Everybody Dance To The Pumpkin Song

Happy Halloween!

Due to Birthday Party and other socially exhausting things, I don’t have real Halloween plans. I did this on purpose, and may hit a bar or something, but more likely I’ll be in, watching a movie. Since I don’t do the whole horror thing, my Halloween choices tend to range into the silly and campy. So here are the things I’m going to be considering watching tonight.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

OK, I probably won’t watch this, since I watched it with my mom last night. But it’s always a good pick. It’s so silly and perfect, and pretty brief. Like really brief. At just over 30 mintues, it’s probably the fastest on this list, but it’s still a good one. Charlie Brown and the gang are at their best here, going trick or treating (I got a rock) and Sally’s melt down after realizing she wasted her Halloween waiting for The Great Pumpkin is completely epic.

Double, Double Toil And Trouble

OK, a confession, I haven’t watched the Olsen Twin Halloween Movie since I was little, but I mean, come on, they were so cute at that point. Not quite at the height of their powers, (That came a few years later, when they were tweens/early teens. I think they actually ruled the world then…at least my world.) but still good.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: “Halloween”

I wasn’t going to leave you high and dry without a Buffy recommendation, and this episode, the one where everyone turns into their Halloween costumes is absolutely the one to watch. So good.

Hocus Pocus

Celebrate Halloween by watching the Sanderson Sisters run amok (Amok, Amok, Amok, Amok) in Salem, Massachusetts. Also, Thackery Binks, best name in the history of the world.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Not to be watched alone. Not because it’s too scary, unless you have a thing about Tim Curry, but because there is nothing fun about jumping up and doing “The Time Warp” by yourself. You need other people to make that fun.

Army of Darkness

“Alright you primitive screwheads. You see this? THIS IS MY BOOM STICK!”

The Cabin in the Woods

Really creepy. Really funny. Not at all what it seems. Features Hemsworth. Pure Whedoney goodness.

Harry Potter

Any of them. There are 8 movies. But for creep factor, you’re not going to meet the middle three. The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire The Order Of The Phoenix are the creepiest and most atmospheric of the series, and certainly the best of of them.

Shaun of The Dead

Come on, do I need to sing the praises of Edgar Wright & crew again? No, I think we’re covered there.

Young Frankenstein

This is probably what I’ll end up with. I love this movie so very much. I watch it any time, but it’s a lot of fun to watch at Halloween time.

Ghostbusters

There’s never a bad time to watch Ghostbusters. Never.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The end all be all of non scary Halloween movies. You know how sometimes you forget how good something is? Like you remember loving something, thinking that it’s completely wonderful and everything, and then you encounter it again. And you remember. You remember how something can scare you, and make you laugh, and cry and feel all those things at once. That’s how I feel every time I watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was listening to the soundtrack in my office yesterday and giggling like crazy.

So that’s what I’m looking at for tonight. Anyone else have some fun stuff lined up for Halloween tonight?

My Cliche Rom-Com Throw It All Out There Confession

I’ve been actively trying to date a lot lately, which is hard for me because it requires me to actually go on dating sites which is the worst, talk to people I don’t have an immediate introduction to, which I am bad at, and then follow through on going on dates, which means not hanging out with my friends, a majority of whom are already in relationships and therefore, don’t want to hang out in a loud club or bar and watch me talk to guys.

I really can’t blame them for this. It’s pretty awful, and probably boring for them.

Like 9 times out of 10, it’s pretty boring for me too.

A few years ago over on Confidently Catholic, back when that was a thing, a wrote a piece called “A Single Girl’s Prayer.” This piece is in that vein but more pop culture-y. You know that moment at the end of Notting Hill, “I’m just a girl, looking at a boy…” you know what I’m talking about. It’s a good device at the end of a romantic comedy to have these beautiful speeches that define the love story and often times it comes in this long rambly confession as to what the person is looking for.

This is mine.

If you’re going to fall in love with me you should know that I don’t care if a song is “good” or “bad” if I can dance to it and it’s about girl power. You should know that when I drink tequila I can get a little combative. I will argue with you about pointless crap for hourss, and I’ll be right and you’ll be wrong and I will think about it for years afterward. I’m going to ask you to cosplay Green Arrow when I’m doing Black Canary, and if you say no, I’m going to pout about it and then I’ll make passive aggressive comments the day that I’m dressed up. Be prepared to watch Doctor Who, a lot. Or don’t watch and be prepared to smile and nod anytime we’re around my friends. Also bone up on your Batman. If you haven’t seen Batman: The Animated Series, get ready to watch Batman: The Animated Series.

