Goodbye October

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Photo Credit: Unsplash/pixabay.com

There’s absolutely nothing better than October in the city that never sweeps. The leaves on the trees are turning, the weather is as cool as that suave detective by the name of Shaft, and Hallows Eve comes at us by the tail end of the best month of the year.

I love October in New York.

Halloween always reminds me of the writer Washington Irving, the man who first bestowed the nick name Gotham—an Anglo-Saxon word which means ‘Goat Town’—to the city of New York. October and Halloween also brings to mind his short story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’ Upon first reading this short at a young age, the image of a headless horseman roaming a little town collecting heads made a great impression on the overactive imagination of yours truly.

I love Halloween in New York.

A night when every good girl—for some reason ‘wink wink’—insists on becoming a slutty nurse, cop, doctor, zombie, stripper and every other slutty superlative slapped onto a ‘sexy costume’ and, every other dude becomes some kind of sociopath, serial killer, ‘wink wink’ a tranny or a pimp. In NYC we won’t have it any other way.

Goodbye October, we hardly knew ye.

However, we’re not gonna be sad for too long because The Day of The Dead is upon us, so y’all best get your Sugar Skulls, Calacas and Pan Dulce ready to celebrate with your dearly departed. Even though for some of us, the bones of our ancestors might be far away we still honor them, because if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here staring at a screen, reading dribble and picking our collective noses.

Happy Halloween you crazy kids.

*Poof*

Top TV Shows

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Whatup home skillet,

Yup, you knew this post was coming sooner or later. See the quality of TV shows has grown exponentially over the years, more so than most movies actually. That being said; let’s reach for the remote and turn to my favorite TV shows.

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BANSHEE—Holy mother of balls, why is this show not as popular as it should be is beyond comprehension. The fight scenes alone should be a major selling point, dig this: Ex-con assumes the identity of the newly appointed (yet murdered) sheriff of a little Amish town by the name of Banshee, Pennsylvania. Said ex-con brings his own kind of justice to the ‘not so sleepy’ little town where violence erupts at every turn, even the Mayor kicks ass. Go watch it right now, I’ll wait…

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GAME OF THRONES—I know, very popular show, but it took a while for me to check it out as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre. i. e. dragons, magic and all that jazzy jazz, author George R. R. Martin is unforgiving to his characters which is a big plus. I’m really digging the mythical universe he’s created.

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BLACK MIRROR—a tinge of the old Twilight Zone for the 21st century on this episodic TV show, Speculative fiction with dark and satirical themes at its finest. Can’t wait for what’s coming up for the next season.

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HAPPY VALLEY—This English show feels very organic, it has a down to earth quality to it, and it features a no-nonsense Yorkshire Police Sergeant by the name of Catherine Cawood as she navigates this morality play which has been created, written and produced by women. Aside from being a great show, you will not see a supermodel type on it, which is a breath of fresh air in this day and age of beautiful people trying to convince us that they’re hardened cops (I’m looking at you True Detective)

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LONGMIRE—I’m probly not the show’s ‘demographic’ but what I really dig about this show is the fact that, for once, Hollywood has decided to peppered one of its productions with Native Americans which, in my opinion, are the most marginalize people in this country (Okay so Lou Diamond Phillips is of Filipino background, and actor A. Martinez is of Puerto Rican descent) but at least they’re trying. This show is as close to a Western you’ll likely get these days. The lovely and talented Katee Sackhoff is on this (She was fantastic as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica.) Here’s hoping they put some meat to the bones of her story.

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TRUE DETECTIVE (2th Season)—I didn’t like the first season, found it a tad boring. This season was slightly better, and despite of the fact that I disagree with their casting choices. i. e. having a lot of pretty faces playing hard-assed detectives (they should cast this show with character actors to give it a gritty authentic look and feel. Just one man’s opinion) Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams brought great performances to the piece, however whenever I saw Vince Vaughn on screen I always thought that he was going to spit out one of his famous lines from ‘Wedding Crashers.’ ‘Old School,’or ‘Fred Claus.’ I guess the typecasting struggle is real yo.

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LUTHER—saw this one a while back and it left a great impression, then again is what happens when you cast the great English thespian Idris Elba on just about anything he’s on. He’s like the English Julian Moore. I can’t wait for next season.

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WENTWORTH—what guy doesn’t like a good old female prison premise? I equate this show from Down Under to as a much ‘sober’ answer to Orange is the New Black. Fantastic cast and superb performances all around, but my favorites performances are those of Pamela Rabe and Nicole da Silva, just tops mate.

