Saturday, September 29, 2007

Horror Movie Exam: You Guess the Theme

You thought I forgot about horror movie day. Shame on you. It's my favorite part of the blogging week. So let's get started up in this bitch. I've gathered three loosely connected films (I'll leave it up to you to decide the theme, thus the title). Some weeks, I type in a few words into youtube search and collect some movies, this week, I knew exactly which trailers to hawk.

The first is Dario Argento's Phenomenon. This 1985 sleeper featured a pre-Labyrinth Jennifer Connelly and a post-Halloween Donald Pleasence, the plot is nearly indecipherable, but the death scenes are quintessential Argento. Here's what I can tell you, it's got psychics, serial killers, and a swarm of flies.

In Lifeforce (the video is NSFW, you've been warned), Tobe Hooper drifts as far from Texas Chainsaw as is humanly possible. We're talkin' naked alien vampires, and the zombies that love them. Thank you Tobe! I'd watch this one again right about now.

Come to think of it, Lifeforce reminds me a bit of 28 Days Later in the frenetic high speed attacks and panic in London.

David Cronenberg's second film, after the equally entertaining zombie sexfest, Shivers, was Rabid. For this apocalyptic semi-zombie flick, he snatched Marilyn Chambers off the dick she was sucking and threw her into one of the most bizarre vampir-esque roles ever. For those unaware, I'm not just being salacious, Ms. Chambers was a famous porno actress. Ever heard of Behind the Green Door?

What you don't see in this clip is the method of transmission, which is so freaky you have to see it for yourself.

So that's that. Any guesses as to the connecting factor of these films?

Here's a hint: I was an adolescent when I saw them.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Book Review and Interview: Eat the Dark by Joe Schreiber

Buy it and then please click HERE, for the review and--what?--INTERVIEW!

The Glamorous Life of the Debut Novelist

Here's our protagonist, we'll call him Mark.

Mark's laughing his ass off today. He's not been told a joke or anything, he's just coming to understand the extent of his role in marketing his book. You see, today the Fed Ex man delivered two big boxes, both from Lake Charles Manufacturing in Louisiana.

They look like this...

...and you've got to be wondering what's inside, since they're clearly not from Kensington, they can't be advance reading copies--plus it's way too soon for those. So what could they be?

Hmmm. Let's open them.

Still no guess?

They're test tubes. One thousand of them. It seems Mark has some secret medical experiments going on in his basement. Well that's not entirely true, while the work is experimental, our protagonist doesn't have a basement, nor any medical training to speak of. So instead, he'll be spending the weekend filling these sexy little numbers with book-info scrolls (and zombie plague-shh!) and snazzy red stoppers.

Each one is printed with the following...

Genuine ZOMBIE Plague

Mark Henry's
Spreading Everywhere
February 26th, 2008

Let's see if you can see it in this blurry video...


Nope, how about a picture?

It's impossible to read in this picture, which is not a HAPPY HOUR dildo as some might suspect (that would be much more appropriate swag for book 2). In fact, the test tubes appear to be unphotographable, nearly vampiric. Bastards.

The book-info scrolls are in color at the moment, but may not stay that way. Mark was quoted $197 for 250 color copies (4 scrolls on each). That's probably not feasible. As it stands, he's already $200 in, and still needs postcards, and business cards. he dreams of being an established author, to have the financial might of the publishing house behind him.

But I'm not *ahem* he's not, and he doesn't.

So what are these for? Three purposes.

The first, in an effort to build a local presence, our hero will be visiting all the local bookstores and talking to the booksellers, at which point he'll pass off some of this nifty swag (which so happens to have all the information needed to order HAPPY HOUR for the store shelf). Sneaky, no?

Second, Mark'll be giving these out at readings and signings just 'cuz they're cool and he loves them.

Third, Mark will raise a bellowing, "Muhahaha," when the tubes are opened, unleashing the last great zombie plague!

*this post brought to you by the word "shameless"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Links and Updates

First up, my hump day blog is up at League of Reluctant Adults, on things to do when you f**k up your manuscript. Anything helps, right?

Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead is out in mass paperback, so you cheapskates who couldn't pick up the hardcover can immerse yourself in his zombified terror.

I've added new links to the sidebar...

Gorgeous paranormal author, Michelle Rowen, who had the following to say about HAPPY HOUR: "Dark, twisted and completely hilarious. I loved this book!" Do you see how she makes me adore her?

I met Devon Monk at the PNWA conference a while back, she's got a new paranormal series coming out soon from Berkeley.

Fellow Reluctant Adults, Jill Myles and Ilona Andrews have been added, as well. Ilona's latest book, Magic Bites, was recently reviewed here. You'll love it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Can I Get a Zombie Slice? To Go?

peterbilt_47 over on livejournal, requested a little slice of zombie, he provided the premise so if you're grossed out, it's totally his fault.

