Monday, December 17, 2012

Oh, Canada!

I know it's been a rough few days in America, dear readers.  As an educator myself, events like that leave me feeling angry, miserable, and helpless.  I don't want to make a pithy joke about anything related to that, and don't want to turn that incident into a platform for political commentary.  Also, many, many others have offered up words of wisdom and comfort much more effectively than I ever could.  What I can do, however, is share with you one of my favorite cartoons.  It expresses my thoughts on life and the pitfalls that insist on bothering us far better than I would be able to.  I like it so much, in fact, that I won't even steal credit.  It is from the awesome webcomic, xkcd:

Okay, deep breath . . .

Topic shift!

I will be away from the Rage Cage for a bit because it's my holiday and this year I will be spending most of it in sunny, tropical Vancouver!  

I should pay more attention to geography.

Maybe, upon reflection, I should buy some sort of attire that has sleeves on it, perhaps of an insulating material . . . I hope they have that technology in Canananada.  I know very little of my neighbor up North, other than it is big and has a bunch of empty bits in it.  Which makes it similar to those obnoxious bags of chips you buy that shrink to a fourth their size upon opening.  I also think they have lots of badgers and have heard they use beer can tabs as a type of primitive currency.

I kid, I kid, Canadians.  Please do not tar and feather me- although I assume in Canada that would involve maple syrup and wood chips.

Okay, that was the last one, I promise.

Seriously, I am pumped to go.  I have actually never been there, so it will be an adventure.  Hopefully the kind where I don't wake up with unexplainable neck wounds, which is what has happened on my last few winter holidays.

For the education of my readers who might be saying, "Canada?  What's that?", I present the following: 

Canada has produced three of the most enduring cultural icons of the last thirty years and I have dutifully listed them below in no particular order. Whoever gets all three references will receive a free Molson down at the King of Donair.   Find me in Vancouver to redeem the prize!

Warrior Poets.

Seeking justice in a world gone mad.

One of the greatest thinkers of our time.

Like I said, my knowledge of the country, and its culture, is severely lacking, and I look forward to having good beers and good times with friends.  It will be pretty close to last year's safari (click here to read the last  cheap plug of 2012!) except with more fur and strange noises.

This is a shorter entry than normal, patient reader, but that is because I leave tomorrow and must look for my three pairs of socks that don't have holes in them- otherwise I might end up with interesting frostbite patterns.  Upon my return we will get back to our regularly scheduled rage, and I will have lots of pictures of actual, honest to goodness Canadians in their natural habitat.

I assume that involves flannel and those hats with ear flaps on.

In the meantime, wherever you are, and whatever you do, try to have a happy New Year!  Let's all work together and ensure that 2013 ends on a higher note than 2012, shall we?

Step one:  get everyone a gigantic clock.

 I said CLOCK.

And that's why we can't have nice things.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Burmese (Turkey) Days

Hey there, beautiful.  

This past week was our big Thanksgiving fete at TASOK, dear over fed reader, and it was quite the good time.  More than twenty people, six turkeys (and one of those fake ones thrown in to appease those dirty hippies), tons of extra food, wonderful company, lots of drinks and, of course, deserts.  Dear God, the deserts.  It was marvelous, in that artery clogging, meat sweat inducing, chest pain causing sort of way that makes it an unmistakably American holiday.  I know that Canada has one too, but I assume it involves sliding down staircases on flattened cardboard boxes whilst throwing money made from pine needles and wood chips in the air as Strange Brew plays on a black and white television in the garage.

I don't have a picture for that, but it would be sweet if I did.  Help me out, Ontario!  Or, um, uh, Manitoba?

It got me thinking about being a world traveling man of mystery.  Normally it's a great time, wherein I have lots of wacky adventures, grow absurd facial hair, almost die once a year, meet swell people, go to gorgeous new places, and hopefully one day get to bore everyone in the nursing home with stories that have by then become hopelessly confused with pop culture.

And then Sharktopus and I sang "Summer Nights" at the orphanage and . . .

One thing that is sometimes a tough adjustment for expat folk, though, is how holidays can be so different when away from your home cultures.  In many places I have been to no one really celebrates Christmas, which means no awkward Secret Santa talk or decidedly lame mistletoe based pick up lines.  

