The Douchetard 

A couple of you, the few who are my friends on Facebook, know that I got a talking to at work yesterday because I called someone a douchetard. What I haven’t told yet is the story behind it. Yes, there is a story behind it. I don’t go calling people names for no reason…. usually. 

Anyway…

About a week ago, Baby E made me a bracelet at preschool. It’s a beaded thing with all different colors on it. She was so proud of it when she brought it home. The way her eyes lit up was magical. 

I would wear it around the house for her those first few days. Then, she started asking me to wear it to work. I didn’t really want to. Not because I didn’t want to wear it, but because I lift and move boxes all day. It’s not a sturdy thing abd I was afraid that it would break if I wore it to work. Eventually, her persistent nagging  (just like her mother…uhh, love you baby!) wore me down and I promised her I’d wear it at work.

Yesterday, I was showing a temp worker what to do. After a few minutes, he asked me about the bracelet. I told him that my daughter made it for me and I promised I’d wear it. He replied, “It’s stupid of you to wear it. It not like she knows whether or not you’re wearing it.”

As tempted as I was to slap the dumbass, I kept myself in check… for the most part. I explained, “It doesn’t matter that she can’t see if I’m wearing it. I told her I would, so I’m going to. It makes her happy and her happiness is a lot more important to me than the opinion of some idiotic douchetard.”

I turned and walked away before he said anything else to me. He went straight to my team lead and told on me. That lead to my team lead asking me if I did, in fact, call the guy a douchetard. I confirmed that I had.

“You shouldn’t have done that. Calling someone that is inappropriate workplace behavior.”

“So is acting like a douchetard, but I don’t see you talking to him.”

That was when he laughed a little and told me that he was only talking to me for appearances sake. He didn’t like the guy’s attitude either, but he had to pretend to yell at me so the guy didn’t go running back to the temp agency claiming that we mistreated their employees. 

I can understand that. Plus, as a bonus, I was no longer allowed to be around that guy anymore… which ended up being about another hour after that conversation. Apparently, he gave the same attitude he gave me to the owner’s son (not knowing who he was). He was promptly told to leave.

Ahhh, karma…

Fictional Character Death

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are certain fictional characters that I don’t think will ever die. Whenever a character is in trouble, whether in movies, TV, or books, my mind instantly judges the likelihood that something will happen to them. There are some that, no matter what odds they are facing, I know will always come out alive. Of course, this does not apply to comic books or soap operas, as they have made their livings off of killing characters off and bringing them back (usually with explosive amnesia).

A good bit of danger is a good thing for a story most of the time. It heightens the suspense and builds the drama. However, as you can tell from the previous paragraph, it doesn’t always work on me. There are a few reasons that I might look at a situation and think, “That character will make it out just fine.” 

One: That character  is the show/movies/books. 

For example: Castle. Any time Richard Castle was in trouble on his show, you knew Beckett, Ryan, or Esposito was going to bail him out. There’s no way they would kill him off. You can’t have a show called Castle without Castle. 

Two: It wouldn’t make sense to the story. 

Sometimes there’s just too much left to do before they can kill off a character. It might work later on, but it’s too early to do it yet.

And Three: Sentimental reasons 

Granted, this one is very hit or miss. After all, it’s not based on any logical reasoning. This is just the reader/viewer praying that they don’t kill off someone that, though fictional, they have grown fond of. Or it’s someone who has already gone through so much that you don’t feel like they should have to go through more. Or you don’t want that character to die because of what another character will have to go through because of it. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s still something that is subjective to the reader.

 Sometimes, though, the writers do the uncool thing of killing them off anyway. 

This line of thought from me comes from the book I just finished reading. It’s called The Bone Tree by Greg Iles. In it, there’s a situation where two of his characters are in trouble. Going in, I thought to myself that I knew one of them was about to die…. it just ended up being the one I thought was going to live.

The reason I thought that character would live was reason two, I thought that character had more story left in them than the other. I felt like it didn’t make sense to have them die there. After finishing the book, I realized I was wrong. 

Having that character die at that time changed things profoundly, and in ways that made the story much more interesting. 

Well played, Greg Iles. Well played. 

Too Many Stories

Months ago, when I did my “Worth It” post, I told you all that I was working on 3 different stories in some phase of the writing process. One that most of my writing was done on, and mostly just had to worry about editing. The other two I was actively writing on.

Well, all of that is still true.

Unfortunately for my brain, those aren’t the only stories rattling around in my head.

