Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Code word

She bit her bottom lip, leered at him, and stated "I don't want you to go. You belong here with me." He smiled, kissed her sweetly and walked away. Stopping by the doorway to pick up and put on his shirt, he leaned back and said "Sorry about this second job at the pizza pub. Text if you need me." She leaned over, picked up her phone and began typing. As he got to the door, he read her message, "Don't need you right now. I will later. If you read the word anchovies, you'll know what I'm really thinking."

*blogger's note* - This is my latest entry for @velvetverbosity 's 100 word challenge at http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ . It is part of my story, Hellandback, still being worked on for http://www.nanowrimo.org/ . This week one word prompt for the 100 word challenge is ANCHOVIES. It's from one of my favorite books, The Garden of Eden by one of my favorite authors, Ernest Hemingway. Please read the book before on in lieu of seeing the movie, out in December.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hellandback 10

Years had gone since her name was spoken. Only two people in his life even knew she had existed. Did he really see her in mirror? Dean became conspiratorial. The man in the black suit was manipulating him, he knew it was something like that. He made a phone call he knew he would regret. "Perfect timing Dean. You need to meet with the band now. I have to do some business for an hour or so, they're rehearsing," the voice on the other end, Lark McKissic said. Dean didn't know how to broach the subject so he just said it, "i think I saw Fiona, but I need to know if he messes with your head at all." Lark, had no time for deep discussion of the man in the black suit's mind games, but she needed to get Dean in the fold, "yeah. we are in the game now Dean. The head stuff is pure him. You have to block it out for now. When we get to New York, then you can deal with it. The Jennings Warehouse block is located at 521 Jennings Drive. Once you get hear, follow the cigarette smoke, bikinis, and guitar chords. Take over if you want. I have had it with you musicians today. See you in two hours before the show." Dean hung up with saying goodbye and left the townhouse. Lark pulled into the Seashell and saw the police cruiser lights and parked behind the dumpters so she could get to the room without being detected. Cocoa Beach Police had not secured the crime scene in the room, everything and everyone was outside where Greg had "jumped". She walked into the room, put on surgical gloves, and removed a piece of paper and an envelope containing cash from her bag. She put them on the floor next to the bed under the nightstand, curiously, next to the Bible. Lark closed her eyes and breathed in a deep breath, something she always did when she was doing something she knew was wrong. She looked around for anything pertinent and saw a green notebook. Inside the notebook were financial figures and information about Agent Tangelo's business dealings. At first, she put the notebook inside her bag, then she thought of something more convenient. She took out a pen of the same color as the writing in the notebook and began changing some of the figure and adjusting other numbers. She left the notebook next to the paper, the envelope and the Bible. Lark left the room and removed her gloves and put them in her jacket pocket. She took a different route to her car. No one saw what she had done.

Mallory walked into the Applebee's she had been in earlier that day. She saw Evelyn in being served a drink from BeeGee. The tiny laugh from Evelyn made Mallory smile. That was the appeal of BeeGee. She a small group of wickedly humored people happy for the most bizarre reason. "Please tell me you sat at this table by accident Ev?" asked Mallor, ficitiously. "After the day I've had, I needed some boob decor with an adult beverage," said Evelyn as she sipped her vodka collins. "I don't want to cry about Dean. Our situation is so whacked right now Mal, but I am concerned about him. Just be honest with me. Please don;t feel you're being disloyal, I just need to understand what kind of mess he's either in or about," Evelyn opined. Mallory answered, "Did you see the woman he was tattoing when you came by the shop earlier?" Ev shook her head yes and took another drink. BeeGee was back and asked Mallory for her order. Mallory ordered a beer and started talking more, "Her name is Lark McKissic. You may have heard of her. She's the Vice President or head bitchy manager of destroying people's crap of Gotham Media Evil Empire up in New York." Ev cautiously asked "She knows Dean from his band days, right." Mallory shook her head yes and kept going, "she was like a rock groupie, A&R scout, butt-kisser when Dean and his band were going on. My mom knew both of them well. My mom doesn't talk about those times. She was pregnant and then had me in the middle of all that time and combine that with her drug and man history, it's not something we talk about over bacon and eggs. Deal is something happened back then. Dean's back didn't make it, Lark did, and there was Days of our Lives type drama that no one dare discuss." Ev stopped Mal and bravely asked, "but today Dean and Lark decide to reminisce over tattoos and Agent Tangelo fandom?" Mallory didn't answer her. She took her beer from BeeGee and took a large gulp. Then said, "I think Dean's being brought back into Lark's music business world but I don;t know why. My mom agrees with me but even she's being coy and secretive about it all. My deal is we pay close attention to Dean tonight at the show. Bonnie's covering for me at the shop. My friend Geo is going with me, but I told him I was staying close to you and Dean, he's cool with that." The two women kept talking and never ordered food. They did order another round of drinks.

Dean arrived at the warhouse block and picked up a backpack carrying the contract from his office safe and followed two young girls as they went into the warehouse to hear Agent Tangelo rip through their rock song Just Can't Hear. The chords were rough, even dirty but they sounded tight. The band finished the song and saw Dean. Silas put down his guitar amongst clapping from the dozen onlookers, 9 of which were teenage girls. "Dean, welcome to the ATFunhouse. What did you think?" Silas asked enthusiastically. "Um, well, it was rockin'. Drake, it's Drake, right? I really like the chord progrssion. The slide technique on the bridge is very different. Cool." Drake said thank you and feigned interest in Dean being there. Silas asked, "So, um, our favorite record company She-Devil said you were going to help us for a while?" Dean took the contract out of his backpack and threw it on the formica table in front of them. "There it is. Black and white reality. I've read every word of that thing maybe 100 times and I still don;t understand all of it. Yet, over twenty years ago I signed it. I was drunk when I signed it. Which is a good thing, had I been sober I might have thrown it in the garbage and I would have never sniffed the charts, MTV, or two blondes at one time at the bottom of the Hollywood sign." Silas chuckled, so did Kyle, the other two looked away, waiting for the hasbeen to shut up. Dean kept talking, "do what you want guys. I know you liked Greg and think I'm some loser from a two bit two hit hair band that Nirvana killed. Technically, Queensryche killed my band and others like it with Opertation Mind Crime and Silent Lucidity. Extreme didn't help things with More than Words. We won't even talk about Warrant. That's a joke, but I don;t really make jokes so it isn't funny. The point, guys, is the next 9 or so days of your life will be more important emotionally, artistically and financially than you'll ever think about the rest of your lives. You want some insight, I can try to give that to you. You want some recording and performing ideas, I doubt you need them from me, but I can try to impart. Whatever you four do, do it because you want to, not because some chick tells you're hot or how awesome you are or because Lark intimidates you. So, tell me what the word? Come after me. Give it to me." No one says anything. Dean says, "How about we send some of your admirers, if there are any over the age of 21, to get us a case of beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels. We might even be able to write a song or two before your show?"  Silas breaks the silence of the four, "Hell yeah." From there the rehearsal picked up in energy.

Empathetic brown eyes greeted her as she walked into the tiny apartment. "Hi mommy", the 2 year old girl lisped as she hugged. Kelly's own mother, also her babysitter, put out her hand, and coldy said "before you go to that other job, I'll need some money. You are out of food." Kelly pulled out a roll of money from her glittered chest and counted out 85 dollars."That's all I made waitressing today. I'll have 4 times that dancing tonight. Her mom glared judgementally. Kelly knew she was unseemly to her own mother, she pretended to not care. She turned on the shower and turned on her stereo. A cd playing her favorite band began to play, loudly. The happy brown eyes greeted her again as she started to undress. "Mommy, you listen to those same songs over and over. They're too loud for you." Kelly laughed,a little too much, as the stress of her day overwhlemed her. The only two things in her life that comforted her, the music of that loud band, Agent Tangelo, and her loving little girl, Olivia were in one place. "Baby, I need wash off all the dirty french fries and ketchup and chocolate brownie yuck so why don't you go play with Gramma for five whole minutes," she said to Olivia. "Mommy, Gramma went to the store and she she I need to play with you. You and Gramma need to talk to each other. Can I sit on the potty and sing like you do when you when you are in there getting the Applebees off you?" little Olivia responded. Kelly smiled, laughed again, and thought to herself how awesome all of that sounded. As she stepped into the warm water and started singing along to Agent Tangelo, she heard Olivia tiny voice mimic her every word. For a brief time, everything was okay.

Cocoa Beach police caution taped the room, the balcony and the area around Greg Cooke's body, now covered by a sheet and awaiting the coroner. A few bystanders were questioned. No one saw anything, they just heard the thud of the body hitting the ground. The hotel manager said Greg Cooke was always in a bad mood and never seemed relaxed. He said Greg Cooke always apologized for the other people in his party's behavior, paid for the minor damages with his credit card and his cell phone was always in the ear. One of the maid's said Greg Cooke was like an unhappy father to a bunch of kids and she wasn't surprised he might kill himself. Everyone saw this as more nuisance than tragedy. Lark McKissic arrived back on the scene and spoke with the police. She told them nothing of substance. Then the detective came out of the room and asked Lark about the money and the drugs. Lark did that sigh she always did before doing something she didn't like to do but had to do and said "I gave him that money this afternoon, about three hours ago. It was a payment, part of a deal to leave the band I now manage for Gotham Media. The drugs, I have no idea. I didn't know Greg Cooke personally, just professionally. " The detective said he'd call her later and to not leave town for a couple of days if possible. For now, Lark walked away and went back to the Jennings Warehouse. Getting Agent Tangelo to play their show tonight was priority one.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Empathetic brown eyes greeted her as she walked into the tiny apartment. "Hi mommy", the 2 year old girl lisped as she hugged. Kelly's own mother, also her babysitter, put out her hand, and coldy said "before you go to that other job, I'll need some money. You are out of food." Kelly pulled out a roll of money from her glittered chest and counted out 85 dollars."That's all I made waitressing today. I'll have 4 times that dancing tonight. Her mom glared judgementally. Kelly knew she was unseemly to her own mother, she pretended to not care.

