brainmeats

Pavlov’s Idiot

Back in the dark ages of 2012/2013 the Pebble watch came out. I jumped on the idea quickly. I was, after all, the guy who had email on his phone back when that meant using a Sidekick and making sure it could load telnet so I could check my mail via pine while I was on the road. I liked being in touch. Being that connected way back then (good ol’ 2002) paid off, too. I sold at least one story because I could submit it when asked, and there was a time crunch going on. That was how I justified allowing myself to tether to the world that hard. Recently, however, I’ve felt the need to step back in tiny ways. I find myself longing for the days of a pager, really. I mean I want to be in…

Continue Reading

Toy store!

Grey sky hung overcast, a damp chill radiating right through my jacket as I walked across the parking lot toward the rich blue-framed glass doors. Toys ‘R Us. My old enemy. I thought back to every Toys ‘R Us whose doors I’d ever darkened. The pattern fit. Every single damned one of these stores, one thing remained true: They’re all depressing. There is nothing joyful about a toy store. Not really. At least not a big giant toy store. Until I stopped and looked directly at the issue I couldn’t see it, it merely lingered in the back of my head. An abscess growing in my subconscious until it burst wetly into my stream of consciousness. The only thing I know about, for 100% certain, about the chain of stores is that every trip there you will witness someone crying….

Continue Reading

Anti-Life

It’s not a mistake that Jack Kirby was the person who invented Darkseid. It’s not an accident, ya know? Darkseid is the character created by a man who fought fascists, in person, and wanted to make sure we understood why we needed to never go there again. Darkseid is after the Anti-Life Equation, and it might not be what you think. This isn’t a formula that will kill people. It will, instead, kill all free will. That is the opposite of life, in Kirby’s mind. I can’t say he’s wrong. Grant Morrison was the first person to write out the equation itself, and it showed how deeply he understood it: loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death,…

Continue Reading

The Ten Albums Thing

I have always liked music. I have not always liked GOOD music. So there’s a meme-like post going around asking people to list “10 albums that made a lasting impression on you as a teenager, but only one per band/artist.” I decided to give this a shot but to be honest. It’s easy to shift and make yourself sound cooler, like you had great musical taste then, and so on. I know I didn’t. Not really. Nope. I didn’t get into Tom Waits until I was 18, for example. Growing up, my dad played piano and loved Jazz and musicals. I learned to enjoy both these things from a young age. But only one will appear here. For good reason. So anyway here is a list, with details, in no particular order: 1) SPORTS – Huey Lewis and the News:…

Continue Reading

Everyone has a secret origin.

Everyone has a secret origin. This is mine. Both my parents were in publishing. My father sold his first short story to a magazine when he was 13. This is not bragging. This is a warning. I grew up being taught how story works. When I was around six I remember sitting at a playground with my dad and him insisting I finish the scene I was working on in in a short story before I could go play. My childhood was…strange. When I was 12 I got my first prose rejection from a major anthology. When I was 18 I realized I hadn’t been published yet, and hadn’t submitted in a few years, either, and declared myself a total and utter failure. It was the start of a bit of a breakdown that lasted a few years, not that…

Continue Reading

Time is a bastard.

Time is a bastard. We lose people, we lose heroes and influences, people close to us across a spectrum. 2016 has been a giant honking reaper-fest for a lot of us. David Bowie | Alan Rickman | Carrie Fisher | Garry Shandling | Prince When you lose someone you might never have met it can feel odd, awkward even. They touched your life, changed it in ways they’d never know, and contributed to who you are and who you will be. Each one of them helped shape you, and you will help shape people in your own life. Patty Duke | Mohamed Ali | Anton Yelchin | Gene Wilder | Florence Henderson A lot of people will be snide, telling you “People die every year.” They’ll say “Just wait for next year.” and sure, that’s true, too. But it isn’t…

Continue Reading

We all live here

You’re not good enough. Everyone around you hates you because you’re lagging behind where they are. Everyone is laughing in secret. You’re a talentless joke. Keep trying, you can’t catch up but it’s funny to watch you fail. I bet you think that’s well done. You fucking joke. Every day. Every night. The demons come out to play. They whisper and point and giggle and mock as they dance around the room, watching us, hoping to see us flinch, and eventually curl up in despair. We all live here. We all live in this liminal space between creator and creation. This space that is full of demons. They’re your real friends, they’re tell you. They understand you. The demons know what is truly going on, they swear. It’s not pessimistic, or negative, they’re quite sure. It’s realistic, and shouldn’t be…

Continue Reading

True Blood – the best worst thing ever.

Way back in the far away year 2008 Alan Ball worked to adapt Charlene Harris’ Southern Vampire Mystery series of books into a TV show. That sort of thing happens all the time. What doesn’t happen all the time is the start of one of the most interesting (for certain special values) and best (for other certain special values) TV shows ever created. So let us discuss the magic that is True Blood. The first season of True Blood floundered like many shows do. They had a premise, and some good ideas taken from the novels along with their own takes on character and plot and they charged fully ahead. But it didn’t gel yet. It was just sort of there. Blood, gore, boobs and vampires. That was what it had. But what it would have was much stranger indeed….

Continue Reading

Dream spaces

I dunno. Maybe everyone does this. I honestly don’t know. But since I was a kid I dream in reoccurring places. Not real places, mind you. But buildings, homes, apartments, structures – that are the same as they were the night and week before. I will then have dreams in that space generally until I move, or am about to move. When I am about to move I end up in a different space that lasts until I have moved. After that the space tends to stay the same. Every now and then it will radically shift and for a few years I’ll be in a new space but they are pretty stable. Stable to the point I can map them out. Each space has an internal consistency that holds and dreams take place in them. Ordinary dreams – phone…

Continue Reading

Goat Rider

A pitch for something that will never happen but I want to share it anyway. I mean if someone wants to pay me to write this for Marvel, I 100% will… Beatrice Albinson saw something she shouldn’t have. The robots came for her, at night. They didn’t want her to tell anyone. No one could know about The Plan. So Beatrice ran. She hid. She ran some more. Beatrice hid in the dark spaces. She ran and hid and hid and ran until there was no where else she could think of. The robots were tireless, but Beatrice was only human. And then she came across the stable. There shouldn’t have been a stable near the West Side Highway. Beatrice had always thought it was a bagel shop, truth be told. But no, a stable for sure. Big door, smelled…

Continue Reading