Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This Week's Necessities

It's that time again. Or has it already been two weeks and is now overdue for that time? Whatever, here it goes...

1. Hot Fuzz (DVD)

The people who brought you Shaun of the Dead are back with a f**king hilarious send up of American buddy cop shoot 'em ups. Simon Pegg is up front again as the best cop in England, that none of the others can stand. He's soon shipped off to a small town where no crimes seem to ever occur, just accidents. A lot of accidents. Really gory ones. High-effing-larious. You're going to need to just buy this one.

2. Old School Pizzeria (Olympia, WA)

Sure, it's a bit of a drive from where you are but Old School is awesome in a New York way, and well worth the quest. From the late 1970's/early 1980's posters that festoon the walls--think Burt Reynold's centerfold from Cosmo, Olivia Newton John circa Let's Get Physical, and the original Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo movie promo--to the barely washed staff (don't let it bother you), you'll be transported to a place where the pizza is all that matters. I always get a cheese slice and then something off their special menu. The cheese is stringy, the crust is thin with a crisp handle, and the sauce has just enough oregano. The red pepper and roast potato Sicilian was an awesome slice. Hit 'em up.

3. Rock of Love with Brett Michaels

If you thought lips were smacking with gonorrhea on Flavor of Love, you won't be able to contain your judgement here. This pack of drunken bleach blond skanks seem genuinely interested in Brett Michaels and will do anything to prove it. Anything. I can smell the bread baking, now. Oh wait, that's a yeast infection. Brett, himself, can't seem to make it through an episode without clutching his crotch and complaining of frequent erections. It's fantastic, plus it leads into Scott Baio is 45 and Single, and we all know what a train wreck them shits is.

Just three? Yep. But #3 is worth two.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Reading Back Log

There's a huge connection between my waning writing output and a general lack of reading. This week I vow to change that. My reading goals:
  1. Finish Harry Pooterhole (about halfway)
  2. Finish Rant (about a third in)
  3. Read Joe's MS, and get back to him before I look like a dick.

Movie Review: Sunshine

Despite a premise that reaks of Armageddon meets the Core, SUNSHINE is a remarkably good film. I'm continually impressed by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland's collaborations; Trainspotting was awesome and, well, you can imagine my affinity for 28 Days Later. The movie is really two distinct films, a psychological study of obsession, which plays out through the Icarus 2's mental health officer (and a later character that shall be left for your own finding), and a thriller that sneaks up on you slow like a door to door Mormon. Oh there's God stuff, too. How can there not be?

The performances are solid; Rose Byrne is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses; Even Chris Evans was stomachable.

I don't often go in for sci-fi, but SUNSHINE straddles so many themes, I really enjoyed it.

The Lost Weekend

PNWA Con. Check. Willamette starts on Thursday. Why I chose to attend these two conferences back to back is beyond me. Have I simply taken my distractions to a higher, more expensive level? Probably. I have a mixed opinion about PNWA. It was so great to meet my agent, finally. Jim is a bundle of sarcastic wit. You know how I can't stand sarcasm, or jokes, or making fun of celebrities, right? Wrong. He's all kinds for awesome, and so were his peeps. We had drinks Saturday night with some other agents, authors and at least one editor (who was adorable and funny). Finally, got to meet the ubitquitous (at least on FFF) Rachel Vater, who is this gracious and friendly fireball (Melissa and Jeaniene: if your ears were burning Saturday night, it's because we were singing your praises).

What else?

Oh My God. I got to thank the editor that was instrumental in getting the ball rolling on Happy Hour of the Damned. Liz is well...I can't find the words. I owe her. She was great, complimentary, and f**king awesome (there's some words).

Richelle Mead and Caitlin Kittredge facilitated an info-packed seminar on world building that got pretty good attendance, despite an infuriating double scheduling of Kat Richardson's own paranormal seminar down the hall (I ended up splitting time, and enjoyed both).

On to the mixed part, in the form of a conference warning.

