The Alchemist

The AlchemistThe Alchemist

A young man grows up by himself in an old château with one old servant. The whole thing seems strange and the young man, Antoine, has always felt a weight upon his being. It it when he is twenty-one that the terrible truth comes out.

His family is cursed. There was father and a son who lived nearby, many years ago. They were strange. One day, the young man of the château went missing. A search party was formed. The elderly man was in his hut standing over a boiling pot. In anger, he was killed. Soon after, it was discovered that the young boy of the Chateau was fine. The son of the elderly man, swore vengeance on the family. There was a curse. All of the descendants of the family died by the time they were thirty-two.

Antoine now knew the terrible truth and tried to cherish what little time he had left. He also vowed that he would not let the curse be passed on, and so, lived alone. When the faithful servant finally died, it was just Antoine. He spent his time reading over old tomes and exploring the decaying château and neglected land.

One day, not too long before the appointed time of his death should come, Antoine found a strange passage way under a turret. He followed it along and found a strange man. The man sought to harm him, but Antoine dodged the attack. Antoine wondered who he was. Antoine wondered that if he could kill this man, who knew all about the curse, if his life would be spared.

The strange man revealed who he was. He had discovered the elixir of life and had lived these many years in sole determination to end the family line. Each descendant that had come through had been killed by this man. He was the very man whose father had been killed by Antoine’s ancestor.


This business about the elixir of life has been going on a long time. I’m not quite sure who started it. It’s been the subject of many books and conspiracy theories, but no one has ever discovered whatever it is that could make a person live forever. Maybe one day we’ll figure it out.


Here’s a thing–is fate real? If curses were real, fate would be real. If something was fated to happen to you, it would happen to you, no matter how much you pleaded, cried, begged, or schemed. This thing would happen whether you wanted it to or not.

If you make something happen, is it fate? If you cause the events to be put in motion, was it supposed to happen?

This is a real chicken-egg sort of question. Maybe fate is real and it uses you to put events in motion. Maybe you really were supposed to back into that tree, because fate willed it, but your own ignorance made it happen.

There was a curse, or maybe not, in this story. One man made it happen though. If one man makes something happen, is it fate? Is it some cosmic force, if one person is carrying it forward?

There is no definite answer for this. You cannot say for sure that you were fated to get up this morning and go to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it happened, didn’t it? Was it fate, or was it your own willpower? Does your conscious brain outweigh the idea of universal fate? Did you make that thing happen? Or did some unseen force make that thing happen?

We don’t know.


This guy needs to get a life. If I had eternal life, I wouldn’t spend it being a dick to people who had no part in what I was wronged over.

Weigh In

Is fate real, or did you do that thing yourself? How do you know?

What do you think of the alchemist? Loser–yes or no?

The Beast in the Cave

The Beast in the CaveThe Beast in the Cave

A man touring the Mammoth caverns is separated from his guide and his party. He’s in the dark and does not know which way to go. He fears he may die of starvation. He reflects on all the people who came to the cave in hopes that its atmosphere would provide a healing environment, but they too are gone. The man determines to try to find every possible way out that he can.

He hears a sound. At first, he supposes that it is his guide coming to find him. He shouts in hopes that the guide will hear him, but upon closer listening, the man realizes that it is not two feet that come toward him, but four. The presence feels dangerous. The man knows he has to evade it. He arms himself with chunks of limestone in hopes of deterring whatever creature is coming after him.

The creature finally comes close enough. The man throws once, and misses. He throws again and connects with the creature and runs as fast as he can away from the creature.

As luck would have it, his guide is searching for him and has been for four hours. He tells the guide all about the creature and how it had stalked him. The two go back to look at what the creature is. There they find an ape-like creature, white as can be, with claws on its hands. It looks ape-like, but it also looks human. The creature is still alive, just a bit. It opens its mouth to make noises, and that’s when they realize that the creature the man has killed was once a man.


This is really my first foray into Lovecraft and it was interesting.

As a strange coincidence, my friend is actually visiting Mammoth Caves this very weekend.

