Sunday, September 6, 2015

Never Sleep Again

Recently the world found out that we'd lost a horror legend. Wes Craven had had a hand in an absolutely ridiculous number of iconic films, helping to shape the industry. Like a lot of people, especially in my age group, his most memorable films were the Elm Street franchise. While I know for sure that I'd seen Last House On The Left first, A Nightmare On Elm Street form a solid chunk of my earliest memories. So, in honor of Wes Craven, I'm going to tell a really horrific story. It's a true one, and now seems as good a time as any to traumatize anyone stupid enough to read this.

I'd mentioned before that my stepfather had worked for the junk yard that had been used in one of the Elm Street films, and had met both Wes and Robert Englund on separate occasions . I've mentioned that he was fond of smacking my mom around as well. What I hadn't gotten into is what a fucking monster he was. In addition to being a drunk and generally a piece of shit, he was a pedophile and rapist as well. When my mom married him she was young and kind of stupid, and never imagined that he wasn't just marrying her to have a young attractive wife. He'd seen in a young unwed mother, strapped for cash, access to his favorite kind of sex "partner" - the kind that was too small and too weak to fight. I was two years old.

While A Nightmare On Elm Street wasn't the first horror film I'd ever seen, it's the one that has stayed in sharp detail, fresh in my mind nearly 30 years later. It was certainly a terrifying movie, especially for such a young child, but it was especially horrifying for a kid that was living in a household that was horrifying in itself. The fact that Freddy Krueger was a child molester was glossed over, but a fact that I quickly picked up on. His method of killing has been likened to rape, and the parallel was obvious to me right away. The fact that the parents in his community took vengeance into their own hands, only to inadvertently create an even greater monster, confirmed in my mind that no one would ever help me. No one could save us.

In a child's way, I drew comparisons between the Freddy Krueger character and my very real stepfather. I'm not sure if I imagined the resemblance, but I saw a physical one to match the emotional one.

To this day I still have nightmares about Freddy Krueger. They're almost always intertwined with nightmares about my stepfather. Wes Craven created one of the most iconic fiction characters, not just in horror, but ever. He didn't mean to make a film about my worst nightmares, not mine specifically, but he did and not in a way that causes me to hate the films or him. I love Elm Street. I often wonder if other childhood abuse survivors have watched them with the same mindset as me. I've never seen anything, an article or an interview, from that perspective. I've wondered if I'd ever have the chance to meet Wes Craven, if I'd tell him about my stepfather. Would he have been polite about it, would he have been struck by how close to home he'd hit with some of his fans? I'll never know. I wonder what he'd say or think to know he'd met a real-life Freddy Krueger, someone's flesh-and-blood nightmare.

This was pretty short, but it was also pretty straight forward. I wanted to put this out there, in case anyone ever wondered if someone else had watched A Nightmare On Elm Street through the same filter.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Nerd Block Vinyl Palooza!

I made a video.  I swear I did.  But the quality was such garbage that I had to junk it, and it seemed disingenuous to stage another unboxing.  So here's a written rundown of what was in the box:

With pictures!

I was having a pretty crap day at work today.  The tasks were what they always are, but there are a couple of people who make me want to punch a baby, and I was stuck dealing with them all day.  When I got home I discovered a delightful surprise on my kitchen table!

Like I said, I made a video.  What you'll miss is Stinkbug climbing into my lap to steal, right out of the gate, a Titans Vinyl Ecto 1.  I went ahead and opened it, for a better look, and in a flash it was gone. He's since fallen asleep, and I've reclaimed it.  I didn't hesitate to open it because I fully intend on keeping it. 

This was the highlight of the box, for me at any rate.  There were a really good figures in here, but none from franchises that I collect, or I do but didn't feel the figure fit with my current collection.  For example:

The 10th Doctor, Doctor Who, Nerd Block Exclusive Titans Vinyl

I love Doctor Who.  If I fish around, I have a small handful of Doctor Who items.  Figures aren't included; I'd had a Doctor Whooves Funko Pop at one point, but was so un-attached to it that I gave it away to my niece.  I think if I ever did add figures to my collection they'd be action figures.  It's an aesthetic choice.  I know that these guys are pretty popular, I was somewhat tempted to keep it, but in the end I've decided to sell him.  It's like when you find a kitten in the rain, and you take it home and nurse it back to health, but you know you can't keep it.  I'm rather fond of #10, but I can't see this on my shelves.  He deserves a collector who will love him for what he is, much like the Doctor himself.


