Talking TAKIs

In an emergency grocery store run this a.m. since we were out of eggs on Dave’s birthday (D’oh!), Dave Dorman made the mistake of taking Jack, which always means a 40% higher bill at the checkout line. In addition to the eight taffy apples and chocolate chip Lego waffles they returned with (NOT on the list), Jack procured this:

Guacamole TAKIs, meant to be savored, just not smelled.

For those of you who have never partaken in TAKIs, you’re not alone. They appeared on my radar about six months ago. They’re the rage of this YouTube generation — a super-compressed taco chip, saturated in flavor dust, shaped like a rolled Dorito doobie–by design, I’m sure. This morning, Jack couldn’t find his regular-flavored TAKIs, so he brought home the guacamole flavor. In theory, it sounds good, but…Jack opened the bag and we each took turns taking a whiff. It took a leviathan amount of cajoling to convince Dave to join in, but he eventually caved because Jack has the master persuasion skills of a Harvard law professor. Here are the Dorman Family’s Top 4 Guacamole-Flavored TAKI Smell Descriptions.

(Your results may vary.)

  1. Rotting corn field (Dave)
  2. Lawn Clippings-flavored Jelly Belly (Jack)
  3. Dead Bugs on the Windshield (Denise)
  4. Dead Box Elder or Lightning Bugs (also Denise)

Despite the funky smell, they actually tasted pretty good, but Jack still favors the original flavor. I favor the “original,” too…as in: DORITOS.

For fans of Stephen King’s IT and Pennywise the Clown, Dave did a pencil illustration of Pennywise the Clown yesterday on Facebook Live. Here’s a link to that footage for your viewing pleasure:

https://www.facebook.com/DaveDormanArtist/videos/10159276116220063/

You’ll hear Dave responding to questions posted by those watching him, which is often enlightening commentary about comics, entertainment and publishing. If you do a search, he’s done several other demonstration painting and illustration art videos that have been well received — follow him on Twitter @DaveDorman and you’ll see him post links to those videos as they occur.

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A #ComicBook #Artist #Illustrator and #Marine Friend in Need: Clifford Van Meter

Our friend CliffordVan Meter needs our help…

Dave Dorman

Dear Friends,

It’s time to rally the troops and help a fallen soldier and comic book artist friend of mine. I want to make you aware of Clifford Van Meter, a Marine friend in Michigan, who is also a comic book artist/writer and non-fiction writer, as well as a galleried wildlife artist. Clifford is losing his home and, as of Friday, has just lost his job due to his medical condition(s). Like me, he also suffers from Type II Diabetes. Clifford’s write-up below was posted before he lost his job. Denise is scrambling to help him find social services and VA help, but in the meantime, please consider giving any amount — even the smallest amount to you would mean the world to him — at this page: https://www.gofundme.com/arctostor

Here is Clifford Van Meter’s story: 

I’ve been an artist and illustrator for more than 30 years now. I’ve worked…

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Volunteering for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Clean-Up? Here’s What You’ll Need

Unfortunately, I know all too well the paralyzing fear and anxiety the folks are feeling in Florida right now, since I went through Ivan and got displaced from September 15th, 2004 to end of January 2005 (and months later, received a whopping $300 from FEMA — thanks for nothing!)

My cameraman Kenny is helping his cousin in South Florida once Hurricane Irma clean-up begins, so I put on my producer’s hat (the problem-solver’s hat) and started compiling a list for him of stuff he’ll need to drive down there with once it’s over. I may go with him, depending on my workload. It occurred to me that some of you reading this may be helping with Hurricane Harvey clean-up–or Florida clean-up–so I’m sharing this list with all of you, just in case.

3 Things You Need to Remember Whenever You Enter a Hurricane Clean-Up Zone:

#1. There are nails and broken glass on the road and in parking spaces everywhere. You will need spare tires and tire patch kits for your vehicle–you can only drive over that debris for so long before you get a flat.

