tinhuvielartanis: (ELO)
I’ve been doing some hardcore servicing on my computer.  The keyboard and touch pad were starting to act up shortly before the trip to Los Angeles.  A few days after I got back to San Diego, the computer flew al to hell.  So I’ve been working on it; thus, my delay in relaying the rest of the Los Angeles story.  I think everything is sorted, now, so onward and upward!

I'll only be posting a fraction of the images I took whilst in LA, but you can click this pic to access all of them, if you wish.  Also, the original size pics are only a click away from the pics I posted here, so get that mouse to moving!

Our only two forays into Touristville was our trip to the La Brea Tar Pits museum (the Mother Unit and I went to the pits last year, but did not go into the museum.).  I don't think I've ever been in the presence of so many bones and fossils.  It was awesome.


Then Andy needed to go to the Harley store to get his sister-in-law a shot glass that said Los Angeles on it, so we found ourselves battling the cast of thousands on the streets, who oblivious to nothing but the stars embedded in the sidewalk, and legendary locales like Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  I stayed in the car while Andy ran his Harley errand.  I would only have slowed him down, and the clock was beginning to tick by then.

After escaping the tourist traps, it was off to House of Pies.  This is a great hang-out place, and my biggest regret is not actually getting a piece of actual flipping pie from there!  There’s always a next time, and a slice of blueberry cheesecake with my name on it, trust me.



Now, I was under the impression we were meeting only Paul, because Richard was in Las Vegas.  When I got a text on the way to the restaurant informing us that we were on for 3 PM, I thought it was Paul.  Andy and I got there a little early to get us a booth and, shortly thereafter, Paul showed up.  I was taken aback a little, because I had forgotten he’d shaved, so I was expecting the furry edition of the beleaguered Jack Cucchiaio.  We gleefully chatted for a few minutes and Paul and Andy got acquainted, when Richard Gale showed up, which surprised the fuck out of me.  I figured we wouldn’t have a chance to meet him, because he was out of town, and all.  He even brought me a Ginosaji spoon, which is the last thing I expected, because I contributed without requesting any perks.  The perk for me is to see this film come to fruition.  If I had my way, the people with the real talent, in my opinion, which is the only one that matters, would have endless funds for their projects, frighteningly organised promotional work, everything they need at their fingertips, and 100% creative control of their own work.  It was the only way to change the music business, which we’ve seen on almost every level, and I believe that’s how it’s going to end up in what we still call “Hollywood.”  Anyone with any shred of talent, and imagination, and a Tribe that will back them up no matter what will eventually own the world. Jeff Lynne found that out initially at Hyde Park.  He’s still being shocked by it all.  It couldn’t happen to a better person, except people like Barry Andrews and Richard Gale.

The Spoon of the Ginosaji has found a place of honour next to my baby dancing Groot.  Behold the oddest couple in fandom!

Our early dinner lasted longer than expected.  We talked movies, film-making, music, and general tomfoolery until it almost ran Paul and Richard late.  I thanked them for being two of about ten people on this planet to make me genuinely happy and laugh since 2011.  That means more than most everyone can possibly realise.

Richard introduced Andy to the wonders of Uber, which saved our butts as far as getting to the Hollywood Bowl in time, we took an awesome picture, courtesy of the kind cashier at House of Pies, and reluctantly parted ways, promising to do it again soon.

Both Paul and Richard are funny, talented, delightful souls, filled with stories about what it’s like to live and work in Los Angeles.  It was deeply insightful, none of which I’m sharing here, because I haven’t asked permission to share, and there are some things that just shouldn’t be public without the consent of the persons to whom it happened.

I will say that the Ginosaji movie is progressing nicely and is beginning to live up to its description as epic on a level that’s hard to imagine.  Impressed doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about the project.  I can’t wait for it to all be a reality.

Before heading back to the apartment, Andy wanted to go get the tee with the space cat invaders, so we hied down to the shop to find it.  Whilst there, I found a shirt that was so anti-this trip, I knew I had to have it.  I’m not one to buy frivolous stuff for myself, but I knew this would always conjure the memory of the grooviest birthday I’ve had so far whilst incarcerated in this current veil of tears, and it was only $10, so I took my chances, in more ways than one.  They only had the one shirt, and it was a woman’s medium.  Since I’m still having problems figuring out what can and can’t fit me, I decided to go for it anyway.  Luckily, it fit perfectly, so I wore it with my galaxy pants, because you can’t go to an ELO concert without having the cosmos nearby for their spaceship to have a place along which to triumphantly coast.

Jumping into our Uber with a tad of time to spare (we would have been woefully late, had it not been for Richard’s suggestion.  Thank you for that!), Andy and I were on our way to what I believed would be a defining Life Moment, and Andy was keen on a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  He specifically said that he wasn’t tingly like I probably was.*  Since I tend to try to keep my emotions in check, my tingle factor was definitely present, but I did my level best to keep it together as we hunted for our seats, which was relatively.  The folks who work at the Hollywood Bowl are quite courteous and helpful.  They’ll also read you the riot act and not give you entrance if you have a camera that even vaguely looks professional.  Mine does not, but I didn’t want to take the chance of losing my camera, so I took my iPhone, which has a very good camera, so I wasn’t too very lower-lippy about leaving the camera at Brian’s apartment.

Andy’s phone had very little charge and he was responsible for the Uber ride back from Hollywood Bowl, so it was up to me to get as many decent pictures as I possibly could.  I even managed to get part of All Over the World, which was personally important, since it was Xanadu that officially introduced me to the Electric Light Orchestra.



The concert began with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by unspeakably cool Thomas Wilkins, playing pieces from English composers, like the lush Nimrod by Edward Elgar, which thrilled Andy no end, considering it’s one of his favourite pieces and and he can play it on organ.  I wish I had that kind of talent.

Being raised on various Classical composers (like Antonín Dvorak and Johann Strauss) along with the Beatles, the Carpenters, and early Electronica like Popcorn by Hot Butter, I was eating the opening act by the orchestra up like a thirsty dude in the desert who just found a water fountain.

When Jeff Lynne and his band finally took the stage, it was nothing short of a religious experience, especially since the opening song was Tightrope, which is one of the closest songs you’ll ever get Jeff Lynne to being cynical.  Even then, it turns out in the end.  Yes, I admit, I got teary.

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All of the songs the band played were their classics, and they were played with precisions.  The only exception was the single release from the new album, Alone in the Universe, When I Was a Boy.  Despite his hearing the new album prior to the concert, Andy was very deeply impressed with Jeff Lynne’s autobiographical opus.

After the concert, I said on Facebook, “No words.”  Honestly, I’m still having problems putting into words the experience I had at the ELO concert.  It turned me into Ellie Arroway, no doubt about it.

I had a suspicion he might do All over the World, but knew there was no hope for Xanadu or the title track from Eldorado.  Jeff just doesn't consider Xanadu to be his best work, and Eldorado is just too obscure for your "basic fan", whatever that means.

There was one song that brought me by surprise, and that was Wild West Hero, which they did with the a cappella in tact.  I thought I was taping that portion of the concert but, unfortunately, I screwed that up big time.  Wild West Hero is my second favourite ELO song, specifically because of the a cappella portion of the piece.  You can hear the breath, albeit very slightly and you need headphones, in between each phrase in the song.  It makes it real.  It makes it human.  It makes it breathtakingly beautiful.  Anyone interested in seeing the concert, along with this exceptional performance, you need only click the embedded video here, with the masterpiece in question beginning at 50:30:

As Richard and I had discussed earlier, the subtly of sound makes all the difference in anything, be it music or film.  If you can’t appreciate that, you’re losing a completely vital portion of your creative process.  Unless it’s a silent film or sommat, then you have to be living in the 20s or be Mel Brooks!

I must freely admit that it was during this song that I lost my shit.  I never expected to hear Wild West Hero live.  Ever.  EVER.  EVER EVER EVER. And that harks back to my initial statement that you never know what’s going to happen in this crazy existence.  Ten years, I never expected to be in England meeting one of my heroes.  Ten years later, I never expected to be in the presence of my first ever hero singing a song that only hardcore fans know by heart and audiophiles need a cigarette after hearing it.

Just as I’d heard from concert goers from previous concerts, there were moments Jeff would forget the lyrics.  None of that mattered, though.  The audience, most of us who had already forgotten what we had for breakfast that day (except for me and the Popeye’s Breakfast I’m craving like crazy right now), filled in the blanks for him.  Besides, it showed that Jeff Lynne is human and aging along with his fans, both older hardcore fans, and his new generation.  It shouldn’t be held against him for interchanging the occasional lyric the man wrote 40 years ago.  We should all just be lucky he’s willing to get up there and sing it live for us, when none of us expected to ever see him on stage again, especially not in this capacity.

His typical banter in between songs was “Thank you so much,” with his thumbs in the air.  This wasn’t surprising, coming from a man who said four words after being cornered in a studio back in 1979, that made me fall in love with him.  He was ambushed by an interviewer who asked why the band were named “Electric Light Orchrstra.”  Jeff’s reply, short, sweet, to the point, was, “Uhm...well… why not?” Right then and there, I wanted to be an eccentric recluse.  Got my wish. Haha!  What surprised me was that, even after all the concerts he’s done since Hyde Park, and the worshipful reception he’s gotten every single place he’s played, he’s still shocked and humbled that so many of us are there for him, singing with him, celebrating his life like he never expected it would be.

