Time Heist Paperback Available Now!

Yeah, you read that correctly. The paperback version of Time Heist is finally out. A whole day before the digital version, no less.

How is such a thing possible? Well, I’ve decided that before the paperback version goes live on Amazon, I would offer you all an opportunity to pick up a copy directly from my distributor for only $9.99, which is $3 off its going rate over at Amazon.

Want to get your copy? Follow this LINK, or click on the picture below to be taken over to CreateSpace where for the next few days only, you can grab a copy of Time Heist for less than $10!

Already pre-ordered the digital version? No worries! Look for that to be uploaded to your Kindle reading device tomorrow!

Time Heist

Anthony

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Pacific Rim

Couple summers back I saw previews for Pacific Rim which coincided a bit too closely with the release of Transformers, which was definitely too close to Transmorphers (don’t know what that is? Netflix that shit. Pure cinematic gold) for my tastes. Enormous human driven mech’s fighting gargantuan monsters from a different dimension in the ocean? It seemed like a pretty dubious starting point. Add to the mix that I’ve never really gone in for the Godzilla/King Kong massive monster destroying uber-city of your choice plot line, and I was skeptical enough to stay away for quite a while.

Transmorphers! Yeah, Buddy!

Transmorphers! Yeah, Buddy!

Now, recently, somebody who shall remain nameless, but who’s taste in sci-fi is one I respect, kept telling me how awesome Pacific Rim is. Honestly, I thought they were dicking with me. It didn’t seem so far fetched that next they would try selling me on some cheap beach-side real estate in Florida.
‘Cause swamps totally count as beach-side, right?
Well, after seeing Pacific Rim, I’m not so sure I want to be anywhere near the ocean ever again.
So, I bit the bullet, made some delicious home-made pizza that totally didn’t give me food poisoning which is only slightly more surprising than the fact that I actually enjoyed Pacific Rim.
I know, I hate myself for it.
Anyways, I love pretty much everything else Guillermo Del Toro has directed, so I figured it couldn’t be a complete waste.
First thing you’ll really notice about Pacific Rim is that they didn’t skimp on the CGI budget. The kaiju’s (read: big beasts) are each unique, bad-ass, and scary-as-hell. The jaegers—what the movie refers to their mechs’—are nothing special, but they are a step up from Megazord in the Power Rangers, so I consider that a win.
Second thing you’ll notice is that the science in this movie hasn’t been thought through very well. They introduce some awesome concepts, but then intentionally water them down with really arbitrary caveats. Such as, it takes two pilots to “mind drift”—effectively they link minds—to move these hulking bits of metal around.

God we look good when we're synchronized!

God we look good when we’re synchronized!

Each pilot is in charge of one “hemisphere” of the machines supposed brain, so one guy is in control of the right arm and leg, the other guy man’s the left.

 

This is downright silly. Ok, you suspend your disbelief long enough to accept the fact that they have the technology to link minds and manufacture jaegers the size of skyscrapers, but somehow they can’t come up with a better way to pilot these damn things? I mean, shit, give one guy the legs, the other guy the arms.
Have you ever done the three legged walk with a buddy at your dad’s company picnic? Yeah, well imagine that, but trying to fight a roid-raging monster from a different dimension, and you’re gonna be clumsy as fuck.
Anyhow, let’s look past that. We’ll even look past the part where one of the kaiju’s releases an EMP which shuts down all the other jaegers except our heros because, get this, their analog. They’re engine is nuclear.
Never-mind all the electronics we see on a near constant basis in the cockpit. I’m sure those are all analog, too.
But seriously, whoever came up with that should be publicly shamed. Just lazy writing.
Ok, let’s look past that, too. Surprisingly for all the plot holes and lazy writing throughout the story, the part that had me pulling my hair was when at the end of the movie one of our main character jumps into the ocean with her full-metal suit that must way a metric-shit-ton, and swims to her partner.
Have you ever tried swimming with shoes on? That’s hard enough. Ever done it with metal shoes? And shoulder pads? And the equivalent of a large child actively trying to drown you?
Well, if you haven’t, allow me to inform you how impossible that simple act most assuredly was.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably getting the impression that I really disliked the movie, which if you read the beginning of this rant, you’ll realize is not the case.
Despite the movie’s really liberal use of science and physics, it was actually a really fun movie. The action was fun, the fight scenes great, and ya know, all things told, the acting could have been worse. If you like mindless action with really pretty things going boom, (pretty much I’m saying if you like any Michael Bay movie) then you’ll probably get a kick out of this. I mean, come on, Godzilla isn’t exactly sound science, and that’s entertaining as hell.
Just don’t look too deep, otherwise the gaping plot holes will suck you in.

Let me leave you with something pretty awesome. If you’re into kaiju, which I’m assuming you are if you’ve bothered to read this far. There was a great anthology that came out a little ways back called Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters that a buddy of my Peter Stenson wrote a hilarious story for. If you’re looking for a bunch of awesome, diverse stories, you should definitely check it out.

download

 

Anthony Vicino

One Week ‘Til Time Heist! Plus something Free!

Duck and cover! Shameless self-promotion incoming!!!

We got less than a week until Time Heist hits the shelves. If you haven’t already, get over to Amazon and pre-order your digital copy. If you’re waiting for the paperback, no fear, that also will be available on the 1st (there’s just no pre-order option for that, yet).

Click me!

I tell you what, I want to sweeten the pot for those of you sitting on the fence. If you pre-order today and email me at Anthony@OneLazyRobot.com saying, “Dude, I totally picked up a copy, so psyched. Ahhh, head’s about to ‘splode!” Then I’ll send you a FREE copy of Standing Kill Orderlies with the Bonus short story Infidelity included for not other reason than I like the cut of your jib.

