Friday, March 31, 2006

Living With Dogs

So, I have a soft spot in my cold, dead heart for dogs. I always have. I am 100% a dog person, and tolerate cats barely.

I’ve said many times that cats should never be trusted. They are fickle, haughty, self-important creatures that lurk. They are vile beasts and anyone who has a deep love for them should be initially distrusted. Now granted, when they are being lovey, they’re great. They have soft fur and that purring sound is soothing on a subconscious level. But don’t be fooled. It’s just a prelude to a bite or scratch. I think that’s what is wrong with cats in general. All cats, and the domestic housecat especially, still don’t realize that they are not the apex predators they think they are. And that accounts for the lurking. They have psychotic breaks, causing them to stalk and wait; hoping for an opportunity to jump upon an unsuspecting person like a lion would a sick or young antelope on the Serengeti. They still see us as a food source - -and that ain't right.

Dogs, on the other hand, are capable of no such guile. (Unless you raise an attack dog. Unlike an orange tabby, a trained Doberman, German Shepard, or Pit Bull will fuck your shit up…) Properly raised and acclimated dogs are loyal, affectionate, and constantly looking for your love and approval. That’s what I like about dogs. They can show their love. You come home from work and they act as though you’ve been gone for days and squirm and bark and wag their tail in greeting. In fact, they’ll act the same way if you walked down to the road to get the mail. They are just happy to see you. You’ll get no such greeting from a cat.

So why all this talk of dogs and cats? Well I wanted to talk some about Doctor Zombie’s dogs. You see I have two dogs.

The first is Charlie. His full name is Charles Parnell, after the influential nineteenth century Irish politician and Home Rule advocate. Our Charlie's a lemon beagle, which means that he looks like any other beagle, but he has a recessive trait that makes his fur only light brown and white. No black. Charlie - being a beagle - is loyal and gentle with the zombie kids but he is in no way perfect. Beagles as a breed are great, but they have some behavioral traits that are near impossible to fix. They’re lazy for starters. There are days where Charlie will spend 85-90% of the time sleeping. He’ll find a warm spot in the sun, or near a heater and sprawl on his back. Within moments he’ll be sound asleep and snoring; his dork and fat, whale-like belly pointing at the ceiling. He’ll move only to go out, maybe eat, or make a halfhearted attempt to go and lay on the bed because he needs some variety. Beagles also tend towards obesity; and Charlie is no exception. We have all kinds of nicknames for the tub of lard that is our beagle. He’s known – alternately - as Lunchbox, Chubby Charlie, Fatty, Tubby and (my personal favorite) Fatty Boom Batty.

He is also a typical beagle in that he is stupid. I mean he’s painfully dumb. I honestly think he’s mentally retarded in some way; like he’s damaged at a chromosomal level. We actually have to be careful when we come home because he will get so excited that, when he runs to the door to greet us, he will – I swear to god – run square into the edge of the door. He once did it so hard he knocked himself out. I thought he’d killed himself. There was a horrifying sound, like someone had dropped a bowling ball on concrete, and the whole door thrummed with the impact. He let out a pained grunt and fell to the floor. His eyes rolled up into his head and he lay on the parquet floor, his legs up in the air and occasionally twitching. The twitching was the only thing that led us to believe he hadn’t cracked his skull and somehow damaged his walnut-sized brain. Five minutes later, he stirred, rolled over, yawned and began wagging his tail excitedly because – in his mind – we had just come home again.

He also has a propensity for chewing things that could kill him. Seriously. The first time he did it, my wife and I were watching a movie after the kids had gone to bed. He was rooting around behind the couch. After a few minutes of this, there was a sudden blue flash in the darkened room, like some strange supernatural blue lightning had struck. The room was suddenly filled with the acrid, foul smell of burnt dog hair. Charlie yipped and tore out from behind the couch yelping and crying. He had actually chewed through one of the lamp cords. The funny thing is, after making sure he was ok, and after resetting the breakers in the basement, would you believe that the asshole did it twice more that night? I wound up having to unplug the lamp and move it.

Our other dog, Nick, is another story entirely. Nick is a toy fox terrier who is a few years older than Charlie. We rescued him from a friend of my sister’s who had adopted him expecting him to stay little. She was basically looking for one of those little Paris Hilton dogs that are about the size of a malnourished wharf rat. Well, he got a little bigger than that, so she didn’t want him anymore. Nick is a great dog. Unlike Charlie, he’s smart and knows basic commands like sit, speak, jump, come here, lay in your bed, find Charlie, etc… He is also a cuddler. He must always be in someone’s lap if they’re sitting and he loves to give kisses. He’s a little bundle of energy and is a good dog.

Except when he’s in a bad mood.

You see, Nick has a temper. It all is rooted in the fact that Nick, although he’s seven or eight years old, has never been neutered. So, he’s got all of this testosterone flowing in his little body and he’s always got to be the alpha male. Considering that he’s half the size of Charlie, you’d think Charlie would put him in his place.

You’d think so, but you’d be wrong.

Nick’s also known around our house as the Grumpy Old Man or Napoleon. He’s got Little Man Syndrome. And, in the course of his becoming a member of the family, he’s somehow turned Charlie into his prison bitch. My poor beagle is the submissive bottom to Nicky’s alpha dog top. This only happens when Nick gets upset, when we mess with his schedule or, worse, with his bitch Charlie.

Like if we take him to the groomer.

True story - - I go to pick the boys up from the local Petsmart after having them groomed. I’m standing there, waiting for one of the groomers to ring me out when I see another groomer in the back room. It looks like she’s trying to wrestle a Doberman out of this cage. The whole cage is shaking and there’s a hellacious growling and snarling emitting from the cage. Every time she tries to reach into the cage, she jumps back. It’s like watching Dee Wallace try to get out of the car in Cujo. Turns out, it’s Nicky. And he’s upset because he’s been groomed and his bitch, Charlie is sad because he’s not at home. We’ve been kicked out of three PetSmarts because of the little bastard. They now have our name on the computer and they won’t even take my calls anymore. And the worst thing is that Nicky’ll hold a grudge the rest of the day after coming home from the groomer. If you go near him, he growls and snarls. And poor Charlie. All Charles wants to do is sleep because it’s tiring for him to get a bath and have his nails clipped; but Nicky won’t leave him alone. Every time Charlie tries to lay down, Nick’s got to take out his gnawing black rage at the world on Charlie’s ass. For the next twenty four hours, it’s like some weird gay prison porn film at our house as Nicky reasserts his dominance by humping Charlie, all of the kid’s toys, and any pillows that aren’t put up.

