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Robust McManlyPants on Average Display » 2004 » December

December 2004


Today is the last day ever of Wigu.  I look forward to his next project, and there’s always his cartoon blog, but I am still a little sad.  I’m wearing my Topato shirt as living memorial.

I probably need less nerdy hobbies, but whatever. (more…)

So, it’ll be 2005 in a couple of days.  Wow!  I remember five
years ago, standing on the back porch at Windsor with everyone counting
down and raising glasses and holding our breath to see if the power
would go out, the computers would explode or civilization as we know it
would come to an end.  And I remember three years ago, when KJ’s
friends played in our basement.  The band was called
“Shitload.”  The name was appropriate.  What I remember of
their performance, and the song I think of as their “hit single,” was
“My Dick Is Pierced.” 

What a strange New Year’s that was.

At any rate, speaking of KJ, she has up a photoblog
It is extremely cool.  I have so many friends who are amazing
visual artists in one way or another – photographers, fabric artists,
illustrators, painters, sculptors, you name it.  The only “art” I
can do is with a keyboard – my web “design” even sucks – and that’s
half-assed at it’s best.  I am so, so glad to have artistic
friends.

I’m still slogging through Disinformation’s Book of Lies, and
it’s still fascinating and cautionary.  I’ve gotten past the
halfway mark, which means I’m knee-deep in weird-ass
cult-of-personality types like Crowley and Leary and such.  I have
a ton of ideas buzzing in my brain for a second half to Shell Access.  I have a ton of ideas for how Charles sees the world and how Ernesto sees the world and how they each interpret the Deus Ex Machina
and how others would interpret it and what they have to do to protect
it and contain it at the same time.  Does a caged bird sing if
it’s locked in a deprivation chamber and fed LSD its entire life? 
Charles has to find out.  Ernesto thinks he knows the
answer.  Jimmy just wants to make a buck.  Others just like
to kill, all their thoughts locked in their reptile brains.  I
think Charles may be destined to become a shaman of sorts – something
I’d kicked around as an idea for the first half of SA when I was doing
NaNo, but bailed on when I couldn’t keep it up to continue working on
it nonstop.  Now I have to sort out just what it might mean to him
to take on that role of outsider-teacher-diplomat-leader-untouchable.

I have a bunch of characters duking it out in my brain right now and
that means I have to put some of it on paper soon or I won’t be able to
sleep.  I’ve already had several nights of extremely bizarre
dreams – including last night’s, in which I was adopted into a family
of Chinese immigrants and accidentally decapitated my new little
brother, whose head was able to animate his corpse just long enough to
say his goodbyes before running away to live the life of a zombie while
I watched the Browns play the Rams in the Super Bowl.  That alone tells you it had to be a dream.

Too bad I won’t have time to do any writing at all for, I dunno, the
next couple of weeks.  It’s also good that I don’t write for
anything other than my own amusement.  I always think it sucks
complete ass.  That’s not a passive-aggressive plea for
compliments, that’s a simple acknowledgement that it relieves me of the
pressure of writing well. (more…)

So, I’ve been re-reading the Disinformation collection Book of
Lies.  The parts I read today over a Subway sandwich, prior to
work, were the essays on the lives of Brion Gyson and William S. Burroughs
and their experiments with flicker-induced trance states and some
serious technopagan experimentation – cut-ups of sound and text and
imagery and performance designed to be both art and modern
sorcery.  These dudes were into some weird shit, but it is
fascinating.  There’s a part of me that’s really intensely curious
and another part of me that recognizes the highway sign over that
spiritual exit as reading FREAKY WEIRDODOM with a big, chaotically
curved mandala-like arrow that points eight different ways at
once. 

That said, I’m finding their art and their philosophy fascinating at
the moment.  I think the person who decided their attitudes or
philosophies were entirely desirable and sought to model themselves
after these two, and the school of art and thought they inspired, would
(a) be making what’s possibly a very big mistake – at the very least,
not everyone is meant for their path – and (b) probably be missing the
whole point, but I think of Ernesto from my NaNo last month and I
realize, Oh, that’s what Ernesto believes. (more…)

Oh holy crap,
the stars are weakly gleaming.
It is the night of a feared, alien birth.

