Category Archives: writings

Shaving: Part 2 – How to Half-Shave

Ritual, art, membership to a cabal of manly-men-boxing-fools in a brew pub — these have never been associations I’ve had with shaving. As Tim has already indicated, our dad gave us a pretty abridged shaving tutorial. Along with scant demonstration, he may have mentioned, “Try not to kill yourself.” Whether he did or did not impart this final kernel of wisdom, there was no follow-up lesson or even a check-in to see if we had garroted ourselves.

As a result, for pretty much all of my shaving-life, I have half-shaved at best. My father’s lack of teaching surely contributed to this, but so did the milieu of the ’90s. In the social circles I traveled then, there was no stigma associated with whatever you decided to do with your facial hair. By the end of the ’90s and the early ’00s, I was shaving maybe once a week. Eventually I found a decent beard trimmer and with it, my shaving became more erratic. Sometimes I had a beard, sometimes I had a shadow, sometimes I was clean shaven, sometimes I had an experimental look, but most of the time I had some amount of hair on my face. This was largely because in those instances when I was clean shaven, I would never continue to do so beyond a couple days because I’d either forget to keep up with it or I got razor rash.

Still, I do razor shave on occasion, and when I do, for nearly two decades it has been with a Mach3. As Tim has also duly noted, the Mach3 is really the bane of shaving. After it materialized in 1998, the facial hair horizon was forever leveled. It is as if no other razor had ever existed since or after. With it, razor cartridges were to forever be things that existed behind locked glass, and the only thing better than three blades was more blades.

Razor, Stand, and Brush
Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic Double Edge Safety Razor, Stand, and Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush
About a year and a half ago, I decided to razor shave; accordingly I dug out my Mach3. Problematically, I had no idea which blades were old, new, or rusted. Because I don’t razor shave that often, this frequently happens to me, and when it does I inevitably just go out and buy all new blades. This time, however, out of spite for the Mach3, I decided to explore other options. This eventually led me to buying a safety razor. While this does potentially mark me as a hipster, after reading up on them, I decided that I shaved infrequently enough to invest in something as arcane as it was asinine.

Continue reading Shaving: Part 2 – How to Half-Shave

MIFC # 1

Far too many years ago I started drawing a comic called MIFC and in a flurry of distraction and too much other shit going on lost track of it. This morning, while shirking work and listening to Kraftwerk and Monomer, I decided to start reposting it.

I have a folder on my desktop called “Write,” which for some time has become a repository for items I feel an inclination to return to.

Write Folder

In January, I started sifting through it. The 5 Stooges meet Frank Perdue was one document I found; a document I won’t be returning too ever again – that one’s on me Hollywood. The folder also has a bunch of pictures, some old, some new, half written poems, gifs of my dogs, a transcript of an off-color conversation between a friend and myself about starting a fanfiction podcast, a year old promo video for Goblin 1, meditations on coffee, and a folder with MIFC comics in it.

MIFC is a multi-storyline comic set in the ’90s in Salisbury, Maryland. If the comic does continue, I’m sure Ocean City will make an appearance too.

Before leaving you with the first installment of MIFC, a friend of mine over at Theology Girl started blogging again. Her stuff is always humorously philosophical; if that is in your wheelhouse, be sure to visit her site. Also, I’ve submitted H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns to a couple of festivals (9 so far). Some I’ve never heard of, some I have. If anyone has any other suggestions of fests to check out, let me know. I like existential challenges.

MICF # 1
MIFC # 1

  1. Goblin is a screenplay I’ve been working on with my business partner in Black Square Productions

Pictures of Screens – “Fatty Joins the Force”

In jail, wearing a policeman’s hat and slouching against the bars of the cell, his face – a man-child’s written with petulance, frustration, and defeat – is streaked with dirt and the remnants of blubbering. He’s absurd, cartoonish, but also ironic; the recent turn of events that have landed him in prison must be weighing on him. He had been offered to join the force after he saved a young girl from drowning, even though he had always been courageously reluctant. That helpful push into the lake from his fickle lover was really at the root of why he dove into being a hero.

Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle in "Fatty Joins the Force" (1913), directed by George Nichols and produced by Mack Sennet
Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle

Twelve months ago I sat across from the man, Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle, trying not to catch weird reflections in the TV screen that I was photographing. Continue reading Pictures of Screens – “Fatty Joins the Force”

Little Richard’s The Cabin in the Woods

“No matter how ironic a mullet is, it’s still a fucking mullet,” said my brother as the credits rolled for The Cabin in the Woods (2011), directed by Drew Goddard. And he is right, for The Cabin in the Woods is still just a horror movie that fails to come into its own because it gets buried under its own statement.

