Through Thom Tinted Lenses

September 22, 2011

EXCERPTS FROM THOM’S UNDER-A-BRIDGE DICTIONARY

Alcohol abuse: Self induced flu symptoms. Because for some people there’s just never enough vomit.

Alternate reality:  a phenomenon experienced by any male forced by the female of the species to visit a shopping mall. Also see purgatory.

Ambiguous: something which is more or less, kind of , in a way, sort of, rather not quite entirely clear in any comprehensible fashion… sort of. See also politician

Autobiography: It’s all about MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Cardiac arrest: a common condition often experienced upon learning the nature of an offspring’s  unsupervised activities. See also Gun Laws

Civilized: A culture which settles disputes by slaying opponents with sophisticated weaponry such as missiles and bombs as opposed to more barbaric tools like spears and swords.

College: A costly institution where hundreds of adolescents who have previously lived under the direct guidance of their parents are brought together with minimal supervision and expected to conduct themselves as mature individuals. See also Alcohol poisoning.

Depression: a mental state which often follows unrealistic expectations and/or the realization that, “Wow, this really sucks.”

Domesticated:  a creature which, contrary to its natural instincts, has been tamed and/or trained in order to exist in a civilized environment. See also husband

Fiction: That special place where truth may be expressed freely, in most cases without fear of reprisal.

Fiscal responsibility: a mythological state in which those charged with the distribution of funds have a workable plan and maybe even a clue.

Foreign Aid: Stealing money from hardworking Americans and depositing it in the coffers of unscrupulous foreign leaders.

Funeral: An event in which one’s enemies proclaim a person’s attributes as one’s family squabbles over his/her possessions.

Good old days: A time period idealized despite its many flaws, injustices, and insufficiencies. See also selective memory and/or delusion

Justice: Just as much as the cost of a good lawyer.

Man: A person inherently incapable of fathoming the desires, motivations, or actions of women.

Opponent: Someone put in one’s life as a growth opportunity. See also, spouse

Tampon: an embarrassing purchase made by a male in an effort to prove undying love for a spouse. Often accompanied by a cashier’s sentiment, “Oh, man, I’m sorry.”

Tobacco: A substance unique in that it is a legal product which, according to the CDC, is responsible for over 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. See also Soulless Washington lobbyists.

NEW RELEASE!!!

DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first novel in my Marc Huntington series HAS BEEN RELEASED in both print and eBook formats. Check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315921547&sr=8-1

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Amazon Rainforest.

A paleontological expedition, every scientist murdered or missing.

A vast cavern peopled with comatose bodies from all over the world.

A human skull, fossilized, with ancient writing carved on its interior.

A young scientist, missing, and at the heart of it all.

Recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington make their living recovering missing persons, stolen items, and rare treasures.  Now they are thrust into chaos and intrigue as they search for a missing paleontologist, the son of Marc’s former Delta Force commander. Arriving at the expedition site deep within the Amazon Rainforest they find the jungle ablaze and dozens of bodies littering the area. Soon they learn that a fossilized skull is at the heart of the deadly mystery. Multiple factions seek the skull. Local superstition surrounds the relic, Deadly attacks, explosions, cave ins, a chamber filled with peculiar, unnaturally preserved bodies: every discovery leads to another mystery and the Huntingtons must locate the missing scientist and uncover the secret of the Amazon skull or dozens more will die.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

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August 9, 2011

A SEEDY DIVE AND DISQUIETING FLIGHT by Thom Reese

I’ve just returned from the Chicago area after attending a family reunion for my wife’s clan. (It truly is a clan both in size and spirit.) I won’t talk about the event itself – I’ll keep their secrets if they’ll keep mine – but there were a couple of travel-related events that I find quite entertaining or at least a little  intriguing.

Let’s start with the motel:

Arriving at Midway Airport late into the wee hours of the morning, our rental car would not be available till eight o’clock AM. As such, my wife had used an online travel site to book us into a nearby motel, the idea being that without our rental we would be required to take a taxi both to and from our lodgings. We wanted something close so that we could simply zip back to the airport, get our car, and be off to fun and frivolity.

Something we should have considered: Midway is not in the best of neighborhoods.

The cabbie dropped us off, gazed at me, my wife, my teenage daughter, and warned us not to wander the streets – day or night. He then sped off, wide eyed and trembling. Upon entering the – shall we use the term motel? – we were confronted with our first clue as to the nature of the establishment, a sign declaring, “ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS AFTER 5 MINUTES IN THE ROOM.”

