Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 31, 2011 in Fiction
They walked into the bar that Friday night not knowing each other.
He bumped into her on the way to the bathroom. It was awkward enough to break the ice. He promised her a drink when he got back. She took him up on it.
Later that night, as they drunkenly made out, he wondered where she’d been all his life while she obsessed over how nice he smelled.
Forty years later, they still don’t know each other. And that’s the way they like it.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 28, 2011 in Fiction
Mary poured them wine. Jessica took the turkey from the oven and set it on the counter.
As Mary walked the glass to Jessica she stumbled and bumped the pan. The turkey slid off the counter and hit the floor. Jessica jumped back to avoid being splattered by stuffing.
“I’m sorry,” Mary gasped.
“You did that on purpose. You wanted to ruin everything.”
Mary’s eyes glared, defiantly. “Ruin what? Your overcooked turkey?”
Jessica raised her fist. Mary did the same. “Let’s go!”
They burst out laughing.
“I’ll order Chinese.”
“Probably for the best.”
They smiled and drank in good health.
Then end! Also be sure to check out Grade School (Part 1) and Theater 101 (Part 2). Thanks for reading.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 26, 2011 in Fiction
Jessica, still in her sweaty gym clothes, ran into the theater’s lobby and made a beeline to the bulletin board.
Mary was already there, shrieking in ecstasy. Jessica stopped in her tracks. A look at the casting announcement confirmed the obvious: Mary was the lead.
“Aren’t you going to congratulate me?” Mary asked.
“You kissed ass to get the part.”
“If you want it that badly, I’ll turn it down.”
“And let you play the martyr? You’d love that.”
Before things could get out of hand, some theater geeks showed up. Mary joined them. They congratulated her.
You can read Grade School (Part 1) right now. Part 3 will be up on Friday. Thanks for reading!
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 24, 2011 in Fiction
It was recess when first grader Mary walked onto the playground.
Across the yard, four girls huddled around Jessica who pointed at Mary and whispered something. The girls giggled.
Mary noticed them. The look on her face turned to rage. She stormed over to Jessica, poked her and screamed: “What’s your problem?”
“Just telling them the truth!” Jessica answered.
“You’re a liar!”
Mary took her balled up little fist to Jessica’s nose. Jessica swung back. The whole schoolyard stopped to watch.
Later that afternoon, Mary and Jessica sat alone in detention, looking like they had just survived a war zone.
Ro’s note: Since these are short, short stories I will be updating the site three times this week. Part 2 will be up on Wednesday then Part 3 on Friday. Thanks for reading!
And if you’re interested in experiments with word counts, check out this blog. Jay started with six word fiction and has been doubling the count for each subsequent story.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 21, 2011 in Non-fiction
This cup I received in November represents an important life lesson. And surprisingly it has nothing to do with superheroes. The story begins many, many years ago.
“I am so happy I don’t have to go to school with you or see you ever again. I hate you.”
Those are the last words I remember Carly saying to me in junior high. We’d been in the same class for most of our lifetimes at that point. I never felt much animosity toward her but I felt it directed at me, especially throughout eighth grade. “Fuck her,” I essentially thought to myself and let it go.
“I have to tell you how sick I was of Rolando.”
Those are the first words Carly said to my fiancée at a casual grade school reunion a few years ago. Unfortunately, Carly left early and we never got into it. “Fuck her,” I thought to myself and let it go.
Then Facebook happened.
My general rule on Facebook is “friend everyone, even the people you hate.” I love gossip, sue me. So, of course, Carly and I were Facebook “friends,” despite having been nemeses (her word). And she started posted the most interesting stories about life, love and relationships. Some of my favorite topics. I’m talking about genuinely interesting stories here, not the nonsense most people — often including myself — post on Facebook. I began commenting and before you knew it she and I realized something:
“Holy shit! We have a lot in common!” (my words)
Two months ago I got a message from Carly asking for my address. A few days later that cup came in the mail. Suddenly an old nemesis had become a new friend who gave me a gift that was, quite frankly, more thoughtful than most gifts I receive. Here’s a recap of our Facebook exchange once I got it:
Now there’s a conversation I’d never thought I would have.
