12/31/2008

Two things I thought about while Christmas shopping this year

1. Don’t wear a red shirt if you’re shopping at Target because people are going to ask you about bath and bedding and let's face it you have no idea which aisle that shit is in.


2. You know how department stores will have a set of entry doors, and one of them is automatic and one is manual? What not two automatic doors? They couldn’t afford two automatic doors? These international retail chains couldn’t spring for one more electric door on their billion dollar megastore? The architect just couldn’t sell the CEO on this idea?


“You want doors that do WHAT?”


“Open on their own, sir. Automatic doors.”


“Why the hell would anyone need that?”


“People are going to be going through these doors with a lot of bags in boxes, shopping carts, children, automatic doors make it much easier to get in and out.”


“Sounds expensive.”


“Not really, sir. They run on electricity. It’s 2008.”


“Alright pencil pusher, you can have your doors. But only ONE per store! We’re not running the World’s Fair Expo here.”


That has to be it, right? I can’t think of one possible reason someone would PREFER manual doors. Are they put there just for old-fashioned folks who insist on opening doors for ladies no matter what? Even when it’s extremely awkward and impractical and the door opens inward and you have to jump in front of them and lean way in and try to inch out of their way and make a big scene? And speaking of that what’s the protocol for opening doors for dudes? Is it ever expected? When a dude opens a door for me, I experience an uncomfortable pause before I realize I’ve just been vaguely emasculated, and then dart quickly through the door to minimize the duration of the awkwardness. If I ever lose my arms, though, like maybe in a swordfight or a luge accident, please do open the door for me, even if you're a dude, or even if you're a lady. That would be nice, especially if it’s a pulldoor, because I could probably open a pushdoor without having any arms, but a pulldoor? Not so much. Not so much.

12/27/2008

Things everyone wants for Christmas but never gets



Future technology (anti-grav boots, flying skateboards, pizza pills, etc)

Beneficial genetic mutations (vampire teeth, pockets in skin, cupholders, functional extra arm)

Video game machines that make video games go so much more awesome

Like a shit-ton of money

Gift card to that store in the mall that sells swords and knight stuff

Gift card to the bank for buying money

A world where everything is fun and people are made out of chocolate

Doggie

12/22/2008

Ideas for Solving the Economic Crisis

Ideas for solving the economic crisis:



Get consumers spending again by having someone make a really awesome new thing that everyone will want.


Bail out the auto industry, but only on the condition that they develop a flying car by 2012 because that was supposed to happen a long time ago dammit.


Convert currency from dollars to chocolate gold coins because those have inherent value.


.

12/21/2008

Love and a Towtruck

I wrote a new song. Like "Girl on the Internet", this is another of those "just for the hell of it" songs. Wrote and recorded it this weekend while trapped in my apartment by a massive snowfall. It's my way of striking back at the elements.

P.S Sorry I suck at piano. : (


http://www.myspace.com/isaacmarionmusic

12/20/2008

My brother's autobiography!

Many of you people know my brother: noted community organizer, supporter of the arts, and international dance sensation, Nathan Marion. His inspiring life story has been the subject of countless articles, dozens of documentaries, several unauthorized biographies, and three slightly fictionalized biopic films. (Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, and Stomp The Yard.) But this is the first time we've been able to hear the REAL story, straight from the man himself.




CANT STOP DANCING:
The Nathan Marion Story

By Nathan Marion


CAN'T STOP DANCING is the quintessential American story, full of hope, optimism, and sexy dancing. Born into poverty in Haiti, no one ever expected Nathan to get out of the slums. But after a run in with local law enforcement gets him deported to America, he discovers hip-hop dancing on the streets of Brooklyn, and his life is changed forever. As he practices relentlessly to be the best street dancer in New York, he finds himself out of cash and out of luck, forcing him to go to the Mob for help. Things look bleak as Nathan sinks deeper and deeper into a tangled web of crime, but his indomitable spirit and irrepressible love of dance win over the local Mafia boss, who agrees to give Nathan ten of his men to form a dance troupe and join the upcoming national dance competition. The only catch--the rival team in the competition is the NYPD! It's cappos VS coppers in the dance brawl of the century. Can Nathan Marion help the police department and organized crime overcome their differences through the power of dance? The answer will leave you breathless, in one of the most gripping, poignant true stories in American history.

12/19/2008

Dear Overly Expressive Coffeeshop Guy...

...how I wish you were not sitting one spot down from me.

You are alone at your table, but your exaggerated body language, sharp movements, loud sighs, chuckles, and mutterings carry on a boisterous, one-sided conversation with everyone else in the room.

The math homework you're working on might be a riveting dramatic novel by the way you grunt and go bug-eyed and violently adjust yourself in your seat.

Do you have so little going on in your own head that outer stillness horrifies you? Or are you just desperately forcing yourself into our awareness in the hopes of being noticed and--somehow--befriended?

Oh Overly Expressive Coffeeshop Guy, how I wish you had taken your meds today.

.

12/15/2008

Densely Packed Children

You know how when you see those big mobs of little kids being herded across the street like tiny hairless cattle? Are those daycare groups on their way to the park, or an illegal child-stealing operation bringing shipments of children to a sausage plant where they make illegal sausages out of children? You would think that kind of thing would be illegal.
But if it’s not illegal I think the daycare workers should definitely wear cowboy hats, and be riding horses. And if a kid got too far out of line, instead of saying something like “Hey, get back in line!” they would do that thing where they throw the lasso around them and then tie their hands and feet together and sling them over their shoulders, cowboy style. That would be a daycare that teaches kids about the realities of life.


(For the next few updates I'm going to include my WARM BODIES promotion at the bottom, so it doesn't get buried. I really want to this book to go.)



So my friends, we are coming down to it. Reports from my test readers are coming in, I'm working on the edits, and everything is on schedule to have this book written, printed, and beautifully bound by January 2009. Keep in mind I can ONLY PRINT 100 COPIES, so if you really want to read this book, I encourage you to PREORDER NOW. Unfortunately, as much as I like you and all, I won't be able to reserve or set aside copies for anyone, I just can't afford to risk it, so it's going to be first come first serve.

That said, I love you all very very much, and can't wait to share with you the world I've been living in for the past 8 months. Merry Christmas.

12/13/2008

WARM BODIES official trailer!

You know me. I don't let a little censorship and family outrage slow me down. After having my teaser trailer axed and pulled offline by the offended father of the kids I filmed, I have gone back to the drawing board, and created another one. This one is not a teaser, this is the full length official promo for WARM BODIES. Think of it as the back of a book jacket, but more fun, and with less drooling hyperbole by the publisher. Enjoy...



So my friends, we are coming down to it. Reports from my test readers are coming in, I'm working on the edits, and everything is on schedule to have this book written, printed, and beautifully bound by January 2009. Keep in mind I can ONLY PRINT 100 COPIES, so if you really want to read this book, I encourage you to PREORDER NOW. Unfortunately, as much as I like you and all, I won't be able to reserve or set aside copies for anyone, I just can't afford to risk it, so it's going to be first come first serve.

