January 22, 2007

Welcome To BlogSpot

I’ve decided to move my web blog to this more well-known service called Blogspot. You know, where you’re viewing this now.

The second and third snows of the season have fallen this morning and this evening respectively. The early flakes dissipated pretty quick, but looks like I’ll be scraping off the late-comers tomorrow morning.

I got rid of my Tag-Board only page and stuck it onto a brand new page with my brand new Frappr map. For those not in the know, a Frappr map is a satellite generated view of the world, and people can pinpoint their location on it. Sort of like saying “Jed was here”, but on a much grander scale. I’ve had it for about a week, and already got visitors from South Dakota, Kansas, Philadelphia (thank you spell check), and even as far away as Israel. And three people as close as Providence. I don’t even know anyone in Providence anymore. But for the love of Bob Ross, could people start leaving more info about themselves besides the general area where they reside?

Today’s Survival Tip: Don’t drink egg nog 13 days past its expiration date. Trust me on this one. Those little chunks? Not ice.

One final note, congratulations to my best friend Jarrod Cappelli, who found out he and his sweetie Tarah are going to be parents. I tried to get him to hold back his sexual urges until after marriage, I swear.

And that’s just the way it is.

Prologue To Winter

Originally posted December 4th, 2006

The first snow of the season has fallen this morning. And the first snow of the season melted away this afternoon. The shovels may hibernate for another day. It also marked the day where I brought my trench coat out from the closet since last winter. Like always, the "Trench Coat Mafia" references started up by the same people who have been doing it for the previous four years. Nothing says comedy like the systematic shootings of high schoolers by unhinged psychopaths. And if I really was to be a successor to that infamous group, I don't think taunting me is the best idea. Just kidding. BSing with your co-workers helps you get through an arduous workday.

While my Sleep Terrors haven't bothered me as much, one episode took a new form, rather than the usual otherworldly visions. I have this bothersome worry that someone will invade my homestead while I sleep and murder me and my entire family. So my Sleep Terror manifested itself into the form of a nighttime intruder, dressed all in black, camouflaged by my lightless room, who jumped out of the darkness and began to strangle me. I felt powerless to retaliate. The scary thing is, as Sleep Terrors usually are, it felt so real that I actually believed that "this was the end". But I did come out of it as I woke up all alone in my room.

I just don't know how to organize my thoughts right now. A million ideas are floating through my head on what has to be done to get on with my life, but I can't figure out what has to be done first, and how to place the rest. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with these thoughts that I can't do a single thing. Do I draw a new comic? Do I continue my spin-off story? Do I add more content to this web site? Do I compose a book proposal for my first novel, which I think needs more revision? I believe I must first find time to organize my checking and savings accounts, because how I balance my cash flow in the coming months will determine how long I can keep myself afloat without ending up on the street.

A neat little thing I noticed last night was that my web site can now be found on Internet search engines. Before, I had to pay a fee to get it listed, but now anyone can find my page if they enter the right keywords. Those being "James Gannon, dark, fiction, writer, stories, books, Callous, Shadow, Tammy Corona". And we all know how popular those terms are. So there are now slight chances that an outsider can stumble upon my place on the web. Now I can get criticism from complete strangers! OH, THE INTRIGUE! A few uninteresting notes:
On yahoo search, my "about" page is ranked #4 if you search "james gannon"... and my bio page is ranked #1 for "james gannon writer".
On AOL search, my home page is ranked #33 for "james gannon". I think they're still mad I canceled my AOL account.
Google search... #36.

I was close to signing up for the well-known art showcase web site "deviantART.com", until I read the fine print. Evidently, submitting your artwork gives the staff the right to do whatever they want with it, such as reproduce, edit, display, and even publish it without any residuals offered to the original creator. Sorry folks, no one can claim rights to my eyesores except me. I wanted to become a "deviant" so I could show off my art to a wider audience, plus it offered a better format than my current gallery. But I think I'll stick with what I have right now. But I'll have to drop some cash in order to show off more of my work.

Still have Christmas shopping to do. You?

I got a zit on my elbow. MY FUCKING ELBOW. Now I have to rub cleansing oil on that thing too?

Some final words of wisdom I'd like to invoke upon you: If you make a threat to beat up your boss under your breath, make sure it still isn't loud enough for him to hear it. No, I'm not the one who did it, but it did involve the guy whose fingers I threatened to break if he kept interfering in my work.

And that's just the way it is.

