Corn Maze Chapter Seven

Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter seven of my story Corn Maze. I must say this has been a most unconventional week. We had an unexpected visitor stay with us over the weekend. A shih tzu mix. I did not wish to have any visitors, but my novelist insisted. In fact, the shih tzu was lost and my novelist found her wandering alone on the street. I reluctantly agreed to allow the visitor to stay with us as she was at least four times my size. Probably five times larger than the Maltese.

She was a lot bigger than I am. A lot bigger.

Yes, she was bigger than you, Tucker. Anyway, our novelist went on social media and posted that we’d found a dog and then printed posters and put them around the neighborhood. The owner called the next morning, and we promptly returned the shih tzu mix to her home. We invited her back here today so she could provide an idea of what she thought about Chateau Gigi. Good morning, Barshashi.

Good morning, Gigi. Thank you for having me.

Of course. I was hoping you could give us your thoughts about staying at Chateau Gigi this past weekend.

Well, I must say, although being lost was a disturbing experience, I found your grounds most pleasing.

Why, thank you.

Mostly because your owner…

Novelist. I am not owned. I own a novelist.

Yes, yes, of course. Your novelist took good care of me despite your obvious jealous attitude.

What? I was not jealous.

Gigi was jealous. She was very, very jealous.

Shut up, Tucker. How did you find your dining experience, Barshashi?  

It was most satisfying. I was hungry and your food was tasty. You did seem upset about me eating it.

I was not upset. You were hungry and needed supper. Our chef…

You mean our novelist.

Tucker, if you don’t stop talking…

Your novelist did a great job of opening the can and putting the food in my dish.

Yes…well, it’s certainly a task I cannot do by myself. And by the way that was my bowl…

And I very much appreciated all the petting and kind words your novelist gave me. Even though it made you jealous.  

It did not make me jealous! How many times do I have to…! Yes, well, Barshashi, thank you for stopping by. I think if you avoid getting lost in the future and never return to Chateau Gigi and never ever take attention away from me again, we can consider this to have been a successful endeavor for all. Au revoir. Off you go. And now here is chapter seven of my story Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Seven

It was a beautiful summer day with a clear blue sky. Not a cloud to be found. Farley stood on his porch and studied the final draft of his corn maze. At last, it was complete. The corn stalks had grown to a perfect height and were ready to be cut. He’d stayed up all night finishing the map and now at six o’clock in the morning he could begin to carve out his vision.

Dixon and Easton pulled up the driveway in their pickup trucks with the equipment.

“Mornin’,” Farley said to his cohorts. “How you doing today?”

“You got your design all ready, Farley?” Dixon asked disembarking his truck.

“Oh, yeah. I’m raring to go.”

“Let’s have a look-see,” Easton said sliding his thumbs into his jeans and hitching them up. He walked over to the porch and Farley handed him the sketch. “Oh, now that’s a beauty. Kind of different though…you usually have more of a…I don’t know. It’s different.”

“Why’s it different this year, Farley?” Dixon asked taking a gander at the sketch.

“This one’s not for beauty,” Farley said. “It’s for confusion.”

“Confusion, huh? Well, I’d say this design will cause that.”

“Aren’t you worried about losing the contest or something with a maze that abstract?” Easton asked.

“Oh, I’m not going to lose,” Farley said. “That you can be sure of.”

“Well, I’ve got to tell you, Farley. You usually come up with something beautiful. This here is not what I’d call beautiful.”

“I’m not going for aesthetics. I’m going for complexity.”

“But Farley, you’re corn mazes in the past…”

“Why don’t you boys just unload your equipment and let’s get to work.”

“Alright Farley,” Dixon said. “It’s your corn maze, man. I just got to tell you this is one twisty-twine path you want us to carve.”

From an upstairs window Valerie observed the three men. With Farley focused on his corn maze she’d have plenty of time to consider her finances and future. If her timing was right, she could just disappear. It wouldn’t take more than an afternoon to load up her things. She would have to finish her classes first, of course. And then there was Harley. Harley was a lost cause. He was engaged. He was settled and even though she would miss him…terribly, she would be fine on her own.

Farley must have seen her up in the window because he waved. What was he trying to prove anyway? That he could build a better mousetrap than Harley?

“This here’s going to take longer than years past, Farley,” Dixon said. “What with all the extra twists and turns you’ve added in.”

“Are you telling me you can’t do it?” Farley asked.

“No, we can do it. I’m just warning you it’s going to take a lot of finite work to produce the additional twists and turns.”

“I’ve got all the time in the world.” Farley turned to wave at Valerie again. “All the time in the world.”

Harley looked over his corn field. The stalks were high enough to be cut now. He studied his sketch. It was the craziest designs he’d ever done. A labyrinth without any outwardly sensical pattern and at least two dozen dead ends he’d noticed after perusing over it again this morning. 

It was even crazier than that final project he’d done his college senior year. He’d always been good at taking things apart and putting them back together. His parents must have gone through several alarm clocks he’d taken apart so the alarm would go off differently. He’d also broken into a couple of DVD players and fiddled with the connections. One of them even produced a cleaner picture after he finished with it. 

When he’d worked as a barista during the summer between his senior year of high school and his freshman year of college, he’d ripped apart the business’s industrial espresso maker just to see if he could brew a better cup of coffee. It was a good thing he did it at night when he was the only closer. He figured out how to get it all back together with thirty minutes to spare before the morning barista came in to open the shop.

Dust billowed up in the distance as the two guys who would mow the pattern into his corn crop drew near. Harley thought about what he would do if he won. What would it even mean? He hadn’t spoken to Valerie since this whole mess began. A lump formed in his throat when he realized how much he’d missed her.

“Hey there, Harley,” Dixon said climbing out of the truck.

“Good morning,” Harley replied.

“We just got done cutting Farley’s maze yesterday.”

“Yeah? How’s it looking?”

“It’s a doozy, I tell you what. Weirdest design I’ve ever seen.”

“Morning, Harley,” Easton said walking up to the porch. “You ready to make that work of art you’ve got in that hot little hand of yours a reality?”

Harley thought about this for a moment. “I am,” Harley said. “I definitely am.”


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


This little comedy is one of the best new movies you’ll see this summer. Not quite as good as their first film Beavis and Butthead Do America (and do see this one as well if you haven’t) but awful darned close. Beavis and Butthead find themselves entering their school’s science fair which after an experiment goes horribly wrong lands them in front of a judge who sentences them to space camp where things go incredibly wrong and then things take a turn for the hilarious. This is a great summer film that gleefully thumbs its nose at political correctness (especially funny is a two-part scene at a university) and cheerfully lets its characters run rampant…like most characters should but don’t and then end up in a horrible Amazon Original movie. There’s a reason it’s self-proclaimed itself as the dumbest science fiction movie ever made. That’s just code for awesome. Some folks out there may not care for this type of humor and would probably enjoy some of the newly released Amazon Original movies on Prime Video. Said folks are aptly referred to as fartknockers. Run as fast as you can to your television, turn on Paramount+ find this movie, buckle your seatbelts, and take off.

Corn Maze Chapter Six

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter six of my story Corn Maze. This week the Maltese and I have committed to doing a challenge. For one week we must do the following:

  1. Completely avoid social media and click bait for seven days straight. No Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, Instagram, etc.
  2. Exercise 30-60 minutes each day for six of the seven days
  3. Read a fictional or non-fictional book for 30-60 minutes on each of the seven days.
  4. Take one of the seven days off entirely and do no work at all.
  5. Listen to My Sharonna by The Knack at least one time through on each of the seven days.

I am Tucker and I am a Maltese and I love My Sharonna by The Knack. I am listening to it right now. I love dancing. I am dancing.  I am dancing to My Sharonna by The Knack.  

Yes, well anyway this is our challenge. Let’s see how we do. And now here’s chapter six of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the parti poodle

“What do you think you’re doing, Farley?” Valerie asked as she entered the kitchen livid over the previous night’s events.

“Whatever do you mean?” Farley replied before sipping his coffee.

“You’re insane. This whole conjured mess of yours is insane.”

“I’m trying to be a gentleman,” Farley said leaning back in his kitchen chair. “If Harley wins the race, you two can have the night of eternal bliss you’ve been wanting for years.”

“Don’t be smug. You’re doing this to ruin lives.”

“The truth, Val, is you’ve always wanted Harley. But because of elements beyond your control, you never got him, and you settled for me instead.”

“Oh, come on! What you want is to throw Harley’s life under the bus and bed his fiancé in the bargain.”

“You were outnumbered, Val. Mallory agreed to the bet. Harley agreed to the bet. You were the only one who voted no. Not to mention you seem certain I’ll win.”

“That’s because you always do, Farley. You always win.”

