wednes: (Sad)
I'm going to be completely selfish in this post. What's new, right?

I am far too young to have lost so many classmates to early death. Sure, I'm almost 50, (well, turning 47 this year, so closer to 50 than 40) and that's a lot more time than a lot of people get. Hell, it might be more time than most people get. I haven't looked it up.

At this point, I went to school with people who died and left behind young kids. Cancer, brain tumors, AIDS, accidents, and a bunch of suicides. Come to think of it, I think I know of more suicide deaths from my peer group than accidents or violent crimes.

Feeling the death of another classmate today.
He was a good guy, never a dick to anyone online--which is a major achievement in my world, since most of the people I know online are the occasional penis-for-brains.
Jim left behind friends and family who are devastated by the loss. I can't even imagine it.

As many of you know, my greatest fear is H dying. When something really frightens me, I sit down and try to think up all the worst case scenarios and figure out what I'd do if they happened. I've figured out zombies, alien invasion, fire, plague, nuclear war, my mom showing up here, and a militia takeover of the state. Damn glad I know people in the militia now.
But when I try to think through what I'd to if H died, all I can see is me sitting in my good chair, staring into space and waiting for someone to notice that they haven't seen me around in a while. Then I'd die. That's not supposed to get your attention or make you feel bad for me. It's rather a crushing defeat to know that after 17+ years with H, that I literally have no idea how I'd manage to live and function without him. Hilariously, most of the people I know have ONLY known me with H. Aside from family and a few classmates I talk to on FB, "Wednes and H" are the only way we exist for them.
So yeah, I have no idea how people pick themselves up and get over it. I'd probably just send messages to Patton Oswalt every day until his agent's assistant's social media manager told me to stop.


As for the rest of life, working on Hellish Calling and dealing with the Radish site not working well, or maybe me not knowing how to work it. Either way, it's slow going.

Fish Fry

Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:57 am
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
After music, architecture, incense, and free wine, the best thing about Catholicism is the Friday night Fish Fry. It was a joyous event back when my family was pretending to be Catholic to get lower rates at St Mary Magdalen school.

These fish frys featured thick cuts of cod filet, deep fried (or deep fried earlier in the day and then baked). They came with, as you'd expect, fries and slaw. It was fantastically delicious.

Most Catholic churches don't do these anymore. If they do, it's only during lent or when people aren't ponying up at the collection plate. So if I want fish fry fish, I have to seek it out at a restaurant. There are a few around here who have pretty good fish & chips, but it's hit or miss since restaurants pop up and disappear on the regular.

What I want to know is--why can't I get fish like this that I can cook at home? Surely these people are getting it from somewhere. But I've never been to a store, even a decent restaurant supply store, where they have these for sale. If I found them, I'd even spring for the good tartar sauce (the kind that only comes in tiny packets now, because Kraft doesn't sell the good tartar sauce to the general public. They won't tell me why). Alas, no dice.

I've decided to pretend that I can't get the fish I want because it's a Catholic conspiracy. Something about saving unborn babies-- maybe the fish is another way of symbolically devouring the flesh and blood of the Christ. Seems like something I should write about...but is there really a fresh angle on that?

Holidays

Nov. 29th, 2016 05:15 pm
wednes: (Santa?)
H and I were gone all last week, housesitting for some good friends. It's pretty cool, because all the stuff they have is nicer than the stuff we have. Their living room TV is big as a bathtub and has a better sound system than the local indie theatre. The recliner goes up and down by itself, and the fridge makes ice and the most delicious water I've ever had outside an Evian bottle. Plus, dogs. I love dogs, but can't have one in the shitty matchbox I live in.

Of course, I didn't post online that both H and I were out of town, or that our apartment was sitting empty (well, with cats, but they aren't good at guarding things). But everyone seemed to want to put it on my page. "Hey, aren't you guys out of town?" "Are you and H having fun being away?" "Who is watching your cats while you and H are gone?" It's as if people don't know that we live in a shitty neighborhood with shitty security and neighbors who would barely take notice if a stranger stole our shit in the middle of the night. Happily, though, nothing bad happened. Some errant JoJo puke and the eating of birthday flowers. That's all. H and I had a swell time eating unhealthy food (mostly) and watching HULU, which I've learned has even shittier horror movies than Netflix. I was actually tired of bacon by the end of the week.

I got some birthday presents:
A collection of Amazon gift cards allowed me to buy myself this.
I also got a fancy electric herb grinder...for grinding herbs.
H got me a Duck Dodgers Pop Funko, and a kickass book of Grimm fairy tales I've been wanting. Plus he made me another wonderful card like he does every year.
I got a cool witches oven with a cauldron and such. It's kind of amazing.
Plus: chocolates, cookies, flowers, some great cards, a hat, and I'm told--a big scary head to put on display. So yeah, I gots the hookup for sure.

As much as it's fun to hang out in a different place, it's also good to be home.
My own bed, bathroom, cats, and kitchen are always more comfortable--even if we live in a total shitbox. Why? Because it's OUR shitbox.

In other news, we had a death in the family. Uncle Tom (not technically MY Uncle, but the Uncle of my cousins on my godmother's side) was a cool guy. We thought he was a ton of fun, until someone explained to us that he had a drinking problem because of the war--and that the stuff he did wasn't funny. I disagreed then, and still kinda do. No, alcoholism isn't funny. But Uncles at family BBQ's are. He was a nice guy, jovial and bitter in a way that incorporated a lot of humor. He also had a glass eye that he once removed and rolled down a picnic table. How can that possibly be described as anything but hilarious? I don't know. Godspeed, Uncle Tom. The world is less funny, and a little less kind without you in it.

I sort of forgot that I was doing the NaNoWriMo this year. My head exploded after the election and never quite got put back together. Ah well. As [personal profile] flemco loves to point out, I can write whenever the hell I want.

H's work schedule is terrible right now. They switched him to 5 days a week (used to be 4 10-hour days, now it's 5 8-hour days) which means more travel time and expense and less time for us to watch TV and do stuff together. Do we really think people will avoid posting spoilers for Gotham, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, or Z-Nation? I don't. But one of his coworkers accidentally killed someone (driving like a maniac, I'm told) and now has to go to prison. The world is a crazy place, kids.
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
September 6th is my mom's birthday.

It occurred to be recently that I tend to refer to mater in the past tense, even though she's not dead. I wouldn't even say she's "dead to me," because I don't pretend she's dead. I just talk to her slightly less often than I talk to (or toward, more like) people who actually are dead. There are plenty of dead people I think of as better, smarter, cooler, kinder, and less violent and psychotic as mater. For the record, I last spoke with mater in September of 1995. So I guess that's a sort of anniversary as well.

Funnily, I've also been thinking about gaslighting lately (Even saw the film from which we get the term. Jessica Lansbury is 19 years old in it!!). More than the violence, constant emotional and mental abuse, being ordered around like a servant, rarely being allowed out, the gaslighting did a shitload of damage to me. It's another one of those things I didn't realize was SO pervasive until much later. It's also another one of those things that I reacted hugely and horribly to when it happened (often to a very small degree) with other people later on.
If someone tells a story wrong, I'd be outraged even if it was a stupid thing that didn't matter. "His shirt was BLUE, not green! Tell it RIGHT!" Because I grew up knowing that when someone didn't tell the truth about something, they were doing it to make me look bad. That's not actually paranoia when you grow up with one of those "You see what I've got to put up with!" parents always harping on how tough they have it while they're using their kid as a punching bag.

Everything my mom ever said about me was exaggerated to make me look bad, stupid, selfish, greedy, vain, or otherwise terrible. Didn't matter if she was talking to a teacher, a neighbor, her husband, or our extended family. If they were impressed with a drawing, she'd tell them I traced it. If someone praised my good grades, she'd lie and say she called the school and "made" them change my grades. If I lost something, she said I sold it or gave it away, or "let" someone take it. Always. Constantly. And the bitch of it is, there are still people in my family who believe that shit. I'm told my mom's husband actually thinks I invited a band of drug fiends into their house to steal sports memorabilia. Nevermind that I don't think I have a single friend who would knowingly walk into a house with a basement full of swastikkas. But I digress.

It was my mom's birthday. I didn't sit around crying, drinking, watching movies we watched together when I was a kid. I wasn't angry or short with H, or walking around finishing arguments from 30 years ago while the cats just stared at me, confounded. I had a regular day, doing all the stuff I normally do.

So I feel pretty good about that.
Guess we'll see how I do next Mother's Day.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
What is an album?

The dictionary gives two definitions, both of which make sense to me.

1. A blank book for the insertion (giggity!) of photos, stamps, coins, etc.
2. A collection of recordings released in a single medium--a compact disc, cassette, etc.

I was saying the other day that Rob Zombie's new album kicked ass. That's mainly because Rob Zombie's new album kicks ass. Yeah, it sounds a lot like every other Rob Zombie album. But see, when you like what Rob Zombie albums sound like, it's nice to get more that sound roughly like that. But I digress...

Someone corrected me, several someones in fact, that it's not an "album." It's a CD, or a digital file. First of all, the new Rob Zombie album is actually available on vinyl. So even if you believe that a vinyl release is necessary for something to correctly be called an "album" (it isn't), that still wouldn't apply here. Whether it's on vinyl or a cassette, 8-track, a wax cylinder, or a fucking reel-to-reel, it's still an album--by definition.

Maybe I just hate being corrected...

In other news, Bates Motel S4E9 was friggin' incredible. If you've been watching for four seasons waiting for a certain thing to happen, that's the one!
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
When I was a kid, if you really wanted to talk to one of your idols, it was a long process. You had to find their fan mail address, which could be very difficult if not impossible. Then you had to hand write a letter, find a stamp, get it mailed (at a mailbox), and wait...and wait...and wait...for a response that might never arrive. When I was a kid I wrote letters to Charles Schulz, Donald J Sobel, Dr Suess, Judy Blume, and a bunch more. I got a few letters back, though they're trapped at my mom's house. When I was about 11, I even wrote a fan letter to Scott Baio. He had a PO Box in Studio City for fan mail, which I found in a Tiger Beat mag. I never got even a form letter back. As a kid, I was sad about that. But now that I know what a gross, womanizing, Drumpf-loving goon is in RL, that sting is gone.

The point is that we only wrote to celebs we really liked a lot. It took a lot of effort and time. We did it because we were fans, and we wanted our heroes to know it.

But now...
Anybody with access to a computer or smartphone can Tweet at celebs in real time. Roughly half of said Tweets are complete asshole fodder. Telling people they suck and should kill themselves is Level One for a lot of these clowns. Unlike occasional stalker behavior from deranged fans (that no one really talked about until the girl from My Sister Sam was murdered by one such nutcase), modern celebs often get daily beratings. Robin Williams's children were hounded off Twitter within 2 days of their father's suicide. Those dicks that harassed Sandy Hook parents for "lying about their kids existing" started on Twitter. Twitter hosts murder threats, rape threats, doxxing (though I hear they're better about removing stuff like that now), and a bunch of other things we used to think only criminals thought about.

Much like men who want to show their dicks to virtual strangers (remember when that was a crime committed by a random pervert wearing a long trenchcoat with nothing underneath), stalking via the Internet is more popular (and less criminalized) than ever. Ditto hate speech. Anybody else find it insane that posting a pic of a nipple can get your Facebook account deleted, but threatening to murder the POTUS or calling him the N-word won't get you blocked from Twitter unless the feds get involved? I'm a staunch supporter of Free Speech, but with great power comes all the stuff Spiderman's Uncle Ben talked about.

And like LSD, the internet amplifies and distorts the shit we see and do every day. While we all know that the internet is incredibly helpful overall--it also allows some of the worst behavior on the planet to be widely seen, or even applauded. The immediacy of social media and the ease with which we're able to communicate with people the world over is being squandered, taken for granted, not truly considered for the opportunity that it is. A lot of that is due to people who live as if the Internet has always been there--for youngsters, it has. I started a Livejournal in 2002, in my early 30's. If that blog was a kid, they'd be old enough to have a smartphone and be on Facebook. Yikes!

Not sure what my overall point is. We can use the internet for good or bad, to help people or bring them down. We can use it to educate, inform, or to spread misinformation either deliberately or through apathy or ignorance. Is there a way to encourage people to make better online choices? Or at least, is there a way to truly hold people accountable (at least morally) for the things they say and do online? No, I'm not saying we should curtail speech. Wednes don't play that. But it's obvious that plenty of online assholes are only being assholes online because of the anonymity the internet affords them.

For now let me just ask--if you're only on Twitter to let female singers know that their asses are big, or to tell Jonah Hill that he's a "faggy asshole," maybe take some time to work on RL interpersonal skills before trolling total strangers. If you wouldn't say it in front of your three best friends or your favorite grandparent, don't say it to Lady Gaga. Besides, no one should ever insult Lady Gaga. She's amazing!
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
Probably the question horror writers get asked the most is "Why Horror?" When I interview people, I ask it too. The answers reveal as much about the author as they do about the power of horror itself. No lie. I've been thinking about my earliest introductions to horror, and how I always sort of knew I would always be a horror fan. I've narrowed it down to a few, which are presented in no particular order.

1. Sir Graves Ghastly. Sir Graves was the Detroit host of scary movies on Saturday afternoons. If I was home on a Saturday at 1pm, you could always find me in front of the TV, waiting for Sir Graves to show a black-and-white horror movie. If I wasn't home, I was complaining loudly that I was missing Sir Graves. I saw King Kong, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Them!, something about a woman who could change into a cobra, and whatever else he had for me. Sir Graves read birthdays (and said one year that I had a cute name), showed drawings kids sent in. Once I sent him a giant ceramic skull that was a bank. He opened it on the air. No footage of this exists, which is true of most of Sir Graves broadcasts. They were tossed out like a bunch of S1 Doctor Who episodes. But I always loved Sir Graves--and eventually got to tell him so when I got his autograph when I was about 12.

