Holiday Gift Guide – 2006 edition – Post 1

All right, here we are. Except a variation of this intro every day. Still, for the next 12 weekdays (counting this as 1) I will do one post with a bunch of gift items for the holiday season. They may not be feasible, they may be very cheap or very pricey. They will also be… well mostly… different. No socks here, unless they are made of bacon. No ties unless they can also be used as an umbrella, go it?

There will also be a final gift, in each entry, that will be something either written by me or by someone I like and feel like promoting. Why? Because I can.

If you have an idea for a strange gift, feel free to mail me, but send me a link to a store people can buy it, and a description.

Also, if you own any of the items, any of them at all, please speak up! People will love to have input along the lines of what you do and don’t like about a certain item. So speak up and share your feelings on things.

And now we’re off!

———————————————–

This first day, though, is gonna be kinda strange. There will be two items and only two. One is a special item and one is the daily self-pimp. First the item!

The Lime Project

Heather has Hodgkin’s disease. It’s a cancer of the lymphatic system. Sadly her salary doesn’t pay the hospital bills she has racked up trying to stay alive. So a bunch of her friends got together and thought about how they could help her.

They decided to get naked. Don’t you wish your friends helped you like that?

So they stripped on down and made a calendar. Each calendar costs $20 plus $5 shipping. You can also just go donate if you don’t want a calendar but do want to help. So why help? Aren’t there hundreds of people asking for your help all the time? Sure. How do you choose? I don’t know. I can get annoyed when people put this sort of thing forth to me all the time, myself. This one, however, contains boobs. I have a feeling this elevates it in many minds right up to a worthy cause. Whatever. I am not going to even ask you to buy a calendar. That isn’t the idea of the gift guide. I simply point out things that would make a good gift. alt.models are hot right now. Regular women doing a nude calendar is actually a decent market corner by itself. So if you are looking for one, here it is!

++++++++++++

Today’s self pimp will be:


Crazy Little Thing
(click cover to buy)

I wrote this one back a few years ago but I also know we are not planning to print any more, currently. So there is a good chance that this is your LAST SHOT at getting a copy unless you find Die Monster Die! books at a convention and there are some spares hidden. If it does get reprinted somewhere else, there’s a chance it won’t have the wonderful art this edition has. Seriously, this should be grabbed while it can be.

Horror-web gave it a 4.5 out of 5. I consider it probably my favorite story that I’ve gotten to do so far. Not that I don’t love the rest, but this one holds a special place for me. $6.95 lands you a copy, and hey free shipping.

Footnoted.

Time for more Footnote goodness!


There is a new Just The Right Bullets, starting a special four part look at the holidays! Oh yes. I am excited. Are you excited?

Also this issue: A new Letters From Heck, Pure Lard, Truth of the Matter, Transmissions From my Childhood (This time Dustin takes on Danger Mouse!), Footnotes in History, The Little Buddy, a brand new column starting this update, An interview with Matt Fraction and a new Spoiler Warning!

Christ! That’s a lotta content! Go forth and enjoy it.

And THEN…

To: You All
Subject: Re: Last Night’s Mishap

So after I post about it and all of that I get hungry. I order Chinese for dinner. Later, a friend came over, with his dinner. He had gotten Chinese.

Is there a message in that?

I am not sure.

(if this makes no sense go back to my post from last night, the one directly chronologically, before this one)

Flied Lice

So all right. I have no shame so let’s get this story out in the open. True Story time, kids.

Tonight. Crossing the street to a friend’s house. Four lane street: two lanes each way. On my side of the street there are two ambulances and a small fire vehicle. Due to this I decide I can wait a half a foot further out in the street for traffic to pass me because they have to all move out of the first lane of traffic and into the second.

Hold on I’ll draw it. The solid lines are the sidewalks. The …’s are lanes of traffic. the center is the center line of the street. Ambulances are xxx’s cars are nnn’s and I am A. No the lines are NOT even. Fuck off.

________________________________________________________
………………………………xxx…xxx..xxx………..A……….nnn……nnn…nnn…
…………………………….nnn……………nnn…nnn…..nnn…………………………..
————————————————————————————
………………………………….nnn…………………nnn……………….nnn……………
……………………………………….nnn…………………………….nnn…………………
________________________________________________________

Got that? Good. So there I am, waiting for the light to change and standing well clear of anything bad. When suddenly!

Suddenly!

I mean, like, suddenly and shit here, a Chinese delivery guy enters the scene on his bike. I can not add him to my diagram because he was going between lanes and weaving and shit. No problem, this is what they do.

Except.

I… well except that as he went past me he swung by me and cut out very sharply. This did not touch me. The bike did not touch me.

The bag of Chinese food on the other hand. Well that swung right into my crotch at speed. It was going, I clocked this, at the Speed of FUCKING OW. Delivery guy didn’t notice. I didn’t really react too much to it, because I wasn’t gonna double over, or drop or anything in a street with traffic. So I stood there and didn’t say anything. He had no idea that he hit me, and still has no idea of the fact.

