#Rendar Frankenstein

Monday Morning Commute: I don’t know how to think anymore.

I don't know how to think anymore.

I don’t know how to think anymore.

I tried to write an earnest reflection about how I’m currently feeling about life. But, lo and behold, it turned out to be an overwrought thinkpiece of half-nonsense and half-pretense, and ultimately a whole lot of nothing. I’m thirty-one, which is five years too old to wax philosophic and call it honor.

So I killed that darling.

Then I tried to write one of my standard pieces of drivel-fiction. Y’know, the ones where I use robots and space as stand-ins for people and circumstances. The one I tried to hack away at this week was about an android named Dorothy who couldn’t bring herself to kill a dog, despite being able to predict that the dog was going to maim a little boy. Engrossing, I know, but it just felt too paint-by-numbers for me.

So that darling got killed, too.

Where does that leave us? Where does that leave me? Well, I guess all I can say is that I don’t know what – or maybe even how – to think anymore. But I have to believe that some of you are still thinkin’!

So let’s do this, MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! I’m going to tell you what I’ve got lined up for this week. Then you swoop in to comment on my plans and share your own.

Let’s rock!

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Monday Morning Commute: Presidents’ Day

Presidents' Day

Don’t try tell me about patriotism, hombre.

Y’think you’re a patriot? Y’think you love America? Y’think you’ve bled red, white, and blue for the nation?

Well, who am I t’say y’haven’t?  Nobody. So I won’t.

But let me just give you a hypothetical. What if there was a guy who somehow figured out how to travel to different realities? Y’know, like, different dimensions. And what if every time he went to a different reality, it wreaked havoc on his body? And what if we ain’t talkin’ `bout no minor headache – we’re talkin’ about bleedin’ from the eyes and bones feelin’ like they’re breakin’ and lungs wheezin’ out but not fillin’ up and vomitin’ out the ass and a really bad genital rash?

Y’know, like how it is after takin’ some really quality club drugs.

Anyways, back to my point. So, what if – just what if – despite all of negative repercussions, this guy keeps on travelin’ to different realities? And what if this transdimensional sojournin’ wasn’t for recreational purposes, but for patriotic ones?  Y’know, like, a fact-findin’ mission. Go on enough to find out how different scenarios play out, and y’might be able to help your nation steer away from the Sirens and towards Valhalla.

“If this went that way and that went this way, well, then we’d be better off! What if `ole Jelly Bean Reagan didn’t run for a second term? What if Baby Hitler choked on a chicken bone? What if? What if?!”

So, despite killin’ himself slowly – and surely – this guy keeps hoppin’ into different realities, all for the sake of givin’ Uncle Sam the fullest report possible. Would y’call this guy a patriot?

Y’goddamn right.

Apologies if I come across as rambunctious, I just always get whupped up on Presidents’ Day.

But, as President RFK once said, “Get me a coffee, a copy of the Times, and an answer as to why the hell we don’t have a moonbase yet!”



Now that you’ve survived some drivel-fiction, it’s time to share what we’ll all be doing this week. Y’know, to survive the grind of the day-to-day.

What albums, books, movies, video games, beers, roller coasters, pharmaceuticals, aerobics classes, or foodstuffs will you be using as protective padding these next few days?

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Monday Morning Commute: Face-Smashed Freedom

Face-Smashed Freedom

Smash your face through the glass.

Don’t resist. Why resist? Because you think there’s another way out? Because you think that someone will come to save you? Because you think the robot sent to murder you would rather have a smoke break instead?

There isn’t. They won’t. It wouldn’t.

So with your arms tied behind your back and that glass window the only means of egress at your disposal, you’ve only got one viable option. You’ve got to smash your face through that fucking glass, projectile yourself through the jagged shards, and pray to Baal that you don’t fatal-nick any of your precious heart-tubes.

But if you pull it off, you’ll be staved. Not saved — `cause no who’s been targeted by one of those clunky metal fucks gets away forever – but staved. And don’t give me any shit about the “you” not being the direct object or that it’s “the inevitable” or “your demise” that’s been “staved off,” because I know what the fuck I’m going for here.

