Power Grid Failure Chapter Twenty-One

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to deliver you chapter twenty-one of my story Power Grid Failure. As you know I am planning to conclude this story in the next week or two and begin penning my new tale in April. One of the most difficult parts about writing a story is finding a subject which is of interest to me such as Particle Romance, Paleomagnetism, and air popped popcorn. One can never think too much about air popped popcorn. In fact, I’m thinking about it right now. The question is does air popped popcorn warrant a story? Possibly. Especially if the story had depth, merit and says something profound about the world. Alas, my next story is about none of these things…as far as I know. But who knows what will happen when I delve deeper into my tale. Perhaps a kernel of popcorn will have a particle romance with a rock millions of miles away and the paleomagnetism of the earth will play a part in bringing them together. And on that note, here is chapter twenty-one of Power Grid Failure.

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Twenty-One

Crystal is concerned. Adams hasn’t shown up yet, and Unicorn is getting antsy. She noticed earlier Unicorn was wearing a No Fun Stun Gun in a holster on his hip like he thought he was a sheriff or something.

“Alright, ladies,” he says. “It looks like we’re getting ready to shut down for the night.”

“What do you mean?” Crystal asks.

“Dragontail’s finishing up his job.”

“And then what?”

“And then I take Tiffany home.”

“You’re not taking me anywhere,” Tiffany says.

What Unicorn fails to notice is that Tiffany has picked up a remote mouse off one of the tables. She advances towards him and slams it down on top of the inside of his right wrist. Now, this would have been an effective move had Unicorn been right-handed. But an abnormally large section of the criminal population is left-handed, and Unicorn is no exception. Although the blow to his right wrist is agonizing, he can pivot and shoot Tiffany in the face with his No Fun Stun Gun which is exactly what he does. She drops to the ground instantly.

He grabs her by the arm and drags her in the general direction of his office. “I guess you thought I came to the party unprepared,” Unicorn tells Crystal as he flips his cape over his shoulder with his free hand, grins at her wickedly, and points his weapon at her.  

She studies him carefully. “Your undersized pecker doesn’t impress me,” she says.

Unicorn fires but Crystal ducks in time and the shot strikes a monitor knocking it backwards off the table. “Good luck stopping me, wench.”

Crystal grabs a coffee cup with the company’s logo emblazoned across it and hucks it at him. He fires, hits the cup, and shatters it. This allows Crystal enough time to gain ground. She grabs another coffee cup and hurls it his direction. He fires and strikes the cup as she creeps closer to him.

“You’re a lousy shot, Uniputz,” she says.

“No one asked you to come here,” he says firing again and striking a Star Trek figurine. “You’re too plain and you’re crashing my beautiful person’s party.”

Crystal grabs two wireless mice. She hurls one at him which he shoots, before she aims the second at his forehead and…bullseye.

“Ow!” he screeches and grabs his head.

To be fair, when Reynolds showed Crystal how to strike her opponent in the side of the knee with the flat of her foot the whole move made her queasy. But upon finding herself in the middle of a one-sided stun gun shootout, queasiness does not come into play. She rushes up to him, grabs his ear and slams her foot towards his knee. Unicorn twists enough for her to miss. This ticks Crystal off, and she pivots and palm heels him in the face.

Unicorn screams as blood trickles out his nose. Frazzled, he fires again sending a pencil cup full of company pens up into the air before it plunges to the carpet scattering pens everywhere.

Electric Tower with solid fill

The elevator doors open and Reynolds and Adams shove Dragontail into the office area.

“You think you’re smart, Reynolds?” Dragontail growls. “You think I haven’t thought through every possible way something could go wrong?”

“Keep moving,” Reynolds says shoving him along. “I’m not interested in what you think.”

“What about you, Adams?” Dragontail asks. “You think you’re going to be prince charming and rescue the ladies? Because if you do, you’re a sadly mistaken simp.”

Reynolds gives Dragontail another shove and the three of them head towards the entrance to the skybridge. Adams puts Dragontail’s card up to the keypad. Just as the door unlocks the elevator doors open behind them and Craggy burst through. He begins tromping towards them.

“Craggy!” Dragontail yells.

“Move!” Reynolds says and pushes Dragontail through the door. Adams skitters inside behind them as it closes. Craggy marches up to the keypad and holds up a keycard. The door clicks open again and Craggy enters. It’s now clear to Reynolds and Adams that Craggy also has access to the blocked areas of the Redoubt and Mesahchie building.

“Adams!” Reynolds says. “Run ahead and open the door.”

Adams nods and hurries towards the end of the skybridge as Craggy tromps after them. Adams holds Dragontail’s keycard up to the pad and the door unlocks.

“Help!” Reynolds calls out to him.

Adams spins around to find Craggy advancing on Dragontail and Reynolds. He’s not sure what to do. If he leaves the door, it will shut, and he’ll have to go back to open it again which will eat up time.

Suddenly, Reynolds shoves Dragontail towards Adams. Adams realizes what he needs to do. He hurries towards Reynolds; lunges forwards and catches Dragontail by the arm. He whirls him around, rushes towards the door, reopens it, and pulls him through the entrance to the Mesahchie building.

Adams isn’t a big guy, but he’s bigger than Dragontail and strong enough to maneuver him down the hall to the Security room. He drags him kicking and screaming down the hall until they reach the door. He puts the keycard up to the keypad and the door clicks open. He pulls Dragontail inside. The place is empty.

“Tiffany!” Adams yells. “Crystal!”

No answer.

Dragontail chuckles. “Looks like your too late, punk,” he says triumphantly.

“Too late for what?”

“How should I know? The only agreement I made with Unicorn was to deliver Tiffany.”

“Get in here!”

Dragontail and Adams quickly turn their focus to the back of the room where Crystal is holding the door to the nerve center open.

Dragontail sees an opportunity and breaks away from Adams. But as he does, Adams reaches for Dragontail’s No Fun Stun Gun, aims and fires. Dragontail screams and hits the ground. Crystal comes running down the ramp holding computer cables.

“Hurry,” she tells Adams. “Get up there and work your magic.”

Crystal starts binding Dragontail’s wrists and hands as Adam’s rushes to the back.


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is a quirky little romantic fantasy about willing things into being. A young novelist Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Danno) had a very popular and well received first novel at the tender age of nineteen and has been trying ever since to write his second book. Tired of living on the fumes of his success and embittered by his last relationship he seeks help from his psychiatrist Dr. Rosenthal (Elliott Gould). Rosenthal gives him an exercise to write one page about someone who likes his little dog, Scotty. Calvin goes home to his manual typewriter which he writes everything on and completes the project. But something goes awry. The person he has chosen to write about is the girl of his dreams who literally appears out of thin air. Her name is Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan who also penned the script) and she appears in the flesh in his kitchen. At first Calvin is terrified of having brought a character to life and questions his grasp on reality. But when his brother Harry (Chris Messina) and others admit to seeing her and that she is indeed real, Calvin finds himself on an odyssey of ups and downs like he has never experienced before.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Twenty

Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I Gigi the parti poodle am here to introduce chapter twenty of my story Power Grid Failure. As my novelist mentioned I only have a few more chapters left, and my tale will be complete. Like most writers who are facing the end of a story I have been pondering my next literary work. I spend long hours in front of the window on my pillow staring at pedestrians passing by, barking ferociously at them, and mulling over my creative ideas trying to decide on how I will craft my fifth story. I have a couple of characters in mind and a basic concept of how it will go. I am excited to venture out on my new journey, telling perhaps a darker tale than what I have penned before. Until then I will focus on finishing this one with a flourish and keeping the Maltese contained until the Easter Bunny arrives. He is so fond of those See’s little white chocolate easter bunnies. Provided he’s expecting those in his basket and not the wild ones that hop around here, we should be fine. Last year was a disaster. And with that thought, here is chapter twenty of my story Power Grid Failure. Cheers!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Twenty

Adams takes the stairwell to the skybridge. As he opens the door and heads towards the bridge’s entrance, he hears someone coming. He ducks behind a desk and sees Dragontail moving across the bridge making his way back from the Mesachie Building. Dragontail steps up to the door, uses a keycard, and unlocks it.

Adams finds this odd as the Redoubt building is in lockdown. He mulls it over and figures Dragontail and Unicorn must be selectively choosing where to channel the power. This means Adam’s card might work to access the bridge. Dragontail continues along and Adams scurries over to the door to the bridge and holds his keycard up to the pad. Nothing. He tries again. Nothing. Unicorn must have only given Dragontail and himself access. He runs back over to the desk he was hiding behind, takes out his phone and texts Reynolds:  Can’t get across bridge. Unicorn’s using an alternate power source.

Reynolds, who is still sitting in Tiffany’s office area where Craggy is lip syncing sees the text. He ponders for a moment and then texts back: Go to the janitor’s closet. I’ll give you an override code to get in.


Adams figures the janitor closet is in the same place on this floor as it is on his own and he’s right. After he gets there, he texts Reynolds again. What’s the code?


Adam’s punches the numbers into the pad on the door. The door clicks open. Now what?

How well does Unicorn know you?

Not very well.

Good. Change into the janitor’s uniform.

Adam’s examines the janitor’s jumpsuit. It looks too big. Then what?

Call Unicorn and tell him your Thad.

Who’s Thad?

The janitor on that floor. Tell him your locked in.

He’s not going to care.

He’ll care if your Thad.

A better plan would be getting our hands on Dragontail’s keycard and weapon.

How, hotshot?

Adams exits the janitor’s closet and quickly sneaks after Dragontail. He catches up to him, hides behind a wall and watches Dragontail use the keycard to open the elevator doors and board. When the doors close, Adams texts, Tag-team him. I abort the mission and head after him while you head towards him. He has power to the elevator too and he just got on.

Interesting idea. Doubt we could hold him off, but we could try to sandwich him.

Problem is it leaves Tiffany and Crystal with Unicorn longer.

You can’t cross the skybridge without his keycard anyway.

I’ll go after Dragontail now.

I’ll cut him off at the pass.

Adams hurries towards the stairwell while back in Tiffany’s glassed in area Craggy finishes one more run through of “That’s alright” to a round of applause.

“You see,” Martin says. “Communication through lip sync. That’s how the Marines do it. The few, the proud the lip syncers.”

“I have to say,” Remmel says. “That’s the most impressed I’ve ever been with Craggy.”

Craggy beams.

“I need to get my pills from the janitor’s closet,” Reynolds says.

“What pills?” Remmel demands.

“Diet pills.”

“Diet pills? You’re as skinny as a rod.”

“Because they work. And they’re a prescription. Doctor’s orders.”

“Craggy, go with him.”

“It would only take me a minute…”

I don’t care if it would take you a nanosecond. I’m tired of keeping track of who’s coming and who’s going out of this room.”

Craggy who’s itching to tackle another song reluctantly sticks an unlit cigarette in his mouth, eyes Reynolds and points to the door.

The wheels in Reynold’s head turn. He studies his companion as the two exit the glassed-in area. Craggy is a six foot plus strong bulky guy. By comparison Reynolds is five eleven and slim. Not to mention not packing a No Fun Stun Gun. This, of course, puts him at a disadvantage. Adams and Dragontail are progressing this way fast and now instead of he and Adams outmanning Dragontail, Dragontail and Craggy outpower them.

Reynolds heads towards the janitor’s closet with one eye on the stairwell. He could make a break for it but Craggy would reach out and grab him by the neck ala the sheepdog thwarting the coyote in the Warner Bros. cartoons. He recalls a time in prison when a counterfeiter faked a seizure during exercise time. The counterfeiter had gotten into a kafuffle with a money launderer who’d threatened to give him what for. The incident bought the counterfeiter enough time for the money launderer to cool his jets. Reynolds wasn’t sure the same trick would work on Craggy, but it was worth a try.

He unlocks the door of the closet and grabs his backpack. He unzips one of the pockets, reaches inside…and starts twitching.

Within seconds Reynolds drops to the floor convulsing. Craggy watches him not knowing what action to take. He lights his cigarette, ponders for a moment then runs back to Remmel. Reynolds hops to his feet and heads for the elevator. Sure enough, he hears the car coming down. The door to the stairwell bursts open and Adams rushes out.

Reynolds mouths, “He’s coming down,” as he points to the elevator.

Adams rushes over and gets on the opposite side of the doors as Reynolds. Just as he does Remmel comes out of the glass doors on route to the janitor closet. Adams and Reynolds hold their breath. The elevator dings and the doors open. Dragontail starts to disembark. Remmel comes rushing around the corner. Adams and Reynolds push Dragontail back into the elevator. Remmel sees them.

Adams pounds on the elevator button. “I can’t close the doors!”

Dragontail struggles with Reynolds. He punches him in the nose. “Get off me!” Dragontail yells.

Adams tries the button once again.

“Keycard!” Reynolds shouts. Remmel marches towards the elevator. Reynolds grabs Dragontail’s keycard. “Adams!” He juts the card towards Adams. Dragontail slaps it out of his hand. The card skitters over the carpet of the elevator and bounces on the door track. Remmel dives towards the elevator. Adams lunges and snatches the card mid bounce and holds it up on the elevator pad. The light turns green, he pushes the close door button. Remmel reaches the elevator just as the doors shut and the car heads up.  


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


Bold, ambitious, and completely insane, this is a film like no other you will see this year. Clocking in at three hours and seven minutes long this story has no dull moments. It is what, I think, superhero movies attempt to be and fail. This is thanks to its strong script and well-crafted characters not to mention its extraordinary sets, gorgeous costumes, meticulous direction and editing and passionate performances.

This is the story of two Hindi men, one a soldier and one a tribal man set against the backdrop of colonial India. The soldier, Rama Raju (Ram Charan), is the best and most tenacious fighter the British have ever seen. Yet, they refuse to promote him. Then along comes an opportunity. A young tribal girl has been taken by the British governor’s wife. A tribal man from the same tribe named Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) is hunting her down to bring her back to her family. Rama Raju is told Bheem is like a tiger driven to complete his goal and will let nothing stand in his way until he brings the girl home. Rama Rajo takes on the job of finding Bheem and thwarting his plan. But along the way, the two meet under extreme and unusual circumstances in which together they work to save a boy’s life. Each admiring the other’s skills the two become best friends neither one realizing they have conflicting missions.   

The movie won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Naatu Naatu” which was the only category it received a nod for. But it was clear from watching the Oscars the Academy knew it should have been nominated it in other categories as well such as Costume Design, Art Direction, Director, Editing, Special Effects and Best Foreign Film.


Power Grid Failure Chapter Nineteen

Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here on my usual Thursday to introduce chapter nineteen of my story Power Grid Failure. This week I went through the horror of my dental cleaning. It was sprung upon me by my novelist without a warning. I was whisked off to the vet early in the morning, thrust into a small room and then taken from the arms of my beloved novelist. The rest is but a blur. I found myself waking up sometime in the afternoon with abnormally clean teeth. It was mortifying. I was stuck in a holding cell until my novelist came to gather me that afternoon. It took me a couple of days to recover from the shock. But I am back to my usual self and glad to not be facing such a kafuffle for another year. I can point my focus towards spring and the onset of the next holiday…

I say Easter, you say bunny Easter…!

Get out of here you insane Maltese! That’s not for entire month! And now here is chapter nineteen of my story Power Grid Failure. Cheers!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

“You’d better figure this out quick, Reynolds,” Martin says. “The girls left twenty minutes ago.”

Women,” Adam’s says. “You are supposed to call them women, Mr. Peak.”

“Shut up, Adams. There’re more important issues at hand than your political correctness. How are we going to get Adams in that control room, Reynolds?”

“I think I could sneak over to the Mesachie building and get into Unicorn’s control room without them catching me,” Adams says. “I’ve played enough first-person shooter games. I’ve gotten stealthy.”

Sloan scoffs. “Craggy and Remmel will bag your ass before you even get out the door.”

“I hate to say it, Adams,” Reynolds says, “but Sloan’s right. There’s no way you could accomplish this on your own.”

“At the very least you’d need a diversion.”

“Martin could have a heart attack.”

“A heart attack?” Martin says skeptically.

“Not a real one. A fake one.”

“I’m not faking a heart attack. Those two goons will use that defibrillator on me that’s just outside the door.”

“Good point. I suppose you couldn’t stop your heart for a couple of minutes, could you?”

“No, Reynolds. I could not.”

“Sloan and I could get into a fake fight. But we’d have to synchronize it. Adam’s would have to start heading out the door to the bathroom or something and then Sloan and I could start fighting.”

“If you hit me in the face, Reynolds,” Sloan says. “I’ll kick you in the nads.”

“That’s such a girl move, bro.”

“It’s street fighting.”

“Like a girl. And kicking is a last resort.”

“They don’t want to be called girls, they want to be called women,” Adams says.

“Shut up, Adams,” Sloan says, “or I’ll kick you in the nads.”

“What’s going on, ladies,” Remmel demands.

“We’re having a gentlemen’s disagreement,” Reynolds says.

“Yeah? About what?”

“Street fighting.”

Remmel scoffs. “Since when do you pansies street fight?”

“Martin was in the Marines.”

Martin’s eyes widen and he glares at Reynolds.

“Yeah? Doing what? Laundry?”

“He was a trainer.”


“Yeah. Really.”

“Training what to whom?”

“You’re up, Mr. Peak,” Reynolds whispers to Martin.

Martin narrows his eyes. “Training what to whom?” Remmel repeats.

“Lip sync,” Martin says.

“Come again?”

“I taught Marines to lip sync.”


“In the Marines you need all the skills you can get and one of them is to send other Marines code through lip sync.”

“They even have lip sync battles,” Reynolds says.

Remmel looks at Craggy who shakes his head and sticks a cigarette in his mouth. “You’re yanking my chain,” Remmel says.

“No, it’s a thing.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, Peak’s serious.”

“Craggy’s girlfriend is into lip sync.”

Craggy spits out his cigarette and growls at Remmel.

“Craggy hates lip sync. Too artistic.”

“Sometimes when you’re on a mission,” Martin says, “lip syncing can be one of your best lines of defense.”

“If you’re such a hot shot, Marine lip sync trainer, why don’t you teach Craggy how to do it?”

“You’re on, Martin,” Reynolds says.

Martin, who had in his youth done some lip sync battles in high school, knew it was one of the few talents he had. But high school was a long time ago.

“We’re going to need some music,” Martin says.

“I’m bringing up YouTube as we speak,” Reynolds says whipping out his phone.

“Craggy, is there a specific song you know most of the words to?”

“He likes “That’s All Right”,” Remmel says.

“Good choice since “That’s All Right” is public domain. Can you find it, Reynolds?”

“Give me a second,” Reynolds says. “Elvis, right?”


“Okay, here it is.” Reynolds plays “That’s Alright”.

“Alright, Craggy. Stand right there.”

Craggy looks at Remmel. Remmel nods towards the spot Martin is pointing at. Craggy slogs over and stands in front of Tiffany’s chair.

“Okay, Craggy,” Martin says. “Now, what you’ve got to keep in mind while you do this is how you move your feet when you mouth the words. Use your feet to keep the rythem. But not in the usual way folks keep rythem. It’s like a dance, see.” Martin demonstrates by twisting the ball of his foot and then the heel out and back then spreading his legs and bouncing the heels of both feet. “See, it moves you. Makes your hips twist a bit. Now you try.”

Craggy looks at Remmel who nods his head. Craggy shakes his and then attempts to copy Martin’s moves.

