Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Daily WiLL - May 28, 2014 - Of Cats and Kittens

So long as I can remember we've always had a cat in the house.  This has been true of my entire adult existence save for about a year in the early 90's.

The first cat that I can really remember was Monstro, a large gray male who we got when we were living on Texas Street, circa 1975-76?  I'm not 100% sure on the time line.  Monstro didn't live very long, I don't know if he even made it to a year old, he got killed by the neighbor's dog.

The next cat we acquired my father named "Angelfood McSpade."  No I'm not kidding.  The cat's namesake was an R. Crumb character from Zap Comix.  We mostly called her Angel.  She was a great big tabby momma-kitty who would eventually make the trip with us when we moved to San Diego in August of 1980 and we had her for years, well over a decade.

Merlin P. Magician
(Loved that Naugahyde Chair and Ottoman)
My dad and I purchased Merlin P. Magician for my Mother's birthday, I think in 1978, from the pet store that used to be in the Fox Hills Mall.  Merlin was a fairly large black and white male, and we always theorized that he was left in the pet store just a bit too long because Merlin was a big old goofball.  He lived over 20 years!

Pretty sure that's Folly, he was skinnier than Angel.
At the same time that we had Angel and Merlin while we were new to San Diego we got a third cat, called "Noetling's Folly" - or just Folly for the most part, he was supposed to be my cat, but he ended up being my Dad's.  Folly would end up running away for months at a time, but then he'd saunter back like nothing ever happened.

After Angel passed from Feline Leukemia we got another cat, this time a beautiful Calico female that my mom named "Chiksa" because she was a blonde.  Chiksa was a great cat, who ended up being mine.  She got run over in her teens.

Chiksa was followed by Tippy and Galahad, two boys that we got as kittens.   I kept Galahad, a little black short haired when my Mom and Dennis left San Diego in 1990, but he ran away soon after I moved to La Mesa.  I honestly don't remember what happened to Tippy.
Chiksa hiding in my stuff.  I still have Indiana Jones
Merlin and Chiksa were always together.

My Commodore 64 Box was a favorite place of hers.

I know I have more pics of the two of them,
but right now this is the only one I can find.
After I moved out and Gally ran away I didn't have a cat for the first time in my entire life.  I remained pet-less until I moved to Linda Vista in May of 1991, and soon inherited two himalayan flame points who were born in my dresser drawer.  My roommate's cat was the mom, and he didn't take care of her, so she died right after the kittens were weaned.  Sad thing.

That's my Charlotte
Simone Evrard and Charlotte Corday were my babies from the very beginning, and I have never had kitties more devoted or loyal.  They came with me to Los Angeles in 1998.  Simone would go sometime in the early 00's, '02 I think.  Charlotte was around until after we got married and pregnant.  She passed in April of 2006 while we were on vacation.

In case you were wondering, I got their names from the play by Peter Shaffer - "Marat/Sade".  Charlotte Corday and Simone Evrard were notorious assassins during the French Revolution.  Corday murdered Jean-Paul Marat (as in the famous painting by David) and Evrard killed Robiespierre.

The only thing I would have changed about those two were their hair, they were both long-hairs and man did they shed.  In the picture below you can see one of those weird lint brushes, I had to keep these around to sweep up their hair constantly.

December 2003 we had been married just a couple of months, and Simone had been gone over a year.  Charlotte was getting old and lonely, and Mel wanted a cat of her own, so we went to the shelter and picked out Miss Isabel Scarlett.  Izzy and Charlotte didn't get along at first, but they mellowed to each other to the point where they could be in the same room together.

Izzy loves having her belly scratched.

We've been a one-cat family for Kaylee's entire life so far.  Charlotte died a few months before she was born in 2006, and for 7 and a half years we've had just the one kitty.  Well, that ended last weekend, when we welcomed Oliva (no middle name yet) into our family.  She's a grey tabby who is just about 7 and a half weeks old right now.  She's adorkable.  

ANOTHER SCENE 5 - The Collector (2)

The Collector (2)

