Turns out GWAR is already taken. … A crushing realization.

I’m a writer who doesn’t write.

At least that’s how I’ve described myself over the last year. It’s … discouraging. But I guess it’s also a half-truth, to be fair. I am a full-time writer, yet few of the words I write are actually mine. I’m almost always speaking for someone else. And it’s not that they don’t have good things to say, or good reasons to say them, it’s just that they have enough sense to have me say things less absurdly, less long-windedly, and with far fewer dragons than I’d otherwise be wont to do.

It’s a matter of motivation, of course. I don’t write more of my own stuff because I choose not to. But after writing all day, it’s hard to go home and muster the will to write for several more hours. Especially when I just want to chill out, max, and relax all cool with my wife.

Any suggestions? I think step one is just writing more nonsense and iceberg-floating it out to sea. Which I intend to do. Until Global Climate Change’s endgame, anyway.

So with that preface, I’ll blog a bit.

I attended a conference with my wife a couple of weeks ago. It was good, and quite informative, but by the last session of the day my mind had started to amble about a bit. So I decided I’d try to salvage the time by doing something productive—brainstorming random and inane band names. Turned out to be an engaging way to spend the hour. Here they are in the order they appear in my notes, if not all in the order in which I wrote them:

Neo-Preen
Chuck LeDoux
The Millennial Falcons
Savings & Loan
Vespa Espionage
The Damn Daniels
Waco Shake-down
Al Kemmy & the Golden Boys
Plato’s Cave-in
Soothsayer
Fabula Rasa
Java Lamp
Lava Lamb
Nine Old Gringos
Written in the Margins
Rocket Scions
Roslindale
Round the Bend
20,000 Leagues
Clive Chowder & the Manhattan Clam Band
The Eight Teen Wheelers
These Blustery Days
Porrest Trump
Contronym
Fire Sale
Magnum π
Secret Sandwich
Life Without Annette
Cro-Magnon
Lost on the Moors
The Rubble Alliance
Save Me, Michaela Quinn!
Cracker Jackalope
The Tao of Now
Desert Paintbrush
Necromanscape
Système Internationale
Anon
Red Rover & the J-yard Dogs
Streets of Cobblestone
Alex P. Keaton
800-Pound Guerrilla
Groucho Mars
Astrophobia
Al Pastor
Ode to Autumn
Curious Aftertaste
The Last Beekeeper
Kublai’s Con Men
Algorhythmic
Treble Yell
Across the Bow
McMurdo Station
Tristesse Oblige
G.I. Jogurt
Half-Truthless
B.L.T.
Jane’s Casual Interest
Hobo Roadmap
Viking Funeral
ECTO-1
Hundred Acre Wood
Toad Switch
Statecraft
Electro Shepherd
Fight of the Month Club
Tío Escondido
Krav Maga
The Savage Beast
Han Shot First
Cacaophony
Bahamatomic
Closed Till Ragnarok
Blackroot
Elora Danan
Ape Ricotta
Interstellar Medium
Jaded Blue Jeans
Digital Natives
Better Left Unsaid
Kyle & Error
Bernoulli
Great Salt Wake
M. Bison
Guided by Fire
Summer Soldiers
Carl Owes Santa Anna
Skip Fayes & the Subli-Mates

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The Stuff of Legends, Myths, or Drunken Nonsense

I’ve had a tab to this article open in my iPad’s browser for more than three months. It’s about the razing of Ray Bradbury’s house.

I can’t bring myself to close it.

Ray died almost three years ago, but knowing his house still stood was a sort of balm. I posted about the house back in July, just after was it sold. If I’d known the buyer was going to tear it down, I would’ve tried to organize a public fit of hysteria or something.

Of course no building can stand forever. But I hoped this one might have been the exception. A grand, eternal Second Empire, not a slowly slackening clockwork.

It’s weird to feel so connected to a place I’ve never been, and to feel so sad when it’s gone. Kind of like the emotional unrest we all experienced at the loss of our local Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Ray’s house was such an integral part of his work, and his work is such an integral part of me. And if I can manage to never grow up, I wanna be just like Ray. He helped me believe in immortality, and helped me to understand that death is often a part of living forever.

What I wouldn’t give to spend an afternoon with him in his perfectly chaotic basement office, talking about dinosaurs, and séances, and the Egyptian sands of Illinois, and the weather on Phobos .

large-Ray Bradbury at the typewriter

But I guess, in truth, I’ve spent more than my fair share of warm, print-scented afternoons with Ray—and rocket fire–bright mornings, and sinister midnights, and weary-souled 3:00 AMs, too—so I shouldn’t really have much room for melancholy. I still miss him, though, this man and friend I never met but have known so well since I was 12. I wish he were still sitting at that desk.

Of course no one can live forever. But I hoped Ray might have been the exception.

And a small part of me will never give up the idea that maybe he is.