“You know, winning takes on different forms. I was standing in the post office the other day ready to mail back those tennis shoes that were too big. And up at the front counter was a young father. And the father had his little boy with him. The boy had blonde hair all neatly cut and trimmed. And where I was standing there was this display of cars because you know that post office is inside a store. You know the one. And that little boy came bouncing over by me and started looking at all those shiny little cars. And because it was early in the day there was no one behind me. And I got to thinking that father up there isn’t paying attention to his son. His back is turned, and his kid is next to me looking at the cars. There’s only one postal worker at the window and she’s focused on the packages this young father has put on the counter to be scanned in.

“And I thought what if I were a terrible man. Even with the store’s surveillance system if I were a terrible man, I could grab that boy and take off before anyone knew I was gone. The door is just over there. I could grab the boy, run outside, toss him in the pickup and drive home.”

“You’re insane.”

“We could be a family. Just you and me and this guy’s kid. We’d all be winners, wouldn’t we? But the kid would never really be ours. We might be his new parents, but he’d always be something we’d stolen from his father. I think when we look at the perspective from the right angle, even though we’d be winners we’d still be losers.”

Farley took a sip of coffee and went back to reading his newspaper. Valerie, her mouth agape, shook her head, spun around, and marched out of the kitchen.

Harley lay in bed staring at the ceiling. His helicopter sketch would not do. Not if he wanted to win this competition…if that’s what it was. After mulling over last night’s festivities at Farley’s he couldn’t decide if he should have taken the bet or not. On the one hand he wasn’t in love with Mallory. He’d thought trying to be in love with her would somehow make it work. But it didn’t. He’d spent every night this past week lying awake wondering what he was doing.

On the other hand, Valerie was engaged. He should have ended up with her, but he didn’t. That was the downfall in Harley’s life. He could often see the better way but was unable to change the course of action. Still, he loved her, and couldn’t decide if the opportunity he’d been given was in his favor or a setup for his downfall.

If he won, he could finally go out with the girl of his dreams. On the other hand, it would only be for one night. How smug would Farley be about that and what would he do to Valerie if they did go out? And afterwards how could he go back to Mallory? Should he try and secure a night with the woman of his dreams, or should he renege on the bet? If he could convince his parents to sell the farm he and Mallory could move to another state. Maybe get into organics. Maybe he could give up farming altogether and go back to doing sketches for retail. He liked doing sketches for retail. No, he thought sadly. He could never convince his parents to sell the farm. He was stuck with it. There was nowhere to run.

Harley got up, sat in his parent’s old rocking chair, and stared at his design. Maybe the helicopter was a bad idea. Perhaps a different design would be wiser. But what? No, a helicopter wouldn’t do. Not if he wanted to beat Farley. He rocked back and forth and thought about opportunity. It was a heavy door that closed slowly a little at a time until hopeful light vanished, and darkness remained.

A helicopter wouldn’t do. It was too simple, too predictable. He was thinking too small. He needed to think big, go beyond everyday objects. He had to imagine something that was not easy to put into words. He had to express complexities. He had to express the construct of his imagination. He knew the basic rules for designing a corn maze. He knew the lines had to be possible. But that didn’t mean they had to be ordinary. It had to look like chaos but be utterly rational. It had to be madness made sane.

Mallory entered the Tulip Valley Café to order a coffee and a sweet roll. That’s when she looked over at the booths and saw Valerie studying. Valerie’s back was to her which made it feel like an ambush. This brought joy to Mallory’s heart.

“Table for one?” Pat asked her.

“What?” Mallory said.

“Table for one?”

“I’m meeting Val. She’s right over there.”

“Oh, sure. Did you want a menu?”

“No, thank you. Just a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll.”

“Cream and sugar?”


Mallory headed across the red patterned carpet that looked like it was in desperate need of a deep clean shampoo and a vacuuming and sauntered up to Valerie’s booth. She slid across the vinyl seat surprising Valerie and causing her to bolt upright.

“Val,” Mallory said. “We should talk.”

Valerie slowly closed her textbook and said, “And what is it you want to talk about?”

“How do you feel about being made the prize of a corn maze face off?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

Mallory laughed. “If Harley loses the contest I’m going to sleep with your fiancé.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“That’s the deal. And I can tell you, Harley’s taking this whole thing very seriously. He completely scrapped his first idea and he’s been spending the whole morning out on the porch designing some crazy maze that doesn’t make any sense. No rhyme or reason to it whatsoever. He’s driven to win this thing and I’m willing to bet Farley’s doing the same thing.”

“Farley’s always insane when it comes to designing his corn maze. This year is no different.”

“If Farley loses, will you sleep with Harley?”

Valerie studied Mallory’s face. Then she said, “The deal is the winner goes out on a date with the other’s fiancé. No one said anything about sleeping with anyone.”

The waitress walked up to the table, turned over Mallory’s cup and poured her coffee. “I’ll be right back with your cinnamon roll,” she said. Then she turned to Valerie and asked, “Would you more coffee?”

“No, thank you,” Valerie said.

The waitress left and Mallory pushed the dish of creamers that was sitting on the table aside and said to Valerie, “You didn’t answer my question.”

Valerie opened a creamer and poured it into her coffee. “Yes, I did. And for that matter I already know if Harley loses you will sleep with Farley.” She grabbed her backpack and shoved her textbook inside. “Enjoy the booth and your cinnamon roll.” And then she got up and left.


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


The Morning Show sets out to examine a very Matt Lauer type of situation. As the curtain opens around 3:30 AM in New York City we find out one of the show’s hosts Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) has been fired after being accused of sexual misconduct. His co-host Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) who worked with him for fifteen years is left in a precarious position. She and Mitch had a rather peculiar relationship both on air and off and she was aware of some of his transgressions. She begins to realize the network wants new blood and has plans to replace her and not renew her contract. And at the same time her marriage is falling apart.

After being made aware of a field reporter’s aggressive actions that end up as a viral video, Alex decides to make the reporter, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) her new co-host and ally. Alex’s bold move sends tremors through the network who had planned to bring in a new male and female pairing. Bradley, who is caught completely off guard reluctantly takes the position and finds out its far more challenging than she imagined.

New head manager Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) sees this unexpected changing of the guard as an opportunity to eventually oust arrogant, underhanded Chief Executive Fred Micklen (Tom Irwin) who enabled much of Mitch’s actions. Meanwhile top producer Chip Black (Mark Duplass) fights to keep the flailing show and his career under control as he finds himself being set up as the patsy who allowed Mitch’s transgressions to go on.

The show has some excellent episodes particularly “Lonely at the Top”. It also has some mediocre and disappointing ones, namely the season one finally “The Interview” which is sappy and poorly written. Anytime a film or show (except maybe Donnie Darko) uses montage as the crux of their final scene, it’s a glaring sign of bad writing. That said, despite some of the operatic emotional choices the show makes, it often manages to rise above its syrupy heartstring pulling moments to deliver an overall engaging and fascinating story.

Corn Maze Chapter Five

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter five of my story Corn Maze.

Hello, everybody. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. I am here to help Gigi introduce her blog because it is Forth of July weekend and because I am a dog I do not like fireworks. We know not everyone cares about dogs, but we do hate July 4th more than almost any other day of the year. It is loud and scary, and every year people get hurt with those things they set on fire.

Honestly, if the tables were turned dogs would celebrate July 4th by setting human’s credit cards on fire. I know how much they detest the smell of burning plastic.

Yes, yes, that is true. I don’t know why those things are so important. They are small and flat and not very fun to play with.

I concur. One time I found one just lying in our novelist’s wallet and I pulled it out with my teeth and chewed it up. She was most disturbed by it. At first, I thought she was concerned I’d swallowed that dreadful little metal square thing. But no, no, all she was worried about was her precious plastic card.

So, have a safe and happy 4th of July and consider being nice to dogs and burning your credit cards instead.

And with that here is chapter five of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Five

“I baked a cherry pie,” Mallory chirped. “Harley’s trees had so much fruit on them I had to do something about it.”

“Thank you, Mallory,” Valerie said taking the round Tupperware container out of Mallory’s hands and carrying it into the kitchen.

Valerie peeled the lid off and studied the creation. It was the perfect pie with crossing strips of pastry finished with pinking shears and baked a golden brown. The crust was sprinkled with sugar like fairy dust. The cherries were a perfect glossy red. She opened the cardboard box and studied her own pie, the one she’d rushed to buy at the grocery store. She shut the lid and covered the box with a couple of dish towels and set it behind the Kitchen Aid blender to obscure it from view. She sighed, smoothed out her apron and walked back out to the dining room where everyone was sitting around the wooden dining table.

“Whatever you’re cooking smells terrific,” Mallory told her.

“It’s a broccoli and beef stir fry,” Valerie said.

“Val didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so she whipped that up instead,” Farley joked.

Valerie shot him a nasty glare and asked, “Can I get anyone something to drink?”