            The red brick building was about as boxy as you could get being built in a rectangular configuration.  Its three floors followed a rectangular pattern, with 80 some odd efficient apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms were arranged on either side of the parallel hallways. 
There was an open courtyard with a couple nice sized trees, a medium sized pool, and the building was nominally secure in that you were supposed to use the intercom to buzz people in, but no one ever did that.  They just punched the code in the keypad and let themselves in.  When the buzzer worked that is, more often than not the front door was just left slightly ajar.  If the buzzer was working that usually meant that the secure underground parking gates were not. 
            The better apartments faced inward towards the courtyards.  The ground floor units had small screened off porches, where the upper two floors had 5’ x 10’ balconies.  Most of the tenants had then erected some sort of shade screen or privacy tarp. 
Stevie’s apartment had a balcony, which he had installed a bamboo shade that was nominally adjustable.  In practice it was best to just leave it permanently in the same position.  His mom had bought and upgraded a plant stand so he could have some greenery in his life and so he had something to look at and take care of on a regular basis, but sometimes the shade killed the plants.
He didn’t care about the plants though, the shade was a necessity to keep out the sights and sounds from the neighbor directly across from him one floor down.  The woman who lived there, Leticia, kept a sofa on her balcony, never covering it even during the rain.  The other really obnoxious thing that Stevie hated was Leticia’s big screen that was visible to everyone else on that side of the building.  She was always watching either soccer or telenovelas always with the sound on the wrong side of blasting.
The kitchen of Stevie’s apartment was actually quite large for a studio.  He was able to move about with ease, the counter space was plentiful and there were so many cupboards and shelves that he actually didn’t have enough kitchen appliances and dishes to fill them all.  He kept his old Macintosh SE which he bought brand new in the late 80’s in his kitchen closet, it’s usefulness long since past.
Gazing out of his kitchen window over at Leticia’s apartment he shook his head upon seeing the ragged form of Leonard laying on the sofa.  Stevie and Leonard got along for the most part; the older man was a drunk though, and chain-smoked Newports because he liked the smell.  The apartment building was nominally a non-smoking establishment as the signs in the lobby dictated, but very few tenants actually heeded the rules and years of tobacco smoke had rendered the walls of the hallway yellow and sticky.
Stevie was actively looking to move out as soon as he could, his useful living space had become much more cramped over the years, and he needed to spread out his collections.  There just wasn’t enough space to display everything properly, and rather than sell off what he couldn’t display he’d decided it was time to move on.  He certainly could afford a larger place, but the prospect of physically moving was daunting to him.  Like a lot of men he was also afraid of change in every way, shape and form. 
He sat down on his futon, opened his laptop and started surfing the net, looking for new items that he hadn’t heard about or pre-ordered yet.  This was a ritual he did daily, Mondays were the best he’d discovered because that’s when the companies that made collectibles usually announced their new products.  He subscribed to dozens of different blogs all about comics and trading cards.  After a few minutes he sighed and clicked on his online dating profile, just to see if there were any new views.  He never got any responses, but every once in a while someone might view his picture. 
There wasn’t anything new on the dating front, but he did notice a new email from the property management company of a building he’d looked at a couple of weeks ago.  His application had been approved, he could move in as soon as he liked.  Stevie’s heart beat faster.  He closed his laptop and stood up.  He decided to make a call.
“Mom?  Yeah, it’s Steven.  You know that place I looked at, the one I told you about?  They approved me.  I can move in whenever I want.” 
“That’s great honey, your father will be so happy.”
“Will you come visit now?  I’ll be a lot closer, and it’s on the ground floor so you don’t have to go up stairs or the elevator.”
“Oh that’s so nice baby.  I’m so glad, of course.  You’d better call your brother and let him know so he can loan you his truck.”
“Mom, I’m going to have professional movers come in.”
“Oh, so Mister money bags is too good to pay his brother?”
“It’s not.  It’s just.  Well.  Bobby always messes with my stuff.  I’d rather just take care of it myself.”
“It’s your life.”
“When are you going to turn in your notice?”
“Right now, I have to give 30 days, but I can keep two places for a little while, I’ve already paid next month’s rent.”
“I’m so happy for you.”
“Yeah thanks Mom.”

He grabbed a pad of legal paper and started to make lists.  He’d have to start packing really soon.  Thank god, he’d finally be out of the red brick building.  No more roaches in the elevator.  No more ghetto birds flying overhead.  No more Leticia across the way.  Stevie at last smiled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Tuesday May 27, 2014

Had a good time camping up at Camp Josepho for Kinnus 2014.  Kaylee got to do archery and shoot the BB guns this year, and she loved both.  We actually let her do the archery all by herself so I didn't get a chance to see how well she did, but I went with her on the BB range and shot quite a few myself.  Honestly she's a natural with the rifle.  Scary.  She listened and paid close attention to the instructors as well, and that's a huge plus.

Our new tent is freaking amazing.  It's a Coleman 9 Man - though you know you always basically halve that number to get the actual number of people the tent can sleep comfortably.  It has two rooms and a nifty door (though the rod that forms the door broke :( )  You can also completely stand up throughout the tent as it's not a dome.  Set-up was a breeze as well, easiest tent we've ever had to set up.
Test Set Up

We're going to go see X-Men this morning.  Not taking the daughter, probably a bit too scary for her.  Plus Mommy and Daddy need some non-Kaylee time.  We love her, but she's 7.5,  she finds new ways of annoying us each and every day.

Will post more pics of camping, though we didn't take that many, later.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kings play the Blackhawks tonight at 5:00 PM.  Very excited, the series is tied 1-1.

I may have mentioned I had a bad week.  I really did.  Sadly.  I accomplished very very little, and my free time is rapidly waning.  That doesn't sound right, "rapidly waning".  Seems like an oxymoronic term.  In any case my ennui has returned with less of a passion and more of a thud.

I think, however, I can shake it.  We have a busy weekend after today - tomorrow we are heading up to Camp Josephus for the Annual Kinnus Camp weekend.  With our new tent which we will be pitching this afternoon to test it out.

Just about ready to run out and go to the hardware store and dollar store.  Much fun will ensue.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Friday May 23, 2014

I should have just called this blog the IRREGULARLY PUBLISHED WiLL.  

Spent this week watching the entire series of Turn which is a fantastic new series on AMC focusing on "America's First Spy Ring" - The Culper Ring during the Revolutionary War.  Great stuff, with awesome production design and attention to detail.  It's too bad that the writers have decided to go with drama rather than history though, as the events occur about two years too early (the series starts in the Winter of 1776, shows Washington crossing the Delaware and the formation of the Culper Ring at the same time when the ring didn't actually get started until 1778).  

