Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tiger takes it on the road

The local weekly alternative paper recently had a “flash fiction” contest and I entered. I didn't win, of course, but I had a blast writing it. The prompt was “a dead cat, an old car and a backyard at sunset” and the word limit was 119. Here it is:

Tiger takes it on the road

“I'm so dead,” Tiger hissed as he pawed the gearshift and put the car in reverse. Plaster, wood and masonry fell away as he backed out of the new car-sized hole in the back of the house. Driving was harder than it looked. He shifted back into drive.

Tiger had spent hours on the windowsill, staring at the old car moldering in the back yard and plotting his escape.

Tiger's owner angrily emerged from the ragged hole as the car roared past. Tiger accelerated around the house, through the side yard and into the front yard. As the car thudded over the curb and out onto the street, Tiger meowed in triumph and sped off into the sunset.

I think I could continue it and Tiger could go on and kill zombies (too cliché?) or hunt chupacabras or something awesome like that. And he could have a dog sidekick. It'd be like The Adventures of Milo and Otis meets Supernatural meets The X-Files.

Anyway, please let me know what you think in a comment.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Your party = POOPED OR I'm too young to be this cranky

Recently my younger sister came to me and asked for some advice on picking a major. She said she was considering sociology or social work and something happened to me. Something ugly.

“Listen, I know you've finished one year of college and taken Social Problems. It has made you aware that the world is a crappy place but given you the idea that it can be saved and you are the one to save it. However, I'm here to tell you that it can't and you aren't. More importantly, there's no money in saving the world. So do something where you make money. Major in engineering or nursing or business, but whatever you do, do not follow your heart and/or dreams. That way poverty lies.”

And that's the last time my sister ever asked me for advice. As she looked at me I could see her her mental label for me change from “wise older brother” to “tool.” What has happened to me?

I've turned into Captain Crankypants or Cynical Sam over here, and it's getting worse. It's like I'm in one of those movies where I need to drink the antidote, break the spell or find true love's first kiss before the change becomes permanent. Only I don't know how to change back to Optimistic, Conquer-The-World Jesse. I know I'm turning into a jerk but I don't know how to stop it.

Some of the things getting me down are: I don't make much money at my job. I've tried to explore other options but I've run into some setbacks. I have a lot of stuff I need to do, but when I try to do it, I think about the amount of things I need to accomplish and my brain does the mental equivalent of curling up into the fetal position and sucking its thumb. Thus, I find myself watching Eureka and pretending there isn't a giant To-Do list laying in wait for me.

I know things will work out eventually. Another thing I know is that I need to be more grateful for what I do have.

One thing I'm grateful for is having a healthy baby. He's so healthy, in fact, that he is into everything. His baby arms look deceptively short, but nothing is safe because he has a supernatural reach. Everything in our house has been moved to top shelf. It's kind of like when you're camping in the woods and you have to hang your sandwiches from a branch so the bears can't get to them.

Anyone know how to combat premature cranky-old-man-ness? Leave a comment, if you please.