Here goes...

Operation Baby Drop

I'd gone along with plenty of Wendy's schemes in the past, but the day care center was my secret shame. The contract was simple enough to fake, a series of measured lies and forgeries, and it fell into place--if state workers could be counted on for anything, it was incompetence.

Our location was perfect, MLK Jr. Way at the intersection of welfare and drug addiction, an area called The Grind, prime for low country dining and/or bum rolling.

We staffed the center on the cheap, harvesting a sloppy crop of child development students from the junior college. Wendy and I took the swing shift. The chance of a baby drop was higher after dusk.

Operation Baby Drop. The plan came together about six months prior.

Sometimes, when it wasn't crowded, Wendy and I watched the late nightly news over tequila shots at the Well of Souls. It seemed a bill had passed to allow negligent mothers an "out" from their uterine mistakes. The process is as follows:

1. Get knocked up by a tweaking scabby youth in a sticky-carpeted hovel while hazy on Monarch vodka and Kool-aid.
2. Claim religious reasons for not aborting the little monster, or a deep resounding love for the little loser's father, who'll inevitably bolt when your water breaks.
3. Put out your cigarette and spawn behind a back alley dumpster, chewing through the umbilical cord and tying it off with some old hair scrunchies (but not the new ones, those cost you good money).
4. Carry your product to the nearest hospital, 7-Eleven, or Day Care Center in a bag, preferably handled--paper, not plastic (this is important). Drop the little bastard off for a quickie adoption.

It was like amnesty for abandonment. In Wendy's mind it was the zombie equivalent of Chinese food delivery--convenient and bite-sized—only better; this was free.

We opened on a Monday.

Deeply Devoted to Dexter (and other stuff)

We finished watching the first season of Dexter last night, and gotta say that show is easily in my top ten of all time. Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) is Dexter, brother, boyfriend, blood spatter expert for the Miami PD, and serial killer for the good guys. He's awesome in this role, creepy, funny, and worst of all, believable. The rest of the cast is right there with him (I just realized the sister was Emily Rose). I'd read the book so I knew the outcome of the principal mystery, so it's a testament to the storytelling that I never once lost interest. Can't wait for Season 2.

What else did I do yesterday? Hmmm.

Oh, only met the amazing blue_succubus, or Richelle Mead (author of Succubus Blues and Vampire Academy) at a local bookstore coffee shop, not unlike the setting of her own debut novel come to think of it, except far less quaint. We talked about all the stuff that my friends are tired of hearing about, books, writing, our agent and editor, and some stuff they would have been all over. An hour in an we were surrounded by laptop toting Cold War spies eavesdropping on our every scandalous word. Throwing caution to the wind, we plotted and schemed and I left with a whole lot of information about the promo side of the business that I'd been lax on 'til now. Thanks Richelle!

Stacia Kane has birthed a funny post all over the League of Reluctant Adults blog. Go see for yourself, but don't forget your rubber gloves!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fairgasm, or Gross-out, You Decide

I had a great time at the fair, ate too much, rode a variety of torture devices, and sucked at rigged carnival games--damn you meth-mouth carny! But I expected all of those things. What keeps me coming back, year after year, are those freaky moments.

Like this sexy blonde bull, that just moments after the flash went off for the picture, flipped it's long hair like a drunken panty-less socialite. You go Bull!

Just around the corner from Paris Longhorn, a line of children meandered past a stable scene. The star, a plastic cow.


A plastic cow. What made this particular plastic cow a must to commemorate? I think it might have been the heaving silicone utter bag. I forced my Goddaughters to partake. Then upon achieving the photo op, started to feel icky. Was it the blue skim draining into the bucket, the bored 4H teen droning on about the milking process, or the image of my Goddaughter, D, straining to crack a smile? Who knows? I don't think I need to tell you that shortly after we were at the handwashing station, getting rid of the remnants from that floppy germ factory.

Afterward, D and I hit the extreme rides, to experience what our food goes through in the cuisinart. On the El Nino, I was tricked by the sneaky teen ride attendant thusly...I was slightly larger than the padded yoke that clamps you to the ride like a frog in a wax tray, so he came up and made an exaggerated exhale. Before I knew it, I'd mimicked him. He pushed the restraint in a couple more clicks so the rest of the ride was breathless. Literally. Nothing says carnival ride like brain damage. Thanks sneaky teen!

Next up was the new product expo. I never actually buy anything from these booths, yet I'm magically drawn to them. What could possibly force me to wedge myself between the mothers carting around their lazy children in plastic wagons like fat little sausages and the glut of overweight people on Little Rascals?


I've got two reasons.

