Tag Archives: Comedy

Sex, Magick & … WTF CBS?

Good thing I started doubling up on my antidepressants this week.

I was on Twitter, as I am often wont to do when there are more productive things to do in the morning, when I came across an advert for the latest project appearing on CBS All Access. It was “Strange Angel”, the partially true story of the founder of JPL and follower of Aleister Crowley (just as Jeremiah Stone is in Arcanum Faire). Okay, sounds frothy and fun and things will most likely blow up good in the end.

But the tag line they used in the trailer…

“Sex, Magick, and Rocket Science”?

For my dozens of fans out there, this is a recognizable phrase. I have been describing the Arcanum Faire books as “A comedy of Sex, Magick, and Power Tools” for five years, now. And it’s not like it is only written on the underside of a rock in a sugar beet field in Elk Grove CA. You can find it here:

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/122949

and here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25217904-power-tools-in-the-sacred-grove

and even here:

It’s quite possible that the bright young person responsible, because they’re all bright and young in Hollywood PR, came across my tagline and said “Hey, what a great idea! I’m sure that Matlick guy will be flattered if we copy it!” Consider the ten-thousand variations of “Where’s the Beef?”

Well, I’m irritated, but realistic about it. You can’t really copyright a tagline, though with some effort and cash you can trademark it. And even if there was legal recourse, CBS has enough lawyers to beat a Mastadon to death with teaspoons. There’s not much I can do but fill the cybersphere with my own hashtags to slipstream the wake of this well-funded vessel. So here we go:

#SexMagick&PowerTools

#ArcanumFaire

Care to join me?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under True Life Misadventure, Writer stuff

Floor Show, No Extra Charge.

My blog was taken over by a stranger, a crazy man, who thought that this might be a place for serious social intercourse without lubrication. That individual has been captured and locked away in a basement room in Omelas.

You won’t be hearing from him soon.

#

The Matulich clan, like most families, has its own series of family in-jokes and schtick. When two or more of us spend time together, it’s the return of vaudeville.

#

An inanimate object falls to the floor, for whatever reason:

“It was depressed.”

Since every member of the family is under treatment for depression, or should be, this shouldn’t be a recurring gag. But, Hell, we all take our meds or engage in art therapy, it can take care of itself, too. Besides, we’re always there to pick the object back up.

#

“C’est la vie.”

“LA VEE.”

“Thank you.”

#

The ultimate press conference gotcha moment, usually performed by two to amplify the weirdness:

“Senator, how long have you been ripping the nipples off baby ducks?”

“Baby ducks don’t have nipples.”

“YOU GOT THEM ALL?”

#

Thank you, thank you! We’ll be here all week. Remember to tip your wait staff, and then return them to their original upright position.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, True Life Misadventure

Sweet dreams

It is no secret that I have been battling depression for the last few decades. It hasn’t really been a battle so much as a game of tag on the slick footing of my cerebral cortex. My doctors have given me a wide range of pharmaceuticals of varying levels of effectiveness, with a plethora of entertaining side effects. The latest set that my wife and I have had to deal with is vivid dreams.

As a horror writer, I’m not bothered by nightmares. I have them, but I just consider it working while I sleep. The problem with some of the latest drugs is that they weaken the failsafe mechanisms that normally would keep the sleeping body from taking orders from the dreaming mind.

The first time we noticed that problem, I had been escaping from bad guys with flamethrowers. An innocent bystander had been ignited and my dream self was smothering the fire. Kit awoke to me slapping out the imaginary flames on her thighs and buttocks. Neither one of us enjoyed that.

I’ve switched to different medications and the acting out in my sleep has diminished. I will still have some physical movements and vocalizations, but Kit just wakes me up gently, usually asking what I was doing at that moment. I blearily try to sum up the plot without too many gory details. Recently, she interrupted me as I was repeatedly punching a serial killer in the face through the service window of a food truck. No spouses or innocent bystanders were injured, fortunately.

When subconscious is pretty much filled with bizarre and violent creatures. REM state lets them act out scenarios that make my most over-the-top writing seem like a four-year-old’s tea party. There is no way I can stop them, and I don’t really want to, but I figured I could inflict some control over them.