I researched a bit about Mammoth caves and it turns out that H.P. was correct in his mentioning of Mammoth Caves as a previous healing ground. A doctor, Croghan, treated tuberculosis and decided that the airs of the cave might be good for people suffering from the consumption. He built huts there and had patients live there, in hopes that the preservative airs of the cave would help their consumption.

The cave atmosphere did not help the consumption, especially not with the smoke of cooking fires staying inside of the caves. People started to die. They were laid out on a large flat rock, now dubbed corpse rock. The project was not continued after a time.


People can certainly get lost in cave systems. It does happen, and sometimes, people die in there. Sometimes, they’re never found. This story isn’t necessarily about getting lost, although, it is kind of stupid to wander off by yourself into a cave system. It’s not like there are cave maps. Well, maybe some of the more well-known cave systems have maps, but not all of them. You can get lost.

This story is about getting lost in one sense. You can get lost in caves, but you can also lose yourself. If the creature inside of the cave was once a man, what happened to it? Didn’t that man also lose his way? How long had he been there? What had to happen to him for him to turn into this strange creature?

I have to posit, that perhaps said creature was still a man. He was a man whose hair and nails had grown long. He had become accustomed to the sounds of the cave. His sense of smell had sharpened in an environment without many smells. His hearing had sharpened in an environment without many sounds. How long had he been there and how long had he survived? Perhaps he lived on bats and cave fungus, or weird bugs. Perhaps he too one day wandered away from his group and found himself lost.

In viewing this creature, our narrator, was looking at what he could potentially become if he stayed lost. Perhaps this creature, upon smelling another human being, was so excited to be found that it barreled towards it, not knowing that he would be killed by doing so. His lost state had changed him to such an extent that he was not readily recognizable as a human being.

Sure, this is a little creepy, getting lost is creepy, but getting lost to such an extent that you cease becoming what you are and become something less is the ultimate creepy.


Stay with the group for goodness sake.

Weigh In

Do you think people who have been lost for extended periods of time revert into some other type of being, mentally, for the period of being lost?

How would you feel if you found yourself lost in a cave?

Out of Schedule and in a Mess

Out of Schedule and in a MessOut of Schedule and in a Mess

This is just a little update for all my bibliophiles out there.

My life has been pretty hectic this past month or so. I’ve actually had a year-and-a-half, or so, for the record books, just all sorts of things have been going on in my life, both good and bad.

But, here’s the but–with all of these things going on, I’ve gotten off of my writing schedule. You know, that one where I would sit down and write everyday, or almost everyday, sometimes two posts, so I could have lots of content out there for you guys? You know, that part? Yeah, well, that hasn’t been happening. The posts you’re getting these days are fresh off the presses, or from my keyboard, whatever you prefer.

So what’s been going on in my life, you ask?

Well, I had to leave my day job, through very unfair practices, more on that another time. I worked a temporary job, in a dental office of all places. I then interviewed for jobs and got myself a new job. This week was my first week at my new job. I’ve also had to do a ton of driving. Add onto this, a relationship less than six months old, settling a lawsuit, having some health issues, and being under lots of stress and you have my life, in a nutshell, right now.

It will get better though, I promise. I still have books to read for this year to hit my 111 mark. I have not yet decided on another story project. I may go back to reading European stories. I may read something else interesting, we’ll see. There are still plenty of posts to come, hopefully they’ll be great, but if not–you know what–everyone has an off day. That’s why Stephen King has written about a billion books, only about a quarter of them that people say they’ve actually heard of.

Despite the fact that my life has been hectic, I still have ideas and things to write about. Sometimes, some of the most interesting and defining moments happen when our lives are complete chaos. To paraphrase something from American Horror Story Hotel, “It’s the heart breaks that make you, the bigger, the better.” Hardship has a way of molding you into the person you’re supposed to be, hopefully for the better. If you can live through whatever it is, then you’re that much wiser and that much stronger, mentally, hopefully. There is something else I like to remember, “All these things are for your experience.” It’s a religious/scriptural saying, that basically means all your life goods and bads, count towards your total experience. Sometimes you end up wiser. Sometimes you end up with more money. Sometimes you learn a lesson. Sometimes you learn a very hard lesson. Sometimes you learn who you are. Sometimes you learn who appreciates you.

