Date Archives May 2008

The First Rule of a Chuck Palahniuk Reading is…

“So, this book is about a gangbang.”

The interviewer paused, and stared pointedly at the woman who had brought not one, not two, but three young children to last night’s reading.

“A G-A-N-G-B-A-N-G. A gangbang.”

Even though Chuck had gone to the trouble of passing out earplugs to the audience, the woman huffed, grabbed her children, and left.

Then, friends, it was time for the contest. In order to reward those with the greatest lung capacity, blow-up dolls were tossed out into the audience.

To me, there’s something special about watching a people desperately, frantically blowing up sex dolls, as if their very lives were dependent upon it.

249_16302768939_9589_n 249_16302773939_9838_n 249_16302778939_112_n

When the reading began, the audience was now studded with blow-up dolls, dead plastic eyes facing forward. The fact that this reading was taking place in what used to be a church made the whole event extra sacrelicious.

249_16302788939_619_n

Instead of reading to us from the book he was on tour to promote (Snuff), Chuck read everyone an unpublished short story that changes slightly in every city he stops at; intending for no one to hear this story exactly the way we have, to thank us for supporting him, for coming to see him on a Thursday night. I settled in and let his words wash over me. Chuck is a gifted storyteller; I could have listened to him for hours. Though I don’t have a recording of last night’s reading, I do have a recording of a reading he did in 2003 in New York, promoting ‘Diary’ by reading a story rejected by Playboy, entitled Guts. You can listen to it here, but be forewarned: On this tour, over 60 people passed out listening to this story. It’s graphic, shocking, and the first time I heard it, it even made ME a little woozy. For all that, it’s awesome.

Last night’s story was about a college-age kid, going on a game show (clearly styled after The Price is Right, but not mentioned by name) while on an acid trip which started with consuming a strawberry-flavored Hello Kitty stamp that was made by a guy who works as a janitor in the chemistry lab.

249_16302783939_368_n

249_16302793939_872_n

249_16302798939_1128_n

When the reading came to an end, Chuck was interviewed onstage about Snuff, his writing process, how much fun he and his friends had coming up with porn titles to work into ‘Snuff’, and his plans for future books, but before that could happen, both interviewer and interviewee belted down some gin. Quote of the moment: “Well, there go MY three hours of sobriety. It looks like we’re playing ‘bad cop….despicable cop’.” One of the interesting things he talked about is how the protagnist(s) of Fight Club embody the three main archetypes of modern story characters all in one: the callous destructor, the sad shy self-destructor, and the detached survivor. An example: In Gone With The Wind, you don’t want to be Scarlett. She’s mean, she pushes people around, and in the end, she’s friendless, loveless, her child is dead, and she’s alone. You want to be Rhett, who just doesn’t give a damn. Detached. He’s able to walk away from anything that could hurt him.

After the interview, we watched a trailer for ‘Choke’, which is hitting theaters in September–though if you live in Seattle, you can see it on June 5th or June 7th at the Seattle International Film Festival.

More blowup dolls and autographed schwag were tossed out into the audience, and then Chuck resumed signing books for people with signing tickets; only the first 150 people to buy ‘Snuff’ from the university book store got signing tickets. I was counted among that number, but barely: I was number 143.

249_16302808939_1666_n

When it was my turn, I mentioned my friends and I have played the porn title game as well, whiling away the hours at work while coming up with pirate porn names for Arrdor, Inc.  He snorted and then groaned when he realized what an awful, hilarious name ‘Arrdor’ is.

So, that’s how I ended up with this signed into my book:

249_16302813939_1939_n

That’s me. Pirate porn star. He then sprayed my book with Stetson cologne, so now it smells like a cowboy.

249_16302818939_2211_n

If you want an explanation for this one, you’ll have to listen to Guts.

And then, I got my picture taken with Palahniuk. And a blow-up doll.

249_16302803939_1398_n

The jellyrolls, they do nothing!

