Monday, January 30, 2006

Today's image

Creamy yellow vanilla pudding dribbles down a vinyl wall like ectoplasm marking a recent haunt.

Friday, January 27, 2006

My new Fiction II story

My next story in Fiction II will be about time travel. It will feature a seventh grader named Douglas Hewitt who remains obsessed with the movie Back to the Future. [Yes, I realize I have also expressed a strong inclination toward both time travel and BTTF, but you write what you know, right?]

Anyways, he's ridiculed at his junior high because he's not the coolest kid. He's smart and kinda akward, and the kids nicknamed him "Doogie Howser, M.D.," because of said intelligence and the unfortunate initials bestowed upon him by his now divorced parents. His classmates then shifted it to "Doogie," to make it flow a bit quicker, then truncated it further to just "Doog."

So he comes up with this idea for a time travel watch. On it is his life clock in YEARS:MONTHS:DAYS:HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS:OLYMPIC MICROSECONDS. The knob on the right side turns the watch backwards, causing him to go back in time in his own life. He can't go forward, only backward. With this watch, he can venture back in his own life and alter himself enough to avoid ridicule. Go back and make himself cool, like Marty McFly.

The only thing is, though he's smart, he's not nearly smart enough to invent such a contraption. He then resides in the concept of this thing, flashing back to points in his life he'd like to change. The story here must become very cerebral. I'm just usure how to trigger these flashbacks.

I'm thinking he should:
1. buy a digital watch from a dept. store in the vein of what he would consider his watch to look like.
2. Sort through photos in his room, flashback that way
3. Read through old diaries
4. Pass out in his bed and have it as a dream sequence where the watch is real in his dream

Then the next day at school, he wears this nerdy digital watch in gym class, and in the locker room, someone breaks it, and he decides to stop dwelling on the past.

Or, he never comes to terms with the present, overanalyzing every little thing he does, thinking he can go back and change it.

I'd appreciate any input on any aspect of this story. Thanks

Today's image

I strolled along the Pedestrian Freeway, the girthy sidewalk linking Auditorium and Bowman, and crossed paths with a large woman. I don't mean to say she was overweight, no, she possessed a larger stature. She dwarfed me, and I stand at a lanky 6'-1." But she did not strike me simply from her Amazon appearance, she adorned her body with obnoxiously oversized garb. Her head exploded with frizzy hair adrift in the wind; her eyes and half her face was consumed with blocky, movie star sunglasses; torso clad in a puffy, marshmellowish jacket; and her feet, not to be left out of the equation, were covered in earthy dungaree boots, brown fluff acting as buffer between calf and ankle. She did not stand out to me because of her outright beauty or ugliness, she struck me with her success at appearing larger-than-life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Todays image

I stepped outside of Satterfield between classes today. The air was thick, chilly, and wind whipped across the bland facade of the building. I walked to the end of a long sidewalk, between Satterfield and Bowman, and as I reachedthe end of it, the atmosphere grew electric. Then the snow came, after weeks of dormancy. Winter sprung like a pissed off old man, hurling frigid ice and ill will , chastising us for our optimism.

Daily Imagery

I'm currently in a Fiction II class. One of the exercises is to keep a short journal entry of one image from the day. This could be fun.

A sad day for hockey

Mario Lemieux, one of the most prolific and sensational scorers in the history of hockey, has announced his retirement. The Pittsburgh Penguins are up for sale. The Civic Arena is falling apart. The Pens are in last place. Sidney Crosby will not win rookie-of-the-year.

There is a hole in my heart that cannot be filled.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Strangely Enough. . .

I went over my friend's house tonight to see he had just started watching Back to the Future. I stayed for the whole thing. How's that for appropriate?

