Monday, December 14, 2020

Where is this guy?


I wanted to give a long overdue update to anyone who happens to just stumble upon this blog in the future. I now write on my own domain at, and you can catch up to all my current writing there. In addition, I've recently come out with Codex of Aegis: Stories 2013 - 2016. Those who look back in the archives of this blog might notice that I was planning to come out with a compilation. Well, here is that compilation, four years later -- with added content, of course. You can check it out at the link above. Have a good day!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas at the Maratzzos

If you haven’t been to Christmas at the Maratzzos, then you haven’t been at any Christmas at all.

Indeed, it was a splendid gathering for a splendid time of year. Often while purchasing supplies for the party, members of the Maratzzo blood would look upon other shoppers and silently look down at them with condescending glares, knowing that their Christmas get-together could not even come close to one that has been in esteemed practice for the past one hundred years.

However, this year all members of the Maratzzos knew it would be much different. It was not too long ago that Joseph Maratzzo, son of Don Maratzzo and next in line to be patriarch of the family, was released from the state prison. It was some time ago that Joseph raped and murdered a 14 year old girl of the bank of the Philamabury river. He was caught almost immediately, and was originally set to be sentenced to thirty years; however, lucky for him, Joseph’s father knew many people in the state legal system and his sentence was reduced to six.

Despite this, it wasn’t Joseph’s crime that was the problem. The Maratzzos have had a long history of running bad into the law – perhaps almost as long as their Christmas tradition – and so Joseph’s behavior could be easily excused. What was the real problem was Analissa Maratzzo, sister of Joseph, who for quite a few years now had been indoctrinated into a fledgling feminist movement. Analissa had known about Joseph’s felony and asked the family multiple times for him to not only be declined an invitation to the Christmas party, but also to be exiled from the family altogether – two punishments that carried much the same weight. Of course her pleas had fallen upon deaf ears, and eerily in the weeks coming up to the fateful Christmas gathering she had suddenly gone silent. Now was the night.

The first to arrive were cousins Pesco and Maribel. Pesco was a good friend of Joseph’s – their history extended much before Joseph’s prison sentence, and they in fact kept up their relationship via regular prison meetings. Maribel, born Maribel Shaufter, had been indoctrinated into the Maratzzos via marriage, and by this point had become used to their ways. She, much like Pesco, Don, and Don’s wife Maria, believed Joseph to actually be innocent, despite overwhelming evidence otherwise.

Ironically, the one person who believed this evidence was the next to show. Analissa came slung on the arms of her own boyfriend, Monticello, a hippy man from the west that her parents despised. Analissa herself said nothing off suspicion – in fact, she even gave her cousin Pesco a hug when she first saw him, which had always been seen as out of the ordinary, and likely the first hit that something was wrong.

After this followed some brief time where the family all got together in the living room to talk amongst one another. Monticello was introduced to Maribel by Analissa – though beyond that, she hardly said a word. Maria had thought to bring up Analissa’s disfavor towards Joseph multiple times, but continually decided against it. This all lead up to Joseph’s ultimate arrival.

He came with no one. He wore a fresh suit with a mahogany tie. His father was the first to greet him – then his mother, who embraced him with a warm hug. All this time Analissa stayed in the living room, never moving, waiting along until everyone else had finally gone into the dining room. She followed.

It was only when everyone finally settled that Don realized something was wrong. He turned toward Analissa to his right and in a gruff tone asked where Monticello was.

Analissa shrugged. “No idea, pa. Probably out having a smoke.”

“We’re about to have dinner and he’s out back having a smoke?”

“I’m not his mom.”

“I’m not saying you are, but he needs to be here. Go get his ass back.”

Joseph, who was aware of his sister’s distaste for him, perhaps tried to remedy the situation by siding with her and calming his father down. “I’m sure it won’t take him too long. Let’s just start now, alright?”

As agitated as Don was, he couldn’t help agreeing with his favorite son. And yet, as dinner went on, Monticello continued to be absent. By the end of the dinner, both Don and Maria seemed completely agitated. While they were distracted, Analissa tapped on Joseph and Pesco, who were sitting together.

“Can I talk to you both, for a bit? In private.”

Pesco knew what was coming, though perhaps Joseph was a bit more ignorant. Though Pesco tried to convince his cousin not to go through with it, Analissa had rushed them just enough that Pesco had no time to do it. And so the three made their way to the garage.

Perhaps a more romantic writer would say that, in the end, Joseph got what he deserved. But I am not a romantic – I, in all honesty, am more of a realist, and can say with complete certainty that Joseph Pescetti Maratzzo spent his last moments on Earth choking on a mixture of lead, vomit, and his own blood.

Pesco squirmed back into a corner while Analissa held the gun shakily in her hand.

“What the fuck, are you crazy? What are you thinking?” Pesco no longer seemed to have the mental stability to bargain with his captor. Though, as it appeared, Analissa herself didn’t quite know what to do either.

“I’m doing exactly what needs to be done, Pesco. I know injustice when I see it. I’m sorry you couldn’t see it the same way.”

Time stopped as Pesco looked for an out. In a quick and desperate leap he dashed toward the button to open the garage in hopes that he could get out just before Analissa could get a clear shot. Yet, as the door opened, he realized what was really going on.

The opened garage revealed Monticello in his black pickup. Analissa hopped on, though not without giving some last words to her cousin.

