Monday, May 31

Summer of HOR-ROR!

So I'm reading The Exorcist and I'm really enjoying it. I know it may sound strange to enjoy The Exorcist but I'm here to tell you it's an excellent read. I remember being entirely freaked out by Pet Semetary in high school. I was so scared that I had to read it in front of the fireplace to be near my family when I read it each night. I almost gave up on Stephen King after slogging through It but there are a couple I still need to get to.

I've decided I like reading horror in the summertime. I then decided to read MORE classic horror this summer. Here's is what I'm hoping to get to in the next few months:

#1 - Enough with all of that vampire romance crap, bring on the REAL vampires! The kind that can scare the bejeezus outta you.

#2 - Shandon approved. Looking forward to it:

#3 - This one has been on my list for ages. I think the time has come:

I may re-read this or not. I'm still thinking about it. In the mean time Kathleen will be giving it a shot:

If you have some you'd like to suggest please do.

P.S. I was right. As much as I wanted to read The Exorcist while giving platelets, I just couldn't stomach it. Having a needle in your arm pretty much makes everything gross for the entire day. I was reduced to watching The Proposal instead. "The horror. The horror..."

Friday, May 28

Summer horror kick off!

So, I received my copy of The Amityville Horror today. I thought reading it again might be a fun way to kick off this nice long weekend. I read The Amityville Horror in about the 7th grade and it scared the hell outta me (as promised on the book cover). However, after some consideration, I thought why not read a scary book that I haven't read before? I promptly dug up the copy of The Exorcist that I've been meaning to read forever.

So far it's a quick read. Regan has already walked into the dinner party, urinated on the rug, stared at the astronaut and said "You're going to die up there". It's getting GOOD! I won't even go into the mysterious desecrations going on at the Catholic Church down the street. Awkward!

Of course, I'm still in the middle of The Forgotten Garden which I'm truly enjoying. I just haven't been in a reading mood. Of course, I'm donating platelets tomorrow and I plan on reading while I'm there but I don't think I can stomach reading The Exorcist with a needle in my arm. Blechh! I'll be switching to The Forgotten Garden for that appointment.

(Yes, Shandon. That's an Exorcist bobblehead up there. Please note the twisty neck detail. I know you want one!)

Thursday, May 27

Silly American tradition lets me down

I did some poking around in an effort to find some good old tv marathons that programmers may of thoughtfully planned for my viewing pleasure this weekend. I found evidence of a few small line ups but they are weak at best. The only marathon worth mentioning is on Spike TV where Band of Brothers will air on Monday. I love that mini-series and watch it at least once a year. If you haven't seen it all the way through you simply must.

I searched in vain for a Twilight Zone marathon but only found a few episodes airing on SciFi Channel. On one hand I'm disappointed in the SciFi Channel. On the other hand I prefer to watch Twilight Zone episodes for hours on end when it's REALLY hot outside. This typically happens on the 4th of July. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope I can do that in 5 weeks.

Here are some of the weak marathon offerings I managed to find (check your local listings for times and dates):

  • Criminal Minds
  • Parking Wars
  • Billy the Exterminator (WTF?)
BBC America
  • Doctor Who (Ok, don't tell anyone but I'm sort of into this show. I'm a recent convert but I kinda dig it. It's very embarrassing.)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Deadliest Catch
Food Network
  • Grill it! With Bobby Flay
Hitler Channel
  • Patton 360
  • WWII in HD
  • America the Story of Us
  • War Movie Marathon (complete list here) I'm not generally into war movies but there are some classics in the mix you may like.
  • Say Yes to the Dress
  • The Little Couple
  • Cake Boss
  • Of course... lots of Law & Order
TV Land
  • Lots of big blocks of same show programming. This may be normal, I don't know since I haven't watched it in a while.
  • Hooked (Never hear of it. It sounds promising. Another addiction show or maybe a fishing show? Who knows?)
  • Lots of Law & Order
Of course, I could turn OFF the tv and do some reading. God knows reading makes me happier than tv. The only down side is that time flies when I read and I don't really want this weekend to fly by.

I'll have to see what I can do to make the most of this weekend. I suppose it's a good thing that there is no decent tv on. Maybe I'll actually crack open my book of shame.

Friday, May 21

I told you so

Once upon a time I used to visit a lovely house in the woods for crafting weekends. I was a friend of a friend of the owners sister who belonged in a crafting group I helped originate. It was about 10 years ago when a few of us started a monthly Friday night group that got together to regularly scrapbook. There was only one rule to Scrap Club: No kids, no husbands. We would rotate the location of the get togethers and each host about 1 night per year. The husbands and kids of the host's home would make themselves scarce. Often they would congregate at another husbands house for a night of pizza and movies. It seemed to make everyone very happy. Being the single lady of the group I enjoyed the uninterrupted evening of girl talk.

When we first heard a member of our group had access to a "cabin" we all decided to go up for a long weekend of crafting. I don't know about everyone else but I had visions of bunk beds and a cramped living room. Instead we pulled up to this place. Imagine my surprise. Our friend had entirely undersold the place. I remember us all walking around in a daze when we first arrived. We were shocked. There were about 8 of us on that first weekend. Not only did I not have to sleep in a bunk bed but I got my own room... with a lake view!

In the winter we stayed indoors except to occasionally barbecue in the snow. It sounds crazy but it's actually a lot of fun. In the summers we would take time out to lounge on the deck. It was a dream but like all dreams it came to an end. One ugly divorce later we all said goodbye to that wonderful place. We miss it to this day.

How did I find it online? Well, let's just say I got tired of looking at houses in my price range. I typed in Santa Barbara, Malibu and eventually Big Bear Lake into Redfin (my favorite new real estate site) and up it popped. I sent it to a friend who confirmed that it is in fact the house we used to visit.

The pictures do not do it justice. That giant window has a magnificent view of the lake. The deck on the back of the house is huge and the house sleeps 25 people... we counted once. We used to park it at those tables and I would build a fire in the fire place. I was the only one who knew who to start a fire. I've been the fire starter ever since. I also come in handy when a spider needs smashing.

Anyway, for those of you who have heard tale of that little cabin that got away, I just had to share it with you.

*sigh* I miss it so.

Monday, May 17


Last night I saw a little show called Nightmare Alley at the Geffen Theater. It was so-so. I may have liked it more if the theme hadn't been so damned promising. It was a musical based on the book and film of the same name AND takes place in and around a sideshow freak tent. I know!

Shandon rightly sent an email to us about a month ago stating she'd purchased tickets without asking first because she knew we'd be so all over it. She was right. I suppose I may have liked it more if Howard hadn't leaned over to say "Is this yacht rock?" It was. Damn you Howard! *shaking fist in air* The performers had really good voices and the male lead's ability to project would make Ethel Merman nervous. The story and songs were weak but we had a good time anyway.

This all brings to mind modern day freak shows. Oh yes, my friends, freak shows are alive and well all over cable television. Ever flipped past those freaks the Duggars or that poor Half Ton Teen on Discovery Health? Hoarders and Intervention are of the same vein but it's "ok" because the show producers are really just there to help. Uh huh. In the end it's programming straight from the PT Barnum handbook.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a modern day freak show as much as the next gal. Remember how caught up in The Real Housewives of New York I got while trapped in my hotel room recently? What, I didn't mention that shameful episode? I was lured in I tell you! Don't judge me. Programmers call them teasers or bumpers, I call them barkers. Step right up and marvel at the spoiled, hyper petty existence of modern day freaks. That's right folks, step right up and take in the wonder of these supreme bitches!

Naturally (because my mind is nimble that way) last night's themes also brought to mind the Dearly Departed Tours that I've been wanting to check out. I'd prefer a more old time Hollywood experience but I suppose there isn't much of a market for that sort of tour anymore. Now it's all about where Hugh Grant and George Micheal were arrested. There is mention of the Black Dahlia and Sunset Blvd so I'd probably still join in but I'd like more of the stuff that happened pre-1970. There was a disturbing tour on the Mason Murders. No thank you. It just seemed to sorted.

Of course this online search, as so many others, lead from one thing to another. I eventually found a few things I thought you dear, and few, readers might enjoy:

Phreeque - "Unclassifiable" is pretty interesting
SideShowWorld - This one may require more navigating time but I'll be back.
SlightlyWarped is fun. I like The Right Angle page and the Ghastly Ghost page could be fun next Halloween. If nothing else, be sure to check out this out.

I'd do a little more digging around but for more freakish links but, frankly, the internets can be a disturbing place. I don't have the nerve to dig much deeper. Let me know if you find any fun curios that won't make me sick.

Saturday, May 15

Be what you might have been?

When I was a kid I LOVED photography. More precisely, I liked photography books and my Dad's old Minolta. Dad was always so great about showing me how to care for and use that old beast of a camera. It's a wonder I could even lift it in my little 5 year old hands. Dad often handed it to me to let me take a shot or two. Of course those were the days of slides and film so I never got to go too crazy but I had a good eye and I knew how to use that camera.

The other day I finally bought a new DSLR camera. I gave up photography years ago after I came to believe that a couple of unfortunate photography classes ruined my eye. The instructors preached too many rules and techniques and it wrecked any natural talent I might have possessed. I decided to walk away from photography and come back when I'd emptied my head of all of the nonsense.

Today, was the day to get to know my new camera. It's a Canon and I love it already. It's interface is easy to use. I read the manual and took several shots of my propped up feet, studying the difference in aperture and exposure settings. It's all new to me again... yea!!!

I happened to have The Seven Ages of Rock on tv (again) and something about having a camera in my hand and seeing Robert Plant on stage got me thinking about what my much younger self thought my life was going to be like.

For starters, I was TOTALLY going to marry one of these guys:

(I've always loved a tall drink a water and I blame Mr. Plant)

(I have a Parker Stevenson autographed picture somewhere around here.)

(Greg, you were dreamy... but lose Bear)

(I recently told Shandon that I tolerate Justified because I enjoy seeing Timothy Oliphant lean in a doorway, maybe this is why:)


I stand by every one of my daydream subjects. Of course, catching one of these "total foxes" was not going to be a problem because I was going to look like this:

I was going to drive this:

I was going to live in a place like this (but with lots of exposed brick, plants and books):

I was definitely going to have a stereo system like this (but with much bigger speakers and an entire wall of well organized LPs):

Most importantly, I was going to travel the world as a super human National Geographic Photographer then take Ansel Adams' job:

Of course, times have changed and none of these things came to pass but, as it turns out, I like who I became. Who knows, maybe I can still become a decent photographer.

Oh, and Bobby? *Call me.*