Catzilla Chapter Seven

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce chapter seven of my story Catzilla. This week I spent some time looking up movies that humans find the most rewatchable. It was most amusing. Humans, it seems, watch the strangest and most insipid things. I am a connoisseur of the classics and found very few of them on the lists. I have even been told that I am uncultured because I do not watch enough superhero films. I fear the future. Not only is artificial intelligence about to run rampant because of corporate greed but apparently superhero films are now considered the height of intellectual cinema. I must say some of the loveliest films I delight in watching over and over are shot in black and white and I do so love to watch them repeatedly such as Psycho, Notorious, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Apartment, Sabrina, Dr. Strangelove, Night of the Hunter, Lolita, Repulsion, City Lights, M, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Hustler, The Third Man, 12 Angry Men, Some Like It Hot, and The Manchurian Candidate. But then again, I am a parti poodle and have an altogether different definition of what I would consider refined. And with that thought, here is Chapter Seven of my story Catzilla. Enjoy!



Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Seven

The rest of the week I found myself worrying about Lyle. What if the Edevane’s found out he bugged their house? The Edevane Factory stood just outside of town and almost everyone in my town worked there. That is excepting folks like my mother who is a consultant and works for different companies. When Lyle said he would bug the Edevane House, all I could think of was what would happen when they found out.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I had all the confidence in the world in Lyle. He may be a loner and all but there was no denying he was the sharpest tack in my high school’s box. And if not, he was extremely close. I believed Lyle when he said he built his own surveillance bug and I believed he tutored Ellery in science, and I believed he hid the bug in the Edevane house. But I also knew the Edevanes didn’t need a genius IQ to cause vindictive damage.

I couldn’t wait until Saturday afternoon to listen to Lyle’s recordings. And when it came around Lyle showed up at exactly twelve o’ five in the afternoon just as he promised. Apparently, he didn’t want to wait any longer than he had to. It was another gorgeous spring day with tufts of cottonwood floating through the air like tiny fairies. My mother was stunned to find him standing on our porch. He adjusted his ill-fitting spectacles and sported a pleasant smile. “Hello, Mrs. Brook.”

“Hello, Lyle,” my mother said bewildered. “What brings you here today?”

“Briar and I are working on a project together. I brought over the work I’ve done so we can go over it.”

“I see. Briar?”

“Yeah?” I called from my room.

“Lyle’s here. He says you’re doing a project together.”

“Yes,” I said hopping off my bed. “Yes, we are.”

“Which class?”

“It’s a sociological project, Mrs. Brook,” Lyle said.

“It’s not sex ed is it?”

“What? No, Mrs. Brook.”

“Let’s hope not.”

“Is it okay if we use your office, mom?” I asked.

My mom looked at me the way the Grinch looked at Whoville. “Snacks?”


“Would you and Lyle like some snacks while you work in my office?”

“Yes, please, Mrs. Brook,” Lyle said. “I haven’t had lunch…or breakfast.”

“Lyle, you’re a growing teenager. You need to eat. Are you allergic to nuts or peanuts?”


“I’ll make you a nut butter and jam sandwich with a side of fruit.”

“That sounds awesome. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. If you’re still hungry afterwards, I’ll bring you and Briar some snacks.”

Lyle and I headed into my mother’s office. There were two Steelcase desk chairs in there with casters which was why I wanted to use it. It also helped to keep my mother sane knowing we weren’t going into my bedroom.

“Your mom has a cool home office,” Lyle said.

“Thank you.”

“My mom had a cool home office too until the factory required everyone to come in to work at least four times a week.”

“My mom’s a consultant and works for different companies so she needs a home office. Did you get the recordings.”

“Oh, yeah. I got them alright.”

“Have you listened to them yet?”

“Yeah. A lot of it was stupid but I did make this one file I thought was important. Are you ready?”


Lyle took out his phone. “I just need to find the right file.”

He searched for the file, found it, and pressed play. The first thing we heard was loud meowing in the background, likely from the two Havanans. Then we heard Mr. and Mrs. Edevane talking with someone who sounded like the woman in the suit who answered the door when my mother and I returned the kitten.

“Dr. Grosser, how do you think the experiment is going so far?” Mrs. Edevane asked.

“Brilliantly,” a female voice replied. “The subjects are responding magnificently to the stimuli.”

“How long do you predict the experiment will take at this point?” Mr. Edevane asked.

“It depends on how consistently the subjects respond to the stimuli,” Dr. Grosser said. “If they continue to respond daily, then a couple of weeks. If longer, then extreme measures might be required.”

“We appreciate all the effort you’ve contributed to our company,” Mrs. Edevane said. “The other scientists we interviewed did not understand our philosophy.”

“And we’re astounded by how much progress you’ve made in such a short time,” Mr. Edevane added.

“But of course,” Dr. Grosser said. “I appreciate the need one has to expand one’s business. It is much like trees in an orchard. The owner wants all of them to flourish and bear profitable fruit.”

After Dr. Grosser said this Ellery must have entered the room. “Are going to lunch or not?” he snapped.

“Why don’t you go ask Brenda to make you a sandwich?” his father said.

“Brenda’s sandwiches suck. Besides, you promised to take me to Hamburger, Hamburger this afternoon so I could get a blue cheese and potato chip burger.”

“Son, sometimes you’ve got to change plans. Go ask Brenda to make you a sandwich and next Saturday I’ll take you to Hamburger, Hamburger.”

“That sucks.”

“How did your tutoring with Lyle go?”

“The guy’s a doofus. He’s smart but he’s boring. All he talks about is math. The guy is never going to get laid.”

“Language, son.”

“Well, it’s true. A total snore-job. He’s one of those losers everyone will forget about once high school’s over.”

I looked at Lyle who seemed hurt, but he struggled to keep a brave face.

“But your grades are improving. Last time we went online to check them you had gone from a C- to a B-. That’s an entire grade.”

“Look, I don’t know what you guys are worried about. You’re just going to shell out the money to send me to a small private school. What difference does it make if I’m getting good grades or average ones? I have other things on my plate.”

We heard Ellery leave the room.

“It’s time I should be going,” Dr. Grosser said. “I will keep you updated on the experiment…ah! There’s your little kitten.”

Lyle and I heard the kitten mew.

“It sounds like someone is hungry. Perhaps you should name the little creature.”

“What would we name it?” Mr. Edevane asked.

“Why, whatever strikes your fancy. Perhaps you could ask Ellery to name it.”

“We’ll take that under advisement.”

We heard Dr. Grosser walk out of the room. Lyle stopped the recording and turned to me.

“So, what do you think?” he asked. 

“I think Ellery’s a bigger jerk than I thought.”

“Yes, but what do you think their experiment is?”

“Well, obviously it’s to make the Edevane’s more money. Beyond that I’m not sure.”

“Who do you think the subjects are?”

“I don’t know. But I think that Dr. Grosser was there when my mom and I dropped the kitten off at their place. In fact, she was the one who answered the door and took the kitten inside.”

“Dr. Grosser and the Edevanes must be tight.”

“She’s making them money somehow. We should see if there’s any information about Dr. Grosser on the internet.”

“I already did. She’s got a doctorate in zoology.”

“Zoology? So, are the subjects she’s referring to animals?”

“They must be.”

“Where do you think she’s conducting the experiments?”

“She must be doing them at the factory.”

“If that’s the case, we need to get in there.”

“We need a keycard to get in.”

I thought about this for a moment. “Your mom works there.”

“So does my dad.”

“Even better.”


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s 80’s pick is a dark comedy co-written and directed by Jane Campion. Gerard Lee also helped pen the script. It was two-time Oscar winner Campion’s first full-length feature film. Sweetie tells the story of an introverted Australian woman in her early twenties named Kay (Karen Colston) who has an intense fear of trees and doesn’t quite fit in. Everyone at the factory where she works teases her about being a serial monogamist. Recently, being a bit superstitious, she has had her tea leaves read and has been told she is going to meet a man with a question mark on his face who will play an important part in her life.

Kay has a vivacious sister named Dawn (Geneviève Lemon), whom Kay has held a long-seated grudge against. Dawn goes by the nickname Sweetie. Sweetie was a talented child who has long suffered from mental illness and her family has suffered right along with her. One night, Dawn breaks into Kay’s house after serving a stint in a mental institution. Tagging along is Sweetie’s boyfriend Bob (Michael Lake), her drug addled would-be agent who has promised to make her famous. The couple has decided to stay at Kay’s flat despite Kay’s protestations until the sisters’ doting father Gordon (Jon Darling) shows up and tries to take Sweetie home.  

The film deals brilliantly with the ways families struggle to deal with a mentally ill family member and the way it distressingly affects their lives. The results are sometimes quite funny and at other times profoundly sobering. This is a deeper and heavier comedy than the other three 80’s films I’ve recommended but it is well worth the watch.  Rounding out the cast are Dorothy Barry as the sisters’ mother Flo and Tom Lycos as the mysterious man with the question mark on his face.

Catzilla Chapter Six

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter six of my story Catzilla. This Tuesday, the thirtieth of May, I celebrated my birthday. Everyone sang Happy Birthday, drank Aquadent and had a lovely time. I did not, however, receive a diamond studded dog collar. Naturally, this was a great disappointment to me. Nonetheless, I was given a darling piece of jewelry: a new name tag. It is larger than my older one and in the same Garamond font as you can see in the picture below:

 I find it makes an altogether different chiming sound when I walk about and allow it to jingle against my rabies and license tags. It is not diamonds but it is lovely just the same. A true keepsake. Yet, I would have liked the diamond collar which I would look spectacular wearing. Christmas is only seven months away. And with that thought, here is chapter six of Catzilla. Enjoy!



Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter Six

Ellery’s parents’ house stood at the end of the neighborhood street. It was more elevated than the other homes. It had nine windows plus bubbled glass all around the front door. I had passed by it a few times but never strolled up and knocked. My mother, however, had no trouble with the job. She marched up to the door, dog crate in hand and rang the doorbell.

We waited patiently until we saw footsteps approach through the bubbled glass. The door opened and a dour looking woman in a tailored suit answered. “Yes,” she said displeased.

“We believe this might belong to the residents of this home,” my mother said nodding towards the crate.

The woman took a sidelong glance at the crate and said, “Whatever gave you that idea?”

“We found this kitten yesterday and believe it belongs to Ellery.”

The woman narrowed her eyes. “Yes, I believe it does. I will take the Felis Catus and alert her rightful owner.”

The woman went to pick up the crate, but my mother stopped her. “The kitten may be yours,” she said, “but the crate belongs to us.”

