Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Books vs Movies #1 - Twilight

Oh, thanks for the support guys! I figured this would be another one of those weird things that no one would want to read, but maybe I've stumbled onto something here (but then again, you haven't read my arguments yet, so you may change your minds!).

Yep, I have fallen back into one of my bad obsessions...Twilight. Bad because I get WAY too absorbed for someone of my age and bad because I can literally think of NOTHING else. In my "off" Twilight times, I call myself hating the series and sometimes I even think I believe it. Damn Amazon Prime for putting the movies in front of my face again, but it was partly my fault (I'll get to that in a minute). And I apologize in advance, this is gonna be long (but when are my posts NOT long?).

For those that don't know the series (and I'm not sure how that is possible, but some may not), there are technically four books in the series...Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, although I count five and a half, adding Midnight Sun, the unfinished manuscript of Twilight from Edward's point of view (Midnight Sun was leaked online before she had a chance to finish it, so she just got pissed and released it as-is on her website and, to be honest, I like it better than Twilight, finished or not) and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, all written by Stephenie Meyer. Then there are five movies...Breaking Dawn is broken up into two halves, directed by various directors.

I should also add that this was the first real "obsession" that my Sister had as well. She thinks she had it much worse than I did, but I think she got a real taste of what my life is like on a daily basis...getting so obsessed over something that it physically makes you sick. You can't sleep or eat or do anything else but absorb yourself 24/7 in all things "insert obsession here". To this day, it's still hard for her to hear the "T" word. Welcome to my life baby Sis. She still thinks she had it worse than me, so I just let her think that if it makes her feel better.

What started this was something so mundane, I'm still in shock myself. In an effort to break the Supernatural habit, I decided to start watching True Blood. I never finished the TV series and I stopped reading book 7 when I realized that Sookie and Bill weren't going to get back together (and I don't think that's a major spoiler for anyone). I won't speak too much on this, because this might be another good series to do, but once I finished TB, Prime changed my viewing preferences to vampire-related material. I wish streaming services wouldn't do this. I can pick my own movies, thank you. But, front and center of my recommendations, was the Twilight series. I laughed it off at first, but I was bored, nothing else looked good, so I thought, "oh well, couldn't hurt, right?". Yeah, I should know myself better than that by now.

When I first re-watched the Twilight movies (the first time in years, mind you), I was kind of shocked because I don't think it occurred to me how "off" and kind of "stalkerish" Bella and Edward's relationship was. I mean he literally watched her sleep for months before they even started dating! The first time they talked, they were professing their undying love for one another and how they couldn't live without each other. And considering it's a teen series, although they didn't have sex until they were married, they still slept together every single night they were together. Not really a good influence for the youth. I know I sometimes go on and on about how people complain at how Disney movies set unrealistic goals for little girls, but Sleeping Beauty has NOTHING on this stuff!

I even came to work the next day and discussed my new found "disgust" with a fellow co-worker who also used to be obsessed with the series and she kind of just went "are you just now figuring that out?". Guess I didn't notice it before because obsessions kind of blind you to the bad sometimes. I was kind of proud of myself for feeling this way because I thought that the dirt in my Pet Sematary hadn't been disturbed...I was wrong.

Purely by accident, days later even, I was putting something in one of my many junk drawers, and I ran across my stack of old Twilight ticket stubs from when I saw it in the theater. I kept all my stubs from each movie because I planned to make a display like the Cullens' graduation cap display with my tickets (don't ask me how many times I saw each movie in the theater BTWs, it's shameful), but by the time I got through Breaking Dawn Part 2, I misplaced the Twilight stubs. So I put the others away in a safe place for when I found the stubs from the first movie. Suddenly, there they were, right in front of me and the hunt began for the other stubs. As of now, I STILL can't find where that so-called "safe" place is and it's driving me crazy. Now I have the first set and not the other four!

Needless to say, because of the ticket hunt, I got to thinking that maybe the books weren't as stalkerish as the movies and maybe I needed to re-read the books and the chain of movie-watching/book-reading hasn't stopped since. I stop only to search again for the missing ticket stubs, looking in places I've looked dozens of times before (yes, I'm aware that's the very definition of insanity) and then I get mad and go back to reading or watching again until I think of another place to look or another place I want to re-look. Even the pups think I'm bonkers.

I do read them in order and I am a fast reader, so I can clear all six in two or three days, depending on what time I get off work (which has been earlier since I've been rushing home so I can read and watch). I still manage to clear at least one movie a night and all of them on the nights I don't read.

I do NOT include Life and Death. I don't know what she was thinking with that one (other than she wanted to make more money off of the original series...why not just finish Midnight Sun?), but Life and Death sucks ass (and yes, I hold that strong of an opinion about it). I am not a fan of fan fiction (although you guys know I love a good fan video), and that book is pure-de-old fan fiction written by the author herself. She switched the characters gender around and basically wrote the same story, but with a gorgeous girl vampire and a plain boy. What girl would want to read that story? Especially one that was already obsessed with the characters in a set way? I can't be the only person that feels this way, but if someone actually likes this book, I'd love to hear your argument as to why. Maybe you can change my mind (or at least not make me hate it as much, I think my mind is pretty much locked on the subject).

I tend to think of fan fiction as bastardizing the original text and it crawls all over me in the worst of ways. My Sister loves it (and even writes some). How I ended up loving Once Upon A Time is beyond me, because it's basically Disney fan fiction (maybe because Disney was in charge?). I will say though, there is another exception to this rule and that's "professional" Jane Austen fan fiction (think Death at Pemberley and the like), but that's another story. I'm kind of glad I don't like fan fiction anyway, I'd be horrible at writing it. I kind of see the characters and their paths as sacred properties of their authors. Granted, I can't control where my mind goes in dreams (and I dream of Jasper a lot lately...my favorite Cullen or Hale or Whitlock, depending on which last name you prefer...and is it surprising that he is my favorite? The most physiologically damaged one?), but when it comes to writing any of it down...nope, I'm not worthy. If others want to, that's fine, I just don't have to read it (and no, I haven't read a single bit my Sister has ever written and probably never will, I don't even know her pen name).

When it comes to the movies, I had read the books long before the movies came out, so I had a preconceived notion of the characters in my head. The casting agents did a good job of picking actors and this is a sore spot for me because most of the actors they cast I hate otherwise. There are a few exceptions, all male, of course. I do love Robert Pattinson, but I haven't seen another one of his movies that I have liked (and I think I've pretty much seen them all...Harry Potter doesn't count and that's another list). I like that movie that Kellan Lutz did with Mandy Moore called Love, Wedding, Marriage, but other than that, his back catalog blurs in my head. Obviously, since Jasper is my favorite, I love Jackson Rathbone, but I honestly can't say I've seen another movie he's done (maybe a TV episode or two). And poor little Taylor Lautner...he's made a ton of movies, but I can't see him as anything other than Jacob. I don't think he's been typecast in Hollywood, just in my head. I keep trying though, every movie of his that comes out, I watch, but I only see Jacob doing other non-werewolf/shape-shifter things.

It is extremely rare for me to watch a movie with actors I hate and I can't stand Kristen Stewart (her speaking pauses drive me insane and I can't get the image of those photos of her having an affair on Robert Pattinson with that married director out of my head) or Ashley Greene (who, I'm not sure why I don't like, I just don't). But, for some reason, I don't see them as them, but as the characters and I can see past the quirks that make me hate them. Other actors, like Tom Cruise (who I also can't stand), don't get that honor, I refuse to watch any of his movies (although I did see Top Gun, for the sake of Anthony Edwards, but walked out of the theater when he got killed, so that was that), so it must be the obsession blinding me again. Same thing with Once and Jennifer Morrison...I hate her but I loved that show. My Sister hates her so much I never could get her to watch Once, although I know she would have loved it if she could have seen past Jennifer. I'm also not a big fan of Anna Kendrick, but she's been in a lot of movies I like, especially Mr. Right with Sam Rockwell (that's one of my top 10 favorite movies right now) but again, I think it's because of Sam and not her. Sometimes, the men can outshine the females and the Twilight movies are the exception that proves the rule.

I mentioned it earlier, but yes, I am team Jasper. He's the one I would be more attracted to than the others, but I'm also a Captain Wentworth girl when the rest of the world goes for Mr. Darcy, so that's not so surprising. I have a type. I don't think I have much in common with Alice (well, other than that whole being locked in a mental institution thing) or any other girl character for that matter, but if I had to pick a Cullen, it would definitely be Jasper, hands down. I don't think he gets enough screen time and, as much as I don't like Ashley Greene, I do wish they would have at least mentioned her past just a bit, if only her brief connection to James. I would have also liked to visually see the moment she was waiting for Jasper when they first met...it would have been nice to see true love bloom in more than one Cullen. They gave LONG backstories for Carlisle and Rosalie, ones that I don't think were that necessary, especially when Alice's was far more interesting. At least they did give a long one for Jasper, even if it wasn't the one I wanted to see. It would have been nice to get more of Emmett's as well, even though his wasn't that exciting, in either book or movie form.

