Monday, September 26, 2011

Decorate. Decorate. Decorate. The TARGIS.

I thought to myself, if you bought a time machine at Target, it would be this:
I downloaded a Dalek font, the one they use for Daleks in the Doctor Who comics. I was going to have the Dalek saying "Decorate." But the font didn't work so well with any Adobe programs, only MS Word. On one of the sites I came across sound clips of DW stuff, and I downloaded a TARDIS taking off sound which I made a loop of and then put it on my phone. If you want it I can send it to you, if you want it for your phone.

This week's Doctor Who (well, technicaly last week I suppose) was satisfying, with the "fish out of water" sequences I  always enjoy in things, like Look! The Doctor is being sort of a nanny! Look! The Doctor is working in a toy store! Look! The Doctor is petting a toy dog robot and making comments like it's K-9 etc. It was very exciting that we configured my I-Pod to plug into the TV so we can ferment on the couch watching stuff on a big TV instead of sitting in front of a computer in lame-o office chairs.

Secretly in the middle of the night I've been watching the first season of "Heroes" streaming off Netflix. There are episodes of "Heroes" with former DW star Christopher Eccleston which I think will be in the next season that I'll hit soon, so maybe I'll watch the series to there. It's a pretty cheesy show but I can't stop. I would be interested in just a full series devoted to the Hiro Nakamura character, the Asian comic book geek, who can transport through time and space. His character has a charming boyish nerdiness that I enjoy, and he is definitely supposed to be the comic relief, which at the same time makes me uncomfortable in a "Is he the comic relief because he's Asian?" kind of a way. Anyway, the Heroes thing started because I watched the first DVD of Osamu Tezuka's The Phoenix, and since the next DVDs in the series aren't here yet and I was still in a science fictiony mood, and because Netflix didn't have live streaming for the following discs of The Phoenix, I decided to watch Heroes, especially also because  Netflix would let me stream it (and because I'd heard a lot about it). I think one of the reasons I like science fiction so much is it has events that are so much more interesting than my daily life. There's not much I can do to make tasks that annoy me any more magical or spiritual.

All this science fiction got me thinking: so much of the tasks we have to do in the world need enrichment of something more interesting than the mundane. Time machines do indeed need to be at the big box store! Universal timeless proverbs of sentient intelligence should coming out from the computer screen, there should be haunted hexes on things, there need to be spiritual life forces at the tollbooths...Is what I'm really looking for is religion? I would be happy to accept it if something convinced me that there were spiritual forces outside of what I understand reality to be. But so far I haven't encountered anything. I'm open! Hello?! Hello?! Hello?!

OK, so my antennaes are up. In the mean time, I present you...


The Terrifying, Shocking Tale of the Haunted Tire Replacement
by Liz "Mummified Monster" Mason
(This story is best enjoyed read aloud in a scary voice)

Lightning flashed! Thunder roared! The sky went dark! Booooooooo!

My caaaar neeeeded new front tiiiiires and there was a eery sqeeeeeeak coming when I hit the breaaaaaaks.

I went to the haunted Midas on Fuuuuulllertooon, three blocks east of the post office. They told me that they could patch up my tires or put on new ones. I said that I wanted 2 new ones. They said it would beeeeeee $119.99 with $19.99 to instaaaaaaall for EACH TIIIIRE. They were having a saaaaaaale, and that I could get Bridgestone Primewall tiiiiiiiires. I found this accetpable. They also told me that it cooooooomes with a 30,000 mile warrentyyyyyy. But then! They talked me into paying another $79.95 for tire alignment otherwise I'd have to come back in a few months to fix the tires from being worn down due to misalignment. Then I also had to pay $3.95 for a new valve stem, another $3.95 for a tire tax, and then a tire disposal fee for $2.50.

They asked me if I had anything else on the car to look at. I howled ghoulishly, "Perhaps the braaaaaakes, because they squeeeeeeak sometiiiiiiimes." They asked me, "Does that happen all the time? Or just when it's wet out?"

I shuddered. I said, "Usually when it's wet out but then also sometimes other times too. I think there might be something hauuuuuuuuuunted in our car. I think there must be a spirit in there!"  Then I waited a paniced moment while they assessed the brakes.

A few HAIR-RAISING minutes later, they showed me that my rooters make the squeaking sound when they're wet because they are rinsing off the rust, which many cars do, but the squeaking was happening in normal weather because of heat spots created by constant use, which create marks that cause extra friction. The mechanic suggested slicing off part of the rooooooooooter (essentially exfoliating the surface), but if we did that, we would also need to get new break pads. It would cost like $250 EXTRA DOLLARS! I let out a BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM! I CAN'T AFFORD THAT!

I said, "I'll pass on rooter work for now but that perhaps I will do it another time."

Then the receptionist had me sign some GRUESOME paperwork. Since it would take two TERRIFYING hours to install the new tires, I went to the SPINE-CHILLING doughnut shop across the street to wait fearfully. A NIGHTMARISH chill went down my spine! THEY DIDN'T HAVE WI-FI! An unspeakable tragedy must have happened in that very spot 75 years ago! I COULD NOT CHECK MY E-MAIL!! But the GLAAAAAAAAAZED DOUGHNUT was DELICIOUS!

Then when my car was ready, they called my cell phone. The total was $364.97. I went back and paid with a supernatural card-like item that had a magical spectral stripe on it that allowed me to exchange it for goods and services when it was slid through an unearthly device.

"Thank yooooooooou," I said.

The lady said, "Why are you talking like that?"

And I said, "Because I took some muscle relaaaaaaxants."



Unrelated note: one last note before I go. I would just like it to be known that strangely, Netflix sent me bonus discs of a movie before sending the actual movie. So I watched the 2 bonus discs for "Grindhouse" before actually watching "Grindhouse." So now I know all about the CGI effects, stunt doubles and casting adventures. Is it me, or is Q. Tarantino sort of cheesy? Just thinking aloud.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Next Podcast Episode Uploaded and Reflections On It

So I uploaded the next episode of the Quimby's Bookstore podcast. This episode I interviewed Jon Kristiansen and Tara G. Warrior talking about their book Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries (Bazillion Points Publishers). Jon started Slayer Mag in Norway in 1985 and put out 20 issues over the span of 25 years. The zine covered a variety of extreme metal bands, including Emperor, Slayer, Kreator, Nihilist, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Cathedral, Entombed, Morbid, Napalm Death, and more. The Onion AV Club called founder Jon Kristiansen “one of the best primary sources for facts and stories about Mayhem, Varg, and what really happened back in the day." The Chicago Reader called this book "a chronicle of death and black metal at their births but also a personal coming-of-age story." It's an awesome 744 page hardcover with tons of pictures and reproduction pages from every issue, and there's even material from the precursor Live Wire zine. It's also part memoir. Co-editor Tara interviewed Jon all about his experiences with the zine, and then together they decided what to include.

When it came time for editing, it took me a lot of playing around with the volume since there were 3 people talking, and each of us had different volume. That was very time consuming. I also added some music in it, which I think helps, if you need some help understanding examples of the music. I also edited out anything that was redundant, like if we got interuptted and then had to start again, if one of us, if there was a long pause, and so on. And oh! Another reason I think it was important to include music snippets is because I have this feeling about reading about music without hearing the music -- it doesn't help m much if I don't hear the music. When I read music reviews, no matter how many adjectives you use and in what combination, nothing replaces actually hearing the music. Sure, you can give me an idea like "Sounds like this band" and so on. But even that isn't the same. It doesn't help that I neglected to say who the bands are. Well, I included songs by Bathory and one by Watain.

Also, I know that all the church burning and murder stuff had been covered in a variety of places, so although the conversation touched on some of that briefly, I tried to approach the interview from the angle of independent zine publishing. We talked for a nice long time, and I felt like we had a good vibe going.

I would have liked to record the actual event afterwards in order for putting that up on the podcast but I don't have a very good mic -- in fact, I just use the mic on my Macbook. That would never capture the people speaking at an event.

Something that was really refreshing was that occassionally the conversation would take these unexpectedly hilarious turns, things that were decideldy NOT metal, which I enjoyed, because that was sort of surreal but then also very normal, as if to remind the listener that we're really just three geeks in a basement at Quimby's. I had read that one of the reasons that Jon and Tara became such good friends is because of all the people that would write letters to Jon, she was the only person who brought up the Everely Brothers or something like that.

It’s available for your listening pleasure, in a variety of formats and places for you to stream or download, including a link to I-Tunes where you can subscribe to the podcast so you can hear every episode when they come out, and they're free.


Book available:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Celebrity Gossip Column of the Apocalypse

So a few weeks ago I was asked to read at this reading series based on the theme of dystopia and apocalypse, called The Liquid Burning of Apocalyptic Bard Letters. It's at the at the Black Rock Bar. So this is what I wrote for it.

Apocalypse Weekly Gossip Column
As Featured In the Grocery Store Tabloid Magazine All Access Rapture Confidential
by The Whore of Hollywood Babylon Prophet of Judgment

Snowpocalypse in the midwest, Hurracaines on the east coast, earthquakes in the south. All in time for celebrating the 10th anniversary of 911. Don't miss this starstudded red carpet commemorative celebrity event, featuring someone playing kettle drums, a couple accountants and maybe Gary Busey.

