I’m sorry, but 2010 is going to fucking suck

Some newsletter I subscribe to said something about how hard 2009 was on many of us and how 2010 had to be an improvement because it couldn’t be worse, and I just thought, baby you ain’t seen nothing yet. This was a writing newsletter, I think – how could any sort of writer lack imagination to the extent that they think nothing could be worse than, what, fattening up a few fat cats with taxpayers’ money etc? I can think of plenty of worse things.

Also, there is the jinxing thing. Seriously, that’s a big concern. Even if you’re optimistic, you’re supposed to say things like, 2009, you thought that was bad? 2010 is going to fucking suck, pal. Why do you think the military has been investing so much in drones, robots and non-lethal technology? Because they expect domestic uprisings and conflicts, and human soldiers are unlikely to be real motivated when it comes to using lethal technology on fellow citizens. They’ll spray them with glue, nets and rays that make them hot and stuff, though, and you can always find a few psychos to fly the drones or drive the robots. Amirite?

2010 is going to make 2009 look like Let’s Make a Deal and you had everything in your purse that Monty Hall was looking for when he came out into the audience, and you took the $50 he gave you for the bottle opener with the picture of the Pope on it and put it in the nickel slot machine in Reno and, jackpot! Cups and cups of nickels. That’s what 2009 is going to look like, looking back on it in 2010.

2010 is going to make us wish it was 2012.

We are all going to get on each other’s nerves in 2010 and bicker. No replacement for Lady Gaga will come along, either, until 2011 at the earliest. I won’t figure out yet how to get interesting sounds out of my Jomox T-Resonater.

People with more money than they can possibly spend in a lifetime will continue to accumulate more, and won’t be taxed down to a level where they have the maximum amount a person could possibly spend in a lifetime, for some fucking reason.

The Mazda guy will, however, fix my broken shock absorber first thing, as soon as January 2010 rolls around and he reopens.

He’s on vacation right now. Good for him. We all deserve a little vacation.

Despite this dire outlook, all the best to you, personally. May 2010 not suck for you, dude.


is all you need.

later, tater.

ps favorite sister-in-law just left. we killed a bottle of pink champagne. now i’m working on some becherovka in honour of some friends up north we’ll visit soon. in a day or so. so forgive me if i forgo drunken blogging for christmas.

all the best to you.

Dear Goodreads, you guys are morans

I was reading “Handling the Undead” (John Ajvide Lindqvist, Quercus, 384 pp, 1900, according to Amazon, also morans) and wondered what other people thought about it, and checked goodreads.com. And then I got curious whether anyone I knew had written anything about it there, so I created an account and checked to see if anyone I knew was there, and instead goodreads sent out invitations to everyone or something. Which is fine, I guess, except that it used made-up names for some reason. Which is funny.

[pause for canned laughter to abate]

Now if I could only get goodreads to stop posting to my twitter account every time I blow my nose. Guess I’ll go change permissions there if I remember to.

[more canned laughter]

Not sure what you think of Lindqvist. I loved “Let the Right One In,” not least because it was sort of detoxifying after Twilight.

[applause, and hooting]

And the p3d0 angle was way creepier than anything else I’ve ever read in any vampire story. So I had high hopes for “Handling the Undead”. Who are known as the “reliving” in the book, which I thought was a nice touch. And I was not disappointed with the book, although I did not think it was as excellent as “Let the Right One In”, I thought it was very good.

See, it’s my review-writing style that makes me hesitant to post to goodreads.

[canned laughter]

Lindqvist does interesting things with the rules of the genre.

I like how the zombies are nearly, but not entirely, blank. And how it is not clear, really, until the end, what is behind the event, what the evil thing in the book is.

And other stuff that would be spoilers if I described it.

Jesus, spoilers, gotta remember that if you write about stuff like this.

I am trying to do something zombie related, something involving words on paper, so this was interesting for me for that reason as well. My idea was more B-movieish, but this gives me more ambition.

For what, really, is the difference between “literature” and genre writing, but ambition and quality?

[canned laughter]

The light machine

I’m pretty sure it was a call I got and not an ESP message because a conversation was involved and ESP messages are more one-sided experiences of sensing something – something just happened, someone is about to call, whatever. Say it was a call, and the kid said her car died after reaching Vienna and she left it in a bus lane and got a ride into town.

