Tag Archives: peter

Tell me what you want, what you really really want.

31 Aug

Alright! This is a quickie: I want to hear from you! Tell me your favorite Caustic Cookies Posts! Post them down in the comments. I want to see what kind of stuff you all like to see from me. *smily face* 



Mission Impossible: Textbook Edition

30 Aug

It was an innocent mistake, I feel. I mean, how could I have known that technology was going to be a douchenozzle? Generally, technology and I get along pretty well. I mean, sort of like divorced parents (in this increasingly weird analogy, the internet is the kid we share custody over). So, we’re cordial most times. Other times, I realize that technology gets some sick, demented thrill from running me through an impossible gauntlet of challenges.

For those who saw the original movie, Tom Cruise has to put on some ridiculous harness and do a whole bunch of acrobatic moves in order to defeat the evil robot overlord. Fuck, actually, I never really saw the whole movie. Wasn’t that what it was about?


Well, maybe it should’ve been. But maybe it’s not too late. Tom’s not that old, we could squeeze out a few more action films. Cast him in that role and have him beat HAL’s exhaust port or something.


If you couldn’t tell, this is one of those free write deals. You know how like every other day I actually put serious foresight into what I write instead of a basic outline (like today)? Well, there’s a reason for that. And yes, it does have to do with your super secret, awesome surprise coming next month!

Anyways…Part II. The Return of the Tangent.

Sorry. Next time will be “Focus Strikes Back” and we all know how bad that could be.

Going back to the Tom Cruise reference, I felt like I was on a harness, nimbly navigating the laser beams of the robot guards and delicate, omnipresent pressure sensors. And by nimbly navigating, I mean bouncing into the goddamn wall like I had decided to drink a secret concoction from Wonka’s hidden room. Oh, and my feet had turned into Thor’s hammers.  Fuck my life.

I decided to actually do something more fiscally sensible when it came to my textbook. I decided to invest in getting a nook study textbook.

Oh what a foolish, foolish move.

First step, try to buy the book. Hah! Nope, not in the store.

Second step, hack the mainframe and find the damn book. Failed in hacking the mainframe, but managed to find the book regardless.

Alright, third step, download the book and pray that it will download in time for Latin class on monday an- crap. Not enough time. Abort, Abort! Crap, I’d try again later.

Le Later.

I finally managed to actually download it. I was jumping for joy. I was celebrating, the book would be mine, my homework will finally be completed! And that’s when the metaphorical laser was tripped.

“Please enter your credit card information”


*Type type, clack clack TYPING ONOMATOPOEIA*


“Wait? Are you telling me you’re sick (invahlid) or that my card isn’t accepted (invaalid)?”





So then I called up Barne’s and Noble. Time on the clock is 8:48

“Thank you for calling but we won’t be open until 8 AM.”

Looks at clock. Looks back at phone. “I’m sorry what?”

“Automated message repeats.”We don’t open until 8 AM.”

You have got to be kidding.

This must have been my punishment for that forgotten alimony check.

Called at 10Am. Finally got an answer. Now all I had to do was traverse another gauntlet on my tablet to get the stuff filled in that needed to be filled in while talking to a woman who’s grip of english was only lower than of her pre-written script. Which I managed to do. My textbook is now on my computer and I have defeated the robot overlord/ ex-wife/ whatever weird analogies I’ve used throughout.

You know what, I wished Tom Cruise would have been here though. He probably could have done it quicker.

Nimbler. Right. Sorry Tom.

The Beasts from the Shadows

29 Aug

I thought I was safe. I thought the monsters from my past had stayed behind as I embarked on my college adventure.

I thought wrong.

Somewhere, in my heart of hearts, I knew the beasts were there. They were lurking in the shadows. Waiting. Mocking. Laughing at the false sense of security their temporary absence was filling me with.

They were waiting to fill my soul with dread. And I was foolish enough to think that I had escaped them.

No one escapes the beasts of their past. The timeline, after all, is continuous in both directions. I couldn’t have a future at all without having a past (although, I could run out of time ahead without losing time behind. That is the definition of Death). I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging these creatures I feared so much. I thought that I was just limited to acknowledgement. I wouldn’t have to face them anymore, I had done so for eleven years.

