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Americans: take the high road or burn America to the ground?

Following the 2016 presidential election, the vitriol is palpable. Read More…

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The worst reason not to vote for Bernie Sanders

When did citizens of the United States adopt a defeatist attitude?

For months now, I have read time after time that if elected president, Bernie Sanders “won’t be able to get anything done,” and that his policies will “never be passed” because of Republican opposition.

But what does it say about the United States if its citizens are afraid to vote for a candidate because they don’t believe their government will allow the leader of the free world to address the biggest domestic problems it faces? Moreover: what does it say about us?

May 5, 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in riot gear as they protested the killings at Kent State Universtiy and the invasion of Cambodia. Photo, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

May 5, 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in riot gear as they protested the killings at Kent State Universtiy and the invasion of Cambodia. Photo, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle.

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I support Bernie Sanders, and I’m not stupid or unrealistic

Today I read for maybe the 10,000th time an assertion that supporters of Bernie Sanders are unrealistic, that Bernie Sanders supporters will all be disappointed if they elect him because he won’t be able to bring the change he’s promising, that Bernie Sanders’ policies will be “just another example of Democrats making promises they can’t keep,” and so on and so forth. And I’d like to briefly dispel a misconception about people who support Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States:

We’re not stupid.

bernie-sanders-change-will-not-take-place-without-political-participation Read More…

The most dramatic game of Werewolf ever played, part 1: a Werewolf primer

I must tell an an epic tale of deception, of security guards, of teenagers, of drunkenness, of meltdowns, of suspicion, of betrayal, of murder, of mystery. I must tell the tale of the most dramatic game of Werewolf I have ever played.

I feel that it is extremely important to communicate my exact feelings about Werewolf in order to help you fully comprehend the gravity of the drama that transpired during this legendary game, so I have broken up this tale into two parts; this, the first, shall focus on the mechanics of the game as I perceive them:

Werewolf, which you may know as Mafia, is the best party game ever invented (yes, even better than Cards Against Humanity). The rules are simple: a bunch of people sit in a circle, and they’re all villagers. But 1-3 of them are secretly werewolves. A “caller,” who runs the game, narrates when the village sleeps at night (closes their eyes) and announces whom the werewolves have decided to kill each morning, once the villagers have opened their eyes and risen from their slumber. The object of the game is for the villagers to deduce, through various methods, which of their neighbors are the werewolves… before they are all eaten.

File footage of a Werewolf game at Gen-Con 2011

Archive footage of a Werewolf game at Gen-Con 2011

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Thotes (or, “oh dear God, he’s back”)

Photo credit: J.J. Abrams

Photo credit: J.J. Abrams

So, like two years ago or something, I had this awesome idea: a “creative reunion” of sorts, if you will, as it were, so to speak, if you like, as it please, and so on, et cetera. The idea was that I’d take my high school notes and upload them to this site along with commentary exactly ten years after writing them.

Unfortunately, at the time of my stroke of genius in identifying a somewhat unique outlet for my creativity, I didn’t have what you’d call “any support” from what you’d call “my heinous ex-girlfriend” whom you could say “everyone hated because she was a monster”—and I mean that less as a judgment of character and more as an efficient way to describe her physical scales, tendency to breathe fire, and flailing tentacles made out of lies and betrayal. But I digress.

The “creative reunion,” as I called it, fell apart, because when you spend most of your time with someone who validates neither you nor your creative works, you get discouraged and abandon them. And thus, The Internet was spared for over two years, and there was peace.

Well now I’m back… TO RUIN THAT.

I’ve got an itch to write again. Unfortunately, due to the popular convention commonly known as the “calendar,” it is no longer chronologically possible for me to resume a ten-year reunion, as it is now over 12 years later, and “dozen-year reunion” sounds like a stupid Dunkin Donuts marketing scheme, and “twelve-year reunion” employs a number which is a multiple of neither five nor ten, and it’s not amateur hour, so NO THANKS. I also lost my place in terms of where I left off, as I’d scanned literally my entire notebook (which only cost about $1,367.81 at Kinko’s, because Kinko’s) at the time of the reunion’s conception. So now I’ve got to figure out naming conventions and trying not to post multiple times and a bunch of other stuff that literally only matters to me because I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and which you will literally never notice. Or care about. I’m glad, then, that I just devoted an entire paragraph to discussing it.

Speaking of paragraphs, my point is that I’m going to change some names, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Thotes.

I took notes in high school, and now I’m going to tell you my thoughts on them, and so when you combine the two words, you get a stupid portmanteau that both looks and sounds utterly stupid. Which is why it’s perfect for this site!

