How Do You Miss a Thing Like That?

Joe Hill is an American author of whom I had not heard until this week.  I picked up a copy of volume one of his much acclaimed comic book “Locke & Key” on Wednesday.  It was kind of an impulse buy.  The guy at the store recommended it, and it sounded like my cup of tea, so I bought it.  It’s really, really good.  I’m going to be passing this one around to others.

But he’s also written several novels.  His first editions all sold out within hours.  His work is sought after and adored.  He writes mostly in the “horror/thriller” genre, but don’t let the label fool you into thinking it’s kids-stuff, fluff, or just scary for the sake of being scary.  There’s some depth there, from what I can tell.  (I’m only familiar with his basic outlines and stories at the moment—but I’ll be reading at least one or two of the books shortly.)

Put it this way…  He’s not Stephen King.  He’s Stephen King’s son.

“Joe Hill” is his pen name…shortened from Joseph Hillstrom King.  He changed it in an effort to make it on his own merit and not just as King’s son.  And it worked.  He started getting published in 1997 and was popular long before his lineage was revealed.  He only admitted his bloodline in 2007.

But here’s what I don’t get…

The guy looks like this:

Lovingly stolen from http://www.joehillfiction.com.

Sure…he had a beard for some of that time…but how did people not see it?

…and how am I only NOW hearing about him?

I’m sure I’ll be recommending one or more of his novels soon.  But until that time, check out “Locke & Key” if you get the chance (looking at YOU, Dave and Dad).

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Records that got me through the day at work (in order):

  1. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “The Century of Self”
  2. Billy Talent – (self titled)
  3. The Hold Steady – “Heaven is Whenever”
  4. Neurotic Outsiders – (self titled)
  5. Patterson Hood – “Murdering Oscar (and other Love Songs)”
  6. Ray Davies – “Working Man’s Cafe”
  7. Wilco – “Being There” (both discs)
  8. Neil Young – “Le Noise”
  9. Leonard Cohen – “Songs from the Road”

I’m thinking of setting up a sub-page or sidebar thing to just post these lists.  I think I’m going to be listening to a LOT more music at work, and I find these little lists pretty fun…we’ll see…might just keep posting them here in the footers…

Lists…of RAGE!!!

Been kinda pissed off all week for a variety of reasons.  So rather than do a standard post, I’m just going to list a few things that might’ve found their way into other posts…

Comic Books I Bought This Week:

  • Alan Moore’s Neonomicon – Issue #2 of 4 — Short review: I’ll go into greater detail this weekend on the “Empty Checking” podcast…but the short version is that I could’ve done without the ten-page rape sequence (because I felt it was anti-Lovecraftian, not because I’m a Midwestern American) and also could’ve done without the use of the word “ni**er” (even though I think he thought he was being true to Lovecraft on that one).
  • Red Hood: The Lost Days – Issue #5 of 6
  • Uncanny X-Force
  • Avengers #4
  • Locke & Key – Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft — Short version: How the hell have I missed this for so long?!?

Music Stuff I Picked Up This Week:

  • Leonard Cohen – “Songs from the Road”
  • A Leonard Cohen t-shirt in a larger size than the one I bought at the show last year.  (Turns out they make shirts a wee-bit too small for me in Turkey.)

Music I Listened to at Work Today (in order):

  • Devin Townsend Band – “Accelerated Evolution”
  • Mastodon – “Crack the Skye”
  • Shooter Jennings & Hierophant – “Black Ribbons” (twice)
  • Rufus Wainwright – “All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu”
  • Leonard Cohen: “Live in London”
  • Tom Waits: “Glitter and Doom”

Sodas I Like that are Made By the Vess Soda Company:

  • Cream
  • Strawberry
  • Orange/Whistle
  • Black Cherry
  • Cherry Cola

TV Shows I’ve Been Enjoying Lately:

  • House
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Venture Bros.
  • Man vs. Food

TV Experiences I’ve Hated Lately:

  • Watching Michael Bolton rape one of my favorite songs on “Dancing with the Stars.” (Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I actually hate MOST of the covers I’ve heard of this song.  Jeff Buckley’s is awesome…but that’s about it.  I’ll allow Rufus Wainwright’s version, just because he was a friend of Buckley’s and does it as a tribute…but even that isn’t too high on my list, to be honest.  Some songs should just only be sung by the guy that wrote them…and I’m sick of seeing these jackass competition shows do that to such a wonderful song.)
  • The existence of “Glee.”  Seriously.  “Glee” presents a pretty good argument for why we SHOULD cut funding to music and the arts in public schools.  And if they desecrate one more song I love, I’m going to have to…uhh…I don’t know what.  But it’ll probably involve water-balloons.
  • Football announcers/commentators talking about Michael Vick as though he’s not Michael Vick.
  • WWE Raw.  They’re doing this “PG” thing now, since Linda McMahon is running for Senate.  (They say it’s unrelated, but I’m calling bullshit on that.)  Now…I thought they went WAY too far sometimes in the “Attitude” era…but this just blows.  If someone starts bleeding from their forehead (a wrestling staple) even at a PAY-PER-VIEW, they stop the match and patch him up.  No chair-shots.  No choking.  Pretty much, anything that will make a reporter bring up Chris Benoit in an interview with Linda is out.  So we’re almost as bad and cartoony as Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling.  (Okay…  I know…  That was just mean…)  I’m going to keep watching (because if there’s any justice, she’ll lose and we’ll get back to normal), but it’s really terrible right now.
  • “$#*! My Dad Says” — Works as a website/Twitter page…but this is just “Everybody Loves Raymond” with William Shatner (who—don’t get me wrong—I love) pissing all over Peter Boyle’s grave.

…and that should do it.

For Those Who Were Wondering…

For those who have been wondering how my bathroom has turned out, I thought I’d post a few pictures.  There’s still stuff I’m unhappy about, but now that I’ve started adding things, I’m starting to like it more.  Enjoy the pics and captions below.  And try not to dwell on what goes on in there…

[One brief apology/excuse.  In these shots, I presently have a hand-towel sitting on the toilet tank.  That won’t be there forever.  I’m going to install a small hand-towel bar.  I just haven’t yet.]

Click to embiggen.

My mirror. This is the piece that first started pulling the room together for me. Then the jackass hung it too low and really disappointed me. Still looks okay though. Just thankful that it tilts so I can actually see ALL of myself in it. The angle he originally set it at cut off the top of my head. And speaking of the top of my head, you'll notice my new Drive-By Truckers "Pretty Roadcases" hat, if you look close. 🙂
My shelf, which I really, really like. I had to install it myself because "there is no way it'll ever fit there" as per the contractor. They didn't even take it out of the box to look at it, and CLEARLY didn't measure, since it fit just fine. I'm glad I got to do this myself, just for the fact that I got to use my own hands to make the guy look stupid. Plus...cool shelf. 🙂
My towels. Bought them at Kohl's. I kind of geeked out when I saw them and realized how nice they were going to look against the paint and (especially) the bronze.
I bought this picture at http://www.deviantart.com a couple of years ago. I never really figured out where to put it until I chose the paint for the walls in the bathroom. And I was lucky enough to find a frame in a bronze that matches most of the fixtures (again at Kohl's). I'm really happy with how that worked out.
My flooring and bathmat. I know the bathmat's a little plain, but I really like it. I'm also really happy with the floor tile. I was thinking I was going to try to paint the moulding and door in a bronze-ish color to match the towel-rod/mirror/shelf...but the toilet, sink, and tub make the white kind of work. Still going to paint the OUTSIDE of the door (into the hallway) brown to match the flow of the rest of the house though. (Also, if you embiggen this pic, you can see how shoddy some of the paintjob they did is. It's all smudgy around the tub/enclosure.)
The shower enclosure. I like how this turned out, over all. I LOVE the shower doors. I like the enclosure more than I thought I would, too. It was my second choice. My first choice didn't quite fit around the tub for some reason. (Though I'm not sure I believe that since these guys couldn't even install a SHELF.) Plus...big-ass bathtub to fit my big ass. This shot also gives you a sense of the whole picture. It's a VERY small room, but we got a LOT in there, and most of it flows together pretty seamlessly. The stuff I'm not happy with is basically liveable...but there's MORE of it than I would like there to be. Hopefully whoever does the kitchen (because it WILL NOT be this guy!) will do a better job of listening and actually take some PRIDE in his/her work. But, when it's said and done, I'm very happy with the choices I personally made on this project and overall, I'll be happy living in there.