God, that’s how long it was, wasn’t it? Eleven years since the nightmare. Eleven years since it all began. It was incredible to think that it had been that long. Fear made it feel shorter.

You may have heard otherwise. Fear is supposed to elongate time. Yes, in small qualities. Sometimes, the adrenaline rush will allow time to freeze, hummingbirds’ wings to materialize, and bullets to sit still in the air. But life works on a system of equality and balance. Gain time to fear, lose it to paranoia. I have lost many hours.

Can I be blamed? Even now I hear them, sense them, fuckin’ feel them outside the comforts of my immediate presence. Taunting me, laughing at my fear. Those conniving little bastards are just waiting now that I know they have returned. Since the nightmares, I’ve been afraid of the waking world. They manifest themselves plentifully back home in Oviedo. My salvation was in dreams. At best, I could survive if they confronted me in the presence of another person. Others don’t fear my demons. They brush them off, step over them, treat them like they’re diminutive, and continue on with their day. I wish I had their strength. I wish the nightmares weren’t becoming realized in reality.

But I can hope, I can dream, that my fear won’t fracture me. I know better. The presence of the beasts leaves me mentally shattered and physically petrified. Especially when they’re big.

See, like normal animals, they come in many sizes, colors, hues, and potencies. I consider it Hells consortium. But I’ve managed to make my peace with the smaller ones. But this is mostly out of necessity. If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be aware of the bigger ones. Those monsters, those slimy, disgusting creatures emerging from the swampy waters of the damned!

I learned that I couldn’t avoid them any longer, for I had seen a little one today. I was stepping off the track and from the unseen depths of the shadows, it bolted in front of me. My heart jumped. I knew conflict with my fears were to be inevitable.

“So then,” I said, “I see that you are here after all.”

It looked up at me in silence. It’s eyes staring into my soul. Those empty, glistening eyes; like glossed glass refracting my own likeness. Reflecting my fears.  It just sat and stared. My heart quickened and dove from my throat into my stomach at each rapid beat. I started to shake. The air around me seemed to thicken and darkness was closing in. It still just stared with its soulless eyes until I shattered the silence.

“Answer me! Where are the rest of you?! Why won’t you leave me alone?!”

And then, from the depths of its hellish throat, came its sole response before departing again into the darkness:


“Seriously man, fuck frogs” I swore as I departed to my room.

I know these damnable amphibians are out there now. Maybe this time, when they emerge from the shadows, I will conquer the beasts and leave my fear with them as broken as their will to terrorize me.

The Strobe-Light Jungle.

25 Aug

For those of you who know the site well enough to worry that I didn’t post last night: don’t worry, I’m alive. I apologize for not posting last night, but there is a purpose behind my absence. I was literally neck-deep in what you could call biological research. No, I wasn’t surrounded by textbooks on biology and evolutionary theory (although, I think that would reasonably classify as a “nerdgasm”). I decided, being the rugged man that I am, to do research in the field. Fortunately for everyone, I kept extensive notes and journal entries. Here is the transcript (verbatim) from expedition log as we entered into what I like to call “The Strobe-Light Jungle.”

9:24: I depart from my domicile in McKay, curious as to what adventures lay before me. I understand that what we are doing is considered “natural” in the animal kingdom…but like any first-time traveler to the Jungle, I can’t deny being a little nervous. The nerves are, I’m sure, just a manifestation of excitement.

9:32:  I arrive at the house of teammate Mike Z. Tonight is the celebration of his 21st birthday. Congratulations are exchanged and we all take a brief moment to collect ourselves and necessary belongings. The total expedition group consists of Mike, Tory, Kyle, and Myself. It promises to be an eventful night.

9:35: We have left the base camp and make our way over to our next check point. We know that as we go further away, we are rapidly approaching territory that is far beyond our normal range of ken. Fortunately for me, my companions have explored the Jungle numerous times. We are getting deeper into an area filled with strange people and habitats. Curiously enough, this is merely the fringe of the actual Jungle.

9:45: We have arrived at our check point. It appears to be a gathering of hybridized beings at the home of another teammate. By hybridized, I mean that they appear to be equally adept to surviving in both environments. Conversation is still taking place through normal english (or at least through proper variances) but the conversation seems more coarse and profane. People are expressing themselves with remarkable candor and honesty. 

