The Honeymooners

Hello, all. Adam and I are back from three major life events in as many weeks. (And boy…are my arms…tired? This is why I’m not a comedienne, folks.)

First, we moved — which was somewhat unexpected — but the valiant Adam worked until 2 AM to get us mostly out of our old place. We’ve settled a bit into the new place, but there are still boxes and kinks to work out. Mostly, my computer needs to be set up so I can blog and write more efficiently.

Then, we got married on Halloween! It was steampunk themed. Pictures, I’ve been told, are to follow shortly. Let’s just say there were lots of tophats, goggles, gears, an African explorer a la Dr. Livingston, a mad scientist, a few cowboys, and Daryl Dixon.

Lastly, we flew internationally (and I’m a horrible flyer) and went to Cabo San Lucas for the honeymoon. There we had a week of intense relaxation, sitting around the pool and/or beach and reading books. I got through four and Adam through a huge chunk of HP Lovecraft — he’s on the Arkham Horror kick too — and another massive novel as well. (We also may or may not have played a round of Arkham Horror each night until we got our asses kicked by Yog-Sothoth.)

Now I’m back and the question burning in all of your minds is…ARE YOU WRITING?

The horrible, horrible answer to that is no. Unfortunately. Our dreams of participating in the NaNo were dashed in hopes of relaxation and ridiculously good Mexican food. Maybe one day, when my looks have faded…

On lighter news: my birthday doth approaches, which means VAMPIRE MOVIE MARATHON. Commencing in a viewing of the best movie known to mankind, The Lost Boys. It’s really hard for me to write and speak about the greatness that is The Lost Boys without somehow using the epithet, “greatest movie known to mankind.” Someone should pay me for this.

The Jade Skull

Speaking of my car, Sir Blimey, not only is he the inspiration for a great many character quirks, but he has even inspired my own superhero comic. Prepare yourself for:

THE GREEN SKULL!

What, I can’t use that? That’s already a Captain America villain?

Yeah, but he’s kind of a crossover special. Surely no one will mind if I use it?

They will? But…but*…Cap can’t have a monopoly on all colored skull villains, can he?

Fine. Fine! Prepare yourself for:

THE GREEN JADE SKULL!

I switched out the gear shifter in my Jeep for a green skull and then got to thinking that my car had an alter ego and went out and became a vigilante at night, all Christine style. Then, BAM. Inspiration.

Story goes that a witch lady who used to possess people a while ago got tricked into possessing a green jade skull figurine and couldn’t get out until she redeemed herself by doing deeds of good. She takes this to mean kill evil doers and proceeds to possess whatever the green jade skull is attached to. Sometimes it’s a necklace, sometimes it’s a 1986 Jeep Wrangler YJ.

Backstory!**

The Green Jade Skull, back in the 70s, was attached to a walking cane of one Sir Reginald Blahblahblah (official surname in the delicate planning process) and she took care of business. This, of course, attracted the notice of the local law enforcement, who couldn’t find a link between all of the victims, other than the fact that their bodies were charred, LEAVING ONLY THEIR SKULLS, WHICH HAVE BEEN TURNED THE COLOR GREEN JADE.

Sir Reginald Blahblahblah dies and his beloved walking cane is put into a safe with the rest of his items until…

Actual story!

…it’s sold in an estate sale to one, LUCY SWEETFACE. (All I know about her is that she’s just gotten out of a divorce and is sweet. Kind of like Diane Wiest’s character in the greatest movie known to mankind, The Lost Boys.)

She takes the green jade skull off of the walking cane and puts it on her 1986 Jeep Wrangler YJ because it looks cool and the Green Jade Skull comes back to life to accomplish her mission of justice! (Or maybe vengeance!)

Lucy has no idea that her car is going out at night and killing people, but again, the local law enforcement starts a-sniffing’. Enter one SGT. STEWART. (Only so named because I think of the Green Lantern Jon Stewart when picturing my cop character.) He links Lucy to the crimes and is about to arrest her, but feels there’s something missing.

What we don’t know — until we do know — is that Stewart had a run-in with the paranormal when he was a child! Oooh. Which makes him want to understand that world, which brings him to the case files of the 70s and to the shocking conclusion that it’s not a WHO, but, rather, a WHAT that has been cleaning the streets of San Francisco for him!

I mean, it’s still kinda in it’s early stages, and I really need someone to draw because my skills stopped progressing somewhere around age six, but the story is there, waiting.

