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Wake Up and Dream I hate to sleep Corpus Christi. Most mornings usually between 4 and 6am I crash on my sofa out of pure exhaustion, only to be woken by my 2 year-old at about 10:30. If I get to bed earlier, I debate for at least an hour, whether I should get up and do a few loads of laundry while I work on a flyer for some event you probably won’t show up at. About a week ago, we got a new set of sofas, the kind that don’t bruise your kidneys when you sleep on them. It wasn’t until last night, however, that I realized that while napping on the new couch, I have the most amazing dreams. Dreams of revolution. Dreams of a cultural uprising, and you, and you, and you, and you were there. My dream is to be a writer. A television writer specifically, but if I can buy a house some day form money earned putting this little rag together, who am I to complain. There is still plenty of room in our town for dreams Corpus Christi. I know some people who dream of, one day soon, enjoying a concert downtown at the Ritz Theater. I know more than a few dreamers who are hard at work growing the local film and music scenes. Others mixing art, business and salmon into one tasty sushi roll. I also know a group of outsiders with great ideas, and a few dollars from some forward-thinking advertisers, who put together a pretty good publication in a town that fights them almost every step of the way. What’s your dream Corpus Christi? Wake up, William Henneberger, The Vent If you would like to be a part of The Vent Movement, contact The Vent at 361-549-6213 or ventnation@yahoo.com or myspace.com/theventnation. 2

The Vent Magazine is a division of The Vent.

The Vent is an organization devoted to enriching Corpus Christi through Print, Television, Film, Comedy and Music. Send all article submissions, comments, and letters to: ventnation@yahoo.com The Vent: 361-549-6213 Publisher / Creative Director: William Henneberger Editor: Nora Gutierrez-Perez Writers: William Henneberger Nora Gutierrez-Perez Stella Starr Michael Henneberger Mike Skinner Berto Garcia Mary Wienke Zombie Art by: Russell Tippit www.theventnation.com


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Letters to the Editor: send letters to ventnation@yahoo.com Dear Ed: I just want to tell your readers that my bf did not assault me, as is being reported by the media. He just tried to swat a wasp that landed on my cheek as we were arriving at the ceremony. He missed and gave me a busted lip, but as I said, it was totally unintentional. The wasp then landed on my other cheek, nose, both eyes, and the back of my neck. As I am allergic to wasps, my man just tried to kill the little sucker over and over again, all over my body. After being so scared and disturbed by the incident, my bf then tried to relieve my fears by having sex with me. It was then that I fell out of the limo. You can imagine how it all looked, my dress hiked up around my waist and blood on my face. But it’s all a huge misunderstanding. I still love you, Chris! Rhianna

Dear Ed: While I have already granted televised interviews, I wanted to write a quick note to tell everyone how much I appreciate their concern about my situation. I made a conscious and informed decision to have each and every one of my 14 children. I love each of them as much as any mother loves her child, and while I am flattered to be at the center of so much attention, I am truly at peace with my decisions. I know I am a good mother, and as for the day-to-day details, things are coming along very well. I have a nanny, receive thousands of dollars a month in disability benefits, and have just closed on a large shoe in a quiet neighborhood across town. And no, Angelina and Mia, you may not take any of my babies. But I will put you in touch with my fertility specialist. He’ll load you up with as many embryos as you like, for a nominal fee and exclusive media rights. Yours in postpartum dementia, Nadya Suleman Dear Ed: All of America is applauding the actions of Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and the entire crew of US Airways flight 1549 for landing safely in the Hudson River and saving the lives of all on board. But has one tear been shed for the dozenplus geese that lost their lives in that horrific event? I lost 4 children and a niece in that accident. No one knows how I and several other mother geese felt when we realized our kin had been shredded and cooked alive on their way to a class reunion in Lima. When I read that the cockpit and cabin filled with the odor of burning poultry... well, I took to my bed for two days after that macabre detail. Please, Vent readers, say a prayer for the geese that didn’t make it to dry land that day. It’s only fair. Mother Goose