If you are a writer, expecting to get your work into the right hands, my advice is to try your hardest not to be an asshole. I passed this one table of writers. They were surrounding the con program like a bubbling cauldron, pointing out which agents and or editors were "evil" or "devils", for not asking for their manuscript, or---God forbid---offering critique. The negativity rolling from this table told me one thing: these people are headed for self-publishing and eventual failure. Take the advice, people. If the agents and editors don't want it, there is a reason. Honest critique is the only way for a writer to improve their craft. Even if it's delivered without any softeners.

When you go to a conference that actually has the ability to attract really great agents and editors (which PNWA does), count yourself among the lucky. A face to face opportunity to talk about your shit? Awesome. A writer can learn from any personal interaction with these professionals. They're really your people, the entire building will be full of people who love books. As one agent told me, "there's no reason for anyone to be afraid to pitch, (we're all on the same side)." I paraphrased that last bit, 'cause I'm a writer, and all.

Maybe I should go write something...oh wait, I just did.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm Off to See the Wizard...

X-posted from my livejournal.

Today is the start of the Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference, so I won't be around much 'til Monday (not that I've been at all consistent with posts during the Harry Potter maelstrom). So...I'm excited for two reasons. One, I get to meet the magical Jim McCarthy, agent of the many dollar signs (well not that many, just enough to keep me away from a retched 9 to 5). Two, my good friend Monica Britt is nominated for the Zola award **crosses fingers, toes, intestines** we hope she wins.

I know what you're thinking. Mark's going out in public; I hope he's done some laundry. You'd be right. Instead of the grungy cargo shorts, stinky tee, and flip flops, I've washed up a whole load of clean cargo shorts and tees (the flip-flops are non-negotiable, and will take their rightful place on my feet even during the award ceremony). I may even throw on a rolled up sleeve dress shirt and call that "layering", 'cause I'm all about the fashion.

I leave you, my dear iFriends with a lol-han (I never promised not to make other lolpeople, just none of me), because my addiction is running rampant. I nicked the idea from Jen Lancaster's hilarious blog, Jennsylvania, but missed out on her contest, so it's really Jen's fault.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm Obsessed

Does anyone know of any other sites that you can create your own animated characters? No. Don't tell me. I just did the South Park one...

Which is totally me. Totally.

But now I'm in the market for a twelve-step group. Somebody stop me before I start making lolmarks, with crazy sayings like...

can i has ink cartrig?


i'z in ur blog, makin teh comets.

See. Someone stop me. Ativan?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Heart Telekinetic Trannies

And now you can, too. This informative and entertaining training video does an excellent job illustrating the subtle intricacies of this rarest of minorities, from their playful obsessions (mannequins, household appliances) to their mildly disturbing affinity with Chuck Connors. Watch and learn...

Oh, and here's the movie poster...

I think my Dad took me and my friend Kim to this one when we were in the fifth grade or something. What was he thinking?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Book Review: Snake Agent by Liz Williams

Holy Shit! Snake Agent, the first in Liz William's Inspector Detective Chen series is a f**king great read. Telling you what it's about is the hard part. You see, it's this amalgam of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and pulp detective novel; Blade Runner meets House of the Flying Daggers by way of Hell. Sound pretty bad-ass? Well it is, with a cherry on top.

Here's the drill: we got demons, a Chinese vision of hell, magick, human computer hard drives, badgers that turn into cast iron teapots, and ghost whores. I shouldn't need to write another word, but I will. I was enthralled, especially when Detective Chen makes his decent into Hell. Great stuff.

Run to the bookstore, or, and this is a big "or" check out Nightshade Books' 50% off sale (Buy all 4 in the series, I am).

Next Book: Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk

Friday, July 20, 2007

News from the Publishing Guy

I got word from my editor that those revisions, the ones I turned in a while back, have been accepted and, in fact, are being slathered with editor love. Yay!!!