Despite all of this, I still love my dogs. I love Charlie despite his stupidity and Nicky despite his occasional psychotic rages. Nothing beats lying on the couch and watching television after the rest of the family has gone to bed; my two dogs stretched out and asleep on top of me. The boys are as much my kids as the real zombie kids. And I’d take them over a cat any day. Besides, cats eat their own poop. Seriously. At least, that’s what my dogs told me…

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nearing the End...

It’s been a few days since I posted, so I just wanted to update with a few links and some general comments….

Of course, the big news is that my class ends this week. Woo-hoo! Back to my regular schedule, back to some normality. I love teaching, but these New Hire classes take a lot out of me. There’s an endless amount of preparation, and when that’s done, I spend a good eight hours or so - on my feet – being upbeat, positive, and supportive. Ask those that know me and they’ll tell you that it’s hard for me to maintain that fa├žade for so long; especially over a 6 week period. The other bonus to my going back to a regular schedule is that I’ll actually have the time and energy to devote to writing. I want to finish my new novel as soon as I can, because I have a few other ideas on the backburner that I want to put down.

In that same vein, I recently wrote a one act play that I’m going to send out and try to get on the one act circuit. I’m torn, really. It’s an homage to my favorite movie genre – zombie flicks. What I’m conflicted about is whether or not I want to send it out for one of the endless one act contests, or if I should try to produce it and get it on stage myself. You see, right after college, I was a professional actor for a while. I did some street theater, improv work, and quite a few plays (mostly Shakespearean). I’ve always wanted to put together my own production company doing cutting edge, subversive stage work. And I still have contacts in the business and with my old production company. It would be easy to get my play on a stage – but the hard part is actually finding a stage. There aren’t many cheap, open spaces that have an existing stage; to say nothing of having the money to rent and build my own. I have half thought about forming a non-profit arts group and trying to go the route of NEA grants – but who wants that headache? Besides – the good Doctor needs money, dammit! How else am I going to fund my plans for world domination? What to do, what to do…

Here are a couple links that have caught my eye in the last few days…

The first is this game. Very cool and fun! Use your arrow keys to navigate. I found it over at thatdarnedblog which, by the way, is written by a beautiful woman who participates in the Blogspot phenomenon of HNT (or Half Nekkid Thursdays). Obviously, that’s not why I linked to her. I link to sites because they amuse me or are well written – but it does help a whole lot if you’re a hot redhead. What can I say? I’m a guy – we’re callow, insensitive, and never really outgrow boob and fart jokes. It comes with the Y-chromosome folks…

Finding Sarah Connor. When do I get my neural chip implants? When will William Gibson’s visions be made real? (And, as for the Sarah Connor reference, it’s a meme. Check out the explanation here, at Wikipedia. I love this term and the rate of technological growth happening out there makes it more useful, appropriate, and sinister, every day.)

Oh, I forgot to mention! I got my Utilikilt in the mail today! Woo-hoo! I can’t wait for the weather to break so I can wear it on a regular basis. And I know that one of my regular readers, Chrissy, will be just as excited about it. She’s Scottish and genetically predispositioned to love men in kilts. Too bad I’m a fat, bald, evil undead doctor. She might find it more exciting were that not so. Sorry, Chris! If we go out to dinner anytime soon, I promise I’ll wear it!

Finally, I had to comment about a movie I watched last night. One of my students loaned it to me. She’s a horror movie aficionado like the good Doctor and highly recommended it. It’s a French film called High Tension (or Haut Tension, in the original Frog). I’d heard about it, and heard good things. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Gods! What a great movie. Beyond the general disadvantage it had in being French, it was one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in years. Seriously. It tells the story of two female, college age, friends named Marie and Alex who go to Alex’s parents house in the country for a break. On the night they arrive, a killer comes calling, kills Alex’s entire family, and the rollercoaster ride of suspense and gore never lets up. What I loved about this movie is that, after the first ten minutes, there is very little – if any – dialogue. The tension and terror are conveyed by the protagonist Marie’s face, tears, and body language as she plays cat and mouse with the killer. The gore effects were beautiful and shockingly realistic, the tension was palpable, and the execution near flawless. Add on top of that the fact that the main character Marie (played by the French actress Cecil de France) is absolutely delicious. God, she is gorgeous! Anyway, the way the film was put together, the characters, and the sheer horror it produced make this one of the best slasher movies to come along in years. The only flaw is a trite twist at the end that really does little to make the story better. In fact, it causes several almost insurmountable and irreconcilable plot holes. You know what, though? Very rarely will the Good Doctor say this, but I DIDN’T CARE. The movie was so good that I’m willing to overlook such logical gaps. It bears saying again – this movie has made Doctor Zombie’s list of all time great horror movies – something that is near impossible in today’s age of big budget, watered down, studio-neutered, corporate horror drek. All of my faithful zombie minions must go out and rent this! Doctor Zombie commands it!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Chomped Brains (even considering the plot flaws and the fact that it is French!)

I must go and sharpen my chainsaw. Unpleasant dreams, dear reader...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Poor Judgement

So I just took some time off for spring turkey hunting next month and I am SOOOO excited to go. What’s great about spring turkey is that we (my father and a couple of our friends) go to the Wayne National Forest in Southeastern Ohio and camp in the backcountry. During spring turkey, by the way, you’re only allowed to hunt from sunrise to noon. So, much of the time is spent drinking beer, enjoying the warm weather, plinking with .22’s, and going off-roading in my Jeep. Which reminds me of a story…

You see three years ago, I almost died down there. Seriously.