From Good To Bad To Sort Of Okay

Originally posted September 19th, 2006

This note was awaiting me on the hood of my car as I left the Warwick Mall tonight. My guess is that it was left there by the needlessly wide truck that I parked next to in the lot. I fit perfectly between it and the car that was on my other side. Yes, I was parked close to the truck, but considering the size of it, a compact would have difficulty giving it enough space. I was able to easily get out of my car. While I was gone, the owner of the truck, a great motorist who took it upon himself to rid the world of this injustice, apparently realized at least one of the problems evident in owning such a big vehicle and decided to take it out on the person situated between the parking lines next to him.

So when I returned to my car, and entered it, I noticed the little note stuck in the windshield wiper. "Great," I thought, "another stupid flyer about some great weight-watching plan". So I got out, read it, and got a little peeved. I looked all over my car for any signs of vandalism, but didn't see any. I sure didn't want to drive off knowing that there was gum stuck somewhere that might cause a problem. I'm not much of a motor-vehicle aficionado, so I can't say whether or not a little piece of gum could be stuck somewhere to "gum" up the inner workings and cause me to barrel roll into a ditch somewhere. So I fetched someone from mall security to give my car a look over. He shined his little flashlight on the underside of my handle and immediately found the offending chewy mess. Apparently, he stuck it as far up the car handle as possible. And I, like most people, use the tips of my fingers to pull the handle, rather than shove my entire hand in it and yank it open. He screwed up a fuckin' gum prank! How stupid do you have to be? It's a good thing he left the note or I never would have known. I most certainly not get to "enjoy the gum!" I was cheated! Even mall security confirmed I was parked perfectly within the lines. He stated there were some very sick people out there, and I tend to agree. Here's a little note to you drivers of grossly-proportioned vehicles out there. If you try to park in a normal spot, everyone will park "a little close" to you if they're within the boundaries of their own spot. You are not entitled to have the spots to your left and right vacated so you can swing your door wide open, stretch your legs, scratch your crotch and grunt. Blah blah blah, drivers of big vehicles are compensating for something, blah, blah blah. I drive a Honda Civic, which I guess can be deemed complimentary towards my manhood. The best part of all this is, while I've beaten lesser men using nothing but my intellect before, this is the first time I defeated someone without even being present. If that lunatic is the kind of person who has to get revenge on someone who's in the right, what will he do to someone who "inconveniences" him worse? I think heavy fines and jail time is in someone's future. Now that I look at the note more, the hand-writing distinctly female, based on what I’ve seen from girls. Especially because the fact the period at the end is a circle. Could it be this sadist was a woman? At least I could have sweet-talked my way out of this one! On second thought, maybe the ineffective gum treatment was safer.

I don't want to leave you all with a sour impression of mankind, so I'll relay the cool thing I checked out today prior to my inadvertent victory over idiocy. I didn't visit the mall tonight to shop at The Hot Topic or (blech) Old Navy. As I currently work in the electronics department of a retail store with a video game selection, I get visited by representatives from Nintendo. Great guys who know and appreciate the product, just like me. Anyway, they invited me to check out the neighboring mall at 6 'o clock. They told me it was a sponsored event where they would show off the Nintendo DS Lite, such as new models and games. Being the fan boy for the Big N I am, I was only too happy to take them up on their offer. I saw both of them there, as well as employees from Electronics Boutique at both this mall and the one I work at (for the record, the two malls are within five minutes of each other). There was a big deal about people being able to bring in their DS and their copy of Nintendogs to get an exclusive pair of sunglasses for their digital pooch to wear, promoted as the special glasses that Haylie Duff's (Hillary's sister) dog has. There were a bunch of bean bag chairs where the kids could huddle together with their game-nines to get the bonus shades. See what I did back there? I combined the words "game" with "canines" to make a completely new word for the English language. I'm a professional writer. I assure you I'm allowed to do this. If you weren't into the Nintendogs thing, which is one of the system's highest sellers, they also had a station available for you to wirelessly download demos of DS titles of the present and future. While they had three DS Lites set up for visitors, I was well prepared by bringing my own DS to the festivities, so I was able to download and try out numerous games at my leisure. There were about 20 games and short movies to experience, but I only tried my hand at the few I was interested in. The games I tested are as follows:

Metroid Prime Hunters: Not a big fan of first person shooters, but I did get very far in Gamecube's Metroid Prime. I was hesitant to buy this, and today I found out with good reason. The controls are difficult, as it feels as if you need three hands to play. One hand to move your character, the other to jump and shoot, and another to control your viewpoint. I'm not one of those "purists" who believe game franchises like Mario and Sonic don't belong in 3-D, but I can't say I support Samus' switch to FPS. I'd love to give her a try in third-person. I'm also huge fan of her 2-D outings, including her recent adventures on Game Boy Advance.
Meteos: I read the instructions and still don't get it. The controls are just bizarre.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: I was keeping an eye on this upcoming release, and managed to demo it here. However, the experience kind of turned me off, as controlling the Mini-Marios with the stylus doesn't seem natural. Those little wind-up toys move kind of on their own. Hmm... perhaps the controls are dead on, then.
Clubhouse Games- Darts: Clubhouse Games will feature many parlor games in its cartridge, and you could sample Darts here. Just touch the dart on the touch screen and push it forward to the dartboard on the top screen. I can't even begin to figure out why we're supposed to be entertained by this.
Magnetica: I saved the best for last, and boy did I enjoy this one. It's kind of hard to describe, but it's a puzzle game where you use your stylus to fling marbles at an ever-growing "snake" of marbles spiraling towards the center of the screen where your own marble launcher is situated. If your marble connects with two or more of the same color, they disappear, and when the gap you made closes, it could potentially make a chain of other similarly colored marbles vanish as well. As this was my favorite, I kept it loaded in my DS when I left. Just a note, all demos disappear after you turn the unit off, but closing the DS itself enters it into hibernation to save on power. Plus, I have it plugged into the charger. I may very well purchase this one.
Don't accuse me of being a DS hater because I didn't like a majority of those games. My library consists of 19 titles to date, with many more I'm looking forward to. I guess these just weren't "there" for me. But it's not a complete loss. Besides a demo of Magnetica, my man Johnathan hooked me up with a free DS shirt.
Check me out, I'm a corporate shill! An extra-large one! Wiiiiiiiiiii!

And that’s just the way it is…

Sleep Terrors

Originally posted September 17, 2006

Night Terrors aka Sleep Terrors is a condition where, during a certain stage of sleep, one becomes paralyzed while mentally seeing a traumatic scenario taking place. The reason why I'm writing about this subject today is because I, myself, am afflicted by it. Personally, I prefer the title of Sleep Terrors as opposed to Night Terrors, as I've experienced them not only at night, but in the morning and during early evening naps. Different people have unique experiences, such as seeing demons to infamous tellings of alien abduction. For a much more in-depth look about this sleep disorder, check out The Night Terrors Resource Center at http://www.nightterrors.org/.

I think my first experience with Sleep Terrors was a couple years ago. I recall waking up one morning in the fetal position for the second time in my life. The first was when I was still in my mother’s womb. (Get it?) Anyway, while I was in this position, I remember not being able to move myself at all. As if my all of my bone joints were locked in place. This only lasted about a moment as I fell back to sleep quickly. Perhaps this wasn't a case of Sleep Terror, as I recalled nothing happening in my brain that could be considered frightening. Unless you count "Woah. Can't move. I didn't feel like getting up anyway. Back to sleep."

Before I even knew about this condition, I had thought my problem was caused by something else. Something of the supernatural sort. But I didn't come up with that conclusion on my own. I had read a book entitled Vampires: The Occult Truth by Konstantinos. It's a tome that describes all sorts of vampires, from those of folklore to today's mortal blood-drinkers. It even discussed a phenomenon that was new to me: Psychic vampires. The book describes beings who, either intentionally or unintentionally, project their body's spirits to acquire power from the spirits of others. So rather than obtaining life force from sucking blood, they just steal energy from your body. Unintentional psychic vampires are usually weaker people, perhaps inflicted with a disease, whose spirits instinctively drain other people to support itself. Then there's intentional psychic vampires, folks who actually train their spirits to depart from their bodies as they slumber to seek out usually sleeping victims. They believe that this practice not only makes themselves stronger, but will allow them to continue to inhabit the Earth as wandering spirits after their bodies have perished. The symptoms described in the book from a psychic vampire attack are being abruptly awakened from sleep, unable to move, speak, and difficulty breathing. You watch helplessly as some demonic form appears over your body, sending tendrils from within to latch onto you and drain you of energy. Then its said that, when the vampire has had its fill, it releases you and you fall back to sleep.

It wasn't long after reading this book that I started to experience a similar situation as a psychic vampire attack. Similar, but a tad different. I will give a detailed telling of my own Sleep Terrors before this essay ends, but I want to tell you the fun part first. Konstantinos' book also tells you how to protect yourself from "hag attacks", as they can be known as. I studied it, and decided to give it a try myself. What did I have to lose? So here are the notes I took from the book to tell you what I did to protect my spirit from evil.

-Enter a shower or bath.
-Close your eyes and "feel" the water on your skin. In the shower, concentrate on the tingling sensation of the stream of water hitting you. In a bath, focus on the feeling of being surrounded by water.
-After a moment of silent meditation on those sensations, you should be ready to imagine there is more than just liquid against or around you. Imagine that the tingling is a static field of energy surrounding you, or that the liquid sensation all around you is an aura of energy.
-Keep eyes closed and try to "astrally see" or visualize what the energy field surrounding you might look like. Begin to look for any dark spots in it. If you don't see any, or are having a difficult time visualizing, just assure yourself that you are aware of your aura and any impurities it might have.
-Visualize the dark impurities leaving your aura and either being washed away by the shower, or being absorbed by the water.
-When you feel you've "cleansed" yourself as much as possible, step out of the shower or bath. You are now free of many impurities.

Banishing Ritual
-Requires glass of water, dish of salt, white candle, and stick of incense. Matches.
-Set these up on a small table in the center of the room. Incense on east side, candle on south side, water on west side, and salt on north side. Dim the lights.
-Stand to the west of the table, facing east. Close eyes and take three slow, deep breaths. Feel the body of energy around you. Open your eyes and light the incense stick. Carry it around the perimeter of the room clockwise. As you do, say "I purify this space with Air." Return to position and put the incense back in the holder.
-Light the candle. Pick it up and walk clock-wise around the perimeter saying "I purify this space with Fire". Return to position and put the candle back into the holder.
-Pick up the water and walk clockwise around the perimeter. Sprinkle drops of water with your fingers as you do so, saying "I purify this space with Water". Return to position and place the glass down.
-Pick up the dish and walk around the perimeter, dropping pinches of salt and say "I purify this space with Earth." Return to position and set the salt down.
-Clear mind as much as possible. Close your eyes, take three more deep breaths, and turn face up. "See" in your mind's eye that there is a glowing ball of light directly above you..
-Imagine that with each inhalation you take, the ball of white light gets closer. Soon it will come through the top of your head and move to the center of your chest. It should make you feel as if there is a source of warm energy pulsing within you.
-Begin to imagine that it is getting larger with each exhalation. In a minute it should become a sphere of light that is large enough to surround you and the table. Keep expanding it in your mind until it fills the entire circle you made with the other elements.
-Select a symbol that you feel represents protection. Try to visualize it as being about the size of your hand and floating inside your chest where the ball of energy was. Imagine it to be glowing a soft golden color. When you can "see" it in your chest, open your eyes. Visualize the symbol floating to the east of your circle. See it as being about two feet tall and glowing in blue light. Do the same to the south, west and north of the circle. Seal the sphere around you by visualizing the symbol flat below you at the edge of the sphere below the ground. Look up and visualize the symbol flat above you at the top edge of the sphere.
-Concentrate on the circle and symbols around you and say "I stand now in sacred space. Only light may enter this purified area."

Breaking The Ties
-Only perform if suffering from repeated attacks.
-Move to a place where you can comfortably sit or lie. Even if you're not certain of your ability to find astral tendrils connected to you, visualizing they are there and dealing with them as follows will result in the same outcome.
-When comfortable, close eyes. Take three deep breaths and try to become aware of the subtle astral body surrounding you. Try to "look" for areas of your aura that feel "wrong". Try to sense dark tendrils. Open eyes and try to sense where they are.
-Lift right hand and extend pointer finger. Imagine a foot-long beam of yellow light emanating from the tip of your finger. Feel it pulsing like a short sword of energy. Use it to cut the tendrils off your astral body. They should writhe away from you. "Burn" the edge of each one with your sword after cutting it loose. After cutting all the tendrils off, let the sword dissipate, and spend a few moments feeling your energy body, sensing it is sealed off and vibrant.

Astral-Body Programming
-If attacked on a regular basis, do this ritual every week for about a month, then switching to every other week, then finally once a month.
-Get a comfortable place to sit. Take a few deep breaths. With eyes closed, continue to concentrate on your astral body, seeing it as a body of white light surrounding you.
-Feel astral body of light expand with each inhalation and contract with exhalation. When you feel aura is under conscious control, continue making it expand with inhalation. Don't make it contract with exhalation. The aura will continue to grow each time you breathe in. The further it gets from your body, the less it resembles your shape. When it reaches a distance of about two feet, it should resemble an oval of white light that encases you. Stop increasing its size.
-Spend a minute focusing on the astral shield. Concentrate on the fact that the shield can not be penetrated. Repeat several times the following mantra with long drawn out exhalations: "I am shielded from all psychic attack, I am protected from all harm."
-Visualize your aura growing brighter with each exhalation as you repeat the statement. Do it for three exhalations, then with each repetition of the mantra, see astral needles forming on the surface of the aura. Add more needles as you repeat the mantra two more times.
-Stop repeating the mantra and concentrate on the astral body. It should be heavily armored with needles. Spend a moment convincing yourself of this. While concentrating on it, repeat the following mantra for the next three exhalations: "These spikes shall repel all harm, by day and night." On the next exhalation, say with conviction: "When danger is near, these spikes shall appear!"
-Now with each exhalation, see the astral shell decrease in size. As it gets closer to your skin, it should resemble your shape again, and imagine the needles decreasing in size. When the aura has shrunk to the size of your body, see it as being smooth and feel it as part of your body. Meditate for a moment on the fact that from this point on, your astral body will swell and form its protective spikes if you are ever under psychic attack.
-Open eyes and get up. Do something to return to normal consciousness, and don't think about the rite. Thinking about it might adversely affect its outcome.

I usually skipped the purification process, but the rest of the ritual I performed about six times. I stopped after I was "attacked" the very night I did a ritual. Maybe I should have done the purification after all.

Now for my own personal recollections of Sleep Terror. And for those wondering exactly what it feels like to be "paralyzed", just think of your entire body vibrating violently, but unable to move any body part yourself.
While unconscious, whatever image my mind is projecting, whether it was a dream or just darkness, dissipates in a splash of light. Then one of two things occur:
1.) With my eyes shut and my world shroud completely in darkness, I see faint, demonic images fade in and out. Or I feel as if my subconscious is on some hellish roller-coaster ride in full color, with these freaky creatures rapidly moving past me so fast I can hardly tell what they are. Hard to give them a good description, but some can definitely be classified as skulls. Not only am I seeing these creepy things, but I also hear low, growling voices speaking in some bizarre language that I can't understand. Now keep in mind that during this, I can't move or speak, as I have tried in vain. On a few occasions, I've tried to lift my hand and extend my middle finger. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I tried to flip off whatever disturbed individual I thought was stealing my precious spirit.
2.) I enter another dream state where I feel as if I'm awake and lying in bed. Still not being able to move under my own power, I start to feel my body being lifted from the bed, my covers slipping off as I go higher. Sometimes I just float there, other times I feel myself being turned around in mid-air, and even moved all around the room. Sometimes I'm slowly pushed off the bed and onto the floor beside it, only to be lifted again and moved elsewhere. I never actually see or hear a demon as in the first scenario. I know this is a dream instead of an actual occurrence because I will randomly wake up from it, wrapped tightly in my covers.

It was upon researching the subject more that I discovered my condition resembled Sleep Terrors as opposed to psychic vampirism. But do psychic vampires really exist? I guess I'll never know until I truly do get attacked, but I‘m doubtful. I also notice that a lot of cases of Sleep Terror note that the victim would usually wake up screaming, but that's never happened to me. I'm also glad there is a medical reason for my condition... and that contrary to popular belief, I am not possessed by Satan. I'm happy to report that my attacks are now few and far between. Before, it was every few days, once a week, or even on successive nights. Since I did begin to experience what I thought were "hag attacks" after reading about psychic vampires, perhaps it was only the power of suggestion that made me believe such a thing could happen to me. Sort of how, if you truly think you are sick, you will begin to feel like it. I've read about what may cause a person to have Sleep Terror, and such things as increased brain activity, high stress levels, and being over-tired could be attributed to me. Such is the life of a fiction writer.

Wondering if psychic vampire attacks count as intercourse...

I'm Checkin' In

Originally posted June 14, 2006

I have not written here for a while. Probably due to the fact that not a whole lot is going on right now. And that I don't believe I have any audience at all. I'm looking into subscribing to a web site listing service so Googlers and Yahooligans can stumble across my page. If they're looking for web sites based on such subjects as "James Gannon, "Callous", "Idle", and "writing". All at the same time.

I recently finished reading a book called Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, written in 1961. My co-worker, Ray Gustafson, lent it to me thinking I might enjoy it. The book was in dilapidated condition after being in storage for a great many years. Sadly, the book didn't fare much better in my possession due to the fact I had to OPEN the thing several times. Both the wrinkled front and back covers fell off, and many flecks of paper tore off. This book was purchased back when a novel cost seventy-five cents. The book can also be considered a gift to me, as Ray consented to me holding onto it after finishing. You probably heard of the term "Catch-22" before. It's generally a situation you can't get out of because the solution somehow gets you tangled even further into your predicament. For example: The only way to get a credit card is to have a good credit history. And the only way to get a good credit history is by using a credit card. Trust me, I have first-hand experience. Where the hell was I? Oh yes, the book. I highly recommend it if you're a serious reader, because your comprehension skills must be refined to understand the bizarre writing style. The words are easy for those with low reading skills, but the way they're arranged throughout the novel is remarkable. It will play with your head, but if you "get it", you will thoroughly enjoy the read.

I haven't been "Brain Aging It" for a while. Too consumed with other games (Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros.), plus other aspects of my life. Sadly, writing and drawing hasn't been one of them. I need to organize my time better.

There was only one catch... and that was Catch-22.

Memory Lane

Originally posted May 26, 2006

As I was cleaning out my room/office, I came upon several items that I shoved in a cabinet inside my closet. Things that you don't really have a use for, but want to hold onto anyway for sentimental reasons. Among such things are...
-All the cards from my 21st birthday at Dave & Buster's. Most of them offered hilarious anecdotes about getting drunk, but the truth is, I didn't. August 31st, 2002 was the first and last time I've ever consumed alcoholic beverages. Not soley because of my aversion to screwing up my rational thought patterns, but because I just flat out didn't like the taste. My first experiment was with some yellow concoction which I could only take a few sips of. Then there was another called "Purple Hooter" which I could only tolerate. So yes, on my 21st birthday, I sucked down a hooter. Just don't ask me to elaborate, or the innuendo is lost.
-Also from my D&B birthday celebration, a portrait of myself done by one of those photo-booths that take your picture, draw your image, and then spits it out the side. The machine's name was "Leonardo", and according to his digital voice, I was "a masterpiece". I recall looking at the picture after it was developed and saying to myself, "I'm going to stop combing my hair back."
-A thank-you note from my cousins David and Stacy. It was in reference to a wedding gift. In their own words, they enjoyed having me there. That's right folks, I'm available for parties!
-The farewell card from my job at Shaw's Supermarket, as well as the name tag. I was there for 3 years, so I guess I struck a cord with at least the 10 people who signed the card. Two girls made reference to how I never smile, a quality which I proudly maintain to this very day. A note of interest, this card was signed by our very own pedophile and his victim!
-A few keepsakes from my days as a wrestling fan. That ended in '03, but I held onto them. Autographs from Kane and Mick "Mankind" Foley. As well as 7 ticket stubs from live wrestling events I attended. Two from the now-extinct Warwick Musical Theater, and 4 from The Providence Civic Center/The Dunk, one of which was a Pay Per View.
-Newspaper clippings in reference to the tragic death of Owen Hart. Owen was one of my favorite performers, no matter which nickname he was labeled as. His passing hit me pretty hard, despite the fact I didn't know him personally. You watch a guy perform weekly for you after a certain amount of years, it's hard to come to grips with the fact that you will never see him again, and without a proper send-off. I also found the black armband I initialed with O.H. that I wore with me for a week after he died.
-My previous driver's license and a one dollar bill, "Silver Certificate" edition. I'm hoping at least one of these will be worth something to someone someday.
-My cap, gown, and diploma from high school graduation. I better hold on to these, because they are the last kinds of these items I will procure in my lifetime.

Still nothing in the Links section. I was going to add a link to a site of an associate of mine, but he has never responded to my invitation. I will only link to sites with permission from the owners.

Last few Brain Ages since I last wrote are 23, 33, and now 35. It's been a while since I last tested.

And that's just the way it is.

The Ants Have Invaded

Originally posted May 13, 2006

Unbeknownst to you all, I bought an ant farm. Today, a day that will live on forever in infamy, the ants have arrived. This is my second attempt at caring for them, the first being when I was only a little callous. I didn't feed or water them as often as I should have, and what happens when you don't provide such things to a living creature. THEY DIE. I guess I was more careless than callous, actually. Funny now that I think of it. I was a fat little kid back then, but I couldn't spare any grub for my insect buddies. I'm one of the very few people who enjoyed Maxis's SimAnt program. I don't step on ants, and won't even crush them under my callous fist if I find one in my room. I've always been fascinated by the little buggers because of their extreme intelligence, and wonder why it took so long for me to go on down to the farm again.

I started the farm off by making three tunnels in the dirt by pushing into it with a straw. But when the ants arrived, the first thing they did was fill two of them with sand. Ungrateful bitches. It was a decision that didn't garner support by all. A few would dig into the two unwanted tunnels to deepen them, but the rest would start throwing other sand grains right down into it afterwards, oftentimes on the heads of the "rebels". Which just goes to show that even ants can be pricks. It appears their first task at hand is to clear a path directly underneath the plastic seperating the dirt from the open area.

Even worse, as one ant slept inside a tunnel marked for a landfill, the others fucking BURIED HER ALIVE. At least wake the poor little SOB and warn her. When she woke up, she had to claw her way out. If I were an ant in her situation, I would have kicked some abdomen after freeing myself. But then again, the only male ants are breeder ants and have no business working in tunnels. Just for the record, all worker ants (which is the only type my Uncle Milton will ship) are female. So I'll do my best to refer to individual ants as "her" and not "him".

To correct wrongdoings of the past, I squeezed a few droplets of water in there to quench their thirsts. Disproving how smart I thought they were, three ants would hoard themselves onto one drop. Perhaps they're social drinkers. When they do drink, they just stick their faces into the water and become immobile. Sort of like how you would just relax at the bar after a hard day's work. One wanted to pass by them, and she tried her hardest not to touch any droplets in her path. I guess she's courteous to her sisters in not wanting to taint the water supply.

Mother's Day tomorrow. Bought mine some untraditional flowers called Heathers and a card that said "You've always been like a mother to me". Well, she has.

Current Brain Age: 28

I, for one, welcome our ant overlords.

MySpace Celebs

Originally posted May 13, 2006

I added a few legit celebrity profiles to my Friends Space on Myspace during the past week, and today I decided to deliver comments to all of them. When I did so on Eminem's, I started getting friend requests from unknown rappers. One of their profile pictures had the guy flipping its viewer off. Why the hell would I want to be your friend if you're telling me to go fuck myself? Why would I want to be your friend anyway? Are you saying "If you like Eminem, you'll love Jay-Vee?" No. You're not Eminem. You're not even Dr. Seuss. A third friend request was from a girl named Natalie who made a profile TODAY. And it was filled with about 70 Eminem fans. She requested that you AIM her at a certain name, and I checked the profile of said name and it said "oscSock version 1.2 beta". I did some research and determined that it's a code that can really screw up your messenger service. As a matter of fact, I believe I got similair looking friend requests from profiles resembling hers. You mean all those pretty blond girls DON'T want to be my friend? I prefer brunettes a tiny degree more anyway. Nothing against blondes and redheads, I'm not shallow enough to judge based on hair color.

James Gannon Trivia: The last three women I had a strong interest in were blondes who dyed their hair black.

An excerpt from Elvira's Myspace bulletin, in regards to her attending Gay Pride Events to raise awareness: "With those boys, I can't seem to raise anything else!" That's fucking GOLD. But why does there have to be gay awareness events? I'm well aware of gay people.

Today at work (the place where I'm not writing or drawing) I bumped into someone from high school (I graduated in '99). He's married now and has a government job driving a truck in the construction field. His face hasn't changed a bit, and I immediately recognized him. But he was the one who noticed me first, and I'm surprised that he could tell who I was considering I dropped about twenty-one pounds since we last saw each other. He's married, and I can tell he matured. Why do I say that? Because he treated me like ABSOLUTE SHIT in school and he was very polite this time around. If everyone else I knew from school changed like him, I may go to the High School Reunion after all.

I added a new button and page to James-Gannon.com. I originally had an About page when I first started, but pulled it because I didn't think it was needed. But then I decided that, instead of having newcomers dip into every page to find out what everything is about, I'd give them a place to start which explains everything regarding my career, my work, and the site itself. Then there's the News page, because I thought taking the news off the main page would make it look better. When devising a button for it, I wanted it to feature another one of my characters. So I chose one of the major villains from my series, Judas Champion. Judas is Callous' arch-nemesis and is going to be featured prominately in my current project, The Devil's Hand. The button depicts Judas on the front page of Idle's newspaper's Sports section. The photo's caption reads "Idle's Judas Champion Wins Karate Tourney".

Last night's Brain Age: 31
Current Brain Age: 27

And that's just the way it is...

