Aug 28 2014

Becoming A Mommy Changes You For The Better!

iphoneA long time ago, I became a mommy. Nobody had ever told me that being a mom would be so incredibly hard. It’s easily the toughest job in the whole wide world. Nobody ever lets you know this. Or actually… in retrospect, people have tried to warn me. But nothing can truly prepare you for it.

And when it does happen, you’ll find yourself making all sorts of resolutions for yourself. You’ll be promising yourself to breastfeed them for a certain time, to never hit them, to always be buying them new toys and whatnot. The list of things you mean well just goes on and on. But good intentions are just that. They’re merely intentions.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with good intentions. The problem is that it isn’t realistic. And it doesn’t really matter. New mommies worry way too much. The reason they do this is probably because it’s better to err on the side of safety than being too lax and letting some sort of harm come to your child.

Every once in a while, you might miss a breastfeeding session or something like that. But it’s very important not to beat yourself up over it. It’s okay if you’re not perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. No mommy on the world ever was perfect. Neither were your parents. And look how you turned out. You probably turned out fine, so there you have it!

Sticking out tongueOne resolution that I made even before I had my baby, was that I was going to ensure to eat healthy all the time. And I really did switch to a healthier diet right before I became pregnant. I wanted to make sure my baby would have a head start in life and not have to worry about whether my health habits would saddle my baby up with birth deficiencies.

If you let good intentions and resolutions get the better of you, you won’t be able to enjoy mommyhood, which is easily the most important job on the planet! So be sure to give yourself some leeway when raising your children. You dont have to get it picture friggin’ perfect. Just so long as you get it kinda, half, sorta right… you’re already doing it well enough.

One very important thing is that you feed your children well. Kids are pretty resilient. They can easily take it if you accidentally bump them into something or you scare them by having a fight with your spouse and they start to cry. You will not traumatize them for life and they will not hate you for it when they grow up.

The most important thing you can do is that you put plenty of good nutrients in them and make sure they get a good amount of rest. This is what children need in order to grow up and become healthy, tall, strong adults with a good immune system and a good dose of self confidence.

So if you’ve just become a mommy, go out and buy the greatest baby food blender and bottle warmer you can get, if you haven’t done so already. I cannot stress the importance of good nutrients enough. Home made food is endlessly better then store bought food that comes in a jar. You think those manufacturers care about you raising a healthy baby? They care about making a profit.

smileDon’t be gullible and buy premade food. That’s the lazy way of raising your kids. If you have a good baby food maker, then you can simply make all your own food weeks in advance. You don’t have to use a blender every single day of your life. You can simply make the food a week in advance and freeze it for a week.

You can use either ice cube trays for freezing the home made baby food, or you can simply buy some dedicated, day labelled containers for this. I simply went down the ice cube route. But to each his own. It’s not that containers with a day label are expensive, because they aren’t.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been meaning to buy them myself. I just never got around to it. Guess I was just being lazy. So far for being a perfect mom. But, oh well… it’s not like one container produces better frozen baby food then another.

The other thing you need to keep in mind, is that you provide your newborn with lots of rest. Kids require both nutrients as well as rest in order to grow up. You don’t want to see kids suffer from stunted growth, because we’re not living in a third world country here.

Babies grow up fast and their cribs will need to grow along with them. You can possibly go for a convertible crib. Or you can just keep buying new ones as your child grows in size. You won’t have to spend too much money on it if you don’t want to. So go ahead and check out a good, cheap baby beds comparison on this site I’m linking to and take your pick.

slideYour child will spend a vast amount of time sleeping. But don’t think for one second that being a mom is easy. When you have just become a mommy, you are about to find out how hard it truly is. Those times when your baby is asleep, are just temporary breaks for you to catch your breath. And when you are catching your breath, it’s important that you really take your time to chill out.

