Taking the plunge on Jamendo.

After months of exploring Jamendo and listening to the music on offer there, I decided to take the plunge and upload some of my own music and share it with the world. In doing so, I have in a way turned into an independent artist, although I still see myself as an amateur who enjoys creating music in his spare time.

As of this writing, I have three tracks uploaded, all of them early works.

  • Space Dreams – A soothing, ambient track and one of my personal favorites. I enjoyed it so much that I played it while at work in the office where I was employed at the time. A co-worker overheard it and liked it so much that he wanted me to upload it to the server that stored the music files for everyone’s listening enjoyment.
  • Trip Hopping – A catchy, cheerful track originally created as an instrumental track for an imaginary rap group but it took on a completely new life of its own.
  • Pretty Strange – At just over 5 minutes, this is one of my longer tracks and the result of an impromptu one-man jam session. I weaved in some of the better parts to the steady rhythm, added some effects and ended up with a unique track I consider a personal favorite.

Now to wait and see how these tracks do. As of this writing, they have received 87 plays. Not bad for a start, but then again, I’m only getting started myself.

Dryekoff.

I glanced at the clock and groaned.

9:30.

Time for bed.

I don’t want to go to bed.

The usual arguing with my inner self.

I slowly strolled to my bedroom, continuing this silent arguing as I turned off the lights in the hallway before entering my bedroom. To get to my bed I had to squeeze past the large speakers, the amplifiers, drum kit and four guys that stood in my way near the middle of the bedroom.

Yes, there was a rock band in my bedroom.

“Going to sleep, dude?” asked the drummer.

“Yes,” I replied, “and I would very much appreciate a quiet night for once so I can sleep.”

“But we gotta practice!” complained the guitarist.

“Look, you guys had all day to practice!” I shot back. “Why do it now when I have to sleep? I gotta be up early!”

The four guys stood silently as if my words finally got to them. Then slowly, one by one, the four guys left my bedroom, grumbling.

Finally.

I turned off the lights and rested my head on the pillow. Just when I felt myself drift away to sleep, the four guys dashed back into my bedroom, turned on the amps and let loose with a deafening jam that shook me awake.

“Waugh!” I screamed as I sat up. Abruptly the band stopped playing and stared at me with mischievous grins.

“So, what do you think?” asked the bassist.

“I think it’s too late!” I yelled. “Can’t you guys wait until morning when I’m not here?”

“But we’re busy in the morning!” the singer yelled back.

“DOING WHAT?”

“SLEEPING!” the four guys yelled.

“GET OUT!” I screamed. “ALL OF YOU!”

“But-”

“NO BUTS! OUT!” I screamed. Abruptly the band quickly left my bedroom and I closed the door behind them. For good measure I locked it, too.

Finally.

I collapsed on my bed and a few minutes later felt myself beginning to drift away to sleep. Suddenly the door was kicked open as the band rushed back into my bedroom and began jamming with the volume on full blast. Once again I sat up and screamed at them to stop and they did, only to resume playing when I was nearly asleep.

And this went on all night.

Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep, no thanks to these guys who call themselves Dryekoff.

The band name is a play on the words “dry cough”, the most annoying part of getting sick. Long after the other symptoms have cleared, the dry cough lingers, staying quiet during the day but getting worse at night, especially when you’re trying to sleep.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Green mulch.

I was working outside in the garden department when I saw a spaceship land in the parking lot. A small green man stepped out and walked up to me, his hand held up in greeting.

“Greetings,” he said. “I am Aaga from the planet Qylxzy. Do you have any green mulch here?”

“I’m sorry?” I asked. “Did you say, green mulch?”

“Correct.”

“Sorry, we do not carry green mulch. We do carry mulch in red, brown and black, and we do have cypress mulch, but we do not carry any green mulch.”

“You make this difficult,” Aaga snarled as he pulled out a tiny phaser gun. “Prepare to be annihilated.”

“With that tiny thing?” I laughed.

Aaga fired his phaser at a shelf of merchandise along the wall, which promptly disappeared. “Something funny?” he asked as he pointed the phaser at my chest.

Now I knew Aaga meant business. After some quick brainstorming, I came up with an idea. “I’ll be right back,” I said.

I grabbed a bag of cypress mulch and took it inside to the paint department where I took a can of green spray paint. Then I went outside behind the store and spread the mulch out on the pavement before painting it green. After a few minutes, I put the mulch back in its original bag and carried it back to the garden department where Aaga was waiting.

“Here you are,” I grinned as I handed over the green mulch.

“Oh, this is great!” Aaga beamed as he examined the bag. “I’d like 99 more, please.”

I gulped in shock. Recovering my composure, I said, “I’m sorry, but this is all we have.”

Aaga once again aimed his phaser at my chest and repeated, “I said, I’d like 99 more, PLEASE.”

Now I really had to think fast. Grabbing a floor jack, I towed a pallet of cypress mulch outside behind the store before heading back to the paint department to grab cans and cans of green paint. Then I went to the rental department and borrowed their portable cement mixer. Once back outside, I poured the paint inside the mixer before adding the mulch. Slowly I filled the bags with green mulch and several long hours later, finally finished the task. Sweating and panting, I pulled the pallet of green mulch back to the garden department where Aaga was still waiting. When he saw the green mulch, he beamed and said, “Excellent! I’ll take it.”

