Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Squatting One-Hundred Days: Nearing the End

So now that I'm nearing the end of my experiment in heavy daily squatting, there are some things that I would have done differently. I got too focused on hitting my max, didn't do enough backoff sets, and ended up with a minor injury when I squatted at a strange gym and forgot to pack my lifting belt. Now, ninety-three days in, I finally feel like I'm figuring out this system. The daily max should be a weight between eighty-five and ninety-five percent of your true max. So if 400 lb is my true max, 340 lb would be the number to hit as a minimum. Backoff sets in the seventy to eighty percent range--that's where we want to get our work done. For example, this was my workout Monday:

45 lbsx2x10
315 (add belt)

Essentially, this is a pyramid/reverse pyramid, though it's important to note that the descent is heavier than the ascent. I've used this type of training in my bench press workouts to great effect--I've went from a 280 max to easily doubling 275, which should give me a true max of around 300 lb (I don't have a power rack).

It's also important to throw in light days every other day. I do this by front squatting. My max front squat is 305, while my max back squat is 400, so even if I'm squatting a heavy front squat, the load is relatively light compared to my back squat. So I really think that this type of training takes off when you alternate front and back squats.

Daily squatting isn't particularly different from other forms of training when done properly. Most of your work should be in the seventy to eighty-percent range; the true benefit of this training is frequency, rather than volume. My form has improved drastically (despite what you see in my 400 lb squat video) from daily practice. This is not to say that the heavy singles are useless--you need practice in the ninety-percent range, since form breaks down with heavier weights. My biggest problems are knee cave and hip shifting (my left hip pops now and then). There really is no such thing as perfect form, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try for it to minimize injury risk and lift heavier weights.

There will be one more post in this series, a couple days after I finish my one-hundredth workout.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Is Batman's Superpower Male White Privilege?

Batman gets pulled over for speeding. He smiles at the cop and shows a little leg. The officer lets him off with just a warning. Yet another win for Batman.

The Gotham City Council discusses raising taxes on the wealthy by ten percent. Batman gives all their addresses to the Joker. The resolution doesn't pass. Nobody taxes the Batman.

Batman gets into a heated discussion with Robin over race and poverty. You see, Robin's been taking sociology classes at Gotham University, and Batman's afraid he's turning into a hippy. The discussion ends when Batman punches Robin in the face. Score one for Batman.

Batman and Chief Gordon go for a ride around town. They pull over a black guy just because he's black. When they find weed in his car, Batman looks at Gordon and says "I told you so." Goddamnit, Batman.

Batman comes home and finds Robin dressed in baggy clothing and listening to hip hop music. Batman fucking loses it and says some deplorable things. He makes Alfred cry.

Wayne Enterprises fires twenty percent of its workforce to cut costs, even though there was an increase in profits last quarter. Bruce Wayne releases a statement apologizing for the cuts, but explaining that they were necessary. He gives himself a twenty percent raise.

Sometimes, when he's drunk, Batman waits outside of homeless shelters and attacks homeless people to steal their food. People have to pay Batman's share.

When Robin brought home a Latino friend, Batman made Alfred follow him around so he didn't steal anything.

Batman often wonders out loud why poor people can't just get a job and hold it.

Controversy ensues when Bruce Wayne speaks at Gotham University's graduation ceremony. He says that "Hitler had some good ideas," though he does not explain himself.

Batman is still learning that the n-word is not acceptable for use in public conversation.

Believe it or not, but Batman has been accused of sexual assault numerous times. He always manages to weasel himself out of a trial by using his vast fortune and by attacking the credibility of the witness. Catwoman's a burglar; you expect her to tell the truth? Have you seen the outfits she wears? You're telling me she's not asking for it?

Batman doesn't do handouts. He had to work for everything he has. Sometimes he rolls up one-hundred dollar bills and lights them on fire.

Batman threatened to leave America if Obama was reelected. He briefly made good on his promise, retreating to the Swiss Alps for a few months after the election.

All of Batman's super villains are white. That's because Batman's no-kill policy is selective.

Monday, April 27, 2015

George R.R. Martin on Game of Thrones

What the fuck, HBO. I give you your best show since the Sopranos, and you shit in my face. I've been silent until now, but I can hold my tongue no longer. Season five of Game of Thrones has some big changes from my beloved book series. Jamie's going to Dorne, huh? Well that's just splendid. Sansa's going to marry Ramsey Bolton? Yeah, that makes all kinds of sense. What's next? Is Optimus Prime going to show up on one of Danny's dragons? How could've you gotten rid of Coldhands? Or Aegon! It's like you are trying to condense and streamline all the great characters I've written, all one-thousand, eight-hundred, and eighty-seven of them. Apparently, that's too many characters for a TV show to handle. I should've sold the rights to Starz.

Some will claim that it's my fault that HBO is digressing from the books. Hey, assholes, it takes awhile to write this crap. I'm rich, I'm fat, and there are a lot of video games for me to play instead of slaving away on the computer. To be honest, I've kind of dug myself a hole that I can't climb out of. The goddamn plot line is a mess. And I know you guys are tired of Davos, the Greyjoys, and Bran. Hell, I am too. I can barely maintain consciousness when I write those chapters. But there's no way to trim the fat. That would go against every writing principle I adhere to. Fantasy novels have to be big and bloated. First fantasy novels are recommended to be between 100,000 and 115,000 words. My shortest novel, Game of Thrones, was 298k. My longest was A Storm of Swords at 424 thousand. The Song of Ice and Fire series, together, equals one-million, seven-hundred and seventy-thousand words. Do you get it now, people? These books don't just write themselves. You try finding an editor willing to edit one of these monstrosities.

HBO could've waited, like the rest of you, but I guess they didn't want to risk losing viewers of their billion-dollar television series. Like, whatever HBO. Go ahead and fuck everything up. Make Podrick the king of Westeros. Resurrect King Joffrey from the dead. Marry Sansa to Cersei and let them scissor their problems out. Just don't blame me for any of this. I'll be busy working on The Winds of Winter. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll be eating Cheetos out of a hooker's bunghole. I might as well not finish any of this shit if you're just going to fuck it up.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Welcome to Fart City

Welcome to Fart City, you stinky fool. Maybe if you hadn't eaten broccoli for dinner, you wouldn't be here. But we both know that isn't true. You were born a farter, just like the rest of us.

