Yeah … I am still alive. I just haven’t felt like posting.
Thanksgiving came and went last week without much fanfare. Our friends who normally host a “Friendsgiving” that we go to every year (wisely) decided to not host this year. It was disappointing but understandable. So, David went off to see his family and I stayed around the house and didn’t really do anything but consume pizza and be a generally depressed bastard. Yay, 2020!
I did get this year’s batch of egg nog made on Thanksgiving Day. Later this week, I get to decide who has been nice enough to receive some and who’s on the shit list and is out of egg nog luck. Ha, ha.
COVID-19 case numbers are going crazy here in our little mountain county. It’s a bummer since we’ve done pretty well for most of the year. It seems like precaution fatigue has people letting their guard down and thus getting infected. I am so ready for all this to be over!
One (well, two really) of the bright spots of the past week has been the arrival of the Dawn of the Dead 4K UHD Limited Edition release from Second Sight and the Midsommar Director’s Cut 4K UHD Limited Edition from A24. Squee!
On Saturday, I had a solo shopping appointment at my favorite record store in Asheville, Harvest Records. I managed to snag the 2020 Black Friday Record Store Day release of Amiee Mann’s Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo. I also found a rare Japanese pressing from 1985 of The Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always. So cool!
Sunday morning, we went for a fancy brunch at The Ascot Club at Highland Forest. We have recently become social members there because a) the membership is cheap and b) all of our friends were joining and we didn’t want to be left out. The food is good and the atmosphere pretty quiet. So, it’s a great place to go for a relaxing meal. We drank mimosas and had fancy brunchables … Chicken and Waffles for me and Steak Caesar Salad for David. Très chic.
Since there were no Black Friday sales to go to in person, I bought a few movies online for cheap. Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season arrived yesterday. Horray for 2-day shipping! But, thanks to Amazon’s amazing pack job, it’s already being returned. The slipcase was damaged and (it might be hard to tell from the photo) the case is actually curved and bent. Amazon’s crapping packing/shipping strikes again. Sheesh.
Some other randomness that I might post more about later:
– I framed some enamel pin sets I have recently acquired.
– We watched Unhinged. It’s nowhere near as bad as the critics made it out to be.
– I have become obsessed with color matching my jockstrap and shirt colors when I can.
The workweek is now underway. December is nigh (which means 2021 is just around the corner. And they are calling for SNOW tonight!
Oh, and … because I was bad and missed the actual day on the 21st … Happy 18th Birthday to The Boy Wonder. I guess this blog finally legal! I know I say this every year … but, damn … I never thought it would last this long. So, a big thanks to the constant (or even occasional) readers that still come here and read my ramblings.
Editor’s Note: No links ’cause I’m lazy.
Bah! It seems I am posting more infrequently now. Is it my mood? Probably. Is it also that nothing super exciting is going on since we are still not really able to go about as freely and hang out with friends like the old days. Yep. And, it’s sad to think that the “old days” of normal life were just six months ago. It feels like 60 years ago.
Events of the past few weeks:
– Have gotten totally obsessed with collecting all the official recordings of Sunset Boulevard.
– Finally got a copy of Cocteau Twins’ Four Calendar Cafe on vinyl.
– Been crushing hard on the new Róisín Murphy album, Róisín Machine.
– Helped Michelle (no longer a refugee) set up various items for her new house here.
– Ate too much pizza.
– Binge watched The Haunting of Bly Manor and didn’t really like it.
– Got shat on by a pigeon.
– Turned 49.
I stopped trimming my beard quite a few months ago. So, now it’s the longest it has ever been … and it’s so unruly. I really need a professional trim/shaping but I am too paranoid to go to a barber and sit there unmasked while doing their work. I have been thinking about trimming it back down to a reasonable length but just haven’t worked up the nerve.
I *might* also have been on a jockstrap kick for the past few days. They are just so damn wonderful. So, now I am toying with the idea of making the jockstrap my daily underwear of choice. In aid of this, I might have purchased a cheap-ish 3-pack (in grey and black because those are the best colors). It would be nice to be able to afford a full complement of PUMP, Diesel, or Cellblock 13 (of which I want all the colors!) jocks. I guess I will see how this works out. Ha, ha.
And what would be an update without talking about an expensive movie purchase? I am super excited that Haunt (a great little horror movie from last year) is FINALLY getting a Blu-ray release from Ronin Flix. And, of course, I ordered the stupidly expensive Collector’s Edition. Just look at all the cool features and swag!
Includes the Original CD Soundtrack by tomandandy, four 16” x 20” movie poster reproductions, a 16” x 20” reproduction of the haunt map, six enamel pins featuring costume masks featured in the film, four 2” x 3 ½” replica VHS box-style magnets, and over 5 hours of special features.
DISC 1 – Haunt (2019) Feature Presentation
– NEW To Escape the Haunt: The Making of HAUNT featurette including interviews with writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, actors Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Andrew Lewis Caldwell, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Schuyler Helford, Justin Marxen, Chaney Morrow, Special Makeup Effects artist Chris Bridges and co-composer Andy Milburn (tomandandy)
– NEW Audio Commentary with actors Justin Marxen (Clown), Chaney Morrow (Ghost), and Damian Maffei (Devil)
– Audio Commentary with writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
– Behind the Haunt
– The Sound of Haunt
– Deleted Scenes with an introduction by Scott and Bryan
– Popcorn Frights Q & A with Scott, Bryan, and some of the cast
– Egyptian Theatre Premiere Q & A with Scott and Bryan, moderated by Eli Roth
– Short Film: The Sleepover – Scott and Bryan’s first film
– Director’s Diary
– Theatrical Trailer
DISC 2: Haunt (2019) Soundtrack
GIMMIE!!! GIMMIE!!! GIMMIE!!!
I received my replacement copy of Prince’s Sign ‘o the Times (Super Deluxe Edition) over the weekend and I couldn’t be happier. It’s pristine! AND, as a bonus, the replacement copy came in some sort of official Sign ‘o the Times branded packing box. Cool! The damaged copy I received didn’t, so this was a nice bonus.
We went over to Asheville on Saturday and hung out with A&A all day. The highlight was getting to carve pumpkins! I have not done this since I was a kid and I finally got to create a jack-o-lantern based on the one that appears during the opening credits of John Carpenter’s Halloween. So much fun!
I FINALLY received the part to repair my busted mower. It’s kinda ridiculous that it took well over a month for it to arrive. At least it’s now installed and regular mowing can commence for what is left of the mow season. So exciting.
So … I was super excited to finally receive my copy of Prince’s Sign ‘o the Times (Super Deluxe Edition) yesterday. Yay! This beast is massive with eight CD’s and one DVD.
BUT … when I opened it up, I discovered an imperfection on the back of the hardbound book. It looks like there is a staple (or something similar) under the paper which it’s bulging up and seems like it could eventually rip through and damage the book. Ugh.
I have a bit of OCD about packaging being pristine. And I been working on not freaking out about small dings, etc on things I buy. But, considering the cost of this set ($160!), I want it to be immaculate. The exchange process has been initiated.
Yeah, I know. First world problems.
The arrival of The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K Blu-ray has been the best thing that has happened in the past few weeks. Seriously. Psycho and Vertigo look insanely beautiful in 4K (Rear Window and The Birds aren’t too bad either).
One of the other things I have done recently has been to separate my regular Twitter from my porn Twitter. Now my regular followers won’t see when I like or comment on some really hot porn tweet. Ha, ha.
Meanwhile, I am obsessing over remixes of Madonna’s Erotica.
Finally finishing up Dark on Netflix and I gotta give a shout out to the main title designers (ARRI Media VFX and Lutz Lemke). I am a sucker for a great title sequence and I gotta say that Dark has one of my favorites. And, yes. I quietly judge people who skip title sequences.
