Thursday, October 30, 2014

This Tree Bears Deadly Fruit

Can we talk about the loaded symbolism of this comic book cover for a moment?


On second thought... let’s not.

DC’s Unexpected, May 1972. Cover art by Nick Cardy. Originally posted by Rainy Day Recess.

Also, while on the subject, Unexpected, December 1867. Cover art by Jack Sparling.

A Scary Horror Movie Scene in Which Nothing Explicitly Scary Happens

If pressed to name the scariest movie scene I’ve ever seen, I’d probably go with one in Lost Highway that introduces Robert Blake’s menacingly grinning character. Lost Highway isn’t technically a horror film, but David Lynch delves into the mystical, otherworldly, soul-shattering stuff often enough that it doesn’t need to be. It’s scary just as a neo-noir art film.

Dario Argento’s 1980 film Inferno features a completely G-rated scene that has always unnerved me and that I would like to offer for your consideration.

Give it a spin. It’s fairly brief.



Some context: Inferno is Argento’s sequel to Suspiria, which pits an American ballerina against a coven of German witches hiding in a dance academy. Much of Inferno concerns American music student Mark Elliot leaving Rome for New York to help his sister, who believes her apartment building may home to a second cluster of witches. The above scene takes place early in the film, before he arrives in New York.

Inferno is not as visually spectacular as Suspiria — and if you don’t know how beautiful the latter movie is, please have a look at this post, which offers a few dozen stills of the movie in all its color-saturated glory — but it has some good scary moments. The classroom scene, however, is the one that has stuck with me most, and for just one reason: It is the movie scene that best re-creates what it’s like to have a dream, at least for the kinds of dreams I have.

I have nightmares every now and then, but more often than not, I have these less outwardly scary dreams in which I’m trapped in a familiar setting where events are unfolding in an unrealistic manner that causes me gradual, increasing concern. The Inferno scene has Mark in an innocuous enough environment, a college lecture hall, but as he listens to the music, it becomes increasingly apparent that something is wrong.


Around the one-minute mark, he starts acting like he may be ill. A few seconds later, it gets explicitly weird: He sees that beautiful woman stroking her cat. His reaction? “Oh, Now’s a good time to read that letter my sister sent me about witches or some junk.” Within a few moments, the beautiful woman has noticed Mark, and she’s mouthing something to him. Importantly, he doesn’t offer any big reaction to this. It’s more of an “Okay, that’s weird. Let’s just roll with this.”

This is how I dream. Most dreams I have involve me being somewhere, tasked by my subconscious to follow a script that initially seems like it’s on the up-and-up. I don’t realize I’m dreaming. Then, something weird happens. Something appears in a place where it shouldn’t be. Someone acts in a way that even my subconscious knows it’s right. But I’m always too scared to react — to break character, I guess — and I continue with the scene, trying to follow its logic no matter how weird it may seem.

Then there’s the silent mouthing of words. This happens a lot in my dreams, and usually by someone I don’t know in real life. That’s a strange thing to wrap your head around, isn’t it? That the mental headshot gallery of everyone you’ve ever met doesn’t have anyone quite right for the part, so your brain just invents a whole fictional character — without your permission — to play a role in your dream. And then these strangers, whom I kinda-sorta invented and maybe-possibly have to take some responsibility, attempt to tell me something, but I can’t hear them. There’s background noise or they simply are moving their mouth but not producing words, and while it seems like the most important thing in the world to figure out what they’re trying to say, I can’t hear them.

And then I wake up.

Fittingly, for this discussion, the mysterious, beautiful woman in the lecture hall does not appear in the film again.

I don’t know if these moments happen to everyone else quite so often. Actually, I also don’t know if most people are likely to decide that the show must go on and follow along with dumb dream nonsense, either. Do you?