In Fart City, everyone farts all the time and thinks it is hilarious. You walk up to someone on the street, they fart in your face. You wait in line at a fast food joint; there's a chorus of farts in front of you. Smoking is banned in fart city after too many ignited farts. So is Chipotle.

Life can be difficult sometimes in Fart City. If you sit down and try to have a serious conversation with your friend about their drinking problem, they will fart indiscriminately throughout the conversation. You will fart yourself; you can't help it. A breakup will mostly be an exchange of tears and farts. It's hard to take religion seriously when your preacher is farting his guts out during the sermon. Try talking your way out of a ticket when both you and the police officer are farting every other word.


People have tried to change Fart City from the inside. Certain elected officials have done their best with little to show for it. You can't make a heaven of hell, and you certainly can't take the fart out of Fart City. Still, some tried, all for naught. Maybe I was one of those people, back in the day. Maybe I came to Fart City a brash young idealist, ready to take on the world. But it beats you down, this place. Every day I wake up and think about how they'll lower me six feet under, a steady music of farts my funeral dirge. Then I fart loudly and awake from my reverie. Welcome to reality, asshole. It's a bag of farts.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

You Know Han is Going to Die in the New Star Wars, Right?

Harrison Ford walks into J.J. Abrams' office dressed in a World's Greatest Dad shirt and a pair of sweatpants. He is drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. It is seven in the morning California time.

"Harrison, how's it going?" asks J.J.

"I'm Harrison fucking Ford, how do you think it's going?" says Harrison. "I'm Indiana Jones and Han Solo. I've been living off those two movies for years. You know the Dos Equis guy? They based him on my life."

"Right, right," says J.J. "I want to talk to you about your role in the new Star Wars movie."

 "Jesus, I really don't want to do another one of those," says Harrison. "Do you know how bad the Chewbacca costume smells? I'm pretty sure that guy used to shit in it."

"We're making a new Chewbacca costume so you don't have to worry about that," says J.J.

"You think my fat ass can fit in my old Han Solo pants? You better be making a new pair of those, too."

"We are, we are," says J.J. "Now I know you're reluctant to do another Star Wars movie. But what if you only had to do one?"

"What are you saying?" asks Harrison, taking a sip of his beer.

"What if we kill your character off at the end of the movie? Sort of like how Obi-Wan dies in the first one."

"Humm," says Harrison. There is a gigantic statue of Micky Mouse sitting behind J.J.'s chair. Its enormous eyes seem to peer at Harrison, seeing through him to his very soul.

"That could work," says Harrison. "But it would have to be awesome."

"We're thinking of having you killed by Adam Driver, who is revealed to be your son, mirroring Darth Vader's revelation to Luke."

"Who the fuck is Adam Driver?" asks Harrison.

"He plays the main villain, Kylo Ren," says J.J.

"Who the fuck is Adam Driver?" asks Harrison.

"He's on that HBO show Girls. You know, the one about that fat girl who's always naked for some reason. Somebody's butt got ate-out on it. It's sort of famous."

"Han Solo is going to be killed by a fat girl?" asks Harrison.

"No, no," says J.J. He pushes a picture of Adam Driver toward Harrison.

"This fucker looks like Nien Nunb," says Harrison. "Seriously, that's the ugliest man I've ever seen."

"Well he'll be wearing a mask for most of the movie," says J.J.

"I'm not so sure about this," says Harrison. "Do you want to be known as the director who killed Han Solo?"

"I'm got more money than a horse has hair," says J.J. "I truly don't give a fuck."

The two men stare at each over. Mickey stares at them. The silence looms like a bird of doom.

"I want one-hundred million dollars," says Harrison.

"Done," says J.J. They shake hands. Behind them, unseen, Mickey smiles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What is Situational Comedy?

Situational comedy is a bunch of white people sitting around doing white people things, like going to the same bar for years.

Situational comedy usually features a sex addict and/or possible serial rapist as a comic relief character.

Situational comedy yearns for syndication. This is how situational comedy lives forever.

The protagonists of situational comedy will usually date over one-hundred people during the life of a sit-com. They will discard these people like used diapers. They will be obsessed with finding THE ONE. There can only be one. This is the way of the Highlander.

Situational comedy features a kept audience that laughs at minutia. Without the laugh track, nothing would ever happen in a situational comedy. It is the heart that keeps the funnies beating.

No one ever experiences any true financial difficulties in situational comedy. The protagonists live in million dollar apartments in New York City, yet somehow pay their rent by working in coffee shops. Reality is distorted in situational comedy. It is situational.

Situational comedy used to be beloved by millions, yet we have abandoned situational comedy for HBO and internet porn. Situational comedy has had to flee to TBS of all places. Poor situational comedy.

The greatest situational comedy of all time is unanimously considered to be Reba.

Situational comedy is what we will have when all the laughs die. Situational comedy will dig our graves for us. It will be hilarious.

If an actor successfully transitions from situational comedy to the big screen, let me know. Such things do not happen often.

I have an idea for a situational comedy starring a dog. He will do funny dog things, like pooping in the house and eating his owner's shoes. He might talk as well. I'm thinking my hypothetical show could pass as either horror or situational comedy. I'm not sure if I discern the difference.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hanging with the Goon

Come on, ya'll its a party!

Now everbody, listen here, tah Goon, Slack, and ol Hernando stole themsevles some moneys from teh Booger King and we took ourselves a trip to tah music city, Nashville! Oh boy, we had ourselve a fine time. We did has some bad times, though, since it seems teh don't take too kindly to folks urinating on tah Predators stadium. Now, I don't know nutting bout hoky, but i think its kinda weird to name a team after tah predator, considering he's a rastafarian and a ruthless murdurer.But whatever; folks down dere do as teh please. I guess I oughta start teh tale from teh top.

Don't ya'll think he's face kinda looks like a crab vagina?

First thang we do is go to teh country music hall of fame. Lucky for us, they had a exibit featurin' everone's most favorte jackass, ol' Kenny Rogers! No when to fold them indeed! Kenny had a nice collection of all his guitars and nudie suits and most special buckets of fried chicken. But to tell teh truth, nutting beat seeing tah dresses taht dolly parton wore! Hernando says she got teh voice of an angel, but I was more concentrating on teh size of her boobs. We also got to see Elvis's cadallac which was made of pure solid gold an had a tv in teh back, which really got me thinkin that maybe Elvis was from teh future cause they don't even had tvs in cars nowadays. Eventually we got thrown out fere tryin to steal Gram Parson's nudie suit, which wasn't made to stay behind glass.

