Wednesday Lee Friday
01 October 2014 @ 11:14 pm
I've been doing Wednesday Reprints of my old Zombie Zone News articles since they can no longer be seen on the site. Taking a break from interviews this week to reshare my article detailing why I hate The Evil Dead--especially when everyone assumes I must love it.



I hate The Evil Dead: Explained, because you asked for it.

As a life-long zombie fan from the great state of Michigan, I am met with varying degrees of surprise when new friends learn that I loathe The Evil Dead movies—and indeed, all of Sam Raimi's horror. "Even Army of Darkness?!?" they say in feigned hipster shock. Yes, 'fraid so. People have been asking me to explain (read: justify) this for at least 20 years now. I wanted to explain it, but I honestly didn't know—until now. This might end up being more about me than the film itself, but hey, you asked. See, I don't just "dislike" Evil Dead. I loathe it. I've reached a point where I'm pissed that people praise it so highly, love it so much—especially when the most gung-ho people aren't even zombie fans. "The Evil Dead" is kind of a silly title if you think about it—akin to The Mean Murderer or Bad Men We Don't Like.

Until my preparation for this article, I hadn’t seen the original Evil Dead in over 15 years. I remembered it as tritely scripted, horribly acted, rife with ridiculously bad dialogue, and generally shitty overall. It was also advertised as a zombie movie, which it really isn't. On the off chance that I asserted this, I would typically be met by—let’s say vigorous disapproval. Eventually I became perplexed, suspicious that there must be something I was missing. The disagreement was SO strong that I doubted the veracity of my hatred—even Stephen King has admitted liking The Evil Dead.

"But…it's terrible," I'd say, referring to the aspects of the films which are…you know…terrible. And here's the thing—no one disagrees that Evil Dead has horrible acting, is poorly written, has amateurish special effects and makeups that are lit far too brightly, and is generally stupid. Everyone concedes these points. "But, you don't understand--they had so little and did so much," they bray. What I gather from that is that I'm supposed to love the movie because they took the time to make it, and it was hard. It's probably hard for Uwe Boll to make movies, but the fact that he did so isn't enough to make me go. I'm not falling for THAT again. Now that YouTube exists, we now know that movie making is not some elusive skill that only Kubrick, Fincher, and Hitchcock were ever good at. Simply making a film with a small budget is not a good enough reason to like it.

Side note: I once paid to see Drag me to Hell in the hopes that there would be ONE Sam Raimi horror movie that I could enjoy. No dice. I love Spiderman, but all of Raimi’s horror watches like he’s enjoying a private joke that I just don’t get. The talking goat was enough to make me want to walk out in a huff; and I spotted the **spoiler alert** button switch from a mile away. Sad, because like Evil Dead, Drag me to Hell has a promising beginning.
It's even been suggested that I don't like Evil Dead because I'm a girl. And apparently, Girls don't know anything about zombies. Pish tosh, I say. If you don't think chicks know zombies, I'd implore you to check out Z Magazine, and its proprietess Eloise Knapp. Hell, you can read my own zombie book, The Finster Effect, which is a damn sight more interesting than any horror Raimi has ever directed. AND it's set in the great state of Michigan.

The Evil Dead starts out fine. There is some great footage of a swampy, wooded area (that isn't in Michigan, for some reason) where scary shit is no doubt brewing. These swooping opening shots are fun and visually appealing—setting us up to think the movie will have a certain artistry that just doesn’t develop. By the time Ashley et al have a near-miss car collision, it’s clear to the viewer that not a single one of them can act. An abundance of 20/20 hindsight tells us that only one of these people went on to do any actual acting—if indeed, Old Spice commercials and Bubba Ho Tep can be counted as "acting." ;-)

Because this film is so well-known among fans, I'm not going to do a play by play of character or plot. If you're reading this article, chances are you don't need the information. That said, I do feel compelled to mention the following:
--How am I supposed to like a character who thinks it's funny to point a loaded gun at his buddy? Unless the setup is "they're a bunch of douchebags and you shouldn't care if they die," I don't see the point.
--Some of the props are really cool—the book and the skull in particular.
--A chick is raped by a tree. I'm gonna say that again in case you aren't getting that. A Chick. Is Raped. By a Tree. Evil Dead is considered to be an American classic, and a shining example of great filmmaking on a tiny budget. And in this zombie opus and source of American pride—a chick is raped by a tree. Women have come a long way in horror since then, but c'mon.
--Scott: Huge Asshat, or the Hugest Asshat? In fact, for being such close friends, all of these people are serious dicks to each other.
--Um, is that gerbil supposed to be a wild animal? If so, really?
--The clouds going past the moon shot is an affront to all things lunar. If you can't just shoot the actual moon, please don't bother.
--"Zombism." Personally, I believe in a relaxed and inclusive definition of "zombie" which can include infected, voudon, bite-based, chemical, viral, etc. But being possessed by a Demon is not really zombism. Evil Dead "zombies" don't seem to want to actually eat anyone, not as a primary goal anyway. What really bugs me about this is how many zombie aficionados will scream for days that 28 Days Later is not zombie movie because infection isn't dying blah blah blah, but have no issue with this? I guess later in the film it's a little more zombie-like, but really? Evil Dead is a zombie movie like Pet Sematary is a zombie movie—which is to say: kinda, but not really. In fact, it isn't even marketed as a zombie movie anymore.
--Bruce Campbell. I know he has legions of fans, and is purportedly a really nice guy. He's handsome. Ridiculously, absurdly, chiseled-out-of-stone handsome. No disrespect, but Bruce looks like he could be Mitt Romney's brother. He's so handsome, I'm suspicious and want to dislike him on general principle.
--Claymation. I gotta admit, I like it.
--Zombies don't talk. And you can posthumously tell that prick Dan O'Bannon I said so.

Lets agree for the time being that The Evil Dead is a zombie movie. Zombies are part of the horror genre, and will be until they sparkle and make the romance with teenage girls. But The Evil Dead isn't scary. It's gross and silly and ridiculous. It doesn't take horror seriously. And I do. Horror is serious business, and if you're going to piss on it with your foolish FX and shittier than shitty dialogue (which is free, BTW. Good dialogue costs nothing, and the only thing you need to get it is talent) it needs to be at least as funny as say, Fido. Evil Dead isn't, not in MY humble opinion. It isn't even as funny as Saturday the 14th and how many of you have even seen that little gem of a film? ** insert horsehead bookends joke here **

There's one more thing that keeps me from digging The Evil Dead. And I didn't put it together for the longest time. And it begins with the Fake Shemp. A "Fake Shemp" is a delightfully nerdy expression derived from when the Three Stooges had to complete a few shorts after Shemp Howard's sudden death. They worked around him with (what we now call) some Ed Wood-style body doubling. They had to shoot around Bruce Campbell to finish the film. Since Ted Raimi was far too adorable to stand in for Mitt jr, they used a series of these Fake Shemps.