2. "How to Care for Your Monster" by Norman Bridwell (the guy who also made Clifford the Big Red Dog). I loved this in particular because it looked at the Universal Monsters in a new way. Horror AND Comedy?!? The idea boggled my 2nd grade mind. And I wanted a Frankenstein's Monster soooooo bad.

3. Jaws. I was 4 when trailers for Jaws started running. I begged my mom for a Jaws poster from the grocery store, which was put up on my bedroom door. However, I had so many nightmares that ended with me waking up screaming, my parents finally took it down. Even the trailer gave me nightmares. This was long before we had a VCR, so I didn't actually see Jaws until they showed it on TV. I couldn't fully explain then why I pursued something that gave me nightmares, but I didn't care. I wanted it.

4. 'Salem's Lot. This made-for-TV Tobe Hooper movie scarred many kids my age for life. Not only is it terrifying, children are not safe from The Master (who in this movie is a silent Nosferatu type). The kids get vampirized, and go on to vamp-up other kids. I hadn't felt so personally targeted by a horror movie ever--and frankly didn't again until Silence of the Lambs featured a killer who specifically went after fat chicks. Reading 'Salem's Lot, while awesome, never scared me as much as watching that movie did. I've seen it a billion times and it still makes me jump when Anchorman's boss gets it, and again when Danny Glick sits up in his coffin.

5. The Oakland County Child Killer. A local murderer with a highly unimaginative name (though some called him The Babysitter), this guy was on the prowl for kids my age in my neighborhood for a few years in the 1970's. He was on the news constantly, everyone was talking about him. At one point, my mom told me that my biological father might have been the OCCK. That's not true, but even if it were, that's an insane and horrible thing to tell a child. When I delivered school newsletters to the houses on my street (literally, my route was 3 blocks long), my mom followed me in her car to make sure no one stole me. So I grew up being told daily that a death by kidnapping was imminent. Again, this is something you'd think would repel me from horror, but it didn't.

6. Night of the Living Dead. I've talked at length about this. It scared the hell out of me, and still does. When I have zombie nightmares, they're often about no one believing me that we're all in danger, that the undead are coming, that we need to prepare.

7. Psycho. A movie about a killer mother who turns out to be about a matricidal son? What's not to love? This movie stuck with me not so much for the shower scene, but because I was so totally taken in by it. I responded exactly as Hitchcock wanted me to, at every turn. The novel is a very different sort of story, because Norman is a very different guy. I talk a lot about this in my Bates Motel reviews.
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
Growing up with the name Wednesday sort of set me apart from other people. It made me seem weird, conspicuous, and different at a time when I wanted nothing more than to be invisible--one of the crowd. I switched schools a lot when I was younger. Once, in second grade, I asked to be called "Wendy" instead. For those of you who know me now, the idea that I'm a "Wendy" and not "Wednesday" is pretty fucking inconceivable. After a while, I got used to having a weird name, though it was not until my 20's that I began to turn into the skid of weirdness.

I grew up with two brothers who have a different bio-dad than me. My bio-dad has 3 other kids, all of whom appear to be religious whackadoo bigots who I don't bother to associate with. Of the brothers I grew up with, one is awesome and the other is kind of a violent asshat that I don't talk to anymore. When we were kids, we three had the same last name, the first two letters of which are GU.

With that in mind, the older of my two brothers got the nickname "Gumby," because it sounded vaguely like our last name. The younger brother eventually was nicknamed "Pokey," because that was Gumby's little horse friend. Cute, right?

But see, people who didn't know us actually presumed that my parents named their kids Wednesday, Gumby, and Pokey. This made our fam look even weirder than we already were. That's hilarious now. At the time though, yikes...
wednes: (Hazel 2)
I was watching That 70's Show recently because TVLand or whoever started them over from the beginning. Before Eric and Donna got together, Hyde made a pretty serious play for Donna. He even learned how to dance so he could dance with her when they skipped town to go to a disco. Her response? "Shut up and dance." Here's what Hyde did:
Kept dancing.
Maintained a respectful distance.
Was happy for his best friend when he got together with her.
Let it go.

What didn't Hyde do?
Kiss her anyway.
Call her a bitch/tease/whore/slut/dyke/etc.
Tell her how sorry she'd be some day.
Shoot up a women's studies class.
Keep pestering her in the hopes that she'd change her mind.
Remind her and everyone else what a Nice Guy (TM) he was.
Develop a disturbing and ever-growing hatred of women.

Even though Hyde is considered less than a moral ideal on that show, he was totally cool about the things that matter. Steven Hyde teaches us that you can drink underage, smoke pot, be lazy on occasion, reject the establishment, and come from a trashy family of terrible people--and still be a good person.

The concept of friend-zoning someone is still pretty hilarious to me. I suspect that teens have been subjected to such a glut of stupid romantic comedies and teen sex romp movies that boys think they have some sort of dramatic imperative to "fight for" and "win" the girl of their dreams. If they don't, they're either a complete loser or they "gave up too soon." That's a shame, because the idea of waiting around until She suddenly sees you as a sex god is about as silly as asking Elon Musk to turn you into Captain America.

I grew up as a fat teenager in the 80's. Back in the day, the concept of "friend zoning" did not exist. If you liked someone and they didn't like you that way you were supposed to get the hell over it and move on. Hanging around with them in the hopes that they'd change their mind about you was considered pathetic. Trust me, I know of whence I speak on this. Never, at no time, EVER was the object of your affection considered an asshole for the mere "crime" of not finding you attractive. Why? Because that would be stupid. That's not how attraction works. And yeah, those unrequited teenage crushes can hurt like hell, I know that too. But your pain doesn't mean anyone owes you anything.

As far as I've seen women never expect someone who doesn't find them attractive to suddenly do so after they're nice for a long time or whatever. But somehow, lots of men do. What's more--these men are often the last ones who would consider dating a fat chick or someone considered not stereotypically beautiful. I'm reminded of the American Dad episode where Francine "lets herself go" to prove that Stan loves her for her true self, and he ends up putting his own eyes out because she's so ugly to him that he can't look at her. He says something like 'Francine, I want a beautiful wife. If marriage was about connection, I'd have married that fat girl I had all those great conversations with.'

This philosophy basically boils down to, "Why don't any really HOT girls realize that beauty is only skin deep?" Because life is not a beer commercial, you assholes. And hanging around waiting for your "nice" friendship to morph into a sex parade is not what a "nice guy" would do.
It's what predators do.
wednes: (Handfasting)
H's birthday is more fun for me than my birthday.
For my birthday, I throw a party. I clean everything and cook a bunch of food and stress out about invites and reminders and every silly detail. Then the party happens and it's somewhere between fine and awesome, and then it's over.

For H's birthday, we don't really have people over. He's even less fond of other people than I am. So I cook him a nice meal, get him some cool pressies, and do all the other *ahem* stuff a good wife does. ;-)

This year, he was taken to see Star Wars, which he loved. His mom sent him the very grown-up gift of a humidifier with some kind of whiff that goes in it. Ryan got him a combination birthday/Xmas gift. Since it's not Christmas yet, H has decided to wait to open it. Where he gets his self control, I do not know. Hope it's not a puppy, because he'll be mighty hungry by Friday. LOL

I got H the following:
An assortment of classic, hot, and sour candy.
He loves that shit.
A replica of the Lawkeeper badge from Defiance.
A book called "The Science of Doctor Who" which is cooler than most similar sounding books. Not really an examination of what they got right or wrong. Rather, it's about how actual RL science could give us the kind of events seen on the show.
Coooooool.
I also got him a graphic novel version of the teleplay "City on the Edge of Forever," which is from Star Trek TOS in case you didn't know. Ellison FTW, amirite?

Later, I'll be making H some nachoes, because that's what he wants. Also, some cookies. He likes Alton Brown's puffy cookie recipe with Reece's chips instead of chocolate.

Okay, I'm off to do some child-care, which I'll actually be doing at home.
That means kids movies and Ninento Wii for the bulk of the day. Better than what I had planned, which was SEO articles.
wednes: (Santa?)
Have you seen this picture?
 photo 12316143_10206744484384965_2987863546914017243_n_zpsb7sc4orq.jpg
Some lady posted it on Facebook, saying how funny it was that her kid would probably never forgive her. The pic got tons of comments of people LOLing and guffawing over how knee-slappingly hysterical it is that the kid was so angry. People are sharing it all over as if this kid's pain and feelings of betrayal are the stuff of real comedy.

Not surprisingly, it makes me sick.
Look, I get that it's common for parents to collude to tell most American kids the same dumb lie about a jolly fat guy who breaks into their house and leaves gifts. Of course, people breaking into houses isn't funny, no, not even when it happens to little MacCauley Culkin.
Kids taking things from strangers used to also be strongly cautioned against--until we figured out that most kids are kidnapped or molested by people they already know. But yeah, I do understand that Santa is a fun thing for parents to do. Ditto that "there's a doll watching you at all times," elf thing. I get that many people think "pretending" is different from lying, and that this distinction is different in every household. When your teenager "pretends" that they were studying when they were actually out getting high and having sex--I doubt that it will be seen as "hilarious" or "just part of growing up" the way the Santa lie is. Even if "every kid goes through that."

Surely, once the kid actually asks whether Santa (or the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, Jesus) is real or made-up, a parent has an obligation to tell the truth? Everyone keeps telling me it's harmless, or even a good thing for parents to lie to kids. I'm just not seeing it. Of course, I have enough issues that my own life isn't a prime example of what any parent should or should not do. But I can't get my head around why you'd lie to a kid if you don't want them to lie to you.

Let's say though, that lying to kids is fine because they're just kids and kids should just shut up and do what they're told. It's not, but let's say that it is.
Once you realize that your lie has hurt and upset your child, that they don't believe they can trust you anymore and are devastated--why the fuck would you be laughing at that?
If I understand this right, the "joke" is that Santa isn't very important and that kids will "get over it." Maybe parents have forgotten that being a kid is not easy. You're little, you can't do all the things people around you can do. You're trying to figure everything out and find your place in the world you live in. Why the hell is it FUNNY for the people who are supposed to be helping you to a) lie to you, and b) laugh at the fact that their lies have compromised your relationship? Isn't laughing at pain you caused the action of a playground bully?

To a kid, Santa is a very, very big deal. Personally, I used to wish that Santa would find my real parents who were happy and successful and really wanted me around--but I digress. Santa is as important to a kid as your marriage is to you. If you got a divorce, would it be FUNNY for your ex to post a vid of you crying? After all, you'll "get over it," right? Maybe all his buddies can laugh at how upset you are--because thinking that marriage would last was (like Santa) utterly ridiculous, right? Sheesh.
wednes: (FG/Psycho)
I was fully prepared to write about Kim Davis here today. But my Kim Davis stance turned out to be interesting enough that I'm selling it to one of the sites I write for. That means you'll see it soon enough, just not here.

Besides, I realized that this second week of September marks the 20 year anniversary of the last time I spoke to my mother--outside of the screamed conversations that happen when I'm alone. Ha! No, really...

I'm not going to go into what caused the estrangement. Anybody who doesn't know but would like to is welcome to peruse my "family" or "wednes past" tags to catch up with me talking about mumsy and her whole deal. No, I didn't ever call her "mumsy," I just think that's a hilarious way to refer to a mom who wasn't especially motherly. For a beautifully exaggerated and somewhat fictionalized version of life with mumsy, you can always read my self-indulgeant debut novel, A Stabbing for Sadie. When people ask me if I'm Sadie, I like to look shocked while shaking my head and proclaiming that such would be impossible...because Sadie is fat. Hahahahahahaha!

My mom is a big TV watcher. We grew up knowing that TV was the only activity our family could engage in together without screaming or violence. By not talking to her for 20 years--we never got to discuss huge TV events like LOST, Game of Thrones, or even The Sopranos. I bet she likes them. I have no idea if she's seen the Harry Potter movies (she doesn't read, or didn't when I knew her), though I imagine she's all over that Christian Grey shit. Ew. When we last talked, LA Law, Animaniacs, Romper Room, Star Trek Next Gen, and the Arsenio Hall Show were still on the air.
I know, right?

I've changed mightily as a person since last speaking to Mater. It's amazing how much one can grow and develop when no one is hitting them, screaming how ugly, fat and stupid they are, or just generally not having someone figuratively step on your neck every time you try to speak or move. Even if I'm never as kind, considerate, or accepting as I'd like to be--I can take solace in the fact that I'll never EVER be the frightened, duplicitous, lasher-outer that passed for a mother where I grew up.
It makes me happy to hang out with kids and see that I don't have the urge to smack them, even if they're little assholes. For people who grew up thinking smacking people was normal, this is kind of a big deal.

Of course, I have almost no memory of ever speaking to my biological father. I grew up with a stepdad, only I was NEVER supposed to refer to him that way. My mom was hysterical when she thought someone was lying to her--but that was nothing compared to what she would do if someone told one of her truths.
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
I do the overwhelming majority of the cooking around here, since H can only cook bachelor food. His fave meal that I make is chili, because I am the ace at it. I think my chili con carne is so good, that I'd enter it into cookoffs if they happened anywhere near me. But I'm certainly not schlepping my chili and fixin's down to Texas. I hear it's hot and racist down there. ;-)

Tonight though, H wants his second favorite meal--which is abbreviated thanksgiving. I take a whole mess of veggies and mix them with a bag of Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing. Add chicken stock and bake--serve with gravy that came out of a jar. That's right, a jar. You wanna fight about it? Sometimes I mix in some ground chicken, but today I'm keeping the ground chicken on the side for portion control. Meat is expensive, you know. With it, we're having green bean casserole. H friggin loves green bean casserole--and like many African Americans, he had never heard of it as a kid.

This is a discovery that I made in my adult life--that the Campbells cookbook from 1968 didn't make it out of middle-class white neighborhoods. When H and I first got married, H's grandmother asked me for the recipe after having it at her new church. She was the 3rd or 4th black person I knew who had never heard of it, despite being part of casserole culture. As far as I knew--if you knew about tuna casserole, you should also know about green bean casserole. Not so, though.

