#Rendar Frankenstein

Monday Morning Commute: No Escape Velocity

No Escape Velocity

“There’s no escape velocity.”

Arnie’d just spent the last seven months workin’ on the Plutonian big rigs. Five moons, five drills, five crews. Zero contact, zero support, zero fucks given. Dangerous math no matter how it’s calculated.

But he’d just done it — a seven  month tour of duty, a seven month tour de force, that’d seen plenty of limbs and lives and love lost — and now it was over. Arnie’d fattened his bank account and his calluses and his belief that he was far from the baddest motherfucker in the solar system but he just might be one of the scrappiest.

A blessing and a curse.

`Cause when we see him right now, Arnie’s two feet are firmly planted on terra firma. He’s at his father-in-law’s annual Fourth of July barbecue. And he’s surrounded by friends and family and the afterglow of a job well done. Sparklers dancing through the purple dusk and laughter cutting through the cooling silence.

But he’s not really there at all.

`Cause when we see him right now, Arnie’s eyes are gazing towards the heavens that give him hell, towards the stars that brighten the sky and pierce the spirit. Towards the next mission that he’ll have to run because, well, if not him…who?

So when we see Arnie in this moment, he’s respondin’ to his wife Lola who’s askin’ him what he’s doin’ here all alone and why he’s so quiet and what he’s thinkin’ about. And, for the life of him, Arnie’s only got one response.

“There’s no escape velocity.”



This is the weekly(ish) feature that sees me throwing some drivel fiction in the general direction of anyone who’s willing to catch it. Then, I present some of the stuff I’ll be checking out this week. But wait! There’s more!

The best part is when you hit up the comments section and share what you’ll be doing this week.

So let’s play show and tell!

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Ridin’ SOLO: Reactions! [SPOILERS]


It happened — SOLO has been released.

It took the title-role casting of an actor that no one seems to trust and the support-role casting of an actor-comedian-musician-showrunner that’s beloved and the firing of the 21 Jump Street dudes and the hiring of the kid from Happy Days and a wading through a morass of antipathy that the fanbase hasn’t shown in over a decade, but it happened.

As a lifelong believer in the Force, I made my way to the first showing I could find. And now, I’m going to cannonball into a stream-of-conscious review/reaction of the tenth theatrically-released STAR WARS movie.

Of course, I’m much more interested in your reactions — so hit up the comments section and share your thoughts about the fourth post-prequel installment.


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Monday Morning Commute: a life anything but prescribed


He’d been told that as long as he maintained his regimen, he’d be able to keep pressin’ them down.

The flashbacks, that is.

When he was faithful, really faithful, to the routine his doctor’d advised him to keep, they weren’t that bad. Just sort of bleaked-out, occasional billboard-spotted-through-fog-on-a-lonely-highway memories. They’d light up quick and fade away quicker, like the business end of a cigarette in a rainstorm.

A moment of unpleasantness, for sure, but a moment. Just a moment. Without doubt.

But when he strayed? When he’d decided to listen to everyone who’d told him that he’d be a fool to keep listenin’ to a doctor who’d had his license revoked? When he’d had a lapse in conviction, cavin’ into the temptation to follow the advice of the squares and mouthbreathers and so-called respectable folks who’d never condescend to put their feet in his shoes, much less walk in them?

What then?

Well, the unpleasant moments felt like minutes and hours and days. The rainstorm that’d snuff out a cigarette would become a monsoon of memory, a typhoon of nausea. The fog’d part on the highway to reveal splatter-remains, and he’d be astrally-projected back into his younger self to relive the horror over and over and over and over.

Worse than you can imagine.

So he’d taken kind to dutifully following the orders of a doctor who’d had to flee the country. Long, long walks in hot, hot heat. Lots of water. Micro-doses of LSD before viewing Mel Brooks movies. Beer — never lite — in the early afternoon. Avoid ice cream. Avoid pharmaceuticals. Weed at nite only. Daily yogurt. Weekly trips to the demolition derby.

And it’d all helped. It didn’t make him better. But it’d made him better.



Now that you’ve endured a bit of my drivel-fiction, it’s time for us to discuss what we’ll all be up to this week. I’ll start, and then you hyperspace into the comments section and share what boredom-destroying, life-improving, depression-suppressing activities you’ll be rockin’!

Let’s go!

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fallout from the INFINITY WAR: let’s have a spoiler-filled discussion!

fallout from the INFINITY WAR

It’s Monday — which means that the INFINITY WAR has already been waged!

If you’re among the OL-faithful, chances’re that you’ve seen the film and want to discuss it. As such, we want to provide you with a space to do just that. What’d you think of the movie? Were expectations met, surpassed, or disregarded entirely? Do you have some guesses for what’s going to go down in the next installment of the franchise?


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OL Presents: Wagering on INFINITY WAR [A Spoiler-Free Discussion]

Wagering on Infinity War

It’s finally upon us! This time tomorrow, Avengers: Infinity War will finally be dropping into the brains of lifelong comics nerds and MCU fans and probably a few confused moviegoers who’ve never seen a Marvel movie before!

It’s time to celebrate!

And just like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve or Baal Bloodletting Eve, these next twenty-four hours will be spent wondering about how it’s all going to go down. Hoping that our favorites make it out okay. Imagining the unimaginable elements we’ve yet to see. Fearing what Thanos might be capable of.

As such, let’s make the most of this Weekend Open Bar special presentation: Wagering on Infinity War!

This is the the spot for a SPOILER-FREE DISCUSSION! Hit up the comments and share what you think will happen, what you hope will happen, or any other thoughts you have about the confrontation that we’ve been waiting for since that first tease back in 2012.

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Monday Morning Commute: CLONE v. TULPA

clone v. tulpa
I’d never felt more torn in my life.

On the left, brandishing a butterknife still covered in sow’s blood and screaming the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish, was my clone. My genetic duplicate who’d been paid for with the sex-worker money I’d earned during my gap year in Amsterdam. He’d been a good friend, in spite of the the booze and pills and the gambling he’d foisted onto me.

I really didn’t want to see my clone die.

On the right, wearing a bullskin loincloth and spitting out kerosene he’d been swigging from an old tin can, was my tulpa. He’d been there for me when things got really tough with that woman in the Amazon. He’d been more than an ayahuasca fever-dream come to life, he’d been a confidant, even if he’d had a thing for midnight-slaughterings of local villagers’ livestock.

I really didn’t want to see my tulpa die.

But when you’re feelin’ like you’re watchin’ the best parts of yourself tear each other to shreds, I find that — even if it hurts — it’s best to just step aside. Watch out for the splatter. Crack a beer. Wait for it all to be over.

And take solace in the fact that no matter how it all goes down, you’ll get to walk away.



We’ve got my drivel-fiction out of the way, so let’s move onto the real task at hand — sharing the stuff we’ll be checking out during the week! I’ll go first, then you hit up the comments section and tell everyone what movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games, bottles of booze, pinball tournaments, or other ephemera you’ll be using to curb the sting of the workweek!

Rock? Yes! Roll? Forever!

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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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