Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Talking during movies

I went to see a movie the other day. It was called Texas Two Step or maybe it was just Two Step. I know I'm becoming a Texan more and more everyday because I'm compelled to put Texas in front of everything.

The movie was all right. It did some good things. I'm not here to review the movie. This isn't about the movie. This is about the audience.

I'm there, not eating popcorn because every time I eat popcorn I lose another tooth. I'm minding my own business. I turn my cell phone OFF because silent isn't enough. I'm there to see the goddamn flick. Right before the movie starts, some dude comes in behind me and sits next to his friends. He complained he saw only one movie during SXSW because the "lines were too long." I just had this feeling about the guy. I knew he was a fucking talker.

The people he was sitting with were happy to see him. Maybe he was the friend-group's film buff.

"Oooooh," the lady says, "You went to SXSW?"

Yes, lady! He just said he saw one movie. It was an abject failure.

But of course he elaborates on this non-story. "Yeah, I could only see the shorts feature because I couldn't get into anything else."

First things first, people. If you only got into one movie with a wristband, it's because you didn't try. There are plenty of movies nobody else wanted to see. I got into Assholes no problem because that movie was awful and everyone but me knew it.

Second things second, gente del mundo. Why even elaborate on this? Jesus Christ.

The movie gets started and I hear the most annoying of whispers. The lady says in a loud whisper, "This was filmed at my friend's house."

Now, I'm about ready to jump out of my seat and start strangling people but I keep calm because I'm concerned I'll ruin everybody else's movie going experience if I start partaking in a little casual murder. This sets off a conversation that lasts the entire movie.

"Is this the house?"


"Oh, this must be the house."

"No, I don't think so."

"Is her house the liquor store?"

"Is she homeless? Is her house that street?"

Finally, I go nuclear. I turn around and shush. The lady says, "Bless you."

What took me forty five minutes to muster was mistaken by the object of my hatred as a sneeze.

Why talk in a theater? Nobody gives a fuck where the movie was filmed. If you were in the movie, you wouldn't say anything. You'd wait until somebody noticed and then say something like, "Oh, it was nothing. I can't even act! BUY ME DINNER, SLAVE."

Rant over.

Invasion of the Weirdos comes out on Tuesday. I'm so excited. Go pre-order the damn thing. 

Weird Meat Buffet is an anthology that is going to come out in the next 24 hours. I'll keep you posted. Catfish McDaris is in it. I'm in it. Jack Arambula's in it. Cheryl Couture, Robert Dean, and many more. It's good. It's real fun.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump gets Comey-ed

Donald Trump got Comey-ed yesterday. Ask Hillary Clinton how it feels. She's currently a few months into her "I lost everything beard."

I don't think a mass of coagulated smegma can grow a beard so Donald Trump doesn't have to worry about that.

Donald Trump is under investigation by the FBI. I think that's a pretty big deal but there's something else that's tickling my taint. I've got friends on facebook eating each other alive over how they fight the Donald Trump regime.

Some folks say Russia is a distraction for real issues. Some folks say tax returns are unimportant. Some folks say the exact opposite. Then they turn their fury towards each other until they are inevitably deemed racist.

There is no way to fight Donald Trump on facebook. Who gives a fuck if somebody posts an article about Russia? Who gives a fuck if somebody posts a super-impotence-inducing wonky op-ed about the intricacies of Donald Trump's tariff on Mexican Muslims? Donald Trump isn't reading your posts. Nobody is reading your posts. The only people reading your posts are people who want to actively disagree with you. Donald Trump can't see your posts if they're set to "Friends Only."

Comrade Donald IS under investigation by the FBI. That's kind of a big deal. Maybe it's not so much of a distraction anymore. Other intellectual issues are also important. Why can't I have bacon with my salad? I want it all but I what I want most is for everyone to stop policing everyone else's opinions as if their opinions will somehow reach the ear of Donald Trump and turn him into a dildo.

Listen, Captain Smarty Pants. I wish we were all talking about the criminally underfunded Russian language classes in public schools but I'm also heating up popcorn in the microwave to watch this Russia drama unfold. Sure, it may amount to nothing but Benghazi and emails got Trey Gowdy hard for half a decade. Just look how tight his face is.