One last note: my ARCH-nemesis in grade school was a boy named Sam Hindy. Sometimes we’d be best friends, other times we’d hate with the fiery wraths of Hell. When we parted ways in junior high, it was pure hate. I guess I felt towards him the way Carly felt towards me. In fact, his father was co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery so I made it a rule to never, ever pay for one of their beers. That’s how deep the resentment ran. Then at the aforementioned grade school reunion we got to talking. His first words to us were “Rolando and I had a love/hate relationship: we loved Nintendo and we hated each other.” I laughed. We spent the entire night talking. The childhood hate had bred a strong connection that, as adults, brought us together in a happy way. My last memory of Sam was standing on a rooftop that night, smoking a cigarette and sharing memories.
A few months later he tragically passed away in a biking accident. “Grateful,” does not do justice to how I feel about the opportunity to end our time together with laughter.
Sam: I dedicate this story to you, my friend.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 17, 2011 in Email
Last month I sent Steve Jobs a series of poems decrying the orientation lock switch on the iPad becoming a mute button. Well, it looks like the battle has been won. In the next software upgrade the option to turn the switch back into an orientation lock will be restored.
I thanked Steve with one last couplet:
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 14, 2011 in Short film
You know how every movie these days have a making-of video on the DVDs? Back in 2002 my friends and I asked ourselves what a behind the scenes look at a ransom video would be like. This is what we came up with. Behold my directorial debut They Have Your Daughter: The Making of a Ransom Video.
Fun fact: Onion is played by my best man who is taking me to Atlantic City later today for my bachelor party. My other groomsman (Thug 2) will also be there as will my buddy (Mayfield). Thanks, guys! Eight years later and we’re still up to no good.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 10, 2011 in Non-fiction
The pitch: Superman is supremely confident in his ability to save the world but lacks any confidence in his social skills.
At first this disconnect seems to lack any common sense. But think about it: how many successful, fine looking men find that no matter what talents they possess they can’t get a girl or be popular? They sit at their computers, or toil away in their labs, coming up with the modern miracles that are literally saving lives but come home at the end of the day to an empty apartment because they fear they don’t have the social skills to be surrounded by people who care about them. This is the lens through which I would view Superman.
Obviously he knows if he just goes around as Superman all the time women will flock to him and he will have no shortage of friends. But he would never be able to truly assess how many of those are genuine and how many just “love” him for his riches. Not to mention he feels like that approach would be using his powers to emotionally exploit people. This doesn’t work for someone who wants genuine emotional connections. Thus the secret identity. He wants to save the world as Superman but he wants to feel loved as Clark Kent, the geek that he is.
The emotional disconnect allows Superman to still be the role model for all that is good and save the world, while making Clark Kent be someone we can all relate to.
Some thoughts on a few characters and how this would affect their relationships:
- Lois Lane: He loves Lois unconditionally. He wants her to love him unconditionally too. That means loving Clark Kent, not Superman. But the poor guy just can’t figure out how to get her interested! He’s persistent and she’s constantly shooting him down. “Clark, I really care about you… like a brother.”
- Jimmy Olsen: Superman’s pal and Clark’s best friend. Clark confides in Jimmy as both. I like the idea of a 3-way friendship with only two people. Jimmy’s always getting into stupid trouble. Clark doesn’t want to lose his best friend so he’s always there as Superman to save him.
- Lex Luthor: The exact opposite of our hero. Lex yearns for the freedom to be a rotten a person on the inside but be revered by all for the power he wields. He hates Superman because this strange visitor from another planet doesn’t take advantage of the fact that everyone loves him. He feels like Superman’s power is wasted on such a goody-goody.
- The Fortress of Solitude: Ok, this is not a character but a fun idea. If Superman is a geek, then the Fortress is his parents’ basement. He gets to relax playing with the coolest computer and chemistry set on the planet.
At the end of the day I wanted to take a different approach from the recent entries (such as Superman: Earth One
graphic novel and Smallville
) that try to sexy-up Superman. I wanted to make him someone the geeks can really relate and look up to. He was ours first, after all.
Bonus! A slight redesign of the Superman shield I sketched the other day.
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 7, 2011 in Email
First a quick note: Going forward I will be updating this site with new content at least every Monday and Friday (including holidays, because that’s just how I do it). I got some interesting ideas for the future that I’m excited to get the ball rolling on.
This week I read God’s Debris and The Religion War by Scott Adams. They were, to put it lightly, fun books for those of us who like to make our brain spin and philosophize endlessly. In fact, God’s Debris is available as a no-strings attached, free ebook. Go, download it and read it if you haven’t. It’s short enough to be read in one sitting but the ideas — that range from the practical to batshit insane — are enough to keep you thinking about it long after. The sequel is a more straight forward in terms of plot as it applies the character’s philosophy to an impeding war he is trying to avert. If God’s Debris is a Socratic conversation, you could say The Religion War is the companion parable.
At the end of both books the author gives his email address and encourages us to share our comments. So, of course, I did. Now I share that email with you guys. If you haven’t read the books but intend to and are adverse to spoilers look away now! If you don’t intend to read the books, maybe my thoughts will give you pause to reconsider. And if you want to talk about them with me, please leave a comment! I’m dying to talk about them (duh).
Here’s my email:
These books were a blast. Some comments. Excuse any incoherence, but the books inspire me to think in a stream of consciousness. I do hope you make it to the end!
In God’s Debris, I gotta say, the general philosophy is my philosophy: the idea of questioning everything and that our minds fill in the gaps with delusions. Which I saw far more compelling than any specific view of reality.
The evolution argument was interesting to me. It’s kind of a great magic trick the old man pulls on the guy. The “dishware evolution” argument presents a compelling reason as to why evolution could be wrong but does not actually say evolution is wrong. In fact, you could argue that his dishware evolution theory is not wrong, from a certain point of view, and thus the theory of our evolution is correct as well. It’s a fun little puzzle.
But, hey, I find no arguments with his view on relationships. Goddamn if that’s not how it goes!
The Religion War was a perfect companion piece. The first thing that struck me was his conversation with the guard at I-Wing. It was a mini-recreation of the first book, with the added bonus of being inside the old man’s head. That chapter read to me like an explanation of what you were doing to the reader in God’s Debris. I had a good laugh.
And evolution comes up again. The delivery man-turned-old man asks the same question the original old man had asked him, “how come we haven’t seen changes?” Only whereas the original old man used that to plant the idea that it’s because, perhaps, evolution isn’t real, the new old man has a specific answer to it. That happens more than once in this book. You revisit ideas from God’s Debris that were used to illustrate the old man’s view of reality then change them up on us.
Which is why I keep circling back to my original interpretation of God’s Debris: it’s not about what reality is but how to approach reality.
I find the end of The Religion War compelling. The War had to begin for the events that would end it to be put into motion. See, the way I read it, the old man was very much like Cruz and al-Zee in that he believed God was on his side and thus he could not fail. He was on the precipice of essentially dropping down a level and leaving the world without an Avatar.
The Avatar is the pinnacle of self awareness. But he is human not God and if all humans create delusions to fill in the blanks then he, by definition, does the same. So if he’s fully self aware then he knows he’s got at least some delusions. Which in turn means he knows he’s not fully self aware. This is the paradox of the Avatar: being the Avatar means knowing there is no Avatar. That’s the kind of software loop that would shut down a computer.
Oh, hey, the Avatar’s brain shuts down and only then does Mackey release the GoD program and Stacey assert her Prime Influencer power. It’s as if the only way for the Avatar to be correct would be for him to not be conscious. If he is no longer conscious then he is no longer delusional either and thus the Avatar paradox is resolved and he can be correct.
Yeah, I had a blast with these books. Thanks!
Posted by Rolando Garcia on Jan 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
Happy New Year! Let’s start it off right: with some recycled content about a series of movies the last of which came out over 20 years.