“I will return your low-rate crate directly.”

The woman grabbed the crate’s handle, took the kitten in the house, and shut the door leaving my mother and I standing on the grandiose porch with the elegant pillars and the golden overhead light.

“What if she doesn’t come back with the crate?” I asked.

“Then we’ll go inside and retrieve it.”

“Wouldn’t that be trespassing?”

“Taking our crate and not returning it is stealing. I hardly think our crossing their threshold to retrieve what is rightfully ours gives them the higher ground.”

Luckily, we didn’t have to storm the house because the woman in the suit returned post haste, with Harlow’s now empty crate. She opened the door, set it down beside my mother and said, “Thank you for returning the Felis Catus. Then she shut the door and left.

“It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a finder’s reward,” I said.

“I never thought we would.”

I didn’t think about the kitten much after that. I finished my week in detention and managed to avoid Ellery by ignoring him in class and taking a different route home. Then Friday evening rolled around. After I finished my shift at the restaurant and was coming home, I saw Lyle out in his front yard playing tetherball.

“Hey, Briar,” he said.

“Hey, Lyle.”

“You want to play tetherball with me?”

“I just got off my shift at the restaurant. Maybe tomorrow afternoon or something.”

“Okay…say, I was wondering…I was wondering if you were going to that spring fling dance.”

“I hadn’t even thought about the spring fling dance. I never went to school dances. In fact, I avoided all social school activities. My mother told me this was a terrible idea. She said I couldn’t just rely on playing badminton either. “Grades alone aren’t going to get you into college,” she said. “If you want to go to a university, and I use the word “want” lightly, you need to figure out one or two activities to engage in and engage in them soon.” I knew mom was right. But I had to find activities I could tolerate.

“Um…I’ll have to think about it, Lyle.”

“Oh…well, if you do decide you want to go, my mom could drive us. She could ask your mom if it’s okay.”

“I can’t promise anything, Lyle.”

“Well…let me know what you decide.”

As I headed towards my house, I noticed our next-door neighbor Mrs. Thorndach standing in her driveway setting a small shiny silver steel bowl in front of a kitten. Ellery’s kitten. The kitten sauntered up to the bowl and ate. I had to look twice to make sure it was the same cat. But it had that unmistakable red coat.

“Mom,” I said when I got inside. “Ellery’s kitten is on the loose again.”

“It is?” she said.

“Mrs. Thorndach is feeding it in her driveway as we speak.”

“What’s the matter with those Edevanes anyway?”

“I don’t know. What do you think we should do?”

My mother pondered my question. “I think the best thing we can do is watch the kitten and wait. We just took the poor thing back to them and they let it loose again. If I didn’t have this wretched asthma, I’d let it stay here.”

“It’s odd they just let it go again after we found it and gave it back.”

“I got an email today from Lyle’s mother. She’s offering to give you a ride to that spring fling dance. Is that something you wanted to attend?”

“I don’t know.” I really didn’t want to go. But now I felt obligated because Lyle went and asked his mother.

“Do you need a dress for that?”

I sighed. “Yeah, maybe.”

“You don’t have to go with Lyle. I’m perfectly capable of driving you there if you want to go by yourself.”

I nodded. The last thing I wanted to do was buy a stupid dress and wear it to a stupid dance.

“Think about it and let me know.”

“I need to go do my homework,” I said and headed to my room.

This was not the last time I saw the kitten out and about. In fact, I saw it at a different house every day that week. And every time I saw it someone was feeding it. At the end of the week, I noticed the kitten grew to the size of a full-grown cat.

At lunch the following Tuesday, Lyle came over to my table.

“Hi, Briar.”

“Hi, Lyle.”

“May I?” he asked sheepishly.

 I gestured towards the empty chair across from me.

He sat down and said, “I haven’t heard from you for days. I see you in the halls sometimes, but it’s crowded and hard for me to catch up to you.

“I’ve been busy.”

“With badminton?”

“With life in general. Say, have you seen a reddish colored kitten with oversized ears prowling around our neighborhood?”

“Hmm. Actually, yeah. I did. I was outside playing tetherball when I saw a cat of that description prowling around. I think my neighbor fed it.”

“I’ve seen it every day for over a week. And each time someone feeds it. I think it’s grown. When I first saw it a couple of weeks ago, it was a scrawny malnourished kitten. Now it’s like a full-grown cat.”

Lyle took a thoughtful drink of his green sports drink. “You sure it grew that fast?”


“Maybe it wasn’t as small as you thought it was.”

“It was a tiny, emaciated kitten. My mom and I took it to the vet to find out if it had been chipped and it hadn’t. But it belongs to Ellery.”

Lyle nodded. “Ellery, huh,” he said taking another pull off his sports drink. “I could bug his house if you wanted.”


Lyle shrugged. “Yeah. I made a bug last summer. Worked well. I listened in on my parents a lot. They’re pretty concerned about my not having friends.”

“How would you get it into his house?”

“I tutor him.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“He struggles in science. I can do it this evening if you like. I’ll tape their conversations and bring them to you.”


“How about Friday evening?”

“How about Saturday afternoon?”

Lyle nodded. “Saturday afternoon it is.”


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


The third 80’s movie sleeper choice comes from producer Mike Nesmith of The Monkeys. This comedy satire was released one year before Say Anything with John Cusack playing a very different type of character from Lloyd Dobber. The story is about two high school graduates Josh Tager (Tim Robbins) who showed talent as a film director but has not yet been successful and his sleezy but loyal friend Ivan Alexeev (John Cusack) who find themselves working mundane jobs as security guards. It is Josh’s birthday and Ivan has decided to throw a big bash. Josh knows how to work the surveillance system, so it looks like the halls have no one in them. But things go awry, the boys get caught and they end up fired.

The two decide to join forces and form Video Aces, a production company with Josh as the creative talent and Ivan as the businessman. The two get a job shooting a commercial for a local restaurant and the doors start kicking in including filming a funeral. But their biggest success comes when they are hired to shoot a music video for the rock group The Blender Children.

There are several cameos of famous musicians in the film such as Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, Connie Stevens, Junior Walker, Weird Al Yankovic, Ted Nugent, Courtney Love, and Michael Nesmith. This film contains one of my all time favorite movie scenes featuring King Cotton who steals the show.

Catzilla Chapter Five

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here on this glorious spring day to present to you Chapter Five of my story Catzilla. If you have never met me before, I am a six-pound parti poodle, who writes short stories and owns a novelist. This week we are experiencing what we like to call summer snow. This is when the tufts of the cotton wood trees start to float in the air much like snowflakes. It is rather lovely to watch, especially in the sunshine. The Maltese, however, is distressed by the fact that one cannot build a snowman out of summer snow. But then again, he is a sub-intellectual breed of dog and no match for the superior mind of a parti poodle. He cannot appreciate the finer things in life like Shakespeare, Mozart, and Better Call Saul.

I must tell you I have begun planning my summer activities. I would like to voyage to the seashore and fly a kite. I am planning on partaking of a ride to the country where I will panic and bark excessively all the way. I will take morning walks with my novelist and point out the different flora and fauna along the way whether she wishes to notice them or not. And I will avoid fireworks at all costs. Those dreadful things are far too loud for my tastes. And of course, I will continue telling my tale Catzilla. I should also mention this Tuesday the thirtieth of May is my birthday. The Maltese is planning a surprise party for me where I and my many admirers will partake of canapés and water spiked with Aquadent. This year he has promised me a lovely cake for which I am more than deserving. I have put in a request for a new collar, one with diamonds this time. Beautiful poodles deserve beautiful things you see. And with that thought, here is chapter five of my story Catzilla. Jouir!



Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Two

I spent most of the day thinking about the kitten. After I’d finished my homework in detention, I drew a picture of it sitting in my garage with the overhead light illuminating its green eyes, its stealth fighter ears flattened back, and its fangs bared. Quincy leaned over and said, “That is one angry cat. Is it a self-portrait?” I ignored him and touched up the picture as I waited for my second day in detention to end.

When I finally got to leave the classroom and head home, I felt a huge sense of relief. The sun shone a little brighter, the sky looked a little bluer and the spring flowers smelled a little sweeter. That was until I heard Ellery’s electric bicycle rolling down the opposite side of the street.

“Hey, Briar,” he said with a condescending sneer. “How’s it hanging?”

“I don’t have time for this,” I said looking straight ahead. “I’m on a mission.”

“A mission, huh. Sounds serious.”

“It is serious.”

“What’s the mission?”

“My mother needs me to do something.”

“Sounds lame.”

“Lame or not it’s my mission and I’m doing it.”

“You know what I’m going to do?”

“I couldn’t care less.”

“I’m going to take your school picture, superimpose it on a porn star and post it online.”

“I’m surprised your vocabulary includes “superimpose.”

“And everyone at school is going to see it and send it to everyone they know.”

“You’re going through a lot of trouble to irritate me.”

“I’m just telling you what I’m going to do.”

As we approached my driveway, I could see my mother putting Harlow’s crate behind the driver’s side. “Briar,” she called and waved to me.

“See? My mom needs me to go on a mission.”

I started towards the car when Ellery said, “Did you find a kitten by chance?”

I stopped, turned, and faced him. “What?”

“A reddish-brown kitten. She’s our newest pet. We thought our two Himalayans needed a toy, so we gave them a kitten.”

“I don’t think you’re supposed to do that.”

“Anyway, the kitten ran off and we can’t find it anywhere. I was just wondering if you’d seen it wandering around the neighborhood.”

“Mom,” I called out. “I think the kitten belongs to Ellery.” Mom looked at us. I could tell by the way she put her hand on her hip she didn’t like the situation.

“Really,” she said.

“Hello, Briar’s mom,” Ellery said and waved.

“Get away from my daughter.”

“Sounds like you and Briar found a kitten.”

“Briar, come here.” I continued towards my mother. Ellery wheeled his bike a little closer to our driveway. “Go home, Ellery.”

“That kitten you found belongs to me.”

“Then you must have taken a picture of it.”


“Show it to me. Right now.”

Ellery was starting to understand my mother meant business. He leaned his bike to one side as he took out his phone and scrolled through his pictures. “It’s here somewhere…”

“How hard can it be, Ellery? You’re a teenager. You’re addicted to your phone. Half your life is spent filming videos and taking pictures.”

“Just hang on. I’ll find it.”

My mother narrowed her eyes. “Show it to me later, Ellery. Briar and I are on a mission.”

“That’s what Briar said.”

“And stop talking to my daughter. She doesn’t like you and frankly neither do I.”


