Monday, December 7, 2009


Okay everybody, after promising it months ago, I’m finally announcing my first fiction post on Just click on the following link and it will take you right there:

You know, every artist has an idealized image of how their career will turn out. Whether it is a packed house at Carnegie Hall, a main exhibit at the Guggenheim or a filled auditorium hanging on every word of a book reading, artists see this as a goal and strive to reach it. Then of course, Reality sticks its greasy fingers into the cake, and takes them for a ride....

Saturday, November 7, 2009


The majority of men lead lives of quiet desperation. –Henry David Thoreau

Take a deep breath and let your body settle into the present. Anchor it; engage it to your chair, the walls around you and the ceiling above. You won’t need it.

Now let your mind drift back, back to, let’s say, when you were in college: five, 10, 15, 20 years ago, whenever you walked through those hallowed halls of learning. For those of you who never went to college, just play along and pretend.

And just suppose that one day, while you’re at your college job, flipping burgers or scooping ice cream or changing the sparkplugs, someone walks up to you from out of the blue and tells you that five, 10, 15, 20 years from now you’ll still be flipping burgers or scooping ice cream or changing sparkplugs. Would you laugh? Dismiss the person off hand? Get angry?

After all, you just don’t want to live day-to-day like all those the mindless sycophants out there, you have a CALLING! All your life you could feel it, all the way down to your bones. You were put on this planet for one glorious purpose. You are good at it and, more importantly, practicing it is the only time in your whole misbegotten, frustrating life that you actually feel whole and at peace.

Then, throw yourself to the present. You wake up. It’s early. Your spouse is still sleeping beside you. As wakefulness brushes aside the incoherence of your sleep while you watch the ceiling fan above you rotating in its eternal, circular dance, you realize today is another day of ice cream scooping.

You don’t arrive here at once, though. There were diversions and pit stops and illusions that fill this long expanse of time, cluttering your worldview with needless glamour that threatened to blind you from your calling.

Yet, in the beginning at least, somehow you manage to hang on to the vision of your calling, keep it in focus despite the distractions, from trivial to malign, in your way. Perhaps because you were raised to be a good person, to work hard, to be honest, put others’ needs before your own and speak your mind when you saw something at fault. With that upbringing came the karmic promise that, in the end, good things would happen to you in return.

But life, you find out as you grow older, isn’t like that. It’s a god-eat-dog world out there, so to speak, filled with those who would gladly stab you in the back or otherwise take advantage of you and your ideals for their own selfish needs. Even those you least expect, those closest to you gladly twist that knife as the opportunity presents itself. They view your ideals with contempt, as a weakness, making you unworthy of their respect.

Yet still you stubbornly hang on to your code of honor, hoping that in some bigger picture things will straighten out sooner or later and your search for your calling will end happily.

Still, in the searching you learn some hard lessons that contradict everything you originally thought. Why? Because this is The Ol’ Pueblo, kiddo, a seller’s market for employment even when the economy is good. And let the buyer beware, because the employers know it; they take every possible advantage over you with the backing of the Maricopa County State Legislature, that conservative enclave representing the few, rich, business-owning upper class, and everything bad that implies.

After awhile of banging your head against this employment wall in search of your calling, nothing happens and you begin to wonder if you are being too narrow in your search. So, in addition to looking for this, your calling, you decide you might as well look at that as a career as well. After all, it’s close to what you were originally looking for, isn’t it? At that moment, though you don’t realize it at the time, the compromising of your dreams and the slow desiccation of your spirit begins.

Eventually, after investing years of your precious time and attention, as well as several false starts, some more terrifying than the last, you do land something that suits your taste. It has good deal of “this,” at least enough so that what is possesses of “that” is at least tolerable and at times even interesting. Besides, in all realism you shouldn’t expect to hit the ball out of the park the first time you step up to the plate, right? So you make this job where you’ll cut your teeth, as it were, and at least keep your eyes peeled for something that would be a home run.

