Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soooo if I really wanted to, I still could--right?

Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts 2012

Are they trying really hard not to be offensive? Seems pretty wishy-washy for a danger sign. Like if you begged and whined enough, they might give in and let you do it. If I was younger and childless, I would totally slide down that dam.

Also note the laminated paper sign. Welcome to Massachusetts. Could you spare some change? Our state parks don't even have enough money to go to Kinkos, let alone pay for an actual sign.

Seriously, though--I do try to take the kids out for walks/hikes/biking whenever we're free and it's nice out. I absolutely love it, but I have to bribe them to go. Why is that?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Woman in Black...

I watched this over the weekend because a) I like a good ghost story b) I wanted to see if Daniel Radcliffe could take the Harry Potter out of Daniel Radcliffe...(er something). So what did I think? On a a whole it was entertaining. Not THE best movie, but it held my interest and had some good points. Let me preface this by saying that I have watched sooooo many horror movies that I've pretty much seen it all. So yes, it had some typical and cliche elements:

  •  The ghost appearances, particularly near the beginning, were just what you'd expect: glimpses from the corner of the eye, a sudden flash of movement or a shadow, emphasized by some strategically placed music. I often wondered if these scenes would be as creepy without the music. I mean, where would Paranormal Activity be without it? (which I did like by the way, at least the first one...but they relied TOO much on shock music to emphasize that the door opened by itself. Really. Just stop it.)
  • It takes place in a remote village where people seem generally distrustful of outsiders. No fooling. They told him to go home several times. But he didn't listen. If he had, there wouldn't have been a movie.
  • There's an ominous message written on the wall in the house--in blood, no less. At least the woman was kind enough to hide it under the wallpaper. Not suprisingly,, "Arthur" peels away the wallpaper and...cue the dramatic heart-jumping-in-your-throat music. It is, of course, a pivotal moment. Otherwise he wouldn't have known how crazy the woman was when she was alive.
  • The family has conveniently left behind a multitude of letters, cards and documents that explain the mystery behind why this ghost is doing what she's doing. So basically they did all the work for him--he just needed to find the bodies and bury them together to make peace for the ghost lady. (Ironically the boy's body was quite easy to find, all, "Arthur" had to do was dig in the mud a little. AND he was able to figure out exactly where, even though years had gone by and nobody else had been able to.)
  • Children are suffer cruel and unusual deaths and come back as ghosts. Evil-ish creepy little ghosts. Think the twin girls in The Shining before the tomato juice tidal wave comes down the hallway.
You said you liked it but you're making fun of it, you say!!!! Yes, well, that's how I roll. I will say this--They did a good job with mood and setting. Nice creepy atmosphere and suspense building. It was all sufficently haunted-housey. It also seemed authentic to the time period (early 20th century)

Mr. Radcliffe successfully escaped Voldemort and became a full fledged adult male--actually, if I hadn't already known he was the star of the movie, I probably wouldn't have realized who he was in the first five minutes. It would've been like 'damn, he looks familiar...' and it would've bugged me until I googled it and found out who he actually was. So YAY! I think Daniel Radcliffe really can be de-Harry Pottered.

 I did find it hard to believe that he had a child, so the father/son thing didn't really jive for me. And honestly, I don't think the plot would've been affected if they'd left out the whole dead wife thing either. YES, he was supposed to be tortured, and he did come across that way...sorta...but the movie wouldn't have lacked anything without it. There was a nice twist at the end, though (dampened a bit by the appearance of his dead wife) that I hadn't expected. I won't give it away.

So would I recommend it? Yes. If you like ghost stories, watch it. It's well done, just not overly original.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A cultural difference...or a clueless husband?

Okay, so I'm at work the other day. There's this older Vietnamese guy who works in my department, and we were chatting. He starts talking about his family, and he's like 'My wife is very fat. She's too fat. No good. Not pretty.' (I'm paraphrasing here, his English is not very fluent). Of course I didn't really know what to say to that, so I was like 'Oh no!', hoping that he didn't actually say that to his wife. Well, guess what--he kinda did. And he's like 'She doesn't care (that she's fat). She doesn't want to lose weight.' So I said to him 'Dude, in America, that is a one way ticket to the dog house.' He laughed, but I don't think he had any idea what I meant.  But seriously, he didn't think there was anything wrong with this. Now, I'm all for honesty, this something you should really say to your wife? And if you were a wife--particularly a fat one--would you want to hear it? Just sayin'...

You gotta wonder if there's something wrong

Just poking around my Netflix account. These are the categories that showed up on the home page:
  1. Scary supernatural TV series
  2. Raunchy dysfunctional animated Family TV Series
  3. Dark suspenseful ghost-story movies
  4. Cult serial killer horror movies
  5. Gory supernatural horror movies
  6. Critically acclaimed gory horror movies
  7. Violent revenge movies based on a book

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back at it

I used to blog. I blogged a lot. Then I got sick of it so I stopped.

Now I'm back! After a few years hiatus, I've decided to start peddling my work again. My writing. Way back when, some ten years ago, I wrote a novel. I started pitching that novel. I found an agent for that novel. Then nada. He couldn't sell it, so we parted ways. Undeterred, I wrote another one...but nobody wanted it. *sigh* So I took a break from fiction. I started a blog. And then I wrote columns and did reporting for a couple hockey webzines. It was a pretty cool experience--sitting in the press box for games, interviewing sweaty half-naked men...*ahem*...I felt like a true professional. But the pay was crap for all the work I did, and when my personal life went to shit, I found it wasn't enough to pay the bills. So I gave it up. That was the old me.

ANYWAY! I've written yet another novel--the first in a three book series--and I'm ready to give it the old college try. Maybe this time somebody will like me! Maybe I'm just wasting my time? Who knows. In the end, it doesn't matter, because I'm going to try anyway.