A Coworker’s Guided Plunge Into Darkness.


I cannot call myself an avid “Star Trek” fan.  I have loved the franchise since before J.J. Abrams rebooted the series, but I would be lying if I told you that I had entrenched myself in the lore and new the ins-and-outs of the entire universe.  However, I did grow up with “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and in later years I went back and watched the Star Trek: The Original Series.”  When I found out that my fiancée had not seen anything Star Trek related we went back together and watched “Star Trek: Enterprise” on Netflix to begin at the franchise’s origin (at least chronologically speaking).

Yesterday evening (and into this morning) I had a coworker come over to my place, so that we could watch J.J. Abrams’ reboot, “Star Trek.”  This all came about, because a couple of weeks ago he broached me about the subject wondering, “If I knew anything about Star Trek?” (This is in direct relation to the fact that the sequel to Abrams’ reboot is releasing in a scant two weeks time.)

Funnily enough, the Magic Lantern Theater in Spokane, WA (where I live) is doing a special showing of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” (courtesy of Merlyn’s Sci-fi and Fantasy Shop) on the 14th of May to gear people up for the aforementioned sequel, so I recommend that we try to get together so that he could catch up the new movie series.  Unfortunately, my coworker and I couldn’t both get the night off, so we decided to do an impromptu ‘Star Trek Night’ at my place.

Long story short, we had a blast.

Star Trek Magazine Movie SpecialHowever, my shameless post about my nerdery is far from over.  Some readers may remember that I occasionally work for Titan Publishing/Comics, and coincidentally enough they publish the “Star Trek Magazine” and have just put out a special movie issue for their forty-fifth endeavor.

It is a beautiful printing of everything-and-anything related to “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which releases May 17, 2013.  The magazine has in-depth interviews, stills, and all sorts of nuggets to wet your Star Trek whistle.  It even includes new Star Trek fiction, as well as a chance to win Gold Passes to the official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, NV.

To say the least, it is awesome.

I already nabbed my copy from Fred Meyer (my day job) and if you live in the States or Canada it is already available wherever magazines are sold.  If you live in the UK the “Star Trek Magazine Movie Special” will be releasing May 16, 2013, so make sure to grab a copy when you can.

If you are interested in more from Titan, or are just curious about the Star Trek Mag, check these sites out:

For more information visit:

http://titanmagazines.com/t/star-trek/us/45/

Connect with Star Trek Magazine:

https://www.facebook.com/StarTrekMagazine

https://twitter.com/StarTrekMag

Now, that I am done plugging my own work as well J.J. Abrams, Netflix, Titan Publishing/Comics, The Magic Lantern, Merlyn’s, and Fred Meyer I have this one obvious caveat and concluding sentiment to provide to you:

Live Long and Prosper.”

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Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me


ImageThe other day I was finally catching up on my blog readings and I came across NDP’s post, “Ten things you may not know about me…”  It is a great piece.  Oftentimes, writers, bloggers, and artists create these blogs, but as they become more successful and larger than their original roots a new persona is created.  Readers begin to lose sight of the blogger and the blogger loses sight of his or her readers.

A simple post titled, “Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me,” brings it back though.  It closes the gap between the writer and the reader.  I find this to be important.  I write for those to read, and I read to engage those that write.  I should never expect any less of myself.

Check NDP’s blog, “NDPworld.”  It’s a regularly updated and fantastic blog featuring the thoughts and poetics of NDP.  He is acutely aware of social and cultural beats and it is shown within his poetry.  I always gain a new perspective when reading his work.  I urge you to check it out.

Here is my blatant ripoff, “Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me”:

  • I’ve worked as a grocer for the past six-years in various departments and positions.  A jack-of-all-trades if you will.  I enjoy it because it provides health insurance and stories.
  • My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and my favorite album of theirs is “By The Way”; however, my favorite track is “Under the Bridge” from their “Blood. Sugar. Sex. Magik” LP.  *As an aside: vinyl is the only way to go.
  • I enjoy longboarding a great deal.  One of my closest friends and I are building our own longboards, and are considering starting a ‘Spokane Longboarding Group’ for amateurs.  We’re working on several Spokane longboarding guides.
  • I am an atheist.  I appreciate theological and religious scripture from a historical and literary standpoint, but I have difficulties believing in a God.  However, that being said I rarely ever bring it up and it doesn’t bother me to hear of other people’s faith as long as they aren’t trying to indoctrinate me.
  • I have an obese ten-year-old Black and Tan Dachshund named Norman.  I’ve had him for over five-years now and he is the first dog I’ve ever really owned.  He is my best friend, and I don’t know what I would do without him.
  • I am a coffee addict.  It seems cliche, especially coming from a Washingtonian, but I enjoy coffee immensely.  My French Press is my friend.  Luckily for me I work right next to a Starbucks.
  • My best friend and I are currently writing a television screenplay called, “Baggage,” that is about the dark humor found when working in a retail industry, the macabre found in higher education without a job, and crazy girlfriends and boyfriends.
  • I grew up in and around Spokane, WA, USA.  I ended graduating from high school in Cheney Washington and tried to finish a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Washington University, but inevitably found writing to be my calling, rather than academia.
  • I have an immense love of comic books.  I find them to be an ‘American Mythology’ of sorts.  I started my writing career writing reviews about comics books and I still trek down to Merlyn’s Sci-fi and Fantasy Shop every week and pick up my haul.  Funnily enough, my fiancée also enjoys them a great deal and it is a hobby that we started together when we first started dating.
  • I’ve often been described as eccentric.  I try to be a student of all. I love all-types of philosophy, literature, film, and games.  I can be fairly moody, and I think that this plays into my interests.  It has to match my mood, but at the end of the day I will try anything once just to say I have.