#2. The air quality will NOT be good. It gets funky. Some people are affected for a very long time afterwards with skin lesions, breathing issues, etc. Have masks for breathing and wear thin, soft clothing that keeps your skin covered. Have an asthma puffer medication on hand, if you can get one. Whenever someone has a chest cold, I tend to save the half-used ones for later on.

#3. The mosquitoes will be out of control with all of that humidity, so eat your odor-free garlic pills for a week before you head down there so the mosquitoes love you a little less. Bring Avon’s Skin-So-Soft or head to Cabela’s and get yourself bug repellant with DEET. I know, I know…it’s deemed unsafe, but trust me, you will need it.

Here’s your list of supplies to drive down in your moving truck rental:

#1. Bottles of bleach for the mold. Rags, towels.

#2. Sledgehammers and crowbars to pull off the water-damaged sheetrock. You will have to strip the home’s interior down to the studs. (I know this first-hand!)

#3. 50-gallon garbage bags galore!

#4. Sheetrock, construction nails, sheetrock mud, hand-held manual sanders (since electric will be unavailable for a while), saws, hammers, saw horses, a battery-operated drill, drywall screws, gloves, 2 x 4 pieces of wood, caulk and caulk guns, rolls of insulation, duct tape, large, thick Sharpie markers, spray paint.

#5. If you’re lucky, the home you’re repairing has a natural gas generator, but most likely, it’s gasoline-generated, so bring empty gas cans for getting fuel, and lots of money because they WILL price gouge you…once fuel is available again, that is, which could be a week.

#6. Ziplock baggies — gallon-sized and sandwich-sized. They will come in handy.

#7. Brooms, dustpans and shovels. I remember the storm surge during Hurricane Ivan literally filled the first floor of the condos on Okaloosa Island with sand, from floor to ceiling. If this Hurricane Irma situation is similar (and I’m sure this happened for Harvey victims), you will be digging out debris forever before you can even start the home repairs.

#8. Pre-charged phone chargers. LOTS of them. We were lucky we had a land line in Florida, so we never lost contact with the outside world. But that was 13 years ago. Now everyone’s on cell phones, and that’s one of the disadvantages of having no land line.

#9. Tons of bottled water. As much as you can buy and pack. Also, coolers filled with ice.

#10. Pre-packaged foods that won’t go bad without refrigeration — you know, the stoner crap you’d buy at a convenience store when you’re starved and in a helluva hurry — those peanut butter crackers, granola bars, cheese crackers, etc. Also, soup and bring manual can openers. Paper plates, cups, plastic silverware (an oxymoron), also. Juice boxes are convenient if there are kids involved.

#11. In Hurricane Ivan, the ceiling crashed in on our bed and it was soaked all of the way through (and I was 8 months pregnant with Master Jack at the time) so I ended up sleeping on a blow-up floor mattress in the most God-awful, un-air-conditioned, moist, hot air. If you can hook up a fan to a generator, you will be so glad you did. Those blow-up mattresses are wonderful — about $50 — buy up one for every person in the home you’re renovating. Pillows & blankets, too.

#12. The anti-gun folks among us won’t appreciate my next comment, but looters are a serious problem.  Don’t judge until you’ve been through a fucking hurricane, assholes. When your possessions and family are at risk, you’ll wish you had one. The only thing that deters looters is knowing you have a weapon, and you’re unafraid to use it. Hearing warning shots in our neighborhood, post-Hurricane Ivan, wasn’t uncommon.  I hope there’s a special, more torturous hell for those who prey on the vulnerable (including those price-gouging gas stations).

#13. First-Aid kits – Band-Aids, plenty of peroxide, Cortisone cream, Triple Antibiotic Cream, Bactine, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant / hand sanitizers. Also, bring pain relievers, ace bandages, and tweezers (lots of slivers will occur when you’re working with wood, even if you’re wearing gloves).

#14. You’ll want tons of wet wipes/butt wipes and dry/spray shampoo for your hair. Personal hygiene will be at a bare minimum for a while, so at least try being odor-agnostic to be around. Depending on your bathroom situation, toilet paper may not make sense, but ziplock baggies and wet wipes will be a good alternative. You will likely need to bring a porta-potty (like the kind in any camper).

