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Monthly Archives: June 2008

A lot of stuff I’ve been listening to is old, partly because I’m playing a huge game of catch up.  That’s what I get for neglecting my subscriptions for months.  Still, since my new day job is now glorified “Grocery shopping,” I’m practically listening to my iPod for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Anyhow, here’s more of what I listened to and liked in the past week.

Darker Projects: Five Minute Fears: Elevator Music

Absurdly funny.  Two serial killers meet in an elevator and mutually admire each other’s work.

Psuedopod 73:  Blood, Gridlock, and PEZ by Kevin Anderson

A finely crafted story, with a perfect ending line.  Three people are stuck in traffic considering the state of their relationship.  A guy a couple cars up goes apeshit and becomes an axe wielding maniac.

Escape Pod 132: Sparks in a Cold War By Kristine Katherine Rusch

Adventure/Space Opera.  Still, nicely written and character driven.  One act of murder on an extraterrestial (and illegal) safari can lead to a hot war.

Podcastle 003: Run of the Fiery Horse by Hillary Moon Murphy

Fantasy set in ancient China.  A girl born under a bad astrological sign makes a deal with a dream snake for 7 years of independence.  This is partly spurred on by the fact she loves to run and doesn’t want her feet bound.

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I haven’t taken any pictures of the place since the new paint job. I figured grayish paint jobs are boring. However, here what’s been painted over in the last year or two:

Obviously, this is from the 1970’s. Note my father in the snazzy turtleneck. I really don’t know the full context of this photo, but let me tell you what my instinctual impression is. This is likely from Germany, I think. However, it easily could be from the Phillipines or the Azores, for that matter. Where it precisely is no matter to me, it’s the feeling I get from this picture that’s important. And to me, it says a lot about being an American overseas.

When you live in somebody else’s country, “community” takes on a whole new meaning and importance, one that I think is lost on some Stateside Americans. And it’s something that Stateside Americans have trouble with, in terms of trying to understand immigrant populations. When almost everything seems foreign to you, friendships take on a new, huge importance — in many instances, you have no choice but to band together, even if the only commonality you have with somebody is a shared citizenship. Thus, the simple act of going to somebody else’s home for coffee, dinner, or a glass of wine takes on a new importance, especially if you live off-base, amidst the locals. Sometimes, your fellow expatriate is the only comfort some can find in a country where you don’t know the language, the customs, or the proper protocols.

Sure, Bermuda has had a massive increase in crime since 1990s. Regardless, as this Royal Gazette story tells it, guns are still illegal to own or possess. And this guy may end up in Casemates Prison or some other correctional facility, based on what he calls an “accident”:

A US lawyer and his wife broke down in tears yesterday as they told a jury he brought two guns to Bermuda in his luggage by accident.

Gary Barket, 61, faces at least ten years in jail if convicted of importing the weapons, which he says his wife Terry asked him to hide in a suitcase months before for safekeeping.

In emotional testimony at Supreme Court yesterday, the Arkansas-based lawyer claimed he had no idea they were still there when he brought the same case to Bermuda on a business trip.

I have no opinion on the possible sentence. Still, you’d think when it comes to deadly firearms, people would be a whole lot more careful.

If you want to be a cheapskate, and pack a one dollar tin of sardines (in mustard sauce) for lunch, don’t leave that metal tin in your car, with the windows rolled up, on a hot summer day.  Kind-of smelly and kind of gross and kind of warm.

Tired. I’m not going to obligate myself to this as a daily post. But, since I’m in the mood, what the hell…

Kryptographik

Simply a very well done show on horror/dark comics and graphic novels. The two recent episodes I listened to today were stripped down — as in, no Pod of Horror or Mur Lafferty styled slick production. What sells, here, is that all involved know a hell of a lot of what they’re talking about. Imagine this: You’re standing in your local comic book show, eavesdropping on three expert collectors chat, while waiting for the new books and reserve boxes are completed. Episodes 23 & 24 are heavy on Hellblazer and horror prose writer Joe Hill. Highly recommended.

Although, I still need to check out their “Musings” special episodes.