The first is the detox booth. This little gem was shoved under the grandstand, oddly enough, right across from the scones. I hope there's no connection, there. Though I kept looking from one to the other. Apparently, the detox equipment both leaches impurities from your body through your feet, and diagnoses medical concerns. So, these poor people subject their feet to some nasty snake oil for get this, $35. Insane. And, no. That is not my diarrhea.

Nor... this a dentist's office.

Ever had the desire for Zoom whitening with an audience? Yes? Well the Puyallup fair is for you. My favorite thing is that the attendant's clearly posing for this picture.

So with all the eating and walking, riding and photographing, what's left to do? That's right. You know. And luckily the recepticles were clearly marked.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fair Day! Fair Day!

After a quick jaunt to our Goddaughter's birthday party at the enthusiastically named, Pump It Up (one of those party palaces with inflated slides that close up to kids after dark for adult foam parties), we're off to the Puyallup Fair, Washington's biggest county thing-a-ma-jig. It's got rides, which I might actually go on, new products pavilions, huge vegetables and 4H animals, and of course, elephant ears, scones, and all manner of dietary atom bombs. Don't worry none, we won't be depriving ourselves.
We's decided to eat some carbs today. It won't effect the diet anyway. For those not in the "know", when you've been on Atkins for a while, your body adjusts to not having carbohydrates. When we open the floodgates today, it'll be like on Survivor when the contestants get to eat real food for the first time in weeks. Do you get my meaning? wink wink. I'm talking about poop again. Diarrhea, to be more accurate. No matter. The true test of this diet will be the Rotor, a big spinning tube with a detachable floor (hint: only the thin stick to the wall). I'll get back to you on that one.

But, I digress.

I love a county fair, blue ribbons, petting zoos, sliding on burlap, and even the most recent fatality car accident scrapheap (bloodspottage in full view). We're sure to be accosted by the fifties housewives hawking "Touch of Mink", one hand stuck in the Queen's wave. Children crying for more ride tickets while carnies ogle them suspiciously. What's not to love?


As for The League of Reluctant Adults, it's been an awesome week. By friday, we logged over a thousand visitors, people have been enthusiastic about the content, and we've had some awesome pimps. And we're not done either. Today, Anton unleashes our secret blogging weapon, The Weekly Weekend League Interview. This Weekend? Jessica Wade, associate editor at Ace and Roc. You can't pass this one up folks. It's just not possible.

Head on over, I won't take up any more of your time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Horror Movie Double Feature: A Couple of Gates

I knew I was going to have a hard time finding a clip of the awesome 70s horror movie, The Sentinel, before I even clicked on my youtube link. After all, that other Sentinel movie came out just recently (Michael Douglas-political thriller-blah blah blah). But your trusty schlock explorer was undaunted. I searched all the way into the murky youtube bowels to retrieve this TV spot. I hope you appreciate the lengths I go to bring you good (or so bad it's good) horror.

I can't sing The Sentinel's praises high enough. Great flick, and the scares hold up, slow creepy scares, plus it's about the gates of hell, and you can't go wrong with that theme. Which brings us to our next flick, titled, oddly enough, The Gates of Hell.

Sure, it's been retitled City of the Living Dead, but it wasn't released in theaters with that title. This is one of Lucio Fulci's Giallo, the Italian precursor to our own slasher movies, though 20 years senior, usually hyperviolent, and always containing an element of mystery. I just watched it recently and it doesn't hold up all that well, but it makes for a bizarre Sunday afternoon, I can tell you.

Can anyone think of other movies involving the gate to hell? I'm thinking Hellraiser is a gate tale. Bit, if anyone brings up The Gate, I swear to God...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Name this Post and Get Some Kudos (not the candy, you pathetic binger)

Yesterday, I got one of those Ticketmaster alerts in my email. This one was for a band I'd never heard of, The Bird and The Bee. I googled them. And no, not every google I do is about me. So, I pop on over to their myspace and am magically transported to a 60s lounge in Rio? No. Sao Paolo. There are white Barcelona chairs and lucite drink stands, my martini is as dry as my humor, and the girls are dancing in slo-mo.

Did you feel it? Ladies did you notice your skirt shortening and your hair flipping? Gentleman did your pants crop at the ankle and your shoes go pointy? Well mine did. Sure lounge is an acquired taste, like scotch. But once you're hooked. You're hooked, man.


I'll have you know, Ilona Andrews has posted a chilling account of life in a mafia run funeral home that will have you giggling. It's over at--where else--The League of Reluctant Adults. I'll bet Ilona likes some lounge. You know what else she likes? Giving shit away, that's what. She's got a special offer on the table for all of her advertisers: the chance to win either a signed copy of Magic Bites, or an ARC of Magic Burns (November). So whatcha gonna do?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Penelope: The Final Installment?

I can't find anymore Penelope! What are we gonna do? Oh God.

Stressor of the Week

My first rambling stream of consciousness post is up over at the League of Reluctant Adults. I'm not even sure I answered the question, or if I'm even qualified. After all, I'm not in the least bit funny (except when I am). Now, I'm exhausted. I've put far too much thought into a post about comedy. Do you see what I do for you people? Do you see?

Now, on to what you can do for me * ahem * for us. Us. I'm ready to dust off my prettiest pair of man-panties and be pimped out. As repayment for being my pimp, you may receive this awesome prize package...

Ooo. A signed HAPPY HOUR cover flat (this one's a proof, no blurbs, totally collectible), a copy of everyone's favorite zomedy, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and probably the most fantastic item of all, a Bop and Beep UglyDoll key chain (made in China, so keep it away from your kids, lest Darwinism go into effect).

Once you've pimped, make sure to comment at the blog to enter the drawing, even a big F**K YOU, counts! Yay!

Pimp away!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Add Your Own Title...Smart Ass!

I'm having a hard time writing at home. Between the dogs, the internet and chores, distractions abound. So, I'm going to post this and hit the road. It's time for that tried and true method of wordsmithing: the coffee shop. What is it about coffee shops that bring out the story? Um. The endless flow of caffeine. I'm on it.

But, before I go, a few things...

On Friday, I got another puffy manila envelope from Kensington! I took pictures again, but now I can't find the cable thingie to upload them from my camera (another thing that would take up my day, cord hunt). Anyway, It was the Kensington sale catalog, I'm on page 43 with lots of nice things said about the book (Two more that I'm excited about: Richelle Mead's SUCCUBUS ON TOP is on 6 and Rayo Casablanca's 6 SICK HIPSTERS is on 63). I showed it off all weekend, 'cuz I'm humble and modest.

Stacia Kane, aka December Quinn, aka writer buddy has her first League of Reluctant Adults post up. It's entitled, Dying is Easy...Comedy is Hard. Pimp her out and she's got an awesome magnet prize you could win. And me wants one bad!

Remember, you'll need to exercise your pimp muscles tomorrow, too. I'll be at the League hawking my comedy wares, not sure what exactly, but it's certain to be something provocative, ludicrous, or smarmy. So if you're a fan of any of those adjectives then you'll be in luck. Plus, there will be a fantastic prize package*.

*I said prize package. The key word is package. Package, I say.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The League of Reluctant Adults Launches Today

It's announcement day!

A while back I was invited to join in on the ground floor fun of a group blog. Being the attention whore I am, I accepted. A month later and here we go.

The site is much more extensive than I'd imagined, with bios, interviews, book info, and a handy section called odds and ends, thanks in no small way to Ilona Andrews. Then there's the actual blog. Anton Strout, or as we call him, Monday blogger, has posted the first League blog. It's up now, swear to God. He's even running a Grand Opening Special*, pimp the league, track it back to the comments on his post, and be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of his debut novel, Dead To Me.

What could be more fun than another distraction? That's right, nothing.

*I can't guarantee anything, but I'd be willing to bet cash money that there'll be giveaways all week.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Book Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

So you say you've been lookin' for a fun post-apocalyptic novel with a kick-ass heroine, creepy vampires and an assortment of werecreatures? Well whaddya know, I just read one of those. It's called Magic Bites and it's the debut novel from Ilona Andrews (a name you'll be hearing more from on this site).

Kate Daniels' got the magixes and a big shiny sword, and boy does she need both. It seems Atlanta has hit the skids. Magic rolls through in waves, causing massive technical difficulties and destruction. When it happens, you'd better have a horse or a car that runs on spell-infused water 'cause public transportation is for shit in this town. What's worse? The closest thing Kate has to a relative has been murdered and it looks like the culprit is hellbent on setting up a war between the shapechangers and the "people," a cult-like group of necromancers.

My favorite thing--among many--is Andrews take on vampires. They aren't the romantic leads or mastermind villains; they're drones, and scary ones at that. They hang from ceilings like pasty yellowed spiders! Jesus! I hate spiders.

Magic Bites is an awesome read, urban fantasy on the horror border. Andrews' heroine is well drawn, funny, and heroic; her world-building is beyond intricate, yet totally accessible. I gotta figure out how she does that. I'll be badgering her for an interview, soon.

The sequel, Magic Burns, is due out in April.

Next Book:Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? by Jen Lancaster

Gotta Say...

I'm lovin' me some Mew.

Aren't you?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Horror Movie Double Feature: 70s Torture Porn

After Hostel 2 bombed at the box office, the death knell of so-called "torture porn" rang out loud and clear. So why is it that I just viewed a Saw IV trailer? The answer is simple, these flicks aren't going anywhere. They may go underground for a while but they'll resurface. Films depicting extreme violence weren't invented by James Wan and Eli Roth, remember this Wes Craven masterpiece...

