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Posts Tagged ‘awesomeness’

It doesn’t seem very long ago that I wrote my last post, but when I checked the date on it, I saw it had been over a month. A lot has happened in that time.

1) There was a major shakeup at my job. I am still in the process of dealing with it, but at this point, suffice it to say that I think things are about to change, hopefully in a good way, rather than bad. I have experienced so much upheaval workwise the past couple of years, I just want to be in a place in my life where I have a job to go to that I enjoy but that I can leave behind at the end of the day. My life is more than work and I want to be able to focus on that more than the stuff that happens during my 9-5 day.

2) I went to New York and met three of my blogging friends. I spent an entire day shopping and eating with my good friend Nie Nie from Chateau de Lau and I had a lovely brunch with my friend Jenny from Geek in Heels and my friend Ms. Zhu from The Zhukeepers. I “met” all of them when I was still technically single and it was funny, four years later, to meet them in actual physical person. We are all married now and two of the ladies have children which was kind of mind-blowing to see (Mr. Sam – you are selling me more on the idea of having a little boy!), but more than that, it was so fantastic to actually be able to actually talk to these ladies who had been a huge support to me from afar for so long.

3) Almost as soon as I got back from New York, we moved. It had been a long time coming, as we had put in an application on our new place at the end of February. Leaving our old place was weird because so much had happened there. We moved in just after we got engaged and it was our first martial home, so I had that attachment to it, but . . . it had problems. Our neighbours were loons, it was rapidly getting too small for us and the rent . . . the rent was ridiculously high for what we were getting for it. It just wasn’t working for us any more, so I started looking and found a place that was not only bigger, but significantly cheaper. The idea that we could have more space to sprawl out and pay $300 less a month was too good to pass up so we took it and even though it’s only been a month, we’re both really loving the new space. Boy has his own art studio, I have plenty of space for my books and DVDs and we’re right in the heart of a cute little neighbourhood that we love. Perfect!

4) The day we moved was also the day Boy celebrated his 28th birthday (damn whippersnapper!) Since we had to move (which we were lucky enough to be able to do thanks to the help of many of our awesome friends), he got a little bit shafted during the day, but our awesome friends Bella and Baax trucked out from the East End late on a Sunday night to help us down a glass to celebrate. They also convinced the two of us to sing karaoke, so after they belted out “Where Does My Heart Beat Now?” by Celine Dion and “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J respectively, Boy and I both grabbed the mic for a song each. Our choices? “The Philosopher’s Drinking Song” by Monty Python and “Number One” by Goldfrapp. I will leave you to picture who sang what. 😉

5) Also, celebrating a birthday this month was my niece little Miss Abigail who turned one! We attended her birthday last weekend and she was adorable as always. Sometimes, I can’t believe how much she’s grown over a year! I can still remember seeing her the first day she came home from the hospital! If at all possible, I love her even more now than I did then.

It’s strange. I think about my life last year compared to how it is now and so many things are different. There are so many people in my life now that I either didn’t know or wasn’t as close to, and it’s kind of amazing to see my world expand like that after a long period of contraction and loss. Not only is this fruitful period of my life really great, but I think I am finally letting myself relax and enjoy it. I can get really pessimistic sometimes to the point where I feel overwhelmed by the sad stuff, but lately, I’ve been doing my best to just chill out and embrace the change and I’ve really been having a good time.

So that’s where things stand right now. Life is in transition for me, but it’s the positive kind and that’s awesome.

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When I was a teenager, I used to be friends with this guy. We were reasonably close and I felt pretty safe with him. Oftentimes we’d hang out at his place alone together. We’d stretch out together on the couch in his rec room and talk about our days while he absent-mindedly twirled my long hair around one of his fingers.

One night, we were hanging out when we got into a bit of an argument about something. I don’t even remember what it was, but it made him really angry. In fact, he got so worked up that I didn’t feel particularly comfortable being in his presence, so I decided that it was time to go home. When I turned to leave, he reached over and grabbed a chunk of my hair, pulled me backwards by it, pushed me down on the ground and climbed on top of me. He started saying something to me, but I didn’t hear his words over the loud “GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT” echoing around in my brain. With some effort, I managed to push him off, bolted straight for the door and ran all the way home.

The next day when I was home by myself (my parents had gone to work), he called me. I had a feeling it was him, so I screened the call through the answering machine. At first, he started to apologize, but then he began defending himself saying he “was just kidding around” and “what was (my) problem if (I couldn’t) take a joke?” All I could think was that the force with which he had grabbed me by the hair and the expression on his face as he pushed the weight of his body down on mine had been anything but funny. I deleted the message and I never spoke to him again.

I also never told anyone. I was so young and I felt too embarassed and ashamed about what had happened so I kept it to myself and focused on other things. I changed my hair, I threw myself into school and my job and stayed away from boys. After a few months of this, one of my girl friends teased me about being anti-social. She said I needed to get out and date, so I agreed to be fixed up. The guy was fine. He brought me flowers and took me to dinner. Then, midway through the date, he reached behind me to slip his arm over my shoulder and I jerked violently away from him. We did not go out again.

When I got home from the date that night, I sat on the cold tiled floor of my bathroom and wondered if I would ever feel normal again. Truth be told, it did take a while, but over time, I came to trust people again . . . and one of those people later became my husband.

It’s weird to say I was “lucky”. The experience certainly didn’t make me feel “lucky” at the time, but I did manage to get away from the person who wished to do me harm before anything more serious happened which, unfortunately, is “luckier” than the experiences of other women who feel the full wrath of their attackers when they are violently sexually assaulted.

A little while ago, a Toronto Police Officer spoke at York University about sexual assault. Unfortunately, York has a bit of a reputation as being an unsafe place to be at night. There are certain areas of the campus that are consider “rape traps.” In fact, back in 2009, a student was even sexually assaulted in the school’s library. While speaking to students on January 24th at a campus safety information session, the officer told students that women could avoid being raped so long as they didn’t dress like sluts.

This comment was insulting, not only because of its sex-shaming “blame the victim” nature, but because it also implies that nonconsensual sex is sometimes justifiable or permissable. It is insulting to women and it is insulting to men because it also somewhat tacitly implies that men are sexual predators who can barely keep their libidos in check.

In response to this incident, a friend of ours, along with a group of other strong, like-minded women, decided to take action and created Slutwalk. The idea behind the event was to not only reappropriate the word “Slut” by making it something empowering instead of shameful, but to also re-enforce the idea that crimes of a sexual nature need to be taken seriously and not brushed under the rug with hateful words and attitudes. No one is asking to be assaulted, period. I know that when I had my brush with sexual violence, I certainly wasn’t inviting it, not with my words, my actions or my wardrobe (a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and Converse sneakers, if you were wondering).

So yesterday, we hit the streets – Boy with a headset as one of the Slutwalk marshals, and me with my camera to document the event. It was an impressive sight as about 3,000 people walked from Queens Park to Police Headquarters where they listened to not only people who spoke firsthand about sexual assault but those who educated others about it. And education is a big part of what needs to happen. The Toronto Police need to re-educate those on the force* and the public needs to be educated about not only sexual health, but about the issue of consent in a sexual situation.

The event was filled with many people. Sexual assault survivors were represented, as were their many allies. Women, men, children and even dogs banded together and the atmosphere was great. It was one of trust and healing and support and it felt good to be surrounded by so many people who believed in the message.

Here are some of the pictures I took .

Early volunteers meeting.

Red volunteer arm band.

Our friends Jack & Sally. Jack was a walk marshal like Boy.

Proud to be sexually free.

One of the many survivors of sexual assault speaking to a member of the press.

The group at large as it formed.

Arriving when there were maybe 20 people and seeing that number swell was really great.

Sex positive dog!

Sex positive sex workers.

Our friend, Sonya Barnett, who helped organize the event. The orange sign she is carrying was made by her 8 year old son.

A smattering of protest signs.

The crowd on the move.

Some of the awesome little kids in attendance.

Gay or straight, people really seemed to rally behind the cause.

Heading over onto College Street.

Somebody really doesn't like our new mayor.

Boy working the crowd.

Don't make me a target.

One of the volunteers leading a chant: "However I dress, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no."

How much do I love this three-legged dog? He was so charming.

I was also really impressed by the number of young guys who came out. They really got behind what could have been written off as a women's cause.

This is one of my favourite shots of the day. Dudes can be sluts too!

Huge group at College Park.

A shot from the other direction. At this point, I had climbed up and was bracing myself against a tree to get shots.

People as far as the eye can see.

Deb Singh from the Rape Crisis Centre. She said only about 6 per cent of sexual crime gets reported.

Michael Kaufman from The White Ribbon Campaign. He talked about how men look to other men to learn how to act and how sexual conduct should be discussed more openly.

Alyssa T., a student from York University. Apparently, their student safety manual includes nothing about rape or assault.

Heather Jarvis, one of Slutwalk's organizers and a survivor of sexual assault.

Another good poster.

A bunch of girls from the Toronto Roller Derby came out to the event. Never got a good shot of them in motion but they were cool.

My friend Terrence (another marshal!) talking to one of the cops working the event.

My friend River, standing strong and supporting the cause.

There are satellite rallies popping up all over the globe, so if you support the cause, keep an eye out for events in your city. And if you live in Toronto and missed the walk but want to contribute somehow, Slutwalk’s website is still open for donations. The initial proceeds will help cover the costs of yesterday’s event and additional funds will be donated to the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre.

*To be totally fair, there are many on the force who are helpful and were respectful of the message that was being put out at yesterday’s rally. In fact, one officer even stopped my friend Jack and shook his hand for the good work he was doing for the event.

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My life these days seems to have a fair number of children in it. Many of my girlfriends had babies last year (I believe the final total was 16) so I am often buying baby gifts. I spent a fair bit of time with my niece and this weekend in fact, Boy and I are babysitting as some friends of ours (who have three kids, ages 4 to 10) sneak off for a romantic weekend sans brood.

While I used to babysit hardcore in high school – I even took the babysitting course through our local community centre – I actually went through a long child-free period in my early twenties and am now adapting to the whole experience of dealing with children who are less like peers and more like progeny. Your realms of interest and knowledge become less entertwined and you realize that a lot of your references are lost on people of another generation. In fact, the more time that passes, the more you become accutely aware that you’re going to have to explain a lot of the things you love or that were cultural touchstones when you were growing up. Cartoons, movies, games, toys etc. that you just take for granted as being a part of your life are completely unknown entities to someone who is 4 or 8 or even 10.

As people who are currently child-free, one of the things we often discuss with our clan-laiden friends are how and when to introduce bits of pop culture nerdery to children. Over the course of these conversations, a major topic of contention is Star Wars. There are three schools of thought here:

1) “The Chronies”: People who have championed the idea of showing them in chronological order (1,2,3,4,5,6) because that progression works from bad to good.
2) “The Retroists”: People who say you start old and go new (4,5,6,1,2,3) because that was the way we experienced them.
3) “The Classicals”: People who will under no circumstances show their children the new triology and will aggressively deny the existance of 1,2, and 3.

While we haven’t worked out our own Star Wars strategy yet, we’ve definitely discussed the random bits of nerdery we definitely want to introduce our future spawn. Some things that we love that we want the next generation to love too:

1. Lego/Playmobil: Boy is in Camp Lego and I am in Camp Playmobil. Tying into the Star Wars issue, Boy has an incredibly large collection of Star Wars Lego that he keeps in a glass display case in our apartment and he is exceptionally proud of the fact he has collected many Star Wars minifigs. None of this eBay crap for him! He got those five stormtroopers piece by freaking piece, people! As for me, I have a very large collection of those Victorian Playmobil that is currently being stored at my parents house which is pretty much in mint condition. Though I did not actively play with it, in high school on the ocassional sick day, I would sometimes pull all of it out and set it up to look at it in a nerdy, completist sort of way. It is a weird dream of ours that our children will sort of mesh the two and build a giant lego tower which will be the site of a fight involving Playmobile Dinosaurs and Gladiators.

Too awesome not to post - Playmobil Beatles!

2. Old School Monopoly: None of that crap with debit cards or fancy fake properties. We’re going to plan it with paper money and screw our friends up by building hotels on Park Place. Oh, and I’m going to be the little Scottie dog, thanks!

Whoever came up with this doesn't understand that half the fun of Monopoly is subtly cheating with the paper money!

3. Early Simpsons Episodes: I am good with The Simpsons up to about Season 8 as I think the Hank Scorpio episode was that season. Beyond that, I just don’t care. The longer that the show has been on, the more rambling it’s gotten, the less it’s focused on the core family dynamic and the more deviation from canon there has been. In my mind, Homer and Marge got together in the 1970s after her crappy prom date with Arnie Ziff, not in the 1990s when they lived in a Melrose Place-esqe apartment building and Homer fronted a grunge band. The only grunge references allowed are when Homer tours with Lollapalooza as part of their freak show!

Boy and I often jokingly reference "The Hammock District."

4. The Muppets: One of Boy’s favourite movies is The Muppet Christmas Carol and I have grown to love it as well. We have all the old Muppet movies and we hope that our kids find them charming too. (But Muppets in Space can be forgotten. Sorry Gonzo!)

This is what Christmas is all about - adorable Muppets!

5. Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Making fun of things is one of our favourite things so Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is right up our alley. I’m not sure if our kids are going to be raised in the church of Joel (Boy) or Mike (Me), but it will be an interesting battle.

Boy likes Joel's dry wit and I like Mike's sheer wackiness.

6.The Hunger Games Books: I am a meganerd for these books. In fact, I have a little nerdy token that I wear pinned to my winter coat to show my love of the Suzanne Collins books. I like that they’re so action packed. I like that the main character is a strong girl. I like that neither of the love interests is an obvious dick. Very eager to share them with kids.

If you haven't read these, you are missing out. So much fun.

7. The Terry Prachett Discworld Series: Want to know a secret? The name Boy and I have picked out for if we have a boy some day is partially stolen from a Discworld book. I have only read a handful of his books – maybe 6 – but they really make me laugh and I love pouring over the language of them. The way Prachett can turn a phrase is a thing of beauty.

Librarians say "Ook!"

8. Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High: I specify because I do not care for Degrassi: TNG. As far as I am concerned, Degrassi is all about Spike, Caitlyn, Wheels, Snake, Lucy and a little behatted devil-may-care rapscallion by the name of Joey Jeremiah. I love how the episodes such a time capsule of their era and I love how stripped down everything looks, which is probably my biggest complaint about the new series. Childhood/teenage years are often pretty messy and I like that they have such a straight forward, non-glossy attitude about them. Super watchable.

How adorably retro!

9. Retro Kids Movies: I didn’t want to do separate list items for all of them, so I am lumping them all together. The Sandlot, Return to Oz, The Wizard, The Goonies, Labrynth, Troop Beverly Hills, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Ghostbusters, E.T., and The Princess Bride will all be watched  with reverence.

I watched this a while ago, and it's still kind of great. "The kid is an L7 weenie!"

10. Cthulhu/Conan: Boy is really obsessed with the writing of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, so he wants to introduce whatever kids we have to their stuff. I am not quite sure how it’s not going to be total nightmare fuel, but I at least have some ideas about good things to start them with . . .

A Children's Book based on some of Lovecraft's Mythology. Because that needs to exist.

So bloggerinos, what kind of things can’t you wait to introduce your offspring/extended family/friends kids to? Let me in on your nerdy childhood obsessions!

P.S. Also, if you haven’t seen this, it needs to be watched. What kid didn’t try to use the force after seeing Star Wars for the first time?

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Judd Nelson - He was harsh.

This is probably what my blog would say to me if my blog had a voice. Don’t you forget about me. Remember the good times? The posting multiple times a day with general randomness? Can’t we have that again?

And the truth is, we could, I am just lazy when it comes to updating.

So what has happened since October? Many, many things. One of the biggest things was that Boy’s grandmother passed away at the end of October.

We had known it was coming, but it still really sucked for everyone since she was the Matriarch of the family and it was a loss that resonanted through his family. Boy’s grandmother had been having mental issues since before we got together – Alzhemeir’s – so by the time we were a couple, she would spend large stretches of time not particularly lucid. In fact, there were only a handful of times I can recall that we spoke and she seemed aware of what was happening. Happily enough, one of those lucid times was an occasion where I got to show her our wedding album and that was good. She had been too sick to come to our wedding, but regailing her with stories and hearing her talk about her life was pretty cool. 

Anyway, her passing struck a strange cord with me because I realized that I had never really gotten to know her that well and now that she was gone, I never really would. It’s a weird feeling when you lose someone like that – of course you miss them, but you also miss the potential of them – all the great stories and experiences you could have had with them. 

Grandma holding Abbey. Could she have looked any prouder? 🙂

Her passing also hit me pretty hard because the day of her funeral was the 1 year anniversary of my cousin Tassy’s death, which I still sometimes feel emotional about. Our friends Jack and Sally finally finished editing our wedding video a little while ago, and when I watched it and saw Tassy hugging me and us talking together, I had to make Boy stop the DVD so I could erupt in tears. Even sitting here, typing this, I feel misty about it all over again. Four people lost in one year. Definitely not an ideal 12 months, let me tell you.

On the social front, the last few months of the year were pretty good. Over the last year, Boy and I made a decision to start making more of an effort to meet people, so we ended up making a lot of really good friends. It’s funny, I think as you get older, you oftentimes develop this attitude that you can’t just be friendly and extend hang out invitations to people. But you totally can! In fact, doing so led me to:

1. Try fondue.
2. Have Mexican Thanksgiving.
3. Get superdrunk on gin martinis.
4. Attend a giant bonfire on Toronto Island.
5. See a fire show.
6. Attend my first cabaret/burlesque show.
7. Build a giant birdcage.
8. Attend multiple Christmas parties.
9. Throw crazy theme parties.
10. Play D&D for the first time. (Yes, I know this is supremely nerdy, but some new friends of ours who host a nerd podcast convinced us to as an experiment and it was pretty funny.)

And how can you not love that? Making a bunch of new friends and trying a bunch of new stuff is only ever awesome. It’s what keeps life from being monotonous in the face of boring things like work.

Speaking of work, the bosses decided that my department was overpopulated with two people, so they didn’t renew my awesome co-worker’s contract and now, my department is just me. I’m not really sure why this became an issue now, considering that when I started, our department had three people in it, but they made some weird Highlander-eqse decision and now there can be only one! coordinator. I’m going to see how it goes for the next little while, but truth be told, I am starting to think about my options and looking into another position somewhere else. Considering I am now expected to fill the void of two coworkers, I’m not particularly impressed with the situation and in spite of the glowing praise I received in my last evaluation, I don’t think kind words are enough to make up for the fact that I’m poorly paid. I mean, I know it’s not all about money, but I have friends that are administrative assistants that make more than I do as a supervisor so that kind of sucks. If only I could find a job that allowed me to snark on movies all day, I would be set!

And ’cause this post is rapidly turning into a hodgepodge of information, here is a bunch of other random stuff – punctuated with exclaimation marks!

1) My childhood best friend Snuffy is getting married! He and his girlfriend are planning a June wedding in Edmonton so we will be flying out and celebrating with them. I am excited for them and so happy that he’s found someone that makes him happy and sees him for the terrific person he is.

Snuffy and his fiancee. Aren't they adorable?

2) I got a brand new DSLR camera for Christmas! Not only did I get a great deal on the camera, I got an additional lens the normally retails for $280 for $50! I am a kickass shopper sometimes! Anyway, I am just learning to use it so I’m still working things out, but I’ve taken a few pictures already that I am really happy with, so things can only get better.

One of the pictures I took my first trip out with the new camera. I kind of wish that was my dog. He was so cute.

3) I am going to New York in April! I absolutely love New York and my parents were nice enough to offer to bring me with them free of charge (Boy is staying at home and working). Not only am I psyched about the fact that I get to rock it up in The Big Apple again (the last time I went was 2007), but it will be an awesome visit for me. For those of you who don’t know, back when I was engaged/newly married, I wrote for a website called Weddingbee which was awesome because I made some great girlfriends through it. I ended up leaving the site*, but have kept in touch with many of the girls since, and so while I am there, I am hopefully going to get to meet many of my close online friends for the first time in person! Hooray!

4) I am going to Paris in October! I have never been to Europe, so this is kind of huge. Again, through the kindness of Boy’s father and stepmother who are springing for our plane tickets, we are getting to have a romantic week for two in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Not only can I not wait to hit the road again (I have been so desperate to travel these past few tripless years), but doing a trip like this with Boy will be amazing. I love him so much and after everything we went through last year (we had actually been talking about a trip to Paris the week before he got laid off), being able to walk down the Champs Elysees holding his hand will pretty much be the best thing ever.

5) I am going to be babysitting my niece Abbey in June! My in-laws have a weird month stretch of my sister-in-law’s maternity leave being over and my brother-in-law not quite being done school yet, so I am going to take a couple of vacation days to go hang out with and look after her. As she is incredibly awesome and adorable (and pretty much always makes my uterus skip a beat), I am sure we are going to have a great time.

Yeah, so my niece is adorable. If my kids are half as cute, I am totally on board.

Anyway, I think that is everything important I can think of. I will try to stay on this blogging bandwagon a little more during this month and the months to come.

Hope everyone is enjoying 2011 so far!

Love,
Girl

 *Just after I got married, the site was taken over by eHarmony and I decided I didn’t feel comfortable writing for a website that had ties to the Christian Right/Anti-Gay groups. My man of honour was gay as were about 10 per cent of our guests, so it seemed kind of like a slap in the face to them and I quit. Funnily enough, some years later, after eHarmony was sued for discrimination against the LGBT community and forced to create a gay-friendly sister site, my man of honour signed up for it and met a man who later became his husband. Go figure!

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With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to get your spook on. But who wants to watch Halloween for the 75th time? Maybe it’s time to try something a little different. So, with that in mind, I came up with a list of some of my favourite off-beat horror movies. They are flicks that you might not be aware of and a lot of them are foreign* (so you can pretend you’re uber-continental when you talk about them with your friends). I’ve done my best to include descriptions and trailers below, so check ’em out and see if you might be able to find a new holiday favourite!

1. Silver Bullet
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Gary Busey.
What It’s About: Corey Haim and Megan Follows are a precocious brother and sister growing up in an idyllic little town . . . until mutilated corpses start showing up. Will they be able to uncover the truth about these deaths and discover who is responsible?
Why You Might Like It: Corey Haim has an epic chase scene on a motorized wheelchair! Gary Busey harnesses his inner survivalist loon and helps the children devise werewolf traps! Anne of Green Gables does something other than pine for Gilbert Blythe! Awesome!
Trailer? Yes.
 

2. Night of the Comet
Genre: Zombie/Apocalypse
Notable Stars: Bunch of random people, but the most notable is Mary Woronov.
What It’s About: A comet crashes into the Earth and destroys almost everything except two valley girls who are left to fight LA’s remaining zombified population.
Why You Might Like It: Who doesn’t want to see a cheerleader fight zombies? Also, the one liners are pretty great. “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis!”
Trailer?: Yes.


3. The Convent
Genre: Zombie/Possession
Notable Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Coolio.
What It’s About: College students break into an abandoned nunnery and become possessed by demonic spirits.
Why You Might Like It: It has a Leslie Gore soundtrack! Adrienne Barbeau is awesome! There are day-glo monster nuns!
Trailer?:  Yes.

4. Dance of the Dead
Genre: Zombie
Notable Stars: None.
What It’s About: Zombies invade a small town on the night of the high school prom.
Why You Might Like It: People slash up zombies in prom dresses! A rock band keeps a horde of the undead at bay by playing music! Hormonally charged zombie makeouts!
Trailer?: Yes.


5. Eyes Without A Face
Genre: Mad Scientist
Notable Stars: A bunch of French people!
What It’s About: A crazy doctor kidnaps girls so that he might use them to fix his daughter’s disfigured face.
Why You Might Like It: It’s a slow burner, but it’s actually really beautifully shot. The music and the cinematography make it very haunting to watch.
Trailer?: Yes.

6. Phenomena
Genre: Creepy Crawlies/Psychotic Killer
Notable Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasance.
What It’s About: A young girl can communicate with bugs and uses her ability to help solve a murder.
Why You Might Like It: I have written about this one before and the thing about it is that it is truly insane. Bug talking! Monkey nurses! Psychotic pig face boys! It really has to be seen to be believed.
Trailer?: Yes.

7. Brotherhood of the Wolf
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci
What It’s About: A noble man and his Indian sidekick team up to investigate the killings of mysterious beast in 18th century France.
Why You Might Like It: It’s like a period piece monster whodunit! Plus, the Indian dude knows kung fu and Monica Bellucci has heaving bosoms**!
Trailer?: Yes .

8. The Happiness of the Katakuris
Genre: Haunted House/ Zombie/Musical (This one is really hard to define)
Notable Stars: A bunch of Japanese people!
What It’s About: A scrappy little Japanese family buys a run down hotel near Mount Fuji with the idea they will turn it into a thriving bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, all their guests start dying.
Why You Might Like It: This movie has everything. There is singing. There is dancing. There are puppets. There are zombies. Basically, the whole thing is insanely surreal and deserves to be watched.
Trailer?: Yes.

9. Strait-Jacket
Genre: Axe murderer (literally)
Notable Stars: Joan Crawford, George Kennedy.
What It’s About: Years and years ago, Joan Crawford killed her husband and his lover with an axe. Now she’s out of the insane asylum and cured . . . or is she?
Why You Might Like It: Joan Crawford wears jangly bracelets and shouts! Greasy looking George Kennedy gets killed! Hammy looking axe murders!
Trailer?: Yes.

10. Dog Soldiers
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee.
What It’s About:  A bunch of army dudes get dropped in the Scottish Highlands for a training exercise, but they are not alone.
Why You Might Like It: Do you need a reason beyond army dudes fight werewolves? Because if you do, I don’t think we can be friends.
Trailer?: Yes.

11. Night of the Living Dorks
Genre: High School/Zombie/Teenage Sex Romp
Notable Stars: A bunch of German people!
What It’s About: A group of nerdy high school friends perform a voodoo ritual and then die in a car crash . . . but they don’t exactly die.
Why You Might Like It: It’s kind of a cross between American Pie and Night of the Living Dead. Also, watching the nerdy dudes in high school take back their power with superhuman strength is kind of awesome. Take that, stupid bullies!
Trailer? Yes.

12. The Devil’s Backbone
Genre: Ghost
Notable Stars: A bunch of Spanish people! (It was, however, directed by Guillermo Del Toro who did Pan’s Labyrinth some years later. I think this is better!)
What It’s About: A young boy comes of age at a haunted orphanage after the Spanish Civil War.
Why You Might Like It: It is subtle but spooky as hell! Just the right kind of ghost story.
Trailer?: Yes.

13. Let The Right One In
Genre: Vampire
Notable Stars: A bunch of Swedish people!
What It’s About: A troubled young boy befriends the new girl next door, but little does he know his new friend has a very big secret.
Why You Might Like It: I know they’ve done an American version of this, but do yourself a favour and see the source material. It watches kind of like a bizarre version of My Girl . . . if, say, Thomas Jay hadn’t been killed by bees and instead was Vada’s undead friend.
Trailer?: Yes.

If you don’t like any of those, here are some other movies I enjoy:

–         Return of the Living Dead. My ex introduced me to this and even though we are long done, I still love it.

–         The Thing. Can you believe I just saw this a few months ago? The special effects are still really good and they’re as old as me.

–         Near Dark. *singing* Adrian Pasdar fighting some vampires, one is Bill Paxton, so it won’t end well.

–          Frailty. I cannot believe Matthew McConaughy is in something I like. Go figure.

–          Black Christmas. By which I mean the 1974 version. Do not even talk to me about that crap-ass, cookie baking remaking.

–         Suspiria. To be honest, it was a toss up between this and Phenomena for my list, but I figured more people would have seen Suspiria. Also, I don’t know why, but whenever I see the preview for Black Swan, it reminds me of this movie.

–          Witchboard. This was the very first horror movie I ever saw. I was both intrigued and mildly traumatized to see Patch from Days of Our Lives get his ass kicked by a supernatural entity.

–          Ginger Snaps. I really liked this movie but I hated that they had to milk the concept with sequels. Just let sleeping hormonal werewolf girls lie!

–         Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? I know this is supposed to be scary but the first time I ever saw it, I laughed my ass off. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis trying to outdiva eachother is priceless.

–          The Bad Seed. My mother shares the same name as the villain in this one so she always loved it growing up and she introduced it to me when it was on TV.

–          Army of Darkness/the assorted Evil Dead movies. I would be lying if I said that part of the reason I loved these movies wasn’t because of the musical version. However it does also have Bruce Campbell which is pretty awesome. BRUCIE!

–          28 Days Later. This was one of the first movies that brought zombies back into the spotlight. Also, I think Cillian Murphy should always have a shaved head because he looks much hotter that way.

–          Dead Alive. Zombie baby!

–         The Lost Boys. The Coreys at their finest. Now if only Feldman would stop making direct to video sequels. You’re legitimizing garbage, Corey!

–          Fright Night. Chris Sarandon . . . Mmm . . .

–         Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. A big part of the reason I love this is because of the Dokken theme song. DREEEAAAAMM WARRIORS!

–         Dead Heat. Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are a zombie/cop team (and it also has a crazy theme song).

–         The Exorcist. It’s still scary but the two failed prequels were awful.

–          Jamie Lee Curtis in pretty much everything. Except the later Halloween movies, because, yuck. Even my mammoth Joseph Gordon Levitt crush can’t keep me from watching H20 without cringing my ass off.

 If you enjoy horror movies and horror movie coverage, I encourage you to check out Stacie Ponder over at Final Girl and Brian Collins over at Horror Movie A Day. They both have good genre taste and will introduce you to even more good stuff.

Also, if you want to add a regular dose of horror to your viewing schedule, AMC (the same station that brought you Mad Men) is premiering The Walking Dead on Sunday. I’ve loved the graphic novel series for years so I am pretty stoked that the show looks so fantastic. Hooray zombies!

What say you, bloggerinos? What are your favourite horror flicks?

*Whenever possible, please do yourself a favour by avoiding horrible dubs and watching in the original language with subtitles. Trust me, it’s much better that way.
**Actually, I am trying to think of a movie where Monica Bellucci doesn’t have heaving bosoms, but I can’t come up with one. Maybe that’s not such a novelty after all!

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Boy and I both have kind of boring jobs sometimes, so to break up the day, we’ll send each other crazy hypothetical e-mails. This is one such exchange:

Boy: You’re attending a dinner party with a number of cute puppies: a schnauzer, who is a professor of Linguistics at Harvard, an English bulldog who was a Colonel during the great war, and a brash Beagle puppy from the Americas. During a brief blackout your host, an Irish wolfhound puppy, is shot and killed. Who killed him?

Me: Question: What is the Irish Wolfhound Puppy’s background history?

Boy: The Irish Wolfhound Puppy opened a small glassworks factory, and during the summer of ’02 his finely crafted serving dishes became all the rage among upper class ladies of West Yorkminstershireton, allowing him to become a veritable titan of industry. With his newfound wealth he built himself a huge mansion filled with servants, whereupon you have found yourself presently engaged.

Me: I believe the correct answer is the Schnauzer. He met the Wolfhound puppy at an upperclass party in West Yorkminstershireton. At this point, the finely crafted serving dish business was but a dream, but the Schnauzer saw the opportunity for a major windfall so he invested money in the business and helped the Wolfhound make the right connections to ensure its profitability. However, things quickly got complicated as it turned out that the Wolfhound had been embezzling money from the company (in which the Schnauzer was a silent partner) to fund his addiction to Snasauges and backalley crotch lickings from Carlotta, a rather saucy chihauhau, on the East side. Distraught at this betrayal, the Schnauzer took matters into his own paws, faked the blackout and shot the Wolfhound before depositing the gun in the nearby dumbwaiter during the ensuing chaos.
(Also, the Schnauzer couldn’t stand having competition for the cutest scruffy puppy title, so two birds with one stone.)
Your theory, Mr. Park.

Boy: Holy $h!T. I was going to say it was one of the servants, because they have opposable thumbs, but now I’m starting to think that’s just what the Schnauzer wanted me to think.

Me: Genius, isn’t it?

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By MIA, I mean "Missing In Action," not MIA the music star. However, if I could be brave enough to dress like that when I get knocked up, that would be kind of cool.

Wow, I didn’t even realize until now that it had been as long as it’s been. Granted, I am not particularly surprised. With the way things work with my job, the later half of the summer always gets eaten up by work craziness . . . plus, this year our summer was incredibly busy and I kind of have this rule that if it comes down to writing about my life or going out and living my life, living always wins.

So yeah, I guess this calls for a cliff notes kind of update:

Boy’s job stuff:

Boy got a new job! And it’s only an hour or so away from our place! This is the most awesome thing by far. He’d been unemployed since April and with summer almost over, it was making us both a little anxious about what we would do in the months ahead. However, the third week of August, he got a call about an application, went in for an interview and bam! New job! It was funny, we went out for dinner a while ago with some friends of ours who had gone through a similar situation and they said to us “Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it will ever get better and then suddenly it does and you don’t know what the problem was,” and it was definitely like that for us. Not having to worry about money or the possibility of living apart was such a relief.

My job stuff:

I interviewed for a pretty awesome gig a few months ago and according to an inside line, I was in a shoo-in for the job. That is until the department I interviewed with was downsized and the position eliminated. This was a major bummer since I REALLY wanted that job, but I reasoned that at least they didn’t hire me and then downsize the position. Anyway, I was holding on in my job and feeling frustrated when someone in my department announced they were quitting. At this point, my department was already understaffed so I felt anxious, but this person’s departure left a spot open for me to slip in and gain some managerial control . . . which is what happened as of September 1st when I became head of my department. So yeah, I am still here slugging away, but this time it’s with a pay raise and some actual say as to how my job works. Granted, it hasn’t been that long yet, but I’m feeling much happier about what is happening now that I am not reliant on other people. I still have goals and plans for the future, but this is at least a good step forward.

Family stuff:

The last time I updated, things were a little rough on this front, but they’ve gotten better. I’ve written a lot about the problems I’ve had with my parents, but I wanted to definitely take a moment to say that as hard as things have been with them sometimes, they do actually care about me and they are supportive when I really need them to be. With all my job frustrations, they sat down and told me if things at work got too bad, they would jump in and be willing to help me out for a few months if I really needed to quit and look for something else. Although I would never take them up on something like that unless I was in a completely dire situation, it allowed me to feel like I had a little breathing room in a very stressful situation which I really, really needed. Anyway, we’ve had a couple of lunches over the past month or so (one for my mom’s birthday and one for mine) and we’ve talked and things have felt right again, which puts my heart at ease.

Friend Stuff:

We had some people distance themselves from us when we were going through these hard times. I even had one person say to me when I was explaining our situation (at this point we were still thinking Ben might have to move) “That’s depressing. I don’t want to talk about that.” While I know that these people didn’t mean to be mean, it still really sucked. Just going through something stressful like that already makes you feel like you’re alone and having people you consider to be your friends bail on you just heightens that feeling of isolation. So, to those of you who haven’t been through this with friends, here is my advice to you: It’s not all about having to say the right thing. Sometimes it’s about admitting you have no f*cking clue what to say and just checking in once in a while. Drop a line via e-mail. Swing by with some beer. Invite them over for dinner. We had some people do these incredibly simple things for us and they made a world of difference and made us that much more aware how kick ass some of our friends truly are. Thanks guys!

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff:

I was just updating my summer vacation photo album on Facebook and I realized that I have actually done a lot of stuff including:
1. Going to see Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene and Pavement live on Toronto Island. We thought it was going to rain but we had great weather for this. Unfortunately, maybe a little too great since I got pretty burned. Whoops!
2. Meeting one of my blog friends in person. Looking back on it now, it feels like a lifetime ago I was bloggin’ for the ‘Bee, but I am grateful I did it since it introduced me to a bunch of awesome people.
3. Going to see Patton Oswalt live at Just for Laughs. He was just as good as I was hoping he’d be.
4. Going to my art class’ art show. Boy helped set it up and had two pieces in it. As for me, I didn’t submit this time, but maybe next year if I am feeling braver.
5. Visiting my niece Abbey and her awesome parents. Seriously, a huge part of this summer would have been unbearable without these three people.
6.  Visiting with my Godmother who came in from Montreal. She is one of the nicest people ever but anytime I see her, it’s kind of funny because she is incredibly short and I am almost two feet taller than her.
7. Throwing a “dramatic reenactment” party with a bunch of my friends. Some people bailed last minute, but the people who did come were awesome reenactors.
8. Going to see Arcade Fire live. One of the best, if not the best, concert I have ever seen.
9. Hosting some lovely friends of ours and their three kids for a swim and dinner the August long weekend. Their kids are awesome and our friends are such good parents, it was a really nice afternoon.
10. Going to Boy’s extended family reunion. We didn’t know half the people, but we got to drink and hang out with Boy’s immediate family, so that was cool.
11. Celebrating my mom’s 59 birthday and my 28th birthday. I have a distinct feeling that 28 is going to be my year.
12.  Throwing an art show opening for Boy. He was a little bummed about the turnout, but people really liked his stuff and he sold some prints which is good.
13. Attending the 10th wedding anniversary party of two of our good friends. This might have possibly inspired us to throw an anniversary party next year, but we have to wait and see how that plays out.
14. Enjoying a fondue party with friends new and old. Melted cheese and groovy ’70s rock make everything all right.
15. Going to Fort York for the first time ever. Way to go History!

Not all of those things are in sequence and I am sure there is other stuff I am missing, but those are the biggies and they kind of help explain why I’ve been AWOL.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping once the craziness at work subsides, I’ll be able to blog more. To that end, I’ve even been in touch with a couple of people about guest blogging to kick my butt into gear, so I’ll update when that happens. But, in the meantime, here is a picture of my adorable niece. There is pretty much nothing cuter than this little bean.

Hope this blog post finds you all well and that you had an excellent summer!

Love,

Girl

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