House of Cards

I hurt my shoulder the other week by being exceedingly lazy.

We’ve been having a heat wave off and on the past few weeks here in SoCal. It promised rain a few times and even delivered once. They promised again tonight so I’m sitting around waiting for it to rain so I can then sit around in my apartment listening to Radiohead and typing while it’s raining.

I’ve been playing this game on my phone lately. It’s like guitar hero, except instead of pre-chosen songs, it digs through your entire music library on your phone, analyzes the sound waves in it, then spits out a friggin’ ribbon of hypnosis. I get so sucked into it, not because, oh hey sensory overload-graphics, but also because I have SO MUCH music on my phone. In fact, even my computer hard drive is mostly made out of music.

I just start clicking the random song button until I find something that makes me squee or raise an eyebrow. The patterns the game produces are 90% well-synced, with a bit of wobbly bits in each. For an on-the-fly kind of thing, I’m actually pretty impressed with it. And you can up the number of keys, the speed of the notes as they’re falling and the difficulty of the patterns. The levels are mostly meaningless. Normal is the one that most feels like you’re drumming your fingers along with the music on your pant leg or the drivers wheel, so that’s the one I stick to.

So I’ll find a song like House of Cards off of Radiohead’s In Rainbows and I get swept up in all kinds of memories around that song – like finally fucking seeing Radiohead at Sleep Train back in 2007 and how my friends sat with me in the parking lot after the show for approximately forever because the guy you were seeing at the time was making you feel like shit for having gone to the show and you didn’t want to go home.

Or how on Easter when you were 11, your dad gave you Pablo Honey, which was the very first CD you ever owned (and how you always forget to mention he gave you Live’s Throwing Copper that day too).

Then you remember you’re playing a game and find you didn’t really miss any notes while you were off thinking about other stuff.

This then makes you wonder if you’re playing too much of this game.

* * *

So yeah, my shoulder kinda hurts from laying around hypnotizing myself.

* * *

I also started reading Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Clive Barker book. My dad gave me his collection when I moved away to college. He’d been reading them for years before giving me The Thief of Always. That was also when I was 11.

I adore Clive Barker books. I always have. Because of that I’ve been a bit afraid to read them since there are only so many of them (he took a long break from writing new fiction). So when I was hanging out with John and Stef the other night, watching a bunch of Woody Allen movies, John and I got to talking about Clive Barker. He mentioned that The Great and Secret Show was his favorite Barker novel. I had never read that one, despite having read Everville, its sequel, back when I was 12. Of course, I own a nice hardcover copy of it that still smells kind of like my dad’s cigarettes.

I’ve been reading that lately and enjoying the ways in which it slowly digs into you and startles you with moments of deeply sad beauty.

I was trying to describe Clive Barker to a friend of mine the other day. It’s kind of like reading Gaiman, except instead of walking away from it with a feeling like the world is a fundamentally good place, you feel like the world is full of pain, but that pain can be beautiful.

* * *

My friend Fran was in town at the end of last week for a pit stop at Mysterious Galaxy on the book tour for her first book, Updraft (go buy it – seriously). I was delighted to take her around to some of my regular spots and introduce her to a lot of my favorite people (not to mention I got to point her in the direction of the pool at the Lafayette).

I’ll say this: I never get tired of being proud of my friends. This feeling is only augmented when I get to be proud at them in person while dragging them from one shenanigan to another.

* * *

It’s still not raining. In fact I just had to go murder a cricket that decided the shower had the best acoustics in the house for its chirping. It’s chirping didn’t keep the same beat as House of Cards on the stereo and the sound of the absence of rain.

Now I’m wondering if that dead cricket did actually know that.

* * *

These are distinctly wonderful things.


Go check out the artist’s site and check out the rest of the drawings.

* * *

Maybe it’ll rain tomorrow.

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