Like most people, I make personal adjustments to my green bean casserole. I always use frenched green beans out of a can, and more mushrooms than the recipe calls for (I loves mushers). I use cream of chicken mushroom instead of regular cream of mushroom. I also add sour cream and a healthy couple of shakes of Kraft parmesan. No fresh foods to be found, really. I stir it twice during cooking. Then of course the crunchy onions--which H would put on everything but breakfast cereal if he could.

In other news, my short story, "Raja" has been accepted by an anthology called "Not Your Average Monster." I had a feeling it would be a good fit for them if they liked it. I did a lot of work on this one before submitting, since another pub (that folded before they could publish it) made me edit it down to absurd proportions. So I'm pretty stoked for this fleshed out version to be getting some ink. Yay!

Yeah? So?

Aug. 26th, 2015 05:03 pm
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
A lot of people I went to college with are mourning the death of a classmate. A lot of the same "so young..." "such a shock," and "How terrible that this should happen to such a [kind description] person" is all over my feed.

I'm not able to get on that train. See, the person in question was a mean-spirited asshole. A goes-out-of-his-way to be cruel to strangers asshole. An I-don't-even-know-you but I'm going to spend a few minutes each week making your life hell, and then when confronted with that fact do everything in my power to pretend I didn't do anything wrong asshole.

To this late-person, I'd like to say, Yeah, it sucks at least a little bit when someone dies. Not only does it snuff out a life that some decent people might care about, but it snuffs out your chance to be a better person. Did you ever try to be better? Did you succeed? I don't know. You were such a fucking asshole to me that after college I made it a point never to think of you again. And I haven't--until I heard that you died. If you have a family, I hope they're taken care of. If you have a god, I hope s/he treats you slightly better than you chose to treat others.

From me personally though, fuck you. Fuck you right in the ear.
wednes: (TV!!!)
I'm admitting for the record that I like The Nerdist.
We're gonna blame/credit @midnight for that.
I've spent quite some time not understanding why this Hardwick cat had any cred at all, why he was suddenly everywhere, why I should listen to his various nerdy musings. Slowly, I started to find him ever less annoying. He's friends with a lot of people who are cool and not assholes. It's not like he hangs out with Kevin Nealon or Dennis Miller--but if he did, he'd probably be super polite to them. I didn't even realize Hardwick was Jerry in House of 1,000 Corpses until like--last year. Yeah, even though I saw it in the theatre and own it on DVD and digital and own a copy of the shooting script. Yeah, even though I've seen it a zillion goddamn times, and even though he looks and acts like a puffy drunken version of his TV self. I seriously had no idea. But I did know that Fishboy is in the American Office.

So I'm watching @midnight.

You know that scene in Beverly Hills Cop, where Rosewood decides to go against what Bogomil and Taggart tell him? Where he decides he's gonna help Axel catch the villainous drug dealing art vendor Victor Maitland? And he tells Axel this, and Axel is all, "I love you, Billy. I just fell in love with you." Remember that?

That's how I felt about Chris Hardwick on tonight's @midnight when he explained and defended telling jokes about Jared Fogle and his illegal sexual tendencies.
You gotta joke about it, because what else *can* you do? Emotionally, I mean.
So, you know--Points!

On an unrelated topic, research on a new Kinkly article has begun. I'll be calling it Project Arcturus, and will tell you all about it after I'm done--probably in about a week. How mysteriously vague, right?
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I wasn't going to weigh in on Rachel Dolezal in any sort of public way. As a white chick, I don't feel like the issue in general is any of my business. But I also don't feel like all the hate ascribed to her motives is okay. I'm hearing people say she lied to "steal a job that should have gone to a person of color," and that she, "engaged in cultural appropriation in order to obtain privilege she didn't deserve." If Black Privilege is a thing, this is the first I've heard of it. Her actions have been called "insensitive, self-aggrandizing, hateful, hurtful," and the ever-popular PC standby "problematic."

To my mind, she wanted to change her identity to distance herself from truly horrible people that, sadly, she had a biological bond with. I relate to this fully. Yet, I hear people railing on about how "She lied, SHE LIED!!! OMG, how can you let it go that she LIIIIIEEEDDD?!?!?!11/11" For fuck's sake, if any of you try to tell me that you've never lied--or even that you've never lied about anything important, I'm gonna have to tell you that you're a goddamn liar. Yes, I realize that there are racial components to her lies, and that I'm skipping right over them in this post. I'm not going to argue with anyone who thinks the racial implications of Dolezal's actions make them unforgivable. That's none of my business.

I'd like to tell you all something. Given some of your reactions to Dolezal, this may come as a shock to you (though honestly, I bet it won't).

My legal last name is NOT Friday. That's right, I "lied." When I wanted to distance myself from a family that didn't give half a fuck about my well-being, I toyed with the idea of changing my last name to Friday, legally. This was around 1997, my lowest point of mental health crisis in my adult life (though I had suicidal ideation all through high school and most of college). I finally said to my family, "I don't want to have anything to do with any of you until you can treat me with some basic goddamn courtesy and respect." I never heard from my mother, or her husband (my adoptive "father") again.

To be extra clear, this was long before I started writing "A Stabbing for Sadie," my first published book, and the first time I used the Friday name on anything substantial. I continued to use the Friday name in my personal and professional life. I legally took H's last name when I married him, but continue to use the Friday name anywhere that isn't a bank, doctor's office, tax document, or other situation where it's illegal to use a false name.

I never changed it legally. That shit is expensive. Plus, my mom paid the state to falsify my birth certificate as a kid, so I don't even have a copy of one that says what my birth name is. I was told that it's perfectly fine to use whatever name I want so long as it's not for the purpose of committing fraud.

Let me ask, how many of you feel "lied to, deceived, taken advantage of?" Who thinks I should apologize to everyone I've "misled?" Who thinks the abuse I've endured has "nothing to do with the adult" I am today? Who thinks lies are NOT an integral part of growing up with a mentally ill parent with no clue about their own mental illness? If you really don't understand why abused children lie, and why the habit of lying is so hard to break--hit me up. I'll be happy to explain it to you--that is, if you think you can trust a liar like me.

God dammit

May. 11th, 2015 07:53 am
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
I fucking hate Mother's Day.
I hate it.

And I hate it even worse when...
dammit, I can't even...

I'm fine now.
But it's just such a difficult goddamn day.

To be angry on top of it is almost too damn much.
Seriously. --the fuck.


And you know what's weird?
Mad Men was actually more depressing than Game of Thrones.
Isn't that weird?
PS. Don't fall for it, Trudy.
wednes: (Zombie B&W)

Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday: Joshua Hoffine.

Hoffine has a Kickstarter going on RIGHT NOW that can land you some sweet new art.


Joshua Hoffine is a Kansas-born artist with a degree in English Literature. He worked as a professional wedding photographer before moving on to do work for Hallmark, and has been commissioned for publicity photos for various rap artists including Tech N9ne. His current works often utilize themes of children in peril, and quintessential human fears like spiders, clowns, and monsters lurking just outside your field of vision. His own four daughters are the perfect subjects, natural and photogenic girls whom you don't doubt for an instant are truly terrified.

Artists who work in the medium of horror have a hard time of it. Unlike web comics that get passed around with gleeful abandon, horrific art is something that comes on you slow. You have to really look at it, think about it. And it's unlikely to wind up taped to your cubicle or hung from your fridge with a decorative magnet. Still, there are some truly exceptional artists with a passion for examining mankind's most pervasive fears. Luckily for us, one of those geniuses has consented to answer some questions just for us.

WLF/ZZN: Let's get this out of the way: Of all the emotions an artist can choose to evoke, you've chosen fear. Is that because you secretly loathe humanity?

I do not harbor a secret hatred for humanity. I find Horror to be a compelling genre. Horror is psychological, existential, and inherently metaphorical.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us a bit about your relationship with the undead. When did you first become aware of zombies?

I saw NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD when I was 12 years old. Upon reflection, I'm very grateful that this was the first zombie movie I ever saw. When my daughters asked to watch SHAUN OF THE DEAD, I insisted that they watch NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD first. (WLF Note: Yay!)

WLF/ZZN: I think it's awesome that you terrify children for the sake of art. That alone is delightfully horrific. Can you reassure your fans that no children were harmed in the creation of your amazing work?

The children featured in the photographs are my own daughters. Other family members play the monsters. The girls are never frightened. For them it's like a big game of dress-up.

WLF/ZZN: Your work is often a single frame that evokes a story. How are you able to say so much in one still photo?

I choose a moment that will offer the possibility of suspense, and then I will often try to suggest a specific sub textual meaning through my production design. Michelangelo Antonioni called this 'symbolic mise-en-scene'.

WLF/ZZN: Many, if not most zombie stories feature undead kids. What do you think it is about zombified tots that is so damn scary?

On some level, they represent the ultimate unruly child, beyond control or discipline, bent on violent and destructive behavior.

There is also the tragedy inherent in child mortality.

Distorting traditional icons of innocence and life, and rendering them as lifeless (and soul-less) - pushes a deep button in most people.

And for some reason, people respond to diminutive sources of threat - spiders, rats, parasites, the dwarf monsters in PHANTASM, and children. Small can be scary.

WLF/ZZN: Your work features varied monsters, both real and fictional. What inspires you to choose a subject?

I look for universal ideas, or cultural iconography, that we can all relate to.

WLF/ZZN: Many horror artists assert that the horror genre still doesn't command the respect it deserves. Do you agree with this? If so, what can be done about it?

I do agree. I am on the very fringes of the art world, and my choice of subject matter is the primary cause. I hope to continue to illustrate and discuss the potential depth of the genre. Films like PAN'S LABYRINTH and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN shine as exemplars of what the genre is capable of.

WLF/ZZN: Who in the wide world of horror inspires you the most?

It's a tie between Mario Bava and Walt Disney.

WLF/ZZN: You've spoken about your emphasis on the psychology of fear. I'm guessing that you're a Jungian. Am I right?

Yes I am. I believe that Horror functions as a projection of the repressed and forgotten fears lurking in the Unconscious mind. I study Jungian psychology partly to better inform my ability to explore and exploit this psychological process in my work.

WLF/ZZN: Your work clearly illustrates some of our most primal fears. What do you see as the value in confronting people with the things they are most frightened of?

Part of my motivation is to show how we are all afraid of the same things.

I also believe that Horror provides a sanctified space for the expression of repressed feelings, such as terror and rage - which is beneficial and necessary - for both the individual as well as society.

WLF/ZZN: How do you think your intimate relationship with monsters and fear will improve your chances of surviving a zombie uprising?

Absolutely. Horror films remind you that life is dangerous - they keep you on your toes. Horror films teach you what not to do in a crisis situation. For instance, you know from countless slasher films that you never go out into the dark woods alone to investigate a weird noise or search for a missing friend. That's just an obvious way to get yourself killed.

WLF/ZZN: After zombies, clowns are probably next on my list of creepy things. As such, "Balloons" is freakin' terrifying. What is it about clowns that frightens us so?

According to child development psychology, young children are easily frightened by distortions of the human form or human face. Clowns fit this bill perfectly. If you see your first clown at a very young age, you are likely to remember them as frightening.

WLF/ZZN: "Pickman's Masterpiece" differs from much of your work in that there are five frames instead of one. It is also based on a Lovecraft story. Can you talk about the process of creating this awesome piece?

Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine asked me if I would be interested in creating 5 images to illustrate an H.P. Lovecraft story called PICKMAN'S MODEL. I read the story and fell in love with the character of Pickman, a brilliant but ostracized Horror artist. With only 3 weeks and $300 to work with, I chose to focus on the moment in the story when Pickman reveals his masterpiece to a visitor in his underground studio. I found and re-dressed 2 different basement locations to serve as my backdrop. I talked Chad Michael Ward into donating some of his photographs to double as Pickman's artwork. I borrowed everything I needed, including easels and painting supplies, and talked my friends into helping me.

I enjoyed spreading a scene over 5 images. I may do more.

WLF/ZZN: What are you working on next?

Either a child-eating plant or a horde of spiders coming in through the window.

WLF/ZZN: How can fans contact you and buy your work?

All of my work is available for purchase on my website at http://www.joshuahoffine.com/ using PayPal. Signed original prints start at only $25.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Anything you'd like to say to the fans?

Thanks!

(WLF note: Pics used in this interview are NOT complete versions of Mr. Hoffine's various works. They cropped and altered for space and so as not to give away the goods. The best way to see Mr. Hoffine's amazing work is to head over to his website and order some for your very own.)

Zombies

Mar. 29th, 2015 07:26 am
wednes: (Growlers)
I'm finally getting it together to put some short stories for sale at Amazon. Now that I'm better at formatting for Kindle, it's a no brainer that I should be releasing as much as I can for sale. I have to say who the publisher is when I put new stories up on KDP. So I've decided to be WednesFri Scares. Because I'm me, and I scare.

With that in mind, The Growlers is back in print. Borrow it for free, or buy it for 99 cents. H made a sweet new cover, which you can see at the link. The icon for this post is the old graphic that I used when the podcast ep was released. Cool, eh?

Once I get new covers, I'm gonna be putting up a few more shorts to see how they do. I'm also gonna be publishing another author I'm not ready to release details about yet. Pretty sure I'll release Trabajando Alegre, Raja, and maybe Whitman, I Ain't. Might be nice if I could get pro-gun and anti-gun people arguing over that one. I should also release An Occurrence Among Stoners at Owl Creek Bridge because why the hell not? #Popularity


Now...The Walking Dead Season Five finale is tonight. After getting spoiled on Helix more than once this season, I'm not going back on the Internet from the time it airs until I actually see it. A lot of people are saying Daryl is going to die.