We would soon learn why such a sign was required.

The desk clerk, a young woman, offered us a knowing smile and welcomed us. My wife joked about the sign. The woman simply shrugged. There was no elevator and so we lugged our luggage up one flight of stairs and turned left at the top. We were immediately assaulted with several odors, including, but not limited to: mildew, dead animal, and marijuana.

Now, at this point one might wonder why we didn’t flee. Was it a sense of adventure, a death wish, perhaps a dash of insanity? No. It was simply a combination of exhaustion and circumstance. It was after two AM. To leave, we would need to call a cab, find another – hopefully better and thus further distant from the airport – motel, and likely spend another hour or so in our present semi-conscience state. And so, with bleary eyes and sleep-deprived brains, we decided, “How bad can it be?” and continued down the hallway.

Locating our room, we found the door slightly ajar. Not open. It was locked. But it could slide a good inch or so forward or back. I pushed on it, jiggled it, gave it a thump or two. Yes, it was locked. Someone couldn’t break in without quite an effort or at least an average set of muscles.

The odor was stronger in the room. We’re quite certain that some rodent or another had met its end within the walls. The curtains, which covered the entire back wall, were attached with only four hooks, causing them to droop and billow. Everything had a sticky not-quite-clean quality about it. There were only two towels. One had what appeared to be a small bloodstain on it. We were fairly certain that, no, this was not The Four Seasons.

But, the decision had been made. We weren’t cowards. Or, at least, we were too exhausted to behave in any cowardly and/or rational manner. We were staying. That was that.

Feeling uncomfortable about the quality of the door lock, we piled our luggage in front of the door, and then, not liking the disposition of the sheets, all three of us slept atop the bedcovers, covering the pillows with clothing as to not have direct contact with the fabric. None of us so much as took off our socks.

Nor did we sleep, but rather laid awake for those few hours, alert to every sound, wondering when the door would be pushed open by some evil motel goblin in search of our money, our socks, and maybe even our lives.

A few hours later, as I descended the stairs, I overheard the two desk clerks chatting. One said to the other, “So, did that white family stay?”

Two days later we realized that the place had double charged us for the room.

Nice.

Fast forward four days to the return flight.

My flight was delayed due to weather. I sat in the terminal alone as my wife and daughter were staying in the Midwest for a few more days than I. No one in the terminal was in a good mood. There were sighs and complaints, a few curses. It was a redeye flight that was now over an hour past our stated departure time.

When finally we boarded, I took my seat relatively close to the front of the plane, pulled out the book I’m currently reading (George R. R. Martin’s A DANCE WITH DRAGONS), and settled in. A few minutes later, just when I was thinking that we might actually be nearing departure, two police officers boarded the craft, marching down the aisle toward the back of the plane. From my vantage, I really couldn’t see what was going on, but there was obviously some rather pointed dialogue, a bit of shuffling, and more than a dollop of commotion. Soon a middle-aged woman, obviously not in the best of moods, was led up the way and through the hatch.

Okay. Interesting. But, assuming the drama was at an end, I went back to my reading. But only for a minute. Now, three EMTs marched through the hatch and down the way. Again, I couldn’t see what was going on, but there was significant commotion, quite a bit of dialogue on walky-talkies, a couple of trips off the plane by medical personnel to fetch equipment, and a general hubbub.

This all went on for about fifteen minutes. Now, mind you, never once was there any announcement official or otherwise from the crew. We passengers were left to our own fertile imaginings to fill in the missing pieces: Was this a terrorist plot foiled? Had the person ejected from the craft been a stowaway? If so, how had she made it past security? Was someone dying back there? And, I think most prominent in everyone’s mind, was an alien abduction somehow involved?

Finally, two passengers were led – on foot, not on stretchers – from the plane. Two minutes later a perky young flight attendant announced that, “It seems some seats have opened up and so we’ll be boarding some standbys.”

No mention was ever made as to what had occurred, but I’m sticking with my initial theory of a failed alien abduction.

ON THE HORIZON:

Just a couple of quick notes on what’s coming up. DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first novel in my Marc Huntington series, is due out later this month from Speaking Volumes. Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Amazon Rainforest.

A paleontological expedition, every scientist murdered or missing.

A vast cavern peopled with comatose bodies from all over the world.

A human skull, fossilized, with ancient writing carved on its interior.

