Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloweeny Formspring Question

Why do you think I love any kind of end of civilization movie that has brain eating zombies in it, but I can't handle the supernatural or slasher movies?

I don't know for sure, but my guess is that the brain eating zombies are so outlandish that you don't have any real fear or belief that they will come and get you.  Maybe some of the supernatural and slasher stuff is just close enough to reality, your perceived reality, and/or stories you've heard to scare you into believing you could be harmed in some way.  Just a guess!

I like to think that I'm logical and a bit of a skeptic these days, not believing in anything supernatural.  I have my own triggers to being freaked out, though...

When I was a little girl, the internet was called "the Public Library."  I would go there, and I went through a mysteries-of-the-unexplained period; aliens were a favorite subcategory.  I read all kinds of books about UFOs and alien sightings.  I even read the Whitley Strieber book Communion, his account of a series of abductions by "visitors."  Even as a seventh grader, I took this book with a grain of salt reading it as a novel though he put it forth as non-fiction.  It was still probably not appropriate reading for my age group (as weren't the Stephen King novels I was reading, but I digress). 

Anyway, about a year ago, I was flipping around my on demand movies, and saw that The Fourth Kind was available. I watched the trailer, and it scared me shitless.  No way was I going to watch that--I think I watched some comedy instead.  In the wee hours, I woke up to a really volatile storm raging outside. When lightening flashed, there was this green glow around my window blinds.  I got up ready to look outside, knowing--KNOWING, say I--that there were going to be fucking aliens out there.

Spoiler alert: there were not aliens out there.  Next morning, I realized that my girlhood search for the strange--plus that movie trailer--had really pushed my buttons.

Others I know have different buttons and triggers, and it can be due to religions leanings.  For example, a friend of mine who is Roman Catholic (and about 6 feet 4 inches tall and a gay man--I don't know why this adds to the humor, but it does for me) told me about a time when he and another friend of the same faith decided to watch The Exorcist  late at night.  They were so freaked out that in order to go to the kitchen to get snacks mid-way, they felt that they must drape themselves in blankets like ghosts and put their rosaries on top of their already covered heads.  His friend in this story is female and short-ish.  The image of two ghosts, one tall and one short, wearing rosary headbands just kills me.  My guess is that they were shrieking all the way to the kitchen and back to the couch, too.

Anywho, he is bothered by other spiritual movies with a Catholic flair, and I think it's because he sort of believes some of the content.

Just this morning, I read one of my favorite blogs, To Try a New Sword on a Chance Wayfarer, and the author had linked to a really fascinating article on why we are drawn to and disturbed by horror.  That article is here.  It deals with primal instincts we have, various theories about psychological development, and gender roles.

Hooray!  This was my first bonafide Formspring question, as all of the others I have answered have been the daily ones or the automatically generated ones.  Thanks, asker! (I think I know who you are, as I believe we texted back and forth about this.  You know the tall gay ghost with the rosary on his head, btw).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two Spooks and a Day of the Dead Skull

J'adore Halloween, but just didn't have the "umf" to put out a bunch of stuff this year.  One day, I begrudgingly opened my Halloween box, and right on the top were these cute little spooks I made last year with my art group.  They're papier mache little guys, and we used the prefabricated craft gauze stuff. You take strips of the gauze dipped in water and pretend like you're making a little cast on your finger (pick a finger, any finger). Wait until it dries a bit, scoot it off of your finger, then you drape a piece of wet gauze over it. (Vaseline on your finger first will help the scooting, but we didn't use it). Work with the sheet until it looks how you want it to. After it dries, Sharpie on the eyes. Voila!

Super cute

Just as cute going as coming

Use it for a finger puppet!

This year, we went to the same lady's house for our Halloween meeting, and she taught us to draw not-so-cute, but really cool Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) skulls. She knew we would be intimidated by the awesome ones she found online, so she led us through a doodling exercise before she even told us what we were doing. Very smart! (She's one of two art teachers in our group. We're grateful for these gurus!).

Here's mine. I want to make a few more and think they'll turn out better, but this wasn't bad for my first try. I'll lay this right at the top of my Halloween box of decorations so as to freak myself out next year when I open it! This year, I only put out my two wee spooks, but I vow to go whole hog next Halloween (and Dia de los Muertos) season.

Happy Halloween weekend. Make something fun or creepy--even if it's just a doodle!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Preview (or...Severus for the Rest of Us)

Last week I decided it was time to commit to a costume. I didn't want to think about it much, so I thought that I would be whatever person, place or thing that popped immediately in my head. For some indescernable reason, the first words that sprang to mind were "Truman Capote." I looked in my closet, and oddly, like last year when I was Ozzy Osbourne, all needed items were there--hat, scarf, jacket...easy. Here are a few pictures. I was sort of going for the In Cold Blood period.

 I hadn't pulled my hair back, and when I took off my hat and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I thought, "Jesus, I look like Severus Snape." This isn't the first time I've noticed this. I have a picture of myself with my friend Chris that I scrapbooked along with some Harry Potter book release photos because of my Slytherin-esque appearance. Anyway, here is the ocular proof that I may be Professor Snape's love child...

I include a smiley one so as not to frighten away any would-be trick-or-treaters.  Anyway, the end of all this is that I'm going as Severus Snape for Halloween.  All I need besides my own mug is a black robe and a wand, which I also have readily available in my closet.  Doesn't everyone?

P.S.--I never lost faith in you, Professor!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coming Out--Jennifer Knapp

In a former life, I worked at both a Christian radio station, then a shitty Christian retail store where I ran the small music section.  One of the usual suspects in our line up on the radio station and featured prominantly at the store was the hugely talented and award-winning singer/songwriter/musician Jennifer Knapp. Besides being a main pillar of Christian rock/pop, she dabbled deeper in the biz, signing new artists such as Katy Hudson (a very young girl who later changed her last name to Perry).

Everyone who kept up with these things was surprised in 2002 when Jennifer completely fell off of the grid, no longer touring or putting out new music. It was even rumored that Toby Mac, the head of her label and in essence her boss, only had a number at which he could leave messages for her, a tentative connection at best. The girl had gotten out of Dodge.

All questions were answered when Jennifer re-emerged in 2009. She came out as a lesbian having lived happily for seven years in Australia with her girlfriend.

Reaction from the Christian community ranged from "We adored you then, we adore you now, we support LGBT rights" to "We hate you, you're evil, let God change you or go to hell" to "Who cares, when is your new album coming out?" Jennifer still identifies as Christian, and is walking the very hard road of building acceptance and awareness in that broad and all-over-the-board community.

If you have a moment, check out her newest album, Letting Go. It's her best stuff yet, and you can definitely spot a few places where she wrote/sang about her struggle with her identity as a lesbian and the fear of coming out in a potentially judgemental community. Also check YouTube for her interview with Larry King just after she came out. She's so much more kind and gracious than I ever could have been to a douchey pastor they brought in. He sat right next to her and said that she's wrong and misguided, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to pour hot soup in his lap (Wow--that phrase came right to the surface...I think I was eating hot soup whilst watching the interview the first time...).

I'm proud of you, Jennifer!
P.S. I hope everyone wore purple today to support LGBT youth and to help counteract bullying. Due to the day's activities, I had to dress down, so my purple consisted of a purple hoodie, gray cargo pants, and purple Converse sneakers. I looked Beiber-esque, but dammit I wore purple.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Gets Better RH

I know, I'm supposed to be on sabbatical from this, but this is too important to wait. I have reason to be happy and proud when this company makes good. Well done, all.

(And now, I slip back into the darkness...).