Initially, I dismissed this without much thought--sort of like I did with the "Snape Kills Dumbledore" spoiler that turned out to be true. It seems unlikely that TWD would kill Daryl, since he's a clear fan fave. AMC has made it pretty clear that they care more about profits than art, and they won't risk driving away the teenage fan base. Today I found out that Norman Reedus is selling his house, which could mean that he's moving on to bigger things. I will be bummed if Daryl dies, but I don't think that's what will happen. TWD is so large with diversions from the comic, but I think this time they're gonna adhere. If he does die though, he should totally turn up as a zombie on the spinoff. Yeah, I know it's a prequel. There are also undead cannibals, so suspending our disbelief shouldn't be too hard.

My prediction is that Rick will be exiled, and Glenn & Maggie will immediately elect to go with him, as will Carl. But then, Alexandria is the safest place for Judith, who would need Carl to take care of her. Abraham and Rosita, Father Gabriel Asshat, and Michonne will stay. But as soon as the gates open, that's probably when the Wolves will come. The lead in has been way too heavy to not have them show up. We've been promised tears, so I imagine that's when it will happen. I won't spoil it for anyone who doesn't know--but I will miss this person a LOT if that's who dies.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
At the Delonis shelter in Ann Arbor, homeless people have to take a drug test before they can be admitted. If they can't pass a test within three days, they don't get to stay and work the program. However, if the weather is below 20 degrees F, anyone can stay in the sitting room so nobody freezes to death--even if you can't pass a drug test.

When I was learning this in the training classes for volunteers, the instructor couldn't remember if it was "20 degrees or below" or "twenty degrees below." Finally she reasoned that 20 degrees below zero was absurdly cold--in fact, we all had to think hard to recall if we'd ever been in a place where the temperature was literally 20 below, not factoring for wind.

Well kids, when I checked the weather at 5am this morning, it was 27 degrees below zero. And all I could think was, that shelter has got to be fucking packed.

In other news, the Kickstarter for The Horror Within is slow going. I made a new video in the hopes that it explains who we are and what we do a little more clearly.



We have 20 days remaining, so please do tell everyone you know about it--especially writers, horror fans, rich people with money to burn, and budding philanthropists.
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
This is a reprint from 2011. Enjoy!

Top Ten Non-Weapons that YOU need for Home Zombie Defense.

If you're anything like me, you've had a zombie preparedness plan in place for some time. You know where you're going to go, who and what you're going to take—and who you're going to leave behind. You may even have a bag packed, or a small stock of food and weaponry. It's okay…I won't tell. And you shouldn't either—or you're just asking to be looted.
As the zombie genre and its fans mature, the need for increased zombie preparedness grows. Unlimited food, weaponry, and toilet paper just aren't enough any more. Thanks to the proliferation of zombie culture—many of your neighbors are now also planning to hold up in the bowling alley, the local jail, military base, or super Wal*mart. To survive and thrive, you've GOT to stay ahead of the zombies, and more importantly, ahead of anyone in the same predicament as you. Hint: that's pretty much everyone.
The best thing may just be to hold up in your own home for as long as you can. If you decide to do that, there are some necessary items that you should have on hand, ten, in fact. These are not necessarily listed in order of importance. You really do need all ten.

#10 Water Purification Tablets. Sure, you'll probably have what you think is plenty of stored water in your basement. You'll be amazed how fast it goes. The average person needs at least 8 glasses of water a day. Even cutting that in half, a family of four will need over 100 litres of water for just one month. Since you have NO IDEA how long you might be staying inside, you will need to be able to purify the water from your tap. If you have city water, it will be undrinkable within 12 hours of the electrical grid going down—unless you are armed with purification tabs. Get a bunch, they last forever.

#9 Dehydrated Food. This is kind of a no-brainer. You will likely have plenty of canned and non-perishables around your house. But again, you don't know how long you might be there. Ideally, you'll want at least one year's worth of food for your entire group. Be sure to include astronaut ice cream and tactical bacon, both available from the good people at ThinkGeek.com.

#8 First-Aid. Again, this is sort of a no-brainer in that you probably already have some kind of emergency medical kit in your home or vehicle. To withstand zombies and the collapse of society, you'll want to be well stocked. Be sure to have a large and plentiful assortment of bandages, cotton, splints and gauze. You'll need rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and a few different kinds of pain killers, germ fighters, bismuth, hot and cold packs, and smelling salts. Think in terms of a severely injured person that you've got to either make travel-ready—or leave behind. You cannot be too prepared. Bonus points for sedatives and alertness pills. Do NOT use caffeine in an apocalyptic situation.

#7 Vitamins. Even if you have a good supply of food and hydration, you will almost certainly need a boost. D vitamins in case you can't go outside, C in case there's no fruit left, B's to keep you peppy and alert, and A because carrots taste disgusting. Note: many vits have more of everything than you actually need. Read the label, but it's often perfectly fine to cut them in half.

#6 Fire. At some point, you will need to make a fire. Lighters will last a while, matches will last longer. Flints and accelerants are also good to have. If there's any sunlight at all, a magnifying glass is your best renewable source of fire—if you can refrain from breaking it Burgess Meredith style.

#5 Fire Extinguisher. If you're making fire, you will also need plenty of ways to put out said fire if it becomes unruly. Water should never be used for grease, electrical, or chemical fires. Instead, have on hand a blanket, some dry flour, salt/sand, and one or more of each grade of commercial extinguisher. This is another way in which your hidey hole cannot be too well outfitted. Nothing ruins a perfectly good shelter like an uncontrolled blaze.

#4 Eternal flashlight. Do I even need to explain this one? It will sometimes be dark. You will need to see. You may or may not have batteries. Thirty seconds of shaking will give you ten minutes of light. Repeat as necessary.

#3 Wind-up Radio. Not only will this keep you somewhat informed, but it may also keep you from going completely insane and murdering whoever is holding up with you. AM/FM is good. AM/FM/CB is much better. Just be very, VERY careful about giving away your position.

#2 Aloe Plant. This may not save your life, but it will make you a whole lot more comfortable if you experience a burn, a rash, or find yourself without a toothbrush for more than say, two days. Aloe is a miracle healing plant with so many marvelous properties that you should probably avail yourself of them even if you aren't expecting zombies any time soon.

#1 Love. Yes, that's corny. But you know what? The most likely thing to keep you from committing suicide (actively or passively) is a good, solid reason to live. A solitary life is no kind of life at all. If there's no one you like enough to repopulate the Earth with—why not try meeting a few new people while you're out stockpiling triple-ply TP and Pringles that you hope will last as long as Twinkies. After all, the only thing that makes us human is our humanity.
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
I've been doing Wednesday Reprints of my old Zombie Zone News articles since they can no longer be seen on the site. Taking a break from interviews this week to reshare my article detailing why I hate The Evil Dead--especially when everyone assumes I must love it.



I hate The Evil Dead: Explained, because you asked for it.

As a life-long zombie fan from the great state of Michigan, I am met with varying degrees of surprise when new friends learn that I loathe The Evil Dead movies—and indeed, all of Sam Raimi's horror. "Even Army of Darkness?!?" they say in feigned hipster shock. Yes, 'fraid so. People have been asking me to explain (read: justify) this for at least 20 years now. I wanted to explain it, but I honestly didn't know—until now. This might end up being more about me than the film itself, but hey, you asked. See, I don't just "dislike" Evil Dead. I loathe it. I've reached a point where I'm pissed that people praise it so highly, love it so much—especially when the most gung-ho people aren't even zombie fans. "The Evil Dead" is kind of a silly title if you think about it—akin to The Mean Murderer or Bad Men We Don't Like.

Until my preparation for this article, I hadn’t seen the original Evil Dead in over 15 years. I remembered it as tritely scripted, horribly acted, rife with ridiculously bad dialogue, and generally shitty overall. It was also advertised as a zombie movie, which it really isn't. On the off chance that I asserted this, I would typically be met by—let’s say vigorous disapproval. Eventually I became perplexed, suspicious that there must be something I was missing. The disagreement was SO strong that I doubted the veracity of my hatred—even Stephen King has admitted liking The Evil Dead.

"But…it's terrible," I'd say, referring to the aspects of the films which are…you know…terrible. And here's the thing—no one disagrees that Evil Dead has horrible acting, is poorly written, has amateurish special effects and makeups that are lit far too brightly, and is generally stupid. Everyone concedes these points. "But, you don't understand--they had so little and did so much," they bray. What I gather from that is that I'm supposed to love the movie because they took the time to make it, and it was hard. It's probably hard for Uwe Boll to make movies, but the fact that he did so isn't enough to make me go. I'm not falling for THAT again. Now that YouTube exists, we now know that movie making is not some elusive skill that only Kubrick, Fincher, and Hitchcock were ever good at. Simply making a film with a small budget is not a good enough reason to like it.

Side note: I once paid to see Drag me to Hell in the hopes that there would be ONE Sam Raimi horror movie that I could enjoy. No dice. I love Spiderman, but all of Raimi’s horror watches like he’s enjoying a private joke that I just don’t get. The talking goat was enough to make me want to walk out in a huff; and I spotted the **spoiler alert** button switch from a mile away. Sad, because like Evil Dead, Drag me to Hell has a promising beginning.
It's even been suggested that I don't like Evil Dead because I'm a girl. And apparently, Girls don't know anything about zombies. Pish tosh, I say. If you don't think chicks know zombies, I'd implore you to check out Z Magazine, and its proprietess Eloise Knapp. Hell, you can read my own zombie book, The Finster Effect, which is a damn sight more interesting than any horror Raimi has ever directed. AND it's set in the great state of Michigan.

The Evil Dead starts out fine. There is some great footage of a swampy, wooded area (that isn't in Michigan, for some reason) where scary shit is no doubt brewing. These swooping opening shots are fun and visually appealing—setting us up to think the movie will have a certain artistry that just doesn’t develop. By the time Ashley et al have a near-miss car collision, it’s clear to the viewer that not a single one of them can act. An abundance of 20/20 hindsight tells us that only one of these people went on to do any actual acting—if indeed, Old Spice commercials and Bubba Ho Tep can be counted as "acting." ;-)

Because this film is so well-known among fans, I'm not going to do a play by play of character or plot. If you're reading this article, chances are you don't need the information. That said, I do feel compelled to mention the following:
--How am I supposed to like a character who thinks it's funny to point a loaded gun at his buddy? Unless the setup is "they're a bunch of douchebags and you shouldn't care if they die," I don't see the point.
--Some of the props are really cool—the book and the skull in particular.
--A chick is raped by a tree. I'm gonna say that again in case you aren't getting that. A Chick. Is Raped. By a Tree. Evil Dead is considered to be an American classic, and a shining example of great filmmaking on a tiny budget. And in this zombie opus and source of American pride—a chick is raped by a tree. Women have come a long way in horror since then, but c'mon.
--Scott: Huge Asshat, or the Hugest Asshat? In fact, for being such close friends, all of these people are serious dicks to each other.
--Um, is that gerbil supposed to be a wild animal? If so, really?
--The clouds going past the moon shot is an affront to all things lunar. If you can't just shoot the actual moon, please don't bother.
--"Zombism." Personally, I believe in a relaxed and inclusive definition of "zombie" which can include infected, voudon, bite-based, chemical, viral, etc. But being possessed by a Demon is not really zombism. Evil Dead "zombies" don't seem to want to actually eat anyone, not as a primary goal anyway. What really bugs me about this is how many zombie aficionados will scream for days that 28 Days Later is not zombie movie because infection isn't dying blah blah blah, but have no issue with this? I guess later in the film it's a little more zombie-like, but really? Evil Dead is a zombie movie like Pet Sematary is a zombie movie—which is to say: kinda, but not really. In fact, it isn't even marketed as a zombie movie anymore.
--Bruce Campbell. I know he has legions of fans, and is purportedly a really nice guy. He's handsome. Ridiculously, absurdly, chiseled-out-of-stone handsome. No disrespect, but Bruce looks like he could be Mitt Romney's brother. He's so handsome, I'm suspicious and want to dislike him on general principle.
--Claymation. I gotta admit, I like it.
--Zombies don't talk. And you can posthumously tell that prick Dan O'Bannon I said so.

Lets agree for the time being that The Evil Dead is a zombie movie. Zombies are part of the horror genre, and will be until they sparkle and make the romance with teenage girls. But The Evil Dead isn't scary. It's gross and silly and ridiculous. It doesn't take horror seriously. And I do. Horror is serious business, and if you're going to piss on it with your foolish FX and shittier than shitty dialogue (which is free, BTW. Good dialogue costs nothing, and the only thing you need to get it is talent) it needs to be at least as funny as say, Fido. Evil Dead isn't, not in MY humble opinion. It isn't even as funny as Saturday the 14th and how many of you have even seen that little gem of a film? ** insert horsehead bookends joke here **

There's one more thing that keeps me from digging The Evil Dead. And I didn't put it together for the longest time. And it begins with the Fake Shemp. A "Fake Shemp" is a delightfully nerdy expression derived from when the Three Stooges had to complete a few shorts after Shemp Howard's sudden death. They worked around him with (what we now call) some Ed Wood-style body doubling. They had to shoot around Bruce Campbell to finish the film. Since Ted Raimi was far too adorable to stand in for Mitt jr, they used a series of these Fake Shemps.

Hmmm…a Three Stooges joke. Even with that knowledge, it still took someone actually telling me that one reason I don't appreciate Evil Dead movies is that I don't like the Three Stooges. Once I looked for it, Evil Dead was rife with references, parodies, a veritable cornucopia of Three Stooges humor. That's the ongoing joke that I just don't get. And let me assure you, that running gag is holding that movie together more than some of you realize. Without it, the whole thing turns to an unfunny crapshack.
Even more eye-opening was the realization that I don't know a single chick who likes Three Stooges. Not one. I mean, I've seen a few of their shorts and don't wish them any specific harm. A lot of fingers in eyes and pies in rich dowager's faces. Hardee har har. But aside from thinking that recent movie was an affront against the gods of cinema, I know fuckall about the Three Stooges, and am quite comfortable with that. But I was pissed to realize that my dislike of Evil Dead had more to do with me being a chick than I'd care to admit.