But your chance at playing Babe Ruth never comes. Sure, things come by, and you present yourself for them. But in the end you are ignored, just as you were before. Not that it matters too much. You’re not trying too hard, and you’re learning a lot at the “that” job that will make things much easier later on. Though the longer you stay makes it harder to handle the “that,” it is still well within your comfort zone and you feel you can still go on for a good while.

One thing you don’t understand is that how long “a good while” is isn’t entirely up to you. In fact, you have very little control over its definition, or the quality of its end result. Suddenly, your circumstances are removed from your control and, like it or not, leaving the “this/that” job and returning to ice cream scooping is your only option.

You’re not worried. Sure, you’re back where you were, but it was the best thing for your spouse and kids as well as a chance to put your drive more fully into taking an even larger step forward. Unlike before, you now have street cred; you’ve got the tools AND the talent; you can stand up and say, “This is what I’ve done. I’m great at my calling and I’m a true believer, and you’d be a fool not to hire me.” Rhetorically speaking, of course.

Somehow, though, time still goes by without the drop of acceptance to slack your thirst for your calling. In fact, before you know it even more time has passed than before you landed your interim position, on the scale of years, and all you can show for it are a handful of initial interviews, followed by the ubiquitous sense that, for some reason ignorant to you, everyone is ignoring you.

Then, you notice that your hope has mutated into something else. It is no longer a guiding beacon. Rather, it has transformed into a burden, a weight around your neck held fast by an unbreakable chain, a personal hell of doubt and shattered self-esteem. “You’re good, but not good enough,” becomes the mantra of those who dare hold you in judgment. “Not good enough—not good enough—not good enough.” It plays in your head every time your entreaties are ignored or forgotten in the din of the needy and disdained.

And as for those who should be there for you in your time of angst? They no longer care. They’ve abandoned you, in thought if not in deed. Either because your plight reminds them of their complicities in your state, or they are just tired of hearing your whining. They cease listening to you, and even turn away when you bring it up.

Not that what they say is supportive to you anymore. Those trite catchphrases, like, “Something will happen soon,” and “It’s their loss,” or “Keep it up. I know you can do it,” have lost their meaning to the point of cliché. You now find them condescending and patronizing, and you have bite your lip to keep yourself from saying some other cliché back at them, like, “Fuck off.”

In the end you know that, even in the unlikely circumstance that you get back into your calling, even if it is the “dream job” you’ve looked for from the beginning, you know you will hate it. That smoldering anger within has charred itself deep within your psyche and will never leave, because no calling is worth the time; the blood, sweat and tears; the anxiety of not knowing; and the final, climactic dread of being told, “no,” if it comes at all. Every day you arrive at your place of work, perhaps until you die, you will never shake the contempt you hold for your co-workers, your bosses, your family and your friends for not being there when you needed them, even as you were there for them.

Monday, October 19, 2009


There is a plague coming. In medical circles it is known as the H1N1 virus, but its common name is uttered with hushed whispers inside darkened barbeque restaurants everywhere. If you contract it, you will suffer. Oh, will you suffer! Your throat will constrict and you will drown with fever. It will sap your strength even as it becomes stronger. It will force you to run up your credit; consort with the morally depraved; donate what little of your life savings is left to the Democratic or Republican parties; watch cable news channels; and read magazines that publish best/worst dressed lists, horoscopes and perfume ads that smell like five-dollar whores!

Run, my friends. Run far and run fast! Or, as is often said on, EVERBODY PANIC!

Can someone PLEASE give me one fucking break?

Okay people, let me explain something and try to make it very clear. The Swine flu is exactly that, THE FLU! You prevent it the same way and you get it the same way. If you do get it, you treat it the same way. Despite what public officials, media demagogues and other crackpot kooks want you to believe, the Four Horsemen are NOT coming to trample your lawn, nor will any of us be pushing carts chanting, “Bring out yer dead!” Okay?

Don’t get me wrong. It is a tragic and eventual fact that people will die from the Swine flu, but no more or less than the A/B flu strains whose annual seasons humanity has weathered for many decades. In fact, I’m willing to put good money on the probability that A LOT more people will kick the bucket from the A/B than H1N1, just like every season. I mean come on! Didn’t these assess learn their lesson with the Avian Flu a couple years back? Can’t these people just shut up?

