Category Archives: Webloggery

Any Pirate Will Do

any_pirate_will_do

 

My high school reached out to me to find out if I was interested in staying in touch. I am not. But the best part of this communication is finding that, judging by the address label, if I were no longer a resident, they would be happy to extend this invitation to whomever now lived here.

“Sure, you didn’t go to school here, but… would you like to pretend you had? Would you like to wear the prestige of Pewaukee-association about your shoulders like a regal cape?”

 

She Keeps Standing Up

A private eye talks to a palm reader, hoping she can help him locate a lady living in the same building the psychic is working out of. After the private eye admits who he’s looking for:

She stood up. “Who sent you?”

“Nobody. I just thought you might be able to help.”

“Don’t know the name, mister. I just moved in here last year.”

“But I thought you might be able to use your divination—”

“Crap!” She stood up. “You a copper?”

“No. I’m an agent…”

from Shooting Star by Robert Bloch.

Olive Garden’s Sincere Regrets

I_miss_my_sister_Olive_Garden

Man, the internet is weird.

Someone out there has to pretend to be a restaurant and they’re just trying to get people to buy pasta. Then someone comes along who wants to share about their deceased sister, because talking to chain restaurants comes somewhere around the “acceptance” stage of grief now, apparently.

Now the bar is set. If at least three brands don’t offer their condolences when I’m gone, I’m going to feel like a failure. And I don’t mean on social media. I want someone at the ceremony, in cosplay, looking solemn, shaking hands… throwing in some free appetizers.

One of my earliest Bandcamp purchases and still one of my favorites, as proved by the fact that every time I remember to look and they STILL haven’t released any new music, I want to find a mailing address to pre-pay for their next effort.

Their sound: Smart, punky, fun.

Favorite song from this album (which made it into The Signal: EP090!): Birthday

Sample lyrics: “I lit a candle and got wax on my hand but the novelty factor made it worth it for me / Then I drank my coffee and listened to records and when I say records, I mean mp3s”

You could have the album for the cost of “whatever you want” from free to “your children will never know warmth.”

Wandering the Aisles

In little-traveled corners of Bandcamp, you can find musicians carving out a musical niche that is dedicated to creating weird soundscapes under the banner “mallsoft” or “vaporwave”. The aesthetic choices of these artists seem to explore the alienation of shopping— and capitalism, by extension— of large and empty mall spaces, of terrible music forced on you as part of the cost of traversing those spaces and a love of carving cracks into that facade with glitched imagery, echo effects, stuttering and distant.

This album from 식료품groceries was my introduction, starting as it does with a synth cover of a Cyndi Lauper song, then in track 2 (지하철Morning Commute), you hear the rumbling of a train and a soft jazz saxophone that somehow keeps pace with the train’s motion. There’s distant cymbal crashing from some other music source that has nothing to do with the saxophone, and automated voices reading announcements that just flicker at the edge of awareness.

Before you know it: You’re at the mall. Track 3. You Are Here.

Enjoy exploring the aisles.

Walkdog by Sofia Samatar

“Walkdog”

I’m not really sure what to say to give context. The story title/link is to a very short story about a mythical, modern creature, written as if by a young teenager as a research paper/homework assignment. I enjoyed it. I thought you might. I often think, when I read amazing things, that the well-written thing has changed me somehow and I get uncomfortable, that I might be the only person who has been changed, that by reading something I am now apart from the rest of the world that has not read it. I’m recommending a piece of short fiction to you and I’m trying to be less alone. Does that make sense?

Maybe I just should have linked to the story. This turned out weird. I’m going to click the Share Link button anyway, though, because this moment when I’m typing is pinned in between two infinities that stretch out and I’m not in most of that space… for most of that time. I’m just here, typing. Sometimes reading. I’d like you to be, as well, if you’re game for it.