It's great to see favorite character actors in new roles.  Burn Gorman is most familiar to me as Owen from the first two seasons of Torchwood, and he was recently in Dark Knight Rises and Pacific Rim,  He also appeared on Game of Thrones for four episodes.  In Turn he plays a stuffy Major in the British Army who's in charge of Setauket, Long Island, the birthplace of the Culper Ring.  Kevin R. McNally is also one of the featured players and he was familiar to me from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, though he's appeared in a ton of stuff over the years, including I, Claudius, and Doctor Who.  Finally there's Angus MacFayden playing the notorious Robert Rogers, who I think an entire show could be based around.  In fact, Spencer Tracey played Rogers in a film about his earlier exploits looking for the Northwest Passage.

So it's not 100% historically accurate, what historical show is?  Often times fictions are more interesting than the truth, but here the truth really is so darn interesting that it's hard to denigrate the show for not being MORE accurate.  Most probably this TV show is the first experience that it's viewers will have with this portion of the Revolutionary War.  In that sense, the show is doing a great service, it's educating it's audience, which a show like this needs to do to stay relevant.

I've just ordered the book that it's based upon as well, Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose.  Can't wait to read it.

Honestly the story is so interesting to me, it makes me wonder if there are still decendents of the major players alive.  I'm sure there are to be honest.  

BTW - If you haven't been watching it, this Sunday AMC is doing a full marathon starting at 1:30 PM PST and going until 10 pm.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Sunday May 18, 2014

Some things:

I haven't written much in the last two days.  Been busy with new Kitten.  Will tackle the space opera novel again tomorrow morning.

Today my Father would have been 67 years old.  I often wonder what my Dad would have been like had he lived past 40.  I especially wonder now that I'm 3 years past 40 myself.  I often compare myself to him, I have often tried to ensure he would have been proud of me.  I think about what kind of Grandfather he'd have been.  I wish he would have been around to deal with his Brother and Mother.  I wish he could have met Melissa.  I wish he could have seen me graduate High School and the UCLA.  I wish I could have smoked a joint with him.

Went to Olivia and Avery's combo birthday party yesterday.  I've known their mom Sasha since the early 2000's dating back to my days at SMC.  We had a Geology class together that was pretty awesome and have remained friends ever since.  Her daughters are 5 and 3 this year, and Kaylee loves playing with them.  Melissa didn't join us because she was at home with the new Kitten.

Kaylee named the new kitten Olivia, after her friend.  Which is so cute.  It's a good name, she's a good kitten.  She's tiny.  Really tiny.  She has a set of lungs on her too.  We're all having a good time.

See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I remember asking my dad once what being stoned was like.  I was a teenager, and while I'd been around marijuana my entire life, I'd never partaken.  When I was a kid it was easier, hanging out with the adults playing their board and card games with them, they never excluded me.  They just passed me by.  When playing Monopoly they would always put a freshly rolled joint in the Free Parking jackpot, and whomever hit the jackpot got to light it, except when I did, then my Dad lit it.

I recall that my father described the feeling as light-headedness, like having your head filled with cotton balls, that your pain goes away and you generally feel better.  That is the effect that I'm going for most of the time as well.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Monday, May 12, 2014

Tomorrow is what would have been my Uncle Daniel's 62nd birthday.
On Sunday the 18th my Father would have been 67.

Just saying.  May sucks for remembering birthdays.

Happier news - I have finished the draft of part one of my Science Fiction book and begun part two.  Initially I was going to write three books in the same series, however I believe that may have been a more ambitious plan than I was able to execute.  So like Mr. Lucas did, I am combining my three part series into one narrative.  With plenty of room for sequels.

Book One is approximately 18,000 words or so.  In my rewrite I'll add a bunch more I hope.  I'm shooting for about 50,000 words all together, though instead of three parts, it'll probably only be two.

More Happy News - I have completed four short-stories in my ANOTHER SCENE series, and have started two more.  I have also decided on a structure for the series and where it's ultimately going.  So between those two project I have a decent amount of writing upcoming.

And if that wasn't enough (and I know I'm not supposed to begin a sentence, let alone a paragraph with 'and') I'm a full two chapters finished with transcribing my father's manuscript about Vietnam.  I've made inquiries online regarding LZ Sally during the Summer of 1968, but nothing really has come out yet.

So if I feel like working but not writing I can dig out the script, or if I'm feeling creative I have ample projects to work on.  However, now that I've written for several hours today, it's time for a break and then maybe a game of Hearthstone or two, if I can convince the wife that I've worked enough already today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