Counter, Countim

Originally posted May 10, 2006

Another blog entry already? I figure, hey, if I have the material, why not present it?

Just a notice: I've decided not to post a blurb in the News Section whenever I post a new Epitaph. You'll just have to check it out every once in a while.

Yesterday was the weekly new DVD release day. What did I pick up out of all the Hollywood "gems" that were in the theater for approximately two weeks about half a year ago? None. I purchased season one of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.

To Myspace bloggers out there: If you're going to talk trash about someone, you have to at least be better than the person you're insulting. A criminal record and a need to change your pants every time you pass gas doesn't make you superior to someone who can hold a steady job and makes new lady friends regularly. No, this has nothing to do with me personally.

I spent the last part of 2005 and all of 2006 working on graphics for this web site, so I haven't had time to do any major pieces of art like you'd see in my gallery. And since I still have a list of graphics I would like to create, this won't change soon. But I am trying to make time for one major drawing. This piece is unrelated to my writings, for it is a tribute to another person. It's going to be done in photo-realistic style, similair to my self-portrait, but I will concentrate more on details this time.

I have the option of putting a counter on my site. But since I like to look at this site myself numerous times throughout the day, I'd lose track of which hits are from me or visitors. I would appreciate it if new visitors at least posted a little something on my Tag-Board. People have an aversion to it for some reason, thinking that if they compliment me on my work, I will go insane with rage, find where you live, and murder you and your family in a most grotesque fashion. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY "HI". And I apologize for the pop-up in advance. Why don't you have a pop-up blocker anyway? What am I talking about, I have Firefox and I still get one.

About the button I created for The Epitaph: There's nothing cooler than crafting your own tombstone.

Nintendo DS (the preferred gaming and communication device of Idle's citizens) has a great non-game out known as Brain Age. It contains activities centered around reading, writing, arithmatic, concentration, and memorization. After doing a select few, it will calculate your "brain age" based on how well you performed. 20 is the best possible score. I try to exercise my intellect at least once a day and will keep you informed of my progressions.
Here are all my results since my first time: 67, 44, 51, 49, 43, 35, 41, 32, 29
Current Brain Age: 34

And that just the way it is...

Why Keep A Blog?

Originally posted May 8, 2006

Welcome to the beginning of the personal blog of James Gannon, a little something I like to call "The Epitaph". The content of this blog isn't political commentary or general world news. Rather, it will contain thoughts I have and various going-ons in my life. I will also elaborate more on news bits I post.

I used to keep blogs off and on long before I established an official domain name, but they were usually short lived. Not knowing exactly what to talk about, it came to me that most people won't want to know what I had for lunch. Because of this, don't expect a new blog entry every day. I'll try at least a couple times a week if I'm not ready to drop from fatigue by the time it comes to write them. I will also throw in a bunch of short, random comments that I hope might make you chuckle a bit, or at least not make you roll your eyes back in your head too far. Whether I'm forming a novel or typing a blog entry, my main goal is to entertain you.

I guess a major reason that I decided to commit to this... commitment... is from what I read in a book about writing. Even though my stories are going to be the bread and butter of my career (I just made myself hungry) it appears that the writer himself is important in selling the book. By that, I don't mean I'll throw a bunch of copies of my literature into the trunk of my car and try to sell them to every person on the sidewalk. I mean that I will have to use my charisma to catch the attention of an audience so I can promote my book to them. And if anyone knows me, they know I have virtually no charisma. But that should work in my favor, as this writer's attitude matches his writings. Serious, but with hints of humor thrown in. This blog will be an online extension of my character.

I also have to restrain myself a bit on various topics, because there are certain subjects that people just can't stand hearing a different viewpoint on. This goes especially true for topics such as politics, religion, and oddly enough, sports. But if there is something I feel strongly about, I will comment on it. Hopefully my regular readers will agree with me and not go insane with the hate mail trying to sway my opinion to their side by questioning my sexuality and making inaccurate accusations about my mother with inaccurate accusations. Don't worry, I know who I am. I am a writer, on my writing web site, writing on my writing blog. I will keep things mostly in tune to my career and try not to stray too far off the beaten path.

Finally, I read a very short, useful, and to-the-point piece of advice in the same writing book I mentioned before: "Writers write". Blogging every once in a while will hopefully improve my skills in the long run.

And that is my explanation for keeping a blog. Just remember that no one is forcing you to read it, and if you choose to, I hope you enjoy it.

And that's just the way it is.