OOC – The eyes are the groin of the head

At my old blogspot there were certain blog tropes that I hated. One of them was the “I’m drunk and/or high right now so this post is going to be super weird!” post. I am not on any sort of pain medication but this still kind of feels like that sort of post.

An HR lady at a job once told me that my worst trait (and I have many according to her) is my desire to publicize my failures. I will admit that yesterday when I poked myself in the eyeball with the corner of a gift bag and sliced that eyeball open like a boar eating a cantaloupe, my instinct was to e-mail everyone I knew and tell them how stupid I am.

Since my eye stings, obviously I can’t work out today. I thought I was past the point of looking for excuses not to work out but here we are. Mildly disappointing.

The good news is that I still have 20/20 vision. I got laser eyeball surgery about 20 years ago and you’re supposed to go to the ophthalmologist every year to see if your vision is degrading because laser eye surgery is still new enough that they don’t really know the long term effects, but I never do it. And my vision is fine so my laziness has been rewarded after the fact.

The bad news is I can no longer make fun of someone I know for having to go to the ER twice for getting glitter in their eye. Or at least I have to cut the fun making in half.

The only weird thing about my visit to the clinic was the doctor wanted to shake hands. We’re both there wearing masks and there’s signs everywhere about covid and she wants to touch me? I waved her off, which people really don’t like. I was hoping that sort of thing would go away for good out of the pandemic but people seem to be backsliding.

I saw Salma Hayek on an advertisement for an HBO show and I thought to myself “What HBO show is Salma Hayek on?” Turns out she’s going to be on a new show where she plays a woman whose boobs start talking to her. This sounds insanely awful to me, but perhaps I’m not the target demographic.

It put me in a mind of another show on a streaming service that I don’t think exists anymore where little Anna Kendrick went on a cross-country adventure with a sex doll that came to life. I started writing a script for that concept for a reboot of Mannequin only it was a horror movie because if a sex doll came to life, I figured it would be pretty upset about it’s existence.

Salma Hayek said recently that she was happy to be cast in the Eternals because the only roles she gets offered now are “old hooker” or “grandma”.

I never saw the movie Grown Ups but I understand that in this movie Salma Hayek plays Adam Sandler’s wife. And there’s a scene where Sandler goes to a yoga class to ogle the instructor. Because Salma Hayek isn’t hot enough. For Adam Sandler. I used to think that the media didn’t really have much effect on people but I’m starting to change my mind. Maybe things like this are part of the reason that mouth-breathing troglodytes used to come into my store and say that Halle Berry wasn’t pretty enough for them. They’d do her if she begged them, but it would be charity.

I watched the Matrix 4 the other day. It was fine. I was never a big Matrix man but I was interested to see what it was about. It felt very much like Force Awakens in that it was mostly just a remake of the first movie only I loved Star Wars enough that a remake got me with its emotional manipulation. I’d say a good 15% of the dialog in Matrix 4 was someone speaking directly to the audience saying “remember how much you liked the first movie? This is that again!”

In conclusion there was a show on IFC called Documentary Now! that was pretty good overall but the best episode by far is a parody of the Thin Blue Line called The Eye Doesn’t Lie.

OOC – Black Friday the 13th

One unexpected side effect of starting a WordPress blog is the many other blogs I’ve started reading.  There’s a few oddballs in the mix but they generally fall into three categories –

RPG blogs (mostly D&D since that’s the most popular RPG by a substantial margin these days) that I read to get ideas for RPGs and to shake my head at how the young people play RPGs these days and lament that the world I grew up in in gone.

Movie review blogs that I read because I enjoy how upset everyone gets by each new Marvel movie (and Star Wars to a lesser degree) because it RUINED everything because there was a female character in it. 

And horror movie blogs.  I enjoy the occasional horror movie but I am by no means a big horror guy.  My sister is a huge horror movie fan.  She honestly tries to see EVERY horror movie that comes out each year.  It’s crazy.  I like reading these blogs because I enjoy how into it people are.  People who are really into horror movies are REALLY into horror movies.  There’s been so much written about Friday the 13th and what’s really going on there and which movies should be “canon” that there should be a Wu-Tang American Tale style documentary about it. 