Inferno, for what it’s worth, has many more surreal scenes and many more explicitly scary ones. Just because tomorrow is Halloween, I’ll leave you with a more traditional horror movie scene. In this one, Mark’s sister Rose finds a hole in the floor of her apartment building’s basement. It’s full of water and, inside, there’s a whole room that’s eloquently decorated but also submerged in water. Again, following screwy dream logic, she’s just all “Okay, this is weird,” and jumps right in to explore.” You know, like anyone would.



Maybe dreams and horror movies both require the removal of logical reactions to strange situations?

Ana Pieroni, who played the mysterious woman, later appeared in Argento’s Tenebre, as a sexy shoplifter, because that’s a character type in Argento movies. I had to gif her magnificence in Inferno.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Graveyard Hyperbole

You might suspect a little hyperbole when reading the marker for Mickey Rooney’s resting place in the walls of the new Hollywood Forever mausoleum.


However, just a few slots about Rooney on the mausoleum totem pole-o’-eternal peace is another man, whose chief claim to fame seems to be coin-collecting and whose marker is the ballsiest in the entire graveyard.


It’s hard to read, stretching toward the heavens and above everyone else’s graves, so here’s a close-up look at that text.



Yep, “The Greatest Man the World has been blessed with.” Suck on that, everyone else in Hollywood Forever and also Mickey Rooney. For what it’s worth, it has prompted me to remember this guy... if only for his epitaph.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Facial Hair Dysmorphia

My name is Drew, and I feel insecure about my facial hair.


Let me describe for you a cycle that’s been going on for most of my post-pubescent life. Facial hair grows in, and stubble approaches beard status. About a week in, however, I begin to notice imperfections. “Oh, these few hairs don’t lie flat, and it looks patchy over yonder, and hey — have these two sides always been so asymmetrical?” I trim in an attempt to even it out. This maybe lasts a day or so, because when I’m next standing in front of the bathroom mirror, I realize that my attempts to fix the problem only made it worse. Of course, this only prompts me to try again to fix it, and in the end I end up buzzing it all away, back down to stubble, whereupon the cycle begins again.

(And no, clean-shaven is not an option for me. When I shave it off, I think I look like a kid play-acting as a grown-up. It creeps me out.)

Based on that description, you might think I’m critical of facial hair in general, but here’s the thing: I can’t remember the last time I saw some else’s stubble, beard, near-beard or whatever and had anything other than a positive reaction to it. Goatees excepted, I think facial hair better looks better than no facial hair, and I give everyone else a pass that I don’t give myself. At 32 years old, I’m basically good with the way I look and the way my body goes about its processes, but this one in particular I cannot accept. That’s maybe just how most people operate, saving their harshest judgment for themselves, but I’ve gradually become aware of the fact that I focus this harshness specifically on my facial hair.

I know calling my problem dysmorphia might rankle some, because body dysmorphia can be a life-ruiner of a problem that drives people to starve themselves or isolate themselves or plastic surgery themselves into oblivion. But before I wrote this, I read up on how dysmorphia affects people. Without going into too many specifics, I was surprised to learn that what I experience fits many of the criteria. I’m lucky I don’t experience it in a way that could impact my life more negatively, I realize, but it’s still something that’s bothered me for a decade. And it would feel better to stand in front of a mirror and not have my first reaction be, “No, this isn’t right.”

Alas, my permastubble is as good as I can do, Gawker’s condemnation of it notwithstanding. I’m fortunate to live in a part of the world where no one seems to notice or care that I’m trying to look like I always just getting back from a long weekend, but I also live in a part of the world with some commendable, magnificent beards that put me in my place. As a gay man, I have to wonder what insecurities may be prompting me to use facial hair as an easy, visible shorthand for masculinity. (“See? I am a man. Look, I have secondary sex characteristics and everything.”) And if I’m doing that, it’s odd that seizing upon a physical aspect of myself for which I can’t compensate by, say, working out more or investing in a codpiece.

I wrote this not to fish for compliments — other people’s assurances don’t do much to change my opinion about by pathetic beardlessness — but to put it out there to see if other guys ever feel the same way. Do you also suffer from suspicions that everyone else’s facial hair looks superior to your own? Do you find yourself trapped in a permastubble cycle? Is this an insecurity for straight guys in the same way it is for gay guys? Does anyone know the name of a good beard-wig supplier?

Sincerely,
Captain Permastubble

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

With “It” Being Gray Skin and Vision-Obscuring Hair

Gwen Stefani has a new album coming out. This is news that some people will receive enthusiastically, I’d guess. Available data sets lead me to believe it will not significantly affect my life, but I can offer you the following side-by-side.


Am I the only one to see this? It’s the first thing I thought of. And as I keep seeing Stefani’s album cover on social media, it continues to be my only reaction to it.

The fellow on the right, if you don’t know, is Ghirahim, a big bad from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword who’s notable for being… a little freaky. For a character in a Nintendo game, he has a considerable sexual charge, and it’s often directed at the series hero, Link. Nintendo made him a playable character in the new Zelda spin-off, Hyrule Warriors, and his intro trailer conveys his shtick pretty straightforwardly.


The tongue-waggling. The snooty laugh. The tights. I feel like most audiences would recognize him as a gay-coded character. (There’s a pun on the phrase Skyward Sword to be made, obviously, and in fact, you find out in the end that Ghirahim is actually a sentient sword, so make of that what you will.) And as unlikely a Nintendo character as he seems, the company has embraced Ghirahim, even putting him in the new Smash Bros.. Online, there’s no shortage of fan-made reaction to the guy, and now Gwen Stefani has just found a new reason to make me think about Nintendo’s new favorite embodiment of all things salacious and campy and not-explicitly-gay-but-yeah-basically-gay.

How fun for her.


Meaning Gwen.

I think.

Who Wore It Better? — previously:

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Foul Horror of the Zombie Sandy Duncan

Presented below is the middle third of the Hogan Family episode “Nightmare on Oak Street,” which horrified me and other unknowing youths who had tuned in expecting to see anything other than the zombie Sandy Duncan.


Yes, Jason Bateman also becomes a zombie, but that’s not what lingered with me: It’s the shot of Sandy Duncan’s ghoul face when she lowers the newspaper.


Looking at it now, it’s hardly scarier than any background alien on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or that show that I resented because it meant the end of weekday cartoons and therefore refused to watch. But at the time this episode aired, I was five years old and had never seen anything actually scary. Zombie Sandy Duncan was, at the time, the scariest thing I’d ever seen, and her horrible face became the thing I would absolutely try not to think about when I was in bed, in the dark, all alone. But I would. To this day, I’ve never been able to hear Sandy Duncan’s name without immediately jumping to this mental image.

All this got dredged up for a piece I did for People on the inexplicably scary episodes that classic sitcoms would sometimes do. As an adult, I get it: Writers like to experiment, to meddle in other genres. But I can still remember the stress of being a child, watching Hogan’s Family and wondering why it wasn’t the experience I wanted. I wonder if current family sitcoms are screwing with kids’ heads in a similar fashion.

And then there’s an awkwardness. This episode aired on November 23, 1987. On September 21, 1987, the show introduced Sandy Duncan’s character, who moved in to care for the boys after their mom, Valerie Harper’s character, died in a car accident. That’s what motivated the name change from Valerie to The Hogan Family. Even considering the behind-the-scenes scuffle that prompted Harper to leave a show that was literally named after her, doesn’t it seem odd that they’d follow up the mom’s death so soon after with an episode with walking corpses?

In conclusion and in summary, the theme song to this show is awesome and I never get tired of it and it pops into my head probably once a week, completely unprovoked and I just today found it that it was sung by Roberta Flack.


And to that point, I add only this: the image of “dippity-dooed” serial killer Blair, from the equally confounding slasher movie episode of The Facts of Life.

facts of life slasher movie blair serial killer

Just in case you never revisited it after its original broadcast and need assurance that yes, this is another strange thing that actually happened, and no, you did not make this up.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pinker Than Shepherd’s Delight

I’d barely been speeding. Here is a selection from the conversation that I had with the CHP officer who pulled me over.
Officer: So what were you listening to?

Me: I… excuse me?

Officer: When you sped past, you looked like you were listening to your jam. I was wondering what that jam was.

Me: Oh, it was just some dumb song.

Officer: Whose song was it?

Me: It… was a band that calls itself Marina and the Diamonds.

Officer: They sound pretty hardcore.

Me: They’re really not. Just a dumb pop band.

Officer: What was the song called?

Me: “Froot.” It was called “Froot.”

Officer: So if I were to look up Marina and the Diamonds and this song “Froot,” I would be able to listen to whatever you were listening to.

Me: Yes. But it’s not “Fruit.” It’s “Froot.” F-R-O-O-T.

Officer: That’s not how you spell “fruit.”

Me: Yeah, but that’s how she spells it.

Officer: She being Marina?

Me: Yes, sir.
In the end, I was allowed to proceed without a ticket, since my unblemished record and immaculately clean car made me seem like the kind of guy who only needs a warning to correct his bad behavior. Or maybe he just pitied me. Or maybe I just seemed especially harmless.

This, by the way, is the song that led me into a criminal lifestyle. It looks like Pac-Man at a gay rave.



Yes, I did learn all the lyrics. No, that will not get me anywhere. But hey — no ticket.

Previous stories which I allege to be funny:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Let’s Go Ride a Bike

Hey. I’ve made a new mix of the music I’m listening to this month. Album art below. It’s mostly newer stuff. I hope you enjoy.


If you’d like to listen or download — just right-click any song you like to save — you’ll need the password. I’m happy to give it. Just email me or tweet me or whatever and I’ll hook you up.

And here’s the September mix, in case you want to further take in my own personal soundtrack. The same password will get you into both.

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Murder, She Wrote Conspiracy Theory [Developing]

Without realizing it, I started powering through Netflix’s entire series run of Murder, She Wrote in conjunction with the series’ thirtieth anniversary. I watch an episode or two whenever I have work that doesn’t require too much attention, and as I move ahead through the series, I’ve begun to develop a theory that, much like the theories of evolution or gravity, is impossible for any rational mind to dispute. And no, this is nothing as simple as the trite “What if Jessica Fletcher is actually the killer?” theory. No, this is much deeper than that.


Jessica Fletcher has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of nieces and nephews, all spread across the country and working in every industry imaginable.


Each of these young relatives are, per Jessica Fletcher, incapable of murder but nonetheless associated with murders.


It’s possible that each of these supposed nieces and nephews are actually just Jessica Fletcher’s murder operatives that she's manipulating under the guise of being their kindly, childless aunt.


She used to be an English teacher — so better to brainwash young people into becoming murder drones, obviously.


Jessica Fletcher’s brothers and sisters are seen rarely. I assume she has killed them all in order to raise their children as her murder drones.


People probably suspect Jessica Fletcher of being a murderous mastermind, but they still invite her places because they’re scared of angering her.


In fact, she's probably holding the whole town of Cabot Cove hostage. In the episodes where she’s investigating murders in other cities, the innocent Cabot Covers are probably scrambling to escape, lest Lady Death return and lower the population further.


The notion of Jessica Fletcher controlling Cabot Cove with a bloody fist is the only explanation for Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley and Tom Bosley’s interesting accent), who is often Chief Wiggum-level stupid and unable to investigate crimes without Jessica’s repeated prompting. Clearly, she’s guiding him down a path that leads away from her own guilt.


Obviously, Jessica Fletcher murdered the previous sheriff and replaced him with her Tupper, her puppet.


Despite the fact that people seem widely familiar with her work — “J.B. Flecter? I just loved The Corpse Danced at Midnight!” — Jessica Fletcher lives in a relatively modest home and not a super-mansion you’d expect from a blockbuster author. I can only assume that the word has gotten out that she may spare you if you praise her work. Thus, people put on a show of having read her books when they actually haven’t bought a copy.


Every time an episode ends with Jessica Fletcher finally winning over the stubborn lawman she’s working with in whatever non-Cabot Cove city, the scene ends with her making a goofy face to spare the viewing audience from what inevitably follows: raunchy Fletcher fucking.


When these lawman don’t re-appear? Jessica Fletcher killed them, obviously. With sex.


J.B. Fletcher = J.B. Felcher? (Still researching this one.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Purported Plagiarism of Bobby Orlando (A Dance Party)

Let me tell you about Bobby Orlando.


In short, he helped shape the music of the ’80s. Orlando is one of the guys credited with inventing the evocatively named “Hi-NRG” sound that helped the dance beats of the ’70s bleed into the synth we associate with the ’80s. Though American, Bobby Orlando’s take on dance music influenced the Euro disco and italo disco genres with which I’m so fascinated. More than a few write-ups on the guy accuse him of some pretty nasty homophobia, and that’s especially interesting because a lot of the music he made got major play in gay clubs. He also worked with Pet Shop Boys and Divine, however, and a schmoe like me who’s just reading second-hand reports about him can’t weigh in on this apparently contradiction one way or the other. However, there are other online rumblings about vague misdeeds too — like this one, claiming to be from singer Roni Griffith herself — and one of the most frequent allegations is plagiarism.

I found out about this earlier this summer when I posted about the odd similarity between Roni Griffith’s “Desire” and The Flirts’ “Passion.” The latter nearly sounds like a cover of the former, but it’s just different enough that “rip-off” seems like a more appropriate term.


However, given that Orlando masterminded both songs as well as both artists, it gets trickier. Did he plagiarize himself? Or was Griffith’s version simply a beta version of the song he finalized a year later?

One reader left a comment on that post that put the similarity in a larger perspective.
Bobby Orlando was notorious for actively working to mimic songs that were hits; Divine's "Love Reaction" is basically just "Blue Monday" redux; The Flirts "On the Beach" sounds like Soft Cell/B-52's collaboration that never was. So there's something strangely reassuring that he would cannibalize his own hits, as well.
And this prompted me to look around online and try to find every instance I could find of someone claiming that a Bobby Orlando creation ripped off some other song. All the results are below, but do take this all the salt you feel appropriate. I’ve been writing online long enough to know that I don’t understand music well enough on a technical level to say “Hey! This ripped off that!” with any authority. This is just what other people online have put together, and I thought they made for interesting side-by-sides. (Special thanks to My Year of Mixtapes for posting the biggest list.)

New Order’s “Blue Monday” (1983) and Divine’s “Love Reaction” (1983)


I’m actually not sure if 1983 is the right year for the Divine track. The version posted above is a re-working of the song. I think this is the original. Regardless, New Order responded to the Divine song live in concert.

The B-52s’ “Private Idaho” (1980) and Barbie and the Kens’ “Just a Gigolo” (1981)


The B-52s’ “Rock Lobster” (1978) and The Flirts’ “On the Beach” (1983)


Blondie’s “Call Me” (1980) and Roni Griffith’s “Hot Lover” (1981)


Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” (1984) and Bobby Orlando’s “Pump It Up” (1985)


Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” (1985) and Girly’s “Saving Myself” (1989)


Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts” (1986) and Hotline’s “Ready or Not” (1986)


It’s noted elsewhere that a later Bobby O-produced track, Tony Caso’s “Love Attack,” sounds a lot like “Ready or Not,” though it doesn’t especially sound like “Two of Hearts,” so go figure.

Lime’s “Unexpected Lovers” (1985) and Bobby O and Claudja Barry’s “Whisper to a Scream (1986)


Patrick Cowley’s “Menergy” (1980) and Divine’s “Shoot Your Shot” (1984)


Conversely, this site notes that Divine’s 1982 song “Native Love (Step by Step)” sounds a lot like “Blue on Blue,” a Pet Shop Boys B-side from the 2006 album Fundamental.


And in looking through all these, I also found another instance of two Bobby Orlando songs sounding extremely similar: Girly’s “Trouble” (1984) and Dressed to Kill’s “Crash Bam Boom” (1987).


Finally, there’s the whole mess with Pet Shop Boys.  Orlando produced some of the Pet Shop Boys’ early work, including the original version of “West End Girls.” Orlando also produced a 1984 cut of “It’s a Sin,” a song that was eventually released in 1987. According to Wikipedia, When that version came out, British DJ Jonathan King accuse the Pet Shop Boys of lifting the melody of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” Below are all three songs.


Of course, in this case I don’t think Orlando can be blamed, even by his most vocal critics, because Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe wrote the song. Still, it’s a weird footnote in this little story about pop music sound-alikes.

I’m sure there are other Bobby Orlando creations that sound like other artists’ songs. If I’ve missed a good one, please tell me. I’m all ears.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Conversation With Online Advertising About My Recent Underwear Purchase

Me: I have purchased underwear online.

Online advertising: HEY DO YOU WANT TO BUY UNDERWEAR

Me: Hmm? Oh, no. I already did.

Online advertising: HEY DO YOU WANT TO BUY UNDERWEAR

Me: No, I bought a sufficient amount.

Online advertising: HEY BUT UNDERWEAR

Me: Right. I actually use the internet for purposes other than underwear-purchasing.

Online advertising: HEY

Me: Yes? What?

Online advertising: LOOK HERE IS THE UNDERWEAR YOU WERE LOOKING AT

Me: Thanks. I know. I don’t need to see it again until it arrives in the mail.

Online advertising: THEY COME IN COLORS TOO

Me: You know, I’m actually typing in a sort of public space right now…

Online advertising: OUR ADS LOOK LIKE GAY SOFTCORE KINDA

Me: Yes, a lot of men’s underwear advertisements look that way.

Online advertising: IF YOU WERE LOOKING AT THIS PHOTO ON TUMBLR OR SOMETHING AT WORK YOU COULD GET IN TROUBLE

Me: You know, the page I’m on right now isn’t even remotely underwear-related…

Online advertising: HERE WE PUT A LADY IN THE AD IF THAT MAKES IT BETTER


Me: It really doesn’t.

Online advertising: LOOK THERE’S LESS LADY NOW.


Me: …

Online advertising: HEY.


Online advertising: HEY BET YOU’RE NOT LOOKING AT THE LADY NOW HA HA HA

Me: Gosh, this online dictionary site has a lot of banner ads.

Online advertising: HEY WHY ARE YOU EMBARRASSED ABOUT WEARING UNDERWEAR

Me: I’m really not, it’s just that—

Online advertising: HEY ARE YOU GOING ON VACATION MAYBE


Me: ...

Online advertising: HEY BUT UNDERWEAR

Me: [runs away, abandoning laptop at the coffee house]

Online advertising: HEY BUY SOME MORE UNDERWEAR

(And yes, I have written about this exact phenomenon before, but as it’s been said online far too many times this week, It is happening again.)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Questions I Have About These New Episodes of Twin Peaks

So this, obviously, is something I never thought would happen, even after season four of Arrested Development and the Veronica Mars movie. It was too far off, too locked into its cult classic status. But no, despite all that, this is happening again. There are new episodes of Twin Peaks coming in 2016.


I have some questions, however.

Would Laura be 25 years older? Despite, you know, being dead?

Would Cooper be 25 years older, despite not existing on our plane of reality all this time?

Isn’t nice how Kyle MacLachlan aged more gracefully than the Twin Peaks makeup artists guessed he would?



Will it be Twin Peaks: The Next Generation?

Can James have married Donna? Could Shelley have married Bobby? Could Audrey have married Johnny Justice Wheeler? And could their kids all be attending high school together?

Or has “Bad Cooper” killed off everyone in Twin Peaks by now? Can the establishing shot be the the town’s population, considerably lowered in the past twenty-five years?

So… no BOB, right? Since Frank Silva died in 1995?

And no Mrs. Tremond, since Frances Bay died in 2011?

And no Pete Martell?

Could the show guest-star Zooey Deschnael and Rashida Jones, since by virtue of being the daughters of Eileen Hayward and Norma Jennings, they’re Twin Peaks legacies?

If the show revisits the doomed soul of Josie Packard, must it keep the same early-90s CGI?


Or could Joan Chen instead play the much-discussed Judy?

Will Molly Shannon reprise her role as Judy the foster care lady?

Molly Shannon Twin Peaks

Can Catherine Martell please be having as much sex as ever?

Would Donna be back?

Would the show have to explain how Donna moved to Hollywood and that’s why she looks like this now?


I tried and failed to find out what James Marshall looks like now. And it’s neither here nor there, but hey, look what a baby-faced James Marshall looked like in a 1985 episode of Murder, She Wrote.

James Marshall Murder She Wrote

Can Annie Blackburn still have her radically 90s moussed-to-all-hell curls?


How weird will it be for people like me — who only experienced Twin Peaks’ original TV run through on-air promos for a show I wasn’t allowed to watch and who has only known the show as a canceled cult classic — to watch a brand-new episode?

I will update this the moment anything Twin Peaks-related crosses my mind. And forgive me, but I have devoted a lot of my mental energies in the past decade to Twin Peaks. This news put them into hyperdrive.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Things I Found Buried in My Yard

The house was built in 1942. Apparently no one picked up after themselves beween then and 2014. So far I have found…

so much broken glass, so many rusted nails

a mystery marble

a detached rosary crucifix

another mystery marble

piuma wines
a screw-off top to a wine brand that could date back to 1939

the corpse of motherfucking groot
So tell me, super sleuths: What cautionary tale are the ghosts in my yard trying to tell me? What story do these clues tell you?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Revenge of the Creature from the San Andreas Fault

So here’s a weird thing that happened. Yesterday’s post concerned my friend Kristen, who back in college starred in a photo shoot I did for a class project in which I tried to re-create a film press packet. I chose to make a bad slasher movie, which I titled Creature from the San Andreas Fault. In yesterday’s post, I used one of those photos.

star vivian lynn pfefferman, unaware of approaching doom
Weirdly, hours before, someone on Twitter used a different one of those photos. I just found out late tonight.

For the project, we purposefully tried to imitate Scream. Here’s the original image we used as inspiration.


It’s little more than a weird coincidence, but it is a surprising one considering how I and everyone else in the online world forgot about these photos until now. However, it did remind me of this project that I did more than a decade ago...

For the sake of posterity (and because October is the month we revel in all things spooky-scary), here are the rest of those photos.

vivian lynn pfefferman, more aware of approaching doom

vivian lynn pfefferman, wondering when the mail will come

vivan lynn pfefferman, pretending she can read

vivian lynn pfefferman, doing her best fay wray

best friend patsy pickett, suffering the fate of all slasher movie besties

the creature

the creature (again)

some asshole

vivian doing her best IKWYDLS-era j-lo-hew

vivian, doing janet leigh

vivian, learning how to scream in a shower

Note: Yes, that is me, fourth from the bottom. No, I don't know why I look like that. Yes, the photos are, in general, very yellowish, but only in mind does it make me look like I have jaundice. No, I don't know why my lips look so pink. I let someone I thought was good with digital photo editing do the color correction — in fact, because college, I paid him in liquor for his services — and I did not question it at the time. Yes, I had hair. Yes, that is a puka shell necklace. No, I do not have any excuses.

Also: No, I don't know why we had that mask or the hatchet.

Regardless, as one intrepid reporter once exclaimed, “Deja voodoo!”