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The Coop

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Posts posted by The Coop

  1. On 12/19/2020 at 5:04 PM, AzureZeal said:

    I've always enjoyed reading your poems throughout the years you've been doing this. Amazing that it's almost been 20 years you've kept this up. Happy Holidays to you.

    Thanks. Yeah, nearly 20 years of this. I may have to try and come up with something special for 'Twas XX.

    On 12/20/2020 at 12:16 AM, Dyne said:

    Dang it, Coop... I'm not crying, you're crying. ;_;

    Heh. Sure, blame it on me ;-)

     

    To all those who made their way through this 25-page beast of stanzas, hope you enjoyed it. And of course, Merry Christmas :-D

  2. It's that time. Once again, some of the folks who post on OCR have come together to make an album full of Christmas-y remixes for you to enjoy. This year, we've got 10 tracks that touch on a number of genres and moods, along with some pixel cover art by yours truly.

    You can download the project from the link below, so feel free to grab it... along with the other 13 albums :grin:

    As always, thanks to everyone who participated, tried to participate, and to Dyne for continuing to host it.

    http://williammichael.info/aocc/aoccv14.html

    http://williammichael.info/aocc/

  3. And with that, this album project is finished. I've sent it to Dyne to put on the official website, so now it's just a matter of waiting. Once he has it all set, I'll post a link to the thread for the album release in here. While we wait, for those who didn't get their tracks done, feel free to continue working on them and send them to me. They can go on AOCC v.XV next year. You'll just get them done waaaaaaaaaay early ;-).

  4. And here we are again, good people of OCR. It's December 18, one week before Christmas, and the next poem in this little tradition of mine is ready to go. So relax, grab a stiff drink, and something to munch on. Here... we... go!


    Twas XIX: One Night At A Time
    by
    The Coop

     

    Twas the night before Christmas
    and from where she stood,
    Liane stared thoughtfully at
    her old neighborhood.

    The bridge that she stood on
    stretched across a river
    that was running some
    one hundred feet below her.

    It was just outside of town,
    not far from the mall.
    It gave her a good view
    so she could take in all

    the sights and colors that
    lit up the cold night air
    as she looked off with a
    somewhat despondent stare.

    Yet for a brief moment,
    she let a small smile come
    to her, 'fore it went back
    to where it had come from.

    Her eyes left the scene of
    distant colorful lights,
    for she wasn't in the mood
    for such thoughts or sights.

    Her stare lowered a touch
    as she stood in place and
    looked at the falling snow
    as she held up her hand.

    The snowflakes landed on
    her dark jacket and she
    took in the six-sided flakes
    she could clearly see;

    each flake's lovely design
    and tiny, fragile form,
    created by the impending
    winter snow storm.

    She watched as more flakes
    collected on her dark sleeve;
    something that gave her a
    brief moment of reprieve

    from the thoughts that had been
    taking root in her mind;
    ones that were not of the
    “merry” or “good cheer” kind.

    It was then that she heard
    footsteps off to her right.
    She looked over and saw
    a peculiar sight.

    A man in a long coat
    that was colored deep red,
    with black boots on his feet
    and white hair on his head,

    was walking toward her
    with a smile on his round face,
    from which hung a white beard
    that was not out of place.

    He had quite the belly,
    and deep wrinkles that told
    of the many years behind him,
    in each one's fold.

    “Good ev'ning young lady,”
    the man smiled as he neared,
    bringing up his right hand
    and stroking his thick beard.

    He turned his head and looked
    off at the same lights that
    the woman he'd spoken to
    had been looking at.

    “Lovely, aren't they?”
    he added. “They're such a sight
    to behold as they glow
    so brightly on this night.”

    “Usually,” she said,
    her voice rather subdued.
    The man asked, “Why are you not
    in a jolly mood?”

    “Don't you have something else
    to be doing?” she spat.
    “The last thing I want is
    any idle chit chat.”

    “My apologies,” he said
    as his good cheer fell.
    “I was just on my way back
    from my work, and well...

    “I saw you standing here
    and just wanted to say,
    that I hope you have a
    wonderful Christmas Day.”

    Liane looked him up and down,
    then nodded a bit.
    “You a mall Santa?” she asked.
    “You'd be a good fit.”

    “Something like that,” he smiled.
    “But, if you would prefer,
    I'll leave you alone and
    give you space, as it were.”

    “I'd appreciate that,”
    she said in a flat tone.
    “I really just want the chance
    to be left alone.”

    “Then I'll be on my way,”
    the man said quietly.
    Without another word,
    he left and let her be.

    It wasn't long before
    the man was out of sight,
    which left her as she felt;
    all alone in the night.

    Her thoughts about him
    gave her pause for a moment.
    Her gaze drifted down,
    and a grin came as it went.

    But this pause did not last
    and soon she began to
    revisit dark thoughts of
    what she'd gone there to do.

    With it just shy of midnight,
    no one was around.
    Just the slowly falling
    snowflakes that were abound.