Hmmm…a Three Stooges joke. Even with that knowledge, it still took someone actually telling me that one reason I don't appreciate Evil Dead movies is that I don't like the Three Stooges. Once I looked for it, Evil Dead was rife with references, parodies, a veritable cornucopia of Three Stooges humor. That's the ongoing joke that I just don't get. And let me assure you, that running gag is holding that movie together more than some of you realize. Without it, the whole thing turns to an unfunny crapshack.
Even more eye-opening was the realization that I don't know a single chick who likes Three Stooges. Not one. I mean, I've seen a few of their shorts and don't wish them any specific harm. A lot of fingers in eyes and pies in rich dowager's faces. Hardee har har. But aside from thinking that recent movie was an affront against the gods of cinema, I know fuckall about the Three Stooges, and am quite comfortable with that. But I was pissed to realize that my dislike of Evil Dead had more to do with me being a chick than I'd care to admit.

In the end, I can forgive lame special effects, bad makeups under too bright lighting, suspiciously handsome actors, and can even learn to tolerate poorly written dialogue. But if I'm not scared, I need to be laughing, intrigued, or care even the tiniest bit about these characters. I wasn't, and I couldn't, and I still can't. And that, ultimately, is what keeps me from enjoying The Evil Dead.
Aren't you glad you know?

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: crankycranky
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
01 October 2014 @ 03:32 am
  • Tue, 10:40: #Gotham is like the 60's Batman in that big stars are falling all over each other to appear in it. How nice for all of us! Frank Whaley FTW.
  • Tue, 12:40: You guys all know I'm writing for a new site, right? Here's a link to my archive so you can keep up if you want to. http://t.co/kqz5MnLu6T
  • Tue, 15:05: Aside from my pic being squishy, I'm digging my new & growing archive @ Puckermob. Check out my lists of things. ;-) http://t.co/1164le08RQ
  • Tue, 19:07: Bruce Wayne's mom and Superman's Earth mom both have the same first name. How did I not notice that before?
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Wednesday Lee Friday
29 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
  • Sun, 22:59: Wow, Sunday night #FOX served up the good stuff. Best Crossover EVER. (nice Simps opener too)
  • Mon, 10:25: Boardwalk Empire: "Cuanto" Review | Geek Binge http://t.co/uTM6t6MxEC Secrets revealed, requests made, & unexpected bloodshed. #HBO
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Wednesday Lee Friday
28 September 2014 @ 12:05 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
27 September 2014 @ 12:03 pm
  • Sat, 00:46: "Post-it"notes keep falling down. Turns out, they're some crapshack knockoff brand. Thanks a lot--former office I stole them from. @3MNews
  • Sat, 00:47: Does anybody know why they make glow-in-the-dark sunglasses? Also, how do we make them stop, because that's stupid. #tacobell #FourTwenty
  • Sat, 04:17: Everyone bitching about bendable iPhones clearly hasn't seen the show @Extant_CBS. They have future smartphones that still snap like twigs.
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Wednesday Lee Friday
26 September 2014 @ 10:40 pm
Want to read a substantive post with well-considered opinions on racism, economics, war, and government asshattery? Well, this is not that post.
This post is to discuss my favorite (non Bill Paxton, obvs) character on Agents of SHIELD, Leopold Fitz. We know him as one-half of Fitz-Simmons, or as simply: Fitz.

Cut so you don't get spoiled up.Collapse )

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
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Color Me: awakeawake
Background Noise: Defiance Soundtrack
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
26 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
24 September 2014 @ 11:55 pm
Time once again for another Zombie Zone News reprint, this time, it's Peter Clines.  This is from a series we did with Audible.com when they started getting seriously into indie horror.  There are some great authors in this series, more of which will follow in the coming weeks.  

Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday: Peter Clines



Today's 7 authors in 7 days interview is none other than Peter Clines. Inventive and brave, Clines defies genre to give readers something unexpectedly awesome every time. Ex-Heroes inspired fervor among zombie fans, and Ex-Patriots promises to get already rabid fans even more frothy. Ha hails from Maine, the horror capitol in the world, and his newest novel was produced as an audiobook by Audible.com. http://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B0057YOIYI

Clip to follow after the interview.

WLF/ZZN: Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer our Q's. I'll start with what some horror writers call The Grandma Question. Why zombies? Why can't you write about something pleasant?
Hah. Well, let’s get the awkward one out of the way. Honestly, why not? Are zombies really that much more horrible than anything else? This sort of question always makes me laugh because so many people write about disturbing, unnerving things that are real. John Grisham writes about legal and financial machinations by people out to screw the little guy. Lee Child writes about government cover-ups. Ray Bradbury’s written several stories about book burning. Dan Brown writes about secret cults and religious conspiracies. Dozens of bestselling authors write about oppression and unfettered greed. Yet grandmothers everywhere applaud these people as writing “pleasant” stuff. But, man, you wipe out one small town with zombies or vampires and suddenly you’re one of those messed-up horror writers who obviously had a scarring childhood incident.

WLF/ZZN: You are known for work that straddles multiple genres. What's amatter? One genre not good enough for ya?
I just love crossing the streams. I know it’s bad but I think it appeals to most folks on a simple level. When we were kids playing with toys we’d see GI Joe team up with Star Wars and Transformers all the time. It was only when we got older that we learned about all these lines that aren’t supposed to be crossed. So the short answer is that I haven’t matured much since I was nine.
On another level, I think most really good stories tend to cross genres a little bit. I bet you can find a dozen or more old movies about people locked in a store or warehouse over a long weekend, doing all the things we’d all do, and then George Romero dropped in zombies and we had Dawn of the Dead. Stephen King took your classic “small American town” story and added vampires and we got Salem’s Lot.

WLF/ZZN: I understand that you oppose fast zombies. How is it that in your books, super heroes exist but still can't quite get a handle on slow zombies?
I just think the idea of fast zombies is a bit silly, and I feel comfortable standing in the same corner as Romero on this one. The walking dead in general are kind of pushing the bounds of believability. I think when people come back from the dead better than they were before—suddenly able to sprint non-stop and leap a dozen feet into the air—I think it’s pushing ridiculous. Simon Pegg’s expressed the same view and said something like “death is a disability, not a superpower.”
That being said, just to be fair, I don’t really consider things like 28 Days Later or The Crazies (Romero’s or the remake) to be zombie stories. I know that label got slapped on them, but I think that was just laziness on the part of some reviewers/ publicists. These are stories about living people who are suffering from a condition. They’re more ghoul stories than zombie stories. It’s a different kind of monster and a different kind of horror.
As far as superheroes not being able to handle slow zombies... that’s like people saying “well, why doesn’t Congress just fix the economy?” The big problem with slow zombies is always numbers. Everyone says “oh, they’re slow—just dodge them.” But how do you dodge twenty people? Or fifty? Or a hundred? Think about it. I established in Ex-Heroes that there are almost five million zombies in Los Angeles alone. So if you killed a hundred zombies a day, every day, for a year, you still wouldn’t’ve killed one percent of the zombie population of L.A. Even if you bumped it up to more than two hundred a day, you’re talking about fifty years to clean out Los Angeles. And then you can move on to the rest of California, the rest of the U.S., the rest of the world... It’s not called an apocalypse because you can recover in a week. There are no quick and easy answers.

