Coming Out

Today I’m coming out of the career closet. I’ve kept my past and identity a secret and for a while, I was receiving a lot of emails and messages asking me what I used to do. I only really talked about my previous employers in vague terms like, “my shadowy puppet masters” and whatnot; always promising my readers that one day I would reveal all. Well, that day is today.

 

The truth was that for a few years I couldn’t talk about what I did as my day job because I was a United States Army officer. The military has a fairly strict policy about what its officers can and can’t say on a public forum. I decided to write my blog anonymously while I was still in uniform.

 

So when I drew myself like this,

 

Wizard

 

The real version actually looked like this.

 

Soldier

 

Sorry for the deception, but really the wizard robes were much, much more comfortable than body armor.

 

I actually started this blog right after I got back from a tough tour in Afghanistan. I was having a hard time coping with everything in general and Wife recommended that, since I always enjoyed writing, I start up a blog to release some mental energy. I originally started a blog about my military experience, but everything was too fresh in my mind to really write about it. Instead, I decided to write about humorous and/or nerdy stuff which gave birth to Live Nerd Repeat as you know it.

 

Why am I telling you all of this? Well for a very important reason.

 

Drum-roll please…

 

Book

 

Words and shit

 

It’s a book about my time in Afghanistan and I’m over half-way done. I know this may seem like a stretch, but the writing style almost exactly the same as Live Nerd Repeat. The purpose of the book, unlike much of what’s already out there, is not to decipher the labyrinthine Central Asian geo-political landscape nor to further someone’s military or political point of view, but to give the reader a taste of the mental and emotional transformation that our service men and women undergo in combat on our behalves. In short, it’s my account of my time in war; expect it to be funny, sad, scary, pulse-pounding and riddled with sarcasm. More on this project in the coming months.

 

Now that your brain is digesting all of that, I’m going to throw one more curve-ball at you. I was contacted recently by one of my former soldiers, Pete, who has created from the ground up, a graphic design studio aimed at supporting our fighting men and women. Pete creates professional quality (and often hilarious) t-shirts, stickers, decals, and logos supporting our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors.

 

Please go check it out. The website is called Inkfidel and they can be found on Facebook as well.

 

10% of Pete’s profits go toward the Art of War Project in Denver, CO. For those not in the know, The Art of War project is a non-profit art therapy project that uses art to help veterans cope with PTSD. As a combat wounded veteran with PTSD, I can think of no better way to repay my fellow veterans in need. Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.

 

THE END.

 

P.S. Don’t get worried. Live Nerd Repeat isn’t going anywhere. I’m still a colossal nerd and I love wizards so I don’t think this blog is going anywhere anytime soon. :)

 

P.P.S. Stay tuned for next weekend’s story about the time I almost kicked off my life of crime in a series of unwitting felonies. Till next time, ta-ta!

 

The W.I.T.H / W.A.H. Phenomenon

Hi everybody! I’m not dead. At least, I don’t think so anyway. So far, I can still grab doorknobs and other objects without my hand phasing through them so that’s a good sign.

Speaking of grabbing things in the house, I got up yesterday and made a huuuuge breakfast. When it was all done, I did what I always do and just put all the pots, pans and dishes in the sink to “soak”.

I got up this morning and saw a dirty pile of greasy dishes in the sink and I realized that I suck at being an adult. I truly had no real expectations to do these dishes at all this weekend. Instead, I hold onto the belief that, one day, I’m just going to morph into a person who actually wants to be responsible. After some horribly accurate introspection, I discovered the ugly truth is that I have a very strong desire to be hugely irresponsible and do as little as possible all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still put my pants on and go to work everyday.

Good Day at Work

Well, most days anyway.

I handle the big stuff like paying bills and whatnot, but I find it’s the little things that I slack on. I find that I lie to and convince myself that what I’m doing is responsible or frugal or (insert positive adjective here) and not just a by-product of outright laziness.

I think it all comes down to this disconnect that I have with what I think will happen vs. what actually happens.

I’ve dubbed this the W.I.T.H (What I Think will Happen) vs. W.A.H. (What Actually Happens) phenomenon.  Enjoy.

I’ll do the dishes after they soak so I don’t have to scrub so hard.

Here’s what I think will happen.

Pristine Dishes

Here’s what actually happens.

Those damn things sit there for about a week and a kraken hatches.

Kitchen Kraken

I’ll wash the car after it rains so I’ll have less pollen or whatever to rinse off.

I think nature will go out of its way and help me clean my car.

