The HP Lovecraft Film Fest 2019

This is going to be a fairly short post, compared to my usual trip postmortems. I'm low on word foo lately, and it's harder to put my thoughts into text worth a darn. But it's been 2 weeks, and if I don't do it now, I'll probably not. So here we go.

This trip was shorter than my usual, I flew in Thursday evening, and flew out Sunday morning. So I only had Friday night and Saturday for fest fun and games. But I did manage to cram a lot into then. The Fest started for me with an Innsmouth Art Show by a local art collective called Dark Arbor Lodge. Sculpture, set pieces, masks and other art, all based around Innsmouth. Needless to say, I was in heaven (or Y'ha-nthlei). Have some great ideas for Château Innsmouth 2.0 decoration. If I'd been local, I'd have tried to bring one of the pieces home with me. *grin*

After the show, and some dinner, I got in line for the fest. My plan was simple, get in, get a seat in the big theater for the Opening, the first block of shorts, then the big thing...Richard Stanley's 'Color Out of Space'. The shorts were good, a couple I'd seen at 'Necronomicon', but there were other goods ones, and the final one was 'The Last Incantation', which I'd helped back on Kickstarter, and this was my first time to see it. Probably the best Clark Ashton Smith adaptation yet. Then it was time for the Colour.

Not going to go into detail, or spoilers, but if anyone had their doubts about the combo of Richard Stanley and Nicolas Cage adapting a Lovecraft story, don't. Cage doing Cage fits in the story, given that things go crazy when a Colour from space infects your farm. It's glorious and nuts and very very Lovecraftian. And if you play 'spot the reference' you'll have a field day. Per the director, it should have a wide release in Jan 2020. Go see it, I know I will again.

Saturday was much more laid back. Hung out with authors in the morning, went to see a Russian feature flick, but it honestly bored me out of my mind, gorgeous visuals, but it just...dragged. So I left early. Then the fest turned into more of an M.R. James fest. Saw a couple of British BBC adaptations, talked British ghost stories, listened to Robert Parry and Richard Stanley read M.R. James stories. Yeah, I know it's a HPL Film Fest, but I've been on a huge Jamesian and related authors kick this last year, so it was a nice fix to get. Back to the Lovecraft, the Saturday night feature was 'The Haunted Palace', the first Lovecraft adaptation, starring Vincent Price and directed by Roger Corman (Mr. Corman was at the fest, along with Price's daughter Victoria). I've seen it a number of times, but it was great seeing it on the big screen at the Hollywood Theatre. And I've been on a Price kick since I got home.

Besides the fest, I did my usual Powell's Books raids, this time visiting some of the other locations. I ate some really good food as usual. Just wish I'd had more time in Portland. It's one of my favorite cities. And the festival is...my home away from home. There isn't anywhere quite like being in that beautiful theatre, surrounded by a horde of your fellow cultists that you may not know, but you all share a love for this weirdness. (and it's amazing how many friends I do know there now). It truly is 'The only convention that understands.' (Not to knock Necronomicon, but this is my fave)

So that's my trip. Already got the 2020 one on the calendar (Oct 2-4th, 2020) and on a countdown. It's the 25th anniversary, so there's no way I'm going to miss it.

Spawning Day the XLVII

(or the 47th for those who don’t read Latin numerals)

Just a quick post to say I’ve had another spawning day. Nothing spectacular happened today, but nothing horrible either. Worked from home, haven’t done a whole lot. Watching movies, going to head to bed with a book in a little while. Oh, I know I still owe a H.P Lovecraft Film Fest post, just haven’t had the braincells to post much. Maybe this weekend. So that’s about it for this spawning day. Laters cultists.

Off To Innsmouth West

Leaving for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in a few hours, and coming back Sunday day. So pretty much just a flying visit to Innsmouth West. But I'll get my pilgrimage to Powell's Books, and see the big films I want to see. Topping the list is the Richard Stanley & Nicholas Cage production of 'The Color Out of Space', on a really big screen. I'll also get to hang out with a few hundred cool cultists. As usual I'm majorly wound up over the traveling part. TSA and flying are both stressful to me, even with me signing up for the TSA EZCheck or whatever it's called. Hopefully it's as easy as it's name. I also have to get through 3 meetings in my 4 hour shift today, one of which shall be an utter pain in the rump. But at 1500 CDT, I'll be up in the air, Junior Byakhee. So see you all when I get back.

