Through Thom Tinted Lenses

July 30, 2012

CAN BFF’S CHANGE THE WORLD? BY THOM REESE

I don’t expect wide-ranging moral change to sweep the world in my lifetime. I, for instance, don’t expect to see the end of war while I still walk the earth. There are still enough small-minded leaders that believe international disputes should be settled the same way they are in the schoolyard – with the biggest muscles and by the meanest bullies – for that to happen. The same with racism. Even this month, a Mississippi congregation refused to allow a couple to marry in their church because they were African American. In my mind that’s criminal, immoral, bigoted, and infuriating. The church should lose its tax exempt status, the pastor should be fired, the denomination brought to task. Plop these idiots in a Tardis and deposit them in the 1700s where they belong. Unacceptable!

As well, there’s still child abuse, drug addiction, political stupidity, dictators, nuclear threats, religious oppression, and any number of social and political ills.

As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, these elements still exist in our “sophisticated” and “advanced” society.

I suppose we’re not quite as advanced as we’d like to believe.

That said, the only way any of these things can be changed is if we collectively seek change.

And not only seek it, but expect it, demand it. Let’s not get starry-eyed, and please, don’t reserve a hall for the victory celebration. It will take years, likely generation, to overcome most of these ills. But as the world grows smaller due to near-continuous technological leaps, so can time condense.

And thus change can accelerate.

Just as a trip across the Atlantic now takes hours instead of weeks (as it did just over a century ago), so can ideas spread and take root much quicker than ever before. We, as a society, are in constant communication with one another through texting, the internet, and even old school technology such as television and movies. (Yes, television is now old school.) I have Facebook “friends” on nearly every continent. My ideas and concerns can be discussed by people around the globe within seconds of my posting a blog.

And I’m a person of no significant influence.

Think of the power for social and moral progress if like minded people make a commitment for change.

What would happen if we actively spoke out, each in our own forums, each in our own voices, against the issues that concern us, and – possibly even more importantly – in favor of those things we see as bettering society? True, different people have differing beliefs. What one person sees as a problem another might see as a solution. Just look at the current political landscape for daily examples. But there are things that the vast majority of us can agree upon, and yet the problems still exist.

My point is this: Just as a small independent film such as Paranormal Activity became a sensation based almost exclusively on grassroots, internet-based, word-of-mouth promotion, so can the societal issues that concern us be addressed by those same means. In the past, the power to change rested in elected officials and media professionals, people on the national and international stage. But now, through social networking and ever-increasing technological opportunities, we, the everyday Joes and Janes, have the opportunity to speak out and make a difference. We can have a voice equal to or greater than those in the seats of power.

We just have to be willing to use it.

If you’re passionate about something, post blogs, share news stories and thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, create Facebook groups of like-minded people. Combine with the rest of us to diminish the absurdity that still surrounds us.

We have the engine for change. We just need to use it for more than “poking” and “friending.”

 

AND NOW…

I’M VERY PROUD AND EXCITED ABOUT MY NEW THRILLER, CHASING KELVIN And would love for you all to give it a read.

Marc and Dana Huntington are back in an adventure that that will forever change their lives and rock them to the very core.

Government officials assassinated all about the globe. Seemingly unconnected terrorist attacks shake four continents. Former Delta Force commander Marc (Hunt) Huntington and his wife, ex British intelligence officer Dana, are thrust into the fray when they uncover a terrorist plot onboard a speeding train – a plot that might originate at the highest levels of U.S. government. Savagely attacked, Dana is caught in a web of conspiracy as an unwilling pawn. Hunt races against time to find the elusive cure to a deadly militarized bacterium before tens of thousands perish. What is the connection to the dozens of comatose forms secreted away in a concealed Swiss retreat? Is there a link to the Huntington’s bizarre find in the Amazon Jungle some months before? Will Dana escape nearly certain death?

Filled with breathtaking suspense and nonstop danger, this is a thriller you won’t put down until you’ve turned the final shocking page.

Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

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

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 the first Huntington adventure, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

LEARN THE SECRET of a strange race known as THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342274358&sr=1-1&keywords=the+empty+by+thom+reese

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

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

 

October 7, 2011

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRAM STOKER NOMINATED AUTHOR JEREMY C. SHIPP

 

IN THIS POST:

October Special

Thom Interviews Jeremy C. Shipp

A Review of Jeremy’s Bram Stoker Award nominated novel, CURSED

Thom’s Happening – Announcements etc.

