Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Silly headline of the day

"9 ways you're cooking your steak wrong, according to the chef of Wall Street's oldest steakhouse"

Why not just save time and tell us the one right way to make it, then!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

P.S.

Moving around so much makes it hard to keep consistent sports loyalty, but if I had to choose my One True Team, it would still be the Red Sox. Being a Sox fan, at least back in the day (I remember '86, ugggh) is more of a LotR-style adventure than a fandom. It was a crazy ride filled with orcs, wraiths, evil wizards and scariest of all, NY fans, but it ended in victory. Fans coming in post-'04 won't have that same feel, but that was my experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

(You didn't hear that though, Blue Jays. Win!)

I'm coming for you next, Blue Jays!

So I have one very special "skill." Perhaps a superpower? Basically, I make sports teams win. Red Sox breaking the curse? Yep, that was me. (And possibly Schill, and Johnny D before he went evil, and Mark Freaking Bellhorn, and Tekker, but yeah, mostly me. :D)

I made the Tampa Bay Bucs win, people. The TAMPA BAY BUCS.

Okay, so this is mostly a tongue-in-cheek post BUT, I do have a pretty good resume of moving to an area, rooting for the local team, and that team winning shortly thereafter.

I've moved around, a lot. All over the US and now Canada. I've Been Everywhere is my song, literally. Though I was born and mostly raised in LA, I'm not gonna count the Dodgers '88 win because I wasn't much of a sports fan back then. Now if they'd won in say, '96, I'd totally take credit for that. :D I'm also not counting the Braves, because even though they were my top team for a good 12 years, I never lived in Georgia and there was nothing flukey or weird about their WS win. What's weird is that they didn't win more. Heck, I might even count that as a fail!

But on to the good stuff. Oh, and anyone can start rooting for a team after they win (hi, every Yankee fan outside of NY). My special skill is rooting for them right before they win. So we'll start with the early 2000s, when I moved from NC to FL. My two main rooting interests at the time were the Braves and NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte (because you have to have a driver if you live in NC or FL. Seriously, if you don't they issue you one at the border.) Upon arriving in FL, I pretty quickly adopted the Bucs as my team for one reason: their quirky, vastly entertaining and awesomely good kicker Martin "Automatica" Gramatica. And they needed a good kicker because holy crap, they could not score TDs. That team was all defense and field goals, which would have been boring as fuck if not for the aforementioned Mr. Gramatica.


He was just so delighted about kicking a ball through a post! It was contagious!

Long story short, the Bucs won the SB, their first and only to date, a few years into my fandom, and Bobby Labonte won the Winston Cup (whatever it's called now, I haven't followed NASCAR in ages). An honorable mention here is the Ohio State Buckeyes championship. I've never been a CFB fan; I don't like the lack of a playoff system and real championship game. The game itself is fine but that's kind of a buzzkill. Anyway, my bf at the time was an Ohioan living in FL and a huge Buckeyes fan, so I kinda adopted the team for that time period. (Hey, that Buckeye mascot is pretty cute.) And what do you know, during that short window of time, they won whatever semblance of a championship there was. I don't even like OSU anymore, but I'll half-count it. :P

In 2004, I moved to New England. We all know what's coming here. My family is from New England (CT), so I'd been a fan of the Red Sox, Pats, Celtics, Bruins and UCONN Huskies (the alma mater of my mom and several of my relatives) to varying degrees throughout the years. Mostly the Red Sox though, especially in the Nomar years. OMG, I loved me some Nomar. So I moved to RI in April '04, right at the start of the season. The UCONN men's and women's basketball teams had just won national championships (yep, totes taking credit for that too) so I was super pumped to be in the epicenter of so many of my sports fandoms.

The Red Sox '04 victory and cursebreaking came at a price though: my beloved Nomar was traded midseason. He never got to experience a WS victory. Curse breaking is a painful and messy business. I know, I watch Supernatural. In addition to the Nomar sacrifice, Curt Schilling had to appease the baseball gods with his own blood before the celebrating could begin. Scary stuff! But I was there for my boys, I watched every game, went to Fenway for the first (and not last) time. I bought a copy of that Dropkick Murphys "Tessie" song and started calling myself Tessie. I don't know if I listened to much else that year (and really, looking back on '04, that's not a bad thing). OMG, I wanted this to be the year. Even with Nomar gone, everything was aligned.

I went to game 3 of the ALCS. Yeah, that game. 19-8 Yankees. The only time I ever left a baseball game early. Before I left I shed a tear; it landed with a sad plop on the old, hallowed ground of Fenway Park (or possibly in my Rem Dawg, but the other way is more poetic).

Cue, the biggest comeback in sports history. The Red Sox finally defeated the hated behemoth that was the Yankees. In GLORIOUS fashion, so glorious it almost bent time and undid the pain of '03. It actually happened. And I was there. Still the favorite moment of my life. The WS win was almost anti-climactic it was so easy, except well, obviously it wasn't. It was also glorious.