WLF/ZZN: Can fans expect another sequel?
Yup. I wrote Ex-Heroes as kind of a stand-alone book, but Jacob Kier at Permuted Press loved it so much, and it’s doing so well with folks, that I got to write Ex-Patriots with a third story in mind. Sooooo... a couple small things are left unresolved, a couple seeds are planted. I’m finishing up a different book right now and then I’m hoping to have Ex-Communication done in time for Christmas next year.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us about the audiobook version of Ex-Patriots.
It’s like getting the book read to you by someone who speaks very well and can do really cool voices. If I read it to you, everyone’s voice would crack or sound squeaky. A lot. Especially the female characters.

WLF/ZZN: Which ZombieFest selections are your favorite(s)?
You want me to say something besides “mine,” right? Well, Bryon Morrigan’s Acheron comes out right after Ex-Patriots and it’s very fun. I got to read it at the start of the year. It’s about a soldier in the middle east who gets caught up in... well, I don’t want to say too much because it’s a great slow-build story. Let’s just say it starts out with a creepy mist and the walking dead and gets crazier and crazier. Part of the fun is the main character, Captain Nate Leathers (and you have to love that name), is very down-to-Earth and he’s viewing all the events through a very pragmatic eye.

WLF/ZZN: You've been credited with creating something truly unique within an oversaturated genre. Do you agree that the zombie subgenre is oversaturated?
I think “oversaturation” is a term that gets thrown out to explain why things fail. No one ever says television is oversaturated with sitcoms or procedural shows until one of them bombs. That’s when the word gets whipped out, because the alternative is “your material sucks.” But the truth is that network television continues to support dozens of sitcoms, dozens of procedurals, and many more are waiting in the wings.
I do think there’s a definite flood of zombie material right now, and I think a large part of that is zombies got cool just at a time when small presses were coming back and e-publishing was really taking off. So there’s been a lot of space on the bandwagon for people to jump on. There’s a lot of really good stuff out there getting a lot of support, but I think the percentage of bad stuff we’re actually seeing is going up because people are able to bypass that filter of editor and publisher. And let’s be honest for a minute—the majority of people should be filtered out. That’s just the way of the world. Not everyone can write good stories. Also, not everyone can cook, not everyone can play guitar, not everyone can repair cars, and not everyone can perform brain surgery.
So, short answer, you could say the market’s oversaturated—cluttered might be a better word-- but I think it’s really just where you’d expect it to be with all the new tech out there. I think every genre’s seeing the same thing right now, we just don’t realize it because most of us here aren’t big into historical romance or period mysteries or whatever.

WLF/ZZN: What, if anything, can you share with us about your own zombie survival plan?
Denial. I will stop them all by sheer denial.

WLF/ZZN: Just for fun, what is the worst zombie movie or book you've ever encountered?
Tough call. I have seen and read some things that I thought were really, really awful. I’m trying to get better about biting my tongue, though, so I probably shouldn’t say anything. It turns out people have started listening to my opinions over the past year or so, which I think means I should be a bit more careful with them. I will be zombie Thumper and say nothing at all (cause, y’know... he’s a dead rabbit. They don’t talk).

WLF/ZZN: How has your experience been with Audible.com?
Really fantastic. I was a bit intimidated at first because I was stepping into an all-new realm, but the people were wonderful (and very patient). One of the people working on Ex-Patriots actually caught something that had slipped past all my proofreaders and editors so we got to make some last-minute tweaks. Jay Snyder, the narrator, is just great. When he recorded Ex-Heroes we traded a bunch of emails because he wanted to make sure he was pronouncing names correctly and what actors I could picture playing different parts. After years in the film industry, where the writer’s opinion is usually ignored at best, it was a pleasant surprise.
They asked me to do some bonus material for the July releases, too. Those are the Junkie Quatrain stories that are tagged on to all four audiobooks. They’re set in a post-apocalyptic world where an infection turns people into uninhibited cannibals. But they’re not zombies. They’re more like... ghouls (link up here, link up there). Each story stands alone, but if you read more than one you’ll start to see overlaps and connections. Rhetorical questions are asked in some stories that actually get answered in others.

WLF/ZZN: Anything you'd like to say to your many readers?
Some of you people have really sick minds. Especially you. Yeah, you. That’s not what I meant by that at all. How did you even come up with that? Seriously, get your minds out of the gutter.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much. Any last words of advice to those of us who may someday have to fight off zombies without the assistance of super heroes?
Don’t get backed into a corner—always have an escape route. And possibly an escape route from your escape route. Don’t get too dependent on your firearms (they run out of ammo or jam at all the worst times). And for God’s sake, it is not “just a scratch” and it will not be okay.
*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: busybusy
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
23 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
22 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
19 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
18 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
17 September 2014 @ 07:39 pm
From 2011, please enjoy this interview with Chef Formaro of Zombie Burger and Drink Lab, reprinted from Zombie Zone News:

Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday: Chef George Formaro


Regular readers know that I get to interview all sorts of cool purveyors of undead culture—actors, novelists, musicians, directors, photographers, and so forth. This is the first time I've ever interviewed a chef, because let's face it, zombie food doesn't sound altogether palatable for the living.
And yet…Zombie Burger and Drink Lab is set to open in Des Moines in just a few short days. A harbinger of undead things to come? Perhaps. An atmospheric space with a killer menu of horror and zombie-inspired faire? For sure. Tuesday, August 30th is opening night—and man, you do NOT want to miss it. Burger lovers, zombie fans, even those silly vegetarian types will find something to love on Chef Formaro's extensive menu—which is designed to look like a newspaper during a zombie outbreak. Safehouse-inspired décor and awesome murals create a fun atmosphere for families, while the Drink Lab section serves alcohol just for the grown-ups.

Okay…I sound more like a commercial than an interviewer. I'll admit it, I love cheeseburgers almost as much as I love zombies. They are nature's perfect food. Imagine the joy of a gourmand such as myself having the opportunity to interview Chef Formaro on his truly unique and awesome restaurant!

WLF/ZZN: Chef Formaro, you've created an establishment that combines two of my favorite things on this Earth: zombies, and burgers. What inspired you to bring horror and comfort food together in such an unorthodox way?
Zombie movies and burgers both have an element of fun about them, and I've always been a fan of both. So it just seemed like a fun idea to put them together. And once we started talking about it, the concept kind of took off on its own. The people of Des Moines have really been getting into the idea, and we're not even open yet!

