PERPETUAL BULLET is Live and Wide!
My eBook, PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection, is now available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, Sony, and WHSmith!
I’m alone most of today, it’s lunch time, so I go to the fridge to see what we’ve got.
I start moving things around around…
This clear glass container with a plastic lid.
What the hell is this stuff?
I open the lid to get a better look.
What the hell *is* this stuff?
This doesn’t look like food. Not any food I would eat.
In fact, it’s so repulsive looking that I won’t even give it the sniff test.
Why the hell would we even have this in our refrigerator?
And by this time my mind, running all over the place, throwing pages of stored memory this way and that in search for an explanation, still hasn’t figured out what I’m looking at. It’s so weird looking I’m actually drawing my hand, holding the container, further from my face. as if the damn thing might leap out at me like the facehugger in ALIEN.
My brain’s ID configuration exhausted, my imagination takes over and that’s when things get bad.
It looks like… like something that belongs in someone. It looks like some… Thing … that a person shouldn’t, or couldn’t, do without.
Now I definitely don’t like it. It creeps me right the hell out.
So what do I do?
I cover it back up and put it back inside the refrigerator, that’s what I do.
My wife will be home soon. She’ll have a sound, calming explanation of whatever that thing is, and I’ll have a private laugh over my silliness and imagination.
Yeah. My wife will be home soon and that thing in the refrigerator will make sense. I’ll dispense with my overreaction so much that, once I know what it is, I’ll probably even eat it.
Ha! Yeah! It is likely part of something we already ate! It’s a leftover! That makes all the sense in the world!
So I closed the refrigerator door – having lost my appetite, and went back to my room and my computer to wait for my wife.
So here I am writing this blog, waiting for my wife to get home and balance my world again.
And all the while I am waiting, there is my cat, my dog, and farther down the hall in the kitchen, someThing in a glass container that I cannot identify and can’t bring myself to describe.
I can’t bring myself to describe it. That way leads to madness.
It’s some stupid harmless thing I know. My imagination is getting the best of me and I feel absurd about it.
And I am still waiting and that thing is still in my house, resting among all the other food that I eat.
I could leave the house, take my cat and dog with me, because they shouldn’t be left alone in the house with that thing. But I mustn’t obsess.
My wife will be here soon.
I’m not going to take a photo of it and put it online. My friends could probably identify it and then everything would be okay. But I’m worried about what would happen if they can’t. Or worse, they can and it is something that would shoot my growing panic right through the roof.
The more I think about it, the more incriminating it is. God damn I wish I knew what it was!
I need to stop being so stupid and just chill the hell out.
Everything will be okay.
My wife will be here soon.
Copyright 2013, E.C. McMullen Jr.
Wait! Someone thinks I’m cool?
Well let’s dispense with that notion right now!
In this life, nothing is free. Crank! Crank! Crank!
So the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has Free Pancakes Day on February 5th (National Pancake Day), and they’ve been doing this since 2006.
The short stack consists of three pancakes. That’s your free meal and you get to sit in their restaurant and drink your free glass of water.
If you’re a jerk, you don’t have to tip the waitress, and nobody is going to give you any grief. You got your free pancakes and never spent a penny.
But the point of free pancakes at IHOP is so customers who feel so inclined will donate to the charity that is being supported. Different IHOPS support different charities depending on state, etc.
You decide how much the pancakes were worth to you – if anything – and give that money to the charity volunteers at the door. As with most things in life, it can be as awful or as enjoyable or even as much fun as you make it.
Me, I live for fun.
So my sister Leticia, my wife, and me pile into the car and go hit the local IHOP here in Texas. In the Lone Star State, the charity is the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Now for a word from me about The Shriners: Not a cool bunch of guys.