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www.theventnation.com


Baracka Obama New Emperor of Outworld By Berto Garcia

Outworld - The entire planet of Outworld is abuzz upon hearing the exciting news of their new emperor, Baracka Obama, a 200 year old Tarkatan warrior. He recently came into power after entering a 36 man tournament composed of the Earthworld’s and Otherworld’s finest warriors and defeating former emperor Shao Khan. It should also be known that in the tournament itself, the opponent’s must fight to the death to determine the fate of the Earthworld. Baracka Obama was actually a rookie going into the tournament and had to compete with the likes of more seasoned veterans, such as Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Scorpion. Only after winning the tournament could he face Emperor Shao Khan. Obama decided to run after much support from other tournament veterans, and the support of Shao

Kahn’s personal body guard Kitaro. The much anticipated battle against Shao Khan, was anticlimactic to say the least, with Baracka pretty much on the defensive side, and the former emperor always on the attack. Each opponent won a round apiece, but it wasn’t until a very hard fought third round, that ended in some controversy. Obama’s life bar was at 50 percent health and Shao Kahn’s life bar was a foot sweep away from defeat. Baracka went in for a basic high punch, and it seemingly hit Shao Kahn for the win. Somehow though the former emperor had enough speed to pull out a bull charge and a mallet hit at the same time that Baracka connected. Soon thereafter in the fourth round Obama pulled off an amazing come from behind victory. Leading to his rightful place as emperor of the Outworld. V

Memorial Coliseum’s Underground Construction Exposed

Corpus Christians rejoice as the Memorial Coliseum project enters its final phase of rehabilitation. Four sections of the five-phase project are now complete. This long hard undertaking faced intense scrutiny by the city’s residents, waiting years for progress to be made on the building. But no one could imagine the forward thinking development under going right beneath our feet! Inside, the Coliseum now boasts an underground passage leading to Phase 1, a three-tier shopping complex with enough storefront to swallow both empty malls on SPID. An underground walkway called a “cave” leads directly from the shopping complex to Phase 2, a five-star resort built entirely underwater. Each room offers a view of the sparkling sea like no other. On a clear day you can see the hull of tankers emptying their ballast into the bay. A tunnel connects the hotel to Phase 3, the much-anticipated amusement park built completely underground! It showcases a roller coaster and the heavily sought after nudiemag-free Ferris wheel. This was a point of much debate among the accepted plans. In an effort to effectively resolve concern for children viewing pornographic material while riding the big wheel, engineers equipped it with absolutely no lighting what so ever. For now this dilemma has been managed. Phase 4 has been the most exciting, pain staking and time consuming stage of the renovation. Linked to the resort is an underwater shuttle with direct connection to Miami. Employing vacuum science like that used to suck your paycheck toward the teller at a bank drive-thru, engineers have designed “water pods” capable of transporting up to twelve adults (or 37 midgets) along the floor of the gulf to Miami’s shoreline in just minutes. A second tunnel is still under construction and expected to offer return travel as early as 2022. The 5th and final phase of the Memorial Coliseum project is the actual Coliseum itself, which has not been touched since underground operation began Phase 1. There

By Eddie Angel

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are several opinions on what should be done with the existing structure. One suggestion entails lining the dilapidated dome roof with solar panels. Another proposal recommends utilizing the 5,000 plus seat arena as a holding area for anticipated crowds waiting to ride the “water pods”. The easiest plot for the time being is to do nothing with the Coliseum and simply rename it Memorial Museum, giving long time residents the nostalgia of occupying the very toilet they puked beside during a Bon Jovi concert in the 80s, or taking in the same asbestos and lead paint Elvis Presley encountered during his visit in the 50s. One plan every city official seems to agree on is the placement of a 40-foot statue of Christ, at the waters edge facing the Bay, to prevent hurricanes from ever flooding the entire development and drowning thousands. Reese Nemoy, an outside consultant was brought in to address challenges of the project claims. It is the will of the people to cover any costs for maintenance, staffing, operation, and utilities. When asked what means of energy would power the five-phase structure, Nemoy suggested “Will power.” When asked about an estimated completion date, Nemoy stated, “It’s not my job to figure that out. Until then the entire city is on the edge of their seat at the American Bank Center, waiting for a ride to Florida. V


