Tag Archives: movie

The Lighthouse [2019 film] (and my guesses as to what’s happening)

9 Oct

*Spoilers ahead

*To lesson confusion, I will be referring to the older lighthouse keeper as “Older” and the younger as “Younger” bc the names change throughout the film.

*The clues are offered in a non-linear way

The clues are more disjointed in the film, not presented in a linear way. Which is both why it’s difficult for the audience to grasp the true timeline, to tell who is who, and also for me to write a post without skipping around. I apologize, blame the author/director.

*The movie NEVER indicates the timeline is off. It is intentionally disjointed to confuse the viewer and have us question what is real.

The plot/story/interaction begins before the audience gains access and events take place prior to the beginning of this film.

I think the audience is viewing the movie after the story has already started. In the very first scene of the film, Younger goes to his room. But he digs at the bed. There is a hole. And he has to remove a piece of stuffing. He has hidden a mermaid figure in the mattress. And he didn’t stumble upon it, he retrieves it in a knowing way. The movie is telling the audience that we came to view later then the very beginning of the action. This is not the first time Younger has been in the room–it’s the audience’s first time seeing the room. The timeline of events starts PRIOR to the start of the film.

One of the first big hints that the story has begun before we started viewing is the first dinner (that we see). Older is really trying to push liquor on Younger, and Younger is very resistant to drinking. To the point that Younger pours the liquor down the sink and gets some water. The water is a big clue. It is already fucked up.

It’s at that point, the first dinner, the audience sees that something dead is in the water tank. And it’s still unclear which of the men is responsible.

Later, we see Younger look into the water tank and see a dead bird. Not a man, a bird. It’s the evidence the audience needed for why the water is fucked up. Older, told us earlier birds represent the souls of dead sailors. And Younger didn’t see a man, he saw a bird. That let’s us know that Younger is not in reality. He has separated murdering a man in his mind. Which is why, when confronted with reality, Younger’s first instinct is to grab the nearest bird and kill it–horribly. He is “killing” the knowledge of what he’s done. Younger has killed the man (in his alternate reality seen as a bird) in the tank.

This is enforced in an earlier scene. Younger is going about his chores and a bird blocks his way, and squawks accusatorily. That scene is telling the audience, “Remember the fucked up water, which we learned was caused by a dead body in the water tank? Well, the spirit of the dead sailor (the birds) is saying which man in the lighthouse did it–Younger.”

The Audience is seeing things from Younger’s (altered) perspective

Hints of the timeline are also given away by flashes of Older’s dialogue. He tells events that we as the audience just saw for ourselves, differently. The very first time that the viewer understands the food got wet and supplies are short (when Younger “found out”), Older says, “I told you to ration 3 weeks ago, but you wouldn’t.” At the time, the audience thinks Older is gaslighting, but it’s actually the true timeline. The movie is reminding us that we are only seeing things as Younger is seeing them, and also we were dropped in to watch after events had already started.

The work is also this way. We see Younger toiling, doing hard physical labor every second of every day. Yet, Older sees the floor is dirty and tells Younger to clean it. Yet again, the audience is led to believe that Older is picking on Younger, taking pleasure in making him do menial tasks. And Younger says, “I already swept and mopped it twice!” But Older sees the floor is dirty, and says (this is important), “You never take accountability.” This tells the viewer why we’re seeing this alternate reality.

And this split from reality is shown again when Younger “finds” the head in the crab (lobster) trap/pot [whatever it was, I don’t remember exactly]. Same as when he opened the water tank to find a dead bird, Younger acts shocked. He has divorced his actions from his thoughts/perspective because he does not take accountability for his actions. But we know already that Younger has killed someone (the birds told us) and put their body in the water tank.

The Drinking Shows the battle between id and ego

Other analysts felt the film was Jungien, with Ego being Older and Id being Younger. The Ego/Older drinks and farts. The Id/Younger is a teetotaler and toils. And it really becomes clear this was an inspiration to the author with the drinking. Remember how Younger was very resistant to it at first, and Older was pushing it on him? Younger acted very repressed in his abstinence. It shows that Younger fabricated Older in his mind as a scape goat for some bad base desires.

Once there’s the calm before the storm, Older finally convinces Younger to drink. It seems once this demon is released, Younger really embraces getting enumbriated. Then they get drunk again and again throughout the rest of the film. And instead of food cached in the dirt, it’s more liquor. And they are so hedonistic that they drink Karosene for the ethanol.

Older is a figment of Younger’s split from reality

Probably the most enlightening scene in the movie is the one where both Older and Younger are drunk. Younger says his name is actually also Tom. Older has previously said his actual name is Thomas Wake (he goes by Wake). The two men have the same name.

We know a primary characteristic of Older is his messed up leg. And he tells several variations of how the leg came to be that way. Then, we are also shown when Younger falls off the scaffold while white-washing the light house and hurts his leg. And a bird pecks at the leg.

When Younger is drunk, both he and Older have this weird exchange where they say, “What?” “What” They say it over and over, sort of mirroring thoughts. I think it’s supposed to be a clue that Older and Younger are the same.

Older’s dialog sounds like poetry. It’s another clue for the audience. Younger has constructed this figment who talks like a book character, Moby Dick? And he has all the power in their relationship, and at the lighthouse. And a big part of Moby Dick is the symbolic struggle for power. Same here.

Impossible desire to overcome nature, gain enlightenment

Aside from telling the viewer that these are not two separate people, this Ahab-like character, of Older, shows the struggle between man and nature, power, and knowledge.

The light is a symbol of forbidden knowledge, enlightenment and pleasure. Older has sole access to it, which peeves Younger. Younger is not a fan of authority. Younger wants his turn, sneaks in to see masturbatory light/sea creature action, considers killing Older to gain entry, and eventually begs for access.