WLF/ZZN: Unlike the usual human nosh in a zombie movie, your menu is extensive, mouth-watering and diverse. What makes your menu well suited to horror fans?
Well, the food is fantastic for both horror and non-horror fans. It's the zombie-movie theme of the menu that makes it fun for horror fans. If you're a fan of the genre, then you'll get the jokes in the names, like the "They're Coming To Get You, Barbara" burger. (WLF note: Ha!)

WLF/ZZN: Why Des Moines?
Des Moines is a great city. There are a lot of smart, fun people here who get the kind of thing we're doing with Zombie Burger. Plus it's where I live, and probably always will, so I want to make sure this town has places like this that you won't really find anywhere else.


WLF/ZZN: A lot of your menu items have a definite family-friendly vibe. As a person without kids, I was delighted to see that the Drink Lab features a more grown-up atmosphere. Any specialty drinks we grown-ups should be trying?
My favorite drink is the Zombie, big shocker huh? Also, adding booze to the milkshakes is a must have! I like the Cherry Darling with vodka.

WLF/ZZN: ZZN fans would love to hear about your horror cred. Who are your horror heroes?
When I was a kid, I loved the old-time horror movies, so if you're talking actors, I was always a big fan of Lon Chaney and his Phantom of the Opera. And Lon Jr.'s WolfMan. And I loved Boris Karloff's Frankenstein.
If you're talking movie characters, I'd go with Barbara from Night of the Living Dead. I actually own the zombie prop head of Uncle Rege and the fire poker that Barbara used to kill him from the 1990 remake!

WLF/ZZN: Do you worry that zombies will be offended at the many, many vegetarian selections?
My experience with zombies is that they're hard to offend. And who knows, the more civilized undead might actually like the fact that you can get any of our burgers with the vegetarian patty. It's got to be a little boring eating brains all the time

WLF/ZZN: Are "Jersey Rippers" as terrifying as they sound?
Rippers are a Jersey thing. Throwing the dogs in hot oil causes them to rip. Thought it was apropos for our concept...and tasty !

WLF/ZZN: Are any menu items directly inspired by horror films?
In Planet Terror is a BBQ sauce. Loved the JT's Bone Shack setting for a chunk of that movie. No blood in our sauce though. And we have fun names tied in all over. We thought it would be cool for Zombie fans to see where our minds were when we were creating the burgers. The Horde is a French zombie movie and the burger is a Franco inspired burger. The Romero Pittsburgher is our take on a famous sandwich joint in Pittsburgh.

WLF/ZZN: I understand that the burgers and Jersey Rippers are served on custom rolls you've developed yourself. Do all those rolls ever make you nervous, given the events in Night of the Living Bread?
We have been doing some really crazy, diabolical stuff with liquid nitrogen, CO2 siphons and other unmentionables, it would not shock me if the bread were to be tampered with and get out of control. Yes, it has been a concern of mine.

WLF/ZZN: Is the Zombie Burger and Drink Lab well situated for zombie defense?
Personally I think a spiked shake is the perfect defense to monster attacks of all kinds. But for those who are worried, I have been assured by the building's architects that the walls and windows can withstand horde levels of zombies.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us a bit about the artist(s) who created the zombie themed murals?
Ron Wagner is a local illustrator who does amazing work. He created three large-scale murals of zombies taking over Des Moines that are prominently featured throughout the space. For more information on Ron, please visit:http://www.rjwagner.com/biography.shtml

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much for the interview, Chef. I predict that the opening will be attended by hordes of…something.

In case anyone is not familiar:

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: boredbored
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
17 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
16 September 2014 @ 07:49 pm
Last week, I got an Email from the producer of Thom Hartmann's show. If you don't know, he's a progressive pundit and pretty cool guy. They'd seen one of my phonesex articles at Kinkly.com, and wanted me to talk about phonesex on the show. Like most of the times I get asked to do things, I agreed immediately without much thought to what I was getting myself into.

My old webcam was not really of TV quality, so I ordered a better one from Amazon. Even though I have Prime, and paid $9 extra, it didn't arrive when it was supposed to. In fact, it arrived today (the day after the interview). Thanks for the shipping refund, and for adding to my stress, AMAZON PRIME.

I was fortunate to be able to borrow an excellent camera. They told me they'd send the questions ahead of time, so no worries there. Some of my FB peeps had already done the show, so I knew I wouldn't be able to see the video of Thom as he asked me the questions.

Turns out, I didn't get the questions before hand. The first two things he asked me, I had no idea. I made some shit up. Then I babbled through the rest of the questions, occasionally forgetting to look directly into the camera.

I haven't actually watched the interview yet, but all my buddies said I did great. What are they gonna say, right? By today, a bunch of people on Twitter were making fun of me. Of course, Twitter is second only to 4Chan in the frequency and acidity of cruel comments. Anyway, here it is:



The important thing is, I didn't throw up.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
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Color Me: nauseatednauseated
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
16 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
15 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
13 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
  • Fri, 18:45: Does anybody want a digital copy of the new #U2 album? Somebody seems to have slipped me one as a joke. #seriouslyiTunesWTF
  • Fri, 21:38: Dear People who would invent a drug called "VLIBRYD." Stop it. A "V" followed by an "L" is stupid and makes no sense. Thank you.
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Wednesday Lee Friday
12 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
11 September 2014 @ 05:06 pm
JoJo went to HVHS (the vet) today. It was a relatively painless ordeal for all concerned. He's been licking so much that now the inside of both back legs and the bottom of his belly are both largely bald. But--no scabs, no infection or redness. Just a whole lot of licking for no good reason. Also, tiny patches on the back of his front legs.

I managed to get him in the carrier all by myself. This is kind of a big deal. He howled like the world was ending. We joked that he might actually be turning into a werewolf he was howling so damn loud.

HVHS was super nice and easy to deal with. They loved how beautiful and chill he was. I mean, he was loud and nervous, but with that in mind he was very good. They gave him fancy food and trimmed his nails for the lowest price because he behaved so well.

They think he has contact dermatitis. We need to shampoo our carpet and look into what's different about his litter. They took a skin scraping from him but didn't notice anything unusual. They're gonna call us back later with test results, but his health seems otherwise very good.

