Monday, December 19, 2016

An Ending

2016 is the year...

My sisterand I finished reading THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL novels.

I finished reading Theodore Dreiser's novels.

My favorite book/film/music store closed.

I subscribed to NETFLIX, and man did I enjoy it!

My eyesight took a downward spiral.  My left eye has been steadily failing in the last two weeks.  My right eye is dubious  at best, but it's keeping me from running into walls for now.   I have an optometrist appointment scheduled. 

Until I sort this vision situation out, if it can be sorted, this will be my final tale from the freakboy zone.  The last couple of posts have been typed  with great difficulty and really large text size.

I will also be MIA in various social media platforms.  I hate abandoning my vast lifeline to the world, and I would love to say I'll check in, but that remains to be, well, seen.

My old blogposts will still exist, along with DARK EXCURSIONS and DARKENING STURGEONS.   I can't deprive potential new readers the pleasure and pain of whatever the hell my so-called writing is.

In conclusion, I sincerely thank you for all the support over the last few years.

Freak Out,
John L. Harmon 

Friday, December 16, 2016


Seriously, when did Logan become the go-to name for rich, white jerks, who also happen to be a love interest for the main character?

Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls 
I initially saw this Logan as a psycho-jerk, but slowly came to like him.  Yet, I wonder why Veronica Mars kept giving him the time of day.  Actually, I also wonder why Logan kept giving Veronica the time of day either.

Matt Czuchry as Logan Huntzberger
I was really hoping Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life would reveal this Logan perished in a gruesome yachting accident.  Tragically he is still alive and continuing to be a smug, arrogant jerk who doesn't care about the consequences of his deplorable actions.  Unfortunately, if there are more episodes, we will all suffer the consequence of Logan probably being the father of Rory's baby.  

Adam Campbell as Logan Beekman
This Logan seems to be a parody of all other rich, white Logans, so I don't necessarily hate him.  I'm just glad Kimmy saw Dong for the sweet man he is and showed Daddy's Boy Logan out the door.   I hope he doesn't return any time soon, but I still have 2 episodes of the first season and all of the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to watch.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Freak Out,

P.S.  Click 1987 to go back in TV time

Monday, December 12, 2016


While the idea of continuing a television series long after its cancellation is nothing new, there were quite a few made-for-TV movies of Hart to Hart, it does seem to be a popular trend lately.  Veronica Mars and Absolutely Fabulous got theatrical films.  The X-Files returned to FOX for a few new episodes.  Gilmore Girls found a new home on Netflix.  24 is scheduled to return, and I read that Prison Break is on the horizon.  Plus, and this is the big one for me, Twin Peaks will be back on the television map next year.  I'm nervous that the quirky, bizarre magic of the original series will be somewhat lost in the new episodes, but this post isn't about my geeky concerns and theories over Special Agent Dale Cooper, Sheriff Harry S. Truman, and the late, wrapped in plastic, homecoming queen, Laura Palmer.

This post is a short list of series that I would like to see return, mainly because they didn't get an ending.  Don't get me wrong, I love cliffhangers, just not unresolved ones.

Must see episode:
Season 1, Episode 14
Coinciding menstrual cycles leads to a showdown in the Novak.
POPULAR aired for two season on the WB from 1999 to 2001.  Before Glee and Scream Queens, Ryan Murphy created this high school teen-angst hyper-reality, which I obsessively enjoyed visiting every week.  Tragically, it was cancelled after two seasons, ending with a life and death cliffhanger.  We'll never know if Nicole Julian killed Brooke McQueen or just turned her hair from blond to brunette, as was teased in the DVD audio commentary.

Must see episode:
Season 4, Episode 20
An invitation to tea leads to being chained in the basement.
MY NAME IS EARL aired for four seasons on NBC from 2005 to 2009.  I mostly avoided this series during its original run because I thought the premise of a criminal just trying to be a better person sounded like an extended, vomit-inducing very special episode or a painful Afterschool Special.  Once I caught part of an episode I realized it was hilarious and joyfully non-p.c.  Sadly, we'll never know if Earl Hickey is for certain Dodge's dad (Little Chubby could have messed with the DNA results) and if Darnell Turner isn't Earl Junior's dad, then we'll never learn who is, which is especially confusing with that kid's hair! 

Must see episode:
Season 1, Episode 8
A neighborhood contest leads to more than fun and games.
SWINGTOWN aired for one season on CBS over the summer of 2008.  I often feel like the only person in the world who enjoyed this drama about relationships (friends, love, forbidden love, marriage, open-marriage) set in the summer of 1976.  The more I watch the 13 episodes, the more I love this short-lived series, especially because of how much the characters grow and change.  Strangely, while I would love to see what happens next, I also find myself satisfied with the open-ended conclusion.  Maybe I don't need anymore than Trina Decker reading a baby book, Janet Thompson adding her first advice column to her scrapbook, and Susan Miller stepping over the threshold of Roger Thompson's hotel room.  Just thinking about those final scenes give me goosebumps and makes me want to watch the series again for the Nth time! 

Thank you for reading my list.  Please feel free to mention series you'd like to see return in some form or another in the comment section below!  

Freak Out,

P.S. Click 1975 for a post about a television show I obsessed over not too long ago.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The TV Freak: NETFLIX 

First, yes, December's blog theme is television.  If this offends your delicate, highbrow senses, then stop reading this and continue to look down upon the world from your hypocritical ivory tower.

Second, yes, I finally took a sip from the streaming punch and subscribed to NETFLIX.  What did it take to pull me, at least temporarily, into the 21st Century?  The answer is two films (Pee Wee's Big Holiday and Mascots) and two series...

GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE - Admittedly, I'm not a longtime, die-hard fan of the original series. It wasn't even on my radar until last year when a friend heavily suggested I watch.  Thankfully, ABC FAMILY/FREEFORM was showing repeats, so I watched with severe skepticism.  The quirky small town characters quickly won me over, so I knew I would want to see what happens next.  As for the new episodes, I am halfway finished and overall I am enjoying them.  Emily Gilmore is the real reason to watch, which doesn't surprise me at all. 

STRANGER THINGS - I've been told this show is right up my alley.  I haven't watched any episodes yet, but I've liked Winona Ryder since Lucas and Heathers, so I suspect I'll enjoy this series.  
If I have time, I hope to squeeze in some Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Black Mirror.  I say if I have time because I'm not certain I'll continue past the free first month.  Without Internet or wi-fi at home, I don't know if I can justify even 10 dollars a month.  Though, before logging offline yesterday, I noticed it appears there are some series and films that can be downloaded to watch offline.  If this is true, then my one month decision may be in a state of flux.

I guess only limited time will tell.

Freak Out,

P.S.  Click NOVEMBER to read the post that inspired December's theme.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Themeless in Nebraska

No, that is not the title of my autobiography, though it has potential, unlike me.

Also no, this isn't some sort of parody or commentary on Sleepless in Seattle

This post is about November's blog theme, or non-theme, as the case may be.  I labeled it Anything Goes, which translated into blogging about whatever I wanted.  For the most part I'm pleased with my output, though I wish I could have kept up the pace I set in the first week.  Honestly, my country's election drained the life out of me on multiple levels, in addition to a general negative feeling I've been fighting since October.

The last three months of the year have been a struggle for quite a few years.  Part of the funk is possibly due to summer ending, making room for the oncoming deep freeze of snow and ice.  Another reason is these months are reminders of loss and failure.  I miss loved ones who are no longer with me that much more, especially as the holidays seem to accentuate their absence.  Then my birthday tends to make me look back upon my failures, some very real, some possibly imagined, and all of this adds up to a whirlpool of emptiness threatening to drag me into its unspeakable depths.

I believe this is why I chose not to focus on one particular theme.  I just wanted to let go of any pressure I put myself under and do whatever.  In some ways, this was a good decision.  I formed my immediate thoughts and feelings into words.  In other ways, not so much.  Without focus, I felt like I was creatively drifting, pointless, which echoed my feelings about life in general.

