Let’s Do the Time Warp Again…

I went to MonsterMania again this year. It was in the same place, the Hunt Valley Inn. I set up my table in exactly the same spot:

right next to the same guy, Tj O’Connor:

Deja vu all over again, and I immediately suspected a time fold of some kind, except there were subtle differences. Tj and I had a new book each, f’rinstance. Abby showed up as expected, but, this time, not in costume. And, she added Dalton:

Captain Mango was there, but this time with the quite lovely Jenny Jannetty:

Damn photobombers.

The quite lovely Jenna Manson showed up, sans bunny mask:

We love Jenna. Bunny mask or no.

Even some of the costumes were the same. Here’s a group from last year:

Same group this year:

Okay, so, Sam is different, but, c’mon.

These guys from last year:

are these guys this year:

Bigger cleaver, but still.

Now, there were new cosplayers:

(By the way, she’s a nurse. Imagine waking up from a coma and she’s changing your IV…)

including the Killer Queen, who’s quite the guy…gal…whatever:

Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had been here before. Even in the bar Saturday night. Last year, it was girl-on-girl vampire action. This year, there were untoward activities, but different, such as floggings. And wrestling matches. I got bulldogged by the lovely Jenny, who can bulldog me anytime she wants to:

Damn photobombers.

I guess I’ll have to go again next year to verify if this is, indeed, some kind of warp thing. And get a rematch.

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Five days later…

I survived Lost Weekend IV. Not many did. It was grueling: 18 movies over a three.2 day period. Figure hour forty-five, give or take, each, comes out to be 28, 29 hours of movies over a 72 hour period. It’s like going to a party on Friday night and getting home sometime around 4:00 am Sunday. Yeah, I know, that describes some of y’all’s normal weekends, but I’m old. And all I had was coffee to sustain me. And peanuts.

The rest of the movies:

1. 1001 Grams. Apparently there are groups of scientists around the world who take their kilos seriously. This is a story about one of them, a Norwegian ice princess whose life is slipping away, one gram at a time.

2. Queen of Earth. Put two crazy, vindictive, envious, and self-destructive women together in a lakeside cabin for the summer, and you get this movie. Actually pretty chilling, and extremely well written.

3. The Winding Stream. A documentary about the Carter family, who pretty much started country music. On Mexican radio.

4. The Keeping Room. This was billed as a feminist Western, but it’s not: it’s a monster movie. Trust me on this. Really liked it, but the ending was a little strange. I don’t see how Confederate uniforms are going to help in this situation.

5. Meru. I don’t get mountain climbing, so this documentary left me somewhat cold (ha. ha. ha.). It was beautifully shot and quite exciting, especially an avalanche that no one should have survived (but did,) still…you guys ever heard of helicopters?

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I was somewhat dreading this one because of The Fault in our Stars, but Me and Earl is light years above and beyond Fault. Wait until you see A Sockwork Orange.

7. Turbo Kid. This movie is fun. Complete and utter silly over-the-top 80′s style scifi with some of the best eviscerations on film. Grab your gnomesticks and let’s go.

8. The Prophet. Wonderful animation, great music, but it needed a grenade launched at it. What a load of fatuous crap. I’m pretty certain the Democrat National Committee wrote the script. And if there is any kid deserving of a public caning, it’s Seagull Girl.

9. Finders Keepers. Movies like this is why you need a film club, because there is no way in hell that I would have watched this documentary about a dismembered leg on my own. But, boy, am I glad they showed it. It was outstanding, filled with f*uckery and shenanigans, and you have to watch it. You just do. Any faith you have in humanity will be quickly dispersed. I have now added two more towns to my “Must be Nuked” list.

10. Manhattan Shorts. These films are the finalists selected for the Manhattan Short Film Festival. They were all pretty good, except for Sundown, which made no sense to me at all. The best was Bis Gleisch, a German film about two old people watching the world go by their windows.

11. Mojave. A thriller, but you really don’t care who kills who.

12. Phoenix. A standout. The best movie of the weekend and one that should win Best Foreign Film. It has the most perfect ending I have seen in years.

13. Cooties. Film Club’s nomination for the next quote-along movie. Nap time, mofos.

14. Amy. I was never an Amy Winehouse fan, and this documentary made me even less of one. I have a rather cold and unsympathetic view of successful, talented people who blithely self-destruct. Despite the strenuous efforts of the filmmakers, ain’t no one’s fault but hers.

15. A Hard Day. What a crazy-ass movie, with one of the best fight scenes ever filmed. Ya know, it’s just easier to be an honest cop. It just is.

16. People Places Things. This, by contrast, has the worst fight scene ever filmed, but deliberately so and you’re supposed to laugh. You’re supposed to. If you want to see all the best parts of this movie, just watch the trailer. I think a subtitle could be: The First World Problems of Weak-Assed People Who Never Really Did Anything Except Annoy Each Other, with Cute Kids.

17. The End of the Tour. Basically a tongue bath between writers because you know, writers, they’re so introspective and tortured and reflecting on things and brilliant and tortured (did I say tortured already?) and if you could all just understand us. Them, I mean. Great dialogue, but you expect that.

A deep, reverent bow of thanks to our leader, Andy Gyurisin, a force of nature who should be harnessed to power plants throughout the country. The lights would never go out.

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And So it Begins…

Lost Weekend IV, that is, which opened tonight with:

In. Tense.

Michael Shannon plays a man without a soul while Andrew Garfield plays a man trying to find one. Gotta say, I had far more sympathy for Rick Carver, the satanic realtor portrayed by Shannon, then I did for Garfield’s amiable loser, Dennis Nash. That is, until a certain boundary was crossed.

At that point, fuggiddabodit.

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Busy, busy, busy…

Not only do I have 4000 pages to read in…now…about three days (see below), Winchester Film Club’s Lost Weekend IV starts tomorrow night. I’m going to see eighteen movies over four days.

Death by media.

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First World Problems

I have a library card and use it mostly on the Blue Ridge Download Consortium website. Sad fact, the online library has far more titles to browse than does the real one. Anyhoo, I put a hold on a few books last week, figuring they’d come in over a staggered period. But no. They came all at once:

a. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, an absolutely fascinating story of how one woman’s decision to climb down the escape ladder of an interstate alters the world.

b. God is an Englishman by R. F. Delderfield. The first book of a family series I’d heard about and always wanted to read.

c. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Giving it a try.

d. SevenEves by Neal Stephenson. C’mon, it’s Neal Stephenson.

e. The Winter Warrior by James Wilson. Swords. Normans. Saxons. What more do you need to know?

f. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly. Heard about this guy so decided to give him a go.

So I’ve now got to read 4000 pages in about two weeks. And football season just started. And I’ve got Netflix.

Life is hard.

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You Are Running out of Time

Ten days left.

Get a signed copy. And a signed copy of this:

Find the Ship. Find God.

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Halfway there. Or 3/4. Not sure.

50,000 words. That’s where I am with the first draft of The Ship Finding God (NOTE: title is not a spoiler). I’m figuring at least another 25,000. Maybe more.

‘Cause existence, purpose, life, death, Heaven and Hell, need more than a Tweet.

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Quest for People

I was perusing the local convention scene a couple of weeks ago and came across this:

StarQuest, a Trekkie convention to be held in Frederick, MD, just a little ways down the road.

Now, I am not a Trekkie. Sure, in 1966 when Star Trek first came out, every Thursday evening I was glued to the RCA console just fascinated, fascinated. I, along with every other 6th grader in America, did the Vulcan salute and yelled “I need more power!” in my best Scots accent. But, when it ended, I was done with it. Never got into the follow-ons.

And I’d never been to a Trek Convention. Never had the interest. But this one looked like it had decent guests, including Teryl Rothery, Natalija Nogulich, Alexis Cruz, among others, and I figured, what the heck, set up a table, sell a few books, have some fun. So I went.

My set up:

which was next to the breakfast buffet:

Get a muffin, get a book.

My neighbor:

Hmm. Not a lot of Trek-themed items on the table.

The main vendor/celebrity area:

Hmm. Kinda sparse.

Except for the Farpoint guys. You can always count on the Farpoint guys.

Okay! All set. Open the doors!

Guess there must have been a transporter malfunction.

I went to dinner in Frederick (which is a happening town), packed up, and went home.


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What’s a cat gotta do…

…to get a neck scratch around here?

Assume the position, I guess:

Roll around a little bit:


Sheesh, finally!

Making me work too hard for this, Krauss. Keep it up, you’re gonna find a dead bird in your cereal.

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Get two (snap!), two (snap!) two books at once!


I’m giving away ten copies of The Ship Looking for God on Goodreads. Winners also get a copy of  The Ship to Look for God because, well, can’t have one without the other. 

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