It’s with a tearful eye and a hyper-extended thumbs-up that I bid farewell to 2012.
The last twelve months have been some of the finest of my entire life. And I’m not exaggerating. Unlike those saccharine slobs who always clamor about the present hour being their finest and the preceding moments nothing more than the bliss-steps to their existence plateaus, I have no illusions about the fact that I’ve chalked up some miserable years. I’ve anguished through entire calendars, burnin’ `em up with fuel of the most incendiary sort.
Self-doubt! Resentment! Apathy! Vitriol! Cynicism! Sally forth towards the mire!
But 2012 was a whole different beast. Sure, there definitely some moments when my nostrils were assailed by the wispy vapors of the aforementioned propellants. But repugnance was ultimately cast aside, overpowered by the surfeit of wonder! It’s almost as though entertainment and art and love formed a giant sword-wieldin’, monster-destroyin’ mech, and I got to pilot the son-of-a-bitch!
Anyways, it looks as though every crew member of Spaceship OL is delivering their year-end highlights, so I’m going to join the party. But since I’ve garnered a reputation as being the erratic, currently-undiagnosed-but-we’re-working-on-it, hack-writin’ resident of the crew, I’m going to switch things up a bit. Each of my highlights will be paired with an Ultra-Dimensional Portal! By clicking on any UDP, a hole will be punched in space-time, and your consciousness will be projected astrally.
Got it? Okay, here’s one last look at 2012!
If you listen closely during Autumn here on the Eastern seaboard of the Empire, you can hear the gentle hum of the Universe. Raised hairs on the nape of your neck, don’t despair. You are sensing during the Fall the quiet passage of Existence. For some it drives them into intoxicants, lonely. For some, it drives them to intoxicants, relishing the diminished weather. For me, I find a gentle joy in the gathering of family around roasted beasts, around football games, around the scattered leaves and the comfy clothing.
This is Monday Morning Commute. The column where we all gather and share what we’re enjoying on a given week. Let us not acknowledge the grind this week, but rather enjoy our little community. Humming along towards star stuff repurposing, humming along together.
After being dead for ten months, it feels amazing to walk the Earth again. To feel the carpet beneath my toes, to bear hug loved ones, to booze in the fellowship of my ka-tet. These are the moments that the universe is pushing us towards, the acknowledgment of those simple pleasures that can only be appreciated when our spirits and minds are where they’re supposed to be.
`Cause let me tell ya, there’s nothing worse than being a poltergeist. I’ve been there. Roaming about, looking for a place to say, nothing more than a broken spirit relegated to brief appearances and disruptive dispositions. I’ve been that figure that people’re surprised to see, and not always pleasantly so.
It might be a perfect way to be dead, but it’s no way to live.
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! I’m going to show you some of the various ways I’ll be entertainin’ myself during the week. After scoping out my wares, it’s your task to make your presence known in the rumble pit known as the comments section. What movies, comics, beverages, albums, and activities are you lookin’ forward to rockin’?
Let’s do this!
Voodoo-prescribin’ witch doctors once invited me to a party.
It was the summer of 1987 and I was in the middle of one of the worst hangovers of my entire life. Since April, I’d spent every waking hour thrashing to Among the Living and doing lines of gasoline-soaked blow. As far as I can recall, it wasn’t until mid-July that I even realized I’d made it all the way to Nova Scotia.
Don’t let anyone tell you that heavy metal and drugs won’t lead you anywhere. They will. Specifically, to the beautiful port-town of Yarmouth.
Anyways, I stumbled out of buck-toothed Ambellina’s bedroom, leaving behind my Walkman and cocaine in the hopes of finding something slightly more transcendent. Fortunately, I found the Tim Hortons whose manager seemed eager to keep my coffee cup filled to the brim, free of charge. (In hindsight, I think must’ve let him look at my Polaroid collection. You ever see a Yeti’s genitals? No? Well, then you haven’t seen my Polaroid collection.) After my thirteenth cup of black wonder, I saw them.
The witch doctors.
There were three of `em. They were all black dudes. They were all wearing sleeveless Wham! t-shirts tucked into blue jeans, which were in turn tucked into work boots. And their accents couldn’t’ve been more diverse. The fat one spoke with a Cajun twang, the old one spoke through a metrosexual French patois, and the tall one sounded German.
In a flash, they’d all taken the liberty of joining me in my booth. Surrounded on all sides, strung out, and shaking in an over-caffeinated stupor, I had no hope of escaping `em. Which wasn’t really a concern of mine until the old one pulled a decapitated chicken out of his backpack and started rubbing it on my face. “Ah, mon ami, you need to stop stressing out!”
“Ja! Too stressed” shouted the tall one, loud enough to turn the heads of patrons.
“C’mon,” encouraged the fat man, “un p’tit boug hain’t gotta worries! We fixxya!”
I was vexed, absolutely sure that these three were going to murder me. I finished my coffee, the best last meal I could ever hope for, and prepared for my demise. “So, you’re goin’ to kill me, huh?”
The old man put the chicken back into his bag and did me the favor of wiping the grease and blood from my face. Granted, he cleaned my visage with his bare hand and then proceeded to clean his hand with his tongue, but the sentiment was there. He then did his best to reassure me.
“Eh bien! Murder is for poets! We are witch doctors! And we’ve got a prescription for you!”
I was curious. “Okay…what is it?”
“ES IST VOODOO!” bellowed the Bavarian.
“Um…” I equivocated, “what type of voodoo?”
Toothy grins spread across the trio of shadowy faces. And then, seemingly from out of nowhere, four of the ugliest, skankiest Canadian girls I’d ever seen appeared behind the witch doctors. If I had to bet, I’d’ve put my money on at least two of `em havin’ VD.
The old man grabbed my shoulder and cackled, “The type of voodoo that starts with a bourbon-soaked orgy!”
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! This is the feature in which I write whatever nonsense pops into my mind and then run through the various ways I’ll be entertaining myself into the weekend. At that point, it’s your duty/honor/begrudging privilege to hit up the comments section and share your own ennui-destroyin’ elixirs.
Enough feet-draggin’, let’s rock!
Hulloh there, folks!
How was your Christmas? How is your Chanukah? Pumped for Kwanzaa? Find someone to smooch on New Year’s Eve? No matter how you get down, chances’re that you’re in midst of celebration. And hell, what’s not to celebrate? We just passed the winter solstice, which means that the days of darkness are going to be coming to an end. While winter is sure to bludgeon us with icy blows, we can rest assured knowing that more and more sunlight will be headed our way.
Unless, of course, you’re a dweller of of the Southern Hemisphere — if that’s the case, you’re still rocking barbeques at the beach. But then again, you’re probably getting into fistfights with joeys and hunting down the dingos that stole your babies. Damn Aussies.
Anyways, welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! This is the nerd-friendly show-and-tell jump-off! I’m going to sift through the entertainment debris that’ll be occupying my time in the following week, giving you the highlights along the way. After you check out `em out, it’s your duty to hit up the comments section and share your own recreational wreckage.
OL-5, standing by!
Hevy Devy never fails to impress.
Even in the midst of rehearsing for the four-concert stint in which all of the DTP albums will be performed in their entirety, Devin Townsend is taking the time to entertain the fans. Devin’s set up his own Formspring specifically for the purpose of answering the questions of his admirers, knowing full-well the inanity and chaos he’s inviting.
Needless to say, sending Devin a mesage about American Transcendentalism and science fiction was an absolute no-brainer. Of course, I was as giddy as a chicken on Thanksgiving when I actually got a response! And apparently tickets to Ziltoidia do exist!
So, I’ll be shipping out to Ziltoid’s home-world any day now! See y’all muthafuggahs later!
Welcome back to MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! By the time you read this, you’ll most likely have completed your first day of the workweek and will be primed for some solid entertainment. But not if you work the graveyard shift. Which is a bummer, unless you actually work at the graveyard, `cause then you get to meet zombies and mad scientists and packs of goth kids playing Ouija!
In any case, I’m going to give you the rundown on some of the shit that’ll be keeping my spirits high over the course of the next week. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to hit up the comments and show which sidearms you’ll be using in this workweek showdown.
Thanks to the mind-warping that occurred while obtaining a Literature degree, there are times in which I can’t keep seem to keep myself from engaging in textual analysis. Whether I’m at the movies, in front of the TV, or curled up with a book, there’s no escaping the temptation to ruminate further, to dig deeper, to figure out what’s really going on. For better or worse, several analytic seeds have been planted in my brain-bone: authorial intent is irrelevant, structure is never as sound as it hopes to be, and genuine meanings must be extrapolated.
Truth be told, approaching texts this way can be frustrating as hell, capable of usurping all the pleasure that makes us want to experience them in the first place. But given the right piece, and the right circumstances, textual analysis can be fresh to death. Alas, I suppose it’s the academic equivalent of the `ole Peter Parker conundrum!
After giving it a few solid listen-throughs, I’ve come to the determination that the Devin Townsend Project’s Deconstruction is an album rich with meaning. So engorged is this album – sonically, lyrically, musically – that it almost demands to be subjected to an in-depth interpretation. And in an effort to entertain myself, and perhaps stumble upon something worthwhile along the way, that is what I’ve attempted.
Join me as I deconstruct Deconstruction.
When I opened the door this morning, it hit me. Hard. Fuck the scientific calculations, I know damn well when change is afoot. And you can, too. Tomorrow, when you leave for work or play or prison, tilt your head back and suck in deep. It’s bound to tickle your nose.
The smell of summer.