One would think it goes without saying, but one would be so very, very wrong.

The most interesting holiday for me during my overseas travels has most assuredly been Thanksgiving.  This is because, outside of America, no one cares.  I mean, why would they?  They don't even have a Walmart to go to afterwards.

I lived in Taiwan for two years.  The first Thanksgiving I spent in Bangkok with awesome teacher buddies trolling Patapong,  and the other one getting my eyes ripped open.  

So, not much traditional holiday fare there.

The best part about overseas holidays, though, is when, in an effort to accommodate their guests, other cultures try to bring us a taste of Americana, as they understand it.  This is accomplished usually at the expense of their own cultural norms and, sometimes, the bounds of all common sense.

What follows is one of those stories.

Cast your mind back through the mists of time, dear reader.  So far back, Bush was still president, Cheney hadn't yet been plugged into a wall socket when he slept, Six Feet Under was still on the air, and a young Lippart had begun to make his halting, sexy way into this dreary world.  I had been living in Myanmar about four months when one day my friend Ben came up to us with a small flyer in his hand.  It was from the Mi Casa kitchen (the bar/restaurant connected to the service hotel we were all living in at the time).  To my slightly homesick eyes it presented a great opportunity:  they were promoting a Thanksgiving dinner event, complete with turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, some weird meat things, gooey unidentifiable masses, bread, and free flow of beer and wine!  With a large enough group, this meal could be had for merely $15 each!

We were all aflutter and immediately signed up 10 stalwart friends.  Most were American, but two were Canadian and one was from Denmark.  Because, you know, Thanksgiving is all about cultural inclusion.

By the way, the words "Free Flow" as a translation for "All You Can Drink" remains to this day one of my favorite things about Asia.  It is both cute and white trash at the same time, like Honey Boo Boo from about 350 feet away.

Arrangements made, we waited out the following days breathless with anticipation.  To get ready for the meal I practiced loosening my belt and unbuttoning my pants at random times, making vapid comments on current affairs, and staring off into space while gravy congealed around the edges of my mouth.

After a week, I felt ready.

After another week I felt like a southern Republican.

The day arrived!  We all headed into the dining area (dressed up for the occasion, naturally) at around 5pm, and were told the dinner would be served at 6, and to please "enjoy the free flow wine and beer". 

By the time the waitress said "Enjoy the" we were already knocking back beers and pondering the epic turkey leg fights that would soon arise.

We were all hungry but the great companionship, free flow, and sense of adventure nourished our souls and livers as we waited.

6 came and went with no food.  

6:30 showed up, looked around, and slunk back into the kitchen.

At 7, another waitress came over and said the food would be ready soon, would we like any bread?  We nodded while two of us contemplated how much of their own legs could be eaten without permanent damage.

Thank god for free flow.

At 7:30, bread was served.  At this point my memory is a little hazy.  I may or may not have covered one of the Burmese in butter and tried to eat the back of his head Ugolino style.  

At 7:45 another waitress came over (this place had like twenty people working there) and said the food would be ready soon.  My friend Luc, who had the patience of Job (at least for the next ten minutes), said, very politely,"Is there a problem?"

Her eyes dropped to the floor.  She gathered her thoughts and looked at us, her hands spread wide.  "Oh, no sir.  The turkey is ready.  We are having a problem with the stuffing."

Quick glances around the table.

"Um, what's the problem?"

"We have the walnuts for the stuffing, but we haven't finished the whipped cream."

At this point a pause, as pregnant as a reality show star, fell into the room.

"Wait, whipped cream?"

"Yes, sir."  Her soft voice was the stuff of madness to my hungry brain.  I would have eaten her words if they had been more visual.  "For the turkey.  Whipped cream to . . . to . . . how to say?  To place inside.  The turkey . . . the turkey cavity."  

She gestured with her hands in a way that would have made Lovecraft throw up on his mother.

We looked around each other, terror, fear, and the aftereffects of three hours of free flow swirling on our faces.  Valerie, always a quick thinker, jumped in and likely saved us all.

"You know, it is okay.  We don't need the stuffing.  Thank you very much, just bringing out the turkey would be fine."

The waitress nodded happily, scampered away, and came back a few minutes later with a cart filled with vegetables, bread, strange meat things, a rather unimpressive turkey and, thank the gods, no whipped cream.

The first few minutes were silent as we each gazed, naked and alone, into the culinary abyss.  Thankfully the free flow, walnut free turkey, and friendships won the day, and it turned into one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

I won't get into details, but it involved body slams, naked swimming, and a broken coffee table.

Since that day, dear reader, I have eaten many strange things.  Duck tongues, scorpions, grilled jellyfish, bats, rat meat, (probably) dog, (hopefully) cat, snakes, placenta (and lemme tell you, that was messed up afternoon) and some sort of eyeball. Rest assured that, to this day, I do not regret the fact that we managed to get them to leave off the stuffing.  I might have missed the image of a turkey filled to bursting with whipped cream and walnuts, but I have preserved my will to live.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  To my friends in the USA, I miss your thunder.  To my overseas pals, thank you for sharing your thunder with me these last five years.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movember to Remember

Happy Movember, hirsute readers.

"Wait", she asks sensually, every letter tumbling forth like a goddess rising from the spray of the sea, "What's Movember?"

Oh, surely you know, dear reader.  By now, everyone must know that one.

I mean, c'mon.

"Oh, no, I really, REALLY don't."  She runs a finger, pale and mysterious as the gloaming, along the inviting curve of her decolletage.  "Can you tell me?"  her eyelashes flutter in time with  the frantic rhythm of my heartbeat.  I look into her eyes, her deep, smoldering eyes.

She arches an eyebrow.

I can feel the tension buzzing through the air, begging for release.  It leaves a metallic taste in my mouth, a reminder of hunger, of loneliness, of tumid thoughts rising, unbidden, to the surface.

"No.  Because I'm lazy as hell.  But hey, here's the link."

I throw some html code in her face as she languidly walks away, looking over her perfect shoulder at every turn.

But seriously, if you don't know, clink here and prepare to be knowledge punched.  In the neck.

I have participated in Movember for three years now, and thus far this year my compatriots and I (Team Thunder- he he he) have raised almost $800 dollars and grown some awesome mustaches.  If you don't believe me, check it out.  I was going for the old Bully Busick look.

If I had another two months, I could be a God.  

So click on the Team Thunder link (I love charity plugs) and give us some money, you bastards.  It goes to a good cause, because who doesn't want a world filled with healthy, virile men?  Other than Woody Allen of course.

If you think that men's health awareness isn't an issue, please consider this:  men are really, really stupid.  Don't believe me?  Would a women ever say, in response to anything, "walk it off"?  No, of course not.  Because they aren't idiots.

How many men do you know who complain about stomach upset, vomiting, chest pains, vision trouble, random fingers cramping up and falling off, loss of teeth, loss of hearing,and wait weeks, sometimes months, to go to the doctor?

Well, at least one anyways:

Don't watch the sequel though.  Terrible.

The point of Movember, charitable reader, is to honor all that makes us men (other than superfluous nipples) while at the same time celebrating not being an idiot about our bodies (always a fine line between the two) so come check it out.

Man, I have done a lot of plugging lately.  Hope I haven't lost you.  Especially those new readers I have picked up in Uzbekistan for whatever eldritch reason.

Well, the plugging is all in the past now, because-

-oh wait, on last thing.  No big deal.  just THE FIRST NEW INEBRIATION RELEASE IN 18 YEARS!!!!  Oh my god- a "greatest hits" album, titled 20 Years of Blood, Sweat, and Beers.  Available as of today via digital download at this link.  Check it out.  I hope, if nothing else, that sexy female polish horde is into it.


We will return next time for our regularly scheduled dose of madness.  Meanwhile, for my American friends, happy Slapsgiving!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vote For Love (and Small Baked Goods).

It has been a historic few days in the Rage Cage, dear reader.  As someone who has been through some completely ridiculous nonsense when large groups of people committed the sin of trying to have a say in their lives (read about the election rage here!) I was relieved to see that, in spite of all the tears, vitriol, and terrible hair from our conservative political analysts so far, no one in america is dropping broken glass covered elbows onto boatloads of small, patchouli scented liberals.  This might not seem all that big of a deal to you guys out there in the land of the sane but I have been in situations where people use grenades as punctuation marks, so our ability to yell at each other and walk away should not be taken for granted.  For those sad, gollum-esque souls who view the election of a president as a harbinger of the end of days, here is a great song with a terrible video.

