Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I Perform "Whatever Comes After Calcutta" On Pseudopod

It's been a long time (. . . gettin' from there to here), but I was recently asked to do another story for Pseudopod, the Horror podcast.  I may bellyache about it a lot, but I really do enjoy narrating and voice acting, and doing one of the Escape Artists shows is a much higher-profile gig than any of my own podcasts.  And hey, they pay their narrators now, so I can do these things for something other than the honor of it.

This week's story is "Whatever Comes After Calcutta" by David Eric Nelson.  And it is surprisingly long.*  About seventy minutes, in its final form, and these things don't edit themselves.  It's about a lawyer who goes home and finds his wife in bed with another man, gets shot, goes after the couple, and stumbles upon what looks like a public lynching in a small Ohio town.**  The townsfolk seem to have found themselves a witch.

The story is really dark, but there's something so delightfully absurd about it that . . . well, I was delighted.  I'd have probably pestered Big about running it on our own podcast if it had come our way.

One of my favorite Stephen King stories is "Nona" (from Skeleton Crew), and this story includes a remarkably similar moment to that one.  It reminds me of the time when, before I was a podcaster, I recorded a handful of King and Joe Hill short stories for posterity (none of which I still have), and "Nona" was one of them.  If there's not an official version out there, I might do that one again.

Anyway, I sat down and recorded it, and discovered it was considerably longer than the stories I usually do for Pseudopod.  Heck, it'd be long even for the Dunesteef.

But it's available now, over at THIS LINK, and if you like my work, it's what they call in show circles as a tour de force of Rish Benjamin Outfield's storytellin' abilities.  If you don't like my part-and-parcel way of narrating, though, I warn you . . . get out!  Get out now!  The 'casts are coming from inside the house!


*As of this writing, I've been working on it for ninety minutes, and it's only about halfway edited.

**Although, I looked it up, and Calcutta, Ohio is four times bigger than the town I grew up in, so it's all relative.

Instagram Is For Pretty Girls

It's true, Lefou.  Just as Twitter is for jokes or incendiary political remarks, Instagram is a app/website intended solely for attractive girls (or young women) to take selfies and post them (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, as opposed to the reason for Twitter to exist). It's something new (and glorious) that I have discovered, probably years after you did.

I am not one of those pretty people, and seeing pictures of myself tends to depress me rather than thrill me, but a year ago, I got it into my head that maybe I could still contribute. I decided to create an Instagram page, as a way to showcase the various times I've gone to a local thrift shop and found stuffed animals of the characters from "Yo Gabba Gabba!", a horrific show Big Anklevich once made me watch until my pants were soiled, just so he wouldn't have to be the only one.

Over the years, once I got a Smartphone, I would send Big photos of the creatures I found, and eventually, I thought it would be amusing to publicly post photos like this one:

And "Hell No Gabba Gabba" was born.

I don't know if it brought joy or pleasure or a sick sort of curiosity to people out there (I got a handful of followers), but I made it a habit of trying to post one every week (although at first, I posted them in "Stories," not realizing that those only stayed up for a day and then disappeared (which pisses me off endlessly . . . once again reminding me that the app is intended for a beautiful young thing to take a picture of herself in a swimsuit or towel or mall changing room, only to have it unavailable twenty-four hours later).

Literally every time I went to a thrift store and found one of those characters from that terrifying show, I'd take one:

Sometimes I could convince my nephews to get in on the action:

My oldest nephew is not quite as exuberant about doing it, however.

Wow, three in one visit!

But my Instagram page has pretty much run its course, and though I still look in the Plush aisle every time I go into a Goodwill or Saver's, I haven't found a Brobie, Muno, or Uncle Scrotor in months.

The best I can do is take pictures like this one:

And I don't know if that's okay.  If it's alright to simply pivot to photos of ANY weird, unsettling, or ugly doll/stuffed animal, then maybe the account can continue.

If not, then I guess this can be its swan song.

For today, I walked past that section, and froze in my tracks.  Like the Three Sisters in MacBeth, the Fates in Clash of the Titans, or a hellish version of "Charlie's Angels," there were three creepy dolls arranged together on a high shelf, all for sale, and all disturbing.