Paul saw the band at their lowest point in 1986.  I wish he could have been there to see how drastically times have changed that ebb in their career, and see how the band was always supposed to be seen live.  Even though always called Electric Light Orchestra, the orchestral part would still be lost to the electric instrumentation, despite the sound department doing the best they could with what they had to work with at the time.  Technology has finally caught up with Jeff Lynne’s vision, and we who never got to see the orchestra during their supposed heyday, got to see and experience something that is unique and miraculous to our times.  We got to see ELO the way Jeff Lynne always envisioned it.  There were live bands, then there were bands whose light shone brightest in the studio.  What Jeff Lynne finally got to do was bring his fans into his studio and let us see, at least in part, what he sees in his mind when making the music we so adore.

Prior to the concert, Andy asked me what I thought their opener and encore would be.  Getting it completely wrong, I suggested Last Train to London and Mr. Blue Sky.  As mentioned above, Tightrope opened and the perfect marriage of Rock and Classic closed us out with Roll over Beethoven along with perfectly-timed fireworks.

It took us a while to get out of the area, and it was such a relief to get back to the apartment and just lie there, basking in the glory I just had the honour of experiencing.  Even though I was exhausted, I didn’t sleep the entire night.  My inner vision was too filled with astronomical imagery, and my inner song was pure harmony.  I figured I wouldn’t sleep the night of the concert, so I had it in my head to do all the laundry and perform any other duties to ensure Brian’s apartment was exactly as he had left it, or at least as close to that as possible.  The problem was, I didn’t know where the washer and dryer were and couldn’t find them.  Texting Brian, I revealed my intentions, but he would have none of it.  So I limited my restoration to cleaning everything I could, and triple-checking everything I could think of…  I haven't heard any complaints, so I'm hoping we left Brian's uber-groovy pad just as fabulicious as it was when we arrived.

*I would like to note that, by the end of the concert, Andy admitted to being more than a little tingly.  HA!

updatia.

Oct. 20th, 2015 08:40 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Doomsday Clock)
Please do anything you can to help my longtime friend.  We're part of a Tribe who has, over the past 13 years, grown to love one another and take comfort in the other's existence, when "real life" friends and family seemed like the most distant and alien concepts in the world.  I've watched too many of my Tribe fall victim to illness, disaster, and even death over the past few years.  No more of this needs to happen.  None of it should have happened in the first place.

Even if you can't donate, please at least share this with everyone on LJ, as well as Facebook and Twitter, and any other social media you use.  Don't let shitty insurance dictate the fate of one of the few good souls on this planet.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] batchfile at updatia.
HHMOs don't cover nuerosurgeons. im screwed. LOVEYOUALL

tinhuvielartanis: (Doomsday Clock)

If you've been a longtime Tribe-member here on the Journal of Live, you are well-aware of how I sometimes get a little enthusiastic about the oddest things.  Like Darth Maul, Tim Roth, Shriekback(can I get a whoop-whoop here?), and the Joker in both his Dark Knight incarnation and, in particular, Scott McClure's interpretation of him in The Joker Blogs.  I'm not satisfied to just hop on a generic bandwagon and be a regular fan of things and people, no no!  I have to leap onto Radio Flyer-level wagons, dragging as many people as possible with me, until it becomes a Wagon Train-level event that would make Zane Grey get misty-eyed.  I love a lot of things, but there are those tiny few that become more than just the object of an OCD fan's love.  They become a cause, to which I dedicate time, money, evangelism, sanity, and people's patience with my hooliganism. Why do I do this?  I have no idea.  I don't know what the trigger is that makes something or someone I love and enjoy transform into something I need in my life, and must insert into the lives of others, its importance so monumental that some folks will humour me just to be left in peace for a little while.  For now, though, let's not fret about the motivation behind my causes, and focus on one of two causes that are currently overworking my manipura to the point of spontaneous human combustion. I want to talk about one of the few things that has brought a level of joy in my life that I never thought I'd experience again, since 2011.  I'm talking about this movie short and the delightful individuals who created it.

Since seeing it for the first time a few months ago, I'm fairly certain I could quote the entire film from memory. The only movies to occupy that unconditional passion are most of Mel Brooks' films and John K's Ren & Stimpy.

Being the daft poster child for OCD, I had to learn everything I could about the people behind this masterpiece. The more I learned, the more I genuinely liked them. They seem like really groovy souls who deeply grok the dark humour so often associated with Generation X. I admit without hesitation that I covet their talent. Who wouldn't? So there were rumours, and rumours within rumours, that Richard Gale was planning on making the actual movie with the actors reprising their roles in the film short. Just a couple of months after I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, the rumours were put to rest when the crew launched their Kickstarter. They need $200,000 to make this film a reality, and they even have Jeffrey Combs, a name any self-respecting Horror/Sci-Fi fan should instantly recognise, on board to be in the flick. Serious cred there, yo!

But I'm rambling, so I'll just get down to the "bwass tacks". If you like horror and comedy, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you are hardcore in your appreciation of Absurdism, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you need something in your life that will never fail to bring a smile to your face, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you like to help people who are not only insanely talented, but also equally decent individuals, create something without having to surrender their vision, ethics, or artistic control to others who don't understand the importance of such things, and care only about getting richer, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. And last but not least, and directed primarily to my fellow Tribesfolk, many of whom would just wish I'd shut the fuck up already: If you want to be responsible for bringing a little happiness into my life, when you know that the very notion of a smile is hard to imagine since 2011, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. Humour is a holistic healer of sprained spirits, so you would be helping my spirit strengthen its reinforcements by contributing in the making of Ginosaji.

Below is Richard Gale's project pitch. Beneath that is an image link to the crew's Kickstarter campaign page, where you can pledge fundage to the cause. Financially, everyone is having a less than stellar time of it, but even a dollar will make a difference here, so please do what you can. They have tons of perks for people who are able to reach deep or were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, so bear that in mind, too. Even if you're too broke to spend the night or pay attention, you can still help. If you have any experience in filmmaking or skills generally associated with the craft, you can contact Richard Gale via the Kickstarter page and see if your talents meet his needs. Also, spread the word! This is a public post and I encourage you to share it with all your homies in the world, and ask that they do the same. The more people know about this, the more likely it will be the filmmakers will reach their goal by 3 November! The only perk I can personally offer you is my promise to try to tone down my tenacity regarding Ginosaji: The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, so you won't feel too terribly hounded as you have been in the past, with causes like The Joker Blogs and Shriekback. So, let's get this show on the road, shall we?



Now, click this spoontastic picture to help bring more happiness to the world.
Everyone could definitely use more of that and less of what we're getting, wouldn't you agree?
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I really hope y'all enjoy the film short enough to want to get involved in some way. Also, I would like to apologise ahead of time for my incessant cheerleading about this new cause. You've been with me for years and had to put up with virtual pom-pom fuzz all over your computer monitor more than anyone should be forced to tolerate, so it heartens me that you're still around after all this time. And should you get put out with my constant glomping, try to look on the bright side: I could have developed an unhealthy fascination with the Shiri-me instead of the Ginosaji, and who wants to listen to someone go on and on about a Japanese ghost whose name translates into English as "eyeball butt?"

I bet you feel better already, now don't you?

tinhuvielartanis: (Here is the news!)
Dancing-Groot.gifVery early this morning, I checked my GoFundMe page and, upon seeing the current amount in my account, I turned into Groot.

In a measley six days, my GoFundMe campaign of shameless begging for help so I can get through  my upcoming surgery and post-op expenses, a merry band of do-gooders surpassed my goal of $500.  Even though it doesn't appear to be so, I have just over $525 for the upcoming health and shelter gauntlet.  A couple of folks opted to use PayPal instead of the GoFundMe site; thus, the difference.

As I said when I originally posted my campaign, $500 will prevent my going into any more deficit and will help set Toby and Smidgen up with their proper medications and food for the duration of my absence.  It will also pay my portion of the surgery bill, which is $264, gas for Angie's car and any other expenses accrued by my presence in her home.  It's still gonna be an uber-tight squeeze, so I'm keeping the campaign up until Monday morning, right before I head out to the surgery center.

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To all of you who contributed to this cause, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I get distressed when I have to ask for help, especially financially.  It stems from my childhood almost instantly after the parental units divorced.

Essentially homeless with nothing but the clothes on my back, I found myself, along with Aunt Tudi and Granny, at the mercy of others who openly resented the situation in which we all found ourselves.  Because of that, self-suffiency was of the utmost importance to me.  Having my health pack its bags and leave town irreparably damaged that self-suffiency.

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But you guys didn't grouse at me or make me feel like Heel #1 for asking for help.  You just helped, and that's a gift whose importance I can't properly express.  All I can do is say thank you, and file this experience in my Why Tribe Is More Cherished Than Family.