So next comes the copy edit, which may be a chore for the assigned editor, as I've been told I have a bit of a comma problem (by my writing group). I've done what I can. I bought Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I even read the f**ker. Nothing seems to help. They, seem to go, in willy, nilly. Squigly pieces, of shit.

On that note, here's some commas that know their positions:

Aren't they sweet?

I'm also aware of several copies of Happy Hour being perused by famous author types. You're asking, does that make you nervous, Mark? Yes. Does that trigger your anxiety-induced bowel gravy to flow forth in wave after wave? Surprisingly, not so much. I don't know why. Maybe it's my newfound love of cheese. Who can say?

Anyway, things are moving right along, just not from the traditional anal route. So, happiness abounds.

Happy Potter!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Do I Look Like Mother Teresa?

Yesterday, my editor and I were gushing over Heathers, 'cause...well, it's only the best teen murder-suicide comedy ever. And, probably one of the best dark comedies ever scripted. Here's a clip. Lunchtime poll, because I couldn't find Heather #1's funeral scene.

Because that's not enough ha-ha, here's a clip from my second favorite dark comedy, Freeway. Careful with this one, despite your preformed opinions about America's sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon knows how to sling the F-bomb.




I found it.

I first saw Heathers in the theater (Capital Hill, Seattle), so long ago. Here's what will seriously date me: after the movie, my friend and I walked out to the car and I realized I left my car stereo bag inside. Oops.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Your Spoilers Can Kiss My Ace!

It's 3 days away now, and I'm thinking I'm going internet free Friday afternoon, and won't be back until I've finished the book. It's the only way to be sure*. Anyhow, I swiped this nifty Snape charm from Samaside. There's different one's there, too.

And, all of this in response to several leaks of the book flopping around. Just last night before I drifted off, I hear about the guy who found the photographed pages of the book. Click. That was the end of TV. Does it seem drastic? Paranoid? Insane, even? So be it. But with 6 books down I won't have the ending of the last one f**ked up.

Oh, yeah, the phones will be shut off, too.

*geeky Aliens reference.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've Been Simpsonized...Praise Krusty!

Coinciding with the upcoming release of the Simpsons Movie, Burger King and the Studio have put together a nifty program that turns a photo of you into a Simpsons character.

Here's mine:

Warning: It's kinda slow and you have to submit a picture with lots of contrast. Luckily for me that one up in the right corner did the job.

You have to do it, how could you possibly resist. Get your ass over there and Simpsonize!

Blog-blah-blah, Re-review...

So this is on authors blogging about other people's books (you may leave now, it's not funny). I've come across a few blogs where the writers, themselves aspiring novelists, review books they've read, and at times scathingly so. When I started Burlesque and decided to do reviews, I made a mistake, I panned Laurel K. Hamilton's GUILTY PLEASURES. I can't say that I like it any more now, but there were certainly elements of it that I enjoyed and didn't incorporate into my review. Just being pissy, not sure of my voice, shit. It certainly wasn't balanced or accurate.

I felt guilty. Jinxed. What if I wanted a blurb from Ms. Hamilton, after all, she's the top rated Urban Fantasy author, right now. I wouldn't be able to ask. I just couldn't.

Shortly thereafter, I decided on simply not reviewing those books that I didn't care for, I just abandoned them, for one reason or another and then reported such on the blog, lest people (and by people I mean, well, I don't know who I mean) continue to look for the review to pop up. I'm still going to do that. I think it's fair. The books I'm choosing have a pretty wide readership, and they each have merit.

So, as a correction, a list of things I liked about GUILTY PLEASURES, which was not abandoned, btw.

1. Wererats.
2. Vampire orgy.
3. A creepy Vampire religion.
4. Ghouls!

Now, I'll let it die. But, in other abandonment news. Despite great reviews, blurbs from authors I respect, and a nice writing style, I'm giving up on A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD by Justin Evans. After nearly half a book in, I'm just not hooked. So...

