Happy Halloween, etc.

Hi.

Sorry I haven’t blogged in almost a week. (Yikes!)  Guess I haven’t had much to say.

Actually, that’s not true.  I’ve had plenty to say.  I just haven’t gotten around to it.  I’ve clicked over to post something a few different times this week but then I’ve thought, “I’ve got other stuff to do that involves a computer.  I should reply to those e-mails, finish that thing I’m writing, etcetcetc before I blog.  How will the people whose e-mails I haven’t answered feel if they see me blogging but not replying to them?”

Pretty bad, I expect, since I STILL haven’t done it!  Sorry.  At least I feel bad about it, right?  What IS it in my brain that keeps me from replying to e-mails and Facebook posts?

Anyway…mostly I just wanted to wish you all a happy and extra spoooooky Halloween.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve already watched “Rocky Horror” and are looking forward to turning off your lights and ignoring the kids while eating the candy you “should” be giving to them.  Enjoy!  🙂

…and, for the record, I just found out that the guy who makes “Glee” is planning an all-out remake of “Rocky Horror.”  Apparently his “Glee” “tribute” wasn’t good enough for him.  There was a previous remake being planned by the MTV people that was shelved.  Richard O’Brien at the time said he had no opinion of if the film should be remade, but that the MTV people did *NOT* have his blessing.  Barry Bostwick, however, stood as the voice for the fans—as I hope he will AGAIN, despite having sold his soul to appear on the “Glee” “tribute”—saying:

“Oh, really? That’s a waste of money.”

“That would be like saying…and understand that I’m not making this as a total comparison, but it would be like saying, ‘Hey, let’s go remake ‘Casablanca’!”

“How are you going to remake it? Every time it was done on stage, I thought it showed the flaws of the piece. I think it’s a one-off; I don’t think you can repeat that. I mean, look at the sequel, ‘Shock Treatment.’ I never saw that, but it was a miserable failure…even more of one than ‘Rocky Horror’ was when it first came out! That one wasn’t even re-discovered and turned into a cult hit.

“I think films like (’Rocky Horror’) are stand-alones and brilliant for what they were at the time they were done,” concluded Bostwick. “You should just leave those things alone.”

For the record, he was wrong about “Shock Treatment.”  It does have a small cult following and is often shown in tandem with “Rocky” at the midnight-movie theatres.  Also, he did later say that if they DID remake it and asked him to be in it, he’d “have to,” particularly if they offered him the “Narrator” role.  (But let’s face it…that wouldn’t be the first horrible travesty he’s been involved with.  “Lexx: The Dark Zone,” anyone?)

Anyway…  I’m a little tired of people trying to toy with the Gospel and remake “Rocky Horror.”  It can’t be done.  Don’t get me wrong…you can DO it…but it can’t be done.  Besides, the original is still in theatres.  It’s a little EARLY to be talking about a remake, isn’t it?  (Look it up.  It’s NEVER been pulled from theatres in its 35 year run.  This moment in time is still considered to be the movies original theatrical run.  No other movie has EVER done that.)  So, fellow Transylvanians, let’s get us a petition going.  Or let’s boycott “Glee” (which actually wouldn’t matter much in my case since I don’t watch it in the first place).  Or let’s go to the guy’s office and throw toast and rice at him and shoot him with water guns or something.  We’ve won before.  We’ve got to do it again.

…but I didn’t mean to say all that.

Mostly just have a Happy Halloween.

…and “Rocky Horror” rules.

…and can anyone lend me a few bucks?

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Super-Spooky Halloween “Music to Work By” from Friday:

  • iPod -> Artist -> Alice Cooper -> “Shuffle” -> “Play”

My Favorite (Current) Comic Books

Sorry for the geeky post—and maybe this would work better on the Empty Checking blog, I’m not sure…  But I like to talk about comic books occasionally, as many of you will know, and I thought it might be fun to write a brief description of some of my favorites that are out there right now.  Like most fanboys, I’m filled with hate inside and often go on and on about the things I think are wrong in the comic industry (ie – pretty much anything Batman’s done from “RIP” onward, though “Detective Comics” is still pretty good).  But I’m going to try something different.  I’m going to only write about stuff I LIKE in this post.  This is uncharted territory for me, folks.