Anyways, I hear the gears and whirrings of a Kill-Bot coming. So, what’re you going to do? Accept your doom or fight for a few more minutes of possibility? What do I suggest?

Smash your face through the glass.



Now that you’ve survived a worrisome bit of drivel-fiction, it’s time to share the fun stuff we’ll be doin’ this week! What’re you puttin’ into your brain so that it lights up? What’s the rock that you’ll be rollin’ to get through the workin’ days?

Let’s go!

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Monday Morning Commute: claw. tooth. & nail.

claw. tooth. & nail.


What’s this weekly feature, you ask? Well, first I’m going to batter your brain with some drivel-fiction sci-fi nonsense. After that, I’m going to share some of the entertainment foodstuffs I’ll be devourin’ over the course of the week. Y’know, as a means of sustaining joy during the spirit-threatin’ workdays.

But wait! The best part is when everyone who isn’t me jumps into the comments section to share what they’ll be doing this week! So enough with the prelude, let’s go for it!

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Monday Morning Commute: Third Time’s a Charm

Third Time's a Charm

Three more times.

I’ll go in on Monday and they’ll give me a shot in the neck. It’s to thin the blood or unclog an artery or loosen the lung-junk or some shit. Truthfully, I wasn’t really listenin’ too carefully when Doctor Familiabeutt was explainin’ everything. Fuck, why would I? When someone’s explainin’ complicated plans that they’re goin’ to stick to and you’re just showin’ up for, it’s no good to ask questions and it’s just as bad to listen carefully. Just get the broad strokes, nod your head, offer a smile – or, in this case, a half-smile, and move along.

Two more times.

On Wednesday they’re goin’ to clip my toes. Not my toenails, my goddamn toes. Again, I wasn’t hearin’ his words too closely, but Doc said somethin’ or other about toes shootin’ clean off during the final step of the procedure. And, given the task at hand, it wouldn’t really matter for me, but apparently it often left the office a bloody mess. So, in the middle of the week I’d say goodbye to my ten little piggies.

One more time.

On Friday I’ll take my final trip to the Medical Offices of Temporary Corporeal Vessels. After checking in, Doctor Familiabeutt will hook up my gonads and forearms to the fleshlectrodes. After being given the opportunity to say a final word or two and sip upon a beverage of my choice – I’m choosing Dr. Pepper – the switch’ll be flipped.

I hate goin’ to the doctor’s office, but at least this week I know that third time’ll be a charm.



I’m going to give you a heads-up about some of the ways I’ll be surviving the workweek. Then, you hit up the comments sections and tell us about what you’ll be doing to survive. It’s entertainment show-and-tell at its best, worst, and kookiest.

Let’s rock!

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Monday Morning Commute: They Still Haven’t Killed Me

They Still Haven't Killed Me

They still haven’t killed me.

That’s not to say there haven’t been a few close calls. That time I pulled the job on the Federation Bank on Ganymede? Goddamn, that pig went belly-up the second I scratched the skin, but I walked out with an empty clip and sack full of cash. Needless to say, I won’t be going back to Jupiter anytime soon.

Or that time I stowed aboard the Belt Skipper in the hopes of finding my beau for a real lunar tryst of a weekend. Of course, I was discovered halfway through, and that fuck of a captain tried the `ole airlock gag on me. Thing is, that shit only works on the criminally unprepared, and I’m nothing if not one prepared criminal. Fucker punched the release and I flashed him the bird before wrapping myself in a solar sail and then leisurely drifting to a comrade’s outpost.

Oh, and then just yesterday I was having a drink at Old  McQuarrie’s — bourbon and white wine, if you care – and all of a sudden the place goes neon! Bullets and beams whizzing past my head, Old McQuarrie crying behind the bar and doing that thing he does where he says those prayers and grabs at the – whatcha call it – that’s right, the Rosary beads! They managed to kill an old pervert sitting next to me, which is a shame because even though he’d spent a half hour shamelessly trying to get into my pants, everyone in the community really loved him.

