Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We are a bold and saucy lot


She asked my name and occupation.
Soap Shepard, master of metaphor, I replied.
She gave me a funny look and wouldn't give me any money.
Cretins all, thought I.
It was a damp day. Grey and windy
and I was here, suffering these dick-less swine.
Wanted to leave. Left.

Experiencing a bout of phantosmia.
Today it is the sour, weedy scent of summer;
high school finger-fucks and fabric softener.

Contemplating the imprisonment of my favorite Russian.
Drinking warm, cloudy water.
I am a heat-seeking missile.

People talk too much
and their art is boring.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chainmail and Skinny Jeans: Confessions of a LARPer


Okay, okay it’s time to come clean. I’m a LARPer. There, I said it.
No longer content to roll dice onto Mountain Dew-stained graph paper, I’ve taken my obsession with all things swords, magic, elves and dragons out of the basement and onto the field of battle.
For the uninitiated, LARPing stands for Live Action Role-Playing. Rules vary among different LARPing groups, but essentially you dress in medieval/fantasy garb and wail on one another with foam swords in a park or soccer field that will tolerate your weirdness. I’d describe it as full contact Dungeons & Dragons.
At first, I was hesitant to admit my newfound pastime. I mean, on the nerdo scale, LARPers fall somewhere just slightly below Furries. When questioned by my friends about the ever-growing armory in my closet, I told them I’d joined a medieval combat society, which I thought had a more socially acceptable ring to it.
I mean, when you think of a typical LARPer, what comes to mind? A chubby, asthmatic neckbeard with cool ranch Dorito breath right? Some forever alone motherfucker who’s real life is so pathetic that they resort to living in a fantasy world where they can be feared, respected and sucked off nightly by Liv Tyler? Yeah, me too. Yet I’ve been LARPing for several months now and not once have I felt the urge to don a silk dragon shirt and tuck it into my cargo shorts or pull my hair into a greasy ponytail. In fact, everyone I’ve met LARPing has been super cool and I’ve been having such a blast that all my friends, even the ones who scoffed at first, have gotten into it too.
Your interest is piqued, I can tell. Therefore, the following is a description of my experience thus far.
Now: my first order of business was to come up with a character to role-play. Eventually, I chose to be a human Ranger. Here is his backstory in brief:
 

 
Name: Davin Gale-Kin AKA Night-Arrow
Race: Human
Class: Ranger
Age: Speculated in his 23rd summer
Known associations: The Explorer’s Guild, The Brotherhood of the Rain
Alignment: Chaotic Good
 
This stoic and often grim Ranger, was once a feared assassin known only as "The Wolf" in the employ of High Magister Solonus Celeste.
Escaping from a life of crime and murder, Davin found solace and redemption in the rainy wilderness. Taken in by the native elves and trained in the arts of the ranger, Davin embarked upon a new life as a servant of good and justice.
Though he had at last found peace and purpose, Davin found himself swept up in the tide of a war that threatens the entire realm. Now Davin must fight for something greater than himself while struggling against his own violent inner nature and the beast he fears is forever a part of him, lurking just below the surface.

I know: cool, right?
 
So I had a character I wanted to play, but the next step was looking the part. Most LARPing groups I’ve read about require that their members dress in period garb, though most are generally pretty relaxed about this rule for newbies. However, with my experience cosplaying as well as an innate desire to always look like a badass, I went balls out on my Ranger garb.

"Your author obviously about to be wrist deep in babes"

I acquired my leather vest at a thrift store for $3. My gloves were Army surplus and cost $10. I found my cloak at a vintage shop for about $30. My baldric was a killer eBay find and ended up only being like $8. The Pièce de résistance was my leather shoulder armor which ran me about $60 and was another rad eBay purchase. All in all, I spent a little over $100 on my garb, though for the less invested, cloth for a simple tunic likely wouldn’t cost more than $10 at a fabric or craft store.
But enough about how kick-ass I looked. I was ready for my first event. And let me tell you, it. Was. Fucking. AWESOME! Seriously you guys, it was better than the first time I touched a boob. I fought with these nerdos for hours. I defeated a werewolf, joined forces with an order of middle-aged Knights, destroyed a mask of corruption and I even saw the goblin queen’s nip pop out of her corset. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, sore, battered, bruised and ready for more.
So now, forged anew in the fires of pretend war, I face the picnic tables full of snickering hipsters unafraid and without enough middle fingers for how much of a fuck I don’t give. I’m a LARPer and proud of it.