This is how I learned that Friday the 13th Part 9: Jason Goes to Hell is generally reviled by the Jasonheads out there.  I get why you wouldn’t like it, if you’re really into the Jasonverse, making Jason a Deadite and the Voorhees family Deadite cultists does pretty much overturn the mythology they had going.  It’s not as bad a Midi-chlorians to Star Wars people but its close. 

As a casual horror fan though I love Jason 9 the most, and not because of the Deadite thing, even though I am a fan of the Evil Dead.  I love it because of the opening scene. 

If you’re not familiar the opening scene is a sexy lady (the same actress who did the nude karate fight in Point Break which was the greatest thing I had ever seen when I was a young fella) going up to Camp Crystal Lake alone.  She goes into a creepy old cabin and immediately gets naked.  Which of course is how you summon Jason.  Sidenote, I one time wrote a Friday the 13th script where a lady gets naked and Jason doesn’t show up and it makes her self-conscious that she’s not attractive enough to get the attention of a supernatural killing machine.  That’s probably not okay anymore but I think that was in 1998 so I’ll forgive myself on your behalf. 

Anyway, Jason shows up and nudity 2-shoes dodges the machete attack and after falling off a balcony onto a coffee table she springs away like a gazelle.  At some point she wraps herself in a towel because as we learned from Zombieland no one wants to see a naked woman running full speed. 

Jason chases after her and she leads him into a trap where a small army of FBI dudes shoot Jason to pieces with an illogically wide array of firearms.  Also they appear to be in each other’s line of fire, but whatever.  Dudes even quick-rope down trees with assault rifles to get in on the action.  And then the pièce de résistance, after shooting Jason several hundred times the FBI guys all hit the deck and they finish him off with a mortar attack.

This is awesome.  But it also does what any great film does, it makes us think.  What did the FBI know about Jason?  And what does that imply?  Some people (you know the type) have tried to say that the FBI was just going after a serial killer, but to them I say – you don’t have small artillery  weapons for close fire support at the ready to blow up a serial killer.  Even in the 90’s you’d get in a lot of trouble for that.  To me this clearly indicates that they knew they were dealing with something supernatural. 

I submit that the FBI had collected all the details of the many times Jason has been dealt “fatal” wounds and shook them off, and the times that he had “died” and come back.  And based on this they decided to try some good old fashioned heavy firepower.  Let’s blow this fucker up with a mortar and see what happens. 

So, we have to wonder, is this the first time the FBI acknowledges and deals with a supernatural threat?  If not was there a special unit that deals with that kind of thing?  This is what I need to know more about.  Has there been some FBI agent out there (Mulder?) for 20 years trying to get attention to this Jason Vorhees thing and someone finally paid attention to him? 

Or was the FBI supernatural kill unit born after the federal raid on Innsmouth, Massachusetts in 1928?  These are the questions I want answered.  Were the people that killed Jason (he came back don’t worry) working on a pill to protect teenagers from Freddie Kruger and other dream masters?  Were they trying to figure out a way to harness the power of the Hellrasier dimension to create portal that would generate unlimited free clean energy?  Did they have a Chucky operation in the works? 

The Chucky angle is especially interesting.  Eddie Caputo is a serial killer who manages to voodoo throw his soul into a doll.  I have to assume the FBI was already on his trail since they deal with serial killers, and the information that voodoo can throw souls around is something that it seems like they would be interested in.  Not very PC since voodoo is a real religion, but what can you do?  If not Innsmouth maybe the FBI magic division came sprang from the Chucky case and they started recruiting people with knowledge of African diaspora religions to build their new squad. 

And what about the army?  When they heard about Jason did they want to learn his secrets so they could build an army of nigh-invulnerable Jason-like soldiers to take out the Russians?  Did the FBI have to work against them as well to prevent that horrific dabbling?  What did POTUS have to say about it?  What about the Supreme Court?  Does the Bill of Rights extend to supernatural entities?  Does Jason have civil rights? 

