Monday, March 31, 2008

Join Us

This weekend I decided to go out and spend some hard earned money on a couple movies. I was originally looking for some classics from the 50s and 60s featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They did a number of Dracula, Frankenstein and other films for Hammer for a couple decades and Amazon has great deals on the films, and many even come in cheap packs of up to 5 or so for only $20. Sadly, CD Warehouse had no such deals. So I ended up buying, finally, the Millennium Edition of Night of the Living Dead, the Ultimate Edition of Evil Dead, and House of Wax, from 1953 starring Vincent Price. The first two I already owned in various forms, but since I had a surplus of money, I didn't mind spending some to upgrade them. Especially since they're too of my favourite films. My history with Evil Dead has been a rather terrifying one. At least it was when it began. Oh, prepare for blabbing about the film and my experience(s) with it.

I first saw the film when I was in grade 5. My best friend at that time and I used to get together every weekend, all weekend, and each night (Friday and Saturday) we'd rent movies, usually horror, and watch them 'late' at night when everyone else was sleeping. And one night, who's idea it was I don't know, we rented Evil Dead. Everything was great up until about 1/3 of the way through. It was scary enough, building tension and whatever, I could deal with that, but as soon as the possessed version of Cheryl turned around screaming, that was it for me. I had my hands over my face for literally the entire rest of the film. I don't remember a single thing after that point until the cheery music started when the credits rolled. I was literally terrified for my life, and no movie since has scared me that much. To this day I honestly remember the completely visceral terror.

Flash forward to a year later where I'm in Florida with my same friend, and I see a VHS copy of the film on sale for $10. I remember being terrified of the film, I remember not seeing enough of it to even give it a fair assessment since the first 1/3 was completely different from the other two (based on sounds, though my ears were plugged at points too), but I knew that for me the film was a true experience outside any other film I'd seen. Not only was it different, but it made me feel something so foreign, so strongly, that I had to buy it. I'm not sure how long it took for me to watch it, but it must have been a month or two, and I honestly can't remember how I felt that second time. I'm sure if must have gone fine though, since that first time is still burned in my brain.

Over the years I watched it off and on, often times trying to relive the fear, but in my jaded junior high, and early highschool days I was hard on the film. I saw past it's charm and horror, and could only see its flaws. It's certainly cheap, short on exposition, there's very little dialogue and it's mostly screaming, and characters, locations, props, and makeup change almost constantly. So I shunned the film wondering how as a silly child I could possibly enjoy this lackluster 'horror' film. All my original fun with the film came from being scared, and once that was gone I realized it was amateur at best, and almost embarrassingly so. So, I focused my attention on other movies as well ED sequels, at least they were trying to be funny.

However, in the last 4 or 5 years I've really come to appreciate it again. I laugh constantly, and you know what, that's ok. It may not be scary like it was when I was a kid, and I'll never reclaim that with this film, so I've learned to just have fun with it. I still notice the flaws, but now I really think they add to the films charm, not to mention the its humour. It is a spot on classic, and I hold it highly above the sequels (which I've always enjoyed). I don't know how many times I've seen this film, since that first time, but I do know I can't get enough of it, and it's a film I'm proud to own.

In fact, I own 4 (not that much given the amount out there, but it's a fair amount still) separate copies of it; the original VHS, a bare bones DVD, the Book of the Dead version, and now the Ultimate Edition. And you know what? I'll gladly purchase any other version of this film that gets released, probably until the day I'm die.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Anxiety

It's not often that I'm an overly optimistic person when it comes to my anxiety, but in the last while it really does feel like I'm slowly getting better. I mean, the number of times I've seen friends in the last year, is rather limited. Sure it's partly because they live all over Ontario now for school, but still, even when they were home I was too anxious to go out and do whatever it was they were doing. But in the last couple weeks I've been 'well' enough to hang out with people here, at their houses, or out and about, go to Quebec on a whim, be fine with being up late (for as long as I can remember, I've been really freaked out by being up late), not to mention going to Florida.

I know that to some that may seem like a list of the easiest things in the world to do, but for me they weren't up until recently. I may not feel quite up to moving out and attending class everyday, but at least I'm able to have some sort of a life again. Hopefully it continues on this way.

