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So, weird dream last night.

When I was in high school – all throughout my school years, actually – I was a straight-A, advanced placement, never-missed-a-day-of-school-in-my-life, honor roll student. Now, I’m not bragging. I just want to preface the story by letting you all know how big of a nerd I was back in high school. Not that much has changed since, mind you.

Anyway, in my dream, I ended up dropping out of school in my junior year.

Jump to ten years later, present day, where I decide to go back to school and earn my diploma. Suddenly, I’m thrust back into a world of math and history, cliques and classes, jocks and cheerleaders, bullies and swirlies, crushes and the crushed, bad cafeteria food and paper football in study hall.

And, in the midst of all this, I realize a few things:

One: I am the oldest high school student ever. Half the people there think I’m a teacher, students and faculty alike. When they learn that I am actually a 2-year-old high school senior, I become the laughing stock of the school.

Two: Because of this, I am a complete outcast. A pariah. No one associates with me unless they’re making fun of me, teasing me, or beating me up. I’m the only 26-year-old man who’s ever got a swirly from a 14-year-old kid.

Three: In real life, by now, I know I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in high school. Can’t do trig. or calc. anymore. Forget most of my chemistry and science lessons. Honestly, who hasn’t? But here, in my dream, I forgot everything, if I ever learned it in the first place. I’m the dumbest I’ve ever been in my dream. I’m practically an invalid. Or a jock. Hell, I could barely string two sentences together for any sort of intelligent conversation.

Four: I realize that, as much as I hated high school in real life, the second time around was infinitely worse.

There may or may not have been more to the dream than that, I don’t really remember. I remember thinking about how much I never, ever wanted to go back to high school.

* * * * *

This morning, I woke up, ventured downstairs, booted up my computer and checked my email. I had several new messages. One of them was from Euclid Public Schools Alumni Association, informing me that my ten year high school reunion is coming up in less than a year and a half.

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Ho ho ho kids,

Because my friend Emily gave me a hell of a lot of poo about it on Monday, here is my list of favorite Christmas movies:

1. Die Hard

This is by far my favorite Christmas movie. It has everything I associate with my own family holidays: estranged husband and wife yelling and arguing, lots of swearing, an evil German, gun fire, explosions, walking barefoot across a floor of broken glass, and eggnog. OK, yes, I am exaggerating a bit; we don’t really know any Germans. My slight embellishment aside, Die Hard is my absolute favorite holiday film, perfect for the entire family.

2. Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Didn’t expect this, did ya? Well, why not? Again, it has everything I need in a Christmas movie: John McClane shooting terrorists at an airport on Christmas Eve. I stopped believing in Santa Claus at a pretty early age, but I was crushed when my parents told me that John McClane was just a guy in a suit. A part of me, deep down inside, still believes that John McClane real and that, every Christmas Eve, he makes his journey around the world, giving the gifts of gunshot wounds to evil Germans and terrorists.

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol holds a special place in my heart. I love the Muppets. I mean, I really love the Muppets. So much so that – when I was a little kid – I used to hope and pray and wish that I could be a Muppet when I grew up. Part of me – the same part that believes John McClane is real – still does. I always dreamed that I would be the sarcastic third edition to the balcony, besides Statler and Waldorf, although, looking back now, I’m pretty sure I’d end up being the bear no one thought was funny. Anyway, one of the saddest days of my life was the day Jim Henson died and I was told that there would be no more Muppets. Those feelings were amended when The Muppet Christmas Carol was released a few years later, renewing my faith in all things good. Of course, my faith was destroyed yet again when they took my cherished childhood television and movie characters and started making crap like The Muppets Treasure Island and The Muppets Wizard of Oz, but I digress…

4. A Christmas Story

I think just about everyone can relate to – or, at the very least, enjoy — this 1983 Christmas classic. I know I love it because it reminds me of the half-baked situations my family gets into around the holidays. But that fact that it’s told as a memoir – filled with dark humor, biting sarcasm, and caustic cynicism – is the real draw of it for me. Seeing A Christmas Story for the first time was one of those defining moments in my life that showed me that all the horrible, effed up things that happen might be worth writing down for the enjoyment of others.

