Archive for August, 2011

August 25, 2011

Dream Journal

How goes it, readers?

If any of you know me personally, you’ll know that I rarely have nice, happy dreams. It seems that nightmares are a sort of specialty of my brain’s. I’ve accepted this aspect of my life and rather than try to ruin them with sleep meds or hypnosis, I’ve decided to keep a dream journal. It’s a neat little thing for anyone, really. Here’s what I do:

Leave a notebook and pen on your bedside table or under your pillow. If you wake up in the middle of the night (or in the morning) with a dream or nightmare still fresh in your mind, write down everything you can remember, like prominent colors, people, locations and key events. Don’t worry about the linear pattern of the dream at this stage; just write what comes to mind first. Afterwards, read over what you wrote and try to think of the linear story line of the dream, if there is one. Remember, sometimes your dreams don’t make sense. They could just be a string of random events or people that don’t seem to really fit together.

From my experience, writing down your dreams can have several different effects on what you dream after you go back to sleep. Sometimes, writing them down can help you return to the dream once you fall back to sleep. Other times, it separates you from the dream, making it so you can’t have that dream again. There’s also some in-between with this; sometimes you have a different dream with some of the same people or places.

I don’t pretend to be an expert. This is all just from what I’ve experienced. I’ve tried writing for a week and then not writing the next, and I’ve realized that by writing in my journal, I have some control over which dreams recur and which dreams don’t. It’s not foolproof, by any means. But, it’s a step in the right direction for me.

A few short stories should come from this dream journal, don’t you worry.


August 25, 2011

My Beautiful People List

I love beautiful people. They make the interwebs amazing. Here is a list of almost all the people I find completely beautiful (in no particular order).

  1. Naya Rivera
  2. Andy Whitfield
  3. Chris Pine
  4. Heather Morris
  5. Ryan Reynolds
  6. Emma Stone
  7. Darren Criss
  8. Timothy Olyphant
  9. Mila Kunis
  10. Adriana Lima
  11. Gisele Bündchen
  12. Lindsay Lohan
  13. Rupert Grint
  14. Camilla Belle
  15. Kelli Hutcherson
  16. Sam Worthington
  17. Blake Lively
  18. Lyndsy Fonseca
  19. Chris Colfer
  20. Natalie Portman
  21. Kate Winslet
  22. Jake Gyllenhaal
  23. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  24. Rachelle Leah
  25. Gabrielle Union
  26. Mark Wahlberg
  27. Nicki Minaj
  28. Scarlett Johansson
  29. Mark Salling
  30. Olivia Wilde
  31. Laura Vandervoort
  32. Christina Aguilera
  33. Justin Timberlake
  34. Ciara
  35. Rosie Whiteley
  36. Sofia Vergara
  37. Hugh Laurie
  38. Dianna Agron
  39. Sarah Shahi
  40. James Franco
  41. Britney Spears
  42. Robert Downey, Jr.
  43. Brittany Snow
  44. Rihanna
  45. Matt Cohen
  46. Cobie Smulders
  47. Katie Cassidy
  48. Leonardo DiCaprio
  49. Rachel McAdams
  50. Johnny Depp
  51. Edward Norton
  52. Matt Damon
  53. Brad Pitt
  54. Michael Weatherly
  55. Anna Paquin
  56. James Mcavoy
  57. Bradley Cooper
  58. Yvonne Strahovski
  59. Chris Evans
  60. Michael C. Hall
  61. Ellen Page
  62. Hayden Christensen
  63. Jessica Stam
  64. Emma Watson
  65. Zac Efron
  66. Shia Lebeouf
  67. Adam Brody
  68. Paul Rudd
  69. Angelina Jolie
  70. Cory Monteith
  71. Eliza Dushku
  72. Chace Crawford
  73. Channing Tatum
  74. Genevieve Padalecki
  75. Joshua Jackson
  76. Alex O’Loughlin
  77. Andrew-Lee Potts
  78. Evan Rachel Wood
  79. Ewan McGregor
  80. David Tennant
  81. Chord Overstreet
  82. Eva Mendes
  83. Kaley Cuoco
  84. Josh Hartnett
  85. Alecia “Pink” Moore
  86. Alicia “Keys” Cook
  87. Kate Hudson
  88. Keira Knightley
  89. Justin Long
  90. Chris Brown
  91. Stefani J.A. Germanotta
  92. Kate Moss
  93. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles
  94. Selena Gomez
  95. Anne Hathaway
  96. Jennifer Aniston
  97. Matt Bomer
  98. Ashley Greene
  99. Elijah Wood
  100. Dakota Fanning
  101. Daniel Radcliffe
  102. Mandy Moore
  103. Jude Law
  104. Amanda Seyfried
  105. Kate Beckinsale
  106. Demi Lovato
  107. Zooey Deschanel
  108. Amy Adams
  109. Amanda Bynes
  110. Hailee Steinfeld
  111. Anna Kendrick
  112. Zoe Saldana
  113. Summer Glau
  114. Ayumi Hamasaki
  115. Kristen Bell
  116. Katee Sackhoff
  117. Francia Raisa
  118. Minka Kelly
  119. Katerina Graham
  120. Heath Ledger
  121. Jessica Alba
  122. Freddie Stroma
  123. Tom Felton
  124. Amber Heard
  125. James Marsden
  126. Tyra Banks
  127. Matthew MacFayden
  128. Talulah Riley
  129. Helena Bonham Carter
  130. Penn Badgley
  131. Michael Fassbender
  132. Evangeline Lilly
  133. Candice Swanepoel
  134. Alessandra Ambrosio