When it comes to movies vs books though, this is one of those rare occasions when I'm gonna go movies over books although it's a close race and I flop on this issue constantly from obsessive phase (this time it's apparently movies). The books enhance the movies because a two-second touch means more because you had a two-page description in the book, or a smile or movement has deeper meaning because you know why, thanks to the books but, other than that, I'm perfectly content with the movies because they do get a lot of it right and don't leave too much out (although some things they do leave out bother me, more in a mo-mo). But I would still suggest reading the books so you know all those little details. Maybe watch the movies, read the books, and then re-watch the movies to see what you missed.

Since I'm not a fan of a lot of the actors, I can't answer why I prefer the movies because what they do leave out does bug me. Important details like Alice's past or cutting scenes from Twilight that explain Jasper's abilities (it was literally four little words, not a big time saver folks) and then they just spring it on you in New Moon that he can control moods, like you should already know it. Sure, if you've read the books, you know, but if you hadn't or seen the deleted scenes from the first disc and you hit that scene, you're like "wha?". Or when Edward gives Bella the gigantic diamond to add to Jacobs little hand-carved wolf bracelet and she just blows it off because she thinks it's a crystal...the movie does the same leaving the audience thinking as Bella does. Only those that read the book know that's a massive rock. That bugs me. And then they add in things they shouldn't like the big battle at the end of Breaking Dawn Part 2 that didn't happen in the book and that still makes me cry every.single.time. It's really weird. By all accounts, I should prefer the books. Little things they could have added that wouldn't have added much time to the movies but could have made all the difference from the page to the screen. Movies nowadays are almost 3 hours anyway, so what's 20 or 30 more minutes, especially considering the first two movies are barely over an hour and a half.

And speaking of, I do own the extended versions of each of the movies, so there is usually 20-30 minutes of extra material that adds in some gaps from the books. I also got lazy and bought the digital versions of them from Amazon so I wouldn't have to keep changing discs. It's one of the few series that really does take a lot of the dialogue from the books verbatim and doesn't leave much out. Most series don't do that or change the story line altogether although the Twilight movies often switch dialogue between characters (Edward might say something in the movie that Bella actually said in the book or vice versa). That drives me bonkers, especially if I want to see it visually or if I have it in my head one way and I see it another and I can't reverse it, but I do that in life too...I can drive easily to Gulfport without GPS since I've been dozens of times, but I have to use it on the way back every single time because I get confused even though I should know it by heart. I can't separate them as two separate trips, but rather, I see the homeward way as reverse of the to way and it's like walking backwards. It's why I don't come home from work the same way I go to work...I'd have to think too hard about the route, despite 23 years of working here. It's just easier to go two different ways.

But in some cases, the changes in the movies had a stronger effect on my obsession. The extended baseball scene from the movie (which was barely a deal in the books) caused me to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to learn baseball bat aerobatics like Jasper during the first go-round. I don't have a steel bat anymore, or I'd probably be in the yard every night doing it again.

And don't get me started on the music...I literally hear certain songs playing in my head as I'm reading certain scenes in the books. It's annoying, especially when I'm not that big of a fan of the music (well, except for the first one because I adore Linkin Park...betcha didn't see that one coming considering my penchant for certain types of music and I typically can't listen to singers after they die, but Chester Bennington is the exception because Linkin Park is my "stay away from me if I'm listening to it" music). I don't own the soundtracks past the first one, and I'm trying desperately to keep myself from buying them. They haven't gone down in price like the movies have and I can't afford them, at least not all at once. I also know myself well enough to know that I couldn't just buy them one at a time, so best not to even start that.

So here I am, locked again the Cullen/Swan/Black world, cringing during the day because I have to rush home to read or watch or hunt (or all three). Granted, it's been a great diet because it's hard to read and eat at the same time. I have gone back to sleeping in the bed though, which is kind of unbelievable considering I've been sleeping on the couch for almost two years. I dream better in the bed and I typically dream of Jasper most nights. Again, I hate myself for even typing those words. I am too old to behave this way and it's a good thing I'm not seeing the shrinks right now because they'd probably up my meds (if I was on them). Of course, this isn't even my worst case of Twilight-itis, so I guess I should be grateful, but I still feel a bit like an idiot.

The people at work who know I go through obsessive phases, sometimes ask me "hey, what are you into now?" and I'm starting to get that. I either don't answer, or say "nothing important". I think that probably makes me look more suspicious, but it's better than admitting the truth...that I've fallen back into tween-dom. Should I be embarrassed, or am I being silly? Should a 47 year-old female with my conditions be embarrassed over having an obsessive phase with Twilight...again? I just don't know anymore.

What are y'alls Twilight stories? Hate it? Love it? Books vs movies? Got any good thoughts about Life and Death?

Addendum:
Two hours after I published this, I bought the other four albums and then another two hours later, I bought the one movie companion book I'm missing and another complete movie companion book. Yeah, I suck. It's probably only gonna get worse because I've already started looking for cross stitch patterns on Etsy (and ironically, I've found NOTHING...wonder if that's bad or good?).

Saturday, July 14, 2018

New ideas brewing - a prequel

Let's talk OCD for a minute because it directly relates to where I'm going here. Some obsessions come and go, some I revisit, some I don't, but I'm typically ALWAYS focused on something at any given time (most times, more than one thing, but usually one takes center stage). I can usually manage all of them in relatively "healthy" ways (and by "healthy", I mean as healthy as someone with Asperger's and OCD can be about such things).

It's probably why my earliest bonding obsessions...Disney, Duran Duran and cross stitching, have stayed relatively strong (despite their rather sporadic behavior of late), because I don't think I've had even one bad period with any of those obsessions (although others might disagree). From my point of view, they have always been positive influences and tend to lift me out of the darkest of times. Those three will always be with me, come what may.

Some of my obsessions are really bad though. And when I say "bad", it's not that the object of my obsession is particularly bad, it's my reaction to it that is. Some things rush through me like a poison and corrupt me absolutely and it's usually the ones that start out too potent from the get-go.

When I'm done with this type and am ready to bury them away, I do tend to walk through the regular obsession cemetery, past the other grave stones of normal obsessions past. I walk through the darkest woods of my mind and up the hill to where I know I shouldn't bury them...in the soured ground. In my own little Pet Sematary of the mind, if you will. There is where they wait to be called up again.

I'm not sure why I get mad at myself when they come back. Part of me knew what I was doing when I buried them there...either I wasn't completely done with them and I wanted them to come back, or some secret part of me knew I would need the distraction one day. In this case, I guess it doesn't really matter, I can't control it now anyway, I just have to ride it out. And they obviously never come back the same, so there is also that element I have to deal with. Again, more anger at myself.

But, at the same time, I'm smart enough to know that I will be stupid enough to rebury it back in the Pet Sematary when I'm done again. I am nothing if not predictable. No good obsession makes it in the Pet Sematary, which is a good thing, although not all bad ones have been reawakened (at least not yet), so maybe that's a good sign.

I do have to find ways to channel it though, so I thought I'd try something new this time. I'm still hashing out some details (and I'm still dealing with a pretty potent obsession here right now), so nothing is set in stone, but basically, what I'm thinking of, is a series of posts dealing with the book(s) vs their movie(s) counterparts and which I prefer.

Although I'd put it at 90/10, I personally do not think every book is better than the movie, so there is some things to play with here that could veer me off topic (at least I'm hoping so, although obviously my current obsession will take center stage). I also can't wait to hear what y'alls opinions are compared to mine!

Let's see where we end up, shall we? Oh, and FYI, it's NOT Supernatural! That one (which is one of my good ones), has played it course for now.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Guess What!

It's not too exciting, but I knew as I was writing the last post, that a feeling was starting to creep in on me. I had a craving to stitch. Maybe that's what all my recent soul searching has been about...putting me on the right track. I left off on Rapunzel here last time:
Rapunzel-009
There were some pics on the camera I was unaware of, so it looks like I stitched more than I actually did, but here is where I stopped:
Rapunzel-014
I did really good Friday night, but Saturday was a different story. I didn't wake up until noon and, once I got around and started stitching, I only did so for about 45 minutes before I started getting sleepy. Next thing I knew, it was a quarter to five and I was waking up on the couch. Sunday wasn't much better, but I still feel like some progress is better than none at all.

Time will tell if I continue on during the week, but I have high hopes!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Top 5 List - What If?

First off, this one is probably going to be kind of negative too, but I might have some really good news by the end of the weekend, so bear with me on this one, because this was another one of those posts that I needed to get out. Maybe this will be the end of them after this weekend, who knows! But on with the show.

Obviously, I'm not going to my high school reunion, but more than once in my life I've played the "what if" game and most of the time, I tend to "what if I could go back to the summer before 9th grade". Why, especially since I hated school so much, would I want to go back to the time right before the worst of the torture started? Because I do believe, knowing what I know now, that's the time I could make the greatest change in my life. Obviously, I would need to remember key points, like when I got my dogs, but I do think everything else could use a rethink.

#5: My step-dad might have been right (and I'll NEVER say that again):
My step-dad was the only father I knew for a while until my Sister came along and then I no longer existed...I had no idea the importance of blood until I turned 7. It wasn't her fault, but I ended up taking it out on her for years (but that's another story). My step-dad became mentally abusive to me. He wasn't physically abusive, although I did get spankings (most of which I probably deserved because I was a horrible kid, although I did have my reasons for being so, just not all my actions were entirely justified...FYI, I'm not anti-spanking).