My mother hopped in the car, turned on the engine and started backing out. I looked over at Ellery’s confused face and smiled.

We pulled up to the front of the Emergency Animal Hospital which was at the end of a strip mall and parked. We got out and mom grabbed the crate from behind the driver’s side seat and we headed for the automatic doors.

A veterinary nurse wearing a mask came out to greet us. “Hi,” she said obviously blocking anyone from entering the hospital. “What do we have here?”

“We found a kitten,” my mom said. “It didn’t have a collar or tags, so we came here to find out if it is microchipped.”

“Oh, sure,” the nurse said. “Stay out here and I’ll go get two readers and we’ll scan the kitten with both.”

“Thank you.”

My mother set the crate down by her side and I could hear the kitten clawing at the bars. “I think it’s actually Ellery’s kitten,” I said.

“Probably is,” my mother said. “I hope he and his parents had the sense to get it microchipped.”

“Harlow isn’t microchipped.”

“True. But we’re responsible pet owners. Ellery and his parents are not.”

“You’re likely right. But we don’t know that for sure.”

The nurse returned with her two devices. “Okay,” she said. “Let’s get this little sweetheart out of the cage.”

“Okay,” my mother said before she knelt and popped the latch on the crate and opened the door.

I have to say, I was impressed my mother somehow got the “little sweetheart” in the cage in the first place.

“Okay, sweetie,” the nurse said to the kitten. “Let’s see if we can figure out who your mommy or daddy are.”

She pulled a pair of medical gloves out of her smock, snapped them on and slowly reached into the crate. She gingerly took hold of the kitten who hissed and took a swipe at her.

“Someone’s fussy, aren’t they?”

The kitten, not fond of being patronized, hissed louder. The veterinary nurse took the first device which looked like an electronic paddle and swiped it over the kitten several times in several places. “Nothing with that one,” she said. “Let’s try the other.” She swiped the second electronic paddle over the kitten several times in several places. “Nope. The kitten isn’t chipped. She doesn’t look like a stray…she does look a bit hungry though. What I would suggest is to take her home, feed her one of our cans of cat food we have here at the clinic and see if we can get her up to a healthy weight.”

“Alright,” my mother said as the veterinary nurse put the distempered feline back in the crate.

After we purchased the overpriced canned cat food and put Harlow’s crate behind mom’s seat we climbed in the car, shut the doors and I said, “We should take the kitten over to Ellery’s. I’m pretty sure it’s their cat.”

“Those two nasty Havanas will tear it apart.”

“But we can’t keep it at our house. I can already tell you’re wheezing from its dander.”

“I’m fully aware of my suffering. But we can’t just turn her over to them to be destroyed.”

“I don’t think we have much of a choice, mom. You know they have its papers, and it was probably expensive.”

“Perhaps. But I have a bad feeling about this whole thing.”


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


My second pick of 80’s sleepers is a wonderful time capsule with gowns designed by Jessica McClintock, one of the hot designers of the era. In fact, all the clothes in the film are a lot of fun and in strong contrast to the drab fast fashion garbage made today that no teenager should be swindled into wearing.

The movie is set in the San Fernando Valley in California as well as Hollywood to provide a Romeo and Juliet based teenage tale. Julie Richman (Deborah Forman) is the daughter of well-to-do former hippies Steve Richman (Frederic Forest) and Sarah Richman (Colleen Camp) who own a successful health food store. Julie is a Valley Girl from wealthy upper middle-class suburbia. She is well liked and has a circle of attractive friends including Stacey (Heidi Holicker), Suzi (Michelle Meyrink) and Loryn (Elizabeth Daily). They spend their days attending a posh high school and going shopping at the local mall. Julie had been dating preppy boyfriend Tommy (Michael Bowen) but the two recently broke up. No surprise as Tommy is a liar, a bully, and a scumbag who, after the breakup, takes no time aggressively and covertly pursuing Loryn.

One day on the beach, Julie happens to see an attractive new boy named Randy (Nicolas Cage in his first leading role in a major motion picture) and the two are instantly smitten. Randy, however, is reluctant to approach her because he is a punker who comes from the far less opulent Hollywood area. But his best friend Fred Bailey (Cameron Dye), a more happy-go-lucky optimist, encourages Randy to join him in crashing a party Julie is going to be attending. The two punker boys show up looking quite a bit different from the preppy crowd. But despite their opposing backgrounds Randy and Julie find the attraction between them is quite strong and thus begins the odyssey of these two star-crossed lovers.

Catzilla Chapter Four

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to bring you chapter four of my new story Catzilla. This week was glorious because I was finally able to go to the groomers and be properly shorn. I behaved very well throughout the whole experience. The groomer even said so. I went from a mangy mini sheep dog to a chic stylish toy poodle. Look at my before and after pictures:

I am just like a fairytale Cinderella. Am I not the most gorgeous Canis Lupis Familiars you have every laid your humble eyes upon? Now I am ready for the rest of this glorious spring and the bright and beautiful summer ahead. And now without further ado, here is chapter four of Catzilla. Meow!



Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Four

After Ellery scared the cat away, I gave up and went back inside. I decided it must have gone home to its owner.

“I suppose that’s just as well,” My mother said. But I detected a note of wariness in her voice.

That night I went to bed and put on my meditation audio which helps me fall asleep. It was made by a guy from Australia or maybe New Zealand. They work like a charm every time and I drifted off. It must have been around one in the morning when I heard caterwauling. Remarkably loud caterwauling echoing through the neighborhood. I sat up in bed, rubbed my eyes, and went to the window. Across the street, under the same lamppost was the kitten. It stopped making noise and stared straight at me. I rolled my eyes and went back to bed.

This, of course, did not appease the kitten. As soon as I shut my eyes it started caterwauling all over again. I got up, threw on my forest green terrycloth robe slid my feet into my fuzzy orange Ugg indoor/outdoor slippers and headed down to the garage. I put on my dad’s big puffy pewter gray gloves to make sure my hands were protected, grabbed Harlow’s crate, opened the garage door, and stepped out onto the driveway. The kitten saw me and stopped making noise. I approached with caution. It watched my every move.

When I reached the other side, I knelt about a yard to its right side and slowly opened the door to the crate. The kitten turned towards me, adjusted itself and sat on its haunches. We stayed there staring at each other. But after a few minutes, exhaustion caught up with me. I rose and carried the crate closer to the kitten. As soon as I did, the kitten scurried across the street and stopped in our driveway as if it were waiting for me, its green eyes sparkling in the porchlight.

I looked both ways and headed back to my driveway. I went towards the kitten and stopped a yard from its left side, squatted down and opened the crate’s door. The cat seemed bored with this would-be game and proceeded to lick its paw. I crept closer, reached out my gloved hand, and…

Suddenly, the kitten turned towards me and hissed the most satanic hiss I’d ever heard. Its green eyes turned pure black, and its large, oversized ears flattened as if they were wings on a stealth fighter. I inched back a couple yards and the cat calmly returned to its normal self, continuing to groom its paws.

Well, forget that! I closed the crate door and opened the garage door. The kitten caterwauled again.

“Not a chance,” I snapped. I started to step inside when I felt the kitten circling my legs, brushing up against them as closely as possible. It was getting fur all over my pajamas. This was not going to bode well for my mother. I would have to go over them with a lint brush, toss them in the hamper and change before I crawled back into bed. My instincts told me I probably shouldn’t let this cat into the garage much less the house.

I, however, didn’t get to make the decision because the kitten sauntered into the garage uninvited. She saw my old crib mattress tilted against the wall. She scratched her paw in the air at it as if to tell me to pull it down so she could lie on it. I sighed, entered the garage, and set Harlow’s crate on top of the freezer. I removed the blanket from the crate, knocked the mattress onto the floor, unfurled the blanket and spread it on top. The kitten scrutinized the arrangement with its emerald eyes and was satisfied with it. She stepped on, curled up in a ball and purred.

“Yeah, make yourself at home,” I told her. Then I shut off the garage light and went back to bed.

My mom woke me up at 6:45 AM. “Time to go to school,” she told me.

I blinked my heavy eyelids and attempted to bring the world into focus. The sun was already out which was better than the dank predawn I experienced earlier this semester. After dressing, I headed into the kitchen. My mom had made me a fruit plate. I sat down at the table and said, “I caught the kitten last night.”

“Last night?” my mom exclaimed. “What time last night?”

“Between one and two.”

“One or two in the morning?”

“Didn’t you hear it caterwauling?”

“I didn’t hear anything.”

“It was caterwauling at the top of its lungs. It woke me up.”

“You should have let it go on howling. It would have eventually stopped.”

“What if a racoon caught it?”

“There’s tweekers in this neighborhood who break into cars. What if they’d seen you and tried to hurt you?”

“No one was out there. The kitten could have been attacked by a coyote.”

“Where is it now?”

“In the garage curled up on my old crib mattress.”

“I guess that’s just as well. But I never want you getting up and wandering around at night like that again.”

“I was going to give it food and water before we left.”

“Go do that then brush your teeth, wash your face and comb your hair or you’re going to be late.”

“Alright.” I finished my fruit plate, took a last sip of my tea, and got out a couple of Harlow’s steel bowls. I filled one with water and the other with one of her fancy pâtés and headed to the garage.

When I stepped inside, I noticed the light was on. I thought about this for a second, certain I’d turned it off before I went back to bed. I looked over at the mattress. The kitten sat calmly licking its paws. I stepped towards it, and it turned its head and looked at me.

“I brought you breakfast,” I said before walking over and setting the bowl of water in front of the kitten. The kitten looked at it then back at me expecting more. I walked back to the freezer, grabbed the bowl of food, and set it down in front of the finicky feline. “Bon Appetit.”   

The kitten wolfed down the food sat back on its haunches and stared at me. I stared back. I wasn’t exactly comfortable about heading off to school and leaving it in the garage to its own devices. 

As I headed out to the car, I alerted my mom of my concern.

“We’re just going to let her stay in there until you get home from school. Then we’ll run her over to the vet and see if she’d microchipped. Then we can go about getting her back to her owner.”

“What if she doesn’t have a chip?”

“Then we’ll take pictures of her, print them out and post them around the neighborhood with my phone number. Then we’ll go onto the neighborhood web site and post that we found a kitten.”

