When a story demands to be more

I’ve got two stories that have been brewing for a while and two more that have moved into the editing stage and mouldered.  I’m considering trying to combine the two brewing stories into one, and also considering whether the newer one should expand up into a longer story, like a novella.

"typewriter 2" by spikeyhelen
"typewriter 2" by spikeyhelen

Some things I’m thinking about:

  • How do you know when a story needs more room? So far in my minimal practice writing fiction, I haven’t spent much time thinking about how long stories should be, but rather writing them until they feel done.  This works okay, as long as I’m writing for the story instead of the market.  One counter-example is my story “Millions of Thumbs,” which feels a lot less original since I saw the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer.  The story seems like a good fit for The Drabblecast, which only accepts stories of a certain length.  By focusing on that market, I know my limits in length and am not tempted to add too much.
  • Stories around an idea.  So far, my fiction writing tends to focus on an idea, some little tidbit or concept that needs telling, more than on the characters and the arc they follow.  So far, this is the hardest part of my writing process, as a compelling story can’t just be an idea, but must be the people experiencing the world that idea lives in.  I suppose I could write a languid, third-person kind of story focused on an idea, but that seems even less likely to work for me.
  • Plot structure.  I have only the vaguest sense of formal rules for plot structure.  I have a minimal idea of the notion of acts, and haven’t really thought about how to shape action so that the reader stays intrigued.  That said, watching Andrew’s progress on his latest novel has been inspiring.  I feel like character arc and plot structure ought to follow one another, but planning that out hasn’t been my focus much.

On one hand, thinking about how the two brewing stories can intertwine has yielded some useful fruit.  On the other hand, I recently read a book that felt like one story stretched with the addition or cobbling of others and it wasn’t my favorite kind of plot device.

So, public declaration about my fiction writing (which has been moving even more slowly since my non-fiction is top priority): by the end of the summer I will have revised and submitted the two “editing stage” stories to start gathering rejections from markets.  Hooahh.

San Francisco Movie Roundup: Vol 2 CANCELLED

O that he were here to write me down an ass! But masters, remember that I am an ass: though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.
Much Ado About Nothing

We had intended to watch at least four San Francisco movies before our trip, but I managed to screw that up completely.  Here’s how:

1. We got Bullitt via Netflix and also had Inspector Murdoch Mysteries, season 2, disc 1 at home at that time.  We finished Bullitt and sent it off in time to get Vertigo over the weekend.  We finished the other disc and prepared to send it back on Monday last so we could get Escape from Alcatraz on Wednesday last.  So far, so good.

2. Monday morning I packed up Inspector Murdoch and mailed it off.  But Monday night when we went to watch Vertigo, we discovered that I’d mailed Vertigo and held on to Inspector Murdoch.  Sigh.  Much tearing of hair and self-recrimination proceeds.

3. Wednesday morning, the new envelope arrived and I put it in my bag to watch Thursday evening after we arrived at my Mom’s place in Minnesota.   However, when we got  to Minnesota, we found that I’d put What’s Up Doc on the top of the queue instead of Escape from Alcatraz.  The former is a San Francisco movie, but not what we were in the mood for.  Arrgh!  More hair tearing.

So I have no second batch of SF movies to write about.  Sorry, folks.

San Francisco Movie Roundup: Vol 1

Editor’s note: In honor of our author’s trip to San Francisco, we’ll be featuring a couple double reviews of movies that take place in the city on the Bay.  Enjoy.

Bullitt
Bullitt
vs.

So I Married An Axe Murderer
So I Married An Axe Murderer

In this corner, we have an underrated Mike Myers comedy that shows off the hipster parts of town and Myers’ skills with a Scottish accent (which I’d seen many times previously).  In the opposing corner, we have the Steve McQueen vehicle that shows off San Francisco’s steep streets and Lt. Bullitt’s ice-blue eyes (which was new to me, though highly anticipated).

