Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Special: Favorite Movies

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the occasion, I'd like to share some of my favorite Halloween movies. They're not all scary, as I don't typically watch horror flicks and end up laughing hysterically at the ones I get stuck with. Anyway, here we go!

Gothika (Halle Berry, Robert Downey, Jr., Penelope Cruz)
 Halle Berry is Dr. Miranda Grey, a criminal psychologist employed in the psychiatric ward of a local prison. Driving home one night, she sees a mysterious girl who vanishes in a flash of fire, then wakes to find herself in a prison cell, accused of murder. Was she framed? Did she actually commit the crime? Or was it something else entirely, like say, a ghost? Miranda is being haunted by a vengeful spirit, but people don't exactly take you seriously when they think you're a deranged murderer, poor gal. There's a few good chills in this one, but nothing too frightening, and the interaction between the stars is intense and emotionally charged. It's more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, and that's all right with me. I've watched it dozens of times, and I still love it! It's not technically a Halloween movie, but...

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara)
 You're talking to a Tim Burton maniac here, so this should come as no surprise. This was my favorite movie as a kid, so it's probably responsible for my twisted insanity. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, is bored with the whole entire holiday. He goes walking in the woods and discovers a portal to another world, the snow-covered, tree-trimmed Christmas Town. He decides that he will take over Christmas, and it's all history from there. This movie has developed quite the following (though as any real fan will tell you, finding decent fan fiction is a pain in the backside!), but the charm for me lies in the animation, the kooky characters, and the purity of it...which does come as a surprise, considering the material. Danny Elfman's music is delightful as always, and Sally has long been a favorite of mine. Zero the ghost dog might have taken a back seat to Scraps the skeleton dog (Corpse Bride), but nothing beats Jack himself. He's an idealist and an artist, misguided by his ambition. Hey, aren't we all?

Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale)
 So I understand this wasn't exactly everyone's favorite adaptation (it was classified as "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes with 23% positive reviews), but Stephen Sommers's style is a tribute to classic Hollywood horror and something of a parody of action/adventure movies. Gabriel Van Helsing hunts monsters, and he's been doing it for the past few centuries. He is sent to Transylvania to aid one Anna Valerious in her mission to kill the infamous Count Dracula. In the tradition of monster-meets-monster movies, there are encounters with not only vampires, but werewolves, Frankenstein's monster, and a brief showdown with Mr. Hyde. It's like what would happen if you threw all those horror classics in a blender with James Bond, the Matrix and Indiana Jones and turned it on high. It was low budget, which seems rather impressive when you think about all the work that went into the graphics, some of them hybrid motion-capture. If I want an awesome action scene that was put together on a computer, I'm ditching Transformers and watching this instead. And shucks, folks, Hugh Jackman's a dish in leather and a fedora!

Saw (Cary Elwes, Danny Glover)
 Didn't I already tell you I was twisted? This one was the best of the franchise, which got ridiculous after the third movie. It's simple: two men wake up chained in a bathroom and given instructions how to escape. The trouble is, one of them has to die. This is the best of the series for one key reason. It had minimal gore, but a heck of a lot of mental torture. Serial killer Jigsaw is one sick puppy! Targeting people he feels are wasting their lives, he puts them in sadistic situations forcing them to endure some pretty horrific stuff, to say the least, or die in the most brutal way possible. But like I said, there's not much gore in this one. You will however bite your nails off in a state of high anxiety. It's Hannibal Lector on a budget...or should that be diet? It's low-budget, independent, and shot in only eighteen days! Considering the intensity of the script, not to mention the convoluted plot, I'm surprised no one dropped dead of sheer exhaustion when it was all over! It was shockingly original and just plain shocking. It's a shame they ruined it with crappy sequels.

I'm sure if I think about it, I could come up with a few more, but the laundry needs folding, the dishes need put away, and that fan fiction update isn't going to write itself! Happy haunting!

Your pal,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reviews From a Humble Book Nerd (The Shining - Stephen King)

I read this a few months ago, and decided to talk about it here for Halloween. I saw the movie and was sufficiently creeped out by Jack Nicholson, but apart from that I almost fell asleep through it. After hearing people complain that the book was SO much better, I thought I'd see for myself.

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of an the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...


