Tag: writing

Senior TP Night

Here’s another blog entry you can read or listen to as I recorded it for the Grantcast.  If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!

Senior TP Night
By Grant Baciocco

There was a tradition at Burlingame High School that, the night before the first day of school, the Senior class would give the front of the school the TP treatment.  Meaning, they would cover the beautiful sequoia trees in the front of the school with toilet paper.  I must say, I can still remember my first day of my Freshman year, pulling up to the front of the school and being awed at the sight of that toilet paper hanging off the trees.  It was intimidating, “What have I gotten myself into?”  The annual TPing of the school was something that you didn’t think about too much as you progressed through the years, but it was always in the back of your mind, “When I’m a senior, I get to do this!”

I was in band all four years of high school.  A drummer.  And for band kids, school actually started two weeks earlier in the form of Band Camp.  We didn’t go away or anything, we just came to school each day and worked on our marching and pep rally type songs for four hours or so.  Because of this, we were around the school for several days before the year began.  Senior year, as the start of school creeped closer, thoughts of being able to TP the school started to creep into my head.  I frequently discussed it with my two close friends, Dan and Jeanette.  We were all excited about this tradition it was now our turn to partake in.  There was only one problem, we were band kids.  As such, we didn’t often interact with the ‘cool kids’ who’d be the main ones TPing the school in just a few days.  But then I had an idea.  “What if,” I told my pals, “We did something else?  What if we TP’d the school in a different way?”

Dan, Jeanette and I discussed the different possibilities of achieving this and suddenly we hit upon the idea of, while the other seniors were toilet papering the outside of the school, what if we toilet papered the inside?  This idea excited us all but we quickly realized that we couldn’t just break into the school and, on top of that, the school did have an alarm.  Then a guardian angel appeared.  Now, I will not reveal who this guardian angel was but I will say it was someone who was very knowledgeable about the the workings of the alarm system of the school.  Not how to disarm it, but just which areas of the school were alarmed and which areas were not.  We were told that a large open hallway area between the band room and two english classrooms were not alarmed and that would be our best bet as a place to wreak our TP mischief.  This angel gave us a map showing which doors and windows to stay away from and even discreetly hinted at how we could enter the building without a key or breaking any windows.  We were all set.

The night before school we drove to the campus and drove right past all the other seniors TPing the front of the building.  We drove back around to the band room and parked and found our way to the secret entry point.  In seconds, we were in.  We knew going in, that the hallway would be harder to toilet paper than a bunch of trees, so we brought a long scotch tape to help us hang the toilet paper from he walls.  Also Jeanette, being crafty, made some hilarious signs to hane above the doors of the classrooms.  English teacher Mr/ Morgan got ‘Glen’s Pad.”  Mrs. Caret got ‘Elaine’s Bungalo of love.”  The band teacher, Mr. Kimura, got ‘Mr. K’s,’ which was also the name of a local nightclub in burlingame.

We spent about an hour making everything perfect and, when we were finally satisfied, to honor the moment, we snapped a few pictures of our handiwork and carefully snuck out of the building and into the night.

The next morning I was so excited to get back to school to see the reaction of the people as they walked into the band room area hallway, I parked and made a bee line to the door to the hallway.  I ran up to the door, flung it open and…the entire hallway was spotless.  There wasn’t a square of toilet paper anywhere.  The signs were gone from above the doors.  It was your average, everyday hallway.  I was crestfallen.  Jeanette and Dan arrived and they too were majorly bummed out.  We had worked so hard.

Apparently, what had happened is the janitors had arrives earlier, found the mess and cleaned it all up before anyone else arrived.  Insert sad trombone sound here.

Not to be deterred in letting people know what we had done, I wrote an anonymous letter to the Burlingame B, the school’s newspaper telling everything that had happened.  And I included one of the pictures of the toilet paper hanging in the hallway.  The letter ran and the world knew.  But it would have been much better had they seen it with their own eyes.  I read the printed letter and the picture accompanied it.  Under the photo, a byline, Photo by Grant Baciocco.  Oops.  Maybe I should have just shut up about it.