We all know how much I absolutely love Back to the Future. The day after Christmas, I treated myself to a marathon. Because there is nothing better to cure the hangover of family interactions than the coolest movies of all time.
Oh, but I didn’t just watch them. I live tweeted my thoughts, most of which ended up being wonderfully sarcastic and some of which, I think, actually ended up being quite insightful. I present these tweets to you now:
Let the Back to the Future marathon begin!
Why does Doc have a 50′s jukebox in his 1985 apartment?
Marty kisses his girl then hitches a ride on the back of a cop car. He’s always more of a punk than I remember him.
In the 80′s ghosts research was turned into a business and time travel was achieved in a mall parking lot. #BTTF123 #Ghostbusters
We seriously need a Back to the Future remake to have Obama in the Goldie Wilson scene. “A black president, that’ll be the day!”
Maybe you were adopted? “What did your mother ever see in that kid?!” Doc’s a playboy. Just saying.
The skateboard scene NEVER gets old. Especially the finale.
Biff isn’t just a bully, he’s a psychopath. He tries to KILL Marty and later RAPE Lorraine.
Theory: I think even before reading the letter, Doc had figured out what happened between Marty’s attitude and the video.
“We’re gonna take a little break [to get ripshit stoned] but don’t nobody go nowhere.”
Don’t worry, as long as you hit the wire at 88mph the instance lightening strikes with no margin for error everything’ll be fine
1985 Hill Valley really is a rundown shithole.
Hey, Dave & Linda: if you have better jobs in this new 1985 why don’t you MOVE OUT?
Best part about the way Back to the Future ends is that it doesn’t.
The moral of the story is punch dudes, kiss girls, drive fast and play rock-n-roll.
Before I move on let’s get this out of the way: Elisabeth Shue is fine (love Adventures in Babysitting) but she’s no Claudia Wells #BTTF123
She saw the time machine. Things that happen when you arrive in broad daylight, Doc. #NotThinking4thDimensionally
I’m more disappointed that we haven’t abolished all lawyers, instead of no hoverboards.
Griff’s gang is very progressive; it’s ethnically and gender diverse.
I’ve seen this at least 100 times & just realized Isaac “H” Newton = Jesus “H” Christ – I thought that was his middle initial
Love all the details you can notice in HD. For instance: Marty’s 2015 boss is 42 years old. Younger than sad, old Marty
Eat gullwing door, Biff. I gotta say, Evil 1985 Biff is amazing. He’s a pure, unrestrained dickhead.
Fun fact: the UCLA sports announcer on the radio is the guy who does He-Man’s voice.
If I were Biff, I’d certainly keep stories of being schooled by a short kid and flying cars to myself.
Man, seriously, Back to the Future Part II is just an insane movie. I love it.
Part II is not so much a movie as it is lots of cool shit happening one after the other.
Doc is so happy blowing up the entrance to that mine. Finally, an explosion in these movies!
The pink hoverboard matches the pink cowboy shirt. Always stlyin’ McFly.
Marty takes the hanging pretty well. I guess he’s used to attempted murder by the Tannens at this point.
Of course the Doc can dance, Marty. Don’t you remember the jukebox in his lab?
Do we all agree that when Doc spends the night at Clara’s he gets laid? What a playboy.
Evil 1985 Biff, true poetic justice is your movie choice proving to be your ancestor’s undoing.
Train sequence isn’t quite up there with the clocktower but it’s so, so good.
Marty’s totally just assuming Biff is gonna try to kill him when he sees him in the garage with the 4×4.
No question. The Back to the Future trilogy is the most epic bromance of all time.
Biggest takeways from yesterday’s BTTF marathon: 1) The Tannens try to murder Marty a lot
Biggest takeways from yesterday’s BTTF marathon: 2) The main thread of the series is – I’m being genuine here – an epic bromance
Ok, still reading? Interesting post-script to this story: The real Claudia Wells RT’ed me and thanked me! OMG! No, seriously, that’s the coolest thing ever. Check it out:
See you in the future, kids.