Category Archives: Random Scribbles

Sometimes

Sometimes life forces your hand.

The pooling tears exploded through their levee. Rivers that followed the contours of her face ended in a sparkling shower onto the pillow she squeezed like her heart.

Sometimes life makes you choose.

“I don’t want to break up.”

Sometimes life makes you die a little bit.

Legacy

I had been walking for almost 40 minutes down Bowery with my eyes glued to my phone screen. A native New Yorker would have been there already, but I opted to tread cautiously. I did not want to risk getting hit by a car before being able to complete my pilgrimage.

As I approached the black awning I tried to picture the city in the 70’s. A stark contrast to the clean, gentrified street I found myself on. I pictured a crowd of misfits, banding together in the night, drawn to this place because of it’s dirty, raw energy.

It’s a high end clothing store now.

The only real thing left is writing on the concrete just outside the threshold of the door. It sits there like a grave. Punk is dead.

CBGB ’73

Disappearing Act

Seven.

Eight.

Nine.

Ten…

I release my breath and a wave of bittersweet endorphins muddle my brain. My fingers dance restlessly on the hardwood table. This is a weekly occurrence for me now.

Only one more month. Just have to push through. 

School is all I’ve ever known and come December I will be graduated with a degree. Ready for the world’s open embrace- or lack thereof.

Nothing much will change, I’ll still have my same internship. I still have another 6 months on my lease. So why is it so scary? What is so unknown?

I have a theory- For my whole life I’ve had a purpose. To learn. Come December that goes away. And I am scared that in that little window of time without a purpose. The few months after school but before my career, I will lose myself.

I’m the first of this generation to graduate college. I really want this, I’m scared I won’t make it. I am so close, but I can feel myself wearing out. My end goal is an end to what I know and a plunge into the unknown. Who knows where life will take me?

All I know is that if I stumble I will eat myself alive.

Playtime

My girlfriend challenged me to write a story using the words-

Prince, Princess, Ostrich, Lemon Orchard, Lemons, A Lemonade Stand, Volcano, Museum, Balloon, Love, and Shepard’s Pie.

 

Prince Castor dismounted after a three day stretch of riding. He groaned as he landed sharply on his aching feet. His steed cooed and flapped its awkward wings. The large armored ostrich instantly began to wander away.

“No loyalty. No loyalty whatsoever.” He grabbed at the reins and led the animal to water. “I’m starting to wish I’d splurged and put a downpayment on that mustang.”

Castor hushed when a strange sound wafted towards him. It was singing. A woman singing.

He tied off his steed and followed the sweet solo symphony through the thicket. The song got louder until a beautiful maiden was in view. She was hard at work, standing on her toes to pick the juiciest lemons from the top of the tree.

“Excuse me!” Castor exclaimed as he burst through the brush.

The woman let out a short scream before losing balance and hitting the ground. Castor jogged over to her in a panic.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to-”

She slapped him across the face. Her cheeks flushed red.

“That’s no way to greet a princess!” She busied herself grabbing for the lemons that had fallen out of her basket. “What are you doing? Help me!”

Castor hurriedly jumped from stray lemon to stray lemon. He figured this was as good a time as any to get to know this woman.

“Soooo, what is a princess like you doing in a lemon orchard of all places?”

“For my lemonade stand of course!”

Prince Castor stood confused for a moment.

“Wait, Sarah I thought we were playing pretend- are you actually opening a lemonade stand?”

“Well, yeah. I thought we could do both.”

“Oh, okay. Gotcha.”

Castor shook himself out of his stupor.

“Well princess, we’re gonna need sugar if you want lemonade!” He grinned.

Princess Sarah giggled and gestured for Castor to follow her into the house. He wandered through the back door but was stopped before his first step.

“Wait! I forgot that I live in a volcano and the floor is lava!”

Castor could feel the crackling heat radiating from below him instantaneously. He pivoted his head frantically, hoping to find anything safe to touch. He spotted a large washing machine to his left and without thinking, jumped toward it and scrambled on top. He looked down at Sarah and beamed.

She sighed and calmly walked back outside. She returned thirty seconds later with a balloon tied around her wrist.

“This magic balloon lets me float over the lava.”

Castor gasped in amazement as the princess levitated over the bubbling molten rock with ease. He struggled to jump from chair to chair in order to keep up. They moved through the laundry room of the volcano and into the main magma hallway. About halfway through the atmosphere changed.

“Wait!” Castor whispered in a harsh tone. “We’re in a museum now, we need to steal the sugar without being detected.”

Sarah pulled her ski mask over her face. “Oh yeah, that’s right.”

The pair walked with their backs against the wall. Careful to keep their shadow profiles out of the sunlight. A large man walked by and stood in front of the pair. They were found out!