ANOTHER SCENE 4 - The Father-To-Be

Another Scene 4
The Father-To-Be

            Kevin and his girlfriend Linda were hanging out at the pot store around the corner; they gave them free wax dabs at least once a day, sometimes more.  The longer they hung out, the more ripped they got.  Every Tuesday was Two-Fer Tuesday, ostensibly you bought one hit at $5 and got a second free, but since neither Kevin nor Linda ever paid for their hits, it was kind of irrelevant.  Two O’clock PM, on the second Tuesday in May, Kevin watched his girlfriend gossip with Jill the bud tender while he calmed down from his first wax hit.
            Another regular came in, a Typical Californian surfer type; he owned the vapor store down the road.
            “Dude, I brought a new patient in.  On his way to the hospital, his girl’s having a baby.” No stress to his voice.  No panic in his demeanor.  Said it just like it was any other ordinary day.  This intrigued Kevin to no end.
            “You’re on your way to the hospital?  You stopped here first?”
            “Yeah, it’s just around the corner.  My man needs it, you know, stress.”
            “I can dig that.  Man I wish I could have gone to the club before my kid was born.”  As Kevin said that the prospective father sauntered into the room.  He started rifling through his money nervously, mixing up his ones and his fives. 
            “Hey man, uh what can I get for, twelve dollars?”  He handed the bud tender the sheaf of bills with his new patient ticket on top. 
            “Hey yeah,” she said, “New patients get hooked up.  Hang on to that, I’ll take care of you.”  She turned to gather his free items; she thought it would be a good idea for him to see what he got for being a new patient before he decided how to spend his cash. 
            “I hear congratulations are in order.” Kevin said to the nervous youth.  “Your first?”
            “Yeah.”  He said.  Kevin knew that look on his face.  His life was about to change and he had no clue about any of it.  Happens to every father the first time around, or so Kevin thought. 
            “Have you slept recently?” 
            “Naw man, I ain’t slept in two-days.  She’s drivin’ me crazy.” 
            “Shit girl, set that man up with a dab, he needs it.  He ain’t going to sleep any time soon.” 
            “I hear that.” He said.
            Jill said “Are you ready?”  She held a small crème brulee torch in her hands.  He nodded.  She ignited the torch and trained its blue flame on an inch diameter metal bowl that was attached to the medium sized glass bong.  The bowl, which was known as a Titanium Nail, started to heat up and turned red hot.  When it was ready she killed the torch and placed the metal dental-tool like implement, upon which she had placed a small dab of the beige colored goo, directly onto the surface of the nail.  The youth put his lips on the mouthpiece and started to suck.  The suction produced a milky-white vapor within the bong that was quickly vacated into the young man’s lungs. 
            He came up coughing like he was taking his first drag off his first cigarette ever. 
            “Blow it out quickly.” His friend said.
            “Yeah, don’t hold it in.” Kevin added.  “You don’t need to, it’ll take effect.”  The father-to-be did exactly as he was told and blew out a plume of grayish-white smoke.  Then he coughed some more.  His buddy grabbed him a small cup of water from the dispenser located conveniently behind him.
            “That’ll get you going.” Said Kevin.
            “Oh wow man” the young brother coughed. 
            “You boys can never take your hits properly.” Linda chimed in.  “Watch this, Jilly, hit me up again.”  Jill proceeded to the routine, cleaning off the mouth-piece with a brand new alcohol wipe, grabbing a larger sized dab of wax on her tool, and reheated the nail.  It didn’t take as long to heat up, as there was already a good amount of residual heat left over.  Linda leaned over and sucked through the entire hit of wax in one go.  She held it for the briefest of moments and blew it out, all without coughing.
            “It’s the boobs man.” Kevin laughed out loud.  “She holds it all in her chest.”
            “She’s right, you guys can’t hold your hits.”  Jill said.  “Nothing wrong with that though, just means you get off more.  Am I right?”
            “You ready to have your baby?”  The surfer said to the youth. 
            “Yeah man, let’s get this show on the road.  I got a daughter I haven’t been introduced to yet.”  They walked out.
            “Man, he was way too calm.”  Kevin said once they had left.
            “Were you that calm?”  Jill asked.  Kevin had a son by ex-wife.
            “Hell no.  I was nervous as hell.  And I certainly didn’t get to go to the club right before the shrew gave birth.  I had to have lunch with my Mother across from the hospital.  They kicked me out of the room right before the epidural.”
            “You wouldn’t have wanted to see that anyway.”  Linda spoke up.  “That needle is really long.  I watched my sister get it done and I almost passed out.”
            “I can’t even imagine giving birth right now.” Jill added.  “I can’t even get my own shit together, let alone having to take care of another person.”
            “It’s not easy, that’s for sure.” Kevin replied.  “Not that I’d know, bitch divorced me a week after the baby was born.”
            “Fuck man, I didn’t know that.” Jill sounded surprised.  She really thought she had these two pegged, but they hadn’t been going to the club for all that long.  They just kept coming in over and over.  Linda nodded at her and filled her in.
            “Yeah, Kevin’s ex is a real ball-buster.  He doesn’t even get to be a dad all that much, and when he does get visitation he has to be supervised.”
            “How did that happen?”
            “Her lawyer went after me for this.”  He motioned to the entire store, waving his hands around.  “Said that I’d be a bad influence if I were allowed to be unsupervised.  She changed so much during her pregnancy.  She was my sweet little lotus flower and then she turned into a radical bitch.”
            “Damn, I better not turn into a bitch.”  Jill said.
            “You won’t.”  Linda held her hand.  “You’re such a sweetie.”
            “Are you guys going to have kids?”   Linda let go of her hand quickly as if to say that was not a good question.
            “We’re talking about it, but we don’t even live together yet.”           
            “Oh, I’m sorry.”  She was taken aback.  “I didn’t know.  You’re always coming in together I just thought…”
            “It’s OK.  We live nearby each other, but we’re just not that ready yet.”  Kevin said trying to break the tension.  “Maybe some day.”  He added opening the door to another awkward conversation later.
            “We’d better go.  What do we owe you?”  Linda said abruptly.  “We’ll catch you later.”  After she paid quickly, she hurried Kevin out of the shop.
            “What the fuck Linda?”   Kevin asked her as they walked back to his car.
            “Sorry, I’m just…you know.  I don’t want to talk about that stuff yet.”
            “I know, I’m sorry too.  I just meant, you know maybe some day.”
            “Kevin I don’t need that kind of pressure.  When I’m ready I’ll be ready and I’ll let you know.  Don’t push it.”
            “I wasn’t pushing anything.  I didn’t even bring it up.  She did.”
            “I know, I’m sorry, I’m just…talking about your ex and your kid, I dunno, it just got really weird all of a sudden.”
            “Honey it’s OK, I’m not pushing, whenever you’re ready.”
            “What if I’m never ready?”  She had started to tear up.
            “Well, we’ll deal with that too.  I guess.”  They stopped talking.  After Kevin drove Linda to her apartment he tried to kiss her goodbye, but she wouldn’t have it.  She waved and blew him a kiss then disappeared into her building.


