March 25, 2017

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inside my headWhen it comes to the mental part of writing (which happens all the time; the physical writing part is maybe 10 percent of the process), one of the more effective ways of getting past writer’s block is to put some \,,/METAL\,,/ on and let my mind wander amidst the soundtrack drowning out the outside world. Sitting with big over-the-ears headphones, staring out to the distance is good, but the most effective use of this is driving around in the NEKRON-7, something cranking on the stereo, somehow the added busywork of driving combined with the music really brings out some fantastic brain droppings.

The trick is to translate what’s dancing around in my head onto the blank pages here in our dimension. And sometimes that translation process gets lost in the ether, resulting in something close to approximation of what I saw in my head, but not quite.

I am my own worst critic when it comes to my writing. I always have been, and always will be. Until the day I stop writing, I’ll keep trying. It’s the only way I can calm the voices, after all. That, and the \,,/METAL\,,/. Cheers.

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July 31, 2016

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I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. – Psalm 119:93

It’s been a while. A while since I’ve posted something substantial as far as brain droppings go. A while since I even posted some kind of general update to at least prove that I still exist on this plane of mortality. Did’ja miss me? I’m sure there’s at least a couple of you that did. Hi, Mom.

As it stands, I wish I had something positive to report. Even something as innocuous as “Doing fine, life is good, totally blessed,” and other similar posts I generally gloss over in my social media feed. Then again, even if I posted something like that and meant it, I’d have friends and acquaintances calling me to see if I’m feeling okay.

It’s not easy being the negative charge on the proverbial battery of life.

Boy howdy has 2016 been a trying year. I believe I began wishing for some kind of reset button around May or so. Here we are, the tail end of July, in the middle of the wicked season that is Summer, and there were two events in the past couple of months that have made me want to count this year as a wash. Just to give you an idea of what’s been happening to keep me from wanting to keep up with the content on this blog o’ mine:

My final grandmother passed away at the beginning of June. She was a week or so away from her 90th birthday. She passed away in her sleep; but it was the months leading up to her passing that took the most out of me and my family. It was tough, watching her fade away like she did. I’m still mourning her loss. I suppose I will for a while.

The second thing that hit me pretty hard this summer was something that I really did not see coming at all. Which is why, three weeks after it happened, I–and sever others as well–am  still feeling the whiplash. I can’t really get into the details at the moment; I’m still processing things, and I’d like to get as much information as possible to make a fair assessment of the situation. Let’s just say that, as of today many of us are finding ourselves without a church to call home. Like I said, I’ll probably go into more detail at a later post, I just want to be able to do so in a way that’s gracious and not falling into the realm of sensationalist muck-raking. Because we’re getting enough of that with this current election period, amirite?

Until next time, I hope to shake off the dark fog I’ve been in for the past few months to get back to posting my brain droppings, reviews and other fun stuff. It’s a struggle, buy by the grace of God I go. Cheers, all.

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Ode To Lovecraft

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HP-LovecraftSuch madness. Such insanity. So eloquently written, so masterfully captured within the pages of the dusty ancient tome I hold within my own hands. To glimpse even for a moment inside the festering mind of one possessing such mad genius is my lifelong desire, my quest. Lovecraft is the closest I am known to come to this task.

His dark imagination, conjuring such delicious fiction of insanity, madness and utter lunacy. Brilliance. To conjure such fantastic dark yarns and then craft them in such a fashion that would make them plausible, that itself speaks of the man’s reluctant genius. A hack writer? Perhaps. But a brilliant hack writer nonetheless.

Pity he was an atheist. To harness this kind of creative and dark insanity – not just copy his style, mind you, as most writers of the so-called “Christian fiction” are want to do – in a way that doesn’t betray my own philosophical and theological discourse as a Christian is the great task before me. Dark dreams and nightmarish realms dwell within the cobwebbed and twisted recesses of my mind, no doubt. I do not seek to shun my nature, far from it. I wish to embrace my unique brand of madness.

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Some Meta Posting For Now…

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1875:  A round tower and Great Cross in the graveyard at Monasterboice monastery, County Louth, founded by Saint Buite. Figured panels on the South Cross illustrate the Crucifixion, the Last Judgement and the Murder of Abel.  (Photo by Mercer/Sean Sexton/Getty Images)

1875: A round tower and Great Cross in the graveyard at Monasterboice monastery, County Louth, founded by Saint Buite. Figured panels on the South Cross illustrate the Crucifixion, the Last Judgement and the Murder of Abel. (Photo by Mercer/Sean Sexton/Getty Images)

Here we are, nearly to the middle of the year that is 2015. The smack-dab middle of the middle year of the decade of the…”Tens”, is it? I know about the first part being the “Aughts” or something like that. Really, the teenage years are the most awkward and ill-defining, be it humans or decades.