The mermaid figurine and the human-like mermaid show Younger’s desire to “conquer” nature and achieve the pleasure of that knowledge and power. He uses the figure to masturbate, but toward the end of the movie it doesn’t work–he’s left frustrated. He has sexual fantasies of the woman-like mermaid also. But again, he is unable to copulate because her anatomy is fishy. He’s trying to dominate nature, and his failure symbolizes that man can never truly conquer nature.

The waves and the weather of course symbolize the struggle of man vs. nature and a power dynamic man must submit to. Notice just as soon as Younger kills the bird, the weather vain points North. Everything goes awry after this (to the audience).

Escape or rescue from the isolated lighthouse island is also thwarted by nature. The waves are unruly.

The action before the movie started

So who’s in the water tank? Late in the movie, a notebook washes up in the disheveled, water-logged lighthouse living quarters. It has notes about Younger’s poor work performance and indicates the boss does not want to pay him. The audience assumes this boss is Older. And Older is gaslighting and manipulating in order to get Younger to do all the work, then steal his money. But remember, we are seeing everything through Younger’s (altered) perspective.

This book is, I think, the key to the action that happened before the movie started and the audience got to observe. Conversations detail that Younger came to the lighthouse to get away from the logging industry. And Younger tells Older that he has had many jobs, going from one to the next, all his life.

And on another drunken night, Younger “spills his beans” and admits that he left timber because the foreman was killed in an accident. This shows a pattern. WE can assume Younger did not take accountability for his part in this death. And he stole the foreman’s identity (shows deceit). We can understand Younger may hate authority and resent power over him. In his mind, he’s doing excellent work and these authority figures are picking on him. So he kills them, but his mind constructs an alternate reality so he never feels responsible for the murders.

This key unlocks the entire movie. Younger killed his boss at the logging industry, came to the lighthouse and in his mind worked hard, only to be picked on again and his pay withheld. It made him angry and he killed the lighthouse boss.

The severed head, the body in the water tank–is the REAL lighthouse boss. The audience came in after his death so we never met him (alive).

To sum up, MASCULINITY/POWER is the whole theme of the film.

The lighthouse itself is phalic. Younger feels like he’s a housewife submitting to Older’s demands. The pair argue about the cooking (traditionally a female chore). Younger’s masculinity is threatened.

The sexual tension/revulsion between Younger and Older are ever-present when they’re drinking. They dance like lovers, reveal intimate information, and Older lies his head on Younger’s lap. Also, there might be some shadow sex, but maybe I was seeing things… That dynamic, speaks to Younger’s wanting to become one with Older (because deep inside his brain he knows already Older is a part of him). Joining together is therefore attractive because it would rectify such an unnatural mental divergence. But also, Younger can’t take accountability and being one with Older would force him to evaluate his deeds realistically.

The scene where Younger sneaks up to check out what Older is doing in the lighthouse is sexual. Older had already referred to the lighthouse in feminine terms, calling it a woman, and now some weird sexy action is going on. And fish fins are observed, tying the encounter back to the mermaids and the impossible desire to dominate them.

The mermaid masturbation and sex are also about the desire to dominate and the inability to do so. Man cannot dominate over nature. Ahab couldn’t, and trying made him crazy. Same with Younger. He tries to attain this power and sees himself doing masculine tasks, masturbates… But he is still subservient to Older.

Which is why, at the end of the movie, Younger forces Older to bark like a dog and crawl on all fours. Older has emasculated Younger and now must feel the same humiliation, he must pay the price. Then Younger buries Older alive. In burying Older, Younger is burying the truth of his deeds. He is burying the reality of what he’s actually done. This mental split will never be united, Younger is burying the truth forever.

The end references Greek Mythology. I do not have very much knowledge of mythology so this comparison is bare-bones from me, but check out other analysis of this film, because other s thought this was a primary theme of the movie (I don’t). Proteus represents Older, an older prophetic ocean God, or man of the sea as Homer described him. And Prometheus’ (Younger’s) death is foreshadowed. I don’t think the movie fleshes out this theme overall, and it’s not entirely based on mythology, but definitely an inspiration for the author of this screenplay/book/writing.

When Younger does finally get to the light. It’s too much. It overwhelms him and he falls down the stairs where the birds (souls of dead sailors) peck at his body while he’s alive.

Conclusion

I didn’t understand any of this while watching the movie. And the movie was entertaining and spooky and I liked it very much even without knowing quite what happened. So watch it, for sure!

But while I was trying to sleep, my mind was connecting the dots I have laid out here. And this reading makes a lot of sense to me. I think this is the type of movie you don’t understand until the second viewing. I feel like if I watch it now, things would “click” a lot better. I’m going to buy it bc you’d probably notice something new on every viewing.

All the Fake People: Miss Americana Primary Observation

13 Apr

I had cancelled Netflix before.  Because it was getting more and more expensive, while the content was stagnant.  But then 2-3 months after I did, of course Miss Americana was only released on Netflix.  I stuck to my guns to save money, read the Kaylor-verse to keep up somewhat, but was disappointed.  Then, once coronavirus locked me down for a month, I got out the credit card (no matter the email, Netflix tracks the cards) and got a free trial.  So I’m burning through all the content I ever want to see before my month runs out.

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Miss Americana top of the list.  Obviously.

