Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Friday!

Today is errand day. I'm at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace writer's conference all weekend and I have things to do that are normally weekend things. So, no post.

Besides, the weather in Boston is gorgeous, which means I should be outside anyway.

The White One however isn't allowed outside. He'll chill out someplace non-cat approved. (See below.)



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Last.fm hit of the day: On Your Marks, Get Set, Rock by Crazy Lixx

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aberzombie & Witch-- Fashion for the Undead



Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

Last week from Florida I shared with you the video "Fashion Freak." As stated, I couldn't really tell whether or not it had anything to do with zombies, fashion, or freaks. Ironically, those are three things I'm in love with! Clearly you all know about the obsession with zombies, and some may even have an understanding of my love affair with freaks and freak shows (and no, 'freaks' is not a pejorative term, just read my thesis!).

Since you all are learning so much about my world, I suppose I should share another aspect of it-- I love shopping. And I love shopping for clothes. This should come as no surprise; I am a girl, after all. I'm the kind of girl who will walk into Target to buy some Coke, a loaf of bread, and a few other food essentials, and instead I will walk out with two new shirts, a new sweater, and will have forgotten the need for other sustenance. And Damn, Target! for selling its Stranded brand of clothing that makes horror themed shirts that are so outrageously affordable!

With the growing popularity of the undead in our culture, zombie clothing is taking a strong hold in the fashion world. If you are going to be a zombie lover than you need to dress the part. Today I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite pieces of zombie-inspired clothing and where you can find your own awesome zombie threads!

It's early in the morning... your girlfriend/wife wakes up and rolls out of bed. With sleep in your eyes, you notice a blurry vision of decaying hands grabbing her butt! Has a demon jumped into your bed?? No, silly! That's just your girl rocking her love of zombies in her zombie-butt-grabbing yoga pants!


These awesome lounging pants were found on Babygirl Boutique and are made by a company called RockSteady Clothing. Guys, I have to tell you, these are the perfect gift for your horror-loving girl. They are just great on so many levels-- they're comfortable, soft, and have zombie hands... perfect! And on a deeper level, they tie in to the whole "zombie fetish" idea, which I am still trying to wrap my mind around. "Zombie Sex" seems to be taking on a life of its own and is now appearing in clothing.

Babygirl Boutique is a great source for more awesome zombie clothing. They have a matching shirt and hoodie for the zombie hands yoga pants, although on the shirt and hoodie, I'm sure you can imagine what the hands are grabbing... Another favorite I have bought from this site is a "Necro Nurse" sweater which features a very cool zombie nurse and a bloody syringe on the front (also by RockSteady).

Another great source for zombie looks is Sourpuss Clothing. All you need to do is type 'zombie' in their search box and you'll find almost eighty different zombie inspired pieces of clothing, accessories, even household decor! I own a few things from Sourpuss including an awesome "Zombie's Grave" shirt and a cool zombie pin-up shirt featuring "Zuvembie!"

And guys, don't worry, I haven't forgotten you. Sourpuss offers a lot of great zombie clothing for men as well that you can find in a zombie search. Another great resource for guys, and girls, is Iron Fist Clothing. Iron Fist has some of the most amazing clothing I have seen. For guys they have zombie hoodies, shirts, even swim trunks! There is a repeating zombie motif they use and girls can buy these products in shirts, stiletto heels, even a bikini (which I may purchase....)! They have recently updated their site for easier purchasing direct from Iron Fist. I have seen their clothing in retail stores (like The Alley in Chicago, IL), but in stores the mark up is so ridiculously high, you are much better off buying from the company. Even with shipping, the cost is still cheaper.

If humor is more your thing, be sure to check out sites like Threadless. Threadless is a community based design company. Regular users submit their original designs that then get made into t-shirts for anyone to purchase. Type 'zombie' into a search and you'll find some really funny shirts including a "what to do in case of zombies" illustrated guide, a 'Corporate Zombie' design where a bloody zombie is going after $$$, and my favorite (since I am a vegetarian), the 'Vegan Zombie' who is after "GRAAAIIINNNSSS!"


