Friday night – 11 p.m.
My phone service is out, although it’s taken me forever to convince the phone company that it’s out. First I had to explain the concept of “Yes my phone is out, I’m calling on a cellular phone” to the service agent. You’d think the phone company would understand that in The Modern Era one can have a dead phone but still call you from inside their own home, but you’d think wrong.
No phone=no access to blogger. At least the power is still on so I can save this in wordpad. (I hope I don’t grow to regret that statement, there’s quite a windstorm doing ominous things to my trees right now).
I’ve got the house to myself this weekend so I rented a movie. Usually when this happens I pick something innocuous only to discover I’ve inadvertently rented the horror sleeper hit of the season and I get no sleep. I strolled around the store and settled on one with a glowing list of cast credits on the box that included “from TV’s Blossom” and “from My, Myself, and Irene” – not exactly the cast list from a classic horror movie, right? (Well, it sounded like a horror movie – but not the scary kind.) I decided to get it in light of that fact that last time I was on my own I picked Urban Legend and it was almost as stupid as I expected, although it had a few good scares. Otherwise, it was harmless. The follow-up to any horror movie almost always degenerates a bit so, in keeping with my newfound obsession with sequels, I decided to rent Urban Legends: Final Cut.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Not the movie. Me. Well, also the movie, but mostly me. In the first 15 minutes it’s actually had a few good scares. Not to mention that as soon as I put the disc in the phone service went out. And the neighbors were all away too. And the phone company argued with me that my service wasn’t out.
Right out of the gate, I discover that UL II was directed by John Ottman. The guy who scored AND edited Usual Suspects, which, coincidentally, I watched last night. The guy – in my opinion – most responsible for making Suspects dramatic and suspenseful. I suspect I’m in trouble. So far it’s funnier than scary – but there again I can really get into a movie where film students bump each other off. I’m rooting for the Assistant Director, but that may relate to some unresolved issues of my own?
Uh, at any rate, it’s, you know, edgy and clever and fun. And scary.
Saturday – 1 a.m.
There was a scene so unbelievably scary it’s hard to describe properly. Our heroine is the Plucky Blond Film Student. She’s shooting a horror movie, don’t ya know, about a serial killer at a college who kills his victims based on urban legends. Can’t ever be too self-referential – this sucker has “written by film-school grads all over it.” Film school grads: clever, clever people who can never make too many movies about students making movies…
Then the cheap doublesided DVD crapped out and filled the screen and I spent 10 minutes windexing the disc and convincing the movie to play again. And the phone is still out. And just as I got the disc to play the power blinked out for a few minutes.
Where was I? Oh yes, so it’s the scene where all the students scream at midnight to relieve stress during finals and the killer strikes at 12:00 and no one hears his victim scream. It’s midnight (how convenient) and the crew has just left the set and the director and a few assistants are recording wild tracks of the talent screaming. The actors stop screaming but the director, wearing headphones and operating the boom, can hear the screams of the Director of Photography, who is outside being bludgeoned with his own lens. (That isn’t the scary part. Maybe it was supposed to be, maybe I was too busy entertaining fantasies of my own to notice that it was scary).
Dramatically, the Plucky Blond Film Student DROPS THE BOOM. This is a bad, bad, bad thing. It falls in slo-mo to the floor. When that mic hits the floor anyone wearing headphones is going to be deafened. As that boom made it’s excruciatingly slow free-fall my skin didn’t just crawl, it crawled off my body. Jesus, Mary and Joseph they should not be allowed to show graphic stuff like that in a movie. Of course when the boom does hit the floor it only makes a dramatic orchestral sound, but by then the damage to my own psyche was done and I was curled up in a ball whimpering like a puppy.
Did I mention that my phone is out?
Once the movie was over I decided I’d go up to bed and read. I’ve got an old book I’ve been reading on the bed table. I go upstairs and the book is gone. Gone in that way things are gone in horror movies. A-big-empty-space-where-the-object-used-to-be-gone. After I start breathing again I find the book. It turned out it was just behind the bed, cat must have knocked it off. No big deal. The book – Patricia Cornwell’s Southern Cross is terrible, by the way. We not only get the internal thoughts and motivations of a bunch of characters we don’t care about, we get the internal thoughts and motivations of a dog and a cat. This is all wedged in amongst the endless list of brand-name products her characters use, drive or wear. Don’t waste your time.
In the movies, the killer always hides behind the floor-length drapes. What possessed me to buy floor-length drapes? There’s no one behind the drapes, though. I checked it out with the aid of my trusty guard cat. I figure holding a cat out in front of you at arms length is almost as good as following a guard dog – cats can scratch, right? Actually, my cat would just try to lick someone to death. Useless cat.
As a kid, I could never go to sleep if my closet doors were open even a crack. I always forget about that til I’m home alone. I have no closet doors. Why don’t I have closet doors? How can you sleep without closet doors? What was I thinking? Home Depot is open 24 hours and they sell closet doors. Can I fit closet doors in the back of my car? Can I install my own closet doors?
Can you get brain cancer from sleeping with a cellphone under your pillow?
After considering just staying up all night and being productive instead of laying in bed fretting, I fell into a deep sleep. Why am I up now? Maybe it’s because the phone company decided to call me to tell me my phone was working again. How very fucking considerate. Remind me to send you a fruitbasket for christmas.
The Renn-Fest neighbors are back and seem to be deploying a howitzer in their back yard. What are they doing?
I had the worst nightmare. I was having lunch with a bunch of realtors and they were telling me it was such a shame I’d never be able to sell my house and move to a new one. There was a lot of market mumbo-jumbo and jabbering about the recession to end all recessions. Now, not even factoring in the fact that my house is not on the market and I have no plans to put it there, what kind of capitalistic-yuppie-bullshit nightmare was that? Why did I wake up in a cold sweat over that?