So, my time at The Magnetic Theatre and their 3rd Annual One Act Play Festival ended on November 13th. Tooth or Dare (about a couple’s run-in with a pissed-off Tooth Fairy) was a lot of fun to do. The audiences seems to really like it and we got voted to be in the Best of the Fest! performance on the final Sunday. Out of the 20 short plays that were presented, only six were voted in to do the final performance. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
November 21, 2002 was when it all started.
When I acquired my first web address and started blogging, I never thought that I would keep at it this long. It seemed like a laugh at the time. But, slowly, people started reading my rambling about movies and theater and hikes and such. They stayed through several name changes in the early days, several domain name changes (cgm13.com to cgm13.net to theboywonder.net), and my migration from Blogger to WordPress. They even stayed through my (first) depression, my anxiety-laden years, and obsessive porn posts (with lots of hot naked men doing hot naked things with big, throbbing cocks). I met some really cool people via this blog. Some still speak to me and some don’t (which still kinda hurts). There have been some dry spells when I felt like I didn’t have anything going on that was exciting enough to post about. Those seem to happen more and more these days. Keeping an online blog seems quite old-fashioned in this age of Facebook/Insta/Twitter/TikTok. Honestly, there have been times that I have thought about bagging this site altogether. But, for some reason, I just can’t let it go. This blog is like an old friend. Some days I find myself reading back through the archives and remembering the good (and bad) times. I do kick myself now for some of the vague postings I did “back in the day” because I am older and can’t remember what a lot of the vaguery is about. I know readership isn’t what it used to be back in this blog’s heyday. I don’t care. This is really more for me than anyone else. But, if you are still around and checking in on me, it’s really appreciated. Let’s see if this thing lasts another 20 years.
Happy Birthday, oh blog of mine!
In the last few weeks, I have made a return (somewhat) to doing theater-y kinds of things after not having been onstage in well over three years.
After 30-plus years at the helm, the Executive Director of the local theater is retiring. A couple of weekends ago, there was an event at the theater to celebrate his time there. Part of the event was a retrospective of his time in charge and I was asked to sing a duet from one of his favorite shows he directed (I was in the original production). I must say that it did feel really weird to sing that song while holding a microphone. I’m only used that on karaoke night in the local bar. Ha, ha.
And, I am currently in rehearsal for the short play Tooth or Dare that’s part of The Magnetic Theatre‘s 3rd Annual One Act Play Festival. It’s been fun to rehearse so far and I had forgotten how awesome the discovery process is during rehearsals. Plus, it’s been pretty light duty (as far as a time commitment) since our piece runs about ten minutes. Only three more rehearsals over the next two weeks and we are up and running. Tooth or Dare is part of the Schedule B performances if you are in the area and are inclined to come support live theater.
I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for a box set of the Ju-on films. Well, that box set has now been officially announced and it’s stacked. Squee!
Ju-on: The Grudge Collection (Limited Edition) drops in the UK (and for us multi-region player owners) on December 19th from Arrow Video.
- Brand new 4K restoration of Ju-On: The Grudge from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
- 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Ju-On: The Grudge in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all films
- Home video premiere outside Japan of Ju-On: The Curse and Ju-On: The Curse 2
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (except The Curse and The Curse 2) and 2.0 stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Exclusive 60-page collector’s booklet featuring writing by Grady Hendrix, James Marsh, Tom Mes, William Carroll and Lindsay Nelson [Limited Edition Exclusive]
- Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Oink Creative
- Twenty-four double-sided, postcard-sized artcards [Limited Edition Exclusive]
- Reversible poster with new and original artwork [Limited Edition Exclusive]
DISC 1 – JU-ON: THE CURSE AND JU-ON: THE CURSE 2 (BLU-RAY)
- Introduction to both films by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
- Introduction to Ju-On: The Curse by actor Takako Fuji
DISC 2 & 3 – JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY / BLU-RAY)
- Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
- Introduction by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
- New audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
- Audio commentary by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel
- Alternate English dub track in 5.1 Surround
- Haunting in Monochrome, a new interview with Takashi Shimizu on the Ju-On films
- Being Kayako, a new interview with Takako Fuji on her role as Kayako
- The Evolution of Ju-On, a brand new featurette with authors and Japan specialists Tom Mes and Zack Davisson discussing the cultural forces that shaped the series
- Through a Glass Darkly, an archive interview with Takashi Shimizu
- Whispers in the Dark, an archive interview with actor Megumi Okina on her role as Rika
- Fade to Black, an archive interview with actress Kayoko Shibata, who plays Mariko
- On-set interviews with Takashi Shimizu, Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara and Yui Ichikawa
- Deleted scenes with commentary by Takashi Shimizu
- Almost an hour of behind-the-scenes footage
- Ju-On True Stories, two ghostly true-life tales that inspired the films, narrated by Hiroyoshi Kihara
- Original trailers
- Image gallery
DISC 4 – JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 (BLU-RAY)
- Introduction by writer-director Takashi Shimizu
- New audio commentary with scholar Raechel Dumas and critic Jasper Sharp
- Alternate English dub track in 5.1 Surround
- Interview with Takashi Shimizu from the time of making Ju-On: The Grudge 2
- On-set interviews with Noriko Sakai, Chiharu Niiyama, Kei Horie, Yui Ichikawa, Emi Yamamoto and Shingo Katsurayama
- Deleted scenes
- 55 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage
- On-set reports by cast members Noriko Sakai, Yui Ichikawa and Erika Kuroishi
- Premieres and stage greetings footage from Japan, Taiwan and Korea
- Trailers and TV spots
- Image gallery
DISC 5 – JU-ON: WHITE GHOST AND JU-ON: BLACK GHOST (BLU-RAY)
- Introduction to Ju-On: Black Ghost by writer-director Mari Asato
- New interview with Mari Asato
- Original trailer
- Image galleries
Life is still chugging along in its crazy, maddening, and somewhat weird way. Labor day has now come and gone and there’s definitely a hint of fall in the air. Love it!