So anyways, I end up having to basically gut Old McQuarrie’s with the better part of my arsenal – and I don’t just mean bullets and blades, I’m talking about pulse charges and pheno-drones, too. But, when someone’s trying to take your life, you don’t think to yourself, “Maybe I should save something for next time,” `cause the truth is that there might not be a next time.

They still haven’t killed me.
And I’ve got the privilege of next time.
But next time? They might just kill me.


Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE, you salty dogs!

Y’either know the drill or y’don’t. If y’do, just keep movin’ along! If y’don’t, well here’s what’s what: first I warm you up with some half-baked bit of writing nonsense (see above). Then, I share what I’ll be thinking about or watching or listening to or doing over the next week. Finally, you hit up the comments section and share your own tentative plans?

Why do we do this here at OL? Well, because life can be brutal but solidarity can be liberating. We’re all just trying to make our days manageable — or enjoyable or maybe even, in rare instances, triumphant — and sometimes a good suggestion goes a long way.

Enough blathering, let’s freakin’ dance!

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Monday Morning Commute: Pig Roast Don’t Cry

Pig Roast Don't Cry

“Y’gotta jam the apple in his mouth before y’roast him!”

“Stuff that!”

“Zackkly, y’gotta stuff it right in and then y’can roast the fucker on a spit real goo-”

“Nah, man, stuff that as in fuck that. We put an apple in that pig’s mouth and then tryta roast him on a spit, whattaya thinks gonna happen?”

“I don’t thinks nothing’s gonna happen, I knows what’s gonna happen! All that’s gonna happen is we’re gonna have us some good-goddamn-delicious barbecue, and its smoky-goodness is gonna have a hint of apple!”

“You fuckin’ moron! Lookit his fuckin’ mouth — it’s too fuckin’ small! Stick an apple in there and then spin him around and around? It’s gonna fuckin’ fall out! We kill this pig, we roast him up real good, and then we jam the apple in his mouth as a garnish!”

Clint, despite every instinct-bone in his body aching, had to admit that his brother had a point. Which really sucked, because Clint had been building up this moment in his mind for months, visualizing how it’d go down. And no matter what changed in his mind — the guilty parties present, the setting, the time of day — one thing always remained the same.

The Senator would be roasted on a spit, naked save for his tie and socks and the flag lapel stabbed into his tit, and he’d unable to scream because of the apple jammed into his mouth.

But if Clint’d learned anything since joining a gang of jenkem-huffing bipartisan cannibals, it was that sometimes you just had to temper your expectations.

“Awh, aight Brucie, you makes a good point! But I still thinks we should wait until the apple’s in his mouth before we post to Facebook!”

“Of course, Clint. Of course.”



I’ve just foisted some drivel-fiction nonsense upon you. Thanks for putting up with me. Oh, who am I? I’m Rendar Frankenstein — hack writer, amateur sociologist, and pop culture enthusiast.

So, here’s the deal: I’m going to show you some of the stuff I’ll be consuming in the hopes of staving off workweek-ennui. Then, you hit up the comments and show off what you’ll be consuming! And then we all share!

Really, it’s sort of like a pop culture/entertainment-suggestion potluck.

But totally, totally cooler!

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Monday Morning Commute: Moonrock and Roll

moonrock and roll

Y’can set out to crack the moonrocks a hundred times – hell, a hundred thousand times – and it’ll never stop bein’ awe-induncin’. Here I am, Earthborn Nobody, crackin’ rocks on the moon. The fuckin’ moon! And y’look down at that chubby blue dot and get weak in the knees when y’think of all the beauty goin’ on down there.

First kisses and guitar lessons and autumn breezes coolin’ the backs of necks that’ve been sweatin’ all damn summer.

And y’just get enough strength back in y’knees to keep standin’ – hell, I’ll be honest, in normal gravity I’d probably have to have me a good five minute sit-and-cry – and y’get back to work, aimin’ y’pneumatic pickaxe at big clumps of lunar basalt and turnin’ `em into small clumps of lunar basalt. And then Charlie or Connie or Debbie or Dan’ll come on by to gather up whatever it is y’managed to crack, and then they’ll go on and rover `em over to the sortin’ station.