If anyone has additional items to add to the list, speak up — I’m just brain storming as I’m writing this, so I may overlook the obvious.

 

 

 

Please Join Me in the #HurricaneHarveyRelief Fundraiser at Dark Delicacies Tonight

Please help with #HurricaneHarveyRelief and spread the word about tonight’s fundraiser online via Facebook Live at https://facebook.com/KaseyLansdaleFans/ – some of your favorite creators like George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Hotep, Hap & Leonard Series) and Dave Dorman (#1 Star Wars Artist) will be offering items for sale!

Dave Dorman

Dear Friends,

The horror community has once again stepped up in a big way, and Dark Delicacies in Burbank is working with singer/songwriter Kasey Lansdale on tonight’s fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey survivors. Please consider bidding on my long out-of-print STAR WARS: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN book, with a hand-painted Boba Fett inside the title page of the book. The book is also autographed by me. Images taken from my drawing table, so forgive the bent nature of the photos:

Dave Dorman hand-painted Boba Fett on the title page inside of the book.

Also participating in the fundraiser are NY Times bestselling authors Joe R. Lansdale, Game of Thrones creator/author George R.R. Martin and many more. Whatever your interest, you’ll find it in tonight’s auction, which Kasey is moderating on her Facebook Page via Facebook Live. Here are the important links for you:

Be here at 7 PM California…

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An Author You’ll Wanna Know (If You Don’t Already): F. Paul Wilson

If you’ve never read author F. Paul Wilson, I hope by sharing his most recent newsletter below, you’ll click on a few links and start paying closer attention to him. In his other life outside of writing, he’s a semi-retired medical doctor in New Jersey. F. Paul Wilson is amazing, prolific, gracious to his fans (including this one) and I love his writing. Even Stephen King, my favorite author of all time in the horror genre, deems himself “President of the Repairman Jack Fan Club,” which is one of F. Paul Wilson’s many series. (I often wish Bruce Willis had starred as Repairman Jack, back in his 30s. It would’ve been perfect casting. It’s who I picture when I read Repairman Jack stories.) Without further adieu, here’s the F. Paul Wilson Newsletter! 

THE REPAIRMAN JACK NOVELS

“Jack’s saga has become the most entertaining and dependable modern horror-thriller series.” (Publishers Weekly)

“One of the most consistently entertaining series in modern fantastic fiction.” (Publishers Weekly)

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I’m on Twitter (@fpaulwilson) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/fpaul.wilson)

NEW!

PANACEA paperback! It’s here! It’s cheap! Get it!

EPHEMERATAThe Odds and Ends of a Writing Life. 120k words of ephemera I’ve written and published (or not) over the decades. Available in ebook only for the time being. (I explain why in the Author’s Note which you can read by clicking “Look Inside” on the Amazon page.)

After a commercial break we’ll get to the usual tedious tidbits, trivialities, and miscellanies since last we met:

BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR IT: a signed limited edition of PANACEA is on the way. Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/hc66thw

***BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR IT – Part Deux: a paper edition of Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong

FAMILY SECRETS (sequel to DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS) is an ebook at last: http://tinyurl.com/jjlv7gm

FREEBIES!!! (new free story added)

SCENES FROM THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORLD

“Demonsong” – Glaeken and Rasalom’s first meeting

“Lipidleggin'” – started off as an SF story, now it’s non-fiction.

OTHER STUFF

****THE ISHER BOOK SHOP IS OPEN: http://www.repairmanjack.com/store/

*****E-BOOK BONANZA!!! GET THEM WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!!!!
(Oh, wait . . . you never run out of ebooks, do you. Ignore that last part)
Browse a ton o’ titles – some free, many just $3.99: http://tinyurl.com/jjygskx

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1) OCCURRENCES
2) THE LATEST FICTION
3) IN THE PIPELINE
4) PUBLISHING SCHEDULE 2016
5) FOR COLLECTORS
6) “REPAIRMAN JACK” – THE MOVIE
7) WHERE I’LL BE
8) REPAIRMAN JACK STORE
9) FF MOVIE REVIEWS

1) OCCURRENCES

8/1 – ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.
Sounds like the Mexican version of Dorothy Parker’s martini poem.