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Tagged by Peppermint. Here goes:

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Bagger at Giant Eagle
2. High School Janitor
3. AutoCAD engineer at VinylTech, Inc.
4. Sunglasses salesman

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have:
1. Back to the Future
2. American Beauty
3. The Big Lebowski
4. Ghostbusters

Four places I have lived:
1. Brentwood, PA
2. Kent, OH
3. Ellenton, FL
4. Youngstown, OH

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. The Office
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
3. The Amazing Race
4. Scrubs

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation:
1. Destin, FL
2. The Carribean
3. Nags Head, NC
4. Ocean City, MD

Four Websites I visit daily:
1. A Lover's Quarrel With the World
2. Google
3. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
4. iTunes Music Store

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Pizza
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
3. Ice Cream
4. Warm chocolate chip cookies

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Vancouver, BC
2. At a Penguins game [that is, five years ago, when they could win games]
3. Pittsburgh--the South Side, in particular
4. In someone's arms

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My return to the Eighties Car Club

From 2003-2004, I was enrolled in an elite, high class auto society. There were only three members, each of whom kept meticulous care of his or her vehicle. We would meet maybe two or three times a year, in a secluded corner of a Wal-Mart parking lot, blasting Billy Squire or DLR-era Van Halen.

Those were the glorious, youthful days of my '88 Ford Thunderbird.
Those were the days of the Eighties Car Club.

President Dave Jagielski has [and still does have] a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. A nice, silver sedan with no visible rust and 4 original hubcaps.

My t-bird had a few pockmarks, blemishes, straight-up holes.

Amy's '87 Plymouth mini-van was held together by willpower alone, with woodpanel contact tape peeling off under its own volition. The replacement hubcaps she'd bought from Wal-Mart would break free and fly off at dangerous velocities. Neither the gas gauge nor the speedometer worked.

Since then, my car has been wrecked and Amy purchased a new ride, this one a '97 Grand Am. We were both forced to leave the club.

But I have recently come into an '87 Chevrolet Celebrity, thus gaining readmittance into the auto club. My friend Justin has also become an honorary member, despite the fact that his Cutlass Cruiser wagon is from '92. At this stage in the game, we're willing to make exceptions--his Oldsmobile still carries on the '80s boxy aesthetic, and it runs like a piece of shit.
He's in.

Soon we'll be hitting up parking lots again, looking retro-trendy and mobile.

Another night at the ECC

In another demonstration of Joel's possible ineptness at organizing and maintaining a music venue, the ECC has been allegedly trashed. Now, unfortunately, I was not there this time to provide first hand facts. However, I do have the benefit of two reliable sources: one who was there to witness the events leading up to the debacle, the other there during the actual vandalism.

According to my roommate, Ted, the ECC was once again juggling an unwieldy card of indie acts. This didn't particularly differ from any other night at the venue, save the bands were all from out of state. This time, if Joel pissed off the bands they didn't have a 5 minute drive home to vent. These peeps had road time ahead of them, so the frustrations flew, apparently, before embarking for distant home.

Ted remarked that there was discernible fervor rifling through the air when he showed up, forking over the unusual $3.00 cover charge. Per usual, there remained a 25 minute wait for the set change, painfully long, but not unheard in ECC time. The chill atmosphere is what drives the place, right?

He also noticed Joel and two of his compatriots frenzily darting about the place, trying to maintain order in chaotic surroundings. Drugs may or may not have been involved. Understandably bored with the music-less atmosphere of the set change, Ted left, as Joel cursed and pointed violently in various directions.

* * * *
"They were amazing," Amy remarked of the band that destroyed the ECC. "First they got on stage, talked tons of shit about Joel and the ECC, said they were never playing in Ohio again, and then they rocked. They blew us all away."

She speaks of Wichita, Kansas-based band, The Empress, who characterize themselves as "thrash/post hardcore/punk," and obviously have some aggressions towards Joel, whom they called, "a fucker," clotheslined, and pummeled on stage.

Amy said the Empress went crazy, undoubtedly angry at being forced to play late, much like the Parsley Flakes in my September post, "My night at the ECC." They punched holes in the walls, kicked amps, continued to pound on Joel, flip chairs, and destroy artwork.

"But they were amazing, so we didn't know what to do. We wanted to clap because the music was awesome, but at the same time they were destroying our hang-out."

Upon hearing the story, I embarked on an analogy. Say you throw a kick-ass party at your parents house. One of your friends invites cool guys that bring a keg. The party goes crazy, out of control, the greatest party in recent memory. But your parents' house gets trashed.

The ECC is like my home, and Joel, my dad being clotheslined.

The lackadaisical Electric Community Center will rest in peace.

Wait, make that 'rest in post hardcore violence.'