In the end, I can forgive lame special effects, bad makeups under too bright lighting, suspiciously handsome actors, and can even learn to tolerate poorly written dialogue. But if I'm not scared, I need to be laughing, intrigued, or care even the tiniest bit about these characters. I wasn't, and I couldn't, and I still can't. And that, ultimately, is what keeps me from enjoying The Evil Dead.
Aren't you glad you know?
wednes: (Really?)
I've been solicited for advice by a friend who's about to have a baby. They want to know whether it's been difficult going through life with a weird name. More specifically, they wanted to hear that giving their kid a weird name (not a weird spelling of a regular name, which I hear is also a huge pain in the ass) is an awesome idea that will have no negative impact whatsoever.

I'm afraid I can't give them that assurance.
I think giving your kid a weird name is a terrible idea, and one that's most often done by parents with the normalest names ever who want to put their uniqueness on display via their child. But as more and more people ask for my advice on this (and let's face it, I offer advice on baby names whether people ask or not) I've been trying to decide exactly what it is that makes it more difficult.

1. It's weird. AKA uncommon, unusual, noteworthy, memorable. There are times in life when you want nothing more than to blend in, be invisible, be one of the gang. Yeah, I know we're all supposed to have amazing self-esteem and rejoice in our differences and all that shit. But for kids, sometimes blending in is the safest thing you can do. Having a weird name puts you on everybody's radar. People mention it and point you out. Everyone should have the option to not be noticed if they don't want to be. Weird names make this much harder.

2. People ask about it. If someone has a giant mole or a missing limb, it's generally considered rude to ask them about it the first time you meet them. Not so with a weird name. I can see how "Why are you named that?" may not seem like a personal question to the asker--but the answer is always personal. It probably involves talking about your parents, and maybe others in your family. Every name has a story, and not every story is appropriate for telling someone you just met, in a business context, or on the first day of class.

3. You can't find anything with your name on it. For me, the only way I could get stuff (mugs, buttons, hats, tiny license plates, all that shit kids liked in the 70's and 80's) with my name on it was to also buy 6 other items with days of the week I'd never use. I tried to go by Wendy for a time in elementary school, but my mom had such a fit that...well, it didn't work out.

4. It doesn't end in childhood. Customer Service work with a weird name was nightmarish in ways that transcend even normal to horrible CS experiences. Even now, I hear it from industry people, clients, at the doctor's office, at least half the time I have to show my ID for something--even once by a judge while I was in court. Seriously. It does not end.

What's a "weird" name? Well, days of the week for starters. Some months are not: April, May, June. But a kid called October is gonna have a tougher time. Known fictional characters (all those poor girls named Khaleesi), or famous musicians (Jimi Hendrix *last name*) or sports stars (I know a guy named OJ Simpson Jones). You gotta think ahead to what those people might do in 20 years. John Wayne may seem like a great first-middle combo until they dig up the crawlspace under the Gacy house. Products (Miller Lyte), punctuation (Hashtag), suggestions of hate-speech (Aryan Nation) are right out.

If you insist on giving your kid a weird name, your first responsibility is to consider that you may be doing it to say something about you that has nothing to do with your kid. If that's the case, quit being a jackass.
Your next responsibility is to understand that there are ways to give your kid a unique or unusual name without making it nightmarish instead. Consider that before you consider Hermione, Draco, Katniss, or Tyrion.
And finally, consider giving them a normal name and an unusual middle name. Better yet, make it an embarrassing nickname they won't have to explain to every substitute teacher and prospective employer til the end of days.
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
There's a book I was trying to remember that I read in school. Or maybe it was read to me. Probably 4th grade or so, but could have been anytime between 2nd and 6th. It was about a kid who does something innocuous, not anything illegal or particularly mean. He gets sent to a kid jail where they make them sit alone in their cells without pillows while they pipe in creepy stories. I also recall that it's the book that taught me to use the word "mock," which is still one of my favorite monosyllabic words.

I couldn't remember anything else about it, except that it really creeped me out as a kid. Scary stuff for kids was rare in the 1970's, Goosebumps hadn't happened yet. So we had "How to Care for Your Monster" and "Bunnicula," and then the Halloween specials of anything we already had, like Charlie Brown or Bugs Bunny.

Somebody finally hipped me to it!
It's called Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang.
Apparently, there are two other books in the Jacob Two-Two series. I got the first one from eBay, because they aren't available for Kindle, or in print anywhere. A little digging told me that someone just recorded them all as audiobooks that are being released later this year.
That's gonna be sweet!
wednes: (Under the Bed)
I'm nearing the one year anniversary of my involvement with the mag. Granted, the first issue of Under the Bed didn't go live until August, but I started working for eFiction in June, and put out the last issue of eHorror before I magically transformed it into what it is today.

The first year was incredibly stressful, no doubt exacerbated by my own incompetence, the insane amount of pressure I was putting on myself, and my habit of grossly exaggerating the expected returns. Just like when I first got published, I presumed I'd make enough money the first year to buy a new computer. Without embarrassing us all with the actual numbers, let's just say, I haven't.

But you know, my first year at Shar was pretty terrible. I was in way over my head, having slightly exaggerated my own musical knowledge. After that, it got a lot better--which is to say, I got way better at it. I became more confident in the knowledge I did have, and better able to compensate for the stuff I didn't know. After that, I just kept on learning things until I decided I didn't like them anymore.

My first year of college was also difficult. When I got there, I was so incredibly scared and intimidated, I didn't eat for almost 3 days because I didn't want to be seen in the cafeteria alone. It got better though, as everything seems to if I stick it out long enough.

So I guess that's the pattern. The first year of anything worthwhile will probably suck. My first year with H didn't suck, but there was a definite learning curve. I had no idea how to treat someone who was always kind and respectful to me, or how to manage a healthy relationship. That took at least a year, presuming that I've learned it now. ;-)

I guess the question is, what should I do next? I'm def gonna stick it out with the magazine, for as long as my computer allows it, at least. It's maddeningly slow at times, but it's still chugging right along. But I'm thinking of doing some self-publishing since I actually seem to know how. I haven't been writing much fiction, and I really need to be working on Millicent Mixter. I'm writing that one using Scrivener. That's a sweet program, though I wish it had some color adjust options. Black on White is not a great color scheme for me.

How and When I learned *Computers* )That's funny, because I don't even have an iPhone.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Most of you who know me are aware that my initial reaction to sad things is to feel angry. Much more familiar and comfortable. So when I found out that an old ex-boyfriend of mine killed himself, I was pretty pissed. First of all, he had kids who needed him and an ex who, as far as I could tell, was allergic to managing her own life. Secondly, he wasn't dying or in constant pain--which makes killing yourself a cowardly move. Third, he had plenty of judgemental and shitty things to say about me when we were together and I was horribly depressed and suicidal.

One might think I should have more compassion for him, especially given my own suicide attempts. But I don't. I can't. All I can think is Fuck you, you were surrounded by people who wanted to help you and you didn't even try.

I was living with this dude when I began the draft for what eventually became The Finster Effect. He's actually the character Blue LeRoy in that book, as well as Count Drunkula in A Stabbing for Sadie. He never knew it though, that's actually what I was trying to catch up with him to tell him. Procrastination never pays, kids!

Maybe I'm still angry because this guy was drunk, mean, and afraid to leave the apartment without a gun. He carried a .357 in his lunch pail. Seriously. Once, he hit me in the face because I told him if he offered his 10-year-old son drugs again that I was calling the cops. I went inpatient psyche when I lived with him--because I'm not exactly the picture of mental health myself. After we broke up, I had another fucked up relationship that ended pretty badly. Three years after that, I met H and it all came together.

I'm not surprised that he is dead--though I did think it would be from drinking or drunken shenanigans than anything pro-active. His son gave me the news, so I didn't want to ask for details. I'd be surprised to learn that it wasn't a gun-death. His son has depression as well, and I really, really hope he's able to find his way through it. That's the kind of history that should never repeat itself.

I don't even want to consider what it says about me that my overriding emotion here is that I'm glad I got the hell away. How gross is it that outliving someone should be seen as some sort of triumph? My life is far from perfect, and my choices far from flawless--but I am grateful to have a nice life that's full of love. I need to remember that more when I'm having bitchy little fits over shit that doesn't fucking matter.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Found out today that someone I used to know pretty well has started collecting...well, they're calling it "World War II memorabilia." But I think we all know what we're talking about here: Nazi shit. Shit with swastikas on it, death certificates from The Camps.

I don't mind saying that Nazi shit scares the hell out of me. After all, I'm married to a black man who's over six-feet-tall. Michael Moore says people think that's the single scariest kind of person to be. And you know, more and more states are legalizing the murder of black people as long as they're scary. It's all part of the same mindset, as far as I'm concerned. But I digress.
Honestly, this person has always been totally racist and in private, unapologetic about it. But this rises to a whole new level of...I mean, it's a psychopathy, right? There has to be something wrong with anyone who can get into that mindset or think it's something to celebrate, right?

Or is there a non-fucked up reason for a blue collar, non-scholarly person to collect Nazi "memorabilia?" "Memorabilia" is a word for objects that help us fondly remember things from the past. So "Nazi-memorabilia" is really only for crazy people, isn't it?

Even among the unapologetically racist, Nazi shit is considered at least taboo. There are tons of racists who don't admit to being racists, and would be embarrassed to have a swastika in their home--not that they'd ever let a minority in to see it. You know, unless their pool needed cleaning or whatever...

I am just horrified.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
When I was a kid, religion was not really a thing at our house. Mom practiced no faith, and her husband was a non-practicing Christian who had no patience for people who thought anything other than Christianity was "real." We learned about Santa before we learned about God/Jesus. My grandparents took us to church sometimes, but it had no more meaning than a movie or a concert to me. I had a public school teacher who made us pray, and who called me a "heathen" for not knowing the Lord's Prayer so I could say it after the Pledge.

Cut for potentially boring chatter about why I'm going to church this Sunday. )

Pope Francis has the potential to cause the biggest Church upheaval since Martin Luther and his hammer. It shouldn't be that way, but sadly, it has to be. So this Sunday, I'm heading down to St Francis Church to hear mass and see if my local Catholics are in line with the new Pope and his message. Because if I can get in on this wave of spreading compassion and comfort, I'm in!

I wrote St Francis' outreach person... )
So far, this seems okay to me. Watch my new "church" tag if you want to follow this adventure.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
Lots of you know that I'm a fan of Health at Every Size. This is a philosophy that essentially says I'm going to eat as well as I can, and exercise regularly. If that doesn't make me lose weight, so fucking what. I'm also a fan of Size Acceptance. This means that if you have some sort of problem with the size that I am, so fucking what. One might say I live on the philosophical corner of MindUrOwnBidniss Ln and HateElsewherePlz Blvd. One of the chick bloggers on FA and HAES I've enjoyed reading is Ragen Chastain. I've been reading her for a long while now. While I do think her blog is hella repetitive, I also think it's full of good information.

But here's the thing...
Like many blogs written with a concrete foundation in feminism, Ragen bends way the hell backward to not offend readers. Every opinion, every statement of philosophy, begins with a long disclaimer stating that just because she says something works for her--she's not telling everyone else that they should do it, or that it's the only right thing for anyone to do. I presume she does this because, on the internet, you can't say anything without someone jumping on you about it. If someone says "Hey, what a lovely sunny day it is" someone else will rag on them for being insensitive to people with skin cancer. If someone says "I lost weight and I feel great," others will undoubtedly ask how they enjoy being a tool of the diet companies. People are dicks, and anyone even remotely visible online needs to have a strategy for dealing with dicks up front.

But see, we all make judgements. I actually think the occasional shaming of idiots can serve to better the world, if only to encourage them to be a little less vocal in their idiocy. We all think that some people look better in certain clothes or with specific haircuts, would be happier dating different people, having a cat instead of a dog, finally admitting they're gay, watching HBO instead of Honey Boo Boo. We've all got opinions about other people and the things they do. Me, I can't shut up about mine.
Still, I don't think having those opinions makes me a hater. I'm not putting people down to feel better about me. I don't think even thinking ugly things about others does not make a person evil or mean-spirited. Own your judgements just like you own every other emotion--even when it doesn't make sense. Just like we eat foods we know are bad for us, miss people we know are actually assholes, we sometimes make judgements about people that we later feel guilty about. That's okay, really.

What's my point? I'm getting to that.
it's about my peeve: What I really, super, dooper hate.
When people pretend they aren't being judgemental when they are. I hate when people, even people like Ragen, whom I admire, do this. If someone you admire is doing something you hate (say, a fat sports hero going on The Biggest Loser) fucking say so. Otherwise, you get into this infuriating sacrificial-grandmother posture. Oh no dear, you just go to that party instead of playing cards with me like we do every Saturday. You make your own decision like the grown lady you are, and if I'm dead when you get back...well, that won't be your fault. You just went to a party.
This whole put-upon narrative of You can do any foolish, harmful thing you want...I'm not saying one single solitary word about it...not ONE WORD... thing is such utter bullshit. Prefacing your judgement with passive-aggressive ranting about how judgemental you're NOT being is uglier than simple judgement would ever be.
Why? Because it's dishonest. It also places the judger on a higher moral level than the person being judged--even though in most situations, the one being judged is actually the one being genuine. Look how judgemental I'm NOT being in the face of so-and-so's complete idiocy. I think it's their right to be an idiot so I'm not saying one word... in the middle of a post where you're saying a bunch of words about the idiocy you just said you weren't judging.

If you think people shouldn't buy or use Slimfast, say so. If you honestly believe it's harmful and dangerous-- don't pretend like you're cool with it either way, and will respect the other party just as much if they do the thing you're making it pretty clear that you don't want them doing. Disclaimer: I don't know Ragen in real life. I've not met her so I have no idea if she's the same in her blog as she is in person. She's certainly not the only person who fits the examples I've described. But it was her recent blog post that burst the dam on this issue.

