Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Some minor things, and stuff I've read that doesn't warrant a full entry...

  • In 1852, classic horror author Fitz-James O'Brien proposed a horror/weird-fiction magazine to be entitled "The Pyramid of Horrors." That would have been a blast; too bad he died in the Civil War. P.S. He was gay.
  • Recently read the second Spider pulp novel, The Wheel of Death. Mostly takes place in a lavish private casino, and revolves around a power broker who is bumping off various officials so he can stuff city council with his puppets. An OK read but not spectacular, and found it a bit of a slog here and there. It lacked focus.
  • Another recent pulp read was a lot of fun. The Land of Terror is the second Doc Savage novel, and has Doc and his pals battling a villain (referred to as "Kar") who possesses a macabre new weapon, a disintegration gas. Its effects are interestingly described, including little flashes resulting from the atomic bonds being discharged, a neat little detail. They end up tailing the villain to a remote island in the South Seas, the only source for a unknown element required in making the gas. Thunder Island is a vast volcanic cone...and inside the dormant crater is a steamy jungle populated by dinosaurs. This really ups the game from the first novel, which had a lost tribe of Maya, and goes full-throttle Lost World on you. It's vastly entertaining and a lot of fun.
  • I saw Pacific Rim the other day, and had a blast with it. Yes, it's nearly plotless, but that's OK. Guillermo del Toro is obviously a big fan of the kaiju and mecha genres, and recognizes that part of their appeal is the mindless destruction. He also doesn't make the mistake of having the monsters being sympathetic or cuddly; they're vile creatures who have to be destroyed. It's got humor that's actually FUNNY instead of eye-rollingly lame. And there's nice human drama that doesn't get in the way of the action and isn't mawkish or overdone. Most of all, it's got some sexy men. Charlie Hunnam doffs his shirt and displays an impressive body, but there's also Max Martini and Robert Kazinski as an Aussie father-and-son team of mecha pilots and Robert Maillet (aka pro wrestler Kurrgan) as a Russian mecha pilot. There's also Idris Elba, who I know a lot of people lust for, but he doesn't do anything for me. (Sorry, folks.) Anyway, a good afternoon's entertainment, and it's too damn bad it's not doing better. I want to catch Byzantium and The Conjuring, and hopefully I'm So Excited!, so here's hoping.
  • Have your shirts, or even your sheets, acquired sweat stains in this godawful heat wave? The men's style blog Put This On has a great system for getting stains out of whites; I've used myself several times and it does work.
  • I found out today that an absinthe bar, "Libertine", opened earlier this month in DC. Why the hell did it take so long for me to find out? Anyway, I hope to sample it this weekend.
  • Summer TV is so lame I've been watching old MST3K episodes on YouTube, and laughing myself silly.

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