The HP Lovecraft Film Festival

It's taken a while to write this, I think this is rewrite #3. Going for the short form this time. Had a really good time at the Film Festival. Portland as usual is the kind of city I enjoy. Good food, interesting buildings, a metro system that works, and a distinct lack of mountain cedar. Did my usual wandering, raided Powell's City of Books (Oh, my credit card bill). I also went over to the Oregon Maritime Museum and Movie Madness Video. Then, Friday night was time for the Fest...

As usual it was mostly feature films for me. So after saying hi to people I know, I found a seat for 'Necronomicon: The Book of Hell'. A flick from Argentina, that I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it. Movie about one of the copies of the Necronomicon that HPL said was kept at the Biblioteca Nacional in Buenos Aires. Creepy book tale (which themed to be a theme for me this year). Lots of fun, low budget but it worked well for me. Then again, crazed book folks hit a special note with me. Hoping it gets an international release. Next flick was 'The Rules of Ruin', another forbidden tome book, this one from Mexico. Also creepy, it didn't hang together quite as well as Necronomicon, but it was enjoyable. Again, hoping for a wider release (and a physical copy for me).

Saturday started with 'Carbload for Cthulhu' a signing event, with bagels and Voodoo donuts. (I had a quarter of 1 donut due to the evil diabetes, was good but not worth sugar coma). Met some more friends, met a number of new authors and bought a bunch of books. Then was the HPLHS presentation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' as a radio play. As a card carrying member, I had to get a front row seat. Then was dinner, sushi with pals, then back to see 'Hammer of the Gods', a Canadian wilderness horror flick. The same people did 'Black Mountain Side' a few years ago, which blew me away. This was different, jarring spikes of horror, mixed with general 'oh crap this will end badly'. Really enjoyed it, will be staying out of the Canadian wilderness. Last flick for Saturday was a Japanese adaptation of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'. Was enjoyable, if a little slow. But it's one of those things I'd probably never get to see again, so glad I went.

Sunday started with more wandering and talking. Some folks had their wedding at the HPLFF, and they opened it to anyone who wanted to attend. Cody Goodfellow presided, I highly recommend getting married by a crazy Cthulhu cultist if you are of the inclination.

Movies were Clark Ashton Smith adaptations, one from 'Night Gallery' and two by Richard Stanley, 'Mother of Toads' (which I've seen a few times) and 'The Sea of Perdition', which isn't a direct adaptation, just using some themes and going off a really cool landscape he found in Iceland. Richard Stanley did a Q/A which was really interesting, he's a very quirky dude. I then hit my one shorts block, the NSFW set. Definitely was not safe for work, or sanity. Will never look at lobsters or mirrors the same way again. *wink* Final flick was 'Corpse' based on the King in Yellow mythos of Robert Chambers. Very psychedelic, multiple timelines that were kind of hard to keep up with, and IMHO needed a bit of editing, but it really got the creeping insanity of Carcosa (not Carcosa Corp). And with that, my fest came to a close.

*looks up* Yeah, this is the short form. I can get wordy really bloody easily. As I said, I had a blast. Saw a number of friends, made a bunch of new ones. Was already wishing it was time for the next fest before I got to the airport the next day. Many Thanks to Gwen and Brian Callahan, along with their eldritch minions for putting on one hell of a fest.

Back from Innsmouth West

Flew back in today. My brain has been reduced to something akin to tapioca, early wake up, flying, having my bag searched because of eldritch objects, and a screaming child two seats away. But that's just the return journey, the rest of the trip was gloriously fun. Movies, books, friends, good food, things with tentacles. Friends with tentacles. I'll write up a more detailed post probably this weekend. For now though, I'll try to regrow some tentacles for returning to Carcosa Corp tomorrow, and probably go to bad way early.

Pilgrimage to Innsmouth West

Heading out to Portland in a few hours, for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival. Very much looking forward to it, hoping for an easy trip (I have a sinus infection, and that's making me a tad nervous about flying). Lovecraftian movies and people, book raid on Powell's City of Books, and some rather good food. So wish me luck, and I'll post again after I get back, and fill you all in on the eldritch details.

Random microblog posts from the weekend

Saturday 21:45
'Black Panther' was simply amazing. The heroes are heroic (with the female leads stealing the show), the antagonists aren't just bad, for the most part you can see how their views conflict with T'challa, so better than most bad guys in comic movies. Lots of good fight scenes, lots of great one liners and character interaction. Plus, the depiction of Wakanda is just amazing. One foot in traditional cultures, one foot in the future and just plain nifty. My one complaint, I wanted more of a tour of Wakanda vs superfights. But I can hope for special features on the bluray.
5 out of 5 Vibranium Claws.

Sunday 16:29
Going to the store today took my last bits of ability to cope with humanity. The urge to scream 'Move your ass' at the people ahead of me in check out was almost uncontrollable. Possibly in Koine Greek because life should be interesting like that. (note to self, learn to say 'move your ass' in Koine Greek before going to the airport next week). At home now, doing laundry. Cthulhu bless my gillslits, I'm tired.

Sunday 16:55
Well last night's dreams were weird. From historical churches with ancient cults and exorcism schools (convenient placement there), to fighting against a zombie horde invading random suburbia with one of those magic movie katanas that is more lightsaber than steel in it's ability to remove limbs. I'll take zombies apocalypse and horrors from beyond space time over my usual anxiety dreams.

Sunday 17:19
Last night after 'Black Panther' we stopped by the nearby Half Price Books. I didn't get anything, nothing I couldn't live without, and I have plenty of book shopping plans for the trip to Providence. But I did find, in the rare/nostalgia section, volumes one and two of "The Encyclopaedia of Russian Crime Tattoos." Not something you find in bookstores every day. Almost got them for the oddness factor, I think they were $30 each. (If anyone is interested in them, I can send you the info of the store, I'm sure they'd be willing to ship for a reasonable fee, or I could pick them up and you could pay me back. I'm sure one of my author or game designer friends could make good use of them)

Sunday: 19:32
Self quote of the day.

"Must try to stop reading the Latin aloud, just frickin' Google it!"

Sick fox is recovering

Not been doing good healthwise. Thought I had a bad sinus infection, but I woke up yesterday in major pain centered around a tooth. So yay, dentist. I'm very phobic about dentists. They ended up extracting the tooth, which was a royal pain in the jaw because I'm a mutant, and I have extra roots that extend deep into the jaw. So it took forever to extract, I had to repeatedly remind myself that clenching up every muscle wasn't going to help things. Still I came out of it in more pain in my joints and neck than in my jaw. My hands were shaking and I felt light headed most of last night, and I barely slept. Took today off as comp time (working on President's day, a Carcosa Corp holiday). I'm mostly spending today eating soft food and watching 80's horror movies. I'm hoping I'm back to normal enough to spend some time with friends tomorrow.

Providence trip is a week from tomorrow. I'm kind of a basket case about it at the moment, the trip, the state of me, etc. To be honest, I've thought about canceling it...will decide later on. 'Try to avoid major decisions when depressed, in pain, or stressed'. So we'll see. *sigh*

On the bright side I've read a lot of good books in the last week. I highly recommend 'Widow's Point' by Richard and Billy Chizmar, a classic ghost story that grabs you and doesn't let go. If you like military sci-fiesque, 'The Void' by Greig Beck won't let you down. Super-soldiers vs space monsters. If you rather have movies, 'The Ritual', an adaptation of Adam Nevill's novel will convince you to never go hiking again. Or if you want horror comedy gore, see 'Victor Crowley', the 4th 'Hatchet' movie. So that's my random one line reviews.

That's about it. Hoping I can make til bedtime tonight, and get some real sleep. I'll also like it when my body stops being in full flake mode. Have a good night boys and ghouls.

The Thanks Giveth, The Thanks Taketh Away

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. But I can't say the last week and a half has made me terribly grateful. Carcosa Corp had a reduction in force. My manager and his manager are gone, and much worse, one of my best friends (and coworker) also got cut. There's also a major reorg in the works. But not much in the way of details, other than I still have a spot on the org chart for next year. To say I'm unhappy is a major understatement. People got decent severance packages from what I heard, and I don't see any of the people I know being out of work long. But I've got a case of survivor's guilt, plus not knowing what I'll be really doing in 2 months, plus trying to keep up with everything going on, and I'm a bundle of nerves. Spent most of this week dealing with Sybase database issues that I really don't know, though I'm learning a bunch on the fly. Working on Black Friday, where I'll be doing a crash course in database migration.

On top of that, I've been feeling lousy, not so much allergies as I think my BP meds are starting to have less affect on me. I'm going to the doctor next week for a med check/blood work. So I'll ask about things. My BP cuff says I'm about the same as always, but for all I know I'm using it wrong. Pshrink visit showed my bp as higher than usual. Speaking of physical foo, I sat wrong on my chair, and it slid out from under me and I hit the floor. No damage. other than it ratcheted my anxiety up (and gave my elbow a good whack). Depression is way up there too, I really need to stop looking at the news.

So, that's all the bad...or at least all the bad I can stomach writing about right now. So what's good? Well I invested in some blurays, 2 collections of Paul Naschy flicks (king of Spanish horror films). Most of which I've never seen, so I'm currently having a binge of his flicks. Definitely better than watching Sybase databases. Also lots of good books out, including a few signed books *waves at Pete Rawlik and Sam Gafford*. My friends, as always, are awesome, and I've gotten a lot of critter time recently. And I'm at least having less anxiety dreams. Oh yeah, and in joining the 21st century, I had my first grocery delivery. Not sure if I'll do this on a regular basis, there's a lack of some of my staples. But compared to going to the store 2 days before turkey day, it was amazing.

Long weekend plans? Tomorrow is sleeping in, then afternoon meal with Amythest and clan, staying as long as my cope lasts. Friday is another day at the office, with the above mentioned database migrations. Friday night will probably be more Naschy flicks. Saturday is the annual Soup and Movie fest, also at Amythest's place. Sunday will be chores and recovery and trying to find the tentacles to deal with the upcoming work week. Since I'm working on Black Friday, I'm off work the next Friday. Probably will be mostly a down weekend, vegging and such.

So that's the state of the fox. Feeling a little better getting some stuff down on virtual paper. Going to watch some more Eurohorror then head to bed. Night everyone.

As it was written in the Scrolls of Sutekh…

Well it's the weekend again, so it means I should throw some words on virtual paper. Get the brainmeats out of the way quick, being back on seroquel means I'm sleeping more/better, but my anxiety is still way out there. (not expecting immediate fix, I know better). Depression lurks in a ninja kind of way, I see good things, I feel good things, but it leaps out every now and again in a nihilistic kind of way that reminds me that I'm still rather broken. But I've been broken before, and I've put myself together, repeatedly. I am a New Yorker after all, we're survivors.

So enough strum und drang. What is best in life Vulpine? Well, I'm not Conan, so lets start with books. Been reading a bunch of old school Mythos still. Got a pile of other stuff to read, but other than a little history it's all tentaclular horrors. Listened/ing to a few books by Charlie Stross to get in the mood for his latest Laundry File book next month. Not the whole series, just enough to get back in the series. So many books, so little time.

Went to see 'The Mummy' today. A solid bit of cheese, with a side of ham from Russell Crowe. Yes it could have been much better, but it still was fun and Sofia Boutella was a nice mix of creepy, evil, and lovely. Plus, she was literally covered in hieratic script, so a walking book. Sign me up for the cult please. *grin* Also, for any Lovecraftians who've seen it, did anyone look at the red jewel McGuffin and think 'Shining Trapezohedron' ? Or was that just me trying to make everything into a Mythos reference

What will I do tomorrow? Probably just chores and stuff. Been meaning to clean up the bedroom for months now, may just pop an audiobook or podcast in and spend a while in there trying to get things organized. This is alongside a store run, laundry and similar stuff, so I may set reasonable goals instead. Assuming I don't just hide in bed with a book, or within a movie marathon of cheese and gore. We'll see. For now though, going to call this a post before it's technically Sunday. Laters cultists.

Vulpine Goes to the Movies: Ghost in the Shell & Life

Well yesterday I went on a Sci-Fi fest with Amythest and Nymaz. Went to see 'Ghost in the Shell' and 'Life'. So I thought I'd throw together some reviews.

I'm not going to comment on the various controversies about 'Ghost in the Shell'. Just going to describe what I saw. It's a very stylistic, cyber punky movie. Shiny and grimy at the same time. Scarlett Johansson looks really good as the Major, but her acting was very cyborgish. The various anime versions of the Major shows her with snark and emotions. The plot is a mix of the original GitS and Stand Alone Complex, with some added backstory that really wasn't necessary. On the plus side, the effects are good, and the action scenes are dynamic. And since I have a major crush on ms Scarlett, even if her acting was kind of wooden, it was enjoyable to watch. Glad I saw it on the big screen, and I'll probably pick it up on dvd/bluray, but if I'm wanting a cyberpunk fix, I'll probably turn to 'Stand Alone Complex' or the original movie (which I'm watching now). 3 out of 5 ghosts in the machine.