Okay, enough about all that- now onto me.  Let's get back on track here, you bastards.  In the midst of this frantic caterwauling and political breast pounding (greasy), I have had two firsts of my own.  Both of them involved me bringing the thunder, although one probably tastes better than the other.  This shall be a photo heavy entry, but that's because I am lazy.

And gorgeous.

One of these is true.

The first- big news:  my Myanmar album (adventures in recording the first death metal album in Myanmar ever discussed here!) is finally available for the whopping price of free!  Initially 30 copies were pressed and many were damaged in Cyclone Nargis, with only one left in my possession.  The fact that the one I have is actually autographed, by me, and was once given as a gift to my girlfriend at the time (who totally left it behind my couch when she left Myanmar) adds an awesome back story.  If she had been more supportive of the thunder (but when is thunder ever recognized in our time?  Such is the cost of sexy genius), I probably wouldn't be able to offer this to you today.  Head on over to the Inebriation website on Bandcamp and download forthwith.  The songs have been modified for the digital format, and it comes with sexy new cover art:


The picture symbolizes what day to day existence in the Congo looks like, at least to me.  Cheap plug?  Oh yes indeed.  But hey, it's free, so why not?

 Every down loader receives either a free beer or seven pieces of cinnamon hard candy.

Remember this stuff?  So good.

Secondly (as if that wasn't enough), I had a transcendent experience last week, sexy readers.  For the first time in my 35 years of white trash existence  I cooked something.  Not just any something, mind you, but chocolate cookies (with a sprinkle of rage).  I have attached some pictures so you can see the proof of my new found baking skills.  Enjoy my culinary journey, free of second degree burns and those cute "flour on the nose" spots you see in every romantic comedy ever.

This was called flour.  Apparently you need it for something other than German pornography.

Crack in the Egg was such a great GWAR song.

And there they sit, ready to be reified as awesome scrumptious yummy bits.  Rise, you sexy bastards.  Rise, rise like the numbers of my readers now Googling German flour porn.

It is finished.  I should have tried to swipe the oven mitt from Sarah because using bath towels as pot holders gets pretty old.

Heretofore my entire life involved destruction rather than creation.  As a long time friend of mine once said, "Matt, you don't cook- you heat."  He then proceeded to hand me a beer and we spent ten minutes screaming at each other about gypsies and filming fight scenes in the Comcast parking lot, but that's a tale for another day.

I gave these cookies out for Halloween.  I assume the kiddos liked them because no one threw up on me afterwards.  Good times were had by all, and I learned what flour does.

I wonder how much leather I can safely wear on a cooking show?

If you add leather over mitts it'd be kickass.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

He Blinded Me With Science!

Like  a mini Lucretius, without the madness.

Last Friday I spent a wonderful afternoon down by the river bar with a few friends, one of whom was gracious enough to bring Eli along.

Eli, for those of you who don’t know, is the child of one of the teaching couples here at TASOK (read about his prior adventures here!).  They have done a bang up job with him, as my exploitative stories have shown.  He is known to dozens of people all over the world (because of my privacy invading blog, hee hee) for three primary character traits:  his love of Smurfs, his unbelievable ability to turn down sweets (a skill I still haven’t learned) and his propensity to start every question with “Hey!”. 

Well, I can add another facet to this bag of mixed metaphors after sitting with him on the river’s edge for a while:  he loves science.  He is at that delightful age where, although he doesn't know much about science exactly, he takes the bits he does know and fuses them together to make a picture of the world for himself that makes sense, and then (here is the key bit that none of our politicians seem to have grasped this campaign cycle) he asked questions, tests his ideas against new evidence, discards what doesn't work, and moves forward from there.  

It’s the perfect example of a scientific mind in action. Since I haven’t ever taught a science class and it has been years since I have been able to talk philosophy with students (teaching 6th grade math precludes those types of tangents usually, haha), I realized how much I missed those kinds of conversations.  Quick self confession/obnoxious interruption- I am a huge science geek.  I love talking about M Theory, Black Holes, Space/Time Curvature, Biology (especially Marine Biology- man, I love going to aquariums), etc.  But it has been a long while since I've had people in my life who share those interests.  The last time I talked about relativity was with my 9th grade Literature class in Taiwan, and that was 3 years ago.  So, needless to say, I approached this conversation with mounting delight once I realized that science would be involved, after a fashion.