Them shits'll make your stomach turn. Last House is probably the most effecting movie I've ever seen, a horror rite of passage, if you will (but you may not want to). If you judge a film by its ability to create a reaction in the audience, then Craven's film is right up their with Old Yeller (didn't you cry?). Different reaction, but you get the point. Craven wasn't the first, either. Mario Bava, the Maestro of the Macabre, pulled off some serious torture in Black Sunday. In it, he had a mask nailed onto the face of his lead actress, the B-eautiful Barbara Steele. Gruesome, and that was 1960.

In the 80s, the decade of the slasher film, there was another rite of passage, at least amongst my friends, and it came in the form of a series of videos, far too disturbing to excerpt here. Guesses? Yep, Faces of Death: scene after scene of fatal accidents, executions, dead bodies. I'm not sure whether all the stuff portrayed on those tapes were real, but they looked real, and that was enough to leave me cold and clammy.

As the second half of today's ode to the evil in men's hearts, we take a look at one woman's revenge...

I Spit On Your Grave isn't going to win any prizes, but it follows a pattern that Craven designed. It takes an average individual and pushes her to a point where she turns into the aggressor. Now, the question is: Where have we seen that formula since?

Here's a start: The Hills Have Eyes (Craven again)

Remember that Announcement?

Well this isn't it. But it is more tease. I know how you like tease.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Voice of the Ill or Messianic Message?

Caroline is home sick today, so I must baby her and bring her all the varieties of kleenex and juices. This may interfere with my usual procrastination, so I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'll be monitored and may need to get some actual work done. Plus one of her excuses was that she didn't have any clean pants, except the ones that would require high heel accompaniment.

In all honesty, my wife is amazing. She works full time and goes to school in the evening for her MBA. I can't remember her missing a day of work in the last five years.

So, I wonder if it's a sign. Maybe, I should take the day off and just read or something. Is that a possibility? Is it a sign that everyone should take the day off? I'm thinking the answer is yes.

Are You in Need...

...of some Penelope: Princess of Pets?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This Week's Necessities

Been a while since I gave out some directives, so here you go minions...

1. Check out MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND, if for no other reason than Shara Worden is Bjork channeling Tori. Her voice is angelic and the music is a chill-out overload. Her first album, Bring Me the Workhorse, is on Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label. We missed her at Bumbershoot this year, but you don't have to, My Brightest Diamond is touring in support of The Decemberists.

2. On Sunday, I was browsing the old internets, and came across the video guide to the new iPOD TOUCH and if I can't have it no one can. I'm obsessed. Why don't you just get the phone, you ask? It has all the same stuff and more, you say. Well, it seems I don't like phones, nor do I care to be all that accessible, so I'll just be happy with my music, video and wifi internet access, thank you. This handy iPod doesn't hit stores until October 1st, but it's probably a good idea to put one on hold.

3. Tonight is the season premiere of THE BIGGEST LOSER. I am so there. Not only is that shit fascinating to watch, nothing helps me stay on my diet better than an in your face look at obesity. Plus there's nutrition and exercise tips. Okay. Enough of the bullshit, I know a little something about this show from a certain TIME magazine article. The results are skewed by dehydration, and a diet and exercise regimen so insane, it's nearly impossible to keep up. In fact, here's season 1 winner, Ryan (before is on the LEFT). That's right, before. See?

I'm still watchin'.

4. You've just got to run down to the store and pick up the re-release of the seminal H.G. Wells '70s classic, THE FOOD OF THE GODS. So bad it's good, and what's not to like? You got your giant rats and wasps, so you're gonna be happy. What's funny is the Saturday movies on Sci-Fi channel haven't improved since this one. Mansquito, anyone?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Split Shifting

As of tonight, I'm on a split shift writing schedule. The impetus for such a radical management of time? Two projects at once, people!

I took DARK RITES out for a spin tonight at my writing group. I was really nervous, for the first time since we put this group together. I was worried that it would read as too porny (my main character is an incubus). So I stalled, waited to read last. Then...relief. I've never gotten such unanimous enthusiasm, and laughter all in the right spots. Sherylle, our 63 year old horror/mystery writer, was laughing for minutes afterwords. Minutes. I'm excited. Can't stop thinking about the story. These are good tidings. Great tidings.

I'm off to hammer out another chapter.

Tomorrow morning: ROAD TRIP. Good times.

Mixed Bag and No Candy

Three things.

Last night, we went to see Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. You all know how much we love Carpenter's version (enough to name our dog after a character). That's a lotta love, people.

We weren't expecting to like it, and so weren't at all disappointed. The reason the original Halloween is so effective is that Carpenter takes the time to build tension, he has a well developed understanding of fear and can relate that to the audience. Rob Zombie--and I totally understand the risk he took--followed a path that is counterintuitive in regards to the mechanics of horror.

I won't deny that Michael Myer's childhood is interesting, as are the scenes at Smith's Grove. Zombie shows us a family that is perfectly capable of producing a psychotic killer, as well as the fledgling steps a child's mind takes toward active destruction (emotional/physical abuse, animal cruelty and killing). The young actor playing Michael did an awesome job portraying this. As an aside, I've met three children over the course of my work, that I thought were not only capable of murderous acts, but had already begun to show the signs that are indicative of those predisposed to become serial killers. They are fucking scary kids, and vacant as Hell. One of these three went on to stab his mother several times (17 to be exact). Back to my point: Zombie did a great job with the new material, and that kid, Daeg Faerch, was awesome.

The movie fell apart when Zombie brought Michael back to Haddonfield. He'd spent so much time deconstructing Myers as a character that when it came time for him to start the slaughter, we didn't know Annie (played by Danielle Harris, the little girl from Halloween 4), Linda, or Laurie enough to care whether they died or not. Annie's death is by far the most important to the first film. Carpenter infuses that scene with so much tension that viewers are forced into a fetal position. Zombie doesn't take that kind of care, he slices through the cast with a vengeance. Sad, really. Only the final sequence between Michael and Laurie is frightening in any way. Mostly it's just frustrating.

You know what else was frustrating? No popcorn and/or M&Ms. Yep, people we're still on the diet that has no end. I'm down fifteen pounds in the last month, so I can't complain too awful much. The daily workouts are tiresome, but I have no intention of easing up.

Second thing, What the fuck was Britney doing on TV last night? She's at least a year away from any comeback potential. She looked like a zombie shambling around up there, having to rely on her dancers to help her up and down the stairs. Miss Teen North Carolina's dumb and all, but at least she can manuever stairs. Was she drunk? Her lipsync was off. She looked bloated. The audience was horrified. I had to cover my eyes a few times. Does that train ever stop wrecking?

Third and last thing. I'm taking a cue from the amazing J.A. Konrath--an accomplished author of the sick and twisted variety and the end all be all of author blogging--I'm going to do a weekly post related to things writerly. That's right. You'll get my take on everything from turning your crappy manuscript into a well-polished turd fit for scat lovers everywhere to publicity stuff that works (by the time I get to that, I'll have made tons of mistakes to learn from). So tune in, Bitches.

Oh wait. I've got a big announcement coming up. Huge.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Website Updated, Finally

I almost forgot to mention that I spent a good portion of today updating my crappy website. It still looks like crap, but it's updated crap. That's got to count for something.

Oh Yeah, and I Write, Too

It seems like weeks since I've posted anything about my actual writing. I promise I'm writing. Swear to God. Except when I'm not. When I'm not, then you can be sure I'm blogging, coming up with crappy novel starts, cleaning up dog poop, and/or reading (MAGIC BITES, right now).

Oh, and googling. Today our topic is the highs and lows of self-googling.

Let's start with the lows. A few days ago I told you about our day at Bumbershoot. In that post I mentioned that a band called Alabaster "sucked dog dicks so hard." Now, admittedly this was pretty harsh criticism for a band that I wouldn't have liked simply due to the style of music, but take into account that the Exhibition Hall has acoustics for shit, and I probably owe an apology to Jennifer and her pals.

Did you see that?

Oh yeah, Jennifer's a self-googler like yours truly--she left a really polite comment, despite my ugly words. The danger is in finding stuff you don't really want to see. Now, I expect my fair share of bad reviews on HAPPY HOUR; I'd be foolish to expect everyone to enjoy my flesh-eating heroine. What I wouldn't be expecting is someone's snap judgment.

Thanks Jennifer. Thanks for the lesson. You guys keep rockin'!

Now for the highs. A couple of days ago, I self-googled and found two different livejournals that were so enthusiastic about HAPPY HOUR that I nearly asphyxiated on Diet Coke. Both had my cover displayed and seemed to be counting down the days to the release. Can you believe that shit. I love them.


Which brings me back to writing. I heard back from my editor on ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD; it got the go ahead based on the outline. So I'm gonna push that one out like some kidney stones and try to get my secrect project into a readable state. I'm really excited about this one. I'm calling it DARK RITES; it's another urban fantasy comedy, only with more sex and celebrities!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Horror Movie Triple Bill: 1971

I first saw Let's Scare Jessica to Death on a lending library projector, I'd love to see it again. It is a genuinely scary take on a certain overused movie monster. I won't say which because it's the twist in the film. You gotta get a hold of this one.