*blogger's note* - This is my entry in @velvetverbosity 's aka http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ 's weekly 100 word challenge. This week's one word prompt is UNSEEMLY. I have included an entry from my http://www.nanowrimo.com/ project Hellandback.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Christmas, Easter, Dick Clark's Rockin Creepy New Years Eve, Bobina and the girls birthdays, the Sex Pistols song Holidays in the Sun and the Dead Kennedy's thoughtful tune Holiday in Cambodia; that where I rank the holidays. Thanksgiving has never really done much for me. Pumpkin pie and football are enough to make me be ok with the last Thursday in November but I'm not really a fan. I think the reason I am nondescript with the day is because parades, turkey, Arlo Guthrie's Alice's restaurant, and the obligatory here's what I'm thankful for lists from writers leave me cold. This year I will try to get into things but in my own way.

I am very content with my family. My parents and I get along well, they treat me like an equal and after a funny conversation with my dad yesterday about my Black Friday plans involving my teenage daughter, I realize he digs me a parent like I dig him. My wife gets more awesome with each day. She's patient with my crap. She loves me unconditionally. Her cooking is beyond description so today's meal will rock hard. My mother in law loves me. We talk like friends and that is rare. My sister in law and I are like sibling except we don't fight and she likes me giving her the business. My kids are beautiful, funny, smart, and in between bouts of insanity, joys to be around. I am proud to be their dad.

For the first time in my life, I am at peace and to those who know me, that's saying something. Orginally the pilgrims and the native americans got together to find common ground and give thanks to nature and fellowship. The least I can do is give Thanksgiving a break, devour the pumpkin pie, smile through Bobina's parade fandom, and make a turkey sandwich tonight and watch the Jets pound the Bengals.

I'll even participate in a list of what I'm thankful for beyond the things mentioned above, but give it a blogger/internet spin;

I'm thankful for bloggers. Blogs are easier to read than newspapers and more entertaining than magazines. There is some good writing on the internet and you can find some excellent aquaintences as a result. Thanks http://deadjournalist.com/ (your music knowledge and snobbery is appreciated and admired) , thanks http://theclashblog.com/ - you make reading about my favorite band a pleasure, thanks http://rowlandsoffice.wordpress.com/ and http://capitolavenueclub.com/ (following the Braves baseball team has never been funny and informative but you two guys make it that way) thanks http://janasthinkingplace.com/ , http://tinfoilmagnolia.blogspot.com/ , http://rachelintheoc.blogspot.com/, http://lilmissnyjet.blogspot.com/ , http://mylifewiththeviking.blogspot.com/ , SugarJonestv.com , Tara_R 's blog and Jenninflux's blog. You all shatter the myth of female bloggers being annoying and pointless. Thanks to @DxPepper, @fcardillo and the daddy bloggers like @SpinyNorman and @AlanKercinik. You guys provide a lot of entertainment and insight.

I'm thankful for @velvetverbosity 's http://velvetverbosity.com/ 's 100 word challenge and it's writer outreach community. It's expanded my creativity and made me love writing again. Same goes for http://nanowrimo.com/ even though I'm failing at it. The failure is teaching me some important lessons.

I'm thankful for sports fans especially Braves fans on twitter and the awesome Jets fans on twitter. You guys have reinvigorated my interest in following the teams and make me laugh hysterically even during losses and low points.

I'm thankful for my mom. Twitter and my blog have improved our relationship and found some mutal respect for each of us. I enjoy how we've become friends over the past two years as a result.

In a couple of hours my family and I will make some more memories, some of them ridiculous, some of them sublime, all of them memorable. I'm thankful for today opening my mind a bit. Now, where's my mother in law and that pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rick Springfield : Dark Genius

A few years ago, I shocked friends and family when I dropped this science on them; "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield is one of the greatest songwriting achievements in pop rock history. In fact, it's artistically awesome. Yeah, soak it in. The ripple effect of "what the (bad word)" was so great about my circle of people, I decided to not expand upon it and make them just think I had eaten something that didn't agree with me. I am hear to blog, I menat every word. Please, oblige me. Do I think Rick is a good songwriter, overall? No. His catalog is pretty thin. There are 3 good songs on the Working Class Dog album and one of them was written by Sammy Hagar, I've Done Everything For You. Rick is a one hit wonder, not because of chart history, he is technically a five hit wonder, but because on a Saturday afternoon in Southern California in 1978 after talking a painting class with a buddy and hit beautiful girlfriend, Springfield was inspired enough, to penn what would become a number one song, and the most kareoked tune in bar history.

Rick doesn't belong in the same breath with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, Thom Yorke, any of the Beatles or Rolling Stones, Kurt Cobain or even Sammy Hagar. Rick Springfield deserves pop culture praise for creating a layered masterpiece that is only 3 minutes and 16 seconds long about longing for a buddy's girl, not doing anything about it, upholding the bros before hoes code (which is older than the Magna Carta) and writing the line "I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines, ain't that the way love's supposed to be". That's poetry, and every man can relate. The greatest part of Jessie's Girl is the irony.

Rick Springfield is a great looking soap opera actor who can get any girl he wants but he's singing about a girl he can't get, and he's masking a dark, subversive ode to sexual frustration around peppy pop melodies and a catchy guitar riff. That's beautiful. Throwing in dark lyrics while bouncing a pop tune has been around since the fifties. I have been to two weddings that had Every Breath You Take by The Police, a scary song about obsessive love, essentially the stalker's anthem, and The One I Love by R.E.M., a depressing song about a breakup that is more ominous than foreboding. Obviously the couple didn't listen to the lyrics. Both marriages ended up divorces. Rock and roll strikes again.

Every television show, news program, or pop culture special about shopping, dancing, trying on clothes, or some happy activity has Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind blaring in the background. Ever seen the lyrics to that one? It's about sex, drugs, and debauchery. It's a filthy tune.

What makes Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl genius is, it is part of our national consciousness. Generations after generation will belt that with smiles on their faces to kareoke machines and wedding dance microphones and the irony will dance the dance of love with art.

It's amazing what a drive home in heavy traffic will produce in my head as I listened to 80s on 8 on Satellite radio. All Hail Mr. Rick Springfield and his brooding belch about some chick he'll never even talk to. We've been there, brother.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Duece

If I wrote the entire real story it would come out as weird, wild, comic book fiction. Two years and six months ago I met the right person. Two years ago, today, she became my best friend and wife. I've written about how we are a blended family. I've written about how we met. I don't think I have ever gotten around to talking about the wedding day. It was a little chaotic, a lot crazy, completely appropriate and thus perfect.

There were several reasons, none of which are important now, but we decided to marry at the Gwinnett County Courthouse on a Friday afternoon then throw a party for family and friends the following night. Everyone involved later later me they wish they'd done the same thing. When the judge said we were married and the flashing cameras started, I kissed her harder than I ever had, and we hugged the kids and started our life.

Two years later we are still in the honeymoon period. I think we are just different than most. We'll be in that stage for a while. The kids kind of insist on it. I've never done anything as worthwhile as marrying her, with the exception of the kids, and I never will equal the accomplishment. I peaked at age 38. I wake up everyday and thank God, and or whoever else is responsible for bringing Deana aka Bobina into my life. Thanks, Bo, for making me and our family whole.

ps....yes, I got her a card and took her out to dinner. jerks. (sarcasm)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There's Someone Inside My head...but it's Not Me

I probably should have written this blog during Halloween because discussing what is inside my head on a daily basis is scary. To keep readers and avoid being committed I'll discuss how my extreme interest in music manifests itself into what I like to call the ipod between my ears.

I hear music even when the radio or whatever, isn't on. As i go through each day I often recall pieces of music, both lyrical and instrumental, that coincide to the situation I'm in. For example when I'm in traffic or driving I hear Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix or One Headlight by The Wallflowers or Radar Love by Golden Earring. I know I am not alone. Through the blog and the twitter I see so many friends/followers who are major music fans.  This is a list of situations and the songs I attribute to them. Feel free to comment and/or add your own.

When people are smoking or I am around smokers - That Smell by Lynyrd Skynyrd - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6q9nBusrq8

When I walk in a bar or restaurant where people are drinking/mingling - Roadhouse Blues - The Doors - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNigNUD8CKo

When Bobina is mad at me - Barracuda - Heart - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpkitLUbeEg

If I am having a bad day and the anixety is building - Bleed It Out - Linkin Park - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnuuYcqhzCE

I'm at work in a meeting or confined to the office - Man In A Box - Alice In Chains - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAqZb52sgpU

Waiting on someone, like for lunchm but being casual about it all : Waiting on a friend - The Rolling Stones - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8MhpofxMgk

Feeling down, introspective and a little nuts - Brain Damage - Pink Floyd - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bgxfxchkQ

Saturday afternoon, hanging around the house, doing chores like ironing or laundry or whatever - Tumbling Dice - The Rolling Stones - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U8JlcB_BzA

Doing something with the kids and I'm proud of them or just reflecting on my parenting - The Kids are Alright - The Who - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afam2nIae4o

I'm looking at Bobina's blue eyes and thinking about how lucky I am - Sweet Child O Mine - Guns n Roses - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-AYAv0IoWI

Thinking about death, mortality or something funeral related - Bittersweet Sympjony - The Verve - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx3m4e45bTo

Mourning people I have lost - High and Dry - Radiohead - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BciOfJsqh7M

Beating myself up over my mistakes - Just - Radiohead - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIFLtNYI3Ls

my personal "theme song" - Lucky Man - The Verve - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qujfdzLJPyU

Before you ask, I'll just answer the question; yes I play out the whole song, video, images, and song analysis. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, Elton John, and Billy Joel songs play a huge role in a lot of everyday situations because of their amazing lyrics and sardonic attitudes. When I read your blogs and tweets music come to mind immediately. I probably have assigned a personal song to each person I interact with here or on twitter. I definitely do that with people in my everyday "real" life. I haven't gotten around to assigning songs on my phone to people but I already know what each song would be. All of this came to mind earlier today when I was walking out of my office and people were smoking. Suddenly Lynyrd Skynyrd starting playing and I was singing along to music that no one else could see. I feel pretty sure that those smokers were thinking Crazy by Patsy Cline or Aerosmith or Seal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Billy Joel State Of Mind

I find nostalgia nauseating. I don't even like looking into my past in an analytical way. Yet, the other day of my my twitter followers and fellow bloggers, @SugarJones asked this question;  "Do you ever have those moments where you wonder how you got to where you are? And how drastically different it is than what you had planned? " I answered "yes....that what my blog is about...well, when im not writing fiction, Im writing about how the heck I got here" This caused a rare moment of rear view mirror philosophizing.

