Posts Tagged ‘random creative things’

  1. Vincent and Jules (Pulp Fiction)
  2. Aang and Bumi (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
  3. Sam Vimes and Nanny Ogg (Discworld)
  4. Aziraphale and Crowley (Good Omens)
  5. Fred and Illyria (Angel)
  6. Matt Wiggins and Tim Sevenhuysen (LoadingReadyRun)
  7. Link and Sheik (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
  8. Edward Elric and Colonel Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  9. Vlad Taltos and Loiosh (Vlad Taltos series)
  10. Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat (Michael Moorcock’s multiverse)
  11. Princess Zelda and Midna (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
  12. Noodle and Russell (Gorillaz)
  13. Secret Moblin and Neil (Legend of Neil)
  14. Jayne and Vera (Firefly)
  15. Lone Star and Lord Helmet (Spaceballs)
  16. Belkar Bitterleaf and Haley Starshine (Order of the Stick)
  17. Ender and Bean (Ender’s Game)
  18. Shawn and Gus (Psych)
  19. Auri and Kvothe (Kingkiller Chronicles)
  20. Justin and George (El Goonish Shive)
  21. Kirk and Gorn (Star Trek)
  22. Arya and Joffrey (A Song of Ice and Fire)
  23. Lije Bailey and R. Daneel (Asimov’s Robots series)
  24. God and T-Rex (Dinosaur Comics)
  25. Xander and Dawn (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Oh, wait. That last one actually happened.

What the fuck, BtVS Season Eight writers?

~ Ian

(Present Day Ian: I haven’t been blogging much lately. But that doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to share stuff with you. This was a piece that originally appeared on January 7, 2012, a week after the blog went up. Which means that most of you probably missed it. Well, since I thought it was kind of funny, here it is again. Enjoy. ~Ian)

I understand that not everyone in the multiverse is a skier, and since I understand that there may be some confusion when I refer to ski terms, I have compiled this list of trail ratings for those non-skiers out there. Now you will know what I talk about when I describe a “blue” or “black” run. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

~ Ian

Standard American Trail Ratings:

Brown Line: Completely flat. Nothing interesting ever happens on these runs, because there is no challenge. Most skiers refer to the brown slopes as the “shits”.

Hazards: None whatsoever.

Green Circle: Mild difficulty. The “green” runs are easy, and for that reason, are constantly clogged with screaming children, screaming adults, adults going at walking speed, and people who generally have no idea what they are doing. Because of the various people clogging these runs, they are actually more challenging for experienced skiers. Finding your way down a green run is a bit like playing a game of Tetris on snow. In fact, most green runs are equipped with speakers that play the Tetris theme, speeding up as you reach the end of the slope. For this reason, the end of the run is usually the place where the most crashes happen. Watch yourself.

Hazards: Small children of indeterminate gender in enormous puffy board jackets that make them look like pink or yellow marshmallows; snowboarders who decide to sit down RIGHT IN YOUR BLIND SPOT to adjust their bindings; massive clumps of adult skiers from Southern California who have never been above a thousand feet in their life and flock together like spray-tanned chickens, going as slowly as possible and NEVER LETTING YOU PASS THEM; medium-sized children on snowboards who fall down in the middle of the run and NEVER GET UP, grannies on snowboards.

Blue Square: Moderate difficulty. Most ski resorts consist of mainly “blue” runs. However, do not be decieved by the rating: blue runs can range in difficulty from glorified green runs to ice-covered bowls that shoot you down the hill at forty miles an hour and leave you a battered, shivering wreck at the bottom of the slope. As always, decide what is best for your own difficulty level before you choose to go down a blue run. Everyone else on the mountain will thank you for it.

Hazards: Trees; rocks; chairlift poles; gondola towers; people going slower than you; people going faster than you; asshole teens on snowboards; asshole sixty-year-olds on telmark skis; blind skiers; deaf skiers; people listening to loud music on their headphones (so they might as well be deaf); snowmobiles going uphill; snowmobiles traversing across the run, just suddenly coming out at fifty miles an hour AND GIVING YOU A FUCKING HEART ATTACK; snow bikers.

Black Diamond: Advanced difficulty. The “black” runs consist mainly of high-elevation bowls near the peaks of the mountain, narrow chutes, Olympic-class mogul runs, and runs that look more steep than they actually are. These runs are specifically for more advanced skiers, and the lift operators will look for the black diamond tattoo placed in a secret place on your body after you take the Advanced Skier and Snowboarder Holistic Orientation and Learning Examination (also known as the ASSHOLE Test). Don’t be afraid to lie about your qualifications before getting in the lift line– if you are an attractive young woman, and you show enough skin, the lift operators may be fooled into thinking that they “saw” a black diamond tattoo that wasn’t actually there.