Honey, I Shrunk My Head: Session 2 We Might Die From Medication, But We Sure Killed All The Pain by Mike Peters

For the last few weeks I’ve been taking advantage of my free medical insurance and the shrinks that it provides. All of a sudden I’m Charlie Bartlett, and I’m coming home with Paxil, Ambien, Zoloft, and Ativan – an anti-anxiety medication that my shrink says is “just like Xanax but lasts longer.” They gave me a low dose, but multiply that by four and walls start moving. Ding Ding!! Finally, something fun. I was a little bummed that I didn’t get any Xanax since that would’ve been a much easier sell to the bored kids here in my “living complex.” But Xanax never made walls throb like Ativan does, and that was before the malt liquor was factored in. So I just chugged that and popped another one. Looks like I’m as well-guarded from anxiety attacks as this hallway that I’ve sat in for the last eight hours is from fires. That’s right, I’m on fireguard again. Hallway duty: I sit in a desk staring down a hallway with closed doors with 18-30 year-olds behind them drinking, playing video games, and taking shots ‘til their bottles are empty and their stomachs are full. That is, until the next morning when they’re empty again. They’re just making this miserable life a little bit easier. We all have our ways. Tonight I picked up some extra shifts to make some extra cash. More cash, good, but more time to sit and think about how much this place sucks, not so good. Some kids just slipped by trying to sneak alcohol into the building. But as long as I get my cut, I’m fine. The hallway occasionally swings side to side like one of those fun house bridges, but blurry… like those photos of bigfoot. Maybe I should throw a Zoloft into the mix. That shit isn’t supposed to work until you’ve been taking it for three weeks. My shrink says it’s supposed to “brighten you up, open your eyes to the world. You’ll see brighter colwww.myspace.com/theventnation

ors and you’ll be happier,” because I won’t be able to see what’s inside. I’m not sure if I’m ready to give that up yet. I have to see what’s inside, the beauty, and the ugliness, the trashed and pathetic. What else would I write about? I decided that I needed to see the inside more than I needed to see the pretty colors outside. The inside sure is fucked up, but I guess I’m like one of those girls who dates fucked up guys thinking they can change them, but what they really want to take a ride on the wild side. The Wild Man doesn’t change; the girl never wins. I will let my demons live: maybe we can both win. Yeah, it hurts. Yeah, I cry. Yeah, I’m lonely, but... I write. So, I choose not to take the Zoloft but to sell it to the locals who are looking for any medicine to heal this rare disease—depression induced by making the biggest mistake in your life, and not being able to get out of it. Apparently, when you take Zoloft under the impression that it’s Ativan, it really trips you out. Or, hell, maybe it really does trip you out? I never abused my Zoloft. Maybe I’ll have to test it out some night. So, I accepted what he gave me without argument since my other shrink thinks I have an excuse for everything. Which, yeah I do. Is it to ridiculous to think that everything has an explanation? So, while I wanted to say, “yeah, I have no problem focusing on the real world and what surrounds me. That’s why I’m depressed. The World!! I’m in this fucking, depressing world. I’m well aware of that,” I didn’t. If I would’ve told him that I might not have gotten the sweet prescrips he gave me. Like the Ambien I popped right before I started writing this… Goodnight. “I’ve got a flask inside my pocket, we can share it on the train. If you promise to stay conscious I will try and do the same. Well, we might die from medication but we sure killed all the pain.” Bright Eyes “Lua” V 9