Is taht not duh most awesome thing you ever seen?

Second thing we did was to go get ripped an listen to a honkey tonk band. We saw some real cool cats called teh Eskimo Brothers, but unfortunately teh bartender (who looked like Slash witout teh top hat) screwd Slack outta some money an we had to high tail it outta dere before teh cops came. It's a long and terrible story, so I won't bore you all buy tell you but I guess some folks don't take to kindly to whiskey in dere faces followed by a slap of duh titties.

Lastly we got oursevles a gormet meal at a Kenny Rogers roasters an eat it all in an alley an gave teh bucket to a hobo to lick. Teh rest of teh weekend is a blur an nun of us remember too much. I do remember someone hitting me wit a car. Slack also woke up wit a bunch of grass in his mouth. Somehow we all got back together an made teh drive home listening to duh dixy chicks on duh radio. Sometimes I think things just happen in my mind. But I dunno. Dat doesn't seem possible.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wolf Chapter Seven

I really enjoyed writing this chapter. The reader gets his/her first real glimpse of the monster in action, which Wolf has been rather short on. The story's main themes--discrimination, alienation, lust, self-consciousness, transformational integrity (i.e., the validity of a change)--are all present in this chapter. I'm not really sure what's in store for Harry, but rest assured, it's probably not good.

Chapter Seven
She walks into the bar, a girl of twenty-two, a four-year-old child back at home, safe in the care of grandma. This place is a loser's joint, a steady cloud of cigarette smoke, pool tables with felts like apocalyptic wastelands, denizens with teeth as yellow as the pathways to their hearts. Hank Williams plays on the radio, an ancient dead crooner of tear-in-your-beer ballads, but she doesn't know this. She walks up to the bartender, calls him by name, gets a smile and a pint on the house. An ex-boyfriend hangs out in the corner with some of his buds, real go-getters, the kind of guys you have to watch your liquor around lest they throw you over their shoulders and carry you off to their caves. She didn't come here to tangle with them, but she should've known better. There are only so many watering holes in this backwater town. She was counting on one of the richies from the enclave to make an appearance, some good-looking guy tired of cocktail waitresses and his nagging wife, maybe needing to have a midlife crisis, start another family, raise a nice single mother out of poverty and wage slavery. Little Eric would breathe much easier in a big home with air recyclers and top-notch filtration systems. Her mother's house was like living in a barn.
            At the far end of the bar there is a black guy she's never seen before. He's got high cheekbones, a smooth face, a professional demeanor. Looks strong, like he lifts weights. Wearing a collared shirt and slacks. Put together. Handsome. A real man. She gives him a smile, and he looks straight at her. She can't tell what color his eyes are, but they are vivid like living coals. He lets his stare linger for a second longer before walking straight toward her. Out of the corner of her eye she sees Brent (the ex-boyfriend) take notice with his trucker buddies, probably whispering something about coons or spooks or God knows what, but who cares, this guy looks like he could handle himself and Brent could use a good ass-whooping. The black man sidles up to her at the bar, extends his hand, introduces himself as Harrison Deforest, says he couldn't help but notice her, and would she please excuse his being forward, but he thinks that she is absolutely stunning. This is music to her ears; the guy looks rich and seems open to a good time. He buys them beers and they go and sit at a booth in the back. He tells her that he's an IT guy for the casino and that it's boring but it pays well. She tells him that she's currently in between jobs at the moment, but that she used to work at the casino golf course a couple years ago. The conversation flows well, consisting of the usual minutiae of life. He gets up and gets them two more beers. While he's gone, Brent and his buddies appear and sit down at the booth, all reeking of whiskey, their trucker caps resting atop greasy, sweat-stained locks.
            “Baby,” he says, struggling to not slur his words. “What're you doin' to me, baby?” The two goons on each side stare at her like she's a piece of meat.
            “Jesus, Brent, get the hell out of here,” she says. “You're drunk.”
            “First you break my heart, then you try to pick up a nigger,” he says, shaking his head, his mutton chops curly like wool. “And not just any nigger, but one that lives in an enclave like he's better than everyone else. One with an attitude. You know he attacked the bartender at the Bear over nothing? Now he's doing his prowling 'round here.” Brent shows her his tobacco-stained teeth. He's gotten a little fat since she left him, after he slapped her. Never was much of a looker. Funny how standards change quickly.
            “Is there a problem here?” says Harrison, two beers in hand. “You three are in my seat.”
            “Well hell, I guess that is a problem, ain't it?” replies Brent. He reaches across the table and snatches a beer out of Harry's hand and puts it to his lips, while his buddies laugh. They are all large men used to throwing their weight around, tall, ponderous, lunkheaded. 
            “You want to step outside, Hoss?” says Harry. A throbbing vein has appeared across his forehead.
            “Get outta here, blackie,” says Brent, tossing the rest of the beer at Harry, soaking his shirt. They all hoot and holler, slapping each other, confident and enjoying themselves, bullies back in grade school, stealing lunch money, but she sees something in Harry's vivid eyes, recognizes the unmistakable look of death. He reaches for Brent, grabs his arm, and pulls him out of the booth and onto the floor. His left hand comes down, hitting Brent square in the jaw, bringing blood to his lips, but the big man's been hit before; his meaty arms cover his face, preventing further damage, while his buddies seize Harry, pulling his limbs back, dragging him toward the door. Harry screams, curses, spittle flying from his lips, but no one makes a move to help, and Brent's back on his feet, vengeance in his eyes, following outside. She watches the door slam shut, observes the willful ignorance of the patrons, wonders if she should call the cops, flee, or just sit here and see who comes back.
            Outside, the men have dragged Harry out into the back of the parking lot, closer to the woods than the road, and have proceeded to take turns wailing on him, mostly taking body shots, but Brent can't help himself, he strikes Harry in the face repeatedly, because this goddamn nigger represents everything that is wrong with his life; he isn't a man, he's the personification of entropic destiny; he is the powerful powerlessness than drapes itself around men like Brent, soiling their every deed, dampening their dreams, making them not into human beings but machines of meat, floundering in their own dumb inertia. Soon Harry's lips burst like ripe tomatoes, and blood streams down his chest, but his eyes gleam with a livid ferocity, even as his consciousness wans and waxes with every blow. They have likely broken his ribs and jaw, these fevered men, cracked his teeth and concussed his brain, yet with those eyes peering back at them, those green, glowing eyes, they cannot stop themselves, they cannot control the weakness in their hearts. Suddenly she appears, running toward them, her screams bringing them out of their violent stupor. Her hands are on Brent's raised arm; he pauses, turns toward her, a baffled look on his face.
            “Jesus Christ, you've killed him,” says the girl.
            “He ain't dead,” says one of the brutes holding Harry. “He's still breathing. Look at his eyes.”
              They all look at his eyes. Harry has fallen away, melted into a distant dream, a soft foggy land of dispassionate observance, having shed his self from his body. The eyes that look back at them are not Harry's eyes, in the sense that Harry is a person, a union of flesh and soul. The windows close, shuttered with a snap. Something manic and dumb, a reactive beast of the abyss, peers out at them now, its only instinct to run and sniff and reap and maim. The two who hold it release their hands, having felt the tremors in its skin, seeing the hair sprout from its arms like insects crawling out of a bone. They step back, keeping their distance from it as it writhes on the ground, foam oozing from elongating jaws. One of the men runs to his truck to retrieve a gun, but the others stand mesmerized, captivated by the pale light shining down on it, moonbeams illuminating the mechanical workings beneath its flesh, the bizarre twists and turns of muscle and bone as they distort into an alien shape, a haphazard chimera of a beast built from the innards of man. Suddenly it ceases its gyrations and stands on wobbly legs, its head a mass of scraggy black fur, the proto-snout of a canine sniffing the air with raw nostrils. Its teeth are huge and twisted, stalactites emerging from the bleeding gum line. The girl can't help but stare at its genitals dangling at the bottom of its cavernous torso, its penis pink and wet like viscera. They have backed away from it, moving as a herd, eyes locked with those of the beast, when it suddenly lurches forward and seizes hold of Brent, plunging its fangs into his skull. The girl and the remaining man turn and run, their piqued curiosity vanished with the gruesome crunch of Brent's cranium; they can hear the crackle-snap of every bite as they flee toward the refuge of the bar. As they run, the vanished trucker returns from his vehicle, a .45 caliber Taurus Judge handgun loaded and ready, and takes aim at the creature, who is ignoring his presence, busy feasting on the remains of Brent. Boom goes the firearm; blood squirts from the neck of the beast, the shot wide of its head. He fires again, but the creature has moved already, leaping forward, the bullet only grazing its shoulder as it rams into him a half-second later, sending him sprawling to the concrete, the Taurus falling from his hand. He sees only the great jaws descending before blackness obscures his vision, the pain immense but brief, the distant mastication of his own flesh his last living percept.
We are nothing but stomachs on the move
Teeth with limbs
Bones that walk and talk and crawl on the earth
A thousand generations pass without a whisper
A death in the forest
A death by the waterhole
A drowning
A decapitation
A goring
A heart severed by a human hand
What can we do but wander the earth
Deaf, dumb, and dead to the suffering of others.
            The girl enters the bar, followed by Brent's remaining friend. Everyone turns and looks at them, taking note of their wide eyes, of how they clutch their stomachs and pant like they've fled for their lives. He starts blabbering, speaking in tongues, latching on to random patrons, spittle flying from his lips. They push him away, unsure how to proceed, his speech unintelligible, the raving of a madman, but then she speaks. “He changed,” she says, and they all look at her with muddy eyes, the salt of the earth, day laborers, men and women with calloused hands and hearts. “What do you mean?” they ask, speaking with one voice. “Brent is dead,” she says. “How?” they ask. Men have ceased their pool games; conversations are on pause. “A monster ate him,” says the girl. Someone laughs in the back, a shrill sound, and then others join in. The bartender picks up the phone; he doesn't know what happened, but he's calling the cops. “You don't understand,” she says, her voice deadpan, her eyes reflecting shock. One man comes up to her, bearded and burly, and asks what he can do for her. “Look outside,” she says, and the man waves at his friends, and soon most of the bar has formed together, a posse intent on investigating the source of discord. The girl, however, refuses to leave the bar. The burly man opens the door, and there it is, the monster, resting on its haunches, a mere foot away from them all. They stare at it like children behind the glass at the zoo. Its claws rest laconically on the concrete; its crooked teeth give it the expression of a foolish dog. Goblin ears rise from its matted skull. The stench of blood hits them like mace, and suddenly they are scrambling back, shutting the door, removing their revolvers. “Jesus Christ,” they say, looking at each other, befuddled. “What the fuck is that?” No one knows; no one knows what to do. It decides for them, crashing through the door, taking the nearest man's head off with one snap of its jaws. Shots ring out, blindly fired; several are wounded, but the creature is not, it moves with preternatural speed and fury, and no one knows what the hell is happening, it is incomprehensible, this chaotic situation, and they make animal sounds, primal pleas, pressing up against each other, pushing each other to their doom, hoping in their hearts that it will stop after one more meal, that its hunger has limits, but they bargain for seconds, and it takes no respite. The girl is the last; it finds her crouching beneath a table, her head down, her arms wrapped around her knees. “I didn't want them to hurt you,” she says, feeling its breath on her face. She raises her head up, looks at it, sees the eyes burning. When the police arrive, no one can identify her body. It took her life and her name.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Professional Hole Digger Here

Does anyone need a hole dug? I am currently offering a deal on two by two holes, buy three for the price of one. This is a quality hole we are talking about. All dirt will be piled neatly next to the hole. Grass sod will be chopped up for easy removal. You could put anything in this type of hole. A bone. A dinosaur. A photograph. It's really up to you.

Don't dig your own holes, folks! That an amateur mistake. Let me ask you this: if you were to dig your own hole, would you first properly measure and mark the area you are planning on displacing? Will the volume of your hole be uniform? Will your hole be free of earthworms, rocks, and miscellaneous debris? No, it won't. Please don't wait. Call a professional.

There's a technique to digging the perfect hole. I won't share it with you (a professional doesn't give away his secrets) but it isn't something you can handle. You've been half-assing holes your entire life. I just spoke with your wife and she said the same thing. Don't worry about how I know your wife. We're good friends from way back. You just let me worry about any holes you need dug.

You need to plant a tree? A bush? Maybe bury the cat so that the dog won't dig it up? Don't hesitate. Your wife would want you to call me, but we don't have to tell her. I can be discrete. I have been for years. Anything you need buried, let me handle it. Of course, it is extra for high-profile holes. You need me to dig a man-sized hole, well, let's just say you're going to be handing over big bucks. But keep in mind: no one will ever find out. When the police scour your place for evidence, no one will find anything or anybody that I have buried. That's a promise, sir. That's our guarantee.

There are assholes out there that claim to offer the same level of service and customer satisfaction that I do. They are charlatans, dilettantes. They could never understand my commitment or my passion for digging holes. Don't pay less and end up with a lesser hole. Please. I'm begging you. Pick up the phone and call me. I will dig the best goddamn hole you've ever seen. It will be a transformative experience. You will never look at holes the same way. Maybe your wife will love you again. But that's not covered by our guarantee. I can't work miracles.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer

Anywhere, nighttime
I look up at the sky and see an infinity of blackness, the past light of dying stars traveled light-years for naught, with only my eyes to see their faint brilliance. So vast the spaces between them, the little lights, more distance than I can imagine. We will never reach them, not in this brittle form, and if something rises from our bones, it will be a puppet, empty of whatever vague substance that makes us different from inanimate rubble. Hah, what a joke that is--I know that we are nothing, and we will always be nothing, and our inability to understand our malignant uselessness is and forever will be our greatest undoing. I unzip my pants and urinate on a fire hydrant, my eyes glued to the blackness, my heart wishing that I was more than a feeble puppet. "It's not just me," I say to the cold night's sky. "It is everyone that has a name."

In a junk store alongside a rural highway, somewhere in the Southern States
I pick up an ancient album and flip through its photographs. On the second page I see myself, clad in a worker's overalls, a garden hoe in my hands, dirt on my cheeks. The look in my eyes is one of stupidity and dullness. I stand in a plowed field, a mule next to me, the horizon an unending sequence of emptiness. Beneath the photo there are words. They say "Migrant worker, Oklahoma, 1932." So it is true: over and over again we are doomed to repeat the same struggle, suffering in every conceivable way. The Buddhists are right, but they offer no salvation. Desiring nirvana will never get one release. You must stumble into enlightenment, just like everything else in life. I leave the shop and purchase a can of cold coca-cola. I feel my teeth rotting with every sip.

In a diner on Highway 61
Here we are, right in the middle of the American dream. I sit at the diner counter and order a cheeseburger, fries, and a slice of apple pie. It all goes down smooth like a placebo. I start a conversation with a trucker, and we talk about football. He has some opinions on immigrants and black people that are somewhat controversial. I listen anyways. Everyone here looks like they crawled out of a trailer, spawned from a eclectic brew of Chef Boyardee, Miller High Life, and pig fat. The waitress gives me a toothy smile as I leave. I give her all the change in my pockets.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

John Kruc's Guide to Becoming an Eating Champion

This is former Phillies slugger and current chili dog eating champion John Kruk here to show you all how to put away hotdogs likes a Taiwanese boy-girl puts away man-meat. Maybe some day you'll get to sit in the ESPN booth with me and Curt Shilling and talk about how Mr. Bloody Sox can't pleasure his wife, hah. I know I'd sure as hell like to discuss hotdogs with Kobayashi but he currently has a restraining order against me. Competitive eating is the oldest sport and here are some tips I've learned the hard way, that is, by eating tons and tons of hotdogs over the years.

Number one would be to eat as much as you can every day, and this is the creed I've lived by, folks, my entire life. I never would've managed a career batting average of .300 had I not consumed four Philly cheese steaks minimum daily every day of my major league career. They're good for you! Don't listen to your doctor, they're all quacks who want to take the fun out of life. So what if I only live to be fifty-two. Life is nothing but pain and suffering. You might as well eat while you can.

Eat like this:

Breakfast: Two pop tarts, a bowl of cereal, three eggs, four pieces of bacon, a yogurt, maybe a case of donuts or two.

First lunch: Four Philly cheese steaks, two cans of Coke, maybe a small baby or three.

Second lunch: Garbage out of the dumpster (hah), a bag of sugar, a chocolate pie, a can of lard, any small animals you can get your hands around.

Supper: Jose Altuve (little bastard's fast), a case of beer, squirrel guts, a thousand communion wafers, a chuck of bread, a ham hock, a bunch of wieners.

Dinner: Poop (hah), another case of beer, cookies, your wife, maybe some peanuts or cracker jacks.

Bedtime snack: Ten chili dogs, somebody's butthole, Wendy's chili

Tip number two would be don't give a rat's ass what you look like. One time, this lady came up to me while I was putting away hotdogs and said "Aren't you supposed to be an athlete?" I said "No, bitch, I'm a baseball player," and then I puked in her face. My wife hasn't had sex with me for ten years because I can't see my penis. Whatever. I just eat and eat.

Tip number three would be to go fuck yourself.

Prince Fielder is the current baseball eating champion, and he destroys toilets like Godzilla.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rand Paul's True Plan for America

Rand Paul is running for president, and he has released extensive information on his national policies. That article, however, didn't cover everything. Pointless Venture has contacted a prominent member of Paul's campaign and gotten the scoop! Behold, Rand Paul's true plan for America!

Priority 1: Get rid of laws, taxes, public schooling, the military, etc. Wasteful government spending has crippled the American spirit. Who needs infrastructure? God damn communists, that's who. You want a road, America, then you start a company that builds roads. You want to throw somebody in jail? What is this, Nazi Germany? Make them pay a fine and move on, either that or shoot them. America doesn't need the rest of the world, despite having invested heavily in the global economy. We'll deal with each other from here on out. That's right, China, go fuck yourself. As an isolationist nation, America has no need for a military, and if we do get into a conflict, we'll form a goddamn company to take care of business. PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING.

Priority 2: Let the states do whatever the fuck they want.

Priority 3: Let YOU do whatever the fuck you want.

Priority 4: Let corporations do whatever the fuck they want.

Priority 5: Smoke weed and get high every day.

Priority 6: Anarchy, BABY. In the crumbling wasteland that will be Rand Paul's America, citizens will be forced to become cannibals driving heavily-modified war vehicles from town to town, stealing precious gasoline. Have you seen Road Warrior? Pretty cool, right? That's the future.

Priority 7: Let poor people off themselves by legalizing hard drugs and abolishing the social safety net.

Priority 8: Abolish the national parks system because fuck the environment.

Priority 9: Put us back on a gold standard.

Priority 10: Money will be set aside for one, and only one, public work project: the construction of a one-hundred foot tall statue of Ayn Rand, libertarian writer, shitty-philosopher, and all around terrible human being.

Priority 11: Burn down the White House, the Pentagon, and the Capitol Building, and privatize what remains of the government to evil alien overlords from the Alpha Draconis system. Reptilians unite! Prepare for the New World Order!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wolf Chapter Six

I sidetracked Wolf for a couple weeks to work on a fantasy novel, but I'm back to work on it again. Horror is fun, even though there isn't much of a market for it unless you're writing about werewolves and vampires boning. I'd like to finish this work at around forty-thousand words, then pair it with my other horror novella, In the Depths of the Valley. Perhaps then both would have a better chance of getting published. Here are chapters one, two, three, four, and five.

Chapter Six
He lies in a motel bed, a week before Christmas, waiting for the prostitute to come out of the bathroom. He wears his suit and tie; the only articles of clothing he has removed are his shoes. The big toe of his right foot sticks out of a hole in his sock, a pink, lint-covered thing. A case of beer rests on the nightstand, half of it consumed and littered on the floor. The television crackles with the muted speech of bastards. He has seen this program before; this brainwashed Evangelical is preaching the benefits of producing enough progeny to fill the entire state of Arkansas. No one's ever taught her bucktoothed husband to use a condom. Filling the world with more idiots, more bigots, more deniers of rational thought. Funny, of course, that he criticizes them; he deals in the irrational, after all, the big, ugly seething mess. That doesn't mean that his work is inexplicable. It doesn't defy thought as much as he sometimes believes. Christ, he whispers, tossing the remote at the television, listening to the sound of the hooker inhaling cocaine in the bathroom. This is the future I would've imagined, were I capable of imagining anything.
            The hooker comes out of the bathroom, white powder clinging to her nostrils, her dress a shiny sequined thing of silver. As she moves, it shimmers like fish scales in the  weak light of the lamp, and he sees an image of himself in her, a twisted body, a distorted face. He grimaces and opens another beer can. This is cheap stuff, watered-down light beer, but he doesn't drink it for the flavor. The woman is pretty for a prostitute, late twenties, he guesses, flaxen hair and a lithe figure. It's her eyes that made him go to her. Great green emeralds, vivid green, a haunted fire behind them, the mark, the sign he always recognizes even if he can't explain it. There was a play, though the king wore another color... he banishes the fragments of thought and calls her to him, his arms opening wide to seize her, to claim her, to make her his own. She comes to him and unzips his trousers, taking his penis in her hand, putting it into her mouth. They found each other at a truck stop, he playing the lonely part, she that of the damsel harlot. This town is suck city, he thinks, his eyes fluttering. A short drink of day-old spittle. One day, hopefully before his ever-approaching demise, he will write some of these stray thoughts down. He has a nephew in Nebraska; maybe he'd like to see the hypothetical book. You're supposed to find and teach your replacement, but he wasn't sure he wanted to damn another soul to this kind of life. The hooker has a soft mouth and an expert grip. He touches the back of her dress while she sucks him, running his fingers across the sequins, finding the zipper. He pulls her off of him and commands her to undress. She's skinny, a little too thin, but her breasts hang like ripe fruit and his hands begin reaching for her before the dress slides down her legs. They fuck for a half-hour before he finally comes. Afterward, they sit naked, exchanging cigarettes, taking sips of beer while the television plays endless commercials.
            “You from around here?” he asks her.
            “Next town over,” she says, taking a long drag on her cigarette.
            “Where'd you get your eyes?”
            “My father,” she says, turning to look at him. He was right; she isn't normal, no sir, not even close.
            “He was an itinerant gambler and womanizer,” he says. “He never paid a month's worth of child support in his life.”
            “That describes half of the men in this county,” she says.
            “But it's true.”
            “Don't be judging. Not everybody's born with a silver spoon,” she says, putting out her cigarette. She falls back onto the bed, her head sinking into the pillow.
            “I was born in a corn field, beneath a harvest moon,” he says, smiling. “My mother was a whore. My father was a pool shark and petty criminal. I have only the greatest respect for the aforementioned professions.”
            “What do you do?” she asks.
            “I'm in animal control. I put things out of their misery.” 
            “Human animals. The kind that huff and puff and blow your house down.”
            “So you're a cop,” she says, looking at him eyes aslant.
            “Do I act like a cop?” he asks, looking up at the ceiling fan. Mounds of dust hang from its blades, centuries' worth. He takes out his wallet and hands a card to her. “What have you seen?” he asks, sitting up, redirecting his gaze. In the center of the television, he sees an enormous petrified fang, black static hovering around it, making the edges vibrate and pulsate. She stares at him; their eyes connect, feeding the green flame. The smell of cloves, a faint touch on his cheek. Shadow people moving behind him, sending silhouettes dancing across the far wall. Christ, not again, he thinks, his fingers digging into the bed spread. He watches helplessly as she opens her mouth. 
            “Nothing,” she says. In between her lips is an abyss. Rain is falling outside, steaming the windows, leaving long acidic streaks. He looks around the room again, blinking stupidly. Cigarette stains. Burn marks on the filthy carpet. Water damage on the ceiling.
            “You ever think that this is hell?” he asks. “I feel like the world started off bad and we made it worse. It was our destiny to make the skies bleed. We eat each other under tenement shacks and in high rise apartments. You know what human tastes like? It tastes just like everything else.”
            “Everything doesn't taste the same,” she says.
            “How do you know? Everything tastes the same to me.”     
            “You're some kind of crazy, ain't you?” she asks. He can see the faint outline of her ribs over the thinness of her pale flesh.
            “You have the green fire. The beautiful burning curse. You see things as I do. Human beings are a demonic race, a plague upon the planet, sowing ruin wherever they go, causing mass extinctions. We're a walking catastrophe, a biblical apocalypse. Hungry monsters prowling the streets, growing fat off of the innards of the earth. We'll bleed it all dry, you know. The earth. Life. Each other. We'll slap each other on the back while we're doing it. 'Congratulations,'” we'll say to each other. 'There's nothing left to kill.'”
               The hooker gets up from the bed and crosses the room, grabbing her sequined dress, stepping into it in one smooth movement, her shoes suddenly on her feet, her purse on her shoulder. The cigarette dangles from her mouth like the lure of some deep sea monstrosity. He reaches out to her from the bed, a feeble gesture, his face melting into a mess of emotions. The television continues its static discharge, unperturbed, a deaf, dumb witness. He argues with her, pleads with her, threatens her, causes a knife to be produced from her purse, and finally the door slams shut. Some phrase set her off, the mentioning of the green fire, perhaps, or just his nihilistic worldview. He hit close to home: that's the problem. He watches her walk to her car without a mask or an umbrella, the rain hitting her, soaking into her pores, bringing her one step closer to death. It's here, unfortunately, lingering in this very room, waiting for him to turn out the lights. The blackness of existence. A cold, strong taste of nothing. The problem, of course, is that he hasn't drank enough beer to put himself to sleep.
            He settles into the bed, brooding, his thoughts turning toward work in order to stave off his fears. The camera feed has picked up nothing so far, and there have been no further deaths. These things are cyclical, however. A flurry of violence and dismemberment and then silence for months, years even. He would hate to have to come back here. But where else do you have to go? he thinks. One place is as good as the next. His eyes flutter; he's falling asleep, he's become a goddamn narcoleptic. He fights the urge but notices that the ceiling is spinning and undulating. He looks at the television and sees two black figures, faceless, their arms interlocked, twisting into each other like tree branches. The whole room has a heavy dark feeling, as though the weight of years of motel room abuse and excess have finally manifested into a web of seething gloom. The figures by the television are looking at him—they don't have eyes, but he can tell—and he scrambles to get out of the bed but he can't move, he's pinned down like an insect, feeble and helpless before these energies. The ceiling comes closer now, flattening the room, compressing emotions, making it hard to breathe. These things have haunted him all of his life. He can't shoot them or whisper them away. They don't respond to mumbled incantations or hapless prayers. They don't speak any language he can understand. They just watch with their empty black faces, worming their way under his eyelids, taunting him with terrible knowledge. They are the emptiness inside us. They have no souls.
Early in the morning, he takes a drive. The fog rests thick and heavy on the road, reducing his visibility to a few feet. It rises from the river, a dead flowing body of stripped trees, human refuse, and toxic waste. He rolls his window down, lets his hand cut through the moist air. Looks like the moors, he thinks, looking at a barren farm field.  This is the kind of weather it likes; wet and cold with death oozing up out of the earth. Part of him wants to call it a “he” or “she,” but he sticks with the genderless pronoun like he was taught. The old bastard who gave him his profession looked like Edger Allen Poe: huge head, high forehead, mustache. He had a different view of things, an optimist's perspective, well, relatively speaking. Let's just say he didn't believe in the complete annihilation of the species. The man smiles in reflection, a rare expression, fleeting. The moon shines through the fog, barely visible, its light ghostly, coming in scattered rays. The burb enclave is in view, the great iron gates locked shut. He does a loop around before picking a spot next to the woods. On the passenger's seat rests a giant knife and a nightvision monocular. He grabs the monocular and peers through it, his ears alive, his hands itching for the knife if things go bad. It could rip through his car roof like paper or tear the door off its hinge with ease, and really, what use would the Bowie knife be against something with that kind of strength? They're huge, usually, though he remembers a gaunt creature, glimpsed through shattered glass, retreating into the forest, dragging its leg. They never found that one, unfortunately; probably bled to death out in the middle of nowhere, a loathsome, pathetic thing.
            Now for the thing he came to see. The mist, rolling to the edge of the woods, parts; something emerges, a hulking beast crawling awkwardly on oversized limbs, its head lolling from side to side, the eyes bright white in the green world of the monocular. He watches as it sniffs the air, tongue dipping out of its mouth. In one claw-like hand it clutches the tatters of a dress. He reaches for the reassurance of the knife, but knocks it to the floor, where it disturbs a pile of beer cans. GoddamnJesusfuckingshit, he mutters, dropping the monocular and turning around to retrieve it. When he is again facing the woods, it stands in the middle of the road, a mere six feet away, looking right through the thin glass, its eyes locking with his own. Scattered patches of fur litter its chest; the skin is a dark brown, muscles rippling beneath. The great head has a stunted muzzle with teeth twisting out from beneath the lips, giving the creature an almost comical appearance. He holds his breath, the knife in his hand. Something flickers in those green eyes, human recognition, perhaps, though he doesn't believe it, he can't believe it, he doesn't think that there's anything substantial differentiating himself and this beast from dirt, water, or rotting flesh. One of its clawed hands reaches out and scrapes against the window, a mournful gesture, one might suppose, but he doesn't move an inch. The eyes flicker and then it is gone, the huge awkward body vanished. He sees a blur leap over the fence and lets his breath out, leaning back, his heart beating again. His hand hurts suddenly, so he looks down and sees that he has been gripping the blade of the knife. Shit. He's bled all over himself.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Unreal Tournament Series Retrospective