Hazards: Cornices; powder; small cliff drops; icicles; ice patches; moguls; professional snowboarders on their days off; people who like to ollie over other skiers/riders as they come down the mountain; people who run into you from behind (watch your back); overzealous ski patrol; underzealous ski patrol; chutes.

Double Black Diamond: Experts only. Don’t think I’m kidding– these runs are for only the best of skiers. Only the fabled Octarine Tesseract runs are more difficult than the “double blacks”. Do not attempt these runs if you doubt your courage, or your strength– for death awaits ye with big nasty pointy teeth.

Hazards: Broken bones; perforated spleens; abraded testicles; post-traumatic stress disorder; incontinence; paraplegia; quadriplegia; Bleeding Everything Syndrome; other skiers who are being escorted down the mountain on stretchers by Ski Patrol after snapping their necks like a twig; blood patches; scattered limbs; entrails strewn from various trees; large cliff drops; that sinking feeling you get when you realize the peculiar smell that has been following you around for the last ten minutes is coming from your own pants.

Octarine Tesseract: The most challenging of all ski runs, the Octarine Tesseract Runs are so difficult that they ACTUALLY BEND REALITY. Have you ever wanted to ski inside one of M.C. Escher’s nightmares? Well, NOW YOU CAN!

Hazards: non-Euclidean cornices; gravity vortices; temporal anomalies; bowls that are bigger on the inside than the outside; Möbius chutes; secret ice caves that teleport you to various other locations on the mountain WITHOUT WARNING; vomit; tears; hatred; madness; a slow but unmistakeable feeling that the world does not have any order, and NEVER REALLY DID;  the Abominable Snowthulhu.

Gold Star: VIP ski runs. Most people are never allowed to enter these exclusive portions of the mountain. In fact, they are never shown on the trail maps. However, savvy skiers know that they exist. Gold Star runs are always surrounded by “AREA CLOSED” ropes, but savvy skiers know that the ropes blocking Gold Star runs from the public are made of red velvet. Plus there is always a bouncer standing next to the ropes. That’s a dead giveaway. In Gold Star runs, there is always champagne powder– not the ordinary type, but SNOW THAT IS MADE FROM REAL FROZEN CHAMPAGNE. Look for the halfpipe filled with caviar at the bottom.

Hazards: Drunken celebrities; helpful butlers; murderous butlers; coked-out record executives lying in the middle of the run, blitzed out of their minds; Kardashians; very exclusive call girls; the 1%.

Platinum Star: Wait, you actually believe in the Platinum Star runs? Those are only an urban legend!

Pink Triangle: These are the gay sections of the ski resort. Originally imported from swinging French and German ski resorts, certain progressive states such as California and Vermont regularly have Pink Triangle runs. You can tell that you have entered a Pink Triangle run by the fact that loud techno music is playing from speakers on the chairlifts, Gore-tex and fleece jackets have been replaced with baby oil and black leather, and the seven-foot-tall Austrian gentleman who rode up the lift with you is trying to put his tongue down your throat.

Hazards: Regular Gay Pride parades coming down the mountain; Fetish Night (every second Thursday of the month); AIDS; one-night stands; the possibility that you may come to question the foundations of your own sexuality; the possibility that you will be shanghaied into a mob of impeccably-clad gentlemen with nice hair and lisps and forced to sing old Judy Garland showtunes.

Red Pentacle: Red Pentacle runs start on the actual mountain, but once you start going on the run, you suddenly realize that you are going down, down, down, into a fiery cavern filled with magma and hate. Soon you grow to realize that you can’t stop, and as you descend, you go faster and faster, skiing on the frozen corpses of damned souls. Eventually you see it: the vast, vulvoid iron gates of the Nether Realm. They swing wide, and a handsome, smiling man is there to greet you. He wears an impeccable suit, and sunglasses that seem to reflect flames in their lenses. “Welcome to Hell,” he says. “Our Dark Master is awaiting you.” It is only when he turns that you realize that he has a long, pointed tail…

Hazards: Sulfur; brimstone; eternal damnation; herpes; the possibility that you will have to spend eternity with Jerry Falwell.

