Alternate Dimensions

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

Dimension Zero promo, circa 1998. From left to right: Jason Huls, Paul Brooks, Jon Thompson, Al Holman.

This is a story about a band with big dreams. A band who plotted the release of a 75 hour blu-ray in 1996 and sought to completely dominate the planet. This is a story about Dimension Zero. Not the Swedish death metal group. Nope. My old high school rock band.

I agree with Brian Warner when he said that everyone should try to be in a rock band. I got a lot out of it. Did I mention I was voted most likely to be in a rock band at graduation! Destiny, right? As a side note, the bassist, Paul Brooks won best hair in high school.  Our group had a Tool-ish prog rock thing going on. It started in 1995 and lasted around 4 years. Total, I think we played 10 or 12 shows and released a 6 song demo tape (TAPE lol?!). We did 99% original work and we were very determined. In fact, the only cover we ever played out was Sunshine of Your Love. Ok, I think we did some version of Free Falling at our first show. We ran out of songs to play so we noodled with that.

Here’s the most popular song we had, Invasion, from our release The Millennium Core (rawr!)


PB & J jamming at band practice.

At an early point in our history Paul Brooks developed a timeline for our careers. A prophecy. According to this timeline, by now we should have released 5 major albums, a trilogy of films, replaced a band member and gone on a handful of world tours. Clearly all of that has happened. For many years we believed the timeline was lost but we recently received word that a mad arab uncovered a version in an ancient, Syrian cave in the Appalachian Mountains. Here it is…


The reason all of this did not come to pass may very well be because we lost this timeline. We may never know for sure.

One of the most interesting things I learned from looking at this was the actual birth date of the band. I had no idea. Similarly, I had no idea we played our first show on April 14 of 1996. Somewhere there’s a tape of this.

Dimension Zero celebrating their first year of existence. From left to right: Jason, Paul, former vocalist Chad Kneller and Al.

Coming up is my 15 year high school reunion. There’s no way in hell I would want the lifestyle of a touring musician nowadays. Filmmaking is way more my speed. I’m still trying to take over the world and I think part of my idealism and drive began in music and oozed through to who I am today. So the end goal is similar but, like our hairlines, the band faded.

Actually, the vocalist, Jon Thompson, is still in a good band. The Abacinators.

cRick heEr 4 Mewsick!

Let’s see. At this point, the next thing on the master plan is the release of our 6th full length album on June 20, 2011. It has always been a goal of mine to release a full length album but as it stands today I haven’t released even one. In the grand scheme of my life, it’s a goal that, right now, can be set on the back burner. I haven’t taken my guitar out of the case in probably almost a year. Paul doesn’t even have a bass guitar anymore. They’re actually in my closet. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to buy them from him rather than let him sell them to whomever. That feels cold. Our drummer, Al Holman, doesn’t have a drum set anymore. I don’t think he has in years. I haven’t even seen him in years. Last I heard he sold his kit and bought an acoustic guitar. Contrary to the timeline, Al hasn’t died (at least not that I’m aware of). Some people are hard to track down and Al is one of them. He has no digital footprint that I’ve ever been able to find. No facebook, no myspace, nothing. So while Al most likely is living in Bloomington-Normal, we cannot be sure. I like to think that somewhere, right now, he’s doing what he loved most: smoking.

In short, taking over the world has taken a little longer than expected.

I still intend to turn gold on May 24, 2018. I’ll look like a cross between Oscar and Dr. Manhattan.


X World- The band's epic 75 hour-long concept album. It was to be recorded with new technology Paul had learned about called "Blue Ray".


Letters That Are Beeps And Also Boops

He tapped his fingers on the table, all five of them, quickly and rapidly like he was nervous. But this was not it. He was waiting for a girl, yes, and that makes even the bravest lose their wit. But it was, instead, because he was desperately trying to recall his name in morse code. His father had taught him when he was young and it had always come to him easily in the back of his mind when he didn’t mean to think of it.

Da – dit- dit

That’s how it started. He was sure of that much. He remembered it was rhythmic, that it sounded like a song. The start of a catchy tune. Or maybe it was more like a limerick. What was that called? That tempo to the words that made a limerick a limerick and not simply a story with really bad spacing. Did it have a word?

