Violence in Living Color

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love a good horror show, but only the ones that take place on the Silver Screen. Y’know, the kind that involves actors and Hollywood-types getting paid a lot of money to be drenched in heavy FX. The kind that goes well with popcorn and peanut M&Ms. The kind that you can fast-forward, turn off, or walk out of if it gets too intense. The horror show that is far removed from daily life.

Every day we are waking up to new violence and bloodshed in the news, both at home and abroad. When has fighting fire with fire ever worked outside the cinema? Violent retaliation does not open the doors to civil dialogue and positive change; instead, violence and murder only alienate those who are sympathetic to your cause and force them to recoil in horror. Please, stop the violence.

Tarantino

When the Spooky Isn’t

Eric’s post about paranormal encounters over’t MakeItUltra™ has inspired me to share my own thoughts about “strange happenings.” When I was very young I would sometimes see and hear things that the grown-ups around me didn’t seem to catch, and when I questioned them, I was routinely patted on the head and told that I had an [overly] active imagination.  Those dismissive attitudes encouraged me to seek answers on my own. Thus began my interest in the paranormal and the strange and inexplicable in general.

I was taught by sincere Pentecostal types that anything “otherworldly” was to absolutely be feared and avoided as being “of the Devil” but was confused when my own experiences didn’t fit that bill. What about the times when something inexplicable showed up that didn’t make my skin crawl at all? When “a presence” was comforting or empowering?

In the fourth grade I finally, sheepishly admitted to a beloved teacher that I’d seen “a white spirit” when I was alone at home. The look of horror on her face and her stern warning to ignore it and let it pass (make it go away, I think were her exact words) convinced me that even trusted adults thought me a liar … or worse yet, crazy.

In college, I stumbled across a book by Billy Graham entitled Angels: God’s Secret Agents and it opened a whole new world of wonderful, biblical, possible explanations for the experiences I’d had. Surely good God-fearin’ folk wouldn’t argue with Billy Graham! I knew and trusted that I had at least one guardian in the cosmos.

When my spice and I began our conversion to the Catholic Church, I began studying her take on the angels and saints, and more importantly to me, their intercession and guidance in our daily lives … and my mind was blown.

Angel of the Waters (Bethesda Fountain) in Central Park by Israel Guevara C.

Angel of the Waters in Central Park by Israel Guevara C.

 

 Have you had strange encounters? Please share iffin’ you’re of a mind to.

Light a Light

My intended blog for today is now on the back burner, in light of the events of what happened overnight in our neighboring town of Dallas. Still too numb to know what to say, I’m sharing my sweetest Kat’s post here in this week’s ***Fierce Female Reblog***

Peregrinations

I sat down to write this morning, and like I do I decided to check social media first. (Because nothing says “getting into the right frame of mind for making up stories” like “fiddling around on Facebook for half an hour.”) And my body grew numb with horror and sorrow, and my tea got cold at my elbow, and when I closed my browser I stared at the document open on my laptop and thought, What even is the point?

Check the news, a friend messaged me, and try not to cry.

I didn’t try. I read about police officers being shot in Dallas, about a man being killed in St Paul, another in Baton Rouge, and I wept. These are human beings, each unique and valuable and beloved, and they are dead. Who would not weep, at the shattering of these worlds?

And what good does it do…

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Feast on This Friday: Fears & Phobias

Coincidentally, I have a phobia of popup books

Coincidentally, I have a fear of pop-up books.

 

Fears. We all have ’em. Some of them are just practical nuisances but other can be completely life-altering. When I use the term “nuisances,” I mean not being able to fall asleep until your feet are properly tucked under the covers, far from the prying hands of the mucussy goblins that live under your bed. Having a fear of heights and being uncomfortable in a tall building is one thing. Having a serious case of acrophobia that keeps a person from accepting an important career opportunity is another.

My spice once pointed out that I have more phobias than anyone he knows, like on par with Woody Allen. I didn’t agree until I had to use my second hand to continue counting ’em.

To my knowledge, my first serious fear stems from the fact that I saw a particular movie by Steven Spielberg when I was only three years old. Yes, I’ve been aquaphobic since I was three. But it isn’t just water that makes my skin crawl, it’s certain types of agua and what might be in them. My aquatic phobias include thalassophobia which is fear of open waters like the ocean, bathophobia (“deep waters”), and hydroskourophobia, which includes “deep, dark waters,” and even limnophobia, a fear of lakes. In my case this also includes selachophobia (fear of evil creatures I won’t name) and megalophobia (which includes any big things you may see in the water, and especially things that can stare back at you).

Some of my phobias, like my selachophobia is very real. C’mon, people say, that isn’t a realistic fear; it’s not like you live in on the ocean. Trust me, my fear of not-so g-r-e-a-t [color] s-h-_-_-  … y’know, is pretty severe. Even just seein’ a picture of the evil, dead-eyed bastards scares the hell outta me, causes me to jump or scream (or cuss), sometimes throws my heart into arrhythmia, elevates my blood pressure, and makes my palms sweat, and my mouth dry. We’re talkin’ serious dread here. My family isn’t even allowed to say the word out loud. At the Home Clan Allen Builds, the creatures are surely demons that shall not be named. Some of my closest friends (including my spice, the jerk) take a perverse pleasure in trying to desensitize me of this particular fear. They especially enjoy posting pictures of the monsters on my Facebook page. Haha. For those who’re counting, that’s six phobias so far.

I also fear closed-in spaces (claustrophobia), being trapped (agoraphobia), heights (acrophobia), flying (aviophobia), clowns (coulrophobia), bridges (gephyrophobia), and dentists (dentophobia). That’s thirteen. Thirteen things that cause visceral responses from my nervous system whenever I confront them. Thank goodness I’m not triskaidekaphobic.

What makes your skin crawl, takes your breath away, or causes you serious anxiety? Please share in the comments below. Sometimes it’s nice to know that we’re not alone. 

You’re a Daisy if You Do

 

For as long as I can remember, daisies have always been my favorite flowers. Symbols of love, purity, and innocence, they’re such sweet, homey, and cheerful flowers. Daisies always bring me sweet memories of my childhood. They remind me of the whimsical little effeuiller la marguerite [pluck the daisy] game that I used to play — only my translation was “He loves me, he loves me lots” so I would always have a happy outcome. Daisies also remind me of the song, “Daisy Bell” that my grandmother sang to me when I was a little girl.

daisy darling

 

When we were dating, my future spice was impressed and pleased to learn that Shasta daisies were my favorite because, as he said, “They’re cheap.” He’s such a romantic. Actually, he is … he surprised me with an arrangement of daisies on our wedding day to serve as my wedding bouquet.

wedding 1993

July 6, 1993

Of course, as a self-proclaimed cinephile, I’m always pleasantly surprised by daisy references in cinema, especially obscure ones. I only have a few references that I know of which I’ll share here.  If you know of any others, please share them with me in the comments below.

Movies with Daisy(ies) in the title:

Daisy Kenyon (1947)

Pull My Daisy (1959 short film)

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)

Daisies (Sedmikrásky original title, 1966)

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Daisy (Deiji, original title 2006)

 

Joan Crawford in Daisy Kenyon

Joan Crawford in Daisy Kenyon

 

daisies

Still from the Czech cult classic Sedmikrasky

doris-day,-david-niven,-baby-gellert,-charles-herbert,-stanley-livingston,-and-flip-mark-in-please-dont-eat-the-daisies-(1960)-large-picture

Publicity still from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

Bonus Daisy Trivia:

buster-keaton

My favorite photo of early-Hollywood icon Buster Keaton.

 

Val Kilmer’s character Doc Holliday uses the line “You’re a daisy if you do” in the 1993 film Tombstone. Kilmer’s incredible performance, coupled with shrewd dialogue consisting mostly of witty one-liners, gave the archaic phrase a solid come-back for modern audiences.

 

post-59013-Tombstone-youre-a-daisy-if-you-ULk1

Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, witnessed John L. Kelly’s vocoder synthesizer recreate the song “Daisy Bell: Bicycle Built for Two,” using an IBM 704 computer in 1962. Inspired by this spectacular event, Clarke later created a similar event in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Clarke’s fictitious HAL9000 computer sings a haunting rendition of “Daisy Bell” as he is disassembled by astronaut Dave Bowman.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is my favorite modern flower child. She has been quoted as confirming that she loves all kinds of flowers but that daisies are indeed her favorite.