 

OCTOBER SPECIAL: THE DEMON BAQASH, by Thom Reese, eBook edition on sale for only 99 Cents!! Limited time only!! Check it out! http://www.amazon.com/The-Demon-Baqash-ebook/dp/B004J4X3NO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317901493&sr=1-2

 

An Interview with Jeremy C. Shipp

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage. He lives there with his wife, Lisa, a couple of pygmy tigers, and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic–not so much.

I’ve never met Jeremy face-to-face, but have had an online friendship with him for the past two or three years. He’s a talented writer with a quick wit, quirky sense of reality, and a good heart. If you haven’t read his work you’re missing a treat. A big thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to do this interview!

 

Jeremy, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Why don’t you start by telling me about your current projects?

My newest books ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR NINJA and ABERRATIONS were recently published. I’m currently editing a horror/fantasy anthology called ATTIC TOYS. Some other projects in the works include CLOWNS VS. GNOMES and ATTIC CLOWNS.

What is your writing routine?

I try to write at least a little bit every day. I usually write at my desk, surrounded by weird figures and toys. I don’t do outlines, although I do keep a notebook filled with notes.

At one point you were working on a screenplay for CURSED. Is that something you’re still pursuing and if so, where are you in the process?

Cursed the Movie is a project near and dear to my heart, and it’s definitely something I’m pursuing. I’m currently talking with some directors. We’ll see what happens.

I loved the flavor of CURSED. Very unique and quirky. How did that particular feel come about? What was your thought process?

Thank you! When writing a story or a novel, I like to make the narrative style reflect the psyche of the point of view character. And so, Cursed is quirky, because the main character is a strange human being. He thinks and dreams and experiences the world in lists.

You’re prolific in terms of short stories. When can we expect your next novel?

I’m currently working on a couple novels and a novella. All of these should be released in 2012.

Ok, what’s with the yard gnomes and attic clowns?

I wish I knew! The Attic Clowns appeared in my attic a few years ago (I think they oozed out of an old mirror that I purchased at a yard sale), and they won’t leave. The yard gnomes live in my yard, which I seems appropriate somehow. The gnomic shamans help me out whenever the Attic Clowns transform me into a rubber chicken.

You seem very adept at marketing yourself. What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Write a blog, host giveaways, stay active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, etc. But my best advice would be not to send a lot of time on these sites promoting your work. Spend most of your time entertaining people.

As well as writing your own work, you teach creative writing courses. Tell me about that.

I love helping writers, especially new writers, and so the Fiction Writing Bootcamp (http://jeremycshipp.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/jeremy-c-shipps-fiction-writing-bootcamp/) is very satisfying for me. In the course, I help authors to hone their craft and polish their work for publication.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why?

I love writing stories with some speculative element. I think this is because I enjoy creating new myths, new creatures, new realities. And of course, I like writing stories about characters that I feel a deep connection with. I always need to care about my characters, because otherwise, the story wouldn’t be worth writing.

What do you read?

A little of everything. Literary fiction, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, graphic novels. Some of my favorite writers include: Arundhati Roy, Kurt Vonnegut, Haruki Murakami, Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Amy Tan, Lois Lowry.

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I wrote my first novel when I was 13, but I always enjoyed storytelling. As a kid, I would often tell stories to my brothers and cousins. Their favorites were my Barbie horror stories. In high school, my creative writing teacher encouraged me to start sending out my stories to publishers, and so I sold my first short story when I was 18. Then, in my 20s, I shopped around my novel Vacation, and it ended up with Raw Dog Screaming Press.

For more on Jeremy, check out these links:

http://www.jeremycshipp.com

http://www.twitter.com/jeremycshipp

http://www.amazon.com/Always-Remember-Your-Ninja-ebook/dp/B005MTB7VU/

http://www.amazon.com/Aberrations-ebook/dp/B005ITNKC8/

 

Thom’s review of CURSED:

Book Review – Cursed by Jeremy Shipp: This book is bold. A finalist for the 2009 Bram Stoker award, Cursed defies convention. It’s at once sparse, thought provoking, creepy, ridiculous, and compelling. The protagonist, Nick, is a compulsive list writer, and thus Shipp populates the prose with lists. It seems an odd choice at first, but works as an effective device in drawing the reader into Nick’s bizarre and, yes, cursed world. Each of the primary characters has a unique depth and quirkiness specific to that individual. I particularly liked the character of Cicely and her seemingly endless substitutions for the word water. Snowman blood or Yeti tears anyone? Very clever. The supernatural aspects of the book build gradually, drawing the reader in page-by-page. Soon I was wondering just what was happening to these people. Were they truly cursed? Were they simply insane? And what was the deal with this strange antagonist, Pete? Is he just some random guy, the devil, God? Very well crafted. This is one of those rare and precious books that ended far too soon. I will read it again.

