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THUNDERSTORM: a short story


Everything in the sky looked ominous.
“I’m hungry,” Zeus said. “Make me a salami and provolone sandwich.”
“Order out,” Hera said.
“Quiznos doesn’t deliver to Olympus.”
“What do you want from me?” Hera said.
It was the latter part of a dark afternoon.
“Come on—” “No.” There was a long, deep, bellow in the sky.
“Will you listen to my stomach? Do you want to scare the mortals?”
“Go fuck yourself, Zeus.”
“Baby.” He walked toward Hera and placed her head on his breast. “Is this about Semele?” Pitter, patter, pitter, patter, splat, splat. “She’s not worth your tears, Goddess.”
“I hate you.”
“Will you listen to my stomach?”
On the planet below a black Labrador yelped and ran into the bathroom to cower behind a white shower curtain stained with a brown chalky film.
“You make me sick,” Hera cried.
“Enough of your crying,” Zeus said, stomping his foot. “And fuck Semele.”
“You already did.”
“Go make me a sandwich, goddamn it.”

“I’ll get you, Zeus. I’ll get you and that fucking slut.”

J.J. Colagrande is the author of Headz, a novel.

“Thunderstorm” is part of the collection Are You Hungry? scheduled for publication Spring 2012.


Five reasons why they must acquit Casey Anthony

casey anthony 1

The Casey Anthony trial is just about over. The stakes are high. The case is pretty damn serious and now it’s up to the jury to decide her fate. The defense’s closing arguments were strong. Did they create reasonable doubt? They just might have.

Here are a few reasons why the jury might just acquit this loon.

During closing arguments, head prosecutor for the State repeatedly made facial expressions, mocking the defense through body language. That is one-thousand percent unprofessional and could create a bias in the minds of the jurors. At one point the prosecutor actually laughed at the defense’s arguments. In addition, the prosecutors repeatedly objected during the closing arguments, which is usually taboo in such cases. In summation, prosecutors are dickheads, not all the time, but sometimes. And if the prosecution oversold its case, acting like a cocky little shit, if you were a juror, you just might have to acquit.

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Ball, crystal, and mask: a story

jj mask ball crystal

This is my ball. My rubber ball. I’ve had it for two years. It came to me through a vending machine at the Price Choice, on NE 2nd Avenue, for fifty cents.

I often bounce this ball. I bounce it in my room and also while walking outside, on the sidewalk, or along the path by the Bay. Sometimes I bounce it really fast, inside, so it rebounds off the ceiling. I try to catch the fastness, it’s like lightning.

Sometimes the ball disappears, careening into a strange and awkward corner, underneath the bed or couch, and it stays there for awhile.

I really like this ball. When I squeeze it my mind goes silent. And when I bounce it my eyes and hands stay busy, which also silences my mind.

I will lose this ball. It will likely roll into a sewer or the water beyond my reach. Or, if a child asks me for it, I’m sure I will give it away, especially since I like it so.

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A little gonzo journalism mixed with the Borscht Film Festival

la pageant diva

Okay. So basically this is an article about trying to write an article. It’s weird, a little convoluted, and not for anyone who doesn’t like long blog posts, but it’s sort of explainable and interesting. It involves the Borscht Film Festival, the film La Pageant Diva, and represents a surreal journey through publicity, glamour, image, Miami, alcohol, film, and journalism.

It started the night of the festival.

Needing a break from the long first set, around the Hitchcock Rick Ross short, an underpaid New Times writer named J.J. went to smoke a cigarette and grab a beer. In the hallway, he met this stunning brunette who introduced herself as “being in one of the films.” She had an entourage, a manager, some tall baller-ish looking date, and that fourth wheel that rounds out an entourage, the Turtle character-type. Anyway, J.J. told them he wrote for New Times and they converged on him with handshakes and a card that read “Team Caroline Schwitzky.” The manager said Caroline was on the cover of the Miami New Times a few weeks back. Caroline seemed bored about the whole thing because “her film” La Pageant Diva was on second to last. Her restlessness sort of appealed to J.J., who fancied the girl a lil diva, thus appealing to his inquisitive sensibilities.

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A Road to Perdition or Nightmare on Biscayne Boulevard

J.J. is the author of Headz, a novel and a Professor at Miami-Dade, Wolfson.

If you live or work near Downtown Miami, you’ll probably agree. The construction on Biscayne Boulevard is ridiculous. 34th Street down to the Omni Center pretty much resembles hell. Seriously. Can we try something different?? Season’s over, for the most part. It’s almost summer, another rainy season. Let’s get this project done. After maneuvering through this hell-hole for what feels like an eon, as a call-to-order here a few ideas to expedite the seemingly never-ending construction.

The construction project literally changes by the moment. If following a detour, be careful you may find yourself in Hialeah. Also, the layout is wackier than Dennis Miller on nitrous oxide. Why are they working on one side of the street, then one block down the other side of the street is tore up, only for the other side of the street to be demolished two blocks later? It creates a S-like maze Ricky Bobby would have problems navigating. Consistency. Ever hear of it?? Come on, bro.

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R Heat Lightning Romps in Oaks

r heat lightning

R Heat Lightning is a champion 3-year old filly who is ridden by Johnny Velazquez, and trained by Todd Pletcher, two of the best in their business.

Based in Florida this winter, R Heat Lightning won the Grade II Gulfstream Oaks on Saturday in a convincing manner. Described as “headstrong” and “anxious” this filly absolutely dominated. She proved she could go the distance in a devastating performance, prevailing by half a city block. You should have seen her.

On the back stretch, after being nudged by her rider she absolutely exploded toward the finish line. Although the betting favorite at post time, R Heat Lightning was bashed by a handful of naysayers who believed she was too anxious to show up when the stakes were high; too sketched out to go the distance, they said. No one’s saying shit right now.

“She’s pretty genuine,” explains trainer Todd Pletcher. “She shows up every time — she will try hard. If she gets tired, she will dig down and find everything she has. She’s very willing.” Next on the schedule for R Heat Lightning is the Kentucky Oaks, the biggest and baddest contest for her division, held the first week in May. This hometown babe is easy to root for.

And, yes, her name is awesome. And, yes, there is a fuck load of subtext here. Go, R Heat Lightning, go!!!


South Beach Babylon's Burning Hot . . .

Zoetic Stage Company’s South Beach Babylon concluded its World Premiere run Dec. 12 at the Arsht Center. A riveting and rip-roaring satire of the South Florida art world, the play chronicles an octagon of artistic talent as they navigate through the anxiety laced weeks leading up to Art Basel.

Filled with laugh-out-loud one-liners, sharp social and artistic commentary, worthwhile aesthetic symbolism, an engaging and suspenseful plot, and characters that leave you deconstructing them for hours after the performance, it’s a pleasure to welcome Zoetic Stage to South Florida. To summarize the play, as with any good story, one has to start with character. Jonas Blodgen (Andrew Rosenberg) is fresh out of Pratt, a hungry and dreamy eyed artist. Without direction, he’s heading to the Keys, to mile marker 0, the end of the line, and while driving down I95 he sees a billboard: The Face of South Beach—-except someone has cut out the face of the model.

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