Here follows my review as posted on Goodreads:

I confess myself to be disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, now. If I didn't like this book I wouldn't have given it four stars. But I thought this was supposed to be scary! Through part one I was breathless with anticipation in a hit-me-hard-I-don't-feel-like-sleeping-anyway kind of way. Towards the middle, I felt distinctly duped. When things started getting serious, I found myself thinking, "At this point I'd settle for reasonably unnerved." Come on, now, moving hedges ("What the heck is this?"), regenerating wasps' nests ("All right, that's a little better."), a dead woman floating in a bath tub ("Haven't I seen this before?"), a sinister masked ball ("Yep, I've definitely seen this before."), and a highly questionable fire hose ("Oh, for crying out loud!")...I've seen worse. And while murderous rampages are no doubt suspenseful, and Mr. King handles his like a pro, they don't exactly chill the blood.

I was also surprised to find that the iconic lines from the movie, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" and "Here's Johnny!" weren't actually in the book. Go figure.

On a positive note, Mr. King's description of Jack Torrance continually impressed me. Jack's got issues, to put it mildly, and his struggle back from his past mistakes to start fresh endeared me to him. That's probably why it really hurt to watch him fall apart under the Overlook's influence. Even when the roque mallet came into play, I was still sympathetic towards him; after all, the hotel had virtually destroyed him and he's lost his mind. His shining moment of redemption, no pun intended, nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Wendy started out as bland and forgettable for me, but caught between a husband she barely trusts and a son she doesn't understand, she really came into her own. She concocted an escape plan, never mind that it didn't work, she confronted Jack with a butcher knife, and when it came to protecting Danny, it was do or die. Brava, madame!

And then there's Danny, precocious, somber, and forced to bear witness to things no five-year-old boy should have to cope with. There are words to describe Danny Torrance, but they escape me at the moment.

The style was snarky, there was more emotional depth than I expected, and I was surprised and delighted at a reference to The Phantom of the Opera. I would have loved to give this book five stars, but I picked it up expecting a downright terrifying horror novel, and it didn't deliver.

Sorry, Mr. King. Better luck next time.

So, in summary, I liked the book, but it was in no way whatsoever scary to me. I enjoyed it more as a character study than a horror classic, which is something of a no-no in regards to Stephen King. Still, though, I have read worse!

Your pal,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Had To Share This

I just rediscovered this video, and felt the need to post it.

Evanescence - Lithium
Isn't it just gorgeous to look at? The snow, and the pond, and all? I haven't found an Evanescence video I didn't like!

Salute to Characters!

I got to thinking last night about what makes a movie really memorable. Sure, you can go on about cinematography, special effects, story lines and dialogue. Those are extremely important, after all. But what I usually remember the most are the characters that populate the stories. They guide us through their little worlds. We love them and we hate them. We cheer them on and we burn them in effigy. They make us laugh, cry, think, and inevitably applaud. Sometimes they let us down and we just don't connect with or believe in them, but this isn't about those disappointing ones. I've got here a list of some of the characters that have really left their mark on me and the actors who brought them to life in all my years as a dedicated movie buff.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (The Pirates of the Caribbean)
 You gotta love Captain Jack! He's weird and he's out for himself, but he's oddly lovable for all that. Maybe that's because he's a refreshing break from the usual pirate templates: on one hand the bloodthirsty buccaneers who'd run you through as soon as look at you, on the other the romanticized "gentleman pirates" who are more like the high seas versions of Robin Hood. There's no love for one, no grit to the other, and no substance in either. Here we have the best of both worlds! Jack is nobody's fool. He uses his sharp yet skewed wit and a whole lot of BS to get out of a pinch, but don't think he won't fight if it comes to that. In his continuing search for rum and between battles with Hector Barbossa, Davy Jones, the East India Trading Company, and what seems like half the world, I for one have come to appreciate the character and quirky personality of dear Captain Jack as more than another inspired performance by Mr. Depp. He struggles with moral issues and the idea of being ethical, and in a world dominated by politics and intrigue he always comes out on top, just by being Jack. If you do your research, the character becomes even more impressive. Depp's approach initially raised some eyebrows and caused a few executives to question the decision to cast him, but lucky for us they didn't stand in his way! And of course, about everybody has heard the inspiration for this character was guitar player Keith Richards, but even the costumes were influenced by the rock star! It's significant to me that the reprisals in Dead Man's Chest, At World's End, and On Stranger Tides were the first sequels Depp ever made in his career. Not one sequel, THREE! Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!