Then the Pats won a bunch of times, and even the Celtics, who I watched all through their lowly last-place season where they won like two games. You're welcome, New England. And, thank you for all the awesome sports memories. (I can't count the Bruins victory as mine, because even though they're the only hockey team I've ever rooted for, I'd been away from NE for a few years by then and wasn't really paying much attention.)

My Pats fandom also waned a bit upon moving, and I was immediately struck by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, so I started pulling for the Packers at the start of his tenure. Aaaaand they won. And likely will again. Maybe this season.

And here we are today. I thought I'd met my match with the Blue Jays. I moved to Canada in 2012, and they were thoroughly mired in suck and one of the longest playoff droughts in baseball. The longest, until this year. But it looks like it might finally be coming to fruition this year. Just winning the AL East, hell, just making the playoffs is a pretty big deal, but they have a real shot to go all the way. As good a shot as anyone else, I'd say.

So that's my little sports saga. Is there anything to all this? Am I some kind of sports fairy? (Hey, it sounds more fun than being a tooth fairy.) Eh, probably not, but if the Jays win you know I'm gonna take a little credit. ;)

I mean, Tampa Bay Bucs, people. COME ON. (And sorry, Florida, for leaving you and condemning the Bucs to eternal suckage again. And sorry about the Florida half of FGL too, in case I had anything to do with that.)


I've got a pink Jays hat and a red leaf, let's do this thing Toronto!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cafeteria ladies' hairnets are sexier than that song, is what I'm saying.


There's probably a "sexy lunch lady" Halloween costume out there somewhere, and the person who would buy and wear that is also sexier than that song.

Let's not.

ACTUALLY WAIT



I needed only to peruse the charts further to find an even worse abomination than... *sigh* Rae Sremmurd. It pains me to even type that. Anyway, you know how poor Hank Williams rolls over in his grave every time some douchebro mentions him alongside Drake or somebody? Well, that ain't nothin' compared to the calisthenics poor Marvin Gaye must be doing right now. May he rest in peace. And stop invoking the names of dead people who were much awesomer than you in your stupid songs! It doesn't give you cred, it just reminds people of how much better they were than you! In the immortal words of MST3K, "Never show a good movie in the middle of your crappy movie."

So... "let's Marvin Gaye and get it on." Classy. If you ever wondered what the combined sex appeal of Justin Bieber, the Chipmunks, and the entire cast of Glee would sound like, here you go. Hmmm, what other unsexy things can I add in there? Tap water? Creamed corn? Roadkill?*

So let's talk about Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth (?). Yeah, I still have a hard time believing he went with that name. Okay, whatever, let's puth this. I've already talked at length about Meghan Trainor, so I'll sum up her performance here in one line: "I'm like a dog without a bone." Umm, she said that, not me. I swear! I did not just call Meghan Trainor a dog who can't get laid, she did! Now I'm not the best judge of what women are sexy, and I'm not into judging performers on their looks unless they wear something incredibly hideous (Hi, Miley). So.

I think Meghan is attractive, most definitely NOT fat, and probably sexy to some people. To me though, she's way too young and too squeaky clean to pull off something like "let's get it on." She looks like a spokesmodel, like someone who'd be doing a commercial for paint swatches with a big perky smile on. It's like Suzy, your Time-Life operator suddenly started doing a phone sex ad. Whoa, Suzy! I just wanted to order "Cruisin: Greatest Hits of the 50s!" I'm sure you're a nice girl and all, but maybe you should stick to what you do best, eh? Meghan's voice is fine, and I do like her love of retro music, but nothing about her is fit to impart this message. Nothing. Someone like Lady Gaga who could maybe pull it off would never sing something so stupid. And she sang "ga ga ooh la la" and "cherry cherry boom boom."

Charlie... Puth. Now, I've never watched an episode of Glee, but I've seen enough clips to know I'd rather go to a Luke Bryan/FGL show than binge-watch that shit. And this Charlie Puth pretty much strikes me as all the cast members of Glee rolled into one person. Yep, even the female ones. Nope, not saying he seems gay or girly or whatever, or that I'd care if he was. I'm saying these kind of young celebrities are so indistinguishable from each other, even their genders are a big blur of blandness. I'll say he's mildly sexier than Justin Bieber, but so is a flat tire. And "mild" is just the right word for this guy and this song. He's so young and so squeaky clean, I feel like he's singing me this song from his bicycle. While doing his paper route. The level of sexy here can, once again, best be summed up by MST3K: "Flat, drab passion meanders across the screen!"

I feel sorry for any children who might be conceived to this song. You're doooomed. YOU'RE ALL DOOMED!

*Tap Water, Creamed Corn and Roadkill kinda sounds like a roots-punk-rockabilly band. And they're way better than this mess.