“Well, I’ll have a microbrew. Harley, you want one?”

“Sure,” Harley replied.

“Do you have any wine?” Mallory asked.

“Of course. Would you care for white or red?”


Valerie returned to the kitchen and grimaced. She despised wine. She retrieved the bottle of Pinot Noir she used for cooking. Suddenly, she realized she didn’t have any wine glasses. She opened the cupboard and surveyed her options. All plastic. The glass glasses were already set out with the plates and silverware.

Then she remembered something. She trotted out to the dining room, walked up to the hutch, and opened the bottom door. Inside was a box with a pair of fluted champagne glasses. She carried them back into the kitchen, took one out and poured Mallory a glass. Then she retrieved two beers from the refrigerator and carried the drinks to the dining room.

“Thanks, Val,” Mallory said as Valerie handed her the glass. Valerie, by the way, did not like to be called “Val” by folks she hardly knew. “What a beautiful glass!”

“Only the best for my guests,” Valerie said.

“Thank you, Valerie,” Harley said quietly looking at her briefly then back at his beer.

“Val,” Farley said. “Why don’t you go get those hors d’oeuvres you whipped up.”

Horror shot through Valerie like an arrow. “Hors d’oeuvres?” she asked hoarsely.

“The ones you said you were going to make.”

Valerie plodded back into the kitchen. Now, what was she going to do? She had no hors d’oeuvres and she’d only mentioned it as a passing idea. She opened the freezer and grabbed a package of mini pizzas and a box of mini creampuffs. She set both boxes on the counter, flung open the cupboards and retrieved a plate and a moderately sized plastic bowl with Easter eggs on it. She laid the mini pizzas on the plate and shoved it into the microwave then dumped the mini creampuffs into the Easter bowl.

Three minutes later Valerie returned to the living room with the pizzas, the bowl of still frozen creampuffs and a stack of dessert plates. She arranged everything on the coffee table and took a step back.

“What the heck is this?” Farley asked after scrutinizing the delicacies.

“Hors d’oeuvres,” Valerie said.

Harley and Mallory looked at her equally surprised. Harley reached over and took one of the cream puffs and popped it into his mouth.

“I love these,” he said.

The cold hit one of his fillings and his eyes bugged out. “Tasty,” was all he managed to say.

Mallory looked at the creampuffs then shifted her eyes to the pizzas which seemed the safer choice. “I didn’t know mini creampuffs had become a hit as hors d’oeuvres.”

“Oh, yes,” Vallerie said dryly. “They’re in vogue.”

“Hmm,” Mallory said picking up a plate and placing two mini pizzas on it.

“I suppose you’re wondering why I invited you and Mallory to dinner, Harley,” Farley said.

“The thought might have crossed my mind,” Harley said before taking a sip of beer.

“Today is a special day. A special day indeed because exactly one year ago Valerie and I were engaged.”

“Congratulations!” Mallory said. “That’s fantastic! Isn’t that fantastic, Harley?”

Harley looked at Valerie. Their eyes met briefly before Valerie reached for a plate and put a couple of creampuffs and a couple mini pizzas on it.

“Yep, a year ago. Isn’t that fantastic? And I wanted to make certain to have my corn maze sketch finished on this most auspicious day.”

“I’m sure you’ll win, Farley,” Harley said.

Farley smirked at him and then laughed so loud it make the hairs on Harley’s skin stand up. “Oh, I plan to win alright, Harley! I plan to win big!”

“Dinner’s almost ready,” Valerie said. “Let’s all go sit at the table…”

“Yes, let’s.” Harley, Farley, and Mallory headed to the dining table while Valerie headed into the kitchen. “So, Mallory,” Farley continued after they were seated, “I’m certainly having a slice of your pie this evening.”

“I thought I might try Valerie’s pie as well,” Harley said.

“Oh, no!” Farley exclaimed. “That wouldn’t be right. You need to choose. Can’t have both.” Valerie walked out and set the broccoli and beef stir fry on the table. “Besides, Valerie’s is store bought, isn’t it sweetheart?”

Valerie gave Farley a cold angry look. “It’s alright, Harley,” she said. “Mallory’s is much better.”

“Oh, now, wait a minute,” Farley said. “Let the boy make his own decision.”

“Farley,” Harley said becoming more and more agitated. “What’s the point you’re trying to make here?”

“The point? The point is you must decide. You can either have a slice of my fiancé’s pie or a slice of your girlfriend’s. Not both.”

“What are you saying, Farley?”

“You must think I’m stupid,” Farley said leaning in and glaring at Harley.

“What do you mean?”

“What do I mean? You know exactly what I mean.”

Valerie felt a sudden sense of guilt. Why guilt? She hadn’t done anything wrong. But there it was: guilt.

“I have a proposition for you, chief,” Farley continued.

“A proposition?” Harley said becoming more uneasy by the second.

“I’m tired of winning trophies for my corn mazes. I want a real prize this time.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Well now, Harley,” Farley said sitting back in his chair and contemplating his beer. “I seem to remember way back at the end of high school there being a dispute between the two of us.”

Valerie’s feeling of guilt turned into terror.

“A little argument ‘twain the two of us. A rivalry if you will.”

“Last time I checked you won that battle.”

“Well, now, Harley, that’s what I thought too. But some light has been shed to contradict my thoughts on the matter. Perhaps I never won that battle after all.”

“Farley…,” Valerie started to say.

“Shut up!”

A silence fell over the table. Mallory picked up her wine and took a sip. Valerie sat back in her chair and waited. Harley narrowed his eyes at Farley. What was this lunatic on about this time?

“I propose,” Farley said, “a contest between the two of us. Your corn maze against my corn maze with the prize being something…personal.”

“Get to the point, Farley,” Harley snapped.

Farley laughed. “Well now, the true test of a corn maze, as I see it, is not just the beauty of the design. It’s how long it takes for the person experiencing it to arrive at the exit. The longer the journey the better the corn maze. So, Harley, what I propose is a friendly contest betwixt the two of us. Each one of us goes through the other’s completed corn maze. Whichever man gets through the other’s the fastest wins.”

“So, you’d time me, and I’d time you.”

“Oh, no! I envision this to be much bigger than that. I say we advertise our competition all over the valley as a little side contest come Halloween so there are plenty of witnesses. Keep the whole thing fair and such. I want everyone to see who’s the winner and who’s the loser.”

“And why would I agree to this cockeyed idea of yours?”

“Oh, Harley, surely you’ve figured this one out.”

“Enlighten me.”

“You ever played that video game Donkey Kong?”


“What’s the point of Donkey Kong?”

“To get to the last level.”

“And what’s waiting for the lucky player who’s able to outsmart the game and reach the end?”


“Ah! Now, you see my point.”

“What exactly are you saying, Farley?”

“I’m saying whoever gets to the end of the corn maze first gets the princess or rather the other guy’s princess.”

Harley, Mallory, and Valerie all stared at Farley.

“You’ve always wanted Valerie and we both know it. Now I’m giving you the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“Harley is engaged,” Mallory pointed out, “to me!”

“I’m engaged too, sweetheart. And if I get through your fiancé’s maze first, well…”

“Let me get this straight,” Harley said. “You want us each to build our own corn maze and then in addition to the yearly competition you want to tag on an extra competition just between you and me where each of us goes through the other’s corn maze and whoever gets out first wins the other’s fiancé?”

“One date. One night. If I get through first, I get Mallory for a night and if you get through first, you get Valerie for a night.”

“I’m not going on a date with you,” Mallory told Farley.

“Oh, aren’t you now? You think I didn’t notice the way you flirted with me when you came by asking for directions the other day? You’re as much in on this contest as I am. And as for that matter Valerie has been putting off moving in with me. She’s not sold on getting married to me because she and Harley have unfinished business. Isn’t that right, Val?”

Valerie glared at Farley. “Mallory and Farley are engaged,” she said. “You have no right to go around breaking up their engagement.”

“I’m giving you a free pass.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I’ll do it,” Harley said.

“Are you mad?” Valerie said.

“If Mallory and Valerie agree to it, I’ll do it.”


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


If you are a fan of The Thin Blue Line, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and Farley Brother’s films, this one is for you. Netflix does a great job showing different types of psychopaths through its documentaries. Roll Red Roll and Audrey and Daisy show you the psychopathic rapist. Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story shows you the psychopathic pedophile. Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting and Internet Killer shows the psychopathic kitten and human killer. This one takes you inside the realm of psychopaths at the elitist level.   