Besides the two novels I’m working on, I’ve also been coming up with new comic book stories. If you click on the My Stories link at the top of my page, you’ll find 3 such stories I’ve already done: Dead Set (my serious one), Captain Procrastination (my off the wall, goofy one that was never meant to be taken seriously), and DICO (which is a little bit of both, although more ridiculous than serious). Two of the story ideas I have are continuations of these already established tales.

I’d like to continue on Dead Set at some point, if only because I stopped writing it in the middle of a story arc. I also have an idea that will tie all my comic stories together and, while I don’t need to continue with this story to do so, it would make things clearer if I did.

The second idea I want to work on is one I started a while ago and gave up because working on it made me realize how much I absolutely loathed writing in script form.

The third idea is to put DICO together with others and have him join a team. Obviously, to do this, I’m going to have to get a little more serious with it. Although, it will never be completely serious. The guy throws nipples for Pete’s sake.

My plan is to have them all happen in the same universe. The other two stories would just take place 10-20 years after the events of Dead Set. Since all of Dead Set so far has been written in story form, that would be how I finished it.

The other two, however pose a problem. I’d rather not write them in story form because I really do want them turned into actual comic books. Given my lack of artistic talent, that is problematic. I can’t draw them and have I mentioned how much I hate hate hate hate hate writing in script form? I also haven’t found anyone willing to draw for me for free, since I have no money to pay anyone to illustrate it for me. So, what to do?

What I think I’m going to do is this: Do two issues of each book, drawing them myself in my ‘stick figure/ a fifth grader could probably draw it better’ style. Once they’re done, I’m going to show them to a select group of people that I know are comic book fans and get their opinions. If they think I’m on the right track (minus the horrible artwork, of course), I’ll continue working on the stories. If they think the books aren’t worth the effort I’m putting into getting them made, I’ll probably just shelve the ideas for a while and see if I can’t come up with some improvements.

So, between my novels and my comic books, I have 6 stories that I’m trying to write at this moment. That doesn’t include the two books I’m reading right now or the ideas I sometimes get for blog posts.

Oy vey…..

Is anyone that reads this blog rich? I need someone to give me a lot of money so I can write full time instead of going to work. Maybe then I could get all the stories to stop fighting for supremacy in my mind.

DICO – Bleeding Out Part 4

Mayor Poopenmeyer heard the sound of a fresh magazine being put into Jefferey’s  gun. It was the last thing he heard before the room turned black. Everything around him swam as his body desperately clung to life.

DICO wanted to bandage the mayor’s wounds a little more, but he knew he didn’t have time. If he didn’t take care of Jefferey now, then him and the mayor would both be dead. His only chance was to go on the offensive to end this situation as soon as possible. That was the only way there was a chance that everyone would walk out of this alive. 

Looking over the door, DICO hoped that it swung both ways. He was severely disappointed to learn that it didn’t. It only opened towards him. That didn’t leave him with any good options. 

The superhero crept close to the door. His shoe, which had a little of the mayor’s blood on it, squeaked when he got a few feet away from it. A new barrage of bullets hit the door. This time, whether it was from Jefferey moving closer ir the different angle of entry, some of the bullets began making it through the door. DICO swore. Not only was he in more danger now, but the mayor could now be shot again by one of these random projectiles. 

He had to do something, and he was obviously not strong enough to throw his nipples through the door. Taking a quick glance around the office they were hiding in, DICO didn’t see anything he could use to help his situation. If he was going to get out of this mess, he’d have to use his nipples to do it. Since it had been a while since they let him down, he felt slightly better about his chances.

With a swift twist, he pulled off both of his nipples. Clenching his fist around them, it didn’t feel as solid as he would’ve liked. He had to wait until they grew back so he could use a couple more. While he was waiting, another small group of shots were fired into the door. Thankfully, none of them hit the mayor. From out in the hallway, Jefferey’s voice drifted in through the holes in the door. 

“You can still walk away from this, DICO,” the shooter began. “All I want is the mayor. If you let me have him, you’re free to go.”

As much as he hated to admit it, Jefferey’s offer was very tempting. Mayor Poopenmeyer was corrupt. He had to blackmail his way into becoming the city’s superhero. The mayor openly talked about taking bribes from bad guys. Maybe the city was better off without him.

No, he shook his head vehemently. No matter what someone was guilty of,  he would never let anyone just die. Not if he could help it.

“No thanks,” DICO retorted. “If I walk away now, I  won’t get to kick your ass.”

