Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Would Rather be Locked in a Cage With a Lion

Does anyone else get those moments where all of life seems to look you in the eye and say “go jump off a cliff” after giving you a big heavy rock?

I typically block these moments from my mind. The problem is that when one happens, it acts like a key and I remember a slew of the older ones too. So when I was drawing the slender man post and Photoshop crashed on me five times in the same doodle at about the same place, I caught a nightmare of reminiscent memories.
One I remembered with extreme vigor was from my first semester in College. A lot happened in my first semester of College, and in-between those things I tended to sleep.

I am the sort of person who uses my phone as an alarm. I can typically trick myself into thinking someone is calling and get up to answer it. I put my phone above my head on a little bed post my bed had, an easily accessible location. I didn’t want it much farther away for fear of waking my two roommates, Scott and other Scott. I always had to wake up earlier then they did.

Well, one night I’m sleeping having some awesome dream most likely involving fight zombies with nothing but my bear hands.

Then I rolled over in my sleep. This is not common, and in so doing I knocked over my phone and it falls to the floor below.

I’m a light sleeper and the “plink” of the phone colliding with the ground awakens me immediately. I quickly grasp the problem at hand and am determined to get my phone back.

I’m so happy I have a loft.

I’m so happy I have a loft with a dresser under it.

I’m so happy I have a loft with a desk under it.

I’m so happy the layout of my room makes it impossible to get behind my dresser,

I’m not very happy my phone fell behind my dresser.

I’m not a big curser. As in, I do not curse that often. (Or so I tell myself.) But I sort of let loose a few at this point. All to myself and in the quiet of my pillow covered face, but curses flew none the less.

 It was four o’ clock in the morning. I had work in two hours; I had gone to sleep two hours before. I wanted to sleep. I tried to calmly get out of bed.

This resulted in my falling to the floor.

I just about broke my neck in the fall, but I seemed to be fine by the end of it all. I lay in a tangled mess of my own limbs too asleep to care about much of anything other than not waking up the Scotts. I’m polite, what can I say?

So now I was on the floor; still had no idea how to get my phone back. Worse yet if I didn’t get it the darn thing would go off like the 4th of July when it was time for me to wake up. I’d wake up everyone in the suite if I didn’t get this over with by then.

I shook myself to semi consciousness. I needed to man up and get this done. Then, I could go back to sleep.
I needed a flashlight. It was strikingly dark in my room, even more so behind my dresser. I was sure I brought some form of light apparatus with me to college, but where was it? I spent half an hour groping around in the darkness trying to find my little flashlight. I felt like a blind person. With the mixture of my sleep deprivation and innate fear of going blind I began to realize that being blind would suck. In fact it did suck and would continue to suck forever after. So for all the blind people out there reading my post, I understand a bit of your pain and I am sorry.

I found my little light in a treasure chest like box. As I opened it I felt awfully reminiscent of all the old Zelda games where opening the chest was this huge moment in any dungeon.

At least I didn’t get the compass.

I switched on the small light and welcomed the light like I do when I see my dear Ramona after a long days work. With a kiss, a hug, and commonly a compliment on her outfit. The flashlight seemed far less responsive then Ramona to such things, but I feel like we connected a bit more over it.

My phone was in the far back left corner. If I gnawed my left arm off and used it as an extension of my right arm I still would not be able to grab it. Looks like I was back to the ol’ drawin board.

I have no idea where the idea came from, or why it did not involve something else, but a brilliantly stupid idea came to mind. I owned a small collection of rulers. I suppose just in case they continued to break? Well I thought it would be a wonderful idea to take all my rulers and tape them together. THEN, make a circle of tape and attach it to the end like a fishing pole. Only not in any way like a fishing pole as there was no line, or hook, or anything even remotely like a fishing pole; I was using rulers.

