Monday, December 29, 2008

Don't you Love the Holidays?

Oh, the Holidays! I don't care much for the winter breaks since I feel more tired coming back to my responsibilities than when I left. Plus, I had to spend time with a certain cretin, my brother. If both of us were in the same breathing range, it was like putting two fire fish in the same bowl. We're opposites in almost every way: I'm pretty conservative, he lives in San Francisco. Go figure. I really don't know why my Mum insists on us being at home at the same time. I stayed out of the house as much as I could wandering around my hometown haunts or barricading myself with movies and shows. I couldn't watch any films though without being bombarded with a smart ass or technical answer to every scene. My brother is a film nut but in the most obnoxious sense. I had a few emergencies that popped up that kept me away from my friends sadly but luckily everything turned out okay.

I'm back in the relative peace and quiet of Orange County. I almost want the winter quarter to start; keyword: almost. I'm not bored yet. I've been able to go browse around the shops and do whatever I feel like. The weather has been nice and cold for scarves and combat boots. In So Cal its hard to get into the winter spirit. I feel out of place if I show up with a fedora and boots and some people are still walking around in flip-flops.

I have been horrible on watching horror movies! I only re-watched "The Orphanage" and that's it. I did get another 50 movie pack this time with more films of Barbara Steele and Christopher Lee. Steele has such an exotic look. My favorite actresses are the ones who don't fit the usual sense of beautiful. Grayson Hall and Juliet Landau are a couple more examples. I'll slowly go through those movies and recommend the best.

Hmmm... I'm still on a Tony Head trip. I'll be picking up the second season of "Little Britain" tonight hopefully. I did get to watch "Little Britain Live" and just loved the daring of Lucas and Walliams. Would you go on stage and do a "buffalo Bill" dance as in "Silence of the Lambs?" I sat there with my jaw in my lap. Walliams, I guess, is comfortable in his skin. "Repo!" will be out on DVD on January 20th! I can't wait! I'm a sucker for the special features and I'd love to see all the behind the scenes stuff. And its a kick ass movie that everyone should see... even though Paris Hilton is in it and still getting more recognition than the stars... I'm not bitter...

So at Comic Con this year, I sat in on the "Doll House" panel with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku. The show sounds really good, but after hearing about the re-shoots and little conflicts, I don't think it'll survive. Stick with Dr. Horrible, Joss, and contemplate a new "Buffy" movie or "Ripper" spin off. Let's all face it, Joss is a cool nerd, but that isn't enough if the writing is weak. PS. Stay away from FOX! Why in hell did you go back to them? They are almost as bad as NBC. The only show FOX has kept alive is "The Simpsons" and even they have started lacking in the laughs. I'll go and dodge all the hate mail the "Simpsons" fans are going to throw at me.

Anyway, I hope everyone out there has had a good Christmas, Holiday, Solstice, or whatever you celebrate, and have an awesome New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Television: Not so Dead as I thought.

It's been a while since I've written anything on here so I plan to make it up this weekend. I watched a couple of movies, one good, one so horrible it made me question Christopher Lee's sanity for a moment. I've been doing a lot of reading, finally finding the next Vampire Hunter D novel and slowly reading my way through several analogies (one by the notable David J. Skal if you like vampire fiction). It's been a busy but good week.

Television is my least favorite media. Wait, no. Let me rephrase. I hate t.v. Mostly everything on basic, satellite, whatever, is trash. The writing sucks and the acting is horrible. Sitcoms have been dead for years but we have millions of people watching "Desperate Housewives" or "CSI: Nowhere." Don't get me started on how wrong CSI is since it will be a part of my chosen profession. "Heroes" had potential I thought, but after one episode it was just not worth my time. "Lost" is worst. I almost got jumped for saying that its one of the most boring shows out there. I wouldn't complain about them if people loved them for how bad they were. That I can fully understand since I love movies which are so bad, they aren't even worthy of a B rating. I have a beef with people trying to pass them off as great works which should win every award under the sun. Ugh.

I do have some hope though. I've been tuning into a ton of BBC stuff and loving it. Yeah, the only reason I started watching "Merlin" was for Tony Head, but then I started watching the other actors and how the stories are brilliant and following Arthinian legend more closely than any other series I've seen in a long time. John Hurt narrates the series and also supplies the voice of the Dragon. Just last night I could not help but laugh at one of the plot twists because it was so perfectly executed! Can't you see the irony of a prince helping out a young boy and then only finds out the boy's name at the end; the audience alone knows that the boy grows up to be the prince's murderer? I love it when shows throw in teasers of what is to come, maybe whole seasons away. I'm a sucker for legends and mythology so seeing it played out with these hints just had me cheering. If you don't have satellite or can't order the channel its on, don't worry. It's suppose to be showing sometime early 2009 (not so far away now) on NBC. I'm only hoping they don't give it a shitty time slot.

So that is it for Television. Seriously, I don't have the time to watch so I'm literally just seeing what my favorite actors are doing and branching out from there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer

Not too shabby an ending to a good show. It took me about a month and a half to get through all seven seasons (I primarily watched it in the wee hours of the morning). I liked it though. Not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy Joss Whedon's take on vampires and demons. Vampires are suppose to be creatures of evil and loathing. They are suppose to embody vices humans crave but which are ultimately our damnation (immortality, the taking of lives to live). I know from watching interviews and reading transcripts, Whedon liked "The X Files" and it had an XF vibe to it. It was like watching XF for older teens.

With its tendency to not take itself seriously, the show had a weird nostalgic feel of "Kolchak." Anyone else (if you know what "Kolchak" was) know what I'm talking about? Darin McGavin was a really serious actor (Lara Parker once commented he was "difficult") but he didn't take the show seriously. And it worked! It works here perfectly, too, with BtVS, as fans supposedly abbreviate it.

I probably, most likely, will get the comics and check out "season 8." It was a fun series and it'll be interesting to see if anything else comes of it. Maybe the "Ripper" spin-off BBC has been flip-flopping over?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some Movie Tidbits

I just saw some of the new teaser trailers they have out for Dragonball: Evoluntion (formerly only Dragonball). Now, I was really, supper iffy about this movie since I heard about its conception a decade ago. Seriously, it has been over a decade that this movie has been trying to get to the silver screen. I ran home to watch Dragonball, DBZ, and some of DB GT when it was on Cartoon Network in middle school and watched the episodes in spanish over the weekend. [It was great hearing Gohan, "Senor Piccolo! Donde esta su planeta y mi padre?"] No one could be as much as a badass as Goku and Vegeta (who is not in this film). When I saw the teaser photos, I rejected any possibility that this movie would last a week in the theaters. It looked horrible. The first trailer that leaked online looked bad, also.

This new one may have potential. The film is still going to not do well by any standards because it doesn't capture a large audience. The only thing that would save it would be word of mouth and just kids (old and young) who remember following along the stories and watching the anime movies. In the new teaser trailer, we get glimpses of fight scenes that look like they can entertain. I think I may have a ray of hope for this film.

A friend last night clued me into a fun gig for January. "Dark Knight" is going to be re-released in theaters on January 23rd. It really wants to beat Titanic so I say go see it. I was watching it in blu-ray last night and it was marvelous. I should have a blu-ray player soon so I can enjoy all the highest def my mind can handle.

I am going to get reaquainted with the New Beverly soon. I haven't been there in so long. I miss sitting with a very enthusiastic audience, watching people walk in with piazza boxes stuffed in their shirts (I'm talking about larges here), hearing the not-so-silent chink of alcoholic beverage bottles hit the floor and the giggles that follow it from everyone in the room. I really hope they are going to show "Black Christmas" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night" again or any other horror movie that deals with Christmas ("Gremlins" maybe?).

I'm thoroughly enjoying being off.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coffee and Cigarettes

Great movie, but I'm just stealing the title. I don't smoke. I do enjoy a cigarette every long once in a while in social settings. I can say my last cigg was at the beginning of summer. I never really got hooked or anything because I'm already a sucker for coffee. I drank a pot the day before yesterday to help me stay up till dawn and then downed almost another pot during the day. I kept it black, too (except for the Starbuck's peppermint mocha twist I endulged in). I promptly died last night around 12:15 after finishing my finals and getting the feeling back into my neck and back. I'm done though! My next quarter does not begin until January 7 or somewhere around that date. I won't bitch or gripe again about school unless winter turns out as bad or God forbid, worse, than this one (stupid economy cancelling classes and stuff).

The best news I've heard in a while came to me through one of the many Yahoo! mailing lists I'm on. Looks like Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are going to start filming "Dark Shadows" in the summer of next year! I thought it was a bad joke when I got the email. Filming will be done primiarily in London. This makes me wonder what storyline they are going to use or whether John August wrote a completely new one. It's ironic because the main character is affectionately called "The Cousin from England" but he had never set foot on English soil. More casting news should come through soon but I'm going to add my two cents. Alan Rickman should be cast. I have a feeling he's going to be Burton's regular guys. He could be cast as the main character's stuffy father, the brother of the matriach in the present day, or even as one of the villains (a character by the name of Evan Handly comes to mind [Evan was a satanic lawyer]). I should have asked him that last Wednesday, but his voice wiped every coherent thought from my head.
I think this movie will be pretty badass if Depp keeps it "traditional." The television show is still really out there even for today's standards.

I'm going through a bit of a Tony Head addiction at the moment. After seeing "Repo!" I was intrigued. Then started watching "Buffy" and "Little Britain" and I was sold. I can never pin-point exactly what attracts me to these older guys, but they are great and have solid work. I found episodes of "Merlin," his newest series, online so I'll probably catch up on those. There's going to be a convention in London for Joss Whedon so I'm stalking the guest list for that. I found great airfare to Heathrow right now, but I think I can get a better deal with Virgin if I wait a bit longer. The only snag in that plan is whether I can get the time off with my new job. I miss London so bad. I have been trying to go back but between time and finances... it sucks.

All I know as of this moment, in 2010, I'll be backpacking through the streets of the cities I've always wanted to visit in Europe.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Going Back to Normal

After this action packed week, I'll return back to my semi-normal, not so hectic life. Life is good even though Finals are looming over my head and a very important step in my new job application process is coming up. I'm choosing a career in law enforcement so it is a very long process. It is worth it. For all the additional stress, I'm thriving off it instead of becoming downtrodden and weary. I'm a work-a-holic when there is work to be done and deadlines to finish (which I always finish early; I'll stop bragging). I'm going to miss the company and people I work for now. I have never worked for a place where they have taken such good care of their employees.

Hopefully, after Tuesday, I'll go back to viewing more movies every day. I just picked up (thanks to an early present from said company above) two dvds: "The Orphanage" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the movie. I've seen both. I still need to go through a lot of my classics, also. The break will be the best time for it since I'll just be at work in the mornings, working out in the afternoons, and settling down in the evenings. Most of my friends out here will be gone so there will be no late night jaunts (unless its something I can't miss).

Speaking of late night jaunts, I'll be attempting the almost impossible feat of changing my sleeping pattern. Again. Right now I wake up at 7 am and go to bed at 1 or 2 am (and sometimes 3) every day. I'm a night owl. In high school, I had the same schedule since I had a ridiculous amount of homework and reading every night. One night I didn't even sleep because of a damn project and presentation I had the next afternoon. Luckily I wasn't the only one and our other teachers took a little pity on us. I want to be able to wake up rested at 5:30 am and go to bed at 9:30 or 10 pm. Is it sad 10 pm sounds so early? With my night classes starting again in Winter Quarter, I'll push the time to 6: 30 am since my classes get out at 10. I don't want to kill myself like I almost did this quarter.

It is a funny feeling knowing that after I had met my favorite people in the world, I can walk up to anybody now and not be so starstruck. I've been searching for new events to go to of the new people I've taken an interest in. I think I'm going to wait and see what conventions are coming to town and just show up. You really never know who you are going to meet. I actually got a wink from James Marsters a couple years back but I didn't know who he was! My friend with me had to fill me in. Now, after getting into Buffy, I'm kicking myself for not at least getting a photo with him. He's a cheeky, flirty guy who knows how to work the fans. I think Fangoria is having their convention here in April and the Sci Fi channel has theirs around that time, too. The next Potter con is in July in San Francisco, but by then I don't know if I'll be in training or not so that's up in the air. There is another one in Boston, but I can't really fly out. I'll visit some other time when I want to go for the history. I'm bummed about the next Dark Shadows Festival. They are holding that in Rhode Island next summer. I've gone to the Fests for the past two years in a row. Oh well. With Johnny Depp's movie in the works (sort of), they will probably hold it here in Burbank again in 2010 or 11. It will make sense, especially if Depp holds the premiere at the Kodak or Grauhman's Chinese Theater.

If anyone knows of any convention or symposium happening in 2009, please, let me know. It could be anything horror, book, tattoo, piercing, sci fi, and all the other stuff related (and even if it's not related, I find everything interesting). Location doesn't matter. I really want to go to the collector's con (forgot the name) they hold in England so I'll have to see how my expenses pan out. I didn't mention Comic Con (San Diego) above because I went this year and didn't care for it at all. It was just too many people. I felt like I was in flea market. I'll have to know the line up before I sign up for it again because I'll only go to see people I know won't appear any where else (which isn't many in my book). Going incognito and alone is a must. It's every man or woman for themselves at that place.

One more thing... If any of the following people plan on appearing at events, hints or just a plain location will be very much appreciated: Quentin Taratino [who is at the New Bev sometimes but I always miss him!], Robert Rodriquez, Guillermo Del Torro, Tim Burton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Caleb Carr, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, David Williams, Matt Lucas, Christopher Lee, and I'll leave it at that for now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Meeting the Love of My Life.

Wow. Thank God I did not faint but Lord, I wanted to after what happened. Everything went great and was more than I expected.

I arrived in LA around 5. I ran into one of my friends, Marisa, in the Kodak Theater (easiest place to park in Hollywood) so we walked over to Jimmy's building which is directly in front. Our other friends, Quinn and Cindi, were waiting in line. I was too damned excited. I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet, wrung my hands, checked my cell phone repeatedly. Tasha joined us around 5:45. I was all smiles and trepidation.

The people who ran the show finally let us in at 6:15 and had us wait around until they let us into the main room. If you've ever been to a taping, it takes forever to get into the studio. They sit you at specific places and fuss over everything. It wasn't as bad as when I with a ton of diehard X Files fans waiting to see Gillian Anderson. Our crowd was made up of fans of Dennis Leary and Ice Cube. The Ice Cube fanclub seemed to have bought a good chunk of the tickets. It did not stop us from being the loudest we could be.

If you saw the Jimmy Kimmel show last night, you know what happened there (or if not, click HERE). Leary had me cracking up and dying of laughter. He was a cool guy. They hit for commercial and then readied the stage for Rickman. My friends would glance at me and smile knowingly. I was elbowed a couple times. When they gave the 30 second warning, I couldn't think. In the 20 seconds after, all I did was stare at the door he would come through. The lights went back up and Jimmy introduced him.

Luckily I was "whooping" and "howling" so I had to breathe. I think that helped. I could feel my face turn tomato red and my skin tighten as my smile grew of its own accord. I loved when Jimmy mentioned the Voice study. Rickman was so incredulous. He really doesn't see his appeal or attraction. I wish his interview had been longer. One of the highlights for me was when he perfectly delivered a line from Die Hard. My God, that movie was 20 years ago! I did do that fangirl squeal. Ugh, what has this man reduced me to?!

The interview ended and he sauntered off stage, smiling and waving briefly to fans. My friends and I only thought of how the hell we were going to get out of there and to the backdoor. The crew did let us out a side door and we ran to the back. The major thing that sucked was the crew had made us check our cameras at the door. They would not give them back until after taping was over. We still had our trusty camera phones. A crowd was already there getting autographs and photos. I froze in the back. I could see him clearly. He was less than ten feet away. My friends has jumped fearlessly into the fray. Quinn kept pushing me to the front and telling me to get a photo. I couldn't do it. I was so embarrassed to even be standing there. It was a horrible feeling for someone who is usually as confident as hell.

