Daily Archives: April 18, 2017

Zom Fu – Chapter 61

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Crunch, crunch, crunch. Junjie’s teeth chewed through veins and gray matter, then swallowed. The taste was abhorrent, yet the anticipation of the knowledge to come took his mind off it. Something had drawn him to this brain and he had to know what.

Junjie closed his eyes. When he opened them, he felt big, bold, strong…and angry…oh, so very angry. He was in the sanctuary of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw, walking hurriedly toward the courtyard. Honghui stood up ahead, next to the Infallible Master, who was holding a baby.

“Junjie?” the master said as he looked down at the infant. “That means ‘handsome hero,’ you know. An awful lot of pressure to put on one so small.”

“Yes,” Honghui said. “But I have no doubt he will live up to the name, master. Ling felt the same way.”

“And where is Ling?” the master asked.

Honghui looked down, sullenly. “Gone.”

The master frowned. “How?”

“Longwei,” Honghui said. “When he learned that Ling and I were leaving the clan so that we could be married, he went mad. He somehow saw it as offense to him, that he was your greatest student and that we could not leave until he’d bested us in a fight.”

The master sighed. “That sounds like Longwei.”

“I declined,” Honghui said. “As did Ling. But Longwei’s words were so cruel that I lost control and called him a fool. That enraged him so much that he laid in wait and as soon as I left, he…he…”

Honghui’s eyes teared up. “…took the brain of the woman I loved.”

The master gasped. “Took her brain?”

Longwei finally reached the courtyard. “Yes! And it was delicious!”

The master pointed the Staff of Ages at Longwei. “Longwei! What has come over you?”

Longwei chuckled. “Destiny,” Longwei said. “That is what has come over me.”

“Away with you,” the master said. “You’ve gone insane.”

“No, master,” Longwei said. “I assure you, I’ve never had a better understanding of the world.”

“I will hear no more of your drivel,” the master said. “You’ve already taken one member of our clan today. You will not take another. Look at what you have become!”

“You have always resented the fact that I was better than you, old man,” Longwei said. “My feet were faster than cheetahs. My muscles were stronger than those of an ox and my hands?”

“Enough,” the master said.

“My hands are swift and dance through my opponents like a graceful dragon twirling through the air,” Longwei said.

The master pulled the baby close to his chest and held the staff high in the air. Clouds formed in the sky. “Enough.”

“You always favored Hongui and Ling over me,” Longwei said.

“A lie you told yourself over and over until you believed it to be true,” the master replied. “I love all my students equally, even you Longwei…even after the evil you have done.”

Longwei drew closer. He gazed upon the baby.

“Give me that child, so that I might snuff it out and spare it a life of knowing what a pathetic weakling its father was.”

Honghui lost control. He charged at Longwei…only to have his brain ripped out by Longwei’s tiger claw.

The master’s heart sunk, but he wasn’t just a master of kung fu. He was a master of his own emotions and buried them down, refusing to cry as Honghui’s lifeless corpse hit the ground.

Longwei bit into Honghui’s brain as if it were an apple. He swallowed, then tossed the rest over his shoulder. He returned his attention to the master.

“Give that child here.”

A lightning bolt shot out of the sky and into the staff. Thunder rolled as the staff glowed bright.

“Do not make me do this, my son,” the master said.

“No one is making you do anything, old man,” Longwei said. “You do what you wish. I know from hereon out, I will do as I wish. I will never be held back by you ever again.”

“I was never holding you back,” the master said. “I was trying to contain your boundless ego, to get it under control before you did…something like what you have just done.”

Longwei reached for the baby. “And I’m just getting started.”

Thok! The master kicked Longwei with such force that he was launched into the air. The old man then took aim with the staff and sent the lightning bolt into Longwei’s body, killing him instantly, even before he hit the ground.

Darkness. Longwei saw nothing but darkness. Seconds later, he opened his eyes. He looked up at the master, who was standing over him, still holding the baby.

“Longwei?” the master asked.

Longwei looked into the master’s eyes, and caught the reflection of his face in them. In that reflection, Longwei was able to see that his own eyes had gone blank – pure white, devoid of anything else.

“There…there is no Longwei….there is only…Dragonhand.”

The master pointed the staff at Dragonhand’s face. “Leave here at once, creature. Do not darken this sanctuary’s doorstep again, or that will be the end of you.”

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#ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear

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Female writers are mad as hell and they’re not taking it anymore, 3.5 readers.

They’ve taken to Twitter to share some of the nasty, rude, unkind, insensitive things that they hear as women writers.