Friday, May 9, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Friday, May 9, 2014

Geeze, it's already the second week of May.  Pretty soon school will be out, Summer will be here and all that jazz.

Time is going too fast for me.   Time distillation is a known thing, as you grow older it appears to you that time goes faster.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ANOTHER SCENE 3 - The Collector 1

The Collector 1
Another Scene 3
By William Noetling

            “When you do a Quentin Tarantino movie marathon, do you start with Pulp Fiction or do you start with Reservoir Dogs?” 

“How is that even a question bro?  You go chronologically.  You always start with Reservoir Dogs.  What’s wrong with you Stevie?”  Kevin gave him a friendly punch in the arm.  Not hard enough to make Stevie drop the take-out bags he was carrying. 

“You say ‘chronologically’, you mean as in order released, but in the overall “TarantinoVerse” doesn’t Pulp take place before Dogs?”  The two continued their walk.

“Well, shit if you were going by that, you’d have to watch Django Unchained first now.  Doesn’t make sense to me.  You always start with Dogs.” 

“Where do you put in True Romance and do you throw in Crimson Tide?”  Stevie was a completist, someone who had to own or have seen everything from something. If Stevie liked something he had to have all of it.  He collected a lot of stuff that he displayed in his studio apartment in Koreatown, though he often told people that what was on display was a mere tip of the proverbial iceberg; that he had an offsite storage unit that held thousands of dollars worth of collectibles.  It wasn’t an exaggeration.

“Now you’re just being weird.  You put True Romance in after Pulp Fiction, and then you go with his segment from Four Rooms.  If you can stomach the entire movie then go for it, but you don’t have to.  From there you go straight into Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Death-Proof.  If you can still keep going you do the two histories.”  Kevin was a pragmatist.  Deep down he knew that no one could possibly watch that many movies in a row without doing heavy damage to their psyche.  The over-the-top gore in Kill Bill alone usually made him squeamish. 

“Come to think of it, you know what I’d do?  I’d do all his main-verse films on one day, and then True Romance, From Dusk ‘til Dawn, and like throw in the piece from Four Rooms and Death-Proof.  Heck if I could find a good copy I’d even watch My Best Friend’s Birthday. 

“What’s that?”

“Oh that’s QT’s first short movie.  The final reel burned, but you can watch the first half hour or so.  It’s on YouTube.”

“Have you seen it?”

“Nah, not yet.  I keep meaning to get around to it.”

“What movie was that where he’s in the kitchen talking about how Top Gun is nothing but a homosexual fantasy?”

Sleep With Me.  One of the many films starring the king of Indies, Eric Stolz.”  That was the good thing about Stevie; his knowledge of film and actors was encyclopedic.  He was the IMDB before the IMDB existed.  “One of two movies that the King and Queen of 90’s Indies appeared in together.”

“The Queen of Indies?  Who’s that?”

“Parker Posey of course.  Where were you in the 90’s?”

“Getting laid.”

“So funny.” Stevie didn’t really have much of a sense of humor when it came to his lack of a sex life, and was pretty upset by that last comment.  They remained quiet until they reached their destination, Stevie’s apartment building. 

“Hey I thought of a great movie marathon, see if you can figure out the theme:  Blow Up, The Conversation and Blow Out.”  This was Kevin’s way of apologizing to Stevie.  Kevin only started a conversation about film if he’d previously insulted Stevie in some manner.  Since Stevie had a pretty thin skin regarding his various foibles, Kevin had become pretty adept at making amends via talking about his friend’s favorite subjects. 

“C’mon in, that’s pretty lame you know.” He opened the front door of the building with his key and they entered the shabby lobby.  “Lemme check my mail, I’m waiting for some packages.”  He disappeared into the alcove where the mail boxes were kept and came back holding two small and one medium sized brown boxes; one obviously from Amazon, it’s smile upside-down.

“What’d you get?” Kevin inquired sheepishly as they made their way to the elevator.

“The big one ought to be the Buffy Blu-ray set, and these other two are cards I think.”  He hit the button for the second floor.  The elevator smelled like insect spray and body odor, fortunately both men were well aware of the lingering scent and had prepared by covering their noses with their hands, a ritual that was repeated by many other residents in the building, often.

