Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

One of my all-time favorite musical performances from Saturday Night Live was Buster Poindexter (alter-ego of David Johannsen of the New York Dolls) crooning "Baby, it's cold outside" to Sigourney Weaver (whose underwear scene in ALIEN will stay with me till the day I go toes-up permanently). It was something that should have been released on one of Buster's albums, but wasn't. A Christmas song that dripped with suggestiveness and innuendo.

What got me thinking about that was the fact that it is, indeed, cold outside. A winter storm is falling on southern Illinois as I type this. School is out for the kids. I doubt the university will close down. That takes an act of God (i.e. THE RAPTURE) so I'll be locking the ol' Jeep into 4-wheel drive and going to work in the morning.

Still. I'd rather be David Johannsen, snuggled up affectionately to Sigourney, telling her how it's cold outside and we should stay indoors.

Oh well...a guy can dream, can't he?

Stay warm, my friends.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


At long, long last, HELL IN THE HEARTLAND is available. It should have been out around the middle of last year, but co-editor Martel Sardina and I both had personal issues to attend to. They pushed back the editing and release of the book. But, that's all over with now. I will be shipping payments and contributor copies on Friday, February 1. The book is available now for $12.95 at and will be available in local bookstores very soon. It's been a long time coming, but this is a collection of sixteen wonderful and eclectic stories that run through the horror/mystery/dark fantasy genres. It's a good collection of stories, if I do say so myself, and I'm proud that it's finally available to the public.

Now, on to MURDER AT PK'S (book) and THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER (low-budget horror film).


Monday, January 21, 2008

Jason Ringenberg and keeping the spirit alive

In my ever-evolving effort to keep my arse out of trouble about my blog, I want to tell you about the show I went to over the weekend. Jason Ringenberg is a southern Illinois legend. He fronted the quintessential alt-country/rock band of the 80's, Jason and the Scorchers. Many Carbondalites - me, included - remember seeing him in a group called Shakespeare's Riot or the Catalinas. He left Carbondale in the early 80's (1983, if I'm correct) to conquer the world. He done good. Jason's been a solo artist for almost a decade now, producing sheer masterpieces like EMPIRE BUILDERS and ONE FOOT IN THE HONKYTONK, along with his wonderful children's albums under the moniker of FARMER JASON. Trust me, you haven't let your hair down until you rocked to Farmer Jason songs like "Punk Rock Skunk" or "Moose on the Loose" (featuring Todd Snider and another of my unsung heroes, Webb Wilder).

Well, Jason came to town on Saturday and performed a Farmer Jason show AND a solo show. He's an incredible live performer and, perhaps, the most humble musician of his caliber I've ever met. I bought the cd pictured above, BEST TRACKS AND SIDE TRACKS, which encompasses his solo material. The SIDETRACKS disc is a collection of rarities that any true fan should have, especially the eclectically bizarre "Lovely Christmas". What a cool Xmas song!

Anyway, you should finish reading this blog, click the link,, and buy this cd. Hell, buy ALL his cd's. He's a great artist and he deserves your support.

Tell 'im I sent ya.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Freedom of Speech and the Blog

I learned a looonnnggg time ago that what you say can get you in trouble. It's doubly so with the written word. I wrote some things for the school paper back in high school that got me frowned upon, and it seems my blog is under fire now, too. Last month, I posted an entry about something. I wouldn't say I was angry, but I was certainly upset. My blog is sort of an online diary for me, so I posted that entry. I have, today, deleted that entry. Now, before you go around saying I didn't stand up for my Freedom of Speech or any of that other stuff, let me tell you why I deleted it. I deleted that entry solely out of respect for the person it was written about. It wasn't meant to be hurtful at all. It was just me venting steam, and I will continue to vent steam all I want on my blog. But, that entry was probably something I should have pondered on. Sometimes, I can make rash decisions. We all can. I have corrected that decision today, but don't think I can be coerced because of it. I removed the entry because I wanted to. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm a firm believer in the Freedom of Speech. If it didn't exist, I would probably be a subversive and write what I wanted to anyway. That's just the way I am. I will not make a habit of removing posts because someone finds them offensive or upsetting. If you don't like what I write on my blog, go somewhere else. You have that right. I have the right to write and think what I want, even if you don't like it. Just don't read it. That's all the advice I can give you on that one, so I'll shut up now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

No Pain, No Gain

Well, I finally got off my lazy arse and started working out. Been doing it a few days now, and I'm already noticing results. No real weight loss (been eating too much for that, THAT is my next hurdle) but I've got aches where they weren't before, and tighter muscles. I moved the sit-up board out of the basement and into the same room I'm typing this blog entry and, while the kids are watching, I do sit-ups. I've done 100 already today and am pondering another 100 before bedtime. If I can get the kids to sleep quickly, I'll go down in the basement and work out on the Bowflex. If not, I'll do some push-ups. I might be 46, but there's no point in acting like an old man. I enjoy working out, it's just finding the inspiration to get started.

Speaking of inspiration, I finished the first draft of BLEEDING HEARTS. I'll probably change the title, but the book is finished. I plan on spending the rest of January doing some rewriting on a few things. Then, in February, I'll either start GOLDEN YEARS or a sci-fi time travel story to be called TRAIN 58. Right at the moment, I'm leaning toward TRAIN 58, but I have a couple of weeks or so to think about it. If I do that piece, I'll need to do some research on Indian tribes in Illinois. The internet ought to be helpful there.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know I'm trying to abide by those New Years Resolutions. More later, Roger

Friday, January 11, 2008


I've been jonesing for some good music lately. Good LIVE music. Sure, you can go out and see Tawl Paul and Slapping Henry Blue, the Bourbon Knights, the Woodbox Gang and several other truly good local bands, but I'm talking about TOURING bands that come to town. One of my favorite touring bands out there is Bonepony. They're a three-piece band from Nashville, TN and they play an interesting type of hillbilly-fueled music they call "stomp". When I wrote for the Nightlife here in Carbondale, Chris Wissman assigned me that band for an article, and I've been a fan ever since. I'm listening to their latest cd, the live album entitled "Celebration Highway". There's no gloom and doom in this music, my friends. Bonepony is all about feeling good, having fun and LIVING. I like to think of them as hillbilly hippies that entered a wormhole and ended up in modern times. Stranded, with no hope of returning to simpler times, they did what they do - they started playing their music for the masses. It's been years, literally, since the band played Carbondale, but I made it to every show they had here. I have all their albums, including a buttload of bootlegs you can download for free off Their website is, of course, I urge you to download some of the free stuff ("Savannah Flowers" is one my favorite songs by them) and, if you like it, buy a cd or two from the band. They deserve all the support they can get.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolving to be Resolute

Morning Blog Readers,

Happy New Year! That's Father Time holding Baby New Year in the image above, for those who can't figure it out. I'm sitting here listening to a 26 year old Tom Petty song ("You Got Lucky") and pondering New Year's Resolutions. I went out with the lovely Ms. Stephanie last night. We meet my friend (and local artist) Brad Moore, his significant other, Diana, Shadi Frick (hope I spelled that right) and his wife, Karen, for dinner at Hunan restaurant. We entered the new year in what seems to be becoming a tradition - watching Tawl Paul and Slapping Henry Blue at PK's. They started the smoking ban early at PK's (it was, of course, supposed to start at midnight) and it was a welcome change to not smell like stale cigarettes when we left.

Here are my resolutions for 2008:

1). Be happier and healthier both physically and mentally.
2.) Put the past where it belongs - in the past. The future is today and tomorrow and, let me tell you, it looks good.
3.) Expand my presence as a writer - do more live readings, promote my work and my publishing endeavors as much as I can.
4). Love my children and my lady more (if that's possible). At least, be more receptive to their needs and feelings.
5). Get better at what I do, whether it be work, writing, love, etc.
6). Try to be a better housekeeper.
7). Quit biting off more than I can chew. Work on one project to its fruition, then move on to the next.
8). On that note, get THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER filmed, along with all the "little movies" I have in my head. Jon E. Rector and I are filming the short, "Victimless Crime", today. BMM will be filmed in the spring.

Anyway, those are just a few of the resolutions I'm making.

Hope your new year is special.