No one ever believed me when I said how he treated me, especially my mother (because he didn't do it in front of others - he was very careful that way). I can laugh about it now because my mother's been getting the full brunt of it 24/7 ever since I left...payback's a bitch, ain't it? Now he doesn't hide it and everyone sees it. My Sister calls him on it upon occasion and he will back off, but not for long. As a matter of fact, when my mother and I were still speaking and she complained about it, I would actually say, "payback's a bitch, suck it up!". Sometimes she admitted she should have listened, sometimes she would just hang her head. It's too late now and I'm not a fan of the word "sorry" because it is, after all, just a word, but at least she realizes she screwed up.

FYI, for those that don't know, family members that I care about get capital letters and one's I don't get little letters. It's a sign of respect (or lack thereof). My Dad doesn't deserve it, but I can't help it.

Anyway, I'm digressing here, my step-dad always told me I was fat, ugly, stupid and would never amount to anything (thanks to years of that, I agree with him, except for the stupid part, but I waver on that sometimes too). He always told me that if I didn't lose my weight by the time I started my periods, I would never lose it. I started my period a year and a half before they even knew (I was really good at keeping my business private and still am, except online apparently!), but that's beside the point and obviously that was way before 9th grade, but 9th grade is considered the beginning of high school (at least here in the South), so that's why I'm sticking with that time frame and I think I could have kept it off if I would have started then.

I could have swam every single day because we had a pool. Ridden my bike more (I couldn't have run because my knee was already screwed up by that point, thanks to said bike and a rather nasty fall...but that was way before you had to practically wear body armor before getting on a bike and I can't say that if I got on one today I would wear a single piece of it). I was young enough that I could have changed my body and kept from having sagging skin like I do when I lose weight now. Now it's too late. Damn him. Oh well, even monsters can be right once in a lifetime.

Now I get the occasional "well, he did still keep clothes on your back and a roof over your head and food in your stomach, so you shouldn't complain about how he treated you, especially since your own Father didn't do that". Well, yes, that technically IS true, he did keep me well-fed, dressed and sheltered. Any leftover wounds that linger from that time are my own fault because I let my step-dad remain in my head. But it is still the eternal broken record playing in my head...I'm worthless, but what little worth I might have, I owe to him for taking me in. Oh joy, how lucky can a girl get? I'm like the stray Scottish dog no one wanted, but had to go somewhere. I don't interact with him at all now, especially since me and my mother don't speak anymore, and I am perfectly fine living the rest of my days that way.

Knowing what I know now, I doubt weight loss would have changed the way I was treated, but it might have lessened it some. It might have made me more confident to stand up for myself. Or at least I'd like to think it would. But anyway, let's change the subject, shall we? I've dwelt on this one long enough.

#4: Study harder:
I was one of those kids that had to make certain grades or I got spankings (A's were expected, B's meant groundings, and C's meant bend over baby!). I never got C's, although I came close a lot in PE...thank goodness for written tests! But I was also one of those kids who never tried either. I was lucky that way. I really didn't have to study because the school work itself came easy to me. I didn't struggle, but I also didn't try. Wish I could still do that...it would definitely help this fall!

During our senior year, we had the choice of leaving at noon or staying and taking Physics, Calculus, and something else. I chose to leave at noon so I could come to work (at the same lab I'm at now FYI, just in a peon position back then). I should have stayed in class. I blew every dime of that money anyway, and not on anything important (or that I probably still have).

As an aside, I was forced to get a job the second I turned 16. My Sister, on the other hand, was discouraged from getting a job at all. She ended up getting one because she wanted to and worked there until she graduated college, but that was her choice, not because they made her.

I see now (or think I do), that it was my parent's attempt to get me out of the house and do something productive. They didn't make my Sister work because she was a lot smarter than me (I beg to differ, but that's the general consensus in my family) and she had a bright future ahead of her so they wanted her to focus more on school. If I would have shown that side of myself, then maybe they would have given me the same courtesy, but I can't say for sure. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt, even though none of them deserve it. It's hard to try with that mantra on an endless loop, but again, that was and is my fault, not theirs.

Once I got to college, I did the same to avoid studying (and to make more money to blow). I moved out the second I graduated high school, so I did have bills to pay but, by that time, I had already established my wild spending pattern that still exists to this day. Maybe if I would have put my foot down and demanded that I not work but focus more on school, those wild spending sprees would have never had a chance to take root, who knows? Well, I did try to put my foot down and demand I not work, but I was forced to anyway. Wonder what I would have said then if someone would have told me I still would be working here all these years later? Ugh.

If I just would have stayed all day during my senior year and I would have tried harder (or just tried at all), I probably would have been top of the class and could have gotten into any school I wanted, which leads to the next number.

#3: Go far far far far away to school:
Now that I finally figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life (or I think I do with Astronomy), had I been a better student, I could have gotten a free ride at a good school far away, and gotten a good education. I could be working with some of my idols now and be their colleague instead of part of their fan club watching their work from afar. That's the thing that rubs me the wrong way the most. I had NO clue what direction I was heading in as a kid and starting school so early didn't help. Apparently, I needed 47 years to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Plus, if I would have gone away to school, I would have gotten away from my family sooner and been able to heal wounds that only festered as I got older because they were continually picked at. If I would have left, I would have never looked back. Maybe the occasional holiday, but maybe not even then. Despite my social disabilities, I'm still extremely independent and can go a lot of places (even if I can't get out of the car), but maybe leaving home at a young age could have helped with that issue too.

My parents paid for my school flat out. No loans or scholarships (but I also didn't apply for any...why bother? It was paid for). I was told from the get-go that, if I ever quit, that was it, they wouldn't pay another dime. I was forced to start college the first summer semester after high school. I wasn't ready, but I did it anyway. I was also forced to go every single semester, including summers, with no breaks. My mother was afraid that, if I took time off, I wouldn't go back. Granted, she was right, but only after two and a half straight years of college and I was starting to waver on my art degree (plus, I wanted to go live with my Dad, which I did, and that also sucked, but for completely different reasons...another story for another day).

If I would have been given summers off, I would have probably stayed. I might have changed majors 10 times and it might have taken me 10 years to graduate (which could have been funny because they would have had to pay for all of it), but I could have gotten there eventually.

They stayed true to that promise. No matter how sincere I was about going back in the years since, I never received another dime of help. But I'm good with that, especially now because it means that, when I finish this time (and I fully intend on finishing), it will be 100% ME! I will owe them nothing and they will not have a single dime invested in my success. That means more to me than the actual degree. All the struggles I've been through have taught me that I can only depend on myself.

My Sister wasn't given the same ultimatum and didn't suffer my fate. She has two degrees. Did my parents learn their lesson from their mistakes with me? I've often said I was the crash test dummy for my Sister. I suffered so she could have a good life. Part of me is joking, but part of me is serious. She was protected from everything I was exposed to. No that's not her fault, but yes, I am still bitter about that. Again, that's on me.

#2: Focus more on others:
Yeah, I can't believe I just said that either, but I think that if I would have been more social in school, maybe that would have helped me too. If I would have lost the weight, I obviously still couldn't have made fru-fru status, but I think I could have made sub-fru. I probably still would have stayed in the art room, but maybe joined more clubs than ones I was forced to, like art or honor society (I think I was in a couple more, but I can't remember them, so they must not have been important). I probably should have even been part of the governing body (yeah, can't believe I said that either) or part of the school paper or part of the annual committee (I'm starting to freak myself out here even talking about this). Those are things I would have been good at because of my artist ability and organizational skills, I would have just had to work on the people skills more.

Knowing what I know now, I probably still wouldn't have pursued my high school crush, even though with weight loss, I would have had a good chance with him. He still treated me horribly by only being my friend in secret, so he didn't deserve me. Besides, I saw how he treated his girlfriends, and it wasn't good. I'm not sure, because of my childhood trauma, I could have been emotionally ready to deal with a boyfriend anyway. My OCD would have kicked in and made him more important than anything else, and there goes my scholastic aspirations.

#1: Dealt with who I am better:
Obviously, Aspergers was a fairly new diagnosis in the 80's and, for girls especially, extremely rare, so it would have been hard to get the proper treatment. But any kind of treatment, be it for all my other issues dealing with my family, or being molested as a child, or just being me, could have made a difference in who I grew up to be, if caught early enough. But I say that with a grain of salt because I'm now in a really bad situation that was caused by so-called "help" from mental health professionals. It's a double-edged sword.

Plus, I came from a family that's motto was "hide all the bad stuff so everyone thinks we're perfect". No family is perfect and we were FAR from it, but had I not been forced to bottle up all that emotional hurt, maybe I would have relationships with all those people now and wouldn't hold such grudges. Even though I have squeezed them all out of my life, there is still a lot of resentment there and I hate myself sometimes for holding onto it. That's not their fault...that's all on me because no one can make you feel anything...you alone grant them power over you. I am well aware of that fact, and yet, I am the world's worst at falling into the trap every.single.time.