“Geeze man, don’t you already have Buffy?”  They walked over to Stevie’s apartment door and as he put the key in, he said:

“Well, yeah, I had the DVD, this is the Blu-Ray.  Besides it was really cheap.  I can sell the DVD set and recoup what I spent on this one believe it or not.”

“Jesus, look at this place.” Kevin said as he entered.  “You’re spending way too much money on this crap.  I mean, have some restraint.  I KNOW you’ve seen 40-Year-Old Virgin; we sat here and watched it.  Dude, that movie wasn’t a primer, it was a cautionary tale, and you my friend, need some caution.”

“What?”  He’d acquired a few new collectibles since Kevin had been over last, and maybe had added a few new art pieces on the wall.  He didn’t see the issue.

“I thought you were done with comics?  You said to me, ‘I can download every comic I want to read, I don’t need to be buying anymore.’  Didn’t you?”

“Well, yeah.  That’s true.  And I am, how do you think I’m able to buy all this other stuff?  Well, I’m SELLING my comics on eBay.  I take that dough and buy other stuff.  See it’s all cool.  I got this under control.

“I’m worried about you man.  You’re going to end up like that dude down the hall, the one who OD’ed and fell into the coma.  Remember when they pulled him outta there?  All that Robotech shit he had?  That’s you in a few years.”

“Dude, I’m way better than that dude.  I go out of the house.  I work.  I make enough money, what’s your problem?”

“I just, man, I wanna see you happy man, that’s all.”

“Whattya mean?  I am happy.  I don’t care about women right now man.  I’m fine.  I gots my stuff, my movies, and my freedom.”

“Seriously man?”

“Yeah, I’m fine all-right.  Siddown and eat your dinner.  Sheesh.”  He handed Kevin his take-out bag.

The Daily WiLL - Wednesday May 7, 2014

Yesterday I needed something to write to; music in the background wasn't really cutting it.  Melissa likes to watch movies she's seen dozens of times before when she works, and a good portion of our DVD collection is exactly that.  I actually pared down my DVD collection some years ago from a maximum of over 600 to the much more managable 350 or so.  I barely buy them anymore, preferring to download digitally or stream.  That's the wave of the future, that's my vision for entertainment going forward, being able to instantly call up any movie or tv show on demand.  We're almost there.  But I digress...

The film I chose yesterday to view, because I've seen in dozens of times, was Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.  I thought I had Reservoir Dogs, but turns out I must have sold it off, because it's not there.  Besides I've seen that movie just as many times already.  Mel's not quite as into Dogs either because it's so bloody.  I thought I would continue the QT theme with Jackie Brown today, and we'll try to do all of Kill Bill tomorrow, with Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained to follow, neither of which Mel has even seen yet.

On top of providing entertainment the film festival gave me a theme for a new short-story which has been started.  I think I may go a bit longer with this one, so it's taking me a little longer to write.  Which is perfectly fine sometimes.  I'm not doing much writing today sadly.  The amount of output I've created recently is about the level that I'd like to do on a regular basis, so a day off here and there won't kill me.  That said, I think I'll flip over to Word now and work on something a bit more worthwhile than my blog.  Not that the blog isn't worthwhile.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Monday Cinco De Mayo, MMXIV

Not a great weekend to be 100% honest.

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day - so I dragged the wife and child to three different comic stores in the city of Angels, (Cool Cat Comics, Dream World and Pulp Fiction) and obtained a HUGE stack of freebies for both me and Kaylee.  She loves free comics, and the two of us had a great time.  My wife, not-so-much.  The crowds annoyed her to no end, and let's face it, these stores are pretty small, so you're packed in like sardines.  Also, something about "FREE" gets people into a place where they lose the most basest of decency and become greedy bastards.

Not only did I drag them to comic stores, but I made them go to Toys R Us for a free Lego Mini-Model build.  Kaylee got a really cute X-Wing fighter for free, but again, the crowd and the lack of common courtesy really blew chunks.  Fortunately Mel didn't experience that mess, she bought a fan from the Rite-Aid next door.

After running around all morning we shipped our kid off with some friends for a concert they asked her to go to - Trumpet of the Swan at the Annenberg Performance Center, which apparently is their first major production!  Meanwhile we trekked down to Marina Del Rey to meet up with a friend of Melissa's that she hadn't seen since before she moved to LA in 2000!  I'd say it was a comedy of errors, but matter-of-fact it wasn't much fun.  We got to see Meg for about five minutes before we had to get back to get Kaylee and ship her off to Grandma's for the night.  See we were supposed to spend the evening with Meg and her friends.  However, then Meg was gifted with tickets to Book of Mormon which was cool, she was supposed to come by our place, after, meet up and then we were all supposed to go to a party.

Except that last part didn't happen.  We waited around all night and she never showed.  It really kind of sucked.  Especially for Melissa, who didn't let it show then.  At least the Kings won their playoff game against the hated Ducks, and it was dramatic (overtime!).

So yesterday we picked up the house, went to the Girl Scouts Bowling Fund-Raiser at Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica, had Pizza and relaxed.  But my wife was in a bad place all day, and there wasn't anything to do but give her space and let her work it out for herself.  Which she has done, and today we're back to "work".

