Archive for April, 2009


Being that one guy home on a Friday night sucks

My current schedule is due to some concessions made a few months back, and it generally means that I’m stuck at home on Friday nights as I catch up on work and get ready to go in at ass o’clock in the morning.

For the most part it is disastrous, as everyone I want to talk to is unavailable, out having fun that I had to wait until Sunday or Monday night for. What it does afford me, though, is one solid night of work. I get to sit down without being bothered, and work on some of the novel, jot down story ideas, tinker with the computers, or generally veg out. Fridays are my version of Sundays now.

So, things to look out for –

*I’ll be reworking a lot of the proto-stories that are here on the blog for artist Adam Geen. Geen has taken it upon himself to solicit any minor works any friends have put together for illustration. You should see the new text popping up over the next week as I rewrite them and hand them off to him.

*The novel, tentatively titled Jennifer Belle, is more than half way completed at this point. As I have been, I will be posting small excerpts as they are written, and updates on it’s status will follow.

*The continuing tribulations of my netbook, as I struggle with getting sound to work on it.


Ubuntu 9.04 is released…

And there still seems to be no real fix to the Linux-wide ICH8 on-board sound issue. Essentially, ALSA doesn’t support the Intel ICH8 family’s on-board sound, which means that I cannot get sound to work on my netbook.  This causes me endless delight, as Linux fanboys continue to tell me how everything with the OS works, and Windows sucks. Meanwhile, my Win7 partition works with no issues at all. (Suck it.)

Thousands of fixes can be found across the net, but none of them have worked for my set up yet (in Ubuntu, Sabayon, or Fedora.) This, essentially keeps me from doing anything even remotely like work on the netbook.

I guess you can’t have everything.


Pixies to release box set

But while Minotaur isn’t a new Pixies studio album, it’s something nearly as cool: A box set of all their studio albums, with revamped artwork and all sorts of extra goodness.


And what I am working on at the moment:

“Halloween? Couldn’t you have told this story yourself? You were there.”

“Yes, I was. You had a specific view, though. I’d like to hear how you remember it.”

“Ok. Well…Halloween was rough. I always loved Halloween until that night. It’s a spectacular holiday. There’s the obvious stuff, I mean, how cool was it when you were a kid to dress up and be someone new? You were anyone you wanted to be, some movie character, or some concept that frightened you. It was liberating when you were a kid. You’d rush home from school, and all that weight from the weeks and months prior were gone on Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas break were around the corner, and you could celebrate it by being a ghost or a monster or whatever.

When you get older it’s a bit more nebulous. Like everything else when you’re a teenager, it’s about proving how adult you are, how sexy you can be. The general idea stays the same though, as your childhood comes to an end, and you’re more into getting laid then candy… But, but you’re still slipping into someone different. You’re carving off your insecurities and your someone new, ready for the new year.

I lost my virginity on Halloween, you know. I was thirteen, and his name was Shane. He was so gorgeous, and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. We left a party – we told everyone we were going to egg houses – and we ended up at his house. We were careful then, still unsure of how it worked, who we were, why we were doing it or what it meant. But I knew at the time that I loved him and I wanted him to know. Puppy love, I guess. My first real crush, the first guy that I could open up to and the first guy I could be myself with. It wasn’t just a gay thing. It was a teen thing. I’m sure you remember.”

“Something like that, yeah.”

“Ha ha ha. It was so bad. We were at it for over an hour, which sounds like heaven now, but we were so scared of being caught by his parents that every time we started to get into it we had to stop because we thought they were trying to get in. They eventually broke it up, but I don’t think they figured out what was going on. When we heard them trying to come into the room we quickly got dressed and darted to opposite sides of the room. They just saw some beers Shane had stolen from the fridge and figured that was what we were hiding. I was sent packing by his mother, and his dad laughed and patted his son on the back saying shit like ‘Aww, honey, they’re just being boys.’

Every other Halloween, though, something always seemed to happen. I don’t know what it is, the fall, or the cool air, or the colors on the trees, or whatever. It was always so amazing. Now… I don’t even go out for Halloween anymore. I just sit in my apartment and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids when they knock. Things changed. It wasn’t fun anymore.

