Guilty Pleasures: My Parents’ Music

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I have not been hitting the NyQuil too hard.

They say that the sense of smell is the sense that is most closely tied to memory, but I’d say hearing, specifically music, comes a close second.  For me at least, music often evokes feelings, phantom emotions from the past.

My main musical lifelines are still mainly the alternative and industrial bands of my teenage years and early twenties; Tool, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle.  Hearing that music recalls the bittersweet feelings of a time that was paradoxically simpler, yet more difficult.  It often makes me long for those long gone days.  This is the music which still most strongly affects me, the music with which I still most closely identify, and the music through which I still have a voice for my emotions and ideas.

Though the musical identity I began developing around middle school is markedly different from the music I grew up listening to, my tastes are eclectic enough to leave room for many types of music, and there are more than a few songs that I heard growing up which strike a “memory” chord for me.  My parents’ music.

Some are technically early eighties and nineties pop songs, I suppose, but some are songs I heard when my parents played their records (yes, you read that right) or listened to classic rock and oldies radio stations. 

Many of these songs bring to mind remnants of feelings or thoughts I had at the time, a sort of revival of the ideas I had about the music;  I remember what those songs meant to me through the ears of a child.

And a couple of the songs are associated with television shows or films, and evoke the emotions caused by that particular show.

Here are just a few of those songs, in no particular order.  I even own one or two albums by some of these artists.

As you read the list, keep in mind I was born in ’81, so the categorization of the songs is relative to that.

Chicago— 25 0r 6 to 4 (oldies radio)

Kansas— Dust in the wind (The Highlander TV series)

Mr. Mister— Broken Wings (pop radio)

Cream— White Room (oldies radio)

Seals and Crofts— Summer Breeze (oldies radio)

Simon & Garfunkel— Scarborough Fair (oldies radio)

U2– With or Without You (pop radio)

Cutting Crew— (I just) Died in your Arms Tonight (pop radio)

Tears for Fears— Head Over Heels (radio/and then later, Donnie Darko)

Genesis— Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (pop radio)

Rolling Stones— Give Me Shelter (radio)

Patsy Cline

Jim Croce— Time in a Bottle (radio-  In college I ended up writing a short story inspired by this song)

Seals & Crofts

Seals & Crofts

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline

Anyway, I can’t recall all of them at present, but you get the idea.  What are some songs you remember from your childhood?

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TV: End of Season Grief

As hubby and I work our way towards the end of yet another much loved television series (at least, the most current season that is available,) I have that familiar feeling, a sort of sadness and disappointment that’s a little like grief.

I know, it sounds silly.  But after a whirlwind journey through the extremely entertaining British comedy-drama, Misfits, I have been mulling over the effect our entertainment can have on us.  If you’ve ever read a really engaging book, (or even better, a series like The Dark Tower novels or Harry Potter), you are likely aware of how you can become transported to another world, and how you can become attached to and love the characters with whom you’ve spent so much time.  I think our television can have a similar effect on us as a good novel.

The original cast of Misfits-- "Kelly, Simon, Alisha, Curtis, and Nathan"

The original cast of Misfits– “Kelly, Simon, Alisha, Curtis, and Nathan”

So, as we began season (series) 4 of Being Human, amidst some seemingly very rapid (and unceremonious) cast changes, I mentioned to my husband the fact that how we view our favorite television programs can actually affect the way they affect us.  

When you watch a particular show on a service like Netflix or Hulu, you can become immersed very quickly.  There is an instant gratification sort of effect.  You don’t have to wait a week for the next episode.  There’s not anxious anticipation, rather a desire to bull through and watch as much as you can (if you’re really into the show.)  If you’re like hubs and I, you’ll watch three or four episodes a night.  You reach the end of a season or series fairly quickly. Consequently, twists in the plot, changes to the cast, and deaths of main characters often seem very abrupt and are a bit of a shock to the system.

Conversely, if you watch a series as it airs on television, obviously it’s going to feel like you spent even longer with the characters…however, if you’re like me, and you get behind on a series, or even just waiting until next week’s episode, sometimes the sense of urgency you feel to see the next episode kinda of gets muted with time. (I went through this when we went without cable for a while; at first I thought I’d just about die if I didn’t see the next episode of True Blood, but after a while I was just like, Meh.)

Still, I think I prefer to be able to watch a series consecutively (thank you, Hulu!)  In addition to having my instant gratification, I never have to wonder “what’s on TV tonight?”  There are less commercials, you can pause for snack or a bathroom break, and rewind when your kid’s screaming (or you have to yell at them for pulling the cat’s tail) and you’ve missed a bit.

funny-pictures-baby-will-pull-cat-tail1

What is your favorite way to watch your favorite shows?  Do you think the way you view your programs effects how they impact you?

CSI Doppelgangers?