Fun? with Billboard charts

17 Gonna Wanna Tonight
Chase Rice

18 Gonna
Blake Shelton

19 Wanna
Bryant Luke

20 Tonight
Bryce Chase

Okay, it's pretty sad that I only made up half of those. To say that mainstream country is unoriginal and samey at this point is redundant. All you need to do is look at the charts. What will the next song in this progression be called, "'Na (The Monosyllabic Caveman Song)" by umm... *sorts through country star name fridge magnets* Duke Cole? There ya go. "'Na," our next big hit song. Make it happen, Nashville!!

And on the pop charts...



Okay, seriously. I've talked shit about some bad music here, but some of it you can chalk up to not being my taste. I don't like sparse beats, I don't like autotune, I don't like music to be a douchebag to. This is possibly the first song I've talked about that actually doesn't sound like a song. It sounds like an accident at the studio, like someone spilled their Orange Crush all over this thing and was like, "fuck it, we'll just put it out, no one will notice." It sounds like someone spun around really fast on a merry go round and recorded a song immediately after. Right before they puked. And also they're drunk.

"Rae Sremmurd" is pronounced "NO," btw.

The second best song in the top 10 is that "Cheerleader" song. Yup. I do like "Can't Feel My Face." I haven't liked anything else by the... Weeknd*, but Can't Feel My Face is funky, I dig it. Can "Wildest Dreams" make the top 10 already? It's the first Taylor Swift single I've really liked since "Sparks Fly."

*the Weeknd: "There are too many 'e's' in this word, I'm going out for a smoke!" Man, I can't stop the MST references today.

Soooo drunk merry go round music and caveman grunts. This is where we're at now, folks. Can we go any lower than this? ....don't answer that. Please.



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Okay, time to stop dorking around on the internet and start dorking around on this blog... on the internet. Enough procrastinating, is what I'm saying. This honorable mentions list is hard, harder than the top 10. For the sake of sanity, I'm limiting myself to 10. In no order, except #1 is my favorite.

1. Nightmare on Elm Street
This is the one that makes me wish I'd done a Nostalgia Critic-style top 11 list. Seriously, how could I leave off this classic? We'll just pretend this is #11. I did enjoy some of the sequels as well, but there's no beating the original. Johnny Depp! Exploding in a glorious firework of blood! My favorite thing about these movies, besides Robert Englund's performance, is that you never quite know what's real, like experiencing a dream yourself. It feels like a dreamstate. That sense of unreality is hard to get across on film without being a confused mess. Major props to Wes Craven for pulling it off. And just a great, creepy monster in Freddy. He ruined striped sweaters forever. :P

2. Beetlejuice
Not really a horror movie, but a great one to watch during the Halloween season and probably my favorite imagery in a film ever. Tim Burton is hit or miss for me, but this one is on-target. I still find myself quoting this movie a lot. Great lines, every character is memorable, every scene is memorable, and you have to watch it several times to even see everything there is to see. It's like the best funhouse ever. And there's even an awesome song at the end! I remember seeing this as a kid and wanting to go back in and immediately watch it again.

3. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Screaming Skull
Okay so MST3K is my favorite thing ever, I have every single episode on DVD except the "lost" season K ones. They've done some amazingly cheesy horror movies like "WerewolfWarwilf" and "Touch of Satan," but "Screaming;Skull" is my number one Halloween episode of choice. Not because the story of sometimes seeing peacocks and sometimes not seeing peacocks is scary, oh no. But it is hilarious in just how unscary it is. I think the coffin bit is what really puts this episode over for me. Even if it is just literally screaming and a skull, and of course Looking for Mickey, it's become a Halloween classic for me. Oh and the Gumby short at the beginning, which somehow manages to be more terrifying than the movie.

4. Friday the 13th*
I've seen all the movies in this series, for better or worse. Most of them I've enjoyed to varying degrees, even Jason in Space, Yo! I'm putting the first one here because duh, it's the one that got me into the series and it is a well-made slasher movie. Plus the twist at the end is pretty good. I'm also putting this here to cover the other good installments in the series. There are a couple that are unwatchably bad, even for me, like the one that doesn't even have Jason in it. Overall though, more campy fun than bad. LOL "camp"y fun. Ok I'll stop now. I remember especially enjoying the ones with Corey Feldman - part 4 I think? Part 3 was really good too. And on that note...

5. Freddy vs Jason
Deserves its own entry. I've actually only seen this one once, but it's on my list to rewatch this year. I went into it thinking it would be stupid, but it was actually pretty awesome. My thought after seeing it was "a horror movie for horror movie fans." They did it well, like an homage really. I'm curious to see it again.

6. The Devonsville Terror
Okay, this is a weird choice. An Ulli Lommel film? Seriously, Ulli Lommel? Well it's a personal choice, but I do maintain it's a pretty cool, memorable movie. Here's the deal. I have exactly two good memories of being a teen/tween. One is skipping school and going to the arcade to play Ms Pac-Man all afternoon. I achieved the high score once. Good times. The other is staying up late watching horror movies. Back in the day, stations like USA and TBS played cheesy 70s and 80s horror movies all the time late at night. This was my time of day. I watched em all, more than I can ever even remember.

Which brings us to Devonsville Terror. I watched this on TV, probably when I was 13, probably around one AM. I never remembered the name of the movie, but a scene from it stuck with me that for the next 20+ years, I tried to find it. I remembered the basic plot - suspected witches are killed back in the old Salem days, flash forward to modern days (well, the 80s) and women start getting killed the same way the witches did. The scene I remembered so vividly was a woman tied to a wheel and sent rolling down a hill on fire. That's all I had to work with. Well FINALLY, a few years ago, I came across a "what horror movie was this" site where I put that in and someone actually had an answer for me! So I found it and watched it right away, expecting I wouldn't enjoy it like I had when I was 13, but I was pleasantly surprised. For what it is, it held up. If you like cheesy 70s/80s witch movies, I recommend it. It's better than Touch of Satan, anyway.

So this movie was kind of my holy grail for a while. And it represents the late night, low budget movies of my childhood, and all those cozy nights when I could just relax, be myself, and watch a cheesy movie.

7. Night of the Living Dead series
Okay again, I'm not gonna choose just one because I need to cover not only the original 3 films, but the 3 remakes. If I had to choose a favorite, it's probably the original Dawn of the Dead. The mall one. Abandoned malls are creepy as hell and I love them. So there, I picked one lol. But yeah, all 6 of these films have merit and need to be included. One that hardly ever gets talked about is the remake of Night of the Living Dead. The later remakes of Dawn and Day were popular, but that lone 1990 film seems forgotten, and I don't think it should be. Yeah they changed the ending, meh, but I still dig the performances and effects throughout. What really stands out about all 3 of these remakes is well, they don't suck. This past decade we've seen garbage remakes of many of the classic horror films on my list, but this is why modern remakes aren't always a bad idea. Which isn't to say the original films are passe, just the opposite. These are great stories that are also visually appealing as gory zombie movies, and they didn't lose anything in the retelling. The effects are definitely the star of this series. They're amazing, and worth watching just for that. But they're not the only reason to watch. Zombie apocalypse paradise, and OMG so influential right into today.

8. The Midnight Hour
Another personal, very 80s-kid choice. But hey, it's my list. :D This is a made for tv movie from the mid-80s directed at kids, but I watched it a couple years ago for the first time as an adult and was surprised by how much I still enjoyed it. It's another old-Salem-witches-meets-modern-times (well, the 80s) movie, but this one's a bit lighter. And wow, what an awesome soundtrack! (As the title might indicate.) This might not appeal to anyone but 80s kids, but it's a really fun watch for me. And there's a sweet story about a nerd who falls in love with a ghost from the 50s.

9. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
Where Devonsville Terror was my holy grail, Hello Mary Lou was my quintessential late night horror movie. How many times did USA show this??? I might have even watched it twice in one night lol. It's silly but it's also vastly entertaining with some actual cool concepts and visuals. Compulsively watchable. And it was partly filmed here in Edmonton, holla!! The original Prom Night, which isn't remotely connected to this other than also having a prom in it, is also a favorite. Jamie Lee Curtis, 'nuff said. But this is the one that really sticks out for me. I think it's that opening scene of Mary Lou in the confessional. My 13 year old rebellious self thought that was the coolest thing everrrr.

10. The Shuttered Room
Okay, this movie is awesome. Like, this could have gone on the "best" list. Great suspense, creepy atmosphere, good performances. It builds suspense throughout with a big payoff at the end; just the way a horror movie should. This is one for a real creep-out fest, not a campfest. Watch it late at night with the lights out and a nice cup of tea. And maybe a shot of whiskey. ;)

A quick note about another movie I love, The Shining. Here's the thing. Everyone has this movie on their list, and rightly so, it's a cool scary movie. I mean, I unwittingly saw this when I was 8 and it scared me so bad I couldn't watch it "for real" for years. But in the end, I wanted to include some lesser known, more personal choices than another one that's almost cliché to pick. But I do love it.

Well, there are probably lots of better movies out there, but this is an even more personal selection than the top 10, and it's very much "movies that stuck with me for whatever reason." I also have several newer films to watch that I've heard are very good, like Insidious and the Babadook, so we'll see if any of those end up on a list next year. I'll also do 10 more honorable mentions next year, but right now I want to go watch some movies! :)

*I'm also a big fan of the series that has nothing whatsoever to do with the films. It's a creepy little show about finding cursed artifacts. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

looooool... speaking of bad electronic music, while I was out I just heard a "song" that sounded exactly like farts set to music.