If you don’t take a moment for yourself, you’ll run out of energy quick enough. You don’t want to become one of those moms that frequently hates being a mom. So don’t turn your children into the very center of your world. You’ve got to be nice to yourself as well. You deserve it. And if you love your children, then you’ll make sure to get some enjoyment for your self as well.

I like to cuddle up with a good book myself. But you might have other hobbies. Whichever your other passions are next to your children, make sure to free up some time for those passions. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy. But in the end, I’m sure you’ll find it’s all worth it. Because being a mom changes you for the better!

Jul 31 2014

If You’re Longing For Fresh Air, Simply Take A Hike

trail4For too long, I had been stuck in a rut. I work an office job and have kids to take care of. My time is pretty much all taken up. I had reached a point in time where I just could not take it anymore, so I decided I was going to have to do something radically different if I wanted to avoid a severe depression. The problem with my life is that it tends to get too monotonous. But it’s not good constantly being in your comfort zone. Your comfort zone, which you probably regard as your friend, can actually grow into your worst enemy.

After years of working almost non stop, I decided I needed some intense exercise. And I wasn’t talking about all the usual walks that I am always taking in the evening when I can find 20 minutes for myself. I’ve walked the same walk around the block for thousands of times over the past few years. I’m not bragging either. I did it almost every day for well over five years. But it simply wasn’t good enough anymore. So I decided to take a hike! Into the mountains that is! I had always wanted to get out into the great outdoors. Some friends of mine regularly go camping and I’ve always been a tad bit jealous of that.

trail1When you have decided that you want to go trekking into the mountains, then you’re going to have to have a look at some high quality comparisons of backpacking shoes, before you do anything else. You’re going to need a decent set of boots if you want to take on those rocky trails. But if you’ve never done anything like that before, then you’re going to want to inform yourself properly before doing anything. You’ll be sorry if you don’t, so just make sure you know what you’re doing.

After a few days of research, I settled on the pair of walkers that was best for me personally. They are a pair of Hi-Tecs for women. I’m in love with them and I’ll never part with them for as long as I live. Most brands mostly manufacture top rated mountain trailing boots for guys, but by searching the web I managed to find a good pair for me as well. There’s no better way to start than by visiting that website I’ve linked to. It really is a very informative site.
So then finally I got my two weeks off from work and I set out to the trail of my choosing. It was a 10 day trailing adventure, because I wanted to make sure that I had some resting days after going on such a long trek without having even practiced it in advance. I’m in pretty good shape from my walks around the block, so I was sure that I’d be able to hack it. And hack it I did. I started the trail and I finished it too! The great thing about the whole ordeal was being in the middle of nature. By the end of the first day, I was already saturated with fresh air and I was pretty much hooked to hiking right at that moment.

trail2At the end of every day, I slept like a baby for what seemed like an eternity. Turns out that it was actually 10 hours. But 10 hours of sleep is a pretty long time. I’m used to sleeping 8, which I consider to be the standard amount of sleep your average human being needs every night. But when you’re trying to take on those rocky paths all day long… you’re going to be pretty exhausted at the end of every day. And just getting plenty of rest is not enough. You better have a healthy diet, too. If not, you will rue the day you ever put on those boots.

When you’re choosing a long trail, not a day goes by that you don’t see something different from the day before. One day, you’re deep inside a thick forest. The next, you’re walking past a water stream running next to a mountain. This one time… a porcupine came running out of the bush. He ran straight at me and scared me witless. Thankfully, he was more afraid of me than I was of him. He ran away without me having to do anything. I made sure to write it all down in my trail journal, because it’s not every day that you see something like that happening. That little bugger came out of nowhere. He was gone before I managed to take a picture. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

trail3My husband is now also interested in this sport. He did not join me on my first trip, because he was busy working. He holds an important position in a high rep company, which I will not name for the sake of protecting his privacy. He used to be in the army and is wondering if his most comfortable waterproof military footwear would be suitable for taking a hike, just like my Hi-Tecs are. Now, I’m no shoe expert, but those army shoes of his look to me like they could totally help him get through a 10 day trekking adventure. The thing is… he put on a few pounds in the past few years, so I’m not too sure whether or not his shoes will still be a good fit. Otherwise, he’ll just have to buy a new pair. He can easily afford it though. He’s pretty rich. Why do you think I married him in the first place?

