April nonsense

Books. There were lots of those.

A ton of other stuff happened too. More about that after the break

Hey that work situation finally got resolved. Not in my favor. Like expected, nobody wanted to consider context or facts outside of a very narrow set of circumstances.

The refugee family my group is sponsoring arrived! Apparently, the organizations we’re working with only provide 1 week’s notice of arrival. If we hadn’t been in contact with the family here we might have been scrambling.

The Silver Dollar Room officially closed. I didn’t make it, I was passed out in Mississauga. I also didn’t have advance tickets, so there was no way I was getting in at the last minute. My first memory of the bar was in the movie Adventures in Babysitting. I hadn’t been there, but I grew up in that neighbourhood, so it was something that immediately situated the movie in Toronto. It wasn’t until the 90s that I saw a show there. I’m pretty sure it would’ve been Suckerpunch. Then after the El Mocambo closed (also under Dan Burke‘s tenure, but I was at that closing) and Burke was booking at the Dollar, I saw tons of shows and played there a bunch of times too. My favourite show would’ve been the first NXNE appearance of King Khan and the Shrines, and the last Deadly Snakes show – both of which I filmed. Lots of Anagram (incidentally, I think this is the only existing footage of a concert that was filmed by 5 different videographers, including me, but never edited, and then lost so never released)  and Brutal Knights shows. I also saw crazy shows like the Hospitals one where Dan Burke got brained by a guitar. Toronto likes to call itself world class, but except for about 10 years from the late 90s to mid 2000s, small concert venues seem to have been hard to come by consistently. If Burke doesn’t find a place to keep booking shows, then Toronto will be worse off, too,

I saw a few movies – The Void. I loved it, though it was obviously heavily influenced by John Carpenter. One reference I haven’t seen was Baskin. When the people decided to explore the basement in the Void, I immediately thought of the point early on in Baskin where the cops are first exploring the scene. The darkness and bright flashing lights (not strobe) really bothered me though. If you have weirdly sensitive eyes, or need to take breaks to ease the tension, then maybe this is better watched at home. Otherwise, catch it on the big screen while you can.

T2. I liked it, though I had low expectations. I’ve seen some savage reviews of it as well. Unlike those, I enjoyed that Spud was given some kind of redemptive ark. Let’s face it, none of those characters is likeable, and the 20 years have only reinforced their negative qualities. There were a few changes from the book, but it’s been years since I’ve read it, so I’m a little hazy on the details. The one obvious one is that instead of making a porn movie, the scheme is to get a brothel running.

Finally saw The Girl with All the Gifts, because my wife just tore through the book. Loved it. The girl who played Melanie was great, and it was interesting to see where the story was compressed for adaptation to film. It felt noticeable, even though I haven’t read the book recently, but the changes make sense. My paperback copy has a bonus section where author Mike Carey talks about the process of writing a novel and script more or less concurrently. Carey is, I think, mostly known for comics (Lucifer, especially, but others too), and I would’ve been interested in knowing how he found writing a film script (not his first) differs from his process writing comics. Though I guess it’s because he goes by different names for comics and books (screw you, marketing and sales people, for creating a world where people need multiple aliases to tell different kinds of stories).

I attended the ChiSeries night that was billed as a celebration of Canadian horror. It turned into a celebration of Don Hutchison and Robert Knowlton. Had I known what was really up (it was a bit of a secret) I might’ve brought some books for signing, but it was interesting. Apparently Canadian Horror really started with them? Knowlton was responsible for a magazine called Borderland. He has an overview of Canadian Horror published in Tesseracts 13 that is considered essential. It’s also only about 2-3$ in digital format, so you really have no excuse if you’re at all curious. Don Hutchison edited the Northern Frights series, and apparently was very munch a mentor to many writers I quite like (as writers and people) like David Nickle and Gemma Files. My wife immediately thought of Alan Crawley, and other people who aren’t necessarily well-known but who have a tremendous influence on culture. Hutchison and Knowlton might make for a great micro-historical study.

Right, I bought books.

My Outer Dark Symposium books:

Alistair RennieBleakWarrior (Outer Dark episode)

Andrew M. Reichert – Weird Luck Tales

ChiZine

Robert J WiersemaSeven Crow Stories

Other

Indra DasThe Devourers

Caitlin R. KiernanAgents of Dreamland

Still waiting in a PO Box in Niagara Falls – books from Muzzleland Press, Kiernan’s latest, and an Outer Dark T-Shirt (Maybe. I can’t get confirmation if it’s been sent).

I finally found my copy of Postscript to Darkness 6, and have read a few things so far. Review soon. In payment, my house has instead taken my issue 74/75 of Cemetery Dance. Of course, I haven’t read it yet.

I painted a little – not minis, but an actual painting. More on that later.

Look! The cats are getting along today.

And even though the weather is rainy and gross today, it IS spring. In case you thought we still had snow, this is across the street from me.

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