Archive for April, 2009

Punchin’ and Playin’ Star Wars All Over the Globe

Jeff VanderMeer • April 30th, 2009 • Culture

As reported on Omnivoracious, the Punch Out Five (aka Sir Tessa, Shelf Monkey, Royal Muffin, Partial Vodka, and the Priest) will be stagin’ Star Wars scenes for mah amusement in the nearish future. Should be interesting.

Although not mentioned in the Omnivoracious piece, one of these unlucky, hapless fools also received a set of policeman outfit stickers, complete with handcuffs, to include in the scenarios–as pictured here…

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Consequences of Buying Random Sh*t at the Grocery Store

Jeff VanderMeer • April 30th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Check-out girl: Whatcha gonna do? Tape some grapes to those protein bars?

Me: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. And then you know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to paaaartay like there’s no tomorrow!

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BOILERPLATE! It’s Not Just For Contracts…

Jeff VanderMeer • April 29th, 2009 • Book Reviews, Photos

I just got a lovely print-out of an unbound advance copy of Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, and wrote about it on the Amazon book blog. It’s really quite cool stuff, and very reasonably priced. Kinda retro-Steampunk. Good fun.

Here are some interiors I didn’t use in the Amazon piece.

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Finch from Inception to Interior Layout

Jeff VanderMeer • April 29th, 2009 • Writing Tips

You might remember a little novel I done finished called Finch, already available for pre-order.

It looked like this:

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Music: Living Things, Electric Six, and Dengue Fever

Jeff VanderMeer • April 28th, 2009 • Music Reviews


(Yes, E6 is ridiculous…)

Last week we went to see Living Things and Electric Six at The Engine Room here in Tallahassee, and then Dengue Fever at the Club Downunder, in the student union.

Living Things had a New York Dolls vibe going on in their look, and a hard rock-and-roll sheen to their music (but not sans melody). I like their CDs a lot, but figured they’d be better live, and they were. They had real attitude, and managed to pull it off. The drummer was insane (as perhaps indicated by the photos below) and worth the price of admission alone.

Electric Six just completely demolished the place. Their music is jokey when you listen to it on CD, but live, with the lyrics somewhat obscured, that is some powerful shit. I mean, it sounded soooo good. I was actually dancing through some of it. The lead singer had brilliant presence. He looked like a middle-aged college professor, but he absolutely knew how to hold and keep an audience. Frankly, he was insane in ithe best possible way. And wearing two capes over top of a blazer. Each with a different saying on it. Anyway, great show. Highly recommended if they come to your town.

Dengue Fever I enjoyed quite a bit, although their songs tended to merge into one another. The bass player, this tall black guy, strutted around the stage, and just generally behaved more like a lead guitarist. The band was tight and the lead singer had a really unusual voice. I liked them, but I’m not sure I would see them again. Mostly because the music was fun but not hitting my personal sweet spot.

I took some photos with my phone. I love my phone, even though the pixelation isn’t as good as my Cannon, because the grainy quality creates some interesting effects. Also, with no flash, it tries to compensate by letting in light for a longer period of time. So night shots in particular are pretty cool. Here’re the ones I took at the concert. Maybe I just like the pretty colors.

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Conversations with the Bookless Migrates to BookSpot Central

Jeff VanderMeer • April 28th, 2009 • Culture

A little over a year ago, I completed my last “Conversation with the Bookless” feature, with David Moles. (That link will lead you to all of the others, with folks such as Rachel Swirsky, Nathan Ballingrud, and Kelly Barnhill.)

Now Jay Tomio and BookSpot Central have revived the series, with a slant more toward crime writers. They’ve been posting a hellacious number of these things, so if you want to acquaint yourself with some of the bookless, roaming the literary landscape like zombie ghosts, here ya go:

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Spectacular Characters in Flawed Novels

Jeff VanderMeer • April 28th, 2009 • Writing Tips

Last night on Facebook, in response to a book I just read (can’t tell you what it is until review is done), I wrote, “I think it’s more than possible that a writer can be gifted with creating an amazing character and then, sadly, in a very real way for the reader undermine and betray that creation.”

Excerpts from the discussion that followed…

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Six Shooter Interview and Books Received, fer a Busy, Chaotic Monday

Jeff VanderMeer • April 27th, 2009 • Book Reviews

Monday books received added to the end of this post.
Note: This is a living, breathing post that will keep changing in small but significant ways all day, like–a squirrel helping me figure out edits to one last Finch passage being difficult, or more incoming books, or this weird video, which used to be this weird video until I realized how disturbing it was!


Feeling like this right now?

Had a bloodshot weekend? Love books? Gonna have a crappy Monday?

Here’s me yammering on about fictional characters, not understanding books, why you should ignore me as a curmudgeon, etc. That should make it crappier. Then, as antidote, check out this lovely winter-ish post involving a graveyard of abandoned shoes and two amateur private detectives exploring a building.

As further antidote, here’s some eye candy for ya.

Me, I’ve got four introductions to various books to write this week, three reviews, four Amazon features, and a patridge in a pear tree. Rest for the weary? Not bloody likely. Getting to “Borne” this week? No. Not at all. (Next week? Yes, or go nuts.)

Likey the book eye candy? Gots yer own books received or bought? Feel free to give the linkage in the comments.

Also, which of these books are you most looking forward to? Why?

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Weekend Nightmare Relived: Return to Chuck E Cheese

Jeff VanderMeer • April 26th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

Some of you may remember the Chuck E Cheese tale of horror, involving my stepdaughter Erin. Well, for the first time since Erin was nine (she’s 23 now), I set foot in Chuck E Cheese again…this time with Erin, Ann, son Jason, and Mr. R (Riley, our grandson).

Would it be as horrific an experience as the first time?

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Re-Hearse Friday: Surveillance Continues

Jeff VanderMeer • April 24th, 2009 • Culture, Photos

You might remember the hearse that parked opposite our house.

It’s back. Yesterday it just sat there idling for awhile, and when I approached in my hoodie, MMA Affliction t-shirt, and surfer pants, it sped off. I don’t know if these two things are related: my approach and its retreat.

Anyway, today I decided to be more circumspect when it appeared. So I drove down our street with my phone nonchalantly angled like I was texting…while I was instead taking photos. Here’s how that turned out…

UPDATE: 2:07, hearse gone again.

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