Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And To All A Good Night . . . And Decade

Hey Internet . . . yeah, been a while I know, I know, my bad.

But I'm a busy guy! C'mon cut me some slack whydon'tcha?

Alright, sorry for yelling, come on back. I won't do it again.

Things are well though and all is mostly, mostly right with the world. Home is nice as ever, and we even had a few holidays to make life interesting. First and foremost was Christmas, where we had some jewish family friends come over, because we like to keep our holidays nice and ironic, which is why we've invited over the Amish for New Year's.

(I'm kidding of course . . . we all know the Amish are myths. And if they aren't I'd like to see one of em come online and refute me! Ha! Got you there, Amish Community!)

But Christmas was good, nice and easy going. Afterwards, we went up to Massachusetts to go see Bema and the gang, which is always a fun and interesting time. Always a good time watching the family dynamics.

But before that, Dad and I went to a comic shop in (shudder), New Jersey. Despite the horrendous drive and traffic and foul beasts of the pit that make up the Garden State, it was worth it. We found a veritable gold mine of 75% off deals and oh . . . words cannot describe. Needless to say, should we have a thousand dollars and a delorean, I would gladly go on back.

And I suppose that leaves us to the big question . . . New Year's. The Coming Year. The Big One.

2010 . . . ain't that crazy? It's going to mark the end of my second decade on this earth, which went by SO fast, (sarcasm much?). But to think, a lot happened in these past ten years. Let's do that thing, where I tick them off, yes?

Graduated grade school, (finally), entered high school, wrote my first play, acted my brains out, improv for the first time, made a bunch of amazing friends, first girlfriend, first kiss, first maybe mutual break-up, (? still don't really remember how that all shook out haha), c'est la vie to high school, and holy hell COLLEGE . . . and yeah . . . smiles, and comics and books, and tragedy and death and more comics and more books. Family and friends and good times. Good food, good music, and quiet nights. Yeah . . . it's been a doozy.

And the great thing about New Year's Eve, is that it's a big old eraser. Didn't have a good year? Fuggedabouit! That's why there's another one coming! A chance to start over.

(And don't give me that bullshit about 2012 being it, put a cork in whydontcha?)

And I suppose if I could tell you anything, ask anything of you people of the world, it's this:

Take this year to do something great. Set a goal and do it. Read a book. Take up swimming, or mountain climbing, or competitive napping. Find love. If you've already found love, find where you hid it away and bring it back. Let your mind wander and imagine ideas that will shake the world. Let your eyes roam the universe and don't let them be content with mediocrity. Let your ears hear the finest poetry, the most delicious dialogue and the best fucking music you can find. Let your lips speak of generosity, laughter and goodwill towards men. Also, let your lips roam and perhaps find another pair of lips to connect with. If you've already found that other pair of lips, see above re: love to know where to go from there. Let your hands build, and let your hips sway and let your legs jump and let your feet walk easily.

Trust your feet most of all, to lead you somewhere you've never been. They know what they're doing.

Most of all though, live this year, live every day to its fullest. Be bold, be loud, be quiet and be content. This is all we get folks. Life is the brand new looking, fire engine red, beautifully painted, meticulously spotless, dustless, fingerprint-less Ferrari sitting in your garage. It's fine to look at, but it will do no one any good if it sits there.

Don't be afraid to drive it once in a while, okay?

Happy New Year. Happy Decade. Happy Life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

8+4+5= Home

I am home.

Set off the fireworks. Bring out the wine, woman, and begin the song. Light up the coals and kill the fattened calf. Bring forth my minstrels and dancers. Come out my wise men and storytellers. Bring me my grapes and fruits and foods of all nations. Perfume me with scented oils and proclaim me a god over all mankind!

Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit.

I am home and it feels good to be home. I've gotten some writing done, I've been to the gym, seen friends, started work at brookstone, had our cookie bonanza, went to Albertus, christmas shopping goes well, and yeah . . . it's nice to be home.