“What if no one ever claims her?”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


I thought it would be fun over the next couple of weeks to feature a few 80’s sleepers that are in no way shape or form politically correct but gleefully fun to watch just the same. The first one is a terrific satire on 80’s teenage angst called Better Off Dead. The film was John Cusack’s fifth major motion picture, and he is terrific playing Lane Meyer, a likeable middleclass teenage boy. His girlfriend Beth (Amanda Wyss) whom he is obsessed with is less than obsessed with him. When Lane tries out for the high school ski team, she dumps him for the arrogant ski team captain Roy (Aaron Dozier). Destroyed by the rejection and his failing to make the ski team, Lane tries several hilarious ways to attempt suicide. But his drug addled best friend Charles De Mar (the always hilarious Curtis Armstrong) encourages him to carry on with life and fight for a spot on the ski team. Also on his side is plucky French exchange student Monique Junot (Dianne Franklin) who is trapped in the creepy Smith residence next door where Mrs. Smith (Laura Waterbury) strongly encourages her to date her creepy son Ricky (Dan Schneider). Rounding out the cast are David Ogdon Stiers of MASH fame as Lane’s father Al Meyer, and Kim Darby, the original Mattie Rose from True Grit as Jenny Meyer as Lane’s goofy mother.     

Catzilla Chapter Three

Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here to bring you chapter three of my new story Catzilla. We are bracing for a heatwave. So far, the weather has been most pleasant, but a heat warning has been issued and the temperatures are set to rise. What’s worse is my grooming, which I usually detest, is not till next week. I am sporting far more hair than I should right now. I look more like a sheepdog than a poodle. My novelist purchased a couple cooling vests on sale a year ago, one for myself and one for that dreaded Maltese. They do work, but essentially it is like having a sopping wet towel draped over you. It gives one an odd feeling. I think I’d rather sit by a fan, partaking of a peanut butter and fruit freezie, sporting a new haircut and planning ways to take over the neighborhood.

One must never take overtaking one’s neighborhood lightly. I would have to enlist some muscles, perhaps a couple of rottweilers. Then I’d need infiltrators. Those two dachshunds might do nicely. I would need a couple of bureaucrats to keep things organized. Perhaps those two fluffy cats that always park themselves on that opulent climbing apparatus. I’d also need propogandists to push my cause. I think that little terrier that looks like the RCA dog might spread the news well. And I’d need headquarters. Maybe I could get those brown bunnies that hop all around the place to show me the best hideouts. This taking over the neighborhood thing is shaping up quite nicely. I’d better get to work. In the meantime, here is chapter three of Catzilla. Long live Gigi!



Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Three

I walked home from detention in the spring sunshine. It was around four-thirty and the traffic had picked up. I had to wait a little longer at the corners to cross the street. Then I headed down the hill, past the small park and turned left into my neighborhood. As I did, I saw something scurry behind one of the houses. I stopped and saw it again: a glimpse of something amber or reddish brown. It jumped up, scampered along the fence line between two houses and towards the backyards. I stayed on the sidewalk waiting to see it again.

I heard a rustle and looked towards the sound. That’s when I saw Lyle. Lyle is a boy I go to school with whom no one likes. He lives in the second smallest house in the neighborhood. Lyle always eats lunch alone. I’ve seen him sit on one of the benches with his nylon Costco lunchbox. He never buys his meals from the cafeteria. From a distance you wouldn’t think he was an outcast. He wears a zip hoodie, jeans, and a t-shirt just like most of the boys.

I think what the other kids don’t like about Lyle is he’s smart. He knows the answers to all the teachers’ questions. I know the answers to all the teachers’ questions too, but for one reason or another it really grates on the other kids’ nerves that he’s smarter than they are.

My dad once told me there was a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.” My mother agreed. I think the kids who don’t like Lyle are stupid and it scares me. My mom went into a nasty rant the day they announced they were removing words like “stupid” and “idiot” out of books by a famous children’s writer. She said it was like pouring poison over school classrooms and setting it on fire. “The first thing schools take away to save money is the gifted program,” she said. “The truth is schools punish the best and the brightest. It’s imperative that words like “stupid” and “idiot” are left in children’s books so that the smart kids have a word for the thick-headed numskulls who stand in their way.” And that’s all my mom had to say about that. 

Anyway, I saw Lyle outside his house. He was batting around a tetherball he’d set up in the front yard. He was playing by himself. I watched him for a moment before I mustered up the courage to go over and say hello.

“Hi, Lyle,” I said when I reached his driveway.

Lyle didn’t look at me at first. I think he was trying to be cool which he sucked at. “Hi,” he said.

“What are you doing?”

“Practicing tetherball.”


“My dad said it might help me make friends.”

“But there aren’t any tetherball poles at the high school.”

An uncomfortable silence fell between us. Lyle stood there holding the tetherball in his hand as I watched a bug crawl on a wilted flower.

“I used to play tetherball in grade school,” I finally said trying to recover the conversation. “But they didn’t have any tetherball poles in middle school, so I stopped playing.”

“What do you do now?”

“I take an early morning badminton class. My mom talked me into it, but I like it.”

“What do you do after school?”

“Homework. And I draw. Lately I’ve been drawing cats.”


“Yes. I draw other things too.”

“Do you draw people?”

“No, not often. What do you like to do besides play tetherball?”

“Work math problems.”

“Math problems?”

“Yeah. But my dad says I need to find another hobby besides math.”

“Like what?”

“Well…I built a tracking device…from scratch.”

“Wow. Does it work?”

“I think so. I haven’t tried it yet.”

“What do you think you’d try it on?”

“I haven’t decided.”

I saw something amber-colored out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and it looked at me. Now I could tell it was a kitten. A rich, amber-colored kitten with large wide ears and intense green eyes. It sat on its hind legs and stared at me. It was scrawnier than I first thought, somewhat malnourished and hungry. “Is that your kitten?”

Lyle turned and studied the small feline. “No. I’ve never seen it before. It doesn’t have a collar or tags either.”

The kitten yawned, closed its eyes, and stretched its paws out long.

“She’s cute,” he said.

“Well, I need to get home. My mom will wonder where I am.”

“Okay…I’ll see you tomorrow?” He said this with a note of hopefulness.

“See you tomorrow, Lyle.”

As I walked away, I considered Lyle’s tracking device. Who sits around engineering a tracking device and working math problems for fun?

When I got home my mom was in her office as usual. She opened the door and asked me, “How was detention?

“I had to sit next to Quincy.”

“Who’s Quincy?”

“Someone I never want to meet again.”

“The truth is, Briar, you’re going to meet a lot of people in this life you never want to meet again. In fact, most of the people you meet in this life you’ll never want to meet again. It’s a miracle to come across someone you like.”

“That’s grim, mom.”

“Grim but true.”

I walked over to the window and looked outside. Something moved under the streetlamp. “Are dad’s binoculars in here somewhere?”

“They’re in the top drawer of the small wood cabinet.”

I opened the cabinet drawer and found dad’s compact binoculars. I took them out, removed them from their pleather case and headed back to the window. There was the kitten sitting there licking its paw, its auburn fur shining in the sunlight.

“What are you looking at?” mom asked.

“A kitten. I saw it prowling around the neighborhood when I was walking home.”

“Maybe one of the neighbors just got it.”

“Maybe. But it doesn’t have a collar or tags.”

“Why don’t you go and see if you can get it to come to you. We could drive it to the vet to see if its microchipped.”

“What if it doesn’t want to come to me?”

“It’s still worth a try. We could put it in Harlow’s old dog crate.”

“We’d have to keep it in the garage because of your asthma.”

“Or we could put it in the small bathroom with a pillow, a blanket and food and water. Put Harlow in here with me before you go, so we can keep her and the kitten from fighting.”

“What if they’re just curious about each other?”

“I’d rather make sure they don’t fight.”

I headed to the garage to retrieve the crate. Harlow never liked it. Whenever we put her inside, she’d chew on the bars. I wasn’t jazzed about the whole catch the kitten and put it in the crate idea. What if she scratched me? What if she bit me? I saw my dad’s gloves sitting on the shelf above the deep freeze. They were oversized and puffy like boxing gloves. I put them on, studied the gunmetal gray color and decided I was ready for battle.

I pushed the button on the garage door opener and stepped outside. I stood there gripping the handle of the dog crate. The kitten was still sitting under the streetlight. I moved stealthily towards my target. I was just about to cross the street when Ellery came barreling down the road on his brand-new fat tire electric bike. He stopped right between the kitten and me.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

I glared at him and said nothing.

“You mute or something?”

I didn’t want to draw Ellery’s attention to the kitten. He might use it for some bizzarro cult ceremony.

“Why are you wearing boxing gloves and carrying a cat crate?”

“It’s not a cat crate. It’s a dog crate.”

“It’s too small for a dog.”

“Our dog is a Yorkshire Terrier. It weighs six pounds.”

“That’s not a dog, that’s a hamster. Maybe you should get it one of those wheels to run on.”

“I’m busy. What do you want?”

“You want to go out sometime?”

He had to be kidding. “No.”

Ellery leaned back on his bike and studied me. “Why not?”

“I don’t date reptiles.”

“You should be grateful I asked you out.”

“I’m grateful I’m not going.”

“You better watch it. I’ll do more than circulate rumors about you.”

“Good luck with that.”

“I like you; you know. You should like me back. I’m loaded. And I have a swank bike.”

“You can leave any time.”

Ellery narrowed his eyes. He gave me an obscene gesture then rode off.

After he left, I looked across the street. The kitten was nowhere to be found.


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is a genuinely delightful comedy/drama about a common cleaning lady who proves to be anything but common. It is based on the novel Mrs. ‘arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. The story was made into a TV movie with the name of the novel as the title starring Angela Lansbury, Omar Sharif, and Dame Dianna Rigg. While cleaning the boudoir of one of her less than kind employers Lady Dant (Anna Chancellor), Ada Harris (charmingly played by Golden Globe Nominee Lesley Manville) finds a gorgeous Christian Dior gown. Ada has spent her life living with disappointment, most recently finding out her husband Eddie died in WWII. With no family and no prospects, she decides to save up enough money to purchase a genuine Christian Dior dress of her very own. As soon as she makes up her mind to do so and starts keeping a ledger of the money she’s spending and saving, the tide turns.

She receives a widow’s pension that the military owes her backpay on, she finds an expensive ring which she turns into the police station and receives reward money for, and with the help of her friend Archie (Jason Isaacs) she wins a sizable sum of money from the racetrack. Finally, well-financed Ada gets on a plane and heads for Paris. But she soon finds out that money is not always enough to get into a fashion house and buy the dress of your dreams.  