The Bunny Slopes: In the Swinging ‘70s, Hugh Hefner purchased small portions of every ski resort in North America to turn into a Playboy Mansion-themed amusement center. However, when the financial recessions of the late ‘80s hit, Playboy Enterprises had to turn their ski runs back over to the ski resorts. Even so, the “bunny slopes” still have hundreds of gorgeous, exploited young women, bouncing out of their scanty bikini tops as they go over moguls on their pink diamond-studded skis. For those guests who want to look at a different kind of scenery as they glide down the slopes, the bunny slopes are the place to go.

Hazards: Boobs; tits; drunken celebrities; people having orgies in the middle of the run RIGHT IN YOUR BLIND SPOT; the vodka-filled sex grotto that’s located just to the right of the unloading area at the top of the lift.

Hey, remember on January 22, 2013, when I said this?

I’ll try and post the third part of this chapter sometime soon. Sooner, at least: there was quite a while between the first part and this one.

And remember when that didn’t happen?

Yeah… good times.

For the record, I’ve been meaning to post the rest of this chapter for a while now; I just haven’t been thinking about it (after all, it’s a story that I’d abandoned a year and a half ago). But since I remembered it, and was like, “Crap. I need to get on this,” you get the rest of the chapter. Which, you know, awesome.

If you’d like to see any more of the stuff that I wrote in this story, then leave a comment. Otherwise, I’m probably just going to leave it at this.

~ Ian

 

PAGE 75– SPLASH PAGE

ASH and FARADOR are riding on the side of the river, ASH in front, FARADOR behind. Above them, the winged lizards swoop and fly, and even higher above, a rock bridge, a massive rainbow arch, bridges the river about five hundred feet up. ASH is smiling as she leans forward on the mountbird, her face split in a huge grin. In the river, fish jump and splash.

CAPTION: The bottom of the canyon was incredible– and it was warm! It must have been about sixty-five degrees out. You have to understand– sixty-five degrees after being out on the freezing cold Outer Wastes was like a sauna. It felt perfect.

CAPTION: That morning, we didn’t encounter anything strange. I was beginning to wonder whether Farador’s claims of unquiet dead spirits in Kamora’s Kerf were just stories.

CAPTION: However, in the afternoon, my preconceived notions weren’t just challenged– they were shattered.

Page 76 has three panels– a big panel on the top and two smaller panels towards the bottom.

PAGE 76 PANEL 1

Big panel across the top of the page. ASH and FARADOR are looking out towards a city, built on terraces on the cliffs on the left side of the riverbank. They have a slightly Minas Tirith look to them (although maybe I’m just picturing them that way ‘cause I’m listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack). They’re not made of white stone, though, but the same reddish stratified stone as the canyon walls. They’re also in complete ruins. Buildings are broken down, towers have crumbled, and there’s a general feeling of entropy there. Think of it as a combination of Minas Tirith and the Anasazi cliff dwellings on the sides of mesas in the Southwest USA. Half the city is in shadow: the cliff overhangs it, and obscures the city in darkness.

ASH: Wow…

FARADOR: This place… it must have been a city of the old days, when the sun was yellow. Its builders must have come into the Kerf, in ages past.

PAGE 76 PANEL 2

Shot of ASH and FARADOR’s astonished faces as they look at the city.

ASH: Why would they live here? Here, in the canyon?

FARADOR: I do not know… The canyon was once inhabited, though. By those who failed to listen to the Lore, who built their homes here.

PAGE 76 PANEL 3

FARADOR: We must… tread carefully here, Ash Campos. This is a place of evil.

Page 77 has seven panels.

PAGE 77 PANEL 1

ASH and FARADOR pass down the main street of the ruined city, with buildings like broken teeth rising up on either side, ruins of ornate stonework all around. Think of the stonework as looking like a fusion between Mesoamerican and Cycladic sculpture. The road through the city is made of cobblestone, and it’s broken and shattered. Moss and lichen grow everywhere, and everything has a thick sense of decay all around it. ASH and FARADOR are both riding the mountbird.

PAGE 77 PANEL 2

A shot of ASH and FARADOR’s shadow on the side of a wall. The wall is broken and ruined. Words in some strange long-forgotten alphabet are written on the tops of the wall. Water drips down the side of the building, forming a puddle on the road. The water has carved itself a channel over the years, and the wall is worn down and grooved where the water has passed.

SFX: drip drip drip

PAGE 77 PANEL 3

Shot of a pile of refuse off to the side of the road. A strange mammal, like an elongated rat with sharp tusks, is perched atop the pile of refuse, standing like a meerkat on its hind legs, ears perked for sounds of danger.

SFX: *kkik*

PAGE 77 PANEL 4

The rat-thing darts off into the shadows. Whatever made the noise in the last panel startled it, and so it’s gone, down the pile of refuse and turning tail.