More shots immediately came through the door. While Jefferey was shooting, DICO pulled off two more of his metallic nipples. Once more clenching them in a tightly closed fist, he tested it out by softly punching his open hand. It felt better. It wouldn’t be as good as brass knuckles, but it would have about the same effect as a roll of quarters. As soon as the bullets stopped , DICO jumped to the opposite side of the door, where the door knob was. Upon hearing the movement, Jefferey fired again.

The metallic click of the magazine disengaging told DICO that his moment had come. He opened the door, stepped out, and launched his fist at Jefferey’s face. Distracted by the reload, The Boss’ henchman wasn’t able to react fast enough. The punch hit him in the forehead, right above his nose. DICO’s fingers had developed thick calluses from years spent playing with his nipples. Even so, the force of the blow sent the sharp edges of his areolas dug into his hands, drawing blood.
His strike had the desired effect, however, as Jefferey went stumbling backwards, smacking the back of his head against the wall and sliding into a sitting position. Before his opponent could recover, DICO lurched forward and kneed him in the side of the head. After the sickening thump of Jefferey’s skull being slammed between a wall and a knee, the man fell face first onto the floor. DICO grabbed the gun that he had dropped and quickly went back into the office to check on the mayor. 

Voices coming from a police band radio told him that help was just around the corner. “DICO,” someone hollered. 

“Down here,” he shouted back. 

“What’s the situation?”

“The shooter is down. I’m ok.”

“What about the mayor,” the officer asked, finally coming into view.

With one hand on the mayor’s neck, searching for a pulse, and the other hovering over his mouth, feeling for breath,  DICO silently cursed. His chin fell to his chest. “I was too late,” DICO sighed. “He’s gone.”

The Feels 

Today was an emotional day in my household. More so for my wife than me, but still…

Today was Baby E’s first day of preschool. 

Mrs. Revis was tearing up, or close to tearing up, most of the morning. I probably would have been more upset if Baby E wasn’t so excited to go. For the past two weeks, all she’s done is ask, “Am I going to school tomorrow,” and then getting upset when we said no. While I was sad, this was just another time where the phrase “They just grow up so fast” was proven to be true. 

During the week, when you’re at work, time comes grinding to a halt. The 8 hours spent working every day seem to take 16 hours to get through. Then, when you get home, the few hours there are between the time you arrive and the time your child (ren) go to sleep takes about 5 minutes. That’s what makes it so hard to believe that time is going so quickly. You spend all that time in the place where time stands still and it’s inconceivable that the rest of it goes by so fast that you barely register it. And, before you know it, they’re a lot older than they should be. Anyone who says time travel is impossible has never had kids.

Two weeks ago, Baby E was born and we brought her home from the hospital. A couple days later, she was crawing. A day later, she was walking and talking. Then she celebrated her first birthday. And her second… and third… then fourth.

Finally, today my big girl started preschool. She met her teacher and her classmates. She played outside with them and  came back in to color. And she was so excited by the whole process that she was still beaming when my wife picked her up a few hours later.

Daddy loves you, Baby E. Stop growing up so fast. 

The New 52

It’s been a long time since I read comic books regularly. I’d say I stopped somewhere around 2005 or so. I didn’t really want to stop, but paying things like rent, car insurance, and electric became more important than seeing who Daredevil was battling that month. Eventually, I got used to not reading them, but I still would get nostalgic every once in a while and want to revisit my old books. Unfortunately, I had run out of room at my apartment and gave them to a friend of mine as a wedding present. I now kick myself for that decision. 

A few years ago, my wife and I started going to the library regularly  (which you all should do because the library is awesome). After going a couple of times, I finally realized that they had a comic book section. There were quite a few graphic novels and collections of comic book issues. Most of what they had was on the newer side, so they didn’t have any of the books I  used to own. It did give me the opportunity to catch up on some things, though.

The first thing I did was read the Mark Waid run on Daredevil. It was pretty good, but it did have some not so great moments. After that, I moved on to my next favorite character, Nightwing. That meant The New 52.

Prior to this, I had heard nothing but bad things about The New 52, most of it from die hard DC fanatics. So, I was expecting the worst when I started reading it. I didn’t get to read all of the Nightwing run (I’m pretty sure I only missed the ending of it), but it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as good as the old books, but it wasn’t atrocious either. Then, I read what Nightwing turned into, which was the series Grayson….

Grayson was a steaming pile of pus-filled horse crap.

In the finale of Nightwing, Dick Grayson faked his own death because he was publicly outed as Nightwing. In Grayson, he goes undercover for Batman to infiltrate a super secret spy organization named Spyral… No, I’m not making that up. Spyral? Seriously??? That may have been clever back in the 60s, but now it’s just ridiculously stupid. No spy organization would ever have the word ‘spy’ in it anywhere.

