Thursday, October 16, 2014

The King of Horror


People are not only rushing to Starbucks to get a taste of pumpking spice this Fall; it seems like everyone wants a piece of Stephen King's work as well. He's producing new material, adapting old work, and even collaborating at remaking some of his most well-known masterpieces.

In the works right now are remakes for It, The Stand, and a controversial sequel to Creepshow. King is also busy with two TV shows, Under the Dome and the somewhat successful Haven. And if that wasn't enough to keep a King busy, the court is buzzing with news of a 11/22/63 adaptation for Hulu. Omg!

So to celebrate all of this royal news, I thought I'd go down memory lane and highlight my top ten favourite Stephen King adaptations. I'm a 90's kid, I practically ate those for breakfast.

Enjoy!



10. Needful Things

Year: 1993
Director: Fraser Heston
Actors: Max Von Sydow, Ed Harris, Amanda Plummer
Summary: A stranger comes into town and soon thereafter, strange things begin to happen to the townspeople of Castle Rock, a recurring setting for King stories. King is known for his jabs at religion and the occult. And he doesn't shy away from that here, with the story being a parallel to human greed and corruption (represented by the devil.) This movie's cover always terrified me as a kid, with that shopping bag with the hand and head presing on it. Reason why I don't touch pregnant bellies, to this day.
Interesting Facts: Amanda Plummer, who portrays the young Nettie Cobb, can be seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as Wiress. Also, Sydow's character, The Devil, is seen driving an indestructible black car, possibly the same as in Christine, another King project.



9. Apt Pupil

Year: 1998
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors: Ian McKellan, Brad Renfro, David Schwimmer
Summary: An older gentleman with a secret from his past befriends a young man with an odd fascination that enthralls both of them and sends them down a spiralling vortex of lies, deception, and murder.
Interesting Facts: I still remember seeing the previews for this movie when I was twelve and it scared me. Haven't seen this movie since I was a teen, but still vividly remember the awkward tension between the two men, and this before I even knew what homosexuality was. Bryan Singer, who directs this movie, later went on to direct McKellan in the X-Men movies. Also, watch out for a small role from Joshua Jackson, who was just starting to transition into more mature roles.



8. 1408

Year: 2007
Director: Mikael Håfström
Actors: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
Summary: Following the death of his young daughter, an author dives into a world of deception and speculation and must somehow reconcile the two in order to save his sanity...inside a haunted hotel room.
Interesting Facts: This is the second "haunted house" story from King that has been adapted to the big screen, after The Shining, to gain both commercial and critical success. And those two movies share a further connection. The axe used by the fireman at the end of 1408 is the same axe that Jack Nicholson uses in the famous "Here's Johnny!" scene. Both films were also partially shot at the Elstree studio in London.



7. The Dark Half

Year: 1993
Director: George A. Romero
Actors: Timothy Hutton, Michael Rooker, Amy Madigan
Summary: A writer must battle his writer's block while also trying to stop his alter-ego from taking over his life.
Interesting Facts: King wrote this novel shortly after revealing his own alter-ego/pseudonym, Richard Bachman. This was also his last novel that he wrote before going sober, with his struggles depicted as the main focus of duality in the book. It's very auto-biographical! And look out for Sheriff Alan Pangborn, a character who appears in other King works! The transition to film was directed, with some disappointment, by George A. Romero of "Night of the Living Dead" fame.



6. Cujo

Year: 1983
Director: Lewis Teague
Actors: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro
Summary: A young mother, coming to grips with her failed marriage, takes her son along for a ride to the local mechanics. Shortly thereafter, they are attacked and terrorized by a sick Saint-Bernard.
Interesting Facts: I watched this movie AFTER watching Beethoven and another, less popular, film called Man's Best Friend. I was just starting my fascination for horror flicks and especially King flicks. So needless to say that it stuck with me throughout the years and Dee Wallace's performance still haunts me. Nothing quite as emotional as seeing a mom trying to defend her child. Sadly, an animal DID die during production; the main Saint-Bernard died during production of the movie.



5. Children of the Corn

Year: 1984
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Actors: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin
Summary: Typical storyline. A young couple get stranded in a small, secluded roadside town and must fight for their lives against a cult of murdering children. (Yikes!)
Interesting Facts: This was Hamilton's year, as she also appeared in the movie that would make her a household name: Terminator. I didn't even know it was Hamilton who portrayed Vicki until I wrote this blog. Haven't seen this movie in forever and so was surprised to see such a recognizable name. Also, the kid who plays Isaac (John Franklin) still creeps me out. He's just like...a grown up version of Isaac. This shouldn't be!! lol Go check his bio, dude still looks like a child from the cornrows. (Yikes!)



4. Misery

Year: 1990
Director: Rob Reiner
Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall
Summary: In the same vein as The Fan, Misery tells the story of an author who is rescued from a car crash by a woman who claims to be "his number one fan." It doesn't take long before admiration turns into obsession.
Interesting Facts: I didn't read this novel so was kind of surprised when I found out that Bacall's character isn't in the book as I find her to be the prime example of publishers in a movie so heavy on the hate towards editors and publishers. I mean, why didn't King come up with this character? He hates those people more than anyone else in the world. I also like that they made a nod to another King story when Annie references The Shining when she mentions that "a guy went mad in a hotel nearby." King is big on using characters and settings in a multitude of novels, so it's fun when the screenwriters keep that whimsical tradition.



3. The Mist

Year: 2007
Director: Frank Darabont
Actors: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
Summary: A small town (duh!) is terrorized by otherworldy creatures following a freak storm that leaves most of the townspeople trapped inside the supermarket.
Interesting Facts: Frank Darabont is no stranger when it comes to adapting King novels into quality movies; he is the mastermind behind The Shawshank Redemption AND The Green Mile. Also, Frank Darabont brought Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Melissa McBride with him when he started work on The Walking Dead. If it's not enough that King admires Darabont's body of work, he congratulated the director by telling him that "I am genuinely frightened by your adaptation." I would have pee'd myself right there.



