Saturday, December 1, 2018

2018: December 1st

New Astronoid out February 1st on Blood Music. Saw these guys open for Zeal & Ardor a few months ago. Very good. Can't wait for the album! Thanks to Heaven is an Incubator for tipping me off to the imminent release.

Finally got around to the first movie-and-a-half of my 28 Days double header. We watched 28 Days Later last night; K had never seen it before and it's been a few years for me. This flick is still top of the line for me. I love the way it's shot, I love the cast, and I love the way Alex Garland's story progresses in a very Romero-but-not-Romero way. What I mean by that is, there are plenty of cues from the godfather of the undead: the shopping spree, conflict with other humans, soldiers... the scene where the Ragers infiltrate the soldiers' compound during dinner reminds me so much of Day of the Dead when the zombies are in the mines. But nothing in 28 Days Later feels regurgitated or rehashed. Maybe that's because it's from the perspective of a different country. As similar as our culture is to Britain's, there's a lot of differences that make each distinctly unique, if you look below the facade (Maybe you don't even have to look that deep). Also, I think there's a certain panache to the writing and directing - it's not necessarily because the film was 'big budget'; I'm not even sure it was a big budget at the time of its production. And as an aside, it's been sometime since a layman like I could mentally juxtapose the concepts of 'Big Budget' with 'independent' in cinema, probably because today, unless you're making a pre-franchised flick that will play in China, you're basically not big budget. But that also doesn't make you independent; ask a filmmaker like Joe Begos - a true indie - if he considers half of what people call indie actually indie, chances are he'll say 'Nope.'

Anyway, with the first one down I was raring to get into the sequel, which I'd only seen once, but then we both fell asleep during 28 Weeks Later. Not the movie's fault, it was late. From what I did see, I can attest to the fact that 28 Weeks' opening sequence is just as awesome as it was the first time I saw it, with ramifications that echo very nicely through the film. I hate splitting movies into more than one viewing, but this is a loaner from a friend and I've had it forever, so we'll be finishing it from where we left off, later today.

Heads Up: Mandy just hit Shudder. If you have the service, watch it.

Russ Lippitt, author of the graphic novel Showdown, has a kickstarter going for an awesome board game based on the Showdown series, which revolves around hot rod racing in hell. That description doesn't really do it justice, so for more info, check this out:

Playlist from 11/30:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Your Funeral... My Trial
Gimes - We Appreciate Power (Single)
The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex
Electric Youth - Innerworld
Boy Harsher - Country Girl EP
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Sepultura - Arise
Ghost Cop - One Weird Trick
Sepultura - Beneath the Remains
Emma Ruth Rundle -  Marked for Death

This is interesting. I've had a fairly non-productive week, writing-wise. Part of this is work's been a bitch, but... that's not really it at all. Back in early October, I hung out with an old friend for the first time in a while and he told me about Yes folks, these are the joys of living in a state that has legalized marijuana. Stoney Delivery is basically the amazon of pot; I ordered some CBD stuff for pain and a vape pen of Sativa while at work one day, around 1:00, and by the time I got home it'd been delivered, free shipping to boot. Now, I'm not a huge pothead. I was when I was younger; most days I skip it simply because I generally don't write while high, and I try to write everyday, so the one cancels out the other, no problem. Also, I detest cannabis culture. No kidding. Hate it. But you can't blame the plant for the cult of garish losers started in its name, so for years my pot consumption has been relegated to two event types: watching movies (especially in the theatre), and listening to music. One of the best musical experiences I've had in recent years was bringing Deftones' Koi No Yokan home the day it came out, smoking, and listening to it laid out on my living room floor, my stereo speakers loud enough to engulf me. Same with QOTSA's ...Like Clockwork.
These days though, even most album releases have become harder to coordinate the time for a stoned first pass through. Apple has changed how I listen to music - not for better or worse mind you, simply altered - and my writing has continued to increase, while my time feels perpetually diminished. So, along comes this delivery service and suddenly I'm smoking pretty much every day. The vape is discreet, consistent, and not overpowering. With the actual pot I have accrued over the years (myriads of different strains left at my place by friends, all kept snug as a bug in a rug inside an Iron Maiden Number of the Beast lunch box; who says irony's dead?), smoking is always a toss up and an inconvenience. First, the building we moved into back in March is a serious 'No Smoking' building, and I'm not the kind of A-hole who will inconvenience others just to make myself happy. What this means is before the vape, I'd have to take a small walk to take a drag or two off my one-hitter. And the effects of the weed itself was always inconsistent because of so many different kinds, so I never really knew if two hits would leave me lackluster and tired or induce a full-on schizophrenic episode. Now though, it's the same every time and once I figured out my preferred dosage, it became easier and easier to partake. Coming off being sick two weeks ago, I'd garnered a fair bit of inertia, the kind that tempted me to return from work and read or sleep or watch a movie - all things I can do while high - instead of walking to my spot to write. Also, I'm nearing the end of the book and there's finish- line anxiety. This week I became lucid and realized I'd found an excuse three out of the five days not to write. And that's bullshit. I call bullshit on myself.

Which leads me, at last, back to the card of the day. As soon as I saw the Six of Cups Pleasure, I wondered if it might actually be a warning against too much pleasure. For clarification I pulled another card and what do you know, my hunch was apparently correct because:

There you go. Lazy is as lazy does.

The good news is, well, look at all this insight. It's good to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Also, I had a pretty good session last night and plan on writing both today and tomorrow (this long-winded reflection is a step in the right direction; notice my blog suffered the last few days as well). But I always dig when the cards are that upfront with me. It keeps me grounded and reinforces there's a reason I do this, you know, because as a method around our conscious mind and all its hang-ups, they work. You just have to listen when they speak.

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