Wednesday, July 29, 2009

[Lameness Factory] Walking with the Ghost

I'm super lame, yes.

But in the three hours since I posted Chapter 5 of my bastardization of Stephenie Meyer's New Moon (today), I have had 150 unique reads.

And no one's even taken their clothes off yet. Which, I'll admit, is very unusual for one of my stories.

Between the two sites upon which I have dropped my very first Fanfic, I have had just over 1000 reads in the last two weeks.

So despite the fact that I am lame (I know), drink far too much tea sans bubbles and am patiently waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse, apparently I am able to string together a few coherent sentences that people are reading and get. (Of course, my grammar/punctuation prolly still sucks ass, so thank goodness for Open Office). Of the non-scholarly variety. Huzzah!

But don't take my word for it:

2009-07-28 . chapter 2
Wow. I mean, wow. I'm already hooked. I don't care what happens, I don't care if you kill off all your characters or make them wear tutus or make them break out in random crap songs. Your writing is so enthralling that I'll follow it anywhere you lead. Please keep it coming.

2009-07-27 . chapter 2
Your writing is fierce. It is haunted with the type of emotions that border on insanity. Unrequited love is so brutal, and you express it through Jake so well. He is believable. I have always liked him better than any of Myer's other characters because he isn't flat. You have taken his internal conflict and made it more mature, laced with a level of pain that reminds me of all that is wonderous and horrifying about love. I cannot wait for you to update. HURRY!

2009-07-27 . chapter 1
This is so awesomely written. I love your writing so much, and I can tell that this is going to be a really good story. I can't wait until you update again. Oh by the way I want to tell you that just in this single chapter I can see that you are a very talented writer. Keep up the good work! (sits impatiently waiting...biting fingernails...on the edge of my seat)

Where can these amusements be found?

Walking with the Ghost or
Walking with the Ghost

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

[New Music] Sharon Van Etten (and where I fawn over Hey Rosetta)

Last night, I went to the best show ever (well, at least until the next awesome show rolls around) at the Mercury Lounge.

I will admit, I wasn't actually there for the main act -> Josh Mease. I'm sure he was great, but Michelle and I had to ditch prior to his taking the stage.

I was there in my capacity as an Hey Rosetta! addict.

Things I intrinsically know about Hey Rosetta!: (1) they are, as my conspirator in cataloging would say, "full of Win," (2) they are Canadian, from Newfoundland, (3) 2008's Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood) is seriously one of the tightest, lyrically awesome and best albums ever made, (4) their live show absolutely rocks, and (5) apparently boys grown in Canada are statistically hotter than anything American made (I am currently researching the veracity of this statement - more research required, however).

Seriously, go out and buy this album. Go see them live. Rock out with your iPod on the train in the wee hours of the morning or with the window down in rush hour traffic. You should trust me 'cause the only thing that I ever learned is when trusting a stranger your trust will be returned ('New Goodbye').

But the main thrust of this entry is Sharon Van Etten - who took the stage just before Hey Rosetta!. Oh my very goodness - she had me from the first lilting arch of her amazing, amazing voice. Of course, then she jumped into my head and pulled out the lyrics (admittedly more concise and better scribed): You're the reason I'll move to the city, or why I'll need to leave ('Give Out').

I bought Because I was in Love (2009) and have it in heavy rotation... along with Hey Rosetta! Apparently, I frightened several very conservative passerbys in my 'Hood last night as I walked home from the F singing 'Black Heart' at the top of my lungs.

Not everyone is as comfortable with my spectacular dorkiness as I am.

As an aside, very weirdly for New York, I actually saw one of my interviewers for a position in the City I unsuccessfully applied for yesterday. Do you know how random that is in this large city? Although I'm beginning to believe that the Chinatown area (I'm sure it has an official name, I just don't know it) is where everyone I ever met in NY exists when I'm there. Creepy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NYPS: The Saga Continues

Despite the fact that I believe that I would be a good travelling correspondent - the lack of posts while I was in South Carolina (Saturday-Wednesday of this week) prove otherwise.

But this is not a tale of correspondence. But a tale of stalking.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who moved to New York from Detroit. Owning to her place of origin, not having a car would be tantamount to not breathing or not drinking Vernors. So she brought her Hybrid to the mean streets of New York.

While she was technically under the umbrella of Michigan Licenseship - despite some minor delays in renewing tags, periodically - there was never any issues with the Powers That Be. Namely the New York State Parking Syndicate.

