October 10 2018

Random Story 2018-10-10

Deric closed his eyes and tried focusing on the instrumental trance music flowing through his headphones into his mind. It was from his favorite playlist and had an upbeat cadence that made him feel invigorated. The particular song he was listening to was a remix from one of his favorite songs in the mid-80’s.

He felt old.

Knowing he needed to get his thoughts down and into his google doc he cracked his eyes open again. He could have typed blindfolded but didn’t want to deplete the world’s reserves of squiggly red lines. It had nothing to do with humility, he just wasn’t that selfish of a person.

The page had the beginnings of a paragraph. His pinky wandered towards the backspace key and some part of his brain caught himself as it recalled that every semblance of a word counted towards his NaNoWriMo totals.

He cursed himself for even attempting this hedonistic project. He wasn’t an author. Who was he kidding? Apparently himself, though not successfully.

He sighed.

He looked up and around the table at those also sitting around the table. To his right sat Gennifer, a middle-aged woman who smelled of cats.

Continuing around on her right was Samual, a retired truck driver who used to run hauls for WallSmart. He preferred that people address him by Sam.

Then came Alexa. She had been coming to the writing group for about six months now and Deric could swear that everything in the woman’s wardrobe was some shade of pink.

Next was Alice, a retired truckstop diner waitress. She was always pleasurable but also knew how to shut someone down should they get rowdy.

To Alice’s right was Rebecca, a young woman that had shown up for the first time today. When she had introduced herself at the beginning of the meeting she had said she was writing about spiritual stuff. As young and vibrant as she was, Deric had stopped listening at that point.

Frank sad on her right and he was an older man that had served in Vietnam. If you hadn’t of been made aware of that fact during his own introduction, you couldn’t but help pick up on it by the best and hat he wore. Frank’s personality reminded him of that joke about vegan’s. How do you know when somebody is a vegan? Oh, they will tell announce it to you and everyone else in their vicinity.

Knock knock

Whose the-


Deric smirked to himself.

The last person, sitting to his left was Maria, a woman who seemed to have it all together. Deric’s sitting position along her side hadn’t been by accident.

Deric mentally cursed himself. He had gotten lost in yet another daydream. He grumbled and looked down at his laptop screen again. There was nothing new.

He hated NaNoWriMo.

His squirrelish mind jumped again. Why name your company WallSmart? I mean how can a wall be smart? He closed his eyes again hoping to lose himself once more in the 138bpm flowing through his ears.

Visions of fictional beings started forming in his mind. One was a starfighter jock and they were weaving in and out of enemy fire. Yeah, he could work with this. He tried letting go of all the other partial apparations and focused on that one. It was not to be. It dissolved along with all the rest.

He looked towards the clock in the lower corner of his laptop screen. He had spent the last 45 minutes and had almost nothing to show for it.

He hated NaNoWriMo

His phone, sitting on the table beside him, vibrated. Thankful for the distraction he picked it up and saw his wife had emailed him. He skimmed the message and having seen that it wasn’t important, got lost in one of the adds in the email message.

The Veddyom movie had been released a few days ago. He wanted to see that. He really wanted to see that. His mind played with the idea of finding time to catch it but then focused once more on his blank screen.

He hated NaNoWriMo.

He had heard about the movie almost a year ago and had been anticipating its release. Why shouldn’t he go and catch it? He was allowed to treat himself to something entertaining, albeit temporary.

Stormy Dannfield had been in town just the week before and he had the chance to go see her perform onstage. His wife wouldn’t have cared about his going. He found himself wondering why. Was it because she trusted him? Or was it because she knew he wasn’t the type to try anything?

His blank page stared back up at him and he closed his eyes once more in embarrassment.

He needed to focus on getting something down on the screen. Something, anything, just words. The back of his mind reminded him that he had promised to stop by the grocery store on the way home and pick up some essentials. Did shopping list items count towards his word totals? It technically did count as him writing something. Could he come up with 1667 things to shop for in the next ten minutes?

Who was he kidding?

He hated NaNoWriMo.

