A Bump in the Night

April 28, 2013

A Bump in the Night

Last night, I was over at Alan’s house. It was just a small get together that eventually fizzled down to us watching movies on Alan’s computer, which was hooked up to David’s projector. It was like our own personal movie theater.

Anyway, we started with Mama and eventually worked our way to Superman: Doomsday. As we worked through a few movies, we progressively got more and more slap-happy. Late night movie watching can get that way. Stupid things made us laugh hysterically. Small scares in Mama made us scream. And the ground started to feel like the plushiest bed we’d ever lain in.

While we were watching Mama, a few of the guys expressed a distaste for scary movies, and it got me thinking about why I enjoy a good (or bad) scary movie. When I was younger, I thought I hated scary movies and I refused to watch them. Especially because I was already scared of the dark. I didn’t need another reason to be afraid every night before bed. Nowadays, I look forward to watching crappy scary movies on Netflix.

Once you start perusing through horror flicks, you notice some patterns. There are only a few kinds of scary movies. There are ones with senseless gore like Saw or Final Destination. There are ones about explorers or scientists that “went too far” like The Cave or Splice or The Descent. There are ones about demons or possessions like The Exorcism or The Possession. There are ones with spooky, little, supernatural jump-scares like Paranormal Activity or Mama. There are shaky camera movies like Cloverfield or The Blaire Witch Project.  There are ones about killers stalking through the night like Friday the 13th or My Bloody Valentine or House of Wax. And finally, there are classics like the works of Alfred Hitchcock that realize the scariest monsters are the ones we don’t see.

Whether I’m sitting on the edge of my seat watching a suspenseful Paranormal Activity or looking for a barf bag as I cringe at a gruesome Saw, I enjoy scary movies. And I think it has a lot to do with feeling alive. Scary movies (like haunted houses and roller coasters) are like this safe way to electrocute your entire body with excitement. It’s a way to be reminded that you’ve got a heart ready to pump adrenaline through your veins at a moments notice. It’s a way to unashamedly let out a scream you didn’t realize you were holding in. It’s a way to laugh at yourself as you contort your body in weird ways to shelter it from the cinematic threat. It’s a way to feel human. Because being scared is what makes humanity great.

Without fear, we’d never be courageous. As the Third Doctor said: “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”

Scary movies are great because they give us all a chance to be courageous, to be Supermen. Then, maybe someday when we’re faced with something truly scary…We can remember that we escaped Jason and Freddy Krueger and Mike Meyers. We survived the Bates Motel. We vanquished Toby and eradicated Jigsaw. What’s left to fear, right?

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Bucket List

I’ve always thought Bucket Lists were kind of a cool concept.

But people always make these extreme Bucket Lists full of things like: Skydiving and rock climbing. Bucket Lists often consist of Life threatening situations that could very possibly cause you to kick the bucket before you finish the list…which I suppose is probably the point, right? It’s all about dying in some crazy, awesome way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not critiquing Bucket Lists comprised of those activities nor am I scoffing at those who write them. I am merely perceiving a curious phenomena.

Anyway, I suppose in some ways those lists are appealing. Sometimes I think the success of a Life could be measured by how excited you would be to tell someone about it on your death bed. If you’re on your death bed and you’re itchin’ to tell someone you’re whole Life story because you know deep down that it’s worth hearing…that’s a good, successful Life. If you’re laying there like: “Meh…They don’t wanna hear about that…” Well, that’s a scary thought. Hopefully most of us will experience the first of the two options. And I suppose that’s the point of a Bucket List.

But! For anyone out there that just needs to get their toes wet first…anyone who wants to start with a mild Bucket List…I’ve created A Bucket List for the Tame One…

Let’s begin now…

1.) Buy A Pair Of Shoes From Gazelle Sports

Gazelle Bag

Unfortunately, this is sort of a Western Michigan thing…You’d be hard pressed to find a Gazelle Sports anywhere else…Seeing as they don’t exist anywhere else. But if you ever get the chance to buy a pair of shoes from Gazelle Sports, jump on it. Being a Cross Country and Track runner for 5 years now, I can tell you that the service at Gazelle’s is the best. The workers there…put the shoes on for you. Honestly, I’ve never felt more like a king than when a Gazelle Sports worker puts the shoe on for me and then does up my laces. It’s like I’m frickin’ King of the Gazelles.

2.) Get Your Hair Shampooed

This is a pretty common thing to have done. Most people have probably had their hair shampooed. But if you haven’t…you should. Again, it’s this feeling of being pampered. Like, you’re just laying there and this person is massaging your head and cleaning your hair at the same time. It’s the best part of any haircut.