So here we go…  These are my favorite comics being produced at the moment.  Most of them are a little bit off the beaten path.  That’s not necessarily a slight to the Big Two (DC and Marvel), as they are still producing a LOT of stuff I like.  I just dig the indie-scene because they get to use dirty words and stuff…and that feels a little more like the society I actually live in, y’know?  But there are a couple of “bigger” titles in here too…  so let’s go…

(This isn’t really in any order…just writing them down as they come to me.)

  1. The Unwritten – Imagine a world where Harry Potter is a real guy, but doesn’t know that he’s Harry Potter.  He think’s he’s just a dude and then one day forces from within his real life’s story (the Potter books) start to manifest and try to destroy him in real life…and he has no idea why or how it’s happening.  And he says the f-word a lot.  That’s pretty much “The Unwritten.”  Except it’s a guy called “Tom Taylor” and though the Potter influence is clear, there’s a LOT more going on here…  And it’s one of the best things on stands.  I’m virtually obsessed with it.  It’s brilliant.  (The creators, by the way, claim that “Potter” was less of an influence than was the life-story of  Christopher Milne, son of A. A. Milne, who created “Winnie the Pooh.”  Christopher Robin was based on Christopher Milne, and this led to Christopher believing that his father stole his youth from him and exploited him for the “Pooh” series.  Which is sad.  And I can totally see how that ties in to “The Unwritten” as well…but the Potter influence is undeniable.)
  2. Morning Glories – Quite probably the most amazing thing on stands right now.  We’re only on issue three, but this thing is insanely good.  One of the best comic books I’ve ever read.  It’s on target to fill the gap that “Lost” left in my life when it went off the air.  Seriously.  If you’re a comic book fan, you’ve GOT to read Morning Glories.  Just…just brilliant.  It’s set around a bunch of teens who are carted off to a supposed “academy” for gifted students.  Only there’s something sinister going on…we don’t know what…but it’s MAJORLY weird and very dangerous.  (I know that probably sounds kind of cheesy…but it’s not.  It’s kind of what it would be like if the “Saved by the Bell” kids were ACTUALLY cool and were sent off to Miskatonic University.)  The first issue has one of the (I apologize for the term) best “mindf**k” endings I’ve ever seen in anything ever.  But I don’t want to over-sell it.  🙂
  3. Locke & Key – Written by Joe Hill, who you probably remember me mentioning a while back.  This one quickly became a favorite of mine and I’m hungry for more and more.  It’s about some kids whose dad is murdered by a kook who wants to get his hands on some magical keys that the old man hid on his property.  Again…I know that sounds stupid.  But it isn’t.  You have to accept the super-natural aspect of it…but once you do, it’s got a real slow-burn to it that pays off in a BIG way.  I went from thinking “ehh…this might be kind of boring” on page one to “THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!” by the end of the first volume.  (Volumes 1-3 are available in hard and soft cover editions at most places that sell that kind of thing.)  Joe Hill is to comic books what his dad (Stephen King) is to books.  He also might be the new Stephen King of books, too…but that’s a different post.