All people make judgements every day. All of us. Even people like me who barely leave the house these days. I still make judgements about people based on what they say, what they do, how they respond to issues, what they say about their children. We all do this. There's no shame in it. It's how you navigate humanity. If you're constantly treating others in a way you wouldn't want to be treated--well, then you might be an asshole. Get that checked out. If not...relax. Having an opinion, even about other people, is normal, natural, and unavoidable. Opinions are actually part of instinct. We need them for survival, though this is less true on the internets

I'm what my mom used to politely call "mouthy." I've got lots to say, and I'm reasonably good at saying stuff--so I do. If I start becoming a pompous jackass, a rude bitch, or a mean-spirited asshat, I fully expect my friends to tell me that. No, that won't be a fun way to spend an afternoon. I can be rather defensive and difficult if I'm feeling insulted. But I also have enough introspective skill that I can look at the advice objectively and see if there are things I need to address.
I feel that improves me as a person the same way an aggressive editor improves prose. While I do have those moments of "Fuck you, really?" I end up a better person for it in the end. I was being a total snobby bitch about fanfic a while back, and a few people took me to task for it. It wasn't fun, but as I was out of line, it was an asskicking I totally deserved. Just because I hate something, people who like it aren't necessarily vapid morons with nothing to contribute to literature. Who knew, amirite? ;-]

So no, we shouldn't all go around thinking we know what's best for everyone. But if we've got something that we feel strongly enough about that we're sharing it with a wide audience--it should be truthful, honest. If it isn't, it's deceptive, which means it might just as well be manipulative.
Don't manipulate me, just tell me what's up.
I'm a big girl, I can handle it.

Best Dishes

Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:22 am
wednes: (4 Tea)
Before I begin with today's post, I just have to say:
How in the name of complete and utter fuck is it September already?

Moving on...
When I was on college, I once whipped up some green bean casserole after a night of drinking and et cetera. A couple of my friends were amazed by it. "Green beans and mushrooms and some kind of creamy sauce?" Outrageous!

I didn't know how anyone could get through life without encountering green bean casserole. This is even more true when you're talking to people whose families go to church. How do you get out of a church picnic without a scoop? Not to mention um...Thanksgiving.

Years later, H told me the same thing. He'd never heard of green bean casserole, but he really liked it. He wanted it all the time. A few years ago, H's grandmother told me about this wonderful dish she had at a church Christmas dinner or some such. She also had never heard of it and was really hoping she could find the recipe. She described it--and it was green bean casserole. Of course I sat down and wrote it out for her, and sent it in the mail so she'd have a hard copy. I don't think she has a computer.

Thinking about it, I realized that all of the people who didn't know about green bean casserole were African American. In case you don't know, green bean casserole was invented in the 50's. Campbell soup company put it in a recipe book called "Cooking with Soup." They used to send it out free to--well, wives, so they'd have even more reasons to buy Campbell's soup.

A few days ago, I told H that I had a craving for tuna casserole. He asked me what that was. *blink blink* Really? Tuna noodle casserole? How is it possible that--oh...it's yet another recipe that calls for Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (or thereabouts). The stuff in the Cooking with Soup cookbook is mostly recipes that require no fresh ingredients. I honestly don't know whether or not that would have been more economical at the time.

Now I want full data on how those cookbooks were distributed, and to what target demo. I mean, I have a guess...but it's just weird to me that with people living in the same cities at the same time (Detroit, for example, or Philly)--some people completely missed out on information others were given for free. Surely Campbell's wanted as many people as possible to buy their yummy, salt-filled soups?

Anyway, we're having tuna noodle casserole tomorrow. I don't think I have any peas though, so probably I'll use broccoli. It won't be completely authentic. H should like that fine, and it's not like he's gonna know any better. He's never had it before. o.O
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
Announcement: If you haven't yet bought a copy of my book The Cat's Apprentice, your time to do so is running out. My former publisher, Stonegarden.net Publishing is going out of business. My horror books are either available now or soon to be reappearing with Crossroad Press.
For those of you who keep asking, I still don't know when The Finster Effect will be out in paperback. Right now Mr Publisherman and I are trying to get the Kiss Me Like You Love Me audiobook up for sale through Audible. Soon...soon...

Some college peeps are coming to see me this Friday, one of these I have not seen in 20 years. A lot of chicks fret about looking older and/or fatter than they did in school. Not me. I was fat then, so nobody is gonna be shocked that I'm fat now. Between being heavy and never having any kids, I tend to look younger than other chicks I graduated with. Plenty of chicks I went to high school with (more the poor high school than the middle class one) are already grandmothers. I can't even imagine...
Anyway, we're having 70's movie night. Crowhaven Farm (which I haven't seen since I was little) and Trilogy of Terror, which I love.
I was gonna make a real cheesecake. I haven't made a real one in some time, and was afraid I'd mess it up and waste the ingredients. I'm trying a less risky fake cheesecake (read: no bake and has Cool Whip) with nutella and my famous cocoa puffs pie crust. Should be tasty, if not exactly gourmet.

Been listening to The National. The band. I like what I'm hearing. And yet, they tend to sort of fade into the background when I'm doing stuff.

And finally, I made the hilarious mistake of trying to cut all the blue out of my hair--while I was tired and kinda high. Now I have super short bangs--the kind I had as a kid. I never got nice looking haircuts as a kid, because my mom just wanted me to not need a haircut for a super long time. H likes it, but I can't wait for my hair to grow back down into my eyes.
Gonna re bleach it and put some color in the front soon. Trying a different brand of color, a blue and a lilac. Pics to come.
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
We are not as poor as some people, certainly. When I need to go to the doctor, I get to actually go. When he writes me prescriptions, I can get all the generics filled. When he prescribes non-generics, he'll work with me to get samples and stuff. We're pretty lucky, we know it.

Our apartment does not have rats, or mice, or roaches (LOL). The ants are kept at bay from diligently cleaning (LOL, again) and calling the bug spray guy fairly often. Still, I'm not wild about having poison sprayed around my home.
Whaddaya gonna do, amirite?

After two illegal entries in one year, (and several others over the years that ended up being less horrible than the recent ones) many broken agreements with the office, we want to get the hell out of here. We've been throwing rent into the trash for over a decade now, because that's what poor people with no credit have to do. Well, we're sick of it. At the same time, we don't really have any options. The last time I felt like this, I contemplated doing a robbery so I could have a place to live that was less abusive than where I was (at "home"). But now I have an awesome husband, we're just fucking poor despite both having full-time jobs.

So yeah...we're looking at manufactured homes.
I feel so dirty.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Personal Drama which you may or may not have an interest in )While it's upsetting, sad, and all that--I feel a lot better in the end.

My new favorite drink/drug is Choffy. I am madly in love with it and want to marry it. Oddly, it makes me feel a bit peppy in the mornings, but I find it relaxing at night as well. It's ridiculously delicious hot or cold. I've been making it in the tea infuser that H's mom gave me for my birthday. But it's only enough for me. So if I want to share Choffy with a friend, I need a bigger pot. They sell french presses, but they are stupid expensive. I found one at Amazon made of glass and metal for under $30 that I'm gonna buy. I'm also having a sampler pack delivered tomorrow. I want to make sure the flavor I've been drinking is my favorite before getting a big bag. Seriously though, this stuff is badass. I can't shut up about it.

New Stig & The Puppetman is almost ready. My plan with these was to see about having them published. Then I learned that Stonegarden Publishing is closing its doors soon. This means that your copies of The Cat's Apprentice are about to become way collectible. It also means that I don't have very long to save up to buy all those goddamn Two Lumps collections before they go out of fucking print. Honestly, the "art" in Stig & The Puppetman is shitty enough that I can't imagine anyone who doesn't already like me would publish them.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
I meant to have H take these pics and post them over the weekend. But them my weekend got kinda wild. Plus you know, I'm not in the habit of posting pics of my whole self online. As much as I talk a good game about fat acceptance, I'm still rather fearful of what haters will say to a fattie like me--because I secretly fear that whatever it is, they are right. That I'm a fatty-fatty-two-by-four (thought what the hell kind of FAT measurement that is, I do not know) who deserves a steaming cup of derision. Yeah...still working on that.


But you know what? Fuck it.
This is what I look like in my new Max pajamas.
No makeup, hell, I didn't even shower today.

And look how goddamn happy I am!

Wolf girls in da house represent!
(I uh...didn't have a scepter handy)

So yeah...I'll eat you up, and soforth.
wednes: (MamaCass)
Here's what I was going to do last year:
-Leave my day-job. Let's hope I can refrain from burning it to the ground on my way out.
--Have a huge, rockin' book release party for The Finster Effect.
--Yoga minimum of 4 days a week. Strength training. For strongness.
--Will draft my new book this year. Yep, gonna draft the WHOLE THING.
--Do at least 2 interviews per month for ZZN, and at least 2-zombie articles for same.
--Will write one new excellent article for Associated Content each month.
--Bake more bread than I buy at the store.


--I did leave my day job. I did not burn it down. 2 for 2 so far.
--TFE is not on paperback yet. So no splashy party yet.
--Yes, I've been doing yoga 4 days a week.
--Have not drafted the whole book, but getting there. 50% credit
--This site crapped out. Everyone fell by the wayside, so N/A. I *am* writing for several other sites now, much more often than 2x a month.
--No, haven't done this.
--No, have not done this either. I never make sandwiches with homemade bread for some reason. Too busy buttering it, I guess.


Other stuff I did:
--Created comic characters and began a monthly comic at the behest of the proprietor of Resilent Brainforest mag. These are FREE too, so hook yourself up.
--Got a Twitter. *grumble* @WednesFri
--Appeared in two anthologies, and two magazines.
--Published The Finster Effect.
--Made my own book trailer/learned iMovie.
--Read all the Songs of Ice and Fire books, all of Lemony Snicket, and a metric fuckton of small horror--most of it was not so good.


This year will be:
--Tons of marketing, especially The Finster Effect.
--Finishing and publishing Millicent Mixter's Guide so it can make me crazy rich and stoopid famous.
--Setting myself up for mobile credit card acceptance.
--Leaving time open to do/discover/learn new things
--Continue with TV reviews, sex articles, zombie such-and-such.
--Continue with HAES and Yoga so I can continue feeling awesome.
--Helping the reading public figure out who the hell I am.
wednes: (Wednes in 1985)
It's not a very obscure literary reference, so I'm gonna assume you all know.



So this happened. Finster came in town from Cali just to go to the show. What show, you ask? Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market. Back in the day, Finz and I went to these shows endlessly, roughly weekly but sometimes more. If you picture them dark and blurry, it'd look something like this.


It was a time for beer drinking and terrible jobs, hunting for a cool boyfriend and eventually realizing a girl friend would make more sense. A time for drugs and floundering, figuring shit out and wallowing in grand ideas and stupid mistakes. A time for a Heathen Ranch, gazing up longingly at the poverty line, and realizing that I was honest to Zod crazy and needed to do something about it.

Before the gig, there was a BBQ at the new home of my old friend and former Heathen Ranch roommate. A few other friends from that era were there. Newsflash: Having children ages people a LOT. Everybody's still as sexy as ever though. The dude on the far right is Joe, who is Our Narrator in the KMLYLM podcast. I know, right?


Merriment ensued.


My old friend literally lives within walking distance of my mom's house in Royal Oak. We drove right by it on the way to the bar, which was in Ferndale.

H actually got the night off work to come with. Because I asked him to. He hates bars, parties, going out, and being around crowds. He mostly sat at the table watching my bag. I mostly walked around acting like the queen of the castle, puffing the wacky tobacky, drinking tons of water and a few sips of coca cola, and dancing my ass off. I imagine some unflattering pics of said dancing will be showing up on Facebook over the next week. Can't wait...


Officially, the party was for our friend Bill, who was turning 40. Bill is an awesome guy who totally has not changed since back in the day. It's a weird thing to suddenly be back among people who knew me when I was a totally different person. And it's crazy to hear how people remembered me, how they "always knew" I'd be successful, and how I always seemed like I'd do great things. Not for nothing, but I don't recall 98% of these people mentioning that at the time. Quite the opposite, in fact. Anywhoo...


The gig was amazing. Jason still has the sweetest voice ever. I love it so much. The last song of the night was about me. I don't mean that in an absurd drunk-girl kind of way. The song Blues for a Better Wednesday was written about me, roundabout 1990. I'll probably podcast it sometime so you can all hear it. Jason called it their best song. I was quite touched.

The whole event was tremendous fun, and illustrated rather sharply the differences between my life then, and my life now. There were a bunch of people I was delighted to see, and a few conspicuous absences, and a healthy handful of people who said how happy they were to see me--who I didn't recognize at ALL. I look pretty much the same as ever, but most of the dudes put on weight and lost their hair. A lot of the chicks totally changed their hair, and everyone was wearing dark glasses for some reason. People kept hugging me and H would ask who they were, and I wouldn't know. Bizzarre, but nice to be so well loved, amirite?


In other news, I have a ton of work to do this week. Tonight I'll draft the review of the Dexter premiere, which I'll finish and put up tomorrow. Also tomorrow will be watching and putting up a review of the new Boardwalk Empire ep. Have you been reading my Reviews at GeekBinge? You totally should be. I'll also be covering American Horror Story when that comes back--in just 17 days!!!

Also, I'll be finishing the new Stig and the Puppetman comic. After that, I'll be tearing into A Stabbing for Sadie to make edits for the 2nd edition. I changed almost nothing from KMLYLM. It's gonna get a new introduction and some new "Thanks." I thought about going back through some of Dami's dialogue but decided against it. That book is pretty good as it is, and doesn't need me um...Lucasing it up. Sadie, OTOH, is getting tore up and thematically embiggened.

The next book is outlined and ready for me to write the hell out of it for NaNoWriMo. If you're planning to get down with the NaNo this year, be sure to add me as your buddy. This one is set for a 2013 release as well, so I kind of have to rock this thing hard core. Luckily, that is typically how I roll.