Indeed, this blog isn't really about topics like music, writing, television, my family, or sports. It's about how the heck I became and am becoming who and what I am. I just never thought Howard Stern interviewing the Piano Man would be the catalyst for a revealing blog post. I was in the car a lot today for work and my new love, satellite radio, was whispering sweet somethings in my ears. I turned to Howard Stern's morning show and for an hour and forty seven minutes he interviewed Billy Joel. My memories start at age 5. Between then and say age 12 I thought Billy Joel was the biggest rock star in the world. I had yet to discover most of the music you see me blog about. Piano Man, Cold Spring Harbor, New York State Of Mind, Captain Jack, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, The Stranger, It's Still Rock and roll to Me, My Life, Im Movin Out, Say Goodbye To Hollywood, Just The Way You Are, Only The Good Die Young, You May Be Right, and so many other songs were played in my parents' house and car. Joel was a superstar on the radio and tv when I was a kid. I developed this fake, stupid, New York attitude, speech, and manner to copy Joel. Finally, when I was 11 and a half year old I made it to my first concert, Billy Joel's Nylon Curtain tour in the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. After the show as I was walking out, a man with a harmonica played the first few bars of Joel's signature song, Piano Man, and several dozen people on escalators started singing the song. It was surreal. Here's the kicker to this story and this blog, I had forgotten almost all of this until this morning.

Music snobbery didn't start for me until my early teens. By 1983, I had put Billy Joel away, along with my comic books, stretch armstrong, and baseball cards. Joel wasn't cool to me anymore. I certainly wasn;t buying into Uptown Girl and him marrying Christie Brinkley. Hearing the interview this morning brought back something that I really screwed up in my life, a sense of camraderie with normalcy. Billy Joel is kind of a dork, a regular dude. These days, he's bald, pudgy, grayed, and well, basic; you know, for a multi millionaire. He runs a motorcycle shop, which loses money, for fun. He hasn't made a pop song since 1993, and doesn't to. What attracted me to Joel when I was a kid, was what I later rejected. He made good pop songs with no pretention. Joel never tried to save the world. He rarely whined about the state of the world, with a few exceptions, like Allentown. When he did do a song that was personally relatable and "about" something other than himself and relationships, like Pressure, he made it sound enjoyable, not angst ridden. Now that I am 40 I found a conduit to my childhood without relinquishing maturity. As I write this I am playing youtube and the songs that I admired in the 1970s aren't just bringing back memories, they're causing me to plan new ones. I am going to introduce Joel to my kids this weekend. I remember driving in the car with my dad playing air piano to the Turnstiles album and 52nd street, and Glass Houses. My 45s of Piano Man and Just the Way You Are and My Life will be turned into itunes purchses for my girls. Joel was a good songwriter. I maintian my music snobbery as most of what he made after 1982 is quite weak and I doubt I will change my mind. Joel is one of those things or, well, I guess, people that got me here. I wore tennis shoes with suits and huge sunglasses as a kid, because I was a dorky normal little guy. It was Billy Joel that got me through some of those New York Jet losses in the early 1980s. It was Billy Joel who made me use a hairbrush as a microphone when me and a buddy or two would have spend the nights before MTV came along. It was Billy Joel who told me bedtime stories that I should have never forgotten. I may have put him away when hard rock, hair metal and later, punk changed my focus, but pulling Billy Joel out every once in a while when I want to go to Vienna or I;be Got To Begin Again or take a Miami 2017 is perfectly understandable.

I usually don't recommend Howard Stern, because of his show content but if you are so inclined, go google the Billy Joel interview. The musical stories are priceless and Joel personality is irrepresible. For the musicologists out there, this website is great for breaking down Joel's great songs, I agree with everything from 1972 to 1982, after that, listen at your own risk

The greatest thing about the Billy Joel interview and the subsequent reminiscing is I am listening to some really good songs and discovering what this blog is about. This is one heck of a break from fiction writing. "Don't go changin to try and please me, you never let me down before, don't imagine you're too familiar and I don't see you anymore." Ugh, I should have listened to Billy Joel over the past twenty years, I could have saved myself some Pressure.

You May Be Right, i may be crazy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo9t5XK0FhA

Summer High Land Falls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiDOuwUJxk

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hellandback 9

Being a band manager is an a thankless, unglamorous vocation even if the musical act is established and successful. Being one for an unsigned, almost famous rock band is visciously unrewarding. Greg Cooke met Agent Tangelo two years earlier in a McDonald's parking lot in Panama City, Florida when the band's drummer, Kyle Jackson, asked him if he could jump off their battery deprived van. By the time he got their 10 year old junker of a band vehicle on the road, he had agreed to help them travel to their two gigs in Destin later that week and put them in touch with a lawyer friend who could help them with a financial planner. Like feeding a stray cat in a rainstorm, he couldn't rid himself of Agent Tangelo. In a month, he became their road manager, loaned them 11 thousand dollars and helped precipitate his divorce from a disapproving wife. Like most entertainment support people, Greg was fascinated with music and musicians as a teenager. He had been in a bad grunge rock act for 5 months as a freshman in college, He sold his drum kit only a year before crossing paths with Agent Tangelo. Being part of Agent Tangelo ascent had been one of the greatest personal experiences of his life, divorce and financial strain aside. The band was a fulltime job but he balanced day trading and tax preparation for friends and family while collecting low pay as their business voice. What happened next, he should have expected, but hearing Agent tangelo's honest chords and soul baring riffs on a nightly basis had blinded him to the reality that he was a short term answer to Agent tangelo's management needs.

Agent Tangelo's rehearsal was schedule for 5pm. Each member, their manager, their road crew, and various hangerons knew that 5pm was optional for Silas Bane. On a average Silas was 20 minutes later. When Silas walked into the warehouse at 5:02pm everyone gasped. "What? I got some killer new ink. Who wants to see?", a clueless Silas announced. The next person to arrive brought an even more dramatic reaction. Lark McKissic strolled into the rehearsal space and answered Silas, "me too. Same spot. I think you know the artist." Silas' jaw didn't actually drop, but the facial expression was similar. Lark was there, unannounced and the band knew the news was both good and bad, it always was with a record company executive. Greg decided to speak next. "Guys, we have some developments. Things are going to be different, well, if you want them to be. Gotham Media wants to sign you guys, we all know that. They also want their management in place during the transition." Musicians hated this kind of speech. Guitarist and business major at Central Florida University, Drake Huntley, responded, "You want us to fire you and bring in some jack ass from Gotham to babysit us so we become some corporate puppet band, right Greg?" Greg answered quickly, "No Drake. Not at all. I want to still be your road manager but you need musical mentor to help with the first record for the label. You need someone who's more experienced than I am. I'm still going to be around. But it's time to reality check. Agent Tangelo is going to be big time. Big time requires a team of people." Silas hated the business part of being a musican. He always deferred to Drake and Greg. he was talent, they were business. Now was a time for Silas to show some leadership. "Let me see your tattoo, Ms. McKissic." Lark gently removed her bandage and Silas removed his. They noticed the shading, the steady lines, the use of color. Silas smiled and said, "How does Dean Hellenbach fit in to all of this, Ms. McKissic? I know you two worked together back in the day?" His band members looked puzzled. Greg Cooke saw the freight train starting down the track, Lark gave the news, "I just came to an agreement with Dean Hellenbach, former singer-songwriter of the band Hellandback to help manage you guys through the New York trip next week. his name and his industry contacts will grease the rails. You all will be pleased with what he can help with. The key is you all stay focused, relatively sober, and kick a lot of ass for the next 7 gigs covering 10 days. You do that and we will all be very rich and famous." Silas looked at Greg and saw anguish not jealousy nor envy. Silas went over to pick up a guitar and start tuning. Greg wanted the band to pay attention to getting ready for their sets later that night and said, "Lark, why don't you and I talk about the advance for the band and let them practice." They walk out of the warehouse, Silas looked arounds, sees the three guys he met during his junior year of high school. He was a year younger than each of them. They needed a leader during an uncertain time so he spoke. "We don't have to do this. We can stay indie and still make enough money to survive. " Drake felt like punching the chick magnet media darling for trying to pose as a starving artist. Silas wanted to be famous just like they did. Drake said "we're a genre bending band. we play power pop mixed with hard rock. Our only hope in selling records and being heard is with a major label. Gotham has all the resources, They're just evilish or whatever. Plus I hate that ice queen. She makes me want to punch toddlers." Kyle, the drummer and Nate McNeil, the band's bassist and keyboard player, laughed, Nate offered a compromise, :what about being like Radiohead? Ok Go? They release their stuff online and are like independent contractors with the major labels? Drake wanted to hurt Nate now, who was like a toddler, mentally. Silas spoke, "yeah what about that?" No one said anything. Drake and Silas began playing their guitars. Without even taking a band vote, Agent Tangelo just became a major label band with a record contract, to be signed in a few days, in New York City.

