Saturday, December 31, 2011

Repost: Getting To Know... Me

1. You and Jesus go out to dinner -- who pays? 

Are you telling me that the Son of God can't get comped somewhere?

2. You suddenly have to flee the country and adopt a new name. Where would you go and what would it be? 

Probably England/Scotland/Ireland since I pretty much speak the language. Name: Machara Drake.

3. Pick one state in the U.S. to get rid of permanently? 

I really don't know enough about the states to choose. I could have done without my trip to Minot ND. That was kind of like hell.

4. You wake up as the opposite gender what's the one thing you wanna do?

There's a Steve Martin movie where he says that if he woke up as a woman he'd just stay at home and play with his tits all day. I've always been curious about what intercourse feels like for the other gender.

5. Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?

Han Solo all the way. Harrison Ford's hands featured in some of my earliest sexual fantasies.

6. Toy you always wanted but never got as a child? 

I can't really think of any toy I wanted and didn't get. I didn't have dolls but I don't remember ever wanting one.

7. Top three celebrities you wanna do.

Just three? You have no idea how long my list is. It resides in that alternate universe where all my chosen are single and willing.... Okay, top 3 at this particular moment Eddie Izzard, Bono, Angelina Jolie. Ask me again tomorrow that might all change.

8. What's an automatic deal breaker in a potential significant other?

Homophobic; drug, alcohol or gambling addiction; no sense of humor

9. What is the last movie you saw that actually scared you?

I can't remember any. I don't go to "scary" movies.

10. Stupidest thing you've ever said out loud? 

There's way too many to choose from. Sometimes my mouth is in gear before my brain's engaged.

11. You're sentenced to death and its the morning of your execution. What do you want to eat? 

Steak and eggs. Toast. A mimosa or five dozen - if ever there was a time to be elegantly wasted...

12. What's something that most people do that you don't?

Drive. I've never had a license. I have classic migraines with aura which means I can lose up to 80% of my vision at any time without warning. I don't feel that behind the wheel is not somewhere I should be.

13. Before you die you want to ...? 

Travel overseas. That would require that I save money which I don't seem to be able to do at the moment.

14. Something you'd really like to do but probably won't ever be able to do?

Go up to the International Space Station.

15. A wild animal you'd like to have as a pet?

A tiger would be fun. If I had a huge backyard.

16. A drug you'll never try? 

Coke or heroin. I think I might like them too much.

17. If you were an animal, what would you be?

A dragon of course.

18. If you had to marry someone you knew at the age of 12 who would it have been?

I don't remember anyone I knew back then.

19. What's something a lot of people don't know about you?

I have an extra rib. I'm not kidding.

20. First celebrity crush?

Sad to say it was Shaun Cassidy (Joe Hardy). I grew up!

21. What's a weapon to suit your personality, habits and abilities?

A stiletto

22. Favorite breakfast bread style (pancakes, waffles, toast etc...)?

Bagels with cream cheese and lox

23. Favorite parody movie?

Galaxy Quest or Spinal Tap

24. Worst way to die?

I think being drawn and quartered would hurt a lot.

25. Grossest injury you've ever seen?

Do the ones on CSI count? There have been a few "ick" moments on that show.

26. The worst injury you've ever had?

I cut my head open when I was a child. 44 stitches and a jagged scar.

27. Favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

It only comes once a year.

28. Sport you hate the most?

It's got to be a tie between golf and curling.

29. What state in the US do you want to visit?

I'd love to go to Hawaii this December...

30. What's something you think would be sweet to know everything about? 

How to dismantle an atomic bomb. How to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

31. What's one phrase you absolutely detest?

Have a nice day!

32. What makes an awesome party?

I have no idea. I've only had one. I still don't know what happened during it. All I know is that someone almost died.

33. What's your material obsession?

Music. I've gotten quite the iTunes habit.

34. What's something most would consider an insult but you enjoy having said about you?

When I was in high school one of the guys on the football team yelled "Freak" at me as I walked down the hall. I smiled, bowed to him and said "Thanks, you just made my day." No one ever did that again. My friend's little brother once said he thought I was "neat". I was quite upset. I'd put a lot of work into being a freak.

35. Favorite type of dog?

Akita

36. Favorite carnival food?

Candy Floss


37. Morning or night person?

Somehow I've morphed into a morning person. I don't know how or why that happened.

38. Worst drunken/drugged up habit?

I've never been drunk. I've only taken "recreational" drugs 3 times and that was over 20 years ago.

39. Weirdest ebay purchase?

I've only ever purchased a video tape.

40. Favorite food to eat when you're wasted?

Never been wasted. Never saw much point.

41. It's Saturday at 3am where are you?

Dead to the world in my cozy bed. Unless of course I have company...

42. Who's your favorite friend to go out with?

Ever? I'd have to say Terry. We had the same taste in men. We'd fight over guys on the street "I saw him first". Freak people out. But it really depends what I'm going out to do. Colleen is great to go to movies with because she usually has something to say afterwards.

43. Worst job you've ever had?

Attendant in a laundry mat. Use your imagination.

44. What's something your friends make fun of you for?

R-boy used to bug me about being a "Trekkie".

45. Favorite cereal?

Currently: Special K Red Berry

46. Book that you could read over and over?

One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night.

47. What's the meanest thing you've ever done?

I told my friend Johnny to be really nice and polite to this guy named Gary for a week. At the end of the week Gary came to me and said that she'd been really nice to him. I said that she's at her most dangerous when she's being nice. He turned pale and looked like he was going to faint. He went home early and we didn't see him for 5 days. I told Johnny what I'd done and we laughed. Of course this was in high school and Gary was a dweeb who'd been making snide comments about us for 3 years. I think he deserved ever ounce of torture we could get out of him.

48. If you were drafted into a war, would you survive?
I'd be a draft dodger. If the question is could I kill or be killed then the answer is yes. I could kill to save my own life or the lives of others.








Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Repost: Must See Movies



A bunch of movie critics have put together a list of films to see before you die:
1 Apocalypse Now 2 The Apartment 3 City of God 4 Chinatown 5 Sexy Beast 6 2001: A Space Odyssey 7 North by Northwest 8 A Bout de Souffle 9 Donnie Darko 10 Manhattan 11 Alien 12 Lost in Translation 13 The Shawshank Redemption 14 Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India 15 Pulp Fiction 16 Touch of Evil 17 Walkabout 18 Black Narcissus 19 Boyz n the Hood 20 The Player 21 Come and See 22 Heavenly Creatures 23 A Night at the Opera 2 4 Erin Brockovich 25 Trainspotting 26 The Breakfast Club 27 Hero 28 Fanny and Alexander 29 Pink Flamingos 30 All About Eve 31 Scarface 32 Terminator 2 33 Three Colours: Blue 34 The Royal Tenenbaums 35 The Ladykillers 36 Fight Club 37 The Searchers 38 Mulholland Drive 39 The Ipcress File 40 The King of Comedy 41 Manhunter 42 Dawn of the Dead 43 Princess Mononoke 44 Raising Arizona 45 Cabaret 46 This Sporting Life 47 Brazil 48 Aguirre: The Wrath of God 49 Secrets and Lies 50 Badlands. 

Hmmm. I'm really not sure about this list. There's no explanation as to why must we see these films. I've seen a few of them. Hated Apocalypse Now. The Apartment was okay. Chinatown was good. Hated Sexy Beast. Don't remember North By Northwest though I know I've seen it. Loved Shawshank Redemption. The Player was boring. Loved Heavenly Creatures. The Breakfast Club was cute. Blue was really boring. Ten out of the 50 isn't very good.

What films would you have on the list?

I'd add The Usual Suspects and The Sixth Sense because they're good examples of movies with trick endings. After seeing The Usual Suspects I sat in the theatre and said, "Wow." I've loved this film more every time I've seen it. The Sixth Sense I actually figured out before the end. While watching the film I was bugged by what I thought was a timeline/plot problem. Bruce Willis' character always seemed to be getting home at the same time, no matter when the previous scene took place. Then I noticed that he was always wearing the same clothes and a light went on.