That said, I love you all very very much, and can't wait to share with you the world I've been living in for the past 8 months. Merry Christmas.

12/10/2008

SHUT IT DOWN!

Well friends, it's finally happened. My first (probably first of many) run-in with censorship. Yesterday I posted a video trailer for my book, WARM BODIES, on Youtube. It featured a lonely zombie wandering through a deserted city while a soft Frank Sinatra ballad plays on the soundtrack, attacking a living person, and then offering some leftovers (a severed arm) to his two children. The arm was played by a plastic prop I bought from a costume store, and the children were played by my kindergarten niece and nephew. Their parents are divorced and they live with my sister. My sister saw this video for what it was--a whimsical, sad, slightly funny vignette promoting a life-affirming book about zombies. My brother in law, though, as the parent of the kids in question, saw it differently, and was very disturbed by it. So I had to take it down. So, no more book trailer. Sadface. But oh well, I had another, longer one in the works anyway. Stay tuned.

12/07/2008

Your Face

Some bad things that happened to me this week:



1. I got a dry cough that feels like a bird is building a nest in my lungs.

2. I tried to take a nice relaxing bath, only to remember that I'm 6 foot 3 and can fit in no mortal bathtub.

3. I kept a movie from Blockbuster too long and was thus forced to purchase and own The Incredible Hulk.



Some good things that happened to me this week:



1. I heard some great new "Your Face" jokes from the kids I work with.


4 Yr Old Kid: You ain't the boss a me!

Dad: Yes I am! You ain't the boss a ME!

Kid: Well you ain't the boss a your FACE!


and my favorite so far...

(6 yr Old and his 11 yr old sister are sitting down at table to eat dinner)

Sister: Hey, we ain't got no cups!

Kid: You're FACE ain't got no cups!




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11/23/2008

How sad is it....

....that one of the most melodically pretty songs on the radio right now is set to the lyrics: "Shorty wanna thug, bottles in da club, shorty wanna hump, you know I wanna touch, your lovely lady lumps"

???

Seriously, can you just picture whoever "produced" this song pouring their heart and soul into this instrumental melody and then handing it over to Lil Wayne and watching him do what he do?
It's ridiculous how incongruous to the melody so many Top 40 lyrics are. The melody says "The world is beautiful and I'm in pain", but the lyrics say "I like to have sex in bars."


.

11/20/2008

Stories / Zombie update

I've posted a very minor story/poem called "Wind House". I also revised another minor short I posted a while back, "Awww..." in case you missed it/skipped it.

Novel update:

Last Tuesday, I finished writing my indie romantic pro-zombie epic parable, WARM BODIES. By "finished" I mean finished the first draft, ie, I wrote the last paragraph, but I still have editing to do. I expect to finish that this weekend. Then I send it out to some people for feedback, make revisions, and hopefully have it all finished and printed before Christmas. This is the plan. Cross your fingers with me on this, as we all know anything can happen in the Holiday season.

11/19/2008

Too Much Cummings!

It is my belief that America is about to reach a critical and catastrophic overload of Jim Cummings voiceover work.

Who is Jim Cummings? He's a voice actor whose gravelly voice has become so ubiquitous it's now nearly impossible to go through a day's worth of media without at least one of those "Hey! That's Jim Cummings!" moments.

At present time, Cummings is the current narrator in several McDonalds radio ads, all the Schucks Auto Supply radio ads, and the Cheeze-It commercials--and that's just off the top of my head. In addition to his inescapable presence in commercials, a quick scan of his IMDB reveals that he's been in just about every animated film, TV show, and video game since the dawn of time:


And what's so disturbing is, his voice is ENTIRELY recognizable, even when it's changed dramatically for different characters. So once you're attuned to that thick, sandy, nauseating smoker's baritone, you will start to notice it...everywhere.

Naturally the result of this is a deep, permeating, ontological horror:

As one starts to hear Jim Cummings in every character, every narrator, every commercial and every broadcast in every form of every media, one starts to feel like THE WHOLE WORLD IS JIM CUMMINGS----that everyone you thought you knew, all your friends and family members, THEY'RE ALL JUST CHARACTERS VOICED BY JIM CUMMINGS, and soon, inevitably, EVEN YOU WILL BECOME JIM CUMMINGS!

It's at that point that one leaps off a rope bridge or factory catwalk and lets out a piercing, hopeless Wilhelm Scream.



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11/01/2008

Kung Fu Kids / Zombie Novel

Had a rather entertaining conversation with one of my clients at the rehab clinic the other day. Me and this huge African American ex-convict drug addict were sitting around watching Jet Li's "Fearless" with his 4 year old son, and he revealed that when he was younger he trained in five different styles of martial arts, such as Kung Fu, Aikido, Ninjitsu, etc. He complained how wildly unrealistic Kung Fu movies are in their depictions of Kung Fu techniques, and we talked about how it would be nice if his son could get involved in martial arts. As we discussed this, his son was flying around the room striking dramatic poses, making grim faces, making sound effects, kicking couches, toys, and us. We decided maybe teaching him martial arts wasn't such a good idea, imagining the irate phone calls from Daycare:

"Uhh, sir? Your son performed the Three Fingered Stinging Dragon Technique on Timmy at lunch today. Yeah, so Timmy's paralyzed, and your son won't undo the technique...we really need you to come down here."

By the way, news from the writing front...

As I may have mentioned, I'm working on a full-length novel based on my one-hit-wonder short story, "I Am a Zombie Filled With Love". In fact, I'm almost finished with this novel, it's the best thing I've ever written, and I'm extremely excited about it.

It's called WARM BODIES.

The story:

"An existentially tormented zombie rescues a fiery teenage girl from being eaten by his fellow undead, taking her back to the zombies' airport city as a camoflaged captive. As he finds himself falling in love with her, he discovers a long-forgotten sense of purpose, and attempts the impossible feat of bringing himself, and the rest of his decaying world, back to life."

Amazingly, I expect to be done writing this book before the end of November.
Stay tuned, or as the British say, "chuned".

10/20/2008

Rehab!

Rehab is awesome!

Guess what, I finally moved into Second Phase! After six months, I finally get to go upstairs! Less rules, less restrictions, and no people walking around in life-jackets! The play room has leather chairs! They have movies other than TMNT! That one scary giant guy with the ponytail that looks exactly like Micky Rourke can’t get me up here!

The food is a little better too. Instead of hot dogs in slices of white bread with American cheese and maybe some Meth Sprinklins, we have some actually pretty decent hardshell tacos! On the down-side, the bathrooms are a lot smaller. Like, airplane small. Not much room to light up a crack spoon. I guess that’s probably the idea though.

Oh I should probably explain, I’m only in rehab because of my job. It’s weird, a lot of the people who get their kids taken away by CPS really like to go to rehab a lot! Difrent strokes for difrent folks, as they say. It’s not like I can’t relate… They just made me watch the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to kill myself if I can’t run downstairs to Phase One and score some heroin to wash that taste out of my brain. Uhhhhh….my nerves hurt.




