Monday, January 6, 2014

2014, the year of life, the universe, and everything

Right. Turned on the light so I can see the keys better. 80s music blasting in my headphones because that's what you do at 4am when you're about to write your first official post of 2014 (the 2013: My Year in Media recap launched before I got around to this one, but that's mostly cut and paste, so doesn't count!).

Normally, I schedule my Year of... posts for January 1st, but the end of 2013 was a bit hectic and anxiety filled and I just couldn't quite get it done. Actually, 2013 in general could be considered a bit hectic and anxiety filled, and there was no Year of... post at all, just a bunch of shirts and random comic stuff.

2012 wasn't all that hot, either. July of that year saw my previous job evaporate in one fell swoop of corporate consolidation/third party service provider. I got a decent severance, and there were no hard feelings, but it was a state that lasted over 15 months. Truthfully, I was kind of glad it happened, as I was burned out on that job and rather unhappy. Sometimes you just get stuck, and slowly, slowly sink into the mire.

I'm gainfully employed now, so this year is starting off better than before. It's not my dream job, but being paid for naps isn't really a thing, so I got this instead. What is this? Working for the government. Not a spy or anything, just a desk jockey/phone monkey helping my fellow Americans out in small ways. That's about all I'll say on that here.

What does this year hold? Lots of adventure, potentially. No resolutions, though. Except maybe to sleep better. Not sure if that counts.

Otherwise, I have a list of 18 points of improvement/learning/excitement to work on. Within that bulleted catalog of wonder and amazement are some of the usual lot:

  • Write more better
  • Blog more better
  • Finance more better
  • Etc more better

You see where I'm going. I've added a few things I've been wanting to do for a while, learning to sew and code among them. The really big thing I'm doing this year. though, is something scarier than I've ever tackled before: Lap-band surgery.

I topped out at 405 lbs last year, the highest I've ever noted. It has affected my health--diabetes and sleep apnea being the most serious, but general aches and pains are a daily occurrence--and caused me to not completely live my life the way I would like to.

That's why this is the year of life, the universe, and everything (that, and I turn 42 next month). Many changes coming, hopefully affecting my world for the better. Reports to follow. Others things of note, too.

Farewell from the Junction, for now.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013: My Year In Media

For better or worse, here's most of what I read, watched, etc. media-wise in 2013. It was a banner year for books, I read 79 by year's end, probably the most ever in one year. Much thanks for that goes to unemployment, and for not losing steam like I did the year before (a couple of months before I got laid off).

I also managed to see most of the films coming out this year I was interested, and the majority of those at the theater. Podcasts took a down turn towards the end of the year, however. I think that was mostly due to audio fatigue/overload since over 90% of the books I read were audiobooks, but also because a couple of my favorites either ended or changed personnel, causing me to lose interest.

I think I'll streamline the list a bit for 2014. Partly because I'm working again (I doubt I'll manage as many books this year), and also because my habits are evolving a bit (where did those podcasts go?)

Novels & Novellas:

For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster
The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder 
The Dead Man #1: Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin 
The Outfit by Richard Stark
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
Mucho Mojo by Joe Lansdale
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
The Mourner by Richard Stark
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout
Moonraker by Ian Fleming
The Score by Richard Stark
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
The Jugger by Richard Stark
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Archvillains by Barry Lyga
Death Masks by Jim Butcher
The Seventh by Richard Stark
World War Z (Abridged) by Max Brooks
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming
The Handle by Richard Stark (audio)
The Dead Man #2: Ring of Knives by James Daniels, Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
The Damsel by Richard Stark
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
The Rare Coin Score by Richard Stark
The Green Eagle Score by Richard Stark
The Two-Bear Mambo by Joe R. Lansdale
The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny 
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
The Dame by Richard Stark
White Knight by Jim Butcher
Sign of the Unicorn by Roger Zelazny
Bad Chili by Joe R. Lansdale
The Black Ice Score by Richard Stark
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Hand of Oberon by Roger Zelazny
The Courts of Chaos by Roger Zelazny
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
The Sour Lemon Score by Richard Stark
Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Dead Man #3: Hell in Heaven by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker 
Rumble Tumble by Joe R. Lansdale
Deadly Edge by Richard Stark
The Black Bird by Richard Stark
Blood of Amber by Roger Zelazney 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Slayground by Richard Stark
Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark
Changes by Jim Butcher
Aftermath (Side Jobs-novella) by Jim Butcher
Backup (Side Jobs-novellette) by Jim Butcher