Greg and Lark stood outside the warehouse. Lark said "you still smoking Greg?" He nodded yes and Lark walked over to her car, flipped the hatch and reached inside her briefcase and retreived a pack of marlboro lights. Greg was surprised. "I thought you were a fitness person, Lark. You spend more time in the gym than a bodybuilder." Lark rarely explained herself to anyone and considered his question a sign of ungratefulness but she sighed and responded, "everyone in this business drinks, smokes, drugs, or has some digusting habit I have to deal with. I might as well promote the lifestyles as well as the talent." Greg ignored her arrogance and condescension and asked an important question, "Why Dean Hellenbach? He;s never managed before. He's an over the hill musician and producer. I mean he's a tattoo artist and t-shirt shop owner. What can he do?" Lark stared at Greg and in her coldest delivery said "leave." Greg took a long drag off the freshly lit cigarette and answered, "what? you can't just make me go. The band has to agree to that until that contract is signed." Lark went to the hatch of her car, pulled out a pouch and took money and handed it to Greg. "there's 50 thousand. That will get you to whatever mediocre livelihood you were destined before you tried to play Brian Epstein to the Central Florida Beatles. Leave. I don't need you. This band doesn't need you. You are giving me a headache. When I get a headache, I get annoyed. Then I start making bad things happen. Leave. Before the bad happens." Greg Cooke stood there, amazed, almost frozen by the threat of this tall, mean spirited woman. He gave the money back and said "Let me talk to the band. I'll tell them something lame then I'll check out of the Seashell and head back to Orlando. Our agreement was 100 thousand off the top of the advance and I would act as a road manager consultant for six months. I'll honor that agreement." Lark wanted to tell him that he wouldn't make it to Orlando, but her headache was real, her anger was building, and she never liked Greg's small time thinking. As far as she as concerned, what was about to happen to him, was deserved. She put the money away in the car and said nothing as they walked into the warehouse rehearsal space and spoke with Agent Tangelo.

Dean Hellenbach was sick to his stomach and whiskey wasn't making him feel better. He placed his half empty tumbler on the deck of his townhouse and walked into the bathroom. A coldness overtook his spine and hr dropped to his knees. The nausea subsided and he could not deny the way hhe felt, physically, was similar to what he was like twenty years earlier when he delt with Lark, Gotham Media, and the man in the black suit. He heard his cell phone ring in the other room was he was still to weak to move quickly enough to answer. Someone else did. "Hello. Hey mallory, it's Evelyn. I just got home. He's here. He's sick, probably something he ate, it doesn't sound good in there. You guys handle things for him there and we'll catch up with you later at the concert. Thank you Mallory. bye" Evelyn walked into the bathroom and looked down at him. "Are you drunk or did I actually speak some truth to Mallory?" Dean wanted to be alone and just thin, he shouted back to her, "No, I am not drunk!" He bounded from the bathroom tile and walked agressively  past his girlfriend. "I don't want to fight with you, Dean, but I can't just let you order me out of your shop, not call me all day, and refuse my help when you obviously need it." Dean grew more belligerent, "Leave me alone right now. I don't want your help!" Evelyn walked lightly into the bedroom, picked some clothes and a few other things from drawers and picked up her keys. "Dean, I love you, you know that. You may not want to hear that right now, but I think you need to hear it. You moods, your periods of misery are just too much sometimes, and I can't always allow you to push me away when you carry the world on your back. I will meet you later at your shop or the show, you pick. I'll get ready over at my friend Olive's place. I'm watching her cats while she's in Miami with her mom. I'll keep my cell phone on. Evelyn walks over to him, leans in to kiss his cheek and tightly hugs him from his right side. Dean said nothing as she left the townhouse. Dean sits on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands for several minutes. He looks up and briefly sees a her reflection in the mirror. He turns around and see no one. Dean yells, Fiona!

Greg arrives back at the Seashell feeling flush, feverish. He walks into his roon and open the fridge and takes out an ice pack and a Heineken. He walks to the patio door and opens it to take in some beach air when the wind suddely stops, and the room grows quiet. He turns around and see a man in a black suit, with a white dress shirt, open collar, no tie, and charcoal eyes staring through him. Greg, it has been a while since we have talked. Three years, if I remember correctly. Greg, feeling almost faint, can't believe he's seeing the man again. "What do you want?" Greg asks. The man in the black suit extends his hand and unfurls his long, pale fingers to hand Greg Cooke several pills. "You, Greg. You have served your purpose, well, I might add. Agent Tangelo, the music scene, even my lovely Lark, they have all been proud of your work, but it is time for you to be pushed aside. Take these Greg. It will help you cushion the fall." Greg looks into the man's eyes and sees them flame in the pupils. He takes the pills and swallows them with a mouth full of beer. "Why, why now, I was going to leve eventually after the band got through everything." The man answered curtly, "You have to go now Greg. It is time." The man in the black suit reaches out his right arm and Greg's throat closes quickly so that Greg can't make any noise. Then the man thrusts his right arm like an NFL running back to a linebacker and throws Greg out the window over the patio. Three floors later laying on the concrete, blood pours out of his mouth, his neck broken. Greg Cooke was dead.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Anarchy In The Ga

I'm eating pumpkin pie for dinner. At my age, 40, and with my family situation, married with 3 daughters, that's akin to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. So we can make the leap into me thinking and blogging about rebellion. This morning, Bobina drove Tay, our 14 year old 9th grade daughter, to school. Bo called me to rave about how awesome Tay was because she was different. Tay wore a t-shirt, jeans, pony tail, and bad attitude to school, all with confidence. She got out of the car and said hello to several different groups of school friends. Those groups represented different high school cliques and dressed and accesorized typically. While our daughter rocked her own thing and did so with gusto. I agree with my wife, our daughter is awesome. The only problem I have is she does it all while listening to Taylor Swift. To take the concern even further, her riskiest personal trait is wanting to listen to R rated hip hop (referenced in a previous blog entry - http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/currency.html). I keep waiting for Tay to die her hair, play some really subversive music from her bedroom, or start babbling about some political cause. The thing is, I think Tay's real rebellious streak is her intelligence. She's beyond the cliches of contrarianism. I think her generation may be the same.

The last real protest record was 2004's American Idiot by Green Day. Now, it's a Broadway Musical, seen by the uppercrust of society at 200 dollars a ticket. The two records I listen to the most are Cage The Elephant and The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. Both albums are straight forward American rock records about being yourself, taking life by the horns and never backing down from adversity. Neither band preaches anarchy. Neither band wants to change anything about the world. They just want to rock hard and be genuine. Sounds like my daughter, huh?

There's a really good article by a really good writer named Micheal Azzerad : http://michaelazerrad.typepad.com/you_and_what_army/2010/02/npr-rock.html talking about the death of protest music or rebellion rock. It's observations and conclusions are identical to mine and I think it's all ok in the end. If we can get individuality from our kids while also having them be good people, them that how the world can be a better place. All this being said, I'm going to rock Rage Against The Machine's Battle of Los Angeles tonight. I feel like dancing around with my fist in the air. Of course, at my age, I'll make sure I get it done before 10pm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Lark McKissic's two thousand dollar business suit and eight hundred dollar high heels were a unnecessary for her work in Florida. In a few hours she would be in club that encouraged beach wear and skin. Lark ignored the hotel manager and hit a few number on her iphone. As the elevator in the lobby of the $225 a night Kasmir Cove High Rise Condominiums waited, she spoke "Melissa, this is Lark McKissic. I'm in from New York for a few days checking on a couple of clients. I need your boutique's touch. Care to send yourself and a few ensembles over. I'll make it worth your whole Wednesday and Thursday." The elevator opens. She hears what she wants to hear, and steps in to go to the 19th floor suite. Lark estimated she had an hour or so before Melissa brought half her shop over and then annoyed her with inane gossip and general chit chat. Lark decided to get some information that she actually needed. She called the Inkwell again. Mallory Powell had just returned from her curious journey and her co-worker Bonnie handed her the phone, "it's some woman, says you want to talk to her about something important." Mallory paused then took the receiver from Bonnie and guessed "You again? Maybe I should give you my cell number." Mallory shooed Bonnie away from the front counter for more privacy. Lark answered, "Why, are we girlfriends, Mallory? Want to go shopping or talk about boys? Let's brass tax this situation. What have Dean and Silas discussed?" Mallory was giving sarcasm, in large doses to her tormenter, "Booby glitter." Lark was wondering if she could emply the same otherworldy tactics the man in the black suit could, then she decided her brain made a better weapon. "You probably checked on mom and she was a okay with the stud muffin in her apartment. Won't be long til good ole mom is back in coke, meth, liquor and mutliple boy Fridays, and Saturdays, and Sundays." Mallory was not only offended but low on insults, "Listen you vile bitch, you...." Lark interrupts, "Mallory, I don't have time to laugh at your dissassociative personality. Plus, you're turning me on slightly, and I don;t like where that's going. Fill me in on what Dean and Silas have done in the past hour or so, then, I'll do the rest." Mallory meekly replied, "Dean gave him a tattoo of a rising phoenix on Silas' ribcage. It's a cool design. It's yellow, gothic, and flamy. Then  they went over to Applebees and talked about music and boobs. It was epic in it's testosterone level." Lark responded, "Thank you Mallory. Nice doing business with you. Expect your mom to have some good luck with her weekly finances this week." Lark hung up the phone, Mallory felt nauseous and wrong.

Mallory sent Dean a text to his phone, telling him about his afternoon appointments. Silas' manager, Colin Cooke, texted him about band rehearsal and band interviews. As Dean and Silas stood outside the Applebees soaking in the mid afternoon sun, Dean shook Silas' hand and said "i'll be there tonight. I'll be bringing a friend, hope that's ok." Silas laughed and said "as long she is a she, bring two of them. See you tonight Dean, this has been an excellent experience, from the tattoo to the conversation. As Silas walked away, Dean again felt the cold sensation over his back. Whatever it was, Dean decided to headback to work and face it head on.

