#Rendar Frankenstein

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!

Keep Reading »

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.”

—-

This is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

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!

Keep Reading »

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.

—-

This is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

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!

Keep Reading »

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.

—-

This is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

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.

TALLY-HO!!!!

Keep Reading »

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.

—-

Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

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!

Keep Reading »

Monday Morning Commute: A Best Friend’s Boy

a best friend's boy

I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead.

Pops and Mahma explained to me when we first got him, years back, that he was mine to look after. After all, they reasoned, it was because of my begging and pleading that they agreed to go to a breeder in the first place. While it was true, Pops admitted, that we all fell in love with Russell’s soft whimpering and pouty eyes, he was mine to look after.

And that meant, in their parental estimation, not only enjoying the benefits but also dealing with the baggage. And to do so with the grace and poise for which our family — the Eldertons — was known.

So, needless to say, Pops and Mahma were none too thrilled when they found me cradling Russell’s body on the morning that I found him, gently and peacefully, dead in the backyard. I was crying, and they were disgusted, but I told them that Russell was my best friend and they should honor my feelings even if they didn’t agree with them.

I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead, they told me. I was supposed to know that Russell’s lifespan, given his breed, was going to be short, they told me. I was supposed to stop crying, and when I collected myself I could go back to the breeder and get a new Russell, they told me.

But they’d never told me that it was risky for me to get Russell in the first place. They’d never told me that something’d gone awry when I was programmed. They’d never told me that I’d been glitch-maxxed for empathy.

I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead, but he was more than just a human being to me.

He was my best friend.

—-

Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

Now that you’ve survived another one of my brain-damaged attempts at drivel fiction, it’s time to discuss the upcoming week’s activities.

What’re you going to do to curb the blow of another workweek? What’re you looking forward to? What’s getting you jacked up and ready to embrace existence?

I’ll start.

Keep Reading »

Monday Morning Commute: Unholy Water

Unholy Water

The well had dried.

Just to be sure, Louise through dropped a stone and listened eagerly, waiting for a PLOP! and a renewed hope. All she got was a THUNK! and a reaffirmed desperation. It wasn’t looking good.

Louise turned the pail upside to triple-check for any signs of water, and when gravity told her that she was shit out of luck she almost cried. She would’ve, too, if she wasn’t’ already so dehydrated. At this point, she was sure her blood was turning into dust and that her next period would look more like Lawrence of Arabia than Dracula.

“Fuck it,” Louise muttered, dropping the pail and looking to the sky. Not. A. Cloud. In. Sight. Her only hope – the only hope – of getting water would be to march down to Padre Sausalita’s house and knock on the door. Diligent as ever, the good Padre’d anticipated the drought and had pre-ordered countless gallons so that the congregation’d never run out of holy water.

The only problem? Louise had promised herself that if she ever saw him again, she’d kill Padre Sausalita. In fact, she’d promised herself that she’d drag his scab-ass to a big `ole mirror and slit his throat in front of it so that he’d be able to watch himself bleed out.

And Louise never broke a promise.

—-

This right here? This is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

First, I caffeinate myself into enough of a frenzy to offer a bit of prose — call it microfiction or short narrative or drivel-fiction — for your reading pleasure! Then, I present the various means I’ll be using in the upcoming Monday-through-Friday to cope with the workweek. Finally, you hop into the comments section and offer your own anti-ennui elixirs.

It’s not much more than show-and-tell, but it’s a fairly well-attended event aboard SPACESHIP OL!

Okay, let’s rock!

Keep Reading »

Monday Morning Commute: Subversive Verses

Subversive Verses

The Black-and-Blues were chasin’ me through the bazaar, gainin’ more and more ground than I’d thought they would’ve. Bastards. I pumped my legs harder and harder. Searched deeper and deeper in my ash-lungs. Ordered a drink when my bartender-heart flicked the lights and bellowed “Last call.”

