Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Substantialreads: Augasms

I'd over-optimistically decided to work through Neal Stephenson's eight-volume Baroque Cycle this month, but I only made it an hour into the first audiobook when the prospect of sitting through another 113 interminable hours where that came from became too much to bear.

In need of a hasty replacement, I committed to the first August-based pun I could come up with and embarked on a perilous voyage through "classic" erotica. Enjoy. Not like that.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Everybody needs Banakon neighbours

Then again, it might just have been one of those friendly neighbourhood king cobras that the builders have seen knocking about in our garden from time to time.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Everybody needs (Breaking) Bad neighbours

In case I suddenly become terminally non-communicative (you know, more than normal), to save time on the investigation, it was probably the neighbourhood's unhinged, adult-baby shabu (meth) addict following through on his threat to cut my head off because I had the nerve to ask him to turn down the blaring music that wakes me and everyone else up at 06:00am several times a week.



Monday, August 8, 2016

Damnant quod non intellegunt

Pretty devastated at my blog getting a bad review from Patrick K. Phillips of Patrick's Place.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Painstakingly planning pretend paperbacks for Sonic the Comic even though it's 2016, I'm 30, and these won't ever exist



Sonic the Comic was my favourite comic as a child. Some people had American superheroes, others had mischievous 1950s British children, I had the licensed adventures of a console mascot.

Sure, when I picked my first issue off the shelf at Dillons (#21, 5th March 1994), it was because I loved playing those Sega games where you hold down right and occasionally press a jump button to move the hedgehog sprite from one edge of a themed landscape to the other. But I stayed for Nigel Kitching's thrilling stories and Richard Elson's captivating art.

A few years ago, when I was spending a week by myself in a wooden hut overlooking the sea in a secluded corner of a Thaisland, I downloaded some STC scans for nostalgia kicks and ended up wasting the next few days puzzling over how these various overlapping yet diverse stories might be best represented in trade paperback collections, should that situation ever arise. After much redrafting and frustration I gave up and had to settle for going on boat trips and enjoying my time in paradise instead.

Fortunately, I've now managed to make my life so unexciting that the prospect of returning to this problem and finally nailing it doesn't even seem that much like a waste of my precious, dwindling time any more. So without futher ado, here's the unofficial, definitive guide to how you can fit every single story* from Sonic the Comic into 13 x 200-ish-page paperbacks that won't ever exist for multiple reasons.

Illegally download the digital hatchet jobs here to share the fruits of my pointless labour (or just download the original comics here like I did, occasional bad scans and all). It's not like the creators get any royalties when these are sold on eBay (you'll need a .cbr reader too).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Substantialreads: Insubstantialreads

At least I made it to the second half of the year before falling back on comics. And at least it's another comic writer being a smart-arse, weaving a dense interdimensional web that he apparently genuinely believes was dictated to him by beings from another realm during a magickal trance, so it shouldn't be so much light reading as perplexing and off-putting. We can only hope.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Penelope: A confessional memoir



The following is a true story that I have to get off my chest.

It's up to you whether you think it's an actual experience from my life or the authentic transcript of a dream I just had, fuelled by reading some messed-up horror stories, listening to a radio discussion about dreams and an undigested bit of beef fajita.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Be my less rubbish neighbour? Only ₱3,000,000!* (US$63,458.49) [*House not included]



It's only dawned on me recently that the relaxing nature surrounding my new house (built on land that was previously part of that relaxing nature before we destroyed it) isn't going to last forever.

As soon as some schmuck buys up that 1,000-square-metre lot for the asking price of 3,000,000 pesos (USD 63,458.49 / GBP 47,720.23 / AUD 83,441.47, will consider other nationalities), I'm going to be stuck looking at whatever unregulated concrete and rusty-roofed monstrosity they decide to build on it (and presumably listening to their annoying kids and karaoke and breathing in their burning trash fumes) for as many years as my patience with this place lasts out.

If you would make a less rubbish neighbour than that (obviously things are flawless over on this side) and you're looking for land for sale in Davao City, please leave a comment.

(Maybe I should be putting those seven years of SEO sales writing experience to practical use now that it might finally be useful? No, that's too much like work. A sarcastic Blogger post should do it. Come on, I took out the references to owning a little piece of Hell, it's not like I have no restraint).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why do your British charity shop donations end up on sale for profit in the Philippines?



I'll clarify at the onset that I don't know the answer to that question... I was actually kind of hoping you might?

I was always a fan of the charity shop institution in my native land. I can't think of a better example of a win-win situation than getting to feel good about throwing your old clothes into a charity-branded skip rather than a regular bin before heading to the shop in person to sift through dog-eared paperbacks and buy 12" LPs you lack the equipment to play but imagine would look great on your dorm walls.

I haven't seen those shops here in the Philippines, maybe because people aren't stupid and have seen what happens when other countries have made generous donations to help them in their times of need. It wouldn't fill me with confidence in the chain of affluence either.

That doesn't mean I miss out entirely though, as I can still get my fix of three-years-out-of-date celebrity Christmas market biographies by heading to my local for-profit used book shops. Some of them still include the Help the Aged etc. stamps and pamphlets inside for added authenticity!

I can only hope that some kind of favourable donation took place on these books' journeys from a modest not-for-profit shop run by volunteers to a branded mall bookshop whose profits are most certainly not going to a deserving cause.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Substantialreads: Djune

Growing up, my brother was the household Dune fan, and you don't need two of those. I preferred the less time-intensive role of household Hitchhiker's fan, those books are much thinner.

I already know much of what happens in Dune - the top end of the saga at least - thanks to my brother's enthusiastic prattling, a famously inept film adaptation I never sat all the way through, a low-budget TV miniseries I did and a succinct musical synopsis by Iron Maiden, but maybe I'll get more out of it now that I'm no longer too young and pre-undergraduate to recognise the obvious allegories about them Catholics and them Muslims.