He tried to focus once more on that starfighter pilot. He tried envisioning them streaking once more through enemy fire but found his imagination faltering at the type of weapons being shot at him. SHould they be kinetic or energy based? Kinetic seemed to make more sense as all scientifically accurate energy based weapons would be traveling at the speed of light and thus wouldn’t be avoidable.

Visions of other Star Battle franchises flowed through his mind. They weren’t being accurate with their descriptions and they made billions at the box office and in merchandise. He then paused to ask the question all writers as of themselves, am I writing for art or for money.

His page was still blank.

F-you NaNoWriMo.


October 3 2018

(Part of) What I wrote today…

David walked over to Anna’s seat and plopped himself down beside her with a coffee in each hand. He held one out towards her and in unison, they both said, “Sorry-” and ended up each cutting the other off.

They avoided each other’s eyes and both broke out in an all too familiar grin that felt as if they were still a couple. Anna’s mind came back to the reality that they were no longer a couple quicker and that her father was dying. Still, as painful as the distraction was, it was bittersweet. She brought the coffee up to her lips. It smelled burnt and soured. It was everything that one would expect of free emergency room coffee.

Part of her, a deep feeling, one of familiarity and trust, wanted to reach out and embrace David. Only he was no longer hers. She was the one that had broken off their relationship. He had always wanted children and that was a large part of their separation. Or at least that is what she kept trying to tell herself. The truth was far more convoluted in biases. But now, ten some-odd years later, did it really matter anymore?

Still… the feelings lingered. The desire to feel close to another human being, even when the most important man in her life was ending.

She lifted her right hand and took a big sip of the coffee. She felt the burning sensation it caused as it boiled her throat on the way down.

Pain and grief. An immutable couple.

David sat in the decades-old dated green chair on her left side and reach out his right hand to hold her left hand. She met his face and saw both pity and love in his eyes.

She felt herself yearning to be with him again. She closed her eyes and focused on how her hand felt within his. He had always been a kinesthetic person. Always wanting to hold her, hug her, kiss her at random times which was always the wrong time. She would be making dinner and he would swoop in from elsewhere and attempt to kiss her on his way to another part of the house. Could she not see she was busy with making them dinner? His timing was always terrible.

When they drove places, he would often reach out and take her hand into his own and after a few seconds would feel the need to pull her hand back out. It’s not like she disliked holding his hand but it would always start to feel clammy. She hated it.

She could feel the moisture growing even now as he still held her hand in his own.

She tried to focus on something else.

She did. Her father was dying in the next room.

Feeling a rush of anger and resentment over how she had allowed herself to dawdle over her life with David while her father was barely clinging to life was too much. Anna pulled her hand out of his and started to stand.

David looked towards her and said, “I didn’t mean-”

She cut him off, “I know.” She then started towards the doorway and ended up spilling her coffee all over her front. She groaned in pain as the coffee was just as painful burning her right breast as it was going down her throat. David started to stand but she just dropped the coffee and blurted out, “I need to get some air” and started sprinting.

September 19 2018

What I wrote today…

Karl picked up the pen Alan had put down and clicked the end which retracted the tip back into its housing. He slid it back into the inner breast pocket of his suit and gave his friend a soured smile.

Alan gave him a weak grin back saying, “So it’s done?”

Karl gave a slow nod, “Legally, yes. You can still back out at any time prior to them putting you under.”

Alan gave a chuckle, “And if they pretend not to hear me and put me under anyway?”

Karl’s eyes narrowed, “There will be witnesses there-” His mind then flashed through several scenarios as he spit out, “-Do you want me to be there? To watch over the proce-?”

Alan gave another chuckle, “And watch them cut my head open?” His head wobbled, “We are lifelong friends but I can’t say I would do the same for you.”

Karl turned away at the thought of oozing fluids and exposed organs. He was glad he had such a light breakfast and after a quick glance at the wall clock thought it might be prudent to skip his lunch as well. Karl cleared his throat, “Sooo…” he glanced around the room and spotted the chair nearest Alan’s bedside.

Alan started coughing again, “You don’t have to stick around. I know how much you hate making small talk with your clients.”

Karl faced Alan again, “You are my friend-”

Alan cut him off, “Which is why I know how much you hate this part.” He strained in lifting his arm as he pointed towards the doorway. “Go. Remember me as I was and stop seeing me as I am.”

Karl’s mind starting doing that. He got flashes of their socializing over the years like at a backyard birthday party or when he and his own wife had their car break down along the Gilmore highway, and as dumb chance would have it, Alan and Clair happened to be traveling along the same route and pulled over to assist them after recognizing their vehicle. He had always thought Clair was seductively attractive. He had never cheated on his own wife but had Clair ever made it known that she was interested, he was sure he would have succumbed. He had never shared these thoughts with anyone and saw no reason to introduce it now. He suspected his own wife has some suspicions but never addressed it. Clair had passed away, Karl’s mind delved back and then came back with a figure, twenty-three years ago. No, bringing up his thoughts now, on the last days of Alan’s life, would be cruel beyond measure.

A knock came at the door. Karl and Alan both turned to see a tall dark woman in teal scrubs. She said, “Should I come back?”

Alan replied, “No I was about to kick this asshole out.” He faced the doctor with his trademark smirk, “What kind of security do you run around here?”

The doctor gave Karl a half smile as he started towards the door while touching his various pockets to ensure he had all his belongings. “I can take a subtle hint when I hear one.”

Alan snapped back, “Was asshole too subtle?”

The doctor stepped, “Now now Mr. Hickler. We do have children wandering these halls.”

“Did you surgically remove all their buttholes? What kind of place are you running here?”

Karl reached the door but paused before passing the threshold, “You know its not too late to work the insane angle?”

Alan replied, “For you or me?”

Karl passed through answering, “Both perhaps.” He then stepped into the hallway as his nose was reintroduced to the smells of bodies and chemicals. He did his best to focus his breathing through his mouth as he made his way towards the elevator. He watched the elevator’s progress indicator stop on the floor below them. Twenty seconds later it opened before him and he stepped in and pressed the button for the main lobby.

As it went down he allowed himself the chance to breathe through his nose again. It was then that he caught the scent of Blue Diamonds. His heart started beating with a reinvigoration as his mind thought and groin started re-imagining visions of Clair. Blue Diamonds was her scent. It was discontinued years ago which made it such a rare thing to run across again. His mind fantasized about it being Clair but he knew better. His mind came up with the notion that he might have missed passing Anna on the elevator as she had gotten off on the floor before which housed the cafeteria. He felt himself nodding as that had to be it. She had applied some of her mother’s old perfume in order to make her father more comfortable. He then wondered why he hadn’t picked up on it in Alan’s room but didn’t as the door opened and people started making their way inside.

He blurted out, “Excuse me but I would like to get off.”

A young man in his twenties replied, “In the elevator? That’s sick dude.”

Karl didn’t have a response and instead pushed his way through and out the door. A young woman who had entered with the man said, “You don’t have to be a rude ass pushing your way through ya old fart.”

September 8 2018

Kids are back in school…

… so last Wednesday I went to my first writing group since the end of May. I think that’s about three and a half months. Yeah, that sounds about right.

So… what did I write about? I had trouble coming up with something at first but then I just plugged into my headphones and let my mind wander.


“Creative thinking can be an extension of ordinary mind-wandering, the researchers explained, and a growing body of research has linked daydreaming with creativity.”  — https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mind-wandering-creativity-mental-illness_us_5818acc4e4b0990edc33827a


Then again…

“Mind-wandering has been associated with possible car accidents.” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind-wandering


Uh… what was I talking about again?


Ah yes, my inability to keep myself focused on anything because I am lazy. Thank’s.


So I got down ~ 2,000 words but by the end of the hour, I had only ~ 1,000 left. That backspace key kept jumping underneath my fingers as I went. I was happy with myself.

