Stranger on a Train XXII

It’s still the grey of twilight, but here I am, on the train, heading in…

Trying something a little different this time — using the personal hotspot instead of the phone itself to blog. Yeah, it dawned on me the last time I did this segment (which, I admit, has been a while…) that I could do this and why not? After all, I got that ability, why am I suddenly limiting myself to the screen of my smartphone.

I blame the lack of coffee in the morning. Gets me every time.

You know what else gets me? Bad dreams. And lucky me, they like to hit me just within the hour before I wake up. I then hit the morning routine wondering “What brought that on?” It tends to make for a distracted morning, something I really can’t afford. This week, August commences and it’s going to be one of those months akin to May where time will be fleeting, book events will be upon us (me and Pip, that is), and I’m still trying to sort out the mechanics of a life.

What does that mean? Come on, you know this segment — completely off the top of my head. Also, I can’t elaborate because I know as modest as this blog may be, I’ve got people watching and reading. I need to pay attention to what I say, and all I can say at this point is that nothing feels set or secure. I need to make some judgment calls in August. That is crystal clear to me. So right now, I am what I am. Like Popeye, only without the squint, pipe, and unnatural spinach fetish.

And next week, Pip and I hit Authors After Dark. Let the mayhem commence.

This weekend, I kicked back with Sonic Boom and the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I think that show gets more epic each time you watch it. I blogged a few months ago about Kenneth Branagh and my man-crush on him. So nice when he appeared in the midst of this spectacle. I nearly wet myself when he recited from The Tempest. He’s been there and back again, it seems; but watching him at the Opening Ceremonies?  Oh yeah, he’s still got it.

Kenneth Branagh. Working the Olympics. Like a mill boss.

From the “Coming Out of Left Field” Department: The 2012 Parsec Awards

Holy Hanna on a hotplate!

This past Thursday, it turns out, was the day the 2012 Parsec Awards were announced. Now if you have never heard of the Parsecs, don’t sweat it — you’re about to get schooled on one of the most prestigious awards in podcasting and Science Fiction.The Parsec Awards, now in their seventh year, is awarded to podcasts featuring Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Whether it is fiction, fan news, or even geek-a-licious music, the Parsec Awards celebrates the best in speculative fiction and do so as part of the wild ride that is Dragon*Con.

(Pictured here is the 2011 Parsec brought home by Technorama. Good on ya, guys!)

It’s been a while since I’ve been up for a Parsec. In 2008 Billibub Baddings and The Case of the Singing Sword won that year for Best Audio Drama (Long Form), although you could argue last year I was in the Parsec Run as Tales from the Archives gained a nod for Best Short Story with “The Astonishing Amulet of Amenartas” by Nathan Lowell.

Nah. Pip and I produced that episode. “The Astonishing Amulet of Amenartas” was all Nathan, and more of a nice feather in the cap for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

Now we’re up to this year’s Parsecs. I was chatting with Veronica Giguere when the announcements went live. I know this because she started chuckling and then said, “I’m laughing about the Parsecs, and about you in the Parsecs.”

I’ll say it again… Continue reading

Concerning Colorado and the First Amendment

When tragedy strikes, emotions run high. So does opportunity. When you talk about opportunity, does Texas Republican Louis Gohmert come to mind? Well, it should. He was one of the first (if not the first) from Capitol Hill to speak up on the tragedy in Colorado where over 70 people were wounded and 12 killed during a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. Yes, he hit all the talking points his staff put together for him. Attack on religion. Founding fathers’ intentions. Gun control. All part of an opportunity to get firsties on proclaiming the real reason behind this horrible shooting in an Aurora movie multiplex. What struck me hardest in his asshattery was his closing statement in this Huffington Post article:

“It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?”

Fast-forward to the next day where I am enjoying a lovely wine tasting in Leesburg, VA at the Corcoran Vineyard and Brewery.  It’s a nice afternoon with Pip, the Boom, P.J. Schnyder, and Or Draconis (her boyfriend) and good wine. In the midst of Wine #3, another small group joins us. I’m trying desperately not to stare, but one of the newcomers is wearing a tee-shirt nigh impossible to avoid. In huge, black block letters against stark white, his shirt reads:

Where’s Lee Harvey Oswald Now That We Need Him?

Then, on turning around, I get a look at the back design: a generic drawing of a man’s head, a gun sight, and the top portion of the man’s head exploding outward. Complete with blood splatter.

No. Kidding.

Continue reading