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
Knight of Shadows by Roger Zelazny
Plunder Squad by Richard Stark
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins,
Prince of Chaos by Roger Zelazny
Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark
Dr. No by Ian Fleming
Created, The Destroyer (The Destroyer #1) by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir
Death Check (The Destroyer #2) by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir
Captains Outrageous by Joe R. Lansdale
Under the Empyrean Sky (Heartland Trilogy, Vol. 1) by Chuck Wendig
Comeback by Richard Stark 
Backflash by Richard Stark
Vanilla Ride by Joe R. Lansdale
Flashfire by Richard Stark
Devil Red by Joe R. Lansdale
Firebreak by Richard Stark
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
Breakout by Richard Stark
Nobody Runs Forever by Richard Stark
Ask the Parrot by Richard Stark
Dirty Money by Richard Stark
Dead Set by Richard Kadrey

Short Stories:

The One Who Waits by Ray Bradbury
Seven Days of Rain by Chris F. Holm
The Human Division, Ep. 1: The B-Team by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 2: Walk the Plank by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 3: We Only Need the Heads by John Scalzi
A Restoration of Faith (from Side Jobs) by Jim Butcher
The Human Division, Ep. 4: A Voice in the Wilderness by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 5: Tales from the Clarke by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 6: The Back Channel  by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 7: The Dog King  by John Scalzi
The Game of Rat and Dragon by Cordwainer Smith
The Human Division, Ep. 8: The Sound of Rebellion by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 9: The Observers by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 10: This Must Be the Place by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 11: A Problem of Proportion by John Scalzi
Tomorrow's Child by Ray Bradbury
The Human Division, Ep. 12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads by John Scalzi
The Human Division, Ep. 13: Earth Below, Sky Above by John Scalzi
A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury
Suspect Zero by Richard Kadrey
Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed by Ray Bradbury
The Secret of the Growing Gold by Bram Stoker
Shoggoth's Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman
Dagon by H. P. Lovecraft
If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky
Dead Pig Collector by Warren Ellis
Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 stories by Various
Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

Comics & Graphic Novels:

The Hive by Charles Burns
Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn (w), Fiona Staples (a)
Fatale, Vol. 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker (w), Sean Phillips (a)
iZombie, Vol. 4: Repossession by Chris Roberson (w), Michael Allred (a)
Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty by Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka (w), Michael Lark (a)
Gotham Central, Vol. 2: Jokers & Madmen by Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka (w), Michael Lark (a)
Gotham Central, Vol. 3: On the Freak Beat by Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka (w), Michael Lark (a)
Gotham Central, Vol. 4: Corrigan by Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka (w), Kano/Gaudiano (a)
Powers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl? by Brian Michael Bendis (w), Michael Avon Oeming (a)
The Black Beetle #0: Night Shift by Francesco Francavilla (w/a)
Mangaman by Barry Lyga (w), Colleen Doran (a)
The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets by Roger Langridge (w/a)
Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Power & Responsibility by Brian Michael Bendis (w), Mark Bagely (a)


Musicians (Mostly new ones):

  • Walk off the Earth (2/20/13, online at
  • Pentatonix (2/21/13, Best Buy Theater, NYC)
  • Walk off the Earth (04/18/13, Gramercy Theater) 
  • Josh Ritter (05/18/13, Terminal 5)


Theatrical Release:
  • The Guilt Trip
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Oblivion 
  • Iron Man 3 
  • Star Trek Into Darkness 
  • Now You See Me
  • Pacific Rim 
  • World War Z
  • Man of Steel 
  • Riddick 
  • Gravity 
  • Monsters University
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 