2. The Shining

Year: 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Summary: A family struggling with their own problems move into an isolated hotel where not everything is as it seems. Before long, the family must battle a supernatural force that threatens their safety and their sanity.
Interesting  Facts: There are complete University classes just about this movie and all of it's hidden meanings and symbolism, so I won't even attempt to pretend I know them all! Like this blogger who did an amazing job at breaking down the elements of this movie. That dog scene though...



1. Carrie

Year: 1976
Director: Brian De Palma
Actors: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Summary: A religious zealot who abuses her child is forced to watch her daughter develop telekinetic abilities that are quickly growing out of control.
Interesting Facts: First book from King that I ever read and also the first movie I saw that was based off of his work. Carrie has left a mark on Hollywood and this story has been remade twice, once for television and again last year. Amy Irving reprised her role as Sue Snell in the sequel The Rage: Carrie 2.



I suddenly have the urge to do a movie marathon this weekend.


Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Rattlesnakes and Psychopaths: Inside the mind of St-Vincent.

I am always on the prowl for new music, scouring the underbrushes of the jungle of noises and sound to unearth a new beat, one from leather drums nobody heard before. It's not that I want to bring a trophy back and show off the rarest catch; I'm just bored easily and constantly trying to trap new prey.

Source: Jaymzclements.wordpress.com
 
And the next victim to fall is Anne Clark, better known as St.Vincent. She is like a lone wolf who howls in the night, not for mating ritual purposes but rather to share her melancholy with the rest of the animal kingdom. And she doesn't seem to give one fuck about who answers the call. Afterall, she does have a bark that matches her bite.

So to celebrate this call from the wild, this echo of enchanting music, I will review each song from St.Vincent's fourth studio album, self-titled and released earlier this year. Enjoy!



Rattlesnake
The album's opening track is infused with an opium trip reminiscent of Kate Bush and the era of 80's psychedelic pop. It's up-beat and odd but not so odd that you're left wondering what it is you're listening to. It's experimental and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: The only sound out here is my own breath / and my feet stuttering to make a path / am I the only one in the only world?

Birth in Reverse
This track was released as the lead and only single for the album. It's very daytime and has a folk vibe to it, not unlike Lykke Li's sound. It's definitely a dance-all-out-while-being-alone-in-your-underwear song.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: This too will haunt me through the war / laugh all you want, but I want more / 'cause what I'm swearing, I never sworn before.


Prince Johnny
I don't particularly like songs like this usually. It's still keeping up with that very 80's vibe but in a down tempo kinda way. I'm literally expecting rain clouds to appear when this song is played. There is so much lingering and nostalgia to it that it's borderline depressive.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: But honey, don't mistake my affection / for another split in pennystyle redemption / cause we're all sons of someone's.

Huey Newton
After hearing this song, I finally realised who this artist reminded me of. And that is Morcheeba. There is a certain trip-hop vibe to St.Vincent's music and it's not always a bad thing, but I found the nod to classic trip-hop a bit overused in this song. A bit scaled back and I would have loved this!
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: Fuck-less, porn sharks / toothless but got a big bark / live children, blind psychics / turned online assassins.

Digital Witness
This song has a really weird 60's vibe to it, and not in a good way. It would be perfect for a mid-afternoon gathering, if people our age actually did mid-afternoon gatherings. But we don't. So this song clashes with the youthfulness and experimentation of the other tracks. It's all about caring but not showing you care which I never understood. Yeah, it's just confusing.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: People turn the TV on and throw it out the window, yeah / get back to your stare / I care, but I don't care / Oh, oh, I want all of your mind.

I Prefer Your Love
What is sweeter than a tribute to the love between a mother and her child? Nothing, that's what. And although the lyrics are sweet and the music is calming, there's just something about the way she compares a motherly love with that of Jesus'. It's not only NOT necessary but it's just gratuitous. I don't feel that religious ideology coming through as well as, let's say, Sinead O'Connor does in her music. It just doesn't feel genuine.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Sure as mother licking a finger / wipe the blush and smudge from my cheek / and wonder what will become of your little one / but all the good in me is because of you.

Source: finefinemusic.com

Regret
Back to dramatics! After a slump of sad songs, she comes back with something a bit more theatrical. It pulls you in all the right directions without confusing you or getting you lost in your tracks. It's just a very well produced song and surprisingly, it's not a single.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: Memories so bright, I gotta squint just to recall / regret the words I've bitten / more than the ones I ever said


Bring Me Your Loves
Yet another upbeat and energetic track to get things back in the groove. It reminds me a lot of Robyn or even Bjork, in the sense that it's all about being the one who cares for all and on a personal level, I can relate to this. So definitely my personal favourite off of this album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: I thought you were a dog / but you made a pet of me / bring me all your loves, all your loves / I wanna love 'em too, ya know.

Psychopath
Oh this song brought me back to summer when my close friend left for a few months to go back home (across the sea) to visit his sick father. It was a tough time and he always reminded me that this would only make our relationship stronger, and it did. So this resonates on such a deep level that I'm still feeling those good vibrations.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: You said, "Honey, quit your worrying" / Distance is exactly like a blowing wind / we're putting out the embers and tiny flames / and keepin' the big ones burnin'.

