Archive for March, 2008

When we last left the Dorkapalooza ’08 tour (part one, two and three), we were leaving to Kingsland, Texas, for one of the final legs of our journey (and one of my most looked forward to parts).

As Kingsland is about an hour or so west of Austin, by the time we got to our destination, it was too dark to truly appreciate what we were there to see. Yet, at the same time, I’m glad I scoped it out in the dark, as it was significantly creepy… all things considered.

The house we were there to see was literally right across the street from the cottage we were staying in. The cottage, while nice, was a bit of a creepfest itself. So creepy, I did about the biggest, dorkiest thing I’ve done this year: EVP work. I will not explain what that is. Those who know will just laugh. (No, I did not ask any questions, I just through a recorder in the bedroom I was sleeping in and one in the kitchen area.)

Anyway, after walking around the house across the street, David, Zig and I headed back to the cottage where we watched some TV before hitting the sack (in addition to the 13 hour drive back to Nashville the next day, we had an early afternoon appointment in Austin, so we wanted to be well rested). The TV show we happened to watch was a “Simpsons” re-run and, ironically enough, it was an episode where Bart took his girlfriend to a drive-in movie, and the movie playing referenced the house we were in Kingsland to see. Spooky.

Without further adieu, here are the pics of one of the highlights of the Texas trip:

Look familiar? Here’s a hint (I mean, besides the fact that it’s in Texas).

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The above are from the movie. I wish that chicky was there.

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The inside (I had to take the picture through glass because the restaurant (which this now is) was closed.

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From the movie.

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I’m obviously on some steps.

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ZOMG LOOK OUT! (This really didn’t happen while I was on the steps. This is from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre).

So, yeah, that’s where we went while we were out there. Definitely a very, very cool experience.

While I’m not a huge fan of the movie, I certainly recognize it’s place in the genre, and I’ve developed a new appreciation for the film over the past few years. Plus, considering my history with it, having the opportunity to see it in person was something.

A couple more pics:

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I’m holding an INVISIBLE CHAINSAW. (Yes, I’m quite aware of the dork level on this, thankyouverymuch.)

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I hated Franklin and I was happy when he died.

After we checked out the house for a bit, we packed our stuff in the car and headed back to Austin for one final thing.

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This isn’t the final thing. This is just a picture of me at a scenic overlook.

The final thing happened to be something stored at the Harry Ransom Center. That would be the actual mask used in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

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While we weren’t able to photograph it (DAMMIT), it was pretty neat to see it in real life. I have to give mad props to Zig for arranging this excursion, as I would never have been able to see it without his credentials. It’s a lot smaller than I expected.

We oogled over the mask for a bit, then we left the Center and headed back to the car. We would have tooted around Austin a bit more, but it was rainy and dreary and we had quite the ride ahead of us. I did take a picture of one of the coolest (or, at least, one of the most amusing) band (?) posters I’ve seen.

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I would love this in my office.

The route we took back to Nashville had us going through Dallas again, so I’ll finish this blog with pics I took as we were cruising through.

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I have a few more pics from Nashville, but I’ll throw them up later.

But this road trip was definitely one helluva great time from beginning to end.

 

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I know I was supposed to finish up Dorkapalooza ’08, but Sparkling Red wrote a post that is so entirely much like my life, that I had to share it here. Plus it’s late and I didn’t prep the pictures.

I straight ripped this from her blog, I take credit for none of it (except for the copy and paste).

You should check out her blog, it’s a good ‘un.

Now onto her post…

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Have you ever wanted to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but just didn’t know where to start?

Spark’s publishing brings you a simple, step-by step guide for enjoying this unique and colourful disorder, in nine easy steps.

1) No detail is too small to obsess about. Why not start with the status of your stove? This is very popular among beginners. Develop a habit of checking your stove to make sure it’s off. This can be done on your way out of the house, before you go to bed, or anytime. Remember: if you check once and feel satisfied, you have not achieved OCD. The “magic number” of checks that allows you to leave the stove and carry on with your life must be at least two (2).

2) The “magic number” of checks for any of your compulsions should increase proportionately to the stress in your life. Once the number has increased, it will be very difficult to reduce it again. For example, if you usually check the stove four times before you leave the house, you may feel compelled to check a fifth time. Or, in severe circumstances, you may need to “take it from the top” and do another full round of four checks.

3) The checking should be done in a ritualistic fashion. It is not sufficient to give the stove a quick, visual once-over, and walk away. Point to each dial on the stove, and as you do so chant “Off, Off, Off, Off, Off” (that’s once for each element and once for the oven). Vocalizing and using repetitious movements will reinforce your habit and deepen your experience.

4) Be prepared: the day will come when no amount of ritualized checking will scratch the itch. When you get stuck in front of the stove, checking and re-checking in an infinite loop, congratulate yourself! You have achieved a masterful level of OCD. If you have made yourself late for work or any other obligation, to which you otherwise would have been on time, pat yourself on the back. You have truly arrived.