“Now, when you want to emphasize a point, go up on the balls of both feet,” Martin rises on the balls of his feet and juts his hips out. And if you’re really daring you go all the way up on the tips of your toes. But for right now let’s just have you go up on the balls of your feet.

Craggy tries again but he looks awkward.

“You’ve got to stay loose, son. You don’t want to fight the music; you want to feel it. Okay, Reynolds. Play the song.”

Reynolds plays “That’s Alright” by Elvis. Craggy shakes out his shoulders and kinks his neck side to side. Then he tries dancing again.

“That’s it, kid. Keep going. Don’t worry about the lyrics just move those feet. Do you know how to do rubber band legs?”

Craggy shakes his head.

“Okay, watch me.” Martin bends his knees and starts moving them in and out. “Now, if you really want the full effect you get up on the balls of your feet, like this.”

Martin rises to the balls of his feet and starts moving his knees in and out faster. Craggy studies him with intensity and then he tries it. He stumbles a little then tries it again.

“Not bad. Okay, Reynolds, stop the music and go back to the beginning. Now, Craggy are you sure you know the words?”

Craggy nods his head.

“Good. Now, let’s have you mouth the lyrics first time through and then we’ll start incorporating the moves. Reynolds, are you ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be, Mr. Peak,” Reynolds says.

“Phenomenal. Alright, Craggy, let’s see you lip sync.”

Reynolds starts the music and Craggy mouths the lyrics.  

“Put some expression into it, kid.”

Craggy tries adding more energy.

“Okay, stop.”

Reynolds stops the music.

“Craggy, you need to think about who you would sing this to. Do you have someone in mind?”

Craggy looks to the back of the room and points at Windy. Windy’s eyes widen, and she looks around embarrassed.

“Come up here, Windy,” Martin says. “We need you.”

“Of course,” she says cautiously. “Happy to help.”

“Sit in Tiffany’s chair here.”

Windy creeps up to where the men are and sits down gingerly.

“Alright, Craggy,” Martin says. “You’re going to sing to her as if you’re delivering the most important message in the world. Alright, Reynolds. Hit it.”

Craggy gets positioned as Reynolds turns on the music. As soon as it starts Craggy, his eyes laser focused on Windy, starts bouncing to the beat. As soon as he starts singing, Windy is all in. She starts bobbing her head and tapping her foot. Craggy shakes around and gyrates as he mouths the words.

Suddenly, Windy shoots up out of Tiffany’s chair and screams. This only serves to fuel Craggy more. He swings his hips, he poses, he swings his hips some more. Windy jumps up and down as if in a fever. Craggy moves in, looks her in the eye and continues his routine. Windy, unable to resist any longer throws her arms around his neck and kisses him. Startled, Craggy jumps back, regains his composure and finishes the song. Windy faints.

“Adams,” Martin says. “Go get Windy some water.”

“Now’s your chance,” Sloan whispers.

Adams nods and rushes out the door.


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s film boasts one of the best if not the best performance of 2022. Kate Blanchet is riveting as the lead character Lydia Tar, a fictional maestro who is about to record the performance of a lifetime. Lydia is ambitious, brilliant, driven, gifted, arrogant and manipulative. The question is if she wasn’t all these things, good, bad, and otherwise, would she have gotten as far as she has in her career? The world, especially the western world wants to believe good people do wonderful things instead of bad people sometimes do great things. And the first order of business is to punish them because human beings haven’t figured out a better way to handle them. If one could extract all the good Harvey Weinstein did for movies and separate it from all the pure evil deeds he carried out, how much better would film be now?

Lydia is a brilliant conductor/composer who is about to record Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 as the first female principal music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. At the same time, she is about to release her long awaited memoir. But as her recording date draws closer, the seams around the fabric of her brilliance begin to tear. An apprentice of hers commits suicide and all the arrows begin to turn Lydia’s direction. The arrows become sharper as she discovers a young new talent in her midst, cellist Olga Metkina (Sophie Kauer). Jealousy and frustration grow for both Lydia’s partner violinist Sharon Goodnow (Nina Hoss) and Tar’s long suffering assistant Francesca Lentini (Noémie Merlant) who are both aware of Lydia’s recent and long buried dirty little secrets.

If We Picked the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay 1960-Present

Good evening. And happy Oscar Eve. My name is Gigi, and I am a parti poodle. I am the owner of a novelist named Karen. Thursday, we did a blog entry about what we would have chosen as the Oscar winners for the category of Writing (Adapted Screenplay) from 1960 to present. Today we are going to post what we would have given the Oscar to for Writing (Original Screenplay) from 1960 to present. Therefore, without further ado, here is my novelist and my list of our picks including some commentary here and there. We have marked the films that won the Oscar with the word Winner.

Gigi and I would like to note that for our Adapted Screenplay list, we should have pointed out that for the 1963 Oscars even though our pick Hud is an excellent script the Adapted Screenplay that should have taken home the Oscar was The Manchurian Candidate. To our shock, it wasn’t even nominated in that category that year. Here is our list:

1960: The Apartment (Winner)

1961: Splendor in the Grass (Winner)

1962: Through a Glass Darkly

1963: How the West Was Won (Winner)

1964: A Hard Day’s Night

1965: The Train

1966: Blowup

1967: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (Winner)

We’d also like to point out another outstanding script in this category, Bonnie and Clyde.

1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey

1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Winner)

1970: Five Easy Pieces

1971: Klute

1972: The Candidate (Winner)

1973: American Graffiti

1974: The Conversation

1975: Dog Day Afternoon (Winner)

1976: Rocky

Believe it or not Taxi Driver was not nominated for original screenplay this year.

1977: The Goodbye Girl

1978: The Deer Hunter

The winner this year was Coming Home and honestly, it’s a tough call between these two. But I think that Russian Roulette scene is what clinches it.

1979: Breaking Away (Winner)

This is one of those films that grows on you over time.

1980: Private Benjamin

1981: Arthur

One of the rare romantic comedies that works brilliantly. And the dialogue is razor sharp.

1982: Tootsie

How did this not win for script? We still cannot figure it out.

1983: War Games

1984: The Terminator*

*How did the academy not even nominate this film. The treatment alone is worth an Oscar. I 1993think there are Oscar voters out there who have a Barbie doll that says, “Science is hard” and they play with it every time they fill out their ballots.

1985: Witness (Winner)

Boy, this was a tough year with Brazil and Back to the Future also nominated in this category both of which should have Oscars here.

1986: Platoon

1987: Moonstruck (Winner)

1988: Rain Man (Winner)

This was a strong category this year with Big, A Fish Called Wanda and Running on Empty all being nominated.

1989: Sex, Lies and Videotape

One of my all-time favorite films and in my opinion the one that really launched the independent film movement of the 1990’s. Another solid film Dead Poets Society won and When Harry Met Sally was also nominated.

1990: Ghost (Winner)

1991: Thelma and Louise (Winner)

Another of my all-time favorites. A couple other strong scripts here are Boyz in the Hood and The Fisher King.

1992: The Crying Game (Winner)

Another fantastic script nominated this year was Unforgiven.

1993: The Piano (Winner)

One of my all-time favorite scripts. If I remember correctly it took Jane Campion ten years to write it and it was worth every single minute.

1994: Pulp Fiction (Winner)

Wow, what a script. One of the scripts and one of the best years in film history. The other tremendous script nominated this year was Three Colors: Red.

1995: The Usual Suspects (Winner)

The most screwed up Oscars in recent memory. Believe it or not this film was not nominated for Best Picture. What a travesty. Leaving Las Vegas and Dead Man Walking weren’t nominated for Best Picture either. What a mess.

1996: Fargo (Winner)

Was there even a doubt? The other great nominated script this year was Lone Star.

1997: Good Will Hunting (Winner)

The other standout scripts in this category this year were The Full Monty and Boogie Nights.

1998: The Truman Show

Andrew Nicol who penned The Truman Show also wrote Gattaca. Again, with the “science is hard” Barbies. Not to mention Saving Private Ryan was also nominated in this category and didn’t win either.

1999: Being John Malkovich

This year is really a tie between this one and the winning script, American Beauty.

2000: Almost Famous (Winner)

2001: Memento

The winner this year, Gosford Park is shockingly bad. Memento won just about every writing award this year and it loses to one of the most boring films ever made. Not to mention one of the other contenders was The Royal Tenenbaums. I have never recovered from the shock. Not to mention the other great script that year Donnie Darko wasn’t even nominated.

2002: Far from Heaven

2002 was not a good year for original scripts.

2003: Lost in Translation (Winner)

Another fantastic script that was nominated this year is Dirty Pretty Things.

2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Winner)

Hotel Rwanda is another fantastic script nominated this year. And one that wasn’t nominated and should have been, The Machinist.

2005: Good Night, and Good Luck

This was another weak year for Original Screenplay.

2006: Babel

2007: Ratatouille

2008: WALL-E

Pixar’s greatest film. Two other strong nominations this year were Frozen River and In Bruges. None of them won in this category.

2009: The Hurt Locker (Winner)

2010: The King’s Speech (Winner)

Another smart script nominated this year was Inception.

2011: Bridesmaids

A Separation was also nominated this year and well worth the watch. Neither script won.

2012: Moonrise Kingdom

2013: Dallas Buyer’s Club

2014: Birdman (Winner)

Nightcrawler was another strong script nominated this year.

2015: Spotlight (Winner)

2016: Manchester by the Sea (Winner)

The other standout script here is Hell or High Water although its ending could have been sharper.

2017: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Easily my favorite Original Script of the 2010’s.

2018: First Reformed

2019: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

2020: Sound of Metal

2021: Belfast (Winner)

Licorice Pizza was another good script nominated this year.