Social Distortion music filled the store speakers and that provided some comfort to Dean as he stepped back into the place. Mallory ignored him, but that was normal, he thought. He asked Bonnie who his next appointment was, she looked at the ledger and read out "Penelope, any minute now." Dean thought about that name for a second and wondered if it could be her. Someone he knew twenty years earlier. He walked in his office, and Kevin yelled at the top of his lungs, DEAN, YOUR APPOINTMENT IS HERE!" Dean considered firing Kevin on principle, but he distracted himself when he saw "Penelope" walk into the room. "Hello Dean, forgive me for not calling, but I'm a busy woman these days." Lark McKissic sat down on the big chair and took off her light tan jacket, revealing a while tank top. "What in the hell do you want,?" Dean asked rudely. Lark smiled, and took in Dean's stress. Instead of dominating the moment, she fed Dean's ego and waited for her moment to pounce. "I want the rose surrounded by briars and vines on the bloodsugarsexmagik album cover. You know that's one of my favorite records. Leave out the faces of the band guys, just the rose and the vines. I'll take it on my left side rib cage. I hear that's a popular area. I enjoy the hottest trends, even if the tattoo is of something over twenty years old." Dean was neither excited about the ink nor enjoying Lark phony good mood. He figured Lark wouldn't be here if it weren't for Silas Bane and the man in the black suit. He decided to see where this situation took both of them. Dean said "I'm assuming you can afford this, so, I'm going to drop a lot of detail in the piece. I won't take less than $500." Lark smiled and replied, "sold. You could sell ice and penicillin to an Eskimo with the clap, Dean. Let's do this." The fake flattery and ridiculous frivolity only enraged Dean. He knew Lark was there to play him, pry him, and screw him over. He would wait for the real punchline.

Several minutes went by, when Bonnie came into the room. Dean, normally pleasant to his employees, barked, "busy Bon, come back in an hour, maybe more!" Offended by his impoliteness but wary of the imposing brunette in his chair, Bonnie shyly said, "Evelyn is here. What should I tell her?" Dean acted like he didn't hear her, and Lark broke the tension, "Have her come back her, Bon.  I'd like to meet her." Dean shut off the ink gun, ripped off his gloves, and grabbed Bonnie by the arm, leaned into her, and said "do whatever you can to get Evelyn to leave. I have my reason. Use Mallory. Evelyn loves her. She will listen to Mal. I can't talk to anyone right now." Bonnie could feel his grip tightening, it hurt. She had never seen the boss so out of sorts. Bonnie left the room. Dean turned to Lark and commanded "you don't talk to my people, here. Now, tell me what is going on, now. Then we'll figure out a way for you to leave this shop, this state, and if I can make the right phone calls, this country!" Lark saw the escalation and knew it was time to reel Dean into her plan. "Sit down Dean. Finish the tattoo. I really want it. Right now I have dead vines on the side of my stomach." Dean replied, "everything on, in and around you is dead, you vampire." Lark tried again, I'm here for the same reason you are, Dean. He came to see my too. While I may be more interested in the business part of this situation, I need a healthy, clear minded, focused, artitistic Silas Bane just as much as you do. He probably makes you feel enthused, intrigued, even youthful. Silas Bane could be the benchmark of my career. So, finish the tattoo and let's talk. Just talk, I promise." Dean didn't believe a word she said and answered, "You're a liar. The word promise is lie in your mouth right now. Fine, but I get the first question. "Are you working for him or just trying to figure out a way to not end up dead by him?" Lark realized she had common ground with Dean, at least when it came to the man in the black suit. "The ladder, definitely the ladder", she confessed. Dean put more gloves and started the gun back up. The buzz combined with the pain and Lark began breathing in a rhythm she could talk without distraction. She made her move, "He thinks I get him professionally and you can get him personally. As long as we make him believe that ,we can manipulate the deal until we can figure out something that benefits us." Dean said nothing and continued drawing the outline of the tattoo. He knew she was lying. "Dean, you may be tortured and pissed off and even miserable but I have everything I want. I don't even need Silas Bane or Agent Tangelo, much less him." This enraged Dean further but tattoing centered  him during stress and he just kept going. How dare she care so little about a band, their music, and the dreams artists had. He was reliving something from twenty years ago and the personally trained abdomen of Lark McKissic became his outlet to vent. "I know you were with Silas. He's the only kid in that group of Orlando boozehounds that knows what they want out of the music business. I want to see him succeed but I'd rather not be involved. I even told Gotham to have the underground label manage them but no one is listening to me right now. If I run this game, Agent Tangelo will lose a lot of their indy goodwill and end up like your band. You don't want that do you?" Dean stopped drawing and turned it off a moment. "What is that supposed to mean?", he asked. Lark knew she had his attention. Dean was so emotional about music, about the art of it all, she could convince him to help her "save" Agent Tangelo artistic soul, while their mutual ominous friend went after Silas Bane's other soul. Lark said, "Silas doesn't have a significant other like you did. No muse for his poetry. That's how he got you, wasn't Dean? That sweet, little brown eyed girl that kept you sober and on time?" Dean fumed, but started with the color in the rose. Blood, began to run with the ink, and in between dabs of paper towel, Lark saw the tattoo come together and Dean come around to her way of thinking. "There's no need to bring her up, ok. She's been gone for a long time.", Dean reasoned. Lark knew the tattoo was almost done so she got to the point. "Help me manage Agent Tangelo throughout the signing process. Name your fee. You want me to buy the lease on this property for 5 years? Done. Want me pay off your loan for your beachhouse? Done. Want a decent Jeep as opposed to that relic with a leaky radiator in the parking lot. Done. Just help get this group in the game and I'll make your life a hell of a lot easier." Dean was finished with the tattoo. It looked better than he'd hope. It would have made him happy to see such a put together woman walking around with crappy ink work but he had channeled all that hate into something well done. Blood began to spill around the edges of the piece. He ignored it, and looked into Lark's steel blue laser like pupils and said, "You are even worse that I imagined. You know you can't take any of this material garbage with you, right? Or did you get to live forever for being his bitch? By the crow's feet around your eyes and the saggy waitlines I'm guessing not." Lark was impressed with Dean's diatribe. It meant nothing to her. She just stared harder. Dean continued, "You have everything I despise. Silas is an artist. He may be too distracted by boobs and booze but if he could avoid you and the other freaks at Gotham he might actually become something beautiful. The reality is he can't avoid any of you. His band is begging to be rock stars. Silas wants more than drunk Florida chicks listening to his music. I'll help you. Yes to every one of your offers. I don't even have conditions. Well, one, answer this question for me. "How much blood do you have on your hands?" Lark looked down at her left side and noticed the blood huddled around her ribs. She took her left thumb and rubbed some of the redness away and into her mouth. Licking the blood proudly, she sighed and said to Dean, "not as much as you do. All of my victims are alive." Dean removed his gloves, slammed the door, and walked to the front of the store. he yelled at Mallory "Five hundred bucks, I'll be back later!" He walked out the door of the shop. Bad Religion's Infected played over the shop's speakers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hellandback 7

The antiseptic feel of a stark white hospital room rarely provides comfort to a dying man. Travis Johns tried to lift his head up to vomit but nothing was functional and the nausea just sat upon him. The room began to spin and by the time it stopped, he saw the man in the black suit staring through him. "Time to conclude our business, Travis," The man said, as he moved around the gurney and kinked the IV drip. Travis began to choke then seizure. The man in the black suit showed no emotion as he looked into Travis' fading grey pupils and stated simply, "Can not say I am surprised by any of this, Travis. You were an easy partner. Fame was your drug, even if heroin is in your veins, now. Goodbye, Travis. When we meet again, I doubt you will recognize me." The man in the black suit moved his hand over the Travis and took his last breath. Travis Johns, 27 year old lead singer of the hip hop group Nine, died. The autopsy would read, drug overdose.

 Flames singed the skin of Lark McKissic as she walked into the hotel suite. The fire was controlled but seemed to follow her as she stepped, slowly, into the bedroom. Lying on the bed was a pile of money. There had to be two or three million dollars stacked perfectly ibviting her into the sheets. The man in the black suit stood next to the bed, stoked the flames with his pale, dead hands. Lark remained emotionless as the man in the black suit produced a tall, handsome man on the bed who motioned for Lark to come toward him. He rmoves his shirt and picks up several piles of the money. Lark ignored the man in the black suit and never again, looked at the shirtless suitor on the bed. She walked into the flames and made her way to the open window, the fire moved away from her and she climbed on the the window sill and jumped into the air, hundreds of feet from the ground. As he hurled herself towards the ground, a bump startles her. The pilot says over the intercom, Ms. McKissic, we are taxiing towards the gate. You have about ten minutes to gather your things. A car is waiting. Lark, sighed, wiped the sweat from her lip and forehead. She reached for her compact inside her bag, and applied some makeup. "Time to go to work," she whispered to herself.


Her kiss was hard and tasted like Dr. Pepper and carmax, but I got the point. The silence was awkward until I said "I'm sorry." The first fight didn't mean a lot, except that we knew each other's passion. What happened next would mean more than any material gift, physical expression, or perfectly delivered speech. She kissed back and when the lips released, the look into each other's eyes told the story of the rest of our lives together. The next thing we did was talk, for hours. The pleasure of communication was greater than anything I had ever experienced.

*blogger's note* - This is my entry for @velvetverbosity on twitter / http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ 's weekly 100 word challenge. The word prompt was PLEASURE. Please check out velvetverbosity and her site. Also peek into @NaNoWriMO / http://www.nanowrimo.org/ where I am continuing to write the 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Currently I sit at 6,540 words with my effort - Hellandback - but things are happening with Dean, Mallory, Silas, Lark, and the man in the black suit.

Welcome Back Conan

There was a beard, a backstage goof, and a host shredding the guitar; at the end of the hour, it was good television. Conan O'Brien made his return to television tonight after several months in limbo due to Jay Leno stealing his show a few months ago and NBC behaving like cowards. In retaliation, Conan stayed in the public consciousness with a funny twitter account, a nightclub and small arena act, and humorous commercials promoting Conan's new late night talk show at 11pm eastern time on TBS.

It began with an opening skit lampooning Conan's soap opera like departure from NBC and arrival at TBS. Then the new set was revealed and Andy Richter was welcomed as the new, old co-host. The new band is appropropriately called The Basic Cable Band. They sounded tight. One of Conan's old character's made his return as well. Let;s just say it's a Bear and he;s frisky. The first real guest was actor Seth Rogen who will be starring in The Green Hornet. Rogen riffed about medical pot in California and how he proposed to his wife in an embarrassing and slightly profane way. Lea Michelle was the next guest and her visit was just ok until something fell backstage and interrupted her tain of thought. Conan handled it with aplumb and saved a boring interview and made the while segment work. The end of the show was the best. I am a fan of The White Stripes and their lead singer/songwriter, guitarist Jack White. White and Conan have been moonlighting with a musical side project and Conan played guitar and both men sang a new song with gusto. The entire performance was fun.