Free is good. Very good.

Free is good. Very good.

So what are you waiting for? Go secure your copy of Time Heist and get back over here so I can shower you with free words!

Anthony

Books of the Week!

Hey guys, quick post here. Looking for some book recommendations to kick your week off? Check these out.

Elantrist for your fantasy needs.

Darwin Elevator for your sci-fi action adventure needs.

Y: The Last Man for your graphic novel needs!

 

Anthony

All You Need Is Kill Review

Awhile back a buddy of mine from work was telling me about this book he was reading. There were aliens, time travel, Japanese mecha, and you could stop right there cause you had me at aliens.

And time travel.

And pretty much it doesn’t take a lot to get me psyched.

So I checked out All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. It’s been described as Armageddon meets Groundhogs Day, which is the most accurate blurb you’ll ever get.

You follow from the eyes of a low-level grunt on the alien equivalent of D-Day. Some stuff happens and he gets stuck in a loop. Every time he dies he starts the day over.

Invincible Monty Python

Sort of like any arcade style shooter if you got enough quarters.

First thing to point out about All You Need Is Kill is that it’s translated into English from it’s original Japanese. Which is mind blowing on account of how good that translation is. The prose is tight, and with the exception of only a few wonky sentences, everything is spot on.

Why is this impressive? Because this book is hilarious. Making a joke in your native tongue is tough enough. Doing it in a different language and then translating it over so that it retains its essence and flow is on a whole other level of hard.

Tip o’ the hat to whoever is responsible for that. Seriously.

Now, despite the fact that you’re reliving the same day a couple hundred times throughout the course of the book, Sakurazaka manages to make each chapter, each day, fresh, exciting, and hilarious.

The story itself entertains an interesting concept. The aliens themselves aren’t particularly interesting, but their reasons for being here, and what they’re doing, are. There’s a cool little twist in there that I won’t ruin for ya’ll, but needless to say I thought it was a refreshing take on the we’ve traveled across the Universe to probe your cavities and take your water alien invasion.
As if these super intelligent beings capable of interstellar travel really need our precious resources.

There’s a bit of a love story that forms throughout with a woman affectionately referred to as the Full Metal Bitch. Which is their way of saying she’s a strong willed, independent woman. Eh, they could’ve done better there, but it’s the military. Not an organization prided on their gender equality, so maybe?

Anyways, the ending of All You Need Is Kill leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand its bittersweet and I love leaving a story feeling like I just got punched in the nads. But it also felt a little forced?

Perhaps I’m obtuse—which perhaps doesn’t need the perhaps preface— but I didn’t understand why everything in the last few chapters was really necessary. Maybe somebody could draw me a diagram?

The other notable thing about All You Need Is Kill, is that it was recently adapted for the silver screen. Tom Cruise plays our Japanese protagonist in the blockbuster hit The Edge of Tomorrow—a cool name, by the way, but I think they should have stuck with All You Need Is Kill.

I’m pretty tough on movies adapted from books I’ve read and loved. I’m looking at you Ender’s Game. I’m doubly tough on Tom Cruise, ya know, ‘cause I think crazy, rich people should work harder for my love.

Well, guess what? I went into this movie expecting to be disappointed and surprise, surprise… I wasn’t.

Wha, wha, whhaaaat?

Seriously, it was good. No. It was kind of great. The humor was there without being in your face. The story captivating. The acting better than I could do. What more can you ask for?

Okay, these are the things I’d ask for, ya know, since you’re asking.

Better Mechs. Ho Mah Gawd, the suits in Edge of Tomorrow were only slightly worse than the suitss in Elysium, which is saying a whole lot.

It's the Future, we don't need no Nad Protection.

Elysium: It’s the Future, we don’t need no Nad Protection.

Zero Nad Protection

Zero Nad Protection

In the book we’re painted this image of real bad ass machines waging war on tank like monsters. In the movie Tom Cruise doesn’t even wear a helmet. I mean, what the hell? Sure, they give him a helmet that he promptly discards on account of the very obvious fact that it gets in the way. But come on, I wear a helmet on my bicycle. You should wear one when you go to war.

I’m pretty sure that’s in the Waging War Handbook.

Um…other big gripe would be the ending. Now, I’m not gonna give anything away here, but I refer you to my previous comment on bittersweet endings and how much I enjoy a good storytelling nut tap. Unfortunately, the ending of The Edge of Tomorrow didn’t deliver.

But hey, that’s just me.

One more thing I want to touch on when comparing Edge of Tomorrow with All You Need Is Kill, is the fact that the stories, while basically the same, diverge almost immediately. The movie’s plot is more involved and convoluted which actually worked out really well, in my opinion. All You Need is Kill is slightly simplistic by comparison, which again, is okay.

Neither story was trying to be something it’s not, which is rare in good sci-fi these days.
On the whole, I’d give both Edge of Tomorrow and All You Need Is Kill, four out of five stars.

What’d you think of the movie or the book? Did you like one more than the other? Hate both? Get to the comments and let me know!

Anthony

You’re Dying, But That’s Okay

What we got here is a bona fide pickle wrapped enigma, and we don’t have all day to go beating the perimeter of any bushes, so slide into your Haz-Mat suits and let’s dive right into the goop. If this is your first time donning your Haz-Mat suit go ahead and look to the fella with the over-eager stare on your right, the one with the randy weasel on his shoulder, and now I want you to go against your better judgment and turn your back on him so he can zip you up.

tumblr_6

I don’t know why they put the zippers of these things on the back… actually, I’m making that part up. I’ve never worn a Haz-Mat suit—have you?—but I imagine they are incredibly uncomfortable, impractical, and whoever is responsible for their design must not have realized he was creating them for humans and not giant marshmallow people. With that said, in my mind these bitches zip up from the back, and you’re on my turf, Holmes, so suck it up. If you want Haz-Mat suits with zippers in the front, then go make your own website, for I shall have none of that chicanery here.