Long lay the gods, inert but never dying
Soon they’ll appear not in dreams but here on Earth.
The shrill-sung note, the weary cries of madness,
For yonder breaks the last, inglorious morn.

Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the chanting voiceless.
Oh night devoured,
Oh night when R’lyeh rises again from briney deeps to strike fear in
mortal hearts as pale moonlight washes over its profane geometries once
again.

Damn.  I just can’t make it fit.

For a real, honest-to-the-gods CD and songbook of Lovecraftian carols, check out the HP Lovecraft Historical Society Singers.  I have the CD in question, and it’s my pleasure to tell you they are actually very, very good. (more…)

OK, the film synopses and schedule page are up at the NEVERMORE site.  Tickets go on sale January 5.  Here are the ones I must see:

1) Ong Bak
2) Dead and Breakfast
3) Gory Gory Hallelujah
4) Sky Blue
5) House of Flying Daggers

The other ones I want to see, of course, but those are the ones I have to see.

I endorse another year of Jesus-themed parody horror films.  I like this tradition. (more…)

Lots and lots of holiday visitations in the last week or so. 
People over at our place for Craft Day which turned into Poker
Night.  Then off to Bascha‘s for lasagna and presents and me pumpkinizing on her floor.  I pinch-hit for Katastrophes on that one.  Speaking of Katastrophes & Mr. Pink Eyes,
off we went to their place later in the week for more delicious food
and friends and hanging out and mulled wine and mulled cider. 

Spent Friday doing nothing at work, then Saturday it was the
Asheville-and-back-again circuit to do the gift swap with family. 
My sister’s scandalously Jewish fiancee was there and my parents were
warm and friendly to him and gave him a good present and everyone was
very welcoming.  It turns out he’s whip-smart, hilarious and tons
of fun.  It was awesome.  Even my sixteen year old nephew was
okay to be around, rather than his usual state (that of being a font of
belligerent attitude, the normal state for any sixteen year old, so
perhaps my sister simply sedated him).

The best was yesterday, though, sitting on the couch with a fire going,
working on NEVERMORE pages with Bruce curled up beside me.  If I
was sitting, he was either on me or next to me.  If I was in the
kitchen, he was stalking the linoleum jungle in search of bits of
tracked-in pine straw he could pounce on.  He purred so hard he
wore himself out.  It ruled.

I even went to Target the day after Christmas and managed not to be trampled to death.

My parents got me a bread machine, and I fired that puppy up yesterday
to yummy effect.  I played with some “10 Grain Bread” mix package
thing I bought at Target.  The results were okay but not as sweet
as I like my whole grains.  I also sort of wish I’d used butter
rather than canola oil.  Experimentation must commence.  Alas! (more…)

When co-workers try too hard, here’s what happens.  I should prep
by saying I have a bumper sticker up in my cube that reads: 
CTHULHU SAVES (in case he gets hungry later):

Co-worker:  So, what do Cthulhites celebrate this time of year?
Me:  …Cthulhites?
Co-worker:  Yeah.  Is it…solstice, equinox, whatever?
Me:  Good question.  There are some chaos magicians
who like to call on Lovecraftian Mythos figures, but I have no idea
what they celebrate in terms of holidays.  I mean, there’s not
exactly a lot to celebrate in the Mythos.
Co-worker:  Well, I don’t want to just assume and say “Merry Christmas.”
Me:  (long pause, followed by realization)  Uh, I don’t actually worship Cthulhu.
Co-worker:  Oh… (clearing of throat, uncomfortable silence)  So what are you?
Me:  I’m probably best-described as a neopagan into something like Wicca without a lot of formal structure.
Co-worker:  So what do you celebrate?
Me:  Winter Solstice.  Yule.
Co-worker:  (big, sincere smile)  Well, Happy Yule!
Me:  And Merry… (wait a minute, he’s an atheist Christmas?
Co-worker:  Sure!  Whatever!

I’m very, very gratified that he thought to ask.  But the Cthulhu thing was, to me anyway, hilarious. (more…)

Must remember to harass Mr. Pink Eyes
about submitting his music to someplace like Magnatunes.  I’m
sitting here grooving to Track 16 on a CD he burned for me and I’m
thinking, as I have thought a hundred times before, “I would pay for
this – it’s better than a lot of music I did pay for.”

