Saturday, May 5, 2012

Repairman Jack: Conspiracies, or the End of the World is Tesla's Fault

Some days I like My Little Pony and kittens. Other days, I like Red Lanterns, Repairman Jack, and grenades. Earlier in the week I finished Conspiracies, the third Repairman Jack book (out of 15), and according to my brother, shit is now getting real.

Conspiracies is exactly what it sounds like - Jack is hired by Lew Ehler, whose wife has gone missing right before she was supposed to deliver a keynote address at the first annual convention of the Society for the Exposure of Secret Organizations and Unacknowledged Phenomena (SESOUP). SESOUP is full of the sort of people who make Agent Fox Mulder seem normal and everyone has a theory on Melanie Ehler's disappearance. Jack infiltrates this group as an "experiencer" - someone who has had a supernatural experience, resulting in missing hours of his life. Wilson does a great job of introducing Jack to the half dozen or so major types of crazy - from gov't conspiracy to antichrist nuts and everything in between - without writing any of it like a big old info dump. 

One of the best episodes in the whole series.

Jack walks into the SESOUP conference a skeptic, despite his battle with the rakoshi in The Tomb. In fact, he's trying to forget the rakoshi thing ever happened, so when he starts having lucid rakoshi nightmares, he gets freaked out. Jack fumbles around for a while, not making a lot of headway on finding Melanie Ehler, but in this downtime, Wilson puts us inside the mind of Sal Roma, the leader of SESOUP, and his pet Capuchin monkey, Mauricio. They talk to each other. It's freaky. 

I will fuck your shit up so hard!

Without spoiling too much, Wilson introduces readers to the Otherness - more a concept than a thing, that encompasses the idea of chaos with a little madness and hopelessness thrown in. The rakoshi were children of the Otherness and Jack has been marked by them. The Otherness wants him for destroying its children, and this is a fight Jack will continue with through the rest of the series. 

"Hey Quinn, check out my bitchin' Tesla Coil!"

I liked this book a lot. I'm all for overarching end of the world scenarios, but what really made it was Wilson's inclusion of Nikola Tesla. That's right, bitches - the root of the series and all of Jack's problems boil down to that badass Tesla and his Wardenclyff Towers (including an explanation to the decimation of the Tunguska Forest - but any Tesla fan knows it was him all along). Mr. TwoMonkeys and I are Tesla nuts. We traveled out to Goat Head Island on the Canadian border on our honeymoon to visit the larger than life-size monument to the man and the massive power plant dedicated to him. But back to Jack - this isn't his first brush with the genius of Tesla. Legacies was all about the rights to broadcast power - Tesla's greatest dream (that never happened).

Someday, this will end the world.

These books were awesome before Tesla got involved. But now I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Tesla, bitches!

Pegasister Carey Sparkles of St. Equestria

Last night, Mr. TwoMonkeys and I finished watching season one of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He'd seen it all before because he's a card carrying brony (but not in the creepy way - he just likes the show without shame). I've loved My Little Pony since I was way small. My earliest Pony memory comes from when I was about 4 - when My Little Pony was brand new. I was obsessed. I walked in on my mom wrapping Christmas presents and she was wrapping up Cotton Candy. I got super excited, the way a four year old would over an awesome toy, but my mom told me it was for my cousin Marilyn. I was heartbroken. I distinctly remember feeling like I had nothing left to live for. But on Christmas morning, I opened presents and there was Cotton Candy. I was all, "Mom, Santa got one for me, too!!" And of course my mom was all, "Uh, yeah. That's right." I was a dumb ass little kid.

This. This is what made my four year old self suicidal.

So, my love affair with My Little Pony is almost three decades old. I actually didn't think much about the ponies for most of my teens and 20s. But then I started dating Mr. TwoMonkeys, who is an avid collector of nostalgic action figures from the 80s and 90s (think He-Man and G.I. Joe). His philosophy is that it's never too late to have a happy childhood. That's pretty wise. So, I started collecting ponies again - what hardcore collectors refer to as the Generation 3 and Generation 3.5 models. My Generation 1 Ponies were long gone, but I happily bought about a dozen new Ponies over the course of a couple of years before Generation 4 came out.

Dafuq is dis shit?