However. My crotch and some Moo Shu Pork collided with great force.

I think the Moo Shu won.

I also think, I have to add, that I’m sure my face betrayed the moment and assuming it did I must have looked about like this:


My crotch! Fuck YOU, Moo Shu Pork!

I, Jury

Just randomly, the first few pages of I, Jury by Mickey Spillane posted here as an excerpt for the sheer joy of Spillane.
———————–
I shook the rain from my hat and walked into the room. Nobody said a word. They stepped back politely and I could feel their eyes on me. Pat Chambers was standing by the door to the bedroom trying to steady Myrna. The girl’s body was racking with dry sobs. I walked over and put my arms around her.

“Take it easy, kid,” I told her. “Come on over here and lie down.” I led her to a studio couch that was against the far wall and sat her down. She was in pretty bad shape. One of the uniformed cops put a pillow down for her and she stretched out.

Pat motioned me over to him and pointed to the bedroom. “In there, Mikee,” he said.

In there. The words hit me hard. In there was my best friend lying on the floor dead. The body. Now I could call it that. Yesterday it was Jack Williams, the guy that shared the same mud bed with me through two years of warfare in the stinking slime of the jungle. Jack, the guy who said he’d give his right arm for a friend and did when he stopped a bastard of a Jap from slitting me in two. He caught the bayonet in the biceps and they amputated his arm.

Pat didn’t say a word. He let me uncover the body and feel the cold face. For the first time in my life I felt like crying. “Where did he get it, Pat?”

“In the stomach. Better not look at it. The killer carved the nose off a forty-five and gave it to him low.”

I threw back the sheet anyway and a curse caught in my throat. Jack was in shorts, his one hand still clutching his belly in agony. The bullet went in clean, but where it came out left a hole big enough to cram a fist into.

Very gently I pulled the sheet back and stood up. It wasn’t a complicated setup. A trail of blood led from the table beside the bed to where Jack’s artificial arm lay. Under him the throw rug was ruffled and twisted. He had tried to drag himself along with his one arm, but never reached what he was after.

His police positive, still in the holster, was looped over the back of the chair. That was what he wanted. With a slug in his gut he never gave up.

I pointed to the rocker, overbalanced under the weight of the .38. “Did you move the chair, Pat?”

“No, why?”

“It doesn’t belong there. Don’t you see?”

Pat looked puzzled. “What are you getting at?”

“That chair was over there by the bed. I’ve been here often enough to remember that much. After the killer shot Jack, he pulled himself toward the chair. But the killer didn’t leave after the shooting. He stood here and watched him grovel on the floor in agony. Jack was after that gun, but he never reached it. He could have if the killer didn’t move it. The trigger-happy bastard must have stood by the door laughing while Jack tried to make his last play. He kept pulling the chair back, inch by inch, until Jack gave up. Tormenting a guy who’s been through all sorts of hell. Laughing. This was no ordinary murder, Pat. It’s as cold-blooded and as deliberate as I ever saw one. I’m going to get the one that did this.”

“You dealing yourself in, Mike?”

“I’m in. What did you expect?”

“You’re going to have to go easy.”

“Uh-uh. Fast, Pat. From now on it’s a race. I want the killer for myself. We’ll work together as usual, but in the homestretch, I’m going to pull the trigger.”

“No, Mike, it can’t be that way. You know it.”

“Okay, Pat,” I told him. “You have a job to do, but so have I. Jack was about the best friend I ever had. We lived together and fought together. And by Christ, I’m not letting the killer go through the tedious process of the law. You know what happens, damn it. They get the best lawyer there is and screw up the whole thing and wind up a hero! The dead can’t speak for themselves. They can’t tell what happened. How could Jack tell a jury what it was like to have his insides ripped out by a dumdum? Nobody in the box would know how it felt to be dying or have your own killer laugh in your face. One arm. Hell, what does that mean? So he has the Purple Heart. But did they ever try dragging themselves across a floor to a gun with that one arm, their insides filling up with blood, so goddamn mad to be shot they’d do anything to reach the killer. No, damn it. A jury is cold and impartial like they’re supposed to be, while some snotty lawyer makes them pour tears as he tells how his client was insane at the moment or had to shoot in self-defense. Swell. The law is fine. But this time I’m the law and I’m not going to be cold and impartial. I’m going to remember all those things.”

I reached out and grabbed the lapels of his coat. “And something more, Pat. I want you to hear every word I say. I want you to tell it to everyone you know. And when you tell it, tell it strong, because I mean every word of it. There are ten thousand mugs that hate me and you know it. They hate me because if they mess with me I shoot their damn heads off. I’ve done it and I’ll do it again.”

Stuff. Things.

Starting on Friday (I hope) I will begin the 12 Days of Xmas. What does that mean, much less mean to you?

It means I will spend 12 days (not counting weekends) making at least one post a day about strange and fun gifts you can buy for people. At least one item a day will be of the written word form – stuff written by me or people I know. Buying books is the best thing you can do. This year I will not be asking people to mail me with the things they have for sale. I couldn’t fairly keep up with it last year and I feel it ended up as something of a mess.