But that’s not even the most interesting question raised by Jason 9.  The real story I want to know is what the heck is going on with Creighton Dukes?   

So Dukes goes out to Camp Crystal Lake as a teen and Jason murders his girlfriend so he dedicates his life to learning about how to defeat him.  Uh, excuse me?  How does one study Jason?  Where does that information come from?  Is there a Jason section in the library I don’t know about? 

And why does he break that dorky dude’s fingers as “payment” for telling him what the hell is going on?  Is he magic and he draws power from pain?  He later produces a magic dagger that is the only way to kill Jason.  I submit that he’s a magic man and he made that dagger.  His girlfriend was murdered and he traveled the world Dr. Strange style looking for true magic and he found it.  And now he lives in an armored compound and has brought in six serial killers as a bounty hunter.  I want to know more about this dude. 

He tells Jessica Kimble that she’s the only one who can kill Jason because she’s actually Jaon’s niece.  How would he know that?  Because he’s the one who did the magic on the dagger of course.  It all makes sense. 

And while we’re on the subject of the Kimbles, Diana Kimble is Jason’s half-sister, the daughter of Elias Voorhees.  We don’t know much about Elias Vorhees, but we do know that he’s “far more evil than Jason” and he was killed by Momma Vorhees for beating Jason.  Oh, and we know that his great-great-great-grandfather was a warlock who was maybe burned alive when girls started going missing in Salem Massachusetts. 

So Diana is the daughter of this dude and whom?  And how did it all go down?  Does she really not know the deal?  She was hanging around Crystal Lake working at a diner, can that be coincidence?  Was there waiting for the day the dude with the magic dagger would show up so she could kill Jason?  She tells the dorky dude I mentioned before that they need to talk about Jessica.  She’s killed before she can give much exposition but that implies that she knew something about what was going on.  Is she magic too?  Was her mother a witch?  Did she specifically seek out Elias to get pregnant because he knew that only a Vorhees could kill Jason and she was getting the bloodline going for that specific purpose?  I need to know. 

OOC – Letters from the rat-shack

Remember on the Simpsons when Art Spiegelman put on a mask to fight crime and boldly declared “Maus is in the house!”  I do. 

Remember the episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia where the gang (minus Charlie) is trying to catch a rat but instead they end up huffing gas and watching Tom and Jerry cartoons?  I do.  Sometimes in Tom and Jerry they would bring in a dog character to abuse Jerry as well.  I wonder what its name was. 

Last week when I was doing some yard work a mouse sneaked in the back door.  I put out some humane traps which appear to be useless.  Friday I built a bucket trap and twice now the mouse has triggered it without falling in the bucket.  Either it’s a very acrobatic mouse or I need a wider bucket. 

Friday morning I saw it peeking at me from behind the bookcase.  Which would have been cute if I didn’t hate it.  Which I do.

My old blog had about a thousand followers.  And a lot of them actually read it (sometimes).  If I asked them for mouse advice there would have been a lot of it and most of it would have been annoying.  Is it mansplaining when it’s two men or is that only man on woman action?  Must be the latter because otherwise that’s just being a jerkstore right? 

I suppose when you’re giving advice, you have to assume the person you’re talking to is an idiot.

Case and point I saw some reviews where people were giving 1-star ratings of a mousetrap and they’d post a video to show how crappy it was and instead they weren’t using it right – of course the mouse walked right out, you had the top open GGGyellow856!  How did you think it was going to do anything like that?  It was a good reminder that product reviews are largely pointless (like humane traps).

I’m not asking for advice now either but I shouldn’t say to myself that it’s because no one reads this blog because a couple people do read it.  Thanks couple people.   There’s a new episode of Heels tonight.  I’m excited about that.  Maybe the mouse and I can watch it together while it gives me the hanta virus. 

PS – It is a mouse and not rat, that’s just a “funny” title. If there was a rat in here I’d burn the house to the ground.

