Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sasquatch is a Pansy

In my zeal to watch something Halloweenie on Netflix tonight, I scraped the bottom of the barrel, found a false bottom under it, dug some more, and finally hit the real bottom of the barrel. Occupying that nether level was the movie I watched: Assault on Sasquatch.

It is a combination of bads for sure. It has the bad acting bad, the bad set pieces bad, bad continuity, bad creature effects, bad editing, bad direction, bad exposition, bad sound, and just a lot of bad moments that make you think in terms of "These guys suck."

It could have been worse, I suppose. Sasquatch could have married the leading lady. Or man. Maybe in the sequel.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Swirling Leaves and Pumpkins

I have a weekly ritual that is very important to me - to my general feeling of health and well-being. It involves going to a friend's house and discussing various subjects relating to the human condition, watching British Comedy and cultural events, and partaking of good company. To me, it feels a bit like what is described in older novels and literature of mid to late 19th century England, when friends would gather to spend time at some manor to play, talk, write, or simply laze.

Of course, this is all without the accoutrements of that era, and with the technology of today to helps us along. What started out as a lark has become a very personally fulfilling part of my life. Originally intended as a night to do some Blues jam sessions and to watch Rifftrax  or Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, it has morphed and evolved into much more. Yes, we still watch the odd film (and I do mean odd) now and then, but we found ourselves naturally gravitating toward more heady stuff. I don't believe there is a subject or item that is not appropriate for these evenings. Examples:

Sure, most of this comes from the U.K. Why? Because we can't or won't air this here in the U.S. 
Can you imagine the shit-storm that would come raging in behind a three part special on the growing movement of "disbelief" in the country? I can. Mom, apple pie, Chevrolet, and real Americans would riot in the streets, and you know just how ugly it is when apple pie riots.

Truth is, this is refreshing, eye-opening, and often sobering. I hate sobering. But I'll take it any day over a new episode of The Jersey Shore. Hey, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But I like The Jersey Shore!" Well, fine then. Go ahead and like it. After all, I'm not the Thought Police. But if you tell me you like it, I'll probably slap you across the face like a southern deb would slap a rascal. But many times harder. 'nuff said.

Oh yeah, this story needs two things, aside from real writing talent. One is a return to my opening thought: the ritual. So here it is. I need this ritual, or at least something like it. I need it more than Kim Jong-il needs lifts in his shoes (and a tailor, and a good mortician). Just wanted to share that with you.

Oh, and the whole "Swirling Leaves and Pumpkins" thingy. Well, on my drive home tonight through town, I saw a whole lot of both. See, I drive through town late at night with my windows down, so I can see, smell, hear, and feel the ambiance of my little town. It's small, quaint, Rockwellesque, and needs to be experienced, not just driven through. So, late at night, when the chance of pissing off other drivers is lowest, I drive very slowly through town with the car windows down and take it all in. All year round. And tonight was swirling leaves, pumpkins, the smell of autumn, and a cool breeze. Perfect. 

You should have been here for it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Learned Something New Today

I learned something new today. Although I probably learn new things every day, there are days when I am aware that I've learned something new. This is one of those days. I have people to thank for this, before I tell you what I've learned. Any time you learn anything, you have someone to thank for it, in case you weren't aware. I'm going to thank two complete strangers. Hell, I only know one of their names.

See, learning isn't always about your "Eureka!" moments - those brief glimpses of genius or inspiration that hit you when you are all alone - it is usually about some mundane activity in which someone else nudges your neurons into action. The smallest word, or sentence, the briefest look at another person's intellect, which triggers your own to say, "Wow! Cool!"

That was today, when I read a Twitter post from Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer, himself), which led me to a link on the web, which led me to a blog by a very enrapturing persona, named Barbara. I don't know Barbara. I don't know Phil, although I corresponded with him once on email, years ago. But I have to thank both of them for making my neurons crank up today. Why? Shit, if you don't know the answer to that, then you need to click on the link to Barbara's blog and read it. If, after reading it, you still don't know, then don't ask me for help!

But I'll briefly say why anyway. Because first of all, those moments when you know you've learned something valuable feel sooo good! It's one of the best feelings you can have with your clothes on. Or off. Second, it's important to be mentally stimulated every day. For some of us, it's important to be mentally stimulated most of the time. If my brain isn't going like an Olympic Luge Racer, I get depressed. Not clinically - well at least, not always not clinically.

So, before my train of thought derails too much further, here is the topic that jogged the noggin and sent me into spasms of mental orgasms (yeah, I wrote it like that on purpose).

Appropriately, the blog is called Spasms of Accommodation, and I hope its author, Barbara, does not object to my singling her out for thanks. Or that I am now following her blog, very un-stalker like, of course. Because she just made my day. So thanks, Barbara!

On a long side note, I think it's important to say thank you to people. Notice how rare "thank you" has become? No? Pay attention and you will. I thank people all the time. Smile at them too. I also say peoples' names back to them when they speak with me. Why? Because it makes people happy to hear, "thank you, or thanks". And it makes people happy to see a genuine smile. And it makes people happy to hear their name being spoken aloud by another human being. Try them sometime, it's true.

So, thank you, Barbara, and please keep up the wonderful blog! Oh, and Phil, thank you too, even though I realize that neither you nor Barbara will probably ever read this. Come to think of it, I may be the only one who ever reads this. But hey, I gotta write the words!