Friday Five

Five Scary Movies for October

An absolute classic. I haven’t seen this since the late 90s and was probably way too young to watch such a bloody movie. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I remembered, but I still enjoyed it so much that I decided to try out the newest installment, Scream 4 and was pleasantly surprised by it as well. Emma Roberts stole the freaking show.

28 Days Later
Watched this (sort-of) zombie/end of the world film at a friend’s suggestion and fell in love with it. Not only is it plenty bloody (people are infected with the ‘rage’ virus and rip all kinds of people apart and puke blood on them to spread the disease), but it had a few captivating messages about human nature when you go take away the idea of civilization and a future. The sequel, 28 Weeks Later, has me crossing my fingers for a third installment.

The Exorcist
I decided this Halloween season I would finally give in to the half-desire half-fright to watch what many call one of the scariest movies of all time. In the protection of day and averting my eyes at several key moments, I was able to make it through this creeper classic without any nightmares. Yes, I’m proud of that. Unfortunately, the movie I watched after it as the sun was setting, The Exorcism of Emily Rose (I wanted to keep it in the same category), pushed it too far and the combined effects of the two movies had me watching shallow, happy films for the rest of the night to get my mind off it.

Another bloody film of my adolescence that I thought would complete the scary movie round-up. As an extremely guts spewing type of feature, I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone that can’t stomach that sort of thing, but if you can, this is a fantastic movie with some messages about being grateful for the life you’re living. I’ll be happy to answer more questions from Thais about my breakfast and where blue eyes come from if I don’t have to play in one of Jigsaw’s games.

Hocus Pocus
This movie isn’t really scary to me anymore, but I still try to watch it every Halloween. To my credit, it was creepier when I was a little kid hoping the Sanderson sisters didn’t put me under a spell trying to suck out my youth. Now I laugh along with it, picking up more adult jokes that Disney movies always tends to throw in to entertain the poor parents dragged along to watch.

Any more suggestions of scary movies to check out are more than welcome!

Tuesday Travel Photo

It’s that time of the year. Last year we went to Halloweentown, this year, a world that Bette Midler, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kathy Namjimy are resurrected witches in the town of Salem looking for some young’uns to suck the youth out of. Hocus Pocus could be the best Halloween movie ever.

What T.V. Shows Mean to a PCV

Another Saturday and Sunday switched as my favorite student stayed for a visit most of the day today and now there isn’t much light left. 

I would like to pre-apologize for this post. My patheticness has reached new levels. I was never that much of a tv junkie before I lived in Southeast Asia. The first three months I didn’t have much time to sleep or write, much less watch tv shows online. Now I look at my iCal and it’s littered with notifications of the Fall line-up of what show starts up again when. How did I get here?

Watching Western television shows (or movies) are a PCVs greatest/easiest escape from village life. The way I see it now, it’s an hour each day that I can look forward to drooling over food characters are chomping down (the first time I saw someone eating a chicken caesar wrap nine months in country, I teared up a little), see fashion trends put into action, and, the most luxurious part of all, pick up cultural cues and humor without trying very hard at all. Sometimes I would just put something on in the background to hear what became friendly voices to make me feel a little less alone (but they didn’t expect a bag of tricks and games like my Thai visitors). I think it helps that there isn’t the ridiculous sound effects either.

Exhibit A:

Thais laugh hysterically at this. I don’t.

Post-PST and after settling in at site (pretty much the past yearish), I’ve watched an embarrassing amount of television shows and movies. I’ve tried out some pretty awful shows (Secret Life of the American Teenager and Teen Mom as examples), found some new obsessions (Ringer and Hart of Dixie), and relived some old friends (I may or may not have rewatched all the seasons of Dexter, True Blood, Veronica Mars and all the Harry Potter movies… multiple times, don’t judge me). Of course it helps that I’ve been extremely fortunate with internet throughout my Peace Corps sites with quality service a majority of the time. For those without, the next thing is probably one of the most valuable indulgences a new PCV can bring along with them.

Exhibit B:

You don’t want to get stuck watching this. At ear-splitting volume.

An external hard drive, PC Thailand group 125, put it on your Christmas list. It doesn’t even have to have much on it in the first place, the black market PCV trading pool is quite generous. It makes those guilty pleasures easily attainable that you can sit in your sweltering room during hot season and have something to distract yourself, even for the shortest of times. It can become a bit of an addiction when you’re in such a low feeling misunderstood or that host country nationals just are getting ‘it,’ so you indulge.

Since acquiring my Kindle and cut down on the crafting (it was always so nice to have something on in the background as I was knotting and knitting), I’ve definitely stopped watching as much. Reading is a far better and more brain productive escape than a lot of the trash I’ve come to savor in Thailand. There are some cinematic pleasures that I’ll never forget what they meant to me during these throughout ups and downs (‘Ah, Landa!’), but I look forward to when I need to be a little choosier with what I watch either because of work, spending time with friends and family, or finding new places to discover while traveling.

On that note, I better get back to Dexter, while I have the time. Season premiere tomorrow!

Tuesday Travel Photo

I was all geared up to go back to Europe for today’s Tuesday Travel Photo… and then I re-watched Hairspray. Now the only place I want to be is in Baltimore. Well, as long as it’s in 1962 rather than present day. Tracy Turnblad and I can frolic the streets and star in a James Marsden hosted television show. A girl can dream right?

