Friday, 23 December 2011

Vampires and more

It's no surprise that I like Vampire novels (now I am most definitely not talking about Twilight vampires here but the Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite Vampires - real fictional vampires). I have quite a few novels from these authors and more which cover the subject but the one that had a profound effect on me as a late teen I have never owned...

Lost Souls, by Poppy Z Brite.

Zles, a good friend of mine, had this and knew that I would love it as much as he did so he loaned it to me... I remember reading it fast, almost gorging myself on it every night. Staying up far too late to just get another page into the story - to learn more about the characters, the vampires, the sexuality, the horror and Chartreuse.

It was so well written I remember thinking it spoke to me... and the characters where part of me or was I of them... romantic silly teenage dreams? Probably, and this book could be blamed for my and Zles's experimentation with Chartreuse... so much Chartreuse...

But why if I loved this book so much did I knew read it again? Never buy it? I'm not sure, maybe the memory of the experience reading could have blurred the lines between reality and fantasy... maybe.

Recently Darklyss borrowed Drawing Blood - knowing that I read Poppy's books. This is the follow on novel from Lost Souls a kinda of sequel in a way, set in the same universe and with some of the same characters read about in Lost Souls... and it got me thinking about re-reading Lost Souls...

I realised that enough time has past for me to be able to read it again I am old enough to not have too high an expectation. I remember the rose coloured world my teenage self saw things and I know that I have not always been right...

After nearly 2 months wait to get the book ordered in... (another post I fear) I started reading it last night... The Prologue dragged me back in - I felt the same joy I felt when I first read it all those years ago.

Christian, The Bar, The Trinity of Vampires and the birth of Nothing... I'm not sure that this will last for the whole book - maybe it is a touch of reminicing of nights lieing on my bed in the dim dark listening to the Cure... maybe it's the Chartreuse of yesteryear flowing through my veins but I fucking love this book...

Please if you have a book, a story, a novel, hell even a movie that moved you once long ago... try to read/watch it again... you just might find you love it all over again...

Guitar Playing and more

So this year I had a goal... to learn to play one song all the way through on the guitar.

I have owned a guitar for many years starting with a 3/4 I got sometime in high school... but I never really learned to play - sure I could muck about and run maybe a few chords together or follow a mate (slowly) with basic chords but not really play a tune someone would recognise. So this year I decided to go the whole shebang and get lessons.

I found out about a local guy who teaches from his home studio - he had taught another mate of mine and I knew his step son and wife (I live in a small world - I laugh about there being only 1 degree of separation between me and anyone else and in most cases this is true). So I emailed him to see if he had a vacancy and yes he did and on a night I could do...

That was around April this year... I spent a term (10 weeks) with him and time took over so I had a break and went back for the last term... I did learn to play a whole song, in fact I have several under my belt and can even work out new ones from TAB found on the net...

However, what really make me happy is that the other night Tinman came over and we where talking music and Alex Day's new song and his goal to be Number 1 on the UK Charts etc. As we where discussing music I got out the guitar to play a few songs - Tinman sings very well!!! We went through my repertoire and Tinman not only could sing along... (that is I played stuff he recognised) but he even mentioned that I had learnt a heap of songs... (over a dozen in my music book and more on the computer in TAB form)

My goal was one song... I have not only reached that but am now able - with a bit of extra work - able to play most songs I want to... I have really only just started to play around with Barr chords and hammers and adding little flourishes etc but I can play basic songs...

All that before the end of the year... perfect - Achievement Unlocked... what will I do next year to beat that... maybe build that guitar I have been working on... maybe...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Forever Yours

Alex Day, musician and vlogger, came up with a challenge to try to get an independent single to Number 1 on the UK Charts. His great little song Forever Yours is up on iTunes as I type (in fact the single version has already been downloaded to my account!
I know I live in Aust and will not affect the UK charts - however it has reached mid 40's in the Aust iTunes charts so that is cool.
What's more all the money raised from the sales of the single are going to charity... so if you have a spare $1.69 go to iTunes and buy it!
Official Film Clip

Links to buy
1. Forever Yours
2. Demo version
3. Live piano version
4. Instrumental
5. All-vocal version
6. Lastufka "Death On The Dance Floor" remix
7. Tom Milsom remix
8. Eddplant's Forever Alone remix COMING SOON
9. Stefan Chin remix COMING SOON
10. Blue Version (8-bit remix)
11. BillTV-Mickeleh remix
12. Charlie Went Mad remix COMING SOON

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Coffee - the addiction we all have...

The above heading does not include those strange folks who do not drink coffee but as I choose to believe they don't actually exist... it does work!
So I was reading Gizmodo today and discovered this little invention...
A great little invention for making a perfect dipper coffee at home or the office - the simple system allows you to brew the coffee in the "Clever Coffee Dripper" before placing on cup or thermos which then allows the brewed coffee out... you need to use filters but this is a great invention...
Now to just order one from the US...
Product page
Info PDF

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Your Local Book Store...

John Scalzi has this neat little post over on Whatever
Amazon, Local Bookstores, Me
Go on read the article... I'll just wait until you are finished....

Are you done? Great, now while I can see Amazons marketing machine saying
"In a free market economy we are just trying to do all we can to create awareness of our brand and drive sales..."
Yep that is right... you have the right to do it... but should they? And should you as a consumer?
Personally I have bought books, cd's, games etc from overseas - from the Amazon's, Book Depository's, Ozgamestore... and all for the same reason... the PRICE.
I have a young family, a mortgage, I am the major bread winner (not discounting the huge amount of work my wife does to help support me and enabling me to be able to do that...) I have to be careful about what I/we spend on luxury items like books...
However, something John wrote really resonated with me...
I have an Amazon Prime account and I get lots of use from it, because where I live often the alternative to buying from Amazon is buying from Wal-Mart, and on that strata of retailing, I’m happy to let them go after each other, with knives and bludgeons. If there’s a locally-owned alternative, however, then I generally go there. I pay extra for what amount to intangibles for me, but what’s intangible to me means a job and a business to someone else. That matters, especially these days.
How do I react to that seeing that I have admitted to using the cheaper overseas option before... I agree with what he has written - I really do! Yet how do these conflicting parts merge? How can I both support local and pay the premium and ensure I met all the other obligations in my life?
It's really quite easy... I use priorities.
For instance I limit the amount of comics I collect and then buy them from my local comic store. I plan my new book purchases and buy from my local bookstore. I buy 2nd hand computer games from my local gaming store. I have a budget and when it is gone... I borrow books from the library and share/borrow games with my mates... In short I do what I can...
This carries across to other aspects of my life... I don't always shop at the green grocer or the butcher, we can't always afford South Coast Milk - but we try and we support when and where we can...
Its all any of us can do.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012

So I have signed up for the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012
Basically I need to read at least one book from the following genre...


  1. Literary Fiction - Nineteen Eight-Four, George Orwell
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction - Killing Floor, Lee Child
  3. Romantic Fiction - Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  4. Historical Fiction - Mr Midshipman Hornblower, CS Forester
  5. Young Adult - Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  6. Fantasy - The Magic of Recluce, L.E. Modesitt Jr
  7. Science Fiction - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K Dick
  8. Non Fiction - Chick Days Raising Chickens, Jenna Woginrich
  9. Horror - Horns, Joe Hill
  10. Thriller /Suspense - State of Fear, Michael Crichton
  11. Classic - The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien
  12. Your favourite genre - Ready, Player, One - Ernest Cline
Should be a lot of fun - oh and I need to review them here on my blog - which will at least mean I will blog more - or have a reason to!