Well. Here’s everything I’ve got. I’m not too interested in dragging it out. They’re a hassle to post, and I’m very busy with other projects. Anyway- enjoy what’s there.
Click the image below to access the comic book or click here.
A little finality for a long project.
Listening to Bryan Ferry and trying to figure out where to start…
OK let’s do this.
I suppose it was late April when FG Galassi got in touch with me. They’re a locally based company who specialize in framework design and construction. They had been contacted by EKO Guitars, a multi-million dollar Italian guitar company looking for a business in the US with the infrastructure and desire to market their guitars State-side.
Initially I was skeptical. They needed a CMS. A content management system, rather than a blog, which is what this site is. A CMS has to provide easy access to all the products, contact information, videos, the works, without feeling too casual. Because I have only ever worked with WordPress (a behind-the-scenes website management program) I decided to go with that and try to use the tools already there to my advantage. For the most part, it is built for people like me: content or media providers who want to share their work in a chronological fashion. Something new comes in, something old gets pushed back into the archives. Naturally a website like Amazon.com or, I don’t know, Target.com, wants to have all their material readily available, not necessarily emphasizing new products over old products.
I spent a great deal of time listing all the products, each one start to finish taking about 15 minutes, but that’s wasn’t the most difficult part of the process. After I found a template online, I had to go in a make drastic changes to the home page, remove, alter or write, many snippets of code here or there, and design several images, the most time-consuming of which was the intermittently-changing banner found just under the navigation bar.
If I were to detail the entire process, it would take more time than it actually took to make the site, and I’m feeling just about done right now, so I won’t go into the specifics of the code, half because I don’t care to, and half because most people reading this give less of a damn about that kind of thing than I do, I’m sure.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy perusing their wares and checking out the site. Click the image above to head over there, or just use this link. Feel free to call and order one, and most definitely consider leaving a comment here. It took a ton of work and I’d really, really, love to know what you all think.
So comment, please do. I appreciate it and make a point of responding to all of them.
This is a story I wrote for an independent study class. Buuuuut…. I never turned it in. UNTIL NOW. And by now, I mean later, when I actually send it to my teacher. Of course, technically I’ve graduated- so I don’t have to! But I’m going to. Anyway, this is a modern remake, of an old Greek myth. See if you can guess which one it is. The answer will be listed at the end of the story with a link the relevant wiki article. Story fully stands on its own though, so enjoy.
There was a cold blurriness running across his face. He felt submerged, and the gentle tapping on his left cheek was growing louder and more obnoxious until his eyes darted fully open. His suit was drenched. Lou stopped hitting him. Cruddy shower-space, the dinky curtain ripped off and thrown aside in the corner of the bathroom by the door. He hated this place.
He was thrown a towel, which hit him in the face, and he blinked several times as he pulled the cloth from his eye. His expression was one of utter confusion, and he gaped around, darting out of the tub and from under the shower nozzle. The water rapped against the steel tub, a high clacking noise.
“Time to go. You don’t have time to change. I don’t want to be late. In all seriousness, I do not want to be late.” This was Lou, and he was serious. His voice was harsh as usual, but he was a product of his time. Unfortunately, his mistrust and general hatred for living things was entirely out of his hands. It had been brought upon him by years of continuous stress and cramped living spaces.
The boy in the shower was a shade of gray too similar to the outside world to be healthy. Every morning he ate rations, and always managed to sleep eight hours a night. He had been born after Year One. The howling winds outside and the notion that an inhospitable wasteland lay maybe two or three hundred feet in either direction were just another fact of life. His name had been given to him by his mother before they were separated after his birth.
That’s what Lou had told him. Lou didn’t tell him what that name was.
Lou might be his grandfather. He might be his father. Couldn’t be sure of his age. A little poisoning could turn a thirty year old man into a train wreck. The only thing the boy was sure of was that Lou was a friendly face trapped behind a thick window of bitterness, and that he was known to this man only as ‘Boy’.
The boy just wanted to sleep. Across the hall outside the bathroom he could see two crates, hastily packed, lying open next to the single bed in another room. Food, water; mostly in unmarked plastic cans. His briefcase was still under the wiry steel frame and thin mattress, just visible under the bed skirt.
Today was delivery day at Lilac Park. Every day was delivery day: basic necessities, and nothing more. Absolutely not a thing more. That had been the unspoken rule before it became law. The boy took a moment to dry himself off, but he left for the bedroom still dripping, wet down to his undergarments. He left a trail of water in his wake and went sloshing across the linoleum grabbing his case.
The older man knelt by one of the crates, searching for the power button. He always had trouble finding it. The boy stepped out and found the small sensor on the other side of the crate. It rang to life to a gleeful jingle and lifted slowly from the ground to a very low height. It slipped across the room with ease. The second crate followed suit.
When Lou finally opened the apartment door, after a moment of grunting, one of the gods was waiting. They looked almost human, but they couldn’t mimic the little things. Blank stares, dark irises, twitching, sometimes they smiled for hours for no reason. He wondered why they even bothered pretending. It was unnerving. For a long moment, it just stood and stared, and when it was finished with whatever it thought it was doing, it moved from their path. The hall beyond the vestibule was long, doors lining one side, and tall floor to ceiling windows on the other, the perfect view of the blank landscape outside. Gray snow fell and covered everything, but when strong winds came, the flakes of colorless ash would sweep away in a massive dark cloud with a gusto not dissimilar to fleeing. Lou never looked. He avoided thinking about the fact that he had survived. The world was empty now, and he had lived to tell the tale because he was in the right place when it mattered. The boy watched swirls of snow flit about in small spirals before flinging themselves into disarray, landing where they wont. This was an ongoing dance. One pocket of ash would twist and spin about, and when it stopped, others began until they were all sucked away by a gust strong enough.
The boy turned back to Lou, who stared resolutely away from the scene outside. The hall was sterile. There were no germs, no insects here or there, no bacteria. Life here was fragile, but protected. Above each door there was a red or green light, indicating which rooms were locked. No one ever tried to escape. There was, quite literally, nowhere to go. One could assume that wherever the gods came from was a potentially safe haven, but there was no method by which they could reach that place.
The boy gripped his briefcase tightly until his hands grew moist with perspiration. Some measure down the hall, two of the gods stepped forward to a door in synchronicity. The light above faded from a shade of dark red to a brighter neon and then switched to green. The door flew open, and they stepped in, feet in perfect alignment with each other. The door closed. The boy wondered if he was about to do the right thing. He wondered if bringing the case he held to Lilac Park was wise, or if it served any purpose.
Lou helped him slide the boxes into the stairwell. The listened in silence as someone was dragged screaming from their room. When you were taken it meant death. There was no reason to scream. It did not matter. There could be no negotiation, because the gods fundamentally lacked a more human comprehension of survival. The boy and the man pushed the crates towards the second set of stairs down toward the hangar and let them tip and slide down the with a gentle hum before coming to a quick stop at the bottom. Upstairs, the screaming came to an abrupt stop.
The boy planted his case atop the floating crate and leaned forward on his elbows, trying to relax, waiting for the hangar doors to open, and when they did, the awaiting ship that came into view was the same that they had ridden for years on the short skip over to Lilac Park. Gray paint, eight short wings, a large engine in the back. In the snow, against the backdrop of the dead sky, you couldn’t see this thing twenty feet above you. Two gods moved in and dressed Lou and the boy in heavy suits. The silence inside the gear was shocking. The boy grunted to check that he hadn’t gone deaf. He left his arms extended outward while the creature to his left secured a strap on his back.
It looked to the briefcase, laying unprotected, and it shuffled slowly over, seemingly unsure of where its leg joints were. The boy waddled over to the case and held it. The god backed away and looked at him. It could not comprehend what he planned to do, so it did not question his actions. For all its perfection it was helpless to understand what it meant to be merely human.
The boy turned away. Behind him, Lou shuffled uncomfortably. The two trudged across the floor toward the loading bay doors on the back of the ship. The massive maintenance robot on the ceiling turned a single eye to the two, and watched them briefly as it continued to work.
The man and the boy climbed the loading ramp and took their seats after securing the crates to the far wall. The briefcase went next to the boy.
Lou took his seat. They lowered their harnesses. When the bay door in the back of the ship closed, Lou asked removed his helmet just partially and took a quick gasping breath. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
The boy frowned and pulled up his an inch or two to say, “Put your gear back on. Don’t stick your neck out like that just to ask a stupid question.”
“It seems like a bad idea. We do whatever you want. You’re the boss.” Lou added.
There was a nod of acquiescence.
The ship grumbled once more, and they felt it buzz, and the boy was glad he had sealed his suit again. The lights came on slowly and then faded out. With a painful jerk, and ship lurched away, and all that could be seen out the few small windows was an impenetrable, dry, misty gray.