    She remained there, alone,
    as she stood on the bridge
    motionless until both
    her feet moved just a smidge.

    Her grip on the cold handrail
    soon grew more intense
    as she continued to stand
    in complete silence.

    No one was there to see
    the resigned look that grew
    in her saddening stare,
    and her expression too.

    It was then that Liane
    climbed over the handrail,
    then felt dizzy enough
    that she began to flail

    one arm in the air as she
    used her other hand
    to steady herself with
    the rail where she did stand.

    Her face filled with panic
    as she looked down below
    at the dark void where she
    could hear the river flow.

    With one hand on the railing,
    she let out a sigh.
    She looked to the colored lights,
    then uttered, “Goodbye.”

    Liane leaned toward the void,
    let go of the handrail,
    then fell through the cold air
    without a word or wail.

    The wind rushed past her,
    growing louder as she fell
    for what felt to her like
    an impossible spell.

    But soon the cold water
    was approaching her fast.
    She then took in a breath;
    one she hoped was her last.

    A moment later,
    a hard slap rang out and she
    felt a flash of great pain
    as she thought, Now I'm free.

    It was for just a moment,
    that all had flashed white
    and taken what she'd seen
    on this Christmas Eve night.

    But soon, that white began
    to fade to a deep gray,
    one that surrounded her
    and did not fade away.

    It was like a dense fog
    that shifted and slowly
    swirled all around her,
    and made all seem quite murky.

    She looked down at her feet
    that saw what she stood on.
    It was the only spot
    where the fog was all gone.

    In its place, was what looked
    like a deep frozen lake,
    covered in ice that seemed
    too thick to ever break.

    She took a small step and
    heard the ice give a CRACK!
    which startled her and made
    her take that step right back.

    “Where am I?” Liane asked.
    “Did I survive the fall?”
    She heard her echo,
    as if off a distant wall.

    “Hello?” she called out.
    “Is there anybody here?”
    “Just me,” came a reply.
    “I'm here with you, my dear.”

    Liane looked around at the
    ever shifting mist.
    “Show yourself!” she cried out,
    then heard, “If you insist.”

    From off to her right,
    she could see a shape start to
    come through the thick fog,
    and she asked, “Um, who are you?”

    “You don't know me?” came the voice.
    “You should. After all,
    you've known about me since
    you were just two feet tall.”

    With each step, the figure
    began to grow clearer.
    More details stood out
    as each step brought it nearer.

    Red and white fuzzy patches
    began to congeal
    into someone that
    seemed familiar, yet unreal.

    A red coat with white fur
    that lined its waist and cuffs.
    Shiny black boots that had
    no dull spots, cracks or scuffs.

    A red pointy hat that
    had white fur on its base
    and a fuzzy white-balled top
    that hung by his face.

    His gloves were pure white.
    His black belt hugged his belly
    that jiggled as he walked,
    as if made of jelly.

    His long hair and his beard
    were as white as fresh snow.
    She knew who it was and
    let out a baffled, “Whoa.”

    “Hello, Liane,” the man said,
    he tone soft and kind.
    “This isn't real,” she said.
    “I think I've lost my mind!”

    “I'm quite real,” he said
    as he walked up to her and
    gave her a wistful smile
    as he held out his hand.

    “We've met before,” he smiled
    with a warmth in his stare.
    “It was on the bridge, yes?
    I'm quite sure it was there.”

    She took a step back and
    kept her hands at her chest.
    “Don't touch me!” she uttered
    to the man who was dressed

    like a rented Santa
    from some nearby big store.
    With a panicked stare,
    “Who the fuck are you?” she swore.

    “Do you really need to ask?”
    he said with a wink.
    “My attire make's it pretty
    obvious, I think.”

    “You're not him,” Liane spat.
    “There is no way in hell.
    You're some kind of mind trick
    that came from when I fell!”

    She took a second step
    and again heard the CRACK!
    of the ice, which brought her
    to stop taking steps back.

    “About that,” the man said
    as he moved up to her.
    “Don't move too much, please.
    You're on thin ice, as it were.”

    “I'm what?” she asked as she
    looked utterly confused
    at the analogy
    that the man had just used.

    He took her right hand and
    held it up in the air.
    That was when Liane noticed
    the bad bruising there.

    “This isn't a dream,” he said,
    “or some kind of ruse.
    I'm very much real,
    just like what's causing this bruise.”

    “Wait,” Liane said. “The fall.
    Does this mean that I'm dead?”
    “Not yet, but that time isn't
    far off,” the man said.

    “I don't understand,” she said.
    “What the hell is this?”
    He gave her a sad smile
    and asked, “What happened, Miss?

    “What brought you to this point?
    What went so very wrong?”
    When she gave no reply,
    “Please, I can't stay for long.

    “Your time's running very short,
    so please talk to me.”
    She pulled her hand away with,
    “Look, just leave me be.”