Being ostensibly the alpha male now, things like cars abandoned in tow-away zones and cat… solids are my purview, so I initiated nervous breakdown proceedings and looked for the car on my way into work. Luckily for her, Beta had taken bridge #2 and not bridge #1, which has no good places to stop when your car breaks down.

Believe me, empirical research etc.

I eventually found her car, and she told me to put a sign on it so they wouldn’t tow it, and told me exactly what to write, I always do best with clear instructions, and I went to the shop across the street and bought some clear tape and some off-brand Saran-wrap stuff because they didn’t have clear plastic things to put your paper don’t-tow-me signs into, and taped all that to the window and went on to work, hoping they wouldn’t tow it and relieved to have that step behind me.

We telephoned some more during the day, and met after work to have a look at it and maybe move it to a better place. The auto club guy had said he would be there some time in the next 6 hours and would call half an hour in advance. As we were looking at her car and trying to start it another car pulled in front of us, also a breakdown.

Beta’s car wouldn’t start, meaning it was, most likely, the alternator, known as the Lichtmaschine in German, meaning light machine. And not the battery, which is a pretty good one, and fairly new.

It wasn’t the fan belt, I didn’t think, because it seemed to be doing proper fan-belt-like things. And it wasn’t, like, moisture in the distributor, because I don’t think diesels have distributors, right, and moisture always seems to involve praying and angels, at least in my experience, and there was none of that.

Then as I was helping the guy who broke down in front of us push his car into a safer position,  Beta got a call that the autoclub guy would be coming soon. We went to my car to look for her gloves, which she had lost and thought she might have left them in my car but didn’t, as it turned out and when we got back the autoclub guy was already parked in the lane next to Beta’s car (I eventually found her gloves in the snow behind her car).

So it took the guy less than 30 minutes to get to her car, and so on. That must be a good job, being an autoclub guy, because everyone is always so happy to see you! Like the opposite of being a dentist. Greeted with open arms and smiles everywhere you go.

Fuck, it was freezing out. This nasty Viennese wet cold that sucks your body heat out through your hands and the soles of your shoes.

The man said it was the alternator. Beta’s car started right up when he gave it a jump, but the battery wasn’t loading when he checked it with his potentiometer or whatever. Some box with two alligator clips and a dial. He got a crowbar and gave the alternator a few whacks but that didn’t help, strangely. I guess that means it wasn’t, like, frozen and was seriously broken or something.

Beta got her car towed to a mechanic, or, rather, the auto club guy organized that.  And the mechanic will fix it. And all will be well.

Beta kept thanking me. I kept saying, I have a lot of car-breakdown karma to work off. Late-night pick-ups, flat tires. Once, before Alpha and I got married, we went for a drive around the Olympic Peninsula and I had my light machine fixed beforehand, rebuilt at relatively great expense, to lower the chances of breakdown out in the middle of nowhere, and as soon as we got to the middle of nowhere, the alternator began to burn. Swiss tourists who gave us a lift to the nearest pay phone, on the side of a hotel at the beach, laughed the whole way. I called my dad and we watched whales for four hours until he showed up and towed me to a supermarket parking lot with a tow rope so amazingly short I felt like Luke Skywalker doing the Death Star, that level of concentration, while my brother, who had accompanied my father, sat in the passenger seat and told me stories so funny that my eyes filled with tears and all I could see was the bumper of my dad’s pickup truck a couple feet in front of my car as we tore down narrow forest roads.

So I told Beta I didn’t mind standing around with her in the snow while the auto club guy made everything right.

Amalgam fillings found to cause Gypsy curses

Wow, the mojo asana post was a real spam magnet.

I love my new yoga mat so much.

I still feel energetic, although at a more socially acceptable level. I was a bit talkative yesterday. When the cat got me up at 4 this morning, I was, four, okay, cool, an hour more to fuck off.

And I’m really looking forward to the effects doodads Santa is bringing me, although I sort of dread a little bit the look on Alpha’s face when I stick the oyster mic on the saw and run it through the one with all the buttons.

Maybe I’ll wait until her next business trip to do that, in fact.

New goal: clean out my workshop so I have a place to put all this junk.

And lose weight.

And memorize some new jokes, as long as I’m at it.

The Mojo Asana

So we were all like, wah, do we have to go to yoga, last night, Alpha and I, by “we” I mean “I”, and not really “wah” but, it’s cold out, a nice fire is a tempting thing, but we went, both of us, readily in the end, and willingly, a new yoga place with a new teacher because Alpha got robbed at the last place and it gave us a bad feeling sort of, and the people here looked nice, and hey, she had yoga mats for sale so I got a new yoga mat first off, and we ordered yoga cushions, so it was worth it right there, because I hadn’t had a yoga mat before, always just borrowed spares. Plus there was a fairly pretty, young brunette with nice hips I did a good job of not staring at, sort of a sad look in the depths of her eyes, just the way I like, sad and vulnerable, and the teacher instructed in more detail and the asanas were in general more strenuous than at the last place. Less exotic-language singing, just an Om at the end and Namaste, and at the beginning a story about a little boy who wanted to meet god and had lunch with an old lady at a park, shared his lunch with her on a bench, no conversation, just smiles, and when he got home his mom asked him what he had been up to all day since he was in such a good mood, and he said he had lunch with god and she has a nice smile, and the old woman when she got home was asked by her son the same question and she said, I had lunch with god and he is a lot younger than I expected which story, okay, but OTOH it pretty much sums up my personal theology right there.1 So another good sign, I guess, or at least not bad. And in the relaxation winding-down thing at the end she — the instructor — talked about “sending smiles” to various body parts, such as feet and legs etc.

And we came home and went to bed and fuck if I didn’t wake up at 2 in the morning so fucking pumped up with energy, mojo and ideas, my legs so full of fucking smiles, like restless-leg syndrome on crystal meth, that I ran downstairs so as not to wake my wife and licked all the Christmas card envelopes, and sorted them by country of destination for easier postal service and read another chapter in Inherent Vice. It was like being plugged into a wall socket. Ideas for novel chapters and blog posts, such as the following:

Beta visited me at lunch yesterday to sign Christmas cards and chat. She was wearing a frilly sort of sleeveless black mini-dress over jeans and I told her that she looked like someone who had escaped from a circus. She was all, huh? I meant it in a positive way. I have always admired and enjoyed her unique, personal fashion sense. Dunno if she took it the way I intended. And I have liked the dress over jeans thing since (one of) my beautiful cousin(s) used to visit back in the, I guess, early 70s dressed like that, she and her hippie friends, and I thought it looked cool.

I also had a series of footnotes to include in that post there but, no time! I didn’t get started writing or painting or surfing the internet because it was 2AM and I wanted sleep. I went back to bed and mananged to sleep from about 3 to 4.30 or 5. Had some dream about sex, at least I think it was about sex, may have involved fucking, or not. It is unclear.

On the way to school, I was telling Gamma how hyper I was, thanks to whatever new mojo asanas we had done, talking at a marvelous rate and she was like, Heh, I believe you. And she told me about an end-of-the-world dream she had had, one of a lot she’s been having apparently, and I would have been, gee, interesting, except it was a spookily close match for a similar dream a friend of mine had a couple days ago so I was like, paying close attention and asking questions such as, How was the weather? and Who was in it? and all the details were matching. It was snowing. I was in it.

And right now, I look out the window and see: it is snowing. And I am here, reflected in the window.



1 My only, or main, problem with this theology is it means the douche in the Doblo who cut me off in traffic this morning is also god. Which, man.

No, Tom, I don’t want to be your friend or in your movie or whatever

Tom Cruise invited Morgan Freeman over to talk about a project. Things kept happening while they talked. Accidents and catastrophes that Morgan Freeman eventually figured out Tom Cruise had prearranged. He also figured out that the project was merely an excuse to get him to come over, and that what Tom Cruise really wanted was for Morgan Freeman to be his friend. It was night and Morgan Freeman was wearing a colorful, striped terrycloth bathrobe, due to one of the catastrophes, and standing in front of the fountain at the Gloriette above Schönbrunn palace, when he said, “Tom, I’m not interested in being involved in your project, nor in any friendship with someone so manipulative.”

Then my alarm went off and I really had to pee.

I slept all night, interrupted only once when someone tapped me, twice, on the back. My wife seemed to be asleep. Have the cats learned to tap? I wondered. Or do we have freaky Mansonesque burglars? I couldn’t see anyone. Maybe they were hiding. But if we had burglars, the cats might be uneasy or something, and they seemed calm. But can cats tap like that? Like a wife waking you up in the middle of the night for some reason. Or a guy in a bar, before he picks a fight with you. Or a crazy burglar.

How odd, I thought. And decided to have a dream. And Tom Cruise wrecked it. I was showing Gamma a big, phat Vespa with a built-in television when Tom Cruise stole my dream and pissed off Morgan Freeman. Serves him right.