Speaking of Labor Day …
We kicked off the holiday weekend by meeting up with the local gay group at one of our local breweries. This is a pretty new group and it’s been fun to get to know some gay men (and women!) that actually live in Waynesville.
That Saturday, we attended the last of the summer “gays only” pool parties that we have been getting invited to over in Asheville. The weather was supposed to be dodgy, but it ended up being a super nice day.
We went to a “guys only” cookout the next day and that was pretty nice as well … even though we got stuck inside the whole time because the weather did end up being super dodgy that day.
So, all in all, it was a pretty gay Labor Day weekend!
In non-gay news …
I have finally started going through records that I have been given over the past several years and have been trying to salvage the ones that are not too beat up. Since I don’t have a fancy (or non-fancy) record cleaner, I will wash mine in the sink with a little soap and water. That can sometimes help tremendously if all you are dealing with is fingerprints or mold (or both) on the vinyl. And it’s always amusing the see them drying in the dish drainer.
And finally … here is Chip being cute as fuck.
So, the other day a post popped up in my Facebook feed touting a design contest for Buncombe County (the next county over) and their “I Voted” stickers for the upcoming election in November.
“Must say ‘I voted.’ … the rest is up to you … deadline September 2 … designs voted on September 7-22 … winner announced September 22.”
Excellent! So, I got to work and banged out a design that I was pretty happy with, only to REALLY read the instructions after the fact.
“WHO: Any young person, ages 13-18 that is a resident of Buncombe County is eligible to participate.”
Dammit. I am neither ages 13-18 nor a resident of Buncombe County.
[Insert facepalm emoji here.]
Reading. It’s fundamental.
I am indeed still alive. June and July turned into quite the shitshow with having COVID and just dealing with the general crappiness of life right now. I guess I could go into lots of detail, but I don’t want to right now. Suffice it to say, I have been dealing with my usual feeling of inadequacy, unattractiveness, inability to be more assertive, the general stress of life and relationships, and a situation where I was lied to by a friend about a something I still harbor a lot of hard feelings about.
So, for the time being, I am going through the motions by putting on a smile and acting like everything is okay.
Anyhoo … I am still alive. I just need to get back in the posting rhythm!
Remember when I said, “It’s hard not to feel like the universe has it in for you when shit like this happens?”
Yep. That’s a positive COVID test. I have been honestly surprised at the number of people who had no idea what this was. Maybe my friend circle doesn’t have the need to test themselves as much as David and I do? Who knows.
I guess I should count myself lucky that I made it into Year Three before getting it. But, it has really sucked even with being vaccinated and double boosted. I woke up sick last Saturday and it’s taken until today for me to feel halfway human again. I know, I know. I should count my blessings since so many people haven’t seen the other side of catching COVID.
But, this week, I feel like wallowing in self-pity because nothing ever seems to work out right anymore. This makes the second time this year that days off from work have been fucked over by illness. I also found out that expressing hurt feelings can fuck you over because nobody listens or wants to take the time to actually talk to you about what’s going on before they dismiss you as a complainer or someone with ill intent.
Okay. That is enough vague whining. It’s time I snuggle back down into the black hole of COVID isolation.
I couldn’t resist pre-ordering this for my vinyl collection!
A new David Cronenberg film? Yes, please!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Not much has been going on here other than my standard “work, eat, sleep, be depressed” routine. I have not had much energy about posting here (shocker!) because day in and day out seems to be the same ole, same ole.
I did actually have a vacation scheduled last month … to a gay campground in Florida! But, guess who got sick with strep the day before we were supposed to fly down. You guessed it. I ended up home sick and missed the vacation while David got to go. It’s hard not to feel like the universe has it in for you when shit like this happens.
During REI’s member discount sale, I did finally pull the trigger on a new sleeping pad for my backpacking adventure. You can see in the pictures that the new pad packs much, much smaller than the Thermarest that I have been carrying for 20+ years. Over the past three years, I have managed to replace all my old gear. The only thing I want now is a more compact camp stove (and maybe a lightweight camp chair) and I will be fully set!
In movie news … Robert Eggers’ The Northman opens next week and I can’t fucking wait!