Monday, June 30, 2008


Thanks to my extensive love of comic books, I am able to sum up how I'm feeling today with a nice, simple word. It's something that starts off as ambivalence, works its way close to depression and then rockets up to aggravation. I don't know why, just one of those things. The weekend was weird with the storm and power outage. People in general are getting on my nerves. It's summer (NOT my favorite season) and I haven't heard anything from anyone where work is concerned. Just a whole lot of putzing around, waiting, shuffling. . .blah.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The house began to twitch...

Ok, so last night THIS hits us. It was something between a tornado and a hurricane. Actually, I figure it was the equivalent of a tornado that had been spread across an entire city.

The storm lasted for about 10-15 minutes, but it was a tough 10-15 minutes! Couldn't see anything through my windows besides flying leaves, churning gray and some old guy in a rowboat. Maybe that last one was from The Wizard of Oz, but the rest was about right. Winds blew through here at over 90 mph!

Trees are down all over and we lost power for the better part of a day. Fortunately, we got our power back and we can all get back to work. Sure the piles of hail look pretty and the smell of broken wood is nice and fresh, but SHEEEZZ!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sci Fi Channel goodness

Have I mentioned how much I love the original movies on Sci Fi Channel? Well, I do. It's not because they're well written, well acted or well anything, but they don't even pretend to be concerned with any of that stuff. My wife likes the disaster ones like Atomic Twister (surprisingly, that's NOT about a tragic accident involving tightie whities and a nerd's butt crack). I, of course, enjoy the monster movies.

Now, there are different themes. There's the "giant insect" or "giant radioactive/mutant animal" variety. There's also the vampires, werewolves, krakens, and manticore kind pulled up from our proud traditions and mythology. There's also the regular, yet still scary animals like crocodiles, bears and Komodo Dragons. The effects are cheesy, the acting is horrific, the women are hot (although the naked bits are blurred), and people always get mutilated. Usually, someone gets bitten in half and someone else gets their head knocked off. And, when their heads do come off, it's no surprise since they seemed to have been so loosely attached in the first place. What makes this all so great is that everyone connected to these movies obviously knows they're just making cheese and run with it. Once you sit back, shut the ol' brain down and relax, these movies are SO much more fun than shitty movies trying to be good (cough...The Village...cough...Superman Returns)

This Saturday, I'm setting my DVR for Copperhead. Giant snakes (or maybe just a lot of snakes) are set loose upon the old west. THE OLD WEST!!!! YEAHHH!!!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chicago food = Ambrosia

I found a little restaurant not too far from home. It’s a place I’d been meaning to try, but was hesitant to actually go to simply because it was supposed to sell Chicago hot dogs. Now, I love Chicago hot dogs. The problem is that I live in Omaha, Nebraska and am very finicky about certain foods. Both of my parents were raised in Chicago’s south side and I’ve been there plenty of times. Used to live in Chicago as a kid, so I know my Chicago staples.

Now, I addressed the whole pizza issue in the first SKINNERS. The Chicago pizza I know is the same as the Chicago pizza my parents and grandparents know. The consensus from damn near every Chicago native I know is that real Chicago pizza is thin crust, spicy Italian sausage and little puddles of grease scattered on top. Sounds gross to health nuts, but TOUGH. That’s Chicago pizza! Not this super-thick stuff that’s passed off to the tourists. Can you get pan pizza in Chicago? Sure. It’s really good. But that’s pan style pizza. Chicago Style = thin crust, spicy sausage (maybe even pepperoni) and grease. End of story.

As far as hot dogs, it goes like this: poppy seed bun, pickle spears, tomato wedges, relish, hot peppers, mustard, NO ketchup and VIENNA beef. That last part is important. I didn’t make the rules. Any hot dog joint or vendor in Chicago proudly displays their Vienna Beef sign on a wall or logo on their apron. That’s just the way it is.

So I go into this restaurant down the street, hoping for the best but expecting a regular hot dog and a bonus slice of pan pizza. What did I get? Poppy seed bun, pickles, peppers, mustard, Vienna beef, and a big sign on the menu saying NO KETCHUP on the Chicago style hot dog. Bless you folks. This place is awesome!! They do it right 100%. Now, all I need is a White Castle and a Jack in the Box around here and I’ll never have to leave. That’s because I’d be too fat to get through the door or into a normal car, but still. . .

