thejunipertree: (Default)
2011-01-03 01:15 am

[from Facebook] It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times...

I keep seeing everyone post things about how badly 2010 sucked and how it was the worst year ever, etc. I used to be like that, cussing the back of every year as it walked through the door. Eff you, 2001. And 2004? You can eat my entire ass lukewarm.

But, this year, I'm having difficulty giving the one finger salute and frowning at everything that's happened. It wasn't a good year, not by a long stretch. I had to put down my 23-year old cat and 18 year-old cat, both of whom I'd raised since they were wee kittens, within a week of each other. I lost $10k worth of overtime that I rely on. I watched people I love greatly go through mass amounts of pain, completely helpless to offer succor. I've spent more time in one of the deepest depressions I've ever than I've spent out of it. My OCD went almost out of control. I didn't start writing again, even though I swore I would spend the eight month break from school working on a story I've been kicking around. I've cried and been badly hurt, struggled fiercely to not throw my hands up and call uncle to the whole goddamn show.

But, I've also spent the year re-trying old things I'd previously hated. Red wine, John Carpenter's "The Thing", and rice made the cut. Beer, coffee, Slayer, and getting up before 9 in the morning are all still on the shit list. I've read more good books than bad, discovered new music obsessions, and grew out the beginnings of a rocking grey streak in my hair. I enrolled in mortuary school and just finished my first semester. Chris and made it through another year without me killing him in his sleep (or vice versa, if we're being all confessional and shit). We got Timothy and Henry Lee. I made mass amounts of amazing food. I drove my Mini. A lot. I laughed. A lot. I feel I made great strides in my constant struggle to be a real person.

I would be lying if I said there was more good than bad. There wasn't. But, the good carries more weight with me. I can't ever ignore that. And telling the year it can fuck off and live in the street also feels like I'm turning my back on the amazing and awesome things, too.

So, in defiance of telling the year to eat a bag of dicks, and in honor of the closing of probably the most interesting decade of my life (because everyone seems to be ignoring the decade itself in favor of how shitty the year has been), I present to you:

My top 5 horror movies of the decade (which were seriously difficult to pin down and the discussion of which to pick resulted in raised voices in my household)



(Not in any kind of order, mind you. I would never be able to do that.)



Being as ridiculous of a horror!nerd as I am, the construction of this list was extremely serious business that it almost made me throw in the towel on several occasions due to its sheer nature. There were just too many absolutely incredible films in the broad genre that have come out in the past decade to be able to whittle it down to just five. Only five? What manner of bullshit is that? Five for each year, perhaps. The idea of choosing only five movies to represent the best for the entire decade was so ludicrous and impossible, it bordered on the realms of non-Euclidean. But, I persevered.

I managed to finally do it by giving myself strict parameters. No horror!comedies (like Shaun of the Dead or Fido, both of which I love like I'm getting a paycheck to do so), no franchises (this ruled out Jason X, which I also adore). The films couldn't be remakes (leaves out Dawn of the Dead) or be purely spooky atmospheric!horror (The Orphanage), nor could any gore be gratuitously non-central to the plot. And there definitely needed to be a good plot. They had to be fresh ideas; the kind that feel like a slap in the face. They all also had to beget an extreme emotional reaction in me. Not just jump scares, something more visceral.

It took me a while, but I did it:

Dagon
Cabin Fever
28 Days Later
Bug
The Descent

One of these actually gave me an anxiety attack during a particular scene, two of them have scenes where I will physically cover my eyes (and that hasn't happened since I was 11). One has a scene that makes me cry like a little girl every time I watch it. And one blurs the line between reality and delusion so perfectly, it gives me chills.

I briefly thought about doing this again for the five best books of the decade, but (for once) logic prevailed and once again proved that I can at least occasionally figure out when something is not The Best Idea Ever. My reading tastes are so eclectic and genre-spanning, it would be headache inducing.

Five best albums, however...
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-12-20 02:59 pm

(no subject)

I am currently not at work. Why is that?

My hours have been cut to 32 a week.

I don't even have any words for this.

Last week, after I was told (on the same day I had to take not one, but TWO finals, mind you), I was full of so much dread and apprehension that my skin was taut with tension and you probably could have bounced a silver dollar off the black cloud hovering above my head. Since then, I've made some plans (like filing for partial unemployment, which I did this morning) and have managed to pull myself mostly together. Mostly.