Heath Ledger as the Joker (The Dark Knight)
 This one really gave me chills. Heath Ledger, may he rest in peace, more than deserved the Academy Award he got for this role. It's hard to take up the mantle of such a well-known character (forget about the psychotic villain part), and if we trot on over to Wikipedia we can learn a little something about how he developed his character. "To prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character's posture, voice, and personality, and kept a diary, in which he recorded the Joker's thoughts and feelings." That is dedication for you. Jack Nicholson's Joker, while plenty crazy, was just too comical for me, but there was nothing funny about Heath Ledger. That insane giggle made the hair on the back of my neck stand up! I was enthralled even as I was repelled! When you're hired to portray the number one villain of all time, you have to deliver, and I don't think there's a word that can be said against Ledger here. He was eerily inconsistent (in a darn good way), and the only constant was the chaos. Bravo, monsieur!

Matthew McConaughey as Tip Tucker (Larger Than Life)
  You won't find much on this movie, but this character earns his place on my list. Highly caffeinated, extremely high-strung, and with a mouth that runs a mile a minute, Tip Tucker the trucker is a Character with a capital C. When you stack this movie up against some of McConaughey's other work, the movie itself falls flat, but when you remind yourself that this man has done action flicks like Reign of Fire, dramas such as A Time to Kill and We Are Marshall, and romantic comedies out the ears, Tip kind of stands out. The film is forgettable (unless you grew up watching it *wink*), but Tip is not. He's a lunatic with a tire iron and odd theories about school lunch programs. He's over the top. He's vengeful. He's sleep-deprived. He'll get on your nerves, but you won't forget him in a hurry. And by the time the movie's over, you will learn not to mess with Tip Tucker and his Tip Top Trucking.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's)
 Ah, yes, how can we leave her out of this? She's gorgeous, glamorous, and endearing. And I'm not sure if I'm talking about Holly or Audrey herself. Sabrina may be my favorite Hepburn movie, but you can't deny her appeal in her most memorable, iconic role. Holly is eccentric and naive (but then, that's what everybody and his grandmother has to say about her). What strikes me the most is her determination not to belong to anybody, which is off-set by her need to belong to somebody. Hepburn considered this her most challenging role ever, an introvert portraying an extrovert, but we can all agree that she did it beautifully. If I could only get my hands on Truman Capote's novella! The movie is a trip into a modern-day fairy tale of a girl with high ambitions and astoundingly low expectations setting her heart on what's not for her only to find everything she needs is just next door, and let's not forget "Moon River." Holly Golightly. The Southern gal turned uptown (almost) lady. The last word in chic. Every glamor girl's idol and ideal. Often imitated, never duplicated, least of all by Mary Tyler Moore!

Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
Another of my favorite villains! What kind of psycho, twisted, heartless witch wants to kill adorable little puppies for their coats? Why, Cruella, of course! I'm convinced that Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada might have found her origins in this skunk-haired fashionista. She's glamorous, too, albeit in an extreme, edgy, Bride of Frankenstein kind of way. She's also deliciously nasty, and the sworn enemy of the SPCA. I most admire Close's physical comedy throughout the movie and its sequel. She gets kicked by a horse, dropped in a vat of molasses, pinned under a sow (as in female pig), thrown into a pile of  manure, sprayed by a skunk, and baked into a cake. And all in high heels! The woman is a trooper! A huge departure from her role in Sarah, Plain and Tall, though maybe not such a far cry from Alex Forrest, with the obsession and insanity and all that. I have the sudden urge to dig out the old VCR and watch this movie again...What is left to say? Oh, yes! "Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil, if she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will, to see her is to take a sudden chill, Cruella, Cruella De Vil!"

Scarlett Johansson as Purslane Hominy Will (A Love Song For Bobby Long)
 Isn't she just so pretty? The movie is more introspective than fast-paced, and really gives you time to take in the performance Johansson puts in. Pursy hasn't caught a break since her mother ditched her to pursue a career in jazz, and since moving in with a washed-up literature professor and his former teaching assistant and would-be biographer, it doesn't get much better. Pursy is insecure yet still has that spark of independence in her that makes you want to cheer her on, and the way she handles life with Bobby and Lawson is something of a carnival ride. Johansson was opposite John Travolta for this one, but for once I wasn't paying him any attention (no offense, John, I still love ya). There was magnetism in the vulnerability and a lot of literate intelligence. That's in reference to literature, of course. This movie began my girl-crush on Scarlett, and I've since enjoyed her work in A Good Woman, Scoop, and The Other Boleyn Girl, particularly that last one, but this one holds its place as my favorite of her films. Now my only issue is my jealousy that she got to work with Hugh Jackman in TWO separate movies, and kiss him in both! You lucky girl!