Next Book: Snake Agent: A Detective Inspector Chen Novel by Liz Williams

Monday, July 16, 2007

This Week's Necessities

I'm not talking about soap, canned goods, or maximum strength panty shields here, I'm talking about what's really necessary. The Pop Culture necessities.

Entertainment Weekly has their "Must List", Rolling Stone has their "Essentials", and now **the skies open up and beams of light shine down on your computer**, now **angels sing their heavenly praises**, now Burlesque of the Damned (see above) has This Week's Necessities.

Let there be Necessities!

1. Flight of the Conchords (HBO): Holy crap monkeys, them shits is funny. Jermaine and Bret (pronounced Brit in kiwi) try to make their way in the big city Mary Tyler Moore style, if Mary broke into song about threesomes and robots. Here's a clip...

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.

You can't avoid it. Why even try? Not since Sorceror's stone have I been wowed by one of these flicks. This new one is great, from the horror movie opener to Imelda Staunton's Dorothy Umbridge by way of the Marquis de Sade. Plus...Helena Bonham Carter reprises her roles as Marla--Uh, I mean, Bellatrix Le Strange is insanio.

3. Interpol, Our Love to Admire. These boys are rockin' it eight days a week. This new one takes a bit of time to grow on you, at least, say one and 1/5th of a listen. By the time you get back around to "No "I" in Threesome" you're a goner. Brilliant stuff. It's in heavy rotation here at Burlesque (which is to say on my laptop, in my smelly office).

Which brings us to...

4. Monster Island by David Wellington.

Wellington's zombie nightmare is a blast in the Romero sense. A shipload of African girl gangmembers and their guide steer into Manhattan to clean out a pharmacy. Too bad about all those zombies, though. It seemed like a sound plan. Rounding out the threats are mummies and one particularly devilish character that sets this book apart from the rest of the shambler fiction.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'm So Lucky Cuz...

Thursday night, we went to sleep with the door unlocked. When I told Caroline, she said, "Eew creepy, someone could have been standing over our bed with a paperclip."

Right? See?

Who else is gonna pull a Student Bodies reference out of their ass? The kicker, I told her last night, after midnight. Saturday the 14th (Jamie Lee Curtis's Birthday). Holy Shit!

The whole incident made me want to go out today and track down a pair of horsehead bookends, hip waders, and a Costco size supply of garbage bags.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Please to Give your Opinion...

On the hottest night of the year (so far-knock on wood), my wife and I fell asleep by the drone of the TV. It was tuned to VH1 Classic, BBC Jewels and an old Siouxsie and the Banshees concert. You see we are wayward goths, set free of obsidian dyes by chemical intolerance (not really, I just liked the way that sounded). Anyway, Siouxsie sang Hong Kong Garden, and I didn't remember it being quite so catchy. It jostled me from slumber. I wanted to hum, but there was another reason for my interest. An idea had sparked.

...and then I went back to sleep, and forgot.

Today, I found the video, and the words started.

So here's the opening of my untitled, Siouxsie Sioux-heroined, urban fantasy, set in the early '80s.

Somewhere in the middle of our set at the Limelight—Hong Kong Garden, I think—I noticed a young man staring over his fist, a bump of ketamine balanced in a pile on his knuckle like an infected mosquito bite. His eyes were glazed and baggy, a look that wasn’t helped by the quarter inch of eyeliner he couldn’t resist applying. Beside him, a Victorian mortician's daughter, all aged lace and pained corsetry, let off a faint glow from skin so pale it could have been paper.

At the end of the first chorus, out of habit more than any sense of showmanship, I reached out and pushed over the mikestand. "Chicken Chow Mein and Chop Suey," I sang. "Hong Kong Garden takeaway."

My attention returned to the couple. Not that they were particularly odd in a crowd so tragically dark, both in clothing and demeanor. But there was something.
The boy's eyes were fluttering. K-hole, I thought. But, the girl had slid in close to him, flattening against his hip, his torso, and in just the time it took to look at my feet. So fast.