And that’s when y’take another minute or ten to yourself, to catch y’breath and think `bout how y’ain’t winded `cause of the work but `cause of the sight of that blue wonder in front of you, and y’know that it’s real and honest down there. And hell, y’know that y’took this goddamn job `cause you’re jus’ tryin’ to get by and y’know y’probably goin’ to die just as broke and untethered – maybe even more broke and more untethered – than when y’started the gig, but goddamn it y’gettin’ to see somethin’ most never even think to imagine.

To see humanity itself from the outside, to bear witness, it’s a fuckin’ gift. To look down and see the whole thing unfoldin’ before y’eyes, it’s overwhelmin’. Beautifully overwhelmin’. Typhoons and military coups and hands takin’ food out of hungry mouths? Sure, y’can’t deny it. But there’s also love letters and reunions and movie theaters and acts of forgiveness and comfortin’ sunsets watched from hospice windows durin’ final moments.

And honestly? I got no clue how it’ll all shake out in the end for us, no goddamn clue if the ledger’ll be red or black.

So I jus’ crack as many moonrocks as I can, bask in the fact that I even get to take part in this thing, and do my good goddamn best to just roll with it.



What you just read was nonsense from my brain. In order to create that sort of nonsense, I need to make sure that my brain is filled with other nonsense. So! I’m going to describe some of the nonsense I’ll be checking out this week, and then you hit up the comments and share what nonsense you’ll be consuming.

Nonsense! Nonsense! Nonsense!

3! 2! 1! Let’s go!

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Monday Morning Commute: One More Packet

One More Packet

I only needed one more packet.

My palm couldn’t stop my nosebleed any longer. The old lady behind the counter looked at the rivulets dripping into the crook of my elbow. She shook her head. I kept pleading.

“Please, lady, y’gotta help me out! I only need one more packet!”

“Sorry, Bucko, but the policy’s to stop servin’ after seven packets!”

“C’mon, you already gave me nine!”

“That’s right, I already broke policy for your ass!” She looked at the ceiling in that way mastered only by crusty diner waitresses with stories to tell. “Now, I’ll keep slingin’ coffees your way all night, and we won’t have to have any more frustrated words with — or cross looks at — one another.”

“But, but –”

“No butts, no asses, and the only titty will be a tough-titty for you!” She slid an entire carafe of coffee in front of me. “You wanna light your brain on fire? Try doin’ it with that! But I ain’t givin’ another goddamn packet of Nestle Cocaine.”

I only needed one more packet.



Posted above is some of my patented drivel fiction. I hope you enjoyed it, but don’t blame you if you didn’t. Posted below is a list of some of stuff I’ll be checking out this week. Y’know, things to [excite/expand/extinguish] my brain. After you check out my entertainment itinerary, hit up the comments section and share your own.


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Monday Morning Commute: No Skills. No Supplies. No Signals. No Worries.

No Worries

It was a brand new day on a planet as old as time itself.

Edie stumbled off the starcruiser’s ramp, footing as unsure as the color of the soil. Barely a glimpse at the atmospheric readings on her forearm-gauge and Edie was tearing off her helmet. She hadn’t travelled across the stars to gaze upon another planet through a hermetic seal.

Standing at the top of a ravine,Edie looked down at the landscape and gasped. Fields of silver wheat swayed in an electric breeze. Twin rivers of indigo fog raged into each other. A lone tree’s leaves burst into flames, shriveled, bloomed, and then ignited again.

“Fuckin’ brilliant.”

Edie wasn’t sure that she had the skills to repair the starcruiser herself. And she wasn’t sure how much of her supply compartment’d survived the crash. And she wasn’t sure if her distress signal’d ever be picked up.

No skills. No supplies. No signals.

And yet, having actually survived the voyage itself, Edie couldn’t worry. She couldn’t not smile. After all, there’re worse fates than dying in the midst of alien beauty.



This is the regularly-scheduled feature for discussing what we’ll be checking out in the following week. After presenting some drivel-fiction (see above), I give you the prospective entertainment-highlights of the upcoming days. Then, you hit up the comments section and share what you’ll be consuming.

Yes, it’s basically digital show-and-tell.

Let’s rock!

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