Conan wore a beard for the show, showed his trademark self deprecation, kept the pace loose despite a stilted monologue. The Conan show is aiming for the 18-45 demographic. Tomorrow night's show had Soundgarden as the musical guest. It;s not Jay leno or Dave Letterman. It's not even old Conan. It's new. It's unique. Mostly, it's Conan. He should be on television as much as possible.

Beard - A, opening/monologue - C, Rogen - B, Michelle - B, Jack White - A, pace - B, Overall - B+

Can't wait to be back into Conan fulltime. Welcome back Team Coco.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hellandback 6

Silas followed Dean into the large room decorated with rock music posters, punk rock folk art, and the usual warning signs about tattoing. Dean broke the ice, rib cage, left side, rising phoenix, right? You have a picture or a sketch?" Silas removed his Superman t-shirt and sat down on the lazy boy chair. He answered, "Yeah, all of that. Here's the sketch I made. I filled in the color the best I could visualize. I trust you to , make it look a hell of a lot better." Dean looked at the paper and was startled. His emotional reaction was noticed by Silas. "What is it, you can't do it?" Dean recovered quickly and assured Silas, "Oh no, it's no big deal. I just had  a case of deja vu. I've seen something like this before." Silas frowned and said "aw man, it was a dream I had yesterday. I thought I had an orginal idea. Guess I dream the same stuff everybody else does." Dean responded, "no, it's a  coincidence. When I was in a band, a long time ago, we had a similar design for an album cover, then scrapped it at the last minute. It was just weird. Good picture." Silas smiled but didn't say anything in return. He didn't want to bombard Dean with questions about his past. As big of a fan as Silas was of Dean's musical work, he could tell Dean was more about the present. Before Dean could say anything else, Mallory bounded into the room. Nervous, she quickly said, "Dean I have to leave for a while. It's something I have to do, don't be a hard ass bossman about it, okay? I'll be back in a hour." Dean, worried but busy, only offered, "well, tell Kevin and Bonnie to cover for you and keep your cell phone on so I can make sure you are alright." Mallory rolled her eyes and sighed sarcastically, then walked away murmuring "whatever dad." Silas, wanting the break the tension said, "the stranger that girl is, the more I like her. You should use her television commercials." Dean smiled, put on his gloves, turned on his gun, and moved toward Silas chiseled rib cage. "let's bird your gut, music boy."

Mallory jogged out of the shop, clutching her little black backpack and fumbling through her ripped blue jeans pockets for her cell phone, She placed a call to her mother, it went straight to her voicemail. Mallory, foudn her car keys and unlocked the door to her ten year old Saturn and almost hit a pickup truck backing out of the Inkwell's parking lot. She started to shake and breathing became difficult. Her heart raced and she could feel an attack coming on fast. Mallory pulled the car into a McDonald's parking lot and turned her bookbag upside down spilling the contents into the passenger seat, She found a perscription pill bottle and took two white pills and swallowed them. Their effect would take a half an hour or so, but the piece of mind, held her for the rest of 8 minute drive to her mom's house. mallory found her mom's townhouse neighborhood and saw her mom's volkswagon parked next to a BMW. For a moment she wondered if Lark had gotten to her mom again. Mallory was relieved to get out of her car and discover that the BMW was her mom's boyfriend of the month. They were listening to music and smoking cigarettes on the back porch area. Mallory called out to her mom, "Are you and whatever his name is ok?" Her mother, blowing smoke from her the left side of her mouth, "Uh, yes, Mal. You scared us. You act like you've seen a ghost. What are you up to?" Mallory turned away from them and walked into the kitchen to grab a soda from the fridge. "Nothing, mom. I have to go back to work, I was just doing something for the shop. I was just checking on you." Mallory lived on her own and rarely stopped by her mom's house uninvited. Her mother, engrossed in her much younger boyfriend's playfulness ignored the obvious change in her daughter's behavior and said "Ok, lock the door when you leave." Mallory shuddered at what that meant and left the townhouse as quickly as she arrived.

Silas winced every 30 seconds or so as Dean began tattooing the unique symbol on Silas' abdomen. The new ink would be about 10 inches froma sun,moon, stars tattoo that Dean found amateurish. 'Where did you get that set up, Silas", he asked. Silas winced again, only this time it wasn't the needle gun poking him, it was the fact he hated the tattoo and it's nondescript story. "I was head over heels for a girl in a man. The romance lasted all of a weel. Tattoo I got is going to last longer than that," Silas confessed. Dean grinned and asked about his show later that night. As Silas distracted himself from the slight pain by talking about his burgeoning music career, Dean thought about the contract he wanted to show Silas to discourage him from getting involved with New York. As he finished the Phoenix outline, he turned the conversation, "Who is stalking Agent Tangelo to sign it's life away?" Silas answered, "Gotham Inc. I know, we might sell out to the man, but selling self made Cds to freinds, family, and freaks keep me from eating properly." Dean laughed and complimented Silas on his band's success. Silas continued, "tall, icey chick, named Lark McKissic has been on us for the last three months. Wouldn't be surprised if she's backstage tonight with an ink pen." Dean laughed again, not letting on how well he knew her or Silas' situation. "Ok, Silas Bane, time for color and shading. Don't move for about 15 minutes or you'll end up with a yellow and red pigeon."  Silas wanted to ask Dean about music but sensed the timing was off, instead, he asked, "i slept through lunch. I'm starving. There's like an Applebee's or something across the street. You want to grab something with me in a few minutes?" Dean's taken back by the invitation and but intriqued by the chance to see what Silas' musical mind might be, responded, "I have a couple of appointments but since you came in early, I could spare 45 minutes or so. I'm in, man." Silas swelled with anticipation of hearing about who Dean played and partied with. Dean asked, "tell me about this dream you had. This image is so striking. I'm guessing it was a hell of a night leading up to the sleep." Silas chuckled, and said, "yeah, it was. The dream was bizarre. I was like in the middle of a stadium, an arena, like where the Magic play hoops or something. Thus older guy, in like an immaculate black suit and creepy eyes meets me. He tells me I have a destiny, blah blah blah. Then the picture of this phoenix appears over our heads, lighting up the basketball court. Then some other stuff happened and I woke up and decided to not drink mescal for a while." Dean was mesmerized. The man in the black suit had reached Silas. It was all in motion. Dean stopped tattooing, and said "we are done. Want to walk over to the mirror next to you.?" Silas admired the professional artwork and smiled large. "Thanks Dean. That looks amazing. Exactly what I was looking for, I appreciate this. You sure $125 is all you want?" Dean started cleaning his instruments and said, "I'll take a caesar salad and an iced tea or two and call it a deal." Silas extended his right hand to Dean's and said "deal."

The pills were working and Mallory felt calm. Her Saturn's gas gauge was on empty and she decided to pull into a station. She looked over at her passenger seat and saw sixteen dollars and twenty three cents. Until Dean paid her on Friday, that was all the money she possessed. It would buy a few gallons of gas, a diet snapple, a bag of pretzels and lottery ticket. She needed to feel lucky, even though she was the least lucky person she had ever known. After pumping the gas and making her purchases, she looked across the street and saw Dean and Silas walking into the Applebee's. Curiosity got the best of her, and she drove across to that parking lot, parked, and walked into the restaurant. Mallory could only shake her head in disgust as Dean sat Silas down in Bee Gee's section. Mallory had to intrude. She had to. "Well Dean, I would rather you have taken Silas to the strip bar down the street, that would have been more honest and you could have seen Bee Gee in her natural habitat and that would have been more honest than this." Dean just glared at his rude, noisy, receptionist and said "we are eating and talking. I didn't know Bee Gee was even here until we sat down." Silas was enjoying the bickering, it reminded him of home, he asked the obvious question, "who's Bee Gee?" Then a bubbly, busty, flirty red head came over to take their drink order. The waitress' countenance changed when she saw Mallory. She frowned at Mallory then asked the men what they wanted. After the order, Silas said "am I just imagining things or does she has glitter on her boobs?" Dean and Mallory rolled their eyes in unison and Dean explained, quietly, our waitress is a girl we've known for a year or so. She came to our anti-Valentine's Day party at the shop. Apparently she has a night job at a gentleman's club down the strip and the glitter is part of the act." Mallory interjected, "Her name is like Kristy or Katie or Kelly, something whatever, but we started calling the guys in the shop called her booby glitter. I changed it to Bee Gee because it's wittier, duh. Have fun, you two disappoint me. I'm going back to work." Dean was happy to hear that, and shooed her away. Silas said, "Dean, you have the Motleyest Crue since Tommy Lee left the band." Dean laughed and briefly enjoyed the camraderie with Silas Bane. He knew the moment would be short lived. He was feeling a cold shiver again and losing his appetite.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hellandback 5