In fact, there’s nothing remotely cool about Shriners. They’re often the geekiest bunch of happy old farts you’d ever want to meet. They look, dress, and act like a bunch of daffy clowns who left home without the pancake make-up. They look so ridiculous that the old San Francisco punk band, The Dead Kennedys, had an album cover mocking them in their goofy tiny cars they drive in parades. Even some Evangelical Christian organizations have openly mocked them for wearing a red Fez. Bah! Shriners! How small town can you get?
When Shriner members aren’t doing the charity stuff, they’re probably hanging out at Comic Book stores, Game stores, going to genre conventions, and dressing up as fat retired Klingon Generals (A fat Klingon in a Shriner’s fez! I’d buy *that* for a dollar!).
The work that they generally do probably has something to do with computers. They probably have annual conventions where they go and all get drunk and make total asses of themselves and do idiot crap that would embarrass most people.
So for breakfast my wife and I got our free pancakes and made a donation to The Shriners.
For lunch, my sister, wife, and I went back to IHOP for our free pancakes and made another donation to The Shriners.
And we’re going back again for dinner and to donate again. I’ll probably be sick of pancakes for awhile after today. Why would I do this? How can this possibly be anyone’s idea of fun?
1. Life: it can be as awful or as enjoyable or even as much fun as you make it.
2. Even though I’m not a Shriner (as far as I know, I don’t even know any Shriners), they’re my kinda people!
Shriners aren’t about looking or acting cool. Instead, Shriners created, support, and raise money for the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children throughout the U.S. And on Free Pancake Day, this is what IHOP and that hospital does.
IHOP’s National Pancake Day to Benefit Charities Including Shriners Hospitals for Children
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A Perfect Opportunity: Have some Free Pancakes and Help our Patients
(Tampa, Fla.) February has a lot of special days – but only one combines free food and the opportunity to help kids in need – so mark your calendars for Feb. 5, and be part of National Pancake Day.
On Feb. 5, The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) will celebrate National Pancake Day by offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes*. With every short stack of pancakes served, diners will be invited to make a donation to designated organizations**, including Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The IHOP restaurants that have chosen Shriners Hospitals for Children as the beneficiary of this event are primarily in Texas, with additional locations in a few other states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Download the complete list of participating locations.
The family-friendly restaurant chain has set an ambitious goal of raising $3 million in this one-day event, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to raising funds, the campaign will raise awareness of the charities, including Shriners Hospitals for Children, a 22-facility health care system that provides children with expert pediatric specialty care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay for services. Since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922, more than 1 million children have benefited from the generous health care offered by our unique health care system.
“We appreciate the efforts of IHOP to bring people together to share a meal on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children,” said Douglas E. Maxwell, president and CEO. “We are grateful for the opportunity to increase awareness and raise funds for our health care system. We also appreciate and are grateful for the community support for both our philanthropic efforts and this event.”
Everyone enjoys pancakes and this is a good opportunity to celebrate National Pancake Day by visiting your local IHOP restaurant while giving to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 facilities dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. For more information, visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.
*Limit one free short stack per guest. Valid for dine-in orders only. Not valid with any other offer, special, coupon or discount. Valid at participating restaurants only, while supplies last.
Fabiana Lowe |Shriners Hospitals for Children
(813) 281-7164 | Filowe@shrinenet.org
Right now I’m sitting here, paused in reading the book on my lap, eating from a big bowl of popcorn and drinking a delicious cup of coffee. And I’m imagining what I’d do if I were rich.
I don’t mean merely well-to-do or well-off, but rich! Seriously rich!
I think I’d like – no love – a bigger house where I’d have a beautiful private library.
And in that library, filled with books I’ve enjoyed for years and new ones I want to explore, I think I’d sit in a very comfortable (but no doubt expensive, well-made, hand-crafted) chair, reading the book on my lap, while eating from a bowl of popcorn and drinking a delicious cup of coffee!
Yeah! That’s what I’d do!
Oh, plus secret, hidden rooms (you pull this book, which reveals…) for my wife and I to play and scamper about within and without!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! That would be Sweet!
and behind the house, a big lake for my jet skis!
