Alanna the Piranha Chapter Eleven

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti Poodle once again to introduce the eleventh installment in my story Alanna the Piranha. The holiday season is well underway, and the Maltese is busy at work trying to find me the perfect gift. I of course plan to bestow on him the gift that never stops giving: my unending cornucopia of wisdom. As for myself, I have my eye on a designer dog tag that I think will give my collar that extra bit of style I deserve. I have sent the Maltese many an email hinting at it…perhaps a little more than hinting. I really do think he should pay attention to…

I want a 93” plush bear from Costco.

What?

I want a 93” plush bear from Costco.

Tucker, you insipid little mongrel. What could you possibly need a 93” plush bear for?

I want a toy I can snuggle with.

That thing is bigger than the home you live in!

You are not kind to me, and I need a 93” bear from Costco to act as my security blanket.

Unbelievable. Anyway, here is the eleventh chapter of Alanna the Piranha. Disfrutar!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter the Eleventh

Today I administered another dose of CRISPR Cas9 into both the bunny and the piranha. The bunny hated it, but the piranha didn’t struggle as much this time and stared straight into my eyes when I injected her.

This evening both my Aunt Linda and my sister Stacy are visiting for dinner. My mother is serving salmon with wild rice and baked asparagus. My Aunt Linda did not bring a dog this time, but she did mention I should think about getting a new one.

“Josie was good for you,” my aunt tells me. “She may have died unexpectedly but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a new pet.

“I suppose not,” I say.

“It helps you focus on being responsible, Flint and you need to be responsible.”

“Tell me about it,” Stacy said rolling her eyes.

“You know I adore you, Flint,” Aunt Linda continued. “And I want you to be successful in life. When your young it’s easy to believe you measure wealth in terms of what you own like what car you drive or what clothes you wear. That’s the big fat lie you see. Wealth isn’t what you own. It’s what you accumulate. Those who believe the lie are like an artist who only focuses on the painting’s subject and not the shadows around it.”

“I don’t quite follow you,” I say.

My aunt took a drink of her ice water. “When I was a young woman just out of college, I worked as a waitress for a nice restaurant. We had this dishwasher. His name was Rafferty. He always came in on time, worked hard and never said much to anybody. He washed the dishes, cleaned up when the night was over and headed home. He’d worked at the restaurant so long he could have any shift he wanted. He always chose to work the dinner shift and he always closed up no matter how late he stayed.

“After every shift the owner would give the staff two poker chips apiece. The chips could be used in the bar for free drinks. Rafferty never cashed in his chips. He always gave his away to the waitresses after gathering up his tips. Then he’d quietly go home.

“One evening I came into work and Rafferty wasn’t there. The owner told me Rafferty had decided to retire. Retire?! I exclaimed. The owner said it surprised him too. He told me Rafferty put in his notice two weeks ago, thanked him for letting him work there for twelve years and left. Rafferty had told him he was going into business for himself. I asked my boss what kind of business. He told me Rafferty just smiled and said something other than restaurants.

“Last year I was flipping through the newspaper, and I saw this obituary. It was Rafferty’s. I read it and I couldn’t believe what it said.”

“What did it say?” I asked her.

“Well, before Rafferty died, he’d done quite a few things. He’d married, had a son, started an accounting business with his wife and was worth over twelve million dollars.”

“Twelve million dollars?!”

“You see when Rafferty took a job at the restaurant he had just graduated from college and couldn’t get a job. No one would hire him. So, he started washing dishes. He took the night shift because it allowed him to get up in the mornings and study the stock market. He researched it all day long until it closed. Then he would take a nap then get up and go to work in the restaurant. He took the closing shift because it allowed him to get up in the mornings and study the stock market. He never owned a car while he worked there and always took the bus.

He lived in a studio apartment and paid a low rent. The restaurant always gave its workers a free meal at the end of their shift, so he didn’t have to pay for dinner. He saved and invested and saved and invested for over a decade until he had more than he needed to start his own accounting firm. His wife had been an accounting student who couldn’t get a job and had worked as a waitress trying to make ends meet. Together they joined forces.”

“What does any of this have to do with Flint?” Stacy asked. “Flint reminds me of Rafferty. Right now, Flint is sitting in this house sulking in his parent’s basement wasting all his potential. Then she turned to me and said, “Why not take advantage of the free rent, Flint? Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you can have a little more each day. In fact, I’m going to make it easy on you. I’m going to start you with five thousand dollars. Not one dime more, not one dime less. You take that money and find a way to make it grow.”

“Why are you giving Flint that kind of money?” Stacy complained. “What about me?”

“When you graduate from college will focus on you.”

“Linda,” my dad said. “Flint doesn’t need that money. He needs encouragement to get out there and make something of himself.”

“I absolutely agree with you. Flint needs encouragement. But he also needs a swift kick in the ass. You see I am not giving Flint my money. I am loaning it to him free of interest. He gets to keep it for one year. After that he gives the five thousand back to me and keeps everything he earns.”

“What if he loses money?”

“I won’t lose her money,” I say, not really believing the words myself.

“Why, Linda,” my mother says. “I think that’s a wonderful idea. Flint, is this something you’d like to try?”

I think about this for a moment. I could use the five thousand dollars if my experiments fail, and I need to get new supplies. “Sure,” I say. Why not?”

MY BOOKS

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: WE’RE THE MILLERS (2013)-HBO Max

I am a fan of comedy. Especially when it’s funny. I tend to prefer to write comedy. A lot of writers don’t. Maybe because some writers find it difficult or stupid or don’t think it’s intelligent enough or plain just don’t like it. But I would rather write comedic infused stories than just about anything else. And I think in addition to a lot of the holiday classics we tend to watch this time of year it’s a lot of fun to watch a good solid comedy. And one comedy I think deserves a lot more credit than it gets is We’re the Millers. This is a witty, sometimes dark, often hilarious movie with an all-around fantastic cast and outstanding writing from Bob Fisher and Steve Faber. David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is a college educated slacker who really should be doing more with his life than working as a long-time drug dealer. David has a turbulent rapport with his neighbor Rose (Jennifer Anniston), a sardonic stripper with a absent boyfriend. Also in their building is a likable but clueless teenager named Kenny (Will Poulter) who happens to witness a homeless girl named Casey (Emma Roberts) being harassed outside their building. Kenny goes to protect Casey forcing David to run in to assist. Casey manages to get away but the thugs chase David and Kenny and eventually rob David of his $100,000 stash.

To pay back his gleefully evil boss Brad (Ed Helms), David is strong armed into making a run to Mexico to pick up a “smidge” of marijuana. David knows he will get caught crossing the boarder alone. But if he takes Rose, Kenny, and Casey with him as his makeshift family, he’ll have a chance of picking up his drugs and hauling them back across the border safely. Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quin round out the cast of this very funny film.

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 10

Good afternoon and a most joyous Thanksgiving to you all. It is I Gigi the party poodle here to bring you the tenth chapter of my story Alanna the Piranha.

Happy Popcorn Day! Happy Popcorn Day!

Tucker, you intolerable cur! What are you talking about?

I want to wish you a Happy Popcorn Day!

It’s Thanksgiving! People eat turkey, stuffing, ham, Tofurky, potatoes, yams, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and other gastronomical delicacies for but they do not traditionally eat popcorn!

On the Thanksgiving television show they eat popcorn and toast and jellybeans.

But that is a cartoon. And the point of the cartoon is to show it does not matter how fancy your dinner it is the company you get to share your meal with and what you are thankful for.

Then it does not matter if you have popcorn, toast, or jellybeans or if you have turkey, potatoes and stuffing.

Correct.

Then it is okay for me to call it Happy Popcorn Day!

Yes…I mean no…don’t you need to go set the table?!

Happy Popcorn Day! Happy Popcorn Day!

Good grief! That said, have a Happy Thanksgiving and here is the tenth chapter of Alanna the Piranha. Enjoy!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Tenth

The Piranha keeps staring at me. It doesn’t even swim around occasionally. She just parks herself behind the glass and stares. Like she’s expecting me to do something. I must have been out of my mind buying this thing. Not to mention it’s ugly. I mean there’s no such thing as a cute piranha.

I injected the bunny again today with CRISPR shots. I suppose at some point I may have to face the fact that this experiment may not work. I might need to go back and try it again. But I don’t know if I will be able to afford some of this stuff without a job. I have battled with the notion that I have to get out into the real world and that’s a real problem.

I should tell you I shot up the piranha with CRISPER too. The fish started to get on my nerves with that staring and all. I figured what the heck. Besides I want to see what happens. I had to put on these Venom Defender Animal Handling gloves, reach in, and grabbed the little fishy, give her a jab and let her go. She didn’t like it much. But I don’t get bitten if I wear the gloves and it doesn’t die so I guess it’s not really hurting anything. I have wondered if Brooke’s DNA may have not been the right fit for my experiment. Maybe I should have tried to snag some from one of Stacy’s dance team members instead. They might have better DNA than Brooke. Couldn’t be worse.