Oh well, unfortunately, as far as we know, although time travel is theoretically possible, we haven't discovered it yet, so I guess I'm screwed. Besides, I wouldn't just want to time travel, I would have to physically travel back too while keeping my current memories. It would do no good going back without the memories because I would end up in the same boat, making the same mistakes. But sometimes it's just nice to dream, if for no other reason that just to be able to let go of some of this residual anger and resentment.

Oh well, c'est la vie! Watch this space come Sunday night (hopefully...but no promises!).

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Top 5 List - 30 Year High School Reunion

A few of weeks ago, I got my "invitation" to my 30 year high school reunion. After 20 minutes of ruckus laughter, the letter spent a while in the bottom in my purse until I finally took it out and filed it away, sight unseen. But I'm bringing it up again now to try to "brighten" up my Top 5's. Here's hoping, right?

High school SUCKED for me (see, already starting on a high note). I was weird (understatement), I was anti-social (super-understatement), I hated being there because I have severe authority issues (OK...I think you guys get it now)...it was awful. I couldn't wait to get out and I rarely look back. I didn't really keep in touch with friends and I rarely run into any ex-school mates. I just don't get the purpose of rehashing bad memories.

For the purpose of this post, I should also mention that in high school, and even now, I referred to the popular people as fru-fru's. My Sister hates this term, probably because she not only married one (although he did grow out of the awful jerk part of fru-fruness), but she married what I call a super-fru, one that is at the very top of the fru-fru chain. FYI, he didn't talk to me in high school either and we had a class together. Wonder what he would have said then if he knew he was going to grow up and marry the "Blair Witch's" sister (what they called me, way before that movie ever came out...I had a tendency to read obscure texts, some of which might have resembled spell books)...what can I say? I liked to shock and I was trying to figure out where I stood on religion at the time (the verdict is still out on that one, but I did figure out that witchcraft wasn't for me).

My school was very Breakfast Club and I was full-on Ally Sheedy. I just kept to myself and stayed out of everything. I was the freak in the corner, all in black, listening to scary music (and yes, at my school, Duran Duran was scary), drawing even scarier pictures, and reading scary stuff.

I spent my entire high school career in love with one guy who wouldn't give me the time of day romantically, but we were "secret" friends at night when he wanted to talk on the phone for hours and bitch about his girlfriends. Pitiful me listened just to hear his voice. How sad was I? FYI, this continued on through at least our first couple of semesters of college too. If I analyze it honestly, he's really the only guy I ever loved. Not quite sure I ever got over him either, but that's another story. He wasn't a fru-fru, but was on the fringe of it, a sub-fru, if you will. And yes, from what I hear, he's as big a jerk now as he was in school (and he's married), so no, it wouldn't be worth me going to the reunion to see if there is something there that wasn't there before (and yes, I just threw in a Disney quote).

My mother needed to dump me somewhere and I just made the age cut-off for kindergarten, so I went early. It hurt me in the long run and I probably would have done better academically (and emotionally) if I would have been in my brother-in-law's class, but nothing I can do about that now. He was a year under me in school, but he is actually three days older than me. His mom was smart.

So, if you haven't guessed by now, there is no way in Hades that I would ever go to this retro-suck fest, and here's the top 5 reasons why.

#5: Handwritten Comments:
At the bottom of this typed letter-form invitation to the reunion, was a handwritten note to me from the organizer (who I was NOT friends with in school and didn't make fru-fru status until senior year), "reminding" me that there is a reunion Facebook page for our class and they would "love" for me to join in. I haven't been on FB in almost 10 years and they haven't even noticed that? Guess I'm just out of luck there. But seriously, handwritten? What did I do to deserve that? Oh yeah, I'm related to a super-fru, so NOW I matter (and I can guarantee that's the reason why). Well, I don't work that way, he's just my brother-in-law.

#4: Merged Reunions:
I graduated in 1988. For some reason, the reunion is us and the class of '87. I don't understand this unless it's because two of the four organizers are married to guys from that class. Most of the guys and a few of the girls/guys from our class dated (and some married) girls/guys from the class of '89 (aka my brother-in-law's class). That would make more sense because we got along (and by "we", I mean "they") got along better overall with '89 (and even "I" can say I know a lot more people from the class of '89 than I do from '87). Even if I planned on going (I'm starting to chuckle again), knowing there is another class filled with people I don't know there too would definitely be enough to keep me away just by itself.

#3: The Locations:
Most reunions are actually at your school. They have since built a new one, but our old high school is now the middle school, so it does still stand. But instead, they are having a breakfast meet-up at a VERY small restaurant in our hometown that probably holds 30 people on a good day. Our class alone had 100 graduates. Even if you take away all the dead (and apparently there is a lot) and all the ones who don't show up (like me), you still have spouses and kids and then an entire other class and their spouses and kids. It's just crazy!

Midday, they are touring the new high school. No mention of our school. It's on a Saturday, so it's not like there will be classes going on.

Then, later in the day, they are having the actual reunion in a restaurant the town I live in now (again, still not big enough to hold two classes)...not in the town we went to school in, not in the school itself, but in a frickin restaurant 20 miles away!

Now, here's the kicker...both meals and any beverages, must be paid for by us (and by "us", I mean "them"), the attendees. Oh, but they are still asking for donations to pay for the band and the locale rentals. Is this normal? Don't you usually pay for a ticket to attend the reunion which covers things like this? I've never been to a reunion before, but I don't think this is normal, which leads to #2 (but one more thing first).

In the South, we have this thing called "dry counties". Basically, certain counties can't sell alcohol. The town I grew up in is "wet", meaning there are liquor stores everywhere and every restaurant serves alcohol, whereas the town I live in now is "dry", meaning no booze. But, certain (practically every) restaurants have "memberships" where you can pay $1-5 to join (or just sign in at the register and pay nothing) and drink to your heart's content, at least in this county (not every county is like that, some are dry as a bone). I think that might be the reason why they are choosing to have the dinner here instead of there. This is a nicer town and we have nicer restaurants. More people live here than in the town we grew up in (most ran for the hills after high school, some ran even farther). But still, isn't the whole purpose of a reunion about nostalgia? How can you be nostalgic about high school when you're nowhere near the school or even the town?

Maybe the school wouldn't let them have alcohol or something? If they did, I would be surprised, it's not like the town I grew up in is known for its purity. I've never smoked marijuana, but I know the smell intimately, although I didn't know why until after high school. The first time I smelled it outside of school, someone was complaining about it and I made the comment that it smelled exactly like my high school bathroom and, once they told me what it was, I knew what I had been smelling all those years.

Drugs and alcohol were a big part of high school in my day (just not for me...heck, I didn't even know about it all until later in life from third-party sources, that's how blind I was to the whole culture of my school). I went to school, then home. I didn't participate in clubs, or band, or after school activities of any kind and I've never been to a party in my entire life (unless you count my work's Christmas parties and then I can count those on one hand). Pregnancy was big as well, although 10% of the graduating class being knocked up was hard not to notice. At one point, we made national news because we were the VD capital of the country...not the county, or the state, the whole damn United States of America! Go Wildcats! But I digress.

#2: Lack of Previous Invitations:
For our 10 year reunion, my Sister worked at the pharmacy where a fellow classmate (another sub-fru), who was then head of the reunion committee, also worked. I never got an invitation. My Sister told said committee head who swore she sent me an invitation, but promised she would sent out another. I never got it. Told my Sister again who told her again...and so on. Eventually, I got the message...she wasn't sending any invitations to me at all and I wasn't wanted. That was OK, I didn't want to go anyway. Same with the 15th. So when I actually did get an invitation for the 20th (new committee head due to previous one's personal issues, and let's leave it at that), It didn't even get opened and got filed in the trash.

#1: My Head Space
OK, so technically, I'm still working at the same job I was working at in high school. I'm still living in the same trailer that I've been living in for 20+ years. I'm still alone. I'm still a college student. I'm still weird. I'm still fat. Etc. On paper, it doesn't look good.

I can see the conversation now...
them - "So, what have you been doing with yourself?"

me - "Well, first, please don't touch me or I might scream, but I still work at the lab, still live in my trailer, but hey, I've got a myriad of diagnosed mental issues now that explain why I'm weird, I'm back in college, and I still don't care about a single one of you guys and I don't know why I'm here at all, so I'll be leaving now!".

Sounds like fun, right?

But, it's not all Romy and Michele for me. I have worked my way HIGH up the "so-called" corporate ladder to management level and taught myself a career that most people need an education to get jobs in (I just get paid less because I'm not educated...but that's about to change). I have more things than most people will ever have in my tiny trailer (what's the use of having a big house with nothing in it?). I have gone places and seen things most people have never gone or seen (although I have never been overseas), most of which I've done alone. I have been married and divorced (wouldn't recommend either). I am starting back to college for the fourth (or fifth) time, but this time I plan to finish. And I was born weird and I wouldn't have it any other way. I may be fat, but most people think I'm in my mid 30's instead of my late 40's, so that's got to be a plus, right? Despite technically looking like I've stood still, I've grown, moved, and changed a TON in more ways than most of them ever will.

Besides, the stupid thing isn't until October and they wanted an RSVP almost immediately after the invitations were sent out. Woopsy. I think the weeks it spent in my purse ruined that! Oh well. That will be about mid-term time for me and I don't know how I'm going to react to being back in college. Saturday or not, I can't plan ahead that far for anything, let alone something I would be dreading like the plague.

