Friday, May 29, 2015

As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you'll need the cocaine.

It has been a week since the Virus Pimp was totaled. I am still stuck with a gas guzzling rental that costs me $20 a day (which idk if I'll even get that back from the insurance company). I have a deposit on a Prius, but I can't actually buy it until I get the full settlement from the insurance company. 
Scratch that, I just got a call from the insurance company AND PRAYER REALLY DOES WORK because they are giving me quite a bit more money than the car was probably worth. 

In other news....

my cat continues to harass me every morning while I'm trying to do my makeup. This is the only time she ever wants any sort of affection (naturally, when I'm in a rush to get out the door). Harleyquinn stands behind me and cries and tries to pull my pajama pants down until I give in. 

We may have successfully gotten one of our Russian mob clients divorced this week, which is fortunate, as the more the court demands additional information on his finances, the more creative we have to get. 

Wording that took us three hours, and it still sounds wildly illegal. 

I went to see Slim Cessna's Auto Club in New York last night, so that was super fun. I somehow managed to take 398 photos, so going through them and editing should take me the next 100 years. 

Slim is really really tall. 


Have a good weekend y'all!! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

R.I.P. The Virus Pimp

My friends, today was a sad day.

And also a painful and hectic and ridiculous one.

The Virus Pimp is no more.

Miraculously, I was not seriously injured. Some idiot decided to try their luck flying across a 4-lane county road without looking, and this was the result. The other person she hit went away in the ambulance. I consider myself incredibly lucky, for God carried me out of that alive and with no serious injuries. The guy that towed it could not believe I walked away mostly unharmed.

I am covered in cuts and bruises, including a hideous red mark across my neck and chest that should serve as a reminder to everyone why you should wear your seatbelt.

Photo doesn't do it justice, especially now it has embellished itself with yellow and purple bruises.

Tomorrow, I shall wake up in an absurd amount of pain. What pains me more is the boredom to follow, of being out of work for the next four days.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Do you hear? The moon is weeping in a secret room!

I got this idea from Elleroy; and the original idea came from Rolling Stone magazine in an article that had a number of musicians listing the songs that influenced them most. Since music is such a huge part of so many of our lives, I thought I'd do my own. And instead of tagging just a few bloggers to make their own lists, I'm tagging all of you.

The first one is first because it is the most important. After that I'm going to try and go in chronological order.......

1. Wovenhand - "The Good Hand"

Those of you who have been with me for a while may recall the intense bout of depression I went through a couple years ago. There was much drinking and opiate abuse to dull the noise in my head, and there was also a suicide attempt (that artery in your thigh is kind of far away from the surface just fyi). I was gearing up to try again when I happened to listen to a CD that someone sent me a while back. That CD was one of the compilations John Connolly put together to go with his books, and "The Good Hand" was track 8.

The friend who sent me that CD--Jeanne--deserves a massive thank you. You quite literally saved my life, because David Edwards' music and all the music I discovered through him could never have dragged me out of that depression if you hadn't sent me that CD. <3

2. Queen - "The Prophet's Song"

This is the song that started it all. My father has always loved music. When I was about 5 years old, I heard him listening to Queen and was like WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUS NOISE and thus I acquired my first rock album, on cassette. In the way of all very small children, I played it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until eventually the tape got so worn out it wouldn't play anymore. Dad got me another one. I killed that one as well, and also the first CD. The Prophets Song is Queen's greatest song ever and I will never entertain arguments to the contrary.

3. Marilyn Manson - "Dope Hat"

I listened to grunge like pretty much everyone else in the 1990's. And then, when I was in 8th grade, I saw the video for this song in the middle of the night on that Canadian music channel (don't remember what it was called, I think it's gone now) and was like WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUS NOISE, and so the next day I marched myself to the nearest music shop and purchased Marilyn Manson's first album. It was all downhill from there.

4. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D minor (that one is super long, so y'all just get the link.)

I had always liked classical music, but never actively listened to it until Dad got me a box set of all of Beethoven's symphonies. After that, classical music was like crack to me. I gobbled up all the big names everyone knows (or should know)--Mozart, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, etc., etc. I blasted it on my mother's massive surround sound system until the neighbours complained. And then about a year later, I saw the movie Battle Royale, which led directly to

5. Giuseppe Verdi - Requiem
 Battle Royale opens with this:

and I promptly lost interest in the film because I was like WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUS NOISE I must have more of it!! My classical collection then doubled as I added a ton of chorus and opera music to it. I went through composers faster than most people go through toilet paper, which is how I arrived at my mother's least favourite phase.

6. Gregorio Allegri - Miserere Mei Deus

I went through a period of about six months wherein I listened to nothing but medieval and Renaissance church music.

7. KMFDM - "World War Three"

Not the whole song, just the guitar and banjo part at the very beginning. This one is out of chronological order, because I do not remember exactly when I first heard it. At the time, I wasn't crazy about country music outside of the songs I liked by Johnnie Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. Since I knew pretty much nothing about country music, I could not properly identify the beginning of the song's true genre--all I knew was that it sounded vaguely like country, except like no country music I had ever heard before. And I was like WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUS NOISE I must have more of it! But I could not find more, because I could never properly identify it.

I spent the next 10 years trying to hunt down this music, or anything remotely like it. I came up with nothing. As more years went by, I grew less and less enthusiastic in my search. Until I got some more CDs in the mail--Jeanne strikes again!!--and in looking up more music by some of the artists on those CD's, and in Spotify suggesting that I listen to similar artists


8. Hillstomp - "Going Down South"

No one can really agree on one name for the genre--gothic country, southern gothic, alternative country, americana, etc. This is the music that got me playing the bass again. This is the music that got me interested in going out and doing things again when the depression still tried to keep me living the life of a hermit.

And now my friends, please tell me about your music!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The lords of my fist are about to compel your teeth.

So the camping adventure was not quite as exciting and adventurous as I thought it would be.

I got incredibly lost on the way there, in the middle of Amish country. I ended up pulling into the only non-Amish establishment on that endless county road.

That google maps photo must be incredibly outdated, because the place looked quite a bit more run down when I arrived there, and the parking lot was full of old beat up pickup trucks and motorcycles. Fortunately, I blend in very well in such locales, and was given detailed directions to the campsite.

I had the option of staying in the camper, as step-uncle opted to sleep in his car, but stepmom and the bros are freaks of nature when it comes to comfortable living temperatures, and thus by bedtime the temperature inside the camper hovered somewhere around 150 degrees.

So I was like yeah no I'll sleep outside where I won't be broiled alive.

you guys

nature is really loud

I did not get much sleep over the weekend. Y'all ever experience a barred owl?

Now imagine hearing 50 of them, directly outside of your tent at 3 in the morning.

They finally stopped after an hour, only to be replaced at 5AM by Baltimore orioles and a flock of cardinals that sounded like they were using megaphones. In between there somewhere I had a very graphic dream in which my ex  Paul#1 slit my throat with a machete.

Lil Bro#1's graduation was very nice. We had a lovely lunch afterwards, and went antique shopping. I am somewhat disturbed that these things

are now considered antiques, because I had one as a child.

We had a barbecue at the campsite later, following which I had another mostly sleepless night in the tent. On top of the nature noises, it also rained on Saturday night. By Sunday morning, the inside of my tent was rather damp. I got up at 6, packed my stuff, and fled the campsite by 7, as I was not sure how much time I had before the lack of sleep caught up with me and I really didn't want to fall asleep at the wheel and drive off a cliff.

Nothing feels more depressing than driving back into Bergen County, NJ after being away for a few days. 

I am debating driving down to Kentucky on Thursday night for the Paducah Lower Town Art & Music Festival, and then driving back home again on Sunday. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Like the clouds of death that follow me into the Forest of Doom… And hide in the wardrobe of darkness!

Lil Sis has had me edit her papers since she started middle school. Now, in her third year of college, she still sends me her papers, usually with a "make me sound like an adult" request.

I don't mind doing this, I really don't. What I DO mind is Lil Sis's continuous disregard of my advice for making her future papers sound better.

....I admit that I occasionally get impatient and lose my temper.

I should have been an English teacher. 
More than anything else, Lil Sis continues to ignore my teachings regarding the passive voice.

Passive aggression is obnoxious. It can be just as obnoxious in grammar. I have tried explaining this to Lil Sis over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, but she pretends she doesn't understand what I try to teach her.

In high school, we had this English teacher we all despised because of her Passive Voice Policy. Basically, if you used more than 8 "to be" verbs* on a page, she wouldn't even grade your paper--she would hand it back with big red letters across the top saying REJECTED, and you would have to rewrite the whole thing if you wanted a passing grade. By the end of the year, we all wanted her dead.

This is the single greatest piece of writing instruction I have ever received.

We need to use "to be" verbs sometimes, but overuse of the passive voice negatively impacts the overall quality of one's writing. In my first edit of all my fiction projects, I go through the whole thing and try to replace any "to be" verbs I find with the active voice. I don't bother doing that here because I'm lazy.

Lil Bro#1 graduates from college this weekend. He goes to Houghton University, which is literally in the middle of freaking nowhere. The only places to stay nearby are tiny little inns or B&B's with only 6 rooms each. So we're staying at a campsite. 

When Dad informed me that he planned to squeeze 10 of us into one of these, I went out and purchased a tent. It's super fun, you just throw it on the ground and it pops up fully assembled.

*am, is, are, was, were, be, become, etc. So instead of saying "I was drinking the entire bottle of whiskey," you could say, "I drank the entire bottle of whiskey."

Monday, May 4, 2015

it's a crazy, crazy mixed up town

I've been blogging for five years guys, that's insane. I've never been that committed to anything in my life.

I feel like I've been trying to finish book 4 for five years as well, and yet it remains unfinished. It's finally moving again though.....

Y'all remember the band Live? They were big in the 1990's, and they are one of very few bands that have remained playing on my radio throughout the years while I picked up and discarded hundreds of other artists. Classic rock, classical music, grunge, punk, metal, back to classical music, back to metal, bluegrass, country--I still kept Live's albums mixed into my tapes, then later mix CD's, and now in itunes and Spotify playlists.

I never followed Live obsessively like I have done with a great many other bands, so funny enough it never occurred to me until a few months ago that Live has been one of my favourite bands ever for like 20 years. Curious as to what happened to them after they released The Distance to Here in 1999, I looked them up in the itunes store to see if they had released anything since then.

Which eventually led me to the singer, Ed Kowalczyk, and the music he's been making on his own. He left Live in 2009 and has released two solo albums and an EP.

He's making Christian rock now. Christian rock that sounds sort of like Live.

I don't mind Christian rock in church, but I've never really been a fan of the stuff some of my friends and family listen to. It sounds a little too campy to me, and a lot of it sounds all the same. (I don't count Wovenhand as existing alongside Christian rock bands because DEE's music defies categorization.) But now I've been banned from keeping Ed's albums playing at work because, as my boss says, "it's Jesus freak music."

It's weird, I feel like I've carried Ed's music around for most of my life, and then when I went to take a closer look at what he's doing now, he's in the same place I am.

A sign? I dunno about that. Just one of those little things that fits together so neatly, like what my hippie roommates used to call syncronicity.

I love my murder ballads and love me some ear splitting metal, but sometimes I also love blasting this stuff and PRAISING THE LORD

Mumsy and Lil Sis ridicule me relentlessly for this sort of thing. I get them back by praying loudly in public and embarrassing them.