Son of a bitch. Matt Williams nominated me for the Kreative Blogger Award, and now I’m honor-bound to accept the terms and conditions of the nomination. I feel like pulling a Wrath of Khan-style Bill Shatner now, especially considering how long my day was yesterday and how all I really want to do now is sleep – but no, I’ve got responsibilities now.
I’ll get you for this, Williams. I’ll find a way. By Grabthar’s hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, I shall be avenged!
I’m actually incredibly honored by the nod from a fellow author and SF/Fantasy nut such as the inestimable Mr. Williams, someone I stumbled upon thanks to his Freshly Pressed status a few weeks ago. The terms of the Kreative Blogger Award dictate that I have to first reveal seven little-known tidbits of information about myself, followed by nominating seven WordPress bloggers in turn in kind of a chain letter, or one of those horrid Facebook copy-pasted status messages that include about thirteen hearts per quarter-inch and with several of its words misspelled both fantastically and unironically; consider the Kreative Blogger Award a high-rent, no-bullshit version of the idea, and while I don’t feel that I deserve such an honor, considering I’ve only been at this for less than three months, I will comport myself with as much aplomb as possible.
- Fact Number Seven: I once ate an entire bowl of ketchup on a bet.
I’m not particularly proud of this, but if there’s one thing you should get out of this piece of information is that when I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to damn well do it – especially when there’s money on the line. I might be lazy to the extreme sometimes – and while I won’t grace you with a photograph of the number unwashed dishes awaiting their ritual baptism in the kitchen sink, I assure you, I am one lazy bastard – but if I get it into my head that I can do something, it’ll take more than shooting abdominal pains to stop me – that’s how stubborn I am. It drives my fiancée absolutely batshit insane, but I am, of course, completely unrepentant.
- Fact Number Six: The original Silent Hill game broke my mind.
Imagine, if you will, late October of 1999. I’m well into my senior year of undergraduate school at the State University of New York at New Paltz. I was an RA at the time, and I had the unfortunate luck to be on duty all Halloween weekend – which was actually easy, because all my residents had taken off for the weekend – so it was pretty much just me in an empty building. Meanwhile, I had a new copy of Silent Hill for the PlayStation, the kind of mindfuck game that you really don’t want to play alone at night during a thunderstorm, and I literally spent about 40 hours playing the game around the clock that weekend, which involved several play-throughs. I haven’t been able to play games like that since; I barely struggled through Silent Hill 2 once, and I didn’t even think about touching the sequels.
- Fact Number Five: I used to listen to the Insane Clown Posse.
No, I might not have ever put on the face paint and went backyard wrestling in the late ’90’s, but there was one point in time where I listened to ICP because I thought they were cool. I wouldn’t go as far as say that I was a “Juggalo,” simply because that I find the idea of labeling myself as anything sounding so silly as abhorrent, but I went to an ICP/Twiztid concert where I nearly suffocated in an over-packed pit to the point of where I started getting heart palpitations because I thought I was going to die. It didn’t help that I probably had a minor concussion from taking about 38 half-empty Faygo bottles to the skull, as ICP like throwing the shit all over the place during their concerts. To this day I have flashbacks; in fact I was in a gas station yesterday morning where they sold 20-ounce bottles of the shit in a rainbow assortment of flavors and I almost ran from the store in fright.
- Fact Number Four: Smokers hate me.
I have one completely useless superpower: it’s impossible for me to get addicted to nicotine. This pisses off people who have tried several times to quit smoking, as I can literally bum a smoke off someone one night and then go months – or even years – between touching the stuff again. It pissed my fiancée off to no end, who smoked for nearly fifteen years before finally quitting, and the process for her was incredibly difficult, even with the aid of nicotine patches. It’s actually probably a very bad thing for me to bum a smoke from time to time, considering I’m a cancer survivor, but I never said I was smart. Besides, I’ve got this really awesome-looking church-warden tobacco pipe that I love to pull out every once and a while because it makes me feel like Gandalf – though I probably look more like Gandork with that stupid thing hanging out of my mouth.
- Fact Number Three: I can suffer from crippling social anxiety sometimes.
I find it very hard to get to know people face-to-face. On many occasions, I feel much too self-conscious to make small-talk, as my paranoia kicks in whenever I’m talking to someone I don’t know very well; are they really interested in what I’m saying? I’ll think, while I’m telling them some story or talking about myself. They can’t possibly find this interesting, I’ll then think, followed by Oh god, they think I’m boring, or weird, or both, which is then usually followed by is my fly down? At this point the conversation usually dies a slow, agonizing death, its corpse unfurling in the form of a stretch of awkward silence until I come up with something to say that gets the other person talking. God, it’s so embarrassing.
- Fact Number Two: Julie Andrews makes me want to puke.