I'm working on my Dad's manuscript; I'm finished with the first chapter (five pages of text).  I think I can actually re-type it faster than I can fix the scanned copy.  Either way though, it's a difficult task.  Not daunting mind you, it's only a 160 page manuscript, and I'm 5 pages in having only done about two hours worth of real work, and a majority of that was the scanning itself.  No it's the material and the feelings that it brings up within me.

That said, I was doing a bit of research on the subject of LZ Sally and found a really cool web-archive, which I've contacted to see if anyone remembers my Dad.  I hope so.

I decided that I'm not going to my last Standup Class tonight, because of the playoffs, but I'll make it up in June (on the 16th I think).  Kind of searching for a theme for my next short-story.  I'm really enjoying  writing these short fictions. Maybe I'll even pull out my manuscript for my first novel Three Fools In Search of Utopia and work on adapting the best of that material into short fictions.

SOmething about a future and oyster?  Yes please.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Sunday May 4, 2014

Happy Star-Wars Day,

"May the Fourth Be With You."

Honestly I always thought it was dumb.  We don't need a Star Wars day.  And if we did, it should be May 25, the date that the original was released to the world in 1977.


I'm feeling very energized about my writing lately, I've been strongly encouraged by some pretty respectable people to get off my ass and write as much as possible.  So I really have been making time to do so.  The two short-stories posted here earlier this week prove that.  I wrote 'Bar-Mitzvah' last night after being inspired by my favorite English Professor Joeseph Dimuro.  He posted on Facebook that he'd been at a Bar-Mitzvah for over 8 hours, which triggered a link to "Groundhog Day" and thus a joke/story was born.

Tomorrow is my last night of Stand-Up Class with Greg Dean.  I know the hard-sell for the Advanced class is coming, but I'm not ready for the class, and we can't really afford it right now.  Besides I got out of this class what I wanted: joke writing.

Later today we are going Bowling with the girl-scouts.  I'm somewhat excited, I love bowling, not going to love the crowd.  Ah well.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

ANOTHER SCENE 2 - Trapped at the Bar Mitzvah

Trapped at the Bar Mitzvah.
A Short-Story by William M. Noetling

            Leonard and Michael sat at the bar, each drinking their favorite beer.  Leonard preferred Miller Genuine Draft, and Michael was a Heineken man, though they both a hoppy craft brew every now and again.  Michael clearly thought he had better taste in beers, while Leonard had never even clearly thought about which beer he preferred. 
The two of them sat on their stools, drinking drafts and pawing the peanut bowls.  Every now and again one of them would get up and head to the back of the bar where they had to smoke these days.  They virtually never took the same smoke break together.  Figured that they spent enough time sitting next to each other at the bar that a few moments alone would be a good thing.  You could tell when one was angry with the other by how fast they’d go through a pack of smokes.
            Floyd the barkeep would saunter over every now and again to see if the boys needed anything.  They rarely did, except for a refill of their beers and their bowls.  This time he asked a question, one they expected every once in awhile.  Where was Dave? 
            Dave, the non-smoking third member of the drinking crew was at a Bar Mitzvah Leonard said.
            “I didn’t even know he was Jewish.”
            “So am I.” Leonard replied.  “What’s it to ya?”
            “Hey, no offense man, it’s the 21st century, live and let live.”  Floyd didn’t like confrontation.
            “Yeah, well.”  Leonard snorted.
            “Why aren’t you there?”  Michael asked.
            “Hunh?  Oh I don’t know the family.  It’s Michael’s Uncle’s Kid or something.”
            “I’ve never been to one.”  Michael said.
            “Lucky you.  I hate ‘em myself.”  Leonard drank.
            “Didn’t you have one?”
            “Hell no.  You gotta go to Hebrew School for like three years, and you gotta learn how to recite the bible in Hebrew.  It’s torture.  My folks asked me if I wanted one, and my dumb ass said ‘nope’.  They sent me to frickken music school instead.  Fat lotta good that did.” 
Michael took a swing of beer, then said:
            “Sounds like you wanted one.  But you hate ‘em.  How’s that work?”
            “You get a FAT paycheck man.  And they throw you a huge party; these days they cost more than weddings.  You should see the Jews in my neighborhood try to out-do each other.  Like if one has a photo-booth, the next one has to have a video booth and a candy bar.  Or whatever.  Spread’s usually pretty nice though.  And they usually have open bars.”
            “Hell yes, no wonder Dave’s over there.  You know how much he hates paying his bar tab.”  Floyd’s ears perked up and his eyes opened wider, almost like a dog that was just told he was going for a walk.  None of those three ever paid their tabs. 
            “Plus some of the older Jewish girls can really get ya, if you know what I mean?”  Leonard elbowed Michael in the ribs.  The entire bar knew what Leonard meant.
            “Still, awful way to waste a Sunday.  Could be watching Football.”
            “So could we.”
            “Yeah, but then we’d have to ask Floyd to turn on the TV.”  Floyd dutifully got up and turned on the TV, and then sat back down on his stool.  The fuzz finally coalesced into a blurry picture through which you could almost tell a Football Game was happening.  It appeared that there was a player dressed in red injured, though neither barfly could tell. 
            “Who’s playing?”  Dave said.
            “When did you show up?”  Leonard asked.
            “I thought you were trapped at a Bar Mitzvah.”  Michael added.
            “Whoever said I was trapped?  It’s not like they locked the doors and wouldn’t let us out until we spoke a brucha.”
            “Can you imagine?”
            “Being trapped at a Bar Mitzvah? Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only you’re trapped at the worst Bar Mitzvah ever.  Every time you heard the hora you’d want to stab your ears.”  Dave laughed at his own joke.  Leonard joined in, but Michael didn’t really get it.  Two against one, that’s the way it was.  The teams changed, but the paradigm never shifted. 
        “After awhile chopped liver and hummus would make you want to puke.”  Leonard said.
        “Uch, can you imagine?” 
        “Though, the open bar would be nice.”
             “What if they didn’t have an open bar?  You said it was the worst bar mitzvah ever.  Maybe they only had Manischewitz?”
        “What’s that?”  Michael asked.
        “Kosher wine.”  Dave responded.  “It’s vile.  Reminds me of Passover when I was twelve and allowed to drink at the Seder.  I got totally blitzed and had to lie down in between the four-questions and the ten-plagues.  My Grandmother was pissed.”
        “Yeah, that stuff will get you.”  Leonard added.  “And at Passover you drink like four glasses of wine BEFORE you eat dinner.  It’s like they want you to just say ‘forget about the food, let’s get drunk.’”
        “Exactly.”  Michael said.  “Let’s get drunk.”

