THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #83

LOVE:

Annabelle:

Annabelle Movie

I’m not one for slasher flicks. I don’t care for blood and gore to be splashed on my screen. I don’t want a mutilated body or a serial killer or some deranged psychopath. I want ghosts and demons and things of that sort. I want the kind of horror that seems possible when you’re trying to get to sleep. Last year, for our “Annual Phillips Shitty Halloween Spectacular Spectacular” (it’s a thing, reader), we watched The Conjuring and had a delightful time jumping and squealing and finding our basement terrifying. Good time. I enjoyed that film particularly because the set design was beautiful, the acting wasn’t atrocious, the plot wasn’t implausible, and there was a good sense of fun. So, I was delighted when the director of that triumph announced his next horror film, an adaptation of the story of Annabelle, the possessed Raggedy Ann doll. As a passionate lover of all things creepy, I’ve long been aware of this horrible doll and the stories surrounding it. I had no idea how they’d make a movie out of it, though. I don’t like moving dolls, you know, it’s just not authentic. Well, reader, let me tell you that they did an exceptional job. The doll never moved a bit. You were completely horrified of the doll for what it was — an inanimate toy. I’m not going to give any of it away, though, because I want you all to get to your local cineplex and squeal in terror. It’s great fun.

Boiled Eggs:

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I have something of a fascination with eggs. They are a very simple thing, but can be done up in an extraordinary amount of ways. I take great delight in going through the list of cooking techniques and perfecting them. I’m now quite confident with my omelettes, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, and baked eggs. I challenge anybody to make a better omelette than me. You’ll lose. Finally, I am satisfied with my boiled eggs. I have read an obscene number of articles on the perfect boiled egg, and I have watched far too many videos. I’ve done more research on eggs than any sane person has reason to. I’m now thrilled and delighted. I place my eggs in a LE CREUSET pan, fill it with cold water, put it on a high flame until the water just begins to boil. Then, I kill the gas, put a lid on, and wait eight minutes. When the eight minutes are up, I prepare an ice bath. Carefully, remove each egg from the hot water and gently crack one of the ends before shocking in the ice bath. When cool, peel under the water in your bowl and they will be alarmingly perfect and rarely marred. An attractive boiled egg is one of the finest things you can have in your repertoire.

Egg Salad:

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Because I love boiling eggs so much, I have quite an abundance of them in my refrigerator at the moment. So, I’ve been using them in all sorts of ways, but my favorite way to consume the perfect little nibbles is in an egg salad sandwich. I spent years and years of my life — decades, really — avoiding egg salad sandwiches. I wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with them, and I was successful. But, one day, I don’t have any memory of that fateful day actually, I fell in love with the stuff and have craved it routinely ever since. I think I probably had it for the first time in London at a tea or maybe it was on a picnic I had in London? The readymade meals at Marks & Spencer are absolutely fabulous. I wish I was in London right now…sigh. Egg salad is, quite frankly, rather disgusting here in America. We use far too much mustard. To reclaim this treat, I have been making my own to my own tastes and it is a delight. I don’t have a recipe really, as I tweak it each time, but I know how to whip up a delightful egg salad in minutes now. I love it especially on some good hearty bread with a massive serving of kettle chips on the side. I NEED ONE NOW!

Celebrity Name Game:

I have never wanted to be on a television game show more than I want to be on this triumph hosted by Craig Ferguson. It is so much fun! Jessica and I are clearly champions, and we play the game along with the idiotic contestants every Wednesday night. We scream and shout and our throats bleed, but it’s worth it. If you aren’t watching, you’re making a very foolish decision. In the game, two teams compete for $20,000, but first they have to earn $3,000 by correctly giving clues about different celebrities (and a lot of other things that aren’t celebrities.) The contestants are dreadful but you can’t help but have a wondrous time as they fail. Each team gets a minor celebrity, and I do mean MINOR, to help them on their quest. It’s just delightful and even though Jessica and I would probably lose because we’d be too busy screaming vulgarities at each other and getting arrested to actually play the game, we’d make amazing television. Cast us!

Diet Coke:

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My obsession with Diet Coke has returned with a vengeance. It lay dormant for a while, but now if I don’t have one every day, I get a little angry. Then a lot angry. I don’t even know why I like it. It’s probably the artificial sweeteners it’s loaded up with affecting my brain. It’s surely going to kill me, but what does that matter? People are terrified of the silliest things. I mean, why be afraid of dying? We’re all going to do it. We’re all getting Ebola. Nobody has managed to live forever yet. We all need a vice in life, I think, to get us through. People who worry all the time and always do the right thing are real bores. Trust me, reader, I used to be one of them. Back to Diet Coke, though. On Wednesday night, I went to the gas station and bought 52 ounces of it. 52! I was overwhelmed and giddy. The container was larger than my head and it weighed me down and I loved every second of it. EVERY SECOND OF IT, READER! It was terribly amusing, I thought, because when you are in Europe, as I often am, you get tiny little cans of soda. You don’t get GALLONS in a serving like we do. I love America. Bless this land. I’m going to go buy  some delicious Diet Coke right now!

HATE:

Purging My Closet:

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My dream closet is like this — all black and white — but with fewer dresses.

I haven’t started this behemoth of a project, yet, but it’ll be happening soon and I’m dreading the thought of going through my clothes. It is enough to make my want to hyperventilate. I just have way too much. I don’t even know what I’ve got in that wardrobe. I do know that I have lots of clothes from when I was obese and a lot of clothes from when I was super small. After I lost weight, I was really overly enthusiastic about buying clothing in a size small. I was never a small, mind you, I simply fit inside of a small. My shoulders are too broad for a small. I’m a medium. And so, I’ve got a lot of clothes to get rid of. I have no intention of looking like a bratwurst in all those small shirts. It’s not good style. It’s in poor taste. Besides that, I really want to cut most of the stuff I have and procure only black clothing. It’s nothing about being depressed or moody or anything, I just really like the color black and I know that I look good in it. Besides, blacks are easy to match and everybody looks chic in black. It’s a project that I’ve been putting off for far too long. I redesigned an entire room to be my walk-in closet, I just need to stop procrastinating. But, you know me, I’m a master procrastinator.

Lack of Museums:

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In the summertimes, I often find myself in distant locales in big cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, or Cairo. There, in those wonderful metropolises, it is not difficult to find a quality museum to spend your day in delighted perusal. What a treat it is to saunter through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m giddy when I pass through the front portico of the British Museum. I nearly pass out from sheer joy when entering the courtyard of the Egyptian Museum. And I don’t think there’s anyplace dearer to me in the world than the Louvre. I could wander through the aisles of those museums all day for the rest of my life. I’d never tire of the exhibits. And, so, I’ve always wanted to work in a museum. It’s a life goal of mine, too. Someday. I tried getting a job at the British Museum, but that’s a sad story that I won’t belabor at this current junction. Unfortunately, I do not live in a big city for the majority of the year. I live in the middle of the middle west. Des Moines has culture, to a certain extent, but we don’t really have the greatest museums in the world. We have the Science Center, but that’s a deathly bore. We have the Art Center, but they have an absurd focus on modern art. And we have the Iowa Historical Building, which is really quite interesting, but there aren’t any mummies there and there certainly isn’t a Pissarro in the Des Moines Art Center. When I eventually relocate, close proximity to fine institutions of learning will be terribly important. I just need more museums in my life.

Document Formatting:

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I love to write, reader. You know that. It’s evidenced on the over 600 posts that are on this website. I sometimes find it hard to believe that there’s so much here! I haven’t even transferred my old blog over, my ancient travel one from high school. I will surely get around to it someday, but I’m terrified of the images of fat Ben on there and my poorly written and surprisingly whiny narratives. I’ve gotten much better as the years have gone by, and as they say, practice does make perfect. I have written a novel, Terrible Miss Margo, that I hope to have published one day. It’s not ready, yet, and that’s been an annoyance to me for ages. It’s just too long, and I think it could benefit greatly by a switch from third person to the first. Before I start this project, though, I wanted to get a look at how the book looks right now, so I’m going to order a bound copy and use it as reference whilst typing away on the next draft. It is endlessly frustrating, though, because I’m very technologically savvy, but word processing applications are the bane of my existence! I adore Pages for Mac because it is simple and makes it easy to accomplish the vast majority of tasks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have every necessary feature, like gutter margins. It is also endlessly frustrating to figure out how to hide headers. Like, I might lose my mind. But I’m finally getting it figured out and I think I’ll have a copy of my novel sometime in the month. It’ll be quite a thing to see and I hope it will inspire me to get an even better version completed.

Not Being Able To Afford Surgery:

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Like most vain people, I have a bucket list of surgeries to undergo. The first one is pretty common, just getting my eyes lasered so that I can see clearly again. The second is more intensive, but I saw it years ago on The Swan, and  I’ve wanted it ever since. It’s called brow shaving and what they do is open up your forehead and sand down your skull on your brow so that it isn’t so prominent. I’ve always felt like I have something of a Neanderthal head, so I’d enjoy this one tremendously. The third surgery is a Brazilian Butt Lift. In this one, plastic surgeons syphon fat off your middle and stick it in your ass! Isn’t that fabulous? I’m definitely getting that one. The surgery I’m craving the most right now, though, is one where the fat around your abdomen is killed by freezing it. Once it dies, it purges itself from your body and you’re left looking beautifully thin. I’m not a fat person, but I still have fat that I’m not fond of. I’ve tried exercising it off, but that is just not working out (see what I did there?) for me. I’ll walk until my feet fall off, but try to get me to do anything more intensive and I’m instantly bored. Unfortunately for me and all the people that see me, I can’t afford any of these surgeries at the moment. Can you start a Kickstarter for plastic surgery?

Incredibly Detrimental Donut Obsession:

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As you may have picked up  by now, I’m obsessed with donuts. I’m passionate about them. They’re all I think of. I wake up craving donuts, and I spend my day waiting for my next one. I need all the donuts in the world. And, so, I’ve been eating a considerable number of those round angels from heaven. It’s been absolutely fabulous, but I’m noticing a very obvious uptick in my obesity. The button popped off one of my skinny jeans the other day — quelle horreur — but I can’t stop. I literally just ate a donut. It’s my third one of the day. I have to end this. I have to retrain my brain. There are images of me on the Internet right double fisting donuts. I’m embarrassed. I need rehab.

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