The only escape was the vast desert lands far and away: a fate these errant Sons of the Sea would have considered hell on other merits.
Not that the choice existed. For Pirate’s Cove was a coral reef island, and the very ocean boiled forth to deliver unmerciful punishment to her vilest of children.
That’s my story, now for the artist who inspired it.
The artist’s name is Mariusza Lewandowskiego aka Mariusz Lewandowski, and because I don’t speak or read Polish, I’ve no idea if this is a man or woman. But the artwork is stunning in a way I’ve rarely seen in modern art.
At first glance the paintings could be book covers, mere illustrations. But almost immediately one sees the fuller image expressed and realizes Mariusza’s artistic merit: There’s nothing bombastic or superhero here.
Check out more of this awesome work at http://www.mariuszlewandowski.pl.
As of this posting, this painting is also for sale.
The following is my response to a recruiter at insurance-recruit. I get an awful lot of spam from various people at insurance recruit.
I have clicked the link to be removed from their mailing list. They still contact me.
I have even got at least one personal phone call from such recruiters, all hawking for Farmers Insurance Group, where I made it plain that they were mistaken and knew nothing of my resume.
I’m a multi-media Production Designer and Art Director. I’ve worked as a Graphic Artist as well as a filmmaker. None of which lends itself to being an owner of a Farmers Insurance business.
So this is my response to yet another sap, trolling monster.com, career builder.com, or any of the number of other online job search websites where I have my resume on file.
In response to this,
I would like to speak to you in regard to your resume. The company I
represent, Farmers Insurance Group, is currently developing new agencies
for the state of Indiana. We are looking for driven individuals with a
strong desire for personal growth, career fulfillment, and financial
Based on your background, I believe you may be an excellent fit as an
Agency Owner. Whether you are starting a career or searching for a change,
Farmers will help you capitalize on your strengths in a highly supportive
and consultative environment.
If you are interested in being in business for yourself but not by
yourself, visit us at http://www.insurance-recruit.com and complete the Contact Us
form. I look forward to hearing from you.
Farmers Insurance Group
Assistant Agency Recruiter
973 Emerson Pkwy Ste C
Greenwood, IN 46143
I said this,
Then you’ve never read my resume – I’m a Multimedia Production Designer – and you have no idea what you are talking about. Your inability to assess my background, the obvious direction of a resume, as well as your ignorance fails to impress me and I think you are a very bad fit and representative for Farmers Insurance Group.
And now I will, yet again, opt out of their service (regardless of whether or not they accept that).
There! I have been “Successfully unsubscribed” again.
Now this blog is also my link, to complain directly to Farmers Insurance Group so they can see how they are being represented.
I doubt that Priscilla Borda is a real person. Most likely just a fictional spam name as we’ve seen through over two decades of internet spam.
But if Priscilla Borda is real, and she wants to sue insurance recruit for putting her into this position, I’d be happy to speak on this matter in court, in her behalf.
It was the year I finally buckled down, made a book cover, and released to ebook, a collection of my previously published short stories as well as some new ones. That book is called PERPETUAL BULLET and so far all the responses have been very positive, which is nice.
Throughout 2012 my desire to run feoamante.com dried up as the people in my life and the people I respected sickened and died.
It was the year Ray Bradbury died. I won’t be attending anymore of his birthdays held every year at the Mysterious Bookstore in Glendale anymore.
It was the year I said goodbye to my friends and family in Los Angeles and left for San Diego, to work on a movie that never materialized, and my wife left Los Angeles for Houston, to help her sisters with their new business.
2012 was the year I spoke on a panel at none other than the San Diego Comic-Con, to a packed house about my experiences in eBook land.
2012 was the year my good friend R.C. McCord died.
It was the year one scandal and cover-up after another piled high on top of our president, our country sank into the mire, and all of the people, personal and public, individual and media, who always pretend to care about such things, didn’t. Not even a little, and I realized they had always been phony.
I’ll never forget that.