Tonight, I drove out to the college and I’m hanging out at the undergraduate library watching co-eds study. Yeah, I know I’m pathetic. But ever since leaving completelyworthlessdude.com I must entertain myself somehow besides making human CRISPR injections for animals. I’ve picked a table in the back in one of the corners which allows me to look out at an angle, so I get a pretty good view. I know where the sorority girls have their study sessions, and I’ve situated myself to have a good vantage point.

It doesn’t take long before a group of buffed up CHADS come sauntering up to one of the sorority girl’s tables. These guys talk up the chicks and get them giggling in no time. What do chicks see in these Neanderthals? They’re all body and no brains. Some aren’t even that good looking. They’re just excessively masculine. Heck, some of them would rather stare at their own muscles in a mirror than a woman. If I had a woman, I’d never get enough of staring at her. I’d treat her right too. I wouldn’t cheat on her or play mind games. I’d give her space when she needed it. I guess that’s why they’re CHADS and I’m an Incel.

Over at another table are a couple of BECKYS. BECKYS are chicks that aren’t as attractive as STACYS. They’re dressed in these baggy clothes and let me tell you these chicks are way too thin. They think they look attractive wearing tight pants and no makeup and their hair styled like a librarian. They’re just average you know. Stacy’s roommate Brooke is somewhere in the middle. Not quite a STACY and better than a BECKY.

I whip around to see Brooke standing beside my table.

“Hey…Brooke. I was just…I came here to get some reading in.”

“What are you reading?”

“Well, I…just got here so…”

“Stacy said you majored in physics?”

“Biochemistry.”

“Wow. Are you going to become a professor or work in the private sector?”

“I’ve been considering going into business for myself.”

“What would your company do?”

Yeah, like I’m going to tell her I shoot up animals with her human DNA. “Well…my company would…”

“What are you doing here, freak?”

I should have known my sister wouldn’t be far behind.

“He’s getting some reading in,” Brooke says.

“Yeah, I’ll bet,” Stacy scoffs.

“Did you know your cousin is thinking of going into business for himself?”

“Really.”

“What was it you said your company was going to do?”

Stacy smirks at me waiting for my answer.  “I want to get in the business of improving animals with DNA.”

“Wow,” Brooke says.

“Improve them how?” Stacy scoffs.

“Different ways,” I say.

“Like what?”

“Depends on the animal.”

“You mean like help heal dogs who lose their sight or hearing?” Brooke asks.

“Yes,” I say.

“How would you do that?”

“I would use a technique which basically allows me to go into their DNA, cut a strand of it, paste an improved strand and hook it all back together.”

“That’s mind-blowing,” Brooke says.

“Or wrong,” Stacy says. “Maybe they are supposed to stay the way they are.”

“You wouldn’t want a sick person to stay sick.”

“I wouldn’t want a kitten with alligator teeth either.”

“Hey, sup.”

Some CHAD with tousled hair and ripped shoulders walks up to us.

“Hey, Chad,” my sister says flirtatiously.

“You girls here studying?”

No, I think. They’re here to watch circus acts. “I’m tutoring them,” I say.

Chad gives me a threatening look. “Yeah, what are you tutoring them in?”

“Biology.”

“Really? I’m taking Biology. Can you tutor me?”

“Seventy-five bucks an hour.”

“Seventy-five bucks an hour! That’s your going rate?!”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll have to ask my mom. That sounds kind of expensive.”

“I get results.”

“You girls are getting ripped off by this tool!”

“Flint…,” Stacy warns.

“I’m going to go sit with the bros,” Chad says. “When you girls are done getting screwed by this guy come find me.”

Chad saunters off dragging his knuckles along the carpet.

“Why did you tell him that?” Brooke asks.

“Because he’ll just use you.”

Brooke looks at me quizzically.

“Let’s get out of here,” Stacy snaps and grabs Brooke by the arm.

I watch them leave. I don’t feel like watching the coeds anymore this evening. I’m going home to give the bunny and the piranha another injection.

MY BOOKS

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: DOPESICK (2021)-Hulu

If you are looking for something to stream this Thanksgiving weekend look no further than the outstanding Hulu miniseries Dopesick based on the book by journalist Beth Macy. The story takes a harrowing look at the ravenous Sackler family who ran Purdue Pharma and the devastation they unleashed in America with their highly addictive pain medication OxyContin. OxyContin is essentially heroin in a pill form with a coating which allows it to have a time release to manage pain. The coating was originally easy to remove and those who took it could bypass the time release and get an intense high crushing and snorting it or shooting it which was also of course highly deadly and if that didn’t do it for you, the company was more than happy to make higher and higher doses. They started at 10mg per pill then went to 15mg, 20mg, 40mg, 60mg and 80mg. The truly scary reality was that many people got addicted just taking it as prescribed by their doctors without removing the time release coating. Numerous patients eventually died using a drug that was supposed to help them. Which tells you something about the medical industry. Does the modern medical industry in some cases make people sicker by trying to make them better? And does it call their patients villains instead of victims because of the outcome?

Purdue and the Sackler family at the time was led by resident psychopath Doctor Richard Sackler also known as Hitler’s brother from another mother. The series is headed by an all-star stellar cast with Michael Stuhlbarg brilliantly playing the quietly evil and ruthless Richard “Satan” Sackler, Peter Sarsgaard and John Hooganakker as Rick Mountcastle and Randy Ramseyer, the United States attorneys who went after Purdue Pharma, Will Poultler as the smart but naïve drug salesman who questions the safety of the drug but continues to sell it to doctors, Rosario Dawson as Bridget Meyer the DEA agent who seeing the danger of the drug early makes it her mission in life to bring down Purdue Pharma, and Katelyn Dever as Betsy Mallum the young coal miner who becomes harrowingly addicted to the drug after an accident on the job. All the cast is outstanding and deserve Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

The big standout for me was Michael Keaton as Dr. Samuel Finnix the ivy league graduate doctor who followed his beloved wife to the Appalachians where she died, and he continued to practice. His horrific journey from a superb small-town doctor to a victim of the opioid epidemic is stunning and reminiscent of his outstanding work early in his career as Daryl Poynter in the film Clean and Sober.

Danny Strong of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame has done an outstanding job as creator, writer, and director of this must-see mini-series.

A Special Blog Post

Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here and my novelist Karen who would like to bring you a very special blog post.

Again, we would like to say that we do not like to be political on this blog. This blog is designed to be fun and entertaining. But sometimes situations arise, and we find we need to speak out. Especially when it is something that is in reference to stories we have written or occurrences that happen in our own back yard.

That said, we would like to give a huge round of applause and a standing ovation to the students at Newport High School in Bellevue, Washington. We stand with you in solidarity against the unfair practices of Newport High School and the Bellevue School and District Leaders. We are from the northwest and have lived here most of our lives. We know firsthand how poorly the Washington State schools deal with bullying and assault because we ourselves have gone though what you have gone through. We have experienced how badly schools in the State of Washington deal with these matters and your high school is not the only one facing this.  

But you are the ones who spoke out and therefore you deserve high praise for your courage because you not only spoke for yourselves you spoke for others. You should not have been expelled nor should you be punished in any way shape or form for speaking against the wrongs committed against you. School employees do not listen unless you grab them by the face and shout in their ears. The truth is the Washington State schools are only supportive of their institutions. They are cowards and suckers and ignorant and poorly equipped to handle anything dealing with violent students.

Violent students are usually born dangerous, develop their villainy in early childhood, should be identified early on, and should never ever be allowed to attend the same school as other students. When they are not identified and removed, they bring the entire school system down much like a rock dropped in the middle of a serene lake their actions spread out in rings affecting everything and everyone in their path. Such a small unnecessary group should not be allowed to affect the whole.

Dangerous students regardless of who they are or who their parents are should be permanently removed from the student body and placed in an institution with other students like themselves where they can be educated and possibly treated with decompression therapy which has proven to be over ninety percent successful.

The unfortunate reality is most individuals who become school employees or administrators tend to be highly focused on logistics and diplomacy. It is in their genetics to gravitate this way. When faced with dangerous students who are almost always tactical and strategic, they are incapable of understanding how dangerous they are because they themselves lack these abilities and hold a false believe that everyone thinks like they do. Schools should actively seek out a larger population of non-violent, non-psychopathic tactical and strategic employees to better balance the approximately eighty-nine percent of school employees who lack these skills. These individuals would more readily recognize dangerous students because it is in their genetics to do so and more likely to believe victims when they come forwards. Especially since logistical and diplomatic school employees are by nature whether they want to believe it or not are more attracted to and more likely to support perpetrators than victims as well as being hardwired to avoid change.  

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 9

Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my ninth chapter of Alanna the Piranha. As you know Thanksgiving is just one week away and we all know what that means…

The Great Dane is coming! The Great Dane is coming!

Tucker! Are you out of your mind, you insipid Maltese!

Every year The Great Dane delivers delicious doggie treats to all the good little doggies on Thanksgiving.

I think you mean Santa Claus…

No! I mean The Great Dane. He hops on his Segway Ninebot and travels far and wide giving special doggie treats to all the thankful little dogs.

You are insane.

Look on my phone…

You have a phone?

See? There’s a picture here of me with my special Thanksgiving goodies from The Great Dane.