    She looked down at her hand
    and she was clearly pissed.
    The bruise there was bigger
    and it spread to her wrist.

    “What the hell?” she uttered
    with a vexed, puzzled tone
    as she began to feel pain
    that dug to the bone.

    She looked to the man
    with some panic in her eyes.
    He said, “This is what happens
    before someone dies.”

    “I'm dying?” Liane asked
    as she watched the bruise grow
    over her whole forearm,
    then up to her elbow.

    “You are,” the man said.
    “And your time is running out.
    Please talk to me, Liane.
    What brought this all about?”

    Liane watched as the bruise
    slowly grew larger still.
    And panic in her, this
    sight did greatly instill.

    “Who the hell are you?” she asked,
    her voice filled with fear.
    He then simply smiled with,
    “You know who I am, dear.”

    For a moment, her words
    could no longer come out,
    and she winced as the pain
    that continued to sprout

    from the growing bruise
    that had covered her whole arm.
    “Where am I?” she asked,
    her voice filled with much alarm.

    “You're in the last moments
    of your life,” the man said.
    “That final bit before
    you're gone and truly dead.

    “I know you're growing scared,
    but I'm right here with you.
    But before our time ends,
    what I'd like you to do

    “is to tell me what pushed
    you to reach this moment.
    What made you seek this out
    as if you were hellbent?”

    Liane stood dumbfounded,
    unsure of what to say.
    But after a second,
    she turned her gaze away.

    “This is some nightmare,” she spat.
    “It doesn't make sense.
    You're lying to me
    like I'm ignorant or dense.”

    “I wish I was, Liane,”
    the man said with remorse.
    “These are your final moments.
    Your life's run it's course.”

    “If that's true,” she said with ire,
    “then just let me die!”
    The man looked heartbroken
    and asked her simply, “Why?”

    She turned away from him,
    as she winced in pain and
    looked at the massive bruise
    on her right arm and hand.

    “My husband cheated on me,
    then shifted the blame
    and said that I had done it.
    So ev'ryone came

    “to his rescue as if
    I had been the bad guy.
    No one believed me,
    regardless of how I'd try

    “to show I was the one
    who been cheated on.
    But ev'ryone believed him.
    My friends were all gone.

    “Then in the divorce,
    my husband said that I had
    abused my son daily.
    Then things got really bad.

    “He accused me of being
    an alcoholic,
    then made up all these lies
    to help make it all stick.

    “I pleaded and swore what
    he said wasn't the case.
    But somehow, I had it all
    blow up in my face.

    “The judge took ev'rything.
    My ex-husband had won
    the house and full custody
    of my only son.

    “I was barely allowed
    to visit with my son.
    Then I lost that too
    once that Covid had begun.

    “I was just hanging on
    with my job as it was.
    Then back in November,
    I was let go because

    “the store I worked at
    chose to cut my position.
    One day I had work,
    and the next day, I was done.

    “I tried for unemployment,
    but I was turned down.
    So I took a hotel room
    on the edge of town.

    “I got that check for
    1,200, but it went fast.
    I tried to stretch it out,
    but it just didn't last.”

    “I was broke and lonely.
    I had nowhere to turn.
    The world was against me
    and just watched my life burn.

    “My friends all turned away.
    My family did the same.
    I really needed someone,
    but nobody came.”

    Liane brought her bruised hand up
    and covered her eyes.
    “I was someone they came
    to completely despise.”

    The man stood quietly and
    watched as Liane fought
    with ev'rything inside her
    that made her so wrought

    with sorrow and anger
    from all that she'd been through.
    In a soft voice he said,
    “So you chose this for you.”

    “What else could I do?” she asked
    through a fought down sob.
    “My rent is past due and
    I've got no goddamn job.

    “I got a note from my
    landlord that says I'll be
    evicted on the second
    of January.

    “My family hates me,
    and my friends feel the same.
    My life went to complete shit,
    yet I'm not to blame.

    “No one gives a damn and
    I can't take anymore
    of ev'ryone thinking
    I'm some abusive whore.”

    With a grimace of pain,
    she unzipped her thick coat
    with a hand that looked like
    it was starting to bloat.

    With concern in her eyes,
    she pulled up her shirt some,
    as she noticed her hand
    had started to feel numb.

    The large bruise on her arm,
    was not just forming there.
    She could see it spreading
    seemingly ev'rywhere.

    It was on her belly
    and growing on her side.
    And the pain she felt was
    impossible to hide.

    “What's happening?” she asked
    as she looked to the man
    she had been speaking with
    as her bruised arm began

    to feel as if it were
    starting to fall asleep.
    And into her eyes,
    more panic began to creep.

    “Where we are is like limbo,”
    the man said calmly.
    “Time is much slower here,
    but not stopped completely.

    “It crawls forward so that
    things still happen in here
    that mirror what happens
    in the real world, my dear.”

