I Am Legend: What Legends Are Made Of

For a movie review of I Am Legend, click here.

There are only a handful of writers that I can say write so well, that they inspire me to write, and Richard Matheson is certainly one of them. Without a doubt, I Am Legend is one of the most superbly written stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thought provoking and full of surprising twists, my eyes were glued to the pages throughout the entire novella. Robert Neville is the last human on the planet, as a mysterious plague overwhelmed humanity, turning everyone into blood-lusting vampires. He hunts them throughout the day, but at night, Robert locks himself inside his fortified home, anxiously awaiting the morning sun while the vile demons roam around the house, taunting, stalking, and begging for him to come out. How long can Robert survive in a world no longer human, where the odds are sorely against him?

This is not your typical vampire saga. It’s a profound view on the human condition through the eyes of a normal man, and the changes he must endure while struggling with grief, loneliness, and disastrous circumstance.

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Losing My Wacken Virginity (Part 1 of 2)

Aerial of Wacken back in 2004, when it was still more manageable. Click here for previous aerials.

Few things hold more promise than huge festivals full of strangers and booze. Wacken Open Air brings all these possibilities to life. It is, unquestionably, the Metal Mecca of the world, but the music itself is only the starting point of a romantic lifestyle requiring metal encrusted leather, lots of beer and burping and pissing, and of course, rolling around in filth, falling into mud pits and freezing at night. It’s about being heroes, like in the bygone times, when men were quaffing Vikings and women were scantily dressed maidens. Like in those long ago times, it is also a time of pain.

Lets begin with the saga of Brett. He is a slight man of 22 who has been holding down a clerical position by day and rocking out to the likes of Nile and Samael at all other available hours. His decision to go to W:O:A 2007 was a little belated and just as he made up his mind, http://www.wacken.com pronounced the festival sold out. In lieu of letting the dream die he turned to E-Bay.

E-bay supplied him with a ticket, for an exorbitant sum of over six hundred American dollars, which he paid up. The ticket could only be shipped to England, but Brett thankfully had some friends who were also going to Wacken situated in the U.K. With the precious ticket safely in the hands of one of these friends, Brett, armed with a phone number, got on the plane. Continue reading

An Evening of Metal with Skinless, Chthonic and Nile

 

Dallas Toler-Wade of Nile

Dallas Toler-Wade looking like a demon

Yet again, I am at B.B. King’s. It is August 21th and what the bands have in common tonight is their subject matter: mythology. OK, so the Halloween props scattered on the stage for Skinless and their mostly humorous lyrics maybe have nothing to do with it, but Chthonic and Nile are all about mythology, Taiwanese and Egyptian, respectively. They were also all part of the line up for Ozzfest 2007.

Skinless

Skinless is a local band and a B.B. King’s regular from Albany, NY. Their sound is predominantly generic death metal; fast riffs, guttural growls and high-pitched shrieks making lyrics indiscernible. The music drives up the ante and Jason Keyser (vocals) leaps off the stage. Swallowed up by the fans, he resurfaced, and after reaching the crowd barricade used it to leap into the crowd again. For Keyser they moshed like mad, even attempting a front-to-back wall-of-death. Continue reading

Ah, The Good Old Dangerous Days

Dangerous Book for Boys book jacket Do you often find yourself thinking back to when you were a child? When things seemed simple and there were no cell phones, laptops, and wireless…anything? Well, Conn and Hal Iggulden have thought back to those technologically innocent times and these brothers from across the pond decided to create a volume of knowledge for today’s youth which harkens back to this much simpler time.

Originally a best seller in England, The Dangerous Book for Boys was redeveloped for release in the United States. Slight changes, such as substituting The U.S. Constitution for British Patron Saints, were made to appeal to us Yanks. This volume contains a wealth of knowledge from varying fields such as science, literature, and history, but also more child specific information like how to play stick ball and marbles, and how to talk to girls. The Dangerous Book was written to satisfy some of that boyhood curiosity innate to all young lads that can’t be gratified by video games alone. Continue reading

Bad Monkeys, Good Monkeys

bad monkeys book jacketBad Monkeys, a novel written by Matt Ruff, is an insane Valium trip that’s a cross between 1984, Boondock Saints, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Sex, drugs, and conspiracy galore fill the pages with clever wit and surprises that will keep you turning till the very end.

Matt Ruff’s whimsical and satirical take on tactical espionage and “counter-evilism” is told through the Valium-popping, drug-happy Jane Charlotte, a decadent 36 year old woman who is a field operative for the mysterious “Bad Monkeys”, a subdivision of the much larger “Organization”. Having been arrested for murder, Jane was immediately placed in the loony ward to see Dr. Vale, who was called in to evaluate her outrageous story.

The story is written in the form of a dialogue, where Dr. Vale tape records the interview. Jane begins with a brief synopsis of the Bad Monkeys, a top secret organization not sanctioned by the government that dispatches agents to find and eliminate people that the Organization has dubbed “evil”. From there she briefly describes her years as a trouble-making teen, to her life as a drifter, and finally her time as a field operative for Bad Monkeys before her arrest, unwrapping the story through a series of flashbacks. The chapters are not terribly long, and Ruff’s mastery of dialogue makes this an easy book to read. Continue reading

Don’t Block the Cock; Guide the Cock. See “Superbad.”

superbad [psterThis is one of those movies based on drunken teenage antics to speed-dialgue that leave me ashamed of my own inability to put together dick jokes.

“You don’t want college girls to think you suck dick at fucking pussy” do you? Well, here is a tutorial then. “Superbad”, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is about two teenagers named Seth (Jonah HIll) and Evan (Michael Cera), about to graduate High School and willing to give up a testicle to get accepted and get laid before the finale. Their last chance comes when one of the girls they are after invites them to a party she is throwing at her house and they seal their fates by offering to bring booze via fake ID of third-wheeling friend Fogell played brilliantly by debuting Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Although this played out story is what drives the plot, the movie is actually about the deep friendship between Seth and Evan and how that is endangered by the fact that they will be going to different colleges. And it is very much about about hormones–male hormones. It is also about slightly crooked cops come father figures out for a joy-ride with booze and guns. There is even a little taste of what the future may hold as the guys end up crashing a house party where the guests are balding and getting brain dead with aspirations no higher than seeing a fight break out. Finally, the movie is specifically about dick, because Seth just can’t let his go. Continue reading

How PRK Made the Footballs in My Eyes All Round and Stuff

Just as it became chic to wear large glasses with plastic frames that dominate your face, I decided to go through with laser eye surgery. That’s elective laser surgery. On my eyes. It didn’t really sink in until the doctor was telling me to look at the blinking red light as intently as if I was following it down a winding road at 90 miles per hour.

I really didn’t dwell on what was going to happen to me. I went in for an eval, pretty sure there was nothing modern medicine could do for my high prescription, high astigmatism and thin corneas. This was the case four years ago. LASEK still could do nothing for the likes of me, but, apparently, PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) no longer causes shadowy phantoms to resurface over once corrected vision. So I went under the laser the next day. Continue reading

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