Let’s Talk About Horror Movies

It’s fall and everyone knows that it’s time to watch horror movies.  I’m fond of a few horror movies.  I once went on a first date that included seeing The Exorcist when it was rereleased.  When I was a teenager I loved horror and I really do think that’s a teenager thing.  My ex accused me once of “leading him on” by “pretending to like horror” when I obviously didn’t.

I did.  But I’m picky.

What happened?  First, I started having nightmares.  Frequently.  I realized that the world was a hard enough place and that I didn’t want to feel even worse about it.  I put horror aside for a number of years.  Honestly, this is the first time I’ve wanted to watch horror in a long time  and that’s mostly because I rediscovered what it’s like to feel the rush of safe fear.

There’s still something wrong with horror though, something that will make me turn off any movie the moment it happens.

Do you remember slasher flicks?  Friday the 13th is one of my all time favorites.  Slasher films objectify women and I know that it’s horrible but it’s done so poorly that it’s funny.  My problem is that new horror seems to have a thing with more than that.  Blatant rape scenes.  Snuff films.  Violence specifically at women treated without an ounce of conscience, sometimes treated with actual amusement.  I once had someone tell me that his favorite scene in a specific horror was the one where a girl was raped with a gun.

I don’t think that we need these things to scare people.  We did just fine without it for years.


Be Cool by Elmore Leonard

What I love about the Chili Palmer books is how tongue in cheek they are about themselves. It’s like watching a really good spoof. In fact, the movie was almost exactly like that, exciting but funny with little asides about not doing cameos. In the first chapter, Chili says that a sequel has to be better than an original. Leonard pulls that off with this book. Actually, the whole book really pokes fun and sequels to the point where all of the people you are supposed to like prefer the first of Palmer’s movies, Get Leo, and the bad guys like Get Lost.

I forget how I described Get Shorty but I think I called it a riotous rollercoaster ride, or something of the sort. That’s exactly how Be Cool is. You have a lot of characters for the length of book and they all play a roll in it somehow, even if it’s just a bit part.

Palmer calls a dating service one night and has a long conversation with a girl who calls herself Linda Moon. He records the call and starts playing it back to himself, thinking that maybe there is a movie to be made out of it. Linda belongs to a singing group called The Chicks, managed by Raji who has a gay Samoan body guard named Elliot, but what she really wants is for her old band, Odessa, to get back together and to make the record they wanted to make in the first place. When an old acquaintance of Chili’s who was in the record business is shot by a Russian wearing a bad rug while they’re at lunch, Chili decides it might be time to get into the music business. What follows is a crazy, hilarious romp with people trying to kill Chili and Chili playing people off of each other.

I really liked these books. They’re not my usual style but I love anything that will get me laughing out loud in public.

Mornings, Tea, Cats, and Energy

Well, I’m on to my next set of Energy, Happiness, and Zen strategies, with an aside.

Energy:  The next tip in my plethora of articles is to drink more tea.  I love tea.  Pretty much all that I drink is water, tea, coffee, and beer.  Call me a purist.  In a usual day I drink two cups of coffee, eight cups of water, and two cups of decaf green tea at night.  I didn’t really know how I would work this into the Energy Experiment because I had just altered my coffee intake but, come to find out, I didn’t HAVE to work it in.  I got sick and when I’m sick I usually forfeit my coffee for tea.  I don’t know if it has helped.  I’m tired because I’m sick.  I can tell you that it feels better on my throat and it’s been comforting at night.

Happiness:  Life’s next little instruction was to have a dog.  I’m forgoing this one because I have cats.  4.  And they do bring me vast amounts of happiness and so I am sure that four cats must be the equivalent of one dog.  One thing I would like to do is take a little more time to entertain them and even try a little harder not to get annoyed with them.  Some goals for this week, I think.

Zen: Get Healthy and Fit, Part 1 is on my browser right now and it is about eating better.  I’m glad I get to tackle this now.  I’ve been feeling a bit… fat.  I am already making a point to cook more, now I need to focus on better stuff.