.

10/18/2008

An Average Day

Walk into Ballard Market. Scope out from a distance--which entrance contains the panhandler? Choose opposite entrance. Buy day-old desserts and eat them in the car.

Steal Burger King chicken fries from 6 year-old during visit supervision. He doesn't need the calories. Fatass.

If a construction crane has to be taller than the thing it's constructing, what do they use to construct the crane? Next time terrorists want to attack New York, they should hijack construction cranes. And put a big boxing glove on the arm. Pow! You just got knocked out by Al Qaeda.

Get really hungry again. Order fish tacos from Taco Del Mar. Scowl at the incompetent taco-artist as he squirts all the salsa onto one side, unbalancing the taco. Smolder silently.

Realize that your entire day revolves around eating. Eat a quesadilla and fruit smoothie just before bed. Dream of apocalypse and car crashes. Wake in cold sweat. Pee in the dark. Go back to sleep. Dream of apocalypse and weiner dog armies.




Also, Monday is the deadline for voter registration. Go register now, loser. It's your civic duty to vote, no matter who you plan on voting for. Yeah right. Vote for Obama.

.

10/16/2008

Desperate Candy Bars

Have you seen/heard these Kit Kat commercials?

This fairly mediocre chocolate-covered wafer bar is making a desperate bid to become an iconic snack staple by claiming to be the perfect companion for coffee.

The commercials involve people with annoying squeaky voices requesting Kit Kats with their coffee at various establishments, then acting outraged when they learn that the place doesn't offer Kit Kats. A guy tells a Donut Shop that it's "close minded" to sell Donuts and not Kit Kats. Girl tells a barista that they should replace their pastry case with a vending machine full of Kit Kats.

Really? Kit Kat, the B-list candy bar that no one actually eats and is only remembered because of a catchy jingle, is going up against DONUTS and PASTRIES for the hearts and minds of America's coffee drinkers?

I don't think I've ever seen a more desperate attempt for a product to force itself, uninvited, into the public imagination. I am inspired, and will now attempt to use the same strategy to promote my own products.


COMMERCIAL #1

(Woman lying a sunny beach reading a book)

(Man with annoying squeaky voice approaches woman)

MAN: Hey there, what are you reading?

WOMAN: Oh, it's just "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

MAN: Oh really? That sounds lame, how come you're not reading "The Inside", by Isaac Marion?

WOMAN: Excuse me?

MAN: Haven't you heard? Nothing goes better with lying on the beach than an Isaac Marion novel!

WOMAN: Umm...

MAN: Mind if I sit on your back while I apply sunblock to my bikini area?



COMMERCIRAL #2:

(Crowd is in the Sistine Chapel, admiring the ceiling.)

(Man with squeaky annoying voice walks in)

MAN (Shouting loudly, echoing in the large space): Hey! Where are all the Isaac Marion paintings?

TOURIST: Shhh!

MAN: But Isaac Marion paintings are perfect for walking around and looking at and taking pictures of! Christine's Chapel is STUPID!


COMMERCIAL #3

(Woman is in bed drinking tea and listening to Beethoven)

(Man suddenly crashes in through her window and shoves a CD in her face)

MAN: Don't listen to THAT! Listen to ISAAC MARION'S MOON COLONY!

(Woman screams)




Is this working? Am I replacing long-established classics yet?



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10/04/2008

Lincoln / Washington erotica

I have just uncovered what appears to be fan-art from the earliest known Abraham Lincoln / George Washington slash fiction!



"The Apotheosis of Lincoln", a silver etching by an unknown artist, circa 1860


"Oh George," Abe whispered breathlessly, gazing rapturously into the white-haired president's stormy gray eyes, "I've waited for this so long."

"So have I, Abe," George murmured sexily, and smiled like the sun, revealing his finely carved wooden teeth. "Now let me take you to Heaven..."



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9/30/2008

SUNROOF WORLD PREMIER!

The wait is finally over, friends. It ran 2 minutes over Youtube's time limit so I had to split it into 2 parts.

SUNROOF!!















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9/29/2008

SUNROOF....delay....

My serial killer thriller teen family drama, SUNROOF, is following the path of such troubled but highly anticipated films as WATCHMEN and THE DARK KNIGHT, suffering through what we in Hollywood refer to as "development hell". I have one last delay to report---but I'm happy to tell you this is a short one.

SUNROOF will be released tomorrow instead of today. I'm ALMOST done with it, but I have to go to work in five minutes and probably won't be able to wrap this project until later tonight. So, since 7:00-11:00 AM on a workday is the internet-movie equivalent of an 8:00 Friday night premier for "real" movies, I'll be posting the finished movie tomorrow morning.

Get ready to laugh, cry, scream, and maybe eat a snack or something.

Don't open your SUNROOF!!

9/21/2008

SUNROOF trailer!





The bad news is: the planned release date for my serial killer thriller, SUNROOF, Sept 22, has been pushed back a week due to production delays. It will now premier next Monday, Sept 29.

The good news is: I have a trailer for you.

SUNROOF!!!!

9/19/2008

Volcano Taco

I was recently asked by a reader to review Taco Bell's latest entry in their increasingly cartoonish line of heart-stopping junk food: the ominously titled Volcano Taco.

I used to eat Taco Bell pretty much on the daily, during what I like to call my "college days"--ie, the period of my life where I would have been going to college, had I gone to college. Ever since "graduating", however, with my masters' in Not Going to College, I pretty much avoid fast food like something really nasty that everyone tries to avoid, I dunno, poop or something. Don't expect me to come up with good metaphors, I didn't go to college.

So the idea of eating this "Volcano Taco" sent shivers of nausea through my digestive tract, but since I love the idea of getting "requests" sent in by "fans", I decided to do it. On my way to Taco Bell, I was nearly lured away from my mission by Taco Del Mar, which is directly across the street. Today is Friday, you see, and at Taco Del Mar, that means it's FISH FRIDAY, and that means 2 fish tacos for 3.69! All I'd need is 2 loaves of bread and I could eat like Mexican Jesus. But no. I had a job to do.

I crossed the street, and ordered the taco. It cost $1.09. The drivethru lady seemed baffled. How could I survive off just one little dollar taco? I smirked and said, "I guess you folks don't get a lot of professional food critics in here. Obviously I can't have my sensitive pallette getting confused by any Steak Fajita Melts or Zesty Chicken Bowls, can I? Just one taco please. One...Volcano Taco." I said that with some dramatic breathiness to show her I meant it. She got the idea.

I got the taco. I considered taking it home, but decided I should eat it in the Taco Bell parking lot for maximum authenticity. To really soak up the vibe. When I opened the taco, the first thing that caught my eye was the corn tortilla shell. It was red. I had seen this on the poster, of course, and based on that poster I had expected the shell to be covered in pseudo-delicious flavor powder. It was not. It was just a regular taco shell, dyed a vivid, eczema red. Yum.