It struck me that Taylor Swift’s Interactions (at least most of the ones portrayed on Miss Americana, which I understand is not everything in her life) left a lot to be desired.  And not because of anything she did or didn’t do.  I thought Taylor seemed honest, thoughtful, sweet, more open than I expected, and funny.  She was talking to others.  She told ideas, plans, and jokes.  But almost all of the people that she was talking to on the film were:  Distant, distracted, disengaged, disinterested (that may be too strong of a word), awkward, hysterical, over-emotional.  images (6)

From the start, when Taylor gets bad news in a phone call, and you can see she just wants to cry (like any person would) but she has to put on professionalism and hide her disappointment.  Yes, it’s a job and it’s important to be a professional, but it made me sad she has to build a wall around her feelings even with her own people.  In the studio, the producers seemed busy and like they were working just kind of half paying attention to what she was saying.  Brendon Urie seemed like he was half-listening and ready to dart out the door when she was excitedly describing her inspiration.  Todrick always seems self-absorbed and superficial, though I don’t really care for him, because he’s always stirring up drama so that just may be my perception.  Abigail seemed like they had grown distant and no longer know each other–but that vibe might have just been her feeling awkward to be on film (maybe?  hopefully?).  At any rate, I thought they seemed uncomfortable with each other.  Taylor’s Dad always seemed distant and authoritative, interrupting her and just being all-business from what I saw in the film.

images (7)I thought Taylor was especially gracious with her fans.  But it’s such a one-way street.  Meaning, many of them were screaming or sobbing when they saw/met her.  And I kept wondering what I would do in that situation if I was as famous as Taylor.  It’s such a weird way to interact.  And Taylor handled it really well, being sweet and funny, and really putting up with shenanigans.  Like, people, what are you expecting from Taylor when you come in so hot with that energy?  Really, how is a person supposed to react to that?  I think take it down a couple levels and treat her like she’s human.  Because if I were in her shoes I honestly wouldn’t know how to be if someone came up to me screaming, shaking, sobbing, proposing in front of me.  So major props to Taylor for being ultra cool in just strange interactions…  I think that stuff would make me feel alien and lonely.  But she was really nice, and I respect that a lot.  images (2)

I hope what the film didn’t show was real (two-way) conversations with people engaging with Taylor.  I want for her to have someone who really is on her same level, and listens to her, and cares about her (not just what she can do, or do for them).  I’m sure Miss Americana didn’t show every single thing.  So I hope what it didn’t show was so many rich, authentic relationships.  Will there be a sequel with Karlie, her friends, and her family relating to her on a more personal level?  I hope, for the entertainment value for me, and for Taylor’s sake that there’s more to see…

Directors, editors, if you’re reading this, the first film seemed like Taylor was isolated, so if that wasn’t your point, please put in more personal connections and show that she can have a conversation.  And Kaylor, always show more Kaylor 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

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best of 2019

4 Jan

Day of the Dead

I painted my face and wore my senorita dress and monarch butterfly wings to work.  Cool and I did an offrenda to our deceased loved ones, and I liked having a happy time to think about them and remember them.

 

work x-mas party

One of the supervisors really outdid herself and planned a fun party with catered food, nice decorations (including wine glasses with our work and the year etched on them as memento), a photo booth where we got copies of the pictures, cash bar, and a dj.  Cool wanted to go very badly, and even though parties are later than my bedtime and make me stressed out and anxious I agreed to go.

And once I got some wine in me, I loosened up and had fun.  The people that sat at our table were tipsy to drunk, but that made them really talkative and friendly, and it was nice to finally interact with people at work!  Some coworkers dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus and really put a lot of effort into the costumes, so we asked them to take a picture with us.  And it turned out really cute.  Maybe we’ll make it a future Christmas card.  And Cool and I took a picture together with a giant rose as a prop, which turned out really cute.  And it’s special because we never get pictures with both of us.  I even got up on the dance floor and did the 7 moves I know–and people were trying to keep me to come dance in the middle of the circle (I did not).  It was a success!

 

played Jenga at Social Hall

After we went to the zoo (also one of our favorite things to do) we stopped at Social Hall for lunch.  It turned out to be happy hour and our server was really nice and good too.  This never happens in Arizona.  We noticed when we first moved here that the service pretty much everywhere and every time of day, is bad.  Like abyssal.  But she was friendly and efficient so it was a special treat.

They have games inside and a big patio with a jumbo Jenga game made of 2×4-size wood.  Cool and I played and generally just had an unexpected fun time.

 

parents visit

I wanted my parents to see where we live, our cute house, our favorite spots…  So they came, but it was July when everyone is hot in AZ, and un-acclimated people want to die.  Not the optimal timing.  And I am very much conscious of utilities and we usually keep the temp no lower than 90F because in AZ you could easily spend $300+ on utilities if you let yourself be comfortable.  Anyway, so it’s not a good time of year for visitors.  But I wanted them to see and have fun, and that’s when they could come so we tried to make the best of it.

I planned a very detailed itinerary to try to accommodate everyone’s needs and desires:

zoo-because all 4 of us are animal lovers.

Sephora- to try scents and makeup and lotion.

heard museum-because it’s personal history to all of us and I knew they would all like it.  Also, it’s free the first Friday of every month.

aquarium-this was not on my itinerary, but we had time between plans so we made it happen.

movie-Cool and I are addicted to the luxiorious movie experience with the comfy seats and restaurant-food and bev brought right to your seat.  So I wanted my parents to enjoy it also.  And–it’s an AC space (AC I’ not paying for).

book store-  All 4 of us are readers and we have a local bookstore that also serves snacks, coffee, and adult beverages.

casino & buffet- to bring a little of my parent’s home to the visit.

brunch-for my birthday!  I love brunch so much!!!

WNBA-I wanted to go to a game for my birthday, and I got us 1st row tickets (closest seats of ever) to enjoy.

We really packed in the activities and they are already Cool and my favorite activities, so it was fun to share them.

 

color run

Not only was it a color run, it was unicorn-themed and that’s like my favorite ever.  Cool was a good sport and even dressed up in complementary-colored tutu with me.  They had all kinds of selfie stations, and threw color on us as we ran.  The location was beautiful, and the sunrise in AZ is always gorgeous.  So it was a fun time with tons of cute stuff!

 

tour de fat

We discovered this in 2018, and at that time I spontaneously danced in a talent show.  Which was very fun.  Except I finished the routine with crowd-pleasing splits (with zero stretching/preparation) and messed up my hamstring for the 8 following months.  But it had been a real fun time, so we went again.