Every Tears Disappears
And back to sad songs. It's not necessarily bad, but it's so referential that it's almost a caricature. I just don't take this song seriously. It's passé, it's deja-vu, it's just synth over synth over dramatic lyrics. It's not bad, it just gets lost in this sea of awesome songs.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Oh, what about the pain / don't ask me how / I just know that it fades / hey-hey-hey

Severed Cross Fingers
The closing track is very retro and brings it back full circle to the opening track. This album is very experimental as I said above and this song kinda combines all the elements of the album into one. That is what is great about this album, especially this song, it's that it's hard to pin-point exactly what generation influence St.Vincent. if it's not a trip-hoppy 90's beat, it's an 80's infused synth sound. If she isn't whispering a la 60's, she's talk-singing a la 2000's. it's great.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: When you're calling, ain't calling you back to you / cause i'll be side stage, mouthing lines for you / humiliated by age, terrified of youth / I got hope, but my hope isn't helping you.


I kinda want to listen to the album again now. That first song keeps me coming back for more and hopefully, it will do the same for you! Enjoy!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Orphan Black: One of a Kind

If you are a fan of science-fiction, badass chicks, illegal experimentation, or you are simply a Canadian, then you surely have heard of Orphan Black. If you have not, you either live under a rock or are too busy recruiting zealots for The Proletheans. So sit down, grab some popcorn and read why Orphan Black is TV's hottest new show!

**This post may contain spoilers.


Same Chick, Different DNA

Orphan Black can seem confusing at first, especially when you try to explain it without spoilers. No worries, the whole premise of Orphan Black is laid out frantically by fan-favourite Alison Hendrix, one of many lead characters played by Tatiana Maslany, in the third episode of the first season. So you won't have to wait long to know why Alison looks like Beth who looks like Sarah who looks like Katia who looks like Rachel who looks like Cosima who...well, you get it. All these chicks are running around trying to figure out why they look alike and although it may seem cliché at first, the writers find enough wit between them to branch out of the mould (pun intended), once the secret is revealed. So take note, Maslany plays ALL of these characters. And the acting is beyond incredible.


Location Shots

Being from Canada and having visited Toronto multiple times, it's quite fun to catch glimpses of the city being passed off as Minnesota or a generic North American town. It is never explicitly revealed that the setting is in Toronto, with no mention of the city ever being dropped by characters, but there are several key buildings and artifacts that mark it as a product of the maple leaf.
  • Cars have clear Ontario licence plates;
  • They use money that can be identified as Canadian;
  • They mention nearby Canadian cities (and mock the suburbs);
  • Bridgepoint Health (Holla University of Toronto!) is used as the Dyad Headquarters. So is Don Jail;
  • Jim's Restaurant is used as the meeting point for Helena and Sarah (both played by Maslany.)
  • Check out this link for more on-screen clues.
   
"That Shakira-Haired Look-A-Like"

Helena is quite possibly the most terrifying "bad guy" to ever be introduced to television. Contrary to all the other characters played by Maslany, Helena was raised to believe that she was flawed, a product of evil, and that she must eradicate all the other look-a-likes. But like all good villains, Helena is self-tortured, corrupted, and confused. Add that to her manic hair-do and *batshitcrazy* attitude, and guys, you have yourself TV's most fucked up villain.



The Proletheans

It's hard to talk about these weirdos without spoiling too much and I really want everyone to watch this show without knowing all of the details. But these guys are the creepiest group of people to roam TVland since The Others. They do terrible things in the name of religion and then believe that they are righteous and above everyone else. They are basically the Westboro Baptist Church. How fucking creepy is that! They're like...an Amish mafia.




Evelyne Brochu

Evelyne Brochu may not be recognized outside of La Belle Province but here in Québec, she's a household name, notably appearing in Aveux and Polytechnique. She guest-stars in the first season and is promoted to the main cast for the second season. Although she is a native of Québec, her characters is of French decent and she pulls off the French accent effortlessly. She eases her way into the dramatic narrative and cements her place by the end of season 1.



Product Quality

If you've watched the show, that sub-header is a Big Pun (aha that was also a pun. You know, the rapper?! Nevermind.) I don't like bashing home-grown products but Canadian television is usually crap. Like below crap. Quality is just not there and there is no standard in television producing. Yeah, Orphan Black not only changed the rules of the game, it created new ones. The technology and the effects on this show are comparable to none, and above all. The way Maslany interacts with herself as different characters in one scene is breath-taking. Peter Jackson should take note.



Honorable Mentions:

  • Jordan Gavaris as Felix;
  • The pacing of this show has more adrenaline than 24;
  • Vic the Dick.

From the minute you start the show until it's incredible season 2 finale, you will be left breathless and heaving, scratching the screen for season 3 to start. I swear you will not be dissapointed!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink.


Friday, September 26, 2014

11/22/63 Fantasy Cast


Wow. It's been so long since I actually opened this account, let alone write an entry. But I was so excited when I found out that Hulu was working on a web series based on 11/22/63 by Stephen King, that I just couldn't contain myself any longer. Guys, another King series!!


So it's very easy to get lost when adapting a book to the small screen. I find it almost more painful to watch than a silver screen adaptation that robbed the gold from the soul of my favourite book. If it can't be adapted into something better, than don't touch it. Right?

And I am so biased when it comes to King adaptations because frankly, they can't go wrong. They just can't. There is too much framework and solid foundations in Stephen King's body of work that it's almost impossible to fuck it up. People have been adapting King novels for over three decades, ranging from Carrie to The Shining and without forgetting the abysmal yet still entertaining Storm of the Century.

Lately, King has been dropping bricks for novels and his two latest projects, Under the Dome and 11/22/63, have both been critical and commercials successes. Under the Dome was not only a fantastic book, but Brian K. Vaughn (peace be upon him) also managed to make it into a top-rated TV drama which saw it change major key elements that grounded the book in science-fiction, while still retaining that very quirky side of King that either makes or breaks the tone of the work.

I'm just thinking about It, where King's macabre view on childhood was mixed with a somewhat comical view on adulthood. It was a perfect blend of horror and slapstick. Or how about Pet Sematary, where we have zombie cats and murderous children all wrapped up in the same movie. It blended scare and laughs brilliantly.

With that being said, I hope they keep the quirky style that has been attributed to King while not being afraid of exploring the macabre and mysterious point of view of one of America's most recognized author.

You can read my Under the Dome Fantasy Cast blog entry here and see how my wishlist did not come to life. At all. lol. Still wish they had picked better actors. Buggers.

Now on to my top ten list of characters I believe should carry forward with the adaptation and which actor I would like to see portray them. Enjoy!


Milo Ventimiglia as Jake Epping AKA George Amberson

Jake Epping is the protagonist of this time-travelling story but also the antagonist, in the sense that he is creating all of these problems by changing what was. And who better to play Happy-Yet-Sad than Milo Ventimiglia, the king of the happysad face. He also has the ability to play older and younger quite well as evidence by his portrayal of Peter in Heroes. Overall, Milo has the sex appeal and charm to carry the weight of a character that is both troubled and optimistic, both in the past, the present, and the future. Take note Hulu, I want Milo.


Gemma Arterton as Sadie Dunhill

Sadie Dunhill is the typical 60's woman; soft, gentile, and loyal to her man. And what is great about this character is her willingness to become a modern woman; a desire that sets off a chain of events that puts Jake's mission in jeopardy. King has always been good at writing strong female characters, and he doesn't disappoint this time again. So it took all of one second to think of Gemma Arterton in this role: she's young, she's soft-spoken, and she can pull off the complexity of Sadie's character.


Hal Holbrook as Al Templeton

Al Templeton is the man that starts the fire but doesn't stay around to see its path of destruction. He's a very mysterious character and has a small but pivotal role in the novel. That is why I hope they expand his role for the Hulu adaptation. So many questions derive from this character: how did he find the timeloop? What does he know about the future that makes him so determined to send Jake, specifically, to the past? Why doesn't he keep this for him and take over the world? I know Holbrook is on the verge of dying but this man is flawless when it comes to drama and mystery. He has the face for it! Somebody give this man a role with substance!!


Scott Patterson as Deke Simmons

If the term "Bromance" had existed in the 60s, Deke Simmons and Jake's relationship would have been the perfect embodiment of it. Deke is not only Jake's best friend in Jodie circa 1960, but he's also his confident and helps Jake move along in his mission. I have a soft spot for Deke because he just doesn't know how to be mean-spirited. If there was ever a character that gave me hope for humanity, it's Deke Simmons. Scott Patterson has those charming eyes that would make anyone believe in him. And yes, another The Event alumni on the list.


Monica Potter as Mimi Corcoran

Mimi Corcoran is an odd character in the sense that she doesn't fit the 60's Texas era. I always suspected that Mimi knew more than she let on about Jake/George and the whole timeloop but it's never explicitly written in the novel. So I really hope they cast a big name to play this part and expand her character to someone more dubious or all-knowing. And I'm a sucker for Monica Potter's dramatic timing and southern flare.



Derek Luke as Harry Dunning

Harry Dunning is the janitor at the school that Jake works at prior to him jumping back in time. He's a very soft-spoken, quiet man who shares his childhood horror story with Jake, which touches the latter's heart so much that he jeopardizes his mission in the past to reconcile Harry's traumatic and violent childhood. During this time, Jake stumbles upon the kids in Derry. You know, the same kids who battled an evil clown in another King novel... Plus it would be the perfect role for Derek Luke, since he still has those boyish looks even though he's far from being a boy.


Lili Taylor as Ellen Dockerty

Ellen Dockerty is the quintessential stuck-up teacher that everyone had at least once in their lifetime. She plays by the book and her loyalty to the rules of life are challenged when she meets George/Jake in Jodie circa 1960. It takes a special kind of charm to pull off this kind of character because Ellen is both tough yet maternal, impulsive yet instinctive. And Lili Taylor proved more than once that she can play a character with dual personalities. Mel Gibson's Ransom, anyone?



Michael Stahl-David as Lee Harvey Oswald

This is where it gets interesting. Lee Harvey Oswald is the man responsible for gunning down and assassinating former president, and civil rights activist, John F. Kennedy. King's approach to this historical event is both well-researched and thoroughly detailed. Although he manages to humanize Oswald, he also doesn't back down from the hard facts: Oswald was deranged and believed himself to be a messiah of sorts. It won't be easy to play this part, but I believe Michael Stahl-David would be perfect at portraying Oswald, insanity and all. Whoever gets cast will surely have a lot of material to work with so I'm expecting a flawless performance for this part.


Sarah Roemer as Marina Prusakova

Another The Event alumni! Sarah Roemer is the only person I had in mind when thinking of Marina Prusakova, Oswald's mouthy yet loyal Russian bride. She stole my heart with her portrayal of Leila in The Event, and I'm hoping she does the same as Prusakova. It's going to be a tough part to play since the role Prusakova played in the assassination is both theoretical and documented, with everyone agreeing that she was kept in the dark about it all. I hope they venture with this role and flesh out the character of Prusakova as she was both the lover and the confident of Lee Harvey Oswald. Nobody knew him like she did.


Gil Bellows as James Hosty

James Hosty is the real life detective who worked on the JFK assassination and King took that ambiguity (a lot of conspiracy theorists believe Hosty played a part in the assassination) to insert Hosty into the narrative of 11/22/63. Throughout the novel, it is implied that Hosty has some sense of what is going on with Jake/George and every good mystery show needs a snoopy detective. And Gil Bellows personifies that characterization flawlessly. If nobody in this list gets cast except one, I hope it's Gil Bellows.