 

Longboarding in Spokane, WA


Photography by Celeste Sievers

As are most of my summers, 2012’s season of heat has been filled with numerous ups and downs, as well as several life altering events.  However, even with the tumultuous ebb and flow of life, I did stick to one of my summer goals: I finally learned to longboard.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I am fairly athletic person.  I am about six-feet tall, and incredibly lean.  My metabolism is incredibly fast-paced (even at twenty-three), and my buck-forty frame has been pretty-well locked in for the past five-years or so.  I tend to be very coordinated and quick, compared to most people; this is most likely due to my slender frame and years of throwing freight as a grocer.

Essentially, I wanted to enjoy the summer weather with my friends, and longboarding became that means.  I enjoy being outside; my girlfriend (Celeste) and I go hiking every now and again, but on the whole I’m generally an inside guy—hermit-like really.  I do a lot of reading and writing, and my primary occupation has me usually working indoors at a local Fred Meyer for eight+ hours at a stretch.

Although, some part of me has  always been interested in skateboarding, and by extension longboarding, but I never really had that push to actually try it out until recently.  I am the type of person to dive head first into a new project or activity, and this coupled with the fact that I have quite a few friends who just recently started longboarding again, I did exactly that—dived head first…with no regrets.  Longboarding is a sport that seems to have really come back in the Spokane area in recent years, so with all of these things in mind I found myself finally giving it a go.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I went out with my friend, John ‘A1 Sauce’ McDonell, to our local “Big 5” and bought myself a relatively cheap (approximately $79.99 with tax) “Golden Beach” 46’ pin tailed longboard (featured left).  It is a tad on the long side (there are longer though!), but because I was first starting out I wanted a board more built for cruising and stability, rather than tricks.

After practicing quite a bit, I have really gotten into it.  I live in the historic Browne’s Addition of Spokane, WA, and because of the age of the district there are some spectacular hills and stretches to skate on and down.  I’ve actually got so into the sport, that I’m finally brazen enough to try and start learning how to do some basic slides and manuals with my board.  My friend, John, and I decided to buy sliding gloves and begin practicing.  For those of you who don’t know (because hell…I sure didn’t know until a couple months ago!) sliding gloves are essentially a pair of utility gloves with plastic pieces (called pucks) attached to the glove via Velcro.  Some gloves just have pucks for the palms, but others have pieces for the fingertips and thumb, as well as the palm.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I ended up picking up a pair of Loaded sliding gloves from “The Mountain Goat” on Sprague in downtown Spokane (featured right).  They ran me $54.99, but what is nice about the Loaded gloves is that they have pucks for the fingers and thumb, instead of just the palm.  My buddy John picked up his gloves from a “Zumiez” for $39.99, but because it only has the palm puck the fingertips are already shredding after only a couple weeks of use.

(As an aside, John and I are planning on trying to make our own sliding gloves, and we’ll probably post a tutorial on YouTube—I’ll link here if it comes to fruition)

We’ve slowly been perfecting the Coleman Slide and the Front Slide for the past several weeks, and save for one serious wipeout, it has been phenomenal.  I would highly recommend it.  It is fun to cruise and chat without really having a care in the world.  It sheds me of my responsibilities for a brief moment, and in the moment I’ve been able strengthen my friendships—what’s to complain about?

If you have the interest and the ambition this is most-definitely a sport that doesn’t cost much right off the bat, and if you really enjoy it you can always improve on your equipment.  There are a million different styles of boards and gear for body shape and type of enthusiast.

I’ll post videos and pictures as they become available.  My friend and I aren’t terribly good, but we do like to snap a picture or two of our desperate plans to be better, and I’d love to share them with everyone.