I’ve been watching re-runs of the CSI: Miami.  You know, one of several CSI: Crime Scene Investigation spin-offs?  Apparently, the general public’s obsession with the CSI franchise has gotten so bad that it’s created a problem for law enforcement and the court system, in that criminals are using techniques learned by watching CSI and other shows in the same genre to help cover up evidence, and juries often have unreasonable expectations of real-life forensics because of what they have seen on CSI.  I remember in a college Forensics course I had, my professor, who worked with a Baltimore crime scene unit, complained about CSI and what a bunch of bullshit it was.  Even with my limited knowledge of forensics, I sit and shake my head or yell at the TV sometimes when I watch the shows, because so much of their “science” is complete crap…

But I still watch for the entertainment value.  Apparently, they’re trying to further confuse the dimwitted members of the viewing population by hiring doppelganger actors to play similar characters in the series.   It’s a conspiracy…okay, maybe not, but has anybody else noticed the resemblance between actors Eric Szmanda  and Jonathan Togo?

Szmanda plays crime lab analyst and investigator Greg Sanders on the original CSI, while Jonathan Togo plays a startlingly similar character in CSI: Miami.  Both are generally handsome, in a frat-boy sort of way, and each seem to have quirky, juvenile aspects to their personalities.

Here’s the photographic evidence (~wink, wink~)

Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders

Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders

Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe

Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe

Okay, they’re not exactly twins, but it’s close enough that I have gotten the actors names confused before as to who plays which onscreen identity.  Fellow CSI fans, what do you think?

Cute Child Actors That Are Now Busted

*warning: one or more of these photos may be considered disturbing to some …and tacky, apparently…

In the same vein as Very Much Dutch‘s and B(itch) Log‘s posts on unlikely crushes and good looking men, I have definitely had my share of posts about celebs I’d boff and sexy older men, and now I give you my latest list:

“Adorable celeb kids who later fucked themselves up on drugs and now have criminal records and/or just mke us sad. ” (But in the interest of brevity, I ended up truncating the title a bit.)

So, here we go.  It’s a short list.  I haven’t bothered with older celebs like Danny Bonaduce.  This is more focused on child actors that were kids when I was a kid and since.

1) Macaulay Culkin– Home Alone (1990):  Still one of my holiday favorites, I can’t watch it without lamenting that this adorable little kid (who used to always remind me of one of my cousins) is now a gaunt specter.   I see him going the way of so many young actors who drowned in their own fame and money and ended up dead of an overdose.  I truly hope I’m wrong.  His latest press was decidedly not positive, and came in the form of some pics of him looking wasted, possibly sick or in the grips of addiction.  Of course his “sources” have denied either possibility, but I don’t see how he could look so bad if something wasn’t deviling him.

“Mack” in 1990 for the film Home Alone, and then in 2012 looking very un-Kevin McCallister

2) River Phoenix– Stand By Me (1986): I remember having a crush on River Phoenix in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Body.”  He’s long dead now, of a drug overdose, so I guess he’s technically no longer “on drugs” and he was never really “busted” looking.  But I do remember thinking (and still do think) what a waste of a beautiful man.  Given my macabre turn of mind, even as a kid, I’ll admit to you fair readers the thought of him rotting away in his grave was very disturbing to me.

River Phoenix ~ 1986

River Phoenix ~ 1986

River Phoenix,

River Phoenix, “all growed up”

can not speak for the authenticity of this photo, but supposedly a photo of River in his coffin (which seems appropriate given

I can not speak for the authenticity of this photo, but it’s supposedly a photo of River in his coffin…

3) Daniel Radcliffe– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001): Undeniably adorable, Daniel Radcliffe captured the hearts of youth and grown-ups alike as Harry Potter in the film series of the same name.  Arguably, he’s not too far gone yet, but by his own admission he was drunk for at least some of the filming of the latest Potter film.  You disappoint us, Harry. ~smh

Daniel Radcliffe (2001)

Daniel Radcliffe (2001)

Daniel Radcliffe, looking a bit pissed (and that's the British interpretation of pissed)

Daniel Radcliffe, looking a bit pissed (and that’s the British interpretation of pissed)

And last but not least, because this still bugs the shit out of me:

4) Edward Furlong– Terminator 2 (1991), American History X (1998): A cute kid who grew up to be quite a sexy young man, Furlong has had his trouble with drugs, which is sad…  but not as sad as his other legal troubles, which include charges for domestic violence and harassing his ex.
He apparently also owes thousands in back child support.  The drug abuse I could over-look as sad, but fairly commonplace, but this other bit of douche-baggery just spoils the whole thing for me.  He used to be sooo adorable, even appearing as a model for Calvin Klein.  And now, he’s just a fat, dirty, slob who doesn’t know how to treat women.  I have lost much respect for him, which is sad because I so want to still like him.

A very young Edward Furlong-- cute as a kitten...well, the kitten's maybe not quite THAT cute.

A very young Edward Furlong– cute as a kitten…well, the kitten’s maybe not quite THAT cute.

edward-furlongyoung

This pic pretty much speaks for itself

Oh, Eddie, what have you done?

