June 29, 2012

The zenith of my nerd-dome

It's like Bio-dome, but with out Pauly Shore (whatever happened to him, anyway? I wonder if he a Nick Nolte and best friends...). Did you know you can get Hamlet in Klingon? I think I've mentioned that before, but it's definitely worth mentioning again...and again...and again...and again...

This past week I've been Colorado (it's not as exciting as a lot of people like to make it out to be) for a conference. This has been an amazing experience for me, and I've been overly giddy with giddiness and exciting. Okay, it hasn't been all peaches and screams, I've been missing my baby more than the hitmen miss killing people for nothing more than that's their job (that's quite a bit actually). I've seen, listened to, stalked, and even talked to such people as Rodney Bartlett, Peter Pulay, Garnet Chan, Ed Valeev, David Mazziotti, Ron Sheperd, and the biggest one of all for me...wait for it...Hiroshi Nakatsuji!!!! I've been like a kid in a candy store, just too afraid to approach the counter to buy anything. Starting about the time you read the first name, you were probably asking, who the @#$$#(&&!@#*@)#$(#*!!! are these people, and should I know who they are? The answer to that is no. If you're really bored, you can google them, I know Rodney Bartlett has a wikipedia page at least. These are all people of whom I've been reading their work, and hearing about for the past 7-10 years (I forget how long, really, isn't getting older great?) and have marveled at them from a distance. Now I've been able to marvel up close, though speaking to them is another matter entirely. With Prof. Nakatsuji, I first stared in awe at him, was introduced to him, then stared in awe as he walked away. Later he used the urinal next to me; I was greatly honored (forget the fact that it was the only one open at the time). I even had dinner with him and several other people I've admired over the years tonight. They served chocolate cake, mmmm, it was good.

Colorado is what life would be like if you lived in a oven that never turned off. Sure, there's some nice views and cool things to do. Unfortunately, if you want to actually do any of these things you have to get up at about 3am to do them. That's the only time of day it sort of cools off here (much like the only month in Minnesotta it doesn't snow is July, though I have my doubts about it not snowing even then). The other wonderful thing about living in Colorado is they're a bunch of hippies. Yes, they truly are. It might be 105 degrees (stupid units, for overseas readers) outside, but they're not going to turn on the a/c. Oh no, that wouldn't be good for the environment, the fact that they don't even have an a/c unit is beside the point. I'm all for hugging trees, eating people that hunt illegally, and chopping down the forests to save the reindeer, but come on, it's 105 out, we're all sweating buckets and the only advice you have to give is "make sure to drink lots of water." That's not a joke either, they really did that. I'll even start wearing tie dyed hemp clothes I make at home if you'll just buy and use an a/c unit, please!!! I will wear patchouli too to show my commitment to the hippy cause if needed. I can do that because Pam didn't come with me.

I'll be glad to be home soon and see my baby again.  I'll write more later, for now I need sleep.

June 21, 2012

Where have all the good horror writers gone???

There truly is nothing like having the ever-living (or ever-undead) crap scared out of you and having to sleep with the lights on for the next week. I should add one caveat to this, from reading a story or watching a movie. I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy scaring people a bit more than a probably should. My old roommate (old in both senses) Neil can attest to this fact. There was one night he came home late and was convinced I was hiding somewhere in the tiny house we were renting waiting to jump out and scare him. Granted, I did this mostly naked sometimes too, which I'm sure only added to the terror he felt. This one particular night though I was sound asleep in my bed at the back of the house and didn't even know he was home. He said it took him about 20-30 minutes to slowly and carefully make his way to the back of the house to see if I was really in bed or waiting, crammed into a tiny ball in the most unlikely hiding place available. I once squeezed myself into a closet most people would have considered to be impossible to get into, and waited patiently for about 45 minutes before someone finally had to get something out of that closet and ended up with me jumping out at them while making the most horrendous noises I could come up with at the time. I would have happily waited several more hours for that too. I've described some of my other antics in earlier posts and if you're really interested you can look through them and find one hilarious story. It also involves a closet.

When we have kids (Pam brought it up a few weeks ago. According to her I turned ghost white and quickly changed the subject. I didn't have a mirror to see myself at the time so I can neither confirm nor deny this) I plan on convincing them that monsters to live in the closets, basement, under beds, and pretty much in any dark place a spider can fit. Spiders are a type of monster after all. I'm also planning on speaking to them in english, spanish, german and russian all at the same time.