Seriously.  Dude. (more…)

Christmas Eve, and we haven’t taken a single call all day.

Actually, we took one – it was a wrong number. 

I’m not exaggerating.

I thought I had scheduled the team such that I would be the only person
here today – an excess of labor even by myself – but three of my
teammates mistakenly thought they were the ones supposed to be
here today.  I ended up stepping out for the morning to do my very
last bit of shopping and then coming back to relieve everyone else of
duty.  I mean, for gods’ sakes, no one is going to call us
today.  No one.  I plan to cut out a few hours early myself.

I’m sitting here with my mp3 player and my favorite current re-read, Book of Lies
– not the Crowley work, but a collection of neo-/techno-/pagan writings
about magic and spirituality in the 21st century.  Very cool
stuff, some of it complete wackjob horse shit and some of it weird-ass
psychedelic ramblings and some of it biography and some of it really
intensely interesting theory on the meaning and experience and
definition of “initiation” and spiritual progress.  One piece is
specifically introduced as being what would happen if Hunter S.
Thompson or George Plimpton had gone the route of shamanism rather than
literary fame.  Crazy good reading. 

Note to self:  look up other work by Phil Hines today.  Also try to find a copy of Breaking Open the Head by Pinchbeck.

I’m also sitting here stewing over the possibility of a 2nd half to Shell Access
I kind of wrapped it up in a hurry when I couldn’t think past the
obstacle of 65,000 words, and now I’m contemplating what happens two
weeks later when Charles manages to get Ernesto up to the moon for a
visit and figures out that there’s still more to learn about the Deus Ex Machina

Damn, damn, damn.  I’m going to do such terrible things to Charles’ worldview.

I should have remembered my notebook – you know, where you write down notes
There’s something about the process of planning and outlining that
requires me to use paper and pencil, preferably somewhere I can eat and
drink copious amounts of diet soda and chain-smoke.

I wonder if Cup a Joe’s on Hillsborough still has a smoking section?  Or if they’re open on Christmas Eve?

Must call and find out.

(One call to Cup a Joe on Hillsborough later…)

Damn. (more…)

Just some links I’m storing here for potential later use:

http://www.taino-tribe.org/tainos.htm

http://www.taino-tribe.org/jatiboni.html

http://www.centrelink.org/Taino.html

http://www.elboricua.com/history.html

http://taino.com/index2.html (more…)

Creationism vs. “intelligent design” vs. Darwinian evolution is just
all over the place.  I mean, for fuck’s sake.  Honestly.

To be honest, my response is approaching a very simple one of who cares? 
Crafted by a deity, born out of deities, evolved on its own –
bah!  None of this mewling chicanery will matter one whit when, as
the cold, dead stars slide into their final alignment, the Old Ones
rise again to consume all of humankind with alien, passionless
disregard for partisan boundaries or cosmological beliefs so dusty and
faith-drenched as to make Cthulhu himself seem spry in
comparison. 

The hunger of ancient horror knows not the meaning of Darwinist or
Creationist, and their designs, though intelligent, leave little room
for argument.  The beginning of the world will be left unknown, a
piffle of history unworthy of consideration – much less debate! – by
the howling damned left to contemplate the question, but the world’s ending will be writ in anguished blood.  Truly, on that dark day it’ll all be over but the shouting.

Technically, I guess it’ll be screaming more than shouting, but whatevs.


PS
:  I now plan to sue my school board to include what I call
Destructionism in their science curriculum.  If you hear of the
heretic, limp-wristed, soft-on-secularist Incomprehensible Fate people
trying to sell pure, honest Destructionism as “science,” as though it
were okay to claim the eventual collapse of the universe is less than
imminent, written as it is in the wailing dance of a portentious
astronomy – nay, that it may not happen for billions of years if at all – uh… damn.  Lost my place.  Sorry, I wander a bit when I get my fervor on.  Anyway,
if you see those “scientific” heretics, afraid to confess their own,
lamented role in the rhythmless, tuneless chant which eases the
lifeless slumber of those Older Than Time Itself – or, in some cases,
draws the long-forgotten gaze of those who circle the outer planes and
wait for the time when the gates are opened again and for the final
time – please tell them they’re not welcome back in, uh, church
unless they’re willing to bring the Demonic Eggs this week. 
Seriously.  We’re tired of their backsliding.  And we’re
fresh out of paprika.