Jenny Beaven was nominated for an Oscar for her gorgeous costumes in which she studied Dior’s original sketchbooks, workbooks, and patterns to recreate the gorgeous dresses used in the movie. Rounding out the cast is Ellen Thomas as Ada’s friend Violette Butterfield, Lucus Bravo as Dior financial adviser André Fauvel, Alba Baptista as fashion model Natasha, Lambert Wilson as Marquis de Chassagne, and Isabella Hubert as Claudine Colbert. If you ever get a chance, watch Hubert in Hal Hartley’s fantastic film Amateur which, like many great small films, is impossible to find on any of the streamers.

Catzilla Chapter Two

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here delighted to bring you chapter two of my new story Catzilla. This week I have been musing about a famous saying by Dietrich Bonhoeffer which goes, “Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.” This is the first sentence in a paragraph which you can read here. I am wondering how this can be applied to everyday life. Many times, my novelist and I have discussed the fraternity study which was discovered by psychologists in Nigeria. A fraternity is made up of three types of people: psychopaths, suckers, and grudgers. In the fraternity situation the psychopaths and suckers make up the majority. And the grudgers make up the minority. They are also the ones who see the flaws in the system. Within one year of pledging, grudgers often either quit or are cast out of the fraternity. Psychopaths live in the moment and care nothing about consequences. Suckers are eager to be part of the group and will blindly follow psychopaths carrying out their demands. Grudgers will question or disagree and be ostracized. Mark Twain was quoted as saying, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain. I must say I have always been leery of the concept that the majority rules and I wonder how often this fraternity scenario applies to the world at large. How often does this fraternity set up work itself into corporations, government, and schools? How often do the malicious manipulate the large bureaucratic population and stand in the way of the progress of futuristic thinkers. Is this psychological unbalance an integral link in destroying the world? Some food for thought. And with that here is chapter two of my story Catzilla. May the fourth be with you.  



Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Two

Before he vanished, my dad used to ask me what I learned in school that day. If he asked me today, I would have said I learned that detention sucks. And it sucks even more when I am forced to serve a week of it with Ellery.

I don’t know any of the other kids who are in detention. They’re not exactly what I’d call advanced placement students. One of them literally picked his teeth with a small jack knife. All I could think about was what does that do to a person’s gums?

Ellery and I were told to sit on opposite sides of the room. But that didn’t stop him from making rude gestures at me. I ignored his tomfoolery and did my homework. My current biggest project is an essay I’m writing for English class. I’m supposed to choose and muse about a type of human behavior like why human beings buy a particular type of popular fashion even if it’s unflattering or why do so many Americans have trouble managing their money or how do rumors get started and why do people believe them. I had no idea what topic to choose and so I just wrote down different subjects that vaguely interested me.

About a half an hour into detention someone stood up and announced he wanted to go to the vending machine. We have a few at our school filled with granola bars, protein bars, and water.

“We went over this last time, Quincy,” the teacher who was babysitting us said. “No food or drink allowed in detention.”

“Yeah, but we’re like here for two hours, and I get hangry.”

“Sit down, Quincy. You’re annoying the other students.”

“Dude, I’m like going to pass out.”

“You’re tired because you got up early this morning and committed a crime.”

“No, I’m like hung over.”



Quincy sat down and slumped over his desk like his pet hamster had just died. Then he glanced over at Ellery and then at me and then back at Ellery. Then he raised his hand.

“What now, Quincy?”

“What are these two in here for?” he said pointing at us.

The teacher gazed at Ellery and then me. “None of your business.”

“Were they like caught doing it in the bathroom?”

The rest of the inmates burst into laughter. I felt a horrible burning sensation crawl across my skin.

“I’m in here because I did it with your sister,” Ellery told Quincy.

“Watch your mouth, rich boy,” Quincy snapped as the rest of the students snickered.

“Enough!” the teacher said. “Everyone, get back to your homework.”

“But seriously,” Quincy said not giving up. “Why are these two in here? They’ve never been in here before.”

“Why are you in here?” I asked.

Quincy turned to me and grinned. Then he stuck his tongue between his fore and middle finger and waggled it at me.

“Does your cat like it when you do that?”

A stunned look crossed his face as the inmates broke into laughter again.

“No,” he said defensively.

Quincy shut up after that. At least for a while. I don’t know why I asked him if his cat liked that. I don’t even know if he has a cat.

Ellery smirked at me from across the room. I looked at him blankly then continued brainstorming. Quincy turned to me and whispered, “I know you. You’re that weird nerd girl. I’ll find out how you ended up in detention, weird nerd girl. People talk.”

Quincy was right. People talk but they rarely say anything. When I was in middle school, I would listen to students talk. They would talk about gaming, gossip, social media and what other pupils posted online. Sometimes they’d talk about movies, television, and trash books. My mind got bored and wandered and soon I was somewhere else. Still in the classroom mind you but somewhere else.

There’s this children’s book called Marianna Dreams. There was a hardback copy in the school library, and I checked it out. The librarian told me they only had one copy because it was out of print. The story is about this girl, about my age at the time, who gets a terrible fever. She finds this pencil in her room and draws pictures and whatever she draws she dreams.

Anyway, I thought it was a cool concept, so I started drawing pictures of what I’d like to dream about every night before I fell sleep. Unfortunately, I never dreamed what I drew…except once. Right before I fell asleep one night, I drew a picture of a cat sitting on the porch of a house. The cat was too big, and the house was too small. When I went to sleep that night, I dreamed I was in my bedroom when I got a strange feeling I was being watched. I went to the window and peeked through my curtains. Across the street there was a cat sitting in the neighbor’s porch swing. It was a house cat, but it looked more like a jungle cat with rich amber fur, tall wide hyena-like ears, and penetrating green eyes. It was sitting straight up swinging back and forth.

It caught me looking at it, opened its mouth and unfurled its tongue. The tongue rolled down the steps, over the lawn, across the street and stopped in our driveway. I noticed the tongue had writing on it and with closer inspection numbers. A long list of numbers. I wanted to get a closer look, so I left the room, went down the stairs, opened the door…and woke up. That was the only time I ever had a dream about something I drew. But it inspired me to keep drawing and my mother bought me a pack of colored pencils and drawing pads. She never questioned my need to draw. She just acquired the supplies and let me go at it.

After I finished my homework there were still thirty minutes to go, so I started drawing a picture of my large dream cat. I only had a number two pencil with me and no colors so I couldn’t give it amber fur or green eyes. But I was still able to draw its posture and glare. I had to erase and begin again a couple of times but after that it shaped up nicely. Then Quincy noticed what I was doing.

“Is that your cat?” he asked.

“No,” I said quietly and continued sketching.

“Whose cat is it?”

“No one’s.”

“Why are you drawing it?”

“I want to.”

“Give me the picture.”


“Give it to me.”

“What’s going on, Quincy?” the teacher snapped.

“Briar’s drawing bestiality pictures.”

“What?” I said stunned.

“Briar,” the teacher said. “Come up here and show the class what you’ve drawn.”

“The whole class?”


I glared at Quincy then grabbed my sketch and headed to the front of the room. I hesitated, then turned my dream cat picture around for all to see. Everyone looked at my drawing silently. Someone scoffed. Another giggled. But the rest of them just stared. 

“That’s a freaky looking cat,” one of the boys said. “It looks like it has elf ears.”

“Its eyes are weird,” a girl added. “They aren’t proportional.”

I looked over to the teacher who leaned back in his chair and laced his hands together behind his head and studied my drawing. “I used to be a middle school art teacher,” he finally said. “And that’s a fascinating sketch.”

“Thank you.”

“Where did you get the idea from?”

“I had a dream about a cat.”

“What breed of cat?”

I considered his question momentarily. “I don’t know what breed it is.”

“It looks like a Sphynx or possible an Abys. Would you say it has fur or is it hairless?”

“It has fur.”

“What message were you trying to convey with this drawing?”

“I don’t know. It was just a cat from my dream.”

The teacher nodded. “If you’ve finished your homework, you can continue with your drawing, Briar. And that goes for the rest of you. If you’ve finished your homework, you can sit and draw or write if you stay in your seat and don’t bother anyone. Thank you, Briar for sharing your artwork.”

“You’re welcome,” I reply hoarsely. Then I scurried back to my seat, opened my notebook, and attempted to draw another sketch of my dream cat.    


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


If you are looking for a show that’s angry, depraved, and downright disturbed look no further than this week’s pick. This naughty whip-smart dark comedy-drama by Lee Sung Jin is enthralling from the get-go with outstanding performances throughout. And the season ender does not disappoint. Beef may be one of the most honest examinations of ambition, disappointment, and relationships out there.

Danny (Steven Yeun) a struggling contractor, is just trying to return some hibachis he purchased at Forsters (a Home Depot/Lowes type store). He has decided not to kill himself with them by asphyxiation. But he has forgotten his receipt and the store refuses to process the return without it. Frustrated, he gets in his truck to return to his meager apartment he shares with his naive younger brother Paul (Young Mazino), to search for the receipt. As he is pulling out of his parking space, an opulent white SUV nearly hits him. The driver of the SUV flips Danny off and that becomes the spark that enrages him. He takes off after the SUV in a fantastic chase scene through an upper-class suburban neighborhood, dodging through traffic, driving over people’s lawns, and getting his window struck by objects the SUV driver flings back at him. Danny is determined but the SUV driver is just a little wilier than he is.

After the SUV gets away, we find out the driver is Amy (Ali Wong) a small business owner whose plant selling business is about to blow up and make her a fortune. Amy should be happy. She is married to handsome sculptor George (Joseph Lee) and the two have a young daughter named June (Remy Holt). But Amy is angry, unfulfilled, and petty. The incident with Danny ignites an insane revenge game where each of these two self-serving narcissists wage battle with each other, forcing the stakes to rise to more and more outrageous heights hurling them towards an explosive climax.

Catzilla Chapter One

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here with the first chapter of my new story Catzilla. It always feels refreshing to begin a new story. It gives me the boost I need to conquer the world. This time I will be stepping across the animal line and writing about the Felis catus. The concept came to me on one of my walks where I challenged myself to come up with a concept for a new story before the walk ended and today, I will begin displaying the result. Why the Felis catus you may ask. Well, on my walk I pass some of these domesticated creatures in their natural habitat. One window contains a fuzzy apparatus in which two fluffy variants perch on separate circular surfaces. If I decide to go a different direction, I may see a dark striped one walking upon a fence. Sometimes the blasted things are loose and roaming about looking for someone to brush up against. A bit forward in my opinion. Nevertheless, these creatures seemed to pique my curiosity and I had them wandering around in my mind for a while. And so, I thought I would bring one to life in one of my tails. See, how I spelled it there? Tails. Aren’t I clever? And so, without further ado I present to you chapter one of Catzilla. Meow!