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cautiously optimistic

The 360 returned home today. It’s not a new one, but it seems to work…so far. A friend of mine had one crap out on him within days after getting it repaired, so let’s just say I’m not putting on the custom faceplate just yet. It’s great to be back in business, but I’m waiting for those horrible three red lights to start blinking. In about a week or so, if there’s no incident and everything is running, I’ll be a happy guy.

Me waiting anxiously for a mail delivery is nothing new. Usually, I’m waiting for a check or an edited manuscript or cover samples, but this time it was for my little Ivory (white 360). Ebony (black original Xbox) has been doing great, but it’s not the same. The funny thing was when the UPS guy finally did show, he knew exactly what he was delivering even though there’s no obvious markings on the box. He handed me that signing pad thing and said, “I bet you’re glad to have this back.”
“Oh yeah,” I replied.
“I’ve been delivering a lot of these. Must have been a power surge or something.”

Have this back? Power surge? He knew there was a repaired 360 in that box! Wow. That’s a good wake-up call for any Microsoft people reading this. Then again, if you don’t know about the design flaws in the 360 by now, you’ve got much bigger issues.

Oh well. I’m happy Ivory is back. Hoping it’s been fixed up properly. Getting back to Ninja Gaiden 2, GTA 4, Call of Duty….ok, now I’m REALLY getting anxious.

Monday, June 23, 2008

There was a VERY cool website up for about 15 minutes where you could write your own script that would be shown as an opening crawl from Star Wars. Had one up on this blog for a bit and it was awesome. John Williams music and everything. Just as I thought, "How could they put that up without LucasFilm throwing a fit?", the site was closed down.

Sorry if I jinxed you guys. The site was nerdalicious, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Slogging through the summer

Flood waters are still rolling through Missouri, where a good portion of my family and friends live, so I’ve been keeping in touch with them. So far, everyone’s tired from sandbagging but doing as well as can be expected. Since they don’t need my help just yet and there’s nothing I can do from here, I’ve been keeping myself distracted with…well…pretty much the usual crap that distracts me.

Picked up Guitar Hero for the DS yesterday and it works really well. I’m a sucker for Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but had my doubts with a handheld version. The DS version is actually really good and a lot of fun. At least I’ll have something for my music fix when I’m at a convention or on the road. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith comes out next week and yes I will be picking it up. I know it’s not a true sequel or anything, but I’m an Aerosmith fan and a Guitar Hero fan, so it seems like a perfect, “chocolate in my peanut butter” sort of thing. Anyone out there not know about the old Reese’s Peanut Butter cup commercials with the chocolate lady bumping into the peanut butter guy? Damn, I’m feeling old. Anyway, since my new/repaired Xbox 360 should be getting back to me sometime this week, I’ll be able to play Aerosmith when it comes out. I feared I’d have to just sit and stare at the vacant spot next to my TV while everyone else is rockin’. That would have been rough.

I’m working on SKINNERS 2 as well as some other projects. I’m not content to sit back and just pray one series stands up (although I REALLY like my series). Economically, just about every writer either needs to have another job or have more than one project running. I’ve had my fill of other jobs and would rather bust my ass trying to keep my writing moving, so more needs to be sold. Fortunately, I’ve got plenty of ideas that I think are freaking AWESOME! If one or two of those actually strike a publisher as something in the “pretty cool” to “that one’s a keeper” range, I should be in business.

Not much else right now. Just waiting with baited breath for The Dark Knight…

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hitting things is always fun

Now that the storms have eased up a bit, my wife and I went to see The Incredible Hulk. I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it. I went in wanting to see Hulk smash and smash, he did! The story moved along well enough to keep me from dozing off ala Ang Lee and had plenty of nods to the show from the ‘70’s. I won’t say the story was the biggest draw here, but the people who made this movie didn’t think so either. That’s what made it work.