Inside the flamboyant shell, basically what we have is a taco. With hot sauce. There's the shredded cheddar cheese, there's the shredded iceberg lettuce, there's the finely ground powdered-beef, and saturating it all, there's the thick, oozing hot sauce, which is actually just gas-station nacho cheezz pumped full of chili powder. So that's it. That's the Volcano Taco. The name seems a bit hyperbolic for a taco that's not even particularly spicy. Maybe the "Volcano" refers to what awaits me on the toilet later this evening.

9/15/2008

Darkwing Duck

I haven't been doing a lot of updates lately, as I've been pouring all my time into writing a zombie romance novel and making horrifically offensive videos, so to hold you over while you wait for the world premier of SUNROOF, allow me to give you this list of interesting ways Darkwing Duck's catchphrase "Let's get dangerous!" has been translated for various overseas broadcasts....







Danish Lad os så vove fjerene! Now let's risk our feathers!

Dutch Laten we lekker link gaan doen! Let's get really risky!



French Ça va craindre un max! It's gonna get scary big time!

German Zwo, Eins, Risiko! Two, one, danger!



Hindi Ho Jaye Khatron Se Takkar (हो जाए खतरों से टक्कर।) Let's tackle danger!
Indonesian Hadang bahaya!! Charge the danger!

Italian Dagli addosso, Duck! Go for it, Duck!

Japanese 危険が俺を呼んでるぜ!
Danger is calling me!

Korean 덤벼 보라고! Go ahead and attack me!

Mandarin Chinese 讓我搞破壞! Let me do some destruction!

Norwegian La oss bli farlige! Let's become dangerous!

Polish Oj, powieje grozą! Oh, it's gonna be dangerous!

Portuguese(Brazil) Vamos encarar o perigo! Let's face danger!



Russian Ну-ка, от винта! Clear the propeller!










Clear the.....? Nevermind.


NOTE: SUNROOF will premier next monday, Sept 22nd!



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9/06/2008

My latest Craigslist sale

Trader Joe's brand toilet paper 12 pack -- 8 packs remaining - $3 (Balard)


Reply to: sale-830784186@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-09-06, 7:07PM PDT


I am selling my 12 pack of Trader Joe's brand toilet paper. The package is open but the toilet paper is NOT USED. There are 8 rolls left in the pack. I used the first 4, but would like to sell the rest. I have upgraded to Cottonelle 2-ply with Aloe and E, and no longer want the Trader Joe's rolls in my house. There is nothing wrong with this toilet paper, it gets the job done, but I found it a little on the abrasive side. I have come to realize that you can judge a lot about a person by the quality of the toilet paper they bring into their home. The price difference between quality levels is negligible compared to the ways in which it affects your life and the way you feel on many deep levels. That being said, this is not a "bad" toilet paper, I have just moved on. Let me know if you are interested, I would like to sell by the end of Sept, as I have nowhere to store this extra toilet paper right now.




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8/16/2008

Eli Jones and the Onion Clock

I recently realized that the stuff I've been writing lately has really been more like poetry than narratives, and I decided I wanted to get back to real storytelling. So here we have my first full-length short story since "Loud Neighbors", damn near 8 months ago! Wow.
As a memoir written in southern dialect by a man who creates diseases for a living, it's not exactly a "return to form", but I had a great time writing it.

Enjoy...



8/14/2008

Power Cord Origins

Over the course of last weekend, I did a lot of moving of objects to and fro about my apartment. You see, I was having my carpets replaced. The old ones were very old. I had to trace back through legends and oral history of previous tenants to determine when they were last replaced, and the earliest record of them being there was sometime near the end of the previous century. They are the kind of carpets printed in that classic mottled brown style that thinks it's avoiding looking dirty by simply being printed that way to begin with.

In order to clear the way for the carpet guys, I had to haul every single object from my living area into the kitchen. Then, when they finished in the living area, I had to haul every single object from my bedroom into the living area. And then all back again. So I got to be intimately familiar with pretty much everything I own. One of the issues that plagued me often is the baffling properties of the common power cord. I realize I'm certainly not the first person to be driven near to insanity by the power cord's uncanny clinging and tangling abilities. But looking at these things, I just had to wonder...how did this come to be? Almost ALL power cords end in the exact same shape:



So exactly who's idea was this universal design? And why did they decide that these cords should be shaped LIKE A GODDAMN GRAPPLING HOOK???

You ALL know what I'm talking about. You've all struggled with this, trying to pull a power cord around a corner, watching it cling magically to everything in its path, somehow managing to hook itself on FLAT WALLS AND PERFECT SPHERES....

Could we get a little aerodynamics here? Could we soften these corners? Make them a little less grabby? Maybe redesign the cord itself, replacing whatever rubber we're using now with something a little less adhesive? Like, I dunno, INDUSTRIAL AEROSPACE GLUE???

My back still hurts a little, but oddly enough it's not from single-handedly relocating my upright piano three times....
Just image the physics of this situation...when a young man is coming out of a hardware store carrying a full size garbage can full of gallon paint cans and painting supplies, and he opens his car's rear door, realizes he can't get through now to put the can in the back seat, and is confronted with a choice---does he shut the door, move past it, and put the can in the back seat? Or does he heft the can up OVER the door and simply squeeze his body between the door and the neighboring parked car? Here is the equation I came up with:

Young man
+
Heavy Object
÷
Obstacle
x
Sudden Appearance of Hot Girl
=
Back Pain



.


8/11/2008

NEW BOOK!

My picture book Anna has just been delivered from the printers.
Look at her, isn't she beautiful?












I made 50 copies. I have 25 left.


Want more info? Want to buy a copy?
Go HERE


(If you are one of the beautiful people who pre-ordered, your copies were shipped Saturday morning.)

8/10/2008

Happy Birthday in D minor

Because every day should be your birthday.





(Video produced by Tiffany Demott)

7/30/2008

DINO DREAM - NEW STORY

A dream I had last night:

I am in the old house in Mt. Vernon where I spent most of my childhood. It's me, my brother, and an unknown character played by Seth Rogen. Suddenly and for no reason, we find that the whole city is infested by dinosaurs. We are trapped on this hill, cut off from the rest of humanity by the throngs of carnivorous dinos that hang out at the bottom of the hill. We stay here for a while, and Seth Rogen rigs some kind of a fishing mechanism that can catch fish out of the river from way up in our back yard. The smaller, harmless dinosaurs that frolic in the yard bump into this device and knock it off the cliff into the river. At this point we are mostly holed up in the house because dangerous dinos have been roaming through the yard occasionally. (One of those dome-headed ones rams the kitchen window with his bone head trying to get in, but the glass doesn't break.) The back door doesn't latch securely so I have to stand there at all times to hold it shut.