I'd also add a couple of dystopia films like Blade Runner and Total Recall. Or what many consider the first dystopia film: Logan's Run

The rush to Y2K brought out a bunch of weird movies. Some are near future sci-fiction like Strange Days but most of them were what I call "end of the millennium devil movies." End of Days and Stigmata are the first to come to mind (both staring Gabriel Byrne for some reason). With the release of a The Omen remake I hope that this was one film trend that is on the way out.

There have been a lot of other film trends over the years (buddy films, hip hop films etc.). I think at least one example from each should be on everyone's "must see" list. How do you know what you like if you don't try some of everything?

How like life.






Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

Donate To Pacific Assistance Dog Society


Happy Holidays!


As you can tell, I haven't been posting this month. I've been dealing with a medical issue. I've decided not to stress about blogging for the rest of the year. There will be another repost because I scheduled it ages ago. I will be back going full tilt boogie in January of 2012.

See you then.

Mad

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Repost: Get A (Spiritual) Life



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Morgan La Fey by Fredrick Sandys


Warning: New Age stuff ahead. 

I've been on a strange journey today. It started out in the usual way, reading the news at IMDb.com when I came to a piece about Ghost Whisperer. It seems that the set has been visited by ghosts who show up in a single frame of film. The ghostly shots are supposed to be available at the show's official site but I couldn't find them.

I'm not really a big fan of GW. The husband is kind of cute. I'm kind of bored with the whole "I see dead people" thing. Living with a ghost will do that. I also don't agree with the show's assertion that people are haunted, places aren't. My last apartment had a ghost. S/he kept stealing spoons. Go ahead and laugh. When you have to go out and buy 8 spoons every 4 or 5 months for 11 years it gets to be a bit much. I moved to my current apartment 5 years ago and no more missing spoons.

I believe people and places are "haunted". I've had another ghostly hanger on since 1997. He saved my life. I had a space heater that caught fire. I was woken up by someone grabbing my ankle. I looked down to the end of the bed and there was a man standing there. Right beside him was the burning heater. If I hadn't woken up I'd be a ghost now. Since then he's made himself known occasionally by touching me.

My first PADS puppy, Chinook, came with an invisible brother or sister. I would often feel something brush against my leg. I'd look down expecting to see Chinook there but there wouldn't be anything. Eventually, as Chinook and the ghost got bigger, I started feeling something at the end of my bed at night when Chinook was in his kennel. I would say "off" (the command to get off the furniture) and whatever it was would leave. I had meant to ask about the litter Chinook came from but I never did. That particular ghost left with Chinook. I'm happy to report that, the next dog, Nickelback arrived without baggage of any sort.

I didn't start this post intending to recount the ghosts of my life. Looking at the GW site got me thinking about spirit guides. I have one. He's been with me since I was a child. His name is Bon. He's a dragon. He tags along whenever I do a meditation for a specific reason. He's quite funny and snarky and full of advice (some useful... some not so much). My meditations aren't always productive. I often end up laughing. Bon got a lot more talky when I started exploring the Celtic version of Shamanism. Bon went with me when I tried to find my "wild woman" or the irrational side of my brain. She wasn't in. Instead we found a rather buttoned-down young man named Jack. Jack has hang-ups. Bon loves pushing his buttons. My spiritual journeys are quite a bit like Crosby and Hope road movies.

If you're interested in looking into Celtic Shamanism I suggest reading By Oak, Ash, & Thorn by DJ Conway. It's got a lot of fun meditations to do. I go back and do them every now and then. Especially the one where you go inside a piece of fruit. Pineapples have the best parties. LOL. As you might have guessed I don't take my spirituality all that seriously. I mean no disrespect. I think each person has to make his or her own peace with the spiritual world.

While looking up stuff about animal totems I came across a couple of interesting articles. One was about the character of Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager being just a stereotypical Hollywood native along the lines of Tonto. The other was about new age gurus raping and pillaging Native spirituality to make a buck. I agree with both articles.

I can only point out that shamanism is not exclusive to "native" cultures. The Celts were a shamanistic culture. I'm part Scottish and very attracted to many aspects of Celtic culture so I think my interest in Celtic spirituality is quite natural. Of course many Scottish people are quite bored of the offspring of the Celtic diaspora trying to reconnect with their roots but that's another post altogether.






Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 33


Last week's card was a bout demons. We all have them. Some times we don't even realize it until we sit down and look for ourselves. As they say, naming them is the first step to recovery. I've spent some time this week looking over my writing career, such as it is at the moment,  and I've found some very strong demons hovering. Fear of Success and Fear of Failure are front and center. Perfectionism is also a big one. It's going to take a lot of work before I can put my demons behind me. I think they'll always be around but I'm hoping for a day when I can ignore them and just get back to writing .

This week's card:
Recipe Book 
If you're like most creative people, you thrive on a steady diet of stimuli. So keep the ingredients close at hand -- make yourself a cookbook of inspiration. attach to its pages newspaper articles, postcards, quotations and song lyrics that summon your muse out of hiding. don't forget the lock of hair you saved from your highly productive, magenta Mohawk era, and the photo of the admired one whose accomplishments encourage your own. Then, the next time your imagination gauge is hovering  near empty, pull out your special recipe book and fill up on a rich and enriching feast of images and ideas.
This sounds like a fun project. I can see myself getting carried away by the possibilities and not doing anything else for the whole week. That would be different wouldn't it? We'll just have to see how it goes.

 Creativity Resources

Inspiration Box - make your own box to keep things that inspire you together.


Andy Warhol's Inspiration Box - a cute kit with an Andy Warhol action figure and stickers.

About the image: Mr. Dressup's "Tickle Trunk" now at the  CBC Museum in Toronto. It contained everything needed to have fun and adventures on a kid's television show.


Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.




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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Repost: All that Is Wilde




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...the real tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self-denial. Beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privilege of the rich." -Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Last night I watched a video called 
Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde. The ever fabulous c over at Scatter O'light turned me on to it beause it features Bono, Larry Mullen and Gavin Friday.

The whole video was people quoting Oscar Wilde or wishing him happy 150th birthday (rather self-consciously in some cases.) Over a hundred personalities stood in front of a blue screen and delivered some fairly famous lines.

Here's a sample of some of the quotes used:

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. - Quoted by Larry Mullen
There's only one thing in the world that's worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about. - Quoted by Larry Mullen

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

- Quoted by Bono & Gavin Friday

The project was done in support of Amnesty International and all the people appearing in the film gave their time freely. The "making of" documentary on the DVD was interesting. It seems that once Bono and Larry put their hats into the ring everything got going. The documentary had a few funny scenes, mostly of people flubbing their lines or missing cues or just fooling around. I like the shots of Bono getting his chest hair fixed by the makeup artist. He makes a comment about a Tom Jones problem. Also cute is the director telling Larry to smile. He says that after 25 years of not smiling it's a hard habit to break.

There were a lot of British and Irish actors that I've never heard of in the film. I'm sure some of you out there know a fair lot more than I. I did manage to recognize, Barry Bostwick, Ed Begley Jr., Stuart Copeland, Tyne Daly, Martin Sheen, Rene Auberjonois and Rosie Perez.

After watching the film I realized that I haven't read any Oscar Wilde for a long time. I think I'll have to go find myself some this summer.




Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.


Friday, December 9, 2011

T.G.I.F. - Vocal Improv

Some people say that their favorite part of a Queen concert was when Freddie played his "game" with the audience.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 32



I've done it again. I could have sworn that yesterday was Tuesday. It think it might be a side effect of my migraines. I seem to lose a day or so with each one. It's really weird because I can look directly at a calendar and not register the proper day. I will look at it and see what I think I should see. ::shrug::

Anyway.

I've always had a lot of voices in my head. You might even say I spend way too much time in my head listening to the stories those voices have to tell. My problem is that the voices do not wait their turn. There are always multiple stories competing for attention. I will get so far with one story and then I have to start a new one because I've got a new voice. I can't put them off. If I don't get things down right away I'll lose them. I wish there was some way to organize them. Maybe I could post times in my brain: new stories Mondays from 6pm to 8pm; new chapters Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm; extraneous background information Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm; etc.

That would be lovely.