I digress. Regress? Egress. Ingress!

How’d you get in my suit? No, no, it’s okay. You can stay. We can share. But keep your eyes to yourself and your hands on me.

Okay, so you had your assignment for last week which means if you’re anything like me, you busted out your ripped stockings, a black leather jacket studded with safety pins, grew out your hair, dyed it black like my soul, and cried a little when it came out an off black bordering on gray not dissimilar from my personality.

Oh, the torment of my everlasting self, does my suffering know no ends?

Anyways, I’m crossing my fingers and toes, throwing sacks of pennies into fountains, and generally hoping, wishing, praying, that you got something useful out of your time pondering your fate.

But now that you’ve done that, we can move on and figure out what to do with ourselves. Cause you have plenty of time, but none to spare. So don’t go wasting it in great heaping handfuls that you toss to the pigeons.

I’m not saying feeding pigeons is a bad use of your time, by the way. Perhaps that’s the one thing in life that really gets your engine revving. That’s not weird, that’s just you. Being you is good thing, and anybody that would tell you otherwise deserves a swift ninjitsu soul tickle.

Here’s the problem and it’s stinking up the joint: we so rarely get to be ourselves.

To the astute reader, you’ll reference back to Love, Life, and Beaver Pelts and see the thread of continuity; to the rest of you, you’re probably getting distracted with a ball of yarn.

Regardless, cats will tell you string is fun, and they’re pretty much our silent overlords, so it’s safe to assume they know best.

cat overlord

So who are you? The true you?

How do we figure out what the true you even looks like?

That’s a tough one. Truly. There is no easy twelve step process to follow, unfortunately. And if there were, believe that I would not be sharing it here for free. Man’s gotta put bread on the table, cause… ya know, it makes a good center piece or something.

Ignore that. There are starving peeps out there and food shouldn’t be used as a decoration—looking at you ginger bread houses.

Gingerbread_landscape

Starving children in Africa? But look at the M&M roof!

If you’re anything like me— for your sake I hope that doesn’t extend much beyond the fact that we both have eyeballs and not-quite-black-as-my-soul hair—the true you is kind’ve a weirdo. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it goes for everyone, across the board.
We’re all really weird. Conversely, we’re all really good at pretending to not be really weird. Note the gratuitous use of the word really.

Society hogtied us somewhere around the age of six or seven and held a piping hot rod of metal against our bums. We’ve been branded and convinced that our true self is this other person entirely. A weird person who has no function in polite society. So we hide it.

Fuggetaboot that, ya?

The world doesn’t need more knock-off designer purses, and it sure as shit doesn’t need any more knock off-designer people.

Authenticity over conformity.

Originality over normalcy.

Cotton candy over apples.

Hm… maybe even cotton candy covered apples. That’s a million dollar idea right there. Dibs!

Lets tie this in with last weeks post; your time is limited. Sure, we want more time, but what good is more of something if we aren’t properly using that which we’ve already been given?

It’s a losing investment, and whichever pimply faced deity is manning the controls of this insanity fest of a carousel ride would be a fool to give you more if he/she/it/they/we/me/hehe know you’re just gonna waste it anyways.

Stop wasting your time.

None of this really, really, really helps us get any closer to our true selves, though. We can want change, and we can go searching our inner psyche for that poor lost child locked under the stairs and told to keep quiet, but we need the key to that door if we ever hope to unlock it.

I’ll save you the trouble of tearing apart the skeletons in your closet with hopes of finding the key, cause it’s right here. Dangling from my fingertips. All you got to do is come a little closer and take it.

I dare you.

Holy balls, you have quick hands… like carnie folk.

So now you see, here’s the answer: find those things, those moments, those people, that bring you closer to your true you, and then do those things, moments, people.

Do you enjoy sanding wood beams to a high sheen? Does it give meaning to your life? Not me. But I’m not you. I don’t know what your particular brand of weird likes, but I’m itching to find out. If you were a scratch and sniff you can bet your buns hun that I’d be all up in there smelling your soul.

Cause we’re all crazy unique in a way that sortve makes the world a scary place. But scary is good.

So go ahead, scare me a little. Make me tinkle. Tell me something weird about yourself. Tell me what makes you tick, who you like to lick, and something something rhymes with dick.

Anthony Vicino

The Quest for the Golden Fleeced North Face Jacket

The Quest For The Golden Fleeced North Face Jacket

So you’re back for more, eh? A glutton for punishment if ever I’ve seen one. I don’t know if that’s something to be proud of, but it’s certainly something. No, no, don’t be ashamed. I’m just kidding. Hold your head high and be proud, cause nobody else is going to do it for you.
That’s not a bad thing, it’s just the truth. Accept it now or it’s gonna bite your ankles like a rabid miniature dachshund later.

Oof.. Terrifying!

Oof.. Terrifying!

Last week I dipped you in a vat of honey, tied you down on the side of a freeway, and left your speckled remains for the buzzards and ants. We’ll file that under tough love for now. Somehow, despite the odds you’ve managed to hobble your way back for some more.
Good for you. What doesn’t kill you, sometimes leaves you horribly maimed and wishing you were dead, but stronger. Kind of.
I’m not sure what category this particular brand of crazy will leave you, but it’ll definitely leave you. Like a lover in the night or a father who’s just stepping out for a pack of smokes.
But this is something different, right? You tell yourself we have a special connection. Things are going well, you’re slipping into something a bit more comfy and I’m building a fire using an old Yellow Pages from 1998 as kindling. It’s romantic and you start dropping hints about your kinky fetishes involving honey, ants, freeways, ya know… just to see if I’m into that kind of thing.
Yeah, so right then. Things are great and then, BOOM.
Smokebomb.
Grapple hook.