A recent post helped me figure out what December's theme will be, which will give me something positive, and hopefully fun, to focus on.  Though, I may break theme for an end of the year post, but that's not an official decision, it's just something I'm considering in an abstract way.

Thank you for reading this and other posts.  I truly appreciate the time you take out of your life for my nonsense.

Freak Out,

P.S. Click VISITING for an old piece of my nonsense.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Own Little World

If I lived in my own little world...

There would be plenty of popcorn, potatoes, bacon, tacos, waffles, chicken fingers, pizza, doughnuts, and chocolate chip cookies. 

Visitors would have to call in advance.

Politics and religion would be off-limits in conversation.

There would always be a feline or canine available for lap and nap time.

The weather would always be not too cold and not too hot.

The lost classic Doctor Who stories would be found and the whole series (classic and new, plus spin-off series) would continually air on the Whovian Network, which would be free for the benefit of humankind.

IFC would air actual independent films like they did in the 1990's, with no commercial interruptions.

A dance floor would be accessible at any time, with an eclectic collection of music.

DARK EXCURSIONS would rarely be on the library shelf because of its high demand.

Ira Levin would be celebrated as a literary genius.

Julie Brown would be celebrated as a comedic genius.

John Waters would be celebrated as a cinematic genius.

Plus many other good things, small and large, that may not be listed, but are very important.

Freak Out, 

P.S. A link to a different twisted, little world I created...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Just tired...

Maybe I'm apathetic 
Maybe I'm indifferent
Maybe I'm just tired
Tired of the finger-pointing
Tired of the fear-mongering
Tired of the generalizing
Tired of the labeling
Tired of the intolerance 
Tired of the prejudice 
Tired of the hate
Emanating from both sides

Freak Out,

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Now

    He walks over the rocky terrain, his backpack is as heavy as his thoughts.  How long has he been walking?  Days?  Weeks?  Years?  Time has become meaningless now that he is alone.  There is just walking over this endlessly desolate landscape, trying to forget fragments of what was.
    He is beginning to believe that none of it matters.  There is just now, walking alone, directionless, staring down at his aimlessly moving boots.  So preoccupied with this burgeoning despair, he does not notice the massive wall of fog until he is mere feet from it.  The shock at such a sight overwhelms any dangerous, self-destructive thoughts forming in his mind.
    The fog stretches as far as he can see in either direction and appears to reach miles into the sky.  He attempts to peer into the murky depth but can see nothing, or something.  He is not certain.  What he sees, or does not see, seems to fluctuate, shift, distort or not exist.
    "Disconcerting, is it not?"
    The mellow voice causes him to flinch and turn around to his right.  He can barely believe the sight of the stranger not far from him, sitting on an ancient volcanic rock, facing the fog.  He knows that he has never met this stranger before, yet there is something familiar in the features, as if from a long-ago dream.  For this reason, he does not feel the need to introduce himself.
    "What is it?" he asks, turning back to the enigmatic fog.
    "It is what we all must face."
    The familiar stranger's gentle answer causes him to face the volcanic rock again.  "I do not want to go onward into what I cannot see."
    "I do not either," the familiar stranger slips off the rock and walks over to him, "and this is why I have been waiting for you." 
    "Why me?"
    "Because the future is easier to face with someone next to you."  The familiar stranger offers out a hand.
    He stares into the eyes of the familiar stranger, weighing what he can see with what he cannot, what he knows with what he does not.  Silently, he makes a decision and removes his backpack.  Accepting the offered hand, they walk together, allowing the fog to envelop them until all that was is a distant memory.

Freak Out,

P.S. Click HERE to read another short story.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The TV Freak

My name is John and I watch a lot of television.

I'll admit that I may be sticking with this show out of some sort of loyalty because this season has been a mixed bag.  I'm beginning to think it's time for this series to have its happily ever after.