I’m not going to waste my time to encourage everyone to get their shots, wash their hands, eat right and get plenty of rest. It’s everyone’s individual choice, and if anyone is stupid enough to think they’ll be better off not doing so, that the shots will cause them to grow an extra head or turn their kids into flesh-eating zombies, well, that’s their problem. And they will pay in the form of long days of misery and yes, perhaps death, no matter what form they contract. I don’t have time to worry about those whose one contribution to humanity is diluting the gene pool. I have enough to worry about on my own.

That being said, don’t let the dipshits on the airwaves play on your fears. It’s obvious they just don’t know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Y’know, I’m living a dream. It’s neither very lucrative nor filled with fanfare, but it’s a dream nevertheless. I’m writing what I want, when I want and how I want, without the like-an-asshole-everyone’s-got-one-and-it-stinks opinion of creativity-killing bureaucrats who dare to think they know better than I or, for that matter, think at all. At least in this little corner of the Internet, I am The Maztor of my domain, without the dictatorial oppression of others. I am the living embodiment of the First Amendment and all the glorious freedom it bestows.


Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

See, by writing this blog, I took the one step that so many other working writers out there dream, sometimes their whole lives, and never attain. As I mentioned in my original post, I am assuming a stance of carte blanche concerning the subject matter of my posts. When I made this decision, I considered it a watershed. I could write whatever I wanted, so long as it wasn’t too crappy. My only inescapable fear in this commitment was of the trite yet dreaded writers’ block.

That was about the time I was blindsided by something I would not have expected in a million, billion years.

After my first two posts, I began to feel the creative engine in me really start to growl, and by that I’m taking a 351 Cleveland large-bore piece of power-ridden American engineering, not some rice-burning four-banger. The ideas really began to flow, and I was bound and ready to gun that engine and hit that literary road running.

Then, the engine seized up.

The problem wasn’t writers block. After all, I had so many ideas. Quite the opposite. I had too many. Day after day something would pop in my head and I’d scream in a loud, clear voice, “That’s it!” (A somewhat embarrasing prospect, especially while at my day job and in a patient’s room.) Then, I’d scrap my previous idea—whatever it was—and push forward with the new one.

But soon the ideas were coming so hard, so fast, the synapses in my brain were firing with such verocity that, like some really bad Robin Williams biopic, I suddenly and without warning stopped. Which idea should I write about? The question pounded through my skull over and over again. I just couldn’t decide. And when you add to the mix the usual stark mania perpetrated by the beginning of school and other difficulties I won’t mention here, you end up with one really inconsequential goober, like the kind I’d become. And then, before I knew it, almost two months passed since my last post and I had nothing, NOTHING to show for it.

I began to identify with and gain a greater appreciation for the protagonist of a story I’d been playing with on-and-off for awhile now. Through giftedness and training, he is imbued with great power, only to have his teacher suddenly and tragically killed before the protagonist learns to harness it. In fact, any magickal expression beyond the rudimentaries causes it to run amuck. So, in the face of great adversity, the story revolves around his baby steps in learning for himself the presence of mind needed to tap his gift without his head blowing up. In desparation, I did the same and looked for a method by which I could break my stalemate and push forward.

To my surprise, it came quickly enough in the form of a brief, simple whisper of a memory barely heard in the din of my brainwaves.

Perhaps by luck, and certainly by privilage I once for a time had the opportunity to call iconic outdoor writer Steve Comus “boss.” On a particularly frustating day of limited creativity, the crusty old newsman gave me a little advice, in his usual laid back, almost mumbling diction. “Think straight, write straight,” he said.

And so here I am. It’s 5:00 a.m., and I’m trying to reinstitute a long-atrophied practice by just thinking straight and writing straight. No predispositions. No pretensions. No grand designs to muck up the mix. Just one word in front of the other, like my feet on a long forced march, keeping them moving because the only end is at the end, and what happens in the mean time is the essence and pain of creativity. My only companions are the house cat and, in the words of Simon and Garfunkle, the sweet sound of silence. My only distraction is the slight twinge in my back, the remnant of a three-week-old muscle pull I exacerbated last weekend. A warm cup of coffee sets at my side, and above me the ceiling fan twirls.