The road to get to the area we camp in has several small creek crossings. Basically the road dips down into the creek and continues across the other side. So, the last night of turkey hunting, a major thunderstorm rolls in and it pours like a monsoon for a good 6 or so hours. When we woke up in the morning, the creeks had swollen. They had gone from lazy, meandering brook to a rushing, 30 or 40 foot wide torrent. As a result the road is completely washed out. We had no choice but to sit and wait for the water to come down some so we could get out.After a few hours, the river's are still rushing and my dad says, "You know, I left one of my turkey blinds up where I was hunting. I want to get it before we leave."

I respond, "I've got the Jeep, we should be able to do a few river crossings."

What is it they say? Never try to cross water during a flood?

Anyway, we take off down the road. When we come to the first river crossing, I inch in and cross it no problem. It was a little touch and go, so my dad says I need to go faster or I'm going to get stuck. I advise him that I can't just splash in because of the placement of the airbox in my old Jeep. You see, one of the design flaws in the 1988 through 1995 Jeep Wranglers was the placing of the airbox. Basically, it was in the front of the engine compartment and had a large bored hole facing the radiator. If you hit water too hard, it would spray into the engine compartment, hit the airbox, and get sucked into the motor – immediately killing it because, apparently, internal combustion engines don’t work with water. Who’d have thunk it?

So, my dad keeps busting my balls, and I keep telling him that I know what I'm doing. Soon, we come to the next river crossing and it is readily apparent this one is much worse. I begin thinking, ‘maybe dad's right’. Part of this was that I didn’t want to spend too much time in the rushing gray, class two rapids that were in front of me. The other part was that reptile part of the male brain that makes all men think we are both invulnerable and damn sexy when drunk. So, my ego and hubris getting the better of me, I gun the Jeep and hit the rushing river head on.

Water splashes up over the top of the jeep and I sink to the edge of the hood. Immediately, I suck water into the airbox and the motor dies with a jarring gasp and sputter.

"Oh shit!" my dad and I say in unison.

My initial entry had taken us 20 or so feet into the water and as I'm sitting there, trying to get the motor to turn over, water starts coming through the doors and the Jeep’s body tub starts to fill up. Then, to my mounting horror, the force of the rushing river starts to move the jeep sideways down the river.

Mass panic ensues! My dad is screaming on the cb to the other guys in hunting camp to, “Come save us, we're going to die! Dear God in heaven! We’re going to die!”

I'm mother fucking him because I suddenly feel that this is his fault; after all, he made me go get his blind and he suggested we hit the water headfirst.

I’m madly twisting the key in the ignition and pumping the now submerged gas pedal, trying to get a spark in my hydro-locked engine. My dad’s desperately trying to unzip the window and bail out. We’re both cursing at each other like sailors on shore leave. My Jeep is bobbing sideways in a flooded mountain river and moving downstream to our next stop - the Ohio River; and I still can't get it to start.

Just then, as the Jeep bobs down and touches the river bottom, the motor turns over! It's chugging and bucking because there's so much water in it but I get enough of a spark to get some power to the wheels. I slam the Jeep into four wheel drive and my tires - amazingly - grip on some submerged rocks. We shoot up and out of the river.

As we're sitting on the other side of the river, shaking with adrenaline, breathing hard and looking at each other in that way that says, 'Wow. We almost just died,'; we vow to never tells our wives that this EVER happened...

There are two morals to this story really. The first is, they ain’t fuckin’ kidding about NOT driving through flood waters. The second is, bad things happen when my dad and I drink and there’s no women around to talk us out of stupid ideas...

Funny that. I’ve almost died a couple times whilst with me da’. Remind me to tell you sometime about me, my dad, a campfire, and a one pound can of Pyrodex black powder. All I can say is…BOOOOM!!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Zombie Flick Review - Undead

So I’ve been really jonesing for some brain munching, lip smacking zombie goodness lately. It’s been really hard to find some ‘me’ time with this class I’ve been training. The class hours are 5:15pm – 2am; which translates to my working from 3:30pm until 3:30 or 4am every morning. I’m working like 12 hour days. In addition to that I took on a painting side job that’s been taking up my time during the day when I’m not working. Add on top my regular dad duties, and it’s no wonder I’m sick as hell. All of this sucks, but the worst part is that I’ve been neglecting my zombie movie watching.

I’ve been an especially bad undead monster in that I haven’t even had time to pick up my unrated director’s cut of Romero’s Land of the Dead yet. This is not the sort of thing that other zombies look well upon. I did go on-line last night on a break and pre-order Rob Zombie’s new CD (which releases on 3/28 – woohoo!).

I did recently catch the new Australian zombie flick, Undead. Gotta say it was pretty disappointing. Truthfully, I sometimes just don’t get Australian cinema. It’s weird really. They’ve got this whole American cowboy attitude, with a gritty outback perspective. And the movies are just odd. Even the classic Road Warrior was weird. And it’s not even like their flicks are European weird. You know what I’m talking about. European movies are either plodding, symbolism heavy bore-fests, or it’s like Benny Hill: The Movie (as directed by Jean Reno and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.) Fucking weird. Australia, though… they’ve got their own 'foreign by way of the Pacific Rim' weirdness to them. And the thing is, I’d heard some great things about this movie. Everything I’d read hailed it as a brilliant independent horror film. It had been touted as a new, great zombie flick that took much too long to become available here in the US. I’d even seen it compared to Shaun of the Dead. Let me warn you - - if you rent this movie expecting the brilliance of Shaun, you will be sorely disappointed. Gore-wise, it did a great job. And there were some really cool visuals. The plot though, the plot sucked. Let me see if I can get this right; the main character Rene is trying to escape her boring, backwoods town. As she leaves, a meteorite storm happens and she finds herself beset by undead zombies. She ends up taking refuge at the home of the local nutjob, Marion. Sounds okay so far, right? It did to me. There were some great zombies, some great gore, and it had all the makings of a good zombie flick up until this point; beyond some bad acting.

And then it all went horribly, horribly wrong. Marion, who’s a 50ish, husky farmer with a beard and coveralls, looks and acts like one of the degenerate bayou hillbillies from Southern Comfort or Deliverance. He immediately starts pulling out guns that apparently never need to be reloaded and becomes a zombie killing machine. We’re talking a machine like Neo from The Matrix, but never mind that silly and pretentious background explanation the Matrix had that the world wasn’t ‘real’. Who needs that nonsense? Marion is just a super fly zombie killer who apparently has known that the zombie were coming because he was visited by a vision of aliens while fishing on a pond some years earlier…after catching a zombie fish. That’s right, a zombie fish. Whatever. From here it just gets weirder and weirder. They try to escape town, but find that they are in the midst of an alien invasion. People are sucked up in beams of light. The town is surrounded by a thorny alien wall. The aliens appear out of nowhere, dressed like Gregorian monks. The zombies become secondary to all of this.

The movie just skews into absurdity.

I just did a quick check of the reviews for this film over on IMDB.com and I’m still finding endless praise for this clunker. I just don’t get it. I guess I’m being too much of a zombie film purist, but it just wasn’t that good to me. Part of me wonders if maybe all of the praise for this film is by Aussies, i.e.; they get it while I, as an American, don’t. Are they that starved for good independent horror in Oz that they find this good? I’m at a loss. Really. The acting sucked, the script sucked, the effects were tolerable, and I had the feeling that the director and writer really weren’t sure what direction they wanted to go in. It’s like something film students would have thrown together over a bong the week before their senior project is due.

Waste of time. Save the 90 or so minutes of your life this movie will ungraciously devour and re-watch any of Romero’s flicks, or Shaun of the Dead. Hell, trot out 28 Days Later for that matter. At least that flick, while having actually ZERO zombies, was more of a real zombie flick…

Rating: 1 out of 5 Chomped Brains

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blogger problems - repost

(This is a repost that should have posted on Thursday of last week. There were some issues with blogger, and it looks like it never posted. I'll go ahead and post this now, and then update how my weekend went later...)

I just wanted to post a few quick links before I headed to sleep in prep for tomorrow's Irish madness. I'll be starting bright and early at about 7am. I will probably bring my digital camera to snap some shots of my drunken revelry/idiocy. Just what you wanted to see - I'm sure...a drunken, bald, kilt-wearing, undead Irish Doctor staggering about the streets of Downtown Cleveland.

Ceade Ma Failte!

This is a really cool link. It’s this sort of pointless discussion that makes the internet so damn cool for those of us – like myself – who actually spend time thinking about such inane matters… My thought is that the undead zombification process slows the normal rot of human flesh. Perhaps something about the unwholesome and unnatural process makes the body less hospitable or appealing to the microbes and bacteria that cause decomposition. At least that’s how I explain why I’M still up and walking around…

And from the “There-but-for-the-grace-of-god-go-I” club… Dude, I love horror movies, but this ain’t right. And he’s British at that. If you’re going to become a movie-like serial killer, and you’re a Brit, wouldn’t it be much cooler to be someone besides Freddy Krueger or Michael Meyers? I mean, jeez, you’ve got the whole chilling English accent thing going on - - run with it. Go Hannibal Lecter, or some other cool cat. Maybe that’s why this nutjob got caught. He didn’t get all cold and “Now you die, Mr. Bond.” Instead he stabs a couple septegenarians and a middle age guy passed out from drinking too much Bass at the local pub. Dumbass. Amateurs like this make the rest of us serial killers look bad.

Finally… a shout out to Molly at MollySavesTheDay. I support what you’re doing Molly and you should be applauded. You are brave, intelligent, and should be a hero to everybody who considers themselves Pro-Choice. For those who don’t know, Molly is a fellow blogger who has posted instructions for do it yourself abortions. She did this in response to the morally smug, evil, Republican bastards who have made abortion illegal IN ALL CASES in South Dakota. These fascist, biblethumpers have set their sites on Mississippi, as well as my home state – Ohio. That big eared, lying, and grotesque buffoon at 1600 Pennsylvania has greased the skids with the Christian cronies he’s appointed to the SCOTUS; and the extreme Right is doing everything it can to turn our country into a Christian theocracy where freedoms like privacy, Choice, and religious tolerance are anachronisms.

Molly, if we survive King George II and aren’t all sent off to some northern Midwest gulag, or Christian re-education camp, you’ll be remembered as a patriot for doing the unthinkable to drive some sense into anybody who thinks it’s not going to happen to them!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Normally I hate these things...

So my friend Mich sent me one of those questionaire things. She actually does it every year. And, because I love her more than dirt, and because I spent an inordinate amount of time typing my responses, I figured I'd post it up here and refer her to my blog. So what if I'm a whore and whore myself out by constantly referring others to my dark corner of the web...

Mich's Annual Questionaire
1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:45am to get the zombie kids dressed, fed, and on the bus. I’ve been sick the last few days - so once I completed my dad duties - I promptly went back to bed and slept until noon.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Umm. I’m a guy. If I had to answer I’d say onyx. It’s what my class ring was, and what Mrs. Zombie keeps saying she wants to buy me for my next ring. Black suits my soul…

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Underworld: Evolutions. With Kate Beckinsale. Mmmmm…Kate. Kate, dear sweet Kate…

4. What's your favorite TV show? Currently? The Shield and The Sopranos. And the new Battlestar Galactica. I cannot express in words how awesome this show is!

5. What did you have for breakfast this morning? A bowl of Cranberry Vanilla Bran Flakes.

6. What's your favorite cuisine? Bar food. Is that a cuisine?

7. What foods do you dislike? Chocolate. And spinach.

8. What is your favorite chip flavor? French Onion Sun Chips.

9. What's your favorite CD at the moment? New: NIN - With Teeth Old: The Cure: B Sides and Other Oddities Box Set Just Because: MinistryGreatest Fits

10. What kind of car do you drive? 2002 Jeep Wrangler with knobby tires and a cool expedition rack.

11. Favorite sandwich? Either a homemade ham and swiss on wheat with Italian dressing and heated for thirty seconds in the microwave; or a corned beef from Cleveland’s world famous Slyman’s Deli.

12. What characteristics do you despise? Needless Optimism, In-your- face religious faith, stupidity, and passive aggressive behavior.

13. What is your favorite type of clothing? jeans and one of my endless numbers of black t-shirts.

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
I’m going to have to copy Mich’s answers because they were so good… Whale watching in Newfoundland, Greece, and Denali National Park, Nepal.... and add London England. I love London.

15. What color is your bathroom? Beige and sage. That’ll be changing soon though. A bathroom remodel is first on Doctor Zombie’s spring honey-do list…

16. Favorite brand of clothing? I’m not really a brand kind of guy. I suppose I like Levi’s jeans, Columbia brand clothing, and Carhart Jeans and jackets. In the next few weeks I will be ordering a Utilikilt, so that‘ll be cool. Besides that, I like to shop online at Halloweentown.com because they have some great horror movie related t-shirts.

17. Where would you retire to? Probably Myrtle Beach (because they have an ocean and more seasons than Florida) or Colorado Springs CO. I went to Colorado Springs for work last year and fell in love with it. I can see myself hiking Garden of the Gods or the Front Range in my twilight years. I can think of worse ways of dying than having a coronary trying to summit Pike’s Peak in my 70’s or 80’s…

18. Favorite time of the day? After midnight, when the house is quiet and I can write with no distractions.

19. What was your most memorable birthday? Probably my 18th, because I could officially buy porn…

20. Where were you born? Cleveland, OH

21. Favorite sport to watch? Hockey. Sometimes football. I’m not a sports guy.

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? I’m not really forwarding it, so I don’t expect to hear from anybody.

23. Person you expect to send it back first? Ditto. See # 22…

24. What fabric detergent do you use? Odd. Mitch put Arm-n-Hammer. That’s what I use also, because it comes in a big friggin’ container from BJ’s Wholesale Club and doesn’t make me break out in a rash. (Believe it or not, the Doctor’s undead skin is very sensitive. I break out in hives if I use anything with too strong a chemical mix, dye and/or perfumes in it)

25. Were you named after anyone? Yes, I have the same name as my father. With the addition of Junior. Very uncool…

26. Do you wish on stars? No. Fate is what you make. Wishing gets you nothing. Action gets things done.

27. When did you last cry? A few weeks ago when I watched that stupid movie, Rudy. Damn you Sean Astin! And damn you Notre Dame football!

28. Do you like your handwriting? No. I have horrible, indecipherable handwriting. Thank the dark gods for keyboards…

29. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Probably not. I’m a brooding, anti-social bastard who isn’t the best at keeping in touch with those I consider my friends. I also don’t think I’m a great guy to be around when I’m drunk. I’m clumsy, slur a lot, and talk stupid shit…

30. Are you a daredevil? I was, before I got married. I still like to think of myself as one. Things I’ll do before I turn forty… a)Climb a REAL mountain, b)hunt a bear, and c)compete in a caged, full contact fight. That last one’s not likely, but a guy can dream, right?

31. Do looks matter? Not at all...unless you’re ugly. : )

32. How do you release anger? Listen to depressing goth music, workout, write.

34. What were your favorite toys as a child? My Star Wars toys. They’re still in my mom’s attic and will, someday, make me rich…

35. What class in High School was totally useless? Math. God how I despise math. Beyond the basic stuff, it’s totally useless and has no real world application unless you become a physicist or rocket scientist. Funny story – I’m a reasonably smart person. When I did my ACT’s, the scale only went to 25. I scored 24 or 25 in all areas of the ACT, except math. I got a 9 in math. A 9. Blech! I hate math…

37. Favorite movies? Too many to list. I’m a movie whore and I could never list all of my favorites. Sorry. That’s a cheap way of not answering the question, but I’m being honest.

38. What are your nicknames? D., Doctor Zombie, Coyote (long story – my dad gave it to me after I got drunk in the mountains while hunting one night. I called a pack of coyotes to within 50 yards of our campsite.), Pud.

39. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No. Not generally.

40. Do you think that you are strong? Very much so.

41. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla or pistachio. Ice cream is my one true weakness, I could have it every day. God I love ice cream…

42. What are your favorite colors? Black, grey, and then probably dark hunter green.

43. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? See #29…

44. Who do you miss the most? Sometimes college. I loved the time I was at Bowling Green. All of my friends were there, we were all living together or close by, and life was so much easier then. I miss the hanging out, role playing, getting drunk, and taking naps in the afternoon just because. Most of all I miss my friends… Oh wait! I just realized I misread this. It wants to know WHO I miss... I would say Mich, then. The person who sent me this. I'm putting her for a couple of reasons - because I do miss talking to her because she's one of the coolest, smartest people I know, even when she's busting my balls; because she had to go and get a job in the middle of some bayou in Louisanna; and because if I make her feel guilty enough, she'll come visit me more often! : )

45. Do you want everyone you sent this to, to send it back to you? Not likely.

46. What color pants are you wearing? Blue Levi’s. Gotta love casual work wear…

47. Last thing you ate? A turkey sandwich and a bowl of split pea soup. Also about four cough drops. I told you I wasn’t feeling well…

48. Favorite song? Oooh. Another tough one. I can take a stab at this one though… How about my top 8 or 10, in no particular order?
- Secret World – Peter Gabriel
- I Burn For You – Sting
- Same Deep Water As You – The Cure
- Sober – Tool
- Blood, Milk, and Sky – Rob Zombie
- Moonlight Sonata in d-minor - Beethoven
- California Uber Alles - The Dead Kennedys
- Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
- The Carmina Burana - Karl Orff

49. If you were a CRAYON what color would you be? Black… like my soul…

50. Last person you talked to on the phone? My company’s rewards and recognitions rep.

51. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Boobs. Hey, I’m being honest here! Then I probably look at hair. I have a weakness for redheads, really like brunettes, and am helpless when faced with a black or henna red haired goth chick…

52. Favorite drink? Guinness, primarily – dark beers otherwise. Although I have been drinking a lot of wheat beer lately. I especially like this Irish wheat beer called Curim. Tasty…

53. Do you wear contacts? Nope. I have perfect, almost preternaturally so, vision.

54. Favorite day of the year? No question – Halloween. It’s in my favorite season and it is the single coolest day of the year… hands down. Second would be St. Patty’s – it’s an Irish thing…

55. Endings happy or sad? Sad. To quote Clerks, “Empire(had the better ending). I mean Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, and Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. I mean it ends on such a down note. That’s what real life is…a series of down endings. What did Jedi have? All it had was a bunch of muppets…”

56. Winter/summer? Winter. I’ve never been able to adequately explain my sweatiness in the stifling heat of a humid Northern Ohio summer. Yech.