Halloween is only six months away, so what are you waiting for? Go out and buy some clothes that will tell the whole world you're a zombie lover and aren't afraid to show it. And if you already own some rockin' zombie and horror clothes, share it with us in the comments!

Happy hunting...

**Ironic end note-- just as I was typing in the tags and getting ready to post, "Zombie" by the Cranberries came on. And as you know, I don't believe in coincidence.**

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Air Traffic Patterns

Hubby pointed me to this.

This is what happened with the air traffic over Europe after that volcanic eruption in Iceland. (Speaking of which, if you want to see some kick-ass photos from there, check out The Boston Globe's Big Picture.)


Airspace Rebooted from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

I got to say, it's pretty neat. And the air traffic makes a pretty pattern.

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Last.fm hit of the day: Space Lord by Monster Magnet

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shakespeare for the Masses

I went through a brief phase studying Shakespeare. This also tied in with my 'I can act' phase. (Hey, college is about experimentation.) Most of the time, I faked my way through.

The stories in Shakespeare are great, but the language is a terrible barrier to that world. In college, the director always 'updated' whatever Shakespeare play we were doing to make it more 'timely,' but stuck with iambic pentameter and archaic terminology.

Sometimes, I just want it told plainly.

Whenever someone dumbs down Shakespeare, I get excited. I like to understand what I'm reading and not work to translate it into Alicia-speak. Shouldn't the time come when the Bard's writings get updated for a new generation?

It's been done with Hamlet.
Hamlet as Told on the Street by Shel Silverstein.
Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition) by Sarah Schmelling

I'm not talking about movies or books that take the plot and twist it into something else. I mean taking the whole story - complete with existing characters and settings and just updating the language. (And maybe beef up some subplots.) If this was done, wouldn't more people be into reading these stories?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unicorn Fail

First off, I've noticed I've gotten some new followers. Hi, welcome, and Happy Monday.

A few months ago, Cathy in marketing showed me the most disturbing Etsy find ever. The release of Regretsy reminded me of it's existence.






Yes, this is a unicorn. Yes, you can find it on Etsy. Yes, this bothers me.

While taxidermy is useful from a scientific perspective, I wouldn't want to own any. If I really want to see some, all I need to do is go to the Harvard Museum of Natural History where they have a full display from fishes to cloven footed animals.

Maybe I should write a letter.


Dear Taxidermist,

While I appreciate the work it took to make this unicorn and how in some sense of the word, it's art, I'm more than a little skeeved by the concept. I see you also have a traditional white unicorn, both from dead-from-natural-causes lambs. I think that may be what's bothering me. Kudos for working with what you got, but I don't need the guarantee that you didn't slaughter sheep for your art. I believe the technical term for that is TMI.

Thank you,
Disturbed Etsy Lurker
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Last.fm hit of the day: The Package by A Perfect Circle

Friday, April 23, 2010

Image of the Day: The Lucky Triad




Too busy catching up on editing today, so enjoy the triple judging eye of The White One behind the door. Photo made with Aviary software.






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Last.fm hit of the day: Storm in a Teacup by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greetings from Florida-- "Fashion Freak!"


Hello, zombie fans! Miranda here-- This week I am taking a much needed break and vacation in the sun of Florida (insert joke about "Goths in the Sun" here...), but is that stopping me from bringing you some undead goodies on this Zombie Thursday? Absolutely not!

I'm about to head out to the beach after just getting an hour long massage (jealous yet?), but I wanted to share with you an awesome video my friend Shae showed me last year. The band is called Naked Ape and the song is "Fashion Freak." The music is all synthesized and the vocals are slightly distorted, so to be honest, I'm not even sure if the song has anything to do with zombies. But the video... well, you'll see! It's directed by Eric Althin, and if you have a zombie fetish and a clean car fetish, get ready to pull the curtains down and lock the doors. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scene Blockage

I'm on my third manuscript free day. This isn't because I've been such a kick-ass kid and deserve a break. Nope. It's because after slowing to freight train status, I've hit a new scene that I don't want to write. Not quite writer's block, but definitely a mental block.