5) Are you sure that the door to your home is closed and locked? Pull on it a bunch of times. Walk away from it. Turn back. Stare at it. Walk back and pull on it a bunch more times. Stare at it some more. It looks closed, but something in your mind isn’t accepting that input. Fiddle with your door until no one could possibly rationalize the amount of time you’re spending there. Now all your neighbours know that you have OCD! Good work.

6) If you’d like to spend a good deal of time convinced that your home is burning down while you’re away, and the stove just isn’t doing it for you, invest in a curling or straightening iron. If you can ever convince yourself to leave the house again, it’ll be a miracle. Are you sure you turned it off? Or is your shower curtain catching fire as you read this?

7) You’re just about to fall asleep. It’s the end of the day. Time to just lie back and relax. Wait, are you sure you took out your contact lenses? Is your alarm set to the right time, turned on, and at an appropriate volume? Did you leave the tap running in the bathroom? There is such an abundance of things to jump out of bed and check, that sleeping pales in comparison.

8) For added fun, encourage your spouse to trigger your obsessions. When you’ve finally checked for your wallet enough times, and feel ready to walk out the door, s/he should take that as a cue to ask “Are you sure you have your wallet?” and then giggle insanely as you furiously undertake a fresh round of checking. (No, Ken doesn’t do this. But my ex did. I don’t think he really “got” how mean it was. *stewie note: both of my best friends pull this shit on me every chance they get.*)

9) Had enough of the OCD for now? Shake it off. Get angry. Say to yourself “I cannot spend all day standing and staring at my front door. So what if it is unlocked? So what if the stove is on? I can’t live paralyzed by these thoughts. If the house is burgled or burns down, so be it.” Then turn on your heel and march.

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That there is eerily accurate. It really is spooky. While I know it’s crazy talk, part of me thinks she followed me around on any given day and took notes.

There are so many things spot on with her post that it’s a little freaky that someone goes through the exact same things I do. I’m not naive enough to think that I’m the only one with OCD, by any means. But to see someone whom I don’t know so accurately describe it is a little spooky, especially with lines such as “The “magic number” of checks for any of your compulsions should increase proportionately to the stress in your life.” really hit home.

As I get from Sparks (formerly known as Red), this is not debilitating by any means (which I’m thankful for), but it does get quite frustrating when you know, you know, what you are doing is insane. But you just can’t help it.

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So here comes Dorkapalooza ’08 part three. (Part one and part two).

We woke up pretty early on Sunday, because Sunday was a big day. We were going to Austin. We had big plans in Austin. So we were going to get on the road early. However, due to nobody remembering the stupid time change, we got on the road about an hour later than we planned to. No worries, though. It wasn’t like Austin was 10 hours away.

But before we left Dallas, we had to make one planned stop. The Texas School Book Depository. Or, as I kept referring to it, that place where that guy was shot.

I used to be a firm believer in the conspiracy theory surrounding Kennedy’s assassination, but over the years I’ve believed less and less in it. After seeing where Kennedy was shot, and where Oswald was shooting from, it’s pretty damn feasible he acted alone. Where the shots were fired was much closer than I ever expected and, to be quite honest, I could have a good chance making the shot.

Interestingly enough, there are two X’s on the main strip in front of the Book Depository. One where Kennedy was popped in the neck, one for the head shot.

As we were on a schedule, we didn’t have time to take the full blown tour of the Depository (which my dad highly recommended), but I wanted to get up to the sixth floor to snap a picture of that. I almost did, too. I almost paid the $15 fee just to get up there. Until I saw the “No Photography” sign. Boy, that was a pisser.

After we got the pictures we wanted, we crowded into the rental and headed toward Austin. The trip itself was rather uneventful (just goofy conversation), but there was a rather interesting building at the travel stop where we ate.

Good thing I snapped that, too, because one of the old timers at the stop informed me that they were tearing it down soon. I’ve never even been inside that Starship Enterprise, but I know that little town is losing a landmark. (On a side note, there was a country band playing live at that Sonic/Gas Station/Beef Jerky stop we ate it. That was interesting. Not interesting enough to take a picture, but interesting nonetheless.)

We drove on.

Just before Austin, we made another scheduled stop. This time in Leander, Texas. We were there to see a little cemetery.

Look familiar? To horror fans, it might. It’s seen in the very beginning of an incredibly influential movie filmed in Texas in the ’70s.

I’m not saying whether or not I climbed on the headstone. I will say I’m probably going to hell.

And on we went.

I had called a friend, Chuk, on the way down to Austin, and he was cool enough to recommend a place for BBQ in the city, where he and his wife would meet up with us for dinner. (And I had to laugh when, as I was on the phone with Chuk, I heard him say to his wife that he was talking to “…an internet friend!” Chuk is a regular poster over at HorrorTalk, so I figured since I was in Austin, it would be nice to meet him in real life.)

