Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

A random sampling of some of the things I've been most thankful for this year. Some silly, some serious, all true. Happy Thanksgiving, folks.

1 - affordable perfume oils (BPAL, Firebird, Loreto)
2 - an awesome job & great co-workers
3  - Blake Berris & his former alter ego (RIP Nick Fallon)
4 - Criterion Collection on Hulu Plus
5 - Donna Tartt
6 - Fourth & Gill
7 - friends with cable who invite me over
8 - friends who give me spontaneous gifts
9 - friends who let me bum cigarettes
10 - friends who let me come over and raid their liquor cabinets
11 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
12 - the hot bar at Three Rivers Market
13 - inexpensive red wine
14 - Jack Neely
15 - Leonard Cohen
16 - Maira Kalman
17 - Maria Popova's Brain Pickings
18 - Maker's Mark
19 - Molly Crabapple
20 - my cowboy boots
21 - my parents
22 - my patient, long-suffering husband
23 - my pets
24 - Nick Cave
25 - Right On Ladies Book Group
26 - road trips
27 - Roomie, Kev & Shmoopy
28 - smoked cheese
29 - Stock & Barrel
30 - WHY MY CAT IS SAD on Twitter

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bon Anniversaire, Nick Fallon!

Eight years ago today Nick Fallon made his first appearance in Salem. He was sweet and smart and dorky and I fell for him almost immediately. Over time Days of Our Lives made him increasingly obsessive and unpredictable. They gave him a drug addiction and a prison sentence. He was subjected to unspeakable horrors and he was ostracized by most of the town and, eventually, he became controlling and frightening. But, at his core, I know he was always that lonely, offbeat young man who just wanted to connect with someone and feel loved. And I loved him. And I still mourn for him. 

Nick Fallon's birthday was never celebrated in Salem. I know not every character on Days gets a birthday and, honestly, I have no idea what a Nick Fallon birthday party would have been like. Probably a sad affair, because who wants to celebrate the birth of the town pariah? Most likely Julie would have taken him out to dinner. She'd buy him a cupcake, which he would pick at but not finish, and he would sip a beer and quietly plot the downfall of his many enemies. He would pine for Gabi Hernandez, the woman he'd deluded himself into believing was his soulmate. He'd go home afterwards, alone and dissatisfied.

Despite everything that happened and the way that it ended I adored Nick's stint on Days. And November seventh will always be a date I celebrate because it's the date that the show gave us this complex, beautiful, damaged character. That's why I've chosen this date as Nick's unofficial birthday. It may not be canon but I'm alright with working with what I'm given. So, Happy Birthday, Nick Fallon. I don't even know how old you'd be. I guess it doesn't really matter. What matters is that you were amazing and I still miss you. I hope you've found some measure of happiness in whatever afterlife soap opera characters are afforded. You deserve it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Random Thoughts While Watching The Lost Boys Last Friday

I have zero objectivity when it comes to The Lost Boys. It was so much a part of my childhood that it feels like it's completely corrupted my DNA. When I watch it I become my middle school self again, trying so hard to be cool and looking to these kids to show me the way. These gorgeous, nihilistic punks that did exactly as they pleased. And did it with such style. The Lost Boys doesn't have an overly artsy, avant-garde aesthetic like Suspiria but it definitely has a style that is distinct and beautiful and unforgettable. It romanticizes the west coast and, in particular, the seedy beachside tourist communities that were so far out of my reach as a kid. For me the town of Santa Carla was full of glamour and intrigue and brutal romance. I wanted to live in this world because it was so far removed from my own. Part of me still wants that.

This movie is so much a product of its time. A strong sensory imprint of an era. The clothes, the hair, the smart, snarky dialogue. It was the first movie I saw that said horror doesn't have to be just horrible. It can be fun. Funny, even. It's self-aware but in a subtle way. It lulls the viewer into a false sense of security because the first half is so light-hearted and when the heavy stuff starts happening, towards the end, it has even more of an impact. 

The vampires in The Lost Boys are the quintessential cool kids. Who doesn't wanna be David? He's the ultimate. Kiefer Sutherland absolutely rocks my world in this role. I was eleven when I first saw this movie and I knew. I got it. No sparkles, no musty tombs. Just raw, animalistic, sexy menace and attitude. I think he's the sexiest vampire there ever was or will ever be. His vamp buddies are pretty irresistible, too. So when the fangs finally come out and we're confronted with David's true nature we're forced to deal with that. He's a remorseless, wretched thing, but one that we've been seduced by; his grip is so strong, his pull so seductive, that it's hard for me not to root for him, even though he's a horrible, brutal monster.

This movie also benefits from a bangin' soundtrack and nice supporting performances from Dianne Wiest and Barnard Hughes. It features the two Coreys, good ol' Haimster and Feldog, at the absolute peak of their success and they are adorkably appealing. The Lost Boys will always have a special place in my heart.