Lark's fierce, deep, dark blue eyes never left the screen of her Iphone as she boarded the Gulfstream. Even people in the entertainment business used to be able to disappear, then youtube came along. Twenty year old memories, played before Lark as she watched videos of the defunct hair metal rock band Hellandback. Then she opened another screen. It was a file called Malibu. Usually people forget their past, Lark memorized and computerized every dramatic detail. In one part of the file, she watched a video made by the channel now known as E! as they interviewed the members of Hellandback at the American Music Awards in January 1991. Six months before the incident on the California shore that changed her life, Dean Hellenbachs, and a dozen others, Lark was representing the fledgling rock band for Gotham records. There she was, 23 years old, full of idealistic ambition, the polar opposite of the ice cold, nihilistic drive that consumed her on a daily basis. She cringed at the teased hair, push up bra and bright red lipstick then saw what she needed to see, Dean Hellenbach turning to his bandmates and mouthing the words "this all sucks". Dean knew. The deal made in a some sweaty New York club months before with the man in the black suit was a front for his soul, and Lark had made the same deal. She just didn't have the same conscience. "Beating" Dean Hellenbach was impossible. He had made his deal with the Devil, reneged and lived to tell about it. Lark opened another screen, titled girlfriend. She glanced over the biography of an innocent looking blond who died at age 20, just a few days after her birthday, of an apparent drug overdose. Lark knew it was a lie. She wasn't there but she knew the blond was doomed. The man in the black suit killed her, somehow, because he wouldn't kill Dean. Lark had to figure out some way to use it all to distract Dean Hellenbach from influencing Silas Bane. She picked up the jet's phone and made an 11 dollar phone call that would ensure millions. "Inkwell, yes we're open, yes, we're busy, and yes, you need an appointment to get tattooed. T-shirts are 10 percent off during on the weekdays. What else do you need to know?" Lark rolled her eyes and made her move, "Mallory Powell, this is Lark McKissic. I know you can't talk so if Silas bane is inside that shop, say "tomorrow noon sounds good, and write in the appointment book, Penelope for the whole hour". Mallory, for a rare moment in ehr life was speechless She responded in kind. Lark finished the call by saying "Don't worry Mallory, I have no use for your angst. Dean will never know about our relationship. Tell your mom I said hello and I hope she stays clean." Lark hung up the phone. She closed her eyes and tried to nap the rest of the flight.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hellandback Part 4

Looking out the bay window of her 68th floor office of the Gotham Media Building, Lark McKissic held her daily ritual of spending exactly 10 seconds of having regret. She thought about that moment, 21 years earlier, when she listened to a persuasive sales pitch from a mysterious middle aged man in a black suit with a white opend collared shirt and no tie. Then she diverted her attention to the buzzing cell phone in her hand, instakked her blue tooth wireless ear piece and hit the button on the back. She answers "Tell me something worth at least a few million dollars, Paul". Lark is neither the kind of person who exchanges pleasantries nor takes time for pointless conversation. She thinks money. Her business colleague Paul Toohey gives his report, "Agent Tangelo is pulling a work vacation, playing clubs in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando. Problem is, Dean Hellenbach runs a tattoo and beach wear shop in Cocoa. Silas Bane is a fan of his." Lark never acts nervous or worried, she just asks questions. "So what. They get together for ink and music talk? What Dean going to do, tell his some sob story about being a worthless hasbeen and suddenly the next flavor of the month musician gets cold feet and decides to sell insurance or work at the mall in Orlando." Lark says cynically. "Look Paul, we deal in fame, fortune, and want. Bane wants. We want. I'll go down there, and get his stupid manager to sign the deal. We'll have Agent Tangelo whacked out on booze and whores in a penthouse apartment in New York by next week. This is what I do. I'm on a plane to Orlando within the hour. We'll get the deal signed sooner rather than later. Don't sleep tonight, Paul, you'll be working for me." Lark turns the ear piece off and pulls out her iphone. Within a few key strokes and two more phone calls, she plans for a trip south. Lark opens the elevator to head down to the parking garage. Only, the elevetor starts going up. Lark shrugs her shoulders and braces for the impromptu meeting with the only person she ever shows subservience. The elevator doors open to the top floor. She walks out, looks around and takes the stairs to the roof. lark is about to have a bad hair day in the New York wind, as her shoulder length black mane begins to swirl. "Lark, you look lovely. I will be brief, I know you have to buy sunscreen for that alabaster skin for your business trip to the Sunshine State." says the man in the black suit. Perturbed, put upon, she obliges this pointless exchange, "flattery only pisses me off. You know this. I'm on this Silas Bane issue. What's the rub?" The man grins cautiously. Lark is one of his greatest achievements. "Lark, Silas Bane is not the issue. You will get the contract. Bane will not let his band mates or manager down. Dean Hellenbach is the issue. This is where you aks me why." Lark thinks for three seconds, puts her black, eelskin briefcase down, cross her arms and rants "Dean Hellenbach is a loser. He'll badger Bane with stories of getting his ass kicked by the record business. How you are evil. I am evil, At the end of the day, Bane will get a decent tattoo, some war stories, and go get high, drunk and laid. You are thinking about this one way too much, old man. Way too much." The man keeps smiling and raises his hand. Lark's body levitates a few inches off the ground, her body temperature increases, and her throat begins to close. Her breathing becomes panicked. The man speaks. "I appreciate your confidence. It is the only attribute I did not gift you. Let your sharp tongue not be what I find intolerable and I take your life earlier than planned. Dean Hellenbach is the issue. He beat you at your own game in Malibu that night 19 years ago and I had to clean up your mess. The record contract is step one is getting Silas Bane. It opens the door. Go to Florida. Do a better job with Bane than you did with Hellenbach. Trust me, my dearest Lark, your miserable life depends on it all." He drops his hand and Lark drops to the roof ground. She pushes herself to her feet and sees a chipped nail on her left hand. "I won't expense the manicure I get on the plane. Maybe that will improve your thoughts of me. Agent Tangelo and Silas Bane will be in my office by the end Monday morning. It's Wednesday." She says sarcastically but with some caution. The man smiles again, and responds, "I have always liked you Lark. You are everything a man like me enjoys." Lark McKissic picks up her thousand dollar briefcase and walks to the penthouse stairs. It was time for her to go get back to work.

The shop was busier than usual for a summer weekday. Dean forked through a caesar salad and answered a cell phone call from Evelyn. "Hey you." Evelyn prepared for the rejection "I was calling to see if you wanted to meet me for dinner at Sandshark. I have some good news I want to share." Dean's afternoon appointments included Silas Bane. Plus he wanted to go see his band play later. "you know Ev, I am just too busy tonight. Unless you wanted to meet me at The Warehouse where Agent Tangelo is playing. Evelyn called his bluff. "Sure! The bands start at 8, right." Surprised, Dean answers, "Yeah, 8. See you there?" Evelyn felt like she had just completed a marathon in an hour, "yeah, can't wait to watch you in your element, maybe they'll have a real rockstar come onstage and show them how it's done." Dean barely mouthed a goodbye, when Mallory and her shopmate Kevin Tilly barge into Dean's office uninvited, "Dean, tell this mouthbeathing moron that Chris Cornell got his shoulder inked with flames in this very shop." Mallory sais angrily. Kevin defended his skepticism, "Heidi worked her then. She says Cornell called here but never got inked." Dean just want then away "you are both right. Chris did call here. I tattoed him at his hotel in Orlando. He had a cold and I wasn't busy. Now slap each at your proper place, the front of the shop. Mallory stomped out of the office defeated. Kevin was trashtalking her the entire time. It was going to be a long day at the Inkwell for the employees. The shop phone was on it's third ring and Dean decided to be his own receptionist "Inkwell, can I help you." The caller said "Yeah, uh, this is Silas. I have an appointment at like 2:30 but Im sorta ready now. Can I just come in or something?" Dean answered a little too eagerly "Absolutely, I'll go ahead and set up for you. It'll take maybe 15 minutes to get started." Silas Bane was obliviously to who he was talking to, "Cool. See you soon."

Silas walked into the lobby of his hotel and smiled at the woman behind the counter. "Hey, I have to go out for a while and I lost my key. I lost the other two as well. What are the chances I get another one?" he asked. Shyly, the starstruck clerk, swiped the keycard through her machine and handed it over and responded "How expensive are the door tickets at the Warehouse on a Wednesday?" Silas, sensing a chance to be both charming and impressive, said "For you, dear, free. Call room 209, ask for Steve. Tell him I talked to you. If he asks like an ass, ignore him and wait for him to stop huffing and puffing and he'll line up tickets for you. Have a good day." Silas walked out the automatic sliding glass doors and the clerk picked up the phone. She told a voice on the other end, " He just left. The Inkwell is about 10 minutes from here with traffic."

Mallory was moving a box of t-shirts near the front door when she her nose began to itch. At first she thought it was her nose ring being temperamental but the itching wouldn't stop. As she put the box down and began to run her black nail polished fingers over her small, pale nose, a ripped jeaned and black booted man walked into her. It caused her hand to collide with her face and the pain was sharp. "Oh crap. Oh God, I'm so sorry. Are you ok?" Silas Bane had just rudely introduced himself to Mallory. Usually this is where socially awkward Mallory would have lit into the person but instead, she just laughed. Then she laughed some more and picked up her box. Reduced to stupidity by Silas Bane for the second time, she walked away laughing. Silas turned to Kevin, and asked "is she always like that." Kevin wasted no time filling in that blank, "clueless, weird, and nuts? Oh yeah, dude. Dean! Your appointment is here. Want me to roll out the red carpet," Kevin broke wise. Dean walked over and extended his hand, "hey Silas, I'm Dean. Let's get you away from the peanut gallery and get you some new ink."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dark Paper

He walked into his office and locked the door behind him. For the first time in years, he examined his past. Moving clutter to the side, he found the black box that held the flashpoint of his trail of failure that ruined his life. Opening the box, slowly, he braced for the document to evoke harsh memories. Forty one pages of lawyer speak that spelled out the sale of his soul for the sake of fame and fortune. He removed the contract for use later in the day to save someone's else's life, it was the least he could do.