Well, there you have it, my list. You can disagree with me if you like, as it all comes down to opinion, but when I think "memorable characters" it's always these six that come to mind first. Do you have any favorites? I'm open to comments, and I'd love to hear from you!

Your pal,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Batch

More poetry! Yay!

Upon the wind, beyond the moonlight
Into the clouds in the dead of the night
Shooting stars, simple wishes
Softly whispered in the stillness
Perfumes carried on the breeze
Through the boughs of mighty trees
Hopeful singing fills the ears
Easing the ache of long gone years
The quiet voice of a nightingale
Sings of a beautiful, bittersweet tale
He calmly whispers in his tree
And sweetly sings his melody
A feeling of peace drifts through the air
And brings peaceful dreams, dreams without care
This sweetness waits forevermore
Serenity never known before
It's all in a dream, but feels so real
Rife with powers that soothe and heal
Close your eyes, you'll be there soon
Just ride the wind beyond the moon

"The Shy One"
You look my way, I look away
I just can't meet your eyes
My love for you only grows and grows
But you still don't realize

In my dreams I tell it true
In dreams I'm not this shy
I get lost in your angel face
And still I wonder why

How can it be so hard to tell you
What I feel for you?
Why is it so hard to say
Those sweet words: I love you?

Oh, why can't you see my love for you?
Why don't you know how I feel?
I swear I've never felt a love
That wounds as much as it heals

"Seraphic Love"
If I could hear an angel's voice
He'd probably sound like you
If all the world were mine, my love
I'd give it back to you

The way you hold me close to you
The sweet sound of your voice
Everything about you, love
Makes me sing and rejoice

A glimpse of heaven is in your eyes
A promise of joys to come
Burdens are eased, tears are dried
And all the wrongs are undone

One smile from you is all I need
To send me to the gates
My time's at hand, for in your arms
I know salvation waits

From raging seas to placid waters
I'll follow you for all time
I don't want wings like yours, my love
I want you to be mine

Hope you liked some of these, if not all of them!

Your pal,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who Did It Better? (the Sweeney Todd edition)

This is what happens when I get bored...And as you can guess, I plan on doing more of these when I get bored in the future.

So I was poking around on Youtube and it occurred to me that I might check out some of the legendary George Hearn videos of the original Sweeney Todd. I naturally settled on "Epiphany," my favorite song from the show. As I was watching, I couldn't help but compare it to the Johnny Depp version (the man is my idol!). In trying to pick a favorite, I can't make any headway. All right, honestly, the poking around was done months ago before my computer went on the fritz and somehow stuck on mute, but these are still great to watch even if you can't hear them.

George Hearn:
I mean, DAMN! This guy has really lost it! It would be scary as hell sitting in that audience when he starts screaming and pointing like that! I actually found myself leaning away from my computer screen when he got to "Not one man, no, nor ten men, nor a hundred can assuage me." Yipe! *hides under couch* The stage version is definitely more operatic than the fact, it's just plain epic. Heck, if I was a dude and I could sing like that, you'd darn well know it! The power of that last note blew my mind! Bravo!

Johnny Depp:
I mean, DAMN! Heads are gonna roll here! I love how he's stalking the streets and no one knows what kind of psycho is in their midst! He's not in the least operatic, but that snarly, armed-and-dangerous growl gives me the heebie jeebies. I get chills just thinking about "I want you bleeders." If Mr. T doesn't slit anyone's throat any time soon, he's definitely going to rip someone's out. How can a man be so creepy yet so mesmerizing at the same time? In my humble opinion, here's another prime example of actors really going beyond singing a song and just...well...acting it. You can whine about how the professionals sing it better, but you just can't dis the performance the actors can throw down.

So what do you think? Whose side are you on?

Your pal,

Different = Normal!

So, I figured it was time for something more serious now. Various circumstances and other stuff that can only be described as crap has been knocking on my door lately, perfectly ready to break it down entirely. What might this crap be? To keep it short, the weather (pathetic excuse, but whatever), unemployment, hectic family life, impatience to make some dreams into reality, and a continuing war with OCD and selective mutism. Yeah, it pretty much sucks at my house right now. In trying to keep busy to take my mind off things, I may have fixated slightly a s*** load on my writing, thus reinforcing the idea that I am just another lazy, indolent dreamer with no drive to actually accomplish anything in this mess called "real life." I've driven my mother crazy with my Phantom of the Opera "obsession" and seriously pushed my dad's buttons with my scribbling "compulsions." Public opinion says I need to rewire the short circuit that MUST exist in my head and figure out how to be LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE.

