Time

Where does the time go?

Seriously, I could have sworn I was updating earlier.

People like to think of time as a straight line. Birth followed by childhood, childhood followed by teendom followed by adulthood, old age and death. Actually, time is a huge mess of experience and memory. I’ve known people who remain 16 years old for decades. I was five for a couple hours in 2014 when I watched Guardians of The Galaxy. Yesterday, the sun went down at 3:30. Apropos of nothing, my phone has been acting weird.

Anyway, the point is, if it seems like I haven’t updated in a while that’s because time is strange and we don’t understand it. Also, I have been busy lately.
Since my last update, I lost the Freeditorial contest. The final tally was ninth place and a little over one thousand downloads. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me! I won’t pretend I’m not disappointed with the result. The winning story definitely deserved the prize but I still wish I had won instead.  Still, failure is an inevitable result of trying. I have lost before and I’ll lose again before I succeed. Then I’ll lose some more and succeed again as is the way of things.

Another thing is that I started a sound internship at an L.A comedy club. Every Saturday and Sunday, I check the mics, run the music and bitterly mumble to myself when audience members text through the show. On Mondays, I call comedians to make sure they come to the show.

Beyond that, my life has been taken up by well… life. Every so often, one must, to paraphrase Thoreau, stand up to live before sitting down to write. The philosopher was likely not referring to dog walking, internet dates and relaxing with friends and family but these are the moments I choose for my life. I hope to share them with you soon!

Categories: Kinda Funny?, philosophy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

I Was A Teenage Despot

The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Guilty

IMG_2917

This is me in 2009, 18 years old, wearing a homemade dress that cost me 80 bucks for materials and drunk with power. Also there was a very real possibility someone spiked the punch and/or the chocolate fountain. Through massive voter fraud and intimidation (look at those flabby guns!), I had become Prom Queen, with all the power that entails.

Weeks ago, like two weeks, my friend Gabby came into our European History class with a stack of nomination forms. She looked at me, beautiful eyes ablaze with purpose. “We’re gonna make you Prom Queen,” she said, dividing the nomination forms between our friends.

I had already raised several objections to the position of Prom Queen, and King to a lesser extent. Principally, Queen is not an elected position. It’s inherited or earned via marriage. Americans should have a Prom President and Vice President but apparently we live in a world where words don’t mean anything. We did actually. The more I look back on it, the more High School seems like  an alternate dimension of absurdity, the most absurd part of which was their insistence that it made sense, but that is the subject for another post. This post is about my glorious ascent in to Prom Power.

By the end of that period, my friends had filled out more nomination cards than there were students in the senior class and we had learned nothing new about European History. In hind sight, it probably would have been a pretty good opportunity to talk about political corruption but I think my teacher was upstairs bothering the literature class at the time. High School, right?

I didn’t think about the election much until a week or so later when I was preparing to read the afternoon announcements. I read the afternoon announcements my senior year of high school because I was Captain of the Speech and Debate team and because no one else wanted to do it. The ladies in the front office told me there was a special announcement that I shouldn’t read.

I knew what it was without reading it. Still I made sure to act surprised when my name, along with three other people who didn’t matter as much, were announced as the nominees for prom court. The Small Folk must believe that their voices matter, that their elections have meaning, else they fall into despair in the face of their realities and the cogs of my glorious prom machine cease to turn.

As Prom drew closer, I made my preparations, which is to say I got a dress and a hair cut. My victory assured by Gabby, and the debt of University already looming in my future, I resolved to spend as little money as possible on Prom. The dress was constructed by my grandmother and I merely purchased the materials. The forty dollars given by my aunt for a manicure went straight into my bank account. I caught a ride with my friends and ate at a franchise buffet with them. A small child approached us, asking if we were princesses.

“Yes,” we said, and laughed.

For now, I added mentally and my laughter turned sinister.

Our Prom was held in a Double Tree Hotel ballroom. The theme was Fire and Ice which meant I had to recite the classic Robert Frost Poem at least six times.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

I alternated between that and the classic Mitch Hedberg Double Tree joke.

“What should we name our hotel?”

“How about Tree?”

“No.”

“Double Tree?”

“Yes! Meeting adjourned!”

“I had my heart set on Quadruple Tree.”

“Well, we were almost there.”

No one asked me to dance, which I was fine with because there was a chocolate fountain. I am by no means a dancer but I can eat with the best of them. Chocolate fountains are one of the things that inspire me to work harder and live a life that allows me to have them all the time. Enormous flowing chocolate fountains that I can dip everything I eat into before I die of diabetic shock at the age of thirty five. That is the American Dream.

