Horror movies (and maybe some cleavage)

I enjoy horror movies. I would say that they make up at least 75% of the movies I watch. I saw “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th V” in the theaters before I turned 11. I was born in 1976, and I came of age at the dawning of a new era in film; the abundance of direct to VHS horror movies was at an all-time high during my early teens. I had parents who didn’t really see a problem with me watching horror, in fact, my stepfather was a key contributor in pointing out some gory classics to check out. Otherwise, I might never have known the glory of this, or this. Of course, once I started to get a bit older, my tastes started to veer toward stuff like this, instead:

Not quite horror, but you see where I am going with this, right? Shannon, if you are reading this...call me!
Not quite horror, but you see where I am going with this, right? Shannon, if you are reading this…call me!

I had to be careful, of course. Back in the day, video stores would sometimes keep the videos behind the counter and you would have to take the box up to rent the movie. That could get embarrassing. Luckily, most of the time you would just take the tape up, but you knew the clerk was on to you. You knew that he knew you were a sick fuck. In reality, I was 15 and full of raging hormones, and the guy behind the counter probably couldn’t give 2 shits that I was renting “Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II”

Mary Lou could be trusted to do two things, and one was to kill you.
Mary Lou could be trusted to do two things, and one was to kill you.

Horror is fun, to me, anyway. It took me awhile until I was ready to explore the worlds of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, and George Romero, to name a few, but watching mostly garbage for ten years really helped me appreciate greater works as I got older. Nowadays, I really don’t care for nudity and sex in my horror, and I accept them begrudgingly when it comes to the likes of Friday the 13th and company (Incidentally, just put Jason back at Camp Crystal Lake again and let him kill all the stoners and randy campers again. No need for reboots and remakes. It was a pretty simple formula and it worked.)

It’s a bit of a cliche anymore to talk about horror in October, but for me, horror is 365 days a year. With each passing year we are seeing less and less works of good, quality horror and the genre is becoming so stagnant that I’m not sure if it is going to recover this time. 13 year old me would be very bummed.

Next year will see the final installment with the original cast of my beloved Phantasm series. You can watch the trailer for Phantasm V: Ravager here, and if you’ve never seen any of this series, you are really missing out. Phantasm is one of those series where the sequels make sense because they are a continuation of the story, and not just a money-grab (except for Part 2.) You care about the characters, and while you might not root for the bad guy, you walk away in awe. With this movie, I feel as if the final chapter is coming to a close on the horror I truly enjoy. Fulci has been dead for awhile, Argento makes terrible movies anymore, as does Romero. There are some directors out there right now who I enjoy (Wan, Wingard) but their movies do not have nearly as much of an impact as their predecessors. Is this just me showing my age? What do you say? What are your favorite moments, or favorite era?

The man who chose coffee over eggs…

Remember that time where I said I was going to give up coffee? No? Me, either! Let’s pretend that I never said it. There is a nice coffeehouse a few miles from my home which myself and my wife have just started frequenting. My first visit there I played it safe and ordered a flavored decaf coffee, nothing fancy. It was really good, much better than the normal chain store coffee I was used to. Previously we were purchasing ground coffee beans from a stand at our local farmer’s market but we weren’t very happy with the quality. It always tasted a bit stale. This place, however, uses a higher quality bean which I didn’t even really know was a thing until I tasted it.

This is how I usually enjoy my coffee at home, don't you?
This is how I usually enjoy my coffee at home, don’t you?

To make a long story (and pointless entry) short, I am now addicted to their coffee. Not just regular coffee, though: I am addicted to their lattes. They have a rotating menu of different flavored lattes and I am on a mission to sample them all (yes, even Pumpkin Spice.) Although today I skipped the sugar and sampled their regular latte. Delicioso! We went to a diner for breakfast this morning, and I only ordered slices of bacon so I could fit the latte into my budget for the day. Truthfully, it was out of laziness. I had $25 in my pocket and my wallet was at home. So, it was either eat a big breakfast and drive home to get the wallet and go back out for coffee (probably not going to happen, once I am in, I usually stay put) or budget my expenditures. So, really, it was like a Buddhist exercise on restraint or something. Right? Right.

I started seeing a therapist again. I’ve only had one visit so far, but I am going to continue the sessions. She is very nice, and calm, and doesn’t make me do homework, which is a plus. One thing we talked about (well, me) was cutting back on my caffeine and my sugar intake to see if that would help with my mood. We also talked a bit about brain conditioning, and making a conscious effort to steer my mind away from my usual trappings of gloom. It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen her, and I won’t be back until next week (the first appointments are always the hardest to schedule) but I am already seeing an improvement. My mood has improved; I am not nearly as depressed as I was before I saw her. Therapy alone (without meds) can be beneficial if you are willing to put the work into it. It takes a lot of time and effort to work on self-improvement, and when you have hit rock bottom like I have, what other choice do you have? Live or die, really. I feel like I still have something to give.