I don’t intend on giving up on my ideas. On the contrary, I’ll likely make a list and explore them, one at a time at my discretion, thinking and writing as straight as I can until those journeys end as well.

Except maybe that gay midget porn concept.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Preface: As my understanding of the software that drives this blog continues to evolve, so to will its presentation. For example, some of you, especially those who signed up, will notice that I removed the “followers” application. I deeply thank those of you who signed up, but for some reason(s) I still don’t understand the site stopped showing you, as well as the method by which others can follow suit and join my legion of minions. I attempted to use the “help” site, which did nothing but run me around in circles without any solution to the problem whatsoever. So I took it off, with the hopes that in the future I can resolve the problem and repost this call to arms.

Also, I dropped off the fence, so to speak, in terms of my fiction. In the future, I will be posting stories, but not here. Instead, I’ll use, a site much like my original Maztorphyl in its purpose, but on a scope far, far surpassing it (Very special thanks to another slave to the Word Muse, Bob Bogle, for turning me on to it, along with this blog service). Notices of my stories will come in the same way as the posts for this Maztorphyl, as well as here.

Anyway, on to the post.

And so it came to be that I, The Maztor, and my mate decided we needed a little “personal” time, that the post-postmodern world’s everyday dysfunction was getting the better of us and we needed to get out of Tucson for a short husband-and-wife getaway.

She already had a business trip arranged to Las Vegas, Nev. where, as an HOA manager, she was to learn how to better withstand the harsh psychic assaults focused at her by the godless HOA hordes. Based on that, we decided to dovetail our getaway after her class, a good strategy we’ve used before.

She left first by air and, two days and uncounted replays of Queensryche’s “Jet City Woman” and “Without You” later, I assumed possession of my avatar, tossed some reasonably wearable underwear into a suitcase and followed by car.

Mad, you say? Mad that I took the car and not flown, travelled that long way alone where the inner demons were so free to exit my id and play havoc with my higher brain functions? Mad with method, says I! As cheap as airfare is nowadays, driving is still less expensive, to say nothing of eliminating the extra expense of renting a car.

Still, I had alterior motives beyond practicing some good travel sense. Thanks to to wonders of the Internet, not too long ago I stumbled upon another Swampdog, a fellow Chaos Lord whom I considered a very close chum, but with the intervening years we’d drifted apart and sadly lost touch at some point in the timestreams: the Great and Powerful MARZ!

In his human form, Lord Marz had done pretty well for himself during the epochs since our last meeting. He found a great mate himself, became the editorial director for
Overland Journal and basically turned every backwoods trail and out-of-the-way patch of nowhere on the planet into his own personal playground. Going well beyond the “let’s toss a couple cases of beer into the jeep and piss off the ranchers around Patagonia” concept of offroading, he’s can certainly walk the walk when it comes to vehicle-based outdoor adventure. Hell, he’s even done the four-month Baja run with his lovely wife and owns a Tacoma outfitted with a snorkel and an integral tent, for Chaos’ sake!

After a little back-and-forthing on
Facebook, we settled on hooking up while I was enroute to Vegas. I’d take a short detour and swing into his current lair of Prescott.

“I haven't been (there) since I was six or so,” I explained. “Hence, I'm not sure how to get around. If lunch still sounds good to you, we can meet some place at least initially. Pick a place only a hometowner would know about, nothing touristy or chain, and send me the address so I can map it out on

“Ok, you asked for it,” he warned. “We'll eat lunch at a liquor store.”

Well, okay then.

So I braved the I-10 badlands between Tucson and Phoenix (which actually wasn’t so bad, except for that exploding semi), squeezed through the labrythine quagmire that is the Phoenix highway system and bolted up I-17 to Prescott.

As I arrived, it occurred to me at once that Prescott was not the small town I visited in my childhood. Dispersed between the native flora grew blot after blot of subdivisions, marring the landscape and providing ample evidence that embryonic sprawl, now epidemic in Phoenix, Tucson and countless other places across the United States, had infected the area.