In addition to the fountain and the various foods that could be dipped into it, the ballroom was decorated in reds and blues with fake ice and real flame to demonstrate the shocking lack of foresight in our prom committee. The DJ played a mix of censored hip hop, slow jams, techno and ignored my requests for “Baby Got Back” and The Bloodhound Gang’s “Bad Touch.” All the while, my comrades filled out ballot after ballot with my name for Queen and a boy named Billy who just got tacked on to my rise to power.

At last, the end of the evening drew nigh. It was between me and a girl named Ariana Abetta and two boys who really aren’t important to the story. Now, background: I had not spoken to Ariana in many years and I continued not to speak to her to this day but we were in girl scouts together from like third to fifth grade. We did not like each other. I can’t really think of any incident that caused this, it was more that we were on opposite sides of the social spectrum. I distrusted her because her hair was always perfect and she looked like she walked out of a GAP commercial. She was also bratty to my mom a couple of times that I recall and just generally not nice. I’m sure she remembers me as that weird girl who mumbled and made up a boyfriend in fifth grade (which she called me out on. Rude, right? We’re both trying to navigate a sexist society that pressures girls into romance before we’ve hit puberty, you don’t need to thwart my efforts.) or doesn’t remember me at all which is almost worse. Anyway, she was my opponent for Prom Queen and I kicked her ass.

Thanks to over whelming voter fraud, I claimed my crown and Billy claimed his. The Prom Prince and Princess were an actual couple who slow danced which was gross. I did the robot poorly which is the only dance I can do while Billy tried some interpretive nonsense.  We were amazing.

Afterwards, I saw a really pretty blond girl crying with her friend. It was probably something else, but I like to think it was about me. Later, I fell asleep in a both at Boondock’s Fun Center. Stealing an election and crushing dreams really takes it out of a high school senior.

After that, I wore my tiara in class for the rest of the week. I was Prom Queen. I earned it… kind of.

Now why would I relate a story of people filling out my name over and over again to get me a prize right now, with only three weeks left in the Freeditorial story contest? It couldn’t be because my story To Move On is in eleventh place and needs a bunch more downloads to get to the top three and win me prizes. Nope, nothing like that. I’m certainly not advocating that my followers download it over and over again on, say, all the computers in their library or school so that I can get a bunch of money to pay off my aforementioned student loans. That would be ridiculous. 

Seriously, download To Move On. Your Queen commands it. 

Categories: funny, Politics, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day in The Life: Broke in Los Angeles

