Trending in My Annachronous World

Since I broke up quite recently with Vodka and Vodka’s Friends (those other Hard Drinks), I have been holing up at home during the weekend nights armed with good TV shows and the omnipresent junk food. And so without meandering straight into the innocuous arms of senselessness, here are the two TV shows which recently moved in and took up space in my heart and mind:

American Horror Story
"American Horror Story"

“American Horror Story” – To be honest, the first episode, although haunting and creepy and mysterious, just did not sit well with me. I thought there were too much scenes that weren’t really needed. It wasn’t until I caught up with episode 2 a few weeks ago that I began to gain interest. Clearly, the history of the house and the people who lived there before the Harmons struck the match and lit my interest. Each of the telling and re-telling of the stories of the inhabitants of the so-called murder house is rich with creepiness which sets you on edge and keeps you guessing and thinking. The dark tone of the series is well executed too.

"Modern Family"
"Modern Family"

“Modern Family” – I haven’t really paid much attention to this one until one of my bosses mentioned it. Curious to see if it was as good as I heard, I watched an episode. And found out that I actually like it. It’s hilarious and quirky and it really does hit home when they tackle family issues like accepting a new member of the family, starting a new family, being a wife/mother or husband/son-in-law. My favorite character? I cannot decide. All of them are lovable!

Done with the TV series that are currently keeping my interest, I here are two more books that I want to grab a copy of and read:

"Einstein's Dream"
"Einstein's Dream"

 At every point of decision, the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people, but different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds.”  – Alan Lightman, “Einstein’s Dreams”

“Einstein’s Dream” – Tackling the interesting subject of time and space, this book is not the usual when it comes to discussing the theory of relativity. I read snippets of this book and immediately fell in love with the way the words were strung together and the resonance it had. Poetic and haunting and unique, this is one of those books that you cannot help but read and read over and over again.

"American Gods"
"American Gods"

I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. -Neil Gaiman, “American Gods”

“American Gods” – Neil Gaiman has been one of my favorites ever since a great friend of mine (Hi, Jam!) shoved into my hands a copy of “The Sandman” comic book series during my college days. And when I read “Neverwhere” I totally fell for him, hook, line and sinker. I have yet to buy more of his books but so far, the ones I have read never did disappoint me. Clearly, “American Gods” should be included in my To Read list. My dad likes to state that he is not a fan of Neil Gaiman but he still reads and re-reads the books I have of him. Very funny, dad. Who are you kidding?

* image sources: American Horror Story, Modern Family, Einstein’s Dream & American Gods

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Introduction to Horror by Edgar Allan Poe

I have been reading books ever since I could remember. It seems to me that the moment I knew how to string together a couple of words and make sense of sentences and paragraphs, I could not stop myself. I couldn’t help it. I had to read, whether they were snippets from the encyclopedia or a pocketbook like Sweet Valley Kids. But one random plucking of a random book from its shelf in my school library changed me.

I was in fourth grade, maybe fifth, and being in the library made me feel like the sun is shining brightly down on me and the birds are chirping away merrily in the background. It was just such a happy feeling, raw and innocent and simple.

Until I chanced  upon a copy of this book, which was a compilation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. Intrigued by the artwork on the cover of the book (which I had forgotten by now, really), I curiously and eagerly opened it. After devouring the content of the book, two stories struck me: The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado. It was a momentous event in my life. I guess you could say that I could hold Edgar Allan Poe responsible for my penchant for horror stories.

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart
"Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story."

“TRUE! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture – a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees – very gradually – I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever…”

The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado
"I must not only punish, but punish with impunity."

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length, I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation…”

 

When my dad learned about this years and years later, this was all he had to say to me: “You read Edgar Allan Poe at age 11 or 10?” Pause. Then he said, “It’s not something you should read at that age.” I could only shrug. Once you’ve read a book, you can’t just flush it out of your brain.

image sources: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

2012, You Must Not…

You must absolutely not…

a) suck
b) be cruel to me and everyone I love
c) be a repeat of years 2009 and 2011

It’s nearing 2012 and I’m pretty sure that in spite of all the talks about 2012 being the year of Apocalypse (according to the Mayan calendar), we will all continue to struggle with our daily lives well past the new year. And heaven help us all as we trudge and glide and skip and cartwheel through 2012.

