Monday, June 27, 2005

zombie dogs

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

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zombie dogs

Saturday, June 25, 2005

land of the dead

I was almost the only female in the theater. Almost. Shortly before the movie started, a guy and girl sat right behind me and began making out. Then an ad for a rob zombie movie came on, and the guy jumped up and shouted, “Yeah, Rob! Rob Zombie!” okay, two of my favorite theater things going on, and the movie hasn’t even started.

So now it’s me, thirty fat guys -- I’m sorry. I know that’s a stereotype, but I’m telling the absolute truth here -- me, thirty fat guys, a screen shouter, and a mall rat. I begin to wonder if something is wrong with me.

I move to another seat on the other side of the theater.

Someone sits right behind me with some kind of stinky spam sandwich that makes my throat burn. By this time the movie has started and I’m sinking down in my seat, pulling the neckline of my shirt up over my nose.

What’s wrong with me?

Girls don’t like zombie movies.
There’s something wrong with me.

But as soon as the movie starts and the zombies begin to move in that sweet, sluggish way they do, I smile. And I keep smiling.

I love zombies.

And I think I’ve figured out why most girls don’t like zombie movies. It isn’t because there isn’t a lot personal growth and angst and girl talk and deep feelings exposed and explored. It’s the gore. As soon as the gore starts, my mind begins to drift. I find myself wondering if they have cinnamon scones at the nearby caribou coffee. On screen, a zombie reaches deep into the mouth of a victim and pulls out what I think is a heart. Could be a lung, but I think it’s a heart. If they don’t have cinnamon, the lemon scones are pretty good…

And then we have the thing I try not to think about: If zombies are dead, how is it they “die” when they are shot? Oh, stop it! Don’t think about that! I mean, I could get it if they had their legs cut off and could no longer get from point A to point B, or they were incinerated. That’s the best solution. Turn them to ashes. But shot? It’s a zombie movie, for chrissake. It doesn’t always have to make sense. Yeah, but, but, but… I almost think there was an explanation for that in night of the living dead, but I don’t remember what it was….

I give it an 8 out of 10. maybe 9 out of 10, but nostalgia and my lovelovelove for night of the living dead and my respect for george romero probably play into those numbers. That opening half hour in night of the living dead – if you’ve never seen it, you have to see it. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

I love zombies.

do you scare yourself?

people ask me this all the time. and my answer is always no. very few things that i read, watch, or create actually scare me. i guess real life is so much scarier than anything i could invent. and yet... i recently read john connolly's bad men. wasn't scared at all while reading it. wasn't scared a day later. but then, last night, i was wandering around the house about 2:00 am. walked past some windows -- and suddenly remember the part of the book where the gray girl with the black eyes floats and hovers outside a two-story window.


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Thursday, June 23, 2005

the hold steady

i am kinda crazy about this band.

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they just released a new album that is what i guess would be called a concept album -- but that seems too dreary and heavy to really describe it. the songs are somewhat connected in a somewhat disjointed yet jointed way. :D the album is set in minneapolis/st paul where two of the band members used to live.

the current state of music is so pathetic, and it's been so long since a band has come along that seemed real. maybe that's why i'm excited. even though you might say the hold steady reminds you a little of lou reed's new york period, or elvis costello, or wall of voodoo, or even bruce springsteen, the sound and clever lyrics are very much rooted in minneapolis. Craig Finn captures the dark, artistic despair and desperation of the twin cities music/party scene.

the hold steady

Sunday, June 12, 2005

stalking dean koontz

Desperation, prostitution, and the degrading quest for cover quotes.

What have we turned into? Buncha whores? Ever hear the one about an editor who had a desperate, unpublished author stick a manuscript under the bathroom stall while the editor was on the toilet? Now extreme pressure is being put on published authors to come up with similar tactics, to somehow get New York Times bestselling authors to read our work and give us quotes. What is so messed up is that these quotes aren’t really used to sell the book to readers; they’re used to sell the book to the publisher’s marketing department. No quote, no financial backing. So lemme see…

My to-do list:

pick up a box of computer paper and ink
get cat shaved
car oil change
dental cleaning and checkup
stalk Dean Koontz

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

a storm blows in

A storm blows in and wakes me up in the middle of the night. So I do what I do best at 4:00 a.m. -- I worry.

For the past week, articles I’ve read and people I’ve talked to are indicating that publishers and booksellers are finally admitting that the downturn in book sales might not be part of a cycle but a shift in how readers are reading and buying and getting information.

Thank you. You can’t address a problem if you don’t admit it exists.

One thing I’ve actually admired about the book biz is that it doesn’t try to be cool. But more and more I’ve come to realize that’s also part of its problem. Movies are all about cool. Music is all about cool. The closest publishing gets to cool is when it publishes books about cool movies or cool music. And those cool kids who used to hang out in the school hallways wearing cool clothes and doing cool things? They now hang out in internet hallways. That hallway now has no walls, and this new world building is having enormous impact. Those small groups of people who all do the same things, listen to the same things, read the same things, watch the same things, are now enormous groups of people looking for what’s cool and individual and different so they can all do it together.

Shallow? Yes. Honest? Yes. Because trying to be James Dean is a part of our genes. I’ll bet Jesus would have emulated Dean if Dean had been around back then.

Most publishers are trend-followers. This can be bad in a world of big wheels turning slowly. By the time a trend is recognized, pointed at, discussed, paid homage to, printed, and sold to the consumer, it’s usually on its way out.

Publishers are going to have to take risks. A hard thing to do when sales are down. And by risks, I don’t mean finding the next somebody who writes like fillintheblank. Right now, the worst thing a writer or musician can be is someone who doesn’t sound like anybody else. Does that make sense????

5:00 a.m. Storm is over. Birds are singing. Oh, wait. They aren’t singing; they’re whistling in the dark.