Dad? Where ya goin?

Dad? Where ya goin?

I’m out like a fat man’s belly in an undersized tank top. Fashion tip for the week, and one I’ve learned the hard way, the line between form fitting and too small is thinner than a razors edge.
Alright, true to form, we’ve made it two hundred words deep and you’re scratching your head wondering when I’m gonna drop the topic bomb. Cause admit it, you want to know where this is going. At minimum, you want to believe it’s going somewhere. I don’t blame you.
Here, let me set the mood. I’m ten thousand feet in the air, skimming along the western sea board like a sea-falcon. In less than an hour I’ll be landing in Los Angeles. I’m not a big fan of flying. It’s just something you do cause you have to, like heroin.
Work is flying me out here, and there are very few things I won’t do when somebody else is footing the bill. What can I say, I value free.
Free tacos, children, hugs, drugs, rugs… wait, where am I? I got stuck in a rhyming tunnel. The worst kind of zombie infested terrain imaginable.
Anyways here’s what I want to talk to you about this week. It’s a freeze tag follow through on last weeks topic..
Wait, what? You haven’t read last weeks post?
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you, but seriously.. What the hell is wrong with you? Get over there and read Love, Life, and Beaver Pelts and get back here STAT.
Yes, there’s gonna be a quiz later. No, it’s not open book. Maybe, I’ll tutor you…. But it’s going to be on my terms. Which involves barrels of imported whipped cream, riding crops, and faux leather pants.
You’re guaranteed an A, but at what cost? Your dignity for starters. Just kidding. If you’re reading this it’s assumed you checked your dignity at the door.
But that’s good, cause it means your open to new experiences. And it’s hard to mold your Plato like mind betwixt my caramel glazed fingers unless… ya know, that’s something your into.

You sure you didn't mean Play Doh brain? Uh... Yes. No?

You sure you didn’t mean Play Doh brain?
Uh… Yes. No?

 
Quit fighting this and just let it happen.
*insert totally-not-random-segue here*

I’m not on the plane anymore. That might seem like a random segue, but it’s not. I promise. It’ll all come together in a roundabout, blow your mind, can’t believe he tied up all the loose strings, sort of way. I didn’t want to get on the plane in the first place. But I did, and its not because someone was gonna slide cash into my back pocket in exchange for services rendered, though that is a perk to be considered.

No, I got on the plane cause as adults we do things we don’t want too because its the responsible/mature thing to do.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m of the belief that maturity is a prison, and responsibility is the warden who gives you sassy eyes when he thinks nobody is looking.
Sometimes sassy eyes are good. Sometimes sassy eyes are bad.
Here’s an example.
Walking your pet Iguana (which is not a euphemism, you wily rabbit) (coincidentally wily rabbit is a euphemism )through central park and you catch the gaze of some dude or dudette rocking a pair of see-through Lululemons on their run. They have headphones in. Raging to “Eye of the Tiger” most likely. The occasional shadow punch is thrown and an imaginary Russian goes down in a heap of sweaty muscles and rhino-steroids.
You see them coming from down the path and you’re heart starts jiving like an awkward white boy at his first middle school dance. It’s jamming out a rhythm you can’t identify, but you barely notice cause your hands are a lake of sweat and when little Iggy (your Iguana, again… not a euphemism) gets a bit squirrelly and bolts at super lizard speed, he rips the leash your holding limply between pointer finger and thumb clean away.
Nobodies ever seen a lizard move so fast, and now you’re all like, “Oh Shit, can’t let him get into the Hudson or he’ll wind up in the sewer, throwing back shots of radioactive waste with the local homeless folk. Then he’ll grow a thousand fold in the span of thirty three minutes, and then New York’s gonna have a Godzilla problem on their hands. So then we’ll have to outsource some jobs to the Japanese, because besides Jeff Goldblum, they’re the only ones that know what to do about a giant lizard running roid-rage crazy through their city.
All of this is to say, if you don’t catch Iggy, good hard working Americans are going to lose their job. Which completely ignores the enormous Iguana shits being dropped in New Jersey.
That last part is completely unrelated to your radioactive pet, by the way. You can’t be blamed for the sorry state of affairs in New Jersey. They choose to live there. They are beyond help. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Someday Delaware is gonna get their shit together and organize a state-wide intervention on behalf of their devil neighbor, but until that time, you just gotta live and let live… and perhaps set up a quarantine around New Jersey to ensure none of them escape.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all political on you, but it had to be said. If reality television is any indication, Jersey sucks.
Forget all that and focus, you’re still in Central Park, you’ve caught up to Iggy who’s stopped to pee on a fire hydrant, because I’ve never owned a lizard and I don’t know how they behave and so in my mind they act like dogs that eat crickets with detachable tails and kung-fu grips.
The love of your life sees how you literally just saved New York city from certain destruction, and not surprisingly their impressed.
Like—Whoa, are you sweating from all that exercise or are you just happy to see me—level of impressed.
And then it happens.
BAM
It’s a go for sassy eyes.

Oh, baby. Come hither.

Oh, baby. Come hither.

They bat their baby blues, or geriatric greens, or homeless hazels with a “I want to lick your forehead” type look. You melt like putty, but you keep it cool and you return the favor.