I’m looking forward to my first backpacking vacation with my husband. I’m thinking about hitting the Apallachian trail next time. I hear a lot of good things about it. It’s famous for being totally awesome. And also for having parts that are extremely easy, to having parts that are extremely strenuous. But I’m fine with that. I’ve been stuck in a rut for far too long. Now that I’ve had my first trail, I want more. I’m ready for a new adventure and I’m constantly looking for a way to increase the challenge.

Fun times ahead!


Jun 16 2014

Get A Little Booster In Your Workout To Help You Get Better Results

If there’s anything I hate it’s probably working out really hard at the local gym and not getting any results. Whenever I go beast mode and try to bulk up as much in as little time as I possibly can, I always want to see some results fast. In the past, I’ve considered using shady supplements, but I never actually had the balls to do so. My wife won’t let me. Please don’t laugh at me, you guys! I’ve been self conscious about my body all of my life and now that I’m approaching middle age, I really want to make something of it.

workout testosterone boosters

So I was looking around on the web to see if I could find something to help me out with my training that is not the standard protein supplements. And guess what I found out… turns out that these days you can get supplements that will help you increase your testosterone levels in a completely natural way. Now see, that’s the sort of stuff I’m looking for. I instantly started a search for the best testosterone booster and landed at the linked site. That’s the place where I learned all about treating low t levels.

They also had a bunch more information on intra workout supplements. I’ve been working out for many years already, and I had never even heard of supps that you can take during your training in order to make you last longer! I now diligently take my supps before, during and after my workout. You should not underestimate the damage you are doing to your bodies when lifting heavy and going all out on the weights, you guys. Especially if you are anywhere near your fourties. As a matter of fact… middle age is a great time to start taking your training as seriously as you can. That’s the way I see it at least.

Well anyway… long story short, I’m doing a lot better these days because of what I learned at this site that is all about how to gain muscle mass. I hope I’ve managed to teach my dear readers something useful and if you have any questions… feel free to shoot me an email. I’m a nice guy and I don’t bite. I believe we can all learn from each other. So let’s cooperate and get some good results from our hard times at the gym.

Peace out!


Jun 1 2014

I Love The Hot Dog Characters From The Skylanders Franchise!

If you’re like me then you’ll never get enough of fun television and video game characters. I’m kind of like a kid when it comes to stuff like that. Anyhoo… I really like the Skylanders. I first met them a few years ago when my kid was playing their video game on his playstation. For the first time in many years, I felt something sparkling on the inside, because it had been a long time ago that I had had so much fun with something so innocent and playful as the Skylanders. I fondly remember watching the care bears and the wuzzles when I was a kid. I also remember a certain play bear called teddy ruxpin. Man, those were the days. But these days, I like my cartoon characters a bit more violent. The Skylanders really know how to fill that empty hole in my heart.

hot dog core character

My absolute favorite character is the Hot Dog character. Man, do I love his design. He’s like some sort of hell hound. I was glad to find this action figure on Amazon so I could buy it for my kid. He really seems to love it. Whenever he is not playing the Skylanders video game on his console computer, he is proudly displaying and playing with the Hot Dog action figure that came with the Core package. It was a great price too. It’s a bit of a cheap build quality, but hey… my kid is just a kid, he doesn’t really care. Just so long as he can play with Hot Dog, he’s on cloud 9.

All the Skylanders have their very own moves and signature demeanors. Hot Dog is a fiery little basterd for sure. He’s got this hallmark move where he shoots fireballs out of his mouth. It is called the firebark. I wish Hot Dog was right here right now, because I’ve got some buns to steam later this day. Me and my kid are having actual hot dogs tonight in honor of the Skylanders character that me and him both love so much.

This single character pack core figure can be used with the Skylanders game. I’m not sure how it works. I think you somehow hook it up to the Wii and then your video game character can shoot some extra fireballs or something. I dunno… what I do know is that my son is having loads of fun with this Skylanders game and character core pack. This is a well spent ten bucks and I would recommend this action figure to any parent with Skylander fans for kids.

Oct 9 2012

Unicorn Battle Squad Jakarta

unicornbattle3As you know, Unicorn Battle Squad is now available on amazon. In fact, it’s now available ANYWHERE on the world wide web that carries good books. ANYONE can now order a copy of the next great American novel. ANYONE. ANYWHERE. This is what we call freedom. The word is sure to spread to every single one of the world’s largest cities, garnering rave reviews and inciting flash mobs across the 50 states and beyond.

If you’ve already read Unicorn Battle Squad, you know how important it is for cities to be in contact. All major urban areas are open to attack if they don’t look out for each other.

That’s why I’m taking a look at which cities are at risk of missing out on Unicorn Battle Squad.



Tokyo, the number one most populous city, is going to have no problem. 85% of the people in Tokyo have their finger on the pulse of the weird. The other 15% have, like, you know, Saline implants in their foreheads and stuff.



Seoul, South Korea, the third most populous city, is also going to be a cinch because in Seoul, fetuses begin learning how to use the internet in the third trimester.



Delhi, India, is infamous for its extensive knowledge of my pastimes and habits, due to most men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 working in the customer service centers for CenturyLink that I call almost every day. CenturyLink is the worst internet provider ever.



Manila, in the Philipines, will be a little bit harder. Chances are no one in Manila will be searching for Unicorn books in English, although they do have a really neat English Manila-celebrity newspaper that I might be able to crack. Fortunately, I can have my dad plant some copies of the book in hotels next time he’s there.



Number six is of course, Shanghai. Well, let’s just say Shanghai knows what’s up. They practically invented the unicorn.



Unfortunately, if you are in Jakarta, the world’s second largest city by population, your chances of hearing about this ground breaking, sensational novel, let alone receiving a copy, are slim to none. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that not even one of the 10,187,595 residents of Jakarta will order this novel from amazon.

That is why I would like to reach out to Jakarta and offer a free print copy of this epic, extremely well-packaged book to someone, in fact, anyone, in Jakarta. If you are in Jakarta and you like Unicorns…drop me a line. Or, you know, mail me a postcard, or…send me an email or…stop by the house…or whatever. I’m not trying to tell you how to live, Jakarta.

The point is I feel like everyone in Jakarta deserves to know. They deserve to experience this novel.

And you do too. Here you go: amazon.

Sep 25 2012

Other Things You Should Read: Last Final Girl And A Pretty Mouth

These two books just came out from Lazy Fascist Press a few days ago. Oh boy, they’re both so good. This might be the fiercest, weirdest pairing ever conceived of. But actually, this coupling of books is a really good example not only of Lazy Fascist’s diversity, but their sameness as well. What do these books have in common?

Offensive intelligence and titillating gore/graphic sexuality. Way to go, LFP.


This book will save you.


In this, the smartest slasher ever written, Stephen Graham Jones does what every self-conscious slasher flick so far created has failed to do: be intelligent and entertaining at the same time. Jones knows this genre better than anyone, it seems and he is going to tell you why slashers are the most important thing that humans do. And it will have nothing to do with pleasing ancient gods, thank goodness.

Written with urgency, intelligence, intensity and almost movie-script like brevity, Last Final Girl whizzes past and is over far too soon. Which may be my only complaint. Not that there’s a shortage of meat in the meantime. Bare breasts, collapsed skulls, pig fetuses, old farm machinery, multiple villain situations, decapitation, creepy out-of-towner’s and an abundance of high school snark made me pause every three or four pages just to laugh, bask in the overwhelming violence, or check that all of my doors were locked.

Though I’m a big fan of his writing, this may be the first Stephen Graham Jones book that I recommend to every single person I know regardless of age, personality, or reading habits.


This book will disgust you.


After reading this book a second time, my conclusion is the same: Molly Tanzer has that gift I always wanted, the ability to change her writerly voice at the drop of a hat. Somehow, no matter what I write, it all sounds like an awkward cross between Toni Morrison and JRR Tolkien. Tanzer obviously does not have this problem.

A Pretty Mouth proves that Molly Tanzer is no novice at the fiction craft. With a voice that only gets stronger as she delves back into the Calipash lineage, she uses the twisted tale of a cursed gene which manifests in a diabolical twin-set every few decades to showcase her many literary talents.

The result is a book that could be called historical, romantic, Wodehousian, Lovecraftian, Victorian, Brontian, pornographic, bizarre or just plain Tanzerian.

An unprecedented success, a delightful nightmare, a spectacular debut.

Unicorn Battle Squad Jakarta

Sep 23 2012

Unicorn Battle Squad


Unicorn Battle Squad. It’s my next book. It’s coming out in October from Eraserhead Press. Don’t freak out. The cover is amazing. I know. I’ve been looking at it for 24 hours now and I’m pretty convinced it’s the best cover I’ve ever seen. Between the unicorn, the crab claws, the foggy encampment and the sinister color scheme, you know what you’re getting when you buy this book.

Which you will.

Buy this book, that is. It’s hard to resist such a spectacular promise. Because a cover is a promise. Everyone knows that.

In case you’re not sold right now, here’s some stuff from the back:

“Imagine Terry Gilliam directing from a script written by Jack Vance channeling the ghosts of Kafka and Calvino, and you’re closing in on the essence of Alene’s latest novel. A bold fusion of grounded surrealism, unfettered filth, and wit as dry and dark as a strip of unicorn jerky.” – Jesse Bullington, author of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

Mutant unicorns. A palace with a thousand human legs. The most powerful army on the planet. A first world city on the verge of collapse.

In a city where teetering skyscrapers block out the sky, a city populated by lowly clerks, rumors have been circulating of a terror in the east. When Carl, the lowliest clerk on the negative twelfth floor, discovers that the city is indeed in grave danger, he sets out to warn the city’s protectors: the Unicorn Riders.

Although Carl’s missing father has left him a unicorn of his own, it is a small and sickly creature. Even worse, there is a crab claw growing from its side. But the Unicorn Riders need as much help as they can get, and soon every able rider sets out for the city’s flooded perimeter in a steam-powered Spanish galleon.

An epic journey that spans desert and sea, through the bedchambers of a fearsome Eastern queen, and into the devastation of a conquered city, Unicorn Battle Squad is the story of a boy and his unicorn at the end of the world.

Unicorn Battle Squad Jakarta

Apr 23 2012

Book That Make Me Feel Like I Am A Baby

Sometimes I think that I am the most original author ever and that no one has ever written anything so strange and lovely as I have.

But then someone buys me a book like this:


and  I realize I am lame.

I read The Sad Tales of the Brothers Grossbart a while ago and I loved it. It has a lot in common with those books that shift perspectives and locations too frequently for you to get attached to any of the subjects. Only instead of being alienated from the characters for this reason, you are alienated from the characters because they were horrible.

Each story, each adventure, each perspective, is more interesting and intriguing than the last. The book is a huge scenic masterpiece, with all the richness and flavor of the medieval era and all of the filthy humor of Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I appreciated it as someone who read the majority of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People” for light reading in middle school, and also someone who likes Bizarro Fiction and vulgar sex scenes.

The book is disgusting. I highly recommend it.

I had severe doubts about Jesse Bullington’s ability to replicate the powerful weirdness ofBrothers Grossbart, all of which he most definitely assuaged in the first four chapters of The Enterprise of Death.

In the following chapters, he has broken my soul and made me realize that I am lame. And also that I might benefit from subtle titles. And also that necrophilic child pornography can be arousing.

Thanks, Jesse Bullington, for bringing foulness and verbosity back into style.

Bizarro Fiction

Apr 20 2012

Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy 18


I really don’t like children. With very few exceptions, I find them dirty, sticky, loud, rude, small, and highly frenetic. All of these attributes disturb me.

But yesterday I felt so sorry for a small child that I almost kidnapped him to save him from the terror of being reared by his mother.

This poor little whelp was standing at the sample counter at Trader Joe’s, staring longingly at a bowl full of organic, gluten-free black bean and quinoa chips. With large eyes, he asked his mother if he could try one. The mother snatched up the bag irritably and read the package. The following exchange went something like this:

Mother: “Excuse me. This says that no gluten ingredients are used, but are they gluten free? Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that they are manufactured in a facility that does not also produce products which contain gluten?”

Server, Baffled, “Er, I don’t see…”

Mother, snatching away small child: “See, they’re not gluten free. You can’t have any.”

Sad child: “Please, can’t I have just one?”

Mother: “No.”

Server, seeing child in distress: “You’re good, they’re gluten-free.”

Mother, reluctantly: “Fine. Use the tongs.”

This mother quite obviously suffers from the disorder “Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”

This is how Wikipedia describes the disorder: “… a controversial label for a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioral, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care.”

This poor child has a young life of ulcers and hospitalization ahead of him.

Besides, if I had a small child and it was excited to try something as shady and bull-shitty as Organic, Gluten-Free Black Bean and Quinoa Chips, I would buy it a truck load and hope it never discovered Frito-Lay.

Unicorn Battle Squad Jakarta

Apr 19 2012

An Update

It has been quite some time since I posted anything. I have been in the midst of new job training, writing and editing my next book, publishing beautiful selections of flash fiction for Bizarro Central, and copy-editing massive feats of literary genius for Lazy Fascist Press.


My new job involves selling ice cream to ice cream truck drivers in Portland for five hours a day and designing promotional materials for the company. It’s really great because I get to use a little of my creative juices and talk to a bunch of people who don’t speak a single word of English. Hopefully by the end of the year they will have unintentionally taught me how to speak Spanish.


I am doing final editing work on Unicorn Battle Squad (I have a thing for fighting unicorns, I know this about myself). I’m in the “why did I write a 47,000 word book” stage right now. I think it’ll pass. Hopefully the book will be out this summer. I’m PRETTY excited. I’m thinking this for the cover:



hdartIn the past two months, I’ve published three of my all-time favorite Flash Fiction pieces on Bizarro Central. Alex M. Pruteanu’s “Grab It, The Bucket” blew me away. I’m still recovering from its weird, sad nostalgia. “Brainwaterfamilyillusion” by Gary Shipley was an odd, nightmarish 600 word, single-sentence jumble. Here’s a little sample: “…when the structure of his hands seem in jeopardy, fingers bending and guttering in flexuous monkeyings at self-rule, none of us are taken in, but instead chew on the evening dimness, our jaw’s rocking-chairs flattening air, and wait for more to come out…” And my favorite line of the month award goes to Andy Adam’s story, “Umbrella” for the sentence: “It is raining fish.”


51uiejf-p-l-_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_I’m very excited for everyone to see what’s coming out from Lazy Fascist this year. It might be the best year ever. Already, Patrick Wensink’s Broken Piano For President, Zombie Bake-Off by Stephen Graham Jones, The Obese by Nick Antosca, and Blake Butler and Sean Kilpatrick’s unsettling curio Anatomy Courses, are out and about in the world, collecting reviews and good facial expressions from everyone who encounters them.


In other news, yours truly will be reading on April 23rd at The Lovecraft Bar in Portland with Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, Bradley Sands, and Patrick Wensink himself.

I have a very special surprise planned for everyone who attends. Basically, there are going to be a lot of unicorns. And maybe also some sex.

We’ll see.

You can see the event page here.

It’s going to be fantastic.
Books I highly recommend.