It’s also Saturday morning, in what is normally known here in my neck of the world as Memorial Day Weekend. The weekend in preparation for Memorial Day, the last Monday of May set aside to remember those who have sacrificed their time, efforts and sometimes even lives for the freedoms we all too often take for granted here in the U. S. of A. The manner of remembrance of which is marked by not going to work, congregating outdoors in sensuous pagan rituals known as “grilling burgers and brats” and drinking copious amounts of adult beverages, while wearing rather unflattering and sometimes tacky clothing and listening to what is called Country Music singing about patriotism, drinking said adult beverages, and some unidentified female referred to as “Baby Girl” whose choice of transportation is either a pickup truck or a tractor, depending on the artist in question.

I feel I should tell you, tender reader, that I’m writing this post freestyle, and make not promises as to doing any editing. All of this is straight from my sleep-deprived brain to your eyeballs, while I wait for my clothes to finish drying at this early hour.

Anyhoo, this weekend, after my laundry is finished in a bit, I’m taking off for the mythical land of Dunlap, Iowa, to spend a couple of days with my Uncle Pat and Aunt Joyce at their place. I’m going to help them out again this year with the Pancake Feed their volunteer rescue team puts on. I did so last year, and figured I would do it again this year. It would be a nice short vacation out of the madness that is my dwelling and daily routines and rituals.

I’m not planning on bringing along my laptop. I really want to focus on some things that have been bumping around in my surprisingly spacious skull. Meditate on certain things, all that. The only techy device I plan on bringing along is my Android. Otherwise, I’m bringing along my Bible and binder notebook for the old school writing when the urge to purge my brain droppings comes about. Old school, baby.

Then, on Memorial Day proper, I return to the land of Omaha, to partake of one of the previously-mentioned grilling rituals with several members of the Coven of Exalted Geeks, followed by the watching of a b-grade movie. I shall enjoy it immensely.

The clothes are done. I must now prepare for my journey into the netherworld of Iowa. Cheers, all, and a have a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. For all of you reading this from other points in the world, enjoy your weekend.

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Ice Cream Dreams and such

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ice creme dreamAbout an hour ago, I found myself in a strange and alien parallel world. While having the same outward appearance as the world I normally inhabit, the weather was noticeably cooler than normal, while the sun was out and the people were about, as if this was a balmy spring day. I had to don a heavy jacket.

The people. Oh, the people. They looked like me, they acted like me, and they spoke, emoted and and carried on in typical human fashion like me. Only they weren’t like me.

No, they were different. The biggest indicator being that, unlike my skin, their skin was made of something like a sugar cone, with a layer of milk chocolate on the inside, like a Drumstick cone. And their insides were filled with vanilla ice cream.

These were people who were made of ice cream, with sugar cones for skin.

I don’t know how I got to this world. Transported by some outer force, slipped through a rip in the space/time continuum, some kind of vortex created by whatever coincidental combination of…something; I don’t know. All I do know is, when I was there, I was investigating the murder of one of these…beings’ citizenry.

His body was found, torso ripped open, the sugar cone-y pieces lying by his corpse, and all the ice cream forcibly removed. Since it was cooler there, the bits of his insides that I could see splattered around him weren’t melted and pooling, but the effect was still the same. Face frozen in horror, a giant gaping hole where his chest should have been, and a void where his ice cream innards should have been.

It was hard for me to take this all seriously, I know. But, whether bizarre ice cream beings or not, this still was a murder. I couldn’t let this monster get away.

Problem was, the beings there knew I wasn’t one of them. They sensed that I didn’t really belong in their world. As a result, no one would help me in the investigation. Not one of them would even acknowledge my presence there, when I was asking questions pertaining to the murder. Even when others started turning up murdered in the same heinous way, they turned their back on me.

Why would they do that? Something was killing all of them, and getting away with it, and THEY WON’T LISTEN TO ME. Why? It’s right in front of their faces. Under their noses. They constantly step in the ice creamy guts of their fallen brethren in the streets, willfully ignorant.

THEY’RE ALL GOING TO DIE, AND THEY WON’T LET ME HELP THEM FIND AND CATCH THE THING KILLING THEM.

…it’s horrible.

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Stupid, stupid, stupid…

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Stupid, stupid, stupid...If you’re anything like me (and the very thought of anyone out there that is should be enough to make one shudder), you almost always have a notebook somewhere near your person. Either a notebook, a journal-like item, or at the very least a notebook app on whatever mobile device of your personal choosing.

I’m always thinking of stuff that should be at least jot down in one form or another. Maybe not something that I’d want to share with the masses on the interwebs, necessarily. More as a purging, from my brain to the page. I usually save everything I’ve written down on the hard copy journal I have on my computer’s word processor (which is also a much-used prerequisite on every computer I’ve had in my possession through the years). You get the idea. Not so much an aspiring writer, as more of a person who HAS to write. It’s an urge. One of my tallents and callings, if you will. It’s just who I am.

And as such, I normally carry around something to write in, whenever the urge to purge hits. Normally. And one of my favorite places to have a notebook handy is at a cafe’, a sit-down restaurant, or the bar where the Coven of Exalted Geeks congregate every Thursday.

See, I like to arrive at said bar a couple of hours earlier than everyone else, loaded with a book, a notebook, and a writing utensil. Yeah, I like to call what you normal people refer to as “pens” and “pencils” as “writing utensils”. It further demonstrates my inherent weirdness. But anyway, usually I have all three along with, packed up in my man pur…er, um, my satchel (yes, my satchel). Sometimes with my Walkman, sometimes with the glorified PDA that is the secondhand iTouch that Brian gave me. But, always with the first three items. I will sit and read, write, and sip on my pitcher of Root Beer they provide there.

Tonight, however, I forgot to bring along a notebook.

This is, as one might put it, a bummer. I had at least two actual blog rants percolating up in my noggin. Still do. But, thinking I had a notebook packed in the satchel, not bothering to double check, I arrived at the bar, sat down in the reserved table, and discovered as I was unpacking that I was without a notebook. Nothing to jot down my thoughts, ideas and brain droppings.

I realize I could have used some of the bar napkins, but think about it: how many of those smaller squares of soft cloth-like paper would I have had to use? Scientifically speaking, several. When I start writing, I tend to keep going. Like right now. This is just an off-the-cuff mindless blog post of how the night has gone, and look how long it’s starting to get.

But, anyway, point is that I ended up reading mostly while waiting for the guys to show up. And there were several instances where I really could have used that notebook of mine.

Ah, well. Next time I’ll remember to double check.

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Sunday A’La Carte’: March 1, 2015

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spock metal horns

First day of March. Which means that the accursed Spring is just around the corner, here. It was a relatively warm day here in my neck of the woods. The weather reports promised snow, and for the record, yes, there was a light dusting overnight, I believe, as I saw some on the walkways and parking lot asphalt surrounding the Victorian. That didn’t last long, as the Day Star was out in full force, with the weather having become only one-layer coat weather. Not necessarily Black Metal weather. Melodic Death Metal, maybe. That’s why tonight’s soundtrack is IV: The Requiem For The Art Of Death by Immortal Souls to accompany tonight’s serving of A’La Carte’. Thought I forgot to make the meta joke, didn’t you?

First order of business: Another icon of geekdom has succumbed to the great equalizer of all mankind. I speak, of course, of actor Leonard Nimoy passing away on Friday, February 27th. Most will remember him as the iconic Vulcan science officer Spock on the original Star Trek television series, as well as eight movies (yes, I’m counting the Abrams reboots) and a couple of appearances on The Next Generation as well. But, his work as an actor stretches back well before that, with extensive bit parts in several B-movies and television shows (including Dragnet, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits); even after the original Star Trek run, he did extensive acting, voiceover work, and directing, among other endeavors. The Star Trek Animated Series notwithstanding, he was the voice of Galvatron for the 1986 Transformers movie, as well as voicing Sentinel Prime for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. He co-stared in the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers remake (the good one, 1978), and not only stared in the original Outer Limits series episode “I, Robot”, but also the 1995 Outer Limits series remake of the same name. I have rather fond memories of listening to him croon his rendition of “Proud Mary” in a friend’s dorm room in college, who just happened to have the vinyl copy of one of his albums. So, it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to the man who was Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper.

doctor who - dalek color

I take a few days off of Facebook at the beginning of the week, and come back to find that the entirety of the interwebs is up in arms about the color of a dress. Good. Bloody. Grief. Archaeologists from the future are going to list this as one of the Greatest Mysteries of the 21st Century. And then label the 21st Century as the Era of Stupid.

I’ve been designating Fridays after work as the night I try out something from a place I’ve never been to before. On February 27th, I decided to try out SmashBurger off of 72nd and Jones streets in Omaha. Mainly because it’s on the way back to the Victorian. I’ve been hearing a lot about how tantalizing and superb these burgers they produce are, and I’m always down to try out a new establishment’s take on the classic Bacon Cheeseburger. I did order the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, to go; I got the order, made the trek back to my domicile, and then opened it up to discover that this so-called “BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger” had neither BBQ sauce, nor cheese. They remembered the bacon, though. No, it was just a bun, the meat patty, a couple of strips of bacon, and some fried onion strings. Since driving back to the restaurant to lodge a complaint at this point would have been pointless, I ate the burger anyway. It didn’t taste too bad, really…it’s just NOT WHAT I ORDERED. You get one chance to impress the METAL DEMIGOD, and you failed, SmashBurger of Omaha. FAILED. I’m afraid that 5 Guys still remains the top of the heap thus far.

optical-illusions-photo-manipulation-surreal-eric-johansson-3

STUFF I WROTE: Hard Rock + Proto-Metal FEBRUARY ended with posts for the Motor City Madman Ted Nugent, Bean Town rockers Boston, and all-around American band Grand Funk Railroad. My never-ending quest to read and review all of the Doctor Who novels continues with reviews of the Tenth Doctor tales Feast of the Drowned and Sting of the Zygons. Then I posted a metric-ton of music reviews from the likes of doom metalists Place Of Skulls here, Texas groove metal band Faithbomb here, four (count ’em) One Bad Pig reviews here, here, here and here, something from metalcore band Mindrage here, and Seattle death metal band Mindkor here.

That’s all for this week. I leave you all now with a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, performing “The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins” on…some television show. Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

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