Here is a transcription of our riverside dialogue.  In the interest of full disclosure, I had pounded two beers at this point in the day, but I think Eli was used to that by now.  And he had Fanta, so we were even.

"Matt, you want to come sit by the river with me?  We can watch the water go by."

"Okay, Eli, sounds good."

"Here, you sit on this rock.  See, it's warm.  I'll sit on this one.  Mine's warmer though."

We sat in silence for a few moments, watching branches float by.

 Birds circled languidly overhead while the quarry across the river made dull pounding sounds.

Socrates, with far, far less Eros.


“What’s up, Eli?”

“Why is the water in this river not salty, and oceans are salty?”

So I went through a quick talk about evaporation, underwater vents and volcanoes, water picking up salt from rocks and all that fun stuff.  Once I mentioned the part about change happening over millions of years, he looked up at me.


"Hey what?"

“Do you remember like, a million years ago?”

I nodded sagely and wished I had a longer beard.


Eli confronts the bittersweet  constancy of transience.

“Do you remember, millions and millions of years ago, when there was no . . . no life, and no water, and everything was just rocks and stuff?”

“Yeah, I kind of remember that.  I should have written it down."

“So, hey!”


“So where . . .”  Here he looked out at the river in full ponder mode. "Where . . . how did, did life start?”

“Well, there’s a few different ideas about that, see-”

“- You know, Matt, I heard that it was a meteor, and the meteor landed on this green slime, and that's where life came from.  Do you remember that?”

“Remember the meteor landing?”


“I kind of remember that.  That was a weird day.”

He looked up at me with that earnest expression that only five-year-olds can muster.


“Yeah buddy?”

“I’m gonna find that meteor one day.”

Before I could answer we were summoned.  It was time to leave.  As he was gathering up his belongings (the essential water bottle, dinosaur book, and pencils/paper) he grabbed my wrist and pulled me towards the car.

“Do you think the meteor is at TASOK?  Let’s look there first.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Here, There, and Back Again

Congolese Slim Jim.  Snap into it, vous b√Ętards sexy.

This, dear reader, is a story of friendship.  Of beer.   Of peanuts eaten, songs sung, and the heart warming commonalty of man.

But mostly of beer.

It's the story of how I found my favorite bar in the Congo, lost it, then found it again.

It's the story of Mama G's.

First, allow me to lay the sexy foundation.  As my friends, associates, and stalkers likely know, I enjoy partaking in a spot of beer from time to time.  On occasion.  

When appropriate.  

Oh god, who am I kidding.  I'm drunk and naked right now.

At least one of those is true.  You can pick whichever one works for you.

Be that as it may, throughout my travels on this green (occasionally oddly purplish) world, I have realized that, no matter where I am, the thing that makes me feel most at home, most at one with the ebb and flow of our shared human experience, is a local bar.  A place where I can relax, have a few beers, do some people watching, and rock good times with friends.  If it has a karaoke machine with selections from Grease and Dirty Dancing, then that's just more sweet icing on the good times cake.

Summer Nights FTW.

The first thing I tend to do upon moving to a new country is to find that bar, that special place that will be my new home away from home.  The worst thing about my move to Taiwan, other than the sociopathetic boss I had, was that, for the first four months living there, I couldn't find a place like that in my neighborhood.  Mostly because, according to local Taiwanese, I lived "where old people went to die." 

I love that local bar vibe.  In Santa Fe I had The Cowgirl.  Or The Cigar Club.  Or Second Street.  Pretty much every place, really.  In Myanmar, The Diamond White (and our six hour RISK games) filled that need.  Finally in Taichung I found PJs (and the whole plaza area).

In Congo, it's definitely Mama G's.

What a great place.  It's within walking distance of the school and the drinks are cheap.  With a decorating scheme consisting mostly of dirt floors, stray cats, and those pervasive plastic chairs, it's the perfect spot to sit on a corner and have beer as Congolese life rolls by.  Also a good area to occasionally get your shoes shined, buy some bootleg Kabila wedding DVDs, and haggle over the cost of grilled goat hooves.

When TASOK took us new folks there the first week of last year, I was instantly in love.  It was perfect!  I immediately started going at least once a week, trying my hardest to strong arm my unfortunate friends into going along.  It was a spot that made me feel at home here, in a way that took me far, far longer in Taichung.

I was in heaven. 

Then, we found The River.  

Now I was in double heaven.  Like a Mormon, except without my own planet.

The River was the eponymous name we gave to a series of awesome little beer stations (as they call them in Myanmar) that were on the edge of a small bit of the Congo River.  The perfect spot- they had great sunsets, good beers, fried plantains, and a man who crept out of bushes and sang "Hey Jude" to passers by.  How cool was it?  Check the picture.

 I am available for all your modeling needs, with or without beer.

Life was good last year.  I had two wonderful places, and many friends willing to go and hang out.  Which is all I ever need, really.  I am decidedly low maintenance when it comes to beer drinking.  I was loving it.  Towards the end of my sojourn in Mallorca (which was, of course, a fantastic time- read here you jealous sumbitches) I began to get a longing in my heart- I felt a pull towards Kinshasa.  Towards Mama G's.  

So imagine my heartache when, during that first week back, I arrange a big trip out to either Mama G's or the river only to be told by a local teacher that they were both gone.


Vanished, like dust in an unsexy wind.  

Leaving us behind to grope blindly through the shadows and beg for the light.

Man, that's a sweet lyric.

At any rate, the government had apparently razed the river spots for whatever crappy purpose governments do any thing other than giving me free stuff, and Mama G's had disappeared into the void for no reason we could fathom. 

I was gutted.

That, combined with the unusually high levels of stress and madness that seemed to follow me around those first few weeks, did not make for a happy Lippart, lemme tell you.  I also noticed grey hairs in my beard, so took to singing "Time In a Bottle".  But only the Muppets version, because I'm hard core like that.  Check it out here for the second saddest thing ever to involve cloth.

If you have an urge to cuddle after seeing this, I understand.  I will charge one beer per 30 minutes.

For weeks I wandered the TASOK campus, my eyes and heart searching for something that wasn't there.  Once in a while I would hear a shrill clanking sound and think "oh, the shoe shine guy is here!" only to remember where I was and realize it was the mournful clicking sound that really annoying bats make.  

I would drink Tembo but it wasn't the same.  It tasted of hops and loneliness, in equal measure, instead of sunshine and manliness.

Life was bleak, for sure.  Until one day in early September Adam came up to us with big news- one of the atelier workers found Mama G herself!  Even better, she gave him super vague directions to her new spot.  With suitable preparations made (involving arrangements to avenge our deaths should worse come to worse- always a good precaution in Congo) we piled in our cute blue jeep and drove through the indicated neighborhood, trying to find our personal Brigadoon.  We made several passes of the area, drawing much attention from the locals.  Our enthusiasm began to wane as no beer spots were found, and the good bar times seemed to remain a dim, forgotten memory, like the first time a young man watches Barbarella.  On two consecutive sweeps of a random intersection a Congolese man kept gesturing wildly to us.  After the third time round, on the brink of giving up, he came up to the car and asked if we were looking for Mama G's.  We said yes and he smiled, pointing to a large blue gate directly behind him.  

We could barely contain our excitement as we recklessly parked the car and went through the gate, not knowing what to expect.   Would it be a bar, a club, or a ninja attack? 

We walked in and there it was. 

Dingy, small, overcrowded.  

Cats on the floor. 

Shattered bottles glued to the tops of the walls.

Mama G's.


We missed you. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Return of Dirty Sanchez!

It has been a while, dear reader.

Perhaps . . . (strokes beard)  . . . too long.

That's what she said.

It's the 50th blog post here in the Rage Cage (still have to make those T shirts), and to celebrate this momentous occasion I thought I would do what I do best- talk about myself.  First off, I just realized I went through all of September without a blog update.  What a cold, cruel month that must have been, dear reader.  I hope that now you can finally open the blinds, clean the cobwebs off the mouse, and fire up your motorized beer hats (wish those existed).

