What’s with all the favorite questions lately?  Pick your favorite movie…  Pick your favorite holiday…  Pick your favorite B-Comedy actor/actress…  Pick your favorite blogger…

Can you be a little more specific please?  “Favorite” is such a hard thing to pin down.  Is that my favorite from the last five minutes?  Is that my favorite within a very specific sub-genre from the last five minutes?  Is that my favorite that I own and consume regularly within a very specific sub-genre from the last five minutes?  I don’t know about the rest of the blogosphere, but we here in the kingdom find it very difficult to say that anything is our favorite one thing.

Well, except the wife, of course.  That goes without saying…  What?  I just said it?  Oh, I guess I did.  So, I guess that guess without saying whether I say it or not.  Okay, I just confused myself.  And I’ve managed to write 150 words without really getting to the heart of today’s post.  So, without further ado:

My Favorite Story From When I Was A Child

Wait, before I actually start, how are we defining “child” today?

I guess that doesn’t matter.  And I said without further ado so I’m better get on with this…

The Indian in the Cupboard series, The Plant that ate my Socks, the Narnia series, the Bunnicula series, the Maniac Magee books, the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy (and all the rest involving those characters), The Hobbit…  And those are just the ones I can remember right now as I’m typing this up.

Did these stories influence the person I am now?

Of course!!  Everything we read affects us.  Everything we read we learn from.  We learn a little more about ourselves and we, hopefully, learn a little bit more about the world around us.  We gain knowledge.  We work our imagination.  We grow.  We adapt.

Even when you read something that isn’t well written, isn’t entertaining, and doesn’t pique your interest, you are still learning something about yourself, aren’t you?  I would challenge you all to test that theory, but I like you all too much to subject you to bad writing on purpose.

Hmm, though, if you’ve made it this far into the post, perhaps it’s too late for that…

Alas, I digress again.

I am the writer I am today, the Jester and Scribe of The Matticus Kingdom, I am the person I am today because of the stories I read and loved as a child.  If I hadn’t read them I would be something else entirely.

Like a mime or clown or something…

help, help, I’ve been Liebstered

Not Quite Alice, that may be true, but she’s definitely Awesome.

She popped out of the rabbit hole and chucked a One Lovely Blogger award at me.  It looks like this:


While I was ducking that award, a crazy psychedelic tiger wrestled me to the ground and forced a Liebster Award upon me.  This one, to be exact:


It’s true.  I’ve been Liebstered and there is nothing I can do about it.

My challenge to you, dear readers is to step off my blog for a moment and read these great posts:

Back already?  Weren’t those great?  And you went ahead and clicked the little follow button on both of their pages?  Nicely done.

Questions?  Questions?  We don’t need no stinkin’ questions:

1. What is your favorite song?
How many people can actually answer that?  One favorite?  How about this:  favorite Springsteen song: No surrender; favorite Blink 182 song: Stockholm Syndrome; favorite Foo Fighter song: Best of You; favorite Killers song: Sam’s Town (Abby Road version); favorite Tiesto song: Just Be, favorite Crystal Method song: Name of the Game, favorite Johnny Cash song: Jackson, do you want more?  I can keep going…

2. What was the last thing you ate?
A cinnamon and raisin bagel, a banana, and some strawberries: breakfast of champions.

3. Do you prefer to read from an eReader or a paper copy?
Paper copy for the moment.

4. List your five favorite movies?
Five?  Only one song, but you are okay with five “favorite” movies?  That just doesn’t make any sense.  So, here are the first five(ish) I can think of at the moment: Tombstone, Braveheart, LOTR Trilogy, Troy, Open Range, Dances with Wolves, Crash, Spiderman 2, Bladerunner….

5. What writing project are you working on now?
I’m working on three:

An epic fantasy called Ascursion – it’s done, I just need to write up a synopsis, cover letter, etc… and figure out where I want to submit it.

I’m in the process of editing a backpacker, mystery, intrigue sort of story that I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2012.  You can find it here.

I’m just a few chapters away from finishing writing a comedy western.  You can see what I’ve posted for that so far here.

6. Are you allergic to anything?
Penicillan and Amoxycillian – and I’m sure I’ve absolutely butchered the spelling of both.  It’s probably something I should know how to do considering I’m allergic, but… since I’m allergic I’ve never had any bottles of them sitting around.

7. Do you have any real life stories that start with, “This one time at camp…”
Yes.  Tons.  Here’s a sample:

This one time at a camp we used aerosol bug spray pooled in our hands to create little torches.  Then one of us got the brilliant idea to try doing the same thing on our feet.  It’s not as easy to clap out the flame when it is on your feet…  Running through camp seemed to do the trick okay though.

This one time at camp our scheduled night out in the woods (away from the main part of camp) coincided with a meteor shower.  As we lay out on our ground tarps the whole heavens opened up for us in a fantastic light show.

This one time at camp we found a trail that led from our camp to a neighboring camp.  Oh, the shenanigans we had planned, until we realized the trail dead ended at the end of their shotgun range.

8. How do you handle telemarketers?
I don’t have a home phone and I don’t answer calls on my cell phone from numbers I don’t recognize.  It’s been a long time since I’ve talked to a telemarketer.