Things go wrong when Seth Rogen decides we're going to starve without that fishing machine, and goes outside to retrieve it. My brother goes after him to stop him. As they stand on the back yard deck arguing, I see a velociraptor ambling around the side of the house. I scream at them, "Guys! Get inside!", they run for the door but it's too late. Oddly, the raptor focuses all it's attention on me, ramming and clawing at the door instead of attacking Rogen and my brother, who are ALSO clawing at the door trying to get in. After a few minutes of this the raptor does finally turn on them and starts clawing my brother, and I realize I have no choice. I open the door suddenly and all three of them topple inside. It's the four of us---me, my brother, Seth Rogen, and the velociraptor--facing off in the kitchen.

I recognize that we're probably all going to die but I desperately yell, "Ok let's kill this fucker!" and tackle the raptor, grabbing it by the neck and trying to choke it or snap it's neck. The raptor catches my arm in it's teeth and as it bites me I hear a calm British nature-show voiceover saying, The velociraptor's sharp teeth cause third degree lacerations, severing his ligaments and rendering his hands useless.

I realize it's all over, and before I can experience the unique sensation of being mauled and eaten by a dinosaur, I pull the plug on the dream and wake up.

Oh and also, I wrote a new flash story.

"WILL HE...?"



Oh and also...the script is finished and we're in pre-production for SUNROOF.







Hold on to your seatbelts.







This is one option you're gonna wish didn't come standard....






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7/21/2008

Restroom Scenario

A scenario:

You're in a small, one-stall public restroom. Someone comes in and goes to the stall. They shut the door and immediately let forth an Orcish symphony of farts, squirts, plops, and grunts. You freeze, wondering should you be quiet and pretend you've left? Or should you make as much noise as possible to try to mask this excretory opus so they can believe you can't hear them? You decide on the latter. You aim your pee stream into the urinal bowl for maximum water noise. The flush buys you some time. You wash your hands with the faucets on all the way. You dispense paper towels with excessive force, you dry your hands violently, you slam the towel into the garbage and make your escape, shutting the door firmly behind you. You feel like you need to wipe your eardrums.

7/19/2008

I'M MAKING A MOVIE!

Since literature is dead, I'm adapting to the times and making a movie! I'm writing the screenplay right now, but here is the pitch, in case there are any movie executives reading this. Let the bidding wars begin!

Film treatment for "SUNROOF" by Isaac Marion and Erin Thompson

JACK MCQUEEN is an ex cop with a drinking, smoking, and dead-wife-whose-death-he-blames-himself-for problem. After a string of brutal murders rocks his hometown of Los Angeles, California, he is called out of retirement to catch the killer because a bunch of detectives are taking vacations and the LAPD is shorthanded.

The killer is nicknamed "THE SUNROOF KILLER" because he kills his victims by reaching down through their open sunroofs and grabbing their heads with a modified car waxer with a claw instead of a waxing sponge. He grabs their heads with the claw then turns on the waxer, which spins their heads right off.

The story cuts between Jack and the Sunroof Killer, and we see in FLASHBACKS that the killer used to work in a car detailing shop, until one day he was working with a waxer and a car full of SEXY TEENAGE GIRLS drove by, two of them popped out of the SUNROOF and flashed him, and he got so distracted that he dropped the waxer in his lap and it TWISTED OFF HIS PENIS. Now he hates all sexy teenage girls, and plans to murder ALL OF THEM one by one for vengeance.

Jack eventually does enough ASKING AROUND IN SCARY NEIGHBORHOODS that he figures out who the killer's next victim will be---JACK'S OWN TEENAGE DAUGHTER, CANDY. At the time he figures this out, Candy is already on her way to a SEXY TEENAGER PARTY with some of her friends. Jack races to warn her, but he isn't too worried because he knows that Candy's car doesn't have a sunroof. What he doesn't realize is that Candy is riding in her FRIEND'S CAR, which HAS A SUNROOF.

While they are driving, a hand suddenly comes down through the sunroof. They have all heard about the Sunroof Killer on the news so they all scream, but then Jack's head pops in, and they realize it's not the SUNROOF KILLER—it's Candy's dad, Jack.

Jack climbs inside and tells all the girls that the killer is after them and they have to get to the police station right away. Suddenly they hear a thump on the roof, and realize this must be the SUNROOF KILLER. Jack has an idea, and orders Candy to close the sunroof so the Sunroof Killer can't get in. But the Sunroof Killer has INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF SUNROOF MECHANISMS from all his years working as a car detailer, so he knows how to tap into the car's computer and STOP THE SUNROOF FROM CLOSING. He reaches down through the still open sunroof and grabs one of Candy's friends' head with his modified claw waxer hand, and PULLS THE GIRL'S HEAD OFF.

As the killer is reaching through the sunroof again to grab Candy's head, Jack grabs the killer's arm and pulls him inside. The killer's face is obscured by a car-painter's ventilation mask, but Jack pulls it off, revealing that the killer is---JACK'S DEAD WIFE.

It turns out that all the backstory flashbacks were FAKE, and that the killer was actually Jack's dead wife all along. In NEW FLASHBACKS we see that Jack's wife was always very into Voodoo and Magik, so when she got shot by a CRIMINAL THAT ESCAPED FROM JACK's PRECINCT and fell into the lake but didn't actually die, she was so angry at Jack for ignoring her interests in Voodoo and Magik and not trying to find her body and resurrect her, that she decided to go into hiding for years, and then kill their teenage daughter for revenge. Jack weeps and promises he will take more of an interest in Voodoo and Magik, and his wife forgives him. Jack, his wife, and Candy all hug. We see them later all eating breakfast at home, and Jack reveals that he has quit drinking and smoking.

Fade to end credits.


"SUNROOF is a genre-bending mix of thriller, crime thriller, and suspense thriller, it's I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER meets I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER."


Casting suggestions: DJ Qualls (Jack McQueen) Zhang Ziyi (Candy McQueen) Ron Perlman / Catherine O'Hara (Sunroof Killer / Jack's
Wife)


Tagline: "DOES YOUR CAR HAVE A SUNROOF...?"

Tagline #2: "YOU'RE GOING TO WISH YOUR CAR DIDN'T HAVE A SUNROOF..."

Tagline #3: "SUNROOF!"

Potential sequel: SUNROOF 2: THIS TIME HIS OTHER HAND IS COMING IN THROUGH THE REAR DRIVER SIDE WINDOW

Potential Sequel alternate title: SUNROOF 2: SONROOF





Also, I have two new short-shorts up, just one paragraph each for your convenience.

STREET PUKE

and

AWWW...



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7/13/2008

NEW STUFF!

Hey kids....
NEW! STUFF!

First off, I've posted three new short-short stories.

"FOUR FAMILIES"

"DOTTED LINES"

"A SMALL WEDDING"


These can all be found on the totally new STORIES page, which has been totally revamped for easier and more visually stimulating navigation.

And thirdly, my graphic novel, Anna, is now available for pre-ordering, and features a sample teaser including the first 16 pages of the book.




Keep in mind I am only printing 50 copies of this book and I will NOT be printing another batch when these sell out. This is all there is, unless/until it gets picked up by Fantagraphics, so if you want one, now's the time to make the world a better place by supporting indie lit/art.

That's all. Enjoy.



