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A storm is brewing....

Posted 23 August 2002, 4.12 am by Jake

While perusing the shelves at the bookstore the other day, a small yet hefty book caught my eye. Written at the top in bold, yellow letters was the name "Neil Gaiman". Below it, a picture of a thunderstorm over a road, with lightning striking in the distance. At the bottom, "American Gods" was spelled out in white capital letters. I picked it up, turned it over, read the summary, and carried it with me to the cashier.

I took it home and set it on my shelf, opting instead to read another of the four texts that I had purchased. After finishing the first one (grudgingly, mind sucked) I cracked open American Gods and began to read. I didn't want to stop.

Gaiman(remember Sandman, and several other comic book series) has outdone himself on this's a road-trip tale entwined with a lot of mythology and some great cultural commentary. The characterization in this story is excellent, with most of it being direct and concise. The pacing is great, the story never really lags at any point, and the mood is accented quite nicely with excellent and descriptive imagery composed by the author.

Shadow, the main character, is (as the summary succinctly says it) "a man with a past". The beginning of the story joins up with Shadow as he sits in jail with a fellow named Low-Key Lyesmith (think Norse mythology) learning coin tricks. Shadow gets out of jail, eventually, but to his dismay his life is not exactly how he left it.
Shadow gets on a plane back to his hometown, and there he meets the charismatic and mysterious Mr.

From there, it transforms into what I mentioned before, “a road trip tale entwined with a lot of mythology and some great cultural commentary.” The amount of religious connotations in this book are pretty diverse, ranging from African tribes (Mr. Nancy) to Middle-Eastern beliefs (the djinn cabdriver). It’s a great story, and it’s even better told by Mr. Gaiman, who has a precise wit and a knack for descriptions. I’ve always been a fan of Gaiman’s writing style depicted in comic books, and he proves to be as skillful on the pages of a novel as he is on those of a comic.

All I can tell you to do now (if you care), is…….“Go buy it”.

Simple as that.

The Internet's First

Posted 21 August 2002, 12.47 pm by Craig

Visit Site.


Posted 20 August 2002, 5.37 pm by Craig

Look at the fourth box down on the left hand side of this site. That is the greatest game I have ever played!! Word!

Click Here.

My high score so far is 1299... Beat that!!! Leave your high score in the comments

Found out your IP

Posted 20 August 2002, 2.48 pm by Craig

A Link for Roach

Posted 18 August 2002, 3.46 am by Berly

A site that makes fun of all things Rave.


Finding Myself

Posted 16 August 2002, 1.31 am by Sunny2Tall

400 and some odd miles and about 6 hours worth of driving and I had arrived. I left the comfortable grounds that were my birthplace of Scottsdale, Arizona and had arrived to the destiny set upon me, Hollywood. As some of oyu may know around this time I had just graduated from school and was out to find a job and a new home in a place that I had only seen in postcards sold at Disneyland and the harsh reality quickly set in upon arrival. I suppose that the pock marked to plastic surrounding were a bit unsettling but what really put a still of fear into me was the complete unknowing of what could possibly happen in the next few weeks.
For those of you who have yet to learn, the lesson they do not, or merely neglect to teach in school is that education will really only get you as far as a foot in the door and does little to help you catch a job especially one in the vastly large and slippery red haring known as the entertainment industry. The one line I had to hold onto was an internship interview a week from the day. Until then I was on my own.
When you're by oyurself and living on the bread crumbs that you hope will lead you to a more normal life you quiuckly lear the things that you've known forever and they begin to haunt you. You start to annalyze the things around you as miniscule as they may seem. The sounds quickly become louder and you become softer. You start to read the books that you've read a hundred times before and they seem as though they are all anew. You begin to write uncontrollably, sometimes the same things over and over and over. Movements become waves and shadows become a reflection that you love. Little deffinition in them but enough to recognize and be familiar with. You look at it and it just looks right back at you. Okay maybe I'm exagerating a bit. But I did tend to drive myself crazy and I knew I needed to change. To reinvent myself so to speak.
I suppose I could have just been moer outgoing and not such the shell ridden hermit crab that I was and felt I had to be in this place. As it seemed my mother would say, "If you say the wrong thing you're likely to get shot," or something to that effect. At least thats what I had convinced myself she did say. That was really just the begining. I figured I could do so much more. In a place where no one knows you and the ones you know don't even know themselves you have a complete blank slate from which you can etch new features for yourself. A slight manipulation to make yourself appear differently.
Nine days later and nearly 25 pounds lighter than what I had arrived with, a new attitude and demeanor on life and I was a different person. The decision I made after truly realizing how much I had changed was a bit irrational to say the least but I felt it was neccessary. Especially because the afore mentioned interview went excedingly well and I would have a job soon enough. Not much longer would I need this fabricated finish, so it became an experiment I guess, and with this decision I named the experiment and kept tabs on it. A bit of a cultural experiment. It became the Obnoxious Cultural Project or OCP for short.
Fitting I thought. I knew I for one would not want to be around the person I was pretending to be. But as it turned out that was nearly an exclusive thought of my own. Crass, crude, and heavy on the annoying was the direction I was aiming for. I think I came close the majority of the time. The experiment lingered around the record stores and rehearsal spaces of North Hollywood, the smaller and less glamourous (if you can imagine) version of Hollywood, and after recieving restricted internet access from Kinko's clerks that had taken a liking to the OCP occasionally he would appear on the AkpCep IRC channel.
I guess to really explain how the OCP acted I will have to give you a sample conversation. This took place at night at a record store (but they also sell other forms of entertainment.) The target was a 26 - 34 year old man that happened to glance just a little longer than he should have at the porn section. We'll call him Shemp.
"Hmmm." I stand closely behind Shemp and am noticeably looking over his shoulder. He looks at me out of the corner of his eye with a slight startle. I step forward, grab a tittle and start reading the back as if I were comparing it to a more reputable one. Shemp begins to walk away. "Have you seen this one?" I try to keep a strait face. Shemp looks at me with such innocence. As though he wanted to say, "Me? Why I never watch porn, its demeaning to women." I could tell he was already uncomfortable. He just kind of stared at the dvd in my hand then quickly replied, "Um, No." As much of a non-conversation as that was the clerk, who was not far away, couldn't help but snicker. She looked at me like I had accomplished more that embarassing some guy. The only real thing I can figure is that I had done something she had always wanted to do but never did. We talked a little and I remained as crass and crude as possible. I mad quick assumptions as to the type of person she was, oyu know, working in a record store and all. I remember one of the things I said was, "I've bet you've seen all of these." Amazingly she didn't smack me and we still remain friends today. I guess that doesn't show much more than a bit of courage, and I'm sure some of you are saying, "What's the big deal, I do that all the time." The deal, to me at least, was that this wasn't me. I never acted or reacted like this. To quickly sum up how I am, I was once called a walking talking sesame street character and that is not far from exageration.
The point of the project now that I think about it wasn't only to see how people responded to the bad-mannered abusiveness of the OCP first hand, but also to see how they responded to me after I ended the experiment. Bewilderment is really the only way I can describe how surprised I was at how people did react to the OCP. I wouldn't say I was lost without it but certain things seemed to come easier in this guise. "Everyone loves an asshole" I guess is the best way I could put it. The results of the OCP are all based on location I'd say, but all in all just a mediocre success. Basically it just pointed out I'm a better actor than I thouhgt and, as Alexander put it so subsinctly, "when you act like a shit people treat you like one." But I would have to add, "and they enjoy it."