Next up:

Saul Goodman, Breaking Bad, Nerd Block Exclusive Titan's Vinyl

I used to watch a fair amount of Breaking Bad, but then I didn't have cable and I sort of lost the thread.  It's on Netflix, and I have every intention of catching up...eventually.  I literally have no desire to collect figures from this franchise, or at least I didn't until I saw this:

Bad ass.

But Saul doesn't equal Blue Crystal Heisenberg, now does it?  And, honestly, I'll probably never pick this guy up either.  He's a SDCC 2015 exclusive, so he's more expensive than your run of the mill POP!, and I'd have to pay flippers' prices - which is to be expected - and then run the risk of catching the extra shade being thrown at collectors who don't or can't make it to events, or spend all day in line at Hot Topic or wherever, to get first crack at a chase or exclusive.  There seems to be a subsection of the POP! community who feel that you're not devoted enough, or serious, or whatever if you don't abandon everything else in your life to stand around the mall waiting to buy a doll.  A doll, I said it.  We collect toys, people!  It's not a cult.  No one has told us to put on a track suit and drink the Kool Aid.

I was absolutely going to put up a crime scene photo from the Heaven's Gate mass suicide, but even I have limits.  Not really, I'm just lazy.

The point is, Saul's got to go.  Sorry Saul.

Finally we have:

Assassin's Creed III, Connor, Funko POP!

Assassin's Creed is a franchise that I've never played but am extremely familiar with.  I used to subscribe to Game Informer, and Assassin's Creed has always gotten a lot of coverage.  I think that if I had more time and money I'd be really into these games, but for the time being I can't know that for sure. 

Much like The Tenth Doctor, I can't keep him.  He's pretty cool looking, but I'm just not well enough acquainted with the games to warrant keeping him.  If someday I finally get a chance to marathon all the games I'll probably regret this decision, but that's a terrible reason to keep stuff.  That's crazy hoarder mentality right there, and I actively fight the urge to keep every stupid thing that crosses my path.  I already walk a fine line with what I do collect.

So, in conclusion, the Vinyl Palooza box was pretty much a bust for me.  I knew I was taking a gamble, because of how extremely picky I am about what I keep.  I'm hoping to trade Connor for a Universal Studios Monsters POP!

Minus The Wolf Man - I already have him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where I Try To Write A Blog Post While Catching Up On YouTube Videos

I'm literally skipping back and forth between this and an incredibly ridiculous backlog of YouTube videos that I've not had time to watch.  I usually rely on Facebook to let me know when Anthony J. Rapino or Buzzfeed or whatever puts up a new video, but since I've fled I haven't really remembered to watch videos of any variety.

Belinda videos are always the exception.

Did you know I pay for Netflix but haven't actually watched it in two months.  Ridic. Part of the problem is that I hate watching stuff on my laptop.  I have the world's shittiest Acer, which is only two months old and, already, the mouse has completely crapped out.  It's taken me nearly half an hour to write this little, and the fact that Rapino has posted an unusually high number of videos with his hair down has almost nothing to do with that.

But Netflix and YouTube aren't the only victims of my shitty computer.  I got an invite to be a Beta user for Shudder! So here I have such a fun account to play with, and I can't even enjoy it.  I'd smash this stupid thing against a wall, but then I'd be well and truly fucked.

Slow down there cowboy, not that kind of fucked.


It's literally 5 days later.  I had to give up because of the aforementioned mouse issues.  The Fixer done fixed it by sending me a wireless mouse.  So I'm still slogging through videos, and writing this silly nonsense.  