It was a sweet day when I realized that I could decide when my weekends happened. Days, I should say, since I’ve been realizing this for a few years now. I fondly recall a semester of college that I managed to have no classes and only a few hours of work on Wednesdays, leaving my days open for reading, homework and anything else which struck my fancy, usually sleep.
Here in Los Angeles, by some dark magic, i have managed to take my weekends on Mondays and Tuesdays, making it easy to run errands and appreciate the wonders of the city with fewer tourists in my way. I read once, in a book called How To Be Idle which my mother thought encouraged bad habits, that goofing off is great but the real pleasure comes from goofing off when everyone else is toiling away. Or something like that. It’s my day off, I don’t have to cite anything.
This monday, i had planned to take the train to San Diego to visit my aunt and sister but sudden illness on my aunt’s part forced us to postpone. As disappointing as it is to learn of her cold and not see them, there is a certain joy in canceling plans. Like freeing a butterfly from a glass jar, time that was tied down is now open for any possibility.
Having embraced this possibility, I leapt back to sleep for an extra couple of hours. My roommate’s plans remained undisturbed. He went out to spend the day with his boyfriend. I made pancakes.
IMG_2867
Once when I was child, I ate 13 pancakes in one sitting earning a place in Canter/Hebbert family legend. I ate six this morning, listening to Welcome To Nightvale as I cooked them and watching Futurama as I ate. Pancakes/waffles are probably in the top ten greatest human inventions, all of which are food except for indoor plumbing and soap, and I am always proud of myself when I manage not to ruin them.
Once I’d eaten my fill, I hopped into the shower, because i have never been able to eat pancakes without making a mess, and decided my plans for the day. I’d go to the bank because I need quarters to do my laundry and then find my way to The Last Bookstore. I like my plans vague enough to change. As long as I got to the bank and bookstore today, everything else would be gravy.
I elected to take the metro rather than drive. I appreciate my car because it allows me freedom of movement but so does a working knowledge of the metro and parking in LA is stressful. A quick google told me I’d made the right decision since the station is only a block away from the bookstore and i didn’t even had to make a transfer. On the ride over, a man who looked like Jeff Goldblum tried to sell everyone of the subway a fifth of stolen Jack Daniels. When we all refused he reasoned that we were probably all “on that AA shit” because who else but a recovering alcoholic refuses a shot from a stranger at 11:30 in the morning?
The bank was a bank. I didn’t get the cute teller but I did get quarters for laundry which freed me up to go to the bookstore.
The Last Bookstore is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. It’s independently owned and offers a wide variety of books and art. The ground floor is fairly standard with a children’s section, a comic book section and a new rare books annex surrounding a main floor where the modern fiction, non fiction and classic literature. The Last Bookstore also boasts a stage, presumably for readings, and a variety of arm chairs and coaches putting them a step above most other bookstores and some libraries I’ve been to.
The second floor is the real star though. That’s where the used books, the sci-fi, fantasy and crime novels are stored. They call it the labyrinth with dozens of twists and turns and little in the way of organization. The first few sections are reasonable enough, all of the sci-fi, fantasy and crime in their respective places, but once you get into the used section it’s anarchy. A few shelves are organized by color creating a rainbow of self help books mixed with bad romance novels, technical manuals and diet books from the last two decades. A copy of What To Wear: A Los Angeles Buyer’s Guide for 2004 sat across from the bench where I sat to read Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Magic.
IMG_2872
The Labyrinth is filled with books and art installations. My favorite are the art installations made out of books. As you circle around the lower level, through the genre fiction and the chaos of used books, you stumble into the artist’s alley. Here, Los Angeles painters, photographers, sculptures and printers ply their wares. They were out to lunch when I arrived, all but the very end shop selling yarn. I fantasize, periodically, about buying exclusively from independent artists but i walked away empty handed. The downside of my wandering Los Angeles should be as obvious as the tragedy of a diabetic kid in a candy store or the comedy of a straight woman at a gay bar; i want the things i cannot have. I look and imagine but having is for others for  now.
Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great city for looking. After leaving The Last Bookstore, I wandered a few blocks, taking in the town. I found the Grand Central Public Market, a collection of produce stands and restaurants ranging from tacos, chinese food, burgers and something called Eggslut.
 IMG_2875IMG_2874
Again, I couldn’t buy anything but I walked though, enjoying the scents, sights and sounds. After the market, i walked alongside the length the Angel’s Flight, the world’s shortest railway line. Apparently its been closed down since 2013 when it derailed (it’s like 200 feet) with no plans to reopen. I am amazed the city can function without the smallest railway in the world. Perhaps when it reopens, if it ever does, I will go on a ride for 25 cents with my metro card. I live here. I can do that.
I rode the subway back to Hollywood as my phone battery dwindled away. The trip left me with only a dollar on my metro card so I refilled it at the Hollywood and Vine station. For change, the machine spat back these gold dollar coins including but not limited to Sacajawea and Andrew Jackson which I feel like is an awkward  combination. They do feel like they will be harder to spend so who knows? Maybe this is a new way to save money? By exchanging it all for doubloons or Chuck E Cheese tokens.
Now I am home, eating left over pancakes and recording my day so far. Way back in 2012, when I started this blog, I held onto a fond hope that it would stop people asking me personal questions since they would have presumably read about my thoughts and ideas here. Alas, people persist in caring about me and expressing it through words and actions beyond point and click. The quote underneath my name “Write Something Worth Reading or Do Something Worth Writing,” from Benjamin Franklin has guided more of my better actions the last few years, from my internship in D.C to moving to Los Angeles to todays visit to a bookstore. I forget too often that I control my own life, that I can make the decisions that guide me to happiness, not just for my over all life but from day to day which is just as important. Life is only a collection of days. Make sure to enjoy them where ever you can.
If you liked this post and want to help me really REALLY enjoy the days of the near future, please download my original story To Move On, FOR FREE!!! There are only a few more weeks to the contest where the downloads determine the winners of fabulous cash prizes! I could really use some fabulous cash prizes, you guys, and you can make that happen by downloading, liking, sharing and telling your friends about it! Thanks so very much!
Categories: Day in The Life, funny, Kinda Funny?, Money, philosophy, shameless self promotion, travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Clever Girl

On June 9th, 2015, I went to my first ever red carpet movie premiere!

FullSizeRender-5

Well, technically it wasn’t MY movie premiere, nor did I technically attend the movie, but I did see a red carpet for the first time. Actually, no, I feel like I saw a red carpet in a store somewhere but this red carpet was actually at a movie premiere and it was a big deal.

It was not a big deal.

