Jacobean Fungus: Life and Times of a Samurai Mushroom

More recent stuff at my tumblr site: leofungo.com
the column I write for theRedShtick.com

XKCD - "Time" (the castle started as a single turret)

my goings on...

April 2013

What goes on? Trivia hosting twice a week. Trivia playing twice a week. Improv comedy performances. Column writing for theredshtick.com.  Always pursuing the elusive.

I know what you're thinking...

This is Family Dinner improv. It's a bit of a "Weekend at Bernie's" inspired game where we reenact an earlier scene with one of the players now being a corpse:

Weekend at Bernie's

There is only one place to find your James Brown info. 


Other Stuff I like (Books, Games, Whatnot)


My comedy:

At the Southeastern Comedy Arts Festival

At The Inferno Room

Baton Rouge's Manship Theater

Other pages on this site:


Guess who headlined at the Station August 10th?

Family Dinner Comedy Troupe’s and Brutal Hijinx Sketch Co.’s own

James Brown!!!

Here's a previous performance in Lafayette!:


What I do with my spare time:

You don't have to be from Louisiana to appreciate this, but it helps.

And when I actually have people around me....

July 1, 2011
Faint heart ne'er won fair maiden.

June 14th
Just doing the do.
I did comedy at the Station last week and killed with my opening song. Actually, it went over so well, I decided to end my set there. Always go out on a high note, I say. Anyway, I need to figure out how to update this site automatically using twitter and/or Facebook updates.  
If you're keeping track, you may care that I pretty much abandoned the script frenzy project. I'll finish it at some point, after I get over the fact that the girl I had in my mind play the leading lady is dating someone in real life. A fact I discovered after I sent her a dozen roses. C'est la vie.
-James Brown


April something

You can follow me @JBportmanteau

Hey everybody! I'm kinda doing Script Frenzy (www.scriptfrenzy.org) but it's not going too well. 
Just spending a lot of time
-preparing for and performing in Gridiron (Louisiana Political Satire Play)

-doing Stand-up comedy

-performing improv with The Family Dinner on Fridays (except the most recent, because that was Gridiron)

-getting ready for our Murder Mystery on April 29th and 30th

-writing and performing sketches with Brutal Hijinx

-continuing to work on my novels, Phaeton and Promethean

-and most recently being a reunion kind of guy by taking posts on the committees of my upcoming reunions, Family and high school.  

More to come. Always, more to come.

March 18,
The days are long and the nights are even longer. Things are happening.
First off, after a few weeks of upheaval due to our regular Friday venue being closed because the owner decided not to pay his taxes, THE FAMILY DINNER has found a temporary place to perform. Laser Tag of Baton Rouge. An unlikely pairing, but there have been stranger bedfellows.

BRUTAL HIJINX, my sketch comedy group is having its debut performance at the Above Ground Comedy event on Wednesday at the Station.  Looking forward to it.

Life goes on and on and on and on and on...
oops, had a Journey moment there. Sorry.
Love, Luck and Lollipops.

February 21st,
Been a long while. Things have happened. Moments of absolute tragedy and utter loss, mirrored by shining moments divine splendor.  And that's just real life. 
The book proceeds, I worked on it yesterday and we're finally getting to the denouement.  McCray, Sune and Thurston met up outside the government hideout McCray had just escaped from. 

There they took on a battalion of goons, tanks and some guys in rocket suits (still haven't figured out an official term for those, though McCray and Thurston both have nicknames for them).  Then the trio was confronted by a giant (and I do mean GIANT) who has some genetic similarity to the matildas back on Nubecka.

When Virgil, Thurston's alleged brother, shows up and pulls the group through a dimensional portal they get separated and McCray and Sune wind up in Vegas.  From here things get fast, furious and frightening as the road to the new Source and a confrontation between McCray and his father draws nearer its conclusion.


November 30th.
The last day of NaNoWriMo.  It feels good to have gotten this far. I've exceeded my word count goal by over 20% and congealed a story idea that's been fluttering around my head for ages.
Tonight is the last write-in. I get to hang out with my Red Stick WriMos for the second to last time. The "Thank God It's Over" party is Wednesday. 
The thing is Promethean is far from over.  Right now, Thurston and the gang have just left the island in pursuit of McCray. Taking flight in a boat/plane called the Sea Tooth, they're attacked leaving the island by Nubecka security.  Security has boats with wicked guns, but the real problem is the attack plane that tails them into US air space.

They get a little help from a random lightning strike, a strike that doesn't go ground to cloud, but hits ground to plane.  Thurston attracts the source of the bolt and causes it to strike the Sea Tooth as well as himself. He has to eject so his friends have a chance to fly their craft to safety.
He lands fine but they - Lenny, Autumn and Sune - get shot down by the US military. 