Quinn actually grabbed me at one point and made to pick me up and push me to the front. I elbowed him. I apologize! Finally, I joined the others on their side since they were able to make a gap in the front. Tasha had my shoulders. Then the unbelievable happened.

Quinn shouted, "Alan, my friend, Alex, is in love with you and is too shy to talk to you!"

He smirked! Rickman smirked and turned to in our direction. I have never heard my name said like that. Rickman said hello to me and shook my hand as I tried to remember how to function. [The Drama is soaking in this post.] I replied it was nice to meet him and then turned for a quick photo. My friends were kidding me about my freeze up. I walked shakily back up to the street. HERE is a little bit of what happened in the back.

I really did feel drunk afterwards. A late dinner and a coconut margarita set me to rights. Thanks to Marisa, Tasha, Cindi, and especially Quinn! I would have never gotten the courage to walk up to him and talk to him if you guys hadn't pushed me. Love you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

I really despise that song. My apologies. It fits though since I have about 27 hours to go until I am in attendance at the Jimmy Kimmel Show in LA, trying to remember to breathe when Alan Rickman walks out onto that black, shiny stage. I will also be trying not to do that horrible fangirl squeal when he starts talking. This is the story about why I am so damned nervous and why I am embarrassed whenever someone mentions the words "London" and "park bench" in the same sentence.

In the summer of 2005, I went to London with the best group of girls and toured the city along with a short stay in Stratford-upon-Avon first. We were back in London on day 4 or 5 (I'd have to consult my journal to know for sure) and our first stop of the day was the Tower of London. If you've been there, you know there are always a lot of tourists ambling around, shops lining the Thyme's, all the good touristy stuff. It was warm that day for the British. I was bundled in a jacket, scarf, and gloves and received many looks. I'm from Southern California, warm for me is 85+ Fahrenheit, not 60F.

Our teacher gave us our tickets and let us loose to browse all the splendor and tragedy that is the Tower. A friend and I went through the White Tower first. I was ahead of her and the group when I exited the castle. I saw canons lining the wall and nonchalantly went over to them and took photos.

That was when I noticed the man on the park bench.

I almost dropped my camera. He was siting in a very relaxed pose. One leg crossed over the other. His left arm was stretched along the back of the bench. He wore a black jacket, a blue, button up shirt, with jeans and black dress shoes. [I still remember like it was yesterday.] His blondish white hair shined in the sunlight. I couldn't see his eyes because he was wearing sunglasses. His face though! I knew it!

At that point, I panicked. I did not have the bravery nor courage to approach him, to just hear him talk and validate his identity. I gasped. I actually did a full blown gasp! Now I knew what people were talking about in novels. I needed someone to be there with me so I walked as quickly as I could to the exit, ignoring all the signs telling tourist not to go that way, in order to find my friend. She knew I was in crush mode with Rickman. I had to pass him again and when I tried to not make it obvious I was staring (drooling), I tripped. I almost landed on my face. Wonderful way to get some one's attention! Luckily from being in track, I was able to stay on my feet, but in a very awkward fashion. I ended up running to the exit, only looking back fleetingly to make sure he stayed put.

My face was ruby red and I could hardly spit out the words. I ended up just grabbing her by the arm and dragging her back outside.

He was gone. I frantically looked around and only met the quizzical looks of the bystanders nearby. I second-guessed myself. "Was it really him?" Why would he be there of all places? News spread of my "sighting" and at least my teachers could understand my obsessive admiration of the man. The rest of the day I kept my eyes pealed on every male who walked near me. I'll never know for sure if it was him. Probably not though. He does have a couple brothers. They may look very similar. This man, whoever he may have been, looked remarkably like Rickman. I still feel foolish for not at least speaking with him to alleviate all my doubts. So tomorrow I'm praying I don't freeze up like a deer or worst of all, suddenly wake up to find a medic asking me what's my name and how many fingers is he holding up. Someone please kill me quickly since for me, that kind of embarrassment would be a fate worse than death.

I really do not know how I am going to get through the next long, agonzing hours.