Friday, February 27, 2009

Did You Know?

Chris Merriam at FreshInk showed me this the other day. I've been showing it to anyone who will watch. You should too. No picks today. We'll try again tomorrow. Meanwhile:

Think about it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And again, I say, 'Coral'?

No, Chorale.

(Those of you getting a third emailed notice from me tonight have seen what happens when you reach for the "backspace" button and hit the "return" twice.)

Anyway, in honor of the Spring Chorale Jamboree, which we just enjoyed at Arnold High School, and which our daughter participated, that second word above is Today's Word.

(And as a further aside, the last time I typed "chorale," I tried to spell it "chronal." That probably says something about me.) Time, what has become of me?

Today's Pick: H.G. Wells versus Jack the Ripper, after traveling by time machine to "modern" USA. Nuff said.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whither goest yon day?

Gone until tomorrow, methinks.

Whatever. I lost a day's work at the office by traveling with the new boss to consult on web updates at the Port St. Joe office. Just means there will be that much more to do in the bright-and-early.

Meanwhile, I'm working tonight on a super-secret project that does not involve my day job. If I told ya, I'd have to kill ya. So let's move on.

Today's Pick:

As I've tried to explain to my friend(s), I don't like BAD movies. I like B movies. They don't believe me because I also say to them things like, "You should watch Barbarella." That, and I named my truck after this movie because I like the Scott Weiland song of the same name. Did you know Duran Duran was named after the scientist Barbarella searches for in this movie? ANyway, this is not a classic for nothing. It's a classic because it is so terribly bad that it goes all the way around the bend and becomes entertaining again.

This pick's for Marisa. She sat mesmerized on our couch one evening and watched it with me when nobody else would.

Today's Word: Metal Hurlant.

Say G'night, Jane.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dues Day

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?"

"Yessir, the check is in the mail."

Today's Pick:

The best movie about a clueless trucker fighting ghost ninja gods for the sake of a green-eyed girl ever made.

Today's Word: Trouble. With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for pool, right here in River City!


Monday, February 23, 2009

In Memory

No entry today except this:

Photo by Dustin Bryson for FSU-PC.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

RE: set

Back this morning to the location shoot for "Reset," though I was able to stay only a short time. Eric and Seth were finishing up by the Sherman Arcade, then off to Tom's Hotdogs for an exterior shot. Here are a couple images from the morning:

In the afternoon, we went to Mardi Gras at St. Andrews. Many beads were caught. Here are a few pictures:

Today's Word(s): le bon temps roule!

Today's Pick: (Just happened to see this tonight on IFC.)


Friday, February 20, 2009

On the 'Reset' Set

Tonight, I got to go behind the scenes of a short film that's in production here. "Reset" is something of an homage to "Memento," but it tells an all-new story. My new acquaintance, Eric, is shooting it with his friend, Seth, and will submit it to an upcoming contest. These are some photos from the night's prep.

Matty on the set built in Seth's garage.

Seth and Matty go over tattoo designs.

Eric and Seth talking about the shoot in the garage set.
Lou and Eric go over camera settings.
Lou has just bought this camera which is just like on that Eric uses.
More on the project tomorrow if I can make it to the downtown location. It's a busy weekend, what with my mom and uncle here, and we're planning to go to Mardi Gras tomorrow.
Also, tomorrow I'll tell you about the show Nathan saw tonight, and what cool item he brought home.
Today's Word: memento
Today's Pick:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sure Happy It's Thor's Day

Again, way too busy today, but this time at least in part to working on a project after-hours. It promises to be a busy weekend, too: Mom and Uncle visiting, Mardi Gras, shadowing a short film in production, working to finish the outside project, and who knows what unexpected events in addition.

We had Chinese for dinner, and my fortune cookie told me, "You will be fortunate in everything you put your hands on." If only.

Today's Word: Fortune.

Today's Pick: A dozen 1960s movie stars in search of a big W.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The end of hope

...For my home PC, at least. The IT guys tell me my best bet is to remove the hard-drive, slave it to another PC and grab my photo and document files off of it, then kiss it goodbye.

