Labyrinth Drinkalong (#DrinkingTraLaLa)

Man, coming up with a usable hashtag for this week’s drinkalong was a nightmare.  Everything I could think of was either too long, was already crazy busy or wouldn’t make sense to people who haven’t seen the movie a thousand times (I am still a fan of #DrinkinAardvark, but people seemed against that when I suggested it).  So we have this one, instead.

Nothing_Tra_la_la_by_tigger626

Don’t forget that next week is Ghostbusters!  See you all tonight at the same time as usual (9:45CDT/10:45EDT).

How did I live through high school?

The first half of my senior year of high school pretty much sucked.

I’d just moved back to Southern California from Montana, I knew no one other than my dad.  It took most of that first semester for me to find some people that I could hang with.

One of my first friends was A.  I met her through a kid in my pottery class (which I almost failed cos all of my shit kept getting stolen), and even though she was a tiny goth girl and I was anything but, before too long we were inseparable.

I spent many nights at her house (usually tall me would sleep on the tiny love seat, while 5’3¾” A would get the big couch) and many weekends were spent at shows.

This is us at one of them:

I'm in the patchwork dress.  The girl in the white shirt is friend K, who I've also written about before.

I’m in the patchwork dress. The girl in the white shirt is friend K, who I’ve also written about before.

We usually had no trouble finding anything to do, but for some reason, Spring Break had us drawing a blank.  We weren’t beach people (she was a goth, hello?) and had resigned ourselves to just driving around until we stopped for coffee or juice or something.

Then we got a call from our mutual kinda-friend T.  He’d heard on the radio that Barenaked Ladies were playing a free show that night at the Universal City Walk, so we decided that’s what we were going to do…even though we didn’t particularly care for them.

This was BEFORE One Week blew the fuck up, and while they weren’t a nobody band that no one had ever heard of, they weren’t BBT theme writing superstars yet, either.

A drove (cos I didn’t have a car) and T and I were both (for some reason) sitting in the front seat of her Taurus.  If you rode in A’s car, you had to play The Game.  No, not that Game (which I just lost), but a different game.

The Rules:

  •  When driving at night, keep an eye out for cars with one headlight.
  • The last person to smack the roof of the car must remove one item of clothing (yes, even the driver).
  • Socks count as one item.
  • So do shoes.
  • Your clothes can not be put back on until you’ve reached your destination and EXITED the car.

By the time we arrived at UCW, we were all pretty much naked (and A had lost her nose ring).

This was the point that we realized…

WE WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR PARKING.

Yes.  The three of us were sitting there topless and mostly bottomless in the front seat of her car, and we were going to have to give money to an ACTUAL PERSON while trying to hide that fact.

Quick change to the rules:

  • If at any point it’s required that you must pay for parking, both driver and passenger can put their shirts back on so as to not attract suspicion/result in police being called.

Since we weren’t sure who was going to have to pay, A and I put our shirts back on and just put our purses (A always carried the LARGEST PURSE IN THE WORLD) in our laps.  T just sat there kind of hunched over and hoping no one would notice that he was mostly naked.

We paid, and as we were getting ready to drive into the parking structure, we heaved a sigh of relief…until A shouted at the parking attendant “WHAT IS POKING ME IN THE ASS?!”

It was the nose ring she’d lost several paragraphs earlier.

Of course.

So we made our way to the remotest section of the parking structure and got dressed again, the whole while T was begging us not to look at him, and then made our way to where the show was.

Since we weren’t really fans of the band, our attention waned easily and A and I decided to go play in a nearby fountain.

While we were frolicking (I never said I was a good influence, okay?) we noticed some people from one of the local alternative radio stations walking by (Y107, if you were wondering – it doesn’t exist anymore) and I nudged A.

“Hey.  Look.  Let’s go see if we can get free shit?”

So we ran up, barefoot and soaking wet and proceeded to beg for swag.

They asked if we were fans of the band.

We lied and said we were HUGE fans.

They asked why we weren’t watching the show, if that was the case.

We lied and said it was because we’d seen them and ran to catch up to get free stuff (only a partial lie, okay).

They gave us stickers and some other stupid stuff.

BUT THEN.

