OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST: 2015 Edition

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OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST: 2015 Edition

Once again, your Uncle NecRo blinked, and it’s been another year. It continues to amaze me at how fast these things are going. I’m told that time–the relative and fickle thing that it is–tends to go faster the slower you go. Which fits in with my getting older and slower in my ancient age of…well, 42. I guess that falls into “Middle Age” territory rather than “Old Geezer” territory. Tell that two my nephews. The five-year-old marveled at how I managed to live this long. But, I digress.

When compared to the massive hope-sucking void that was 2014, 2015 was a veritable tiptoe through the tulips. If said tulips were just fertilized with the most pugnant of fertilizer only minutes prior. And you were barefoot. And the center of these tulips had an eyeball that followed your progress through the patch. What did you expect? This is my brain that’s reviewing the prior year. This is the pleasant version, trust me.

Anyway, we started off the year that was 2015 with the hope that there would be fewer family deaths I’d have to attend. And, that was the case indeed. Though, it didn’t have the hopeful promise at first, as right off the bat the family lost our Aunt Jan to cancer in the first couple of weeks of January. And then, not too long after that, Grandma Krohn shook off this mortal coil after what one can only describe as a very full and interesting life. Both ladies were awesome and are very much missed. And then, I would be remiss not to mention that, merely a few weeks ago this month, my friend Scotland “Kuba” Kubinski lost his life in a motorcycle accident. This year hasn’t been without its moments of reflection on this, let me tell you.

A couple of weeks into the month of January, I moved fully into Omaha, a resident of a house that I refer to as the Haunted Victorian. The others, including the landlord, refer to it as The Vic, but I prefer Haunted Victorian, for it fits my sense of humor. It’s populated by five other gentlemen, all of whom I rarely see or interact with, due to our various schedules and waked-ness. If that’s even a word. Eh, I’m too lazy to look it up properly. Besides, it’s more fun to imagine the sounds from the unseen others to be the disembodied “ghosts” that “haunt” the Victorian we all dwell in. Or, could I be one of the ghosts as well? Ooooh, how my mind could snap while pondering the implications of this.

As with last year, this year was pretty much a steady stream of work-eat-sleep, with some respites scattered in hither and yon. NECRO SHOCK RADIO has been going whenever I’m able to get around to it, and/or whenever the WiFi allows to upload. Also, launched another podcast…more of a “Pubcast”, really, as it’s just recorded bits of the conversations we have at the Thursday Bar Nights with the usual cast of irregulars. This necessitated not only buying the Premium setting for Soundcloud, but also gave me an excuse to purchase the Yeti microphone. Fantastic piece of equipment. Highly recommended for all of you wanting a nice quality studio sound without breaking the bank.

I just need to say this: Series 9 of Doctor Who was perhaps the finest I’ve experienced since getting back into this British sci-fi show ten years prior. Peter Capaldi is just awesome. Let’s keep him around for a while longer, shall we? Also, glad Jenna’s gone, as I’ve found her presence to be more-or-less superfluous ever since the whole mystery surrounding her existence was solved. More-or-less. And in case you’re wondering, no I haven’t seen the Christmas Special as of this writing. I’ll get around to it, but right now I’m not too keen on seeing another River Song episode. Reasons, you might understand if you knew me and the nature of my previous relationship.

This year, I witnessed one of my cousin’s offspring graduate from High School, further solidifying my slip into old man status. Then I helped out once again with my Uncle Pat and Aunt Joyce at the annual pancake feed that their Volunteer Rescue puts on. And then I went to my first-ever Comic Con in Omaha (technically Council Bluffs) and had some fun there. That was my month of May, by the way.

October was a banner time for the year. Of course it was, as it’s the only time that I really look forward to, really. The season of Halloween. Fall, and the chance to once again not worry about letting my freak flag fly. Due to my youth group’s annual trip to the Fontenelle Corn Maze, I was given a chance to work the Haunted Corn Maze that year. And I did…for one night. I was going to do the night before Halloween and Halloween night as well, but then the Aluminum Falcon was lost in a freak road accident. I was without transportation until Halloween day, and by then I had already called the proprietor of the corn maze with the news that I would have to cancel my performance on the other two nights.

In case you’re wondering, my new mode of transport I have named the NEKRON 7. All caps. With the misspelling to make it seem more edgy. Much more sleek than what I was going to call it: NecRo Wagon. You’re welcome.

So, now that the dark, downward spiral of the Holiday season is almost over, and the New Year is almost upon us, I take some time to reflect on the past three-hundred and sixty-five-ish days. I’m probably not going to be doing the One-Book-A-Week thing this year, as I had hit that goal this year. Also, I want to focus more on finishing up all of the stuff I began writing over the years, waiting to be finished finally. Who knows…maybe this is the year I finally focus enough to catch up on everything, and be able to post whenever again. Or, more than likely, I’ll probably find myself going in with gusto, and then getting distracted by something shiny.

I’ll have more to say about my depression, as there are a bunch more rattling around my head. Though, this past year I was able to connect a bit more with others in my church group about things. I’m still keeping a reign in on sharing anything. I still don’t trust very much. We’ll see how this goes.

I am looking forward to seeing my nephew/Godson Christopher graduate from High School later this year. And I’ll probably make the trek out to Cozad to watch my cousin Allen’s son graduate as well. So far, these are the two family things that I know I’m going to be a part of. The NEKRON 7 is going to get a workout, for certain.

And thus, this has been my thoughts on the year that was 2015. I’m certain I’ve missed something. Bits and pieces here and there; if not recorded on this blog or my Facebook page in passing, then it’s been recorded in my unplugged journal, the UNCLE NECRO’S NOMICON (see what I did there?). Overall, it’s been a fairly decent one. Standard, with its usual crushing lows of depression, tempered with some moderate Level 5 despondency, through to a handful of good days. I have no idea what the future brings; all I know is, the Master has deemed it necessary for me to remain alive for now, and by the Grace of God alone go I.

I thank you all for continuing in my ongoing journey though this reality. If I’m still around to hammer out another bunch of words together into sentences–and those into paragraphs–talking about 2016, then I hope you’re there with me. Cheers, and God Bless my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Star Wars and Tinsel All Around…

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star wars, deadpool, and me

And yes, I did wear a Star Trek shirt to a Star Wars premier…

Yesterday, the first new Star Wars movie in a decade (gads, I remember sitting through Revenge Of The Sith when it came out, has it really been that long?) was released officially into theaters. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did watch it yesterday. Twice. Once at 9:15am, and the post-lunch 1pm showing. Yes, it was that good.

However, since I’ve decided to take the rest of the year off, and won’t be posting anything new until the first of the year (save for the Obligatory Year End post that sums up the previous 365-ish days), and I’m keeping it for the most part, you won’t be seeing my official review of the new Star Wars until then. For now, though, I urge you all to watch it in the theaters while you still can. It’ll wash that lingering aftertaste of the prequels out of your heads.

So, for now, I bid you all a Merry Christmas and a happy rest-of-the-holidays, and will post again at the end of the year that was 2015. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Book Review: HEART SHAPED BOX

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heart shaped boxJoe Hill
Harper
2007

An aging death metal rock god, Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals…a used hangman’s noose…a snuff film.  But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as an item he learns is for sale on the Internet.  For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man’s suit, said to be haunted by the deceased’s restless spirit.  Judas has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts – of an abusive father, of lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed – so what’s one more?  But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, it’s the real thing.  And suddenly the suit’s previous owner is everywhere – behind the bedroom door…seated in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang…staring out from his widescreen TV – dangling a gleaming razor blade on a chain from one hand…

Heart Shaped Box was the first book that I read by the author Joe Hill, and was the one that had me hooked on his work within the first few chapters of reading this. It’s an American Gothic style horror story that relies on atmosphere and mystery, building up the story in a way that gives it a weight that’s rather palpable.

The story involves an aging death metal performer (who I, for some reason, always pictured as Nathan Explosion from Metalocolypse…only with a beard) named Judas (“Jude” for short) with some…personal issues, let’s just say, purchasing a bit of morbid memorabilia by way of an actual ghost that haunts a suit inside the titular heart-shaped box. Only, this ghost turns out to be real, and almost immediately starts haunting Jude and his girlfriend, messing with their heads, causing them to harm themselves unwittingly. To stop the madness, they set off to find out the mystery behind the creepy ghost that now constantly haunts them, which leads to a rather shocking conclusion that involves…well, it’ll make your skin crawl, trust me.

Had I not known this was Joe Hill’s first full novel, I would have sworn that this was the end result of decades of writing other novels, honing things to a sharp edge. Heart Shaped Box is a very engaging ghost story, in the tradition of M. R. James, or Peter Straub for a more modern comparison. I recommend picking this up (and all other Joe Hill novels, for that matter).

R. I. P.: Scotland “Kuba” Kubinski

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kuba 1Yesterday at work, I learned that the world lost a great man. Through my Facebook feed, I discovered that my friend Scotland Kubinski–a.k.a. “Kuba the Demon Slayer”–passed away after a tragic accident. He was taken from us far too soon.

Last Saturday, December 5th, he was in a motorcycle accident on I-675 coming home from a toy run. He was taken to the hospital, but passed away the morning of December 11th. I read about it during my lunch break. I’m still reeling from the news, and trying to wrap my brain around this.

I first met Kuba, as many know him as, soon after I began posting my stupid little glorified mix tape of a show, NECRO SHOCK RADIO, back in 2007. He was the first person outside of my small circle of friends to show interest in it, thinking it had potential. Well, enough of a potential to endorce it through his own Christian rock and metal network, the Full Armor Of God. I didn’t really think much of it at first, but after being urged by my boss to give him a call at least (and made me call him there at the store, otherwise “I’ll fire you”…I’m not certain if he was entirely joking about that or not), where I found myself talking to a guy who was…well, “enthusiastic” just doesn’t do him justice, now does it?

kuba 2
If I were to compare Kuba to a celebrity, I would say he reminded me a lot of John Candy. In that, I mean Kuba had a genuine charisma about him that would immediately disarm even the most guarded of introverts. And I happen to be one of the most guarded of introverts going. I have a feeling that, if he walked into a room, he wouldn’t have had to say anything and everyone would know he was there. He was that kind of a guy.

Over time, though, he proved his character to be just as genuine. Which, I’m ashamed to say, is a rare thing with anyone these days (and (I’m throwing myself in with that lot, there). He would call just to see how I was doing. Never once did I get the feeling that there was an alterier motive in his interest in our friendship. Even when discussing matters of faith, he always wanted to hear the unvarnished truth, not some dressed-up and shiny “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!” kind of Christian game.

And now he’s gone. I never could find the time or the means to actually meet him and his wife in person. And now he’s Home, and I have to wait until I’m called back to meet him finally. I am going to miss the man. It’s not going to be the same, not seeing his posts in my Facebook feed, his occational message to see how I’m doing, his pics of the choppers and such he found…that wacky kitten of his. I’m still in shock, really.

Rest in peace, good Demonslayer. To live is Christ, and to die is gain; until we finally meet, God bless my wonderful freak.

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In Case Of Rapture, I’ll Be As Surprised As You Are…

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raptureNOTE: I originally wrote and posted this on my old blog back in 2011, when the wackiness surrounding this was at its peak. I’m reposting it here, both as a bit of nostalgia, but also the sentiments expressed in this still reflects my thoughts every time someone comes around to predict the rapture and / or return of Jesus; specifically, the victims left in the wake of all this.

With only 8 days remaining, I think maybe I should at least say something about this whole rapture business. Throw in my two cents and all that. Wasn’t planning on it, on account of I don’t really have any vested interest in the recent hullabaloo (I can’t believe I just said “hullabaloo”…and spelled it correctly the first time, according to my spell check). Really, there’s been already a lot said and written about it, a lot of jokes and a lot of theological counter articles, blogs and tweets about this. Along with the usual metric ton of trolling and snark attacks.

