Wattpad works

31 January 2014

Shadow and Shade/Chapter 4

This is a reading of Chapter 4 of the first book in my fantasy trilogy.
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade
I will release one of these each week on Friday until I have read the entire series. 54 weeks in all, I think. I hope you enjoy.

29 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - fees on 401K plans

So I saw a documentary the other night where people were complaining because managed funds often charge fees each year that amount to as much as 2% of the fund. You know, a charge for various things the fund managers do for their investors like, um . . .

Well, anyway, I don't see what the big deal is. If you consult a compound interest chart and plug in a 2% fee per annum, for a regular Joe who invests over 40 years that only turns out to be 2/3 of the total balance.

Now I'm not that good at math but 2/3 doesn't sound like much. Look at that number. Only a 2 and a 3. Heck, the only numbers lower than those are 1 and 0. No numbers over 5, like 66.

What were those guys in the documentary complaining about? Take a chill pill.

Fees on 401K plans . . . eh.

27 January 2014

There was that dream about junior high school

There was that dream where I was back in junior high school and I tried to do what any adult would do if they magically found themselves back in junior high school but I couldn't find a firearm or any poison so I went looking for nerds to beat up but then everything became animated and I was hanging out with Archie and Veronica but that was kind of a bummer because Betty is hotter and then I started feeling sorry for Veronica because what does she have other than money and looks so I tried to strike up a conversation with her but she was rude which I assume is an indication of poor parenting - probably a workaholic dad and stepmom/trophy wife.

Which makes me rethink the whole wanting to get rich thing.

22 January 2014

PMS - Saving Mr. Banks

If I was Catholic I would probably need to say a few Hail Marys for what I am about to do.

Yes, that's right, I'm going to say something good about Tom Hanks. This is bad because everyone praises Tom Hanks. He's like a popular version of Gandhi.

Now I'm not the kind of person who wants to be contrary just to be contrary, but at the same time I try to be a little original now and then.

Still, Tom Hanks did something special in Saving Mr. Banks. Twice.

He was great on the whole in the role of Walt Disney, but there were two scenes where he turns on the charm to try and persuade Emma Thomson's character about selling the rights to Mary Poppins.

What I thought was amazing is that Tom Hanks was already playing this pleasant, friendly, warm person, but then he just flips a switch. Suddenly he attains this charm and charisma that makes you want to have his baby, even if you don't have a uterus.

How did he do that? Both times the thought popped into my head - "This is what Disney must have been like."


20 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - reading books out of order

I was talking to a lady the other day who hadn't realized the Harry Potter books were a series. She had picked up Harry Potter #3 and read it and and she said, "yeah, that Potter stuff is good."
Yeah, there's one, two, three . . . yeah, seven of them.

My first question is this: do you really think that Hermione would be satisfied with Ron as a husband?

I worry about Hermione and Ron growing old together and eventually drifting apart, Ron's celebrity as Harry's friend fading. Ultimately he has to take a job mopping floors for his brother George at the joke shop.

Anyway, my other question is how could you not know that Harry Potter is a series? Sure it's confusing there are seven books but eight movies, but that's only if you fail to realize the Harry Potter franchise was running short on cash. I think they were behind on some utility bills.

To conclude, if Ron and Hermione were to go to a marriage councilor, I would expect them to choose Nymphadora Tonks. She looked like she would give really good advice.

Or did Nymphdora die at the Hogwarts battle?

Reading books out of order . . . eh.

15 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - watermelon seeds

Not as many parents nowadays tell their kids not to do something and then give a fabricated reason as a consequence for not doing that thing. You know, some fairytale disaster that keeps the kid up at night, alone in his room, waiting for the first telltale sign of doom after he has disobeyed?

I miss those days.

So, watermelon seeds might not be the best example of this but is there even one person over 40 who wasn't told when they were young that if you swallowed a watermelon seed it would grow in your stomach?

I say this might not be the best example of fabricated doom because whenever my mom told me this I always thought it sounded great. Who wouldn't want a watermelon patch growing in their stomach? I love watermelons.

But nowadays parents don't tell their kids lies about watermelon seeds. They don't tell them if they play video games too much they'll go cross-eyed.

It makes me fear for the future. Years from now at some distant Thanksgiving when the kids are grown, the conversation will go something like this:
"Ha, ha, Dad, remember when we were kids and you used to tell us that . . ."
And then the kid will realize his dad never did tell him about watermelon seeds or chewing gum staying in your stomach for seven years and he won't be able to finish the sentence.
Eventually people will stop celebrating Thanksgiving because there won't be anything to talk about at the dinner table.

I hope I'm dead by then. I love Thanksgiving.

Watermelon seeds . . . eh.

13 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - pulling a rabbit out of your hat

Maybe Bill was more an illusionist,
but he had the rabbit thing down.
What magic act is complete without a guy in a cape pulling a rabbit out of his hat?

I'm probably a little old school in that belief.

I wonder what possessed the first magician to pull a rabbit out of his hat? The reason I ask this is because . . . why not gold coins? If magicians pulled gold coins out of their hats and then threw them into the audience I'll bet their shows would be better attended.

That, and they wouldn't have to keep coming up with the bigger-better. Nowadays magicians don't get noticed unless they do something like hold their breath underwater while causing an elephant to poo a 7 of Clubs.

Just throw gold coins, guys. It's not rocket science.

But they won't listen. Every time I go it's just a stupid rabbit. And the elephant thing.

Pulling a rabbit out of your hat . . . eh.

08 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - refugulate

When a coworker misspeaks and says a word like refugulate, how many times over the course of say, two years, can you bring it up in conversation before it becomes rude?

Look at the word - refugulate.

Too bad you can't find that word in the dictionary because it pretty much makes me happy every time I say it . . . in her presence.

At least it did.

I think it was unreasonable yesterday when I slipped the word refugulate into a discussion about contract eligibility and waiting periods and my friend flips out and tries to stab me with a letter opener.

Not cool, right?

That's totally on her, though I did feel bad when the cops carted her away.

Now some of my other coworkers are saying it would be in poor taste if I testified against her in a court of law.

I think their logic is flawed. I refugulate that.

Refugulate . . . eh.

06 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - balconies

Lots of famous balcony scenes in literature.

You know that scene where Romeo digs on Juliet and makes her fall in love with him? Balcony.

Or there's that one time where the guy with the big nose helps that other dude get a girl to fall in love with him, only it's a girl the guy with the big nose likes. I wonder if after the guy with the big nose did that he was like, "Man, I'm good. I totally just . . . I . . . aww crap!" Or maybe that was the first use of "Doh!"

Like the time I let my friend Bill talk me into eating three ghost peppers for twenty bucks. I don't think that happened on a balcony, but it's possible. After the second ghost pepper things got a little weird, kind of like that acid trip scene in Dumbo.

Actually, there are only two balcony scenes in literature that I can think of and they were written a long time ago.

Someone should write another famous balcony scene. Only it should have tons of action. And maybe a penguin that speaks Portuguese. And no ghost peppers. Disney would snap up those rights in a second.

I don't know. Too avant guard?

Balconies . . . eh.

02 January 2014

Daily Ambivalence - days that suck

In the history of the world there have been many days that sucked.

Like today.

Today sucks.

It's funny how on days that suck there always seem to be one or two people who don't realize that the day sucks. Like that lady over there right now at the bus stop. She's smiling. How can she not realize this days sucks?

And that guy on the billboard over there. He's smiling too. I guess he's just a static photograph so not much he can do about it, but still.

No way I'm watching the news when I get home. Those news guys even smile on the weekends. And they're working on the weekend. Idiots.

I had a dog named Scooter when I was a kid. Poor Scooter got hit by a car on a Saturday. We took him to a vet who happened to be working that Saturday. Scooter still died. I hate that guy.

Days that suck . . . eh.