Which got me thinking about scene blockage. How it manifests. Why it comes about. How can it be defeated.

How.
When I say 'begins,' I really mean stall tactics. Facebook. Twitter. Bejeweled. Your tenth shower of the day. The things you do in your downtime. When you turn towards your WIP and are about to touch pen to paper (or finger to key), but suddenly you remember you have to walk the dog? All signs of something bigger happening. It can take a while to notice it, but you're avoiding that scene.

Why.
Psychological, definitely. Livia might have an actual explanation while all I can do is talk from experience. The scene could be deal with issues that you're sensitive about or you might be writing from the POV of a character you really don't like. Hell, you might be working on something that your protagonist doesn't want to think about. Ever.

Defeat.
The first thing is to acknowledge you're suffering from scene blockage. Then, you have to sit your ass down until you get the scene written. It's the only way. You can put in huge type 'FILL IN LATER,' but you'll be staring 'FILL IN LATER' in the face draft after draft after draft. Once you've completed the scene in it's shittiest form, treat yourself to something that you really want.

I'm treating myself to read Steve Almond's new book - Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life - but only after I conquer this scene.


How do you beat your scene blockage?


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Last.fm hit of the day: Unhallowed Metropolis by Vernian Process

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bring Forth the Fangirl Gushing

With my editing/ revising deadline encroaching upon my life and the world's most soul-destroying data entry project nipping at my brain, I have no true blog post today.

Instead, I'm offering up an interview I just watched through ArtistDirect. You'll have to click through to watch it and I have to tell you that the language is definitely NSFW unless you have headphones. But, click here and scroll down to the interview. Then come back.

I'll wait. I swear.

...


Welcome back!

It's not music you would listen to, I know. But sometimes you need something loud and angry to get your frustrations out. If you sometimes feel that need, you should probably pick this out when it comes out. (Which is August, according to rumor.)




Reasons I'm Excited for this Album
  1. Murderdolls has Wednesday 13, aka fangirl crush number 1.
  2. The original CD didn't leave my CD player for six months.
  3. The original songs were written by Wednesday 13 & Joey Jordison when they were 18, so like 14 years later, the songs will be 14 times as good.
  4. There will be a tour.
  5. My internal 16 year old loves angry music.


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Last.fm hit of the day: Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice (Yeah, I'm shocked too.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Squirrels as Art






This creepy guy stared me in the face upon exiting the local Stop and Shop yesterday morning. I find this planter frightening for one reason.

It's a squirrel.

It looks unsuspecting, but I know better. Those glassy eyes most likely include hidden cameras. Squirrels will take over the world. Mark my words.

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Last.fm hit of the day: The Impartial Orchestral Mix by The Clockwork Dolls

Friday, April 16, 2010

Goal Update April Edition

I can't believe we've hit the halfway mark with April. I mean, didn't I just turn the calendar? (Actually, I did. Last week.)

It's getting closer to June - my goal date. I'm starting to think I won't succeed.

Goal 1: Complete the most recent FALLING TO NORMAL revision before conference time.
Status: Conference time for me is May 1st. I'm long-handing my draft because the siren song of Bejeweled Blitz still calls. I'm somewhere in the middle and moving things around the way The White One bats at a penny. A lot of energy drinks will need consumption to get everything in gear.

Only I'm starting to lose steam and need to do something fun. Date night tonight and friend visiting this weekend should help with this problem. (I hope.)

Goal 2: Keep up with the blogging.
Status: I am. Some days are harder than others and I Jim over Dystel & Goderich blogged about having blogger's block. He didn't have any ways to combat it - just asked for questions in the comments, which is great for him being a literary agent and all. I don't have that.

So, again, I ask you for suggestions on upcoming entries. What should I cover?


Goal 3: To drop at least 1 pants size.
Status: Well, it was Easter. And PMS. If I went to the gym, I'd be better at this. Hubby's already dropped a pants size. Grr.

Goal 4: Clean the little box on a more frequent basis.
Status: Litter box needs to be cleaned.
 

How are your goals going?