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7/02/2008

A Chase Sequence, plus "Isaac Updates"

Opening vignette:

Isaac is approaching street corner occupied by man with clipboard, hawking some kind of environmental cause. Man is seeking email addresses and donations Isaac can't afford.

Isaac's favorite coffee shop is on corner. He has been nimbly avoiding man for several weeks.

As he draws nearer, Isaac glances around and spots another passerby approaching from opposite street. Isaac slows pace, calculating scenario.

Passerby's speed ÷ Passerby's distance to hawker X diameter of hawker's attention range -1 mph = Correct Walking Speed for Isaac

Isaac holds back slightly, and just before Isaac steps into hawker's range circle, hawker spins around and ensnares Passerby. While Passerby struggles to escape, Isaac passes through hawker's corner unaccosted, and continues on to coffee shop.

Oh Passerby. If only you had paid more attention in Geometry and Physics.



Now a few little updates about what is going on with me, if you care. If you don't care, you can go here.

MY LIFE STATUS:

I have been taken on as a client of L.A based manager, Brooke Ehrlich. She has referred The Inside to a New York literary agent who she thinks will be interested in signing me. He's currently reviewing it, and I'm crossing my fingers that he likes it. If he signs me, I think there's a pretty good chance he'll be able to get it published. This is a pretty big deal for me, since it's the first time I've ever had professional representation, and the first time I've ever had legitimate industry people backing me. Exciting times for a starving broke-ass writer.

MY CURRENT PROJECTS:

I'm about to release a graphic-novel version of my short story, Young Ghost Anna. This is more or less the same story, but Sarah Musi has illustrated the entire thing with lush, intricately detailed ink drawings. The caliber of artistry she brought to this book completely took me by surprise, it looks amazing, and the artwork really captures the feelings of the story. The book will be printed on rich, art-grade paper, and is going to be beautifully bound in thick, textured watercolor stock. Everything inside will be visually arresting, from the old-fashioned print press font to the poetry-style text layout to the 25 full-page drawings and 21 mini-illustrations that accompany the story.

I'm currently working on combining the art and the text, then it's off to the printers. The book should be available within a couple weeks, then I will have pictures and previews up for you all.


At the same time, I am working on my next MAJOR project, which is a "cinematic novel" loosely based on my short story, I Am a Zombie Filled With Love. This new story involves an existentially frustrated zombie who captures a young Living girl during a feeding raid, and falls in love with her. Can this star-crossed romance find a way to bridge the gap between youthful passion and undead disillusionment? Life and lifelessness? Teeth and shotguns? Hmm.

(Note: "Cinematic novel" means a novel brought to life with photography involving real locations, sets, and "actors" instead of drawings)

More news to come as it develops!



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6/30/2008

This....heat....

....metling away my will to live...my ability to spell...

The hotter it gets, the shorter my list of Things I'm Capable of Doing Right Now gets....


Things I'm Capable of Doing Right Now (In This Heat)

1. Sweating
2. Laying flat on back
4. Twitching slightly
5. Groaning feebly
3. Thinking about ice cubes
6. Wiping brow
7. Changing shirt again
8. Applying more deodorant
9. Taking off shirt
10. Taking off pants
11. Taking off skin
12. Running toward distant oasis only to find it's just a mirage
13. JogBlogging





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6/21/2008

An Interview With...ME?

Texan Blogger Chet Gasset is one of the fine fine people who bought a copy of my novel, The Inside, and he liked it so much he interviewed me about it. And about many other things. Pretty much EVERY other thing, actually. So if you ever wanted to find out what my answers to every question in the universe are, you please to visit following link:

CHET GASSET INTERVIEW

6/18/2008

ALMOST A MODEL

There was a moment last week that I almost became a model.

I got a message on Myspace from a "talent scout" for this New York company, said they were doing a shoot in Seattle and wanted me to be in it. I was a little puzzled, because it's a HAIR product company, and my hair, with its unyielding double cowlicks and limp, unmanageable thinness, is the bane of my existence. It has been since I first learned that my mom's embarrassed buzz cuts weren't actually the "it" hairstyle.

But they were going to pay me 500$ a day just to stand around and look good for a few hours, so I said, "Um, if you say so..." and agreed.

What they didn't mention was that the "meeting" they scheduled with me before the shoot was actually a quality-control meat inspection along the lines of 18th century slave auctions.

The time arrives, and as requested, I head downtown to the ritzy Hotel 1000 (where rapper Andre 3000 is reported to have stayed recently). I make a pitstop in the restroom for a hair check and nervous-pee, and marvel at the softness of the paper towels laid out on the marble counter. If I could have clothes and bedsheets made out of those paper towels....oh I would.




I am escorted into a room in the lobby, and without any preamble or explanation of what's going on or what's going to happen, I am introduced to some kind of director named Voltaire (of course his name is Voltaire). I consider introducing myself as Isaac 4000, but I'm caught up in the assembly line and pushed in front of an angry-looking British/Australian man who looks me over, inspects my gums, kicks me in the shins, and then dismisses me with an offhanded shout to his assistant, "Get a polaroid of Isaac". A woman tells me to look straight ahead and takes two mugshot-style polaroids of me, then gets my number (again) and tells me they'll call me that night to go over the schedule.

They never called me. Nor did they answer my followup email or acknowledge my existence ever again. So, readers, I'd like to take this moment to call for a global boycott of Bumble & Bumble hair products, on account of rudeness. I mean come on, guys...so I don't have the most majestic mane of hair you've ever seen, but what about my personality? What about my friendly smile and warm handshake? What about my thoughts and philosophies on life? Isn't that worth anything to you? Like, 500$ a day, maybe?
The whole experience was a real wakeup call for me. I mean who would have ever imagined that the fashion industry would be so shallow?



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6/12/2008

SASQUATCH! (Beer! Bands! Boobs!)

I suppose it's about time I told you about my Sasquatch Music Festival experience. Let me see if I can distill it down.



FRIDAY

Nichole arrives, we set off for the Gorge with nothing but goldfish crackers, whiskey, and a block of Comte cheese for sustenance. Nichole smokes in the goddamn car the whole goddamn trip. I patiently endure the freezing wind as we drive 80 mph with the windows down.

We reach the Gorge. The Fest doesn't start till tomorrow so we drive around looking for a place to camp. We run across a group of middle aged folks parked on the side of the road, and strike up a conversation. They tell us they just paid 60$ to camp at this nearby campground but it was "a little too wild" for them. They give us their camping pass.

We enter the campground. At first we think this is the Sasquatch overflow campsite, but this starts to seem unlikely, as we haven't met many backwards-hat wearing neckless linebackers in our lives who listen mainly to T-Pain but also enjoy a little Flaming Lips and Beirut. It quickly becomes apparent that something else is going on here. The campground is PACKED with frat-persons, the Top 40 hip hop is blaring from every vehicle, and you can barely see the grass through all the Bud Light cans. This is the kind of scene where--I poop you not--multiple black Escalades roll through the camp sites with three or four girls dancing on the roofs to the song "She Moves Her Body Like a Cyclone" on repeat, grinding on each other and occasionally--when the crowd roars for it like Coliseum spectators calling for death--whipping off their tops and giving everyone an eyefull of titilation. Nichole wants to dance, but the Dance Floor rejects her free-spirited dance moves and near-total lack of ass-grinding, so we ditch the club with a quickness, and hit the road again.

SATURDAY

After ending up at the Sasquatch campground last night, here we are, ready to rock. Some friends arrive and join our campsite. They offer us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and Coors tallboys. And so it begins.




The first band we all really really want to see is the hit accordian-rock group, Beirut. This doesn't turn out quite as we planned however, as one of the girls in our group has been on a rotating diet of Coors, Tequila, Whiskey and Weed since 8:00 am. And so I find myself trudging stoically across the entire Gorge lawn with this young lady folded up in my arms, murmuring incoherently between occasional stomach spasms. Fabio makes this look so easy on all those romance novel covers.
Everything turns out ok, though. My friends and I listen to Beirut through the fence of the Medic Tent, while our girl enjoys a refreshing saline I.V, and pukes into a bucket.

Not to give the impression that the rest of us are models of sobriety. Despite the 12$ price tag for a can of Pabst, we manage to stay pretty well marinated throughout the day. By 7:00 pm I'm feeling inexplicably cranky and headachy. I laugh a little when I realize that I'm actually hungover, without even having gone to sleep yet. I didn't even know that could happen. Sasquatch is so educational!


(Matt Damer taking his medicine)

SUNDAY


I don't remember anything that happened Sunday.



(Me, Lance, and Nichole)


MONDAY


It rained massively last night, and the zipper on my 20$ tent broke. I had to reattach the doorway by punching holes through it and "sewing" it together with duct-tape threads. By morning we're all feeling a little "done" with Sasquatch. But some of our most anticipated bands are playing today, so we stick it out. We visit the Comedy Tent. Some of the comics are hilarious. At one point this 30 something woman takes the stage, and I turn to Matt and say, quite sexistly, "She's not gonna be funny. Watch."
She's not funny. The entire tent listens in dead silence.

As fate would have it, possibly my two most desired-to-see bands are playing simultaneously. Battles, and Flight of the Conchords. I watch Battles in awe for about ten minutes then run over to the main stage to see FOTC. They are wonderful, and use the word "flip" and "flippin" alot.

FOTC is follwed by Mars Volta On Ten Pounds of Crack. Other than a brief moment of coherency when they play the riveting "Viscera Eyes", their show is an hour of total sonic and physical chaos. They throw mic stands into the crowd. The singer does a backflip off an amp and tosses his mic hundreds of feet into the air. The musicians play furiously, each one apparently playing a different song in a different key and time signature. If you made a "Shreds" video of this show, you wouldn't have to change the audio at all.

Finally, the grand finale, the Flaming Lips. Having seen them last time they played Sasquatch, I wasn't too surprised by the massive-scale theatrics, the exploding confetti, descending UFOs, and stage full of dancing Teletubbies. I was a little surprised by the looping background video of various topless women dancing, and even more surprised when the band invited the crowd to come up on stage and get naked, and they did. Now this may seem counterintuitive, but to be honest, after three days of sleeping next to and being surrounded by hundreds of insanely gorgeous women in the hot sweaty sun, watching ten or twenty beautiful girls frolic on stage completely nude was actually NOT what I needed. Hard times are upon us, my friends.

Finally it's over. I stab holes in my tent with the pair of sheet-metal shears I keep in my car, leave it on the lawn, and drive home. I finally get the shower I've been craving, and when I get out and dry off I think I weigh five pounds less. I have a music hangover. No more music! Get that shit away from me. For a while until I recover, it's gonna be nothing but traffic noise and atonal buzz for me. Oh wait, that's Mars Volta...





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6/07/2008

BOOK REVIEWS ARE IN!

Ready for more gleeful self-promotion?

Well, as many of you may have noticed by my constant mentioning of it, I wrote a novel, and I'm trying to sell it. I printed 150 copies, and I have 60 left. Since I am quite literally a starving writer right now, I would very much like to sell those remaining 60. To YOU!

So I've collected a few reviews and responses from various readers, and posted them on my book page. I definitely understand distrust of "local authors" and their "vanity projects", so what I'd like to do is offer the book some legitimacy and prove to you that A) The book actually exists, and B) it's actually a decent read.

So go have a look. I mean, the woman who works on scripts for LOST loved it...how bad could it be?

http://www.burningbuilding.com/inside.htm





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6/04/2008

Bee Insanity!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of the most horrifying videos to cross my path...

Man With Pet Wasp


According to the video's caption, this man has made this wasp his "pet". Oh what hubris! That's like saying you made a lightning bolt your "pet", or like saying you made a fireball your "pet". Lightning bolts, fireballs, bees, these things exist for one reason--not to curl up at your feet and purr, not to eat out of your hand or to approximate love--TO KILL!! Most likely this wasp has been sent from the Hive to infiltrate human society and lull them into a false peace accord, then--ZAP! Ten foot nuclear stinger through your chest.

Don't worry though, I already called the CIA and Homeland Security's insect defense division to have the maker of this video interned and the "pet" wasp squished.

This kind of thing just...God...come on people. All it takes is a little common sense. I mean I don't think any of us is looking forward to a world controlled by bees where we're all held in glass cases and occasionally stung to death for no reason, so let's just get our act together a little and start paying attention to what's going on in the world. I don't think anyone is still debating whether or not the bee threat is real, so let's wake up and start taking it seriously. You don't...God, you don't take a bee as a fucking PET! Are you kidding me? Bee = Kill It, how hard is that formula? Come on people.

6/03/2008

Roger Ebert knows my name now. No biggie.

Holy shit! My submission to Ebert's Little Movie Glossary appeared in this weeks' Movie Answer Man!
Right there at the bottom of the page, lookit! That's me, Isaac Marion from Seattle!

My name in print! Things are gonna start happening to me now!

PEE ESS: Anyone out there from Chicago? Do you know if the Chicago Sun Times print edition contains the Answer Man column or the Movie Glossary? Or is it only on the webiste?
I'd love to get my hands on a print copy if my submission is in it....

5/14/2008

ROAD TRIP! Or: "We ripped San Fracisco open like a pig and roasted it!"

Faced with a 4 day weekend, what other choice does one have but to drive 820 miles from Seattle to San Francisco for no reason?


It’s Wednesday and I get a text from my beautifully insane friend Nichole.

“What are you doing this weekend”

“Nothing yet. Why?”

“Wanna drive to California?”

“Yes. Meet me in Seattle tomorrow.”

So Thursday afternoon we load up the Hyundai with a grocery bag full of CDs and a bottle of Jack D, then we’re on the road like Jack K. We laugh at the amazing number of goofy town and street names on the exit signs. Balls Creek. Cox road. Vagina Ave. (Not really, but why not?) We consider stopping in a town called Drain, but….doesn’t sound very exciting.

Finally, we’re driving through the woods in total darkness so we stop at an obscure gas station and ask for camping suggestions. The attendant tells us to take a left and drive a few miles out this one road past these mills and factories out into the woods, and then we can camp anywhere. How many slasher horror movies have started out this way?

We find some flat ground that doesn’t look particularly menacing, no open graves or satanic statuary anywhere nearby, so we pitch our tent. The tent is supposed to be a 2 person tent, but I’m 6 foot 2, so I think I count as at least 1.5 people. Luckily, Nichole is like 3 feet tall and 50 pounds, so she counts as about half a person. I manage to stretch out diagonally, we have a dram of whiskey, and fall asleep to a lullaby played by the demo on my Casio mini keyboard.

(In the morning)

(We talked all night about the naked feral mountain man who was going to come raging out of the woods to steal all our clothes and technology and then eat us...but he never came.)


Friday night around 8:00 we finally arrive in San Francisco. As we’re rolling over the Bay Bridge into downtown, it occurs to me that the destination on my Google Maps directions is simply “San Francisco”. So uh….where to now, Joe?

We manage to park somewhere in the Mission District and start wandering around. Nichole is craving a cheeseburger. After passing millions of taquieras we finally stumble upon a Burger King. The first thing that greets us as we walk in the door is the sight of this black guy sprawled out in his booth, asleep, with his mouth hanging open SOOOOO wide. Seriously, it’s like his jaw has come unhinged. The temptation to toss straw wrappers into his gaping maw is unbearable.

From there we go to a coffee shop that’s so coldly pretentious it makes the average Seattle café feel like an Applebees. The barista doesn’t say a single word to us when we order. Not even the price. He just stands there and lets us read the numbers on the register while giving us a world-weary head-tilt.

We end up getting directions and advice on where to sleep from probably the scariest looking dude in the city. I can’t tell you how interesting it is to be warned away from “sketchy” neighborhoods by a 6 foot man in a brown leather trenchcoat and thigh-high studded leather boots with wild eyes, a long beard, a full-face mask of tribal tattoos--and the voice and diction of a Microsoft executive. I guess it was a fitting introduction to this rather odd city.

We find the beach he directed us to, and we find an area to set up our tent, but there’s a problem. Gale force winds are blasting up from the ocean. It takes the two of us to manhandle the tent to the ground, and it keeps trying to fly away. We finally get it pitched and crawl inside, but the wind is squishing the walls inward to the point where we might as well be sleeping inside the actual tent bag. It’s like being in the churning stomach of a nylon whale. We lay there for a while laughing hysterically while the freezing wind absolutely rapes the walls, whipping and rattling them like that scene from Blair Witch Project if that scene had gone on for 30 minutes straight. We give up and sleep in the car.

Next day we get our tourism on and hit the Golden Gate Bridge. Halfway out, Nichole reveals she’s terrified of heights, and has a few panic attacks. She still manages to get a few pictures.

(It was very very orange.)

The most interesting thing to me about the Golden Gate Bridge today is that it is completely swarming with Girl Scouts. They are everywhere, a blue-vested and badged infestation. San Francisco is known for it’s racial, cultural, and sexual diversity, but by the looks of things here the population has been homogenized into about 85% Girl Scouts. What the hell, man.

(Run, m@th3rfucker!!)


And then here's a few I took with my wacky new Holga camera:


After the bridge we go to the Legion of Honor museum. Outside is the Holocaust Memorial, featuring memorial statues of the dead in a concentration camp scene. We realize we are going to hell when the first thing that occurs to us is how funny it would be to get pictures of us humping the prone statues of Holocausted Jews.

Oh no he DIDN'T!!! (But come on, if anyone needs some loving it's holocausted Jews!)

(For the record, this idea makes even me cringe, and I’m the guy that celebrates September 11th Day by baking tall layer cakes with all the candles at the top and playing double-stack Jenga. I do have some sense of atrocity.)

This entire time, I’ve been trying to get ahold of my friend Michelle who lives here, but no answer. Saturday afternoon, she calls me back and tells me she didn’t answer because she was on a plane. To Washington, oh the irony. But she sets us up to receive hospitality from her room mates. We go to the house and are promptly invited to a PIG ROAST. We go to the PIG ROAST and sure enough, they have an entire ROASTED PIG laid out on a table, fresh from the giant PIG ROASTING spit. Apparently this is not unusual at all. Apparently this guy has PIG ROASTS pretty frequently. We pick over the scorched carcass like starving dingos.

Sweet young thing Nichole says she feels a little “out of her element” amongst all the thirtysomething professionals at this party, but like a fish gasping on the edge of a lake, she soon flops her way back into her element: beer. Within 20 minutes she has befriended everyone in the place and gotten twenty phone numbers, myspaces, and invites for places to stay tonight. But our room-mate liaisons have disappeared, I’m too buzzed, exhausted, and lost in the city to try to find any of the other people’s downtown apartments, so we end up sleeping in the car again. I drag her out of the party draped over my shoulder like a gut-shot soldier in Vietnam, carry her to the car, and pour her into the seat like Jello. We park on a dimly lit street corner, and sleep.

Finally, we have come to our last day in San Francisco. We find ourselves in Asiantown, and Nichole buys a bag full of rubber duckies that are dressed as other animals, dogs, cats, etc. We go to an obscure Chinese (Japanese? Korean? Laotian?) restaurant where no one speaks English, and Nichole orders some of the most bizarre Dim Sum stuff ever seen, topping it all off by ordering a whole goddamn crab just plain by itself with no sauce or anything. We smash it to bits and eat its insides. Apparently it’s a week for consuming entire animals whole.

With evening approaching, we make our final attempt to be classy and go to the Museum of Modern Art. Unfortunately, it closes just before we get there, and we end up going to a bunch of girl-trap fashion stores instead. Nichole puts it best when she says, “We came downtown to get some culture, and we left with a cute skirt.”

It’s now Sunday night, and it’s time to go home. We drive deep into the night on some unbelievably twisty forgotten highway in the desert. By this point we are starting to feel a little bit lunatic.

(Please help, I'm being driven across the country by a skinnyass shirtless madman...)

(Umm, hello? We're like...lost.)

(Cute as a lost tired hungry drunk little button.)

We go through Napa Valley and finally park just off the street next to a pretty orchard. Of course this earns us a 3:00 am wakeup call from the local cops, wondering why on earth we would try to sleep in a country orchard under the big starry sky instead of in a blindingly lit rest-stop parking lot between gangs of rapist truckers. I am really getting tired of being woken up at 3:00 am by the knocks and flashlights of soulless cops.

And that, folks, is about the end of the story. We drive all day Monday and finally arrive back in Seattle, where we are immediately slapped with all the back-home mundanities and dramas, our angry bosses and clients, our contemptible exes marrying each other, etc. Travel is a drug, and the come-down can be hell. Somebody please buy me a helicopter and magic neverending fuel.

But hey, next week is Sasquatch Festival. Off we go again!