A young scientist, missing, and at the heart of it all.

Recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington make their living recovering missing persons, stolen items, and rare treasures.  Now they are thrust into chaos and intrigue as they search for a missing paleontologist, the son of Marc’s former Delta Force commander. Arriving at the expedition site deep within the Amazon Rainforest they find the jungle ablaze and dozens of bodies littering the area. Soon they learn that a fossilized skull is at the heart of the deadly mystery. Multiple factions seek the skull. Local superstition surrounds the relic, Deadly attacks, explosions, cave ins, a chamber filled with peculiar, unnaturally preserved bodies: every discovery leads to another mystery and the Huntingtons must locate the missing scientist and uncover the secret of the Amazon skull or dozens more will die.

CHECK OUT MY CURRENT NOVEL, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

Thom Reese is the author of THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

June 23, 2011

FAMILY LEGACY

The following script is the opening scene to my audio drama, FAMILY LEGACY. It’s a quirky little story about a family who honor one another by killing each other. I hope you enjoy.

FAMILY LEGACY

TEASER

 

SFX: footsteps on wood entering room (5 sec.)

SFX: clink of tea cup and spoon (2 sec.)

 

DOTTY:  Mister Gerald, your tea is ready.

GERALD: Oh, thank you, Dotty. Is it prepared the way I like it?

DOTTY: Yes, Mister Gerald. Earl Grey, with specially sealed tea bags, rigged with a dye to reveal any toxins.

GERALD: Ah! It looks wonderful! And not a dash of poison. Hmm, rather takes the fun out of it all. Father always got such a kick out of identifying contaminants, extracting them, putting them to use.

DOTTY:  He must have been an amazing man.

GERALD: Oh, I miss him, so. Sometimes I almost wish Harold hadn’t killed him. Oh, but that would have been poor form. The opportunity did present itself, after all. Father would have been just furious if my brother hadn’t taken advantage of the opening. Still…

DOTTY:  What is it, Mister Gerald?

 

SFX: clink of tea cup and spoon (2 sec.)

 

GERALD: Oh, nothing, nothing. Just reminiscing. Where was I, now? Oh, yes. My preparations. I must be about my preparations. What’s been done?

DOTTY: Well, ventilation has been internalized, drawing from your own private compressed air tanks in order to prevent airborne toxins from entering the room, and the fruit is all hermetically sealed to prevent tampering.

GERALD: Good, good, very good, Dotty. Fruits can be quiet deadly. Especially plums. I should know, of course.

DOTTY:  I wouldn’t worry about any more poisoned plums, Gerald. That would be poor form.

GERALD:  Quite true, quite true. You know my brother and his form. (beat) Dotty, would you ask Sarah to play something on the piano? Something lively. I always do get so bound up while planning a killing.

DOTTY:  Certainly, Mister Gerald. (beat) Sarah! Sarah, darling! Would you play something lively for Mister Gerald?

SARAH:  Yes, mother. As you wish.

 

SFX: child’s footsteps on wood (3 sec.)

SFX: piano bench adjusted and sat upon (2 sec.)

SFX: lively piano music begins & becomes sound bed throughout (5 sec. lead)

 

GERALD:  Much, better. Much. Now, about my preparations.

DOTTY: Everything is prepared, Mister Gerald. This time, certainly, you will succeed in undoing your brother.

GERALD:  Oh, I certainly hope so, darling. This has been dragging on for quite some time now. If I don’t do away with him soon, well, then he’ll do away with me first. The family legacy and all, you understand.

 

SFX: doorbell rings (2 sec.)

 

GERALD:  Ah! There he is now. Early. Just as I suspected. I do wonder how he plans to kill me today. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

 

To order an MP3 download of FAMILT LEGACY, the audio drama go to http://speakingvolumes.us/detail.asp?pid=261

Or, to read the short story version click http://speakingvolumes.us/detail_print.asp?pid=315 to order my short story collection, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS.

Thom Reese is the author of THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

August 15, 2010

STAND-UP & MAKE THEM RUN AWAY By Thom Reese

As some of you may or may not know, I used to do some stand-up comedy. It’s been a few years, but every once in a while a get the bug. (Some might call it the flu.) Well, I don’t have the bug right now. Or, at least, I didn’t. But, then it was suggested that I throw together a routine for an upcoming event. Ah, the thoughts began racing through my head like a tortoise with the parking break on. Which bits did I remember? Were any of these still relevant? Could I be ready in time? Well, I worked the whole thing up, practiced, revised, etcetera, etcetera. And then got bumped due to time restraints. Sigh. Life takes such weird little twists. Anyway, as I had my material worked up, I thought I’d share the routine with you, my dear readers.

