2018-19 OBOP Annual State of the Blog Post

Happy Saturday!

3rd anaversy.jpg

My lil brain child is growing up so fast. :’) in 10 short years it’s gonna start listening to punk rock and telling me it hates me on the regular.

Wow. It’s year 3 already and I nearly fucking missed it if it wasn’t for facebook’s “on this day” app.  It’s been a long year, if you can’t tell. I haven’t had much time to assess this piece since I’m literally just remembering and subsequently writing this post the day of HOWEVER I HAVE GOT THIS! You watch…erm…read. You know what I meant.

you know what i meant

Okay so I need to open with an apology (to like the 3 of you who read last year’s Manifesto and State of the Blog Post): I have almost failed to fill any of my intentional goals.  Since I moved back to my mother city, St Louis, I’ve been forced to abandon a regular posting schedule which mostly includes giving the big axe to the columns “Working Title Tuesday”, “Rewind Wednesday”, “Thursday Night at the Cinema”, “Slam Saturday”, and “The Sunday Review”.  I will occasionally write for those columns (I do have some things coming down the pipes for Thursday Night at the Cinema specifically) but due to changing circumstances I cannot commit to that many columns unless I can derive an income from it.

A Little About my Life Since Getting Home:

Since the last time I wrote one of these, many things have changed in my life. Literally almost everything for the better.  After getting accepted into Lancaster University (in the UK) as a degree seeking student and beginning the residency application process, I was offered house and a very good job offer back in St Louis.  As per my visa, I needed to return to the USA to renew my visa, I anticipated on going back to St Louis at some point over the summer, however with the job and house offer and admittedly some uni burn out, I decided to roll the dice and come back to St Louis for keeps. It worked out in one way and failed in another.

The job offer I had worked out very well for a time (company went under 6 months after getting back home) however within a few weeks of coming home I met the love of my life who welcomed me into her family and home and I cannot be more grateful for that.

I know I vowed to get out of the food industry but when the company I worked for went under and I had a family to care for, I needed what I could get.

bite and claw.jpg

Look at how far my boys have come though!

I now work at a neighborhood pub/grill as a cook and it’s good, or at least the best kitchen job I’ve ever had anyway.  I like the people I work with, the menu is relatively standard, and the customers aren’t fussy. The pay could be better but it’s not complete shite.

Projects I’m Still Working On:

So I have abandoned pretty much everything I mentioned in last year’s post with the exceptions of the first book in my trilogy of novels “A Band of Misprints” which is making EXCELLENT progress due to my loving and supportive family.

abom to do list

I have big plans which require big post-it notes.

I plan to have draft one of part 1 done by September and likely sooner.

I recently just finished the first act of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and am beginning work on Act two.

I have also revived an old blog idea “Why? Answers to All the Questions You Never Asked” and have decided to add it to my current blog as a column.  I have a lot of stupid information free floating in my brain and as much I have a lot of stupid questions floating around (mostly starting with “why”) and they need and outlet.  My fiancée thought it was a good idea and seeing as she gives me many good ideas, I’m going to see it through for a whilst. I already have over 50 “why” questions written down since Monday which gives me faith it might be a good blog content outlet.

Statement of Intent:

I plan to finish draft one of A Band of Misprints and acts 2 and 3 of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and if FSM is willing, maybe I’ll finally get around to making coasters and business cards for OBOP (HINT: these would make an EXCELLENT birthday present around 23rd September).

Outside of book reviews, comics, and the occasional wild card post, I can’t promise much else at the moment.  Life is too busy and non conformist stateside for me to be able to make any commitments when I’m not getting paid.  However, speaking of getting paid, I have recently received some encouragement to submit my comics to the local community newspaper the Riverfront Times (or as the local cool kids call it, The RFT). I will keep you posted on how that goes.  I’ll post either the acceptance or rejection letter because either would be a badge of honour.

Stay tuned folks, life is good and getting better.  I have plenty more content coming, maybe some more Thursday Night at the Cinema pieces because YouTube’s algorithm has been really crushing it lately showing me new and interesting (to me) channels which is really exciting.

-fin

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Thursday Night at the Cinema presents: Patrick (H) Willems

Happy Thursday!

I’ve been thinking lately about how I’m stuck in a YouTube rut: I listen to the same handful of albums on repeat (Ramshackle Glory’s “Live the Dream”, Streetlight Manifesto’s “The Hands That Theive” and “Everything Goes Numb”, interspersed with NOFX’s “Pump Up the Valuum, Wingnut Dishwasher’s Union’s “Burn the Earth! Leave it behind!”, The Mad Caddies’s “Quality Soft Core” and “Rock the Plank”, and for some balance UNKLE’S “War Stories”, “Where Did the Night Fall?”, and “Never Never Land” [but only the first 30 minutes or so, for some reason I have never finished the album which has always been an unconscious decision]) and I watch the same YouTube channels (Acursed Farms, Film Theory and Game Theory [but only Mat Pat’s, for some reason I really cannot get into Gaijin Goomba’s videos], Alternative History Hub, and Numberphile).  Part of the reason for this is being a working father, family man, and writer doesn’t leave much time for much else (no complaints though, family life and love has been my best adventure yet).

Accurate representation of my music tastes.

 

What my YouTube feed mostly looks like.

Because of this rut (I mentioned before about refocusing my blog but my intentions, like my life, things don’t always turn out the way I was expecting) and I had mostly all wrote off all the other columns (unless someone wants to write with me on this blog, still accepting applications, all you have to do is reach out with a couple of writing samples [CONTACT ME PAGE], no pressure though but there are benefits(1)) particularly “Thursday Night at the Cinema”  because it’s so new and requires time, which as I’ve mentioned becoming a family guy has made me prioritise my projects dramatically.

family guy free time meme

This is the “Family Guy Transformation” experience

However I recently discovered Patrick (H) Willems, specifically I discovered this guy on a  Friday (which is usually my “work Friday night shift because, despite my [mostly] self-proclaimed talent and education, I STILL work in kitchens”) which when I work night shifts I have a hard time staying awake/productive through the day because my brain is like “Bro, you need to sleep until you go to work then stay up for hours after your shift”.  So I did my usual Friday morning ritual “get my son on the school bus, make my fineacee coffee, then eat breakfast before going into my office to ‘work’(3)” and I kept falling asleep to Willems’s videos but thinking to myself “these are douchebag brain memefucking brilliant! I need to revisit these later”. Usually when this happens I usually forget or don’t revisit because rut but this particular Friday I had an unusually, but not entirely unexpected, shitty Friday night at work and after getting home and bitching to my fiencee and my boyfriend(4) for a whilst about my night I went back down to my office to roll some cigarettes and I remembered Patrick (H) Willems’s videos and decided to revisit them whilst trying to unwind and I was GREATLY rewarded.

patrick-willems

I feel like this is an accurate representation of PHW.

Patrick (H) Willems (I will refer to him as PHW from here out) is one of the rare YouTube creators whom I feel deeply reluctant to call a “creator” as that term is just so damn vague but I would more feel comfortably refer to as a true “director, cinematographer, writer, and visionary”.  His videos range from the “TL;DR I have too much time and will explain [X] series to you” videos to original shorts that parody greats like Wes Anderson to original content like “The High School Reunion”. The guy is a fucking renaissance man in his field. I won’t lie to you and say I’ve watched all his content (because I haven’t) but I doubt I will because he does include vlog kind of material and honestly I visit YouTube almost exclusively because it is literally an incredible place to find young (as in experience) independent documentarians and filmmakers covering such a diverse body of subjects from theoretical mathematics (Numberphile) to people who over analyse movies/games (Mat Pat of Game and Film Theory) and literally everything in between (I wish I had a better example for “something in between” but again, rut; maybe Grickle?).

grickle

Gickle is fucking great.

In the following I’m including  what I consider a highlights/cross-section cut of PHW’s body of work:

EXPLAINS:

VIDEO ESSAYS:

PARODY:

I highly encourage you all to comment and debate in the comment section, whether related or not, about this piece.  Any and all feedback is deeply appreciated.

I want to let the three of you who regularly read this blog that I am making, slow but regular, progress with my novel.  I have the remainder of part one (of five) outlined so I can now make progress on the regular rather than flailing about anxiously without a direction. Now that I have part one of the novel outlined, I plan to finish the chapter I’m working on then I will begin drawing panels for act II of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Reluctant Partners in Crime”.  I promise I am making progress towards finishing these projects. In fact, if you want more and haven’t caught up on Act I of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Looking for a Friend in All the Wrong Places” you can view them all here THE ADVENTURES OF FIN & LOUIE.

Stay tuned because there is more to come.

-fin

Footnotes:

  1. I can’t pay you but I will write you an excellent recommendation letter when you do seek paying employment and you will get free promotional material, when I have money and time to make it (I have ideas but money is the main struggle).
  2. Usually includes a cup of coffee whilst I intend to watch a couple of youtube videos in my feed then write but I usually fall back asleep. Yes I do have a bed in my office because sleeping areas are surprisingly important to this insomniac (INSERT LINK TO INSOMNIA BOOK PREVIEW).
  3. Both my home and sex life is exactly as interesting as it sounds.

Insomnia by Stephen King (first Impressions)

Happy Monday!

insomnia

For the record, I do try to provide a picture matching the cover art of the copy of a book I’m reading and failing that I will take a picture but I’m not very good at photography

I Stephen King’s “Insomina” on my girlfriend’s bookshelf and was instantly intrigued.  See what you need to you need to understand about me is I struggle with sleep. I don’t particularly know what type of insomniac I am(1) but I know that I go a bit fucking balls-nuts (a phrase I coined when sleep deprived) mad when I don’t have enough sleep. I’ve had hallucinations about men with 3 arms (I wondered where he got his shirts), I went to San Diego with no plan and no money (I slept in a gutter), and purple tastes like crushed velvet (which makes the inside of my teeth itch which is as unpleasant as it sounds).  These are the more amusing highlights (more typically I get really loopy, my brain feels ‘loose’, and I get really angry/paranoid).

 

insomia meme 1

Fun fact: Christian Bale whilst preparing for this role in American Psycho studied Tom Cruise and how he behaves in normal life.

However the good news is that I’ve started on some sleeping medicines that usually work(2) but Ralph Roberts, the protagonist of Stephen King’s novel “Insomia” isn’t so lucky (yet?). In this post I’m trying something a little different than the usual book review format.  In interest of being able to post more often with compromising my desire to read anything I want despite the page length, I’m trying this thing where I do “first impressions” and depending on both the length of the book and the amount of time it takes me to read the book I will be doing follow up pieces which include “midpoint impressions”, a proper book review, and maybe a “final thoughts” piece where I write something after the has sunk in.

The book opens in a similar fashion as the Disney movie “Up” does with a prologue that paints the picture of an elderly couple in the dusk of their marriage.  Ralph Roberts wife Carlyon has a terminal illness that keeps her in a constant state of physical and mental pain which is deeply heartbreaking. My first thought was that it was gonna take a few hundred pages for King to kill Carlyon but she ends up dying before Chapter One (and yes I cried a little bit).  What’s interesting is that Carlyon’s death is a seriously small side story in the picture being painted so far. Just prior to her death Ralph had some strange experiences. Before she died he could hear a “death clock” ticking, not as a metaphor for his grief but as he describes it as a literal constant “tick-tick-ticking” that stopped when she died.

Another strange thing that happened is he saw his usually mild manouored neighbor Ed Deepeau getting into a paranoid fueled violent altercation with another guy claiming that he had dead babies in fertilizer barrels in the bed of the guy’s truck.  After the the altercation Ralph is getting a ride home from a friend and draws a Chinese symbol (or so they say in the book and it kinda looks like it to my best guestimation(3)) which he has no idea where it came from or what it means.

Other than that, most of the plot has been establishing how small the town of Derry, Maine is and the daily dramas that happen in a tight knit community but there is this mounting sense that something just past the edge of the pages is coming.  One of the clues has to do with this voice that speaks to Ralph but as it’s been presented so far it “feels” like his interior monologue but I cannot say specifically why it isn’t but I am pretty confident that it is something “not-Ralph”. There has also been mention of this entity “The Crimson King” which is supposed to be returning.  The mention of this mostly comes from Ed Deepneau, the wife beating piece of shit, whilst Ed is in some strange paranoid rant. From the first time we meet Ed, from Ralph’s perspective, Ed has been “out of sorts”. Ralph notices that Ed has been acting increasingly paranoid, violent, and generally like “someone else” which leads me to believe that maybe he was a nice guy once or at least a slightly less belligerently violent and paranoid person.

Paranoia_meme

I’m pretty sure I’ve used this exact facial expression in times of great confusion whilst trying to understand flavours of crazy that are beyond my own.

I suspect these things have some ties into King’s Dark Tower series(4)(of which I haven’t read, YET), particularly “The Crimson King” reference, however I am REALLY trying to avoid spoilers but I may end up reading up on the Stephen King Multiverse because that shit deeply impresses and intrigues me.

stephen king multiverse chart

Marvel’s Cinematic “multiverse” can eat a dick.

So far, the book is good however it is what I would catagories as a… “sleeper” (HAHAHA I’m sorry but puns are funny and if you’re one of those fucks who repeats the stupid fucking phrase “puns are the lowest form of humour” then maybe you can stop reading my blog? I don’t know either way you make a little sad because not only is that phrase untrue, dick and fart jokes are the lowest form of humour [because they’re about

joker imaginary fans

Have I ever mentioned that as far as comic characters I most identify with the Joker?

baseline bodily functions] but puns utilise many linguistic tools from rhyming to double entrendas and abstract thinking, anyway I should stop yelling at my imaginary audience (INSERT PIC OF JOKER “SOME PEOPLE HAVE IMAGINARY FRIENDS BUT I HAVE IMAGINARY FANS!)) becuase it has been slow but I only being 126 pages in, of 663 pages, I’m sure things will get intense soon and around then I’m sure the book will be GIVING me Insomnia in that way really good books tend to.

 

bobby hill insomia meme

Stay tuned, folks: more to come on “Insomnia” and I promise there will be more comics coming (my next focus is to get a few comics drawn for Act II of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Reluctant Partners in Crime”)

-fin

Footnotes:

  1. I suspect I have Cromoid Insomnia but here are many different types as you can read more about here.
  2. Lunesta is one hell of a hallucigen if you are able to manage to stay awake.  The last time it didn’t work part of me was laying in bed but the rest of me was going on an epic adventure 20,000 leagues under the sea with Captain Nemo wrestling sharks with my bare hands and, for some reason, flying out in space in the same submarine searching for the pearl of eternity which was supposed to grant us time travel capabilities with the side effect that our hands would randomly turn into Portuguese speaking gerbils. We were convinced it was worth it.
  3. I eat a lot of Chinese food.
  4. I recently had my mind fucking blown when I learned about Stephen King’s Multiverse despite the fact that since I was 10 I’ve read maybe 20 of his books which might be more than I’ve read form any single author.