Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goin' Outside

Well, you know you're a homeowner when you're cleaning old leaves out of your gutters and desperately hoping that the wasps didn't also make a nest up there. From the looks of it, the only nests were in the old grill the previous owner left behind, and I sprayed those down with pesticides one night last week so hopefully that's the last of that.

We've got bunnies and chipmunks in the yard. It's kind of cool, although I now wonder if we also have things that eat bunnies and chipmunks living nearby too. The town we're living in now is thoroughly suburban but our area is kinda woodsy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Celebrating a few Small Victories

So if I haven't already mentioned it here--and I'm sure I haven't--my drabble, "Lab Rats" just won The Drabblecast's 2011 People's Choice award for best drabble (cue excited party noises)! The story first appeared in the Drabblecast's 229th episode, opening for the story "Singularity Knocks" by Bill Ludwigsen.

In other news, I just made sold a story for over the $100 mark for the first time, and it astounds me that people are willing to pay that much for something that could be interpreted as the product of a fever dream or mental illness. Still, it's a good excuse to open up that Ommegang Abbey Ale I'd been saving. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pleasant, Controlled Screaming

George Carlin once said something to the effect of singing just being a form of pleasant, controlled screaming. I don't agree that that's the case with all singing, but there are some bands out there which fit the bill.

Last year I finished a novel partly inspired by the Diabolical Masquerade album Death's Design. Near as I can tell, it was released under the guise of a soundtrack to a movie that, in fact, never actually existed. Something about people being between life and death and quite literally running for their lives, trying to get out a neutral zone in between. The novel--which I've tentatively titled "Up in Hell" and, though finished, has not been subbed anywhere since I've yet to work up the nerve--turned out to be about puppets trying to survive in hell. When I'd started it I only aimed to make a short zany story about a sock puppet freaking out in amusing ways as its set upon by demons. It turned out to be something a  lot harsher and probably a lot less funny.

It's funny how music can drag you along sometimes. More recently, the band Alcest struck the same chord that Death's Design had, with a track off of Ecailles De Lune called, coincidentally, Ecailles De Lune (Part 2).

There's something beautiful in the contrast between words delivered in a hoarse scream and carefully controlled, occasionally dreamlike instrumentals. It's chaos rocketing over a well-ordered landscape. Can't think of a better way to describe it than that. When the screaming is only a part of a larger whole, and its placed against something more serene, it actually feels like it serves a purpose other than being loud. It feels like a fight has broken out and some lone individual is trying to make themselves heard among something more ordered and easier to listen to, if that makes any sense.

I'm not big on throaty scream metal, most of which sounds anywhere between ridiculous and unlistenable in my opinion. This parody video by a band calling themselves the Black Satans hits what I'm tallking about dead on. A lot of that really hardcore metal just piles on the evildarkgrimevilsatanblackness until there isn't enough contrast for it to mean anything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stupid Nonsense

I wish I had been born with one really big hand, like the size of a tennis racket. I'd just go around slapping the shit out of people. I suppose I could do that if I'd been born with two enormous hands, but really if that happened I'd be more likely to play basketball with people's heads.

It's funny how body shape affects your outlook on life. Like, for instance, I'm kind of a big guy. Not morbidly obese or anything, just kind of stout. Dwarven, we'll say. I sometimes go for that extra slice of cake because, hey, I'm a big guy. Obviously that might be part of the reason why I'm a big guy at this point, but that wasn't always the case. I was a pretty average kid until about 4th grade when my genes caught up with me, and prior to that I didn't eat any more than anyone else. So I guess my big-guyness came before the things that perpetuated that state.

I do have pretty big feet for my height. That's not so bad. Still, they're not comically big, just helpfully balancing big. If they ever swell up to about size 15 or so I might take up tae kwan do or ballroom dancing. Or anything that might cause bodily harm or property damage.