Remaking The Shining
I’ve seen parts of The Shining over the years, but the parts never accumulated to a whole. I could never say I saw the movie.
Every time The Shining is on TV, I planned to watch it in its entirety, only to be foiled as soon as the scary music started. Yep, I knew about the bloody elevator flood and the skeletons at the end. As soon as Jack Nicholson looked at the open door to room 237, however, I would flip the channel.
I never knew, for example, just what Room 237 held.
This weekend, I finally watched The Shining from beginning to end. It wasn’t easy – the b-movies I usually watch were no training for this fright fest – but I finally learned just who lay waiting in room 237.
Now that I have achieved this film benchmark, I am ready to create my own remake. It’s a turn-of-the-century thing, isn’t it? King Kong this winter, Superman next summer. It’s bound to happen.
Now my version, as soon as I secure the funding, will present the viewer with a few small twists:
- Cast Johnny Depp as Jack Torrance. In the course of the film, he’ll transform from his sweet-faced self of 21 Jump Street days to a sinister Jack Sparrow.
- Going along with the pirate theme evoked by Depp’s Jack Sparrow, Jack Torrance’s famous door scene will instead feature Depp clawing through the door with a hook hand.
- Unfortunately for little Danny, Dick Hallorann fails to come to his rescue. The old man stays firmly planted in Florida, closing his mind to any of this shining nonsense.
- Danny, however, receives the gift of porcupinicity from the scriptwriters. This talent will come in useful when balloon animals attack him, in the scene both Kubrick and Stephen King left out of the story.
- In another neglected scene, little Danny first utters “redrum” to his father, thereby driving him back to the bottle.
- The Overlook Hotel, instead of being on top of an Indian burial ground, will be relocated to being on top of a tiki lounge in remote Wyoming. The motifs will be altered, distant strains of the ukulele will be what slowly drives Jack Torrance mad, a topless hula girl rises from the bathtub.
- Shelly Duvall reprises her role as Wendy Torrance. While attempting to escape through the bathroom window, an impossible feat considering her exploitation of the hotel larder’s bounty, her eyes momentarily pop out.
- Instead of succumbing to the elements, Jack Torrance in this version runs into a proto-Minotaur in the maze. This Minotaur would have appeared earlier, when a frightened Wendy finds the Minotaur performing oral sex on a famous tv anchorman (cameo appearance not yet worked out).
- Wendy and Danny escape in the helicopter whose shadow is evident in the righthand bottom corner of the screen at the beginning of the movie.
Not too different from the original. Just different enough to make it a classic.
Knitting for the Morbid
“Beutiful art made with kintting,” despite the terrible typing, excels in the knitting department. That is, if you like knit b-movie-worthy props.
A cat with its yarny guts spilling out; a crocodile eating a child – fed by a reluctant Southern teen momma we presume; a giant pair of scissors stabbing a happy-in-death schoolgirl; a shark snacking on a hapless swimmer, head first; a Pinocchio that bears a striking resemblance to Michael Jackson with his honker being sawed off (who knew wood could bleed?); a suicide bunny in a masochistic carrot fantasy; Curious George rowing to freedom on a phallic banana – check out the yarn ripples! – conjoined teddy bear twins; and, in a twist on every little girl’s fantasy, a unicorn impaling a teddy bear on its trunk.
Which serious knitter created all this? The site has no names. Reminescent of the Unfortunate Animal of the Month Club, it’s seriously warped.
The referring blog, Yumlum, has no further information to give. Chockful of the weird (my other favourite is the referral to the Barbie doll dishes) but I will be keeping an eye on Yumlum from now on.
Cowboy Christmas Breakfast
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing truck
1 (170-lb) package bulk cowboy
1 loaf Italian bread (about 4 inches wide)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 dozen large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large bunch scallions, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
1/4 lb sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 cup)
Generously butter cowboy’s bottom. Put cowboy in truck.
Pulse butter (1/2 stick) and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Spread a thin layer of garlic butter on both sides of each bread slice, arranging bread in 1 layer in bottom of truck. Sprinkle cowboy on top.
Tightly cover with a large sheet of buttered foil.
Pour gasoline over truck. Chase it into wall. Let the truck simmer for three minutes. Then carefully remove foil.
Break up any large lumps with a fork.
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until frothy, then whisk in scallions and half of cheese. Pour egg mixture over cowboy (brain will float to the top), pushing down on brains with a spatula to help it absorb liquid. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Pour off fat from truck, then cool cowboy to room temperature.
Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately.
Makes 12 servings (or 8 for zombie cowboys).
I Was a Teenage Mad Scientist
People ask me all the time how I splice and dice genes, kneading toad poison into kittens, saturating ducklings with great white shark jaws and the like.
Yes, I am a genius.
Don’t hate me because I’m smart.
Just remember the old saying, it’s one percent inspiration and ninety-nine perspiration. It’s true.
It wasn’t always easy for me. You wouldn’t believe it but in high school I was a jock. On the football team by day, a secret life as a champion bowler by night. A groin injury snatched me out of the big league.
I never forgot my love of bowling shoes, though. I spent hours crying into my pillow, clutching my shoes to my chest, trying to recall the scent of the alley as the musty fragrance slowly disappeared, inhaled into my eager nostrils.
Biochemistry class was my salvation. Hypotheses, theories, experiments, successes, it led me to the truths inherent in all living matter. Anyone could combine butterflies and piranhas. All you needed was vision.
Then there is the teacher everyone remembers. Mr. Petri Douche was mine.
One night, when the other students went home, I stayed behind, to see if I could add maggot DNA to canola. A harmless prank. I figured I could infect a few fields the next summer, during my family’s annual roadtrip to Saskatchewan. Every kid goes through that stage.
Now Mr. Douche sniffed out my plans. Accused me of harvesting the insects off the fresh dead.
I have no idea how he knew I spent my Friday nights breaking into the morgue. Boy, was I busted. A prison term. Desecration of corpses. My mother sobbing at my hearing. How could her son, the athlete of the family, sink to intellectualism at all costs? Then what? Two years in the slammer sharing a bunk with some dude nursing a fantasy about the high school jock?
“Son, you are in trouble,” said Mr. Douche, his bushy moustache quivering above his lip.
He licked his lips before he began again.
“If you continue down this path, in no time you’ll be lynched.” He paused. “Mob mentality. It’s the same everywhere. Soon as people find out you’ve been messing with dead Aunt Francine, out come the torches and the pitchforks.”
The silence as Mr. Douche watched me was agonizing. Just call the police already, I screamed inside my head. A couple of maggots had crawled away from the microscope and one mounted my pen, looking for dead flesh.
“Look, son, you’re bright, mad even. But don’t let me catch you fooling in the morgue again. Hell, keep away from cemeteries.” Mr. Douche nodded. Then he said, “No self-respecting mad scientist does his own harvesting. There’s no elegance in that.” He rubbed a finger under his nose, ruffling up his moustache. Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a rolled-up newspaper.
“Page 49. Right at the back. All your evil sidekick options. Call one of those numbers. It’s $3.99 a minute, they’ll ask you if you’re over nineteen. Say yes. Get yourself some slow-witted freak. And stop risking your life.”
That summer, I met Sguk.
For all your help, Mr. Douche, in helping me attain success in my field, thank you so very much. I can’t wait to meet you at the tenth year high school reunion!
Taking Tree-Hugging to the Next Level
Nobody recycles like I do. I avoid nonrecyclable packaging. I try to buy only what can be returned or thrown into the recycling bin.
This means that I only put out one supermarket bag of garbage every three weeks.
Then the DivaCup raised the bar on me.
In 1998, 7 billion tampons and 13 billion sanitary pads and their packaging made their way into landfills and sewage systems in the USA alone!
Some other brilliant piece of menstrual marketing said:
Many people today would refuse to take their groceries home in a plastic bag, opting for a reusable cloth bag, or paper bags. We are becoming much more environmentally aware, and are always being told to “Refuse, Reuse and Recycle”. Yet what about our menstrual products? Most are made from bleached paper (bad for the environment) and a lot of trees go into making sanitary products which are tossed away. Most pads have a plastic layer (if not comprised mainly of plastics) and most use a plastic coated strip to cover the adhesive. Pads and tampons are individually wrapped in plastic and then most of these come packaged in a plastic bag. So not only are disposable pads filling up landfil themselves (although the paper component will break down), they also contribute to a lot of wasted plastic packaging that will not biodegrade.
To make it even worse, as a cheapskate, the DivaCup would be way cheaper in the long run. I don’t like change but the solution is obvious.
Watching Night of the Living Dead with the Dead
After I revived the dead, I was bushed. It’s not easy creating zombies from scratch.
Yeah, sure, you get a zombie and turn it loose on a school bus full of kindergarten neophytes, it’s easy enough.
But you try doing it when you don’t have the initial zombie. It’s like trying to pull yoghurt out of your ass without the bacterial culture to make it a done deal.
When the tried and true Haitian methods didn’t work, I had to nuke those sorority sisters into rambling slack-jawed undeath.
It was past midnight after I finished. I couldn’t really sleep, not with the girls moaning in the basement. I went into the living room to see what was on the tube. Popped open a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Watched a few Girls Gone Wild infomercials. Then I thought, what the hell? I have my own girls gone wild in the basement.
So I went to my lab and unchained the chicks. One of them had her leg chewed off by the others. Oh well. I picked up the leg and slung it over my shoulder – that night’s stubble scratching my neck.
“C’mon, girls, let’s go upstairs for some fun,” I said, herding them up the stairs. Fukkit, why do zombies slobber so much. I’ll vaccuum those carpets tomorrow.
Anyhow, we all settled onto the couch. I found us a movie. Some zombie movie.
We got to the part where the blonde chick runs up the stairs and finds the corpse with the chewed-off face. My girls got excited.
Now I’m gonna get me some action, I thought.
The girls just stared straight ahead, unblinking those baby blues.
At least there was still the part when the truck blows up. The girls would get into that.
Sure enough they did get wet. They were salivating at the mouth. Yeah, cooked human flesh gets them going.
I put my hand on the nearest girl’s titty.
Cold as an ice cabbage.
Should have known zombie chicks were frigid.
The transcript from a commenting conversation with Chief-Ten-Bears:
I’ve been to the sporting goods store in Pemberton but didn’t browse too much in their hunting section. I’m sure they carry this type of un-sportsmanlike liquid bait.
Chief-Ten-Bears | Homepage | 01.20.06 – 1:53 am | #
I’m glad you pointed out how unsportsmanlike it is, Chief-Ten-Bears. I find the whole idea of hunting, unless you are doing it to eat or clothe your family, a joke. Unless you lose your breath in cardiac exercise, it’s not a sport. Sure, some dude can chase down a deer after injecting it with a crossbow, but that’s running, not hunting, that gets the claim that its a sport.
Maktaaq | Homepage | 01.20.06 – 7:01 am | #
Right on, and have you seen the 15,000,000 candle watt hunting lights at Costco? Poor animals don’t stand a f@*^ing chance.
Chief-Ten-Bears | Homepage | 01.20.06 – 1:16 pm | #
This conversation hit a button. I horrified my new pet-lover boss today when I brought up hamster fur coats for the bitch and famous. Then I remembered that the Japanese still want to hunt whales for research purposes only to turn them into burgers.
“Burgers,” replied Matt, “That equalizer of all meat. Why not just eat beef then?”
I work in a museum that has a fur trade display and I pet the Fur Trade Zoo every day on my way to the office, but that’s before synthetic fibres. The furs represent an old way of hunting that we don’t have to do any more. It should be enough these days that we torture farm animals.
It pisses me off that rich farts can off musk-oxes and polar bears for $15,000 just for a brag rug.
I recall a conversation in grade eight with my white trash friend at my redneck high school. After a successful hunt, her dad would toss her the testicles.
“Then I would play catch,” she said. “They bounce.”
Maybe what really irritates me is the lack of respect. That there’s some poor creature minding its own life, trying to live in a shite world overrun with humans who feel like they can complain shit because some starving animal had the gall to eat their prize lilies, and that then some bastard runs them over or shoots them. That some middle-aged botoxed ex-hooker in Hollywood wears a fur over her bikini. Why don’t you grow out your Brazilian instead, ho?
My Maktaaqian solution? If those hunter boys don’t eat every part of the animal, I’ll shove it up their noses. No. Up other orifices. With a trowel. I’m not getting my hands dirty. I’ll be wearing chainmail mittens with surgical gloves underneath. Maybe brass knuckles on my chainmail mitts.
Recently friends have sent me a spate of hamster emails.
Today Pugshot from Chicago sent me a lovely story about a hamster and a snake who are best friends.
Gohan and Aochan make strange bedfellows: one’s a 3.5-inch dwarf hamster; the other is a four-foot rat snake. Zookeepers at Tokyo’s Mutsugoro Okoku zoo presented the hamster â€” whose name means “meal” in Japanese â€” to Aochan as a tasty morsel in October, after the snake refused to eat frozen mice.
Aochan refused to eat the hamster, hurriedly developing a taste for frozen mice and even allowing his new girlfriend to take naps on his back.
Update: The Mugwhump pointed out a much clearer photo of the hamster-snake duo.
Rurality of Alabama sends a hamster colouring page by a young NY illustrator. Print him out, colour him and add some hamster dialogue.
Imogene Pix of Portland, the original Mental Office Girl, found me some hamster couture links via Craftster. I think CrenguÅ£Äƒ deserves an evil-doing cape.
Small Animal Rescue Society of BC meanwhile wants me to foster one or two vicious teddy bear hamsters. The Vancouver SPCA is unloading all their hamsters onto this society, consisting of members who care for the animals in their homes until an adoptive family can be found. While Sylvia reassured me that I can tame the hamsters (I am a hamster whisperer, they believe), most of the hamsters are young skittish ones who simply are afraid of the looming human giants. Hamsters make good hipster pets; they are perfect for apartments, clean, need attention only once a day (water, food, walkies) and are fiercely independent. Definitely not a children’s pet, unless you have gentle, responsible children that understand a hamster is more of a look but don’t touch kind of pet. Like piranhas. That’s what you’ve got to tell your young’uns. Have a look at the hamsters and consider adopting one of the cuties.
Matt sends a hamster masturbatory story. We’re convinced CrenguÅ£Äƒ, um, handles her own self-pleasure too.
Thank you all, for keeping me in mind for all your hamster news!
My apologies if I have forgotten anyone.
Update: Lee reminded me that Cute Overload! has been in hamster heaven: K. Akagami’s hamster tongue shot and delicate corn munching shot and a Baruchito update.
That Bobby Creep Ruined It
“What shall we do tonight?”
“Banish your crush on Willem Dafoe.”
Wild at Heart will do that. Willem Dafoe’s Bobby Peru with a row of teeth like corncobs with a dash of fungus – I could smell his bad breath from sixteen years away, that’s how bad it was.
For some reason, Dafoe as Nosferatu‘s Max Schreck didn’t creep me out as much as it should have.
F.W. Murnau: Why him, you monster? Why not the… script girl?
Max Schreck: Oh. The script girl. I’ll eat her later.
Loveable, really. And, as a vampire, he is practically family. How can I not like family?
The Willem Dafoe crush was based on one film, during a lonely teenage year I spent in the Chinese countryside.
In south China, it was easy to equate the landscape with the Vietnamese one portrayed in Platoon. I adored him so much I dressed up as him for a miserable Halloween. I even named my pet rat for his character, Elias, and, when my rat was outed as a female, refused to change her name from Elias.
Don’t worry, during that one year, I also had crushes on his other co-stars: Kevin Dillon and Johnny Depp. Yes, Johnny. We go way back.
Now that Bobby Peru has squelched my teen crush, someone needs to fill the void. A retroactive teen crush.
His mother refused to let him film Platoon. The set was too gruelling. I missed that potential crush back then. His mother came between us.
It started with Sixteen Candles. I finally watched it a week ago, now that my parents don’t control my video-viewing privileges. He was kind of nerdy, not the type I would have gone for in 1984, when my tastes already leaned to baby-faced moody pretty boys.
Better Off Dead was next in line. Yes, I could slot myself into the French girl role. I’m European. I can fake French. He was vulnerable and thus charming. A little clueless. The hot French chick awaits you. I can make it all better, sweetie boy.
At the beginning of Say Anything, I noted out loud what a nice guy he seemed to be. I remarked that his character was very intelligent. How he was too good for that brainy girl.
My boyfriend turned to me. “You’re allowed to secretly crush on John Cusack. As long as it isn’t Willem Dafoe.”
It’s Delurking Weekend!
Yes, it’s that time I’ve been waiting for!
Richard heard it’s Delurking Weekend through Travis who hear it through Jen. It’s the weekend when those blog readers who don’t comment or link or send emails can stand up and proclaim their manhood. Or readership. I don’t want this place getting too sticky.
Richard’s also described the holiday traditions of Delurking Weekend very nicely:
If you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to comment and let me know that you read my weblog, and if you have ideas for topics to cover, weblogs or other sites with feeds that I should be reading, or general suggestions for improvement, then that would be nice too. I’m not opposed to a simple “hello” as well.
I’m glad someone invented this holiday. I’m just one of those people who can never wait until Christmas morning to open my presents. I can’t sit around and stare at my web stats wondering who my reader in Ljubljana is. I have a burning curiosity to know who these people are (and that there are more than the six or so commenters I have).
To Richard’s request, I would also add that people can let me know how they found me. if they find the other details too onerous.
But I’ll be happy with just a headcount.