Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Reflection: "The Sun Goes Down on Galway Bay..."

It's been a pretty good year, 2015 has. Lots of big life junk happening, some awesome, some bittersweet. 

Gustavus finally kicked me out--something about "completing major requirements" and "four year college" and "graduation." I wasn't paying much attention. Parted ways with a lot of great people that made the whole experience wonderful. I miss all of them. 

Left Gustavus Tech Services behind, too. Would have worked there forever if I could have, but again, something about "student employment" and "you can't live in the ceiling tiles." It was a great place to work, taught me a lot, and everyone there are freaking saints for putting up with me. GTS homies, GTS fo' lyfe and beyond! I'm sure my horcruxes will be tormenting them for years to come. (Or at least until they find the last few. Don't ask why I had that many photos of myself printed. It's not a path of inquiry you want to go down.)

Wrote a book. Well, a collection of short stories and poems. It's called Hallowed Ground. It's a thing, and was tons of fun to write and proof and format and... Okay, it was tons of fun to write. (Shameless plug--Info about Hallowed Ground here:

Now? I'm working IT for a tax company. We do tax stuff. That's about all I know. I just work there. It's challenging, interesting, and always something new. Every now and again I still write. 

I realized that, a couple years ago, I was getting ready to travel to Ireland. I miss Ballyvaughan and Galway, and the people I traveled with. (Even if my reflection essay was gloomy gus.) That month is one of the best of my life. Some day I'll go back, and watch the sun go down on Galway Bay...

Anyway, happy new year, everyone. May it be filled with peace, joy, and wonder. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Poem: "Wolf-That-Hungers"

Wolf-That-Hungers waits at the gate of dreams.
She steals the breath of sleepers and lies upon their chest.
Her howl is the crying of a hungry child;
Her fur is as grey as starvation.
Crop-blight follows her;
In her shadow crawls drought.
As locusts does she cut a path.
Her path is that of the dry riverbed.
She knocks upon the door in human guise.
Her guise is that of the landlord.
She knocks upon the door in human guise.
Her guise is that of the repo man.
She knocks upon the door in human guise.
Her guise is that of the IRS.
Famine is her sire. Her dam is Greed.
Whelps has she, and many:
Blight and mold,
Locust and marching army,
Flood and drought,
Envy and Lust.
These are her vanguard.
For her rearguard, there is only Death.
She hungers for all that she sees
And her stomach is larger than her eyes.
Her possessions are numberless
Yet always she desires more.
By many names is she known:
The Devourer
Capitalism pays her worship,
Communism strengthens her jaws.
Long she will wait at the gate of dreams,
Stealing the breath of the sleepers.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Just wrote this one the other night. I enjoy writing exaltations for vaguely-malevolent beings: Forces of nature, human vices, stuff like that. It has a lot of room for interesting imagery. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Poem: "For the West"

When the death-white snow
In my front yard
Turns the same shade as the dirt,
I look to the west and weep. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Originally this was supposed to be part of a cycle of the four cardinal directions, but I only wrote this one. Because I leave a lot of things incomplete. It's one of my few life skills. I have issues. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Music Roundup Monday: "Apparently This is Theme Song Week"

And by apparently, I mean "is" because 3/7 of this week's songs are soundtracks for various movies and TV shows. Also I may or may not be entirely coherent. I'm not sure if I'm actually typing words right now. They look like words. Are they? I hope so. 

The Soul Benders - "7 and 7 Is"

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Luke and Leia Are Siblings"

So this Cool Stuff Sunday is going to have a decided lean towards two franchises in particular. You should be able to guess at least one of them. What that means is: Minor spoilers ahoy. 

Some of the less-acknowledged inspirations for Dark Souls. Berserk always gets mentioned, but what about others

Miyazaki himself says that Dark Souls has been mined of all new content. Time to move on to Dark Souls II, people! 

A dude I play pen-and-paper RPGs with has retooled the various D&D races. 

Sawney Bean is probably fictional, but horrifying all the same. 

Want to listen to MORE than just the same 20 songs in Fallout 4? So do I. 

Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? Mild-to-moderate Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers within. 

Luke Skywalker was a terrorist

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Backlog Blitz: SNES, Week Eleven, "Jurassic MegaCity One"

I'm baaaaaack suckers! Going to be running off backlogs for a while until I get emulators up and running on my desktop PC, but things are looking brighter for Backlog Blitz. Anyway, it's 11:30, I'm eating ramen, and there's licorice. Let's hit it!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Worm Fodder: Commissar Gaius Galt

The good commissar below was my first-ever RPG character, and he was a strong start to the world of pen-and-paper RPGs. Not only that, but he managed to stay alive in the grim darkness of the far future, and end his career on his own terms.

NAME: Commissar Gaius Galt

SYSTEM: Warhammer 40K: Only War

LIFESPAN: A complete game arc, around eight sessions.

ABOUT: A political officer whose job was to improve morale, execute deserters, and purge heretics. He was very good at all of those things. He also had a hatred for cyborgs due to the "servitor incident" which had forever marred his career.

NOTABLE FEATS: Survived encounter with Eldar (space elf), losing only one limb! Manged to execute a cultist by throwing his chainsaw-sword into the cultist's chest, at which point the chainsaw revved thanks to a gust of wind. Faced down a towering daemon of excess and only whimpered a little.

CAUSE OF DEATH: Self-inflicted gunshot wound due to stress.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wandery Wednesday: "Dreamcatcher"

I had a nightmare last night, I don't know what about. That's the thing about my nightmares. They vanish as soon as I open my eyes. But I remember that I had a nightmare. It leaves me with a jittery, uneasy feeling for the day. 

And the kick of it is, I know what my nightmares are about. I know what I fear. Being alone. I'm terrified of loneliness, yet I spend my free time isolated, by choice. It's a catch-22 I'm not sure I want to escape. As if I could anyway. 

The funny thing about dreams is that I don't remember them. Well, that's a lie. I remember two kinds. The falling dreams. I remember those. They happen frequently. I hit ground every time. And the Jurassic Park dreams. They are a...unique sort. A night terror all to my own. For years I've been trying to escape Isla Nublar. I never have yet. Freud or a dream theorist would have a grand time with that dream. Dinosaurs, a jungle, a sense of helplessness. So many things you can claim to learn about me. 

When I have a good dream, I don't recall a single specific. Never have. Never will. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe they're nightmares too. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Poem: "Homecoming"

The agony of the grave
Has descended upon me,
The malaise of misspent life
Gnaws at my soul.
I returned to my hometown
Seeking my adolescent love.
But I found she now possessed a small-town mind,
And a small-town heart to match.
So I stand on my roof
Watching my dreams crash down as shooting stars.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The irony is that all the people I cared about in middle school, high school, or college are still pretty legit people. If anything, I'm the one with a small-town heart. My horizons are pretty much limited to my apartment walls, and I'm okay with that. Most of the time. My dreams have dwindled. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Scarcity Sunday"

So for some reason, I just didn't find a lot of cool stuff on the internet this week. That doesn't mean that cool stuff wasn't out there! I just didn't find it. I was playing Fallout 4. 100 hours in and counting! Thinking I'll wrap up the main quest after this. Maybe. I don't know. We'll see. Anyway. 

Speaking of Fallout 4, this dude has ripped every magazine cover for your perusal. 

The Wet Bandits shouldn't have survived Home Alone

Ol' Billy Shakespeare helped steal the Globe Theater. 

Nuka Quantum is coming to Target! AW YAS. 

"All I Want For Christmas is You" sounds much sadder in a minor key. (Duh). 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wandery Wednesday: "Kleptomania"

Fallout 4 has taught me something. I'm a hoarder. Not the traditional kind that clutters up their house until it's unlivable. No, I'm a virtual hoarder. Terabytes upon terabytes of data in various hard drives. Will I ever use it? Probably not. Literal thousands of hours of music. Hundreds of movies. Dozens of TV shows. Thousands of books. Hundreds of thousands of wallpapers I'll never use as wallpapers. It's obscene. And I keep downloading more.

Why? Couldn't tell you. Maybe it makes me happy for a brief minute. A distraction from the constant voices in my head that remind me that I've given up on my dreams. In the immortal words of Culture Club, "I string along." 

Poem: "Caoineadh"

The earth cries out beneath your feet,
It weeps to see you pass.
And while I wandered in the street,
You danced upon the grass.

I heard your laughter in the air,
It burned my soul like fire.
The sunset shone upon your hair
Like blood upon the lyre.

You passed on into shadowlands,
Leaving behind your light,
And I wrung my crimsoned hands
For I lost you in the night.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
In my head, this is sung to an Irish lament. Which one? Couldn't tell you...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Music Roundup Monday: "Springsteen in Winter"

Yeah, somehow I managed to post Springsteen twice in a week. I've been trying not to most the same artists twice at all. Whatevs. Anyway, I have a really nice desktop PC now, plus my laptop is back from being repaired. That means I can, you know, start drawing on my song of the day backlog. Anyway. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Ketchup Time"

Well hai there. I haz computer again, which means I haz interesting stuff to share again. Glorious, innit? Some quite varied stuff on the platter, so let's take a look. 

The art of editing in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Awesome Legend of Zelda posters

Are you a replicant? Take the test

Here's a map of the Commonwealth of Fallout 4. Stay out of the red. 

Viking clothing is surprisingly colorful

An exploration of "Gorgo, Mormo" in Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook." 

Do you love your cat enough to write a poem about it? 

These guys are reading through original D&D's Appendix N. 

Dark Souls III in-game footage hypeeee!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wandery Wednesday: "Maladapt"

I daydream. Always have. It's part of being a writer, I guess. I'm always thinking of new settings, new characters, new dynamics. When I was a kid, I would act those stories out. (I had a copious collection of cap guns, plastic swords, and other assorted cheap trinkets). Eventually, I realized that I was getting too old for that behavior to seem normal anymore. So everything got bottled up in my head. For the most part, it was channeled into writing. Hence, you know, the English degree, the blog, the book of short stories and poems... 

But sometimes I still find myself acting out scenes in my head, getting into the mindspace of characters to analyze how they would react, how they would speak. Again, something a lot of writers do, to some degree or another. Sometimes, though, I wonder. As awful as the lives of some of my characters are, why do their lives often seem better than mine? 

I don't know. I don't know. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Poem: "Haiku for Thoughts of Fall"

I sit and I think,
Although more often I sit,
Watching leaves drift down. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Yeah, I wrote this one when it was still fall and not the second coming of the Ice Giants.