57. Hugs or Kisses? Kisses. Deep, passionate, soul searing kisses. At least, that’s how I used to remember them… I’m married now.

58. What is your favorite Dessert? Plain cheesecake or tiramisu.

59. What book(s) are you reading? I always have at least two or three books going at any one time. Right now, I’m reading A Magick Life by Martin Booth (about my great uncle, Aleister Crowley); Bite, by Richard Laymon (I have been on a Laymon jag lately. He writes great horror!); The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks; and I’m re-reading The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz (Highly recommended!)

60. What is on your Mouse Pad? At work, Darth Vader – at home, The Three Stooges.


61. What did you watch on TV last night? CSI: Miami and I got caught up on my DVR’d Battlestar Galactica season finale.

62. Favorite smells? Vanilla, clove cigarettes, my wife’s skin.

63. Stones or Beatles? Beatles, totally. The Stones have done NOTHING good since Sympathy with the Devil and Paint it Black. The Beatles, though… the Beatles endure.

64. What's the furthest you have been from home? London England

65. What is your profession? I am a writer. At least that’s what I like to say I am. What pays the bills is that I’m a corporate trainer for the 3rd largest insurance company in the US.

66. Ever been in love? Yes. Many times

67. Ever had your heart broken? Yes. Twice. I’m sad to say that, very often, I did the heartbreaking. If there’s a hell, I’m sure I’ll go there for the way I treated women when I was younger.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Too much information...

or, why I shouldn’t listen to myself when I get what I think is a brilliant idea...

Samplings of random thoughts I had this weekend…

Man. I don’t feel well. It feels like I have something heavy sitting on my chest and I’m dizzy when I stand up too fast. Let’s see what I have in the medicine cabinet for this. It’s probably another damned case of pneumonia. It’s this weather. One day it’s 25 degrees with snow, and the next it’s 65 and sunny. Hmmm… here’s some Nyquil, but I can’t take that now. It’s the middle of the day. Tonight, though… tonight I will be sleeping in the warm arms of Princess Nyquil, that’s for sure! Wait a minute, here’s two or three bottles of antibiotics that I never finished taking. All right, according to the doses and directions, I’ve got enough here for at least 6 – 8 days of treatment! Well, hot damn! I just saved myself a trip to the doctor’s office, a $15 co-pay, and another 10 or so bucks for a prescription for antibiotics. Which one should I start with? Well, I’ll go with the oldest first and mix and match as I go. Antibiotics are antibiotics, right?

Later…
Whew! Holy crap! Why am I so gassy? Man, the whole living room stinks. You know it’s bad when you can’t stand the smell of your own ass. Braaaappp! Oh man! Whoooo! Ha! I just chased the dogs off of the couch. How awesome is that? They actually go out, look for, and roll themselves in some of the foulest, filthiest stuff they can find. If my ass is enough to clear them out, you KNOW it must be bad. Still feel crappy, but I feel a little better because the beagle is sitting across the room and glaring at me like I took a shit on the living room couch. Ha!

Even later…
Man, this is the life! My wife and kids are out of town visiting her sister, I’m free to fart and burp and do as I please, and I can make Doctor Zombie’s world famous extra spicy Cajun jambalaya without having to hear any whining about how “Daddy’s food makes the house smell bad”, or “My eyes! Daddy’s food makes my eyes burn!”. The dogs are giving me a wide berth, as well they should. They’re still mad from our little game of ‘Lure the dogs on the couch, throw a blanket over all of us, and let rip with a rotten, sulfur smelling air biscuit!” Man, this is almost like being single again. My only regret is that I can’t crack open a Guinness or six because of these antibiotics. I… whoa… what’s that gurgling sound my stomach is making? Man. I don’t feel so…OH CRAP! OH CRAP! Fire in the hole! Oh jeez, oh jeez, Must! Get! To! The bathroom! Move dogs! No, I’m not playing! Jesus, God - I know I’m an atheist, but I swear if I make it to the bathroom without shitting myself, I’ll go to church again!

A few seconds later…
Oh man! Oh man! Oh man! It feels like I’ve got some tropical disease. I’m all sweaty and my stomach’s roiling. It was touch and go for a few seconds there, but I managed to stiff leg it up the stairs and get to the bathroom. Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, it’s like my insides have been liquefied and are now pouring out of my south end like beer from a pitcher. It’s like my colon is a pressurized firehouse. This isn’t right. There’s seriously something wrong with me. This must be what hell is like. It’s all eternity with your insides splashing into the toilet at near the speed of sound. I swear I heard a sonic boom that last go around. Oh god! Here it comes again…

A few hours later…
I’m dying. Now I remember why I never finish a full course of antibiotics. It’s because it gives me the purple squirts. I guess I shouldn’t have mixed up that antibiotic cocktail. I’m so weak from shitting, I can’t get up. I feel like a sock that’s been washed, wrung out, and hung to dry. My whale eye is sore from the abuse it’s had to suffer eight goddamn times in the last two goddamn hours! And the worst part is that those shit-eating dogs are laughing at me. I can tell by the looks on their furry faces, they’re sitting there on their fat asses, laughing and saying to me, “Ha Ha! Fart on us will you? Serves you right asshole!” They’re laughing like they’ve just discovered Karma, and Karma has giftwrapped a present for them. Oh god I’m dying. Please send help! Damn antibiotics. Damn dogs…

Such is the misery and shame that is my life...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hmmm...