I'm scared. 40 hours a week is nigh on a disaster for me, paycheck-wise. 32 is almost incomprehensible. The partial UE will help somewhat, hopefully enough to keep my head above water. I just need to keep treading. I plug away at the job websites, but there really isn't much out there that isn't way above my skill sets or impossibly far to travel. I never heard back from the place I actually interviewed with, though. I'm not surprised, though the Engineer is. I kept saying that the likelihood of me getting the very first job I interview for was so slim that I couldn't set my hopes on it. Perhaps that was shooting myself in the foot, but I certainly didn't go into things thinking or acting like it was useless to give it my all. I went in with all barrels loaded; I just missed the target. Or the target missed me, however you wish to look at it.

School's done for the semester, thankfully. I think I managed to pull a B in Abnormal Psych, despite the discovery I had missed one of the exams by accident (and it was the section on schizophrenia, something I could have done with my eyes closed and the book shut). I got a 90 on the final. Moral Choices, I still have no clue as to what I got in that class because the professor does not give us the ability to check our grades throughout the semester like the other classes did. Women in Literature, I think I got a B as well. Given that all three of those were throwaway classes designed to keep my student loans off my back, I'm not incredibly concerned about performance (and lo, does it show), but I'm irritated with myself for doing that to my GPA. Intro to Funeral Service, I got an A (duh) and when I got my final paper back during the last class, the professor had written: This is the best paper I've read all year. THANK YOU! hee.

Next semester starts in late January. Human Anatomy twice a week and Funeral Service Principles, which sounds a lot like Intro to Funeral Service to me. Both are in meatspace, so I'll be hauling ass to campus three times a week, something which does not fill me full of joy and song. A necessary evil.

I've been conscripted by the Engineer and two of our friends into GMing a RPG, something I fought most valiantly. For months, they tortured me because they wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but didn't have anyone to run the game. They wanted me to do it, despite the fact I've only ever been a player in any game and hadn't even done that since my ex-husband and I split up nine years ago. I kept telling them no, no, and no. Finally, after waxing rhapsodical about the yesteryears of playing Kult (it was always my favorite game ever), I made the mistake of saying I'd be willing to play it, but alas- the books are out of print!

Cue my birthday and three gaily wrapped presents laid into my hot little hands, which turned out to be the three necessary books to start a proper game. hoom.

I put it off and off and off again, but eventually caved and started writing an adventure for them. I decided to use my old character, Charlie, as the main NPC for right now and wrote her into the history in such a way that some of the others who used to play could easily be inserted if they ever felt the urge to come by for a one shot.

It's interesting picking up a character I'd put so much into, after so long, and seeing what's become of here after all these years. Bill and I had put a lot of work into fleshing her and her story out way back when, but coming back to it is like returning to a previously written character in an actual story. It's weird, I've never revisited something I'd written after quite that much time since first creation. I fell back into her role readily, but it's difficult to play her without having the former surrounding cast there as well.

After only a brief introductory game, where I brought everyone together and set up the bare bones of a storyline, many weeks passed where we did not play. Chalk it up to the general malaise and ennui I was subjecting myself to if you like, but I didn't have the time or energy to put into a game until this past weekend. We played for roughly three hours, much later than the Engineer's normal bedtime generally allows and I'm sure he'll be feeling that when he gets home from work tonight, but it felt...good. We didn't get to quite finish the episode I had constructed, but that's ok. I stopped things at a point where it will fit seamlessly with what I concocted in my head on the drive home from Delaware this afternoon (I'd gone to get cigarettes).

I'm actually kind of nerdishly excited to get the rest of the game going with the seed of the story I've managed to grab onto. It heavily cribs from Caitlin Kiernan's books and cosmology, unabashedly so at that, but her writing fits in so well with the Kult universe that I couldn't resist it. I came home and scribbled notes down in an almost fever, which I'll go back to later and draft into a proper outline. Probably tonight, after I've gone out and deposited my paycheck.

One of the things I never knew before, since I'd never run a game, is how easily it is to go arse over teakettle with the power of how fun it is to just purely torture the PCs. Now I know why Bill was so into this for so long, and still is. Perhaps as the game progresses, I'll write entries for what goes on in the game. Energy permitting, obviously.
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-11-18 10:32 pm

the old metallic cliche behind the dark stereotype

The fact that even I, in the throes of one the bleakest depressions I've suffered through in about ten years, am still more idealistic than some twenty-four year old who utters the statement: Sadly, they need to face up to the fact that the majority voted yes on the law and that there isn't anything they can do about it, because the law is the law baffles me.

If I wasn't already feeling so goddamn old, I'd be inclined to get a good rant going on Kids These Days (tm).

I also may or may not have a sudden urge to listen to the Dead Kennedys.
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-11-15 01:03 am
Entry tags:

30 days of night, part 17

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12 - What's in your bag?
13 - This week
14 - What you wore today
15 - Your dreams
16 - Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory )

18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-11-04 01:20 am
Entry tags:

30 days of night, part 16

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12 - What's in your bag?
13 - This week
14 - What you wore today
15 - Your dreams
16 - Your first kiss )
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-11-03 12:54 am

30 days of night, part 15

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12 - What's in your bag?
13 - This week
14 - What you wore today
15 – Your dreams )

16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-11-01 03:26 pm
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-10-30 03:37 pm
Entry tags:

30 days of night- part 14

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12 - What's in your bag?
13 - This week
14 - What you wore today )

15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-10-30 02:55 pm

30 days of night- part 13

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12 - What's in your bag?
This week )

14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-10-27 01:32 am
Entry tags:

30 days of night- part 12

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 - What you wore today
11 - Your siblings
12- What’s in your bag )
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-29 12:27 am

hrmph.

You delay, you procrastinate, you are simply lazy. You take longer to do things than most people, Magpie. Why? Consider the fact that you may be scared of taking the next step. Perhaps you are scared of facing the truth. Perhaps you are scared of making the next decision. By the time you are ready to move, you hope that someone else has already decided which way you should go. This method has probably gotten you far, but perhaps not in the direction you need to be going.

Hey- eff you, horoscope!
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-23 11:33 pm

30 days of night- part 10

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo insensive)
10 – What you wore today )

11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-22 01:19 am

30 days of night- part 9

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend
08 - A moment
09 - Your beliefs (photo intensive) )

10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-17 12:23 pm
Entry tags:

30 days of night, part 8

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 - Your best friend

08 - A moment )
09 – Your beliefs
10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-14 01:53 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Also, because I keep forgetting:

The Engineer is looking to give away some of his art, to make space and save money. If anyone is interested, the pieces are free to a good home. I generally would recommend being within driving distance, but if someone were particularly in love with a piece and willing to foot the shipping, he'd probably be ok with packaging it for shipping.

The following pieces are up for grabs to those who want them. Size information can be provided to those who are interested. Image sizes vary and can be 30"x40," 36"x48," or even 52"x52". If anyone is interested, email me.

http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/untitledforms.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/untitled8.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/untitled2.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/untitled3.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/untitled4.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/toplessnudewithblackhair.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/thecabaret.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/squarepurple.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/slaughterobject.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/revolution.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/redcomposition2.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/hellokandinsky.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/guttedandempty.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/GirlonChair.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/compositioninblue5.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/compositionblue4.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/drogecx9.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/composition4.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/composition5.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/composition3.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/citybound.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/aloneinthemidst.gif
http://www.chrisorapello.com/paintings/outdamnspot.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/untitled9.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/untitled13.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/springfever.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/sexuality4.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/freeforms/thegarden.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/freeforms/spring.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/freeforms/shapeslinesandleaves.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/freeforms/music.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/freeforms/intimacy.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/gallery6/thebigcity.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/gallery6/stillprogressionoflife.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/gallery6/smilingnude.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/gallery6/savior.jpg
http://www.chrisorapello.com/images/gallery6/mary.jpg
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-14 12:19 am
Entry tags:

30 days of night- part 7

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day
07 – Your best friend )
08 – A moment
09 – Your beliefs
10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-13 07:01 pm
Entry tags:

30 days of night- part 6

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 - Your definition of love
06 - Your day )


07 – Your best friend
08 – A moment
09 – Your beliefs
10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment
thejunipertree: (Default)
2010-09-11 04:18 pm
Entry tags:

30 days of night- part 5

01 - Introduction
02 – Your first love
03 – Your parents (this is long as HELL
04 - What you ate today
05 – Your definition of love )

06 – Your day
07 – Your best friend
08 – A moment
09 – Your beliefs
10 – What you wore today
11 – Your siblings
12 – What’s in your bag
13 – This week
14 – What you wore today
15 – Your dreams
16 – Your first kiss
17 – Your favorite memory
18 – Your favorite birthday
19 – Something you regret
20 – This month
21 – Another moment
22 – Something that upsets you
23 – Something that makes you feel better
24 – Something that makes you cry
25 – A first
26 – Your fears
27 – Your favorite place
28 – Something that you miss
29 – Your aspirations
30 – One last moment