchworth State Park near Portageville, NY seen here:
Letchworth State Park Upper Falls morning
Of course photos of either place just don't do them justice.

But there's more to Indian Leap than a movie starring Daniel Day Lewis ("Last of the Mohicans" It's a stretch, but the writer at CT Museum Quest made the connection, I'm just repeating it). There's that awesome gorge I mentioned, but also, as a modeller, there's wrought iron railings, rock cuts, bridges, a tunnel... it's visually interesting and full of subtle details. And it's all woven together in an air of nostalgia because it's been relatively untouched by progress nestled in a tiny corner of a small New England town. I can't wait until Autumn to see what it's like then.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Look! X-Men"

Well, now I've established I'm also a model railroader it's time to relate the story for which I brought that up in the first place.

Of course I've been a big X-Men fan since that fateful June 1994 day in Scranton, PA, and I've always had plans of painting up HO gauge figures in X-Men uniforms for my modular piece which joins fellow club members' pieces at local train show displays. Following the eight or so year hiatus I took from regularly reading X-Men I became quite interested again in early 2009 (this is all recap).

Back in my college days my friends all convinced me I should paint up the game piece figures which went along with Pressman's game X-Men Xavier Institute for Higher Learning Under Siege. Well, I started soon after graduating college, but then other interests came before finishing painting. In early Spring of 2009 I dug the game out of the closet and finished painting the pieces, even making good on painting up tiny HO gauge figures as I'd wanted to all those years ago.
First Outing

The first four were finished in time for our April showing. I chose Jean Grey and Rogue as they're favorites of mine, Cyclops because he's one of the most recognizable and Iceman because he didn't require any paint! (though a couple young attendees thought Mr. Drake was supposed to be some kind of statue, hrumph!) It was a challenge I gave myself to see how many train shows it would take before somebody recognized my X-people. As it turned out the answer is two:

In July 2009 the modular model train club I'm a member of was honored with an invitation to participate in the National Model Railroad Association's National Convention, held close to home that year in Hartford, CT, (the NMRA National Convention is held in different cities every year).

Look! X-Men
While, ironically, reading "X-Men The Return" by Chris Roberson (which I finally got my hands on a few years after printing) a young man and woman walk up to our layout together and are looking over each four foot wide module. As they came upon the module I created the young woman says, "Look! X-Men" It was a great feeling, until one of my fellow club members asked where Wolverine was. Hmm...

Of course, what's the use of having a team of X-Men if the cigar store Indian isn't ever going to be possesed? No, they needed a few villains to battle. So by the club's next show in October, I added the Blob and Mystique.
As you can see, Wolvie's part of the team now, with Shadowcat (in her two-tone blue. This dates the time period but was done because in that size she needed to be different than Cyclops lest they look identical, and I like her two-tone outfit).

Wolvie needed a bit of modifications to achieve. I started with a night watchman's figure (the flashlight in his hand when painted could resemble an adamantium claw) so I filed down the center of the guard's cap so I could get the head piece points. The bowed stance also lends to the credibility of the character. He took a bit of work and foul language to complete but the more I kept at it, the more it was worth it.

But six against two (and a circus's knife thrower which I guess makes three if I'm desperate -- he did have to stand in for Mystique in November when the shapeshifter's base broke off) are unfair odds for the villains. Future additions in the shop now are Psylocke (as previously mentioned -- because she's simple to do and it was a middle of the night inspiration last week), Magneto -- for the same reason I did can't have X-Men without him, really. Juggernaut, again because a construction figure easily becomes one, and probably Avalanche, for the same reason as Juggy. I'd like to try and do a Mr. Sinister and a Sabretooth in the future.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If She's Wearing Anything like Michelle Pfiffer's Portrayal...*

Allow me a manly moment to explain, please.

As you know, I like trains. I enjoy getting photographs of them (evidenced obviously by the slideshow app and Flickrstream link). In addition to the photography side of my hobby I also have HO guage model trains. My modelling interest lays within making in miniature that which I see and/or photograph out there on the rails and in the world. Of course, as it's my hobby I've added a bit of whimsy also (well some would call it whimsy I call it a natural extension of my hobby by combining two big interests I have). Long story short, I have tiny X-Men figures on my model railroad.

While painting up a Psylocke figure, I went to double check an image to ensure my relatively accurate representation of the character. Winding up on Comicvine, I noticed a blog entry about dating a superhero chick and immediately thought of the motion picture "My Super ex-Girlfriend"(which I enjoyed, natch). So, another long story abridged; I took Comicvine's "Date a Superhero Chick" quiz with a 100% match to:

Me-ow! Catwoman will scratch your itch. She's good with a whip and has recently become a MILF!

Sadly, the copy and paste seems to have buggered up the code or whatever other technical jargon, so I edited all that mumbo-jumbo out of the post and only kept the important parts. (I almost feel like a trader, but hey, there've been times when the Distinguished Competition and Mighty Marvel have joined together without the world ending...)

I'm happy to report an 88% compatibility with Rachel Summers (unfortunately the highest ranking Marvel lady on the list) however, knowing what I know from real life, if she's anything like my ex-wife -- and from what I've read I'm leaning towards YES -- then that fictional relationship would never work out.

*or this:

(hey after all I'm a guy! If you were to look up sexually repressed comic fan boy geek in your dictionary I'm a 100% match for that too)