22 January 2010


Seven Quick Takes
(See the rest of this week's crop of Quick Takes!)

7. Introduction: My objective is to make these my seven quickest takes ever. Given how long my previous attempts were, that's hardly a tough challenge.

6. Guitar/Christine: Tonight marked my debut performance at my cousin's birthday party. I'd say that her brother backed me up on the drums, but it was he whom his parents wanted to show off, so it was I who was backing him up. Still, a debut is a debut!

One thing I'm going to take away from this experience is the confidence that comes from having faced a personal dragon and realising that singing in public isn't so scary after all!

5. I Miss the 80s: Would you believe that my friends preferred to watch Avatar in 3D to catching Universal Soldier: Regeneration???

There's really no accounting for some tastes, is there?

4. Books: Right now, I'm rereading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, an intricately told Horror story about a governess who is either being haunted or going insane.

My current reading project involves novels with governesses and au pairs as main characters, so if you have any recommendations (especially unusual ones), please let me know!

3. Teaching/Tutoring: Last week was "Fungus Week" at Fire Storm's house.

Did you know that yeast is a fungus? In Science class, we're documenting the decomposition of two bananas: one generously sprinkled with yeast and one left alone. In Home Economics class, we just finished baking bread that turned out to be as hard as rocks. I wish we had already reached Exodus in History class, because this would have been the perfect time to discuss unleavened bread.

2. Linky Fun: While doing my research on the movie Rockula, I found actor (and atheist) Dean Cameron's personal site.

On his Bio page, I found a really great quote:

"I'm pretty much an open book, but that doesn't mean we're buddies."

Yes and yes. (I so wish I had said that first!)

1. My Life: Two other guests at my cousin's party were some old friends of my mother's. Since she had me when she was so young, they felt like old friends of mine, too, and I sat with them at dinner and stepped out with them every time they took a cigarette break, which was surprisingly often. The twenty-year age difference didn't seem to matter, and we had a great deal of memories in common.

Thinking about it now, however, I feel a bit sad--though I don't really know why. These two old friends are a twin brother and sister who are very close to each other, which is wonderful because right now all they really have is each other. Our shared memories include over twenty years of failed romantic relationships for both of them, and estrangement from her only child for one of them. Neither of them bothered to build careers when they were in their twenties, and though they currently have decent steady jobs, they haven't really achieved anything, in the professional sense. They probably never will.

Their lives could be too easily explained by the drugs and hard drinks they used to indulge in with abandon. Though they can joke about their substance abuse now, I know that there is much they regret and wish they could do over. Yet that hard-won understanding doesn't mean that they "grew up": while I no longer find them shockingly irresponsible for people twice my age, I do ache at how utterly childlike they now seem. Life didn't harden them; it only made them more vulnerable.

So I felt sad for them . . . but also for myself. I know that I, too, am more of a child than I should be at my own age, and I realise that I might have been looking at my own future . . . except that I'm not lucky enough to have a twin to be there with me, at the end, should all the other ties I try to form prove unable to last.

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/dev/null said...

Turn of the Screw sounded so familiar, and a quick search confirms it as source of that creepy-weird film The Innocents; in 7th grade our English teacher tried to show us this film as an example of the horror genre, but many of the class were much too giggly and derisive, that he got visibly annoyed with us and turned it off.

I have seen the whole thing since then, and really wonder what it did to the children acting in the film...

Enbrethiliel said...


Hi, /dev/null. =) May I call you "Dev"?

I watched The Others back in 2004 with a friend who positively adored Nicole Kidman (and probably still does). She had heard that I was reading The Turn of the Screw for one of my English papers and thought it was enough of an excuse to get me to watch the movie with her. =P

What I remember, though, is that the movie has very little to do with the book it is supposedly based on. The only point they have in common is the presence of two children:

"If the child gives the effect another turn of the screw, what do you say to two children--?"

Apparently, two are more frightening than just one! (My copy of "The Turn of the Screw" and Other Stories has only one scary looking child on the cover. Perhaps it should have had two . . . like in The Shining! . . . Oh, wait--The Shining has three!)

The first paragraph also alludes to a horror story involving a child and his mother, which sounds a little like The Others . . . but that's a stretch, too!

As for worrying about child actors, I'm more concerned about Kidman's co-star in Birth. She says that her own children were on the set and she made sure that they would all play together in between cuts, just so the boy wouldn't be too affected by the twisted seriousness of the story (!!!).

Enbrethiliel said...


Leave it to me to totally misread your comment!!!

You were writing about The Innocents, and my response was about The Others! =S

To make matters worse, I have nothing to say about The Innocents, not even knowing what it is! (I guess this means my aspirations to make Shredded Cheddar a Horror movie blog are completely unrealistic?)