Posted 14 August 2002, 2.39 am by Villager

What is it, to be happy? Is it to always have a smile, always see the brighter side of life, and never cry? Is it to know only joy, pleasure and feelings of contentedness, delirium and elation? Is it to never fall into sadness, sorrow and depression? If that is the definition of happiness, I know I shall never be happy. But I don't want to smile all day, and never know of sorrow, sadness, depression, doubt or struggle. A peachy life of roses and sunshine isn't a real world. The typical definition/idea of happiness is wrong. That is cloud cuckoo-land, not a realistically attainable situation in life.

Happiness should be a state of mind where you know joy and its entailments, but not where they are your sole pursuit. To know of joy, and to balance it with wisdom, learning and self-reflection, whether good or bad, leads far more to fulfilment than gratifying one's immediate senses. You might even say the understanding and acceptance of joy means more than its actual experience. Without understanding joy cannot be worth the title of 'happiness', although the converse is of course true. Joy is a vital part of life, however the individual chooses to go about that. Without knowing hard times, good times cannot be fully appreciated, and without experiencing hardship and struggles you have no perspective as to the way in which you deal with these elements, and how they affect you.

You might say that my 'balance' of joy with other less titillating forms of experience and thought process form a kind of happiness themselves, but perhaps even if they should, that would not be a commonly held or accepted view. Happiness is supposed to total, unblemished and the result of your hard work and attainment of various pursuits in life. Money, career, stable household. Fuck that. The common perception of happy purports a delusional pursuit of an empty, worthless lifestyle. What we tell ourselves we want and need we may be able to convince ourselves of, but is it really right that such material developments grow over natural instincts of friendship, learning, family life, community and personal development?

What a place to be...

Posted 11 August 2002, 4.38 am by Jake

Three days.

It had been three days since Lisa had last heard from her daughter. The grandchildren were supposed to have come over that day to go shopping for school supplies. Too bad that her daughter, Linda, had gotten mixed up with this Mexican immigrant that couldn’t write or read, Spanish or English. ‘Goddamn’, she thought. ‘Young maiden, I hope your hours are more gentle than mine.’
She picked up the telephone and called her sister and brother-in-law.
“Hey, Shelley?”
“Yeah, what’s up, sis? Haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“Well, I have a sort of predicament that I wanted your help. And John’s help, too.”
“What’s up?”
“Well, I haven’t heard from Linda in about a week. The kids were supposed to come over and go shopping with me, and nobody is answering the phone. I passed by their house this morning and no cars were there. I was wondering if you and John would go over there with me so we can check things out. This really bothers me.”
“Well….sure. We don’t have to work today and all of the chores are done, so we’ll see you in a bit, I guess.”
“Alright…thanks Shell. I appreciate you guys helping out.”
“Well, why not? It’s your daughter, my niece, after all.”
“I know. See you in a little while.”