The Car

Sadly, it doesn’t rain for months and my car is covered in all manner of shit.

Not Washing

I’ll set my alarm thirty minutes early so I can have the time to enjoy a nice breakfast and put myself into a ridiculously cheery mood, complete with singing.

Early Rise

Here’s what happens instead…  I hit snooze until the last minute and have a spoonful of peanut butter and some vitamins like an anorexic model.  I’m so tired that I can’t even be angry.  I just look back at my life in a moment of quiet, painful reflection.

PB

I convince myself that I’ll take out the trash & recycling once all cans are full so I’m more efficient with my time and energy.

RECYCLING!

Here’s what really happens; the wine and liquor bottles fill the glass bin exponentially faster than all other types of recycling and my neighbors get to see how much of an irresponsible drunk I actually am.

Takin out da booze

I think I’ll update my blog every Sunday so my thousands of subscribers will continue to like me.

Being Responsible

But, here’s what I do… I finish every Sunday the exact same way they start; with a bottle of whiskey and no pants.

Similar

THE END.

P.S. Sometimes a little bit of writing gets done on Sundays.

P.P.S. Usually not a lot, unfortunately. I still want us to be friends though. Here, I made a smiley face for you… :)

Early 1990s: The Best Time to be a Kid, Part II

I spent a long time thinking about what to showcase in this next segment.  “What could be more awesome than Gak?” I asked myself.  After some deep soul-searching, the answer was Saturday morning cartoons.  As a wee lad, Saturday morning cartoons were the highlight of my week…

The building is on fire

Spiderman is on

Er, maybe the highlight of my early existence.

Spider-man was indeed awesome, but it was one of many great cartoons.  I thought about which Saturday morning cartoons were my favorites for a bit and then, all of a sudden, it came to me.

One word…Thundercats.

THUNDERCATS

That’s right, Thundercats.  I know some of you are probably crying foul right now.  “But underwhelmer, Thundercats aired from 1985 to 1988 and technically isn’t an early 90s show.”  I hear your concerns, but that’s what made Thundercats even more awesome to me as a kid.  In the early 90s, it was all reruns and they were all out of order; completely demolishing any semblance of a plot or feeling of continuity between episodes.

My memories of the show hold up much better than the actual show itself.  I re-watched a couple of episodes and came to the conclusion that it was completely fucking insane.  The basis of the show was on the same preposterous level as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Ninjitsu master, teenage, pizza-addicted, crime fighting anthropomorphized turtles named after the great masters of art and science?  Why the hell not?

I make no fucking sense

Thundercats made no more sense than the turtles.  First off, they’re space-faring cat people who are fleeing the destruction of their planet, Thundera.  Let your mind wrap around that one for a moment.  Good now?  OK.  Next, they flee to a planet called, Third Earth (never-you-mind what happened to Second Earth.) Along this journey, they are nearly hunted to extinction by mutant marauders hailing from the unimaginatively named planet, Plun-Darr.  The Thundercats stave off extinction with a magic sword that houses a powerful artifact called The Eye of Thundera.  Upon landing on Third Earth, Lion-O is appointed the leader of the Thundercats despite the fact that (due to a stasis capsule accident) he literally has the mind of a child in the body of a cat/ Conan hybrid.  The Thundercats build a base of operations called the Cat’s Lair with the help of the Third Earth natives, who we never seem to see in any other episodes.  This plot hole is quickly left wide open with the swift arrival of the Plun-Darr marauders and the introduction of Mumm-Ra, who for no clear reason is a D&D Liche living the bowels of Third Earth.  The series then catapults into a series of skirmishing conflicts between the Thundercats and the Mumm-Ra/ Plun-Darr alliance.  Nothing is ever resolved and the Thundercats and Mumm-Ra’s forces are locked in perpetual struggle for dominance of a planet that seemed to be completely oblivious to the alien races battling in their jungles.  In short, it was the perfect recipe for a Saturday morning cartoon; utter madness.

Despite the fact that the show was created by crazy people, it did follow a fairly structured episode layout.  I think the below graph sums up about 90% of the episodes across all of the seasons… enjoy.

Every Episode

THE END.

P.S.  Snarf!

P.P.S. SNARF!!!

 

Early 1990s: The Best Time to be a Kid, Part I

I got up this morning, made my coffee and sat at my writing desk, as is my usual Sunday ritual.  My desk has a nice window view toward my neighborhood.  I get to write and draw for hours while watching my neighbors do normal human things.  There’s nothing like observing people interacting with each other outside on a bright, sunny day to remind me of how much of a creepy hermit I’ve become since I’ve started writing.