  • Plot: SIMAM follows the adventures of Charlie MacKenzie as he woos his dream girl, only to discover that she might be the deadly “Mrs.X” documented in his mother’s paranoid Weekly World NewsBullitt follows the eponymous police detective as he hunts down the men who attacked a Federal witness under his protection.
  • San Franciscocity: Bullitt features perhaps the most famous SF scene ever, a rollicking car chase up and down the steep streets.  I can’t help but wonder how many people have been ticketed or arrested trying to replicate those leaping cars.  We also have a lovely view of the countryside near SF and a few other scenic shots.  SIMAMincludes a souvenir post-card pack’s worth of scenes, including the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, the Fog City Diner, and that city park featured in the opening sequence of Full House.
  • Supporting Cast: Both films feature lovely leading ladies (Nancy Travis and Jacqueline Bisset), though I think Bullitt included some kind of rider in Bisset’s contract that required her to show every inch of her legs in every scene save one.  Jeez, it redefines the mini in miniskirt.  Both have a bunch of other people you’d recognize: SIMAM has Anthony LaPaglia, Alan Arkin, Amanda Plummer, and bit parts from Debi Mazar, Phil Hartman, Charles Grodin, and Steven Wright; Bullitt‘s cast is equally recognizable, featuring Robert Wagner and Robert Duvall, as well as bit parts from Norman Fell and a bunch of other people whose faces ring a bell but whose names escape me.
  • Dialog: Bullitt revels in the film style of 1968, the ennui of the era, the icy calm of McQueen’s eyes.  Whole scenes pass with no dialog despite crucial events happening.  It’s cinematically smart but a far cry from the more straightforward style we find in today’s shoot-em-ups.  SIMAM, by contrast, revels in the logorrhea of its protagonist–a cheesy beat poet–and his chatty friends.  So much so that Charles Grodin’s hilarious scene turns entirely on his taciturn responses to Anthony LaPaglia’s increasingly frantic requests to “commandeer this vehicle.”
  • Enjoyability: Bullitt is a movie of its time and the right mood.  I enjoyed it, but it was unexpectedly slow and silent, especially for a movie often mentioned as one of the better action films of all time.  The two chase scenes (in cars in the middle and on foot at the end) are great, but the rest of the movie dragged a bit.  SIMAM holds up well.  This was a movie I watched a whole bunch in college and was worried would be dated — not so.  The humor is pretty timeless, and jokes about haggis never get old.

As an aside, I notice that the SIMAM poster doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I bet, early in the planning, they gave Nancy Travis a hatchet to hold behind her back, but audience testing showed that people didn’t like it, so they photoshopped it out.

True Blood, Season 3

Cheers!
Cheers!

Jenny and I watched True Blood: Season 3 in May, preparing for the new season to start. The combination of True Blood: Season 4 and Game of Thrones were enough to lure us into at least a six-month subscription.  TB season 3 is pretty awesome.  I’m posting a review here in honor of Season 4, which began last night.

Summary (general plotline ahead): Season 3 continues where Season 2 ended, with Bill being kidnapped.  Sookie goes on an adventure to find him, meeting Alcide and a whole bunch of werewolves who hang out with Russel Edgington, the delightfully mad King of Mississippi.  Eric gets himself involved in the fracas and intense vampire oneupsmanship goes from there. Tara meets a psychotic British vampire named Franklin and Sam meets his shape-changing white-trash family.  That doesn’t go well.  Jason decides he wants to be a police officer and gets wrapped up in trying to save a young woman from a hillbilly family with something to hide. Lafeyette finds a new boyfriend who helps him find the spiritual side of V, and Arlene falls in love with Terry but hides a secret yet.  Oh, and Jessica the novice vampire struggles with her love for Hoyt and her fear of hurting him.

Here are some thoughts (Plenty of spoilers below):

  • There’s a case to be made, I think, that True Blood is the best adult show on television right now.  It’s got compelling melodrama, good action sequences, a complex storyline, a complex mythology, and great production values.  The short seasons make for tight plotting (though I’ve recently learned that Season 2 was generally disliked for its slower pace).  If you like vampire stuff at all, this is definitely worth checking out.  Plus, after the first one or two episodes, you will have a sense of how intense it gets, and can go from there.
  • Like most of the high-end HBO shows, there are an awful lot of plots to keep track of.  I actually had to leave out quite a bit in the summary above.  I think Steven Johnson’s argument from Everything Bad is Good for You becomes evident here.  It takes a lot of work to follow these shows and keep them in mind.  That said, the multiple plots weave together in unified themes.  We have several characters struggling to find their place in the world, with Jason sniffing around to find something to grab his adolescent attention and distract him from the guilt after season 2, Tara wrestling with the repeated traumas of the past couple months (three seasons of the show only take a couple months, short enough that Arlene went a whole season without knowing she was pregnant), and Sookie learning that there’s a reason all the vampires think she’s so dreamy.
  • We also see very dark sides in a couple characters we’d been on the fence about before, particularly Sam, who seemed to be the troubled noble dude early on, but took a very dark turn later in the season.  The plotline involving Sam’s birth family is downright grim.
  • Season 3 continues the tradition of awesome cliffhanger endings.  The best is when Russell Edgington, a three-thousand year-old vampire who hates cowtowing to people, attacks a t.v. news station and murders the anchor on the air.  He then proclaims that vampires are superior beings and all people are just meat. Yowza!
  • I find the nature of religiosity in supernatural shows to be pretty interesting.  In the True Blood world, silver paralyzes vampires, but crosses and other icons don’t seem to do anything.  Voodoo and other magics seem to work, and all manner of mythological creatures roam around southern Louisiana.  But we don’t know about God.  We’ve seen evidence of an afterlife, at least in Eric’s visions of Godric, but no response to prayer as far as we can tell, and the show’s images of the faithful are mostly of hypocrites and liars.

See also my reviews of True Blood season 1 and season 2

 

2011-06-26 Tweets

  • 2102 words today. HOT DOG! #
  • Big storm ripped through tonight, tipped over the deck table and snapped the umbrella. Note to self: put umbrella down for storms. Sigh #
  • If I'm interested in how @rogerwhitson is studying the hash tag #mediastudies is that media studies? #
  • Amusing drive-by-comment just appeared on my 2008 blog post about the Little Mermaid. Check it out: http://is.gd/8V33qm #

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Unfamiliar Fishes

Unfamiliar Fishes
Unfamiliar Fishes

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

Once again, Vowell tells the tale of a fraught moment in American history with the wry wink we’ve come to expect, weaving small details about the individuals involved into the larger narrative arc she’s drawing.  Unfamiliar Fishes tells the story of the American missionaries in Hawaii who, after two generations, led a coup and handed a sovereign country over to the United States, where the imperialistic leadership was happy to outmaneuver their political opponents to annex the islands.  A few thoughts:

  • The title refers not, as I suspected it would, to the missionaries’ reaction to the Hawaiian’s diet, but the other way round.  One of the Hawaiians, leery of all these outsiders arriving with their crazy ideas, commented on the strange things and ‘unfamiliar fishes’ they bring to the island.  So the fishes are the missionaries themselves, metaphorically.
  • I’m most pleased to leave this book with the concept of the haole, pronounced ‘HOW-lee.’ A haole is a non-native to Hawaii who is trying to become part of the culture, but usually without adequate respect for the environment and the people of the island themselves.  It’s a term that has survived to present day, and is used to describe surfers who come in wanting to be ‘authentic’ but without the appropriate ideas of respect and such.
  • Vowell’s book focuses on the rising Imperialistic drive of the U.S. and its capitalistic settlers as well as the troubled rise to modernity the Hawaiian government grappled with.  As always, she does a great job holding the two distinct and troubling ideas in her head at the same time.  The revolutionary constitution, which claims its moral authority under the same language that the U.S. Declaration of Independence, disenfranchised most of the people on Hawaii, did away with those pesky rights like trial by jury and freedom of speech, and pretty much created an oligarchy until Hawaii could be placed into American hands.
  • But Vowell is equally unflinching in her analysis of the Hawaiian leadership, which made a lot of greedy and costly mistakes that gave the settlers the excuse to do what they did.  There’s one great moment where she admits that as much as she doesn’t like the revolutionaries, they have a point about how the monarch is acting.
  • Favorite snarky moment: When deposed Queen Liliuokalani visited the U.S. to protest the annexation drive, she noticed the great swaths of unsettled land in the middle of the continent and lamented that the U.S. had to take her little islands.  Vowell replies, “She had a point, but it doesn’t take a graduate of the Naval War College to notice you can’t exactly park a battleship in Denver.” (217)

Overall, it’s a solid book, on equal footing with The Wordy Shipmates, to my mind.  The middle gets a bit long, and I’m not enamored of her decision not to break the book up into chapters, but it’s an interesting discussion of a rarely-studied part of our history, and a fine read.

Thank you very much, ma’am.

Columbo
We'll miss you, Columbo

Peter Falk died today.  In his role as Columbo, he played one of my favorite characters of all time.  His charm, wit, and empathy made the many, many stories he told in that show shine.  A few of my favorite moments from the show:

  • I love the empathetic moment he shared with Johnny Cash at the end of that singer’s episode.  The real-world resonance of Cash’s character (who wrestled with bad behavior and its ramifications in his life) really make the episode shine, and Columbo’s sympathy for the man radiates.
  • I love his tendency to extreme politeness, always waving goodbye when he walks out and saying “Thank you very much.”
  • There’s an awesome moment when he has to leave a message on an answering machine and he says asomething like “This is Lieutenant Columbo.  You can call me at the station.  The number there is… well, you can look that up.”
  • Falk never let slip whether Columbo pretends to be a bumbler or really is one.  I suspect he had an idea about that,though.
  • I love how he could admire lots of people.  Many of the murderers he investigated were admirable people driven by desperation or some other reason to commit murder.  Columbo seeks to understand them, and in doing so he shows his humanity.  Best example, the one with Donald Pleasance as the winery owner.
Now where did I put those sandwiches?
Now where did I put those sandwiches?

If you want to get a bit more Peter Falkania, check out Murder by Death, in which he plays Sam Spade (as a parody of Bogart), or Wings of Desire, in which he plays, well, Peter Falk.

Also, check out these other Columbo posts:

Monks + Snow: Frostbite, and the Inquisition

In the Name of the Rose and Whiteout

Sean Connery stars in what the filmmakers somewhat pretentiously call a “Palimpsest” of the Umberto Eco book, In the Name of the Rose.  The story follows the adventures of William of Baskerville and his ward Adso, played by Christian Slater with a wicked bowl cut, as they encounter a hostile group of monks in a showdown between the poverty-lovin’ Franciscans and some other group of ugly monks.  When William and Adso arrive at the remote abbey, William finds himself beseeched to find Earthly causes for the lamentable deaths that haunt the abbey.  The inquisition arrives and that shit gets real.  Also, there’s a feral peasant girl and a hunch-backed Ron Perlman.

Whiteout focuses on the last days of the season in a U.S. Antarctic station, where somebody has started killing people and U.S. Marshall Kate Bekinsdale has to wrestle with her troubled past and the chilly weather.  Throw a killer storm into the mix, and you’ve got some serious pressure, people.  Now add a little Tom Skerritt, and you’re all set.

A few thoughts about this double bill:

  • Both stories start with the traditional secluded mystery setting.  Whether it’s Poirot snowed in on a train or Miss Marple stuck at an English country manor, having a secluded setting gives you the opportunity to limit the suspects and amplify the danger (because you’re trapped with the killer).  In both films, however, the limited number of suspects means the mystery isn’t too hard to suss out.
  • Both films have a moment when the heroes move through a tunnel and find a secret cache of cool stuff, be it a library or a crashed plane full of dead Russians.  Once the heroes are there, they get trapped by the labyrinthine structures (or by cave ins), and it takes clever mental trickery to get out, that or explosive bolts.
  • As if the murders weren’t enough, both films introduce a second element to pile on the pressure.  Whiteout builds its timeline around a killer storm that will trap everyone in for the winter unless they get out ahead of it, whereas In the Name of the Rose brings in the Inquisition, which will burn everyone unless they’re properly pious.
  • William and Carrie are both haunted by failures in their past.  Where Carrie had to kill her corrupt partner, William was forced to let a man die under the Inquisition.  They’re each haunted by the mistakes of their past but they suck it up and do right in the end.
  • Spoiler: Both films turn on a villainous elderly leader.  The grim leader of the conservative monks is killing people to keep Aristotle’s book of humor hidden from the world, while Tom Skerrit is just bitter than he hasn’t earned more money and wants to keep the secret treasure he found.

Neither movie was very good, IMO.  In the Name of the Rose certainly has a lot going for it, with realistic medieval atmosphere and a decent mystery (if a bit anti-climactic), but ultimately I would point to other mysteries that are more satisfying.  The same goes for Whiteout, which carried the letter of Greg Rucka‘s comic, but not the spirit.  I’d suggest reading the source material instead.


Three cute Finn-isms

When the weather gets hot, Finn becomes a Stray Cats fan.
ARRRGH! Yon sweaty pirate lad.

Three little Finn conversations, all from this morning:

1. Avery got up to watch cartoons and apparently Finn woke up as she did so.  He can’t open his door so he was banging on it when I arrive to liberate him.

Finn: I was crying so I wanted Avery to come.
Me: Why were you crying?
Finn: Because I wanted Avery.

2. As he was setting himself up on the couch and waiting for Avery to return from the bathroom, he noticed that she had started The Pink Pantheri (the cartoons, not the Peter Sellers movie):

Finn (grumpily): I don’t want the Pink Panther.
Me: Well, that’s what Avery picked, so you can watch this or you can go back in your room.

Finn settles onto the couch and then clears the blanket and pillow onto the floor.

Finn (still grumpy): I don’t want this blanket and this pillow.  No, thank you.

3. The kids are sitting calmly on the couch when I come in because I thought I heard them arguing.  (Keep in mind Jenny is sleeping in our room just off the living room, so they’re supposed to be quiet if they get up early.)  Whispers denoted with italics below.

Me: Were you guys making noise?
Avery (a bit offended, whispering): No.
Me: Okay, I thought I heard some noise.
Finn: Somebody tooted.
Me: Let’s be sure to whisper if you’re going to talk. Okay, Buddy?
Finn: Somebody tooted.

Affectations and Facebookery

I’m inclined to write about the Baader-Meinhoff syndrome a bit more.  Two threads through the internet and my mind:

  1. About a year ag0, I saw a video on youtube explaining that the proper way to open a banana is to pinch the non-handle end and peel from there.  You can find it if you search.  I began opening my bananas that way.
  2. A few months later, eating dinner with my cousin, I mentioned this.  She already knew this method for banana opening.
  3. The Judge John Hodgman podcast featured a whole episode focused on this particular question.  As of this writing, I am partway through that episode and do not know how it will be settled.
  4. At a cooking class, I found myself mentioning that the banana thing is my second favorite food technique I’d learned this year.  (The first favorite being the uber-efficient “planking” method for seeding red bell peppers.)  When the whole class became interested, I was goaded into demonstrating the banana technique, to great delight of everyone (except perhaps Jenny).

Another:

  1. There’s a section in my detective book that starts “Delete your Facebook page.”  I start with that chestnut that has become a standard part of the job-market lecture bandied about by academic advisors and the same college instructors who grouse about email addresses like “sexykitten69@aol.com”.
  2. Consider Friday, the focus of Katy Perry’s latest song, also about that evening and featuring Rebecca Black (another “Friday” partier) in the video, as well as Cory Feldman, Debby Gibson, and some of the Glee cast.  Also in that video are passed out people who have been pranked in their sleep, either with duct tape or marker on their faces.  Katy’s character discovers that her antics have been uploaded to Facebook.
  3. Before this month, I’d never encountered such images before (as I wasn’t one to spend a lot of time hanging around those who’d passed out).  Oddly, this month I discovered the enjoyable (and disturbing) section of the Failblog empire called “After 12 Party Fails,” which seems evenly split between passed out people: who’ve been drawn on with marker, with amusing found-art sculptures built on top of them, sleeping in their own filth, or otherwise doing things they’ll regret in the morning.  These photos are, obviously, uploaded to the internet, often with faces and other body parts unblurred.
  4. Judge John Hodgman warns again, in his episode about taking photos with celebrities, that doing things to post them on Facebook should not be the end purpose of celebrity hunting.  Celebrities are people too, so we should take the opportunity to say “I like what you do, sir,” instead of collecting them to show off on Facebook.

Another:

  1. When I was in college, I watched Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H* several times and began mimicking Hawkeye Pierce’s astonished whistle. I did this partly as an affectation, like a hipster beret except more annoying (or less, depending on how you feel about berets), and partly out of affection for the character.
  2. The word affectation entered my vocabulary as a kind of, well, affectation after Ian, the scuzzy manager in This is Spinal Tap revealed that he carries a cricket bat as an affectation and a weapon.
  3. The complainant in the banana dispute mentioned above asserted that the weird-banana-peeler adopted this behavior not out of efficiency or ease, as he asserts, but rather as a way to be counter-cultural, as an affectation.
  4. But I’ve stopped being so overt about my idiosyncrasies, I think.  Perhaps with children around, I just don’t have time to cultivate such foolishness.  Similarly, I have less and less time to devote to Facebook profile pictures.  My status message, however, updates regularly via my twitter account.

As a social space, Facebook is certainly performative.  But this aspect of the experience is more overt for people unused to performing in daily spaces.  By contrast, people used to passing as straight, as white, as corporate (not punk), or whatever, perhaps recognize the experience more directly.  If the “choice” offered by different templates allows the users to feel control over her interactive space, then Facebook is the ultimate template activity.  It lets you choose your relationship status, your music status, your religious status, your beer status.  You can compile the things you love (or the things you claim that you love), you share those with people you’ve displayed yourself to.

An acquaintance from college sent me a friend request, and I replied asking who he was, because his Facebook identity, photo, and information were all such extreme affectations as to be unintelligible.  Rather than continuing the masquerade, however, he happily identified himself when I asked.  I was inclined to tell him it was weird to ask for friend requests from people without identifying himself, but obviously this worked for him–I wonder how many people just accept the request without asking any questions.  More advice from Judge Hodgman comes into play: you can’t tell someone they’re using the Internet incorrectly.  I use it how I use it, to build the affectations I want.

So does the overt affectation of Facebookery stop at some point?  Perhaps when people feel private despite being public? Perhaps because the swiss-cheese safety of the Friends barrier gives us a modicum of security, we feel comfortable dropping the things we know to be affectations, at least for a moment?

It’s at that point that someone grabs a screenshot and uploads to Failbook.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXteg4mSyd8]

Mrs. Columbo

Mrs Columbo
Mrs Columbo

As a bonus on one of the Columbo discs, the producers of the show included an episode of the short-lived show Mrs. Columbo, which purported to show the investigative life of Columbo’s ever-absent wife.  According to Wikipedia, the show was quickly rebranded with a different name, to keep the premise but ditch the link to Columbo.  A few thoughts on the episode we saw, which was apparently the pilot:

  • First, terrible casting!  Columbo regularly implies that his wife is very different than the woman we see in the show.  She’s smart, but not younger, not a detective.  He may have kids, but it’s not clear from the show.  By contrast, Kate Mulgrew (later a starship captain!) is only 24 when the show airs.  By contrast, check out the pic of Columbo from the concurrent season.
  • Second, Columbo is strange because his shtick depends on appearing to be incompetent while being very competent.  Most police detectives don’t work that way.  Amateur detectives, on the other hand, must be the opposite: they must be competent because the police are NOT competent.  But linking an amateur detective with Columbo means they have to try and make her investigative style at least somewhat like her husband’s, but that just doesn’t work.
  • The mystery itself is very strange, not nearly as compelling as the contemporary Columbo episodes.  Donald Pleasance does fine, but he’s pretty bumbling for the seasoned policeman he was supposed to be.
  • That said, they captured the constant questioning, the interest in details, the “turns up like a bad penny” aspects of the program well.  Mulgrew’s superior competence flies in the face of the “unassuming detective” that we would have hoped for, though.

Ultimately, it just didn’t work as an idea.  Oh well.  The following episodes seem never to have been released on DVD, so I’ll never know how it turned out.

Quick thoughts on a lovely Father’s Day

Finn and Avery push Ella around the zoo
Finn and Avery push Ella around the zoo
  • This morning was great! We went out to breakfast at the Harrison Street Cafe and then met Jenny’s sister, mom, and our niece Ella for a nice walk around the Brookfield Zoo.  Fun was had by all.
  • The afternoon was a bit more rocky, with the kids getting a little wild as the day went on.  Still, a nice day overall.
  • The kids had a nice chat with Grandpa on the phone.  Finn told him that we went out to breakfast, and Avery told him about our upcoming trip to the Zoo.
  • Wrapped up the day with a family game of bocce ball in the front yard.
  • Just before bed, the kids gave me a camping t-shirt (quite nice, actually) and Jenny gave me an immersion blender so I can make malts.  Mmmmm. Malts.

Finally, I took a jaunt over to Horrorbles, a local horror movie emporium to which I had a $40 Groupon I’d purchased some months before.  Most of the merchandise is stuff I wouldn’t want (collectible action figures or resin statues) or stuff I can’t afford (lovely original 1950s movie posters for $200 each).  But they do have a great collection of rare or hard-to-find movies.  They had a three-for-two deal, so I got six movies for $16 after using my Groupon.  Here’s what I picked up:

  • Revenge of the Zombies, 1943 voodoo zombie tale w/ John Carradine, sounds like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE
  • Zombies on Broadway, 1945 comedy about two press agents who go to get a zombie for a broadway show
  • The Frozen Dead, 1966 British zombie movie about a mad scientist who tries to restart the third Reich by sticking frozen Nazi heads on other bodies.
  • The Dead Are Alive, 1972 archaeology zombie movie.
  • Shock Waves, 1977 submarine Nazi zombie movie, with John Carradine!
  • Oasis of the Zombies, 1983 desert Nazi zombie movie.

Missed my dad a bit more today than usual.  He sure would have enjoyed getting to know the kids.  My trip to horrorbles reminded me of our yearly birthday/father’s day jaunts, when he would pick me up and we would celebrate both my birthday and father’s day in one swoop.  Sometimes, when I was a teenager, we’d both come unarmed with presents and we’d go to the bookstore where we’d each pick out a book, exchange them, buy them, and exchange them back.  Most. Efficient. Gift. Giving. Ever.

2011-06-19 Tweets

  • Sunday at Pirate's Cove children's amusement park. Awesome and a half. #
  • Dora rules our house now. When one of the kids tries to take something that belongs to the other, they shout "Swiper, no swiping!" #
  • Word count: 1368. Booyah. #
  • Turns out book collections are like a gas in an enclosed space, they expand to fill the available room. Nov's new bookshelves are full. #
  • just 502 words today, but lots of other productive stuff done. #
  • Unexpected consequence of new grown-up cups for the kids and dark red crystal light: cheek stains that make them look like two tiny Jokers. #
  • Tryin out my new bday bocce set w/ the fam. Super fun! #
  • Breakfast at the Harrison Street cafe and a Carousel ride at the Brookfield zoo! Father's day is off to a kickass start. #

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