Gigi the parti poodle

The first thing you need to know about me is my mother is allergic to cats. The second thing is my dad is gone. He didn’t die or abandon us. He’s just not here and we don’t know when he’s coming back. The third thing is I’m a high school student who works as a busser on the weekends at the Kitten Coral Café.

Don’t let anyone tell you restaurants are a cool place to work. They’re not. They’re dirty and stressful and full of freaks you must survive with to get through a shift. Working in a kitchen is like going to war. Usually no one gets killed but sometimes there’s wounded.

Like this waitress who cut her finger slicing bread. See, they couldn’t find the serrated bread knife, so they set out this lousy third-rate chef’s knife and when she was slicing the bread, she looked up for a second and her finger got sliced. She ran to the sink and ran cold water over the wound as she yelled for help.

Finally, the manager and head chef came over and helped bandage her up before the manager drove her to the emergency room. I know you can make a lot more money as a waitress instead of a busser, but I’ve got to tell you I’m glad I wasn’t the one cutting bread with a third-rate Chef’s knife.

Anyway, I’m sixteen and in all the AP classes. AP stands for Advanced Placement. That doesn’t mean all the students in my classes have class. Especially Ellery. He’s a piece. Sits in my section. Makes weird noises. In biology all he talks about are the private parts of the animals we dissect. He can shut up about it any time. Anyway, Ellery really got on my nerves today. He said he was going to tell everyone I stole parts of the dissected frogs and kept them in a jar in my bedroom. I told him to kiss my ass. He grabbed it, and I palm heeled him in the face.

This got me a visit to the principal’s office where I tried to explain I was defending myself. The principal, however, didn’t see things my way. You see Ellery’s parents own a factory just outside of town. And a lot of people who live in town work there. Including Mrs. Principal who’s a bookkeeper.

My mother is a consultant, which means she organizes things for companies when they need to bring in a strong outside contractor. Presently, she’s unemployed. And terrifyingly frugal. We live in the smallest house in the nicest neighborhood in our town. Guess what that means? Ellery lives in my neighborhood too. He owns two fluffy felines that sit in his parents’ huge picture window and tyrannize the streets. We on the other hand own a peppy Yorkshire Terrier named Harlow. She was the runt of the litter. She’s very cute and very smart and very brave. She’s also hypoallergenic which was a deciding factor for my mom. Harlow sleeps on my bed at night and cuddles up against me because she gets cold easily. 

So, I came home from work today which is Friday, and I told my mom, “I hate my job. I was not cut out to be a busser.”

“No, you weren’t,” she says bluntly as she sits at her desk working. She’s always sitting at her desk working.

“I got busted at school today for sticking up for myself.”

“What did you do?”

“You know Ellery?”

“I know Ellery.”

“Ellery said I kept frog parts in my bedroom and threatened to tell the whole school, which he did, and now everyone believes this rotten lie.”

“And how did you stand up for yourself?”

“I palm heeled him in the face.”

“You shouldn’t have physical altercations with your classmates.”

“And he pinched my butt.”

“He did what?”

“He started the physical altercation by pinching my butt. I merely finished it.”

“Then what happened?”

“I got sent to the principal’s office and he walked off scot-free.”

The school had already sent my mother an email about Ellery and my altercation. And a phone message. I guess most mothers would be upset about such a matter. My mother was only vaguely irritated. And the only reason I knew she was vaguely irritated is because she was tapping her fingers on the table. Outsiders would have thought she was completely stoic about the whole thing but when I saw her fingers tapping, I knew she was thinking.

We were to be in the office before school to have a meeting about the matter. That’s when schools like to have their meetings: at dawn. Like an execution. That night my mother shut her office door. She only came into my room to wish me goodnight. She told me she was preparing for war. This was no joke.

At seven o’clock the next morning my mother drove us to the school, parked the car and we headed for the entrance. She wore a blazer and a blouse and a knee length skirt. She meant business. She pushed the outside button and said, “I’m Briar’s mother. We’re here for a meeting with the principal.”

“Oh, yes,” the secretary said. “I’ll buzz you right in.”

My heart was beating fast. I did not want to be here and was missing my early morning badminton class. This was a bad thing because badminton is my way of relieving stress. The principal stood there in his tweed blazer and navy-blue t-shirt. He looked like a doofus. I call him Principal Peter Doofus. Peter is his real first name. Doofus is just what I call him.

“Good morning, Briar,” he said in an oddly cheery voice. “Mrs. Gagnon, thank you for coming in.”

“Of course,” my mother replied.

We followed him around the corner and into the meeting room. Seated around the big oval table were Principal Doofus’s secretary Miss Strumpet, my biology teacher Ms. Rufus and of course Ellery and his mom and dad. Ellery’s father had so much pomade in his slicked-back hair if I struck a match, it would have ignited like a gasoline tank. Ellery’s mother glared at me with her large dark eyes as if I’d thrown Ellery down a well and Lassie refused to go for help.

Anyway, we all sat down at the oval table as Principal Doofus straightened his jacket and said, “Good morning. Would anyone care for some coffee or tea?”

“Coffee black,” Ellery’s father said, “for my wife and I.”

Black like their souls.

“How about you?” the principal asked my mother.

“No, thank you,” she replied.

My mother has a strict rule she follows and insists her daughter follow which is never take an open beverage from anyone.

“Two black coffees it is,” Principal Doofus said before sitting down at the end of the oval table. This, of course, is code for Miss Strumpet to go fetch the coffees. I think Miss Strumpet and Principal Doofus are meeting at a cheap motel after school. In fact, I think they probably came from one this morning.

Miss Strumpet fetched the coffees, brought them back, and set them in front of Ellery’s parents.

“The reason we’re here today,” Doofus said, “is because there was an altercation between Briar and Ellery.”

“Yeah,” Ellery said. “She hit me.”

“Assaulted you,” his mother corrected. “That girl assaulted you.”

“You grabbed my ass,” I snapped at Ellery who grinned.

My mother signaled me to calm down. But I seethed. I wanted to palm heel Ellery’s face again.

“Girls,” Ellery’s mother said with contempt. “They’re always flirting with my son.”

“I never flirted with your son,” I said. “He looks like a salamander.”

“The point is,” Principal Doofus said, “Briar palm heeled Ellery in the face, and we cannot have that kind of behavior in our high school.”

“As Briar pointed out to you,” my mother said, “Ellery initially pinched her derriere which means Ellery committed the first physical violation. And I have taught my daughter never to strike first and to avoid physical confrontation unless she is aggressed upon.”

“She was probably flirting with my son and instigated it,” Ellery’s mother said.

“I never flirted with your son,” I repeated. “He looks like a salamander.”

“You deny it now because you got caught.”

“She says it now,” my mother said, “to underline the point she is not interested in your sexually aggressive son.”

“My son is not sexually aggressive.”

“And for the record I agree with the salamander comparison.”

“Your daughter looks like a plain little bookworm,” Ellery’s father says.

“My daughter is a bookworm. The point is each of them crossed the line and each of them should face the consequences.”

My mother was right of course. But again, Principal Doofus’s wife works as a bookkeeper for Ellery’s parents.

“Well,” Principal Doofus said, “Briar striking Ellery is a bit more violent than Ellery pinching Briar’s…derriere.”

“People have been fired for less than what Ellery did. The fair thing to do is have both kids serve detention and then the matter is settled.”

“What if your daughter tries to get my son pregnant?” Ellery’s mother said.

My mother turned to her with a death stare. “I beg your pardon?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I’m more concerned you may not know what you mean. And for that matter it takes two to cause a pregnancy.”

“In some cases, three,” I said. “When science is involved.”

My mother turned and gave me a quit-while-you’re-ahead look. Then she continued. “The point is my daughter has no interest in your son. And they have absolutely nothing in common. I am generally not fond of punishment unless it brings about a change. Be that as it may, I believe both should apologize to each other and serve detention and end the matter there.

Ellery’s father who had been glaring at my mother for most of the meeting turned to Principal Doofus and said, “Will this go on our son’s permanent record?”

Professor Doofus cleared his throat and said, “Well, everything goes on a student’s permanent record these days. But I assure you it won’t stand in the way of Ellery going to a fine university.”

Ellery’s father leaned in a little closer. “See that it doesn’t.”


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is a fantastic little film based on the memoir of the same name. It is the story of Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon in a well-deserved Oscar nominated performance) who after a death in the family, drug and sex issues, and a failed marriage to Paul (Thomas Sadoski) decides to cope with her grief by embarking on a solo 1100 mile walk on the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl is haunted by disturbing memories of her past including her abusive father whom she, her brother Leif (Keene McRae) and her mother had to flee from. She has tried to cope with the tragedy in her life by embarking on a slew of one-night stands and developing a heroin addiction. The trail starts in the Mojave Desert, goes through California and Oregon, and ends in Washington State. Making the trek is no small task as it is rough isolated terrain with many brutal grueling physical and mental obstacles along the way. Not being a seasoned hiker and having little to no money to her name, she finds herself carrying heavy gear in 100-degree heat, lacking fuel to cook her food, and occasionally finding herself dependent on strangers who may or may not be trustworthy. But for Cheryl completing the journey is crucial for her to reconnect with beauty and find a way to reconstruct her life. Laura Dern turns in a wonderful Oscar nominated performance as Cheryl’s ever upbeat mother Bobbi.

New Story Next Week

Greetings. My name is Karen, and I am a novelist. This week Gigi is taking a break from her usual storytelling and instead will be musing over some general thoughts about life and the universe. Gigi will begin a new story next week which will be a little different than the first four she penned. So, without further ado, here is Gigi.

Good evening. Gigi the parti poodle here to let you know I am taking this Thursday off and will be starting a new story next week. Most of the tales I have penned so far have been relatively light-hearted. This next one, however, will be a bit heavier. I have mulled over the concept for a while now and have begun to make headway on it.

This week my Kindle permanently ceased to function. It was most distressing, and I’ve found myself having to go back to reading paper books until my novelist allows me to purchase a new one. However, after digging through my novelist’s modest book collection I found a good solid handful of novels and short stories I have not yet read. One is apparently being made into a movie on Netflix called All the Light We Cannot See. It is scheduled to be released in November of this year. Here is the trailer. My novelist acquired it through a trade at one of those little libraries, the ones that look like large birdhouses with a front door and are affixed to a post. We pass some occasionally on our walks. They are rather nifty and fun to peruse.