2022: This year’s nominations: The Banshees of Inisherin

We also like Tar in this category as well.

If We Picked the Oscars for Adapted Screenplay 1960-Present

Good afternoon. My name is Karen, and I am a novelist owned by a parti poodle named Gigi. This week Gigi and I have decided to do something a little different. Being as the Oscars are this Sunday, we thought it might be fun to take a break from Gigi’s story Power Grid Failure as well as my usual Stream of the Week and focus on the Academy Awards instead. Gigi will be back next week to continue with the last chapters of her story Power Grid Failure. She will be starting a new story sometime in April. This week, she and I went back over the winners of our favorite two Oscar categories: Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and Writing (Original Screenplay).

We thought it might be interesting to decide which films starting with the year 1960 until this year’s nominations we would have chosen to take home the award regardless of if they won or not. We are going to focus exclusively on Writing (Adapted Screenplay) today and this Saturday, March 11th we will do an extra post of what we thought should have won for Original Screenplay. Gigi, take it away.

Good afternoon. As a poodle, you may think I merely lie on my novelist’s chair or couch and snooze while she watches films. This simply is not so. I am most engaged in the film viewing experience. I consider myself a cinephile just as much as the next cultured creature and often find myself getting caught up in the adventures of those who strut and fret their way across the screen. Movies, in fact, play a crucial role in inspiring me to pen stories. Therefore, without further ado, here is my novelist and my list of our picks for what we would have chosen for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) from 1960 to present including some commentary here and there. We have marked the films that won the Oscar with the word Winner. Here is our list:

1960: Elmer Gantry (Winner)

1961: The Hustler

1962: To Kill a Mockingbird (Winner)

1963: Hud

Gigi and I would like to amend our pick here. Although our original pick Hud is an excellent script the Adapted Screenplay that should have taken home the Oscar was The Manchurian Candidate. To our shock, it wasn’t even nominated in this category.

1964: Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Seriously, how did this not win? Was the academy high on LSD?

1965: Doctor Zhivago (Winner)

1966: A Man for All Seasons (Winner)

1967: The Graduate

1968: Rosemary’s Baby

1969: Midnight Cowboy (Winner)

We would like to point out there is another nominee here from 1969 most folks probably haven’t seen but we urge you to do so. The film is called They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? It is directed by the great Sydney Pollack starring Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, and Susan York. Gig Young co-stars as the villainous Rocky and rightly won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. We do warn you this film is not an easy watch, but it is a must see just the same.

1970: M*A*S*H* (Winner)

1971: A Clockwork Orange

This was a fantastic year for adapted screenplays, and we would like to point out another Oscar worthy nominated film. It was co-written by Peter Bogdanovich and Larry McMurtry based on McMurtry’s novel of the same name called The Last Picture Show. Honestly, we are befuddled as to why neither our pick nor this film took home the trophy. They are clearly two of the best films ever made. The winner is a fine film too, but we think these two scripts better represent the writing category.

1972: The Godfather (Winner)

1973: Paper Moon

1974: The Godfather II (Winner)

1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Winner)

1976: All the President’s Men (Winner)

1977: Equus

Another film nominated this year was a smart little comedy called Oh, God! based on the novel by Avery Corman. The movie starred John Denver and George Burns and it’s a lot of fun to watch. We urge you to check it out.

1978: Midnight Express (Winner)

If you’ve never seen this movie, you really should. It’s based on the true-life story of Billy Hayes who was caught carrying four pounds of hashish at the airport in Turkey and the terrifying ordeal he went through locked up in a Turkish prison. You can stream it on Crackle.  

1979: Apocalypse Now

1980: Ordinary People (Winner)

The other magnificent film in this category is David Lynch’s The Elephant Man and it was a tough decision. Both are Oscar worthy scripts.

1981: On Golden Pond (Winner)

1982: The Verdict

1983: Terms of Endearment (Winner)

1984: The Killing Fields

1985: Kiss of the Spiderwoman

1986: Stand by Me

1987: Full Metal Jacket

1988: The Accused *

*We’re not picking any of the nominated films this year. We weren’t impressed with any of them, and we think The Accused got cheated out of a writing nomination. Thankfully, Jodi Foster went on to win Best Actress for her phenomenal performance.

1989: Field of Dreams

1990: Dances with Wolves (Winner)

1991: The Silence of the Lambs (Winner)

1992: Scent of a Woman

1993: Schindler’s List (Winner)

1994: The Shawshank Redemption

Honestly, we like the actual winner Forest Gump too. In fact, let’s consider this a tie. 1994 was one of the best years in film history without question. Wait till you see the Original Screenplay list. Some years like 1988 are terrible and others like this one are amazing. It’s too bad they can’t spread out the release of these masterpieces sometimes.

1995: Leaving Las Vegas

This year really ticked us off. And I mean ticked us off. The films nominated for Best Picture were straight out bizarre…except for the pig. We have a soft spot in our hearts for the pig. But really, this should have been one of the greatest years for the Oscars and it was a complete train wreck nomination-wise. Neither of the two best films Leaving Las Vegas nor Dead Man Walking were nominated for best picture. Nicholas Cage did win Best Actor for playing Ben which he more than deserved. And Elizabeth Shue should have won Best Actress for her incredible performance as Sera. Leaving Las Vegas was clearly the best adapted script as well as the best film of the year. And the book by the late John O’Brian is amazing. Watch the film and read the book. Just do it.

1996: Sling Blade (Winner)

One of the best screenwriting wins of all time. The audience at the Oscar ceremony stood up and gave Billy Bob Thorton a standing ovation. They almost never do that for writers. I literally cried. I fell on the floor and cried. After the complete embarrassment of the Oscars year before, they shocked me entirely by awarding the absolute winner a most deserved trophy.

1997: The Sweet Hereafter

This is an amazing film and an amazing novel by Russell Banks. Atom Egoyan is one of the best writer/directors around.

1998: A Simple Plan

1999: The Cider House Rules (Winner)

Another great script nominated this year that deserves mention is Election. I was lucky to be able to see the original ending of the film which is fantastic and superior to the ending they chose. That said, it is still an excellent film, most deserving of its nomination and well worth the watch. The novel by Tom Perrotta is also a good read.  

2000: Traffic (Winner)

2001: A Beautiful Mind (Winner)

2002: The Pianist (Winner)

2003: City of God

Another great nomination in this category was American Splendor with Paul Giamatti turning in yet another one of his fantastic performances. You can stream it on HBO Max.

2004: Sideways (Winner)

2005: Brokeback Mountain (Winner)

We are going to consider this year a tie with History of Violence which was our favorite film of 2005. A stellar and riveting script without a doubt. It’s one of the best if not the best movie based on a graphic novel thus far. The graphic novel of the same name is written by John Wagner and illustrated by Vince Locke.

2006: Children of Men

Although we think Children of Men is clearly the best script in this category another worthy film to check out is Little Children which was cowritten by the book’s author Tom Perrotta and Todd Field. Field is up for Original Screenplay this year for Tar.  

2007: No Country for Old Men (Winner)

2008: Slumdog Millionaire (Winner)

2009: Precious (Winner)

2010: The Social Network (Winner)

There are flaws with this winner, especially with the girlfriend character. That said it’s probably the best film of 2010 year although Winter’s Bone is a solid contender.   

2011: Hugo

2012: Argo (Winner)

The other outstanding adapted screenplay nominated this year is Silver Lining’s Playbook.

2013: Before Midnight

2014: The Imitation Game (Winner)

2015: Room

2016: Lion

2017: Molly’s Game

2018: BlacKkKlansman (Winner)

A couple of other terrific scripts were in the running this year that deserve mention. One is Can You Ever Forgive Me? The other is the newest incantation of A Star is Born.

2019: Jojo Rabbit (Winner)

2020: Nomadland

This was tough because the winner this year The Father was also worthy of an Oscar for the incredible way it allowed the audience to traverse through the mind of someone with dementia.

2021: The Power of the Dog

We would have also been happy with the beautiful languid winner of International Feature Film Drive My Car receiving the award here.

This year: 2022: Women Talking

Women Talking won the WGA for Best Adapted Screenplay this year making it a strong contender for the Oscar. It was written by Sarah Polley adapted from the book of the same name by Miriam Toews. This is Sarah Polley’s second nomination. She was also nominated for writing the 2006 adapted script Away from Her based-on Alice Monroe’s short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. You may also remember her fantastic performance as Nicol in The Sweet Hereafter. You can watch Women Talking on Prime Video with Amazon Prime; however, it appears it may only be playing there for a few days.

Look for our picks from 1960-2022 (present) for Writing (Original Screenplay) this Saturday, 3/11/2023.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Seventeen

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter seventeen of my story Power Grid Failure. A few weeks ago, I went to the vets for my yearly exam. I was, not to my surprise, given an outstanding bill of health. However, I was also told I was due for my yearly dental cleaning which my novelist booked for yesterday. I, like many of my fellow Canus lupus familiaris, detest dental cleanings. And so, I dreaded my upcoming appointment.

That was until the vet’s office called my novelist on Tuesday to tell her that the ultrasonic dental machine was not working properly, and my cleaning would have to be postponed. Now, it could be the machine was having some sort of mechanical issue, or possibly needs a new part, or maybe they will need to get a new machine all together. Or maybe I could have enlisted the Maltese and the Jack Russel terrier and his female Labrador roommate down the street to steal the keys to my novelist’s car Monday night, take a joy ride to the vet’s, break in, head into the back, sabotage the machine, pick up four Frappuccinos at a 24-hour Starbucks and drive home. This of course is only a theory. And with that thought here is chapter seventeen of my story Power Grid Failure. Uživati!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Seventeen

Reynolds and Crystal re-enter Tiffany’s glassed in office area. Remmel marches in behind them, retrieves a pack of gum from his shirt pocket, unwraps a stick and jams it into his mouth. He chews intensely as he guards the captives. Craggy holds out his hand. Remmel narrows his eyes, retrieves the pack of gum, and offers him a piece. Craggy takes a stick, unwraps it and shoves it in his mouth.