I’m talking about the group promoting the Rapture as happening on May 21st of this year. I’m no theology expert; even as a very loosely termed layman, I have strong delusions of adequacy in this and other areas of Biblical studies. But, I try. And I hope to at least make some kind of amusing sense at it. This is, after all, only my thought process surrounding the hype.

This isn’t the first time a group like this has put a date on the rapture. I remember there being a date set back in October of 1992. It was in the paper, the Omaha World Herald, bit of a smaller column buried somewhere in one of the sections. And here we are, nearly twenty years later, and I’m hearing about May 21st on talk radio, seeing the billboards, reading the blogs and websites.

And I’m sure there are many out there who remember the (in)famous pamphlet ‘8 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return In 1988′. As someone who wasn’t born again until 1989, I’m glad Jesus decided to postpone things for whatever reason. Possibly to allow the Tim Burton Batman film to be released or something, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe also to allow Duke Nukem Forever to finally see the light of day. But then, that’ll probably be the harbinger of Hell finally freezing over. But I digress.

Personally, I went through that Ends Time Prophecy stint early on. Pretty hardcore about it, too. Meaning, I was kind of a d-bag about it. Time and, for lack of a better word, maturity has tempered my bull-headedness, praise God glory to Jesus amen. I’m familiar with the arguments and points on all sides of the issue. Premillennial, Postmillennial, Amillennial. So I understand that the one constant thread that runs through all of them is this:

No one knows the date or time of Jesus’ return. This is kind of an important point that a lot seem to either forget or willfully ignore. So ever time I hear someone claiming they know the time of Jesus’ return and/or the rapture, I’m somewhat amused.

So yeah, I obviously fall within the unbelieving camp as far as the May 21st date is concerned. However, if on the off-chance these guys are right, I have to ask, why couldn’t the rapture be scheduled on a Monday, instead of a Saturday? Preferably in the middle of the busiest time at work. While I’m driving, or carrying a bunch of breakable things. That would be awesome.

Verbal jocularity aside, there is one thing that concerns me. What’s going to happen on May 22nd? For those in that group, who are believing that May 21st is going to be their last day on Earth, and put all their faith into that…if the rapture doesn’t happen, what then? Will they turn their back on God? Will their faith be shaken because Jesus didn’t call them home? Will they continue to believe in whatever spin their leaders put on this?

Believe me, I’ve been in this position before. Maybe not this exact type, but one where my trust and hope and faith was invested more in something other than entirely on God and His promises in the Bible. When the illusions were shattered, it nearly destroyed me. Fortunately, I wasn’t foolish enough to completely forget Who I needed to trust in. I pray these people don’t completely forget, either.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Movie Review: LOST BOYS- The Thirst

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lost boys the thirst movie posterWarner Bros.
2010
R

As the lost boys and girls of San Cazador prepare to party under the Blood Moon, an alpha vampire conspires to turn those unsuspecting ravers into an army of undead. The only thing that stands between him and the annihilation of the entire human race is the infamous vampire fighting Frog Brothers. Armed with double-barrel holy water balloon launchers, and multi-arrow crossbows, Edgar and Alan Frog join forces to kick some blood-sucker butt in this latest high-energy action-packed adventure in the Lost Boys franchise.

After the unnecessary suck-fest (no pun intended) that was Lost Boys: The Tribe, when I heard there was anothe3r sequel to the 1986 post-modern vampire classic The Lost Boys, it took me back a bit.  I wasn’t the only horror fiend that bemoaned another direct to video sequel of one of the more beloved movies from that era.  On the other hand, due to my masochistic tendencies concerning horror movies, it was also inevitable that I was going to rent this the week it was released.  And as usual, I wasn’t disappointed.

My expectations were rather low, understandably.  I knew from the basic premise gleaned from the internet that The Thirst wasn’t just a watered-down rehash of the original movie like The Tribe was.  Still, pressing play I braced myself for mediocrity.