I have no idea what I was writing before.  I don't recall what-so-ever what I wanted to tell you about.  Oh!  Hey, so I went ahead and ordered Nerd Block's Vinylpalooza block.  If you don't know by now, Nerd Block is a subscription box for which you pay a set amount of money every month.  Then you get an amazing box of mysterious goodies.  Easy peasy.  I am usually subscribed to Horror Block, but due to some financial difficulties from moving, I have had to cancel my subscription for a little while.  I went ahead and sprung for the Vinylpalooza block because it's a one-off deal, containing 4 vinyl figures featured in previous blocks.  No guarantees that any of them will be horror themed, or even that they'll be Funko POP!s (which are easily my favorite).  I figured that I'll either be super delighted with whatever I find in the box, or I will be super disappointed.  Or perhaps there will be a 50/50 split. 

In any event I am going to try to remember to do an unboxing video.  I don't do a lot of videos, I don't really have a YouTube presence.  A lot of this has to do with the fact that I despise being photographed or filmed, but The Fixer is still in California (along with the iPad), sooooo...I will be appearing in this video.  If I make it.  I make no promises, except that I coughed on your sandwich.  I absolutely did that.

I also come to your house at night, during Christmas, and lick your candy canes.

I think I had something more to write, but it's been 5 days and I've slept - and drank - since then.  I think, in the future, I'll try to steer back toward some parenting stuff.  Mostly I'll just be compiling evidence that I'm a terrible mother, but it's still kind of funny.  In the mean time, if you want to look at stupid pictures of contests I've entered and toys and other absolute bullshit I've come across, follow along on Instagram!  Join me while I stalk dudes with man-buns.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do

I've got a little Facebook icon, floating around somewhere, that leads to pretty much nothing.  Well, now it leads to definitely nothing because I quite the Place of Face.

I guess maybe a week ago I got on Facebook to fucker around and I realized that a family friend, who'd been close to my sisters, had had a baby without my even noticing.  I usually check my account on my smartphone, so most of the content I'm exposed to is payed content - minus things I'd had on notifications.  Then there was some minor kerfuffle in a group I was a member of, and everyone lost their shit and didn't seem able to recover, so I quietly walked away. 

I'd been pretty disconnected from most of the people in my life for a while now, for various reasons.  I've always had a habit of floating in and out of the fray of life.  But around a week ago I realized that the disconnect was much deeper than, say, a bout of depression that takes me out of the game.  Or not keeping in touch as much as I once did after moving. After I saw that I missed the birth of a friend's third child, I made it a point to check in on my friends.  I know that our FB profiles are inaccurate snap shots of our lives, like the one acceptable selfie after taking one hundred bathroom mirror photos; it's carefully angled and filtered to present an image that isn't 100% real, but in it's own strange way it is 100% honest.  The internet has afforded us our own platforms for espousing our ideologies and values on a relatively captive audience.  After all, we're friends, so we'll all spew out things we'd never say to someone's face, and you'll hit "like". Because we're friends. 

I congratulated my friend, and said how lucky I thought she was to have three beautiful children who she loved and who loved her in return.  I'll only ever have Stinkbug, even though I'd always thought I'd have more.  I'm happy for her, and a little envious that she'll get to kiss baby toes for another year, and hear "mama" for the first time again.  If I'd known that these sentiments would set off a diatribe about how hard her life is and how I'll never understand or be as strong as she is, I'd have just moved on with my life as if I'd never found out about the baby.

I moved on down the friends list.  Another rant about deadbeats on welfare who are leeching off the system and living off our tax dollars...from someone I know for a fact receives food stamps.  Really?  I see a lot of those types of rants on my newsfeed, and - to paraphrase - I'll defend your right to your opinions, no matter how disparate they are from my own.  But the fact that easily 90% the people putting these recycled right-wing fundamentalist memes out there are on, or have been on, some kind of assistance, completely boggles my mind.

I feel like that last sentence is grammatically wrong somehow.  I'm sick, so I get a pass.

Caitlyn Jenner was why I eventually just hit the "deactivate" button. 