Thurston then finds himself face to face with the source of the mysterious lightning - a pair of people claiming to be his brother and sister.

Meanwhile, Eoghan McCray wakes up after burning his boat to pieces i the middle of the Atlantic. He is in darkness and pain and amid the smell of Lysol.

November 23rd
So yeah, 50,000 words. Quite the milestone, eh? Averaging about 2,188 words a day I knocked out the requisite 175 pages to win NaNoWriMo 2010.  Much joy! Much joy!

But, and there's always a but, that's not all. The story is far from over. 

McCray is on his way to Sedona, Arizona in a boat he hijacked from Dr. Gabriel's personal collection when he and Porter (who is in the form of a fiery fairy now) are attacked by pirates. [Calm down, it's not like they're 17th century swashbucklers.]  These pirates are armed with machine guns and flame retardant spray. Being a pyromantic, McCray has a doozy of a time dealing with the anti-fire tech but eventually makes an inflammatory impression on the lot.  Unfortunately, he burns up his own boat in the process and has to commandeer one of the pirates' speedboats.

Meanwhile back on the island, Thurston, Sune, Autumn and Lenny (the big, dumb, genetic nightmare) have made their way back to the Mirror Cave, a library and research center run by their ally Dr. Herzog.  While there they realize where McCray is going and that they only have two days to stop him, otherwise a quarter of the United States could go up in flame.  Before they set off though, Lenny goes crazy once again and Autumn puts some surprising skill to work in order to rein him in. 

November 19th,
Wow, it was a hell of a day at sea, sir.  Yesterday I got into two word wars and attended a write-in. I wound up pounding out 5,049 words to bring the total word count up to 39,518.  Will the story resolve at 50K? Hell, no. But the NaNo challenge will be met, I guarantee.

What's going on in the book? Well, on his way off the island Eoghan (remember, that's pronounced 'owen') ran into Virginia, Thurston's love interest from the first book. She was acting strange and detached, as per usual. She was also wrapped in blankets.

So Eoghan steals a boat and takes off, only to be assaulted by pirates (not 'shiver me timbers' kind, but more modern). They are well outfitted and are on the verge of taking him down.

Meanwhile on the island, Thurston's contact with Eoghan right before Eoghan woke from his coma resulted in a weird feedback spark. Since then Thurston has been a little off. When he and the gang go to talk to the Matilda that atttacked them, they're met by Security Chief AJ Links and his thugs. AJ tries to taser Thurston but instead of knocking him down and out, TF uses the electricity to knock out the thugs.  A trick he'd been incapable of since the big fight with Janus. 

Now Thurston, Sune, Autumn and the matilda, Lenny are figuring out where Eoghan went, and the answer is something that is honestly quite scary.

November 16th,
or as the say in Japan:
Ju-ichi gatsu, ju-roku nichi
So I'm sitting at 28,703 words. Eoghan has found a way off the island and is making his way to the next vortex, a convergence of leylines he can tap into in order to gain power that he can use to summon a god.
Meanwhile, Thurston has run afoul of AJ Links, the new Island security head, as he tries to track down his friend before he leaves the island. Links won't let Thurston have any helpful information or talk to the Matilda that brought in the herbs that woke up McCray. It's throw down time!    

November 11th,
So, I hit 22,058 words and things are flowing pretty well. What's really been beneficial, and maybe this is serendipity and maybe it's a long term curse, is that I never finished editing my first book. So things that are happening in Promethean (Book 2 of the PHAROS saga) are based on how they should end up in the first book, Phaeton. If I think Butch should have ended up with Lily, then I'll write that in this book, then go back to Book 1 and edit it in. 

Phaeton is mostly done though. I suspect, if I have the time, I can put it together by Christmas.

As for what's going on in Promethean, McCray's awake. He has the spear that Thurston used in the last book to help call down lightning. Lenny, the huge bio-monstrosity, attacked the gang right when McCray was waking up, but Autumn came in to help defeat him and now Thurston is about to interrogate him, if he can get him to form words (It's a bit of a challenge for matildas.)

email me if you want me to post an excerpt from either of the books.