NOTE: I did cull certain segments of this material from some of my previous blogs, so there may be some familiar bits and pieces. Familiarity aside, I hope you have some fun with it.

 So, without further delay, here’s my not-yet-performed stand-up-and-make-them-all-run-away routine:

So, we’re away from home, sleeping in new and different places. It always takes a little time to get used to the sounds of a new locale. You know, the way a house creeks and groans with the wind. The way it settles at night. There was this sound last night, I dunno. Creepy. It kept me up. Kinda sounded something like, “Help. Let me out of here. Please! For the love of all that’s holy – help!!” Personally, I think our host needs to call an exterminator.

Now, most of you probably don’t know much about me. I come from a dual heritage. Both paranoid and schizophrenic. But don’t worry about me. I’m okay. All of my personalities get along just fine together. In fact, I’m pretty sure two of them our dating.

I had an uncle who always had crazy schemes. He decided to open his own business. Yep! As a professional dinosaur hunter. His motto: “The only good dinosaur is a dead dinosaur!” I told him, I said “Um, Uncle Lester, you do know, dinosaurs are extinct – they’re all dead.” He says, “What? Already? I is good, ain’t I?”

Now, I think all parents are wacky people. Myself included. Something about having a child just flips a switch in the brain. “Go directly to insane. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.” Remember the first time you realized your parents had lied to you? You know, outright bold faced lie. Like the whole Santa Claus thing. That was a lie, right? Santa Claus? You know, when your parents told you that he’d only give toys to kids who play in traffic!

The only time I ever saw my mother drunk was the day she decided to tell me the facts of life. Yeah, that was helpful: “Shtay away frommm easy girrlzz. Yew don’ know wha’ they’ll give yew.” I’m eight years-old. I don’t know anything. Why is it I’m supposed to stay away from the girls that want to give me something? It seems those must be the nice ones!

Now, my parents were big on proper language. I was raised not to use cuss words. “There’s 500 thousand words in the English language. I’m sure you can get by without using six of them.” Fair enough. But, I still needed a way to express myself when I was ticked off. So, I decided that if couldn’t cuss, I’d find some suitable substitutes. So I use song titles. You know, like “What the Do-wah-ditty-ditty-dum-ditty do do ya think your doin’?” Or, “Get the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B away from me!” Or, Hey you. Your full of “The Best of My Love!”

But if dealing with parents is nuts, romantic relationships can be outright certifiable. I heard recently of an engaged couple going their separate ways. No big deal. Happens all the time. But, apparently, this guy had bought for his fiancé certain silicon-based enhancements.

Now he wants them back.

Okay, I’ve heard of guys asking for the ring back. But…

Can you imagine the conversation?

“Aw come on, honey, you’re the one who broke up with me. I really should get those back. You know those were my mother’s breasts. In fact, those implants have been in my family for six generations.”

Now, like anyone else, I have my failings. It’s only through Kathy’s sheer endurance and will power that we’re still together. But, I do have a few nuggets of wisdom for those of you who don’t want to spend too many nights on the couch. So here’s Thom’s list of matrimonial no-nos:

When you promise your spouse a romantic getaway, you might want to inform her if it’s a one way ticket and you’re not attending.

Never say, “Really, you’re going to wear that?!”

As well, don’t say, “Remember back when you were pretty?”

Avoid the phrase, “Satan called. He wants his evil back.”

Never refer to your spouse as “My first wife.”

Of course if you’re having trouble with your relationship, you can always find good advice at the book store. Tons of books on relationships. There’s “Romance for Dummies,” “Dating for Dummies,” “Killing Your Spouse with an Ax for Dummies.” Oh, and here’s a good one: “Sex for Dummies.” Yes, this is a real book. “Sex for Dummies.”

Who buys this book? How secure does a guy have to be in his masculinity to walk up to that little check-out girl and buy “Sex for Dummies?”

And they’ve got a sequel!

“Pregnancy for Dummies.” Which I see as a cleverly devised marketing ploy geared at insuring that there’ll be future generations of dummies to by these books. I hear they’re running a special. Buy two Dummies books, get the third full price.