Azalea Bushes

Staring

Creepy as Hell

As I typed in my underpants, I noticed two ten-year-old boys sitting on the curb (stop thinking what you’re thinking you damned perverts) and they were both staring at their smart phones, presumably texting each other.

It was a beautiful day outside; why were they on their phones?.  They’re frigging ten… why do they have smart phones in the first place?  Shouldn’t they be chasing each other, throwing a ball or attaching fireworks to small animals?

I started thinking about how shitty it would be to re-live my childhood in 2013.  I’m glad that I grew up in that VHS inspired, color saturated fashion apocalypse that was the early 90s.  To illustrate how awesome this special period of time was to me, I’ve decided to put together a multi-part series showcasing, through charts and graphs, the ridiculous things that made being a kid in the 90s simply awesome.  And with that, I give you an analysis of that wondrous material crafted by the fun-gineers over at Nickelodeon, Gak.

Gak

THE END

P.S. My neighbors keep looking back at me.

P.P.S. Better put some pants on.

World War Z

I don’t normally write movie reviews, but this flick had such an impact on me I decided to share…

It stinks

Last month, I had the misfortune of watching the summer blockbuster film, World War Z. I say “misfortune” because this movie was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; I no longer have any faith left in Hollywood and, by extension, the movie-going public.

Before I go any further, I would like to say that I read the book by Max Brooks a few years ago and I had very high hopes for this movie. Hopes that were crushed mere minutes into the film.

The book was a sociopolitical commentary that was set against the backdrop of a theoretical zombie apocalypse. Max Brooks explored many touchy subjects such as human trafficking in Asia, political tensions in the Middle East and the cognitive and cultural divide between Western Europe and former Soviet-bloc countries. There’s even an ironic and brow-raising scenario where American refugees are attempting to flee the zombie hordes of the States by taking rafts into Cuba.

When I first cracked the pages on World War Z, I expected to be taken on a fun, zombie-riddled, fantasy ride by the son of famous funny man, Mel Brooks. What I got instead was a thought-provoking tale of humanity’s brush with extinction as told from the perspective of over a dozen flavorful characters.

Surprisingly Good

The movie, on the other hand, was the loose story of Brad Pitt traveling the globe and outrunning explosions/ zombies. There were so many battles in exotic locales, I half expected Optimus Prime and Shia Labeouf to make an appearance.

Autobots

With the bloated special effects budget and little to no plot, it felt like a Michael Bay film. I swear to God, that man could ruin anything.

Jane Eyre

Michael Bay

Jane Eyre Adaptation

As I grew more and more agitated in my theater chair, I realized that I needed a dramatic shift in my expectations lest my mood would sour for the rest of the evening. I decided to watch the film for what it was, a mindless, globe-trotting CGI romp that would challenge none of my thoughts or opinions on anything whatsoever.

Ultimately, this proved unfruitful because I was stone cold sober with no access to alcohol and therefore, unable to turn off my brain. Instead I made a compromise between actively hating the movie and passively enduring it and henceforth focused on the movie’s glaring mechanical inconsistencies. I will share those with you now.

*I would normally warn against spoilers at this point, but it’s hard to spoil a steaming piece of crap.

-Zombies, regardless of their physical attributes & dimensions whilst living, gain the power, speed and coordination of an NFL linebacker.

Reeeaaaly Strong

I’m not biologist or anything, but zombies are animated corpses. It would stand to reason that an animated corpse, although fearless and armed with near-limitless endurance, would not gain power through the process of dying. How can something that doesn’t eat, heal, rest or sleep get stronger? Everything it does expends energy and it does nothing to intake energy. They don’t even eat people, they just bite them and move on to the next victim.

-There are no fat zombies.

Fat Zombies

Let’s just pretend zombies that can run a 3.8 second 40 yard dash and then head-butt through ballistic glass somehow make sense. How come there are no fat zombies? I would imagine that the vast majority of fat people would have become the first wave of zombies due to their inability to outrun anything. Watch the movie and try to spot one fat zombie. There aren’t any.

-Zombie bones are made of titanium.

Zombie Fall

Zombie Fall pt 2

Somehow, zombies are able to bend the laws of physics via some Wile E. Coyote bullshit. More times than I could count, I watched a zombie suffer a bone-obliterating fall only to get up and sprint after the nearest human.

Looking back at the movie, I feel really bad for Max Brooks. It seems that the whole discussion as to how the movie was written went like this…

So...

