Sunday A’La Carte’: October 26, 2014

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padidington bear zombie apocalypseHere it is, the final Sunday A’La Carte before Halloween. Not that I’m going to stop sharing all of the lovely dark things that are percolating inside my festering skull every week. It’s just that this is the last one I can get away with while using Halloween as the theme. As such, tonight’s soundtrack while I write this comes courtesy of the Blair Witch 2 soundtrack that came conjoined with the DVD of the movie. Had the CD on the other end, it seemed. And it looks like there are only three band songs that appear on the official soundtrack sold separately; the rest of it is the film score. Which makes some rather interesting ambient background for writing.

jason and crocksThree episodes in, and Supernatural seems to have reset itself back to the business-as-usual mediocrity. This season had possibilities, what with a “brother against brother” angle that just begged to be explored. If I had my way, for this “final” season, I would have brought back Adam Milligan (aka the Lost Winchester) as the grand orchestrator behind the wackiness of not only this season, but every one after Season Six (being left in Hell and all), with Lucifer stepping back in to reclaim his domain from Crowley (possibly disposing him once and for freaking all) and restoring Adam back to life, or something like that; then heaven finally regroups properly behind a re-graced Castiel, Metatron having been banished to the earth as a powerless homeless guy tormented by constant visions of Revenge Of The Nerds on a continuous loop inside his head, and then we end up back at the Winchester household in Kansas back in 1993, discovering that the entire series has been a dream John Winchester had after falling asleep in front of the television the night of the pilot. The end.

october accessorizeI also managed to watch the pilot episode of the Constantine television series that aired this past week. Not too bad, really. It has some potential, and it looks like they have the right set of blokes producing the thing. I mean, it’s a far cry from the movie (which I did like on a certain level), which is a good thing. Here, you can tell care was made to stick as close to the source material as possible. It will be interesting to see what develops. If NBC doesn’t go about cancelling it before it could find its feet, that is.

non sequitur - this time of yearJust FYI, I switched to a 58-minute Dark Ambient thing I found on YouTube. Seems much more appropriate.

For a good Halloween-themed time-waster, meme-style, check this site out. One of my daily favorites.

Looking for some good ideas for movie watchin’ this Halloween? The Huffington Post has got you covered.

adorable ghoul kidSTUFF I’VE WRITTEN: Mostly HALLOWEEN’ING stuffs, as I post the Muppet Show that had Vincent Price, write about the Halloween staple that is candy, posted a prank the Ford motor company pulled with a car wash, shared a blog piece about Halloween from an Orthodox Christian perspective, rocked one of my favorite Halloween anthems, mused on the goodness that is Hammer horror movies, and talked about the greatest animated Halloween special, ever.

That’s it for this week. Bit exhausting. Got a lot of work to do this coming week; rather thankful that Halloween falls on a Friday this year. By next week, the Post Halloween Depression should be settling in. Until then, I leave you with some nightmare fuel. Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

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SUNDAY A’LA CARTE – October 19, 2014

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40399-Jack-O-Lantern-PatchSunday evening yet again, and I’ve been spending the evening watching a couple of old horror B movies from one of the 50 Horror Movie packs that Mill Creek Entertainment puts out. Lovely things, those. You get a whole bunch of cheesy movies for $8. A nice way to get my cheesy horror movie fix. Once in a while, you can find a gem,; but most of the time, you have to wade through a lot of cheese to find it, if it’s there at all. These two (I’m pacing myself at two per night), however…eh. Anatomy Of A Psycho was really more of a juvenile delinquent exploitation from 1961, with acting you would expect from the era of Ozzy & Harriet, so not really horror. Or good. And Night Of Bloody Horror…well, it’s quite a bit more entertaining, but that’s mostly due to the use of some cheesy psychedelic effects. Oh, late 1960s exploitation. Nothing finer, really.

After a bit of a delay, I finally received my super-duper, glow-in-the-dark Grave Robber tee shirt. At least, I think it glows in the dark. Hold on for a minute, let me check…no, I was mistaken. It does not glow in the dark. Pity, as that would have been rather cool. Regardless, it’s a cool shirt anyway.

CAM00154It’s the middle of October, and then HALLOWEEN will be upon us in no time. Have you thought of a costume? Will it be something besides one of those “Sexy Something-Or-Other” jobs? I do so prefer the ones that go beyond just titillating. Give me something with braaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiinsss. Now we’re talking. Since Halloween does fall on a Friday, and since I now work at a job that allows dressing up at the office, I’m putting a little bit of thought into the matter. Hard to believe, only two more weekends left. Well, one if you count the fact that it’s this next weekend, then just the Friday after that one. Time goes so very fast. Soon I shall be experiencing Post Halloween Depression. Then the seasonal downward spiral that won’t abate until well after New Years. Can’t wait. Especially after everything that’s been going on this year.

Behold my randumb thought processes. It’s like trying to have tea in a kangaroo pouch. And the kangaroo’s hopped up on speed. No pun intended.

emo clownSpeaking of random (yes, I went with the proper spelling), here’s the YouTube clip of alternative rock band The Foo Fighters with country singer Zac Brown covering Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” on Late Night With David Letterman. Unlikely pairing, unlikely situation, completely awesome result. And I love Letterman’s reaction at the end:

Years ago, I was always tapped to play Satan whenever my old youth group did a live video (that would be the Evangelical way of saying “lip sync performance”) of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”. Never been in a youth group that put on one of those to that song? Consider yourselves one of the blessed. And yes, I’m always the first one to be tapped whenever someone’s play/skit/Hell House needs either Satan or one of his minions. Eh, I don’t mind really, as long as Lucifer (“Lucy” to his friends) loses in the end. And no, I’m not going to show you a video of another youth group doing one of those “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” live videos…instead, I’m going to make you watch the “literal video” rendition of the song, which is much more hilarious.

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I posted book reviews of novels featuring the Fifth and Sixth Doctor, then reposted my review of the movie Silent Hill. And HALLOWEEN’ING continues this month, with posts about Haunted Houses, a Nostalgia Critic video of Halloween Movies, a rather awesome zombie-themed snack setup, scaring people, the first eight issues of the classic Neil Gaiman Sandman series, Jack O’Lanterns, and a classic Disney animated short.

when the clock strikes midnightThat’s all for this week, methinks. I’ve some reading to do before beddy-bye time. Tomorrow’s another work day. Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

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Sunday A’La Carte – October 12, 2014

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pumkin spiceWhat a week, what a week. Outside of the usual daily grind of work-eat-sleep-repeat, I’ve been listening to a lot of Demon Hunter. One of the few modern metal bands I actually enjoy on a frequent basis, really. In this case, I’ve been feeling a rather odd mix of misanthropic loathing and deeply introspective melancholy, and the style of \,,/METAL\,,/ that Demon Hunter, I’ve found, complements this psychological dichotomy of mine perfectly, hence using them as a soundtrack throughout the week. I’m listening to them right now, as I pound this out on my lappy-top. The new one, Extremist, as a matter of fact. Not too bad, really. On to other things, then…

hate jarI’ve started transcribing the (de)composition notebook that I’ve been jotting down my unplugged brain droppings into, aptly titled Death Is The Only Happy Ending. I’m thinking, as I gather the entirety of 2014’s journal entries in the various forms they’ve taken, I will stick with that as the title. It’s been a rather rough year, as I’ve mentioned many, many times so far. And I see no reason to change the title, really. It fits not only with my disposition and where I find myself at this point of my journey, but it reflects perfectly my mantra as a Christian as well. It’s not easy having me as a fellow believer and humble servant of Christ Jesus. But, there we are.

On Wednesday evening, I spoke a bit to my youth group about my journey so far as a Christian, touching on my own bit of psychological affliction (for lack of a better word, really…I’ve found I can have some fun with it as well). One of the things I iterated to the group was that, despite everything they may be going through, or will be going through, I understand what it is to find the simple act of living as painful and crushing for no reason whatsoever. Such is the nature of depression. Then I find this particular blog post, by way of The Church Of No People, and I really should have pointed this out as well. Oh, well. But it bears repeating: My mental affliction is not what defines me. To rip off Fight Club, I am not my depression. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I get that. It’s just that, some days I’d rather sit in the dark and not go outside and play with others. This year, more so.

Speaking of other blog posts that I discovered via The Church Of No People (you should really check that blog out, it’s pretty cool): This one that points out that saying things like, “Love God, Love People” can be misconstrued by Christians far too often, and comes off as particularly pointless to outsiders, and this one from The American Jesus that points out the glaringly obvious irony of the doctrines of Fundamentalist churches. I’ve personally been rather fortunate to never to have gotten involved in a straight-on Fundamentalist church, but I have attended more than a few that had some Fundamentalist tendencies. And not the positive qualities, either. And yes, I am letting on that I think there are some positives to be gleaned from Fundamental church bodies, no matter how wacky they may be.

follow your blissThis morning at church, as I was waiting for the Sanctified Hipster Band to get on stage and do the weekly morning Pep Rally for Jesus, the pre-show music mix (I don’t know if they were just using someone’s pre-loaded media player or what) of mediocre and non-threatening Alternative Contemporary had a song that started off with a drum lead that made me think, “Hey, that sounds suspiciously like they lifted that from Megadeth’s ‘Wake Up Dead’!” Yep, I’m a \,,/METAL\,,/ head. And in case you have no idea of what I’m speaking of, here you go. You’re welcome.

Alternatively, it’s been put forth that, perhaps my moodiness has something to do with the planet Mercury. Personally, I think it may has more to do with the fact that THEY KILLED SWEETS ON BONES. Jerks.

Also, while I’m on that rabbit trail for this second, the new (and from what I understand, final) season of Supernatural started this last week. Caught up with the episode on Friday night. Dark, yes, but quite frankly it’s nothing I haven’t been through with the Winchester boys–or the angels, for that matter–so many times these past five years. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it many more times: They could have just stopped at the end of Season Five, and it would have been a very satisfying end to the series. Though, from another podcast I listened to over the weekend, I agree that they should bring back the “Third Winchester” as the orchestrator of all of the past couple of seasons. That would be a ballsy twist, indeed.

alien theme parkSTUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I listened to and reviewed the recent Flyleaf album, and reposted an album review by Drottnar, and third and fourth full-length releases by Disciple. In this week’s HALLOWEEN’ING series I’ve managed to keep going without petering out thus far, I wrote about the movie Trick R’ Treat, my love of H. P. Lovecraft‘s stories, the curious confections that are Halloween Peeps, the television special classic Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, the first Halloween episode from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, when and where I picked up my obsession with telling ghost stories (and writing in general, it seems), and shared this lovely YouTube video of a guy’s brilliant Alien-themed prank in fast food drive-thrus.

That’s it for this week. Hope you all have a decent week coming up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hit a haunted house or two, seeing as how my knee is finally feeling better. This past week, I was feeling the fluoride sting of that little football injury of mine back in 1991. Anyway, I leave you with another YouTube video that was shared with me by one of my youth group kids. Cheers, all.

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Sunday A’La Carte – September 21, 2014