Did you doctor this up in Microsoft Photo Editor?

No, this is totally for real.

Seriously? Then why have I not received such a bounty?

Maybe you aren’t sincere enough.

What? I am not sincere…get out of here! Stupid…anyway, here is chapter nine of Alanna the Piranha. Enjoy!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the Parti Poodle

Day the Ninth

Today I administered the bunny’s first Crisper Cas9 injection. She did not like it. She squealed and kicked, and my mother opened the door and called downstairs to ask what all the racket was. I told her I was watching a show on the laptop, and she mumbled something like why doesn’t he get a job? She didn’t come down the stairs though. My parents and I have an agreement that the basement is my room to be kept private. Not even Stacy is allowed down here and believe me that is an accomplishment.

I do find myself liking the bunny so far. She is a fun pet and often likes to sit in my hand. She seems to trust me and likes to be cuddled and pet. She’s very possessive and does not like me to leave for very long. Anyway, I realized I should have purchased more food for her because she is running out so I’m heading out to the pet store.  

I put on my Members Only knock off jacket from Costco and head out the door to the pet store. Luckily Lyle is working today.

“Hey, Flint,” he says when I walk in the door. “How’s the Newfoundland Dwarf?”

“What did you decide to name her?”

“Name?”

“Yeah. You did name her, right?”

Who names a science experiment? “I haven’t thought of one yet.”

“I was sure you would have named her by now.”

“She hasn’t told me her name yet,” I half joke.

“Oh,” he says with a knowing grin. “Say are you a fish guy?”

“Fish? No, I’m into mammals.”

“That’s too bad. Because I have this one fish that’s seventy-five percent off.”

This makes me stop and take pause. Could I do something with a fish as a side venture? I could give it a whirl just for kicks if it’s cheap enough, I suppose. And if it’s a fail, I could just flush the thing. “Alright, let’s see the fish.”

I follow Lyle back into what I like to call the “groovy room” where all the aquatic animals are kept in ultraviolet light. It feels like a dance club except way more mellow. We step up to a tank with a big orange & white sales tag on it. That’s when I see what I’m getting myself into: a yellowy tan piranha. The thing is about eight inches in length from tip to fin and ugly as sin. It focuses on me with an intense stare. Its mouth opens and shuts, and its fins scull the water.I break my staring war with the nasty beast and turn to Lyle. “Not a chance.”

“Oh, come on,” Lyle says. “Piranhas are cool.” 

“Would you go out with one?”

“What?!”

“Don’t you have a cheap angel fish swimming around in here?”

“Angel fish are full price. This little princess is a steal.”

“Piranhas rip people to shreds.”

“Not this one. She’s a Tometes camunani. She’s vegetarian.”

I close my eyes and shake my head. “I’m good with the bunny.”

“Come on, Flint. Do me a solid here. She’s gotten big and the boss wants her out of here.”

The piranha keeps watching me. It doesn’t even swim around occasionally. It just stays parked there at the glass and stares like it expects me to do something.

“I don’t need a fish.”

“I’ll throw in a bunny hutch for free…I mean I can’t get you one of the really good ones, but I’ll give you the one we have on sale for ninety bucks.”

I think about this for a moment feeling the piranha’s stare. The Newfoundland Dwarf could use a hutch.

“I need something to house this thing in too.”

Lyle rolls his eyes. “Fine. I’ll throw in a bare bones tank at no extra cost.”

Lyle makes me feel like I’m watching an infomercial. “What does this thing eat?”

“Seeds and nuts. She’s got strong teeth, but she will not eat any flesh. Not even human. And she really digs strawberries.”

“You’re going to throw those in too, right?”

“We don’t sell strawberries.”

“No, I mean the regular food.”

“You’re killing me, brah.”

“What if I have to reach into the tank?”

“Well, she’s actually shy.”

“The piranha is shy?”

“She scares easily.”

The tomato-chamomile-whatever piranha does not look like she’s shy…and she’s still staring at me.

“Be that as it may, can I reach into the tank and not get my hand sawed off?”

“Yeah, she won’t hurt you.”

“Fine,” I say. “Put the thing in a sardine can and I’ll take her home.”

So, now I am sitting here in my basement once again with a new tank and a new hutch both of which I had to sneak in past my parents and set up. The bunny seems content enough, but the piranha is just sitting in the tank over there against the wall staring at me.

MY BOOKS

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: PRISONERS (2013)-Hulu

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, a lot of folks probably think of movies like Home for the Holidays or Pieces of April. But this week’s film may not be one that immediately comes to mind as a Thanksgiving film much like Die Hard does not automatically come to mind as a Christmas film. And it really should because it just might be the best Thanksgiving movie ever made next to John Hughes’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Just because a holiday film does not automatically fit the holiday movie genre, does not mean it isn’t just as effective. And believe me, this one is effective. Although I was greatly disappointed in how Denis Villeneuve’s movie Enemy ended (mostly because everything up to its unsatisfying ending was fantastic) this one not only sticks its ending with a perfect ten, but it is absolutely riveting from start to finish. The film has such a remarkable ensemble cast it’s almost hard to believe they were able to put such a talented array together, but somehow, they did, making this fantastic script by Aaron Guzikowski come to life most vividly. Prisoners was nominated for an Oscar for its Cinematography but honestly, the script should have been nominated as well. The story starts out on Thanksgiving Day in a modest Pennsylvania neighborhood when Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), his wife Grace (Maria Bello), his teenage son Ralph (Dylan Minnette) and young daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) head over to their good friends Franklin Birch (Terrance Howard) and Nancy Birch’s (Viola Davis) house for Thanksgiving dinner which is just down the street from where they live. The Birches have a teenage daughter Eliza (Zoë Soul) and a young daughter Joy (Kyla Drew). The two families enjoy a pleasant Thanksgiving dinner together. Before the feast the four children take a walk around the neighborhood and discover an older RV which the two young girls want to play on before the teenagers help get them down. Later after the feast Anna asks if she and Joy can head over to the Dover home to play.

After some time, the adults realize they haven’t seen the little girls in a while and when they ask the two teenagers where they are, they don’t know either. The families begin to look for them, but the girls are nowhere to be seen. The police are called, and Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrives on the scene. And that’s just the beginning of the nightmarish, harrowing, edge of your seat odyssey that is about to unfold. Rounding out the cast are Paul Dano as Alex Jones and Melisa Leo as his mother Holly Jones.  

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 8

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce my eighth chapter in my story Alanna the Piranha. As many of you know this has been a somber week in the music world. I mention this because my novelist wrote a five-book comedic series called Musicology about one season of a fictional reality music television program. Personally, my novelist and I prefer to remain apolitical and stick to fiction which is much less messy or at least we attempt to make our fiction mess free. But we both agree and have agreed for some time that festival seating should be abolished. We are aware there may be some readers out there who disagree with this, but we believe concert attendees should not have to die for their music, a situation which seems rather inane. Should one really say, I am going to pay $343.99, plus a $71.35 concert fee to be trampled and suffocated to death? Or if one wants to be trampled and suffocated to death even more efficiently pay the Stargazing VIP ticket price of $724.99 plus a $69.43 concert fee? No wonder headliners can pay for all the funerals of their fallen fans. They make a lot of money to kill them painfully. At that price one would think they could afford chairs and barriers that keep concert goers safe but then what fun would that be?At any rate here is chapter eight of Alanna the Piranha. Enjoy!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Eighth

After I got back from visiting my sister’s dorm, I took Brooke’s hair from the Ziploc and began the process it takes to extract DNA from hair. Now, before I go any further, I should probably explain why I took Brooke’s hair from the brush. Firstly, it’s completely useless to her at this point. Garbage if you will. But one woman’s trash can become one man’s treasure. The DNA derived from hair is called Mitochondrial DNA and it can survive for as long as a couple of weeks up to a million years. It just depends. Either way that’s long enough for my purposes. You’re also probably wondering why I chose a bunny. There is no reason except I happen to think bunnies are cute. And I think in the end I’ll have a rather fetching result.

I know some of you cringe at the idea of performing this experiment on an adorable little apricot bunny. Especially something so ridiculously cute that fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. But I can’t exactly pull this experiment off with a rutabaga or a cucumber. It just won’t work. So, the bunny must be sacrificed…sort of. I like to say improved. The bunny will not die from the experiment. In fact, that’s the worst thing that could happen. No, I need the little cherub alive. The experiment would be a colossal disaster if the bunny bit it.

Firstly, allow me to tell you how I extracted the DNA from Brooke’s human hair sample. I used Enzymatic Laundry Powder. The whole process takes less than two hours. More specifically, I used enzymatic laundry powder and PCR buffer. I had to put on a face mask, a hair net, sterile gloves, and a lab coat. Then I had to immerse the hair in 84 Disinfectant for forty seconds and rinse it with ddH2O. Then I cut it into two-millimeter pieces, broke it down with an extraction regent that contained 3 mg enzymatic laundry powder which took an hour and a half. Then I gradually heated up the solutions to two hundred- and three-degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes. Then I stored it in my refrigerator set at -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty cool, huh?