If you need someone to run your campaign, look no further than the highly experienced, highly effective, highly immoral Roger Stone. He’s charismatic, intelligent, and dangerous. He knows how to manipulate his audience with the same tactics repeatedly starting with the slogan, “Make America Great Again”.  It was used in both the Regan campaign and more recently in the Trump campaign. The operative word here is Again. Let’s break this down into personality type:

SJ: 40% of the population: Looks to the past

SP: 40% of the population: Looks to the present

NF: 10% of the population: Looks to the future

NT: 10% of the population: Looks at time in cross sections

Guess which group is the most likely to have voters who would get behind a campaign that promotes, “Make America Great Again”. As you can see it’s a very big group. In fact, it may be slightly larger than 40%. These folks tend to be hard working, good with money, traditionalist to the point of being Amish and not very intuitive. Not all SJs will vote this way but a good enough portion will, enough to tip the scales.

And a campaign like this is going to pick up a good portion of those in the group who looks to the present provided the campaign has a charismatic candidate. Because most of them are charismatic and thrill seekers themselves regardless of whether they are introverted or extroverted.

Nigeria did an astounding study I’ve mentioned in other blog posts where they examined the members of fraternities in their country. The members and pledges break down into three groups:




The psychopaths (primarily SPs) run the place. The suckers (primarily SJs) are the henchmen and those who get used by the psychopaths. The grudgers (primarily a mix of NFs and NTs) are the ones who see through the garbage. Grudgers are by far the smallest group and last about one year in a fraternity. They either quit, are thrown out or both.

In this documentary the psychopaths run the campaign. The suckers vote for the candidate that feeds into their deeply entrenched and never changing beliefs whether right or wrong.

Stone is very adept at knowing who to target and how to target them. And he and his teammates are willing to win at all costs. Logic and truth are the enemy. The name of the game is perception. It doesn’t matter if what they are saying is based in fact or scientific study. It’s a matter of telling people what they want to hear and playing into their doubts and paranoia. And they do it well. They don’t do anything creative or rational, but they know that repeating the same tactics works.

Watch The Hunting Ground and see how many victims of campus rape were ensnared by the same con. They single out a younger undergraduate in their class. They ask them to a party say one week away. They butter them up, talk to them, give them attention. The girl goes to the party. The guy gets them drunk, not even with roofies, mind you, but just plain jane alcohol. They ask the girl if she wants to go upstairs to lie down and sleep it off. The guy rapes her. And they run this con repeatedly.

Mr. Stone is a mundane paint by the number’s frat boy on a large scale. He’s just been clever enough to secure a position as a career college student and plays the con better than everyone else. But it works and that’s why when a candidate wants someone to get them in office they say, “Get me Roger Stone”.    

Corn Maze Chapter Four

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle her to bring you chapter four of my story Corn Maze. Today…

Hello. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. I am here to discuss things not to do if you visit the Pacific Northwest this summer…

Nobody cares about that, Tucker!

Number one: do not go hiking off the trails in the mountains. You could get lost and end up with exposure. Number two: if you go hiking in the mountains you could run into a bear and get mauled. Number three: do not go swimming in the lakes before August. They are cold and you could get hypothermia. Number four: if you swim in the waters in late summer when there are signs up about staying out of the water you could expose yourself to toxic blue-green algae. Number five: if you go to the eastern side of the states in late July and August you could get caught in a forest fire. Number six: beware of high winds. High winds can knock over trees and they will crush your car or you. They can also cause mudslides after heavy rains. Have a nice summer!

Thank you for that joyful news, you insipid Maltese. Now, here is Chapter Four of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Four

Valerie sat in the Tulip Valley Café, a long-established old-fashioned diner in downtown. A cup of coffee with a rising thin curl of steam sat near her as she read her textbook. She usually went there in the morning after attending Big Valley College where she was taking classes, a fact which Farley did not know. Valerie had completed a bachelor’s degree but decided she wanted to return to school. This was of course in direct conflict with her upcoming wedding.

While she was studying that morning, Harley walked in. He was wearing his old shearling denim jacket and looked like he’d put in some work that morning. He took off his work gloves and shoved them in the back pocket of his jeans. “Hello, Pat.”

“Why, hello, Harley!”

“How’s your son, Pat?”

“Oh, he’s doing just fine,” Pat said. “Glad to be done with school for the year. He’s been playing baseball.”

“Good for him. I never went out for athletics much.”

“I never thought you’d move back to this town, Harley.”

“Well…I knew my parents would eventually want me to.”

“Ah,” Pat said knowingly. “Let me go check on your order.”

“Alright,” he said.

At that precise moment Valerie looked up from her book and saw Harley standing there. She stared at him longer than she should have before she looked back down at her book.

“Here you are,” Pat said returning with a paper bag. She set it down on the counter along with a coffee in a to-go cup.

“Thanks, Pat. I’ll be seeing you soon.”

“See you tomorrow, Harley.”

Pat grabbed a couple menus and slipped around the counter to seat some patrons as Harley turned to leave. That’s when he saw Valerie sitting in the booth reading her textbook and sipping coffee. An awkwardness overcame him.

Both fixated on each other with Valerie gripping her book and Harley gripping his to-go bag in front of his belt buckle. They stayed that way until the waitress strolled up to Valerie’s table with a coffee pot. “You look like you could use a touch up,” the waitress said.

“What?” Valerie asked snapping out of her stupor.

“Coffee, more, would you like some?”

“Please,” Valerie said.

Valerie looked back towards Harley. But Harley was gone.

Farley sat on his porch swing in the late afternoon surveying the vast layout of his field where his corn crop would grow. A light breeze blew across the dirt. He thought about the pattern he’d like to create. He would have his friend Bud take him for a ride in the Piper after the corn started to grow to see if the labyrinth he envisioned would work. This year’s corn maze would be something like he’d never created before. A true work of art.

He grabbed his sketchbook and began to draw. This was almost the best part: the planning. The early phase. The best part was finding out how many people got lost. That was the real joy: proof the plan worked. Sure, it was all fun and games when folks went in, but it was even more fun when they got lost and needed help to get out. That’s when you knew you’d crafted it right.

Valerie came driving up in her crystal white Subaru Impreza. She’d finished work and dropped her books off at home before heading to Farley’s. She parked the car, shut off the engine and sat for a moment with her windows down.

“Don’t stay out there too long,” Farley said. “You and I are having a dinner party.”

Valerie whipped her head around to look at him. “What did you say?”

“I paid a visit to the Hutton’s a couple of nights ago.”


“Mr. and Mrs. Hutton moved out. Harley moved back in.”

Valerie’s eyes widened. “You invited him over?”

“Actually, I invited Harley and Harley’s girlfriend over.”

Valerie felt a cold shiver move across her skin. “His…girlfriend?”

“Mallory. Cute little thing…well, maybe not so little.”

“Why did you invite them to supper, Farley?”

“Well, I’m thinking of it as a welcome back to the neighborhood dinner. They moved in less than a week ago. Thought we should roll out the red carpet, try and be cordial.”

“You’re insufferable, Farley,” she said disembarking the car.

“Why’d you start taking classes at the college?”

Valerie pressed her lips together. “Who said I was taking classes?”

“You can’t get a masters at that school.”

“No, you can’t.”

Farley raised his eyes with a glacial glare. “Just what are you planning to do there, Valerie? You going to pack up your bags and run back to a university?”

“I could drive up to the University in the mornings and drive back here in the afternoons.”

“And how do you expect to keep a job and do that what with you commuting to your classes and all your studies?”

“I’ll make it work.”

Farley laughed and slapped his knee. “You’re a real comedian, Val, A genuine belly of laughs!”

“You don’t think I can do it?”

“I know you can’t do it.”

“You have yourself a good laugh there, Farley. You yuck it up. I am going to complete my masters whether you want me to or not.”

“Well, aren’t you the tiger.”

“Oh, shut up, Farley,” she snapped and marched up the steps. “You could have told me sooner you were having them over for dinner.” Then she threw open the screen door and went inside.

Farley took a pull off his Rainer, grinned menacingly and went back to sketching his corn maze.


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


It is important to laugh, and it is healthy to laugh…unless you have broken ribs or some such thing. And therefore, this week’s pick and accompanying documentary are all about laughter.

High Anxiety is Mel Brooks’s send up to Hitchcock films and many of the scenes are downright hysterical. I am especially fond of one involving newspaper. The story revolves around Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) who suffers from an acute fear of heights and takes a job at the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous. After his bizarre odyssey at the airport, he arrives at the psychiatric hospital to find things amiss. He is replacing the previous Dr. Ashley who died under mysterious circumstances and his driver Brophy (Ron Carey) suspects foul play.

Among his new colleagues are nervous Dr. Philip Wentworth (Dick Van Patten), daffy Dr. Charles Montague (Harvey Korman), and militant Nurse Charlotte Diesel (Cloris Leachman) all of whom seem to be hiding secrets. After seeing light shining from the violent ward, he meets new patient millionaire Arthur Brisbane who acts like a cocker spaniel. But Brisbane may not be who he seems which he finds out from Brisbane’s daughter Victoria Brisbane (Madeline Kahn) who believes her father is being held hostage. 