Still, if you have something so damned cool you think I will break my rule for it, feel free to mail me. Just don’t be surprised if I don’t use it. Also? If you mail me just a link and no explanation or anything? I PROMISE to not use it.

———-

Saw Casino Royale last night. All I will say is that it is great to finally see the book version of Bond on the big screen after 20 (or whatever) movies.

———-

I have a few days next week free to hang out with people, if anyone wants to lay claim to one or two. Just ask.

———-

I dunno. Real thoughts later.

Talking Heads – Screeched.

Hey, Liz!

What is it this time, Dustin?

You can go buy my porno now. Only $24.95! It’s a steal!

All right, first of all why would I want to see it, like, ever? At all? And secondly? $24.95? Are you mad? 1 night in Paris is $24.95, and shit that won an AVN for “Best overall marketing campaign” or some shit. You think you’re in the same league as a professional whore like Paris Hilton?

Not really, but it is put out by the same guys. I mean, check out the covers:


Still, why the fuck do you think I wanna see you have sex?

Don’t deny it. You wanna see me get down and funky.

If by “funky” you mean “Dirty Sanchez” you freak.

Yeah. I’m freaky, aw yeah!

Besides, if I wanted to see it I would just use this link here to download a lo-res version of it from Rapid Share.

WHAT?

Yeah, someone mailed me the link. So why would I pay to see you put the moves on, what was it, a wedding party?

Bachelorette, don’t ask. Anyway, make with the $24.95! I needs to pays for my house, remember?

Not this again.

Wanna T-Shirt?

I’m leaving.

I’ll sign it!

Liz?

… Liz?

Are there really so many?

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And whats on the other side?

But really, are there so many songs about rainbows? Outside of Rainbow Connection and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, how many songs involving rainbows can you think of, without looking at google or anything else?

I mean “Why are there so many songs about guns / women / booze / cars” I could understand. Millions of ’em, I’d be willing to bet. But songs about rainbows? Not songs that MENTION rainbows, no. Songs specifically ABOUT rainbows. How many?

I hate it when frogs lie to me.

Holidazed

And suddenly, with the force of a thousand furies, it’s Monday again. I have things taped to my desk. Paper clipped to my desk. Attached to my desk with fasteners unheard of. None of them truly interest me. the temptation is great to sweep them all aside with a dismissive hand and keep moving.

But that isn’t how things are done, is it?

I had myself a good weekend full of deep and honest conversation and good and true friend type stuff, punctuated by beer and long walks in the desolate, deserted places along the lower east side. When it hits a holiday in NY people scatter and it is a lot of fun to go walking somewhere.

Thursday night, down on Ave. A, it was chilly and raining and maybe 1/6th of the normal number of people were about. Mostly it was empty space and glittering rain.

A day or so later the first few Xmas tree sellers had put up stands, cleverly designed to make you love/hate/love. You walk into this forest of pine, the smells rich and strong and heady. You look around and smile, it’s so wonderful. Then the middle of the walk hits you and it is all chintz: stuffed penguins in Santa hats, baubles, shiny useless things, glittery tree stands. As soon as you are fed up and sick of the fakeness that they are pushing you come out into the second half of the row of pine and forget about it all for a second or two.

Perfectly smart design there.

And that’s gonna be the whole city for another two months. It’ll get worse quickly and better slowly. The people will crowd the streets and shops with shoulders and knees and bags a-swinging. Soon, there will be whole places in town you won’t want to go unless you really and truly need to. But then, if yer here on Xmas you want to go to the places that aren’t the full on haunts. They’ll be empty, quiet, still and settled; for one night.

Storied

I find that I tell stories because I love it. I mean, sure that’s simple enough but what you need to understand is how deep that runs.

Stories take precedence over:

* Food
* Sleep
* Friends
* My own well being, often enough
* Common sense
* Just about everything there is

I tend to say “stories” instead of “writing” more and more because lord knows writing isn’t the only way to tell a story. I don’t care how I tell them, what medium I use – prose, script, speech, mime, it’s all story.

Could I stop telling them? To a large extent the answer is yes. I know, deep down, that I don’t write because I have to. I’ve stopped in the past, for long stretches of years, and like any other addiction it starts with periods of insanity and settles to normalcy after a while. So no, I don’t write, I don’t tell stories, because I have to. I do it because I love to. I love to more than anything else I’ve found.

I love the feeling in my brain when a new idea blossoms and I get to play with something brand new, shaping it and willing it into being simply because I damn well said so. Something out of nothing appeals to me on a fundamental level.

I love the act of hammering a story into shape, though I may grumble when I’m deep in the trenches. Ignore that grumbling. I’m having the time of my life.

I love reading over things, hearing stories, telling them, finding them, talking about them. Every inch of the process is candy to me.

I hope each of you has something you love this much – whatever it is. And that you all get to indulge in it from time to time.