Ben Frost has composed some wonderfully ominous music for the show … which you can sample below and purchase here.
Here’s the full version of Apparat‘s “Goodbye” which is used for the main titles.
Every time I go to the Biltmore Estate I absolutely have to listen to Cocteau Twins when driving onto the estate. I think it’s because I was listening to them when I first visited the place back in 1989. Something about the Cocteau Twins’ sound just seems to fit the place … especially their albums Treasure and Victorialand.
This past Sunday, I visited and just walked around the grounds and gardens as all the time slots for admittance into the house were full. It was a lovely day but the reminders of COVID-19 were everywhere with socially distanced lines, mandatory mask usage, and reduced capacity. That was a bit of a bummer since it’s one of my favorite places to go to try and relax and reset my brain.
Yeah. Still alive. Plugging through life a day at a time. Blah, blah, blah
I bought four of those cool Bacardi red skull glasses we drank out of in Charleston last year. Alas, the eBay seller didn’t pack them the greatest. Bah! At least two of them survived the trip. Half busted seems to be a theme for life right now.
But, I did manage to find a copy of the way out of print Deluxe Expanded Edition (3 CD/1 DVD) of Prince’s Purple Rain. Yeah. I have been a bit Prince obsessed as of late.
Well … we are now half way through what is arguably the worst year ever. And there looks to be no end in site. Ugh.
Some things that have happened recently:
– Sat around in a really black depression for several days.
– Saw A&A for takeout pizza and fire pitting.
– Saw a few friends (less than 10) for a short, socially distanced July 4th cookout.
– Sat around the house a lot.
The biggest news of the past week is that I formally submitted my resignation letter to the local theater. The entire staff got laid off at the end of March because of the COVID-19 induced shutdown. So, I have technically not been an employee since then. Last week I made it official that I won’t be returning as their graphic designer when they re-open (God knows when that will be). Today I went and turned in my keys and handed over all the art files. This has been a decision that’s been a long time coming (nearly five years). I have been feeling burnt out with the work and pissed off with the lack of appreciation from the higher ups. That being said, it’s been a depressing few weeks working up the nerve to actually go through with it considering I have been doing art for them for almost 30 years.
But, in fun “I spend too much money on shit considering I have officially quit my second job” news, I managed to find a copy of the 5 CD/1 DVD Super Deluxe Edition of Prince’s 1999 album for retail out of Canada. This is the second time that Sonic Boom Records in Toronto has come through. This set came out last November, went immediately out of print, and is already selling for $200+ on the secondary market. So, I consider this a real score as I got it for $70 shipped (the price tag is Canadian dollars).
Holy Christmas, Batman! It’s been announced that my favorite Prince album, Sign o’ the Times, will be released in an 8 CD/1 DVD Super Deluxe Edition this coming September.
The Super Deluxe Edition includes all the audio material that Prince officially released in 1987, as well as 45 previously unissued studio songs recorded between May 1979 and July 1987, and a complete live audio performance from the June 20, 1987 stop on the “Sign O’ The Times” Tour at Stadium Galgenwaard in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Also included is a brand-new DVD containing the complete, previously unreleased New Year’s Eve benefit concert at Paisley Park on December 31, 1987, which was Prince’s final performance of the “Sign O’ The Times” Tour stage show and his only on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis.
The Super Deluxe Edition set also features a 120-page hardcover book containing Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for many of the songs from the era, including the hits “U Got The Look,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” and “Hot Thing,” iconic unseen images from the era taken by Prince’s primary photographer in the mid-1980s to early 90s, Jeff Katz, plus images of archive assets including original analog tape reels and studio tracking sheets.
It retails at a hefty $160 …. but, damn … I NEED THIS! *drools*
Anyone that really knows me knows that “West End Girls” is my favorite single song of all time. So imagine my delight to see that Pet Shop Boys have dropped a new updated 2020 version of their classic first single. This is so fucking smooth.