They gave us passes to the after party upstairs at the Hard Rock Cafe.

SWEEEEEET.

Somehow we’d talked ourselves into this big party that was full of all these famous LA people we didn’t know.  All we cared about was that we were 17 and had just been given free access to all kinds of yummy food and musicians.

I totally flirted with the bassist, introducing myself to him like this:

Hi, my name is [REDACTED] – like the [REDACTED] song?

His response was “Oh, hi.  I’m Jimmy.  Like the…um…like the Van Halen song?”

To which I giggled and said something stupid like “Hot Jimmy, INDEED.”

Yeah, I don’t know where I thought I was going with that, either.

I don’t really have a great way to close this story.  It was an awesome night, one I’m surprised I made it home alive from (especially cos we played The Game ON THE WAY HOME COS WE LEARNED NOTHING).

I recently reconnected with A on facebook and it was almost like the last 17 years that we haven’t been in touch didn’t exist.  We talked about this night and I joked that I might blog about it.

She asked me to please do so, and said she would love to read it.

Then I logged on today and there was a status update posted on her account by her boyfriend.  He found her sick and incoherent this morning.  She’s got a brain bleed pressing on her language centers and several smaller tumors.

I wish I’d found her again sooner.

I wish I’d written this sooner.

I want her to be okay so she can read this and know that I’ve never forgotten how much it meant to me that she took a chance on being my friend.  That I wish I’d had more time with her to know her as we are now.  That I had those 17 years where we weren’t in each others lives back.

Please, if you can – I am not a praying person, but I am sending all of my good, healing energy her way tonight.  If you could do the same, I would be so grateful.

Thank you.

Drink, Drink, #DrinkSenora

Before I get to talking about tonight’s Beetlejuice Drinkalong, it’s looking like we’re set for the next several drinkalongs.  Because MT and others have been super excited about the idea, May is going to be Cusack Month.  We’ll be watching Say Anything, High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank and Better Off Dead.

Sadly, only Say Anything is on Netflix, so you’ll need to find another way to watch it.

Next week we’ll be watching Labyrinth…which is also not on Netflix, but the week after THAT we’ll be watching Ghostbusters, WHICH IS!

So, yay!  It’s nice to have everything figured out for a while!

Okay, on to tonight’s festivities:

I’m also working on setting up a static page with the schedule of upcoming drinkalongs.  Hopefully that will curb some of the “Oh, I had no idea that was happening!” messages I get (not that I don’t <3 you all, but come on).

See you guys tonight (9:45CDT/10:45EDT)!

 

“Did you seriously pack candy and drugs for dinner?”

Rat QueensSometimes I hate that I have this compulsion to collect reading material.  We all know that most of us have wonky wiring that leads us to purchase books with shiny covers or request ARCs of unknowns EVEN THOUGH we have more than enough books to read for the rest of our entire fucking lives, right?

Usually I don’t think of this as a problem.  It’s not a problem, it just means I have OPTIONS.  Who doesn’t like options, right?  Right.

Except sometimes not.  Because when I have too many options, it’s really easy to forget about that thing I desperately wanted to read because it got pushed out of the way by the eleventy billion other things that I desperately wanted to read.

Today I wanted to punch myself in the box because I let the first trade of Rat Queens* sit there for OVER A MONTH without reading it.

…and then I wanted to punch all of my comicbros in the junk for not fucking mentioning to me BACK IN SEPTEMBER that “Hey, sj?  There’s this kickass new comic that you will love so hard you’ll swear that Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch have direct access to the pleasure centers of your brain.”  WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU GUYS?!

I am mostly kidding, because as much as I want to be mad that I could have been reading this more than six months ago, I’m so happy that I read it today that I just can’t even.

I just picked it up so I could look for images for you guys and got sucked into reading the first issue again and now I want to finish writing this so I can go read the next four.  THAT is how good it is.

Rat Queens is crass, vulgar, gory, and just fucking beautiful to look at.

My biggest problem is that I don’t know whether I love Hannah more than Dee.

Dee?

Dee?

Or Hannah?

Or Hannah?

Hannah?

Hannah?

 

Dee 2

Or Dee?