    “I don't understand,” she said.
    “What does that all mean?”
    The man gave a sad smile
    with, “We are in-between

    “life and death in this moment
    that we briefly share.
    You're not dead yet, Liane,
    but you are nearly there.

    “What you see is a slowed
    version of what happened
    the moment you hit
    the water just one second

    “before I brought you here
    so we could have a talk
    and see if from your life,
    you're still wishing to walk.”

    “So, I'm not dead, but I'm
    not alive,” Liane posed.
    “No,” he said. “But you life's book
    will shortly be closed.”

    “Let it close” she sneered.
    “I just don't care anymore.
    Just leave me alone and
    let me walk through death's door.”

    “I can't do that,” he said.
    “It's not in me to do
    something as callus as
    turning away from you.”

    “Why should you care?” she asked.
    “No one else gives a damn.
    They're just as sick of me
    as I sure as hell am.”

    The man looked at her sadly
    and said with remorse,
    “If that's your choice, Liane,
    you can make it, of course.

    “But while I know you're in pain,
    in more ways than one,
    is what others did reason
    enough to be done

    “with the world around you
    without fighting back for
    the chance to reclaim some
    of what was taken, or

    “to find a way for you
    to start your life over?”
    He stepped up to Liane
    and placed a hand on her

    shoulder as his eyes
    were filled with much sympathy.
    “But please, let me say this,
    if you'll listen to me.

    “What happened was unfair
    and heinous to go through.
    It hurt you very deeply.
    I know this is true.

    “But of those that you lost,
    some are not gone for good.
    Your life may be painful,
    but I think that you should

    “not let the man you loved
    or your own family
    push you out of this world
    for all eternity.

    “You ache and you're tired.
    I understand this too well.
    But there's one thing to you,
    I can truthfully tell.

    “As bad as all of this
    has been feeling to you,
    I believe that you still
    have the strength to get through

    “the mess that's swirling
    around you at this moment.
    You have already survived
    so much as you went

    “through a divorce and
    all that followed after it.
    You have made it this far,
    taking hit after hit.

    “I know things feel much too dark
    to continue on.
    But I promise, others
    will miss you if you're gone.”

    “Oh, like who?” Liane spat.
    “My landlord or that guy
    who peaks out his door,
    and gives me the evil eye?”

    “I can't really say,” he said,
    as he cupped her chin.
    “If you want to get back
    at them, don't let them win.

    “Don't let them define you
    and tell you who you are.
    Don't allow their vile actions
    to push you this far.

    “Turn away and just leave if
    they won't let you be.
    Write them all out of your life
    and get yourself free

    “of all the reminders
    of what they put you through.
    Don't worry about them
    and just focus on you.

    “You were a good person
    before things went so wrong.
    That much hasn't changed, Liane.
    You need to stay strong

    “and see that this world,
    despite all it's put you through,
    would still be a lesser place
    if it loses you.”

    Liane said nothing as
    she stood while what he'd said
    hung over them both as it
    echoed in her head.

    Her body ached more as
    the bruising continued
    to spread under her clothes
    where it couldn't be viewed.

    He took his hand from her chin
    as the bruising spread
    up her neck and continued
    slowly toward her head.

    “They tried to hurt you,” he said,
    his voice soft and kind.
    “Show them your great strength and
    leave this outcome behind.”

    “I don't know if I can,”
    she said in a meek voice.
    “I do,” he said warmly.
    “But you must make your choice

    “now if you hope to
    take back what you will soon lose.
    So please tell me Liane,
    what is it that you choose?”

    Liane grimaced again
    as the bruise reached her jaw.
    Pain shot through her body
    as she looked down and saw

    that her hands were swollen
    and split open as well.
    She couldn't feel her legs
    and had started to smell

    a strange odor that was
    not unlike rotting meat.
    Her body had grown cold
    and she felt her heartbeat

    had started to slow and
    get weaker with each hit.
    She knew what was coming
    and soon uttered, “Oh shit!”

    “Make your choice,” the man said,
    his voice filled with unease.
    Liane looked to the man,
    then said, “Send me back, please!”

    With a flash of white light,
    she no longer felt pain
    and found herself on
    that cold, snowy bridge again.

    Then a wave of dizziness
    swept over her too,
    which gave her a powerful
    sense of deja vu

    as she gripped the rail firmly
    and looked down below
    at where the cold, dark river
    continued to flow.

    “I'm back where I was?”
    Liane said with some surprise
    as her sense of bewilderment
    shown in her eyes.

    For a moment, she stood
    on the handrail's wrong side,
    but quickly stepped over it
    while she was wide-eyed.

    She looked about at the scene
    that surrounded her.
    At the falling snow and
    the distant lights that were

    filled with dots of colors
    like blue, red, green and more.
    At the old neighborhood
    that she used to adore

    back when her life was
    filled with joy and family.
    But that stuff felt like such
    a distant memory.

    She lowered her gaze
    and stared down at the river
    that she thought would be
    some kind of release for her.

