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Monthly Archives: December 2011

In a bid to fight the encroaching borders of seasonal affective disorder, my digital retail therapy has taken on a hideous, wallet-sucking life of its own. I might actually like opening packages more than playing with the things inside.

I buy records and I don’t have a record player. I buy used books off Amazon—when the product pages has that yellow box on the side with a used price inside, and that used price is under ten dollars, I will black out for a second and when I come to I will have purchased that book and its two sequels. I bought organic hot chocolate from Mexico yesterday. I don’t care about organic things, nor do I care about Mexico (okay, beaches are nice. and tequila). Also: I haven’t even felt the desire for boiling liquid cocoa in years.

But when it’s online, and it’s on sale, and I haven’t let my credit card out to play for, like, ten minutes—it’s bought.

And this is the season of sales, of course, so my inbox is littered with the leavings of Black Friday and its thousandfold online offspring. Heavily discounted comic books?! Well, I haven’t heard anything about the author, or the series, but it’s eight dollars.

So for the next month my browser will be dedicated to the tabs of my masters—ebay, Amazon, Thwipster, Fab, Woot, oh god, oh god, there’s more—and I will remove the link to check my Chase balance from my bookmarks.

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I want to try and submit a short story of piece of flash every Friday. This way I’ll always have at least something in circulation, and hell, submitting is the only way to get anything published. Tonight’s submission went in to DSF again—I think it would make a good fit—but I’m planning next week’s for Brain Harvest, one of the first online publications I started reading regularly.

Hopefully I can stick to this schedule for productivity’s sake.

The Black Keys released their new album El Camino today, and I feel safe in saying it’s fit to crack the world open.

I’ve liked all their previous albums, but haven’t found one I wanted to listen to all the way through since Rubber Factory. I can’t bring myself to hit skip with this one, and by the time it spins down I’m ready to start it back up again.

“Lonely Boy” kicks off strong as the album’s first single. The vinyl release was part of the Black Friday promotion for Record Store Day, and while I didn’t make it out then, it’s soaring my way by carrier pigeon as of this morning.

“Little Black Submarines” is receiving a lot of buzz as one of the strongest tracks, and I couldn’t agree more. It starts off plaintive & acoustic, building into a blast halfway through when Patrick Carney beats his kit to rubbish and Auerbach sets his guitar to wailing. It’s a moment of break-sweat exhilaration extended out over the next two minutes, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Produced by Danger Mouse, El Camino continues the Keys’ evolution from a stomping, clear-cut duo into a band with a solid set of tools under their belt. It’s too bad most music sites already have their ‘best-of’ lists locked in, or this would be a sure contender.

I didn’t realize my horse was missing, at first. If I can quick travel close to a location I’ll head straight in, and have no need to mount up. And if I travel to a city, he’ll wait outside and I’ll never even see him.

But then I faced a trek, and I turned to look for Shadowmere and he was gone.

My heart lurched. How long had he been missing? Could I retrace my steps? This proved impossible, and I tried to put it out of my mind. “Maybe he’s just lost,” I said to myself, and for a few hours I’d listen for his telltale snort behind me each time I traveled.

He hasn’t returned, and I’m forced to move forward in my quest, relishing memories from the short time we had together. Like when he first emerged from the pool outside Sanctuary like a murky, malevolent Seabiscuit. Or when he rushed forward and spent twenty minutes kicking at a dragon priest in his unflappable, invincible majesty. And that time we fell off that mountain together and I had to re-load my save file.

Still, I hope he’ll find me someday. In my heart of hearts, I can’t believe he’s gone for good.

Skyrim is probably the main contributor to my NaNo failure. If I played on PC I’d attempt some kind of travelogue with screen caps, but for the moment I’m confined to 360.