Maybe I’m Just Not That Into YOU So my girlfriends and I are boycotting the film “He’s Just Not That Into You,” but not for the reasons you think. It’s not because I’m an old, childless, bitter, dried-up old woman, at the top in my career, but scraping the bottom of the barrel in my love life. It’s not because I’ve had my heart broken by guys who weren’t into me as much as I wanted them to be (although it has happened to me a few times). No, I am not planning to see this film because I don’t want to give any money to the writers and producers of this flick to tell me what I already know. In fact, I’m going to spell out the whole dating, two-timing,

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friends-with-benefits, “why hasn’t he called?”, “should we live together?”, “why hasn’t he proposed?” game right here. In 1,000 words or less. FOR FREE!! DO YOU LIKE ME? CIRCLE YES OR NO Okay, so you’re at a party or a bar or some other locale with hot people of both sexes. You spot a nice-looking guy. Your eyes meet. You give him the “I’m interested, come get me” look. He takes the bait. You talk. You exchange phone numbers. You go home and sleep with your cell phone under your pillow, on vibrate, so your roommates (or your husband) won’t wake up when he calls you, which he certainly will. I mean, he

asked for your number, right? WRONG!! Only if he got positive signals that you would be on your back 10 minutes into your first official date, would he call you. Even if you went down on him in his car immediately before you gave him your number, he has to be sure he has a 100 percent chance of frolicking with you again. Otherwise, he’s not calling. Trust me. No guy is going to call a hot girl after just talking to her in a bar if it’s just going to lead to more talking. WHY DOES A MAN NEED MORE THAN ONE WOMAN? Okay, so you’ve somehow bypassed all the bullshit to get to real relationship. It’s going well. You don’t fight. You have a great sex life. Things are hunky-dorry. Then you find a condom in his wallet, and you’re on the pill. (What you were doing looking in his wallet doesn’t matter, dammit. You found a CONDOM!!) If he has you, why does he need someone else? I go back to the mom in “Moonstruck.” She asks her soon-to-be son-in-law why men need more than one sexual partner. He says it’s because men want to get the rib back. (Watch the movie; I have a word-count limit here.) She says she thinks it’s because men fear death. I agree. Not that screwing around will keep you alive, but everyone knows all men want to die while having sex. I guess having multiple partners increases that likelihood. SHOULD WE LIVE TOGETHER? This is a tricky one. There are a lot of benefits to sharing the shack with someone, especially when the economy is in the toilet. Share bills, share a bed, everyone wins. However, women, being the nesting, nurturing, swan-like creatures that we are, may think that because a man eats at the same breakfast table with us, and poops in the same toilet, that he will be true. Not so. Most men aren’t even faithful after standing in front of a live audience (and God) and declaring eternal devotion. Plus, if you are really looking to wear his ring, living together isn’t really the most logical precursor. Mama always said he ain’t gonna buy the Roxanne if the fuck is free. Your mom never told you that? Well she should have. WHY HASN’T HE PROPOSED? See above. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING? I MEAN, AM I YOUR GIRLFRIEND? ARE WE ‘FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS?’ WTF? CAN I TALK TO OTHER GUYS? WAIT A MINUTE, ARE YOU TALKING TO OTHER GIRLS? GODDAMN IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING AGAIN!!! Okay, so you’re looking at your current relationship (or in my case, my last 73 relationships), and you’re

by Stella Starr

wondering what is going on? You love this guy, are devoted to him, want to get married, but he’s not ready. Or you are married, in love, devoted, and he’s messing around with your teenaged babysitter. Or you’re single, have had several relationships in the past year, but are always left alone and paying the phone bill. What gives? What’s the answer? Girls, if I knew the answer, where the hell would I get the material for this column? V

