Tag Archives: Pammy

Why yes, she did make them journal.

33. Secrets to Tell – Ann Gabhart

Camping with your therapist! I’m sure that at this point in time, the legal liabilities of taking several therapy patients on the same wilderness hike where they have tools and are supposed to be honest with everyone would shut this story down before it even began. That said, it was a good read. Things did not go well, ankles were twisted, allergic reactions were caused (Damon is a shitty human being and he’s lucky Gayle had an epipen, I mean, shit, being allergic to wasps is nothing to play with.), a fourth degree assault happened, they ran out of food, and got lost; but, lessons were learned along the way about resilience and how it’s not great if you step into a bear trap in the dark.

“If they ran out of food, why didn’t they just whistle for more treats?” – Pammy, a clearly seasoned outdoors pig.

Mixtape:

1. Invasion A.D. – Carpenter Brut
2. Take Me to the River – Talking Heads
3. Roaring Waters – The Darkness
4. Skin Moth – Torche
5. These Thoughts – Sweet Knives
6. Feel the Love Go – Franz Ferdinand
7. Never Let You Down – Greenskeepers
8. Get Away – Jeffrey Lee Pierce
9. Keep Moving On – Gallon Drunk
10. Black Jack – The Hives
11. Treason! Animals. – Franz Ferdinand
12. Life Means Nothing, Death Means Nothing – Ice Dragon
13. Habit – Uniform
14. Skull Eyes – True Widow

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“You did it to yourself, just you, you and no one else”

68. You – Caroline Kepnes

Stalk-stalkity-stalk-stalk-stalk. Okay. You reads quite quickly and is basically a great exploration of how not to end up in a relationship, how not to keep a relationship, how not to pursue anyone ever…it’s basically one giant flashing sign that says “DON’T” or like a relationship version of “Good Idea, Bad Idea” from Animaniacs.

Granted, the main character is a total stalker, but sometimes he makes decisions that seem kind of normal – manipulative and sad- but almost normal in this tech-driven age, and so it’s important to note that everything this narrator does is in the world of NO, just in case anyone thinks this book reads like stereo instructions. Sure it seems like a good idea to read things you know someone already likes before they know how hard you poured through their social media stuff to create a false sense of friendliness, but, how about waiting until they introduce it to you? Or just asking them about it instead of making it seem all spur of the moment connection when it’s really just your inner sociopath showing through before your shared laughter leads you to guide them into that cage in the basement? That’s at least a third, mutually agreed upon date thing. At least third. That way you know they suck before you have to worry about whether or not you want to release them from your basement cage. Think of the clean up.

Oh, side note, I watched the series well after originally writing this review and I stand by my Animaniacs comparison and, also, Joe really didn’t think about the clean up. It was all right, it did put a nice amount of emphasis on Ozma of Oz, and that’s my girl, so, I appreciated seeing her book since I don’t recall that aspect of the actual book.

Thaddeus never had to steal Pammy’s phone to learn her whereabouts since they lived in the same room and he whistled at her all the time anyway.

 

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I do believe that my favorite role of Rachel’s, Wanda Jo Oliver, was ineligible to be covered in this book. To the mobile fake crisis pregnancy center!

61. Girl Walks Into a Bar: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle – Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch is very good at her characters. She is a very funny woman with great comedic timing. And her memoir is also funny and explores her character as an actual person with less great timing. Someone who has not had it easy in Hollywood with a career that didn’t have the easiest trajectory – it’s really interesting reading the story of someone who has been pushed around a bit more and doesn’t get to rely on the “pretty privilege” as much as other actors and comedians have. She actually has something to say and it is valuable to have the perspective of someone who has had some things come to them a bit later in life than they expected or that society teaches us to expect.

Pammy had a baby at age oneish and maintained a very strong spirit. Someone get her a fake crisis pregnancy center!

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“I’m tired of you being so dark while I’m so impish and whimsical.”

53. Get In Trouble – Kelly Link

Kelly Link’s brand of magical realism is always something I look forward to reading. I bought her Get In Trouble short story collection as soon as it came out and read the eight stories I hadn’t read before quite quickly. It’s been interesting to read the evolution of how Link deals with forming her characters. They seem to be much more realized in this collection than they were in her earlier work and usually a non-character character bugs me, but it never did in her writing.

I don’t like the cover of this collection as much as the past three of hers, it’s too not-whimsical, too graphic designy for me. The feeling I get from Kelly Link stories is like entering a long-abandoned and overgrown mini-golf course with a fairytale theme at dusk and red, cream, and brushy lettering is not quite right.

Pammy would’ve made a good cover model, especially on her shiny 1950s chair. She’s darling and cautious and those sweet eyes hint at an abandoned mini-golf course within.

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“In the back shakes a tambourine/Nicotine from a silver screen”

38. Silver Scream – David J. Schow, ed.

In 1988, Dark Harvest published Silver Scream, a collection of movie-centric horror stories edited by Splatterpunk dude David J. Schow. It’s awesome…except for the note at the end. Too much, man, too much. Don’t splatter me with such random tidbits. I prefer to be splattered in a much more specific way. That sounds horrible, not unlike many of the events in the stories of Silver Scream.

Ozymandias is ready to walk the path of cinematic terror. Are you?

“Cuts” by F. Paul Wilson – This reminded me of this movie that keeps randomly playing on Flix Retro called Mark of the Devil. It turns out it was part of a Hammer television series in the 1980s called Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense and involves this dude (Dirk Benedict) who murders a voodoo dude-slash-tattoo artist and grows a tattoo of the murder on his chest that he must – MUST – keep from his new bride Jenny Seagrove. In “Cuts,” things get a little bloodier than murder. Yep. It just proves that you should never mess with anyone who writes about voodoo. Also, do not fuck with books when you make them into movies. Most of the time it goes badly and in this case, you’ll suffer extensively.

“The Movie People” – Robert Bloch – I haven’t read Psycho as of yet, so I believe this is one of my first exposures to Robert Bloch’s writing (I can’t recall if he’s been in any of the other short story collections I’ve read, I’ve read a lot of them over the years). It’s a wistful story of loneliness and reaching out across time and really, really taking one’s craft as an extra seriously.

“Sinema” – Ray Garton – Holy shit this story was great. A basically abandoned kid and a serial killer in the midst of a strictly religious town watch movies together and make friends…until there are reasons for them to be not friends. A little more sadistic at the end than I would’ve liked, but I am glad the basically abandoned kid got the upper hand at some point.

Ozymandias will control what we watch from now on. He has taken control of the remote for all time.

“More Sinned Against” – Karl Edward Wagner – 100% my favorite story in the collection. I know the sacrifices women are expected and conditioned to make so that they can support someone else’s dream. It doesn’t always turn out quite like this, but the excuses were so familiar. “If I just had this, we could do this,” and they never, ever mean it. They were always planning to get ahead of you and expected you to just stay where you were. They were special, you were not. Well, getting your own action figure isn’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes. Everyone is special.

“Bargain Cinema” – Jay Scheckley – A ballad of co-dependency. Don’t be Chuck and Patty.

“Lifecast” – Craig Spector – Sounds like Troma maybe screwed someone over at some point. Hmmm. This tale of make-up work and, yes, more voodoo, ends in a way that I was not expecting. Yikes.

Ozymandias was always very independent, and very special. He would never have made any mistakes while practicing voodoo.

“The Show Goes On” – Ramsey Campbell – Abandoned theaters are super creepy. I have been in exactly one abandoned theater myself, I was not alone – there was a print of Coach Carter there in addition to other people I came with, and thankfully it wasn’t as far gone as the theater in this story. Parts of this story made my breathing wonky because it was so easy to picture all the dust and mold and musty smells. It was also very tense, as a lot of urban exploration can be, even without the hauntings.

“The Cutter” – Edward Bryant – Delusions of romance and grandeur drive a movie theater owner who used to edit in Hollywood. He re-cuts the movies he shows and he creepily pursues and finally “edits” a young woman with a bad attitude who lets him do things for her. Eek.

There are two other things I took issue with about this collection besides the overly wordy and inside jokey essay at the end. One, the last story was Way. Too. Long. I lost interest nearly a quarter in and never regained it. I’m surprised I made it through the whole thing. And- there are no stories by women in here. There are several stories about women and featuring their perspectives, but I bet there were some stories about movies by women that really could’ve been worth including. It would’ve been nice to see more equal representation.

Ozy and Pammy, equals and Teddy Bear pigs.

 

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It’s a Daddy’s Dyin’…Who’s Got the Will? for the 1970s jet set.

39. The Legacy – John Coyne

It’s the old “invite a bunch of people to a house under the guise of giving them an inheritance” story. House on Haunted Hill, House on Skull Mountain, there are more, it’s a thing. But this one has the weirdest cover ever – a white Persian cat’s head on top of a zombie hand with red nails, the cat’s head is stuck on the wrist, so it’s like Thing in costume for Halloween. The box for the movie haunted me back in the days of video stores. I am ridiculously allergic to cats but I like them (and after ten plus years of immunity treatment, I can actually hang out in the homes of persons with cats for a while) and so that cover was unnerving on a couple of levels. I still haven’t seen the movie, but I love Katharine Ross, so maybe someday I actually will watch it. Reading it didn’t really help me understand why that exact thing is on the cover. I mean, I know what it is, but, on the cover? Really?

This book is super 1970s. There’s a fashion designer, a music executive, misogyny, and not everyone who shows up to inherit knows why they’re there. The pacing was pretty slow and it didn’t really ratchet up the tension when the guests started dying. I think on the whole I could use this review some random person on a message board left for my book Dawn of the Interns to sum things up: “It is worth to read.” It IS worth to read if you want a dose of the 1970s and like those stories about people grouped together in rich people houses to “last through the night.”

looks exactly like Katharine Ross, doesn’t she? Maybe I’ll submit her to those magazine “Separated at Birth” things… Maybe not.

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“Do you cry over a guinea pig? This boy is a free police case. “

29. Blood and Chocolate – Annette Curtis Klause

Werewolves have more weaknesses than silver. The teenage werewolf at the center of this novel goes weak in the knees for poetry. One hippie kid writes a wolfy poem and she’s gone. Trying to fit in. Trying to out-flirt the human girls. Trying to prove herself through the overconfidence of being a supernatural beast creature. It doesn’t really work out how she wanted. They’re never ready to know the truth, the ones who say they are lied. Vivian finds out the hard way (the “Did I murder someone last night?” way) that she has to stay with her own kind and marry some older dude with a motorcycle that also almost dated her mom.

“One’s place in the hierarchy of any group is earned, and not through messing around with humans.” Pammy was queen of my herd for quite a while, she accepted her place with dignity and didn’t rebel…but she was like three years old at that time, an age of certain wisdom for a guinea pig. Also, we cry over all the guinea pigs if we need to in this house.

Mixtape:

1. “Until the Night Is Over” – Timber Timbre
2. “Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird” – All Them Witches
3. “Dog Inside Your Body” – Butthole Surfers
4. “Under Tva Runor (Under Two Runes)” – Finntroll
5. “Offering” – Chelsea Wolfe
6. “Birthed into a Grave They Made for You” – MAKE
7. “Bottomless Pit” – King Dude
8. “Girl” – Suicide
9. “Past Lives” – BORNS
10. “Four Teeth” – True Widow
11. “Kiss of Steel” – Samhain
12. “Hallucinatoria” – Wolfmen of Mars
13. “Midnattens Widunder” – Finntroll
14. “Ghost Dance” – The Bright Light Social Hour
15. “Killer Wolf” – Danzig

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“Please explain to me the scientific nature of the ‘whammy’.”

28. The Dreamstalker – Barbara Steiner

Twins. There’s always an evil one and one just trying to live her life and have a boyfriend who isn’t her brother, the dream-murderer. Sorry. Spoiler there, but this book is from 1992 and I guessed the killer within the first dream sequence. He’s no Freddy, let’s just be clear on that. Kerr the evil twin is pretty overdramatic and keeps trying to force his sister to ice skate. And not go to college. And never leave him.