9:50: We are performing a ritual that signifies the inclusion of strangers into the Jungle. There are certain tasks my companions perform- tasks to assert their belonging into the group. The use of hollowed ceremonial cups, inked to the point of ruby-red, is common. They must complete the tasks by downing the liquid and performing feats with the goblet itself. I find another familiar soul, Tori, as we are initiated through much tamer means. 

10:17: I successfully soothed many of the party with simple parlor tricks. I was amazed to see their reactions to such grossly simplified illusions. Commentary included everything from approving whispers to the loud and rambunctious: “Hoy Shit! That was awesome! The freshman knows magic!” 

10:35: We leave the party. My companions have donned the roll of the natives rather well. I have managed to retain sense of the situation…At least when the song “Call Me Maybe” isn’t being blasted within the transport vehicle. Then I can’t help myself. My body seems to move on its own.

11:05: We have arrived at Ebor and are preparing to enter one of the environments here in the Jungle called “Czar.” We only have time enough for one trip for… Holy Shit that line is huge! Do we seriously have to wait in that thing? We won’t get in until, like, midnight! 

Mike Z: Yeah, but if that happens we’ll just duck out into the over 21 line. Or at least we will. We’ll see you inside.

Me: Goddamnit I’m going to lose my guide.

11:30: I am casually talking to members on the team including Charles, Tori, other Tory (girl then guy, respectively), Lewis, and Mike. We try to talk about our planned activities and… And seriously, what the hell? This line has moved maybe ten meters in the last half hour!

11:57: I have been marked by a native with an insignia indicating my inability to enjoy the rights of manhood in their tribe. I wonder how long it’ll take for this friggen marker to come off. Wait, what are they doing now? Stamping me, too? Don’t you think that’s a little overkih- Ooooh! It’s a hot air balloon! 

12:00: We have entered the Jungle. Traditional songs are playing and people dance in ways that I have never seen a human move. Not necessarily impressively but…wait? What the hell? Is that a stripper pole? Anyways, they’re moving like they’re from middle school some of them, but others have pretty sick moves.

12:05: I’m noticing changes in my behavior. It seems that the power of the group holds remarkable hold over my social actions and conscious decisions. It appears…that we get to climb up a ladder and dance up high? Dude! Sweet!


12:10: Tory: Dude! Check it out! *Unbuttoning his shirt* I’m shirtless! Woohoooo!

Mike Z: *punches me in the stomach lightly* This guy! I freakin’ love this guy!

Charles: *begins bootie dancing with Lewis*

Girls Team (entirety): *laughing* Wooooh!

Me: Hah! Freaking hysterical

12:20: *Tory and I standing on a higher platform, maybe a meter off the ground.*

Tory: Dude! Let’s do a split in middair!

Me: Sounds good bro! Let’s do it! Yaaaaaah!

*Proceeds to somehow pull of split*


Tori: Look at that break dance circle!

Me: Psh. ‘S nothing. Watch.

*Proceeds to walk into circle and go into a horizontal plank, into a perfect headstand, twists down all to the rhythm and beat of the song, and leaves as the crowd roars in approval*

Tori: *nodding approvingly* Nice.


1:05: JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP! *bwah-waaaaaaing! bwah-waaaaaing!*

1:07: Exiting Czar. Hah! Someone’s using the stripper pole!

1:08: Now looking for the teammates and… Did those assholes seriously leave us? What the hell man?!

1:10: Found teammates and acquired taxi. Success!

1:15: Stephanie calling me back. I’ve been texting her intermittently throughout the night and I called her when I stepped out to let her know I’m safe. She’s been out with her friends at a thing back home and she’s a little worried about me, making sure I’m ok and stuff. Such a sweetheart.

Me: Hey! I loveeeee youuuuuu!

Steph: *laughs* I love you too, baby. Glad to see you’re having a good time. 

1:30: Returned home. I’ve learned a lot from my expedition. But I’ll analyze the data later. Sleep sounds good. Sleep sounds really good.

2:00: Can’t sleep. Texted Stephanie to let her know I’m home safe. She had fun at her thing and she’s relieved and happy that I’m ok. I’m glad she had a good time. Texting Tori because she put a picture up on Facebook of the team waiting in line for Czar. I figure I might as well talk to her until I collapse. Steph fell asleep so Tori’s the only one I’m texting right now I guess. That was a hell of a night.

2:14: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


I’m still going over the preliminary data. As to what my hypothesis was, I don’t remember. I can give you a rudimentary conclusion, though. The Strobe-Light Jungle is a place where weird shit happens, you live in the moment, and you don’t question it. Where you enjoy yourself, keep a semblance of sense and moderation, and just dance the night away with people who are totally awesome. But you need to respect the Strobe- Light Jungle as it is an interesting habitat.

And seriously, when the hell are these marks on my hands going to come off?!

I am the zombie… I am exhausted…

23 Aug

Koo-koo catchoo, right?

Whew, I couldn’t have ever anticipated how tiring college orientation could be. It’s been a few days and I feel like I’ve been run into the ground. Plus, I’ve been happily busy with a new freelance project, as well as a special, super secret project I’ve been doing for Caustic Cookies. The Caustic Cookies project is going to be revealed on the first of September. I guarantee, it’ll be something you guys will find to be incredibly awesome!

One of those things will be an RSS feed. Right now I don’t have a newsletter or an email thing going around. That’ll change in September. But I really can’t explain too much more! It’s a secret. A super secret awesome present to you guys! Think of it as an early birthday present. And if it’s already been your birthday, think of it as a REALLY early present for next year. Am I on the ball or what?

Today is the resuming of the two to three a day posts here on the site. I’ve been looking around campus for places for wi-fi connections so I can do them if I have any downtime in class. Turns out that the entire campus is pretty much a wi-fi hotspot, so I should be fine! Get ready for some awesomely caustic cookies!

I have been living as the walking dead for the last 72 hours. Exhaustion has plagued me like acne on a prom queen. I keep downing coffee, hoping for my next fix. I’m considering electroshock directly into the radial nerve. Maybe then I’ll be awake enough to laugh.

I am Jack’s tired eyes, barely seeing the ground as I shuffle through existence like some ancient Floridian grandfather, waiting for the next portal, the next realm. Hell, maybe even death. I’m so tired I don’t even care.

I black in. I realize that I’m now sitting next to a blond chick from my cross-country team. Her name is Tori. Nice enough girl I think. She laughs at the jokes I make during the campus showing of the Avengers. Either that or she’s just as mesmerized by Robert Downy Jr.’s beard as I am. What a magnificent creature. The beard not the girl. Although, she seems like she’s cool enough I guess. We were both just clumped in with the rest of the freshmen and were just mutually relieved to find a familiar face.

The last thing I remember is sitting zombified during the Honors orientation. I was asking for a bunch of xanax to take a nap during the yawning lecture. I get a buzz in my shorts. I fantasize that it’s an electrode jolting me awake. No. It’s a text from my girlfriend, Stephanie. I smile. It’s probably the only thing that makes me smile  in the entire presentation.

Snap back to the theater. Tori’s now fixated on Thor’s biceps when she’s not texting her boyfriend. I roll my eyes. I’m about to leave the theater and this freshman congregation anyways. I have somewhere to be, but where? Where?

Next thing I realize is that I’m walking towards the Rathskeller. I have a faint memory of telling Tori that I was ducking out to go do something else I planned. I was composing a message to Stephanie. She had texted me back. I smiled again. Love can make a zombie smile after all. I don’t remember if I sent a reply or not.  I think I did, looking back on it. I kept walking.

I am Jack’s forgetful mind. Filled with dementia like a Floridian…


That sounded familiar…

“Congratulations!” I hear. I look around. I’m in a dinky little dank room that had to have been an old speakeasy. I look down and I see a bunch of papers with trivia information on it as well as a pencil.

I am Jack’s fucking confused Grandfather. From Florida. Who relies on the familiarity in redundancy because I am utterly lost.

“Here’s your $50 dollar gift Visa Gift card! Congratulations on winning round two of the trivia with your perfect score of 125!”

A camera flashes. My confusion is now at a boiling point.

I wake up with the weird desire to turn on my TV and pop in fight club. I shrug it off, go back to bed, and hope that I won’t wake up as disjointed.

Weekly Update 4: 5/30/2012

30 May

I want to apologize for making this post so late. Much of this last week has been extremely hectic because I had relatives in town. Because of this, I was unable to make time for a lot of my normal writing pursuits (hence my obvious delay). And while I’m sad to see them go, I am also happy I can buckle back down and get back to work! Speaking of work, even with visiting relatives, a lot managed to happen in the last few days worth reporting and noting!

Short Stories:

So far, I’m only working on “A Post Card from Heaven.” I expected to be done by now, but I never anticipated it absorbing so much of my mental capacity. It’s one of those projects I can’t stop thinking about yet I refuse to write more than 50-100 words a day because I want it to be perfect. One of my projects is again demonstrating why one should never give a pen to a perfectionist. But I can not only guarantee that this story will the best short story I have ever penned, it will also be worlds above “Eden.” While I love that story dearly, I’m glad to already be surpassing my abilities of just a few weeks ago.

Flash Fiction:

I have no Flash Fiction to report on.


The poem “The House My Father Built” is complete and has been submitted to the Contributor Network. Hopefully it will be accepted. You guys will be the first to know if so! The plan is to keep it a secret until Father’s Day so I can surprise my dad with it. I’m sure he’ll like it.

Other Media:

With the hectic week, I haven’t had any time to pursue anything else. But I am still interested in song-writing so I might just give that a shot this week. Time allowing, of course.


Alongside yet another article being accepted on Yahoo, I set up an account on Textbroker. So far, my only complaint is that after maybe three days and five articles, they had to freeze my account to grade the quality of what I’m creating. That’s the bad news. The good news is I’ve made a few dollars in that time and not a single article was rejected. It’s kind of cool to be batting 1.000- not going to lie. But I just have to keep working hard at it to continue that success. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the site, I can’t directly link you to the articles I’ve written. That’s fine though. All you have to do is go to the site and search my name and presto! You can see for yourself.


I’ve been painstakingly reading my novel again (for what has to be the seventh total time). I don’t know how other novelists have avoided beating their own heads in with their creations in the final stages. Despite the impending insanity, I will contend that it gives me a deep pleasure to be reading my own tale. Not only because it’s so close to completion, but because it’s actually a decent story. That was my biggest concern: creating something terribly boring. Luckily, it appears that this could really be something. The prospect is exciting.

Hey, this list is never too full. If you have a piece you need written, or are in search of a flexible freelance writer, e-mail me at peterlicari13@gmail.com.

Weekly Update:1

9 May

A new feature into the blog that I figured would be a nice addition would be an update on all of the comings and goings of my sites and projects. This way, you the readers can be aware of the sort of projects I’ll be working on this week and showcase the kind of work that will be coming out soon. Here, I’ll also answer any questions sent to me via my email (peterlicari13@gmail.com) about anything related to writing or my works, or anything in general really. I’m always open to discussing intelligent themes and learning from new perspectives.

That being said, here is your update:

Short Stories:

Currently in progress is a work I’m currently calling “Jumper.” It’s a first person work about a man and his woman looking out over the skyline contemplating life. Until, that is, he decides to actively contemplate death by asking her to jump with him, hand in hand. “Jumper” won’t be the final title (I’m fairly certain), I just prefer to name something once the final touches are added.

In addition, I’m waiting for a response on a short story called “Eden.” It’s a science-fiction piece that both presents and dramatically robs the protagonist of his sanity and reality. I submitted the story to Science Fiction Daily about two, two-and-a-half weeks ago. Usually getting pushed back this late will either mean they either like it or it’s not fit for their niche. If it’s the latter, I’ll be pursuing another market. If that doesn’t quite work out, then I’ll be sharing it here on the site. Whether or not I’m going to make it an exclusive thing or a free viewing has yet to be decided. But I always lean towards the free, so don’t fret!


I currently don’t have any poetry works in progress.

Other Media:

For a project I was forced to create a photo essay. However, I grew attached to the theme and I intend to make it as poignant and powerful as I can. But my words are better than my photographic skills, so bear with me. It will be posted in my other blog (showcasing my limited visual skills) notyourcommonlunacy.tumblr.com


I am currently completing an article proposal for Cracked.com. Hopefully the premise is one that they will enjoy and simultaneously educate a public always searching for quick, entertaining information.

Hey, this list is never too full. If you have an article you need written, or are in search of a flexible freelance writer, e-mail me at peterlicari13@gmail.com.