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.
(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.
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.
"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
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.
It's definitely been a Lovecraftian year. Tons of new books, audio and art.
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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
I took a total of 5 drinks while there *wink*
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.
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!
Was about to write a down in the dumps post, but lets try being more positive. Lets talk about an author pal of mine who I've been binge reading for the last few weeks.
If you like your fiction weird, full of references to Scotland and Newfoundland, often sweary, and generally just fun as heck, I recommend William Meikle. He's one of those authors who can write in bloody near any genre. From noiresque detectives, to giant monsters, to occult history, to emotionally charged 'haunted places' and more. He's even got a golf course mystery (I haven't read it yet, but if anyone could get me to read about golf, it's William.) My personal favorites are when he takes Hodgson's famed spookbuster, Thomas Carnacki out for a spin with new adventures of all colors and kinds. (followed shortly after by his Sherlock tales). In fact, to be a tad heretical, I prefer his voice to Hodgson or Doyle's.
So, are you curious ? Maybe a smidge? Sign up for his mailing list and you get three free ebooks. Or follow the link on his site to 99c ebooks and choose from a pretty darn huge selection. He also has dead tree editions and audiobooks if your tastes lean that way. Come on, give it a try.
I had a random Lovecraftian thought explaining my quirkiness. From Dad's side of the family I get a smidge of Innsmouth blood, we do come from Massachusetts and spent most of of the 19th century in nautical pursuits. But from Mom's side there seems to be a link to the ghoul cults of old, probably related to the tunnels underneath Green Wood Cemetery, or maybe that bunch in Red Hook. The two strains conflict with each other, explaining the screwy brainmeats as well as my love of the ocean, yet my lousy swimming skins. Or my claustrophobia mixed with a curiosity about tunnels, caves and other subterranean oddness.
So what does that make me? Well a mix of Deep One and cannibalistic cultists, wouldn't that make me a Sea-Ghul ?
Yes, this is a shaggy dogfish pun ;)
Been a couple of days since my sad post. The Fourth wasn't much better,
I'm not the most patriotic person in the world, and I honestly felt very
alone, but I didn't want to deal with the traditional crazies that come
out to play. Plus it was bloody hot, and my apartment parking gets bad
on the 4th, since the fireworks and festival in town are a few blocks away.
So I stayed home, read a bit, watched a bunch of movies, and generally
felt blah. Slept better than I had before, even with the fireworks, and
got up for today's WFH day.
The plan was to take advantage of the quiet day and people taking long
weekends and work on project stuff. That didn't happen, lots of virtual
walk ups asking for help. I did manage to get a few things done, but
nothing like I planned. Oh well. At least the day/work week is done.
This weekend is Spider-Man flick, and I'm not sure what else. A few
chores. Try to avoid bookstore runs, since next week is Half Price Books
coupon a day thingie. So better to save on my book addiction and splurge
next week (I also get paid next Friday).
So yeah, it's the weekend, thank Cthulhu. And I have no idea where to go
with this post, so I'll wrap it up. Have a good night folks.