Then, his body stiffened. Sharp. Pain driven stiffening, as though a shock coursed through him. And the girl? She gnashed her teeth...

There's more, but here's the video:

So two questions. I love the idea of using a real celebrity as my main character, fictionalizing them. I understand that I'd need to pay for any lyrics replicated, but as I know nothing of Ms. Sioux personally, would I be held to any legalities in creating an urban fantasy heroine? Is there any interest in an urban fantasy set in the '80s?

Scary Mary!

Makes me laugh--I mean shiver.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Doh...Forgot One

Back on the subject of links, I forgot about R.J. Barker, his "Dead" Dave York series of stories has it all, pulp noir, laugh-out-loud humor, and zombies (I know. Someone's trying to usurp my authority). Check out Barker's myspace.

Is This Really Necessary?

I'm afraid so. There's no getting around it, either. If you're looking at my Celebrity Look-alike Collage, then you dear reader have been tagged! If you've got somewhere to post (blog, website, myspace, wherever), you must follow in my fingersteps and generate your own. God is on my side, too. So, there'll be no threats of bad luck. You will simply be smited (smote? smitten? whatever, it won't be pleasant).

Coburn, bitches!

You think I'd be upset about Eugene Ionesco and John Negroponte, but no, it's JD Fortune that has me retching. Oh, and for collage avec glasses, see my livejournal. Over there, it's all about Alan Rickman, baby!

This Corner is Screaming for Something...

Mmmmm. Perfect. That's great, just like that. It seems there's no drab space that can't be beautified by a little Liz.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hell Sure is Hot

Temperature update. 104 Degrees. That's just not right.

I've Got Some New Links

I'm just sitting here baking, waiting for the energy burst to carry me to the car, and checking out other people's sites, particularly the ones that have links to mine. I'm ashamed to say, I wasn't aware of this one..

Jes Battis, for instance, he's the author of some scifi/fantasy non-fiction, and his first novel, NIGHT CHILD, sounds bad-ass, plus he's with Dystel & Goderich.

The rest I just needed to get off my ass and add.

Jeaniene Frost's first novel, HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, is coming out soon, like real soon. She's a great lady (who happens to be a reader of Burlesque, so I'm a dick for not adding her sooner). You'll have to check her out. Go NOW, and by the way: Ghoul alert!

I shouldn't have to tell you who Melissa Marr is, her debut, WICKED LOVELY, has been at the top of the NYT Bestseller list for weeks. She's wicked lovely herself and snarky as hell, so we love her.

Another of my D&G Dawgs, Heather Brewer, has a jealousy-inducing webpage and blog. Her novel, EIGHTH GRADE BITES, the first in her Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, comes out next month.

Last, but in no way least, fellow horror-comedy guy Anton Strout's DEAD TO ME, will be released next March, just like Happy Hour. Grrrrr. Competition. Yet, you know I'll be buying his. He's got a f**kin' funny livejournal.

Speaking of links, guess which three word combination has been generating the most google hits lately?

Give up?

Why it's Saaphyri Lip Chap. Who'da thunk it?

Yeah, But It's a Wet Heat

The national heatwave has made it's way to the Pacific Northwest--100 degrees today--and the dogs have settled into their favorite roles: dying martyrs. The fans are just blowing the humidity up our asses. I'm gonna have to take them to my parent's house (see how I get to use them, rather than admit I'm a heat pussy?).

The folks are one of the ten households in Washington with central air, so I'm going to take advantage of that. Plus, they've got Showtime OnDemand. When I break from writing I'm gonna take in another couple of episodes of Dexter.

The upside of the heat is it makes henna tattoos set quicker. I got my new pack of cones yesterday and I'm planning a big tribal spider design for Caroline's back (if she can stand an hour of my dabbling, I'll take a picture of it and post it). I don't draw, but there's something about sketching on skin. By the end of the month, the left side of my body will be covered in brown doodles.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What the Hell is That ------>

Yep. That's right homies. I've retired the lovely hairlip for an actual photo of me. I don't particularly care for it,'s there, nonetheless. It looks like I don't have a neck in this one, but anything's better than three chins.