*blogger's note* - this is my entry this week for http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ 's 100 word challenge. The one word prompt is HARSH. These 100 words will be included in my novel, Hellandback, being posted at http://www.nanowrimo.org/ please check out both sites especially velvetverbosity. Tehre's great writing and reading there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hellandback Part 3

more contributions to http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Dean started the first day of summer with a morning run on the beach.  At a little past 8, the sun was already blazing and he began sweating through his faded NY Dolls t-shirt in minutes. Nirvana's You Know You're Right began playing on his ipod and he started comparing that group's singer, the late Kurt Cobain, to Silas Bane. Silas looked a little like Kurt, especially the blond hair, but Silas was taller, and more masculine. The angst and honesty in their voices were strikingly similar. As Dean passed the first pier, a coldness came over him. He shook and then heard Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones in his ear buds. He ripped them from his ears and stopped running. The song wasn't supposed to be in his ipod. Did Ev put in there, he pondered? Then, he looked at the edge of the tall pier and looking over him was his nightmare. Dean said nothing but inside his heart screamed...NO.
"Morning, Dean. Good to see you again. It has been almost twenty years . You have aged well. Taken up jogging? I am impressed. I hope you are eating and drinking better than I remember." he conversed. Dean looked around, the beach was unusually quiet for the time of the morning. e replied, nervously, "What could you possible take from me, that you already haven't?" The man smiled, wickedly, and jumped from thepier, landing perfectly in the sand and responded "Oh Dean, you are still do not see the big picture. I guess your relationship taught you very little. First of all, I can take anything I want, especially if you gave me something already."  Dean looked back towards his house, almost two miles away. The man continued talking, "Dean I have no interest in Evelyn. Neither do you, by the way. Godo job convincing her you care about her long term. You still have your way with the women. Then again, she is just as confused as you are. Broken is how I would describe her. Pretty, witty, caring, but hopelessly broken." Dean didn't wondering how he knew all of this. The first time they'd met, outside a bar in New York City, he told Dean more about himself than Dean knew. "Just get to the point you evil bastard", Dean answered. "Silas Bane", he said. Dean didn't get it and said "What about Silas Bane? I don't even know him". The man explained, "He's the special. Right? Reminds me of you twenty years ago. Except he may be more idealistic. I dislike that in a musician. The chase is this, Dean. I want Silas Bane. I want you to get him for me." Dean was dumbfounded. This man could get anything and anybody he wanted. Throw some liquor and women at Bane and he was his. Dean didn't even know Silas Bane. He returned "You don't need me. Plus we are done with each other unless you're going to kill me. I don't even remember if that was in our agreement before." The man shot back, firmly, "Your life means nothing to me Dean. Neither does young Silas'. I want his talent, his charisma, and his soul. Just like I wanted yours. I do not think he will give it all up as easily as you did. You can convince him even better than I could." Dean knew not to ask it, but he felt like being rhetorical, "What's the point? I mean, will you leave me alone for eternity or can I expect you back in twenty years to deliver another young, dumb guitar playing fool?" The man laughed, and said "Oh Dean, I have missed you. I like the fact you are still naive at your age. It makes you interesting. That stunt you pulled with me after the party in Malibu made me angry but I never acted on it. This is me tying up that loose end." Dean became furious and yelled "you killed her you monster! For no reason, you took her from me! You want to say we aren't even?" The man calmy retorted, "Maybe this time, you'll understand why it was so easy to deal with you last time. Selfishness is something I enjoy. Especially when it makes others so vulnerable. You need to track Silas Bane down, today. Lead him into the temptation of that record deal that awaits his group when they return to Orlando in two weeks. Make sure he does the same thing you did. Scorched earth greed and avarice, Dean. That's how I got you. I'll check back with you tomorrow. We will meet at dawn. Even I am sweating in this heat." He looked through Dean with his piercing black eyes and drifted away. Dean just stood, frozen in the sand, like glass.
Mallory Powell opened the tattoo shop five minutes early. She had some flash to draw and didn't feel like stopping to unlock the doors to the public a few minutes after starting. The phone rang, which annoyed her, "The Inktank, this is Mallory." The voice on the other end stuttered then replied, "uh, yeah, I was seeing when you opened and if, well, you know, I needed an appointment." Mallory, found the appointment book, which is pointless, there were no solid bookings all day, and said "yeah, you do. I just opened, but the artists are, you know artists, so they come in when they come in. Want to do something at 2:30 this afternoon?" The voice answered, "That would be beast. My name's Silas Bane. I am looking for something small, near my rib cage maybe. I'll bring a picture. Is this really Dean Hellenbach's place?" Mallory recognized Silas' name but she wasn't about to let him charm her. Plus she was protective of her boss. "Yes, Mr. Hellenbach is our proprietor." Mallory just realized she had never used the words Mister or proprietor when describing her employer. Silas Bane was charming her into acting stupid. Dean Hellenbach walked into the shop and heard part of the phone call. He put up his index finger and grabbed a note pad and scribbled "i'll ink him, book it." Mallory ended the call by saying "You know Dean, uh, Mr. Hellenbach will see you at 2:30." She hung up the phone. Dean said, "what did he say and when have you ever been polite or called me Mister?" Mallory rolled her eyes, and said "I just got you an almost famous person's business, don't hassle me, Dean." realizing she was embarrassed and settling back into her normal anti-social personality, he smiled and said "thank you Mal. Here's a bagel and an iced coffee. you're welcome."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hellandback part 2

more contributions to @NaNoWriMo for my November novel:

Dean pulled his Jeep in front of his house but left the engine running. A radio station played the last few bars of a song he heard earlier at the concert. Dean usually disliked anything new. He hadn't heard much music over the past few years he'd even listen to more than once, much less own. Yet, he was captivated by Agent Tangelo and their leader, Silas Bane. Dean smiled at the scream and hard end to the rollicking tune. He reached behind the seats and retreived a bag of dog food and a bottle of Southern Comfort. As he approached the Spanish style ranch home, the door opened and the woman he shared it with, Evelyn Tilly, met him in the doorway with crossed arms and a wicked grin. Under the front porch light that revealed her almost 40 year old face of little makeup and broken history, she said "hey there, night owl. You feed the dog, I'll pour some drinks." With no emotion, he looked past Evelyn insouciantly, replying "TRex is probably sleeping, I'll feed him in the morning, meet me on the back patio in you want." Evelyn was used to Dean's aloofness. He always seemed to be thinkingt about something else other that what was five feet in front of his face. She attributed it to him being a musician at heart. They were both older, set in their ways, and a little weird. It was 1:15am, Evelyn just wanted to spend some time with her complicated but good hearted boyfriend. Dean walked into his bedroom closet, got his guitar case, and walked to the sliding glass door leading to a patio overlooking the Atlantic ocean. The brosk night breeze felt relaxing. He opened the case and took out a tan and white acoustic guitar. It looked old and storied. He sat down on a lime green lounge chair and began strumming and picking to notes familiar and then later to some new. "Wpw, Dean, that's the first timeyou've played that since your birthday several months ago, Evelyn noted enthusiastically. Dean winced but knew she was owed some sort of explanation, "I saw something tonight that made me want to play. Don't make a big deal of it, ok." Evelyn knew how to read his quirks and pick her spots. She didn't press for details. As he strummed, Evelyn talked about her night hosting at the restaurant, Sunshine, and touched Dean's legs affectionately. She couldn;t help but wonder what it was like to know him years ago when music was Dean's world. Instead she was with the former musician. They'd been together two years. He never talked about his past. After about 20 minutes, and 2 glasses each of SoCo with water on the rocks, Dean spoke; "This kid, well, he's like 20 or so, Silas Bane has a band. They played the Reef next our shop. They're from Orlando. They call themselves Agent Tangelo. The band's hot, like surface of the sun hot. Tons of energy, heart, grit, and tenacity, This Bane is good, really good. Like Holy crap good." He stopped talking. Evelyn was floored. Dean never spoke fondly of anything musically from the past 20 years. He hated everything new. He wasn't just a music snob, but a bitter, angry, ranting music snob. "What makes him good, Dean," she asked. Dean strums some of the chors he heard Silas play earlier in the night, then stops. He grabs Evelyn's hand and his green eyes brighten. "Anyone can play music. Really they can. It's not that special of a skill. Songwriting is the the real art, and this kid can write his butt off. He can connect the nites, the rythym, the tin e, the melody, and give off an energy that says something. This kid can do it all Ev. He's remarkable. I mean he's a child. He's super stupid. He gets distracted by booze and boobs just like I used to, yet, even at his drunkest and most scatterbrained, he's crazy talented. He reminds me of...." Dean stops before he reveals too much to Evelyn. She's disappointed to not hear more. The emotional stopsign signals bed. "Come on, Dean Hellenbach, this groupie is ready for to go to sleep, or whatever." Evelyn takes his hand and leads him into the bedroom. The lock read 2am.
The Seashell Innwasn;t known for it's rules. Most of it's patrons paid in cash and didn't require candies on their pillows. At $42 a night, it was a popular spot for young beachcombers. With Agent Tangelo and it's hangerons, The Seashell Inn got a lot more than it bargained for. Night two of the rock bands 17 day stay, saw nudity, broken liquor and beer bottles, and a television thrown from the third floor balcony. The good news for The Seashell, the television belonged to another motel. Room 316 was a little different than the rest. The sounds strumming guitars and giggling girls were calm in comparison. Silas Bane stayed in Room 316. The lead singer, songwriter, and rythym guitar player for Agent Tangelo eschewed the behavior of his rowdier badmates, and their hedonistic clique. With the noise increasing, he grabbed his brown and white acoustic guitar and a bottle of vodka and started walking down the stairs and toward the beach, some 200 feet away. A few steps behind him was a young blonde, whose name escaped Silas. She was carrying a blanket and another bottle of vodka. They made it to the sand and fell into it awkwardly, laughing. The girl tried to kiss Silas, he teased her, then started playing Oasis' Wonderwall on his guitar. He stopped after the first verse and asked the nameless girl, "if we were to die tonight, would any of this mean anything?" Struck by his morose inquiry and disappointed in his slow burn to romance, she stood up, danced around him in a perfect circle, grabbed the vodka bottle, took a huge drink, dropped it, then removed her tank top and blue jean shorts. She ran into the ocean, dancing and giggling. Silas dropped his head, drunkenly, looked up and past the nearly nude girl and saw an unusual light on the pier, several hundred feet away. It was like a spotlight showing the figure of a man in a black suit with no tie and an open white collar. The man seemed to be staring at him, smiling, ominously. Silas dropped his head and looked up, the man was no longer there. "Come on, Silas! The water is perfect ad\nd so am I, hahahaha!" the girl called out to him. Silas blocked everything out of his mind, stripped down, and gave in to the hedonism.
let me know what you all think.

I'm at 1120 words. Got to get to 50,000 by November 30th.