I was never punished or anything.  But that was the story of the one time the inside of Burlingame High School was toilet papered.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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Here’s what I want to do…

Dime Novel

I’ve been thinking about ‘what’s next’ when it comes to my project of releasing one piece of audio a week in 2015.  I’ve had some feedback that people like the essays I’ve been releasing via audio and also publishing here so I could continue that.

I am also toying with the idea of recording audio of and publishing on here one of the various novels/novellas I’ve written (or am currently writing).  I have a few, Time Skippers, The Cauldron of Hate and the one I’m currently writing which is, as of now, tentatively titled: Agents of The Vault.

It’s the one I’m working on now that most excites me.  It is a Western, with a twist, and I’m just finishing it up and I think it’s a really good candidate to release in a weekly/serial fashion.  A chapter or two a week until the whole story is ‘out there.’  I’d also record and release the audio each week for those who’d rather listen than read.  I could also release it as a PDF/eBook file as well.

The western adventure aspect of the story reminds me of a Dime Novel.  Or the way that Stephen King originally released The Green Mile (man, I loved that).  Anyway, this got me thinking about how I could do the same with this story.  Sending, to those that want it, printed copies of each chapter through the mail.  I think that would be a lot of fun and, as long as it was only a handful of people, I would do it at my own expense.

Each week, you’d receive an printed copy of that week’s released chapter(s).  I’m thinking they’d be printed in a mini book, a book made out of 8 1/2″ x 11″ pieces of paper folded in half.  Maybe they’d have some simple piece of artwork on the front, though maybe not because I’d rather ‘get them out there’ than wait for art to be done.  Anyway, this is an idea I’m toying around with.

I’d love to know what you think.  Would you want a printed chapter mailed to you each week?  Or is this just an idea that I like and nobody else would?

As a kid I loved getting unique things in the mail and, as an adult, I still do.  I also completely understand that no one needs more crap around their house and my western adventure novel certainly could be considered crap.  But, it 5 to 10 people think it’d be fun, I’d explore figuring out how to do it.  If it was a hit, it could continue, The Saturday Morning Media Book Club!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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The Ouija Board Incident.

I’m trying something new.  I have been working on a few longer personal essays, writing out stories from my youth.  In addition to writing them out, I’ll also be recording them for my podcast as part of my goal to release one piece of audio a week for a whole year.  Below is the first piece which chronicles my history with religion.  You can either read it or use the player to listen to me read it.  You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or by using this feed.  There are a few little differences between the text and audio, but for the most part they are exactly the same.  Either way you decide to partake, enjoy!  And thanks so much for checking it out!

The Ouija Board Incident
By Grant Baciocco

I almost never talk about religion to other people. I feel that what a person believes is their own personal thing and should not be a topic of discussion, either positively or negatively. What people believe is their own thing.

Having said all that, I’m going to talk about my beliefs or, at least, a defining moment in my beliefs.
When I started school I was enrolled in St. Dunstan’s elementary in Millbrae, CA. A catholic school.  There was no long decision that was being made, from the moment I was born I was baptized and I was going to catholic school. That was it. This was not something that my parents decided, though my father had been brought up that way. This was because when I was born I was the first great grandchild. I was number 1. And the prevailing thought of the grandparents and great grandparents (especially on my fathers side of the family) was that I’d be brought up catholic. Period. End of story.
I don’t have any strong opinions one way or another about my time in catholic school. Going to church was part of our routine but I didn’t care one way or another about it. I went to church, did my religious schoolwork in school. I was even an altar boy a few times, but I never had a real strong belief in any of the stuff I was learning. It was just what I had to learn.
Right before 5th grade we moved one town over from where we had been living. It was decided that I would go to at dunstans for one more year but then move to public school for 6th grade. Even though o was doing this, I would have to go to CCD or catechism one night a week once I hit that point to get all the religious learning I would be missing.
The meetings were once a week down in the lower Flatts of Burlingame. I was pleasantly surprised to find several people I knew were also taking the classes. Made things a little easier. I had thought I’d be going in knowing no one.  The couple who taught the classes were nice enough. I don’t remember much about them. I believe they were in their 50s, though my youth may have inflated their ages. They held classes in the downstairs family recreation room.
We sat on a couch or one of the chairs in the room and they sat across from us. I believe there were only five of us taking the class. Anyway, they were preparing us for our confirmation and they’d teach for an hour or so and then we’d get a break to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. It was during one of these breaks that the indictment would happen.
We were standing around talking about board games, inspired by the stack of board games in the rec room the classes were held in.  As we talked about different games I asked, “Have you ever played with an Ouija board?”
It was an innocent enough question. My family had one at our cabin and despite my interest, I’d never played or even knew what it was supposed to do because every time I brought it up I was told that a piece was missing and we couldn’t. I understood it was vaguely “spooky” but I legitimately had no idea what it was. So I asked if anyone had played with one.
Before any of my friends could answer, the male of the two teachers erupted!
“No!” He shouted.  “You must never play with an Ouija board. It is the direct gateway to hell!  If you play with it you are condemning youself to hell.”
He was angry. He was serious. We fell silent and then re gathered for the remainder of class, the teacher clearly perturbed that the game had even been brought up.
That moment though really stuck with me and for the rest of the class I wasn’t thinking about whatever it was the couple was eating, I was thinking, “Does a game really have the capability to send you straight to hell?”  And, “Would Milton Bradley make a game that’s capable of doing that?”  Even in sixth grade, I was pretty sure that that was just a silly notion.
This one event, way back then, made me start questioning religion or at least the religion I had been studying up to that point because it all seemed so silly to me.  TO have such a hatred, against a board game sold in toy stores.  This did not end my relationship with religion though.  Later in High School I started going to a Presbeteryian Church youth group. Yes, because a really cute girl was going, but after several visits, I really liked it.  People were goofy and there was lots of laughter.  And there was music!  Good music!  It was all a huge departure from the stuffy church and catholic school I’d been going to in the past.  It was fun.  It was something you wanted to be a part of.  I never went to any of the services at that church, but I did like going to that youth group and I would go just about every sunday night for a year or so.
One thing I remember from this time period was one of the Sunday nights the youth group had a  performance by a band called The Basics.  They were a three member, folk act.  I believe a husband and wife and then another guy, I’m not quite sure of the instrumentation.  But they were pretty good even if their music had a lot of lyrics about Him with a capitol H.  I played that tape often and knew all the words.  I’m sure I still have it somewhere.  A quick search of the internet doesn’t pull up any current info about The Basics.  It looks like they may have disbanded and the husband and wife separated.  I’ll have to dig out that tape and see if I still remember the words as well as I used to.
I graduated high school and went to college.  Religion pretty much faded from my life thought for a short peopriod of time, I found I couldn’t go to sleep without saying some sort of bedtime prayer.  Perhaps this was the ‘catholic guilt’ I hear people talk of.  But it seemed that if I said these prayers, I fell asleep quicker, maybe because it eased my mind?
It was just a quick, “Thank you for everything, Watch over Mom, Dad, my brother and anyone else who may be in my thoughts” type of thing but I pretty much did it every night.
Since college and being out in the world that has faded away.  I will label myself as an Atheist, but will still have pangs of the ‘catholic guilt’ from time to time.  Nowadays I’d like to think that spending time creating stuff to put out ito the world, “good stuff’ like Uncle Interloper videos and things like that, is my modern day version of going to church.  Of being spiritual.
 I’m sure the guy in the rec room who yelled at us for even mentioning the Ouija board would say that it’s God who’s giving me all that creativity and I should be praying to him.  But I’d like to think that if there is a God, He/She/It would be cool with me trying to brighten the world in some way rather than spending an hour in church.
©2015 Grant Baciocco
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100 Word Stories – Police Blotter – Animals!

And now, another 100 word story based on an item from the Police Blotter of my hometown of Burlingame, California.  As always, the actual blotter listing, with a link to the listing is presented below the story.  Enjoy!

By Grant Baciocco

Charlotte screamed as the rhinoceros’ horn came splintering through the front door.  She leapt away from it and bounded up the hallway staircase.

At the door the rhino let out a bellow as he wrenched his horn free from the door and backed up for another charge.

Charlotte reached the top of the stairs as the door was hit again.  She turned into her bedroom and slammed the door shut, attempting to catch her breath as she heard the rhino enter the house.  She turned to find her room filled with gorillas eyeing the bag of peanuts she was carrying.

Burlingame, March 5. A woman told police she had been feeding wild animals and now felt in jeopardy while doing so.

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