And you know what I say to that? (Brief language coming...)

HORSESHIT! Wow, it feels good to say that!

It's our irregularities that make us who we are, don't you think? Thank God we're all different in some form or fashion! Why in the hell would anyone want to be exactly like everyone else? It takes all colors to make a rainbow, you know!

Clichés aside, the whole point here is that we spend way too much time running from things that are strange or unusual, and those of us who are decidedly strange or unusual (or those who at least can't hide their strangeness) are forced to hide who we really are to protect ourselves from those who can't accept what they can't understand. Do you smell an analogy here? I'm sure you can...

We're all weird. Some of us just conceal it better than others. But seriously people, we're all alike in that we need acceptance, understanding, and love. We never ask to be born the way we are, but we're all punished for it regardless, by others and ourselves. Think about the last time you couldn't help but do what you did because that's just what you had to do to be true to yourself. Were you glorified, or vilified? How did it feel? Now think about the last time someone you know did what they did because that's what they had to do to be true to themselves. What did you do? Did you glorify or vilify them?

Don't take this as preaching (though I have no clue how many people are actually reading this), but we really need to open our minds to all other types. Take me, for instance. I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I can't leave light switches pointing up when they're turned off, I count when I get nervous, I can't stand to have people touching my belongings, and when I start scrubbing the counters I can't stop, convinced they're still not clean enough. Does that mean I'm somehow wrong in my differences? No, it just means I'm different. There are millions of people like me in the world, and none of us asked to get landed with this disorder. That being said, I don't need anyone's pity, and I really don't need anyone's scorn. I have a mind, a heart, and a soul like anyone else, and in that I'm connected to everyone else. See? We're already finding some common ground!

What about you? How are you different? Do you wear glasses? Are you short? Tall? Skinny? Overweight? Slower than others? Too smart for some people? Do you hear voices? Do you talk to yourself? Do you do things other people say you shouldn't because they don't think it's "cool" or "normal?" Have you ever pretended to be like the people around you because they couldn't accept who you were? Do you prefer to avoid other people entirely rather than be true to yourself and deal with all the consequences of it?

You're in good company. In my book, there's no such thing as "normal." It's just synonymous with "different." We're all unique, and we're all perfect in our imperfections. We can now finally say that different is indeed the norm.

Maybe it's just that we're afraid of how we're different. Maybe it just takes more courage than we like to admit to say "Hey, this is me, take it or sod off." And maybe those who have yet to find that courage really just envy those of us who already have, hence the cruelty. Am I babbling? Maybe so, but hey, that's who I am. It's just something to think about.

Your pal,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Scribbles

I had intended to write a brilliantly inspired post today, but I sadly don't have the time for it. Settle for this for now: my poetry! Or at least a sample of it...I've got tons more of these.

"I Am, I Need"
I am light with shades of dark
I am the eagle and the lark
I'm fire, water, earth, and air
And I've been searching everywhere

I need love to keep me warm
Two arms to shelter me from the storm
A heart that's faithful, a soul divine
Someone to belong to and to be mine

I am thunder and springtime song
I'm hatchling fragile and lion strong
I'm thorny rose and lovers' tears
And I've shed plenty through the years

I need someone to give me solace
See who I am and love regardless
A kindred spirit alive with life
Strong and undaunted by any strife

Give me the one I'm dreaming of
Send me my only, my one true love
I'm heaven's hymn, the cry of the lonely
I need my one and only

The mountain is high, its faces are sheer
There's no way around to be found anywhere
And so I must climb, up into the sky--
Oh, if I had wings with which to fly

I'm only halfway, and yet I am weary
My face is dirty, my eyes are teary
My fingers are bloody from this climb--
I wish for wings so I can fly

Another step, a little further
Take one breath and then another
I'm almost there, but still I sigh--
Oh, to spread my wings and then to fly

No greater joy could ever be
Than to soar above this stony scree
To roam the freedom of the sky--
I only need two wings to fly

"This Road"
This road that lies before me
So barren, blank, and dusty
It doesn't seem exceptional
Yet it has a hold on me

I'm out here on it on my own
It seems to roll into the sun
I hear it whisper on the wind,
"The journey's just begun"

This road is long and winding
And the sun continues sinking
The day is growing old and so
I slowly keep on walking

The rhythm of my constant tread
Fills my ears as I am led
By the bittersweet memory
Of those who've gone ahead

Do I dare to further roam
Down this path of sand and loam?
For I don't know what lies ahead
But behind me is my home

I've gone right off the beaten track
And forgotten every thing I lack
I've come too far to give up now
So there's no going back

I feel no fear to meet my fate
Nor have a thought to hesitate
For I know that this old road
My soul will vindicate

This road that lies before me
Has an air of mystery
And yet one thing is crystal clear
To follow it's to be free

Go in peace, take care of yourselves, and don't forget to turn off the stove.