He's home now. We could have given him a steroid shot, but decided against it. They were really great at HVHS, and everything was only $77. I gave an extra $20 for donation because it was less than I was expecting, and because they were great. I'm relieved that there's nothing seriously wrong with my little man, but really wish he'd stop all that damn licking.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
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Color Me: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
11 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
10 September 2014 @ 06:24 pm
Hey kids,

As many of you know, I used to have an interview segment at Zombie Zone News. Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday was a ton of fun, and allowed me to trade Emails with some really cool people. However, an error at the website led to most of those interviews being unavailable to read. The good news? I still have all my interviews, and thought it might be a neat idea to repost them somewhere that they can actually be seen. I have not edited these in any way.
For my own laughs, I decided not to post these in order. Also, the Bear McCreary interview was requested. How can I say no?  Honestly, this was not one of my better interviews because I felt SO far out of my league.  Bear was totes professional and patient with my ignorance. 
So here it is, from March 2011, my interview with composer Bear McCreary:

From Zombie Zone News, March, 2011"



Like most of you, I waited all summer long in anticipation of the premiere of The Walking Dead. I carefully avoided news articles and pics, not wanting even the tiniest spoiler. Open credits begin. Music by Bear McCreary. Cheers! Applause! My Walking Dead party was chock full of BSG devotees, Sarah Connor fans, and Dark Void players. Our already palpable anticipation doubled. We were not disappointed.
Bear McCreary has composed scores for some of the best television of the last ten years including Battlestar Galactica, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Eureka, Caprica, and The Cape. Then there's the movies like Wrong Turn 2, Rest Stop, and BSG Razor. You can, and should, read all about Bear on his website. http://www.bearmccreary.com/
As we all know, the score from Season One of The Walking Dead set the bar for horror television. The banjo work alone is reason enough to buy this soundtrack. Bear's ability to create mood, enhance themes, and elicit emotion, is nothing short of masterful. I was super geeked when Bear agreed to answer some questions just for us.


WLF/ZZN: You were a kid who watched TV and played video games, who grew up to work in TV and video games. Does this affirm that TV and video games are not only good for us, but the road to creative fulfillment?
I think that feature films have utterly lost their monopoly on being cool. When I was a kid, films had a sense of grandeur and scope that TV and especially games didn’t even attempt to match. Nowadays, film is trying to keep up with a quickly evolving landscape. The creative opportunities I’ve found in games and TV have been absolutely remarkable. And while I enjoy working in features too, I only take on the projects that allow me to explore new musical sounds. Basically, I take on projects that are dramatically interesting. I don’t even care if its for a film, TV or a game, as long as it’s fun to work on it.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us about your relationship with zombies before you signed on to score The Walking Dead.
I’d always been aware of the zombie genre, but it really wasn’t where my passion lied. However, that all changed when I read Kirkman’s comic. I was sucked into the world of these characters, because I loved them so much. And TWD comic is a good crash course for zombie newbies, because it hits so many of the tropes of the genre. From there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to finding all these great films.

WLF/ZZN: How stoked were you to do it?
Pretty f*cking stoked. Can I say that? Maybe I should rephrase: Pretty f*cking excited about it.

WLF/ZZN: Can you share anything about how scoring this series has influenced your own plans or preparation for the zombie apocalypse?
I’m keeping my banjo handy.

WLF/ZZN: You've talked about the concept of Unity in the score for The Walking Dead, and that the leitmotifs intertwine to create one sound. Does the inspiration for these character themes come more from the actor's performances, or from the script?
Honestly, there aren’t really any character themes to speak of. That’s where the unity comes from. Rather than highlighting all the characters’ differences, by giving them each a unique sound, I’m painting them all with a single brush. They come from different backgrounds and have different values, but they’ve all been brought together by this horrific event and their current surroundings.
If anything, the quality of the actor’s performances has allowed me to step back a little musically and accomplish this. The scenes work so well on their own, I can focus more on creating a musical world, rather than working hard on creating specific character arcs. This approach may change in Season 2, of course, but that’s what worked in Season 1.

WLF/ZZN: Does your musically Unifying the human survivors indicate that you are rooting for the humans to win?
Zombies are fun. But, if you’re rooting for the zombies to win it means the characters aren’t connecting and the whole thing is a failure. That’s precisely what makes Kirkman’s source material so fabulous. As a well-versed comic book / horror fan you KNOW people are going to die. But, Damnit, Kirkman makes you love these people anyway.

WLF/ZZN: The banjos in The Walking Dead are even scarier than those from Deliverance. It literally sounds like a zombie is playing. Do you agree then, with the premise of Land of the Dead, that some zombies will retain the musical abilities they had in life?
That’s exactly how I thought about it, even though I think Kirkman / Darabont would disagree. The zombies in TWD really don’t retain their humanity at all. But, that’s how I got Oingo Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek to find the right sound on the banjo. I told him to imagine he was a banjo player who became a zombie and was playing through muscle memory. That really got him in the mood and he created some incredibly terrifying textures.

WLF/ZZN: I haven't heard any accordion in The Walking Dead yet. Did I miss it? When will fans get the accordion they are pining for?
I’ll bet Season 2 finds some.

WLF/ZZN: Speaking of the accordion, I really think you and Weird Al Yankovic should play dueling accordions, maybe for charity? Are you game?
He’d kick my ass.

WLF/ZZN: Are you able to reveal any new instruments you'll be introducing in Season 2? Anything relating to a certain prison, perhaps?
No spoilers on that one, I’m afraid.

WLF/ZZN: Before The Walking Dead, you scored such shows as Caprica, Eureka, The Cape, and the celebrated reimagining of Battlestar Galactica. Was it always your intention to use leitmotifs in Battlestar Galactica, or did that evolve organically?
Quite the opposite. I had strict instruction from the producers to never use any themes at all. But, I couldn’t help it. That’s just where the show was leaning, so I did it anyway hoping no one would notice. Finally, around the end of the first season, the producer said that a scene with Boomer wasn’t quite working. “Can you just bring back that Boomer theme here? I think that will really help.” At that moment, I knew I wouldn’t get fired for using themes.

WLF/ZZN: Felix Gaeta was my favorite BSG character. It was worth suffering through Gaeta's misfortunes just to hear him sing. Can you tell us a bit about how Gaeta's Lament was conceived and incorporated into the show?
It was incorporated into the script that Felix would sing while being operated on. I worked closed with the actor Alessandro Juliani to write a melody in his comfortable vocal range. AJ is a classically trained singer, and has a really beautiful voice. I was stunned working with him. Regrettably, he couldn’t show it off in the series because his character was supposed to be in utter agony. So, he couldn’t sing to his full capacity. Thankfully, we re-recorded it for the Season 4 soundtrack album and he was able to show fans just how serious a singer he is.

WLF/ZZN: Is there anything fans can do to get Caprica back on the air? Facebook revolution? Letter campaign to SyFy? Maybe HBO?
Build a time machine? I’m afraid that ship has long sailed. I miss Caprica. It didn’t get the fulfilling finale that “BSG” had. I will always remember that as one of the more beautiful themes I’ve composed.