They did.



The Daily WiLL - Saturday May 3, 2014

Today is Free Comic Book Day - what's that you say?  Well, every first Saturday in May they give away Free Comics at your local Comic Book store.  NOT every store participates, but I'd say a good 90% of them do.  Basically the deal is this, the comic book companies produce specific comics to promote their upcoming series, then the stores buy them at a very very reduced rate and just give them away to customers.  MOST stores will limit you to a few books per person so that everyone gets some, and that's fine.  I go to multiple stores to make sure I get everything that I want.

FBCD was started in 2002 to coincide with the original Spider-Man movie.  The idea came from a column and then was championed by Mark Silvestri then of Image Comics.  12 years later they're STILL going strong.  Every year brings something fun that you didn't even know existed.  Two years ago Archaia Entertainment gave away a free Hardcover Anthology that included the uber-popular Mouse-Guard, and the first original comics based on Jim Henson's Labyrinth.  They didn't do that last year but they did again this year, and the Labryinth story is utterly charming.

SOME of the free comics end up being worth quite a bit too...for example, the Scott Pilgrim free issue from 2010 has sold recently on eBay for up to $20.  The Sixth Gun from Oni Press also sells for about that much, and a reprint of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a couple years ago is in that range as well.

Some companies use the opportunity to create "yearly series" - like Bongo Comics - publishers of The Simpsons and Futurama.  The late Michael Turner's company Aspen has produced a book each and every year as well.  Marvel and DC usually use the day to promote whatever their big Summer Crossover is going to be, though this year Marvel went all Guardians of the Galaxy and DC only did one book for their next New 52 series.

Even during lean times when I wasn't really collecting comics, I'd go to FCBD and drag my wife and daughter along with just because more bodies equals more free comics.  At this point it's probably easier to figure out what I didn't get than what I did, though in going through the list I did miss a bunch.   Oh well, nothing too dramatic though, nothing that I'll miss.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Thursday, May 1, 2014 - MAY DAY - Family

Happy May Day.  Happy Beltane.  Spring is here, though it feels more like Summer today, being that it's currently 85 F.

I am feeling very in touch with my Father lately; especially today.  Yesterday at the urging of some new friends I dug out the manuscript that my Father wrote about his escapades in Vietnam in 1968, and I read through the entire thing.  I hadn't read it in over 20 years, and time had actually completely softened my feelings towards the thing.  Where in 1987 when I initially read it, for the first time I might add, I must have still been quite angry at my Dad for dying, because I didn't think the writing was all that good, nor did I think that the stories were all that interesting.

That's not to say it's a masterpiece in the making.  It's a draft.  With some editing and perhaps some adaptation it could make a great monologue or stage play.  It might even be an interesting film, there's certainly enough material.  The thing is though, it's hard for me to even picture the character of the narrator, even though he was my own father.  Maybe this is where I can bring my skills to the table.  In any case, the material is mine to do with as I please, as it turns out, it pleases me to be able to read it, and transcribe it.  I'll most likely post the raw material here on my blog or perhaps another blog may be in order.

I managed to scan the entire 150+ page manuscript into Rich Text Format this afternoon.  Unfortunately I've now got 150+ RTF files to copy and paste into word.  Actually that work is kind of fun for me, and I've always been good at it.  I've already got two script-pages completed in a format that could be presentable.

Maybe I'm ready to deal with the family issues of my paternal side.  I don't really know to be honest.  The fact that they're all dead hasn't been lost upon me.  My namesake William Zook Noetling died over a year before I was born (October 29, 1969 to be precise).  His wife, my Grandmother Ruth Leona Rodd died in 1999, my Father pre-deceased her in 1987 and most recently my Uncle Daniel Rodd Noetling died last year.

I am,  by no means, the last Noetling on the planet.  My Ancestor Dr. William Noetling was born December 19, 1776 in Plochingen, Germany, and moved to Pennsylvania in 1824.  He married Elizabeth Zulauf and they had three boys, the eldest of which, also a William, is my progenitor.  The other two children Charles and John both had families and are still represented with decendents today.  I haven't met them yet, but I know they exist.