the long january

And … I’m back.

Isn’t Charlie fantastic? Highest rated blog over here, with the second most views (she didn’t mention Zooey Deschanel, which really pulls in the views on searches). Anyway, thank you Charlie for a lovely post. I haven’t been here for the past couple of weeks, because we had two shows opening at my day job and I’ve been kept kinda busy.

Can I also say how much I dislike mornings? I realize that I don’t keep regular, normal people hours, and I’m glad. The last two weeks I’ve had all day shifts with morning shows, so I’ve had to be at work at 9am and that just kills me with my sleep schedule (I tend to skew late). If I had to be at work every day at 7 or 7:30am … fuck.

So, what’s new guys?

Every January, there is something about the holiday insanity and the end of the crazy first half of the season, that just makes me retreat in a little (might have something to do with the crushing cold, seriously, last week we were double digits below zero). Also, when I was still in grad school, I didn’t have classes in January, so that gave me some extra time on my hands. So, the trend I’ve noticed developing is that I tend to ingest at least one television series during the month of January. One January, I devoured all of Battlestar Galactica from mini-series to the unfortunate coda, The Plan, in three weeks.

This year, the television series was Wallander, a glorious BBC adaptation of the mystery novels by Henning Mankell. Kurt Wallander, is an inspector in a small Swedish city, Ystad. He is post divorce and depressive. He falls asleep in his chair with a bottle of wine. But he’s an excellent cop and the show is set against the beauty and desolate areas around this city that has watched violent crime escalate. There is mix of urban and rural that is specific and universal at the same time. Over the course of watching this show the rhythms washed over me, the stillness punctuated by the chirping of Wallander’s cellphone; the tranquility shattered by violence. Each episode is an adaptation of a different novel, a mini movie at an hour and a half each (just like the Jesse Stone novels have been adapted for CBS, except the BBC show is only adapting the Wallander books and the Stone films have veered off the published materials and ventured into original stories), and each season has three episodes. There are three seasons currently, available on Netflix Instant, with a fourth (and final season) yet to be produced.


This January, I also read Warren Ellis’s new book, Gun Machine. Gun Machine is a thriller, a mystery, and a terrific look at history (specifically Manhattan) and the culture/ totemic lure of guns. The premise is this: a cop  (Detective John Tallow) who is past his point of investing in his job, let alone his life, answers a call at a Manhattan walkup with his partner. Shortly after encountering an insane gunman, upset at an eviction notice, who is shooting up the hallway of his apartment, Tallow’s partner gets a bullet in the brain and Tallow puts the gunman down. During the forensic cleanup, Tallow discovers a hole in the wall that leads to an apartment full of guns, guns arranged in swirls and shapes, guns that have all been used in unsolved murders–one gun per murder. Now Tallow is hunting the compiler of the gun collection, and the compiler, the hunter, is hunting Tallow.

gun machine

It’s excellent, inventive and unexpected. Ellis has a way of manhandling language into interesting and compelling shapes and creating characters that are exceptional because of their flaws and quirks.

Here are two book trailers for the book:

His body of work includes another novel, Crooked Little Vein, a nasty piece of work (a high compliment) and a whole host of graphic novels including TransmetropolitanPlanetaryFell, the webcomic Freakangels, and Iron-Man: Extremis (part of the DNA of Iron-Man 3). He’s done columns for Wired UK and is currently writing one for Vice. Check him out.

Photo of author Warren Ellis for the book Gun Machine. Photo by Ellen Rogers.
Photo of author Warren Ellis for the book Gun Machine. Photo by Ellen Rogers.

I’ve also digested most of Locke & Key and The Walking Dead.

locke & key


Oh, and I was nominated for a blogging thingie (twice–thanks Evan and Charlie!)


The Rules:

1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.

2. Answer 10 questions.

3. Choose 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.

4. Provide links to these blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been chosen.

5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

The Thanks

I have two people to thank for this award: Charlie, my wonderful friend who guest blogged the last post and who blogs at That Girl Who Reads Books, and Evan, a lovely gentleman and friend from Hamline who pontificates about jokes and humor over at his blog, The Oldest Jokes in the World. They are also two of the blogs that I would consider “a joy to read”.

The Questions

 Your favourite colour? Blue. Except on the days that it’s orange.

Your favourite animal? I’ve always had an affinity for wolves. I’d love to get a dog or a cat. Lately, pandas have been sort of omnipresent in my life (and yet I’ve never seen one in person) and I kind of love them too.

Your favourite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee. But specifically a Vanilla Mocha from Starbucks.

Facebook® or Twitter®? Each has their own merits and detractions. Lately I’ve enjoyed Twitter more than Facebook, though I’m connected to more people on Facebook. How about Tumblr? Can I just say Tumblr?

Your favourite pattern? Plaid? Argyle?

Getting or giving presents? I love finding and giving the right gift, but at the same time I sort of don’t like the obligation of giving gifts.

Your favourite number? 13

Your favourite day of the week? Currently, Monday. Because I have it off of work, movies are cheaper (except for this month when it seemed like every Monday was a fucking holiday) and the normal people aren’t cluttering up the places I like to hang out.

Your favourite flower? The kind that is pretty and doesn’t make me sneeze.

What is your passion? The intersection of life and art (in all of its forms).

The Blogs

In addition to Charlie and Evan’s blogs:

My friend Britta writes about movies, creates original dadaist poems, talks food and france, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera over at Britta Writes.

My friend Matt writes about all things nerdy and wonderful over at his blog, And Now I Can Die Happy.

My friend Carlee writes about sports and literature over at her blog, Fifty Rows Up.

My friend Sarah writes her idiosyncratic and funny perspectives on life over at Sarah in Small Doses.

My friend Caity Shea, who is an actress, a playwright, and (come May) a college graduate writes about her gloriously awkward life over at The Modern Cat Lady.

and then there are the ones that I’m not personally connected to but I still check in on every day:

Warren Ellis.

Chuck Wendig.

Wil Wheaton.

Neil Gaiman.

John Scalzi.








Published by: Thomas Rohde

Artist // Writer // Theatre Professional // Nerd // Night Owl Inspired by a steady and lifelong infusion of pop culture, comic books, and a vast assortment of films and books, our friendly neighborhood blogger has doomed himself to a life of creative pursuits. There's not enough time for everything, but we all do what we can. Artist: of watercolor, ink, comic illustration, horror/ sci-fi/ fantasy art. Writer: of fictions, tweets, captions & blogs. Lover: coffee, whiskey, wine & beer. Instagram and Twitter as @demipho

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