  4. Captain America – Never thought I’d be a fan.  Picked up a couple of issues around the “Death of Captain America” era and got sucked in.  Some of the best writing among the Big Two, and they made me care about a character I’d previously thought was stupid and exploitatively patriotic.  Brubaker (the writer) has found a way to make Cap actually NOT be cheesy and actually have some drama and depth…and it’s worth reading.  I just hope they don’t kill Bucky…
  5. CBGB – Fun little punk-rock reads based loosely around the old CBGB club/name.  Nothing flashy here…just little throw-away punk-ish stories, that usually don’t even actually involve bands to any real extent.  I dig it.  Nice way to kill about 10 minutes.
  6. The Sixth Gun – I liked it from issue #1, but it’s getting REALLY good now.  (Just read issue #5 this weekend.)  It’s a little bit like “Locke & Key” in that there’s a mystery about what the guns (of which there are—you guessed it—six) are all about.  It’s set in the old-west days, with a supernatural edge.  But the guns go FAR back…apparently even to the days before humans walked erect.  They are the key to a treasure (or is it?) that is sought after by even the dead.  Each one can only be handled by its owner, and the only way to become a gun owner is to pry it from the hands of its previously deceased owner…at which point you are BOUND to the gun.  (There’s a social commentary there that most readers probably miss, by the way.)  It’s a great, spooky, fun read.  Can’t wait to see where it’s going.
  7. Darkwing Duck – Complete, goofy, fun, stupid nostalgia.  It’s completely aware of what it is, making you laugh and offering a decent plot at the same time.  You probably had to be a fan of the show (or at least of DuckTales) for this to really work…but it works for me.
  8. Justice League: Generation Lost – One of the biggest favors DC could’ve done for those of us who don’t care about the Green Lantern.  This gives us a *little* bit of the “Brightest Day” stuff that’s going on right now, but is keeping it to the outside of that plot.  Essentially, the heroes involved are the Justice League’s “B-Team” and aren’t highly regarded.  They are, however, the only ones who are aware of the evil plot of the mastermind causing all the trouble in the “Brightest Day” story—and in fact are the only ones who even remember that he exists, thanks to a global amnesia to Max Lord (the villain) ever having been born.  The team seems a random assortment—and Booster Gold is somehow their leader…but it works.  As I’ve said about it, they found a way to make me care about Booster Gold…so they must be doing something right.  🙂
  9. Scarlet – Nuts.  Just nuts.  Scarlet is an anti-hero.  What she does is absolutely wrong…but is motivated by making things right.  The whole story is based on the premise that there is NO reason for the bad things that happen in life…except that people allow them to occur.  (And I kind of agree with that.)  People allow theft, crooked cops, violence, and prejudice.  And if no one tries to stop it, it will not stop.  So Scarlet is taking matters into her own hands.  And she’s doing it with a big-ass gun.  (So, in some ways, she’s become the thing she hates in order to destroy it…another commentary that a lot of readers probably miss.)  Definitely in my top-five comics being written today.  Can’t wait for the next issue.

…and I think I might be missing a couple…  But that’s the stuff I love right now.  Hope some of it sounds good to you too, and you consider picking up and issue or two.  (Or a “graphic novel”/trade-paperback edition.)

————

“Music to Work By” for 10/25/10:

  1. Band of Horses – “Infinite Arms”
  2. Hank Williams III – “Lovesick, Broke and Driftin'”
  3. Johnny Cash – “American IV”
  4. Queensryche – “Promised Land” (which I STILL maintain is their best record, by the way)
  5. David Bowie – “At the Beeb” – The live disc that came in the imported copy.  Kinda rare, I think…
  6. Chris Difford – “The Last Temptation of Chris”
  7. The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
  8. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “The Century of Self”

Back Again (…and that’s a pun…)

Hi.  Sorry I haven’t blogged for a few days.  Figured I should put something up.  I’m also aware that I’ve got a couple of “comments” out there (and in my “pending” folder) from some of you good folks, and I promise I’ll get to them in the next day or two. 

Got a few things to update you on…so let’s do that “random” thing I do so well.  (Well enough, apparently, that my friend Jim recently name-checked me for it on his blog toward the end of this post.)  🙂

  1. My back is still bothering me.  It’s part of why I haven’t blogged for a little bit.  It’s uncomfortable to sit with my laptop in the position I need it in to type quickly…so I haven’t been doing it.  I’m on enough pain-killers right now that it’s kind of possible for a little bit, so I’m going to write until I need to stop.  The back problems even led to me cancelling a demo-session with my friend (and “Out from the Light” drummer) Dave today.  I think he was a little bit irritated by it (this isn’t the first time I’ve had to cancel on him for one reason or another)…but he’s known me long enough that he’s entitled to get irritated by my crap now and again.  I’ll make it up to him.  Mostly, I’m just trying to figure out when I need to wave the white flag and just go to the doctor.  I need to get a *little* more desperate first, I think.
  2. Bought some new music this past week.  Picked up The Henry Clay People’s “Somewhere on the Golden Coast.”  Saw them open for DBT last month and liked them so I bought it.  It’s good.  You can hear a Bowie-meets-Pixies influence, and a few things I can’t quite place.  A little punky…a little not.  I like it.  Also bought the Legendary Shack Shakers “Agri-dustrial.”  Also good.  Immediately fun, and slightly spooky in some areas.  Only real criticism is that I feel like they structured it a little too much, and I wish it was just their “live” sound without the additional tracks/instrumentation.  But, it’s good on its own merit…so that works.
  3. Happy Vincent Price Day.  Vincent Price would have been 99 years old, if he’d lived…which he didn’t.  (Or DID he?!  Mwah-ha-ha!)  And this is the 17th anniversary of his death.  Please honor his memory by watching “Dr. Phibes” or “House of Usher” or “The Tingler” or something that isn’t “Edward Scissorhands,” anyway.  Next year, when he’d have been 100, I’m gonna go NUTS with a marathon.  Might even have to take the day off.  🙂 (EDIT: I’d errantly written earlier that this was his birthday instead of the anniversary of his death, even though I knew better.  Sorry about that.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  His birthday is May 27—just two days before my own.)
  4. Ate some Q’Doba at about 1:00 on Friday afternoon.  It was gone by 4:00.  Those were some seriously unholy tacos.  Never eating that again.  How can Chipotle be so good, and Q’Doba be so God-awful?
  5. I got a nice e-mail from someone who has a copy of “Out from the Light” and reads the blog.  (Sorry I have yet to respond…see above about it hurting to type…)  She talked about the stuff I write really intelligently, and it was one of the few times I’ve had someone describe what I do and then I’ve thought, “Wow…she gets it.”  So thanks for that.  Sometimes just knowing someone understands what you’re going for is incredibly validating and makes it kind of worth it.
  6. I’ve been going through my musical archives.  Listening to old demos and whatnot.  Also been sitting down and randomly playing guitar after pressing “record” on my laptop.  (Not in the past few days…but recently…)  Short version is that I haven’t written much…but I will have some cool stuff to put on my website for download in the near future.  So keep an eye out.  🙂
  7. Resumed my quest to read all the Vonnegut books.  I’m on “Jailbird” right now.  Haven’t quite read deeply enough to get into the plot yet, but it’s pretty good.
  8. This week’s “Empty Checking” is online.   Enjoy!
  9. I went to Walgreens to buy a new fan.  I need the sound of a fan to sleep, and the one I’ve had going keeps randomly shutting itself off (despite it being turned on).  Seems like that can’t be good…possible fire hazard if that motor heats up, I’d imagine.  So, I went to buy a new fan.  Turns out they don’t sell them “in Winter” (as the clerk put it).  Couple of problems there…  (1) It’s Fall.  (2) It’s been in the 80s here lately.  (3) Even if it were cold…I still need a fan.  Seriously, Walgreens…I’m glad you brought back the beer and liquor…but did you really have to ditch the fans?  For God’s sake…you’ve got Anne Rice books from 1992 on the shelves…but no fans!  Ugh…
  10. We got some rain tonight.  That was good.  Hasn’t rained here in a little bit and I’m sure there are some folks who really needed it.  I would have prefered a mid-day/lunchtime rain so I could go out and drive around a little to enjoy it…but the sound was nice outside the window, anyway.

…and that’s all I can stand for now.  In fact, I should have stopped at about #8, but I kept going.  For you.  You’re welcome.  🙂

Here’s hoping you hear from me again soon.

Just sharing…

Don’t have much to report today, so I just wanted to share this thing I saw on the Internet.  I saw it at Bits & Pieces first, but it’s made the rounds, and the creator’s website is in the clip.  This made me laugh the first time, and has continued to do so…so just thought I’d share it with my friends who maybe don’t visit Bits & Pieces regularly. (…and seriously…why DON’T you?!?  It’s great.  I promise.)