Maybe this is the invigorating blue pill that will ride us back into the White House.

I don't know. You don't know. None of us know. All I know is if Paul Manafort was irradiated on the steps of the Kremlin, Republicans would be mad that that information got out considering the Kremlin turns off their cameras every time somebody gets assassinated on the property. Leakers!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Upcoming things

It wasn't too long ago I was going around doing live readings every month... multiple times, even! For a guy who just reads his own words on a page for a group of people who just want to eat their chana masala in peace, that's a pretty rigorous schedule. It's no touring-band schedule but it's just the right amount of schedule for a guy who's been wearing the same The Fly t-shirt for six years.

I took a pretty big break after we decided to stop doing TL;DR at the Whip In. Planning live readings takes a lot of energy. Things just fall apart sometimes.

Enough of the backstory! Holy cow!

I'm doing some live readings/signings/podcast things to support Invasion of the Weirdos. 

Here's the schedule, so far:

March 27: The Bizzong! Podcast
April 8, all friggin' day: San Antonio Book Festival
May 2, 7pm: The One Page Salon at the North Door, Austin, TX

More to come.

Pre-order the Invasion of the Weirdos ebook now!

Pre-order the Invasion of the Weirdos paperback now!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Invasion of the Weirdos is coming

Oh, man. I'm too excited for the release of Invasion of the Weirdos.

It's coming out on April 4th through Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

You can pre-order it here.

Listen to the Spotify playlist here.

Follow @AHILBERT3000, @PMMPublishing and @TobakNrothak on twitter now!

Check out Luke Spooner's glorious cover art.

Invasion of the Weirdos was a joy to write and I'm glad it's coming out from one of my favorite publishers. It's a weird book. I think it's a pretty funny book. I think it's a pretty good book.

Government assassins, interdimensional beings that control time at their will, sex cults, neanderthals, robots, McDonald's... it's got everything, folks. I'm proud as hell of this book and I want you to pre-order it right now!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SXSW Film Festival: 3 days, 9 reviews

Nina and I bought SXSW film wristbands because we're too old and uncool to put up with loud music from people 10 years younger, cooler, and more angsty than we are. I'm not trying to be the old man that says, "Music stopped being good when I stopped caring." No. I'm sure the good music will find its way to me through a speaker whose volume I control.

So here you are. We saw 9 movies so far. We did no research. We just waited in line for whatever sounded interesting or whatever was convenient.

1. RAT FILM - this was the first movie we saw and its synopsis sounded like some documentary that would be bought and distributed through PBS. It was not that movie. It was a surreal, almost psychedelic documentary on rats in Baltimore but it was actually a documentary on human beings, civilization, cruelty, etc. I talked to someone in line later and they said, "I thought it was going to be a documentary on how rats are useful and how we shouldn't kill them." It is very much so not a movie like that at all. It does some trippy things with a "computer game" and it's narrated by what sounds like a robot. There are some great interviews. Definitely not the movie I was expecting but it was, at that point, the best movie I'd seen all SXSW.

2. US & THEM - Us & Them is what you'd get if you made Funny Games and Snatch fuck each other to the sound of Bernie Sanders making a speech. It's a well-made movie but it goes too far. There is one scene in particular that is so melodramatic it's almost laughable. It fits nowhere into the movie except to add a degree of humanity to the main character but it falls pretty flat. If I was being generous, I'd say the movie tried to say that the plight of the poor is ignored by "fat cats" and even when the poor gets a leg up on them, the rich just have to wait it out and watch the poor turn on each other. It's a pretty cynical film and it has moments that are really funny. The music is great. I just think it could have benefited from the cutting room floor and if it was a little less self-aware as a social commentary piece. Make a good movie. The message will come through if there is one.

3. TRANSFIGURATION - some twenty-something know it alls were in front of me in the line for this movie. I overheard them say, "Transfiguration is like Moonlight but with vampires." That couldn't be further from the truth. It's a quiet horror movie and it focuses very intently on the main character's obsession with vampires, his sociopathy, and his isolation and disconnection from people. Overall, I liked the movie but the main conflict in the movie seemed two dimensional. There are gangsters in the movie. They are the bad guys. Their motivations are never explored other than to move along a plot. It was pretty good aside from that. Great acting. Beautifully shot. All that kind of shit.