WLF/ZZN: I just learned moments ago that The Cape was cancelled, and that the finale would only be aired online. Can you comment on this trend of cancelling innovative, well-produced shows while perpetuating vapid derivative crapfests devoid of anything resembling originality?
It’s an unfortunate reality of the TV business, but not limited to that industry. Bands that don’t go big on their first album don’t get a chance to make a second. In the old days, they had time to evolve a fan base. Queen didn’t take off until their THIRD album. If they were around today, they’d never make it. Similarly, a movie has only opening weekend to prove itself. All you can do is do your best, work on projects you believe in and hope for the best.

WLF/ZZN: The mega-version 8-bit track from the Dark Void theme is awesome. Was that your idea?
That was a bit of a gift, at first. Inafune-San, the creator of “Mega Man,” was a producer on “Dark Void.” So, I made an 8-bit version of the game’s theme in the style of “Mega Man II.” To my surprise, CAPCOM loved it so much, they actually made an 8-bit game to go with it, and I wrote a full score for it. The full orchestral and 8-bit scores of both games are still on iTunes. I love that fans can experience both.

WLF/ZZN: What advice would you offer aspiring composers who want to work in TV and video games?
Do your best work. Treat every project like it matters. Believe in what you’re doing. But, most of all, do this because you love to do it above all else. If there’s something in life you enjoy more than writing music, by all means… do that instead.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. Is there anything you'd like to say to your many, many fans?
Check out my blog, bearmccreary.com, in the coming weeks for some big announcements. I’ve just released a book of piano sheet music arrangements of “Battlestar Galactica” music. There are soundtrack CDs, concert DVDs and other cool things on the horizon. Thanks and keep on listening!
*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
09 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
08 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
05 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
04 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
03 September 2014 @ 06:09 pm
I've mentioned that we get Door to Door Organics delivered every other week. This means we have fresh produce for the week when we don't go to the grocery store. It's pretty awesome. Right now we have peaches and nectarines. Plus we got garlic, a lemon, green beans, capsecums, and beets for roasting, plus some bananas. It's $23 for Door to Door Organics to deliver it to my door. When they show up, they actually knock instead of just leaving it somewhere. And they take the box, cooling packs, and packing materials from the previous week away for recycling. If a piece of produce is ever bad (or like recently, there is a recall) they refund in full if you let them know via Email.

Nature Box v Graze

I wanted to get more snacky stuff around so I'd be less likely to eat chips (my fave) or baking cookies or brownies for snacks. I ordered Graze because it was cheap and seemed to have yummy choices. And they do. The deliveries are easily recognizable, which means I have to watch for it so my neighbors don't steal it. The snacks are varied and pretty tasty. A lot of dried fruit, nuts, and trail mix type stuff. They offer tiny bags of microwave popcorn, but I've never gotten the knack of those. The problem? A box contains four portions, and they are one small single serve for one person.

My sister-in-law hipped me to a special with Nature Box where you could get their $20 box for $10. One Nature Box contains 5 bags of snacks. Each bag is supposed to contain 4-5 servings, but I'd say it's more like 3 for a reasonable person who is actually hungry when they snack. The choices seemed about as good as Graze. They arrived promptly, and the bags were indeed, bigger. The problem? They weren't that great. Everything was salty and heavily flavored, which attempted to mask sub par ingredients. Some of it was downright rank. Chocolate quinoa granola sounds awesome, doesn't it? I assure you it is ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. The good stuff, like dried pineapple, came in a 3oz bag. That's not very much IMO.

I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. I wasn't wild about Nature Box, but Graze just wasn't getting the job done. I decided to cancel Nature Box, since there's no reason to pay for something I don't love--remember, later deliveries would have been $20 each. I went back to Graze's website to get one delivery a week, instead of every other week. That's when I saw that Graze is about to start larger delivery boxes much more akin to what Nature box is doing--with their usual higher quality of food.

They haven't started yet, but I'm on the list so they'll tell me once the new boxes are available for order.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: hungryhungry
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
03 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
02 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
01 September 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
30 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
29 August 2014 @ 10:12 pm
Livejournal has taken it upon themselves to supercede my carefully chosen colors and layout and replaced it with some bullshit that looks like Twitter merged with Wordpress then incorporated Facebook's advertising policy. It's hideous, and I honestly don't know if I'll be able to read my feed there with any sort of regularity. God DAMN it's ugly.

While I'm here, congrats to [profile] absintheofheart on the new addition to their family. It will be fun for me to know there's another baby around that I can see for an extremely short time before handing it back to their rightful guardians.

JoJo is still licking himself like mad, and still has bald patches between his legs, and on the backs of his front legs. It upsets me to see it, and upsets me further that there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. It seems like if he had a rash, or (Zod forbid) fleas, that both cats would have them. I plugged in one of those expensive Feliway diffusers. After five weeks though, I'm not seeing an improvement. His demeanor is fine, maybe a little more chill (which I think might be the diffuser). He's eating and eliminating fine, and his nose is chilly and damp. A vet-tech couldn't find anything wrong with him. So I don't know what to do. Fie!

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: frustratedfrustrated
Background Noise: Simpsons Marathon
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
28 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
  • Wed, 17:25: The excellent customer service from #MFLB (Magic Flight Launch Box) advances my theory that pot is a necessary component of good CS.
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Wednesday Lee Friday
26 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
25 August 2014 @ 12:08 pm
What do you do when you find out someone has been holding a grudge against you for months (or years even) and you don't even remember the incident they're talking about? I certainly won't deny that I can be hella sarcastic. When multiplied by the vagueness of typed correspondences, I'm sure that can come across as flippant, condescending, or even downright shitty.

This weekend, someone I only know from one social media site PM'd me to let me know they were unfriending me. Now, if I upset someone, I def want them to tell me about it. I want to make sure that there were no misunderstandings, and that whatever the issue is, that I've been clear and kind and all that there. IMO, telling someone you're unfriending them when you have no intention of discussing the issue is just lamesauce. I get it. You're taking your ball and going home for some terrible internet slight or disagreement.

I was informed by this person that I'm totally condescending (a critique that I accept for the reasons above), and that my skill with words makes me both awesome and prone to upsetting, or even hurting people. I don't doubt that this is true, and it made me pretty bummed to hear it.

But then...this person told me that they already knew I was mean and condescending because apparently they asked me to collaborate on a project with them. I have no memory of this, couldn't even narrow down when it might have happened. When I told this person I was "too busy," (they quoted me as saying exactly that) they took that to mean "I'm too good to work with you." To that, I say I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder, by which I mean "Why don't you have a doctor look at that chip on your shoulder, seriously."

Overcompensating for abysmal self-esteem is something I'm pretty good at. So I get why some people think I have great self-image. I don't. If I did, I'd probably be much better at marketing my books. I'd also chase after big gigs instead of writing for one startup after another. (I admit, I do enjoy startups for a number of reasons) So yeah. Do I have an attitude problem? Probably. Do I come off as an asshole occasionally? I don't doubt it.
But do I go around declaring myself to be better than other people? Hells to the no. And if you ever think that's what I'm saying--for the love of Zod, tell me. Because that's some shit I want to know about.

While I'm here, True Blood finale was obscenely bad, even considering how bad the show had gotten since Season 4. My gods that was terrible. Horrible dialogue, convoluted and absurd plotting all dragged out to a ridiculous degree. Go home HBO, and make sure The Leftovers finale is better.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: confusedconfused
Background Noise: Simpsons Marathon
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
25 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
24 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
24 August 2014 @ 10:17 am
I got tagged on FB to do the 10 Books that Impacted Me Profoundly meme. FB isn't really a good platform to compose lists, so I'm doing it here. I'm restricting this to fiction because non-fic would take FAR too long and could never be narrowed to ten.
In no particular order and presented without commentary:

1. To Take a Dare by Paul Zindel

2. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danzinger

3. Carrie by Stephen King

4. Skeleton Crew and Night Shift by Stephen King
(these go together since they're both anthos, and I obsessed over both around the same time.)

5. My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

6. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

7. Psycho by Robert Bloch

8. The Bachman Books by Richard Bachman
(these include Rage, The Long Walk, The Running Man, and Road Work)

9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

10. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

Honorable mention to Skipp & Spector's Book of the Dead anthos, all of Milk & Cheese, Coraline, and anything at all by Roald Dahl.

While I have your attention, I'm looking for someone who might want to write a monthly mag article about horror in television. It will be a nice addition to our regular lit, movie, and game reviews. It's not a paying gig, but I promise I'm swell to work with, and I bet some of you would love to add "magazine feature writer" to your resume. Right? :-)

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Background Noise: Every Simpsons Ever
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
23 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
  • Fri, 14:10: "We salute you, our half-inflated dark lord," #EverySimpsonsEver makes Spinal Tap even cooler. #FXX, will you marry me?
  • Sat, 07:41: It's probably not cool to eat ice cream at 7:30am, right? Probably about the same sugar content as cocoa puffs.*reaches for Ben & Jerry's*
  • Sat, 11:20: "Isn't that what we've ALL been asking ourselves: Where's My Elephant?" --Kenny Brocklestein. #EverySimpsonsEver
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Wednesday Lee Friday
22 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
21 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
20 August 2014 @ 05:01 pm
Watched a couple of movies this week since I've been feeling so sad about the world I actually live in.

You're Next was tremendous fun, if not particularly scary. Family squabbles, creepy masks, and rampant douchebaggery made this blood-soaked funfest a total treat.

Occulus was much more serious, and really quite scary. Katee Sackoff gave a stunning and strong performance as the mom who...well, I won't spoil it. But the casting of this one went a long way toward bringing truth and real terror to what could have been a simple haunted object film.

However...I KNOW I've read a story about a haunted mirror with a small crack in the corner. I know that a guy sees it in some kind of curio shop and doesn't believe the guy who tells him it's haunted. Terror and sundry hijinks ensue. That's all I remember, and it's driving me crazy that I can't place the story. Early Stephen King? One from the Clive Barker collections? Tonally, it could have even been Ray Bradbury, but I'm damned if I can remember.

This is gonna drive me crazy.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Color Me: impressedimpressed
Background Noise: Game Change
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
19 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
17 August 2014 @ 12:56 am
When I read other authors talk about their marketing techniques, a lot of them say they never talk about politics online. They say it's alienating to readers who don't agree with them, and they don't want to offend people. Obviously, it's their choice to discuss or not discuss whatever they want.

For me though...
it feels like a cop-out to refrain from commenting on the news of the day. And by that, I mean actual news--not celebrity foolishness or some lady who got into a car accident when she was shaving her privates.

I was accused of "trying to be the internet police" this weekend when I called someone out for posting something hateful. I do that. If the poster or speaker is someone I have an actual friendship with (whether online or RL), I feel complicit if I see certain things without comment. These include hateful, racist, or sexist language, reinforcement of stereotypes, or things that are demonstrably and/or provably false. So if you're laughing at disabled fat people, accusing 16-year-old girls of "slutting it up," or suggesting compulsory drug testing for all pregnant women--you can expect to hear my reasoned dissent.

It would be easy to say "If you don't like what I post, don't read it," or "Get the hell off my page if you can't handle what I'm laying down." But honestly, if someone actually disagrees with me to the point where it makes them dislike me as a person, or avoid my work like I'm some kind of Orson Scott Card--what I honestly hope for is that they approach me to talk about it. My point has never been to declare things and then close off all discussion.

Anything I post, I'm willing to defend. Any question someone has, I'll do my best to answer it. People have asked me all manner of things from how much I weigh, to things about my sex life, to whether or not I've ever actually wanted to kill someone, or if I've have had sex for money. Granted, I may tell someone that their question is none of anybody's goddamn business--but even after I do that, I still might answer.

Ultimately, I like discussing the big issues--particularly among those with whom I disagree. I've had great conversations with conservatives about fiscal conservatism, the purpose and realities of welfare, equality in the legal system, guns, drugs, and plenty of other divisive topics. Rational discussion is how we learn and progress as a people. What I won't do is dignify asinine stances with rational debate. If you think black people commit more crimes than white people, or that gays are icky and what they do shouldn't be marriage--my willingness to discuss that is limited.

This post was stemmed from another writer who asked me if I worry that "all this political talk" is costing me sales. I have to say, refraining from discussing things I find important is far too big a price to pay just to sell some books. I tend to blame my miniscule advertising budget anyway. Besides, if you read my books you're gonna get a tiny dose of my politics anyway. The Finster Effect is pretty damn political, and S4S and KMLYLM both deal with social issues galore.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
Inquiries will reach me @: atop this here soapbox
Color Me: thoughtfulthoughtful
Background Noise: Casino
 
 
Wednesday Lee Friday
16 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
  • Fri, 16:25: I'm pretty sure the kid I was babysitting for peed on my couch and didn't say anything...like, an hour ago. #FML
  • Fri, 18:59: What's green & pungent & covered w/ orange hair? Whatever it is, I'm about to vape the hell out of it! #MFLB #magicflight Happy Friday!
  • Fri, 23:11: #Amazon vs #Hachette is making my head hurt. Let's talk about something less complicated and divisive, like Israel. #writing #ebooks
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Wednesday Lee Friday
13 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
12 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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Wednesday Lee Friday
12 August 2014 @ 01:24 am
I was avoiding the internets this evening because I didn't want to be in a bad mood. Monday & Tuesday are the nights I hang out with H. But then Ryan called to tell me the tragic news that Robin Williams had not just died--he'd committed suicide. I knew that he'd taken some questionable movie roles lately, and I heard that he had relapsed. To me, drug addiction is almost synonymous with mental illness--mainly because I don't know any alcoholics or addicts who aren't also obviously diagnosable.
This is tremendously sad news.

We like to think of comedians as being happy people. But as I've said many times in this blog, good acting and clever humor come from insight. Insight can be terribly exhausting emotionally. Understanding humans can lead to all sorts of unpleasantness, from fear to sadness to frustration and anguish. Even if you just want to help all of humanity, the scope of it all can be crushing.

Depression, when left untreated (or ineffectively treated, which is way common), has a mortality rate of about 15% between suicide and fatal substance abuse. Bi-polar disorder has a lower suicide rate, mainly because it's offset by a homicide rate of almost 10%. Again, this is for people who are not treated.

The top two reasons people don't get help when they clearly need it?
1. Access. ie: I can't afford it / don't know where to go.
2. I'm "not crazy."

This idea that you don't need mental health care unless you're in a murderous rage, are constantly hallucinating, or have a dual personality? I don't know where the hell it came from, but it needs to go far, far away. The actual signs that you might need mental help may include:
1. Feeling like everything is too difficult, for days on end.
2. Not seeing the point of anything, for weeks at a time.
3. Feeling angry enough to insult or judge every person you meet--more often than not.
4. Unshakable sadness, anger, hopelessness, or fear regardless of the actual shape your life is in. Even if things aren't going well, outright hopelessness is a sign that something is wrong.
5. Unable to sleep properly, eat regularly, or focus on something for more than half an hour--for days at a time.
6. Feeling like people only pretend to like you out of obligation.
7. Feeling like you never do anything right, or are a burden to everyone.
8. Buying things you can't afford, followed by crushing guilt over it.
9. An inability to complete things that you start, often.

Notice that a lot of these have to do with feelings. When people feel some way that's inconvenient to other people, they're often told shitty things like "suck it up" or "everyone has problems" leaving the depressed person to feel even shittier. Feelings are serious. They're why we do most of the things we aren't absolutely obligated to do. Kids, you've GOT to pay attention to how you feel, and if you feel sad, angry, helpless or hopeless for longer than a few days--for fuck's sake, talk it out with someone. There are hotlines, there are friends. Honestly, if you stopped 3 strangers on the street and said you were so depressed you wanted to die--I bet one of them would do something to help you. That's how people are. When we can, we love to help others. Really.

As some of you know, I found out a few months ago that an old boyfriend of mine killed himself. He was a messed up guy, which you can tell because I dated him and that was my pattern back then.
Even when this happens to someone you don't talk to anymore, there's a tremendous sense of guilt, of helplessness, of wishing you could have said or done something to help. When it comes to depression and suicide, sometimes a few kind words really do make a life or death difference. Sometimes, getting someone through one bad day can keep them from considering suicide ever again. It's infuriating to hear about a suicide, because it's so goddamn preventable--if only you'd known, right?

I thought about suicide a lot as a kid and a teenager, a college student, and a few times after that. My attempts were half-hearted, mostly to demonstrate to myself that I did have some small modicum of control over my life--in that I was choosing to stay alive. Not everyone is able to do that. Not everyone has that support structure. Even when they do, sometimes that isn't enough. Even a few hours alone can be enough time for a severely depressed person to spiral into darkness they can't escape from.

When I feel particularly helpless, like I do today, I try to remember what I actually do to help people with mental illness. I think that writing honestly about depression and mania, about the impact that abuse has on people, and about how we all influence the behavior and feelings of others is tremendously important. A Stabbing for Sadie, while not an autobiography, certainly discusses things that I've dealt with myself. Kiss Me Like You Love Me shows us how vulnerable people can be corrupted by a life that's devoid of compassion--with horrific results. I really hope that when people read what I have to say, that they'll learn something about mental illness, and what it's like for people who live with it. If my words lead even one person to be more compassionate, I'd feel damn proud of that.

Jim Carrey once said that he wished everyone could be rich and famous, so they could see that wasn't the answer. When I hear about people like Owen Wilson attempting suicide, or Philip Seymour Hoffmann overdosing, or today's awful tragedy, I have to believe Jim Carrey is right.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
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Wednesday Lee Friday
08 August 2014 @ 04:37 pm
Been reading articles (and comments--oops!) about shelters for women and children. Apparently, some nobs think they're "sexist" because they only cater to women and children, when way more men are homeless blah blah blah.

For those who are blissfully ignorant as to how these shelters work, a women & children shelter with a secret location is for people who are fleeing from abuse. The secret location is so their abusers can't fucking find them, and therefore not abuse them and the children. It's emphatically NOT "a bunch of feminists who want to keep men out because they think we're all rape-happy." Though now that they bring it up, I can see why someone fleeing from abuse may not have to deal with strangers telling them how pretty they look when they cry. (I have seen this happen in a "regular" homeless shelter.)

If your #NotAllMen fixation is so keenly developed that you actually feel cheated that men aren't allowed in secret-location domestic violence shelters--my suggestion would be to keep spouting that bullshit. Once women everywhere want to smack the shit out of you, you might actually have a valid claim to stay at one of the shelters (and boy howdy, are they luxurious!) you lament.

I've mentioned before that I've given volunteer time and stuff to local shelters, both for the general homeless population, and in what we used to call "battered women's shelters." I don't tend to mention that I've actually stayed at a women's shelter, as a client, when my (now ex, obvs) boyfriend was too dangerously unstable and threatening even for me. I cannot overemphasize the fear, the feelings of failure and embarrassment, the complete and utter shame people feel when they have to turn to such a place. Wait, did I say "people," because I meant "me." I felt terrible fear, shame, humiliation, and as if I had failed everyone who ever believed in me. I can only imagine that it's 100x worse when children are involved.
In addition to that, shelter living is not sitting around all day "living off the government." People staying in any shelter are required to have, or be actively seeking (with proof) a job. They have to pitch in with cooking (try making spaghetti and salad for 50 people and tell me if it feels like work) and cleaning, and must work with a caseworker to get a safe housing plan in place. There are rules, regular drug screens, mandated counseling, and if you break those rules you have to leave no matter how dire your situation.

Women and children who need these shelters often have different needs than the homeless population at large. It is not hyperbole to say that some are fleeing for their lives. Check out the stats on how many women are killed by partners after leaving them. No, one group isn't "better" than another, nor are some "more deserving" of help than others. Every human being deserves a safe, warm place where they can sleep without fear of vermin or violence.
If you honestly have a problem with that, I'd suggest that rather than focusing on the "breaks" others get that you don't--that you take a good long look at whatever ugliness inside you makes you see victims of abuse and say "Damn, I wish I could live like those lazy bastards...seems like a sweet deal." Because while that hateful, misinformed gibberish may not make me want to hit you, it sort of makes me wish that somebody else would.

*********Actually dudes, I posted this on Dreamwidth and am crossposting it here. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Honest. On Dreamwidth? Add me: "Wednes."
 
 
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Wednesday Lee Friday
08 August 2014 @ 12:01 pm
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