Guarantee no one will miss me or ask about me anyway. Most everyone knows who my brother-in-law now, so if they REALLY wanted to get in touch with me, all they would have to do is call him and he's not hard to find...his family is one of the three most prominent families in the town, owning a good chunk of it. As far as know, no one has ever called him about me or even asked him about me, so there you go (and he's still in touch with most of his high school friends, some of which were from my class). I'm not in witness protection by any means. They care as little about me as I do about them and I'm OK with that.

And I work with a guy whose sister I graduated with (and whose little brother was in the class below), so that's another direct line. Both his sister and brother were mega frus, but he only managed sub-fru status. I've known him most all my life and I have to listen to hometown stories upon occasion, but I don't pay much attention. It also means I have to interact with his sister upon occasion, but I'm not sure if she remembers that she graduated with me or if she just thinks she knows me because I work with her brother. Knowing her, it's probably the latter. She's not the brightest bulb in the box.

Wonder what the Breakfast Club 30 year reunion would look like? I doubt Ally Sheedy's character would have gone either, especially after having her moment with Emilio Estevez during detention only to have to go back to being the wallflower and probably never speaking to him again. Sounds familiar, only I never got my actual physical moment with my guy and never will. But then again, he didn't look like Emilio Estevez, so I ain't too upset over it!

See? Feel better already!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Top 5 List - Ways I'm still negatively impacted by the "incident"

I bet you thought there was going to be another Supernatural top 5 in this week's list? Well, I can't promise it won't pop up once (or twice). This one isn't going to be a "happy" Top 5 like one about a horror TV show, so I apologize now...my head's not it the game right now. Maybe, if I do another one next week, it will be better.

On Friday night, I had to go to Target (something I wouldn't normally do on a weekend, but I was feeling overly brave). Nothing major happened. I only had two days to prepare to go instead of my usual week or so and it was more of a whim thing. I was fine at first, but it didn't take long for me to start having freak out moments because I was unprepared. I wanted to do my "hide in the corner until I calmed down" trick, but it was so crowded, there was no place to hide. I had to just suck it up and deal. I don't "deal" very well apparently. I even think a guy working in electronics must have recognized a look in my eyes because he nodded at me as I walked by like he got what I was going through...it wasn't just a "normal" nod. I'm not sure if that made me feel better or worse. I also needed to go to the grocery store, but that obviously didn't happen (and I'm not sure when it will now).

For all the advances I might think I have made since being locked up in that stupid hospital (aka, "the incident"), that whole episode Friday really scared me. Apparently, no matter how many steps forward I take, especially when I start to feel safe again, I have these over-reacting or weird side effects, aka this week's Top 5 list.

#5: Lack of Stitchy Bug:

Throughout the years, stitching has morphed into different meanings for me. For the longest period, it has been like medication. It calmed me, it kept my hands busy, ordered my mind while I worked through my issues. The TV was just noise in the background. But now, I don't want to deal with any issues. I want to sit on the couch, veg out and feel nothing (hence TV is now the meds). When I try to stitch now, my brain goes back into the same old patterns and I can't continue for very long because I can't deal, at least not now.

A side effect of this has been I'm loosing followers. Of course, this blog has never just been about stitching. It was actually started as a rebellion against social media. All they want is fake smiles, puppies dogs, and rainbows...I could only manage the puppy part. In the blog world, the rules are different and I much prefer it here. If you are here for just stitching, then this probably isn't the place for you. Granted, I will eventually stitch again, but there might be some angst in between. Now I'm starting to have FB-type guilt that I might be upsetting people or that I'm not keeping people entertained enough and I shouldn't care about that here. I've never cared about that before. That's what is so great about the blog world...there is no judgement and people can come and go as they please, but why is it making me feel like I'm failing at blogging?

#4: Weekends Are Made For...Nada:
It's apparently not bad enough that I sit on my behind all night to watch mindless TV, but I also do the same all weekend with an extra caveat...nothing else gets done. All those little chores that I say to myself, "I'll do it on the weekend", not only don't get done on the weekend, but I usually end up doing them half-assed for a half an hour or so after work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and often into Thursday instead and then start the same mantra over again by Friday.

The side effect of this is, even the littlest of chores, takes weeks to get done. Clean underwear? Nope, just buy new ones until I can do laundry. That new comforter I bought weeks ago to maybe get me sleeping in the bed again? Still in the bag on top of the bed (like I'm ever going to get off the couch anyway). And don't get me started on the mental effort it takes to write a blog post...it's probably why they end up so long, because I work on them off and on for too long. And the list goes on.

#3: Physical Contact
It's easier than you think to avoid planned touching events like handshakes at meetings. I've become quite an expert at it. I don't have any personal relationships left that aren't blog-related, so that makes after hours easy.

This side effect is less important, but I know eventually my job will notice because it makes me look rude and unapproachable for the company. Right now, despite what they've been doing to me, I have to keep in their good graces because I still need a good reference to get another job. Even I know burning this bridge is a bad idea.

#2: Money, Money, Money By The Pound:
People think that because I'm fat, I must be a depressive eater, I'm not...I'm a depressive spender, and boy, have I been burnin' through the paychecks lately! Granted, a lot of expensive unforeseen things have been happening too...the air conditioner went out (and I think it's trying to again), I blew my knee out (again) and, for some stupid reason, I decided I just HAD to have a new TV and all the accouterments.

The side effects here are obvious...graduate and get a diploma so I can move and make more money only to still be stuck because I can't afford to move due to added school debt on top of mounting credit card debt. All that work just to end up on the same river and then making work happy in the process because I won't be leaving after all? Now that would be the ultimate kick in the pants, now wouldn't it?

#1: Repetition Central
:
For all my advances since my hospital stay, I seem to be even more in an obsession loop than ever. The closer I get to school, the more my OCD kicks in. I tend to eat the same things most days with very little variation and I've obviously been watching the same TV show over and over since October (bet you thought I'd made it through an entire post without mentioning Supernatural). I can vary my TV viewing, but I always end up back on SPN...same with food. I can't be as lenient with work for some reason. If my work routine gets interrupted, I'm messed up for days.

This is the weirdest side effect because it's #3 on the list...lack of want of human interaction. I've never been good in this area anyway, but now I'm full-on disabled in it. I find it difficult to even interact with work colleagues that didn't bother me before. I rarely leave my office anymore until it's time to go home and then I rarely leave my home unless it's school related. My monthly beach trips have stopped because I can't deal with possible interactions with gas stations attendants. I have almost fully cut myself off from the rest of my family.

I'm not sure if it's because I can only turn my brain on enough to work and then, after hours, all I can manage is mind-numbing TV or the over-analyzation of said TV. I just can't deal with "real" people, only fictional ones except for you guys, my internet friends. But then again, since we are dealing with email relationships, and not face-to-face ones, maybe that makes it easier for me to communicate and deal better. I don't ever get sick of hearing from you guys and I love the interactions we have, but since I have control over when I respond, maybe that is what makes the difference. You guys are not taking up my space or need answers right this minute like people in my world do.

Basically, I spent three days locked up wanting freedom, only to spend the next three-quarters of a year mentally locking myself in my own head and I don't know how to fix it. I think I've just been kidding myself with this whole "going back to school must mean I've changed for the better" thing. I play like I'm happier but, when things like Friday night happen, it scares the weakness back into me.

What worries me about this one is, what happens when I actually start school and don't have time to watch TV anymore? Will I replace my focus with school work or will I end up not doing school work because I can't give up TV? At least at school, I don't have to worry too much about being touched because the current generation isn't too handsy, but what happens if it does happen and I scream like I've been burned with acid (which is what would probably happen)? What will happen if I start to panic and I'm in the middle of class and I can't leave? What will happen when work makes me late for class? It will be an interesting study that I'll guess we'll know the answer to soon enough.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Top 5 List - The Worst Supernatural Episodes

Not all Supernatural episodes are great, some episodes just plain suck (and even the creators/writers hated them, so I'd say that confirmation they really are awful). Even I can't say that I absolutely love the show all the time and there are some storylines that have gotten on my nerves over the years (although I still hang on...it's like the Neverland part of Once Upon A Time...you just have to suck it up and wait it out because it does get better on the other side!).

Ironically, three in the list are in the first season, but don't let that be a deterrent. I usually regard the first season as the scariest because it was the purist...long before the angel and demon storylines started in and then eventually took over. I really miss the "horror movie of the week" episodes that dominated the first few seasons.

#5: 9:20 Bloodlines
Supernatural has tried (more than once) to launch a spinoff series (I mentioned Ghostfacers last top 5). Wayward Sisters has been in the news a lot lately (and I do believe it would have been a good show) but The CW wrongly decided not to pick it up. But that's another story.

Back in season 9 though, they tried something different, basically centered around Chicago being ruled by mob families (not shocking), but these mobs were made up of five monster families, the dominant two being werewolves and shape-shifters (yeah, I bet you thought I was going to say vampires too, but nope, shifters). The storyline centered around an innocent guy was about to propose to his girl when he gets in the middle of a fight between monsters leaving his girl dead and him searching for answers. Sam and Dean show up to help, but they aren't in the episode much.