As the days grow warmer and longer, my evening walks with Napoleon have taken on a whole new dimension of sights, sounds, smells…and live prey. By which I mean that all across the apartment complex, the neighbors are setting their cats free into the night, which has proved especially problematic when you’re walking a dog with a small-prey drive that puts actual predators to shame. Here is an incomplete list of things that Do Not Belong In His Yard And Must Be Destroyed As They Are A Threat To Our Placid Community:

-Rabbits -Particularly Large Crows -Dogs Of All Sizes -Certain Attention-Worthy Bugs -Barbeque Grills With Flapping Covers

But above all, cats. Luckily for the cats, though his small-prey drive is strong, his actual hunting instinct blows goats. This is a dog who, on occasion, has difficulty finding ME within the confines of my 900 square foot apartment, a not-insignificant part of which I don’t want to even admit exists. I will toss him a toy and then run in my bedroom or my bathroom, or if the lights are off, even back in the hallway near the laundry machines. Once, I hid behind my door and watched him run into the room, pounce on the bed, look behind pillows, the headboard, etc, run out and search the living room, and go back and forth SEVEN TIMES before my laughter gave me away. Otherwise, I’m fairly certain he’d still be looking. It was equally funny when I hid underneath my beanbag while calling his name, and he kept bouncing on top, not being able to process where I might be hiding. He simply doesn’t know how to use his nose to seek anything out.

So, a majority of the time, I will have spotted a cat in the distance and have already tightened my grip on him WELL before he’s aware he’s in the presence of That Which Must Not Live…but the cats have also pretty clearly cottoned onto what Napoleon is all about and are starting a psychological torture campaign.

Let me backtrack for a moment: In order to train for the half-marathon I’m doing exactly a month from today, I have set a goal of walking at least seven miles a day. Whilst I walk, I listen to music, as it helps keep me motivated to not only walk longer, but also faster. On my ipod, I have a couple of cds of techno music that are split up in bits ranging from 30 seconds to a few minutes to a max of 10 minutes, and the rule I instituted in February is that whenever one of these bits comes up on shuffle, I must run for the duration of the track. No excuses; I must always be prepared to run, because if I give myself an out once, I will ALWAYS give myself an out. This has occasionally meant that I run short bursts while sick or holding up my pants with one hand or in unsuitable shoes. The rules are the rules. Some nights, I run once or twice, and some nights not at all.

Last week, my ipod apparently decided to kick my ass. If I were playing a tabletop game, I imagine that it would be like rolling enough ones to not only kill my character, but everyone else’s, and then choking on a cheeto and dying right there at the table. Song after song after song after song demanded I run, according to the very rules I laid out for myself, rules which I’ve sworn never to break. My face was set in a chilling grimace of disbelief and sheer determination as I ran several miles. My lungs began to burn. My Eddie Haskell brain began to hint that it might be a swell idea to huck my ipod in a bush, call a cab to drive me back across the apartment complex, and never move again. Before I could give in to that urge, sweet relief kicked in as a running-song ended, and a non-running song began. Oh wait. I HATE this goddamn song, how did it get on here? I skipped it, and then immediately regretted my folly, as the next track was YET ANOTHER RUNNING SONG. I’d rather listen to Celine Dion in a loop than run again. I’d rather pretend to like Coldplay and become a forever-and-always fan club president than run again. I’d rather cut out my own liver and replace it with a copy of Mariah Carey’s greatest hits than run again.

I must have looked like a lurching zombie when I started running again. I was exhausted. My fat ass was not made for this. Rules were made to be broken. I felt as if someone had jumped out of a bush and nailed me in the side with a rusty ninja star. And yet I shambled forward.

It was at that exact moment, while I’m off-balance and focusing only on my agony, that Psychological Torture Cat swooped in and streaked across the path, directly in front of Napoleon’s nose. And did he go for the bait? You’re damn right, he did. He lunged forward with a surprising amount of strength for a twenty-pound dog. So surprising, in fact, that he yanked me straight off my feet, affording me the opportunity to slam the concrete sidewalk like it was a Thai ladyboy ten dollar hooker, ripping up my pants, shirt, and exposed skin, while simultaneously knocking the wind out of me. It was all I could do to continue to hold on to the leash with a still-struggling dog on the end and curl up in a ball and just lay on the ground, gasping for air.

I’m sure the neighbors loved it, and now plan on setting even more cats free into the night. Who doesn’t love a free show and an opportunity to videotape someone’s pain for a shot at winning some prize money? This exercise shit is dangerous–who ever heard of faceplanting while reclining on a couch watching cartoons? Not me.

Hazelnut Face Mask

Give me a holiday weekend, and I’ll pack it so full of activities that I’ll slouch into work Tuesday morning, more exhausted than ever. I really have no one other than myself to blame; Friday and Saturday night, I was out until 5 and 4am, respectively, laughing and chatting with jimhark, poetrix618, and amazoni. Somehow, jimhark beat me at Apples to Apples AGAIN, and, as I am the sorest loser who ever was sore, this sort of aggression will not stand.

I’d intended on going to Crypticon on Saturday, but found myself dragging and in no condition to attend. On Sunday, I forced myself out of bed and to the Doubletree–as someone nuts enough about the horror genre to watch a horror movie per day during the month of October, this convention was really put on for me, and I’d be remiss not to attend.

It was small. Really small. Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small. For all that, they managed to book some very awesome guests and some kickass vendors. Much to my embarrassment, I missed daemonwolf–I remember her entries about MAKING her bone mask, I remember SEEING a bone mask at the con, noting how cool it was and making a mental note that I should tell her about it later, yet somehow I couldn’t connect the dots and realize it actually WAS her. Once again, I’ll choose to lay blame somewhere other than on myself, and shake my fist in someone’s general direction.

Here she is with Sid Haig!

That guy is such a dick, but in a very awesome way. He just doesn’t give a fuck. Bill Moseley, on the other hand, is one of the nicest guys ever–more than happy to talk with you at length about damn near anything. As it turns out, he’s done a bunch of work with Buckethead, releasing albums under the name ‘Cornbugs’; as someone who considers herself well-versed in both Buckethead AND Bill Moseley’s catalogues, I do have to admit some embarrassment in not knowing about this earlier.

249_15907173939_7881_n 249_15907178939_8176_n

If only the line were “…daddy like” it’d be absolutely perfect.

 

249_15907183939_8435_n

I spent most of my time at the con in the movie room, watching ‘The Devil’s Rejects’, which gets better every time I watch it. Afterward, Bill and Sid came into the room and did a Q&A session, which was incredibly awesome, aside from one douche/freakazoid (seriously, no one give this guy a gun) who apparently believed that it was his opportunity to have a private conversation with both of them and attempted to dominate the panel at every turn. Eventually, someone who appeared to be his girlfriend (thusly proving that there CAN be someone for everyone out there) practically clapped a hand over his mouth and other people managed to get questions in. People do this to comics as well. Point of etiquette: Unless you are invited to speak, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Bill had mentioned earlier that one of his scenes with Priscilla Barnes was particularly harrowing to do, and so my question was how they put themselves in a mental place to do those sorts of intensely horrifying things in such a believable manner, as showing their discomfort whatsoever would’ve pushed the movies into camp. Bill’s response was that particularly violent scenes were a lot like the invisible bridge in Indiana Jones; more than anything, you have to trust yourself and the people around you to get to where you want to be, and hopefully make something worthwhile.

Also, for anyone who saw ‘Grindhouse’, ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ might be made into an expanded feature!

Yesterday, I participated in the act of honoring our veterans by eating delicious grilled meats with v1c1ous and co; my goddamned neighbors did the same with some extremely loud mariachi music and a velociraptor triathalon.

An Open Letter to Funcom

Dear Funcom,

As the developer of the highly-anticipated Age of Conan, I feel that you should take a good look at the below screenshot:

In case you cannot read the text, it goes:

“I am Sancha, mistress of the Bearded Clam – the finest whorehouse in Tortage! Loveliest girls, strongest boys…Or have you come to ask me of the Hall of the Black Ones? I know where it lies on White Sands Isle. I was there once, with no less a personage than King Conan, and the memories still ravage my sleep.”

FIRE YOUR WRITERS NOW. Also, fire whomever had final dialogue approval. “I am Sancha”–oh cute, an Orgazmo reference. “The Bearded Clam”–oh tee hee, how subtle! “The memories still ravage my sleep”–THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.

The only place you’ll read or hear asstacular dialogue like this is in a video game. Even PORN DIALOGUE is more realistic. No wonder people can’t take games seriously as art–when you write like horny, inexperienced fantasy dorks, it shows.

So please, get with the firing.

Love,

Mellzah

I don’t care who knows it.

‘Lost’ SUCKS.

THERE, I SAID IT.

Amy has been renting all of the past seasons from Netflix and I’ve watched it on and off, or I hear it in the background while I’m screwing around on Al Gore’s InterTrucks. I tried to give it a chance. I tried. But I hate it.

HAAAAAAAAAAAATE it. I thought the show was merely ok until they introduced ‘the others’, and then my indifference turned into flat-out, full bore, all-systems-go hate. Oh hi, we’re mysterious people on the island for mysterious purpose, and we have a shitton of supplies (that we don’t believe in sharing) and some sort of stupid hidden agenda because the writers needed some more spooky bad guys in case the (ooooooooo!) smoke monster and random horses and polar bears weren’t spooky enough. Also, a complete medical facility, and all manner of electronics that are powered by….? Hamsters?