This year it was much hotter, so I was drenched in sweat the whole time.  But we dressed adorable, tried new beer, and spectated some of their quirky contests and shows.  It’s always a unique and entertaining time!

 

pride wk at work

Since Phoenix summers are uncomfortable (an understatement) the city has Pride in April.  Which is really a terrible idea.  Because everyone else is doing Pride in June and nobody in the spring, so AZ is out of sync, and it ends up being lackluster as a result.  Also, it can still be 95-100F in April, so it’s not really even a nicer temperature to most people.  I could tell the people in the parade were hot and uncomfortable, fizzling, and spirited by the halfway mark.  They really need to find a stadium with a roof or somewhere cooler to hold the thing–in June.

So that’s why when work agreed to celebrate a Pride week in June it was like the best thing!  We dressed up and got to partake a little bit in what the rest of the nation was talking about so much.  Also, I’m really proud of my company for being inclusive, accepting, and going as far as celebrating the week.  Makes me feel safer and more welcome.

 

AZ fair

So in AZ, it’s less of a fair with animals and crafts and more of a carnival.  Which I guess for a city in the middle of a desert makes a lot of sense.  It was just different from what we’d experienced before.  Animals were hard to locate, and there weren’t many.  Crafts were not plentiful either.  Plant stuff was literally 12 pumpkins and the honey people–that’s it.  So that felt weird.

I found residential parking so we didn’t have to pay the $10 or fight the crowd, and that made me over-the-moon excited.  We just had to walk an extra mile, which is no problem for us.  We walk all the time.  They had all kinds of giant fair food and beverages to pick from.  There were rides, but the safety of those sketches me out so we didn’t do any of those.  But we did try our hand at a couple of the games, knowing they are rigged, but just wanting to enjoy the experience.  I did the Wack-a-Mole, and am so good at hitting those vermin that I won a prize!!!  Which never happens to me.  And it wasn’t just a little dinky thing, it was a good sized purple sparkly unicorn!  So that was super-cool.

 

brunch crawl

I saw it on social media and spontaneously (which I never am) bought tickets for the next day.  As you know I love a brunch!  All around town there were deals at the restaurants on pre-fix brunch stuff.  So we got to try a few different places all in one day.  And we found some new gems in town that we had gone to before and ended up being tasty and pleasant.

 

Halloween costume

I always think I’m going to lazy out of the costume and just wear something easy from a previous year, but then the spirit hits me.  This year I went from easy bear I already had to…fish!  I learned how to do mermaid face-paint that looks like fishnet.  Got some purple tights.  Painted my Mohawk blue.  And made a fin out of closed butterfly wings.  I looked amazing (if I do say so myself).  And I enjoy painting faces a lot, and am getting better and better at it.  And the planning phase is fun too.  Also, not gonna lie, but the accolades are fun to get as well.

 

my mohawk

My hair was long, just out of laziness and being cheap.  But I made the mistake of trying to save money by box dying it.  And Cool and I were actually getting really good at the process.  Even the lady who cut my hair said she has worked with professionals that didn’t do as nice a job of even coverage as we had–which I took as a major complement.  Anyway, box dye does horrible damage to hair.  I knew that before, but I didn’t realize just trimming it wasn’t going to fix it.  It was the kind of thing that I was going to have to trim and trim until all of it was cut off so I could start fresh.  And that sounded like a long plan.  But Cool suggested I get a mohawk.  And I’ve had short hair before, but nothing so dramatic or trend-specific.  But I am feisty and fun (and also thought it would be easier to just cut all the dye off at once) so I found some pictures.  The haircut went well and I felt cooler than I actually am.  I got a lot of genuine compliments at work–like people coming out of their way to tell me they loved it.  Not just the ‘I noticed a change and say nice hair’ stuff that you sometimes get with a fashion risk.  And not everyone liked it, but I was totally OK with that too.  Some people are old, gender-conforming, or conservative.  And I don’t care about any of those group’s opinions.  I thought I looked awesome and that’s what mattered!

 

 

#3:  Left Mck

I had been relieved to have a job after the terror of both my mate and I losing our jobs in the same week.  And for over a month.  I was really afraid.  But then, the job just wasn’t what I can accept.  I don’t want to be treated as dispensable.  Don’t want to be micromanaged and watched to the extent I feel like I’m living in a Big-Brother world.  I want to know ahead of time if I will be in my same team, position, or location–not told right as it’s happening.  I don’t want to constantly be training new people all the time all the time, without being in some leadership position or getting a raise or recognition for doing that.  And I sure as fuck don’t want to commute.  So I was ecstatic when I got a job close to the house and could leave all of that behind.  I just wish I hadn’t had to lose all the acquaintances/friends I was getting to know.

 

#2:  10 year anniversary with my mate- Nov

What a special time!  Cool and I have made it ten years and now it sounds just as substantial to others as we always felt about ourselves.  It’s really neat to be able to say ‘decade’ and also really a relief that this is it.  Love.

 

#1:  Got a permanent job

As much of a relief as it is not to be a precarious temp having to worry constantly about messing up and losing a job, and having to save every penny for just in case–this happened really late.  It was promised that in 90 days I would go perm.  Feet were dragged for additional months.  So when it did happen, it was less of a happy occasion and more of a what took so long?  But now life in Arizona can truly start and I’m really happy for stability.  I want 2020 to be the year of stability!

2016: The High Points-Ranked

3 Jan

There was more bad times then good this year.  Or more accurately, a lot of the bad points overshadowed the good.  Or their were the normal good times, but the daily grind had a lot of negative.  But here, I have happily remembered many of the good.  From awesome to major thrill, here is my Top Moments Countdown:

Honorable mention:  The Trampled by Turtles concert with Lorn Huron as opener.  They put on a wonderful show (see review blog) but the venue totally ruined the whole thing.

trampled-by-turtles

11-Kelly Coffey circuit workouts/running on the trail in the summer

Cool has gained so much ground on this front, and it makes it fun, quality time instead of a chore.  It’s really nice to do it together.  And even though it was very hot (sometimes 104F) we both ran well AND had great attitudes about it.  I hope to continue our fitness stuff for a very long time.