What are your summer sports?  Do you live in area that promotes the outdoors, or do you have to go out of your way to find it?

shout OUT! – I Still Believe in Heroes.com


I have been meaning to do post this for a while now, but as they say, “better late than never.”  I Still Believe in Heroes.com was started by a friend of mine who works at my local Spokane comic book shop, Merlyn’s Sci-fi and Fantasy Shop.  He has managed to blend comic books, pop culture, and charity all in one website and fell swoop.  It’s a great site that I definitely see growing and growing as time goes on–it definitely fills a niche that has yet to be filled.  Check it out by clicking the ‘I Still Believe in Heroes’ logo below.  Also, per usual I have included a hard link that will always be available in the “Affiliates” portion of this blog in the right-hand column, so if you ever forget and can’t scrounge up this post just warp on over there via the “Affiliates” tab.

Snowpocalypse II: This Time It’s Personal


I fell a little behind (what’s new?) in my writing goals and endeavors.  I live in the heart of the inland Northwest, Spokane, WA to be exact, and we have the weirdest winters.  We live right between the Cascades (no relation to the dishwasher poison) and the Rockies, and then to top it off Spokane is situated in a big valley along a fairly good-sized river.  Perfect conditions for unusual weather happenings!

For example, last winter it hardly snowed.  We had a couple of snowy days in December, but nothing to write to North Carolina about.  The winter before that was Snowpocalypse.  It was a good practice run for Armageddon.  The snow was several feet deep, and trails had to be created and guides had to be sent out to lead people to their destinations.  Residents didn’t build snowmen (and, women) with their kids for winter entertainment they built them to signal the way.  We stationed them throughout the city, so people could find their bearings otherwise people would end up in a berm and Encino Man II would have to be filmed here in the spring.

People would say, whilst being led by their guide, “Oh, there is the overweight snowman with the sailor’s cap and the blue scarf–we must be on Ermina and Indiana Ave.”  Needless to say: it wasn’t good.

Remember in Peter Jackson’s “Return of the King” when the Gondorians light the seven beacons to summon the riders of Rohan and there is that epic scene that pans across the mountain range as the Gondorian military men light each beacon–it was like that, except with snowmen and without all of the CGI.  No joke—look it up.

As for this winter Spokane has had only a hint of snow all season.  It sprinkled Christmas Day for about four-and-a-half seconds and then has proceeded to be ridiculously frigid.  It has been essentially fall, but with a frozen twist and no cherry.  With that being said the forces that deemed my fair city to not be ‘snowy enough’ decided to send a storm our way to make up for our, thus far, shoddy winter.  Local ‘meteorologists’ have been spouting some absurd facts about Martian winds combining with subterranean counter-clockwise jet streams creating a colossal storm, but all-in-all they were right.  The past two days we’ve seen a crazy amount of snow.  Uptown and sidetown are shutdown and unfortunately for that sad parking meter that got taken out by the ambiguous Toyota Tacoma, so is downtown Spokane.

Now, I drive an ’87 Chevy Chevette.  I’ll give you moment to laugh as you put two and two together.

—It sucks.  I’ve got a ten pound car that rests a firm six inches off the ground with a four-speed manual tranny and rear-wheel drive.  It has the stellar beige, ‘I just threw up color,’ on it; it also comes with cheap, metal everything else, so that in a case of an accident everything on it can crunch up into a ball (with you inside it of course) and a motor that would make Al Gore cringe in Kyoto.

So, yesterday I’m be-boppin’ around, like an idiot, running errands while Snowpocalypse II is occurring and, for me, everything is going fine.  I get a little bit stuck while leaving my parking spot downtown, but it only last several seconds with but a small audience (nice people, they were).  I then hit Browne’s Addition.  Browne’s Addition is ancient.  We still have cobblestone roads and manors (most of which chopped into apartments), but along with this awesome atmosphere there is a downside: no parking.  Everyone parks on the street and only a select few buildings actually have garages, or parking lots.

I’m puttin’ along in my angry sounding Chevette and not more than three blocks into the Addition and I’m stuck.  And, not the kind of stuck that you and a buddy can rock her out and everything is ‘A’ ok, but the kind of stuck that requires (apparently) a small news crew, a neighbor, my girlfriend, a couple of snow shovels, and an impromptu stick-shift driving lesson (for said girlfriend).  All of this is, of course, a day after I had abandoned my high-centered vehicle and irritably walked home, but nevertheless the Chevette finally made it back to my apartment as of this morning.

“Wonderful times!” I say.

Nevertheless, I have had little time to write, but I do have things to write about!  So, I suppose my misadventures in the snow did produce something–material.  Hopefully, everyone else’s days are goin’ all right, and here is to a fun story!  Stay thirsty my friends!

This one is just for kicks and giggles, but it was taken in Spokane, WA