2012 was the year we were put on Death watch: My Pop’s long years of suffering with Parkinson’s Disease came to a close.
He died in September.
2012 was the year I called Harlan Ellison, like I do every year, to wish him a Happy Birthday. This time I did so because I knew that he was mourning the death of someone he loved. I spoke with care, and as always, kept it brief. One way or another, for one reason or another, there will come a time when I can’t make those calls anymore.
October 2012 caught me unaware when a good acquaintance and Facebook friend, Bruce Priveterre, had a stroke and died soon after.
November 2012 was also the month my wife and I couldn’t bear to be apart anymore, got together and packed up the car along with our friend and cat, Nina, and went to Texas to visit family for the Holidays. We said goodbye to my family and friends in San Diego.
We visited family in Arizona.
I’m never happier than when I’m with my wife, friends, and family.
2012 was the year I reunited with my family in Houston and we all opened our hearts to each other almost, but not quite, as if Luz and I had never left Texas.
2012 was the year I realized how much I’d missed Texas and Houston.
2012 was every good and every bad thing that happened in my life and your life in the space of a single year.
2012 was hell.
2012 was wonderful.
I’m glad to see it gone.
Here’s a virtual toast to a better year!
People often ask me, “Feo! How many fingers am I holding up?”
To which I usually reply, “Holy crap! Where’d you get those bloody fucking fingers?”
But people also ask me, “Just what is a day in the life of Feo Amante like?”
Well the fact of the matter is, it’s none of your god damn business. But since I’m not a complete hermit, so I’ll give you a peek into a day in the life of me!
(Loud Chorus of Angels!)
Let’s imagine that my day begins at my nearby Superstore, which in this case is a WalMart. In our current Socialist paradise, I’m moseying along among my fellow proletarians, when what do I spy but…
(Loud Chorus of Angels!)
WalMart has an entire section… well, half of a section. Well okay, about half of half of an aisle dedicated to Hispanic food! Now the wonderful ethnic people among us, contributing to our culture and life, have their own part of the grocery that they can call their own!
Now they’ve really arrived!
Now the Hispanic among us can truly feel their culture becoming part of the great U.S. American diaspora!
And what is more intrinsically Hispanic than a jar of processed cheese featuring a smiling Paul Newman wearing a sombrero!
Can’t you just feel that national pride beaming from the hand-drawn face of Paul Newman: Star of such movies as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (where his character is shot to death by a bunch of Mexicans)?
Oh My Screaming God! (that would be Azathoth, the mad, one-eyed, etc.) Paul Newman must have really REALLY arrived to be a part of the multi-cultural history and traditions inherent in the Hispanic Food section!
Oh, if only he was still alive to enjoy it this moment that I’ve been fortunate enough to capture for the ages in a photograph.
See, this is just part of the excitement of being me: making new discoveries.
These are the things that touch my artistic soul.
I’m saying soul in a metaphoric sense, not a euphoric one.
Now let’s leap from Mexico to Canada!
Mainly because I want to show off my Canadian Sock Monkey image, which could be available as a T-Shirt and is already available as a coffee mug, print, and who knows what else at DeviantArt.com.
Okay, so how do you know it’s a Canadian Sock Monkey?
It’s wearing a tuke.
But more to the point -
You like sock monkeys?
Seriously, do you?
Well that’s not good enough.
You’ve got to LOVE sock monkeys! You’ve got to have a Screaming Orgasm – or at least a Sex On The Beach – when you see a sock monkey to come from where I’m coming from.
Yes, when you see a sock monkey, you’ve got to be so damn awed you need to reach for a behavior altering alcoholic beverage!
Truthfully, a shot of whiskey will work.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated drink like a Sex On The Beach. Most people don’t keep all the mixings on hand to make a drink like a Sex On The Beach at home anyway. You’d be surprised how many people get home and they forgot the Peach Schnapps. And you can’t make a Sex On the Beach without the Peach.