If you were here in my room right now, you could look against the wall over there and note that there is a large empty space, I sold a lot of my possessions including my entire…well almost my entire collection of comic books. That one hurt. I mean, come on. How can one be an Incel and not have an extensive comic book collection? There’s this great little comic bookstore in this strip mall that’s not too far from my house that has the best selection ever. And it’s not one of those establishments that has all these nasty boxes and files everywhere. The place is upscale with everything laid out neat and orderly and all the merchandise looks tiptop. Anyway, I sold my comics there which allotted me enough money to buy that state-of-the-art freezer back there.

During the down time, I went to Josie’s former travel crate and took out the Netherland Dwarf. I set the bunny on my lap, and she snuggled up to me and I pet her. I had not expected her to get so attached to me, but she did. I am torn about performing my experiment on her, but I know it’s for the best. Not just for me, mind you, but for her as well. If I don’t do the experiment, she will forever remain an adorable little creature that hops around but nothing more. I would care for her and feed her and tend to her if she fell ill. But science, well, science can allow her to do so much more.

I should make it clear one shot isn’t going to cut it. It isn’t going to magically alter the rabbit. I’m going to have to shoot that rabbit up steadily for a while. It’s hard to know how much time it will take to start seeing changes.

The world is really one big experiment now. There are people attempting to add all sorts of traits from one creature to another. Let’s say I wanted the bunny to be able to fly. I would have to go extract DNA from say an eagle or a falcon. Basically, I would go in using CRISPR technology and with a little pair of perfectly programed scissors I’d splice a specific strand of DNA in the bunny apart and add in the DNA from the bird and connect the strand back together to see if the little powderpuff sprouts wings. It would make complete sense to use something like this bunny to add wings to because it is lightweight and small giving it the ability not just to have wings but perhaps even to take off. I would, I suppose, need to figure out a way to keep it from flying out an open window and into the great blue yonder.

I’ve spent some time ruminating about the potential outcome of the experiment. I mean I suppose it’s not perfect, a bunny injected with human DNA and all, but I’ve been lonely long enough. What am I supposed to do? I mean seriously. What are my options as an Incel? Some guys like me head to the Nevada brothels. Some sneak into parties uninvited and try to find drunken girls who’ve passed out in a room somewhere. Others get to a point where they get so lonely, they take their own life. But I figured if I took charge of my situation and instead of hunting in vain for the girlfriend I will never have, I would simply build one. Not a doll or some inanimate object designed to look like a woman but a living breathing creature I could call my own. But for now, I’m not going to get too close to the bunny. That’s why I haven’t named her. It’s dangerous to care about something that might die. It’s dangerous to invest yourself in something only to get your heart tossed into a blender. I don’t need the aggravation. Anyway, tomorrow I shoot up the bunny.

MY BOOKS

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: WKRP IN CINCINATI EPISODE 41(1980)-You Tube

The promoters, performers, security, venue operators, and city officials involved around the Astroworld debacle are no different than Perez Reed, the twenty-five-year-old suspected serial killer who was charged with two deaths and suspected in four others on November 6, 2021, just one day after the Astroworld tragedy on November 5, 2021. They just chose to crush people to death instead of shooting them. And they did it knowingly and were aware of the dangers of festival seating. In fact, they were more successful than Reed, killing nine people instead of six.

When I write stories, I often have rules I custom design and force myself to follow around each tale. When I wrote Musicology, which is a five-book serio-comedic series spanning across the course of one season of a fictional American reality music competition television show, one of those rules I chose to follow was no singer in the book would perform a song by The Who. I felt it was important with a book about American reality music competition to be respectful to those who suffered profoundly from the event that occurred on December 3rd, 1979, at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio. That is not to say there are no other musical artists who are mentioned in my books who may also deserve omission. But boycotting the use of The Who’s music was a conscious decision concerning a devastating American tragedy. The concert was an incident which violently shook the nation when it occurred. Not long after Cincinnati, Ohio passed an ordinance against festival seating, a law which lasted there for twenty-five years. The Astroworld tragedy this past week has proven once again that human beings are incapable of change, nothing ever progresses, and history is doomed to repeat itself.

Therefore, I think it is fitting to make this week’s stream of the week one of the most important television episodes of all time: WKRP in Cincinnati Episode 41: In Concert. Television, both now and then, is not as brave as it would like to believe. Not to mention that this episode points out a profound and glaring flaw with streamer shows: their inability to make a one-off episode in the case that something monumental were to occur. That way television can remain as cowardice as ever. In other words, I would be surprised, nay stunned, if a show, for example, were to write and run an episode on the Rust shooting and gun safety in the coming months. Some folks out there like to throw around a phrase call “it’s too soon” instead of focusing on the more pragmatic phrase “it’s too late”. But on February 11th, 1980, seventy days after the Cincinnati tragedy, one show stood head and shoulders above the rest, and proved it had courage. WKRP in Cincinnati aired the controversial, groundbreaking episode which told all those who say “it’s too soon” they don’t understand the importance of dealing with an issue head on instead of worrying about offending someone. It is an episode unlike any of their others and it is without doubt their finest hour. Comedy thrives when it is aloud to be disturbing and profound.

And with that thought, Live Nation encourages you to purchase their new “I love compressive asphyxia” T-shirts available on their web site for only $19.99. All proceeds go towards paying Trevor Scott and Michael Rapino’s legal fees and a brand new pair of twin Learjets. You can also purchase “I would walk over you to see The Who” T-shirts at Larry Magid’s Electric Factory Concerts website. You can also purchase them at the Temple University Bookstore where they are located right next to the limited-edition Bill Cosby 4 Women’s Rights bobble heads on sale right now for $0.99.

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 7

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to deliver the seventh installment in my new story Alanna the Piranha. It has been a most wet week here. I have not been getting the walkies I am used to. Even though I am a poodle, and my breed’s name derives from the German Pudel meaning “to splash in the water”, I detest walking in adverse weather conditions. But when there have been breaks in the weather I have gone out and about the neighborhood. I love fall’s scenery with all the leaves turning a myriad of colors. I even find myself chasing a random wild bunny or squirrel preparing for winter if the mood hits me. But most importantly of all is this Sunday daylight savings time ends and I can sleep in an extra hour, so I have more energy to command the Maltese who is far beneath me. And with that, here is my seventh chapter of Alanna the Piranha. Genießen Sie diese fröhliche Geschichte!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Seventh

I am visiting Stacy at her dorm again today. This time I am bringing a genuine care package. I put everything in a nice box like my mom told me to, just like the ones she packs for Stacy. I am even bringing a mini care package for her roommate Brooke. I’ve now learned that chicks dig gifts.

I show up at a quarter to three. I know they are both out of classes for the day and should be studying in their room. I get out of the car, open the trunk, and whip out a wheel crate, the metal type you might strap luggage to and drag around an airport. I set Stacy’s box on the bottom and Brooke’s on the top. Then I tow the crate across the bricks and paved surfaces of the campus.

When I get to Stacy’s dorm, I text her to let her know I’m coming up and then I head inside. I stop in front of her dorm room and I’m just about to knock when the door flies open. Brooke is standing there wearing an oversized hoodie with the university’s insignia on it and a pair of matching gym shorts. She looks just about as perturbed as she did the last time I visited.

“Stacy said you had something for us,” she says.

The tone of her voice makes me feel like I’m doing a drug trade with a professional criminal.

“My mom wasn’t happy with the last care package I brought you guys, so she wanted me to deliver a better one.”

“Stacy’s not here right now. She has dance team practice.”

“Oh, really? Well, I thought I could just drop it off.”

“Put it on her bed.”

“Okay,” I say, surprised and relieved at being granted access into the room. I unstrap the bungee cords and hand the smaller box on top to her. “My mom wanted you to have this,” I say.

“What is it?”

“A mini care package she put together for you.” Brooke eyes me warily and grabs a pair of Scotch sheers she most likely acquired from Costco. She cuts the tape, pushes away the glitter accented tissue paper, and looks inside. She finds a small factory sealed box of See’s Chocolate Truffles, a pair of Hot Socks with kittens on them, a Beanie Baby husky, a tube of Tom’s toothpaste, a lavender toothbrush, a bar of French milled soap wrapped in cellophane, a Nordstrom brand wash cloth and a four pack of Poketo gel pens.

She stares at the bounty awestruck as I’d hoped she would. “Wow,” she exclaims. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Do you hate it?”

“My own mother doesn’t even send me things like this. Tell Stacy’s mom thank you. She didn’t have to do that.”

She didn’t, I think to myself, proud of fooling her. “I’ll let her know you liked them,” I say. “I was wondering if I could use your bathroom.”

“Sure,” she says and points towards the back.

I check the pocket of my knock-off Member’s Only jacket I picked up at Costco and make sure my Ziploc bag is inside the left pocket. I head back towards the small room and close the door. Just as I suspected what I am looking for is sitting on the counter in a wicker basket: Brooke’s hairbrush. I remove a pair of medical gloves from the right-side pocket of my jacket. I slip them on as quietly as possible. I take out my empty Ziploc bag and draw the closure back. I pick up the hairbrush and pluck the strands of Brooke’s hair out of it and carefully place them in the bag.

Suddenly, I hear the latch to the door room click followed by Stacy’s voice. I move quickly making sure I get a large enough sample of the hair before I press all the air out of the bag, seal it shut and put it back in my jacket pocket. I flush the toilet then turn on the water just to make things sound authentic.

“What’s this?” Stacy demands the moment I step back into the main room.

“Your mother wanted me to bring you a properly put together care package.”

“My mother always ships my care packages to me.”

“She is punishing me for the toothpaste and candy bar fiasco.”

Stacy narrows her eyes. “Whatever,” she says. “You’ve dropped off the box and defiled our bathroom. Now, get out.”

“As you wish,” I say. “Brooke, it was a pleasure.”

“Don’t forget to tell Stacy’s mom thank you.”

“For what?” Stacy asks.

“Your mom packed me a care package as well.”

“Seriously?”

“Look.”

She picks up the smaller box and shows it to my sister.

“Huh,” Stacy says. Then she grimaces at me. “How come Brooke’s chocolates are wrapped and mine aren’t?”

“Your mom didn’t know which ones Brooke would like. So, she got the prewrapped one for her.”

“There’s a couple in here she never gets me.”

“How do you know?”

“Don’t you know how to read the tops of chocolates?”

“That’s a thing?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“I think it’s sweet your mother did this for us,” Brooke tells Stacy.

Stacy looks at Brooke and then back at me. I give Stacy a smug look. “See you later, Stacy. Brooke, it was a pleasure.”

I leave the room and head home to add Brooke’s hair to my experiment. 

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)-HBO Max

Nominated for six academy awards and rightly winning for best original screenplay, Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon is one of the great must see American films. Based on a true story about three would-be bank robbers who tried to pull off a quick ten-minute job at a Chase Manhattan bank in Brooklyn on a sweltering in August 1972, their goal was to score between $150,000 to $200,000 which they expected to be delivered in an armored truck at 3:30 pm. They entered the bank at 3:00 pm to arrive in time for the drop off. Instead, they found out that at 11:00 am that morning the truck had instead picked up the money leaving the bank with only $29,000. One of the three men decided not to carry out the robbery and left shortly after they arrived at the bank. The events that happened involving the remaining two became history. Both Al Pacino and John Cazale give extraordinary performances as Sonny and Sal, the two would-be bank robbers who become the center of an unexpected media circus. If you have never seen this modern classic and all you watch are mindless overproduced superhero movies, this is a fantastic opportunity to see how real cinema is done.   

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 6

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here…

Happy Halloween this Sunday!!!

Yes. Thank you, Tucker.

You are welcome. I like Halloween. I get to bark at trick or treaters when my novelist gives them candy.

As do I. That is the great fun of this holiday. Barking at unsuspecting costumed children. I have even considered dressing up this year.

What are you going to dress up as?

A cat.

A cat?

Yes.

That’s strange.

So is dressing up as a dog.

But I am a dog.

Are you?

Now I’m confused.

But hopefully our readers won’t be confused when they partake of the short but sweet sixth chapter of Allana the Piranha. Halloween fericit!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Sixth

My package arrived today. USPS is not as fast as it used to be. But I don’t care. The point is it finally got here. It was a large carboard box. Inside were the following:

  1. Custom DNA Oligos with 3” modifications (short strands of synthetic DNA)
  2. Thermocycler/37 degrees C heat block/incubator (mondo expensive on sale at $820.00)
  3. Nuclease-free water
  4. Equipment and reagents for RNA quantitation (things like a Recombinant Ribonuclease Inhibitor which is essentially a small tube)
  5. Spin columns for RNA cleanup (cleaning concentrate in bottles)
  6. RNase-free tubes, aerosol tips (thin long pointy tubes)
  7. Microcentrifuge (For separating materials from small samples. Sucker cost me over $500)
  8. Alkaline phosphate CIP (Essentially used to prevent self-litigation of cleaved DNA vectors. You get this stuff from cows.)
  9. Cas9 Nuclease, S. pyogenes (Used for cleaving which is to say it targets and makes breaks in double DNA strands. It can be used both invitro and in Vevo. It helps the organisms respond to and eliminate foreign material.)
  10. EnGen Spy Cas9, NLS (an enzyme used to cut within a DNA strand)
  11. Stuff like gels, running buffer, RNA and DNA ladders, yada, yada, yada
  12. Example experiments to engineer bacteria to survive in a non-hospitable environment.
  13. And the most important component of them all: Advanced Engineering guides to help me do experiments outside of what is included in the kit.

The last component, number thirteen, is the most important because the rest I already kind of know how to do. I suppose I should explain what CRISPR-Cas9 is, so you know what kind of a journey I am about to embark on. The short answer is CRISPR-Cas9 is a protein found in bacteria used for gene editing. It works like a molecular scalpel but it’s programable. In other words, I can go into a living organism’s DNA and decide where to use said molecular scalpel in a DNA sequence. I make a clean break where I want to and introduce a change in the genetics. In other words, I begin to evolve the creature’s evolution. Nuf said.

Now I suppose you think a quarter of my life savings plus shipping would be a rip off. But it is not as easy as you think to get your hot little hands on some of the items in this kit. In fact, it is significantly cheaper to do it this way than legally by about tenfold.

So, after opening the box, I carefully took all the items out and inspected them. I have created a lab table here in my parent’s basement where I am laying them out. Last week I went to Costco and got a fold out card table which serves the purpose. I also procured some trays to hold the small tubes. It’s a decent little set up if I do say so myself. In the back of my room, I have had a special type of freezer delivered to put the necessary DNA into once I’m done. My parents thought I ordered it for TV dinners.

The first thing I did after getting everything all laid out was get the bunny. I’ve been keeping her in a small cage, and she seems calm in there most of the time. But she must have sensed something was up today because when I opened her cage, she was in the back corner trembling.

“Calm down,” I told her. I reached back and tried to pull her out gently, but she burrowed herself in deeper. Finally, I lured her out with some treats and set her in my lap and just pet her for a while. She started calming down and even shut her eyes. But as soon as I tried to set her on the lab table she started shaking again. I gave up and returned her to her cage. I made sure she was comfortable while I began studying the Advanced Engineering Guides. I am not certain how long this is going to take for me to start seeing changes in the bunny. It could be three days. It could be three months. Hopefully sooner than later.

Also, I still must get my hands on some female DNA. I kind of split my difference with my mother and ordered a few things for the new care package online. But I had to go to a couple of places to finish the job. I headed off to Bartelle’s again to get toothpaste and a toothbrush. Then I swung by See’s Chocolates. I had no idea what she’d want. But I figured most chicks like truffles, so I decided to get a small box of truffles.

Much to my horror I recognized the salesperson behind the counter. I had a crush on her in high school. Her name is Maple and she’s just as sweet as she sounds. Except she can’t stand me. I say “hi”, she says “hi” and we pretend not to know each other’s names. She asks if I would like a sample and if I have any allergies. I tell her I don’t have any food allergies and yes, a sample would be great. I ask her if she can make up a box of twelve truffles for me. She asked, “Which ones?” I told her, “Which ever ones you think are the best.” She gives me about half fruit ones and half not fruit ones. I keep thinking I should have just grabbed one of the pre-made boxes but having her put together a custom-made box seems better. She asks if I want it wrapped and I tell her yes. She wraps the box in glossy white paper and rings me up.

I headed out to the car with my chocolates and sample and got in. I brought the bunny with me, and I took her out of her cage and put her in my lap. I pet her while I ate my sample chocolate, a pineapple truffle and try to get my nerves to calm down. Chicks have a way of triggering my anxieties. Tomorrow I will make an unexpected stop at Stacy’s dorm. Then the supplies for my experiment will be complete.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: DONNIE DARKO (2001)-Tubi, FilmRise & PlutoTV

One of the most discussed and debated movies ever made, Donnie Darko is a Halloween film not about evil but rather about transcendence. If Sex, Lies and Video Tape raised the curtain on the Independent Film Era, sadly Donnie Darko was the last one to bow before it fell. The film was controversial for a couple of reasons surrounding its release date. Firstly, there is a scene where a gun is fired by a high school student in the wake of the Columbine tragedy which occurred April 20, 1999. Secondly there is a plane crash, and the film’s original release date was October 26, 2001, only forty-five days after 9/11. The brilliant Christopher Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas helped secure it the theatrical release which it deserved. But upon its original release in the US, it was a box office disappointment garnering only $517,375. Thank heavens for UK audiences who are more intelligent than US audiences. They saved this masterpiece from extinction one year later in 2002 helping it gross around $2.5 million thanks to word of mouth.

The film takes place over the course of twenty-eight days. At midnight on the first day, Donnie sleepwalks out to the local golf course in his upper middleclass neighborhood where he meets Frank the rabbit. Frank tells him the world is going to end in twenty-eight days, six hours, forty-two minutes, and twelve seconds. Frank’s definition of “the world” is allegorical leaving us to wonder if this information he is giving Donnie is a warning or a gift. The film also took twenty-eight days for Richard Kelly to write and twenty-eight days to shoot. It was produced by Drew Barrymore’s production company Flower Films and distributed by Newmarket Films.

One of the crucial elements that makes the film so extraordinary is it does not kowtow to the restrictions of genre. Though it may be boxed into being called a science fiction psychological thriller (Hollywood types have difficulty with a film which has more than one or two genres), it is also a comedy, a drama, a coming-of-age story, and a love story. If I were to explain it in once sentence, I would say it is the story of a teenage boy who is given the opportunity to see what his life would be like if an act of divine intervention offered him a parallel universe. And if they looked at me strangely, I would say, “A teenage version of It’s a Wonderful Life set in reverse during Halloween of 1988.”.

I really don’t know why Hollywood called it a “challenging script”. I read it and it always made sense to me. And quite frankly (ha ha) the film blew me away the first time I saw it. I immediately knew I had experienced something remarkable. A film about divine intervention married with the application of science. Now that’s extraordinary. And I rarely see anything extraordinary. Most films fall short and lack depth. This film exceeded expectations and is not only required viewing but repeat viewing. You may not catch all the details the first time around such as the red Pontiac Phoenix passing Donnie riding his bike in the opposite lane. At the time I believed the movie would be the catalyst for more intelligent non-genre films to follow. Instead, I got a landslide of superhero movies and television shows, and more brainless streamers than smart ones and very rarely anything unique since the turn of the century. I had also hoped Richard Kelly would go on to make more films, but he only wrote four full length scripts and nothing since 2009. The cinema world could use another script like Donnie Darko.

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 5

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce the fifth chapter in my story Alanna the Piranha. It has been a most distressing week. That’ll teach me to allow the Maltese to introduce my blog. Firstly, the Maltese and I were left with a babysitter for the weekend while our novelist visited relatives. We spent most of our time staring out the window waiting for her to come back to us. And if that wasn’t enough, the day she returned her car was broken into. It always happens when something is out of sorts that criminals take advantage. One of the doors of the car was left unlocked and that is how they got in. They took one item: a credit card holder. However, the credit card holder (which cost an entire seven American dollars) was full of punch cards for various businesses. I genuinely hope the thief enjoyed their free coffee and teriyaki. That said without further ado her is Chapter Five of Alanna the Piranha. Bon Appetite!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Fifth

I needed to get my hands on DNA. More specifically I wanted a woman’s DNA. Now, I suppose extracting DNA from my mother or Stacy would have worked just fine but the whole idea of taking it from one of them made my stomach turn. I needed a non-relative.

I decided it was time to pay Stacy’s dorm room a visit. I showed up in the afternoon hoping she might be in. But she wasn’t. She was late getting back from her classes. When I knocked on the door her roommate Brooke answered. I happened to know her name because Stacy mentioned it once or twice. Brooke was wearing an oversized sweatshirt with the university’s insignia on it and a pair of gym shorts. She waddled to the door with these sponge things stuck between her toes.

“Who are you?” she asked irritated and skeptical.

“I’m Stacy’s bro…cousin. I’m her cousin Flint.”

“Uh, huh.”

“I was supposed to meet Stacy here today.”

She looked at her watch. “Stacy’s running late. Have you tried texting her?”

“No,” I replied feeling stupid.

“There’s a study room just down the hall.”

“Couldn’t I wait for her here?”

“I don’t know you,” she snapped giving me a quizzical look. Then she shut the door in my face.

I stood there looking at the closed door for a moment. She was right. She didn’t know me. I could be a garden variety campus rapist sharking the halls for my next prey. Unfortunately for me that wasn’t the case. I was a decent guy who was heading down the hall to the study room to text my sister who would call me all sorts of expletives for coming to her dorm room uninvited. But on the bright side, I was on an all-female floor in a dormitory and DNA abounded. I just needed to wait for the opportunity to steal some girl’s DNA.

I texted Stacy:

            I’m @ your room.

She texted me immediately:

                        WT RU doing @ my room?!

            CNT a bro visit his sister?

                        GT out!

            Mom WNTD me 2 bring U a CR pkg.

                        GT out!

            K. I’ll keep it.

                        NT a chance! Drop it off w/ my rm mate

            She DSNT trust me.

                        I’ll txt her.

I sat in the study room for a couple of minutes waiting for Stacy to text Brooke. Then I headed back down the hall and knocked on their door.

“So,” Brooke said when she opened it. “Where’s the care package?”

“Right,” I said and unzipped my backpack and took out a tube of toothpaste and a candy bar I’d bought at Bartell Pharmacy on the Ave.

“Are you serious?” she said. “Her mother sent this?”

“Yeah.”

“This care package sucks.”

“Can I come in and wait for Stacy now?”

“Go away.”

She started to shut the door when the elevator doors opened, and Stacy stepped out and marched down the hall towards us. The minute she saw me she wanted to drag me back down to the elevator and throw me down the shaft. She stomped up to us and asked me, “Did you drop off the care package?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“It’s pretty sad,” Brooke said.

“He sure is,” Stacy said. “Get out of here, Flint.”

It was then that I had a moment of clarity. I needed a better care package.

I had to figure out what Stacys considered a great care package. Or rather I needed to figure out what a true care package really was so I did what any red blooded American Incel would do. I asked my mom.

“Mom,” I said. “What stuff do you usually put in a care package you send to Stacy?”

My mother looked at me quizzically. “Why do you ask?”

“I’d like to put one together for her.”

“Really?” My suggestion may as well have been I’d like to become a sadistic birthday clown for children’s parties.

“Yes,” I said. “I’d like to put together a care package…for my sister.”

“Fantastic! Let’s get started.”

I followed my mother out to the garage where she kept a small highly organized mountain of empty shipping boxes.

“Not all shipping boxes are the same,” she told me. “The best ones have a hinge or two on them as opposed to being one piece that they just glue together.”

My mother plucked a hinged cardboard box off the pile that looked like it could fit a shoebox with room to spare. She handed it to me. “You see how it has an attached hinged lid,” she said moving the lid up and down. “And at the edge of the lid there is a slit where the tab at the top edge of the box fits into. That way you have a solid box to ship items in.”

“Sure,” I said disinterested.

“Next you need tissue paper.”

“Why?”

“It makes the package look eye catching when she opens it. And it acts like bubble wrap protecting the items inside.”

“I had planned to deliver it in person.”

“Oh…well, it will still work. Do you remember when I used to send care packages to your dorm?”

“Sort of.”

“The key is to pack pragmatic items and add one or two goodies just for fun.”

I wracked my brain trying to remember what mom had stuck in my care packages. Socks, I think. Maybe some candy bars or crackers.

“I’m going to suggest packing the same items I used to pack for you but ones that are more Stacy’s style.”

“Like a cat suit and a whip?”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Stacy would like things like fine chocolates or French hair accessories.”

“Alright,” I said not realizing this was going to be the Martha Stewart hour.

“And you are going to have to go to the stores to pick them up.”

“Pick them up?” I said wondering where my mother had been for the last twenty years. “I’ll order them online.”

“If you are going to order them online you might as well just have them shipped directly to her. And while you’re at it why don’t you stamp them with the fist of your cold steal heart.”

“Mom,” I said. “I will hand deliver the package. But there is no way no how I am going to pick all this up at a bunch of brick-and-mortar stores. That’s just stupid not to mention a complete waste of time.”

“Fine,” my mother said irritated. “Just make sure you get her what she wants.”

Getting all this stuff for Stacy might put me back a tick. Only one more day remains until my package arrives.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: REPULSION (1965)-XUMO

In keeping with my theme of Halloween films which think outside the box, here’s a little cautionary tale for those gentlemen out there who struggle with the word no. One of the most truly chilling and disturbing films of all time with gorgeous black and white cinematography by Gilbert Taylor, Repulsion chronicles a week in the life of Carol (brilliantly portrayed by Catherine Deneuve who should have earned an Oscar nomination for this performance. She did, after all, win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress). Carol has always been a little off. She is a beautiful young French manicurist living in London with her older sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux). Carol is blonde and virginal. Helen is brunette and experienced and having an affair with a married man, a scumbag named Michael (Ian Hendry). The women have a cousin named Colin (John Fraser) who is madly in love with Carol. He is the opposite of Michael and desperately trying to win Carol’s affection. When Helen and Michael head off to Italy for the weekend, Carol is left alone in she and Helen’s apartment with one task: pay the rent. Roman Polanski co-wrote the script with Gérard Brach and David Stone and directed this cinematic masterpiece which remains one of his best works. Look for him playing the spoons in one of the street scenes. He tied with David Lean for best director for the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director.

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 4

Hello. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. Gigi and I own a novelist. This week I went to the groomers and got the works. I look beautiful now. They even gave me a bright orange bandanna I have been wearing around my neck. I look very festive and Halloween-like. Gigi is jealous. What she doesn’t know is our novelist is going to give her a bath soon. I like it when Gigi gets baths, and I don’t. It makes me warm and happy. Today I am introducing Gigi’s fourth chapter in her new story Alanna the Piranha. I like this one. It has a bunny rabbit in it. We get a lot of bunny rabbits around here. They are small and brown and hop around and look cute. If we see bunnies hopping around it is good because we know coyotes and bobcats are not close by. Gigi usually asks you to enjoy the story at this point in some fancy foreign language. I do not know any fancy languages so I will just say enjoy Chapter the Fourth of Alanna the Piranha…is that a cookie?

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Fourth

Today I am at the pet store hoping to get a rabbit. The rabbits are in a glass and wooden pen in the center section off to the right surrounded on three sides by smaller animals. Over at the area where they have rodents there’s a chick looking to buy a rat. Now I suppose you think a loser like me would be into chicks who have pet rats. I may be desperate but I’m not that desperate. Chicks who fancy a rat for a pet are freaks. They always have these lousy tattoos on their shoulders they think make them look sexy. They wear these cut out shoulders or tank tops or whatever to show them off. I think they look like rejected circus freaks who live with their slut mother in a trailer park. And they always have some boyfriend with even more lousy tattoos who usually owns a rottweiler who’s smarter than he is.

And just as I suspected she’s got this white and black goth makeup on…and check it: a lip ring. I imagine this wraith used to look like a human girl with her hair swept back in a ribbon wearing cute little dresses her mom used to buy her. But then some spaceship from the planet Ulta crashed into her back yard, sprayed her in the face with quasi toxic makeup, took her welfare money and flew off. Man, she looks like trash. Oh, and look at that. Biff her ass kicking boyfriend just strolled up. Yeah, this guy looks like a road scholar. NOT! If she’s a former circus freak this guy is a genuine post-apocalyptic Marylyn Manson who pumps too much iron to look like Marylyn Manson. What a tool. And yet does your narrator with his biochemistry degree and an actual bank account have a girlfriend? Not a chance.

I keep staring at the rabbits trying to look all compassionate hoping that cute clerk with the ponytail and the pink fingernail polish will see me and help me pick out one of these adorable little science experiments. See, if I try to walk up to her and talk, my tongue will get all tangled and I won’t know what to say. And even if I do manage to say something suave, she’ll look at me like I’m the supreme commander of douchebags and blow me off. Not to be confused with the other more desirable blow me response.

“Can I help you?”

Oh, great. It’s Lyle. Lyle is a cool guy and all but he’s not the cute clerk with the ponytail and the pink nail polish.

“Hey, Lyle,” I say.

“Hey, Flint. You in here to buy a chewy toy or something.”

Lyle doesn’t know it, but he just hit me in the face with a shovel. “Uh…no. I was wondering if I could get a price on your cheapest rabbit.”

“Most of them are around the same price. Were you looking for a particular breed or color?”

“No.”

“Were you looking for lop ears or erect?”

“Erect.” Duh.

“Well, we’ve got this nice American here,” Lyle says and reaches over the glass and wood wall picking up an average size soft white rabbit.

“Is it male or female?”

“This one’s a male.”

“That won’t do…er, I mean I’m partial to females.”

“Oh, that’s right. Well…a lot of the females are gone right now…” Lyle looks around the pen. “You know what? I’ve got one super small one left. She’s a little Netherland Dwarf. She’s slightly more expensive than the rest but I might be able to come down on the price.”

“How much?”

“Let me talk to the manager.”

“Could I see the rabbit first?”

“Oh, sure.”

Lyle reaches over and gently knocks on the top of a plastic dome where the rabbits like to hide when they get tired of the customers letting their kids pet them. We wait. Nothing. Lyle knocks on the dome again.

A very small puff of apricot fur with tiny erect ears reluctantly hops out. I am almost reduced to a human being at the sight of her. She is super petite, tiny enough to sit in my hand. A teacup bunny if you will.

“Do you want to hold her?” Lyle asks.

Like most things in my life, I don’t want to get emotionally involved. “No, that’s okay.”

“Come on,” he says and shoves the unbelievably adorable thing in my face.

“I’ll hold her if you can get me sixty percent off.”

“Sixty?! Are you nuts?! I’ll be lucky to get you twenty!”

“Twenty? Come on, Lyle. Do me a solid here.”

“Maybe twenty-five. But there’s no way the boss is going for sixty.”

I sigh. I’m getting railroaded and I know it. “Fine. Ask her.”

“Jill!”

Let me tell you something. Jill’s a firedrake. She’s hated me ever since she saw me enter the place to get Josie’s first supply of dog food. This aging ho took twenty grand from her mother’s bank account, flew down to Las Vegas and blew it on Chippendale’s strippers.

Jill, who has a body like Foghorn Leghorn, struts towards Lyle. The instant she sees me she rolls her eyes in disgust. “Haven’t seen you in a while,” she says to me. “How’s that little pocket rat of yours?”

“I’m here to buy a rabbit.”

“Why?”

“I like rabbits.”

“I doubt it.”

“Flint was wondering if you could give him a discount on the Netherland Dwarf,” Lyle says.

“No.”

“It’s been in here a while and nobody…”

“Netherland Dwarfs are in big demand.”

“Lyle just said you haven’t been able to move her,” I protested.

“Doesn’t mean I’ll sell her to you.”

“I can buy her if I want to. It’s a free country.”

“This is a private business. We reserve the right to refuse service.”

“No one wants to get serviced by you.”

“Wait a minute,” Lyle cuts in. “Flint wants the Netherland Dwarf. The store hasn’t been able to sell her. If you give Flint a thirty percent discount…”

“Thirty percent?!” Jill bellows.

“Then everyone is happy.”

“No way am I selling that sweet little bunny to this creep and definitely not at a thirty percent discount!”

“I’ll trade you quarterbacks on our fantasy football team.”

“Twenty off the rabbit and not a percent more.”

“Done. You need a hutch, Fisk?”

I hadn’t thought of that. “I’m going to build one,” I say.

“Cheapskate,” Jill says.

“I did bring a carrier with me. It’s out in my car.”

“You mean your mom’s car. Go get the carrier and let’s ring you up.”

I head out to the car to get Josie’s old carrier. Two more days, and my package is due to arrive. I think I might have to pay my sister a visit.   

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE GUEST (2014)-Netflix

Halloween is fast approaching, and I thought it would be fun to suggest a few films this October that think a little outside the box. This one has an unusual blend of suspense, mystery, and comedy that you don’t get from your standard Halloween bill of fare, not to mention a breakout performance by its lead actor. “David” (Dan Stevens) is a discharged soldier who out of the blue shows up on the porch of the Peterson family shortly before Halloween claiming to be a friend and former member of their deceased son’s platoon. Mom, Laura Peterson (Sheila Kelly), a gentle soul, is immediately taken by the young man’s humbleness and impeccably polite manners. Her daughter twenty-year-old Anna (Maika Monroe) is less impressed and leerier of the unusually handsome young man. But dad Spencer (Leland Orser) and bookish youngest son Luke (Brendan Meyer) though apprehensive at first swiftly warm to him. “David” quickly finds out Luke is being bullied at school and decides to give him some “self-defense lessons” in a most unconventional way. This is the first incident on a path of strange events that lead Anna closer and closer to finding out “David’s” true motives. 

Alanna the Piranha Chapter 3

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti poodle here to introduce the third chapter in my story Alanna the Piranha. It is progressively getting colder around here, and my walks are now in the glorious afternoons as earlier in the day does not suit me this time of year. The Maltese and I have taken to choosing our heat vents. Mine is upstairs and the Maltese’s is wherever I am not. One of the wonderous parts of the autumn season is most of the best movies of the year begin to make themselves known. And more and more of them are coming to streaming at the same time they hit the theatres. This affords me endless joy as I often spend my evenings shoving the Maltese out of the way and curling up with my novelist to watch a film. My novelist’s stream of the week which is one of these delights has a special twist. I’ll let her tell you about it later. In the meantime, I proudly present to you Alanna the Piranha Chapter Three. Profitez de l’histoire!

Alanna the Piranha

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Day the Third

The third most important thing you need to know about me is I love to dance. I know you think that’s weird but it’s true. An Incel who dances is like a Chad who can’t get a date. But I do dance. And I’ve danced on and off since I was eight years old.

It all started when my mother asked my sister Stacy if she would like to take ballet and tap lessons. Stacy, who’s room has always been awash in ballerina pink went nuts. She bounced around the house all day. But there was a catch, you see. My mother told me the dance school had a two for one deal. That meant I had to take classes with Stacy.

“Mom,” I said. “I don’t want to take dance classes I want to play baseball!”

“You can play baseball and take dance classes.”

“All the other boys will laugh at me!”

“Not when they find out how much better coordinated you are for dancing.”

“Dad!”

“What?” my dad called from his office.

“Mom wants me to take ballet and tap lessons!”

“There have been football players who take ballet lessons.”

“But dad, I want to be a baseball player.”

“At two for one you’ll be a baseball player who can dance.”

“But dad…!”

“You can’t be in little league unless you take dance lessons.” That is when I hurled myself on the carpet and threw the biggest fit of my life so far. But it was in vain. I only managed to score an insanely long timeout in my room. Two weeks later I was wearing black ballet slippers and standing at the bar in Babette Babineaux’s School of Dance. And let me tell you Babette was a tyrant. If you didn’t have your five positions down, she would scream at you in French. Stacy, of course never got yelled at.

At first, I refused to practice. I was the only boy in the class. I felt like a girl. And it was just my luck that some of the guys on my little league team had sisters in my dance classes, so everyone knew Flint Fisk was a ballerina. I got in fights. I got my ass handed to me. It was just sad, bruh. Sad. But then one day Babette came up to me and said, “Vous devez pratiquer” or in other words I need to practice. I told her what for? I didn’t want to dance. My parents made me, and I felt like a loser. She said, “Vous n’êtes qu’un perdant si vous n’essayez pas” or in other words I am only a loser if I do not try. I told her I didn’t like the type of dancing I was doing. She said “Je vous donnerai des cours de danse jazz gratuitement” which means I will give you jazz dancing lessons for free. If I didn’t want to practice after that I could quit.

So, now I was taking ballet, tap and jazz. And since little league was in the spring and summer it was my one extracurricular activity during the fall and winter. For some reason I really took to jazz. You remember that film Napoleon Dynamite? You know that solo dance he does? Yeah, that’s the kind of dancing I was doing. It was awesome. I started practicing every day. Ms. Babineaux was a little upset that I was only practicing jazz dancing so she told me if I put more effort into ballet and tap it would improve my jazz.

Now don’t get me wrong. I was never the best student in Babette Babineaux’s School of Dance. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was I kept practicing and I kept getting better. And stupidly as I got older, I thought women would like a gentleman who could hold his own on the dance floor. Wrong!

My first public dance outside of dance recitals was a talent show in seventh grade. For some reason I was idealistic about this. I signed up and auditioned. I got in easily and the panel loved me. Of course, the panel was made up of teachers and moms not my fellow classmates. We had two performances: one for the afternoon school assembly and the other for the parents at night. I was slotted second to last.

Ms. Babineaux, eager to pimp her studio got a costume for me. This wasn’t one of those cheap things you see at temporary Halloween stores or something. This was a truly cool outfit. The shirt alone cost about a hundred and fifty dollars. And I don’t even want to go into the cost of the pants. And the hat. Oh, man the hat. Anyway, I looked dope. I worked two hours a day for a month on the routine alone. Ms. Babineaux had chosen “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake as the song. 

Then came the day of the performances and I felt ready to bring down the house. Ms. Babineaux told me she would attend the evening performance. All day I was nervous. I even snuck backstage during lunch and practiced the routine. Finally, it was two o’clock in the afternoon and all thirty of us performers got backstage. We each had three minutes exactly to perform. I had my routine timed out perfectly.

I started to get wicked nervous. I watched student after student head out on stage with their act: magicians, hula dancers, guitarists, piano players. I sat listening to the muffled applause after each performance. Then I started to shiver. It was like the temperature in the room plummeted. I worried I would forget the steps or even freeze on stage. I don’t know why. I’d never had this problem at a dance recital. But then again, I’d never had a solo at a dance recital. Even a jazz dance solo.

“Hey, Fisk,” the stage manager Steve Stuckler this skinny guy who always wore these oversized glasses said. “Get your ass into the wings. You’re next.”

I stood up and could feel my legs shake. I followed him into the wings. Now, I’d warmed up before the show, but I felt I needed to warm up more. I started stretching backstage and realized how dark and ominous it felt in the wings. Ursella Lewis, who was a juggler was the act before me. She said, “You look nervous, Flint.”

“I do?” I said surprised and embarrassed.

“You looked good in rehearsal. You’ll rock this.”

“Thanks,” I said, grateful for the vote of confidence. “Your act is da bomb.”

The audience applauded the dueling violins by the Relish twins. Ursella took a deep breath and headed on stage. The final act, the one after mine was the Culpepper brothers. One was in sixth grade, one in seventh and one in eighth. They were Chads with a capitol C. They had decided to form a rock band called Eat This and always had something nasty to say to me.

“Hey, Fisk,” the oldest one said. “Where’s your tutu?”

The middle and younger brother cackled.

“Suck mine,” I said.

Big brother shoved me. “What did you say, loser?”

I did not appreciate this neanderthal getting in my head space. But the last thing I needed was to go out on stage with blood all over my shirt. “Nothing,” I replied.

“Yeah, you’re right nothing, fairy princess.”

The middle and younger brother cackled louder.

“You couldn’t get a chick if you made one.”

“Like you score,” I said.

“What?”

“You’re an eighth grader.”

“So? You think just because I’m an eighth grader I haven’t scored?”

“I think it’s highly improbable.”

That’s when he slapped my butt, and I almost fell onstage.

“Hey!”

“Hey, what, twinkle toes?”

“What are you, a criminal?”

“Our mom is. You got a problem with that?”

“What?”

“Our dad’s always going over to Purdie for conjugal visits.”

That’s when the audience applauded for Ursula.

“Get your ass on stage, Fisk,” Stuckler told me.

Grateful to get away from these hyenas, I hurried out on stage and got into position. The spotlight shone on me, and I could feel my hands trembling. Then the electronic beat kicked in and I began to move. Within seconds my fear dissipated, and I was dancing like a pro. I spun, I kicked, I grooved. I forgot the audience was even there. When the music stopped, I struck my final pose, and the audience went ballistic. I cannot tell you how exhilarating it was standing and feeling justification for the first time in my life. Afterwards girls who had never even talked to me before were coming up and telling me how much they loved my performance. They were so sweet to me I thought they liked me as a human being.

Two weeks later was the seventh-grade spring dance. I talked my mother into buying me some new clothes I thought would make me look cool. She was always buying Stacy cool clothes, so I figured I was justified. When I put them on that evening, I thought I looked like a sharp dressed man. My dad drove me to the school. Before I went inside, he said to me, “Son, you look like a lady-killer,” and told me to have a good time. Something about the intonation in his voice, however, was less than convincing.

I went inside and checked my clothes and checked everyone else’s clothes and I decided I was dressed appropriately. I looked over and saw this group of maybe six girls, a couple of them were in my classes. I told myself to go over and ask if any of them wanted to dance. As I started moving that direction, I saw the middle Culpepper brother walk up and do exactly what I was planning. The girls giggled and smiled and one of them followed him to the dance floor. See, I told myself, easy.

But as I started to approach them, I could see them look at each other before pulling out their phones.

“Um…hi,” I said. “I was wondering if one of you would like to dance?”

I stood there politely, looking from one girl to the next but they just ignored me and kept looking at their phones.

“I’m…I’m a pretty good dancer,” I said with a nervous laugh. But they just continued to look at their phones and pretend I didn’t exist.

I felt about as embarrassed I’d ever remembered being and I quietly turned and disappeared into the crowd. I went back to the wall I had been standing against and watched a couple of Culpepper’s buddies walk up to the same girls. They giggled and flirted, and two girls followed the guys out to the dance floor.

But I didn’t give up. I walked up to another group of girls, all smart, in the same classes as I was, and I asked if they wanted to dance. They at least didn’t ignore me. They just looked me up and down like I was garbage and said, “No, thanks.”

“Have a fun tonight,” I said and walked away.

Finally, I noticed one girl who was in all my classes standing alone. She was very shy and hardly ever spoke. But she seemed sweet, and I thought, maybe I could show off some of my cool moves to her. Maybe I could teach her how to dance. But when I walked up to her, she got this mortified look on her face and ran off.

I spent the rest of the dance leaning against the wall watching everyone dance but me. So even though I still like to dance, I know it’s something I’m better off doing alone. Anyway, my package gets here in three days. I can hardly wait.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE GUILTY (2018)-Hulu & THE GUILTY (2021)-Netflix

This week you are in for a special treat. The newest movie to hit Netflix and theatres is the remake of the Danish film The Guilty staring Jake Gyllenhaal. What is important to note about both the original which is playing on Hulu and the American remake on Netflix is they are what one would call contained films. You may be seeing more contained films in the future because they can be more safely shot during Covid-19. They have micro small casts and are often filmed on one set or with very few locations. These types of films rely heavily on their writing and acting. Some contained films are 127 Hours, All is Lost, Buried, Closet Land, Dead Calm, Duel, Gravity, Locke, Monsters, Moon, Oleanna, Open Water, The Blair Witch Project, Venus in Fur and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Both versions of The Guilty seemed to play better with critics than viewers. Probably because many modern day Americans in the dawn of vapid overproduced superhero movies have a hard time distinguishing quality from flash. And in fact, the American version is glossier looking with more emotional crescendos than the original. This is a film for grownups not children. And I am not referring to one’s age. That said, both films are excellent. Especially the lead actors, Jakob Cedergren in the Danish version who plays the lead role of Asger Holm with introverted naturalistic intensity and Jake Gyllenhaal who plays the lead roll Joe Baylor with more extroverted tension. Both ways work very well. All you need to know about the story going in is that it takes place over the course of one night in the life of a demoted policeman working the dispatch desk for emergency calls. And that it is based on an actual emergency call Gustav Möller, the director and co-writer of the Danish film heard on YouTube. Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano and Riley Keough all lend their voices to the American version.