Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monday's Lexicon of Misfortune - Crisp

crisp | krisp |
1 (of a substance) firm, dry, and brittle, esp. in a way considered pleasing or attractive: crisp bacon | the snow is lovely and crisp.
• (of a fruit or vegetable) firm, indicating freshness: crisp lettuce.
• (of the weather) cool, fresh, and invigorating: a crisp autumn day.
• (of paper or cloth) smoothly and attractively stiff and uncreased: a crisp $5 bill.
• (of hair) having tight curls, giving an impression of rigidity
2 (of a way of speaking or writing) briskly decisive and matter-of-fact, without hesitation or unnecessary detail: they were cut off with a crisp “Thank you.”

1 a dessert of fruit baked with a crunchy topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour: rhubarb crisp.
2 (also potato crisp)   British term for POTATO CHIP.

       Here’s something you may not know about me. Please bear with me. This may come as a nasty shock to you, but I think it’s of vital importance that there be no secrets between us. Truth is best, at all times and in all circumstances. So let me lay it on you…

       I’m wound a little tight.

       Are you shocked? Have I rocked you to your foundations? Is your previous image of me as a paragon of serenity and even temper now in shards upon your floor, making a shiny pattern on your area rug, sticking in the tread of your shoe?

       I thought not. My neuroses can be seen from space.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday the Filmteenth: Cellar Dweller

Cellar Dweller (1988)
Dir. John Carl Buechler, scr. Don Mancini 
Feat. Debrah Farentino, Yvonne De Carlo, Brian Robbins, Vince Edwards, Miranda Wilson, Pamela Bellwood, Jeffrey Combs

En bref: An aspiring comic book artist wants to create the ultimate horror comic, and so moves into the woodsy artist colony where her idol died under scandalous circumstances many years ago. Will her work bring back the slavering hellbeast that his own drawings called into being? And will eating a bunch of bitchy artists give it the runs?

       From 1988 to some time after high school, maybe ten years later, I had a subscription to Fangoria magazine. I know it was 1988, because the big movies being written about in the first issue I got my hands on were Fright Night Part 2 (why no DVD release of this one, people?), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and the remake of The Blob. I remember all of this for two reasons. One, I bought that first magazine (or someone bought it for me) while we were staying at a friend’s family beach house in Kill Devil Hills for a week or so, and because it was a damn nice place that smelled of cedar and the ocean, it and what I did there have stayed in my memory. And two, since I didn’t subscribe right away, I read that magazine to shreds.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday's Lexicon of Misfortune: Slice

slice | slīs
1 a thin, broad piece of food, such as bread, meat, or cake, cut from a larger portion: four slices of bread | potato slices
a single serving of pizza, typically one eighth of a pie: every payday we’d meet at Vinnie’s for a beer and a couple of slices.
a portion or share of something: local authorities control a huge slice of public spending.
2 Golf a stroke that makes the ball curve away to the right (for a left-handed player, the left), typically inadvertently. Compare with HOOK.
(in other sports) a shot or stroke made with glancing contact to impart spin.
3 a utensil with a broad, flat blade for lifting foods such as cake and fish.

This unpleasant word has a stack of further definitions in my Mac dictionary. I will stop here. This is enough. One slice is enough.

I can’t even get it up to piss and moan at length about slice. Just know I don’t like it, is all. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Excuses, Excuses

I ought to be scheduling a Friday the Filmteenth post at this moment. I am working on one, really. This has not been the week to leap back into battle with a carefully scheduled strategy. If a blog is a battle. Which it is. A battle that is easily lost to meals, sleep, and other non-thinking things.

It's like being employed is work, or something.

I could finish it in a panic tomorrow, I suppose, and then put it up a day late on Saturday. Yet I'd rather not.

Instead of careening off schedule, then, I'll start finishing and queueing posts for later. How much later, I do not know. But later always gets here. Stupid, inevitable later always gets here.

Tip: while I'm queueing, go do what I do when I'm blocked, and learn another language. It's good for you.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday's Lexicon of Misfortune: Quench

quench | kwenCH |
verb [with obj.]
1 satisfy (one’s thirst) by drinking.
• satisfy (a desire): he only pursued her to quench an aching need.
2 extinguish (a fire): firemen hauled on hoses in a desperate bid to quench the flames.
• stifle or suppress (a feeling): fury rose in him, but he quenched it.
• rapidly cool (red-hot metal or other material), esp. in cold water or oil.

       It's laundry day here as I'm writing this. On my phone, in my car, waiting for two wash cycles to complete. Since the residents of this house are two chore-averse gay men and three mature cats, and the air conditioning is not the best, you can imagine how pungent the place gets after a busy workweek. In late summer. In Georgia. Stank.

Monday, September 8, 2014


I hope I'm not one of those creative people whose actual gifts apply to those tasks that sit adjacent to creativity. That would not be a laughing thing. That would be a saddening thing, in fact. I've mentioned my creative writing professor's first day exhortation/admonition before, right? "Not all of you will be writers, most of you probably won't be, in fact. But you may be editors, publishers, teachers, and those are all just as fulfilling and valuable."

Yeah? Hell with that. Shove that. Insert that intergluteally and twist it.

Yet I do have a certain zest for organizing, I've found. I'm putting it down to procrastination. Why sit and sweat in my poorly air-conditioned writing room in front of the empty page, when I can arrange and rearrange my Scrivener projects for maximum productivity potential? Sometimes I can get the text out if I force myself to squeeze writing hard, soften it, and reshape it into content creation. I may need a Silkwood shower afterward, but the text is out! However, if I don't have the time (or the brutal nuclear plant personnel) for a Silkwood shower, I can always organize. Clean up the folders. Draft an ambitious writing schedule. Start a different project, which I can abandon later to get back to whatever it is I should really be working on. Explore my software. Find out what that button does. Well, shit on me. Resolve to never touch that button again.

The point toward which I'm meandering is this: I've taken a cue from the social media aspect of my day job, and started applying some good old plannin'-and-schedulin' elbow grease to this blog. I've given myself the rest of the week to start stacking material up to post; starting next Monday, we'll see if I can't bring this bitch back from the dead in earnest.

Ooh, earnest. Hate that word. Not real fond of the attitude, either. Some future Monday = DONE.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

From the Writing Machine: Shark Week

   It's been, what, a month? Better than a year, anyway.

   I have been thinking a lot in recent days about writing and the Internet. Or maybe that should be, writing versus the Internet. How the two are encouraged to go together, how many writers today give off the appearance of thriving in their work with the Internet's help, and how in my experience, all those two things do is fight. The Internet usually wins. Writing is long, slow and boring, while the Internet has cats, Wikipedia loops and nudity.

   Excuse me for a moment, while I pull my trousers up to my nipples, slip on white sneakers over my black kneesocks, maybe mix myself a refreshing cherry phosphate, and tell the damn kids to get off my damn lawn... there, old fart persona in place. 

   Nothing of consequence that I have ever written has been written near the Internet. Well, except for some tweets I'm proud of, but those are different. Stories, blogs, the odd dissertation, all of it - for anything worthwhile to come out of my fingers, the Internet has to take a vacation. This is because the act of writing sucks. Really sucks. Sucks hard enough to pull a melon through a bendy straw. A sensible brain, engaged in writing, will grasp onto the first diversion that presents itself every single time. Someone, I think it was Anna Quindlen, once said as much to an interviewer's silly question about how much she must love writing. 

   No, she said, having written is what's enjoyable. Not writing.