If you want, you can click on the picture, then click on full size, put the cursor over that photo until the magnifying glass appears, then click again. From this vantage, you'll find that I've past the 50% mark for grays, couldn't be bothered to shave, and, in fact, took the photo myself. On the wall, you can glimpse the madness of my bulletin board, including the original artwork: It's Pooptacular.

What Are You Giving Up for the Harry Potter Holidays?

It's upon us people. Break out the Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans, tomorrows starts that hallowed of all holiday seasons, Harry Potter Days. Are you ready for it? I gotta say, I'm excited. I got an invitation to the Deathly Hallows Ball at Borders, for Christ sake, and I don't have a damn thing to wear, let alone a dress robe.

Yeah, I'm nervous. But, I'm preparing. Like right now, I'm sitting here in my scruffy robe waxing my wand.

The movie'd be one thing. I mean, who doesn't want to see the Order of the Pheonix spring into action? But then, we've only got nine days before the final book comes out. It's those nine days where the magic happens; the family get-togethers; the food; the gifts; the human sacrifice!

I can't wait! I'm going to stack the wood on the bonfire!

How are you celebrating?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Answered Prayers

Let's start by congratulating Saaphyri (two "A"s) the first successful graduate of Monique's Charm School (one "A"). Who could have imagined that little missy would come so far. You might remember her abrupt ouster on Flavor of Love. For me? It was like yesterday..

The edges blur and we move into...


Saaphyri has just beat some girl's ass. They are readying for an audience with Flav. Saaphyri is on her knees, hands clasped in tense, childlike prayer.

"God. Please help me not beat this girl's ass again."

The other girl is on the couch, face scrunched up like a cat's anus.

Saaphyri looks her over, asks, "You want some lip chap?"

**room comes back into focus**

She didn't. But, I do.

In last night's reunion special, Saaphyri let the audience in on her latest business venture: her own line of...wait for it...Lip Chap. I want! I want! I want! Me!

If I can't get some Saaphyri Lip Chap, I'd just rather let the damn things crack and bleed. I know you guys are right there with me on that one. If you're interested--and who in their right mind wouldn't be--the specifics are going up on her website.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This Week's Important TV Moments

Have you seen NINJA WARRIOR? It's this show on the ultra geeky G4 network. 100 contestants vie for the title of Ninja Warrior, by running insanely difficult obstacle courses with names like the spider walk and the warped wall. The game advances in stages, the first takes down most of the contestants. The second gets all but a few. By the time, the last remaining ninjas make it to the third stage they're dangling from their fingertips from the most sadistic gadgets an out of shape writer can imagine. It's hellish and frustrating and I can't wait for the next episode.


While watching NIGHT OF THE COMET on Scifi, I saw a commercial for a pseudo loan-sharking business called Cash Call, Gary Coleman is their spokesmen. In the clip, he says:

"I love you cash call!"
"No one would lend me any money."
Gary breaks into hysterical laughter (some might say...maniacal?)
"Not even my relatives, ha ha ha."

It was insane.
I was stunned.
Then, I burst out laughing, barely holding back my urine.
I'm almost ashamed to say, I wasn't laughing with Gary.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Oh My Goth, Ith Friday!

This time with cute pink punky goth girls...

Fuzzbox used to hang around these guys...

Which for some reason makes me want to see Siouxsie...

Because the Banshees aren't creepy enough...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

An Explosive Fourth (and I'm not talkin' diarrhea)

Yesterday's Fourth of July Extravaganza in Tacoma was everything I'd thought it would be and less. To start, we took the bus, because, c'mon let's be honest, parking around the waterfront is insane. The entire city showed up, which is nice because what would they have done with all that food? The weather was great, like 80, with lots of shade. Spent a lot of time lying around on the grass and watching shirtless methheads (picked skin and all) get hauled off by the platoons of cops that strolled about like ants at a picnic. Speaking of picnics, we had these king-size corndogs, which were massive and excellent and heart-stopping, roasted corn, and beignets with lots of powdered sugar. Yeah, that's right, I was bound up.