That sounds good

Whatever you say

How do we do this

Just sign here

Seems Legit

Any ideas

Explosions

Brad Pitt

Change the timeline

Fast Zombies

Didn't read the book

Why would we

We write movies

More explosions

Great Idea

Helicopter

Snakes on a plane

You're so smart

I thought of it and then said it.

I'm out.

And then a few years later, a multimillion dollar abomination was released upon the public and we still lined up to see it. According to IMDb, this movie has already made a tidy $25 million dollars. I can just imagine the hidden cabal of masked Hollywood executives lounging about a chateau amidst piles of cash, getting oral sex in some creepy Eyes Wide Shut style orgy.

So if you like zombies and you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, buy Max Brooks’ books and don’t watch the movie.

Final verdict: Book = 9/10

Movie = -712/10

P.S. I made a little facelift to the blog homepage. Hope you like it.

P.P.S. It’s good to be back. :)

I Noticed a Pattern in Game of Thrones

I just finished up Game of Thrones season 3 and I noticed a trend with the characters throughout the entire show.  It seems that the older a character is, the greater the likelihood that they’re a raging prick to everyone else. Without further delay, I give you, “Age vs. Being a Murderous Asshole” enjoy…

 

 

***********************HUGE FUCKING SPOILERS AHEAD*************************

 

No bitching...

 

GOT Chart

 

THE END.

 

P.S. I can’t wait to get attached to whole new set of characters in season 4 so they too can die horrifically.

 

P.P.S. Thanks to The Oatmeal for the inspiration on this one.

Iggy and the Bag.

So there was this one thing I wanted to tell you about my new-ish cat, Iggy. We got Iggy as a rescue cat from a local shelter a few months ago. His name was Lewie, but we decided that name was not very exciting and changed it to Iggy after a funny story I heard about a comedian and his misadventures with a bunch of Russian mobsters. One mobster was named Igor.

I found out very quickly that Iggy is an astonishingly stupid cat.  Not the kind of, “oh, that animal isn’t smart” variety of stupid.  This was a level of stupidity that I had not seen in an animal before.

For example, let’s take the simple act of training the cat to stay off the sofa…

Iggy on the Couch

Iggy, get off the couch

Staring

Iggy, get off the couch

Blink

Get of the GD Couch

Frrrrp.

Spray Bottle

Wet Iggy Staring

Wet Iggy Blink

Why are you so stupid

Wet Iggy Frrrrp.

And so on it went. Iggy kept finding new ways to impress me with his stupidity.

Iggy + Bowl

Iggy Kills Water

Why no more waters

or, one of my personal favorites…

Runs into wall

One day, I came home with some groceries. I set the bags on the floor and I started putting the cold items in the fridge. Iggy was fascinated by this development and started hovering near me.

I finished putting the milk in the fridge and I turned around to see this staring up at me from the floor.

Iggy in the bag

I thought it was really cute that Iggy had nestled himself into the bag. I picked up the cat-bag combo to show Wife, who was seated on the couch.

Cat+Bag Combo

This act was a HUGE FUCKING MISTAKE.

Picking Iggy up while in the bag did several things simultaneously.

  1. It proved to Iggy that the bag possessed the magical power of levitation.
  2. It showed Iggy that the bag was a force of unseen power and was probably linked to many unsolved mysteries of the universe.
  3. Since he couldn’t move easily while being lifted in the bag, there was also a good chance that the bag was immobilizing him as a precursory part of its feeding process.

All of these things made Iggy very unhappy, very quickly. It became clear that to me that Iggy did not want to be in the bag so I gently placed him on the ground. Iggy immediately sprinted away from the bag. There was one small catch though; one of the bag loops became wrapped around his little kitty waist. No matter how fast Iggy ran, the bag pursued him just as hard. As you can imagine, this produced one single emotional reaction in Iggy: sheer, undiluted terror.

The bag pursues

Iggy was running so fast throughout the house that I had no hope of catching him. All I could do was watch in horror as my cat sprinted through the house at a speed only pure adrenaline could provide.

This went on for a solid minute or two until Iggy decided that fleeing wasn’t working so he tried to hide. Iggy threw himself under the couch in a last ditch effort to escape.

I eventually had to move the couch and unhook the bag from my poor, tired and scared-to-death little cat. Iggy then ran off to hide and recover from his ordeal. I went back to unloading the remainder of the groceries.

I put the eggs in the fridge and reached down to put away the carrots when my hand touched something warm and furry in the bag.