Once the group was done with our efforts the group started chatting about stuff and I happened to mention this link…

Writing Excuses Retreat 2018

I’ve never had the funds to afford something like this before but thanks to getting away from the Dwight, I do now. I think I’m going to start saving up for the 2019 cruise. Now I just need to find a way of breaking the news to my wife that I want to ditch her and the kids and go on a cruise without them. Yeah… I don’t care how much creativity you have, this doesn’t sound like its going to go over well.




We also discussed finding critique partners and how hard it can be. Getting along with a spouse/sig-other is hard enough but having to find a complete stranger that you can trust with your mental mush-mussings who won’t just ghost you due to… you know what? I swear it’s almost like dating all over again.

People suck (Hi Dwight!)



Wait… is Dwight right? Huh…

Oh jeez…

Now I’m agreeing with a narcissistic a-hole.

That makes me feel as if I’m in a difficult spot.



“Damn you to Scranton and back you foul Harpy!”







Okay, that’s it for now.


Tootle’s peeps 🙂


August 22 2018

Batman toys…. the batman cave… from the 1990’s… Kylo Ren

Today is my day off. I’m out of my house and doing a mix of personal stuff and errands online such as ordering a textbook for a class I start next week and other stuff.

I’m sitting in a McD’s sipping my $1 tea and watching as an employee is across the partially empty restaurant and mumbling to himself about Batman and whatever else crosses his mind. He is harmless and appears to be kind souled. He has graying hair and has a thin frame that puts him at about 5’6″.

Am I picking on him by describing him here? No, he is a person just like everyone else. I’m observing him no differently than I anything else.

But Dave you haven’t mentioned other people in your driveling rants before?

Partially true… he said ‘Batman’ which caught my ear. I also just happen to be in a writing mode so he has become the focus of my thoughts. So its just chance and circumstance mixed in with some undeniable BATraction.

Yes, I went there. I went down the Batcave.


*(And Dwight is doesn’t count as a person since she is such a bitch in the canine sense)


My god the wifi at this place sucks. It’s so friggin slow. It’s like Mr. Freeze- aagghhh…

(pulls out my mifi device)





August 20 2018


I exited my communal work area and entered the transition hall heading towards the bathroom. There, at the end of it standing in the corner, just before the corner where the bathroom was, stood my opponent. He had his cell phone up but his focus was entirely upon me.

I’m sure that everyone has seen an old west movie at some point in their lives where two people face off against each other in a quick draw.

His eyes narrowed as he began measuring his adversary.

My leg began lifting in my patented Crane Attack Ⓒ


His shoe flew out in my direction but fell short of me and came to a tumbling stop just before my feet. My sandal flew up and struck the ceiling tile just a few feet out from my head. The tile, due to the impact, came out of its track and was now askew up in the rafter tracks.

We both broke out laughing and glancing over our shoulders hoping that nobody else had made their way into the hall to bear witness to our folly. Our secret failures were ours alone, that is until he reminded me that the halls have security cameras.

I said aloud, “They should feel honored, most people have to pay to watch a televised sporting event of Shoe-Got-You.”


August 10 2018

The 20/80 rule

I went out to see the latest kiddie movie with my family the other night. It was Teen Titans Go and if you have ever enjoyed any of the TV episodes then you will feel right at home. My assessment of it, to put it mildly, is that it was exactly as the internet is calling it, an animated Deadpool copy with a PG rating.


What stuck in my mind, besides always thinking of boobies, was one of the trailers that had been shown just before the movie. It was Christopher Robin, the latest Winnie the Pooh sequel from Disney. From the trailer, I couldn’t but help catch a line of dialogue that went something like ‘Nothing is impossible, I do nothing every day’.

(Cheesy Grin)


So this begs the question, at what point is something good enough and by whose measure? Personally, when feasible and practical, I try not to exceed the 20%-80% rule (**when it isn’t critical).


I mean I could spend an extra ten minutes prewashing all my dishes before loading them into the dishwasher… or I could just set aside those few dishes that didn’t get clean enough aside upon unloading a finished cycle. Yes the grime on them will typically be stuck on but I’ve found that by simply submerging the trouble spot and allowing them to bask will work wonders. The next time I load the washer, I just pull out my scrubby pad and with a few quick swipes, get those stubborn spots to come free.




20% of the initial effort is able to get done about 80% of the initial problem. Yes, the last 20% of the stubborn stuff required another 20% of effort but you still get the idea. I could have spent the remaining 80% in elbow grease getting the job completed initially but let’s be honest, don’t we all have better things to do with our time?


So… lazy or efficient?


Am I mastering the problem or am I letting the problem control time that could be spent on other things? I mean think of all the diabolical things I can do with that leftover 60%? I could help save a life and donate a pint of blood. I could conspire with my peers and build a stronger relationship, thus improving our mutual work environment. I could spend the time brushing up some of my skills or learning new ones.


Are idle hands something-something-something of the devil?


What about having too much time and feeling the need to fill it with intrusive snooping? I had a former supervisor go through my workstation and take notes so that she could find dirt on me. The sad lady thought she could find stuff to use against me. It ended up biting her in the ass but that’s another story.


Lost opportunities is the real crime here. Not being able to expand one’s horizon and accept that there are alternatives, some even being viable, to getting things done. Yes, some people have strange rituals that actually hurt efficiency but you have to consider how much of it is actually detrimental or just irritating? Are they really harming the big picture? Is listening to music ‘going to hurt workflow’ or just ‘another’ excuse to be a bitch?


We know the truth. Now go ahead and pack up… oh… Am I too late?

(Cheesy Grin)


DING DONG! The Dwight is Gone!


August 8 2018

30 years later – Pat Martin is still rockin it

The smoke. I couldn’t tell you from source is worse, the drifting ash from the worst fires to grace the California landscape in all of recorded history, or the haze being generated from the various patrons surrounding me.

I’m sitting out on the back patio of the Powerhouse Pub in downtown Folsom where Pat Martin’s 30th-anniversary celebration is taking place. The music, a mix of popular 80’s music like Van Halen and Def Lepard, playing nostalgically.

Thirty years… I’m getting old. Pat Martin doesn’t remember but way back in 1989 I used to intern at the radio station for the long forgotten Pamela Roberts. It was a short-lived stint, Pam didn’t stay that long at the station and so my fledgling internship came to an end even before it really got started.

Who am I?

I’m a nobody.

I’m a fan.

Back in the late 80’s I used to have my own show at our high school radio station and so got it in my head that this was something I wanted to pursue. It wasn’t to last. I was the responsible kid that held a job, as a teller at a now-defunct bank, and had the salary to pay for the concert tickets and the taco bell for my friends. The friends I no longer have sitting here thirty years later by myself at an event all by myself.

My own wife, whom I didn’t know back in the day, chose not to attend as she had other responsibilities. She is a member of our kids PTA and elected to attend one of those meetings than to come here with me. She chose wisely.

As much as I was a quasi-metal head back in the days, I was also the responsible one. Did I mention that I was the sober driver? That’s the thing when you are the one with the car, you tend to not trust others with the keys after seeing how they act when under the influence of unmentionable substances. Yeah, I still had my fun. Releasing bottle rockets at night out of the window of a vehicle driving at 65 along highway 80 was awesome. That is until one of them just happened to fly its way back inside of our window and scare the shit out of us when it exploded.

Yeah, I’m the guy that sits on the edge of a crowded pub and elects to write his life while other people are living their lives out around me.

I’ve always been a people watcher.

I… enjoy it.

It also taught me how to poke back but that is another ongoing story that I’ve already gone over a number of times.

Walking the mall used to be one of my favorite past times, not because I was shopping, but because it allowed me to study the human animal in what could be deemed as a quasi-natural setting. I mean ‘chicks’ did get dolled up to ‘cruise’ the mall and check out the guys.

Am I any different?

Am I boring?

It’s 8:14 pm and people are already starting to leave. From my seat I overheard a couple discussing where they had parked and driving through a taco bell before picking up the kids as they have to get to work tomorrow.

I am exactly where I need to be.