So here you go…the trailer for every Academy Award winning movie.  Ever.  (Hopefully the link still works in the future.  Sorry if that now directs to some sort of horrible, deviant thing.)

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

————

Music to Work By:

  1. Elvis Presley – “Rock” (Compilation released a few years ago with a lot of the old Sun/RCA stuff on it.)
  2. Black Francis – “Bluefinger”
  3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”
  4. Hayes Carll – “Trouble in Mind”
  5. Pixies – “Surfer Rosa”
  6. Rolling Stones – “Beggar’s Banquet”
  7. Rolling Stones – “Let it Bleed”
  8. Glimmer – “Silver Zone”
  9. Rufus Wainwright – “Release the Stars”

So far this week…

Here’s the stuff that’s happened so far this week.  It’s only Tuesday, but it’s already been interesting!

  1. I ate 50 McNuggets for lunch on Monday.  They’re selling 50 for $10 right now (don’t know if that’s just a regional thing or if that’s nationwide) and I couldn’t resist.  I learned something.  If you eat 50 McNuggets (and one of those apple-pie dessert thingies), be prepared to poop.  A lot.  Sorry to share that…but the world needs to know.
  2. “Facebullshit” entry #2: (Source unrecalled—apologies; also a disclaimer that the punchline is not directed at my office.) – “Seven “n’t” words that cripple achievement & success: can’t, won’t, haven’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, & mustn’t.”  EDIT: (Thought of a better joke.)  Another “nt” word that cripples achievement and success—management.
  3. It turns out that Wayne Enterprises is not located in Gotham City, as previously believed.  Turns out it’s located in Harris, TX.  I couldn’t believe it either…but Google never lies.  (Click to embiggen. – Sorry the preview’s so small, but it had to fit in the window.)

    Sorry about all the blacking-out stuff. I don't want to give away the name/address I was looking up when I stumbled upon that.
  4. Tom Bosley Died.  I went through my “Happy Days” period like everyone else, and it’s sad to see Mr. C. go…but my favorite memory of him is watching him soldier-on during a telecast about the biggest musicals on Broadway.  At the time, the longest running musical was “Grease.”  He said something to the effect of, “I bet you don’t know what the longest running show on Broadway is…”  A bunch of people in the (live) audience yelled, “Grease!!”  Bosley laughed and continued reading from the teleprompter…  “You might think it’s ‘Phantom’ or ‘Cats’…but it’s not!  (etc.)”  It was funny to watch a guy just stick to the bit and laugh at his own situation.  And that’s how I’ll remember Tom Bosley.  A guy who rolled with it and made me laugh.
  5. So we’ve got a new guy at work.  His name’s Rick.  Seems nice and basically get-along-able.  He’s a runner and digs sports…so Larry finally has someone to talk to, other than me with my music-geekery.  Rick’s already kind of learning to roll with our insanity (I know…everyone thinks their office is nuts…).  Seems like he’ll be a good fit.  We work in different offices, so I haven’t had a chance to talk to him for too long yet, but what little I did was pleasant enough.  So welcome aboard, Rick.  (Now we’ve just got to break his will and make him eat as recklessly as Larry and I do…)
  6. “Music to Work By” for today…  (Forgot my iPod on Monday!)
    1. David Bowie – “Hours”
    2. Denison Witmer – “Live”
    3. Spoondrift – “Alone with Others”
    4. Squeeze – “Spot the Difference”
    5. Elvis Costello – “The Delivery Man”
    6. Tom Waits – “Bone Machine”

…and that’s been my week so far.

PS…my back and hip/thigh still hurt.  (I think the latter are BECAUSE of the back pain.)  I don’t even know what I did to earn this, really.  It just sucks for no reason.  It’s probably about 80% better than it was on Saturday/Sunday though.  But I’m still hobbley.  Oh well.  The cane suits me, anyway.