Mel Brooks: Unwrapped is a short documentary by Alan Yentob from the BBC. It’s a funny and touching look at the different times through the years Yentob interviewed Brooks where we get to see Brooks over the course of his remarkable career. Carl Reiner comes along for some of the ride which is an extra treat. Brooks’s humor elevates the documentary even more. It’s a great addition to watching his classic film.

Corn Maze Chapter Three

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti poodle here to introduce Chapter Three of my story Corn Maze. I have spent most of my free time this past week tormenting the Maltese. Sometimes he requires more torture than usual. Don’t think he’s innocent in all this. The Maltese have their nefarious ways. Oh, yes. Nefarious ways indeed. One can never be too careful about them. Their noses change color. In the summer months it turns black. In the winter months it turns pink. Apparently, this is called Winter Nose. Right now, it is both pink and black at the same time. I find the whole thing terrifying. My nose it always black. I cannot understand nor trust a dog with a nose that cannot make up its mind. Anyway, here is Chapter Three of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Three

Monday evening Farley sat on his front porch swing overlooking the stretch of land where his corn would be grown. Right at the edge of it sat the Hutton farm. Harley’s parent’s farm. He and Harley hadn’t spoken for nearly five years. As he was sitting there, a Magnetic Gray Prius came driving down the long driveway that led up to his porch. The Prius stopped and the driver shut off the engine.

Out of the car stepped a slightly rotund twenty-something woman with fake blonde hair. She looked like she didn’t come from around these parts. More citylike but oddly friendly. She waved her hand and said, “Hello there!”

Farley waved back, “Well, hello,” he said. “You lost?”

“I was looking for the Hutton Farm and I think I made a wrong turn.”

“You’re close. The Hutton farm is right over there.” Farley pointed across his future corn maze towards Harley’s parent’s farm. “They’re my neighbors…for now.”

“Oh,” she said.

“You a friend of the family?”

“I’m Harley’s girlfriend.”

Farley narrowed his eyes. “Are you now?”

“Yes. Harley just moved back in there.”

Farley glared over at the Hutton farm and then looked back at the woman. “When?”

“A few days ago.”

“Well, isn’t that interesting.”

“His mom and dad asked him to take over the farm.”


“They haven’t moved out yet, but I think the moving trucks are coming tomorrow. Should I tell Harley you said hello?”

Farley shook his head. “Nope. I’ll surprise him.”

“Thank you for the directions.”

“Oh, you’re welcome, Miss…?”

“Mallory. Mallory Blander.”

“Good to meet you, Mallory Blander.”

“See you later.”

“Oh, you will.”

Farley marched up to Harley’s house and pounded on the door. It was four in the morning and Farley had been up the entire night fuming.

Harley came to the door yawning, wrapping his buffalo plaid robe around himself and tying the belt. It took a second for his bleary eyes to come into focus and recognize his neighbor and nemesis.

“Harley,” Farley said menacingly. “Looks like you’ve come home.”

Harley scowled at him. “It’s four in the morning, Farley.”

“Is your girlfriend up in your parent’s big bed?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Mallory, is it?”

Harley studied Farley’s face. He still had that vindictive quasi-smile. “Who told you about Mallory?”


“I put her up in the guest room.”

“Well, she’s a cutie, I’ll tell you that.”

Harley clenched and unclenched his fist.

“Harley,” a nasal voice said somewhere behind the front door. “Who are you talking to?”

“Go back to bed, Mallory,” Harley said.

Mallory ignored Harley and shuffled around behind him in her fuzzy hot pink slippers. “Oh,” she said. “It’s you. What are you doing here? What time is it anyway?”

“It’s four ten in the morning,” Harley said. “And Farley was just leaving.”

“Why do you always have to be so exact about time? Couldn’t you just say it’s four in the morning? Who cares if it’s a few minutes past the hour?”

Farley grinned. “Lady has a point.”

“What did you want to talk to me about, Farley?” Harley asked.

“Why, I just wanted to greet my new neighbor.”

“At four…,” Harley looked at the wall clock, “…eleven in the morning?”

“The early bird catches the worm. Besides, I wanted to extend an invitation to you.”

“What kind of invitation?”

“I’m getting married.”

“Congratulations!” Mallory said jumping up and down and clapping her hands.

“Who’s the “lucky” girl?” Harley asked.

Farley’s eyes twinkled. “You remember Valerie, don’t you?”

Harley’s face went ashen. “Valerie…”

“Gladhart. That’s right.”

“She moved back here?”

“Right after college.”

“When’s the wedding?”

“You should tell him congratulations,” Mallory told Harley tugging on his sleeve.

“When’s the wedding?” Harley repeated jerking his sleeve away from Mallory.

“After the corn maze competition.”

“Right. The corn maze competition.”

“You going to make one, or you going to pussy out?”

“You’ve made corn mazes, Harley?” Mallory said surprised.

Harley was considering the most effective way to shove Farley off his front porch. “I’ve helped my parents design some,” he told her.

“How come you never told me that?”

“Yeah, Harley,” Farley said. “How come you never told her that?”

“Get off my porch, Farley.”

“I will, I will. But before I do, I’d like to extend a second invitation.”

“Yeah, and what’s that?”

“Come on over to the house and have dinner with us Wednesday evening. Get reacquainted as they say.”

“Oh, that would be fun!” Mallory said. “Wouldn’t that be fun, Harley?”

Harley glared at Farley. The two eyeballed each other for an uncomfortable minute. Then Farley chuckled. “Val would love to cook dinner for you guys. Besides, we can chew the fat about our corn mazes, can’t we Harley? Be seeing you around say, seven o’clock?”

“We’ll be there!” Mallory said jubilantly.

“I’m looking forward to it. Yes, sir, I certainly am.” Then he jumped down of the porch and left.  


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


A great acting teacher I had once said, when two people from different classes marry, they both fall. He was referring to Stanley and Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. I, however, am referring to McDonnall Douglass and Boeing. My favorite line from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is, “If you ain’t first, your last” and this applies to the former. McDonnall Douglass was a second-rate aerospace manufacturing company who needed a brand name because they built lousy passenger planes that crashed. They were last. Boeing, on the other hand, was originally the best of the best aerospace manufacturing company founded on July 15th, 1916, by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. His engineers and workers were expected to be extremely precise and careful and build the best aircraft without cutting corners. They had an unrivaled record for safety.

Then came whoring guttersnipe McDonnall Douglass who wooed and “married” Boeing but just brutally raped them in a bathroom stall after getting them good and drunk. Little by little under the name Boeing, the upper management snakes of McDonnall Douglass began to fire safety staff and engineers, you know the people who know how to build things. They drove their entire staff to focus exclusively on the stock price and not really build anything anymore. Why? Because the reality is many graduates from business schools who become upper management are nothing but banal inept manipulative psychopaths with delusions of grandeur who have never nor will ever be able to do anything of worth. Occasionally one will wear a strait jacket as they are wheeled out on a dolly while wearing a modified hockey mask, so they don’t sink their fangs into anyone before they give a lie-filled press conference and tell you they love your suit.

Which is exactly what happened to Boeing after the McDonnall Douglass merger. They killed men, women, children, dogs, cats, and anything else they could get on their airplanes and indifferently crashed them knowing the planes they built were faulty. Not accidentally, mind you, but killed them because they didn’t want to put money and time into research, training for the pilots, and, oh, yeah, for profits and to drive up the stock price. And then after they face a senate hearing do they put what money they have left into rebuilding the company? No. They give the sub-par CEOs they fire a multi-million-dollar paycheck and say thanks for the deaths and profits. It was fun. Think of mundane moron Marissa Mayer who ran Yahoo into the ground and walked away with a wheelbarrow of cash.

This is a straight-forward, well-researched documentary from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer directed by Rory Kennedy and written by screenwriters Keven McAlester and Mark Bailey. An excellent microcosm exemplifying why America is on a runaway train heading straight into inferno.   

Corn Maze Chapter Two

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter two of Corn Maze. The weather this week has been a great indication summer is almost here. It’s been so warm I’ve panted on walks I go on with my novelist. Marigolds have been planted at our abode which brings about a burst of color. We wanted to plant violets but found we were too late in the season. Perhaps we can plant them in the fall. I plan on spending more time outside doing some light reading. I for one am a fan of the classics. How can one pass on a Sherlock Holmes novel? Or something by the fantastic Jules Verne? The Maltese mostly reads coloring books. He doesn’t color them, mind you. He just stares at the pictures. And with that thought, here is chapter two of Corn Maze. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter Two

Harley hadn’t move back home after graduating from college. He’d gotten two degrees: one in botany and the other in art. He worked as a sketch artist for retail which wasn’t a bad job all things considered, and he was plugging along when he got an email from his parents. They wanted him to come home and take over the farm. It didn’t come as a complete shock to Harley, but it was heartbreaking just the same. Harley had never fancied himself a farmer. But in the back of his mind, he realized it was his destiny. He always knew he would return to the Big Valley, and he knew he would be farming corn. It was his least favorite crop. But his family had done it for years and instead of designing sketches he would build corn mazes.