I will apologize, though, as heavy hangs the head that wears the crown and all that jazz.  Between figuring out my next job placement (suggestions welcome- especially from you Polish bastards), working a full time plus one teaching schedule, and coordinating the Middle School into a next millennium (an epoch filled with light, love, hole filled socks- or sock filled holes? and endless amounts of self promotion), I have had very little time for any writing beyond school related stuff.  I want to sincerely apologize to my three fans for having been away for so long.  By means of atonement, I hereby present the cutest dog photo ever:

I would totally pillage with this lil' guy.
Speaking of vikings (you can nearly taste the segue fumes) I have some neat news, made possible solely because of the magic of Facebook.  I found The Viking Rager Song!

What is The Viking Rager Song, sexy reader?  I am glad you ask.

Send your minds back 15 years into the dark past, you interested bastards.  
It was a time of turmoil.  
Britney Spears was on the rise, Spice World was soon to be released, and President Clinton was waxing eloquent about the finer points of cigar making.
From out of this maelstrom arose a new concept- a band which tried to break all boundaries through the sheer force of minor creativity and abject laziness.  A band which attempted to fuse the worlds of rock and death metal together.  A band which recorded one 3 song demo, only to disappear forever into the dark swamps of New Jersey history.  
That band was . . . Dirty Sanchez.
It was my first "full on" musical undertaking after leaving Inebriation.  A spent a few years post Inebriation working on songs that blended a more rocky, looser feel to my crappy vocals.  Since I can only play four notes, writing tasty riffs was no problem.  The issue was finding people willing to play my stuff.  One summer I went back from college and got my good friend Padnes (we have spent many a night in Jersey drinking beer, eating White Castle, and singing a kick ass a capella version  of "Salaminizer")  and a random drummer to record three of my 12 songs as a bit of an experiment.    I think they came out reasonably okay (sound wasn't great), but, like Sonny and Cher, we never got a chance to keep it going.  Long story short I went back to New Mexico, puttered around, moved overseas years later, and re purposed some of the riffs for the heaviest album in Myanmar musical history!  (Cheap plug!  Man, it's been a while).

My home was broken into in 2002 and all copies of this original recording were stolen, which I'm sure disappointed the thief.  I had thought they were lost forever, until now.  Padnes posted a status update on Facebook that he was cleaning out his car and found the master cd nestled under 12 years of nonsense (although the Luther Vandross backstage pass is sexy as hell).
I am so glad that Padnes is a sloppy bastard like me.  Go Jersey!

So now, after almost 14 years in limbo, I present to you the one and only song about vikings I have ever written (I was going through a Bathory phase at the time):  The Viking Rager Song!

Click here to enjoy.   I will wait for you.

In other news, September marked the 20th anniversary of the first Inebriation show.  It was at the Deckhouse in Asbury Park, and we played for two hours in front of about six people.  Four of whom were parents- the other two were drunk and confused.    In honor of that, we have some Inebriation releases coming out over the next few months, hopefully.  Check this space!    The image below was created as part of the Inebriation 20th Drunkiversary Blowout: 

 I can't wait for the legions of Polish girls to rock this T Shirt.

Tune in next week, dear reader, where I will tell the story of how my favorite bar in Kinshasa was found, lost, and found again.  It's like The English Patient with beer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Taste My Genius!

 Wish I had a panda shirt.

Now that my MA program has finally ended my mind is free to drift towards other pursuits, as is its sexy wont.  I have been getting back into writing:  editing my first book and working on turning my second book up to 11.  It's nice to have the time for fiction writing again between the 48 meetings I have daily as part of my new role as MS Coordinator/iron fist of sexy justice.

My new office is kick ass.

To celebrate that, I wrote a new story.  Super short, as my stories have become over the years.  One might call it refinement, but one should probably just call it abject laziness.  Since my short story collections (available here!  Hee hee) have sold a whopping 23 copies, I thought it'd be cool to make some available here to mark the occasion: me delivering a new masterpiece into the frothing, sweaty hands of my massive fanbase.  So below I have included my two most recent tales.  Read if you'd like.  If you hate them, no worries.  If they give you an author crush, feel free to send me tokens of esteem in the form of beer or small packets of gummy beers.  Either way, I always love feedback, so tell me how great I am, or how much my writing reminds you of why some people SHOULD have their dreams crushed.  Enjoy!

Story one:
Siren's Song
A story about growing up, dreams, and smoke machines.  A bit PG 13.

Story two:
The Speed of Light
Love, loss, and (possibly) samosas.