Oh, Eddie, what have you done?

~Sigh~  So sad.  But let’s look on the bright side; maybe he’ll read this blog post somehow, somewhere, and realize he has to change his ways to continue to impress all the hot moms hanging at home with their toddlers and watching Kung Fu Panda on Hulu.

Til next time…

All You Need to Know About The Expendables 2

*may contain one or two tiny, itsy, bitsy spoilers

The Expendables 2

1) Jet Li is ten pounds of kick-ass in a five pound bag.

2) Chuck Norris jokes are even funnier when said by Chuck Norris.

3) Charisma Carpenter’s boobs have indeed gotten huge-ish since Buffy.

Charisma Carpenter on Burn Notice

4) Chuck Norris is seventy-fuckin’- two years old… still pretty bad-ass.

5) Danny Trejo is not in this movie; why isn’t Danny Trejo in this movie?  He and Dolph Lundgren can have a hand-to-hand with their big blades.  (A hand-to-hand fight, pervert.  Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Danny Trejo as…Machete

6) Comedic lines deliver callback-like nods to the main actors’ other films throughout the movie.  The following conversation between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis occurs:

 Schwarzenegger: “I’m out of ammo. I’ll be back.”

Willis:  “You’ve been back enough. I’ll be back!”

Schwarzenegger: “Yippee-ki-yay!”

Yes…that actually happened.

7)  Almost half of the main characters can or will soon be able to qualify for Social Security.  Only four of the guys on Barney Ross’s (Stallone) crew are under 50, not counting Gale…I mean, Liam Hemsworth… but the odds are not especially ever in his favor.  (<— See what I did there?)

and did I mention

8) Holy shit, these 80’s movies guys look like been rode hard and put away wet!

Dolph Lundgren

Stallone: “That thing belongs in a museum.”

Schwarzenegger: “We all do.”

What’s your “magic number”?

Well, the tallying is done, the numbers have been added, the results you’ve been waiting for (ha) are here…

But before I tell you my magic number– and I hope by now you realize I’m not talking about sex partners–  there are just a few points and “disclaimers” I want to mention.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I used Wikipedia as my main source for lists  of horror films.

1) these lists are, like all of Wikipedia, peer edited, and by their very nature, not a complete list of every horror title in existence.  They are arranged by decades, and in my own observation and tallying, I noticed that even in a given movie series, not necessarily all films were represented (For instance, Cube Zero was on the 2004 list, but the original Cube movie was not in evidence on the 1997 list.)

“Where are we? And who the hell are you?”… That must have been one hell of a party…

2) My final total is likely to be an underestimation rather an overestimation.  While I may have falsely counted a film or two, thinking that I saw it, and sometimes I even got the feeling a given film was listed under two different decades, the were probably more instances of films I did not count as “seen”, having not recognized the title, or having forgotten that I’d seen said film.

3) Again, in regards to film series, I counted one hash mark for each film of a given series if I knew without a doubt that I had see them (like all of the Alien films, for instance.)  On the other hand, films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th have so many sequels and remakes, that I had trouble remembering which ones I had seen and which ones I hadn’t (and the older the films, the less accurate my memory is.)  For this reason, I counted only the ones I was relatively certain I had seen.

Friday the 13th “part 137…”

4) Some films were included in these lists that some might consider “questionable” in terms of their qualifications as “true” horror films.   For instance, so-called “horror-comedies,” like Shawn of the Dead and Zombieland were listed (I counted these, ) and even Michael Jackson’s Thriller video was listed, considered a “short film (I did not count this.) To a certain extent, the definition of what constitutes a horror film may vary from person to person.

oh, yes… and 5)  As I really doubt I’d recognize any of the films or titles beyond this point anyway, I only counted from present to the 1930’s.  As to films I may have started to watch but never finished (if you’ve ever seen The Item you’ll know what I mean; I have a high tolerance for stupidity in the name of entertainment, but even I have my limits…), there weren’t that many of them so it probably doesn’t matter either way, given the margin of error for this little experiment.

And so here it is: the number (roughly) of horror films I have seen in my 31 years…

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The Girl Who Loved Horror Movies

Once upon a time…

there was a girl who loved horror movies.  She was never really into romantic comedies like a lot of other girls, although if she got interested in a movie, she’d watch it even if it wasn’t “horror.”  She loved to write too.  Can you guess what she might have liked to write?

Eventually, she grew up to become a young woman who loved horror films.  Once time she wanted to figure out how many horror movies she had seen in her life, so she found up a fairly comprehensive list on Wikipedia and went through each decade, year by year, tallying the films she knew or remembered having seen.  Of course the list was not 100% accurate, but it gave her a good idea.  At the time, she had seen over 300 horror films.

But then, tragedy struck…  she lost her tally sheet, and stopped keeping track of the new films she saw.

Now…

 this young woman is a wife and mother who loves horror films…  and she has decided to take another stab at this list.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion and findings of the experiment (I know you can hardly contain your excitement.)

Poltergeist