Even though I seem to be getting by with reading paper books, I must say I believe I have become overly enamored with computer solitaire. When I cannot think of something to write I find myself playing it to try and relax my mind. I was on level one a few weeks ago and now I find myself on level thirty. This cannot be good. I must find better ways of facing the blank page as it were. Otherwise, I may end up living underground, fighting cyborgs, and traveling through time naked and hairless.  

I was contemplating Price’s Law today. Price’s Law says that the square root of the number of people in a domain or say a company do 50% of the work. Upon mulling this over I thought about the number of US citizens eighteen years or older. The total of these people in the United States is 258.3 million. If we subtract 50 million from that number for senior citizens, we get 208.3 million. The square root of 208.3 million is 14,432.602. So, if we were to think of the United States as a company, out of all the adults who are over the age of 18 and younger than a senior citizen only 14,432.602 are working. I have no idea what to think about that. I am glad to be a poodle. It doesn’t matter if I work.

I have come to realize that people leave an inordinate number of pencils lying around. I have accumulated many now and have pencil holders full of them. I am not sure why there has been a great pencil chucking movement. Pencils are a rather wonderful invention and have been around for centuries. They only require to be sharpened and they will never cease to function like my Kindle unless paper becomes extinct. And even then, one can use a pencil on many surfaces such as rocks, walls, and wooden floors. My novelist is not fond of these alternate methods, but she must admit they do work.  

The Maltese has been getting more and more privileges lately and I’m rather miffed about it. He has a perfectly good bed on the floor, but my novelist has been allowing him to sleep on her bed when he wakes up in the middle of the night and barks. He has one of those relentless barks. Not a shrill or ear-splitting bark but one that goes on and on and on until he gets what he wants. He has also been getting extra morning office time while I sleep. I’ll wake up after a peaceful slumber and find he’s sharing computer time with my novelist. Something must be done about this unacceptable behavior. He needs to understand it’s my office and not his and I will do the morning, noon, and night occupancy of it.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say this week. Next week I will return with chapter one of my new story.


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


2015 boasted two fascinating true-life stories about historically important and highly controversial psychological experiments.

The first one, one of my absolute favorite movies of the 2010’s is The Stanford Prison Experiment. I could watch this one over and over. It is about a strange little examination done on Stanford’s campus in August of 1971. Twenty-four male Stanford University students were hired for a lucrative temporary job that was supposed to last two weeks. At random Dr. Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) and his team of grad students picked out and with the flip of a coin separated the young men into two groups of twelve. One group was assigned to be prisoners and the other prison guards. Zimbardo brings in a former prisoner Jesse Fletcher (Nelsan Ellis) to make sure there is legitimacy in the way the “prison” set up and run in rooms in the psychology building. But Zimbardo and his team learn quickly that the experiment is a recipe for disaster as within one day chaos quickly takes hold creating a tense and harrowing downward spiral.

The movie boasts an excellent cast of young actors including Tye Sheridan as Peter Mitchell, Ezra Miller as Daniel Culp, and Nicholas Braun as Karl Vandy. But the real standout here is Michael Anarano as Christopher Archer who is chosen to be a prison guard and takes his job very seriously.  

The second movie is about the famous Milgram Experiments where social psychologist Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) conducted an experiment where two people entered his office and met with a psychologist which he chose to dress in a grey lab coat. One of the subjects was to sit at a table with a device designed to administer electric shocks. The other person was sent off into a separate room. The first person asked the second person questions through an intercom system and if the second person got one wrong, the first person was to administer a shock, turning up the voltage a little more each time the second person failed to answer the question correctly.

The experiment became controversial not because of the person being shocked but the one giving the shocks, possibly being psychologically traumatized to find out how they responded to authority. Winona Rider turns in a wonderful performance as Milgram’s wife Sasha.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Twenty-Three: The Final Chapter

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my twenty-third and final chapter of my story Power Grid Failure. After having a scrumptious Easter with my novelist, she left me with…Him again for two days. Isn’t that a fine how-do-you-do? And of course, I was relegated to spending time with the Maltese. I cannot tell you how retched it is sitting there trying to enjoy a delicate piece of my white chocolate Easter bunny whilst having that carbuncle glued to my side. Not to mention he’s developed the most annoying snort ever since he went to the groomers. Had a breakdown in the bathtub from what I understand and got water up his nose. I ask you; how would you like to partake of your Easter treats with something that sounds like a congested donkey by your side? Monstrous I tell you. I’ve experienced better ambiance in the public bathrooms. My novelist did return by evening of the second day and my world is now back in order. I managed to somehow squeak out this last chapter wrap it all up with a bright red bow. In the next few weeks, I will begin a new tale. And so, without further ado, here is Chapter Twenty-Three, the finale to my story Power Grid Failure. Fruere!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Twenty-Three

Reynolds turns back to Dragontail and says, “You’re out of your mind.”

“On the contrary,” Dragontail replies, “this is the most lucid I’ve ever been. The idea came to me all at once. At first, I considered revenge. I considered it a lot. Every waking moment I mulled over ways to destroy you, Reynolds. I wondered about how I’d get even with you for all the precious time you robbed me of. I could have been a great actor with an extensive resume. But I always made the mistake of listening to you. Letting you steer the boat. I never wanted to create that stupid wrist burning watch for actors. I just wanted to make movies. Great movies. Movies like no one has ever seen before. If we’d focused on building a production company instead of a product, we wouldn’t have ended up in prison.”

“Your productions were always losing money.”

“Not always.”

“Okay, not always. The problem was you’d make a small film that made a profit and then you’d turn around and make a bigger budget film that bombed. I kept telling you to make small films. You’re good at making small films.”

“Well, I’ve found a whole new way to make movies I’m even better at. Guerilla filmmaking.”

“Are you saying you’ve put all of us in your new movie?”


Crystal hurries to the entrance of the Mesachie building and helps Adams to his feet. “What happened?” she asks.

“Dragontail shot me with his stun gun,” he tells her. “Where’s Tiffany?”

“Guarding Unicorn.”

“You just left her alone with Unicorn?”

“She’s a grownup. She can handle it.”

“But he’s Unicorn.”

Crystal marches onto the skybridge. “What’s going on?” she demands looking at Dragontail and Reynolds.

“It’s all been a scam,” Sloan says.

“A scam?”

“As in Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.”

“What’s Candid Camera?”

“How did you film us?” Martin demands.

“Unicorn is head of security,” Dragontail says. “He’s got access to cameras everywhere. And since he works the night shift it was easy for him to set up a way to record sound as well.

“You made me miss my kids’ holiday performance because you wanted to make a guerilla movie?” Windy says.

“Yes. But it’s something your whole family will be able to treasure for years to come.”

“You monster!”

“You can’t release the film without our written consent,” Martin says.

“Your consent is irrelevant,” Dragontail says.

“What makes you think that?”

“Because guerilla filmmakers don’t care about consent or permits. They care about making a film at all costs. And not only that, but this isn’t a workplace film. It’s a film that happens to be made in an office building.”

“At least you’ll have an interesting excuse for missing your kids’ show, Windy,” Martin says.

Suddenly, the door of the Mesachie building swings open, and Tiffany burst inside dragging Unicorn stumbling behind her tied up with computer cable.

“Here’s the little weasel,” she says and gives Unicorn a shove.

“Apparently, Unicorn is a cinematographer,” Adams tells her.

“A what?”

“Dragontail and Unicorn have been filming us the whole time.”

“You jerk!” Tiffany says and yanks on the computer cord causing Unicorn to squeak.

“I love it when you hurt me,” he says.

“Watch your mouth,” Sloan warns.

“We need a final shot,” Dragontail says.

“You call that an ending?” Reynolds says.

“I call it art. Now, I want to finish this scene.”

“What scene?”

“The final scene on the skybridge. A great big fight scene.”

“You’re nuts. No one wants to fight. Everyone just wants to go home.”

“And they will. As soon as we finish this scene. Now, there’s a good chance there will be some serious injuries.”

Just then the elevator doors ding and Remmel comes strolling down the hall and enters the skybridge from the Redoubt building entrance.

“Fantastic!” Dragontail says. “You’re here. Alright, places everyone. One, two, three and…action!”

“Adams, run!” Reynolds yells.

Adams shoves Dragontail out of the way and runs towards the Redoubt exit. Windy grabs Martin’s and they run after him. Tiffany lets go of Unicorn’s computer cords, runs up and grabs Sloan’s hand and they scramble after the others. Reynolds grabs Crystal’s hand and starts to leave but Craggy grabs Crystal’s free hand.

“I’m finishing this movie, Reynolds!”

Adams rushes to the elevator and holds up the key card. He turns to his coworkers and yells, “Hurry!”

Windy, Martin, Tiffany, and Sloan all sprint for the elevator door.

“Let’s go!” Martin shouts.

“We can’t. Reynolds and Crystal aren’t here yet.”

“They’re coming!”

The elevator dings. Martin shoves Adams into the elevator and drags Windy inside. Tiffany and Sloan get on. Adams gets to his feet and pushes the Open-Door button.

“We need to wait for them,” Adams says.

“He’s right,” Tiffany agrees.

“Someone’s coming!” Windy says.

Suddenly, Reynolds jumps onto the elevator car and pulls Crystal inside with him. “Go!”

Adams releases the Open-Door button and pushes the button for the first floor. Dragontail’s angry face comes into view. “Get back on set!”

Tiffany steps up and pushes him and he stumbles backwards just as the doors are about to close.

“This is my movie…!”

The door shuts and all of them stand staring at the number pad. The car begins to descend. Reynolds looks at Crystal and realizes they are still holding hands.

“I hate Mondays,” he says to her and smiles.


You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is a fantastic taunt tense thriller written and directed by John Patton Ford in his feature directorial debut. It focuses on the ridiculous amount of debt students are forced to carry due to America’s lack of funding for higher education. It also shows the sinister way companies use internships to abuse college students and graduates to legally acquire free labor. The United States is notorious for the way it punishes the best and the brightest and rewards the wealthy mediocre who gravitate not towards STEM or the arts but business and management. This can be seen in how grade schools now sickeningly reward complacent behavior alongside academic achievement. Then they turn around and hire unnecessary bureaucratic management that rob students and teachers of the money they need. Ford based his story on his personal life dealing with working in restaurants and struggling with student debt.

Emily (Aubry Plazza in a stunning performance) is a former student carrying $70,000 in student debt. She struggles to lower the principal because much of the money she pays towards her loan each month goes to the interest instead. She constantly interviews for better paying jobs but is always turned down and often haunted by an incident that left her with a criminal record. One day her coworker Javier (Bernardo Badillo) asks her to cover one of his shifts and gives her a number to text if she’d like to make an easy $200.

