Musings in the Dark

9/26/2020

Update

 Hey Dilettantes!

I've been in Senegal for six weeks now and have finally gotten over jet lag.  So far, all is good.  I love my new job, I like my new apartment, and I've made a few friends.  One of the best things about moving here is knowing that I wasn't going to be the only black woman at the job.  It is such a relief to be amongst my tribe...but I gotta brush up on my conversational French.  

Now that things are settling down, I plan to resume posting on a regular basis.  I got plans to celebrate the great month of October and my favorite holiday, Halloween, with the next phase in my homage to all things horror.  More to come in that regard.

Just wanted to touch base with you guys!  I'll check in with you soon.


6/29/2020

Update!

Hey Dilettantes!!

June has been a very busy month and I'm off my writing schedule (obvs).  My posting here in Indonesia has ended and I am going home for a short break before moving to Africa.  I've accepted a position in Senegal and I'm really excited about it. The opportunity for new opportunities awaits.

I've enjoyed my time in Asia, and it's time to give the Motherland some love.  I will be traveling for the next two days, and after spending some time with my loved ones, I will be moving on.

If you'd told me ten years ago that I would be a world traveler, I wouldn't have believed you.  Even though it was a dream of mine, at that time in my life I couldn't even believe it was possible.  I was in a lot of mental and emotional pain and couldn't see past it.  But now, I have the life that I want and worked hard for.

Goes to show you how funny life can be.

6/02/2020

Terminator: Dark Fate

We all know that T2: Judgment Day is when the Terminator movie franchise peaked.  Everything after that has been garbage.  The franchise hit an all-time low with Genisys.  That movie pissed me off so bad.  It was STUPID.  So I was not the least bit pressed when they came out with Dark Fate.  I had no interest in seeing it.


One day, I was sitting around with nothing to do and decided to watch a movie from one of my user-friendly movie websites.  Dark Fate popped up and I said, “Fuck it…it’s free.  Might as well kill some time.”  The only thing in the movie that had my attention was this cutie…


...and we DID NOT get an obligatory Terminator ass shot like we usually do. Trust me, I looked.  

Basically, Dark Fate is a discount T2 with women protagonists and lackluster writing. I did not buy the central protagonist as a revolutionary military leader and the movie made no effort to convince me otherwise.  And apparently, Terminators have reached an evolutionary dead end.  Being able to split into two parts just wasn’t that impressive and it felt like it should have been.  Maybe if they hadn’t put that in the trailer…

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about Dark Fate.  Everything you need to know about the movie, you saw it in the trailer.  While it wasn’t nearly as shitty as Genisys, they could have kept this one.  Grade: D

5/27/2020

Midsommar

This is a folk horror movie that came out in 2019.  It’s about a
group of “friends” that travel to Sweden to attend a festival at the behest of one of the members of a pagan cult.  One of the “friends” is a young woman named Dani who is grieving the loss of her entire family.  Her sister, who was bipolar, murdered their parents and then committed suicide.  Dani is the girlfriend of Christian, one of four guys who make up the rest of the main cast.  

It is established early on that Christian and Dani’s relationship is on the rocks; in fact, Christian has been wanting out of the relationship for the past year (according to his friends).  The only reason he hasn’t broken up with her is because she’s grieving and has no one else to depend on.  Christian’s friends are assholes, and he has some asshole tendencies as well (birds of a feather and all that). Pelle is the friend that invites everyone to attend his family’s midsummer festival, and things get interesting shortly after they arrive.

The only thing that truly annoyed me is how Dani has no agency.  She goes along with what’s happening and doesn’t question anything (outside of the tea the pagans give her to drink).  She senses that Christian wants to break up with her because she’s so needy, but she never really confronts him about it.  I think that if she had, that would have made the movie’s ending a lot stronger.

Midsommar is about two and a half hours long and honestly, it could have used a bit more editing. There were a few scenes that could have been cut out or down to shorten the time but that does not mean the movie was boring.  Slow at first, yes, but not at all uninteresting.  You have to pay attention because the director, Ari Aster, packs a lot into certain scenes and in background images.  He is very good when it comes to the details.

Midsommar is worth a watch.  Grade: B.

5/19/2020

Parasite

I was finally able to catch Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite.  It is an excellent movie.  I’m going to keep this review as short as possible so not to ruin the experience.  Basically, the Kims, a devious poor family that lives in a semi-basement apartment, manage to finesse their way into four high-paying service positions for the wealthy and somewhat na├»ve Park family.  The Kims are some straight up hustlers and the way they slide into those service positions is nothing short of brilliant.  However, their actions have some serious consequences.

The way the film is shot is amazing.  Bong Joon Ho uses vertical cinematography (in this case, stairways and hills) to convey wealth.  It is very clear that the world that the Parks inhabit is worlds different from the world of the Kims.  There is a discussion among the Kims at the halfway mark of the film about how money fixes things.  Mrs. Kim says that “money is an iron,” and she is 100% correct.  Who the title of the film refers to seems obvious at first, but as the movie progresses, that descriptor becomes fluid and it is not so easy to brand just one family as parasitic. 