4. WIN IT ALL - This was a well-written, well-acted comedy about some fucking dope who just wants to be a parking attendant his whole life but he also has a gambling problem. He meets a lady and wants to clean up his life. His old life comes back to haunt him. Very funny.

5. ASSHOLES - Oh, man. This is the movie I couldn't wait to shit on. But I know what it's like to spend a lot of time making something only for some asshole to shit on it. I've got a book coming out. This is the movie that let me know I wasn't simply enjoying movies because I was at a festival. I did not like this movie. Let's just say I felt like I was watching some bonerkind art school hotshot's first student film. This boner's going places but this movie is quite awful. He does some good visual stuff early on. Do not order queso fries at the Alamo Drafthouse while watching this. I like a good dirty joke. I like when dirty jokes are funny and don't force me to listen to the inane ramblings of a college student who just drank his first glass of kombucha. I also like eating queso fries. This is not the movie to eat queso fries to.

6. KODOKU: MEATBALL MACHINE - Japanese people have a very different way of telling a story. It's pretty easy to follow. They get it, man. There's conflict: sad, old man is getting old and sucks at his job. He will probably get fired. There's love: some young lady works at a bookstore and is always very sweet to him. There's an alien invasion: sad, old man's brain gets taken over by a bad claymation parasite in a ten minute long, bloody, gorefest of a prison scene. There's more conflict: Many people are taken over by this parasite and they fight to the death, wreaking havoc on this city. There's more love: Even though his brain is all full of fuck, this old man wants to make sure his love interest is okay. There's more conflict: Everybody wants to kill him. There's blood: There's something like 4000 gallons of fake blood used in this movie. There's a weird subplot that involves boobs as a symbol for liberation. See? The Japanese just get storytelling. A+. This is the Power Ranger movie we need.

7. MUPPET GUYS TALKING - This was a joyous celebration of collaboration and creativity. The originators of some muppets got together to shoot the shit. It was a panel, basically, but it was a joy to watch and listen to. Loved it and I'm not really a muppet kind of person.

8. MR. ROOSEVELT - So far, the funniest movie we've seen. It was shot in Austin. It was well-written and acted. It had an authenticity to it that a lot of movies cannot capture. I really, really, really liked it. The premiere was marred by technical difficulties. It was shot on 35mm and the projector's bulbs went out a few times. It made for a one of a kind experience to hear the writer/director/star make jokes about it as it was happening. I don't know, folks. I'm not a reviewer. I like what I like.

9. PORTO - The only reason we saw this was because it took place in Portugal. The guy next to us in line kept asking me if I had seen any more of whoever-directed-its movies. No. We were first in line so we looked like diehards but, au contraire my friends, we are tryhards. I brought a book to read in line and that's really the best conversation killer. People see you on a phone, they don't care. They'll ask a thousand questions. You bring out a real physical book and all of the sudden, they're looking at their phones. It's great. The movie was beautifully shot, well-written, all that kind of stuff... the acting was great but it was lacking in something that I just can't put my finger on. It suffered a major flaw in that the film was broken up into three parts. The first part followed the male character, the second part followed the female character, and the third part followed them both. The second part was much shorter and it introduced her mom out of nowhere? She was speaking a foreign language, there were no subtitles, and almost nothing of substance was gleaned about the character. I'm not sure if subtitles are coming or if this was just a standard, art-film move. I don't need subtitles, I just don't know why that scene with her mom was in there. I'm sure there's an audience for this movie. It felt like the Richard Linklater movies with Ethan Hawke except this director isn't afraid of sex.

We're taking a little break from the film fest to work. I'm hoping to see more.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I reached a higher level of consciousness thanks to my car alarm

I reached a higher level of consciousness thanks to my car alarm.

Some people might call this state nirvana, or enlightenment, or chakra-unity, or an all marshmallow box of Lucky Charms. I call this higher state of consciousness, "I think my ears are bleeding."

After work last night, I'd say around 1:30 in the morning, I went to my car like normal. It was a good night; we were busy so I was bone-tired. I get into my car and, for the first time ever, a loud audible alarm goes off. It was my understanding that the car's alarm was so old that it was inaudible. I had seen this soundless alarm go off before on my car and all it took was unplugging the battery and plugging it back in. I left a socket wrench in my trunk for this purpose.