Then one day, our intrepid heroine (who must have been doing heroine) decided to embrace New York State.

Four... yes, FOUR visits to the DMV later, she was New York street legal despite the best attempts at thwarting by New York State employees.

She received a ticket the very first day she had a New York State license. Why, you ask? For not having the front license attached to the vehicle despite having received it at 4pm and no one available to screw it into my front bumper. It was in the front window. And for only having a temporary inspection paper - also in the front window - despite it's legality.

Both were thrown out of Court.

Unsated, the New York Parking Syndicate turned to means darker and more nefarious. Parking tickets for parking .00001 millimeters too close to the 4' fire hydrant zone. Parking tickets the very minute (I am not kidding, they're date stamped) the 2009 State Inspection sticker expired.

Things became clear last night (technically this morning - Thursday, July 23) at 12am. Upon returning to the garbage strewn streets of Bensonhurst, I found the New York State Parking Syndicate waiting on the corner of my favorite parking spot: 63rd/17th Ave. Headlights off, engine a low puff of sound in the night, hiding in the shadows between street lights.

Welcome back, Citizen. We have been expecting you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I can't get to sleep

As a card-carrying nerd, I have spent far too much time watching YouTube videos on 'social networking' and working on DnD dungeon maps this week. I am boning up for my interview on Friday, particularly in marketing taxonomies and terminologies so I don't sound like a librarian from the sticks and boning up for my new DnD 4.0E campaign: Shadow of the Sundered.

I have also not been sleeping.

Which may be one reason I thought it was a good idea to spend time on world creation (although Obsidian Portal is awesome). And I think I might have also posited going into prostitution to my Mom on the phone with predictable results, although I can't remember the context. I have obviously not been thinking rationally. Otherwise I would not have trembled on the precipice of peanut butter cookie cut-offs. My Mom is pretty awesome, though, as she puts up with my very, very, very off-kilter sense of humor.

If I have to endure continued insomnia, I hope I begin to display Cashback super insomnia powers in lieu of Christian Bale nightmarish emaciation or the sudden appearance of low men in yellow coats.

What keeps me company in the dark hours of night -->

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My caveat is that I absolutely abhor Jack Johnson, the {very} poor man's Ben Harper.

However, this song really takes the words - or attempts to use them while I'm mute - out of my mind regarding the way I feel about my Dad.

Lots of mind weirdness as the Rocket Gibraltar moment looms nearer and nearer. Two weeks, now.


There're still so many things
I want to say to you
But go on
Just go on
We're bound by blood that's moving
From the moment that we start

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Minor celebrations

In honor of not having a parking ticket waiting for me when I had to move the Meleride I thought I would jam out to Stevie Wonder.

In celebration, I thought I would share:

He was only 18 at the time, but damn, I wonder too, Stevie.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A meditation on wasting time

In between applying for jobs, dodging my arch-nemesis the NYPS (the New York Parking Syndicate), bonding with the NYS Emissions guy over the Stooges and generally languishing in malaise, I have started watching Heroes.

Yes, I started watching because NewSpock was reputedly a main (albeit patently evil) character.

A penchant for brain collection and consumption have a lot to recommend itself to a fan of the Zombie genre.

This show has totally disarmed me. I have such an enormous soft-spot for the King-ian (as in Stephen King) trope of gathering disparate bodies together for Quest fulfillment. Dictated upon a blueprint upon which the Master Power (fill in higher deity of choice here) wishes to sway but cannot actively involve itself in.

A trope within whose parameters David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean succeed so beautifully.

Razzing perhaps deserved, but it's the same reason I have such a crazy love of M. Night Shyamalan's corpus. Particularly Unbreakables' "They called me Mr. Glass..." and Lady in the Water (which I really liked, but might be the only one in the world).

Being only four shows into the series, I have decided that Clair's father rocks the world. Dude! Mad props to the father who erases the memory of his daughter's attempted rapist as retribution. Personally, I would have killed his punk ass. But I respect the differences in style.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What I did for July 4th... a brief essay


The very word strikes fear in the heart of man, woman and child.

But to me, nothing could be sweeter. Except maybe Zombie Nazis!