So, with all that said, please enjoy the dancing Moss and Roy, as well as the inimitable James Stewart and Donna Reed dancing as though the cops are shooting at their feet.  This is a perfect example of how y'all have made me feel the past few days.

Again, thank you.  Someday, and I'd rather it be sooner than later, I hope I can help all of you in some capacity.  It would be the very least I could do.



tinhuvielartanis: (Hot Damn!)

Making a List and Checking It Twice

Then I check it again.  And again.  And again and again and again.  No, I am not the Ginosaji, but I think I may have discovered why my memory has become a cess pool of forgetfulness over the past few years.

Earlier today, I went to the Imaging Healthcare site to confirm my EEG w/Sleep Deprivation test for Tuesday morning.  My neurologist wanted me to have the test before my surgery date.  While I was on my portal at Imaging Healthcare, I found the test results for my many procedures, dating as far back as October, 2013.  I clicked the report generated from my MRI of last year.  According to the physician who examined the imagery, there is nothing that would indicate why I have seizures and migraines; however, he made note that I have "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy."  What exactly is that?

It means that a portion of my brain cells have dropped dead.  It seems to be relatively common in people who suffer from migraines, which I have all my life, except for that nice extended break in my late 20s.  The primary symptom of this condition is forgetfulness, because it is a form of dementia.  To experts' knowledge, the condition does not cause seizures, but it can cause you to stand at the fridge with the door open, wondering why they hell you'd come into the kitchen in the first place.  The thing is, though, is that cortical atrophy is mainly associated with elderly people.  

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It's a natural part of growing old; however, it can also indicate dementia and the beginnings of Alzheimers Disease.  I just approached an online doctor about it.  Hopefully, my questions will be answered, despite my not subscribing to the 'Ask a Doctor' website.  If I had the money, I might, but people who are running GoFundMe campaigns because their medical situation is guaranteeing they won't make ends meet in any conceivable way tend not to shove their debit card in a virtual doctor's face and shriek TAKE MY MONEY!, especially when said persons are going back to their neurologist for the EEG results sooner rather than later.  It would be frivolous and unresponsible to pay to have my question answered, when I can barely pay attention for being so broke.  Then again, maybe I can't pay attention because my brain is dying in increments.  Whatever.  At any rate, here's what I wrote to the "Emergency Medical Hologram" (Geek points to those who get that):

Since 2008, I've been having grand mal seizures.  I was 41 at the time.  They're well under control with the dosage of Keppra I'm on, and my neurologist keeps a close eye on me, doing annual tests and having me keep a diary of my migraine headaches.  I'm due to go for another EEG with sleep deprivation next week.  As I was setting up my appointment for a bone density scan ordered by my OB/GYN, I noticed that I could access the results of my previous tests, one of which was the MRI my neurologist ordered last year.  Everything appeared normal except that I exhibited "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy."  Is this normal for a 47-year-old?  From what I have read, it's an age-related issue that could be nothing, especially if you are a senior citizen, although it could mean you might have the beginnings of Alzheimers.  For the past four years, I have struggled with memory issues.  It often takes me three times longer to do things because I keep forgetting what it is I need to do next to complete whatever project I'm working on.  My longterm memory seems relatively okay, but I'm constantly having to retrace my steps to make certain I'm doing or have done what I need to at any given moment.  Should I be especially concerned about this, or am I just well on my way to joining AARP?

For now, I'm going to try to not let that report worry me, since I need to focus what rudimentary mental ability I still have to the task of preparing for this surgery and the subsequent week or so of recovery.  This next week is going to be busy, what with my pre-op visit and EEG, both of which are on Tuesday, then a surgery consult with my pain doctor, since she's the one who has to oversee the pain management after the procedure.  Those are the only two days I need to leave the house, which is great, because I need to begin sorting what clothing I need to take to Angie and Cierra's, gather up any connectivity cords and my extra surge protector, and prepare my room for Matt and the Mother Unit.  While I'm gone, they're going to clean up Syd & Nancy's cage and paint, among other things.  I also need to write out instructions on what Smidgen and Toby need and are used to getting, as well as draw a diagram of puppy pad placement.  Since Toby has been on Prednisone, he's become a peeing machine.  Most of the time, I get him out in time enough, but there will always be incidents, so I keep the carpet covered with the protection, but there's a certain way it needs to be done to reduce the amount of pads used while still being a flawless barrier between the carpet and Toby's cho-cha.  Thanks to the help I have so far received, I've been able to get another box of puppy pads, to ensure the Mother Unit does not run out of them.

After I have the instructions written out to my satisfaction, I need to write out some semblance of a will.  I want to make certain that I am not intubated or put on life support of any kind, should something go wrong during the surgery.  Also, I'm keen on bequeathing certain things to certain people.  Nothing I have is of any monetary worth, but there are some things that mean more than mere money.  I also want to have some sort of arrangements made for Toby and Smidgen, should I die, and I'm going to request that my ashes be taken to Craggy Dome on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville.  I doubt my wishes will be adhered to, but I have to state it, just in case.  Getting my document witnessed and notarised has already been made possible, thanks to your generosity.

Later on in the week, I plan on zipping up to Oceanside to spend the day with Angie and Cierra.  San Diego transit isn't just for the city proper, but for the entire county, so I can take various buses and trolleys to make it up there to them.  I'm looking forward to the journey and to seeing those crazy Oceanside chicks.  What I'm planning is to go up and go shopping for some of the heavier items, that Angie and Cierra can store for when I arrive from the hospital.  It will cut down on having to haul the stuff from the store to the house, then from the house to the car, then from the car to the apartment, and so on.  Right now, I can carry bottled water and large bottles of juice, both of which I'll need post-op.  After the surgery, lifting things like that won't be an option.  Wiser to get anything I can do beforehand done, so things will be easier post-op, right?  Again, thanks to your kindness, I'll be able to buy these supplies this next week, and have one less worry clinging like a funky monkey on my back.

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So that's where we are for now.  I want you all to know how humbled and amazed I am by your outpouring of fundages I know you can ill afford.  Despite my misanthropy, I am always awestricken by how people can pull together when any sort of shit hits the fan.  Religious, racial, and cultural differences are swiftly ignored and reviled by folks as each person does what s/he can with the seemingly impenetrable hope that things can and will get better.  That's a testament to the goodness within us, despite our fatal flaws.  If I had not known this before I launched my GoFundMe campaign, I would have been smacked by the Clue-by-Four of Kindness within just a few hours afterward.  Thankfully, I didn't need the Clue-by-Four, because I have always had faith in my friends...my tribe.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my shriveled little heart.

I'll be back with more updates as they come.

tinhuvielartanis: (RepLogo)

~Through Us the Way into the Sacred City~






~Through Us the Way into Nights of Heat and Weirdness~





~Through Us the Way to the Illuminated Ones~
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~Sheer enthusiasm made Us~





~And Passion and Poems and Sex~






~Before Us nothing but Excellence can endure~





~For We are the Gateway to Excellence, Deviance, and Delight~
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~ABANDON ALL MEDIOCRITY, YE WHO ENTER here!~



tinhuvielartanis: (Shriekback Logo)



shriekthink
Dave Henderson gets intensive care from Shriekback


Sitting in Barry Andrews' flat in downtown Kentish Town Carl Marsh and Dave Allen relax and try to get a word in as Barry, in his laidback veteranmanner, compares Shriekback in its rising stature to throwing pots and books that he's read.


Barry Andrews uses long words but he's sincere, he believes in Shriekback as do his two cohorts. The room is airy and almost a million miles away from the group's new LP Care. There's a kind of urgency there, a plethora of ideas busting to get out and because of their diversity constantly struggling. It's hardly surprising really, after all, they all come from very strong and varied musical backgrounds. With pasts of varying stature Shriekback's first LP was an expressive and spikey start. Months in the studio - due to the high quality publishing deal the trio had secured - gave them the freedom to work as they wanted and throw ideas around.

"There was always a deadline looming in the future but nobody really knew when," forwards Carl.

Dave continues: "It took quite a while to get it onto vinyl because we didn't have any real commitment to getting anything done. In the end it was really just a summing up of that period."

Loose and rough as Tench was, it still didn't give anything away. The ideas were there, interest created, but no real statement of intent hit you in the middle ear. With 'My Spine is the Bassline' winning new friends for them, had they purposely attempted to take a more commercial tack with their music?

Dave: "It wasn't at all intentional. It just appeared to be going in a funkier direction and we just followed it that way. With the new album we just continued with that attitude and followed where it led. We don't sit down and write songs, we built them in the studio and we just travelled along the paths they took us."

Barry: "When we did Tench, there was a thing about not doing things that were commercial, but we always wanted it to communicate so that people could play it and get into it. We say that we didn't have to live with making music that was rubbish just so that we could live off it, we realised we could actually put out brilliant music and live off that."

But if Tench was inaccessible - it wasn't, but it was a lot less, say, mainstream (pun) than their later work - has their recent work been a conscious effort to get across to a wider audience?

Dave: "People haven't adapted to us. We know what we want to do and they're getting that from us. They haven't just clicked to Shriekback, we've set the ball rolling by getting our house in order, by accepting the fact that you don't have to sell yourself short to sell records and make money. There's no sort of secret message or hidden thing there. What we want is for people to play the album and for them to get the honesty and the communication from us. It doesn't have to be an album of potential hits and in the same way we didn't sit down and say 'Let's do "Lined Up" as a commercial single so that people will buy the album and hear all the weird shit', it just wasn't all that."

The honesty shines through in Shriekback, their unorthodox techniques allow them to come up with things that, if premeditated, would lack the power that they have. Their instruments are extensions of their bodies, claims Barry in a nother reeling cascade of anecdotes, and you can see this in their music.  It's personal, tribal even.  The inner sleeve bears witness with a collection of aids and accomplices written like's their gang, their team.

Carl: "That's just like an acknowledgement of how it works."

And the music too has the spirit of an organised outfit, which is dispersed through numerous people's attitudes and characters. And the tribe was in full flow on Riverside last year when with anarchic precision Shriekback performed a couple of songs.

Carl: "If we'd thought about what we were going to do on Riverside we would have made arbitrary conditions about what we could or couldn't do instead of just doing it. You have to make rules around the things that matter, not the little things."

But this trendy-right-place-at-the-right-time thing doesn't quite fit into Shriek-think.

Barry: "Maybe you'll get it right and the things that you choose to recycle are trendy that week, but that's much less important than the actual degree of conviction and commitment that you actually put into getting things over."

Carl: "It's like we've found when we've been playing live. What you play doesn't matter it's the way you do it, so the songs that we do are structured to express that."

The whole area of being hip is like a recurring virus. In whatever mode you place yourself, the onus will shift within a matter of weeks or even hours. In some cases it can take years to transcend the petty bracketing.

Dave: "I get the feeling at the moment that anything is honest and coming from a real love is definitely not hip. Some people, like Sun Ra and the jazz greats, are allowed to be really close to the earth and won't hear anything said against them. At the moment everything has to be really trivial and it has to come from hearing the right twelve inch this week and trying to copy it. It's like with Sun Ra if you've served your time and done 40 albums then you get your Golden Honesty Award."

With a mere one and a half albums under their belt Shriekback have got quite a hefty trek in front of them. As with all outfits of their structure they will inevitably go in and out of fashion at the drop of a hat. The thing that matters about Shriekback is that they are open to influence. Their music is a hybrid of their moods and experiences and for that it will always be fresh and intriguing.

As Dave confided later, they'd "love to release lots and lots of material but we would feel that we were swamping the market".

I'd love to see that happen as Shriekback are like a magazine rather than a group, a constant ongoing entertainment. A collection of people - fluctuating in numbers - who may not be hip but are always approachable.


Click the button to purchase Care and learn more about Shriekback.     shriekbutton

Thank You

Aug. 16th, 2014 11:31 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Gothtin)

If you are seeing this post, you are counted amongst many people who embraced me three years ago this month, as well as all of you who've stuck by me since then.  I may be abrasive, contrary, stubborn, and generally unpleasant, but I try to never be ungrateful.  So, thank you.


"The most important thing is to say a huge thank you. What an insubstantial way to express something so big, but thank you all the same. Your compassion made the bleakest moment of my life strangely inspiring too.” — Click to continue

Gratitude

Jul. 8th, 2014 12:08 am
tinhuvielartanis: (Nathor)

There may be people out there who have the impression that I’m a misanthropic asshole with no sense of gratitude.


It’s true, I am a misanthropic asshole, but I am grateful for a lot of things and beings, including people.  I thought it might behove me to step out of “character” for a few minutes and make a list.  So here we go.

cut for courtesy )

1. The Mother Unit - for rescuing me from myself last year, and having more patience with me than I ever would with anyone, including myself.


2. My friends.  Even though I’ve lost a few since 2011, I’ve retained many very important souls in my life, many of which I met here on LJ.  Despite my general dislike for our species, I harbour much fondness for my Tribe.  Many of you stuck with me through the darkest period of my life, often saving my skin and literally saving my life and sanity when I did nothing to deserve such kindness, and there’s really no way I can ever sufficiently repay you for that.  I just hope that I can do something for each of you someday, that might properly express how much you mean to me.


3. Smidgen and Toby.  They cradle my soul like no one else would be willing to, or could.  The unconditional love cats and dogs give us may well be the primary way god/dess is trying to tell us that we aren’t alone, that we count in some way.  Despite my agnosticism, Toby and Smidgen are the ones who keep me from full-on atheism.


4. Music.  Music is the closest thing to the concept of Force that we can get.  I’ve long believed that the multiverse in which we dwell is a song that is still being composed.  It is the purest form of communication, and it is something that every living being expresses in one form or another.  We are all songs, we are the music of creation, we are the mathematics and art of dreams and concepts.


5. Fey Publishing - for taking a chance on me and my strange tales.  My third book will be available soon, thanks to Fey’s original owner, Sophie Childs, and its current sovereign, Kristen Duvall.  Click on their names to learn more about these brilliant women.  I owe them both a great deal, for their initial and continued faith in me, and for their patience as I struggled through my own personal bullfunky to finally get the third Vampire Relics book to Dark Fey’s door.


6. Shriekback, in particular Barry Andrews, for letting me have a ringside seat to their ongoing awesomeness.  Since 1990, they’ve been an almost constant source of inspiration and comfort, soundtracking my life’s highs and lows, and everything in between.  If we lived on Arrakis, I would owe Barry a huge water-debt.


Debut1


7. The Impractical Jokers and The Epic Rap Battles of History.  My entire life, I’ve been a huge supporter of all brands of humour, but my quest for things that would make me laugh became a desperate effort following Aunt Tudi’s death.  Of all the things I explored in my quest for laughter, The Tenderloins (Impractical Jokers) and the guys behind The Epic Rap Battles were the only ones who never failed to bring me a joy that was otherwise almost impossible to find.


8. You Tube and Netflix.  When you don’t have a TV, these two wonderful services are a wonderful, and often preferable, alternative.


9. Dr. Harrington.  Of all the therapists I’ve had over the years, this is the only one I’ve ever felt actually listens to me.  His wry wit, proclivity to play devil’s advocate, and his willingness to swear are just three of many things that impress me about the man.  And he’s a good person, a genuinely good person.


10. The Internet.  When someone asked me how I felt about the Internet back in 1998, I told them that the Internet was the universe’s largest library. You could find out anything by exploring the endless halls of virtual books.  You need only be aware of the pervert at the end of each aisle and act accordingly to avoid them.


11. Sleep.  When you’re a chronic insomniac, the value of sleep increases a thousandfold.  I was never one of those kids who balked at bedtime; I was always a fan of slumber, mainly because of my vast dreamscape.  Being able to achieve lucidity at times only added to the wonder of it all.  After I began suffering from insomnia, those rare occasions where I’d achieve a few hours of really good sleep with a possible bonus of now rare dreams, reached a level of miraculous for me.  I am never not profoundly grateful for sleep.


12. Drum circles.  I’ve always been fond of them, but rediscovering drumming and, in particular, trance drumming, has reconnected me to deity on a level I thought was no longer possible.  There’s something about surrendering to a group rhythm that is both spiritual and therapeutic.  Thankfully, drum circles in San Diego are never on short supply, unlike the Upstate of South Carolina.


13. Earth.  I try to never take my home planet for granted, especially now that my species seems hellbent on destroying the only home we’ve ever known.  In vast expansiveness of the multiverse, this magickal sphere upon which we all live makes it seem more likely than not, that life is more prevalent than we can imagine.  And Earth is teeming with it, in mind-boggling varieties throughout an inconceivable history.  This “pale, blue dot” may be tiny in the scheme of everything, but the planet is unique and precious, a work of divine art, from the towering trees of the Amazon to the majesty of the Smoky Mountains, all resonating with the subtle song of water, that which gives life as we know it.  We have no right to visit so much suffering upon the body and spirit of our galactic mother.  Throughout every day, I am stunned by the miracle of our home, and I grieve for everything that has lost in the wake of our destruction.  I walk through life, grateful to Earth for her presence, and therefore ours, and I hope that my fellow humans and I can find some semblance of forgiveness for our transgressions.

So there it is.  Thirteen things for which I am very grateful.  I’m sure there’s more, but these are the Big Ones in my life, at this moment.  What do you treasure?  For what are you grateful?

tinhuvielartanis: (Default)
On Thursday, Aunt Tudi and I had the fortune of meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] falkenna, [livejournal.com profile] janalyson, [livejournal.com profile] paulpearson23, and Jan's daughter Jennifer. We met up at the Espresso Cafe for coffee. Everyone had some sort of coffee except for Tallis (she had Chai) and me (I had root beer ~ no caffeine). Tallis and Paul were in from England and her sister Jan and Jennifer were driving them about for various holiday festivities. This was the first time Tallis had been back in the States for Christmas in 25 years, so it was a particularly monumental time for her. They're here through the first week of the new year I do believe.

We talked about all sorts of things: England, SC, NC, naked mole rats, The Joker Blogs, centipedes, millipedes, medications, The Blood Crown, Barry Andrews (I bet his hears were burning off!), young Finn, and Aunt Tudi read her poetry...which gave the place a real coffee house vibe. And Tallis and Paul gave me a gift. Paul named him and I had to draw lips on him to make him the new mascot for the First Church of the Alpaca Lips. Behold Barack Ollama, the mascot for the Alpaca Lips!

barackollama



We yapped, yammered, and chattered until one of the coffee house staff came up and told us they were closing and we had to leave, so we were essentially kicked out. Ha! But we got in about three good hours of fellowship and bonding so that's really cool. It was great to see them all again and it made me really homesick for England. I had to watch Mr. Brooks, even though I have the song on iTunes, so I could hear young Finn at the end of the movie. Even though I've never met him, I feel like I know the kid. When...not if...when I go back to England (for good), I'll meet him, and I'll hang out with Tallis and Paul more often than than a few hours every three or four years.
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Dark Eyes)
My head has been fuzzy for the past few days, thanks to new migraine and depressions meds. At least I'm sleeping now, albeit too much. Either there's an excess or never enough, never a balance of anything. A couple of days ago, I bit the bullet and opened up The [livejournal.com profile] vampire_relics both here and on Face Book. It's gotten a larger reception over there, I guess because there's more people over there.

[livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh has already begin the editing of The Chalice and I must say that, so far, she's doing a fantastic job of it. What she's doing is posting the edited portions on the LJ group and the link to the edited portions on the FB group, since Face Book isn't very conducive to formatted material. I'll post a link to the edited portions here as where, so here goes: The Prologue.

I'm planning on posting a series of videos to the Vampire Relics Face Books, songs and visuals that have helped to inspire the course of the story over the years. Victims should come to expect the 'Gin Soaked Boy' tribute to Charlie Chaplin, 'Try to Believe' by Oingo Boingo, some footage of Shinzon, a couple of songs by Concrete Blonde and, of course, more Shriekback. Without music and visuals, there would be no story. Everything is a cycle.
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Priest)

CHAPTER 4
MARY MAGDALENE AND THE CULLING OF THE HERD

Cadmus knew that long-time contact with him would eventually render Mary Magdalene resistant to his natural Glamour, so he needed something stronger. She already unconditionally loved him, even though she knew nothing of him. Perhaps a promise, or the hope of a promise, could be suggested that would keep her under his influence. So Cadmus steeled himself for the task at hand, and acted like he impulsively grabbed up Mary Magdalene’s hands, kissing the knuckles of both. He could feel her immediately tremble.

“I feel we have such a future ahead of us, Mary Magdalene. Don’t you think? And not just with the band but…with this incomprehensible connection you and I have made on this magickal eve. Take this as a sign of things to someday come, to seal our bond and sign this contract of our mutual forging.”

And Cadmus leaned forward slowly until his ample lips touched the small bow of Mary Magdalene’s mouth. The kiss was soft and warm and luscious. With the touch of his lips to hers, Mary Magdalene felt her love become something more, some kinds of mystical, unbreakable devotion to that which would someday be. She would love him until he was ready to truly love her back in the way she needed. She was utterly his. His kiss became deeper, his tongue lightly touching hers. Was there a split at the end of his tongue? Was it an injury of some sort? The cleft almost made it feel as though Cadmus’ tongue was slightly forked. Was that possible? Who cared? He was kissing her, his arms were around her, clasping her tight to him. He wanted her to know that there was future for the two of them. They would make music and myth and love and the glory of it all would change the world, she just knew it. Mary’s knees gave way and, even though smaller than she, Cadmus’ inexplicable strength bore her up, keeping her in his warm embrace.

It ended all too soon, leaving Mary Magdalene desperate for more. She would do anything for this man. But he turned and stepped away from her, returning with a kind of goblet.

“Let us make a Blood Oath to our present and future union. Present your wrist.” Mary Magdalene did so without question. Cadmus cut lightly, but deep enough to bring forth enough sustenance that he could leave his herd alone tonight. They needed to replenish their stock anyway. The blood dribbled at a fair pace into the cup as Cadmus cut his own wrist, much more deeply so the wound wouldn’t heal so quickly and cause questions to be asked. He let his blood mingle with this humans and the burn of gall rose up to irritate his throat from the nausea that he felt. But it did not matter. Kelat’s droplets would transform it all, and Cadmus would have his Blood. If he got her just mildly addicted to the Blood of the chalice, she would be like the Templars he so easily controlled during the Plague days. If he’d had the capacity to have fun, Cadmus would have had the time of his life during those dark days of Europe.

Their blood comingled in the goblet that Cadmus had set upon an ornate table that rested beside his bed. He had returned his attention to Mary Magdalene, placing his hands on the sides of her face as lightly as feathers in the wind.

“Once we imbibe of our combined blood, we shall be as one always, I your desirous dragon slayer and you, the high priestess of my new religion. You’re my keeper of the keys after this night, never forget that, my love. Now…are you ready to take libation and step into your new life?”



cut to satisfy the masses. )
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Priest)

CHAPTER 4
MARY MAGDALENE AND THE CULLING OF THE HERD

Is that a dagger or a crucifix I see, you hold so tightly in your hand? And all the while the distance grows between you and. I do not understand. ~ Peter Gabriel “The Blood of Eden”

They rested the next day, safe in the sanctuary away from the sun. Cadmus slept grudgingly while Kelat and Orphaeus lay silent in the dark, listening to the Pariah’s even breathing. Cadmus, being alive, was bound by the laws of sleeping, although he did not need to sleep as regularly as a human. He could go for a couple of days, sometimes three, without succumbing to the pull of Morpheus. But it was dependent on his activity as well. His constant psychic struggle with Kelat left Cadmus spent, so he closed his vast eyes and let the inevitable take over.

Kelat and Orphaeus had the option to sleep, but never again had to, not being truly alive. Most Vampires chose to sleep, though, trying to cling to their mortal lives and the pure bliss of being wholly unawareness for the dreams. Vampiric dreams were like rhapsodies. And, perhaps, this is why Vampires, after eschewing their mortal past, continued to sleep. Orphaeus certainly had always adored the dreams of sleep until Cadmus chose to invade his subconscious world. A Vampire with nightmares is not a happy soul.

This day Kelat and Orphaeus chose not to sleep because of the presence of Campus Pariah. Even though he may sleep the day through, there was always that chance that he would wake and rip the two of them to shreds in their sleep. It was unlikely now that Cadmus knew he needed Orphaeus to find the Blood Crown and there had been some strange bond formed between himself and Kelat when they held the chalice together on that night of chaos in the mountains some time back.

“You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?” Orphaeus whispered to Kelat. He had been there as well, part of the Circle that had been formed to try to bind Cadmus and strip him of his power long enough for Kelat to take the chalice. The attempt had been unsuccessful, but it had established some strange truce between Cadmus and Kelat. The rampant slaughter of Darlings had ceased and the Blood Cult Cadmus had established was wiped from existence. And Orphaeus had been granted governance of the Hive of the Beast, finally bringing that exiled tribe back into the Great Hive.

“That night haunts me,” Kelat simply said.

“I think it pretty much haunts us exceptionally for maybe him.”

“Cadmus has never been the same since the Night of the Chalice. He is perhaps the most haunted of us all, but he would never admit it. Not yet. The human from that night – you saw her to safety?”

“Yes, Grandmother. I lost track of her after a time, though. I think she intended it and I didn’t try to hunt too hard. She needs her own peace.”

“Indeed.”

They lay in silence for a time. Then Orphaeus rose, pulling his long mop of red hair away from his face in an absent gesture. He walked over to where Kelat lay and sat cross-legged near her, leaning in. He spoke in a voice that would have been barely imperceptible to a dog.

“Do you really think this mission will be even remotely successful? And do you think what you’ve done with the memories and the chalice and all will stop Cadmus from turning me into mince meat the minute we leave here?”

“I have no doubt he’ll want to,” Kelat replied. “But he will not. He hungers for the Blood Crown too greatly…and he also hungers for revenge against the Apostate. He would not tell me this, but I know it weighs heavily on his heart. And he does have one, Orphaeus. I know he does. It is buried deep within a tomb of horror you can’t even begin to imagine, but it’s there and it’s waiting for something to bring it forth. Until then, he will always remain a danger to us all in any way he can manage. Why he has chosen to pour such derision upon you mystifies me. Your one encounter with him should not have merited such spite. Perhaps it’s simply because you were in front of him at the time. Whatever the reason Cadmus wants to destroy, he will not do so during your quest.”

“But what about when, or if, he has the Blood Crown? I’ll be pretty much useless to him then.”

“Do not worry, Chylde. He will need you until you return to Jerusalem with the Crown. Have no doubt of that.”

It was four more hours before Cadmus awoke. Kelat watched over Orphaeus so that he could sleep a little. During her time alone, she made some arrangements for her son and grandson. Once both were up and fed, Kelat summoned to the Circle once more. The three of them discussed the best way to proceed, but it was Kelat who again controlled the path of their journey. They were to travel to their respective homes and make any sort of final arrangements that needed to be made, then they were to return to Jerusalem for further instruction.

Showing what looked every bit like full-on exasperation, Cadmus threw his spidery hands out in an almost claw-like fashion toward Kelat. His palms were partially up in a kind of supplication, but not quite. He would never fully show signs of complete accord, but he would go as far as he needed to get what he wanted.

“Why can’t we just go on to Rome, wrench the Blood Crown off that mummified nightmare’s crusty head, then come back here and be done with it? All this needless preparation seems to me to be nothing more than stalling. And, honestly, the sooner I’m shed of this…” and he indicated to Orphaeus with a jerk of a thumb. “Joke -“

“Hey!” Orphaeus interrupted. “At least I have a sense of humour!”

“The better it will be for everyone involved,” Cadmus concluded, not even acknowledging that Orphaeus had spoken.

Kelat sighed, frustration weaving throughout her multiple emotions.

“Cadmus, you need time with Orphaeus so that he can give you some of our Lore. If you dash off to Rome, you won’t have that chance.”

“I can force-feed him Blood until he talks like an auctioneer.”

“It doesn’t work like that,” Kelat said and she psychically nudged Cadmus into believing it. “You must follow my direction on this, Chylde.”

When silence followed, Kelat produced an envelope.

“Inside this you will find two airplane tickets to England, your first stop in this journey. Cadmus, you will wrap up any loose ends you have there. Release those poor shelled creatures that have gone beyond any use to you. Let their spirits go with them, if you have any shred of a conscience yet. After you have completed your task there, purchase tickets and travel to San Francisco where Orphaeus can do the same thing. I expect you may be longer there since Orphaeus has a family. Once you’ve done what you need to do, Orphaeus, you can Cadmus return to me. Your plane leaves in two hours. You’ll be flying toward the day, so you’ll have time to reach the shelter before the day is chasing you. There’s a car waiting for you outside. You need to go now.”

Orphaeus took the time to hug Kelat while Cadmus waited at the door, a calm reserve blanketing his person. And, with that, they were away.

They flew first class on the British Airways, flight time approximately three and a half hours, which meant their night would last about fifteen, all in all. Since neither were immune to the sun, although Cadmus could tolerate it at length, this was a most promising turn of events.

The flight attendants were friendly and joked around with Orphaeus, who flashed toothy grins at them, and had his own fair share of jokes to crack. Cadmus, they stared at like love sick owls, even the male attendants, gay or not. That was Cadmus’ way, to be able to draw to him fawning minions without even trying. It was called a natural Glamour. Vampires usually had to focus on this ability, if they had it at all, in order for it work on a human. Cadmus only had to focus on it for it to work on a Vampire, his natural prey. Humans came to him without an effort on his part whatsoever. He had to Will them away, and that’s exactly what he did to the point that they stopped coming around at all, despite Orphaeus affability.

Orphaeus sighed heavily from boredom and began rifling through the useless literature usually found on airplanes.


to satisfy the masses )

tinhuvielartanis: (Have a Nice Day)

I'll be gone for a good bit of the day today. Aunt Tudi has a doctor's appointment and we've errands to run. When I get home, there's the art I want to work on in addition to writing more on The Blood Crown. I'm gonna write as much as I can on that until [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh is ready to start work with me on the Femme Joker story for [livejournal.com profile] acook. Right now, it looks like Wednesday will be a good solid writing day. Thursday, I have a doctor's appointment, but it's later in the day, so I should get some stuff done that day as well. Friday, Aunt Tudi and I have an errand to run up in Asheville. Even though it's business and we can't afford to do anything, it'll still be good to be back home for a little while. It's been almost exactly one year since we were up there last time.
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus and Faust)
Behold a banner I made for the LJ and Facebook groups! [livejournal.com profile] luvthyjoker blended the backgrounds for me because I'm an idjit when it comes to Photoshop. Thank God for smart friends!

Cadmus,Faust,kelat,Thaddeus,Orphaeus,Thiyennen
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Dark Eyes)
I've won!

50,059 words!



I ended with Cadmus pondering his altar and the fact that he...just shed some tears! I know, what the hell, right? I thought the same thing yesterday when I wrote it. That's pretty much why I stopped writing, because I was angry with the story at it heading in that direction so soon. But, the story knows better than I. As the Cylons would say, "All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again."

Honestly though, I can't believe I've finished early, especially after being so sick for so long. I attribute part of it to my sharpening my speed skills with those Date stories. I was pumping out two and three thousand words a day at times with those, so 1667 words was really not an issue for me. I was ridiculously ahead when I fell ill and used my reserve to fortify my word count, so I was never really behind like I thought I was.

I'm about 20,000 words away from actually finishing The Blood Crown. I'm going to continue writing on it today but, tomorrow, I have a review to write for Lighterthief's EP, Hard Listening. The release is on 1 December, and I promised Stuart Rowe I'd have the review for him to spread around at the time of the release. And, no, I haven't been procrastinating on this. I just got the press kit today, so I'm jumping on this to help the Lighterthief crew out...and Barry Andrews, of course. ::big wicked grin:: I've already forwarded the press kit to the contacts I still have in the music business, asking them to spread it around like warm butter.

After the reviews, I've promised [livejournal.com profile] acook I would write a collaborative J-fic with [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh that involves Femme Joker (you'll just have to wait and see what that's all about) and Batman. We'll be working on that in December. Once that's done, my J-fic writing days will come to a conclusion. I think that's rather fitting, since I saw the movie last December and began writing fics in January. I'll just end it all on my kind of one year anniversary. The Joker Blogs are also coming to an end soon, so it all works out nicely in the Great Scheme of Things.

Then it will be back to The Blood Crown with a vengeance. I want to finish as soon as I can so I can go directly into The Augury of Gideon. I'm in a serious mood to write my Vampires, particularly Cadmus Pariah and the mortated (that's a word in my book ~ mortation - the transformation of a Vampire back into mortal form) Faust, now going by his mortal name Kallum. Writing "The Sainted Confessor" almost killed me, but it also kind of redeemed me writing-wise, and it gave me the key to writing The Augury of Gideon, so I'm excited. Very excited indeed and absolutely, all billshat aside.

I don't know what 2010 will bring, except a new Shriekback album I wholly intend to help promote to the full extent of my resources and abilities, but I do know I'll be writing my way through it all, and still looking for that elusive publisher. There's so much more for Cadmus to do...to so many people. I'll close with this, because I can - ha ha ha!



Cadmus had broken the Circle long before. He’d stood shortly after Kelat’s speech and walked away from the other Vampires. Let them remain in solemnity, wallowing in fairy tales and dead religions. He was outcast. He would embrace his station and leave them to it. He stood at a secret window in the sanctuary, staring up into the infinity of the stars that watched over this lush garden of a planet, a bounty to both human and Vampire, and especially to Cadmus Pariah. The whites of his eyes shimmered in the pale light, but the iris and pupil absorbed even the faintest of beams. He’d spent centuries listening to people praise the ethereal beauty of his eyes, how alien and magnetic they were. Many of these same people had had their souls ripped from them by way of those magnificent, measureless eyes. He felt every one of them now, and heard them too, whispering still in desperation for release.
tinhuvielartanis: (Ornate Triskele)
I come across as not very thankful or friendly at times. Today is the day to at least rectify the thankful portion of my transgressions. This is a tad late, but I've been a tad busy, so better late than never, eh wot?

Things for which I am thankful:

  • Food and Shelter

  • The menagerie, even though they drive me crazy sometimes

  • Cheerwine!

  • My computer and the Internet

  • My vast collection of notes and art

  • The books on my bookshelves

  • The ION, which is still running without problems (knock on wood)

  • My health, now that it's back!

  • Live Journal and all my physical journals

  • My movie collection and Netflix, without which I would go mad


People for which I am thankful:

  • Aunt Tudi

  • The Mother Unit

  • My Friend Todd

  • Steph

  • Travis

  • Little Michael

  • Barry Andrews

  • [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh

  • [livejournal.com profile] luvthyjoker

  • Scott

  • Barack Obama

  • The Joker Blogs crew

  • Timothy

  • The Writers' Cabal

  • Everyone in my Tribe, and you know who you are

  • All my online friends, especially here on LJ ~ you're my cyber-family and I love you.



So there you go. Thank you, Mighty Ones, for everything and everyone. I hope I someday live up to the bounty you've bestowed up on me.
tinhuvielartanis: (Card Kill You)
Okay, this may be her best yet. Then again, I may just be digging on the song. There's only one part that I don't like, but that's neither here nor there. All in all, another Great by [livejournal.com profile] luvthyjoker.

The Supermassive Joker Blogs from Mldr Fan on Vimeo.

tinhuvielartanis: (Joker_Glare)
Have I proofed? Hell no. I'm too strapped for time. [livejournal.com profile] luvthyjoker, enjoy! And, if you come across any glaring typos or other horrid mistakes, let me know and I'll fix it. On to NaNo! ::mad cackles::

This Date is dedicated to Meg Farley, who drew for me the best art I’ve ever had drawn in honor of my stories. You can find all of her fantastic work, including the two pieces she did for me, on her Deviant Art Page. She’s also a big Joker fan and an avid gory horror movie aficionado. Combine those two, and you have a nifty Date Night just begging to be written. It didn’t hurt that she’d always wanted to be murdered in a story. It was…::does the Fosse hands::…DESTINY

 

Some notes of importance:

·         Joker in a pimped out ride is my attempt at dream realisation. I listen to a lot of the songs J has on his iPod (because they’re…identical) and I often find myself wishing to God I had a pimped out ride in which to better listen to a lot of my tunes. And, yes, I turn and nod knowingly at people at red lights. I’m my own Joker. Deal.

·         The Lindey Hop is a real dance. Look it up.

·         The Stage Door Canteen is named for a song on my iPod-d. Look it up.

·         This is my second fanfic written after my Head J became Reconciled J. Folks who read it may see one J or the other here and there. That’s what happens when you’re writing fanfic about a character that’s been played by more than one person, has been animated, committed to graphic novel, and is the manifestation of the Trickster archetype known by many names, the most popular being Loki and Coyote. That said, there’s a bit of The Mask in there, too. How else would he know the Lindey Hop and Jitterbug? Better to have one Reconciled J merged with your own personal J than have 1001 “crazy” clowns scampering about in your head, especially when you suffer from coulraphobia.

·         In-Jokes: If any of you get ‘Garmonbozia,’ ‘Respectable Street,’ ‘Shah-day, not Shar-day,’ J’s dislike for apologies, and the playing of “Soul Bossa Nova,” at the time Joker really starts to work his mojo on Julie, email me and, if you’re right, I’ll give you a cookie online…everywhere…and people will all be like WTF? Unless you want me to tell why you’re getting the cookie.

·         J wearing a Paisley shirt for special occasions is a nod of appreciation and affection for Sweet Sophie ([info]paisleydaze). The ellipses and tildes are all in honour of Jill ([info]gunslingaaahhh). Without her, Billshat would remain nameless and not nearly as hilarious.  


 

The Artist’s Date

He sat in the front seat of the vehicle with Sidney at the wheel. On the iPod there blared “Deuces” by AcHoZeN. It made the car throb, and rightfully so, considering Joker’s henchmen had stolen one of the most pimped-out cars that ever dared roll upon the dingy asphalt roads of Gotham City.

 

Sidney slowed the car to a halt at a red light and Joker rolled his eyes. As long as he was in this ride, he was compelled to turn to the people next to him at a red light and nod knowingly to the beat of his tunes. Slowly, Joker turned his head to see a family of five sitting in a gigantic SUV. It towered over his 1976 Buick Regal, sparkling in its purple glitter finish in the setting Gotham sun. He smirked and nodded at the family, who stared back in horror at the most wanted man in Gotham, styling in a blinged-out 33-year old vehicle that shook with hydraulics that trembled to be used.

 

On impulse, Joker rolled down his window, and let the sound of “Deuces” blast out at the family. He motioned for the father and driver to roll his own window down. The man did out of some misplaced politeness.

 

“Don’t you knowww it isn’t polite to starre?” Joker asked the man.

 

“Uh…sorry?”

 

Joker smoothly aimed his sawed off shotgun out the window at the man. “You can’t stare if you don’t have eyes, isn’t that right-t?”

 



Joker sees himself )


About that time the light turned green and the man gunned his SUV. Joker cackled with glee as Sidney began to pull forward at a normal rate of speed.

 

“Y’know boss, it’s kind of hard not to stare at this car.”

 

“Which is exactly why I plan on turning the goons who stole this monstrosity for my use into mince meat at my earliest convenience. For nowww, though, I have a preeety little little ladeee to pick up for our penullltimate date and I don’t want to be late, so can we put the pedal to the metal just a tad-d Sidney, hm?”

 

Sidney sped up just a little. He didn’t want to draw too much attention, despite the car. If they were stopped by the police, there’d be a bloodbath and Joker would be picking Julie up in a cop car instead. Despite his career in crime, Sidney tried to keep the bloodshed to a minimum, especially with Joker involved. It was a difficult job to say the least.

 

“Boss…” Sidney began.

 

“What-t, Sidney?”

 

“Is it… Is it really necessary to go on this date? I mean, can’t you just leave Julie to her own devices?”

 

“Bustin’ Loose” by Check Brown and the Soul Searchers undulated from the gigantic speakers that had been installed in Joker’s sweet new ride. It was all very surreal to Sidney.

 

“Whhhaaaat-t? And let her splash my face all over the place? If anyone is going to do thaaat, it’ulll be mee, Sidney. No no no no…No. Time to show Julie that lovely romantic evening I promised her. You know what to do.”

 

Sidney sighed. He knew. He wished he’d never brought that newspaper to J’s attention…

 

Wind the clocks back a couple of weeks…

 

Sidney bought a Gotham Times and saw an illustration of Joker on the front page of the newspaper. Not a photograph, not this time. It was a flawless pencil illustration of his boss splashed across the front page with the caption “Public Enemy Number 1.” What was he, now, James Cagney?

 

But the illustration was striking in that you could see the man underneath the war paint and that was alarming to Sidney. How could the boss ever go out without the war paint if he were ID’d by an artist who had too good of an eye?

 

He took the paper back to their mill house and, finding Joker in the kitchen swilling down copious amounts of Irish Breakfast tea and scarfing down five pieces of toast, Sidney opened the folded paper in front of him and let him see for himself.

 

Joker stopped in half-chew and just stared.

 

“That-t…is meee!”

 

“Yeah, boss.”

 

“Not just me, but me – me!”

 

“Yeah, boss.”

 

Joker shoved the rest of the toast in his mouth and slowly took the paper. He studied it like an archaeologist staring at pottery chip in Egypt. Then he cut his eyes to Sidney.

 

“Oh… She’s goooood.”

 

“Why do you say ‘she,’ J?”

 

“A man wouldn’t draw me this well. There are layers to this picture. The one who drew this is in-vest-ted-d. She may have drawn it for the Gotham Times to try to catch me, but she’s enthralled with the subject matter. A man would not be that – ah – fascinated-d. Ha. Let me see herrrre…”

 

Joker rifled through the pages of the paper and found the credits.

 

“AHA! What did I tell you, Sidney? Right…herrrre… Julie Carlsbad. Well, let-t us go.”

 

“Where, J?”

 

“Well, to see Julie of course! I’ll take my laptop with me so’s I can locate this little minx… Shame on her for exposing me like this! This just…won’t…doooo.”

 

Sidney got the car, a plain blue Nissan Sentra at this time, but it was being looked for, so they’d have to change cars soon. He waited out front for Joker, who soon emerged in his long violet coat and gloves, his laptop clamped under his right arm. He was tossing Cupid up in the air and catching it with a flourish. This was the end of Julie Carlsbad, Sidney just knew it.

 

Joker opened the front door and jumped in. Only with Sidney did he occasionally ride shotgun…often literally. Upon closer inspection, Sidney noted that J was wearing his special maroon and cream Paisley shirt, a dark blue tie, and his signature green vest and navy pinstripes. He probably had on the Argyles as well, but Sidney couldn’t see without craning his neck and he didn’t want to seem that obvious.

 

“Paisley shirt, boss? That special of a day?”

 

“Well, you don’t often get to meet a not-so-secret admirerrr, Sidney. Better to be spiff than to look all ratty, don’tcha think-k?”

 

“I’ve never had an admirer, J, so I can’t really say.”

 

“HEE! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Stick with me, Sidney. I’ll show you how to be a smoooooth operator before you can say ‘It’s SHAH-DAY not SHAR-DAY, you fucking moron!’”

 

Sidney joined in on the off-the-hook cackling as they pulled away from the curb and out into the sparse traffic. Still laughing, Joker opened up his laptop and started ticking away furiously. When they came to the first red light, Sidney asked Joker which way he should go.

 

“Straight-t. Just keep going straight until I find herrr…”

 

So Sidney kept going straight until he reached the bridge to the Narrows. He was about to continue on when a purple-gloved hand grabbed his arm. “No no no, Sidney. Don’t ever everrr take me over there. I’ll cross thaaat bridge when I come to it in an armoured police vehicle, you got me?”

 

Sidney let his eyes crawl over the Gothic structure of Arkham Asylum, watching over Gotham’s disenfranchised like a hungry gargoyle. “I’m sorry, boss. I didn’t think.”

 

“Don’t apologiiise. You know I hate that. Just...turn around. I think I found her.”

 

Sidney dutifully turned the Sentra around and zizzed back from whence they came. He began to get directions from the Joker.

 

“Okaaaay, Sidney, turn right here on Grey Street. Go approximateleee, one point-t five miles, then turn right onto McKatet. Hey, Sidney, I sound like one of those Garmans. I prefer Gar-mon-bo-zia, though. Ha.. Yes, here’s McKatet. Now…make a left here onto Wheaton, and then turn immediateleee onto Respec-ta-bull Street. Who knew there was a Respec-ta-bull Street in Gotham City, Sidney? I didn’t know there was a thing reee-spec-ta-bull about this hellhole! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

 

Joining in the laughter, Sidney continued to drive until Joker screamed, “Staaahhp! Right there, this building. Full of studio apartments, I’m surrre. She is an arteeest after all! Be right back, Sid. Don’t go anywhere!”

 

Joker jumped out of the car, leaving his laptop behind, then popped his head back in. “Surrrf the ‘Net if ya wanna, Sid-d. I know how you like to watch those Hulu-hoop shows. Maybe you can catch that movie you’ve been wanting to watch about candy.”

 

“Sure, boss,” Sidney said, agreeably. Of course, Joker meant Netflix and the movie was called Candy, but J wasn’t known for his savvy on the Internet except for tactical maneuvers, so Sidney had learned to just grin and bear it.

 

Julie Carlsbad had her back to the door of her studio apartment. He stood looking at the wall, the canvas that was vexing her behind her, sitting in silent mockery. She just couldn’t seem to get the painting right. She’d drawn him many times but, the larger she tried to go, the less it looked like him, at least in her opinion. But Julie was her own worst critic.

 

“UGH!” She growled at the wall in front of her. “UGH UGH! Why can’t you just be easy?”

 

On closer inspection, there was a small picture on the wall. It was a picture of the Joker, printed from the Internet. She was talking to him.

 

“Well, hello there…”

 

Julie let loose a full-throated shriek as she spun and threw her back against the wall, knocking loose the picture she’d been been addressing in frustration. When she saw who it was who’d said hello, Julie screamed again.

 

J looked at her, vague amusement twinkling in his kohl-rubbed eyes. She was a tall young woman with stick-straight blonde hair that featured swaths of green, red, and blue throughout. Her fox face was make-up free, but was decorated with an almost leopard-print of freckles right across the nose and cheeks.

 

“Jumpy thing, aren’tcha?” he observed, pulling off one glove, then the other, with zero concern in his voice or body language.

 

“Get out get out! I’ll call the cops! Omigod, get out!”

 

Joker noted that Julie was mustering all the forcefulness she could in her naturally meek voice.

 

Bending toward her and cocking his head to the right in one smooth movement, Joker simply said, “NO!”

 

He didn’t even shout it, he just said it with conviction. And this turned on the faucets. Julie began to cry with fright. “How – how did you get in here? Please, just go! Please?”

 

“I’m a criminal, remember, Will-O-Wisp. I got in using my – ah – superior criminal wiiiiles. So whatcha painting therrre, hm?”

 

“No no! It’s none of your business, just please leave!”

 

“I said-d NO!” Joker started toward Julie who began to jump on the balls of her feet out of panic. He didn’t care. He wanted to see the painting and he wanted to get closer to her to see just how panicked she’d get. Part of him hoped she’d pass out from the excitement because she wasn’t nearly so frightened as she was embarrassed and excited. Oh yes, she had a bad crush on somebody and his name began with the letter J. Joker began to giggle under his breath as he approached her.

 

“Please don’t kill me.”

 

“Oh, I think you’d rather me kill you than look at this painting of yours, Chick-o-stix. So what’s it gonna be – a peek at the picture or a blade in the breastbone?”

 

Julie quieted down and pressed herself even harder into the white plaster wall behind her as Joker rounded the canvas to see what all the hubbub was about. He found that he was staring back at himself. She was really good, this artist. The painting was from a photograph taken of him by a security camera on an armoured car service’s truck. The vehicle had been packed to the gills with cashola the Joker had wanted. He didn’t care that he was being filmed and photographed murdering the driver and commandeering the vehicle. He just wanted that money so he could buy more toys and people, not that there was any difference between the two. People were just toys that didn’t know when to shut up usually. The photo Julie was working from was of Joker looking directly into the camera and sporting a winning, shit-eating grin. His right cheek was spattered lightly with the blood of the former driver and his green hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. All-in-all, it was a pretty flattering photo of him, and the painting was even better, or it would be when it was finished.

 

“Oh, I like this, Julie. When it’s finished, I may even buy it from you.”

 

“I – I’m not finishing it. It’s horrible. I can’t get it right.”

 

“Wwwhaaaaat-t? No, see, you have no choice. Well, actu-a-leee, you do. You can either finish this painting or I’ll sit for you.”

 

Julie froze, her eyes widening into large circles of surprise. “Whaaat?”

 

“Oh, you’re imitating me now, too?” Joker produced his Cupid and flicked it open, pointing it Julie with an admonishing gesture. “It’s not polite to make fun, didn’t your motherrr ever teach you that-t?”

 

“No! I mean yes! I mean….I don’t know what I mean! I was just – shocked is all. You’d sit for me? Me?

 

Joker shot Julie a smouldering glance and let his tongue dance across his lips in a playful seduction. “I saw your art-t in the newspaper. You’re verrrry good at what you do, ragamuffin. Too good. Anyone who cares to take notice can see the real me underneath the war paint in your lit-tle illustration. That won’t do. So…”

 

And Joker swept his curly locks away from his face as he plopped down on the cracked vinyl sofa near the canvas. He looked up at Julie, who remained frozen against the wall. So….” He continued. “I’ll sit for you if you stop drawing those little pictures for the Gotham Times. We can’t have the Great-t Unwashed identifying the man beneath the clown as you obviously already have with your keen little artist’s eye…”

 

So an agreement was made. And, over the course of two weeks, Joker visited Julie every day and sat for her as she painted him. It turned out that, yes, she was a great admirer of his. Crazy about him, to be exact. And she was fascinated with his face, how it was constructed and how the scars had only served to bring out the best aspects of his features. He didn’t mind Julie discussing his scars, but he did wonder why she never asked how he got them. During their time together, Joker learned that Julie was a hopeless romantic. It was in her movie collection.

 

While he was waiting for her to get the paint mixed and ready, Joker studied Julie’s vast movie collection. Besides a fair amount of horror, she also had a huge collection of old-fashioned romances like The Strawberry Blonde and Bringing Up Baby. There was another movie that caught Joker’s eye, too, and it gave him a little hitch in the underpants to boot: The Secretary. Now that was a movie only a certain kind of woman would have in her collection… Just thinking about it made Joker narrow his eyes and let his grin spread out across his face like the Grinch who was about to steal Christmas.
 

tinhuvielartanis: (Cliffs of Insanity (backseat))
I'm in the process of wrapping up yet another Date story, this one being called "The Artist's Date." And, yes, it's a kind of creative payment for art done for me. I think that's how all creative people should gift one another, with the products of their creative effort. I was gifted with some art inspired by "The Sainted Confessor." As a result, I'm writing "The Artist's Date" in return. I'd like to see it paid forward to see how it manifests from one creator to another. It's that creative spark that inspired the first cave paintings and has been running along the longest dynamite fuse of all time. Once the spark hits that dynamite, who knows what will happen? Oh, that's right...2012!

As soon as I finish "The Artist's Date," I need to complete my outline of The Blood Crown for NaNoWriMo. "The Sainted Confessor" was always going to be the largest chapter in the book and, since I had to go ahead and write it thanks to anchoring Faust to the worst person on Earth, it totally messes with my word count for NaNo. It reached novella status, it got so huge (38,605 words!), and I actually had to break it down into mini-chapters. They are entitled: "The Timeless Vagabond," "Session One," "Session Two," "Session Three," "Session Four," and "The Incorruptible Dove." If I reach my 50k for NaNo, the novel will be right at 89,000 words. The Chalice is 88,650 words. That said, I'm thinking that The Vampire Relics will be one great big book with three pretty decent-sized parts. I'll leave a decision like that, though, to my editor. ;)

I know I haven't been the most communicative person of late, thanks to my involvement with The Joker Blogs. Since I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, it's not going to be much better, but I do plan on writing about my progress here. Hopefully, I can keep up with my f-list on a certain level too. I hope so. I miss everyone here.

Speaking of The Joker Blogs, I'll be busy tomorrow getting ready for a double release of Bloggy Goodness Saturday morning. At least that's the plan, not that any of us officially plan anything, in the tradition of The Joker in TDK. We all just "do things." But I will say that I'm slowly preparing for the viral onslaught come Saturday. And I'm pleased that the Halloween task instructions seem pretty clear. No one has really asked "what the hell does this mean?" So I guess I did my job there okay. I love writing out task instructions and Blog synopses, among other things, for Dude. I can't say I've enjoyed doing something this much in a very long time. I'll be sad to see it end.

As for doing things for The Joker Blogs and participating in NaNoWriMo, I don't know where my head is, but I'm going to attempt to do both. The only reason I'm doing NaNo is to finish The Blood Crown. If I don't make my 50k because I'm busy with The Joker Blogs, then so be it. I made a promise months ago and I intend to stand by that promise no matter what. Either way, I'll be winning because I'll be that much closer, if not finished with, The Blood Crown. And then I can move on to The Augury of Gideon.

Aunt Tudi and I have errands to run early tomorrow morning. I'll be purchasing more energy shots while I'm out...just in case. If they aren't needed, then at least I'll have them for NaNoWriMo and don't think I won't use them. I'm a maniac.

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The Cliffs of Insanity

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