The fireworks were brilliant in vibrant shades of Eastside Pyru Blood Red and Crips Blue. All the gang members and their twelve year old chickenheads loved them. We did, too. About halfway into the show, Seattle started there spectacular; we had a great vantage of both. I was only mildly disappointed when I realized that the big big city had shells that lit up like Saturn, with rings and all.

Afterword, we headed to the buses which were lined up like an apocalyptic evacuation were occurring (4 across and 20 deep). I was happy with the organization of it, they had us out of there faster than explosive diarrhea (sorry, couldn't resist).

How was your Fourth?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Introducing Amanda, Undead Socialite

I have to thank Mark del Franco for turning me on to Len Peralta's zombie art. Although, there's not even the slightest resemblance to the main character of my novel, I love Len Peralta's vision of Amanda, from the shi-shi cigarette holder and chignon, down to the dog that looks a bit like our dog Chaz (only happy).

Aren't you jealous? Don't you want a zombie? Well, for a mere twenty bucks you can get your very own zombie art, just head over to Monster By Mail, give Len a title for your zombie, and let the magic happen. He's quick, too; I swear it was only last week that I ordered her. I can't wait for the actual hard copy!

Braaaaaaiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnsssssss, darling!

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This past weekend, I finished The Time Traveler's Wife for my book club, and though I probably wouldn't have chosen it, I found it really charming and effective. Audrey Niffenegger must have hijacked a big '70s IBM to keep track of her time travel plotting, 'cause I can't think of a single loose end.

Henry and Clare are lovers who meet each other at various ages in time. Clare first meets Henry when she is 8 and he is in his thirties. He visits her periodically as she grows, until time catches up and they meet in real time, and fall in love. Yes. Yes. Do me, ensues.

You see, Henry has Chrono-displacement Disorder, and has no control over over when or where he travels. He's assured embarrassment, though, as his clothes don't travel with him. He must steal and run and run and run.

I've got to hand it to Niffenegger, despite the mature and intellectual author photo, bitch wasn't afraid to get nasty. I'm talking about invoking that adolescent masturbation holy grail, blowing yourself. Though with her nifty, no conundrums policy on time travel, she's able to pit two 15 year old Henrys against each other in what has to be one of the most embarrassing sex scenes I've read.

The romance was authentic and powerful, too. I might've even shed a tear--I might not of, either--I'm just sayin'. If you haven't read it, do.

Next Book:A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

Monday, July 02, 2007

Assorted and Sundry

In writing news, revisions on Happy Hour will be done this week. Yay! I've laid down the goth Nancy Drew draft for awhile. I think it needs a new perspective. What I am excited about is my middle grade novel about life in purgatory. Tentatively called Luisa Albuquerque and the Trouble with the Living. Thoughts?

We went to see 1408 yesterday, and despite some genuine scares, I was left with a general feeling of eh. They built tension like crazy, scared the crap out of me at one point, and then the ending fizzled a bit. It's still worth taking a peek. Don't let me stop you.

On Saturday we went to see Cain Lopez at the Comedy Underground. Not something we do much, I think this is maybe the third time I've been to a comedy show. He was pretty funny, I have to say. The two openers? Not so much. Or was it that I was irritated?

You see we went out for a friend's birthday, and because there was a large group of us (12) we couldn't get separate checks. Needless to say, there was an unidentifiable stiffer amongst us (or two), a dirty shameful stiffer. So, at dinner we ended up paying extra. This pisses me off a little bit. A lotta bit. When we got to the club again we're told no separate checks (I refrained from imbibing). At the end of the show, when the waitress came to collect on the tab, it happened again. We threw in a twenty for my wife's tab and a tip and darted, lest our bill double.

We're never going out with those people again, I assure you.