There's even a website devoted to Jessica, and it's rated "GP".

I haven't seen the next two, but I totally would, if only for the kitsch. The first of these is Werewolves on Wheels. It clearly stars famous radio DJ Wolfman Jack, but that's never mentioned.

Come on, it's from the Fanfare Corporation, so you know it's pretty good. This movie is screaming for a remake. The FIRST horror/motorcycle movie? Was there a second?

The only reason to catch Demented Death Farm Massacre is that it's also known as Honey Britches. Who could resist? Click play and let me steal two minutes and forty five seconds from your life. I dare you.

My favorite part was the triple scream edit. Awesome!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quick, Name This Movie

No prize is as good as the respect you'll garner.

I Heart Cardboard!

I found the Kristen Schaal video that had me so worked up. Enjoy.

Things I love...
• Kyle's orphanwear
• Cardboard braids
• Free lunch Wednesdays

Have You Heard the News? *

Last week I got an email from Alonzo. Never mind that I don't know Alonzo or that his email says nancy_alman. That's neither here nor there. What's important is the good news Alonzo's spreading.

"Did you know that a recent survey showed that 85% of women actually get aroused by a man who produces "above average" semen amounts?"

But wait, Alonzo, I thought women wanted larger penises and stronger erections, could I be wrong?

*sends email*

I'll take the lack of response as a resounding yes, Mark. You're wrong, most women just love a massive storm surge of cum. Of course.

Thanks Alonzo!

*This public service announcement made possible by a grant from the completly batshit insane.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Would Somebody Bumbershoot Me?

Yesterday, we went to Bumbershoot, and whatya know, it was a great time. For those who don't know the area, the Seattle Center--which hosts the musical festival--was a World's Fair-grounds (this is where the needle's at). Normally it's open from any direction, but during Bumbershoot, they fence off the entire place, which must have taken weeks. Crazy. So, I think I've told you before that it's a capital A Arts and Music festival, kind of like Lollapalooza, only instead of three or four stages, there are like twelve or so. It incorporates art exhibits, film, comedy, literary events, vaudeville, and some of the biggest bands around.


We started the day off at Experience Music Project; Natalie Portman's Shaved Head was playing the Sky Church. It was packed, and this was 12:30. NPSH put on an awesome show blending Devo, ABBA and the B-52s into a new party band for the texter-set. From Sophisticated Side Ponytail, to such classics as Mouthful of Bones and Male Facial Hair, Natalie rocked the house with "art fag" bravado. Did I already say awesome?

Then, we cheated on our diet, while we watched Black Rebel Motorcycle club southern rock the crowd. I'm not proud. But, shit, it's been a month. We dawdled too long and were shit out of luck for the Janeane Garofalo set, which sucked so bad we had to eat Shiskaberries and catch the Alabaster show at the exhibition hall. They sucked dog dicks so hard. We barely got through song before darting.

Question: Why is it all "alternative" sounding rock bands have a "normal" singer and a back up "demon-voiced" singer? The answer is...because they're not alternative. In fact, those bands--along with the rap-rock hybrids--are this generations butt-rock. My Chemical Romance is the new Whitesnake, people. Accept it.

Follow along. The 80s retro radio stations play The Cure, The Cult, Echo & the Bunnymen. You don't hear a lot of Whitesnake. Because that shit sucked. But back in the 80s, there wasn't a radio station within earshot playing The Cure, The Cult, or Echo, unless they were broadcasting from a college basement. That music was underground for the most part.

Still think AFI is alternative, or even *cough* Goth? Nope, just Tesla with a jet black dye job. Nothing to see here folks. Just move along.


I got a little carried away. Plus, we were bitter when the Horrorpops cancelled. Who could resist a ska/punk mash-up inspired by zombies? No one, that's who. So we wandered through the art exhibits (but not Miranda July's, there was a line), where I became enamored with the art of the mysteriously named Parskit. His work is characterized by blank-faced phantasms carrying out mundane but creepy tasks. All of these paintings were sold. Sigh. I can't even find anything about them on the internet. I fear I may have imagined them.

Am I Parskit?

We queued up for the Kristen Schaal/John Coulton/Anthony Jesilnik show at Intiman. They were all awesome. Kristen Schaal presented a short film that had me laughing so hard, I nearly seized up and shot a kidney out my ass. Jesilnik was just plain wrong, and John Coulton's humorous songs, despite being cute, were just not my bag. What was awesome? Doug Benson MCed, fresh from elimination at Last Comic Standing. We love him.

Next up was the female hip hop dance troupe Decadance at the Bagley Wright. The first half of their performance was high-energy and awesome. It was when they forced us to endure Stravinsky's Firebird that I nearly opened a vein. I turned to Caroline to suggest we leave, but didn't want to wake her.