5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Isn’t this everyone’s guilty pleasure Christmas movie. I know it’s mine. Also, at times, my dad is kind of like Clark Griswold…

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas

More than a few people have compared me to an adult Charlie Brown, which I have come to embrace. I do own — and occasionally wear — the Charlie Brown T-shirt; I have a beagle; life just loves to continually kick me when I’m down; I’ve never successfully kicked a football; I used to be totally in love with a red-haired girl; whenever most people talk to me, all I hear are trombone noises; and I also think Christmas is completely over-commercialized. Oh, and when I dance, I tend to rock rigidly back and forth, from one foot to the other, while staring straight up in the air…

7. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 Animated Version)

Dr. Suess, Chuck Jones, and Boris Karloff! Do I really have to explain how my heart grows three sizes too big watching this amazing animated film every year?

8. The City of Lost Children

OK, so I know this technically isn’t a Christmas movie, but its opening scene shows the scariest psychopathic Santa on Earth, the mad scientist Krank, breaking into Parisian houses and kidnapping children so that he can use their ability to dream to slow his own aging process. Outside of that, nothing really to do with Jesus’s birth, but I’d much rather watch this than Miracle On 34th Street.

9. Scrooged

Pros: awesome retelling of a classic story; Bill Murry; Robert Mitchum; Alfre Woodard; Jamie Farr; Buddy Hackett; Robert Goulet; Lee Majors; and MILES F&#*ING DAVIS!!!!! Cons: Bobcat Goldthwait was in another movie.

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Yeah, yeah. I know. But I like (some) Tim Burton films and I went to art school so I think that legally requires me to add this to the list.



So there you have it, kids. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I’ll see ya around here again soon.

Your friend (and co-believer in John McClane),

Boom Boom Storm Cloud

Back in the heyday of Tastes Like Chicken, there was a postboard. And on that postboard, all the chickenheads would gather and generally make fun of Nonnie’s mom. Then, my good friend TWM started writing Chuck Norris facts about the staff members of the magazine.

These were some of the one written about me:

Boom Boom Storm Cloud likes to further his appreciation for Zen poetry by attaching kittens to stunt kites and flying them in a high wind.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud can untie a spider web without breaking it.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud knows which fork is which at a fancy dinner. Doesn’t mean he’ll use ‘em, though.

A long time ago me and my brother Boom Boom Storm Cloudwas hitchhikin’ down a long and lonesome road. All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon in the middle of the road, and he said: “Play the best song in the world, or I’ll eat your soul.” Well, me and Boom Boom, we looked at each other and we each said… “Okay.” And we played the first thing that came to our heads, and it just so happened to be The Best Song in the World. Needless to say, the beast was stunned. WHIP-CRACK went his swampy tail, and the beast was done. He asked us: “Be you angels?” And we said, “Nay. We are but men.” Rock!

Boom Boom Storm Cloud can read the side of a box of Cap’n Crunch out loud and make you sob like a little bitch.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud does this trick where he pulls a rabbit out of your ass. He calls it “Don’t ask, don’t tell” magic.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud eats his cereal with a fork because he knows it pisses you off.

Boom Boom Storm Cloudloved getting good marks on grade school assignments, because it meant he was getting another scratch and sniff sticker. And man, those things taste AWESOME.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud says truth has no path. He says truth is living and, therefore, changing.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud says awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud says awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud was once a doctor who owned a modest brownstone in Brooklyn’s famed Bed-Stuy neighborhood. He, his wife, and his five children were the inspiration for not only one of the most POPULAR TV comedies ever, but one that paved the way for future African-American-based sitcoms. He then went on to boost Jell-o sales.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud has a great collection of horrible sweaters, and most of his relatives are famous jazz musicians. On the plus side, he’s seen Lisa Bonet nekkid.

Boomer’s your dad. Boomer’s everybody’s dad. He’s fucked that many moms. But your mom? She was special. Or not…..

Boom Boom Storm Cloud ended one of the lonest running rivalries in legend history when he defeated his archnemesis, the almighty Whimper Whimper Tinkle Puff, through a series of bodyslams off Mt. Everest. Boom Boom went on to be feared by man. Whimper Whimper Tinkle Puff went on to be known as “Nonnie.”

Boom Boom Storm Cloud aquired his infamous internet sobriquet by selling golden showers for $5 on the mean streets of Columbus.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud’s smile is like a hug on a cold day. Or like snuggling with a puppy dog. Remember that. Or don’t. Whatever.

Crop circles are Boom Boom Storm Cloud’s way of telling corn that it needs to lie the fuck down.

Each morning, Boom Boom Storm Cloud wakes up, stumbles into the bathroom and after a scratch and an examination of his tongue, he shouts, “ANCIENT SPIRITS OF EVIL, TRANSFORM THIS DECAYED FORM INTO MUMRA THE EVER LIVING!” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Then he shaves, brushes his teeth and goes to work.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud only sings when he’s fixin’ to kill a man.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud irons his clothes while wearing them.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud takes every speed bump at 35 mph.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud’s just like the “Footloose” soundtrack: dependable and catchy as all get out. Now, let’s hear it for the boy. The “boy” being Boomer.

You can pound on Boom Boom Storm Cloud’s door all fucking day with your tissue paper threats. He will merely laugh at you.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud likes long walks on the beach, and the smell of gasoline.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud says truth has no path. He says truth is living and, therefore, changing.

When Boom Boom Storm Cloud heats a chicken pot pie in the microwave, it is never too hot, nor is it too cold. It is always just right.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud can kick an apple off the top of your head.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud is a man among men, a god among insects and when he sweats, he smells like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud continues to defy your best attempt to render him as a Zwinky, so you can just forget it.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud can hatch a baby gosling with the sheer power of his good looks.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud is magical, like unicorns and shit.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud knows karate, Voodoo, too.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud can stare into the sun, because eventually the sun WILL blink.

Boom Boom Storm Cloud knows PRECISELY how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. He counted. He’s science like that.

Yeah.

All the “cool” library nerds were doing it, so why not?

1. Only three people in the world are able to pronounce my last name. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

2. When I was in the (I think) second grade, we were given blank books – real books that were completely blank, cover and all – and were told to write and illustrate our own stories. I wrote some sort of cheap E.T. knockoff and ended up winning a state-wide competition for it. I think it was at that point in time that I decided that I wanted to seriously pursue a career as a writer/artist and live in poverty for the rest of my life.

3. My family has a history of the same disease as the Elephant Man. That’s right, major-high-school-crush-who-totally-rejected-me-which-trampled-what-little-self-esteem-I-had-to-the-point-where-I-was-too-terrified-too-ask-out-another-girl-until-college: I can get uglier!

4. Apparently, alledgedly, when I get reeeally drunk – back when I drank — I have been told that I tend to “liberate” other people’s possessions.

5. When I was about eleven, I spent almost nine months of my life in a wheelchair after an operation on both of my legs. If I hadn’t had the operation when I did, I’d still be in a wheelchair today.

6. When I was a kid – like, six or seven – my dad taught me a game called Mumbly Peg. HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED: Two opponents face each other, standing about five feet apart. Then – and this is where it gets interesting – one pulls out a knife and throws it at the other players feet! If the blade sticks in the ground, the second player must move his foot over to where the blade landed; if the blade didn’t stick, the player doesn’t move. Then, the second player picks up the knife and throws it back at the first player’s feet. The loser is the first person to have their feet so far apart that they can’t stand any longer and fall. Or bleed. The first person to bleed loses, too.

7. Whenever I talk to people with accents, I cannot help but imitate their accent afterwards. I know I shouldn’t, I even try to stop myself or talk lower so they can’t hear it, but I just can’t help myself.

8. I am a ninja-level theater-hopper.

9. I have a near-unhealthy obsession with pirates and zombies.

10. I have been told by someone who once told me that she was my arch-enemy that I have “really pretty eyes”. And, I mean, if your arch-enemy seriously compliments your eyes like that, it’s got to be true, right?

Dear Santa,

It’s been a while since we’ve talked, dude. What’s it been? About a year? (Wink!) How’ve you been? And the missus? The two of you go anywhere this year? Take a little vacation? Get a little sumthan’-sumthan’ goin’ on? Heh heh heh. Of course, you did.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for everything you did for me last year. I do appreciate it. Hope you don’t mind that I didn’t leave you any milk and cookies, though. I just thought that if it were me making that trip, I’d want a nice juicy cheeseburger and some fries waitin’ for me. (I know Mrs. Claus wants you to cut down on the red meat and all, but I won’t tell her if you won’t. Wink!) Same menu this year?

I know this is your busy season and all – and I am writing too you at the last moment – so I’ll get to the point.

All I want for Christmas this year (which I’ve never figured out why you give me presents when it’s the Baby Jesus’s birthday but, hey, whom am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?) is a year of peace and prosperity. End the war in the Middle East. Fix the economy. Take care of our people here in the U.S. Make sure we’re all safe and fed and sheltered. And, with President-elect Obama taking office soon, you won’t even have to work that hard! Wink! Heck, I won’t even mind if you don’t bring my presents until January 20th! Double wink! (Although, if you could cure the whole cancer thing, that’d be great. I don’t think there’s much President-elect Obama can do about it in he first term.)

That’s all I want for Christmas. Honest.

However, if you are – by chance – feeling the teensiest bit more generous than that, I wouldn’t mind getting a lucrative book deal for Christmas.

Or affordable health insurance for all.

Could you also talk Blackalicious into making a new album? And, while you’re at it, talk The Roots out of committing career seppuku by becoming f@%king Jimmy Fallon’s house band. Ooh! And stop the ABC from killing off Pushing Daisies! I can’t believe another on of my favorite shows – while supposedly “critically-acclaimed” — is getting canceled!

I wouldn’t mind a couple of winning lottery tickets. Or a free trip through Europe. Let’s see… what else? Natalie Portman. Advanced copies of Greg Rucka’s new Atticus Kodiak novel and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5. A puppy—wait… I already got on of them. Scratch that. Um… Thandie Newton. How about a movie based off of one of my stories from the lucrative book deal? That’d be nice. I’d also like the Jim Henson Company to make a Muppet in my likeness. And Audrey Tautou.

Oh, and the 2-disc widescreen super-mega-retarded-ultra edition of The Dark Knight and some new socks.

Thanks, Santa. Talk you ya next year.

Your friend (and part-time lover),
Boom Boom Storm Cloud

PS – I know you’re busy and all – what with the workshop and the deliveries and puttin’ Mrs. Claus on the ol’ “Naughty List” — so you probably don’t get out to see movies all that often, but Tim Allen’s been making some really shitty movies in your name. There’s like three of them now. You may want to send a few elves out to “take care” of that.

Hey Kids,

When I started this blog, I decided to only use it as a “professional” blog, meaning that I was only going to use it for finished short stories, debuting new pages from my comic, talking about upcoming projects and so on. Annnnnnd…

That didn’t really happen.

Turns out, I was working too much on my scripts and not enough on other postable works and ended up not posting much at all.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to stop using my MySpace and FaceBook pages – not shut them done, just stop using them for a while – where I had my everyday I’m-gonna-bitch-about-my-private-life-talk-about-my-job-and-generally-make-sarcastic-remarks-and-make-fun-of-people blog.

Anyway, I’ve decided to kind of merge the two and use this blog as my primary blog so now the (three, and that’s being generous by three) people who actually read this damn thing will be privy to every stupid little thought that pops into my head and says “Post me.”

I’m sorry and God help us all.

Your friend (and part-time lover),
Boom Boom Storm Cloud