Producer: I hope you enjoy my latest composition, "Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit, the More You Eat, the More you Toot."

*dies*

I think it was dubstep?? All dubstep I've heard sounds like a mix of people farting and dropping their keys on the floor. Maybe occasionally putting something through a blender that shouldn't be put through a blender. Like keys.

What I think people think while listening to dubstep: "Wow we're so cool! We'll never turn into our parents!"

To be fair, that's probably what the first rock n roll generation thought, too. And they're still pretty cool, because rock music is awesome and keeps you young. Really, I think that's why people seem younger now, because they grew up listening to rock. #science

But yeah sorry, dubstep is terrible. I mean, it is all about image, right? No one could possibly... enjoy that? :/

*fart fart fart lower pitched fart fart fart*

A quick note...

before I get into my honorable mentions.

I think CGI is the movie counterpart of electronic music.

I'm not opposed to either of them completely; they have their place. Some electronic music sounds good, like actual music. Some movies work well with CGI effects. For instance, I have no problem with CGI in films like Godzilla or Jurassic World. These are films about giant lizards and dinosaurs. They're larger than life. In that situation, the CGI doesn't take me out of the movie because I know I'm watching a movie. I'm not there for the atmosphere, I'm there to watch giant monsters step on stuff and people running away going "AAAAAAAAAAAH!" I've seen a lot of criticism of Jurassic World, but I thought it was fine for what it was. So I'm not one of those "all CGI is the devil" people.

In the more creepy, atmospheric sort of horror movies, however, having some stupid looking thing suddenly pop out at you totally kills the mood. And they do it all the time now, and that's my big complaint. Repeat after me: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING, DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD. CGI has taken over to the point of showing up where it doesn't belong, and I think it's a pretty good parallel to the takeover of music, even country music, by lazy-ass electronic beats.

We have technology. Yay. Now we need to learn how, and when, to use it. Laziness might be a way to make a quick buck, but it won't create something lasting.

There's a scene at the end of Ghost Story involving a rotted skeleton submerged in a car. It's fantastic makeup work and creepy as hell. If they remade the movie today, it would be a huge, stupid computer skeleton jumping out at you going "BLEH!" It might make you jump in your seat, but it wouldn't be scary because it doesn't look real. Like, you'd jump and then you'd laugh at how stupid it is and how dumb you feel for jumping. Whereas the original way was haunting and effecting, because you could actually believe that woman had been submerged in that lake for all those years, and that's what she would look like. Not a damn CARTOON.

Tis the season!

Season of the witch, that is. My favorite season of all. Fall leaves, pumpkins, candy apples, corn mazes, haunted houses, crisp autumn air, comfy clothes (hoodies and flannel forever) and of course, the very best of all, scary movies!!

So grab your pumpkin donuts and apple cider, or maybe some apple fritters and pumpkin beer - as long as you have something pumpkin in your mouth AT ALL TIMES, you're good to go. So here's my list of top 10 favorite horror movies.

Before I begin: I'm an 80s kid to the extreme, so most of my choices will be from the 80s and before. I'm not a fan of the style of most current horror movies, though I have a few on my to-watch list that might even end up on this list next year, who knows. But this list is my tried and true classics that I watch every year or at least every other year - the ones that made me a horror fan in the first place. I'm also doing movies only, not miniseries, even though there are a few of those I love. Let's keep it simple. In probably no particular order:

10. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
Forget that it's called "Halloween 3" and just take it on its own merits. It's fun, it's campy, it's over the top, and yeah, it's kinda creepy - everything you want in an 80s horror film. This belongs on the list for the Silver Shamrock jingle alone, but it's really a fun movie. I like to watch it before Halloween 1 & 2, then get my Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis fix.

9. Trick r Treat
The only movie on this list made after the 80s. I first watched it two years ago, watched it again last year, and am already looking forward to watching it again. This is an instant classic, and the best anthology I've ever seen. (The original Creepshow comes close.) They found the lost arts of pacing and suspense for this one. Hopefully not for the last time ever.

8. Fright Night
This movie isn't really scary, but it is a vastly entertaining 80s movie with the kind of likable characters you don't see in horror movies anymore. (Seriously, why do characters have to be assholes now? Not compelling, movies!) Some funny moments, some touching ones, a few chills, and a wonderful performance by Roddy McDowall. Characters you really root for; that's my favorite part of this movie that has tons to like.

7. Let's Scare Jessica to Death
This movie is all about vibe. I absolutely love horror movies where you don't know what's going on but there's just this creepy vibe that makes you want to keep watching and find out. Something about the atmosphere in this movie just kills me; it feels so real. Good performances too. A 70s classic.

6. Ghost Story
This is a "haunting" (lol) movie that really sticks with you. It's pretty much what I said about Jessica - awesome creepy vibe, characters and settings that feel real, subtle scares and a scene at the end that scared the hell out of me as a kid. Not to mention fantastic performances by veteran actors like Fred Astaire, and actress Alice Krige. This is everything "good" horror should be, IMO. ("Good" horror vs cheesy, goofy horror, which I also enjoy sometimes.)

5. The Changeling
One of the scariest movies I've ever seen. OMG. I actually have to psych myself up to watch this one, it creeps me out so much. Suspenseful, gripping psychological horror - pretty much the antithesis of today's "horror" with it's cheap jump scares and unscary CGI. This movie is the real deal, and the opposite of a "cheap thrill."

4. Psycho
One of the two movies I watched that really made me a horror fan, at age 13. I've been pretty much obsessed with the Bates family since I saw this movie, and the current Bates Motel tv show is one of my favorites ever. Tony Perkins gives my favorite performance in any movie on this list, and that's saying something. It's heartbreaking how nice Norman is when he's not... you know, psycho. Freddie Highmore has fleshed this character out even more, and I can't get enough. I even like the two silly sequels, especially part 2. Come on, Meg Tilly is in it!!

3. Night of the Creeps
80s movie, likable characters you root for, alien slug things that zoom into your mouth and kill you! What's not to love? Seriously, when you have a hankerin' for one of those fun, low-budget but super entertaining quintessential 80s horror movies, check out Night of the Creeps. It won't disappoint. There's actually a really touching moment in this one too - that tends to happen when you put actual sympathetic characters in your horror movie.

2. Halloween 1 & 2
Oh man, it was a tough call between these two and the one I'm putting #1. I actually watch Halloween 1 & 2 more than I do my first choice, but I went with what had the most impact on me. Okay, these are my two favorite 80s slasher movies, and I love 80s slasher movies. The only reason I didn't put more on here is because I only had 10 spaces, and there are so many amazing horror movies! I'm gonna do honorable mentions next and yeah, of course Freddy and Jason will be on there. Anyway. I'm putting Halloween 1 & 2 together because I always watch them back to back; I can't really have one without the other. This is a sequel that blends perfectly with the first film and I see no drop in quality. Oddly, Michael Myers isn't even my favorite of the slashers. Decent backstory, and he is spooky in that you don't know exactly what he can do and OMG HE'S BEHIND ME ISN'T HE. But Freddy is my favorite, he has the most personality and the best story. Michael is more scary in the way the films are shot and paced, which is part of what makes them so good.

So, why Halloween? Did you say, likable characters? Ding ding ding! I freaking love Laurie Strode and Dr. Loomis, played beautifully by Jamie Lee Curtis and the late, awesome Donald Pleasance. Which is why, don't even get me started on the goddamn remakes that completely destroyed those wonderful characters by turning them into over the top assholes. WHAT THE HELL? Anyway, yeah. Those two characters made these movies for me, as well as the atmosphere of Halloween in a small town, and probably the best example of horror movie pacing I can think of. And the THEME MUSIC! OMG. Perfect movies, I watch them every year and never get tired of them.

1. Carrie (1976)
This and Psycho are the two movies that made me a horror fan forever. I can't even begin to express in words the effect this movie had on me. It's really freaking scary, it was made in 1976 and while of course it looks dated from a fashion perspective, the effects aren't dated at all. In fact, they're better and way more affecting than the CGI in the remake. If you can get past the silly clothes and hairstyles, this is one of the best horror movies ever made. In addition to the excellent atmosphere and effects, the performances by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are top notch. Sissy Spacek gives a beautifully understated performance, even at the end when all hell breaks loose, and Piper Laurie is completely nuts but is somehow controlled enough to not make it too over the top.

Carrie, like Norman Bates, is an especially heartbreaking character because they are not "movie monsters." They're not aliens, they're not evil like Freddy or inhuman killing machines like Michael. While Norman is a victim of his own broken mind, Carrie is the victim of high school cruelty and her mother's insanity. She's sympathetic, which makes what happens all the more horrifying. For that reason this is my favorite horror story - I love the book too - because it really stays with you and makes you think about who the "monsters" are. And the prom scene is really terrifying.

There are SO MANY movies, both good and enjoyably cheesy, I had to leave out, so I'll do an honorable mentions soon!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Feel Good Friday ~ Maddie & Tae

This may be an odd choice, since I usually pick an upbeat song. But the fact that this song was recorded (and co-written) by a current popular, mainstream country act and it's SO BEAUTIFUL and the harmonies are like chapstick for my soul just makes me feel SO GOOD that I couldn't pick anything else after this otherwise awful week.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Headline of the day

"Miley Cyrus, 22, Reportedly 'Hooking Up' With 43-Year-Old Comedian Dane Cook"

Douchebaggery knows no age limit. This is perfect on a cosmic level.

TBT

Oh hey, it's Throwback Thursday again. I've mostly been avoiding... everything in the world* and focusing on decorating for fall, baking, petting my cats, etc. And listening to a lot of Motown. Oh and the Jays are gonna make the playoffs for the first time in *insert absurdly large number here* years. So there's that.

*politics, increasingly awful music made by everyone, droopy drizzly weather, bleh!

Today's TBT is brought to you courtesy of my ipod, which decided to play these two songs from my random old pop playlist back to back while I was shopping for Halloween decorations. They really helped me get into the spirit, you might say. Mua. ha. ha.









Thursday, September 10, 2015

TBT

The 2010s will be remembered as the decade you could only hear good music on Throwback Thursday.*

Is 2008 too recent for a throwback? Well it seems like forever ago and I love this song, so here it goes.



*that's not completely true. Lee Ann Womack's current album is also very good. But you're not gonna hear it, you've gotta seek it out.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

My Awesome Mix Vol. 2!

Okay, here we go. Using the template of Vol. 1, 12 rock/pop/soul songs from the same general time period. I know "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" is the first song, but since it was included on Vol. 1 I'm picking 12 new songs.

In no particular order.

1. It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers

2. Takin' It To the Streets - The Doobie Brothers

3. Strange Magic - ELO (A lot of ELO songs fit, IMO. "Telephone Line" or "Do Ya" would be good too. Strange Magic is just my favorite)



4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

5. Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers

6. Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells (oh please please please...)

7. September - Earth Wind and Fire (another band I really hope is included)



8. Shambala - Three Dog Night

9. I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt (how perfect is this song??)

10. A Lover's Concerto - The Toys (TOTALLY UNDERRATED 60S HIT)



11. Crazy Circles - Bad Company

12. Heat Wave - Martha and the Vandellas

A few other possibilities:

Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher) - Jackie Wilson
Working My Way Back to You - The Spinners
You Were on My Mind - We Five (ANOTHER REALLY UNDERRATED SONG)



Bad Time - Grand Funk Railroad
Little Bit of Soul - Music Explosion



Could You Be Loved - Bob Marley and the Wailers

That was fun. I <3 music. Til next week, peace!

Speaking of new music...

a wild cool song appears out of nowhere! Driving beat, powerful vocals, catchy hook, where the hell did this come from??



So of course I looked up the singer, Elle King. I assumed she was British, idk why, maybe because her vocal style reminds me of Amy Winehouse. But nope, she's American. Where did she come from? LA. Oh and also?

THIS GUY.


That's right, something good actually came out of Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo! Life is hilarious. I'm gonna crank this song and laugh. Oh, and guess what? NO GUEST RAPPER. This song proudly stands on its own. I freaking love this. This is the antithesis of every tinny-ass beat and weak-ass vocal that has plagued pop music the last 10 years. Like... this.



GAWD that manages to be loathsome despite barely even existing. That's almost impressive. And it has a guest rapper, because of course it does. Not that it even remotely boosts the song, which is what I assume a guest rapper is supposed to do. It's become so formulaic it's pretty much just a throwaway at this point. Rapper shows up, mumbles something sexual/nonsensical, collects paycheck.* Today's music, ladies and gentlemen!

But not "Ex's and Ohs." Enough of the barely-there music! "Ex's and Ohs" has there-ness to spare. It's a blast of music directly to the face. THIS IS HOW YOU DO A BEAT, PEOPLE. Can I get an amen Rob Schneider??



*seriously, when did rapping turn into mumbling? Mushmouth, is that you??

Feel good... Wednesday?! It's chaos! Anarchy! Lack of alliteration! Dogs and cats, living together... mass hysteria!!

I'll be in the mountains for throwback Thursday and feel good Friday, so here's some midweek feel good music (and an excuse for me to quote Ghostbusters). :)

I'm not a super fan of "oldies" before the Beatles/Stones/Supremes hit, which I believe were all in 1964. Oh I love Elvis and a lot of the girl groups and early rock and r&b, but there are too many sappy ballads, teen idols and samey sounding songs for my taste. (Elvis and The Beatles were teen idols, but they were also cool and made killer tunes. Pat Boone they were not.)

And why do so many of the band names from back then sound like Toyota models? The Duprees, the Chantels, the Capris, the Marcels, The Corollas, The Tercels... okay I might have made those last two up, but who would ever know??

Here are a few songs from the late 50s/early 60s that hit that sweet spot for me. We'll call it Early Weekend Wednesday, cause if it's not alliterative it's not a thing.







... Toyota Crystal? Yep, that works. ;) Or maybe Chevy Crystal.

I am going to make a concerted effort to get into more new music after my vacation! Along with keeping the good old stuff alive, of course. :) Cause nothing sounds like the Crystals anymore, except Megan Trainor and she's annoying.



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Getting into new music

I don't listen to new music as much as I should. Oh, I have my list of artists I'll always listen to when they release a new album - Alan Jackson, George Strait, ZBB, Miranda, recently added Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe. The list of radio artists on that list has dwindled considerably - there was a time when new music by Chris Young, Randy Houser, Brett Eldredge, etc, would have excited me. (And they may well again when country music gets whatever nasty virus it has out of its system.)

For a new (to me) artist to grab me, they have to really grab me. Not because I'm uninterested, but because I've always been the opposite of a "casual" music listener. I listen to music somewhat aggressively, and it can be exhausting. Sure, I like some silly pop stuff and background beats to walk to, but ever since I first got into music as a kid it's something I've taken pretty seriously. Maybe it's because I'm a child of musicians, maybe it's because I'm a quiet introvert and music has always been my bestest friend, maybe it just is what it is. Music has pretty much been my life since the age of 10. I'm obsessed with it, good and bad.

As I've written before, it's both easier and more difficult to find new music these days. Easier because it's everywhere on the internet, harder because radio no longer exists as a handy delivery service to those who like good music. Or, the non-casual listener. Radio has probably always leaned toward the casual listener - play the hookiest records that will sell - but a lot of those hooky records have been amazing. Elvis. The Beatles. Motown. Classic rock. Michael Jackson. Early Madonna. We'll just skip over the late 80s. ;p Garth Brooks and all the great 90s country. New jack swing and early hip hop. Nirvana. Then everything started sucking in the late 90s, and despite some breaths of fresh air, mainstream pop and country haven't rebounded to their full glory, and mainstream rock has disappeared.

But the 60s to the mid 90s... oh man. What a great ride. Which is what puzzles me so much about today's music. While it seems to be geared more and more towards the casual listener - people who are pulled in not only by radio but viral internet crap - WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOOKS??? Other than the retro sounds of Bruno Mars or Megan Trainor, I can't remember the melodies of most of today's hits. That includes the "country" stuff. The stuff radio won't play, that's hooky as hell! Try getting "Biscuits" out of your head! But no, radio says, give us your most indeterminate sludge with a half ass beat. That's what sells!

So what I'm saying is, I don't know wtf is going on anymore. "Popular music isn't catchy enough" might be a weird complaint, especially coming from someone who isn't drawn in by catchy hooks alone. But... I like good music. I like music that sounds good.

So back to new music. Because I'm not a casual listener, and I no longer have radio to serve as a guide, each new record is a labor of love. It takes time, it takes energy, it takes being in the right mood to hear something new instead of listening to, idk, All Along the Watchtower* all day. It takes longer now for new music to sink in, to feel like a part of me. Sometimes I put off listening to new albums because I want to be in just the right head space to appreciate them. I get around to most of them, eventually. My list is very short right now - just Maddie & Tae's album, which I think I'm gonna like. I want to give it its due. I want to delve into it. Music deserves that. Music deserves a lot of things it's not getting these days.

*I just played that 3 times in a row. :P

I've actually always been this way with new albums, even when I was a kid. Like 10 years old. I'd generally get one or two CDs (or cassettes way back in the day) and absorb them completely before getting anything else. Each new album was like a living thing I'd let into my house. Letting it out was a moment of great anticipation. Getting to know it took time. And this was top 40 stuff, cause that's what I used to listen to, but a lot of top 40 used to appeal to both casual and non-casual listeners. 80s/90s top 40 made me the music fan I am today. I miss those days more than I can ever say, but I still cherish new albums I listen to/buy, even if they're no longer physical things and it takes me half a year to get around to listening to them.

Hopefully, eventually, they'll become a part of me too. And 20 years from now something from today will be "comfort food" like classic rock and country are now. Cause you don't always realize, right away, what your classics will be. That's the hard part, I think, of getting into new music and getting out of the comfort zone of the old. But it is the only way to progress and make new memories.

Worthless headline of the day

"Kim Kardashian: Reality TV Personality Wears Body-Hugging Outfit at MTV Video Music Awards"

YOU DON'T SAY. I'd have thought she'd wear a muu muu or a hazmat suit! *eyeroll* Worthless, personified. News is supposed to be, y'know... new. That's why it's called "news" not "same old boring predictable crap."

Runner-up: "Luke Bryan: Musician Says He's Offended by the Term 'Bro-Country'"

What a coincidence, I'm offended by your dumb bro-ass music! He goes on to say something like "I feel it's used as a *gasp!* derogatory term." Gee Luke, ya THINK? A derogatory term about terrible, terrible music? Again, this is not news, and if it is news to Luke I'd like to find the rock he's been sleeping under and borrow it so I never have to hear his music again. Luke's been awfully butthurt lately about his terrible, terrible music. If all the criticism bothers him so much there's a pretty simple solution - stop making terrible, terrible music!!

Also, I feel like the rest of my life will be nothing but a series of finding out once-loved celebs are racists, rapists, or dead. Being an adult freaking sucks.