While he was in his senior year of college, he chanced to meet a young woman named Mallory. Mallory was a socially adept slightly rotund girl with fake blonde hair working on a degree in education. She was gleefully passive aggressive and wanted nothing more than to become the principal of a grade school and run it with a joyful iron fist which is the same way she ran her relationship with Harley. And Harley quietly went along with it because he’d given up on finding love.

Mallory lived on the same dorm floor as Harley. Once she noticed him, she decided she was going to snag him and adore him with all her might. Harley, on the other hand, was too busy studying and working to notice her. But by the time they went on their first date he was fully aware she had captured him in her snare. She was easy on the eyes, so he didn’t care much at first. But by the time they’d gone on a couple dates he was fully aware she was a complete and thorough autocrat.

The whole fiasco started like this. One day while Harley was in his dorm room studying as usual, he made the mistake of leaving his door open. Mallory came sauntering up carrying a plate of freshly baked brownies. “Hi, Harley,” she said in her upbeat yet strangely sour voice. “What are you up to?”

“I’m studying for midterms,” Harley said not looking up.

“Which class?”

“All of them.”

“At once?”

“Shouldn’t you be studying for your midterms, Mallory?”

“I’m going to, but first I’ve made you brownies. You like brownies don’t you, Harley?”

“Not particularly.”

“I love brownies. They’re comfort food. I feel comforted when I eat them.”

“Fantastic. Enjoy your brownies.”

“But that’s the thing, Harley. I baked them for you.”

“Okay, well leave one on my desk.”

“That’s not very nice of you, Harley.”

“What do you mean?”

“I spent my whole afternoon baking brownies and you have absolutely no appreciation for my efforts.”

“I said I’d take a brownie.”

“But you don’t want one.”

“It’s not that I don’t appreciate your efforts, Mallory. I just don’t care for brownies.”

“Someday you’re going to appreciate me, Harley. Someday you’re going to ask me out on a date.”

“What? Why?”

“Well, thanks a lot! Thanks a lot for hurting my feelings! You just said I wasn’t good enough to ask out!”

“That’s not what I said…”

“You said what and why would you ask me out!”

“I’m just trying to study for my midterms, Mallory.”

“Oh, so that’s your excuse!”

“Well, yes.”

“What’s going on?”

Harley and Mallory turned to see the RA standing in the doorway.

“Harley’s being cruel to me,” Mallory said.

The RA rolled his eyes. “What did you do to her, Harley?”

“I made him brownies,” Mallory said, “and he told me he doesn’t like them!”

“You don’t like brownies, Harley?”

“I prefer cookies,” Harley said.

“Right. Look, just to keep the peace around here do you think you two lovebirds could quiet down. It is midterms you know.”

“We aren’t lovebirds.”

“Well, you sound like you are.”

“I’ve been minding my own business studying all day and Mallory shows up and starts talking about brownies.”

“He said I wasn’t good enough to ask out on a date,” Mallory said.

“That’s not what I said.”

“You’re a dog, Harley,” the RA said. “You could have just told her you didn’t want to go out with her.” Then he left.

Harley glared at Mallory. “I have a lot of studying to do and I have to go to my job tonight.”

“What job?” she asked.

“The same one I’ve had all year.”

“I didn’t know you had a job.”

“Thank you for the brownie, Mallory. Now I need to study.”

“We could study together.”

“No, we could not.”


Harley got up and herded Mallory out of the room. “Goodbye, Mallory,” he said and shut the door behind her.

After she left Harley tried to go back to studying but his thoughts were jangled. He walked over to his dresser and opened the top drawer where he always put his wallet, out of sight out of mind. He opened it where in the plastic inserts was a graduation picture of a high school girl. Harley stared at the picture. After a moment he sighed, closed the wallet, returned it to the drawer went back to his desk and continued his studies.


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


It’s hard to believe that today June 9th marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of this incredible and highly underrated film.

Based on the novella of the same name by Joe R. Lansdale, it is the story of Elvis Presley impersonating an Elvis Presley impersonator named Sebastian Haff. Elvis traded places with him in Texas at Sebastian’s show and it was really Sebastian who went on to die in 1977 and not the real Elvis Presley. The story begins with Elvis (Bruce Campell in his landmark performance) as a resident of the Shady Rest Retirement Home in East Texas. In voiceovers he philosophizes on old age, his life as a star and living in anonymity. He tolerates the condescending nurse (Ella Joyce) who takes care of him but doesn’t believe he is Elvis Presley. And he misses his wife Pricilla and his daughter Lisa. His friend who lives in a room down the hall is John F. Kennedy better known as Jack (Ozzie Davis). Jack says he was the President of the United States, but “they” dyed his skin and hid him away which is why he is still alive.

One night at Shady Rest things start to change for the worse. Something old, very old, is walking the halls. Something by the name of Bubba Ho-Tep. Slowly but surely Elvis and Jack begin to put together a puzzle of terrifying proportions and reach inside themselves for the courage to TCB.

The ingenious and wholly original script was adapted from Joe R. Lansdale’s novella by director Don Coscarelli and the fantastic original score that would rival just about anything up for an Oscar was written by Brian Tyler. An absolute must see.    

Corn Maze Chapter One

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to present you my newest story. As you may know every so often, I pen a short story that runs like a serial in sequential installments. Each week I will put up a new chapter until the story is complete. I thought this one would be good for summer as it is about two farmers who compete against each other in a local competition. I hope it will be a lot of fun. So, without further ado I present to you Corn Maze, a story by Gigi the Parti Poodle. Nasoloditisya!

Corn Maze


Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter One

Once upon a time there were two farmers who hated each other’s guts. Their farms sat adjacent to each other in the Big Valley where the land is lush and fertile and many crops are grown such as strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach. But the most coveted crop of all was corn. And every year there was a local competition to fashion the best corn maze to be ready by Halloween.

Now, there were salient differences between the two men. One was outgoing and athletic. The other intellectual and reserved. It’s hard to say where or when the riff between the two farmers began. But many think it’s origin may have occurred right after high school. Before then the two had been the best of friends. They were often in the same classes. Both played trumpet for the band. Both got good grades. Both were university bound. But whatever happened between them put them on different paths. They were the best of friends one moment and the worst of enemies the next.

And so, it happened one day in June, Farley Ellis came driving up in his Ford pickup on his way home from the grocery store. Farley was the outgoing athletic farmer. He carried a bag in each arm and lumbered up the steps to the porch where his Doberman Whiskey lay sleeping.

“Whiskey!” Farley shouted. “You’re in my way, dog!”

Whiskey perked up his ears and raised his nose to gaze upon his owner.

“Move it, boy!” Farley said.  

Whiskey yawned, stood up on his long legs and moved out of the way for the king. Farley tromped into the kitchen where his bedraggled fiancé Valerie was canning cherries for him.

“That darned dog thinks he’s the head of the household. When I say get, that pinhead should get.”

“Dobermans are intelligent,” Valerie said writing the date on the lid of one of the jars.


“Dobermans are intelligent.”

“What does that have to do with the price of pizza in Chicago?”

“Whisky’s not a pinhead he’s intelligent.”

“I don’t care. I go out and buy you groceries at the supermarket on a Saturday no less and you’re yammering on about the intelligent quotients of canines.”

“I’m not yammering, Farley. I’m just trying to make a point.”

Farley set the groceries on the counter. “I’m thirsty. Are there still some longnecks in the refrigerator?”

“Didn’t you get any while you were at the store?”

“You mean to tell me it’s a Saturday afternoon and my fridge isn’t stocked with longnecks?”

“I think there might be some microbrews in the pantry…”

“I want an ice-cold Rainier!”


“Because it sounds good!”

“As soon as I’m finished canning, I’ll go to the store and get you some.”

“It’ll take at least an hour to get the suds chilly.”

“I’ll put the microbrews in the fridge right now.”

Farley sighed. “I suppose. Darn things cost a lot more than Rainier.”

“But they’re better quality.”

“I don’t care! Rainier is American.”

“So are those microbrews.”

“You trying to start an argument with me, Valerie?”

“No, Farley.”

“Just hurry up with the canning so you can go get me Rainier,” he said and tromped off to his pantry. 

Valerie sighed. Farley was in a mood. She knew she should have bought him the beer on Thursday and brought it over. But she’d gone to look at bridesmaids’ dresses. At least she’d had the good sense not to move in with him before the wedding.

Farley returned with the microbrews and proceeded to put them in the refrigerator. “Got to get started on my sketch,” he said.