PAGE 77 PANEL 5

Shot of a skinny, emaciated creature. It looks humanoid, but has gray mottled skin and no hair. It is wearing a hooded robe that is dark brown in color, thrown over its head and obscuring its eyes. This creature has no name, or if it ever did, it is forgotten. Let’s just call it the KERF-WIGHT.

PAGE 77 PANEL 6

The KERF-WIGHT lifts an emaciated palm. The palm of its hand has seven fingers, wide and spreading like tree roots. It snaps its fingers, and a small cloud of silvery mist appears around its fingers as it snaps them. It lifts its head, and we can see its eyes: they are small and red, like small dying stars in its face.

SFX: *snap*

PAGE 77 PANEL 7

The KERF-WIGHT is now obscured by the cloud of mist. All we can see is its faint, shadowy outline, and its glowing red eyes.

Page 78 has eight panels.

PAGE 78 PANEL 1

ASH looks up at the sky. There is a cloud of obscuring mist over everything now, and it’s as foggy as an early summer morning in San Francisco. Visibility has decreased to about ten feet ahead. FARADOR, behind her, has a dizzy, queasy expression on his face.

ASH: What the–

FARADOR: I feel… strange…

PAGE 78 PANEL 2

FARADOR falls sideways off the mountbird and down onto the pavement of the city’s stones. ASH turns around in shock as FARADOR falls down beside her.

FARADOR: …unngh…

ASH: Farador!

PAGE 78 PANEL 3

ASH dismounts the mountbird…

PAGE 78 PANEL 4

…and kneels down besides FARADOR. His face is contorted in an expression of fear, and his eyes are wide open. His helmet has fallen off, and lies off to the side.

ASH: Dammit… don’t be dead.

PAGE 78 PANEL 5

Closeup shot of the mountbird’s head, its toothy mouth going wide. It screams in panic.

MOUNTBIRD: KREEEEEE!

PAGE 78 PANEL 6

The mountbird runs off. We have a shot of ASH looking back at the retreating back of the mountbird as it flees.

ASH: What the…

PAGE 78 PANEL 7

A humanoid shadow falls over ASH, and she turns her head, looking up at the shadowy figure of the KERF-WIGHT.

PAGE 78 PANEL 8

A shot of the shadowy, robed figure of the KERF-WIGHT. We can’t see anything of the wight’s face. All we can see are its two glowing red eyes.

KERF-WIGHT: …Mortal flesh…

Page 79 has four panels: a big one up top, and three smaller ones towards the bottom.

PAGE 79 PANEL 1

The KERF-WIGHT reaches out its claws towards ASH, its claws wide as it looms over her. ASH is standing up, and reaching for her staff which FARADOR has made. FARADOR is still unconscious. We can see the KERF-WIGHT’s face, a shrunken skull with skin stretched over it, as it comes closer to the ASH, showing through the fog.

KW:

Mortal flesh and mortal bone, 

I’ll take ye back to be mine own. 

I’ll take ye to my darkened lair, 

I’ll lay ye down upon my chair, 

I’ll watch your eyes go dim and gray,

while your minds do waste away,

while dreams and nightmares eat ye whole. 

I’ll kill you, then I’ll take your souls.

PAGE 79 PANEL 2

ASH has risen to her feet, and is holding her quarterstaff in a defensive position. Fear shows in her eyes, but her expression and stance are still defiant.

ASH: What kind of monster are you? You put people to sleep and then recite poetry to them?

PAGE 79 PANEL 3

Shot of the KERF-WIGHT’s shrunken, skin-tight skull.

KW: You’re a willful one, aren’t you? You don’t seem to have gone to sleep. No matter, dreams shall come to you, as do all in the end.

PAGE 79 PANEL 4

ASH: What are you doing? What have you done to Farador?

Page 80 has six panels.

PAGE 80 PANEL 1

Shot of FARADOR’s frightened face. His eyes are wide with terror, and beads of sweat are forming on his forehead.

KW (off-panel): I have given him nightmares, mortal flesh. I have given him terrifying dreams, and they are eating his mind from the inside.

ASH (off-panel): And this’ll kill him?

PAGE 80 PANEL 2

Shot of the KERF-WIGHT’s grinning face.

KW: Yes. Not while the day lasts. But come nightfall, his mind will be jelly, and his soul will be mine.

PAGE 80 PANEL 3

ASH is brandishing her staff, trying to look more menacing than she feels.

ASH: That’s not gonna happen. You try to take him, and I’ll smash your head in.