August 25, 2011


She stood there, staring at an enormous blank canvas. Her hair was pulled up in a messy, sloppy bun and sat in a frizzy heap on the top of her head. She had a piece of charcoal in one hand and a can of dark indigo spray paint in the other. She had been standing in the same place for over an hour. Aside from occasionally rubbing her nose or adjusting her glasses, she stood completely still. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6, Pathétique, played quietly from the loft of the open studio apartment.


She had no idea how to fill the space. She closed her eyes and clenched her fists. She felt her knees lock beneath her. As the song reached a grand crescendo, a tear left her eye and she squeezed her hands so tightly that her charcoal snapped, covering her fingers in black dust.


She looked down at her hand and breathed deeply before hurling the useless bits of charcoal at the empty canvas. Some of the pieces shattered against the white, leaving dark smudges in their place before they fell to the floor. She dropped her paint can and walked away.


She dragged her feet as she wandered to her small, disheveled kitchen and washed the dust and smudges of spray paint off of her hands. Her eyes followed the steam as it rose from the sink until she met her own gaze in the window in front of her. There was a dark smudge on the side of her nose. She raised a hand to wash the smudge away, dripping hot, soapy water onto her t-shirt and the hardwood. Turning off the sink and shaking the excess water from her hands into the basin, she cursed under her breath. She tried to reach across a messy pile of china for a rag to dry her hands, but slipped on the small puddle and her elbow crashed into the china, sending them cascading onto the floor.


She sighed and slumped onto floor next to the pile of shattered plates. Tears of frustration began to stream down her cheeks and her face burned with anger. She kicked the china, smashing bits and pieces into kitchen cabinets. After a couple minutes of thrashing about, she calmed down. She stood and walked to a small closet. She grabbed a broom and dustpan to clean her mess.


Just as she got back to the pile, the doorbell rang. Frustration set in again and she threw the broom and dustpan down with loud thuds on the hardwood floor. She marched over to the door, muttering curses the whole way, and pulled it open.


With the door still in mid-swing, she blurted, “What do you need?”


A tall man stood at the door. He had his hands clasped in front of him and was staring at her intently. “Uh, hi. ‘Member me, Riley?”