The effects were very cool. I’ve heard people say the Hulk still looks fake. Well, I don’t see how a ten foot tall green dude is going to look REAL. At least in movies where the creatures have fur or are based on something vaguely normal, there’s more to work with. Movies with aliens or other purely fantasy monsters can make their own rules. The Hulk is stuck in the middle. If you go too far in any direction, he just won’t look like the Hulk so you’re stuck with…a big green dude. My whole gauge for comic book movies is if it has that comic book “feel”. You know, when you read a comic and you get that wide-eyed, excited suspension of belief? You’re not supposed to read superhero comics looking for real physics or plausible villains. Just read it and watch things get blowed up real good. There are serious comics just like there are serious movies. Hulk isn’t either of those, so just go and have some fun. Hulk smash REAL GOOD!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

1 order of perspective...comin' up!

Ok, just when I get done bitching about my broken toy, I spend the night in my basement hoping a tornado doesn't blow me away. Whew. I've lived in Nebraska for some time, so I know the drill. I was even in Grand Island way back when the whole town was leveled. That doesn't mean it wears any less on the ol' nerves. Last night, tornadoes ripped through here and hit a Boy Scout camp pretty hard. There's flooding, fatalities, lost and damaged homes...the whole nine. Needless to say, my thoughts are with all of those who were hurt and I can't imagine what it would have been like to be in the middle of the really bad stuff.

There's really not a lot else to say about it. I feel damn lucky so far and hope the summer storms let up enough to give everyone around here a chance to clean up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

...but I've been so GOOD to you!!!!!!

Just started in on Ninja Gaiden 2 and it''s pretty cool. The graphics and stuff...and...sorry. I can't do this. There's been a death in my house. My XBox died. Yep. The ol' three rings of death. For those of you who don't know, that means my beloved XBox 360 conked out for good. And before any of you Sony people start to brag, just save it. I'm suffering enough already. Actually, this will be my third XBox since I've gone through this ordeal once already. just doesn't get any easier, does it?
It's time to put my wife's saintly demeanor to the test. Last time this happened I was...let's just say...I wasn't pleasant to be around. Sure, I've still got my old XBox (which is the original one I bought way back when and still works FINE). I've also got a Nintendo WII, which will go a long way in keeping my spirits up. Last time, there was no WII to soothe me. Still, no Call of Duty 4, no Halo3, no Ninja Gaiden 2, no.........(sigh)
Am I angry? Yep. Am I sad? I'm man enough to admit that much. Will I stick with XBox? Yes. This sucks, and there's obviously design flaws, but I won't give Microsoft the final middle finger until they start making me pay for the replacement consoles. Even though they're obviously not well made (everyone I know who has one has had to send it in at least once), the games on that puppy are just so fun and so purty. Dammit, I just can't quit you Ivory!!! (old XBox = Ebony, XBox 360 = Ivory).
I'm not promising to behave here. I'm sure I'll gripe about this until my new console arrives. Until then, I'll break out some old school Ebony favorites. I've still got Guitar Hero 1, 2 and '80's on the PS2. There's actually plenty of WII games I've been meaning to get into more, so there's that.
Oh, and there is that pesky second SKINNER book I need to write. Maybe I'll have a Full Blood tear up the annoying dude who promised to "fix my problem over the phone" when I called Microsoft customer service. Yeeeaaahhhhhhhh!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Puny humans

OK, so the new Indiana Jones wasn't so great. That doesn't mean I'm giving up on summer movies. On the contrary, I've always thought this new Hulk looked pretty cool and I still do. After seeing Iron Man and knowing that Marvel is taking the reins with the green guy as well, I think it'll be quite a show! And it's not like I'm asking for much here. All I want is to see a giant angry monster smash the living hell out of everything. I know, that's a real stretch coming from me, but it's true. Liv Tyler may not be wearing those sexy pointy ears and talking elvish, but she's always pretty hot. So far, my wife is sending me out on my own to see this one. Maybe Indy broke her spirit, but she never really was a Hulk fan. That's surprising, because she is pretty scary when she gets angry. (I had to say something like that somewhere in here)

Oh, and then there's this....
All I can say about this pic is oh HELL YESSS!!!!!
Two Face has always been a favorite and this looks really great. I don't know how much of him will actually be in The Dark Knight, but I can not WAIT!!! Of course Joker looks amazing, but this is just...yeah.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.