 

Thom’s Happening – Announcements and specials

The last few weeks have been very busy. My latest novel, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, was RELEASED Sept 2nd. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315921547&sr=8-1

I unveiled DEAD MAN’S FIRE at KillerCon Las Vegas, signing books and meeting readers. Had a great time with fellow authors, Jonathan Maberry, Jack Ketchum, John Skipp, Gabrielle Faust, Ray Garton and many others.

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY for DEAD MAN’S FIRE October 22 3-6 pm at Avatar Comics 881 S. Rainbow, Las Vegas NV 89145 (702)795-8700

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.

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

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

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

 

 

May 16, 2010

MIDNIGHT CONTEMPLATIONS by Thom Reese

Ever have trouble sleeping?  I do. Sometimes my mind just won’t shut off. I just keep thinking random thoughts. My brain skitters from one place to another; dusting off old cobwebs, rummaging about corners, uncovering what there is to be uncovered. As such, I thought I’d share with you some of my midnight contemplations. Warning: these are the thoughts of a sleep-deprived mind and as such I accept no responsibility for the consequences of said thoughts.

Here we go:

If Abraham Lincoln was alive today, if he could see the marvels of technology, if he could visit NASA, hold an iphone, talk with our first African American president, if Abraham Lincoln was alive today, he’d be really, really old.

Do animals get boogers? And if so, how do they pick their noses? If not, why don’t they get them? How did we get to be the lucky ones?

If James Bond is a secret agent, why does he tell everyone his real name?

In England they call an elevator a lift. But what do they call it when it goes down – a drop?

Is it too soon for us all to become color blind and simply give a fellow human being a firm, warm-hearted hug?

What if I named my dog Antidisestablishmentarianism just to see if the guy at the pet shop could squeeze it onto a dog tag?

Is it considered poor etiquette to try to sell something to a telemarketer?

If two trains, one departing from New York and one from Las Angeles, left at the same time, both traveling at 56.276 miles per hour, and if an alien invader from the planet Just-because had destroyed the track in Toledo, and if the wind was currently a subtle 5.2 miles per hour from the south east, would there be in-cabin movies?

…And would the Toledo Dominos still honor their 30 minute delivery policy?

…And would the Republicans and Democrats finally figure out that neither side is inherently evil – or pure?

The odds of being killed by falling space debris are one in five billion. As there are over six billion people on earth, who’s the unfortunate schmuck with a target on his head?

Would the world end if all soldiers laid down their guns and walked away?

Over six thousand people are airborne over the US at any given time. Aren’t you glad they’re not pigeons?

Rice paper doesn’t have any rice in it. Is that false advertising?

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly games than for the US Treasury. Maybe the mustachioed Mr. Monopoly should run for office.

Is it true that it’s physically impossible to lick one’s own elbow?

In 2008 the United Nations Human Rights Council spent $23 million dollars – much of it from foreign aid funds – on a ceiling mural.

In 2008 the world economy took a dump causing tens of thousands to become unemployed.

In 2010, everyone is jawing about Tiger Woods and Avatar.

In 2010, 24,000 children die each day due to poverty.

If Abraham Lincoln was alive today, would he cry?

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

March 21, 2010

PEEVES MAKE TERRIBLE PETS – SO WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY? by Thom Reese

One of my biggest peeves is people who have too many peeves. So, I thought I’d offer mine up for pet adoption with hopes that someone might take them off my hands. So, here we go, free to a good home, my pet peeves:

Idiots who have their pants hanging halfway down to their calves: I’ve had no success in training this peeve, and believe there may have been some sort of brain damage early in life.

Ridiculous public displays of affection: This one’s not quite house-trained and might need some additional instruction on appropriate behavior, but otherwise it’s quite affectionate. Warning: it does have the propensity to be rather sloppy gross at times.

Texting in the movie theater (and behind the wheel, at work, or any number of inappropriate places): I think this one might be a Pavlovian experiment gone awry. It seems every time a cell phone chimes, this peeve drools uncontrollably.

Racism: This one’s rabid and should be put down.

Public cigar smoking: In good conscious, I must be up front about this pet. It smells like a burning, sweaty, fungus-laden gym sock. Even short exposure will cause the odor to stick to your hair, your clothes, everything in your house, and linger for hours. Be cautious with this pet.

Telephone customer service reps with English as a second language: Hello! Hello! I can’t understand a word you’re saying. What? Sway the bull? Oh! Pay in full. Yes, yes, I’ll sway the bull.