It's Been Such a Long Time

Well, I've been fairly busy of late I suppose. Don't know with WHAT in some instances but I'll update with what I do know.

I've started my psych course, and it's interesting but confusing. I'm having a really hard time retaining information for some reason. I'll read a chapter thoroughly, not to fast, not to slow, and then get to the end and barely be able to answer any of the review questions it gives you. I'm hoping it's just a time thing, as in the more work I do, the better I'll get at it.

Also Mike came home Thursday night. So Alex and I went to get him at the train station, but then the train was delayed by half an hour, so he didn't come in till 10. Then he wanted to get beer, but all the places in Ontario would have been closed so we drove to Quebec.

Night after that went to a friends house with Mike (my friend and Mike's friend are brothers, and we've all been friends sine I was 6, and the youngin's were 5 or so) and we played Rock Band from about 11-2.

Then last night Mike had a small gathering here, and I had my friend Alex over, where again Rock Band was played, and drinks were drunk. It was another good time, though I was beat from the night before and not really super energetic. Even so, didn't get to bed till 3 last night. And then today Mike goes back home at some point in the evening, and I guess it's back to school work for the rest of the week.

Also, I keep running into the Mom of the 'new girl' on my block. She's not new, she's lived here for a more than a year, but still, it's what I call her. Anyways, for whatever reason, whenever I'm out walking my dog, she's out walking her dog. And if I vary my schedule slightly, she's also done the same thing. We've literally talked about every thing possible (the neighbourhood, naighbours, the weather, our dogs, my school, her school, her daughters school, etc.) that it's reverted back to that semi awkward stage like at the beginning when there wasn't much chat.

And no news back yet from my female friend, almost two weeks now....I'm not saying I've thrown in the towel, but, I don't really care as much as I'd thought I would. Whether it's because I remain quietly hopeful or because I truly don't care, I don't know.

Monday, March 17, 2008

K, Now Serious Stuff

Life stuff is good I guess, missed my several times ex friend Caitlin quite a bit today. I almost, almost, went through old stuff we'd written, and emails exchanged, etc. But I knew that would be the end of it, so I held back. Kind of a mellow day after that I guess. Hence the Firefly marathon. Needed a pick me up.

I'm honestly baffled by the whole situation. Here's someone who I cared for probably more than anyone I've ever known, and had such a close personal relationship, but then also went through an almost constant hellish struggle with. Sure there were good times, and they were really good, but it was almost 40% good, 60% bad. I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say, breaking up was probably for the best. And we did it a number of times too. This last time being the third. And even though I'm certainly less stressed without her, it's also a little lonely, and for some strange reason, I'd be willing to deal with that shittyness just to have the good stuff again. Of course, that's what I said each time we got back together, and it never went well.

This whole damn situation drives me nuts, wanting to contact her, but knowing it would never work and then being like, 'shut up brain!' for thinking it. Oh well, I'll get over in time. At least I really hope I do.

Firefly

As I sit here listening to the OST, having just watched 3 hours worth of episodes, if it's possible to miss an inanimate object and something that one cannot hold in ones hands, then this show is it. I miss this show. I'd even go so far as to say that I miss it more than Arrested Development. Though, AD also had 3 seasons (sort of) worth of shows. I don't know how many times I've watched Firefly's measly 14 episodes, but I know that each time I do it seems like sitting down with old friends, sort of like how a good book, or piece of music makes you feel. And the fact that it accomplished it all in such a short time is quite an amazing feat.

I'll admit, I don't like sci-fi. Any shows involving aliens or other races that require prosthetics turns me off right away. I just find it so hokey. Or at least the ones I have experience with generally are. The list includes; anything Star Trek other than the original, Far Scape, and Stargate. The only other sci-fi show I like is Battlestar Galactica, which while perhaps equally nerdy, I find to be quite brilliant. And at first I didn't like Firefly, it took me till about the 3rd episode to really like it, and for some reason I just kept pushing through my grievances. What they were, I can't tell you now. Because by now I have none.

I don't usually get so fanatical with shows (well maybe with my all time fave The X-Files), but for some reason Firefly really brings it out in me. It could be because it came to such a premature end. Though it could also be because it's such an amazing piece of work all around. Not the least of which being the amazing cast. Plus every episode is always hokey, funny, dramatic, exciting, and a clear labour of love.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Update With Nothing

For better or worse I'm going to try and use this thing fairly frequently regardless of whether or not I actually have important info. Otherwise I'll just get in the habit of not using it. Though if things get really bad, non info wise, then I will take breaks.

So, what's new...hmmmm. Well, had the house to myself this weekend, it was kind of nice. Friday night my friend Alex came over and we played Guitar Hero 3 for a number of hours. Then Saturday I was by myself and made a giant Caesar salad with chicken in it for dinner and watched Bubba Ho-Tep, which I hadn't seen since it came out. I really enjoyed it this second time, since I didn't remember much from my first viewing, other than I was disappointed. But not this time, so hurray.

I'm also waiting for an email back from my female friend whom I'm having trouble with. 8 days later and nothing. I hope she's not taking the 'take all the time you need' line too literally.

And I bought a new adventure game, Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit in the UK) and I'm loving it. Adventure gaming is totally a new genre interest for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Halloween 2K7: The Movie

Ok so I just finished Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. Now I wouldn't call the original a personal fave. It's a great film that I appreciate, though I don't think its aged particularly well. But I do enjoy it enough to have had serious reservations about this remake (as I do about literally ALL remakes). I've seen Zombie's two other films, and honestly, didn't like them. I can see (if I stretch) how people do, but I didn't. He has great style, and is a competent director and stager of scenes, but I'm sorry, screaming and random shit do not good horror movies make. I prefer, you know, characters, and atmosphere, rather then in your face brashness. I can appreciate that sort of horror film, but I don't often enjoy them. Nor am I opposed to gore.

Anyways, the first 45 minutes of this film exist, apparently, solely to set up hillbilly stereotypes, and then be as vulgar and over the top as possible to perhaps show you why someone might go crazy and start killing people. It was so obvious in fact that that was the point, that I couldn't enjoy myself. I just kept rolling my eyes. Thankfully, Malcolm McDowell (who is always awesome) soon came on the scene and rescued this film from total shit. The scenes in the mental hospital were rather good, though only when Loomis (McDowell's character) and Michael were together. Other then that, kinda boring. What follows are points I jotted down while I watched the rest of the film, post Michael's escape, so the actual remake part.

-The dialogue is awful, and almost always cringe inducing.

-Where the original female leads were slightly cartoonish, and always naive, the new characters are foul mouthed, brash, idiots. None of whom are even remotely likeable, or realistic.

-I don't know if I feel bad for Ken Foree (Peter in the original Dawn of the Dead) being in so many shitty films lately, or if I'm happy that he's still working

-Acting is for the most part awful, and all the most dramatic (therefore important) lines are delivered without conviction. But what do you expect when you're given crap to work with?

-Literally every scene with the girls has them flirting with each other, talking about sex, or dry humping each other. I don't understand why....

-So much fucking screaming it gives me a headache. Note to all new directors, screaming doesn't create tension, or scares

-Film does exactly what 100s of bad horror films have done before it. It focuses on the scares (which suck by the way), and the killings instead of the characters. And so we get mindless death, after mindless death, all the while not caring about any of the characters, and ultimately about the film in general. Not to mention, if you're not scared FOR the characters, the horror aspect of the film fails. Which is Zombie's problem in all his films so far. Who are these people? Why are they getting killed? Who cares?

-OMG is this movie ever fucking long. Climax after climax. Jesus...

-Note to future film heroines; when you're trying to evade an unstoppable killer, try to not scream and cry uncontrollably. It makes you easy to find...

-Gotta admit ending was great. It fixed the main problem with series thusfar, ie. there are too many sequels.

-Ok, so in this film, 20 people are killed. Thats almost a higher body count than Halloween 1, 2, 4, and 5 combined. And yet this film isn't more scary or 'terrifying' for it. Higher body count does not equal more powerful/frightening killer. In the first film, and good horror films do this, you feel 'hey, this could happen to me' and thats where most of the scares come from. This film just had a total air of unbelievability.

So there you go, a long post, but I'm sick of complaining about my personal life and yada yada. So I'll complain about movies! No, not all the time, but I do love movies and enjoy watching, and then writing about them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Fountain

Nothing to post tonight other than this.

I'm currently listening to the soundtrack for The Fountain, probably one of the most moving films I've ever seen. Ditto with the soundtrack, though aurally speaking of course. If you have not seen this film, please do. The first time I saw it, I was up practically all night trying to dissect it, and I just could not get it out of my head for weeks afterwards. The film is lush, dramatic, depressing, confusing, fulfilling, inspiring, spiritual, and most of all completely engrossing. Not to mention perfectly cast and impeccably performed, written, and directed. I may like other films more, but none come more recommended than this one.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Final Cut

Ok so whats new. Well...once all this snow melts (all 3 feet of it) I'm going to get my drivers license so I don't feel trapped here. I'll also start my courses tomorrow, or perhaps Tuesday, when I get my text books finally. Also I'm headed out to my friend Alexs place tomorrow. It's been a while since I've hung out with him, well, a while since I've hung out with anyone, given they've all moved away temporarily. I'm honestly kind of nervous. Not to mention I can't remember the last time only he and I hung out. We have things in common, but we're both fairly quiet people.

Also I sent an email out to that friend I've been having trouble with. Recap; I sent her a long email, asking her where she's been, why she hasn't gotten back to me, etc. I got a small email back, with a sentence dedicated to the problem, and a paragraph dedicated to her new boyfriend.

So I sent back another email, after two weeks, which was congratulatory on all her recent successes and what not, but also quick to point out I was less than satisfied with how things had been left, in a friendly manner. I'm not mad, I'm just concerned at the state of things. So again I highlighted all my issues, and told her to read it over, and then get back to me, whenever she wanted, WITH whatever she wanted to do about it. While I'm nervous about what her response will be, most of all I just want her to be honest and to seriously consider what I've put forward.

We've never been good at discussing issues, at least not in my recent memory. It all kind of comes to surface after time has passed, there's a 'you hurt me', 'yeah well you hurt me too' discussion. And then things are ok after a couple days. I know she's capable of introspection, I just hope she's willing to do so. I also feel bad for pestering her about it, though I guess two emails is hardly pestering. But I'm of the firm belief (using personal experience with my ex, whom I hate and still love) that addressing issues right away is the best course of action. Otherwise things snowball and end very badly.

Anyways, that's all for now I guess. Laura you'll have your hand pictures soon. Couple weeks max.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pendulums

I'm in one of those late night blah moods. Made all the worse that there's no one to talk to, or nothing to really do. So I just sit. I learned a song on the guitar like 10 minutes ago, but that's not enough to last me the rest of the right. Also I can really feel my heart beating, that doesn't seem normal. Wish I had more to post then that, but I don't. Just had to get that out there.

Umm on a positive note, traveling to Florida and surviving, even through my sickness, has made me want to travel more.

Also I will start my courses next week, or maybe even this weekend if I can get out to get the textbook I need. Maybe I'll swing by the schools bookstore after therapy tomorrow.......

On a side note, whenever I think of crying, the act of, not physically doing it, I think of this Arrested Development scene, and it always cheers me up.

At the hospital, the family gathers after Tobias is hit by a car.

Michael: How is he doctor?
Doctor: It uhhh, it looks like he's dead.
Lucille: Oh my god!
Gob: Oh little guy...the tears aren't coming. The tears just aren't coming.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Hobby

I play guitar, read, collect research and watch films, exercise, and play games, but I really want to start a new hobby. That hobby being photography. I've always envied people who have a keen eye, and for some reason photographs have been on my mind a lot. I don't have a decent camera, and I almost picked one up in Florida on a whim. I don't know what makes a good camera, but I can assure you it's not my shared family piece of crap Walmart camera that never works. Also, living in the country, I don't know what I'd take pictures of. I'm such a city person, and sometimes I feel trapped here, especially having no license. But that's another problem. On photography, I find nature boring to be quite honest. Maybe (having lived here for 14 years) I'm spoiled by it, and will only learn to be appreciate it once I've left. However, it still leaves me with nary a subject in site, so in the mean time (while I perhaps save for a camera) I'll just have to envy those more capable than I.

I also have a rant about Donnie Darko from earlier that I was going to post, but I'll hold back for a while. Maybe my feelings will simmer over time.

Oh, and my courses started Monday, except I'm only registered in one, not two, so I need to do some phoning around to see what's up exactly.