Thaddeus never wanted Pammy to leave him either, but thankfully they weren’t twins so he didn’t have to haunt her dreams or make her think she was a murderer in an elaborately petty plan to make her stay. She never left him out of mutual respect and the confines of guinea pig housing instead.

Mixtape:

1. “Black Mass” – UNKLE
2. “Anger” – Catalogue
3. “Black Dream” – Samhain
4. “Ghost of Me” – Electric Citizen
5. “Soul on Fire” – Danzig
6. “This Modern Curse” – Espectrostatic
7. “Cruising for Mortals” – Terrortron
8. “Keep Your Dreams” – Suicide
9. “De Profundis (Out of the Depths of Sorrow)” – Dead Can Dance
10. “They’ll Clap When You’re Gone” – Chelsea Wolfe
11. “Things You Wouldn’t Like” – Wolfmen of Mars
12. “Drive-In Moonlight” – Terrortron
13. “We Use the Same Products” – Electric Six
14. “The Weeping Willows” – Espectrostatic
15. “Calling Them All Away” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
16. “With You in My Head” – UNKLE

 

Art Intrusion #172:

This silkscreen is a Pickles parody of an artist whose work I very much enjoy – Steven Rhodes. He parodies 1970s children’s book covers and often brings in some evilly hilarious subversion, my kind of thing exactly. His version, the original, non-guinea pig parody version, called Pyrokinesis is available in many forms but I got my pin of it from the Creepy Co. of Chicago (love them so very dearly as well). I am not selling any of this silkscreen online, it will only ever be available from me in person and so there are two opportunities coming up to get a white version (very limited)…or…

A blinding purple version that didn’t scan very well! There’s also a Freddy Krueger-looking green one and some various blues. The ink really glows in person and it hurts my eyes. Come attempt to barter for one at SUPERCON in Fort Lauderdale or at the GeekCraft Expo in St. Louis both during July!

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Beware those who peaked in high school.

2. The Tarot Spell – Willo Davis Roberts

Stuck in a fantasy land of her own making, “unpretty Catherine Sorenson” demonstrates one possible outcome of never leaving your hometown after high school. She always wanted to marry that popular douche Jason, and, after years of caring for an elderly man, the elderly dude dies, she inherits, and she finally gets her chance to marry for looks and pipe dreams instead of love. Yay! What fun!

Unsurprisingly, Jason sucks, but she has a friend whose house suddenly burned down to talk to about how weird it is trying to integrate with rich folks who keep asking you for money. That friend also demonstrates another option for townies who stay, extreme bitterness.

Anyway, between Jason sucking and bitter friends lay the unpredictable fortunes to be found in a tarot reading and frankly, I just feel bad for Catherine even though she’s imaginary. She should’ve taken that inheritance and gone somewhere else; somewhere she wouldn’t have been told she’s just unpretty and couldn’t expect anything out of life except a large amount of anxiety attacks and people using her. Jeebus.

Pammy took care of Thaddeus as they both aged – he aged a little faster – and inherited a corn hut, quite a few stuffed animals, and no failing lumber mills.

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The paranormal experiments tend to be the first to go with funding cuts.

2. Poltergeist – Kat Richardson

One of the “stories” I pretty much always enjoy is the “scientific measurement of ghosts gone awry” type. The Haunting of Hill House being the most awesome of all classic examples, The Legend of Hell House (I haven’t read the book yet, I just really love Roddy McDowall), and Alexandra Sokoloff’s The Unseen being some of my particular favorites – and now I can add Poltergeist from the Harper Blaine series to that list.

In Poltergeist, a university research group is trying to create an artificial poltergeist and of course, some of them start to die or be threatened, so who is faking the poltergeist? Anyone? Bueller? In a version of Seattle with Harper Blaine and the ever-present Grey, it is not necessary to fake such things. It is possible to be too successful with university research experiments.

As ghosts, it’s way easier for Pammy and Twiglet to hunt for additional ghosts they might not want me to live with. If somebody came in my home with a spirit box, they’d get a metric ton of wheeking.

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