3.) Light Floating Lanterns

I think I’ve mentioned last Summer a few times. Basically, I had this group of friends that was determined to have the best Summer ever because there were a few experiencing their last Summer before college and Carly was leaving for Interlochen in the Fall. So, we sort of had a Summer Bucket List. Anyway, one item on there was to light floating lanterns (just like in Tangled.) And so, at the end of Summer, we did. It was a blast…Especially when mine floated right into a tree and caught on fire…In general, however, I would highly recommend it.

Here’s a photo of Claire sending hers off…at least hers didn’t hit a tree…

Claire and Her Lantern

4.) Eat a Sanders Hot Fudge Sundae And/Or Brown Sugar Toast

Sanders and Brown Sugar

These are two things that I’ve mentioned before. But I wholeheartedly believe they are the best treats on this planet. When I wake up to some sweet brown sugar toast to contrast with the tart bite of some grapefruit juice…I know it’s gonna be a good day. And then when I finish off the night with a big ol’ bowl of ice cream covered in Sanders hot fudge…I know that Life is good.

5.) Lick a Streamer

I can’t tell you why…I can only tell you that if you find yourself at a party with those really cheap paper streamers…you should just take a little piece and give it a lick.

6.) Make a S’More On A Candle Flame

Perfect Marshmallow

I get that roasting s’mores over a fire might be more fun. I do. And I would advise, in general, that you roast most of your marshmallows over a bonfire…However, a candle opens you up to this whole other world of marshmallow done-ness perfection. See, with the small flame created by a candle, you have a lot more control over how cooked the marshmallow is getting. It’s almost too easy to make a perfectly golden-brown marshmallow in every regard if you use a candle.

7.) See a Double-Feature

I love movies. Who doesn’t? And what’s better than one movie? Two. There was this span of a few years where my family didn’t really plan anything for Thanksgiving, so we just went out to go see some movies. We’d see one movie in the afternoon, go eat dinner downtown, and then go see another movie. Amazingly, I didn’t get tired of sitting in a theatre. Movies are kind of cool in that regard. Sometimes I sit down in a theatre and I’m like: “Shoot…I gotta sit here for two hours?” And then the movie starts and I completely forget those complaints. Really, even if a movie is bad, they’re usually still immersive. Anyway, a double-feature day is a good day. (Speaking of a double-feature…seeing a live performance of Rocky Horror should really be on this list. There is a big difference between seeing the movie and watching as a grown man struts about the stage in drag. (If you don’t see how “double-feature” reminds me of Rocky, it’s because the opening song is Science Fiction Double-Feature.))

8.) Drink Pop Through a Twizzler

Twizzlers

This is another one that you’ve probably done already…If you haven’t, get on this bandwagon. Twizzlers are probably my favorite candy and they’re even better after I use them to suck up a big gulp of Sprite. The cool drink chills the Twizzler and makes the gummy elasticity of the licorice sort of tough, which I kinda enjoy. And then, if some Sprite coats the inside of the Twizzler…that’s alright with me. I like a little bite of fizzy pop with my sweet strawberry candy.

9.) Sleep in the Buff

Again, this isn’t an extremely uncommon thing. But of course it would make it on a Bucket List for the Tame One. An intense Bucket List might say something like: Skinny Dip…But who would ever do that? Hooligans, probably. Anyway, it’s rather self-explanatory and I’m beginning to blush. Next item on the list!

10.) Write…Something

The Journal of an Idiot

Anything. A journal. A diary. A blog. I hate to sound horribly cliché (although I do in every single post) but writing this blog has probably been one of the more fulfilling hobbies I’ve taken up. As I write each post, I learn more about myself and I find myself making connections where I’d never seen any before. Reflection upon my Life has made it more rich than I ever thought possible.

Anyway, that’s a Bucket List for the Tame One. The last one is especially important because we’re all the exact sum of our experiences and what we draw from them, we are all ourselves because of the obstacles we’ve faced in Life and how we chose to overcome them. Bucket Lists are a cool way of outlining: “I will be the kind of person that challenges themselves. I will be the kind of person who goes out and experiences so I can become a better me. I will be the kind of person who has an interesting story to tell on their deathbed.”

Unfortunately…you probably won’t find that kind of enrichment in a Bucket List for the Tame One. But it’s a place to start. Someday I’ll make a real Bucket List…just for me…

A Bucket List for Idiots…

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)