 You guys get this joke, right? It says Fossil and there's a movie about dinosaurs about to premiere? It's a visual pun?

Since August, I have lived a stone’s through from the Dolby Theater on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame! Like many of the landmarks on the walk of fame: The Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, The Hollywood Museum, either of the two Scientology centers and The Chinese Theater, I have never been in side. I did not go inside this time but I did walk around the red carpet of the premiere of Jurassic World. 

FullSizeRender-6

I will see Jurassic World eventually because it is the latest in one of my all time favorite franchises, stars the talented Chris Pratt among other glorious actors, prominently features giant dinosaurs and because my mom gave me a gift card. Thanks, Mom!

I went to the premiere not for dinosaurs or special effects but because I wanted to see a famous person. I had been living in Los Angeles for ten months and the only famous person I’d seen was Timothy Omundson (King Richard in Galavant and Cain in Supernatural) and I had to look him up when I got home. My roommate, who claims he isn’t interested in famous people, recently met and spoke with Amy Adams, Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) and Lea DeLaria (Big Boo from Orange is The New Black). He didn’t even try to see these people! He just finds them in Target and I hate him for it. I suppose I did meet Damon Waynes Jr. (Coach from New Girl) at a Comedy Show I was a part of but I want more.

I want to see Famous People. I want to see people that I can talk about and not have to explain what they’ve been in. Individual Celebrities do not hold my interest long but the concept of celebrity does fascinate me. It should fascinate you that there are a select group of people that are known by millions around the world for their deeds or talent or complete lack there of! What is so special about Chris Pratt that hundreds of people with stand around a theater for hours just to see him step out of a car and then go online and brag about how they just saw Chris Pratt step out of a car. It is mind boggling and I want in on it.

I did not see Chris Pratt get out of a car. I arrived at the theater, which is literally a ten minute walk from my apartment, at 4:30. I wore a brilliant ensemble of skinny jeans, a black tank top with spilled BBQ sauce on it and an unwashed black hoodie. The internet told me the premiere would start at six thirty and I foolishly assumed that the famous people would arrive early to complete all of their famous people chores like interviews and smiling and yelling at their assistants before the movie started.

The famous people did not arrive early but everyone else did. The Dolby theater was almost entirely surrounded, except for those places guarded by stylishly black suited security. I found a spot on Hollywood Blvd, where traffic was being redirected, and waited for an hour and a half. I stood between two girls who had brought an actual glossy picture of Chris Pratt for him to sign and two other girls who were from England and had never watched any of the Jurassic Park movies (their words; not mine). Behind me, a local news anchor tried to set up in the slight Los Angeles breeze and the even slighter, nearly non existent LA drizzle. There were two drops, more than we’d got in the last four months.

Around 6;45, the rich people begin to show up. Note that I said Rich People and not famous people. I suppose I should have drawn more inspiration from them since I’d rather be rich than famous (ideally, I will be famous for how rich I am) but rich people are easy to find in LA. They congregate in stores where the jackets cost six months in my apartment and sometimes they pay me to walk their dogs.

Every time one of these rich people drove up, everyone would lean forward to try and see who they were. Then, once we didn’t recognize them, we all leaned back together and sighed. It became clear to me that when someone famous actually did show up, all I would see would be the back of a british girl’s head and a dozen selfie sticks. Like the wily raptor, I decided to circle my prey.

The Dolby Theater has three levels, not including the ground floor with the red carpet. Nearly all of the good vantage points were taken but the impeccably dressed security people made sure no one could stand on the escalators or the walk ways that would lead to fire exits. I felt confident that once a sufficiently famous person showed up, the crowd would cheer and I could take a picture while walking in one of these free areas. The only flaw was that my phone battery was dying, as I had been passing the wait with a combination of Fanfiction and tweeting Jeff Goldblum to ask if he was coming to the premiere since he is the best part of the entire franchise. He did not respond.

Like a raptor peering into a computer control room before she figures out how to open doors, I could see little bits of the inner circles from various vantage points. I could see the various movie specific trappings, posters of Dinosaur skulls, hanging fines, a jeep, as well as reporters and cameras all set up for interviews. It was inspiring. I hope one day to actually attend a the premiere of a movie I helped make, to have hundreds or thousands of people showing up to hear my words, see my ideas come to life on a big screen. I now know, at least more than I did before, a little of what that might be like.

FullSizeRender-2

At one point, while I was circling the gated entrance to the premiere, I saw a bit of red carpet, sticking out from beneath the fence. I crouched down and touched it, whispering “soon… ten, fifteen years, give or take…”. Other people walked quickly around me. One day, I imagine, any number of common people will be able to claim they saw Kate R Canter being a weirdo on the streets of LA.