One night, I decided I was going to try for sweet dreams. I didn’t concentrate on specific details, just the phrase “sweet dreams”.

In my dream, I flew to a warehouse on the Ohio State Campus, because I can usually fly in my dreams. Once I’d cleared the low-hanging power lines and branches, I came upon the architecture schools Home of the Future. It was white and blocky, with a definite Minecraft look to it. On careful inspection, I discovered everything was made of sugar cubes. These weren’t the tiny half-inch sugar lumps I was used to, but solid, hefty things four to six inches to a side. As I checked the warehouse shelves behind the home, I found any possible shape of compressed sugar a home contractor might need, including sugar toilets and sugar light bulbs.

My wife reports that I did not thrash or moan with this, or wake her in the middle of the night. I will most likely try this again, carefully choosing my focus. “Sweet dreams” worked out just fine, but who knows what eldritch horrors could be inspired by “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”?

2 Comments

Filed under Silly stuff, True Life Misadventure

In my Car after IT

For those not familiar with it, there is a charity event known as Red Nose Day. It is to raise money for sick children through comedy. On that day this year, one drug store had a bin of red rubber clown noses one could buy. I laid down my dollar for sick children everywhere and stuck the red rubber nose on the edge of the passenger side visor in my HHR.

Sunday, I took my son to see IT. (Sorry Sheldon, he couldn’t wait.) After two-plus hours of jump scares, music stings, and creepy atmospherics, I got back into my car to go home.

In the dark parking lot.

Alone.

I reached up to open the sunroof and let in a little cool air. That’s when I noticed the red rubber clown nose peeping out from the space between visor and roof.

My first thought was: “Oh my, how did that get there?”

I followed up with “Surely Pennywise couldn’t squeeze himself int a space that small.”

Which is why transdimensional psychic vampire clowns don’t hunt old farts like me. Not enough excess emotional energy to let out a shriek of terror when appropriate.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, True Life Misadventure

Various People Looking Dumb at the Worthington Farmer’s Market.

A nice older woman speaking to the owner of a obviously mixed breed dog.

“So what kind of dog is he?”

“Brown.”

#

The author walks into a coffee house/art gallery the size of a supply closet. The name is redacted out of a sense of fair play. It sits directly off of the main drag of charming Downtown Worthington, a spot the pentagenarian passes twice a week. The pleasantly vague man with the black hat and the mustache says:

“So, you’re new here!”

“No,” says the very young cafeinnista, “we’ve been open a year and a half.”

The man with the black hat is feeling more vague and less pleasant.

#

The author dissembles by examining the art work on the walls: paisleys and polkadots painted on plywood planks. Rothko has nothing to worry about here. Considering how long he has been dead, Rothko has nothing to worry about.

Hoping to redeem some of his lost coolness in the eyes of totally uncaring strangers, the author orders a coffee. Not the usual ‘Murican coffee that he drinks night and day, that comes from a can you can use to store fishing weights afterwards. No, he orders something he’s never tried before, something experimental and cool that won’t make him look like somebody’s disreputable uncle who’s wandered off before morning medication.

It sounded like “Marquisdesado”.

As the caffeinista falls to her task with the focus and energy others might mistake for hatred of all Mankind, the author pays at the iPad and looks over the snacks left to snag the attention of customers that must wait while the Ritual of the Coffee is performed with stainless steel spoons, chalices, and foam. There are cupcakes in sealed plastic containers. Each treat is covered with hand-piped polychrome flowers and leaves, all very pretty and realistic. Almost a shame to eat them.

The day-glo orange labels on the  containers read: Mom’s Vintage Treats.

“Vintage,” says the vague man in a hat. “Does that mean they’re all really old?”

“No,” says the check-out person, “they’re just… just…”

“Vintage style?” the author suggests.

“Yeah. Yeah, inspired by vintage snacks.”

“So, they’re only supposed to taste really old?”

The checkout person stops talking.

#

“Marquisdesado up!” the caffeinista calls out as if the customer is not less than two meters away. Everything in this establishment is less than two meters away.

