Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Uncharacteristic Ray of Sunshine

Thanks to Dusty of The Playground of Doom for choosing me as one of the recipients of his Sunshine Award / meme / blog chain letter thing. Since my blog output has been rather sparse lately I figured I'd take the bait on this one. Also, it'll give you the rare opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain and gaze upon my horrible visage learn more about the guy behind this site. If you're curious, keep reading, it's all flowers, cats, and favorites from here on.

Here are the rules:

1. Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself (use these or come up with your own).
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to pass the award on to.  (This is as much about sharing as it is about receiving.)
5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

1. Favorite actor/actress (who's not a household name yet)

Is Edith Massey a household name? At the risk of missing the point of this question, I'm going with it.

For some recent up-and-comers, Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland were surprisingly excellent as the two kids in Mud.

2. Favorite Animal

In the whole animal kingdom? Penguins. Favorite animal I'll actually come into contact with in real life? Cats, without a doubt. Particularly Alice here:

3. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink

My mind used to be powered by things like food and sleep. I've replaced both with coffee.

4. Favorite music

I listen to a lot of ambient electronic music, and would pick Boards of Canada as a consistent favorite over the past ten years.

The haunting analog synths and worn-down samples give their music an air of nostalgia that's tempered with dark undertones. They've gotten some attention in the horror world recently for their song Gyroscope, which was used in Sinister. Their most recent album, Tomorrow's Harvest, draws on influences like Fabio Frizzi and John Carpenter and has a distinctly post-apocalyptic feel.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention The Pixies.

5. Favorite TV show

I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but occasionally allow myself to get hooked on a show. Most recently it's been Breaking Bad. Also, I'm consistently entertained by American Horror Story and was sort of surprised how it went from a trashy mess in Season 1 to actually kind of good in Season 2.

6. Favorite sport

Baseball and I have a very torrid history. It was the first sport I played, and consequentially the sport that taught me desire for athletic talent rarely begets such talent. Also, this happened on my thirteenth birthday, crushing my faith in all things fair and just in the world. For a long time I didn't have the desire to spend time with the teacher of such hard truths. These days, I've sort of come back around to the idea of baseball, but watch maybe one game max per year, and only if I'm there in person.

7. Movie most people love that I dislike

Oh, god. I try not to devote too much thought to movies I dislike. Ideally they just slip out of my head and I never think about them again. But maybe since it just got a sequel, I'll say: Kick-Ass? Tonally inconsistent, filled to the brim with narcissism, utterly despicable characters, all sorts of manufactured controversy... I could go on for a while. The overwhelmingly positive fanboy response to this one baffles me.

8. Favorite short film

Brakhage's The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes. In addition to being a great study of mortality, it's also one of the most beautifully transgressive depictions of the human body I've seen.

9. My Passion

It's hard for me to narrow this down. Can I just say Figuring Things Out? I don't talk much about real life on this blog, but IRL I'm pursuing an advanced degree in physics. I like to know how things work, preferably on their most fundamental level. It's also the reason why I write, both here and to a lesser extent when I write fiction.

10. Favorite soundtrack from 2013

Without a doubt, Only God Forgives.

Now, to pass this thing on. Dusty's blog Playground of Doom is a favorite of mine, but I'm not allowed to link back to him. Still, I get a lot of enjoyment out of reading his musings on cinema, life, and how each affects the other. So go check him out even though he's not an official nominee. I've avoided posting notifications on the comment walls of all these fine people, but I think many are (or have been) visitors here. Participation is, of course, totally voluntary. In no particular order:

Sean and Kristine of Girl Meets Freak have a great dynamic in their discussions, which focus on horror classics that span a wide range of subgenres. By far one of my favorite blogs. It's equally entertaining and edifying, and one of the only blogs able to make me laugh out loud.

A great mix of reviews, occasionally with unique theme months, Emily at The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense has a knack for finding great Instant Watch treasures that I might have forgotten for all time or otherwise overlooked.

Ryan Clark is an all-around great guy who has recommended a lot of solid films to me. His blog Thrill Me! (which he runs with co-author Leah Cifello) is a consistently good read.

I don't often listen to podcasts, but The Whorer is one that I make a point to seek out when I have the time. In their words, it's: "a punk-femme-queer approach to horror films. Like your other horror podcast, but with a butt plug in it." If that's not enough to sell you, I don't know what is.

Kevin Kolson of Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies has the admirable ability to work through directors' entire bodies of work, good and bad, and is also the author of one of the best Italian Horror primers I've read.

It's hard to find reviewers I trust when it comes to new films, but Ryne Barber's The Moon is a Dead World stands out as one of my go-to sources.

Barry P. of Cinematic Catharsis runs an eclectic blog that's equally thorough in its examination of trash as it is with the classics.

Too Much Horror Fiction is where I go when I'm looking for something new to read or just want to gaze at beautiful old book covers.

Librarian of the Dead is a fun blog that spans horror films, books, and bits of horror popping up in everyday life. There have even been occasional reviews of cemeteries - tell me that isn't cool.

Nicki at Hey! Look Behind You! does a great job at keeping me up to date with new releases, solid Instant Watch picks, and a smattering of reviews.

Thanks again, Dusty. Regular programming will resume shortly.