Thursday, August 26, 2010

Giant Gila Monster Vs. The Crawling Hand

The new THE SWORD, Warpriders (***** out of 5), album is pretty friggin’ great. Oh and Dave, in his Slough Feg (**** for all albums out of 5) haze I induced into him, returned that favor and gave unto me Hammers Of Misfortune (**** out of 5), something of a ‘super group’ with the lead singer of Slough Feg being one of the principles.

It’s a good time to enjoy ‘Sword & Sorcery’ METAL! Speaking of which David is hard at work on his own S&S project, and while it’ll have it’s roots in the older The Endless, one of my favorite albums ever, project he recorded it will have evolved into something more. I’m still trying to convince him to wail out a cover of Holy Diver by Dio. You know besides the one he left on my cell phone.

Last night on the way home Cassandra and I had an interesting discourse. She and were discussing my blog and some of the things that pop up in and how it makes it uncomfortable to comment. Then it sort of steered into mental health, relationships, and one’s idea of one’s self. I sometimes forget just how formidable my wife is intellectually. We spend so much time goofing on one another, laughing, and in some ways not challenging each other’s ideas or opinions that when we have a stimulating discourse and are respectful of one another’s ideas it’s really enjoyable. Now I know why we don’t do this that often though, we’re both hot blooded (“Check it & see”), enjoy being right (who doesn’t?), and love to ‘zing’ each other. That’s a combination that leads to hurt feelings. I think one reason we don’t fight is we are both very cognizant of each other’s feelings. We actively try to not wound one another with real or imagined slights. This is a change from just about every relationship, be it friend, significant other, or family that I’ve had. Most of the time I had contentious relationships at best, and down right volatile at worst. Being with someone who doesn’t strive on conflict, who doesn’t look to turn every “knife” fight into a “gun” fight has really made me re-examine how I communicate. This coupled with what I do for a living, and have done for a living for over ten years now, gawds I feel old, has tempered that once ragin’ fire in gullet. What’s really amazing is that I like this. I enjoy having a rational discourse and it not turning into a screaming match, or a race to say the most hurtful thing. I get more out of our dialogue, which in turn makes me think a little bit more about who I am and what I believe in. She is an amazing woman.

Speaking of amazing people there was a bit of a kerfuffle in one of my personal circles this week over some content on a podcast. I took a stand on something I felt strongly about and figured I might be in the minority, but I really wanted my feelings on it to be known. I was not only surprised but was amazed by Dave dropping the hammer down in not only defending my own point of view, which he shared, but also his wife’s. It’s one thing to say something, or even e-mail it, it’s another to be able to look people in the face that you like yet vehemently disagree with and tell them to get their head out of their ass. Sometimes your respect and admiration for someone grows over the smallest of gestures, between this and the loyalty and friendship he’s shown towards Mighty Mike in his time of need I don’t think I respect many more than Dave right now.

I just finished two books;
- Death Rat by Mike Nelson (*** ½ out of 5) – Yup, that Mike Nelson, you know the one from the greatest television series ever, Mystery Science Theatre 3000! SO, I’ve read some of Mike’s other books that mainly are him talking movies, but this is an original work of fiction, and it’s pretty damn entertaining. The idea is a failed writer concocts a book that is unfortunately labeled as nonfiction about a giant rat. His rival goes about to discredit him, hijinks ensue. There are a lot of local celebrities, Prince and Jesse The Body, are given ample ‘screen’ time in parody cameos. It really is a giggle of a read, although the book has some spots that were a bit to long while the climax was a bit to quick. I’d be interested in seeking out any other of Mr. Nelson’s fiction work.
- Crown Of Fire by Ed Greenwood (*** ½ out of 5) – I know Mr. Greenwood is the ‘father’ of the Forgotten Realms setting in D&D, and that he’s really put the “high” in High Fantasy, but if I have to read more Elminster being dues ex machine I’m going to puke. See Mr. Greenwood, while creating a setting that many people think of AS D&D it’s bogged down in these Super Characters that Mr. Greenwood uses more often than not to ‘steer’ the direction of the story. I really did like the book, which is a sequel to Spellfire, beyond the Harpers being that same said writer’s crutch. I guess it frustrates me that if there is such an organization of super ‘good’ guys that routinely beat the beejezus out of the ‘bad’ guys, why don’t they just finish them off? It just comes off as contrived. It’s not that his books are bad, they just aren’t that good.

All that being said, I think Ed Greenwood is an interesting cat, and he’s devotion to one of my favorite hobbies is astounding. I wish I had the imagination, the devotion, and the skill to write A novel let alone countless books. So while I can critique, I don’t want to criticize. Oh and unfortunately much like my love of bad cinema, I LOVE(s) me some bad fantasy novels.


- Xin Xin owns a piece of my soul. It’s the only reason I can think of why I routinely crave their food with such vigor.
- I really hope that Randy Coutre beats the living s*&@ out of James Toney this Saturday night. It’s not that I don’t like James Toney, when it comes to boxing I’ve enjoyed his run, but this idea that he’s going to come in and just annihilate MMA guys in their environment is asinine. He’s going to get put on his back and ground and pounded into paste OR he’s going to get caught in an ugly submission. Either way I just don’t think it does anything for the UFC or MMA as a whole, all it really does is pay James Toney. He’s put in like four months of MMA training to prep for a guy who is one of the all time greats. All that being said if Randy is dumb enough to stand and trade with Toney he’ll be going to sleep. That’s the problem; James Toney has a puncher’s chance in this fight to give all the boxing people who look down their collective noses at MMA a rallying point. I just hope that Randy takes him down early and often while giving this bum a beating so bad he never steps back into a cage again.
- Check out this sweet Slough Feg art!

- I have drug Dave so deep into the world of Football that he’s requesting a DVRing of the Viking game on Saturday night to watch Sunday. He’s currently building a shrine to The Baby Cheezus in his garage, I’m sure of it.
- Tonight I’m going to watch The Scars Of Dracula, THIS I SWEAR!
- Tuesday night we knocked out some chili with some left over steak we’d grilled and sans beans. I was sort of skeptical about chili without beans, but it was mighty tasty. The tang of the vegetables really shined without being acidic. I’m looking forward to spending some more quality time with a bowl of three of it.

You know I just don’t have anything else…

“The Sesair dogs of Tir-nan-og have stalked me to enslave
And rampant in the hybrid hills amidst the cattle raid
The Ulstermen will kneel before the heathen path I've paved
And bards of mighty Conchobar will offer me to Maeve

Through Sourlands in bloody bands across the north they go
Brave Conner Mac his tribes are painted blue from head to toe
But all alone the Infidel did match them blow for blow
His body bent and hair in spikes came flailing to and fro

The carnage lingered on, his body split from side to side
The tendons tore his mighty chest and ripped his leathered hide
Across his back ten Ulstermen were carried from the lake
And soon there were ten sundered heads each thrust upon a stake

The battle-rage had gripped him as he squirmed inside his skin
One eye had popped out of his head the other sucked back in
Soon pieces of Brave Conner Mac and friends adorned the ground
It took three tubs of ice to cool his burning body down

Setanta of the sesair was the chosen king by birth
The power he possesses is a gift from mother earth
Through chronicles of time he'll rise again and spread his fame
And future incarnations will arise to bear his name

The Sourlands are bitter and the northern tribes are free
In Tir-nan-og a new abandoned kingdom waits for me
The message of the fallen king is swift across the land
To Ulster where a widowed Queen prepares to take my hand”

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