So prepare for some thotes. Unless I wake up tomorrow and change my mind on a whim, in which case disregard this entire post.

In the meantime: prepare your body. It’s gonna be quite a ride.

One does not simply oppose gay marriage in 2013

Ones does not simply oppose gay marriage in 2013

Let’s get real, folks, and face the fact that it’s just regressive at this point to actively oppose the idea of allowing a group of people to have basic human rights.

Writing exercise: writing similes and completing sentences, 2003 vs. 2013

Yay, a writing exercise! My creative writing teacher provided phrases ending with “is/are like…” or “as if…” and we had to finish the sentence, thus forming a simile (although it looks like some of these are just sentences needing completion, but close enough). We were giving this exercise on February 4, but I’m posting it on February 2 because we then used these similes as inspiration to write a poem, and I plan to post the poem on February 4.

I’m going to actually do this exercise, meaning that I will type all of her “set-up” phrases and complete them on my own. Then, I will supply my original 2003 answer, and then we can all compare. And please note that no, not all of these will end up being “similes” strictly by definition. Let’s do it:

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

Similes:

A spider on an old man’s beard is like…
2013: a scorpion in a tumbleweed.
2003: a woman in an older man’s bed.

The oars on a boat rowed as if…
2013: they had no other purpose.
2003: pushing away an annoying little brat.

Nothing was the same now that it was…
2013: Friday.
2003: Halloween.

The Wino took to coma like…
2013: a Russian going to bed.
2003: a student after school.

The dice rolled out of the cup toward Len like…
2013: an avalanche of rocks spewing from the peak of a mountain.
2003: his mother’s fist did last night.

A child in _____ is like a _____ in _____
2013: A child in peril is like a princess in the dungeon.
2003: A child in need is like a stripper in jail.

Puffy clouds in your glass of wine are like…
2013: balls of lava in a lava lamp.
2003: jagged clouds in your bag of cocaine.

A _____ is like muscles stretched taut over bone
2013: canvas
2003: hug

The fog plumed through the gunshot holes in the train windows like…
2013: a creepy pedophile sneaking into an elementary school.
2003: water pours out of Daffy Duck after Elmer Fudd shoots him.

The grey honor (honor?) walked up the satin plank as if…
2013: he were going to receive a medal for exceptional swordsmanship.
2003: on his way to the ring for a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship.

Cancelled checks in the abandoned boat seemed…
2013: like an impractical waste of space.
2003: almost as confusing as this awful analogy.

If I should wake before I die…
2013: then I should celebrate life.
2003: put me back to sleep with your warmth.

Illanah poured coffee down her throat as if…
2013: she were a robot that needed oil to continue to function.
2003: she hadn’t had a drink since last night.

Up is like down when…
2013: you’re in Dante’s Inferno.
2003: you’re completely insane.

You mine rocks from a quarry. What you get from a quandary is…
2013: a lot more difficult to understand.
2003: able to rock your mineshaft. (lol)

Marlene dangled the Parson from the question as if…
2013: I have any idea what a Parson is. (and yes, I know I ended that with a preposition)
2003: she actually made sense.

She held her life in her own hands as if it were…
2013: a chip on a roulette table, optimistically willing to let its value be determined by the arbitrary spin of a wheel.
2003: a feather on a windy day.

“No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…
2013: balling into a fist and preparing to strike.
2003: wrapping more tightly around her waist to keep her close.

The solution was hydrochloric acid; the problem was, therefore…
2013: finding a plastic container that could contain it without dissolving. (Thanks, Breaking Bad)
2003: zombies.

Love is to open sky as loathing is to…
2013: being tightly bound and unable to move, barely able to breathe.
2003: cuddly rabbits and teddy bears.

A few things:

  • Why so many drug and alcohol references? I was in high school!
  • Here’s your homework: please explain to me how a child in need is like a stripper in jail.
  • I actually really like the Elmer Fudd / Daffy Duck line… frankly, it’s completely appropriate. Well done, 17-year-old me!

I was struck by the similarity in my responses for She held her life in her own hands as if it were…; in both of my responses, “she” left her life completely open to chance, leaving fate to decide its outcome. Conversely, my responses to the very next entry, “No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…, were polar opposites, one ending in a fist and the other ending in an embrace.

It appears that over time, people are capable of changing in some ways, but not others. Or perhaps as a writer, inspiration strikes differently at different times? Perhaps some writers have killed off characters in some drafts, but saved them in others. I guess there’s only one way for me to further explore this theory: write more!

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” project, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

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