Feist For All

I forgot my favourite part about Florida! Well you know, aside from being there. I managed to expand my Feist collection. I've been a big fan of hers for...well, I got an advanced copy of The Reminder a couple months before it came out, and was a semi-fan of her previous album. So since then, my love for her has grown and so has my collection, and in Florida, my collection grew just a little bit more. I currently have, by her;

-a handful of music videos, and live performances from TV, talk shows and SNL
-Live at the Rehearsal Hall (Bravo program, featuring interview and performance)
-Let it Die (studio album)
-Open Season (studio album)
-The Reminder (studio album)
-Live on BBC radio (interview and performance)
-Live in Paris (live bootleg concert)
-Don't Drink The Bath Water (limited release from 1991 with her grunge band, Placebo)
-Monarch (limited release debut album)
-Live on KCRW (interview and performance)
-My Moon, My Man EP
-The Red Demos (early demos from '03)
-Black Sessions (proper live performance from '04)

And those last 6 are ones I found in Florida, it was a dream come true. There are still a number of singles out there, though I don't know whats on them (in terms of new tracks), and probably some other live stuff. So if anyone has anything I'm missing by her, then let me know. I'm also able to upload any of this stuff for people as well, if they want it. Just write back here.

EDIT:

Well dear readers, in the last hour, my collection has grown to include;

-El Mocambo, Toronto, CBC Concert Recording June 11 04 (radio performance and interview)
-World Cafe July 1 05 (interview and concert)
-Live at Bazar Curieus 04 (concert)
-a handful of live tracks with Kevin Drew and Jason Collett from 06 and 07 respectively (radio performances)
-Broken Social Scene Queen's University Oct 19 05 (bootleg concert)

Not bad for an hours worth of searching.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hands On

So Laura's post on hands got me thinking about my own hands for a while, and I think I have some oddities as well. Certainly not as many as hers, or as severe, but whatever. So first off, scars. I've got one that runs the length of the top portion of my pinky finger on my right hand. Where it's from, I don't know. I've also got a medium sized one on my left ring finer, and numerous ones across my knuckles from karate.

Once at camp when I was 18 maybe doing counselor in training, our leader was away, and we found this metal chair in the woods, so we decided it would be fun to smash it. Except when metal breaks, it bends, sharply at both sides, and I through a piece, and it sliced through my hand on its way through. Suffice it to say I now have a scar running along the side of my right hand, on the pinky side. It's only like 2 inches long, but it's a fairly deep one.

Also, both my middle fingers curve away from my thumb, and the middle knuckles on both ring fingers have large bumps on them towards the middle finger. None of this causing me pain, or anything, they're just there. I've broken umm I think my right thumb, and every so often it locks, or seizes slightly and hurts a little so I have to rotate it and click it. I also have self diagnosed carpel tunnel syndrome. Man it hurts some days, especially after playing guitar for a long time. When it's bad I can't bend my wrists more than 45 degrees in either direction.

And finally the weirdest thing of all. If I make the shape of a gun (roughly) on my right hand with my index finger, and thumb, I can bend both independently and together. But, if I do the same thing on my left, I can move my index finger independently, but I can't move my thumb without the index finger moving as well. Even if I hold my index finger in place. Is that not weird?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Home Now

Yep, home now. Left Florida around 3, first flight was ok. I started watching the Dawn of the Dead remake, and after several gristly deaths, I realized it might not be the best film to watch around children. Boogie Nights sure, cause everyone has penises and vaginas and boobs and yada yada. But people being eaten and exploded? Maybe inappropriate. So I switched over to The Office. Then we had to sprint to our connecting flight from Montreal to Toronto. And then that flight was so disappointingly short. I had a music playlist of all this Feist bootleg stuff lined up, but I never even got a chance to listen to it cause the seatbelt light never went out as it was only a 20 minute flight. Oh well. Then Wendy's for dinner and back here. My cat has been all over me since I got back, it's ridiculous. I eventually couldn't take it anymore and had to put him outside my room with the door closed. His hair was getting everywhere, and it's hard to type when a cat is pushing it's face into yours.

Maybe later in the week I'll have final reflections or something. Now with things back to normal I don't know what to write about it. It's almost like I need to go out and do stuff, hmm...what a novel idea.