I was feeling a bit better after taking on my first set.  My e-mail is clear.  I’ve enjoyed drinking coffee on my way back from lunch (once even with the top down and from a mug).  I was feeling a bit nicer.  Let’s see what happens with this set.

Now, for an aside that is perfectly related to the above.  This morning I found myself asking myself, yet again, what the problem is.  Why why why have I felt so miserable and hopeless and angry lately?  Why is it that I refuse to count my blessings?  Almost on cue, I realized that I had started the day in a damn decent mood but by the time I was on my way to work I felt completely frazzled and frustrated.  I thought that it was probably just because I slept in this morning in an attempt to outwit my cold but then I remembered I FEEL THAT WAY EVERY MORNING LATELY.  For the remainder of this week, I am going to take steps to make my mornings more relaxing.  Even if I’m not working out (I have pleurisy and the husband has forbade it), I can get up early and either take my time getting ready or clean up a little bit.  I also plan on getting back into the habit of making my coffee and cleaning up the kitchen at night so that I don’t have a mess to work around before I am caffeinated.  Another thing that got me worked up this morning was the cats.  Otto, the baby, is still in his “beat up the other cats” phase.  For a while I was using a spray bottle on him and it helped.  Today it was never in my reach when I needed it.  If carrying it around the house is what it takes, I will do it.

Let’s get back on track.  Let’s feel better and be happier.

The Energy Experiment

Now that the wedding is done, I have a few months in front of me before I launch my happiness project in January.  A large part of me wanted to jump the gun and just start this month.  However, what I have pegged for September is “Build a Wardrobe” and I need some of the base work before that.  Instead of resting on my laurels, if you will, I decided to spend the rest of this year implementing small changes in an effort to be happier and more energetic.  Lately I’ve felt just soooo tired and actually pretty down.  I don’t want to feel like that anymore.  I want to spend this time working on figuring out what makes me feel better everyday.  I’m not saying that my happiness project isn’t going to make me happier everyday but each month will focus on a big thing and right now I want to make small changes.

To go about this, I started Googling.  I looked up ways to have more energy NOW and came up with two short articles, one about what to eat for more energy and one about general ways to get more energy.  I also printed off a list from Zen Habits, one of my favorite blogs.  I stapled the pages together, stacked them by shortest to longest, and didn’t even look ahead.  I am going to work my way through them and stick to one at a time until I feel ready to add in the next or maybe just move on to it.  While I was on Zen Habits, I printed the archive list and started at the earliest entry in an effort to bring some order and balance to my life.  I think THAT will cover the happiness.  I picked up a copy of The Complete Life’s Little Instructions and decided to work my way through that too.  I know it seems like a lot, but it’s really not so bad.  These are things that don’t really take a lot of time and I’m hoping the things that work for me will develop into the kind of habits that I don’t even need to think about.

My first energy habit: Don’t drink all of your coffee in the morning.  The article suggests, instead, that you drink 1/4 cup of coffee a number of times throughout the day to get a slight caffeine boost and avoid a crash.  I usually drink two cups of coffee in the morning.  This week I’ve split it up.  I’ve drank a cup with breakfast and one with lunch.  I still get really tired in the afternoon but I’ve noticed that my mornings feel better.  I don’t crash at 10:30 or 11 but have a pretty steady energy going.  I’ll keep doing this.  In fact, I’d like to get a thermos so I can take my coffee with me and have a few drinks now and again.

My first Zen Habit: Practice e-mail Zen.  This is something that I implemented a year or two ago but that got a little out of hand with the wedding crazies this summer.  Earlier this week I took the time to go through all of my personal e-mails and my work e-mail, clean out the inbox and clean out the folders.  Since, I have made a point to check my e-mail only twice a day and to take care of everything right away.  It’s nice getting rid of the backlog.

My first Life’s Instruction: Compliment Three People A Day.  I’m having the hardest time with this one.  It’s not that I don’t have nice things to say.  I totally do.  It’s just that I feel like it’ a bit vapid to waste my compliments on things like clothes.  It’s silly, really.  My day has been made a number of times by people complimenting my clothes.  Of course I still have other nice things to say but I don’t want to get all gooey on people.  That has a tendency to make people uncomfortable.

This week has been a rollercoaster.  Yesterday alone I managed to feel extreme emotions of a range that most people would take a month to feel.  I know that making these changes will really help and I’m glad that I decided to do it.  By January the groundwork should be laid to tackle those big things!

Post Wedding Wrap Up or “Let’s Get on with It”

The wedding is over.  When I went to a psychic three years ago, she told me that I was about to meet my heartmate, that he was right outside the circle, that he would be a whirlwind.  I’ll be damned if he wasn’t.  Speaking of whirlwinds, that’s exactly what a wedding is.

People will tell you that one thing always goes wrong.  I was prepared for that.  At my best friend’s wedding a month earlier the groom got a flat tire.  One thing.  The rest went so smoothly, at least the parts I remember.  I told myself that it would be one thing and then it would be over.  So, when the nail tech accidentally charged my card for 850 instead of 85 and my bank put a block on my card the day before the wedding, I thought that was it.  When the hotel almost didn’t let me check in because of said block on my card and my father-in-law had to save my ass, I thought it was a fluke.  When VIPs were late for the dinner, I didn’t let it phase me.  When my hair turned out like shit, that was the last straw.  When we got to the hall a half hour late, I was numb to anger.  That was a good thing because from there it went downhill until I could get drunk.

On this side of it, I had a great time and I love my husband.  The people in my life made the day amazing.  I have never felt so loved.  Then I got to go on a honeymoon!  I plan on milking all of this for entries for days but I promise it’s at least mildly amusing.


Now, slowly back to normalcy.

The Past is Just That

A few months ago, my FMIL ran into a girl I went to school with for years.  I was in her class in 5th grade and she left the school in 9th grade after her parents (one of which was a teacher at our school) became concerned about the Columbine shootings.  The FMIL was super excited to tell her all about the engagement and wedding because she was sure we went to school together.  B, the girl, reacted like this:

“He’s marrying Rach?  Wow.  She was crazy, like, literally crazy.”

Now, I will be the first admit that I had my times and my times were rough.  I was the fat kid then I was the freak kid.  I like to think that I’ve done well for myself.  I mean, I don’t regret any of it.  It’s made me who I am.  Now I have a masters and a career and a nice car and a house and a fiance and four cats and a pretty even temperament.

Really, I’m confused.  I don’t understand why anyone would tell an FMIL that her FDIL is crazy.  I wouldn’t.  Besides, B has a mustache and she’s the kind of douche that marries a doctor just because she can and gets a divorce.

There.  That’s vindictiveness.

Making Words Powerful

I often debate in what form words are most powerful.  When you set a goal or decide on an affirmation, what is going to make it stick?

I’m getting married this week and, let’s be honest, that’s really enough going on for a week, even a month, without setting million goals for myself.  I was on my way into work this morning and I thought, “My only job for the next few days is to be nice to myself and to forgive myself.”  No trying to shed extra water weight.  No taking on any extra projects.  No, this week is about getting through the week without giving myself a heart attack.  I’m going to walk.  I’m going to eat well but healthy.  I am going to relax, read or watch TV, but not be drunk every night and hung over every morning.  I’m going to get my sleep and drink my water.  I am not going to let myself talk down to myself.  I am not going to hold on to any grudges I have against myself.  I didn’t lose 10 lbs in time for my wedding?  So what?  Who the hell cares?  Let it go, forgive, move on.

I decided that I ought to actually forgive myself though and couldn’t really figure out the best way to say it.  Sometimes I think that just thinking something really hard is enough.  It’s like a meditation bu it’s also the secret language we have with ourselves.  There is no better way to talk to yourself than in your head, no better way to really clear your brain.  On the other hand, it’s easy to just discard things you’ve only thought.  I said it out loud.  That seemed even less permanent.  I don’t know how much stock I put into writing stuff down either.  I mean, I put a lot of stuff into writing that ends up being perfectly inconsequential.

What do you think makes words more powerful?