I was born in 1978, and most of my formative years were spend in the 1980s – a decade that saw the first commercially available and affordable technology that allowed people to watch theatrical releases at home – the VCR. My family had this huge honking 1st generation VHS player, that big-ass top-loader that came in two parts that you actually had to strap to you if you wanted to use a camcorder, and my brother, who was born six years after me, was obsessed with one VHS movie in particular: Disney’s Mary Poppins. He wore out that damn VHS tape – precocious little fucker figured out how to work the VCR before he was toilet trained, so as soon as it ended, the tape got rewound so he could play it again. – and as a result every time I see Julie Andrews I want to punch her in her smug fucking face. For God’s sake don’t mention The Sound of Music.
- Fact Number One: I hate my birthday.
This one isn’t so much about my birthday as it is about asking people to get together to celebrate it – or asking people to get together for any personal reason. It comes from an instance several years ago, right after I was diagnosed with cancer; some people, like my roommate at the time, my parents, and my girlfriend, already knew, but I wanted to tell as many as my friends as possible so they didn’t have to hear about it second-hand. I put a call out to a bunch of friends, saying I had something pretty important to tell them, and that it really, really meant a lot to me if they would just all show up one weekend so I could let them know face-to-face… and they all flaked out on me. Now, I’m not the kind of person to ask for things, really, so I figured that this would be no big deal, but I couldn’t get one goddamn person to show up. I eventually had to tell everyone via e-mail, and let me tell you, that’s kind of soured me on asking people to get together, even though it’s been years.
Right, so that’s my seven little known facts! Now, I’ve got a problem with the second part of the nomination, as I simply don’t know all that many people via WordPress yet, so I’m going to nominate as many as I can, while sending out honorable mentions to people who may not have blogs but have commented quite regularly on here. It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do – hopefully it won’t disqualify me.
First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t nominate the great Craig Gabrysch, one half of the two-man team that makes Twit Publishing so awesome. Craig is noteworthy because every time I see his author picture, I am invariably reminded of the cover of Foghat’s “Fool For The City” album, as it features a truly ballin’ mustache. There’s more to Craig, though, as he’s a tireless marketer and promoter for Twit, one of the best things to come out of Dallas since JFK’s corpse (too soon?).
The next would be Jay Fakename, the suspiciously-named proprietor of Games are Terrible. Foul-mouthed and cynical, he warms the cockles of my heart whenever he begins ranting about something or another. It’s quite entertaining, especially if you’ve got a gaming background and you enjoy withering streams of invective and sarcastic wit. I approve of both things wholeheartedly.
A third blogger that needs no introduction would be Mister Persona Non Grata from Unwanted Criticisms, the husband of a dear friend from high school and an all-around bad-ass, considering he’s the front man for Threering Sirkus, a tasty little metal band based in New York. He’s whip-smart, funny, and unafraid to speak his mind, qualities that stand out in today’s white-washed, politically correct world.
This unfortunately exhausts my WordPress contacts, but I’d be absolutely remiss in not calling out some of my most prolific and constant commentators, the first of which is known as Mr. Daniel H. Crazybecks, a friend of mine from junior high who indeed is more than a little off. He’s got the most well-constructed tinfoil hat I’ve ever seen, but besides that, he’s got one of the most febrile imaginations I’ve ever experienced, and like Mister PNG, he’s got his own awesome band as well, Daniel and the Lions, though he’s just one of two Daniels in the group.
Another commenter that I just can’t get to shut up is Jackie R., a fellow survivor of the trenches at Book Revue, where we worked together around a decade ago (feel old yet, Jackie?). Despite the fact that she doesn’t like Iron Maiden, she’s a damn cool chick, an excellent mother, and the only person I know who went down the aisle at her wedding wearing Doc Martens under her wedding gown. I think she might have seen a picture of my ballsack at one time, too. The details are fuzzy. Like my ballsack.
Next we have the talented Vaughn R. Demont, a friend and colleague that has a serious amount of talent. An urban fantasy writer, Vaughn’s stuff might not be for everyone – as he features LGBT characters in his work – but he’s crafting the kind of shared setting that could one day rival the Cthulhu Mythos as being a living, breathing entity in his own right. You’re doing yourself a serious disservice if you don’t pick up one of his very reasonably priced e-books.
Finally we have the mysterious J, an incredible artist and someone who I’m very glad will be moving off the West Coast sometime soon so we can be in the same timezone at least. If you dig deep enough through her tumblr you can find examples of her artwork, and if there’s anyone that I would let draw me naked with a rose in my mouth and a carrot up my ass, it’s her. Though I might have her blindfolded first.
So there we have it! Seven facts revealed about myself, and seven people more-or-less nominated, though I did have to half-ass the last four. I guess I need to network more on WordPress. God, such a chore. Why can’t you people have blogs of your own or something? No, J, tumblr doesn’t count.