The I-must-get-hit-by-an-incompetent-driver-every-three-years rule: I think there must be a target on my car. Will someone please take this peeve off my hands!

The sock gremlin: Need I elaborate?

People with bad breath that insist on standing two inches from my face: Yes, this pet is very similar to a dog – but not quite as cute. Any takers?

Illegal immigrants: This one’s a stray. It slipped under the fence emaciated and mistreated. We fed it, tended to its needs. Now, it’s trying to change everything here to be just like the place it fled. I’ve put up signs looking for the original owner, but so far no takers.

Automated answering systems that make me run a fifteen minute gauntlet before I can get to a live customer service representative to ask a simple question: This pet requires patience. The ideal owner should have no life of his/her own, no job to get to, and no responsibilities. Must enjoy repeatedly pushing the “one” button on a phone.

Drunk drivers: Like racism, this one’s not a good pet and should probably be put down.

One checker at the grocer. A line of seventeen people. I’m number eighteen standing there with a gallon of milk: This pet has taught me how to “stay.” Sometimes I’m even rewarded with a treat if I behave.

People that just won’t shut up: If you take this peeve off my hands, I’ll throw in the muzzle.

Congress: Any takers? Please! Anyone? This pet means well. Honest. It’s really not as self-serving as it might seem. Okay, yes. It will end up costing you a lot of money, but… Yes, it does create a big mess whenever let out of its cage, but… Well, no, I guess it really can’t be trusted, but… Okay, okay. I guess I’ll have to live with this one.

Ah, I wish I could say that was all of them, but it’s not. Maybe I’ll offer some others up for adoption at a later date. Now, really, Congress. Any takers? Pleaaase!!!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ll soon be launching a second blog titled “THE SPECULATIVE SPECTATOR: An Eye on Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror, & Everything Fantastic.” It will have an entirely different feel and purpose than “Through Thom Tinted Glasses.” With the advent of this new project, I will be cutting back on the frequency of these current postings. I appreciate you, my readers, very much and encourage your comments and thoughts as I move forward. Your suggestions are always welcome. Without you, there really wouldn’t be any point in all of this. See you soon.

 

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 throughout 2010 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.

February 21, 2010

MEDIA, ACCESSORY TO MURDER? by Thom Reese

There was a tragedy in Austin TX this past week. A small plane was flown deliberately into a public building with the intent of killing as many innocents as possible. The perpetrator –  we’ll call him Mister Whacked-Out-Cowardly-Murderous-Nut-Job, for lack of a better name – left a “rambling manifesto” on a website detailing his grievances, and – in his own mind – justifying this heinous act because he felt put upon by the government. I hate to tell you this, Mister Nut-Job, but if everyone who felt disenfranchised by society or had a beef with the government opted for the murder/suicide option, the human race would cease to exist.

But, as angry as I am at this whacko for treating human life with so little respect, I’m equally miffed at the news media. Yes, they should report the event. That’s their job – that’s their responsibility. What bothers me is that they not only gave the guy’s name (granting him, in some circles, folk hero status), but also detailed many of the grievances left in his “manifesto.” Everywhere I looked I saw excerpts and commentary on what Mister Whacked-Out-Cowardly-Murderous-Nut-Job saw as the ills of society. In other words, the murder of innocents gave him a voice.

I.e., he was successful.

This is what he was after, a platform, an opportunity to get his message out. It’s Terrorism 101.

“Oh, I’m not getting my way. Waa, waa, waa!”

“Why don’t you start a petition, call your congressperson, maybe even run for office or start an organization dedicated to change?”

“Nah, too much work. I’d rather kill a bunch of complete strangers. It’s quicker and easier that way. Can I borrow your Cessna?”

And why do these fruit-loops think this approach will work? Because it does. The national media is buzzing with the details of this story. They’ve listed his complaints, legitimizing them, ensuring they’re the topic of conversation around every office water cooler in the land. I sat in a restaurant yesterday listening to a waitress rattle off this guy’s grievances to a customer. The networks have even interviewed his friends. “Oh, Mister Whacked-Out-Cowardly-Murderous-Nut-Job was really a nice guy. He wasn’t anti-social in the least.”

Nice guy. Really?

I’m sure there are plenty of people in downtown Austin that disagree with that statement.