8/4 – Just getting back to speed on the WiP post-Nantucket when 1st-pass page proofs of THE GOD GENE arrive. Ah, well…

8/6 – If you’re not following the Bloom County Facebook page, you’re missing an American humorist and artist at the peak of his powers.

8/8 – RiP Glen Campbell. What a career — from the Wrecking Crew to his own TV show to films, and a zillion hits along the way.

8/13 – With a little help from a good friend, the 1st-pass proofs of THE GOD GENE are done and will be on their way back to the publisher tomorrow.

8/16 – GODZILLA anime. Nice chiaroscuro effects – I don’t usually see that in anime (but I don’t see much anime)   http://tinyurl.com/y7kk8nu3

8/17-20 – at Necronomicon in Providence.  All Lovecraft all the time (except for a little Robert E. Howard)

8/21 – In typical Jersey Shore perversity, the sky stayed nice and clear until just before the eclipse was to begin. Then the clouds rolled in…and stayed until just after the eclipse was done. Sheesh!

8/24 – I’m guessing that my “Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong” will not be a big seller in Beijing.  http://tinyurl.com/y7ygudvd

8/25 – Alcohol Again Tied to Lower Death Risk — but don’t forget the J-curve.   http://tinyurl.com/y766ljtn

8/26 – Best horror flick title this year: “Eat Locals.”

8/29 – Goodbye, Columbus? You know, I’m as fed up as the next guy with these grandstanding PC clowns, but for some reason, this doesn’t bother me. Ay-tall. I’ve always thought Columbus Day stupid (except when it netted me a day off from school). He didn’t “discover” a damn thing, and he landed in the Bahamas thinking he was in India or China or wherever. AND he was sent by the royal a-holes who started the Spanish Inquisition. So Goodbye, Columbus. http://tinyurl.com/ya9cyzja

8/30 – now THIS is scary!  http://tinyurl.com/yckkyo3v

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2) THE LATEST FICTION:

EPHEMERATA has bits of fiction in it, but is mostly non-fiction. Over 100 short pieces of this and that.

PANACEA is my latest novel – about a hunt for the legendary cure-all. No, it’s not Repairman Jack, but if you liked the Jack novels, you’ll like this. There’s a little bit of Jack in Rick Hayden (I couldn’t help it) and Panacea fits into the Secret History. I mean, what’s not to like? Now in paperback

FAMILY SECRETS, the 2nd Nocturnia novel (sequel to DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS), is available in a signed, limited edition from http://tinyurl.com/l4jw8o3 and in ebook form: http://tinyurl.com/jjlv7gm

DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS
ebook: Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/odcge7x
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/myvoolr
Trade paperback: http://tinyurl.com/nmavxma (NB: purchase of the tpb nets you a free copy of the ebook)
SIGNED COPIES: http://tinyurl.com/kvzrpk9
the signed limited collector’s edition of DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS is just about sold out – http://tinyurl.com/l4p4zfr

THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES – I coedited this collection of Henry Kuttner’s wonderful stories about a mutant hillbilly family – first time together in the same volume. SIGNED by Neil Gaiman (who did the intro) and yrs trly.http://tinyurl.com/nf2kmgs
HOGBEN EBOOK – finally THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES (wonderful stories by Henry Kuttner, illos and all) is available as a Kindle ebook for $2.99: http://tinyurl.com/lg936xo

Fix” – a novella-length Repairman Jack mashup with Codename Chandler:

Wayward Pines was the #1 scripted show on TV in 2015. Have you read “The Widow Lindley,” my Wayward Pines story?

FEAR CITY
The paperback here
In case you missed the book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/n8dsxzk

A stand-alone edition of “Infernal Night” co-starring Jack (written with Heather Graham) http://tinyurl.com/k8yuush

The Dead World” – my Burroughs pastiche set in Pellucidar with a fabulous Bradley W. Schenck cover – is available as a single.

“The Compendium of Srem” ebook: http://tinyurl.com/pqvxn2b

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3) IN THE PIPELINE

THE SILENT ONES – the 3rd and final Nocturnia novel in limited signed 1st edition

PANACEA – a signed limited edition. Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/hc66thw

THE GOD GENE – December 2017

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4) PUBLISHING SCHEDULE – 2017

FAMILY SECRETS – the 2nd Nocturnia novel in paperback

a signed limited edition of PANACEA

THE SILENT ONES – the 3rd and final Nocturnia novel in limited signed 1st edition

THE GOD GENE (sequel to PANACEA) in December

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5) FOR COLLECTORS:

FAMILY SECRETS at http://tinyurl.com/q3joxts

DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS at http://www.gauntletpress.com/

THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES (editor) http://tinyurl.com/nf2kmgs

The Borderlands Press ADVERSARY CYCLE:
THE KEEP, THE TOUCH, RAKOSHI (formerly THE TOMB), REBORN, REPRISAL, and NIGHTWORLD are all available in signed limited editions. This is a unique and beautiful set, and will be even more so when inserted into the über slipcase with its wraparound art. Check out the spine art at: http://www.borderlandspress.com/adversary.html

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6) “REPAIRMAN JACK” – THE MOVIE . . . wait – THE TV SHOW . . . wait . . .

[Historical note: Years ago I sold film/TV rights to THE TOMB to Beacon Films. The idea has been to title the film “Repairman Jack” and turn our guy into a franchise character. The project has spent 20 years in development hell, chewing up 6 or 7 writers who’ve churned out reams of scripts.

We’re looking toward TV now. Can’t say any more because I don’t know any more.

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7) WHERE I’LL BE AT (yeah, I rite good)

Thrillerfest – July 12-15 – NYC

Necronomicon – Providence, RI – August 17-20

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival – October 6-8 – Portland, OR – Guest of Honor

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8) REPAIRMAN JACK STORE

It has stuff with a neato-cool RJ logo on everything from T-shirts to caps to coffee cups to a wonderful poster by Susan Lee. (Even thongs!)

For you SF nuts and fans of my LaNague Federation series, Susan and Lisa have added a new line at the Repairman Jack store: the LaNague Federation logo on front and “KYFHO” on the back. [For those unfamiliar with the term, I invented the acronym way back when for AN ENEMY OF THE STATE and now it pops up everywhere. Google it if you can’t guess the meaning.]

And now, by popular demand from you gun nuts and fans of Abe Grossman, ISHER SPORTS SHOP shirts and stuff are available. A design by the inimitable Susan Lee with a clever logo created by members of the website’s Forum. Check it out. http://www.cafepress.com/repairmanjack/

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9) FF MOVIE REVIEWS

The FF Rating system is gauged by use of the FF button in increments of 10% of running time. If I FF through a tenth of the film (i.e., 9 minutes of a 90-min film), its FF Rating is 1. Thus, the lower the FF Rating, the higher my level of engagement. (Note, I didn’t say the better the film. Crap can – and often does – engage me.) FF = 5 is the threshold of unwatchable.

Bail Factor: If you turn off a film at the halfway point, that’s an automatic 5. If you bail after only a quarter or so, that’s an automatic 7.5. Then you add how much FFing you did before shutdown.

Why should you care what I think of a film? Beats me.

Movie plot summaries abound on the web, so you don’t need me for that.

NB: I’ve now collected all my FF reviews (I was shocked at the hundreds of reviews I’ve done) in one spot: http://fpaul.wordpress.com/about/

Only 1 movie this month. Been watching HINTERLAND, a very dark police show from Wales. I’m on season 3 now.  The episodes run 90 minutes, so it’s like watching a theatrical film each time. I’ve been watching one episode a night and I’m wondering: Is there a cop on a drama (not a comedy) dumber than DCI Mathias?  He consistently acts on impulse (instead, say, waiting for backup), blundering into bad situations and making them worse. Makes you wonder how he made DCI in the first place. Yes, I know he’s fictional, and I know it’s the writers’ doing to add complications — and running time — to the show, but it’s hard to respect a character when you repeatedly find yourself saying, “Aw, no…he’s not really gonna…yes, he is. He’s doing it again!” I’m staying with it because the rest of the cast is well drawn and for the evolving backstory of high-level corruption.