November 9th,

Happy Birthday Ray!
Anyway, Autumn winds up being the one to deal with the huge beasty. She's the one that can conjure invisible matter that only she can interact with.  (e.g. she can create a ladder and climb up it to a balcony, but others can't follow her up  on it, usually.) The matilda, basically a souped up Frankenstein's monster called Lenny, manages to put a hurt on Sune and Thurston before Autumn gets her hands... er... her legs on him. 
McCray is about to re-enter the real world, but what will he make of it? And since his plan is to summon a fire god, how will his friends feel about him wanted to go all supernova here on our humble planet?
the clocks are changed, and 11,000 words are down. 
Worlds collide. violence is perpetrated. Revelations are made.
McCray seeks to make contact with his celestial parent. His friend Mr. Porter has given him a plan to do so.  But how does one get the attention of a god whose realm is pure fire?

by creating an inferno.

Evening of November 7th
So we had a write-in today and I topped 2700 words in our word war. Bully for me, eh? Puts me over 14K into Promethean.  The story has Thurston coming into McCray's hospital room. McCray is about to wake up when the 7-foot, 400+ pound genetically engineered Matilda shows up to attack.  And in Thurston's world, there's a wake-up call.

Morning of November 7th,

November 5th,
Good morning. I was thinking about posting the first two chapters of Promethean but I need to make plenty of edits before that happens. I don't correct myself too much during word wars and word sprints.

Status: Thurston and Sune are outside of a hospital talking about their friend in a coma when a Matilda shows up. It's a huge genetically-engineered super soldier with a rabid case of the uglies. But it's not looking for a fight. Instead he just offers Sune and TF a handful of grass clippings. 

Eventually the duo take the proffered flora and go up to see their comatose friend, Eoghan McCray. Yes, that Eoghan McCray.

Remember, remember the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
should ever be forgot.


As featured on the iGEM website - here

November 2nd,
4,144 words so far. I'm cooking. Things are still on the island, but McCray sees a red sky while Thurston (sans synesthesia) sees a blue one.  And McCray was just attacked by three huge, green dog-like creatures. More to come.
October 31st,
It's only a couple of hours until NaNo 2010 starts.


It's about that time.
NaNoWriMo 2010 is about to begin on November 1st.  I will once again be participating. This time it will be the next book in what I'm calling the PHAROS series.  I'll be blogging daily on here (that's the plan anyway. I'll have some lovely out of town company Nov 12 - 14 that will distract me wonderfully).

Book 2, entitled "Promethean" will get to the source of the gods' powers and it may surprise you that it's not just pure heavenly might.
We'll also learn what's been going on with McCray and his coma and find out what Thurston and Sune have been up to in the intervening months.

My novel is also featured HERE as part of iGEM's promotion of NaNoWriMo works that feature Synthetic Biology. And mine does that, as well as the epigenetic modulation of their own offspring, some of the "Syncretic gods" have created those huge Matildas that Thurston and the others fought in the first book.  We'll see them again. Actually we'll see pretty much everyone again... but I say too much.
I'll be in touch.

-James Brown/Bradford James
October 23rd, 2010

By the way, here's the image for the first book.

I was on Jeopardy! 

airs in
Baton Rouge at 4:30pm on ch.2 WBRZ (Cable channel 5)

Geez, I do not update this enough. I've been busy though. I 'finished' my NaNo Novel.  That is to say, I got the 50,000 words for November. It came to a reasonable, if cliffhanger, conclusion. I continued to work on it, with other people in the Baton Rouge community working on NaNo works (I mean, in their presence. They haven't been helping me with my story), and I'm up to 105,000 words now.  Almost done. almost. 

Other than that, I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe. 
-James Brown

It was 7:45. we were all in line
To see what we could see
First was Boudreaux, then came Thibby
Third in line was me
All of us were ordinary
compared to Cajun Rose
She always cooked at the back of the line
Spices tickled my nose
Her favorite spice was Tony's
And every single day
if you asked what was good to eat
this is what she'd say
Crawfish and Cookies
Cane syrup and flan
Cinnamon Rain and a nectarine
Side order of Yams,
If you set your mind free baby
then you'll understand
Crawfish and cookies
Cane syrup and flan


I am participating in National Novel Writing Month. Find out more at NaNoWriMo.org

Okay, so I neglected all this for a while.  I am back at it for the time being. As I just mentioned I'm participating in NaNoWriMo and am making good progress. It's kind of a similar story to what I did last year, but this one is first person and so far the events are drastically different. 
Comedy is proceeding and I'm still doing Family Dinner Improv every Friday at 9pm at Perks Coffee and Tea (2008 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA).