I no Learn Good

Stupid cat.

THE END.

P.S. Iggy was completely unharmed in this incident so don’t call PETA you wackos.

P.P.S. Iggy has since ruined my carpet, destroyed my TV and nearly killed himself trying to remove his collar. What this cat lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in sheer resilience & luck; I have to give him that.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Internet!

In 400ad there was a man by the name of St. Patrick that went to Ireland and explained that whole Christianity thing to everybody. He spent thirty years on his mission trip and was revered as a saint several centuries later. Supposedly, he even drove out all the snakes in Ireland.

 

How It Went Down

 

No mean feat for someone who wasn’t a wizard.

 

My question though is what happened to all the snakes and where did they go?

 

Maybe there’s a correlation between the disappearance of snakes in Ireland and England’s Great Snake Plague of 435ad.

 

2nd and 3rd Order Effects.

 

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

 

P.S. If you’re in Chicago, they dye the river green each year… just found that one out.

 

P.P.S I also just found out that it’s a non-alcoholic mixture. :(

Look at What I Made For You.

Sorry for not posting in a while. The Doctor and I had to clean up some things in London.

Me & the Doctor

When that was all said and done, he dropped me off back at my house… several months after my last post. Oh well, it’s that whole space-time thing. What can you do?

I’ve been perusing the Book of Faces (that’s what I choose to call it so you can shut your rich little face, Zuckerberg) and I’ve found some inspirational/ awesome quotes that I’ve decided to draw for you… enjoy.

“Go to Heaven for the climate and Hell for the company.” -Mark Twain

Heaven is Boring

Meanwhile, downstairs…

Hell is Probably Much More Fun

“Once in a while blow your own damn mind.” -Anon

Wizard + Peyote

Equals

SPIRIT JOURNEY IN THE DESERT!!!

SPIRIT JOURNEY IN THE DESERT!!!

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination and a hard to find alloy called guts.” -Anon

Ewwww....

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” -Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a Badass

Dolly the Kingslayer.

Dolly, Slayer of Kings

“The poorest man is he whose only wealth is money.” -Anon

Dragons Love Gold

“In case of doubt, over dress.” -Anon

Yup, this is better... (12)

Clothes Make the Man

“If your kid needs a role model and you ain’t it, you’re both fucked.” -George Carlin

Trouble in the Skywalker Family

THE END.

P.S. Speaking of Star Wars, Disney recently bought the rights to Star Wars. They’re planning to do a movie entirely about Boba Fett.

P.P.S. I’m not a religious man, but if I did create my own religion Boba Fett would be one of my chosen prophets. If The Mouse screws this one up and shows The Fett in a light that is anything short of a supernova of undiluted awesome, I will declare a Holy Crusade against Disney.

Boba Fett

Sorry, but Boba Fett in very near and dear to my heart. :P

I’m not Dead.

Hi everybody. So I haven’t posted in a while. Sorry about that. I had some really important self-reflection and heavy drinking to do over the past few months.

Fun Times

I’ve also had a wicked case of writer’s block too; stupid brain not letting me write stuff.

Whatcha Doing

Go away crazy brain.

Dumb Idea

Shut up Brain

I think we (you and I) need to reconnect and play life event catch-up. Here’s what you’ve missed in the past month or three.

-I turned 28 years old. I am now one step closer to the Reaper than I was last year.

Hugs

Death is a little weirded out.

-This blog that you’re reading right now had it’s one year anniversary.

Happy B Day!

-This blog also hit the 3,000+ follower mark.

Massive Success

-Wife and I have been taking ballroom dancing lessons. My background as a male exotic dancer is really paying off. I have good balance, nice footwork and absolutely no shame.

Dancing

-We got a new cat. His name is Iggy. We are now one cat closer to being crazy cat people.

Iggy

-There was a hurricane. It was not fun.

Hurricanes Suck

I think that about sums it up. I can’t think of anything else that’s been going on that’s of note.

Business as Usual

I did want to share this with you though; I was contacted by some folks over at MBA online. These folks help people choose online MBA programs. They recently made an infographic charting Nintendo’s rocket climb to the top in the past 30 years. I thought it was pretty good and wanted to put it up for you guys; hope you enjoy it.

Nintendo-MBA

I was such a child of the 80s/ Nintendo kid; I love this art style.

THE END.

P.S. It’s good to be back.

P.P.S. Also, don’t worry, I haven’t sold out to some other website to make money… that’s what the store is for. Now go buy something; I don’t get to eat caviar for free. :)