It is a bit strange though. Like, how my bed is infinitely more comfortable then my college bed. How Brendan still upholds his rules of delegations, however inane they may be at times. And how I don't recognize half the students at Albertus and the freshmen look like they just popped out of the womb.

But regardless we're home, I'm home. And I'm enjoying it.

A quick reminder that the Worldbuilders Fundraiser is still going on over at Pat Rothfuss' blog, you can check it out here:

It's for a great cause, and hey, you might get something neat and awesome and fantastical out of it, aside from the warm fuzzy feeling of, hey I just made it possible for a family to thrive and survive.

Also, I am posting this because holy macaroni is it funny and retro-tastic.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parties Can Be Mandatory?

Can they?

Yes, that's what I've learned. I have a mandatory party to go to tonight. Ha, I don't mind, I went to the last one, but not everyone did so I understand the mandatoryness of it all. I just imagined this scenario . . .

"You having a good time? Enjoying the food?"
"Yeah, I uh . . . I actually don't eat food too oft--"

At that point it slowly devolves into an epic fantastical battle between the forces of good and evil but hey, what in my mind doesn't?

Also, I learned, even if there is a plastic bag separating the individuals items, if you keep a piece of bread on top of a dryer sheet, that bread WILL absorb that oh so DELICIOUS flavor of dryer sheet. Guess who had a nice delicious laundry-peanut butter- and jelly sandwich just now?


Finals are all done. Fall 2009 Semester is all done. We just need to close up the quad tomorrow and then I'm home for a good five weeks, home to work, go to the gym, sleep, see friends and write my brains out. Because it's time to get my life in shape.

This semester I've learned a lot, I think I have. I've learned how to balance running an improv group, and a theatre group, and write a two act play, while working for residential life and taking five classes and still managing to sleep and see friends. I've learned that the beauty of playwriting comes at the beginning and I suppose the end, because right now it sucks to be in the middle.

I learned sometimes you got to man up and do what you have to do; also that there are certain girls you deal with crazy for, and certain girls ya don't. I learned cyberpunk is a lot more then matrix, and eugene ionesco is a crazy ass playwright. I learned it's fun to be a helicopter, how to make the perfect burger, and when Ralph Dibny is a resurrected zombie with a mace and his best friend by him, he can be a real dick.

Toy Story still holds up after all these years, Reel Big Fish is even better in real life then I suspected, and Rand will be okay in the end. I've learned how to fall on my back, my side, and my face, and that a hook-up only works when you feel something more then physical, (doesn't make it less awesome though). Aquaman is still lame as an old man, Sketchys should never be given a chance to party in a place the school can be held responsible, but we're still gonna do it =]

And that as hectic and jumbled and crazy as this semester was, it was still extremely enjoyable.

Hell yeah.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mcfly's Christmas Giftorium Part 2: Comics!

Hey all you wacky wacky folks out there. Hope everyone is doing well, finals week and all. And if you don't take finals, be grateful. I just finished writing a new short story, which was written in a creative haze and finished in the same way; it's always a nice feeling to write, it's an even better feeling to finish that piece of writing. Sure, I should've been doing homework, but I wrote instead, so sue me.

Anywho, I hope you all enjoyed my last entry about books, this entry is going to cover some really great comics I've read and hopefully you guys will look into.

1: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli: I spoke about this earlier in the year, when I read it in August and I still feel the same way. This is a great read. Comics, I've noticed, can work in one of two ways: either the words tell the story, or the art tells the story. In most cases, one takes the lead, with the other supplementing it, helping the story along; I'd never discount words or art in a comics medium. But in Asterios Polyp, Mazzucchelli manages to have the words tell a story, while the art tells another story, which when combined tell a whole, complete, and natural story together. It's a brilliant search for a man's meaning in life, and Mazzucchelli isn't afraid to show you the love, brilliance, heartache and irony we all go through to get the job done.

2: 100 Bullets by Brian Azzerello and Eduardo Risso: Now this is a big one guys, a HUGE undertaking. If you are a crime/mystery/noir fiend such as that I am becoming, this is going to be one for you. 100 issues of murder, mayhem, backstabbing, double crossing, a mysterious word, an even more mysterious council and ultimately the battle they are embroiled in with their former soldiers. This one has it all. Azzerllo and Risso take everything you love about crime fiction and the comics medium and they do it right. Damn right.

3: Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez: For all you horror fans out there, I present to you Joe Hill, a fairly new writer on the scene,making his big debut only a few years ago. His thing is horror and man oh man does he do it well. I just finished reading his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, which was great, also highly recommended. But for the comic buffs, I suggest Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, which is the first volume of the series. The son of Stephen King, Hill mixes in tension, murder, guilt, supernatural forces and a set of mystical keys, that open many doors and do many things, of which we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. With him is Rodriguez who renders this tension perfectly in his pencils and inks. This is not a series to be missed.

4: Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba: Part Grant Morrison zaniness, part Gaiman thoughtfulness and all Gerard Way's ingenuity, this is a great, great book. Fear not, Way writes with a knack and a skill that makes you assume he's been doing this all his life. Likewise, Ba interprets this story with colorful characters and a cartoony surrealism that only draws you further into the seriousness of the story. But don't worry out, for as serious as it can get, The Umbrella Academy, a story of six adopted super-powered children all grown up, is a wild, insanely exciting trip through the wonders that comics are capable of.

And that's that. Hope you guys enjoy, and I'll be back soon with something else or a rant or two. Also, Jamie just got back from Dreidel Drinking. Happy Chanukah all my Jewish friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mcfly's Christmas Giftorium Part 1: Books!

It's a lovely winter-y day here in the great country of Albany, the snow is falling blindingly, its cold, windy and frigid, the ability to make snowballs is to the point of sweatshop labor intensity and efficiency, and I am sitting in the Quad Office, while Mikela is on the great hunt for shoes and the like.

She says hi.

I mentioned before that I would be making a list of things that I think would make great Christmas gifts, things that fall under my domain, like books, video games, comics and so on. I would like to pretend to be an expert on all things sophisticated, like suggesting a nice bottle of wine or perhaps a new monocle for Christmas, yet this blog is not entitled, "It's All A Fancy Bottle of Wine or Perhaps A New Monocle To Me," so I shall just have to be honest with myself.

Just noticed, students are making a giant snowman outside of the office, further pushing my theory that as old as we become, we are inevitably five year olds on the inside. But if that goddamn snowman comes to life, I'm going to freak out . . . seriously.

Also, Chris says hey.

So, books, books, books! Here are a couple of books, that I think would make some great holiday gifts!

1: American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Neil Gaiman, as we all know, is one of my favorite fantasy authors out there. Not to say that I do not have other favorites ranked right up there with him, but he is ostensibly, the man who got me into this type of fantasy. American Gods is a great read, exploring the true nature of forgotten gods, and new incarnations of the gods we make for ourselves, through Shadow's journey. Dark, moody, hilarious, sexy, mysterious and downright breath-taking, American Gods is a great gateway novel into the realm of dark fantasy.

2: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: And on the other end of the spectrum, Patrick Rothfuss has a book that does the same for traditional fantasy. Name of the Wind is an exploration of the hero's tale and journey, told by the hero himself. Kvothe recounts his life's story, in an attempt to reconcile people's view of him, with how he views himself, confronting his own struggles and demons as he tells it. It is a fresh, new and compelling look into the traditional hero's journey and how the quest for vengeance must sometime take a backseat to survival. And maybe love. Go read it, and find out!

Also, on a sidenote, Patrick Rothfuss is offering a new type of Christmas-Giftorium-Opportunity over on his blog. It is a fundraiser through Heifer International, an organization that uses donations to purchase and give livestock, and materials to needy families, to help them live and thrive. Pat is holding a fundrasier/raffle, to help raise money for this great cause. I myself will be putting some money in, and whether or not I win anything, I win something, if ya catch my da-rift =)

Check it out over here!

3: Peter and Max By Bill Willingham: Bill Willingham writes this great little comic called Fables, you might have heard of it. It's a story of our fables, our fairy tales, as they live in the modern world, fighting and struggling to survive. Bigby Wolf, Boy Blue, Snow White and so many more. Peter and Max is the story of Peter Piper, who picked a pickled pepper, and his brother, Max Piper, the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It is the story of two brothers, and the paths they go down, accompanied with the great illustrations of Steve Leialoha. Great read, done in one novel and if you're a Fables buff, you'll love it.

4: Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson: Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite new authors this year, among Joe Hill and Pat Rothfuss. Brandon does some amazing things with his Mistborn trilogy, a story of rebellion and action, magic and destiny, religion and fate. Sanderson manages to create memorable characters, a great world, three distinct yet wholly connected magic systems, and he manages to tie it all together in three books. It's really well-done, go check it out!

And there are plenty more books out there, man there's almost too many, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. They're all great reads, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. I'm off for now, but I'll be back soon to discuss some comics!

Also, I just witnessed a ResLife snowball fight. Mikela is pissed; hell hath no fury like an irish woman who got snow in her hair.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tis the Season

:: Deep Breath ::

Ahh . . .

Hello December. It's good to have you back. Your cold burns the lungs, and numb the cheeks, and when you snow, it feels as though I am walking through a haze of cold, wet stars that fly past me with the vehemence of a hurricane. But I love the moments when the snow stops, and everything is encased in a chilly photograph, freezing the world into the exact moment of tranquility that comes after the storm. Thanks December, it's good to have you back.

Time flies huh? We all knew this to be true, we hear it from such a young age, we expect life to move by us faster then it should be. It is this attention to time, that make us think of life as a slow thing. When you count the ticks of a minute, you realize just how long sixty seconds is.

But then in high school, you get busy. Whether it's sports or clubs, or work, or a job, or whatever, you take your eyes off the clock, and suddenly the world is passing you by faster then before. Grandfather Time, that sneaky bastard, steals away the seconds while you're busy living, and the moment you have to yourself, to look back at the clock, you're halfway through your second year of college. 

What a jerk, am I right?

I guess what I'm saying is, time is moving a lot faster then it used to. I know it isn't ACTUALLY moving faster, I'm not sitting in a room where the clocks have gone haywire, the clock hands going backwards and forwards screaming like some weird Pee-Wee Herman acid trip, but, well, sometimes it feels like that. I remember starting this blogarooni all the way back in August when I first got here at school. And now, it's almost Christmas. Crazy stuff huh?

Christmas, oh boy, that's a whole 'nother blog to get myself started on, but I will make these points . . .

-I'm trying to go out of my way with those I get gifts, especially my parents. As kids, they get us some of the most ridiculous things, and a lot of them, and all we give them are, "I GOT YOU A CUP FULL OF CANDY THAT I KNOW YOU'RE NOT GOING TO EAT!" You can only do that so many times. So I'm trying to do better with that, same with my brother.

- Psst . . . Bema! I know you read this blog, and I know if I ask you what you're hankering for, for Christmas, you'll just tell me not to worry about it, but if you DO have something you're in the mood for, let me know, same with Papa, or else it's going to be a cup full of candy I know you're not going to eat =]

-Early Christmas shopping makes life easier. Late Christmas shopping makes life extreme.

-The older you get, the less you want for Christmas. Or maybe you're just more realistic about what you're actually going to get. I think it's the last one.

Regardless, that's only the shopping aspect of it. I'll do a blog about Christmas-ness soon. But I'll also be blogging about some cool things peeps can pick up for others, stuff I like that I think others might like as gifts. So that'll be soon.

Also, I'm going to be doing some mini-reviews of WOT: The Gathering Storm and Peter and Max, two amazing books I read last month that I never got around to reviewing. So I'll be doing that too. 

But right now, I'm off to an open mic. So I'll go do that and see you all when I get back.