PAGE 80 PANEL 4

Shot of the KERF-WIGHT’s face. Its mouth is open in what might be a grin or a grimace.

KW: Hehh.

PAGE 80 PANEL 5

Shot of the KERF-WIGHT standing over FARADOR. It seems to be taller now, about nine feet tall, looming over ASH and FARADOR. ASH is still in ready position, prepared to do anything to defend FARADOR.

KW: You amuse me, mortal flesh. But it seems I must be stronger than I usually am to overcome your mind. 

PAGE 80 PANEL 6

And the KERF-WIGHT snaps its bony fingers a second time…

SFX: *snap*

 

Page 81 has eight panels.

PAGE 81 PANEL 1

A black psychic pierces ASH’s forehead. Her head snaps back, her jaw drops open.

ASH: Ungh!

PAGE 81 PANEL 2

A shot of the planet Earth from space.

CAPTION: And then I realized that it was reading my mind, my memories, trying to find the one thing that would frighten me most.

PAGE 81 PANEL 3

A memory of ASH splashing in the lake behind the house in Sequoia, way back in Chapter 1, playing a game of splash-fight with KRISH and BRIAN. ANITA, dressed in a bikini top and trunks, is playing guitar and smiling on the beach.

CAPTION: But I knew that it wouldn’t work, somehow. I knew that whatever I was, in this world I was an alien.

PAGE 81 PANEL 4

Close-up shot of ASH’s smiling face.

CAPTION: And that was my strength. And that frightened it.

PAGE 81 PANEL 5

Shot of the KERF-WIGHT’s eyes going wide and astonished. Its mouth falls slightly open.

PAGE 81 PANEL 6

ASH reassumes the ready position, holding out her quarterstaff out in front of her and squatting slightly. The KERF-WIGHT, across from her, is now frightened, backing away.

KW: You… you are a Walker! You have come here from another world!

ASH: Yeah, I have.

PAGE 81 PANEL 7

KW: But this explains why I am not able to touch your mind! You are from a different universe!

PAGE 81 PANEL 8

ASH: Oh, really? Then that means it’ll be easier for me to kick your ass!

 

Page 82 has three panels.

PAGE 82 PANEL 1

ASH swings her quarterstaff hard, and strikes the KERF-WIGHT in the side of the skull. Yellowed teeth go flying from the KERF-WIGHT’s jaw as ASH swings.

KW: Uurk!

PAGE 82 PANEL 2

The KERF-WIGHT falls to the ground, knocking its head on the rough cobblestones.

KW: huff… huff… huff…

PAGE 82 PANEL 3

The butt of ASH’s staff comes down onto the KERF-WIGHT’s skull, cracking it open where the creature lies.

KW: Gaaah!

SFX: *KRAK*

Page 83 has four panels.

PAGE 83 PANEL 1

ASH bends over, her mouth going wide in astonishment.

ASH: Oh my god… I can’t believe I did that…

PAGE 83 PANEL 2

ASH turns to look at FARADOR.

PAGE 83 PANEL 3

ASH kneels down next to FARADOR, and puts a hand over his forehead.

ASH: Okay. Let’s get the hell out of this ruin.

PAGE 83 PANEL 4

ASH grabs FARADOR under the armpits, and drags him backwards down the street.

ASH: I don’t see where that mountbird’s gone off to, so I guess I get to drag you. Yay. Go me.

Page 84 has five panels.

PAGE 84 PANEL 1

A shot of FARADOR lying next to a waterfall. His eyes are closed and his mouth slightly open.

PAGE 84 PANEL 2

Close-up shot of FARADOR’s face.

PAGE 84 PANEL 3

FARADOR opens his eyes slightly.

FARADOR: Unnngh…

PAGE 84 PANEL 4

FARADOR sits up, and puts his head in his hands.

FARADOR: …What happened?

FARADOR: I was lost in nightmare…

PAGE 84 PANEL 5

Shot of ASH sitting on a rock nearby, watching FARADOR as he slowly wakes up and smiling.

ASH: We were attacked in that city. You were right: that city was someplace evil.

 

Page 85 has six panels.

PAGE 85 PANEL 1

FARADOR looks at ASH in sudden shock.

FARADOR: We were attacked?

PAGE 85 PANEL 2

ASH: Yeah. By some monster who could create nightmares. I was able to fight it off, though.

PAGE 85 PANEL 3

FARADOR leans forward, his eyes wide and his mouth agape.

FARADOR: You fought it off?

ASH: Well, you were a good teacher.

PAGE 85 PANEL 4

FARADOR: By the gods… Ash Campos, you saved my life.

