Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

Habitrails, What Happens Later, Peter Gabriel’s i/o, Moar Blueski Codes, RIP Mike of Mike’s Amazing World, Carol Miller (and making the call, sending the email, and writing the letter), and A Little Hüsker Dü, As a Treat

Content Warning (CW): death (Mike’s Amazing World of Comics)

Y’all, why didn’t you tell me that Habitrails are completely bananas now? They’re like if a first-generation iMac did it with Pixar!

With that, I say good morning and welcome you to whatever the hell this thing is these days.

I just got done watching Meg Ryan’s What Happens Later, which I’d been looking forward to since I saw the trailer. I don’t know how I feel about all of it yet. A lot about the story and dialogue didn’t stand up well to scrutiny even as I was watching it (between the continuity issues that develop in adapted works starring two actors playing roles a dozen years younger than they are, some of the cliches of stage plays, the fact that it told a pretty heteronormative story, when it didn’t have to within the context of the work, and the fact that both characters could’ve been written with greater nuance in general), but it was a film that I wanted and still want to like, and at the very least, it felt relatively harmless and well-meaning (which may sound like me damning the film with faint praise, but you’d be surprised how often I’m looking for a film that has those qualities, but isn’t quite full-on Hallmark kinda stuff, and just can’t find anything; there’s more room in this world for harmless and well-meaning than perhaps most people realize). The leads (Meg and David Duchovny) both made me want to care about them, even with the shortcomings of the material firmly in mind, and it’s filmed and lit beautifully. I sort of expect the actual critics and aspiring critics of the world to do a pretty good hatchet job on it once it’s more widely seen, but I don’t know that it’ll be a fair one, and I do think that it will find its audience, even if that audience doesn’t end up being me in repeat viewings (again, it’s probably too soon for me to tell on that).

Every song of Peter Gabriel’s i/o is out now, and the album gets its proper release on Friday. If you want to hear the tracks before then in the order they’re intended to be released in, which, mercifully, remains the chronological one, I made playlists of the Bright-Side and Dark-Side mixes (the physical release will include both, and there’s an expanded release with Dolby Atmos “In-Side” mixes that’s also being released) to hold you over until the album properly hits streaming services.

Getcher blueski codes!



As with the last one I put up, first-come, first-served. I should have another soon enough, though.

I am very sad about the passing of someone I never talked to. Over the past year and a half, thanks to reader Nancy enlightening me to its existence very late in the game (it’s existed for a quarter century, apparently entirely the work of one person, who I and most folks only know as Mike or dcindexer, who put 40 hour weeks into it as a hobby project for over two decades), I’ve spent untold hours researching things at Mike’s Amazing World of Comics that were…more than comics. Their Newsstand section has helped me contextualize a great deal of my childhood by giving me an understanding of what books were happening in the background (and often, the foreground) as I was living it, and also how I was led to read those books, in terms of personal preference, market visibility and corporate decisions. In some ways, a person who was really just documenting his comic collection at the start of his endeavor has helped me figure out certain things better than most of my therapists have, and alas, I’ll never get to thank him for it.

His death hits pretty close to home for me for other reasons, too, particularly that Mike was apparently only a year older than I am. Most of the cultural touchstones he describes as his in his shorter origin story and the two parts of his longer “Origin of a DC Fanboy” are very much the same as my own, though he ended up having the resources and focus to do far more extraordinary things in the service of building his comic book collection than I have. We got used to people living longer for a while, so 50 just feels too damn young now.

For now (and hopefully, far into the future, as the site currently claims we will), we still have the documentation of his life’s work with us, and I don’t know if he and I would’ve necessarily gotten along just because we liked some of the same things, but it still feels like a huge loss of knowledge, experience and, yes, love that comic fandom and the wider world has fairly quietly experienced this week, and on a personal level, again, I don’t like it when folks leave before I have a chance to thank them, or to talk to them about what we do have in common. In this case, to some degree, it couldn’t be helped, because Mike apparently went no-contact with most of the Internet years before his passing and years before I found his site, but it’s things like this that motivate me to tell y’all to at least try to make the phone call, send the email and write the letter, because someday, it won’t be an option anymore, and to also walk the walk on it myself, however daunting that can be, admittedly, by reaching out to people like Carol Miller.

I wrote to her late last week, both with interview questions that I’d thought up without a venue for the interview in mind, and also, more importantly to thank her for her impact on my life, which I did at polite but thorough length. If you’re wondering, no, I haven’t heard back from Carol, and I’ve no idea if I ever will (and it’s totally OK if she never gets around to it, as she’s a busy person who deals with a great deal on a day-to-day basis), but I felt like I had to try, as she’s another long-time part of my world from a distance who’s loomed large of late. Between the shows of hers I’ve caught some of recently (she’s still great), my long-term memories of her being her self-described “Professional Lifelong Friend” to anyone within broadcasting distance, and my read of her book Up All Night: My Life and Times in Rock Radio over this past summer (which covered her life and history well, but not as much of her likes and dislikes, or what she loves about doing the job now, and her plans for it in the future), I still had things I wished to know about her, so I just asked. If she decides to answer (and I did give her the option of doing so on background, so it might not be anything I can ever really share, but I also told her about my not-so-commercially-viable outlets like this one and I need new hobbies. and offered those up as venues), that’ll be an incredible gift. If not, then she still knows that there’s one more person out there who appreciates and respects her work, and really listens when she’s doing a weather report and does something like making a sharp turn into the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and our Pavlovian response to anniversaries of events like that in the middle of it before finishing the forecast, without ever really losing her flow or running long.

Seriously, whenever possible, famous or not, big or small, even if it’s just a deal where one of your friends is really good at something like parallel parking or remembering songs no one remembers or playing darts or somesuch, or always seems to show up when you need them to even if they don’t know you need them to, or whatever it may be, tell the people in your world that you like and respect that about them, while you still have the opportunity to do it.

“If you don’t stop to smell the roses now, they might end up on you.”
-Bob Mould

That happy thought (and pretty solid performance that I’d never seen before) should just about do it for this morning. Perhaps next time, I’ll offer up the cat’s and my review of the Good Burger franchise, as we watched both films together over the past week, but I don’t think I have it in me today. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

Monday, November 6th, 2023

A Person Listening to Joe Walsh at 6:30 in the Morning Without Being in Trouble, a Cat, and a Blueski Code Walk Into a Bar, plus October Movies, Music and Comics, How You’re Doing, and How I’m Doing

Content Warning (CW): capitalist language (“What’s been happening with y’all?”), COVID mentions (“What’s been happening with y’all?”, new cat) drug and alcohol use (Joe Walsh), Geoff Johns (comics), things not going so great/mood (how I’m doing)

Mornin’. When’d I do this last? Juuuuuuuuust under a month ago, that’s right. What’s been happening with y’all? Tell me at the length of your choosing in the comments, but, as a personal request, please try not to lean too hard into the “we left the house recreationally” stuff. I see your pictures on social media and I know. What else has been doing? Creating anything? Stuff OK at work and/or school? Family/friends doin’ OK? To use hellscape language for a moment, “Consume any good content lately?”.

Over here, I found myself wanting to listen to “Rocky Mountain High” and “All Night Long” (and, OK, “In The City” and “Life of Illusion”, too) by Joe Walsh at 6:30 in the morning today, and surprisingly, I wasn’t coked to the gills and full of whisky when it happened. I was just laying in bed with the cat. I wonder how Joe, clean and sober for a long time now, feels about people associating his music with gettin’ all tore up, even that which he made while all tore up himself, and wrote about that specific experience. It probably shows up in interviews somewhere or other, but I haven’t personally seen him talk about the direct association between his music and being all messed up (his sobriety and how he got there, absolutely, just not “What do I do with this now?” where the music’s concerned).

As I noted, there is once again a cat in the house.

Say hello to Entrapta:

a grey, beige, orange and white cat sits on a ledge near a window, looking up

She’s 2 years old, and as you may be able to surmise from the angelic photo of her above, she enjoys being everywhere she’s not supposed to be. She showed up just under 2 weeks ago, after a brief stay at another adopter’s house where she didn’t get along with the other cat they adopted at the same time, so we got another chance at her, after we couldn’t pick her up because we were due for vaccines and hadn’t gotten them yet (the shelter had just switched over to open access after being in COVID protocol for 3 1/2 years). We are still very much in the getting-to-know-each-other phase, but it’s been good to have a kitty here again, especially as I’ve been awake overnights and overnights are the quietest they’ve ever been in my life these days.

Want to be on Blueski…er…Bluesky?



First-come, first-served, of course.

It’s not that bad over there yet. It’ll get there, but so far, it hasn’t.

2023 Completed October Movie List:

October 1st: The Old Dark House (1932) and Season of the Witch (1973)
October 7th: Crocodile II: Death Roll (2001)
October 8th: Frankenhooker (1990), Frogs (1972), Children of the Corn (1984) and Fade to Black (1980)
October 12th: Totally Killer (2023) and Snakes on a Plane (2006)
October 13th: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) and Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
October 14th: Saturday the 14th (1981) and Blood Quantum (2019)
October 15th: Alligator 2 (1990)
October 18th: Scream (1996)
October 19th: Pumpkinhead (1988) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
October 26th: Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
October 27th: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
October 28th: Student Bodies (1981)
October 29th: Ginger Snaps (2000), Halloween (1978), and Halloween 4 (1988)
October 31st: The Mummy (1932), The Mask (1961), Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

A lighter month than last year, but still 27 films. My favorite new-to-me films were The Old Dark House, Totally Killer, Blood Quantum, Invasion of the Saucer Men and Ginger Snaps. The best re-watches were probably Frogs, Friday the 13th Part 2 (I had which one was the bad one backwards from 2 and 3), Saturday the 14th, Student Bodies and The Mask.

I’ve listened to a few new albums of late, the new Emma Anderson probably being my favorite, and haven’t listened to a few others (still no-go on the Stones, OMD and Jessi Colter albums, haven’t felt up to them).

I skipped the World Series. I don’t need that negativity in my life.

Comics, I’ve been enjoying Fantastic Four and Birds of Prey of late. I did like the first issue of Wesley Dodds: The Sandman, as well (I really loved Robert Venditti‘s Hawkman while it was running, so I gave it a try), but it’s the first issue of a 6 issue mini-series connected to ongoing plot lines that Geoff Johns is working on, so your interest in getting on-board may vary. I’m mostly caught up on my (currently being published) books, save for Silver Surfer and Moon Knight, though have copies of Parasocial and Wonder Woman: Historia here that I need to read.

Oh, and I’ve really been loving Dan Schkrade’s new Flash Gordon comic strip. It’s classic and fresh at the same time.

This is a not-bad rundown of what I’ve been doing, but admittedly, I don’t cover how I’m feeling all that much. The short answer is “really not that great, but I’m continuing to work on it”. I don’t know if I have it in me to write the long version, or if this is even really the venue for it. My writing in general? Sure, absolutely. This newsletter in particular was created to keep me busy, keep you busy, and help us all keep our minds off of “really not that great”, though, so while the outside world does leak in here on the regular, there’s a difference between a leak or three and Niagara Falls. As I said, though, I continue to work on it.

With that, I think we’re a wrap for this morning. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.


Sunday, October 8th, 2023

Brain-Wandering Through Beefsteak Charlie’s, Other Steak Restaurant Chains and Bentley TVs, with a Little Bit of Music on the Back End

Content Warning (CW): marketing, meat, divorce, poverty

(My content warning today describes the actual stages of grief, I think.)

Just a quick one while I’m thinking about it and talking about it with some folks in other parts.

My brain this weekend has taken me from Red Lobster commercials (I’m still desperately looking for the “CRAB LEGS II!!!!” commercial where they made their crab legs promotion look like a 1950s black-and-white monster movie) to the Beefsteak Charlie’s “SHRIMP!” and “RIBS!” (thanks to Rolando Pujol) commercials…

…to the late Tom Lacy, who played Charlie (guy had a hell of a “That Guy” career), to thinking about the defunct local PA Mr. Angus Steak Haus chain (not to be confused with Steakhouse Mr. Angus in Schleswig, Germany)…

3 drinking glasses from local Reading and Lancaster, PA restaurant chain Mr. Angus Steak Haus.

(These glasses are dope as hell. Image ganked from a Worthpoint listing, which Worthpoint gank images themselves, so fuck ’em.)

…and the time I ate there (I don’t remember what I had, but I remember the meal was REALLY good…) when my parents, on the last road trip I took with them together before they divorced, looked at a time share near Reading with no intention of buying in, and got a free 5″ black and white portable Bentley brand television that survived several apocalypses over the years.

Back before I had a properly sized color TV, I played a bunch of Atari on this thing in the mid-’90s when I first started collecting cartridges again. As best as I can understand it, Bentley’s business model was a lot like the disposable razor one, where they sold a bunch of cheap TVs, lots of which were given out at giveaways, but then they made their money back when you ordered accessories like the AC adapter, the car adapter and such from them. I think I sold that TV, like a fool, in the 2000s when I had no income and sold a lot of things I shouldn’t have (SUP PANZER DRAGOON SAGA).

The box for a Bentley 5" deluxe portable black and white TV, with a picture of the TV (showing a very 1986 white woman on the screen) sitting on shiny black surface with a blue sunrise-ish background, the Bentley logo at the horizon, and a bunch of text describing the TV set.

(Gaze upon the majesty. Image ganked from an eBay listing, and no, I won’t tell you which one because I might be an asshole and buy this.)

They’re all over eBay at pretty reasonable prices, most still visibly working and in good shape or not used at all, most from the same basic geographical area (PA and NJ), but I haven’t found one with the external antenna adapter yet, which, even more than the AC adapter, would make it worth having again. It wouldn’t be the same as my dad’s old “beat to shit from living in his truck for a couple years, but still working perfectly because these little shits were built like tanks” model, but nothing’s ever truly the same, is it? It would be something else to get one of those babies hooked up to a digital antenna and watch The Price Is Right on it. 65″ 4K set in the living room, and I’m entertaining these fuckin’ shenanigans.

I also spent a minute thinking about the first trip I took with just my mom after my dad filed for divorce, and how we ate at The Steak Loft in Mystic, CT, with no idea of its connection to Steve Rubell and Studio 54. (It was 1987, and while I still played a pretty good game of connect-the-dots back then on how things were connected, it was connected to a world I wasn’t really a part of or even fully aware of yet, and had mostly missed, sadly.) That was also a meal that I can’t remember the specifics of, other than that it was very good.

I think that’ll do it for this weekend. I’m still recovering from getting fingerblasted by the latest vaccine, and there’s not much music out aside from the new Omar Apollo EP (terrific) and the new Prong album (on the good end of things for them and for reader Brenda, they do cover Rush’s “Working Man” servicably, though Tommy will probably squander my goodwill toward his record because he’s an old guy from the NYC metro area who hangs out with Glenn Danzig and he probably lands somewhere around Glenn and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth on the political spectrum), though, now that I think about it, there is a new recording of an old Jessi Colter song that Margo Price did with her for Jessi’s upcoming new album that caught my ear, too because Margo’s backing vocals give it hella ABBA vibes…

I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

Friday, September 29th, 2023

New Music Friday, Peter Gabriel, The Fast Saga, The Cheech & Chong Saga, Other Movies, Some Other Stuff

Content Warning (CW): mention of “outdated cultural references” (Cheech & Chong movies)

It’s still taking me some time and effort to get back into really writing, unless it’s on my fantasy baseball league’s chat to talk about potential rule changes and the history behind the existing rules, apparently. So, some of this is going to be kinda bullet pointed, I think. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll learn how to words again someday.

New albums out today-ish: Blonde Redhead, Graveyard, LP, Melenas, Primordial, Wilco. Graveyard’s decent, Primordial’s pretty great, haven’t done the rest yet.

Albums from the last couple weeks: Kylie Minogue, Starbenders, Teenage Fanclub and motherfuckin’ Sylvester (this last one was out when I wrote last, but I missed the release date somehow).

We’re up to 10 Peter Gabriel songs this year (though the Bright-Side mix of the new one isn’t out yet), with 2 more full moons to go. Here’s what he’s got for us so far, if you were having trouble figuring out how to one-stop shop (Pete’s official one just has all of the tracks in reverse chronological order).

Finished the Fast saga. My rankings of the non-spinoff films (Hobbs & Shaw is truly its own thing, y’all), which I reserve the right to change:

1. Fast Five (2011)

2. F9 (2021)

3. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

4. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

5. Fast and Furious (2009)

6. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

7. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

8. The Fate of the Furious (2017)

9. Furious 7 (2015)

10. Fast X (2023)

Feel free to debate the rankings with me in the comments, but in general, I think Justin Lin is usually better than no Justin Lin.

Currently also working on the Cheech & Chong movies (just finished Still Smokin’, and it’s taking me a minute to psyche myself up for anything past that, because the “outdated cultural references” were rough, especially in the last two I’ve watched, in ways that I’d forgotten about), so eventually I may have a power rankings list for those, too. It’s almost gotta be the first 3 movies 1-2-3, but there are some people who’d put 3 ahead of 2. Watching them was a great reminder that Evelyn Guerrero was an MVP of the series.

Other movies of the moment: SlaxxBlue Beetle and Bottoms. I also watched most of Nightmare Castle on Night Flight Plus, The Best Fucking Streaming Service in the World yesterday, and loved what I saw (Barbara Steele is predictably awesome).

No new video games in a while, though I did start up No Man’s Sky and play through the beginning for about the billionth time recently. I like where my current base is there, because it’s practically on top of a space port.

Reading through a bunch of comics still (loved Clobberin’ Time, love Ryan North’s Fantastic Four). The last 3 Silver Surfer mini-series and Sgt. Rock vs. the Army of the Dead are next, then I have to decide if I want to read all of the current Moon Knight volume (and the associated mini-series) now or in one sitting when they finish the story in December, before starting over with another volume in January. Sorta leaning toward the latter. I am sticking with Teen Titans for now (though it feels like they had this idea of making them THE TEAM at the end of this last big event, someone higher up doesn’t like that, and they’re basically stalling for time until they hire a new Justice League writer), but only the main title once the one associated mini-series I’m still on the hook for is finished in November.

As for how I’m doing? Well…I just read through my last post, and everything I wrote then is kind of in a holding pattern from all of that, plus three weeks. I should probably do something about this.

And with that, I think we’re a wrap for this morning. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.


Friday, September 8th (For Reals This Time)


Content Warning (CW): inappropriate media consumption for children (Apocalypse Now), COVID-19 mention (health care stuff), other health stuff (bad lungs), death/estates (my mom’s estate), ableism and poor-hating (“finance”), mortality and its effect on leisure time

Apologies for that false start yesterday (that somehow also time-traveled, as the title said that it was from today), but it’s been a rough couple of months.

Aside from recommended media consumption, which I’ll pretty quickly run through right now (borrowing heavily from an email I sent to reader Ethan a day or two ago), I’m just going to skip from late spring of 2023 to today.

Music: the whole year so far is here, but between June 9th (when the Godflesh album came out) and September 8th? Olivia Rodrigo, Kristin Hersh, Slowdive, Medicine (it’s not on the year-end list yet because I still need to listen to the last third, but it’ll likely make it there), Wreckless Eric, The Hives, Greta Van Fleet, Cory Hanson, and Lloyd Cole. Just listened to the new Chemical Brothers, and it’s pretty good if you’re into that sort of thing, though it really leans on the “single vocal sample repeated over…and over…and over again” side on the last few tracks. Probably my favorites of these are the Olivia Rodrigo (already through it twice, once very loudly in the car, and it came out last night), Slowdive, Hives and Cory Hanson records.

Movies: on the new stuff front, enjoyed Barbie, Joy Ride (referring to the Stephanie Hsu one, not the Bobcat Goldthwait/Dana Gould one, though they’re both terrific), and the new Spider-Verse was good, but I wish they’d treat the animators better. Was less into Meg 2, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (if you’re curious, and we’re talking privately and not in a position to spoil the movie for other people, ask me what my real takeaway was from this movie) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (so much has changed in the world at large and in the lives of both the director and the actors that it was really hard to not be affected by the subtext…we just know too much about everything and everyone involved now…).

Movies, older stuff/re-watches edition: I’m through Hobbs & Shaw on my Fast Saga watch (2 more to go), have been watching “Art Carney as an older gentleman” films of late (watched Harry & Tonto at the worst time imaginable, but watched and enjoyed The Late Show and Going In Style recently, too), finally watched both Schumacher Batman movies (I think the Kilmer/Carrey one is bad, but the Clooney/Ahnold one is GLORIOUS), saw To Live and Die in L.A. finally after Friedkin passed (decent New Hollywood post-New Hollywood film), Between the Lines was another solid Joan Micklin Silver entry (not doing them in order, but I’m trying to watch all of Joan’s stuff), and I snuck in re-watches of 1941 (Wendie Jo Sperber should’ve been the next Lucille Ball, and I don’t think that’s hyperbole), Magic (Ann-Margret may have been better in it than Anthony Hopkins or the dummy), Fandango (Costner sucked upon re-watch, everyone else was great) and Up In Smoke and Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (gonna try to do all of ’em; Next Movie was better than I remembered, Up In Smoke was a little worse with the “outdated cultural references” than I remembered). Nothing I know about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 2023 was capable of ruining my love for the film when I watched it again in 4K. Nothing I knew about Apocalypse Now really prepared me for watching the movie when I got my 4K copy, thinking “I first saw this shit when I was 7 or 8, and not just a scene or two by accident, the whole thing” the entire time. (The 4K edition does look gorgeous, though.) Gearing up for horror movies in October, and trying to find a time-based, rather than reel-based, list of cues for The Tingler.

Television: a lot of The Price Is Right (James O’Halloran is amazing), This Old House and pro wrestling (AEW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where I watched almost all of the G1 Climax again, and Wrestling Open) lately. Really liked High Desert, which of course Apple TV+ picked as their first really quick cancellation, so when I finished watching it, I really quickly canceled Apple TV+.

Books: Up All Night: My Life and Times in Rock Radio by Carol Miller was very solid. For those of us who live or lived in or near New York, and have had Carol on the radio with us for most of our lives, you know how there’s a part of her delivery and presentation that makes you think “she sounds really tough”? It’s because she is really, really tough. (Thanks to reader Melissa for the book!) I’m also working my way through Tony Visconti’s autobiography, Tony Visconti: The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, and it’s taking a while because there’s meticulous attention to detail in it, but it’s interesting and worthwhile so far.

Comics: Orson Welles: Warrior of the World is the best premise I’ve seen for a funny book in quite a while, but after reading the first issue yesterday, it remains to be seen if they’ll nail the execution (the creators are definite Welles nerds, but this is high concept stuff), or if they’ll sell enough copies to keep publishing it (I hope they do). Other comics I’m actually reading, rather than just making big piles of: Robotech: Rick Hunter (being written as a sequel/postscript to the Macross Saga; I picked it up on a whim, as I haven’t bought a Robotech/Macross book in almost 40 years, and I enjoyed it), and Birds of Prey (Kelly Thompson just started a new volume of it, and it’s true to both BoP and Kelly Thompson’s other stuff; this is out this week, so if you buy single issues of stuff, go get it while you can). I want to like the new version of Titans, but DC is shooting itself in the foot by being 2 huge crossover events and 2 extra mini-series deep on a book that’s less than a year old, the same way Marvel’s doing it with Moon Knight because they plan things far enough in advance that I think they developed all the extra Moon Knight stuff when they thought the TV show would be a success. NOPE!

Video games: really haven’t been playing much lately, but I feel like a lot of Atari is gonna happen this winter. More on that later.

There’s probably a bunch that I’m forgetting, because of course I am.

As for now…what am I doing now?

Setting myself up for inevitable disappointment at blueski. (All the profiles are still paywalled, I think, but if you’ve got an account, you’ll be able to see it. If you don’t have one, let me know if you want an invite, and I’ll see if I can scrounge one up. Alex Winter had a ton at some point, I can see if he’s still holding.) I’m also still at Dreamwidth, though literally no one has followed me there.

Feeling like too much of a bystander on home improvement projects (Kayla, on the other hand, has leveled up to Drywall, and they were under our sink when I just walked into the kitchen), but preparing for more of them, even if it’s mostly from a “coordinate shit between multiple people via email” kinda direction.

Working out what I’m going to do about the health care industry (and society at large too, but let’s keep it focused) basically giving me the bird because I won’t expose myself to the plague in the name of capitalism quite enough for them. (Pro Tip: if you have the opportunity to receive health care from a corporation that has a former director of the CDC from our very recent past on their board? Don’t. Just fucking don’t.)

Breathing a little easier (figuratively; my lungs still suck), because the majority of what I needed to do in the service of my mom’s estate seems to be taken care of for now.

Hoping a bunch of cats ring our doorbell, wearing hats and coats and carrying little suitcases. (Adopting the conventional way hasn’t been something we’ve been able to make happen yet, though we haven’t formally reached out about any cats, either, as we’re still taking care of some things before we can, ourselves included.)

Fighting with terrible financial advisors, while simultaneously feeling fortunate that I have a reason for them, and being mad that my reason for them is completely piss-ant in the grand scheme of things, and wouldn’t be necessary at all if our society didn’t hate both disabled people and poor people.

Feeling a desire to streamline and simplify a life that’s still complicated as hell. This includes me looking at my interests, and wondering if I get enough joy out of them to justify the use of time, effort and other resources. In some ways, this feels like the antithesis of fun, but even where fun’s concerned, I have a lot of fun I want to get around to, and assuming that I don’t live to be 500 years old*, I’m gonna have to prioritize at least a little, especially if Real Life fucking intrudes on it all the time. Where this is gonna go? No idea. Probably nowhere.

That’s all for today. Plenty to read and poke at, I think, in stark contrast to that shit I pulled last night. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

* As I just confirmed by doing the math, my parents averaged 72 years and 331 days of life, so I’m probably not swinging that “500 years” shit unless science takes a huge leap forward, and I can afford whatever it costs. Additionally, going by that math, provided that none of my current health issues end up fast-tracking my exit from this plane of existence, I’ve got approximately 8,626 days left (April 21st, 2047, if my math’s correct, which will be Iggy Pop’s 100th birthday, should he also live that long), or about 15.75 years of waking time (I own Playstation 3 games that are older than that), assuming (as much as I shouldn’t, given the non-24) 16 hour days. After that, every day I get is GRAVY, probably because I won’t be able to chew solid food anymore, given how I’ve lived. So there’s your happy thought for the day.

Friday, September 8th, 2023

How I Spent My Summer Vacation


New posts on the way, though.

That’s all for today. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.


Friday, June 9th, 2023

Godflesh, Janelle Monáe, Dreamwidth and My Own Somewhat Off-Center Social Media Strategy

Content Warning (CW): discussion of childbirth and masturbation (Janelle Monáe), Elon Musk/Twitter mention (Dreamwidth)


As a Godflesh album, it’s innerestin’, because it starts out in a pretty high energy place, but drives the mood into a ditch about a song or two earlier than they usually do. They also decided to use audio clipping noise as a musical instrument this time in a very conscious, deliberate way. I enjoyed the record on my first pass through, though, and I’m glad to have more new Godflesh.

As a counterpoint to the Godflesh album, this is the new Janelle Monáe album. Many children shall be conceived with this album on as background music, and many vibrator batteries shall die at its hands.

So, I’m doing something completely counterintuitive: after realizing that I’ve had a Dreamwidth account for just over 14 years, and while I’ve never really used it much, I’ve also never heard of some big stink about ownership/management, and I’ve never had any hassles from the userbase, I think I’m going to start trying to move my social media presence, at least in part, over there. At present, there are…8 people I know who I’ve confirmed have accounts there, only 5 of whom have used those accounts in the past 52 weeks. So, this should be interesting.

If it looks familiar to you in any way, specifically if it reminds you of LiveJournal, there is a reason for that: it’s built on a fork of the original LiveJournal code, and owned and run by some ex-LiveJournal personnel, dating back to the Brad Fitzpatrick days if I’m not mistaken. Reader Erika’s been singing its praises for the longest, as have a handful of other folks, but I became more aware of them still being a vital, going concern (if a much quieter one than most other things like it) late last year, when there was a rush into production of a bunch of social media sites, to try to cash in on the exodus from Twitter when That Other Asshole bought it, and Denise, one of the founders, did a long thread on Twitter about how the people behind these sites all kinda had their heads up their asses. To date, she’s been right about all of ’em. (I deleted my cohost account this week, for instance, because they made an absolute mess of the community guidelines when they published a rewrite of them, after supposed months of work on the whole thing, then immediately backpedaled on the thing in it that pissed people off the most when they’d drawn a clear line in the sand in their original version, in a way that told me that they are “not serious people”, as a famous monster said recently. If you made a cohost account and you’re not really using it, you can probably go ahead and delete it, too.)

Now, the trick with anything like this (it’s true of any of the places where I’m at least semi-active online) is trying to figure out what gets written or posted where (I have at least one other semi-abandoned website, I still have the Facebook account for now, I’ve got this place, Dreamwidth, an account on a Mastodon instance where I still try to check in from time to time, etc.), but I’m working on that. Part of why I wanna phase out Facebook is because it’s too goddamned easy to share things that I should be sharing here over there, and it’s a far less trustworthy place to be sharing anything.

So, we’ll see what happens with all of that.

Well, this draft has been sitting here untouched for about 6 hours, so it’s probably done. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

Friday, May 26th, 2023

Our Cat Arya Scheiner 2011-2023

Content Warning (CW): pet death and illness, lymphoma, eye contact from cat in photo

As I’ve stated in the past, I do not like to use this space to convey sad news, but this is a big one in my world and Kayla’s, and it’s probably important to let you all know what’s actually happening in our lives, so here goes.

On Tuesday morning, we lost our kitty, Arya. Arya was 12 years old, but this was still abrupt and shocking to us, because she’d been in relatively good health and good spirits for the past couple of years. We are both absolutely heartbroken wrecks, because Arya was our best friend, and, with all due respect to every cat Kayla and I have ever lived with or met, the best cat either of us have ever gotten to know.

What can I tell you about Arya, particularly those of you who didn’t get to know her?

She was incredibly smart, wise (and yeah, the first two traits are absolutely mutually exclusive), hilariously funny (better comedic timing than any animal I’ve ever known, and most humans), and as gentle, accepting and loving of humans as any creature I’ve ever met, while simultaneously being incredibly tough. She started her life as a feral (before she came up to Kayla’s front door one day, and told Kayla that they were her human), and was one of the fiercest hunters and genuinely great boxers of any species I’ve ever seen (but also one who was kind and smart enough to know how to pull her punches and keep her claws sheathed with her humans, even when a bit overstimulated from playing) despite being a relatively small cat. She did not believe she was a small cat, though, and, probably as a holdover from her feral days, was ready to fight anything from birds to other cats to coyotes and foxes when they would appear outside our window. Her walk, which was basically a really good trot, had a distinct “doop doop doop doop doop doop doop doop badoop” sound to it (the “badoop” being the sound that jumping up onto furniture would make).  She adapted well to changes (when she got out of her carrier upon moving into our house, she looked in either direction, seemed to think “OK, I live here now”, and went about her business like everything was normal from that moment on). She was a beautiful cat, and also had the softest, smoothest fur I’ve ever felt on an animal. It was chinchilla-like, with gorgeous markings and shading. She used vocal inflections to convey a tremendous amount of personality, emotion and meaning with her meows. Despite her kind nature, she also had more attitude than Sonic the Hedgehog when you left the controller alone for an hour, and would regularly sass us if we told her not to do something, or told her it wasn’t meal time yet, so this was one of the ways she used that.

She loved (and I’m going to forget some things, but am going to try to commit as much of what I can remember in this moment to writing as possible) chicken, tuna, the ham that her Other Other Human (Kayla’s mom, who got to know her on a number of visits) gave her at least once when we weren’t looking, Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Rabbit Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food Toppers (or, as they were colloquially known around here, “the beige crunchies” or “the beige ones”), my cinnamon raisin bagels that she chewed through the bag to get to, the one time we accidentally left them within reach of her very early on in the time I knew her, every other type of food that she wasn’t allowed to eat because sausage, corned beef hash, cheesesteak, etc. would’ve caused her some major issues (there was a curry incident before I knew her), sunbeams, sitting in windows, the rug she laid on at Kayla’s old apartment, the mat she laid on in our living room window, her Target Halloween castle, boxes of any size or shape, plastic bags, but especially Mood Fabric bags, Drawerbox comic box outer sleeves, piles of paper, several different pairs of my slippers, but mostly the brown ones, really, both of our shoes and boots, sleeping on any of our dirty laundry, but especially Kayla’s jean shorts, a particular cushion on our couch, but it shifted from time to time, depending on her mood and the position of the couch in our living room, the red dot, the All For Paws Interactive Butterfly Flutter Bug cat toy (where I learned exactly how good she was at boxing; she would throw five or six left jabs, and then a right hook that stopped the butterfly in its tracks, like a pro), her ribbon, her buggy on a string at the end of a stick toy, her other toys, putting her paws on the counter, the dining room table or in the sink when she wasn’t supposed to, hunting for buggies, trying to get the birdies even though they were outside and she was not, headbutts, skritchies, giving her humans baf’ (she was a prolific and seemingly inexhaustible groomer who would groom arms, legs and occasionally hair, to show that she loved her humans, but also that she felt that they needed to be groomed), tapping me on the leg with her left paw when it was time for breakfast, the gravity feeder bowl that I once watched her eat kibble out of for 20 minutes straight without a breath (we used that for exactly one weekend, though she never stopped asking us to bring it back, because the overeating nearly gave Kayla a heart attack when I told them about it via instant message at a convention), and especially sitting on or near both of her humans (but especially “mom”), ideally with her head in one of their hands or her chin applying a Herculean amount of pressure to whatever body part it was on, to keep us in place.

One more thing on her toughness: she was strong enough to come all the way back from the brink 3 years ago, when she had a severe bacterial illness that actually made her afraid of food and water for a spell (though that recovery period was hell for both her and Kayla, who was the only one who could get her to take the pretty brutal eyedropper medication she was on, though it took a LOT to make it happen, and it was a long, difficult regimen of about 2 months, if memory serves), so we were, of course, really hoping she’d be able to recover again, and wanted to believe (and I think she did, too). She rallied a bit after we first took her to the emergency vet, but lymphoma, at her age and in the condition she was in by the time we received the diagnosis, created a situation where the upside of putting her through chemotherapy was a total crapshoot, and it was likely to be a much more miserable experience for her than palliative care was (even though the last few days of her life, owing mostly to timing issues with house call veterinarians, were unfortunately difficult for her, and, by proxy, for us).

Her absence, and the silence it creates in our home, has been so unbearably loud these past few nights, because she had so much presence. She was who I talked to and spent time with on overnights, because Kayla’s almost always in bed by or before midnight, so it’s a lot harder to get through these overnights right now. Maybe it’ll become easier with time, I hope it will, though I don’t want to forget her or our time together, but it’s really tough at the moment. (I know that you’re not cats, as none are subscribed to this newsletter at the moment, but if you happen to be awake on overnights for the next while, please check in on me.)

On the other hand, I’m already pretty much of the mind that she’s a ghost cat now, and has started haunting us. I’m OK with this, though I hope that it’s just that she wants to keep hanging out with us, and not that she’s mad at us (this one, I doubt), stuck between planes, or anything uncomfortable like that. I’m so used to seeing her in various spots in the center, main section of our home where our living room and dining room are, that I am constantly seeing her in those spots for half a second when I look at them. It was probably different noises on our TV that just sounded weird through a wall, but I’m also pretty sure I’ve heard meowing in my sleep.

There may be other cats in our life eventually (I hope that there will be, but we’re both going to need time), and, as they’ll be cats, I am sure that they’ll be terrific, but I am sure that there will never be another one quite like Arya. She was our world. I was so fortunate to be her Other Human, and I miss her, and will miss her, so much.

Arya, a grey, white and beige dilute tortoiseshell cat, sits on a black leather ottoman, with a grey and beige rug, and a blonde hardwood floor in the background.

(One of the first pictures I ever took of Arya, from about a week after I met her in 2015.)

That’s all for today. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

A Couple of Months Away, Sisu, Ethel Merman, Moonic Productions, Shop-Rite’s Can-Can Sale, and What I’ve Been Busying Myself With

Content Warning (CW): spoilers, extremely graphic violence in trailer, Nazis, our grim present-day (Sisu)

I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve been away from posting these for almost 3 months. I keep starting drafts and not finishing them, so I’m going to try to finish this one, come hell or high water. I think I’ve just had trouble not being overwhelmingly negative when writing these things, which I think is perfectly understandable given the state of a world which has pretty much declared war on my spouse and I and many of you as well, but it’s also not what I intended to do with this space, and it’s made me delete a few editions of this pretty far into writing them. On the other hand, I understand that me trying to give y’all a break of entertaining things in the middle of all of…this…isn’t far from my opinion that there might not be a qualified psychotherapist on Earth right now, or at least might not be very many, because how do you talk someone through, or let them talk themselves through, an experience like the shared one we’re all having, without being completely full of shit? So, yeah, some “crisis of confidence” stuff happening over here, but I’m going to do my best, because I think that my life is better when I do this than it is when I don’t, and I hope it betters yours as well, even (and perhaps especially, but I’d prefer “even” at this stage of my life) when I’m surly.

To unwind tonight, Kayla and I watched Sisu. (Gory as fuck trailer here.) I don’t think they killed enough Nazis in it. As it was a work of fiction, “all of them” was absolutely an option if they got creative enough, so it’s clear that they fell well short of the desired results.

I probably won’t do this, because I’ve decided recently that a lot of my usual fights are pretty much fucking unwinnable until a lot more people who are far less vulnerable than I am get off their asses and fight basically every prevailing social, political, medical and economic movement on Earth extremely hard without being magical thinking hypocrites while doing it, but I thought for about a minute about making a new Letterboxd account that wasn’t under my name, and having that be my review of every film I post about there.

For example:

“The Care Bears Movie 1985
***** Watched 15 May 2023

I don’t think they killed enough Nazis in it.”

It’d be interesting to see how long it would take before this theoretical account, and the inevitable white supremacist backlash against it, forced Letterboxd to take a position on whether killing Nazis is bad, or to otherwise find some way to get rid of the account without stating their position, which is a pretty typical corporate-ass weasel shit thing to do.

Oh, wait. Positivity! Whoops. Here’s Ethel Merman!

Gosh, she’s a tonic for the soul.

Speaking of tonics for souls, I don’t think we’ve talked about Otu at Moonic Productions yet. Brilliantly talented, funny guy who does this to us, and often…

(There’s a whole playlist of these, updated somewhat regularly.)

I don’t know why I needed this right now, but I definitely did. Of course, there are a lot of these, too.

I kinda want to go through some of the TV, movies, music, video games and comic books I’ve been enjoying (or not quite enjoying), but if I try to do it at length, this newsletter isn’t getting finished, so let’s just do this:

Yup, it’s my work-in-progress favorites of the year list. Some of these might not make it to the finish line, I guess it depends on how much I listen to any of ’em in their entirety (I think the most on-the-bubble one is probably the Depeche Mode album, because there’s a song or two on there that I’m not thrilled with), but most will probably still get talked about, and listened to, at the end of 2023.

TV: probably forgetting some things, because viewing histories can be tough to track down and they’re scattered now, but I did speed runs on Russian Doll, Succession, Eugene Levy: Reluctant Tourist, Shrinking and Barry, enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six well enough, loved this season of Party Down, highly recommend Women Who Rock if you have the means, was kinda iffy on The Mandalorian, am currently iffy on Ted Lasso, I started a re-watch of The Brak Show, which I absolutely adore, and we’ve had the Gardening with Monty Don and This Old House free ad-supported television channels on constantly for about 2 months now, along with Kayla’s rewatches of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and The Owl House. Also: a sizeable chunk of the Coachella livestreams (a story for another day), a couple of Kolkata Knight Riders IPL cricket matches, and bits and pieces of Space: 1999, SCTV, Cunk on Earth (way too Gervais for me), Days of Our Lives, and Fleabag (again).

Movies: Xanadu, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Cocaine Bear, The Long Goodbye, Marc Maron: From Bleak to Darkm Joy Ride, Skyscraper, Rampage, Diner, Swingers, The Maltese Falcon, Event Horizon, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, both Tron movies again, Black Bear, Torn Hearts, House of Gucci, The Wolverine, Jung_E, Renfield, Sharper, This is Where I Leave You, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, Tetris, Reggie, Jasper Mall, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Kill Boksoon, the aforementioned Sisu, and a marathon of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.

Comic books: still just Ryan North’s Fantastic Four on the new issue front, though, as I’ve been focused on back issues of late, I have no shortage of things to read, but I’m working on finishing runs before I sit down and read them all. I did skip ahead and read both issue 300s of Batman and Superman from the late ’70s, which both tell “in the future of 1990-something” stories, and they’re both really interesting, if almost totally stand-alone in continuity or outside of it, stories. Both had entirely too much faith in humanity’s ability to advance transportation technology for the common good.

Video Games: Stardew Valley and nothing else.

Damn it, as I sorta expected it to, even the short version of this still ate a bunch of time, but thanks to copying and pasting from emails I’ve sent around to some of y’all one-on-one, I did get it down. If anyone wants to ask about more specific opinions on any of the above in the comments, I’d be happy to talk about it.

That’s all for this early morning. There’s definitely other things I could, and maybe should talk about, but this is what I’ve got the energy for right now. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.

Sunday, February 26th, 2023

What I’ve Been Watching, Listening To and Reading of Late

Content Warning (CW): depression, the state of the world, Marc Maron’s take on the state of the world in his HBO special, a whole mess of violence and consumption of controlled substances in Poker Face, some pretty messy R-rated films with a lot of violence in all three, plus sex and drugs in Babylon.

My will to write and compose HTML has been a bit sapped this past month, but here’s a quick, incomplete rundown of what I’ve been doing when I haven’t been looking at the Internet, screaming endlessly, or trying to hold multiple aspects of my life together. I’ll probably write a little here and there about some of it in this, but not all of it.


Poker Face: it ain’t perfect, but at its best, it sure is fun.

Marc Maron: From Bleak to Dark: he ain’t kiddin’, but it’s solid work, better than I was expecting, even.


Plane: absolutely ridiculous trailer for an equally ridiculous film, but it punched way above its own weight class, because the writer (it’s an original screenplay co-written by Charles Cumming, an author of spy novels) actually seems to have done his research.

Babylon: I don’t know if I’d call this one an straight endorsement. It’s like the best worst best movie I’ve seen in a while on sheer spectacle alone, it’s the weirdest fuckin’ Singin’ In The Rain remake you’ll ever see, and it’s probably the last “prestige” movie we’re going to see do, well, anything like this for a while, because this bombed so fantastically, and also because the first 10 minutes of the film takes that “prestige” and sets fire to it, then puts out the fire by pissing on it. It’s not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, but I can honestly say that I’ve seen very few things like it, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it (this while I’m still digesting The Devils). Can I ask the directors who may read this by cosmic accident to please stop casting Brad Pitt in “end of eras in Hollywood” films, though, even if this was probably as good a performance as he’s capable of? I’d like to get back to boycotting his movies now.

M3GAN: knew exactly what the fuck it was, and ran like hell with it. An absolute blast, for people who like horror movies, dystopian sci-fi and campy shit.


Ryan North’s Fantastic Four: they’re 4 issues in as of this week, and they’re all great. Assuming they’re not sold out everywhere, you may be able to get in on single issues before the first trade, but if not, it’s 2 months off. Ryan seems to get what Dan Slott never did, and John Byrne often forgot about even before he became a full-time, professional jackass, which is that the Fantastic Four, above all else, are kind. And holy shit, do we need kindness in this world right now.


Lil Yachty-Let’s Start Here.

Mozart Estate-Pop Up! Ker-Ching! And The Possibilities Of Modern Shopping

Rebecca Black-Let Her Burn

Orbital-Optical Delusion

The Church-The Hypnogogue

That should do it for the moment. That’s all I’ve got in me right now, anyway. I should be back soon, with MOAR. Because, until there isn’t, there is always MOAR. Until then, stay safe, be well, and don’t take shit from anyone.


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