The vague man in the hat and mustache takes up his paper to-go cup, noting that he has received doses of Nyquil in larger cups. He politely thanks one and all and leaves while he is still allowed. He suspects there is a crawlspace filled with uncool customers below his feet.

The author waits until he is down the sidewalk and out of the line of sight before he takes his first sip. He has never been a member of frou-frou coffee society, and this will probably not be his membership ticket.

Marquisdesado tastes like burnt insoles and leaves the author with the same emotional hangover as binge-watching nun porn. If it hadn’t cost nearly as much as a pound of generic coffee, he would have thrown it out.

Instead, he continues to sip the bitter draft until it is gone and can harm nobody else. His nipples feel like they are slowly turning inside out.

#

The author wrote an entire blog post referring to himself in the third person. He wound up looking pretentious and dumb.

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, True Life Misadventure

And there was great rejoicing.

Slowed by pneumonia, lung issues, family issues, cowardice, and sloth, I have finally finished the third book of the Arcanum Faire Trilogy.  Two years after the release of the second book, and maybe two and a half decades after the original conception, seems like a long time. In the words of the great Ian Malcolm: “Must write faster!”

Or something like that.

Book Three has all the sex, magick, and power tools of its predecessors with additional miraculous healings, shovel-wielding, Bobcat wheeling, brightly colored pike tercios, jousters, meat puppets, a dead black chicken, and two raging queens. Of course, I will do some truly terrible things to Eleazar and his beloved Toolcat Theodora.

Naturally, neither Marc Sindri or Brenwyn come out of this unscathed.

Anyway, in spite of my concerns of it actually being too long, the manuscript has come in under four-hundred pages with room to cut out more if absolutely necessary. It is off to my beta/gamma reader and a final sweep before sending it off to my publisher, Post Mortem Press.  My working title has been “The Beltane Faire”, but that is a limp and nondescriptive title compare to “Camp Arcanum” and “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove.” I may use “The Ren Faire at the End of the World” if we can fit all of that on the cover. Any better suggestions will be appreciated and stolen.

Watch this space for further developments.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writer stuff

WIP: Opening Day at Arcanum Faire

It is May Day and I am drawing close to putting the third book of the Arcanum Faire trilogy to bed. The action of all three points to one thing: Opening Day for the renaissance faire at Arcanum, Ohio. And that day is May the First, or Beltane. To celebrate and give you all a taste of what I have in store, here is a behind the scenes look at the two queens preparing for their first parade.

Enjoy, and Merry Beltane!

#

Eleazar had been pleased to find the Faerie Queen underneath two stilt-walkers in a travel trailer, but there had been considerable wear and tear on the merchandise. Titania received last moment make-up and wardrobe assistance from Amber, Crystal, and Ivy, and they were doing magic with concealer, rouge and body glitter. As she was being made presentable, her Faerie court, in wings and bits of stylized armor, formed up on the gravel track behind the jousters’ stables.

Queen Elizabeth and her own court jockeyed for position ahead of them. A dozen lords and ladies in velvets, brocades and pearls tried to look cultured and elegant in spite of the dust and rising heat.

The Teufelkindern Landsknecht unit squared up in their tercio formation to lead the parade and escort the queens. The arqubusiers looked away with guilty expressions as the battered knight from their ill-advised black-powder demonstration cantered up on his butterscotch steed. He had little time to notice them.

Queen Elizabeth waved her fan and shrieked at the horsemen:

“No, no, no, no! You— go back there!” She gestured to a position behind Faerie Court. “I am your Queen and there is no WAY that I will march behind the horses!”

“Relax, Peggy. Nothing’s going to muss up your embroidered slippers,” said Lord Pumpkinpants. Eleazar couldn’t remember the actor’s name, or his persona’s, but his globular pantaloons were certainly the largest in the Faire.

“And I was supposed to have a carriage!” she shouted to no-one in particular. “What the HELL happened to my carriage?”

Eleazar rushed over to calm the raging queen.

“Milady.” Eleazar quickly was reminded of her position by the flames in the Queen’s eyes and the flare of her nostrils. He bowed low. “Your Majesty. There was simply no way we could acquire two fitting carriages before the festivities.”

