Tandem Story

Greetings dear readers. Not a whole lot of blogging today, so I’ll just regurgitate this old joke…

RECEIVED FROM AN ENGLISH PROFESSOR: You know that book Men are from Mars, Women from Venus? Well, here’s a prime example of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted).

First, the Assignment: English 44A, SMU, Creative Writing, Professor Miller.

In-class assignment for Wednesday:

Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when they agree a conclusion has been reached.

And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebecca & Gary:


At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.


Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.

“A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator.

“Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…” But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.

“Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel.” Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth — when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.

“Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table.

“We can’t allow this! I’m going to veto that treaty! Let’s blow ’em out of the sky!”


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, you’re a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.





I missed it… DAMMIT.

On Thursday, October 14th my sister Lesli (of the infamous Ms. Led) faced off against Kurt Block of Young Fresh Fellows/Fastbacks in IRON COMPOSER. This live songwriting competition held at The Crocodile Cafe & presented by the Seattle Rock School tested each contestant as they moved through an aural obstacle course.

One audience member, randomly chosen as the “secret ingredient,” gushed on about his or her current state of affairs (or nefarious past) in a five-minute interview. Each composer then drew inspiration from the personal life-details provided by the “secret ingredient” and incorporated them into an original song.

Each IRON COMPOSER was equipped with “musical kitchens” with the following accoutrements: one guitar, one piano, paper and pencil and one Sous Chef Line Musician. The Sous Chef relayed all information to the house band in parts and conducted live rehearsals with the band on stage. The composers only communicated with the band via the Sous Chef, and had direct access to the band only once, during the final performance.

While most would pshaw at the ease of this particular task the entire 45-minute competition was divided into five nine-minute segments. Each segment contained “Mystery Chaos,” performed by The Interloper (Korby Sears of Seattle School) which attempted to distract the composers from his or her work. As added molasses, each composer drank a shot of liquor at the beginning of each round, consuming five shots in the course of 45 minutes. Only after such consumption did each perform his or her composition.

Needless to say LESLI KICKED ASS!!! Not only did she do the five shots well within the time limit, she had a sixth shot just before her performance and many celebrated toasts after winning. I don’t know many who can write music AND drink everyone under the table.

There are times it really sucks being here in Dallas.


msled_2004.jpgWOW, has it really been a year since my last blog update? *chuckle*

I figured my sister’s birthday was as good a reason to post as I could muster today. Her band Ms. Led has a new album do out in November. You can checkout their flash website to get all the latest info. I should be updating the main HTML site fairly soon.

Feel free to leave her birthday wishes, buy her lavish gifts from Amazon.com or treat yourself and the band by purchasing swag off their website.

My Sister Is My Role Model.

Anyone who knows me will tell you my younger sister is the world to me. Nary a moment goes by where I’m not recanting all the wonderous things about Lesli or pimpin’ her live gigs & CDs. Nobody impresses me more or pushes me to be a better person than her. It’s odd to think of considering I’m the older sibling and I should be the one blazing a trail of greatness.

That’s never really been the case. Sure I’m good, but Lesli is DAMN good. Which is why I was pissed as hell to find out several months ago she had contracted Multiple Sclerosis. You may recall I asked for petition help releasing a new MS drug back in April. At the time I did not expand upon the issue because Lesli was keeping it private. She told me she didn’t want to be known as the “Musician with MS”, thinking her illness would overshadow her talent. Well, I was the first to tell her nothing can overshadow her rock star coolness.

The worst thing about my sister’s MS is that it affects her hands. Can you imagine that? Sometimes she can walk, but she’s unable to use her hands. I pray every night for her. I pray that enough people will have a chance to witness her God given musical talent before it’s stolen from her. I would trade places with her in a second if I could.

Lesli recently made public her fight with the disease. I never doubted for a moment that my sister would make some sort of impact on the world. This current challenge only strengthens my belief in her.

Parking Violation

And then there are the moments that I appreciate the comfort of strangers…

Thanks to the folks leaving positive trinkets at my blog door. More thanks to Jer for sending acolytes of Happy Happy Joy Joy my way. You’ll be glad to know that the past couple of days perked up (or it was simply an attitude adjustment by yours truly).

However, since it is Thursday, which is not quite Friday nor the weekend, I had to log in some confrontation time as I’ve been lax lately. You might recall the last time I flipped a nut on someone.

Anyways… At lunch I was walking out to the parking lot when I noticed this guy pull up next to my car on the driver’s side. As I got closer I noticed he had parked right up beside my car so I wouldn’t be able to open the driver’s door. As he stepped out of his car I mentioned his minor parking infraction and asked him if he could kindly move his vehicle. Without missing a beat he tells me I shouldn’t have parked like a dumbass and proceeds to walk past me.

I’m the dumbass? There were plenty of empty spaces all around my car. I asked a second time with authority and I got a huffed “I’m in a hurry, not my problem reply”.

Needless to say it didn’t take me too long to let the air out of ALL of his tires…

Ten years ago I would have put sugar in that schmuck’s gas tank, but then I was a star pupil during my anger-management classes.