A screenshot from the new Unreal Tournament pre-alpha

There is a new Unreal Tournament game in development and it is free! If that means nothing to you, you didn't play 90's arena shooters, and I'm sorry for your loss. The original Unreal Tournament was a staple of the LAN parties of my youth. Many curses were uttered and energy drinks consumed while fragging each other into the wee hours of the night. What I'd give for a good fragging. A nice, long, hot fragging. Anyways, in celebration of UT4, I thought I'd replay and review the various entries in the UT series, looking ahead to the newest iteration.
Unreal Tournament was released in 1999. It was essentially a multiplayer expansion of Epic Games' Unreal, a single player focused shooter. It was another spin on Quake, but unlike ID Software's games, Unreal Tournament was more developed, featuring colorful maps with sci-fi themes, various multiplayer modes, and a huge arsenal of weapons. Also of note is the soundtrack, which is an awesome collection of 90's techno. Playing it today, it still feels good, though the mouse look is a little floaty. Iconic weapons such as the flak cannon and the shock rifle are powerful but spammy. Map design is tight and lacking superfluous details, and most levels are a mix of space stations, industrial complexes, and medieval castles. Although this is my favorite version of UT, I think that most of the weapons are too powerful, though I would like the newest Unreal to take inspiration from its level design.
 Oooh, bright colors

Unreal Tournament 2003/04 was a large update to the series. Player movement changed considerably; dodge jumping was introduced, as well as double jumping, making it harder to hit characters. Curiously, all the maps in UT04 feel gigantic, as though the player character isn't quite to scale with the environment. Replaying it, hitscan weapons like the shock rifle and lightning gun are more useful than traditional staples like the rocket launcher and flak cannon because of the tiny player models and huge maps. The graphics also look cartoony, which contrasts with the copious blood and gore. UT04 featured even more game modes than UT99, while also introducing vehicles to the series. Still a fun game, though I dislike the expanded movement options and cartoon graphics.

