Growth… (Gone)

So that thing that was taking residence on my head – wart, skin tag, or perhaps a twin that never made it past the first interview – fell off last night after I stepped out of the shower. I guess that blast of freezing air really did the trick after all.

I noticed it was gone as I was drying myself. It had fallen on the floor. From six feet up it looked like a dangleberry that had strayed too far from the bowl. Up close it was a little like a sultana, but far less appetising of course. I have a picture, but I guess you don’t want to see that.

It is the first time in a long time that it has not been there, fixed to the side of my head, and its absence feels… weird. I certainly don’t regret its removal, but I still reach up and half-expect it to be there.

I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to remove the base, probably in that same minus 196 degree manner.

Night Shift #12 – The Ledge…

619i-4slsfl645695221..jpgWord count – 6,700

The Ledge tells the story of a man who has fallen in love with the wrong woman – by which I mean she is attached to a local mobster. As a result of this he is blackmailed into walking around the ledge of the building, forty-something floors up.

What the story lacks in action it more than makes up for with good pacing and expertly crafted tension… and of course, a pigeon that doesn’t know when to quit.

The Ledge is a great tale. If I was being picky I could say that perhaps it is overly simplistic in its delivery, and it is possibly a little truncated in places, but the core of the story is very enjoyable, and it is certainly in the top tier of the stories I have read from Night Shift so far.

Recommended ⇑

Potted Film Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

220px-Poster_-_Fast_and_Furious_Tokyo_DriftStarring: Lucas Black, Sung Kang, Bow Wow

Tokyo Drift is the third film in the Fast and the Furious franchise, and while it is decidedly a step up from the catastrophe that was the second entry, it still falls a little short of where it needs to be.

The action is moved to Japan (big surprise there, right?) and the cast is shaken up as well. There’s nobody in this one from the first two episodes… well, except for a cameo at the end from Vin Diesel.

The first half of this is decent enough, with some impressive stunt work – and for the majority of the time Lucas Black (complete with his Texan drawl) is an acceptable protagonist – but the story loses me in the back end and just fails to leave me with enough positive vibes to recommend it.

Not Recommended ⇓

My Thanksgiving…

Yes, I know, it’s an American thing, but here are a few things I am thankful for anyway.

Long weekend lie-ins; loud music when nobody else is listening; managing to (mostly) stay the right side of healthy; hot showers; quiet afternoons; getting through the bad times; good friends; coming home to a woman I love, and who gives it back to me.

Happiness.

What I’ve Done This Week #47…

I got to thinking about killing Hitler this morning – not in a real world sense, of course, but a conversation about the Christmas armistice of World War One got my creative juices flowing. I think there is some comedy to be mined in that scenario.

I am slowly plodding along with my challenge tales, but this week has been mostly about the mystery of Last Chance Lagoon. The only trouble is that it has now bloated to over 1100 words, which is a wee bit longer than I had anticipated it would be. Still, every story is fluid until you put a cap on it, so I won’t stress too much about it. And if it wants (or needs) to grow from there, all I can do is put the words down.

The other two are still moving forward, although not with the same fervour. Juggling several pieces at once is bound to have its ebbs and flows, so I’m not worried about it. This time next week it would not surprise me if the words were coming thick and fast for one of the others.

Eagles, Chapter V – Hotel California (1976)

Members: Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Joe Walsh

Hotel California is the seminal album in the discography of the Eagles, and even those who are not fans know this one.

With the addition of Joe Walsh and the departure of Bernie Leadon, the quartet that remained had left its country roots well and truly behind, and the Eagles emerged as a very different band.

Hotel California (Don Felder / Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
There’s nothing new left to be said about this song – from its lyrical mystery to its fantastic two minute guitar outro. It’s not only their most famous track, but also one of the defining songs of the seventies. 10
New Kid in Town (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / JD Souther)
Lead – Frey
I always found this song to be overrated, which is not to say it’s bad, just that it’s the lowest point on an album filled with great material. 7
Life in the Fast Lane (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Joe Walsh)
Lead – Henley
A great rock song with a biting Henley vocal and some influential guitar work from Walsh. 9
Wasted Time (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
One of my favourite Eagles songs, and up there with the best ballads Henley ever tipped his vocals to. This is even more poignant if you’ve let go of a relationship. 10
Wasted Time (reprise) (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Jim Ed Norman)
instrumental
A nice little breather, before…
Victim of Love (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Don Felder / JD Souther)
Lead – Henley
A very good rock track that often gets unjustly overlooked on this album amongst all the classics. 9
Pretty Maids All in a Row (Joe Walsh / Joe Vitale)
Lead – Walsh
The first lead vocal for the newest Eagle, Joe Walsh. Nobody would suggest Walsh has a great voice, but with the right song it can work, and this is the right song. 8
Try and Love Again (Randy Meisner)
Lead – Meisner
This is Randy’s last lead vocal on his final album with the Eagles, and it’s also his best. A beautiful song. 9
The Last Resort (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
This epic Eagles track – the way that it dramatically builds musically, lyrically, and vocally – is one of my favourites. 10

Overall: 90%
I usually love to hold the contrarian opinion, but there’s a reason this album is so highly rated: and that’s because it’s a fantastic collection of songs… and it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Night Shift #11 – Strawberry Spring…

619i-4slsfl645695221..jpgWord count – 3,700

Strawberry Spring is told as a flashback tale about the murder spree at a college in the late sixties, as experienced through the eyes of one of the students.

This short story surprised me – not with the twist, because I saw that coming a mile away – but with the accomplished manner in which it has been written, given that this was originally published when King was only twenty-one.

It’s one of those stories where it doesn’t matter if you can see you ending before it happens, because predictability is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is written well – and this is – then you just have to stand up and applaud the work, and this is one of the best entries I have read so far in Night Shift.

Recommended ⇑