I don’t know if that’s because I finally grew up, but every time October thirty-first comes around all I can remember is Jennifer screaming. I guess that was the beginning of it, wasn’t it? I mean, when things started to go badly, and the infamy became a little too much to bare, and it wasn’t as fun anymore. Right?”


The Journeys of Isle

A good, long time friend of mine has set up his first novel for sale at Xlibris called The Journeys of Isle. Bowdoin has long had a love affair with late 19th century children’s literature, and it shows. There is an excerpt available on the site, but here is the description from the book’s Xlibris page:

Isle, shipwrecked and alone, finds himself waking up in the most confusing of places. With only vague and frightening images of a terrible storm and a sinking ship for memory, he is quickly confronted by a place where safety is substituted for choice. Where every footstep lands on someone’s last nerve, and what you think is just as dangerous as what you do. The type of American town where a mouth and mind like Isle’s can get you into an awful lot of trouble. But beyond the danger of an angry sheriff, who would like nothing more than to blame him for the sudden string of unexplained fires that have begun plaguing his quiet town, Isle is being followed by something infinitely more deadly. A dark shadow that lashes out from the things he can’t remember. With nothing but choice standing between the terrible dark that is chasing him and the lives of everyone he knew or would come to know, Isle will be forced to fight alone against something he doesn’t even understand. A struggle that leads to only one place, and only asks only a single question, “What do you believe, now that I’ve told you how it ends?”


Everyone is up my ass to get on twitter…

So I am rebelling and reviving the wordpress blog. I can think of no better way to do this other than to take a step back 3 years and stand firmly in web ludditism. I’ve begun using MySpace again, and this is the next logical step. If I become vindictive enough, I might set up a geocities page.

Regardless, this is most likely going to be my home for a while. MySpace mobile, essentially the same thing as Twitter, scares me for various reasons related to my life falling apart. Moore’s Law seems to be operating at peak efficiency when applied to Web 2.0 memes. New ideas are rising and being stamped out at ever increasing rates. Look at Mebo. I don’t need this shit.

Currently listening to Soulfly’s Conquer. Still shocked that Max seems to be getting his shit back together.


Grinning white teeth have been following me for days

I’m not sure why, or where he came from, but he’s been at my side, creeping closer and closer with every moment. Last Monday I told Brett there was no moment of perfect spirituality, no epiphany that shook me to my core. I told him I was a little shocked, that I found it odd that when others found faith in emotional destitution I had nothing. Yes, well wishers were there to help me through. Some with copious amounts of insight, others just checking to see if I was ok. But days later he began appearing in my thoughts.

First it was an idea for my next tattoo. I had thought the top hat and the grinning skull would be something to remind me about finality, something to keep me from going too far. I thought it’d look cool, and might be a nice conversation piece. Suddenly he appeared in my day dreams. Always grinning.

I had Melly do a reading this past week. I’ve done it sporatically from time to time for years now, and I enjoy the insight it brings. Always a starter, allowing me to explore feelings and thoughts I normally hide. I’ve never held much stock in the supernatural or fortune telling beyond a somewhat academic curiosity. However, each of those readings was a  way for Melly and I to connect, and talk about things I didn’t normally want to talk about. Of course, the readings are never more than what you’re already thinking about. They just bring those thoughts to the forefront, breaking past concious barriers. However, it’s always fun to see what comes up, and there was a common theme – rebirth.

He’s all about resurrection and rebirth. Being the man who decides who comes and who goes, he has a special dominion over letting people pass, a uniquely American Charon. There are similarities between us, as well. Superficial (love of tobacco,) and in personality (swearing, humor.)

Melly says he’s standing next to me. As La Croix, reminding me to live happy and well. As Cimetèire, reminding me of what always comes. As Samedi, watching as I’m reborn. Slowly insinuating himself in every facet of my waking life, appearing in the novel briefly, but never in my dreams, never directly to me.

Maybe I need to invest in some rum and cigars.

Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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