I have an aunt who is MtF.  We're not crazy-super-close.  I'm not "crazy-super-close" to anyone.  But she's a bitchin' burrito smothered in awesome sauce.  She's a Republican, which is a total mind-fuck, but she's articulate and I can understand her rationale - even if I disagree.  I'd throw a pie for that lady, not because she's my aunt, or because of equal rights, or anything else other than she's cool beans and a human being.  And she has nothing to do with my leaving Facebook. 

I have a friend.  We're not crazy-super-close.  I'm not "crazy-super-close" to anyone.  But she's another bitchin' burrito smothered in awesome sauce, and she is often wounded by how shitty the world is.  She's beautiful, and I sort of want to steal her hair.  She's in love with a fictional character, because real people are shitty.  She is MtF, she is very young, and she is very vulnerable.  We have mutual friends, at least one of whom felt the need to weigh in on Caitlyn Jenner.  Post after post about how we shouldn't call "it" Caitlyn.  About perversion, about sin, about going against god.  "Friends" who know how she struggles, can call Caitlyn a "freak" or a "monster," and still smile into her face. 

I'll defend anyone's right to their opinion, even if I disagree with my entire soul.  But you can't say, I dunno,

"Women with brown eyes are genetically predisposed to murdering babies."

and still want to be friends with my brown-eyed self.  You know?  I feel like we're in "I'm-not-racist-because-I-have-one-black-friend-at-work" territory at that point.

I could unfriend a bunch of people, easy peasy.  Buuuuut...that'd be like 80% of my 60+ friends.  I'm sick, so don't ask me to math.  Let's just say it wouldn't be worth keeping a Facebook.  It's not worth it, to find out that people I care about are horrible, so I called the whole thing a wash, and deactivated.  I still IG, because cats and Funko.  I'm a lame ass.  Some of my real-life friends follow my account, and vice versa.  We don't interact much, except to like each others' pictures.  I like people much better at a little more than arm's length.

Completely unrelated P.S.:  THIS WHOLE WEEK OF STEVEN UNIVERSE GUYS!  ZOMG!!!!!!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Not The Babies!!!

I'm finally watching Annabelle, something like a million years after its release on DVD. It stars a bunch of people whose names I don't remember, because I'm bad at knowing who people are. But I am good at knowing who Ed and Lorraine Warren are.

Annabelle is about an evil demonic doll that terrorizes a nice, squeaky clean couple sometime in the the early 70's. The movie also uses the baby/child in peril trope, which is seriously my least favorite because it does it's job entirely too effectively. I've always had a hard time watching horror films about very young children in danger (teenagers can go to hell), and now I'm especially anxiety ridden because the act of having a kid myself has driven me bat-shit crazy. Normally only one very specific type of horror film actually scares me, but I'm fairly squeamish about the prospect of children, especially babies, in danger of a supernatural variety. I tell myself that I can throw myself in front out-of-control buses, and that I'd run into a burning building for my son, but there's about jack-shit you can do in the face of paranormal shenanigans. I don't believe in demons or malevolent spirits, per se, but I am freaked out by the idea of them. And for the record, the sub-genre of horror that does scare me is possession films. I'll get into that another day.

You'll get to it now!

Another thing that I super hate is dolls. Again, not actually afraid - I can be in a room with them, I even have a few for Stinkbug. I guess what I hate are China or porcelain dolls. There's just something inherently creepy about even the pretty or cute ones, and the filmmakers managed to create the fucking ugliest mother fucker ever captured on film.

This is what every nursery needs.

Which makes no sense, because the reality was so much more horrifying. The "real" Annabelle was a Raggedy Anne doll. I never had a problem with Raggedy Anne or Raggedy Andy until I read The Demonologist back when I was a teenager.

This blog post is now full of demon cooties.