*…but WE used to use soap!

**My friends and I play the Settlers of Catan card game and there’s a destiny card that gets flipped over when certain actions happen. It’s a house rule that when you flip the destiny card, you whisper the word, “dessssssstiny,” in a suitable, movie-trailer voice, way.

Late Afternoon Bonus: Gnats

I was eating popcorn the other day and it’s a new flavor: salt and pepper, emphasis on the Gwenyth Paltrow. The pepper stuck to the sides of the bag, but some condensation was left, making the floating pepper pieces look like tiny little gnats. For a second I thought I was in The Lost Boys and David was asking me how those maggots tasted. And then I snapped back into cruel, cruel reality.

Anton Yelchin, the Remake Kid

I watch a lot of movies. In fact, one could possibly say that most of my personality quirks, reasons to rant breathlessly, and ways of telling time come from my constant movie and TV watching. For example, when I wake up, it usually takes about five minutes for me to figure out where I am, who I am, and just what the hell Kiefer Sutherland is doing in my room. (The answers are: somewhere crumpled up in my sheets in what I call The Coffin [my room’s in the basement], MK Sauer, and that’s-not-Kiefer-Sutherland-that’s-David, staring at me from my giant Lost Boys poster. Though any of these are liable to change because it’s a professional hazard of mine.) In that time, what I call the tabula rasa — sometimes I wake up and say, “Did I fall asleep?” — I calculate what day it is by doing this, approximately: “Well, I watched The Vampire Diaries yesterday, and Iron Man II is supposed to come out a week after two days ago, so it must be Monday!” This is not an exaggeration, like most of the crap (I mean, craft) I put up here.

Recently, and I’m not the first to blog about this, and nor will I be the most succinct, coherent, or even really on-point the last, there has been a big push in Hollywood for two things. The first is 3D, which could be a separate post in and of itself, but I’ll just link you to Ebert’s rant about it, because, let’s face it, he does a better job. The second, and this one has been long coming, is the recycled nature of everything that comes out of Tinseltown.

Let’s just take a look at some of the awesomeness coming out this summer, which is, admittedly, the ‘worst’ time to be looking for original content, but, whatever. We got:

Iron Man II — sequel and based on a comic book.

Prince of Persia — based on video game (at least it’s not Uwe Boll), and rather much like Pirates in the Middle East, and with someone who’s a lot less competent at doing British accents. (At least we’re not in Rome, in which you HAVE to have a British accent, for whatever reason. Yeah, I mean you, Gladiator. Or even a villain in an otherwise American-voiced cast. Watch where you step, Legend of the Seeker.)

The Last Airbender — based on a television series.

Robin Hood — based on, well, lots of stuff. (At least here British accents will make sense, but it’s really just Gladiator dressed up in green tights. What? There aren’t any green tights? Get lost.)

MacGruber — a spoof of MacGyver, which is my favorite show staring a mullet.

Let Me In — a remake of the vastly superior Let the Right One In. Don’t even get me started on this one.

The A-Team — based on a ….wait… what? WHY?! I don’t….I just….DAMN YOU MICHAEL BAY AND YOUR TRANSFORMERS MAKING LOTS OF MONEY SO THAT PEOPLE CAN PILLAGE THE 80S LIKE COLDPLAY PILLAGES MY SOUL.

The list goes on and on. And while there are many who are to blame for this, never has there been a nice, neat little package as Anton Yelchin. Now, if I were proficient in photoshop, or even really owned photoshop and/or used MS Paint for more than just drawing happy-faced vampires, I would have his face looming out of an Old West Style poster where he’s in a cowboy hat and wearing that cool jacket that Ben Foster’s character in 3:10 to Yuma does, but alas, you’ll just have to use your IMAGINATIONS. I call him THE REMAKE KID.

Who? You might be asking, because you’re an owl. He played Chekhov in the new Star Trek, Kyle Reese in the latest Terminator movie, and is set to be Charlie Brewster in the remake of Fright Night. (What? You might be asking because you’re, uh, a mentally deficient owl. It’s only one of the best vampire movies of the 80s and one of the reasons why I’m obsessed with vampires.) He has based his entire career on starring in unoriginal, re-used and abused material. He’s an up-and-coming star and could just be awesome, but imdb him and it’s a wasteland of bad TV shows and Hollywood’s desperate plea. I think it goes a little something like,”Shiiiiiiz. We ran out of ideas and all of our writers are boozehounds because they’ve sold their souls and we need money because BluRay and HD TVs are edging us out. Uh, uh, uh, quickly! To the 80s, Batman!” What’s going to happen 30 years from now and they’re recycling stories from now and all they have are remakes and sequels? Will it be a never ending cycle until there are 15 remakes of Jaws (seven in 3D and smell-o-vision) and thirty sequels to Star Wars? Plato is rolling in his grave somewhere.

Dear Hollywood: Please stop. There’s only so much eyeball bleach I can buy. Love, MK Sauer.

I still am going to see most of the movies on this list, however, and I even still really like Mr. Yelchin though, which is why this cycle is perpetual. I’m sorry! He’s Russian and, uh, his first name is Anton. Which is Russian for, uh, sexy.

“Into Pieces of Wood” by Chimes & Bells

This week on Songs to Die By:

*movie-guy voice* IN A WORLD WHERE AWESOME PSYCHEDLIC MUSIC RUNS RAMPANT

(Shot of Bruce Willis* jumping at just the right time to avoid that explosion)

AND PEOPLE FINALLY RECOGNIZE THE MEDIOCRITY OF THE TOP 40

(Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are hiding, malnourished and dirty….wait a tic….)

COMES THE BEST BAND YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

(Cue the droning guitars of this week’s featured song)

The amazing Chimes & Bells is a Danish quartet with a lovely lady singer who has a hypnotic, mezmerizingly deep voice who also happens to play maybe the best instrument on the planet after the bassoon: the cello. (Yeah, I played the bassoon throughout high school and Korovyov, my favorite character in The Master and Margarita has another name that’s the Russian word for bassoon, so it’s like double-love. Like, if Konstantin Khabensky and Kate Beckinsale had a kid who was a half-vampire, half-Hellboy hybrid, aka THE ABOMINATION of Melissa’s Resistance to Love. *crickets* Uh, let’s ignore that little outburst, shall we?)

This song is off of their EP of the same name, and lemme tell you, all four songs are fantastic. Like, you need to buy this EP right now and then tell all of your friends. Like, now. Now. Seriously. Now. I just learned today that that’s called an “embedded command.” It’s where, in advertising, an imperative — like Do! Read! Write! — is used in a friendly manner in order to suggest something to the consumer. Well, technically mine’s not really embedded, because if you don’t do it I’m going to tell mom, you god-damn, shit-sucking vampire.

Now, I can’t find lyrics and I’m horrible at hearing things (unless it’s the fifteen-minute long coffee order of a snobby coffee connoisseur whilst blenders are blending and espresso is grinding, and then I can hear perfectly), so here’s my guess:

I’m gonna go on in these shivering bones
I’m gonna go on in these precious stones
I’m gonna hold on tight while you are gone
I’m gonna shoot them down, these aching bones
And the sound is all we knew
And we try, fall, fall, fall into pieces of wood

There’s the images of bones, which suggests the inner core, the SKELETON if you will. (I like skeletons and use them as symbols a lot in my novel. Skeletons and frogs. And, you know, some coconut crabs, which have become the major contenders for creepiest things ever and rate at least a 6.7 on the wiggins scale.) That and the primordial-ness coming from turning into wood speak to the eternity of things, but of things that can never stay the same. People decay and all that’s left are bones. Trees can die, burn down, but I get a sense of petrification.

The overall feel is one of perseverance through the impossible, wearily dragging along burdens — “precious stones” — like Atlases carrying the world. Bones will ache, but eventually whatever love exists will fall and become something unrecognizable from its true form. This is echoed in the droning, repetitive guitars that sound like a death knoll, a bell tolling for someone or something that may never hear.

The only reference to any pronoun — except I — comes in the ‘chorus’ of “the sound is all we knew” and “we try.” This is a failed love (not unlike last week’s beauty), that was once so overwhelming, so intoxicating in the past, but in the present, because of broken trust (“you better be faithful”), it has turned into a bastardized, corrupt image of what it was. Like wood, it can be carved into many things, but can also be warped — like sound over long distances. Or between snickering, gossiping 12-year-old-girls at a slumber party.

Maybe next week I’ll try something a little more up-beat, eh?

Wheel of Empanada, turn, turn, turn,
Show us a song that may raise concern:
Strangelove” by Depeche Mode. Yeppers. I love me some 80s rock with druggie frontmen. Actually, Depeche Mode is the inspiration for many a band I love and I think my sister let me burn this CD.

*It exists, but I can’t find a picture of a panel from the manga Hellsing, in which Alucard has a dream sequence starring Bruce Willis. It’s hilarious, so I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I’m not exactly a man of wealth and taste, but I would say that I have a wealth of imagination and a taste….for blood. Okay, okay, I’ve been up late again, watching Dracula movies from the 70s. (To tell the truth, Frank Langella was the only performance I believed, but Udo Kier has the best pronunciation of the word “wirgin” this side of the Thames.)

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have multiple personalities, or am a sociopath or talk to the dead, but I feel that writing is a little bit of all three. You have to be somewhat inclined to talk to yourself (I do this in parking lots all the time when I walk to and from my car and then proceed to say, “Stop talking to yourself. Great, now you’re talking to yourself about talking to yourself–Stop it…stop!”), somewhat inclined toward the darker UV side of the human spectrum of emotion (looks cool, kinda trippy, best with sunglasses), and able to channel the voices of others in a somewhat authentic way (because dialogue, let’s face it, is more than just putting quotes around a bunch of random words. You get me, James Cameron? What? No, I don’t see you. Get lost, this is my blog.)

I’m a lady. Whoa-oah-oh. I’m a lady. I joke all the time about my obsession with Kate Beckinsale, and the like, but this clears up any confusion. Not that this lets you off the hook, Len Wiseman. I’m still coming for your wife. What? She’s hot, she’s a hotter vampire, and SHE STUDIED RUSSIAN LITERATURE. I study Russian literature. INSTANT ICE-BREAKER. You know, the ice-breaker after the awkward, “Sorry I pushed your husband down the stairs. See, there was a bug…” speech.

I had a conversation once with a professor about the difference between a woman who writes and a woman writer and got looked at sternly for saying that I didn’t want to be known as a woman writer because that carries the connotation that everything I write about has something to do with being a life-bearer and that the words you’re reading now were inked in my own menstrual blood. Don’t ask, just let that happen. I’ll be taking complaints in the comments section shortly about this. There shouldn’t be a difference with a reaction to my novels based on my gender. Yes, I’m a lady, but I also like explosions. And replacing limbs with various weapons-that-can-produce-a-lot-of-gore. (My right big toe has been replaced with a mini-zamboni, just so you know. Those things can cause some damage. Just ask Mr. Wiseman.) And my main character is a lady, but she also likes to eat people.

See, I write about vampires, in case you couldn’t tell from all of the vampire-riddled paragraphs around here. I call it high-brow horror. Dracula meets Dostoevsky, if you will. It’s not your grandpappy’s vampire novel and it ain’t your daughter’s neither. No sparkly posers here. In fact, sparkly posers bother me. I deal with the psychological impact of what it means to be turned into a vampire after a lifetime of abuse. I also deal with chopping up peoples’ legs and ruining peoples’ lives with amphibians. (Hey, just ask Hellboy and he’ll tell you all about those rascally frogs and how we need to get them off of our streets now.)

The Lost Boys is my favorite movie. I read Dracula when I was 12. Every year for my birthday, I have a vampire movie marathon. The good, the bad, and the so-bad-it’s-good make an appearance, and every year I try to watch as many as I can before falling asleep. It is one of my goals in life to actually induce hallucinations from sleep-deprivation caused by vampire movie overload. (Also known as the Death By Stereo syndrome.) I do not actually intend to survive this event because nothing else will compare with it, ever. Not even Sinead O’Connor. Or Prince. Or the dude formerly known as the bald-lady-who-ripped-up-a-picture-of-the-Pope-on-TV-once. I always get those two confused. I own several pairs of fangs and act out parts of my novel with Bloody Marys and my cardboard cut-out of Keanu Reeves dress up like a vampire for Halloween costumes.

I have blue hair. Well, now, at least. It’s more of a teal-ish color, or, as I like to call it, Atomic Peacock. A few months ago it was lime green. Soon it might be purple. It’s been every color but orange, which will probably soon change.

I have ginormous feet. And you know what they say about big feet? Big shoes. And you know what they say about big shoes? Good luck trying to find a pair of heels that don’t make you look like Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. Or, DAMN, if we’re in Japan. Or, you know, however one says DAMN in Japanese, which I figure to translate roughly as, “Man, look at the size of that tentacle!”