Your pal,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Guys in Capes!

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to do something fun and off-the-wall (not like that's a deviation from my typical behavior...) I now present to you, the League of Cloaked Gentlemen!*

*Any relation to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is purely coincidental, though I'm sure you'll agree these guys are awesome.

Understand now, I'm not referencing superheroes, because Those Guys are just too flashy. I'm talking about the dashing, debonair, don't-need-no-stinking-cape-to-be-cool-but-actually-know-how-to-work-that-bad-boy guys. I'm talking about These Guys.

Erik, AKA the Phantom of the Opera
    Surprise! Mr. Cape Twirl of Doom himself! Wouldn't you love to be Christine sitting in that gondola? Erik certainly fits the criteria for the LCG: the cape for one thing, and that certain flair of character that makes him one cool dude. He's a genius! A magician! A composer! He's the freakin' Phantom of the Opera! Granted, he's got a short circuit somewhere in that genius brain of his...he lives underneath an opera house and passes the day threatening the management, strangling stage hands, and abducting beautiful sopranos...but you're not going to hold that against him, are you? Fine line between genius and insanity, and all that.

Count Dracula
 You didn't think I'd leave the Count out of this, did you? He's the paragon of dashing, debonair caped men! They all just wish they could be him! While Erik's cape adds to his flair, Dracula's makes him all the more terrifying. It sort of reminds you of bat wings, doesn't it? (But Angels, that's the idea, you twit!) And if we're honest with ourselves, it was Count Vlad that gave us the Cape Twirl of Doom to start with. Hats off to you, Your Grace! And please, do something about that nasty habit of draining lovely young Victorian women of their plasma!

 What more need be said? He's the New World version of Robin Hood. He can not only work the cape, but he can also swashbuckle like there's no tomorrow and wields a whip better than Indiana Jones! But who gets the credit for his awesomeness: Douglas Fairbanks, or Antonio Banderas? I'll let you decide.

Puss in Boots
 Just kidding!

 This cloaked gentleman is, if possible, even more of a psycho than our dear Phantom. It takes some kind of loony to blow up the Old Bailey while conducting the 1812 Overture, torture an innocent woman you consider an ally, and then engineer your own explosive farewell. But I'm sure behind the infinitely creepy Guy Fawkes mask, there's an even creepier yet somehow endearing, sweet, well-meaning fellow. Requiescat in pace, V. We hardly knew ye.

 I know, the cloak isn't necessarily part of the uniform, but come on! Look at him! That picture alone gets him a place here! Besides, have you seen what he can do with a sword? He pulled out a win at Helm's Deep and commanded an army of the dead! Are you saying you're going to deny the rightful king of Gondor his place in the LCG?

I didn't think so.

I'm sure there's more out there, but I can't think of them right now. Sorry guys, better luck next time. And now that we've got our dose of random madness out of the way, I can leave you with a promise that next time, there will be something just as random and just as mad.

Your pal,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Case You Need Something (Else) to Read...

Yeah, I'm cheating today. Instead making conversation out of some half-baked thought, I'm giving you a serving of your dear A-P's fan fics...make that phan phics.

The Phantom of the Chagnys
Three years have passed since Christine and Raoul left the Opera House, but she is still haunted by her memories...and possibly more. (I could tell you more about this, but then I'd have to kill you.)

The End of the Rope
Marry the Phantom and save Raoul...what if Christine said no? (This one came into being when I realized I hadn't found a single story in which Christine made this choice, so I ran with it.)

Psychotherapy of an Opera Phantom
Erik is finally getting the help he needs...(Far and away my most popular story to date!)

Broken Pieces
It's been two years since Christine left, and Erik still can't accept the loss. When he meets Vivienne, a young woman with past hurts of her own, they both just might have a chance to heal. (Doing my duty and supplying the phandom with my own E/OW phic. I gotta's more fun than you'd think it would be.)

Happy reading!

Your pal,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Post! Woo-hoo!


What in the name of heaven was I thinking to start a blog?! At what point is enough, well, enough? Anyway, here I am, and I'm not going anywhere!