Finally, at seven o’clock, with 10% battery life left, I began to come to terms with the fact that I might not see any famous people. It also occurred to me that there were plenty of famous people that I could not, in fact, pick out of a line up. So I just started taking crowd shots and hoping there were some famous people in there. Are there? I don’t actually know.

FullSizeRender-4 FullSizeRender-5 FullSizeRender-3

I returned to Hollywood Blvd with 5% battery life because people started yelling. I have discovered that people often yell when something happens. My hypothesis was proven when I actually saw a famous person I could recognize. Retta, from Parks and Recreation! She was gorgeous, obviously, but apparently, she just went to the premiere and is not actually in the movie which is a damn shame as she is impeccable and I had to explain who she was to way too many people!

FullSizeRender-3

Then, with just 3% battery life, another miracle! Judy Greer! She voices Cheryl Tunt in Archer and she’s going to be in Ant Man and Tomorrowland and she’s done a lot of walk on roles on The Big Bang Theory, Two and A Half Men, House MD and other shows that my parents watch. She’s great is my point and I got her picture before my phone died.

FullSizeRender-2

So she’s one up on Chris Pratt.

I went home, satisfied. I still search for that elusive celebrity whose filmography I don’t have to list after I name them but I saw people I recognized after other people said their names! I circled a Hollywood Premiere like a terrifying dinosaur! Where else but in Los Angeles? New York? Probably, but it’s cold there.

If you enjoyed this post and want to help me pay of student loans and effectively stalk minor film stars, please download my story; To Move On! It’s free and every download gets me closer to fabulous cash prizes which I will use for bills, pretty much. Loans are bills, you guys. 

Categories: Day in The Life, funny, movies, screenwriting, shameless self promotion, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Value

In an effort to actually be paid as a writer, I have begun cobbling together spec scripts for various genres of television. What is a spec script, you wonder? A spec script is like a practice episode of a new TV show or preexisting show. The logic is that people read the spec script, say, “hey, that Kate R Canter can sure write Television.” and then give me a job writing television, which is what I want to do.

The following is a spec script for a Work Place Comedy centered around a big box store and the employees just trying to make it to break. It’s called Retail Value and it’s based of my own experiences, and the experiences of friends and coworkers, in the delightful realm of retail! Please give it a look.

If you enjoyed clicking on that link, please click on another link and download my original short story To Move On! Every down load gets me closer to being paid for my work!

Categories: screenwriting, shameless self promotion, Work | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Failure is A Bruise, Not A Tattoo

So way back on March 27th, I started plugging my story To Move On for the Freeditorial contest, first prize of which would pay off a butt ton of my student loans. My goal was that I would publish a blog every day with a link to the story at the bottom, until the contest ended on July 4th. I kept this up until May 12; which is pretty damn good, especially since I was juggling a new job that requires a lot of physical energy and still trying to do non blog writing and carve myself a career in Hollywood.

66 days and thirty odd posts later and I am not running a TV show or writing movies and I’m still in 9th place for the contest. Intellectually, I know that there is still over a month to go and ninth place out of 86 stories is pretty fucking good but I am still the girl who wanted to “be JK Rowling” by the time she was 18. I set the bar of success high for myself and there is always some pang of disappointment, either conscious or sub conscious, when I fail to meet it.

Here’s the thing though: The Contest is still going. The bar, and the sweet $15000 it represents is still there. We can still do this, America! Probably not in the way I originally planned. Updating the blog every day drained me considerably, and I think that showed in my work. I hope I value quality over quantity enough to take the time to make posts worth reading. Daily updates are out of the question but maybe, once or twice a week. I have… plenty of things to talk about.

Feel like encouraging me? Go ahead and download To Move On! Every download gets me closer to that sweet prize and maybe not working two jobs any more! 

Categories: shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The McClintock Place

The McClintock place stood at the very edge of the world, at the corner of Durante and 122nd. It stood, yellow paint peeling, shattered glass in the windows, lawn over run with thistles and vines for as long as Mallory could remember. She asked her mother about it once, while Mrs. Cho was chopping onions.

“Oh that dump has been there forever,” she said, wiping tears away with the back of her hand. “No one’s ever lived in it, at least not that I can remember. Who’d want to? They keep saying they’re gonna tear it down but they never do. It’s an eyesore is what it is.”

“Nothing has been anywhere forever,” Grandma Johnson said when Mallory asked her about the McClintock place. “Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. Learn that now and remember it.”