Windy sits quietly in the corner with her knees together, her back straight, and her eyes forwards. She has never missed her children’s’ performances. Ever. Tonight, was the first time. Yes, her husband likely filmed it, but it’s not the same as watching it live.

Martin is becoming increasingly agitated. He doesn’t like trusting Reynolds. But what choice does he have? He doesn’t have a better plan, Sloan doesn’t have a better plan, and he’s unconvinced Adams has the wherewithal to reopen the building once he’s inside Unicorn’s lair. Assuming he gets inside Unicorn’s lair. Reynolds hasn’t explained that part yet. How will Adams get into Unicorn’s lair?

Sloan stares at Mr. Peak’s door. Dragontail better not be in there making out with Tiffany. He imagines different ways to torture Dragontail.

Adams envisions himself at home lying in bed wearing his fluffy green socks with his light blocking curtains completely shut and his nightlight on. He mentally counts video game characters as they jump over a virtual fence.

“Be ready,” Reynolds whispers to Crystal. “Follow my lead.” Reynolds rises and moves towards Mr. Peak’s office. Craggy steps in front of him and folds his arms.

“Where do you think you’re going, Reynolds?” Remmel growls.

“To talk to Dragontail.”

“He’ll be out here soon enough.”

“When’s soon enough?”

“Soon enough.”

The door opens and Dragontail emerges. Reynolds catches a glimpse of Tiffany sitting in Peak’s chair. She seems safe enough…for now.

“Alright,” Dragontail says. “We’re leaving you in the care of Remmel and Craggy.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Martin demands.

“It means I’m taking Tiffany here for a little ride.”

“No. You are not splitting us up. If you want to kidnap us as a group, fine. But you’re not splitting us up.”

“Look, Peak. You may be used to giving the orders around here. But right now, I’m the one giving the orders around here. I’m running the show. I decide what happens. And what’s happening is Tiffany and I are going for a ride.”

“Can I come?”

Dragontail turns and looks at Crystal. “What?”

“Can I come along with you and Tiffany?” she says.

Dragontail looks her up and down. “No.”

“You’d have two women to take with you instead of one.”

“She’s right,” Windy says from the corner.  

“I only need Tiffany,” Dragontail says.

“She’s offering to go. Let her go.”

“Don’t be a jerk, Dragontail,” Reynolds says. “Let Crystal go with you.”

Dragontail turns back to Crystal. “Fine,” he growls. “I’ll take you along for the ride. But guess what, toots? This isn’t going to be a chance for you to escape.”

“Did I say I was trying to escape?” Crystal says. “I’m going stir crazy in here. I just want to get out of this office for a while and I don’t see why Tiffany should have all the fun.”

“You’re a weird chick. As for the rest of you clowns, I’m leaving Craggy and Remmel with a pair of my No Fun Stun Guns. So, don’t screw up.”

“Will I need to take my coat?”

“That’s up to you.”

“How far are we going exactly?”


“Is it a fifteen-minute drive, a half an hour drive…?”

“What’s with all the questions?”

“I want to know what I’m getting into so I can properly prepare. If it’s a fifteen-minute drive…”

“Stop asking questions or you’re not going.”

“You don’t need to be rude about it.”

“I wouldn’t be rude if…look, we’re leaving.” Dragontail turns and opens Mr. Peak’s office door. “Get up, Tiffany. We’re going for a ride. Apparently, Crystal’s coming with us.”

Tiffany gives him a sidelong glance and rises from her chair. She exits the office and gives Crystal a quizzical look. The two women follow Dragontail out the door of the glassed-in area.

“What’s your plan for getting Adams into Unicorn’s office?” Martin whispers to Reynolds.

“We need to get him across the skybridge,” Reynolds says.

“You mean the one that connects to our building?”


“How do you know that’s where Unicorn is?”

“Adams told me.”


“Just now.”

“How are we going to get past these two gorillas?” Martin says nodding at Craggy and Remmel.

“I’m trying to figure that out.”

“You’d better figure it out soon because Dragontail already left with Tiffany and Crystal.”


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is nominated for an Oscar for Animated Feature Film. It is Netflix own The Sea Beast. This is a beautiful looking swashbuckling story about a little orphaned girl named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator) who escapes her orphanage in pursuit of becoming a sailor like her late parents who hunted for dangerous gargantuan sea beasts.

Much to Maisie’s luck she escapes her orphanage in time to see the famed ship The Inevitable dock after returning from a hunting journey. She meets the famed Jacob Holland (Karl Urban), the adopted son of the ship’s Captain Crow (Jared Harris) in a pub and tries to convince him to let her join the crew. After Jacob refuses, Maisie takes it upon herself to stow away on the vessel.

Too late to turn back they keep Maisie on board and sail out to fight sea beasts, especially Red, one of the biggest sea beasts of them all. But after engaging in a battle with Red where she lets them go, Maisie and Jacob begin to have second thoughts about the intentions of the creatures they are hunting. And they voyage out together a journey to find out where the battle between the humans and sea beasts may have begun.    

Power Grid Failure Chapter Sixteen

Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here again to introduce chapter sixteen of my story Power Grid Failure. I had a busy President’s Day weekend. My novelist and I traveled to a relative’s home to help do some clean up and prepare for a garage sale. This was no easy task. They had a lot of old letters and papers they wanted to get rid of, so we found ourselves doing quite a bit of shredding. We ended up with a couple garbage bags full of chopped paper. We carried items up and down stairs so much my delicate paws began to ache. I must say my novelist’s relatives are quite organized and all the items had tables and sections to separate out the different types of treasures. We had to decide what was good to sell and what wasn’t worth the effort. My novelist took some things we first thought to be rubbish and moved them to the sale tables. There is still quite a bit of work to do but I believe we made a rather significant dent. The Maltese, however, did nothing. He was useless.

The whole trip zapped the energy from me and between the arduous voyage and bad weather I have not had a walk for a week. But as soon as the weather gets better, I plan to trot about outside and enjoy the last bit of winter before spring makes its entrance. In the meantime, I am going to bush up on my chess playing skills and catch up on my Oscar nominated films. And on that note, here sis chapter sixteen of my story Power Grid Failure. tIv!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter Sixteen

“First,” Reynolds says, “we need to get Crystal out of this room so I can show her what to do.”

“This is a half-baked idea,” Sloan gripes. “You’re going to get those two women hurt.”

“Do you have a better idea?” Mr. Peak asks.

“I just don’t want to see Tiffany get hurt.”

“Or Crystal.”

“Yeah, her too. Whatever.”

“We need an excuse to get Crystal and I out of this glass cage,” Reynolds says. “Does anyone have any suggestions?”

Just then Crystal, who was sitting in the opposite corner rises and heads towards the door.

“Hey!” Remmel snaps at her. “Sit down.”

“I need a drink of water,” Crystal says. “I’m parched.”

Reynolds hops to his feet. “I’ll go with her.”

“I think she’s old enough to get her own drink of water, pal.”

“I wasn’t talking about her. I was talking about me. I’m thirsty too, you know.”

“Too bad.”

“Let them get some water,” Martin says. “The heat in this building makes the air as dry as a desert.”

Craggy looks from Crystal to Reynolds and back again. He turns to Remmel and shrugs.

Remmel sighs. “Five minutes, bud.”

Crystal shoots Reynolds a confused look then continues out the door. Once both are outside the glass and out of earshot Reynolds hurries up beside her and says, “We need your help.”

“We?” Crystal says.

“All of us. Dragontail is planning to hand Tiffany over to Unicorn.”

“How do you know that?”

“I’ve known the guy for years and I know how he thinks. If Adams is right about Unicorn, Tiffany is a bargaining chip.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“If I can show you a couple of things you can do to incapacitate Unicorn, Adams can get into Unicorn’s control room, reverse this lock down and we can all get out of here.”

“How are you going to get Adams into the control room if I incapacitate Unicorn?”

“Let’s say I learned a couple of things in prison that can help you and Tiffany. The thing is I can’t get to Tiffany. But I can teach you and you can show her. If I can talk Dragontail into taking both of you over to Unicorn we’re halfway there.”

“I thought Unicorn was going to unlock the building once Adams sent him the email.”

“He’s not. He’s in cahoots with Dragontail just like Remmel and Craggy. They’ve probably been planning this thing for weeks. But if you let me show you a few things we can catch them off-guard and Adams can get in there.”

“Alright. What do you want me to do?”

“Are you right-handed or left-handed?”


“Face me.”

Crystal turns and faces him.

“Step your right foot back and keep your left foot forwards.”

Crystal steps her right foot back.

“Hold your right palm open, keep it flat and bring it back so it’s right in front of your shoulder. Think of it like it’s coiled back ready to strike.”

Crystal holds her right hand open and coils it back.

“Aim for my nose and…strike!”

Crystal shoves the heel of her right-hand forwards. Reynolds steps out of the way to avoid getting struck.

“Good. That stance you’re positioned in right there is the bus rider stance like when you’re riding a bus and you have one foot forwards and one foot back to maintain balance. Strike with the same hand as the foot you’ve got back. Now, do it again.”

Crystal coils back her arm and palm-heels the air again. “It would be better if I could make contact with something.”

Reynolds looks around. He sees a large round-faced teddy bear sitting on a desk. He snatches it up and holds it in front of his face. “Now try.”

Crystal coils back her arm and thrusts her hand forwards smacking Teddy in the face.

“Feels good, doesn’t it?” Reynolds says.

“Yes, it does.”

“So, you’re going to do a three-strike combination: right, left, right.”

“I thought I was supposed to strike with the same hand I have back.”

“The first strike should come from the same side as the foot you have back.”


“Right, left, right. Let’s go.”

Crystal strikes with her right hand, then her left, then her right.

“Got to go faster. Wham, wham, wham! Stun him.”

Crystal tries again, this time faster and harder. Strike, strike, strike.

“There you go. Now, try this.” He sets the teddy bear back on the desk. “We’re going to do this slowly. First, you’re going to grab my ear. I don’t care if it’s the right or the left but grab it and hang on. Go.

Crystal reaches over and grabs his right ear.

“Now, you’re going to pretend to smash the outside of my knee with the bottom of your foot.”

Crystal lifts her foot about to strike.

“Now, hang on. The operative word here is pretend. Don’t strike the side of my knee, just pretend to because I don’t want to have to be carted off to the hospital. You just want to raise your foot to my knee level and punch the air like you were going to strike me. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“However, when you’re confronted by Unicorn you really want to strike the outside of his knee. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Good. Go.”

Crystal keeps her grip on Reynold’s ear and lifts her foot. She strikes and comes dangerously close to Reynold’s knee.

“Whoa! Alright good. Now, release my ear and let’s take it from the top. Only this time let’s do another three-part combination. So, you’re going to grab my ear with one hand, palm-heel me with the other and then strike my outer knee with the sole of your foot.”

“That’s a lot to remember.”

“You’re going to have to remember it because we don’t have much time.”

Crystal took a deep breath and as she exhaled, she grabbed Reynold’s right ear with her left hand, fake palm-heeled him with her right, lifted her foot, struck and barely missed his knee.

“Excellent. Now, I’m going to show you two more moves. Stand with your feet parallel.”   

Crystal stands with her feet parallel. Reynolds puts his hands around Crystal’s neck as if he is about to strangle her.

“I don’t like this.”

“That’s why I’m going to show you how to get out of it. You’re going to raise your arms and make your hands into fists. Do it slowly because we’re practicing here. As you bring your fists down on my arms at the same time you bring your right foot back, so you are in that bus rider position again. That will break his chokehold. Try it.”

Crystal brings her fists down while simultaneously assuming her bus rider position and breaks Reynolds’s chokehold.

“Good. Now, that leg you have back you’re right leg? You’re going to grab both my arms for support and bring your right knee into his groin. Wham! Except on me you’re just going to fake it. Don’t knee me in the groin. Got it?”

Crystal grabs both of his arms, brings her knee in, and…

“I see you two are getting close.”

Crystal and Reynolds whip around, startled to see Remmel standing there.

“Yeah,” Reynolds says. “I was showing her some dance moves.”

“I’ll bet. Times up.”

“Okay,” Crystal says.


Crystal and Reynolds head towards the office with Remmel following behind.


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


The best television show in the past five years you probably haven’t seen is this one. And that’s saying a lot when you consider the best shows you probably have seen like Better Call Saul, Cobra Kai, and Severance. Depressingly, they only made one season of it. But what a season. There is not a character in this thing that isn’t interesting nor a twist that isn’t well set up. But Amazon really REALLY should pick up the reins and make a second season. Even if they must set it a couple years later.   

The show, much like Cobra Kai started out on YouTube. I think Hollywood needs to pay more attention to YouTube because they are becoming the new frontier for hidden gems. It was created by whip-smart and fearless Shawn Simmons who knows how to make a very balanced comedy. The show has an incredible compass that knows how to navigate through the darkest of moments to the most poignant of moments while at the same time keeping the audience in stitches. And by the way, the acting is sensational and well-cast.

Sixteen-year-old Wayne (Mark McKenna) is an angry, violent yet deeply moral and valiant young man whose reputation proceeds him. His father Wayne Sr. (Ray McKinnon) is dying of cancer. Wayne Sr. once owned a 1979 Trans-Am that his wife, Wayne’s mother Maureen McNulty (Michaela Watkins) stole and put in the possession of her new boyfriend Calvin Clay (Kirk Ward) and his pinhead son Reggie (Francesco Antonio). Wayne has decided the car is his birthright and sets out to get it back by taking a road trip on his motorbike from Boston to Florida. On the precipice of his odyssey, a young fifteen-year-old named Delilah ‘Del’ Luccetti (Ciara Bravo) knocks on his door trying to sell boxes of stolen cookies. Wayne finds himself enamored with the girl and request she accompany him on his journey. This is much to the dismay of Del’s father Bobby Luccetti (Dean Winters) who has no plans of allowing his daughter to make the trip and after an altercation with Wayne, he enlists Del’s older ne’er-do-well brothers, twins Carl Luccetti (Jon Champagne) and Teddy Luccetti (Jamie Champagne) as well as Police Sergeant Stephen Geller (Stephen Kearin) and his partner Officer Jay Ganetti (James Earl) to assist him on the hunt. Also following Wayne in hopes of protecting the boy are Wayne’s high school principal Principal Tom Cole (Mike O’Malley) and Wayne’s best friend Orlando Hikes (Joshua J. Williams).

Power Grid Failure Chapter Fifteen

Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce this week’s installment of my story Power Grid Failure. I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day this past Tuesday. I believe whether one does or does not have someone to spend Valentine’s Day with, one should enjoy the holiday just the same. As for myself, I only have the Maltese and that’s a far cry from a companion. However, I adore Saint Valentine’s Day just the same and am happy to have my novelist around to celebrate it with me as well. It would be lovely if she bought me a box of white chocolates, however. I see no reason why I could not partake of such a scrumptious delicacy. As a Canis Lupus Familiaris I can eat white chocolate in small amounts and yet I still did not receive one of those marvelous heart shaped boxes. I deserve such a gift for writing all these stories for her. Might I add she gifted herself with pink, white chocolate strawberries this year. I was not allowed to partake. I found this most cruel. A novelist should not go about flaunting her Valentine’s strawberries in front of their poodle. It is rude and vulgar. The Maltese couldn’t tell a Valentine strawberry from a spear of asparagus, but I certainly can, and I want my white chocolate. I suppose I can find solace in the fact that Easter is around the corner and white chocolate bunnies will soon be within my grasp. And with that thought here is Chapter Fifteen of Power Grid Failure. Buon San Valentino in ritardo!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Fifteen

“Where do you think you’re going, Peak?” Remmel asks.

“I need to call my wife,” Martin snaps as he walks towards the glass door.

“What for?”

“What do you mean, what for? We’ve been trapped in here for hours and she’s wondering where I am.”

“Send her a text.”

“She needs to hear my voice.”


“She’s neurotic.”

“We’re all neurotic.”

“He’s not kidding,” Reynolds says. “I’ve been to one of their barbecues. She had an episode right there on the patio.”

“An episode?”

“I’m calling my wife,” Martin says. “I won’t have her worrying.”

“Give the man some privacy will you,” Reynolds says to Craggy and Remmel.

Remmel looks at Craggy. Craggy shrugs. “Go call your wife,” Remmel says gruffly. “You’ve got two minutes.”

Martin steps outside the glass doors, moves out of earshot, and dials Unicorn’s number.

“How’d you get this number?” Unicorn snaps when he answers.

“Martin Peak, here,” Martin says. “I’m an executive on the fifteenth floor of the Redoubt Tower. We’ve had a bit of a mishap and the building was inadvertently locked down on my employees and me. We need you to open it up.”

Unicorn leans back in his chair and takes a bite of his green apple. “No can do, chief.”

“I’m an executive at this company and you work for me. I demand you open this building.”

“I’m the head of security and it’s my job, neigh my sacred mission to keep the Redoubt tower safe. And right now, that means keeping you locked inside.”

“There are criminals here holding us hostage.”

“Not my problem,” Unicorn says and hangs up.

A fuming Mr. Peak marches back into the glass encased office. Reynolds takes one look at him and knows things aren’t going well. He glances around at the other employees and turns his attention to Crystal. The wheels in his head start turning.

“So,” Reynolds says to Craggy and Remmel. “Why are you keeping Tiffany in that office all by herself?”

“You’d have to ask Dragontail,” Remmel says.

“Fair enough.” Reynolds strolls towards Mr. Peak’s office door. Craggy blocks him and crosses his large thick arms. “You said I had to ask Dragontail.”

“Doesn’t mean we’re going to let you ask Dragontail,” Remmel says.

Reynolds reaches around Craggy and knocks on the door. “Hey, Dragontail.”

“What do you want?” Dragontail growls from inside.

“We all want to know why you have Tiffany in there and the rest of us out here?”

“I have a special job for Tiffany.”

“What kind of a job?”

“None of your business.”

“When are you going to wrap this up, Dragontail?”

“When I say it’s time to wrap it up.”

“Okey-doke.” Reynolds turns and strolls back to Mr. Peak, Sloan, and Adams. “Gentlemen, it appears we are at an impasse.”

“Aren’t you perceptive,” Sloan says cynically.

“Aright, you guys listen to me and listen carefully. We need to get Crystal in that room with Tiffany.”


“Because those two ladies are going to get us out of here.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because Tiffany is Unicorn’s payoff.”

“She’s what?!”

“What’s going on?” Remmel growls.

“Keep your voice down, pinhead,” Martin hisses at Sloan.

“Sloan just found out his favorite actress is going to do nude scenes,” Reynolds tells Remmel.

“Congratulations,” Remmel says. “Now shut up.”

“Unicorn is seriously scarry,” Adams says. “We need to keep Tiffany and Crystal away from him.”

“We aren’t going to be able to do that. But if we send both ladies to him, they could…”

“I don’t want either of them visiting that creep,” Martin says. “Think of a better plan.”

“This is the best plan. And it will work if Adams gets involved.”

“Why Adams?”

“Adams, if you were in Unicorn’s lair, could you figure out how to get the building out of lockdown?”

“Boy, I don’t know…”

“You’ve got to know,” Sloan says.

“I might be able to figure it out.”

“Good,” Reynolds says. “Now, here’s the plan.”


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is the highest grossing film of 2022 clocking in at $718,732,821 domestic. It was released by Paramount Studios who is presently streaming the movie on Paramount+ with all commercials running before the film and the film running commercial break free. To be honest, I was not a big fan of the original Top Gun save for its fantastic aerial maneuvers and shots. It was kind of a precursor to the Fast and the Furious franchise where the real stars of the film are the stunt crew (pilots in this case) and cinematographers. Top Gun: Maverick on the other hand has an actual story as well as fantastic stunts and visual effects. And the cast is superb especially Tom Cruise who, by the way, I am patiently waiting to see star in the Les Grossman film I keep hoping Ben Stiller will make, provided Mr. Stiller continues directing episodes of Severance.

The story takes place thirty or so years after the original Top Gun where Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) has not advanced past captain…by choice. He has a superior record, legendary in fact, which could have easily promoted him to Admiral long ago. But he has remained instead a brilliant highly honored pilot. After proving he could fly at a speed of Mach 10 to keep the Darkstar scamjet program from being shut down and flown by drones, he inadvertently destroys the prototype plane and infuriates Rear Admiral Chester ‘Hammer’ Cain (Ed Harris). Cain calls Maverick into his office. He points out Maverick has had numerous medals and citations and is the only pilot in the past forty years to have shot down three enemy planes and asks Maverick why he’s never been promoted. Maverick replies, “I’m where I belong, sir.” A lot of what happens in this scene between these two is extraordinarily timely and essential not only to the film but to modern society. It points out how talent is being relegated to the position of management, partially due to technology but mostly due to the increasing power of business over knowledge. And it’s bad. Very, very bad. As in The Terminator bad. But that premise is what makes this film so very good.

Cain tells Maverick his career has once again been saved by former fellow Top Gun classmate Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer). Iceman has Cain give Maverick an opportunity to train graduates of the Top Gun for a special mission. But Cain warns Maverick the era of crewed fighter aircraft is ending. Maverick heads to his new post and meets up again with former love Penelope “Penny” Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), a bar owner, single mother and Admiral’s daughter and hopes to rekindle their romance.

However, one thing stands in the way of Maverick carrying out his mission. One of the pilots he is training is Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw (Miles Teller), son of his former best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards) who he promised Goose’s wife Carole (Meg Ryan) to protect.

Despite its flaws, I am also recommending if you haven’t seen it or if you haven’t seen it for a while to watch or rewatch the original Top Gun prior to viewing Top Gun: Maverick to get the full backstory.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Fourteen

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here on my usual Thursday to present chapter fourteen of my story Power Grid Failure. After the horrors I endured last week going to the groomer and wearing a non-cashmere sweater, this week has been relatively calm. It has allowed me time to think. I did a lot of musing and cannot come up with anything whatsoever to tell you this week that would be even remotely interesting. I took a walk in the rain. I attacked the Maltese. I rewatched episodes of Severance. Is any of that interesting? Not even remotely. But here I am Gigi, poodle, esquiress faced with an audience and nothing to say. Distressing, isn’t it? You have come here to be entertained by a six-pound poodle and I have nothing to report. But is it a bad thing to have nothing to report? Would it be better if I were to tell you this week I was kidnapped, held captive by a clowder of cats, escaped through a vent, wandered out into the street and found myself face to face with a distempered racoon, barely escaped said racoon and jumped into an unmarked van where I was briefly adopted by a man who goes around collecting road kill when he is not working as a grade school janitor, was dropped off on a playground where I was chased by children until I made my way under the cyclone fence and managed to catch an Uber home? Think about that. Here is chapter fourteen of Power Grid Failure.   

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Fourteen

Unicorn sits in a room he calls Ground Control. He’s able to operate just about anything the company owns from here: the window blinds, the room temperature, the parking garage levers, and yes, the locks on the high rise. In fact, it was Unicorn’s idea to put an automatic lockdown on the building. Sure, the corporate heads were looking for some way to keep the crazed mobs and the criminally insane from entering their property. But they couldn’t come up with a sound solution. Only Unicorn could come up with a sound solution. That’s why he got the big bonuses and all the power that went with locking down a major skyscraper.

Unicorn loves working the late shift. Like a bat in the night, he can get away with just about anything when no one is around. Just last week he’d ordered a couple of strippers to entertain him and charged it on the company expense account. That was a good time.

Around ten or so he receives Adams’s email. Unicorn looks it over and scoffs. He likes the animated dancing unicorn, but the request is less than optimal. “Really?” he says out loud and scoffs. “Like I’m going to do that.”

He turns his attention to the big screen monitor sitting on his desk showing the feed from the surveillance cameras. He focuses in on Adams’s floor. At first there appears to be no unusual activity. Then he notices the glassed-in area where Peak’s office is. Unicorn is fond of this area and likes watching it with relative frequency. Old Marty always has a good-looking secretary and Tiffany is no exception. In fact, he’s downloaded surveillance tapes of her to a pen drive and taken them home for…investigation. Tonight, however he finds a handful of employees still there who should have gone home hours ago as well as three clowns who look like fast food flunkies who appear to have invaded it.

“Looks like all is going according to plan,” he says before slurping his high-octane soda.

You see, two weeks ago Unicorn had been approached by Dragontail. Dragontail knew he needed someone in a powerful enough position to keep everyone locked in place so he could extract his revenge on Reynolds. And he knew his extraction would come at a price. Not to mention he would need to offer this psycho militant Unicorn guy a lot of whatever it was he wanted and what Unicorn wanted was candy bars, money, and sex…which is pretty much what most evil geeks want anyway.

Ironically, the money was the easy part. Dragontail just had to sell off one of his three cars. So, he sold his SUV because what was he going to do with an SUV anyway. He kept his sedan and the Mustang. Never sell the Mustang. Anyway, he sold the SUV, added some extra cabbage, and slapped it into Unicorn’s hand.

Then there was the matter of the candy bars. It didn’t seem like it would be all that hard to track down a box of Unicorn’s favorite candy bars. The problem was Unicorn’s favorite candy bars were To’ak Cognac Bars which normally cost $365 apiece. Dragontail was able to find a guy who sold them for $300 apiece, a steal. This ended up costing Dragontail $3,600 for a dozen of these delicacies. Who puts together a $3,600 box of candy bars?

The third item, the sex, well, that required some world class trickery. And Dragontail knew if he played his cards right the way he went about it would upset Reynolds in the bargain. What could be better than that?

And so earlier that evening, between five-fifteen pm and five twenty-five pm as soon as Unicorn saw everyone on Peak’s crew was about to leave, he locked the floor down and after all the employees on all the other floors left, he locked down the rest of the building as well. 

Adams feels his phone vibrate. He’s pretty sure its Unicorn. But with Craggy and Remmel watching everyone there’s no way for him to take it.

“What was that noise?” Craggy demands.

“My phone,” Sloan says trying to deflect attention from Adams. “My mom’s calling.”


“My mom.”

“What does your mom want?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t looked at my phone yet.”

“Then how do you know it’s your mom?”

“Because…my phone vibrates differently when she calls me.”

“Your phone vibrates differently? That’s a thing?”

“It’s a thing,” Adams says. “You can program his phone to do that.”

Remmel narrows his eyes at Adams. “Why don’t you answer it and see what she wants,” he tells Sloan.

“Okay…,” Sloan says and goes to answer his phone which is not ringing nor is his mother calling.

“Put her on speaker phone.”

Sloan reluctantly taps his screen as if to put it on speaker and in a timid voice says, “Hello?”

“Sloan?” the phone says.

Sloan’s face goes white. “Uh…yes?”

“This is your mother. Don’t you recognize me?”

“No…yes. Yes, I do.”

Remmel walks over to Sloan, squats down and scrutinizes him.

“Don’t you know your own mother’s voice?” Sloan’s phone says.

“Yes…,” Sloan says warily eyeing Remmel.

“Now, Sloan, I need you to do something for me.”


“I need you to send me that email.”


“The one about the unicorns.”

A lightbulb goes on over Sloan’s head. “Oh, that one! Yes, of course. I’ll do that.”

“And don’t forget to take your medication.”


“Hemorrhoids are nothing to joke about.”

Sloan’s eyes narrow and his face turns red. “Uh, mom. There are other people around who can hear our conversation.”

“Good. Maybe it’ll teach them to be careful about developing hemorrhoids.”

“Okay, mom. I’ll do that. Goodbye.”

“Well, Sloan,” Remmel says as Sloan ends the call, “It sounds like you have a great mom…and hemorrhoids.”

“Yeah,” Sloan replies dryly. “I have a great mom.”

“And here I thought no one was really calling you at all.”

“Well…you were wrong.”

“Sounds like you’d better get on that email.”

“I will.”

Remmel gets up and walks back to Craggy.

“What did Unicorn say?” Sloan asks Adams.

“He said he’s not going to help us,” Adams replies morosely.

“What do you mean he’s not going to help us?”

“He said nice try with the animated unicorn but no can do. The building stays in lockdown.”

“Can that freak see us on surveillance?”

“Absolutely. And I know he knows Dragontail and Craggy and Remmel invaded this place, but the dude is firmly set on keeping the building locked down.”

Sloan rises and heads over to Martin. “Mr. Peak,” he says quietly. “You’re our only hope right now.

“What are you talking about, Sloan?” Martin says gruffly.

“We need your negotiating skills. Adams got an email to Unicorn. He’s head of security.”

“I know who Unicorn is. He’s a weasel.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more, sir. He’s got the ability to unlock the building and he’s refusing to do so.”

“I see.”

“But I thought maybe you could persuade him to change his mind.”


“Maybe with your sway you could promise him a promotion. Or maybe a bribe?”

“A bribe.”

“Yes. He seems like someone who would be up for a bribe.”

“What kind of a bribe?”

“The kind that these militant geeks like. If it were me, I’d prefer good old-fashioned cash. But as far as these freaks go, I wouldn’t have a clue. I mean it could be anything from ancient Wizards of the Coast paraphernalia to carrot porn.”

“Who would know what he wants?”

“Maybe Adams. He’s a computer geek.”

“I’ll talk to Adams then. See if he knows what kind of carrot porn this security weasel is into.”


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


This week’s pick is one of the most brutal films I have ever seen. A harrowing nightmarish, unflinching horror story, it is merciless in its violent depiction of war, yet it is never gratuitous. And that is what makes it so frightening. Although not for the faint of heart, everyone should see this movie just the same. If you are a warmonger and this film does not repulse you, there is something profoundly wrong with your mind.

Nominated for a staggering nine Oscars this year including Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Sound, Visual Effects, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), International Feature Film and Best Picture it is clear Netflix has outdone itself with this one. I will say the Oscars probably should have rounded this to a full ten and nominated Felix Kammerer for his remarkable performance.

Set in Europe in World War One from1914-1918 patriotic teenagers Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), Albert Kropp (Aaron Hillmer), Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald), and Franz Müller (Moritz Klaus) after finishing school gleefully join the German army and prepare for battle. They are led to believe by their school masters they will gloriously fight the French and become heroes. The boys are ignorant of the fact they are being given uniforms and boots retrieved from piles of young dead soldiers before they are driven to and dumped in the horrific trenches of the battlefield. From there things get ugly fast as they are immersed in mud and blood with bullets whizzing past them in all directions, knives and bayonets slashing towards their bodies and tanks driving over their trenches and sometimes over their brothers in arms. They are tasked with taking dog tags off dead boys, being left to starve and steal, and finding themselves in one bloody chaotic battle after another.

In the meantime, pompous older military men who eat gourmet food in opulent locations sit about and decide their fate. These quiet moments are at times just as vicious as the battle scenes. Psychopaths such as General Ferdinand Foch (Thibault de Montalembert) and General Friedrichs (Devid Striesow) stubbornly hesitate to stop the massive death toll while German Official and Minister of Finance Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl) who has lost a son in the war himself desperately tries to get the two opposing generals to agree on an armistice and end the bloodshed.

The story is based on the masterpiece novel by Erich Maria Remarque who was a WWI soldier in the Imperial German Army himself. He was severely injured in battle by shell shrapnel in the left leg, right arm, and neck, and lived and dared to tell the truth about the horrors of the war. He spoke out against Nazi propagandist Paul Joseph Goebbels and thanks to his literary fame was able to relocate to Switzerland and later the United States. His middle name was Paul, but he switched it to Maria in honor of his mother who died rather young, an occurrence which along with the war profoundly affected his life.

Power Grid Failure Chapter Thirteen

Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I Gigi the Parti Poodle am here to introduce chapter thirteen of my story Power Grid Failure. This week was monstrous. I was shuttled off to the groomers where in the middle of winter my hair was shorn. I am freezing. My novelist puts me in my sweater to go for walks, but I am still shaking all the way. Here is a photo of me in that dreadful garment:

The whole thing is beyond cruel. I look like a prisoner in those stripes. I wanted my novelist to get me a lovely cashmere sweater from Naadam but did she? Not a chance. I am stuck either wearing this thing or freezing. I am utterly disgraced. And cold. I should start a Go Fund Me account so I can get my well-deserved cashmere. Not to mention Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and now I’m stuck with six more weeks of winter. And with that, here is Chapter Thirteen of Power Grid Failure. Mwynhau!

Power Grid Failure


Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter Thirteen

Craggy stands in Mr. Peaks office watching Tiffany as she sits in Martin’s executive chair. Tiffany thinks Craggy looks like a cross between a snake and a racoon. His intense stare has remained focused on her since she sat down.

“I don’t see the reason for separating me from everyone else,” she says.

Craggy continues to silently stare at her.

“Are you a friend of Dragontail’s or did he just hire you?”

Craggy doesn’t answer her question. Tiffany starts to get up. He takes a step towards her.

“I’m just changing my position.”

Dragontail knocks on the door. “How’s it going in there, Craggy?” he asks.

Craggy keeps his eyes on Tiffany as he moves to the door, knocks once, and then twice more.

“Sounds good to me.”

Craggy walks back towards Tiffany and crosses his arms.

“You do realize there’s nothing here for you guys to steal,” Tiffany says. “This isn’t a cash business or something.”

Craggy pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, shakes one out and sticks it in his mouth.

“You can’t smoke in here. It’s illegal. Not to mention Mr. Peak hates cigarette smoke.”

Craggy whips out a gold Zippo and lights his cigarette.

“You know I watched my uncle die from smoking. It was terrible. He lay there wheezing and coughing from emphysema. Couldn’t breathe at all.”

Craggy blows a billow of smoke out from between his lips.

“Besides. It’s a disgusting habit.”

Craggy exhales another cloud of smoke.

“You won’t be laughing when you get emphysema and your fingers have turned an ugly permanent shade of yellow.”

Dragontail knocks again. “I’m coming in.”

Craggy takes another drag off his cigarette before answering the door. Dragontail saunters in, heads towards Tiffany, and leans over her.

“Craggy,” he says looking her in the eye. “Have some respect and put out that cigarette.”

Craggy plucks the cigarette from his lips, walks up to Mr. Peak’s desk, and drops it into Mr. Peak’s coffee cup.

“Thank you.” Then he says to Tiffany, “Here’s the plan, Blondie. Reynolds is holding everyone hostage.”

You’re holding everyone hostage,” she says.

“And me and my boys are going to disappear like thieves in the night.”

“What makes you think you can pin it on Reynolds?”

“Because my No Fun Stun Gun is only the beginning. Now, here’s what’s going to happen first. I know you own a cat.”

“How?” Tiffany says warily.

“Because I stalked Sloan stalking you. Except he always rides the bus back. I, however, know where you live, and I know your cat lives with you.”

Dragontail shows Tiffany a picture of her Scottish Fold on his phone. Tiffany can clearly see this is indeed her cat Silver sitting in her apartment. Then Dragontail swipes to the next picture. Her precious Silver is in a cage in a strange place looking up at the camera with doleful eyes.

“What have you done to Silver?” she demands.

“Nothing…yet. Although, she’d make a great physics experiment from the top floor of my apartment building.”

“There is something seriously wrong with you.”

“Not nearly as wrong as it’ll be for Silver if you don’t do exactly as I say.”

“Silver was a graduation present from my parents. I’ve had her since my freshman year of college.”

“And now she’s a bargaining tool. Do what I say, or Silver hits the ground like a sack of wet cement. Craggy, go check on the others.”

Craggy left the office and walked out into the glassed-in area where the others were standing around. He took another cigarette out of his pack and lit it with his Zippo.

“You can’t smoke in here,” Mr. Peak tells him.

Craggy shifts his gaze to Mr. Peak and bores his eyes into him.

Sloan leans over and whispers to Adams, “Send Unicorn the email.”

“I’m trying,” Adams whispers back.

“What’s Crystal’s animated thing anyway?”

“A dancing unicorn.”

“You’re kidding. That’s too ironic.”

“Unicorn will totally dig it.”

“What are you girls whispering about?” Remmel demands.

“He’s showing me porn,” Sloan lies.

“Yeah? Show it to me.”

“He’s trying to download it from his email.”

“Isn’t it just something online?”

“Hurry up,” Sloan whispers to Adams.

Adams tries to upload the attachment again.

“Give me the phone,” Remmel says leaning into the two guys and holding out his hand.

“Come on,” Adams breathes.


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 www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!


Of all the 2022 miniseries/limited series and television movies, this one is Best of Breed. And that’s saying a lot considering some of the other outstanding shows this year like Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story, The Dropout, and Inventing Anna. The show has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild awards for Outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series.

The series is based on the true-life story of James Keen (Taron Egerton in a superb performance), the son of decorated police officer, Jim Keen (Ray Liotta), and a high school football star who turns down several college scholarships to become a thriving narcotics dealer. Keen does indeed get caught in a sting called Operation Snowplow and his luxury lifestyle ends abruptly when he is condemned to ten years in prison without parole.

A couple of months into his sentence he is approached by tough as nails FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) and her FBI superior Edmond Beaumont (Robert Wisdom). Because of Keen’s congenial and charismatic personality, McCauley and Beaumont offer him the opportunity of a lifetime: transfer prisons, persuade a confession from suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser in his brilliant Golden Globe winning performance) and walk out of prison scot-free.

This is no easy task as Hall presently resides in a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane, a far more harrowing penitentiary than where Keen is presently serving time. And unlike James, Larry has a pending appeal he stands to win which would set him free, and the clock is ticking. Not to mention Hall is no normal criminal. He is suspected by FBI agent Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear) to have murdered perhaps as many as nineteen young girls. But the FBI have only found the body of one victim, Jessica Roach (Laney Stiebing). Even more frustrating, the court is not convinced Larry killed Jessica. They believe him to be a serial confessor providing what the court and law enforcement professionals think are false testimonies.

Further complicating things is Larry is also a monochorionic twin to his brother Gary (Jake McLaughlin). Gary was born healthy, but Larry had dwindled in the womb. Larry spent his first days in a neonatal intensive care unit due to lack of oxygen and was found to have a compromised IQ. Psychopathy also runs in Larry and Gary’s family on their father’s side and in his early life Larry was antisocial and committed arson, burglary, and petty crime. He was brought up digging graves with his father and learned to be a janitor in high school. He also became a fan of Revolutionary and Civil war re-enactments and Agent Miller suspects he travels around to these events and uses his custodial and grave digging skills to help him get away with murder.