There have been a few good scary movies that have come out over the past few years (1408, The Lady in Black, to name a couple I enjoyed) though for the most part it seems horror and scary are now synonymous with super-gory and more gore. That's not scary. I can come up with my own gorefest without having to go see Final Destination XXXCIV (now competing with The Land Before Time for the most sequels of any pointlessly stupid movie to have ever been made). The first Nightmare on Elm Street, that was some scary stuff, not too mention Freddy had a wicked sense of humor. Plus the mom being pulled through the teeny-tiny door window at the end was priceless. The first Friday the 13th, I stayed away from lakes at all scout camps, especially at night. Granted there were no girls there, so I don't think we had to worry about the same thing happening, but that's not the point. They were truly scary and suspenseful. Sure they were violent, but it was to help the story. It wasn't the story. With the later installments this wasn't necessarily true anymore. Freddy vs. Jason is a good example of that.

A couple of years ago I read Salem's Lot because I love vampires and vampire stories (no, I have not been hypnotized). I had also been subjected to watching the movie Salem's Lot, which I had been told was one of the "scariest movies ever!" (Thanks dad, that was one of my first introductions to the fact that parents lie) The book is wwwwwaaaaayyyyy scarier than the movie. I would read a couple of chapters before going to bed each night, and I would lay there for about an hour after I had finished reading with my eyes open, listening, watching and waiting for my impending doom to show up as a shadowy figure at the side of my bed. I love that feeling of impending doom.

I recently went looking for another good horror story. Stephen King is okay, he just tries to put 'love' stories in his novels that really don't work. A lot of other modern authors that are men also attempt to do this. The problem is that their 'love' stories are all rigid, unrealistic and very flat. I'm not saying I could do any better, but I also don't try to write love stories. Most of these guys need to put in some time reading harlequin romance novels, written by women. This will hopefully help them to improve their 'love' story writing skills. There has to be some reason millions of women love and read them each year. 30 Days of Night, there's a scare the crap out of you movie/novel/graphic novel (a.k.a. comic book) that even has some 'romance' in it. Nothing says "I love you" more than ripping someone's heart out and eating it. Okay, maybe they didn't do that, but they could. The majority of the horror stories I've come across are either predictably stupid, or they just fail to deliver. Are there really no good ideas out there? Have they all really been used? Or is it that too much Twilight has entered the blood stream of society, killing off all good and creative ideas?

I hope it's none of the above.

Speaking of necrophilia, we went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman. It was a good movie. They had the Twilight lady in it (and compared to Charlize Theron, she was even uglier than normal), and there were several parts I was busting up laughing about (in my head). Don't worry, I won't spoil anything real about the movie if you haven't seen it. When she wakes up after eating the poison apple and she's making her grand entrance the immediate thought that ran through my head was:

Bella/Snow White: "It's okay everyone, Edward came and saved me."

I had to bite my tongue really hard to keep from laughing loudly in the theater. At the end of the movie I leaned over to Pam and said, "But now what's she going to do? She has to choose between Edward, the werewolf dude and now the Huntsman..." I'm still confused why she won't go with me to see the final Twilight movie, I think it's going to be a riot.

Did you know they still make vanilla coke? No, it's not some designer drug from the 80's that has suddenly resurfaced (at least not that I know of; I'm out of touch with the drug community). I had no idea they still made it, but found it the other day and was elated. Now I crave it...all the time....like human blood....must control hunger....too strong....can't....must....but....won't.... AAAAAAUUUUUUURRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! As I grow into a giant green vampire monster that smashes through the building I'm in right now (working, ha!) satiating my thirst for vanilla coke with human blood. I hear they taste about the same, especially after you dissolve a nail in the coke.  The vampire Hulk and Silver Surfer would be unstoppable. Vampire Iron Man is just funny (think hemoglobin if you don't get it). What about the Hemogoblin? He could join the ranks of the Hobgoblin and the Green Goblin, but in vampire form. Spider man, already there. Wolverine already lives forever, his fangs were just misplaced and ended up in his hands. Magneto, hahahahaha, that one's just too funny (think hemoglobin again). Why hasn't Marvel jumped on this yet? I would comment on DC heroes/villains but Superman and Aquaman are the only ones that come to mind, and who wants a vampire-fish-man?  Piranha (the original movie) already has that territory covered.

Captain America could be the vampire hero valiantly fighting against the even day-dwelling Hydra villains. It's too bad I can't draw worth a week-old dead cows back end. I ran out of steam.