…and that’s it.  The bathroom is now the most expensive room in my house.  Irony.

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Current Listening:

  • Leonard Cohen – “Songs from the Road”
  • Neil Young – “Le Noise”

It’s October, Apparently…

Sorry I haven’t blogged since the baseball thing.  Let’s do this in “random” fashion.

  1. The Drive-By Truckers rocked St. Louis last night.  Went with my brother, my sister-in-law, and my dad.  On the one hand, we were celebrating Dad’s upcoming birthday (on Tuesday).  On the other hand, we’d probably have been there anyway. Excellent show.  A few highlights:
    • The Henry Clay People opened up the show.  They were good.  At one point the guitarist had to retune, and they brought out Jay from DBT to duet with their keyboard player.  By request, they performed David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  It was funny and awesome all at once.  Plus, they had a drummer up there that’d never played with them before, just for one night while their regular guy dealt with a family thing.  We probably made the guy’s night when we chanted his name (Warren) at the end of their set.
    • Bought a ton of merch, including a t-shirt, a hat, a poster, and a sticker.
    • DBT played some of my favorite stuff, including “Women Without Whiskey.”  Lots of the new stuff, and most of it well-placed.  They did a SUPER fast version of “Shut Up and Get on the Plane.”  I’m thinking EZB just didn’t want to do it and wanted it over.  🙂
    • Dad came pretty close to having to hit a guy for standing right in front of him, when he (Dad) had been SITTING there all night.  Ended up kind of being funny.  Dad has a way of pissing someone off so much that they just give up, and that’s kind of what happened there.  (Always wondered where I got that…)
    • Got a hot-dog from a street vendor after the show.  And let me tell you this…any time you put kraut on a hot-dog, that’s a good time.
  2. Still mixing the Michael Feldman Group’s new demo.  They did a good job on it, so it’s not too tough on me.  They followed ALL of the rules I posted a few posts ago.  Now it’s just me mixing it.  It’s going pretty well, but I’m just trying to iron out a few nagging things that are “me” problems.  Just some “clean-up” issues.  Should have a semi-final mix in the early part of the week.
  3. Update on my bathtub.  — At least for the moment, it is not leaking.  That’s good.
  4. New “Empty Checking” is online now.
  5. I’m at the final episode of Season 5 in my “Lost” re-watch.  Just that and Season 6 left to go.
  6. Tony Curtis died.  That’s sad.  “The Great Race” is one of my favorite movies.  I’m watching it right now in his honor…and realizing that most of the cast is now dead.  Bummer.
  7. Greg Giraldo also died.  Not a big fan of his, I’m sad to say…but he did make me laugh on a few occasions, and that’s pretty much all you can ask out of a comic.
  8. Work is going well.  I think I’m moving into the new office this week, but I don’t know for sure.  I’d kind of prefer to stay where I am, both out of laziness and out of liking it there…but the new office IS nicer, so there are benefits there.  We’ll see where they stick me.  Either way, I’ll still be getting a paycheck from a business I enjoy working for, so it’s cool.

And that’s going to have to do it.  I’ve got a headache, and for some reason typing makes it worse.  Reading stuff on the Internet doesn’t bug me…but typing does.  Weird.