All of this, is wonderful writing fodder. Art, whether it be the written word, paint on a canvas, or a song, is experience. Somebody experienced something and turned it into wonderful art. That’s what I’ll be doing, hopefully, in the time to come.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to write out great posts for my bibliophiles.

#699 Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor

 Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t: The New Rules of Work by Division of Labor

Oh goodness, just look at the title of this book. Obviously, this isn’t necessarily a serious book. It’s about work, part of which is serious. This whole book is meant to be funny, including motivational sayings with nice backgrounds, but it’s also got some truth to it.

In this book, Division of Labor, which is not a government agency, but is two guys who write about boring tweets, apparently. They encourage everyone to never hit “reply all” when sending an email at work. They encourage everyone to be careful about office affairs. They encourage everyone to be careful about what they tweet and who they friend on social media, because you just never know what will get you fired. They also encourage you not to steal school supplies for your kids.

What I liked

This book isn’t that funny. I mean, it’s ok– so still good if you want something a little humorous to read. This book is marketed as something silly; it has silly pictures, the whole works, but some of the advice that Division of Labor gives is good advice. You really should watch what you put on social media. You really never know who will fire you for what. It could be a big deal, like you posting naked pictures of yourself doing stupid things, but it could also be something more benign, like having a political opinion. A lot of people will find almost any way to get rid of you at work, especially, if you can replace them.

I also agree about tweeting boring things. Nobody wants to read about your #eatingmacandcheese as an #adult, even though it’s #delicious.

I thought the pictures, quotes, whatever they are, were a nice touch, but, honestly, cliche.

What I didn’t like

I read this book to read something. I don’t think I learned a whole lot from it because most of this is already common knowledge. Don’t friend the HR person and then do a bunch of stupid stuff and post about it on Facebook. Capisce?


You know, since all of this book is mostly things people already know, it could be considered that Division of Labor is writing about boring sh*t, and therefore, violating their own advice.

Weigh In

What do people do at your workplace that you think they should not do that is common sense?

Sarcastic motivational posters–awesome or cliché?

#698 The Best Time to Do Everything by Michael Kaplan

The Best Time to Do Everything by Michael KaplanThe Best Time to Do Everything by Michael Kaplan

Michael starts off this book writing about when he bought a house. If he had bought a house at a different time, he could have saved a lot of money. This got Michael to thinking about all the other best times to do things. He interviewed a lot of people, including vampires (I’m joking), and came up with this book. This book details the best time to do all sorts of things.

When is the best time to get married? Get divorced? Get pregnant with a second baby? Take up a new hobby? Invest in the stock market? Quit a job you hate? There are answers to those questions in this book, and more.

What I liked

This concept is highly fascinating. There are best times to do things. There are right times to do things. There are right orders to do things in. If you knew all the right orders and right times to do things in, you’d be some type of super-guru-life-genius. So many of our mistakes involve doing things at the wrong time. We went to school at the wrong time, or got married at the wrong time, or bought a house at the wrong time, or quit our job at the wrong time. If we could prevent doing things at the wrong time, we’d pretty much have it made.

Some of the things in this book were very insightful. Part of knowing the right time to do something is watching. You have to watch and see the patterns to know when the right time is.

What I didn’t like

This book, while interesting, was more or less a big list. I would have liked to have had a little more science behind some of these best times to do things. Really, this book could have highlighted ten to fifteen of the best times to do somethings and talked about the science behind each one. As is, there is a bit of explanation and science in this book, but there is so much more that can be done with this subject.


This was the best time to write this post. I just know it.

Weigh In

How many of your regrets can you contribute to doing something at the wrong time?

Do you think doing things at the right time could be a stable life-philosophy to live by?