The night concluded with two acts, I'd have never paid for if it were just them: Sean Paul and the Dutchess, herself, Fergie (seen below in all her incontinent glory).

I've got to give it up for the Black Eyed Peas' songstress her voice was great. She even channeled Ann Wilson for a cover of Barracuda that was surprisingly rap-free and pretty rockin'. It was during this song that I saw a woman tumble down the cement stadium stairs, she was NOT okay. The EMTs came an worked on her for a half hour, which is a good sign. Poor thing. They could have sent the fun directors.

The next hour was spent driving 150 feet from our parking space to the street, which is always fun.

All in all, good times.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Eight Things About Me

Myspace and livejournal friend, Xakara, "tagged" my like an endangered species. The task? Eight random things about myself...

1. When I was a child, I started taking "dark showers." I'd pretend I was blind and walk around in the dark bumping into things. Bathrooms happened to be the trickiest, and wet tubs can be particularly dangerous and, thus, alluring.

2. About ten years ago, my 5 pound yorkie ran away. I caught up with him at an intersection leading to a freeway, but he was too freaked to recognize his name, or me. He ran towards the freeway, I chased. A car hit him, and he was bounced around the road. I ran into the middle of the speeding cars, pulled him from the concrete and collapsed in the ditch, covered in his blood. It took a few minutes for my heart to stop racing and to realize his was still beating.

3. I've started collecting old crosses and religious iconography. My favorite is a Greek Orthodox Crucifixion painted on a crimson background and layered with gold leaf.

4. The first time I tried Indian food was in a tiny restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand (One of the three cities that form the Golden Triangle of Opium production). My parents hated it. I loved it. It took me ten years to try it again and now I can't stop.

5. I worked at a mental health facility, after I graduated from college. The clients--we called them consumers--were suffering from a variety of psychoses. Unfortunately, the mental health system is cash poor and graveyard shifts are often understaffed, and by that, I mean just me. One of my tasks was to do room checks every hour to make sure the consumers were in their beds. On one of these checks, I'd finished the rounds and was walking back to the staff wing, when I heard a creaking behind me. I turned. A particularly venomous Borderline (look it up) was standing behind me with a chair over her head ready to bring it down on me. She met my gaze, cocked her head, put the chair down in the dark hallway, and returned to her room without a word (from either of us).

6. When I was seven--we lived in Portugal at the time--our house bumped right onto a cobbled street. It looked like any other building from the front, whitewashed walls, ten foot rough-hewn doors. The ground floor entry was a cave, not literally, but dark, stony and damp as is typical of the architecture in that area. It was a bit of a dungeon, and the landlord, a fisherman, retained a weight making shop behind a locked door. That place was always a mystery. I'd sit on the cold stone stairs and watch the shadows play under the crack below the door, imagining the fisherman as an alchemist. A wizard.

7. We lived near the Westpoint Academy in New York,--I was five at the time. Occasionally, we'd have dinner at the large hotel on the Wespoint grounds. Now, I was prodigy in the hijinx department and snuck away from my parents on a regular basis. I got stuck in the elevator and couldn't reach the buttons. I cried.

8. In 1991, I visited my parents in the Phillipines (my father's work took him all over the world). While I was flying across the Pacific, Clark Air Force Base was evacuated as nearby Mt. Pinatubo seemed likely to erupt. Although civilians, my parents were told to leave. When I arrived in Manilla, the volcano had already sent several small plumes of ash into the night sky. The driver took us to a nearby naval base, where the Americans had been relocated. When the volcano erupted, it was catastrophic. The sky was black for 30 hours, a typhoon rolled in, and the earthquakes rolled continuously. Debris fell on the evacuation site killing many in the surrounding towns and collapsing a gym on frightened families.

Consider yourself tagged, or not. But tell me something people! I'm bored and have access to sharp objects.

Book Review: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

One of my favorite cancelled TV shows has to be the Grim Reaper dramedy, Dead Like Me (if you haven't seen it, get thee to netflix), in which a girl is killed by a falling toilet seat from the Mir station, and joins the ranks of a sarcastic team of reapers. It was awesome. I miss it. But wait, isn't there a grim reaper book? Isn't Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job a reaper comedy, you ask? Oh but yes, and imagine my glee.

Charlie Asher has a new baby and a new job: Death Merchant. Which sounds pretty cool to his goth employee Lily, but to Charlie it's just plain creepy. Unfortunately, like many jobs, Death, is sink or swim, and their are no formal trainings, but there is a book, and it warns of bad things coming. Very bad things.

Moore fills this one up with unusual characters, some familiar, others completely foreign, but always hilarious. Job one the Quill award a couple of years back (which is a reader voted award). I can see why. It's immensely readable, fun as hell, and dying for a sequel.

Next book: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews