Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Autumn!

In case you weren't sure, summer is officially over as of a whole week ago. Already, the evidence is everywhere. Less daylight. More pumpkin spice. Temperatures in Florida in the lower mid 90s.
Brrr!
Before you know it, folks will begin the annual rites of dressing like whores (Halloween), hating their families (Thanksgiving) and bitching about how ridiculously early all the stores that are waging a war on Christmas put up their Christmas decorations (Christmas).
Those are all wonderful, heartwarming traditions. While we're at it, let's say we introduce a new one. I call it "Being Nice to Somebody". Not all the time and not everybody. Jesus, who has time for that madness? No, just sometimes, when somebody really needs it. Like this:


Now, the circumstances might be different. It might not be a kid without a winter coat planted at a bus stop by somebody with a hidden camera nearby. Also, there probably won't be a hot, blonde Norwegian girl around. It's entirely possible that nobody else will even know you did something. Still worth it, though. If you keep your eyes (and your mind) open, opportunities similar to this one will present themselves frequently.
I don't know. Just something to think about,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Free plug Friday!

Recently, my friend and colleague (via Raw Charge) Cassie McClellan made her Facebook page available to writers who wanted to plug their stuff. I thought it was a great idea and a very nice thing to do so naturally, my first impulse was to steal it and re-purpose it here. I happen to write along with other people at a couple of different outlets so I thought I would use this platform to share with you some of the stuff these other fine people are doing. Heaven knows I've plugged enough of my own crap here over the years. It's about time I spread it around a little...


I'm a contributing member of the Peevish Penman writer's consortium. As a group, we're kind of dormant right now but we're still connected. Here are some of my colleagues from there and what they're doing...

You already know that I'm one-third responsible for The Unbelievables. My partners are

I work with some wonderful people at RawCharge.com, where we cover the exploits of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. That enterprise is under the supervision of editor-in chief John Fontana. Staff writers doing other stuff include

There are others with whom I haven't had the pleasure of working (yet) but they're still eminently plug-worthy:

  • Nicky Westbrook and Angie Bailey are the creators of a comedy web series called, 82 South St. They describe themselves as "frustrated ex-theatre students turned stay-home-moms who needed a creative outlet." They have two season out there, the first of which consists of six stand-alone comedy sketches.  The second season is a mockumentary called, Fowl Play Chicken Daycare and is about two estranged sisters who inherit a day care center for chickens in the small, fictitious town of Fowler, Texas, home of the Fightin' Cocks. You can visit their Facebook page, their YouTube channel, and their web site.
  • Su Ring-Vitue, under the pen name Ann Brandt published her novel Steel Goddesses in 2010 and is working on new stuff we should see soon.
  • Sabrina Simon (aka Roxanne Wilder) published her first novel, In the Stars in 2012.
  • Relatively new to writing, Tara Shrodes is using her blog to figure out life's great mysteries to the sound of some great music.
  • Speaking of great music and figuring out life's mysteries, be sure to check out the wry and hear-rending musings of the legendary Ronny Elliott at his blog.
Are there any other great people and things out there that I either forgot or don't know about? Oh, absolutely. Feel free to share them in the comments below. If it's you and you're shy about that kind of thing, you can always post anonymously (You coward! Stand up and be incredible!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

There's no "i" in "winner"

Every once in a great while, when all the odds are against you, when there's no logical reason to think there's a chance you'll succeed, when everybody is convinced there's no way you can do it... 
you're going to have to accept the fact that those people are correct and that's just the way it is. Not all the time, not in every situation, but come on man. Just because your crane is workin' doesn't mean you're going to pull a prize, which sounds like a whole 'nother topic unfit for discussion here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heroes for hire

It was announced this week that the Florida Department of Citrus has hired Marvel Comics (the home of Spider-Man, Iron man, Captain America, the X-Men and the Hulk, among others) to reboot their mascot Captain Citrus from an anthropomorphic orange to a traditional, costumed super-hero character. This is what happens next:
The new Captain Citrus will be fit and promote healthy choices, starring alongside the Avengers in a custom Marvel Comic. The comic will reveal Captain Citrus’ background (he is born and raised as John Polk, the son of citrus growers) and his challenge (to fight an evil enemy called the Leader alongside other superheroes, including Captain America).
Bill Rosemann, the creative director of Marvel Comics, said Captain Citrus is given a choice by the Leader: “Join me and we can take over the world,” said Rosemann. “Should he betray his family and the Avengers?” -- Tamara Lush, Associated Press for "Florida Today"

This is going to cost the Department of Citrus $1 million. My guess is that Captain Citrus has orange juice-based superpowers, like the ability to squirt it really hard and really accurately. Maybe he can make grapefruits really big. I don't know. My imagination is limited when it comes to the powers a citrus-based superhero might have at his disposal. The creative types at Marvel will figure that out. However, I believe I can visualize pretty accurately how a certain part of this whole process will work...

STAN LEE (Marvel publisher): Say, kid. How's that new villain coming along? What are you calling him?
YOUNG ARTIST WITH BIG DREAMS: Oh! Yes sir! "The Leader". It's coming along quite well, actually. I can see him really being a major part of the Marvel Universe. I'd go so far as to say I think he could be the next Dr, Doom! You know, I've actually been writing and drawing this character since I was in high school and I just want to say what an honor it is...
SL: Why, that's just swell, kid. Listen, take what you've got so far and hand it all over to Jimmy or Dave or whatever that guy over there's name is. He's working on this one-off orange juice thing.
YAWBD: W-what? I kind of thought he would be an ideal new nemesis for Wolverine...
SL: Nah. Change of plans. We need to serve up somebody that OJ Man or whatever we're calling him can defeat without a lot of back and forth, you know? We're getting paid a million dollars!
YAWBD: Couldn't Captain Citrus fight the Red Skull or Dr, Octopus?
SL: What are you, nuts? Do you really think I would let any of Marvel's established, canonical villains suffer defeat at the hands of a man whose greatest achievement is inspiring the flavor of baby aspirin?
YAWBD: Well, that is the special book featuring The Avengers though, right?
SL: Huh? Oh yeah. The Avengers are in it too. But it's mostly Super Orange Julius's show though. He's gotta defeat and humiliate your guy in order to teach the kids that orange juice builds strong teeth or whatever.
YAWBD: I suppose this kind of limits the chances of The Leader showing up in a movie, huh?
SL: I picture your guy meeting his end by drowning in an inch-deep puddle of Minute Maid.
YAWBD: Motherf...
SL: Excelsior!



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No butts about it

Gone, not forgotten.
By me anyway
Tuesday morning, I fired off this impromptu Twitter monologue...

  • I feel like history is not going to be kind when it gets a look at some of the t-shirts people are wearing these days.
  • "Wow, you guys sure did like wings and skulls and flames a lot, huh?"
  •  "Also, why did you guys think it was a good idea to print 'JUICY' on your butts?"
  •  In exactly what social situation is it a good idea to give people something to read via your butt? "Man, this bus ride is boring. Oh wait!"  
  • I know it's the name of the company that makes the pants but your butt is not a billboard or a Kindle.
  • If you wear the "JUICY" pants, I guess you're probably glad they didn't put it in Braille.
  • I think if I wanted something printed on the butt of my pants, it would be "THIS SIDE DOWN". In case there was an accident. 
  • I guess what I'm saying is some of your clothes are stupid. (Whistles cheery tune while putting on polo shirt with corporate logo on it)

That's right; what started out criticizing those stupid t-shirts with the dumb tattoo designs on them somehow transitioned over to sweatpants with "JUICY" printed on the butt, which apparently hasn't been a thing since 2001 but I still think is topical because that's how in touch I am with what women wear as clothing.
Which is probably at least part of the reason why I can't find a woman who looks like this
But I know that pants with words on the butt still exist because I know I've seen such things more recently than 2001. For instance, there are shorts with "CHEER" or "BULLDOGS" or "GO COLLEGE" or whatever on them that are worn by cheerleaders. I find that either confusing or ironic because cheerleaders have been forever fighting a battle to be taken seriously and not seen as mindless sex bimbos. Look, I'm sympathetic. I think "slut shaming" is reprehensible and I will defend a woman's right to wear whatever she wants without it being seen as an invitation to crude, unwanted sexual advances... right up until you're upset about somebody staring at your ass while your wearing a garment that demands that people stare at your ass.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Good seats still available!

Hey, please pardon this really blatant plugola, but I'm involved in a sales contest at work and this is my platform to broadcast to the universe. Sometimes, like now, I'm going to use it to further my own self interests. That's what this is.

THE PITCH: If I, as part of a team, can sell a certain amount of Tampa Bay Lightning season tickets before opening night (October 9), I get to go on a cruise! That doesn't mean you can't benefit, though.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE!

If you care about sending me on a cruise (unlikely, I realize) or if you just want to have season tickets for a team that, honestly, should be pretty damn good this year (a far more realistic possibility), I can totally hook you up. Check it out:

  • Tickets start as low as $792
  • Payments can be spread over four months
  • You get a jersey! (which would cost you well over $100 if you just wanted to buy one)
  • The jersey has a chip in it that saves you 25% on food at the concession stands and 35% on merchandise at the team stores
  • Top secret perks
That last one sounds kind of mysterious, doesn't it? It should, because I can make certain "fan experiences" available to you that some poor jamoke who calls up on the phone isn't going to get. What kind of "fan experiences" are we talking about? Let's just say you might be able to scratch "ride a Zamboni" off your bucket list. I shouldn't say more than that, like mentioning that you could fire off our famed Tesla coils at a game. And as far as being able to introduce you to Lightning players, well no, I definitely shouldn't let that out.

But to sum up,
You could be wearing this...

While getting discounts here...

Riding around the arena on this...

Making THIS happen...

And then watching these guys (that you will have met in person) wreak havoc across the NHL.

And maybe, just maybe, I end up here...

Again, THIS IS NOT A JOKE! 
If you're interested, or at least intrigued, let me know at cbrooks@amaliearena.com or (813) 301-6583.