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daily lobsterman hangover bathSUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! Ah, yes, that time of the week again. I just got back from the yearly end-of-summer church family picnic. This was my first year going, as the entire time that I’ve been attending Country Bible (since 2006, in case anyone cares), no one has clued me in to where this so-called “Grandpa’s Farm” was. It was always “Grandpa’s Farm”, like I should automatically just know where this place existed. Or stumble upon it after wandering inside an old Victorian-era wardrobe. Finally, after nearly ten years, I figured I would at least show up once, and to do that I had to socialize with someone at the church to give me an actual address to work with. And not just general directions, like the farm folk community around here tends to do (“You drive down on that highway there, turn left-ish at the water tower, and keep driving until you come to old man Rutherford’s son sitting atop that fence post. He hasn’t been quite right since the accident, there. Anyhoo, you turn right, and pop in this here copy of Deep Purple’s greatest hits, and when it just gets to “Smoke On The Water”, you’re there. That’s if you have it on side one. If you’re listening to side two, then it’ll be halfway through “Highway Star”…what d’ya mean, ‘What’s a cassette tape”?”). Sorry about that mental detour. It happens. Anyway, I found the place–surprisingly easy to locate, really–and partook of the massive amounts of seared cow and pork flesh, and what you humans refer to as “side dishes”, and “macaroni salad”. Also, there was pie. For the evening’s entertainment, there was a gospel cowboy band playing. Not a Country Band, a Cowboy Band. There is a difference. Like you half expect Graham Green to show up from beyond the grave and say, “Life’s a true bonanza,” at some point. Talked with the scant handful of people I knew, and spent the majority of the time watching people meander by. Also, there was a couple of air castle jumping-thingies. I should have brought the two youngest nephews. I would have looked less conspicuous. Though, wearing all black and a Megadeth shirt to boot, I’m certain that maybe wouldn’t have helped. Still, at least Dylan would have had a blast. And made new friends. He does that. And now I’m really off of course, here…

Then again, this is the Sunday A’La Carte, after all…

Due to a link in this week’s Saturday Ramblings (which was part of the inspiration of me doing this weekly post, by the way) on iMonk, featuring this hi-larious Onion-like news piece, I think I have found a new thought-provoking and snicker-inducing time waster…

Because of a family gathering of sorts in Grand Island Saturday morning, and because I really needed to walk around a bit after we all went to Valentino’s buffet afterwards for lunch (“dinner” if calling the Noontime meal “lunch” makes you twitch pedantically), I went to the local Conestoga Mall in the afternoon. I did need to pick up a more portable external hard drive to replace the bulky MyBook that I’ve had for a few years; but, I decided to do a bit of Halloween’ng and check out this place in the mall that my cousin’s wife (“cousin-in-law”? I never really know how to address that) tipped me about, one of those seasonal Halloween costume and brick-a-brack stores called Halloween Spirit. And oh my, was this place fantastic to look around in. Not only was there the standard costumes, accessories and fun stuff to be had, but they really went out of their way to build some very fun and effective animatronic displays, including a video-based one right in the front entrance that was very nice. Alas, I figure this will be my only time to go there, as I rarely am out to Grand Island, but I did take some pics in the store, of which I shall share with all of you now:

CAM00138 CAM00139 CAM00140 CAM00141 CAM00142 CAM00143 CAM00144 CAM00146 CAM00148 CAM00149 CAM00150 CAM00151 CAM00152

Click to embiggen…go on, you know you want to…

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I review the fourth in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary series of re-released novels, and I give my thoughts on how Season Eight of Doctor Who is going so far. Yeah, it’s a bit Who-centric this week. Blame my obsessions, I guess…

It’s a bit short this week, as I’m still fighting off a bit of fatigue due to the change in seasons (always happens this time of year, nothing to get worried about). I leave you now with this video I stumbled upon while watching a video someone in my youth group showed me. I like to think of it as “Cosplay Metal”. These guys are now my new METAL obsession. Cheers, all.

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Sunday A’La Carte – September 7, 2014

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television glassesOnce again, I’ve blinked, and another week has flown by, much like my innocence. Pie gone. Where did pie go? Regardless of whatever fresh existential quandary may be taunting me this week, there is one bright spot I can take away: On Friday morning, as I was buying my breakfast and lunch items of the day at WalMart to take with me to work, I noticed they were putting up this year’s Halloween items. Which means, my wonderful freaks, that another glorious season of HALLOWEENING is upon us! Halloween may be technically on October 31st, with the season not being in full swing until early-to-mid October. Or, a week or so after the Christmas decorations go on sale, in other words. But for me, the spirit of Halloween has arrived, making me all sorts of giddy with anticipation of the wondrous crap that will be on display. And while the selection in WalMart is really a pittance, I did give in to picking up a small plastic skull and a smoky-colored translucent plastic skull mug to decorate my desk at work with. My pens will be going into the mug. Over the weeks leading up to Halloween (the most wonderful time of the year) I hope to be able to explore the various places selling the seasonal kitsch and wonderment. Stay tuned, as I feed my misappropriated youth and all that.