It's the Britney Spears Military Complex, Bitch! The Princess of Pop's "Till The World Ends" Mayan 2012 remix is available on I-Tunes! Co-written by Ke$ha, produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke, you can also order the Premium Fan Edition that comes with a handjob. No official word has been released yet from BritBrit's record label Sony/Zomba/Jive/JPMorgan-USPS-UPS-fedex-Burger-King-McDonalds regarding the potential end of life as we know it and how that may affect sales.

Have you heard the FIVE SIX about the September issue of Astrophysics Tramp Stamp Tattoo Society? Allegations have come forward of a scandalous section devoted to Albert Einstein tattoos. Infamous Gossip Queen of tinsel town Perez Jinx Falkenburg Walter Winchell of the popular web site vicious-alicously pronounced of the Page Six tell-all expose that wipes the ink gun clean:

 "Tattoos of Einstein are the Spensor's Gifts of tattoo images," Perez says. "What the end-of-the-world needs now IS NOT tattoos of an aging Jewish man with crazy hair that says 'E=MC squared! Imagination is more important than knowledge.'  BORING. If you're so into physics, why not use the picture of a graph depicting gravity as the curvature of space and time? WhatEVER! Besides, if people who get these tattoos were so into astrophysics they would know that the discussion of gravity and space time has started to incorporate theories regarding elements of spin."

THE TEA HAS BEEN SPILLED! A new demographic study performed by the Center For Public Boredom claims that the best way to bore people to tears so that they eagerly await the termination of existence instead of confronting the heartbreaking absurdity of existential nausea as described by the work of John-Paul Sartre is to conduct self-administered mail in surveys that focus on close-ended questions vs. open ended questions, and that all questionaires should avoid vague qualifiers or abstract terms, as well as being careful to avoid charming jargon or quirky slang that humanizes the respondents and inspires a soul-enriching, life-affirming experience of their humanity. The categories to questions 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12 in Figure 3.1 and Quesitons 1, 2, and 4 in Figure 3.2 are mutually exclusive, although respondents should be able to provide multiple single word answers if relevant. When the questionnaire makes provisions for respondents to give multiple choice answers, the surveyors must also make provisions for the multiple answers to be efficiently and completely coded into the data for analysis.

OMG!! In the "Nothing to see here people move it along!" Dept.! The entity United-States-of-Wall-Mart-Target-Viacom-MTV-VH1-Hewlitt-Packard-of-The-America-Coporation has ordered a video featuring alleged enlightened beings from another planet warning humans of their potential path to environmental, nuclear and otherwise ruinous destruction, to be removed from popular free video website In a tell all interview where no topic is left untouched, Doublethink Corporation Inc. employee Citizen #1,237 comes forward to discuss the decision to post, unpost, delete, assimilate, exterminate and then repost a replacement video that features Harry 'Haywire' McClintock's hobo classic Big Rock Candy Mountain accompanied by innocuous animation of houses built out of sweet cakes and candy, created and posted by critically acclaimed Swedish production team jorsky7iimbaa7296everythingisdoubleplusgood, known for such argumentative innuendo that most likely no aliens have ever landed on our planet and never will and seriously, look at this device and don't blink OK there were no aliens in this spot ever, you have unaccounted for time because you just fell asleep at the wheel and no, you were never taken aboard any vessel and probed by any aliens ever, really, just you know, everything is all good, hey look there's a cute doggie!

FASHION NO-NO! Lizard-consciousness out-of-body experiences, ayahuasca, Neanderthal Enigma consciousness, that is SO twentieth century. Currently in: neuro-linguistic programming, storing your genes on a boat and eschatology that views the end times as perfection. 

HOT! HOT! HOT! A source has given me the tip off that there will be a technological singularity in the 21st century that would profoundly and unpredictably change the course of human history, and result in Homo sapiens no longer being the dominant life form on earth. This will be correlated with the life cycle of the sun!  Another announcement proclaimed that extensive destructive events will destroy the population of the world, which will then restart all of creation with divine beings that will begin a Golden Age.

Anton take me away! What's your feel good factor? A spokesperson for the followers of Anton "Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse" Lavey suggested that in case the world really does end, you should live it up, indulging your impulses instead of abstaining. Go on! Celebrate your own birthday. Don't you deserve it? It may be your last chance.

Word has leaked out! Chronos "Father of Time" took a "time out" from his busy schedule of growing his long, grey beard to announce that it's not worth putting anything else in your Netflix queue if you already have more than 276 films in it, because the world might end in the --