In sadder news, I walked away from cooking bacon today and it burned to an inedible blackened crisp. I was sad. Bacon abuse. No.
wednes: (Default)
Some of you know that my upcoming novel The Finster Effect is named after a real-life buddy of mine who is affectionately called Finster.

See Fig 1.


Finster and I met in my junior year of high school--the year I switched schools and had to start all over trying to make friends. I sucked at this. Finster was in my typing class, which we both almost failed because instead of doing assignments, we typed each other letters. There are a bunch of them at my mom's house in my hope chest. We were also in Fiddler on the Roof together (Sounds crazy, no?) along with that Andre guy from the first season of The Real World on Mtv. [Bad username or unknown identity: sudrin"] knows this because he came to see me in a performance. We weren't sure at first if we were going to date or be buddies. We ended up being buddies, and I never actually liked one of his girlfriends--until he met the one he eventually married.

Finster has a bunch of sisters. The only one I actually know doesn't like me. I've often wondered how a chick with such a cool haircut could endure such a sharp stick up her ass...but I digress. After high school I went to Olivet College and he joined the Army. Within a few years, we were both back in our parent's places and started hanging out again.

For much of my 20's, I looked for love, a better job, and kept on going to shows with Finster. Mostly we saw Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market at bars around Detroit. Jason is a good friend of mine from college. The band rocked so hard. Once we went all the way to Chicago and I threw up in the middle of the street. Hippy drugs and booze flowed pretty freely back then and a good time was had by all. These were days of 4am opening shifts at McDonalds, LSD, and the very end of my having any sort of relationship with the mater. There was also dancing. Tons and tons of dancing. There were gigs where Finster and I were the only ones dancing in the whole club. But dance, we did.


Me and Finz circa 1995

Eventually, ANFM stopped playing together. Jason became the booking guy at the Blind Pig. Finster moved to California and eventually got married. I met H and started writing books and doing my thing.

But...

Tomorrow, Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market is playing a reunion show in Ferndale. I'm going, this time, with H. Finster is flying out from California (come to think of it, he's probably already here) so I have someone to dance with. There's a BBQ at the home of one of my fellow Heathen Ranch buddies, followed by the show. I am SO super stoked!
wednes: (Tyrion)
Today is my brother Mark's birthday.
He was born on Friday the 13th.
He is 36. Who ever could have guessed that any of us would live this long?
Seriously...

Just to give you some contrast, here's what I had to say about my brother's birthday in 2004.
Yeah, it's locked. So if you really want to see it and can't, hit me up privately and I'll decide whether or not I can trust you. ;-] = o.O
The jist is that in 2004, I hadn't talked to him in years and missed him a whole lot. Now he comes over for lunch once a week or so, and we watch TV and hang out. That is pretty goddamn amazing, all things so considered.

So yeah, I'll be making my brother cookies later on tonight. Chocolate chip with walnuts. I was going to do a second batch of peanut butter and jelly cookies. H forgot to get jelly at the store, even though he went back a second time because he also forgot peanut butter. I've been thinking about that microwave fudge I've made a few times--the Alton Brown recipe "fidge" that's super easy and crazy good. Think I'll make that again.
If I drove, I'd take some to the old day job. I hear it's gotten WAY worse there since a bunch more people left. FOUR more people gave notice since I left at the beginning of July. I like to think it's because I gave people hope.
wednes: (Loring/Wednes)
I sort of flaked on my 10-Year Bloggiversary, which was actually the tenth of June. I thought it was in July, but when I checked, it uh...wasn't.
Whoops.

Of course, it's only a "whoops" if a bloggiversary is something that merits a joyous celebration. It may or may not be. Let's find out how joyous we should be with some exploratory listing of things that have happened since I began a blog in 2002.

--Got internet ordained.

--H and I have moved twice and still remain houseless.

--I got two cats, lost one, and then got another one.

--I had a yellow anaconda, but now I don't. I never will again, Zod willing.

--I completed five novels, three of which have been published.

--I've written at least 100 short stories, poems, articles, marketing pieces.

--Acquired and left two day-jobs.

--Got married. That was pretty cool.

--Three years of extensive therapy, EMDR, and med experimentation on a massive scale.

--Got back in touch with my brother, my godmother/favorite aunt, and a ton of various and sundry cousins, aunts, uncles and distant relations from my mother's side of my family. Whoa.

--Exchanged a few Emails with my biological father. Meh.

--Learned how to knit on a loom. Made a few dozen hats and miscellaneous yarny things. (This is a big deal since yarn crafts had always been a fail for me)

--Ridiculous infatuations with Chris Noth, Rob Zombie, Voltaire, and my hot hot former boss.

--Learned to bake bread, make a roux, and that there is no food on earth that cannot be improved with bacon. Though I kind of suspected that for most of my life.

Okay then, I shall make a little merry. That's a pretty good list.



I shall close with a bit of self indulgence.
Please tell me your most (and least, if you must) favoritest thing about my blog.

Angry

Mar. 20th, 2012 01:57 pm
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
As most of you regular readers know, my mom is a very angry person. Zero-to-pissed at the drop of a hat. Angry when someone uses a word or phrase she doesn't know, furious when anything doesn't go as planned--no matter how minor; flies into a rage over anyone daring to disagree--infinitely worse if someone dares to suggest that she's wrong about something, and catagory 5 tornado of rage if she actually turns out to be wrong. When I was a kid, she threw a swingline stapler at my face because I said Ally Sheedy was a brunette in The Breakfast Club even though she's a redhead in real life. I know...clearly something you need to do violence to your kid over, right?

I've been feeling angry for well over a year now. My usual mode is sarcasm. Most of what I encounter (granted, this is home, work, friends, shopping, and the internet--all pretty irritating) ends in my feeling somewhere between annoyed and incensed. It doesn't just affect my feelings. It affects my real work, my stupid-day-job that I hate, and everything else I need to do. I've stopped leaving the house for all non-essential activities--I don't even go grocery shopping anymore. I can't get into a car without constantly thinking of hurling myself out of it while it's moving (though this is more of an express way thing, not around down). Last night I thought about what would happen if I smothered H with a pillow so he wouldn't have to put up with my crap. (No, I'm not actually going to do it.) That's the same rationale that mommies use when they drown their kids in a bathtub, or drive them over a bridge.

I don't mind telling you, that scares the crap out of me. If I was still single and sans insurance, I'd get myself admitted to inpatient psyche. I clearly need it. I can feel an utter emotional collapse coming on. As it is, inpatient psyche for even a week would wipe out our entire savings. Every last bit and then some. So I'm stuck. And guess what? That makes me angry too.


In other news, The Walking Dead sucks. Fuck those guys. I'm putting my Evil Dead article on hold so I can write about this in detail for ZZN.

I'm delighted to hear that the feds are now involved in Trayvon Martin's murder. All you pricks who went on and on over KONY don't seem to give a shit about an American kid who got murdered by some neighborhood watch loon who calls the cops every time a neighbor sneezes. This kind of goes back to my earlier point about how fucked up everything gets when people can't get the mental health treatment they need.
And the Obama spokesman who said the White House doesn't want to be involved? Seriously? We invade liberate and free every oil-infested country in the whole damn world--but when a young kid is murdered for the heinous crime of buying candy in a posh neighborhood--suddenly we don't want to be involved?
I call bullshit on that.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
Sorry kids, but I have to post at length about the dad who puts 5 hollow point bullets into his kid's laptop after she had the nerve to complain about her parents on the internet. Oh, the humanity, that a 15-year-old girl should rant about chores and not getting an allowance.

I hear a lot of people applauding this asshole. I really don't get it. I know that some people LOVE to blame the victim--but how are any of you okay with a parent using a .45 to get their point across? If it was her boyfriend shooting up her shit--nobody would tell her she deserves it. Well, maybe Newt or Santorum, but nobody sane. I'm hearing a lot of blather about how kids today have no respect and how they'd do the same thing if it was "there kid." [sic] Are we really asserting that kids learn to be more respectful after watching a parent shoot up their shit?

I'd like to take a moment to explain a few things to a few people who think this kind of behavior is acceptable in a parent. I'm presuming that if you think this shit is kosher, that you were never abused by your parents. Or perhaps you were abused but are still deluding yourself into thinking that your PTSD and inability to connect emotionally with another person is "just one of those things" and that all those beatings you took along with the constant shaming and belittling was "no big deal" or "something all parents do." Note: many parents actually give a shit whether or not their kid has any self esteem, and actually put their child's comfort before their own--even when they're upset.

A parent who flies into a rage over nothing is TERRIFYING. It's like living with a fucking time bomb in your house. In my experience, sometimes that time bomb ticks loudly when it wants you to do something...letting you know that it has the power to completely disassemble you in seconds, and that nobody will be able to do anything about it. Sometimes that time bomb sits there dormant, daring you to live your life as if it isn't there. And other times, it pouts to you that it doesn't understand why your afraid of it...just before it blows up everything in its wake.
Yes, obviously I have issues with this sort of thing. As a kid who grew up in a constant state of fear, I'm a little edgy about people cheering while a dad is terrorizing his kid. I'm not suggesting that there be no follow up after a sweary rant is found on the internet. But if you watch the dad in the vid, it's not difficult to see where she learned how to write swear filled rants.

Here's the thing. There's a difference between punishment and revenge. I know a lot of Americans don't understand this, and that's why they support the death penalty. You kill them, we kill you may work for some adults--not me, but some. But the Do as I say, not as I do school of parenting was laughed out of town decades ago. This girl is obviously modeling the behavior she sees at home. Let's hope that when she grows up, she stops short of plugging a few rounds into whatever (Dad) thing is making her angry. But if she doesn't...apparently the internets largely think a .45 is a great way to solve family problems. And hell, maybe in Redneckistan, it is. But I would hope civilized people would know better--or at least that you don't show respect for something by putting a few bullets into it. Punishment is supposed to illustrate why the behavior is wrong, and provide incentive not to repeat the behavior. This dad copied the behavior and then expanded it, and then destroyed an expensive piece of equipment for no real reason. I suppose she'll be grounded for not doing the homework that was on the computer next...
The only lesson to be learned here is "My Dad is an asshole."

It's no secret that people who use violence to get their point across do so because they're control freaks who are shitty with words. That might explain why people on FB support this "father".
"How can u say he shul loose his daugter for that. peepel can punsish there kids how they want" [sic times infinity]. If this asshat was actually trying to teach a lesson, he might have say, given the laptop to charity, a school, a needy family, sold it, etc. But no...he destroyed it with his great big gun, then explained that his daughter was then going to pay for all the repairs he made to it. This, of course, smacks of the Why do you make me do it school of domestic violence. Right up there with the old maybe there'd be less rapes if so many women didn't dress like sluts. Victims are not responsible for the shit their attackers do. Nor are children responsible for the actions of their parents. Kids are supposed to do stupid shit. Parents are supposed to act like goddamn adults.
The mini rant about how his daughter's friends will learn that complaining on the internet is not okay? Please. That would be hilariously misinformed, except that it's punctuated by gun violence so it's no longer funny.

If the girl is fifteen, she only has to tolerate that asshattery for a little while longer. Most abusive parents don't seem to realize that there will come a day when the kid is grown up, and no longer has to accept abuse. Those of you who know me know that I've not spoken to my own mother since 1995. Last I heard, she was telling people it was because of money or something--and not because eventually, the dog you keep kicking will refuse to come back for more kicking.

That aside, isn't that rather an appalling example of irresponsible gun ownership? I thought the whole point of gun safety was to teach that guns are not toys. Sounds like SOMEbody needs to learn that lesson. Tell me...is it possible to shoot a gun with another gun?
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
I'm in my 40's. I can remember a time when that seemed ridiculously old. I can remember learning that my grandfather was *gasp* 54 and it seemed like the oldest thing in all of time.

Not having kids means I get to continue to live like a teenager in many ways, despite my advanceD decrepitude. And face it, decades of sloth and gluttony have indeed rendered me a bit less jaunty than other peeps my age. I'm working on strength training so I can eventually get into the house of horrors that is Cardio. But yeah, for a 40-something, I feel pretty tired, sore, and old.

That said...I learned today that another friend of mine is dying due to one of those things that people blame on fatness, AND/or "not taking care of yourself." I've not seen this dude in years, so I have no idea what his habits are. But he's a Big Guy, which means there's always some douchebag who will blame bad health on being heavy with absolutely no other facts.

It scares the hell out of me knowing that people my age are dying from this kind of shit. My right foot has been numb, which gives me constant nightmares about doctors coming in to cut it off in the night. My knees are bad, and it's difficult for me to get up off the floor by myself. I'm not ready for LifeAlert or anything, but the very idea that I could fall and take 20 seconds or more to stand back up again? Yikes. Fucking...yikes. I mean, what if I couldn't stand up at all? I can't even imagine.
wednes: (Shaun/Beatin')
When I was a kid, my mom never felt well. She was constantly complaining about her head, her stomach, feeling tired, sick, etc. And even as a kid I was like "You live on Mountain Dew, potato chips and Sudafed, of course you feel like ass." Since her mom died young, she would talk a lot about how she didn't want to also die young. Fun fact: she hasn't.

However...
I don't do those things. I eat a variety of fruits and veggies, though I'm also heavy on the meat and carbs. I exercise, I get enough sleep (especially now, thank you CPAP!) and avoid caffeine, booze, cigs, and hard drugs. I drink plenty of water. Still...I feel like crap more often than not. Headaches, soreness/stiffness, stomach and digestive crap. It seems like I never stop complaining about how I feel. I'm sick of it. And I'm really terrible at suffering in silence. I'm pretty loud about it.

This is why I've been slowly working with docs recently to try and get things looked at and figured out. Maybe I expect too much. Having a CPAP isn't going to make me never feel tired again. My blood pressure being in a healthy range (finally) is not the same as me actually being fit enough for strenuous activity. Finally being on bi-polar meds isn't going to mean I'm never sad, depressed, or manic again. And avoiding some of my moms more heinous qualities is not really doing that much to prevent me from turning into her.