The ship cruised. It stopped its forward acceleration. Lou remained tense in the shoulders. Even through the thick garbs, the boy could see that the man was nervous. There was no conversation, although the boy imagined that his counterpart wondered if they would be killed for what they were to do. The old man had said that he knew it was the ‘right’ thing to do, but wondered if it wasn’t too late.
They never spoke in specifics. Only vague generalized statements about ethics. It didn’t seem like a healthy thing to think about too much.
The boy wondered if the people in lilac park would remember him. He wondered if they remembered anything from one day to the next. He wondered if they recognized that he was human, under the suit.
When he closed his eyes, that place was all he could picture. Anything else he tried to think about was like trying to hold onto the memory of a dream. Maybe that was why he was so confident that what he was doing was right. There was a certain naivete about the people there, a certain insanity that he found raw and appealing. Maybe it was because the gods chose to save them, or because the gods had chosen not to expose themselves to the people in Lilac Park. Those in the park who who had not been born after Year One were members of various selections of the old cultures. The first years they tried to speak with each other.
Then they gave up. There was no breaking the language barrier. The children there could not speak at all. They did not play. The boy could not be sure if he had ever heard them laugh. He doubted it. More than anything else he remembered how their blank stares were much like those of the gods.
The ship pulled to a slow stop and began its decent. When the door opened again, there was little beyond a glowing orange light to remind them which was to walk.
The boy wondered if the inhabitants of Lilac Park ever looked around when they heard the ship that they surely could not see.
Lou was standing next to him. He grabbed the boy’s helmet and shook with one hand motioning for him to return to reality. The ship would remain for twenty minutes, that was all they had. If they were left behind they could try to stay in Lilac Park, but that was their only option. They might be removed in the middle of the night and never heard of again, or they might be allowed to stay and live out their days, but there was no returning to the compound.
The boy kept his case with him. The act was to be largely symbolic. That was what the old man said. The boy hoped it would amount to more than that. They wriggled their feet through the deep silt-like snow, heading slowly for the orange beacon. Beyond that they would be able to see the faint outline of Lilac Park, and they would only have to walk in a straight line. It was just over the hill.
The boy listened to his heavy breath, for that was all he could hear. It was like being underwater. He felt immune to everything. They carried on.
At the crest of the hill they could see a bright outline in the sky. The large dome above the park. There was nothing physically there, but somehow it had happened that the snow never fell on Lilac Park. The grass remained green, and the air was fresh and bright, although he had been told never to remove his helmet in the company of the people in the park. Occasionally Lou would ride the crate down the hill to the white picket fence that marked the border between the park and… everything else. Today however, he was far too sober. They carried on.
At the fence, their backs to the gray abyss, they opened a section of the gate and slid the crates in. It was hot here, but not in the same way the rest of the world was hot. This place had not been microwaved. It had not been abused, it had been preserved. And the boy was about to ruin it.
The stepped with a heightened sense of confidence, because now that they had come, it was only a matter of time before the boy decided to open his luggage.
In the center of the park, the people waited, standing, staring at the crates, the lilac plant behind them, in a perpetual bloom. The boy waited at a distance for a long time. Lou wondered if that was what the world had come to.
The people here were strong and well-fed. Prime examples of human beings if not for their vocal muteness. None had spoken in years, so the boy assumed. He was right.
When he reached them, after resuming his walk, they opened the crates themselves and sat in no particular formation. They ate quietly, savoring the food with a kind of delicate reservation that may have been the result of years of hemorrhaging intelligence. No intellectual stimuli here. There seemed to be little left behind their eyes. Little ongoing thought.
When they finished, Lou collected the bottles and containers and placed them into the crates, which were then closed. Lou then looked at the boy. The boy returned the look, and then fancied the ceiling of the inverted snow globe that was Lilac Park. The snow swirled above but never touched, landing only on the outskirts of the green landscape. He opened the case.
A lighter. A single lighter. He removed it from the foam inside and sat down. The switch gleamed in the light of which one could not be sure of the source. He pressed it, and leaned forward across his own lap to touch the flame to a bit of grass before the crowd of people. Everyone watched intently. No one said anything. The lilac plant swayed in a gentle breeze. The flame darted about on the lone stalk of grass until all that was left was a spot of shriveled, fibrous dust.
The boy handed the lighter to the woman nearest to him, and with that, the air darkened, and the boy looked up again to note that the ash had begun to fall on Lilac Park.
Guessed yet? It was the tale of Prometheus. Check it, yo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus