Born Free

Whew! It’s been an exciting afternoon so far, and not usually in the way I like it.

I came home today and was greeted happily by the dog and greeted indifferently by two cats. I decided to let the dog out in the backyard since this is usually when she goes. So, as I always do, I took her to the door, grabbed the end of the tether that keeps her in the yard, hooked it on to her collar, then went to clean litter boxes.

When I was done, I went to the back door and noticed that the end of the tether was on this side of the door. I thought for a second someone had snuck in and let the dog back in, but no…no one was there. Not even a dog.

It was at this point that I realized I must have not actually hooked the tether to the dog’s collar. I somehow slipped, didn’t notice, and let her out. I started getting a visual image of Winnie bouncing through yards, tongue lolling back and forth while  “Born Free” plays in the background.

Dammit. What could I do? I looked in the backyard to make sure she wasn’t there. But of course she wasn’t because the gate separating the backyard from the rest of the world was open. She probably ran out first thing. I sighed, grabbed a leash and walked to the terminal point of the cul-de-sac. I thought maybe she might have gone where we always walk, but no. No dog. I came back sad-hearted and fearful (“Oh, man. The roommate is going to kill me with her secret ninjitsu moves!”) and planned the next course of action.

I decided I would just get in the truck and drive around really slowly hoping to catch a glimpse of an extremely happy, bouncing, black dog. I got in my truck and got to the end of the driveway when I noticed a flash of something black in my peripheral vision. I turned and there was the dog! Head bowed in submission, tail wagging, saying, “Yeah, I knew I shouldn’t have run, but I couldn’t help it! Have you been out there? Wow!” I got out of the truck with my leash and she obediently came up to me to be leashed. Adventure over.

I was annoyed with the dog but I realized that it was my fault she ran, really. And she did come back without a problem. So I figured because I appeared with the leash in hand, which always means a walk is about to commence, I decided to go ahead and walk her. It seemed the right thing to do. So we both got two walks this afternoon.

I’m tired.

Upward-Facing Dog

Upward-Facing Dog


Oculus is Calling



Oculus is at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I keep going back and forth about this movie, because it looks great and has actors I adore, but the trailer kind of reminds me of The Ring. And that movie gave me PTSD.

I’m not kidding. For months afterward if I saw a hint of static on a television, a wooden chair in the middle of a room, or an oval mirror I’d get triggered. That movie tore me apart. No other horror movie has affected me like that since. (Silent Hill has come the closest, but I was able to shake that off pretty quickly.)

It took me a long time to figure out why the movie grabbed my inner child in its teeth, shook it, and left it a bloody mess. You see, it’s pretty. Its trailer made me believe it was some artistic, surreal film. So I was eager to see it. So eager that I went on opening night. I went into it with my mind completely open to whatever imagery it would show me. And then my mind ran into its knife. My mind ran into its knife ten times. It was gripping. It had a wonderful supernatural mystery that unfolded slowly and made me want to know more. And then, it ended in a standard ghost story kind of way. And then it didn’t. Because “You weren’t supposed to help her! She never sleeps!”

The movie does not end. There’s no resolution. No way to kill the monster. No way to even slow it down. All you can do is pass on the curse. So, in my mind, my incredibly tender and open susceptible-to-the-slightest-bit-of-imagery mind, the movie never stopped running. I couldn’t get away from it because it never ended.

And it didn’t help that after seven days of torture, after I tried to convince my mind it was over, on the morning of the eighth day I turned on my TV and saw static. And it wouldn’t go away.

Total. Freak out. Moment.

I eventually realized that the coaxial cable connecting it the TV to Time Warner had mysteriously disconnected itself from the wall. To this day I have no idea how it happened. I think one of my cats was a sadistic bastard.

In the months to come, I researched as much as I could about the story of the movie (except not too much because I kept getting flashbacks). I couldn’t stop because I had to find an ending. I eventually found one using “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” You put Samara in the Buffyverse, and she gets dispatched easily by the Scoobies in less than an hour. This one small thing, this little bit of crossover fanfic in my head actually put my mind at ease and allowed me to start watching videotapes again.

Based on this, I am so lucky that the Necronomicon is just fiction. Because I can’t stop looking into the abyss. Not only would I be obsessed in hunting down that infernal book, I would easily be driven mad by its contents and might actually summon an elder god or two.

So anyway, _Oculus_ looks great, and dark, and enticing, and I fear it’ll rip me to shreds. But I must see it. I can’t not. I need to be seduced into its darkness. I need to know what’s there.

It’s coming out next week. I’ll let you guys know what I think. Assuming I stay sane.


Wow! I’m feeling rather pumped up right now! I might even say I’m feeling Dauntless. Why? Because I just saw Divergent. Great movie. Go see it.

The premise is that a future society is split into five castes: Ventrue, Klingon, Ravenclaw, Indigo Tribe, and the Monks. Or something like that. And if you fit into none, you’re factionless (and homeless, and hopeless, etc.). If you fit into more than one, you’re divergent, and you need to be killed because you won’t conform.

Now, I imagine that one of the fan reactions to this story would be to wonder what faction you belong to. I’m sure there are some quizzes hanging around somewhere to determine exactly that. Though, really, I think pretty much anyone reading this would be divergent. The people of this story are the survivors of a war where apparently much of the human race has been slaughtered. (We don’t really know, though. Like in 1984, there’s no information coming in about what happens in the rest of the world. Perhaps there’s more in the book.) So they presumably have had generations of selective breeding where divergents have been culled leaving a very uniform society. So I imagine any one of us taking that test would be killed soon after.

Those of you who’ve read the book/seen the movie, what do you think?