Agree or disagree with this fantasy cast? Either way, I think King fans are in for a treat! :)


Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

Monday, March 31, 2014

Eleven's Ink on... Letting Go and How Hard it Is To Do.


I often get asked how I feel about one topic or another. I am very opinionated and tend to be a bit more verbose than I should. The fact that I used verbose should be an indicator. The fact that I explained why is just proof beyond proof.


WTF Happened?!

So you just said goodbye to a friend, a lover, an important person in your life, and you're trying to assess the information. You re-read the texts, the FB messages; you grab at all the pieces that fell and try to assemble the puzzle. You think you have the answers, but every answer leads to another question. Did I end it? Did they end it? How did it come to this? You Google search "How to cope with endings" and "How to start anew" simultaneously until you realise that a Netflix Marathon is a hell of a better idea.


It's totally fine. I'm okay, I swear. KILL ME NOW!
You've had your first night's sleep. You probably slept like a baby cause your mind totally warped at the end of the season 3 finale of Dexter. You're most likely groggy and - OMG YOU JUST REMEMBER THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP/FRIENDSHIP/KINSHIP ENDED. It's fine, you say. You calm yourself down and decide a shower is perfect to wash away the memories. Totally fine, right? Wrong, and cue the thought process: "how the fuck did this happen? Why aren't they texting me? Should I text them? No, no I'm totally fine. Don't cry, don't cry. Smile! Omg I'm crying. No I'm fine!" You basically want to place your own crazy self in an asylum for weeks on weeks to numb out the pain.


But everything was perfect!
You've gathered the puzzle pieces, but the end result does not resemble the picture on the box at all. You've accepted that it's your fault, their fault, your fault, their fault, and now you just want to plump on the couch with jalapeno pizza and forget it all. But you see their face in one of  the jalapeno slices. And the melted cheese reminds you of a steamy night you had with them. Oh and that fucking marinara sauce smells exactly like them!! And you finish by throwing the pizza on the wall and remembering just how magical everything was. The laughter, the excitement, the sharing of stories. What was so horrible about it?!?!?!


I'm the bomb.
You're done agonizing over whose to blame, why you're feeling crazy, and you've removed the rose-coloured glasses and guess what? It's time to take a selfie! You've lost weight, you went to the gym, you've been getting a shit-load of compliments and you're starting to feel awesomazing about yourself. The mission at this point is to cause as much accidents on the road as possible cause you just know people are swervin' and dodgin' over your looks.

BOOM. Explosion!
It's been like three days now and this whole process is amazing. You're glowing, you're flexing your muscles (guys), your pushing up that bra (girls), and you're moving on. Cause you look flawless, right? Wrong. All that excitement has finally fizzled and you're about to explode. This is the part where you throw everything of theirs in the trash, write obscene thoughts down in which you fantasize about murdering the bejesus out of them. You can also punch pillows and shit but for maximum effect, invest in a punching bag.

Should I or shouldn't I, that is the question.
You're passed out in pizza slices with wine and vodka stains all over the god damn floor. You're a mess. You've slept through the last four episodes of Dexter. You haven't showered in well over three days and it's starting to show. You've basically lost all sense of survival; get it together. In your mind, getting it together means accepting that it ended but HELLO, that's not what you want. You desperately search for your cellphone and think you found it when in reality, it's the TV remote. You panic. You NEED to reach them to let them know that it's all a mistake, everything will be okay and let's just forget this happen, k? K.
Yeah, no. Then you realise that this is all one-sided. "What if they don't want the same thing? What if they don't reply? What if they blocked your number? What if they laugh when they see how much you're still caught up?" You look at your phone, you've typed the message already (we're on the same page here, readers. I'm living this - you can't deny it.) and you're thumb is so close to the send button that your fingerprints can basically scratch the surface of your phone. And then you think: "But what if they feel the same? What If they are only waiting for me to write back? Maybe they're just shy or scared of what is going to happen." What to do, right?!


I'll just subtlety let you know I'm still alive. I'll be over here if you change your mind.
I cringe cause I did this. But hey, we're only human right! You've obviously decided NOT to contact the person cause "I'm such a strong individual." The phone is down, but not for long. Instead, you've switched on the Wi-Fi and liked their latest Instagram photo, you poked them on FB, and you shamelessly retweeted their last tweet about popcorn being the best snack out there. You want to tell them you miss them so much but are so afraid of the reaction that you go on this crazy tangent of just creeping the fuck out of them. Don't. Do. This. Go back to Netflix and dirty pizza slices.


Snap back to reality
It's been close to a week by now and you haven't lost all your hair. Your local mall is still up and running. The sky is still blue and Rob Ford is still mayor of Toronto. Clearly, the world didn't end. You decide it's time to shower and shut off Netflix (but omg what will happen in season 8 of Dexter?!?!). You're still talking about them but less frequently. You have occasional bursts of tears and you question absolutely everything. But you've slowly started realising the world outside again. You see people smiling back at you; children waving as you walk by them, head down and solemn. The sun is even peaking to say a short yet welcomed "hello!". You feel like things can get slowly get back to how it was before.


LOL, life's a bitch - it ain't this easy
And then a week and one day passes and you repeat the process. Oh you thought it was over? LOL, life doesn't work that way. If life was easy the saying wouldn't be "Life's a bitch", it would be "Life's a slut." But it ain't easy. There is no recipe for success, or shortcuts to happiness. You have to balance yourself out again and it can take time. So take it, enjoy it, live it. Cry it out, talk it out, laugh it out. The worst thing you can do is censor your emotions for whatever reason: "Because guys don't cry." "Because I want to show him I'm a lady." "Because I don't want them to see me weep." The relationship is over, so worry about yourself and what you have to do to move on and be happy. Life is short, love again.