Co-written and produced by Josh Whedon, the film follows a group of friends who vacation for a weekend at a cabin in the woods. With more than a nod to the Evil Dead (1981), directed by Sam Raimi, the movie follows a group of friends who soon find themselves attacked by zombie-like creatures. The twist is that the zombies and evil dead are actually part of a larger conspiracy that designs conventional horror movie death-traps for the younger generation.

Continue reading Little Richard’s The Cabin in the Woods


On the first weekend of the year, I surrounded myself with thousands of sweaty nerds at MAGfest XI. I should have done a write-up about MAG much sooner than this, as my first time attending came just 15 days after the inaugural post of Protozoic, back in late 2004.

Bit Brigade, which plays rock renditions of video games while one of the band members plays completely through the game. Above they’re finishing up Contra. Photo by “GlamGoreMuffin”
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Interview – Jennifer Juniper Stratford, director of The Multinauts

Back when I was living in NJ working a string of bad temp jobs, my roommate and I made it a habit to go through Comcast On Demand on a ritualistic basis and watch all the Something Weird videos, any music video we’d not heard of, all the Misty Mundae movies, and anything we’d deemed appropriately obscure. During this time, I swear we watched Dungeon Majesty. If we didn’t, my roommate and I watched it somehow, somewhere. And when we did, it was our equivalent of seeing the light. Part cable access camp (before Tim and Eric were names), part geek-chic and 100% brilliant, we both knew whoever was behind it was living the dream we’d always wanted to live.

Fast forward to present and my discovery of said genius, the video artist/photographer Jennifer Juniper Stratford. Much like Dungeon Majesty, I stumbled across her latest work The Multinauts but this time on the internet. If Dungeon Majesty was a 100% brilliant, this was a 120%. Incredibly ambitious the current two shows of The Multinauts run approximately 20 minutes each in length. Both shows boast an impressive array of visual effects, including model-making, 2D animation, various analog and optical techniques created by Stratford.

If The Multinauts only fired the visual neurons with pleasure, it would be enough. But The Multinauts is much more. It is funny, strange, unclassifiable, art-house Tom Baker era Doctor Who crossed with the Unearthed Arcana. To boot, The Multinauts features the music of Ariel Pink, Geneva Jacuzzi and has cameos of like-minded artist Leslie Hall.

I conducted the following interview with Stratford where she talks about The Multinauts and her other work as an artist.

Could you talk a little about the things that influenced The Multinauts?

On the surface level, The Multinauts is influenced by Dr Who (specifically Doctors 4-6), Max Headroom 20 Minutes into the Future, and Star Trek the Next Generation. In RPG terms it tips its hat to Dungeons and Dragons, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, and my beloved Shadowrun. The use of the Multiverse is inspired by Michael Moorcock. The script is written by Christine Adolph, Riley Swift, and myself (Centari, Xanthor, and Gigs ) and we would constantly refer to all these references with our deepest affection and then would add our personal touches to the characters.

Continue reading Interview – Jennifer Juniper Stratford, director of The Multinauts

For now we see through a glass, darkly – Part 3

“A Taste of Madness!”

From the first moment I saw the splash page I was hooked. And then the story. To sum up, Super-Skrull and Skragg try to drive Mar-Vell nuts by appearing as his defeated, dead enemies. Of course, Captain Marvel (with the aid of his alter-ego, eternal sidekick Rick Jones) beat the baddies at their own game. But this only sets the stage for what was to follow – the high water mark of Captain Marvel.


(As a side note, I love Cap’s expletives. “By the Code of the Kree! By Hala! By the Great Pama!”)

Continue reading For now we see through a glass, darkly – Part 3

Dwarf Fortress

There are games that are considered complete and final upon shipping but, in this internet age, I’ve largely been drawn to games of another classification, ones in a state of perpetual development. I go in, completely unrealistically, seeing games like this not so much for how they are, but for how they could be with enough time and the right development. Like a battered lover, a glutton for punishment, I keep returning to games of this type after being disappointed so many times before. My best example of this is Infantry, which met many of my expectations but fulfilled almost none of my dreams. I could spin similar tales of games like Graal and EUO. Wesnoth happens to be the only real success story, but something about Dwarf Fortress make it seem like it really will deliver.

Continue reading Dwarf Fortress