You don't believe me?

You will, Doctor Jones.

 You will become . . . a true believer!

 I even got an elderly stranger to take a picture with me and the dolls.  She obliged, but said, "Why?  Those dolls are awful!"

But kids, stare hard at this image (if you dare).  Click on it, go ahead. If you do so, and you feel the darkness trying to get in, or it merely unsettles you . . . then Hell No Gabba Gabba was all worth it.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rish Outcast 140: Closet Case

In this episode, I share my short story "Closet Case," and ponder its worth.

It's another of those stories I wrote for an online contest . . . another contest I did not win.

But let's ponder it together, huh?

Hey there, why don't you download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE?

Hey there again, why don't you support me on Patreon HERE?

Logo by Gino "The Mollusk" Moretto.

Please note, Episode 141 (the next show) is one of those episodes that only the Patreon supporters get.  It's me and Big Anklevich discovering what, exactly, happens in Vegas . . .

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Marshal & I Talk The Star Wars Trailer

The internet is filled with a lot of lame, frustrating, and offensive things.  Among the things I hate on the internet are:

1.  Pop-up ads.

2.  People who post videos of people getting maimed or killed for others' enjoyment.

3.  Religious intolerance.

4.  Illiterates that post messages involving words and sentences anyway.

5.  Institutionalized racism and hate-mongering.

6.  People bashing the SW Sequels while at the same time praising the Prequels.

7.  Statements that boil down to "my ignorance is equal to your knowledge."  (you know what I'm talking about)

8.  Conspiracy theories.

9.  People that say that if you love DC you must hate Marvel, or vice-versa.

10.  Same thing with "Trek" and "Wars."
11.  Political attack ads.
12.  People who write in all-caps.
13.  Click-bait, dishonest headlines/titles.

14.   Crazy blood-thirsty right wing propaganda.15.  Crazy blood-thirsty left wing propaganda. 

16.  Anything relating to 2002's EQUILIBRIUM movie.

But kids, one of the *worst* things on the internet, and on YouTube specifically, worse even than whatever you're getting upset I didn't list above . . . are trailer reaction videos.

Holy Zuckuss and 4-LOM getting married in a private ceremony in upstate New York, I hate trailer reaction videos.  And I'll never watch another one . . . ever.  You could tell me that the love of my life circa 1992 was watching a Harry Potter trailer and interrupts it to say, I only wish Rish Outfield were here to watch it with me . . . with his pants conveniently absent," and I still refuse to ever watch a single trailer reaction video. 

How dare you for even trying to tempt me?!

Having said that, Marshal Latham and I got together the other day to give our thoughts about the new Star Wars trailer, and the revelation of its title, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.  It's our Delusions of Grandeur podcast's latest episode, and it can be found HERE.

Go check it out, why don't you?  Or, barring that, at least comment below something that you truly hate on the internet. 

Thanks, guys.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Rish Outcast 139: At Length...

So, here I talk about writing and releasing stories, and wonder how short is too short, and how long is . . . wait, is this description too long?

If you absolutely must download this episode, Right-Click HERE.

If you absolutely must support me on Patreon, Left-Click HERE.

If you absolutely love chalupas . . . well, you're not alone.

Logo by Gino "Baseball Bat Length" Moretto.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

1 Shade of Grey

It has been rainy these past few days (worse for Big Anklevich in Houston than for me; he said the roads pretty much flooded out yesterday), and we had a couple of those days where it looks like evening in the middle of the day. With it, for some reason, comes the melancholy. And with that, comes me writing in my blog.

So, I did fairly well with my daily writing goal in March and April.  Not great, no, but fairly well.  I finished a sketch, I finished an awful little flash fiction story, I finished my Rocky Mountain Vampire story (which I need to look over and cut two thousand words from), started another sketch, and most significantly, finished the second book in the "Lara and the Witch" series/trilogy(?).  I didn't finish "Balms and Sears," and that's a bummer, but I worked on it a bit, and got it closer to the end.