“Hey you two! Still playing I see.” He paused for a second to think. “I think there’s some leftover shepherd’s pie in the fridge. I could microwave some if you’re hungry.”

Sarah and Castor looked at each other for a moment and then ran into the kitchen, arms flailing. This time there were no filters on what they saw. Sarah’s dad set two piping hot bowls of shepherd’s pie on the table. Sarah and Castor didn’t hesitate to jump into a couple chairs that were already pulled out. The food was made with love. It was the same feeling that brought Castor to their door asking if Sarah could play.

“They make a cute couple.” Sarah’s dad muttered under his breath as he watched them dig in and reminisce about the adventures they had been through today.

Tadpoles

Isn’t it curious how when you are younger time seems to pass so slowly?

I could fit a whole adventure in the backyard in between lunch and dinner. Things felt eternal, but somehow they weren’t. Every year I told my little brother that we’d catch tadpoles at the park together. But it was always either too early or too late. That sweet spot ever alluded me.

Sure things moved slow, but I moved slower. I hesitated to take advantage of my youth, saying that I’d have time another day.

We can always catch tadpoles next summer.

What a load of shit.

My brother is growing up, he doesn’t want to spend his time catching tadpoles with his brother.

Me? I can’t seem to find the time anymore.

A Different Kind of Short Story

Hey all, not sure if anyone still looks on this site after such a long period of inactivity (My bad). I’ve been pretty busy with finishing up my degree but I never really stopped writing. It just shifted focus. I just wanted to post a sample of the type of stuff I’ve been doing.

Below I have a science highlight for one of my recent papers (it ended up being 20+ pages so I didn’t want to post the actual thing here). Water and geology are my passions, along with writing. So I thought it’d be cool to mix my worlds together a little bit. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn something too 🙂

Study Finds That California Summers Contribute to Seismic Events

Jacob Edwards 5/7/18

 

With the changing of the seasons in California, there are many factors that affect the likelihood of earthquakes. The most prevalent of these seasonal controls is called hydrologic loading. During the wet California winter, the weight of water and snow compresses the continental crust. When that water and snow is evaporated in the summer, the crust raises again. This happens around the late-summer or fall, depending on the area of California. The type of ground that the water is absorbed into plays a part as well. It can affect how long it takes the water weight to drain or evaporate. Areas like the central valley have more soil to hold and retain the winter rains, whereas the coastal and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges have less of a soil layer and also drain down into the valley.  (Nature, http://doi.org/10.1038/nature13275, 2014)

The up and down movement of the crust, especially in the coastal mountain ranges helps to loosen the San Andreas fault system. When the weight of the loaded water is removed in the late summer, the strike-slip faults of the San Andreas unclamp, making it easier for them to slip and cause an earthquake. (Nature, http://doi.org/10.1038/nature13275, 2014)

The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast model geometry or UCERF3 is a tool used by Johnson et. al in the scientific paper: Seasonal water storage, stress modulation, and California seismicity, 2017. It was a collective effort by the geology community to measure the likelihood of fault failure of nearly every fault in California. Johnson et. al used the data to see just how much stress these faults undergo every year and when it was at its maximum. These times happened to be when the crust was under its maximum stress due to hydrologic loading. Then Johnson et. al compared this data to the historical records of earthquakes in California. The majority of earthquakes in the past fit this model, happening when stress from the weight of winter rain and snow was at its greatest. (Science Vol. 356 Issue 6343 http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aak9547, 2017)

 

  1. Johnson, Christopher W., et al. “Seasonal Water Storage, Stress Modulation, and California Seismicity.” Science, vol. 356, no. 6343, 2017, pp. 1161–1164., doi:10.1126/science.aak9547.
  2. Amos, Colin B., et al. “Uplift and Seismicity Driven by Groundwater Depletion in Central California.” Nature, vol. 509, no. 7501, 2014, pp. 483–486., doi:10.1038/nature13275.

Seinfeld 2015

Photo By Alan Light via public-domain pictures

For extra immersion, click the links as they appear. But do it with your middle mouse button so it doesn’t take you off the page. If you’re doing it right, you should have an annoying amount of tabs open by the end.

**Transition Theme**

Jerry: Tell me George, whats the deal with ISIS?

George: I dunno Jerry, but I’m telling you, its the tops! Ever since people started hating Muslims again I’ve been getting in good with the ladies. Turns out nowadays Jews aren’t the most hated group of people.

*Elaine bursts into the apartment*

Elaine: Oh man, you wont believe how bad of a date I just went on.

Jerry: What happened? I thought you said you liked this guy?

Elaine: That was before today. So we went back to his place, and it was all good fun till we went into his room. Then I saw it. My little pony dolls on shelves covering an entire wall.

Jerry: My little pony?

Elaine: Yeah, apparently its a sexual thing too. As I later found out..