“Have you figured out what you’re going to do?”

“Yeah, I’m going to win.”

“I meant your design.”

“I have a pretty good idea. You haven’t kissed me since I came home by the way.” Valerie slowly dried her hands on a kitchen towel, walked over to Farley and kissed him. He drew her into his arms and said, “I can’t wait till you move in here.”

“There’s still a lot to do.”

“You could still move in and do a lot.”

“We agreed.”

“I didn’t agree.”

“Either way I’m not moving in till after the wedding.”

“That’s not till after the competition which is a long way off.”

“I still haven’t figured out the flowers. We haven’t chosen the cake. I haven’t decided on a dress…”

“Details, details.”

“It’s the details that make the difference.”

Farley rolled his eyes. “Sometimes it’s the bigger picture that makes the difference.”  

“I heard the Hutton’s are moving out.”

Farley stopped putting microbrews in the refrigerator. “You heard what?”

“The Hutton’s are moving out.”

“Who’s moving in?”

“I don’t know?”

“Who’d you hear that from?”


“At the diner?”


“Well, did she say who bought it?’


“Well, come Monday I’m going to find out.”


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


This week’s movie is an Oscar winning film from last year. Minari, by the way, is a water parsley that grows in temperate and tropical climates. You can read about it here. This is a lovely well-told story about a young Korean man and his wife who move with their two young children from California to rural Arkansas where the husband Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead) has purchased a plot of land where he plans to become a farmer, grow vegetables, and sell them to buyers in Dallas. His wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) is more skeptical. Their son David (Alan Kim) has a heart murmur and there is concern he could die if he exerts himself too much. Their young daughter Anne (Noel Kate Cho) is intelligent and mature for her age and often looks after David.

Jacob is helped on the farm by a kind and peculiar local man named Paul (Will Patton) who served in the Korean war and there are hints that he may be suffering from PTSD. Monica, who works doing chick sexing which she and Paul did back in California needs someone to look after the kids and enlists her mother Soon-ya (Youn Yuh-jung who won the Oscar for best supporting actress) who travels all the way from South Korea to live with the family. Soon-ya is a strong, humorous woman who stays in David’s room. David does not like her much. She has brought expensive herbs to help him with his heart condition and minari seeds which she plants by the creek. She encourages David to enjoy life despite his parents’ concern. Her presence is pivotal in changing the course of the family. Written and directed by Lee Isacc Chung the story is a semi-autobiography about his childhood set during the early 1980’s.

Memorial Day

Hello. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. Today Gigi and I wanted to talk about our national holiday, Memorial Day. This is a very important day in the United States because we give respect to those military members who paid the ultimate price and died serving our country. It is without doubt one of our most important American holidays.

I am Gigi and I am a parti poodle. This year, however, is a peculiar Memorial Day because this year it takes on a second meaning as well as we mourn the lives of those we lost in Uvalde, Texas as well as Buffalo, New York and all the mass shootings that have transpired in our nation’s history. Many of which occurred since May 21st, 1998, when Kip Kinkel shot and killed his parents at their home and opened fire in the patio area of Thurston High School in Oregon. He fired fifty rounds of ammunition injuring thirty-seven students and killing two. Wounded student Jackob Ryker tackled him and with the assistance of six other brave students Kip Kinkle was subdued firing only one last shot and yelling “Just kill me!” until the police arrived. Last Saturday marked the twenty-fourth anniversary of its occurrence.

Today Gigi and I will pray for our brave soldiers who fought for our country and the many civilians who have died or were injured on American soil because of narcissistic acts of violence carried out with guns.

And most of all Tucker and I will pray for our country to improve. Many humans look to the past. Many look to the present. But few look to the future. We pray our country, now at the tipping point, looks to the future and we pray our country will change.

You Really Should Be Watching Better Call Saul

Good afternoon. I am Gigi the parti poodle and I am here to introduce my novelist’s blog. I will be returning next Thursday with my new story. The events that occurred on Tuesday have made this a most frustrating and sorrowful week. I am a mere poodle, but I thought I would look at the USA human’s Declaration of Independence to attempt to understand how the events that occurred should be addressed. I find it interesting that the document says this:  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

As a poodle what I find interesting in the document is the inalienable rights listed are in this order: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In that order and not in alphabetical order or any other order which, from my poodle mind implies that the first, Life, is the most important inalienable right then followed by Liberty which one cannot have without Life and then the pursuit of Happiness which one cannot do if one does not have Liberty. It is instinctive and logical that one should always put the most important information first and the rest in descending order.  

This is backed up and repeated by the order listed in the line “laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Again, Safety precedes Happiness, and the words are not in alphabetical order or any other order. If the last item listed was the most important and held the most value, the reader would swiftly be given further explanation. This therefore implies one cannot have Happiness without Safety as it is Safety which is clearly listed first and therefore more important than Happiness.

An example of providing further information pertaining to a list which does not list the most important item first is in the New Testament of the Holy Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:13 as spoken by the Apostle Paul: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” The last line immediately explains that charity, though listed last, is the most important of the three items. Charity by the way is defined by the dictionary as Agape love specifically as opposed to Eros, Philia or Storge.  

Though the Declaration of Independence is not a Christian paper it does have religious and Christian influences. Therefore, the forefathers would have been aware of this biblical passage and would have taken note as to how carefully it is structured. They even state in the document that these rights were given to them by their Creator and not man. They in turn would have paid very close and careful attention to the order of the inalienable rights in the document thus making the list of first to last by design and not happenstance. If the first inalienable right was not the most important one, they like, the Apostle Paul, would have made an additional statement about Liberty or the pursuit of Happiness being the most important inalienable right as opposed to Life.

In addition, the document says that if any government becomes destructive of these rights which, by not addressing the list in the order stated with Life first, Liberty second and the pursuit of Happiness third, said government is in violation of the Declaration of Independence. Per the document “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Just some thoughts from a poodle.  

You Really Should Be Watching Better Call Saul

This AMC show is without doubt one of the best on television, maybe the best, and sadly it is coming to an end this year, its sixth season. Breaking Bad for which Better Call Saul is the prequal, attracted a large audience for its very smart and exciting shocking turns and twists. This series has those too but to a subtler degree. Better Call Saul is a show for grownups not because of its mature content but because its sophisticated nature requires intelligence and patience to appreciate its meticulous and carefully crafted storytelling. I once met an adult who said they needed to have the jokes on Frasier explained to them and therefore didn’t care for the series. If you are like that person this show is not for you. 

The first season starts with us meeting a young struggling Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) working in the mailroom of successful Albuquerque law firm HHM. Jimmy wants to be a lawyer, but his narcissistic genius older brother Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) a senior partner in the successful HHM (Hamlin Hamlin McGill) will do anything to stand in his way. Chuck has a great deal of animosity for his younger brother Jimmy who has a perchance for being a con artist. It is suggested that Jimmy is probably more gifted than Chuck at being a lawyer and Chuck’s jealousy runs deep despite graduating high school at age fourteen as valedictorian, earning his bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania and graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. Plainly put, Chuck has the brains, but Jimmy has the talent.

Chuck is also plagued with a mental illness called EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity). He wraps himself in a space blanket to be able to go outside and keeps the lights off in his house. He is still a senior partner at his law firm but unable to conduct himself as a lawyer. Jimmy, who loves his brother, has become Chuck’s caregiver which Chuck uses to manipulate Jimmy.

Jimmy has a friend in the mailroom named Kimberly Wexler (Rhea Seahorn) a young woman who finishes her law degree and becomes an associate lawyer for HHM. The two help each other throughout the course of the series and gradually become closer as the seasons progress.

Working as the security man at the gate for HHM is Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who later becomes the righthand man for Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Both are major characters in Breaking Bad. As the series begins Mike is a former Philadelphia police officer who is trying to make ends meet for his daughter in law and his granddaughter after his son, also a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Mike and Gus’s stories and their entanglement with the Salamanca family who are also major players in Breaking Bad weave into the transformation of Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman.

One of the most intriguing parts of the show are the black and white opening scenes which take place somewhere around or just after the time of El Camino. We get to see Saul in a much different situation than he is in either Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad and Vince Gillian is not giving away any secrets. So don’t adjust your television, the look is utterly intentional, and I can’t wait to see how all or at least some of the ends get tied up.

You can stream the first five seasons of Better Call Saul on Netflix. Each season is ten episodes. For the new and final sixth season watch AMC. It is a must-see television landmark.


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


This week’s film could provide the focus for an entire season of Myth Busters. An ultimate middle-aged man fantasy, the movie starts out brilliantly giving us quick cuts of the day in the life of Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) an everyday man working at a mundane office job in his father in Eddy Williams (Michael Ironside) factory. Hutch tolerates his beautiful but indifferent wife Becca (Connie Nielson), disenchanted son Blake (Gage Monroe), and overtly macho nephew in law and coworker Charlie (Billy MacLellan). Hutch rides the bus to work, misses the garbage truck consistently, jogs to keep in shape, and sleeps with a pillow between he and his wife.