Now, it’s difficult enough dealing with my own relationship. But, as a parent, I need to worry about my teenaged daughter’s romantic life. Yes, she’s discovered boys. Now, I recognize that this is a common phenomenon. Young girls have been noticing their male counterparts for at least a decade now. Still, this is a more recent development for this particular young lady. And as her father, I am frightened to glassy-eyed, near-comatose, hysteria by the prospect.

There are, shall we say, DANGERS!!!! Boys have a WMR. You’ve heard of WMDs – Weapons of mass destruction. Well, this is a WMR – Weapon of Mass Reproduction.

Okay, enough of that. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use any of that material in a stand-up setting, but it was fun getting into that mental mode again. Thank you all for coming along for the ride!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I am very excited to announce that my series of audio dramas are now available for download by SPEAKING VOLUMES QUALITY AUDIO BOOKS at the fantastic price of only $3.00 each. Check them out at www.speakingvolumes.us. Enter my name, Thom Reese, in the search box. As of this writing, two have been released. There should be one added per week for the near future.

Thom Reese is a Las Vegas based writer whose weekly radio show, 21st Century Audio Theatre, previously aired on the 50,000 watt KDWN. Fourteen of Thom’s audio dramas are being released by Speaking Volumes Quality Audio Books. Thom studied comedy writing at The Second City and works in market research for CBS Broadcasting.

Copyright 2010 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

If you enjoy these blogs, please subscribe using the button to the right and share the link with your friends. Comments are welcome.

 

Check out Thom’s other blog, THE SPECULATIVE SPECTATOR, at http://speculativespectator.wordpress.com

 

 

July 3, 2010

MODERN LOVE by Thom Reese

Relationships are tricky little devils. As soon as it appears that all there is to know is known about a person, the rules change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the “What in the smack-me-across-the-face-and-spin-my-head-till-I’m-purple was that?!”. I suppose it’s because all relationships involve humans, and we’re a species that has enough trouble keeping up with our own inner thoughts, goals, and motivations, much less understanding those of another, no matter how close or beloved.

I heard recently of an engaged couple going their separate ways. Now, this is nothing new. Plenty of people get cold feet, leap at another opportunity, or freak out upon learning that a proposed spouse is the last in a long line of cannibalistic matrimonial practitioners. But apparently this particular young stud had bought for his fiancé certain silicone-based enhancements.

Now he wants them back.

Okay, I’ve heard of guys asking for the ring back. It might even be appropriate to request a Lexus be returned, or ownership in BP stock. But this?

I can imagine the conversation:

“Aw come on, honey, you’re the one who broke up with me. I really should get those back. You know those were my mother’s. In fact, those implants have been in my family for six generations.”

I read of another man arrested for inserting 19 mice through his ex-wife’s letter box. This he did because the woman suffered from an unreasonable fear of rodents. I’m thinking he wasn’t intending this as a means of rekindling the flame.

Now, we all do get frustrated, angry, and outright furious at our loved ones. Fact is, love is an extreme emotion, and as such prompts us toward other extreme emotions (such as murderous rage and/or suicidal fantasies). That said, here’s Thom’s list of relationship no-nos. If you’re hoping to stay sufficiently hooked up, you may want to avoid these, regardless of any compelling temptation to do otherwise.

Here we go:

When you promise your spouse a romantic getaway to Tahiti, you might want to inform him/her if it’s a one way ticket and you’re not attending.

Never say, “Really, you’re going to wear that?!”

If you send flowers, avoid black roses.

If you woo her by saying, “I’m sure there must be something I love about you,” duck.

As well, don’t say, “Remember back when you were pretty?”

Never but never wake a loved one by screaming “You’re on fire!” and then splashing ice water across his/her face. Strangely, most people do not find this amusing.

Avoid the phrase, “Satan called. He wants his evil back.”

Never refer to your spouse as “My first wife.”

Best relationship advice:

You’re both imperfect. Deal with it.

Thom Reese is a Las Vegas based writer whose weekly radio show, 21st Century Audio Theatre, previously aired on the 50,000 watt KDWN. Fourteen of Thom’s audio dramas will be released by Speaking Volumes Quality Audio Books throughout 2010. Thom studied comedy writing at The Second City and works in market research for CBS Broadcasting.

Copyright 2010 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoy these blogs, please subscribe using the button to the right and share the link with your friends. Comments are welcome.

Check out Thom’s other blog, THE SPECULATIVE SPECTATOR, at http://speculativespectator.wordpress.com

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