First & most important, I heard from Chad! Chad who I met 11 years ago through the Elvis Palace. Chad who created the best D&D campain I've ever played & turned me on to H.P. Lovecraft. Chad who moved to Texas in 2000 & frighteningly vanished from the face of the earth late in 2005. Our friends have been increasingly concerned for him & I was on the verge of contacting a private investigator to find out just where he went. I was really afraid to find out what might have happened. I even went so far as to scour the Internet for obituaries in his area. It was frightening but very possible. But he finally called last night & we visited for 20 minutes or so until his phone battery ran out. It turns out, depression had sent him to some very dark & dangerous places in the last couple years but somehow he pulled himself back up on his feet. He's doing much better & is happier than he has been in a long time. It was such a relief to finally know he's still alive! We exchanged current information & I'm looking forward to visiting with him at length sometime soon. Hoohhh leeee cow.
Last week the local Point Cinema showed the shiny new 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas & I for one attended. Actually for two, once with matt_william & again with the_tick27. I haven't yet looked into how exactly you can take a film not originally filmed for 3D & make it so but however they did it they did it very well! The effects were nicely done & subtle, & since it wasn't originally intended for 3D distribution there aren't any ridiculous in-your-face scenes (think of the paddle-ball guy from the original House of Wax. [shudder]) A home video release seems unlikely but if it's in theaters again next year or is still making the rounds in your area I strongly endorse it!
Last weekend (well, not the most recent one but the one before that) I finally made it to Six Flags for their annual Fright Fest. Awesomeness abounded & I'm sorry I never made it before now. They really go all out to deck the halls for the harvest & horror season. Oil pots were burning everywhere, ride names were changed, flowerbeds were turned into graveyards & many staffers were in full costume. It was really worth the trip despite the huge crowds & 60 minute wait to get out of the parking lot. I went down with the_tick27 & met up with laviorli, phil_bond, seanorange & the Orange Girl. Unfortunately, I was the only one who wanted to check out the shows & haunted houses & other Fright Fest related events & activities, so after the first two coasters & split off & went to explore on my own, rather than wait two & half hours for the Batman. I saw three shows & braved the Necropolis (in broad daylight) before meeting everyone else again for the Eagle, which is 100X better at night & during Fright Fest.
The House on the Rock is a very special place to me & in the past few years I've made it a point to take a trip there & spend a day enjoying the main house as it was originally intended. Alex Jordan built the house as a place to escape to relax, & find inspiration. It didn't quite work out that way & it was eventually turned into an attraction. Each year countless people shuffle through the beautiful maze of amazing rooms & stare in awe at the wonderful creations & singular architecture, but how many experience it as it was originally intended. Well, there's me, & I enjoyed the hell out of it. As I sit quietly reading on one of the huge couches or padded benches & I tend to hear (willingly or not) many of the conversations of people going through the room. I try to stay out of the way & remain quiet so as not to distract them from the rest of the house. However, the most common conversation topic this time went along the lines of "Wow, he's almost lifelike." "Do you think he's real?" or "They did a really good job on him." One child went so far as to grab & shake my toe as my foot was casually propped up on my knee & another man actually kicked my shin! (I kicked back.) I was only sitting still & reading but the magic at the House on the Rock will let people believe that anything is possible.
I eventually changed rooms to one that was a little warmer & had a couch with cozy cushions. I heard many of the same comments & it was fun to answer or just look up & give people a scare. There was a group of girls that came through that had a particular shock, having thought I was a mannequin. We had a good laugh & a couple of us fell in love with each other because we had the same shoes (Chuck Taylor's, of course.) So they went up to the sun deck & later came down again through the same room. This time they wanted to take a couple group pictures with me on the couch by the Tiffany lamp & stained glass coffee table. Turns out, it was an entire troop of Girl Scouts. I may not have got as much reading done as I expected, but it was a lot of fun.
So lunchtime rolls around & I decide to head off to one of the restaurants or snack stands in the attraction for a bite. A workman was covering screens with glass panes in the Infinity Room & we got to talking about the House & things around it. He loved the fact that I go every year to do what I do & we agreed more people need to stop longer to experience the place. You see things differently if you have a seat & look around. He helped me get my improperly mutilated & squished penny out of the souvenir machine & overall seemed like a smart & interesting guy. He informed me that I wouldn't be able to get to any of the restaurants in the attraction because the tour ticket I bought didn't include any areas that served food. However, being an employee grants certain privileges, one of them being a handful of free all-access passes. He didn't think he would be able to get enough friends & family to use the stack he had left so he gave me one. Time for lunch!
I left the house & went down & around outside to where tour 3 begins at the Carousel Room. I flash my shiny new all-access pass & get admitted, tho' not without a curious look from the guide. The same happens at the Organ Room entrance. Being the Organ Room I am thoroughly distracted & cannot leave the place without going through as much of it as possible. I am there at least an hour & as time passes odd things happen. I hear phones ringing in claustrophobic areas. Guides begin coming up to me asking to see my ticket. When I show my pass they scrutinize it & eventually let me go. I watch as they head straight to a phone. This even happens when I order my food at the Inspiration Point restaurant. Strange indeed. Later on in the Circus Room & near the end of the tour (after a lengthly period where I remained unapproached) I met another guide. She too asked to see my ticket & I showed my pass. The all-access pass that, since I had received it within the attraction & was so excited for that I neglected to notice the fine print that said it must be redeemed at the entrance for the actual tickets that were used within the tour. This I finally discovered & with a soft blush let her keep it so management could account for it as finally used. A few of the guides recognized me from other years but now I don't think I'll ever be forgotten.
|So ever since seeing Nightmare in 3D I've been working on 3D images of my own. I posted one but have since made many more. Friday night Tick came over to carve Jack O' Lanterns & I taught him my technique for homemade anaglyph 3D pictures. No special camera is needed, just a good image program. I use Paint Shop Pro. You can see my example to the right. Click it for a big-up or click here to see the gallery. Wear your 3D glasses with Blue on the Left & Red on the Right.|
Hmm. Just scattered unsorted remnants left to finish catching up. Here goes:
I've been getting excited about playing Arkham Horror, the Lovecraft Mythos themed board game from Fantasy Flight & Chaosium. It looks to be a real treat. The rules are a little complex but not unnecessairly so. There is a lot of detail & everything set up takes up nearly my entire kitchen table. Once I get the Dunwich Horror expansion it will take up the entire table. With more than three or four people it might be better to commandeer a table at the local local library or Boarder's store. Ye cats this is gonna be great.
Tonite I had a honey bunch of people over to carve Jack of the lanterns out of the dozen or so enormous orange gourds I had. henrietta1, sacredspud, friend Steph & the Dad of Evil™ were able to make it & we filled my front steps with gruesome glowing gourd art. I was especially proud of mine this time as I used four sides to carve the Colossus Marking, the Elder Sign, the Yellow Sign & the other Elder Sign. I'll get photos before it rots. For now, it's slowly baking by candlelight on my front steps.
For those still with us at the end of this 1,800 word post, it may be worth checking out local Channel 15 news sometime in the vague but near future. Tomorrow morning they will be interviewing my Dad & me as part of a segment about people who have shared similar good fortune. Stay tuned & I'll keep you updated.
- E V I L O U T -
P.S. Now that's a lot of Jack O' Lanterns.