Or maybe Betty and/or Violet?

Or maybe Betty and/or Violet?

I don’t know, I just can’t decide.  They’re all my new favourites.  All of them.

You need to drop everything you’re doing right now (unless, y’know, you’re holding children or a beverage or something) and go pick this up.  RIGHT MEOW.

Sen, Kate, Heather L, Bronwyn, Nubia, Bellum.  You ladies need this comic in your lives immediately.

I mean…the rest of you do, too.  But them especially.

GO!

 

*ARC provided by Image, and I’m sad I didn’t get around to praise singing before the release date.

I don’t have a catchy title, but this is what I’ve been reading.

Since my last review I’ve read 45 books.  Well, all but five of those were comic trades or graphic novels, but still.  I’ve fallen WAAAAAAAAAY behind on everything.  Let’s try to make as much of it up in one go as possible, shall we?

 

courtney crumrin

I read pretty much the entire run of Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin comics (Oni Press) so far.  I have loved every page.  Someone DMed me a few months ago and chastised me cos I wasn’t reading it already.  I wish I could remember who it was, cos that person was right.

I wish these comics had been around when I was a teenager.  If you lose the sorcery, Courtney is very much like I was at this age.  It would’ve been nice to have her to relate to.  The art is gorgeous and the story has made me a little weepy on more than one occasion.  More of this, please.

 

wonton soupJames Stokoe’s Wonton Soup* (Oni Press) was not such a hit for me, though.  I wanted to love it.  I thought the story had potential – that episode of Futurama where Bender decides to search for the secret to Ultimate Flavour?  It’s kind of like that.

And, again, I wanted to like it.  I did enjoy it up until about the halfway mark, and then it just fell apart for me.  The art wasn’t anything to write home about, and the story got…kinda weird and hard to follow.  It was just kinda meh.  I would neither recommend this one or tell you to avoid it.  Because I’m wishy-washy like that.

 

Bram and BenThe End Times of Bram and Ben (James Asmus, Image Comics)* was a total hit for me, on the other hand.

This feels like something that was written just for me and I FUCKING LOVE when that happens.  The Rapture happens and Bram is raptured, then returned to Earth cos of a clerical error.  He decides the role of antichrist is up for grabs, and he’ll be the one to take over.  Really funny, really blasphemous, really worth your time.

Read it so you can find out who the antichrist REALLY is, and get a good hearty chuckle out of the whole thing.

 

murder mysteriesMore angels and heavenly beings came up in the form of the graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story “Murder Mysteries.” (Dark Horse)* I’d read the story before, but think it was AMAZINGLY well suited to this sort of adaptation.  If you’re on the fence about sequential art books at all, and don’t want to dive into The Sandman head first (which, what’s your problem?  YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ IT WITH US.), maybe check this out.  Cos some of the characters here show up a few times in The Sandman.  And you should read that cos it’s awesome.  But so is this.

So read this, then read that.

Wait, what was I talking about?

 

dreary and naughtyDreary & Naughty: Friday the 13th of February (John LeFleur/Shawn Dubin, Schiffer Publishing)* was overall a disappointment.  The art itself was fantastic (like, srsly, I want prints of this ish to hang around my house), but the little poem that was the story was pretty much the worst.  The meter/scansion was so off.  I wanted to love this cos it seemed like such a cute idea, and if it had been JUST the art, I would have given it an enthusiastic five stars.  As it is, I’mma have to stick with recommending that you just flip through this in the bookstore or library or whatever.

 

emily and the strangersRob Reger’s Emily and the Strangers (Dark Horse)* Maaaaan, idk if I’m getting too old for Emily, or if she’s totally different now than I remember or what.  This was not good at all.  It was so preachy and moralistic, and I don’t recall her being like that when I used to read her.

I wish I could have back the 20 minutes it took me to read this.

No.  Just no.

 

Okay.  That’s obviously not even close to everything I’ve read recently, but I’m done typing for now.

TL;DR: Read Murder Mysteries, The End Times of Bram and Ben and Courtney Crumrin.  Avoid the others.

 

 

* If it’s marked with an asterisk, I received an ARC from the publisher.  I promise these are my real opinions of this work.