If you get the chance to watch Parasite, do it.  It is a movie that requires multiple viewings and it won’t be a waste of time to do so.  Grade: A.

5/04/2020

The Mighty Elements of the Universe

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of music while working from home.  YouTube is amazing in this regard.  I click on a song I like and the algorithm generates a relevant playlist.  Next thing I know, I’m down the YT rabbit hole listening to the soundtrack of my earlier years; songs that used to play on Saturdays when my Momma made me clean up the house.  I’m sure a whole lot of y’all know exactly what I’m talking about.  

Some of the songs that popped up included the GAP Band’s “I Don’t Believe You Wanna Get Up and Dance,” Con Funk Shun’s “Love’s Train,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Diamond in the Back,” Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage,” and the Brothers Johnson’s “Strawberry Letter 23” and “Stomp!”  I was bobbing my head so hard I lost track of what I was actually doing.

4/29/2020

My Favorite Things: Matt Stonie

I was a hard-core fan of Man v. Food on the Travel Channel back in the day.  Recently, I found old episodes on YouTube and proceeded to get my life all over again watching Adam and Casey complete (or not) impossible food challenges.  I like reading the comments and one thing I kept seeing referenced over and over and over again was something like, “Matt Stonie could do this in five minutes.”  After a while I got tired of reading those comments and one Saturday, I found myself on his YouTube channel.  He’s a competitive eater and cute. as. hell.
Source
Let me say right now that the food challenges Adam and Casey participated in absolutely cannot compare to the amount of food Matt Stonie can consume.  Matt probably weighs 120 pounds soaking wet and he can eat up to about 20% of his body weight.  I spent a whole weekend watching every video he had and I still marvel at how he is able to do that and be as skinny as he is.  It ain’t right.  Shit, if I walk past my fridge I gain 10 pounds.  He is a freak of nature, simply put.  Go check him out here.

Favorite food challenges:  Epic Root Beer Float, 7 Shamrock Shakes, Jollibee Five Buckets of Fried Chicken, Giant Bowls of Cereal, and Big Smoke’s Order.

4/20/2020

My Favorite Things: How to Cake It

One day, I fell down the YT rabbit hole and ended up on a channel called “How to Cake It.”  I then spent the next three or four hours watching cake virtuoso Yolanda Gampp create art out of cake.  There’s not too much more I can say; you have to see it for yourself.  The woman is an absolute wunderkind.  Mrs. Gampp has a warm and vibrant personality and she’s a joy to watch. 

My favorite vids are: Bread Cakes, the Ladybug Cake, the Butterfinger Donut Cakes, and the Corn Cake.

Don’t waste any more time reading what I have to say, go here and get your cake decorating life.

4/13/2020

My Favorite Things: Cosmo Queens

So I’m one month into quarantine and all is fairly well.  I’m still working from home, but honestly…it’s an adjustment.  Some days I’m not motivated at all, but it can’t be helped.  I’m grateful to still be able to work and earn money, but I digress.  In my down time, I’ve found new things to entertain myself and I wanted to share them.  Note: These things are NEW to ME.

Alliyah hipped me to Cosmo Queens.  These are videos that show drag queens transform themselves into their alter egos through the power of makeup.  I hardly wear makeup at any given time and am liable to poke myself in the eye with a mascara wand.  So, watching these talented individuals literally become queens is awesome.  I quickly became addicted.

My favorite videos are of Vanessa Mateo, Jaida Essence Hall, Vander Von Odd, Miz Cracker, Akeria Chanel Davenport, and Mercedes Iman Diamond.  Honestly, all of the videos are amazing, and I have watched them all multiple times.  I really appreciate and respect the artistry and skill.

3/24/2020

Update

I’ve been extremely busy for the past couple of months with work, and now—just like the rest of the world—am quarantined and doing distance learning from home.  How do I feel about it?  I’m good.  I’m an introvert anyway and know how to be at home for days on end and not be bored.  I’ve got books and movies lined up to read and watch, I have some new LEGO sets, and I can catch up on my blogging and writing.  

Of course, now that I have time to write, the Muse is not speaking to me.  I guess after completing Switchblade Romance, which took 8 months to write, she needed a break.  It is what it is.

I am excited to announce that (pending everything goes well) I will be relocating to Africa in the fall.  I am excited to start the next level of my expat journey in Dakar, Senegal.  I did not see this coming, as I had planned to stay in Asia for the next five or so years.  There are still countries I haven’t visited yet, such as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.  Actually, I was supposed to go to Kuala Lumpur during Spring Break, but #DatRona hit and fucked up all my travel plans.  

But anyway, I was approached last fall and offered an opportunity that I would have been a fool to reject. I will have fewer preps and the benefits package is nice.  Also, I will finally be working alongside other black people.  That is a significant benefit, as I am tired of being the only one. Also, I will be able to travel to other African countries, and Egypt is the first country I’m gonna hit.  Europe is only 4 hours away.  Doable.  Pending everything goes well.

I haven’t been to the movies since last fall.  Nothing has dropped that I wanted to go see and review, and with #DatRona out, there won’t be any movie-going anytime soon.  Good thing I got NF and my online movie sites.

Y’all stay safe out there.