But...But...But...
There is not but. There is just life and their is time. And both need you right now. It's tempting as fuck to drop everything and rekindle but what if it is worst? What if the person moved on already? What if you're already a memory? Sure it could also be: What if they miss me too? What if they are waiting for my call? But the key words here are: What if?

You don't know. You can't know. It's up to you to decide if you want to put yourself out there or not and risk getting hurt again. It can also be the complete opposite and you might find them responsive to your request. Take a chance if you want. Or don't if that is what you choose. It's a personal decision but hopefully you found laughter and a bit of truth in this blog post. It definitely made me feel better.




If you need to talk or feel alone and have no one to talk to, feel free to contact me. You can find me on facebook by clicking the link on the right or on twitter at @Elevensink or on instagram at @K_kiddo86. You can also leave a comment on here.


Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink.







Monday, March 10, 2014

Eleven's Ink on...Awesomeness!


I often get asked how I feel about one topic or another. I am very opinionated and tend to be a bit more verbose than I should. The fact that I used verbose should be an indicator. The fact that I explained why is just proof beyond proof.


WTF?!:

It takes a lot for me to qualify someone as being genuinely "awesome". There is a trial part where I generally just groove around someone to get a sense of how their fun gravitates around their logic. It's all about balance really: equal parts intelligence, equal parts humour. You need to have both to be worthy of this title.


LOL!!:

Once the X is matched neatly with the Y and a yingyang of LAUGHS! and BRAINS! is created, that is when you start to see the foundation of awesomeness. It's such a fantastic event to witness, this creation of sheer awesomeness. I suggest you bring sunglasses and a bit of wine along for the ride. You've been warned.



OMG!!:
The best part of this trifecta is, you gots it baby, the climax! That is when you see the "ok i'm cool" blossom into "Move bitch, i'm awesome". Seeing that state progress in its natural habitat is rare and should be taken advantage of. Film it, snap a picture - hey draw the fucking event if you have Picasso's talents! Don't have talent? Smudge paint on a canvas like a three year old and call it art. As long as you remember vividly the details of witnessing such perfection.


XOX!!:

Once you've explored the universe of awesomeness, assured it's capabilities of life-support, and landed on Planet Fuck Yeah!, then you are good to remove gear and appreciate the land of awesome. Feel the earth, breathe in the air, run through the meadows, and swim across those oceans of joy and excitement. Be happy that you landed on a planet that welcomes your kind. Be awesome!





Not feeling awesome today? Think of good memories, good people, good food. Think about how awesome you are every other day and how today is going to be jealous. You don't want that. So be awesome again!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Heartbreak: Not Only For Couples


This is an honest account about how I dealt with losing someone I cared about. It is not a piece to belittle that person. I value and respect what once was. I wrote this in hope that maybe ONE person will be able to identify with this. As I had no one to look up to or talk to about this.



I haven't written a personal blog in a while!  I will literally just write my thoughts down as I go along. It will not be structured, and most likely not coherent. I think the last time I published a journal was when I had a terrible fight with my sister - *goes to check* - Yup, that was the last time. Wow, so much happened since then and I can't help but to think that things got better because of it. When two people have a disagreement or a falling out, two things can happen:
  • You can take the time to learn from the experience and grow, change, evolve.
  • You can internalize it, feed in what people think of you, and rot from the inside. 
If you are like me, you probably chose the first bullet point. Who wants to rot from the inside, right? This is the reason I am writing this personal experience of mine and sharing it with the world. Maybe someone else will relate and not feel as alone as I did. There is a lot of blogs out there for women to relate to but there is not much for us men. And men are humans, hence we have hearts and obviously, heartbreaks. So here is my story:

Context:
I have been a free agent most of my life. I don't search for nor idealize commitment. Not in the traditional sense. I believe in loyalty, respect, and love. But do I, personally, believe that two people can truly stay committed? No - because love, like sexuality, is fluid. It is constantly changing, constantly evolving. Is it possible for two people to evolve together, though? Absolutely! I never gave 100% of my heart and trust to anyone, in fear of being hurt, of being abandoned; Of being on that other end of change and evolution.

I met someone who changed all of that. I met someone who made me feel like they understood that part of me. I considered this person a friend first, a confident second, and then a lover. Maybe you had someone like this in your life? Someone who didn't need a title for affirmation, but just needed someone to understand them. Nobody needed to know, nobody needed to understand. Because we knew, we understood. You feel a bond so strong that even the most resilient army would fall at your feet. I had never met someone like this. 

And so as time flew, and the nest of comfort grew bigger, so did my emotions. As is only natural. I love my friends. All of them equally. The reason for my love changes from one to another, but everyone in my life is loved equally. 

Everything (at least on my end) was going good. We had a rough patch where I suggested we remain just friends without the added complications. I was a lot more clued in to what was happening then I let on. I could feel detachment, guilt, and something else, something I couldn't put my finger on. I am always willing to change my relationships if it means building a stronger bond. Again, I believe in evolution. Stagnation is for mosquitoes. But if you've been in this situation or currently living a similar situation, you know that the "just friends" title will not be taken seriously on one side or the other*. 

We reconnected once more after that (*told you so). To say that it was one of the best nights of my life is not even giving it justice. I felt warm, I felt loved, I felt understood without pressure. I felt like this was a friend for life. I felt like I had found someone who would enjoy this part of life with me, for however long it lasted. We were goofy, we were having fun! I knew it wasn't going to last. They knew too. But I was happy living that moment, knowing that this would most likely be the best chapter in my life. I suggested we see each other again the following Sunday and to my surprise I was invited for the whole weekend. I was elated. I was happy and excited to spend some time with someone I valued and appreciated so much. And for once, I felt that they valued me as much as I valued them: as a human, looking for understanding. There was only a few days left to the weekend when everything changed.