Pasta Alfredo with Peas and Bacon

who cares if he’s not into you? this creamy, tangy, velvety pasta dish is into you and that’s all you need... 1 lb. flat pasta, such as fettuccini or tagliatelle 2 T. unsalted butter 1 1/2 c. heavy cream a small grating of fresh nutmeg 1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 c. fresh or frozen peas (if frozen, rinse them in hot water) 1/2 lb. lean bacon, cut in small pieces & cooked until crisp salt & fresh cracked white pepper Cook pasta until almost al dente. While that’s going, melt butter in heavy saucepan (large enough to accommodate all the pasta later) over med-high heat, & before it gets brown, add all but 1/2 cup of the cream. Bring to a rapid simmer, then remove from heat. When pasta is almost done, remove from heat, drain, & dump into the cream/butter sauce. Put over medium low heat, add rest of cream, & add the peas & cooked bacon. Stir until all is heated through, add nutmeg, salt, & pepper, then toss in all the parma. Toss gently & serve with more cheese for sprinkling. Serves 4 hot women. www.theventnation.com


Obsession I have seldom reflected on my love for literature with a bit of perplexity. You see I was raised as a reader, my mother did not believe in television. Actually, I believe I was sixteen before we had cable and up until that time all that was available to us was the three news channels. So as a child I read a copious amount of books and my love for reading has carried on into adulthood. As series that started when I was a child progress I find myself more and more drawn to books in general I love the smell of books, I own multiple antique reading lamps, I have a vast book mark collection and I only own large purses so that I can carry a book with me everywhere. I know more about fictional people and people I will never meet than I do about my own friends. I could argue with someone for days on the caustic philosophy of Mark Twain and the didactic themes of transcendentalism in John Steinbeck’s Grapes Of Wrath but I couldn’t tell you the basic plot of Gossip Girls or The Hills. I know the location of everything in our town’s three public libraries, as well as the college libraries but I cannot tell you how to get to my apartment. You see for a long time I thought that these were just symptoms of a detached personality, but it was brought to my attention by a “friend” the other day that this “obsession” could be more than a sign of social awkwardness and childhood programming. She informed me that this could be a sign of addiction. According to the American Heritage dictionary Addiction is defined as: ad�dic�tion n. 1. Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance: a drug used in the treatment of heroin addiction. 2. An instance of this: a person with multiple chemical addictions. 3. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something. Now even though the third definition could most certainly fit my particular situation I decided to investigate further. According to HelpGuide. Org The mental and emotional signs of adwww.myspace.com/theventnation

By Mary Wienke diction are as follows: Mental and emotional signs of abuse and addiction * Cycles of being unusually talkative, “up” and cheerful, with seemingly boundless energy. (Check, in my defense though it is hard to talk and read at the same time.) * Increased irritability, agitation and anger (Check, however I will say it is difficult to remain in a good mood when an author makes an unexpected plot twist or someone interrupts a fascinating passage.) * Unusual calmness, unresponsiveness or looking “spaced out” (Check, I like to think about what I am reading if that is odd then maybe you shouldn’t judge) * Apathy and depression (Check, it’s hard to care when things are mundane.) * Paranoia, delusions (Check, It’s called imagination people it’s not a sin.) So after taking a moment for reflection I realized this had to end. I had to free myself of this demon. I did well cold-turkey for about a week, but then one day I found myself sitting in the parking lot of the public library and I realized that I can not do this on my own. I decided to go to a local Addicts Anonymous meeting but I was promptly kicked out by security when they asked me to state my name and addiction. I really don’t think they can deny someone in their time of need and how was I mocking people with real problems? I have a real problem. So I decided to try other less harmful stimulants. I switched from reading the paper to watching the news. I tried getting my adventure from movies, and my comedy from YouTube. I tried to occupy my time with other things none of it helped and as I lapped into misery I found a copy of my favorite book under my bed and could not help but open it and read. As I turned the pages the familiar smell of aged paper flooded back to me. My imagination began to run wild and I started to fall in love with this drug that I have denied myself for so long. And I realized, as many addicts do, that I cannot live without it. Hi, my name is Mary and I am addicted to books. Get over it. V 11


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