10-Balloon Races/kayak

This went from the top spot last year to 10th!  But not because it was bad or anything.  I packed the car to the brim, but forgot one bag.  The one with all the cute outfits I had lovingly put together over the prior weeks and weeks.  It was a fun trip, as always, but even though there were technically more days IN the visit, we were way more rushed.  We didn’t even get to play yard games!  We have to plan better next time.  And some lady chastised my family when we sat down at Dawn Patrol.  Even though there’s no tickets and no seating arrangement.  She got ugly about it, saying “we’ve been here since 3AM.”  False.  They don’t open the gates until 4 AM, and shove it up your ass, lady.  I had fun, and I always love the balloon races, but we were kinda running around.  Plus, my mom was still recovering from her radiation/surgery.  And my dad was having trouble walking around so much.  We will do it better next visit!

lauurel-remax

9-Cool’s birthday in Park City

I bought Cool (and me) a massage package in Park City.  So we could try out being fancy (that’s not our life).  It was fun, but I just don’t think I’m a massage person.  Example:  They have a sign-in sheet and it asks what you don’t want in the massage.  I wrote “awkwardness.”  My gal was like, what do you mean you don’t want awkwardness?  Long pause.  What is awkwardness to you?”  Umm, THIS conversation.  And there was a hair treatment in the massage.  But that meant either you have to walk around with straight up oil in your wet hair–or shower.  So I had a weird semi-private shower, which I’m never a fan of.  So the massage was good, but I just am not going to submit myself to any more of that.  We did get to window shop in Park City and eat at High West, so that was nice.

boss-moose

8-getting the impossible raise

My worth ethic is unparalleled.  And my department under-pays so there is high turnover.  I ended up doing way more then my share (as I have always done) on a consistant basis.  The difference was, they keep track of checklists, so I saved them and wrote everything down.  Everyone in the company, everyone, everyone gets a standard 40 cent raise at their yearly review.  Everyone.  No exception.  But I worked more so I deserved more.  And I asked for it.  My supervisor said no no straight away.  I persisted that I worked very hard.  And they couldn’t deny that.  So the head of the department said he could try to ask for more, but it had only ever happened on very few rare occasions.  I said we could at least try, and he said he’d talk to his boss, but don’t get my hopes up.  I didn’t.  But the next week, he said I got it!  I got more than the standard 40 cent raise!!!  One of very few–nobody in recent memory.  But then, because he’s a douche and he doesn’t like me (because I caught him red-handed talking shit about me to another random employee AND went to HR about it)  he ruined the moment by saying, “You got lucky.”  No, you mother-fucker, I did not get lucky, I worked hard and earned it.  And Cool further ruined the occasion by picking one of our biggest fights ever.  So this should be higher on this list, but *sigh* other people. . .  I DID buy myself a really nice fitness tracker as a gift to me.  And it is hands free/cord free/phone free music.  Right on my wrist–with no other device necessary.

7-Zoo Brew

Best idea ever!  With or without alcohol.  The zoo put on a 21 and over event, which is genius.  I don’t always want to have kids pushing me, deal with screaming, and have little people running around scaring the animals and tapping on glass.  As long as you look at the zoo before the adults get out of the alcohol lines, you can see the animals before the adults start to exhibit (pun intended) this behavior.  It’s the first time we ever saw the palace cat out, because it was actually quiet.  Love!  And we went to the very first event, so nobody knew if it yet, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Subsequent events were fun too, but word had spread and it was more crowded.  That May event–perfect!

giraffes-are-tall

6-my birthday:

I went extravegent for my bithday.  Not because it was a milestone year (33) but more because I had a job where I can take (paid) time off.  So I used it to my advantage and did bunches of things all week.  I got my hair dyed special. mussel-shooters-with-quail-egg She took the color out, then did a rinse so it was subtle, purple highlights.  I loved it!  And as soon as I catch up on money, I’ll get that again.  On your birthday you get to eat whatever you want, even if the other person doesn’t like that kind of food.  Cool is a very picky eater, so I always have to go without a lot of foods.  So I chose sushi.  The restaurant was cute, and had a mural and live music too.  I got a whole platter, which I never do, but it was my birthday, and I had to load up from the prior year of no sushi and the next year of no sushi.  And I got mussel shooters, which are fun to eat!  My actual birthday we paid for Red Butte gardens ($13/person and a total rip-off) which is MUCH smaller than Spokane’s free Manito Garden.  I won’t go back lizlard-wave-up-frontunless there’s a free day.  We went to Red Robin’s for lunch, which I wouldn’t choose, but my blood sugar got low and we had no other recourse and Cool panicked and got irritable.  Then we went to an independent theater and saw one of the films that had been at Sundance Film Festival.  It was “Swiss Army Man” see my review.  I liked it, and figured it out, so felt cool.  Then we had a Grapefruit Ballist Point beer on a patio and it was wonderful.  We had planned to go to our library’s coffee and chocolate class but some obnoxious lady sat immediately next to me, wouldn’t stop engaging me, and when she belched in my face I called it quits and walked out early.  Then sent a long complain letter to the event’s organizer–who turned out to be really, really sweet.  Signed us up for the next month’s (super competitive) class, gave me coupons for free coffee at the library shop, and gave me a birthday gift of 4 artisan chocolate bars!  Like, really sweet and very apologetic (that’s not usually my life).  Anyway, so we went to an oyster restaurant instead.  I like oysters, but found the restaurant very over-priced.  The day after my birthday, Cool had paid for an experience at the aviary.  I got to go in a private room with a parrot and a bird trainer.  The bird painted me a picture.  Well,  actually she went dab-dab dab with the sponge then looked for her food treat.  Then saw she had to dab more to get more food, so quickly dab-dab-dabbed in order to get more treats.  I got to take pictures right up next to her and took my painting by her home.  It was really neat to get up close and personal and she was a cute stuff.