After her shift Emily texts the number to ask what the job is. She receives a vague answer but goes to the provided location anyway. When she arrives, she finds herself amongst a dozen or more others who have come to see about the job. One of the men heading up the operation makes a copy of their driver’s licenses and photographs them. Emily then meets Youcef (Theo Rossi) who helps head what turns out to be a credit card fraud ring where Emily and the others are enlisted as dummy shoppers. They are given a fake ID and fake credit card, are driven to a large store, and told to each purchase a flat screen television that the ring will turn around and sell for nearly 100% profit.

Youcef does indeed give Emily her $200 cash for her hour of work and says if she wants to earn $2000, she can return tomorrow after they text her. Emily obliges and takes the $2000 an hour con job. And even though it proves to be far more harrowing than the first, Emily discovers she might have a knack for the work and is just getting started.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Twenty-Two

Good evening. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce Chapter Twenty-Two, the second to last chapter of my story Power Grid Failure. This week was horrendous. My novelist took off for a few days and left me with that wretched Maltese and…Him. It was almost more than I could bear. I was certain I would burst into uncontrolled whining at any moment. The Maltese and I never get treats when my novelist is away. He doesn’t believe in giving out treats. What a horrid brute he is. I can hardly believe it. He seems to think we only need food and water to be cared for. Absolutely uncouth. That’s what I have to say about that.

On the brighter side, the Maltese is at the groomers today and I am at home enjoying the company of my now restored novelist. I am sitting by the window facing the street enjoying the view. I must also say Easter is this Sunday and I do enjoy…excuse me. My cell phone is ringing.


            I say Easter, you say Bunny!

            What are you doing calling me?

            I am being blown dry right now.

            What does that have to do with the price of training bits in France?

            I say Easter, you say Bunny!



            You are embarrassing me…


            Stop this tomfoolery right now…

            I say Easter, you say Bunny! Easter!


            I SAY EASTER, YOU SAY BUNNY!!!

            You are insane!


            Mental, that’s what you are!


            I…oh, good grief. Bunny!





            I say Easter, you say Bunny!




            I’m getting as fluffy as the Easter Bunny! Easter Bunny! Easter…Buuunnnyyy!

            Hello? Tucker? Hello?

            It’s alright. I did a stage dive off the table and landed in the bubble bath.

I just…I don’t… forget it. Here is Chapter twenty-two of my story Power Grid Failure. Happy Easter, everyone!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Twenty-Two

Out on the skybridge Reynolds dodges around playing keep away from Craggy. Craggy charges at Reynolds who darts left and circles to the opposite side. Craggy charges again and Reynolds shoots back to where he started. Craggy rushes at Reynolds full speed. Reynolds darts left but to no avail. Craggy tackles him and the two men hit the deck.

Reynolds knows he is in the worst possible position: on the ground. Craggy rears back to throw a punch. Reynolds grounds his foot and rolls to his side. Craggy loses his balance and just misses slamming his fist into the skybridge floor. Reynolds hops to his feet as Craggy regains balance.

“Come on, Adams,” Reynolds mutters. “I can’t hold this guy off forever…”

Craggy grabs Reynold’s shirt and pins him up against the glass. He punches him in the stomach. Reynolds, gasping, and wheezing raises his arm, turns, and slams his elbow down on Craggy’s arm, breaking his hold.

“Ah, the good old prison days,” Reynolds quips.

Craggy slaps Reynold’s face.

“Ow!” Reynolds says and slaps him back surprising Craggy before he runs down the bridge in the direction of the Mesahchie building. 

Back in the glassed-in office area, Remmel checks his watch, looks at Martin, Sloan and Windy then checks his watch again.

“It’s been a while,” Sloan whispers. “What should we do?”

“It’s three to one,” Martin says.

“What does that mean?”

“He can’t stop us all.”

Sloan looks at Martin. Martin looks at Windy. Windy looks at Martin. Finally, Windy nods her head. All three look back at Remmel.

Remmel looks up from his watch. “What?”

Martin leaps from his chair and charges at Remmel. Remmel reaches into his holster for his No Fun Stun Gun. Remmel fires and hits Martin who yelps. Sloan and Windy dive at Remmel and knock him to the floor. Windy slaps the gun out of Remmel’s hand. He shoves her off him and dives for it, but Sloan gets there first. Remmel lunges at him, but Sloan, with shaking hands and racing heart turns and fires. He misses. Remmel goes to snatch it out of his hand when Windy jumps on his back and wraps her hands around his eyes.

“You made me miss my kids’ holiday performance!” she rages.

“Give me the gun,” Martin says to Sloan.

“Shut up, old man…sir. I know what I’m doing.”

“You’ve got to put it on the right setting.”

“Oh, so you’re an expert in No Fun Stun Guns now?”

“You’ve got to flip that switch there,” Martin says pointing.

“I know,” Sloan says flipping the switch.

Suddenly, they hear a thud and turn. Windy is on the floor.

“Shoot!” Martin tells Sloan.

Sloan points the No Fun Stun Gun at Remmel, pulls the trigger and…it doesn’t fire. Sloan pulls the trigger frantically, but it just clicks. Remmel grabs Sloan’s wrist and shakes it causing the weapon to drop. Remmel kicks it and it goes skittering into the wall. He wrestles Sloan to the ground. Martin turns to chase the weapon, but Remmel reaches out and catches his ankle causing him to trip and hit the floor. Sloan struggles to get up but his short stint in high school as a wrestler fails to assist him and he is unable to get leverage. Martin wheezes and coughs having had the air knocked out of him. He props himself up on his elbows and crawls towards the wall like a soldier on his stomach. A flash of legs comes into view and suddenly he hears the unmistakable sound of the No Fun Stun Gun firing.

The chaos ceases and the glassed-in area becomes silent. Sloan feels Remmel go limp. He squirms and struggles grunting under the weight of his attacker and moves towards freedom like a seal on its flippers. His eyes lift and he sees Windy standing in front of the wall, hands quivering, eyes wide and wild, still pointing the stun gun at Remmel.

Reynolds hears Craggy’s footsteps pounding behind him as he races towards the Mesahchie entrance.

Then, like a ferry boat emerging from the fog Adams’s face comes into view through the door’s window. Adams raises his frantic eyes to meet Reynolds’s as he rushes to put the keycard up to the reader.

Reynolds breathes in relief as he finally sees a way out of the skybridge. Reynolds dives for the door as Adam’s throws it open.

“Reynolds, hurry!” Adams yells.

Reynolds feels his feet rise off the ground; his hands positioned like an airborne swimmer. As he sails towards the exit, Adams’s face is jerked out of the way and replaced by Dragontail’s. His hot red eyes bore into Reynolds as he shoots Adams with his No Fun Stun Gun dropping Adams to the floor.

“Reynolds,” Dragontail growls, “You can’t seem to comprehend my level of rage.”

He points the stun gun at Reynolds and fires. Reynolds puts his hands over his head and winces. He hears a thud behind him as Craggy hits the floor.  

“You think I need muscle to bring you down?”

Reynolds scrambles to his feet and says, “All this because I got out of jail a year early?”

“You ruined my career!”

“You could still have a career.”

“I tried founding a new production company when I got out of prison. Hydra Harridan Productions. It went bankrupt too.”

“Because you keep making the wrong movies.”

“An artist needs to make films that drive him.”

“You needed to make a film about a mountain man who lived in a national park and scared campers at night until he discovered his true calling selling handmade sunglasses crafted out of scraps of wood and working part time for the CIA?”



“Because it needed to be made. Some films just need to be made.”

“But not films that drive the company into bankruptcy.”

“You always cared about the box-office. Never the story.”

“That’s not true. You can make a reasonably priced film that will give you a good payday and then make another reasonably priced film, and then another. You just need to stay within the budget.”

“I needed to make a film about a Komodo Dragon who travels back in time and finds his long-lost relatives amongst the dinosaurs. Sometimes bringing your vision to life is not about the budget.”

“Without the money you can’t make your vision. You were going to make a movie about a guy who after twenty years goes to see his parents and meet his little sister whom he’s never met.”


“Maybe. But if you can make that story not boring and stay within budget, I’ll help you produce it.”

“You’re a janitor.”

“You know I’ve got money saved.”

“I want it in writing.”

“Done. But only if you take this building out of lockdown and let the employees go home.”


Craggy rises from the floor.

“Paperwork please.”

Craggy reaches inside his jacket pocket and produces a contract and a pen.

“You didn’t think I came unprepared, did you?”

Craggy walks towards Reynolds and hands him the papers.

Reynolds looks at Craggy. “You recovered fast.”

Craggy shrugs.

“I need to have a lawyer look this over.”

“Sign the papers or not only is Unicorn not opening the building, but he’s also taking off with Tiffany and…what’s her name right now.”

“That’s not possible,” Adams says bursting through the door to the Mesahchie building. “Crystal and Tiffany tied him up.”

“For a computer nerd you’re a little slow.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Sign the papers, Reynolds.”

“These look like documents for a movie,” Reynolds says looking at the document.

“Recognize them, do you?”

“What’s going on?”

Suddenly, Martin, Sloan, and Windy appear at the window to the Redoubt building and start pounding on the door.

“Let them in,” Dragontail tells Craggy.

Craggy lumbers back across the bridge and opens the door. As soon as he does, the three office workers charge at him and knock him to the ground.

“Wait!” Reynolds yells, running towards the ruckus. “Stop!”

“We just escaped!” Sloan says. “We’ve come to rescue you.”

“I think we’ve been hoodwinked.”



You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the 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 and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is one of the most beloved films of all time and boast one of the finest film scores and songs ever written for the silver screen. It is the timeless story of Joy and George Adamson beautifully played by real life spouses Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. The story was based on the book Born Free: The Story of Elsa by Joy Adamson. After shooting a man-eating lion and its lioness, game warden George discovers the two large cats had three cubs. The couple took them in and raised them as if they were part of the family.

When the cubs start to get older the head warden Kendall (Geoffrey Keen) tells the couple the cubs will need to be taken in by a zoo. Heartbroken they agree and prepare a truck to transport the young cats. But when they get to the location of the airport George sees how devastated Joy is and keeps the smallest cat Elsa, Joy’s favorite.

Joy and George continue to raise Elsa to adulthood, and all goes well until an elephant stampede overruns a village and Elsa propensity towards playing with other Kenyan animals is suspected. Joy and George face a complex dilemma: put Elsa in a zoo or find a way to re-initiate her into the wild.