I could forgive the stupid name if the story was good. It wasn’t. 

My hope for the New 52 dwindled. I’ll admit that if I had to pay to keep reading them,  I would’ve stopped. Since they were free from the library, I gave some more of them a shot. All titles listed are ones I read at least 2 collections of (the equivalent of around 8-10 issues).

Green Arrow: Pretty much blew.

Green Lantern, New Guardians: Not half bad. I’m not a big Lantern guy, but this was better than I thought it would be. 

Suicide Squad: First book, good. Second book, suck. I was too afraid to try the third one.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: Good enough to keep me interested, but not good enough for me to say I liked it.

And finally, the one I thought I’d like the least but it ended up being better than the rest of them, except for Nightwing: 

Aquaman. 

That’s right. Aquaman. 

The only reason I even gave this a try was a guy at work told me that they went out of their way to make sure that Aquaman wasn’t a joke in The New 52. He was right. They made sure he was a force to be reckoned with.

They also addressed some of the jokes made at Aquaman’s  expense. In the first issue he walks into a seafood place and orders fish. The people in the restaurant flip out. “You’re Aquaman, you can’t eat fish!” “Aren’t they your friends?”

He tries to explain to them that he can telepathically communicate with them to give them commands, but he doesn’t have conversations with them. When they still hounded him, he asked, “What do you think I eat when I’m underwater?” and that shut them up. There were also some scenes where cops say that they’re embarrassed that Aquaman helped them catch criminals and then he saves their lives from some super baddies.

I read the first 3 collections of it and they were all good. Hopefully, they kept it up.

What about you? What’s your opinion on the New 52 books?

DICO – Bleeding Out Part 3

“Was the store owner ok,” Mayor Poopenmeyer asked. 

“Do you even care,” DICO responded as he continued bandaging up the mayor’s wounds.

“Not really. I’m just looking for something to take my mind off all the blood I’m losing.”

DICO rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Anyway …”

Earlier….

The sirens grew louder as DICO checked the shop owner for a bullet wound. He didn’t see one on his back, so he flipped him over. There, he saw a hole in the dead center of the owner’s chest. No blood seeped from it, which momentarily confused him. He put his finger into the hole and found that the store owner was wearing a Kevlar vest.

DICO sat back. “You can open your eyes now,” he said. “He’s out.”

The owner’s lids flew open and he let out a string of curses. “Damn, that hurts,” he complained after his venting session. 

“It’s better than being dead,” DICO reminded him.

Turning around, the hero saw that the police had arrived and had put the gunman into handcuffs. They also did their best to revive him. His eyes began to flutter open as paramedics arrived and led the shop owner away. The gunman thrashed at his bonds once he realized what was going on. One of the police officers lost his grip on the gunman’s arms. 

DICO, jumping into action, gave himself a titty twister, pulling one of his metallic nipples off. With the precision of a major league pitcher, he hurled the projectile at the gunman. It flew true, striking him right between the eyes. The gunman stopped dead in his tracks and wobbled unsteadily on his feet.

“Quit squirming, CQ,” the officer who still had a grip on him commanded. 

“You know him,” DICO asked. 

“He’s one of The Boss’ men. They call him CQ, but I don’t know why.”

DICO was glad that another one of The Boss’ thugs was going to prison. He watched while the officers shoved him into the back of a squad car. Before they closed the door, CQ regained enough of his wits to yell out at the hero. “You may have captured me,” he taunted, “but you’re too late to save your friend at City Hall.”

They wouldn’t go after the mayor. Would they?

Now…

Mayor Poopenmeyer looked over his wounds. “You’re pretty good at patching people up,” he remarked.

“I learned how to dress gunshot wounds while I was in the army,” DICO responded. 

The mayor gave his rescuer an angry glare. “You were in the military?”

“Yeah.”

“So you know how to fight using guns and everything?”

“Well…yeah.”

“You idiot, ” Mayor Poopenmeyer hollered, reaching up and slapping him. “You could’ve saved us a lot sooner and easier if you would’ve used normal weapons instead of your damn nipples.”

“But if I don’t use my powers, I won’t be a superhero.”

The mayor reached out and slapped DICO again. Unfortunately for him, he opened his wounds up when he did so. More blood began seeping from the two unnatural holes in the mayor’s body. Seconds later, Mayor Poopenmeyer  became dizzy and lost consciousness. DICO was about to work on getting the wounds closed again when there was a pounding on the door. 

Now DICO had a choice: work on fixing the mayor  up, or trying to fight off Jefferey.