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May. 13th, 2011

comin atcha

Dear Livejournal,

Wednesday night after rehearsal was really pleasant. A dreary, occasionally passive aggressive fight rehearsal had just ended. I walked outside and the rainstorm, that had just ended, had made the weather pleasant. And a little cooler. The previous 48 hours had been pretty sweltering. I was now looking forward to a relaxing, stress-free bike ride home with absolutely no pressures.

Less than a minute into my ride I had caught up with another cyclist - a gentleman about a decade older than me, dressed like a wannabe Lance Armstrong (on a budget). He was moving at a nice clip for a guy his age, but still too slow for me. Still not-in-a-hurry, I hung back anyway, enjoying the night air.

But after another two minutes of this, I had to pass him. He was moving just a little too slowly for me and I didn't feel like shadowing him indefinitely. So, moving at a reasonable speed (and not a lunatic like some cyclists do), and giving him reasonable space I passed him on his left (passing a fellow cyclist on the right hand side is kind of a dick move).

Reasonable, right?

Within ten seconds I could see the reflection of his front bike light jiggling furiously up and down on the asphalt in front of me. His gears had speeded up suddenly. Really?, I thought.

Yeah. I heard him grumble something. I couldn't make out the words, but they were definitely unfavorable. He gave me the fish eye as he passed me. On the right hand side.

What the hell?

I called him a passive aggresive douchebag, and as I turned onto a side street to continue my trip home, I sarcastically shouted,"Thanks for sharing the road!" while waving. He whipped his head right and left in a hyper defensive posture at that.

I just don't understand some of the cyclists in this city, where everything has to be a race or an occasion to one-up another. If he thought he was making me feel put in my place by his act he was wrong. It just soured the rest of what I initially wanted to be the pleasant act of riding my two-wheeler home. Because all I could think about on the rest of the journey was that one toolbag.

Which seems like a somewhat apt analogy to my relationship with livejournal these days. It's just not fun anymore. To be honest, I haven't really enjoyed it in months.And I think it shows. Entries posted just so I can say I posted something that day.

Also, let's face it livejournal itself is mostly awful these days. The loading time, posts being lost, russian spambots. I know I made a comment before about how it seems silly to be complaining about something I get for free, but the aggravation ain't worth it, man. If something stops being fun, stop doing it. You're just wasting time.


I think a co-worker (or co-workers) have found and lurk here. One day...ooohhh, about 2+ years ago one turned to me and said (obviously paraphrasing here)," Hey, didn't you say that (NOUN) (TRANSITIVE VERBED) (PREPOSITION) (ADJECTIVE) (NOUN) once?"

I did a mental double-take as - outwardly - I tried to show no surprise at his/her comment and answered,"...Yeah." while, inwardly, thinking, I am only 30% certain I said that out loud, but I am 100% sure I blogged about that. THIS is why I haven't blogged about work for years.

Now. I don't have anything against any of my co-workers (coughmeaculpacough), but I don't write on this livejournal for them. I write on it for my lj peeps and non-lj-but-still-on-the-internet homies. I am somewhat weary of having to constantly edit what I'm saying because of what someone who doesn't post here, but nonetheless who could be sitting a few yards away from me Monday through Friday reads here anyway. Most of the fault is mine for not adequately covering my internet tracks, but still, thanks anyway, co-worker, for tainting this for me!

I will still stick around cuz I still like reading what you guys have to say (although I'll probably be deleting my communities to make the friends page more manageable), but as far as journal entries go, I'm done.*

Later, gators.

One more for the road!

Officer Down, by Theresa Schwegel (2005)

Pretty good!

*Disclaimer, because I'm a big fat liar, I may decide to do the blog thing again (cuz I'm a liar), but if I do, it WON'T be on fucking facebook.

May. 9th, 2011


The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (1996)

A fuzz is a fuzz is a fuzz when you awaken from a wino jag. God, I'd drunk three pints of muscatel that I know of and maybe more, maybe lots more, because that's when I drew a blank, that's when research stopped.
(Opening lines from The Wench is Dead, by Fredric Brown)

A nice find at Myopic. I think this would be a good primer for those just entering the genre. I also found someone new/old to look for - a guy by the name of Jack Ritchie. His story was good (not great). And there's a Howard Browne/Paul Pine short story!

May. 3rd, 2011


The Shotgun Rule, by Charlie Huston (2007)

     -Kid, let me tell you, under normal circumstances, I wouldn't be going through all this just to get my hands on one measly half kilo of meth. Under normal circumstances, someone steals from me, I'd just have them knocked unconscious and dragged out by the quarry and their legs or an arm laid across the train tracks and to hell with the half kilo.
     He sighs.
     - But these are not normal circumstances.

Four teenaged friends come into possession of some drugs after a "kerfuffle" with some local dealers. Shitstorm descends.

One of the "pull quotes" on the back of this novel compares it to Stand By Me. I would say, Sure. But add in some more swearing, set it in the 1980s and add a strong father figure (something missing from at least the movie version - I've never read the print version).

I would add more but I'm currently suffering from an eye infection. No, seriously, it feels like someone's rubbed a red chili pepper all over my left eyeball, and I want to lie down somewhere and close my eyes for 15 hours. So this is a great book, Kthanx bai.

May. 2nd, 2011

comin atcha

Marked Woman (1937)

It bugs me that my favorite actor isn't well represented on the DVD front. You may argue that he already is - Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The African Queen, et cetera...Fine, I say. Time to roll out some of his lesser-knowns, instead of re-releasing an exorbitantly-priced box set of the same old stuff.

Finding an out-of-print DVD featuring the guy is still cause for joy for a sad completist like myself. Even if he does make his first appearance in this morality flick at exactly the half hour mark as a district attorney. It's an unusual role for Bogie. Unusual because of the decade. He'd go on to play a lawyer or two in his later years, but in the 30s he was generally saddled with yer usual tough guys, thugs, and/or all-around scumbags who usually wound up meeting his fate at the wrong end of a gat (usually held by James Cagney or Edward G Robinson). Very rarely during that decade would he get to play against that type. Off the top of my head I can only think of one - Stand-In, where he played a drunken - yet likeable - lush of a movie director.

Here he comes to the defense of a group of clip joint party girls (polite slang for the period for prostitutes) led by Bette Davis (probably at the peak of her beauty IMO) that are being victimized by their new boss.

Allen Jenkins, who was also frequently cast as hoodlums, gets a one-scene comic relief turn as a walking one-man pawn shop. Also appearing is Mayo Methot, Bogie's soon-to-be third wife as one of the party girls.

The actor playing the movie's villain is a bit stiff. And the character of Bette Davis' sister undergoes a bizarre personality change just for the sake of plot contrivance halfway through the movie, but it's still a decent watch.

Apr. 29th, 2011


Dead Hero, by William Campbell Gault (1963)

I have certain peasant superstitions my conscious mind has abandoned but my unconscious stubbornly refuses to surrender.
     I still half believe in patterns, in the full cycle, in the inevitability of retribution, the artistic necessity for revenge. They are not theories respected by the enlightened and I will not defend them. I half believe in prescience.

Heady thoughts from an ex-NFL guard-turned-private detective. But he doesn't flash his intelligence that much and as a result he's constantly underestimated by others.

Another ex-teammate of Brock's approaches him and asks him if he can tail his wife one night. He has suspicions. The conversation is an awkward, embarrassing one for both men, but Brock grudgingly agrees to do his friend this favor, pro bono. He is godfather to their son.

Much to his disappointment, he discovers that the wife is having an affair with yet another ex-teammate - one who is younger, more successful post-football career, and already goes through several "girlfriends" on a weekly basis.
Rather than break his friend's heart, he decides to approach the homewrecker after the wife has left for the night and informs him that the affair has to end. The man laughs in Brock's face, so Brock punches him in the stomach and stomps off, feeling disgusted even with himself.

Of course, the homewrecking ex-teammate is dead by the next morning, killed with a fireplace poker before the house is burned to the ground. And someone witnessed Brock's visit to him the night before.

So Brock spends most of the book hiding from the law. It doesn't stop his girlfriend from hanging out with him at one point.

"...Tell me you love me, Brock Callahan."
     "I love you," I said,"all the ways there are. Come closer and let me enfold you in my enormous arms."
     "Oh, boy!" she said. "What a corn pone!"

They are starting to become a corny couple. In a good way. And they don't (temporarily) break up (again) in this one! Hope for them yet...

Goes without saying that I enjoyed this one. I've never been disappointed with a Gault yet. Definitely a palette cleanser after the last few books.

Apr. 28th, 2011


Gallifreyan Philosophy 101

Apr. 27th, 2011


Strangler's Serenade, by Cornell Woolrich writing as William Irish (1951)

This book accidentally fell out of my coat pocket as I was taking some pictures. I didn't notice it was missing until a half block later; and only because some dude in a U-Haul drove past shouting at me that I "dropped your book!"

I was like, How cool. Dude didn't have to do that. Could've driven on with out saying a word. Glad he did, though. Book cost me twenty bucks.

That's my interesting story regarding this book. Sorry.

As with a lot of Popular Library books of the period, the cover is a lot more racier and jucier than the actual ingredients (the killer is also crazy for male victims...and doesn't necessarily strangle them). But it was Cornell Woolrich. And I was semi-prepared.

But under a pen name, he's a bit more...jovial. When the book isn't a mystery about a serial killer, it is kinda a romantic comedy about a New York detective trying to vacation in a sleepy New England town.

Well written, but not really my cup of tea.

Apr. 26th, 2011


Uneasy Street, by Wade Miller (1948)

Max Thursday meets with a prospective client in a hotel room - not the pretty young thing he was probably hoping for, but an older woman, clutching an antique music box to her chest. She wants Thursday to deliver said box to someone else, and whenever the private detective asks for particulars, the old woman snaps at him trying to get all the details down. For good reason: Once she's outlined Thursday's directives completely, the music box drops from her fingers, and she falls dead to the floor. The old bird had been fatally stabbed shortly before Thursday arrived and she was trying her best to remain conscious and give him his orders before giving up the ghost.

That's dedication. And your hook for the book.

The scene almost repeats itself when Thursday delivers the music box to an Austrian art expert in his hotel room. At one point, the expert excuses himself to his bedroom. After a few minutes of waiting, Thursday follows him only to find the guy kiboshed - his throat slashed.

In both instances, the murderer has phoned the police in an attempt to frame Max.

A decent mystery. What's notable is that Thursday doesn't carry a gun (at least in this book). He deliberately let his license expire shortly beforehand.

Apr. 25th, 2011

...and you gotcho head ALL THE WAY UP IT

Tourist Trap (1979)

Thanks again to Laurie's Planet of Sound. I go in just about every weekend. And if I get a movie, its either some biodegradeable hunk of processed cheese I've never seen before, or a lost movie from my misbegotten youth that I'll find has aged well/badly/negligible.

In this case it's the latter. I can't recall when exactly in the 80s I saw this, or even if it was HBO, Skinemax, or some random basic cable channel, but I do remember being disturbed by one scene, where the killer has strapped some helpless hitchhiker to a table and calmly - soothingly - explains how she is going to die as he covers her face with plaster. Her heart bursts before she can suffocate.

Ingredients: 30% gore; 0% nudity; 110% Aged Chuck Connors Ham
comin atcha

Writer's Block: Beep, Bop, Boop

What was the first video or computer game you ever played? Did you love it or hate it, and why?


Yes. My family owned a Pong game.

I am that old.

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comin atcha

May 2011




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