It's dark, weird, and I'm a sucker for characters searching for their humanity when they are not human in the traditional sense.  I just hope the ending, when it arrives, isn't a letdown like the reboot of Battlestar Galactica

After the very comic-bookish second season, I was very close to giving up this series, but I'm so glad I didn't.  Just when I thought I couldn't adore Penguin more, it's revealed he is in love with Ed Nygma (the future Riddler)!  Oh, and Crazy Barbara is ALWAYS worth my time! 

I'll admit that the second season has not been quite as consistently entertaining as the first season, but I'm still enjoying the insanity, the humor, and the brilliance of Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts!  The recent Halloween episode was superb, which will hopefully be a sign of things to come.

I wasn't planning on watching this new series, but I wanted to see what the big reveal was at the end of the first episode, and then , DANG IT, I wanted to know more about these emotionally layered and relatable characters!  No flash, glitz, or caricatures here.  Just good old-fashioned, modern storytelling that dares viewers to feel and take a real look around at all of us. 

I don't know why the hell I'm watching this seriously disturbing series!  A weird, freaky commercial caught my attention and now I can't stop watching!  When the TV is tuned to an episode, I am nearly in a trance, just like the haunted kids in the show.

I skipped AHS: HOTEL after one episode, but this current season drew me back into the fold, and it is a blast!  Disturbing, funny, and less theatrical, it feels like AHS has gone back to basics with an interesting story and characters.

My love of Veronica Mars and Parks and Recreation caused me to watch this new series and I'm very happy I did.  Funny, and full of surprises, this comedy has, in its handful of episodes, more momentum and plot than most series have in three seasons!

I started watching to see what the they were going to do.  I found it interesting and a little slow, but the recent revelation literally caused my jaw to drop.  Geena Davis isn't playing some random mother with a possessed daughter, she's little Reagan (from the film/novel) all grown up!  I truly did not see that twist coming and it shocked the hell out of me! 

My name is John and I watch a lot of television, but I'm never going to apologize for it.

Freak Out, 

P.S.  Of course, new episodes of iZombieBates Motel, Angie Tribeca, and Doctor Who are on the horizon, but thankfully some of the series I'm currently watching will be over by then.

P.P.S.  I also enjoy a good soap opera, which is probably why I write such things as this...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dear Freak,

    I sincerely hope your month of I know what scares me… has helped you in a therapeutically cathartic way.  More importantly, I hope the posts entertained your readers, even though I noticed one did not perform at the usual level.  Perhaps, in the future, if a particular topic is being vilified in the news, you should consider scrapping the post and find something else to carry on about.

    I have yet to receive a memo on what November’s blog theme is.  This is of grave concern.  Please inform me, so I can decide whether or not to approve the theme or strike it down like a communicable disease.




Dear John,

    Thank you for your concern.  I noticed the third post in I know what scares me… didn’t fare as well as the others, but I wasn’t going to change my plans just because the news and social media frowned upon that particular subject at the moment.  It’s the readers’ loss if they didn’t read that post, because out of everything I have blogged about over the past three years, MCP truly deserved to be under the title tales from the freakboy zone…! 

    As for November’s theme, I decided to free myself up a bit with a month of Anything Goes!  I figure I’ll blog as frequently or infrequently as I desire and about whatever subject I care to write about.  Maybe I’ll post some of my so-called poetry, or more film reviews, or videos, or ramblings about whatever is on my mind.  If you don’t approve, you can stuff it.  This is my blog and I’ll do whatever I bloody hell want with it!

Freak Out,



Dear Freak,

    I don’t approve of your tone or your lazy theme for November!  I suspect you conjured up the theme of Anything Goes just so you can get out of a weekly blogpost!  Such a lackadaisical attitude will not win you new readers or keep your few longtime readers interested.  They will see that you don’t take writing seriously, which would explain many of your failures these past few years.

    In fact, I am beginning to believe you are nothing but a fraud!  An abject failure in life who finally decided to put himself out there as a writer because he had nothing else to offer the world, and now you barely have that to give.  I suggest you stop writing so your few readers can be free to read more serious writers who actually have plans and are not just winging it.