Then it’d just be Sex. And you don’t want just sex, do you?
Although you may want to have sex with a sock monkey if you REALLY love them (see what I did there?). Lots of socks get loving, though few are sock monkeys.
So have I got you in a good alcoholic sock monkey mood yet?
Good! Then if you need to reach for a drink every damn time you see a sock monkey, let me present…
WINE SOCK MONKEY!!!
Oh My Fucking GOD! (that would be the goddess of sex, Oshun. Look it up). A sock monkey to keep your wine warm!
Now this next step is vital.
Because what’s important is planning ahead. So get the garden hose ready: you’ll need it!
Get a shovel and dig a hole in the backyard because you’ll need a deep one for what is about to happen to your friends.
Did I forget anything?
No, I just haven’t finished.
Better set a plastic drop cloth beneath your dinner table before everyone sits down, because they will absolutely Shit themselves when they see you bring out the wine in a motherfucking Sock Monkey Wine Warmer!
Why the hell would anyone want their wine warm?
Who the hell cares?
That’s not the point!
It’s a god damn oven mitt for your wine!
And when they’ve cleaned themselves and you’ve taken the soiled plastic drop cloth outside? Better lay out another one in the living room (although by this time the drop cloth should arouse suspicion), because your guests will (on the other hand, who knows what they’ll think after they’ve had enough warm wine?), puke in sheer ecstasy when the game you bring out to play is none other than…
SOCK MONKEY FOOSBALL!!!
What insane genius is inventing this crazed, brilliant crap?
Wherever they are, I hope they are breeding more of their kind! The planet needs to be overrun with such people (it’s the only reasonable thing that could possibly stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Not to mention the upcoming Alien Invasion*. Truthfully, the Asteroid Holocaust will probably be a wash. I don’t see any amount of foolhardy behavior offsetting that one)!
*No, not the Hispanic one
Okay, okay, let’s slow this down now, because after those three things my heart was about to burst from my chest. In fact, when I bent over to pet our cat, blood squirted out from my eyes. You’d think that cats would just dig the living shit out of getting shot in the face with hot human blood, but you’d be dead wrong!
Cats hate that shit.
I’m simply stating fact.
So calm yourselves. Breath deep. Come on, simmer your shit the fuck down, muchacho!
God damn! This is why I don’t hang out with you people. You don’t know how to be cool!
Okay, are we all little Fonzies now? Good.
This one is for the old fogies.
Remember Spirograph? Before the age of highly advanced computers and graphics programs and the people who actually knew how to use the damn things, we made art with ball point pens. Write on, brothers, write on! With a nylon tip Write Bros. pen!
With Spirograph by Hasbro, any clod with any half-assed manual dexterity could make fascinating, mathematically pure rings of intrinsic detail to send any budding M.C. Escher racing to the shower to rub a quick one out.
Yes, you old fogies, you KNOW those were the motherfucking days. Kids today, they have no respect. And you should know because you let the TeeVee and Barney the Purple goddam dinosaur raise your lazy murder of dim-witted boobs.
But let’s set your incompetent parenting skills aside for the moment because…
Look at what I saw in the Barnes and Noble last night -
It’s the goddam motherfucking SPIROGRAPH!
Okay, okay, it’s not “called” a Spirograph” (likely for lawyer reasons), but Paul Beck’s creation does what the Spirograph did!
*And* Barnes and Noble had the sucker on sale!
Am I shitting you?
Nay! I shit thee not!
So after such a reckless day of stroke inducing excitement, me and the missus, ended this rollercoaster trainwreck by hitting the La Madeline, catching a few hot bowls of Tomato and Basil soup (I’d walk a mile for a hot bowl of La Madeline’s Tomato and Basil soup! Add a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese on top: Blissful Perfection!), bread, and coffee. Then I sat my insufferably cute self right down and kicked my boots up beside the fireplace on a cold winter’s night.
See you at Feo Amante’s Horror Thriller.
Adios from 2012, amigos!