  • Your Sister's Sister
  • The Making of South Park: 6 Days to Air
  • Magic Mike 
  • Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
  • Robot & Frank 
  • The Cabin in the Woods 
  • Wreck-It Ralph 
  • Pitch Perfect 
  • May I be Frank 
  • Taken 2 
  • The Time Traveler's Wife 
  • Dark Shadows 
  • Oz the Great and Powerful 
  • Hansel & Gretel 
  • Warm Bodies 
  • True Grit (1969) 
  • Spirited Away

TV Shows/Specials:

Ongoing current series:
  • Doctor Who
  • Community
  • Castle
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Person of Interest
  • New Girl
  • Games of Thrones
  • Grimm
  • Tron: Uprising
  • Go On (cancelled, blah!)
  • Elementary
  • Revolution - Gave up on it
  • Iron Chef America  
  • The Following 
  • Golden Boy (cancelled, blah!)
  • Orphan Black 
  • Hannibal 
  • Beware the Batman  
  • Luther
  • Broad Church
  • Marvel's Agents of SHEILD
  • The Blacklist

  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • Hungry For Change
  • TED Talks: Jamie Oliver's TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food
  • Alias

Web Series/Movies:

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (BBC Audio Dramatization)
TableTop (season one & two)
LearningTown (season one)


Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing hosted by Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen
If You're Just Joining Us hosted by Jon Armstrong
Radio Free Burrito hosted by Wil Wheaton
The SF Signal Podcast hosted by Patrick Hester
The Functional Nerds hosted by Patrick Hester and John Anealio
Writing Excuses hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal
Webcomics Weekly hosted by Scott Kurtz, Dave Kellett, Brad Guigar, and Kris Straub (Updated: I thought they weren't doing anymore, but they got back together recently for a new one in December 2012, with a hint they might do more, cool!) 
The Nerdist hosted by Chris Hardwick
Martini Shot hosted by Rob Long
The Memory Palace hosted by Nate DiMeo

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Robes and Tumblrs

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it in the long term, but I do have a Tumblr. I don't want it to be a just a mirror of my blog, anymore than I want my sad lonely Twitter account to be a linkfest leading here either, but I haven't found it's voice yet. Hell, I'm still working on the voice for this blog.

For now, I mostly reblog cool things I find there, adding commentary as it presents itself. My one original contribution thus far is telling the world what my robe collection would look like, should I feel the need to start one.

Here is a preview:

If you're interested in my other choices, you can see them here.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

OK, so what are Thursdays for?

Thursdays. Like Tuesdays, don't quite know what those are for yet. I suppose all the other stuff from my previous post applies here.

Fridays, however, I know what they're about. Come back tomorrow and I'll share some of my brain pickings with you.

That was a horrible pun. But you won't know why until tomorrow.

No, come back tomorrow, I shan't tell you now. Go back to Monday and look at my cool new shirt to tide you over.



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What are Tuesdays for now?

Last week I finished up the graphic design class I had been taking since September, so tonight will be my first free Tuesday evening (barring school holidays and being sick) in months. It will continue thus until I find something to do besides be lazy.

I have to find a job, that's top priority now. Well, it's been priority for a while since I lost my job last year, but unemployment doesn't last forever. The good news is I've had more luck with getting interviews lately. The bad news is it won't be in the graphic design field because most of what we learned was how to use a few Adobe products, with comparatively little actual graphic design training. This is OK, as I was mostly interested in getting a head start in those programs, and didn't expect much else, so I got out of it what I wanted. I have more to learn before I can enter that field, including if that's what I truly want to do.

None of this actually answers my question as to what Tuesdays are for now. Maybe an extra nap? Regular blogging? Maybe getting some of those 23 in '13 projects I have in my head going? A weekly Buffy re-watch? (Wasn't Buffy on Tuesdays at some point during its run?)

Hmm. Lots of questions, no answers right now. I'll guess I'll table this until Thursday, since I won't have class then, either.

Monday, May 20, 2013