Introducing more people from the plane as they’re needed? HATE. “Oh, hi, I just happen to be a science teacher at the exact moment you needed someone to tell you about science! My name is Deus. Deus Ex Machina!”

Everyone having sordid backgrounds? HATE. I know a lot of people. A LOT. And not one murderer. Weeeellll, ok, one. But only incidentally because my roommate was dating him. 40 people survive a plane crash and most all of them have killed someone, either on purpose or by accident? Seriously?

Why do people think this show is so brilliant? I just don’t get it. It seems to me like the writers have been careening around, fairly lost themselves.

THERE, I SAID IT.

I EAT BABIES

I have now officially entered the point in my life where my friends are having babies, as evidenced by the not one, but TWO baby showers I attended on Saturday, and the several more over the last month that I was unable to attend and a couple MORE over the next month that I’m totally going to skip out on (SHHHHHHHHHHHHH). It’s not that I don’t love my friends. It’s not that I’m not happy for them. It’s just….how much time do you think YOU can devote to ‘ooohing’ and ‘aaaahing’ over tiny clothes? Take that number and divide it by five, and that’s about my level of baby tolerance.

Plus, this is exactly the sort of idiocy I hate contending with:

Really? Diapers for a baby at Babies R Us? You’re shitting me.

And the HENS who attend those showers, all broody and clucking and bawking about all sorts of things no decent person cares to hear about, like their scrapbooking fetishes and intimate details about their sex lives, bearing in mind, of course, that you’ve never MET THEM BEFORE and, OH YEAH, NEVER ASKED THEM ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

So, what I’m going to need from at least five friends is a sworn affadavit stating that they do not intend to have children, for, say, at least five more years. Notarization is appreciated but not required.

I, _________, do hereby swear to remain baby-free for a period extending to at least five years hence, because my friend Melissa is totally a selfish you-know-what and doesn’t want to share me. I am aware of how babies are made and understand the necessary precautions. I further understand that if I HAVE a baby during this five year period, I am not to ask ‘auntie’ Melissa to baby-sit, for the safety of both her and the baby.

Signed on the ______ day of _______, ______

__________________

What Is The Worst Thing You Got?

I’ve been sifting through the music on my computer recently, listening to things I haven’t listened to in a long time, when I happened upon a gem of a song, something that is clearly, irrevocably, The Worst Thing I Got*. This is coming from someone who owns an Ed Wood box set. Who can glean moments of enjoyment from both House of the Dead and Manos: Hands of Fate. Believe me when I say this song tops all of those things.

I’m fairly certain I acquired this song through IRC, with the sender informing me that it was a GREAT song. I doubt I even listened to it once. Now, through a sense of duty to hilarity, I’m not certain it’s possible for me to delete it.

It starts with a man unironically reading perhaps the worst poem of all time, and then segueing into gutteral screams, followed by more awful poetry with vague racist undertones, some gothic gloom and doom and at that point, you still have not reached the very best part, as the very best part is where he starts passionately shouting color names. PURPLE!!!!!!!!!! BLUE!!!!!!!!!

I give you this, The Worst Thing I Got. Make certain to listen to it in a place where you will not feel compelled to restrain your laughter, as you will give yourself a hernia.

The Worst Thing I Got.

What’s The Worst Thing *You* Got?

*See: Achewood

THE SPICE MUST FLOW

Last night, Tristan and I went to see Dune at the Egyptian Theater. Nothing really says ‘fantastic evening’ better than Captain Picard riding a sandworm while guitars wail in the background, and I dare you to tell me otherwise.

I wanna put my tender…banana….in a blender

I finally got my blender yesterday! I broke it in this morning, making a slushy alcohol beveragehealthy smoothie. It could be nice, getting up early enough to make a breakfast of sorts and giving myself some time to get ready for work as opposed to the typical ‘hit snooze until I have to rush around in a cyclone of despair, all the while shouting ‘where are my goddamned keys?!?’ and arriving to work looking like a homeless person’ thing I normally do. In my defense, 6am tended to pack more of a punch until just recently, when the sun decided to join the party.

Crazy…dog lady?

What does it mean when I am preparing a meal and look over at Napoleon (who is VERY hopefully awaiting The Treat That Will Never Come with large eyes and waggling tail) and my automatic first response is “I see you baby! Shakin’ that ass! Shakin’ that ass!”?