After paying for the green mulch and loading it in his spaceship, Aaga took off, waving at me as he disappeared into the sky. I stood silently, sweating and panting with spots of green paint all over my clothes, but I felt good for going above and beyond to provide the excellent customer service even aliens from other planets deserve.

A few hours later, five small spaceships landed in the parking lot. Aaga had returned, accompanied by four small green men. He led them up to me, where they all stood before me while smiling.

“These are my neighbors,” Aaga explained, “They like my green mulch so much that they want some too!”

I fainted.

The day after Halloween.

It’s the day after Halloween
The time is right
To buy stuff on clearance
And go out tonight
With my scary mask on
As I go door to door
Starting a trend
No one’s heard of before
Then I get in the car
And drive around town
To look at decorations
Not yet taken down
While I’m at it
I think I’ll go browse
And scream my way
Through an old haunted house
Just when I see one
I mumble and pout
The house is still there
But the props are all out
There goes my night
And my evening of fear
Time to go home
And then plan for next year

Fiddlecow.

[An old story from years ago, back when I dared to mix fiction with the surreal. If you don’t like it, I’ll understand.]

Kreyen and Merkins stepped out of the Elevator of Slow Motion onto the Floating Floor. On the ceiling were “Wet Ceiling” signs. Merkins hailed a doctor with shaving cream all over his head.

“Hello, Merkins,” he said, “What are you here?”

The word FOR sailed out of his right ear.

“I’m here to pick up Kreyen’s father. He is recovered, has he not?”

The doctor flipped through his clipboard and sprayed shaving cream on one page. The word YES sailed out of his left ear.

“This way please.” the doctor said.

The trio lay down and rolled to Kreyen’s father’s room. They saw him shining flashlights around the room.

“Father!” yelled Kreyen.

“Son!” yelled the flashlights before singing a song about how the M’s are printed on M&M’s candy.

“How are you feeling?”

“Very good. The team of miniature schnauzers all wagged their tails and fed me Certain.”

“MEDICINE!” howled the schnauzers.

“Let’s go. Shall we take the bus?”

“Yes.”

Everyone walked home, heel after heel.

My amazing mind.

[An entry from my old journal book, presented here unaltered, unabridged and uncensored.]

An article in Woman’s Weekly said that 1 in 6 Americans have a 6th sense – psychic senses. I have this sense as well as ESP. Here are some incidents to prove it. They are not in order, but categorized for easy reference.

  • The earliest known experience I know of was the time I was a bagboy at Publix. I was bagging groceries when I started visualizing a little boy’s face. A few seconds later, I saw the same boy enter the store.
  • Another time I was working, I wanted to get a piece of bubblegum. So I went over to the gum machine and put the dime in, and visualized a pink gumball that would come out. It did.
  • My abilities are linked with radio waves, which controls my mind. I was cleaning my room when I started thinking of a tune called “Causing A Commotion”. I went over to the radio and turned it on, and heard the same tune.
  • More recently, the radio experience came back to me. This time I was expecting it. I asked myself, “What song is on right now?” Song titles flashed through my mind until I decided on “One More Try” by George Michael. I was right.
  • My first experience in ESP took place when I was driving to jogging class. I stopped at an intersection behind a huge truck who was blocking the traffic light. After a while my foot headed for the gas pedal. The light had changed green the very second it happened.
  • I was looking through TIME MAGAZINE when I saw the People section, a department dedicated to newsmakers. On the page, I saw a picture of a girl. I was immediately thinking of a tune called “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany. The second I looked at the caption, the picture was indeed of Tiffany.
  • June 17, 1988. When I stopped by K-mart to pick up my check, I had a shocking experience about what someone was going to say. As I was parking my car, I said aloud, in a feminine voice, “The checks will be in at 4 o’clock.” I was right about the time!

 

The ghost hunters.

Our first night. Steve and I arrived earlier this afternoon at Galilee, the abandoned retirement community rumored to be haunted by ghosts and poltergeists. We found our way into one of the apartments, which, to our surprise, was still fully furnished. We set up our gear in the bedroom which had two beds. All that was left to do was wait until dusk and watch for any signs of paranormal activity. To help us wait, we decided to take a nap.

A few hours later, it was beginning to get dark. As the sunlight faded, we could hear noises, noises of scratching, tapping and the occasional whisper. Steve and I held our breaths, hoping we weren’t spotted by the ghosts. Suddenly Steve’s bed began to swell as if it was being inflated. He tried to hang on but the mattress took on a round shape as it became so large that it began pressing up on the ceiling. Finally, the mattress exploded with a loud bang as Steve fell to the floor. He sat up in a daze, trying to figure out what has just happened.

“Bummer with the inflatable mattress, huh Steve?” I said.

After a long pause, Steve’s reply filled me with terror.

“Ian, I don’t think my mattress was inflatable.”