GIFTED
An intriguing film about how to treat the truly gifted among us. Little McKenna Grace does a star turn as the 7-year-old math genius. Her grandmother wants her to realize her full potential via tutors and the uncle who’s raising her doesn’t want her to grow up isolated like her mother (who committed suicide). A great cast but you will fall for McKenna Grace like you fell for little Dakota Fanning.
FF=0

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve taken up enough of your time. More next month. Back to work.

F. Paul Wilson

fpw@repairmanjack.com

http://www.repairmanjack.com

Please Support My Kickstarter Campaign for My WASTED LANDS Creator-Owned Series

Check out Dave Dorman’s new Kickstarter Campaign! Support your creator-owned, small business owner!

Dave Dorman

Dear Friends,

In 2001, I released RAIL: BROKEN THINGS, A Tale of the Wasted Lands through Image Comics. That sold 20,000 copies. Since that time, I waited until I owned my intellectual property outright again to create new content. So here I am. My new Kickstarter Campaign is launching my take on pulp fiction magazines in the 2000s with AMAZING TALES OF THE WASTED LANDS. Each issue will feel like it’s lifted straight out of the dystopian Western world I’ve created…a world filled with quirky, memorable characters, adrenaline-pumping action, adventure, drama, romance, violence, horror and fantasy. Please consider supporting my quest and sharing my Kickstarter campaign with those you know who would enjoy continuing the tradition of great westerns (with a little sci-fi, fantasy and horror mixed in). Here’s the link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikebawden/amazing-tales-of-the-wasted-lands-inaugural-issue

Dave Dorman’s Character Design, a LIGHT ANGEL from the IRON WARS, WASTED LANDS

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That Poop Scene in Last Night’s Game of Thrones

If ever there was an occasion to bleach my eyeballs, it was last night.

Michael Ende created The Never-Ending Story. George R.R. Martin created The Never-Ending Poop Scene. My God, could last night’s premiere episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” been any more painful to watch?* After the first 15 comparisons between the bedpans filled with runny poop and the slop food, I felt that the viewer more than “got the message.” Beyond that, it felt like I had sprained an ankle and someone was pressing their boot down as hard as they could, for as long as they could, into my injury. Only the never-ending puke scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life approached that level of ad nauseam.

*I thought the rest of last night’s episode was really solid (unlike what was in those bedpans), especially the exchange between the redheaded wilding, who is my Groundskeeper Willie fantasy in human form, and Breanne.

I think it would be brilliant for the actor who plays Sam–who will surely be on the convention circuit signing autographs any moment–to wear this shirt commemorating last evening’s shit show:

A t-shirt for Sam’s autograph signings…

Observations of a 12-Year-Old

Jack, and his school chum, whose name is also Jack (he’s 2 months older, so I call him “Jack Senior” to minimize confusion) were chatting in the back seat of my car as I was–don’t judge–ordering their lunches at the McDonald’s drive-thru’ the other day. I learned three valuable data points:

Nice “Kicks,” you Olive Garden-eating King of Disinformation, you!

#1. You will get a lifetime of food from Olive Garden if you name your child after a dish on the Olive Garden menu. I estimate it might cost about $1k to legally change your name, so this made solid economic sense to me. Jack now answers to “Veal Piccata.”

#2. The secret formula to the crabby patty is…crabs! The boys have concluded that Mr. Krabs is cannibalizing his own kind to form his crabby patties, since he seems to be the ONLY crab in Bikini Bottom. Even Mr. Krabs’ daughter Pearl is, oddly enough, a whale. I’m sure it was an adoption. Perhaps this was Sponge Bob creator Stephen Hillenburg’s homage to soylent green.