Lisa placed the telephone in its cradle with shaky hands. She lit a cigarette, inhale…exhale the carcinogens and tar…and walked out to her Envoy. She started it up with a resounding “vrooom” and took off to her sister’s house.

On the way to Linda’s house, Shelley could tell that something was really bothering her sister. She spoke in short, erratic sentences and was visibly shaking. She drove fast, way too fast compared to the calm, cool demeanor with which she managed when driving to the grocery store….something was really wrong.

They pulled into the desolate driveway, the gravel crackling under the new Goodyear tires. Linda’s black lab, Hershey, was on a chain in the backyard, barking rapidly at the arrival of company. Lisa stared vapidly at the house for a minute, and then proposed: “Alright, you guys ready?”
“Sure,” Shelley replied, with a tone of insecurity resounding in her throat. She patted John on the knee.
“You ready to go, babe?”
“Yeah, ready as ready can be,” he replied with a hint of worry.
Lisa quipped; “John, could you go look in the backyard? Just see what’s going on there? I think they may have moved, according to the neighbors. Shelley can come with me to see what’s inside.”
John reassured his sister-in-law’s frightened mind. “No problem. You want me to feed the dog while I’m back there?”
“Yeah. I think they keep the dog food in one of the sheds.”

John trudged around the side of the house, grumbling to himself. “Fuckin’ ungrateful kids, leaving town and not telling anyone….”
Hershey barked at John’s entrance, wagging his tail in sheer delight. John looked at both of the steel bowls. Empty. He skulked over to the side of the house, turning on the water spigot and running a fresh bowl of water for Hershey. He heard three sharp knocks around the front of the house. ‘Shelley and Lisa,’ he thought. He looked at the overflowing bowl and walked back over to turn off the water. Three more sharp knocks, even faster.
He shook his head and paced to the closest shed. “Maybe the dog food’s in here?” he said to himself. Hershey yelped and whimpered.
“Guess so.”
John breathed a sigh of uncertainty as he reached for the lock. Three more sharper knocks, running together as a single, drawn-out rap. “Guess nobody’s home,” he thought again. He opened the door to the first shed.
Nothing, save for a few fishing poles covered in cobwebs, a saw, and a few axes. He shut the door, cursed the lock as he snapped it back into place, and stepped over to the next one. He noticed that there was no lock on this one. Odd. He twisted the doorknob, and heard an exclamation of surprise and maybe even fear from the front of the house. Then he looked into the shed.

“HOLY FUCK!” Lisa yelped as they walked into the house. There was blood all over the walls. Blood on the couch, on the television, on the new cream-colored carpet. “Jesus Christ, what happened? Look for them and the kids!”
Shelley heard a scream from the backyard. It was unlike anything she had ever heard. A banshee, even.
She saw John running from the furthest shed, yelling hysterically and waving his arms. She darted to the back door, unlocked it and shoved open the screen. “What’s wrong, hon?”

John didn’t know what to think. It was horrible. Flashes returned to him. An arm. A doll. A pool of blood. The intestines, spilled and hanging from the young girls’ corpses. The bloody scythe lying on the wooden floor, reeking of guilt. He ran towards Shelley, screaming and raving. “We gotta fuckin’ get outta here! Something really bad has happened! Jesus fucking Christ! Let’s just get in the fucking car and leave, right now! Get your sister and let’s go!”

They both paused and stayed silent as they heard a bloodcurdling wail from inside the house.

Lisa stood like a statue in the doorway, horrified. The depraved show that lay before her eyes was too much to bear.
Four men and two women sat around the emaciated corpses of Linda and her Mexican boyfriend. They were pulling off small pieces of rotted flesh in their teeth, grinning and growling with pleasure as they consumed the matter of what was once alive. They were all reveling in their bloodbath, and then the door opened.
Fresh meat.
Two of the men leapt up from their fresh discovery, rushing toward Lisa like an oncoming train. She screamed, and then was jerked from the doorway.
John leapt forward with an axe in his hand. With a primal bellow, he dove for the first person. He swung with all of his might, and his aim was true. He heard the solid thunk as his weapon met flesh and bone. The axe dug into the head of the first attacker, dropping him to the ground like a ton of bricks.
The second person was met by a knife-wielding Shelley. He was overtaken by her onslaught of vigor, and her erratic slashes proved to be too much. She drug the sharp knife across both forearms of the attacker, and jabbed it quickly into his throat.
The other four looked at what Shelley and John had done, and grinned wholeheartedly. They started toward the duo with bloody teeth bared and ready. Lisa ran in, screaming, with what appeared to be somewhat of a Molotov Cocktail, rigged with a cheap bottle of Cuervo and a paper towel doused in alcohol. She tossed the flaming concoction at the offending group, and grabbed John and Shelley by the arms. “We’ve got to get the hell out of here!”
“What?!?”the pair asked.
“I turned on the gas lines, we gotta leave now!!”
“Well quit talking, and let’s fucking go!”

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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.

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80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?


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