Monday, October 20, 2014

Spoooooooooky

Scott pointed out the month mark yesterday, too. I think I'm gonna be able to do more blog, less facebook. I am trying to get back to being smarter, which for me personally means less social media and less TV. First big step: canceled Netflix streaming and went to one movie at-a-time. I figure not always having a movie will force me to read more so I can increase my attention span. Yesterday I managed to watch an arty French film and enjoy it very much. It's Summer Hours starring La Binoche. It's kind of a nothing-much-happens movie, but I like those. A running theme is the importance and power of beautiful objects and art, which was a running theme in The Goldfinch too (a book I am kind of meh on). At the risk of sounding shallow I stand behind this idea because I think what you surround yourself with greatly influences your state of mind and our objects can stand the test of time when we are dust. Getting deep I guess. This getting smart plan is just what works for me, I'm not saying others need to follow. I think if my job was super stressful I would definitely need that veg-out time and I know HBO has stuff I would probably love.

Halloween approacheth and I'm excited this year because Verge is having a party on the actual day. Finally something to do! Actually, I went to a super fun party last year so I am on a roll. I thought I'd post trailers to some creepy favorites. Parents I loved in the early '90s and watched many times but I just remembered it today for the first time in many years:

The Stepfather is a classic! A family and all that crap!Starring Locke! Here's a cult one that Netflix has. Demonic children! Changeling=scary The Haunting is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen and the book by Shirley Jackson is one of the scariest I've ever read. It ranks up there with Turn Of The Screw, Pet Cemetary,and the Shining Oh god Cujo is majorly traumatizing. Spoiler=in the book the kid dies!! This is going to the top of my queue right now. Stephen King is pretty awesome for teens. I'm pretty sure I've posted about Smooth Talk before. Underrated! Should be a cult classic and the Joyce Carol Oates story is scary too. Thanks for the impetus for this spooooooky post!

26 comments:

Liv Moe said...

The Haunting is so good. I should watch it again soon.

I'm putting off reading The Goldfinch but in the meantime The Secret History is rocking my world. I've had a hard time putting it down. I was about to buy the Goldfinch this summer because everyone was raving about it and then I read an article in the Times Book Review saying the Goldfinch was okay but didn't compare to the Secret History. Now I'm curious as to both what you would think of the Secret History and how the Goldfinch is. I'll probably read it.

As an aside I bought The Secret History at the Last Bookstore in LA from Teddy Briggs who also loved it and more importantly said it had the Bill Senecal two thumbs up seal of approval.

Wow, that was a really meandering Donna Tartt anecdote.

beckler said...

I'll check to see if I kept the goldfinch. Can't remember.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Should I be Measure L for Halloween? Is that scary enough?

NM

Stephen Glass said...

Well, I was gonna give you my HBOGO password until you said you were meh on "The Goldfinch."

Stephen Glass said...

But god, "Parents" is brilliant.

beckler said...

I don't like big sprawling novels. It took me too long to read and I kept losing track of who was who. But now that I am smart again maybe I can do better. On that note my extremely smart husband is reading dickens! I thought that automatically happened to you on your 65th birthday. Like you got your AARP card inside a copy of Bleak House. Hopefully he has stopped checking heckasac and won't read that because I know he is going to zing me good.

Scott Miller said...

My extreme intellect aside, I'll say patience more than smarts is what it takes for Dickens. Let's just say he's not exactly Nabokov. Do they still make kids read Dickens in like, middle school? It's truly cruel if so. "Here's a bunch of super long sentences criticizing some ancient court practice". All I know is I was handed Oliver Twist in 8th grade & I believe I busted out my first documented finger-wag.

gee whz said...

Which Dickens? I am Dickens crazy. He is not difficult just wordy with lots of characters. Some of them hilarious. It's all covered in soot. I always imagine that Olive would love living in Dicken's London, seems like a good place to be a dirty dog.

I loved The Secret History, I am barely getting through The Goldfinch.

Bill Senecal gives The Secret History 2 thumbs up, The Goldfinch a unenthusiastic one thumb up and My Little Friend no thumbs up. Also I learned this weekend that Donna Tartt spent a lot of time in Sac in the late 80s.
Gbomb

Scott Miller said...

Bleak House. Saying it always gets "Brick House" stuck in my head.

Stephen Glass said...

Pretty soon you guys will be going to Dickens faires. Big, sprawling ones with lots of people in attendance. Sometimes more than you can keep track of.

Beth said...

Gbomb, let's start a Dickens book club. I hated Dickens until fairly late in life (I was an English major and failed to read any of the Dickens I was ever assigned), but Bleak House is on my all-time favorite list now.

I hate Donna Tartt, though.

beckler said...

WE CAN'T LET DONNA TARTT AND DICKENS TEAR THIS BLOG APART!!!

Scott Miller said...

I think Dickens would approve of the last name "Tartt".

Darin said...

I had a high school English teacher who assigned Dickens because he had to, but he hated him. "He got paid by the word, and it shows." "It's just 19th century soap operas."
I don't mind some Dickens now & then, and he definitely created some memorable characters, but it can be more pulp-y & soap-y than most other "great" literature. It does hold together fairly well for serialized writing.

Caroline said...

I LOVE Dickens. Suck it, haters.

Stephen Glass said...

I love Dickens AND Tartt. And I think each of them would be okay with that.

Anonymous said...

I've been on a Dicken's kick (Kickens?) too. Sadly, it's all pretty much downhill after Bleak House, although I've heard Nicholas Nickleby is considered the funniest novel in the English language by some. Right now I'm reading The Skin and it's the most fucked-up book ever.

-- Patrone

Anonymous said...

B, you turned me onto "Smooth Talk" a few years ago and it is sooooooo fucking good and scary. I have to rewatch that.

As a mom of a middle schooler, I can report that most CA schools no longer make that age group read Dickens. I have mixed feelings about this, because I love the shit out of "Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations."

I do not have mixed emotions about Donna Tartt. I read "Secret History" and was floored. I read "Little Friend" and wanted to personally ask her for my money and time back. I started reading "Goldfinch" and returned it to the woman who enthusiastically recommended it with the promise that she read "a real book" and "not recommend shit" to her friends anymore.


DKK

Anonymous said...

I finally read David Copperfield this year. Not my favorite, but I am a Dickens fan. And a Tartt fan, though I will agree that the Goldfinch wasn't maybe as good as Secret History, I thought it was still very moving.
Just started reading the series the TV show Bones is based on. The first book is largely based in Montreal, during the time I briefly lived there, and the main character has a white cat named Birdie. Spooky.
Jamattack!

beckler said...

you guys are cracking me up with the Dickens jokes. Never thought I'd write that sentence. I'm glad they're not teaching it anymore! How are junior high students supposed to relate to Miss Haversham?

Liv Moe said...

Thanks friends. Given the fact that The Goldfinch is like 2,000 pages long you've just saved me a lot of time. Now I'm gonna move on to the next book in my cue.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas Nickelby is the funniest? I haven't read that one. I was thinking about reading Pickwick next.

Also Davey is having a party where we watch all 32 hours of the BBC "Bleak House" in a row. OK, he isn't.

gbomb

beckler said...

Davey would do that if we could hold it at Oscar's

Cody S. said...

I would only go if he held it at Oscar's.

DaveNinja said...

hosted by Oscars! one order of carne asada fries should be enough for 10 people for 24 hours.

I had to read Great Expectations in high school and hated it with the fury of a thousand suns. I hated the book so much that I have never read any other Dickens nor have i seen the movie Scrooged since its Dickens related.

Anonymous said...

Pickwick Papers is rad.

JD