#3. Ross’s Dress for Less has HEAT. Jack is addicted to watching some YouTuber whose sole claim to fame is shopping at discount clothing outlet stores for close-outs on hard-to-find “Kicks” (when I want to make Jack, that is, Veal Piccata, die a thousand deaths, I call them “sneakers.”) In case you missed the memo, YouTubers are this generation’s celebrities. Hollywood celebs are soooo yesterday, losing juice and getting replaced by one pimply faced, semi-talented YouTuber teen at a time.

I can’t keep track of which LeBron shoe is hot at the moment, but Jack knows. He discusses the pros, cons, values and stats of various athletic shoe styles with the encyclopedic knowledge and fervor some might reserve for betting on prize fighters. If Imelda Marcos died before 2004 (I’m too lazy to Google it right now) she may have reincarnated as Jack.

So…if any of those fake news outlets out there are using my Jack or Jack Senior as their “anonymous sources,” run for the hills — these dealers of disinformation are not to be trusted. Flip your channel, pronto!

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody! Here’s Why I Hate Glamping…And Staycations Are the Cat’s Ass!

That’s the Bloody Mary I’ve Been Looking For…Driftless Glenn Distillery, Baraboo, WI

For the past seven years, the Sister Wives and I have done a “glamping” trip. I think I’ve missed two of the seven years due to San Diego Comic-Con. The very term “Sister Wives” came from one of these trips. This random guy had been circling my friends and me like a turkey vulture, assuming we were some divorcees’ group camping with our kids, trying hard to listen in on our double entendre-filled conversations. He approached Heather, asking how we knew each other. Heather, who like my bff Marovich can keep a straight face while crafting the most outlandish statements off the top of her head (a skill I SO envy), informed him that…

(a) We were sister wives

(b) Our husband–Heather was really working it, conjuring up this Warren Jeffries-type character–only allowed us one yearly trip off the rural Utah compound, and

(c) Our husband did have a confederate there keeping an eye on us. We just never knew where or what he looked like.

The turkey vulture exited stage left, never to return.

Somewhere along the way, this weird hybrid of “glamping” rose up and became a thing. It’s not quite staying in a cozy cabin on the lake where plates and utensils are provided, and yet, it’s not quite camping. It’s somewhere uncomfortably in between. First world problems, I know. It needn’t be said. Either way, glamping is a constant level of discomfort and irritation that makes me question every year why my Sister Wives and I don’t just pitch tents in my back yard (and at about midnight, I’d be slipping back into my own cozy memory foam bed…) and enjoy the uninterrupted comforts of home.

Our “Glamping” Accommodations…

Here are the benefits, as I see them, to my new plan of action:

  1. Solid internet and cell phone coverage. The campground where we stayed allowed me 2 bars of cell phone signal from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily. The rest of the time I got a “No service” message. To get online, I had to go into the noisy general store and even there, it wasn’t consistent, so working was not an option.
  2. Clean eating. The last four days have been a whirlwind of non-stop stoner food. It’s so much easier to eat clean when we’re not shopping and cooking in shorthand for 20 people. As the kids have gotten older and hungrier, we’ve been forced to increase our trips to Super Wal-Mart (the local grocer to our campground). Every meal felt like a swarm of locusts had attacked our fridge and pantry. Every trip to the Super Wal-Mart tasted like FREEDOM.
  3. Two-ply toilet paper. I grew up in the country where the septic tank was de rigueur, forced to endure Scott’s single-ply toilet paper for the first half of my life. I really would prefer not to return to that time. I’ll bet men’s skid-marked underwear is the result of avoiding single-ply paper.
  4. Easy access to a washer and dryer. I can’t erase that muscle memory sensation of wet towels.  A staycation would mean easy access to MORE towels that doesn’t require another run to Wal-Mart.
  5. Random items you never remember. I really thought I covered it all this year when I brought all of my silverware, plates, spatulas, can opener, scissors and tongs. Boy was I wrong. I forgot the pot holders, drinking cups, coffee mugs, etc. No matter how much crap I pack to take on this trip, we always end up driving to Wal-Mart.