painting-with-picaso-birthday

5-Halloween Costumes

We loved the year we were trick-or-treating, and I’ve always loved Halloween.  But usually, one of us is stuck at work.  This year–neither of us were, so we wanted to do something really big.  A couple’s costume!  So on Sundays we brainstormed and brainstormed, and researched, and planned.  The best, easiest thing for us to do was “Lions Tigers and Bears–Oh my!”  We bought more then we wanted, and made some cool accessories.  Then, I face-paintedgracies-contest-004 gracies-contest-026my little heart out!  It took forever, but we looked good.  We had signed up for a fun-theme-run, so we dressed up for that.  And the zombies chased us.  Cool body-slammed a zombie, and outran the children.  At the end, they had voting for best costume.  Except, they forgot to call us up (they said if you think you’ll win just get up there anyway) so we had to push through the crowd–which Cool is never good at.  There was no raised stage or anything, we were just in a parking-lot, and as short people, we were probably obscured to anyone not in the front row.  And the dope-DJ who was running the thing didn’t say our name properly he called us “a lion and a tiger.”  The voting was by audience cheer.  We got second place, but after all the afore-mentioned factors, I think we were robbed!  And I think the first place winners had stacked the crowd.  So we felt we could do better.  When a local restaurant announced they were having a costume contest for cash prizes ($500 Sunday night, $500 Monday night–when it had been one night the year before for $1000) we had to try!  Even though it meant taking time off work.  So I requested a partial day off Sunday (working corporate and having not only paid vacation, but as-needed employees to cover shifts is so nice!) to gracies-contest-025get ready and go.  I did my very best face-painting work and we hung out at Gracie’s waiting for the voting.  And some ten foot tall tree man took our prize!  With some king and queen getting 2nd, and that Tim Burton wig head dude and his gal-friend taking 3rd.  Disagree and disagree.  We should have at least gotten 2nd!  So we tried one more time and dressed up for work on Monday.  Because their was a contest and a secret prize, and our boss encouraged everyone to dress up.  He didn’t encourage us for work-spirit or anything.  That douche is a nerd and his big hobby is making and dressing up in costumes–even though he’s like, 50.  He has a batman, that could legit-be used for one of the movies.  That’s how much time and money and effort he put into it.  That is an old costume of his.  This year, he was working on a Captain Sparrow costume.  Which I thought was only so-so.  How hard is it to get a mscl-halloween-contest-copydred-wig, a sash, and buy tall boots?!  So we thought we’d at least win the work contest and beat him–cause who doesn’t love a group costume?  But alas, our boss won the whole contest.  And some gal painted herself silver and wore deer antlers (big deal) and beat us for 2nd place.  We didn’t even place at all 😦  So we had fun, and looked good, but this didn’t rank higher because nobody knows how to properly judge a contest, and we should have won, but didn’t.

haunted-5k-186

 

 

4-my thousand day in a row mile

I ran so many days-in-a-row that I made it to #1000 this summer!  To commemorate the occasion, I made flyers at work, inviting people.  Even though I knew those duds and douches wouldn’t show, I was excited and there was an off-chance someone might share in that excitement–plus, I could get acknowledgement of my huge accomplishment, and tie it to my resume that way.  As part of the work in-a-row-2event, I made it a coin drive fund-raiser so we could adopt a bird at the aviary.  The money goes towards feeding and care and they give you free aviary passes, a plush of your bird, and a certificate.  Only my supervisor came to my mile, but I really hadn’t expected anyone at all, so that was OK. I wore my running skirt and felt awesome.  And I used our concert window chalk and painted my accomplishment all over Rusty.  On the way from the fundraiser to work, I was stuck in traffic.  I don’t use my air conditioner–ever–in order to save money, so my windows were both down.  I heard a, “I promise I’m not hitting on you.”  Firstly, I didn’t expect it.  Secondly, I thought–that can’t be for ME.  Thirdly, I was like–do I really want to engage with this?  So after a long time, I turned my head, and some guy stuck in the traffic jam beside me, asked, “Did you really run so many days in a row???  That’s cool!”  So that was nice.  While I was at work that night, our Hispanic cleaning gal brought her whole family inside our lab.  They all looked really happy, and they asked if any of us spoke Spanish–none of us do, all of us randomly speak German, if any second language at all.  Her husband had his phone and somehow conveyed that they wanted to buy a car.  I heard “Isuzu” and realized what happened.  They saw all my window paint, but couldn’t read English.  So they assumed I was selling my beautiful Rusty for $1000, and they were ready to take it that night!  I was like, “No, no,no, not for sale.”  And they looked very disappointed.  And everyone in my lab teased me that I broke their hearts for the rest of that week.  Only like 3 people at work donated to the coin drive (I TOLD you I work with duds) but 2 of them donated $20s.  So we got to adopt a bird for $50.  I chose a black vulture 1) because vultures are important to our world and Andy N. Condor has enlightened me to their cuteness and cause. 2) Little Chewy and Vader of Tracy Aviary didn’t have any sponsors for 2016, and that made me sad for them.  3)  Our lab is SO vulture!   We are the clean-up crew of the medical industry as we have to sniff out mistakes and correct them.  We deal with icky samples.  And–we’re all anti-social and sort of put-down upon by the hoity-toity management and the super-social client services and phlebotomists.   I hung the flyer, the certificate/facts, and the vulture plush in the lab.  Everybody likes it and we named out vulture plush, Culture, which is appropriate for us.