Vulpine at the Movies: Bliss and Prey

Ok, Friday night horror movie night has been quality new scares.

Bliss - I'd make a joke about the anti-twilight, but this is more 3- Days of Night + punk art and more drugs then three hair metal bands reduced down to their essential saltes. Exceedingly gory, mondo demented, good soundtrack if you like punk/metal, and it's got surprises for you. FYI, lots of strobe effects, take into account when viewing. 5 out of 5 bloody snacks.

Prey - Troubled teen on a 'deserted' island tries to learn about himself, finds cute fellow teen, and a monster in the jungle. Kind of predictable, but the lead teen plays it well, just enough awkward to see, yes I'm a teen, but still sympathetic and interesting. The fact he goes from well, me in the woods to Rambo/The Guy in Predator in 2 lessons and about 40 hours in the jungle is a bit over the top, but history is full of people doing amazing things to impress someone they find cute. 3.5 out of 5 bad travel decisions.

And on that note, I'm off to read. Found a 'new' (to me) author "In the vein of M.R. James" so I'm off to creepy stuff found by antiquarians. Night all.

A Whole Bunch of Random

I've been random the last few days. So I've posted some odd stuff on Facebook. Some of it needs to be posted here as well.

Lovecraftian:
"We got the gills that give the thrills!" aka the New Esoteric Order of Dagon motto.

A new term for my clinical depression:
Oh, while listening to M.R. James' 'Count Magnus' while driving yesterday, came up with a good euphemism for 'being diagnosed (again) with depression'. 'Taking the Black Pilgrimage to Chorazin.' Seems fitting, since I came back with a follower that will never leave. Luckily (?) it rarely sucks the faces off of people. So I may start calling my swings as 'my minion from Chorazin.' Better than a black dog. I like dogs.

(don't worry, this isn't a cry for help or anything, just a random bit of brain foo. Change what you call a thing, and you change how you react. Words have power, and weird words make me feel 'better')

For those who are curious, you can find the story at the following link Text of Count Magnus

and if you just want a summary, check out The Wikipedia page on the story.

How M.R. James described me right before my Dad was born:
One more M.R. James bit. From the intro to 'A Neighbour's Landmark'. Sound like anyone you may know ? *wink*

"Those who spend the greater part of their time in reading or writing books are, of course, apt to take rather particular notice of accumulations of books when they come across them. They will not pass a stall, a shop, or even a bedroom-shelf without reading some title, and if they find themselves in an unfamiliar library, no host need trouble himself further about their entertainment. The putting of dispersed sets of volumes together, or the turning right way up on those which the dusting housemaid has left in an apoplectic condition, appeals to them as one of the lesser Works of Mercy."

It's been an odd morning, but all things considered I'm doing ok I think. Ciao.

A Year of Lovecraft

It's definitely been a Lovecraftian year. Tons of new books, audio and art. Also the Cage/Stanley adaptation of 'The Colour Out of Space', and not 1 but 2 Lovecraftian conventions for me. Yep, I've decided to go to Portland for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival this year. I managed a decent costing flight, and a cheap hotel stay for a Thurs-Sunday visit. So I get to see my Innsmouth West pals, visit certain favorite bookstores, and get a second dose of Mythos Community. It shall be glorious.

Besides the Portland trip, the local film festival is doing a showing of Re-Animator as well, which I may attend. Plus there's my spawning day in a little over a month, which should count as pretty Lovecraftian. Plus, I have some friends who've mostly convinced me that I want to go camping in later October. (yes, you can start gasping in surprise now...) And while camping isn't what I'd call directly Lovecraftian, you all know I'll make it at least a little Mythos-y. Maybe I should go look for a Cthulhu flag or banner?

After that the year winds down into Cthulhumas, then 2020 starts with hopefully a nice upgrade to the cult lair/library. I'm kind of thinking I won't be doing much traveling next year. The move and furnishing upgrades I'm thinking will eat a good chuck of funds, as well as PTO. But we'll see, for all I know I'll swing a good bonus again and that will cover the move, but I'm not counting on it til it's in my hot little tentacles. And who knows what else may come up. I'm a nut for planning and plotting in advance, but other than moving I have to leave 2020 as a series of question marks, at least for now.

So that's my thoughts on the subject. As with everything, this is subject to change. For now, I'm trying to avoid the siren song of book hunting, and/or the urge to order in a carb heavy pizza or Chinese food. Two doctor visits this week, one for my diabetes/blood pressure meds, and one with my hematologist to discuss the quality of my blood. Should be fine, if a little stressful. Catch you all later.

Starry Wisdom Pilgrimage: 2019

Got back from Providence on Tuesday. I had an amazing time. There were some hiccups (avoid LaGuardia like the plague, and ye gods was the weather warmer than I'd have hoped, and humid), but besides that pretty much everything else was aces.

First non-travel day was driving from Queens to New Haven for a museum exhibition on Mesopotamia. Added bonus, free museum day when I got there. So I got my cuneiform on. Then I drove a little further to Niantic, home of 'The Book Barn', a bookstore with 3 locations in this one small town. Sunday I continued on to Rhode Island, first stopping at Point Judith which is the furthest south you can get on Rhode Island, and where I visited last year in the winter. This time I got to go into the ocean. Not just up to my knees like I did in Gloucester, but full immersion. It felt so damn good. This Innsmouth boy definitely needs to get his carcass into the ocean on a regular basis. I did manage to make it back down to the same beach later in the week due to severe salt water cravings. *grin* After the beach I headed up to Providence, where I stayed at the Old Court Bed and Breakfast, a 19th century building on College Hill, I'd found it last visit while walking around. So this year I stayed there for the first half of my time in Providence. Snazzy period room, pretty comfy. Other than it's a 3rd floor walk up...well I've needed more exercise. *laugh* I spent 3 nights there, while wandering around Providence and nearby.

Went down to Newport by ferry, then took an Unplanned Schooner Sail, which reminded me how much I like being on the water. Weird day on the water, big fog bank rolled in and it seemed like we were in the plot of a horror movie. Also was a more "active" cruise, than the one in Gloucester last year, not sure if it was a stronger wind, or the bay was rougher or *shrug* Was fun, especially when the ship heeled over while running with the wind, that was a rush! After the cruise, I managed to walk to the Newport Tower, a local 'mystery'. It's one of those things that comes up as proof that the Irish or Templars or whatever made it to America prior to Columbus. It looks pretty surreal to be in the middle of a New England park, something that looks like it's from the medieval era. But it's probably just some kind of folly or mundane structure. Or it's used by cultists to conjure Yog-Sothoth...who knows.

Wednesday I switched hotels, going to the Providence Biltmore (it's been renamed to The Graduate Providence, but no one seems to want to use that name). One of the two hotels that the 'con was going to be at. The 'con started for me on Thursday, with a secret event that I am unable to speak of *wink*. Friday-Sunday was a few panels, some more interesting than others, a few readings which were much more interesting. I also spent a lot of time in the vendors area, because there was probably a dozen folks or more in there I knew either from the HPL Film Festival, or from online. Bought a bunch of nifty things, and had to convince myself to not try to come home with everything that caught my eye. I went to the Art Show at the Providence Art Club on Saturday, which was probably very wise of me, as there were several pieces of art on the wall I would have come home with. Hopefully I can find prints of them vs the originals.

I did have some anxiety/stress/lack of tentacle moments. But like the HPLFF it was no big thing for me to sit down and people watch/read, or go back to my room for a recharge. But I didn't do it as much as I thought I would. I even managed to go to an after hours event that was multiple levels of anxiety inducing. (A. hugely crowded, B. Claustrophobic, C. Performing in public). Specifically, being part of the Innsmouth Sea Shanty Sing Along. And since I knew most of the songs already, I sang loudly so people could hear/learn the lyrics. I think the last time I sang out loud, leading other people was a pagan event in 2000-2001. Luckily sea shanties don't require a lot of vocal talent, just volume. I was joking after the event that I expected my limbic system to spontaneously combust when it realized what I'd been doing.