A familiar voice jolted her to attention. She looked up. A handsome Marine in his dress uniform stood before her. He didn’t smile, but his eyes brightened as he saw her looking back at him. She stood there for a moment, looking the Marine up and down. In the few seconds she spent studying him, she noticed several things. She noticed a long, jagged scar on his right hand. Also, there was a scuff mark on his left shoe, but otherwise, they were polished and gleaming. His eyes were blue, as they had always been. The scar was over a decade old; an accident in his father’s auto body shop when he was fourteen awarded him that particular trophy. And the scuff on his shoe was undoubtedly from some unkind step or ladder rung, as this Marine developed a slight limp in his walk after a high school football accident. The Marine hadn’t changed much since she last saw him over four years ago.


She closed her eyes. She felt her knees locking again and she clenched her fists, as she had before.  Pathétique was still playing in the background. She inhaled and exhaled slowly, then spoke with an unusual calm.


“Why are you here, Liam?”


A surprised look took over his face. He had expected a different, more pleasant greeting. Stammering, he said, “I heard you lived here. I–I wanted to come say hi.”


Emotionless, without missing a beat, she replied, “Well, you’ve said hi, twice. Is there anything else I can do for you? I’m busy.”


Liam fought desperately to avoid rolling his eyes, but was unsuccessful. He sighed, “Oh come on, Riley. Don’t be that way. Can’t we just be civil and make up for lost time?” He let his hands fall to his sides and sighed, “I just wanted to see you. I just–” He shrugged. “I guess I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”


She was getting impatient. Her stare grew colder and her eyebrow rose in disgust as he continued.


“I came here to apologize. I shouldn’t have left things the way I did. But I came here to make things right,” he pleaded. Riley closed her eyes. She could feel her nails digging into the palms of her hands.


“What can I say to make things better, Riley? Just tell me and I’ll do it. I want to fix this, babe.”


“Don’t call me that,” she snapped. “I’m not your babe. I’m not anything to you anymore. If you don’t recall, the night you ran off with that girl is when you lost me. You can’t just apologize and expect things to suddenly go back to normal, Liam.”


She could feel her anger building up inside of her. Everything she had wanted to say for the past four years was spilling out of her brain and rushing towards her tongue like a raging river. She was suddenly engulfed in four years of pain and anger and heartache. She could feel herself losing control of the situation. If she snapped now and showed her weakness, he would win.


Riley stepped back into her apartment and closed the door, locking it almost immediately after it clicked shut.




She walked to the kitchen, picked up her broom and dustpan and began to sweep up the broken china.


“Riley, please come back out and talk to me.”


After she finished cleaning up the mess, she returned the broom and dustpan to their original places inside the closet. Then, she fumbled through the closet and found a half a dozen cans of spray paint in an assortment of blues and grays. She also managed to find a can of bright red spray paint. The color reminded her of the old, beat-up fire engine her father used to take her on rides in when she was little.


“Riley, please! I said I was sorry. I said I want to make it up to you. Just let me fix it, please!” Liam shouted from the hall. Riley heard him banging on the door, trying to get her attention.


She walked back out to the canvas, cradling the seven cans in her arms. Back to her spot in front of the blank, she let the cans fall onto the tarp at her feet. She listened to each clank as the cans fell. The last can to fall was steel blue; it was running low.


“Riley! Why won’t you just talk to me? We can’t fix this if you don’t talk to me!”


Riley turned towards the door, but only for a moment. Then, she adjusted herself to face the stairs to the loft. She jogged up the steps and walked over to her stereo, where the symphony was still playing quietly. She turned a knob, bringing the music to an almost deafening volume. She turned the speakers out to face her work space and then went back downstairs.


“Please, Riley, please! Let me in,” Liam was still outside, pounding on the door and yelling. But, Riley could scarcely hear.