So, the big celebrity death this week was one Joan Rivers, from cardiac and respiratory arrest after some time in a coma. Sad, though I must admit I was never really that much of a fan. One could say I wasn’t a fan. Nothing against her; when it came to comedians from her generation, I leaned more towards Bill Cosby and Carol Burnet. I do find this quote of hers rather interesting, given the situation: “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.” Well, now…time to rethink my alegance to Rubbermade and Ziploc…

METAL IN INAPPROPRIATE PLACES…the title says it all…

In case you need a reminder of your own intellectual prowess (and that trip to WalMart just didn’t do the trick this time), here’s a list of 17 People Who Are So Dumb They’ll Make Your Brain Hurt. It reminds me of the time, not too long ago, when I overheard some kid say, “What does sex have to do with making babies?” Followed immediately by someone else in that group saying, “I know, right?” I seriously am beginning to think that the movie Idiocracy was less of a comedy and more of a long-form Public Service Warning…

ocd nightmare

Here’s a lovely commercial for a German home improvement store, featuring a dad being awesome to his outcast Goth daughter. Just tugs at my heart strings, this.

Fortune Cookie Messages:
-“Your talents will prove to be especially useful this week.”
…finally, the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! Many of you thought I was crazy. Some of you even requested to be transferred to a different department. But who will have the last laugh now?
-“You will do well to expand your horizons.”
…I always thought that my personal space bubble was too small. But, everyone always insists on invading said space. From now on, it’s 10 feet minimum radius, or it’s purple nurple time. You’ve been warned, extroverts.

scary

STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: I discuss how I first discovered one of my imported geek obsessions, and I review a book based on that obsession. Not much this past week. I really need to remedy this.

h8CFAFC08

Anyway, that’s it for this week. I’m posting a bit early, as I’m about to embark on a movie night with my mates, and won’t be back until much later. I was assured there would be cupcakes with bacon. I’d like to take the time right now to apologize in advance to my pancreas. Cheers, all.

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Sunday A’La Carte – August 31, 2014

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garfield labor dayIt’s Sunday evening again. Time for another bit of A’La Carte’ serve-em-up for the week. My my my, but the time goes quickly around here, does it not? And hey, it’s a special Labor Day Weekend edition, too! Whatever that means. If you’re like me, you haven’t actually had a Labor Day off for years. And the same holds for tomorrow, as well. So with Season 5 of Angel thrown on in the background, I bring you this weeks innate ramblings and odds n’ ends.

For many, Labor Day signals the official end of summer. I prefer to exorcise my right to be pedantic, and say that September 23rd is the official start of Fall. It’s the Fall Equinox, after all. Which to me, means absolutely nothing, besides the days finally starting to get shorter and the night finally getting longer. As well it should be. It also means it’s closer to the most wonderful time of the year: HALLOWEEN! Giddy, I am getting.

The other day, a coworker’s multi-colored striped blouse made me think of the Fruit Stripe Gum from my childhood. Which made me think of the Yikes! Stripes! commercial from 1991. No point to this story, really. It’s just how my mind works. And if you actually clicked on the hyperlink and watched that commercial, then you also understand why I’m strictly a Juicy Fruit man…sugar free, nowadays, I’m afraid.

“And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.” – Fahrenheit 451

…huh…Ray Bradbury predicted earbuds…

small and insignificantAnother little braindropping that has always been bouncing around inside my skull: Once in a while, I come across a minivan, SUV, or some other kind of “soccer mom” vehicle, with what looks like a family (school?) of those Christian Fish car emblems on the back. You’ve seen them–two regular sized fishies, with some smaller fishies trailing behind them. I’ve always thought, “What if one of them decides they’re an atheist? Do they just replace one of them with one of those Darwin fish with the feet? Or what if they got into H. P. Lovecraft, and they had to put a Cthulhu fish emblem there? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?” There’s a lot of parody fish emblems floating around out there. Pun intended. Makes me want to get one of each and stick them on the Aluminium Falcon. That should keep everyone who sees it in my church parking lot guessing.

Playing with everyone’s head like a drunken kitten. That’s me.

go on i'm listeningStuff I’ve Written this week: I review albums from the Zoo Babies and Dead Artist Syndrome, I remember my cousin Jerry, and I review volume two of the Titus Crow series by Brian Lumley.

Also, Session 2-22 of NECRO SHOCK RADIO is up, and it features Atkins/May Project, Circle Of Dust, The Crucified, Decision D, Earth From Above, Elgibbor, Figure Four, Haven, Level, Messiah, Metanoia, Monument 7, Morphia, MANDITORY MORTIFICATION, Nailed Promise, Northern Ash, Rose, Saint, Seventh Angel, Shadows Of Paragon, Soldier, Stauros, Strongarm, Woe Of Tyrants, and X-Sinner. Check it out.

For those of you who have Labor Day off tomorrow, enjoy it. As for me, I have to work (can’t figure out if this is irony or what), so that means it’s time for the sleep of the undead. But, before I go, here’s a little \,,/METAL\,,/…with LEGOS…cheers, my wonderful freaks.

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Sunday A’La Carte – August 3, 2014

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20140803brw

Well, I did it again. I blinked, and suddenly it was near the end of Sunday. That means another instalment of Sunday A’La Carte. I just got back from watching my sister and brother-in-law’s puppies over the weekend, while they took my three nephews to Adventure Land in Des Moines, IA for a couple of days. Last vacation for them before school starts up again in a couple of weeks. What was it like, watching over eight about-to-be-weened pups, and their mum who looks like she’s counting the days to getting her teats back to normal? Rather relaxing, actually. They’re still sleeping more often than not, and besides feeding them mushy solids twice a day, and making sure the Mum had her water and food bowls filled constantly (nursing takes a lot out of you, I’m told), I rather enjoyed the solitude, writing on my laptop about various things and whatnot, and taking advantage of the NetFlix streaming on their Roku device. Speaking of which…

– Watched a documentary on the deadliest animals in Australia. I can safely say that visiting there has been removed from any form of bucket list I may have been working on. There’s just so many animals there that can either kill you or mess you up pretty badly, with three quarters of those looking really adorable while doing it. Completely left out the Drop Bears, though. An oversight that should be rectified…

– While in Des Moines, my sister’s family did dine at Zombie Burger. I’ve been meaning to take the 4-hour pilgrimage to that city, just to eat there, since I heard of its opening several years ago. Circumstances kept having me put it off. And now, my dear sister, her husband and my three nephews have beat me to it. It was going to be one of the places utilized for my bachelor party that never happened. Eh, at least they got a copy of the menu, and it’s delightfully awesome sounding. I need to scratch that little item off of my bucket list post-haste. And, they sell tee shirts, I’m told…

bless you

– This week, I read The Resort by one of my favorite horror genre writers, Bentley Little. Always loves me some Bentley Little. Tomorrow, I begin the Second Doctor adventure, Dreams Of Empire

– STUFF I’VE WRITTEN THIS WEEK: Let’s see, I wrote a review of a very horrible zombie movie I watched this weekend, and gave my thoughts on what should be played at my funeral. Along with other things in my Death Is The Only Happy Ending (de)composition notebook that I can’t link to at the moment. I need to write a bit after coming home from work, instead of having my brain shut down like it always does when I see my bed…hmmm…

garfield - profound thought

– NECRO SHOCK RADIO Session 2.19 is up, featuring the sultry, soothing sounds of Deitiphobia, Extol, Guardian, Human 2.7, Inversion, Jet Circus, Krig, Living Sacrifice, Mourn In Silence, Nailed Promise, Not One Is Upright, Overdrive, Promessa Divina, Royal Anguish, Sympathy, Tourniquet, Uzias, Vengeance Rising, Wicked’s End, X-Propagation, and Ziad. Check it out here

So, then tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind at work. Hope everyone has a good week, and all that…

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