Oya, ner vod!
-james 11/9/09

just a picture I took from the sky

In order to truly be art, it must match the intent of the artist.  The closer it is to being the exact intent of its maker, the more a particular work is art.  Anything accidental makes a work less artistic, since accidents are by definition not the work of man and art is is the product of human will. - Jms Brown

The Baton Rouge Borders Incident
So I was hanging out at Borders after finishing the latest Harry Dresden book and enjoying some 39 cent coffee. As I passed the reference section I heard a mom tell her little (about 7 year old) son to "Shut the f--- up" and was taken slightly aback. then I heard a boom and a crash, followed by what sounded like a trio of broken rusty trombones sounding. I looked and three velociraptors had just burst into the store. One had an ipod so they must have stopped at the Apple store first. It was Nano, though, so they were probably on a budget. Otherwise they probably would have gone for the Classic. but I digress..

Everyone in the store stood for a few seconds before the short-haired brunette barrista screamed and Panic made its appearance. Everyone started running for the opposite exit, tripping over each other and recklessly knocking over Twilight and Watchmen displays in a mad rush. The three dinosaurs jumped about the store, pouncing on fleeing victims. They didn't spend time killing anyone, they just stunned them, presumably so they could nullify a maximum number of victims before the place emptied out.

The only exception was the foul-mouthed mom. Nanoraptor hit her a little too hard.
Oddly enough, looking down at her limp form, a look of puzzlement came across the raptor's 'face', the way birds look confused when they try to eat gummy worms.
It looked down at the son and said, in squeaky voice, "I will adopt you." It then continued to set about knocking a few other patrons across the head.

During this time I was frantically trying to find some gardening books. I knew that if was able to find even a picture of the raptor's one true bane, I could repel them from the store and save everyone's lives.

Finally, I found it. It can't be bargained with, reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear and it wouldn't stop until we were all dead. But I faced Nanoraptor and opened the Dummies' Guide to Gardening to a big picture of a dandelion. They are efficient killers but they also have serious allergies.
I watched as the nostrils involuntarily started twitching. Just the thought of dandelions was enough to almost send it into hyperbolic shock. or parabolic shock. or analgesic shock. or Anna Karenina shock. or something.

Anyway, it ran away. And the mom wasn't dead after all. She had a bit of concussion and afterward couldn't even remember any swear words, let alone saying any, so everything was honky dory (that's not racist). The point of the story is that Borders had 39 cent coffee through April the 19th..

And beware Velociraptors.


PS. oh, the other two Raptors left too. Though one left an application, so he/she may be working there for the summer.
(posted May 7, 2009)
It was a foggy night, the earthbound clouds dominating the night air. I was at the bow of my ship, the Mondavi Jr., when I was set upon by a band of cats dressed as ninjas. They had cloaked their ship entirely in black cloth and moved silently in that diabolical fog.
My crew was faithful to the last. There were only the three of us; Bartleby, a Puerto-Rican midget with nine-fingers and a penchant for Stargazer lilies, and Moto-Roto, a seven-foot tall robot made of helicopter parts who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt's illegitimate son.
We fought well, but these cats were no ordinary felines. After dispatching several with his scimatar, Bartleby was distracted by one of them tossing a bouquet of his favorite flower over the edge of the ship. He almost jumped off the side to save the lilies but checked himself. Still his loss of focus cost him, and he was cut down by a frisky Siamese.
Moto-Roto fared no better and was hit with a blast of salty seltzer from a tomcat with nothing to lose. He he started rusting on the spot. He kept fighting but soon, as his appendages creaked and squealed, his movements slowed into nigh-ineffectiveness. A swarthy tuxedo cat pushed him over the edge where he and Davy Jones are no doubt having discourse as we speak.
As for me, I continued the struggle as long as I could. Finally, with my back to the black bounding main, they gave me the chance to surrender - a word that belongs elsewhere besides my vocabulary. They then revealed themselves to in fact be squirrels disguised as cats dressed as ninjas. What ignominy! I spat at they leader, a one-eyed rodent with teeth larger than the rest of his head, and I jumped into the brine. I swam deep, knowing their kind couldn't dive. I found Moto-Roto's body and was able to hide inside of it for sometime, subsisting off of the air bubble I knew would be caught within.
When I finally surfaced again, some thirty minutes later, the squirrels were gone. I swam to the nearest shore I could find, the shore of Whiskey Bay. There I swore vengeance in the name of my fallen friends. And I knew where these devil squirrels had come from. No other place in the solar system entire could breed such lowly rodents. I vowed then that I would not rest until the day I brought an end to every last squirrel from the planet Mercury.
Progress on Phaeton
 I'm about halfway through the events of the book, chronologically speaking, and have the true climax and many a crux planned out.  I'll let you know when it's ready for the eyes of strangers.
-Me, 2/6/09  

Now with vibrating ring! 


Baton Rouge's premier improv troupe!

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