1000th-mile-in-a-row-003

3-Brandi’s concert

Brandi always makes our list.  She always puts on an exciting show that you come away from amped up.  But the venue was awesome!  We were right in the middle of the Deer Valley bunny area, with mountains and trees all around.  And Park City is always fun–we of course snuck into their mini Arts-Fest (only for 2 min) and ate beer cheese pretzels and drank cocktails at our fave- High West.  It also made it the best time because we packed our own tailgate and pic-nic.  We had greek pitas, watermelon-rum slushees, salads and s’mores in (separate) mason jars.  It was delicious, and topped off the day nicely.  Oh, and we got the very best parking spot where we could exit the concert first, and easily, because one of the Deer Valley maintenance workers gave us a good tip.

brandi-date

2-Utah Arts Festival

It was bigger and better then I ever expected!  There were booths where we got to see SLC’s creative side.  The live music was cool, and we got to see Beats Antique–a legit band that made my countdown–at the end, right in the park.  The highlight of the day was getting a sampling of foods from there different food trucks.  And we came home with Rogue Bear and a beautiful pinned moth.

power-lunch

1.rodeo

We wanted to do something on our holiday weekend, but didn’t know what exactly.  At that time, we lived right pioneer-days-rodeowithin walking of downtown, but lots of things were closed, and nothing pioneer-days-rodeo-2016spectacular was going on.  But they do convert the whole arena each year for “Pioneer Days Rodeo.”  We thought we’d go check it out and kill some time.  We both wore our best cowgirl outfits and walked down.  Out front we stumbled on to a signing!  It was my dream at pretty much every event I’ve ever attended to have a meet and greet with the main person, but that’s not my life.  And here, we were standing in the middle of a meet & greet, but we didn’t know who any of the rodeo people were. . .  Still, the main guy invited us to get autographs, gave us a magazine to get signed, we had hats for them to sign.  They talked, and took pictures.  Everyone was really nice!  And inside the rodeo we had a lot of fun and excitement watching all the events.  We had no idea we would like the rodeo so much!  We had SO much fun that while we were sitting in the stands, we used my phone to buy tickets for the next evening as well.

 

So that’s the best of 2016, and I look forward to an very very much better 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Food: Detained, Strip Searched, Sodomized

16 Apr

EnronAll from phone instructions of a person claiming to be a police officer or upper management. Enron 2 It sounds crazy, but I remember taking Social Psychology for extra credits in the summer and people will do strange things.  For instance, whe group mentality drives people to shout “jump” to a suicidal person on a ledge.  Or how the ethos at Enron let them perpetrate such obvious crimes.  Humans are wired in certain ways, and it can have very scary consequences.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_phone_call_scam

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

 

Here’s what happened from http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20051009/NEWS01/510090392/A-hoax-most-cruel-Caller-coaxed-McDonald-s-managers-into-strip-searching-worker:

She was a high school senior who had just turned 18 — a churchgoing former Girl Scout who hadn’t received a single admonition in her four months working at the McDonald’s in Mount Washington.  But when a man who called himself “Officer Scott” called the store on April 9, 2004, and said an employee had been accused of stealing a purse, Louise Ogborn became the suspect.  Summers said “Officer Scott” in Mount Washington knew the color of Ogborn’s hair, as well as her height and weight — about 90 pounds. He even described the tie she was wearing.  Summers, 51, conceded later that she had never known Ogborn to do a thing dishonest. But she nonetheless led Ogborn to the restaurant’s small office, locked the door, and — following the caller’s instructions — ordered her to remove one item of clothing at a time, until she was naked.

By the time the caller telephoned the company-owned McDonald’s in Mount Washington in April 2004, supervisors had been duped in at least 68 stores in 32 states, including Kentucky and Indiana. The targets included a dozen different restaurant chains.  Managers of at least 17 McDonald’s stores around the nation had been conned by that time, and the company already was defending itself in at least four lawsuits stemming from such hoaxes.  Some of the strip-searches weren’t even reported to police, because embarrassed restaurant officials were reluctant to publicize them, said Jablonski, the ex-FBI agent. The fiercely competitive chains also initially were reluctant to talk to each other. “For a variety of reasons, they were slow on the draw,” he said.

By now, Ogborn had been detained for an hour. Her car keys had been taken away, and she was naked, except for the apron. She would later testify that she thought she couldn’t leave.  “I was scared because they were a higher authority to me,” she said. “I was scared for my own safety because I thought I was in trouble with the law.”

He pulled the apron away from Ogborn, leaving her nude again, and described her to the caller. He ordered her to dance with her arms above her head, to see, the caller said, if anything “would shake out.” He made her do jumping jacks, deep knee bends, stand on a swivel chair, then a desk.  He made her sit on his lap and kiss him; the caller said that would allow Nix to smell anything that might be on her breath.  When Ogborn refused to obey the caller’s instructions, Nix slapped her on the buttocks, until they were red — just as the caller told him to do, Ogborn testified later.  Louise Ogborn had been in the back office for nearly 2½ hours when the caller said she should kneel on the brick floor in front of Nix and unbuckle his pants.Ogborn cried and begged Nix to stop, she recounted in her deposition. “I said, `No! I didn’t do anything wrong. This is ridiculous.”  But she said Nix told her he would hit her if she didn’t sodomize him, so she did.

Like the rest of her ordeal, it was captured on a surveillance camera, recorded on to a DVD. And it continued until Summers returned to the office to get some gift certificates, and Nix had Ogborn cover herself again.

And finally, she realized the same. She called her manager — Lisa Siddons — whom the caller had said was on the other line. Summers discovered Siddons had been home, sleeping.  “I knew then I had been had,” Summers said. “I lost it.  “I begged Louise for forgiveness. I was almost hysterical.”  Summers watched the store video later the same night, saw what Nix had done, and called off their engagement. She hasn’t spoken with him since, according to her attorney.  She initially was suspended, then later fired, for violating a McDonald’s rule barring nonemployees from entering the office. A couple of weeks later, she was indicted on a charge of unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor. Nix was indicted on charges of sodomy and assault.

Many police departments filed their case away under “miscellaneous” because they couldn’t figure out how to pursue the caller, Prewitt said, or had trouble figuring out what crime, if any, he had committed.  Several departments were able to trace the calls to phone booths in Panama City, Fla. But that was as far as any had gotten until the Mount Washington hoax.  He eventually learned the call had originated in Panama City, and that the largest seller of phone cards there was Wal-Mart. But that didn’t help much — the largest seller of everything is Wal-Mart, and it has three stores in Panama City alone.

The camera at that store was trained on the registers, and it showed the purchaser was a white man, about 35 to 40, with slicked-back black hair and glasses. The same man could be seen on Flaherty’s video entering the other Wal-Mart, where he was wearing a black jacket with small white lettering.  Flaherty and a colleague flew to Panama City on June 28, 2004, and local officers immediately identified the jacket as the uniform worn by officers of Corrections Corp.of America, a private prison company.  When they showed it to the warden at the company’s Bay Correctional Facility, he identified the man as David R. Stewart, 38, a guard on the swing shift.  Stewart denied making the calls, but when confronted, he started to “sweat profusely and shake uncontrollably,” Flaherty wrote in a report. Stewart also asked, “Was anybody hurt?” and said, “Amen, it’s over,” according to the report.

Stewart eventually was brought to Bullitt Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty to solicitation to commit sodomy and impersonating a police officer, both felonies, as well as soliciting sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment, both misdemeanors. He was released on $100,000 bond pending his trial Dec. 13. His bond was posted by his brother, C.W. Stewart — a retired police officer from Cheektowaga, N.Y.  Detectives in other jurisdictions say they didn’t press charges because the caller’s crime would be a misdemeanor for which he could not be extradited.

Across the United States, at least 13 people who executed strip-searches ordered by the caller were charged with crimes, and seven were convicted.  But most of the duped managers were treated as victims — just like the people they searched and humiliated.  Many of the supervisors were fired and some divorced by their spouses, Annunziata said. Others required counseling.  But the duped managers have been condemned by others.

McDonald’s blamed what happened on Stewart and Nix, over whom it says it had no control. The company has sued both of them.  In court papers, McDonald’s also has blamed Ogborn for what happened to her — saying that her injuries, “if any,” were caused by her failure to realize the caller wasn’t a real police officer.  Questioning Ogborn during a deposition, Patterson suggested that although she had no clothes, she could have walked out of the office, but stayed voluntarily to clear her name.  “Did it ever occur to you to scream?” he asked.  Her therapist said she followed orders because her experience with adults “has been to do what she is told, because good girls do what they are told.”

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Jacob’s Ladder

7 Feb

I think the movie was going for some sort of “Sixth Sense” reveal, but ultimately tried to cram to much in to get a full effect. It tried something, but missed the mark by going in too many directions.

PTSD, biological warfare, paranoia, flashbacks, one family & a random girlfriend, a hospital torture scene, post office job, subway craziness, monsters, angelic chiropractor, and a dead child. That’s too many loose ends for one movie. It doesn’t pack a punch, send me into analysis, or make me think–it made me schizophrenic. Did the plots of 5 movies get jumbled together?  Did the writer/direction have a plan for this?

I think the people that liked this were pretentious–and automatically assume SMART people get it. All I see is poor story telling, and nothing substantial to grab onto. Mulholland Drive–that is a puzzle that can be solved with attention to detail and some analysis. This one = fragmented garbage.

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A Day Late: My Thanks

29 Nov

I had a sort of bad day yesterday:

-I was awake the night before fretting over this stupid, “small” paper that’s due Monday.

-I spent the majority of the day formatting my sources.

-Cool was being a turkey–as she does every time I get a full day off.

-When we went to make our Indian Tacos, I discovered we were short on flour.

-We suddenly had the kitchen of a crack-whore.  Just bare.

But at night, before going to sleep Cool and I did an exercise of everything we’re thankful for.  Here’s mine:

-First and foremost, I’m thankful about my new Friday schedule.  It’s just one day, but it changes my whole attitude and outlook.  I’m way less worried, annoyed, stressed, tired, and frustrated.  I had been dreading Fridays all week, for a long time and it was really bringing me down.  I feel SO much better now!

-Rusty.  I am very thankful to have a dependable car that I don’t have to pour a lot of money into or worry about. Rusty I’m thankful for the 4×4 so I can get to work and school as needed, the AAA so I don’t have to worry about a breakdown or be stuck when bad thigs happen.  And mostly–the remote start.  I LOVE that I don’t have to go on that cold, dark (dangerous) street and scrape my windows or sit in a freezing car.

-My family being in one state.  I’m so glad Goose can finally live with us.  And I’m also glad that it improved my relationship with my parents.  Things with them are going very well, and it feels great.  I’m also glad Choco-Luv is healthy and happy and gets along so well with Cool.  It feels good to have my own little family.

parasailing 001

-Netflix.  It saves a lot of money to be able to stream shows and movies.  And commercial-free.  Saves money in not paying for satellite, not buying DVDs, and not going out for entertainment.

-I’m also thankful for the electric throw blankets, electric blanket, goose-down comforter, and infrared light in the bathroom.  It makes life a lot easier not to be constantly cold.  Everything seems better when you’re a cozy recovering from sxtemperature.  AND those things don’t ramp up the utility bill too much.

-My new clogging shoes.  I had so much fun with the whole talent show experience.  And having the shoes makes me excited and hopeful.

-Obviously, I’m thankful for Marble and the internet.  I would be a lot less happy if I were without those!  And Spotify music which makes everything I want to listen to available so easily and free.

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