“So when did the McClintock place begin?” Mallory asked.

“Years ago,” Grandma said, “Maybe centuries. I only remember what I was told and all I was ever told was gossip and speculation so don’t go spreading this around like its gospel.”

Mallory promised she wouldn’t.  Grandma Johnson closed her eyes and fiddled quietly with the green beads of her bracelet. “It used to be that there was nothing out here but sand and grass and a few hills with a few trees. Somebody built a road out here and people started settling in. One of the first settling in was a man named McClintock. I don’t remember his first name but the stories all said that he was rich. He moved out here to build a mansion for his new wife, that’s the McClintock place.”

Mallory frowned. “McClintock’s is too small to be a mansion.” The house was little more than two stories with a basement and a balcony in the back that Mallory always worried would fall down when it stormed.

“They had different standards for mansion then.” Grandma Johnson shrugged. “Anyway, it was the only house on the block then so it was the best one too. McClintock built the place and moved him and his new wife in there. They had a big Welcome Home party with every big shot in town, politicians, actors, even a couple of war heroes thrown in for good measure. Then, in six months time, they were moving out again, getting divorced. McClintock spent the rest of his life trying to sell the place and his wife died just a few years after she divorced him.”

Mallory blinked and raised her eyebrows. “Because of the house?”

Grandma Johnson shrugged again and stopped playing with the beads on her bracelet. “That’s what people said. No one could ever agree as to exactly why but most everybody blamed the house. They thought there was something unnatural inside that drove the McClintock’s out.

“Like?” Mallory leaned forward eagerly. Grandma rolled her eyes.

“Oh, I don’t know, Mallory,” she bit her thin pink lips  in concentration and began to count on her withered fingers. “Some one said McClintock broke ground on an old Tongva holy site and the ghosts of their warriors nearly killed them for it. Other people said it was the immigrants who died building the rail road that got McClintock his fortune, coming for revenge. One kid thought it was just an evil house, that the barrier between hell and earth was just a little bit thinner than it was everywhere else.”

“What do you think?”

Grandma Johnson rolled her wheelchair back just a hair and stared out the window on to the busy street below. “I don’t think about it much, if I can help it. If you think about it too much, you remember than everyone of us is standing on stolen land, land people killed and died for. I imagine if haunting happened, it would be happening all over the world, not just one run down old house. It’s never just one house, one family that has to pay for that kind of thing.”

“Okay,” Mallory said, because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. Grandma Johnson arched a snow white eyebrow at her and glared hard.

“Don’t hang around the McClintock place,” she warned. “Even if there’s no such thing as ghosts, there’s broken glass and rusty nails and a bunch of crap you could hurt yourself on. Don’t you ever go in there, understand?”

“Understood, grandma,” Mallory said, slipping out the door.

That night Mallory stood in front of the McClintock place wearing her pink hoodie, gripping a kitchen knife in her pocket. Nobody saw her as she pushed past the brambles and the garbage people left on the lawn. Someone long ago kicked in the door and stole the knobs from out of their sockets. Mallory stepped into the house carefully, using the light of her phone to guide her way.

Grandma Johnson was right. There was broken glass everywhere. The walls had been stripped bare, only the vague tatters of dirty pink wall paper remained. Someone spray painted the N word just above the foyer. Mallory wished she had something to cover it up.

She walked slowly threw the house, waiting for something to show itself. She could hear it creak and moan around her, hear the scurrying of rats and mice and any number of bugs behind old broken furniture. There was a nest of pigeons in the window about the staircase but nothing she’d call “unnatural”.

Mallory hesitated at the stairs. Perhaps the ghosts of Tongva warriors and murdered railway works liked a view. Demons definitely would, having spent most of their lives beneath the earth. Perhaps the stairs would collapse right when she got to the middle and drag her down into the basement and no one would ever find her body because she promised her grandmother she wouldn’t mess around in the McClintock place.

Swallowing, Mallory jumped up the stairs as quick as she could, clinging to the first door way she reached. She looked back over her shoulder to see the stairs still in place, only the dust disturbed by her movement. The room whose door she clung to was empty as the others, filled only with moonlight and scraps of trash, candy wrappers and needles and dead leaves. Mallory turned and wandered through the long hallway. She looked in on every room and found much of the same. Maybe there were a few blankets in one, or broken furniture or a pile of bottles but no ghosts or demons.

She found a bed in the room with the balcony that looked like it had been slept on recently. There was also a bright pink bra on the floor and a crust covered spoon.

Mallory didn’t look to see what was in the basement. She leapt down the stairs again, out of the door and back into her own apartment where her mother and grandmother laid still asleep in their beds.