The joint Chuk recommended was Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, and if you are ever in Austin, I highly recommend their sausage. Great stuff. I also recommend giving Chuk and Susie, his beautiful wife, a call, because they were fantastic company.

Chuk surprised me with a gift of some homemade salsa. And by homemade, I mean homemade. Chuk grows his own peppers and makes this stuff on his stove. Of the two, I’ve only tapped into “New Years Evil”, and it’s easily the hottest salsa I’ve ever had. The stuff makes my eyes water, and that’s a great thing.

We finished up dinner, we said our goodbyes, and Zig, David and I piled into a car to head for Kingsland, Texas. This would be our last night in Texas, but where we were to stay was going to be a key part of our trip.

More on that, tomorrow.

(Again, if you know, please don’t comment on it. 🙂 )

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For those that come here more or less regularly, has the site been slow?

I’ve been having slow load times at home and work for just this site, and I’m trying to get GoDaddy to help me out with this.

I also need to know if I’m on crack, or if it really is slow loading.

If you could drop a comment with any experiences with load time (and ladies, descriptions of lesbian experiences will be fine, too), that would be helpful.  Oh, and, if you could, maybe the location from where you are posting from (Jersey, Canada, etc.) would rock, too.

Much thanks!

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Part one of Dorkapalooza ’08 is here, in case you are just joining in.

So Friday morning we work at the butt crack of dawn (5:30ish) to get on the road to Dallas, TX.

The 10 hour drive was pretty uneventful. Most of the time was spent playing “Marry, Fuck, Kill” (which is more fun than you would think), and spotting such awesome places like…

It’s little off the wall family joints like Cooter Brown’s that make road trips awesome.

The purpose of heading to Dallas, aside from a pretty cool road trip, was the Texas Fear Fest. A horror convention that the guests included Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger, people!), Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon, amongst others. Basically, it was a reunion show for A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. There were a lot of guests.

In addition, there were people there from Fright Night (I saw Marcy from “Married with Children”! :lol:), Gage from Pet Sematary (who, when he got smacked by the 18 wheeler, looked just like my nephew at that age…FREAKY), Alex Vincent (Chucky’s friend-to-the-end, Andy, in Child’s Play) and a slew of other people.

But having seen a lot of these people at various conventions already — and not willing to pay the $35 to get something signed by Robert England — I only wanted to get three autographs while was out there: John Saxon, Neil Marshall and Henry Thomas. I missed out on Saxon, but Marshall and Thomas I snagged. Best part? They were the only two guests there that were signing for free. Bonus.

That’s me with Neil Marshall (director of Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday). All of his movies start with D because they are DYNAMITE!

The hottie lady is Axelle Carolyn Marshall, the special makeup effects artist on Doomsday. We share a birthday. I should have told her that and she would have dropped Neil for me for sure! Oh, and not only were they not charging for signatures, they were giving out posters for Doomsday. I heart those Marshalls.

That there is me and Henry Thomas of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial fame. This was his first appearance at a show, and he looked really uncomfortable. Kind of like he didn’t know why all these people wanted his autograph. He looks scared. Like I’m going to kill him or something.

When I gave him my copy of Dead Birds to sign, he said, “Oh, wow. No one’s had me sign one of these. Did you watch it?”

“Absolutely. I loved it.”

“Great, thanks, man. I appreciate it.”

Yeah. Not the most fascinating conversation in the history of man, I know. But it was with Henry “Cloak and Dagger” Thomas, so eat it, fuckers. 😆

I spent the most of the time aimlessly wandering the con, looking at goth girls (at least the four hot ones that were there), talking to low-budget filmmakers (five new reviews coming) and getting free swag (thanks for the hoodie, FearNet!). Oddly enough, of the swag I got, the FearNet hoodie is my favorite, and they gave it to me because I told them I hated their logo popping up during their movie presentations. I have a lot of respect for the FearNet representative I talked to, as he seemed really receptive to my thoughts and he said they would look into it. He may be giving me spin, but he gave me cool things, so I don’t care.

Oddly, I spent very little money at the con. Usually, I spend tons of coin at these things, but there weren’t a lot of vendors and I basically have seen everything to see at these shows (it’s either the same vendors, or the same things being sold). I did, however, finally get a hoodie I’ve been wanting since I saw at the HorrorFind con this past August (I would it have bought it then, but Jill, the owner, was sold out of fatboy XL).

Front.

Back. Cool. I hate those little bitches.

Two of the coolest things I saw while in Dallas:

1. A store called “Caskets”. It sold caskets. Directly beside that store, in the same font, was a sign that said “Boxes 2 Go”. I still laugh at that.

2. A store called “Condoms To Go”. It sold condoms. To go.

Thus ends part two. But I’m not done with Texas yet. There was another reason why we headed out there, and I’ll get into that with the next entry. If you know where this is going, or have an idea, you go ahead and keep it to yourself. I don’t want you stepping on my shit. 😀

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