Dear John,

    As if I give a monkey-flung crap what you think!  I may never publish another book and/or e-book, but I will not stop writing!  These last several months have produced, in my completely biased opinion, some of my best writings ever!  Additionally, you pompous jerkface, the monthly themes have challenged me and kept me focused, but now I want to wing it for a month.  Throw my blog into the air and see what lands, and that's exactly what I'm going to do!

    In conclusion, you may take your suggestion and kindly go screw!

Freak Out,

P.S. Click IT to read a post from earlier this year.

Monday, October 31, 2016


    What was he doing there?  Why would he attend a meeting about how to decorate the Freshman hallway for Homecoming?
    Two reasons.  First, teachers were always threatening detention to those who didn't attend such gatherings.  Second, he had an idea to suggest.
    He was sitting in the high school gymnasium, surrounded by his class, yet separated from them.  He had a row on the bleachers to himself, and was safely two or three rows removed in front and behind from his peers.  There would be no poking, pinching, hitting, throwing objects and nasty whispered remarks from the side or behind him, at least for the moment.
    The two teachers present, and the class president, explained what the meeting was about and then opened the floor to suggestions.  A majority of the boys wanted to do a Batman theme.  A majority of the girls wanted an Indiana Jones theme.  He could've raised his hand and made his suggestion at that moment, but he was scared.  He didn't want to be the only one to go against the two majorities.  A few moments passed before a brave and clever girl suggested decorating the hallway with toilets and urinals, with the Homecoming slogan of Flush 'em!
    It was the absolute brilliance and originality of the brave and clever girl's suggestion that gave him the courage to raise his hand, stand up, and start speaking.  He suggested, in his own awkward way, how the hallway could be decorated with man-eating plants, like from Little Shop of Horrors, and the slogan would be Crunch 'em!  As he was making his suggestion, he saw the class president moving her hand as if mimicking speech.  He didn't know if the class president was either explaining to someone in the front row what he was suggesting or if her hand gesture was simply saying, Blah, blah, blah.  Despite the visual ambiguity in his sight, he finished his suggestion and sat back down to absolute silence.
    After a bit, the class president broke the silence by asking if there were any other suggestions.  Nobody else had anything to offer, so she, with her presidential authority, listed the options that were suggested.  She mentioned BatmanIndiana Jones and Flush 'em.  That is where the voting list ended and that is when his world became muted in sound and slowed in motion.
    There were voices, voting...he raised his hand for Flush 'em even though he knew it didn't matter.  Nothing mattered in what were probably just minutes, but felt like hours in his mind.  Within those hours, thoughts quickly appeared and faded like after-images when rapidly closing his eyes.
    He knew he should stand up for himself, remind them of his suggestion, not that they had actually forgotten, but he knew he wouldn't dare.  The years had taught him to suffer in silence because his feelings were irrelevant.
    He wondered if someone, student or teacher, had noticed and considered speaking up for him, but deep down he didn't believe it, and really didn't want anyone to say anything.  Such a gesture would have been too much for him, and he didn't want to cry in front of them again.
    He imagined a teacher taking him aside after the meeting and telling him that it was a really shitty thing that happened, but he knew there wasn't a chance in hell for such an experience.  The years had taught him to count on no one within the school system.
    He thought about the seconds ... minutes ... hours ... days ... weeks ... months ... years he still had remaining in that suffocating building, surrounded daily by people who either tormented or ignored him.  Any friends he had in elementary and early middle school had either emotionally or physically moved away.
    He felt alone, and he suddenly saw what would happen if he didn't leave the school's poisonous atmosphere as soon as possible.
    He knew that suicide would be his future if he stayed any longer than the age of 16.  He didn't know by what method, he just knew that he would end himself, therefore ending his pain and loneliness.
    His world became loud and regular motion resumed as the meeting was unceremoniously adjourned with Indiana Jones winning.  He didn't give a damn, he just knew he had to get out of that gymnasium before he broke down.  
    His remaining Freshman and early Sophomore year rapidly deteriorated.  Thoughts of suicide haunted him every day, but not long after his 16th birthday he went to the principal's office and quit.
    With absolutely no surprise in his mind, the principal didn't argue or even attempt to convince him to stay.  The same indifference radiated from each teacher as he went from classroom to classroom acquiring signatures to show he had returned books and other school materials.  Each stop was like an echo of that day in the gymnasium, solidifying his belief that he was making the right decision.  A decision of survival.
    He felt they would be relieved to no longer see his face in the hallways and classrooms.  He imagined they would sleep easy believing there was nothing they could've done for the freak ... the outcast ... the nothing, as he slipped through the cracks and drifted away.