Next thing you know you’re dating, that leads to love, which leads to marriage, some kissing in trees, and babies in carriages, a little “not until the kids have fallen asleep sexy time”, followed by some “oh my god these kids never go to sleep and I’m horny” resentments, which ends with a bit of harmless office spooning, and then BAM! More sexy eyes.

fry eyes

But this time it’s from Bill in accounting.
Your life has taken a turn you couldn’t have seen coming back in high school, unless you’re a really good guesser or some shit.
Seriously? You saw this coming? Huh. Kudos. Well in that case I have bad news. There’s no good method of getting this conversation back on topic.
Ha, you didn’t see that coming! Wait? For real? Again? Who are you? Are you in communion with the devil? Do you live in New Jersey? Nevermind. Don’t answer that. Some things are better left a mystery.
We’re gonna have to perform some emergency surgery and perhaps we can salvage a finger or something, but I’m making no promises.
Here we go, U-turn.
Life is a never ending cascade of seemingly inconsequential events sitting bumper to bumper in mid-day traffic. And it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or who you do it too, in the daily commute of life, you are the guy sitting in the Miata with the top down.
That’s great and all, cause let’s be honest, Miata’s rock! But you’re pinned in on all sides by semis, which means you can see the equivalent of jack shit.
If it rains, you’re screwed, cause the go-go-gadget roof is broken and you didn’t bring an umbrella on account of the drought we’re currently experiencing, not to mention nobody drives with an umbrella. It’s impractical.

Or is it?

Or is it?

And that’s not your fault, the drought part at least. I mean if you’re such a good guesser you could’ve figured it was gonna rain and grabbed a poncho or some shit. But there’s only so much rain dancing one man can do, and you’ve done plenty. Trust me, you can go ahead and drop the rain stick and take a breather.
Hm… to summarize.
Drought = not your fault.
Driving without an umbrella = maybe your fault, but definitely not mine.
Anyways, grab the Oh, Shit bar cause we’re getting off here. I’m pulling the Miata over to the side of the road. The engine is idling like an asthmatic Llama, and you’re probably wondering if I’m about to stab you in the throat and leave your body on the side of the road.
Fear not, there shall be no body dumping here tonight. But what if there was?
No, no, I know that sounds weird and creepy and I wouldn’t blame you if you edge away from the computer screen slowly. No sudden movements though cause I startle easily, even in cyber-space.
Let me make myself clear, cause we’re swimming through dirty bathwater and things are getting cloudy. I want to ask you a question, and I need you to think hard about the answer. If you try and give a superficial answer I will see through it and you shall receive an ear flick for your troubles. Trust me, it’s just not worth it. So here it goes.
How are you going to die?
Don’t give me that blank stare. No, I’m not insane. Of course I know what I’m asking.
I want you to think long and hard about how you’re going to die. Not, what is your preferred means of death? Because let’s be honest nobody gets the perfect death they wished for.
Everybody wants to die on a hilltop overlooking pastures of green while the final rays of sunlight drop below the horizon for the evening. They’ll be sitting with their back against an oak tree, maybe a willow… could even be an ash, I don’t know what your preference is, but there will be some sort of tree involved, guaranteed. Also, the love of your life will be there. They’ll be sitting in that tall green grass beside you, and there will be some sweaty hand holding. It’ll be beautiful and you’ll both draw your last breaths together because you can’t bare the thought of living even a single second without them.
End scene.
If that’s anywhere remotely close to your ideal death, then you need to rethink it right now cause it’s a cliche and if shit actually went down like that all our hills would be spattered with dead old people holding hands.
Yuck.
But here’s your homework for the week. Crunch the numbers. Do some brain storming. Create a word cloud association. Draw a picture. Doesn’t matter. Whatever works best for you.
Because here’s the reality of the situation. Most of us believe we are going to live on into old age and die at some time far in the distance. We see ourselves shuffling towards death who waits patiently off on the horizon, and we just keep dragging our feet and putting him off, hoping perhaps he’ll get bored and forget about us.
But Death doesn’t get bored. He’s a patient fuck.
More importantly, we aren’t walking towards some static personality off in the distance.
Death is walking right alongside you. But you don’t see him cause you’re so busy holding sweaty hands with Life like a couple goofy grinned love birds. Even when Life slaps you around a bit, you keep holding his hand because he tells you he loves you and he’ll never do it again.
Spoiler alert; Life doesn’t love you. No more than Death, atleast.
And one day, Life is going to break your heart. That ass is going to say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” And he’s gonna drop you like a pair of sweaty gym socks on the bathroom floor. That sucks, but luckily Death is there to console you. He takes your hand and he says, it’s alright. You can hang with me.
But Death is a clumsy ass Midas touching bastard and everything he fondles dies, most of the time a horribly painful and embarrassing death. Parallels can be drawn to my love making techniques, but I’m a poor drawer, so we won’t.
That’s not his fault though. He’s just picking up the pieces left on the floor by Life.
So, reframe your mindset and stop seeing Death as the enemy. I’m not suggesting you shotgun a bottle of Draino, by the way. What I’m saying is that you can’t fully appreciate what Life has to give you unless you can accept the fact that it’s a finite thing. It’s like a used plastic trash bag flitting on the breeze.
Here’s why this is a good thing.
Remember when you were a kid and you raided the pantry and devoured all the butterscotch froyo in one sitting? If your parents were anything like mine, hardened butterscotch froyo fanatics, they probably locked you in a closet until you repented for your sinful ways.
No, I’m just kidding. They didn’t do that. They just beat me and told me they’re doing it cause they love me, ya know… like any good parent would do.
Anyway, if you’re like me you probably ate yourself into a small food coma which may or may not have ended with you praying at the alter of the toilet bowel.
Life is that butterscotch froyo. Great in moderation, but if you get carried away that shit will straight fuck you up. Notice the two swear words I used to really strengthen the persuasiveness of my message?
Fuck yeah.
In the end, too much Life does us all in. We’re gluttons for its punishment and honestly there’s nothing you can do to avoid that. So stop juking and jiving, yes you look cool, but no it’s not necessary.
What you can do is enjoy every spoonful of that sloppy tasty goodness before it takes its revenge on your bowels. Because I hate to break it to you, but you’re forty eight percent more likely to die from colon cancer than you are to die in the arms of a loved one. And a billion times more likely to die in the arms of a loved one following some tragic turn of events like being trampled by a herd of clowns like in the Lion King when Mufasa bites it.

Get up, Dad. We gotta go home.
Breaks your heart cause you know Daddy aint getting up. I mean, look at his whiskers. They’re all bent and shit. Bent whiskers = dead Dad. Facts of life straight from Disney.
Truth.
Okay, so let’s brain storm some ideas cause I want you to actually get something out of this conversation, besides a migraine from reading word vomit.
Start with the question, How am I going to die?
Here’s some tough love for your Wednesday night… you’re probably not gonna make it to old age. The odds are against it, so wrap your noodle around that. Sure, it’s good to plan for retirement and be good to your body as if you were gonna make it to a hundred, but for most of us, it’s not in the cards.
What’s more likely? Well, getting hit by a car for starters. Or even better, how about hitting something with your car, like an elephant? I know we’d all like to think we’re Irresistible forces of nature, but there are a straight metric fuck-ton of Immovable objects out there. You keep playing it fast and loose like something fast and loose, and you’re gonna find yourself on the losing side of that equation.
Cause we all know the statistics, right? But Broman, you protest, I’m not a statistic. Those numbers aren’t meant for me.
Shut up and sack up, you’re precisely who those numbers are meant for.
Okay, so you have the reflexes of wombat and somehow you evade automotive related evisceration. What else is likely to sneak into your bedroom in the dead of night and slit your throat? That’s right. Vampires.
Err… I mean, cancer.
Vampires are third on my list, so keep that in mind as we move forward, but for now, focus on the cancer.
Now math befuddles my mind like abstract cubism, women who love me, and the internal combustion engine, so fair warning. But, if my calculation are correct, or atleast within spitting distance of correct, then based on my extensive research conducted while standing in the check out line at the grocery store and scanning the rack of tabloids, we all have cancer.
You hear it constantly. Cell phones give you brain cancer. Red Bull turns your innards into a mustard gas chamber and then gives you esophageal cancer. Petting puppies gives you hand cancer. Love gives you heart cancer.
Shit, if I didn’t know better I’d say Life is trying like a motherfucker to kill us all. Which is to say that too much Life will give you super mutated, resistant to penicillin, burns when you pee Soul Cancer.
Don’t be glum, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all getting shafted, so don’t be indignant. What’s the point, say you? Why are we here?
Really? You came here looking for existential answers about the ways of the universe and the meaning behind it all? You’re more desperate than I gave you credit for. I like desperate.
Okay, well let’s try and crack this nut.
Next week.
Woot, how’s that for a cliffhanger starring Sly Stallone, replete with bolt gun?
Here’s your assignment for this week; I want you to think about your life and what you hope to get out of it. Consider the possibility that the time line you have in mind for completing said tasks is shorter than you originally thought. If tomorrow you went in to see your friendly back alley family physician, Dr. Feelgood, and he broke the news that shit in your world is about to go tits up, his words not mine (you get what you pay for, thanks Obamacare), what would you do next?
If you’re gonna die tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next decade, what would you do about it today? That’s the real caramel nougat question worth sucking on.
Cause all you got is right now. No negotiating for more. So, get your butt down to the comment section and tell me what you’re gonna do about it. Now.

Anthony

TIME HEIST and FREE STUFF!

Good news everybody! Time Heist will be dropping like a book shaped meteor on December 1st.

3d preview (1)

It’s available for pre-order HERE so go reserve yourself a copy and it’ll be delivered straight to your reading device on December 1st. Now for you eager beavers out there that don’t want to wait that long, I’ll tell you what, I’m giving out a limited number of ARC’s, which in the fancy publishing industry means Advanced Review Copies. Here’s the deal, I’ll give you a free copy of Time Heist, before it even hits the shelves, in exchange for an honest review on a website of your choice.

That’s a pretty good deal if I do say so myself. So, fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in getting yourself a free copy of Time Heist.

But what’s that I hear?

You want more? Well, Sins of the Father, Parallel, and Standing Kill Orderlies are available on Amazon for the low, low price of $.99.

Feeling cheap and don’t want to spend no moneys? Head over to OneLazyRobot.com and I have a bunch of free short stories you can take a gander at. Or, even better, head over there and sign up for my NEWSLETTER and you can get a free copy of my novella Parallel or Sins of the Father.

Anyways, enough shameless self-promotion.

Love, Life, and Beaver Pelts

It’s been a long time since my blog post. Let’s make a deal right now, I won’t apologize and you don’t have to pretend you actually cared. Because let’s be honest, you’re a beautiful soul and you’ve been up to your neck busy, right?

Don’t play coy you sneaky turnip, of course you were.

But here we are again. Somehow despite the odds we’ve managed to find ourselves back in the same virtual room. Go ahead and make yourself at home. I’ve been trying to get this website all snazzified for you, but it’s going slower than pumping a flat tire with a greased up armadillo, which I don’t recommend doing unless you’re prepared to buy said armadillo dinner afterwards. Maybe give it a nice sensual massage.

Come on, it’s the least you can do.

Don’t be a prude.

Or a prune.

Where are we? I zagged and you zigged, so if you take three left turns and I do a pirouette, we should be back on topic.

Which, if you’re a sneaky editor or college writing professor, you might be asking yourself, what is the topic? Where is that thesis? It should be somewhere in the first paragraph, but all I see are glorious armadillo’s and turnips.

friendshanukkah

Sometimes you can’t see the forest through all the trees, and you just have to take a couple steps back to get the whole perspective. So everybody partner up and grab hands with the person to your left and take a few steps back. Safety in numbers.

Be a friend and make sure your hand isn’t a manky overripe banana. Wipe that shit on your pants, son.

Wait, what? Nobody is standing to your left because you’re sitting alone at Starbucks on a Tuesday night and this isn’t actually really real life?

Fine. Hold your own damn hand, don’t act like it’s the first time, and meet the rest of us on the top of that hill over yonder in twenty minutes.

Don’t be late.

Oh, cool. You made it. High five.

Seriously, if you’ve made it this far you deserve an award… or a brain scan.

Start with the second and if comes up clean, we’ll move to the first. Can you say bathtub full of nutella? Of course you can, you have a very nice tongue.

Anyways, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Or tax.

Brass Tacts?

Gonna need a fact checker over here.

It’s been a while since we chatted, and as you can see there are some changes a foot. I’ve moved from my old site at WeaklyShortStories to this quaint little neighborhood in the virtual ghetto. I’m thankful for all the experience I gathered writing short stories over there through the years, and I got an overwhelming amount of positive feedback.

For those of you who are making the transition and following me through the inter-jungle, I want to say thank you, give you a good game pat on the ass, and gift you a flying squirrel, because their adorable, have harnessed the magic of flight, and come in travel size so they fit neatly in your pocket.

Don’t worry, I have a gift receipt in case flying squirrels aren’t your thing. You can return it for a ninja donkey punch to the throat, because really? Who returns a flying squirrel!? What’s wrong with you?

No, I didn’t mean that. There’s nothing wrong with you. Please come back.

I need you.

And frosting.

But mostly you.

Uh, quick segue on three.

Go.

I want to get serious for a second and spackle you with some knowledge. Go ahead and gather in close, cuddle up with your buddy on the left, for those of you that came alone… you know the drill.

I went through some major life changes in the past year. Some of them were good, and others were like wrestling feral wallabies in heat over the last remaining jar of vegemite on the shelf. I came out scratched, bruised, and with my fair share of vegemite burns.

Don’t know what that is? Don’t ask. It’s weird.

Those vegemite burns forced me to take some time away from writing. Not because I’d lost my desire to write, or that I didn’t have anything to say, but because everything I had to say was really bad, emotionally tinted garbage vomit.

The kind of stuff that pours out of you in globby piles of viscera that pool on the floor and stare up at you all, “Are you my mommy?”

Fuck no! Get away, nobody loves you.

That’s where I was for a spell. It sucked, because I wanted to be writing the most magical unicorn laden tales complete with leprechaun orgies and centaur related racism, but all that came out was the written equivalent of a fart.

And not a rainbow fart, mind you.

Rainbow Fart

So I took a break from writing, got my mind straight, stole the ring of Sauron, and generally got my priorities sorted.

Are things better? That’s subjective, and the best guess comes from Theodore, the guy that rifles through my trash every week for discarded cans and bottles, which I conveniently place at the bottom beneath the desecrated remains of my broken heart, ya know… cause Theo likes a scavenger hunt.

But anyways, Theodore collects cans cause he wants too. He’s not tied down to the man, and he lives life on his terms. If you ask Theodore why he doesn’t use the Juris Doctorate he earned between can runs, he’ll say “It’s just different, Broman.”

Side note, Theodore thinks my name is Roman. Probably because I told him my name is Roman. I didn’t know he was a good natured soul when we first met and I was afraid he was going to shiv me and search through my intestines for spare cans. Dude takes his canning seriously.

But Theodore is right. It’s just different. Life changes and you gotta be able to roll with the punches otherwise one day you’re gonna catch one square on the jaw and then it’s lights out. And when you’re lying face down on the mean streets of life all million dollar baby like, you’re gonna wish you hadn’t gone all cheap skate on that chastity belt.

Some things in life are worth spending a bit more on.

This is a cluster bomb of words and I’m wondering if maybe I forged my comeback a bit too soon.

Regardless. I want to share something I learned cause it might help someone else. So if you’re one of the 3.8 people who’ve managed to read this far, watch out! There’s .2 of a man behind you!

crawling dead zombie

Guard thy ankles!

Ignore that, I’ve been sucking on cough drops like meth laced oxygen.

But here’s what I’ve learned.

Life is harsh. We were told that as kids, but it’s easy to forget cause when we think of bad things happening, we don’t imagine them happening to us. That’s why I like to write stories. I like making bad things happen to other people.

Unfortunately life is playing the same game with us. It throws us in a cage full of porcupines hopped up on Aderol before covering us in fish shrapnel and throwing us in a shark tank.

I mean, you can’t be upset about that because it makes for a good story, right? And what’s the point of doing all this if we don’t, at minimum, have a good story to tell when we emerge on the other side missing an arm and covered in quills.

But life doesn’t always come hard like that. No, life is a sneaky fucker, like the Trojans hiding in a horse only to emerge in the dead of night to slit your throat and set fire to your cabbage. Erm. Yeah.

Life has one card in particular it likes to play, and it’s like Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber. Nobody gets out of the game unscathed. It’s called Love, and in the immortal words of some tv show or movie or prophet on the street, “Love, it’s a son of a bitch, man.”

Actually, that might have been Theo again.

Regardless of who said it, they are pretty on point.

I mean, falling in love, and being in love, and eating bacon, are great. But it’s hard and dangerous to do without an apron.

Nakey Bacon

Cause people are broken. We can’t always see their broken parts, but direct line of sight isn’t a prerequisite for the existence of something. Most of us keep our broken parts hidden behind our back where nobody can see them.