“I’ll be watching you and this family. Don’t try to pull any shit like this again, or I’ll know.”

By the time everyone else had come to investigate the noise from the garage, Analissa and her boyfriend were long gone. Don and Maria loomed and sobbed over the corpse of their once renowned son. One thing was for sure – Christmas would never be the same.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday Chat #7 – Album Roundup

So as it turns out, college has left me much more busy than I had originally anticipated. So much so that Monday chats might actually not occur every Monday after all… just a quick warning. I’m also planning on only uploading these on the original blog from now on, simply because it’s much easier on me and I don’t have to fix formatting and insert images over and over again. Fortunately I do have a pretty good topic for today, and that is my current listening roundup.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had little time to consume heavy focus media like movies of videogames, so I dedicated most of it to listening to music. New music. Some of it I loved, some of it… not so much. I figured I’d share a few quick fire opinions on the albums that I’ve listened to, as well as what I plan on checking out next.

God Tier

Brockhampton – Saturation

My friends have been going on about Saturation for awhile now, but it was only shortly after the release of Saturation II that I finally decided to fall into the hype. To be honest, I knew nothing about the album going in – I didn’t even know that it was a hip hop album. So it came to a pleasant surprise that it was exactly the type of music I usually really like listening too; a good mix of modern R&B mixed with group rap. Saturation II might as well be here too, though I haven’t actually finished listening to most of that album yet.

Carissa’s Weird – Songs About Leaving

Okay, this one’s a lot more special. I found this album by complete coincidence – those who know me know that, in addition to jazz and hip hop, I also listen to a lot of dark music (fits with some of the Monday chat topics, doesn’t it?). So I was looking through an emo rock thread on /mu/ where there was only one song posted. I was about to leave this boring thread when I decided to give the single song on the thread at least a try before I did. That song was “So You Wanna Be A Superhero” from this album.

Usually most “dark” songs have either one thing going for it: either really good lyrics and a pretty basic rhythm (a la A Crow Looked at Me) or really shitty lyrics but damn good bangers (a la The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me). So I was surprised this song had a good mix of both. So I listened to another song on the album. And another, and another, and another…

Soon enough I had listened to the whole thing and I could say I loved pretty much every song on it. This is a pretty special occasion for me personally because this is the first album which I’d say would fit into my top 25 favorites of all time and yet no one I know has ever heard of it. That includes my really in depth music fan friends. I imagine there’s probably a lot of emo rock that sounds like this (I’m not very well acquainted with the genre) but damn does this album sound really, really good.

Good Tier

Mac DeMarco – 2

Based on the wide amount of negative criticism Mac DeMarco gets, I would have assumed I wouldn’t have liked him. However, after listening to “My Kind of Woman” I decided to give the whole album a shot, and honestly… it wasn’t that bad. Some of the songs are just generic indiefolk which I hate, but there’s some decent bangers in there.

Mobb Deep – The Infamous

Though I still think this album is a little overhyped, I’ve gotten to appreciate it more over time. “Shook Ones” is still one of the best old school hip hop songs of all, and most of the album has a pretty consistent quality level.

Mark Ronson – Uptown Special

After being a big fan of Mark Ronson in elementary school, I kind of skipped out of town after he became famous. I figured Uptown Special would be, for the most part, a cop out album – however, after finally deciding to listen to it, I can say it’s actually not that bad. The quality and theme is consistent, and there’s some nice bangers in there that were simply overshadowed by “Uptown Funk”.

Slime Girls – Vacation Wasteland

I normally hate chiptune music, but the sort of shoegaze infusion that occurs in this album is super tantalizing. Probably has one of my favorite intro preludes ever. Worth listening to even if you aren’t into 8 bit (or 16 bit? 32 bit??) music.

Meh Tier

The Antlers – Hospice

Not going to lie, this album would probably down into Shit Tier if it wasn’t for the fact that the main vocalist in this band is really good. Like, really good. This is coming from the guy who thinks some of even the best singers in the world sound kind of cringy. This is the first time I’ve ever listened to a song and actually said to myself “Oh wow, this guy is actually really good”. It’s worth listening to at least a few of the songs in here to at least get a grip on how good this guy is (I recommend “Kettering” and “Wake”). Other than that, unfortunately, Hospice lacks a whole lot of substance. The lyrics are pretty meaningless, and the sound is simple.

American Football – American Football

This album is full of pretty nice emo math rock, the only problem with it is that… well, all of it sounds pretty much exactly the same. Like, literally, exactly the same. It gets old after awhile.

Shit Tier

Giles Corey – Giles Corey

And now we get to the one album here I really just didn’t enjoy. The lyrics on this thing are so basic and obnoxious (one of the songs is just him repeating “I’m going to kill myself” over and over again) and the beat is so practically non existent that there’s not really much to talk about here.

On Deck
Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t bend! Ascend!
Black Emperor – Yanqui UXO
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
David Bowie – Blackstar
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary
Television – Marquee Moon
Mf Doom – Mm… Food
Slowdive – Pygmalion
Slowdive – Souvlaki

- -
Currently reading: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee!

Currently watching: Narcos Season 3!

Currently playing: Nothing!!

Currently listening: I think you know what I’ve been listening to.

Well, that’s all for now. Remember to follow Codex of Aegis on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.