Soup, Star Wars and Squid

Was a mostly good day, though it started off kind of rough. I had good dreams, mostly about New York, and how I was planning to drive back to Texas. But I wanted to take the Staten Island ferry, and they do take cars, so I had to rearrange plans. Then I woke up. Thing is, I really do want to take the ferry next time I’m in NYC. It’s free, and I’ve never done it. The tour guide on the cruise recommended it as one of those things people don’t think to do, plus I’ve only been to Staten Island a handful of times in my life.

So I woke up, and felt off. Was going to meet up with Amythest and Nymaz for soup day prep in a while. So I fiddled around online, and kept reading things that hit me in the feels. No idea why, just overly emotional. Decided to just go on down, listened to a Roman mystery audiobook on the drive and hung out at Chez Amythest’s while the other two finished up soup prep shopping. Hung out, read more of ‘Gods of HP Lovecraft’ which is pretty good, some of the authors are people I talk to online, so I’m a little biased. Helped unload, helped set up the loaner mega-tv for the watching of Star Wars. We had about 90 min to kill or so, and I wanted to test the tv…and I had ‘Dagon’ on my flash drive, so we watched it. My friends tolerate my weirdness, I now have a degree of TV envy. Plus, Uxía the squidgirl is epically hot on megatv. *grin* Soup was prepped, and as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast I dove in a little early, and had a lovely bowl of potato soup.

Some more friends showed up, and some spawning day gifts for the Dec people were given, along with some cookies to H, who has helped me tons with resume foo. Then it was soup and Star Wars. Which looked amazing on the megatv. Since we all could basically quote the movies by heart, we spent as much time in discussion about the movies and back story and expanded universe as watching it. I love good geek talk. We got through Episode IV and most of V, but we all were running low on steam. I left about 10:30, with lots of leftover soup for nomming. Drove home, listened to more SPQR. Unloaded the car, watched the last part of Empire Strikes Back, and started writing this. I’m tired, but I’m not sure I’m ready for bed, or even bed and book. I guess I’ll just fiddle around til I either decide on something to do, or go finish my book. For now, I’m just glad I had a good afternoon/evening with nifty people, too much soup, and Star Wars. Night all.

Historical and Tentacular

Was a very good day. Even if it started off with a profound sense of exhaustion this morning. I think I woke up a half dozen times in the night, I know my Fitbit step count looked like I’d gone to the mailbox twice in the night (which was welcome, as I was behind). Got clean and motivated, Amythest swung by and we headed to the Dallas Museum of Art for some Roman history.

Mary Beard is one of those historians, who not only gets all her historical ducks in a row, but can make a dry subject very lively. I’ve seen her on TV a few times, and read some of her work. She also gives a good lecture. Basic stuff, mostly about how her new book is about how defining ‘Roman’ changed repeatedly over the course of the empire. Fun bit, she had a Roman woman’s epitath on the display, from near Hadrian’s Wall. The woman’s name, her status as a freed slave, that she was from a tribe further south in England, and that her hubby was from Palmyria in the Middle East. Those Romans got around. But before she started explaining it, I was picking out the Latin. The name, that she was an ex slave, her age at death, that Palmyria was involved. My Latin, while still nothing resembling more than a passing nod, is better than it was 10 years ago. Go me. The rest was basically how we can’t just say ‘Ok, that’s Roman history, finis’. What we know, what we understand, how we interpert it, changes as time passes, and as we change. Which I’m in whole hearted agreement. In the Q/A she answered a few high brow questions, as well as stateing that besides Mary Renault, her favorite historical fiction writer is Lindsay Davis, of the Falco Roman mysteries. (I recommend them too.) Then we broke for the book signing, which me and Amythest passed on, due to the huge crowd. We instead went to our favorite bits of the DMA, then headed to the car and back out of Dallas. (Btw, if you’re interested, Professor Beard’s new book can be found on Amazon/B and N/other bookstores. S.P.Q.R. I’m pretty sure if you like history, you’ll enjoy.

We got in contact with Nymaz, and met up to see ‘Spectre’ in the theaters. I’d heard some less than stellar reviews of the latest Bond flick, and I kind to have to agree that it wasn’t great. Solid enough, but nothing spectacular. Unless you’re talking about the title sequence. Which was full of tentacles and girls and more tenacles, and tentacles with guns… I was a very happy cultist. I also blame Charles Stross for no longer being able to watch a Bond flick without thinking ‘But what would Bob Howard do ?’ Seriously, Bond would be so much more effective with a Warrant Card, a Tilligast resonator and a iPhone with the OFCUT suite. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, well Google ‘Charles Stross laundry’, buy some of his books too.) 3/5 dry martinis for a decent Bond flick, 5/5 perky tentacles for the title sequence.