So fare thee well denizens of the internet. Hope to see you out there. Here’s some links to cool shit:

Dargarth - The LARPing group I am involved with.
Foam smithing - Good tutorials on how to make your own LARP weapons.
Darkon - Award winning documentary about LARPing. Watch it, it's awesome.


Daniel Byrne is a verbose badass who chain smokes and drinks copious amounts of whiskey in Seattle, WA. You can follow his sarcastic stream of consciousness on twitter.

Scream the Sailing Ships


I could have proselytized on Kant for that hipster girl who brought her bike to the party, but I ended up getting stupid drunk and playing Magic the Gathering with some kid. I lost, but it wasn't my deck so fuck.
And I said some things I didn't mean to someone meaning never mattered to anyway, but she's dead now, or she moved I don't remember.
I was beautiful once. The kind of beautiful that made girls fuck me and feed me. I had this way of leaving it unsaid that if they continued fucking me and feeding me, I would write a novel about them someday. Maybe I will yet, but I think its been done.
I'm attracted to foreign currency. And if you ask me the value and meaning of soap, I will fall in love with you, albeit briefly. I get turned on when celebrities die. I enjoy awkward goodbyes. My personal record is jerking off 11 times in one day, it remains unbroken since spring break my freshman year in high school. I prefer spinach to lettuce. I prefer Sarte to Camus, but this changes upon the density and color of the clouds. I prefer Dostoevsky to Tolstoy in any weather.  
Tell me of yourself. I like to listen. Don't tell me of your likes and dislikes or of things that happened to you or people you know or things you have done or places you've seen. I mean, that's all fine, keeping it simple is more fine however.
Don't write about love like it's something you're waiting for. Write about love like you'd write about surviving a meteor impact. Cataclysm beats ennui every time. Watch bad art flicks and own Zen Arcade by Husker Du on vinyl. Tell me about the day your dog died.
I find cynics to be the true romantics. Smoke cigarettes and don't say that you're thinking about quitting. At some point, bring your copy of the Necronomicon to a cemetery and try to summon a demon. Understand why bees are so important and also why lillies trump roses. Skip water color and paint with oils.

Life-cycle of a Pragmatist


"Holy art thou butterfly".
What a load of shit, I thought to myself. Concerned
only with my missing,
black socks I had precious little
time for that finger-snap, college bullshit.

The logo on my 100 percent recycled, paper cup read
The Sentient Bean...
cute.
Knowing outdoors would better tolerate my smoking habit,
I made a hasty exit, jostling
several paint-smeared SCAD students
and knocking over the microphone stand.
The pretty girls all glared
and the boys continued desperately trying to hide their hard-ons
beneath the checkerboard tables.
"Philistines", said I
"it's the closest thing to high art they've seen all day and all they can do
is continue trying to fuck one another
without appearing to be trying to fuck one another."

A little bell tinkled and I was without. Without
was much preferable to within.
It was,
however, much hotter and much more humid without
and the lack of my socks notwithstanding,
I began sweating.
It poured from me torrentially.
From my hair and neck and chest and underarms and the crack of my ass.
Choked by the heat,
I felt myself dripping down to the uneven concrete until I was nothing
but a puddle.
The friction of Chuck Taylored feet against the sizzling pavement
livened my molecules a bit
and though my eyebrows and a little of my lower intestine remained
to condense on the side of a tall glass of sweet tea from the cafe,
a cool breeze whisked by and blew the rest of me
out to sea.

The Beast who Shouted I at the Heart of the World





Yeah whatever, I have a blog now.