Bot seeking bot

That’s a Venture Brothers reference.  I was pretty bummed when that show got cancelled even though they only made one episode every 3.5 years.  Now I hear they’re making a Venture Brothers movie on HBO.  I’m cautiously optimistic (name of my sex tape).  If it’s just more Venture Brothers, I’ll probably like it.  If the movie is supposed to “wrap-up” everything from the show, I probably won’t.  That never works.  I’m looking at you, Peacekeeper Wars.  Even though it was a financial failure, Serenity is the way to do it. It didn’t put Firefly to rest, it was just an interesting Firefly story.  Sure, it was kind of dumb because they had to narrate and reset everything for people that hadn’t watched the show, but it was good.

“Jeremy, you’re not really keeping your promise to subject us to 70% less content on this blog”.

I know, but it’s not that much more and what I didn’t anticipate (always in motion, the future is) is that I would get mad at DIRECTV and cancel my service with them and since I don’t like any of the streaming services, I watch 70% less TV now.  And further, since my only other time-consuming hobby is running RPGs which I’m not doing currently, something has to give.

“Jeremy, just because you write something doesn’t mean you have to post it.”

Trust me I don’t, I write tons of stuff that I just then delete and everyone’s happy.  But this has to do with my fellow wordpressarians.  Ergo.

I have 169 “followers”.  I’d say at least 100 of them are bots.  Probably more. I assume that most other people have a similar situation, but one time I said something like that to a fellow wordpresser and they got real mad at me.  Maybe all of your followers are legit.  I don’t know.  I mean no offense.  I know that mine are not. 

What I don’t understand is what the value of those bots are.  I understand why dating sites use bots, it makes it seem like there’s people on there you could meet.  And I understand why there are bots on social media, but what are all these fake wordpress accounts for? 

Normally I get zero new followers in a week, this week I had 15 – all of them bots, randomly generated user names with the same picture of a blandly attractive blond lady.  Why are these accounts being created?  Since I don’t try to make money in wordpress, I don’t understand how it works.  For the people that are monetizing wordpress, does it makes sense to have bot followers?  I know bots are used to click-generate ad revenue, is it something like that?

The only thing I know about the financial part of WP is that if I get 75,000 followers, I can get a free merchant account of some kind to sell all the Ela merch I’m obviously creating (I guess that would be a time consuming hobby).  The only way I could ever get that many followers is with bots.  Is that reason enough for someone to make bots?  Seems like if you can make bots, you could come up with a better scam. 

Do they only make bots so they can sell you bot-blocker plugins?  That doesn’t seem very lucrative.  Why would you want to bot-block? Even though I know it’s fake, I can look at that 169 number and pretend I’m cool.  I suppose there’s probably bots that are actually malicious and can do bad shit to your site.  I guess I should look into getting rid of them. 

It’s probably just collateral damage, it’s easier to bot-spam everything everywhere in the hopes of hitting something of value rather than making targeted attacks. 

And he said “Blog the best blog in the world, or I’ll eat your soul”

And I said “okay”.

My other fiction blog is about a magic lady where magic is not something people know about or believe in generally.  It’s also about wrestling because why wouldn’t those two things be together?  I read a novel recently that was about wrestling and the guy that wrote it also runs a magic school and I thought “this guy is my audience!” so I tweeted him about my blog and he never responded.  What good is social media anyway if people don’t do whatever I want with little effort on my part?

Anyway, because this story takes place in a “realistic” world, I really struggle with having the protagonist resolve anything.  The basic story is that magic is becoming harder and harder to do because no one believes in it, so those that do know about it are turning to the dark side because it’s easier.  So she’s going along doing whatever and then she finds out about some bad magic people doing bad shit and then I don’t know what the next thing in the story should be.

Because I’m an RPG gamer who likes writing instead of being a writer, my instinct is of course to have a violent confrontation – roll for initiative!  But I mostly try to avoid that for two reasons.  One, people in a “realistic” world are rarely so cavalier about murdering everyone, morals and emotions and all that.  And two, the police and the law and such tend to frown on murder.  And while it would be interesting to write about a magic serial killer who was killing for “good” and the moral quandaries and technical difficulties therein, that’s not what I want to do. 

So I keep trying to think, what do people do when there’s some bad shit going down and there’s no legal authorities that can get in the mix?  And the answer is that they probably don’t do anything, other than be sad about how they’re helpless.  But that’s most people, and stories shouldn’t be about people that don’t do anything, they should be about people that are exceptional, or at least interesting in some way. 

How do you solve problems without violence?  Remember that episode of Futurama where Vice-Presidential Ranger Michelle Nichols exclaims “Killing him isn’t working and that’s all we good at!”  I do.  The obvious answer is have your protagonist be smart and do smart shit and out-smart them instead of resorting to violence.  MacGyver style!  The problem with that is I’m dumb.  How can a dumb person write a smart character? 

I have the same problem with RPGs.  Sometimes people make adventures where I the player, not the character, have to be smart or solve a mystery or a puzzle or something and I can’t do it because I’m stupid as hell.  So I usually play a character who’s supposed to be stupid because how am I supposed to portray an INT 20 wizard? 

So I’ve been trying to think of some movies or books or media I can check out where the problem is something where the obvious answer is “murder” but the character is question is not a murderer so they need to figure something else out.  The first thing that came to mind was the House of Sand and Fog, but thinking about it, the main lady essentially just got someone else to do her dirty work.  I also thought about Avengers Arena, but looking back at that, it’s mostly just people struggling about violence and then being violent.

If you have any ideas on things I can read or watch to get some inspiration on how characters can deal with extreme circumstances without being smarty pantses or D&D style murder hobos, let me know. 

I suppose the other obvious answer is “if she’s magic, bro, have her magic her problems away”.

I used to have a dream semi-often where I found out about a sex trafficking operation and the police and the state government people and everyone were in on it, so I spent all my dream-time trying to figure out how to do anything about it.  I tried calling the FBI and they said they couldn’t interfere for some reason, and then I spent the rest of the dream freaking out and not knowing what to do.  I suppose it was a stress dream of some kind. 

Anyway, I guess I turned that dream into a blog accidentally.  With magic.  And wrestling. 

Stolen writing advice from someone better

Being a soulless Gen X mutant, normally I don’t try to help people or do anything, I just sit in my flannel shirt in my dimly lit basement listening to Alice in Chains and reveling in the fact that I don’t care about anything and only being happy when it rains.  And also not even then.  As a Xer I spend my time normally not caring about money or success or anything but Bikini Kill. 

Normally I wouldn’t post twice in a day either, but if I wait I’ll forget.  Sometimes I write myself notes of things to write about later and then I never remember what they mean later.  This has been going on for 30 years.

There’s a pretty common piece of writing advice which is “write a lot”.  If you feel blocked it’s because you’re thinking too much.  Just write something, anything.  Write every day all the time.  The theory is that you get better at something by doing it.  A basketball player doesn’t get better by thinking about shooting, they get better by shooting baskets in an empty gym. 

Part of the idea is that most of what everyone writes, except for a few geniuses, sucks.  So if ten percent of what you write is going to be good, you need to write tons and tons to make that ten percent pile as big as possible. 

For me, this advice was one of those things where I said “That sounds right” but didn’t really take it to heart.  Today though I heard something that really made it land for me. 

This information is coming to me 5th hand so the details are probably wrong but the gist is correct I think.  There’s a book called Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.  According to a different book that referenced that book that was referenced on a YouTube video that was referenced on a TV show that was referenced on a podcast I listen to, in Art &Fear they talk about an art teacher.

This art teacher decided to play a cruel joke on their class in the name of the social sciences.  They divided the class into two groups.  Group one was told their grade would be based on the number of pots they made.  Group two was told that their grade would be based on their best pot.  But hold onto your butts folks, because the first group was lied to, everyone was judged on their best pot. 

The gag is at the end of the semester (or whatever) the first group had made better pots.  The theory is that while group two spent all their time trying to make one or a few good pots, group one was cranking out pots right and left; ergo they got good at making pots, ergo they made a lot of crappy pots but the good ones they made were better than the people who were trying to make good ones. 

This may not even be a true story, but it made the “write a lot” advice sink in for me. 

I already write almost every day but nevertheless in order to write more, I will be starting a 5th blog with a new fiction narrative,  working title – Blood Orgy in The House of Pain.

Midnight on Dagger Alley (OOC shamboozling)

I thought the title of that module was Midnight IN Dagger Alley but it’s not.  It’s Midnight ON Dagger Alley.  Which doesn’t make sense.  Or does it? 

As you all know, Wednesday is when I post world-building and background stuff for the funkadelic 70’s adventures of Ela 2.0.  But I don’t feel like it today so I’m not gonna.  In the old days of D&D Ela, I never would have dreamed of not posting EVERY day like I promised the zero people that read it.  But these are new times where rules mean nothing.  I’ve learned that the less I post, the more people seem to like it.  I don’t take it personally. 

“Jeremy what are you doing?  Don’t you have another blog for random thoughts?”  No, that blog is for deep personal reflection and is only for my dear friends and 8 (and counting) Russian bots.

I was playing DND (yay!) on roll20 (boo!) the other day and after the customary 7 to 99 minutes of fucking around, the game began with the DM letting out a huge sigh and saying “okay then”. 

I thought in that moment “I think that’s how all my DND games have started”.  Which is an exaggeration, it’s probably not even most, but maybe 30% of them have been something like that.  It reminded me that as much fun as playing RPGs is, it’s a lot of work. 

Sometimes my friends and I sit around and shoot the shit (before covid you know) but more often we’re playing a board game or a RPG.  I often wonder how people that don’t game maintain friendships.  What do they do?  Talk to each other without any agenda?  Awful.

It’s kind of a bummer though because it means that someone has a part time job that’s necessary for friendship time.  Which I guess is okay because friendship is something that should require some work, but being a DM is kind of a drag.  I love running games and obviously am the best at it in the world, but even I sometimes am just like “ugh, I don’t really want to do this tonight” but you sort of have to or you ruin it for everyone. 

In the past few years, I’ve seen tons of “gmless” RPGs and “zero-prep” adventures, I hate-follow one blog where the blogman talks at length about how any adventure that requires any prep is utter shit and the person that wrote it should die.  Being a judgmental old man, I turn up my nose at these things – damn millennials want to have the fun of DND without the work?  In my day there were only two character classes and you had 8 STR and you got killed by a gopher and you LIKED IT DAMN IT!!!

But I get it.  If you can have fun playing a game without having to bust your ass, why wouldn’t you?

What I’m saying is that I beat Zelda without the wooden sword when I was a kid and I thought that was great.  But then the internet was a thing and I found out that tons of people have done that.  So I guess my proudest accomplishment now is that I threw a 20 sided dice and turned off my friend Joel’s Nintendo from a legit 20 feet away when he was being a jerk and playing Dragon Warrior while we were all waiting for him. 

That’s a lie, I didn’t do that, one of my friends did.  But as I get older, I’ll start to remember that I did it because memory is stupid.

Once in a while other blog people say on their blog that people should read my blog.  The people that read their blog never do, but I still appreciate the tiny crumbs of attention thrown my way like young crows like it when you toss them corn. 

If you like wrestling or comic books or pop tarts, you should read this – https://swoproductions.com/home/ – they also talk about anime sometimes but nobody is perfect.

If you like seeing DND where a TON of work is put into making it look awesome, you should read this – https://storiesfromthewifeofadungeonmaster.wordpress.com/

If you like Shadowrun but hate its insane rules system, you should read this – https://doubleproficiency.com/

If you like goblins with ballistas, you should read this – https://goblinwithaballista.com/

And if you think that Stephen Amell should hire me as a writer on his new wrestling drama HEELS, you should read this – https://cultissuchanuglyword.wordpress.com/ and then badger him on social media.