Aside from a minor misstep, we hooked up at Park Plaza Liquors, a quaint little place as much eatery as booze emporium. Whatever supernatural pact Marz made many years ago still held. Aside from a faint shade of manly stubble, he retained his youthful good looks, even much of his curly blonde locks, damn him.

As for Park Plaza Liquors, while much of it was devoted to isles of many different kinds of distilled spirits and kisses of brewed heaven, its front and patio adjacent to the main entrance were reserved for locals wishing to wash away their hunger rather than sorrows. Most of the tables were on the small side, fit only to sit three people comfortably, four for those not minding coziness. Ordering food, on the other hand, took place in the back through a large window that exposed the kitchen’s inner guts.

As small eateries go, the menu was both predictable, with salads, soups, burgers, finger foods and especially sandwiches populating its pages, and surprisingly diverse with each category containing many individual dishes from which to choose.

I asked about the signature dish, and was given several choices (always a good sign), from which I settled on the green chile chicken sandwich and fries. Marz’s wife, Sharon, decided upon the avocado sandwich, while Lord Marz himself ordered the meatball, his usual according to Sharon.

We sat down, our order flag proudly presented at its center and chatted, getting caught up on old times. It was great seeing him and meeting Sharon, and he seemed livened by my presence as well, until I revealed how much of a botched job Tucson’s Rio Nuevo Project was becoming, and he got downright depressed when I informed him of the Rialto Theater’s impending doom (Author’s note: Anybody know that happened with that? Let me know.) and the mismanagement of the Fox Theater. Good thing the dishes arrived just about then.

I grew up in a large, boisterous family, and few things quieted us faster than a good meal. This very thing occurred. The chatting remained, but dimmed as we dug in.

Good manners blocked me from asking for bites of their respective sandwiches, but I can’t say I wasn’t tempted. Looking at Sharon’s, I could tell that merely calling it an “avocado sandwich” was a misnomer. Rather it appeared to be veritable salad squeezed between two pieces of bread! Rich colors flourished at it core in the form of fresh greens, orange slices and other vegatarian goodness, mouthwaterinly accenting the avocados. I’m willing to guess even Ted Nugent would put down his bow, just for a little while, to savor its cornucopic goodness.

Lord Marz delayed little in diving into his own meatball goodness. Slathered in rich, bright marinara sauce, the plump balls lined up in their bun like a Roman legion. Earlier, Sharon remarked they often split this particular dish, as it was so large, but Marz seemed to expect little such trouble as he devoured it.

Then, there was my dish. It was wonderful! The grilled breast sported the three traits that make good chicken great: plump, juicy and flavorful. The diced green chiles provided a mild accent (a trait I’ve found common in non-ethnic dishes where this miraculous ingredient is used) to the breast, as did the melted white cheese. The ciabatta bun in which it all nestled bore a texture I enjoy with this kind of roll: crunchy enough on the outside not to lacerate gums, soft enough on the inside to, as the cliché goes, melt in my mouth.

The fries surprised me. Cut thin and straight, they lacked the thickness I enjoy, but made up for it in, like the ciabatta, their softness/crunchiness ratio. Also, the fries were seasoned, but only slightly, unlike the ostentatious caking one finds at the chains. There was enough not to hide, but rather add complexity to the fries’ rich earthy potato flavor.

I wished I could have stayed longer, but Vegas and my mate still called. We said our goodbyes, along with sincere promises to keep in touch, and I was on the road once again with a satisfied belly and just a little hopeful sadness that our reunion was too fleeting, but with more to come.

And what about Vegas, you ask? Well, we burned through our gambling money in about a half hour, ate a lot, walked A LOT, slept and napped a lot (At least I did; apparently I was experiencing certain high-volume nocturnal nasal and GI issues that kept my wife awake.), viewed the most numerous collection of breasts I have ever seen (Oh come on, people! They’re everywhere!) and took the long drive home together.