    Her stare drifted a bit
    as her mind did the same.
    She then turned and walked off
    back the way that she came.

    She left the bridge behind
    and went back to her pad;
    an old run down apartment
    that housed all she had.

    She looked very drained as
    she got herself undressed
    before she climbed into bed
    with such little zest,

    it was almost as if
    she wasn't really there.
    But she was far too worn out
    to pretend to care.

    It took barely a minute,
    but sleep came for her
    and took Liane away
    to dreamland, as it were.

    The alarm soon went off,
    which pulled her from her sleep.
    She slapped its snooze button
    and didn't make a peep

    as she rolled onto her back
    and laid there a bit
    with a drawn look that told
    of her beaten spirit.

    But in time, she got up
    and got herself some food,
    as she tried to shake off
    her melancholy mood.

    As she sat at the table,
    she heard the small squeak
    of the mail slot in her door,
    which brought her to peak

    from where she was sitting
    to see if she could tell
    whether or not from
    that small slot, a letter fell.

    And sure enough, there was
    a letter on the floor.
    She got up from the table
    and went to the door.

    She reached down and picked up
    what someone had slipped in.
    She saw that the envelope
    had nothing written

    anywhere on its front
    and not on the thing's rear.
    She then muttered, “Now who
    in the hell put this here?”

    She went to the sofa
    and sat down before she
    opened the envelope with,
    “Who gave this to me?”

    She took out a folded
    sheet of old, thick parchment.
    When she opened it up,
    she picked up the faint scent

    of peppermint candy
    that was mixed with the smell
    of burning wood, like from
    a fireplace, as well.

    “Dear Liane,” she uttered as
    she began to read.
    “I hope that you're better,
    after your time of need.

    “We spoke for a short time
    while you were in such pain
    from how life had become
    far too much of a strain

    “on your broken heart and
    on your world-weary mind.
    So much so, that it left
    you in a horrid bind.

    “I know things seem hopeless
    at this point in your life.
    That ev'ryone and -thing
    is out to cause you strife.

    “But please do not forget that,
    just like each new day
    these bad moment's will pass
    and start to fade away.

    “Their pain will lessen
    bit by bit as time goes by.
    And though at times it will seem
    far too hard to try

    “to push on through it all,
    please don't give up the fight.
    A new day will follow
    each dark, harrowing night.

    “It may seem as if there's
    no way for you to win,
    but don't let those thoughts rule you.
    Don't let those thoughts in.

    “You're stronger than you know,
    even if you don't feel
    as if you can face the world
    when it makes you reel

    “back in anguish or sadness
    when it comes at you.
    And I hope that last night
    showed you what not to do.

    “Don't let liars and those who
    wrong you have their way.
    Don't let those who hurt you
    get your life's final say.

    “It won't always be easy,
    but please, don't give in.
    Take last night's dark moment as
    a chance to begin

    “the next chapter in your tale,
    not the final one.
    See it as a sunrise
    and not a setting sun.

    “New days bring new moments
    that can be good or bad.
    Some will be wonderful,
    while others, will be sad.

    “But face them all, and know that
    you can make it though.
    Even if you doubt yourself,
    I believe in you.

    “I wish you all the best
    on this bright Christmas Day.
    Stay safe, well and healthy,
    and don't forget to say

    “'I love you' to her when
    she calls you up, my dear.
    And say 'yes' when she asks
    if Santa Claus was here.”

    Liane was confused as she
    looked at what she'd read.
    There were quite a few questions
    that ran through her head.

    A moment later, the phone
    let out a loud ring
    which gave her a fright and
    brought her to quickly bring

    her attention to her phone
    that was sitting on
    the table by the couch
    as she let out a yawn.

    The next moment saw
    the room fill with a white light
    that made her gasp from how
    it was blindingly bright.

    It lasted just a second
    before it winked out.
    She blinked a few times
    and said, “What was that about?”

    She looked down at her hands
    and saw the note was gone.
    That was when she uttered,
    “What the hell's going on?”

    Her phone continued to ring
    as she sat with a
    confused, annoyed look,
    'till she said, “Yeah! OK.”

    She reached over and picked up
    her phone's receiver.
    With it next to her face,
    a “Hello?” came from her.

    “Hi Liane,” came a voice
    that Liane hadn't heard
    in quite a few months.
    It was one that quickly stirred

    her emotions as she sat there,
    taken aback.
    “Mom?” she managed to say
    with her face a bit slack.

    “It's me, honey,” came
    a somewhat subdued reply.
    In just a few seconds,
    Liane began to cry.

    “Hi Mom,” Liane said,
    with her voice cracking as she
    let out a sob while her
    tears began to run free.

    “I've missed you,” she added
    as she tried to regain
    some control of what was like
    a runaway train.

    “I've missed you too, honey,”
    her mom said as she too
    had her own stirred up feelings
    begin to shine through.