And really?  Lost Boys The Thirst was pretty decent.  Much better than The Tribe, anyway.  Mind you, that isn’t saying much.  What I will say is this: the movie is cheesy, there are more than a few groan-inducing moments, the characters seem more self-parody than the tongue in cheek of the original, and there are enough plot holes swiss cheesing the story than I cared to keep track of.  But, as any good horror movie fan knows, this is just par for the course.

For the majority of the time, I was greatly entertained.  Mind you, it’s still a stretching to accept Cory Fieldman as an action character, but he held his own as the main focus.  To a point. This despite of his insistence to continue using that fake “I’m BATMAN!” gritty, growly voice.  And I believe the whole “rave” setting has been played out.  I did enjoy the call-outs to the original movie, giving at least a bit of a peak of what has happened up to this point.

Will Lost Boys: The Thirst win over fans of the first (and therefore, superior) original? No. No it will not. Is this second sequel better than the first sequel? Yes. Yes it is. Can you do worse than watching this when there’s nothing else to do some afternoon? Yes. Yes you can. Eh, it’s worth a look for curiosity’s sake, at least.

Article: MY TOP TEN FAVORITE “WEIRD AL” ORIGINALS

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weird al yankovicHaving been a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic since that fateful afternoon at 4-H Camp in 1985 (the song “Like A Surgeon” was playing in the boom box while I was busy making drip candles), it stands to reason that I’ve amassed quite a collection of favorites from his rather extensive collection over the decades. And while most casual “normal” people would dismiss him as merely “that guy who does music parodies”, Weird Al has also been doing a goodly amount of original content since his first album back in 1983. Considering this, I thought I’d share with all of you tender readers my Top 10 Favorite “Weird Al” originals:

1. “I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead” (from “Weird Al” Yankovic)

Kind of a punk song for the accordion. It’s also one of the songs I have legally binding to have played at my own funeral. Which is soon, I hope.

2. “Albuquerque” (from Running With Scissors)

Written as a song that Weird Al admitted to be an attempt to annoy the listener for twelve minutes and put on the tail-end of the album it was released on, it instead had the opposite effect, and is an oft-listened to and requested fan favorite, despite being a spectacularly whimsical mess.

3. “U. H. F.” (from U. H. F. – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack And Other Stuff)

I’ll be straight forward with this: I didn’t like the title song from the greatest movie ever made: U. H. F. Over the years, though, it’s grown on me. Much like a fungus. And now it’s one I tend to crank whenever it comes around on my player.

4. “Hardware Store” (from Poodle Hat)

I listen to this, and I continue to be in awe at the layers of complex intricacies that was put in this song. This one is proof of the artist’s Brian Wilson-level of musical genius.

5. “Don’t Download This Song” (from Straight Outta Lynwood)

Mmmmmm, that’s good satire…

6. “Happy Birthday” (from “Weird Al” Yankovic)

Ever since hearing this song from the debut album that I got back when I was 12…or maybe it was 11, I can’t recall exactly…I’ve had this song played as my official birthday greeting. It matches my sense of humor perfectly.

7. “Christmas At Ground Zero” (from Polka Party!)

And like “Happy Birthday”, this is the only song I ever voluntarily play around Christmas, otherwise known as the Darkest Day of the Year.

8. “Trigger Happy” (from Off The Deep End)

It’s a peppy, Beach Boys style fun song about shooting people. What’s not to love?

9. “Truck Drivin’ Song” (from Running With Scissors)

I so very much want to perform this song if I’m ever conned into doing a Karaoke thing…which will never happen. I’m indifferent about it.

10. “Mr. Frump In The Iron Lung” (from “Weird Al” Yankovic)

I think it might have been a red flag as far as my type of sense of humor is when, as a tween, I found this song hilarious instead of being appalled, like my mother was.

So, that was my ten favorite original “Weird Al” songs. There are others, but I really don’t feel like filling in an “Honorable Mentions” list at this moment. Perhaps a second Top Ten list at a later time. We’ll see. Cheers, all.

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