It's Gears of Tournament

Epic dropped the year-based naming scheme for UT3. Featuring the now-ubiquitous Unreal Engine 3, UT3 owed a lot in the art department to Gears of War. It's probably the most coherent of the series as far as design goes, but the dark, gritty nature of the levels, mixed with blurry post-processing effects, sometimes make spotting player characters difficult. Epic also focused more on vehicle-based modes like Warfare, to the detriment of Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes. The game launched very buggy, with a server browser that barely worked, which succeeded in killing the community. Perhaps overly derided, I actually like UT3 more than UT04. I feel player movement and weapon balance are best in this iteration. The game feels like an Unreal Tournament game, it just doesn't look like one.

In conclusion, I think UT4 should adhere more to the design of the original Unreal Tournament, while incorporating the weapon balance of UT3. This feels like what they've focused on so far; the one finished map, Outpost 23, isn't as cluttered as UT3 and owes more to the look of UT99. The newest UT is being developed simultaneously with the community and is free to play. Checkout to download the pre-alpha (gganate is my player name, in case you want to get fragged). 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

How Should the Government Spend Your Taxes?

It's tax time, the best of times! Uncle Sam must collect his share so that we can pay for the military-industrial complex and research on how cow flatulence is affecting global warming. Let's be honest, though. You don't think the government is spending your money very wisely. Consider every raise Congress votes itself or pet military projects like the Osprey aircraft that no one wants to fly because it's a death trap. So let's come up with some better things to waste our tax money on. It's just money, after all. It's essentially worthless.

First things first: A Fleshlight for every man. Ladies and gay people can choose between a fleshlight or an assortment of dildos. I don't think I have to justify this to anyone. At least you're getting some bang for your buck.

What about a pair of edible meat underwear? Sounds like a good purchase to me. Republicans get two per person, so that they can gift both their wife and their illegal Latino pool boy.

One copy of Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race for every man, woman, and child. Sure to induce an existential crisis as well as lower the birth rate as more and more people agree that self-consciousness is a terrible tragedy.

For those who can't read too good, a copy of Tom Green's classic film Freddy Got Fingered will be purchased on their behalf. Similar to the above entry, Green's movie will have you wondering if perhaps you did something wrong to deserve this.

Here you go, America. One steaming hot plate of gastrointestinal pain and fury, also known as Skyline Chili. A surefire cure to any constipation that ails you. When you're clutching the toilet, praying to a God who has abandoned you, be sure to thank the people who process your taxes. This one's on them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Consummate Politician Apologizes

Well, shit. My fellow Americans, it seems I am once again in the dog house with you all. Apparently you all don't think our God-given right to discriminate against those who are queer needs to be protected. That's a terrible shame, really, since I was really looking forward to kicking all those poofters out of my tavern in Indianapolis. They come in, dressed all fancy, asking about our vegetarian options. Jesus done gave us teeth so that we could eat all the other animals, not broccoli and nasty kale. If you eat vegetables, then I guess you're queer. Please don't quote me on that.

The fact of the matter is that our religious way of life is under attack in America. A woman basically used to be personal property of her man, and now all the damn feminists have made it where you can't even grope a woman without her calling the cops and saying that you raped her. Nowadays, I have to get my groping done in the Philippines. Used to be, a wife would look the other way when her husband wanted to have some fun with the boys, maybe visit a bathhouse or whatever, you know, bro stuff, nothing gay or anything. Those days are gone. Thanks, Obama.

Let me ask you folks: What would Jesus do? Would he put up with all the butt stuff and all the male hand-holding? Would he put up with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? What about that David Beckham, with his pretty hair and his six-pack? I'll tell you what Jesus would do, he would kick some gay ass. That's all Jesus did in the Bible, riding atop his Triceratops with his army of angels sporting machine guns. Somebody should make a movie about that stuff. I'd sure as hell watch it.

You see, we Christians think that we're better than you because we believe in an invisible sky wizard that seems to be indifferent to the plight of man. It makes perfect sense to adhere to a two-thousand year-old morality system created by the ancient Israelites. If you can't see the logic of an omnipotent creator punishing his imperfect creation for a sin that He knew we'd commit, then I just don't know what else to say to you. You must be a dumb ass. Or a homosexual.

So sure, I'll do the PR thing and tell you all that I'm sorry. Go ahead, believe it. Or not. I don't care because I'm in charge and you're too apathetic to do anything about it. Vote for whoever you think is right. Or don't vote. That's the beauty of democracy. It just works.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mr. Redlegs Speaks

Greetings, mortals! The day grows closer and closer. Opening day, that is. I shall feast on the innocence of Reds fans, increasing my lifespan and bringing me closer to Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos. My joy shall be limitless when Marty Brennaman rests upon a spiked tentacle, silenced mercifully forever, while Thom watches, his own tongue removed. There will be a massacre on the river, friends! I have told the Phillie Phanatic this, and he also pines for the day when he will sacrifice his own terrible fanbase to a dark god, though I feel Shub-Niggurath will be most displeased with the taste of Philadelphia.

Recently, I have been speaking with the moneyed Canadian, the one they call Votto. We have been discussing his approach at the plate, and I agree with Joseph that he shouldn't change a thing. Despite what that emissary of banality (Brandon "The Mouth" Phillips) states, on-base percentage is life. There are no bad players with a .400 on-base percentage. In order to silence Votto's critics, I have completed a dark ritual that should give both Marty and Brandon herpes, if they don't have it already. Let us drink to Nyarlathotep in celebration! Though there will be none for any of us. We are but bottom feeders in a dark and chaotic universe.

The All-star game will be in Cincinnati this year, and my very being tingles with the thought of the Crawling Chaos materializing from his black dimension directly over Great American Ballpark, a  terrible mass of writhing tentacles and eyes. Think of the hot dogs sticking in people's throats, the beer running down the aisles like blood! Unfortunately, Rosie has not given me a son to sacrifice, for her womb is as barren as the parking lot during an Astros' game. I shall have to steal a child and hope that he or she is enough. If anyone wants to give me their child, I may be able to secure said person a place in Nyarlathotep's court, though there are no guarantees, since he is an unpredictable god of chaos. I can give you a gift card for fifty dollars worth of JTM burgers. That's a home run, right?

Come to a Reds game this year, friends. I guarantee a slow and horrible demise for the Brennaman.