This type of news coverage scares me. By playing into this radical’s plan, by promoting his ideas, quoting his “manifesto,” could the media actually encourage other such atrocities? I believe so. As long as the crazies think their bell will toll on the six o’clock news, they’ll continue to consider terrorism a legitimate option. In this case I believe the media is, in essence, an accessory before the fact. Think of it as someone shouting “Fire!” in a crowded building. This free speech, this “reporting” can cause further havoc, possibly even loss of life. I believe there’s a responsibility to use sound judgment when reporting these crimes, a responsibility to look at the long term implications of feeding the terrorist mindset by giving them a voice.

So, how can we prevent this and similar tragedies from occurring?

By making terrorism ineffective. By castrating the suckers, taking away their power. Report only the event. Don’t give the perpetrator’s name. Don’t even hint at his motives, much less promote, analyze, and dissect his propaganda in public. If the FBI needs to get in there and psychoanalyze his lunatic ramblings, so be it. Let them. But don’t give these murderers – and that’s exactly what they are. Not martyrs, not crusaders, but simple, cowardly, disgusting murderers – the means to use the slaughter of innocents to promote a cause. Even a cause that is otherwise worthy.

Should the media be held accountable for promoting domestic terrorism? Should there be fines, or, perhaps, loss of licenses for broadcasting the details of a murderous manifesto? That’s a tough one. Free speech is a cornerstone to our way of life. It’s a slippery slope to inhibit such a liberty. One I hesitate to tread. Perhaps the better solution is for you and me – the public – to complain to the news outlets that unwittingly promote terrorism. Give them a good old-fashioned, sixties-style protest. Tell them we won’t watch their networks or support their sponsors if they continue with such irresponsible journalism. Let them know that this is unacceptable, that no matter how valid the point, murder is never an acceptable form of free speech.

Perhaps it all comes down to you and me, and what we’re willing to tolerate.

 

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.

“Through Thom Tinted Lenses” is posted weekly. If you enjoy these blogs, please subscribe using the button to the right and share the link with your friends. Comments are welcome.

December 6, 2009

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE NON-COMMITTAL by Thom Reese

Merry Christmas, er, Happy Hanukah, um, joyful Kwanza? How about, have a Jolly winter solstice; enjoy a marvelous pre New Year’s celebration. Or maybe, Brrr, its cold outside, wanna heat up some cocoa, sit by the fireplace, and burn down the house by putting near-antique decorative lights of dubious quality on a dead and dried-out tree?

Yep. It’s that most increasingly confusing time of year. Used to be everyone tossed about Christmas greetings willy-nilly like they were hurling Tootsie Rolls in a Thanksgiving Day parade. But, admittedly, we live in an ever more diverse community. People of various traditions roam our streets celebrating, feasting, and greeting in numerous and previously little-known fashions.

So, whatever you do, please, PLEASE don’t say Merry Christmas! Someone might be offended. In fact, best to stay clear of any and all religious references despite the history and tradition of our fair land. Remember, it’s entirely ludicrous to think that someone greeted with the wrong salutation might take no offense simply because none was intended. That’s just not how it works. This is America, people.

Whether you’re a person of deep conviction or more of an anything-goes-just-let-me-get-on-with-my-life type, we all must realize that the guy standing next to you at Redbox – taking three days to select just one movie! – quite possibly does not share your holiday sensibilities.

So, what can we say? In what manner can we most delicately share our seasonal cheer? Obviously, it’s no longer proper etiquette to utilize age-old salutations. It seems “Happy Holidays” is the safest, most non-offensive route.

But “Happy Holidays” has no pizzazz, no flare, no zeal. Perhaps we should institute a new nonspecific holiday that is safe, non-threatening, non-committal, and requires no beliefs, dedication or fervor from any adherents. Maybe, “Happy Winter’s Day.” Or, “Merry Paid-Day-Off-of-Work Day.” We could all get behind that one. “Great-Excuse-to-Break-My-Diet Day” comes to mind. We could just cut to the chase and call it, “Just-Hurry-Up-and-Give-Me-My-Gifts Day.”

Nope. Don’t think we’re quite there yet. What about people who don’t have kids? What about the unemployed? To them, even these outwardly-benign greetings might seem as audacious as tossing out a “Merry Christmas” to a complete stranger.

No. We need something far more nebulous, something more brown paper bag. Maybe, “Have a Fantastic Pseudo-Generic holiday.” No. Some people get freaked out by holidays altogether. “Have an increasingly adequate existence?” Close. But not quite there yet.

Ah, got it! The perfect non-offencive-nearly-guaranteed-not-to-get-you-dragged-into-an-alley-and-beaten greeting for the holiday season.

“Have a nice day.”

Copyright 2009 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

“Through Thom Tinted Lenses” is posted weekly. If you enjoy these blogs, please check back frequently and share the link with your friends.

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