We’re set on the blood of virgins and sanity stolen from innocents, though.  It’s that time of the year, after all.

Oh, but yeah – why isn’t this stuff in the schoolbooks?  It’s just
as valid as anything else, and I’m tired of those wishy-washy Jesus
hippies spoiling the minds of our children.  I didn’t grow up
believing we’re all doomed to eternal torture in the mad bowels of
ancient terror just to have some lady with Mall Hair and a New
Testament in her purse ride in on my tax dollars claiming there’s a way
out in the end.  Jackasses.


(Sorry.  Penny Arcade and a post over at apostropher inspired me.) (more…)

A quick NEVERMORE update – the website is starting to come together
for it.  I’ve gotten the film synopses and the schedule and will
be HTMLizing them this week.  In the meantime, the main page is up
with images from the films (image placement will sort itself out as I
get more text up there), sponsor information and links to archives of
previous years.

Quick question to local NEVERMORians:  anybody remember the photos
of film-goers from a couple of years ago?  Specifically, where
they were on the site?

Whee! (more…)

I don’t know what’s up this year, but everywhere I’ve looked and
everything I’ve heard has involved The Krampus.  If you’re
unfamiliar with what they are, ask Mr. Saturday – he’s, er, met one up close and personal.

Now, there’s even a D&D version of it.

CR 13?  That almost seems low. (more…)

Every Yule for several years now I’ve stayed up all night to watch the
sun rise.  After all, as a good friend once put it, if we don’t
watch the sun come up then how do we know it’s the God and not just a
big ball of fire in the sky?  In previous years I’ve had friends
come over, watch movies, drink coffee, chain smoke and otherwise make
sure we were awake as the sun heaved itself over the horizon. 
Every year I’d be so tired by sunrise that as soon as the edge of the
sun was visible over the horizon I’d declare it risen and then heave my
own self off to bed.

This year, though, I need to be at work – so no staying up all night
for me.  Instead I spent yesterday shopping and running around
town taking care of the last of my gift buying.  When I got home
The Boyf cooked dinner while I lit a fire and then we settled in with
Mr. Saturday to watch a Coen Brothers movie (I can’t remember its name,
but it’s the one about Italian & Irish gangsters in the
’30s).  Then it was off to bed at something past a reasonable hour
but nowhere near sunrise.

I’ve always been a prolific and vivid dreamer – I get the full-on
sensory experience, with sound and lights and color and a cast of
thousands.  Last night turned out to be no exception, as I tossed
and turned under the weight of dreams of trials and travels and all
sorts of things.  There was one where the place I was in was
filling with smoke and another where we flew across an ocean to
someplace very far away.  I remember twice waking with a start to
hear The Boyf ask if I was alright only to mumble, “Just a dream,” as
my head hit the pillow again. 

Once, around 6:50am or so, I woke up from another dream and got up to
stretch my legs.  I noticed out a window in the back that the yard
was still dark and double-checked my watch.  I don’t often see
6:50 in the morning, so my brain wasn’t processing that this is the
shortest day of the year.  Instead I kept thinking, Isn’t it awfully late for it to still be dark? 
On the way back to bed, though, I saw from the bedroom window that the
yard had started to brighten and the sky had slipped from pitch black
to blue and the night had started to collapse into shadows. 

I’d spent the whole day yesterday tracking my parents’ trip to Boone
and back in a snowstorm, making travels of my own, finishing up
shopping and then coming home to eat a brightly colored jumbalaya, tend
the fire and watch a movie with a cyclical storyline about death and
rebirth.  I’d spent the whole night dreaming of movement and
troubles and the stumbling blocks life puts in one’s way, waking every
couple of hours only to find myself submerged again in the depths of
dreaming.

And now, as I crawled back under the covers, the sun was coming up. (more…)

Ready to extend your lifespan by years and stave off heart disease by eating dark chocolate, drinking red wine and consuming large quantities of fish and garlic?

Hell yes.

I am ready to be healthy.  Hell, I’ve already got the wine and the dark chocolate at home. (more…)

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