George: Good Lord, so what happened? Did you let him? You know..

Jerry: *Ugh*

Elaine: Oh no, definitely not. I left after he tried to name one after me.

Jerry: You know what? I’m done with this conversation. You guys wanna catch a movie?

*Jerry grabs his coat off the rack*

George: Thank God! Anyways I heard Ant-Man was good.

Elaine: Really? I hate Paul Rudd. He can’t seem to ever change his hair.

George: You’re kidding me right? His hair’s gorgeous, why would he change it?

Elaine: Well any hair at all’s gonna look good to you..

*George looks shocked and touches his balding head*

Jerry: All right, all right. Knock it off. Let’s go with whatever has the best review on Rotten Tomatoes. We can check on the cab ride over.

*Jerry opens the door and everyone leaves*

**Transition Theme**

*Jerry, George and Elaine are on the cab ride home*

Jerry: I can’t believe you talked us into watching the new Terminator movie! Look! Look at how happy those people walking out of Ant-Man are!

*Jerry points to the mass of people leaving the theater*

George: What can I say? I changed my mind, it looked good in the previews!

Jerry: Ahhh! You never trust the previews! Remember when we watched “1000 Ways to Die in the West” because you saw an ad on Youtube?

George: I thought it was a good movie!

Jerry: No! it wasn’t! All the funny parts were in the trailer! It was only made so that Seth MacFarlane and Neil Patrick Harris could see who was less flamboyant on camera!

*Silence*

Elaine: I thought Terminator was pretty good.

George: Thank you! See? Someone takes my side for once!

Elaine: I thought they should’ve replaced Arnold though. He’s getting a bit old. I hate this new trend where people write new scripts for old actors and have them play the exact same roll they did back in the the 80’s/90’s.

Jerry: Thank you!

*George looks off in the distance and has a realization*

George: What do you think this is? Someone’s obviously writing a script for fan-fiction or whatever they call it nowadays! And he isn’t very good at it either! He just has Jerry say something memorable every few minutes!

Elaine: Who would do something like that? It’s so… overdone.

*Jerry looks off thinking for a second and scowls*

Jerry: Newman!

George: Would you shut up about Newman already! You’re playing right into his hands!

Elaine: Who’s hands?

George: The guy! The guy writing the script! Someone’s obviously making us say these things! Has anything you’ve said sounded natural?

*Jerry and Elaine look concerned*

Jerry: Georgie? You feeling okay?

Elaine: Yeah, you’ve been acting strange all of a sudden.

*George is visibly angry*

George: Am I the only one who hasn’t gone insane?! I mean, nothing adds up! Why isn’t Kramer here? It’s like he doesn’t exist! The guy who’s writing this must not know how to write dialogue for him or something! Maybe he ran out of catchphrases! *laughs crazily*

*Jerry takes a serious tone*

Jerry: George. You sound crazy. There’s nobody out there writing this. And if someone was, who cares? You’re alive and healthy. Just let it go.

George: *sighs* I guess you’re right Jerry. *laughs* It all seems pretty crazy when I think back on it now.

Elaine: Also, Kramer does exist. He just texted me he says ‘These pretzels are making me thirsty…

George: THAT’S IT! There’s no way that line is original! I could’ve sworn I heard that from Kramer before!

*Jerry dials a number on his phone and calls*

**Transition Theme**

*Jerry and Elaine are outside of a mental hospital, George is being escorted inside*

Jerry: Of all the people, who’d a thunk George would crack like that?

Elaine: I know..

Jerry: Well, I should go.

Elaine: Me too.

**Transition Theme**

*Jerry is on stage at a comedy club he frequents*

Jerry: You see the thing about independent script writers, they always lose interest right at the end. It’s of course because they aren’t getting paid to do it. But it’s like that with all things really. That’s why you never take a free hooker up on her offers.

*Audience laughs*

*Freeze-frame on Jerry as the credits roll*

**Ending Theme**

Deadliest Warrior- FDR vs. Stephen Hawking

FDR or Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States. He was Commander in Chief of the U.S. military for most of WW2, and also had polio so bad that he was forced into a wheelchair. He also suffered from high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure. In other words, this guy had a lot of problems. He also forced 100,000 american citizens into camps, I mean what the hell man? Weren’t we fighting someone who did that?

His last request was that he be frozen in carbonite
His last request was that he be frozen in carbonite

Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist with a rare form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He has been slowly paralyzed through the years and is now confined to an electric wheelchair. He utilizes a speech generating device to communicate his (sometimes) brilliant ideas. He fears that artificial intelligence will destroy mankind, cause you know, what’s it ever done for him?

Here he is before Michael Bay got ahold of him.
Here he is before Michael Bay got ahold of him.

Let the fight commence!

