Silence! The Musical

I’ve never really been interested in musicals. Once in a while though, some shows come along that get my interest. Usually, because the premise is not something you’d base a musical on. It happened before with “Evil Dead the Musical,” and it has happened again with “Silence! The Musical,” which is a musical based on “The Silence of the Lambs,” that is currently playing in NYC.

The full title of the show is actually, “Silence! The Musical: The unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs,” and that’s probably best, I couldn’t take a show about a singing killer seriously. The show itself handles the parody quite well, without ever becoming too wacky. Small changes add to the atmosphere, such as Clarice speaking throughout the show with a heavy southern accent and a slight lisp on her S’s, while major things like the FBI being portrayed as completely incompetent add to the overall atmosphere. Continue reading

A Game of Writey Drawey at a White Elephant Party

Life in Portland is very unlike what I was used to in the Bronx. There are many differences, and I may go into them in another article, but here is a sample: A few nights ago d42 and I attended a White Elephant Party where we instigated a game of Writey Drawey with 6 other adults while drinking home made beer and apple cider. Aside from maybe playing a game with several strangers (such as, who can out-stare whom on the train before an explosion of violence or intense discomfort take everything to the next level), none of those things have ever happened to me before.

On the way to the party I kept trying to get d42 to explain the rules to me, I gathered that people brought wrapped gifts, which were placed in a pile Secret Santa style, and the participants would then all take turns either picking a wrapped gift or stealing a gift they liked from someone else. It sounded like a terrible game to play with strangers whose house you invaded and whose good graces you were hoping to stay in. I admit, I was nervous.

Everyone was incredibly amiable and mostly, I was the only dickhead stealing gifts. But that’s how I roll and that’s how I ended up with a Super Art Coloring Kit by Crayola, which I actually technically brought since d42 purchased our secret gifts on her own.

With a gift like that we of course started drawing pictures of cactuses and winged penises. Then I remembered a game someone once mentioned where folks take turns drawing and writing something on a piece of paper and it all ends up pretty hilarious. Someone at this particular party apparently played it before and quickly dubbed it Writey Drawey. I didn’t know much about it, and from the name alone would have to guess it is probably a children’s game and is probably played somewhat differently, but here is how we did.

We tore the hell out of some papers, made sure each person had a mini booklet of pages the same number as there were players (so for 5 players, each person has 5 pages), and set the writing implements in the center of our circle. We numbered our pages to keep confusion to a minimum. Each person then had about 2 minutes to draw something on the top page, flip it up side down, and pass it on to the next person. That person would then look at the picture, shift it to the bottom of the stack, write a probable caption, flip the whole stack upside down, and pass it to the next person. That person would do his or her best to illustrate the mad scribbling, and so on. Once we each got our initial picture back, we would present this booklet to the group and to general hilarity.

Although describing the game is not fun, playing it is, and some of the results should absolutely be memorialized. Everyone jealously packed away theirs, but here are mine!

I chose to start with a picture of a small child ready for the monster in his closet. d42 chose to focus in on the banana-like monster grin

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New York Comic Con 2011 (With Slideshow)

(Writing by Fly and Photography by LaFemmeLuna)
October 13-16 marked another year for New York Comic Con at Jacob Javits center, and as always, I was there. This is the first year that it was open for four days, Thursday being open to press, professionals and people who bought special four day passes. I was unable to make it on Thursday due to job commitments, but the extra day is a good idea. This convention seems to get bigger every year, and three days doesn’t feel like it’s enough time to see everything. As always, I really have no idea how to summarize 3 days of nerd sensory overload, so I’ll point out the highlights as best I can.

I’m always impressed with the work people put into these costumes. All pictures are unrelated to the text unless otherwise noted, and thanks to Frenchie for doing what I always forget to do.

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Review of “Victim”

I randomly stumbled upon Victim, directed by Matt Escandari and Michael A. Pierce, while sifting through the near endless movie offerings on Netflix.  The consensus of a few user reviews was that this movie was very disturbing and unique. Morbid curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this a shot.

***Before we go any further, I do want to say that while I tried to keep this spoiler-free, some of you might figure out one of the crucial parts anyway, and I apologize in advance if I spoiled it.

Victim is about a young man who is kidnapped, tortured, and psychologically abused by a crazy surgeon and his silent assistant.  With no clue as to where he is or why this is happening to him, the man’s only distraction comes in the form of a little girl’s diary that he finds in his prison cell.

It starts well enough with some grainy home video footage of a very attractive girl walking in to what seems like an amateur porn audition.  The voice behind the camera is distorted and asks her to have a seat and to close her eyes while he goes to the bathroom to get a “surprise” for her.  Then, predictably, we are treated to fast cuts and close-ups of the girl being raped and murdered.  I thought this scene was pretty well done and the grittiness made it feel like a snuff film.  I expected the rest of the movie to have the same effect, but it doesn’t quite work that way.

After the girl is murdered, the main story begins with a handsome young man (whose name we never learn, so I’ll name him Slick) hanging out at a trendy bar, ordering drinks and working his charm on a cute waitress.  On the other end of the bar we have an ominous person in a black hood, whose face is completely hidden.  The scene lasts all of about 5 minutes before Slick walks out to his car, confronts Hoodie Man, and promptly gets attacked from behind and dragged away.  When he wakes up, he’s in a dirty prison cell in someone’s basement and you know things will not go well for the poor bastard.

As to his captors, you have the run-of-the-mill creepy old surgeon who explains that the pain Slick will need to endure is necessary and that in due time he will understand why this is happening.  Then you have Mr. George, a tall and sturdy man whom you’d feel comfortable having as a bodyguard and who is either mute or just doesn’t believe in talking.  Mr. George delivers the beatings, and Doc Crazy (not his real name) performs the memory-erasing shock therapy and surgeries. Continue reading

Review of Back to the Future: The Game

I love time travel. I don’t know what it is about the genre, but I will read any book, and watch any movie there is about it. “Back to the Future”, and its first sequel have been two of my favorite movies since I was a kid (the third one is OK, but not nearly as good as the other two). So when I heard they were making a new game that would continue the story, I was completely against it. Continue reading

Prove Your Strength

Excuse the belated nature of this article. Come to think of it, it’s now nearly 6 months since it occurred, but as this ‘zine is here, in part, to document experiences that are perhaps not completely of the mainstream nature, this here experience shall be documented. Since this happened a while back, I am in the position to include a bit of follow-up directly into this piece. I’ll keep verb tense as consistent as I can.

And so, nearly six months ago, May 15th of 2011 to be precise, Beelzy and I have been lucky enough to attend a pretty amazing event. Proven Performance Gym held their first Strongman Competition, which, despite the sport’s name, also had a Women’s division. I was on a health kick at the time, working out pretty consistently at CrossFit Riverdale, where, without initially realizing it, I actually began Strongman training. My workouts were having my parents whimpering about how I’m going to bust an ovary, but, unperturbed, I kept heaving large balls of cement, and wandering around with hundreds of pounds of metal balanced on my shoulders. Observing a Strongman Competition was a natural progression and on June 26th, I actually went through with it, and entered Lightning Fitness’ first Strongman Competition. It was called “Battle of the Thundergods” and the trophy was a frigging mallet. I mean, of COURSE I did it! But we’ll stick to May for now.

Rained a bit that day

The day began early as balls. Since Beelzy and I were at the time stationed in the Bronx, it took us about three and a half hours to get on over to Massachusetts where after an adorable breakfast at a mom and pop diner/bakery, we met our tense looking gym mates at about 10am. The crew collected in the parking lot next to the Proven Performance gym where they nervously eyed some seriously loaded barbels. Continue reading

The Knot and the Tying Thereof

We live in America, where numerous choices, endless information, and reality TV can ensure that any event, nevermind an important one, can become a complete nightmare.

So when Beelzy finally grinned sheepishly and said, “Wanna get married?” and I nodded, we decided we were going to run away to Mexico to get the deed done there. Then we found out that you need a blood test and then have to wait around for several days, and the marriage won’t actually count, so you still have to go to a courthouse or something in the states. We decided to elope  elsewhere.

Even eloping turned out to be somewhat problematic. Not knowing very much about weddings, I turned to the Internet, and was given a variety of indirect advice by column writers. Eloping is all good and well, but the consensus was, that if you actually have people who give a single shit about whether you live or die, they’ll be pissed that you sneaked off to get married and didn’t even tell them.

So we told folks. Mom tears flowed a little, but at that point we decided to get married in the Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee, which is totally not close to NYC, and we didn’t really expect anyone to want to drop a few hundred bucks just to get there.  Turns out we were wrong, and before long, we actually had guests. (Now I understand that weddings are excuses to throw all thoughtfulness to the wind and demand unreasonable things from people which will generally be acquiesced to.) And although on one hand, I started freaking out about what to wear, on the other hand, it was nice to know that on this day, which would be pretty important, we didn’t need an innkeeper and photographer to be our witnesses. Continue reading