Well Told Tales

Scottish horror writer William Meikle gives readers a standard reversal storyline, but I’ll say nothing more, in the name of not giving out spoilers. Meikle writes well, captures his characters strongly, and has a good sense of description. I’ve read his The Midnight Eye Files: The Amulet and enjoyed it (more on that later, someday), so it’s interesting to experience his writing a different way.

You know, it used to be top-list authors who got audio treatments — you know, the Kings, Barkers, Anne Rices, etc — partly because the price tag for all the CDs are so whopping. It’s kind of nice to see podcasting as the small press equalizer.

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There were others. The episode of Ricky Gervais I was listening to just didn’t work. It sounded like the audio track to a DVD, and that’s well and fine. I like DVD commentary tracks, but for that to work you kind-of —um!— need visuals to go with it. It’s like listening to the commentary on a comedy album — funny, but you know you’re missing a lot from not having seen his delivery visually. There some NASA casts, but nothing truly stellar. Yes, that pun was intended. I’m tired. And cranky. Musical interludes came by way of Strike Anywhere, Refused, and Stiff Little Fingers.

In the history of Asbury Park, the 1990’s were kind of bleak, as were the early parts of the 00 years.  Around 2004, a lot of redevelopment has happened.  Sure, some of it has stalled due to the housing crunch, but one might say the early phase of the rebuilding hasn’t even touched the things that are left, work wise.

(Note that the C-8 Rust Skeleton still stands in the background.  That’s one definitive way to date an Asbury Photo, these days.)

Lets see what I remember from the day:

Dr. Pus Presents “Library of the Living Dead” #14:

Serialized zombie fiction, as well as all things zombies, including light verse. Dr. Pus has a knack for taking popular songs and turning them into gory parodies. Dr. Pus himself has a lot of enthusiasm, as well as a voice in tenor and in scripting his comments. My only complaints are that the show seems to drag on in parts, and that’s coming from a guy that’s been pushing boxes around all day, as well as the production/sound could be a little more polished. This episode features a review of a Nutman novel. Not a bad way to kill time, though.

Mur Lafferty Presents: The Takeover

aka, “The Office, with Zombies.”

Slick production, and the musical score is just down right hilarious. The concept, however, begins to wear thing after three episodes, however. Basically, there’s a corporation that’s providing zombies as “employees.” Obviously, this echoes one of Romero’s original bits of social commentary, with the zombie filling in for the mindless consumer. It’s just, it gets old very quickly. Personally, I plan to let my subscription keep downloading for possible future listening, but I’m not waiting breathlessly.

There was also a dated Robert Silverberg story from Escape Pod, and a Podcastle miniture that is escaping me at the moment. Believe it or not, that’s an indication of how successful it was. There are a few things I listened to that I don’t even remember as of this writing. Musical interludes were provided by Ghostface Killah, Cephalic Carnage, The Sword, The Butthole Surfers, and Ice Cube.

Something is just freakish in this picture. The guy in the mask is my father, as a young boy. The little girl is my Aunt Cathy. As I always say, digging through your parent’s attic can turn up some weird shit. There’s a bunch of old New Jersey photos — of this is one — that I’ve been meaning to archive here.

Consider this as a belated follow up to this post.

ME: So how was those first couple of meetings, Mr. District Leader?

DAD: I’ve never seen so much ass kissing in my life.

ME: Really? Even more than DODDS? (Note: DODDS = Department of Defense Dependent Schools)

DAD: Lord, local politicians make federal employees look like amateurs.

Me: Do any hob-nobbing?

DAD: Absolutely not. I was too busy eating.

Me: What?

DAD: The spread was fantastic. I made sure I told everybody that, [violently waves hands for emphasis] “THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DOES A GOOD FEEDBAG!!!”

Me: You said that, that loudly, that way?

DAD: Oh, to everybody that would listen. I was grateful.

Me: It couldn’t have been that good.

DAD: You don’t understand. They had periogies with good smoked kielbasa. They had fried chicken and wings. A bunch of diverse latino foods, and so much more; it was multi-ethnic buffet. I mean isn’t that what the Democratic party is about?

Me: Eating?

DAD: No, eating so many different ethnic varieties all within one catered event. You know, so many different people together all at once.

Me: Did you actually do anything?

DAD: Listened to some boring speeches, that’s about it. Oh, and, as before, I watched a bunch of people flatter each other tremendously.