What I didn't know was that when the loud, colon cleansing alarm is going off, you cannot open your trunk. This was the first of my trials before the holy stigmata was bestowed upon me. I was able to start my car and drive home like a total asshole with my alarm going off.

I get home. It's close to 2 in the morning. My alarm is going off. I go inside to tell Nina, "Don't worry, it's just me making sure the whole neighborhood wants to kill us!"

Lucky for me, I could conceal the location of banshee scream of my car in the garage. I fucked with the alarm, I tried to get the batter off with a screwdriver (don't do it), I tried to do it was a regular wrench (the positioning is such that you can't make a full revolution). I tried everything I could to do this without having to go to Wal-Mart at 2:30 in the morning.

I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I was not smart enough to think of going to Wal-Mart at 2:30 in the morning. Nina, in a perpetual state of all-knowingness, came out of her slumber to throw me her keys and tell me I could probably buy a socket wrench at Wal-Mart. Like every ape with a wrench in his hand, I didn't like people giving me way better ideas than I had but I accepted that I was beat. I accepted her keys and drove to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart at this time is a lot like Wal-Mart at any other time. There was a homeless person at the door. There were people buying energy drinks. There were workers not working. This, my friends, is Wal-Mart in its purest, most beautiful, most essential state. You are walking into another realm.

"Where are the tools?" I asked a pair of workers.

"What'd you say?" One of them scowled at me.

I scanned their attire to make sure I didn't make the mistake of assuming that the only two people walking with purpose in Wal-Mart worked there. They were both wearing those vests.

"You know, wrenches and shit." I said that. I did. I was annoyed and I knew my car alarm was still opening up portals to hell in my garage with my well-armed neighbors ready to demonstrate the merits of the 2nd Amendment on my dumb ass.

"Yeah, in the back."

The back. The back! Everything's at the back of everywhere you're looking. That is the first lesson of my ascension into sainthood.

Of course, I find the socket wrenches. There are a lot to choose from but I figure that going for the cheapest shit would still be paying too much but whatever. Self-checkout, etc, etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah.

I get to my house. I look around to make sure there are no neighbors hiding in the shadows of my house readying to leap and turn my face into fertilizer right after I shit my pants. Nobody. God herself must be smiling upon my misfortune! Fucking asshole.

I unplug the battery. The alarm shuts off!

For a second.

Then the backup alarm goes off. Nothing works. Nothing works.

I lost my cool, folks. I lost my cool. I was turning cucumbers into pickles and putting them into the microwave, if you know what I mean. I kicked the car and said, "Fuck this fucking car!"

After thirty more minutes of trying in vain to shut this thing up, I decide it's time to give up. I call AAA to see if they can do anything. Of course not. I enter my house defeated. I throw my clothes off in anger. I furiously search my problem online and confirm my worst suspicions: I am utterly helpless and nothing can save me.

The alarm went off all night, folks, and I went through various stages of hearing the alarm, thinking it finally went off only to get up to realize that no, it's still loud as shit. I got to a point where I was imagining the sound while hearing the sound. I got to the point that the alarm made me feel like my nose was bleeding.

I got to my knees and cried out, "Why?! Why, God?!"

I checked NextDoor to make sure my neighbors weren't plotting against me. They were smarter than plotting in the open.

Long story short, I got a tow truck out here at 10am this morning and I am now a being that is in full communication with all dimensions. I am in full understanding of mortal terror. I have seen Hell and it is a sound.

Buy my books!

Death Thing
Cat Food
Toilet Stories

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Yorker cartoon caption contest: Wild Wednesday Edition

It's the time of year when people start giving up on their dreams which can only mean another edition of New Yorker blah blah blah blah yay!

Even in the face of certain death, this mother fucker sucks ass.

I'm on a gluten free diet and I just can't get hard if you're serving me this wheaty, GMO-full bullshit. Excuse me while I go fuck a tree because we're the only two fucking people on this planet and you're just one inconsiderate monster.

It has the same texture as human meat but doesn't squeal like a bitch when you eat it.