A fly and a flea in a flue

Were caught, so what could they do?

He felt he should know it, since he went to school for it. Like a mechanic should know that thing that connects the alternator to the engine. If that thing had a name. It had to have a name, right?

Dit- dit – dit – da – da – da – dit – dit – dit

That was something, but not his name. That was SOS. This was good to know, he assumed, in case he was ever on a sea-faring vessel that was sinking and had no radio. But what if they asked for a name and he couldn’t say? What if they thought it was just a prank call and he drowned somewhere out in the Pacific, his colleagues shaking their heads disapprovingly at him since he could not remember three simple letters that were also beeps and boops.

Said the fly “Let us flee!”

Then he recalled that the letter ‘e’ was simple. Just a single, quick dot. Like a stab from a rapier.


Just a simple one. After that, the ‘b’ made sense. It was longer, heavier. There was more there, and it certainly began with a da. A long one. A dash.

Da! Dit! Dit! Dit!

Almost there now. The dit’s were all but done, packed together like cattle in the middle. There were more da’s in there, to frame out the dit’s.

“Let us fly,” said the flea.

A lady with one of those obnoxious pocket dogs jammed in her purse, it’s head darting its eyes across the room like it was just hatching for the first time from an expensive Prada egg, stared at him since he was now hitting the table with his fingers like it was a snare drum. He had it now.

Da! Dit!

That was it! That was the N. The whole thing came back and sat so solidly in his frontal lobe, he wondered how he had ever not remembered it in the first place.

Da! Dit-Dit-Dit-Dit! Da! Dit!

He sneered back at the dog lady. He had won. And it was then the girl he had promised to meet walked in. He barely knew her, but he knew enough to know that if he told her this, shared in this achievement, she wouldn’t care even a bit. So, before she caught site of him, he grabbed his backpack and made quickly for the back door. All the time, he tapped out his name on his leg, as if he was trying to imprint it there forever. Brand it on his leg so he would never forget.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

The April Fools Joke is on Me!

I think I’m naturally obnoxious. I’ve worked on it over the years so I hope that’s less apparent now-a-days. But as a child, oh Lord! You can imagine how much a child with irresponsibly undiagnosed ADHD might love the idea of April Fools Day. Every year I would try to come up with the best way to “Get” someone. But every year my prank was more than lame.

The problem was that I was a “gifted” child. That label, for many children, meant a higher level of intelligence and the heightened ability to absorb learned information. Unfortunately for me, I was part of the small faction of children where “gifted” actually meant “intelligently retarded.” So my pranks were usually too elaborate or far-fetched for a child with my meager means. In the Fifth grade I finally succeeded in pranking the living daylights out of someone…much to my later dismay.

That someone was Jennifer. She was the girl I had had a crush on since the Third grade. I adored her. About a week before April 1st I noticed she was wearing a Mighty Ducks jersey so I asked her if she would like to go to a game with me and my family the following week. She said she would love to and would ask her parents if it was alright. Trap Set!

Now, I WAS going to a game with my family but I didn’t have an extra ticket. What was I thinking?! I suppose it’s similar to how a young boy might punch a girl or pull her hair because he likes her except this doesn’t end with a black eye, just emotional scarring and an eternal distrust of the opposite sex.

So I played it cool for a week. April Fools day passed and soon came the day of the game. She asked me about the plans for the evening and I immediately blurted out “April Fools! Hahahahah!” I pointed. She cried and ran away. I felt horrible. Way to go, Dumbass. It wasn’t even April 1st anymore!

Why would I think it would be funny to play a joke like that on an innocent girl that I thought the world of? I later found out from her friend, who bitched me out severely, that Jennifer had actually liked me back and that was really the reason she was so excited to go to the game. I had broken her heart as well as my own. Double Whammy! There was no going back from that. I don’t recall her speaking to me much after that and we went to school together for Two more years.

That situation was a milestone for me. I realized how irresponsibly I had acted without concern for the other person. From that day forward I tried to be more thoughtful with my interaction with others. I was still obnoxious, I know this, but I tried to keep my actions victimless.

I suck at April Foolsing.