About the only good thing about the episode was the love story between a werewolf and a shapeshifter (who Vampire Diaries/Original fans might recognize as Kol) who aren't allowed to be together because of the war between their families. If the show would have gotten picked up, I might have watched it for their romance, but it might have been hard unless they found a way to slow it down a bit. They just tried to shove too much information into 42 minutes. I tried hard to find a video, but the best I could do was a brief trailer and a few fan videos of the werewolf and the shifter. I chose the fan vid because a) I love fan vids, b) Nathaniel Buzolic is totally hot (and my favorite Mikaelson of The Originals, truth be known) and c) fan vids make even crappy shows look good:


#4: 11:19 The Chitters
I'm still not sure what the heck this episode was all about other than humans becoming some kind of mutant cricket hybrids who have a lot of orgies? Yeah, what the heck? The only good thing about this episode is showing a positive homosexual couple element. But even the description of the monsters sounds stupid, thus I give you:


#3: 1:03 Dead In The Water
They had a good chance with this episode. I'm scared to death of the forest, scared of lakes (I don't swim were I can't see my feet...basically for this very reason), and terrified of kid ghosts. But instead, this episode falls completely flat. They've done so many ghost episodes that were scary as hell, but this one just doesn't make the cut. Granted, the video I'm about to show is a major spoiler and the quality is pretty bad, but honestly, the kid was terrified of the lake, he knew what was in it, and he hadn't spoken since what was in the lake killed his father, but he's gonna walk down the dock just to retrieve an army man toy? Bad writing folks!


#2: 1:02 Wendigo
If you watch Heartland, one thing you might notice about Supernatural is that almost every single actor on Heartland has been on Supernatural at some time or another...case in point, episode 2 and Graham Wardle (aka Ty Borden himself). What you may also notice about this episode is the late Cory Monteith is in this episode (although he is VERY young and a bit hard to recognize) and an even younger Alden Ehrenreich (aka the current younger version of Hans Solo, although I prefer him in Beautiful Creatures). But even with all that star power, the episode sucks. The creators admitted the budget for that episode was nothing, but still, it had the chance to be so much more than it was. The woods alone could have scared me if done right (and that doesn't take much in my case). At least they did get the lore right in this case, so I picked this video, in case you don't know what a wendigo is:

FYI, since the show runners of Supernatural were also the show runners for The X-Files, a lot of actors from the X-Files make it into Supernatural as well. SPN has always been very vocal about setting itself apart from X-Files for some reason (and there have been numerous jabs against the X-Files in SPN), which I've never understood. There are a lot of similarities between these two shows and one was born from another. I, more than anyone, get rebelling against your "parents", but I do get offended by Supernatural's X-Files jabs because I loved the X-Files too and I can see its influence on SPN, but I digress.

#1: 1:08 Bugs
I'm scared of trees, but I'm TERRIFIED of bugs. This episode had the potential to give me nightmares for years, but it took everything I had to keep from laughing at various times throughout this episode. The creators, the writers, even the actors all agree that this is the worst episode ever of Supernatural and I completely agree with them. There are a lot of clips online about this episode, but they are basically all in "worst episodes ever" clips or review clips. The promo for the episode was the best I can do, but even it shows how stupid the episode was, so I guess it will have to do.

As many times as I have watched the entire series, this is the one episode I skip now. It's just not worth my time.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Total Brit Jealously!

Seriously guys...the fact that I can't get BBC content other than after-market DVDs is bad enough, but when I opened Duran Duran's Twitter feed today, what did I see but THIS. NOT FAIR! Basically, on June 29th, starting at 9pm, it's going to be all Duran on BBC4! I'm gonna try to give a Twitter link, but since I'm not on Twitter anymore, not sure if it's gonna work. Honestly, two back-to-back documentaries that I have never seen before? Again, NOT FAIR!

Commenting issues

Oh, and guys, I'm reading your comments, but since they are not going to email like they used to (thanks Google), it's hard to reply back. I found a work around (leaving a comment on my own post and checking the "send me email responses" box), but it's a bit too little, too late. I'm hearing you guys and I know you're hearing me, it's just hard to let you know that other than posting it so!

And poor Linda! You always comment on my posts and the email feature has been screwed up for you for years! Maybe, if Google gets it all straightened out, we'll all be fixed and happy! I don't want to switch to another platform and I'm not a fan of Word Press at all, but I do also own the domain for Keeblesworld, so I guess I could just build a website if worse comes to worse and stop using Blogger altogether, but I do love the Blogger community and I'd hate to leave it, so I'm just waiting to see what Google does to fix the issue. Until then, I guess we're all just hanging on!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Top 5 - Supernatural Scariest Episodes

I'm STILL on the Supernatural kick and STILL not stitching, so I have to blog about something, right? A couple of you guys commented about the show being scary and that's why you don't watch it, and I get that...not everyone can handle scary. I have always loved horror. Granted, this is a network TV show, so calling it "horror" is a stretch, but people do have different definitions of scary.

For me, the ONLY thing I find scary is ghosts and, it has to be really scary, but the occasional demonic possession. Most things gory are boring to me because I do work in a path lab, so gore is normal in my world, but in some cases, as Dean says, "demons I get people are crazy". When it comes to your typical monster types, since they aren't real, those also don't scare me. Ghosts, on the other hand, are real (at least I believe they are since I am sensitive to them although I'm not sure I've ever seen one, just sensed them) and anything real can be made to be scary. Because ghosts are my weakness, that's going to influence this list. Everyone's fears are different (I also have a fear of clowns, trees, bugs, and dozens of other things, but on film, those things don't translate the same except in certain situations). Demons could potentially be real, I'm still on the fence about them, or they could just be evil ghosts, so therefore, I'll intermingle them a bit.

I should also add, that until season 4 when the Angel lore kicks into full gear, the main premise of each episode basically dealt with folklore and urban legends. As an odd-ball kid, I had more than an average working knowledge of folklore and urban legends, so a lot of the stories they took on in those first three seasons were super fascinating to me. After the angel stuff started, these storylines slowed down and almost halted for a while and became just the occasional treat. That would be my only complaint about the show. I miss those weekly horror movies. But alas, it is what it is now and I do still love it, but it's also why my lists really only encompass the first few seasons (even though there are 13 so far).

#5: 5:09 - The Real Ghostbusters
This episode could also make the funny list as well...the meta story in the show where the boys find out about a series of books written about them exists gets worse when they arrive at, what they think is an emergency case, only to find out it's a Sam and Dean convention. Becky Rosen, who turns up in several episodes, is Sam's "biggest fan" and is slightly stalkerish (OK, that's the understatement of the year, but still), any episode she's in makes it funny just on that alone. And well, when it comes to Chuck (the author of the books and another "prominent character I won't give away because of spoiler-dom), I always love episodes with him. I really don't think there is another show that makes fun of itself as much as Supernatural does.

The convention is at a hotel that used to be an orphanage and is haunted by kids who were murdered there. There is nothing scarier than ghost kids, funny moments or not. Unfortunately, because of the funny moments in the show, there are no great scary clips of the kids, so you'll just have to take my word for it. There is a great twist to their story as well which, because of the funny, you don't see coming.

#4: 3:13 - Ghostfacers
Yet another "funny" episode (and potential spin-off show that never got off the ground other than a web series), the underlying story though is quite scary...a hospital janitor, born in a leap year, haunts his house and murders every four years on his birthday and, when the boys show up to destroy him, they run into their old nemeses, the Ghostfacers. This entire episode is told from the Ghostfacers point of view, so you are seeing Sam and Dean differently. It's always funny because, when they do episodes like this, the boys are more "real" than average and they cuss like sailors!

And the episode they are referring to (1:17 Hell House, would probably make the top 10 list, despite the funny parts). That's the thing about this show, sometimes the funny lightens up the scary.

#3: 1:15 - The Benders
This is my one non-ghost episode that makes the list (and it also makes most of the cast's scariest episode list too). When I make my road trips, I often think of this episode because it is a very real possibility. Basically the premise is, in the midst of investigating the disappearance of a guy, Sam also disappears. Come to find out though, the bad guys aren't monsters or demons, but actual humans who get off hunting other humans for fun and then eating them Texas Chainsaw Massacre style.


#2: 1:01 - Pilot
Obviously, coming into a new show and not knowing what you are getting into, your nerves are a bit on edge anyway and knowing you are watching a horror show makes it that much worse, but I do think they put a little more "juice" into the pilot episode than some of the other ones in the first season. Besides setting up the main storyline of the boys and their past (as well as their future), they go on their first case which turns out to be a lady in white. A lady in white is an urban legend based on the ghost of a woman who died, usually by her own hands, but because of being hurt by a man. She is often seen (and rumored to kill) cheating men on dark lonely highways at night. There is a bit of spoiler with this clip, but I wanted to show it because it shows how great the special effects are in this show. You have to remember...this episode aired in 2005 and it's still better SPX than shows in 2018.


#1: 1:10 - Asylum
Granted, I have more of a first-hand knowledge of Asylums more than most people, but I've always been terrified of them even before I was locked in one. Crazy in life leads to even crazier in death. But I'm still extremely fascinated with them (at least the empty, haunted kind). This is my all-time scariest episode, the one that I have to watch with the lights on.

There are actually a lot of asylum episodes in Supernatural...Sam spends time locked in one, as does Castiel, the boys lock themselves in one a couple of times to solve cases, even Crowley takes up residence in one (because he doesn't like living in Hell, King of Hell and a demon or not), but none of them really involve haunted ones like this episode. I think I find the Sam locked up episodes the most disturbing (and hitting closest to home).

Honorable Mention: 2:06 No Exit
Like Sam, I also have a morbid fascination with serial killers, so when they did an episode about H.H. Holmes (America's first serial killer), I was all excited! I was a bit bent out of shape when they used a photo of one of Jack the Ripper's victim's (Elizabeth Stride to be precise) instead of H.H. Holmes (I guess they thought most people would't notice?), but otherwise, it was an incredibly scary episode. Normally, I hate clips like this, clips where people record them from their TV, but it shows the photo in question and describes Holmes' tactics.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Top 5 List (a long time coming and yet another long post...sorry)

I have been a horrible blogger lately from both a writing and a reading standpoint. I'm hoping to fix that, but when I have something itching to come out of my brain, I have to write it, and this is one of those times. I felt like doing a Top 5.

I think I've rambled enough about my love for Supernatural. It's not the same kind of love as Once Upon A Time...it's really not a 'feel good" kind of show, but it's entertainment/escapism, which is what I need, especially now. Sometimes I just don't want to feel good, I want to forget, even if it's only for a few hours.

Supernatural tackles every single scary tale, folklore, monster, religious iconology, mythology, and just about every other mystical subject you can think of. Everyone dies, sometimes they come back, sometimes not. But it does have a funny side, which isn't something you would expect from what is basically a weekly horror movie. And, even I have to admit that the special effects in Supernatural, even back in 2005, were always WAY better than anything in Once. Sad, but true.

The 13th Season of Supernatural came out on Netflix and, although I'd usually wait until I got the Blu Ray, I figured, since it was a long weekend, what the heck (and, per usual, I was done by mid Saturday anyway). But by the time I got to the Scoobynatural episode, I started thinking about the best episodes of the show that make fun of itself. To be honest, that's why the show has lasted so long...it can be serious, but it can also ben amazingly funny at times by making fun of itself.

This Top 5 is my 5 favorite self-depreciating, yet hilarious episodes of Supernatural. I'll try not to give too many spoilers for those who have never seen the show, but it's going to be hard, so brace yourself for spoilers.

#5: 8:08 Hunteri Heroci

The basic premise of this episode is that a former friend of Sam and Dean's father, who is a telepath, has now grown old and gotten dementia. He's in a nursing home, in and out of consciousness, spending his days watching old Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons and basically lives in them (and anyone who gets too close to him gets the same sorts of weirdness). The doctor who runs the nursing home has decided to use the telepath to rob banks and the homes of other patients (in very Wyle E. Coyote style...dropping anvils, black disc holes that allow you to go through walls or vaults, etc). The boys have to fight back Road Runner style. Here's part of the big fight scene and some highlights:

And I kind of like this clip of the Castiel (who is an angel) highlights of the episode (because he literally made that episode with his total uncouthness that tends to make him a total dork, but in a weirdly sexy way):

Of course, they defeat the bad buy and, because of the danger of the dementia-ridden telepath, Castiel had to step in and help to relieve his mind in a way that won't kill him. Gotta love Cass.

This episode makes my list because it reminds me of the good 'ole Looney Toon days. Despite being a Disney girl, I never missed a single episode of Looney Toons and I know those classic episodes as well as the classic Disney ones. It's just sad that they are now considered inappropriate for children because of their violence and political incorrectness. I don't understand this world now. But anyway...that is a lost cause now I guess.

#4: 5:08 Changing Channels

Sam and Dean get sucked into TV Land by the Trickster (aka Loki (and let's leave that alone for now), aka something I probably shouldn't reveal yet, but you'll figure out with the last video...just not who). But they get trapped in a sitcom, a soap opera, a Japanese game show, a procedural crime show, and several other shows/commercials. They realize the only way to get out is to play along to get out of each show and get to the Trickster.

And, I'm adding this one because it's my favorite and it's not in the previous video ("Dean, that's uncomfortable"...classic!):

Eventually, they capture the Trickster, he lets them go and his true identity was revealed.

#3: 3:11 Mystery Spot

Anyone who is old enough to remember Groundhog Dog Day will love this episode. Again, the Trickster is involved (gotta love him!), but in an effort to teach Sam the lesson that he is going to have to live without Dean eventually (long story involving soul selling and a short trip to hell later on), Loki traps them in a time loop, forcing Sam to live Dean's death every single day, only to wake up and it be Tuesday all over again. The funny part is how many different ways Dean dies (although there are several missing from this video). My personal favorite? "These tacos taste funny to you?".

Needless to say, the Trickster lets them move on to Wednesday, but something else bad happens and Sam has to fight his way back to that particular Tuesday again to fix everything (which obviously he does).

#2: 10:05 Fan Fiction

Up until Season 13, this was my all-time favorite Supernatural episode. If you are 10 seasons invested in a show, and the 200th episode rolls around, it's always a special one, but they decided to make it a dedication to the fans, something other shows don't tend to do, and it was the best love letter of all. It was a musical episode, but not in the way of Once Upon A Time, but in a way I've never seen before. They addressed shipping (which I don't usually have issue with, except the Sam/Dean stuff...they are brothers and, well, that's just...ewww), fan fiction (hence the title), and the original songs written specifically for the episodes are actually really good.

The basic premise of the episode is that there is a kidnapping at an all girls school and the boys go to investigate only to find that it is centered around the school's musical production based on the "Supernatural" books (a meta story-line in the series...there are a series of books written about the boys by an author who later turns out to be EXTREMELY important...and let's just leave that alone for now). The villain of this piece turns out to be Calliope (there's a mystery in that one for all you Greek myth fans out there). The funniest part though is when the boys first see the musical. The first time I saw it, I laughed so hard I almost wet myself! I guess it would be weird seeing someone perform your tragic life story in musical form right in front of you!

And here is a lot of the musical as it was performed...I'm showing this because I do really love the songs and it shows the story of the boy's life. At the end of each season, toward the big finale episodes, Carry On My Wayward Son is the song that plays as a recap song for "The Road So Far". The final version of the musical song is a fitting dedication because it's softer and again, it's the ultimate love letter to the fans.


#1 13:16 Scoobynatural

I wanted to not like this episode. I felt this was pushing the envelope way too far, even for this show. But what I discovered pretty quickly, especially as a person who watched Scooby-Doo religiously as a kid (although I did grow out of it, unlike Disney stuff), was that there were no two shows that could have crossed together as well as these two did.

Watching Dean try to constantly hit on Daphne and never get anywhere was hilarious! He always gets the girl, but she couldn't see past Fred. But on the opposite side of that, Sam couldn't keep Velma off him! When the boys finally have to explain that ghosts are real, there is a total classic Scooby moment and, like Fan Fiction, a love letter from Supernatural to Scooby Doo.

To make the Scooby gang happy, they give the Scoobies their typical ending, and then solve the mystery the Sam and Dean way.

Honorable Mention - 6:15 The French Mistake

This episode used to be #5 on the list, but I guess now it's #6. In an effort to hide a relic from the Archangel Raphael, Balthazar (another angel), opens a portal to another world and throws Sam and Dean into it. Problem is, it's "our" world where Sam is his "real" alter-ego Jared Padalecki and Dean is Jensen Ackles. The hilarity ensues because they are trying to be actors playing "themselves" in a world without magic. But watching them trying to act...OMG! What adds to the hilarity is that all the "backstage" people are named after the real directors, producers, writers, and etc from the show.

And when they meet with Cass and his real persona of Misha Collins, even more hilarity:

Since Jared married Genevieve Cortese (aka the demon Ruby version 2.0) in real life, that adds to the funny.

They end up back in "their" world and fix things enough to move forward with what was happening in that season, but it was a nice "break" from the heaviness of that season.

Normally, I wouldn't do a spoiler like this, but here is every single "The Road So Far" from seasons 1-13. If you haven't seen the show ever, I probably wouldn't recommend you watch this (because you probably won't understand it anyway, they go by awfully fast), but I absolutely adore recaps and the highlights of all the best of every episode does show how amazing it actually is, so what the heck! Besides, it is interesting to see how young they look from Season 1 to Season 13. It is the longest running American sci-fi show ever (only topped by Doctor Who). Oh, and get used to hearing the same song 13 times in a row. Sometimes, there are mid-season Roads, but these aren't included in this video (it would probably be an hour long then). I'll leave with this.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Oncer with a broken heart

There is one episode of my favorite show left...Once Upon A Time. It's had its ups and downs, high points and low points, but overall, I have stuck by it despite it all and have never regretted a single moment of it. It's an Asper/OCD thing to get overly attached to fictional things, so I feel more loss over something like a TV show than I would towards a human. Most people don't understand this and I wish I could explain it better, but it's just how I'm built.

For those that don't watch it, at the end of season 6, they lost quite a few of the original cast members, shifted locations, basically changed the entire story line, and moved the show to Friday nights instead of Sundays. It was a hard shift to accept at first, but the writing was better than the past four seasons (honestly, only the first two seasons were really good story-wise, I was just too attached to the characters by that point), and I started to see it, not as my old show, but a new twist on my old friend. I still missed Snow and Charming, but I was dealing with the loss and was becoming attached to the new characters. They just didn't give the me or the rest of the audience enough time to adjust.

For the past seven years though, it's the one thing in my life I always knew I could count on to be there for me. It has always been that little dose of hope that has kept me going through the rough patches with characters that have meant more to me than most of the "real" people in my life. All the real world has ever given me is despair, lack of faith, mistrust, and pain. Once Upon A Time has always given me hope, faith and trust in happy endings, even for those who might not deserve them like me (or so I've always been told by those who were the ones who were supposed to have loved me). That show gave me a family, albeit an imaginary one.

Of course I have the Blu-Rays to enjoy forever and there is always Netflix, the books, my Funkos, etc. And yes, I have other shows to watch, but nothing brought my Disney life, my fictional world, and my real heart together like Once did. And it wasn't just me, heck, Snow and Charming got married in real life too, so the show obviously changed more than just my life.

I am sure that next week will be extremely emotional for me. I started bawling like a baby at the end of this week's episode. I guess I should be grateful for the fact that they knew the end was coming, so it will be a proper ending, instead of a last minute cancellation with an ending that never gets resolved. But I'm not grateful, I feel a bit betrayed by Disney and ABC for not supporting one of it's main shows.

I don't think that networks understand how people watch TV anymore. It's not about the ratings. Shows like Once and Lucifer (which also got cancelled and didn't get enough warning) have a pretty big fan base, but don't pull in the numbers because most people watch them after broadcast either on their DVRs or on Hulu (like I do)...but then again, it still pulled in a couple of million viewers a week and, on a Friday night, I would say that is a win. Even when I had a DVR, I preferred to watch shows after the fact so I could edit out the commercials. I HATE commercials, always have and nothing ruins the flow of a show like a commercial. It's one of the reasons why I've never watched Supernatural on TV and, instead, always opted to wait until it came out on DVD. What's the use of even watching shows anymore if they are going to get cancelled either right out of the gate, or right when you get attached to them?

There will NEVER be another show like this one, at least not for me and, at this stage of my life, that worries me. Without that influx of hope, even in the smallest of amounts, where does that leave me? Sure, there are other shows I watch and love, but none of them leave me with that feeling of utter peace like Once did. They are just for the purpose of escapism (which works, but not enough). I guess I'm just really broken-hearted right now and I'm sad that I won't get to go on any new adventures with other Oncers.

I never got around to buying thread for my Snow and Charming project, but I'm thinking that my next paycheck, I want to do that. Maybe this is what I need to get me stitching again. I started watching Once on Netflix from the beginning last night.

For those that have never watched the show or never finished watching it, try it (or try it again). There are seasons or parts of seasons that lag a bit, but there is always a purpose to each story line and it's well worth the lag.
Season 1 Promo:

And the change in Season 7 Promo:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mobile homes and dead things

Living in a trailer is a weird experience. I guess, especially since I do live in tornado country, I should be more scared than I am, but that's not something I've really been too worried about. Flooding is never an issue because, at least one side of my trailer is at least 4 ft off the ground (the other is less than 2 thanks to the slope of the park I live in). I'm not a fan of trailer park life because of the kind of neighbors I sometimes end up with thanks to the rentals that are out there. When it was all homeowners, it was a completely different experience. It goes through good and bad phases though. Sometimes the cops are out there all the time, other times all is quiet.

But because skirting around the base is strange and there are pipes running in and out in places, animals like to get under my house, especially cats. They fight, they mate, they give birth and, worst of all, they die.

Have you ever had a mouse die in your walls and it smells up your house for a week or so? Imagine that smell times 10 for three weeks instead of one. That's a rotting cat. Every couple of years, I have to deal with this smell and I've recently been dealing with it for 7 (yes, that is seven) weeks. Normally, I would just call the city and they would have animal control come out and get it, but this time, I was told that the city would no longer come to the trailer park and it would be my responsibility to deal with it. I work in a lab and can deal with dead people and body parts all day...animals (even cats), not so much.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was taking Bam to the vet for his routine check up, I saw a cat dragging a dead road kill cat (it was obvious what it was) across my yard. I hissed the cat away, put Bam in the car, and went back inside to get stuff to deal with the dead cat (I wasn't sure I could do it, but I was gonna try). As I came back out of the house, supplies in hand, the dead cat head was disappearing underneath my house! I did not know that cats were cannibals, but apparently, this demon is. I've been trying to keep him away, but to no avail. Everyone has an opinion on cat repellent and none of them has worked so far, but last week, I saw a dead cat in the road that looked a lot like this demon cat and I haven't seen him around the house, so maybe he finally got his.

One weekend, I made the mistake of using a cinnamon smell in all my Scentsy burners (12 in all), and then the entire house ended up smelling like a dead man with a pack of cinnamon gummy bears in his pocket which, ironically, was even worse than just the dead smell. I started to think maybe a human was actually under my house, rotting away because the smell seemed to be getting stronger. I tend to collect cans of Febreeze and I've used almost every single one up. Nothing is working.

I should also say, there is no way in Hades I would EVER crawl up under my trailer. I'm too fat, too scared of bugs, and I don't want to see any dead things (or partially dead things, or live things). I did look under the trailer, but I saw nothing, so I called myself doing my due diligence, and let it go (don't sing it...sorry). I was going to have to live with the smell until it decomposed.

It got so bad, Bam and Bugs wouldn't even go in that end of the house. It's a good thing we sleep on the couch, because my bedroom has been pretty much off limits. I still get ready in my bathroom, but there have been no long baths for a while now. My other tub isn't big enough for that "relaxing soak", so it just sits there, gathering dust.

The air conditioner guys were so put off by the smell in my house, they worked on air motor outside. The kid that worked with the main guy offered to come back and remove the dead animal for me because, and this is his words, "no one should have to live like this". So last night, he came by and crawled under my house. He removed two dead cats, four squirrels, a rat, and a possum, all in various stages of decomp. He left the bone pile of already eaten animals. This cat really was Satanic!

That kid deserved the $100 I gave him. He left a vent hole open on both sides of my skirting so it can air out and he said he'd come back and fix it. I hope he does because I know nothing about that stupid skirting (although I probably could figure it out). He's also gonna come back and do some other work for me as well. I'm leery of strangers, but this kid seems OK (and I do know where he works and his mother-in-law is the trailer park manager, so I know where to go if he does something bad).

Needless to say, the smell has permeated every square inch of my house and I don't have any clue how long it will take before it's completely gone. Hopefully though, no fresh kills will find their way under my house, at least for a while! If they do, it's gonna be a LONG summer!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Shih-Tzu's and blowing air

Either I'm running out of topics to discuss or my brain is going haywire, but I've been having some random rambles lately, and here we go again! But I do have another random question of the week...it seems to be a new thing with me. Instead of cross stitch progress of the week, I want to know your thoughts about weird topics of the week. Yep, I've lost my mind!

I live in the South. It's hot here already and it will only get worse as the summer starts. My air conditioner decided to start rattling (loudly) this weekend, so I got scared and turned it off, just until I could get a repairman out today. It got up to 86 degrees in the house on Sunday (which, since I'm cold-natured, didn't really register much with me), but since both pups are WAY past due for haircuts, I had every ceiling fan on and a couple of standing fans too, so they wouldn't overheat. Well, Bam wasn't having it and kept hiding under blankets. I could hear him wheezing from the heat, but he HATED having that air blowing on him, even from just the ceiling fan. I took the blanket away, but then he just started hiding under the couch pillows. Bugs wasn't much better and he kept hiding behind furniture.

After a while, I thought I'd get up and do something, so I bagged up some old clothes for a work colleague to sell at a church thing, and both boys kept trying to hide in the closet...it was shameful, so I gave up after four bags of clothes (I had a LOT of skinny clothes rotting it the closet since I got fat again), so back to the couch I went, back behind the couch Bugs went, and back under the pillows Bam went:
Untitled
It's hard to see his face, but trust me when I say Bam is giving me the evil-eye for removing the pillow from his head here (and yes, I'm back to watching Supernatural).

That got me to thinking...you see dogs riding with their heads out car windows all the time, but I can't say I've ever seen a Shih-Tzu do that. Mine don't do that because; a) they are seat-belted in (like the law requires and for safety issues) and; b) because they are too busy trying to get in my lap to pay attention to the windows. If I ever do crack the windows, they try to wiggle out of the belt and get in the floor (which they never can do, but they try), so I don't open the windows for that very reason.

What issues do Shih-Tzu's have with blowing air? I just figured mine were cold-natured like me because I keep the house warmer than normal and that's what they are used to, but Zander and Zach were the exact same way. Whenever any of them get haircuts (or got haircuts for those who have passed), they always shake like they are freezing for several weeks, despite the time of year.

So I guess that's my question of the week...does anyone know of a Shih-Tzu that likes to have air in his (or her) face or is it a breed thing to hate it? Or have I just raised two generations of cold-natured weirdos who hate air blowing in their faces? Any thoughts?