Freak Out, 

P.S.  Click BOO for a Halloween trick or treat! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

booking freakboy: 'SALEM'S LOT

Originally published in 1975

"We keep coming back to my mental health," Matt said.

John was sitting in a hospital waiting room in Lincoln, Nebraska.  His father was having a battery of tests done, which, in the long run, would show he was in perfect health.  To keep himself distracted and entertained, John brought along a book that he had been reading.  'SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King, as John would realize, was definitely a distraction.

The waiting room was taking on the soft glow of evening, which caused John to glance up from the seriously disturbing tale of vampires in a small Maine village.  He looked out of the large window and took note of the sun's position above a distant row of trees.  Sundown was steadily approaching and there was nothing to be done about it.

This fact filled John with a palpable uneasiness.  Yes, the literary vampires before him were the main cause of this growing tension, but being inside a hospital, surrounded by the sick and terminally ill, accelerated the dreadful sensation within him.  An irrational fear gripped his heart.  John felt, no, he knew that he had to finish reading SALEM'S LOT before sundown or something unspeakable would occur.

The race was on!  John started reading Stephen King's words as if his life depended on it.  Page after page was turned as the suspense mounted in the book and in the waiting room.  Every so often, John would steal a glance out of the window, keeping track as the sun continued its unstoppable descent.  

As the room grew dimmer and dimmer, John continued reading faster and faster.  His heart was  pounding with every word until at last he closed the book and looked around.  The waiting room was in a hazy dream state of fading light and growing shadows.  Out of the window, John could see the sun barely filtering behind the distant row of trees, daring to sink completely out of view.

John had won the race between nature and literature, so nothing unspeakable would happen that night.  He left the waiting room with a sense of relief and checked on his father, who had more tests scheduled for the next morning.  John soon found his way to a Super 8 Motel on the outskirts of Lincoln, Nebraska, where the vivid terror of SALEM'S LOT would haunt his thoughts until a happy, rainy music video caught his attention later that night.

Though, many years later, John would still shudder at the horror of that vampire-infested Maine village, and tell anyone who asked, that SALEM'S LOT was one of the scariest books he had ever read. 

(Please click 1995 to read about that happy, rainy music video.)

Freak Out, 

P.S.  Click BOO for a Halloween trick or treat!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mundane Clown Person

I am a recovering coulrophobic.  While I would probably not deal very well with a face-to-face meeting with a clown, I can now look at a photo or video of a clown and not feel utterly terrified.  What mitigated my allegedly irrational fear of clowns?  American Horror Story: Freak Show played a huge role in this because this TV series dared me to feel sympathy for a disturbing killer clown.  I saw what I feared as an emotionally complex, misunderstood human being.

Another factor in the lessening of my coulrophobia may have come from my friend Bill.  For many years he has gleefully tormented me with clown-related talk and materials.  I know, how thoughtful of him.  Yet, maybe through Bill's emotional torture, he started me down the road to overcoming my fear by immersing my psyche in all things clown.

This brings me to this week's post.  Way back in the very late 20th Century, Bill gave me a clown-related comic book.  In response, I wrote and illustrated a comic book for his birthday.  So, here is that one-shot issue from July 1999. 

(Please remember, I'm NOT an artist in the drawing sense.)

I would like to take a moment and thank Bill's husband Gary for scanning the pages of Mundane Clown Person and sending them to me.  I have a b&w copy, but I desired to showcase the original color version for this post.

Freak Out,

P.S.  Click BOO for a Halloween trick or treat!