Park Plaza Liquor and Deli is located at 402 W Goodwin Street in (presently) beautiful Prescott, Arizona. They can be reached via phone at 928-541-9867. I have been told an official Web site is forthcoming, but as of this writing nothing yet.

For those into high-end offroading and the outdoors, check out Overland Journal, a five-issue-per-year publication dedicated to “…environmentally responsible, worldwide vehicle-dependent expedition and adventure travel,” at

Monday, July 20, 2009


There once was a man named Gregory Daniel High. Two years ago today, he died. He was my friend.

To describe him, to encapsulate his being into a few meaningless lines of restrictive text, would prove complicated at best. Yet if pressed I suppose I could quote the gre
at (and also dead) Hunter S. Thompson, and say he was, “…One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” (The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat)

He craved life, devouring it every day. Swampdog, glutton, pervert, intellectual, techno-wizard, outdoorsman, crack broomballer, chain smoker, unrelenting debater, shock master extraordinaire, voracious reader and much more described him equally, but each alone failed to grasp him in his entirety.

Only his closest friends could see past his many Campbellian masks to his true self: the pure-hearted Percival, lonely and alone, most likely of us all to find the Holy Grail if he’d get off his fat, nightmarishly terrifying ass and try। Only in Greg’s case, the quest would involve in some way a minigun, claymore mines and K-Y, lots and lots of K-Y.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Greg felt burdened by one curse: his epilepsy. For one who reveled in the art and wit of the argument, where all Life’s facets were free range, it was his only untouchable subject. Even alluding to his condition would send him off in a rage too acute for one to ever want to bring it up again. He hated it, the brain-numbing meds he took and the ubiquitous dread that, no matter what he did or where he was, a grand mal seizure still could take him.

Then, two years ago, one did forever.

To this day I prefer to think of him as he lived, the better times. In the mid- to late-ninties, we lived together with my brother. Greg, known to us as The One-Eyed Scary Guy, was on the local fast track at corporate-giant-turned-waste-of-space Internet provider America Online, engineering various programs for AOL’s corporate clients. Ever seditious, under its auspices he discreetly developed a lovely little treasure trove of Swampdog wisdom known as

At the same time, I was working my way through college and beginning my life as a struggling writer (a phase I’m still eagerly waiting to end). A bit more self-important, pretentious and, perhaps, passionate than I am now, I myself was making my own initial foray into cyberspace.

For awhile, I’d been churning out a respectable number of short stories as well as, like all struggling writers, collecting an ever-growing pile of rejection letters. I’d been playing around on AOL as a customer, and struck on the idea of self-publishing those stories that had been rejected more than 10 times online. I hoped to elicit feedback on, and ensure a continued life for, my work.

And so the original Maztorphyl was born. Using software I’d downloaded from AOL, I created The Maztorphyl and populated it with the usual crap in addition to the stories: a favorite site list, a hit counter, its purpose statement, an e-mail link, that sort of thing.

As both developed, we’d talk informally about them, throwing around this idea or that, considering the next steps. Then we settled on an idea we both liked, a page that acted as both sick-and-twisted advice column and social commentary, and ran with it. Before long we launched the “Ask The Maztor” section of Instigator. At first he posted a few of my tirades to set the page’s mood, while I, at the same time, queried initial letters from some close friends.

It didn’t take long before things were running at a good, smooth place. The scope of people grew steadily until we began getting messages from across the US. I received the e-mails, wordsmith an answer, and forward them to Greg who, as editor-in-chief and webmaster, did his posting thing. We didn’t always agree on my responses—like a few disparaging remarks I once made about G. Gordon Liddy that prompted Greg to add a disclaimer—but for the most part he left them all but untouched. As Web sites go, the number of hits it garnered was unimpressive, but doing better than we first envisioned.

It was when things looked like they were taking off that, of course, the bottom fell out.

While at work, Greg made a minor error in the form of a slight departure from company protocol. Namely, while testing beta software in a small, secure network, he chose as his password, “AnalPusBubbles.” Apparently, this violated some subclaus of AOL’s Orwellian decency policy. Prudes.