Friday, January 06, 2006

$$$My future as a screen printer$$$

I realize it's a bit late for a holiday-related post, but I've never had the best timing. In fact, my timing is horrible. This is a well-known and documented fact.

That having been said, allow me to provide some ideas I've had bottled up for some time [two years], pertaining to holiday screen printed t-shirts. Once again, another million dollar list of ideas.
These shirts would be made with minimalism in mind, except where noted in brackets.

#1: FUCK ME, IT'S CHRISTMAS [a tree decal is on the lower right corner, with Christmas lights adorning most of the shirt, you know, to draw as much attention possible.]

#2: Happy Hanukkah. Fuck off. [A monorah is located in the center of the shirt, between the two phrases. The candle in the middle is taller than the rest, resembling a middle finger.]

#3: Happy B-day Jesus! [Actually, this one's a tank-top, to appeal to southern mobile home owners/renters. Cake and balloons adorn the bottom portion of this shirt.]

#4: Merry Christmas [seems innocent enough, save that the phrase "Capitalism Day" has an X drawn through it, and "Merry Christmas" is doodled very helter skelter above and below, almost as graffiti. A cross flanked by dollar signs decorates the lower hemisphere.]

#5: I celebrate KWANZA, honky! [An emphatic clenched fist rises into the air.]

#6 !FESTIVAS! [Just a mini-skirt celebrating the false Costanza holiday.]

#7 I'm a BUDDHIST. Relax. Take a breath. Enjoy. [Made of hemp.]

Millions, I say.

From my memoirs: "Wheelchair Tracks Down a Set of Stairs"

August 3, 2003: a little after midnight.
It had been drizzling on and off, as it tends to on humid August nights.

Amy puts in $6.00 worth of gas--$2.00 of which was donated by Dave and myself--at an Exxon on the South Side while [defenseman] Andrew Ference washes his brand-spanking new Nissan 350 Z with a paper towel and gas station squeegee. His girlfriend gets in the driver's seat.

Dave and I discuss the irony in sitting in an '87 woodgrain Plymouth Voyager with $6.00 of fresh gas whilst the former Penguin meticulously polishes his $20,000+ ride, probably for the last time in Pittsburgh, before selling his Oakland flat to move to sunny Calgary, Alberta. Canada and hockey season seem so far away as the saturated air plasters us to the doldrums of late summer.

Amy gets back in.

The two drastically different cars, transporting members of drastically lifestyles, depart simultaneously. For a moment, time is frozen, barriers destroyed, social classes eliminated, under the harsh glow of the tarmac halogens. The sporty coupe turns left, the ramshackle van, right. Lives reset and the space-time continuum keeps on continuing. Order is restored in the universe.

The five transients enter traffic. Life goes on as normal.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My mind often wanders. . .

Upon watching PBS last night with some friends of mine [yes, I just used PBS and friends in the same phrase], I have been afforded a new zen-like vision to consume my thoughts. A commercial aired for a program featuring rustic lodges in the Canadian Rockies, like log cabins with picture windows framing beautiful halcyon fields extending toward snow capped mountains in the distance. I seem to recall one lodge having a waterfall right next to it. mmm.

If there's one thing to be known about me it's that I have a Canadian fetish [infatuation, lust, longing, etc. etc.]. I love Canada, especially Western Canada. This may be ridiculous in that I have only been to the Great White North one time, and that was Niagara Falls [not honeymoon related], and that was pretty weak.

Still, I am accosted with vistas like those last night and can't help falling in love with the notion of life in Canada.

After I hadn't spoken for a while, following the commercial, Amy finally figured out the source of my dreamy gaze:

[keep in mind, at least five minutes of silence had passed since seeing the commercial]

A.: deBiase, what's wrong with you--wait, you're still thinking about that Canada commercial aren't you?
d.B.: yeah. . .
A.: Thinking of living in a cabin in the woods; taking your kids fishing; watching the dog run around, like a golden retriever or a black lab. . .
d.B.: Actually, a beagle.
A.: Beagle, right. Wearing flannel and having an organic wife named Lilac or something.

I couldn't respond with any witticisms because I had drifted back to my dreamland of towering conifers, ice hockey as religion, and decriminalized reefer.

Oh, Canada.