I didn't like these new Ponies at first. They looked like fucked up, pony-bear-duck things. They had ginormous heads and stubby noses and psycho eyes. These were not the Ponies I grew up with. I didn't buy any Pony figures for a really long time. But Mr. TwoMonkeys started watching the cartoon. We're all about cartoons in this household. And he liked it. I didn't want to watch it because we didn't have the Hub and I hate watching television on my computer (I make the rare exception for Drag Race). But the new Pony images were growing on me, especially Rainbow Dash, who's the sporty, tom boy, potential lesbian pony. Also, I had a couple of Gen. 3 Rainbow Dash toys - one with an adorable scarf.


 So, I warmed up to the new Ponies. But I didn't actually watch any episodes until a few weeks ago when season 1 came on Netflix. The Ponies were cute, but I thought I'd be bored. Holy crap, no - this show was adorable and hilarious. I was hooked. The creators of these new Ponies have a great sense of humor and know that the show has to appeal to both kids and adults alike (because really, many adults in my generation are really kidults). As I said, we finished up the season last night and the whole thing just got sillier as it went on. My favorite episode is when Fluttershy tries to heal Princess Celestia's pet bird - but little does Fluttershy know that the bird is a Phoenix and is supposed to get sick and die. So she and Twilight Sparkle chase this derpy ass retarded looking chicken phoenix with an underbite all over Ponyville to Benny Hill music.

Derpy ass chicken thing.

I about shit myself with glee. Oh, and Pinky Pie has what appears to be a sociopathic baby pet alligator named Gummy. I don't know if Gummy is a sociopath, but he looks dead inside. It's awesome. And Fluttershy's pet bunny, Angel, is a complete douchebag.

Those eyes are windows to Hell.

Anyway, I really like this show, and I think not having kids allows me to like it more, because I'm allowed to make all the inappropriate commentary I want to. I'm way excited for season 2 to come on Netflix.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Will Not Rupologize!

I want to be a drag queen!

 I used to consider RuPaul's Drag Race my guilty pleasure, but have come to the conclusion that there is nothing to be guilty about. RPDR is good, positive, self affirming television. Yeah, it's reality television, and the queens get catty (I mean, that's part of the drag package) but RuPaul really delivers a powerful message with every episode: we are all champions, cover girls, and glamazons.

Can I get an amen?

 And so, when Sharon Needles declared a few episodes ago that the next drag superstar needed to be a sweetheart, I completely agreed. I knew that Phi Phi could never win the top spot. Now, in season two, Tyra Sanchez won the crown and she was kind of a bitch. But she was really no more or less bitchy than anyone else. I think it was hard to take Tyra's bitchiness and reconcile that with how fierce and fishy she was. And I'm a huge fan of Carmen Carerra from season three - queen of the Heathers. But Phi Phi... oh my. On the Drag Race reunion episode, Willam insinuated that PhPhi was downright sociopathic. I don't know if I'd go that far. Then again, I wasn't there.

Yeah. She did.

Speaking of Willam, her dress was adorable and sexy. Since Willam is about as big around as one of my thighs, she werked it. Everyone finally found out what exactly Willam did to get kicked off the show (nightly banging with the husband). Willam grew on me over the course of the season. The more I realized she was more than just a perfectly androgynous face and body, the more I liked her. Willam's deadpan humor won me over completely, and "Your tone seems very pointed right now" has made its way into my Drag Race circle of friends' lexicon.

Good god, get a grip, girl!

My favorite queen, Latrice, didn't make it to the final three, but she did win Miss Congeniality, and no one deserved it more. Latrice really embodied RuPaul's positive messages of self worth. Latrice is huge and gorgeous - she's a beacon of beauty for big girls and ladyboys everywhere. I kind of want to hang out with Latrice and have her teach me how to put on makeup. And if Being In Total Control of Herself makes a person a bitch, then that's what I aspire to.

Go to right now, hunty. He's got all kinds of Drag Race goodies!

But on to the winner: All hail Queen Sharon! Yes, I was Team Chad Michaels, but I liked Sharon an awful lot and either one of them deserved to win. Chad had the classic beauty and Sharon had the quirkiness - I loved both. But Sharon's humility and graciousness throughout, and especially as she was crowned the winner, melted my heart. Her speech at the end was awesome - "If you ever get booed off stage, remember that it's just applause from ghosts!"

Long live Queen Sharon (but I still adore you, Chad Michaels!)!!!