Which leads back to Ed and Lorraine Warren. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I was a teen in the 90's. And if there's anything 90's teenaged girls love, it's the occult. The Edward Cullins loving youth of today got nothing compared to the tom-foolary we got up to back when I was a youngun. Like all young girls coming into the flower of womanhood, I made it a point of reading every horror novel, vampire novel, every true-story haunted house book, all of Mom's Wicca 101 books, and all the (now debunked) books about the psychological effects of Satanic ritual abuse on children. I've also, then and now, read a lot of books and articles exposing many of those "true-life" stories as fraud. And the Warrens are (were, as Ed is now dead) two of the biggest hucksters out there. So while Annabelle is the fictionalized prequel to The Conjuring - based on the "true" story of one of their cases - the association takes a lot of the shine off this film for me. Had the filmmakers changed the name of the doll, this would have been a semi-decent film. It has some genuinely creepy parts, and like I said, you put babies in danger and I immediately flip the fuck out. I'm all "NOOOOOO!!!! NOT THE BABY!" And there'd only be a 50/50 chance I'd recognize the story, because I don't always recall details very well or at all sometimes.  But the "based on a true story" angle was a huge part of the marketing for both films, and so the baleful specter of those two crackpots' lies hung around to constantly annoy and harass me.

*For the record, my computer totally freaked out when I added that picture of Reagan.  Like, freezing up at the mere mention of it.  I don't know if my laptop is possessed by demons or just by Acer.  I'll keep you updated.

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Ability To Even...

As I've mentioned, I moved!  I got the bright idea to basically just start all over, something I've done a few times before.  This time I'm doing it with a toddler, so that's no fun.  I found a pretty sweet job, but jobbing means finding a daycare for Stinkbug, so that's no fun.

But find it, I did.  And now I work at a magical wonderland that all my thrifter homies and junk collector compatriots know and love.

Pictured:  Not the actual store I work at.  I'm not crazy.

Now my mission is to find a car and a place of our own.  In the mean time, The Fixer has returned to California to tie up loose ends.  The pragmatic part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop, and find out that those loose ends will never be tied, but I'm choosing to stay optimistic while ensuring that if that worse-case-scenario happens, I'll be able to manage on my own. 

This isn't a terribly interesting post, mainly because I'm just whipping it up to keep this blog active.  I've actually got entertaining things to tell you, whoever it is that reads this, but I've got to get my crap together so that I can ship a hideous George Harrison doll tomorrow.  Seriously, hideous.  But it's old, and people are willing to overlook the nightmare inducing qualities of the thing because The Beatles were one of the greatest rock bands of all time.  So he can go live with some other schmuck, along with the baleful ghost of the dead relationship from hence he came. 

Imma eat yo toes while you sleep little worm!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gotta Get Them Dollars...Now, Who's Hiring?

For those (all) of you that don't know, I "successfully" moved back to Ohio, because I hate myself and 10 years of miserable winters just weren't enough for me.  I'm adding the finger quotation marks because it seems to me that a successful move should include having an actual place to live, having a job lined up, and having reliable transportation upon arrival.  I'm not well known for planning well, so in this instance, "made it to Ohio alive" is a pretty good stand in for "success."

The Fixer was originally going to drive Stinkbug and me out in our Jeep, leave the Jeep with us, and fly back to California to continue fixing things.  This is not what happened.  Instead, we ended up borrowing MLM(IL)'s van, which (understandably) she couldn't allow to stay in Ohio while she was still in Cali.  This sucked for a few reasons, including but not limited to:
  • The Fixer having to go back a few days sooner than planned
  • Getting screwed out of $220, which was the cost of The Fixer's unmet flight
  • I HAVE NO CAR!!!
I mean, I've done the no-car show before.  It's not that big of a deal, the actual traveling part.  It's the parts where I have to leave my son with my mom, who's good for half an hour tops.  She's pretty limited in her ability to care for such a small child - hell, she's pretty limited in her ability to take care of herself.  So if I have to go somewhere that takes more than that thirty minutes, I'm ever so slightly screwed.  This is going to make the job interviews I hope to have within a week or so interesting.

Meh.  I'll figure it out.  To my credit, despite living life pretty stupidly and by the seat of my pants, I always figure it out.  

Sorry for the lack of stupid pictures.  The Wi-Fi is kind of wonky at my mom's, and this quick post would take a thousand years longer if I tried to insert my usual running-visual commentary.  As soon as I have something more interesting than "Hey guys, I moved!" to talk about, I'll get my shit back on track.