That's me dwelling on the positive.  I didn't work on a lot of podcasts during those two months, but once I quit writing every day, I managed to edit both a "Delusions of Grandeur" episode (only three weeks late) and a "That Gets My Goat" episode (which is/will be only two weeks late).  I also narrated and edited a lengthy story for Pseudopod, and voiced a character for a Horror Addicts audio drama (three episodes' worth, though I think there are six more I need to do). 

So, that's positive too.  I also managed to sell quite a few toys in the last couple weeks, and money is good to have.

But boy, why I am I so bummed out today?  It can't just be the grey skies, can it?

I set a goal for myself to publish a bit more in the month of May, and that usually means stories and audiobooks in addition to podcast episodes.  I need to sit down and determine, in writing, which finished book I'm going to produce in audio next, and what story/stories I have in text that I could make available for purchase.  They don't make me much money (in fact, I usually make the same for all my writing that I make for selling one or two action figures--or three, if they're pretty worthless figures), but back when Big and I used to get together and talk about our writing careers (it took all of my strength NOT to put "careers" in eye-rolling quotation marks), he'd stress that the more items I had out there (to read or purchase), the better it was in the long run.  I remember making a goal, when I first started self-publishing, of putting out one story a month, and for a while, I did it.  But now, it's more like one every quarter, or worse. 

I can do better, but will I?

I did an audiobook for a very nice lady a couple of years ago, and she certainly seemed to have liked my work, enough to say she'd remember me when it was time to do an audio version of her next published book.  And that happened recently, and she emailed me to ask if I would do it.  Which is great, an honor, even.  But I don't do books for free anymore.  It's just too much work, you understand.  And a guy emailed me just last week to say that he's heard my work and really likes my voice (which is nice, an honor, even), and wanted me to audition to do his book.  But that too, would be for free.

And I'm torn.  It's cool that they want me to do it, but again, it's so much work . . . and I have soooooo many other projects I could do for free.  Hell, the Dunesteef is free, and when was the last time I did one of those?

Still, I don't want to be rude.  And you never know, maybe one of those books would sell a million copies (or even a thousand, which would be a step up for me), and I'd be amazed at a royalty check of more than it costs to eat a meal that can't upgrade to large fries and a drink for an extra fifty cents.  I OUGHT to at least check out the two books on Amazon, see how they've been reviewed, and if they've sold anything. 

I ought to do that, but so far, I haven't.

And why haven't I kept working on the third Ben Parks book, "Sins of a Sidekick?"  It'll be awfully awkward to release the fourth book ("A Sidekick To Miracles") if the third book's not out there.  Hmmm.

Big's been really into making videos these last few months, filming himself (mostly) talking about toys and uploading them to YouTube.  In the same philosophy as with writing stories, he's been working hard to upload as many as he can, so that if someone discovers his work (and likes it), they can find many more offerings where that came from.  Sometimes his enthusiasm is contagious, and I have thought about making my own videos many times since he started.  When it was nearing the anniversary of starting my Patreon (, I thought it would be cool to make a video of myself singing a thank you song, so I grabbed my camera and set it up, only to discover that it was broken.  My one year old nephew has become quite destructive, and his favorite pastime of late has been to grab something--preferably something forbidden--and run away with it, or simply throw it on the floor as soon as he's gotten it.  He usually does it with cellphones or cutlery, but he had been known to do it with my (Faux-Pro) camera as well. 

So, when the camera wouldn't work, it didn't take Lt. Columbo to figure out why.  I went online that same day and ordered a new one, purposely choosing an eBay seller in the United States (he was in Los Angeles, he claimed) so I could get one in time for my anniversary.  It was marked as Shipped the next day. 

But it didn't come.

I'll eventually do a Tales of eBay Horror episode about all this, but to make a long story short, the seller was actually in China, and was taking two weeks off for the Chinese New Year holiday, so couldn't respond to my complaint.  When he returned, he insisted that he was in Los Angeles, California (this he did in broken English, which in his defense, is way better than if I tried to speak Chinese), and when I complained to eBay about it, and asked for a refund, they said I had to wait until a certain date in the future before they'd give me one.  By that point, the camera had arrived, but my Patreon anniversary, and the other project I was anxious to make a video about, had both passed. 

There is a (kind of) hilarious punchline to this story, but I'm feeling sorry for myself, so let me leave that off.

Now that I have a camera again, I could really go to town, but I remain uncomfortable in front of the camera, and have only used it once.  I bought two different 2018 Star Wars TIE Fighters that I wanted to do a video about the differences between, but I don't want to be the guy on the video . . . I considered asking my eight year old nephew to do it with me, but I don't know if that will work.  And I found an old AT-ST Scout Walker at a thrift shop that had a weird paintjob, and thought it would be a fun video to document me trying to paint it myself . . . but I didn't want to be in that video either (maybe I could just be the hands you see painting it, and do the video that way).  And I thought about sitting down and recording me reading one of my stories (maybe "Closet Case," maybe "Know When To Walk Away...", maybe "The Blame Game," I dunno), in an attempt to both put a story of mine on YouTube and (try to) get used to my face in editing.*

But I haven't.

I'm sorry to whine so much.  I really have it easy, compared to most of you.  But unlike most of you, I will surely die alone and unmourned.  So . . . an even trade?

Anyway, this has helped.  It would help, I predict, to write these goals down and work on them each day, to remind myself when I find free time on my hands.  And I do have plenty of podcasts to edit, and those sure feel good to finish.

Never mind, then.  I'm going to get back to work.

Rish "Viva La Chalupa" Outfield

*You are free to ask, "Unca Rish, why do you appear in Tales of eBay Horror videos if you hate seeing your face so much?"  To which, I can only say that all of the videos (but one) I have done in shadows or in the dark (by design), and the one episode I did in brightness (Episode 7) I could barely stand to edit.  But hey, TODAY would be a great day to get out there and record a show, since it's so cloudy and rainy I expect Master Yoda to show up and help me get my ship out of the bog.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Tales of eBay Horror 7: You Are A Liar!

This is the oft-delayed seventh episode of my eBay video series, wherein I complain about selling on eBay.  It has been said, though, that I only focus on the negative* . . . so in an effort to remedy that, I will share a(nother) POSITIVE experience with the online selling site.

After that, however, I go on my longest rant yet in an episode entitled "You Are A Liar!"

Special thanks to Gino "Seldom A Liar" Moretto for the series logo.

*Of course you'll have a bad impression of New York if you only focus on the pimps and the C.H.U.D.s!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Peter Mayhew - What A Wookiee

I've often told the tale over the years that I saw STAR WARS at a most impressionable age (I was eight), and was whisked away to a far off galaxy, which made me believe that droids, Jedi Knights, and Wookiees really existed.  I think part of the beauty of George Lucas's lived-in galaxy was that parts of the movie seemed to have been shot like a documentary, of a place you could really visit, if you knew where to go.

Of course, I knew reality from make-believe at age eight, enough to know that it was a movie and not reality, but the point was that, the boy I was could suspend his disbelief, and buy into the world(s) of STAR WARS wholeheartedly, choosing to forget that it was all make-believe.  And the slouching, hairy slob that I've grown into is still able to believe . . .

And speaking of hairy beasts, Peter Mayhew died this week.

It was interesting to see all the outpouring of accolades and affection in the press for Mayhew these last couple of days.  Apparently, it wasn't just me his character touched, and a lot of folks recognized the SOUL of Chewbacca coming through, despite being buried under twenty-three pounds of yak fur.

I was on a flight out of Los Angeles in 2002, and Mayhew was at the airport flying out at the same time.  I asked him if I could get a picture and he told me to wait until we were boarding, so a bunch of people didn't recognize him and also want a picture.  You see, he was pretty hard to miss (or mistake for somebody else).

A couple years later, I paid to get Mayhew's autograph, and that's cool, something I still have, and joins Uncle Owen, Admiral Ozzell, Artoo-Deetoo, and Princess Leia who I was lucky enough to meet before they died.

But Chewbacca's still out there.  Apparently, nobody's ever really gone.

Boy, you said it, Chewie.