Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Here are so of my observations from that last year that originally appeared on my Facebook page. I hope you enjoy.
I was listening to Ham-Fisted Radio Today and Dawn Taylor was talking about her avocado dog video featuring Huell Howser. It reminds me of a family story. In the House I grew up in there was a huge Avocado tree. The tree bore softball sized fruit due to sitting on top of the septic tank. In the Eighties my brother and I had a pair of Cocker Spaniels. They loved avocados they used to jump up and pick them then hide them behind a shed covered in leaves to ripen. One year My Maternal Grandmother came to help out since My Mom was in the hospital. Grandma thought dogs eating avocados was a waste, since they were rare in
Oregon at the
time where she lived. So here she was in Southern California
warring with two Cocker Spaniels over their stash of Avocados. Those Dogs hated
her for taking their treats. So every time I hear Avocados and Dogs I remember
the Avocado war between my Dogs and my Grandma.
I bought Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts. It is a documentary about Warren Ellis and his impact of Popular Culture. At one point of my life Mr. Ellis was there everyday. I discovered him at the end of his Warren Ellis Forum era. When I was working as Tech Support for the First Cable Modem system, I would hang out in the Forum. I was not as impactful as some of the folks there. I talked from time to time with People like Matt Fraction and Larry Young. I never went on to create my own art like many of these others, YET. A major impediment to my creativity is gone. I am trying to get myself in a better head space to create. My problem is too many possibilities. I want to cook, I want to write and I want to create something. I have things that have been swimming in my head for decades ready to get out. The other thing I need to work out is to change the way I interact with the world. That main thing has to do with trying to avoid finding myself doing the same things I always have. I do not want history to repeat which has been occurring for the last few decades. It’s funny how a Movie instigates all this introspection. Right now I am looking for full time work. I am not going to be too picky. Then I am going to start doing things to begin the next phase: Writing, cooking and planning.
So after watching Rush's Induction or as Neil Pert put it Indictment to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am stoked that I am going to the July 28th Concert at the Clark County Amphitheater. Mind you I have only been to 3 other Musical Concerts purposefully. I do not count a few State fairs or Amusement Parks (
Knott's Berry Farm or Magic Mountain Disneyland). Those cases I was
there and not for the concert. Only one time did I want to go to an Amusement
park concert but my church group was leaving early. So I missed Cheap Trick in
1984. Since then I saw Stryper 1985, Anthrax, Primus, and Public Enemy 1991
(Bring the Noise Tour), and the H/.O.R.D.E. Festival (Blues Traveler, Lenny
Kravitz, Dave Matthews Band and Rusted Root) 1996. Now I have been to four
different WWE events in Portland,
but those are different than your standard concert. Rush is my favorite band of
all time. One of the first I discovered without my Uncle Bob or Cousin Steve.
Both are older than me (8 years Bob and 4 years Steve). I have tried to go
before this but my situation was not conducive. I have a Bucket list of things
I want to do. Not because anything bad. It is due to having my freedom. I put off
so much for others. I am going to be a bit more about my needs without being a
complete selfish jerk.
So I watched Last season and this season of Food Network Star. Justin Warner last Season's winner does not have a regular show on Food Network or its Sister Channel Cooking Channel. What the hell. He has made two pilots for two different concepts, Culinary Rebel with a cause and Rebel Eats. Neither has spawned a show. Alton Brown was taken off as a producer as well. I have no proof, but it seems to me that their may be something fishy there at the network. Winners from the first season are gone. Their show was on only one season. Second season winner is still there Guy Fieri. Third season winner her show only had six episodes. Aaron McCargo, Jr had three seasons of his show. Melissa d'Arabian only had three seasons of her show. Aarti Sequeira only had three Seasons of her show. Jeff Mauro has had two shows so he seems to be doing better. My word of advice to Damaris Phillips the newest winner, just because you won does not guarantee you will become a Star on that network. Three Small seasons of a show seem to be the average for the winners of Food Network Star. Three seasons is about a year and a half on the network. Sorry for the screed. It just had me wondering.
Finished watching the second episode of Heroes of Cosplay and it irritated me. These sizeist women are judging large people who cosplay. Mind you I have thought of cosplaying and I know I am a obese dude. The ideas I have thrown around, Modern version of Uncle Marvel of the Marvel Family, Armstrong of Archer and Armstrong, Shadowrun Trolls or Orks, Volstag the Voluminous and a few other characters of larger girth. Being my size I could do Kilowog or an original alien Green Lantern. Heck there is even an oversize flash character from the future. Me, I know what works with my body type, but that does not give me the right to tell others not to do something. I recently saw a list of 95 of the "worst" cosplayers. I get frustrated with people using the anonymity of the internet to be totally cruel jerks. Some of the costumes were bad for quality of work. Others were just there because of a unique body type of body feature that was different from the norm. Yes there are choices that can be just wrong like Caucasians painting themselves to be a person of color. I wonder about our society. We have wonderful ads from Dove showing women with real bodies that they are beautiful then you got stuff like this. Sorry for the screed. I have been working to get away from a judgmental paradigm in my life. So it irritates me when I see others do it.
Two recent reality shows have become casualties to my competition show method of watching TV. On Various cooking competitions shows I watch what the challenge it then fast forward to the judging. I may stop when there is a monkey wrench thrown it by the show. These two shows should be competition show but are not. Those shows are Heroes of Cosplay and Naked Vegas. I am interested in both from an artistic point of view. I fast forward to find out what their projects are fast forward to see the finished project. In Heroes of Cosplay I would get to the Competition section and what the other costumes are but fast forward through most of the BS. I started doing this after the second episode. Since I have learned that much of the conflict on Heroes of Cosplay was manufactured for the show by the producers. That is the problem with Reality shows they act like they are documentaries when they are not. I got savvy to this with Gene Simmons' and the Real housewives show years ago. OK, there are my feelings about it. I love the artistic expression in both shows but I do not care for the "drama" real or manufactured.
When I first heard of Heroes of Cosplay and Naked Vegas, I thought we were getting another Face Off type show not the Reality stuff. I stopped watching Hell's Kitchen due to the fact the contestants seem to be dumber and dumber each succeeding year. Shows where the challenges are specific endeavors like Top Chef, Master Chef, Face Off, and the like work better than the others. I am not saying they are not manufactured bits to those. I fast forward through those parts.
Over the years I have tried Multiple Traditional Set Fantasy series in pseudo- Medieval settings. They do not resonate with me. I like Urban Fantasy, but most of it is typically all Vampires and Werewolves. There are some that are not like that, Mortal Instruments and the Harry Potter series. The Vamps and Weres are the glut. One of my Favorite series, the Dresden Files, has Vamps and Weres but that is not the central point of the series. I enjoy Victorian Era set Fantasy and Sci-Fi. That is due to the fact of cutting my teeth on Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs. So I am enjoying the Steampunk. However I would never be able to write in it. I like the
setting. It is a Urban almost
Cyberpunk meets magic setting in a world that was a Medieval Fantasy setting
that evolved. I also like Shadowrun which is set in a Future Earth where magic
came back so Fantasy meets cyberpunk as well. My favorite author, Charles de Lint,
does what is referred to as Mythic Fiction. He skirts the typical Urban
Fantasy, but avoids the obvious tropes. He is reminiscent the magic realism
movement from Metamor
City Latin America. That is what I see.
December 9th, 2013
I was talking to a friend about my recent Charles de Lint and me blog article. He said he did not really care Science Fiction and Fantasy. I compare de Lint to Kafka. His work is more Reminiscent, at least to me of Latin American Magical Realism or literary uses of Fantasy and/ or Science Fiction Element. Other than Kafka, Vonnegut, William S. Burroughs and Virginia Woolf have used similar elements without using many of the clichés of genre. After a while I kinda felt pushy. More like a literary pusher. De Lint's work I feel is not like many of the typical Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors out there. I would compare his work with that of Neil Gaiman it that aspect. Mind you their styles are very different. De Lint is more subtle and Gaiman has more whimsy to his works. Even though he does fantasy including Faeries and other fae folk his work seems more grounded and down to earth.
I was talking to my Uncle Bob about how
has become Nerdvana. At first we thought that it was a recent thing (15 to 20
years). We realized Portland has
always been geeky and nerdy. None of the Universities in the city are known for
athletics, they are known for academics. My Uncle was part of the Portland
Music scene in the Early to mid 80's as a professional drummer. He and his
friends listened to Dr. Demento and watched Star Trek. Our climate lends
itself to Indoor pursuits for 6 to 9 months a year. We are really passionate
about those pursuits. We always have had a crafty side to this area; I remember
this to visiting during the Holidays as a kid in the 70's and 80's. Portland 's
Craftiness is evident in that the Portland Saturday Market started in 1973. For
the longest time, Channel 12 KPTV aired Star Trek and Perry Mason. In 1986,
Mike Richardson started Dark Horse Comics. Even when I moved to the the Portland
area in 1985 there were numerous comics shops. Like I said earlier it is not a
new thing. It has been part of the fabric of this town. Portland
I am watching
Five-0 (the newer version) and a junkyard dog, a Rottweiler finds a corpse. I
am reminded that most of the demonized dog breeds are ones I love. German
Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls (which covers American Staffordshire Terrier,
American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and so on), Doberman
Pinscher, Mastiffs, and Bull Mastiff have at one time or another been given a
bad rap. The breeds are never a problem the bad owners are.
I was living at an Apartment complex that had a ban on Pit bulls. The manager who also managed a pet shop was trying to get us to by an American Staffordshire Terrier. I informed him that was one of the breeds referred to as Pit Bulls. I had to show him in my Atlas on Dog Breeds. For someone who was so into dogs I was surprised. I love these breeds they tend to be very loyal and protective.
Another story is when I was a Flagger for a utility company we had a woman come by with a huge Bull Mastiff. My co-workers said it was a big puppy and no concern. I laughed. He may be nice here out in the neighborhood, but I would not want to be coming onto his property without invitation. As a former Postal worker I have learned that dogs do not behave the same out and about as they do on their home turf. I am living with two dogs, but they are not mine. I have been a big dog person for most of my life. For 10 years I lived with just with cats. Right now I am not ready to have anyone dependent on me, human or critter. That may change.