I sometimes wonder if the real reason I never got around to having kids was my paralyzing fear of being like her. I mean, everything else I ever wanted to do, I eventually did or am working on now. I don't know if I'm tired and sick, or just sick and tired. I hate my day-job so much, it makes me angry every time I wake up and realize I have to come here. I hate the fact that I have to have a job like this, AND how much they just don't give a crap about people who do what I do. Hate. But I also don't want to write for companies that are evil--and evil companies seem to be always hiring. *sigh*
wednes: (Stephen King)
I figured that since Stephe--excuse me, Richard Bachman's book/novella, Rage is no longer in print, that it wouldn't chafe any balls for me to download it as a pdf, and reformat it for my shiny new Kindle. So I did. Like most sad freaks with brains, I read Mr King voraciously as a kid ("kid" in this case, meaning age 10 thru getting the hell out of that house at 17, and then through my 20's). I loved the short stories in particular, and indeed went through multiple copies of both Night Shift and Skeleton Crew (that had the same terrifying monkey on the front that my Grandpa had in his basement). King is the guy who first taught me about the effectiveness of different POV's. Personally, I find that 1st person is the only POV I can write convincingly, the only truthy option for me. King taught me tons about how to craft a story, how to scare people, how to keep things hidden from the reader while looking like you're baring it all. And this was years before he wrote Danse Macabre and On Writing. He took horror seriously, in a way that few others did. He was, and is, a fucking genius. I want to nut-punch these asshats who bitch that King is no good anymore the same way drunk dickheads in their 20's complain that The Simpsons just aren't as funny as it was when it started--you know, before they were even in the womb. If you deny the genius of, or the effect that Stephen King has had on horror, and all literature, then you're either functionally illiterate, or a total asshat.

So...
I finished re-re reading RAGE about an hour ago. I intended to sit right down and write this, but having a houseguest makes every non-bathroom task take thrice as long as it should. I honestly believe that RAGE is King's best and most truthful book. My short story, Whitman, I ain't is loosely based on it. And while I didn't realize it until recently, my first novel, A Stabbing for Sadie is really just a novel-length attempt to capture the feel and style of Charlie Decker and his Fantastical Adventure in Getting it on.

It pains and saddens me that King wanted RAGE out of print. I'm aware that at least 2 kids who shot up 2 different schools had copies of this book when their rooms were searched. Searching a kid's room and taking guesses as to why he did what he did is something Decker would have taken profound exception to. I understand fully how potent the power of a book can be. I know that some of the books I've read have changed my life and the way I live it. And I'm pretty sure there are books that have affected me so subtly, that I'm not even aware of their influence. I admit that. Non-sarcastically. Really, I do.

But...people need books. They need to hear and feel and think in a different way. They need to at least consider my oft-asserted premise that there is no such thing as evil people. That's important, so I'm going to say it again:

There is no such thing as evil people.

Yes, people do evil things. They kill, hurt or hunt for pleasure, they steal and lie and do all manner of ghastly shit. But I'm telling you, these people are BROKEN. They are not inherently evil. You don't repeatedly throw your iPhone on the pavement and then blame the web browser when it stops working. You don't hit a kid for years and then wonder why he's angry. You don't lie to someone over and over and then wonder why they no longer trust you. You don't treat someone like ass, again and again for their whole damn lives and then act all shocked and surprised when they do something back. Oh wait...lots of people do that. Tons. Maybe even the majority.
And that's why we like to slap the label "Evil" on behavior that we don't like. It totally takes the burden off the shitty things we do that make other people what they are. Sure, we all have choices, and we all have to take responsibility for what we do. All of us. That includes not blaming a book for a kid that everyone around him had a hand in breaking, and the kid who may or may not cite the book as his inspiration. I think that's something adults foist on kids more than something kids actually do. If Ozzy or the guys from Judas Priest were here, I imagine they'd agree.

I wanted to get out there and tear shit up as a kid. I wanted to make good ol' mater feel as bad as she made me feel. I didn't exactly know how, but I had a few ideas. In high school, I once had a therapy session where we role played me putting poison in her bottle of Mountain Dew. I had said to the doc I was sure I'd feel terrible. But when we role played it, I laughed. A giggle at first, then more--and by the end I was like a cackling supervillian. I didn't want to hurt people. Not really. But to be powerful, for just a few minutes? Yes. Just...yes.

That's how I always felt about Charlie Decker. Charlie cozying up to his Id warmed my sad, adolescent heart. It's why I didn't ever start a fire in MY locker--why I didn't carry a gun to class (although I did spend a few years in college carrying a big knife for some reason. I felt nearly naked without it), or actually physically hurt anybody. Eventually, I was able to get out of a terrible situation, then another, then another, and get the help I needed. I used to kind of wish Stephen King would tell us what ever happened to Charlie Decker like he's about to with Danny Torrance. He hasn't, but I like to think Charlie was able to figure shit out, and that he turned out a lot like me.
wednes: (Wednes in 1985)
Went to a party at my brother's house last night. Wanted to see him and his costume, and meet his new girlfriend. It also gave me a reason to make my famous mexican layer dip. I didn't have much, but it turned out yummy and really, really hot.

Ryan was my date:


Mark was a suicide bomber, which is decidedly NOT racist.


Party costumes were good. There was a chick football player, a nurse, grim reaper, redneck, and a few people who seemed to be dressed like their regular selves. I didn't really know anybody, but everybody was nice. My social anxiety was in full force, not just because I was outside my home and surrounded by people I didn't know--but because that whole part of town is considered the scene of my spiritual depantsing. I hope I didn't say anything rude or offensive, but I never know.
I basically feel like THIS whenever I go back there.


So yeah, if you only see ONE picture of a Halloween witch this season, make it this one.


We split right around the time beer pong started. My bro has a bunch of beer signs that my grandpa used to have in his basement. He gave me one, which I thought was cool. I always thought it was wood, but upon taking it off the wall I learned that it was plaster. It had initials in the back, so now I wonder if it wasn't made by someone in the family. I shall follow up on that.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Was sick on Friday so they sent me home from the day-job early. Super tired and run down and sore. Saturday was homecoming at my alma mater, wherein I was welcomed:


Had to leave Ann Arbor by 8am to arrive nearly by 9:30am. The alumni ass-kissing was exceptional. Tons of students and staff checking in to make sure I was comfortable, if I needed anything, and then just asking me stuff about writing and getting published. As usual, my assistant was awesome. She even wrote down all the things I was agreeing "to do sometime, no rush" so I wouldn't forget. I ought to have her start writing down the names of people I met; I swear I don't remember half of them--which sucks because everyone always remembers my name.

Anyway, there were lots of people I was delighted to see, including one of the few professors I love who are still on campus.


Hung out at the house for a bit. For those who don't know, "the house" refers to the home of Alpha Lambda Epsilon which is where I pledged when I was a student. If you think pledging is only for assholes, it's because you've not met the fine men and women (Yup, co-ed house) of ALE.

Every pledge class makes a plaque with their names on it, a motto or phrase that reminds one of the pledging experience. As it happens, I designed, carved and painted out plaque, except for the names. I used to be quite handy with a set of tools.


If you're wondering what that bizzarre series of letters is after my name, it's the second name I had as a kid--technically belonging to my dear mater's second husband. It's also the name I used for the longest...so far. We'll just see how long I live. *snerk*

And finally, here's me and NYT best selling author Scott Sigler, who is more famous than me...and still a damn nice guy. It was nice to see him, and to sell more books than he did--because he didn't bring any. Ha!


Even though the party went on until well after 9pm, we left before 3pm because I was feeling so damn sick and tired. Everybody talked about how happy I seemed, and how happy they were for me. Then one of my sisters came out this way and crashed at my place. Somehow, it never occurred to me to take a pic of her. Ultimately, I had a nice time and sold enough books that I didn't lose any money on the trip.

Woke up this morning with a completely empty humidifier dish in Ye Olde CPAPe. As such, I had no voice whatsoever. Sucks too, since I was kind of awake at 6am. Drank a bunch of tea and went back to bed on heavy humidity. 5 hours later I'm feeling okay and can talk, though the high notes may not be back until later.

Finally, This is my favorite song at the moment.
wednes: (X-files)
Blessed Yom Kippur to those who celebrate.
Hope your contemplation is productive.

I am, sadly, at the day job all day until 5pm. Ordering deli food for lunch to keep myself in a happy, junk food infused mood. Working a long shift on Saturday tends to make me want to snack all day long. Not sure what's up with that.

Still behind on the book. So what else is new, right? Concentration and focus are still not happening. Drank a giant (okay, Wendy's calls it their "medium" but it's well over 3 serving sizes) coke last week. That was the only time in weeks I've felt peppy and focused--until it wore off and I had to go right to bed. Drag. REALLY don't want to get back into the trap of caffeine. I hate that shit, and do not wish to be that kind of addict ever again.

Next week is a book signing during homecoming at my alma mater. My Arch Writing Nemesis will be there. Okay, he's not really my nemesis, he's a guy I went to college with who was always destined to be a more popular and successful writer than me. He has a giant fan base, a Wikipedia entry, and has been on the NYT best seller list. Isn't that just a kick in the nuts? No, not really. Irritatingly enough, he works his ass off at it; so I can't even grumble about how some people get everything in life handed to them for the asking because he totally didn't. He's still super nice, helpful, supportive, and emphatically NOT one of those "head up his ass" types. Plus, he's in the HWA. I want to be in the HWA.
It so happens that I caught up with him in about 1997. He gave me a hard copy of a book he wrote. After reading it, I was so jealous I couldn't even see straight. Not only was it a fast paced, innovating, marketable book--but he wrote it back when I was still working shitty retail jobs, smoking bushels to kind bud, and search desperately for someone who'd want to marry me. I felt so profoundly untogether and he was already doing to great--and this was BEFORE he invented the audiobook podcast. Fucker!
My plan is to sit next to him at the signing, smile, and tell everyone who walks by that "I'm a writer too." They're giving him the prestigious alumni award. The only award they'd give me is person who flipped the bird the most times in a single yearbook. Ha!
Which is why I always say that comparing yourself to other people is the quickest road to misery. Besides, when I see him, I can totally get him to sign some copies of his books.

CPAP machine will be mine, hopefully on Weds.
It will be mine.
Oh yes, it will be mine.

Oh...right.

Sep. 6th, 2011 01:17 pm
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
Feeling stressed, tired, tense, generally off my game.
and then I realized.

Today is my Mom's birthday.

Living well is the best revenge.

And now...

...I'm done talking about it.
wednes: (Shaun/Beatin')
H and I were watching some trailers last night, as we sometimes do.
I saw that Comcast had the trailer for the new Smurfs movie that's coming up.

"Don't watch it, I'm serious." H tells me.

"Oh C'mon," I say, "Hank Azaria is in it. He's not going to make a movie that's absolute shit."

"Just remember that I warned you..." H says.

I watched it. No Hank Azaria in the trailer. No Gargamel at all, in fact.
The Smurfs were...and I am NOT even shitting you: NEW YORK.
New. Fucking. York.

That is wrong on every conceivable level.

Honestly, I'd rather they just turned Smurfs into a porno if that's what they're gonna do with the rights they bought. At least a porno won't be insulting my intelligence, or making a mockery of something that--okay, something that wasn't that great in the first place.
If any of you actually remember the creation of Smurfette and how that all went down, you'll know that the Smurfs are not exactly great for kids.

Smurfs have got kind of a redneck sensibility. Everybody has a rigid labor role. One guy is the unquestioned leader. There is one enemy that everyone feels the same way about. And every time brainy tries to talk some sense into his fellow Smurfs, they throw him in the air until he lands upside-down and breaks his glasses. Right. I'm sure the other Smurfs also want to see Brainy's original birth certificate.

I really wish I could Unwatch the trailer.
Since I can't, I'm going to write a strongly worded letter to...
...oh fuck it. I'm just gonna complain and then take a nap when I get home.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Well, because you guys are so great. Only a handful of people are actually reading this on DW. My loyalest fans (not to be confused with loyalists, which I totally skeeve) are still over to the livejournal. While Facebook does take up most of my internet time, I gotta blog. I just gotta. I'm so self absorbed, I think people I've never met want to see pics of me when I was little!
But I digest... [sic]



Here is a GIANT pic of me dancing with my cousin at my Aunt Barb's wedding: )

Put up the new podcast ep just now. Chapters 19 and 20 of Kiss Me Like You Love Me now available at my site, and on the iTunes. Chapter 20 is way far violent and you should only listen if you're into that sort of thing. For serious.

Read a review yesterday for the most recent anthology I appeared in. It's the first interview that mentioned my story specifically, and now I can't find it. Maybe it will show up on Amazon. The publisher on this is a real go getter, and he's pushy but not rude. I like him a lot.

Had lunch with my favorite aunt today, my mom's sister--Aunt Barb. She's pretty great. We went to iHop and had a 2 hour lunch full of family talk. Last time we went out, I let her know that she could give my current phone number to my mom--which she did. My mom didn't call, which is not a surprise. I've actually given my mom my number several times over the years, which she has not used. Ah well...what can ya do?

Today I plan to finish my Q's for Bear McCreary (I'm interviewing him via Email for ZZN, in case you missed that news), touch up my hair color, rewrite a chapter so it makes some goddamn sense, watch Sunday's ep of Big Love, and start my article for the ParaBlog. Ladies who Survive promises to be a great series despite a lame title.

Got new pants in the mail today. They are purple with a pink stripe up each side. They fit a little loose but I bet they will shrink when I wash them. I also got the first underwire bra ever that doesn't make me want to tear it off after wearing it for an hour.

And finally, I am seriously considering using this as my author photo on my next book:

It is also my Email response when people write to ask me why I have to write such unpleasant things. ;-]

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