9. When was the last time you wrote someone a letter by hand and mailed it?
Last month – all of my thank you letters for Christmas cards and gifts.

10. Besides writing, do you have any other artsy talents?
Some people have said that I was a pretty good DJ…


7 Facts about me:
1. The force is not strong with me.
2. Snickers is my favorite candy bar.
3. My truck has almost 200,000 miles on it.
4. I broke my wrist in high school rollerblading.
5. Spiders creep me out.
6. There was a time in my life where I could have very happily become a hermit.
7.  I think there is real magic in this world just waiting to be found.


The One Lovely Blog Award Nominations are:

a. http://themotherofnine9.wordpress.com/about-me/
b. http://missfoureyes.wordpress.com/about/
c. http://noblogintended.wordpress.com/about/
d. http://knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com/about/
e. http://sortaginger.com/about-2/
f. http://www.jonathanhilton.com/contact/
g. http://ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com/about/

The Liebster Award Nominations are:

a. http://mischievouseyez.wordpress.com/about/
b. http://girlycamping.com/about/
c. http://waggingmytale.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/daily-prompt-all-about-me/
d. http://shireensingh.wordpress.com/about/
e. http://nowwritingeveryday.wordpress.com/about/
f. http://gordonflanders.wordpress.com/about/
g. http://theloneshewolf.wordpress.com/about/
h. http://soiwentundercover.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/trifecta-challenge-week-58/

And my questions for them:
1. If you were a knight, what would your knightly name be?
2. What is your quest?  (What is the purpose of your blog?  What do you write?  What do you get out of it?)
3. What is your favorite color?  (Seriously just asking about your favorite color.)
4. What is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?  (This is sort of a bonus question – Google or Wikipedia might be able to help.  I will accept an answer for either the African or European variety.)
5. What is your favorite Monty Python movie or sketch?  And why?  (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…)
6. How much do you hate lists?  (You can answer this question any way you like: comparison, a picture representation, with a list, a number on a scale (out of 5 out of 10 out of 42), etc…)
7. If you were a woodchuck, how much wood would you chuck?  (See question 6 for suggestions on acceptable answers.)
8. If you could be any character from TV or film, who would you be and why?  (Moe from the Simpsons so you could own your own bar?  Princess Leia from Star Wars because she looks good and knows how to fight?  Or Beatrix A Kiddo from Kill Bill for that matter?  Indiana Jones because he is awesome? etc…)

what’s in a name?

Continuing with the “supernatural” theme…

If you haven’t had a chance to read about George yet, you should probably do that.  (And while you are there I’m sure that Rara would be perfectly happy if you kicked your shoes off, made yourself at home and stayed awhile.  But that’s a little off topic.

We’re gathered together here today to talk about the origin of “George.”  No, not George the ghost, George of the Jungle, George Washington or George Washington Carver, or even George Gerswhin.  (Really, his first name is George, who knew?)  Rather, we are here to talk about how my George came to be called by that name:

A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to … oh, that’s the wrong story.  Sorry about that, let me start again:

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far…  dangit, also the wrong story.  Hang on a second.



*We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties, please bear with us as we work to quickly resolve the issue.  Your regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly.*


*We seem to be experie…


Sorry about that, here we go:

My maternal grandmother was a firecracker.  Sweet, caring, truly wonderful, and absolutely snarky.  (Hmm, I don’t really like that definition, and this one isn’t much better.  Maybe that word doesn’t mean what I think it means.  That would be downright inconceivable.)  She was silly and unapologetic and forgetful.  Throw into the mix the fact that my brother and I both have names that start with “M.”  When I came around she would sometimes accidentally call me Mikicus and sometimes call me Mi-atticus and then she would laugh and say, “That’s it, I’m just going to call you George.” 

And then there were two more grandchildren after me and they too became Georges.  Eventually everyone in the family was labeled with that moniker at one time or another.

When the ghost started showing up in our house, and he needed a more formal designation than just “ghost,” there was only one logical thing we could do.  (*Please kneel.  We dub thee “George,” the official ghost of this realm.  Long may you haunt these halls.*)

Now you know…  I feel like there are several sayings that go along with that, but you already know those.  So, for fun, if you want to play along, leave an idea of how to finish “Now you know…” in the comments. 

What?  You want an example?  Needy.  Fine.  Here:  Now you know and knowing is as awesome as eating a taco.

blackmail works

And why would you want to change a strategy that works?


Proposition 30, in CA, was blackmail placed on the ballot by our Governor, Jerry Brown.  It wasn’t even hidden blackmail.  It was right out there for everyone to see.

“Vote yes on Prop 30 and raise taxes or I’m going to cut funding for schools.”

Okay… so at least the money raised through the increased taxes is going to go to the schools, right?  Nope.  That money goes into the general fund to be used as needed, when needed. 

And it leaves the schools no better off than they would have been otherwise.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt them further either.  That’s right. 

It’s not even elegant blackmail.  It’s bold and in your face: raise taxes on yourselves or I will hurt your children.

 In the poker game that was this political season, we the people blinked first and folded.  We should have called his bluff.  Now Moonbeam knows our tell and he can keep on threatening schools and keep on raising taxes.

Is giving in to blackmail really the precedent we wanted to set?