She looked at the McClintock place again, weeks later, years later, for the rest of her life. She never went inside again though. She never stood outside the yard with the other children to debate what she did not wish to know.

If you liked this and help support my writing, please download To Move On, an original short story I wrote for a contest where winning is determined by downloads! It’s fun! It’s FREE! It deals in the nature of loss and what it means to be an independent person!

Categories: Literature, shameless self promotion, Story of The Week | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

If I Had A Million Dollars

I think we can all agree, pretty much unequivocally, that If I Had A Million Dollars is the best Bare Naked Ladies song of all time. That is a pretty big accomplishment considering I have yet to hear a Bare Naked Ladies song that I do not like. Even The Big Bang Theory’s scientifically inaccurate theme song (autotrophs are organisms that produce their own energy/food, basically plants. They don’t drool. Neither BNL or NBC have answered my emails about it.) is pretty dang catchy and fun to sing along with.

If I Had A Million Dollars is the best Bare Naked Ladies song though. In the song, The Bare Naked Ladies sing to another person, possibly to each other, about what they would do to “buy your love” if they only had the money. The items listed range from the standard “I would buy you a house” to the absurd “John Merrick’s remains- all them crazy elephant bones” but the real heart comes in the refrains. They want the money not just for the cool items they’d buy but so they can “hang out” with their important people and not worry about survival. The money wouldn’t change their habits, it would just allow them to live their lives without additional stress.

My favorite part of the song is how accurately it captures the way non rich people talk about being rich. Even in the late eighties, I doubt you could buy a house with a yard, furniture for that house, a K car, a tree fort, a Picasso, either a Llama or an Emu, a monkey, and a fur coat and still have money to take your limousine to buy Kraft dinner with the fanciest dijon ketchups. When my family and I played “if I had a million dollars” on our long road trips back and fourth from South Dakota, we weren’t making actual plans. The real question wasn’t what would you do if you had a million dollars, but what would you do if your funds were unlimited? For most people, having a million dollars in their life time is just as likely as having unlimited funds but we all enjoyed the fantasy.

For my part, I would pay off my student loans and the loans of some of my friends. I’d finish the basement of my parent’s house, since that was what they always said they’d do. Then I would start making movies, devoting every moment to creating the things that mattered to me, rather than carving out what little time I could spare in between making enough money to pay for rent and groceries. I always wanted to create jobs, to find other creative people struggling and employee them. I want to be a patron, to find unknowns and fund their projects or bring them into mine. I want to help other artists the way I have been helped, or the way I wish I could be helped.

I’d also give waiters 100% tips and rent out mansions to play elaborate games of Clue with my friends. I’d have Hobbit style birthdays with mountains of food and expensive gift bags for all the guests. I would travel every where. I would die without a cent left to inherit.

To quote The Bare Naked Ladies, “I’d be rich.”

If you’d like to contribute to my dream of having my student loans paid off, please download To Move On. It’s free, it’s fun and every download gets me closer to $15000 dollars which would pay a hefty sum of my loans if not all of them! I am currently in seventh place with 586 downloads! If I could break a thousand before the contest ends in June, I would really love it! Thank you! 

Categories: funny, Money, shameless self promotion, Work | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day

I called my mother friday. Mom is one of my favorite people to talk to. She can make me laugh faster than anyone I know and she always has good advice that I may or may not follow. She always answers in a joyful tone like she was waiting all day for your call. I could talk to my mother about nothing for hours but friday, I called for a specific purpose, to wish her a happy mother’s day.

Yes, I am aware that today is mother’s day but I love my mother everyday and hope I appreciate her most of them. Besides my mother is a Busy woman. Today she is directing the Youth service at my childhood church, a service preformed by members of the congregation between the ages of 10 and 18. After that, she and my father will likely go to visit my grandmother and have a delicious meal. Hopefully, Dad cooks or orders something for her, so she doesn’t end up cooking on a day which is meant to be about her. At least my grandmother’s house has a dishwasher.

I’ll probably end up calling her today anyway. I told her everything that needed to be said on Friday though. I told her that she is the funniest person I know, that I consider myself incredibly lucky to have her in my life and that she is one of the foremost influences in who I am and who I choose to be.

I also mentioned that I hadn’t got her a present because I am perpetually broke and don’t want to set a precedent that I will only disappoint. My present is that I don’t ask you for money, mom, how is that? You like my sister better now? Well, good choice.

