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Preview: House of Payne International

House of Payne International

Politics, war, religion, superheroes, cooking, music, and other nerd stuff.

Updated: 2018-01-17T15:27:16.718-06:00


July 2017 newsletter


Howdy, ya’all! Welcome to the July newsletter, perhaps the last ever to be sent from Texas. So I’m fixin’ to include a bunch of Texas-isms.  In fact, I like to might could– No. No, I quit. This travesty demeans us all. Moving on . . . Here’s what’s in this month’s newsletter: 1. Bedtime stories. 2. Purple Unicorn. 3. Mini movies. 4. Organ watching. 5. More words. 6. Butler Pancakes. Sounds

June newsletter


[Cross-posted at Patreon.] June newsletter Jun 26 at 10:58am Hello, friends and patrons!  Welcome to the newsletter for June 2017.  This one was intended to be a little shorter than the May one, but . . . You're welcome?  Anyway, if the prospect of reading farther than two paragraphs is daunting, here's the TL; DR version.  1) Arrivederci barbarossa! 2) Long pig! 3) Patronapalooza yay! 4



Greetings, imaginary readers! Even though you are pretend, I feel you must have noticed that there has not been a lot of blogging here as of late. Well, we've been in kind of a busy season for the last many seasons.  And to be honest, I'm not sure that this blog is ever going to climb up to the top of my priorities list again-- especially given that I also have an author blog and now a Patreon

Movie review: World's best in-laws edition


As a birthday present to me, my awesome in-laws watched the kiddos so the Queen of Eternia and I could go out and see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. (Thank you, J+L!) Following both the scientific method and my heart, I have arrived at a rating of 4/5 Galaxies. A delightful romp full of explosions and lasers and funny lines.  Loved it! Two disappointments keep this from reaching the lofty

Movie Reviews : Presidential Apocalypse Edition


Greetings, imaginary readers.  Long time no et cetera.  Shall we? So I'm pretty sure Adora and I only saw one movie in 2016.  I think that's the lowest count since... ever.  And who do I blame?  Society.  Also: Donald Trump.  [Deep breath.] TRUUUUUUMMMP!!!! Moving on... The one movie we did see in theaters this year was a good one.  So let's talk about it. Rogue One : * * * * I also gave The

Movie reviews: 2015, the year in review edition


Okay, so it hasn't been quite a year since the last movie reviews post, but I'm going to go ahead and jump in anyway. Why? Because my lady is at the grocery store and the boys are asleep. And I don't have anything else to do. Apparently. Ant-Man : * * * * 1/2 Soooooo fun. The science is completely inconsistent and silly even for a comic book movie, but I enjoyed the heck out of this flick. The

Movie Reviews: Babysitters are expensive edition


We have not seen a lot of movies lately. Not sure what the problem is. Maybe time, or maybe the cost of getting a special snowflake to come watch our little perpetual motion machine. Either way, the arrival of our second little bundle of boy will not make things easier. So I'm going to make sure these reviews are extra good, by including a special BONUS PRO TIP with each one-- absolutely free!

We all fell in the pit


 * * * * *  Guardians of the Galaxy : Andy Dwyer leads a gifted ensemble cast in this unblinking look at the harsh realities of the contemporary space pirate.  Based on the experimental but critically acclaimed counterculture text, this starkly serious arthouse film is the century's first true masterpiece, although it may never achieve mass popularity. [Cross-posted on my new AUTHORIAL WEBSITE

Movie reviews: Winter of our discontent edition


Okay, so I've had a few disappointments lately at the movie theater. And the only thing for me to do is to air my grievances. * * 1/2 Ender's Game : Less than the sum of its parts. The happiest surprise was a delightfully competent Harrison Ford. Should have been based on the short story, not the novel. But OSC had final say over everything, so what do I know? * * * 1/2 Hunger Games: Catching



Okay, so it's been a million years since I updated this blog. Imaginary readers, I am sorry to have disappointed you. But I have at least three good reasons why. First, we had a baby!  He's adorable! (Seriously, check my Facebook page for pictures. But only if you're ready to think that the Gerber baby looks like garbage.) Second, we moved! Like three times! Third, I wrote a book! And it's

2013 Movie Rreviews: Before the Fall edition


Here's what we saw this year before school started up again. * * * 1/2 Les Miserables : Anne Hathaway's lovely white teeth puzzled me, but her singing was unbelievable and so all is forgiven. Russell Crowe also sang. Highlights include: Wolverine's harrowing prisoner beard, the despicable Msr. and Mme. Thenardier, and the always-heartbreaking Eponine. I was singing the whole score for weeks,

Movie reviews: Mayan y2k edition


Here are all the movies we saw in 2012, and thus all the movies we will ever see. Because of the end of the world. * * * 1/2 Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol : Okay, I already reviewed this, but let me just say that I think that each new movie in this series has had shorter co-stars than the last one. For the next one, I predict that he does it Smiths-style with Suri. But he'd better hurry,



It's not easy being Stan Lee My friend Alice posted a thing on her blog called the 7-7-7 challenge. This sounded like a taste test for a new soda from Herman Cain, but in fact it is also something else. The 7-7-7 Challenge: Flip to page 77 or page 7 of your current work in progress. Find line 7. Post the 7 sentences that follow. Tag 7 more writers. I'm not doing the last part, because that



Immortality watch, part 2While in Utah for a wedding (Congrats, Jason and Stephny!) I attended the 2012 Writing for Charity conference. Brandon Sanderson was one of the presenters, and as I waited to talk to him, he said, "Hey, John, what's up?" Somebody famous remembered my name! Gleeeeeeeee!I was one of 40 people or so in his fiction writing class at BYU in the spring of 2008, which was just



Immortality watchHey, check it out, I was on TV! It's all because of a student in my US Government class who is interning at Fox and liked my beginning of the semester anti-plagiarism speech. Thanks, Jackie!--HUMBLE ST. JOE



DriveSo, I recently participated in something really quite extraordinary. Rich Burlew, the creator of a webcomic called the Order of the Stick had a pledge drive on KickStarter. Rich was trying to raise $57,750 so he could get some of his old books back in print. I have enjoyed this comic quite a lot over the years, and so I decided to make a small contribution myself. I think a lot of us had



Crown PrinceGood news, people of Eternia! As royal consort, I am pleased to announce that your queen is expecting a son. The joyous event is anticipated to occur on July 4th, which will ever after be celebrated as a holiday among our people. The throne of Eternia will have an heir! We are now accepting your suggestions for names for the Crown Prince. We have had some excellent early entrants



Readers of the imaginaryI haven't done much posting this year. (My last two posts languished unpublished in the Blogspot editor for weeks.) Sorry about that, imaginary readers. You deserve better. I don't know that you'll get it, but you deserve it.So anyhow, one of the things that's been keeping me busy is a book. I was hired last year to write a novel based on a movie. I know a guy who



Movie review: Special sand-blasted skyscraper editionBefore leaving Nephi and returning to the land of twelve dollar movie tickets, the Princess and I took in one last show: Mission: Impossible: 4: Ghost: Protocol, starring Tom Cruise and some people or whatever.I liked this. Lots of people said this was the best Mission Impossible movie, and although I still like the first one best, this one was



Restaurants of Nephi, revisitedIt's been a while since Adora and I sampled Nephi's cuisine.But during our epic double in-law Christmas tour, we were in Utah for a week and saw a new restaurant on Main Street. It's a Mexican restaurant called the Jaliscience, which looks like it must involve science somehow, but it really means the person from Jalisco. Long story short, YOU MUST TRY THIS PLACE if



Movie review roundup: Special disco alien editionI really did intend to review movies as they came, but... then I didn't. So here you go!* * * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: The Legend of Neville's Gold: Better than the first part. In fact, they should have skipped the first part and just done this.* * * * Super 8 : Super awesome! Saw it with the Princesa de Poder, and we both



Pointless wastes of timeI ought to be writing my dissertation right now. But instead I was checking my email, and a friend asked me to explain the current debt-ceiling crisis and what the Republicans are doing about it. I share my answer here, so that you, my imaginary readers, can see how uninformed I am and how poorly I understand fiscal matters.The short version, as I understand it, is that



Look out, EterniaOkay, I've been meaning to write this post for the last three weeks. But time flies when you are having fun. And I am having a lot of fun. On June 17, the Princess and I got engaged. We are getting married August 19. Hooray!And if all goes well, I will defend my dissertation soon after and graduate in September. Additional hooray!Sorry for the lack of details, imaginary



If I had a wish then it would beMy little brother and I have birthdays that are a week apart. And also ten years. So anyway we just had them. And he was saying that between 25 and whenever the senior discounts start happening, there's really no benefit to getting older. That's true. But I think I know how we could change that.I turned 36 earlier this month, which is double 18. And when I



Movie review: Special weather-god editionInstead of waiting and doing a year's worth of movies all at once, maybe I should do my reviews as they come. That way, my thoughts might help you, my imaginary readers, to know which movies to spend your money on.Anyway, I saw Thor Saturday night with my buddy Frank. Pretty good! But I have one question: Why do people keep thinking that Anthony Hopkins