PAGE 85 PANEL 5

Shot of ASH grinning widely, a sort of smug, playful smile.

ASH: Yeah, and you know what that means…

ASH: You’re beholden to me, Farador. I can make you do whatever I want. That’s your custom in Forn, right?

 

Page 86 has eight panels.

PAGE 86 PANEL 1

FARADOR: Yes. That is our custom.

PAGE 82 PANEL 2

ASH: Then you have to give up your claim to me. You have to give up the idea that I’m going to marry you.

ASH: I’m telling you to not pursue me romantically. And because I saved your life, I know you’ll obey me.

PAGE 82 PANEL 3

Shot of FARADOR’s startled, shocked face.

PAGE 82 PANEL 4

FARADOR bursts out in a great peal of laughter, throwing his head back and closing his eyes, his mouth open and smiling.

FARADOR: Ha ha ha ha ha!

PAGE 82 PANEL 5

FARADOR wipes a tear from the corner of his eye, as his laughter winds down.

FARADOR: Heh heh heh… You are a remarkable woman, Ash Campos. Very well. I will not marry you. I will respectfully keep my distance.

PAGE 82 PANEL 6

FARADOR looks at ASH, giving a friendly smile.

FARADOR: But tell me, Ash Campos– how did you defeat whatever it was in the city? How did you avoid the nightmares?

PAGE 82 PANEL 7

Shot of ASH, smiling somewhat self-consciously.

ASH: I had a good teacher. That’s all.

PAGE 82 PANEL 8

Shot of the canyon from far away, as the red sun begins to set over the Outer Wastes.

END CHAPTER 3

I made a timeline for The Lotus Imperiate universe*.

It covers about 5000 years of history, is 1,797 words long, and takes up five pages. And yet, I still feel like it’s not long enough.

In other words: Preparations for Draft 2 are on.

~ Ian

*note: It’s called the Lotusverse. Or, at least that’s what I call it.

 

The NFL postseason is (allegedly) underway. I say “allegedly” because this is what I have been told by people who know these sorts of things. I don’t follow football, like I said. The only point where my life really intersects with professional football is on Super Bowl Sunday, which I usually spend skiing. (IT’S THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR FOR SKIING OH MY GOD YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. THERE’S LIKE ZERO CROWDS AND YOU CAN GET THROUGH THE LIFT LINES IN THIRTY SECONDS MAX.)

However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t make predictions for the postseason. Of course, since I have no knowledge of football, I simply will choose my picks on a more elemental level. Namely, I will simply choose the teams based on team name. More specifically, if there were a game between the Bears and the Broncos, I would choose the winning team based on the outcome of a fight between an ACTUAL BEAR and an ACTUAL BRONCO.

So, let’s look at the standings:

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 3.20.59 PM

 

AFC Wild Card Game 1: Bengals vs. Texans. Here we have two groups of people from various parts of the world. First off, we have the Texans, who initially seem to have the advantage in full-scale combat because of their loose gun laws, high death penalty rate, and bottom-ten public education system contributing to creating a state of battle-hardened gun murderers. But don’t count out the Bengals. They’re tough as nails. The Bengali homeland (specifically, West Bengal and Bangladesh) is low-lying, so it gets wiped out by floods on a regular basis, and the slums of Kolkata and Dhaka are teeming with disease, the combined effect of which creates an ethnic group that is about as tough as any other group on the planet. Plus, there’s about 250 million Bengalis, a full ten times the number of Texans. That makes it pretty clear who’s on top.

My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

 

AFC Wild Card Game 2: Colts vs. Ravens. Come on. This is an easy pick. Ravens are intelligent, scavenging corvids with large brains and a propensity to peck the eyeballs out of young domestic ungulates, while the Colts are just baby horses. Guess who’s going to move on to the next round, and guess who’s going to get their eyes pecked out of their skulls.

My Pick: Baltimore Ravens

 

NFC Wild Card Game 1: Vikings vs. Packers. What exactly are the Packers packing, I wonder? If they’re packing tasteful pastel polo shirts into European leather suitcases for a romantic weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, then there’s no question: the Vikings are going to mjöllnir their asses halfway to Fimbulwinter. It’s a completely different situation if they’re packing heat, though, because while the Vikings may have been handy with the traditional bearded axe, they still had no armor that could stand up to a nine-mil. Even so, I’ve got to give it to the Vikings, because of the fact that the Norse were tough enough to  establish colonies from Nova Scotia to Kazakhstan, and because they were badass enough that the Byzantine Emperors kept a stable of Viking warriors to fight off marauding Crusaders and Turks. History shows us the winner, as usual.

My Pick: Minnesota Vikings

 

NFC Wild Card Game 2: Seahawks vs. Redskins. Wait, what? There’s actually a team called the Redskins? That’s so goddamn racist and outdated it makes me want to spit. What’s next, are we going to have a team called the Los Angeles Koreatown Raundry Wolkers Starchee Five Dolla Extra Prease? No. I will not have this. While actual Indians may have had bows, and could have used them to shoot down birds, I will not be giving a team with their name the win. No. Instead, I’ll be giving it to a team that I can root for.

My Pick: The Full Serenity Crew

 

AFC Divisional Round 1: Bengals vs. Broncos. An interesting choice. Broncos are wild horses, and as such are dangerous and untamed, a vision of the spirit of the free and open West. But I saw Gandhi once, and I seem to recall that the Indians who lived in South Africa (some of which were probably Bengali) stopped the British cavalry by lying down in front of their horses. Apparently horses don’t like to step on people. So the Bengals don’t have to do much to defeat the Broncos. All they have to do is lie down.

My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals

 

AFC Divisional Round 2: Ravens vs. Patriots. This seems like a difficult choice. On the one hand, the Patriots have guns. On the other hand, eighteenth-century muskets were notoriously unreliable, and when the Patriots freeze to death in Valley Forge, I’m sure that someone is going to be on hand to peck out their frozen eyeballs. Nature is patient, and sometimes patience comes in the form of a huge black bird with a fondness for carrion popsicles.

My Pick: Baltimore Ravens

 

NFC Divisional Round 1: Falcons vs. Vikings. At first, you’d expect for this to go similarly to the Ravens and Patriots game. After all, Falcons are birds who wouldn’t turn their beaks up at a little bit of carrion meat, and the only ranged weapon available to the Vikings were bows. But you know what? I’m still going to have to give this one to the Vikings. After all, bows were far more accurate than eighteenth-century muskets, with a better range, and were more reliable, as well. The Falcons wouldn’t have the chance to wait for the Vikings to starve to death in the snow. The Vikings would just shoot them out of the sky, first.

My Pick: Minnesota Vikings

 

NFC Divisional Round 2: 49ers vs. The Full Crew of Serenity. At first this seems clear-cut. The Serenity crew is better-armed, has a spaceship, and can kill their enemies while Jayne makes folksy Western quips. But there’s just one problem. I’m from Northern California, and I know many of the towns that the 49ers actually founded. So, while I do understand that River Tam could just steal a hatchet from one of the grizzled prospectors and go all spinny killbot on them, wiping them out like a whole herd of Reavers, the 49ers accomplished something more brave than Malcolm Reynolds’ unmasking of the psychochemical experiments on Miranda: they willingly lived in Stockton.

My Pick: San Francisco 49ers

 

AFC Championship: Bengals vs. Ravens. Okay, this seems like a good matchup… flood-and-disease surviving superhumans versus implacable scavenger-birds… oh no! What’s this?! River Tam has somehow survived a ten-minute stroll in Stockton and is running out on the field! My god! She’s gone berserk! It seems that somehow witnessing the human suffering and misery of Stockton has triggered a response in the young psychic, and she’s finally gone off the edge! My god… the blood… somebody please… help… *sound of throwing up*

My Pick: River Tam

 

NFC Championship: Vikings vs. 49ers

This is a true battle here, of frost-hardened warriors versus gold-lusting frontiersmen. A battle between nineteenth-century technology and sheer elemental fury. But what will decide the battle here is not force of arms, but navigational skills. The Vikings were able to cross the Atlantic Ocean using only the sun and stars. And what did the 49ers do? Bastards couldn’t even find a route over the Sierras that doesn’t get blocked up with snow every winter. If the Vikings had settled nineteenth-century California, then you could bet that there would be more than a better to get over Carson Spur when it’s closed than driving all the way through Jackson, then Placerville, then all the way back up to South Lake Tahoe. Greedy gold-scavenging bastards.

My Pick: Minnesota Vikings

 

Super Bowl: Vikings vs. River Tam

She stands alone, wide-eyed and innocent-seeming, the blood of birds and Bangladeshis alike covering her hands as she stands on the frozen shores of Iceland. From far off she can hear them, the horns of the warriors, as she gazes out to the sea. The great dragon ships are coming, across the steel-gray sea, their square sails wide against the light of the rising sun. Although it is summer, the air is still chill, and the sun has not dipped below the horizon once in days. She is weary, tired beyond imagining, and there is nothing left she can do.

She has come so far.

The tawny-haired warriors land on the beach, and her hand tightens around her Reaver axe.

This is where it begins.

My Pick: River Tam beats up everyone.

 

So there you have it. My NFL playoff picks for 2013.

If the Super Bowl has a complete lack of Summer Glau, I will be VERY DISAPPOINTED.

~ Ian

1. Benjamin Franklin was a mind flayer.

2. Lichtenstein is the world’s largest producer of farm-raised human flesh (for export to the nation of Cannibalia).

3. The saxophone was invented by the Anglo-Saxons.

4. Anglerfish are roughly the size of the island of Manhattan.

5. SNOW is an acronym for Siliconitroxywonderflonium, a highly toxic chemical mind-control substance that the government uses to get people to go Christmas shopping.

6. THERE IS NO FACT SIX.

7. The sky is not actually blue. That’s an optical illusion caused by swamp gas. What color is it actually? Taupe.

8. Confucius had a younger brother named Kung-Fucious, who invented judo.

9. Ninety percent of the meat we eat IS MADE OUT OF BEES.

10. I can read your thoughts. Especially yours, Steve. Hey.

~ Ian

I was trying to do some black-and-white night photography up at UCSC last week.

These were two of my less-successful attempts.

I’m working on Syntax One homework

and listening to Queens of the Stone Age

and I dearly hope

that the Apple word processing software known as Page

s doesn’t quit up on me

which would be like being attacked by a swarm of Brobdingnagian bees

which would fill me with great rage,

you see.

 

It’s gray and sort of foggy outside

which makes it sort of ideal weather to hide

and for that reason I might want to sneak away

to do my homework some other day

and I’m starting to ask myself, “Why?

Why am I not slacking off and watching Firefly?”

 

But even though I really want to rewatch Firefly (or possible Buffy)

I know I can’t, because as for me

I have to get a good grade

so that I can someday get paid

if I choose to go into the field of linguistics

which is my backup plan if this whole writing thing doesn’t stick.

That would ensadden me.

I would ensaddened be.

My sadness would be multiplied by a certain number

(which in my head is made out of lumber)

and the number of the number is equalling three.

 

And because I’m bored and want to be off watching Joss Whedon productions,

I have suddenly decided to create a sudden drop (or reduction)

in the quality and goodness of my poetic rhymes.

If these poems were published in a book, they wouldn’t be worth two dimes.

(The meter is fetid, and it smells like toe slime.)

You don’t want to listen to me anymore? Fine.

I’m going to go away and make my homework the shit,

so I can get a good mark,

a shot in the dark,

I thank you for your time.

It’s been legit.

But now I have to run.

It’s been fun.

I thank you, gentle reader, for reading my fine poetries,

and hope that you are not ever stung to death by a horde of angry bees.

 

(with apologies to William McGonagall)

H.P. Dubcraft.

Busy today, can’t talk more. But I came up with that name, and it amused me, so therefore I’m sharing it with you.

DON’T QUESTION MY MOTIVES! NOT EVERY BLOG POST CAN BE RICH AND INFORMATIVE!

~ Ian

I’ll be honest: whenever I post stuff here about the craft of writing, I always feel like a pretentious douchebag.

Even when I try to be sincere and honest about how I feel about this strange process known as creation, when I read it back over, I can’t help but wince.

So, as an experiment, I’m going to try to create the most douchebaggy writing post ever, so that I won’t have to ever feel sad about being pretentious on my lame blog ever again.

Ready?

Here we go.

*****

Writing is not truly a solitary art. Writing is not simply the writer speaking aloud to the reader, a direct transmission of thoughts from brain to brain, a telepathic union of human souls. Writing is instead collaborative. No story is complete until it has been read. Writers do not tell the story perfectly. The reader takes the story and makes it complete, for without the reader’s imagination augmenting and melding with the writer’s, what is there? Just a sad fucker performing the equivalent of creative wanking alone in a room.

But there is a third entity, which combines with and transcends the writer-reader relationship. That is the story itself, and it is tricky and winding, like a buttered snake: oozing and wending its way through the chaos of human minds, something that cannot be controlled, only guided, something that is not dead, but alive.

And when these three entities, the storyteller, the listener, and the story meet, they swim in the hazy color-realm that is known as the Aetherium, that is to say, imagination. And when these three join together in the Aetherium, they perform a mating dance that echoes throughout time and space itself, casting ripples that are dreams, and stars that are inspiration.

*****

I think that’s enough pretension for several human lifetimes, don’t you?

And now, here is a funny image:

~ Ian