It seems to me that what I’ve been doing the past few weeks before 2012 hits can be described as both whimsical and nonsensical. How so? Here so:

The Dunwich Horror
The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

I bought this because ever since randomly picking up a copy of The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories while aimlessly walking around a bookstore, I was intrigued by H.P. Lovecraft. Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, refers to him in some of his books. And so I bought The Dunwich Horror because it seemed like a good book of Lovecraft to start with. I have yet to start reading it.

True Philippines Ghost Stories Book 19
True Philippines Ghost Stories Book 19
True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 10
True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 10
True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 30
True Philippine Ghost Stories Book 30

I didn’t even realize that I was collecting these books all again. I started buying one or two copies a couple of years back. There’s just something about good old, passed around local ghost stories. It reminds me of my childhood. Every time there was a brownout (no electricity in our area), me and my relatives would huddle around the table and I would listen to them tell tales of the paranormal.

Moleskine notebook
Something to write on... But what?

I also bought two new pocket notebooks, which I call my “idea notebook.” It is completely blank up to this day. (*note: Notebook above is not my actual notebook. Mine looks way, way, WAY plainer. The one above is just so pretty I had to use it for visual purposes.)

I plan to write a lot more this 2012. I plan to save up more this 2012 (no promises here, though). I plan to go to places this 2012. I plan to… learn how to cook? How about sew? Nah. I’ll stick with the first three. Better safe than sorry! 😉

Have a good New Year’s celebration ahead, people!

Happy New Year!!!
Happy New Year!!!

image sources: Moleskine notebook, Happy New Year!

Excuse Me, I Fell Down the Rabbit Hole but Now I’m Back

All was not lost when I had momentary (selective *cough, cough*) amnesia, which is my excuse for ignoring this blog the past three — okay, almost four, almost — four months.

Why is that? Why do I claim that all is not lost? Because I have managed to watch a few horror movies, read one horror book and I’m planning to watch more horror films and read one weird book. (I forgot the titles of the other horror films I’ve watched so I mentioned the most recent film I’ve seen. You’ve got to excuse me. My memory isn’t good at past 1 in the morning, apparently.) They are as follows:

Nightmares & Dreamscapes
Nightmares & Dreamscapes

It’s the classic king of horror delivering his usual style of creepy stories that sears into your brain. And haunts you from time to time.

Aswang
Aswang

This is actually a local horror film which surprised me because I was expecting it to be mediocre. But it surpassed my expectations. It’s eerie, it’s funny without trying too hard, it’s well-delivered, and most of all: It showed the story behind the aswangs, a local term for creatures who eat humans and are able to transform into different forms. You can read more about them in this link.

Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

This is a book I have yet to read and I am quite excited to read it. I am not a big fan of sci-fi but this one seems like the best way to start getting into it. Here is a snippet of it if you’re interested. I got it from here.

Three independent narratives linked together by the device of a narrator discovering notes left by a deceased relative. Piecing together the whole truth and disturbing significance of the information he possesses, the narrator’s final line is ”The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

“Grave Encounters” – Another Upcoming Horror Movie

And today is yet another day for my not-so-regular horror movie fix. There’s a lot out there, depending on your definition of horror. This one, called “Grave Encounters”, catches my eye for one main reason:

The abandoned mental hospital/asylum setting
I don’t know about you but there’s just something really creepy about empty mental hospitals. Is it the traces of paranoia, of fear, of madness that managed to linger there long after the people who once stayed there are gone? Is it those countless stories you’ve heard about the weird things that keep happening to those uninhabited asylums? Whatever your reason may be, one fact remains: Mental hospitals/asylums are scary places. I wouldn’t have the guts to go in there alone, even if I was paid a million bucks to do it.

Except maybe 1.5 million bucks. I’d have second thoughts about actually stepping inside.

But kidding aside, I think “Grave Encounters” is one of the movies I’d love to see (with friends. Ahem!) The format of this movie is the documentary type. A group of people take the challenge and sets up their tools in order to provide the public the proof that yes, there is something weird going on in there. And that’s when crazy things start to happen. You can watch the trailer here. And if you want a detailed review of this upcoming movie, you go click here. Enjoy!