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Last.fm hit of the day: Dellamort Dellamo by Horror Story

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Semi-Dead, A Web Series

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

It seems like web series and ‘webisodes’ are all the rage these days. I’m guessing they are cheaper, quicker, and easier to produce than a full length television series, and they don’t require a huge studio backer or even a channel to air them. Anyone with the drive and talent can create these series and put them up on the internet to be viewed by millions. Even major television shows are jumping on the band wagon by producing the short ‘webisodes’ to post online during the week before a new episode airs on the station.

It’s no surprise to me that zombies are also infecting the internet airwaves with their own web series!

This week, I’m going to feature one such show called Semi-Dead, a web based horror/comedy series created by Chris Wiltz (who also independently financed the project). I first heard of this show randomly. Because of my Twitter account, I’m constantly followed by spam bots that pick out one word of something I have ‘tweeted’ and latch on to me like parasites. More often than not, I block these accounts. Due to my consistent tweeting about zombies and Zombie Thursdays, I was followed once by an account called Semi-Dead. I checked them out and learned about the show. Rather than block them, I thought, “okay, I’ll bite!” and decided to check out their creation.

semidead2 What I found was a pretty funny little series that takes place in a city that is ravaged by zombies. The story focuses on two roommates, Chris and Joe, played by Keith Arthur Bolden and Andrew McMennamy. Joe is everything you’d expect someone to be like during a zombie outbreak. He fashions weapons out of everything, including a fairly useless mop and at one point a pizza slicer, ties zombies up in the closet in an effort to cook them later, and goes out on hunting trips during the day. Chris is the exact opposite. Chris continues to go about his daily business running errands, going to work, and trying to find dates on the internet. He seems completely unaware of what is happening around him and refuses to acknowledge anything is out of the ordinary; he’s more concerned with getting a signal on his Blackberry than with the zombie that is trying to eat him.

In one really humorous scene, Chris is complaining to Joe that they need to find a new roommate since their friend Brian “left.” Joe has to remind Chris about what actually happened to Brian-- when a zombie rings the bell and moans, “bbrraaaiinnns,” Chris confuses this with one of *Brian’s* friends. Brian opens the door and... well, let’s just say it doesn’t end well for him.

This sort of joke and flash back scene is what drives the humor of Semi-Dead. To me, the funniest moments are when the characters are arguing and they do a cutaway shot to illustrate a point-- for example the brraaiinnns/Brian bit or as in a scene where Chris insists he has a job, cutaway to him sitting alone in an office (with bodies and blood everywhere) asking a nonexistent coworker if he is going to pick up his phone. A sign to me that something is really funny is if I literally laugh out loud at it, and, with this show, I did find myself actually chuckling and laughing.

There is some really good acting going on in this show (the two main actors have some impressive credits and educational backgrounds), and the actors have great timing in the line delivery and the looks the characters give one another. The story is well written and I love the dichotomy between Chris and Joe-- total denial versus super vigilance. Although the show is a comedy, it does leave me to think some serious thoughts about if someone could actually survive with a post-traumatic stress syndrome denial of the reanimated dead. It’s doubtful, but the character of Chris makes it somewhat believable!

My only real critique of the show is that the first couple of episodes move a bit slowly. The average length of any given episode is around eight to nine minutes long. This doesn’t sound like very much, but given that most webisodes I watch tend to be closer to four or five minutes, I felt that sometimes the show tended to drag a bit. There seemed to be a lot of “filler” action when I was hoping for more jokes or gags. But nothing too long to consider the show boring by any stretch of the imagination! Around episode 3 or 4, the action picks up significantly. I just hope in season 2, they cut back the episode time by a minute or two.

The first season of the show is complete and consists of six episodes. I really recommend checking out the series and watching an episode here or there while you have some time at work to kill or while you’re waiting for that zombie meat to cook on the stove. If anything, please check out the first two minutes of the first and second episodes as the full theme song is really well written and performed by a group called Detroit CYDI! A great song that even got a few chuckles from me.

As usual, I need to give my parental advisory warning-- obviously zombies lend themselves to being more for adults, but Semi-Dead does use some adult language, obligatory zombie killing violence, and some highly sexual jokes and innuendoes.

Even though it isn’t really a good indicator of what the series is like, here is the Season 1 trailer for the show... I will leave it to you to head over to www.semi-dead.com to watch the rest of the series!

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phantasma's Permission Slip

Dear Parent,
We are currently planning an in-school field trip in our sixth grade science classes, and your child is invited to participate.

Please read carefully the information about this field trip, below. If you would like your child to participate, please sign the Parent Permission Form (attached) and return it by the date indicated. Students who do not return a signed Permission Form by the deadline date will be denied participation in this trip.

Again this year, all costs for field trips must be borne by the students participating. All payments for field trips must be in the form of checks made out to the middle school. Please be advised that the school will impose a $15 fee for any check that is returned, to cover our own bank charges. Please also be advised that if the Superintendent of Schools deems it necessary to cancel a field trip at the last moment due to unforeseen circumstances, a full or even partial refund may not be possible to be granted, and the school or district cannot be liable for any money expended.

Please be sure to submit the required amounts by the deadlines given below, to ensure your child’s participation in this field trip. If you wish your child to participate but cannot submit the required amount by the due date, for whatever reason, please let the teacher or your child’s guidance counselor know so that we can arrange an alternate method of payment.

In-School Field Trip Details
Purpose: In order to enhance the life science curriculum in the study of genetics, instructors from the Dolan Harbor DNA Labs will provide an opportunity for every student to perform a DNA transformation lab activity.
Date: Monday, May 10, 2010
Time: During Ms. Fisher’s science class
Cost: $8.00

Payment and Permission Slip due to Teacher by Friday, April 16.

Thank you for your support of our efforts to enhance your child’s education with experiences beyond the classroom.

Sincerely,
Ann Ferraro
Science/Health Lead Teacher
Trip Coordinator

What a load of BS. How lame is it that we have to pay for an INTERNAL field trip? I can understand paying for a lot of things, but this has gotten out of hand: activity fees, sports fees, materials fees. Enough!

This better be highly educational Beth and Ann. I got my eye on you.

________ 
Last.fm hit of the day: To the Gods That Walk Among Us by The Ghost of Lemora

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dear-Editor Contest

In case you haven't been paying attention, I write. Shocking, yes, but true. I write with the intent of getting published and will make that goal reality.

But this isn't an entry about goals. I've already done one of those. This is another one of those I've-entered-a-contest-and-really-want-to-win entries.

The deal
There's a website called Dear Editor. Writers can send in questions about craft or the publishing industry that will get answered. How awesome.

The contest
Dear Editor's only been around for a month. To celebrate, the editor is giving away a free manuscript edit to anyone who writes middle grade or young adult.

This is a huge deal. An in-dept line edit generally starts at 1 - 2 cents a word, which can cost over $1000 for an edit. But this also includes information on plot and characters and other things that make a book what it is. That I think becomes an hourly service. I know some places charge $65 and hour for that.

To enter, all you have to do is send an email. Then there are a few other ways to get extra chances. Because I'm a contest whore, I've done them all.

So cross your toes, fingers, and anything else because I'd really like to win this prize.


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Last.fm hit of the day: Oddity by Coal Chamber

Monday, April 12, 2010

Get Your Grilled Cheese On

According to Twitter, today is National Grilled Cheese Day. This is awesome for so many reasons.
  1. Cheese is dairy. Dairy is good for you.
  2. Grilled cheese is one of the 3 things the Friendly's in my hometown can make accurately.
  3. Picky children around the world can eat their fill.
You can find a lot of different ways to funkify (yes, funkify) your grilled cheese sandwich here.

My favorite type of grilled cheese contains cheddar and a spicy cheese with tomatoes. Any type of bread will do. What is yours?

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Last.fm hit of the day: Sex Beat by Fear Cult

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quizzes and Biospheres

Subject: upcoming quiz and event
Hello parents,

We will be having a quiz on April 13th.  Children are receiving a review sheet in class today.  It is also highly suggested that they reread the Biosphere 2 reading in preparation.

On May 10th, we will have visitors from the Dolan Harbor DNA Labs.  There is an $8.00 fee for this in school field trip.  Permission slips are going home today. Warm regards, B Fisher

Oh, Beth. Why would you want the kids to reread a 272 page book in a weekend? They have other things to do like not read nonfiction.

Don't get me wrong. I support reading as much as the next fictional mother and aspiring writer, but the book looks boring. I doubt I'd be able to get through one reading, let alone a reread. Has anyone read Biosphere 2? Does it actually pertain to what Tasma's learning?

Come to think of it, I don't think Tasma read it the first time. That little girl is in trouble.

_________
Last.fm hit of the day: Penetrate by Godhead

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zombies in the Mainstream-- Ugly Americans


Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here. 

Despite having satellite television with several hundred channels, I often find myself watching the same shows over and over. It’s hard to break out of my routine of watching the same shows every day, week, and month. The last new television show I started watching was this past Fall’s premier of NBC’s Community, and I only started watching that because I am a huge fan of Joel McHale (the star) from his other show The Soup on E! Channel, a show which I have been watching for years.

But recently, a friend of mine recommended a new show that debuted on Comedy Central a few weeks ago-- Ugly Americans. The name doesn’t sound like much and, to be honest, unless she had specifically told me that it was a show made just for me (“Miranda, it has zombies!”), I probably would never have bothered watching it.

I was finally able to record and watch an episode, and it seems like it is a pretty cool show!

The basic plot revolves around an alternate reality world taking place mostly in New York City. Here, not only do regular humans live, but the world is populated with any sort of monster or sci-fi creature you can imagine-- werewolves, vampires, blobs, demons, and yes... zombies!

In fact, one of the main characters, Randall, is a zombie. Randall is the undead roommate to the main human character, Mark. (Mark is a social worker who helps integrate all the different creatures into lives as citizens.) The episode that I watched this week involved Randall and Mark taking a trip to New Jersey to visit Randall’s parents... parents who don’t know that he is a zombie. (Randall “went Zombie” to impress a girl. As he stated, “it is never a good idea to make life decisions with a hard on and a fifth of tequila.”)

In the world of this show, the people of Jersey are extremely prejudiced against zombies. While stopping at a local diner, signs on the wall state there are “No Brain Substitutions” in the meals, while outside “townie zombies” are ambling around moaning “brrraaiiinnns.” This type of behavior is ridiculous to a city guy, er zombie, like Randall. Locals enjoy such games as “Shoot the Zombie,” “Rip the Arm of the Zombie,” and “Zape,” which Randall claims you don’t want to know about.

As Randall and Mark arrive at his the parents’ home for a barbeque, Mark meets the family including Randall’s father who fought in the “Zombie War of ‘68,” this reality’s version of Vietnam. His father’s prized possession is a severed zombie finger he has mounted on the wall as a “kill” from the war. Mark soon learns the ‘rents don’t know their son is a Zombie! Hilarity ensues, but you’ll have to check the show out to see how it ends, as well as the side plots involving Mark’s Demon coworker/office fling, his dorky Wizard employee, and a dead mobster turned Blob!

Even though I’ve only caught just the one episode, this show seems like it will be pretty good. The subject matter is already an instant draw for me, and many horror fans will find it equally as entertaining since all the characters you know and love from classic films and genres are here! Oh, and by the way... did I mention it’s animated? The world definitely needs more good cartoons for adults! The writing seemed pretty good, and there were some nice jokes thrown into the mix and I often found myself really laughing out loud. However, I will caution that some of the jokes are a bit on the politically incorrect side, so if you are easily offended or touchy about certain things, just know that going in before you watch it. Although, there was nothing too out there or inappropriate, but a few rape jokes (or allusions to rape) and some ‘potty humor.’

I will definitely be setting my DVR to record this! According to the Wiki site, it was originally slated for 7 episodes, but hopefully it will get more or a second season. And I’m excited to see a show like this on the air. The horror genre is often treated like the “redheaded step child” in popular culture, films, and television. But more and more it is entering the mainstream in a way that many people can enjoy, even those who previously may not have been into monsters and zombies. And speaking of zombies, going all the way back to my first Zombie Thursday Blog... this is just more evidence that zombies are becoming an everyday thing in life. People are loving the z-culture! I’m still trying to figure out the reason, and when I do, I’m sure I’ll blog about it.

For the moment though, I will take this show as a victory for the zombie loving team!

Ugly Americans airs on Wednesday nights at 10:30 eastern/ 9:30 central immediately after South Park. So, go check it out! And since you have a week to wait before next week’s episode, check out this short clip--

Ugly AmericansWeds 10:30pm / 9:30c
Randall's Parents
www.comedycentral.com
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

_____________________
Last.fm hit of the day: Absolute Religion by Colony 5

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh Gnome

Last night, Hubby and I spent an hour in our local Newbury Comics enjoying the 32% off everything flash sale. We spent money and all of it was necessary (wink) items.

I love Newbury Comics. One of the best things about them besides the obscure books and used CDs is the random merchandise they sell. Like, lawn ornaments.

"You're doing it wrong, Bob."


These guys have nothing on the Gnome Be Gone, but the display cracked me up. With gnomes 1 and 2 doing something entirely different than gnome 3. Also the first two look like they're on the lookout or something.

No matter how funny these little guys are, I can't picture them on a lawn. If you happen to see one, take a picture and send it in.


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Last.fm hit of the day: Sweethome Under White Clouds by Virgin Prunes

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cat Interlude

I'm chipping away at the growing "to do" list on my desk, so watch a cat grooming video.



I was surprised that it didn't end in a fight, but with The Stripey One getting more comfortable. (Grooming = cat fight.)


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Last.fm hit of the day: Outta Control by Alien Sex Fiend

Monday, April 5, 2010

Confession: Addiction

My "too read" section.
Since I was a wee lass, my mother would buy me books. If I wanted a toy, she'd buy me a book. She had no problems spending my dad's hard-earned cash on the publishing industry and would rather spend it that way than on Cabbage Patch Kids.

And much to Freud's delight, my love for books can be traced back to me being a child and my mother (and in part, my father). My apartment is flowing with books. There are boxes still in my parents' basement that are filled with methodology books, Nancy Drew, and a lot of Egyptology.

The collection at home is mostly fiction-based with a heavy focus on paranormal/ fantasy and young adult. The number of (auto)biographies are growing due to my interest in the tolls that the music industry takes on the average bear.

Craft books that need a home.
We can't even use the desk since it's stacked with SCBWI bulletins and Writer's Digest back issues. Not to mention that the surrounding floor is littered with craft books and project notes. The piles on the floor are stacked precariously and by some divine intervention The White One hasn't knocked them over yet.

The words "library book sale" make my heart sing and my purse cringe.

I'm not a pack rat; I have a book habit.

Hubby's graphic novel & movie wall.
 Hubby is just as bad when it comes to comics and graphic novels. His collection of comic long boxes destroyed a shelving unit a short time after we moved into our current apartment. The thunderous crash woke us both out of a dead sleep. We're lucky it didn't kill a cat.

Believe it or not, everything has it's place. Hubby keeps his graphic novels in alphabetical order. I want to be that anal, but there's way too many options to organize. So they're in "Alicia order" and I know where most of my books are.

Our hardcover bookcase.
To say we need a better storage system is an understatement. At this point, our collection needs a room of it's own. Complete with a circulation desk, library stacks, and one of these so I can keep track of who borrowed what when.

So the question remains, Why so many books?

People keep books for many reasons. They fashion themselves a book collector. Bobby Fisher gave them the book in fifth grade. They were transported to a new world. They're saving it for fuel once the zombie apocalypse comes.

Barring the books for fire scenario, the words meant something and somewhere down the road, that book will be read again. Is this true for every one and every book? Of course not, but it's more the case than not.

Part of the fantasy book collection.
Does everyone trip over their feet to maneuver around their books? Just because I don't want to be alone in this, I'm going to say yes. Can they find their copy of Beryl Evans' Charlie the Choo Choo? Even if they could, they probably wouldn't want to.

Do you have too many books and not enough space? Share your tale of woe (and secret solutions!) in the box below!


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Last.fm hit of the day: My Plague by Slipknot

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why I Love Seal Bomb

Hey guys... Over here!

I can't get enough of Seal Bomb. The little guy looks so happy chilling (literally!) with the extras from March of the Penguins, it makes me smile and eventually crack up with laughter. Even the non-cropped version makes me laugh.

Why?

It's unsuspecting. We've all seen pictures of Emperor Penguins and they all look the same. And since the focus is supposed to be on them, you miss the surprise on first glance.

The penguins aren't in danger. Not all seals eat penguins. And from the picture, this guy looks like a Weddell Seal. According to the Smithsonian, they eat fish and krill.

I can picture The White One doing this
. He's been accused of looking like a seal when he stretches out since he is so fat. And we know he likes to mug for the camera.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

George and Me-- An Epic Tale of Zombies!


Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

Well, I survived my first HorrorHound Weekend.... and it SUCKED.

Okay, April Fool’s! Actually it was awesome! I’ve barely had anytime to rest since returning, and I’m already off on my next adventure-- getting ready to perform Repo! the Genetic Opera in Chicago on April 9th at the Music Box Theatre (end shameless self-promotion). As such, I will try to keep today’s Zombie Thursday entry short and sweet because by the time you all are reading this, I’ll be on a train headed for Chicago to rehearse.

My HorrorHound adventures are quite lengthy, but what I will share today is what you all really want to know about-- meeting George Romero!

As I anticipated, my official meeting with him was very brief. But I had a few other awesome Romero moments throughout the weekend anyway. First off, let me just state that George Romero’s manager is awesome! He was a really cool guy and really relied on my friend Shae (who was also working on staff), and later started to get friendly with me. On the final day of the weekend, our paths crossed early in the morning and he greeted me with a big hug! Such a nice person, very friendly, and obviously a great manager.


One of the perks of working on the staff at a convention such as this is that you typically get one free autograph from the guests in attendance. George was no exception, but naturally the line to meet him was literally hours long. Working on staff, we didn’t have time in the day to stand that long in line. Solution-- private staff signing before other attendees could enter the hall! When it was my turn for an autograph, I greeted Mr. Romero and shook his hand. I told him what an honor it was to meet him and how much I appreciated all of his films. He signed my copy of Dawn of the Dead and even took a photo with me. As I sat down with him for my photo, I wished him a happy belated birthday and told him we shared the same day. And don’t worry, I also told him I wrote a weekly blog all about Zombies, to which he seemed impressed!

Meeting him and getting the autograph and photo was really cool, but very quick. The best moment with Romero came the night before in a completely unexpected way!

As Saturday evening drew to a close, Shae and I were waiting for some other staff members to move some things before we could go home. We had some time to kill and decided to sit down in a little lobby area and play a quick card game. Game of choice-- Zombie Fluxx! You may remember my entry on that game...

So, we’re playing and have about four New Rules out on the table, several Keepers each, but no Zombie (Creeper) cards. It was my turn and the first card I drew was a Zombie card! If you recall, once you draw a Zombie, you have to play it immediately. While I was setting down my card, Shae (who had a view of the hallway leading to where we were sitting) started to mutter under her breath, "Romero... George Romero..." I looked over, and sure enough, turning the corner was the Godfather of Zombies himself, George Romero!

As he and his previously described awesome manager walked by us on their way to the elevators, George looked down at us and what we were playing, smiled and pointed to the cards. We both smiled back and I said (as cutely as possible), "Zombie Fluxx!" Romero nodded and smiled at us as he moved on.

Most. Epic. Game. EVER.

And in fact, the game continued for quite awhile after that. We ended up having probably nine different rules in play, just as many zombies if not more littering the floor, two goals, and hardly any cards left in the draw pile before I finally won. It truly was the most epic game of Zombie Fluxx that will ever be played, and it was officially sanctioned by Romero himself. And the next day when we met him for our signings, Shae had him autograph the Fluxx box and even explained a bit how the game was played!

All in all it was a great weekend, and that was just a small part of it!

Happy April Fool’s! Happy Zombie Thursday! And as George writes-- Stay Scared!
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