I sing a long to the radio, I hate wearing make up, I love wearing short skirts. I celebrate a time of year called “costume season,” followed shortly after by “food coma season,” I read too much, and I’m bad at chatting. I’m going to space out and I’m going to pretend I know more about sports than I do. I’m going to say that “I don’t want to drink on weeknight’s anymore” as I drink a bottle of wine on a Tuesday. (Not every Tuesday)

But I hope that you fall in love with me, because I’m also great. I laugh a lot, I get really enthusiastic about the things and people that I love. And you could be one of those people. I will love you, I will stand by you. I’ll open you up to the magical world of musical theatre. You’ll meet my friends and family, who are great.

Please, because, I’m tired of dating sites. I’m tired of small talk. I’m tired of speed dating and telling asking my friends if every guy they bring around is single. I’m tired of it.

I just want to be in love. Is that so hard?

‘S Wonderful, ‘S MARVEL-ous

Holy CRAP y’all! What happened yesterday? Did we all just fall asleep and end up in a crazy Marvel dream world, full of drunk Avengers trying to lift Thor’s hammer, multiple movies for The Infinity Gauntlet, Jackie Robinson as Black Panther and an official release date for Captain Marvel?

No it wasn’t a dream, you guys. It really happened. Marvel fans and press descended on the El Capitan theatre in LA for a mystery announcement. Which, since the DC movie slate was announced at a GD shareholders meeting, already had the one up on showmanship, if not professionalism.

There were some obvious ones.

Doctor Strange has been pushed back a year, and Benedict Cumberbatch was NOT officially announced. But it’s probably him, right? Why else push it back if not to deal with his inordinately convoluted schedule of filming 3 episodes of a TV show every five years or whatever. You can check out my facebook to see how I feel about that particular choice of casting. I am neither here nor there about it.

Captain America: Civil War, will be coming, and will feature both Cap and Iron Man, I assume fighting one another. Also, it will feature the first appearance by Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, before you know, BLACK PANTHER!

I really like Boseman. I really liked 42, and think it’s hugely underrated. I really like the idea of Bosen as Black Panter, particularly in this universe full of funny guys. He’s a magnificent straight man. And the idea of T’Challa as a straight man to the rest of the Avengers and their wackiness is one that works for me.

Guardians 2, duh.

Thor: Ranganok, fine.

Infinity War Parts 1 & 2, great. And then the big one.

Captain Marvel. Guys, we’re getting a Captain Marvel movie.

Badass

Badass

And just to clarify, this isn’t Mar Vell, this is Carol Danvers. As in, on July 6. 2018, unless I’m in a coma, you all know where I will be. I will be watching Captain Marvel at least 4 times. I will also spend every minute of every day until they announce who’s playing her speculating on who’s going to play her, I do have some people in my head, that I would like to see. I won’t specify beyond that.

Just that this, could easily lead...

Just that this, could translate well…

To this!

To this!

Now, that scene, you know, the one that was during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night? How great was that? Again, if you want some fun, you should head to my facebook. Literally, this scene is Ultron being a buzzkill. The Avengers are chilling in Avengers Tower (Stark Tower, whatever it’s called at this point) getting drunk, taking turns trying to lift Thor’s hammer and razzing each other. (Also, Rhodey is there, which makes me SO HAPPY!) Then Ultron hobbles out and starts rambling about how they aren’t worthy of anything. Then we see a new trailer.

There was also an Agent Carter preview, which was basically just, Peggy being really sexy and then shooting a gun, which is fine.

All in all, yesterday was a very, very good day for Marvel. Very good!

Batman Eternal: 26-29

IMG_0591

Hello, Gotham! I am sitting watching your sad excuse for a television show on my DVR right now as I write this. (Actually this week’s episode was great. No Fish Mooney. Huh, imagine that.)

So I may have abandoned the weekly recaps of what comics I’m reading, but any series that has an issue end with Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd breaking a corrupt cop’s leg and then cuddling on a bridge deserves every inch of my attention. (It didn’t go beyond the bridge cuddling, because Jason had to go back to third wheeling it with Kori and Roy, but it was a lovely moment.)

So, we’re checking in on this month’s Eternal.

Hush is definitely behind everything and no one, especially not Julia believes Bruce when he’s talking about it. Luckily, when Tim, Barbara and Jason go to the Batcave to yell at Bruce about something, like not trusting them, or whatever. (This scene is getting old, my friends. How many times can those three do this? I can’t wait until Damian’s back so Tim can go back to fighting with him…) He tells them that it’s Hush and they are immediately on board, because they know that Hush is bad news. Although, Jason was still dead when he was around right? Ugh, continuity, you tricky beast you.

So back to that cop dangling. Barbara’s decided she’s had enough of Bard not freeing her father. So she dangles him off a building and almost kills him. She doesn’t, because Jason shows up to do it for her. This of course jolts her out of it and they just break his leg. This is the most twisted and hilarious exorcising of sexual tension in the history of ever and so deeply fitting of these two characters I can barely stand it. Barbara tries to convince Jason to stay in Gotham and he says no. She points out vaguely that they could give it a shot and he responds, “I’m not Dick Grayson,” and then I cry forever.

I will never ship Jason/Barbara but this was a very fun little pocket of action, if I do say so myself.

Meanwhile, Selina almost gets herself killed in a strip club in front of that little kid but Bruce saves her, because Selina. She decides to take up her father on his offer to take over the Calabrese family, which we all knew was going to happen anyway.

Meanwhile, at Arkham, where Alfred is now under the watchful eye of some psychos. (GREEEAAAATTT…)  Joker’s Daughter is keeping Batwing in a box, but he gets out and manages to get to where Deacon Blackfire is resurrecting himself, and maybe now that all of that Jason/Barbara drama is over I’ll pay attention to this plotline. I probably won’t but you know, whatever. They intercept a clue from The Riddler, which basically confirms that Hush is in control of everything.

In Stephanie land, she confronts her father and lets Batman know that people are tracking him. She’s doing some cool things and I hope that her plotline links up with the rest of the family soon. (TIM AND STEPH NOW PLEASE! THANK YOU!)

So that’s this month’s Eternal, see you next month.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Long Term Edition

I was lazy this weekend, so I decided that I’m going to do a “long term” things I’m obsessed with right now. Nothing makes this list unless it’s been an obsession for at least a year. Some of them will be longer. Some of them, are obsessions that have come back around recently. Anyway, here they are:

  • Boston Actors: My love for Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon is ceaselessly large. I love them so very much.
  • South Pacific: In Concert, a full orchestral concert version of the musical that features Reba McIntire as Nelly, Alec Baldwin as Billis and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Emil. Just try to listen to Brian Stokes Mitchell sing “This Nearly was Mine” without crying or “Some Enchanted Evening” without um, getting aroused? Seriously, it’s sexy.
  • Billy Joel “deep cut” album tracks. I’m not talking about “Say Good Bye To Hollywood.” I’m talking about “Traveling Prayer,” “Christie Lee,” “Honesty,” “The Great Wall of China,” “C’est Est Toi,” really deep stuff like that.
  • Planning vacations I will probably never take. I have more price quotes on long weekends in Vegas than, or 7 day Orlando excursions than anyone could possibly need. Ditto Caribbean cruises.
  • Tea! I started drinking tea again a few weeks ago, because I lost my voice after Comic Con. In college, when I lost 30 pounds, drinking tea all day was a big part of it. (If you want a snack, making a cup of tea still give you the “ritual” of going to the kitchen.) It’s also a lot cheaper than coffee, and better for you. Unintended consequence? I have to pee ALL THE TIME.
  • Neil Gaiman. In the past month I’ve read The Ocean At The End of The Lane, Anansi Boys, & Neverwhere. Yesterday, I blew through the first half of Stardust, and I’m loving it all over again. Probably going to pick up Sandman again soon, and read American Gods again. I will also keep trying to get my dad to read American Gods, I think he’d like it and he’s going to India in a few weeks and needs lots of stuff to read.
  • Bacon pizza. But only on brick oven pizza. I had a bacon pizza this weekend and it was amazing and I’d forgotten how perfect it is. Like, so perfect. In everyway. I’m having the left overs for lunch today and I can’t wait to eat them.

That’s actually all I’ve got. this is going to be a weird week. I’m busy getting ready for my birthday party! (YAY!) And doing the last bits of prep before hitting National Novel Writing Month. I’ve decided to go to a 3 day a week update schedule during that time so I don’t get too far behind on my word counts. But as always, if something big hits me, things will be disrupted.

 

Time To Get Personal: On Charity

This is a weird one to write for me, because usually even when I do these ones, it’s about me and my relationship to something. This is about that but it’s about something bigger. But last night as my brother and I almost got into a fight over a comment I made (this one was seriously on me. And I rarely take the credit when my brother and I fight.) I decided I should talk about this more.

I come from an exceptional family.

One where the values of our religion were taken above the dogma, although the dogma, not excluded.

One where, I actually once heard one of the more wealthy members say, “when you want to give away billions of dollars, you have to make billions of dollars.”

One where my conservative Catholic grandfather has spent 3 days a week of his well earned retirement  caring for the dying in an AIDS shelter.

I’ve lived a privileged life. But I was also taught that with privilege came an obligation to improve that world at large.

To put it in nerd terms, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

I don’t exactly have great power, but compared to most of the world, I have a good thing going. I will not ever go to bed hungry. I am incredibly well educated. I live at home rent free in an incredibly safe suburb.

To quote my new hero, Kelly Sue DeConnick, “I’m not playing the game on the easiest setting, but I’m not far down the ladder, you know?” She was talking about feminism and equality, which feature into what I’m talking about.

I want to talk about charity, about giving, about globalization.

A few years ago a friend of mine called me out for using the word, “charity,” as if it were an implicit good. She stated that charity as a value was condescending, and I cannot disagree with this more.

I really believe that if charity were taken more seriously, particularly in American society, we would all be better off. I run a charity, I’ve done it for five years, and the first time I felt challenged for it, a few months ago, I nearly lost my head. I was, luckily, at the time, too tired to actually lose it.

So last night, when I mentioned that it felt off that the media was talking about the American victims of Ebola and not the 10,000 in Africa who had already died, my brother pointed out that, immediacy causes a reaction. And also, that the doctor who has just been diagnosed in New York contracted the virus while working with patients in Africa who had/have Ebola. Of course, my psyche does not allow for my brother to have a point while he’s in my presence, so I had to fight him about it. (It’s one of the main reasons that we really shouldn’t live together. Like at all.)

But I was raised to think globally and act locally. It’s why cultural feminism always spoke to me, why conservatism always spoke to me. If you let people, give people the resources to take care of themselves, of their neighbors, they will. I believe that, somewhere in me, I believe that.

But them I look at the world. I look at Ferguson, Missouri, I look at the images of the NYPD, men and women I idolized as heroes my whole life, beating people, I look at a woman as harmless and unradical as Felicia Day, who always played the game by the fanboy’s rules, if only because the rules worked for her (I have no doubt that the minute they didn’t she would step up, and she did) getting harassed by Gamer Gaters, and I worry.

But then I remember that the minute I called my best friend and asked her to give away money we could have been pocketing to help the people of Haiti rebuild their country, she said yes without a thought. I remember that my grandfather’s cousin, who is an honored member of a deeply ingrained hierarchy and could have shut himself away years ago, is spending his 80’s pleading for the freedom of Christians in the Middle East and China. I think of other friends who spent precious social and career building years help the less fortunate through the Jesuit Volunteer Corp.

I was raised to believe that you have to give. Not to get, although what you do get is immeasurable. I was raised to believe that when you have more than you need, you have to give back. The world doesn’t work otherwise. The world will never work otherwise.

Give what you can. Catholicism has a thing that other people should adopt too. It’s called Stewardship. You are a steward of your time, talent and treasure, and you owe those things to God, if that’s what you believe, or to the world, if that makes it easier. I have time and talent, not much treasure. So I give those things back. I produce a musical and give it’s proceeds to people who need it more than I every year. That’s what I can give.

My grandpa, who I cannot speak enough of, spends his days working with AIDS patients. Just because it was something he could do.

I proud to come from this legacy. Really, really proud.

No Strings, Just Chills

So, are we going to talk about the big robotic elephant in the room?

Obviously, we have to talk about the fact that the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was released to the internet because of leaking last night.

The office blamed the leak on Hydra, which is cute.

But the trailer itself, is kind of amazing. We see all of the Avengers in action, we see, what I can only assume is Ultron’s birth and hear James Spader’s creepy voice narrating what he plans to do, and why he hates the Avengers or at least I think that’s what’s going on there.

There’s Hulk buster armor, and broody shots of the Chrises (2 out of 3, at least.) and Ruffalo looking pained, and ballerinas, for some reason. (Probably because Joss likes ballet) but the line that stuck with me came from, no surprise, Tony Stark.

As everyone stand around, probably making some sort of plan, Tony says, “I guess this is the end of the path that I set us on.”

This line is hugely symbolic, I think of, well, The MCU as it exists.

“The path I set us down,” is the original MCU ethos, characters over ideas, taking the characters seriously, basing them in some form of reality, having rules and 10 year plans, and phase 1.

Those days are gone. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Guardians of The Galaxy shattered those plans. The MCU is much, much, bigger, more important than anyone could have possibly anticipated. It’s not about reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s career, and creating something special anymore. The special has been created. The star is born, we’re through the looking glass.

“There are no strings on me.” Ultron says. I feel like there’s something to that line too, but I don’t have time to get into it.