Several weeks ago, Eric (a fellow gamer who shares my penchant for the undead), gave me a postcard featuring the cinematic genius of Tommy Wirkola. I subsequently lost it in the dark and somewhat crumbly depths of my backpack - second only to my hands as a place where things are placed to be lost indefinitely. It re-emerged rather suddenly this week only moments after finding out I had received not one, but TWO non-moving violations. Despite the affection I bear for my Hybrid (and the fact that it's paid off), I have had dark fantasies of late featuring a (hitherto) nameless crew taking said vehicle out into the wilderness of Jersey and torching it under the moonlight. John Gorka sings quite bitterly about a similar experience. But I digress.

Upon finding the postcard, I decided that I absolutely had to see it.

So I called up the troops, sans a Zombie-hating Frank (who I adore despite this tragic flaw) and ended up going with "Roger"*, owning to a less than thrilled response - or the coincidence of it being July 4.

In short, it was awesome. The humor was perfectly pitched - campy, awashed in brains (and, ironically intestines - which All Flesh would term as 'sweetmeats') and featuring a male character that even picky me could swoon over. I reference the character of Vegard (played by a brilliant eyed Lasse Valdal) who won me over when he used a fishing hook and line to suture his own neck wound - and actually bit a zombie back! I find that kind of adaptation rather awesome and important in preparing for the Zombopocalypse. I won't give too much away, but I really thought Roy and/or Hanna were going to make it. All of the characters were given lots of depth and at least one quality zombie ass-kicking and the story was actually rather believable. This doesn't usually matter in Zombie movies (the only genre I let slide on accuracy), but it definately added to the whole. I give it 9 Khans.

Afterwards, "Roger" plotted alignment shifts of my Cleric in DnD over burgers on University Place. I was plotting snagging a paramour for him (so he would stop hand-picking guys out the window for me, *sigh*), but was rebuffed on all counts. But I have high hopes for "Roger" in Cali. As I reminded him, no one knew who he was in California and I have a very strict don't ask, don't tell policy. Basically, I elucidate it as such: if you buy me a beer (or make me peanut butter cookies!), I don't ask and I don't tell.

In other words (since I've decided to bore everyone with prose tonight), I have been writing scads and scads of things. It's completely insane and counter-productive. Why am I so focused on the prospects of "A Zombie Love-story" (the working title)? Why have I been watching depressing period dramas on Netflix (I can actually half answer that with the name 'James McEvoy")? And why can't I get to sleep before 2am?

The imponderables in life. Good thing the apocalypse is nigh or I might actually have to answer them.

* Names have been changed to protect the very seriously guilty.

Friday, July 3, 2009

[New Music] The Kooks

I absolutely cannot get enough of this song. It's like my personal obsession of late:

A little disappointed by the remainder of the album, as it veered a little too closely into Oasis territory (and secretly, the only song I ever liked by Oasis was the verbally awkward Other Gallagher number off their self-titled album of ages past - but on trying to find it, realize that all of the songs suck ass). And really, is a tight shiny shirt a good choice for a dude looking to score?

So ranting: whatever happened to the blisteringly angry, furious Brit of ages past? Am I missing something... like some guitar action? Has everything been diluted down to the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis?

Although on this tangent, I caught a really finely produced Thistle & Shamrock podcast from the Perthshire Amber Festival (Scotland) where either Dougie McLean or Andy M. Stewart brought up the salient point that guitars were not indigenous to British music - folk or otherwise, which could explain much. --> Program 1358: Reunion (part 1) (June 4, 2009) Week 23,

More please...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

[New Music] The National

While having to move my car yet again to avoid another parking ticket in the desolate streets of Bensonhurst, I caught a couple minutes of a song by a group called the National. Caught by the way Matt Berninger's voice dropped on the line: think I better follow you around, I started a frenzy of trying to find out what the song was.

Luckily, bestowed with keen librarian skills and a modicum of socialization, I managed to find it as the National's Brainy. I love Berninger's voice. Deep, understated - to the point where when the song shifts, it makes a sweet little aural impact that to my imagination (which is quite active, I'll admit) made it sound as if it were an admission pulled unwillingly out of the singer. Nice.

Here is the song:

And the lyrics:

I've been draggin around from the end of your coat for two weeks
everywhere you go is swirling, everything you say has water under it

You know I keep your fingerprints in a pink folder in the middle of my table
you're the tall kingdom I surround
think I better follow you around

You might need me more than you think you will
come home in the car you love, brainy brainy brainy

On a second (hundred) listen, I was struck by how much Berninger
sounded like Springsteen. Curious and curiouser.