I joke about my mother a lot on this blog, She has given me a life full of laughter and love. My mother in large part taught me my love of writing, my work ethic and my resilience. She is a wonderful mother but she is also an exceptional person. I hope that, if she weren’t my mother, we would still be friends because I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

Thank you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

If you wanna make my mom really happy, please download my original short story To Move On! I There are two moms in it, one about to have a child and one coping with the loss of hers, plus some fight scenes, bad day time TV, and revenge served cold in a vast sandy plain! Every download gets me closer to winning cash prizes which I can use to pay off my student loans and buy things for my mom!

Categories: Family, Kinda Funny?, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

One More Cup of Coffee

I never drank coffee regularly before I moved to LA. I think that is the greatest shame I ever caused my parents.

My family has strong opinions about coffee, opinions that have been pushed since my earliest memories. My parents drink black coffee, no decaf. My father makes their first pot the night before, placing the 1/4 cup of ground beans into the electric coffee maker, with the filter and water in place. There it stands all night until my mother rises, always first, in the morning and turns the pot on. Between the two of them, they will consume the entire pot before nine am. My mother will make more and consume it through out the rest of the day. My sister started drinking it in high school, just the same as they did, except in her wilder moments when she would buy frappachinos from Starbucks. I remember my mother gasping audibly when she casually mentioned it in conversation.

My parents are actually coffee liberals, compared to certain extended relatives. My Aunt and Uncle actually carry around their own coffee pot from city to city, either because they consume so much than they must provide their own or because they don’t trust other people to make their coffee right. My mother once carried fourteen cans of coffee across state lines for these people, like she worked in a drug cartel.

Coffee is the first way my family relates to new people. Before my parents were married, my paternal grandfather, Papa, ingratiated himself with his new in laws by plunking down at their kitchen table and demanding “Where’s the coffee?”

Later my grandmother pulled my mother aside and assured her Papa was good “common” people. Everything would be alright. Until their second child spent the first twenty three years of her life quietly preferring tea and soda.

I think at first they chalked it up to my youth. Coffee would find me when the time was right. Yet, when I reached college and still got my caffeine boost from energy drinks, they must have wondered when, if ever that time would come. If I would ever give them coffee grandchildren.

I started experimenting with coffee during my study abroad in India. I stayed at an actual coffee plantation for a couple weeks in Karnataka and did not wish to offend my hostess by refusing the signature drink. Fortunately, the coffee was loaded with enough milk and sugar that it was all but unrecognizable as coffee. I still preferred chai when I could get it but coffee would serve, provided it tasted nothing like coffee.

I don’t think I would have started drinking coffee in Los Angeles if my roommate’s aunt hadn’t gifted us with two large jars of instant Folger’s. I drank it, loaded again with milk and sugar, because it was free and I needed to stay awake for whatever silly thing I was doing to make rent.

And so it continued until I was having a plastic 7-11 glass every morning as if it were my life’s blood. I am not, by any means, a completely straight coffee drinker. I still enjoy tea  and women and soda, but coffee is there when it’s needed. Years ago, my method of drinking instant, with three table spoons of sugar and a 1/4 cup of milk added, would have shocked and appalled my family. I think we’ve all grown as people. It’s not that I have to drink coffee all the time. If I never had another cup of coffee for the rest of my life, my family would still love me just as much as if I only had coffee for the rest of my life. I don’t have to chose a beverage, just as long as I am happy with what I’ve got to drink.

If you liked this thinly veiled metaphor for bisexuality and also literal explanation of how my family and I feel about coffee, and you want to help me out, please download my original 100% free short story: To Move On! Each download  gets me closer to cash prizes that I can use for coffee and student loan payment! We’re currently in seventh place! Please download and share as much as you can!

Categories: Family, funny, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Sara C Roethle

Author and Part Time Unicorn

KJOC

Keeping Just Ordinary Company

//The Blog. KD*

david lam-lu's personal blog about life's happenings

Dootsie

I am the Dootsie.

anne canter

ask big questions

L.C. GRAF

Writer, Designer, Multimedia Journalist

Did you ever WATCH the show?

In which I watch things and tell you about watching them

Tickling Her Fancy

The Art of Lovemaking and Female Ejaculation

Readers & Writers

Now working for onlinewritingtips.com!

hovercraftdoggy

Art, Architecture, Design and Photography - a curated glimpse into an infinite world of beauty and creativity

Cole Sarar

Click goes the shutter, bang goes the girl.

haiku Thursday

life. seventeen syllables at a time

Semester In South India

Journal of My Study Abroad Experience

By Even a Glimpse

India "… the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” — Mark Twain

shoe on the other foot

My loved ones are getting older and so am I

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 141 other followers