Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Movies

So tonight is Halloween. Definitely my favourite time of year. Candy packaged into little bite-sized pieces. Costume parties. Pumpkin-carving. And scary movies. In the days leading up to Halloween, there's always tons of horror movies on TV. And I used to really enjoy them, but I gotta say, I think I'm losing my tolerance for them.

When I was a kid, my parents were pretty lenient when it came to what movies or TV I watched, but I still wasn't allowed to watch horror movies until I was about 12. In fact, for one of my birthday parties, my friends and I snuck out and rented The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, watched it after my parents went to bed, and secretly returned it the next day. I'm not really sure it was worth it, because the fear of what would happen if we got caught was way worse than anything the movie dished out. In fact, those types of movies, the ones with psychotic killers in silly masks jumping out from behind doors wielding chainsaws and knives, just weren't ever that scary to me. For one of my later sleepovers, we rented Clownhouse, and while my friends were shaking in their boots, I thought it was just the dumbest thing I'd ever seen. Three escaped mental patients happen across some circus clowns, kill them, steal their costumes, and then proceed to torment three young brothers who happen to be home alone, one of whom happens to have a phobia of clowns. Really? Uh huh.

Now the movies that I really enjoy and that also really get to me are the ones that have supernatural elements in them. I'm not sure why this is, because whether you're being chased by a murderous psychopath or a murderous ghost, it all amounts to the same thing, doesn't it? But maybe it's because, with a psychopath, you can take some precautions. Lock the door. Don't answer the phone. Don't go down to the creepy dark basement by yourself with a dim flashlight as your only weapon YOU FUCKING IDIOT! (Ho ho, I bet that gets me an R rating.) But with ghosts, there's nothing you can do. They can go through walls and doors, they can get into your mind, and they can't be killed (although it seems like some of the psychopaths are impossible to kill as well *cough*Michael Myers*cough*).

Which brings me to the current state of affairs. I'm not sure I can handle creepy ghostly horror movies anymore. They FREAK ME OUT. The last couple of horror movies I watched were really bad experiences. The first of these incidences was the night my sister and I went and saw The Ring. I'm not sure why that night was so bad, but maybe it's because we really didn't know what we were getting into. Neither of us had seen the previews, although I admit that we at least knew that it was supposed to be some sort of horror movie.

Well. It was good, really good, but scary, really scary. Those images that were in the movie (the movie within the movie I mean, the movie that's supposed to kill you), the imagery was just really disturbing. And the girl with the black hair combed over her face crawling out of the well. I still get shivers thinking about it. You know that scene when Naomi Watts has just finished watching the movie and her mouth is open and there's this stunned look of horror on her face? That's pretty much how K and I looked at the end of the movie. Completely shell-shocked. On shaking legs we went out to the car, promptly drove to the nearest video store where we rented a whole bunch of cartoons. We then went back to my apartment and stayed up to watch all of those cartoons in an effort to erase the terrifying images that had been imprinted on our brains. It did not work. K spent the night at my apartment with me. We kept all the lights on, and I still did not sleep a wink. I, in fact, did not sleep well for a week.

That experience cured me of wanting to go and see any horror movies for quite some time. Then, a couple of years later, K was in E-Town visiting with me, and we got it into our heads that we should go and see The Amityville Horror. We just don't learn, do we? We payed almost twenty dollars each to get in. Then the movie started, and we immediately realized we'd made a mistake. We were alternately covering our ears, covering our eyes, or grabbing each other in terror. You know that scene where the babysitter is locked in the closet with the dead girl and she sticks her finger in the bullet hole in the girl's forehead? I just about died. Halfway through the movie we decided that we should probably remove ourselves from the theatre before we injured ourselves or someone else. I imagine the entire audience breathed a collective sigh of relief as we exited. We felt kind of silly afterwards, because it was just a movie, and we'd basically wasted fourty bucks. But obviously, K and I just can't handle scary movies.

Having said that, there are some scary movies that I've enjoyed like The Others (that one was really fun as one of the girls I was sitting with threw her popcorn into the air at one of the scary parts and it went everywhere), or The Sixth Sense. But these aren't really scary, just a slightly creepy. And no really disturbing imagery. In fact, I'd say that it's the gory details that get to me, except that I think The Shining has some pretty graphic details in it, what with the blood gushing everywhere and the dead woman in the bathtub, but that's another horror movie I don't mind watching. In fact, the only connecting factor I can come up with between horror movies I enjoy and horror movies that terrify me is... my sister.

I don't know what it is. Maybe we feed off each other's fear creating some sort of energy of terror that engulfs us both. Whatever the reason, I know who I will NOT be watching my next horror film with. Ya hear that K?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bad Movies

Here are, in no particular order, three of the worst movies I've ever seen:

Mr. Wrong: This movie is wrong. Poor Ellen. I have liked Bill Pullman in other movies, but this was just so un-funny. I spent the last half of the movie cringing.

Godzilla (1998): I like Matthew Broderick, so I tried hard to like this movie, but it's usually a bad sign when you want the monster to win. Seriously, if the monster had come up on land and chomped all the people, the movie would have been improved 100%. I have rarely been so tempted to leave the theatre in the middle of a film.

Down to Earth: This is one of those movies where all the funny parts were in the previews, except that even the funny parts weren't that funny. I didn't even crack a smile. It was just tedious. Once again, I seriously considered leaving halfway through the film. But I just kept saying to myself, "It's Chris Rock! Surely this gets funnier?". But, alas, it did not.

I'm pretty forgiving of movies. So if I hate something, it's usually really, really bad.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Night-time Entertainment

Why, when I dream, am I never wearing any pants?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Angel Gene

There is the most adorable five-year-old boy that comes to my story times. He is always cheerful and enthusiastic about everything. We're doing play dough for craft time? Wonderful! I love play dough! A book about cats? Wonderful! I think kitties are so cute! He gets totally into all the songs and stories. And I swear to you, I've never seen the kid frown. Not even for a second, not once. He's also really polite, both with adults and other children. He has a little brother who is about 3, and it's the same thing. Just absolutely ecstatic to be alive in the world.

This, to me, is amazing. I mean, everybody has bad days, wrong-side-of-the-bed days, can't-do-anything-right days. I know I only see them once a week, but they've been coming to storytime for over a year now, and even my other storytime favourites have a meltdown now and again. But not these kids. I have basically come to regard their mother with awe. I have been tempted to ask her, "How have you brainwashed these Stepford children into being complete angels, and can you teach me how to do it?" (Yes, I know I don't have kids, but if I ever do, this knowledge will be invaluable.)

And then today, they brought their baby sister along with them. She is about one I would guess. Sitting up, crawling, but not yet walking. And she was exactly the same. Completely happy. Her mom took her out of her stroller, set her down on the floor in the middle of a bunch of strange kids and parents, and then went to help her boys with the craft. And this baby didn't even bat an eyelash. She grabbed a nearby ball and started playing catch with the closest adult. Smiling and laughing.

A one-year-old is too little to be bribed, cajoled or disciplined. Which leads me to believe that the mom has not done anything to make her kids this way. This is their natural state of being. They are genetically prone to be angelic. I think that geneticists everywhere might be interested in isolating and studying this amazing genetic phenomenon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's not rocket science people...

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Ho hum. So Harper made his throne speech. The Bloc and NDP have already said that they will vote against the Harper government, so the Liberals have the balance of power. Any guesses as to what they'll do? In his speech, Harper indicated that he would like the Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan until 2011, and that there was no way that Canada could honour their Kyoto commitment, two issues that the Liberals have been pestering the conservatives about constantly. But I suspect that the Liberals will end up supporting the government. Because they know that if there's an election now, they will get their asses kicked, and then we'd be stuck with a majority conservative government for at least 4 years. I've gotta admit, right here, I'm NOT a fan of the conservatives. But in a way, I wish the Liberals would vote against the government. At least they'd be honouring their principles. And it just seems like everyone out there is just out to get in power or stay in power. Whatever it takes. They flip flop on everything. I would like the political parties out there to say "This is what we believe." And then stick to that, whether or not they do or don't get elected. Because otherwise, what's the point? If all the parties out there will change their policies and principles at the drop of a hat just to stay in power, or have a better chance of getting in power, then does it really matter who we elect? They all become the same. I can really understand why voter turnouts are getting to be so low in this country. I think I myself have come down with a major case of apathy.

In other news, I have once again been too nice and accomodating, and now I have WAY too much on my plate. It's just really tough for me to say no to people. If I've said yes to one person, then it just doesn't seem fair for me to say no to another. And now I've just got a ton of stuff going on at work. For example, I am doing a database presentation for another library's staff workshop, and I have done this presentation before, got all the handouts already, so I thought it wouldn't be a big deal time commitment-wise, except that they went and CHANGED THE DATABASE INTERFACE so that nothing, NOTHING in my handouts applies anymore. So I have to rewrite my whole damn presentation. Generally speaking, I actually do well under pressure. In university, I couldn't even work on an assignment until the situation started to get desperate. I wrote some of my best essays the night before, and I have always been notorious for last-minute exam cramming. But I'm only good until the pressure reaches a certain point. If the pressure gets too hot, something's gotta give. And I feel like I'm at that point right now. There's that barely controlled feeling of panic in my stomach, like I'm in the water and my head's about to go under for the third and final time. At this point I either a)completely lose it and start yelling at someone ("Get someone else to write you a reference, I have a f@#$ing newsletter to finish here!") or b)get sick and end up cancelling a whole bunch of stuff until I feel better. Wish me luck.

And finally, in complete denial of my situation and in a display of pure procrastination not seen since my library school days, I have been doing a lot of reading. In particular I would like to say that Shannon Hale is AWESOME! I read The Princess Academy, and thought okay, that was pretty good. And the I read the Goose Girl, and thought, this lady rocks! It might be partially because I have always been very fond of the fairytale The Goose Girl. Very gory. With the horse head nailed to the gate. And even though I'm sure it's been 20 years since I read that story, I still remember what the horse head says to her: "If your mother only knew / her heart would surely break in two". And the ending, where the imposter gets the punishment that she suggests for the real princess: to be placed in a barrel spiked with nails and rolled through the streets behind two horses. I mean, how gruesome a death is that? Another of my favourite fairy tales which doesn't get told very often is The Tinderbox. With the dogs with the huge eyes who go to the palace and steal away the princess every night. Or, does anyone remember the one about the princess on the glass hill? And the knight who was able to ride his horse up the hill got to marry her? Anyone remember that one? So how about you? Any favourite fairy tales out there?