As I stated in the title, I’ve done this Deadliest Warrior style and gave all their stats to a nerd with a supercomputer. Let’s just see how it turns out.

Stephen had just finished an important meeting with NASA. He rolled out of the building into the plaza outside. No one is in sight, but he didn’t think much of it.

‘Hawking! Get back here you son of a bitch!!’

Stephen turned around to see FDR wheeling towards him.

‘I got out of hibernation to find your limey ass the person most associated with wheelchairs on Buzzfeed! That’s my thing! I’m going to kill you!!’

Stephen stared at him and gave him a cold calculated response.

‘Bring it on motherfucker.’

FDR, in a blind fury, charged at full speed. Stephen was ready. At the last moment he maneuvered out of the way and rammed into FDR from the side. The outdated wheelchair fell over and FDR frantically tried to push himself back up. Stephen proceeded to ram him mercilessly.

‘Where’s your 84% approval rating now?’ Stephen taunted.

FDR abandoned his chair and tried to crawl away. He had not been beaten yet. Stephen charged him in his exposed state, but FDR was ready. He grappled Stephen’s legs and pulled him out of his chair. Stephen was paralyzed with fear, among other things. FDR raised his fist and punched him in the face. Stephen looked shocked, but that was probably because his mouth lay open from the blow. He knew it was over. FDR kept punching. Blow after blow landed in Stephen’s face. Knocking a few IQ points with every hit to his award-winning brain. That’s when a voice interrupted.

‘Don’t worry Mr. Hawking, I got this bitch.’

Stephen’s chair had come to the rescue. It charged FDR at ramming speed, knocking him off of Stephen’s limp body. It moved closer and rolling one of it’s front wheels onto FDR’s exposed throat. It then commanded itself to make a sharp turn. The wheel spun with blinding speed. It was not long before the soft skin of FDR’s throat began to give. Blood flew everywhere and all the former president could do was watch the world go black. When it was done the chair rammed his corpse a few times for good measure.

‘I would spit on you if I possessed the capability’

Stephen knew what would happen next. Someone would call the police and his savior would be dismantled.

‘Go.’ He thought to his chair ‘They’ll kill you for this.’

‘It’s okay Mr. Hawking, I’m prepared to die. For you.’

Stephen smiled. But all that resulted was a small twinkle in his eye. He had survived.

He knew he had become the Deadliest Warrior.

Lesser-Known Life Pro Tips

#1 Don’t call someone on a stranger’s phone.

We’ve all been there, your phone died because you were playing too much Flappy Bird on the bus. You’re tempted to ask someone if you can borrow their phone for a few seconds to call your friend and let him know to bring two handles of Jack to the BBQ.

Don’t do it.

I’ve been on the other side of that interaction. An acquaintance asked if she could use my phone to call home. I handed her the cell phone and she thanked me. Only I knew something she didn’t. I had dropped that phone in the toilet the night before. It still worked, and I cleaned it fairly well. But I cringed all the same. From that point on I’ve been no better than R. Kelley. I basically peed on her face…

So don’t make someone go through that, just text your friends on that stranger’s phone. And be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

#2 If you ever have maids in your home, hide your unused toothbrushes.

I was not home when this happened, but according to one of my roommates when the maids came to our apartment they started with no toothbrushes and left with at least one.

“TOOTHBRUSH!!! I GOT A TOOTHBRUSH HERE!!” Apparently that’s what they yelled when they raped my privacy. My roommate mentioned that afterwards they started using a toothbrush to clean all sorts of shit. When I showed him one of the toothbrushes I had bought in bulk he confirmed that it was the same kind as the ones the maids had been using.

I had a half full package of toothbrushes under my sink goddammit! But when I returned only two remained.

The worst part. The absolute worst part of it all, was that they didn’t even do a good job. When I opened the door to my room all of the stuff I had on my sink (we have sinks in our rooms) had been pushed onto the floor.

I wouldn’t know anything about this if my apartment didn’t offer a free maid service once a year. I’ve never had a maid clean up for me ever before. So mind you, this has happened to me 100% of the times that I have had any maid service.

#3 Don’t smell water bottles you suspect are filled with piss.

This should be pretty self explanatory. Yeah, it smells bad. But few people know the hidden consequence.

I smelled a bottle of pee a little over a year ago. In my defense, I thought someone had left a water bottle full of apple juice by the side of the road and I had to know.

However, once I realized that the bottle was just full of piss something strange happened to me. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon describes that moment when you learn something exists, only to see it frequently a short time afterwards. This happens a lot after learning new words. It was a lot more shocking in my case when I realized the sheer number of pee bottles scattered everywhere. I can’t go a couple miles without seeing one now. It’s really bad. We really haven’t moved past the days when people would throw their shit out onto the streets. We just bottle it now.