I've noticed some increased traffic to the site. That's pretty cool. If anything, it means I need to be better about updating. What really freaks me out is that I was walking through work the other night and someone stopped me and said they loved what I had written on my blog the other day about the carny with the fake eye. That creeped me out. I mean, how on earth did someone I work with find out about my blog? And who the hell else at work is reading it? I've gotta be honest; I felt a twinge of anxiety at the thought that people at work - and maybe BOSSES might find out about my blog. I mean, this isn't something that would be classified, in any terms, as "work safe". I mean stories about carnies, my public humiliation, and my liberal use of the f-word are not things I want potential hiring managers finding out about - - especially considering the fact that I am trying very, very hard to move to a new position in that endless search to "advance my career".

And that's saying nothing about my liberal use of "quotes" to make a point. I mean, Christ, I've used them already three times in this post alone. When you're staking your possible future job on how well you write, one would hope that I'd be more creative in terms of my own personal writing. Sheesh.

Anyway, that led me to think about whether or not I needed to tone down my language and/or rhetoric. I mean, what if a potential boss found out about this? Wouldn't a little judicious use of the edit button help me?

Then I thought: What the fuck are you saying?!? Are you insane?!? What kind of artist are you?!?

So, here's my promise, my undead minions. I will never edit myself on this blog. This is not the place for that. Besides, what sort of writer would I be if I edited myself? How could I hope to ever someday become a literary icon if I pandered to those thoughts and individuals that would serve only to water down my writing? That would make what I put down here cheap, dishonest, and (shudder) sanitary. It's like when you ty to watch a really good movie on TNT or TBS, but they've gone and dubbed different words to hide the horrible, icky, un-Christian things the movie originally said. For instance, instead of Bruce Willis looking in exhaustion at a smarmy Alan Rickman and saying, "Yippee Ki-Ay, mother fucker!"; he'd look at Alan Rickman and say, "Yippee Ki-Ay...(with a different voice) Mr. Funny Pants." That shit makes me crazy, and i just won't do it.

So, here it is. The complete and unedited Doctor Zombie, coming at you in amazing technicolor; bad attitude, vituperations, and misanthropical rants intact.

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Historic Glimpse into Evil

I’ve been asked by many how I got my real name. You see, I’m a Junior. My real first and middle name is Dale Allen, Junior. There- I’ve said it. Let the Doctor’s deep dark secret spread and profligate on this demonic beast that is the Internet!

In addition to being a Junior, I have a name that is distinctly from an era immediately preceding the second World War. I have a name that is more at home during the Cold War than during the 70’s and 80’s; when I grew up. If you’ve never lived with this archaic and unfortunate quirk of nomenclature, you’ve never felt the shame of TRUE playground taunting. Some of my friends reading this have heard this story, others haven’t. So, now, I share my shame with the rest of the world.

You see, when I was created in that mad burst of gamete and ova melding – it was the first year in that crazy, groovy decade called the 70’s. My father, a police officer and only freshly out of college, had met my mother at the end of the summer of love. Sometime in April or May of 1970 they found out they were soon to be burdened with a bouncing bundle of infant joy. At that time, there was no way of knowing the sex of a baby, but my mother knew early on that I was going to be a boy. She could feel it.

So began the arduous task of choosing baby names. They never really came up with a girl’s name due to my mother’s persistent belief that I was to be a boy. (For all I knew, my mother and grandmother had done some strange, Old World, Irish divining of some sort). Needless to say, my mother and father quickly came to an impasse when it came to my name. My mother wanted me to be a Paul James (Paul was decidedly Catholic, and James was her favorite brother’s name). My father got it into his head that he wanted me named after him.

“Dammit,” he exclaimed on numerous occasions, “My boy, the fruit of my loins, will bear my name! It’s tradition, it’s my legacy; my immortality!”

“That’s nice, Dale,” she would say, “but there’s no fucking way you’ll name him after yourself! I will not have a Junior!”

“We will too,” my Dad argued, “I’m the man! You’ll listen to me, woman.”

And, although it was the 70’s, my mother gave him such a withering look that he realized that to further pursue this line of thought would result in significant pain and injury. Especially to the very same organs responsible for the current need to come up with baby names in the first place. So my father walked away, grumbling and resentful that he wasn’t necessarily the wearer of the pants. It should be noted that all husbands come to this realization at some point, but it makes it no easier a pill to swallow. It is hard to admit that your will has been broken.

So, I was officially to be a Paul James. My parents went on with the preparations for my eventual spawning. Spring bloomed into summer. Summer withered into autumn. And autumn gave way to the deathly cold of a northern Ohio winter. It was there - just past the threshold that is winter and on a cold and snowy December night - that I came squalling and shrieking into the world. Dogs stopped barking, the moon turned blood red in the winter sky, and people shivered in their warm beds; knowing in the dark part of their minds that something evil had come into being.

But that’s another story.

Back to my name. So, the doctor, after slapping me on my undead ass turned to my mother and said, “Mrs. Zombie, you have a beautiful baby boy. Never mind the cloven hooves; we can remove those later. Any way, you have a baby boy. We need to fill out the birth certificate. What would you like to name him?”

My mother, being heavily sedated and on various mind-numbing painkillers, said, “Greeblegrox Bunglesterm”

The doctor frowned. Besides being unable to spell that, he was certain that was not what she really wanted. So he went out to the waiting room and found my father.

“Mr. Zombie,” he said, “you have a beautiful baby boy. Never mind the forked tongue; we can sew the ends together. Anyway, you have a baby boy. We need to fill out the birth certificate. We asked your wife, but aren’t really sure what she said. So, what would you like to name him?”

“Pau…” my father started, and suddenly stopped. All have his resentment and all of his arrogant beliefs in a legacy and immortality were suddenly at the fore of his devious mind. He made a decision then. A decision filled with guile and deviousness. Thoughts of potential schoolyard taunts of “Junior” never crossed his mind. Thoughts of a child having to explain that, yes, his name actually had a comma in it never came to mind. Thoughts of years of therapy for that same child when he was an adult never came to mind. None of that happened. It was at that moment that my father found himself at a cross roads… and he choice the wrong path.