Somehow, I burst outta the market without bein’ bludgeoned by `em. But that don’t mean that the lawmen’d given up. Hell no – you’d better believe that when the Black-and-Blues’ve worked up a thirst, they ain’t gonna stop `til they slake it with blood.

I pushed on, never stoppin’ until I saw her.

She stood at the end of the pier, smile beamin’ and hand extendin’.

We’d traveled the long hard road together, and there was no takin’ it back. None of it. Even if I’d wanted to – which you’d better believe I didn’t – there was no chance in Hell that’d we be able to undo what we’d done. The State don’t look too kindly on subversion.

And when you’re in the business of robbin’ banks and usin’ that money to fund off-world rockets for those who’ve failed all of the State’s prerequisite exams, well, y’better believe they’re lookin’ at you as subverts.

Feelin’ the heat on my heels, I ran to her, extendin’ my hand and reachin’ for hers. And when our hands interlocked, I clenched. Real goddamn hard, too. And that beamin’ smile of hers became a shootin’ scowl.  Which worked perfect, `cause once I put my blade to her neck she knew what I was doin’ but couldn’t protest through the pain.

The Black-and-Blues saw a subversive maniac threatenin’ to slit the throat of a woman. She saw the sonofabitch she loved takin’ the hard hit for the team, headfirst into the goddamn boards. And I saw the woman I loved walk away, untouched by the State and free to do as she pleased.

Needless to say, it was pretty fuckin’ righteous when she turned around and pulled out her heater.

—-

Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

Now that you’ve slogged through (or skipped!) my drivel-fiction, it’s time that we all share what we’ll be checking out this week. What movies, albums, action figures, TV shows, video games, sandwiches, or other entertaining entities are you looking forward to this week?

Remember, you’ll be dead before you know it, so you might as well enjoy some life!

I’ll get us started!

Keep Reading »

Monday Morning Commute: reunited and the blood’s gone cold.

reunited and the blood

They tryta tell ya not to worry.
“Don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.”

They tryta tell ya that it’s not really fuckin’ weird.
“What you’re feeling, right now, it’s perfectly normal.”

They tryta tell ya that what — or, I guess, who – you’re seein’ is familiar.
“Look! There he is! He’s opened his eyes! See, he’s waving to you! Wave back!”

But I’ll be goddamned if I ain’t never seen nothin’ less familiar.
“Go ahead – go into the room and give him a hug!”

And I’ll be good goddamned if there ain’t nothin’ I’d ever wanted to destroy more.
“Here, let me bring you in! I can only imagine what waiting for The Reuniting has felt like.”

Unfortunately, turns out that paperworkin’ and payin’ and waitin’ all felt like shit, and that shit felt like gold compared to this shit.

Unfortunately, turns out that bein’ Reunited with your once-dead son don’t feel so good as they tryta tell ya.

Unfortunately, turns out that seein’ your once-dead son openin’ his eyes and wavin’ at ya don’t feel so good when ya could only afford to upload his mind into a bootleg clone.

They tryta tell ya not to worry.
Worry.

—-

Come one, come all, step right up, folks: this is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

First, I spit prose-nonsense at you (that’s the stuff at the top). Then, I try to apologize for it by sharing a list of pop culture detritus I’ll be chewing on all week (that’s the stuff you’ll see after the jump). Finally, you hit up the comments and tell us what you’ll be entertainment-consuming this week.

Right this way, hombres!

Keep Reading »

Monday Morning Commute: Grace & the Face of Annihilation

Grace and the Face of Annhilation

Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!

What’s the deal with the MMC, you ask? Well, this is the weekly feature that sees me vomitin’ a bit of short prose at you, and then apologizin’ by way of showin’ off the worthwhile entertainment I’ll be checkin’ out throughout the week.

Then, if you’re not totally repulsed, you hit up the comments section and tell us about the movies, TV programs, video juegos, rap songs, snacks, and other delectables you’ll be chompin’ on so as to make the workweek a bit more bearable.

Yes, you’re right — it is sorta like show-and-tell for Internet Maniacs. Let’s boogie, y’bastards!

Keep Reading »