My Debate Questions

debate-drawingIf the candidates want my vote, here are the questions they must answer:

If I dig a deep hole in my yard, at what point am I no longer in America? Put another way: How deep is America?

How many people do you know?

Can you tell if my eyes are really closed? [Dan squints tightly, but doesn’t technically close his eyes]

When’s the last time you listened to R.E.M.’s “Stand”? I mean really listened to it.

What’s your third-favorite Bruce Willis movie?

When was the last time you said, “kooky”?

How much does a regular bucket cost?
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For National Poetry Day


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An Angry Writer

As a freelance writer in 2016, I don’t have the luxury of choice when it comes to assignments. I take what I can get and am thankful for all work that comes my way. Two years ago, a friend of mine landed a job at a company called Mode Media and she reached out to me during her hunt for freelancers. This friend is a great person, and no part of the following rant is directed at her. She’s cool. The company she worked for was not cool. (She’s probably reading this, and wishing she could correct my grammar and spelling!)

Mode Media was a clickbait site that wanted, I assume, to become some sort of Pinterest/Buzzfeed hybrid. The work was easy — make a few listicles every week and get paid once a month.

And then they stopped paying me. At first, they would send out apologetic emails saying how they understand my frustration and that they are working hard to make sure their writers are paid. Three months later, I would receive payment, but usually only after I begged like a Charles Dickens character and promised to eat all my vegetables.

I’ve ranted before about freelancers forced to beg for their payment. It’s awful.

And I know that as a freelancer, a gig can end at any time. I accept that.

But Mode closed up shop this week, firing all employees and leaving freelancers twisting in the wind. They still owe me money for three months of work. I will never see that money. Continue reading

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Freelance Writing Tip #355

No matter how many times you pitch your editor the story, “Opossums Are Probably Dogs That A Witch Cursed,” the editor won’t assign it until you get an actual quote, and quoting yourself, even if you use an Irish accent, apparently does not count as a primary source…even if you totally know the truth about opossums.Possum

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Better Than Jetpacks?

I’ve already tackled the Time Travel Paradox, so I’m pretty good at science things. And now I’m confident that I have solved all of our transportation problems. The hard part is done. All we need is some strong rope.

First, let’s cover the basics.

ISS OneAbout 250 miles above Earth, the International Space Station is soaring around the planet at speeds of five miles per second. It stays up there thanks to the Earth’s gravitational force and orbits and maybe a little magic and magnets. Whatever. Point is, it’s up there and it’s moving fast and it doesn’t need a push. It will spin around the Earth forever!

ISS TwoYou can download apps that tell you when the Space Station is over your head and on clear nights, you can see it soar above you. I’ve done it. It’s fun. It looks like a bright star traveling in a very smooth arc across the sky. I waved, but the astronauts never waved back, probably because they’re eating dinner.

Let’s say a friendly astronaut inside the I.S.S. lowers a rope down to Earth, a very strong rope. How does it get to Earth? Not my problem. Maybe it’s shot down to Earth via tiny rocket.

ISS ThreeNow, we don’t want the rope to drag on Earth, ruining our lawns and ensnaring our cars and helicopters, so the astronaut would need to lower it down for someone to grab, and then hoist it up above the treeline.

With me?

So I’m on the ground, and I see the rope and I grab it. And now, I get to travel around the world without using any fuel, just the power of orbiting space stations and science.

ISS Four

And that’s how I become Space Tarzan and end terrorism.

ISS Five

The End

This post has been brought to you by When not reinventing the goddamn wheel, I make and sell magic pencils!

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Blogging The Chronicles Of Narnia: Part 12

Narna 12Chapter 9: In the Witch’s House
Better Title: Edmund the Evil

I’m not sure why Edmund is evil, but he clearly is. In this chapter, he once again feels sick and repulsed by Aslan’s very name, which leads me to believe he’s genetically prone to evil thoughts and actions, just like serial killers and those who don’t return shopping carts to the shopping cart corral. (I saw you! I saw what you did! I will seek vengeance.)

Here we see Edmund make his way to the Witch’s castle, all the while cursing his brother and sisters and dreaming of Turkish delights. When he finally reaches the castle, he sees a giant lion staring at him!

But it’s only a stone lion, one of the Witch’s victims. Edmund assumes this to be Aslan, and so he pulls out a pencil and draws a mustache and glasses on the beast. That’s like burning a cross, peeing in the holy water, or putting celery in tuna salad! Continue reading

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Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 11

Narn 11Chapter Seven: A Day With the Beavers
Better Title: Try Not To Make a Beaver Joke

The children are following the bird to find out what happened to Tumnus, but the bird suddenly stops guiding them. The children realize they’re lost, with no way of knowing how to get back to the magic wardrobe.

Luckily, a beaver appears and I start laughing because “beaver” is among our funniest words, a word that is equal parts silly and sexual. Just like “ding-dong” and “satan’s love envelope.”

This is a nice beaver. Continue reading

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Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 10

Narn 10Chapter Five: Back On This Side of the Door
Better Title: Digory the Dick

I know this blog is late, but things have been really crazy. I don’t even know where to start! First, I had to make dinner on Tuesday, and so I made spaghetti. And then it started to rain. And then I watched this mesmerizing video of an industrial shredder mangling toys. So…you can only imagine. Anyway, point is I had very good reasons for not posting the blog on Tuesday. You understand. Let’s blog!

Lucy and Edmund pop back into our world and Lucy is very excited because now she has a witness — Edmund has seen Narnia and can confirm its existence. However, for reasons best described as “Nellie Oleson,” Edmund denies ever visiting Narnia and calls Lucy a liar.

And then Lucy goes insane and grows old in a mental institution where she names her toes and then refuses to step on them for they are her only true friends. Continue reading

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Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 9

Narn 9Chapter Three: Edmund and the Wardrobe
Better Title: Witch Way, Did He Run

Sorry this blog is extra-late. Give yourself all 5 Dan Points for the wait. I’ll try to stay on deadline.

Lucy returns from the magic wardrobe and tells the others of her adventures with Tumnus in Narnia, but no one believes her. I don’t believe her either. I never believe children. They always lie. “I can count to a million!” “My friend’s not supposed to have wheat!” “I have a splinter!” “There’s no such thing as true love and monogamy is humanity’s feeble attempt to organize and tame the fiery chaos of biology!”

Silly kids.

Lucy tries to prove that the wardrobe is magical but when the other children investigate, they find it to be an ordinary wardrobe. And then Lucy goes insane and spends the rest of her life making dolls out of her own hair while whispering, “There was no Narnia. I’m a filthy liar. That must be it. I mustn’t tell lies.” Continue reading

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Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 8 (Beginning of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”)

Narn 8Chapter One: Lucy Looks Into A Wardrobe
Better Title: Careful. If You Go Snooping Around Your Parent’s Closet, You Might Not Like What You Find

Welcome to the first blog of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I thought the previous book was good — a little light on substance, but it was fun and charming and so British that the pages smelled of tea.

But from what I understand, that was just a prologue of sorts, the bits that establish the world and setting of the real story. That was just the first kill in a horror movie, or the first joke of a Modern Family episode. Now it’s time to get into it!

C.S. Lewis has no time for much backstory here, and quickly crams not only four main character introductions in this chapter, but also the titular wardrobe. Four children, Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter, are sent to live with a relative in the country because it’s WW II and things are scary in London. I don’t know what happened to their parents. Let’s assume they’re dead. Continue reading

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