Then we went to see 'Life'. Now this was a fun movie. Alien life form examined on the ISS. Alien life form runs amok, fun is had. Unlike 'Prometheus' the scientists don't make completely stupid decisions. They make mistakes, but they're understandable ones. None of the characters are 'mad scientists', and are all pretty likable. The monster is shoggoth-y and the CGI was very well done. There's even a Lovecraft shout out in the beginning, which made me a very happy cultist. Lots of 'Alien' themes, and some 'The Thing' flavors, but with it's own way of doing things. It's also pretty bleak, as most good SciFi/Horror is, keep in mind. Will definitely watch repeatedly once I have it in my hot little pseudopods. I think it gets 5 out of 5 flailing pseudopods.

So that's Vulpine at the movies. Had a good time, even if I wasn't feeling too good. Hopefully next weekend I'll get to see another Lovecraftian flick, 'The Void'. If not, it will be on DVD soon. Ok, catch you all later.

Horror and the literate Vulpine

Had a good Saturday. Woke up way early, not originally the plan but I had weird dreams and I just wanted to be out of that weirdness. Did the usual Saturday foo (store run, other chores). I was going to leave early to go raid a bookstore and be social with friends, but I ended up dealing with a fiddly database server, so I didn't leave til later than I planned. Not a huge deal, just felt a tad off. Finally did leave, and headed up to the flagship Half Price Books in Dallas. Sold a few DVDs back, as much to clear up space as anything else, besides a few bucks I got a 10% off coupon for my purchases. Useful that. I only picked up 3 books, a bibliography of Lovecraft (it's the older edition, so it's out of date on stuff but still useful), a book called 'The Magick Bookshop', stories about an occult bookshop, and 'Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult', which I've had on my esoterica wishlist for years. Should make for some interesting reading. Well, not the bibliography, that's going to be more for digging into randomly.

After the book raid, I went to visit some friends and watch movies. We ended up shockingly watching horror flicks, well 2 of us did, while a certain raptor played Minecraft. Worked out well, got some puppy time, got to talk geek, was good. Had an amusing conversation with J about horror around the world, and we came to the realization that I've seen a LOT of horror movies from all over. I could rattle off theme differences between Spanish, Italian and French horror, or how Korean horror is what happens when you take Japanese and Hong Kong horror movies, and turn it up to 11. But I couldn't tell you about Vietnamese horror cinema at all, or names for Indian horror flicks (though I'm pretty sure Bollywood has some, and they have musical numbers). We also agreed that the world needs more Middle Eastern horror, and there's probably a ton of African movie makers who will scare the pants off people. (Not just South Africa, but Nigeria and others). So much horror, so little time.

Came home a while ago, watching more horror (Hammer Films). Book time in a while, then hopefully getting to sleep in. A fox can dream at least.

Greek food and crazy movies

Had a good night's sleep, full of strange dreams about a city that I dream about on a regular basis. Not sure what it's based on, but it seems the same every time it shows up. This time I was able to cut through traffic and get back to DFW because I was able to slip through spacetime. (I blame that bit on reading the tech details about Alastair Reynolds' 'Revelation Space' novels). Woke up, and sadly the cool dream didn't carry over. Had a major league anxiety attack. Took my happy meds, watched a movie, and generally bumped all plans back.

By the time I was up for going to the movies, I was pretty decent. Met up with my friends, watched the third 'The Purge' movie. Given the foo going on lately, I had a feeling this movie wouldn't be much fun. But it had some good bits, besides the political foo. Lots of violence, lots of one liners from a few characters that were hysterical, and it ended on a vague high note. If you liked the first 2, you'd probably like this one.

Headed home, picked up packages, (Yay finally got my copy of 'Swords v Cthulhu'). Headed back out a little later to have dinner with some other friends, celebrating a spawning day. Went to a Greek/Mediterranean place, very tasty. We ate foods, chitchatted, caught up. Definitely will go back there. Took care of some other stuff, and came home. Fired up 'Prometheus' because I needed some fluff. Scientists making horrible decisions always makes me feel better.

So yeah, in a better place than 24 hours ago. Plan for tonight is probably to watch movies and veg. Later I'll dig into my new, shiny book. Tomorrow I have more errands to run, laundry to do, and will probably just be chill. Then another week of work, with a series of things I need to focus on. Nothing bad, just adjusting priorities. No real plans for the week besides work. So for that, I'm going to call this a post.