Sunday, July 16, 2017

Short Post and a Song #122: Mutache

Brace yourselves, guys: Today you're getting not one, not two, but three pages of Amerex, mostly because I feel bad the first two pages don't have any pictures.

Translation: Then she saw the purple haired girl. The girl said,

"We've been expecting you Jenna."

"But this is just my dream last night, isn't it?" Jenna asked.

"I don't know about your dream but this isn't it." she said, confused. "Now lets get you cleaned up."

She washed off Jenna's cut and put a bandage on it.

Translation: After that Jenna realized how beautiful the castle was It had tons of chandeliers and their rugs and furniture had beautiful unicorns on them. The girl with the purple hair was named Dolly.

"Come and meet my parents the king and queen!" Dolly exclaimed suddenly, pulling Jenna into the prettiest room of all, the throne room. Jen saw a man with green hair, a mutache, and nice clothes.

Translation: Next to him was a beautiful lady with purple hair and orange streaks.

"These are my parents Queen Hillary and King Ralph," Dolly said proudly.

"Oh, hello!" Hillary said. "Welcome to Amerex: Land of the Unicorns."

"Mom, this is the daughter of Eve I dreamed about," Dolly said.

"Oh!" Hillary said, "Ralph, order some tea and scones so we can talk to Jenna."

So there's not a whole of note in those first two pages (except "mutache" lol), but that third one, hoo boy. I love how Queen Hillary welcomes her to "Amerex: Land of the Unicorns", like they have to say the whole thing every time. It would be like if someone saw the girl from that terrible Dirty Dancing sequel dancing, asked her what she was doing, and she replied, "Why Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, of course". 

I also enjoy King Ralph's hideously weird proportions:

I lost half my arm in the war and my leg is actually a broomstick.

You'd think being a king he'd be able to afford better pants.

Also good job straight-up stealing "daughter of Eve" from C.S. Lewis, child self, A+. 


"For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder

It feels like a Stevie sort of Sunday.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Short Post and a Song #121: It hurt a lot!

Well Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Velocininjas, because I have decided to give you not one but two pages of Amerex today because I am a wise and generous soul.

Translation: I must be dreaming, she thought. Soon she found herself in a castle, standing in front of the most beautiful girl with purple hair...

"Wake up Jen Jen, time for school!" her mom yelled. So Jenna woke up, got ready and went to school. At recess, she was sitting with her best friend Tommy, talking about the dream.

"Maybe you'll have it again tomorrow, and you'll get to see how it turns out," Tommy replied.

I like the ellipsis after "purple hair". It makes her hair seem so ominous.

Translation: "I hope so," Jenna said. That night she had the dream again but it was different somehow. She soon found out why. At first everything was the same but when she cut herself on the glass, it hurt. It hurt a lot! It started to bleed so she rushed to the castle from last night.

In case you didn't get it, it hurt when Jenna cut herself. It hurt a lot!


"Impossible Germany" by Wilco

The first two and a half minutes of this song are all well and good, but it's what happens after that point that makes the song the masterpiece that it is. I'm linking a live version of the song since I personally get a little bit of a proximity-to-awesomeness high when I watch those amazing guitarists go.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Short Post and a Song #120: Jenna is unimpressed.

We have finally reached the proper story of Amerex: Land of the Unicorns, so let's jump right into it.

Translation of Pencil Cursive: Once Upon a time...

One night Jenna had the weirdest dream. She seemed to be standing on a cloud. She saw tons of unicorns some flying, some walking around. (in obnoxious purple pen) None of them look happy, she thought. (back to hard-to-read-pencil) She saw lots of sharp glass things on the edge of clouds She walked up to one and touched it. She got cut. It didn't hurt or bleed.

My favorite thing is how thoroughly underwhelmed Jenna looks by all of this. "Standing on a cloud? *shrug* Seeing tons of unicorns? I've seen better. I'll just touch some of this pointy glass, I guess."


"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone

I am actually not feeling good at all, due to having been sick with this bug/flu thing that has left me feeling like a balloon overstuffed with mucus and grossness for a full week. But I hope listening to this song might help to jumpstart the recovery process.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Short Post and a Song #119: Hope you're surprised!

Sorry for my absence last week, Velocininjas. A graduation party and Father's Day kept me busy all weekend. But now I have returned for the next thrilling installment of Looking At A Book I Made In "Build Your Own Book" Class When I Was Eleven!

You guys are getting two pages this week, since we still haven't gotten to the real story yet. In case anyone needs a translation for my terrible handwriting, the dedication says, "I'd like to dedicate this book to my two sisters at camp. Hope you're surprised! Love, Jill".

I am 97% sure that neither of my sisters ever saw this book. Their loss, right?

Next week the story shall truly begin. Are you excited, guys? You should be.


"Just Jammin'" by Gramatik

I know I mentioned this track when I featured another song by Gramatik, but I decided it should get its own entry as well. Long songs without words are great for writing (or any kind of work you can do while listening to music, really), and "Just Jammin'" is one of the best songs of that ilk I've come across. You would think things would get repetitive during a six-and-a-half-minute-long song like this, but the melody keeps reinventing itself enough to keep things interesting.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Short Post and a Song #118: My name is very fancy, you see

Hey my Velocininjas, I hope you're having a good weekend so far. I am going to be fairly busy for the next several weeks, so for the next few Short Post and a Songs I'm going to be posting the entirety of Amerex: Land of the Unicorns, the book I made in Build Your Own Book class when I was eleven.

That's the cover. I like my choice to make my name cursive while everything else was print. Good job keeping it weird, Lil Jill. I also enjoy how my magical world sounds like the lovechild of America and a Xerox machine. Tune in next week for Amerexian adventures!


"This Time Tomorrow" by The Kinks

This song is applicable to pretty much any dystopian story, particularly one starring a bunch of a teenagers, so I've been listening to it while working on The Renaissance Experiment quite a lot. It's also just a fantastic song by a fantastic band.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Short Post and a Song #117: Spiders for days

ME: *walks into forest*

SALESMAN: Welcome! Are you in the market for some sticks? We've got sticks, we've got rocks, we've got dirt, we've got leaves! And spiders? We've got spiders for days!


"The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box" by Modest Mouse

"Float On" has long been my favorite Modest Mouse song, but this guy's come dangerously close to sliding into first place for me lately. It's got a killer intro and suits the section of the second Renaissance Experiment book I've been working on quite well.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Short Post and a Song #116: The flourless chocolate cake is also chocolateless.

[at a trendy restaurant]

WAITER: And our dessert special is grilled yogurt and inverted peaches.

ME: The fuck is grilled yogurt?

ONE FRIEND TO ANOTHER: Wanna split the triple-spiced lentil waffles?

OTHER FRIEND: Only if we get the pasture raised eel syrup.


I Want You (She's So Heavy) by Juliette Valduriez

I've been listening to this nearly eight-minute-long Beatles song a lot while writing these days. Unfortunately YouTube does not appear to have a decent version of the original song, so please enjoy this video of Juliette Valduriez shredding like a motherfucking boss.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Short Post and a Song #115: My Greatest Disappointment

THERAPIST: What was your greatest disappointment?

ME: The Spice Girls never told me what they wanted. *sobs* They said they would but they never did.


"Starman" by David Bowie

This song has been stuck in my head for over a week, so Green Eggs and Dan has been serenaded with the 20% of the lyrics I know repeatedly. Most of the serenading consists purely of me just sing-yelling "StarDAAAAAAAAAAAAN" at him.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Short Post and a Song #114: This is what happens when I see graffiti I can't easily make sense of.

[Subway Platform]

RICK: Let's draw a dick on this pillar, Jimmy!

JIMMY: Naw, we'll get caught!

RICK: No one'll see. *pulls out marker and writes "No one will see it" on the pillar because he's clever and/or kind of an asshole*

POLICEMAN: Hey, you, stop writing on that pillar!

JIMMY: I told you, Rick!! *runs away*

RICK: *freezes, shocked by his own hubris. As he finally begins to run away, he draws a series of exclamation marks to emphasize the way this moment has forever changed the person he is, and the person he shall henceforth become*


"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads

So Jonathan Demme died about a week and a half ago, which is a real bummer since it always is when an awesome director dies, and he definitely was one. On his resume were Oscar-winning films like Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. Most significant to me personally is the fact that he directed Stop Making Sense, a 1984 concert film of the Talking Heads performing live.

"Psycho Killer" is the first performance of the concert, and it becomes clear pretty quickly that it's not going to be just the typical experience of watching a band perform. David Byrne comes out by himself and moves through the entire first song on his own, showing what a powerhouse of weird and awesome charisma he is. The angles of the camera show that Jonathan Demme never had any intention of just planting a camera in place and pointing it at the band. As a director he showed great instincts for when to move in close to the performers' faces, and when to go out long and display the band as one giant unit.

I highly recommend watching the entire concert. The first time I watched myself I was worried I wouldn't be entertained by simply watching a band play without the high energy atmosphere of actually attending the concert in person. But Byrne's Gumby dancing and irresistible energy pair with Demme's beautifully thoughtful direction to produce one of my favorite things I've ever watched. I posted another song from Stop Making Sense a few months back that displays how the show gets even better once the other members of the band are incorporated into the performance.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Short Post and a Song #113: I think I should be able to make it to Narnia in an armoire. Close enough, right?

[Furniture Store]

SALESPERSON: *knocks on the door of a bureau*

ME: *emerges from inside the bureau* Yes?

SALESPERSON: Can I ask what you were doing?

ME: Trying to get to Narnia.

SALESPERSON: *chuckles* I'll let it go this once. 

[literally two minutes later]

SALESPERSON: *finds me crammed inside a chifferobe* I should maybe point out that we don't actually sell wardrobes. And also ask that you leave the store immediately.


"Muy Tranquilo" by Gramatik

This song served as my constant, repeating soundtrack for a scene I was writing in the second Renaissance Experiment novel recently. It sounds like some very chill, very talented dudes just jamming for four minutes, and I mean that in the best possible way. Gramatik even has another song called "Just Jammin'" and it is also great.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Short Post and a Song #112: Where did you find all those friends who also like to sing in the car, Wayne? TELL ME YOUR GODDAMN SECRETS.

When I'm not alone in a car and "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on the radio I always want it to be like that scene in Wayne's World, but instead it's just me quietly squeaking, "Mama..." before lapsing into shameful silence.


"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

That car sing-a-long will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Short Post and a Song #111: Is glue involved? Or eye of newt?

Dear women who can wear their sunglasses on top of their heads without the sunglasses falling off every time they try to look down,


P.S. I don't mean that. Please be my friends and teach me your ways, you beautiful witch dragons.


"Bad Kids" by Black Lips

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Dan and I do not agree about this song. La La Dan thinks the lead singer can't sing and therefore the song sounds more like jarring noise than music. I, on the other hand, don't think this song would be anywhere near as good if it were sung by someone with a smooth, melodic sort of voice. The quality of the singing is punky, yelly, and rebellious, which fits the spirit of the song perfectly.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Short Post and a Song #110: Enjoy your happily ever after with Garbage Breath.

Whenever a dude proposes to a lady he's never even kissed at the end of a movie, and then they finally do kiss, I always imagine one of them recoiling and saying, "Ugh, your mouth tastes like garbage."


"Ebony Eyes" by Stevie Wonder

There's no big explanation for this one. I just really fucking love this song.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Short Post and a Song #109: Now THAT'S metal.

Today I saw a metal-looking dude wearing a leather jacket and a bandana, and he was walking a dog who was wearing a tiny leather jacket and a tiny bandana.


"October" by Broken Bells

I've still been plugging away at my Renaissance Experiment series these days. While I wait for some last bits of feedback on the first book from my readers, I've been been going back over my outlines for the other two books in the series to work out any kinks. I wrote those outlines in 2011 and the series has gone through quite a few changes since then, so I need to make sure some of the newer twists and turns fit into the original framework.

I've also been working on the second book in the series. I wrote the first eight chapters from 2011 to 2012, and have barely looked at them since. I read through all the old chapters, subtracted a fuckload of unnecessary exposition, and now I'm doing some of the first new writing I've done on this series in five years. 

And it's so weird. It's kind of like finding an old shirt in your closet that you haven't worn in years and being shocked to find it still fits. You're so happy to have this awesome shirt back in your life, but can't help feeling strange about the fact that the you who wore this shirt five years ago and the you wearing it now are such different people.

I've been relying on music more than ever to get into my protagonist's head, and "October" (along with "In the Backseat" by Arcade Fire) has long served as her theme song.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Short Post and a Song #108: Jesus, Vanessa.

If you don't want to feel like you're being watched, STOP STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MENU I'M TRYING TO READ, VANESSA.

(I don't know if your name is Vanessa, but I assume it is.)


"Dear Friend" by Emanuel and the Fear

I was into Emanuel and the Fear in a big way back in college and saw them perform live twice. Feeling nostalgic, I recently looked up their music from back then and found I still loved it just as much.

The entire Listen album is fantastic, as is "The Rain Becomes The Clouds" from their first album—"Dear Friend" is just the song of theirs I’m the most obsessed with at the moment. It is simply impossible to stay in a bad mood while listening to this song. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Short Post and a Song #107: You died quickly.

Me: I hate when men refer to women as prizes.

The Great Dansby: But you're my prize!

Me: *glare*

Danlock Holmes: I threw a ball into a bowl at the fair and won you. *hugs my head to his chest and pets my hair* You died quickly.


"We Don't Need Our Heads" by A Great Big Pile of Leaves

There's been a definite teenage theme to the songs I've been posting lately, since I've been writing about teenagers and music can be a good way for me to worm my way into their angsty little heads. This song isn't particularly angsty though; it's just super fun and nostalgic. I'm particularly fond of the lyrics "Hangin' on the outside/It's so much more fun" since it's something I wish I'd realized myself back in high school.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's all gouda.

ME: I'm gonna start using puns more. 

FRIEND: Great.

ME: Like, I think it's gonna be a pretty gouda day.


ME: Yep, I am feeling pretty gouda.

FRIEND: Okay...

ME: *petting dog* Who's a gouda boy!

FRIEND: Maybe I should explain to you how puns work.

ME: Oh no, I get it. I'm very gouda with puns.

FRIEND: Do you just really want some gouda right now or something?

ME: *daydreaming about dancing gouda wheels* What's that, gouda buddy?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Short Post and a Song #106: And the soundtrack of all your dreams shall be the creepy humming from "Pan's Labyrinth".

I'm apparently a huge blanket-hogging dick when I'm sleeping.

I... What do I do about this? Is there some way to punish my sleeping self?

Bad, Sleep Jill, BAD! No more cool "surfing through space on a pizza slice" dreams for you! From now on it's gonna be all clowns, all the time, until you clean up your act.


"Medusa in Chains" by The Fratellis

I've been listening to The Fratellis for years and am really digging this bonus track off their latest album. It's got a great bluesy feel to it and the instrumental makes me wish I had a piano or keyboard so I could try to sound it out. It's also pretty killer for writing romantical scenes.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Short Post and a Song #105: Did you get a haircut?

How I interpret someone asking me "Did you get a haircut?" when I have not, in fact, gotten a haircut:

"You look like shit most of the time, but you look ever so slightly less like shit today for some reason."


"Prank Calls by Kelley Stoltz

As I've mentioned previously, I'm working on getting my dystopian novel, The Renaissance Experiment, into shape. I often listen to instrumental music while editing so I don't get distracted by the lyrics, but sometimes I need something that will get me into the right mood to write a certain character. 

My protagonist is sixteen, and nothing gets me into her teenaged head like this song. (Particularly during friendship/not-feeling-alone-anymore-type scenes.) The melody is upbeat and fun, but with just enough of an angsty edge.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The complex and scholarly process of naming baby animals

HANK, A ZOOLOGIST: What should we call a baby kangaroo?


HANK: Good one! How about a baby koala?


HANK: A little repetitive, but okay. A baby wallaby?


HANK: You're really losing your knack for this, Bernard.

JOEY: Christ, Bernard, I'm up. What are we doing?

HANK: Coming up with names for baby animals. Next on the list are baby wombats.

JOEY: Oh, I love baby wombats! Do you ... would you mind maybe naming them after me?

...And that is the true (maybe?) story of why all baby marsupials are called joeys.

...Also this post is better if you imagine them all with Australian accents.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Short Post and a Song #104: Please don't take ice cream from us, Dystopian Future.

MAN TRYING TO SELL ME DIPPIN' DOTS: Dippin' Dots are the ice cream of the future.

ME: *grabs him by his collar* What the fuck did you do to normal ice cream, you time-traveling bastard??


"Lower the Heavens" by The Donkeys

I've been writing up a storm recently. Some of it has been fleshing out the worlds of two of my infant projects that barely exist outside my brain yet—one historical fiction and one sci-fi. But most of my energy has been going toward editing my dystopian project, The Renaissance Experiment (older readers may remember it as Renaissance Lab). It's finally been long enough since I started (nearly seven years already, Jesus) that I've been able to read it back over with some objectivity.

I prefer instrumental tracks for editing since I get too hung up on lyrics to pay attention to what I'm reading, and "Lower the Heavens" has been a real favorite of mine lately. Give it until 1:10 or so to really get going, and goddamn then it really does. It's particularly good for "let's all band together to pull off something awesome" sorts of scenes, though I imagine it would also lend itself well to romantic scenes.

You may have noticed that I have gone back to the old Short Post and a Song format. It was a fun experiment while it lasted, but I've realized an important factor that I managed to overlook previously: The songs I feel inclined to make jokes about are not often the songs I actually enjoy. And I just didn't like the idea of in any way endorsing songs I don't like, since this blog is my Velocikingdom where I rule as an all powerful God King. (I know it should be Goddess Queen but I like the sound of God King better, and it's my Velocikingdom, so yeah ... that pretty much makes my point, actually.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


[Sleepless in Seattle, 1993]

MEG RYAN: So I've basically been stalking you this whole movie.

TOM HANKS: Aw, that's adorable! ...You know if you were a dude and I were a lady this would all be really creepy, right?

MEG RYAN: Oh yeah, super creepy.

*They kiss*

If Tom Hanks were asking this question the movie would be a thriller, not a romantic comedy.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Short Post and a Song #103: Clowns, making music videos better since NEVER. THEY HAVE NEVER MADE ANYTHING BETTER.

"Wonderwall" by Oasis

HIM: 🎶I said maybe
You're gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You're my wonderwall
🎶 HER: 1) Only you can save yourself, and 2) The fuck is a wonderwall?

P.S. Prior to writing this post, I had never seen this song's music video before. What the fuck is going on? Are they at the really laid-back auditions for a circus ... with dancing girls and people playing saws as instruments ... in a warehouse?

It's okay though, bros. It's in black and white and that makes it "art".

P.P.S. Here also is this mash-up of "Wonderwall" with "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day, which I enjoy much more than the original song (maybe because of that sweet little cameo "Dream On" by Aerosmith makes at the end):

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Short Post and a Song #102: Seriously, "They poison the game so no one else can compete" could be that movie's plot summary.

"it's different for girls" by of Montreal

🎶They don't have to size up
Every person they meet
Or create an elite🎶

...It's a great song, of Montreal, but have you MET a woman? Have you seen Mean Girls??

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Short Post and a Song #101: Goddamn it, Kim, you knew that was our only shot at recording it!

"Where Is My Mind?" by The Pixies

KIM DEAL: 🎶Oooh🎶



BLACK FRANCIS: *interrupts by playing guitar*

KIM DEAL: *passive aggressively sings 🎶Ooo-oooh🎶 for 4 minutes*

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The conversation from everyone else's perspective:

ROB: Joe Montana was the best quarterback of all time, hands down. He led the Niners on a 92-yard drive with only 36 seconds left in Super Bowl XXIII!

MARK: Naw, it's gotta be Peyton Manning. He's thrown the most touchdown passes ever and the most in a single season!

ME: *pumps fist* Yeah, sportsball!

The conversation from my perspective:

ROB: Sportsball!

MARK: Sportsball!

ME: *pumps fist* Yeah, sportsball!