He was disciplined in what amounted to a slap on the wrist. Then, the bungholes at corporate caught wind of it, and Greg became another victim of one of AOL’s Stalinesque purges for which it was so well known back then. As he disappeared from the building, so too did Instigator.

As the years rolled by, I’d bring up the possibility of relaunching Instigator again as an independent site, but Greg wasn’t interested. Either its memory was too painful, he didn’t have time or he just moved on; he never made his reasons clear. Greg’s death pretty much closed the door on it.

As for The Maztorphyl, it lingered over much of my college career, but things were changing. I was dating my future wife while working hard at my job and school, and the time necessary for maintaining the number of short stories I was writing as well as the page’s upkeep fell away. So, acquiesing to the inevitable, I shut it down. Looking back, it didn’t succeed at its mission, anyway. It received far fewer hits than even Instigator, and responses were negligable at best.

Recently, I got to thinking about Greg. Had it really been two years? Where’d it all go? Life has a way of keeping you occupied with other things while the important stuff gets away. I wondered about it, rolled it over in my head, reminisced about him and all the Chaos-ridden things we all used to do, like on the Internet…

And so I decided to bring The Maztorphyl back from the dead, as a blog, to honor his memory and the twisted logic and ideals for which it and Instigator stood.

Now, fair reader, we come to the present. Since we’re all feeling so upbeat, I shall explain to you the guidelines by which I will run this half-rotted carcass that is the reborn Maztorphyl!

What will I write about? Pretty much whatever the hell I feel like. My whims will dictate the literary and journalistic pleasures you will enjoy. Political commentary, a restaurant review, an in-depth description of my athletes foot, if the mood strikes me, it will end up here. There’s even a chance I’ll talk about epilepsy. I’ll try posting something every other week. If it works out well enough, I may increase it to every week, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

If you need advice, particularly of the freakish kind, my ear is open at I believe that everyone, EVERYONE, is a freak to one degree or another. From the straight-laced housewife with the extensive S&M paraphenalia collection stored in her armior, to the half-drunk college student eating his pizza crust first, I laud the weirdness of humanity. It’s the spice of life, people.

Fair warning, though. My no-holds-barred approach and stance, as well as my subject matter, will no doubt frustrate, anger, shock and even outrage some of you. In fact, if I don’t piss off a few of you from time to time I won’t be doing my job. But you know, there hasn’t been a single time I’ve had a great time off-roading that I didn’t get jostled around like a limp rag doll, that my perceptions weren’t challenged even as I tried to keep my eyes on the road.

Still, if you don’t find my vignettes your cup of tea, that’s fine, too. This is still the United States, last time I checked. So kick my dust from your sandals and ne’er turn back, fair wanderers.

There are some out-of-bounds subjects, though. As best I can I will steer away from my family. Unlike those celebrity pimps in Hollywood and New York, I consider parading my family before the public like a brothel lineup physically, mentally, morally and emotionally nauseating. That being said, my wife and kids make up so much of my life I can’t say they won’t make cameos or supporting appearances. I just won’t make them a story’s focus.

My poetry also is a no-no. To me its more of a hobby and besides, I’m not that good. As for fiction, I’m still on the fence. My productivity lately, in quality and quantity, hasn’t been that great, but I may brush off an old story, run it through the editorial grinder once or twice, and post it if I have nothing else. Still, like I said, the jury’s still out on that one.

Not wishing to add to the feeding frenzies, I will pay little attention to the wanton, idiotic antics, and in particular the deaths, of those talentless, camera-whore pop culture “icons” we Americans so enjoy placing on pedestals, except perhaps as inspiration for indictments against the tabliodization of the media, as well as the provincial tastelessness and dumbing of America.

So I invite you all to jump in the back seat, fasten your seat belts, enjoy the ride and, above all, stay with me. Don’t jump out in the middle of the trip because you’re feeling ill. You might get left behind. Just rest assured knowing that, unlike the idiot talking heads and moron pundits on tabloid news shows and channels, everything I post, no matter how moving or vitriolic, will still have behind it the same philosophy of another socio-political observer, Dennis Miller: “Of course, that’s my opinion. I might be wrong.”