Hmm.  You know, I’m nothing if not a friend to all female kind, so there was a part of me that just said, “Eh, don’t even write a post about it.  Let the ladies complain.”

And honestly, as I scroll through the tweets, much of it is valid.  Women get told they can’t write from a male perspective, that complex topics might be too hard for them, that they’re selfish for writing when they should be taking care of their kids and husbands and so forth.

I guess what irks me is the “only” part of the hashtag.

Look, ladies, I hear you.  You got problems.  That vagina and all the things that come with it is not a cakewalk.

However, do keep in mind that there’s something that no male writer has ever heard before:

“Here’s a million dollar book deal because you have a penis!”

It’s never happened.

This sort of reminds me how sometimes I’ll be watching TV and a woman will complain that men can be all fat and ugly while women are expected to be hot and attractive.

Umm…sure I’ll agree that it sucks when a woman is discriminated on based on their looks, but honestly, men that don’t look good get shit upon regularly too.  It’s not a male/female thing, it’s a looks thing.  The better you look, the farther you’ll go in life, whether you have a penis or a vagina.

Back to the hashtag.  Do male writers get shit on?  Yes.  Ever since I was a little BQB boy, everyone has shit on my dream of becoming a writer.  Men have shit on it.  Women have shit on it.

I work and then I try to carve out a little time at night and on the weekends to write.  Often, several weeks will go by where I don’t work on my novel projects at all because various people in my life need help.  So I help them.

In the past, I’d try saying something like, “Hey, I’m trying to write a novel here” but they, men and women, would look at me like I just said, “Hey, I’m trying to time travel to ancient times and bring back a dinosaur to be my pet.”

In other words, the average person who is not interested in writing think that attempting to write a novel is frivolous and silly.  If you tell people you’re writing a novel, some people will be polite and say, “Oh, isn’t that nice?”  or they’ll be supportive and say, “That’s awesome!” but many, if not most, will think you’re being a wide-eyed dreamer with your head in the clouds, too busy day dreaming to pay attention to everything going on around you.

Yes, it sucks when female writers get shit on and told they are bad mothers and bad wives if they dare to carve out some time to write.

But, men get shit too.  Men are expected to be manly.  Men are expected to make a lot of money and be good providers.  Men are expected to fix shit around the house when it breaks.  When men take time to write, they’re often called pussies and wimps engaging in a frivolous daydream rather than being manly and making more money or fixing a car engine or something.

Men get shit.  Women get shit.  We all get shit.  And we should be all be able to complain about the shit we get.

And before you give me shit, I feel like in the numerous project irons I’ve got in the fire, I’ve written some very strong, positive, female characters and I’ve had plots and subplots that point out some of the shit that women have to go through.

I just feel like we’re headed down a bad path in this country where the debate always turns on, “Well, I have this kind of genitalia so my life sucks and your life is great.”

No.  No.  No.  Life sucks.  It sucks in different ways for different people and sometimes the suck is even similar.  But it sucks.  It really sucks and you don’t get a pass on the suckyness of life just because you have one kind of body part or another.

OK, everyone let the point fly over their heads and proceed to bash your humble resident nerd in 3..2…1…

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Do We All See the Same Things?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Got a big ass mind-blowing question for you.

How sure are we that we all see the same exact things?

For example, what if the color I see as blue, you see as red?  Every time I see something I think is blue, you see it as red.  We never realize we see the color differently because technically, we’re talking about the same thing.

I see people that look like humans.  But what if what you think humans look like and what I think they look like are different?

What if people look like giant lizards to you, but they look like people to me?

What if actual lizards look like tiny people to you?

Sure, this all sounds ridiculous, and it is unlikely, but no one has ever been able to see through the eyes of another before, so how can we e so sure that we are all looking at the same thing?

Discuss.

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Movie Review – The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

War!  Intrigue!  Nazis vs. Zoo animals!

BQB here with a review of The Zookeeper’s Wife.

Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, owners/operators of the Warsaw Zoo who used their property to save persecuted Jews during World War II.

Before the war, Jan (Johan Heldenburgh) and Atonina (Jessica Chastain), live an idyllic life.  They love animals and they take care of zebras, elephants, lions, tigers, all sorts of exotic animals on their sprawling property.  They even do a good business, charging admission.

Alas, all this changes because of the Nazis.  Oh you dirty Nazis, you’re always the turd in history’s punch bowl, aren’t you?

The Zabinskis’ zoo is partially destroyed by Nazi bombs dropped all over the city.  What’s left is confiscated.  The animals are shot and turned into meat and soap for the Nazi war effort.

Sidenote:  Whether it’s during World War II or more recently in Venezuela, once the government resorts to shooting zoo animals for food, shit is not good.

Back to the review.  Long story short, what’s left of the zoo is turned over to Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), a German zoologist who had once been a friend of the Zabinskis in happier times.  Sadly, once Lutz puts on a Nazi uniform and becomes Hitler’s official zoologist, he gets a little too drunk on power and becomes an insufferable douchen-dorfer.

You know you want to see this movie just because the villain is a Nazi zoologist, don’t you?

Anyway, being the good people that they are, the Zabinskis begin rescuing and hiding their close Jewish friends.  Pretty soon, they realize that with underground tunnels once used to house tigers, buildings and trucks, they have all the means necessary to run a Jewish rescue/hiding/smuggling to safety operation.

The danger comes from the fact that they must do all this right under the nose of their ex-friend turned Nazi.

Will the Zabinskis be successful?  Will they be caught?

You’ve got to watch to find out.

Overall, it’s a touching story.  So many stories came out of WWII and they continue even today.

Much credit is due to the Zabinskis.  They probably could have relied on their friendship with a Nazi to ride out World War II by just keeping their heads down and going about their business.  Instead, they put themselves into great danger and in doing so, saved the lives of hundreds of people.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  A good movie, sort of an Oscar-bait film designed to show off Jessica Chastain’s acting chops.  Not necessary to rush out to the theater but it’s worth a rental.

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Top Ten Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be a Clown

Ahh, clowns.  The children’s entertainers of yesteryear.  Who knows when it became fashionable for adults to put on red wigs and paint their faces white in an effort to make children laugh?  All we know is that it usual makes children cry.

Ladies, do you think it might be possible that you are dating a clown?

 

From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be a Clown:

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#10 – He acts like a clown.

Note that I’m not referring to “clown” as a synonym for “jerk” or “idiot.”  So, yeah, if he forgets your birthday, you can call him a clown.  However, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be entertaining anyone at the circus anytime soon.

#9 – Paints His Face White Everyday

This is a definite warning sign that he might be a clown, but then again he might also be an 18th Century French Aristocrat and forgot to tell you.  Ask him whether or not it is advisable to tell poor people to eat cake.  If his answer is “no,” then it’s highly probable that your boyfriend is a clown.

#8 – Has a Tiny Car

No, I’m not talking about a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla.  I’m talking about a little tiny, wind-up toy car that somehow he not only fits himself into, but also twenty of his closest friends.  Also, all of those friends look like clowns.

#7 – Has Red Hair

True, clowns have been known to wear red wigs.  However, you don’t want to start an international incident with Ireland by running around, accusing every redhead you see of clownery.

#6 – Makes Balloon Animals

If he can make any balloon animal that’s more complicated than a snake (which is simply, a long balloon), then that’s a dead giveaway your boyfriend went to clown college.  Balloon animal making is a very serious discipline, achieved only through six weeks of study at a small office in a seedy, rundown strip mall.

#5 – Has Big Floppy Shoes

He could be a clown but think back.  Has he ever tried to sell you to desperate perverts?  In that case, he’s probably not a clown.  In fact, he’s probably a pimp.  Clowns and pimps shop at the same oversized novelty shoe store.  Everyone knows this.

#4 – Has a Red Nose

Maybe he’s a clown.  Maybe he’s a heavy drinker.  Hard to say.

#3 – Wears Loud, Crazy Colors and Patterns

See #5 vis a vis the possibility that he might either be a clown or a pimp.  Clowns and pimps also shop at the same clothing stores.

#2 – Rides a Tiny Tricycle

It’s entirely possible that this might mean your boyfriend is a clown but then again, have you seen the gas prices these days?  I’m surprised everyone isn’t riding around on a tiny tricycle!

#1 – He Threw a Pie in Your Face

A pie in your face is usually the first unequivocal warning sign a woman gets in order to wake her up to the new reality that her boyfriend is a clown.  However, keep in mind that a) your boyfriend might just be very clumsy and didn’t throw the pie at your face on purpose or b) he did throw the pie at your face on purpose, but not because he’s a clown but because he wants to break up with you.  In case of option b, thank your boyfriend for, in these confusing times where couples rarely communicate well with each other, your boyfriend has chosen to end things with a pie in your face.  Nothing says, “it’s over” like a mug full of custard.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Sings, “doo dee doo dee doo dee doo doo doo doo” during intimate moments.  He could be a clown or he could just be very excited.

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