The End 

I will go through the emotions as I experienced them, in that specific order. I will avoid major details because nobody needs the details. I hope you can relate though with how I felt, and maybe it can help you find closure as well.
 
Confusion:
 I was not ready for what happened. I did not see it coming (although part of me was terrified that it would end like this - a fear I had expressed to the other party.) when that call came in on the Wednesday night (or was it a Thursday? You also lose track of time, apparently) I felt like my world had shattered. They were drunk, announcing irrational news, making false assumptions about my emotions and my intentions  My emotions were not only discarded, but almost stomped on. I was made to feel like it was my own fault that I got attached, that hearing their life story was not a valid reason to feel connected; as if sharing so many memories, stories, laughs, and intimate moments didn't warrant my worrying. My friend's backstory and drunken state when the phone rang left me in a panic. I was worried, sad, but most of all, I was confused.

I didn't know what was going on? I couldn't understand their reaction, I couldn't understand what was happening to them? This news was just dumped on me and then I was expected to rationalize it, without question, without worry. As if I wasn't a human, a friend. This is how confusion begins. You are meant to see a side of someone until they can't keep up anymore. You are shown a world that doesn't exist. And when that world shatters, it hurts. And then everything is left in the air for you to grasp and remove responsibility from THEIR hands. Do not take that responsibility. Do not ask questions. Do not dive into waters that were troubled and gloomy before the storm even arrived. I tried so hard to explain that I even understood why they were angry at me. That's how compassion works. When you can look at your actions and accept that they weren't always the best for the other person. That was sadly not reciprocated.   

I spent countless hours and sleepless nights trying to figure out why they couldn't open up to me NOW, when they had opened up to me so much before. I had heard this person in every state imagineable: confused, sad, angry. Why were they blocking me out, now? This question bothered me for days, prevented me from sleeping and working and just plain living. It was eating me inside.

Sadness:
Once the confusion subsided and I kinda felt like I've got some answers (because let's be honest, they don't want to give you answers, that'll hurt THEM too much. They don't want to think about it - remember, they are removing the responsibility from the equation. They leave it up to you to figure everything out.) that is when the sadness kicks in. I remembered the way we met, how we cultivated our likes and our dislikes, the laughter, the jokes, the tricks, the adventure, the compassion, the grins, the fun, the lust. Everything comes flooding back. I remembered being there, unconditionally, because my heart ached when their heart ached. We had shared similar stories. That is sympathy. And it is NOT excluded from friendship.

My heart tugged and I cried on more occasions that I'd be glad to admit. I felt ripped apart. I couldn't watch TV, couldn't listen to music. I stopped cleaning, stopped eating. I surrounded myself with friends, the true kind that accept it all in the name of love. My couch really was my savior and my best friend. (love you, couch ♥) Everything good that had happened had been somehow tainted on their side. I had been painted as something bad, something to be eliminated. I stopped asking questions about why. I didn't need to know anymore. I knew that their sadness and their pain needed to be evacuated. Maybe they didn't remember, but I held onto every single tear that person shed, every single word that pained them. I was ready to be a shield for that, to absorb anything and everything and say: **Tell me everything bad, tell me how you feel, scream at ME like you would scream at those who hurt you. I can take it, cause I care.** It made me sad that instead of using this to vent and to let the bad out, it was used to hurt me, to insult me and belittle me. The pain in some can be so deep and so cruel that they feel the need for you to feel that way too.

Don't be sad. Don't doubt yourself. Don't take it personally. Cherish the good moments, value the relationship like an adult. If you felt good, if you felt right at that time, do not turn around and discredit your emotions. Don't shame your memories. Be glad you had good moments with someone. Regardless of the outcome. Not everyone has the power to do this, but if you're like me and you love too much, keep this thought in mind. Keep that love growing because maybe they still feel it. And maybe it will help them find solace.

Anger
This is the tricky one. I've had to let go of relationships before and maybe the reason this one hurts so much is because it fell apart for no valid reasons. There was no effort made, there was no drama, no fights to invite this kind of outcome. I end all my relationships on a positive note now that I'm an adult. And since I had no closure on my confusion and had to make up my own scenario of why this happened, and that my sadness was brought upon a situation I had little to no control over, anger settled in like desperate Europeans in the time of colonization.

I was angry at myself for not reacting the way THEY wanted me to react. I was angry at them for being so evasive of my questions, my RIGHT to now what I did to cause so much pain to them. From my point of view, I was more than an okay friend. And when you start listing off the things YOU did for the relationship VS what THEY did for the relationship, that is pretty much when anger reaches it's boiling point. Especially when you (I'm assuming if you made it this far, you relate as a "person who loves too much") invested so much in someone. All I wanted in return was respect and appreciation, as do most of us who love too much. We accept that we love too much. We just want respect back. It made me angry that they weren't listening to me but asking me to listen to them. I was angry that they were calling me a hater and a ho when they were the one with bad habits and hurting people in the midst of it. I was angry that I was being told I couldn't understand as if I was a child, when I was standing there, broken hearted, ready to absorb all of the anger they possessed while having my own emotions, my own words twisted around and used against me. Understanding is a two way street. It made me angry that I was being completely pushed aside, as if I was nothing more than a fuck and a dreamcatcher. Absorbing all the dark and emitting nothing but light. It made me angry that I thought that everything they were telling me was for a reason, when in fact, it was for game. I was angry that I had fallen in the spider's lair.

Live that anger. But don't let it live in you. People separate emotions in two categories: bad emotions and good emotions. In fact, ALL emotions are healthy when expressed correctly. So weigh your words, think of what you want to say, remain honest but humble and polite. Like my idol Lana Del Rey muses in one of her songs: "It's fine if you're hateful, just as long as you remain grateful". Some people get so angry and are so used to being neglected for it that they assume the worst. They don't know what a good relationship is. It's easier for them to dump on you and leave then stay to see how you react. They don't care that it can get better, they only focus on their own mistakes and how you might leave them for it. They don't understand that you're there regardless. And that made me so angry. If you are willing to put up with anything, like I had, then do it. Strive for it. Forgive the lies, the shadiness, the plotholes, the unnecessary grievance. Forgive it all. But when the person tears down the wall, assume no responsability. You only cared and they LOVED that you cared until it became too much for them. Not for you. When someone assumes the worst in you, seek out the answer. That is your right to know. Don't forget it. Even if the person decides to cut you out. I am letting go of my anger, my confusion, and my sadness through this.

Acceptance
This right here, ladies and gents! This is the tough part. I didn't want to accept it. To me, accepting it was accepting defeat. That I wasn't good enough to help, that I had to change to please this person. **Why can't they see I care? This is making me sad. OMG NOW IM ANGRY** And when the confusion passed (trust me, once anger settles in, who the fuck thinks about confusion?) and the sadness (which right now I feel like will last forever), and that you managed and controlled your anger (omg I'm imagining the things I would have done if I had NO self-control over my mind and respect - still, imagine - for the other person), you get to the point where you just accept it. I accepted that this was not the healthiest of relationships. I accepted that my love and understanding was no longer welcomed. I accepted that I was just another pawn in their game.  It's hard to accept but I promise it gets better. Look in the mirror, really look, and think of all the people you met in your life. Think of all the nice things they said about you, how they smiled and cherished your presence. Those are the people who will help you get through the hurting and the grieving. Not the person who caused it. Do not search for acceptance from him or her. I did and I swear it was the biggest mistake I made in all of this. It just made me repeat this cycle all over again.

This is the point where you repeat this to yourself: they aren't necessarily a bad person. But I was treated badly. And I can't forget that. I can't white-wash it because the other person had "reasons" to be mean. It doesn't come easy to all, and sometimes it doesn't come at all, but I accept that I made bad choices in my life, I talk about them freely. I am not saying this to be pompous, I am saying this for people to relate and understand where I am coming from. Communication is key. It always was and always will. I talk about the bad that was done, doesn't mean I think the person is bad.

What helped (and is still helping, this is all very fresh to me) was having my friends around me. What made it tougher for me is that the relationship was not one that I could talk about openly. If you're living this type of relationship, be careful. I was okay with it - as stated above, I felt no need to share or define what we had because it just was, great and vast and amazing - but now that it is over, it is hard to process and digest without the thoughts and input of others. I value other people's emotions and experience so, so much. Being vague about what is happening can be ten times more debilitating. Just remember not to hurt the other person. They are not hurting you because they want to, they are hurting you because they don't know any better. Remind them of why you were there, why you cared. Remind them that life is good, that they are good people. If they are hurting someone they just said they cared about, then they must be hurting. A lot. Keep that in mind. Even if they keep swearing and cursing at you. It may change nothing, but never stop giving it your all. Be yourself. Do what you would have wanted them to do for you. It's not about being perfect, it's about being compassionate. It's about understanding where YOU come from and also understanding where THEY come from, regardless of it they recognize that or not. At the end of the day, you are the one resting your head and living with your thoughts. Just make sure they're good. Be proud that you are strong enough to support both of you. Even when the other decides that it never happened that way. Denial is a bad fruit, one that rots once you ingest it. Don't eat it, even when offered.

Outcome
I feel like I just wrote everything so fast that it doesn't make sense. But then again, this whole situation seems out of this world to me. I talk as if my emotions have passed but I'm still hurting. I'm no longer confused, nor sad, nor angry. I guess I can say I'm a mix of all three, but just a bit. I think of all the charity work I did, all the people I listened to and helped along my perilous road called Kevin's Life, of the downs I went through in my early 20's trying so desperately to understand myself. How I had wished to have someone who understood me then like I was for my friend. My friend. It stings a bit writing this. As if it wasn't true, as if it was a character I had written and fell in love with, unable to kill them off or write them out of the story. Admitting you are hurt is not a weakness. It is a strength. Because now you know you have to move on, you have to take that pain and build something with it. Live it but don't let it live in you.

If you love too much, like I do, don't feel bad about it. You'll find a friend, a confident, a lover, whatever, that will accept that. They won't judge you, hate you, bully you, belittle you because of it. They will cherish you, they will say how much they appreciate you, and how much they value your input, care, and understanding. They will do this out of love, and not because they feel it is "kissing someone's ass". Being nice is normal. It is so very normal. To expect kindness is normal. Everything else is not. They will not be afraid to show their dark side, or express anger because they'll know you care. They'll know you will stand by anything. Not everything is perfect, but it doesn't have to be when love is involved. Once you find that person, they will not twist your words around to fit their lies and purpose. I am blessed to say I have many people like this in my life. Is it sad that I couldn't reach that person? Sure it is. Will I beat myself over what-a, could-a, should-a? No, I won't. I gave my all, what more could I have given?


If you've given everything you got, remained yourself, you were nice and polite but firm, then there should be no regrets. Be yourself. Be happy. Be the change you want to see in this world. Live. Laugh. Love. Forgive and forget. And most importantly, do not regret. Leave that to the other person. The one who can't accept that love isn't always easy. It isn't always what we see in movies. Love cannot be defined by relationships, expectations, societal pressure, and boxes that can be checked off. But you, reader, already know that. Because you love too much, like I do.

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink




 

     
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