It’s safer to keep them back there cause then we don’t have to look at them every day. We don’t want to be broken, but nine times out of ten, we don’t know how to fix ourselves. Duct tape and WD-40 go a long way but that’s just putting a patch over the problem and then covering yourself in oil.

That second part is actually pretty fun. The first part, not so much.

This is all existential marble gargling, but you can’t live your life with hands behind your back. There are so many wonderful things out there to fondle and caress.

Go ahead, use your imagination. Look with your eyes, and your hands. *Wink Wink, nudge nudge*

Now here’s the shit-storm-tornado, (which is a way better movie than Sharknado by the way), we fix ourselves by showing our damaged fiddly-bits to others with the hope that maybe they can look at it and say, “Oh yeah… you just need a little fizzitdoodad.”

And you’re like, “Of course, that makes so much sense.”

So you get a fizzitdoodad, fix the problem, and the system is running smoother than Windows ’95 after a fresh reboot. But it’s not a permanent fix, cause we’re fragile and your mom and dad didn’t love you enough to splurge on the Super-Mega-Awesome Lifetime Protection Plan for $19.95 when you were born.

Instead your Dad went and bought a roll of duct tape and said, “Meh, this will be fine.”

Thanks, Dad.

Dick.

Just kidding.

Kinda.

So like a couple six years olds playing Doctor in the sand box, (which is the absolute worst place in the world for a game of Doctor, by the way. Two words. Sand. Everywhere.) you show your vulnerabilities to whoever is shooting you that come hither eye.

And pow, presto, whiz-bang, boom! It’s love. It feels good, like a Turkey Bath.

Turkey Bath? Turkish Bath? Sound it out. I dunno. I don’t bathe.

Anyway, the closer you grow towards this new thing, the more intimate your understanding of it becomes. But now remember when you were a sad panda lost in the forest with your nose pressed against the trunk of a tree? Yeah, you could’ve been in a mall for all you know, you can’t see anything but that goddamn tree.

Where’s the forest? Where’s the sky? Where are my pants?

The point is, the closer you get, the easier it is to lose perspective of what it is, and who you are in relation to it. By that I mean, if you stand next to a blue whale long enough, A) it’s going to suffocate and B) you’re gonna forget that you are not some tiny inconsequential assortment of star fart.

To complicate things, love, life, and all those fuzzy teddy bears in between, are constantly shifting like a house of mirrors where you’re forced to stare at yourself until you either find the exit or break down in the corner and cry in the fetal position while you wait for the pimply faced teenager taking tickets at the door to come and find you with his judgmental eyes.

Don’t look at me when I’m crying!

Okay, look.

That moment of vulnerability changes everything, my underwear included. You open yourself up, and you change.

Poof, it’s magic.

Your darkness and everything that’s been hiding in your nooks and crannies is exposed. The trench coat comes off and it’s just you flying free in the breeze.

But that other person, whoever it is you’ve handed your steaming pile of insanity, has changed too. You’re no longer just two people. Cause we’re all wearing masks, and playing a part. Sometimes I’m that overly self-confident ass on the bus listening to his Natalie Imbruglia on full blast. Sometimes I’m the guy pretending he doesn’t speak English whenever somebody hits me up for money on the street. Other times I’m the guy biking around downtown Oakland in nothing but underwear and a cape cause I like the way the wind feels against my bare thighs.

Point being, we’re all a thousand crazy people crammed into one single body. And when you find somebody else to share in that craziness, you become something more.

Something beautiful. Because those ugly parts now have a counter, a partner in crime, an opposite, an equal.

Now they don’t seem so ugly. Cause the mind can only take so much ugly before it overloads and makes a computational error.

So, now we aren’t so ugly. Aren’t so smudgy. And damn if we don’t look good. We’re prancercizing through the park like we’re the goddamn cock on the walk.

And you know what? You are.

You are a huge walking (maybe even flying?) cock.

Super Rooster

Revel in it. Throw back your head and cock-a-doodle-doo your heart out. Because if you’re an American cock, you’re gonna wind up a chicken nugget in some little seven year olds happy meal. Them’s the facts of life, son.

But live it up while you can, cause none of us were promised any of this. You wake up, put your pants on one peg leg at a time, and you get out there and do something that has meaning and purpose to you.

And that’s the important thing to take away from this. Cause heaven forbid things go sideways like a hydroplaning moose high on Turkey Bath Salts (I think I’ve got this metaphor thing down).

Also, here’s another thing to take away, (no not that bag of parting gifts, this aint Oprah), I’m in your corner. Like a creepy corner man, I’m ready to throw in the towel at a moment’s notice on your behalf, or I’ll cut you deep and open your eyes so you can get your ass back in there and fight another round.

ADRIAN!

Who? Nobody.

Now stop looking at me, I’ve run out of words to say. All that’s left are vaguely comprehensible guttural sounds. Stop back next week, I’ll ween off the peyote.

In the meantime how about you leave me a comment? You can call me out on my malarkey and overuse of periods, parenthesis, and piranhas. Or you can be more constructive with your feedback and tell me what gets you out of bed in the morning.

No, that’s not supposed to sound hollow, melodramatic, self-deprecating blah blah blah finger in throat, gag gag gag.

You’ve taken the time to come out to my neck of the woods, risking all sorts of cybercrime in the process, and I want to know what drives you. Are you a writer? What do you write?

Read much? Only on the toilet? Which do you find leads to a more satisfying morning movement? Fiction or non-fiction? Picture books?

Are you a unicycle connoisseur or a flamingo wrangler?

This is a two way street, so come on in the out hole and let’s have a conversation. Erm.

Forget that.

Anthony