8 New Things I Learned While On This Year’s Glamping Trip:

  1. Solo cups have indented markings for a reason. Of course, I learned this from Heather! The bottom one is for shots, the middle marking is for wine and mixed drinks and the top marking is for beer.
  2. Teen-aged girls are no longer shy about flinging tampons-as-weapons at teen-aged boys. Add some spikes on those puppies and they’re Game of Thrones-worthy.  (Unused ones, I should add. After that last season of FARGO, one feels compelled to clarify.)
  3. Impractical Jokers is the greatest! I’ve heard this show mentioned, but never actually watched it before. Heather, Carolyn, and our 4 boys binge-watched it until 1 a.m. Saturday. Recommendation: Check out the episode where they’re in Miami and making their friend ride around on a Rascal while they direct it via remote control. Comedy gold! Especially when they forced him to hold up this sign in public: “Buy Me Lunch. I Have Half a Ball.” I forewarned Jack he may have to hold a similar sign at a restaurant in the near future. He was nonplussed. I think he thinks I was kidding?
  4. KY-Gel runs wildly inappropriate ads during the after-midnight airings of Impractical Jokers. One ad in particular was for a spray to help a man to maintain his erection because, as the poor actor in the ad confessed, “I git done sooner than I should.” And the best part was, in the background behind this couple in bed, they showed a silhouette of a bear and a wolf together, and the wolf was howling. Heather, Carolyn and I held a heated debate as to whether this coupling would ever really happen in nature, as our boys looked straight ahead in embarrassed horror, averting their gazes from making eye contact with any of us adults.
  5. S’mores do bake really well in those copper pans. Just like advertised.
  6. H, my all-too-frequent partner in crime…pre-Moonshine tasting.

    6. Chicagoland Chevrolet car dealership owner Brian Bemis owns a bourbon/vodka/brandy/moonshine distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin called the Driftless Glenn Distillery. Heather and I were making yet another Wal-Mart run and we nearly drove past it, when I made an impromptu sharp left turn into the parking lot–at full speed–thinking I would merely investigate if there was a gift shop. One distillery tour and a 5 shot-glasses tasting later, we went to Wal-Mart, in a shopping excursion that was way more palatable than usual. I found I didn’t even want to bleach my eyeballs after seeing yet another weird guy with his butt crack hanging out in the junk food aisle. I find the most fun adventures in life are those that are unplanned. The Sister Wives who remained behind watching the kids didn’t quite see it my way, but I think I’m finally forgiven. I did make killer meatloaf, after all.

  7. The local Circus Museum in Baraboo had an escaped elephant right while we were staying nearby. Now that would be been so fun to discover in our back yard! Almost as fun as the random dog that ran through every room of our house unexpectedly, before we corralled him.
  8. And speaking of unexpected visitors, the owners of the campground decided to hold a LuLaRoe party (which I always confuse with the Lululemon brand–sort of like my David Lynch/David Byrne confusion) in the garage of the raised ranch home we rented. Sister Wife Carolyn outran Jesse Owens as she raced across the street upon witnessing three total strangers breaking into our house, accidentally, as I was napping on the couch just a few feet away.
  9. I’m pretty skilled at unclogging icky boys’ toilets, but don’t let that get around.

Happy Fourth, Everyone!

STAR WARS FANS: Join Me for the World’s Largest Library STAR WARS DAY at the JOLIET PUBLIC LIBRARY This Saturday!

Where I’ll Be This Saturday…

Dave Dorman

Friends, this is the world’s largest STAR WARS LIBRARY EVENT in Joliet, IL! I’ve done this event since its inception, with a special shout-out & thanks to Jody McQuarters, who initially got me involved. It’s great fun for the whole family, my son Jack loves it, and it offers great photo opps for everyone who loves STAR WARS. As always, autographs are always free, so come see me, get your stuff signed, and if you feel like it, buy some STAR WARS art from me and the other amazing artists you will see at this event–Steve Palenica, James Tampa, Jamie Snell & Mikey Babinski! And check out my friend Cris Macht, who has done an amazing job with his documentaries establishing HOW & WHY STAR WARS matters to the fandom. Authors John Jackson Miller and Keith Ryan Kappel will be with us, too! And let’s not…

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