Then one night a twenty-something man and woman break into his house. Hutch attempts to deal with the situation as peacefully as possible, even giving the robbers his sentimental watch. Son Blake tackles the male robber causing the female robber to wield a Smith and Wesson. When they find Hutch has little to no valuables, they leave the house but not before the man punches Blake in the face. This causes Blake to lose even more respect for his already disappointing father.

Hutch is humiliated by the cop that comes to the house as well as his coworkers, but he sticks with his belief that he did what was right. That is until the only person who believes in him, his daughter Abby (Paisley Cadorath) finds that her kitty bracelet which happened to be in the same dish where Hutch kept the spare change the robbers took comes up missing.

Thus begins Hutch’s odyssey to prove to his family there is more to him than meets the eye.    

You Really Should Be Watching Severance

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again and I know you are missing me. I am diligently working on the groundwork for my new story coming out in June. As you know, my novelist is briefly taking over to discuss some television shows and movies to keep you entertained while I am on hiatus.

The weather around here has been erratic. We have gotten rain, sun, and winds. Our May month is often a lovely time here in the pacific northwest but this year it has been a weather dragon. Personally, I blame the Maltese. He in no way controls the weather but I blame him anyway. I occasionally have gone on walks on the sunnier days so not all is lost. However, I would like it if I could sunbathe in front of the window more often. Even as I write this, I see the grey clouds rolling in. How can I work on my hair color this way? I must look incredible to prepare for all the neighborhood summer gatherings. Even those infernal nocturnal cats will make fun of my less than bleached locks. You can’t begin to imagine how catty those felines can be. Again, I blame the Maltese and his natural platinum hair. Anyway, here is my novelist.   

You Really Should Be Watching Severance

Not only is Severance (Apple TV+) the best new show on television, but if it keeps up the pace of its freshman season it might have a chance of being one of the best of all time. Loosely though not admittedly based on the novella Paycheck by Philip K. Dick which was made into the film of the same name, employees of the Lumon corporation agree to have their brain “severed” to maintain a work life balance. What happens at work stays at work and what happens at home stays at home. The price they pay, however, is their memories. The procedure Lumon does to its employees separates them into two different people: their innie and their outie. Their innie knows nothing about their personal life and their outie knows nothing about their work life. The memories of each of these remains separate.

Mark S. (fantastically played by Adam Scott) has a reason for his choice to work at Lumon. He has suffered a horrific tragedy and to function properly at work he chose two years ago to undergo “the procedure” (two years, by the way, is the same amount of time it took the lead character Jennings in Paycheck to fulfill his contract at the Rethrick Construction Company). His sister Devon (Jen Tullock) is about to have her baby, his brother-in-law Ricken (Michael Chernes) has just published a self-help book called The You You Are, and life is going along as normal…until one day Mark’s manager Petey (Yul Vasquez) suddenly no longer works for the company.

Mark S. is promoted to Petey’s position. Newcomer Helly R. (wonderfully played by Britt Lower) an unhappy and rebellious young thirty-something finds herself waking up on a conference table, employed by Lumon, and inducted into Mark’s team. In addition to Mark S. and Helly R., the team also includes fastidious Irving (John Turturo) and reward driven Dylan (Zach Cherry). Overlording Mark’s team is Harmony Cobel (a wonderfully wicked performance by Patricia Arquette) and her always professional henchman Mr. Milchick (Tramell Tillman).

At Lumon the rooms are stark and nearly empty, the exit doors lead right back in if you try to leave, and once in a great while a stranger from another department shows up like Burt (Christopher Walken) who works for Optics & Design. The only way in and out of the place (for most employees) is through the elevator.

One night, Petey shows up and meets Mark S.’s outie at a diner. Petey says he has found a way to reverse the procedure, de-sever, and regain all his work memories. Mark’s outie does not recognize Petey despite Petey’s insistence that he is Mark’s best friend. Just the same, Mark agrees to hide him in his basement and after their initial encounter, Mark starts to question whether his decision to work at Lumon was the wisest choice after all.

Ben Stiller’s direction is amazing here capturing both a Twilight Zone and Kubrickian atmosphere as he brings creator Dan Erickson’s nightmarish take on corporate culture to life. Theodore Shapiro’s original score is both haunting and infectious. Oliver Latta’s opening credits alone are Emmy worthy with a fantastic animation sequence you do not want to miss.

That said, science fiction is a very tricky genre. A good science fiction writer has a solid understanding of science (see for example playwright and novelist Paul Zindel). As Isacc Asimov said, “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” In other words, it is a niche group who can write science fiction well. A strategic-thinking group. Many writers are idealists and often give into emotion over logic. This leads me to say there was one flaw in Severance which is the final scene of the final episode. And I am being rather picky here but when I saw it, I knew something was off.

I thought about it overnight and realized the fault lay in selecting an emotional choice over a thinking choice. So, let’s say you have a fantasy movie like Ghost. The movie from the get-go is based on emotions. When we get to the final scene the right choice is to make it emotional. And it is emotional because it’s the tone the writer set up from the beginning. But with a science fiction movie like The Terminator, we are not dealing with emotions, we are dealing with a problem to be solved. How do the characters keep a killing machine from destroying the woman who will give birth to a human redeemer? The protagonist and her fairy godmother character are required to strategize. Are there emotions in The Terminator? Absolutely and critically. But the main thrust of the story is to leave the audience thinking not feeling. The ending therefore works because the characters make rational choices and because science fiction characters are often designed to be rational or tactical. Or as this article says, “More than any other genre, we’d argue, the protagonists in science fiction cinema are divided along two lines: those of intellect and those of action.”  

Some years back I was in the studio audience of a television show which had won a wheelbarrow full of awards and rightly so. However, they had two endings to the episode I saw taped. One was verbose, much like the last scene in Severance and the other was covert. Guess which one they went with? That’s right, the wrong one. This goes to show even the crem de la crem can make a misstep. Had the Severance creators taken the time to watch expert science fiction filmmaker Christopher Nolen’s Memento, they would know that under time constraints one should accurately write down or somehow record pertinent information. Get one’s thoughts together as opposed to expressing one’s emotions. Another film that extols the importance of recording information is Scott Frank’s The Lookout where if you want to know where a story is going, and you are a person whose brain cannot be trusted, you write the story down by starting at the end and working your way back to the beginning.

The Severance character I’m referring to in the final scene is a thinker and recorded information is set up to be very important to them. By that rational, that character would have accurately recorded the information they received at the end of the final episode in one form or another. Doing so would parallel with the importance of how the keycard is handled in Defiant Jazz, Episode 1.7 and what one of the characters writes on their arm in In Perpetuity, Episode 1.3. Even though another character tells the character in Episode 1.3 what they have written on their arm won’t work under the circumstances, in Episode 1.9 The We We Are recorded information will work because the circumstances have changed. That’s why the character recording the information in the season finale would have made sense, despite the dialog about finding someone you trust in Episode 1.8 What’s for Dinner? Even if this character trusted someone, they would be rational enough to record the information themselves to maintain its accuracy whether they were under duress or not. When you watch the show, you will understand what I mean.

If you want to watch a season of a show that sets all its ducks up perfectly (a lead rational character albeit not a science fiction show) see season two of Breaking Bad and watch how the teddy bear weaves its way through various episodes until the final moment of the final episode leaving no question that the ending is justified and correct.   


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


Similar in tone to Severance is Netflix’s excellent limited series Maniac. The show is loosely based on the 2015 Norwegian show also called Maniac. This is a fantastic mind bender about a schizophrenic young man named Owen Milgram (Jonah Hill) who cannot seem to fit into his wealthy family and agrees to be a subject in a pharmaceutical trial for the Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech (NPB) company. Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone), a plucky young woman with borderline personality disorder, is desperate to join the trial to gain access to drugs and silence the demons of her very troubled past. The purpose of the trial: to take first the A then the B then the C pills provided you and let the computer track your dreams as the scientists take notes.

After the unexpected death of the pharmaceutical trial’s lead scientist Dr. Robert Muramoto (Rome Kanda), Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux) who was originally thrown off the project is asked by his former girlfriend Dr. Azumi Fujita (Sonoya Mizuno) to return to head the project. Mantleray has psychological issues stemming from his unbalanced relationship with his mother Dr. Greta Mantleray (Sally Field) a famous pop psychologist whom Mantleray must call in to assist with helping his peculiar computer.

The show, much like Severance, does an excellent job of balancing comedy, drama and science fiction weaving technology of the past with technology of the present and future. The dreamscape storylines are magnificently imaginative, and all the characters are vivid. A great show if you’re looking for a summer binge.