    For an hour and a half,
    Liane and her mom spoke.
    At first, it was quite rough as
    their words did evoke

    a lot of bad moments
    and feelings in Liane.
    But slowly, that had faded,
    and over the span

    of the time they'd been talking,
    some things did improve.
    They laughed here and there
    and the mood began to move

    from one of unease and
    uncertainty abound,
    to one where some comfort
    had finally been found.

    It was as they talked about
    all things Christmasy,
    that Liane grabbed the remote,
    turned on the T.V.

    and soon found herself watching
    the city's parade
    as she took in the floats
    that volunteers had made.

    Her mother was saying
    how her father had been,
    when the cam'ra on T.V.
    began to zoom in

    on a float that looked much like
    a big Santa's sleigh
    as the announcer said,
    “And Santa's on his way!”

    The cam'ra continued
    to zoom in closer still.
    As it did so, Liane's mind
    had begun to fill

    with a strong feeling of
    familiarity.
    One that brought her to utter,
    “Are you kidding me?”

    There, on her T.V.'s screen,
    she could see Santa's face.
    She recognized it well,
    which made her freeze in place.

    It was the same man she'd seen
    on the bridge last night
    and in the void after she'd
    given up life's fight.

    That was when the man
    on T.V. turned his head and
    looked at her with a smile
    and brought up his right hand.

    He waved and winked as if
    somehow, the man could see
    Liane as she sat and watched
    him through her T.V.

    Her bewilderment swelled,
    but after a short while,
    her face became graced
    with a warm, genuine smile.

    She turned off the T.V.
    and brought her focus to
    what her mother was saying
    when she said, “And you?”

    “And me what?” Liane asked
    as she realized that
    she'd missed what her mom
    recently said in their chat.

    “Did Santa visit you?”
    her mother repeated.
    Liane smiled a bit and said,
    “He certainly did.”

    Liane continued to talk
    with her mom a while.
    They touched on Liane's
    ex-husband's spouted revile.

    Of all that Liane had
    gone through when ev'ryone
    wrote her out of their lives
    when the divorce was done.

    Of the pain, abandonment,
    and many a tear.
    Of how she felt so alone
    for nearly a year.

    Her mother then stated,
    “This is long overdue,
    but I'm deeply sorry
    I turned my back on you.

    “We walked away when
    you needed someone so bad.
    We left you on your own
    when we were all you had.

    “I hope you'll be able
    to forgive us someday.
    Until then, just know that
    we'll help in anyway

    “that we can to make up
    for all that you've endured.
    We'll be there for you.
    On that, you can rest assured.”

    “Thanks mom,” Liane smiled,
    then added, “I love you.”
    Her mother replied with
    a heartfelt, “Love you too.”

    As they continued to chat,
    Christmas Day rolled on
    until hours later,
    when the daylight was gone

    and like the night before,
    colored lights shined anew
    as the night came alive
    with their many a hue.

    At times, the world can feel
    very cold, dark and cruel.
    Like it revels in things
    that only seem to fuel

    the darkest of thoughts in
    the minds of some people,
    and makes a problem that
    feels like a huge steeple

    that's too high to jump over
    or climb past somehow.
    As if it were a cliff
    that would never allow

    that person to get by
    and find some way to heal
    from what caused them to endure
    a tragic ordeal.

    Just when Liane's life was
    about to reach its end,
    she was given one last chance
    to let her heart mend.

    To withstand what had been done
    to her and her world
    and give more of her life
    a chance to be unfurled.

    This steep cliff had been climbed,
    yet still more lay ahead.
    Her moment of weakness,
    now gave her strength instead.

    This step could have never
    been taken if her life
    had been left to be claimed
    by dark moments of strife.

    And as her life's new start
    gave off its growing light,
    Merry Christmas to all,
    and to all, a good night.

  5. What's that I hear? Is that... distant jingle bells? Did someone say " ho ho ho" just now? That can't be right. It's only July.

    Oh, but it is right. It's that time again. Time to see who's interested in taking part in the annual tradition of making Christmasy music for people. Christmas in July has become a thing these days, and so it's during that seasonal warm up period that we kick this thing off, in hopes of getting folks to provide music for the real season when it comes about in five-plus months.

     

    SO! This project is open to any and all OCR members, regardless of whether you're a posted remixer or not. Want some details? Have some details...

    When's The Project Deadline?- December 20th, 2020 at 11:59 P.M. EST.

    This is now a REALLY hard, non-negotiable deadline, since it's very close to Christmas. We've had lots of last-minute entries and updates over the years and, to be perfectly honest, it shouldn't be that way. With months of time, having to hold off as long as possible for people made things pretty hectic for myself and Dyne in the past. Treating this project like a college paper that doesn't get worked on until the last minute got annoying rather quickly when it kept adding up to lots of hurrying year after year, with last second updates to artwork and retagging/reuploading things. As such, you have until one minute before midnight EST on December 20th to get me the final WAV or MP3 of your song. After that, you're shit outta luck until next year. I need time to do everything, including possibly making a little website to host this project if Dyne isn't online for one reason or another. So this deadline's set in stone... PERIOD.

    What Information Does The Coop Need?- When you send me your final versions, I'll need what name you want to use (real or remixer handle) and the name of your remix. Please, come up with something when you send me links to the file, rather than just giving me a file called "ff6-owa-v3f.mp3" and nothing else. You don't have to tell me what song you're remixing, but I do need a name. Plus, if you have a website you'd like to pimp, supply that as well and I can add it to the MP3 tags.

    What Can Be Remixed?- Any song, really. Traditional Christmas carols, video game music, published music by a signed artist, music from TV/cartoons/anime... whatever gets your heart racing and into that Christmas spirit. This isn't an official OCR album, so you can draw from more sources than just VGM. Plus, you can take a non-Christmas tune, like the Main Theme from Space Harrier, Stage 6 Mission 2 from Metal Head, or I Defend STM from Truxton II, and turn it into a Christmasy one. So know that it's not limited only to songs that are Christmas-like to begin with. All that said, do keep in mind that if you want to submit your song to OCR later, you'll need to keep this site's guidelines in the back of your mind. But for this album, you can take it in just about any direction you want and get as crazy as you'd like (but please, no "Silver Bells" done in farts or something).

    How Long Can My Song Be?- As long as you want it to be. There are no restrictions on this, so whether it's 1:30, or 9:51 with a five minute guitar solo ala Metallica, it's all good. But again, if you want to submit your song to OCR later, keep their guidelines in mind.

    What Genres Can I Remix In?- Again, the door's wide open here. Rap, Metal, Pop, Piano-solo, Orchestral, Jazz, 8/16-bit, Barber Shop Quartet, A capella, Death Polka... it's up to you where you want to take it.

    What Format Should I Submit My Song In?- WAV or an MP3 of at least 192KB/s quality. I'll be tagging the MP3s and making MP3s from any submitted wavs, so you don't have to worry about that. But, if you'd like your website to be in the MP3 comments section, be sure to give it to me when you submit your song.

    How About A Little Music To Get Us In The Mood?- To help everyone along, here's a YouTube list of Christmasy tunes made by Ocre a number of years ago...
    https://ocremix.org/community/topic/32727-an-overclocked-christmas-~-now-recruiting/?tab=comments#comment-676914

    What's The Website's Address Again?- It's got a new home at... http://williammichael.info/aocc/ This album will still be downloaded there as well, as Dyne will continue to host the albums on his site.

    How Do We Contact This The Coop Person?- If you've got questions, comments, concerns, want feedback, or your track is done and ready to be sent to me, you can PM me here on OCR, or send me an E-mail at thecoopscorner@gmail.com. Just be sure you remember to include a link to your remix.

     

    So yeah, there you go. You've got over five months to get something done for the lovely people of OverClocked Remix and the billions of listeners around the world who've become followers of our project.

    Good luck, have fun and make everyone some Nice Work™!

     

    Artists involved thus far...

    The Coop (director, cover artist and remixer)
    Dj Mokram (remixer)
    The Joker (remixer)
    TSori (remixer)
    classic_gamer_76 (remixer)
    AxLR (remixer)
    Lampje4life (remixer)
    Elezeid (remixer)
    Seth Skoda (remixer)
    PlanarianHugger (remixer)
    HoboKa (remixer)
    Wassup Thunder (remixer)
    Souperion (remixer)
    theconsoloist (remixer)
    TheChargingRhino (remixer)

  6. 1 hour ago, Ramaniscence said:

    YouTube and Soundcloud killed OCR's community momentum, not the changes to the site.

    My intent wasn't to suggest that what I wrote were the sole reasons why the forums are slow, but they were a factor in it IMO. So I guess we disagree on whether or not changes to the site, its rules, etc., played a role in it all over the years.

  7. 31 minutes ago, djpretzel said:

    This comment makes it harder to take the rest of your criticisms seriously, at least for me. It suggests an animus/grudge;

    Not necessarily. Shadowe may have meant it how you're taking it, but here's my long-winded take on that part of his comments.

    It's been some 13 years since UnMod was deleted and eventually replaced with Off Topic. If I recall, around that same time, Community had some stricter rules put in place on the kinds of threads that were and weren't allowed (ones considered overdone or pointless). Between Off Topic and Community, threads that seemed harmless (random discussions, "What's your favorite _____?", picture threads, etc.) still got locked or deleted, which irked some people. Then add in how that by that time, quite a few people had been around for five years or more, which lead to them slowly drifting away from the site because of real life, loss of interest, etc. And onto that, add in those who left because of the UnMod/Sidebar/new rules drama/frustration. What you end up with is a kind of perfect little storm that saw the forums begin to slow down. Then you could factor in how new people didn't always come along to fill the gaps that were left behind by those who were more active on the forums when they split, how people started running out of different ways to say the same things on a given topic, outside factors like how forums weren't the main way for people to communicate online anymore... it all contributed. Hell, one could even argue that the slow down was added to as the proverbial old guard left over time; how the "characters" that made things entertaining went away, which caused others to leave after a while. That idea might sound silly to some, but we all showed up and got to know each other within a given time period. We stuck around for years and basically made this place our playground of sorts (oh the many OCR-centric memes... some of which wouldn't fly today). New faces came around and saw/read our antics throughout the site and stuck around to take part. As those familiar faces left, other familiar faces didn't post as much. The antics died down, and the process slowly continued as new people showed up.

    None of this was abrupt by any means, mind you. It all happened gradually. But in the end, the forums have been slowing down since around that time. Not because UnMod went bye-byes, but because of the changes with and within the site, the changes in the WWW around it, and the changes with the people who visit to it.

  8. On 1/27/2020 at 9:38 AM, djpretzel said:

    As @Abadoss proposed, we do have the profile block/column with the avatar image where we can add some (not a ton) of additional info - I'm thinking specifically a star for featured artists, linking to artist profile on OCR, and then also icon links for the more common social media networks, i.e. Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook. Blogs were nixed at the time because Invision's implementation didn't have, of all things, global categories, which were deemed relatively important. They're (finally) adding those in the next major point release, so it's time to reconsider how/whether we'd do that.

    IPS *does* have a gallery module, as well, which we *could* enable - in addition to giving visual artists a place to show off their stuff, it could be used for WIP artwork for album projects, etc. Interested in your feedback on this @The Coop, mostly in terms of whether it'd be worth it & have some value?

    To echo what @DarkeSword wrote, we're moving forward as-is, but we're also going to be making a host of other changes. Strong feelings will be had, I'm sure, but to me a lot of this is long overdue and we need to try what we can to leverage the forums & integrate them with the rest of the site, along with a redesign. When the dust settles and we see what's what, anything & everything could be back on the table, but the same design concerns would likely apply.

    The thing to keep in mind with the blogs is that, to me, there'll need to be something that points to them. If they're going to be added, then perhaps a line under a user's screen name that points to their profile/blog so that it's not quite so tucked away behind needing to scroll your mouse over someones avatar to make it appear. It wouldn't need to be big or flashy, just something like "Profile and Blog" bolded under their screen name as a link that can be clicked. I mean, we live in a world where if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. So if it's implemented, making it visible would be a good thing IMO.

    As for the gallery mode, it falls into the same category. if it gets added, I'd suggest making it so its existance can be seen when a person posts. Again, not flashy, just there. As for the idea itself? For the visual artists, especially those who've done work for OCR albums and such, it would be a nice way to let visitors see their work (be it for and outside of OCR). File size limits and such would need to be put in place, as would some filters so that you don't end up with someone using goatse as someone's album art and then slapping it on their profile here. But it would be a nice way to give someone's aural and visual art a place to be checked out, especially if you're talking art and music done for OCR projects. It again goes back to my comments about the visual side of OCR that's always been there, and how it can be given some lime light too. Plus, it might even get a bit of exposure for that artist, which could lead to getting paid work. I mean, the remixes hosted here have done that for some musicians, right? Soooo...

  9. A thread stating that sigatures are gone, with people agreeing with and not agreeing with the action taken, and those people discussing it within said thread. Madness! :-P

     

    As for options, you're pretty much looking at them already, DarkeSword. If sigs of any kind are gone forever, then that means posters here have posted-remixer pages with links to their Facebook, Youtube, etc., user profile pages (same links potentially available), or a forum to pimp their stuff (which we basically already have with the Workshop forums). Not sure what else someone's going to be given beyond that outside of a personalized OCR-user blog (which if I recall, was something that was being considered at one point).

  10. On 1/1/2020 at 4:23 AM, Dyne said:

    Interesting debate here. It's sad to see signatures go, but I've seen all to often what happens when someone loses their web server space or their link is cut off because they ran out of bandwidth. If it wasn't so costly to host all of those signatures, I'd suggest a web server solution run by OCR itself as a storehouse for signatures.

    It was already like that before this change. Back in October, I stumbled across something in my profile and I was able to upload my Halloween signature there in the signature option (it used the same "choose files" setup that you see on each post you make). The file was then hosted on OCR, which is how people were able to see that image for a couple of months before the signature option was pulled.

  11. Are you a fan of Chris Huelsbeck's work? Want to own a metric fuckton of his albums? Groupees has a bundle going on right now that features nearly all of the albums that Huelsbeck has listed on his Bandcamp page, and there's still a mystery album that's yet to be revealed if enough bundles are bought (I'm really hoping it's Turrican Anthology Vol. 4). $15 gets you quite a bit of music from him, including the soundtracks to a number of the games he was involved in, and a lot of Turrican music. So if you're interested, go here and check it out before the sale ends in 13 days...

    https://groupees.com/vip13

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