With a wide, proud smile, he said, “Dale. His name will be Dale Allen, Junior.”

Somewhere, in a nursery in another part of the hospital, a small infant began to cry…

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Blue Zombie



So I've decided to post some pics of my Jeep, The Blue Zombie. (My kids named it that. Seriously.) One of the Jeep forums I'm on regularly (jeepforum.com) has a Before and After section and I wanted to show off my pride and joy too.

Alas, I'm not known as Doctor Zombie there. When on Jeep forums, I go by "GothicJeep".

This first picture was taken about a week after I picked it up last March. As you can see, it had little bitty tires, a dumb tubular chrome bumper, and a swooping, Riceboy-like, Autozone decal on the side. Obviously, it needed some work. (Click the pictures to see a larger view...)

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Here's a picture of it from the front to show off the hideously blinged out front bumper. Yech. Completely useless and all show.




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Now, we have the Blue Zombie as it is today, exactly a year later. Notice the much more aggressive, rugged look. Notice the upgraded 30" tires(they're Hi-Tec Retreads), the neat-o expedition rack, and the much more functional bumper with tow hooks. I also added some side steps so the kids and Mrs. Zombie could get in and out. This is closer to how a Jeep should look.





Future Mods: 31" or 32" tires, off road lights, rocker guards (after the kids get taller!), and a 2" suspension lift. Maybe a winch. Then some interior mods like a cb, cb rack, Bestop seat covers, a rear shelf, and an upgraded stereo. And then - then the Zombie will be perfect.

Now, if I could just convince the wife to let me spend more money on it...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What is this Evil?

Seriously...what sort of evilness is this? Why is it that every time - every time - I watch that movie Rudy, I find myself crying like a baby at the end of it?

I just don't get it. I mean, I'm an evil bastard. There's no arguing that point, it's been proven time and again by my mean, antisocial behavior. And, I don't like sports. I am one of those rare guys who just doesn't like sports. Oh, I enjoy watching some hockey every now and then, and I tolerate baseball, and I root for the Browns because that's what you do when you grow up in Cleveland. To do otherwise would be un-American and blasphemous. But I'm not like most guys. I don't know any statistics, I can't tell you who the starting line up of ANY professional or college team out there, and I have no fucking idea who won the 19-whatever World Series. I always feel very uncomfortable when, whilst drinking pints of Guinness with a group of guys, the topic turns to sports. I have no idea what to say. And it's odd really, because I grew up with a family that LOVES sports. My dad played in the triple A baseball minor leagues after college. Every Sunday from the end of August until January - all Sunday afternoon activities revolved around the Cleveland Browns. In fact, even now that I'm an adult, I'm still inundated with sports by way of Mrs. Zombie and her family. Mrs. Zombie played volleyball and basketball in high school and college, her dad coached high school basketball for 30 some odd years, and if there is ever any sports on TV - and I mean ANY; basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, WHATEVER - you can guarantee that they will watch it at any and all family gatherings.

And I don't care.

I just cannot understand the male preoccupation with the endless memorizing and regurgitation of sports statistics. I have a brother in law who is into Fantasy leagues. He will actually miss family dinners because of this idiocy. Let the Doctor try to get out of family dinner though, and there'd be hell to pay! The funny thing is, guys obsess over these fantasy leagues like they are a combination of a fraternity kegger and a live porn show. Note to fantasy leaguers; we geeks have the same thing and we've been doing it a lot longer. It's called role playing games. Whether it's Jerome Bettis or a Dwarven Warrior with a +12 Mithral Battle Hammer, IT'S THE SAME THING. And yet you made fun of ME for it in high school!

Anyway, about this Rudy thing. As I was saying it doesn't make sense to me. I watched it again this afternoon and, again, I found myself sobbing on the couch like an 8 year old after a sleep over at Michael Jackson's house. And, to make matters worse, I find myself doing what I did today; that is - watching it every time it is on. It's just not right. I mean there are certain given movies that I must watch every time they're on. I am powerless not to. These movies include; Any Star Wars movie, Any Indiana Jones movie, Terminator 1 or 2, any non-Roger Moore James Bond movie, and any Clint Eastwood western. Add into that my already diagnosed obsession with old horror movies, and you've got a good idea of who I am. But then there's this anomoly, this aberration, this PERVERSION that is a stupid movie from the 80's about a kid who fulfills his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. And it's not even like I turn it on and say, "Hey, look! It's Sean Astin - Sam Gamgee from the LOTRs movies!" My weakness predates Peter Jackson's holy trinity by several years.

Which leads me to believe that two things are happening here. First, there must be some evil form of subliminal messaging going on here. And by evil, I mean, there are flashes or "Watch This!" and Cry about how uplifting this is!" and, the horrifying "Look! You too can fulfill all of your dreams if you try hard enough!" (Shudder) The insidiousness of this subliminal campaign is that it belies the reality that is life. There are no happy endings! There is only fear, misery, agony and death awaiting you at the end of the dark path of your hopes and dreams. The second thing happening, if you believe my theory of inspirational subliminal messages, is that there is some organization out there that is doing it. Whether they are a secret cabal of do gooders who feel a need to uplift the masses, or recruiters for the University of Notre Dame, they are there and they are manipulating all of us.

I'll need to look into this. And I know you may be thinking I'm a paranoid, that I'm spouting crazy, kooky conspiracy theories. You may think so, but you'll learn too late that the good doctor was right about his Notre Dame/Rudy/Feel Good About Yourself Cult conspiracy when you find yourself watching the Lifetime Network, buying self help books, and trying to fulfill your own pathetic, futile dreams.

My only fear is that Sean Astin's in on it. That he's been somehow brainwashed by these guys. I'd hate to have to pull the trigger on Sam Gamgee. Maybe THAT'S what's truly evil here; that they somehow got to Gomez Adam's son. Evil Sons-of bitches!

Those damned, namby-pamby, do gooders will rue the day they made Doctor Zombie cry! It is now my new life mission to seek out and destroy these bastards!