I’ll be out of town for a little over two weeks, so I figured that’s a good time for the front page to take a break as well. If you’re bored over the holidays, you can go back and read the “Vignettes.” That’s been my latest writing discipline project that I’ve (surprisingly) stuck to for a few months.
If you’re bored and rich, then my Amazon Wishlist is right here. 455 vampire novels and Doctor Who DVDs. Love it.
I figured I’d cheat on this article and break from the Vignettes Project. I figure all you folks are in post-family mode. Happy and safe and holiday-drunk, right? And it’s “Black Friday,” which means I should post a link to my Amazon Wishlist! Eighteen pages of cult culture, and I turned on third party ordering so you can get me shit for a penny.
Continue reading ‘Holiday Interlude’
Here’s something you can file under “what was lost” and has not yet been found: The two great 80’s Soviet invasion TV miniseries. On the big screen, in the 80’s, we had Patrick Swayze fighting Cuban paratroopers, the ultimate in jingoism in Reagan’s new America. But it’s what was playing out on the small screen that scared the shit out of us. The Day After, Threads and Testament drove home the point that the nameless, faceless Soviet monsters had nukes pointed at our backyards and, if World War III hit, it would all be over in about twenty minutes. There would be no more noble battles, no more armies clashing. We would simply be vaporized by an unimaginable force. Or, worse, we would survive to die slowly in a poisoned wasteland.
Continue reading ‘The Russians Are Coming!’
For the last four years, I’ve kind of been stuck in place, emotionally and physically. Years spent tackling the long, arduous process of healing – from chronic pain, to brain surgery, to the newly unclouded realization that life really is a sad, often tedious joke.
Continue reading ‘Drive, They Said’
Just about all of my friends who have travelled extensively by rail in the UK have found themselves, at one time or another, stuck at the Castle Cary station in Somerset waiting for a transfer. Castle Cary almost always creeps into the conversation when exchanging vacation stories.
Continue reading ‘Castle Cary’
I’ve long harbored a secret love for the British canals. My friend’s parents introduced me to the canals many years ago and, slowly, my (semi-)annual visits to the UK have become dominated by cruises with them. So there I was, early 30’s, with a couple of retired folks, moving through cities and countryside at four miles per hour. Healthy food, old movies, and to bed by 9pm.
Continue reading ‘On the Canal’
I realized the other day that I haven’t really felt the economic downturn at all. In fact, I’ve been better off these last few years than the last 20. Yes, I work six jobs, but each one of them is secure. At my regular salary serf jobs, I’ve seen huge annual raises, absurd quarterly bonuses, and a general sort of blank stare from bosses and co-workers alike when you mention the economy.
Continue reading ‘One Percenter’
They call it the hour of the wolf. Those hours just before dawn. Many folk traditions believe it’s when most people are born and when they die. Ancient armies would rise and offer prayers to their gods during this time, then march into dawn and battle. In the modern era, the early morning hours between 3am and 5am are the most common times for UFO sightings and other paranormal events.
Many still hold the superstition that the hour of the wolf is a time when the veil between worlds is thin. They are certainly lonely hours, hours we’ve all experienced at some time or another in our lives. Driving home from a party, plagued by insomnia, preparing for an early start for one reason or another. That dark, pre-dawn stillness can be oppressive, consuming.
It was 3am, eleven hours after he died, when my father came to visit me.
Continue reading ‘Hour of the Wolf’
For the last two months, I’ve tried to adhere to a cohesive writing schedule. 5000 words a week, of which only 3000 need to count, those being turned into front page posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
I’m calling this the “vignettes project,” because that’s the first word that came to mind at 4am on a Thursday morning after a champion drinking session with Bethesda’s Fun Couple.
Continue reading ‘Discipline, Demons, Acquisition’
I just had my first free weekend in a year. It wasn’t planned. I was supposed to go to a Halloween party on the 29th, but then we had a freak blizzard. While, thankfully, there was no accumulation in DC, the psychological effect – especially after the last two years of horrific winter storms – was crushing. I looked out at a hard, wet curtain of snow and I knew the weekend would grind to a halt. My friends, who had been planning their party for months, saw their guest list dwindle, and I sat in my bathrobe and allowed myself to devolve into a filthy mess, with a brain dulled by Netflix.
Continue reading ‘The Haunting of Nacho Sasha’