This week's card: 
When facing the blank canvas, the blank screen, or the shapeless lump of clay, there are endless, potentially debilitating ways to convince yourself that it makes more sense to get up and wash the dishes instead. There's that old standby, Fear of Failure: “What if I don't get on Oprah/get a gallery/get a life?” and its paradoxical cousin, Fear of Success: “What if I do get on Oprah and I'm still not rich/thin/happy?” There's the need to surpass, or bypass, your parents' expectations: the desire to do better than that successful younger brother, just this once. Exorcising one's demons is a lifelong process that begins with one simple step: identify them. Then you can face them down as you go.

I think my biggest demon is Fear of Success. I've always thought that “potential” was the scariest word in the English language. I've always been told that I had great potential. I've been told by many writing teachers, including a best selling author, that I'm a great writer. This has been immediately followed by a long period of me being incapable of writing anything at all.

Many years ago I wrote a feature length script. I let a screenwriter read it. He said it was great. He even sent it to his agent to read. The agent had a few minor suggestions that would have been easy to incorporate into the script. He even suggested a film company he thought might buy the script. I never sent the script to anyone else. I never re-wrote it. It sits in my files exactly the same as it was the day I finished it. I can't even look at it any more. It's a useless waste of paper.

Fear of Success? Check.

Creativity Resources

Are These 2 Creativity Myths Holding You Back? Meet the “Creative Genius” and the “Tortured Artist.”

Mental Illness and the Creative Process – Reviews of two books that look at mental illness and creativity.

The Inner Demon That Trumps Them All – Perfectionism is the worst of all demons.

About the image: Lorne was a singing demon from the television show Angel. If all my demons were like him I'd be having a lot more fun.

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Repost: X-Men: The Last Stand Review






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I finally went to see X-MEN: The Last Stand. I wanted to wait until the crowds died down. I went to a matinee. I think there were about 15 people in the theatre. Not seeing the film right away meant that I had to avoid spoilers. I'm happy to say that the only thing I knew about the movie was that the next movie was going to be a Wolverine movie. Now I know why.

I'm not going to give out any big spoilers just a small one or two...


They killed off the X-Man I disliked most in the first few minutes of the film.(YAY) Then a short while later they killed off my second favorite X-Man.(BOO)

If you haven't seen the film yet, make sure you stay through the end credits. There's a little surprise at the end.

Anyway...


While I enjoyed the film I don't think it was a good as the other two. For some strange reason it felt like a "contractual obligation" film. It's as if the cast had signed on for 3 so they had to do 3. I know that's not what happened but it sure felt like it. I know that Halle Berry has said she will not do another movie but her character is still alive at the end.

I also have a little nitpick. In the first movie, Wolverine skewers Mystique and she survives. In this movie he skewers another female mutant in the same way but she dies. What gives? Okay. It's a comic book world. Things don't have to make sense but really! LOL.

My other observation is that Patrick Stewart has now been in two films where a main character is killed but his "consciousness" is transferred into another body. Is this a trend in movie making? Are we now so afraid of death our "art" needs to find extraordinary ways to beat it? I'm just askin'.

One of the people I went to the movie with commented on how Magnito spouts a lot of pseudo-Nazi rhetoric in this film. I think that fanaticism twists itself so much that it becomes worse than whatever it started out being against (or for). Fear and hatred are two of the strongest (and most destructive) emotions humans have. I'm sure Magnito doesn't see himself as a mutant Nazi.

There are interesting questions posed by this movie. If you were a mutant and there was a "cure" would you take it? Would you force your children to take it? Should the government force everyone to take the cure? At what point does a "cure" become one more weapon for society to use against those who are different?

While watching the movie I kept thinking about homosexuality and how some people still believe it is an illness that can be cured. I know people who have been subjected to all sorts of things including, in one case, an exorcism because parents were sure that there was a cure for their child's sexual orientation. I'm sure none of those parents thought of themselves as Nazies.

Huh. This has turned into a much longer entery than I thought it would. Maybe that means the movie was better than I thought. Maybe. Maybe not. I really just went to look at Wolverine anyway. Prrrrrrr!





Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Friday, December 2, 2011

T.G.I.F. - We Are The Champions

It's pretty rare to find a video of We Are The Champions that doesn't turn into We Will Rock You but I kind of like it on its own.
I'm always surprised by how many Freddie fans I have among my internet friends. Thanks to everyone who, like me, couldn't believe Freddie has been gone for 20 years. There will never be another one like him.