I got a few new signatures in my copy of 'Shadow Over Innsmouth', met a bunch of folks. One of the high points was getting to meet Pete Rawlik, who I've been online pals with for years. Great guy and author, and a really personable guy. Who is a fount of Lovecraftian/weird/pulp/etc trivia. I caught part of his trivia contest before the sing along, and out of the 6-7 questions I heard, I got two right. So if you ever think 'Boy Vulpine knows a lot of Lovecraft' I but an acolyte. (And the guy who has won the thing 3 Necronomicons in a row is even more eldritch, Pete at least has his library when he's writing these things, the winner had the answers in his brain case). I also got to see two Dark Adventure Radio Theatre performances by the HPLHS, which as a card carrying member I of course had to lend my support (and ears). Special parts, I'd never heard one of the plays (the latest one 'Mad Science), and that they only had 3 guys doing the voices, where usually at live shows they have 6-7 and someone working sound effects. Watching them switch voice, accent, gender and mannerisms back and forth to cover all the voices was astounding.

The 'con ended Sunday. I didn't fly out til Tuesday, I spent Monday day shipping out the 25 pounds or so of books I bought that I felt I could let out of my hands. Then I mostly just hermitted and read. Then it was time to fly back. Which was...a mess. Weather and timing caused my flight to be delayed 3 times. Luckily Logan airport is fairly comfortable. Speaking of books, I managed to read 15 during my 11 day vacation. Pretty good, especially since I didn't just spend all my time reading. Here's the list.

  • Smoke and Dagger - Douglas Wynne
  • Killer Lake - David Eventon
  • The Lost Husband - Willie Meikle
  • 24 Hours in Ancient Egypt - Donald P Ryan
  • Secret Bloody London - John Pullen
  • Starry Wisdom - Peter Levenda
  • Library of the Lost: In Search of Forgotten Authors - Roger Dobson
  • The Weird of Hali: Red Hook - John Michael Greer
  • From Hell - Greig Beck Author
  • The Cold - Rich Hawkins
  • The Copycat Murders - Willie Meikle
  • Dark Wisdom - Gary Myers
  • Grey Magic - Gary Myers
  • Corpsepaint - David Peak
  • Demiurge - Michael Shea

    So now I'm back in DFW, and I want to go back to Providence already. Good food, really nice people, history on the half shell, and books everywhere. In fact, there's a fountain outside the Providence Athenaeum, which legend has that if you drink from the fountain you are destined to return to Providence...

    I took a total of 5 drinks while there *wink*

  • Back from Providence

    Flew back in from Providence yesterday. I had a really good time, and I’ll try to post about it this weekend. I’m tired, and I miss Providence already, but it’s kind of good to be home. Catch you all later.

    Starry Wisdom Pilgrimage 2019 edition

    A little over 400 minutes til I head off to Lovecraft country. Bags are packed, work away messages are setup to go into place as I leave for the airport. I'm probably over packed, but I've only got one carryon and one bag to check. Then I get to New York around midnight, and the fun really begins.

    I'll probably be rambling on Facebook for the trip, as usually I'm not bringing any electronics besides my phone, my Kindle, and a bluetooth speaker. No laptop or tablet, so any writing I do will via phone, plus I'm trying to disconnect.

    So here's to the magic of vacations, to visiting favorite parts of the country, to seeing my tentacled peeps, to getting in some ocean time, and exploring history. *clinks virtual glass* I'll be back in a week and change, don't break the internets without me.

    Yog-Sothoth Neblod Zin, Nephren-Ka nai Hadoth.
    Vulpine

    Almost time to visit Providence

    By this time next week I'll be in Rhode Island. Friday is flying up to NYC, Saturday will be commute and various Connecticut adventures. Then Providence will be my base of operations for the next 10 days. Much like my last visit, will be a mix of book hunting, historical foo, and a convention full of quirky folks, specifically NecronomiCon. This is the big event of the cultist calendar this year, and the thing I've been looking forward to all year.

    But I'm just a little worried, it's been a really rough month mood wise. Not going to go into details, trying to not dwell too much on what my brain meats are throwing at me. But yeah, worried about a major crash while out of town, like what happened during the Alaska Cruise a few years ago. We'll see, this is different. Even if I do crash out, I can hermit in my hotel with books and take out. I'm intentionally not bringing a bunch of electronics, so I'll have some degree of disconnect. Plus, Providence is well, Providence. Weather will be cooler than Texas, fresh seafood, and a very nice bookstore to distance ratio. So while I may have issues, I won't have volumes.

    So a little over 125 hours til I'm winging my way north. I still have to pack and plan stuff, deal with a work week, and the other mundanities of life. Work especially will be challenging, but I just have to keep in mind that Cthulhu has my back, and in short order I'll have time away. Come on Friday!