Back to her original place, she picked up a can of slate gray paint and sighed. Eyes closed, she rubbed her nose and adjusted her glasses. The pounding on the door began to fade into the background of the symphony’s finale. Riley stepped forward and began to work.





Two hours and two symphonies later, Riley finished her piece. The pounding on the door had stopped, the yelling and begging had ceased, and the music was adjusted back to a normal volume.


As she reviewed her work, she smiled. The white background was adorned with steel gray and UCLA blue splashes of color. Soft blues rolled down the canvas, ending in round pools at the bottom. Gray puffs, like smoke, seemed to dance around the light blue streams before drifting off into an unseen part of the painting. Then, heavy, rigid slashes of red streaked across the canvas.


She was almost beaming with pride. But, something was missing. She breathed, “Almost there,” and stepped up to the canvas again.


She bent down and picked up the largest piece of broken charcoal she could find. Crouching down, she marked several short, quick lines near the bottom of the canvas. They looked like slanted tallies from some old handwritten score book. Still hunched over, she etched one dark, jagged line a few feet above and slightly to the left of little tic marks. Then, she stood drew two eyes, floating out of the pool of light blue.


She stepped back and viewed the piece as a whole. Nodding to herself, she was satisfied. Dropping the charcoal onto the tarp, she crossed the hardwood floor to the stairs. She struggled up the steps, exhausted from the long hours past, and wandered to the stereo. Pathétique played quietly still and she thought about leaving it on for the night, but instead switched the stereo off. The symphony had run its course a dozen times already; it’s job was done for now. She scuffled over to her bed and sat at the edge. She just barely managed to kick off her shoes before falling backwards and drifting to sleep. For the first time in a long while, she had fallen asleep without wishing a good night to Liam. And, for the first time in years, that was fine by her.

August 25, 2011


I don’t care to be awake right now. I honestly don’t understand why the majority of the population sleeps, as is natural, while I, alone and wide awake, sit here in silence and cover of night. This night shift is brutal. My biological clock leaves a buzzing in my ear every morning when I go to sleep and every evening when I rise. This is taking its toll on me. Hopefully, as the weeks and months pass, I’ll become accustomed to this new routine.

I miss her.

Back-breaking labor has never been kind. I hear my very bones creak and moan in distress. Though I feel little pain during my conscious hours, I know of the hardships that my body endures. It arises in my dreams. While I sleep, my body releases its pains, passing them to my mind like a message. My muscles bear a warning to not stretch myself too thin, but alas, I will not heed. This pain is necessary, if I’m ever to see her again.

Why did she have to go?

That night was cold. I remember standing on the drive, barefoot and broken. She said that I was nothing and that I was worthless. She called me names and shouted curses, so loud they seemed to shake the heavens. I can recall every word she said. And they were all true. She drove away and I’ve since seen her only in my nightmares. Every dream now, however beautiful and bright, is sad. Every fond memory is wraught with despair. The once tender moments we’ve shared are like ruins in my mind. But never fading.

I wonder if she’s forgotten me. She once said she’d never forget me. But, then again, she also said she’d never leave. At times, I question her statement. There are days where I truly believe that she has ripped the pages of me from her mind. I sometimes think that she has already found another and is already sharing with him the beautiful things she had once shared with only me.

But, part of me remains hopeful. I pray that one day, she’ll return. This is why I force myself to through each day, working harder and harder at everything I do so that maybe, when she comes back, she will see that I have changed and that I am a better man for her than I was. I’ve given up my vices. No drink sustains me, for I thirst only for her. There is no smoke nor card game nor whore that can dissuade me from her. I crave nothing now, but her.

Once-friends have said that I am beaten, that I am broken, for altering as I have. But these once-friends are still being tormented by bill collectors. I am not. These once-friends still stumble down the avenues drunk and displeased with life. I do not. For her, I am altered; because of her, I am better.

She’ll come back and I will keep her this time.