The rulers were, by a stroke of luck, just long enough to touch my phone.  Course the whole thing weighed less then my phone. Any moment the whole thing could just disassemble in my hands; I used scotch tape.  You could see this was really well thought out. The clock was ticking, I was running on fumes. I slammed down the rulerrod, as I have named it, and slowly reeled in my prey.

I’m a little under the assumption I broke physics, or physics was just as sleepy as I was because I was soon holding my phone in my hands.

I was asleep in my bed a full three seconds later.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Cathedral

Once upon a time, as I was just about to graduate high school, I was thinking about my future.
My two friends



Wanted to live together.
This wouldn’t be a very long story, but we are a little strange.

That puzzle was actually freakishly hard. Seriously Gabriel, how was I supposed to know I should punch a 300 pound boar with my small skull ring? It stabbed me in the leg with its tusk and ripped out the majority of my tendons. I should have been dead.

We didn’t want to buy a house; not a standard house anyway. We wanted to buy a cathedral. Well, I wanted a castle but I was not about to complain.
As you can imagine there are not a whole lot of cathedrals for sale. Not to mention we had school to finish, colleges to get into and no way of paying for the hypothetical cathedral.
But we still loved to talk about it

And to dream.
I remember very well one dream in particular. Gabriel, Nyx and I stood atop the highest tower of our dream cathedral. Rain poured down and thunder struck all around us as we were besieged by demon succubi and Incubi. Ghastly light poured out of the stain glass window below us as the battle raged on.

I’m not quite sure why I am remembering my dreams with would be one-liners from action movies, but it is rather kick-ass.
Having absolutely no leads left us dreaming for a while. Each time we met up one of us was likely to have a dream to share about the three of us doing something awesome in conjunction to our cathedral.
Then Gabriel found something.
I am not even sure how he found out about it but we had to go.
It was located in Washington D.C, an adventure was to ensue.
Off to the metro.

Gabriel: Joshua, this girl has been looking directly at you for two stops now.
Joshua: Really?
Gabriel: Yeah.
Joshua: What does she look like?
Gabriel: Probably a year or two older then us, gravity defying hair, red highlights—
Joshua: Black cargo pants?
Gabriel: Yup, you know her?
Joshua: Not at all, but I can see her through the reflection in the windows.
Gabriel: You should talk to her she’s cute.
Joshua: I don’t know… you think so? I mean she is cute. Looks like the rebellious type too, I do like that.
Gabriel: Do it.

If you are out there gravity defying hair girl, hello again.

By the way, Nyx was there the whole time.
And we were dating back then.

Just kidding she didn’t slap me, and where did those finger marks come from?

Wow, what am I even pretending to imply about my relationship with Nyx?

When we got off the metro and battled our way through people,

I found something rather interesting.
A note.
Dear Jason,
          We are both kinda whores. I mean, think of last night, yeah whores. You are cute and I like that. I’m really hot and I know you like that. You are older than me but I like that too. We both like each other Jason. But what the POMEGRANATE Jason! You live with your parents. And why did this not come up before we were breaking down your front door making out with each other? Like, ok, bad call on my part for part for saying I don’t mind. I DO MIND JASON. I was talking to my friends and they told me how messed up this is! You are messed up Jason! I mean Jason! I’m 22 and I have my own place! Why did you want to go back to your place if your parents were there anyway!? How stupid are you to forget your parents would be home? And then again this morning, introducing me to your parents? Oh whats that? They don’t like me? I wonder why Jason! I wonder why! Sarcasm Jason! SARCASM. Then your mother asking me to leave!? Could it get more awkward? Well you know what Jason? I’m not giving up on you Jason! I know where you live, you and your parents Jason.
Call me later,

I still think pomegranate is the best curse world ever. Oh, and Jason, I hope that restraint order goes well.

The cathedral.
We finally arrived at our destination. The damned thing was falling apart and in an equally sketchy part of the city. It was wonderful. I mean no wonder it had to be sold, but the three of us could not have asked for anything more. The place was huge and technically it was a church.
We wanted to see the inside so badly.

 But of course the front door was locked, and everything else was locked.
But through windows we could see a little of the interior. Mind you this place was at least a hundred years old, and I would argue few of the windows had been replaced since then. The windows were not the standard glass we see today; they were the old imperfect glass panes. The ones where you need twelve to make a single window. So everything was dark. Lots of tall ceilings, narrow stairs, open spaces, it looked just like I had hoped.
The more we saw however, the more we wanted to get inside.

That is when we saw a graveyard behind the building. 

The graveyard was bordered by a spiky fence that honestly I didn’t feel like impaling myself over. There was however an opening far down the way. Graveyards are great and all, but what we really wanted was the little door hidden behind a few graves in the back. This little door looked ancient; we could make it inside from there.

As we approached the gate into the cemetery I felt like we were being watched. Little icy fingers running up and down my spine as I took my first step onto the damp dark grass of the graveyard.

“What are you doing?”

I spun around to see a middle aged woman with her first grey hairs wielding a gardening spade in a gesture that could mean to take out my eyes, or just be waving hello. I’m still not sure which one it was. This woman had a great expression on her face. A mix of fear over three teenagers walking into this graveyard, utter confusion over why we would be doing so, and a very defensive nature.

“Why I was just about to go into this cemetery mam.” 

“And why would you do that?”

Time to improvise.

“I’m on a hunt.” 
I gave a broad smile to try and ease her.
 “You see my name is Joshua, Joshua Jenkins. I’ve been sent by my grandmother on a mission to search all the graveyards around for relatives. My grandmother believes we had family around here good few generations back. Based on the age of the church over there, I decided looking around here could be fruitful.” Another smile.

The pause.

Any of you who have ever told an outright lie should know what I’m talking about. That moment between your lie and the response to your lie.

You don’t breathe; fear that any movement will give you away.

“Oh. Well if that is what you are after we have a logbook of all the graves inside. Could easily save you some time trying to look at them all.” She smiled back, a genuine care giving smile.

Success, well, enough of a success anyway.

So if you are out there madam, my apologies for tricking you, I just didn’t want to be stabbed in the eye by that garden spade.

We walked away some time later, inadvertently defeated from gaining access into the cathedral. Which we decided, was probably a good thing anyway. I mean, breaking and entering is sort of a crime.

I still end some of my days looking outside my window up at the stars, or clouds if it’s a really long night, and I think of what it would be like; living in a cathedral.

Love you both Nyx and Gabriel; we will live together one day soon. I may not be able to give you a cathedral, but I’ll give you all that I can.

And zombies.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zombie Chess

The other day while discussing inevitable zombie attack plans with my friend Cyber,

I inadvertently invented zombie chess.

Zombie chess is not all that different from normal chess. You play with the same pieces and they move the same way they usually do. The big difference is how the teams are set up.

To play zombie chess you need two people and a chess set.
The players then need to decide what team they want to be on.

The teams are:


The standard back row of a chess team.


Two rows of pawns.

The game then begins with the zombie team moving first.

Each team has a different goal in this game. While the zombies are trying to kill all the humans, the humans are trying to escape the board. This escape is only possible on the opposite side of the board, behind all the zombies.

When a human piece reaches the other side of the board that piece is removed from the game and has escaped death by zombies. The human player then gets a point, the end goal being to get as many points as you can.

Don’t feel too bad for the zombies however, they get some good perks too.
When a zombie piece dies place it to the side of the game. At the start of a turn where a space is open in the back row of the zombie team side place a zombie piece back on the board.

It gets even more exciting than that. If a zombie pawn makes it to the back row of the human side that zombie pawn evolves. That pawn may then become any of the pieces not originally placed on the board. That is, the back row pieces of the non human color.

And that is how you play Zombie chess, give it a shot!

And tell me what you think.