I really do need to improve my diet, but this does give me hope. If I am already seeing an improvement, then perhaps I don’t need to be as draconian as I thought. Perhaps just some minor modifications is all I need!

Teenage Love

Well…it’s over.

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13 has been dumped because he had the audacity to not want to go to the mall. I wish I were kidding. I will break it down very simply for you, and then you will remember why being 13 sucked. He asked her on Saturday night if she wanted to go to the movies today (Monday.) She said maybe, that she would have to check and get back to him. Sunday afternoon she texted him to let him know that she couldn’t make the 1:30 showing because she was going to be shopping at a mall with her mother. OK, he said, how about 4:30? Suddenly, she realized that she was going to be at the mall all day and if he wanted to see her he would have to come with. Incidentally, this mall is over 90 minutes away and in another state. Um, no. His exact words at this moment, and I also believe were the death knell, was “Shopping is not my forte.” Within 10 minutes of that statement, the relationship was over. According to her, he should have spent his entire day at the mall with her, because you should do things you don’t like in order to spend time with your partner. Now, she’s not entirely wrong here; yes, some times in a relationship you make sacrifices for the other partner in order to spend some time together, but this goes beyond that. You are asking a 13 year-old boy to spend an entire day in a mall with you and your mother while you both go shopping. Are you insane? Don’t answer that.

Everyone knows how I feel about this harlot. I am secretly glad that she broke it off. I am relieved to not have to answer questions like “She’s asking me if I had a boner. What’s that?” I am happy to no longer read texts where she is asking him to take a shower with her (that last text was from Saturday night, and when I read it, my wife had to talk me out of banning him from seeing her again, as well as possibly contacting her parents.) I also think that, deep down, 13 is a bit relieved to be free of the shackles of having a girlfriend. The dude just wants to play League of Legends and watch Netflix. In fact, he is going to make that a requirement for the next girl that wants to date him. If you want to play video games, watch movies, and eat junk food, I am your man. We can kiss if you want to, I guess.

Birds and the bees

The kid is going over to a friends house today after school, where they’ll both be joined by their respective partners. This leaves me with some trepidation because there has been some talk of playing “7 Minutes in Heaven.” So, naturally, we had to have the talk with him last night. Wow, that was really not awesome at all. We met some friends for drinks afterwards and drowned our anxieties with pints of Yards Pynk, which if you haven’t tried, I highly recommend. It’s a bit tart, so it’s not for everyone; it goes down so smooth that you almost forget how much it sucks to be a parent sometimes. I know how I was at 13, and my wife knows how she was at 13, so you can imagine how terrified I am at this very moment. When I was his age, I wanted to be picked up on the road by an older woman and seduced.

250px-Miss_Watson

That’s no joke, either. I literally wanted to be sexually molested by a lonely housewife. I am sure I wasn’t the only one, either. I discovered the pleasure of the orgasm in 5th grade by accident, so I was pretty determined to find someone to practice on. By accident, I mean that I just decided that I was going to keep going to see if anything happened. It did. It was awesome.

I don’t really think much of anything is going to happen at the gathering tonight. We made sure there was going to be adult supervision; my wife talked to the friend’s father last night. It’s just frightening because, we were 13 once, too, you know? God help us. I was all about tits and ass at his age; I had already had my dick handled by hands other than my own. It was awesome. Is it any wonder I am so unnerved?

Random things

1. I saw a man getting ready to “beg” today. He was setting up camp on the divider of a fairly busy roadway. He had the obligatory cardboard sign, dirty clothes, and beard. I had to wonder, however, if he would get more sympathy by perhaps not standing there chain smoking. It’s just not a good look to the whole “I am homeless” vibe.

2. My stepson had his first confrontation yesterday on the bus. Typical verbal bullying. He was called a cunt, a whore, an asshole, and a bitch, among other things. I instructed him to congratulate his tormentor on his original vocabulary, and to deflect as much as possible. I am trying to figure out how calling a 13 year old boy a “whore” is an insult, but I guess this kid watches a lot of HBO.

3. Is it just me, or are the best TV shows the ones that are limited to 8-13 episodes a season? Think about it. Isn’t 22 episodes a bit much, especially if the show is an hour long? Cut the season down and get rid of the filler.

4. There are studies out there that link depression with sugar intake. Not just refined sugar, but what you would call “bad carbohydrates” as well, such as fast food, white breads, etc. It makes sense if you think about it. Sugar is an inflammatory, so no matter what if you cut it out of your diet you are going to feel better. I, myself, suffer from depression, anxiety, and colitis. I also have a myriad of other health problems at the moment that I am now convinced can be lessened by just changing my diet. I am going to give it a try, and we’ll all know if it is working because most likely I will start to write more. The more depressed I am, the less I am able to translate thoughts into words.