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Well folks, at the last day of 2005, I just wanted to say Thank You for everything. This has been an amazing year for Dierdre and I, and that has all been because of you, our readers. I hope you all have a fun and not-too-safe time tonight (rule of thumb: whilst partaking of absinthe, have a non-Green-Faerie-seeing individual driving), and a great Two Thousand and Fucking Six.

Dierdre and I had an incredible time at the Dresden Dolls show -- David J. of Bauhaus fame was there, and the crowd gave the Dolls the love they deserved. Amanda and Brian put on two amazing shows when we saw them with NIN back in San Diego at SOMA, and they did not disappoint here, sneak-peeking a ton of new material, including what I think will eventually be considered one of their best songs, "Delilah". I know D doesn't agree with me 100% here, but the chorus of this one, with it's vague Celtic flavor, hasn't left my brain since we first heard it, and given that the Henry Fonda Theatre was the venue in which I first heard With Teeth at the NIN listening party way back when... well it all seemed appropriate.

(Of course, the fact that after the show Amanda came out and hung with the fans for a bit and we actually got to talk to her and get our pictures taken with her made the evening even more powerful!)

Also, for the record, the opening act -- Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys -- are a wonderful 1920's to '30's era act, with a lovely singer and a great show. They play in L.A. frequently, and I highly recommend our West Coast readers check them out.

All in all, it was a great evening with one of my most favorite people in the world that I don't get to see nearly as much as I like... but perhaps that's why it was so magical an evening in the first place. Happy New Year everybody, from all of us here at Wearing_These_Chains.

[Oh, and to finally silence the doubters, here's a picture of Dierdre and I together chilling out before the DD show. Cheers.]

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Yo folks -- so thought I'd poke my head in the door and say hello. Dierdre is in town visiting, and she and I are checking out the groovetastic Dresden Dolls show tonight at the Fonda (sorry to report, kids, I do prefer Amanda to Brian -- there's something about a woman grinding away on a piano bench that cannot be denied).

Anyway, we've got something special lined up... and it involves only The Greatest Rock Band Of All Time... but what, you ask? Well for that you'll have to wait...

Also, things are coming along quite well in Stankville. My move to L.A. went pretty flawless, I'm staying at a friends apartment for the moment but will be moving into my new place the first week of January, and some early changes are happening over at www.lorangeriestank.com. Just the first of many, to be assured.

So for now, I'd like you all to just sit back, relax, and listen... you hear that? It's the sound of no NIN news. No Trent Reznor babblings. No new song dementia, and most of all, no glabberhabbing about how the sucky elements of his recent work don't really suck, they're artistic choices instead.

In short, the Ninternet is pretty quiet (except for drunkpoet at ETS, who apparently months later STILL can't get over the fact that he spent a lot of money on a girl he didn't know and then got played when she dumped his ass and fucked around with some well-known bassist instead). Yep, it's pretty damn quiet except for that... and the sound of me laughing.

Cheers, y'all. It's been a lovely day; everything is going my way....


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You guys have GOT to read this book:


Seriously, it is SO GOOD.

There's more info here, but basically, it's a book of letters and artwork sent to Skinny Puppy frontman Nivek Ogre (scroll down) over a three year period by the author, who was a very unhappy 17-year-old girl when she began -- suicidal, self-destructive, and compulsive -- but whose love, irrepressible self-expression, creativity, and willingness to PUT IT IN A MAILBOX probably saved her life. Ogre, in return, was kind to her, saved her letters, and in an unexampled act of understanding and generosity, returned them to her nearly 10 years later, which made this book possible.

I love this book -- it's a record of such a deeply authentic and genuinely moving relationship between art, artist, and audience. Jolene may not have known, when she was writing these letters, how incredibly courageous and defiantly life-affirming her actions were, but today she is well and happy, working on her second book, and is totally the coolest.

OMFG, people! GO GET IT!!!!

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It's Christmas, and you know what, guys? I love you all, almost as much as I love Trent! But, let's keep it real: not quite that much.

I'm in Los Angeles, and even though Gabriel totally sucks, I'm super happy to see old friends again. Of course, nothing's perfect. I can't help wishing that after I hang up my pretty stockings and turn out the lights, Trent would be comin' down my chimney tonight, instead of Santa Claus (or Elvis), because I do think he'd make an awfully fetching (read: totally hott!) gothemo Santa...


...but I guess a girl can't get everything she wants.

Trent honey, I hope all your Christmas wishes come true. You deserve it. Nice work this year. Drop me a line if you wanna get a coffee or something while I'm in town, ok baby? But, don't worry, I understand if you're too busy. I'm busy, too.

Wearing These Chains is taking a day or two off in observance of the holiday, but we all wish you a very Merry Christmas (or whatever it is the rest of you heathens celebrate), and a New Year full of all the best good things.


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[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_5]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor

            Trent buried his face in his hands and screamed. The room around him was suddenly silenced. He looked up, and was in the rehearsal hall. He looked at the clock on the wall. It read 6:40. Trent ran out of the studio and out into the street. The sun was just starting to rise in the east.
            “I didn’t miss it! I didn’t miss it! I… oh no, it’s nearly 7AM!”
            Trent ran into his car, and sped down the road. Reaching his house, he tore out of the car and ran to his computer. Checking his IM client, he saw that Jeordie, Aaron and Josh had already signed on. Trent typed in an IM message and broadcast it to all three of them.
            Sorry, change of plans. Go back to the hall. Now. TR.
            “Hee hee hee,” Trent giggled as he hit. Next, he picked up the phone and dialed.
            “Pronto,” said a very tired Alessandro at the other end.
            “Buon Natale!” cried Trent. “Dude, go get some sleep. Spend some time with your family. Fuck the session.”
            “Perdono? Who is this?”
            “It’s me! It’s Trent.”
            “Yeah, it’s me. I know, I was being a real prick, and I’m so sorry. Dude, your family is way more important than any stupid rehearsal session. We’ll worry about it when you get back. And take your time, okay? You wanna be off for three weeks, go for it. No worries. Oh and if you ever manage a band that performs my songs, you’d better teach them the history of it because I’m not becoming a game show host.”
            Trent hung up the phone and dashed to his car.
            Back at the rehearsal hall, Jeordie sat, holding his bass, yawning into his latte.
            “What the fuck? Dude makes us come all the way here and he’s not even in the fucking room. I say we go.”
            “Yeah, I hear that,” said Josh.
            “Give him five more minutes,” said Aaron. “We can do that.”
            Suddenly the door of the studio burst open, and Trent came in, his hands loaded with paper bags.
            “Hey guys,” he said, “I brought you some coffee and some rum cake.”
            “Rum cake?” Josh’s eyes perked up. “Wait… what’s the catch?”
            “The catch is, I’ve been a real jerkoff, and I’m sorry,” said Trent as he put down the bags. “You guys have been the greatest, putting up with my shit, hell, even sacrificing your well-being for the band and the damn stage show. And I keep pushing and pushing you til you break. That’s not fair, to put it mildly. So you know what? We’re gonna have some coffees, and you’re gonna have rum cake and I’m gonna just have this bagel, and we’re just gonna hang, and then we’ll go home.”
            “But dude, aren’t you paying overtime for the hall?” said Jeordie. “Shouldn’t we be playing?”
            “Bah,” said Trent. “It’s only money. Let’s just have a good time, shooting the shit. It’s Christmas!”
            Trent handed out the coffees, and gave out the cake. Aaron smiled, and bit into a piece.
            “Wow, this is awesome cake,” said Josh. “Thanks Trent.”
            “You’re welcome,” said Trent. “It’s great to have good friends at Christmas.”
            “Yeah,” said Jeordie, “Especially with good rum cake.”
            “For sure,” Aaron raised his paper coffee cup.  “God bless us, every one!”


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[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_4]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor

             Trent got into his car, and started the engine. As he drove down the deserted street, he muttered to himself, “Well this is all well and good, but there’s nothing I can do now. If everyone’s expecting the session at 7AM, then I might as well do it. We’ve gotta get that song just right.”
         Trent saw a dark figure far ahead in the middle of the road. He squinted his eyes, only to find that the creature was closer than it appeared. He slammed on the brakes, and swerved to avoid hitting it. His car ended up in the ditch.
         Trent took a deep breath, and stepped out of the car.
         “What was that?”
         He looked around the road, but there was nothing there.
         “I swear I saw something…”
         Trent felt something brush against his leg. He looked down and saw a dog wearing a hooded black cloak, standing beside him.
         “Well hello,” he said, kneeling to face the dog. His face dropped when he stared under the hood.
         The dog looked at him with sad, sullen eyes.
         “What’s wrong girl? Why are you wearing that crazy hoodie? Oh. You’re the third ghost.”
         Maise walked ahead of Trent. The snow began to obscure the road ahead, but Trent felt nothing – no wind, no cold… he continued to follow Maise as the path became blurred with snow.
         “Where we going, girl?”
         The snow began to part, revealing a dimly lit bar. Maise walked up and through the front door. Trent followed. As he entered, he could hear the faint strains of loud bass and drum beats.
         There were about 10 people sitting around the club, holding long-neck beers in their hands, staring at the old codgers onstage, struggling to keep the rhythm together. A pot-bellied, balding man with long hair stood front stage, trying to sing along.
         "And you can have it all/my empire of shit..."
         “It’s dirt, you moron,” muttered Trent.
         Maise nudged his leg.  Trent held his tongue, and watched as the crowd lethargically clapped at the end of the song.
         “Thank you, thank you,” said the singer. “And thanks very much for coming out this Christmas Eve. On bass this evening is Jeordie White, and on drums, Josh Freese. And I’m Bo Bice. Have a good night, everyone!”
         “What the humbugging hell is this?”
         Trent looked down at Maise.
         “This is what these guys end up doing? Playing my songs at seedy clubs with a humbugging American Idol as the singer? Oh God, I think I’m going to be sick…”
         Maise pushed against Trent’s leg, moving him towards the exit. Trent walked out of the bar, and found himself in front of a convalescent home. Once again, Maise walked through the door, and Trent followed. As they entered, a small figure sat in a wheelchair in the middle of the lobby, his long salt-and-pepper hair knotted and askew.
         “How are we doing today?” a nurse bent over the chair, looking at the patient.
         “So much pain,” the man in the chair whispered.
         “Would you like another Percocet, Mr. North?”
         The patient nodded. Trent was beside himself with shock.
         “Okay, well I’ll be right back then.”
         The nurse walked over to the dispensing station, and began talking to the nurse behind the glass.
         “Two Percocet please for Mr. North. You know, it’s so sad. He messed up his body by flying through the air and doing all sorts of crazy stage antics to entertain people and to make his band remembered, and now, nobody even gives him a call at Christmas. Poor guy.”
         Trent watched the nurse take the drugs over to Aaron. Trent started to walk towards Aaron’s chair, but Maise gripped the bottom of his jacket with her teeth.
         “But I just want to…”
         Maise gave Trent a look. Trent hung his head and followed her out of the convalescent home. The snow began to part, revealing a stadium, with lights blazing. Trent stared up at the marquee – it read “One Show Only”. A crowd was starting to exit the stadium.
         “Oh my fucking god that was like the best show ever!” Trent heard a girl say to her friends. “They so rock.”
         “Yeah I really like that song they do, 'Right Where It Belongs'. It rocks the place so hard. They’re so fucking brilliant,” said one of the friends.
         “You know that’s a cover, right?”
         “No, really? Oh my god, like I totally thought they wrote it.”
         “No, it’s a really old song by some band from the 90s.”
         “Who, Tool?”
         “Nah, it was a really slow song by some band, I can’t remember their name, but it’s the same band where they got their name from. Nights… something Nine Nights, something like that…”
         “Well it so doesn’t matter, because this version just totally nukes the world.”
         The girls laughed as they walked past Trent and Maise.
         “You mean,” Trent began, “nobody remembers us?”
         Maise gave him a look.
         “Nobody remembers Nine Inch Nails?”
         Maise continued to look up at him.
         “Surely that band must know us. I mean, if they’re covering my song…”
         Maise walked forward into the stadium. Trent followed, and ended up in the backstage area. Roadies and crew were running around, taking down equipment. Trent could hear an accented voice yelling in the background.
         “You guys played like vomita tonight,” shouted the man. “That was probably your worst show ever. You need to practice if you gonna play that New Year’s Eve show.”
         “But Alessandro,” said a young man’s voice, “We’ve been working really hard. We don’t even know these songs you’re making us play, but I think we’re doing…”
         “I don’t manage you for you to think,” said Alessandro. “That’s it. You gotta stay tonight and rehearse.”
         “Tonight? But it’s Christmas Eve!”
         “Music doesn’t stop because it’s Christmas,” said Alessandro. “The guy who wrote that song, he no stop because of a statutory holiday. So why should you take a break?”
         There was a collective sigh from the young men, as Trent caught sight of Alessandro, with a stern and cold look in his eye.
         “Thank you, Trent,” Alessandro muttered to himself. “You showed me that success is more important than family or friendships, and you were so right.”
         Trent slunk away from the window.
         “So nobody knows my band anymore, and Alessandro is using me as his business model. Great. Could I feel any worse?”
         Trent bent down to pet Maise. She moved away.
         “What? What is it girl?”
         Maise walked down the hallway and through a fire door. Trent followed and found himself in a TV studio, complete with live audience. He looked around at the set, which consisted of oversized numbers against a wall.
         The applause sign lit up and the crowd went crazy. The announcer’s voice chimed in.
         “And now, it’s time for America’s favourite low-budget game show, Nine Times  Nine, with your host, Trent Reznor.”
         Trent screamed in terror as he saw his older self, balding, pot-bellied, and lacking shape in his polyester suit, shuffle onto the stage with a large, fake grin.
         “Welcome to Nine Times Nine,” said old Trent, “The game show where contestants have to find as many multiples of nine in ninety seconds in order to qualify for our grand prize. I’m your host, Trent Reznor.”
         “Oh God, no!”
         Trent screamed as he held Maise’s hoodie.
         “No, no, no! It can’t end this way. No, Maise, no! I can change! I’ve seen the error of my ways. Please, please Maise! Please say it doesn’t end like this!”

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[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_3]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor   

          Rick James began to laugh.
          “Hey hey hey!” Rick laughed. “Take it easy, my brutha.”
          “Wait… wait a minute.” Trent shook his head. “You’re not Dave Chappelle here to humbug with me, are you?”
          “Hehehehehehehe,” laughed Rick. “No man. I’m Rick James, bitch! Or well, I used to be. How you doin’ Trent?”
          Trent blinked.
          “Um, well, okay, I guess.”
          “Wanna keep driving?”
          “Keep driving, motherfucker!”
          Trent shifted the car back into gear and drove down the road.
          “So, you didn’t like what you saw in your past, huh?” said Rick. “I don’t blame you. Cocaine is a helluva drug…”
          “Yeah, tell me about it.” Trent said, starting to smile. “That’s what I tried to explain to the last ghost.”
          “Okay, then what’s your problem now? Why you gotta be such a bitch to your band?”
          “Look, I gotta push them, or else they’d be a bunch of slackers.”
          “Slackers, huh? It’s Christmas Eve. Everyone deserves to take a break at Christmas.”
          “Humbug!” said Trent.
          “Believe me, brotha, I know what it’s like to be alone at Christmas, and you wanna up and piss on everyone else’s holiday. Well congratulations, motherfucker. Everyone you know is gonna have a miserable Christmas.”
          “But they understand that we have to get that song perfect, don’t they? I mean, that’s what it’s all about…”
          “Have you lost your mind?”
          Trent gave Rick a puzzled look.
          “Bitch, please,” said Rick. “You don’t have a clue, do you? Pull over the car.”
          “But we’re in the middle of nowhere…”
          “I said pull over the car, damnit! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Rick James, bitch!”
          Trent rolled his eyes and pulled over.
          “Now get out of the car.”
          “Why?” said Trent.
          “Listen, I don’t want me no self-centred little skinny-assed white boy being all self-deprecating on his ass at Christmas driving me around. Get out of the car. I’ll drive myself.”
          Trent sighed, and opened the door. He stepped out of the car and into a bar. The wood was dark and the lights were dim. Trent’s hands began to shake. He turned around to rush for the door, when he ran into Rick James.
          Rick laughed.
          “Where you goin’ so fast?”
          “I don’t know why or how I even got in here,” said Trent.
          “You’re here because your guys are here,” said Rick, indicating the row of filled seats at the bar. “Let’s go see what they have to say.”
          “Oh don’t worry… they can’t see us. Come on!”
          As they approached the group at the bar, Trent could hear the boys in the band muttering their complaints.
          “He’s just a big fucking asshole now,” said Josh.
          “He used to be really cool,” said Jeordie. “He used to throw parties and give presents and everything. And now, since he got sober, he’s totally lost his joie de vivre.”
          “I feel so bad for Alessandro,” said Josh. “He’s gonna barely be off the plane when he has to do that link up in the morning. And then Hitler Boy is gonna start screaming at him because he’s jet lagged.”
          “Hitler Boy is a little harsh, don’t you think?” said Aaron.
          “Maybe. Maybe Kim Jong-Il is a better name for him. Little frickin midget with the superass ego…”
          “You know, if it hadn’t’ve been for Trent, you wouldn’t have a job right now,” said Aaron. “You should be thankful.”
          “I told you he was slow,” Jeordie said to Josh.
          “Look, that might be true,” said Josh, “but after I’ve seen the way he treats all of us, especially tonight of all nights, I would have been better off busking at the corner of Hollywood and Highland.”
          “You guys are so ungrateful,” said Aaron. “It’s really hard being under the pressure that Trent is under, and he can’t even drink to take the stress off. Speaking of, I’ll be right back.” Aaron hopped off the stool, and limped to the bathroom.
          “What’s the matter with him?” Trent asked Rick James.
          “Rheumatism,” said Rick James. “From an old stage injury that he got on the spring leg of the tour. It only started to act up now because of the winter.”
          “But he’ll be all right, won’t he?”
          “I dunno,” said Rick James, “If he keeps pushing himself the way he does onstage, running around, knocking down all that equipment, it could make it worse.”
          Trent looked down at his feet, as Jeordie spoke.
          “That poor kid. He jokes about everything when we’re all together, but deep inside, he’s hurting most of all. Bartender, another round.”
          “Don’t you have to get going home?” asked Josh.
          “Nah, I’ve got nobody to go home to this year,” said Jeordie.  “I was just gonna play Xbox all day tomorrow anyway. I guess I shouldn’t complain about the session tomorrow, then, but at least I would’ve liked to be able to sleep in until noon.”
          “Can we leave now?” Trent asked Rick James. “I’ve heard enough.”
          “Sure.” Rick led the way towards the bar door.
          Trent opened the door and stepped into the aisle of a plane. His ears popped as he realized they were in mid-air. The seats were crowded, and everyone was singing Christmas carols or smiling and laughing with each other.
          “Where the hell are we now?” Trent turned to find Rick James in a big Santa hat sitting in an aisle seat.
          “Alitalia Flight 279 to Rome,” said Rick James. “Italian Christmas Eve. That’s what it’s all about, brotha. Check it out.”
          A slight smile began to cross Trent’s face as he watched the happy passengers split panettone with each other, children laughing…and then his eye caught a lone passenger, sitting next to a window. His eyes were sad, and his face was drawn.
          Trent walked over to the seat.
          “He can’t hear you,” called over Rick James, as he took another sip of champagne.
          “What’s wrong with him?”
          “Well as soon as he gets off the plane, he’s got to go rehearse,” said Rick. “And that’s all he can think about. He can’t think about his family or the joy of surprising them on Christmas Day. He’s gonna be stuck at a hotel, using Garageband to perfect a song. And he’s worried that he’s gonna screw up because he’ll be so tired.”
          “You mean…”
          “Yeah, brotha. He’s more concerned about you than about his family.”
          Trent’s face fell.
          “I had no idea,” said Trent.
          “Come on, we gotta go now.”
          “But just wait, I just want to tell him…”
          “We gotta go now!” Rick James opened the plane hatch door.
          “What are you doing?” shouted Trent.
          “This…” Rick James shoved Trent out of the airplane. Trent screamed as he went tumbling through the air, and landed in a snowbank.  He saw his car in the distance, and turned around to look for Rick James, who was wearing a purple pimp overcoat trimmed with chinchilla fur.
          “Okay, okay,” said Trent. “Yeah, I feel bad. But what can I do?”
          “Listen, brotha, look under here.”
          Rick James opened his pimp coat to reveal two goth children, a boy and a girl, dressed in black.
          “These kids been following me everywhere. This boy’s name is Perfection. This girl’s name is Ego. Beware of both of them, but especially beware of this boy. Because he’ll make you drive everyone away, and make you ruin lives, and before you know it…well, let’s just say tonight was just a small sample of what could happen.”
          “Yeah,” said Trent.
          “Well, I gotta go,” said Rick. “My girl wants to party all the time, and I can’t keep her waiting.”
          “Nice,” said Trent, turning to shake his hand. But he was gone.
          Trent stood alone in the dark street. A cold winter wind blew through his ears. He clutched his arms as he shivered, and walked towards his car.

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[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_2]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor
          "Gabba gabba hey."
          The elevator seemed to speed up as it descended.
          Trent remained flabbergasted.
          "What the humbug is going on?"
          "I'm the ghost of your Christmas past," said Joey in his nasal New York drawl. "I hear you've become a real jerkoff these days. You weren't always like that, you know."
          "Come on, I've always been like this, as long as I can remember," said Trent, grasping the rail on the side of the elevator wall.
          "You mean a cheap bastard? Well, maybe. But treating your band like shit? That's just recent. Take it from me...sure bands fight, sure they wanna kill each other, but when it comes down to it, you pull yourselves together and your heads outta your asses and make it about the music. Come on, you remember the Self Destruct 1994 Tour, don't you?"
          "Barely," said Trent, his knuckles turning white.
          "Well maybe this will help you remember..."
          The doors opened to a backstage area, with many stagehands in black t-shirts running around in a frenzy.
          "Where is this?" said Trent.
          "Just wait," said Joey, beckoning Trent to leave the elevator.
          Jeordie White walked by in full Twiggy Ramirez makeup.
          "Hey Jeordie, what the fuck?" Trent laughed. Jeordie continued to walk past.
          "He can't hear you," said Joey.
          "Why is he wearing that old shh..."
          Trent watched as Jeordie stopped to talk to Marilyn Manson.
          "What the..."
          "Hey Trent!"
          Trent turned around as Robin Finck called his name.
          "What the fuck is he doing here?"
          Trent's eye caught a skinny, young man in fishnets skulking backstage.
          "Yeah?" the young man called over to Robin.
          "Oh my God," said Trent, in shock at seeing his former younger self. "Was I really that skinny?"
          "Buddy, that ain't skinny," said Joey. "Look at me, dammit!"
          Trent watched his younger self talking to Robin Finck.
          "Let's listen in." Joey beckoned Trent once again to follow him.
          "So you still having one of your famous Christmas parties this year?" said Robin.
          "Yeah. I just bought this really cool place in New Orleans," said young Trent. "I can't wait to have everyone over."
          "Dude, I gotta go hang with my folks," said Robin. "I don't think I can make it..."
          "Dude," young Trent mocked, "I'll fly you down for the day, and then you can catch a red eye home. No worries."
          "You sure? Just for the day?"
          "Come on," young Trent put his arm around Robin, "It wouldn't be a party without you, man." 
          "You're the best!" smiled Robin.
          Trent shook his head.
          "That was a waste of money," he said. "If I hadn't've flown Finck down, I would never have gotten so fucked up on coke that night."
          "You sure about that?" said Joey. "Sure you wouldn't've just taken that cash and spent it on more coke or something worse?"
          "Humbug," said Trent.
          "You're still in denial about how much fun you really had, aren't you?"
          "I wasted a lot of time and money killing brain cells and being out of control," said Trent.
          "Did you? Really?"
          Joey led Trent towards the black stage curtains.
          "Look over here," Joey said, pointing.
          Trent parted the curtains, and walked into the living room of a house. An artificial Christmas tree stood in a corner, covered in colourful lights and a plethora of silver icicles. Presents were piled under the tree, spilling off of the skirt.
          Trent heard laughter coming from the other room. He walked along the wooden floor, and stood in the doorway of the kitchen.
          "Oh my God," he gasped. "How did you know about this?"
          "Man, I know everything about you," Joey said.
          Trent watched his younger self playing with a half-full glass of red wine, watching a young woman bent with her head inside of an oven.
          "I can't fucking believe this," the woman called.
          Young Trent laughed.
          "It's okay, really," he said. "We'll just do what everyone does in LA at Christmas. We'll go out to eat."
          "No, damn it!"
          Tori Amos stood from the oven door.
          "It's Christmas Eve. Nobody eats out on Christmas Eve except loners and Jewish people. And everything else is ready."
          Tori stuck her finger into a pot on the stove.
          "See, these yams are just fine," she said.
          "Great," laughed young Trent, "So we'll have candied yams and bread and red wine." He took another gulp from his glass. "Good enough for me."
          "You don't understand," Tori said, frustrated, "The fucking thing is completely raw. Come and see."
          Young Trent walked over to the stove, as Trent smiled with anticipation of what was about to happen.
          "See?" Tori bent her head in the oven, wriggling the chicken leg, "It's pale and it's bloody on the inside. But it's fucking hot in there."
          Young Trent slid his arm around her waist.
          "Yeah it is, isn't it?" he laughed.
          "Stop that," she giggled. "Look, I'm telling you, this house is possessed. I can't even cook a chicken, the easiest thing in the world to do."
          "It's okay," young Trent said, smiling, lowering his voice. "Here, have some wine. Screw the chicken, we'll go out. Or we'll order in. Let's just have a nice Christmas, okay?"
          Tori smiled, and drank some wine from his glass.
          Trent's face became sullen, as he pulled Joey Ramone aside.
          "Look, why have you brought me here? To show me that I used to be a nice guy?  So what? Times change, people change.  Tori turned out to be a psycho girlfriend in the end. I was totally out of control. Now I've got control of my life, and I'm not going to be swayed by visions of my past."
Joey shook his head.
          "You know, your entire past wasn't a complete waste of time. Look, if you don't want to see that, it ain't my job to get that into you. That's up to the next ghost. Man, I'm outta here."
          Trent turned his back to Joey and found himself in the middle of a dark alley. The cold wind whistled in his ears, and he grasped his arms while he shivered.
          "Fine," muttered Trent. "Humbug. The past is the past and that's where it should stay."
Trent walked towards his car.
          "I gotta get home and sleep. I bet those humbuggers are out partying. Christmas Eve. Bah humbug."
          Trent turned the key in the ignition, shifted the car in gear, and drove off. He reached for the radio knob. "Superfreak" blasted from the speakers.
          "Heh, Rick James," said Trent. Unconsciously, he began to sing along with  the lyrics.
          She's a very kinky girl, The kind you won't take home to muthah. She will never let your spirits doowwwwn. Once you get her off the streets.
          "Hmmm," Trent muttered to himself, "I really am impressed with this sound system. It's as if Rick James was singing in the car himself."
          She's all right. She's all right. That girl's all right by me. Yeahhhh.
          Trent turned to check the passenger rear view mirror. Rick James began to sing in his face.
          She's a superfreak, superfreak, she's super freaking OWWWT.
          Trent screamed and slammed on his brakes.

Posted by Mimi Jones-Taylor in tales_of_terror | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack


[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_1]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor

          Trent Reznor hunched over the mixing board in the middle of the hall, staring sternly at the band, who were shivering where they stood. Raising an eyebrow, Trent moved a few level bars, and gave the band the signal to begin. Jeordie White took the cue to speak into his microphone.
         “Is this the final take?”
         “It’s the final take when I say it’s the final take,” growled Trent. “Right now, this song sounds like shit. You’re going to keep playing it until it’s perfect.”
         “Hey Trent,” said Jeordie, “do you think you could turn up the heat just a little?”
         “What, do you think, I’m made of money?” said Trent. “It costs $100 a month extra to heat the place up to the tropical temperatures that you sissy boys keep crying for. Besides, heat changes the sound of the instruments, and the last thing I want is a warm sound for this song.”
         Jeordie sighed, and the band began to play the song once more.
         “No no no no no!” Trent interrupted, screaming over the echoing music. “What the hell was that supposed to be, music? You guys suck. Especially you, Alessandro. Are you actually using your fingers to play the keyboards or are you just pounding them with your head?”
         “Signore Trent,” said Alessandro, “We are all very tired. And it’s Christmas Eve and I have to catch a plane to Roma.”
         “Well, bully for you,” said Trent. “Don’t you think I was tired as I slaved over the instruments recording The Downward Spiral practially by myself? Do you think I stopped in the middle of recording, just because it was some damn statutory holiday? Christmas. Bah, humbug, I say. You know, my old keyboardist never used to complain during these long nights.”
         “Sì,” said Alessandro, “But I haven’t seen my family since the summer, and I would really like to see them for di Natale.”
         Trent slammed his fist on the board. “You are going to keep working until you get it right. You don’t work for your family. You work for me.”
         “Sì Signore,” said Alessandro.
         The telephone beside Trent sounded a loud ring.
         “Hello? ...Yes, this is the Nine Inch Nails session…another two hundred dollars an hour? Holiday rate? Bah, humbug!”
         Trent spoke into the mic again.
         “Well it turns out that they’re going to charge an extra $200 per hour because it’s a humbugging holiday. So we’re going to finish for the evening.”
         The band heaved a collective sigh.
         “But,” continued Trent, “don’t travel very far from your computers. We can do the session early tomorrow morning from each of our homes via Garageband. So I’ll see you all online tomorrow bright and early at 7AM.”
         “Ma Trent,” said Alessandro, “I am going to be in Italia with my family. I will have the jetta lag.”
         “7AM Eastern time,” said Trent. “No exceptions.”
         The band sighed and grumbled, and exited the studio. Trent was packing up his gear, switching all the slides on the board to “off”, when the lights in the rehearsal hall faded with the slide of the bar.
         “Is this another one of your childish jokes, Jeordie?”
         Trent turned around to find himself in an empty space.
         “Humbug,” he muttered, switching back on the light, and returning to his gear. He halted in mid-movement as the intense pounding of the starting beats for “Eraser” came from the direction of the stage.
         “What the… that humbugging Alessandro,” Trent cried to himself. “Leaving his samples on. Great. Now I have to take down his gear, too. If he costs me any more damn money…”
         Trent flipped on the stage lights and gasped as he caught sight of the figure hunched over the drum kit. He carried heavy chains around his body that rattled as his arms raised and lowered in rhythm.
         “My God…” Trent froze in fear.
         “Hey there, ex-roomie!”
         The figure put the sticks down. His chains rattled as he stood up and moved away from the drum kit.
         “But… but… that’s impossible,” said Trent, “You’re…”
         “Dead?” The figure smiled a sly smile. “Old band members never die. We just do exposés on VH1 and episodes of The Surreal Life.”
         “How did you get in here?” said Trent. “Never mind. You have to go. They’re going to start charging overtime in about five minutes.”
         “Oh Rezzo, you never change, do you? You win a ton of money in your court case and you’re still pinching pennies like they’re going out of style. That always made me laugh.”
         “Look, what are you doing here?” said Trent.
         “Since you’ve put me on a time restriction,” said Chris Vrenna’s ghost, “I have to make this quick. Dude, you can’t treat your band members the way you treated us. I mean, first of all, the cost of living has gone up exponentially since 1994. And secondly, these guys for some reason actually like you. Don’t treat them like shit.”
         “Why not?” said Trent. “They play like shit. Don’t you remember the times we used to get together and bitch about how bad the rest of the band was? How we didn’t need them anyways?”
         “Look, do you see these?” Chris held up the chains attached to his body, as Trent nodded. “They were attached to my body by old fans and secondary band members of the netherworld.”
         “Whatever for?”
         “I’m wearing these chains as punishment for the way that we used to mock the other band members and keep all their money for ourselves.”
         “Oh good humbugging lord,” said Trent.
         “My friend, you should see the set of chains they’re making for you.”
         “What?” said Trent. “I don’t deserve to be wearing these chains.”
         “You deserve that and worse,” said Chris. “But there is still a way you can redeem yourself.”
         “You mean pay the band more? Those humbuggerers don’t deserve it.”
         “Listen,” said Chris, ignoring Trent, “tonight you’re going to be visited by three spirits of Christmas…”
         “I quit drinking,” said Trent.
         “Would you shut up for two fucking minutes and stop making jokes?” Chris was getting pissed off. “The first ghost is going to be showing up at midnight. Listen carefully to what these ghosts have to tell you, because it’s your last chance to be redeemed. If you don’t change your ways after their visit, then you’d better bulk up to be three times the size you are now, and you might be able to wear the chains that they’re making for you.”
         “Bah, humbug,” said Trent. “You’re just going to spike my mineral water.”
         “Believe what you want,” said Chris Vrenna, “but I have to go now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Rezzo. Take care of yourself, bud. I’m outta here like last year.”
         Trent Reznor scoffed, and turned back to look at the clock.
         “Why it’s nearly midnight now, and…” Trent looked around the room. Chris Vrenna had gone, leaving no trace that he had even been there.
         “Ghosts,” muttered Trent, “Bah humbug. Humbug I say! I’m probably hallucinating from lack of caffeine and sleep.”
         Trent closed the door to the hall behind him. His watch beeped to indicate that it was midnight.
         “Just in time,” said Trent, as he pressed the call button for the elevator. “I’d like to see them charge me overtime now.”
         The elevator arrived, and the doors opened. As Trent stepped in, he noticed another person standing in the corner. Trent’s mouth dropped to the floor.
         “You’re… you’re…” he stammered. “You’re Joey Ramone!”

                                                            ...to be continued.

Posted by Mimi Jones-Taylor in tales_of_terror | Permalink | Comments (43) | TrackBack



Phew! It was rough going for a minute there, but Typepad has recovered, and we're back...

Not that I would have been the least bit fucking upset about losing my two LEAST FAVORITE things ever to be posted on WTC: Gabriel's farewell (this little nugget of pure genius notwithstanding), and the "cockfro" thread. There's nothing we can do about Gabriel; a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do -- or, at least that's what I've gathered from the cinematic works of Martin Scorcese -- but the rest of you better watch the fuck out, and start having a little fucking respect for art and hopeless love.

In other news, and appropos of nothing, I downloaded and watched the "Starsuckers, Inc." video last night, just because apparently the memory was so traumatic that I had forgotten of what, exactly, it consisted. Unfortunately, last night, as Trent was jumping around in a long leather coat and Kabuki make-up in my computer, full of sickly, self-congratulatory glee for throwing Mechanical Animals straight into the toilet, breaking Fred Durst's plate-face, and dunk-tanking fat Courtney, while his leggy girlfriend, Marilyn, frolics gaily by his side, I remembered the one and only time I have ever truly wanted to say "FUCK YOU, TRENT." Biggest misstep in the entire video (I mean, besides its fucking EXISTENCE): the camera is not on his face so that we can see his eyes when he says "...don't you dare call me a whore."

I guess the moral of my story today, also appropos of nothing, is that some traipses down memory lane are more rewarding than others. Not that numbers like "The Beautiful People" don't have their own brand of special genius, but can I just confide in you guys how FUCKING HORRIFIED I would be if my Nine Inch Nails concert were interrupted by a Marilyn Manson interlude, a la that time on the Fragility tour?

Oh, Jesus Holy Motherfucking Christ, NO.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to thinking about Trent, circa 2005, naked.


Posted by Dierdre ~ in inside_dierdre | Permalink | Comments (63) | TrackBack