Happy Halloween!!!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloweeeeeeeen!!

 

1984; Cyndi Lauper

1987; Wonder Woman

1990; Birthday Gift

 

What was your favorite Halloween costume? Any good costume stories?

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Halloween Time!

Non-running post.  Just for fun!

I really love scary movies- less on the side of horror and more on the side of suspense.  Even the movies that scare the bejesus out of me suck me in every time they are on TV.  I will watch and re-watch, at times finding new things I love about the movie.  AMC has been running its yearly Frightfest of movies and I love it!  It got me thinking of some of my favorite thriller/horror/suspense movies- from the classics to the cheeseballs.  So in honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday…

My top ten fifteen favorite scary/suspenseful thriller movies:

  • Cape Fear– Scorcese is a genius- his movies tend to top all my favorites lists.  In this thriller, a man who served fourteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit spends his time out of prison going after his defense lawyer whom he feels botched his case.  The movie keeps the audience on the edge of their seat and has an all-star cast that includes Robert DeNiro, Jessica Lange and Nick Nolte.  This was the first scary movie I ever watched…at age 10.  No joke this movie did, and still does, scare the poop out of me.  To this day, I look under my car before getting into it every single time!
  • The Shining- Writer Steven King and Director Stanley Kubrick nail it with this hauntingly chilling thriller.  Jack Nicholson is as excellent as ever as Jack Torrence, a struggling writer who takes a winter job as a hotel caretaker.  His family is snowed in and suffers from serious cabin fever; Jack’s son begins having visions and Jack himself begins to slowly go mad.  Intricately constructed, this movies takes you inside one mans unbridled insanity.  And even if you have never seen the movie, I am sure you have heard the famous line…”Here’s Johnny!”
  • Seven- I remember when my friend and I decided to watch this “super scary movie with hottie Brad Pitt” and then immediately after watching, we watched again.  In one of the darkest, most brilliant serial killer films ever made, the suspense will keep you guessing and the ending will raise the hair on the back of your neck.  Morgan Freedman, Kevin Spacey and Gweneth Paltrow complete this amazing case.  I have since watched this movie more times than I can count and it never gets old!
  • The Sixth Sense- If you are in the small percentage of people who have yet to see this movie, you must see it!  M. Night Shyamalan is one of the top writers and directors of our time; he got it right in his first movie, a psychological thriller starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osmet about a boy who sees dead people.  This movie produces genuine scares in a movie that at its core is a poignant study about loss and what happens when you die.  I can honestly say, there is no other movie like it before or since- one that really takes intimacy, excitement and mystery and rolls them into one amazing plot.
  • Poltergeist- The sequels have left a lot to be desired, but the first Poltergeist will really give you a head screw.  This movie takes the “haunting” out of old castles and puts it right into suburban America.  Along with great special effects (for the time) the movie is consistently creepy as the viewer watches as a family tries to deal with forces they cannot control.  Adding to the weirdness, in real life many of the Poltergeist cast has since died causing a rumored “Poltergeist curse.”
  • The Ring- This film is just plain freaky.  It could have easily been a cheese fest- I mean a girl coming out of the TV (reallllly?) but instead the movie is intensely creepy.  I am not familiar with the director and I don’t even remember the cast outside of Naomi Watts; I just remember that I was totally freaked out by the “worst is yet to come” feeling I had throughout the entire viewing of the movie!  And then, when I turned the TV off later that night (I was in my then boyfriends dorm) after having watched the movie, the cable happened to be out.  That was all it took… and the TV ended up in the living room for the night and I didn’t sleep a wink.  I have heard people talk about the movies lameness and inconsistencies but have never had the guts to watch it a second time.
  • Rosemary’s Baby- Mia Farrow is perfect in the role of Rosemary, a pregnant woman on the verge of a breakdown, who moves into a Satan worshiping apartment building.  This movie truly succeeds though by what is not seen or told- the more the viewer imagines through the characters mounting sense of paranoia, the scarier the movie becomes.
  • Dark Knight- The fact that Heath Ledger died shortly after the movie was completed, made it more intense as he gave the performance of his all too short life.  With a fabulous supporting cast this movie WAS Ledger- he was riveting as The Joker and proved that one performance CAN carry a movie.  Part thriller, all action packed…and fully awesome!  This movie took the Batman legacy to a new height and Ledger lived up to every ounce of hype.  Sadly, he didn’t survive to bask in the amazing’ness that was his performance as The Joker.
  • Scream- This movie got me right from the start.  I expected a lame teenage horror flick (ie: carrie) but ended up honestly jumping out of my seat at points.  Wes Craven does horror right in this film; a semi-parody on horror films without getting silly and succeeding in a suspenseful film about tortured teenagers.  It is one movie where I can honestly say, the killer stunned me.  From the very first phone call scene with Drew Barrymore to the last scene with Naomi Campbell, I was hooked on this movie.  Seeing it ten years later can make me laugh at parts but others scenes still give me the jumps.
  • Jaws- I cannot imagine anyone old enough to read this blog hasn’t seen this movie.  In Spielberg’s scariest movie, about a killer shark and the men who are out to take it down, the scenes are amazingly intense.  I still find myself constantly brought to the edge just to be reared back and then smacked with heart-stopping suddenness when the climax occurs.  There is nothing I can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said- it is simply a classic thrill ride!
  • Deliverance- In many cases a film can be made or broken by its musical score.  In this case, the music adds a creep factor that takes the movie to a whole new level of disturbing.  It is uncomfortable and at times a bit too realistic…but that is what makes it such a damn good thriller.  To this day the “Duelling Banjos” gives me the creeps- and anytime I am in a wooded area, the music rears it ugly way into my head.
  • L.A. Confidential- This is a case where the cast really makes the movie- each main character is seamless in their portrayal of lead investigators of a crime in a story about crime, violence and corruption.  This is a rare suspense film with endless complexities not normally found in “thriller” films; it is cynical, twisted and completing worth watching more than once.
  • The Fugitive- A great example of everything coming together for a movie would be this- the characters, the plot, the suspense…everything.  Both Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford give amazing performances as a man chasing a man in this thriller than converges two parallel suspense plots.  The characters bring you in and as a viewer you feel their emotions with conviction and intesity.  And soon, you find you are rooting for both men at the same time.  
  • Candyman- Sure, there is a huge cheese factor here but I would be remiss if I did not include this movie on my list.  This was the second scary movie I ever watched; at a sleepover when I was 12.  There were five of us that night and I remember we all went to the bathroom together every time someone had to go.  It would be many years before I could ever go into the bathroom without looking in the medicine cabinet.  And even now you couldn’t get me to say Candyman three times into the mirror!
  • Dolls- If Candyman isn’t cheesy enough for you, this movie will be.  Despite the fact that it was low-budget and semi-predictable this movie got me at my core.  The movie, about dolls that come to life and turn people into doll like versions on themselves freaked me out in a way that I can still remember over fifteen years later.  I couldn’t tell you much of the plot but I can tell you that to this day I cannot stand to be in a room full of porcelain dolls- especially if I have to sleep in the room.  Chills.

As you can see, I had a tough time narrowing it down!  As much as some of them haunt me, and as much as they freak me out when watching, I can’t help but to love them!

What are your favorite scary movies?

Monday Brain Exchange- It’s Back!

Good News!!!  MBE is back!

For a refresher, here’s the idea:

  • Every Monday, at the end of the current weeks M.B.E answer, I will post a question for the following week.  This way you can cue your post for Monday if you wish.  If Monday doesn’t work for you, you can still play along any day of the week that works best.
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog.  Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.
  • NOTE: Since we are just getting re-started there is no question for this week.  The question posted is for next week and should be cued up for next Monday.  Next Monday, I will post my answer to this question and post a new question for the following week.  In the following weeks post, I will link all the responses from this question.  Make sense?  Ok then…:) Start posting and spread the word!!!

    Next Weeks Question:

    What do you miss most when you are in the heat of training or gearing up for a race?  Do you skip late nights out?  Do you give up goodies and alcohol?  What is the first thing you crave when training is over?

    Life Update- I Do Actually Run!

    Onelittletrigirl has been seriously busy!

    I am exhausted, I won’t lie..but I am so focused on the long-term goals I have that I refuse to get down.  I am still keeping up with my running which is the priority training right now so as long as I am doing that I feel good.  After the Philly half, I am hoping to get into more of a routine as I get ready for winter training and my 2011 race schedule.  Is it a lot?  Of course.  Can I do it?  Do you even have to ask???? 🙂

    Few updates:

    • My swim/bike/strength training is really suffering right now so it is a good thing I am in the off-season!  My efforts to keep up with my running while getting used to my new schedule have kept me from doing much else as far as working out is concerned.  Once I get into my routine, I think know I will be fine, but for right now…if running is all I do until the Philly half, then so be it.
    • Speaking of running- two runs this week.
      • Wednesday I went for a morning run and have nothing to say about it.  It sucked.  Got it done but it sucked.  I was tired and completely out of focus.
      • This morning I had my long run scheduled.  I totally was not into it- from the second I woke up I was mopey and unmotivated.  I think even made up a few “running sucks” songs while I drank my coffee and got ready.  But you know what, running doesn’t suck and I ALWAYS feel better after I run.  So I headed out despite my cruddy attitude.  About a mile in, I was basking in the gorgeous fall weather and loving the run.  I cannot say that my right calf loved the run as much as I did but it was a great run.  I used my first half mile as a warm up my last half mile as a cool down and still averaged 11:15/pace so my confidence level is high at four weeks from Philly.
    • So the Phillies lost.  The truth is, they did not come together as a team.  Giants were definitely hungrier for it and we lost.  And it sucks.  Considering that the Giants and Texas teams have about 384 fans combined, this is slated the be the most boring World Series ever. I won’t watch because I dont want to die of boredom I don’t care, but for the record, I hope Texas wins.  I know what it feels like to root for a team that is the underdog and that no one thinks can do it- plus I got love for Cliff Lee.  So much as I hate the state of Texas, I will be rooting for them to win.  And meanwhile, I’ll be counting down the days till Spring Training and looking forward to the start of the Tarheels basketball season.
    • File this under Things that only happen to Jillian: today on my run, I was about 4’ish miles in when I heard sirens.  A lot of sirens.  I jumped up onto the sidewalk and turned around to see a bunch of cops…and behind them a bunch of motorcycles.  And by a bunch, I mean like over 100 motorcycles.  Must have been some kind of event but it was really cool- they had flags and they were beeping and cheering…it was pretty fun to watch but totally random.
    • My second job is going well but man do my legs hurt.  I forgot how much the first few weeks of waitressing killed my legs before and I am really feeling it.  It doesn’t help that my cheapy work shoes suck.  Next weekend, I plan to invest in some really good shoes so that my feet don’t suffer on account of having a second job.
    • As I said, I am tired…very, very tired.  But I wrote out some long term goals to get myself more financially sound and secure and I feel better just seeing it written down and knowing that I can achieve these goals as long as I don’t lose sight of them.
    • Once again- thank you for all your honest responses on this post and this post.  Love you guys!!!!

    How I Feel On Hold…

    This is how I felt today(minus the testicles!) on hold with my credit card company:

     

    A little something light after my two serious posts.  Oh, and if you are wondering if I still work out and do running-type things…the answer is yes 🙂  And perhaps this weekend, I will write about it!  Meanwhile, the second job is going splendid and I am waiting for the Phillies to get it together and take home this series at the Bank!!!!

    *Of course I stole this off of a website- it is an “Oatmeal” original.  If I were funny and smart enough to come up with that myself, I would have so much money a credit card wouldn’t be necessary in the first place!

    Notes On Yesterday’s Post

    Wow- what great and honest responses on yesterdays post!!!

    I wish I could say “I had no idea people felt that way” but the truth is, I KNEW people felt that way.  I have emailed with enough people on the topic to know that this not something I alone was feeling.  I know that I am not the only one that grapples with my own self-guilt over what I read and don’t read.  And I know I am not the only one that follows someone just because “everyone else” does.  That was part of the point of the post- to get an honest discussion going about those feelings.  And to hopefully make others realize that if they are feeling like the only one who feels this way, they aren’t alone.

    A few things I thought about as I read through all your comments, which by the way were thoughtful, honest and very much appreciated!

    • I had to laugh when so many of you kept writing “if you still read mine” because every single person who commented is a blog I love and read 🙂  Like with most things in life, when you try to point something out–the ones who you are referring too, never see it in themselves.  It reminds me of my job; often I will send out an email correcting a procedure- I send it to everyone because that is fair and polite- without fail, all of the people who did it right, will respond.  Those who did it wrong, rarely recognize it.
    • Like many of you, I keep my Reader organized with folders.  I have the ones I try to read every day, the ones I try to get to each week and the ones I stop by when I can.  I always star the posts I want to read later if I know it is one I want to take my time to read. 
    • In regards to my notes on commenting- I suppose I should have clarified.  In no way do I assume anyone has time to respond to every single comment or visit every single blog every day and comment.  Mostly what I meant is, that after repeated attempts to reach out to certain blogs without any reciprocation, I feel a bit…let down.  And I do think that if someone is specifically reaching out, especially with questions, they should be reached out to by the writer.
    • Meg and Lindsay– yes, I am sure we all had the same conversations with Rick 🙂

    Again, thank you all so much for your thoughtful and honest responses.  I have to admit- even thought I knew people felt the way I did- I did worry a little that putting this out there so honestly would cause me to lose readership.  But then I reread my post and remembered what it was all about it the first place!  It is about people, not numbers.  And people who enjoy my blog will respect my honest posts. 

    Blog on interwebs…blog on 🙂

    You Can’t Read Them All

    For a while I was going through a bit of a block and struggling with both writing and keeping up with reading blogs.  I could not figure out what the problem was- it wasn’t that I was uninterested and it definitely wasn’t a lack of material…but I just couldn’t find the motivation to complete a post.  Or to keep up with my reader.

    And then it hit me. 

    I was reading WAY too many blogs.  And because of that, my own writing was suffering.  As I began to look at the blogs I was reading I found they fell into four different categories.

    Blogs with connections- In the almost two years that I have been writing this blog, I have made some amazing connections with people from all over the world.  It has brought so much to my life and I am thankful for these friendships in the same way I am the ones in my “real” life.  I love reading your posts, I get excited when something great happens for you and sad when you have a disappointment.  I look forward to your comments and appreciate your responses to mine.  I think about you when you are going through a rough time, channel your energies when I am racing and lean on you for support.  I am grateful for this group of wonderful bloggers.

    Informational Blogs- These blogs are written mostly for informational purposes.  I read them to gather information and to be a continuous learner.  I don’t typically leave comments on these blogs, although when I do they are almost always returned.  I don’t expect or anticipate forming relationships with the writers behind these blogs but genuinely enjoy their posts.

    The “Popular” Blogs- The epiphany that started this whole post happened actually while I was reading a blog I don’t actually visit much but happened to be reading.  The post had a lot to do with how many followers the writer had, how many visits their blog gets and was basically a self-love fest.  I found myself extremely annoyed by the post but then remembered that the reason I hardly ever read this specific blog is for that exact reason.  But then why was it still on my reader?  Why was I still reading a blog that clearly irritated me?  I hate to admit it but part of the reason was because I wanted to be acknowledged.  So even though my questions went unanswered and they never bothered to visit my blog, I kept going back.  Less and less over time but nonetheless, I was still going back.  And it wasn’t just this blog either- my reader was clogged with blogs that I spent time reading/commenting with nothing in return.  It was like high school all over again- you know, like when you try to be part of some group and they just won’t let you in no matter how hard  you try.  (I won’t mention the blog [so don’t ask] but every person who reads blogs knows the kind of blog I am talking about.  There are many of them out there.)

    Blogs I’m not very interested in- In just the same way that some people aren’t interested in my blog, there are ones that do not interest me.  I make a valiant effort to visit every blogger that comments and check out their blogs.  Usually, I will put them on my reader and then over a matter of weeks determine if it is a blog I want to keep with or not.  Just like in “real life” either a connection gets made, or it doesn’t.  For quite a few months though, I was keeping all of the blogs on my reader even though I genuinely wasn’t interested in them all.

    Only days after I came to these conclusions, Rick passed away.  Rick truly was one of my favorite bloggers.  He was sincere, kind, supportive and responsive to all commentors.  He valued his readers and genuinely cared about their well-being.  I miss Rick and I miss his blog.  But his passing has already taught me about being a better blogger.  I took a look back at some of our email exchanges (wherein we talked about some of these issues) and decided to make some changes. 

    What it all boils down to is this- I don’t care if I have 12 or 200 followers.  But I want them all to be genuine.  I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to read my blog.  I don’t just want 300 followers just to have them.  Likewise, I don’t have to follow every blog.  And I shouldn’t feel bad about it.  So I went ahead and took my blogroll off my blog.  And I cleared out all the blogs on my reader that gave me anxiety, irritated me or did not personally interest me.  It was like cleaning out a closet of clothes I never wear or don’t like…it took some time to get it done but now that I did, I feel so much better!

    I feel like now I can be the blogger I really want to be- the one that devotes time to the blogs that genuinely interest her with the writers with whom I have formed connections or feel like I will connect with down the line.  And along the way if I find new, inspiring and amazing blogs then that is a great thing.  And if at some point a blog I currently read finds its way into one of the last two categories above, than I will remember that it is okay to stop reading.  At the end of the day, you can’t read them all!