Meanwhile, way too busy at work, covering for two people (or at least one) who have been out sick for a couple of days.

And actually got some work done outside the house this afternoon.

So, short and sweet:

Today's Pick:

Which I recently borrowed from the Bay County library. Great visuals, and a compelling storyline that made sense, unlike what I can make out of Grant Morrison's recent runs with Batman RIP and Final Crisis. (If you're a comics nerd, that previous sentence will make sense to you. If not, then you're about as lost as comics nerds were in Morrison's version of "event" comics.)

Today's Word: Metafiction. Think "Stranger than Fiction."


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I hate hackers and trojans and worms, oh my

My home computer has once again been beset by MS Antivirus 2009. Which is NOT an antivirus at all, and whose creator deserves a special level of hell just for him. Anyway, I'm busy trying to fix the home PC, so that's all for tonight.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Enter, the Dragon

Maybe you think the universe is random. Maybe you believe “coincidence” is just glitch in the Matrix. But in an infinite universe, nothing happens coincidentally.

So what does it mean when I go home for lunch and watch a few minutes of “Enter the Dragon” (starring Bruce Lee), then get in the truck to go to work and hear a guy on the local radio station calling himself Kato, then check my email at work and see that I’ve gotten a newsletter from Moonstone Books featuring their upcoming release “The Green Hornet“?

You might think it means nothing. Just coincidence. Random happenstance.
But I’m trying to read between the lines.

What is the universe telling me?
Any ideas?

Today's Pick:

Today's Word: Synchronicity.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Low Impact Sunday

So the wife is home and exhausted, so we took a relaxed approached to the day of rest. A quick trip to Wally World to replenish the snack reserves, a visit from Donna, and clearing hours of recordings off the DVR. Best of the lot was, of course, Battlestar Galactica. Favorite of the rest was the debut ep of Dollhouse, the latest from Joss Whedon. With that in mind, today's pick will be the show that made Whedon's name:

Today's Story: The Tree That Learned Everything. This is one of the tales from my Arturo Fuente collection. It's one of my favorites. Hope you like it.

Today's Word: Auteur (You won't see Whedon's name on the list, but he's developing something of a reputation. Maybe one of these days...)


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photo blog

A rainy Valentine's Day passes with chores and the eventual arrival back home of my wife, who was gone this week to take care of her ill sister. So again, a quick entry as the day draws to a close, with photos from last night's bands. Peace.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Was Not So Scary

But it was awfully busy. I'll fill you in with stories and words and so forth tomorrow. Suffice to say tonight I listened to bands at the Bridge Venue. I'll post photos (and if all goes well, video) sometime Saturday.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Enter, the Sandman

Conversation at work today turned to The Sandman, the comic series that made Neil Gaiman's career, in the sense that he made The Sandman into an epic storyline that touched so many deep wells of mystery and myth that we carry within us. I have been slowly purchasing the graphic novel collections, but my friend wants the Absolute editions. Starting with this one:

Today's Pick, as it were.

And that reminded me of this video, in which someone took lots of images from various films and video games to create a fake trailer for a movie version of the comic:

Today's Word: Morpheus.

Today's Story: A Chapter from my serial novel, "The Traveler," in which Cain enters the Sleeping City in the land of Nod.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Follow ups and more

Today's Story: Father Crow, one of my scrolls from "The Arturo Fuente Short Story" collection.

Today's Pick: Global Frequency. I was talking to someone the other day about the free-runner in that Third Eye Blind video I linked to, and it got me thinking about an "episode" of the 12-issue series by Warren Ellis, and the best TV series pilot you never saw. At least you can still get and appreciate the source material:

Today's Word: Frequent.

Updates and Followups:

There are some things I made promises about that haven't been seen through yet. Here they are:

On a Weird Friday, I mentioned a report of a local high school girl who got stalked by an inmate because she put her info on the Inter-tubes. Not so. Her brother was an inmate and had given their address to fellow inmates so they could keep in touch. So the lesson becomes: Don't have a brother who's in jail.

That same day I promised to link to this video of Matty J talking about "Nothing."

Another night, I wrote about a video of the Unitarian Church's art night I would link to when it was live. Here it is.

And as a follow-up to yesterday's post about being home sick and wishing my Uncle Eddie would bring me some new comics: When my friend Brady got to work today, he was toting a handfull of old comics. Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, various minor characters and independent titles. Not new comics, but new to me. If I had a heart, that would've warmed it.

(Thanks, Brady!)


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Home Sick

When I was a kid and stayed home sick, I'd spend much of the day reading. I recall reading Tarzan of the Apes one day while my mom bustled around the house. Once at Grandma's I picked up a Star Trek novel my uncle had. And of course, Uncle Eddie would always bring me comics. Always DC comics, though, never Marvel or Archie. This was after the revival of Captain Marvel ("Shazam!") he'd often bring me new issues of that along with some Batman and Superman.

I'm thinking about this because I'm home sick today. And while I have plenty of comics in the house, I don't have anything new. I thought about sneaking out to the comic shop, but that would be wrong.

However, I have been reading "Slow Way Home" by Michael Morris, and he was right to suggest it for me. (It has to be today's pick.) It's beautifully written, and it's set in a time I'm familiar with (apparently the late 1960s, early 1970s) or at least is told by a boy who is young in that time and relates things in his life to Buffy and Jody from "Family Affair" or thinks someone reminds him of Endora from "Bewitched." He's growing up in a small town in North Carolina, which could as easily have been a small town anywhere in the South. I recognize the folks who live there. I am so loving the book, and when I finish it, I'm going to go out and get his earlier book, "Wiregrass," also.

Today's Word: Homesick.

Today's story hasn't been written yet. Write one of your own and send it to me instead.


Monday, February 09, 2009

back on track

Today's Word: Convergence.

Or maybe a better word would be irony? Anyway, at work there's a daily recognition given out for the writer who uses words that one of the editors likes. Some of them are actually quite interesting words. Some of them are just your basic verbs like clap and washed. And while we laugh about the "contest," here I am listing words of my own. Make of that what you will.

Today's Pick: Three Doors Down. Again, say what you will, but I like this band, especially their recent song "Not My Time." Yes, I've seen that National Guard ad at the theater a few too many times, but it's still a good song. But in their defense, I say, "Kryptonite." But back to the newer song: Follow that link and watch the video, which is about someone racing against the clock to change the course of history. It's not my time. I can dig that.

Today's Story: Moonage Daydream.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Post-Books Alive Roundup

This is without a doubt one of my favorite events of the year. Books Alive brings dozens of writers/creative thinkers to Panama City each year and lets readers and aspiring authors pick their brains and be lifted by their inspiration.

I have been privileged for several years to be invited to participate as a moderator, introducing one author or another. I got to meet John Dufresne this way, and Tiger Edmonds, and got to know Janis Owens better, and made some weird connection with Michael Morris. That first time we met while he talking on the veranda with Barbara Clemons last year, we actually seemed to be on the same wavelength, and really hit it off. He pretended we were cousins this year when Kathie Bennett was introducing me to other authors.

That's Michael Morris, Janis Owens and Jeff Shaara above.

This time around, I had a moment to rub elbows (literally) with Jeff Shaara, author of Gods and Generals, shake hands with Ron Rash, author of Serena, and bump into (again, literally) Michael Curtis, fiction editor for the Atlantic Monthly. I also spent time catching up with Carol and Lee Lapensohn, Becky Saunders, Bettina Mead, Janice Lucas, John Robert Middlemas, Sandra Pierce, George Vickery, Ann Houpt, Ann Robbins, Wayne Garrett, Chris Arrant (who sold his last copy of Comic Book Tattoo to Janis Owens for her daughter), and so many more.

That's Ron Rash, Kathie Bennett, Michael Curtis, Elizabeth Cox and Masha Hamilton

(Last year, Janis purchased a copy of Welcome to the Dawning of a New Century, and she was so tickled by the back cover, which featured an image of a 1980s-era parade with someone wearing a Piggly Wiggly mascot costume in a convertible, which she said described her image of her smalltown childhood.)

It was so nice to see folks I only get to see at these events, and it was awfully gratifying to talk to people who read my columns or have bought and (claim to have) enjoyed my books or stories, and who want to just stand there and get to know me a little. Books Alive is inspirational to me that way, because it validates my obsession, and because it reminds me there are regular folks who are making a modest living doing what I dream of doing.

Today's Pick(s): Here's the latest from the folks listed above. I can't pick just one.

Today's Word: Aspire.



REMINDER: If you aren't going to the blog, you aren't seeing the picks and links. Check it out.


Can't believe I didn't put details about today's events in here before. Go here for lists of authors, a schedule of presentations, and more info. It's my favorite event of the year, and I'll be there most of the day. I'll be back tonight to load photos of the event. Til then.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dazed and Disturbed

Spent the evening on two projects: Fixing the toilet in the hallway bathroom (it has been loose since Debra replaced the floor tile) and editing a video Nathan and the rest of us shot in 2005-06 in Apalachicola and St. Andrews State Park. It's the story of a pair of fallen angels battling and killing each other throughout time, and their final meeting.

I finished neither project. Yet.

Today's Word: Closure.

Today's Pick:


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Health Expo(sure)

Spent a couple of hours today at the inaugural Health Expo at Edgewater Conference Center, talking to snowbirds about the newspaper and the website, shaking hands, handing out free papers, and so forth. Rod Whiting from Gulf Coast Medical Center told me that an elderly man had stopped by their booth for a heart screening and his numbers were so bad that the staff took him to a nearby doctor's office to have the readout interpreted; the doc sent the fellow straight to the emergency room with orders for an angioplasty.

Ironically, today I saw my doctor for a checkup regarding my ticker, and let's just say he wasn't thrilled with my progress. My cholesterol numbers went in the wrong direction this winter, I've put on 10 pounds (when he already wanted me to lose 5, so I'm 15 too heavy), and I've been off my exercise regimen most of the winter to boot. So I've got new prescriptions, orders to get on the South Beach Diet, and to go from just walking to "intergral" training, which he explained to me is slow/fast/slow/fast (walk/run) to really get my heart working.

Today's Pick:

Today's Word: Cabbage.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

100 years

It's been that long since the official naming of Panama City. The Centennial (today's word) is upon us. I spent some time at the Visual Arts Center today, videotaping the historical items and artwork being put on display for the opening there tonight, and running through the end of the month, celebrating the centennial. I'll post the video at in the morning.

Discussing the Centennial, however, I can't help but think about my book, which took place during the centennial week of Century, Florida, in 2001, fictional though it was.

And of course, the James Michener miniseries and novel, Centennial.

And, even more appropriately, the second volume of City Limits, which is dedicated to the memory of my good friend and daughter in spirit, Marisa Joy Williams. Perhaps its more than coincidence (and I don't believe in coincidence) that the official date of the Centennial is Feb. 23. It's not a day I will feel like celebrating, as it's also the anniversary of Marisa's death.

This is Marisa:


Monday, February 02, 2009

The word for the day is


As in, I don't have enough of it right now. Please carry on. I'll get back to you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Sunday

No picks today (unless you want a favorite ad pick, but I'm still trying to decide) as we spent the evening at the Rader's house watching the Super Bowl. Except I missed the third quarter, as Billy got a call from one of our neighbors about a prowler on our street, trying to break into houses. I went home to check it out and talked to the city K9 officer who was in my front yard. She'd been in our back yard and into our garage, checked our back doors. Apparently the prowler had been trying to get in the back doors of the houses. I went inside, got Jessi's Zombie Basher, and checked the rooms and closets and under the beds. All clear. And that fourth quarter! Wow!

See you tomorrow.

UPDATE: Favorite ad was HULU. (My brain was so mushy it took a while to decide.)