I suppose the view isn’t so bad, James Marsden or not. Photo from:

Holy Cow, I love musicals.

Tuesday Travel Photo

It’s the happiest place on earth, who wouldn’t want to be there? I’m reliving some of my childhood with reading some of the original stories that Disney then used for their movies. And then I downloaded some of the soundtracks. And then I found myself doing the can-can while singing ‘Prince Ali’ from Aladdin. I picture myself strolling the streets of Disney World arm and arm with the princesses of my youth and crooning to our animal friends. A girl can dream right?

Tuesday Travel Photo

Um, what? How has no one told me about this before? In New Zealand, you can visit Hobbiton. Jaw drop. Insides tingling. Well it’s the movie set of Hobbiton, but still, I can’t get over this. I think this may need to be added in the Post-PC travel plans. Best yet, there’s a hotel modeled after Hobbiton that can accommodate 2-10 people. Come on, any takers?


Welcome to Nerdville: Population One

Most Peace Corps Volunteers are afforded with a decent amount of free time, especially in the evenings. Depending on the person’s interests, activities generally lean towards watching movies or TV shows acquired from other Volunteers, taking up new hobbies (we have quite a few crafters and knitters), writing emails to loved ones, and reading. I’ve mentioned in a few posts how I started to learn how to braid my hair far more awesomely than ever before. That was before I got the call. The call from Nerdville.

This is me.

Now I mentioned I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Yes, I have reread them since coming to Thailand. I’m not sure what came over me last week, but I got a hankering to watch the Lord of the Rings (LOTR). Just a normal yearning, I usually watch these movies at least once this time of year on a cozy, wintry Sunday with my brother and my Mom looking on (she has the secret hots for Aragorn). Given that I missed that all of 2011, it didn’t surprise me that I got the urge.

In case you haven’t seen these in a while

Something else did though. So there I was, plunkered down for some good fantasy-world fun. And amusement I had. Until my computer died and I lost my preloaded movie. ‘Curse you computer worms’ I cried out, much to my host sister’s consternation. I explained, she giggled, I grumbled. I went to school the next day with determination to reload it. But those worms had taken hold and it wasn’t working. But then I started to get heated (and not because of the weather, yet anyway). Why isn’t this working?! I resolved to download the entire movie just in spite of those electronic maggots.

Once I started that process though, little schemes started whispering in my brain. ‘Well, after the first one, you’re going to want to watch the second. And the third.’ ‘Yes, you’ve got a point there…’  ‘And while you’re at it, why not just get the super-duper extended versions that Tyler always wanted you to sit down and watch?’ ‘I have some time with school ending, maybe…’ ‘Well it’s only 5GB, what are you waiting for?’ ‘What am I waiting for, you cotton-headed ninny-mongins?’ ‘That’s the spirit.’

And off I went. I’m embarrassed to admit what happened next, but I went into full-on nerd mode. The battle scenes were too bad-ass. I had to reenact them. While singing the theme song to Harry Potter (I know, that makes no sense). I rewatched scenes with Elvish spoken parts to memorize bits of the language. I studied hairstyles and redid them on myself while watching the movie. And then pretended to be Legolas, only the coolest character ever. Homedog tosses a shield down a set of stairs, surfs down it, AND takes out orcs at the same time. (I feel like I could dedicate an entire blog post to the epicness that is Legolas… maybe I will).

These antics were not confined to my bedroom. I’m hopping around school, the living room, and pretending to slay orcs (ie waterbuffalos) on my bike ride to school. Luckily, only my coteacher understands English or people would be really confused by my fake old English accent and saying things like ‘son of Sauron, I slay thee in the name of all that is holy’ when slapping at mosquitoes. I don’t think anyone has caught on yet and luckily, I’ve found a way to keep my nerd (slightly) in check.

Quietly and unsuspectingly, I sit with my Ipod touch in my host family’s living room. My sister is doing homework. Our Yai is doing all kinds of nonsense with meat and vegetables. Little do they know the imaginings going on around me as I finally, FINALLY read the novels. They sat for years on my shelf, but I never could find the time to sit down and explore them fully (when in reality, I just had to wait until I was in a rural village in Thailand and get the nerd call). Funnily enough, my host family is far more suspicious of me telling them that I am in fact reading a book on the small piece of machinery that I still haven’t been able to convince them is NOT a telephone (everyone knows Iphone and Ipad, but can’t gather the reason for an Itouch).

We all need a place to ‘go’ and escape certain circumstances (mine happens to be the beginning of hot season). Somewhere your brain can do whatever it wants and relax. Mine happened to be in Middle Earth in the green vastness of the Shire, wanting my own hobbit-hole to cozy up into with a fire and tea. Or Rivendall with the Elves. It’s opened up a whole new world to me and inspires me to pursue other books (and their universes) of similar topics. So if you’re wondering where I’m off to and/or a lack of posts, that’s where my brain has swept me off to. Now if you’ll excuse me, Nerdville is missing its chief resident. And I have LOTR books to devour.

The Nerdiest Photo I could find of myself

Total Count:
Movies: Fellowship of the Ring- Three times
Two Towers- Once
Return of the King- Twice
Books: The Hobbit- Finished
Fellowship of the Ring- 1/3 through!