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To keep in touch with the geek in me I tune to Halt and Catch Fire and Mr. Robot. Both great character driven dramas peppered with misfits, computer programmers, hackers, etc. Both shows are about the underdog, and who doesn’t like an underdog story filled with freakazoids?

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Shows I don’t watch on a regular basis, but I still dig.)

ORPHAN BLACK—the performances (yes performances as she plays several characters) of Tatiana Maslany are well worth the watch of this outrageous sci-fi series.

SOUTH PARK—I don’t have Cable (I ain’t a playa like you son) but on the rare occasion that I catch an episode online I’m always laughing my ass off—even if it’s an episode I’ve seen before, and that to me is a sign of great comedy.

FAMILY GUY—the same goes for this old stand-by; always brutally funny, and the non-sequiturs are a big selling point for moi—Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr. Convay Twitty.

BROAD CITY—I don’t get to see this one as much as I’d like to, but what I’ve seen so far, me likes very much. Ballsy comedy from a couple of fearless ladies. Hysterical and sometimes disturbing to watch. I’m going to take this opportunity and do something… I’m just gonna throw this out there okay? bear with me.

Dear Abbi Jacobson, and Ilana Glazer. Which one of you would like to become my future ex-wife?—call me.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK—as stated earlier, what guy can resist an all-Female Prison Premise? However, the diversity of the cast is a huge selling point for me, although it seems that Hollywood only does this (diverse casting) whenever they tackle prison and/or drug dealing type stories. Not enough Diane Guerrero for me tho, hey Netflix, can y’all find a way to fix that? Thanks a bunch!

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Believe it or not I’m a voracious reader, so don’t despair. Next month: My Favorite Flicks.

Stay stoned, I mean stay tune.

Clicks Off.

Literary Openings

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Image Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

Yep, I’m still chasing windmills (as supposed to chasing skirts which is what I should be doing while I’m still young-ish and fairly good looking). Ha! Who the fuck am I kidding? I have a book to finish plus I need to crank out the next one, oh and there’s that ‘slightly misanthropic’ thing so…

But this here post is not about a therapy session is about literary openings.

See much like a movie, TV show or a song. In the writing world, you’ve got to have a great opening—that something that hooks the reader.

Here are some of my favorite (recent) literary openings:

“When mother found out she was pregnant with me she took an overdose. Father gave her the pills. She needed a drama from time to time to remind her that she was still alive. The overdose didn’t work.” Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley.

And just like that I (the reader) wants to be taken into a sure-to-be dark, perverted and twisted ride. And it is.

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‘Nobody comes to Minnesota to take their clothes off, at least as far as I know. This ain’t no nightclub. Here in the woebegone upper country, Jack Frost is a liberal, rangy sadist with ice crystals in his soul patch.’ Candy Girl by Diablo Cody.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love Diablo Cody’s writing; she’s an erudite, sharp, funny and fearless writer. Too bad she hasn’t written another book lately. Then again, I suppose writing Hollywood screenplays pays a hell of a lot better. Sigh.

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‘I was sitting in my office, my lease had expired and McKelvey was starting eviction proceedings. It was a hellish hot day and the air conditioner was broken. A fly crawled across the top of my desk. I reached out with the open palm of my hand and send him out of the game. I wipe my hand on my right pant leg as the phone rang. I picked it up.

 “Ah yes,” I said.

“Do you read Celine?” a female voice asked. Her voice sounded quite sexy. I had been lonely for some time. Decades. Pulp by Charles Bukowski.

Tell me if his description of the demise of an unfortunate fly, the woman asking about the narrator’s reading proclivities, and the last word, doesn’t make you curious about where this narrative is going.

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‘October 16, 1859

“Men, get on your arms,” the Captain said. “We will proceed to the Ferry.” It was eight at night, an autumn Sunday, silent and dark in the Maryland Hills. A horse drawn wagon pulled up to the log house loaded it with pikes, tools, torches and gunpowder.’ Midnight Rising by Tony Horowitz.

You know that shit’s gonna go down real hard after reading that (Albeit, the phrasing near the end there is a bit awkward—an edit oversight perhaps?) regardless the writer’s got you hooked. I’m still in the process of reading this one; it’s about a little known historical figure by the name of John Brown and the raid that sparked the American Civil War.

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‘When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The first time I saw her, it was the back of her head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head.’ Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

The Victorians had a way of telling a person’s personality traits by reading that person’s skull, it was called phrenology. A pseudo-science developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796. It was a popular practice in the 19th century.

Unwillingly, or willingly. This opening gives us (the reader) a hint as to what lies ahead.

I can go on and on about great and interesting literary openings, but these will have to do because I’ve got to summon Sancho Panza. We’ve have some giants to skewer.

Sancho! Bring my pen and paper—err, I mean lance!