Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some Things I Forgot Abut Having A Newborn

They are astonishingly uncoordinated. I forgot about the flailing heads and hands.

Their skin is the softest thing ever, especially on top of the head.

They sleep, a lot, but not when you necessarily want them to.

They are astonishingly funny, weird little faces and noises and eye glances and oddly timed smiles. "Champ" is rapidly becoming "The Squeaker".

And OMG, I forgot how huge my breasts would get. Not happy about that. I don't mind the softness of my belly or the roundness of my face postpartum, but these breasts are out of control. Mostly I try to avoid looking at them in the mirror. And sadly, while my belly and face will return (cross fingers) to normal relatively quickly, as long as I'm nursing I have to deal with the boobies. Ah well. I'm just happy that nursing is going better this time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scary Movie Month 2011 - Wrap Up

Well, I was going to break down the rest of our viewing into a couple of different posts, but frankly, I'm tired (and sick) and unsure of how much time I've got before Champ makes his way into the world (and a pretty big list of things to do before then, crossing my fingers).

Was Halloween really just last night? (Clearly I started this post a while ago.) We had saved "Something Wicked This Way Comes" to watch on Halloween, after having rented it last year and not gotten to it, but by the time we got Buddy inside from trick-or-treating and to bed, we were too pooped to pop. Just as well, since he then remained up for another 45 minutes. Singing. Loudly. Which is what I told him to do if he couldn't fall asleep, as it beats having him holler for us, but it definitely impacts our ability to concentrate on any kind of "serious" viewing. We watched past episodes of "Community" instead, and planned to put "SWTWC" first on our viewing list for next year, to make sure we actually watch it.

Other movies seen this year...

Prince of Darkness
(1987 - directed by John Carpenter)
Oh, scary, scary. It seems there's a lot of contention around this movie, just among John Carpenter fans --- folks who don't find it scary find it silly, and folks who do find it scary find it really scary. Whatever pushes your particular fear buttons, I suppose. I don't even have any real belief in an embodied Satan, but this one got under my skin. And I love the goofy-looking special effects, they are so pre-CGI and so funny looking and yet still manage to be deeply disturbing. Truly, John Carpenter is a master.

From Hell
(2001 - directed by Albert and Allen Hughes, starring Johnny Depp, from the Alan Moore comic)
Ahhh... I liked this, even when it got stupid at the end and kind of petered out. I liked seeing Johnny Depp in this, I liked seeing him with Robbie Coltrane, I liked the visuals and the editing. (I didn't like Heather Graham.) I liked the depiction of Victorian London (I didn't like the overly complex conspiracy stuff). But overall, not the most satisfying movie --- mostly made me want to see the new Sherlock Holmes one coming out next month, or to reread Gail Carriger's steampunk series.

Prom Night
(1980 - starring Jamie Lee Curtis)
1. Jamie Lee Curtis has a magnetism that shines through whatever dreck may surround her. 2. The last scenes are actually pretty cool. 3. Lots of McGuffins. 4. But basically a stupid movie.

Would I watch it again? Probably, especially if enough beer were involved.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(1974 - directed by Tobe Hooper)
I started having my doubts about this movie when, a hour or so before watching it, I found out there was a character named "Leatherface" who wears a mask of human skin. That is, that this character is featured enough to have both a name and a description.

My one consistent thought while watching was, "Why, with all the real atrocities happening in the world, am I watching this?"

It turned out the The Dude was also not enjoying himself, so we fast-forwarded (slowly) through the rest of movie, thereby avoiding the sound and the visceral sense of outrage, while still getting to find out what happened. Which had been our main goal in seeing it in the first place. But my question has also led to a decision for future Scary Movie Months: to add a category called "Real Life Horror." Not true crime, but movies (fiction) that deal with truly horrifying realities. Movies like "Hotel Rwanda". "Blood Diamonds". "Traffic." "The Whistleblower". All the movies that are about things I'm willing to read about and want to know more about, but that I can't usually make myself watch. If not during Scary Movie Month, then when?

The Day the Earth Stood Still
(1951 - directed by Robert Wise)
This ended up being our last movie for Scary Movie Month 2011, and I think I kind of knew it at the time, because as tired as I was, I made a super special effort to stay up and finish it. It helped that it's a short movie, and that it was interesting: an alien spaceship shows up to deliver the message that Earth needs to not extend its aggression against other planets (though if we feel like killing ourselves off that's perfectly fine, of course), otherwise, be prepared to face extermination ourselves. Message brought to us from a "peace-loving" federation of planets. Huh. There are some inconsistencies in the final arguments of the alien visitor, though, as he himself says, their particular mode of peace-making is imperfect. But obviously it got us thinking, about war, about peace-making, about whether any kind of superior robot (their police force) could actually be trusted to in the end decide for humans (see Isaac Asimov's "Robot" series and their laws of robotics). Some of the "futuristic" effects used in this movie, from 60 years ago, don't seem all that strange now, and the increasing abilities of robots make some of these questions more pertinent than one would think (or would like to think). So, a good movie to go out on.

So that's it for this year! We've so enjoyed the practice of watching movies we wouldn't have otherwise (because too scary or too intense or too difficult) that we're going to start a monthly "Classic Movie Night" --- one night each month to watch a "classic" (along the lines of "I can't believe you haven't seen this!"). I'm looking forward to putting together our list.

Any scary movies you've especially liked this year? Any classics you'd recommend?