(wow, call me the book pimp today)

The three musketeers talked about the NYC trip next week, I dropped Amythest off at her car, and I came home and wrote this. I’m zonked, and probably will make a very early night of it. Not too early, as I’ll just be skewed off kilter tomorrow as well, but no 2am movie marathons tonight. Will probably catch up on TwitterBook then go to bed with a book. Not sure which one, the Mythos story I was reading today, Templar fanfic-history, my copy of the above mentioned SPQR (got the ebook). or something else. Oh lord, I probably should write a book randomizer for the Kindle app for nights I have no decision making skills. For now though, it’s the interwebs and creepy Lovecraft music til bed. And this got long fast, so night night all.

Crimson Peak review

Crimson Peak is del Toro’s love letter to Gothic literature and movies. Vincent Price and Peter Cushing would have approved. If you’re on the fence because it’s a ‘horror movie’, hop down. It’s not a horror movie, it’s a love story that happens to have ghosts. A rather screwed up love story in spots, but a love story none the less. 4.5 out of 5 bleak moors.

8 Films to Die For: 2015 edition

Well I finished the 8 Films to Die For. It was a lot of fun this year, All 8 films kept my interest, and there wasn’t one I would have said ‘Nah, I could have lived without seeing that’. So lets tackle each movie with a short blurb.

  • Lumberjack Man. Flick flick, a send up of the slasher genre. Rather funny, with a nice amount of gore. You’ll never look at pancakes quite the same afterwards. 3.5 out 5 machetes.
  • Re-Kill. Imagine the ‘COPS’ show after a zombie apocalypse. Between the decent zombie hunting scenes there are amusing TV commercials about life post apocalypse. Sounds goofy, but it worked well. 4 out of 5 brains.
  • The Wicked Within. Demonic possession and dysfunctional family. A little forced in spots, but it was enjoyable enough. 3 out of 5 spewed pea soup.
  • Unnatural. What’s worse than a killer polar bear? A genetically modified killer polar bear, who’s hungry. Wins for the most epic final kill of the night, and was good all around. 4 out 5 scientists playing god.
  • Suspension. Tortured teen has issues. Wasn’t the best movie, paced kind of slow, and too much teen drama. But it gets points for a fairly unique plot, and some inventive gore. 3 out of 5 slaughtered prom queens.
  • Bastard. Weird flick, serial killers on a road trip pick up a pack of people with major issues, and are then killed off by another maniac in a mask. High on the suffering and enough foul language that I even went ‘Err, ok?’ Probably my least favorite of the night, but even so it had me guessing. 3 out 5 crazed maniacs
  • Wind Walkers. I think the mostly first Native American zombie flick I’ve ever seen. Slow to get started, but it once it got into gear the gore and inventiveness. 3.5 severed pig heads.
  • Murder in the Dark. Last one I watched, and it became my favorite. A multi-cultural party of medical types in Turkey visit a castle, and become the target of organ legging. Who’s the person legging it? Well I guessed wrong, repeatedly. (Oh and extra points for the director and actors revealing that the film was mostly improv) 4.5 harvested kidneys.

    So yeah, we had 2 zombies, 4 slashers, 1 supernatural and 1 monster. I’d have liked some more supernatural and less slashers, but that’s just my tastes. All the movies had high production qualities, and as I said, nothing was bad, even my least favorite, ‘Bastard’ was more a question of tastes verses quality. So yeah, if you’re looking for horror this Halloween season, check out the 8 Films to Die For. You’ll have a good time.

  • Spawning Day Weekend: Day 1

    Because I can, I decided that I’ll be celebrating my Spawning Day all weekend. Woke up, got moving, started watching the ‘After Dark Films: 8 Films to Die For’ set. I’ve been a fan since the first set was released oh so many years ago (Gravedancers in the theatre with Ufies). The 2nd year me and Amythest watched all 8 in the theatre over a weekend, and I’ve watched the rest when they came out on DVD. This year, it’s Amazon Streaming. Yay movies. Yay quirky movies of horror. One zombie, one horror comedy, and now one haunted/possessed. So far, all have been pretty decent.

    While watching movies, I’ve made lunch, and I’m working on my Friday VM updates. For dinner I’ll probably order a pizza, or go get a cheesesteak. Classic Vulpine dinner. Good way to spend day one of Spawning Day weekend, geeking…computer, horror, and Mythos stuff. I have a bunch of unsorted props and papers I was thinking of organizing. Yay organized eldritch horror.

    So that’s about it for right now, I’ll catch you all later. *waves a tentacle*

    The Martian

    Ok, saw ‘The Martian’. I’ll be honest, I think I enjoyed this movie the most out of the flicks I’ve seen in 2015. The science is good, with nothing jarring me out of the story, Matt Damon has some epic snark lines, and it hit me in some emotional spots, without being overdramatic. Really, it was what space exploration flicks should be. I haven’t read the book yet, but I will. So if you like space, and a good story, go see it. 5 out of 5 Red Planets.

    Getting my ass to Mars

    Well, as expected, I had weird dreams. The one that stood out was a repeat of Mom coming back from the dead, and me trying to figure out the paperwork to prove she was alive. Oh, and everyone hated me because obviously Mom never died, and I was a bad son. *sigh* My brain hates me some days.

    Oh well, I’m up now and moving. Going to go be social in a little while, hopefully best friends will overwhelm the last bits of off feeling I have. Plus, going to see ‘The Martian’, yay science. Yay friends.

    So yeah, that’s about all I have for today. Here’s to being social, friends, and hopefully an upswing in general fox feelings. Catch you all later.

    Friday Frights

    Friday night of ‘classic’ horror movies. First the original ‘Poltergeist’. Oh wow, this movie is a poster child for bad parenting decisions from the 80’s. But the creepy bits and the effects hold up well enough. I’m still amazed that with all the horror elements it got a PG rating. More movies today need skeletons leaping out at leads. 3 out 5 disinterred bodies up.

    I’ve now moved on to one of the scariest movies, period. ‘The Exorcist’. Ooh, they just started ‘Tubular Bells’, now that’s a theme song. (Plus I like Mike Oldfield in general). Downside, I forgot about the scene with Father Damien’s mother in the hospital…that stirred up some unpleasant memories. At least it was a short scene, and now on to to the possession warm up. No pea soup yet. But that will be soon.

    On non-horror movie side, I’m doing the usual Friday VM updates, and I’ve finally fixed Cthylla’s dual boot set, Windows 10 and Ubuntu 15.10’s last beta, with the usual Mate desktop. Mostly it’s just to see how well things run on that hardware, with the idea that if Dagon ever bites the dust, I’ll be able to swap over with minimum headache. Also, if I end up getting a fancy monitor, the video card on Cthylla supports a 2560×1440 display. That would be shiny, once I was gainfully employed again. But that’s just future thoughts.

    Otherwise I’m wandering on Wikipedia. Somehow I went from ‘The Exorcist’ to all the variations of Christian Tribulations, to Zoroastrianism, to pre Indo-European religion and culture (currently on the Kurgan hypothesis . Amazing how I go all over the place. I love the internet. I also have up the alleged exorcism that Blatty based his novel on, but I haven’t started reading. I may just bookmark it for later, depending on how late I stay up.

    Ok, pea soup was had. Gah, poor Father Damien, he looks like hell. Not even going to mention how rough Regan/Pazuzu looks. Ooh, the old priest just showed, and he’s taking no shit.

    Ok, that’s enough of a post I guess. I guess I’ll call it. Going to finish ‘The Exorcist’, then I’ll decide if I’m staying up later or not. Still have about 30 more min, and it’s the big finale. And it might be good to end on a high note…or if I stay up, I’ll change gears and watch something utterly different. Catch you all later.

    Star Wars Rewatch: Part I

    Well, with the upcoming Episode VII I’d been watching to rewatch all 6 movies. So, today I watched I-III. And I had some thoughts. Note, I’m not going into a rant about what was wrong with them, life is too short to be negative, and there are good things about the prequel trilogy.

    Lets start with, so many lightsabre fights. Probably my favorite single thing growing up with the Original trilogy was the lightsabres, I blame them for my life long facination with all things sword related. And we get duels in spades. I’ve always said I’d one day make a fancut of all the lightsaber duels and just watch that… Yes, they’re not realistic. I don’t care, they’re epic.

    Next, the Sith. Yes, Vader was epicly scary and evil, especially when I was 5 and seeing A New Hope in the theater. I liked that they didn’t try to make the other Sith Vader clones. Maul was scarily intense, what if a being spent pretty much it’s entire life studying to be a weapon, that’s Maul. Count Dooku has Sir Christopher Lee showing charm, style and panache…while still being the bad guy. And Emperor Palpatine when he shows his true colors, he is terrifying. He’s a monster in the way all the others are not, and radiates evil in a way you rarely see in movies. He’s not cheesy, he’s not insane, he’s evil. Corrupting, dark and ruthless.

    And to provide balance…there’s Yoda. He’s more than just the mentor who talks funny. He teaches the youngsters and appears to be good with kids (he is their size), which made perfect sense. He also is a bad-ass. One of my running jokes has been ‘The shorter and older the martial artist, the better he is’. Well Yoda was 900 years old and less than 3 feet tall… you do the math. *grin* Also, I liked the banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin in II and II, especially III. Dry wit, sarcasm, and the kind of snark that can only happen to people who have been friends for years. Which made the final battle on Mustafar actually seem to be more than just a fight.

    So that’s my thoughts about the prequel. It wasn’t perfect, and in some spots was quite painful, but I think they’re still worth watching. I’ll give the Original Trilogy a watch later on, and I’ll report my thoughts. Until then, may the Force be with you.