“I only need one carriage,” the Queen said regally. She had always refused to accept the unorthodox arrangement of two courts royal courts.

“Extra wide!” Titania hooted. The Fae felt no need for courtly behavior, especially when hungover.

“I will kick your bony elfin ass from here to Pennsic!” Elizabeth snapped.

“Can you lift your leg that high?”

Queen Elizabeth snapped her fan shut, rendering it a sandalwood truncheon she was known to use frequently.

“Come at me, Tinkerbell!”

Titania closed with Elizabeth, but two of her court grasped her to prevent regicide. Eleazar stepped in between the two hotheads of state, though unwillingly.

“Ladies! Ladies! My most august royal personages. You have your champions to fight for your honor upon the list fields.”

“I’d rather pull out her cheap red hair with my own hands,” The Queen of All Faerie snarled.

“Like you’re a natural blonde,” Good Queen Bess retorted.

“I need you both to behave like the magnanimous historically-inaccurate potentates that you are.” Eleazar realized there was too much naked steel and horseflesh around to allow this conflict to continue.

“She started it,” Elizabeth muttered.

Titania made a response that was all vowels and exhalations.

“Or I can summarily declare this faire to be a democracy and fire you both.”

The prospect of losing a paying position as royalty quickly enough put cold water to hot tempers.

“I can save it for the jousting field,” Elizabeth said.

“I can, too.” After a surly moment of thought, Titania added: “My Oaken King will pop open your champion like a can of Spam.”

The other Queen slapped her closed fan across her palm with an audible crack.

“Sir Pepin will squash him like a bug.”

“That’s the spirit!” Eleazar cheered. “Now, off to your neutral principalities, just like Switzerland.”

The queens glared at each other and returned to their positions in the parade.  Eleazar began creating space between , first by wedging in the merchants and artisans, which was then vetoed by Titania as a diminuation of her prestige. Finally, a second honor guard was improvised from Vikings and assorted re-enactors to escort the Faerie Queen and to act as a buffer between the courts.

As the procession ultimately made its way onto the Faire grounds proper, Eleazar wondered if there existed a Renaissance World Peace Prize he should be nominating himself for.

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, Writer stuff

Cliques

I don’t do well with people, as a rule. I don’t have social anxiety, per se, but my tolerance for pettiness and ego approaches zero pretty damn quickly, especially when there is no talent to back it up.

Cliques are the worst of it. In theater, publishing, gaming, and reenacting, cliques are the engines that drive the world. Fannish cliques are perhaps the most galling, cliques of misfits which say “We all like each other because we don’t fit in, but you don’t fit in in entirely the wrong way.”

Good thing I have my wife, my cat, my son and three and a  half jobs.

The truly annoying thing is that all the interactions follow the same blueprint and I keep going through it over and over a gain in hopes that something will change. Here’s the step by step:

1: Friendly overture towards group.

2: Snub, snipe, or incompetent behavior that has to be ascribed to malevolence because “really, how could these people actually be this dumb and run a ()?”

3: I, feeling miffed, point out they are acting in a cliquish/moronic fashion.

4: The group’s representative responds with outrage and sincere hurt that I should think so little of them and their inclusiveness.

5: I apologize for my boorish behavior and promise to make an effort to fit in and be all friendly-like in the future.

6: Second friendly overture.

7: Continued snubbing and incompetence, just to prove I wasn’t hallucinating things the first time.

8: I take up heavy drinking.

I could give you some examples of this, but even with changing names to protect the guilty, it would get back to them. That would be me returning to Step 3, and you see how far that got me on the flow chart.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under True Life Misadventure

I haven’t had much to say lately.

SOMETIMES copySo, I’m leaving this:

Leave a comment

Filed under True Life Misadventure, Writer stuff

Rough Sex

It’s been a fun week with a successful Ohioana Book Festival, prepping for the Asheville Viking Festival this weekend and reuniting with my old writer’s group buddies. Beyond the accelerated writing schedule for Book 3 of Arcanum Faire and promotions, there’s been little time for proper blogging.

So, I’ll leave you this. Enjoy!

CARoughSex

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff